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entirety to any general body of readers, and the author of his own biography almost of necessity does not appreciate just what part of his life will interest the reader, but writes especially of that part of his career upon which he himself dwells with chief concern. It is natural that a man of eighty should delight to revert to the days of his early youth and also to those events in his life in which he seemed to succeed in what was his aim. Also he naturally wishes to embalm in his
pages certain family matters which can possess but slight, if any, interest to those outside of his immediate circle, and the memories of friends of whom the general reader has never heard. Dr. Rockwell's book is not free from these faults but they are not more exaggerated than is usual with autobiographies, and it contains much that is of the greatest interest to all.
Graduating from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in the Spring of 1864 Dr. Rockwell entered the army as an assistant surgeon, with the rank of first lieutenant, in the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and at once began active service with the Army of the Potomac. The chapters in which he relates his army experiences are among the best in the book and give one the most vivid pictures of the life of an army surgeon in the Civil War. Within a few months Rockwell had not only received but had merited his promotion to the rank of major, and until the end of the conflict he was in the field without intermission. Upon its close he began the practice of his profession in New York City, and shortly afterwards became interested in the medical application of electricity, which was to be his greatest interest throughout the remainder of his active career. Attempts at the use of electricity as a therapeutic agent date back to the earliest studies of its properties. Unfortunately until recent years such use as electrictiy was put to was based on such scanty knowledge of its laws that it remained largely in the hands of charlatans.
It may not be generally known that Marat, one of the most sinister figures of the French Revolution, was not as Carlyle depicts him “a horseleech” but a physician, and that he attempted to achieve fame and practice by the use of electricity as a remedy. In medicine as in politics he was a quack, claiming to cure all ills by the mysterious agency. When Benjamin Franklin was in the heydey of his popularity in Paris, Marat attempted to get profit from the ægis of his fame as the renowned investigator of electrical phenomena. But the American philosopher was too canny and refused to permit any association between Marat and himself.
Rockwell's interest in the subject of electricity was first excited by the success achieved by an irregular practitioner, a man named William Miller, and he candidly relates how he shared an office with this person and began his work in connection with him. It is not much to be wondered at that when he tried to interest men like Austin Hunt, senior, and Willard Parker he was rebuffed, and that it was many years before he received recognition from the leaders of the profession in New York. In this connection his relations with Dr. George M. Beard are described in a most interesting manner. Beard's originality and marked characteristics are well described and the story of their conjoint labors on their book upon the medical uses of electricity is well told. Little by little Dr. Rockwell rose in the esteem of the profession and in after years had but little complaint to offer as to the attitude of his fellow practitioners toward him.
His account of his work on electrocution when that method of execution was proposed as a substitute for hanging in the state of New York is well worth reading. At that time the subject was new and its novelty excited much morbid curiosity as well as legitimate interest. Its subsequent adoption by many other states has suffi
ciently proven that electrocution has the
frequent figure in them, and as in more advantages claimed for it over the time- modern times we see him treated sometimes honored older method.
with respect, at others with ridicule.
English morality “Everyman" taught moral
per, and Banquet agree to dine together LA MÉDECINE DANS NOTRE THÉÂTRE COMIQUE,
with Good Company, Dainty Appetite, IDEPUIS SES ORIGINES JUSQU'AU XVI SIÈCLE.
Drink-to-You, and other friends. But BanBy Dr. M. Boutarel, Paris, 1918.
quet has an evil scheme in his mind. The This is a most readable and delightful guests are attacked by a number of terrible book on a quite original subject. M. Bou- diseases, Apoplexy, Epilepsy, Pleurisy, , tarel has undertaken to show us the light Jaundice, Gravel, etc. Some of the convives in which the physician appeared to his con- die, others are rendered very ill. Those who temporaries during the period from the escape go to Dame Experience and complain twelfth to the sixteenth century, by means of what has happened. She orders the arrest, of a study of the various plays of the time in by her aids, Diet, Sobriety and Pillule, of which he figures as a character.
Banquet, Dinner, and Supper, accused of Theatrical representations have in all conspiracy to kill those who had enjoyed times been a means by which the historian their hospitality. Their trial is conducted by can come into close touch with popular Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna and Averroes. life and thought, largely because, even The defendants are found guilty. Banquet though caricaturing them, the theatre pre- is sentenced to be hung, Supper is put in sents an epitome of the ordinary events of irons, and is forbidden to approach within daily life. The life of all classes of people in six leagues (hours) of Dinner. Elisabethan times can not be better studied This delightful bit of satire, a “skit,” as than in the plays of the dramatists of the we would now call it, is largely quoted by period. The plays from which M. Boutarel Boutarel and is full of fun and good sense. draws his information are much more crude Just why epilepsy and pleurisy should be than those of the years immediately follow- placed in the category of diseases due to ing the point at which he concludes his disordered digestion it is hard to fathom. study, but they were the equivalents in The other diseases which figure in the piece their day of the more scholarly and elabor- are all to the point. ate presentations of later times. In these Boutarel gives extracts from a number of old mysteries, moralities, farces and "sot- satirical monologues of the early fifteenth ties,” lay the germs of the French drama, century in which the extravagant claims of and, dealing as they did with the common- quacks and charlatans are held up to ridiplace affairs of every day, the doctor is a cule in a most amusing fashion, and then
gives some very curious descriptions from accordance with that of the Spaniard whom the old farces of various diseases such as Victor Robinson has chosen as his hero's epilepsy, dropsy, gout, and insanity. The prototype. To very few of his profession is means of diagnosis employed by the doctors the name of Shobal Vail Clevenger known; who figure on the stage are generally limited and the tableau of his achievements as to an ocular examination of the urine in the
herein depicted, though it may introduce familiar round glass vessel, and to feeling him to the readers of this book, will not the pulse. He recalls the variations of the render his fame of an enduring nature. pulse as enumerated and classified by Galen Clevenger was one of the many members of to indicate the importance attached by his profession who had to work hard for medieval physicians, slavish followers of his education and only secured his degree Galen, to this phenomenon. The therapeutic when he was thirty years old, after having measures which were employed according passed the early years of his manhood in a to the dramatists were quite varied, includ- desperate struggle to secure the needful ing purgation, clysters or enemata, bleeding, funds for his medical education. Most of and many varieties of herbs and minerals
his active professional life was passed in especially precious stones—and gymnastic Chicago, and it was at the Cook County exercises.
Insane Asylum, to which he had been Dr. Boutarel concludes his book with a
appointed pathologist, that Clevenger first a brief resume of physiologic topics as dis- came into public notice when he published cussed or presented on the medieval stage. an “Appeal to Physicians” in the Chicago This shows a total lack of decency on the Inter-Ocean, in which he laid bare the part of authors, actors, and spectators which
outrageous mismanagement of the instituis astonishing only to those who have but a tion, and the appalling maltreatment of superficial acquaintance with the manners the patients in it, under the ring-rule of the and customs of the period. Throughout the Chicago politicians. In 1893 Clevenger was author makes frequent allusion to the well- appointed by the notorious Altgeld superinknown writings of Dr. Witkowski dealing tendent of the Illinois Eastern Asylum for largely with the pornographic aspects of the Insane at Kankakee, and here again his the subject, an aspect which is unfortu- indignation at the disgraceful mismanagenately very predominant in all medieval ment of affairs led to earnest efforts on his matters, but which Boutarel has refrained
part for their amelioration, efforts which from enlarging upon. We heartily commend resulted in his dismissal within six months this interesting, though somewhat fragmen- after assuming office. These two praisetary, study to our readers.
worthy attempts at the betterment of conFRANCIS R. PACKARD ditions of the helpless insane constitute the
chief claims of Clevenger to be regarded as THE DON QUIXOTE OF PSYCHIATRY. By Victor
a Don Quixote. During the rest of his proRobinson. Historico-Medical Press, New York.
fessional life he wrote many articles for
medical journals and several books, but This is a curious, not to say remarkable none have made any very profound imbook, in more aspects than one. It is the pression. In fact, of all his voluminous biography of a man who is, or was at the writings but two may be regarded as notetime it was written, yet alive, and its sub- worthy and neither of them were on medical ject is one whose life in its sum total has subjects. In 1874 he published a “Treatise been marked from a worldly point of view on Government Surveying,” which was by failure more than by success, quite in long a standard text-book on the subject, and in 1884 he published in the American character of the newcomer, and in many Naturalist an essay on the “Disadvantages instances the characterization is flavored of the Upright Position” in which he ex- by unpleasant personalities. Speaking of a plained the absence of valves in certain certain medical journal published in North veins, such as the venæ cavæ, portal and Carolina, he refers to its editor by name and hemorrhoidal, by the fact that man had says “it was almost as worthless a periodical changed during the process of evolution then as it is today.” On the other hand but from a quadruped to an upright animal. few will agree with his eulogy of Altgeld Other disadvantages of the upright position and his exculpation of the wretched anarchwere also alluded to in their bearing on the ists who were responsible for the Haydevelopment of inguinal hernia, and in market tragedy in Chicago. Throughout their relation to obstetrics. Clevenger's the book all proper names are printed in enthusiasm for natural history led him capitals, a peculiarity which does not appeal into friendship with a number of eminent scientists such as Cope, Leidy, and Wilder, Dr. Robinson's book will be read with but resulted in no further material addition interest by the yet living contemporaries of to scientific knowledge.
many of those mentioned in it, and we may The pages of the book under review have add, in some cases, with considerable indigbeen utilized to express the personal views nation. If it had been somewhat less of its author on many persons and things strongly tinged by the personality of its in a manner which is at times most dis- author it would be invaluable for the biotasteful. Whenever Clevenger is brought graphic glimpses it affords of many medical in contact with some distinguished medical worthies of the past generation. man, Dr. Robinson proceeds to sketch the
FRANCIS R. PACKARD
, William: A neglected name, Isaac Senter,
modes of, Fielding H. Garrison and Edward C.
R. S., Jacob Rosenbloom, 262.
States Navy, a pioneer in American naval medi-
Aspects of Life in Art, Epigram and Poetry" by
Frederick Parkes Weber, 84.
Dr. John Radcliffe, a Sketch of His Life with an
B. Nias, 400.
ses origines jusqu'au xvi siècle" by M. Boutarel,
Rambling Recollections, An Autobiography” by
lutionist, paranoiac, 248.
Cumston, Charles Greene: The legal control of the
sale of poisons and nostrums in France in the
eighteenth century, Historical Note, 396.
Medicine conferred in the English colonies of
E. Lane, 367.
lish colonies of North America by Yale College in
Francis R. Packard, Book Review, 403.
cine in England, Editorials, 391.
century” by J. Collins Warren, 210.
U. Jaeger, 393
R. Packard, 79.
Francis R. Packard, 79.
Finances (The) of Felix Platter, professor of medi-
cunabula in the library of the College of Phila-
of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 191.
Francis R. Packard, Editorial, 209.
pondence, Francis R. Packard, gi.
from the life of, Jacob Rosenbloom, 348.
David Riesman, 136.
list of the incunabula in the library of the, Charles
Perry Fisher, 44.
of the, Charles Perry Fisher, 191.
Wright, 34, 126.
Platter, professor of medicine at Bâle, 265.
Andrea Laguna, M.D., the Spaniard, Strassburg,
Abraham Jacobi, Editorial, 194.