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clear and satisfactory as the nature of the case will admit. No man-certainly no young man will be contented with a biography, from which such an answer cannot be elicited. If the facts related do not contain instruction, do not suggest something to make him wiser and better, he will throw the work aside as useless, if not pernicious. The story of Dr. Rush's life, if related according to these principles, would, I fear, be too long for an article in the Monitor. In answering the inquiry, therefore, with which I began, 1 sball only notice a few of those circumstances in his education and habits of life, which appear best calculated to make him, who reflects upon them, wise for himself,-circumstances, which teach or illustrute truths or important principles which regulated the life of Dr. Rush and conduced to his eminence.
1. His early education was religious.
Dr. Rush was born near Philadelphia in the year 1745. He lost his father when very young, and was left to the care of an excellent and pious mother. Of the important and beneficial influence of their religious instructions, we fortunately have his own testimony, given near the close of his life. 56 I have acquired and received nothing from the world," said he, speaking of his parents, “ which I prize so highly as the religious principles I received from them."
But his religious education did not cease with his departure from under the immediate care of his mother. That excellent woman was sensible how important it was that the guide of his early youth should be a man, who would keep in view, and strengthen, with his strengthening intellect, those principles, which, in his childhood, it had been her care to implant. He was therefore placed, at. the early age of eight or nine years, under the care of the Rev. Dr. Finley, then Principal of West Nottingham Grammar School, and afterwards President of Princeton college. The anxious care of that excellent man for the moral and religious welfare of his pupils is well known. Amidst his greatest exertions for their intellectual improvement, and for exciting in them a love for classical learning,—to his fidelity and success in
which the after eminence of many of his pupils bears ample testimony,—they were never suffered to forget a still higher object of pursuit, and were taught to reverence religion, if not by its transforming and saving influence on their own souls, yet, by seeing it exemplified in the conduct of their beloved instructer, and being daily reminded how dear it was to his heart. Fortunately President Davies, too, under whose care he was placed at Princeton, after leaving the Grammar School, was a man of like spirit; and Dr. Rush always spoke of his eloquence in the pulpit, and his piety in every act of life, with the warmest, admiration.
2. He was in early life an industrious and systematic student.
Even at the Grammar School he was distinguished for the diligence and regularity of his studies. Such, indeed, .were his ardour and application at that period of his life, that he received his first degree at Princeton with great honour to himself at the early age of fifteen. In his seventeenth year, when a student in medicine with Dr. Redman of Philadelphia, he translated, for his own improvement, the Aphorisms of Hippocrates from Greek into English, and at that time, and even after, was in the daily habit of noting down any thing important that occurred to him either in observation or in-reading. He studied, as another great man says of himself, “ with his pen always in his hand,” for he thought with an ancient classicm Studium sine calamo somnium”-that to study without a pen is to dream. During the six
years that he was the pupil of Dr. Redman, he was absent from his business but two days, and such through life continued to be his love for regularity and system, such his sense of duty and habitual punctuality, that, during the thirty years of his attendance as physician to the Pennsylvania hospital, he is said not only to have invariably made his daily visit to that institution, but never to have been absent ten minutes after the appointed hour of prescribing. By these systematic habits, by doing every thing in its appropriate season, and, it should be added, by the habit of early rising, he secured to himself many hours and parts
of hours, which would otherwise have been lost, and was thus enabled greatly to extend the sphere of his professional and literary labours.
3. He prepared himself thoroughly for his profession before he began its practice.
His classical education was excellent, and six years after leaving college were devoted to the study of medicine in Philadelphia. The two succeeding years were spent in Edinburgh, in attendance on the lectures of the celebrated professors, by whom that university was then distinguished. He returned to Philadelphia after an absence of three years, in which time he had visited London and Paris and greatly enlarged his stock of knowledge by improving the facilities afforded in their hospitals and public schools. Nine years, then, were not thought too much by that great man, to devote to the study of his profession, and doubtless to this thorough preparation was owing, in a great measure, his rapid and permanent success. This should serve as an instructive lesson to those who are in haste to establish themselves in business. Whatever that business may be, the young candidate should always remember that the time faithfully devoted to preparation will be repaid him with abundant interest by his success in after life. This remark is of more extensive application than the young are apt to believe. The mechanic should never regret the time necessary to make him a complete master of his business, at least so far as its principles are concerned. It gives him respectability at once, and, by the greater facility, with which he is enabled to accomplish his purposes, gives him a command of time and opportunities for improvement, which he would in vain sigh for, had he commenced business with a mind less prepared for its rapid and faithful execution.
I will mention but one other circumstance-his temperance.
“ To temperance," says Dr. Johnson, “every day is bright, and every hour is propitious to diligence.” This Dr. Rush felt. He knew nothing of that “ lethargy of indolence” that follows the inordinate gratifi
cations of the table. His powers were never clogged by repletion or enfeebled by intemperance. They were thus preserved in constant elasticity and vigour, and every hour with its returning employments, found him ready and active to engage in them. Such are believed to have been the most important circumstances, which conspired with distinguished talents and an amiable character to make Dr. Rush great. The lessons they teach are simple, but far more important than many drawn from more obscure sources.
(For the Monitor.)
PROSPERITY AND ADVERSITY.
The various classes of society, from the peasant in the humblest walks of life, to the prince, surrounded with all the magnificence of wealth, and all the splendor of royalty, picture to themselves scenes of future bliss, which far surpass the enjoyments which have hitherto fallen to their lot. Each individual, according to the prevailing trait of his character, restless and ardent in proportion to the powers of his mind and the strength of his passion, pursues some darling scheme which bids fair to secure the possession of a desired object; an object, which, as seen through the vista of futurity, limits his expectations and circumscribes his desires. But it is no sooner attained than fancy, ever ready to form ideal worlds, in which the passions may receive their appropriate gratifications, presents a still brighter and more alluring prospect, and bids the votaries of pleasure, of wealth, and of honour, press forward and secure the proffered enjoyment.
That prosperity is desired by most men, no one will, deny. Nor is it desired merely by those, whose hap.. piness increases or diminishes in proportion as their plans of self-aggrandizement are prosecuted with greater or less success. The pious man regards, with peculiar delight, the accomplishment of his schemes of bener
olence, and exults in view of the accessions to human enjoyment which he is the instrument of effecting. The happiness which worldly prosperity offers is, indeed, anticipated with enthusiasm, particularly in the early part of life. But these anticipated enjoyments are mere visions, that “fit before the fancy,” and are gone like the 66 tales of other times."
It may well, therefore, admit a serious doubt, whether prosperity in the world would be desired by a wise man, in full view of its tendency. When our anticipations are high, a wise man would advise us to contemplate the influence of those passions, so uncongenial to solid enjoyment, which prosperity nourishes, and to recollect that every gratification only gives birth to new desires. Surely, that man has a much fairer claim to pity than admiration, whose success, however laudable his pursuits, arises from a love of popularity. The mind, inebriated with the applause of mortals, has certainly little moral worth; and nature seems to have acted in one of her inefficient moments, when she endowed it with human capacity. The tittering vanity which weak minds discover, when raised above their fellows, carries far greater evidence of mercal imbecility, than their elevation does of real merit.
But has adversity no charms? Viewed, indeed, as it usually is, it presents nothing but scenes of wretchedness and wo. An ardent and aspiring youth may be suddenly stopped in the midst of his pursuits, by the influence of external circumstances; and, although they are circumstances over which he could have no control, yet the scene is not unfrequently rendered ten times gloomier by the taunts and sneers of the selfcomplacent, who are ever ready to impute the misfortunes of others to the agency of causes, against which they imagine themselves effectually shielded, by some surpassing excellence of character. Such adverse scenes are sometimes attended with the most salutary effects to the youth, who enters into the business of life with high expectations of success and enjoyment. Too often, indeed, the miseries of life sour the temper, benumb all the tender sensibilities of the heart, and extinguish every warm and generous emo