Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/245

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233
THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND.

tor as well, besides, as the Duchess of Marlborough observed, "his being dragged up in a basket three or four times a week to the top of the building at great hazard."

Wren was a prominent Freemason, "was for eighteen years a member of the old Lodge of St. Paul's, then held at the Goose and Gridiron, near the cathedral, now the Lodge of Antiquity; and the records of that lodge show that the maul and trowel used at the laying of the stone of St. Paul's, together with a pair of carved mahogany candlesticks, were presented by Wren, and are now in possession of that lodge."

Wren was neglected by the court in his latter days, but amends were partially made at his death by a funeral of great distinction, and an interment in his own cathedral. Over his tomb in the crypt of St. Paul's were inscribed the words, worthy of the man and the place, "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice!"

November 23, 1667.—At the meeting of this date there was performed an experiment such as had never before been attempted in England. The year before Dr. Wallis had reported the success of some experiments made at Oxford by Dr. Lower, "of transfusing the blood of one animal into the body of another." But now the operation was to be tested upon a human being. A poor theological student, Arthur Coga or Coyn, offered himself as the subject. The operation was performed by Dr. Lower and Dr. King without any untoward symptoms arising. Some one asked the young man afterward why the blood of a sheep, rather than that of any other animal, was used in transfusion. He replied, "Sanguis ovis symbolicam quandam facultatem habet cum sanguine christi, quia Christus est Agnus Dei."

Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, though for some time strenuously opposed, finally became accepted, and at once gave rise to the wildest speculations. In the blood were supposed to lie all the ills and diseases which tormented human life, and for their cure the bad blood had only to be drawn off, to be replaced by the pure blood of some young, healthy animal, when the sick would be restored, the maniac would recover his reason, old age return to youth again, and man become immortal.

Transfusion became the topic of the day. The courtier, the peasant, the man of science, followed every experiment with intense interest. It was a subject which appealed to the imagination and interest of every individual. If one may not secure immortality one way, may he not in another?

It is to the credit of the medical profession that as a body it deprecated the indiscriminate practice of such a hazardous experiment. There is no telling where the delirium may have carried the practice had not among the first cases occurred two deaths in