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and os hencer pinen
as these, with Olies ha perou
“Love leaves nothing entire or sound in man; it impedes his sleep, he cannot rest either day or night; it takes off his appetite that he hath no disposition either to meat or drink by reason of the continual torments of his heart and mind. It deprives him of all Providence, hence he neglects his affairs, vocation, and business. He minds neither study, labor, nor prayer; casts away all thoughts of anything but the body beloved; this is his study, this his most vain occupation. If to lovers the success be not answerable to their wish, or so soon and prosperously as they desire, how many melancholies henceforth arise, with griefs and sadness, with which they pine away and was so lean as they have scarcely any flesh cleaving to the bones. Yea, at last they lose the life itself, as may be proved by many examples ! for such men (which is an horrible thing to think of) slight and neglect all perils and detriments, both of the body and life, and of the soul and eternal salvation.”
It is evident that human nature is not different in our sophisticated twentieth century from that which this observant old monk saw around him in the fifteenth. He continues :
" How many testimonies of this violence which is in love, are daily found? for it not only inflames the younger sort, but it so far exaggerates some persons far gone in years as through the burning heat thereof, they are almost mad. Natural diseases are for the most part governed by the complexion of man and therefore invade some more fiercely, others more gently; but Love, without distinction of poor or rich, young or old, seizeth all, and having seized so blinds them as forgetting all rules of reason, they neither see nor hear any snare.”
But then the old monk thinks that he has said enough about this rather foreign subject, and apolo
order, and went through France and Spain on a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella.
Besides this work, there is a number of other books of Basil Valentine's, printed during the first half of the sixteenth century, that are well known and copies of which may be found in most of the important libraries. The United States Surgeon General's Library at Washington contains not a few of the works on medical subjects, and the New York Academy of Medicine Library has some valuable editions of certain of his works. Some of his other well-known books, each of which is a good-sized octavo volume, bear the following descriptive titles (I give them in English, though as they are usually found, they are in Latin, sixteenth-century translations of the original German):“ The World in Miniature: or, The Mystery of the World and of Human Medical Science," published at Mayburg, 1609; “The Chemical Apocalypse: or, The Manifestation of Artificial Chemical Compounds,” published in Erfurt in 1624; “ A Chemico-Philosophic Treatise Concerning Things Natural and Preternatural, Especially Relating to the Metals and the Minerals," published at Frankfurt in 1676; “ Haliography: or, The Science of Salts: A Treatise on the Preparation, Use, and Chemical Properties of All the Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable Salts,” published at Bologna in 1644;“ The Twelve Keys of Philosophy,” Leipsic, 1630. These are of interest to the chemist and physicist rather than to the physician, and it is as a Maker of Medicine that we are concerned with Valentine here.
The great attention aroused in Basil Valentine's work at the Renaissance period can be best realized from the number of manuscript copies and their wide distribution. His books were not all printed at one place, but, on the contrary, in different portions of Europe. The original edition of “The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony” was published in Leipsic in the early part of the sixteenth century, The first editions of the other books, however, appeared at places so distant from Leipsic as Amsterdam and Bologna, while various cities of Germany, as Erfurt and Frankfurt, claim the original editions of still other works. Many of the manuscript copies still exist in various libraries in Europe; and while there is no doubt that some unimportant additions to the supposed works of Basil Valentine have come from the attribution to him of scientific treatises of other German writers, the style and the method of the principal works mentioned is entirely too similar not to have been the fruit of a single mind and that possessed of a distinct investigating genius, setting it far above any of its contemporaries in scientific speculation and observa
The most interesting feature of all of Basil Valentine's writings that are extant is the distinctive tendency to make his observations of special practical utility. His studies in antimony were made mainly with the idea of showing how that substance might be used in medicine. He did not neglect to point out other possible uses, however, and knew the secret of the employment of antimony in order to give sharpness and definition to the impression produced by metal types. It would seem as though he was the first scientist who discussed this subject, and there is even some question of whether printers and typefounders did not derive their ideas in this matter from our chemist.
Interested though he was in the transmutation of metals, he never failed to try to find and suggest some medicinal use for all of the substances that he investigated. His was no greedy search for gold and no cumulation of investigations with the idea of benefiting only himself. Mankind was always in his mind, and perhaps there is no better demonstration of his fulfilment of the character of the monk than this constant solicitude to benefit others by every bit of investigation that he carried out. For him, with medieval nobleness of spirit, “ the first part of every work must be the invocation of God, and the last, though no less important than the first, must be the utility and fruit for mankind that can be derived from it."
The career of the last of the Makers of Medicine in the Middle Ages may be summed up briefly in a few sentences that show how thoroughly this old Benedictine was possessed of the spirit of modern science. He believed in observation as the most important source of medical knowledge. He valued clinical experience far above book information. He insisted on personal acquaintanceship on the part of the physician with the drugs he used, and thought nothing more unworthy of a practitioner of medicine,
-indeed he sets it down as almost criminal–than to give remedies of whose composition he was not well aware and whose effect he did not thoroughly understand. He thought that nature was the most important aid to the physician, much more important than drugs, though he was the first to realize the significance of chemical affinities, and he seems to have understood rather well how individual often were the effects obtained from drugs. He was a patient student, a faithful observer, a writer who did not begrudge time and care to the composition of large books on medicine, yet withal he was no dry-as-dust scholar, but eminently human in his sympathies with ailing humanity, and a strenuous upholder of the dignity of the profession to which he belonged. Scarcely more can be said of anyone in the history of medicine, at least so far as good intentions go; though many accomplished more, none deserve more honor than the Thuringian monk whom we know-as Basil Valentine.
There are many other of these old-time Makers of Medicine of whom nearly the same thing can be said. Basil Valentine is only one of a number of men who worked faithfully and did much both for medical science and professional life during the thousand years from the fall of Rome to the fall of Constantinople, when, according to what used to be commonly accepted opinion, men were not animated by the spirit of research and of fine incentive to do good to men that we are so likely to think of as belonging exclusively to more modern times. A man whom he greatly influenced, Paracelsus, took up the tradition of scientific investigation where Basil Valentine had left it. His work, though more successfully revolutionary, was not done in such a fine spirit of sympathy with humanity nor with that simplicity of life and purity of intention that char