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Shelley's Defense of Poetry. Edited by ALBERT S. COOK, Professor in Yale University. Ginn & Company, publishers.

SHELLEY'S DEFENSE OF POETRY.-Shelley's Defense may be regarded as a companion-piece to that of Sidney. Both are the productions of poets who are also distinguished for their prose, of poets essentially lyrical whose highest praise is given to the epic and the drama; and in both a substantially identical philosophy is set forth with fervid eloquence. In their diction, however, the one is of the sixteenth century and the other of the nineteenth. For this reason a comparison of the two is of interest to a student of historical English style. But, apart from this, the intrinsic merits of Shelley's essay must ever recommend it to the lover of poetry and of beautiful English. The truth which he perceives and expounds is one which peculiarly needs enforcement at the present day, and it is nowhere presented in a more concise or attractive form. This edition is provided with all needful helps, and is the only one now current of the Defense printed by itself, apart from other prose works of Shelley.

UNIVERSITY TOPICS.

MEDICAL EDUCATION.

THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS IN MEDICINE, YALE UNIVERSITY. BY FRANCIS DELAFIELD, M.D., LL.D., PROFESSOR IN THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS IN NEW YORK.

THERE are some subjects and questions which are old and trite, which have been discussed and written about, concerning which we often have a feeling of fatigue and yet which are of such a character that they will not be let alone. No matter how tired we may be of hearing about them, no matter how fruitless the discussions concerning them may seem to be, we still go back to their consideration year after year. We may say the same old things, we may strive in vain for new points of view, but something we must say.

Such a subject is "Medical Education." We have all heard more than enough about it, but we must all hear more; and the reason is simple, it is the profound dissatisfaction that we all feel with medical education as it now exists, and the equally sincere conviction that we ought to make it better.

In its broadest meaning, medical education includes everything necessary to qualify a person to take care of the diseased conditions of human beings. A much narrower view is the office of medical colleges in fitting persons to begin their career. It is to this narrower aspect of the subject that I confine myself. Still further I confine myself to the problem as it exists at this time and in this country, and my point of view is that of a person who has been engaged in teaching for many years.

The problem is, given the present condition of American civilization, what is the best that can be done by American medical colleges, and what is the best product they can turn out?

The evolution of the American medical college and of the American medical student has been of the same character as that of many other things in the United States. For many years a vast country with a scattered population and insufficient capital has been rapidly developing. While there was little poverty, there were no great accumulations of wealth, cities were small, distances were great, the whole country was sparsely settled.

But we have come now to a time in the nation's history, when every one who reaches any great proficiency in science or learning can only do so by great natural powers and enormous industry; when every large undertaking is hampered by the want of enough money.

The American railroad had to be built with insufficient capital and through unsettled districts, which were later to be built up by the railroad itself. This meant not merely economical, but imperfect construction: single-track roads, light rails, wooden bridges, miserable stations, even loss of life. It was all bad, but it was the best possible. It was infinitely better than no railroads at all.

Matters took much the same course with medical colleges. In some city, a number of medical men would join together, raise enough money to hire a building, and establish a medical college. The professorships were easily filled, for no one doubted his own ability to teach in any department. The same man, on an emergency, would fill several chairs, or with equal facility would be transferred from one chair to another. No special training, no personal knowledge of the subjects taught, was necessary. A few books and some oratorical talent made a popular professor.

Neither professors nor students could afford long courses. The professor wanted his time to earn his living by practice. The student was often obliged to earn his living by some other occupation while he was studying medicine, and was obliged to begin the practice of his profession at the earliest possible

moment.

It was all poor and insufficient, but it was the only practicable kind of medical college at the time. And there were

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always men of such talent and industry that, in spite of everything, they learned their business and learned it well.

Now everything is, not so much changed, as changing. The old things have not passed away, but are still mingled with the new. It reminds one of the venerable campus of Yale University, where the architecture of the past, the architecture of the present, and the architecture of the future, are seen in pleasing juxtaposition, evidences of the conservatism, the progress, the versatility, the poverty, the wealth, and the incompleteness of things American.

The State still does not, as a rule, give money to institutions of learning. Private endowments have come, but are still few and insufficient. A moderate number of men have grown up, who are willing to study and teach and do nothing else. A much larger number of students are able to devote a sufficient length of time to the study of their profession.

But yet everything is still unsettled. There are medical colleges which are partly endowed, and others conducted on the old joint stock principle. There are colleges with long courses, and colleges with short courses; colleges with professors of all sorts of degrees of competence; colleges which require some preliminary education, and colleges which admit anybody; colleges which exact strict examinations, and colleges which graduate anybody.

Now looking at things as they are and not as they might be, as they are in this country and not as they are in other countries, what is the best that the medical colleges and those belonging to them can do?

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What we can do will depend, in the first place, on the material furnished to us, out of which we are to make doctors. We have a right to demand that this material should be at least a possible one. We do not want men who have failed in other occupations, and turn to medicine as a last resort; nor men so old that the time of learning has passed by; nor men so without mental training that most of their college course is spent in learning how to learn; nor men so poor that they have not the time to study their profession. We want men who begin to study medicine at about the age of twenty years, with a liberal education, and with sufficient means to devote their

whole time for six years to the study of medicine and to nothing else.

The changes which are now going on in the plans of study in the new universities, however useful they may eventually prove to be, are at the present time an embarrassment to the medical colleges.

The attempt is being made to change the old academical departments into departments of philosophy and the arts, with the idea that such departments should be on the same plane as those of medicine, law, theology, etc. The complete carrying out of this plan means that the entrance examinations to all the departments of a university should be the same, that no one should enter any department until he was nineteen or twenty years old, that the education up to the time of entrance should be carried on outside of the university. It means that students of medicine, theology, law, etc., should not receive any thing corresponding to the education of the old academical depart ments of the colleges, but should enter their special department of the university directly from the schools.

Just at present such an university system is but imperfectly carried out. The standard of entrance examinations has been raised, but is still within the reach of boys of sixteen. The preparatory schools keep their pupils up to a more advanced age, but are still only boys' schools. The universities wish to retain the large numbers of students to which they are accustomed, and fear to carry out logically changes which would make the department of arts and literature no larger than that of theology or law.

At the present time and with the present university system at Yale and Harvard, a young man who wishes to have some sort of liberal education and yet to study medicine, has to do one of three things: He may be of sufficient ability to enter college at sixteen, go through his four years' course, graduate and begin the study of medicine at twenty. He may enter college at eighteen or nineteen and leave, at the end of two or three years, in order that he may have time left for his medical education. He may not go to college at all, but take two or three years at a scientific school.

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