« PreviousContinue »
to myself no pretensions but, an ardent zeal to.subserve the interests of science and humanity.
When we reflect on the antiquity of the settlement of Maryland, the distinguished rank she has ever maintained in a civil and political view, the population of the city of Baltimore, and the felicity of her situation in the centre of the United States, it becomes å subject of equal admiration and regret, that in literature she has made no figure in the bright constellation of her sister states. In no department of science is this dearth of intelligence more to be deplored, than in that profession to which I have the honor, and perhaps the. misfortune to belong. Notwithstanding the widely extended territory of the United States and the vast number of excellent literary institutions so younga country can boast, NewYork and Philadelphia only have succeeded in establishing the periodical depositories of medical information. While far the greater portion of the Union affords nothing more permanent than the transitory ephemeris of a news-paper, the southern and middle states exhibit the most ample field for observation, and abound with distinguished philosophers and physicians, whose talents are rusting in obscurity for want of use. To such, it is to be presumed, an invitation only is wanting to excite a spirit of emulation, and to induce them to assert their just claims to literary pre-eminence.
The establishment of a Medical School in this city, the high temperature of the climate, and the shortness of the winters, which must ever preclude the possibility of a complete course of dissection further south, inspire the most sanguine expectation, that the rays of medical light scattered over our southern country, will finally converge in the city of Baltimore.
The relinquishment of the Medical Recorder, by Dr. Watkins, in consequence of his occupations at the Marine Hos pital, and a desire of invigorating the spirit of inquiry it had excited, added to the solicitation of some of the most respectable of the faculty in the United States, suggested to me the necessity of a periodical work. At this moment the
utility of such a work is greatly inhanced, by the exorbitant price of imported books. The physician whọ is determined to move in concert with the improvements of his profession, cannot accomplish his wishes without incuring a heavy expense; more especially when located at a distance from public libraries, only to be found in our most populous citiesImpressed with the importance of this fact, arrangements have been made for procuring from Europe the best periodical works, and a summary of their contents will be exhibited in the Lycæum, as succinctly and promptly as possible.
- It will be proper to make some remarks on the more im. mediate objects of the work. The science of physic is the. science of all nature. The physician who sonfines himself to the dead letter of medicine, cannot be enabled to take a liberal or expanded view of his profession. The sphere of such a miscellany must, therefore, be co-extensive with all the collateral branches of philosophy. Independent of the ordinary topics of medical discussion, there are others deeply interesting, and some of them peculiarly so to an American.
Dissections hold the first place among medical disquisitions. They not only teach us the causes and seats of diseases, but often lead us to the important determination how far the causes are general or local in their operation. Perhaps one of the most important questions in medicine is, whether the causes of diseases be local or general in the first instance : probably they are most of them primarily local. This important question must be determined by dissection and experiment.
Experiments conducted agreeably to the principles of sound logic, must ever interest the medical philosopher. There are many controverted points still left to visionary hypothesis and conjecture, that ought long to have been decided by experiment.
The intimate connection between chemistry and agriculture has hitherto, attracted too little attention, especially in
America. The nature of every soil must be ascertained through the medium of chemistry, for unless the husband man understand the principle, he is an empyrick, and in- . stead of certainty in his resutls, he is left to chance and the casualties of the elements.
Diseases are as necessarily the offspring of certain soils as the verdure by which they are clothed. The question how far certain diseases are attached to particular soils, as well as the means of obviating or destroying an inquinated atmosphere, are equally the business of the physician, the philosopher, and the citizen.
The strong affinity between chemistry and manufactures, is at this moment a subject of peculiar interest to every patriotic American. The art of dying, the most difficult attainment of our most important manufactures, depends essentially upon a knowledge of chemistry.
The animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms of our country, are all objects of the first importance to the manu, facturer, the naturalist, and the physician. We have yet to learn how far our own country is capable of furnishing the various materials employed in medicine and the arts, for most of which we are still dependant on other nations. From the almost infinite variety of our soil and the progress made of late years in mineralogical researches, it is fair to conclude, that there lies hid in the bosom of our earth the richest abundance.
The variety of Mineral Springs that have lately been discovered in our country, especially in Maryland, and the al. most irresistible popular current in their favour, render a chemical analysis indispensable. Until their properties shall have been perfectly ascertained, their most transcendent virtues must be used empirically.
The vegetable kingdom, viewed either in its connection with the arts generally or medicine, more particularly holds out the most inviting attractions. Many of our most energetic remedies are derived from it, and the vast unexplored
wilds of our continent, probably offer to the botanist the richest repast now left upon the globe.
CONDITIONS. The LYCÆUM will be printed quarterly, on fine paper and a neat type at Two Dollars per annum, one dollar to be paid on the delivery of the first number and half a dollar for each subsequent number.
OP All Communications to be addressed to the Editor, or to Mr GEORGE HILL, BOOKSELLER, Baltimore (postage paid.)