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him, because, for want of converse with men, he knows not how to allow for the difficulties of ignorance. Thus, Boerhaave remarked that most of the writers on chemistry before his time, were unintelligible to the bulk of students, because they presupposed their readers to possess degrees of knowledge which they had not acquired. It often happens, too, with such, that having thought too much in one train, they are like persons acquainted with only one road, who soon become bewildered when taken into a new path. On the other hand, he whose delight is chiefly in society, and whose great aim is to cultivate the arts of conversation or of debate, soon acquires .a distaste for the employments of the study, and probably seeking rather to shine than to convince or to instruct, he becomes loose as a reasoner, or satisfies himself with that which may perhaps have silenced others. Thus the copiousness and facility resulting from mere conversation, or from oral dispute, may too naturally be often found at the utmost distance from accuracy and truth.
An accomplished author, then, will be anxious, not only to possess correct sentiments on the subjects which he proposes to treat, but the power of expressing them with efficiency at least, if not with elegance; that he may most agreeably impart and widely diffuse the knowledge which he has acquired. In order to this, while he will have sought to profit by frequent intercourse with men of varied talents and degrees of information, he will not have failed to attend to the art of composition: and if, as was the case with our author at the commencement of his course, he shall have written many pages and many essays apparently
in vain, he will have the satisfaction to know, in after life, that while others have entirely failed, in consequence of being either “full without readiness, or ready without exactness,” his own productions have been appreciated by the public at their due value, and have served to improve the taste, extend the knowledge, or confirm the nobler principles, of those who have attentively perused them.
Dr. Good's earlier productions which met the public eye, except some of the pieces of lighter poetry which I have specified in the former part of this work, were political. Of these I have not been able to obtain copies : but I understand that they were written to serve a temporary purpose, and would excite little, if any, interest among readers of the present day.
DISEASES OF PRISONS, &c.
In the year 1795 he published two medical essays, which were exceedingly well received by the profession, and served, as I have before remarked, to make him known as a man of talent and research.
The first of these, “ A Dissertation on the Diseases of Prisons and Poor-Houses,” was published at the request of the Medical Society of London, having obtained their prize. It is printed in duodecimo, and divided into three sections, which contain, 1st. Preliminary Observations, and a short sketch of the history of prisons and poor-houses, and of the chief defects in their structure, economy, and discipline. 2dly. A history of the diseases most frequently observed to occur in such places, with their remedies and general mode of treatment. 3dly. An account of the best plans to be adopted for preventing the recur
rence of such diseases in future. Many of the details in this little volume are very instructive, and well deserved the attention both of magistrates, and of the medical visitors of gaols and workhouses, at that time. But the benevolent exertions of the great Howard, and of others who have happily caught something of the same spirit, have led to such considerable improvements during the last thirty years, (to which, indeed, the hints of our author not a little contributed,) that there is now no necessity to dwell upon the facts which he enumerates.
The following quotation, however, will be read with interest by all who look beyond the mere point of health, important as it is, and especially by those whose admiration has been excited by the pious exertions of Mrs. Fry, and other benevolent ladies, the advantages of which are here not incorrectly depicted by a long anticipation.
“I cannot, in this place, avoid mentioning, though it is not altogether connected with a medical treatise, the propriety there is in the appointment of an ofliciating clergyman, in all prisons at least. To a mind simply humane, there is something extremely indecorous in permitting a criminal to live and die without either religious reproof or consolation. But there is something more than indecorous in the case of penitentiary houses, there is something radically wrong and impolitic. If the criminal be sentenced to a confinement here for four or five years, and that with daily and regular returns of labour, and if these returns of labour be supposed insufficient to reclaim him, and introduce into his future life a habit of industry and honest exertion, how much more probable is it
that he will be reclaimed, when the additional and more energetic power of principle is added to that of habit? when, for the same period of time, the effect of religion has been regularly and duly tried, and superadded to the effect of regular and constant employment?
"Above all, more especially in the cases of poorhouses and charity-schools, I could wish the ladies in the country would more warmly and frequently interest themselves. The claim of benevolence, and every soft affection of the heart, is peculiarly their own: and wherever they have thus acted, considerable benefit has, in every instance, accrued. It has done so at Frankfort; it has done so at Dunbar; and, above all, at the village of Cardington, in Bedfordshire, to which I have already adverted with much satisfaction: and, in fine, it has done so, and will do so, wherever their friendly interposition is exercised; the institution will flourish, the concerns of morality and religion will prevail, the grand object of this dissertation will be attained, and the poor will be cheerful and happy."
An appendix to this volume contains a “Case of Preternatural Fætation, with some observations on the phænomena.” This case occurred at Sudbury; but the technical description of it I omit, as it would be principally interesting to medical men; for whom the author himself has given an abridged account in his “Study of Medicine,” vol. v. p. 31. 2d edition.
HISTORY OF MEDICINE.
I have already (p. 64, &c.) detailed the principal circumstances which occasioned the formation of the
" Pharmaceutic Association," and of Dr. Good's
History of Medicine, so far as it relates to the profession of the apothecary.” This work is in duodecimo, and is comprised in 255 pages. It is divided into four sections.
In Section I, the author treats of the state of medicine, in reference to the apothecary, among the Greeks, Romans, Arabians, the earlier ages of France, Italy, and Germany. The immediate occupation of the apothecary in those several countries at the respective periods spoken of, and the rank which he obtained among the different branches of the medical profession. The existence of any such occupation as that of the modern druggist, is investigated and denied, and the quarter is traced from whence the apothecary was supplied with the drugs of which he stood in need.
Section II. is devoted to the origin of medicine, and especially of the profession of the apothecary in Great Britain. The different charters and acts of parliament which have successively been obtained relative to medicine, are traced; and the knavery and ignorance exposed, of multitudes of medical practitioners, from the universal incompetency of those public edicts, &c. to prevent abuses. The origin of the occupation of the druggist is investigated, as well as the source from whence apothecaries previously derived their drugs.
In Section III, the author explains the necessity of the profession of the apothecary to the nation at large, and the evils to which the profession and the public were then exposed. The origin of the General Pharmaceutic Association is traced, and an entertaining