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after you--damn it, sir, they think you are going to knock us all outyour book has been seen on Sir Joseph Banks's table.” Would you believe it, my dear George, that somebody speaking of me to Lynn, said I was a sharp, insinuating young man, who would wheedle him out of his hospital ? Lynn's answer was

How the devil will he contrive that?” They have a perfect horror here of the shrewdness and perseverance of Scotchmen.'

However, such unworthy feelings as these, we need not say, could never have been supposed to be shared by the Coopers and the Abernethys, with whoin he associated, and whose 'operations he repeatedly witnessed and assisted.* With such men his mornings and evenings could never be unprofitably spentbut they were generally occupied then, as ever after, in incessant labour. He painted from the Academy figure for his museum, or for illustrating his works, and acquired by and bye such a character as a cognoscente, that parties were formed for the purpose of benefiting by his criticisms on subjects of art contained and opened to him in our best private galleries. Indeed, all our most celebrated artists appreciated him highly, and many were his personal friends. Sir David Wilkie, especially, was his pupil, and remained through life much attached to him. In 1840, when on the eve of departing for the Holy Land, he told Bell how much those early lectures had influenced his present step, making him feel the necessity of studying the exact character of man's frame modified by the circumstances under which

* We transcribe what follows from Bell's note-book of 1826 :

Sir Astley is not only the person in our profession who makes the most distinguished appearance, but he must be long remembered by his teaching and his writings. His works will stand. It was only yesterday he told me it was difficult for a man to retire from business who was liable to be called upon by 7000 members of the profession, whom he had educated. In my opinion he is neither handsome, nor are his manners those of a perfect gentleman-they are very distinctly professional. But I suppose I am wrong in all this, for I have scarcely ever seen him leave a family without the members of it uniting in his praise, and the lady adding “he is so handsome." He is considered very ambitious. He has been blessed by nature with an excellent temper; his natural warmth will never force him into saying or doing anything offensive. He has nothing of that tormenting anxiety for his patient which becomes the burther of life to other men.

• Abernethy, who is a complete contrast to him, has felt the duties of his profession a torture. When I first came to London I was a great deal with him; and many a moonlight night have we wandered over half London, when Abernethy had no other intention than of bidding me good night at his own door. He said to me last night, “ You will believe, I suppose, I might have had great business, but I dislike it; and besides, I was educated—that is, I educated myself—for a lecturer and hospital surgeon. He has not the character of a good operator, I believe because he has no pleasure in it, as the other has; neither has he the capacity nor the disposition for display which belongs to Cooper,

is spoiled by the unrepressed admiration of his connections, and his pupils enjoy his jokes and his wine. We should not regret anything which gives a good man pleasure; but such a life leads only to indolence. Abernethy is stationary, while younger men advance; and bad health has soured him.'


he lives, previous to undertaking those high and solemn subjects with which the great painter hoped to have perfected and closed his career.

The 'Anatomy of Expression' was published in 1806, and at once fixed his reputation. It was praised by all the real judgesit was acknowledged to be the most valuable present that anatomy had ever made to art; but the sale was not large-it was anything but a book for the many. Bell expected, among other things, that it would be considered to give him a claim to the Anatomical Chair in the Academy. Thrice the vacancy occurred, and this darling object was never realized. Once, in 1824, he was, most reluctantly, induced to canvas for it. The reception he met with was very agreeable, and enabled him to note a few features of his visits. Flaxman, a small, decrepid, vivacious man, he found seated around gigantic fragments of antique statues. Northcote, with his pale and animated features, shrouded under a coil of blanket flung over his head and shoulders, entertained him with compliments, and lamentations over the elder and better days of the Academy. Chantrey, flushed with life and fame, walked like a monarch through his spacious studios, where the enormous masses of marble seemed to mark the height of his reputation, and bid fair to perpetuate it:' he thoroughly appreciated Bell—but still Bell failed. But we are anticipating.

Finding no opening as conjoint lecturer in any of the great schools of London, Bell took, in 1807, a cheap, ruinous, old house in Leicester Street, which formerly had been tenanted by Speaker Onslow, and determined there to commence as a teacher; but he had so miscalculated events, that instead of a class of ninety, such as he had left in Edinburgh, he only found three pupils, and it was many years before he numbered forty. The very entrance into his new domain was marked by a circumstance which jarred most unpleasantly on his sensitive mind :

I took my surveyor with me, and was appalled by the account of this great, clumsy, John Bull of a fellow, who on looking out of the window and seeing the walls out of the perpendicular, said, in a coarse, familiar manner Sir, you

had better have nine bastard children than this house over your head.”

The first night he slept in it, while stepping into bed, the floor gave way, and on examining it the next morning he discovered a tube under a loose board, and learnt that this machinery pertained to the Invisible Girl,' which had been exhibited in this identical spot. Bell says in his journal, 'a man brought up as I had been in Scotland, has certain notions of respectability which are very strong and peculiar. I do not know that at any time I was more depressed than when I found the sort of house I possessed.'


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The staple of these events has afforded Wm. Gibson, M.D., Professor of Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania, an occasion of introducing, in his Rambles in Europe,' a well-told ghost-story, and, as he is pleased to term it, the pathetic ballad of Mary's Ghost, published about that time.' Dr. Gibson, having been a pupil in Leicester Street, of course authenticates the facts —that Bell's servants left him one by one-that his house-pupils dreaded sleeping in single rooms, or near the anatomical theatre --that one night while tossing about half-asleep, Bell felt his foot seized by an ice-cold hand,' &c. that the next day the mystery was cleared up by his learning that Onslow House was hunted by a beautiful young lady who died while engaged to be married, and whose body was dissected by the London surgeons. Bell, he adds, remembered, when boasting to old Dr. Garthshore' of his bargain of a house, receiving a reply which he could not account for till months after—'You'll pay dearly enough for it. You might as well have a wife and seven children, or a millstone about your neck. It's a divil of a house, and you'll have a divil of a time in it, I'm thinking. After this substitution, by the American professor, of Dr. Garthshore for a coarse John Bull, and 6 a wife and seven children, plus a millstone, as equivalents for the surveyor's nine bastards, we have the pathetic ballad whose author was evidently a prophet as well as a poet, since Astley Cooper was not Sir Astley until twenty years after Bell left Onslow House :

The body-snatchers they have come,

And made a snatch at me;
'Tis very hard them kind of men

Won't let a body be.
The cock it crows S-I must be gone

My William, we must part;
But I'll be yours in death, although
Sir Astley has my heart.'

Gibson's Rambles in Europe in 1841, p. 142. From 1807 to 1812 Bell resided in Onslow House, and in this period his letters are flushed with confidence and the undefined anticipations of performing one day something great. He might safely write as he felt: for he addressed that brother who, himself full of years and honours, may now feel that to him the world is in no small degree indebted for fostering and encouraging that sensitive mind, which, had it continued under the constant influence of John Bell, might never have achieved for England the discovery of the Nervous System. In a charming little (unpublished) essay, entitled · A Letter to my Earliest Friend on a Method of Drawing,' 1817, Bell says,

" You

' You think I should be able at 400 miles' distance to teach my little namesake to draw. I know no better way than to put a pencil in his hand—to encourage him, and not to use him as a certain brother of ours did me when I was of his age—for I yet can remember the vexation it gave me.

I had drawn with great care a Venus, in the smoothest and softest manner, when, on returning to my work, I found he had with a touch of his pencil propped her very indecently with a pole stuck against the ground on that side to which she unfortunately leaned. A boy's spirits and talents may be lost by such a joke. Encourage yours.'

As early as 1807, occurs the following most remarkable anticipation of his subsequent discoveries :

* December 5, 1807.-My new Anatomy of the Brain is a thing that occupies my brain almost exclusively. I hinted to you formerly that I was burning, or on the eve of a grand discovery. I consider the organs of the outward senses as a distinct class of nerves from the others; I trace them to corresponding parts of the brain, totally distinct from the origin of the others: I take five tubercles within the brain as the internal senses; I trace the nerves of the nose, eye, ear, and tongue to these, and there I see established connections; then the great mass of the brain receives “ ‘processes” from the central tubercles. Again, the great mass of the cerebrum sends down processes or crura, which give off all the common nerves of voluntary motion; and I establish, as it were, a kind of circulation. In this inquiry I describe many new connections; the whole opens up in a new and simple light: the nerves take a simple arrangement, and the parts have appropriate names—the whole according with the phenomena, with pathology, and supported by interesting views. My object is not to publish this, but to lecture it to my friends—to lecture it to Sir Joseph's coterie of old women-to make the town ring with it: as it really is the only thing that has appeared in anatomy since the days of Hunter.'

From this moment, on through several anxious years, the fluctuations of his thoughts and feelings show how much he hoped, and how little he obtained of attention, or sympathy for his labours. In July, 1808, he writes to his brother, -Take a book of anatomy, be it the Encyclopædia, that you may know my merits. I confess I like it the more I consider it: but this is the way with all hobbies, you will say. A week later he is entreating his brother to correct and transcribe a MS., and then submit it to Jeffrey and Playfair—as I will (he says) to Brougham. The anatomists here,' he adds, are below contempt; they cannot judge of it; yet I think it will prove most acceptable to the

profession at large—and, while some will adopt it, the most captious will own it is ingenious.' In August he expresses his delight at his brother's approval, and his eagerness for Mr. Jeffrey's, saying, “How can you be anxious for its originality?—to speak the truth, you cannot be more pleased with it than I am. I am sure I am correct; but I think there will be a great proportion who

not true.

will, as you say, acknowledge it is ingenious, when they mean it is

His hopes were high, as his self-confidence was just but he seems to have met with no one to comprehend or believe in him but his brother. One friend, he complains, thought that of little importance which was the basis of the whole; of another, he suspects that a beautiful essay' had more charms for him than the most striking fact.'

Bell was sadly disappointed : he relinquished for a time the thread of his discoveries, and flung himself into the active duties of his profession more completely; he wrote his letters on Strictures and sundry papers for the Royal and other Societies. He was up at six o'clock in the morning painting from the Academy figure ; and during the day he prepared and gave with much care two lectures. Not till after the lapse of a year do we trace any symptom of his grand hope beginning to revive --Oh,' he says, • for time to finish my “Brain:" it shall be good.' And when his brother presses him (in August, 1808) to make a run down to see his old friends, the answer, perhaps, carries allusion to the same object:

• What are we, my dear brother, when we lose self-esteem ? When I know I am doing my best, the worst comes without a pang-but I would return to London with feelings nearly as uncomfortable as the first time I visited it; and my worst enemy would not wish that. Be assured there is no emotion of pleasure which animates me, but you are somehow interwoven with the feeling.'

In February, 1809, the relics of our army, after the retreat of Corunna, landed; and the opportunity was seized by Bell for maturing his knowledge on the principles of military surgery, which he afterwards believed he had contributed to confirm and settle.

Haslar Hospital.--" Who goes there? A friend. CountersignSpain. Pass, friend; and all is well.” Such is the frequent call under my window. I wish I had written to you during my first sensations, which were, I trust, what every good man should feel. They are blunted by repetition, and I hate myself for being what I am, so mere a creature like the rest, going about my common affairs. I have muttered bitter curses and lamentations, been delighted with the heroism and prowess of my countrymen, and shed tears of pity in the short space of a few minutes. I find myself, my dear George, in a situation unexpected and strange, such as I hope you may never see. I have stepped over hundreds of wretches in the most striking variety of woe and misery, picking out the wounded. Each day as I awake I still see the long line of the sick and lame slowly moving from the beach --it seems to have no end—and there is something in the very slow and interrupted motion of these distant objects singularly affecting.'

In 1810 Bell had a very dangerous illness, which awakened the deepest anxieties in his Edinburgh friends, and called forth the fol

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