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Now, come through this passage, and up this flight of stairs. On the door is written, 'De mortuis nil nisi bonum;' which some scribbler has freely translated, 'Of the dead nothing is left but the bones!' We enter a long, lofty room, lighted from above, and quite chilly; but little fire being allowed here. Why do you etart back so hastilyThese specimens of the defunct homo on these tables, are, to be sure, a novel sight; but these young gentlemen in many colored dressing-gowns, and short pipes, seem to feel no uneasiness. That quiet, good-natured looking gentleman at the blackboard, is the demonstrator of anatomy. He goes about from table to table, explaining the relations of organs, and helping green students to repair the mischief done by some unlucky cut of the scalpel
. He says, in reply to our questions, that students very rarely manifest any great repugnance to the task of dissection, and that only at the outset of their labor. The integuments once removed, and they have before them a problem to solve; a congeries of bones, blood vessels, muscles, and nerves, to be unravelled ; their relations to each other to be ascertained, and their shape, size, and other tangible properties to be acquired. And the study of this problem, like that of a Chinese puzzle, becomes very fascinating Students come early, and go late; the interruptions of meals are a bore, and they sit quietly at their work, occasionally humming a snatch from an opera, or cracking a joke with a neighbor.
We ask an impertinent question, but which the demonstrator answers very readily: Where do we get our subjects? Oh, at a distance ! We have no legal sources of supply, or, at least, very insufficient ones. So we get them as we can, always taking great pains to avoid any outrage of public sentiment, and generally evading, rather than violating, the law. All these subjects before you, were procured in a manner which ought to be legal. If it were, nobody's feelings would be outraged, no surviving friends would be offended. They ought to give us the law we petition for every winter; but there are always Mohawk Dutchmen, and anti-renters, ignorant Van Schoonhovens and Vanderspiegels enough, in the Legislature, to defeat the bill. This is very unfair. The law for mal-practice punishes the surgeon severely for any disaster resulting from want of skill; or, in other words, from want of anatomical knowledge; and at the same time we are punishable by fine, and disgraceful imprisonment, for taking the only means in our power to acquire that knowledge. And frequent ruinous and unjust suits for mal-practice have made this so evident to surgeons, that it is sometimes difficult to procure surgical attendance. I have known a man to lie for many hours with a broken thigh, before a surgeon could be found to assume the legal risk of reducing it. At the same time, no man is so poor or degraded, but that he can readily procure the best medical attendance; for there is no danger of a lawsuit. If they would give us this law — a law which would compel some of these scamps, who live upon the public charity, or support themselves by crime, and die in jails, to compensate the public, by post-mortem services, for all the trouble they give us before death - it would do away with those occasional violations of the sanctity of the grave, which outrage and shock every feeling of humanity.'
What is the moral effect of dissection? Does it tend to materialism or atheism ?' we ask.
“The moral effect is rather good than otherwise, though principally negative. It teaches the habit of secrecy, (a very necessary accomplishment for the physician, who knows everybody's peccadilloes,) and, aside from its first great object of anatomical knowledge, it familiarizes the hand to the knife, and makes skilful surgeons. Sometimes I have amateur classes, which clergymen join. They claim to fortify their faith, by the evidence of design displayed in this handiwork of God. Now and then, we have an infidel here, who looks upon the soul as a nonentity, and life as an effect of certain material combinations. Oftener, however, these men make electricity their God, and see nothing but a series of galvanic plates in the convolutions of the brain. It is curious, that such thinkers rarely stay long in the regular' profession, but soon run off into some kind of quackery; thus showing a natural proclivity to the irregular and fanciful. As to materialism, this room is worth a thousand sermons against that error. It is an unconscious materialism which gives us our natural aversion to dissection. When we come to segregate the soul from the body, as we do here, looking upon the latter as of no moment, we lose this superstition of materialism.
The demonstrator bas given us quite a lecture. Really, after staying here half an hour, this is not so bad a place; and we feel tempted to don an apron, and do a little carving ourselves. We take a scalpel, and commence upon a neck, with what we regard as a very nice incision. A student rushes up aghast ; " we have cut the descendens noni nervewe are raising the devil!' he exclaims. As it is a suspicious locality in which to 'elevate the ancient Henry,' we lay down the knife, and, albeit somewhat crestfallen at our rebuff, we leave the medical college with hearty good wishes for its prosperity! Long may it wave!
I saw him in his lonely room,
Upon an armless easy-chair:
His brow was lined with thought and care.
A pipe of snow-white potter's clay, And as he viewed the smoky wreath, I heard him slowly, sadly say,
Passing away --passing away.'
I saw him next at even's hou.
A flask of ale was lying near ;
But ale to him was very dear,
That flask was emptied every day:
Passing away--passing away.'
I saw him when from studies freed:
He gazed upon a box of pine,
So richly brown, so strong, so fine:
And many a pipe around it lay;
* Passing away - passing away.
I saw him last at dead of night:
His snow-white pipes had vanished all,-
The smoke was absent from his hall:
His much-loved ale had iled for aye,
Passing away - passing away. DM.
The voice of earth's millions of toilers was still,
The Red Man! the Red Man! the last of his race
The Red Man! the Red Man has faded away,
From the wilds of the north, where the cold breezes blow,
That's tossed to and fro 'mid the tempest-charged air —
He fell in the valley, the mountains shall keep
But his race all extinguished, forgotten his name,
While none shed a tear as he passes away.
SKETCHES OF TRAVEL AND CHARACTER.
Point de Galle, Ceylon, Dec. 27, '51 'A brase old island, very fruitful and fair, I MADE a pleasant excursion to-day, with some of ours,' to a cinnamongrove, distant about four miles from this charming little village, where black-eyed maidens and bottle-nosed soldiers do much abound. Our road lay along the sea ; its rollers breaking on the beach to the left of us, sending a snowy sheet of spray nearly to the wheels of our bandy; while on our right was a dense forest of cocoa-nut trees, interspersed occasionally with the oleander and the areca. Upon our arrival at the grove, we met with a most hospitable reception from its obliging proprietor, Mr. V- , who, after walking over his estate with us, and offering to us divers kinds of luscious fruit, which might have tempted the palate of an anchorite, kindly set us across the river Gindurah, which flows within a stone's-throw of his mansion, and showed us many rare shrubs and flowers on its opposite bank. On our route, we fell in with a Cingalese female, who, so soon as she laid eyes upon us, dropped the basket of cocoa-nuts which she was carrying on her head, and fled toward the jungle like a wild woman, notwithstanding the protestations of our companion, who spoke her language fluently, that we were well-disposed persons, and could not be hired to do her an injury at any price. Re
crossing the river on a bridge of boats, we betook ourselves to the bandy, and shaped a course for the chaitya, or temple of "Goutamee Buddha. This is of a quadrangular form, about fifty feet by thirty at the base, and somewhat smaller at the top. It is built of brick, and, rising to the height of a hundred feet, presents a somewhat imposing appearance. Near it are two smaller buildings in which are placed colossal images of Vishnu and Siva, and a host of inferior deities, of which "some be like a cow, some like a monkey, some like peacocks, and some like the devil,' a shed covered with cadjans, or cocoa-nut leaves, called "bana madna,' or place where the holy book is read; and a dagoba, or pyramid of stone, beneath which, it is said, lie buried idols of gold and silver, and precious stones, to the value of two millions of dollars. Of this, however, as a friend of mine would say, I have my doubts. Entering the chaitya, we were ushered into a sort of chapel of circular form, which occupies the centre of it. In the farther end of this, facing the door of entrance, sits Gaudama, the last of the Budhas, with his legs folded under hini like a tailor at work, or a Turk on his divan, and his hands resting in his lap. His complexion is yellow, cheeks rosy, eyes large and dark, and his proboscis, of goodly dimensions, resembles a hawk's, or the Duke of Wellington's, as you please; and, barring an unpleasant drooping of the eye-lids,' I should pronounce his godship a marvellous proper man.' "There were giants in those days, too, it seems, for he measures just twenty-seven feet from his loins up. The walls of the corridor which surrounds the chapel are ornamented with frescoes illustrative of various Budhist legends." Asking our driver to explain them, he answered, "Oh, for make pretty! But as this reply seemed to me a cousin-german of the es cosa de los moros,' of the Andalusians, or the quien sabe of the Mexicans, I was not fully satisfied with it, and I looked around for some one to gratify my curiosity. Nor had I to wait long. An old bonye who stood near, seeing my embarrassment, stepped forward and proffered his services. He was a jolly-looking fellow, was this priest. There was a merry twinkle about his eyes which betrayed a spice of fun in his composition, and his Stiggins nose said, as plainly as nose can speak, 'I'm a devilish sight more at home over the wassail-bowl than as an officiating bonye of the exacting Budha. Were I a Pythagorean, I should certainly believe his body to be animated by the soul of that model of religiosos, the stout-fisted, strong-headed Friar Tuck. There was an earnestness of manner about him, as he related his stories, which was perfectly charming, showing that he related them con amore. One of these will serve as a fair sample of the rest. I would call the reader's particular attention to it, from the fact that it proves conclusively, that either he or the driver, his interpreter, had some slight acquaintance not only with Roman history, but with the story of Martin Scot of the Fifth, and the coon, and that of the 'Duke of Buckingham's head, which Shakspeare neglected to write; and yet, every writer speaks of these people as utterly ignorant of every thing beyond their own country.
"A hard old sinner was King Donnet; he was a Nero in debauchery, and a Caligula in cruelty. He kept always on hand' a good assortment of wives; and of his concubines, who were as numerous as the sands of the sea, two were daily skinned alive for his royal diversion. The day