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Cyprus, Syria, Thrace, and Macedonia, he directed his course to Rome, and thence towards Aquileia. But the epidemic having extended thither, and his patron Lucius Verus having died of it, the expedition was deferred, and Galen seized the opportunity, to resume his occupation at the capitol.. Nor could he be again induced to join the army, even at the solicitation of Marcus Aurelius; assigning as an · excuse that in a vision he had been warned not to do so, by Esculapius. During the subsequent absence of the emperor in the north, Galen was successful in treating his two young sons, Commodus and Sextus; thereby securing the favor of their mother, Faustina. Thus, in the enjoyment of unbounded popularity, devoting his attention to the poor as well as to the rich, and giving no inconsiderable portion of his time to teaching and writing, he spent the vigor of his life in Rome; where he was still residing, though disembarrassed from the cares of his profession, in his old age, as late as the reign of Septimus Severus. At a still later period he retired to Pergamus, where he spent his later years, and where he died, according to the most reliable authority, about the close of his seventieth year; though by some writers he is said to have survived to an extreme old age. His immense erudition, his glowing eloquence, and the almost endless labors of his pen, not less than his profound acquirements in anatomy and every other department of the healing art, had raised him before his death to the most exalted rank; and after his decease the people of Pergamus, proud of their fellow-citizen, and desirous
to express their reverence for his name, struck medals to his memory.
The personal character of Galen is seen in the numerous incidental allusions and amusing anecdotes scattered through his writings, some of which are of sufficient importance to be given in his own manner.
"Soon after my arrival in Rome," says he, "Glauco the philosopher took a great fancy to me, in consequence of my reputed skill in diagnosis. Meeting me accidentally in the street and shaking hands with me, he remarked, 'I have fallen upon you oppor tunely. I wish you to visit with me a patient in this neighborhood whom I have this moment left-the Sicilian physician whom you saw walking with me some days since, and who is now ill.' I inquired of him what ailed his friend; when with his habitual candor he replied, that Gorgias and Apelas had spoken to him of my skill in diagnosis and progno sis, which appeared to them more like the result of divine inspiration than of medical science; and that he wished to know for himself whether I really was thus skillful. He had hardly done speaking before we reached the door; so that I had no opportunity of replying to his request as I have often said to you that on some occasions the signs of disease are certain, at other times they are ambiguous, and require to be considered again and again. But as we entered, I observed a servant carrying from the sick chamber a vessel containing a thin bloody sanies, like the recent washing of flesh, a sure evidence of diseased liver. Without appearing to notice this circumstance, I proceeded with Glauco to the pa
tient's apartment; when placing my fingers on the wrist of the sick man, I examined his pulse in order to determine whether the attack was inflam matory, or simply a weakness of the affected viscus. As the patient was himself a physician, he remarked that he had recently been up, and that the effort at rising might have accelerated the pulse; but I had already discovered the evidences of inflammation; and seeing on a recess in the window a jar containing something like a preparation of hys-: sop in honey and water, I knew that he had mistaken his disease for pleurisy; in which, as in inflammations of the liver, there is usually pain under the false ribs. He had been led to this opinion, as I at once perceived, by experiencing this pain, by his short and hurried breathing, and by a slight cough. Understanding the case, therefore, and turning to good account what fortune had thrown in my way, in order to give Glauco a high opinion of my ability, I placed my hands over the false ribs, on the right side of the patient, and at the same time declared this to be the seat of pain; which the sick man admitted to be correct. Glanco, supposing I had made this discovery merely by examining the pulse, began to express surprise. But to increase his astonishment, I added, 'Inasmuch as you admit the existence of pain at this spot, I wish you further to say whether you are troubled with a slight cough, and whether your cough is not dry, without sputa, and occurring at long intervals. While I was yet speaking the sick man was seized with a cough such as I had described; whereat Glauco was exceedingly excited, and no longer able
to contain himself, began to vociferate in praise of my abilities. Do not think,' said I, 'that these are all the discoveries my art enables me to make; there are others yet to be mentioned, which will elicit the testimony even of the patient.' Then turning to the latter I resumed: 'Is not the pain in this part increased, and accompanied with a sense of weight in the right hypochondrium, whenever you take a full breath?' At hearing this the patient also was surprised, and was as loud in my praise as Glauco. Seeing fortune still smiling upon me, I was desirous of making some remark in reference to the shoulder, which appeared to be drawn downwards, as often occurs in severe inflammations as well as in induration of the liver; but I did not venture to speak on this point, fearing to diminish the admiration which I had already excited. Nevertheless I touched upon it cautiously; saying to the patient, 'You will not long feel the shoulder drawn downwards, if perchance you do not find it so already.' When he admitted this symptom also, seeing him greatly astonished, I said, 'I will add but one other word to show what you conceive to be the nature of complaint.' Glauco declared he would not be surprised if I should do even this. But the patient, overcome with wonder at such a promise, observed me closely, waiting for what I should say. I told him he had taken his disease to be a pleurisy. This, with a further expression of surprise, he admitted to have been his own opinion, as well as that of his attendant; who had been fomenting his side with oil, for the relief of that disease. From this time for
ward Glauco entertained the highest opinion both of me and of our art; for, having never before come in contact with a physician of consummate ability, he had hitherto formed but an humble estimate of the profession. I have related to you these particulars," he adds, as if addressing a class of students, "in order that you may understand that there are symptoms peculiar to particular diseases, and others common to several diseases; and, further, that there are some symptoms inseparable from the disease, some usually accompanying it, others again of uncertain character, or of rare occurrence; so that if fortune at any time offers to you a good opportunity, as in the instance just related, you may know how to take advantage of it; remembering that fortune often presents to us the means of acquiring fame, which, through ignorance, many are unable to turn to good account."*
The following is equally characteristic: "There are," says he, "certain persons who promise to prove that the arteries do not contain blood, yet never test their assertion by dissections. A teacher of this sort having asserted his ability to show that the aorta is always empty, and not demonstrating the fact, was exhorted to do so by a number of ambitious young men who had provided animals for the purpose. At first he refused to comply with their request unless suitably rewarded; whereupon they placed before him a thousand denarii as an inducement to prove his assertion. After much
* De Locis Affectis, lib. v., c. 8: Kuhn's edition, vol. 8,