A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 70 of 724
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age of forty, that it is generally viewed as chimerical,
and there seems to be an innateness in the human mind
to reject the lights of science in regard to new discove-
ries. After this period they seem to rest satisfied with
imperfect information, when application would give us
more; to admire ignorance, when knowledge is within
our reach, they examine discoveries with the hope of
finding it deceptious; they are unwilling to learn be-
cause they are no longer in statu 2mp ill ri, (in the rank of
pupils.) So high in their own estimation as to feel it a
disgrace to be taught by others, they are so unphi-
losophical as to have an hostile opinion upon mat-
ters, which observation must decide; and guilty of la-
menting the inconsistency of our art, while they are too
indolent to investigate a method which professes to re-
move much of its uncertainty. These facts were well
demonstrated when the immortal Harvey discovered
the circulation of the blood, and it is asserted upon
the best authority, that not a single physician could be
found over the age of forty in England, that would give
in to the discovery, nor did they until the latest hour
of their death. Nor would the aged physicians of Mont-
pelier acknowledge the lacteal vessels, so wedded were
they to ancient opinions; this too frequently is the case,
but it is for the young physician to investigate, and he
will have a store of knowledge of great importance,
which the mass of aged physicians reject. The lan-
guage of a distinguished author is here aplpropriate:
" Far be it from the defenders of auscultation and per-
cussion to assert, that the diagnosis of thoracic diseases
can never be doubtful. Skill in auscultation requires
application; and, even with the greatest, doubt will fre-
quently exist. The stethescope does not render the
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/70/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.