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MOST EMINENT PERSONS IN EVERY NATION,
BUT MORE ESPECIALLY OF
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
Embellafbed with a number of
with a number of Portraits of the most diftinguished
By JAMES HARDIE, A. M,
AT THE LITERARY PRI
ted and Published by Paul R. Johnson,
HALLER, (ALBERT VAN) an eminent physician, was born at Bern, on the 16th October 1708. From his infancy, he shewed a very great genius for litera. ture of every kind, and, according to the accounts which are given us, the progress of his studies at the earliest periods of life, was rapid, almost beyond bellet. When other children were only beginning to read, he was studying Boyle and Moreri, and at ninc years of age, he was able to translate Greek, and was beginning the study of the Hebrew.
Not long after this, however, the course of his education was somewhat interrupted by the death of his father, an event which happened when he was in the 13th year of his age. After this, he was sent to the public school at Bern, where he exhibited many spe. cunens of early and uncommon genius. He was greatly distinguished for his knowledge in the Greek and Latin languages; but he was chiefly remarkable for his poetical genius, and his essays of this kind, "which were published in the German language, were read and admired throughout the whole empire,
In the 26th year of his age, he began the study of medicine, at Tubingen, under those eminent teachers Duvernay and Camerarius, and continued there for the space of two years, when the great reputation of the justly celebrated Boerhaave drew him to Leyden. Nor was this distinguished teacher the only man from whose superior abilities he had there an opportunity of profiting. Ruysch was still alive, and Albinus was rising into fame. Animated by such examples, he spent all the day, and the greatest part of the night in the most intense study, and the proficiency which he made, gained him universal esteem, both from his teachers and fellow-students. From Holland, in the year 1727, he went over to England, where he made bụt a short stay, it being rather his intention to visit the illustrious men of that country, than to prosecute his studies at London. After his vifit to Britain, he went to France, and there, under these eminent masters, Winslow and Le Dran, with the latter of whom he resided during his stay in Paris, he had opportunities of prosecuting anatomy, which he had not before enjoyed. But the zeal of our young anatomist, was greater than the prejudices of the people, at that period, even in the enlightened city of Paris, could admit of. An information being lodged against him to the police for dissecting dead bodies, he was obliged to cut short his anotomical investigations by a precipitate retreat. Still, however, intent on the farther prosecution of his studies, he went to Basil, where he became a pupil to the celebrated Bernouille.
Thus instructed by the lectures of the most distinguished teachers of that period, by uncommon natural abilities, and by unremitting industry, he returned to the place of his nativity in the 26th year of his age. Soon after this, he offered himself a candidate. first for the office of physician to an hospital, and afterwards for a professorship. But neither the character, which he had, before he left his country, nor
the fame which he had acquired and supported, while abroad, were sufficient to combat the interest opposed to him. He was disappointed in both, and it was even with difficulty, that he obtained, in the following year, the appointment of keeper of a public library, at Bern. The exercise of this office was, indeed, by no means suited to his great abilities; but it was agreeable to him, as it afforded him an opportunity for that extensive reading, by which he has been so justly distinguished. The neglect of his merit, which marked his first outset, neither diminished his ardour for medical pursuits, nor detracted from his reputation either at home or abroad ; for he was soon after nominated a professor in the university of Gottengen, by king George II. The duties of this important office, he discharged with no less honour to himself than advantage to the public, for the space of 17 years; and it afforded him an ample field for the exertion of those great talents, which he possessed. Extensively acquainted with the sentiments of others respecting the economy of the human body, struck with the diversity of opinions, which they held, and sensible, that the only means of investigating truth was by careful and candid experiments, he undertook the arduous task of exploring the phenomena of human nature from the original source. In these pursuits he was no less industrious than successful, and there was hardly any function of the body, on which his experiments did not reflect either a new or a stronger light. Nor was it long necessary for him,. in this arduous undertaking to labour alone. The example of the preceptor inspired his pupils with the spirit of industrious exertion. Tenn, Timmerman, Caldani and many others, animated by a generous corulation laboured with indefatigable industry to prosecute and to perfect the discoveries of their great master, and the mutual exertions of the teacher and his students not only tended to forward the progress of medical science, but placed the philosophy of the hu