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too, we are to presume, from the strict accuracy of our author, the President sees from Capitol-Hill, without the assistance of a pair of spectacles, much less of a telescope. In letter fourth, we have some loose remarks on duelling and whiskey, and quite an essay on religion and camp-meetings, to which is added a sublime description of the public execution of a cri minal, which ends in the following pathetic language: "Thus awfully ended this human being his mortal life, 'with edge of penny-cord and vile reproach; and I feel a recoiling of heart, that I went with the multitude to behold it, and have been able thus minutely to describe it." In the fifth letter he de scribes "a moscheto skreen for street use," invented by himself, for which we wonder that he did not apply for a patent: how ever, he partly accounts for this omission, by stating that "the moschetoes do not bite unanimously, until evening; when they are in no wise mealy-mouthed, but steal upon the skin like the daughters of the horse-leech." In the sixth he is quite severe, to our honest thinking, upon the Hon. P. H. Wendover, our present worthy high sheriff, inasmuch as he thinks the starspangled banner does not "show as noble as most other ban ners the stripes are so narrow, and the stars so small, that it does not discover its appropriateness in distance." 66 However," he concludes, "I approve of the retaining the thirteen stripes, in allusion to the thirteen original states; and of add ing a new star for every new state." The appearance of yellow fever "among the steerage passengers" gives the author a wide field for writing, and he expatiates very largely on the subject, in his usual happy and facetious manner; and winds up by stating, that he "repeated the sublime and solemn burial service over the dead bodies of the two last" that died on board; and also that "every commander ought to read, or cause to be read, on board of his ship, in a chaplain-like manner, the church service, on every sabbath on the ocean." Finally, the amiable Arthur Singleton, Esquire, leaves us, or rather we leave him "thus tempest-driven, after six years ab sence from his native state, to the tender mercies of the Ruler of the waves and the winds in the gulf straits of Mexico!"
But, in order to exemplify the propriety of the title we have suggested for the proposed abridgment, we will endea vour, by a partial analysis of one of the letters, to exhibit how admirably the style, manner, and matter of the work are adapted to the capacities of small children, and how strictly veracious the author is in all his statements of what he saw and heard. Let us take up the first letter, which we may naturally suppose is the most laboured in the collection.
The first particularity which strikes us is, that the author has followed the directions of Horace to the letter. Multa dies et multa litura coërcuit, inasmuch as it appears to have been written ten years ago, being dated in 1814, and stating that "soon after his arrival, a report of peace convulsed the whole city into ecstacies." On his arrival in Philadelphia, which he calls "the great metropolis of Penn's Woodland," "signifying brotherly love," he forthwith "ascended the almost only eminence of the city, one of the two shot-towers, to spy down upon it. It appears not unlike a horizontal Brobdingnagian brick-kiln." From this eminence he beheld the Delaware and the Schuykill," and the elegant light broad-spanned arch thrown over the latter by our townsman Palmer, recalls agreeable sensations." From this particular remark, he proceeds to the following general observations: "Indeed, the houses are so thick, there is no room for land."—"Every view is quakerfied."" Still, it is a noble city; wealthy, substantial, convenient.""The national mint, or money mine, is in this city.""The water-works, whose hydrants supply the city with water, inducted for three miles in subterranean conduits, with their ponderous steam enginery, are proofs of the resistless submission of vast mechanical power to human ingenuity." This last is a most ponderous sentence, and gives a favourable idea of the author's powers of description and knowledge of hydraulics, hydrostatics, and steam enginery. "The Delaware is daily crossed by steam-boats; and by team-boats, which wheel along the water, propelled by horses on board in circular motion." The author next draws our attention to the Hospital, and says that "in the anatomical theatre, over the circular table, is pendent a human skeleton; that the dead may instruct the living :" then to the Academy of Fine Arts, where he introduces us to "two large early dramatic paintings by West; purchased in London by his friend Fulton, for about four hundred guineas"--" a cartoon well done with the fingers' end, and the snuff of a candle," and, "among the busts, two of those proud, but perverted geniuses, Voltaire and Rousseau."
This is all that Squire Singleton seems to have found worthy of notice in "Philadalphia, the great patroness of the fine arts."
The Squire hereupon proceeds to descant upon the various tenets and ceremonies of the Roman Catholics, Quakers, and Jews, "and other Christian sects." We consider the profound remarks made on these matters too valuable to be lightly passed over, and as but few of them require comment, we
submit to our readers the following extracts without farther preliminary remark.
1. Roman Catholics.
"A Catholic Church is usually known by a metallic cross on the dome, or a marble one wrought into the front wall. The ceremonies, at first view, are quite imposing, and somewhat ludicrously solemn. On the back wall, behind the altar, is commonly a superb painting, on a broad scate, of Christ upon the cross, and in the distance a view of Jerusalem as it was darkened at the crucifixion." P.11.
"In front of the painting, along the altar, and around the pulpit, are kept burning, during the services, rows of magnificently tall wax tapers; some a yard and a half erect, and as stout as a batoon, and lighted by a man," &c. Page 12.
We must here take the liberty of remarking, firstly, that there are no candles ever placed round the pulpit of a Catholic church; and, secondly, that these magnificently tall wax tapers, which never melt below the permanent erection of a yard and a half, and which are as stout as a batoon, and lighted by a man, consist of small cylinders, composed of a material called tin, and are vulgarly denominated tin lamps.
"The first duty of a Catholic, on entering the church, is to bend a passing knee to the figure of Christ on the cross before mentioned; and then to hasten and dip his finger tips in the holy-water, in the marble fonts near the doors, and to cross himself; that is, to touch the forehead," &c. "There is something rather pleasing in this memorial of the Saviour's sufferings. After this the worshippers enter their pews, except the discoloured ones, who remain bowed down in the aisle, and dropping on their knees." P. 12.
"A short time ago, the Catholics lost a Bishop in this city." "We should remember that, for many hundred years, we were all Roman Catholics; nor can I ever forget that the great author of the admired Telemachus was a Roman Catholic." P. 15.
2. The Quakers.
"Their largest meeting-house is a plain, but neat, and very capacious brick edifice, without any paint." P. 15.
No brick house in Philadelphia is ever painted.
"In public worship, the men with their broad hats on, sit on one side, and the women on the other side of the house; not in pews, but upon long benches."" As a signal when the meeting is done, two elders, upon the upper high seat, shake hands." "They have but little poetry, or romance, in their natures." "They labour to make no proselytes." P. 16.
"The Quakers emphatically, and to their unfading honour, have ever been the foremost against slavery. Their phraseology is peculiar." P. 17. "They wear three inches more of brim of beaver than is necessary." Page 18.
"In general, the Quakers disapprove both of singing, dancing, and painting." P. 19.
Now, we should really be infinitely obliged to Squire Singleton to inform us what all this has to do with Philadelphia ?
Perhaps he has made some mistakes in his survey of Philadelphia, inasmuch as he appears, thus far, to have been perched on the top of the shot-tower which put our author so much in mind of a Brobdignagian lime-kiln. The fact is, we suspected, from the facility with which he saw so much from the top of the shot-tower, that he actually was a Brobdignagian himself; until we found him, in page 27, "expatiating along the sidewalks, near Chesnut and Fourth," where he took the sound of a kiss, exchanged by two young ladies, for the "snapping of some varlet's whip, and was startled by it."
If our readers are not yet tired of the company of Arthur Singleton, Esquire, we honestly confess we are. No offence to the author, in whose favour we have recommended an abridgement of these "Letters from the South and West," nor to our readers, to whom it is perhaps superfluous to recommend the postponement of a perusal of the Squire's lucubrations until the said abridgement shall be compiled, of which we promise to give them due notice.
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.*
Sir William Temple, speaking of the Medical profession, has said, "that the study of physic is not achieved in any eminent degree, without very great advancement in the sciences; so that, whatever the profession is, the professors have been generally very much esteemed on that account, as well as of their own art, as the most learned men of their ages, and thereby shared with the two other professions in those advantages most commonly valued and most eagerly pursued; whereof the divines seem to have had the most honour--the lawyers the most money-and the physicians the most learning." Flattering to the medical profession, as this assertion may seem, it is not the less consonant with the experience of every enlightened age and country. In England, more especially, its truth has been amply verified by the fact, that of the numerous and valuable contributions to the Royal Society of London from its first institution down to the present period, two-thirds have been made by physicians.
As a corollary from this fact, it follows that from the extent of learning and talents possessed by the physicians of any given
*An Inaugural Address, delivered before the Medical Society of the county of New-York, on the 12th day of July, 1824. By David Hosack, M. D. LL. D. President of the Society.
country, no incorrect estimate may be formed of its advancement in knowledge and letters. Where ignorant pretenders and quacks are entertained with the honours due to men of science, and to those alone who, are, by a regular education, prepared for the discharge of the duties of this arduous profession, it may be justly inferred, not only that the intellectual standard is not very exalted, but that there must be a general apathy for the interests of science and a shameful disregard of life. For proofs of this fact it is not necessary to refer farther than to the annals of our own country. Prior to the revolution, and while the mind of the people was ham pered and kept under subjection by the colonial sway of a foreign government, the medical profession was in a low and degraded condition, wholly unregulated by salutary laws, and open to the impositions of men without education, talents, or virtue. Nor was the state of the profession much ameliorated for some time after the revolution. "Even after our revolution "had been achieved," observes a distinguished writer, the ex"citement occasioned by that great event seemed, for a time, to "unfit the mind for the calm pursuits of scientific and philoso-. "phical research. As was natural enough, men appeared more "concerned about the public weal, and were more intent upon "erecting and consolidating a system of rational and, inde"pendent government, than about cultivating literature or "science. Almost all the active talent of the country was "accordingly enlisted in the service of the state, or at least "embarked in that profession which presented the most direct, "road to political distinction." Medicine accordingly languished, and as yet a general gloom pervaded the prospects of science in general. Then arose Rush, Endowed by nature with an original and powerful mind; aided by all the resources of a liberal and ample course of instruction; nursed withal in the cradle of liberty,-Rush disdained to submit to the trammels of a foreign yoke, in science no less than in politics; and boldly, erected, on the downfall of antiquated dogmas and obsolete. prejudices, a new system of theory and practice, based on his own observations, and resting for its support on the immutable pillars of truth and experience. The power of his genius, the charms of his eloquence, and the purity, strength, and native simplicity of his style, elevated the school over which he presided to a rank that might have excited the envy of the proudest professors of Europe and they have conti nued to exert an influence in its favour, even to the present day, when the spirit which called them forth has long since departed. The example of Rush was widely and deeply felt throughout the country. Emulous of the cha