William Osler A Way Of Life Essay

The stained glass window in the Osler Room depicts the staff and serpent, symbols of healing associated with the Greek god Asclepius, and a held-out book representing the university.
It was designed by architect Percy Nobbs.

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practitioner, absorbed, like a sensible man, in his family, his friends, his studies, and his patients. It is a life of singular happiness to contemplate. In 1641 he married Dorothy Mileham, 'a lady of such a symmetrical proportion to her worthy husband—that they seemed to come together by a kind of natural magnetism.' In the he had said some hard things of the gentle goddess and had expressed himself very strongly against Nature's method for the propagation of the race. He believed, with Milton, that the world should have been populated 'without feminine', and in almost identical words they wish that some way less trivial and vulgar had been found to generate mankind. Dame Dorothy proved a good wife, a fruitful branch, bearing ten children. We have a pleasant picture of her in her letters to her boys and to her daughter-in-law, in a spelling suggestive of Pitman's phonetics. She seems to have had in full measure the simple piety and the tender affection mentioned on her monument in St. Peter's Church. The domestic correspondence (Wilkin's edition of the gives interesting glimpses of the family life, the lights and shadows of a cultured English home. The two boys were all that their father could have wished. Edward, the elder, had a distinguished career, following his father's footsteps in the profession and reaching the dignity of the Presidency of the Royal College of Physicians. Inheriting his father's tastes, as the letters between them prove, his wide interests in natural history and archaeology are shown in his wellknown book of and I am fortunate in possessing a copy of the with his autograph.


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WAY OF LIFE Essays

William Pepper began life under conditions which are very often unfavourable to success. His father, a distinguished physician, the professor of medicine in the school in which his son was educated, belonged to a family of position and influence. For the young man there were none of those tempering 'blows of circumstance', no evil star with which to grapple and grow strong. Quite as much grit and a much harder climb are needed to reach distinction from the top as from the bottom of the social scale, and to rise superior to the has taxed to the uttermost many young men in this country. We have heard enough of the self-made men, who are always on top; it is time now to encourage in America the young fellow who is unhappily born 'with a silver spoon in his mouth'. Like the young man in the Gospels, he is too apt to turn away sorrowfully from the battle of life, and to fritter his energies in Europe, or to go to the devil in a very ungentlemanly manner, or to become the victim of neurasthenia. To such the career I am about to sketch should prove a stimulus and an encouragement.


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'I perfectly agree with you concerning general theories—the curse of the time, and destructive not less of life than of science—they are for the most part but a sort of waking dream, with which, when men have warmed their heads, they pass into unquestionable truths. men laying the foundation in their own fancies, and then suiting the phenomena of diseases, and the cure of them, to these fancies. I wonder, after the pattern Dr. Sydenham has set of a better way, men should return again to this romance-way of physic. But I see it is more easy and more natural for men to and wherein if men, through prepossession or obstinacy, mistake, they may be convinced of their error by unerring nature and matter of fact. What we know of the works of nature, especially in the constitution of health and the operations of our own bodies,

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From this date until 1675 Locke lived in Lord Ashley's family, occupying himself in all sorts of miscellaneous duties, some domestic, as finding young Anthony Ashley a wife, whom he subsequently attended on several interesting occasions. One duty which interests us in America very much is the share which he took in the Carolina colony. As secretary to the Lords Proprietors he was appointed one of the Land-graves and wrote, it is supposed, the celebrated the original draft of which, in his handwriting, with many alterations and erasures, may be seen in the Record Office. The celebrated clause, 'No person whatsoever shall disturb, molest, or prosecute 'another for his speculative opinions in religion or his way of worship,' expresses the spirit of toleration for which Locke strove all through his life. Subsequently, after Lord Ashley was created Earl of Shaftesbury, Locke became Secretary of Presentations. During all this period he was deeply interested in medicine, and was in intimate association with Sydenham, Mapletoft, and other well-known physicians of the day, though it was not until 1674 that he took his M.B. at Oxford. About this time he began to suffer much in health, and in 1675 went to France, where he remained, chiefly at Montpellier and Paris, for four years. His journals during this period, which are very full, indicate his continued interest in the profession, though, as he writes to Mapletoft, 'My health, which you are so kind to in your wishes, is the only mistress I have a long time courted, and is so coy a one that it will take up the remainder of my days to obtain her good graces and keep her in good humour.