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have worked on quietly and beneficently through all futurity, leading humanity nearer to the lofty aims of humane thought and action. For the consolation of these men there has often remained only the beautiful saying, that even had their life been glorious, yet it would have been but labor and sorrow.

In like manner history brings before us those spirits who have struggled for such noble aims throughout the whole course of the known centuries, both the highly-gifted, victorious and great, who have borne aloft before our eyes the brightness of their immortal names, and those who, less favored by nature, have shone with a more modest light, and must thus be sought for in their homes, only that we may learn to prize and honor their struggles and their perseverance the more freely, because their desires were supported by less eminent natural endowments. History shows us, too, those whose actions have shone with a false and almost unearthly gleam in times of intellectual night. It teaches us how those spirits strove to recognize—and in some small degree did actually recognize the forces acting upon and in man, how they pointed them out, and utilized them, how in the midst of, and in spite of this constant struggle and search, that saying from the mouth of the most gracious. of mankind has proven its eternal truth: “ Fragmentary are all our knowledge and our actions, and our gaze ambiguous as in a mirror."

Thus change in our views seems to be the only permanent phenomenon, and in no science has the maxim: "Much arises which has already perished, and what is now honored is already declining," attained such extended verification as in the very science of medicine. Even so in this same science has been proven the truth of that other saying: "As long as man struggles he errs". To err in its struggles after the truth is, however, according to the resigned expression of Lessing, the portion of humanity, and absolute truth is of God alone.

This observation, however, ought not to discourage us. On the contrary it should spur us on, that each individual, as a member of the great whole, in the flight of moments, days and years, may add his allotted share, however great or modest it may be, to the completion of the work of thousands of years of pure sense and sincere heart. For a thousand years are. indeed, to humanity "as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood"; but on history and in history, great and small work equally in the service of that supreme power, whose laws, to our comprehension inherent and active in matter, are but very partially explored and understood that power to whose purposes, unfathomed, though freely discussed from the origin of the human race, we mortal creatures, living and struggling, dying and vanishing in the twilight of consolatory hopes, are inevitably committed. History-that of medicine included--seems to the mind's eye like an immense wave of past and present action, now strong and rushing, now quietly advancing, with sparkling mountains and valleys. deep as night, a wave whose ebb and flow in the eternity of the past


we understand not and can but dimly conjecture. A supreme power, whatever its essence and however named of men, gives to it its direction and individual phases in accordance with a design and purpose to us forever inscrutable. The eternal wave rises up to heaven, it sinks again into the dark depths, bearing mankind ever upon its rolling crest and billowy field. through hundreds and thousands of years, uniting organically with each other the epochs and grades of human development, both past and future. Millions on millions have perished without contributing to the progress of humanity they have no history. Thousands have promoted at least the foundations of future knowledge: history records their names, for they labored. But only a few chosen spirits have performed the highest services allotted to man. They summed up the past and discovered new and great truths, the intellectual product of many bygone factors of knowledge; they led humanity onward, and thus form the landmarks of its history. The study of the history of medicine, above that of all other medical branches, should give a more ideal direction to our conception of our calling by showing that its duties and its rewards are not to be found exclusively in our daily labors and scanty pay (as is, alas, too often the popular belief), and by pointing out the fact that only in struggles and labors directed to the intellectual advancement of humanity-struggles unnoticed even in the present, and probably, too, long in the future-lie the fertile germs of futurity and a scion of improvement for all mankind.

To the physician is assigned in the first place the difficult, frequently the impossible, task of preserving the corporeal health, and of restoring it. when disturbed or endangered by disease; next, and partly necessarily and consequently, the duty of preserving or restoring the faculties of the mind. Impotent, however, as it, alas, often is and must remain in opposition. to the irreversible laws of nature--and history teaches most strikingly this impotence the medical profession when no longer able to supply the technical aid which we think ought to be expected of it, must claim as its right a still higher significance, a duty far above the technical services of its own department--the duty of being in truth and in deed a humane calling. For there can be no doubt that we physicians too are active coworkers in the sublimest task assigned to humanity :

"Dass das Gute wirke, wachse, fromme,

Und der Tag des Edlen endlich komme!" "That the good may work, increase, profit, And the day of the noble come at last.”


as regards its various phases or epochs of development, may be likened to a large picture, whose atmosphere, tinted by unmeasured distance, displays. only a few clearer cloudforms in somewhat definite outlines and masses, while the limited background exhibits in perspective lofty temples, about

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