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193. latter. Never did any seat of learning originate from a nobler cause: it may be said to have been endowed by the blood of the brave. The clergy of Leyden, in a public oration, still celebrate the anniversary of the glorious 3d of October, in which the story of the siege, and the deliverance of the town are feelingly recapitulated. I was surprised to find that such a subject had not more frequently engaged the pencil of the many divine artists which Holland has produced: the picture which led me to mention the above story is, in my humble opinion, unworthy of the subject; the figures are badly grouped, and express no one emotion which can affect the mind. After quitting the stadt-house, the evening being very fine, I ascended a large mount, which may be considered as a great curiosity in Holland, in the centre of the town, where there is a fine view of it: this mount is surrounded by a high wall, and is said to be the scite of a castle built by Hengist, king of the West Saxons, on his conquest in England, or, what is more likely, by one of the antient counts of Holland. The town presented a very beautiful appearance from this spot, but it is not elevated enough to enable the visitor to see the surrounding country: the fruit-trees in the gardens which encompassed the wall were loaded with very fine fruit, particularly pears, plumbs, and apples. This place is much resorted to, on Sundays and holidays, by the citizens and their families, to smoke and enjoy the
beauty of the prospect, and the refreshing sweetness of the air.
The next morning I visited the university of Leyden, which stands by the Rapenburg canal : it is the most venerable seminary in Holland : and, by the great number of learned and famous men which it has produced, does honor to the lustre of its origin. There is scarcely a science which has not been improved and extended in this hallowed seat of learning, which has to boast amongst its members the immortal name of the younger Scaliger, who bequeathed to it his valuable Hebrew library; of the two Hensius, father and son ; the former of whom was invited by Pope Urban the Eighth to Venice, “ to rescue,” as he expressed it, “ that city from barbarism ;” and botb of whom shone like stars of the first magnitude in every branch of graceful literature; of Salmasius, the profound and able competitor of our iinmortal Milton; of Boerhaave, whose consummate knowledge of physic, attracted pupils from the most distant parts of Europe ; and of many other illustrious persons, who have shed honor and distinction upon their country and the times in which they flourished. The students board in town at different lodging-houses, wherever their inclinations or resources may dispose them : they wear no regular habit : when the professors appear in public, they wear a large black
ANECDOTES OF BOERHAAVE.
195 silk gown, bordered with velvet, on which the word “ Leyden” is worked in silver. My next visit was to the botanic garden, rendered immortal by the illustrious Boerhaave, as that of Upsal, in Sweden, has been by Linnæus. Haller says, in speaking of Boerhaave in the Leyden Botanical Garden, “ sæpe vidimus ante Auroram optimum senen “ ligneis calceis per hortum repentem, ut comminus et cultum “ herbarum perspiceret, et flores fructusque specularetur. We “ have often seen the good old man before the morning “ dawn, crawling about the garden in his wooden slip“pers, that he might immediately superintend the culture “ of plants, and speculate on their flowers and fruits.” This great man was born at Woerhout, near Leyden, in 1668: at the age of fifteen he found himself without parents, protection, advice, or fortune : he had then profoundly studied theology, intending to devote himself to a clerical life, but the science of nature presented all her attractions, and for some time wholly absorbed his contemplation. In 1693 he was created doctor of physic, which he then regularly practised. At this time he could scarcely exist by his labours, and was compelled to teach the mathematics to procure the bare necessaries of life, although he left at his demise the vast fortune of two hundred thousand pounds. At length his genius dissolved the darkness in which he was enveloped, many powerful 196
PETER THE GREAT. friends gathered round him, and procured for him the valuable appointments of professor of medicine in the university of Leyden, of chemistay, and of botany. The Academy of Sciences at Paris and the Royal Society at London, to each of which he imparted his discoveries in chemistry, invited him to become one of their members. Whilst Boerhaave presided in the chair, in chemistry, medicine, and botany, the city of Leyden was considered the school of Europe in these sciences. In 1715, when Peter the Great went to Holland to study maritime affairs, he regularly attended the lectures of Boerhaave. So widely diffused was his fame, that a mandarine in China wrote to him a letter thus superscribed : “ To the illustrious Boerhaave, physician in Europe," and it was regularly received. It was the daily practice of this eminent physician, through his whole life, as soon as he rose in the morning, which was generally very early, to retire for an hour to private prayer, and meditation on some part of the Scriptures. He often told his friends, when they asked him how it was possible to go through so much fatigue, that it was this which gave him spirit and vigour in the business of the day. This he therefore recommended as the best rule he could give; for nothing, he said, could tend more to the health of the body than the tranquillity of the mind, and that he knew nothing which could support himself and his fellow-creatures,
GENIUS AND MODESTY.
197. amidst the various distresses of human life, but a wellgrounded confidence in the Supreme Being, upon the principles of christianity: the truth of his doctrine he finely illustrated in his severe illness in 1922, when the course of his lectures and his practice were long interrupted. Of his sagacity and wonderful penetration in the discovery and description of such distempers as betray themselves by no symptoms to common eyes, such surprising accounts have been given, as scarcely can be credited, though attested beyond all doubt. Yet this great master of medical knowledge was so far from feeling a presumptuous confidence in his mighty talents, or from being inflated by his prodigious wealth, that his condescension to the humblest being who approached him, and his unceasing professional application were ever the theme of admiration and astonishment.
He often used to say, what will make many a practitioner in physic tremble, that the life of a patient (if trifled with or neglected), would one day be required at the hand of the physician. He used to call the poor his best patients, nobly observing, that God would be their paymaster ; the lustre of his eyes bespoke the activity and vivacity of his mind. He was always cheerful and desirous of promoting every valuable end of conversation. He disregarded calumny and detraction ; for even Boerhaave