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FOLK SONGS. Mother of balms and soothings manifold. Our lives are tunes by untaught voices Quiet-breathed night, whose brooding
sung hours are seven,
In widest range. Some breathe but few To whom the voices of all rest are given
bars' lease, And those few stars whose scattered And thenceforth silence; some a minor names are told,
piece. Far off, beyond the westward hills out
From pallid lips are grievous dirges rolled,
wrung; Darker than thou, more still, more
By valiant knights loud trumpet-blasts dreamy even, The golden moon leans in the dusky While gay hearts trip to dancing jigs at
are flung; heaven, And under her, one star, a point of gold.
Strange hands oft add what harmony they
please, And all go slowly lingering toward the Roaming the wide world's ivory keys west,
among As we go down forgetfully to our rest, Weary of daytime, tired of noise and light,
Yon cantus haply with full chords is set; Ah, it was time that thou should'st come, Through this the florid counterpoint fits for we
fast. Were sore athirst and had great need of And here, 'mid changeful notes that throb thee,
and fret, Thou sweet physician, balmy-bosomed One deep-toned chime of pain's recurrent Night.
cast, ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN,
If grief's our figured bass, let none re
gretGod's Perfect Cadence closes Life at last.
The pilgrims track the Phønix flown, How lonely are the surges and the By gems he strewed in waste and wood. strand!
And jewelled plumes at random thrown. The fishermen are gone, and fled the ships: The billows, that the cruel tempest whips, Till wandering far, by moon and star, Shake their grey manes and plunge They stand beside the fruitful pyre, along the sand;
Whence breaking bright with sanguine Round dying day no stars attendant light, stand;
Th' impulsive bird forgets his sire.
Like bag of Tyrian murex spilt, The sky was blue, the waves were all The claw, the jowl of the flying fowl aglow;
Are with the glorious anguish gilt.
Those pilgrim men, on profit bent,
And are with gazing most content.
A. C. BENSON.
From The Nineteenth Century,
esuriens brought his physic as well as THE PROGRESS OF MEDICINE DURING his philosophy to the great market of THE QUEEN'S REIGN.
Rome, and under the Empire medicine Not many months ago the Duke of men flourished exceedingly. Medicine Cambridge, speaking at St. George's itself, however, was at its best a mere Hospital on the occasion of the opening empiric art, and in this condition it reof a new operating theatre, said:- mained practically till Harvey's dis
covery of the circulation of the blood in I do not believe that amid all the in:
1628 laid the corner-stone of modern provements, the advantages, and the addi. tions that have occurred during the pro
puysiology, and thus prepared a foundalonged reign of her Majesty, anything
tion for a scientific medicine. From the has made so much progress as medical and
seventeenth till the early part of the surgical science. Whether we look at
nineteenth century, though many imwhat has been or is going on in this coun. provements were made in the details of try, or whether we turn to foreign lands, the art of healing, there was no great it strikes me that there has been an ad advance either in the conception of disvance made which has been of such enor- ease or in the principles of treatment. mous advantage to the human race that The discovery of vaccination itself, that alone would mark this period to though one of the greatest practical imwhich I am alluding.
portance, was merely the observation of His Royal Highness, with the prac
a fact, not the enunciation of a law. tical sense of a man of affairs, in a few
When the queen came to the throne in plain words expressed the exact state 1837, it is hardly too much to say that of the matter. It will be my purpose the average medical practitioner knew in the following pages to show how fully little more about the diseases of the justified he was in making the state- heart, lungs, stomach, liver, and kidment which has been quoted.
neys than was known to Hippocrates. It is no idle boast, but the simple un- Auscultation had indeed been introvarnished truth, that medicine – in duced some years before, but long after which term I include the whole art of the commencement of her Majesty's healing, and the scientific laws on reign elderly gentlemen might be seen, which its practice is based-has made when a stethoscope was offered to greater progress during the last sixty them at a consultation, to apply the years than it had done in the previous wrong end to their ear.
Fevers were sixty centuries. The medical knowl- classified with a sweet simplicity into edge of the Egyptians, though consid- "continued” and “intermittent,” and as erable compared with that of other an- late as in the 'Fifties an eminent procient peoples, was, as may be gathered fessor of surgery complained that his from the fragments of their nosology colleague, the professor of medicine, and therapeutic formularies that have had invented a number of new-fangled come down to us, but little above the varieties. Of nervous diseases nothing traditional lore in such matters with was known. The larynx was a terra which old women have in all ages been incognita; of the ear it was said by the credited. The practical mind of Greece leading medical journal of the day, began by trying with Hippocrates to see many years later than 1837, that the things as they really were, but later fell onlv thing that could be done in the way away into the making of systems and of treatment was to syringe out the exthe spinning of cobwebs of theory in- ternal passage with water. The diagnostead of observing facts. The Romans sis and treatment of diseases of the skin had for medicine and its professors a had advanced little beyond John Huntrobust contempt, akin to that which er's famous division of such affections Squire Western had for French cooks into those which sulphur could cure. and their kickshaws. In the later days those which mercury could cure, and of the Republic, indeed, the Græculus those which the devil himself couldn't
cure. Pathology was a mere note-book upon to use the knife, in the very year of post-mortem appearances-a list of ob- of the queen's accession, he says:servations as dead as the bodies on
Our patient (a woman) writhed beyond which they were made. The New
the restraining power of strong and exWorld of bacteriology had not yet found perienced men, and groaned to the horror its Columbus.
of the terrified household, and afterwards In the domain of surgery progress to the day of her death could not think of had been far greater, and as regards the operation without convulsive shudders. operative skill and clinical insight Often did she hold up her hands, exclaim. Astley Cooper, Robert Liston, Dupuy- ing, “Oh, that knife! that awful knife!that tren, and Larrey were certainly not in- horrible knife!" ferior to the men of the present day. Dr. Cotting sums up his recollections Anästhesia was, however, unknown, of such scenes as follows:and the operating theatre was a place of
No mortal man can ever describe the unspeakable horrors. Wounds were
agony of the whole thing from beginning dressed with wet rags, and suppuration to end, culminating in the operation itself was encouraged, as it was believed to be
with its terrifying expressions of infernal an essential part of the process of heal- suffering. ing.
A distinguished physician, who himBroadly speaking, it may be said that
seu came under the surgeon's knife in the advance of the art of healing dur
the days before anesthesia, has left on ing the last sixty years has been along record a vivid account of his experience. two main lines—the expansion of the
Speaking of the operation, he says:territory of Surgery, and the development of Pathology, which concerns it- Of the agony occasioned I will say nothself with the causes, processes and ing. Suffering so great I underwent effects of disease. It will probably help cannot be expressed in words, and thus the reader to a clearer understanding of ticular pangs are now forgotten; but the
fortunately cannot be recalled. The parthe present position of medicine if each black whirlwind of emotion, the horror of of these two lines of evolution is con
great darkness, and the sense of desertion sidered in some detail.
by God and man, bordering close upon de The progress of surgery in the present spair, which swept through my mind and age is due to two discoveries of an overwhelmed my heart, I can never forimportance unequalled in the previous get, however gladly I would do so. history of the healing art—anæsthesia, Before the days of anesthesia a patient or the artificial abolition of pain, and preparing for an operation was like a con antisepsis, or the prevention of infective demned criminal preparing for execution. processes in wounds. The former dis- He counted the days till the appointed covery was not made until her Majesty that day till the appointed hour came.
day came. He counted the hours of had been nearly ten years on the throne;
He listened for the echo on the the latter nearly twenty years later. street of the surgeon's carriage. He Let us take a brief glance backwards at watched for his pull at the door-bell; for what surgery was before the introduc- his foot on the stairs; for his step in the tion of these two far-reaching improve- room; for the production of his dreaded ments.
instruments; for his few grave words and Of the horrors of operations before the his last preparations before beginning. discovery of anæsthesia there are men And then he surrendered his liberty, and. stil living who can speak. Not long revolting at the necessity, submitted to be ago Dr. B. E. Cotting, ex-president of held or bound, and helplessly gave himself
up to the cruel knife. The excitement, the Massachusetts Medical Society, con
disquiet, and exhaustion thus occasioned tributed some personal reminiscences
could not but greatly aggravate the evil of pre-anaesthetic surgery to the Boston effects of the operation, which fell upon a Medical and Surgical Journal. Speaking physical frame predisposed to magnify. of the first case in which he was called not to repel, its severity.
The pain caused by operations pre- rapidity remarkable for those days, vented their being undertaken except as when as yet the telegraph was not, and a last resource, and many patients pre- the crossing of the Atlantic was not a ferred death to the surgeon's knife. trip but a voyage. On the 22nd of Sir Charles Bell used to pass sleepless December, 1846, Robert Liston, in nights before performing a critical University College Hospital, London, operation; and like Cheselden, performed amputation through the John Hunter, and Abernethy had an al- thigh on a man who was under the inmost equal dislike of operations. It is fluence of ether, and who knew nothing related of one distinguished surgeon of what had been done till he was that when a patient, whose leg he was shown the stump of his limb after the about to cut off, suddenly bounced off operation. The "Yankee dodge,” as the operating-table and limped away, Liston had contemptuously called ether he said to the bystanders, “Thank God, anæsthesia before he tried it, was welhe's gone!” Men otherwise well fitted comed with enthusiasm by surgeons to advance surgery were prevented throughout Europe. In January, 1817, from devoting themselves to it by their Simpson of Edinburgh used ether for inability to inflict or witness pain. Sir the relief of the pains of labor. Not James Young Simpson in his student being entirely satisfied with it, howdays was so distressed by mne sufferings ever, he sought for some other subof a poor Highland woman, on whom stance having the property of annulling Robert Liston was performing excision sensation, and in November, 1847, he of the breast in the Edinburgh Royal was able to announce that he had found Infirmary, that he left the operating "a new anæsthetic agent as a substitute theatre with his mind made up to seek for sulphuric ether" in chloroform, a employment in a lawyer's office. For substance then unknown outside the tunately for mankind he did not carry laboratory, and within it looked upon as out his intention, but set himself to only a chemical curiosity. Chloroform grapple with the problem how sensi- for a long time held the field in Europe bility to pain in surgical operations as the agent for medicining sufferers to could be abolished.
that sweet sleep in which knife, gouge, The solution of the problem came and cautery do not hurt and the pangs from America. On the 30th of Septem- of motherhood are unfelt. With charber, 1846, W. T. G. Morton, a dentist of acteristic courage the queen submitted Boston, U.S.A., who had previously ex- to what was then a somewhat hazardperimented on animals and on himself, ous experiment, allowing herself to be made a man unconscious by breathing made insensible with chloroform at the sulphuric ether, and extracted a tooth birth of the Duke of Albany, and at that without the patient feeling any pain. of Princess Henry of Battenberg. The On the 16th of October of the same year late Dr. John Snow, who administered Morton administered ether, in the the anæsthetic on both these occasions, Massachusetts General Hospital, to a described her Majesty as model man from whose neck a growth was ex- patient, and her example had a powercised without a groan or a struggle on ful effect in dispelling the fears and his part. The doctors who came to prejudices as to the use of such agents scoff remained to praise, and the opera- which then existed in the minds of tor, Dr. John C. Warren, who had at
many. first been sceptical, said, when all was These feelings were by no means conover, in a tone of conviction, “Gentle- fined to the non-scientific public. There men, this is no humbug!" A distin
was strong opposition from some surguished physician who witnessed the geons who held that pain was a wholescene said on leaving the hospital, “I some stimulus; on this ground the use have seen something to-day that will go of chloroform was actually forbidden round the world." It did so with a
by the principal medical officer of our
army in the Crimea. In childbed, too, an immense step forward, but has been pain
declared by one learned the most powerful factor in the rapid obstetrical professor to be “a desirable, development of surgery during the last salutary, and conservative manifesta- fifty years. Without it the marvellous tion of life force;" another denounced victories of the knife, on which modern the artificial deadening of sensation as surgeons legitimately pride themselves, "an unnecessary interference with the would have been impossible. Nor is it providentially arranged process of surgery alone that has been revolutionlabor;” a third condemned the employ- ized by this splendid discovery; mediment of an anæsthetic “merely to avert cine, therapeutics, pathology, the ordinary amount of pain which the physiology–which are the foundations Almighty has seen fit-and most wisely, on which the treatment of disease rests we cannot doubt-to allot to natural -have all been immensely advanced by labor.” The clergy naturally bettered it; as without anæsthesia the experithe instructions of these enlightened ments on animals, to which we owe professors of the art of healing. I need much of the knowledge that has been only quote one philanthropic divine, acquired, could not possibly have been who anathematized chloroform as "a carried out. decoy of Satan apparently offering The other chief factor in the modern itself to bless women,” but “which will development of surgery has been the harden society, and rob God of the deep application of the germ theory of earnest cries which arise in time of trouble putrefaction to the treatment of for help!" Simpson answered those wounds. It had long been a matter of fools according to their folly. He common observation that very severe quoted Scripture to prove that the Al- injuries were dealt with successfully by mighty himself performed the first the ris medicatrir naturn when the skin operation under anæsthesia, when he
was unbroken, whereas open wounds cast Adam into a deep sleep before re- even of a trivial character often fesmoving his rib. He fought the battle of tered and not seldom gave rise to bloodcommon sense with such convincing poisoning. Thus while a simple fraclogic and such an overwhelming mass
ture of a bone was practically certain to of evidence-chemical, physiological, heal without trouble, a compound fraeclinical, and statistical—that he finally ture, in which there was a breach of the shamed his opponents into silence.
skin covering the wounded bone, was It does not fall within the scope of looked upon as so sure to be followed this article to consider the advantages by evil consequences that immediate and drawbacks of the various agents amputation of the limb was the rule of that have at one time or another within surgery in such cases. The discoveries the last half-century been employed as
of Pasteur and his followers furnished anästhetics, general or local: or to dis
a key to these facts. It was shown that cuss the dangers attending their use.
the process of putrefaction is a ferIt need only be said that the ideal mentation dependent on the presence of anæsthetic—that is to say, one that shall vegetable organisms belonging to the render the patient absolutely insensible lowest class of fungi. These bacteria, of pain while leaving him fully con
as they may for the sake of convenience scious-still remains to be discovered. be termed collectively, are often present This is the dream of those-and they are
in greater or less abundance in the air: steadily increasing in number—who de- and in places where are many persons vote themselves to a special study of the with wounds the discharges from which subject; and it would be rash to
are in a state of decomposition, the prophesy that it will not be realized.
atmosphere swarms with these invisible Even with its admitted inconven
agents of mischief. They find their iences and possible risks, however,
war into the body through any breach anesthesia has not only been in itself of surface or natural opening, and they