Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

CHAP. X.

BEING APPENDIX FIRST TO THE HISTORY OF UNIVER

SITY LITERATURE-MR. RAY, AND DR. HARVEY.

This chapter is an after-thought: but an observation or two is due to botany; so a short appendix is added: for certainly, botany ought to be considered as in the cycle of Cambridge literature.

This we must conclude, on recollecting, that Mr. Ray, elected fellow of Trinity College in 1649, set out from Cambridge, on his pedestrian tour through England, to search for plants; that he was the first who made a hortus siccus, and a regular catalogue of the plants about Cambridge: nor is this all. A settled professorship was afterwards formed there for botany; two or three eminent persons formerly gave lectures * there in that science, and a good botanical garden favourable to the study of it has been provided. It is therefore probable, that botany was attended to more at Cambridge formerly, than it is

a

a

now.

It should seem, indeed, as if there had been a peculiar predilection for Mr. Ray, and his favourite pursuit, at

• Particularly Dr. William Heberden, the physician; and Mr. Martyn, professor of botany, anthor of a curious edition of Virgil's Eclogues, in reference to botany.

Cambridge. Raya was a non-conformist, but the college strongly solicited him, though in vain, to retain his fellowship. It seems, indeed, as if, with respect to him, they reversed matters; the usual practice being, that of those who were removed for non-conformity, by the Bartholomew act, the very portraits were removed from the college; whereas there is a full-length portrait of Ray in the hall of Trinity college, and a highly-finished bust of him in the library.

And I am myself desirous of extending this appendix to another small article: this, perhaps, will require apology. For I confess, the discovery, to which it refers, was not the result of any particular studies, nor were the experiments, from which it was deduced, performed at Cambridge. I allude to the discovery of the circulation of the blood, ascribed to the great physician and anatom mist, Dr. Harvey.

But, then, this important theory threw new light on the nature of diseases, and particularly on comparative anatomy, in which are now delivered distinct appropriate lectures at Cambridge; and as Dr. Harvey, who confirm ed and proved the theory, was a member of the University, and a fellow of Caius College, in winding up this little summary of Cambridge literature, I was impelled to introduce his name, perhaps, indeed, unseasonably, but I could not so well have brought my two or three observations within the compass of college history. I shall not attempt to state the subject, either by maintaining how far the honour of the discovery is to be ascribed to Dr. Harvey, or in what proportion or parts it is an improvement on former opinions; nor yet how the theory was proved by Dr. Harvey’s correcter observations and minuter experiments on the animal oeconomy. Some foreigners have not been willing to give all the honour of a discovery to Dr. Harvey; other foreigners have strenuously supported his claimo. It is presumed

a Ray's works are very numerous. In his preface to the Wisdom of God in the. Creation of the World, he says, “ because he could not serve. God in the church, he thought himself more bound to do it by his writings.” His famous work, Historia Plantarum, in 2 vols. fol, was printed, in London, 1686.

a Dr. Wotton has treated of this subject, in his Reflections of ancient and modern learning, chap. XIII. and, in producing a few passages from Hippocrates, allows, that he had a general notion of it, aş an hypothesis, but no distinct idea of it; that he never made it intelligible, nor proved it by experiments. He also produces a few quotations from more modern physicians (anterior to Dr. Harvey) by which he aims to shew how far their knowledge on this curious subject went, particularly from poor Servetus, in his book, entitled, Christianismi Restitutio, published in 1553, the very book for which he was burnt at Geneva, and of which there is said to be now only one copy known to exist.

Dr. Wotton, however, is not sufficiently copious in bis quotations from Hippocrates, and he passes by many remarkable passages from other ancient writers : as to his saying, that Andreas Cesalpanus (in his Peripatetical questions, Venice 1571), is the first that used the word, circulation, in that sense, he is clearly mistaken, for it is used by the Great Peripatetic, Aristotle, in exactly that sense, (apatos Tseprodos, the circulation of the blood, Aristot. de Insomniis, as quoted by Dutens.) Wotton is for ascribing the full and clear insight into this subject, the practical knowledge of its uses, and the actual proof of its reality as founded on experiments, to Dr. Harvey.

Dutens is more copious in his Extracts, as well from ancient, as more modern authors : he aims to reduce the honour of Dr. Harvey very low, and has given a short list of foreign physicians, who in their writings have maintained, that the circulation of the blood was known to Hippocrates, and the ancients; and he says, on the authority of Joannes Leonicenus, that Father Paul communicated the secret to Fabricius ab Aquapendente, medical professor at Padua in the 16th century, and successor to Fullopius. He adds, that Fullopius discovered

[ocr errors]

too by the annual Harveian Oration, delivered at the College of Physicians in London, that our English physicians side with the latter; and Alma Mater is proud to admit him among her more illustrious sons. There is an original portrait of Dr. Harvey in the hall of Caius College ; and an admirable portrait in Jesus College Combination-room, said to be one of Dr. Harvey a.

[ocr errors]

a

a

it to Harvey, being then a medical student in that University. Mons. Duten's Inquiry into the Origin of the Discoveries attributed to the moderns, cb. III.

Other foreign writers give the crown of correct experiment, clear knowledge, and full demonstration to our great anatomist. He published a discourse on the subject at Frankfort, in 1628 ; and in 1661 it was re-published at Rotterdam, entitled de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis, being the Anatomical Exercitations on which his theory is founded. It is accompanied with a preface, by an eminent Dutch physician, Dr. Andreas Sylvius, in the highest degree panegyrical, together with a treatise by another, Dr. Jacobus de Back, in the same strain, dedicated to Dr. Harvey; and in his Alloquium to the reader, Dr. Back speaks of Harvey, as Circulationis Sanguinis Authore.

Harvey's Exercitationes de Generatione Animalium, were first pubļished during his life-time, by Dr. George Ent, his contemporary at Cambridge: and it is clear from Harvey's admirable preface, that he pursued the great principles of Bacon and Newton, as the foundation of science : yet was he not backward to acknowledge his obligations to those who preceded him. “ Id ne fieret,” says he, “ aliorum, qui in 'hoc negotio mihi facem prætulerunt, insisto vestigiis ; eorumq. (quoad licuit) utor verbis, prae cæteris autem Aristotelem ex antiquis ; ex recentioribus vero Fabricium ab Aquapendente sequor ; illum tanquam ducem ; hunc ut Præmonstratorem.” This curious book, illustrative occasionally of his great doctrine, the Circulation of the Blood, was republished at Amsterdam, in 165).

[ocr errors]

• The College of Physicians in London,-so high a value did they put on Dr. Harvey's Works--published an Edition of them in 1767: and they possess a fine original portrait of him, by Theodore Jansen ; to which,

l that in the Combination-room of Jesus College bears a striking resemblance. VOL. I.

P

CHAP. XI.

REFLECTIONS ARISING FROM THE PRECEDING CHAP

TER, BEING APPENDIX II.-PRESENT STATE OF THE PROFESSORSHIPS.

IN attempting to state within limits, which are necessarily so circumscribed, the rise and progress of literature and philosophy, in this ancient and learned institution, I have engaged, I perceive, in an arduous undertaking; and have endeavoured, therefore, to supply a lack of ability by additional industry; to make up for brevity of time, and narrowness of limits, by calmness of attention, and comprehensiveness of plan. It should be recollected, that I am not a professor, but an historian, and that only on a small scale: correctness, not depth is required : readers must look for a summary, not a detail. To speak ingenuously, I fell on the subject almost insensibly, at first, and advanced gradually without system, sensim sine sensu; till, at length, I found myself within an enchanted circle, out of which there was no escaping.

Had I not made one general appeal to the reader's indulgence, I should have found occasion for a particular one here: but a candour that is not puerile, acts with seriousness; and a judgment, which is not intemperate, will

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »