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dining with Char-les Bell.' Tiedemann, the most learned of the learned physiologists of Germany, esteemed it an honour to be a guest at Bell's table. Roux dismissed his class at Paris without a lecture, with C'est assez, Messieurs, vous avez vu Charles Bell.' On the accession of William IV. the Guelphic order of knighthood was offered to him in such company that the unexpected honour gratified him—his companions being Herschel, Ivory, Leslie, and Brewster. - In the meantime,' he quietly says in his Diary, 'the batch makes it respectable.' Strangers from all parts of the world consulted him, and offered him large fees for a few visits; and had he chosen to remain in London, and mastered his ruling passion for the pursuit of science, he most certainly might have thrown aside his wants and his anxieties; but that passion was his life, and only with life did it perish.
It is not surprising that by and bye Bell should have been induced, though at first most reluctantly, as we gather from his letters to his brother, to accept the professorship of surgery in the University of Edinburgh. He regretted deeply the quitting his friends in London—the position, too, which his great character gave him in metropolitan society; but his ever active imagination, and the long habits of love for scientific retirement and academic honours, rose up, and unhappily turned the scale. We must remember that he was an imaginative man, as indeed every tenderly affec, tionate man must be. He was haunted by the dreams of earlier years, which brought back to him the scenes of his first struggles— his family—the rare love and sympathy of his brother-the association with friends who, with the mutual attraction of kindred genius, had appreciated him in his youth, and whom he now knew to be holding commanding positions in the eye of the world. It may be regretted, but it cannot be wondered at, that nothing in London could compensate for visions of academic leisure and honours; the society of Jeffrey, Cockburn, Cranstoun, of William Clerk, of Adam Ferguson, and the daily solace of the one brother left--the companion of his boyhood, the supporter, the instigator, and the encourager of his maturer genius; and then, too, the social picture was backed by his own native hills-with the silver trout-stream rippling. Yet, alas! all this, save friendship, proved a great miscalculation.
Before quitting London, the highest names of his profession tendered a mark of their respect and regard by the presentation of a piece of plate—a gift which, as proceeding from such men, was most grateful to their friend and brother; and at the annual dinner of the College of Surgeons, when Sir Astley Cooper presided, he
may be said to have taken leave of his associates amidst overwhelming signs of their respectful affection and regret.
When on the eve of setting out, he appears to have noted down the following lines :
• The house is in a bustle. Books gone-pictures packing-people surveying the house. This does look like a change. All my sacred corners-a naked house-no longer a home! Let us, in Heaven's name, to the road; for until I build up a corner in Ainslie Place, with my familiar things about me, I shall be like a bird whose nest is in a boy's hat.
I leave no enemy behind me, and Marion is universally beloved. Such kissing and present-making! Why then, as they say, go ?Because there is a time, and that time draws near. London is a place to live in, but not to die in. My comfort has ever been to labour for some great purpose, and my great object of study has been attained, and London is no longer what it was. I mean in the condition and respectability of teachers. If I say that the place is filled by inferior men, I do not mean inferior in ability, but of low objects. They do not respect themselves. -No! There is but one place where I can hope to fulfil the object of my scientific labour, and that is Edinburgh; and that is an experiment. If I find the same grovelling spirit there, why there is an end of all public occupation, and I lay my bones where they should be. I could have made a fortune certainly, and so my friends I could not also attain to what I am, and to what they would have me. Without independent fortune, the relations which we have formed with society are not without their drawbacks. I must be independent, but through exertion more than fortune. I must pursue the course by which I have attained station, and labour to be contented.'
His return to Edinburgh in 1836, after an absence of thirtytwo years, awakened in such a mind all that memory can do pleasure and pain alike subdued, but not quenched by time. * Every remarkable object, every street and corner, brought to my recollection some circumstance important to life, and I seemed to walk in a city of tombs.'
'I accused myself of romance,' he adds, "and found no one who would sympathise or join in visiting old places and seeing old faces which once were young; and truly it is surprising the different effect of years on different people. Eight old acquaintances Lords of SessionJeffrey, my most ancient friend; Forbes, the dux of his class; Fullerton, Moncreiff, Maconochie, with whom I first travelled to London, ali these are happily in the height of masculine understanding and activity : but there were others old, with the brisk manner only of youth. Often I felt as in a dream. I have been to-day jolted in a carriage for miles to a consultation, with a man whom I deemed old in my younger days, and of whom I had ceased to think but as one gone by. Then the old stories and the old names—name, place, and character the same with younger faces, the girls in the places of their mothers. Gratification there is, but also pain, on looking back on the characters and lives of many-how easy is it to say why they did not succeed in the game of life! The manner, the propensity or passion, pride, jealousy, bad temper, have reduced many who might have risen, if measured by their
abilities or acquirements; yet how difficult to change that one trait on which all depends!
His opening Lecture was attended by a large and brilliant extra-academical audience; and, as usual, he soon exhibited his power of exciting and fixing his class.
But thirty-two years had changed Edinburgh more than arpeared at first sight. Ere long he began to find that the experiment' was a failure; within three years of his arrival various circumstances had straitened his means; neither his class nor his practice yielded an income such as he might have expected from his talents. Upon the close of a session he says to Mr. Richardson :
• I have had a German Professor to breakfast who brings me a volume from Paris--they make me greater than Harvey-I wish to Heaven the folks at home would make something of me. I thought, in addressing the new-made Doctors at the conclusion of the Session, that I had done well; but not one word of approbation from any Professor, nor has one of them in all this time called me into consultation, except when forced by the desire of the patient. I take credit that neither a word nor a grin has escaped me in consequence of this—and that we meet cordially :-80 be it—we must cling the firmer to old friends and when they go, lose the desire of holding on to this world. Notwithstanding when I went to the Burn, I was on the water at a quarter before three o'clock in the morning, so that I am the same old fool, and will be, as poor old Lynn was wont to say, the boy on crutches.'
After his next session has begun, he says :
'You are kind to inquire about my class : to say the truth I have been unlucky; the number of students regularly attending the University has regularly declined; my class will not bring me 4001. I stand well comparatively, but that is poor comfort, since it shows I have no mass
See how fast I write to have done with this hateful subject. If you cannot read it, so much the better, for I do not wish to plague your kind heart about the matter. All but honour will be lost.
' I squint sometimes at my rods, but I do not yet let my fingers touch them. God grant that when I do, they may not have lost the power of making a boy of me.'
By and bye it was evident that the subject of medical reform and the vague notions connected with it had affected still more the University of Edinburgh. The measure about to be introduced in parliament was misunderstood, and the rumours afloat caused Bell great uneasiness-- which he expressed, with much pungency, to Sir Benjamin Brodie, Dr. Ferguson, and probably to other friends in London. We quote one of his letters :-
• I require your sympathy, and perhaps your assistance; at all events, your advice. You know my motive in coming to Scotland, Old Windmill Street, for which I had paid all my money to the last penny -(this literally, for I took eighteen pence from Marion to make
to draw upon.
up the sum of 20001.)-old Windmill Street, which I had brought up to some consideration by twenty years' incessant labour, was destroyed by the establishment of the London University! The treatment of the governors or subscribers, which disgusted me, I need not recall. My hospital, which at the time you knew me enabled me to divide with my colleagues 12001., was lost by the withdrawing of the pupils to the new pretence of an hospital.
From these circumstances you cannot be surprised that I accepted the invitation to come here. But now observe what a succession of petty annoyances. I had during my whole life desired a college life. Í thought I had here obtained a situation where I could constantly pursue science, and meditated a splendid work on the Nervous System. I soon found that I had been deceived. The magistrates are our patrons ! men a hundred degrees less calculated to have to do with science or literature than the subscribers to the new universities. These gentlemen are very different in their communications with learned professors from the style in which they solicit for orders. They have shown a singular animosity to the university: and then their public discussions about our affairs have been very hateful to me.
Much as these worthies have done to injure the University of Edinburgh, the coup de pied comes from your friends. This intended bill of Sir James Graham is total destruction to the university as a school of medicine. As I understand, degrees in London are to be given by a deputation from the College of Physicians and College of Surgeons; and the same measure is to extend to Edinburgh. Now, heaven and earth! the College of Physicians here is nobody; and the College of Surgeons are family apothecaries. If to such men you entrust the duty of granting degrees, where then are the universities? Their honour, credit, station, and emoluments are gone. It appears to me a matter extraordinary that, in all these plans for improvement, there is never a thought how the boys are to be taught, or the character of teachers to be maintained.
• My dear friend, what do you advise me to do? There are here six lecturers on surgery, and now they are to be put on a par; the distinction of professor is sunk; and the triumph of a pack of the most illiberal dogs that ever disgraced a profession complete. The more I do, and the more I exert myself, the stronger the desire here to mortify me, and this is their grand occasion. As long as something like respect attached to my labours, I was content with loss of income. I put down my carriage with as little feeling as I throw off my shoes : I could further reduce my expenses, but not consistently with a public situation ; and I have already encroached on that little provision with which i came here.
• You perceive with what freedom I speak to you, because I know your feelings as an old friend and pupil. Was it not for Lady Bell, I should have no difficulty-no one should hear more of me, or see me, unless they lost their way in some Highland glen, and sought my cottage.
. I have a long and kind er from Brodie about this bill, but there is little comfort in it. I must have done. I shall see you soon: and I am always,
• My dear Ferguson, yours,
While these anxieties were still hovering over him, he planned and executed his journey to Rome, for the purpose of finishing the third edition of his • Anatomy of Expression. His journal is made
of comments on art, and the most exquisite sketches of what he saw; everything in fact which could elucidate that remarkable series of essays. His journey through France and Italy was marked by attentions which few have received.' At Lyons, Marseilles, Genoa, and Bologna the chief physicians waited on him, and made arrangements for receiving him at the hospitals, where the pupils were assembled to see him. At Rome the Italian doctors, and artists English and native, devoted themselves to show him attention ; and everywhere so much deference was paid, and, alacrity evinced, when his name was heard, that he loved to believe he had made a name in the hearts of his fellowcreatures, in whatever country he might be.
But the energies of his active mind, the ambitions and cares of life, were soon now to be brought to a close. A disease of the heart (angina), of which the foundation was laid when he lost his dear friend and brother, the constant assistant of his labours, John Shaw, in 1827, and which gathered strength from the disappointments of his subsequent career, became still more developed in the summer of 1842. He undertook a journey to London at the close of his session; and arrived at the seat of Mr. Holland, of Hallow Park, near Worcester, on the 27th of May. apparently in good health, and he passed some pleasant hours in sketching the beauties of the scenery.
One or two severe recent attacks of anguish of the chest’ had made him more than usually awake to the associations which the quiet churchyard, its neighbouring yew-trees, and the tranquil flow of the distant Severn might naturally prompt; and to the companion of his pains and pleasures every expression had its prescient meaning. This is a sweet spot; here I should like to rest till they come to take me away.' The evening was spent with the family of his host in cheerfulness-an occasional paleness spread over his face, which one anxious eye alone perceived-he descanted on that master-piece of art, the · Last Supper' of Leonardo da Vinci, an engraving of which lay before him, and repeated the passage from the Gospel. After retiring, as was his wont, selections from the Scriptures and the Prayer-Book were read to him, and he chose the 23rd Psalm, the thanksgiving, and that Evening Collect which prays for that peace which the world cannot give. After a few hours of sleep he awoke with a frightful spasm, asked to be supported, and immediately expired.
Thus lived and died Charles Bell, a man who must largely influence the progress of the science he cultivated, and those who are capable of being modelled by a great example. He began