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soul into curiosity and expectation, and you are just gaping to hear the solution of some fine problem, all that you are to expect is, “ That we are not yet in a capacity for determining this matter.' At this declaration, methinks I see you bite your nails, and curse the shallowness of human genius. But soft and fair, say I ; perhaps it is as well that we don't know more, as that we don't know less.--Vide Essay on Man.
I INTENDED to have written some litile essays this winter, some of the subjects, I think, I hinted to you; but since that time I have plunged so effectually into practice, that I verily believe the theory of physic may sink or swim for me, as, although no man loves it more, yet I find the practice is the more profitable part.
Í SHALL be glad to war that the Newto. nian Society flourishes; and beg you will make my compliments to all the members of it that I have the honour to be acquainted with. If I get to Edinburgh before it rises, I shall do myself the pleasure of waiting upon them; and if I can think of any subject new, or that may be worthy of their atten
tion, I hope they will indulge me in delivering it, as I had no time last winter to think of philosophical matters.
I am not at all surprised at your account of Mr Bullers behaviour, as tyrants are commonly cringers; and as to his choice of a subject, you know it must be out of the usual road, otherwise below his notice. But I really believe Arteriotomy will have the same fate with the brush described by Herster for cleaning the stomach. Its use may be demonstrated, but few will ever dare to put it in practice : and, indeed, should it be attempted by one of a thousand who practise physic, more mischief would ensue from its use than is ever likely to happen from its neglect.
I would advise
you by all means to attend Monro; as anatomy is a subject you can never know too much of, if you practise physic; and if you don't attend the public lecture, I would at least have you endeavour to be with Jack at night, during the time the subject is in hands. I take young MonRo to be quite an expert anatomist. Cullen is clever, and does not want for genius, but
has his head full of theory and vague hypothesis. WHYTE will afford you the greatest satisfaction imaginable, being both ingenious and solid. RUTHERFORD is slow, but absolutely sure.
If you are not a member of the Medical Society, I would advise you to enter immediately ; as one never fails to pick up something in these clubs, let them be ever so stupid. As I cannot entertain you with any new piece of theory, I hope you won't be disobliged if I should just mention a history or two, to shew you a little of my success in practice.
I beg of you to write me soon; and give your letter to my w who will take care to send it in a frank. Yours, &c.
The person alluded to in the foregoing letter, under the naine of Jack, was Mr John Innes, long dissector to the Professor of Anatomy in the University of Edinburgh. This gentleman used ti; give every evening a private repetition of ti anatomical demon
strations, to the students who attended the public class, and who were disposed to avail themselves of this excellent means for impressing a knowledge of the structure of the human body on their memories. This useful institution still continues under Mr Fyfe, the successor of Mr Innes in the office of dissector. The fee given to the professor, for attending the public lectures, is three guineas for each course; that to the dissector, for the private demonstrations, is one guinea. The professor at that period was the present Dr ALEXANDER MONRO, senior, whose eldest son, Dr ALEXANDER Monro, junior, has now þeen for a good many years his assistant and successor ; and who has added a course of lectures upon
the morbid anatomy of the human body to the former customary academical course of medical education. It may be here remarked, that the chair of Anatomy in the University of Edinburgh has now been occupied for near a century by Dr ALEXANDER Monro, senior, and his father of the same name, who was appointed professor în 1719.
In the original of the foregoing letter from Dr BUCHAN, he communicated to his
friend Mr SMELLIE two cases of wonderful cures which he had performed in his private practice; but which it has not been thought necessary to insert.
Dr WILLIAM BUCHAN to Mr WILLIAM
Ackworth, 10th July 1762. DEAR SMELLIE,
A PRODIGIOUS hurry of business has both prevented your hearing from me, and also retarded my journey to Edinburgh for some
I hope you wont take it amiss if, after so long silence, I should say nothing farther than that, God willing, I flatter myself with once more having the pleasure of seeing you, and all my Edinburgb friends, soon. I shall set off in a few days; and expect to reach Auld Reikie about the 16th instant. I desire
you will hold yourself in readiness for a journey, as I don't fear soon convincing you