Icysptch at August 03,
Out-of-the-Way Books and Authors: We suppose there may be here and there somebody venturesome enough to ex- plore the upper shelves of the circulat- ing library where the three volumes re- pose with their dead contemporaries, and, struck by the sounding romantic title, or moved by the literary traditions of the past, wipe the dust from the book, and perchance make acquaintance with the gentle patience of Laura and the malignity of her corrupt and contempti- ble lord.
If the reader bring to the perusal knowledge of the world and thoughtful consideration of its virtues and vices, he will, spite of the unpleas- ant company of despicable, ruthless crime to which he is introduced in por- tions of the work, be not unfavorably impressed alike with the genius and amiable philosophical temperament of the authora man of taste and rellec- don, of a complete, well-rounded career of human experience, who had seen life, as it has happened to few so capable observers to see it, in private and in public, in its more familiar and in its most extraordinary aspects.
His native country, Scotland, not ac- customed to neglect her worthies, may take an honest pride in John Moore. He came of a good stock. Under these auspices, young Moore was diligently educated at the University of Glasgow, and, medicine being chosen for his pro- fession, was apprenticed to Gordon, the philanthropic surgeon, to whom thc novelist Smollett, not long before, had been a pupil.
Duly instructed in the science, at the early age of ninetecn he secured the patronage of the Duke of Argyle, then a commoner, and in an official surgical capacity accompanied him and his regiment to Flanders, where he served under General Brad- dock.
He subsequently renewed his medical studies at Paris and London, and, having married happily, pursued the practice of his profession at Glas- gow, to the age of forty-three, when, being engaged as the travelling compan Entered in the yeorby 1.
Five years were passed with this nobleman, of course with every social advantage, in the study of the chief capitals of Europe. On returning home he published his first work, A View of Society and Manners in France, Swit- zerland, and Germany, followed by a similar work on Italy.
Zeluco, his first novel, appeared inwhen the author had reached the mature age of fifty-seven. In he accompanied the Earl of Lauderdale to Paris, on a tour of observation, and was an eye-wit- ness of the culminating horrors of the French Revolution. He shortly after published a narrative of his residence in France, and subsequently a View of the Causes and Progress of the French Revolution.
These, with the exception of a volume of Medical Sketches and a memofr of Smollett, complete the series of the authors publications. He died in England, inat the age of seven- ty-three, leaving a family of several sons all honorably employed in the profes- sions, the eldest of whom, General Sir John Moore, has his place in history.
The filling up of this skeleton outline is to be supplied from the books of the author; and they afford, as we have intimated, a rare opportunity of becom- ing acquainted with a man whom it is a pleasure to know.
There is probably no profession which affords better op- portunities for the study of character than that of the physician; and when it is exercised by a man of natural good sense, of thorough education, of a kind, sympathetic heart, of powers of reflec- tion, we would rank it foremost in this particular.
The lawyer sees much of his fellow-men, but generally in a hard, selfish aspect, in the preservation of the rights of property or the defence of wounded character. The clergyman is witness to much of suffering and much of heroism; but there are fewer dis- guises with the physician.
Ego te intus et in cute novi may he fairly say with the Roman satirist, of the race of man, whose existence he watches at every stage, from the cradle to the grave. There is, to be sure, the danger to the physician, common to him with the members of the other professionsthat of blinding his judgment by a species of studied conventionalism, with the opposite risk of enterbining a habit of contempt, generated naturally enough by the constant sight of the weakness and corruptions of poor humanity.
From these tendencies the physician can be saved only by the possession of an intellect of unusual soundness, and a heart of uncommon benevolence. Where these exist, as in the case of Moore, there are boundless charity and unfathomable sympathy.
There are living patterns of such men; and they may be looked for at the very summit of the profession. You may know them by the qualities which mark the true man of science and the true man of feeling. Calm, patient, sedate; looking tranquilly out upon the world with an eye that hath kept watch oer many s mortality; tolerant judges, in their wide experience, of human frailty; ever seeking to relieve suffering; cultivating cheerfulness as a prime minister of their art; daily ob- servers of the severest trials of endur- ance, and of the most touching examples of devotion ;the tired actor, wearied with his part on the stage of the world.
The reason, perhaps, why there are so few authors, depicters of life and man- One must be of the profession, and above it, to enjoy the advantages we have suggested. This was the lot of Moore, which quali- fied him for his literary work.
He was early thrown upon the world in that army-life which has bred so many good authors.
Then his occupation as a sur- geon relieved him from the pottering, dwindling tendencies which too often entangle the physicianreverencing the sovereign healing ministries of nature, he freely ridiculed the excessive pre- scriptions of his dayand, what was essential to his career, he was, at the prime of life, exempted from the routine of the calling, and summoned to play his part, with a freedom which could not exist for him in Great Britain, in unreserved intercourse with the highest and most cultivated social circles of France, Germany, and Italy, and this too at a period when the whole continent was in a ferment of new ideas, when Europe was laboring with the great birth of the Revolution.
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