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Life are poor and slovenly; but they, we believe, were mere refuse, put in to fill space, when the real intended publicaion was suppressed. We once read part of a MS. Memoir on some incidents in His Majesty's personal history, and it seemed to us easy,
elegant English. If he had been invisibly helped, assuredly i it was not by either Knighton or Cooper.
The Notes on Lord Liverpool have not been weeded so carefully. It was hardly fair to print, if to write down, some of the premier's unkindly communications about one of his colleagues. The mere fact of his lordship's opening his lips at all on such a subject to his surgical visitant must be considered a symptom that his disease had reached his mind; and in such a state what more common than fretful jealousy? Our author should also have thought twice before he published his own sarcastic description of a 'court physician' coming into Lord Liverpool's chamber just after he had been bled for apoplectic symptoms by Mr. B. Cooper himself-bowing three times to the patient as he lay insensible on the sofa—and then asking the young surgeon if he was aware of the responsibility he had assumed in bleeding the prime minister of England before his own arrival. The passage indicates no great respect for the physician on the part of the narrator—but it also suggests what the physician's opinion was of Mr. Bransby Cooper. Dr. Radcliffe has recorded how narrowly William II1. escaped dying before his time, in consequence of its being held unlawful to bleed the sovereign without the consent, not of the court physician only, but of the privy council: but we were not before aware that such notions of sanctity had ever been attached to the vein of a minister,
Sir Astley was also sergeant-surgeon to King William IV.and we shall gratify all our readers by one extract from his Notes under that head.
'We often saw the queen, who appeared a most amiable lady, elegant but simple in her manners, and sensible in her conversation. She was, in truth, an excellent person, and, though gracing the dignified position which she occupied, would equally have made an admirable clergyman's wife, and in such a situation have employed herself among her parishioners in acts of kindness and benevolence from morning to night.'
There is a very striking account of the behaviour of the late Sir John Leach, when first cut for the stone.
The patient having been placed in the required position, Sir Astley, who had already the knife in his hand, laid it aside for a moment to write a prescription. As he resumed his instrument, the expectant's countenance indicated much disturbance. Sir Astley paused. Excuse me,' said the Judge; but, pray, don't leave the pen in the ink. During the operation, which occupied longer
time than usual, he never moved a muscle. When it was over, Sir Astley left his nephew to keep watch in the chamber. Byand-by Sir John Leach turned his head on the pillow, and whispered that he wished to see his housekeeper : it was to tell her that Mr. Bransby Cooper would stay to dinner, and to order some entrée in which his cook was supposed to show particular merit. He had to undergo that terrible operation three times, and always did so with the same imperturbable coolness.
What a mixture is man! Who has forgotten Lord Byron's scornful sketch of this astute, hard-faced old lawyer, as a Mayfair tufthunter, aping dandies, and fawning on dowagers? We hope Byron's future editors will have the candour to quote the surgeon's testimony to the higher qualities of this victim. Much less heroism, we apprehend, was shown at Missolonghi.
In these later years our author was the regular assistant of his uncle, who had himself begun to suffer from attacks of vertigo, and was not always in condition for exertion. Sir Astley was by this time very rich--and he now indulged himself by purchasing a considerable estate in Hertfordshire, with a handsome mansionhouse and grounds, to which he often retired for repose and relaxation. By degrees he became extremely fond of the place-at last he usually spent three days of the week there-and contracted many of the feelings and even the habits of his new order. He was a rigid preserver of his game, for example; and what is by no means so common, he made money by keeping a large farm in his own hands. This was chiefly the result of his and his coachman's skill in horseflesh. Michael having informed him that the horses sold at Smithfield were usually of three classes, almost all cripples, some fit only for the knacker, others bought for the chance of their becoming sound, others by people who did not care for permanent lameness so they would but draw,• my uncle desired him to go every market morning into Smithfield, and purchase all the young horses exposed for sale which he thought might possibly be convertible into carriage or saddle-horses, should they recover from their defects. He was never to give more than seven pounds for each, but five pounds was to be the average price. .... In this manner I have known thirty or forty horses collected at Gadesbridge, and thus Sir Astley procured stock to cat off his superfluous herbage. In the winter these horses were put into the straw-yard, and his waste straw thus converted into manure, thereby saving many hundred pounds in the purchase of this commodity.
I believe, however, the greatest pleasure derived from this new plan was the occupation it afforded him, by treating these horses as patients, and curing them of their various complaints. On a stated morning every week the blacksmith came up from the village, and the horses were in successive order caught, haltered, and brought for inspection.
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He then examined into the causes of the particular defect of each animal, and generally ascertained that there was disease of the foot. The blacksmith took off the shoc, pared out the hoof, and then Sir Astley made a careful examination of the part. Having discovered the cause of the lameness, he proceeded to perform whatever seemed to him necessary for the cure--cut out a cori, make a depending opening to cure a quittor-order the proper shoe for a contracted heel, &c. ....
'The improvement produced in a short time by good feeding, rest, and medical attendance, such as few horses before or since have enjoyed, appeared truly wonderful. .... I have myself paid fifty guineas for one of these animals, and made a good bargain too; and I have known my uncle's carriage for years drawn by a pair of horses which together only cost him twelve pounds ten shillings.'
The baronet's battues bad, in like manner, their professional features. The brother sportsmen were, for the most part, physicians or surgeons of renown. Some of them were tolerable shots, and so was their host; but he at least could seldom play out the Squire's part for a whole morning.
• It was not an uncommon event to lose him for an hour or two; for if a bird towered, or a hare, after being shot at, evinced anything particular in her death-throes, he would either quietly sit down under a hedge, or would walk home to his dissecting-room, and examine the nature of the injury, and the cause of the peculiar circumstances which had attracted his notice. Nothing could afford him greater delight than when he arrived at an explanation of the peculiar phenomena which had instigated him to make the inquiry.'
The vision of Arcadia would be incomplete without what follows:
' It rarely happened but that one or two of the dogs which we had out with us had been submitted by Sir Astley to some operation or experiment, a circumstance which in some measure accounted for their inferiority as sporting dogs. Some amusement was always afforded by the timidity which these animals manifested when near my uncle.'
Hereabouts the biographer describes his uncle as crying like a child' over something in Oliver Twist.' It must have been a great relief to his Recurrent Nerves.
An unfailing member of these shooting-parties was Dr. Babington, whose Irish humour seems to have been the prime condiment of the evening banquet. Our author gives several of the Doctor's stories—let us find room for one :
• He told us that, after having been many years from Ireland, an irresistible desire again to see his native soil made him determine, during a certain vacation, to revisit it. In order to reach his native village it was necessary for him to cross a river by a ferry. Years before he had passed at this spot a thousand times, and, as he sat in the buat, vivid recollections of his youth recurred, filling him with mingled sentiments of pleasure and pain. After some minutes' silence, he in
quired of the ferryman if he had known the Rev. Mr. Babington, the former rector of the place. “Did I know him? Faith, and I did, for the kindest of men he was to us all.” “He was my father,” said Dr. Babington. “Was he, by the powers !” exclaimed the fellow, and, wrought up at once to a wonderful pitch of enthusiasm, “ Then I'll take you nearer to the falls than ever man showed his nose before.”
Sir Astley hail the misfortune to lose his lady in June, 1827, and the shock was so severe that he resolved on withdrawing from practice. In September he sold his house in Spring Gardens, and remained for a time shut up in Hertfordshire; but the interval was not long. The retirement became intolerable-within a few months he had taken another house in town, and resumed his profession-and in July, 1828, he re-married.
His anatomical zeal attended him to the last, wherever he was. He makes, late in life, an excursion to his native Norfolk-and his journal is mostly of this tenor :
Cromer, Sunday, Sept. 25th.-Rose early and dissected eels; went to church.
* 26th.-Rose early; rode on horseback along the beach, and saw a boat with 1400 herrings come in : the beach a busy scene. three dog-fish; beautifully clean animals for dissection.
' 27th.-Rose early, and rode before breakfast. A porpoise this morning of about four feet in length. Dissected a gurnet.
'28th.-Before breakfast walked on the beach, and dissected dog-, fish and herrings' brains.
““ 29th.-It rained, but I went to the beach for a little time before breakfast. They brought me a porpoise; I sent the heart to Guy's Hospital, and dissected dog-fish. The brain is composed of,” &c.'vol. ii. pp. 421, 422.
Another of his later trips was to Paris. His reputation procured bim a most flattering reception there. Among other attentions he was invited to a grand déjeûner by Dupuytren :
"“We went to the Hôtel Dieu, and I found a room devoted entirely to myself, a cadavre there, &c. I dissected for nearly two hours before breakfast.” '-vol. ii. p. 408.
Sir Astley was made on this occasion a Member of the Institute. His honours, indeed, had accumulated rapidly. William IV. bestowed a Grand-Cross of the Guelphic Order-Louis Philippe sent, through Talleyrand, the decoration of the Legion
-various Scotch and foreign Universities showered diplomas on him-and at the Duke of Wellington's Oxford Installation in 1834 he was admitted D.C.L.
He continued ardent in practice until his increasing infirmities disabled him for it, and expired at his country-seat, after a short confinement, on the 12th of February, 1840, in the seventy-third
year of his age. His will is in all respects honourable to himnot least so, considering what his mode of study had been, the clause by which he commanded the dissection of his own body.
He left a very large fortune--and a reputation, as a practical surgeon, second to none. But it cannot be said that Sir Astley Cooper was a man of genius, or even, in any high sense of the word, a man of science. He will never be classed with the great luminaries of his own branch of the profession-and out of that he was no more than a shrewd, intelligent man of robust, vigorous faculties, sharp set on the world and its interests, scarcely tinctured with letters, as remote as any clever man could well be from high aspirations or elegant predilections of any sort. It was said of Lawrence that he could
'Fix poble thought on Abel Drugger's face,
And turn Malvolio's attitude to grace :but his pencil has preserved, without flattering, Sir Astley's portly presence-his handsome, acute, self-satisfied, and unrefined physiognomy. It was also most proper that his Life should be written; but if we are to have two bulky volumes of this gossiping class, and then a strictly professional supplement, about every man of such calibre, the prospect is rather formidable.
Of Mr. Bransby Cooper's taste and talents we have enabled our readers to form their own opinion.
Art. XII.-1. Observations upon the Treaty of Washington,
signed 9th August, 1842, &c. By George William Featherstonhaugh, Esq., F.R.S., F.G.S., late one of Her Majesty's Com
missioners for the North American Boundary. London. 1842. 2. Speech of Mr. Benton, Senator for Missouri in the Secret
Session of Congress, in Opposition to the British Treaty, 18th
August, 1842. Washington. 1842. 3. Speech of W. C. Rives, of Virginia, on the Treaty with
Great Britain, delivered in the Senate 17th and 19th August,
1842. Washington, 1842. OUR readers, having heretofore received from us such detailed
information on the origin and progress of our boundary dispute with the United States, will naturally expect us to complete our task by laying before them the final result of that complicated discussion-a result which, though it falls, in our opinion, far short of the abstract justice of our case, is yet, we think, as satisfactory as-considering all the difficulties in which the incredible ignorance, negligence, and incapacity of our former nego