Page:Hospitals, medical science and public health.djvu/30

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HOSPITALS, MEDICAL SCIENCE,

to the future craftsman are to be extracted; neglecting the development of faculty we are *to confine ourselves to the inculcation of immediately useful parcels. This is indeed to shape the instrument before we have forged the steel. I have never forgotten the day when Humphry put a bone into my hand and revealed to me as an undeveloped youth what scientific observation meant; it meant not just points for the surgeon, for surgery then formed little or no part of the Cambridge curriculum, but a training of faculty, whether for the physician, the naturalist, the physicist, the grammarian, the palaeographer; in a word, for universal education. Thus one is taught how carelessly the untrained eye skips its reading. Had I been told to note only what I might happen for some practical purpose to want, and to skip the rest, I should never have been convicted of the sin of inaccuracy; the eye would have fluttered unchastised over many a tiny point, which afterwards, when the mind had been raised to the conception of principles, would have disclosed itself as an "expression point," significant of cycles or deviations of growth which otherwise had left no trace. "To look with the eye confounds the wisdom of ages." Moreover, in the unforeseen future, as we have seen for instance in the field of modern neurology, it is the anatomical habit of mind, apart from the memory of details, which in great part gives his lead to the successful pioneer in new regions of observation. Such in anatomy is an illustration of the contrast between universal and technical methods, but such also are the potentialities which enable us to use almost any department of knowledge for an education of universal quality.

Secondly, if time be gained by using kindred subjects for the general education, we shall find other gains also at a later stage. The maturer and more various the qualities the mind brings to bear, the more quickly and truly will it judge of what is to come before it later. The technical teacher's ideas have not to dwindle into the dimensions of a rudimentary disciple. The instruction, which it is his turn to give, falls upon a mind already familiar with standards, with principle, with relative values; a mind accustomed to observation, comparison, and foresight. Moreover, among themselves, such educated students do not, as those who are only of the workshop, operate upon each other at common levels, but