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an hospital does twenty cases for his one. The truth is, every surgeon and physician has enough within his own department to occupy his whole life fully, if he would bestow the necessary labour for its cultivation, - and be content to keep only so much ground in his own hands as he is able to manage. But he is everlastingly sighing after the angulus ille qui nunc denormat agellum; and as he cannot fairly have it, he poaches whenever he finds an opportunity, till the practice is now so common as almost to be legalized by prescription.
I ought not to omit mentioning another rather odd sort of advantage, claimed for the preeminence and all-sufficiency of the surgical art, which is, that it is “ a more positive one." The French, too, have got into the habit of talking of “ l'art plus positif.” But if surgery be a more positive art than physic, carpentry and shoemaking are also more positive than surgery. Will the surgeon admit, therefore, that these arts are of a superior class of usefulness or respectability? Can any thing be much clearer than that it is this very palpable
and tangible nature of the data which, by reducing them to a less intellectual pursuit, deprives them of the very pre-eminence which it is sought by this silly pretext to arrogate. What is it but the greater difficulty and intellectuality of every pursuit that bestows its chief precedency? And surely this difficulty must be incalculably enhanced, where, instead of tangible and ocular facts to go upon, the physician can only grope his way by the aid of faint, glimmering lights through the dark misleading chambers of conjecture. conjectures of physicians, as of Chancery lawyers, a high Scotch authority remarks, must pass through severe trials, and finally be judged by consequences; so that a greater exercise of sagacity is requisite to extricate them from the possible errors which surround them, than when, as in surgery, they can lean on the absolute letter. The physician must extend his views, not to what his eye can see, but to what his mind can reach.” (Ed. Rev.) All which I allow is true to a certain degree, in surgery also, but then in a very inferior degree.
The mere habit or routine of operating may make an excellent surgeon.
The physician depends wholly on the resources of mind and the stores of his reading and observation. It must not, however, be concluded that I am denying these advantages to the former. All other things equal, the most learned man will doubtless make the best surgeon; and I am well aware that this country may at the present moment be proud of many who have risen to a very high degree of respectability in the practice of both professions. My object has been merely to shew how an imposing theme may be converted by arrogance and cupidity to a cunning purpose.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
The following particulars respecting the present state of the Administration of Justice in France may have some interest. They are given on the authority of a French gentleman, who had been sometime employed as secretary to the préfet of a department, and who must therefore be presumed to have a correct practical knowledge of the subject.
Every commune is under the administration of an officer called Maire, who, in case of being absent, has a coadjutor, or adjoint, to act in his place. The duty of the Maire is to take cognizance of all petty offences in the police department, upon which he also decides.
In each canton there is a Juge de Paix, (a judge both in civil and criminal cases,) who receives