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A striking similarity with the doctrines of Darwin is found in the view of Paracelsus, that the origin of everything is simply the transformation of germs always existing (and therefore is a metamorphosis), as well as in the fact that he maintained that every object and being originated at the expense of, and thru the destruction of, another—a doctrine in which we see already developed the war of individual against individual, and the struggle for existence, so much talked about now-a-days.

BAAS: History of Medicine. All diseases, according to the prevalent idea, came from excess in either bile, phlegm, or blood. Paracelsus maintained that each disease had its own definite existence, with definite cause and sequences, and must be antagonized by specific remedies. This was the inauguration of the modern method of combating disease. No progress was possible until this view of its nature was adopted.

VENABLE: History of Chemistry.

THE road that leads to the inaccessible rock called Browning requires sturdy legs for climbing. Yet the ascent is not barren: on the rugged summit, lilies cannot grow, but the edelweiss thrives. This most enigmatical of poets has written a poem on the most enigmatical of scientists. The production is long, sometimes tedious and often incomprehensible, but it contains this immortal passage:

Are there not, dear Michal,

Two points in the adventure of the diver:
One - when, a beggar, he prepares to plunge,
One-when, a prince, he rises, with his pearl?
Festus, I plunge!

Here we have an epitome of the life of Paracelsus. He did not stand on the shore of conventionality and admire the treasures that antiquity had gathered. He was a dauntless diver, and stripping himself naked, he leapt into unknown seas of thought. The pearls with which he rose are for us to exhibit in the pages that follow.

Everything connected with this man is remarkable, even his full name: Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombastus von Hohenheim. It has been calculated that he received only two-fifths of this at baptism. For instance, he coined the name Paracelsus to indicate his superiority to Celsus.

He was born at an interesting time: when Europe stretched her limbs after a sleep of a thousand years in a bed of darkness; he lived during the period that Columbus discovered America, and Luther cleft Catholicism in twain, and Copernicus remodeled astronomy.

His birthplace was near the little Swiss town of MariaEinsiedeln, where the Black Virgin is still worshiped. Fame selects odd places to lay her children. Perhaps because she is whimsical and knows they will not be lost. Boerhaave was born in the village of Voorhout; he sleeps in the medical Valhalla.

The mother of Paracelsus was the superintendent of a hospital. His father- the illegitimate son of a grandmaster of the Teutonic order was a physician of repute. His father was his first teacher, and the turbulent son ever venerated his memory. When a parent earnestly undertakes to educate his child, the result is brilliant,— provided the child is brilliant. The fathers of Hippocrates and Galen had reason to think so. So did the sire of Paracelsus.

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It is believed that when Paracelsus was three or four years old he was castrated by a hog. According to others it was a drunken soldier, while still others say it was his own father who performed the act. It is agreed that Paracelsus had no connections with women; yet it was he who introduced mercurials for syphilis. Some claim that because of his emasculation, Paracelsus never had a beard, but there are passages on record in which Paracelsus boasts that there is more wisdom in his beard than in the heads of all the ancient sages. Paracelsus appears to have been rachitic in his youth, and like many rickety children was precocious.

He never graduated from a college. He read few books and kept no library. But the amount and extent of his travels were astonishing. He is certainly the Marco Polo of medicine, tho several of the ancient physicians Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Galen,- likewise heard the call of the wanderlust. He roamed over half the world: he saw old Tartary, Egypt was traversed by him, he stood in India and beyond. And everywhere he sought to acquire knowledge from all peoples: peasants, thieves, fortune-tellers, musicians, midwives, barbers, gypsies, bath-keepers, loafers, old women,and even from physicians.

His restless eyes were ever open for truth, his unsatisfied spirit sought relief in discoveries. He scorned the written works of the past. He believed in independent meditation and original observation, which is all very well for an ingenious and daring thinker like Paracelsus, but would never do for all our internes and externes. One needs keen eyesight to read the book of nature. My accusers,' he remonstrates in his piquant and poetic style, 'complain that I have not entered the temple of knowledge thru the legitimate door. But which one is the truly legitimate door? Galenus and Avicenna or Nature? I have entered thru the door of Nature: her light, and not the lamp of an apothecary's shop has illuminated my way.'

Paracelsus was an iconoclast: he had no use for the medicine of his day. His aim was to reform it from beginning to end. He was not the highest type of the reformer. He had not the calm dignity and lofty reserve of Giordano Bruno, he lacked the sublimity of Spinoza, and the modesty of Darwin was not his. He had a streak of clownishness in him and possessed the elements of a buffoon. He was often as gross as the aristocrats of his time, and could have engaged in drinking-bouts with Martin Luther. His self-advertising habits were distasteful. Paracelsus blew noisy blasts on his own horn. He covered his breast with medals, and his brow was decked with laurels of his own plucking.

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