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eminent of the profession, observes, that " in his time not only the track of a young physician was pretty plainly pointed out, but that the conduct of such an one was reducible to a system." He/ then proceeds to say, that it was necessary chee should be either a zealous Dissenter or a zealous High-churchman; an ardent Whig or an ardent Tory; that "the frequenting Batson's or Child's was a declaration of the side he took; and his business was to be indiscriminately courteous and obsequious to all men, to appear much abroadı and in public places, to increase his acquaint tance and form good connexions, in the doing whereof, a wife, if he were married, that coulde visit, play at cards, and tattle, was oftentimes very serviceable. A candidate for practice, pur suing these methods, and exercising the patience of a setting-dog for half a score years in the ex pectation of deaths, resignations, or other accidents that occasion vacancies, at the end thereof either found himself an hospital physician, and if of Bethlehem a monopolist of one, and that a very lucrative branch of practice, or doomed to struggle with difficulties for the remainder of his] life." He then, after mentioning several charac ters who had obtained extensive practice by these means, remarks, that "from these, and many other instances that might be produced, it is evi
dent, that neither learning, parts, nor skill, nor even all these united, are sufficient to ensure success in the profession I am speaking of; and that, without the concurrence of adventitious circum+ stances, which no one can pretend to define, a physician of the greatest merit may be lost to the world; it is often seen, indeed,' that negative qualities are more conducive to medical success than positive; and that, with no higher al character than is attainable by any one who with a studious taciturnity will keep his opinions to himself, conform to the practice of others, and entertain neither friendship for, nor enmity against, any one, a competitor for the good opinion of the world, nay for emoluments and even dignities, stands a better chance of success, than one of the most established reputation for learning and ingenuity!"*
It can be no object of surprise, therefore, if men who place a due value upon themselves, both h in a moral and literary light, should declineda competition upon terms which would reduce them to a level with the meanest of mankind. Poor Bathurst, Sir John Hawkins relates, "studied hard, dressed well, and associated with those who! were likely to bring him forward," but wanting
*Hawkins's Life of Johnson, p. 238, 242, 248.
obsequiousness of manner and versatility of opinion, he failed to obtain the remuneration which is so lavishly bestowed upon the ignorant, the time-serving, though crafty, hunter after fees..
To excel in literature as well as in science was formerly the characteristic of every great physician; it has been reserved for the present times to consider a proficiency in elegant letters as interfering with medical study and practice. That an idea so futile and absurd should be entertained by the ignorant and uneducated of the profession, and of mankind at large, will excite little wonder; but that those who possess any tincture of liberal knowledge should embrace a position so extravagantly foolish, forgetting that learning in all its various branches can alone fix a firm basis for the acquirements of the physician, must occasion no small indignation and astonishment. To this very imbecile and barbarous prejudice it is probable that Bathurst, who was a coadjutor with Johnson and Hawkesworth in the composition of the Adventurer, might owe some portion of his professional failure.
To those who are inclined to favour such illiberal and confined views I would recommend an attentive perusal of the following quotation, which is taken from an admirable epistle to Dr.
Percival, a physician who combined the charms of elegant literature with the most solid acquisitions of science.
"It is the glory of medicine, that, more than all others, it is the profession of literature, as well as of benevolence. No kind of knowledge is indifferent or useless to a physician, because man, the object of his care, is connected with, and in-. fluenced by, almost every thing in nature. With singular propriety our language has appropriated to the medical practitioner, the term PHYSICIAN,. that is, Quoixos, a student of nature; whose science may be defined Universal Philosophy, or the contemplation of universal nature, directed. to the preservation and relief of man. Accordingly we find, that in every period there have been physicians who have supported this high and interesting part of their character, and have. appeared as the friends of philosophy and the guardians of literature. HIPPOCRATES was instructed in all the knowledge of the times. The learning of GALEN was immense, and extended to every subject. ORIBASIUS was one of the best scholars of his age. Nor ought we to omit mentioning with honour the names of OTIUS, ARETEUS and PAULUS EGINETA. Quintilian informs us, that CELSUS wrote on a variety of subjects besides physic. Among the Arabians we.
find many learned characters. AVICENNA was a profound and universal philosopher: the memorable saying of AVERROES, Sit anima mea cum philosophis,' proves, unquestionably his attachment to literature.-RHAZES should have been previously noticed; and to these we may add ABDOLLATIEH, whose curious travels into Egypt a learned Professor is at present printing at Oxford.. During the darkness of the middle ages, it cannot be supposed that physicians should have escaped from the depressing influence of the times. Yet there is reason to believe that they were less affected by it than other classes of men; and that even then, as on other occasions, they stood up the advocates of reason and, nature, and formed, in some degree, a barrier against the absurdities of weak and bigoted Theologians. If from these we descend to modern times, many respectable vouchers might be produced. Latter ages have given us BOERHAAVE and HALLER HOFFMAN, MEAD, PRINGLE, and GREGORY. These eminent men all distinguished themselves by the variety and extent of their knowledge, They were not only physicians, but also philosophers, poets, moralists, classical scholars, and theologians, Haller in particular deserves to be noticed, as one of the most extraordinary of mankind. Phy sicians have reason to glory in his name; for he