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have been able to detect scarcely any instances, in which there appears to be a deviation from the meaning of the author. It will form certainly a most valuable addition to our medical literature, and will, we trust, be extensively circulated. It has even higher claims upon the attention, than the former works of Bichat, which have been published in this country; it will richly repay the physician for a careful and diligent study of it, and is not unworthy the perusal of even the general reader.

The author was one of those extraordinary men, the history of whose life, character, and opinions ought not to be confined to the narrow circle of his own profession. They are truly the property of the whole literary world; they are worthy of the attention of all who are interested in the advancement of science, or take pleasure in contemplating the success and achievements of the human intellect; and yet with all his claim to notice, he affords one more striking example of the uncertainty and limited extent of medical reputation. No man, perhaps, ever entered the profession under more happy auspices, or ran a more brilliant career. No man, probably, ever possessed greater advantages for prosecuting his studies, or improved them more completely to the extent of his ability. We believe that no man, in the same space of time, ever accomplished so much in the same kind of pursuits. Few, in any department of scientific labor, have exhibited a more rare combination of elevated intellectual qualities accompanied with such unfaltering industry and perseverance. And yet after all, how little has been known of him out of his own country, even among those to whose profession he was an honor. How little has been known of him any where, out of that profession; although had the same originality of genius, the same strength of intellect, the same acute spirit of observation, the same persevering and zealous industry been devoted to almost any other department of study, we know of no name among the philosophers of the present day, which would have filled a larger sphere in the world of science, or stood higher upon the catalogue of fame.

The qualities and faculties, which are necessary to an accomplished medical character, are not intrinsically less rare and valuable, although perhaps less imposing and splendid, than those requisite for distinction of any other kind. Indeed, we suspect that a man of a superficial mind would find it harder it to acquire a reputation in the profession of medicine,

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find expressions in one language, which shall be exactly equivalent to those in another; there is often also a peculiarity of thought and sentiment so intimately associated with a peculiarity of phraseology, that the one cannot be varied without weakening the force of the other, and it is better that something of a foreign idiom should be observable, than that the sentiments of the author should be expressed less exactly and clearly. It is to be considered that in a translation we have not only to render the language of the author, but we have also to render his thoughts. The difference which exists between one man's writing and another's, does not depend more upon the language which he uses, than it does upon the mode of presenting his thoughts, the associations in which he brings them forward, and the relations and connexions which he exhibits between them. In all writing, these things are almost inseparably connected, and taken together constitute the style of composition, which consists not merely in language, but also in the relation and connexion of language with thought. Now the translator has to consider and allow for all this. For he may, in modifying the form of expression of his author, modify also his form of thought; he may, in substituting an English idiom for a French, substitute also a different meaning; and, in giving his own coloring to the language, give in some measure his own coloring to the opinions. This remark we think particularly applicable to Bichat, the style of whose compositions, though in the original exceedingly clear, is yet marked by very strong peculiarities, the entire removal of which, however it might improve the English style of the translation, would not compensate for the less perfect conveyance of his ideas. We believe that those, at least, who have been accustomed to read his works in the original, will allow that some of his thoughts can be in no way so clearly expressed, as by a bald and idiomatic translation of them; in no other way can they be made to retain so much of that peculiar emphasis, that relish, if we may so speak, which they have in the original.

The present translation, however, requires no apology on this score, since it is far more free from the fault to which we have alluded, than translations of medical works have usually been. It is every way worthy of confidence, as a faithful picture of the original. We have carefully examined the greater part of this volume in comparison with the French, and

have been able to detect scarcely any instances, in which there appears to be a deviation from the meaning of the author. It will form certainly a most valuable addition to our medical literature, and will, we trust, be extensively circulated. It has even higher claims upon the attention, than the former works. of Bichat, which have been published in this country; it will richly repay the physician for a careful and diligent study of it, and is not unworthy the perusal of even the general reader.

The author was one of those extraordinary men, the history of whose life, character, and opinions ought not to be confined to the narrow circle of his own profession. They are truly the property of the whole literary world; they are worthy of the attention of all who are interested in the advancement of science, or take pleasure in contemplating the success and achievements of the human intellect; and yet with all his claim to notice, he affords one more striking example of the uncertainty and limited extent of medical reputation. No man, perhaps, ever entered the profession under more happy auspices, or ran a more brilliant career. No man, probably, ever possessed greater advantages for prosecuting his studies, or improved them more completely to the extent of his ability. We believe that no man, in the same space of time, ever accomplished so much in the same kind of pursuits. Few, in any department of scientific labor, have exhibited a more rare combination of elevated intellectual qualities accompanied with such unfaltering industry and perseverance. And yet after all, how little has been known of him out of his own country, even among those to whose profession he was an honor. How little has been known of him any where, out of that profession; although had the same originality of genius, the same strength of intellect, the same acute spirit of observation, the same persevering and zealous industry been devoted to almost any other department of study, we know of no name among the philosophers of the present day, which would have. filled a larger sphere in the world of science, or stood higher upon the catalogue of fame.

The qualities and faculties, which are necessary to an accomplished medical character, are not intrinsically less rare and valuable, although perhaps less imposing and splendid, than those requisite for distinction of any other kind. Indeed, we suspect that a man of a superficial mind would find it harder it to acquire a reputation in the profession of medicine,

than in any other. That is, a well founded reputation; for in no occupation is it so easy to acquire a sort of notoriety and currency which passes for medical fame. The misfortune is, that the number of those, who are competent judges of the claims of an individual to a character for science in medicine, is very small, and is indeed almost confined to a few of the profession themselves. The habits and occupations of a great proportion of them, abstract their minds entirely from their proper studies, and incapacitate them from judging with intelligence and discrimination. Hence the works of the most solid and substantial merit have not always acquired the confidence of the profession at large, the most rapidly, or even the most extensively. The works of Fordyce are to many tedious and forbidding; and there are many who, but for the name of Hunter, would be deterred at the onset from toiling through his works.

Another circumstance detrimental to the extent and permanency of medical reputation, is the uncertainty of the science, the vacillating state of theory and opinion, the great number of systems which have been successively adopted by the profession, have become popular, perhaps almost universal, and have at length been discarded. An individual who has distinguished himself in one generation may be forgotten or become an object of ridicule in another, because he advocated theories which are exploded, or opinions which have become obsolete. Into by far the greater part of medical works, speculation and hypothesis are permitted so largely to enter and become incorporated so completely with the real matter of fact which they contain, that they become unintelligible when the theoretical opinions are no longer current, and of course the language in which they are conveyed has become in some measure obsolete. It is owing to this circumstance that the efforts of many most valuable minds have been entirely lost to the profession. Physiologists and physicians, of different ages, have not differed so much in the views which they have taken of the laws of the system, and the practice in diseases, as they have in the language they have employed to express those views, and the hypotheses on which they have attempted to explain the nature of disease and the operation of remedies.

Another consideration which renders medical reputation less desirable, is the small account which is made of it by

the world at large. A man may be in the first rank, as a writer or a practitioner, and yet his very name be scarcely known out of the immediate sphere where he moves, except to his brethren of the faculty. The same real merit which in any other pursuit would insure him eminence and celebrity, will often in this leave him in comparative insignificance. This is discouraging to an ambitious mind. Men will not labor without reward, and in a profession where reputation is so hard, and wealth, comparatively, so easy to obtain, and where they do by no means regularly accompany each other, it is not strange that so many should prefer the easier reward, and seek only that sort of reputation which brings with it occupation and riches, instead of that which is only to be acquired by a deep and scientific study and which after all is limited in its extent and uncertain in its duration.

Scarcely any objects of study possess intrinsically materials for so deeply fixing the interest and attention as those to which medicine relates, and yet it is truly remarkable how profoundly ignorant, by far the greater part of even intelligent and well informed men are of the structure and laws of their frame, and the principles on which diseases depend. It is to this ignorance, in part at least, may be attributed the cloud of prejudice through which almost every thing connected with the profession of medicine is viewed, and which is found so embarrassing to the fair and honorable practitioner in the conscientious discharge of his duties. The lives of many physicians constitute only one long scene of deception; a deception often rendered absolutely necessary by the impossibility of satisfying in any other way the minds of parties concerned; or of explaining according to their comprehension and knowledge the circumstances which exist, or which render any particular course of conduct necessary. This evil might, and ought to be gradually removed by disseminating more liberal and rational views of the general principles of the profession, creating an interest in the character of its members, and thus preventing it from continuing the easy refuge of knaves and impostors, who too often share its honors and its emoluments, while they dishonor and disgrace it.

There is, we think, no medical author, so well calculated as Bichat, by the character of his writings, to excite the interest

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