Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/249

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DR. MONRO, SECUNDUS. 43

when a student of medicine. But after his return from his studies on the continent, and after his conjunction with his father in the professorship of anatomy, he was also conjoined with him as secretary to the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh ; and although Mr Hume still retained the name of the philosophical secretary, yet Dr Monro secundus may justly be considered as the editor of the two last volumes. With the venerable lord Kames ns their presi- dent, and Dr 31onro secundus as their acting secretary, (for Mr Hume, not long after his appointment, left Edinburgh, to act in a diplomatic character in France,) the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh had regular meetings. The physicians and philosophers, who were then the greatest ornaments of Edin- burgh, lord Kames, Sir George Clerk, Mr John Clerk, Drs Cullen, Home, Hope, Black, Young, Monro, and many others, constituted the strength of the association ; and the Essays and Observations, Physical and Literary, which they published to the world, will ever hold a distinguished place in mark- ing the progress of science. The third and last volume published by the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh in 1771, contains several papers from the pen of Dr Monro secundus. Besides the interesting experiments on opium, ardent spirits, and essential oils, of which mention has already been made, it contains important observations, communicated by him, on Polypus in the Pharynx and (Esophagus, and on the use of mercury in convulsive diseases. Soon after the publication of this third volume, a plan was projected for putting the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh upon a still more respectable footing and extensive scale, and of comprehending not only medical and physical science, but every species of literary and philological discussions. This exten- sion was particularly enforced by Dr Robertson, then principal, and Mr Dal- zell, then professor of Greek, in the university of Edinburgh. The negotiation terminated in the Philosophical Society as a body, with the addition of many other eminent scholars, being incorporated by royal charter in the year 1762, under the title of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

On the establishment of the Royal Society, Dr Monro, whose time was much occupied uith extensive practice in medicine, declined any longer officiating as secretary ; but he continued not only to be one of their councillors, but to be an active and useful fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh ; and he en- riched their transactions with several valuable communications, particularly with the description of a human male monster, with an elaborate series of experi- ments on animal electricity or galvanism, which, from the discoveries of Galvani, professor of anatomy of Bologna, has engaged the attention of almost every philosopher in Europe, and with observations on the Muscles, particularly on the effects of their oblique fibres.

The last publication with which Dr Monro enriched medical science, was a quarto volume, consisting of three treatises, on the Brain, the Eye, and the Ear, published at Edinburgh in the year 1797. And although these organs had before been examined with the utmost attention by anatomists of the first eminence, yet, from careful examination, he made no inconsiderable addition to our knowledge, both of the structure and functions of these important organs.

Dr Monro's talents extended his fame over all Europe, and he had the honour of being admitted a member of the most celebrated medical institutions, particularly of the royal academies of Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Moscow, and other learned societies. His eminence as an author was not superior to his fame as a teacher of medicine. For a long series of years his class room was attended by crowded audiences ; and no hearer of real discernment could lis- ten to him without being both pleased and instructed by his prelections. He