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his studies, growing poorer and poorer, living without fire in the coldest winter and subsisting upon bread and water; surrounded by rabbits and guinea pigs, the subjects of his experiments, and which were to be his companions through half a century to the end of his days.
He was admitted a doctor of medicine in 1840, with an essay containing the first outlines of his investigations of the nervous system.
In 1848 his experiments brought him into relations with the Société de Biologie, just founded, and of which he became one of the first secretaries. The first president of the society, Rayer, gave facilities to Brown-Séquard, and intrusted to him certain patients to be treated by means of galvinism. The following year, 1849, during that murderous epidemic of cholera which those whose duty forced them to care for the ill and the dying can never forget, Brown-Séquard was called as assistant physician to the military hospital of Gros-Caillou. It was a post of danger and devotion, and Brown never recoiled from such situations.
His means of livelihood continued very precarious. In 1852 he was without resources, and his republican opinions forbade him to hope for official support. He embarked on a sailing vessel for New York, relying, he said, upon the length of the voyage to acquire the English language, and upon his knowledge of medicine as a means of living when once landed. In his changes of location between England, France and America, he was to cross the Atlantic sixty times in the course of half a century.
On his arrival in New York Brown-Séquard supported himself by giving French lessons; then he became acquainted with prominent physicians who had studied in Paris under Magendie, Andral and Bouillaud, and they procured for him a chair of experimental physiology in some American schools of medicine.
In 1853, still very poor, he married Miss Fletcher, a niece of Daniel Webster. He returned to France that summer, but without success; patients do not follow so unstable a physician. But he did not forsake science, always first in his thoughts; and it was during this period that he published in the Philosophical Medical Examiner his first essays upon experimental epilepsy.
He returned to the United States; left again in 1854 to go to the island of Mauritius, where he found an epidemic of cholera raging and a deficiency of physcians. Brown was given charge of a hospital and of several medical centers; his treatment, based upon the use of opium, was that then in vogue. The principal reward of his services was a gold medal voted to him by the municipality of Port Louis. At the end of the year he returned to the United States, where he was appointed professor of physiology in the college at Richmond, Va. He began his course at the beginning of 1855.
But it soon developed that he was not in touch with the ideas. of the college and the city of Richmond. Brown could not conform to what was expected of him and withdrew. His restless nature led him to abandon the fixed career which was apparently opening for him in the United States, and he went back to Paris. At this period he was thirty-eight years of age; his face was bright, original and benevolent; his eyes were brilliant, yet soft, always unquiet and full of eager inquiry. His devotion to science led him into many experiments prejudicial to his health; such as swallowing a sponge attached to a string for the purpose of obtaining some of the gastric juice; and, again, injecting into the arm of an executed man, thirteen hours after decapitation, three hundred and fifty scruples of his own blood.
In 1855, with Charles Robin, he established a physiological laboratory in the rue Saint-Jacques. His influence over the young was great and lasting, but his methods were questioned by scientists attached to established ideas based upon exact demonstration. Brown-Séquard proceeded by intuitions based upon incomplete experimentation, often made to appear insufficient by the extreme complexity of physiological problems. Hence the doubts and difficulties which long debarred the illustrious scholar from the broad and solid reputation that he finally achieved.
To this period belong his investigations of the adrenal capsules, and particularly of the spinal marrow, which contradicted received opinion and gave him a certain name among the neurologists.
The Académie des Sciences accorded him a prize in 1856.. The fees from his laboratory pupils and from some patients furnished him by Rayer enabled him to live; his scientific reputa
tion grew, while the nature of his researches began to give him authority as a practitioner in the realm of nervous diseases. His investigations into epilepsy, its causes and treatment, made a great sensation. His experiments on producing the disease, and his views as to its hereditary transmission, established his reputation in medical circles as a pathologist of the nervous system. In 1859 he undertook in Paris the publication of the Journal de Physiologie de l'homme et des animaux, filled with his labors of eight years. In May of the same year he was called to the Royal College of Surgeons in England, and gave six lectures in which he summarized his views upon the nerve centers, and set forth his ideas of the relations between experimental research and the therapeutics of nervous disease. These lectures were printed in 1860 in Philadelphia, one of the three intellectual centers among which Brown-Séquard distributed his strength.
When a national hospital for epileptics and paralytics was established in London in 1859 Brown was made physician in charge, and it was during the four years of his service there that he took definite place as the head of a school with innumerable pupils. In 1861 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of London, and became very much in vogue as a consulting physician. His reputation extended to France, England and the United States; but the practice of medicine bored him, his devotion to science would not permit him to rest, and he resolutely sought to give up all other employment.
In 1863 we find him again in Boston, professor of the pathology of the nervous system in Harvard University. He was very popular, and had the mighty support of Agassiz. In the midst of his growing success the death of his wife overcame him, like the death of his mother twenty years before; and he unexpectedly returned to France in 1867, there resuming his work of incessant research into the physiology and pathology of the nervous system. .
At the beginning of the siege of Paris Brown-Séquard was on his way to the United States, where he gave lectures, whose proceeds were devoted to the relief of the wounded. In 1872 he married an American lady, Mrs. Carlyle, of Cincinnati, and established himself once more as a consulting physician in New York. The marriage was not happy; he lost money by his journal, and made little by his lessons; but in the treatment of nervous diseases his resources never failed. “I came here (New York) from Boston to-day," he writes; "I never saw anything like the scenes of yesterday. From seven in the morning until eight at night, when I refused to see any one more, there was an uninterrupted flow of very patient patients. The last I saw had waited six or eight hours for me."
At last Brown-Séquard seemed upon the eve of realizing his most cherished hope: a chair of physiology endowed with a great laboratory, and belonging to a vast scientific institution. which Agassiz was organizing with the assistance of a generous friend. "I am to have," wrote Brown, "thousands of rabbits, guinea-pigs, birds, pigs, cats, dogs and cold-blooded animals, which will be placed at the disposal of the experimenters. Why am I no longer thirty years of age!"
But this dream was not realized. Agassiz fell ill, and the offer made to Brown-Séquard was not sustained. In 1873 he returned to Europe disenchanted, ill and discouraged. His wife, long an invalid, died. He refused a chair in the University of Glasgow because of the climate. He went from New York to Chester, Paris, and back again to New York. His financial difficulties increased: "I have barely enough left to live on for nine months," he wrote; "I must set myself again to work to provide for my fast-coming old age.'
Eighteen hundred and seventy-four and 1875 passed thus amid various troubles, sickness, grief, repinings. Still he could not decide what to do. He hesitated between Glasgow, Geneva, Paris, London and New York. Through all he gave lectures upon amaurosis and hemianææsthesia, and carried on a heated controversy in the Société de Biologie with Charcot. He was made, in 1876, consulting physician to the Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro, in which connection he declared with displeasure that sovereigns do not like to be treated on terms of equality; that the claws of the leopard can always be felt under his velvet paw."
In 1877 he married again, the widow of the artist, Doherty. In 1878, learning of the death of Claude-Bernard, he hurried from New York to Paris to apply for his succession. He was cordially received by the body of Professors of the Collége de France and by the Section of the Académie, which presented him to the Minister. The position was one peculiarly adapted to his original and prolific genius.
Thus he established himself finally in France, with the means of subsistence and full opportunity for the pursuit of those researches upon which his existence hinged. His activity never relaxed. In 1878, while making his experiments upon inhibition, he attacked a new subject which he was to develop further every day, the internal secretions and their physiological properties. In 1881 the Académie awarded him the Lacaze prize; in 1885 the great biennial prize. In 1886 he was elected a member of the Académie des Sciences in the Section of Medicine, succeeding Vulpian as he had succeeded Claude-Bernard in the College de France.
In 1894 Brown-Séquard lost his third wife, to whom he had been greatly devoted for eighteen years. Although time had naturally softened his early vehemence of expression and action, it had not chilled his heart. This last blow wounded him mortally; he could not rally from it. "I can work no more; all is ended for me," he said. He returned from Nice to Paris in March and died April 1st. The International Congress was in session in Rome at the time, and when Bouchard, with tears in his eyes, read to the Section of Philosophy the dispatch announcing the death of the illustrious scholar, the entire assembly rose by one impulse of respect and grief. It sent a telegram of condolence to the Académie des Sciences in Paris, -the last possible tribute of homage to a life that had been wholly devoted to the disinterested search for truth.
MRS. HELEN E. STARRETT, CHICAGO, ILL.
Waking at midnight when the world is sleeping,
Then often forth beneath the skies I wander,
On life's,-on death's sad, solemn mystery.
And when o'erwhelmed with fears and weak repining,
I seem to see the silent cemetery,
Its smooth-mown swards thick strewn with marbles white, Its stillness broken only by the dreary,
Shrill singing of the insects of the night.
I see its graveled paths all darkly winding.
Beneath the trees, past shadowy vales and slopes;
Oh! on that grass-grown mound in spirit resting,