« ForrigeFortsæt »
off we of to-day are from every point of view. The good old times are the myths of croakers with which they would repress the progressive spirit of the present. Never has anatomy made so rapid and so substantial progress as in the present century, and never has it in this country attained such a point as it occupies to-day. Yet we lack much. Our very wealth of opportunities threatens us with a Capuan repose, unless the stirring examples of the great men who have preceded us stimulate us to exertion. Tertullian says that Herophilus, in Alexandria, dissected over six hundred bodies.* Berengarius of Carpi, the contemporary of Vesalius, dissected over one hundred.† Haller, who died a century ago, says that with his own hand he had dissected over four hundred in seventeen years‡; and that almost unequalled worker, John Hunter, when asked at the trial of Captain Donellan, in 1781, whether he had not dissected more than any other man in Europe, replied, "In the last thirty-three years I have dissected some thousands of bodies."§ It seems an exaggeration; but remember his habits. For thirty years his working-day consisted of nineteen to twenty hours. He rose at four or five o'clock, and always dissected till his breakfast hour, at nine, and after his labors in practice and the hospital-wards were over, his labors in the dissecting-room recommenced, and he never left it till midnight or even later. When any of you, then, visit the Hunterian Museum, in London, remember what it cost him in money, and, what is more, the unceasing labor of a long life. Such diligence has sometimes, alas! cost the world more than money or toil. It cost the life of Bichat, who died at barely thirty-one from constant confinement in his dissecting-rooms. "Bichat," wrote Corvisart to the First Consul, "has just died on a field of
* Encyc. Brit., vol. ii, p. 751. Wm. Hunter, Introd. Lect. p. 19.
† Bayle et Thillaye, op. cit., vol. i, p. 244.
§ Life, vol. i, p. 134.
battle that counts more than one victim. No man in so short a time has done so much and so well."*
Joining diligent work to the unequalled opportunities that we now have, the laborers in the vast field of medicine, in whatever department they toil, will meet with a reward never before equalled. The future opens to the active worker the brightest prospects. Happy will he be who knows how to avail himself of its advantages!
*Bichat, Sur la Vie et la Mort, p. xiv.
THE PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL OF ANATOMY (1820-1875).
The middle building is the original one; the lower one to the right was added to the School later. That to the left was a carpenter shop.
THE HISTORY OF THE
PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL OF ANATOMY
AND ITS RELATIONS TO MEDICAL TEACHING.*
MEN and institutions alike are
EN and institutions alike are to be judged by two standards: first, by the work they do themselves, and, secondly, by the work they train others to do, and thus prolong indefinitely their influence. Some are great in the one, solitary students, whose organizing ability and personal influence whether by mental or by actual contact is but little developed. Others live and die, leaving but little, it is true, that men may quote or name, but leaving a precious harvest of remoter influences on even a distant mental posterity. Some few are great in both. Great teachers are apt rather to excel in their personal magnetic influence on others, and the world owes more than it will ever know to their continuing, but untraced, influences.
Tested by either of these rules, the "Philadelphia School of Anatomy" has accomplished a not ignoble work. Within its walls, earnest, intelligent, laborious men of science have taught, experimented, and investigated, and published the results of their work in many a book and pamphlet and scientific paper, thus fulfilling the first test; while to judge it by the second, it is only necessary to point to the thousands of men who have studied and dissected here, and here begun their scientific lives, and are now spread all over the country, and in fact all over the world, doing the best of work as practitioners, teachers, writers, and original investigators.
* A lecture delivered, March 1, 1875, at the dissolution of the school. Reprinted with the kind permission of J. B. Lippincott Company.