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rity, tells us:-"He had about him his physician, Dr. James Coltier, to whom in five months he gave 54,000 crowns ready money, besides the Bishoprick of Amiens for his nephew, and other good offices for him and his friends. Yet this doctor used him so rudely, one would not have given his servant such language as he gave the king—who stood in such awe of him, he durst not command him to be gone. It is true he complained of him after, but he durst not change him as he had done all the rest of his servants, because he had told him most imprudently "-rather most prudently" one day, 'I know some time or other you will turn me away, as you have done the rest; but be sure (with an oath) you shall not live eight days after it: with which expression he was so frightened, that ever after he did nothing but flatter and present him, which must needs be a great torment to a man who had been obeyed all along by so many brave men much above the doctor's quality " Our author goes on to describe the king's death; and tells us that, feeling his end approaching, he sent for his confessor, but made a short shrift, because, having touched for the king's evil only the previous week, he had, before proceeding to this exercise of royal power, made his confession according to the custom. Here we observe, that in the Middle Ages, when modern kingship took its rise, the king, besides being the personification of law, was endowed in the estimation of his subjects with a sacred function. derived from the Jewish kings, and which (attached to the possession of the throne, not to the family), enabled him to cure scrofulous swellings.

This belief seems to have prevailed, both in England and France, for many centuries-almost without question even from the more enlightened men of the age-extending to a period long after the Reformation. We may take it, as a tacit evidence of the natural tendency of the

1 Memoirs of Philip de Comines.

human mind to associate something mysterious or sacred with disease; which, being a modification of life, has been, and will continue to be, the one great mystery holding by the hand the other mystery of the soul, with its relations to the unseen and eternal world, and thus ever tending to reunite the offices of physician and priest. It was in virtue of his priesthood that the king exercised this divine prerogative of healing. The term, Most Sacred, as applied to majesty, has thus a wholly different signification from any ordinary title of courtesy.

We are apt to cry out on the credulity of those ages in which men universally believed much that we now know to be false, and think absurd; but we are apt to forget that then there existed no standard of scientific credibility. Can we wonder that nothing seemed impossible to an age which had seen the invention of gunpowder, and the discovery of America? The printing-press, too, had begun its marvellous work; and, as production always precedes criticism, it supplied the wondering time with food for which it had an intense, but wholly indiscriminating appetite. When, towards the end of the fifteenth century, the sweating sickness broke out in Germany, it called forth a multitude of pamphlets; and these new "unfounded little books," as Dr. Bayer' calls them, were addressed not to the medical clergy, as all such writings had been, but to the vulgar. Here was the inauguration of a new era in human progress—the appeal to the people. The consequence, in the religious world, was the Reformation of Luther; how it affected the history of medicine, we shall learn by examining the influence exerted upon that art by Theophrastus Bombastes Paracelsus.

1 Hecker.

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His Sex-His Name--His Wanderings-His famous Sword-His Conformity to his Age His Style.-His Notions of Trinity in Unity-His Alchemy and Heroic Treatment—Epilepsy and Apoplexy-His Arcanum.

THE opinions expressed by persons to all appearance equally capable of forming a just estimate of Paracelsus, are so conflicting, that it is an unusually difficult task for the historian to form an impartial and satisfactory judgment in regard to a man whose fate it was to live a considerable portion of his life in a blaze of notoriety, and to sink before his death into obscurity.

According to Von Helmont, he "was the forerunner of true medicine, God-sent and armed with knowledge to decompose bodies by fire, and his excellent cures put all Germany into commotion." Again the same author

1 Ortus Medicina, Pref.

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declares, that he was "the jewel of all Germany, and the abuse directed against him was not worth a deaf nut;' while, on the other hand, his countryman, the no less celebrated Zimmermann, thus delineates his character and appearance:-" He lived like a hog, looked like a carter, found his chief pleasure in the society of the lowest and most debauched of the rabble, was drunk the greatest part of his life, and seemed to have composed all he wrote in this condition." 2 Since Sprengel wrote his History of Medicine, from which the biographies of Paracelsus in the various encyclopædias and biographical dictionaries are for the most part derived, there have appeared three treatises in Germany, all distinguished by a more careful research into the facts of his life and the scope of his doctrines than shows itself in the severe and superficial narrative given by Sprengel. The first of these is by Professor Schultz of Berlin, published in 1831; the second by Dr. Lessing,* the third, and most remarkable, is contained in the first volume of Dr. Rademacher's work. The name of Rademacher is now well known over Germany as the promulgator of a new system of medicine based on that of Paracelsus. So that the man who looked like a carter, and lived like a hog, and wrote only when drunk, is not a mere phantom of the Middle Ages, but an actual present force affecting the medicine of to-day.



One of the very few incontestible facts, or at least uncontested statements, about Paracelsus, is, that he was born in the year 1493. Beyond this point all is confusion and debate; his name, his lineage, his birthplace, his very

1 Magnet-wundercur, Cap. li. 2 Lessing, Leben Paracelsus.

3 Die Homœobiotische Medizin des T. Paracelsus dargestelt von C. H. Schulz, Doct. and Prof. &c., Berlin, 1831.

4 Paracelsus sein Leben und Denken,

von Dr. M. B. Lessing, Berlin, 1839.
5 Rechtfertigung der von der
gelehrten misskannten verstandis-
rechten Erfahrungs-heillehre der alten
scheide-Künstiger Geheimerzte, von
J. G. Rademacher, Berlin, 1848.

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