the observation and evolves its deductions little knowledge and less skill in their from the facts as they appear. . Intelligence

exposition, but even the casual reader of starting from it, as I have said, leads to the

the works of the greatest of them can with truth.

difficulty come to any other conclusion. This is a fair summary of the critical Locke in many admirable passages in his argument in the essay “On Ancient Medi- “Essay on the Human Understanding” cine" as to the method of science in which (Our Ideas of Substance) points out that we some have recognized the Baconian system, have no clear idea of “substance," a word but it is modified in such a way as to appeal in his day not entirely identical with our to common sense.

word matter. Certain attributes of certain There is no one who has done more to categories of matter are conveyed to our advance what we believe is our knowledge cognition by the senses and from these of the physics of matter than Clerk Max- data we form certain ideas or conceptions well. It is not of vital importance whether which find lodgment in our minds. So inthe theories that follow from mathematical numerable are they that we unconsciously and logical deductions from the phenomena assume there is such a thing as substance of the universe are true or not. It is quite as or substratum or matter which has no impossible for me to think of an ether of attributes to appeal to us—the “Being” of perfect density yet of perfect elasticity, the Greeks—the “Ding an sichof Kantdemanded by some of them, as it is for me but of this, these philosophers say we have to think of influence exerted at a distance

no assurance supported by observation: through a vacuum, but if the theories

The same happens concerning the operations work to the end of the discovery of facts

of the mind, viz.: thinking, reasoning, fearing in their proper sequence, if they are prag- etc., which we concluding not to subsist nor matical, though they may be far from rep- apprehending how they can belong to body or resenting actual facts in themselves, if they be produced by it. We are apt to think these suffice for this, we need have no concern

the actions of some other substance which we

call spirit. as to their own truth. Most facts are secured to us by the incidental revelations which Here we find Locke using the word open up to us on false paths. To these false “substance" in a manner to include the hypotheses we owe most of our knowledge soul as well as the body, the former of which and the hypotheses have been laid aside we exclude from our word matter. It will as useless scaffolding. Maxwell says in his suffice, however, to make us realize that great work on “Matter and Motion”: “The minds refuse to give credence to the possiinvestigations of molecular science have bility of forming a basic theory of the proceeded for the most part by the method universe on observation. Theory is not only of hypothesis and comparison of the results necessary, but it is pure hypothesis or theory of the hypothesis with the observed facts." which is the most necessary. We perceive This is not Baconian doctrine at all.

then, that modern physics, no less than an It is a typical example of how out of ancient cosmology, are built on theories absurdities realities emerge. We have thus impossible of verification, impossible to reason to believe that not only do our submit to the crucial test of experience. senses lead us astray as we well know, but We find the modern physicist avow

owedly the workings of the human mind are impo- basing his systems on them despite the fact tent in the face of fundamental cosmic that the modern scientist is repeatedly facts. It is not for me to speak of the ideas declaring science has nothing to do with of mental philosophy of which I have them. We cannot, then, reject an ancient

[ocr errors]

rest of

cosmology because it is built on unverifiable theory, on theory which has since proved false, without stultifying modern science, which also is founded on a theory incapable of verification. Yet out of both, out of the ancient as out of the modern cosmology, has Truth arisen.

Hippocrates in his criticism of the Nature Philosophers objects to their cosmic theories because “there is nothing which can be referred to in order to discover the truth,” and in lofty scorn the modern scientist, standing with both feet on a tortoise unsupported by any pinions of fact, declares that he has nothing to do with assertions which cannot be submitted to the test of experiment and observation. Sacrilegious though it seems, I confess both Hippocrates and the modern scientist and even Socrates himself seem to me just a little silly. We find both Hippocrates, the ancient scientist, and Socrates, the ancient idealist, objecting to methods which the Nature Philosophers used to open the way to a knowledge of the universe. If they did no more, their services to science were inestimable in postulating cosmic problems whose definitions still remain intact. Thales and Heraclitus and Democritus began to divide and subdivide: “things above us and things below the earth,” and the results they attained by methods, which Hippocrates censured and yet was forced to pursue in medicine, constituted the fabric of the knowledge of the whole which both he and Plato agreed was a prerequisite to a further advance. It was as clear to him as it was to Plato that without broad and comprehensive ideas, without a knowledge of the cosmic laws it was idle for the student to begin study, either of the human body or of the human soul. If this is the implication of very many of the passages in Hippocratic writings and in Platonic dialogues, we find others in which they condemn and ridicule it.

Protagoras had from Xenophanes perhaps

the doctrine that man is the measure of all things, discussed in the “Theætetus' of Plato, where much ridicule is thrown upon it as the source of knowledge without, however, arriving at any clearer idea of knowledge. In health a man's wine tastes sweet. When he is bilious it tastes bitter. How is he, then, to know what its properties really are? In practice Hippocrates, just like the

us, seizes on any implement, whatever its provenance, which seems useful in prying open the lid which hides the secrets of nature from us. Occasionally even modern philosophers, like Maxwell and Bain,” in lauding the system of Bacon, pause to insist that both hypothesis (theory, we used to call it, until the word became disreputable) and observation are to be used in combination to attain the best results. No one can deny the necessity of constantly reminding ourselves how dangerous it is to become slack in attempting to submit theory to the test of experience, and this doubtless is the animus which moves such minds as Hippocrates, and many lesser men as well, constantly to preach this doctrine, though as we have repeatedly seen the whole basis of science rests on hypothesis which cannot be submitted to the test of experience or to the exactions of rational thought.

This is an old song, but, as a distinguished advocate of one of the popular modern theories of nature remarked to me, it is well occasionally to be reminded of it. There is less lack of frequent reminders of these fundamental limitations, both of observation and of thought than of concrete criticism, pointing out just where the scientist violates his principles. I have alluded to their conscious trespassing in modern physical philosophy. It is not difficult to find its unconscious violation by Hippocrates. In this, it is true, he often places himself above the usual pedantry of his

7 "Education as a Science,” by Alexander Bain. New York: Appleton & Co., 1901.

[ocr errors]

predecessors, but he none the less erects his own hypotheses, if not on the hot and the cold, the dry and the moist, in the treatise “On Ancient Medicine” at least on the bitter and the sweet, the salt and the acid, upon the form of the internal organs best calculated to suck to itself and attract humidity from another body." So

when the flatus encounters a broad and resisting structure and rushes against such a part and this happens when it is by nature not strong so as to be able to withstand it without pain, not soft and rare, so as to receive and yield to it”—remembering how much of our own babbling must in time be devoid of sense, let us draw a veil over the frailties of the human mind which we may be sure we shall need more and in a shorter time than the Master. If Hippocrates exhibited neither error nor tautology, if he perceived the ideas of others were no more theoretical or hypothetical than some of his own, he would be a god, not a man, and he is very human. He is a real man; he is Hippocrates, the physician, not Æsculapius, the son of Apollo, and it is by his lapses of logic, and his feebleness of apperception, not by his immortal genius that we recognize him as a father and a brother. When he reminds us there are wise physicians as well as foolish ones and how difficult and laborious the search for truth is, how urgent it is for us to know the history of the strivings of others after it if we are to prosecute wisely our own search for it, how impossible it is at best for anyone to say one has discovered something unknown to one's predecessors, we recognise the wisdom of the ages, though we often forget it.

It is not clear from the text that the author really means to decry such knowledge, chiefly speculative, as existed in his day of anatomy and physiology. It can scarcely be denied that if a patient must choose to-day between the anatomical expert and him who is ignorant of anatomy but

experienced in the observation of the sick, he would hardly hesitate to prefer the latter. If the anatomist derived his knowledge from his imagination or even chiefly from his speculations, such as we infer was chiefly the source from which the Egyptian physicians drew the remarkable passages on anatomy in the Papyros Ebers' we must confess it would be sound judgment. We have little reason to suppose more accurate anatomical or physiological data existed in the days of Hippocrates. At any rate we may suspect he has better reason for the opinion than appears to us at first thought when he declares it is not for the Nature Philosophers to teach the physicians the origin of nature. It is also not so arrogant as it sounds for him to declare that “one cannot know anything certain respecting ' 'Nature' from any other quarter than from medicine.” The anatomist of the Papyros Ebers and to a certain extent Empedocles and Alcmæon,10 the predecessors of Hippocrates, drew their ideas of anatomy objectively not from dissection, but the former from the processes of embalming and the latter from the sacrifices at the public altars, sources open to all, physicians as well as laity, and from certain other observations and manifest physiological actions. The rest was mere subjective theory. All was better derivable from even the empirical practice of medicine than from any other

8 “Blight of Theory,” by Jonathan Wright, New York Medical Journal.

9 “Diogenes Laertius; Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers," tr. by C. D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853.

10“Whether his knowledge in this branch of science was derived from the dissection of animals or of human bodies, is a disputed question, which it is difficult to decide. Chalcidius, on whose authority the fact rests, merely says (Comment. in Plato, ‘Tim.' p. 363, 3d. Fabr.), 'qui primus exsectionem aggredi est ausus.' And the word exsection would apply equally well to either case.” In “Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology," edited by William Smith. Vol. i, p. 104. London: John Murray, 1870.

calling. Moreover, Nature or púous was to observation, and there was but little conceived by the Greeks more in the sense more known, and little more did he know of what we understand by the processes of of physiology nature, hence, in this limitation the phys

And, as has been formerly stated, one ought iology of man, rather than in the sense of

to be acquainted with the powers of juices, and our modern wider conception of the term. what action each of them has upon man, and So Hippocrates was entirely justified his- their alliances towards one another. What I torically in claiming medicine to be the say is this: if a sweet juice change to another teacher of anatomy rather than medicine kind, not from any admixture, but because it to be the result of the teachings of anatomy

has undergone a mutation within itself; what

does it first become?-bitter? salt? austere? or and physiology.

acid? I think acid. And hence, an acid juice Active investigation or research was not

is the most improper of all things that can be included in the curriculum; the observation administered in cases in which a sweet juice is of phenomena, even unaided by experi- the most proper. Thus, if one should succeed mentation, is still often a safer guide than

in his investigations of external things, he observation controlled by it, and Hippoc

would be the better able always to select the

best; for that is best which is farthest removed rates know no other, though he knew that

from that which is unwholesome. the diaphragm is a broad and expanded structure and that "abscesses occur about The last clauses of the treatise of “On it. There are both within and without the Ancient Medicine" but illustrate our egobody many other kinds of structure, which tistical proverb, implying our own great differ much from one another as to suffer- knowledge—“a little learning is a dangerings both in health and disease; such as ous thing." whether the head be small or large; the neck Yet even here, despite the tautology and slender or thick, long or short; the belly the hypotheses I have quoted, despite much long or round; the chest and ribs broad or more I have not cited from this discourse narrow; and many others besides, all which "On Ancient Medicine,” we see the Master you ought to be acquainted with, and their headed in the right direction before hardly differences; so that knowing the causes of a path existed. The whole tone of the essay, each, you may make the more accurate with its inconsistencies and its frailties, observations.” Thus far he recognized the breathes the spirit of modern medical value of anatomy and pathology as an aid science-better still-of common sense.

(To be concluded)


Valkyrie is she; on mechanical steed

Bears wounded warriors from sodden field. With flaming exhaust, at extremest speed,

She rolls to the spot of the greatest yield
Of the Harvest of Hate. What nobler part

Could a woman play in the murky hour
Of the World at War, when the light'nings dart

That betoken the lust of Teutonic power.

True to tradition and true to herself

With spirit of Warren and Adams and those Who considered a principle greater than pelf

And would forfeit their lives if occasion arose,
She too has surrendered the luminous hours

Of her maidenly years, to travel the trail
That beckons her spirit from budding bowers

To sacrifice all in the Quest of the Grail.


JUNE, 1918.




The following is a carefully prepared list of the Incunabula in the possession of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia up to May 1, 1919. While in no sense a “catalogue raisonné,” it can properly be called a catalogue, as it is arranged by authors, with more or less description, to assist in the identification of the edition or publication. Further, it will be noted that this Library follows the ruling of “Hain,” and only the books issued in the fifteenth century are classed under the head of "Incunabula."

As a matter of interest to the readers, notes that have been gathered from various sources, are appended in a number of cases. No pretense is made that these notes are authoritative, or absolute; they are given for what they are worth-mostly the comment of some previous owner. The expert bibliographer is welcome to criticise, deny, or confirm the sayings, as he sees fit.




ABIOSUS, JOANNES. [Dialogus in astrologiae

defensionem.] [F. 1a:) AD INVICTISSIMVM AC POTENTISSIMVM | BELLO ET PRUDENTISSIMUM SICILIE REGEM ALFONSUM. | Dialogus in astrologie defensionem Cnm [sic] Vaticinio a diluuio vsq[ue] ad Chri| sti annos. 1702. Joannis Abiosi Neapolis Regni Ex balneolo mathematica | rum professoris Artium [et] Meditine [sic] Doctoris. [Tab. xyl. In fine:) Finit opus Dialogi (etc.) Et impressu[m] Uenetijs Die. 20 octobris | 1494. Per Magistrum Franciscum Lapicidam in contrata Sancte Lucie. Ad glo | riam Omnipotentis Dei qui assidue benedicatur. I

37 ff. il. 12°. Venice, Franciscus Lapicida, 1494. (Hain no. 24.]

Only work printed by Lapicida. AEGIDIUS COLUMNA. (De regimine princi

pum.] (F. 1a:) () Eorgio miseratione diuina Archiepiscopo Ulixponen. Sacro- | sancte.

eccesie. tituli sanctoru[m] Petri (et] Marcelli presbyte | ro Cardinali Reuerendissimo ac benemerito: Oliuerius Serui | us Tholentinus. S. P. D. (F. 1b-4 b table of chapter-headings.] [F.'5a:) Incipit liber de regimine p[r]incipu[m] | etc. [In fine:) Explicit liber, etc. Impressum Romae per inclitu[m] viru[m] magistru[m] | Stepha

num plannck. de Patauia Anno domini Millesimo CCCCLXXXIJ. Dienona Mensis | Maij [et]c. [Register.]

135 ff. Fo. Romae, Plannck, 1482.

[Hain no. 108.) AEGIDIUS CORBOLIENSIS, PETRUS (or Gilles

de Corbeil] [Carmina de urinarum judiciis cum expositione Gentilis de Fulgineo) (F. 1a:) Carmina de urina[rum] iudiciis edita ab | excelle[n]tissimo (domi]no m[a]g[ist]ro Egidio cu[m] | co[m]mento eiusdem feliciter incipiunt. | [F. 60b:) Hic modus imponit[ur] Tractulo [d]e cogno | scendis urinis peritissimi magistri Egdii cu[m]| exposit[i]o[n]e [et] [com]me[n]to m[a]g[ist]ri Ge[n]tilis [de] fulgineo | su[m]ma cu[m] dilige[ntia) plurib[us] i[n] locis castigatsus) a mo. | Auena[n]tio (de) cameri[n]o artiu[m] [et] medici[n]e p[ro]fes- | so[r]e padueq[ue] i[m]p[r]essus (per] m[a]g[ist]r[u]m matheu[m] Cer | donis (de) uuindischgrec[z] die 12 iulii. Anno 1483 64 ff. 4°. Paduae, Mattheus Cerdonis de Win

dischgretz, 1483. (Hain no. 100.)

Imperfect. f. 450 blank. AEGIDIUS CORBOLIENSIS, PETRUS (or Gilles

de Corbeil] (Carmina de urinarum judiciis cum expositione Gentilis de Fulgineo) [ff.1-59 missing.] [F. 76b:) Hic finis im

« ElőzőTovább »