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to those who had immediate rule over his time. Nevertheless, the torrent was set loose, and the most astonishing fact demonstrated by the volume now before us is, that in less than a year and a half, in about fifteen months, the Opus Majus had been written for Pope Clement, the Opus Minus had been sent after it to recapitulate its argument and strengthen some of its parts, the Opus Tertium had followed upon that, as Summary and Introduction to the whole, enriched with further novelty, and prefaced •with those touching details to which we have just referred. The details appear in explanation of the strict account of requisite disbursements which had been sent to the pope j with the last treatise, because to raise the | means of making them the friar had pawned J to poor men the credit of the Holy See. ] The Opas Majus, edited by Doctor Samuel! Jebb in 1733, is a large closely printed folio. The Opus Tertium, serving for argument and introduction to the whole, as now first printed in the volume before us, occupies more than three hundred pages. The mere fragment which alone has been discovered of the Opus Minus fills in the same volume eighty pages more. Yet Bacon performed the duties of his order, read and experimented, framed intricate tables, and had to superintend the work of his transcribers. His eagerness must have been sleepless ; but there is no record of any acknowledgment that it received.
Roger Bacon, then fifty-three years old, •aw to the heart of the knowledge of his time, and it had life for him. He rejected nearly all its vanities and follies, and perceived the harmony among its truths. The body of doctrine that he urged in the Opus Majus, reiterated in the Opus Minus, and summed up for his holiness in the Opus Tertium, sets out with the principle that there are four grounds of human ignorance: trust in inadequate authority, the force of custom, the opinion of the inexperienced crowd, and I the hiding of one's own ignorance with the 1 parading of a superficial wisdom. No part of that ground has yet been cut away from beneath the feet of students, although six centuries ago the Oxford friar clearly pointed out its character. We still make sheep walks of second, third, and fourth and fiftieth hand references to authority; still we are the slaves of habit; still we are found following too frequently the untaught crowd; still we flinch from the righteous and wholesome phrase, I do not know! and acquiesce actively in the opinion of others that we know what they appear to know. Substitute honest research, original and independent thought, strict truth in the comparison of only what we really know with what is really
known by others, and the strong Redan of ignorance has fallen.
But because much ignorance arises and is perpetuated through uncertain use of words, the right study of grammar, and the art of exact expression must be taken as the portal to sound Knowledge. In bis day, says Bacon, "ego currit" passed as grammar, and "contraries may be like" as logic, among youths who were " sine ulla arte artium magistri." Great stress is laid upon the study of languages and the getting rid of untrue translations, especially those of the Bible and of Aristotle. He would have learned men •study to read the Bible accurately in the original tongues. Of Aristotle, he declared that it would be a blessing if he never yet had been translated, so great was the confusion of good knowledge caused by the incompetence of those who turned him into Latin. Next to grammar and languages, Bacon placed mathematics, which in nis day ineludcd all physical science, adding a particular consideration of optics and ending with the study of nature by experiment, which, he says, is at the root of all other science and a basis of religion.
In this order he traced the course of knowledge in his Opus Majus and the works connected with it. In the same order he afterwards prepared upon a grander scale his summary of knowledge, not in a brief conspectus, but in a scries of ample treatises, whereof a grammar and some other parts are extant in MSS., soon, we hope, to appear in print under the sound editorship of Professor Brewer.
Some of the discoveries attributed to Roger Bacon are ascribed to him, perhaps, through ignorance of the substance of knowledge in the middle ages. He is far from attributing to himself any discovery of optic lenses, but records the belief that Julius Cassar set up great glasses on the coast of Gaul to observe the people and cities on the shores of Britain when he designed his invasion. He knew how to imitate thunder and lightning with gunpowder, but had doubtless that knowledge from his oriental studies, and did not suggest any use for the explosive force. In the mechanical chapter of that remarkable letter "On the Secrets of Art and Nature, and the Nullity of Magic," which Mr. Brewer very properly has included in an appendix, we read, "It is possible to make a chariot move with an inestimable swiftness, and this motion to be without the help of any living creature." Yet we cannot say that Roger Bacon was discoverer of locomotive engines. The careful reader of his works does not, in fact, dwell upon isolated curiosities, but notes rather the philosophic tone of the whole argument, the clearness
with which truth is apprehended, the nicety of .mathematical calculation, the evidence of actual and careful astronomical research, aud the wise tone in which those errors are discredited with which Roger Bacon's name has, by perversity, been for so many centuries associated. He explicitly condemns the doctrine of astrology dominant in his day, which attributed events to the working of the constellations, and foretold them occordingly, allowing "nothing to freewill, nothing to accident or fortune, nothing to prudence." He was so far from accepting Imagical doctrines that he censures even the priests who attributed magical power to the holy water sprinkled on not irons for the ordeal, or to prayers over running streams at the immersion of witches. But he cautiously allows some force, as men do still, to the opinion that faith in charms, by acting cheerfully upon the mind, may cause them to effect some cures. That Roger Bacon was the true originator of the reform of the Julian calandar there is good reason to believe.
Mr. Brewer's volume is the first of two or three which will in fact contain the more important and the larger part of Roger Bacon's works, for the unpublished MSS. outweigh in extent and even in value all that has hitherto appeared in print. The list of what has formerly been printed is exhausted soon. In 1542 Claudius Coelestinus edited at Paris,
and in 1617 Doctor Dee printed at Hamburg the Letter, De Secretis Operibus Arti.ift Natura;, which was translated by an Englishman in 1G59. At Nuremberg there was printed in 1614 the Speculum Alchemice, At Oxford there was printed in 1590 the treatise, which was translated in 1683 by Doctor Richard Browne, as "The Cure of Old Age." Its doctrine is that man being by nature Potens non mori, if everybody, from the breast upward, followed a complete regimen of health, he might reach the utmost limit " that the nature he had from his parents would permit, beyond which there is no further progress." That doctrine we receive from the physicians of the present day. To this brief list we have only to add Doctor Jebb's edition of the Opus Majus; even that is, however, wanting the book upon Natural Science, which it is left to Professor Brewer to supply. "It is easier," said Leland, "to collect the leaves of the Sibyl than the titles of the works written by Roger Bacon." Nevertheless to the acute and practised eye of Professor Brewer, which identified the disjointed, ill-copied fragment of the Opus Minus, given here, and found a MS. of the Opus Teriium in Lambeth Library, under the modern title of De Laude Sacrce Scripturee, we look for the collection of no inconsiderable number of the works themselves.
Bumptious And Gumption.—Sir E. L. B. Irytton, in My Novel, gives an amusing disquisition on the words gumption and bumptious :—
"' She was always—not exactly proud like— but what I call gumptious.'
"'I never heard that word before,' snid the parson. 'Bumptious, indeed, though 1 believe it is not in the dictionary, lias crept into familUr parlance, especially amongst young folks at school and college."
"Bumptious is bumptious, and gumptious is gumptious,' said the landlord. 'Now, the town beadle is bumptious, and Mrs. Avcncl is gumptious.'
"' She is a very respectable woman/ said Mr. Dale.
"In course, sir; all gumptious folks arc: they value themselves on their respectability, and look down on their neighbors.'
"Parson. "Gumptious—gumption. I think I remember the substantive at school; not that my master taught it to me. Gumption, — it i cleverness.' •
"Landlord. "There's gnmption and gumptious! Gumption is knowing; but when I say that sum un is gumptious, I mean — though that's more vulgar like—sum un who docs not think small beer of hisself. You take me, sir?'" W. C.
When the question about gumption was first started, it at once struck me that it was connected with qairm, and gawmless; at the same time the word bumptious suggested itself as being a conniption of presumptuous, to which it in the main corresponds. J. Eastwood.
Gumption, needfulness, carefulness, ncutcncss of observation. It is still in use in the south of Scotland; from A-S.gyman,geman; from which, to gome, still in use in south of Scotland (but not found in Jamicson's Scottish Dictionary), to observe, take heed, zcmcn (Ancren Rime, Jmissim).
Ijumptians, in common use in Lincolnshire, presumptuous, pertinacious. In Holloway'g Diet, of Provincialisms it is, " apt to take unintended affronts; petulantly, and arrogantly."— Note* and Queries. J. Ms.
From The Cornhill Magniine. UNDER CHLOROFORM. Most people take an interest in any authentic account of the mode in which important surgical operations are performed, -whenever opportunity is offered of gratifying their very natural curiosity. Such opportunities arc however somewhat rare. The columns of the newspaper press not unfrequently supply brief, and sometimes curiously incorrect, particulars of the injuries resulting from " an appalling accident" of the night previous, to some unfortunate workman who has fallen from a scaffold, or been mutilated by a railway train. Scraps of hearsay are eagerly gathered up by the penny-a-liner, who, like the fireman's dog of notorious ubiquity, is always first on the spot after the occurrence of a catastrophe; and a remarkable combination of technical phrases culled from the brief remarks of the surgeon in attendance, and from the slender stock which has accumulated in the reporter's brain from previous experiences, makes its appearance in to-morrow's daily journals, and is certain to be reproduced in all the weeklies of Saturday next. Then it is the great public learns with profound horror that some poor victim's shoulder-joint has been dislocated in three places, that the carotid artery was pronounced (surgeons are invariably said to "pronounce") to be fractured, or that there was great contusion and ecchymosis (always a trying word for the compositor) about the spine, and that amputation would probably be necessary.
But sometimes it happens that an overprying public, with a curiosity not much in this instance to be commended, peeps within the pages of the medical press, hoping to unravel some of the mysteries of professional craft. Ten to one that it gets nothing but error for its pains. The technicalities which medical men must necessarily employ when writing for each other, are instructive only to the initiated, and are pregnant with blunders for the simple reader. And few people make more mistakes than our medical amateur who, on the strength of a weekly perusal of >"/,,. Lancet at his club, sets up as an authority in the social circle on questions of physiology and physic.
Occasionally, moreover, after dinner, when the ladies have left the table, and the men alone remain to empty decanters and derange a dessert, one has the gratification of meeting some very young gentleman, who, the week before last, presented his proud father with the diploma of " the college," elegantly framed and glazed, in return for an education which has cost five years and a thousand pounds, and who astonishes his elderly associates with a highly tinted sketch of some
operative achievement, in which perchance he assisted at the hospital. As he surveys the auditory, silent and absorbed by his heartstirring description, and complacentlv witnesses the admiration which such evidence of his own familiarity with harrowing scenes, and of his apparent absence of emotion, elicits, it is to be feared that its influence, associated with that of the port, a beverage appreciated by our young friend, if one may judge by the quantity he imbibes, tends to render the information obtained, as one may say almost at first hand, not go absolutely trustworthy as a man of fact is accustomed to desire.
After a due survey then of the varied sources from which most people obtain information respecting the topics in question, and after some observation of the character and quality of the knowledge so acquired, we have formed the deliberate conclusion that they possess very erroneous, and very inadequate notions about the nature of a surgical operation. No doubt all admire the sang-froid and skill, possession of which is necessary to make a good surgical operator —qualities, by the way, which are perhaps more frequently developed by training, than found already existing as a natural inheritance. But it is germane to our purpose to remember that everybody has a direct practical concern in the existence of an available supply of the necessary talent to meet a certain demand on the part of the body politic, for no one knows how soon his own personal necessities may not be such as to give him the strongest possible interest in its exercise: a demand that is absolutely inevitable;—for be assured that, without any wish to alarm you, gentle reader, Mr. Neison will, if requested to make the calculation, inform us at once what the numerical chances are that your own well-proportioned nether limb will, or will not, fall before the surgeon's knife, or that that undoubtedly hard and welldeveloped cranium may not yet be scientifically explored by " trepan" or "trephine." He will estimate with unerring certainty the probability (to nine places of decimals, if you demand it) that your own fair person may become the subject of some unpleasing excrescence; and also what the chances are that you must seek the surgeon's aid to remove it. While Mr. Buckle will stoutly maintain, and you will find it hard to gainsay him, that, given the present conditions of existence, a certain ascertainable number of tumors, broken legs, and natural-born deformities will regularly make their appearance every year among the human family. And he will probably add, that it is perfectly within the province of possibility to calculate, if we had all the required data, the exact number of individuals who have the requisite courage to submit to operation; as of those who will not have heart to do so, and who •will inevitably die without benefit of surgery; together with the exact percentage to the population of those who will, and who will not, put faith in the blessed boon of chloroform.
It is a blessed boon; and in olden times the possessor of such a secret would have been the most potent wizard of which the earth has yet heard tell. What miracles might not have been performed by it! What dogmas might not have been made divine and true by its influence! Happy was it that those great powers, the magic of chemical and electrical discovery, have been brought to light in a time when they can be used mainly to enlighten and bless, and not to darken and oppress mankind!
But that word chloroform is happily significant that it is to no scene of suffering that we would introduce our readers. There is no need to shrink, or to question the taste which exhibits the details of a surgical operation to the vulgar eye. It is not designed, even in this stirring time, after the fashion of ancient Home, to deaden our sensibilities, or to accustom our youth to witness deeds of blood and violence without shrinking. No trace of suffering will be visible in the picture which shall pass before us. So great is the triumph which modern surgical art displays, so great the boon which it has conferred upon humanity! It is this which we propose to illustrate, by describing the single and simple process involved in cutting off a leg.
Permit us first, however, to cast a passing glance, by way of contrast, to the established and orthodox fashion of performing that operation some centuries ago. Bear with us but a moment, and in imagination hope that then, when painless surgery was unknown, no patient lacked support in his hour of trial (long hours then, in truth !) from that great and never-failing source which flows, unmeasured and unfathomable, for all humanity, alike in every age.
Until the last three or four hundred years, amputation of a limb was very rarely performed, except when, from injury or disease, its extrcm ity had begun to mortify; and then, few surgeons ventured to make incisions in the sound portion, but limited themselves to an operation through the tissues which had already lost their vitality. This timidity was due to the fact that they were unacquainted with any effectual means of stopping the bleeding from the larger arteries divided by the knife. Certain and easy as is the control of such bleeding now, by the simple process of tying a piece of thread or
THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE. 549
silk round the extremity of the bleeding vessel (as we shall hereafter see,) it was unknown, at all events as applicable to amputation, to any surgical writer from Hippocrates, 400 B.c., or from Celsus, who flourished in the first Christian century, to the fifteenth. Consequently, the numerous instances of injury and disease, in which life is now saved by a timely resort to amputation, were then always fatal. Hence, also, arose the various expedients which the more adventurous operators of the time resorted to, in order to stop fatal bleeding, with the effect only of increasing the patient's torture, and with the attainment or no good result. Thus the incisions were performed with a red-hot knife, that the divided vessels, seared and charred by the horrible contact, might contract, or become plugged, and so be prevented from bleeding (Albucasis, eleventh century.) Effective for the instant, the force of the circulation quickly overpowered the slender obstruction, and fatal haemorrhage, sooner or later, took place. Yet this plan continued more or less in vogue down to the discovery of the ligature in the sixteenth century, and was practised even later in Germany by the celebrated Ilildanus (1641 ;) although he subsequently adopted the new method. According to another fashion, the surgeon, after making a tedious division of the flesh down to the bone, with studied endeavor not to divide the arteries until the last moment, relied on applications of redhot irons, or of some styptic fluid, usually a Eowerful acid or astringent, to arrest the lecding. If these were not successful, a vessel of boiling pitch was at hand, ready prepared, into which the bleeding stump was plunged. Between Scylla and Charybdis, the patient rarely escaped with life j either he died from loss of blood in a few hours, or less; or if the dreadful remedies succeeded, he survived a day or two, to die of fever or exhaustion. After an earlier method, that of Guido di Caulico (1303), a bandage of plaster was made to encircle the member so tightly that mortification attacked all the parts below, which then, after the lapse of months, dropped off, a horribly loathsome and offensive mass. Another surgeon, Botalli (15CO), invented a machine to sever the limb in an instant by a single stroke; and it was not uncommon at this period to effect the same purpose by the hatchet, or by a powerful mallet and chisel.
It is to Ambrose Pare, the great French surgeon, who flourished in the sixteenth century, that we owe the application of the ligature (used long before m ordinary wounds) to the bleeding arteries in amputation. He discarded the use of the red-hot cautery, and of all the frightful adjuncts already described; and accomplished his purpose by carrying the thread round the vessel by means of a needle passed through the soft parts adjacent —a method of adjustment which, although still in use, is now employed only in exceptional instances. Richard Wiseman, sometimes styled the father of English surgery, who practised about the middle of the seventeenth century, is believed to have been ths first to employ the ligature in our own country, and to relinquish the application of heated irons. At this era also, the circulation of the blood was discovered by the renowned Harvey, and the distinction between arteries and veins being thenceforth clearly understood, the value of the ligature was rendered more than ever obvious.
But enough of this-: let us sooth our ruffled nerves by seeing how the thing is done to-day. We will take a quiet post of observation in the area of the operating theatre at one of our metropolitan hospitals, in this year of our Lord 1860. Notice is posted that amputation of the thigh will be performed at two o'clock, P.m., and we occupy our seat ten minutes before the hour.
The area itself is small, of a horse-shoe form, and surrounded by seats rising on a steep incline one above another to the number of eight or nine tiers. From one hundred to one hundred and fifty students occupy these, and pack pretty closely, especially on the lower rows, whence the best view is obtained. For an assemblage of youths between eighteen and twenty-five years, who have nothing to do but to wait, they are tolerably well-behaved and quiet. Three or four practical jokers, however, it is .evident, are distributed among them, and so the time passes all the quicker for the rest. The clock has not long struck two, when the folding-doors open, and in walk two or three of the leading surgeons of the hospital, followed by a staff of dressers, and a few professional lookers-on; the latter being confined to seats reserved for them on the lowest .and innermost tier. A small table, covered with instruments, occupies a place on one side of the area; water, sponges, towels, and .lint, are placed on the opposite. The surgeon who is about to operate, rapidly glances over the table, and sees that his instruments are all there, and in readiness. He requests .a colleague to take charge of the tourniquet, .and with a word deputes one assistant to "take the flaps," another to hold the limb, .a third to hand the instruments, and the last .to take charge of the sponges. This done, .and while the patient is inhaling chloroform in an adjoining apartment, under the care of .a gentleman who makes that his special duty, the operator gives to the now hushed and listening auditory, a brief history of the cir
cumstances which led to an incurable disease of the left knee-joint, and the reasons why he decides on the operation about to be performed. He has scarcely closed, when the unconscious patient is brought in by a couple of sturdy porters, and laid upon the operating table, a small, but strong and steady erection, four feet long by two feet wide, which stands in the centre of the area. The left being the doomed leg, the right is fastened by a bandage to one of the supports of the table, so as to be out of harm's way; while the dresser, who has special charge "of the case, is seated on a low stool at the foot of the table, and supports the left. The surgeon who assists, encircles the upper part of the thigh with the tourniquet, placing its pad over the femoral artery, the chief vessel which supplies the limb with blood, and prepares to screw up the instrument, thus to make sure that no considerable amount of the vital fluid can be lost. The operator, standing on the left side of the corresponding leg, and holding in his right hand a narrow, straight knife, of which the blade is at least ten inches long, and looks marvellously bright and sharp, directs his eye to him who gives the chloroform, and awaits the signal that the patient has become perfectly insensible. All is silence profound: every assistant stands in his place, which is carefully arranged so as not to intercept the view of those around.
The words "quite ready " are no sooner whispered, than the operator, grasping firmly with nis left hand the flesh which forms the front part of the patient's thigh, thrusts quietly and deliberately the sharp blade horizontally through the limb, from its outer to its inner side, so that the thigh is transfixed a little above its central axis, and in front of the bone. He next cuts directly downwards, in the plane of the limb, for about four inches, and then obliquely outwards, so as to form a flap, which is seized and turned upwards out of the way by the appointed assistant. A similar transfixion is again made, commencing at the same spot, but the knife is this time carried behind the bone; a similar incision follows, and another flap is formed and held away as before. Lastly, with a rapid circular sweep around the bone ho divides all left uncut; and handing the knife to an assistant, who takes it, and gives a saw in return, the operator divides the bone with a few workmanlike strokes, and the limb Ib severed from the body. A rustling sound of general movement and deeper breathing is heard among the lookers-on, who have followed with straining and critical eyes every act which has contributed to the accomplishment of the task; and some one of the younger students is heard to whisper to hit