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tliose of Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius; "l'Antiquite expliquee," of Mont. fauc-on; the descriptions of the " Museum Cauitoliuum;" that of the " Museum Pio Cleinentinum;" the " Monumenta Matliaiana;" the " Must'e de Verone;" the works of " Count Caylus, of Guattani;" and the "Cours liistonques du Musee Napoleon."
Specimens of these basso-rilievos and terra cottas, or excellent workmanship, decorate the walls of the first room; which, as a tout-eiisembk; is certainly un. equalled in England, perhaps in Europe.
Having now gone so farthrough the antiquities of this first room, I shall insert in my next a list of the chief objects, and some account of them; but before I lelt the rooms, I took another perambulation through their maze of beauties; in doing which, my attention was most forcibly arrested, by the great sarcophagus, commonly called the tomb of Alexander the Great, one of the celebrated specimens of antiquity, that was ceded to us at the memorable capitulation of Alexandria, in 1B01. It was brought from the mosque of St. Athntiasius, at Alexandria, where it had been transformed by the Mahometans, into a kind of reservoir, consecrated to contain the wcter for their pious ablutions. It i-- ••['^'insidorable magnitude, and would tr-rm in oblong rectangle, were not o.r •' ,;,e ends or shorter sides of the parallelogram, rounded somewhat like a bathing tub. It is probable that formerly it was covered with a lid, but no trace of it is now visible; but is entirely open like an immense laver, of one single piece of beautiful marble, spotted with green, yellow, reddish, &c. ■ on a ground of a fine black, of the species called Breccia, a sort of pucL'hng stone, composed of agglutinated fragments ofiaiious siaes, which are denominated according to their component parts. This cumes under the class of calcareous breccias. But what renders this imatimficent fragment of antiquity peculiarly interesting, is the prodigious quantity of small hieroglyphic oharacttrs, with winch it is sculptured both within and without, as you may perceive by the drawing. It would employ nie nearly a month to make faithful copies of them: their shape and general appearance •is pretty fcirly given in the annexed sketch; but it can only serve to convey to you tin idea of the monument in one view. A correct and faithful cjiy ufall tue.bicr.oglvpbjc;!, though an Iter
culean task, is a desideratum; fop it can be only by copying with scrupulous accuracy, and of a large size, the figures of this symbolical Ian. guage, that we can attain the knowledge of a mysterious composition, on which depends that of the history of a country, onee so highly celebrated. When that language shall bo understood, we may perhaps fenm the original purpose of this sarcophagus, and the history of the puis— sant man whose spoils it contained. Till then it is but the vain and flitting field of conjecture.
Many men of science and learning, have examined this memento of Egypt inn skill and industry!; but no positivevdecisiou of its former application is yet found by the learned, Sonnini and Deii.jn, who both closely and attentively examined it, have pronounced nothing decisive on the subject. Dr. Clark of Cambridge, an indefatigable and learned antiquary, has asserted that the sarcophagus of the museum really was the tomb of Alexander; but it requires more talents than I possess, to remove the obstacles that withstand the clear iuieiligibility of this invaluable antique.
Yours, esc. M.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
IN your last number, under the head •' Literary and Philosophical Intelligence," I observed an article, taken from the Philosophical Journal, mentioning the circumstance of a person passing, without injury, a red hot poker over his tongue. To which is subjoiued an account of two other facts equally extraordinary, via putting the finger into melted load, and skimming melted iron with the naked; hand. • The first of these experiments I have often seen repeated, wlucii has led me to investigate the cause of so singular a phenomenon; and from the result of several experiments, made for the purpose, I am convinced that injury is prevented only by the vaporization of the saliva on the tongue (as observed by the correspondent to the Philosophical Journal,) the expansive force of which, during the momentary operation, prevents tho iron from coming in contact with the cuticle. This is the principle on which the sali tv of the experiment depend*, but it is nut to be attempted without some precaution; for if the iron beheated to n white beat, that is, nearly in a fosible state, it will in_stanlaneou>ly carbonize the small quantity of snKvh
which which is detuned on (he tongue, and tlic eutide will be severely bunted; and, on the contrary, if it be too Gold, it will not vaporize the saliva sufficiently to create that repulsive force, which prevents the contact of the tongue aad iron, and a buster will be raised.
The proper heat, therefore, at which the experiment may be safely performed, Js a blood red, taking care to hold the poker or iron in such a way as to insure the degree of expertness necessary.
The other experiment, with melted lead, may be as easily performod as the one jus>t stated; the tiiiger not being so powerful a conductor of caloric to feci any effect from passing it instantly through, provided none of die particles adhere to it; which may be prevented by rubbing the 6nger with chalk or whiting previous riment.
With respect to skimming melted iron witii the hand, I can only observe, that to question the veracity of a positive assertion, is always unpleasant; but wliocvcr has had an opportunity of seeing this metal in a state of fusion, must be convinced of the impossibility (without a miracle) of attempting the experiment.
London, Tour's, &c.
Jan. 16, 1809. E. Lydiatt.
P. S. I beg to return my- sincere thanks to your correspondent X. in the Magazine for September last, for his excellent answer to my enquiries, in a former number, relative to "Accidents by fire, and the best mode of treatment In cases where medical aid cannot be immediately procured." The instant applications, as well as the subsequent treatment he recommends, are so simple and easy* to be remembered, that they cannot fail to be of great utility.
Bust of tie late Tiiohas BedDoes, M.D. n/CLIFTON. "Nil actum reputans, ti quid supererset agendum" Luc An.
rPhas Ion" been the fashion to remark, that the lives of literary nien are best nude known by means of their works, and that they afford little or no portion of that amusement which is to be found in the memoirs of those who have taken a more activepart in the busy scenes of aetoalEfai We agree indeed with Cicero**, that nothing is better calculated for entertainment than "variety" and "vicissitude;" but even these are to be net v/irfc in the " many-coloured lives" of * ltailMrtu cireer; and if to these were bolftfMeo^ * description of his pursuits, 1 ""'1 above all, an account
if His intellectual re*, We fear not to 'memoirs of such a man "the full as entermore instructive, ."of a modern no1 tK» train of rea'ffla present arJJg&i hke (he late WHtljotd Melcomue') had ht'feiit'-jj "** ittuj* similar to what we -^_«. _X7Zi'.1j ar> there b Gttle doubt ~ fr, aboujided with
curious anecdotes, valuable speculations, the details of ah extensive; bourse of rae-dical study, and many admirable hints towards the perfection of the healing art, and the consequent alleviation of the multitude of calamities which " flesh is heir to.'' Without further preface, we shall first give an account of such facts as wo have been able to collect of his life, and then endeavour to present a brief analysis of his works.
Thomas Beddoes was bom at 9nifnai, in Shropshire, about the year 1754 or 1755. His relations were respectable and opulent people, nearly all of whom were engaged in trade. The father was a tanner, but seems to have been determined in early life that the son should receive an excellent education, so as to be fitted for a higher sphere in society. Accordingly, after obtaining that species of knowledge usually procured in the provincial schools, the distant prospect of Oxford terminated the visto of his classical prospects.
In consequence of the laudable ambition of his friends, he was sent thither; and there is still a report extant at this university, that the settlement of the young Tyro was wholly entrusted to the cart of an uncle. On entering the grand m*rt of learning, with which, as well as ks inhabitants, he was utterly unacqmrniTed,ta5 insmt^^re^ented lu'mself; alone with Tho-mas, at the gate of St. fcmiiVmtf fi^thWiMS&^iW; *tf
there tlicre was any good education to be had there?" The porter, perceiving perhaps the actual situation of affairs with a single glance of his eve, like a prudent man, introduced them to the master, and the usual tees hiring paid, the young student's name was actually registered on tlte books!
But the adventure did not conclude here; for the master, struck with the novelty of the circumstance, kept them both to dinner, when, in the course of conversation, it came out that the two strangers were provided with letters of recommendation to Dr. Surgrove, master of Pembroke, and that the uncle had imagined there was but one college in the university. On tins, the money was returned with great politeness and liberality, and young Mr. Beddoes matriculated in due form at Pembroke, according to his original destination.
Of the exact year when this occurred we cannot speak with any degree of certainty, but suppose it to have been in 1778, or 1779. Certain it is, that on the 39th of July, 17b3, he proceeded master of arts, and on the 13th of December, 17H'j, obtained th« degrees of B. mid M.D.
As it has generally heen supposed, that a modern medical education is incomplete without a visit to Scotland. Dr. Beddoes accordingly repaired to Edinburgh, about the year 1781, or 1782, in pursuit of those liberal attainments, by which both himself and the public were afterwards to profit; for, as is hinted in the motto, he was eminently replete with jteal, and never wished to do or to learn any thing by halves. While there, he attended the lectures of the must famous professors of the day, was noticed as a youth uf great promise, and, if we" are not greatly misinformed, lived in intimacy with the celebrated Dr. Brown, w hose new system for a while sccnicd to bear flown every thing before it. Sir James Macintosh, who was also intended to he a physician, and actually took a degree for that purpose, was one of his contemporaries nnri friends.
It does not appear, however, that the subject of this memoir, at a more mature period of his life, considcied the system (lien pievalent in North-Britain as incapable of being amended; for we find hi.u, but the year before bis death, while treating of the melioration of his favourite science, expressing himself at. follows:— '" However the pupils of'Edinburgh tuny succeed in the world, mid fair as ic
may be for an advocate to avail himself of the fact, I doubt exceedingly whether the public would, if called upon to act with deliberation, yield its conlidence to one of their three years' graduates. In case, for instance, of an election to an hospital, would not the shortness of hi* standing, and the necessary immaturity of his experience, operate as a fatal objection f Well then! if he is not fit to have pauper-patients committed to him, why should others be allowed to commit themselves? It may be said, that a live or six years' graduate would be thought equally incapable of the charge. I believe quite the contrary; provided the electors should have both information and integrity enough to vote according to the merits.
"It always seems invidious, and in many cases is arrogant in an individual to adduce his opinion of a public body in argument; but as the merits of the Edinburgh school are opposed in this manner to the projected improvement of medical education, those who take a part in the question, seem called upon to declare themselves, if they have any probable cause of knowledge.
"Let me, therefore, briefly state that I went to Edinburgh as an Oxford bachelor of arts, passed there three winters and one summer, was perpetually at the lectures of the professors, and in the societies of the students. You may think it probable that I have no humiliating associations connected with Edinburgh, if I add that I can never hope to be of so much consequence among my equals any where else, since the students heaped upon me all those distinctions which you. know it is in their power to confer, l'eiv individuals, certainly, have ever had a, better opportunity of knowing any school. I have seen other schools of medicine, conversed and corresponded much, from that time to the present, with pupils and professors, studied their methods and the productions as well of the youth as of the seniors. So that I cannot accuse myself of having omitted any thing by which I might be enabled to form an opinion concerning this grand question of medical instruction.
"After comparing, on the spot, the means with the end. I certainly did conceive tbnt a more deliberate process would be preferable, and that a method of instruction, in some other respects, materially different, would form physicians far more trustworthy. Thi» opfmoii, variuua members of .(be medical
societies focicties could, I dare say, testify that I expressed; and every thing thai I have since seen of practice and of literature has tended to confirm it. After a lapse of years, and without the smallest communication, it is satisfactory to find the nwiciated faculty and their correspondent* concurring to make it the basis of a legislative measure, and certainly without being actuated by the least ill-will tuwards any medical school in the universe. the idea of a reform sounds terrible to those who profit by the corrupt practice* that decorate and disfigure the ancient system; and Oik abuse, as we know by experience, is well calculated to prop and support another. jVlany, therefore, who admired the talents of Dr. Beddoes, were alarmed, at Ins principles', and in the very bosom of that University, amidst those academic groves, where the noblest, the purest, and the most enlightened principles, ought to be cherished; he was doomed tit one critical period to experience ail the rancour of malignity, and encounter all the suspicion incident to little, and contracted minds.
"1 know not whether any impartial person, after seriously reflecting upon the surest way of advancing in so difficult a Hudy, ever surveyed the medical classes at Edinburgh, lie nould see that perJietual bodily hurry which is generally attended with a good deal of contusion of laind. No sooner does the college bourheil tull, than the audience rush out in full stream, leaving the last word half flushed in the mouth of one professor, nut a few fearing lest they should miss the first words of another. Will you call this mere juvenile ardour? The young men there were generally, and doubtless still are, earnest in their pursuits; hut it was a common feeling, that each attempted too much :it once; anil if it be true, that figures and hues which are to but, mutt be laid again and again on the nmd, with pauses between to allow them to tot, somewhat as in fresco painting, th»feeling would appear to be right. A ralfihwion bad been made, and the required attendance distributed as well as possible through the three years. Considering the number of professors, and the neceswty for those, who were to trust to this school solely,tii attend certain courses, ;'as theanatomic.il, practical, and clinicaly) two or three times; considering, beades, that the merit of out-Iecturcrs will have claims upon the inquisitive, and that nasty host,no other chance fpr acquiring "' of natural philosophy and jy how could any student, j.|he most ardent, avoid atnucbat once? The, consenppftfent, Our acade,1-iartseh* hurry to finish thestrudplilsfled lsV.bv« «>lid "unoaboDlK&flaAl *»; .. -« h gpears evidea*,,tb*» t}r. Beddoes* •Ja. Scotwt^L^ *P* prevent jiing 1wsm|m, and parube honsfijtaipt^own "*"m hia OkfKfcvo* again re^famhmkCu «WMi took his dee«y *ad at the times Jfclll '4». 'I
^1. ■ -el'*"'
It may be necessary to stnte here, that chemistry had always been a favourite study with the subject of this article; and that after having first viewed it, merely as a branch of medicine, he afterwards addicted himself to this pursuit, with a more than ordinary degree of avidity, ilis reputation, indeed, as well as his acquirements, in this very elegant, and very useful department of human knowledge, must have been very extensive, fur in 1786, we find him acting as reader of chemistry to his "Alma Mater:" there was no professorship of this kind, established at that period, or indeed until 1803, at Oxford, although one. had been founded so eatly as 1706, at Cambridge.
In the course of 1787, he visited France, and appears to have been for some time resident at Dijon. While at Paris, he of course became acquainted with Lavoisier, whose reputation was, at that period, at its height, and not only acquired his esteem, but also carried on a scientific correspondence with him after his return. At the evening parties of the amiable and accomplished Madame Lavoisier, his wife, lie also saw sonic of the first company in the French metropolis, among whom were many who have since figured in the political stage, and been swept away by the volcano, that soon after burst forth. Here, too, he beheld the first symptoms of that Revolution, which, after shakingFrance to her centre, was destined to convulse the whole world.
That an ingenious young man, whs with a liberal education had imbibed generous notions of both science and government, should be dis;»u*ted with the tyranny of the Bourbons, and the horrors of an arbitrary government, even while administered under its mildest forms, by a weak but amiable prince, is little to be wondered at. lie certainly, like thousands, did experience great joy at the glorious prospect, which has since been so completely blasted; and who can bkimc him for witnessing with satisfaction, the first efforts of the French nation; who, in 1788, and 1780, in imitation of the English people in 1688, attempted a melioration of their political system. SBnjjp
With ideas, such as, or at least similar to these, the mind of Dr. Beddues became deeply imbued, and it cannot he denied, that they had s considerable effect on his future fortunes, studies, and pursuits, la ail g.ivernmeau wl
Toward* thn latter end of 1792, he vr>hmtarily resigned his readership, of which be had Ween in possession for about six years, and was succeeded by liobert Bourn, M.D. It was now time lor Umi to settle m life, but a considerable period elapsed before he could finally determine oh so important an object. 111? eye was naturally fixed at fust on the metropolis, as presenting an ample field for a man ambitious of fame, aud addicted to the pursuit of science. But he soon perceived, that ah the important stations were already occupied; and that fur years, lie could only aspire to a secondary rank among the eminent practitioners of the capital.
On this, he pitched on Bristol, where, in consequence of the vicinity of the hot-wells, which still continue to attract some of the first families in the kingdom, and the swarm of rich citizens, settled both in the town aud its neighbourhood, there appeared to be full scope fur an honrwr-il'lo and successful career.
He lia<i .'i-i^ been long resident there, when the prevalent disease of consumption, to palliate which the exercise of kis professional tnl&uts was so often invoked, engaged his particular attention. Callir.» in chemistry lo the assistance of medicine, lie formed a notion that ic was possible to cure this cruel disorder, by changing the medium, which the patients respired, and this gave birth to the Pneumatic Institution, established by him. As the nttempt was founded on generrd benefit, and the fortune of a single indiwiouol could not be sacrificed with any degree of prudence to such an undertaking; marry noblemen, and geiitltrricii, we believe, and among others the late Marquis of Lnnsdowne, entered into a subscription to enable him to defray the .expence. Of the success 1 cannot speak with any degree of certainty, and
am upon the whole inclined to consider the experiment as more curious than useful. It was, howeve., attended with one effect, that has in the end proved highly favourable, as well as eminently beneficial to science; for it was the means of introducing iMr. Davy to public notice, that gentleman having assisted Dr. Beddoes, in constructing the apparatus, and performing the various experiments, during the course of six months.* To the honour of both parties, although they separated at the end of this period, yet they preserved an unbroken friendship, and an uninterrupted correspondence, with each other, until death snatched '.he pen out of the hands of one of the.ro, and put an end tb a connexion, founded on mutual regard.
I shall now endeavour in this place, to take a survey of the literary life and labours of Dr. Uediloes, without any particular attention, either to dates or subject.
It is pretty evident, that for some tim> at ltiitsr, he attempted, like the celebrated "Dr. J. Jebb, occasionally to unite politics with medicine ; and while acting as a physician, resolved not to omit thole duties which appertained to him as a man. We accordingly find him attending n committee, whieii had been convoked preparatory to a general meeting of the inhabitants of Bristol, during the progress of Mr. Pitt, and Lord Grenville's "restrictive bills." Soon after this, (17fJC) appeared an " Essay on the Public Merits of Mr. Pitt," by Thomas Bedboes, M.D. printed for Joseph Johnson, St. Paul's Church-yard. It is dedicated as
*• To the House of Commons,
Whose Acts for the last Twenty Years,
Who feels for
Asia, Africa, America,
Without the profoundest emotions."
As an introductory motto to Chap. i. we find the following couplet:
"Penned be each pig witbin hi? proper stye J Nor into state concerns let Doctors pry."
In the course of this pamphlet, the author gives a sketch of the administration of Lord North, and Mr. Put. The attachment of the nation, to the latter of
* An a.-connt of the lie and semifine labours of Mr. Davy, will be fuund in the •< Public CtuHCtcis for f.809."