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is only equalled by that which “materializes” the spirits of the departed before the resurrection.
God opened the Red Sea to the leader who was skilled in all the learning of the most learned people in existence. The greatest body of water is the lowest, and the foundation of the redemption of the world was confided to the lowly, still, when the glad tidings were to be carried to the learned nations, a pro. found logician and a philosopher received the appointment; and all, and therefore the greatest, of theological upheavals that have since convulsed the world, trace their origin to brains of the most elaborate culture. The god-like Clay, in his speech to his old neighbors, upon retiring from the Senate of the United States, among the obstructions in the path of his early life alludes feelingly to his "imperfect education.” Drake, on whose triumphant theatre we are, and whose mighty spirit hovers about it like the aroma of the broken vase, would not go to Europe in his old age, being ashamed of his want of knowledge; and he whose great soul conceived and planned this organization, and whose eloquent pleadings have held it to its moorings, amid storm and sunshine, through a generation, in a heroic struggle to secure a higher educational plane for his beloved profession, declared that a defective early training bad met and abashed him at every turn in his professional life.
While it is a duty we owe to a common brotherhood to sustain every member of it, yet those not born into it cannot complain of our action, they having nothing at stake in our profession, while its votaries leave them the whole world beside as scope and verge enough for the exercise of their genius.
The attempt to communicate to this body, per se, information upon a subject in regard to which one member knows as much as another, would be to manifest a pitiable degree of idiocy; but the circumstances not only justify, but demand, allusion here to whatever ought to reach the public at large, stamped with the authority of the Association, which could, in its own language, "promote the usefulness, honor, and interests of the profession, and enlighten and direct public opinion in regard to the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of medical men."
During the past year, a "scientist," whatever that means, having the supervision of a department of a widely-circulated political newspaper, published therein that the medical profession had not advanced a step in seventy years; and this cry, from many quarters, so prolonged and persisting, has established a popular belief. “To enlighten and direct public opinion,” it is proper to state that a member of this body, our late lamented lexicographer, among the chiefs of learning and industry in his generation, and alike an ornament to his profession and to human nature, "to ineet,': as he writes, “the progress of medical science,” in the sixth and seventh editions of his Dictionary, added nine thousand terms and subjects, and in the eighth edition, twenty years ago, the same progress required four thousand more terms and subjects, and the edition of 1865, to the same end, required sixty-five pages of new terms and subjects. That a profession, stationary, or in an active retrograde movement from some fancied height, should require all these new terms and subjects during its decline, is simply ridiculous, and those among us who believe this, and who have aided in fixing this belief upon the public, have, for the time, but yielded to the flattering and seductive influences of a generous imagination.
Old politicians, being crowded out, very naturally conclude that the new ones are but imitating Phaeton's drive to destruction, and that the country, under their guidance, must inevitably go to pieces. Old men always have their lines cast in degenerate times, and the only consolation remaining to them is the reflection that their degenerate days will be the grand old time of patriotism, honor, and manhood, of their descendants. One need's no better authority than all the editions of Dunglison's Dictionary to assure him that, during this century, particularly, the progress of medicine, in all the countries of civilization, has been onward -right on-receiving not the slightest check from internal commotions nor outward pressure, but, like the tread of a mammoth, literally crushing out whatever accident or design placed upon its pathway.
That our own country has, during this period, contributed as much to this development as any other, no unprejudiced observer will dispute. During the last generation, especially, it has figured conspicuously on the frontier of medical progress; and that this Association has accelerated the movement is equally beyond controversy. As the iron-shod steed, speeding along the night-shrouded turnpike, illumines his way by the fire his own progress strikes from the resisting rocks, so this body, in doubt and darkness, often, when scorners smited and good friends hesi
tated, caught fire from the very friction of opposing circumstances, and emerged, self-glorified, on its march to triuinph.
Gentlemen : Western medicine, for a long time, established its Mecca at the Falls of the Ohio. Whatever the fashioners of taste may determine, the medical heart cannot go far astray in recalling the Titans that officiated at its altars. Many of them "sleep well after life's fitful fever," but the rock-girt and rock-floored river in the neighborhood of their ashes, as it throws its disturbed waters over the cascade, will chant their requiem while grass grows or water runs. One,' in a green old age, whose fame has filled the world, stands, like the statue of a demigod, poised on the apex of his monumental shaft, far above all surrounding things, pointing to an earlier day-star than greets the vision of ordinary mortality. Another,” happy in the memories of a wellspent life, the charming grace of whose cultured pen has left an imperishable record, lingers in the peaceful enjoyment of that subdued and enchanting twilight of life between sundown and the “deeper gloaming," so in harmony with the spirit of the good, and, having thrown his mantle on other shoulders, patiently awaits the "translation." One, the Galen now of the great city of the Republic, garners the golden sheaves of a crop sown long ago, and thoroughly cultivated. Another," the American Du. puytren, on the fringe of the sunny land of the orange and the magnolia, with the premonitions of a glorious sunset gathering about him, in faith and hope is also ready. We know that their example is not lost on those who have taken their places in the flourishing medical institutions of this noble city—a city whose munificence to medicine has entitled it for ever to the kindest memories of the profession.
I S. D. Gross.
2 L. P. Yandell.