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A Fustification of the Right of every well educated Physician
of fair Character and mature Age, residing within the Jurifdiction of the College of Physicians of London, to be admitted a Fellow of that Corporation, if found competent, upon Examination, in Learning and Skill. Together with an Account of the Proceedings of those Licentiates who lately attempted to eftablish that Right; including the Pleadings of the Counsel, and the Opinions of the Judges, as taken in Short-hand by Mr. Gurney. By Christopher Stanger, M. D. &c. 8vo. 8s. Boards. Johnson. 1798.
THIS question is at length decided ; and, after a full and impartial view of it, we are of opinion that it has been de. cided with great propriety and justice. In circumstances like these we usually find errors on both sides. The college maintained its rights, or its pretensions, with pertinacity; and Dr. Stanger carried on his attack with some illiberality. We must allow the college the full right of forming its own bye-laws, and of regulating the terms of admission; but, while it excludes, by a general rule, all those who have not been educated at the English universities, it seems to us to have limited too strictly the occasional admission of others.
Some vigilance oughe undoubtedly to be exerted, that the wicket,' as this occasional admission is not unaptly called, should not be opened so widely as to render the number of vifitants greater than that of the constant residents. If the former should become more numerous, the wliole fyftem might be destroyed; a system which we are not prepared to give up. This, however, would not happen if the admissions of those who have taken medical degrees at other universities were much more frequent than at present. Oxford and Cambridge, it must be allowed, are not distinguished as schools of medicine; but few, if any, individuals, engage in practice without studying in other universities. Those seminaries are fchools of found learning and of various scientific information; and these are much better foundations for the practice of an enlarged and liberal science than the confinement of an apothecary's shop, and the narrow routine of compounding medicines. The remark of Horace - Quo femel eft imbuta recens, fervabit odorem testa diu'-is exemplified in the latter mode of education; for we have seldom found the extensive views or the fcientific researches of an enlightened physician result from such an initiation.
Dr. Stanger contends, that every well educated physician has an equal right to admission, &c. The terms are yague. The advocates for the college may contend, that, though sound learning may exist without the pale of the English universities, we may more“ reasonably expect to find it within
those establishments. They may also allege, that an acquaintance with the ancient writers, and an accurate knowledge of their language, are parts of this good education, which cannot be calily obtained, if the best years of youth are destined to the exercise of the mortar and the bolus knife. In short, if corporate bodies and exclusive privileges are allowed to continue, we see no reason for blame in the present instance; and, that their continuance is expedient, the courts of law and the parliament have decided.
For what, however, docs Dr. Stanger contend? The privileges of a fellow of a college are not so numerous or so important as to require very active exertions in order to share them. Let us take his own statement.
" The college of physicians is an institution which derives dig. nity from the importance of its objects, which are, the safety of the public; the advancement of the science of phyfic; and the guardianship and promotion of the honour aud interests of the profeffion. It becomes venerable from its antiquity, having been eltablished nearly three centuries, by a charter confirmed by act of parliament, during which period its privileges have been repeatedly extended by the legislature. It derives celebrity from the many eminent physicians, who have been its members, and lustre from the dignity of their stations, as they have always filled and now enjoy the most honourable and lucrative profesional appointments in this kingdom. The college possesses a noble edifice for its meetings: a medical library, which it has the means of rendering the firft in Europe. It enjoys, within itfelf, degrees of rank to dia stinguifh' and reward merit : lecturefhips and literary appointments to excitę emulation, and afford an honourable field for the display of genius and learning; and the dispofal of gratuities to remunerate exertion. It establishes an advantageous intercourse betwixt. rifing merit and mature experience, and enables the deferving aspirer to obtain the friendship and profit by the good offices of his seniors, who are the best judges of his claims, and the most able to promote his interests. It raises its members to rank and
precedency in the profession, and consequently, elevates them in the estimation of the public, and facilitates their success.
But the college does not monopolise the learning, refpe&tability, or profits of physicians, Medical gentlemen have risen to eminence and to opulence without its affistance, and have funk into infignificance and contempt, though incorporated among its members. If the licentiates deserve well of the public, it will never be asked why they are not fellows of the college.
Of what can Dr. Stanger complain? He took his station in the society, with all the monopoly of a college before his eyes. He accepted from it a licence for practising, and cannot be injured in failing to obtain what he did not expect
When we use his name, however, we ought to apologiser this is not the contest of an individual ; it is that of the licentiates in general ; but we use a particular name, since the caufe mult be tried as it concerns the claim of an individual, before it can be transferred to a whole class.
Upon the whole, we perfst in our opinion, that the cause has been determined with justice. If a criterion is to be drawn, an education in an English university should be that criterion; and we more particularly insist on it, as the science and the profession so materially fuffer by a crowd of claimants, who have a very small share of learning or medical knowledge to support their pretensions to public confidence.
A great part of this work consists of the arguments of counfel in the late contest, illustrated with notes, which do not appear to be always beneficial to the cause that Dr. Stanger undertakes to defend.
Ρ Ο L Ι Τ Ι C
Latters of the Ghost of Alfred, addressed to the Hon. Thomas Ere frine, and the Hon. Charles James Fox, on the Occasion of the State Trials at the Close of the Year 1794, and the Beginning of the
Svo. 25. 6d. Wright. 1798. These letters originally appeared in a newspaper in the years 1794, 5, and 6; and the puthor has thought it necessary to reprint them in the present form, because they are still as seasonable as when they were written.' His objects are, to preserve the administration of justice in its genuine purity--10 vindicate the principles of English jurisprudence, respecting the crime of high treafon-o correct the irregular, indecent, and unconstitutional practices of those advocates, who seem to have taken a general retainer for the domestic, as a correspondent class of senators have for the foreign enemies of the country to lay open the wiles and artifices of French revolutionary treason to rescue trial by jury from the fallacies and false doctrines, by which factious and feditious men seek to render it, not only a fhelter for the worst of crimes, but an engine of destruction for the conftitution itself—to expose the sephitry with which a jacobinical opposition have infolently contended, and still infolently contend, that, because prisoners tried for high treason were acquitted, no treafonable conspiracy bad exifted and finally, to exhibit, in just colours, the unexampled profil
gacy of the fame defperate party, in extolling, patronisng, and promoting that horrid and destructive system of revolution and anarchy, which has already proved the most dreadful scourge that ever afflicted the human race, and which threatens to lay the whole fabric of civil society in ruins.!
In the first letter, Mr Erskine is accused of having usurped the province of the judge by laying down the law to the jury, and also of having insulted the majesty of his sovereign, by declaring that the people have a right to change their government, and that the monarch on the throne derives his title from the exercise of such a right. This our author calls a grofs and audacious contempt offered to the administration of justice;' and he adds, that, among other consequences of the exercise of such a right, it is destructive of that loyalty to the prince, which is the parent of all social virtues, &c. Had not this writer been more conversant in modern, than ancient politics, what thould have induced him to pass over, so remarkable an instance of the exercise of this right as that, which took place at the revolution in 1688 ? Because the people were then deficient in loyalty to a bigoted tyrant, did their social virtųes disappear? Was it then thought contrary to all laws human and divine,' to drive him from the throne, and place, in succession, the present family upon it? We grant that it is unnecesa sary and improper to be for ever harping upon the doctrine of rea fistance; but to deny its existence as a right, in extreme cases, is to contradict the opinion of every good writer on the subject of government, and (what is perhaps of more importance) to vilify the conduct of our ancestors at the memorable period before mena tioned.
The second and two following letters tend to prove, that, ale though the persons tried for high treason in 1794 were acquitted, yet a treasonable conspiracy actually existed. In the course of this discussion, the author cannot with-hold his regret that the trialsended in that manner; he even goes so far as to aver that now conftitution is destitute of the protection of the law ! Thomas Paine-faid, that we have no constitution. The ghost of Alfred says that our constitution is deftitute of the protection of the law. What is the inference, but that extremes meet, and that the violent of both parties are equally bont on insulting the wisdom of our ancestors by revolutionary projects?
The other letters are addressed to Mr. Fox, and contain an attack on his political conduct fince the commencement of the war. OF the spirit that pervades this attack, one short sentence may fuffice as a specimen • You have justified the crimes of the revolution
You have palliated even its most shocking atrocities.' Our readers will find no dificulty in determining whether an author, who delis berately, advances such calumnies, is qualified to preserve the ada ministration of justice in its purity.
Remonftrance, addressed to the Exccutive Directory of the French Rea public, against the Invasion of Switzerland. By John Caspar Lavater, Rector at Zurich. 8vo. Is. 6d. Debrett. 1798.
This remonstrance was transmitted by Lavater to Rewbell with an intimation, that, if the writer should not receive an immediate and satisfactory answer to it, it should be published in three languages. Rewbell condescended to reply, but not satisfactorily ; and, as no press in Switzerland was open to Lavater, he sent the address to another country to be printed. It will not be thought surprising that the answer was not satisfactory, as the request of the writer was of no less import than to withdraw the power of France from the cantons, and repay the money which the invaders had feised.
This remonftrance is a composition not unworthy of Lavater's pen. His zeal for peace, happiness, and liberty, burned with additional fervour, when he saw those blessings rudely torn from his defenceless countrymen ; and he therefore writes in a style of bitter and indignant reproach. With regard to argument, it seems confined to these two points ;-~that the errors in the governments of Switzerland were not so great as they were said to be ;—and that, if they had been greater, the Swiss were an independent nation, and the French had no right to impose a constitution by the force of the bayonet. None will dispute this, except, perhaps, the vindicators of the partition of Poland. With respect to fact, Lavater mentions several of the very unjustifiable acts of which the French have been guilty. After having subdued, ravaged, and plundered Berne, Fribourg, and Soleure, they required, from his countrymen of Zurich, an assent to the new constitution, • in a violent, peremptory tone, in the language of robbers, - blood or money-acceptance or war;' and, notwithstanding their promise that not a fous should be demanded, they had the impudence to exact three millions of livres. We recommend this spirited address to those who abhor rapine and injustice, whether committed by monarchies or republics, regular or irregular govern
A rapid View of the Overthrow of Switzerland. By an Eye Wit
nefs. Translated from the French. 8vo. 25. 6d, Hatchard, 1798.
This translation has been executed by a Swiss, who appears to have made considerable proficiency in our language, and who was in other respects qualified to present to the English reader a detail of great interest and importance. The writer, besides having been an eye-witness of what passed in Switzerland, feenis well acquainted with those Parisian intrigues which formed the preparatory Steps to the easy overthrow of that once happy state. Most of these have been already laid before the public ; but they are here