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able in his life. From Scotland Gooch returned by sea to Yarmouth, and remained some months in Norfolk. Feeling the necessity of fitting himself for the practice of every branch of the medical profession, he resolved to pass the winter in the study of anatomy and surgery in London. He therefore became a pupil of Mr. Astley Cooper's, and dissected diligently in the Borough. Early in the following year he formed a partnership with Mr. James of Croydon, a general practitioner of eminence in that neighbourhood. Here Gooch immediately entered upon the active duties of his profession; he had great opportunities of acquiring practical knowledge, and soon became a favourite in the families which he attended. Many of the individuals to whom he first became known as a country surgeon were afterwards useful to him in London.
It was at the commencement of the year 1808 that Gooch first appeared in the character of a critic. Several of his friends agreed to establish a new medical journal, and he became one of the principal contributors to the London Medical Review-which existed for about five years, and contained many articles of very considerable merit. The great error of all young reviewers is the abuse of assumed power: it is gratifying to self-esteem to point out defects, and the youthful critic is more anxious to discover faults than excellencies. Gooch used often at a later period of his life to regret the severity in which he had indulged in some of his early essays in this department. His first article was on the subject of insanity; the book reviewed, a translation of Pinel. By a singular coincidence, the first and the last of his literary labours were on the same subject. There is a paragraph in this review which is so applicable to Gooch's own peculiar conformation of mind, that he must have had an eye to himself when he wrote it. "There are some characters," he says, "who are commonly called low-spirited, gloomy, desponding fellows. During an interval of occupation, when the mind is free to range where it pleases, they are constantly painting their future lives with a pencil dipped in black. Aware that they possess certain resources of money, knowledge, and patronage, they
view their present situation in the same light with the most cheerful of their companions. But the character of the man, the extent of his resources, and the usual conduct of the world being given, to find his future lot, he commences his calculations with the same assumptions, and differs from them in the conclusion. They deduce success, he misfortune; and the consequence is, that he becomes a frequent prey to those sorrowful apprehensions and gloomy emotions which want only strength and permanency to constitute one species of mental disease."
At this time Gooch was on the point of marrying the woman of his choice, and with a fair prospect of success in his profession-still he was not happy. Do “ coming events cast their shadows before ?” and had he a presentiment that in less than three years he should see the object of his fondest affections pine away and die? The lady was not in good health when she married, and though pregnancy suspended the progress of disease, after her confinement she became decidedly consumptive. She lingered for about fifteen months, and died on the 21st of January, 1811. The infant survived its mother about six months, and was buried in the same
grave with her.
Grievously as Gooch felt this affliction he did not sink under it. When a man has suffered the heaviest calamity which can befal him, (not arising from his own misconduct,) there is, after a short time, a sort of reaction, and in the early part of life a spirit of adventure not unfrequently succeeds. Gooch's religious feelings (and they were naturally strong) afforded him the best consolation, and next to religion schemes for a new scene of professional action. Being now somewhat better off in point of circumstances, he resolved to remove to London, and endeavour to obtain practice as an accoucheurphysician. Several of his friends were already established in the capital, doing well, and disposed to serve him; he had gained some reputation by his writings, and had acquired a consciousness of his own powers. There was perhaps no period of his life when he was less inclined to despond with
regard to his future success, than that at which he quitted Croydon.
Having taken a house in Aldermanbury, before he established himself permanently in London, he made an excursion into the north of England in order to visit Dr. Fearon at Sunderland, and Dr. Henry Southey at Durham. On this occasion he made the tour of the English Lakes, and passed some days with Mr. Southey at Keswick. The poet had seen him at Edinburgh in the autumn of 1805, as his brother's early and intimate friend; had liked him at first sight, and became more acquainted with him in London, and during his residence at Croydon. He had now better opportunity of appreciating his moral and intellectual worth; and this visit led to an intimacy which continued during the remainder of Gooch's life.
On his return to London he became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, and before the close of the year 1811 he had fairly entered the lists as a candidate for practice in the city. He had chosen the line of accoucheur as that in which his medical friends could most easily assist him. It may
be allowable to name those persons to whom he was chiefly indebted for his early introduction into practice; and, first, Mr. George Young, then an eminent surgeon in the city, a gentleman to whom Gooch ever expressed himself under the greatest obligations, and whom he was accustomed to describe as a most accomplished practitioner, a delightful companion, and an indefatigable friend ; -- Dr. Babington, to whom Gooch afterwards dedicated his work upon the diseases peculiar to women, and whom he there characterises most justly; and Sir William Knighton, then in full practice at the west end of the town, to whom, more than to any other individual, he owed his early success in life.
In 1812 Dr. Gooch was elected physician to the Westminster Lying-in Hospital ; an appointment which afforded him great opportunities of acquiring a practical knowledge of the difficulties of midwifery. Ordinary cases are in such hospitals attended by the regular nurses and the pupils; but
when a difficulty occurs, the physician is summoned - in proportion to the size of the establishment these important cases are more or less frequent, and what the private practitioner may meet with but a few times in the course of his life, to an hospital physician is a common occurrence. The advantages of such a situation to Gooch were incalculable. In a letter to a friend written at this time he speaks thus cheerfully of his own prospects :-—“ You will be glad to hear that practice is coming in upon me, in a way and with a rapidity which surprises me; if its after progress is at all proportionate to its commencement, (of which I feel no doubt,) it will soon carry me out of the reach of pecuniary cares. I have been attending the daughter of one of the most zealous methodists I ever met with; he never gives me a fee but I find written in red ink on the bank-note some religious sentence.
I have now two of these curiosities lying by me: on one is written, · Who shall exist in everlasting burnings ?' on the other, The wages of sin is death. There were several others, which I. cannot remember. I have sent them out into the world, to do all possible good, and these will soon follow them.” In the course of this year Gooch was elected joint lecturer on midwifery at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, with Dr. Thynne, who was then very infirm, and who died early in the following year.
An extract from a letter addressed to Mr. Southey, dated January, 1813, illustrates his state of mind at this period with reference to a second marriage, to which that friend had strongly advised him. “ One part of your letter produced a deep impression on me. There is no fear, however, but I shall again become a husband, nor will a second attachment become less likely from being deferred another year or two. I am too friendly to marriage in general, too sick of a solitary fireside, too indisposed to relish even the innocent pursuits which single men depend on for amusement, too thoroughly convinced that gaiety, as it is commonly called, is incapable of affording me pleasure, too disposed to look to the pursuits of knowledge, and the endearments of affection, for my happi
ness in this world. At present, however, unless I am much mistaken, an attachment would not be desirable for me. Mine is an anxious disposition - more given to fear than to hope. During the last year, it is true, I have scarcely known what fear is, but this I refer not to any change in my character, but to an alteration in my circumstances — for although I have become an adventurer, and thrown myself in the way of difficulties, I have always been encouraged by the thought that, even if I failed, my failure would injure no one but myself. Notwithstanding the unexpected degree of my success, I am still an adventurer, and shall feel myself to be so until I have gained an income equal to my expenses. You will smile perhaps at the apprehensiveness of my nature; but such it is, and so far from my being able to mend it, I believe the less I think of it the better it becomes. No domestic enjoyments would compensate to me for pecuniary anxieties. As long as there remains the slightest uncertainty about my success, so long had I better remain single, not only in fact but in feeling As soon as I have gained a competent income (which, by the by, becomes the more necessary because I may chance to marry a woman without a fortune, for I shall certainly choose my second wife from the same feelings which led me to my first) when I have a competent income I shall have neither disinclination nor difficulty in again becoming attached, as I have some reason to believe that there is still left in me more susceptibility than I once thought I should ever again possess."
At the very time when this letter was written Gooch was forming an attachment to the sister of his friend Mr. Travers; and, notwithstanding all his prudent resolutions, soon became convinced that he should best consult his own happiness by expediting his marriage with a person every way qualified to make him happy. There was, indeed, nothing imprudent in his so doing, for his practice was rapidly increasing, and the death of Dr. Thynne gave him the whole profit of the lectures at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
These lectures, though a source of emolument, were also a