JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLLEGE,
FORTY-FIFTH ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT.
nEr.lVERKI) IN TIIK
a/)ademy of music,
MARCH 13, isro.
J. AITKEN MEIGS, M.D., '
PROKESSOR OF THE INSTITUTES OF MEDICINE,
ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS TO THE PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL, ETC. ETC.
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNE STREET. |
JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLLEGE,
FORTY-FIFTH ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT.
DELIVERED IS THE
ACADEMY OF MUSIC,
MARCH Ifi, 1S70.
J. AITKEN MEIGS, M. D.,
PROFESSOR OF THE INSTITriES OF MEDIOINE,
ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS TO THE PENNSILVANIA HOSPITAL, ETC. ETC.
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNE STREET.
" The profession of the healing art, divine in its origin, grave
and grand in its scientific evolution, sacred and sublime in its
ultimate functions, stands as a necessary part of the order of
things, old as humanity, and inseparable from its existence upon
earth ; for when did not man suffer, and when did not his brother
try to relieve him ?
" As the creation of the human body is the first significant
fact of its history, its protection and preservation from the
agencies of change and destruction about it must certainly be
the second consideration of importance, scarcely less in its
grandeur, surely equally solemn in its end. The soul incar-
nated once, demands immortality as a right of its own being,
and would ask it, also, for the body. What art so grand, then,
as the art of preserving and prolonging life ; and what so God-
like in aspiration as the effort to restore man to the splendor of
his unfallen youth, and save him from the tortures of pain and
sufl"ering, of disease and death?'' — Dr. R. M. S. Jackson.
Jefferson Medical College, March 9th, 1870.
At a meeting held by the Graduating Class of the Jefferson Medical College, it was
Resolved, That a committee be appointed by the President of the meeting to wait upon
Professor Meigs, to tender to him the compliments of the class, and request a copy of his
Valedictory Address for publication.
T. DAVIS DAVIS, President.
L. L. Leggett, Secretary.
Professor Meigs —
Dear Sir : It is with pleasure that we, the undersigned committee appointed to wait
upon you, respectfully solicit, in the name of the Graduating Class, a copy of your Vale-
dictory for publication.
Samuel Johnston, Maryland.
Joseph Y. Porter, Florida.
T. M. Attaway, Te.\as.
F. E. Beckwith, Connecticut.
Geo. a. Hill, Alabama.
C. S PoLEY, Pennsylvania.
C. E Black, New Brunswick.
John W. Vinson, Georgia.
J. A. CuooK, Tennes,«ee.
Z. T. Dellenbacgh, Ohio.
Geo. a. White, California.
James Powell, Kentucky.
W. II. Parish, Mis.ais.'ipjji.
J. R. Mitchell. Virciinia,
Hamilton Osgood, Massachusetts.
Pedro F. Oxamendi, Cuba.
Miguel Trevino, Mexico.
E. W. W. Marsh, Delaware.
J. E Spencer, New Jersey.
J. M. Gates, Minnesota.
Posey Collinos, Indiana.
E. CuLLEN Brayton, New York.
J. B. Taxis, Illinois.
A. F. Belo, North Carolina.
W. 0. M. Irby, South Carolina.
E. W. Clark, Vermont.
Lemuel Watson, Missouri.
S. II. Parker, Arkansas.
J. M. Betts, Idaho.
Jefferson Medical College, March 10th, 1870.
Gentlemen : In compliance with your request, I place at your disposal the manu,«eript
of my Valedictory Address. It was written for your benefit, and to you, therefore, it
Accept for yourselves and the members of the Class my heartiest wishes for your future
prosperity and hai)piness. That you may all become not only useful members of society,
but shining examples, also, in the noble profession which you have chosen as the occu-
pation of your lives, is the earnest prayer of your friend and well-wisher,
JAS. AITKEN MEIGS.
To Messrs. Samuel Johnston, Joseph Y. Porter, and others.
Gentlemen — Graduates in Medicine :
Only a few years ago, having finished your collegiate or general
education, you emerged from the quietude of the school-house to
take your part in that bustling work of the world, which is ever
being done, yet is never completed. And as you gazed irresolutely
yet hopefully upon the busy throng around you, in which great
actions and mean, good deeds and bad, lofty aspirations and grovel-
ling desires so strangely blend, you began, for the first time, per-
haps, in your young lives, seriously to reflect upon that momentous
question which obtrudes itself upon most men at the outset of their
career, and will not be denied an answer: What shall I do that I
may obtain the wherewithal by which to live? Such the question
which gradually assumed a weighty aspect as you pondered ever the
more thoughtfully and anxiously upon it. But as you deliberated,
the inquiry took a philanthropic form; and so you queried: How
may I earn my daily bread, and in so doing accomplish the greatest
good for my fellow men ? Not in divinity, not in law, nor in com-
merce, nor 3'et in the various handicrafts to which men devote
their lives and energies, could you find the desired solution. Your
mental peculiarities led you to see in the Healing Art alone, a satis-
factory answer. So resolving that this ancient and honorable Art
should become to you a life-long task, you abandoned the comforts
and pleasures of home, and straightway repaired to this city, willing
and solicitous to bestow labor, and money, and time, and to undergo
much self-denial in the accomplishment of your resolution.
You presented yourselves to the Faculty of Jefferson Medi-
cal College — to my colleagues and to me — and entered with us
into a solemn compact. You stipulated to be constant in your
attendance upon medical lectures, and to consult your books dili-
gently by day and by night. You promised, also, to be busy
among the dead in the dissecting-room, among the bedridden sick
of our hospitals, and amidst the lame, the halt, the blind, and vari-
ously ailing, that crowd in their misery to our clinics and infirma-
ries. This covenant you have faithfully kept. Day after day the
early sun looked down upon you at your posts ; night after night
the sleepless stars still saw you wrestling with your tasks like Jacob,
in the olden time, with the Evangel of the Lord. You furthermore
agreed to subject yourselves finally to a rigid examination, that
your attainments in medicine and your qualifications to practise
the ars medendi might be thoroughly tested. Through this ordeal,
no light one, as you well know, you have satisfactorily passed, and.
in testimony thereof, the diploma of the college, stamped with the
broad seal of its corporate authority, has just been granted to you
by the Honorable Board of Trustees, through the hands of their
And now, full of hope and energy, but with powers as yet un-
tried ; like mettled chargers champing the bit, and fretting under
the tightened rein, you stand, on this commencement day, ready and
eager to hurry forth upon that toilsome, careworn, and sorrow-
stricken road which men call a medical life.
At the request of my colleagues I must now perform the last
official act which severs the pleasant tie that so long has bound us
together as teachers and pupils. I stand here not merely to con-
gratulate you in this gracious presence, upon the brilliant termi-
nation of your laborious novitiate, but to bid you an earnest, a
heart-felt "God-speed," and, in obedience to a time-honored custom,
to pour into your ears some words of advice, of warning and en-
couragement, ere you go forth upon your mission of love and hu-
manity, and in the dim, uncertain shadows of the future, are lost,
it may be, forever from our sight.
It is my purpose to speak to you of the manner in which you
should conduct yourselves in the new sphere of action to which
you have this day been promoted; to point out the duties which
you owe to yourselves, your patients, and your medical brethren ;
and to indicate some of the trials which await you as practitioners
With this hour terminate the tranquil and irresponsible days of
your student-life; with this hour commences an anxious, deeply
responsible, and life-long struggle with disease and death. Yester-
day you were busily engaged in studying the perils which surround
the birth of men, the dangers which eocorapass the lives of ail
young children, and the thousand maladies which dog the steps of
youth, of the adult and the aged man, as shadows follow the sun.
Armed with such knowledge, you go forth to-day the earthly
arbiters of life and death.
Your vocation is to take care of the sick, and restore them to
health ; or, failing this, to palliate their sufferings and prolong
"Glorious your aim — to ease the laboring heart,
To war with death, and stop his flying dart ;
To trace the source whence the fierce contest grew,
And life's short lease on easier terms renew ;
To calm the frenzy of the burning brain,
And heal the tortures of imploring pain ;
Or, when more powerful ills all efforts brave,
i To ease the victim no device can save,
And smooth the stormy passage to the grave."
From the Code of Ethics adopted by the American Medical
Association you will learn that it is your duty, also, to be ever
vigilant for the sanitary welfare of the community, ever ready to
counsel the public upon all matters concerning medical police,
public hygiene, and legal medicine. It is your " province to
enlighten the public in regard to quarantine regulations ; the
location, arrangement, and dietaries of hospitals, asylums, schools,
prisons, and similar institutions; in relation to the medical police
of towns, as drainage, ventilation, &;c. ; and in regard to measures
for the prevention of epidemic and contagious diseases: and when
pestilence prevails, it is your duty to face the danger, and to con-
tinue your labors for the alleviation of the suffering even at the
jeopardy of your own lives. You should also be always ready,
when called on by the legally constituted authorities, to enlighten
coroners' inquests and courts of justice on subjects strictly medi-
cal — such as involve questions relating to sanity, legitimacy, mur-
der by poisons or other violent means, and in regard to the various
other subjects embraced in the science of medical jurisprudence."
To follow a calling involving such duties something more than
an intimate acquaintance with anatomy, physiology, chemistry,
therapeutics, and the principles and practice of medicine, surgery,
and obstetrics is required. You must be filled with an exalted
sense of the onerous duty, the moral obligation, and the profound
responsibility which are inseparably connected with your mission ;
and 3'ou must come to the work, moreover, with an earnest, sincere,
and truthful desire to promote the interests of medicine— and
thereby the prosperity of men — as far as in you lies the power.
The most of you are destined, perhaps, to become active private
practitioners. Some of you may be called to preside over hos-
pitals, infirmaries, asylums for the insane, and the like. Others
among you may come to exercise your art in the Army and Navy
of your country. To all of you it may happen at any time to be
summoned to aid the ends of justice by the exhibition of your
knowledge. In all these situations, the comfort and the happiness
of many people, for good or ill, are in your hands. Weighty,
then, indeed, is the responsibility which, of your own free will,
you have this day assumed.
Strain your eyes for a moment along the road which lies open
before you, and let your mental vision pierce the veil which covers
the future. It is midnight. A strong child — an only child, it
seems — is struggling wildly, gasping for breath. The smothered
cry, the hoarse and brazen cough, grate harshly and ominously upon
your ear, for you well know that the inflammatory and rebellious
blood is weaving with nimble fingers the network of death in the
throat of that child. And as the frantic mother grasps your hand,
and begs you, by all that you hold dear, to stay the destroyer,
one glance I catch at your troubled looks, and somehow the scene
changes. The houses and streets of a great city are before me.
I see men hurrying to and fro, their faces white and ghastly. They
shrink from the touch of each other, for the plague-demon holds
dread revelry in that town. And the physician is there, pale,
liaggard, and worn, yet striving manfully to win at least one victim
from the jaws of the merciless death. And now the city fades, and
in its place, upon the sea, a ship appears, with sickness and despair
full freighted. Famine and fever and death have laid their hands
heavily upon the crew of that ship ; and, amidst the great distress,
the conscientious surgeon moves from berth to berth, his intellectual
and moral being disturbed and sorely tried, for imminent danger
without leagues with perplexity and doubt within to render him
the wretchedest of men.
Amidst some such circumstances and in the presence of some
such spectacles as these the responsibilities of your profession will
come upon you with a crushing weight. Into a few moments it
will seem to you that the dread, the anxiety, and the embarrass-
ment of years have been crowded. In such an hour you will learn
that your peace of mind and the comfort and well-being of your
patients are interwoven threads, and that the only way to maintain
the former is to be thoroughly skilled in all the modes of preserv-
ing the latter. I would have you, therefore, to cultivate to its utmost
this feeling of responsibility. I would have your sensibilities sharp-
ened as acutely as possible. Responsibility, rightly appreciated,
will cause you to come to the work, not with half-heart, and half-
knowledge, and zeal half aroused, but full of devotion, full of
determination to be equal, cost what it may, with the requirements
of your calling. Face boldly, then, that anxiety begotten of re-
sponsibility, and grapple with it resolutely. It is your friend in
disguise — a rough friend, it is true, but an honest one — and in the
great system of providential compensation, like all dangers to the
brave, like all obstacles to the determined, it will become your
helper. For this very anxiety is the prolific parent of activity and
devotion, and these exerted in behalf of your patients will build
you up strongly in the esteem and confidence of the community.
The flower ruthlessly beaten down by the storm is yet secretly
nourished by the rain-drops borne on the wings of that storm. So
your trials and anxieties will ofttimes bring their own recompense,
" like the flower,
May bless the cloud when it hath passed away."
In entering upon the active duties of your vocation, I wish you
particularly to remember that the only wares which you carry
into the market of the world to exchange for the goods of life, are
your time and professional knowledge. It behooves you, therefore,
more than all other men, to economize time, thai you may, by its wise use,
all the more effectually increase your knowledge. "A man that is young
in years," says Bacon, " may be old in hours, if he have lost no
time. But," he adds, significantly, "that happeneth rarely." If
you rightfully employ those fragments of time so recklessly
wasted by the giddy world at large, in the insane quest after
pleasure, so called, you will achieve for yourselves almost any
reasonable reputation that you may desire. This diligent and
well-directed employment of your time will enable you at forty
years of age to have accomplished more than most men who have
numbered their threescore years and ten. The golden period of a
man's life stretches from his twentieth to his fortieth year. Then
it is that bodily vigor and mental activity naturally combine to
lay the foundation, if these be judiciously used, of all that is great
in the subsequent career of the individual. The most of you have
just entered this important period so pregnant for good or evil.
The habits of business and study which you now form will de-
termine, in great measure, your future history and character.
Though not wholly, yet are your affairs largely, in your own hands.
Pause, then, and consider what you will make yourselves.
The medical knowledge wliich you now possess must he enhanced hy
constant reading, and hy diligent ohservation and refiection. As your
advancement must depend mainly upon the extent of your medical
attainments, you should seize every opportunity of studying, by
the bed-side, the diversified phenomena of disease, and the thera-
peutic effects of remedies* " The more you know of disease," says
Professor Simpson, of Edinburgh, "the more deeply and enthu-
siastically you study its phenomena, the greater will be the interest
which you will take in every ailment submitted to your charge, in
every symptom of it, and in every change in it — an interest cer-
tainly altogether independent of, and immeasurably above the in-
centive of pecuniary reward, but one that is still, in itself, the
surest ultimate road to that very result, because it is the surest
means to bind you to your patients, with all that zeal and all that
devotion that are so properly considered by the public as alone
worthy of such reward." Every case intrusted to your care will
demand of you especial study. Not content with what you know, j
you must ever be on the alert to gather in more knowledge, not so
much from books, but rather from the pains, the groans, the throb-
bing pulse, the hurried breath, the dry and burning or the cold
and clammy skin of your patients. These are the books to which
you should frequently turn for instruction. Learn early that your
library is in the hospital and the infirmary, on the highway and in
the dwellings of the sick. " The great book of nature, which is ^
alike open to all, and is incapable of deceiving," says the celebrated
Dr. Parry, "I have hourly read, and I trust not wholly in vain.
During the first twelve or fourteen years of my professional life, I
recorded almost every case which occurred to me, either in private
practice, or in the chief conduct of an extensive charity." I advise
you to do the same. Take full notes of your cases ; study them
by day, and dream over them by night, as the enthusiastic Linnaeus
is reported to have done over a certain shell. In this way only
can you make the book of experience thorough and useful for
frequent reference. But while you reap with one hand, you must
sow with the other. From this book you must read daily lessons
of health to the people. From this book you must read lessons of
encouragement and instruction to your fellows of the craft. Thus
a twofold activity is required of you — activity in the acquisition
of knowledge, activity in dispensing it, in employing it with free
and generous hand for the benefit of your fellow men. Largely
you have received, and as largely you must give. Grain in the
mill comes forth flour to feed the hungry thousands. So your
knowledge must go forth to the healing of many.
Let me exhort you to cultivate diUgently the habit of writing. It
will do much to define and render accurate your knowledge. As
enlightened and grateful physicians, your duty is not fully per-
formed if you do not assist in cultivating the literature of your
profession. This literature has been slowly, painfully, and labo-
riously built up in the ages — built up at the cost of the money,
the time, the sleep, and the brains of many worthies who now rest
from their labors, and of some living upon whose shoulders the
mantle of Elijah has fallen. What would you be without this
literature, this long record of valuable facts? Very helpless chil-
dren groping in the dark, groping blindly. Can you vaccinate a
child without thanking God that there once liyed a man called
Jenner ? — a man who, despite the opposition of his medical con-
temporaries, and the contumely of an ignorant people, worked out
and placed upon record a great discovery. Every man, woman,
and child saved by this discovery from a dangerous and loathsome-
disease, becomes a living, moving witness that Jenner filled up the
measure of his duty to overflowing. When you break up the
paroxysms of an intermittent fever with Peruvian bark, are you
not grateful to the Countess of Cinchon and the old Cardinal de
Lugo for having labored so zealously to disseminate a knowledge
of the valuable properties of this drug? Canyouligate an artery,
and so arrest hemorrhage, without feeling indebted to Celsus, and
Albucasis, and especially to Pare? Can you repair a deformed
face by a plastic operation without dropping a word of praise to
the memory of Tagliacotius ? If you cure an aneurism by tying
the artery which feeds it, does not John Hunter seem to be treating
the patient with your hands? When you explore the chest of
one whose lungs are emphysematous, or the seat of tubercle, or
who suffers from a pericarditis, are you not thankful for the strong
light which has been shed upon your path by a Louis and a Laen-
nec? When, by the aid of the laryngoscope, you diagnosticate
some disease of the larynx which has hitherto baffled all efforts at
its elucidation, does not the name of Czermack seem to be reflected
in brilliant characters from the mirror in your hand ? When you
suddenly, I had almost said magically, relieve one suffering from
a fierce paroxysm of neuralgia, by means of the hypodermic use of
morphia, is not your satisfaction at the relief of your patient
mingled with gratitude to Alexander Wood, to Kursack, and
Hunter? Can you procure for a fear-stricken patient the blessed
sleep of anaesthesia, preparatory to amputating a limb or perform-
ing any other capital operation in surgery, without extolling the
name of Morton ? On the other hand, when the names of Rau^
Ruysch, Roonhuysen, Boekelman, and Chamberlen are mentioned,
are you not filled with abhorrence at the illiberal spirit which
caused these men to keep back from their medical brethren the
valuable secrets and inventions which their genius placed in their
Publish, then, to the profession, any discovery or improvement in
medicine or surgery that you may he so fortunate as to make. To
withhold such knowledge is to become a miser in deed if not in
intent. Do not say that you cannot perform this duty because,
though burdened with time when young, you have no experience;
and that with advanced age and much business and experience
comes the destruction of time. If you would become really great
and meritorious physicians, you must abandon this notion now
and forever. If you are true to yourselves, you will never forget
that young men are the apostles of all new truths the world over.
Very justly wrote Bacon: "The invention of young men is more
lively than that of old, and imaginations stream into their minds
better, and, as it were, more divinely." The records of medicine
and of science in general — records of which the public, unfortu-
nately for you, is profoundly ignorant — teem with the proofs of
this proposition. In his 23d year, Vesalius, the father of human
anatomy, was appointed by the republic of Venice to teach this
science in the University of Padua. And he did teach it, and in
such a manner as to shed more lustre upon his chair than he de-
rived from it, very young though he was. In his 29th year he
published the greatest work on anatomy that the world, up to that
time, had ever seen. The illustrious Harvey, we are told by one
of his biographers, was probably occupied in the beginning of his
career, like young physicians of the present day, among the poor
in circumstances, and afflicted in body, taking vast pains without
prospect of pecuniary reward. Yet, when chosen in his 87th year
to lecture upon anatomy and surgery before the College of Physi-
cians, he presented, in his very first course of lectures, a detailed
exposition of those views concerning the circulation of the blood,
which afterwards made his name immortal; views which he must
have been developing long before their enunciation ; views which
■were adopted, it is said, by none of his cotemporaries who had
attained, the age of forty years, but which had to win their way
under the safeguard of the youthful and unprejudiced spirits of
1628 and 1630. Bichat, whose laborious researches are declared
by the late Mr. Buekle, in his " History of Civilization," to consti-
tute in their actual and prospective results the most valuable con-
tribution ever made to physiology by a single mind, died in his
31st year. Cuvier, whom Knox calls "the first of all descriptive
anatomists, contributed to the literature of zoology in his 28d year,
valuable papers on insects, crustaceans, and molluscs. He published
his memorable " Lemons d'Anatomie Comparee" in his 31st year,
and in that year became a lecturer upon his favorite science in the
Jardin des Plantes. In his 26th year Agassiz had already com-
menced the publication of that great work, the " Poissons Fos-
siles," which gained for him the respect and admiration of the
scientific world. The celebrated Portal was but 26 years of age
when he published his " Precis de Ghirurgie pratique." Dupuy-
tren commenced his literary labors in his 27th year by the publi-
cation of "Propositions sur quelques points d'Anatomie, de Phy-
siologic, et d'Anatomie pathologique." In his 25th year Scarpa
published in elegant Latin an "Essay on the Anatomy of the Eur."
Desgenettes, when 27 years old, made the occasion of his entrance
into the medical proleasion memorable by the publication of his
" Tentamen Physiologicum de Vasis Lymphaticis," and by demon-
strating, amidst the applause of the assembled professors, the injec-
tion of the lymphatic system. Laennec signalized his 23d year by
the publication of a thesis on the Hippocratic doctrines relating to
practical medicine, and by a memoir upon helminthology. It is
upon record that Sir Isaac Newton brought forward his doctrine
of light and colors before he was twenty; that Bacon wrote his
" Temporis Partus Maximus" before he had reached that age; that
Montesquieu had planned his " Spirit of Laws" at an equally early
period of life; that Jenner, before his 20ih year, was already en-
gaged in developing his great discovery; that Linnteus, while yet
in his boyhood, dimly conceived his famous botanical system ; that
Cuvier, before he attained his 25th year, and while yet in Nor-
mandy, with nothing but miture and the " Systeuia Nuturisj" of
Linnaeus as his guides, was seized with the idea of comparing
fossil remains with the existing fauna, an idea with which, in the
form of a memoir upon fossil and living elephants, he signalized
the first public session of the National Institute of France ; and
that Humboldt, by the publication of his "Observations on the
Basalts of the Rhine," in his 21st year, had already entered upon
his well-known and wonderful career of enlarging the boundaries
of human knowledge, and rendering his name the synonyme of all
that is grand and interesting in phj'sical science, just as his great
prototype in antiquity, Aristotle, had, twenty-two centuries before,
become identified with the domain of natural history. " Who,"
wrote Professor Stille, in 1848, " has produced the most perfect
treatise extant on pneumonia ? The only complete history of the
diseases of children ? The only consistent account of neuralgia ?
The most perfect history of cancerous diseases ? The first true
statement of the pathology of hydrocephalus ; of softening of the
brain ; of remittent fever ; of tubercles of the bones ; of alterations
of the urine ; of infantile pneumonia ? Such men as Grisolle, Ril-
liet, Barthez, Valleix, Walshe, Rufz, Gerhard, Green, Durand Far-
del, Stewardson, Nelaton, Becquerel, and so on. All of these, with
a single exception, are young men, and yet the authors of works
which by common consent are placed in the foremost rank of the
medical authorities of the present day."
Trust me, the wants of an age are always represented by the
dreams and aspirations of its youth; and the ambitious longings
of the young, at once prophetic and provident, work out their own
best answer as the present foreshadows and moulds the future.
When, therefore, the doubting world, in its thick and stolid igno-
rance, flings your youth into your very teeth, as proof positive,
that you lack experience and skill, and that there is no good thing
in you, be not cast down, but take heart from these examples, and
heeding not the opinions of men, lay your hand determinedly to
the plough, and learn to labor and to wait for the slow but certain
consummation of your hopes. If you would obtain the confidence
of the world, you must have confidence in yourselves, you must be
animated by the same spirit which impelled C^sar to say to the
affrighted pilot m the storm, " Fear not, thou carriest Csesar and
his fortunes;" or that actuates Bulwer's Richelieu, when, in the
midst of adversity, he exclaims: — •
" ■ my triumphant adamant of soul,
Is but the fixed persuasion of success."
Such a spirit will carry you hopefully and patiently through the
struggles and difficulties of the lonely period of probation upon
which you have just entered. Some there are in our profession
who have found a short and easy road to a lucrative practice by
inheriting it from a father, a father-in-law, or some other relative
who may be extensively engaged in business ; or, by obtaining it
through the timely patronage of some over-busy practitioner who
seeks relief from his incessant labors. Such men have success, in
great measure, thrust upon them. The most of you will be com-
pelled to earn it — to win your way to a remunerative practice
through many trials, and by triumphing over many obstacles.
The biographical literature of medicine is filled with examples of
this fact, which should become incentives to you. The celebrated
Dr. Physick, who commenced his professional career in the 25th
year of his age, and after eight years of preliminary study at home
and abroad, said of himself, "I walked the pavements of Philadel-
phia, after my return from Europe, for nearly three years without
making as much by my practice as put soles on my shoes, and
such were my discouragements and dissatisfaction that I would
have sold the fee simple of my profession for a thousand pounds,
and never again have felt a pulse in the capacity of a physician."
And yet, despite an unsociable and reserved nature, not at all cal-
culated to attract patients, he, by his scientific abilities alone, won
for himself the proud title of the Father of American Surgery.
His professional labors produced large incomes, year after year,
and finally secured for him a fortune of more than half a million
of dollars. His great British cotemporary, Sir Astley Cooper, we
are told by Professor Simpson, lived while attending lectures at the
University of Edinburgh, in 1788, in a room which cost him six
shillings and sixpence a week. A year after he had settled in
London, and engaged in lecturing on anatomy and surgery, his
receipts from private practice amounted to five guineas only. And
yet it came to pass, in after years, when he had become the leader
of surgery in London, that his income in one single year amounted
to £23,000. His successor, the famous Sir Benjamin Brodie, lec-
tured, practised, and published, from 1805 to 1825, a period of
twenty years, before he got into full practice. " I well remember,"
wrote this eminent surgeon, "how often, in the intervals of occu-
pation, I have contemplated, with something like dismay, the pros-
pect which lay before me." In like manner, that able and busy
practitioner, Dr. Matthew Baillie, who in one year received fees
amounting to more than £11,000, had been already for twelve
years physician to St. George's Hospital, and for nearly twenty
years a medical lecturer before he found himself fiiirly established
in medical practice. From among the living practitioners of this
country, nay, of this very city, I might readily cite many similar
examples to show you how invariably success treads closely upon
the heels of patient, persevering effort.
When, at length, you have secured success— when in the course
of time your self-reliance, your diligence and skill, have brought
you much business, and made you thereby the slave of the sick
public, think not to say, now I will rest, now I will take mine ease.
Over many there are in the world who are resting and taking
their ease, living upon the labor of others, and returning to the
world not a tithe of what they have obtained from it. Think you
Frederick Hoffman rested much while writing those numerous
folio volumes, the mere titles of which, as Haller informs us, would
fill many quarto pages? Think you Hermann Boerhaave, who, in
his younger years, was compelled to earn his living by teaching
mathematics while studying medicine, could have enjoyed much
leisure while delivering yearly separate courses of lectures on the
theory of medicine, the practice of medicine, botany, and chem-
istry, besides giving clinical lectures three times a week in the
midst of a busy practice that must have consumed a very large
amount of time, since he accumulated thereby a fortune of two
million florins in thirty-five years? Think you Sir Astley Cooper
could have been much concerned about his ease, seeing that he
published some of his most valuable works during the time in
which he was more occupied than any professional individual had,
perhaps, ever been ? Did not the celebrated Mason Good translate,
in the streets of London, that majestic poem of Lucretius, on the
" Nature of Things," during his extensive walks to visit his nu-
merous patients ? Was not Dr. Willis, while translating the works
of Harvey, and writing the biography of that brilliant physiologist,
" incessantly engaged by night and by day in the laborious and
responsible duties of a country practice, enjoying nothing of
learned leisure, and snatching from the hours that should right-
fully be given to rest, the time that was necessary to composition?"
Look into the annals of a sister profession, and behold Sir Matthew
Hale, the eminent English jurist, finding time, in the midst of his
herculean legal labors, and in his 66th year, to write a work on
" The Primitive Origination of Mankind." In the preface of that
work I find these noteworthy words : " It was written at leisure
and broken times, and with great intervals and many times hastily,
as my busie and important employment of another nature (known
to the world) would give me leave."
But why multiply examples to show you what you can do, if
you will; what you should do, if you would perform rightly your
duty ; what you WILL do, if you are true to the grand and im-
perishable instincts of your being. Many there are who will laugh
at your eftbrts, and pronounce them incompatible with the so-called
practical duties of your profession. When such speak to you of
impossibilities, your answer is plain. It is the answer of Tell to
the boatman, when the latter said, "It is impossible to cross the
lake in such a storm as this." " I know not," said the Alpine Hero,
" whether it be impossible, but I know that it must be attempted."
Though I urge you to the zealous cultivation of purely medical
studies, do not make the mistake of supposing that you should read
and think of nothing but disease and the remedies for its relief.
The tendency of such injurious devotion is to contract the mind
and shut out from it those large and comprehensive views of your
profession and its relations which you should always seek to obtain,
and which you can obtain by the observation and comparison only,
of many and diversified facts. The mind is best disciplined and
strengthened by a certain well-regulated variety of study. Eightly
considered, this variety is a form of rest and recreation ; and these
the mind requires as well as the body. The continuous monotone
of falling water wearies the ear insufferably, and sleep visits the
eye too long fixed on the waving grain. So the mind exerted over-
long upon one subject loses its vigor and becomes listless and
apathetic. From time to time during your career, therefore, especially
in the early days of probation, and of that hope deferred which maketh
the heart sick, you may occasionally turn your attention with much
prnjit to the collateral sciences. They will serve to enlarge the range
of your mental vision. Medicine, it is true, is not a science. Though
its infancy was passed in the rough cradle of experience, its vigor-
ous manhood must be sustained by science. Hence, to be truly
rational, and, therefore, regular practitioners, you must endeavor,
as far as possible, to practise and to cultivate your profession as
scientific men. For the medical profession during twenty centuries
has always industriously cultivated and been the chief promoter
of natural knowledge. At the present time those sciences which,
in their relation to medicine, are styled "accessory," have acquired
so much importance in the gradually expanding system of medical
education, that laboratories, not only of chemistry, but also of
physics, physiology, and histology, are being founded in connection
with the leading medical schools. A Faculty of Biology has already
been installed in the Faculty of Medicine at Paris. In the crowded
middle walks of our profession, however, the scientific claims of
medicine are scarcely recognized; among the people they are un-
known. Hence the latter, having no standard by which to judge
between the true man and the impostor, are constantly being jug-
gled into the arms of death, not as they fondly suppose secundum
artem, but in reality secundum ignorantiam.
If you would become physicians in the highest acceptation of
the term you must be deeply impressed with the scientific require-
ments of medicine. The welfare of your patients and your indi-
vidual interests alike demand this; for as long as medicine continues
to be purely empirical, so long will quackery be possible. This
baleful parasite flourishes most vigorously in those departments of
our art least illuminated by the rays of science. Surgery, resting
upon the exact science of anatomy, and calling to its aid various
accurate mechanical appliances, is now but little troubled with im-
postors. The "natural bone-setters" and other similar charlatans
have long since disappeared from its domain. Practical medicine,
on the other hand, based as it is upon an experience which is so
often fallacious, upon a physiology and pathology still very imper-
fect, and an organic chemistry in a state of great confusion, is still
a prey to the mercenary cunning of every quack who boasts his
infallible remedy for phthisis, rheumatism, and all those special ills
which, in consequence of our ignorance of their essential nature,
continue to resist all therapeutic effort.
In view of this fact it is incumbent upon you to do all that you
can to render quackery impossible, not by exposing its criminal
falsifications, but by making that which is doubtful in medicine
certain, and that which is obscure clear. To do this you must
emphatically recognize the fact that medicine has a twofold rela-
tion ; that it touches science on the one hand and humanity on the
other ; that it depends upon, and must keep pace with, science in
order to deal skilfully with the sufferings and sorrows, both physi-
cal and mental, of mankind. Herein lie at once the dif&culty and
the glory of the physician. For the sufferings and sorrows of
humanity resolve themselves into questions of the necessity of
food, warmth, and clothing ; of climatic conditions and their influ-
ence ; of healtli and sickness ; of wealth and poverty ; of labor
and idleness; of luxury and frugality; of advancing civilization
and increasing vice; of yearnings after tlie beautiful and good
strangely coupled with exposure to misery and crime and their
attendant degradation. Some of these problems you can investi-
gate by the clinical method peculiar to medicine; for the solution
of others you must call to your aid the methods and appliances of
physical, chemical, and natural science. You, who are fresh from
your studies, know with what unexampled rapidity science is ad-
vancing, unfolding itself in a multiplicity of directions, like the
numerous branches of some lofty tree. The momentum of this
active development has been imparted to medicine with happy
practical results. By means of various ingenious scientific appli-
ances, such as stethoscopes, laryngoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, oto-
scopes, endoscopes, microscopes, thermometers, manometers, the
sphygmograph of Marey, the stetho-sphygmograph of Hawkins,
different electrical machines, &c. — the laws of sound, light, heat,
electricity, and mechanics have been practically employed, in not
a few instances, with signal success, in elucidating the phenomena
of disease. In consequence of this rapid advance in science, and
the multiplication of scientific instruments, medicine is, at present,
undergoing a remarkable change. While its data are daily becom-
ing more and more exact, the theories or fundamental principles
which constitute its framework, so to speak, are undergoing a
complete revolution. To the reflecting mind it is evident that
medicine is now passing through a chaotic phase in its onward
career. The day of blind obedience to authority is at an end. No
asserted fact, no theory, however plausible, finds its way to accept-
ance on account of the great name attached to it, but, on the con-
trary, is immediately tried in the crucible of experiment, observa-
tion, and induction. But medicine, in becoming scientific, has
grown sceptical. The twin-brothers Doubt and Disbelief are even
now pulling up, and with no gentle hand, the ancient landmarks
all around us. The iconoclasts are at work. Opinions and conclu-
sions are being sifted so fiercely that we at length stand face to
face with the danger of denying altogether the accumulated expe-
rience of our fathers. "What is certain in respect of medicine
critically considered as a science and as an art," says Prof Acland,
"may be thus stated: There is a true medicine and a false medi-
cine. Like the wheat and the tares, they now stand together. The
true is that which is based on unalterable laws of nature ; the false
that which is the result of ignorance, unconscious interpretation,
or wilful error — ignorance of nature, unintentional misunderstand-
ing of her laws, wilful falsification of facts, to subserve some tem-
porary purpose. From these two, the true and the false, come all
the traditions of our art. To winnow the one from the other, to
extrude the uncertain from the proved, to add to what is known,
regardless of the effect on previous beliefs, is the special duty of
the time in which we are now placed. If this duty were com-
pletely done, we should possess the real history of an art three
thousand years old." This is your duty. You enter the profession
at a critical period. You leap upon the deck of our vessel in a
swift running stream filled with the shoals and quicksands ol' false
facts and false theories. You must put your hand to the tiller and
aid in delivering us from these dangers. You must become one
of that earnest band, whether in physics or biology, who, with
busy hands, are seeking to reconstruct the philosophy of medicine,
and place it upon a sure scientific basis. And this basis, it is now
beginning to be seen, is to be made up of the accumulated and
well-examined facts relating to the chemical circulation of matter,
the conservation of energy, and the development of organic forms
by natural selection. For these facts, though they have not yet
proved fruitful to medicine, nevertheless warrant us in indulging
the hope of a certainty for our art, with which we have hitherto
been strangers. For they show us a constantly increasing proba-
bility that living beings placed in similar conditions will advance
in similar lines, and conversely. The study of this biological gen-
eralization or law, in some of its multitudinous details, is destined
perhaps to reveal to us why certain diseases run a special course
in certain families, and how, consequently, knowing the conditions,
we can proceed with philosophical and hopeful assurance to arrest
the progress of such diseases. It is destined to give certainty to
both curative and prophylactic medicine. In it centers the hope
of all future progress in therapeutics and pathology.
A vulgar prejudice, I am aware, prevails against the cultivation
of science by a physician, and this prejudice, I am sorry to think,
is kept alive by certain of the " baser sort," who
" Make sordid wealth the object and sole end
Of their industrious aims."
To a considerable extent scientific investigation is not onlv com-
patible with the active, daily duties of the physician, but in "reality
by inculcating close and accurate habits of observation very often
becomes a guarantee of success in the performance of those duties.
The truth of this you may learn from the lives and labors of
Hunter, Baillie, Prichard, Morton, Drake, and many others whose
names I might mention. The celebrated Doctor Baillie of London
was frequently advised to abandon his anatomical pursuits lest
they should interfere with his prosperity as a practitioner. This
he wisely refused to do, and ultimately this very knowledge ren-
dered him vastly superior to those who attempted to compete with
bim in practice. Sir Hans Sloan, the favorite physician of Queen
Anne, was regarded as one of the greatest naturalists of his day;
yet it is recorded of him that his "great scientific attainments did
not act as a bar to his professional advancement, for his practice
was very extensive." John Hunter, the surgeon-naturalist of the
18th century, and the "author," as he has justly been called, "of
a new era in the history of our profession," found time in tlie
midst of bis laborious and successful practice to publish many
treatises upon practical surgery, anatomy, physiology, and natural
history, and to lay the foundation for that natural classification of
the animal world which Cuvier afterwards effected. The celebrated
Dr. Prichard is extensively and chiefly known to the world by his
voluminous researches into the physical history of mankind. Yet
we are informed by one of his biographers that he applied himself
with much zeal to the practice of his profession ; that he established
a dispensary and became physician to some of the principal medical
institutions of Bristol; that he had not only a large practice in his
own neighborhood, but was often called to distant consultations,
and that notwithstanding the engrossing nature of these occupations,
he found time to prepare and deliver lectures on physiology and
medicine, and to write an essay on fever, and one on epilepsy, and
subsequently a larger work on nervous diseases. The late Dr.
Morton, also publicly known as an ethnologist, amidst the onerous
duties of an extensive medical practice, which was steadily in-
creasing up to the time of his death, could find time to deliver
lectures on anatomy, to serve the Philadelphia Hospital as con-
sulting physician, and to publish his two brilliant craniological
works, and numerous detached papers on ethnography, hybridity,
and allied subjects, in addition to a valuable work on phthisis, and
one on anatomy. Dr. Daniel Drake, that " zealous apostle of sci-
ence," as an English reviewer has well called him, amidst the
incessant occupation entailed upon him by his practice and his
lectures, was enabled by a wise economy of his time, to bequeath
to the world, at his death, a work which has justly been regarded
as "one which would do honor to any country."
But while I thus endeavor, by these examples, to stir up in you
a noble ambition, I must warn you to commence your career by
binding yourselves, Ulysses-like, to the mast of your profession,
lest in your occasional incursions into the domain of science, the
voice of the siren estrange you wholly from your first love, and
ruin your prospects as medical men. You are physicians, and as
such in these days of jealous rivalry and competition, you need
not expect to attain great reputation as chemists, naturalists, &c.
He who is ambitious of such eminence must work long and hard,
and uninterruptedly. The details of your profession are so nume-
rous that the acquirement of them will severely tax your capacity
for labor; and the demands of your patients, sometimes necessary,
sometimes frivolous, sometimes in season and very often out of
season, will effectually destroy your leisure. Moreover, you must
never lose sight of the fact that you acquire knowledge only to use
it. "Add to the power of discovering truth," said Sydney Smith,
"the desire of using it for the promotion of human happiness,
and you have the great end and object of our existence." The
true strength of the physician lies not so much in vast and bril-
liant acquirements, as in the extensive and successful application
of a certain amount of solid and well chosen knowledge, which
has been so thoroughly incorporated into his mind that he can use
it readily upon all occasions and at the shortest notice. Super-
abundant knowledge in a physician — that is, more than he knows
how to use efficiently — is frequently an incumbrance rather than
an aid to him. Hear what Dr. Latham has thoughtfully and prac-
tically said upon this subject; " My experience of human life has
long since convinced me that the number of truly learned and
scientific men in the world is small. Therefore, real learning and
real science must be things of difficult attainment, since so many
are engaged in their pursuit. But be their attainment ever so
difficult, it is not half so difficult as their use I am ac-
quainted with men who never have done, and never can do anything,
because they know too much ; and I am acquainted with men pos-
sessing comparatively small knowledge, so dextrous in its use that
they have ridden over the heads of others far, very far, their supe-
riors in acquirement Fortunate, indeed, is the man who
takes exactly the right measure of himself, and holds a just balance
between what he can acquire and what he can use, be it great or
Disease being cosmopolitan, and no respecter of persons, you will
be called upon to mingle freely with all grades of people, at all
times, in all places, and under all circumstances. Evil men there
are on the road with hurts to be healed; wretched beggars in cel-
lars and dens with fevers to be subdued; poor artisans in hovels
with pains to be assuaged. You must prepare to heal, subdue, and
assuage these hurts, these fevers, and these pains. But the moral,
the intellectual, the refined, and the cultivated also have their hours
of sickness and sorrow in which your sympathy and aid will be
most anxiously sought. Therefore, you must take by the hand the
disease-stricken sons and daughters of poverty, sin, and shame, as
well as the favored children of wealth. But I perceive danger
here and temptation, and would earnestly warn you of these "break-
ers ahead" in the deep water of your opening career. Let me advise
you, then, in treating the sick kindly, and ivith much attention, to he very
careful how you make familiars and associates of them all. Your active
sympathy will beget friends everywhere, for friendship and sympa-
thy are correlative and contagious. But look well to it that you
take but few of these so-called friends into the secret councils of
your soul. Sooner or later some of them will betray you when you
least expect it. Now good and great men are the salt of the earth;
only they make it sweet and wholesome. The knowledge that
such are your friends raises your credit, and gives you character
with the world. If it happen to such to be sick and in your hands,
look well that you diligently cultivate their respect and good-fel-
lowship. It will repay you abundantly, for by being much in
their company you will acquire the secret of their excellence, and
exhibit it in your own actions. The great Napoleon knew this
when he said: "You must not fight too often with one enemy, or
you will teach him all your art of war." Emerson has the same
idea. "Talk much with any man of vigorous mind," says he, "and
we acquire very fast the habit of looking at things in the same
light, and on each occurrence we anticipate his thoughts." Under
the invisible, but potent rays of the sun, all vegetation is urged
into blossom and fruit. So the continued presence of intellectual
and moral excellence arouses into blooming and fruitful activity
all the great and moral capabilities of the mind. Eight pleasant
it is to gaze upon a comely maiden, a beautiful picture, or the
marble that some cunning hand hath chiselled well-uigh into life.
The eye takes in such to the wholesome nourishment ot the soul.
The frequent contemplation of mean actions, and of low, disgusting
objects, tends to deform and warp the soul clean from its high and
holy purposes. Everywhere there is assimilation. Good and evil
engender their like continually. This truth it deeply concerns you
of all men to know and to feel, for your mission is to all sick peo-
ple, and many sick are wicked to the last extreme; often more cor-
rupted in mind than diseased in body. When such obtrude them-
selves upon your path, and with uplifted hands supplicate your
therapeutic aid, you dare not turn aside, nor stay your hand from
the healing. This humanity forbids. This your own conscience
would condemn. Bind up, then, the wounds of these wretched
and pour in oil and wine, but in so doing take heed
"That the immaculate whiteness of your fame
Shall ne'er be sullied with one taint or spot."
While you perform your part as skilful physicians, let the light
and warmth of your moral excellence illuminate and vivify all
about you. Let impurity ever stand abashed in the presence of
3'our purity, and immorality cast down its eyes under the earnest
look of your morality. In the remote infancy of medicine they
who took the Hippocratic oath swore by Apollo, the physician,
and ^sculapius, and Hygeia, and Panacea, with purity and with
holiness to pass their lives and practise their art. And the Code
of Ethics adopted by our Medical Congress strictly enjoins upon
you the cultivation of purity of character, and a high standard of
Against another temptation I must fortify you. You will leave
this hall to-day full of confidence in the honesty, the gratitude, the
friendship, and benevolence of mankind ; and secretly elated, per-
haps, at the prospect of becoming the recipient of the respect and
admiration of men, in virtue of the dignified and honorable pro-
fession which you have chosen. Ere the snows of but a few
winters have whitened your path, this confidence will begin to be
shaken, and unless your experience be very different from that of
most men, you will earlier or later be forced to the conclusion that
honesty and gratitude, though very valuable, are also very rare
virtues, and that honor, friendship, and benevolence too often
" Are the soft, easy cushions, on which knaves
Repose and fatten."
For as your business increases it will not unfrequently happen
that many days of faithful attendance and nights of sleepless
watching on your part, will be completely ignored by some of
your patients, and your conscientious and judicious efforts in their
behalf requited with the basest ingratitude. He to whom you
hastened, regardless of your own health, through the pitiless storm
of a winter's night, to relieve of a dangerous hemorrhage, an
apoplectic seizure, or a suffocating asthma, will not only not re-
munerate you, though amply able to do so, but even when he en-
counters you on the street, pass by, like the Levite, on the other
side, looking all the while earthward, heavenward, to the right or
the left, or in any direction save yours. She whom you assisted
during the throes of labor, or to whose child, when seized with
convulsion or croup, you ministered through the long, long, weary
night, will forget not only your services, but, it may be, your very
name. Does this seem incredible to you? Any busy practitioner
will confirm my words. Listen to the recorded experience of an
accomplished and venerable physician of this city, recently de-
ceased, who for nearly half a century, in both the country and the
city, dispensed the blessings of his art.
" After a long, and, as I believe, an honest contemplation of
mankind," said Dr. Samuel Jackson, of Northumberland, address-
ing the physicians of Philadelphia, from the presidential chair of
the Philadelphia County Medical Society, " I am fully convinced
that they do not justly appreciate the hearts and minds of physi-
cians; for if they did, ingratitude would not prevail so rankly.
You may have faithfully attended a family for many years,
have apparently and confessedly saved one or more of them from
an untimely grave; you have heartily participated in all their
joys and sorrows ; you have watched whole nights at their bedside,
your heart torn with anxiety for the fate of a wife, a husband, a
parent, or a child ; you have freely mingled your tears with theirs,
when the cold sweat appeared on your patient's brow; but, alas,
a slight offence, merely one unlucky word, and all your long ser-
vice is forgotten. Here, then, prepare your generous soul for
temptation ; for just in proportion to your faithful affection, sorrow
now will sink deep and sadden your heart.
" It often happens that you have attended a poor family for
years, and also their various poor relations ; let those miserable
people succeed to affluence, and they know you no more. Some
phvsician who has not seen them in their humility, is sure to be called
to the rising family; 'more certainly,' says Dr. Rush, 'if at any
time they have been the objects of your private beneficence. This
will not surprise us,' says the doctor, ' when we recollect how forci-
bly the presence of the physician is calculated to remind them of the
wooden hut or small and dirty apartments in which he first visited
them.' If the children of this poor family rise to affluence, they
are certainly far above ordinary mortals if they wish to see you
again. Their abandonment of their old physician is the more
certain, if he remain poor ; they throw him oft' as they do their
old houses and furniture, things unsuitable to their new and more
brilliant relations in life.
"Should any family be unable or unwilling to pay your long
accumulating bills, they suddenly leave you and employ another
physician. If a wondering neighbor inquire the reason, they are
sure to give you a bad name. Then follows their implacable
hatred ; for it is justly observed by Tacitus, that men always hate
those whom they have injured. . . .
" Patients, in order to escape the payment of at least a portion
of their bill, will sometimes detract from the merit of your ser-
vices. You have attended a patient through a serious illness and
have left him perfectly restored ; some weeks or months elapse
before you see him again, when he appears to your gladdened eyes
to be in perfect health. Well, my friend, I am glad to see the
roses in your cheeks. Yes, doctor, but I have had a poor time of
it since you left me ; I got no better till these three or four days
past when I began the use of maple sugar, and I think it has done
more for me than all your medicine. . . .
"It will sometimes happen, even among your friends, that you
are secretly defrauded of your just praise. You have struggled
laboriously and anxiously through a most difficult and dangerous
case, and while you secretly glory in the success of the Hippocratic
art, you find the cure is imputed to the sly interference of a busy
neighbor. Sometimes, when a dangerous case is unexpectedly
cured, the friends will gravely observe that the patient was not so
ill as he was supposed to be, as though death was the only criterion
of danger, or, as though no fatal case could be saved by medicine.
" If you have been particularly successful in an epidemic fever,
if there have been fewer deaths in your village than in those of
neighboring doctors, your very friends will gravely tell you that
the disease has been less violent. In this there is much temptation,
but you cannot say ncnj without reflecting on the merits of your
brethren. What can you do ? Nothing, nothing, but follow the
advice the jailer gave Socrates a few minutes before sending him
the poison : ' Try to bear this unavoidable evil as lightly as pos-
Having repeatedly suffered from the slow, but wearing, because
long-continued irritations just referred to, having practically
learned the truth of Dr. Johnson's observation " that the misery of
man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but
from small vexations continually repeated/' then will come the
struggle for which I must prepare you. Having, in despite of your
generous impulses, and the better feelings and resolutions of this
hour, lost some of your early respect for mankind, you will find
it not a little difficult to keep alive that active spirit of benevolence
without which all your efforts to relieve the sufferings of men will
be weak and unavailing. Day following day will find you drifting
hopelessly towards the cold and apathetic sea of misanthropy, in
hourly danger of making shipwreck of your happiness for life.
If you would escape such a disastrous result you must take broad
and elevated views of your profession and its duties on the one
hand, and of humanity and its wants on the other. Your pro-
fessional studies must be based upon a deep and abiding love for
their intrinsic excellence, and not upon any foolish and vain-glo-
rious notions of the consideration and respect which they will
bring you ; and you must practise your art, not to satisfy a craving-
thirst for gain, but because of the noble and unlimited oppor-
tunities which it affords you of doing good. "I have always
thought it a greater happiness," said Sydenham, " to discover a
certain method of curing the slightest disease, than to accumulate
the largest fortune." " My only wish," wrote the good Doctor
Fothergill, and I pray you to heed his words, " was to do what little
business might fall to my share, as well as possible, and to banish
all thoughts of practising physic as a money-getting trade, with
the same solicitude as I would the suggestions of vice or intem-
perance. ... I endeavor to follow my business because it
is my duty, rather than my interest ; the last is inseparable from a
just discharge of duty ; but I have ever wished to look at the profits
in the last place, and this wish has attended me ever since my be-
ginning." And again he says: "I wished most fervently, and I
endeavor after it still, to do the business that occurred, with all
the diligence I could, as a present duty, and endeavored to repress
any rising idea of its consequences; such a circumscribed, unas-
piring temper of mind, doing everything with diligence, humility,
and as in the sight of the God of healing, frees the mind from
much unavailing distress and consequent disappointment."
In these philosophical words I find the secret of contentment
and happiness for the physician — the true and only talisman by
which you can avert the poisoned shafts of envy, ingratitude, and
misrepresentation. I urge upon you, therefore, not only for the
benefit of those with whom you are hereafter to have business
relations, but for your own sake, to make every exertion to attain
that high ethical culture which will cause you to experience real,
unalloyed pleasure in doing good, irrespective of any secular
reward that may result from the good action. If the latter, which
may be justly your due, is withheld, or, worse still, if, through
some perversion of human nature, positive injury to yourself is
the result, the spirit of beneficence, of which nothing can deprive
you, still remains in all its sublime grandeur, constituting an im-
pregnable armor which, more than anything else, will carry you
unscathed through the petty annoyances incident not only to your
profession, but to all the affairs of life.
Let the words and the successful careers of Sydenham and
Fothergill encourage you, then, to do your duty, nothing doubting,
and troubled neither about the reward nor about the dignity and
honor. The first will come of itself in due time, and the last two
are the veriest phantoms if they spring not into existence from
your own acts. If you would be revered by men, you must get a
firm told upon their affections, and to do this you must show them
that you are competent and ever ready to relieve them in the hour
of their bitter anguish. You must show them that you are "a
man, and no stranger to the cries of humanity;" that you sympa-
thize with and love them ; that you put yourselves to much trouble,
and take infinite pains, and make material sacrifices in their behalf.
With such feelings and principles, with such a worthy ambition
"The vital axle of the restless wheels
That bear you on,"
go forth into the world resolved to work for humanity — for man
in the ages; go forth expecting to be tried and misrepresented and
betrayed in divers ways by individual man; go forth with the
abiding consciousness that you are called to a great work, and that
these trials are the necessary accompaniments to the performance
of this work; go forth with the conviction that the race is not
always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to the resolved
and the persevering; go forth into the battle of life "deliberately
and persist obstinately, and be very slow to find out when you are
beaten ;" go forth looking for assistance neither to the right hand
nor to the left, but self-reliant, earnestly believing in your own
energies, "heart within and God o'erhead." Forth into the world,
and in all your future strivings, in all your labors, in all your
pains and pleasures, may the strong right arm of Jehovah Eophi —
the Lord the Healer —
" Before, behind yon, and on every hand
Enwheel you round."
JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLLEGE OF PHILABELPHA,
At a Public Commencement, held on tlie 12tli of March, 1S70, the Degree of Doctor
OF Medicine was conferred on the following gentlemen hy the Hon. Edward King,
LL. D. President of the Institution, after which a Valedictory Address to the
Graduates was delivered by Prof. Meigs.
Abbott, Benjamin T.
Albert, John V.
Attaway, Thomas Mutter
Atlee, W. Lemuel
Barclay, .John W.
Bai'nes, Robert H.
Bartleson, Henry C.
Beckwith, Frank Edwin
Belo, Arthur F.
Betts, J. M.
Black, Clarence E.
Blachly, S. L.
Bowen, John James
Brayton, E. CuUen
Breneman, M. B.
Briggs, B. B.
Brown, J. Jordan
Bruckart, W. Scott
Butterfield, Thomas H.
Chessrown. A. V.
Clark, E. W.
Crenshaw, John W.
Crook, Joseph A.
Davis, John B.
Davis, Tiiomas D.
Detweiler, Moses H.
Dickson, S. Henry, Jr.
Dellenbaugh, Z. T.
Donaldson, S. J.
Duudore, Frank P.
STATE OR COaXTRY.
SUBJECT OF THESIS.
Malaiia a Cause of Hemorrhage.
Difl'erential Diagnosis of Ovarian
Dropsy and Ascites.
Philosophy in Medicine.
Anthropology as related to Medi-
The Diagnosis of Inflammation.
Theory of Tubercle.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae.
Eberly, Alison K.
Edwards, Isaac L.
Ellis, J. Wesley
Fegley, Amandus N.
Ferguson, James E.
Fritzinger, Richard J.
Frink, C. S. (M.D.)
Gaines, J. H.
Gates, Joseph M.
Gaut, Matthew B.
Genunill, Jacob M.
Graham, D. M.
Grilfith, John H.
Halbert, A. C.
Hale, Morris (M.D.)
Hamner, .Joseph Hinton
Henderson, Henry G.
Hengst, D. Alfred
Rickey, Eugene H.
Hill, George A.
Hittell, Randolph S.
Hoifman, Charles I.
Hopkins, EUwood E.
Howitt, Wm. H.
Huebener, Walter, A. M.
Huffman, John M.
HuUihen, M. P.
Hunter, W. G.
Irby, W. C. M.
Iszard, W. H.
James, H. C.
Jarrett, George B.
Jones, Meredith D.
Jones, Robert E.
Johnson, George F.
STATE OR COUNTRY.
Keller, Henry D. Pennsylvania.
Kendall, Henry W. (M. D.) Illinois.
Kennedy, Clempson B.
King, Wm. H.
Kreitzer, John A.
Landis, Henry G.
Leggett. Leverett L.
Levy, Charles P.
Lockwood, George A.
Marsh, Erasmus W. W.
McAlerney, Wm. M.
SUBJECT OF THESIS.
Formation and Repair of Osseous
Galvanism and Faradization Thera-
Bromide of Potassium.
Bilious Remittent Fever.
Laceration of the Great Omentum.
Physiological Action of Alcohol.
Anatomy and Physiology of the
Scrofula or Struma.
Internjitteut Fever of Western Ten-
Fistula in Ano.
McCaiicUess. A. W. iE.
McCarthy, Sainixel L.
McCarty, Thos. I.
McColly, Marst M.
McDonald, Cr. (M. D.)
McFaddei), Will Gosten
McGraughey, James D.
Mcllwaine, R. Emmett
McLean, E. P.
Miller, J. Edwin
Miller, J. K.
Miller, John P.
Minich, A. K.
Mitchell, John R,
Mosser, E. Nelf
Moss, G. W.
Musser, F. M.
Neely, A. F.
NefF, George W., Jr.
Noble, John E.
Oxamendi, Pedro F.
Parke, Benj. R.
Parker, Samuel H.
Parish, Wm. H.
Patterson, John P.
Plank, Edward H.
Poley, Cyrus S.
Porter, Joseph Yates
Prime, Elon G.
Reeves, M. Williamson
Ressler, Joel G.
Robbins, Geo. R., Jr.
Russell, G. T.
Rutledge, Shallus R.
Schmoele, Wm. F.
Scott, .John G.
Senseny, Edgar N.
Sharp, Samuel F.
Shultz, Abner W.
Smart, D. S.
Smith, Albert M.
Smith, Frank H.
Smith, Mark L.
Smith, Robert E,
Snodgrass, .Tohn B.
Spackman, Reuben V.
Spencer, .Tohn E.
Stokes, J. G.
Taylor, J. Richard
Taylor, S. W.
STATE OR COUNTRY.
SUBJECT OF THESIS.
Inliammation and Ulceration of the
Romance and Reality of Medicine.
Theories of Inflammation.
Management and Requirements of
the Sick Room.
Paresis with Cases.
Acute Lobar Pneumonitis.
Bilious Remittent Fever.
Ancient and Modern Theories
the Circulation of the Blood.
The Sick Room.
Fracture of the Skull.
Physician and Druggist.
Malaria and Intermittent Fever.
The Physician for the Age.
Conduct of Labor.
Abortion and Premature Labor.
Taxis, J. B.
Trabert, J. W.
Turpin, T. J., Jr. (M. D.)
UUom, J. T.
Van Nuys, John D.
Van Valzab, Frank H.
Vinson, John W.
Voorheis, Samuel M.
Walker, James K.
White, George A.
White, T. H.
Wick, Addison J.
Wilson, Francis S.
Zimmerman, G. P.
Zuber, D. J.
STATE OR COUNTRY.
SUBJECT OF THESIS.
Signs of Pregnancy.
Vis Medioatrix Naturae.
Pathological Anatomy of the Air-
Compression of the Brain.
Transmission of Hereditary Disease.
The number of students in the Class of 1869-70 was 435, representing 39 dif-
ferent States and countries.