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sent, and it is well known to have prepared the way for the passing of the present law, which has extinguished the horrible traffic alluded to. Emboldened by his success in removing this evil, Dr. Smith turned his attention to the subject of Quarantine, and endeavored to obtain a revision of the present regulations, which are considered by the best authorities to be not only futile, but actually calculated to spread the evil they pretend to arrest. As all progression is a work of time, more or less, we may hope to see this relic of the ignorance and superstition of the earlier times finally swept away. His next scientific labors were some articles he wrote on physiology and medicine for the “Cyclopaedia,” and soon after he furnished his celebrated treatise on “Animal Physiology” to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The success of this work suggested the idea of treating the subject in a still more comprehensive manner, and in 1834 appeared the first volume of “The Philosophy of Health.” Three years afterwards the second appeared, and, so far as it has gone, it presents the completest series of general rules for health hitherto published. It begins by explaining the substances of which the body is composed, describes the organs and their various functions, deducing from them the laws which nature evidently declares. This is made the basis of a loftier philosophy, which, rising from the physical, proceeds to unfold the mental; and on the mental, builds the grand moral nature of man. The style is characterized by Dr. Smith's usual force and simplicity, and succeeds in conveying to the reader's mind a clear idea of operations generally difficult to explain. We would particularly challenge attention to the masterly chapter on sensation; the exquisitely complex organization by which that peculiar function of the animal machine is produced, is a triumph of felicitous exposi
tion. Even the common, and to us apparently unnecessary state called pain, seems suddenly invested with a mission indispensable to the safety of the body; in short, a perfect knowledge of the subject is evinced, and this is communicated to all in the simplest, and yet the most graceful of forms. Health becomes a beauty, as well as a strength and a necessity; and the prosaic and commonplace processes of animal nature, are endowed with an interest and poetry hitherto considered incompatable with science. It was about this time that Dr. Smith delivered his celebrated lecture over the dead body of Jeremy Bentham; he had long been the disciple and physician of that great philosopher, and attended him in his last illness. A characteristic anecdote is related by him of the expiring philanthropist. During his last illness he asked his medical attendant to tell him candidly if there was any prospect of his recovery. On being informed that nature was too exhausted to allow of such a hope, he said, with his usual serenity, “Very well, be it so; then minimise pain " - * In order to show the world his superiority to the common prejudices of mankind, he left, by will, his body to Dr. Smith for anatomical purposes, and requested that after dissection his skeleton should be preserved. His friend fulfilled his desire, and there, in the Doctor's house, in 38 Finsbury Square, (curiously enough formerly the residence of Dr. Birkbeck, part of whose family still reside in it,) is to be seen in a large mahogany case, with a glass front, the venerable Bentham, sitting as though alive, in a suit of his own clothes, and with his veritable ash stick in his hand. An attempt was made to preserve the head and face, but the expression of the countenance being very painful, a mask of wax (an admirable likeness) was made, and put over the “grinning face of death !” The doctor delivered a lecture over the dead body of his friend in the Webb-street School of Anatomy, on June 9th, 1832. There, on the dissecting table, lay the frame of that acute and benevolent man; before it stood the lecturer, pale as the corpse, yet self-possessed and reverent; around were seated most of the disciples and friends of the deceased; during the address there was a violent thunderstorm, which threw an indescribable awe over the whole scene; every now and then the countenances of the dead and the living were lit up with the flashes of lightning; still the speaker proceeded, interrupted now and then by the thunder crash, until at length it died away, and seemed to give up quiet possession to the lecturer's voice. In this address was given a brief, but eloquent abstract of the life and writings of Jeremy Bentham. In 1837 Dr. Smith was made, by the government, one of the Commissioners to inquire into the condition of the poor; his districts were Whitechapel and Bethnal Green, which he inspected with his usual fidelity. His report presents a frightful aspect of the condition of the lower orders of working classes in England. He here demonstrates the disease, suffering and death, generated by the impure exhalation constantly arising from the undrained and uncleansed localities around. “Truly,” says he, “this place may be called a great manufactory of death ! Nature, with her burning sun, her stilled and pent up wind, her stagnant and teeming marsh, manufactures plagues on a large and fearful scale; poverty in her hut, covered with her rags, surrounded with her filth, striving with all her might to keep out the pure air, and to increase the heat— imitates nature too successfully; the process and the product are the same, the only difference is in the magnitude of the result.” Dr. Smith has the satisfaction of knowing that his perilous undertaking has been rewarded by the improved state of the districts alluded to; the Parliament passed in 1841 the “Drainage Bill,” which, in a few years will render fever as rare as the nature of things will allow. Lord Normanby, in introducing the bill, paid a handsome tribute to the unselfish labors of the unwearied and unostentatious physician. It is to the exertions of such men as Dr. Smith that out of the “mouths of lords” proceed the right voice. Lord Ellenborough said on the debate in question, “It is idle, my lords, to build churches, to erect schoolhouses, and to employ clergymen and schoolmasters, if we do no more. Our first object should be to improve the physical condition of the poor laborer, to place him in a position in which he can acquire self-respect; above all things to give him a home.” Formerly a church was the cure for all diseases and miseries: were the people in rags, the English legislators voted a church 1 were they starving, build another church 1 were they decimated by fever, build another church It was the quack medicine of the time; a church is a necessary thing in its way, but it is more the necessity of a result than of a cause; it is the offspring of comfort, and not of squallidness. Heaven bless the brave bold hearts, who at the risk of calumny and death have stormed the stronghold of that delusion. As a specimen of Dr. Smith's style, we shall quote a passage exhibiting the wretchedness resulting from defective draining and ventilation. We shall be serving a double end in this matter, for what American or Englishman can read it without feeling that its words are words of solemn warning to all:
“The result is the same as if twenty or thirty thousand of these people were annually taken out of their wretched dwellings and put to death, the actual fact being that they are allowed to remain in them and die. I am now speaking of what silently but surely takes place every year in the metropolis alone, and do not include in this estimate the numbers that perish from these causes in the other great cities and in the towns and villages of the kingdom. It has been stated that the annual slaughter in England and Wales from preventible causes, of typhus fever, which attacks persons in the vigor of life, is double the amount of what was suffered by the allied armies in the battle of Waterloo. This is no exaggerated statement, and this great battle against our people is every year fought and won, and yet few take account of it; partly for the very reason that it takes place every year. However appalling the picture presented to the mind by this statement, it may be justly regarded as a literal expression of the truth. I am myself convinced, from what I constantly see of the ravages of this disease, that this mode of putting the result does not give an exaggerated expression of it. Indeed the most appalling expression of it would be the mere cold statement of it in figures.”
He then goes on to urge the necessity of legislative measures:
“No government can prevent the existence of poverty; no benevolence can reach the evils of extreme poverty under the circumstances which at present universally accompany it; but there is ground of hope and encouragement in the thought that the most painful and debasing of those circumstances are adventitious, and form no necessary and inevitable part of the condition of that large class of every community which must earn their daily bread by their manual labor. These adventitious circumstances constitute the hardest part of the lot of the poor; and these, as I have just said, are capable of being prevented to a very large extent. The labors of a single individual, I mean the illustrious Howard, have at length succeeded in removing exactly similar evils, though somewhat more concentrated and intense, from our prisons. They are at least equally capable of being removed from the dwelling houses and work places of the people. Here there is a field of beneficent labor which fall legitimately within the scope of the legislator, and which is equally within that of the philanthropist, affording a common ground beyond the arena of party strife, by the culture of which all parties may unite with the absolute certainty that they cannot thus labor without producing some good result, and that the good produced, whatever may be its amount, must be unmixed good.”
The publication of this report has done more to ameliorate the condition of the lower orders than any effort made of late years; it brought this inquiry permanently before the public, and shamed government into action.
Dr. Smith's next labor of love was to found an institution called the Sanatorium, in which the Club system was brought to bear, to provide a home for the middle classes during sickness. Here they were to be nursed, dieted, watched, and have the ablest medical attendance of the time. The principle was a small annual subscription and an additional weekly sum during illness. It was opened in March, 1842, at Devonshire Place House, and struggled