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enquiry, it will be easily discovered how much the inferest of multitudes was engaged in the production and continuance of this opinion, and how cheaply those, of whom it was known that they practised phyfick before they studied it, might satisfy themselves and others with the example of the illustrious Sydenham.
It is therefore in an uncommon degree useful to publish a true account of this memorable man, that pride, temerity, and idleness may be deprived of that patronage which they have enjoyed too long; that life may be secured from the dangerous experiments of the ignorant and presumptuous; and that those, who shall hereafter assume the important province of superintending the health of others, may learn from this great master of the art, that the only means of arriving at eminence and success are labour and study.
From these false reports it is probable that another arose, to which, though it cannot be with equal certainty confuted, it does not appear that entire credit ought to be given. The acquisition of a Latin style did not seem consistent with the manner of life imputed to him ; nor was it probable, that he, who had so diligently cultivated the ornamental parts of general literature, would have neglected the essential studies of his own profession. Those therefore who were determined, at whatever price, to retain him in their own party, and represent him equally ignorant and daring with themselves, denied him the credit of writing his own works in the language in which they were published, and asserted, but without proof, that they were composed by him in English, and translated into Latin by Dr. Mapletoft.
Whether Dr. Mapletoft lived and was familiar with him during the whole time in which these several Vol. IV.
treatises were printed, treatises written on particular occasions, and printed at periods considerably diftant from each other, we have had no opportunity of enquiring, and therefore cannot demonstrate the falfhood of this report : but if it be considered how unlikely it is that any man should engage in a work so laborious and so little necessary, only to advance the reputation of another, or that he should have leisure to continue the same office upon all following occafions, if it be remembered how seldom such literary combinations are formed, and how soon they are for the greatest part diffolved, there will appear no reason for not allowing Dr. Sydenham the laurel of eloquence as well as physick *.
It is observable, that his Processus Integri, published after his death, discovers alone more fill in the Latin language than is commonly ascribed to him; and it surely will not be suspected, that the officiousness of his friends was continued after his death, or that he procured the book to be translated only that, by leaving it behind him, he might secure his claim to his other writings.
It is asserted by Sir Hans Sloane, that Dr. Sydenham, with whom he was familiarly acquainted, was particu
* Since the foregoing was written, we have seen Mr. Ward's Lives of the Professors of Grelham College ; who, in the life of Dr. Mapletoft, says, that in 1676 Dr. Sydenham published his Observationes medicæ circa morborum acutorum biftoriam & curationem, which he dedicated to Dr. Mapletoft, who at the desire of the author had translated them into Latin; and that the other pieces of that excellent physician were translated into that language by Mr. Gilbert Havers of Trinity College Cambridge, a student in physick and friend of Dr. Mapletoft. But as Mr. Ward, like others, neglects to bring any proof of his assertion, the question cannot fairly be desided by his authority. Orig. Edit.
larly versed in the writings of the great Ronan orator and philosopher; and there is evidently such a luxuriance in his style, as may discover the author which gave him most pleasure, and most engaged his imitation.
About the faine time that he became batchelor of physick, he obtained, by the interest of a relation, a fellowship of All Souls college, having submitted by the subfcription required to the authority of the vifttors appointed by the parliament, upon what principles, or how consistently with his former conduct, it is now impossible to discover.
When he thought himself qualified for practice, he fixed his residence in Westminster, became doctor of physick at Cambridge, received a licence from the college of physicians, and lived in the first degree of reputation, and the greatest affluence of practice, for many years, without any other enemies than those which he raised by the superior merit of his conduct, the brighter lustre of his abilities, or his improvements of his science, and his contempt of pernicious methods supported only by authority in opposition to found reason and indubitable experience. These men are indebted to him for concealing their names, when he records their malice, since they have thereby escaped the contempt
and deteftation of posterity. It is a melancholy reflection, that they who have obtained the highest reputation, by preserving or restoring the health of others, have often been hurried away before the natural decline of life, or have passed many of their years under the torments of those distempers which they profess to relieve. In this number was Sydenham, whose health began to fail in the 52d year of his age, by the frequent attacks of the gout, to K k 2
which he was subject for a great part of his life, and which was afterwards accompanied with the stone in the kidneys, and, its natural consequence, bloodyurine.
These were distempers which even the art of Sydenham could only palliate, without hope of a perfect cure, but which, if he has not been able by his precepts to instruct us to reinove, he has, at least, by his example taught us to bear; for he never betrayed any indecent impatience, or unmanly dejection, under his torments, but supported himself by the reflections of philosophy, and the consolations of religion, and in every interval of ease applied himself to the assistance of others with his usual assiduity.
After a life thus usefully employed, he died at his house in Pall-mall, on the 29th of December, 1689, and was buried in the aisle, near the south door, of the church of St. James in Westminster.
What was his character, as a physician, appears from the treatises which he has left, which it is not necessary to epitomise or transcribe ; and from them it may
likewise be collected, that his fkill in physic was not his highest excellence; that his whole character was amiable; that his chief view was the benefit of mankind, and the chief motive of his actions the will of God, whom he mentions with reverence, well becoming the inost enlightened and most penetrating mind. He was benevolent, candid, and communicative, sincere, and religious; qualities, which it were happy if they could copy from him, who emulate his knowledge, and imitate his methods.
E Y N E L*.
HERE is always this advantage in contending
with illustrious adversaries, that the combatant is equally immortalized by conquest or defeat. He that dies by the sword of a hero will always be mentioned when the acts of his enemy are mentioned. The man, of whose life the following account is offered to the publick, was indeed eminent among his own party, and had qualities, which, employed in a good cause, would have given him some claim to distinction; but no one is now so much blinded with bigotry, as to imagine him equal either to Hammond or Chillingworth; nor would his memory, perhaps, have been preserved, had he not, by being conjoined with illustrious names, become the object of publick curiosity.
Francis Cheynel was born in 1608 at Oxford *, where his father Dr. John Cheynel, who had been fellow of Corpus Christi college, pracțised physick with great reputation. He was educated in one of the
grainmar schools of his native city, and in the begioning of the year 1623 became a member of the university.
* First printed in The Student, 1751.