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phrenology to medical men, induced him to write, at the penalty of considerable fatigue, an “Address to the students of Anderson's University, Glasgow, at the opening of Dr. Weir's first course of lectures on Phrenology."* It was delivered to a crowded audience by his
. brother, (Mr. George Combe,) and subsequently appeared as a pamphlet. He also contributed several articles to the British and Foeign Medical Review, and was an occasional writer on medical and sanitary subjects in the columns of the Scotsman, a paper conducted with great ability and exerting no little political influence in North Britain.
From the biographical sketch of Dr. Combe, which appeared in the Scotsman of Aug. 21, we extract the following characteristic traits of the deceased, in the accuracy of which we have full reliance, For ourselves we cannot boast of the advantage of much personal intercourse with Dr. Combe; but, even from the slight acquaintance with him which his few days' visit to Philadelphia, in the early part of the last summer, allowed us to make, we are prepared to adopt the opinions of his friend in the paper just referred to.
• The decease of Dr. Combe, will have taken no one who knew him by surprise, for he was for many years in that condition, with the loss entirely of one lung, which makes life a greater miracle than death; but it will not on this account be the less deplored, either as causing a blank in the circle of private friendship, or as the signification of a public loss. Dr. Combe belonged to that rare class of physicians who present professional knowledge in connection with the powers of a philosophical intellect, and yet, in practical matters, appear constantly under the guidance of a rich natural sagacity. All of his works are marked by a peculiar earnestness, lucidity and simplicity, characteristic of their author; they present hygienic principles with a clearness for which we have no parallel in medical literature. To this must be ascribed much of the extraordinary success they have met with, and on this quality undoubtedly rests no small share of their universally acknowledged utility. Those, however, who look below the surface will not fail to trace a deep philosophical spirit, as pervading these works, something arising from a perfect apprehension of, and a perfect allegiance to the natural rule of God in our being. It has been a guidance, one would almost say an inspiration, of the author, without ever carrying him for a moment where ordinary readers could not follow him. Here we think is the true though latent strength of Dr. Combe's popular writings, and that which will probably give them a long, enduring preeminence in their particular department. We always feel, in reading them, that we are listening to one of those whom nature has appointed to ex
*Printed in the London Lancet, and in the Bulletin of Medical Sciences, edited by Dr. Bell.
pound and declare her mysteries for the edification of her multitudinous family. In his own section of her priesthood, certainly few have stood in his grade, ft wer still become his superiors,
“ The personal character and private life of Dr. Combe formed a beautiful and harmonious commentary upon his writings. In the bosom of his family and the limited social circle to which his weakly health confined him, he was the same benignant and gentle being whom the world finds addressing it in these compositions. The same clear sagacious intelligence, the same entire right-mindedness, shone in his conversation. An answer to any query put to him, whether respecting professional or miscellaneous matters, was precisely like a passage of one of his books, earnest, direct and conclusive. Whatever measure he called upon others to do or to avoid, that he did, and that he avoided, in his own course of life; for doctrine, with hiin, was not to be treated as external to himself, but as the expression of a system of divine appointment, of which he was a pari. To his rigid though unostentatious adherence to the natural laws which he explained, it was owing, that he sustained himself for many years in a certain measure of health and exemption from suffering, while labouring under the consumptive tendency which finally has cut short his career. On this point, there is the more reason to speak emphatically, when we reflect that the years thus redeemed from the grave were employed in that which will yet save many from premature death, as if it had been his aim to show the value of even the smallest remains of life and strength, and thus advance one of the principles dearest to humanity. It was not, however, in any of these respects that the character of Dr. Combe made its best impression, but in his perfect geniality and simplicity, and the untiring energy of his practical benevolence. Here resided the true charm of his nature, and that which made him the beloved of all who knew him. No irritability attended his infirm health ; no jealousy did he feel regarding those whom superior strength enabled to outstrip him in the professional race. Kindly and cordial to all, he did not seem to feel as if he could have an enemy, and therefore we believe he never had one. It might almost be said that he was too genıle and unobtrusive-and so his friends, perhaps, would have thought him, had it not, on the other hand, appeared as the most befitting character of one who, they all knew, was not to be long spared to them, and on whom the hues of a brighter and more angelic being seemed already to be shed."
In a letter from a near relative of Dr. Combe, announcing the death of the latter, addressed to Dr. Bell, it is stated that Dr. C., after going to bed on the evening of the 2d of August, in his usual state of health, was seized with diarrhæa, under which, after ineffec. tual attempts to check it, he sank on the 9th of the same month. He had very little suffering, and his mind continued calm and cheerful to the last, Frequently, he expressed his thankfulness that he was VOL. X.
permitted to depart so easily. The immediate cause of his death was ascertained, in post mortem examination, to be a “chronic disease of the bowels, terminating in ulceration.” “ The left lung was wasted away and completely useless; the right nearly, or altogether entire." For years past Dr. Combe knew that his left lung was gone; his chest on that side had sunk in. We shall probably yet receive a more detailed account of the structural changes from Dr. John Scott, who was his professional attendant and friend.
Died, on the 30th of August in the city of Ne: York, Janes A. WASHINGTON, M. D., in the 46th year of his age. Dr. W. studied medicine in this city, and was sometime one of the resident physicians of the Pennsylvania Hospital. The following account of the post mortem examination of the body, we extract from the Annalist of the 15th ultimo. It will be read with a melancholy interest by his many friends in Philadelphia.
To the EDITOR of the Annalist.
I send you an account of the post-mortem appearances of our much-lamented medical brother, Dr. Washington, who has been so suddenly removed from among us, believing it will be interesting to your medical readers. At the request of Dr. Parker, I made the autopsy eighteen hours after death. Present, with Dr. Parker, Drs. Delatield and Borrowe.
External Appearances.—'The body is not emaciated, but slightly jaundiced, and decomposition is commencing about the neck; on the abdomen are marks of leech-biles, and a blister.
Chest.-Heart, normal. Left lung:-upper lobe united by very old adhesions; the lung otherwise normal. Right lung:-in the summit of the upper lobe was found a small obsolete tubercle, about the size of a buck shot, while the posterior part of the lower lobe was congested.
Abdomen.. The subcutaneous cellular tissue loaded with fat about one inch in thickness. The muscular tissue was red and firm ; on dividing the peritoneum, the omentum was found matted together, and lying over to the right iliac region, and adherent to the caput coli, where it formed part of the walls of a fæcal abscess, which was situated in the right iliac and lumbar regions; the remaining portion of the walls of this abscess was formed partly by the caput coli, folds of the ileum, and the peritoneal lining of the wall of the abdomen; it was lined by a recenily formed grayish false membrane ; the carity was about the size of a hen's egg, containing a small quantity of lightbrownish coloured feculent matter; at the lower part of the abscess, the appendix cæci vermiformis was found in a gangrenous condition, and on its careful removal, it was found obstructed by a small body about the size and shape of a bean, lodged about half an inch from its connection to the cæcum. Beyond this, the vermiform process was gangrenous; there was a small perforation at its extremity, from which the feculent matter had escaped. The mucous coat of the caput coli was red, thickened, and covered with small granules of lymph ; the remaining portion of the colon was healthy. Several folds of the ileum and jejunum were adherent by recently formed lymph, but there was very little effusion into the abdominal cavity.
Stomach and spleen, normal.
Liver about its natural size, of a yellowish granular structure; the gall bladder was filled by dark, greenish, inspissated bile; gall ducts clear.
Kidnies.—The left enlarged, and in the early stage of granular disease ; right, healthy.
G. A. SABINE, M. D.
The following appointments of Professors have recently been made :
University of Pennsylvania.- James B. Rogers, M. D., Professor of Chemistry, vice Professor Hare, resigned.
Ohio Medical College.-Professor L. M. Lawson, of the University Transylvania, Professor of Materia Medica, vice Prof. Harrison, transferred to the Chair of Theory and Practice of Medicine.
Hampden Sidney College.-Charles Bell Gibson, M.D., Professor of Surgery, vice Professor Warner, deceased.
University of New York.-Professor S. H. Dickson, of the Medical College of South Carolina, Professor of Theory and Practice, vice Professor Revere, deceased.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of the city of New York.Professor Alonzo Clark, of Pittsfield, Lecturer on Physiology and Pathology.
Medical College of South Carolina.-Dr. Bellinger, Professor of Surgery, in the place of Professor Geddings, transferred to the Chair of Practice, vice Dr. Dickson, resigned.
Philadelphia College of Medicine.—Henry Gibbons, M. D., Professor of Institutes and Practice of Medicine, vice Prof. Thomas D. Mitchell, resigned. D. P. Gardiner, M. D., Prof. of Chemistry, vice Professor Allen, resigned. Louis H. Beatty, M. D., Professor of Obstetrics.
Hampden Sidney College and University of Virginia.- Professor Cabell, whose appointment to the Chair of Surgery in Hampden Sidney College was recently announced, declines the appointment, and retains his connexion with the University of Virginia.
ANNUAL ANNOUNCEMENTS. We have received the following Annual Announcements and Catalogues of Medical Colleges: Annual Announcement of the Medical Department of Illinois College
Jacksonville, Ill. Session of 1847–8. This College has five professors. The lectures commence on the first Monday in November and continue four months. Number of the last class, 39 ; of graduates, 13. Fifth Annual Announcement for 1847-48, and Catalogue for 1846-47,
of the Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill. Rush Medical College has six Professors. The lectures commence on the first Monday of November, and continue sixteen weeks. Number of the class attending the last session, 70; of graduates, 16. Catalogue of the officers and students of the Medical Department of
Hampden Sidney College, in Richmond, Virginia. Session of 1846-47.
The Faculty consists of six Professors. 'The lectures commence
University of Buffalo.
The lectures commence on the last Wednesday in February, and continue sixteen weeks.
CORRECTIOX. The last number of the Examiner contained an elaborate article on the principal antidotes or counter poisons, without the proper credit. It was translated by a young friend for the Examiner, from the Annuaire de Thérapeutique of Bouchardat, for 1847.