many of which can be exhibited without any expensive apparatus. As Dr. Priestley has said, whoever waits for a complete laboratory, and all the formality of apparatus to try experiments, will never be a chemist. Beside chemistry, mineralogy and botany may amuse the boy in his holidays, without requiring from him any painful application. He may be taken to look at, not to examine, collections of minerals and plants, or any natural curiosities in his neighbourhood. Botanical excursions are usually agreeable to young people, particularly if they are to some distant place, and if a cold dinner on the grass is part of the scheme. The pupils of Linnæus, numbers of whom afterwards became men distinguished in the world either as naturalists or physicians, seem to have retained through life the most delightful and grateful recollection of the pleasure they had in their early botanical excursions with their beloved master. " In these he was. “ attended with a band of trumpets and French-horns, and “ sallied out at the head of two or three hundred students, “ divided into detached companies. When Linnæus was in“ clined to explain any curious plant, bird, or insect, which “ had either fallen under his own notice, or was brought to “ him by any of the students, the stragglers were called to“ gether by the horn, and, crowding round their master, “ listened in respectful silence.”

All preceptors have not such grand scenic means at their command, nor would they perhaps always be suited to the pupils; but it is in the power of every parent to apply and adapt to circumstances the general idea of connecting pleasure with professional pursuits. All the individuals of a

family have it in their power to be of service in this respect, by partaking and sympathizing in any scientific pursuit: even if the little amusements and excursions that have been recommended should be attended with some inconvenience and expense to parents, their time and money will be well bestowed in increasing their son's love for a profession by which an independent, perhaps an affluent fortune may be obtained.

The pupil should be introduced to agreeable physicians, or to men of science with whom his friends are or can make themselves acquainted. The conversation of such men will be advantageous to him in every respect; he will acquire from it many ideas : his views will be carried forward to his future life, and he will be made to feel the expedience and necessity of preparing himself for his profession. He may be led to observe the respect with which skilful physicians are treated, the anxiety with which they are expected when any individuals in a family are sick, the eagerness with which they are received; the great opportunities they have of doing good to their fellow-creatures, of alleviating the sufferings both of body and mind. These reflections are not above the capacity of a boy of twelve or thirteen, and they will, if judiciously made, leave an indelible impression upon his heart.

When the pupil has finished his classical studies at school, he should, before he goes to a university, spend some months at home, to prepare himself for his medical studies. Those who go to hear public lectures without having first obtained some general idea of the subject of which they treat, and without having familiarized themselves with the terms of science which must occur, will not be able to reap much advantage from the public instruction, even of the ablest professors. The desultory reading and amusing experiments, which were permitted to the pupil, while he was a child, to excite in him a taste for science, must not now be indulged ; the habits of application, which he has acquired at school, should be continued strictly in his new course of reading. He is now to study for a determinate purpose, and his attention should be concentrated on those parts of knowledge, that are essential to his profession. He should make himself master of the outlines of chemistry, and be familiar with the principal terms of its nomenclature. He should also learn as much algebra, and as much of mathematics, as may enable him to follow demonstrations and calculations at public lectures. He should prepare himself for anatomical lectures by recurring to prints of skeletons, and by reading Bell's and Cuvier's Anatomy, and Cullen's “ First Lines," a work inost elegantly written, a model of clear definition and lucid order, and highly useful, independently of its medical theories. After having acquired this necessary foundation for future knowledge, he should read Gregory on the duties of a physician, which will give him not only a full idea of whatever a physician ought to be, but which will also open his mind to enlarged and philosophic views of the causes, that have retarded the progress of the art of medicine. Some of these obstacles have arisen from faulty habits and from prejudices insensibly acquired in the prosecution of certain studies : other causes that have retarded the advancement of medicine have arisen from errours in the manner of teaching in our universities ; from undue reverence for medical authorities; from admitting as indisputable facts, what in reality have never been established by sufficient evidence or experiment.

Against the erroneous habits of thinking, which are often acquired in the course of certain studies, it may be in the power of a judicious parent or preceptor, easily to guard a young student, either while he reads with him, or when he hears him converse of what he has been reading. For instance, one of the errours Dr. Gregory points out is the excessive importance annexed to the niceties of nosology, and the disposition to believe, that the classification of diseases made by, medical writers is complete, and in every respect accurate. While on the contrary it is impossible, that definitions or classification can be complete, till a science is arrived at perfection : that this is not the present state of the art of medicine, is allowed by all enlightened and candid professors, and is rendered indubitable by every day's experience. The description of the symptoms of each disease is given with much apparent accuracy and certainty by medical writers ; but these symptoms in real cases are so variable and so much complicated, that the written description can seldom direct the judgment of a young physician, and he is mortified and puzzled at finding, that books and nature so little agree. Let these difficulties be pointed out to him when he first begins to study nosology; disappointment, if not perplexity, may thus be prevented, and philosophical diffidence will be cherished in his mind, instead of the presumption of theoretic learning. He will also be more at liberty to reason and invent, for he will not be circumscribed by the idea, that the boundaries drawn by the hand of man are the immutable laws of nature. To keep the student from overestimating or undervaluing classification in general, we should point out its real use, which is to give our memories the command of a vast number of particulars, that we could not otherwise retain, or manage in reasoning; but we should observe, that to sort and arrange our wealth does not increase the treasure, though it puts it in our power to use it with more facility. Some nosologists have for our satisfaction decided, that man is subject to two thousand different diseases, and the casuists have numbered five thousand sins, to which he is liable ; but it may be doubted whether morality or medicine have profited much by the accuracy of this classification of all the " ills which fesh is heir to.” The distinction between the love of useful order and vain finical precision may be pointed out by examples, and by the striking contrast in the effects produced by the different manner of employing this spirit of arrangement. For example, compare the comprehensive inventive genius of arrangement displayed by Berthollet, Buffon, or Linnæus, with the curious impertinence of him who wrote a quarto volume on the anatomy of a caterpillar ; or of another frivolous pedant, who dedicated a quarto to the manners and habitudes of a frog. .

Some other propensities, which may be dangerous to the medical student, may easily be prevented or checked by a sensible and philosophic guide in his early studies. When first a novice dips into medical and scientific books, he is

• Lyonet.

« 前へ次へ »