The Harvard Classics Volume 38 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 554 pages of information about The Harvard Classics Volume 38.

2.  Whoever is to acquire a competent knowledge of medicine, ought to be possessed of the following advantages:  a natural disposition; instruction; a favorable position for the study; early tuition; love of labour; leisure.  First of all, a natural talent is required; for, when Nature leads the way to what is most excellent, instruction in the art takes place, which the student must try to appropriate to himself by reflection, becoming an early pupil in a place well adapted for instruction.  He must also bring to the task a love of labour and perseverance, so that the instruction taking root may bring forth proper and abundant fruits.

3.  Instruction in medicine is like the culture of the productions of the earth.  For our natural disposition, is, as it were, the soil; the tenets of our teacher are, as it were, the seed; instruction in youth is like the planting of the seed in the ground at the proper season; the place where the instruction is communicated is like the food imparted to vegetables by the atmosphere; diligent study is like the cultivation of the fields; and it is time which imparts strength to all things and brings them to maturity.

4.  Having brought all these requisites to the study of medicine, and having acquired a true knowledge of it, we shall thus, in travelling through the cities, be esteemed physicians not only in name but in reality.  But inexperience is a bad treasure, and a bad fund to those who possess it, whether in opinion or reality, being devoid of self-reliance and contentedness, and the nurse both of timidity and audacity.  For timidity betrays a want of powers, and audacity a lack of skill.  They are, indeed, two things, knowledge and opinion, of which the one makes its possessor really to know, the other to be ignorant.

5.  Those things which are sacred, are to be imparted only to sacred persons; and it is not lawful to impart them to the profane until they have been initiated in the mysteries of the science.




Ambroise Pare was born in the village of Bourg-Hersent, near Laval, in Maine, France, about 1510.  He was trained as a barber-surgeon at a time when a barber-surgeon was inferior to a surgeon and the professions of surgeon and physician were kept apart by the law of the Church that forbade a physician to shed blood.  Under whom he served his apprenticeship is unknown, but by 1533 he was in Paris, where he received an appointment as house surgeon at the Hotel Dieu.  After three or four years of valuable experience in this hospital, he set up in private practise in Paris, but for the next thirty years he was there only in the intervals of peace; the rest of the time he followed the army.  He became a master barber-surgeon in 1541.

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The Harvard Classics Volume 38 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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