Criticises the 'present system of education' for 'seriously' denying girls exposure to Latin and Greek 'which would open a vast amount of innocent delight and instruction in the ample fields of natural history and philology' (12). Attacks the notion that 'the capacity of the boy for receiving instruction is greater than the capacity of his weaker companion' and, dealing with the 'sneer' that 'women [...] are ever weak in argument', urges that women 'study mathematics and read logic'. (13)
Observes that many of the 'great names that formed the Italian school of painters' were 'men of scientific and philosophical attainments' and that, 'had not their greater ability as painters eclipsed their other acquirements' they 'would have left as reputation as famous in science as they have done in painting' (35).
This is an abridged serialization of Nathaniel Hawthorne'sHawthorne, Nathaniel
CBD CloseView the register entry >> novel, which was first published in the United States of America. Hester Prynne and her child are treated by her husband a physician, Roger Chillingworth, who is introduced as 'a man of skill in all Christian modes of physical science' and in herbal remedies of the 'savage people'. Chillingworth claims that his 'old studies in alchemy' and in 'the kindly properties of simples' have made him a better physician than those with medical degrees. Despite Hester's scepticism, he successfully treats her child with his medicine. He presents Hester with a draught made from 'a recipe that an Indian taught me' but which Hester believes may be fatal. (49) He convinces her that he seeks to give her 'medicines against all harm and peril of life' and she takes the draught. (50)
The narrator describes his encounter with Herr von Schwartzmann, with whom he shares an interest in astronomy, and who confesses his interest in comets and 'implicit belief in the science of astrology' (77). Schwartzmann points out that a bright comet in the sky is his 'natal planet' and how he had resolved that he would 'attach' himself to anybody born under the same star, believing that their 'mutual destinies' were 'indissolubly bound together' (78). Describes how he had fallen in love with a woman, Adeline, who, on seeing the comet, identified it as her natal star. He later describes how he and Adeline had arranged to get married on the day of the appearance of the comet, but how Adeline died shortly after her father's death. He subsequently decided to move to a place where he would not see the comet 'which had caused me so much uneasiness', but now confesses to being indifferent about seeing it. The narrator concludes by noting how, shortly after their meeting, Schwartzmann died in an explosion and cursed the 'malignant star'. Concludes with a poem describing the movement of the comet through the heavens and its outshining of other astronomical objects. The poem sends praises 'to Him who tracks the comet's pathless ways' and who governs all the other features of the heavens. (84)
This installment details the career of an old physician, Roger Chillingworth. Notes that after his studies, Chillingworth found employment in Boston—the New England Puritan town where medical matters were controlled by 'an aged deacon and apothecary' and a barber-surgeon. Chillingworth introduced to the town remedies consisting of 'a multitude of far-fetched and heterogeneous ingredients'—remedies that he had learnt 'in his Indian captivity'. (135) The people of Boston considered Chillingworth's arrival in their town in time to attend the sickly young Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale to be mysterious and perhaps heaven-sent. Dimmesdale refuses to accept Chillingworth's medicine, content that his imminent death was 'God's will', but accepts Chilingworth as his 'medical adviser', friend, and somebody who enabled him to see the universe in a refreshing way. (136–37) Describes how Chillingworth sought to probe the character of his patient 'before attempting to do him any good' (137). Despite 'a kind of intimacy' growing up between 'these two cultivated minds [...] no secret ever stole out of the minister's consciousness'. Goes on to describe how the physician and the pastor stayed together in a 'pious widow's' house, where the physician 'arranged his study and his laboratory' so that he had 'the means of compounding drugs and chemicals, which the practised alchemist knew well how to turn to purpose'. (138) Later, rumours spread that the pastor is 'haunted by Satan himself, or Satan's emissary', Chillingworth, who had associated with conjurors and 'savage priests' and whose laboratory fire was fuelled 'from the lower regions' (139). Notes Chillingworth's growing desire to dig into 'the poor clergyman's heart', and that his attempts to steal the 'treasure' in the 'minister's dim interior' were thwarted by the minister's 'spiritual intuition' (139–40). Later, Dimmesdale challenges Chillingworth's claim that some dark-leafed herbs around a tombstone grow from a 'buried heart, to make manifest an unspoken crime' (141). Chillingworth maintains that the 'guilty ones' can reveal their secrets before the 'last day' and engages with Dimmesdale in a theological discussion about this issue (142).
Notes that 'all divinations, false miracles, &c., were produced in olden times by the agency of clairvoyance, mesmerism, and natural magic', and adds that 'Women have been more addicted to these practices than men, probably because they are more governed by the imagination, or because their powers of persuasion were necessary for the successful termination of the various contrivances'. Adds that their ability to receive 'information without questioning authorities' and their enthusiasm for 'any undertaking in which their sympathies' were enlisted made them 'invaluable as the organs of the various temples'. (151)
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Religion
Chillingworth informs Dimmesdale of the peculiarity of his medical condition but asks him to recount 'all the operation of this disorder', arguing that a cure depends on knowing more than 'only the outward and physical evil' and that 'bodily disease' may be caused by a spiritual 'ailment'. Dimmesdale questions whether Chillingworth deals in 'medicine for the soul' and refuses adamantly to bear his soul to anybody but God, the 'one Physician of the soul'. (162) Later Chillingworth catches Dimmesdale dozing and, laying his hand on the clergyman's bosom, develops a look of 'ghastly rapture'. The narrator adds that 'what distinguished the physician's ecstasy from Satan's was the trait of wonder in it!'. Subsequently, Chillingworth seeks to wreak revenge on the minister and to see his 'guilty sorrow'. He 'became [...] not a spectator only, but a chief actor in the poor minister's interior world'. Owing to his knowledge of the 'spring' that controlled the minister's 'engine', he could put him 'on the rack'. (163) The minister, however, unable to gain a complete knowledge of the 'actual nature' of the old physician's evil, 'took himself to task for his bad sympathies' towards the physician.
Ridicules the physical exercises practised at girls' schools and suggests that a much more beneficial and pleasing form of exercise would be to take the girls on an afternoon walk. They could bring back wild flowers to the teacher who, having 'a little knowledge of botany', would instruct them.
Notes Samuel Hibbert's Hibbert-Ware, Samuel
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>claim in his Philosophy of ApparitionsHibbert,
Samuel 1824. Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions; or, An
Attempt to Trace Such Illusions to their Physical Causes, Edinburgh: Oliver
CloseView the register entry >>, that apparitions are 'nothing more than ideas, or the recollected images of the mind' and links 'spectral illusions' to such mental conditions as 'inflammation of the brain'. Denies that the 'appearance of the spirit upon the earth' is impossible and 'infinitely' prefers Harriet E Stowe'sStowe (née Beecher), Harriet Elisabeth
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'theory' of the 'thousand living fibres [which] connect us with the unknown and unseen state'. (180) Cites evidence of a spirit form and concludes that 'it is not an impossible thing for the spirits of the dead to walk again' (181).
The narrator attributes a light gleaming in the sky to the appearance of a meteor, and observes that 'in those days [...] all meteoric appearances and other natural phenomena' which appeared 'with less regularity than the rise and set of sun and moon' were interpreted as 'so many revelations from a supernatural source'. Notes how the 'credibility' of the phenomenon 'rested on the faith' of an eye-witness whose imagination distorted what he had seen. Discusses the meanings given to the appearance of meteors, and insists that somebody regarding such a revelation as addressed to himself is suffering from a 'highly disordered mental state'. Thinks the latter applies to Dimmesdale, who claimed to see the first letter of his first name marked out by the meteor's scarlet light. (195) Dimmesdale also 'appeared to see' Chillingworth 'with the same glance that discerned the miraculous letter'. Later, and with a 'chill despondency', Dimmesdale yields himself to Chillingworth. (196)
Notes the 'amount of social humiliation' attending insanity (214). Laments the fact that, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, the insane suffered brutal treatment and were exposed, like wild animals, in public exhibitions. Observes that 'fifty years ago' humanity 'pierced the gloomy walls of the madhouse' and that 'eight or ten years ago' the 'perfect amelioration' of the lunatic took place. Adds that the old systems of treatment were conducted as 'profitable and highly productive branches of trade' and seem to have been 'studiously adopted to prevent the possibility of a natural cure', turning an 'inoffensive man' into a 'ungovernable savage'. Illustrates the 'evil and the good of both practices' with a veiled account of an actual visit to a madhouse. (215) Describes the gloomy and squalid surroundings of a madhouse and the violent fights which ensued between patients and guards. Explores how, six months later, 'science and medicine treats the aberration of the intellect' (218). Describes the various types of patient and their surroundings, and the 'keeper', whose cane caused stripes on the back of one patient. Entering the 'female wing', explains the violent behaviour of one patient as 'a simple case of temporally disordered functions, rendered incurable by the want of proper order and humanity in the arrangement of the inmates'. (219) Discusses the changes that have occurred in the care of the insane. These include replacing stone cells and 'implements of torture' with 'padded chambers' and the 'strait waist-coat'. Notes that this system of 'kindness, blended with resolution' renders the 'most obstreperous' controllable in weeks. The illustration depicts a ball held each year at Bethlehem Royal HospitalBethlehem Royal Hospital
CloseView the register entry >> and 'other institutions' and seeks to represent the benefits of such an event. Concludes with a discussion of the work of Dorothea L DixDix, Dorothea Lynde
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, a 'real missionary in the cause of humanity' who conducted an 'energetic' and successful campaign to improve the condition and treatment of the insane. (220).
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Religion
Chillingworth tells Hester Prynne that his care for the 'miserable priest', Dimmesdale, is worth more than the 'richest fee that ever physician earned from monarch' and that it saved the priest's life. Later, Chillingworth asserts that, despite the coldness of his character, he is 'a man thoughtful for others'. Hester claims responsibility for turning him into a 'fiend'. Watching him gather herbs on his departure, she wonders what powers of evil he will display (227). These include the possibility that 'the earth, quickened to an evil purpose by the sympathy of his eye' should 'greet him with poisonous shrubs' and his conversion of a 'wholesome growth' into 'something deleterious and malignant at his touch' (228). Hester remembers the time 'when he used to emerge at eventide from the seclusion of his study' in their home and 'sit down [...] in the light of her nuptial smile' (229).
Medical Practitioners, Status, Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Religion
On reading Dimmesdale's heart 'more accurately', Hester Prynne senses that Chillingworth, whose 'secret poison' infected 'all the air about him' and who had interfered with the minister's 'physical and spiritual infirmities', had kept the minister's 'conscience in an irritated state' (259).
Ancient Authorities, Astrology, Alchemy, Magic, Astronomy
Notes that members of the Society of the RosicruciansSociety of the Rosicrucians
CloseView the register entry >> 'gave themselves up to the enchantments of H Cornelius Agrippa von NettesheimAgrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, and the magical craft of William LillyLilly, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the bold and splendid empiricism of ParacelsusParacelsus (Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'abstruse and visionary rhapsodies of Robert FluddFludd, Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' and the 'treatises of SandivogiusSandivogius
WBI CloseView the register entry >> on mineralogy which, loose and fanciful as they are, yet more closely approach the order of a scientific prolusion'. Notes how these philosophers gave up 'youth, health, fortune, love, friendships' to pursue such goals as the 'elixir vitae' and the 'philosopher's stone'. (266) The following narrative includes a description of Count Aureole, a 'student of the stars', who believed in the guiding influence of his natal star and whose 'simple name' of '"astronomer" sheltered and preserved from public notice whatever else was more abstruse, dark, and forbidden' (269). Aureole gazes at his natal star and later, he mixes herbs and 'metallic ingredients' in a crucible, and after waving a rosy cross in 'mystic circles' and muttering 'certain words' out of a 'weird book', turns the sky black and conjurors up the 'ghastly' form of a gorgon. (270)
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Religion
Chillingworth offers to put Dimmesdale 'in heart and strength' to preach his next 'Election Sermon', but Dimmesdale declines, having been rejuvenated by 'the sight of the holy Apostle yonder and the free air which I have breathed' (297). Chillingworth inwardly recognises that Dimmesdale is now his 'bitterest enemy' but again tries unsuccessfully to offer his medicine to the priest.
In his dream, Aureole embarks on a fantastic journey in which he sees the earth 'reflecting back the rays of the refulgent systems—suns, moons, and planets', and in which he is 'swept through armies of trailing comets', and falls 'into the harmonious march by the force of that central power which preserves the balance of the universe'. Towards the end of the journey, he sees 'arch and architrave, straight into the plane of the infinite Ecliptic' and which 'rose and rose, and became vestibules and starry alleys' (302). Later, in his 'ancient mansion in which he had sought after knowledge which is forbidden man to know', he stood among his 'crucibles and instruments of science'. After gazing into the twilight, he is compelled to open the 'magic book' and uncover the 'whole unutterable mystery of the talisman'. Later, his natal star 'bursts forth' and is eclipsed, and he proclaims that 'The heavens declare the glory of God'. Concludes by noting the 'tradition of a young nobleman who, in the ardent pursuit of science in its highest philosophic and theosophic forms, had fallen into a mild and harmless insanity'. (307–08)
Links the high child mortality rate in London to the fact that 'these tender and delicate beings have never had their constitutions sufficiently studied' and that medical men 'have not had opportunities of sufficiently investigating the amazing rapidity and virulence of infantile disorders'. Shocked by the fact that 'until a few years ago' there was no children's hospital in London and goes on to describe the foundation of the Hospital for Sick ChildrenHospital for Sick Children
CloseView the register entry >> in Great Ormond Street. Praises the hospital for giving to children 'impressions of beauty, piety, and comfort', 'kind and gentle nursing', and 'all the alleviation science can bring on their often painful complaints'. (350) Notes that the hospital has given 'medical men' increased opportunities to study 'every variety of infantile disease'. Calls on readers to donate money to the hospital whose 'powers of usefulness' are 'limited by want of funds'. (351)
Medical Practitioners, Pharmaceuticals, Magic, Religion
Describes the appearance of the terrifying 'SCARLET LETTER' on Dimmesdale's breast, during the minister's 'Election sermon'. Adds that many spectators believed Chillingworth, a 'potent necromancer', had caused the stigma to appear 'through the agency of magic and poisonous drugs'. (357) Notes that Chillingworth withered away 'immediately after' Dimmesdale's death and explains that the minister's death robbed the physician of the 'evil principle' which gave him life—exercising his systematic revenge on the minister (358).
Detailed analysis of H Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim'sAgrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >>Nobility of the Female Sex and the Superiority of Woman over ManAgrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich
Cornelius 1529. De Nobilitate et Praecellentia Foeminei Sexus
Expostulatio cum Joanne Catilineti super expositioni libri Joannis Caprionis de
verbo mirifico. De sacremento matrimonii [...] De triplici ratione cognoscendi
Deum liber unus [...]. Antwerp: Apud Michaelem Hillenum in Rapo
CloseView the register entry >>. Surveys the evidence on which Agrippa supports his arguments, including the Biblical point that woman was 'made better than man and received the better name', and 'is made of purer matter'. (364–65). Describes how Agrippa held that 'every difference of structure between the man and the woman gives to woman the advantage due to her superior delicacy'. Notes that Agrippa supported this with such observations as the fact that 'Even after death nature respects [woman's] inherent modesty, for a drowned woman floats on her face, and a drowned man on his back'. (365) Notes Agrippa's affirmation that 'philosophers, mathematicians, and astrologers' are 'often inferior to country-women in their divinations and predictions', and that the doctor is inferior to 'the old nurse' (368).