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of the individual subjects to the connected exposition which I here give them of the whole. Nay, this very exposition may perhaps afford a direct stimulus for such more accurate study; and if it do but this, it will have done enough.
The time at my disposal was not sufficient to enable me to write out and revise a work like this. I was therefore constrained to have the lectures taken down in short-hand, just as they were delivered, and to publish them with but slight alterations. Herr Langenhaun has executed his stenographical task with great care. As far as the shortness of the time permitted, and wherever the text would otherwise have been difficult of apprehension to the inexperienced, I have had woodcuts made from the drawings on the board, and more particularly from the microscopical preparations which were sent round. Completeness in this respect could not be attained, seeing that, even as it is, the publication of the work has been delayed some months in consequence of the preparation of the woodcuts.
Misdeot; August 20M, 1858.
The present attempt to bring the results of my experience, which are at variance with what is ordinarily taught, before the notice of the medical public at large, in a connected form, has produced unexpected results; it has found many friends and vigorous opponents. Both of these results are certainly very desirable; for my friends will find in this book no arbitrary settlement of questions, nothing systematical or dogmatical, and my opponents will be compelled at length to abandon their fine phrases and to set to work and examine the matters for themselves. Both can only contribute to the impulsion and advancement of medical science.
But still both have also their depressing point of view. When one has laboured for ten years with all the energy and zeal of which he was capable, and has laid the results of his investigations before the judgment of his contemporaries, one is only too apt to imagine that a considerable part, that perhaps the greater and more important portion of them, would be pretty generally known. This was, as I have learned by experience, not the case with my labours. One of my critics attributes it to my bringing forward too many arguments and lengthy cases in support of my views. It may be so, but then I might perhaps have been allowed to expect that other critics would have sought for the proofs, which they did not find here in sufficient abundance, in the original works. For I had in the preface to the first edition expressly pointed out that those who had kept up their knowledge by reading the current medical literature would here find but little that was new to them.
In this new edition I have contented myself with improving the language, with expressing in more precise terms what was liable to be misunderstood, and with expunging repetitions. There no doubt, still even now, remains a great deal requiring correction; but it seemed to me that the whole ought as far as possible to preserve the fresher impress of oral discourse, and of the unshackled range of thought which there prevails, if it were for the future still to serve as an active ferment to the labourers in the so very various fields of medical science and practice. For the book will have fulfilled its object, if it assists in the propagation, not of cellular pathology, but in general only of independent thought and investigation.
Berlin; June 1th, 1859.
Professoe Virchow and his works are so well known wherever the science of medicine is studied, that I think it quite unnecessary to give any account of them here.
When I arrived in Berlin in March, 1858, these lectures were in the course of delivery, and I was present at a few of the concluding ones. Subsequently, whilst attending the lectures, classes, and post-mortem examinations1 which are held in the Pathological Institute by Professor Virchow, I had ample opportunities for seeing practical illustrations of most of the doctrines advocated in this book. It was natural, therefore, that I should feel a desire to translate these lectures, the more especially as I had every reason to suppose that the views put forward in them still remained unknown—in consequence, no doubt, of their German dress—to a large proportion of the English medical public, although they had already, many of them several years previously, appeared in Professor Virchow's larger works.
The translation will in many instances be found to differ somewhat from the original, for numerous additions, subtractions, and substitutions have been made, many of them at the suggestion of the Author, many at my own, but all with the Author's sanction.
'From 700 to 800 bodies are examined annually in t he Institute.
A few notes will be found, especially in the later lectures. Of these some are literal, some free translations of, or are based upon, answers I received from Professor Virchow to questions I had put to him, whilst others (pp. 313, 363-364, 373, 378) were made entirely at his own suggestion, and are literal translations of his words. In all cases, however, the notes have been submitted to the Author, and approved by him.
An index too, I thought might be of service, and I have therefore added a tolerably full one.
I cannot sufficiently thank Professor Virchow for the very great trouble—a trouble of which nobody but myself can have any idea—which he has taken in revising this translation, nor for the exceeding courtesy and kindness with which he has replied to the very numerous questions—many of them put for my own private information—which I have plagued him with. He has written me fully fifty letters, most of them very long ones; and when I reflect that he daily passes eight or nine hours at the Charite, that he reads all the more important German, French, and English medical works which appear, and is besides constantly engaged in publishing something fresh, I can scarcely conceive how he has managed to find time to write these letters, of which a large proportion reached me by return of post.
To Dr. Harris I must return my best thanks for the assistance he has rendered me in reading the proof-sheets, and correcting any errors of language into which I might have fallen, and also for kindly permitting me to consult him whenever I met with any difficulty—a permission of which I have availed myself most freely.
The engravings will, I think, be found to be pretty faithful copies of the original woodcuts; they were executed by, or under the superintendence of, Mr. Hart, of 15, Gloucester Street, Queen's Square.
51, Wimpole Street; August 10/A, 1860.