Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

are spurious, unless some few Prefaces to new Editions of Books.

Oratio de commandando Studio Hippocratico, habita & impressa Lugd. Bat. 1701, apud Abraham Elzevir.

de uu Ratiocinij Mechanici in Medicina, 1703, apud Joann. Verbefjel.

qua repurgate Medicina facilis aßeritur finiplicitar, 1703, apud Joan. Vanderlend.

de comparando certo in Phyficis, 1715, apud Petr. Vander Aa.

de Chymia suos Errores expurgante, 1718, apud Petr. Vander .

de Vita & Obitu clarissimi Bernardi Albini, 1721, apud eundem.

quam habui, quum honefia Misione impetrata, Botanicam & Chymicam Profeffionem publicæ pane rem, 1729, apud Ifaacuin Severinum.

de Honore Medici, Servitute, 1731, apud eundem.

Institutiones Medicæ in ufus annua Exercitationis domesticos, anno 1708, apud J. Vander-Lind. P. & F. Qui dein auctior aliquoties recufus, in 8vo.

Aphorismi de cognoscendis & curandis Morbis, in usum Deetrinæ domesticæ, 1709, apud J. Vander. linden.

Qui dein auctior aliquoties recusue, in 8vo.

Index Plantarum quæ in Horto Academico Lugduno Batavo reperiuntur, 1710, apud Cornelium Bontestein, in 8vo.

Libellus de Materia Medica, & Remediorum Formulis, 1719, apud Ifaacum Severinum, in 8vo. Qui iterum prodiit, in 8vo.

Index alter Plantarum, quæ in Horto Academico Lugduna Batavo aluntur, 1720, apud Petrum Vander

Atrocis nec defiripti prius, Morbi Descriptio, secundum Medicæ Artis Leges conscripta, 1724, apud Bonteftein, in 8vo.

Atroc

Aa, in 4to.

BOERHAAVE. 233 Atrocis rariffimique, Morbi Hiftoria altera 1728, apud Sam. Luchtmans & Theod. Haak, 8vo.

Tractatus Medicus de Lue. Aphordifiaca, præfixus Aphrodisiaco 1728, apud J. Am. Langerak to fok. & Herm. Verbici, in Folio.

Belides these he communicated to the Royal Society, and to the Royal Academy of Sciences, some Obfervations upon Quicksilver, which are publish

, ed in the Philofophical Transactions.

Having given this Account of the Life and Writings of Boerhaave it remains, that I take some Notice of his capital Works, which are his Inftitutes, his Aphorisms, and his Chymistry.

His Institutes were designed as little more than a Syllabus to his Lectures. They are written in a very close and concise Style, but abound in Matter containing all the modern Discoveries in Anatomy, Physiology, and whatever relates to the Laws of the Animal Economy, and the Action of Medicines upon the Budy, with considerable Improvements of his own, which are specified under their proper Are ticles. This Treatise is very methodical and dilinct; but I apprehend it is utterly unintelligible to any one who is not in fome Degree previously acquainted with the Subjects of which he treats.

His Aphorisms are, as he tells us himself, collect. ed from the Greek medicinal Writers, the Arabians, and some few of the Moderns; and his Reasonings are founded on the Structure of the Parts and the Laws of Mechanicks. I must here observe, that Boerhaave to his great Honour, seems to have gone counter to most Writers of Institutes, and Compilers of Systems. For they have generally endeavoured to lead Nature captive, and to make her act conformable to their preconceived Notions, however crude and chimerical ; impofing Laws upon the animal Economy, which have no Realiiy, and establishing with great Praise and Industry, Sources of Action, which exist no where but in their own

Imaginations. Imaginations. Boerhaave, on the contrary, was convinced by daily Experience and a Fund of good Sense, that the Greek Physicians by diligent Obfervation had determined, with great Accuracy, how Nature acts in producing the Symptoms of Diftem pers, and her Methods of relieving herself, either with or without the Allistance of Art, and that their Experience had furnished them with very

fuc. cessful Methods of Cure. The two Points there: fore which he seems to have had perpetuall; in View, were to establish, on mechanical Principles, as much as was possible, the Doctrine of the Antients with Respect to the Diagnostics and Prognoftics of Difa cases, and shew that they could not be otherwise than they have represented them.

But the second View is of more Importance than the first, it being no less than to demonstrate, that the Methods of Cure pursued by the antient Phy cians were generally the best that could possibly have been contrived with the Materials they were acquainted with, though for Reasons to which they were probably Strangers. This appears to me the distinguishing Character of Boerhaave, and by this he has done almost as much Service to Phyfic, as his Predecessors for some Centuries had done Mila chiefs.

It is greatly to be lamented that our illustrious Author did not think proper to publish his Lectures on his Institutes and his Aphorisms before his Deceafe. If he had foreseen the fatal Consequences of fuch an Omission, I believe his Love to Mankind would have prevailed upon him to have done it, and thereby prevented the Mischiefs which his great Name, and the Reputation of his Lectures, may possibly do in the World. That I may explain my Meaning I must observe, that it is the Misfortune of the English to be very little used to converse in Latin, though, perhaps, no People in the World understand

it better. Add to this, that as we pronource Latin in a different Manner from all other Nations, our Ears are not accustomed to the foreign Accent. Hence Foreigners with Difficulty understand us, and on the other Hand it is impoflible for us to take their Meaning, especially in long Discourses, with that Degree of Exactness, which Subjects of Importance require ; and indeed it is no easy Matter to take the entire Sense of long Discourses, though delivered in the Languages we are best acquainted with. This is the Realon that many of his Pupils who have long attended his Lectures, for two or three Years have frequently mistaken his Meaning, and held their own Errors with an equal Degree of Veneration with the genuine Doctrine of their Profeffor, and have imprudentiy neglected to set themselves right, by examining the Sources from whence Boerhaave himself drew his Treafures; sometimes perhaps because they imagined the Authority of their Professor rendered it superfluous, and sometimes because they were Strangers to the Languages in which the best medicinal Authors wrote thus: either out of Choice or Neceflity, taking a more easy, though a less certain, Way to Knowledge, than Boerhaave either advised or thought proper to pursue himself.

That this has been really the Case the fpurious Works attributed to Boerhaave by his Scholars are glaring Evidences; among which his Method of studying Physic, as I think it is called deserves some No. tice, being a crude and injudicious Performance, and in a great many Instances contradictory to the Sentiments of Boerhaave, on the Subjects there treated ; and as I remember, it recommends fome Authors who never wrote or even existed. In the same Rank is the Praxis Medica printed in five Volumes in Holland, though the Title tells us at Padua. In the Preface we are informed, that many of his Au.

3 3

ditors

!

ditors took his Lectures in Writing ; that these were carefully compared, and hence this Work was compiled. Yet notwithstanding all this Care, there are not many Pages without fome enormous Error, nor even Sentences without false Latin : so little did they understand either their Professor or their Subjects.

With respect to his Chymistry, it may be justly faid, that his Theory is more philosophical, exact and full, and his Processes more methodical and regular, than those of any preceding Author on the Subject. It is remarkable, that in this Work he has made many chymical Operations subfervient to the establishing several important Doctrines of the Antients, and to the Confirmation of their Practice. I shall conclude with remarking, that this Work alone would have been sufficient to raise the Character of any other Man, but is howerer that in which Boerhaave shines mnch less than in his Institutes and Aphorisms, the last of which is, perhaps, more useful than any one Book written upon Physic, and has had the Honour of being tranflated into Arabic, as is said by the Mufti, and printed at Constantinople

ACHA-,

« AnteriorContinuar »