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After all, we find a certain fitness in the title Sydenham has obtained, of the English Hippocrates. It is true, as the writer of the article in Bayle's "Biographie Universelle" observes, that the distance between the great Hippocrates and Sydenham is immense. There can be no question of equality: Hippocrates belongs to a different order of mind. But if we were to imagine the spirit of Hippocrates entered into the body of an Englishman of the seventeenth century, a genuine able-bodied, fighting, gouty, practical medical man, living at Westminster, "struggling for existence" amid ungenerous rivals, in an age of revolutions of all kinds, and much rough work and successful quackery, the result of this strange union might be a character not unlike Sydenham's, accurate in observation, daring in practice, full of self-reliance, tending to bold generalities, in which we may see the germ of aphorisms; respectful of the past, but acting strongly in the present and with rare independence; disposed withal to a fine natural piety, and a reverent acknowledgment of the divine government of the universe.

It would be pleasant to dwell on the character of Sydenham in this aspect, and to speculate what the man would have required to raise him to the position of the English Hippocrates, in the fullest sense of the appellation; of Hippocrates, developing with the cycles of the times, and combining all that is noblest in the Greek with all that is best in the English type of the human family. But cui bono? It will be more to the purpose to leave Sydenham as he is, a noble English medical man of the seventeenth century; and to consider, not what he was, but what he did.

His great success was due to the way in which he worked the new specific: of this there can be no doubt. As an ordinary practitioner, he was fond of those strong measures which are now known to be strong against life

-not against death. His practice is not to be copied, but it is well worthy of our most attentive study. It is full of instruction, both in its good and in its bad results.

There is a world of common sense-motherwit as it was then called-in Sydenham, and we may derive from a perusal of his writings many useful hints. He was a great advocate for horse-exercise, and he gives many striking examples of its curative efficacy. He goes so far as to say, that he considers it as specific in phthisis as bark in quartan ague. But the grand contribution to the development of the Art of Medicine made by the English Hippocrates was this: he proved that the true mode of cure was the direct one by specifics, and that all the indirect ones by revulsions or anodynes, were precarious, mischievous, or only palliative; and thus he stands midway between Hippocrates and Hahnemann. One hand he stretches to the ancient Greek, and the other he holds out to the modern German, and so he is a link in the apostolical succession of the living Church of Medicine.

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Stahl and Hoffmann-Stahl a Sour Metaphysician-Soul the only Living Force in the Body-Roughly Handled by Haller-Darwin and Whytt-Animal Spirits -Nervous Fluid-Theory of Stimulation-Hoffmann; his Early CareerTheory of Spasms-Fuge Medicos et Medicamenta-Soul and Spirit Identical -Boerhaave-His Birth-His World-wide Fame-His Institution-Superficial and Plausible-Galvanism-Contraria Contrariis curantur-Estimate of his Character.

THE names of Stahl and Hoffmann, or rather of Hoffmann and Stahl, like those of Castor and Pollux, are always associated; but, unlike the demigods, they are linked in perpetual antagonism: to believe in Stahl is to disbelieve in Hoffmann, and vice versa.

Because they were

great rival teachers when alive, their personal rivalry has

From a painting by Mandelaar, taken when Boerhaave was seventy

years of age.

been regarded as inherent in their doctrines.

This seems

to be an error. They appear to have been what we may call polar opposites, therefore organically identical, or at least, very similar. They started from opposite points and arrived at dissimilar conclusions; but they traversed nearly the same space, and the apparent opposition of their ideas. is due rather to the method in which they are arranged, than to their essential contrast. They are both represented as the founders of schools, although there is nothing really novel in the speculations of either, and they should be classed rather with medical preachers than with apostles.

To the same order belongs Boerhaave, the most celebrated teacher and practitioner of his age-almost of any age; in whose ante-room one might have encountered the representatives of the Emperor of China, sent from "remote Cathay" to consult the great oracle of his time. Letters directed to "Dr. Boerhaave, Europe," used to be safely delivered into the hands of this modern Galen. "Il faut se conformer à la methode de Boerhaave dans la médicine," wrote the decided Frederick the Great of Prussia, to the Royal Academy of Berlin.'

Each of these three men was the exponent of a great intellectual movement, and each represented a different aspect of the progress of medical speculation. For thought may be said to move in line, rather than column; and while Hoffmann commanded one wing, consisting of medical mechanics, Stahl was at the head of the other wing, formed of vitalists; while Boerhaave occupied the centre, composed of what might be called Rationalists and Eclectics.

George Ernest Stahl was born at Anspach, in the year 1660, when Sydenham was beginning to come into notice as a great practical writer, being then about thirty-six years of After obtaining his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Jena, in 1683, and occupying the post of Court Physician


1 Madame de Staël. Vol. I., p. 151.

at Weimar for a few years, Stahl was appointed, in 1694, to the chair of medicine at Halle. For twenty-two years he taught in that university: the only other medical professor being Hoffmann, who lectured on anatomy, chemistry, surgery, and the practice of physic; while Stahl taught botany, physiology, materia medica, and the institutes of medicine. In attempting to form a correct estimate of Stabl, we must bear in mind that he was sole colleague to a much more brilliant man than himself. Hoffmann was one of the most popular teachers of the age, and was the great glory of Halle. Stahl was not a popuHaller calls him homo acris et metaphysicus,

lar man.

"a sour metaphysician."

In virtue of his metaphysical nature, he resented the attempt to explain the whole nature of man on the principles of chemistry and mechanics. Admitting that it was the true method to interrogate nature, and not to attempt to dictate, he began his interrogation in his own consciousness. "What am I? Am I a mechanical apparatus or a chemical laboratory? Are the motions that perpetually take place in this my frame, to be explained by the fermentation of acids and alkalies, or by the size of the atoms of the fluids in relation to the vessels through which they pass? Will this explain how I turn pale when I hear of the death of a friend, or why my face grows crimson when I am insulted? Will this explain how my appetite is destroyed by joy or sorrow, or why a man's hair will turn white in the course of an hour under intense emotion? These undeniable facts are not explained to the slightest extent, either by chemistry or mechanical philosophy. The effervescence of a mixture of acids and alkalies is no way under the influence of their feelings. No intelligence communicated to the retort will either favour or control the cloud of bubbles that rise and burst; nor will the action of a pump be affected by its change of owners. We must look to something beyond the mecha

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