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sons rejected the aid of diet and regimen;
* but it seems to me more probable that, being mere surgeons, they were altogether ignorant of its advantages. It must not, however, be denied that some are of opinion, that both the father and the sons acted the part of physicians, that is, attempted the cure of internal dis. eases.t It is recorded of Podalirius, that he practised blood. letting : I if the fact be true, it is the earliest instance of it on record; but although the origin of bleeding must be very ancient, it cannot be deemed great scepticism to doubt it. (See Le Clerc's Histoire de la Medicine, liv. i. ch. 17 & 18.)-Before concluding my remarks on these persons, it may be proper to state, that some think it probable (for instance Le Clerc) that there was no such person as the Grecian Æsculapius; § but that every thing related of him and his family, was either a mere fiction of the poets, or borrowed from the accounts they had of the Egyptian Asculapius: and with respect to both his sons, that they were, probably, real surgeons or physicians, who were at the siege of Troy, and whom the poet, in order to make them more celebrated, calls the sons of Æsculapius,-just as he says of physicians in general, that they were of the race of Pæon, or Apollo, the physician of the gods.
Although in all the early and traditionary accounts we have of ancient Greece, it is uniformly asserted that medicine, or surgery, was practised and improved by their heroes and chiefs, there is but little in the traditions or legends of other rude tribes, compared with those of the Greeks, establishing a similar occurrence. There are, however, facts enough to confirm the truth of the me. dical legends and traditions of Greece. ||The next fact of import. ance in the history of early medicine in Greece, is its alliance with the functions of the Priesthood. But it is not in early Greece only that this occurrence has taken place, as there is abundant proof for its existence, not merely in the legends, but in the written annals of several nations. ** Nor is it merely in the infancy of medicine that this alliance is formed; for it is also observable, even where the art has made much progress, and aequired considerable accessions of improvement. It has, indeed, been so general, that it may be looked upon as a stated occur. rence, in the progress of the art, in the medical annals of every people. Between heroic and priestly medicine, however, there is, in one respect, to be observed a striking difference: the heroes
* De Republicã. lib. iii, and the 39th Dissertation of Max, Tyrius. + Galen, or the Author of the book Introductio.
Stephen of Byzantium, at the word Syrna, § Le Clerc, liv. i. chap. 8 & 19. # See Miss. Voy. 347, 348. ** See Millar's Disquisitions, from p. 209 to p. 220.
and chiefs were mostly addicted to the practice of surgery, as being external and obvious, and indeed most necessary in the pursuits of a military life; whereas the priests, attempting something more difficult, or, as Celsus expresses it, 6 altius quædam agitare conati,” endeavoured to cure those hidden and inward diseases, of which the causes and the nature are more obscure, and which properly helong to the department of the physician. That the diseases of surgery, which are those mostly that occur in war, and of which the causes are external and obvious, should attract the attention of warriors and heroes, is very natural: nor were the causes that led the priests to the consideration of the other class of diseases less powerful, though not altogether so obvious. In the early stages of society, and indeed in those of its more advanced civilization, the priests of most people are generally held in the highest respect, both on account of the sacredness of their oflice, and because, in general, they possess much more knowledge than any other members of the community. Hence it would be natural for a rude and ignorant people to recur to them, in cases of doubt, danger, and difficulty, for their assistance and advice: nor was there any thing more likely to prompt a superstitious and ignorant multitude to have recourse to them, than several of those inward and constitutional diseases, of which the origin and issue must ever appear, to ignorant minds, involved in such 'obscurity, and which the people could not fail to observe so frequently attended with wretchedness and dissolution. Besides, if wé consider, as I have already remarked, that it is usual in rude times to refer the origin of several diseases to the wrath of the gods,* particularly of such diseases as are of a more obscure and complicated kind, we cannot be much surprised, that the people should have recourse chiefly to the ministers and favoured friends of the gods, as the most likely to afford them relief, or to rid them of their diseases, by appeasing the enraged divinity. And besides, we may suppose that the priesthood, finding this species of medical trade a more emolumentary traffic even than religion, would be so far from throwing any obstacles in its way, that they would encourage it by all possible means, so as to make it at last, if not the most essential part, at least a necessary and established appendage of their office.--As the several gods of the Pagans had their temples and priests, it is probable that the priests of each were' at first occasionally consulted, according as the superstition, or respect, the hopes and fears of the patient, or his high opinion of some favourite god, would direct him; and accordingly we find from various evidence, that all the Pagan gods, not merely of Greece but also of other nations, occasion.
* Millar's Disquisitions, &c. from 'p. 220 to p. 226,
ally condescended to cure diseases ; just as we find, in later times, that all the saints on the calendar, male and female, were detoutly believed to have done. By degrees, however, certain priests and deities, by means which it is not necessary to detailysuch as superior address and skill in the priests, or more fortum nate cures, &c. so outstripped all others in the healing art, or at least in their medical reputation, as to secure to themselves a monopoly in the profession and all its emoluments. The first of these medical divinities was Apollo, who, it is probable, was first ree curred to on account of his extraordinary reputation in prophecy. It being of great use to those who laboured under obscure and dangerous diseases to be made acquainted with their issue, no one was so likely to give them correct information as the prophetic god ; and thus in time the God of Poetry, Music, and Prophecy, became also the God of Physic. We accordiogly find, that he was the leading medical divinity in Greece, until he was supplanted by his reputed son Æsculapius, the most celebrated medical god of all antiquity. It seems probable, that the remedies mostly used at first by the priests to care constitutional diseases were of a superstitious kind,-such as phylacteries, spells, amulets, charms, and incantations ; but, from the numbers of persons flocking to the temples for advice, and the emoluments derived from it, the priests were, no doubt, soon induced to profit by all means of increasing their medical skill, so as not to trust altogether to superstitious practices and remedies; and it is probable, that they acquired all the medical knowledge of the times in which they lived ; they certainly had the best opportunities the times afforded for its attainment; and it is probable, that in proportion as experience increased their skill and knowledge, they abandoned, in a great measure, their superstitious remedies,* and availed themselves of the greater efficacy of those real remedies, which time and experience had proved to be useful.t With such opportu. nities for observation as they possessed, and stimulated as they certainly were by interest to profit by them, it would be unfair to say, that the medical art, particularly that department of it which is now consigned to the Physician, was indebted to them for no improvements. The contrary is sufficiently apparent, even from the imperfect accounts remaining of those early ages; but, with respect to the amount of their improvements, it is not easy for us to enter into any accurate or satisfactory statement, on account of the imperfect and scanty historical materials which we
VOL. II. NO. IV.
* Notwithstanding the progress of knowledge and philosophy, ibis kind of remedies has always kept its ground in most countries, and does so stilt. See Le Clerc's Hist. de la Med. liv. i. ch. 12.; and Millar's Disquisitions, &c. from p. 226 to p. 232.
+ See Millar, from p. 232 to 239.
possess. That several of the cures said to have been performed by them were mere frauds and impostures, there is no doubt ; but this is a subject upon which I am not disposed to enter, in a sketch like the present.*_From the Priests, medicine passed into the hands of the Philosophers.
(To be continued.)
Art. XV.--Retrospect of Public Affairs.
The second half of the year 1811 has been productive of much fewer important events than the former part seemed to promise,– a manifest proof of the mutual state of exhaustion to which the several parties in this long-protracted war are reduced. The passive submission of the greatest part of the European continent to the power and policy of the French Emperor,—the uncontroled dominion of Great Britain over the ocean,--the continued struggle and suffering in the Spanish peninsula, the barbarian warfare on the banks of the Danube, ---the civil contests in South, and the indecisive measures in North America, are the prominent features which the world has presented during this portion of time, and which have undergone no material change.
In considering particulars, we shall begin with the quarter towards which the public have looked with the greatest expectation, and resume the narrative of the campaign in the Peninsula.
We left Lord Wellington posted, near the end of June, within the frontier of Portugal, not far from Elvas, with the French in great force about Badajos, the siege of which had been abandoned by the allied army. Contented with having caused their enemies to retreat beyond the Guadiana, the French desisted from further operations in that part, and Lord Wellington put his troops into cantonments, in a strong situation, from Castello to Evora. In the meantime the important town of Tarragona, with a numerous garrison, had been taken by the French, who thus obtained the command of a great additional tract of the Eastern coast. To. wards the end of July, Lord Wellington removed his cantonments from Alentejo to the Lower Beira; and the French were employed in reducing the fortresses in the interior of Spain. Lord Wel. lington then marched towards Ciudad Rodrigo, of which he formed the blockade. This manauvre brought the French in great force, with a large convoy, to relieve it, which, after two sharp skira mishes with the advanced posts of the Allies on September 25th and 27th, they effected, and then withdrew. The allied army then went into cantonments for the rainy season, suffering much from sickness.
* See Millar, ch, i, seci. 2. ; Cabanis, ch. ii. sect. L.; and Le Clerc, lix. i, cb, 20,
After their success at Tarragona, it was the plan of the French to make themselves masters of the rest of the Eastern coast; and Marshal Suchet, in September, entered the province of Valencia. He took possession of the town of Murviedro, and laid siege to its strong fortress. In order to relieve this important place, the Spanish General Blake collected a large force, and on October 25th boldly attacked the French posts, while at the same time the garrison of Murviedro made a sally to favour him. The action which succeeded seems, by the French accounts, to have been the best disputed of any in which Spanish troops alone were engaged in the open field : it terminated, however, in their entire defeat, with a great loss in killed and prisoners; and Murviedro soon after surrendered. Suchet then proceeded to invest.Valencia, the fate of which was not determined when the last intelligence was received. These successes of the French have in some degree been counterbalanced by advantages obtained by the Allies in other parts. In the latter part of October, Lord Wellington directed Lieutenant-General Hill to move into Spanish Estremaa dura, with the troops under his command posted about Portalegre. This enterprize was conducted with so much skill and gallantry; that the French General Girard was surprised near Merida, and his division entirely dispersed, with the loss of more than 2000 men in killed and prisoners. At the same time the absence of Suchet gave the patriots the superiority in Catalonia, of which they availed themselves in various small encounters, and one of their commanders even pushed into France, and leried contributions.
Such is the general state of the war in the Peninsula. In Spain there exists no army capable of opposing the French when cola lected in force, but the detached parties of the natives, especially the guerillas, which improve in discipline and courage, harass their invaders in almost every quarter, and render their move. ments very troublesome and hazardous. To subdue the country by force of arms will apparently be still a task of great difficulty: on the other hand, the Cortes, inconsiderable in number and reputation, and divided by party, are manifestly incapable of form. ing such an union among the Spaniards as shall enable them to expel the French, if their master continues pertinaciously to feed the war by fresh supplies, regardless of the evils they suffer and inflict. Portugal, through the powerful aid of a British army, and its own exertions, appears at present safe from invasion; and B B 2