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Inise of him that he would every day put in as much wax into the wooden queich, out of which he drank his whiskey, as would receive the impression of his arms. The wax thus gradually accumulating, diminished daily the quantity of whiskey till the whole queich was filled with wax; and the chieftain was thus gradually, and without injury to his constitution, cured of the habit of drinking spirits. These analogies might be pursued farther, but my object is solely to furnish some general ideas to prepare the reader for entering more easily into the Brunonian theory, which I think he will be enabled to do after perusing what I have said.

"The great excellence of that theory, as applied not only to the practice of physic, but to the general conduct of the health, is, that it impresses upon the mind a sense of the impropriety and danger of going from one extreme to another. The human frame is capable of enduring great varieties, if time be given it to accommodate it to different states; all the mischief is done in the transition from one state to another. In a state of low excitement, we are not rashly to induce a state of high excitement, nor when elevated to the latter are we suddenly to descend to the former, but step by step, and as one who, from the top of a high tower descends to the ground. From hasty and violent changes the human frame always suffers; its particles are torn asunder, its organs injured, the vital principle impaired, and disease, often death, is the inevitable consequence.

"I have only to add, that though in this illustration of the Brunonian system, written several years ago, I have spoken of a tube constantly pouring in fresh fuel, because I could not otherwise convey to the reader a familiar idea of the power possessed by all living systems to renew their excitability when exhausted, yet it may be proper to inform the student, that Dr. Brown supposed every living system to have received at the beginning its determinate proportion of excitability; and there

fore, although he spoke of the exhaustion, augmentation, and even renewal of the excitability, I do not think it was his intention to induce his pupils to think of it as a kind of fluid substance existing in the animal, and subject to the law by which such substances are governed. According to him, excitability was an unknown somewhat subject to peculiar laws of its own, and whose different states we were obliged to describe (though inaccurately), by terms borrowed from the qualities of material substances.”

This full and lucid explanation affords ample materials for forming a dispassionate opinion on the system of Brown. Such a judgment it was difficult to arrive at, when it was first promulgated, as so much of the personality of the man entered into the impression made by his doctrines; and although there might be Brunonians, who were not extravagant in their views and reckless in their advice, we can scarcely class the founder of the school in this category. We frequently see disciples outheroding their master, but John Brown's prescriptions seem a caricature of his system. For example, here is one written in reference to a hypochondriac patient, about whose case he was consulted:-"For breakfast, toast and rich soup made on a slow fire, a walk before breakfast, and a good deal after it; a glass of wine in the forenoon, from time to time; good broth or soup to dinner, with meat of any kind he likes, but always the most nourishing; several glasses of port or punch to be taken after dinner, till some enlivening effect is perceived from them, and a dram (of whiskey?) after everything heavy; one hour-and-ahalf after dinner, another walk; between tea-time and supper, a game with cheerful company at cards or any other play, never too prolonged; a little light reading; jocose-humourous company, avoiding that of popular Presbyterian ministers and their admirers, and all hypocrites and thieves of every description Lastly, the

company of amiable, handsome, and delightful young women, and an enlivening glass."1

We can hardly wonder that a system which seemed to lead to such excesses should excite the strongest opposition in the minds of all moderate and sensible persons, and that the enthusiasm for it among the young and ardent should soon burn down after the death of its vehement apostle. Had Brown been a man of sobriety, he might have placed his doctrines on a much more enduring footing, and have himself achieved a great and permanent renown.

Brown was the Paracelsus of Scotland. He was gifted with great genius, but the victim of the most degrading vice. His career of folly impaired the power of his speculations. These, if read with attention, will be found singularly ingenious and captivating, from their logical coherence and simplicity; but they are radically fallacious as a guide to practice. On applying to his main doctrine the grand touchstone of experience, it was found not to answer, and has become entirely extinct, leaving, however, as genuine thoughts always do, an influence behind, which we find incorporated in succeeding systems. "Brown was wrong," writes Fletcher, "in considering his excitability as imparted to every man in a certain proportion at birth, and not rather continually renewed; he was wrong in making it in every part of the body of the same nature and not everywhere different; and, above all, he was wrong in allowing his doctrine concerning asthenic diseases, including most cases of inflammation and fever, to lead to the most pernicious employment of general stimuli, to the neglect of blood-letting in practice. And these errors are

too often held in remembrance,

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while the real

merits of his theory are forgotten or undervalued.

"The evil that men do lives after them,

The good is oft interred with their bones."" 2


Op. cit., p. clx.

2 Fletcher's Elements of General Pa

thology, edited by Dr. Drysdale and Dr. Russell, p. 47.


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Fatal and Disfiguring Effects of Small-pox-Jenner's Early Training-His Personal Appearance-His Life in Gloucestershire-John Hunter on Hedgehogs and Love-sickness-His Marriage-His Patience-Difficulties of the Investigation-The Profession discourages him-He visits London-Declines London and £10,000 a-year-Danger of Vaccination from False Friends-Discussed in Parliament-Grants voted to Jenner-Opposition he encountered -Dr. Moseley on its Horrors-Moseley-charity suggests the proper Reward -Dr. Rowley backs Dr. Moseley-Vaccination spreads to Greece-French Claims considered-Jenner's Death and Monument.

THE name of Jenner will for ever be honoured. as the discoverer of the means of preventing the most terrible pestilence of modern times. It will seem no exaggeration

to speak thus of the small-pox, if one considers the long period it has prevailed, its almost universal diffusion over the globe, the number of the victims it has destroyed, and the permanent injury it has inflicted on those whose lives it has spared. It is believed that small-pox has



existed from the remotest ages in China and Hindustan.' It is certain that it appeared in Arabia in the seventh century along with Mahomet-whether transported thither by human intercourse, or moving in obedience to that mysterious law of progress which regulates the advance of epidemics from east to west, is unknown; and that when the Saracens invaded Europe, they brought with them an ally more destructive than themselves, and one that remained in occupation long after their expulsion. dread of the small-pox was so great in the East, that the person affected was abandoned by his friends, relatives, and neighbours. On one occasion, the capital of Thibet was deserted for three years by all its inhabitants, except the victims of this disease, who, of course, were left to perish. Similar scenes took place in Ceylon and in Russia. In one year two million persons are reported to have died of small-pox. In Iceland, in 1707, it destroyed sixteen thousand persons-one-fourth of the whole population.2 It has been calculated that there perished of this disease annually in Europe alone 210,000. So much for its diffusion and deadliness: it is more difficult to form an accurate estimate of the evils, when not fatal to life, which it left behind it. Some conception of its effects may be formed from the fact, that of the inmates of a blind asylum, three-fourths had lost their sight in consequence of small-pox. And to this we must add the amount of disfiguration it occasioned; which was so great that Addison gives as the example of the greatest shock he can conceive, the effect produced upon a pretty woman on first viewing her face in a mirror immediately after she has recovered from an attack of small-pox. Surely the man. who succeeded in subduing this terrible dragon, had he been a Greek, and lived in the age of mythology, would have


Moore's History of the Small-pox.

2 Travels in the Island of Iceland,

by Sir George Mackenzie. 1810.

3 Moore's Reply, pp. 64-66.

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