+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

for this, given to Mrs. Montagu, was a
generous one: "I cannot help pitying these poor
ignorant people, brought up from their infancy
to this wretched trade, and taught by the
example of their superiors to think there can be
no great harm in it, when they every day see
the families of both hereditary and delegated
legislators loading their coaches with contraband
goods. Surely in people whom Heaven
has blessed with honours and fortune and
lucrative employments of government, the fault
is much greater than that of the poor creatures
whom they thus encourage?" She was a kindly
old woman, whose gentle courteous manner
won the hearts of servants in the houses that
she visited. One lady ascribed some of the
excellence of her own servants to Mrs. Carter's
influence upon them; for she was often mindful
of the hearts and heads and open ears of
servants behind the chairs at dinner, in a way
that made her direct conversation into a form
that would ensure their carrying away some
wholesome thoughts from their attendance.

Now this, faithful in small things, was a
good womanly life, although the life of a lady
given to Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and much
other erudition, a lady high in honour at the
original blue-stocking assemblies, and one who
could be truly described as a snuffy old maid.
That description of her would be true, but not
exhaustive. She had a woman's religiousness
devoid of theologic spite; a woman's social
vivacity of speech, with a disrelish of uncharitable
comment and flippant bitterness which
went far to suppress that form of conversation
in her presence. She cheered her family and
eased her father's labour and cost in the rearing
of his younger children. She blended the
writing of an essay upon Epictetus with the
making of a set of shirts. Without
distinguished genius, by industry with love of
knowledge and a calm adherence to her sense of
right, she passed into an old age honoured
with affectionate respect from people of all
ranks of life and all degrees of intellect.
Looking back at her out of our century into
hers, we may find that many of her ways and
notions were old fashioned; but in the good
fashion that never grows old, she was a woman
unspoilt by her learning; and the less likely
to be spoilt because it was true learning, the
result of steady work.




THOUGH carefully educated in medicine
and surgery, I have never practised either.
The study of each continues, nevertheless,
to interest me profoundly. Neither
idleness nor caprice caused my secession from
the honourable profession which I had just
entered. The cause was a very trifling
scratch inflicted by a dissecting-knife. This
trifle cost me the loss of two fingers,
amputated promptly, and the more painful loss
of my health, for I have never been quite
well since, and have seldom been twelve
months together in the same place.

In my wanderings I became acquainted
with Dr. Martin Hesselius, a wanderer like
myself, like me a physician, and like me an
enthusiast in his profession. Unlike me
in this, that his wanderings were voluntary,
and he a man, if not of fortune, as we
estimate fortune in England, at least in what
our forefathers used to term "easy

In Dr. Martin Hesselius I found my
master. His knowledge was immense, his
grasp of a case was an intuition. He was
the very man to inspire a young enthusiast,
like me, with awe and delight. My
admiration has stood the test of time and
survived the separation of death. I am sure
it was well-founded.

For nearly twenty years I acted as his
medical secretary. His immense collection
of papers he has left in my care, to be
arranged, indexed, and bound. His treatment
of some of these cases is curious. He
writes in two distinct characters. He
describes what he saw and heard as an
intelligent layman might, and when in this
style of narrative he has seen the patient
either through his own hall-door, to the
light of day, or through the gates of
darkness to the caverns of the dead, he returns
upon the narrative, and in the terms of his
art, and with all the force and originality of
genius, proceeds to the work of analysis,
diagnosis, and illustration.

Here and there a case strikes me as of a
kind to amuse or horrify a lay reader
with an interest quite different from the
peculiar one which it may possess for an
expert. With slight modifications, chiefly
of language, and of course a change of
names, I copy the following. The
narrator is Dr. Martin Hesselius. I find it
among the voluminous notes of cases which
he made during a tour in England about
fifty-four years ago.

It is related in a series of letters to his
friend Professor Van Loo of Leyden. The
professor was not a physician, but a
chemist, and a man who read history and
metaphysics and medicine, and had, in his
day, written a play.

The narrative is therefore, if somewhat
less valuable as a medical record,
necessarily written in a manner more likely to
interest an unlearned reader.

These letters, from a memorandum