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ject: “Do not suppose that I hold that youth is genius; all that I say is that genius, when young, is divine.” And again: “Experience is the best thing in the world, a treasure for you, for me, for millions.
But, for a creative mind, less than nothing. Almost everything that is great has been done by youth.”
D’Israeli's thought is limpid. To genius, which has always been, and ever will be, exceptional, experience is little. The creative mind makes its own canons of taste in art and poetry, its own laws for the conduct of war, politics and statecraft Men bow before it and call it divine. But youth is not genius; for life in general there is but one decree: “Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret."
In a speech, delivered at the anniversary exercises of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, February 22nd, 1905, Dr. Wm. Osler presented a thought similar to D'Israeli’s, but the extract he takes from it is dissimilar. He said: “It is difficult to name a great and far-reaching conquest of the mind which has not been given to the world by a man on whose back the sun was shining. The effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of twenty-five and forty, those fifteen golden years of plenty, the anabolic or constructive period, in which there is always a balance in the mental bank and the credit is still good.” This is a plea for arduous labor between twentyfive and forty. When, however, Dr. Osler instances Vesalius, Laennec, Bichat, Harvey and Virchow to prove his contention he confuses genius with “the fifteen golden years of plenty." It is true that a man of genius does his best work during the youthful period of his life; but does he make his wonderful advances, his startling discoveries, on account of his youth, or because he is a genius ? Dr. Osler does not make this point clear, or, rather, he gives prominence to the importance of a man doing hard work before forty.
Andreas Vesalius, at twenty-two, was appointed Professor of Anatomy at Padua, by the Senate of Venice; at twenty-nine he issued his great work on anatomy, which showed a completeness superior to all that had hitherto been published on that subject. He died at fifty years of age. Was the advance effected by him in human anatomy the product of boldness and genius, or of the fifteen golden years before forty? Was not something
more than youth required to enable one man 'to stem the prejudice of the ignorant and the sloth of his own profession, so that physicians might dissect cadavers, which had been properly described, instead of accepting Galen's description of monkey anatomy?
Laennec succumbed at forty-five. His great work on mediate auscultation, a treatise on prognosis in diseases of the lungs and heart, based principally on the revelations of his own discovery, the stethoscope, was published when he was thirty-eight. When four years younger he had discovered the stethoscope. Did he make that discovery because he was thirty-four years old, or because he had a genius for observation and reflection?
Bichat died of tuberculosis at thirty-one, yet his life and his works (nine important volumes) were given to fame at an age when aspiring men are beginning to lay the foundations of a reputation for greatness. Was it youth or genius that inspired this man, who was called the “Napoleon of Medicine," when he wrote, before the age of thirty-one, “ The Treatise on Membranes,” and other works on general and pathological anatomy? It was fortunate for France, and still more fortunate for medicine, in the early part of the nineteenth century, that Bichat began to write when he was very young. His work is immortal; but its value does not depend on the fact that it was done when Bichat was between twenty-five and thirty-one years of age.
Dr. Osler contends, in reply to an interviewer, that a great man should create or collect what he intends to write about up to forty, and, after that period of his life, publish the results of his studies or discoveries. William Harvey lived to be fifty-nine, but, soon after 1613, when he was thirty-five years old, he began, through his lectures, to make known the doctrine of the circulation of the blood.
Although Virchow lived to be eighty-two, the first edition of his “ Cellular Pathology” appeared in 1858, when he was thirty-seven years old.
According to Dr. Osler's view, a man of genius should have the conviction that he is going to live to a great age, if he calmly awaits the coming of his fortieth year before beginning to publish his discoveries.
And what about the sexagenarian? “Quite useless,” says Dr. Osler. “I am going to prove this in an essay I am now writing,
which is to be entitled “ The Crisis of Forty Years.?” He acknowledges that there have been some men of genius who have done good work at sixty, and a few salient examples occur to everyone: Michelangelo, Bismarck, Moltke, Gladstone.
Is genius rarer at sixty years than at twenty-five or thirty? True genius always was, and, it is likely, always will be, rare at any age. Owing to the operations of the school and the college, the cultured many are increasing rapidly in number; but the Edisons, the Marconis, the Ramsays, the Kochs are not evolved in a corresponding ratio.
Although culture is not genius, it has with it the enormous potency of experience, and can do much, both for one's self and for, the people with whom one is thrown in contact. There is but one Shakespeare, yet millions of cultured people in many lands find pleasure and profit in his wise and witty words. There is but one Pasteur, yet the light of his discoveries illuminates mclical laboratories all over the world, and cultured men of șixty help to swell the chorus of repetition as loudly as the most strong-lunged youngster of five-and-twenty.
Whether greatness be born of genius or a studious youth, of originality or skilful plagiarism, the new voice or its repetition, it will always be a good thing to help in the diffusion of knowledge, an incomparable service to mankind to increase the sum of knowledge. In this pleasure-seeking, force-loving twentieth century, Dr. Osler 'deserves credit for the stimulus he gives to the gentle student who spends the sapid years of his life working for more knowledge, striving to peer a little bit further into the encircling gloom.
J. J. C..
UNDESIRABLE IMMIGRANTS TO CANADA ARE DEPORTED.
Among the nations of the world Canada lacks supremacy only because her population is meagre.
Her undeveloped resources require people. So great, however, is the merit of her agricultural lands that they are attracting many American citizens, inducing them to leave their own land-an immense gain to Canada and an irretrievable loss to the United States. Besides, many of the strongest and most adventurous of the peasantry of the different European nations continue to press on through seaports on the Atlantic coast towards Canada's great West, where the earth yields plenty and opportunity is still to be found.
With them, in the same ships, come the undesirable classescriminals, the mentally defective, the constitutionally unsound and diseased. At Toronto, the growth in the number of immigrants, suffering from disease or deformity, is exciting attention, and a conference was held, February 16th, 1905, at the mayor's office, at which opinions on this subject were expressed by gentlemen, who are in positions to know the actual facts complained of, as they are found in this city. Speaking of siek tramps and undeserving persons who seek for hospital relief, Dr. Sheard, M.H.O., Toronto, stated that they were becoming a serious tax on Toronto. It was impossible to refuse assistance, but the limit of possibility was being reached. Many applications had been received recently, for admission to the city hospitals from persons who had been in Canada only two or three months. He instanced one case, in which the applicant for hospital relief had been in the country only five months, three of which had been spent in the Toronto General Hospital.
Mr. Thomas Southworth, of the Ontario Immigration Bureau, said that most of the immigrants from London are of a poor type. He thought that immigrants should be inspected at the point of embarkation.
Such a method of medical inspection would yield the best results to this country. It would also save time and money to the intending immigrant, and help to free him from unnecessary trouble. If, for sufficient reasons, such a method of inspecting immigrants cannot be carried out, then the next best move is to have it thoroughly done at the port of arrival in Canada.
The medical inspection of immigrants coming to Canada is done under the direction of Dr. P. H. Bryce, Chief Medical Inspector of the Department of the Interior. He is assisted by an inspection and hospital staff of four medical men at Quebec, and there are also efficient medical inspecting staffs at Halifax and St. John.
Dr. Bryce shows, in his last annual report, that, during the year 1903-1904, of 99,741 immigrants who landed at the ports of Quebec, Halifax and St. John 1,835 were treated at the detention hospitals, or 1 in every 54; 274 immigrants were deported, or 1 in 363.
That immigrants who might become burdens may slip through the inspectors' net is possible. The general rule is that immigrants suffering from curable diseases are treated, at their own expense, at the detention hospitals, and those in whom the physical condition or disease present is incurable, or cannot be cured, except after months of treatment, are deported.
J. J. C.
NO ADMITTANCE TO DISEASED IMMIGRANTS.
“You cannot get a small house for love or money in Toronto," is a current remark that is passing from lip to lip. One picks up the daily newspaper, and the announcement that “all the cells in the Central Prison are full, not one empty one," meets the eve. The long, hard winter has caused much illness, and the hospitals and various charitable institutions echo the cry, “ Overcrowded !” As spring opens the immigrants come pouring in, presumably to fill up the great West, but as there are good, bad and indifferent usually in every round-up of human cattle, the pick of the stock, well fitted for life's duties, go on to their destination, while the maimed, halt and indigent ones prefer to loiter around the cities, a charge upon their Christian charity. Lately the alarming number of these immigrants suffering from disease and even deformity, who are arriving in Toronto, is exciting attention and dissatisfaction. The Medical Health Officer has been bringing the fact forcibly to the notice of the mayor and other interested citizens.
It is a crime at somebody's door that such diseased persons are allowed to land in this country at all. Dr. Sheard has found that in several cases young Englishmen suffering from tuberculosis are among the number, and they make a habit of seeking admission to the hospital immediately upon their arrival. The hospitals will not admit as free patients any persons who have not resided in the city at least a year, so these unfortunate immigrants are going about spreading disease as they go, a nuisance to the already overworked City Relief Officer, and a menace to the health of the community.
Something must be done to stop the sending out of such incapables, and for the problem now on the city's hands, that is, the gotting rid of those already here, Dr. Sheard has wisely sug.