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racter which Philadelphia attained under the auspicies of this great man, New-York exerted herself, established her university, and, by a liberal and magnanimous policy, encouraged every effort which might have a tendency to shed lustre on her literature, and exalt her name in the annals of science. If her exertions have not as yet been crowned with the brilliant success to which her ambition might have aspired, it has not failed to produce the most important and useful results. By awakening in physicians a lively ambition to excel, and rousing them to active exertions, it has elevated the character of the profession throughout the state, and put to flight the host of pretenders and impostors, who, like locusts in Egypt, at one time darkened the land far and wide.
Among these beneficial results, the most important appears to us to have been the institution of state and county medical societies. Organized with the more immediate view of suppressing quackery, these bodies have, when properly managed, been found to be the most efficient instruments by which to diffuse a taste for science, and to excite that emulation among individuals, "without which genius is cold and knowledge inert." They are likewise admirably adapted to quell those petty jealousies, and allay those heartburnings which too often mar the happiness, and lower the dignity of professional brethren, when insulated and unconnected by a common and paramount interest. If the Medical Society of this city has not hitherto been productive of these desirable effects, it has been owing, not to a radical defect inherent in the institution itself; not to a want of talent or virtue in the profession; but to inexperience in the management of the Society, and to consequent apathy and carelessness on the part of the members. Many persons, too, admitted by the special favour of law to the rank of physicians, and enjoying the honours of the profession without possessing any claims thereto on the score of education, abilities, or even a proper sense of the dignity of the profession, have, nevertheless, by a bold and impudent audacity, so far obtruded themselves upon public notice, and so far embroiled the profession in their cabals and intrigues, as to deter many ingenuous and worthy men of undoubted learning and acknowledged abilities, from exchanging their peaceful obscurity and inactive ease, for scenes of turbulence and commotion. To this unhappy state of things there promises now to be a speedy termination. Our physicians are awakened to a sense of their proper interests, and begin to perceive that the promotion of private interest, and the advancement of the character and dignity of the profession, are not only not in
compatible, but one and the same. Exclusive monopolies, therefore, having for their object, not the improvement of the science, or the extension to the profession at large of a public benefit, but the selfish view of introducing a single individual, or association of individuals, into an invidious or unmerited share of practice, the unsanctioned and shameful purchase and secret ministering of patent medicines; and, in short, all artifices which are intended to subserve the limited ambition of men without real capacity or learning, are now allowed, on all hands, to be inconsistent with this dignified and liberal object. It is a lamentable fact, we know, that these resources of petty minds are too often successful-too often encouraged by the world, even at the sacrifice of all that is truly elevated in science, and noble and disinterested and humane in conduct. Now, it is with the express view of bringing forth these prac-> tices to light, and exposing their followers to their proper level and merited contempt, that medical societies are (unless we very much mistake the motives of their founders) established and chartered by the state. And therefore it is that we are happy to see no small share of activity and zeal excited in the members of the city Society to promote the interests of the profession, and exalt its character to the elevated standard, which the resources abounding in an extensive and prosperous city, so markedly point out as the object of its ambition. On this last subject, more especially, the author of the address before us remarks:
"We enjoy numerous and peculiar privileges from our local situation. We occupy the most enviable city in the United States-a city distinguished for its large and rapidly increasing population- for the intelligence and enterprise of its inhabitants-its numerous literary and benevolent institutions-its immediate and unceasing intercourse with the most enlightened parts of the world: add to these, its unrivalled commercial advantages, more especially since the accession recently made to its resources by the great western canal. As members of one of the most learned faculties, these advantages impose upon us the duty to avail ourselves of those blessings with which we are so highly favoured, and of rendering them tributary to the best interests of our profession, and thereby of the community in which our lot is happily cast."
"It is expected, and justly too, that the physicians of the metropolis should be the most learned and able of the profession in any part of the state, for the reason that, cæteris paribus, they enjoy more ample means of information, both theoretical and practical, than are afforded in less favoured situations. Seeing, then, that they possess more than ordinary opportunities for observation and improvement, the inference is unavoidable, that from them more will be required, and is justly demanded."
The first object to engage the attention of the Medical Society, must undoubtedly be the suppression of quackery. Nothing, in our opinion, so disgraces a community which pre
tends to be enlightened, as the encouragement of empirical practitioners and their secret remedies, Cures may, indeed, be performed at times, by these ignorant pretenders, and, in a moment of fearful alarm, resort may be pardonable even to their precarious and ignoble assistance. But what well instructed mind can willingly acknowledge gratitude to a selfish nostrum vender, who refuses to benefit mankind at the very time when he openly professes to have it in his power? Let the laws of the state, therefore, be enforced if we would purge from out our city this foul blotch. The most efficient means of remedying the evil is to form a census of all the physicians in the city who are legally entitled to practice medicine, and to exclude from the list all those who are not so duly qualified, and, if possible, expose them to the penalties of the law.
In order to regulate the more effectually the practice of physic, the Medical Society has framed a code of ethics, which has received the approbation of foreign writers, and is mentioned in terms of great praise by Dr. Hosack. Without en, tering into the merits of this code, it may be sufficient to state, that, in the opinion of not a few who have paid some attention to the subject, it is a very imperfect performance, and would have been far better supplied by a republication of Dr. Percival's excellent treatise on the same subject..
After regulating the practice of physic, the next object is to improve the state of the profession itself. This object is to be attained by a variety of means, all of which we think must concentre in the efforts made by the Society. In order to promote these, it is highly necessary that all the talent and learning in the city should be enlisted, and this can only be done by all the physicians in the city uniting themselves with the Society, and by a punctual attendance of the members upon the Society, and a prompt and cheerful discharge of the various duties which they may be called upon to perform. A lukewarm disposition must evidently give a death-blow to all attempts at ameliorating the condition of the profession, and an ungenerous indulgence in private animosities must be, if possible, still more detrimental.
There are several distinct recommendations made in the address of the president of the Society, to the propriety and imposing necessity of all which the Society has already lent its sanction. The objects proposed in the discourse are,
1st. That the meetings of the Society be held monthly, and that communications in writing by the members be exacted at each meeting,
2dly. That the Society purchase proper instruments, and Vol. I. No. V.
employ competent persons to record the meteorological phenomena which occur in our city, regularly and statedly. The expense, which will be but trifling, to be defrayed by the Society.
3dly. That a report of the prevailing diseases for each month be prepared by special committees, appointed for the purpose, and that these be laid before the Society, and published in their transactions.
4thly. As a concomitant object with the last, that the causes and nature of epidemic diseases be made the subject of especial and close investigation.
5thly. That an additional number of lecturers be elected by the Society.
6thly. That a library, commensurate with the means of the Society, be instituted for the benefit of the members. Private donations are of course solicited, and the president promises not to be backward in manifesting his feelings to promote this great object.
The last we shall notice is, the duty which the Society have imposed upon a special committee of preparing biographical notices of such of the departed brethren as have by their talents, learning, and usefulness illustrated their names, and added to the honour and character of the profession in this city.
From the active and enterprising spirit of the gentlemen who compose this committee, we promise to ourselves an unambitious but effective display of the departed medical worth of the city of New-York.
In relation to the address itself, we have only room to say, that it is a spirited, business-like discourse, evidently composed in haste, and consequently without any reference to beauty of style or accuracy of diction. The president is entitled to the hearty thanks of his brethren, and of the community at large, for his never failing devotion to the cause of his profession.
SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF THE LATE HENRY SLender.
"Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow."
It has long been a custom, and it is one that accords well with the kindlier feelings of our nature, on the decease of an individual remarkable for worth or talent, or who has occupied
a high station in life, in addition to the usual expressions of grief, to embalm his memory in a written record, or to evince our sorrow by a few flowers of funereal rhetoric. When the great and the mighty depart this life, and are great and mighty no longer, their deeds are trumpeted forth by the swelling breath of adulation; the panegyrist strives to eternize their memory by his eulogy; nations assume the sable vestments of wo, and their names are blazoned high on the eternal scroll of history. The muffled drum, the mournful measure, the reversed fire-arms, and crape-clad banner attend the soldier to his grave; and the deep-toned volley proclaims the commitment of "dust to dust." The memory of the statesman, the philosopher, and the orator, is celebrated by their respective associates; and the poet lives again in the tender strain of the surviving bard. Even the humblest and the most lowly receive some slight testimonial from the lowly and the humble who remain behind.
In a deficiency of all those tender ties, which bind man to his brother, and without which life itself were a gloomy void, the subject of the present obituary notice was singularly unfortunate. Left an orphan at an early age, he knew not a father's care, and to him a mother's kindness and a mother's love were things of nought.
With but small physical advantages, and still less of intellectual endowment; with an education sadly neglected; with few kind friends to advise or assist, and ever regarded with an evil eye by his competitors in the various walks of life he trod, Slender, with the principle of independence strongly implanted in his bosom, made his way through this bustling world; and by patient perseverance and indefatigable indus-, try, acquired for himself notoriety and a name, if not riches and a local habitation.
Henry, or, as he was more familiarly called, Harry Slender, first saw the light at a beautiful little village in the Highlands, some time during the revolutionary struggle. The precise time of his birth is not yet ascertained; nor have I been able to collect any certain accounts of his early years. It appears that he was always a shy and lonely youth, shunning the usual sports and games of his companions, and, as a sympathizing stagedriver informed me, might be seen from morning till night, sitting by the side of a little creek near the road, sucking his thumbs, and eating raw shrimps. His appearance, (said the tender-hearted flogger of quadrupeds) forcibly reminded him of the pitiful condition of Jonah in the whale's belly, "withouten any fire or candle," although I never could exactly disco