Abbildungen der Seite

ground for seed, and without rest to protect the sprouting of the seed no good thing ever grew.

Of many follies in a commonwealth concerning rest the chief is that rest is not needed for all effort therein. Thus one man at leisure will obtain work of another for many days without a sufficiency of rest for him and thinking to profit by this. But if he does profit singly it is like one eating his own flesh, since the withdrawal of rest from those that labor will soon eat up the commonwealth itself.

Much that men do with most particularity is for the establishment of rest. Wise men have often ordered gardens for this purpose only. Beds also are devised best when they give the deepest interval of repose and are surrounded by artifice with prolonged silence, and curtained from light. It is so with rooms removed from the other rooms of a house, and with days set apart from labor and with certain kinds of companionship.

Undoubtedly the regimen of rest is for men that of sleep, and sleep is a sort of medicine to rest and again a true expression of it. For though these two, Rest and Sleep, are not the same, yet without sleep no man can think of rest nor has rest any one better body or way of being than this thing sleep. For in sleep a man utterly sinks down, in proportion as it is deep and good, into the centre of things and becomes one with that from which he came, drawing strength not only by negation from repose, but in some way positive from the being of his mother which is the earth. Some say that sleep is better near against the ground on this account, and all men know that sleep in wild places and without cover is the surest and the best. Sleep promises waking as rest does a renewal of power, and the good dreams that come to us in sleep are a proof that in sleep we are still living.

A man may deny himself any voluptuousness but rest. He may forego wine or flesh or anything of the body, and music or disputation, or anything of the mind, or love itself, or even companionship, but not rest, for if he would deny himself this he wastes himself and is himself no longer. Rest, therefore, is a necessary intermittent which we must have both for soul and body, and is the only necessity inherent to both those two, so long as those two are bound together in the matter and net of this world. For food is a necessity to the body and virtue to the soul, but rest and the same rest to one and to the other.

There is no picture of delight in which we envy other men so much as when lacking rest we see them possessing it; on which occasions we call out unwisely for a perpetual rest and the cessation of all endeavor. In the same way men that devise a lack of rest devise a great torment and none can long survive it.

Rest and innocence make good fellows, for rest is easier to the innocent man, and the wicked suffer unrest in some sort always on account of God's presence warning them, though this unrest is stronger and much more to their good if men also warn them and if they live among such fellows in their commonwealth as will not permit their wickedness to be hidden or to go unpunished.

Rest has no time and, in its perfection, must lose all mark of time. So a man sleeping deeply knows not how many hours have passed since he fell asleep until he awake again.

There are many good accompaniments for rest, slow and distant music which at last is stiller and then silent, the scent of certain herbs and flowers and particularly of roses, clean linen, a pure clear air and the coming of night. To all these things prayer, an honorable profession and a preparation of the

mind are in general a great aid, and in the heat of the season cool water refreshed with essences. A man also should make his toilet for rest if he would have it full and thorough and prepare his body as his soul for a relaxation. He does well also in the last passage of his mind into sleep to commend himself to the care of God, remembering both how petty are all huThe Eye-Witness.

man vexations and also how weathercock they are, turning now a face of terror and then in a moment another face of laughter or of insignificance. Many troubles that seem giants at evening are but dwarfs at sunrise, and some most terrific prove ghosts which speed off with the broadening of the day.

H. Belloc.


The words at the head of this article might have seemed a gloomy title for Lord Rosebery to apply to the medical profession in his address to the students of the London Hospital had he not expressly and handsomely explained the conditions of the application. Doctors are the forlorn hope of humanity because they are always carrying on a struggle which can have but one termination. They may fight a gallant delaying action, but the angel of death must be the victor in the end. Yet doctors never despair in the practice of their profession, and always seek new strength and knowledge from their adversities. Antæus-like, they rise reinvigorated every time they touch earth. In fact, in Lord Rosebery's opinion, the medical profession is "the noblest secular profession in the world." We think so, too. But for that matter we suppose that every one would agree with him to the extent of taking the industry and self-sacrifice of doctors to be axioms of our social life. Lord Rosebery remarked that people of his own generation knew very little about medical students, and what they did know was all wrong. His generation had grown to manhood under the impression that all medical students were like Mr. Bob Sawyer and Mr. Benjamin Allen-“dirty, drunken, and unscrupulous," "the vilest speci

mens of the human race that even fiction represented." Lord Rosebery forgot, no doubt, that his generation includes men whose knowledge of medical students in the middle of last century was not purely literary. The medical student of Dickens's day was certainly not of the type of Bob Sawyer, though there may have been Sawyers in existence. To-day, at all events, the typical medical student, so far from being dirty, drunken, and unscrupulous, is clean, sober, and scrupulous. He does not need to drink in order to enjoy himself. He can make enough row for his pleasure without that. A nervous old lady who beheld the future oracles of Harley Street returning vociferously in fancy dress from an inter-hospital football match on the tops of motor omnibuses might have qualms as to the seriousness of the profession, but she would be wrong. Bob Sawyer would not have been interested enough in football to make a noise over it. Indeed, he could not have played it at all, any more than he could have swum (as Lord Rasebery remarked) a mile in "record" time, as Mr. Morris, one of the students at the London Hospital, did lately.

There have been vast changes in the habits, both professional and social, of doctors, and they did not, of course, suffer in dimension from Lord Rose

bery's device of taking his standards from Dickens and Thackeray. As he said, except in a few rural districts, the old-fashioned doctor who compounded his own medicines no longer exists. Such a doctor called himself an apothecary, which, as a word, is more interesting than the modern title of "general practitioner," and strictly understood is not less dignified. There is an account of the rise of a small apothecary to fashion and eminence in Thackeray's description of Pendennis's father:

Early in the Regency of George the Magnificent there lived in a small town in the West of England, called Clavering, a gentleman whose name was Pendennis. There were those alive who remembered having seen his name painted on a board, which was surmounted by a gilt pestle and mortar over the door of a very humble little shop, in the city of Bath, where Mr. Pendennis exercised the profession of apothecary and surgeon; and where he not only attended gentlemen in their sick-rooms, and ladies at the most interesting periods of their lives, but would condescend to sell a brown-paper plaster to a farmer's wife across the counter-or to vend tooth-brushes, hairpowder, and London perfumery. For these facts a few folks at Clavering could vouch, where people's memories were more tenacious, perhaps, than they are in a great bustling metropolis.


And yet that little apothecary who sold a stray customer a pennyworth of salts, or a more fragrant cake of Windsor soap, was a gentleman of good education, and of as old a family as any in the whole county of Somerset. had a Cornish pedigree which carried the Pendennises up to the time of the Druids-and who knows how much farther back? They had intermarried with the Normans at a very late period of their family existence, and they were related to all the great families of Wales and Brittany. Pendennis had had a piece of University education, too, and might have pursued that career with great honor, but that in his second

year at Cambridge his father died insolvent, and poor Pen was obliged to betake himself to the pestle and apron. He always detested the trade, and it was only necessity and the offer of his mother's brother, a London apothecary of low family, into which Pendennis's

father had demeaned himself by marrying, that forced John Pendennis into so odious a calling.

He quickly after his apprenticeship parted from the coarse-minded practitioner his relative, and set up for himself at Bath with his modest medical ensign. He had for some time a hard struggle with poverty; and it was all he could do to keep the shop and its gilt ornaments in decent repair, and his bed-ridden mother in comfort; but Lady Ribstone happening to be passing to the Rooms with an intoxicated Irish chair-man who bumped her ladyship up against Pen's very door-post, and drove his chair-pole through the handsomest pink bottle in the surgeon's window, alighted screaming from her vehicle, and was accommodated with a chair in Mr. Pendennis's shop, where she was brought round with cinnamon and salvolatile.

Mr. Pendennis's manners were so uncommonly gentlemanlike and soothing that her ladyship, the wife of Sir Pepin Ribstone, of Codlingbury, in the county of Somerset, Bart., appointed her preserver, as she called him, apothecary to her person and family, which was very large. Master Ribstone, coming home for the Christmas holidays from Eton, over-ate himself and had a fever, in which Mr. Pendennis treated him with the greatest skill and tenderness.


a word, he got the good graces of the Codlingbury family, and from that day began to prosper. The good company of Bath patronized him, and amongst the ladies especially he was beloved and admired. First his humble little shop became a smart one: then he discarded the selling of tooth-brushes and perfumery, as unworthy of a gentleman of an ancient lineage; then he shut up the shop altogether, and only had a little surgery attended by a genteel young man; then he had a gig with a man to drive him; and, before her exit

from this world, his poor old mother had the happiness of seeing from her bed-room window, to which her chair was rolled, her beloved John step into a close carriage of his own-a one-horse carriage it is true, but with the arms of the family of Pendennis handsomely emblazoned on the panels.

The writer once heard a member of a well-known family say that he remembered very well how, when he was a boy, the family doctor was invariably shown into the housekeeper's room, where he remained till a message was sent that the great lady was ready for him. The change is complete from the old gentleman who always wore a frock-coat and, according to Mr. George Russell, was distinguished by his zeal in saying "hum!" and "hah!" and by his introductory remark of, "And how are we to-day?" The young doctor now, full of learning though he be, is more likely to startle his patient by some quite unconventional comments. "Feeling a bit rotten are you? Well, it's not to be wondered at after what you've been through. All you have got to do is to try to stick it out, and, of course, I'll do what I can to help you," and so on. This man is a nicer type than sodden Bob Sawyer, and as for his knowledge he is æons in advance of Hum-and-hah.

The less conventional bearing of doctors to-day is, perhaps, symbolical of the fact for we believe it is a factthat there is less humbug in their profession than ever there was. apothecary was a "great man," said Lord Rosebery.

The old medicineWe have But

a vision of a sort of witch-doctor. it is the merit of the modern doctor that he uses no more humbug than is necessary and desirable to soothe an hysterical patient or humor a hypochrondriacal one. The chief point is that he never humbugs himself. He does not claim any virtue or merit, although a profession which does so

much "good" might excusably fall into that habit. Imagine the case of a doctor dead tired at night after a long day. He hopes to be able to sit in his arm-chair, talk to his wife, and enjoy a smoke. A call comes for him to visit some poor person. He does not know whether the case is really urgent, but it may be. He must not run the risk of refusing to go. There is no question here of his losing a valuable patient through carelessness. From the point of view of profit it is an opportunity of doing business which every man in every other profession would reject on the spot. But the doctor, just because he is the forlorn hope of humanity, cannot leave out the human side; he does what is required of him without fuss or excessive repining, and certainly without calling upon the world to witness what a fine fellow he is. The enforced social isolation of doctors is plain enough to any one who has tried to get a busy general practitioner to dinner. Not a single hour of the day or night is his own, or can safely be said to be his own, in advance.

If the absence of self-complacency is one proof of the general lack of humbug among doctors, another and a more important proof is the steady refusal of the whole profession to exploit human nature. Perhaps people have not commonly pictured to themselves how extraordinarily easy it would be for doctors to do this. A little not very venal casuistry with themselves, and they might turn credulous and nervous patients into regular sources of income without its being demonstrable or even morally certain that they were obtaining money under false pretences. They might do much worse than that. If

they combined together to make money at all costs-which is no more than the ordinary rapacity of some trades-they might hold humanity up to ransom. Suppose that they kept dark a scientific discovery, refusing to apply their se

cret knowledge for the relief of suffering unless large sums were paid for the service. We understand that even in so liberal and highly civilized a country as France certain medical treatments may be patented. But an English doctor is bound to throw his most The Spectator.

precious discoveries into the public pool. When we remember that this result is the fruit of "medical etiquette" we feel that we can well bear with that etiquette even in the rare instances when it seems to be, in its immediate application, a little intolerant and petty.


There is no doubt that many women of the present day secretly long to hold a salon. They find something irresistibly attractive in the vision of welllit rooms full of clever and attractive people: here a game of cards, there the sparkling of epigrams, a duel of wit between two brilliant beings surrounded by an appreciative circle of admirers, over there a talented artist receiving the congratulations of those who have seen his latest picture, and still more fervid praise from those who have not enjoyed the privilege.

By the fire stands a poet reciting some choice verses to an attentive group; and, in the distance, faint music speaks of a patronage that is not accorded to one or two of the muses alone; while in the secret chambers of her imagination the visionary sees a charming picture of herself-as hostess-gracefully reclining upon a brocaded sofa and receiving the homage and compliments of her appreciative guests.

Let us try to realize the modern obstacles to such a scheme: amongst the chief being absence of leisure; for such an element there is no room in our lives now; and without leisure there can be no salon. I imagine that it must take time to compose a literary gem that is to be recited before the scathing and merciless criticism of an audience composed entirely of our intimate personal friends.

Again, how was the repartee managed? Did you retire to a distant chair and hatch an epigram, so to speak? Or did you bring it with you written down?

Either practice would be almost impossible to-day: in the first instance for the reason already given (the lack of time). How would it be possible for anyone, however clever, to hatch an epigram between the items of a crowded evening-dinner party, opera, dances during which the salon itself can only be squeezed in somehow with the greatest difficulty. Unthinkable! As to the second instance: if the wit were a woman-pockets being now extinct, where would she conceal and carry the witticism-in the case of a written jest? Also, have we (men or women) any of us handwritings that we can read ourselves? Print is out of the question: a typewritten bon mot would look most suspicious.

Then we come to another problem: the fatal facility of movement given by motors at the present time. Years ago sedan chairs and chariots caused movement to be cumbersome; the fashion, both in clothes and vehicles, made it difficult to speed from one entertainment to another: the mere setting out from home was a little ceremony in itself; while the slightest doubt about the sobriety of your chair-men or the quality of the weather gave you pause and your hostess breathing

« ZurückWeiter »