Imatges de pàgina


that time bound for Italy, (but to my great grief dissuaded by my mother's importunity.) He was very communicative and willing to instruct any that were modest and respectfull to him. And in order to my journey, dictated to me what to see, what company to keep, what bookes to read, how to manage my studyes; in short, he bid me go to the fountaine head, and read Aristotle, Cicero, Avicenna, and did call the neoteriques s.. breeches. He wrote a very bad hand, which with use I could pretty well read. I have heard him say, that after his booke of the Circulation of the Blood came out, he fell mightily in his practice, and 'twas believed by the vulgar, that he was crackbrained; and all the physitians were against his opinion, and envyed him; with much adoe at last in about twenty or thirty yeares time, it was received in all the universities in the world, and, as Mr. Hobbes sayes in his book, " De Corpore,” he is the only man, perhaps, that ever lived to see his owne doctrine established in his life-time.

He understood Greek and Latin pretty well, but was no critique, and he wrote very bad Latin. The Circuitus Sanguinis was, as I take it, donne into Latin by Sir George Ent, as also his booke de Generatione Animalium, but a little baoke in 12mo. against Riolan (I thinke) wherein he makes out his doctrine clearer, was writt by himselfe, and that, as I take it, at Oxford.

His Maj. K. Cha. I. gave him the wardenship of Merton Colledge, as a reward for his service, but the times suffered him not to receive or enjoy any benefit by it.

He was physitian and a great favourite of the Lord High Marshall of England, Tho. Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, with whom he travelled as his physitian in his ambassade to the Emperor at Vienna, Ao. Dni. 163-, Mr. Hollar (who was then one of his excellencie's gentlemen) told me, that in his voyage, he would still be making of excursions into the woods, making observations of strange trees and plants, earths, &c. and sometimes like to be lost. So that my Lord Ambassador would be really angry with him, for there was not only danger of thieves but also of wild beasts.

He was much and often troubled with the gowte, and his way of cure was thus: he would then sitt with his legges bare, if it were frost, on the leads of Cockaine-house, putt them into a payle of water, till he was almost dead with cold, and betake himselfe to his stove, and so 'twas gone.

He was hott headed, and his thoughts working would many times keep him from sleeping: he told me, that then his way was, to rise out of his bed and walke about his chamber in his shirt, till he was pretty coole, i. e. till he began to have a horror, and then returne to his bed, and sleep very comfortably.

I remember he was wont to drinke coffee, which he and his brother Eliab did, before coffee-houses were in fashion in London.

All his profession would allowe him to be an excellent anatomist, but I never heard any that admired his therapeutiqueway. I knew several practitioners in this towne (London) that would not have given 3d for one of his bills; and that a man could hardly tell by one of his bills what he did aime at.

He did not care for chymistrey, and was wont to speak against them,* with undervalue.

It is now fitt, and but just, that I should endeavour to undeceive the world in a scandall, that I find strongly runnes of him, wch. I have mett amongst some learned young men: viz. that he made himselfe away, to putt himselfe out of his paine, by opium; not but that, had he laboured under great paines, he had been readie enough to have donne it, I doe not deny, that it was not according to his principles upon certain occasions to

but the manner of his dyeing was really and bonâ fide thus, viz. the morning of his death, about ten o'clock, he went to speake, and found he had the dead palsey in his tongue, then he sawe what was to become of him, he knew there was then no hopes of his recovery, so presently sends for his young nephews to come up to him, to whom he gives one his watch, to another another remembrance, &c. made sign to Sambroke, his apothecary, in Black-fryars, to lett him blood in the tongue, which did little or no good, and so he ended his dayes. His practice was not very great towards his latter end, he declined it, unlesse to a speciall friend, -e. g. my Lady How

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* Sic Edit. † 'Twas a minute walch, wth. wch. he made his experiments,

land, who had a cancer in her breast, which he did cut off and seared, but at last she dyed of it.

He rode on horseback with a foot-cloath to visitt his patients, his man following on foot, as the fashion then was, wch. was very decent, now quite discontinued. The judges rode also with their foot-cloathes to Westminster hall, wch. ended at the death of Sir Rob. Hyde, Lord Ch. Justice. Anth. E. of Shaft. would have revived [it,] but several of the judges being old and ill horsemen would not agree to it. The scandal aforesaid is from Sir Charles Scarborough's sayings that he had, towards his latter end, a preparation of opium, and I know not what, which he kept in his study to take, if occasion should serve, to putt him out of his paine, and which Sir Charles promised to give him: this I believe to be true; but do not at all believe that he really did give it him. The palsey did give him an easie passeport.



No. 21.


Case of Inverted Uterus. By Joseph Comstock, M. D.

DEAR SIR, HAPPENING to have my journal with me which contains minutes of the following case of inverted uterus, I with much pleasure communicate its history to you, since you have intimated that it would be agreeable to receive it. At the same time you have my permission and request to make just such an use of it as you may think proper.

On the 16th of May 1808, I was called on to visit H Hof Washington county in the state of Rhode Island, where I then resided. I was called on account of an inversion of the uterus, which was total, and entirely protruded without the os externum, and of the size of a child's head of two years old.

The woman to whom this accident happened was upwards of thirty years of age, and had been delivered of her first child, on the 9th of the same month, seven days before I saw her. The colour of the inverted surface was very dark, or rather quite black, owing to putrid and putrefying coagula, which still adhered and appeared to form a thin layer, or coating, over the whole surface. The smell of the room was offensive in the highest degree, and every circumstance seemed to justify the conclusion that the uterus itself was in a state of gangrene. To add to the horror of the case, the woman was said to have picked or torn off a considerable piece of the inverted uterus, and an excavation, or slightly concave spot, was pointed out to me on the side of the fundus, from whence it was said to have been taken. The excavation was very plainly to be seen, but of the part removed I did not obtain a sight; but conclude that it must have been chiefly coagula, with some of the extremities of the spongy fibres adhering, sufficient to cause the concavity which remained. That




she had picked off something in the anguish or perhaps madness of her situation, was satisfactorily proved by the concurrent testimony of her attendants, or otherwise it might have been supposed that the excavation (which was larger than a dollar) had been occasioned by the removal of the placenta, the edge of which must have covered this part.

There was at the same time a discharge of serous matter which had passed through both the beds on which she lay, and been suffered to run quite across the floor of her room; this was of a serous, or watery nature, and not tinged with blood. I was assured that this evacuation was not constant, but that, before it commenced each time, the uterus gradually swelled to the size of a man's head, and that then the discharge began in a small stream, which gradually diminished its bulk, till it became of the size it now was; and that it had not been of a less size than I now saw it. This circumstance, although I cannot readily account for it, I am induced to mention, because, although the woman herself was in the lower rank of life, yet the novelty of her situation had brought about her persons on whose testimony I could rely. One circumstance, falling under my own observation in confirmation of it was, that notwithstanding the copious discharge already noticed, which had lately taken place, it was not at this time discharging any thing; and this I was desired to notice when I questioned its having emitted, in a stream, the large quantity of fluid which I saw on the floor.

I will only observe further, that if this information was correct, it is probable that the discharge took place at the openings where the fallopian tubes are inserted; it being obvious that the uterus, in its inverted position, must have become nearly full before any discharge could have taken place from these openings; and as it filled, probably swelled to the size mentioned, when a lateral position of the woman, or raising the fundus of the uterus, would be favourable for the fluid, col. lected in the cavity, to issue out. I see but one objection to this hypothesis, which is the smallness of the orifices where these tubes are inserted; but we must suppose them sufficiently dilated in the present instance to emit a small stream, as I think the fact unquestionable.


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