22 JULY 1876, Page 14


(TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Although a little out of temper with the Doctors just now, I am quite sure that you do not wish to be unjust to your antagonists. Let me, therefore, just say that I think, in your short comment on Mr. Gladstone's compliment to the doctors, you unintentionally exaggerate their " specialism." In contrast to your statement, let me remind you that they have furnished the majority of the leaders in all the collateral sciences. At this moment they contribute,—to the British Museum, Hills ; to the School of Mines, Huxley ; to Kew, Hooker; and to the India Museum, Birdwood ; to ethnology, Prichard, Busk, and 'Thur- nam ; to philology, Latham ; to archaeology, Wilde, Stokes, Simpson, and Fowler of Wakefield ; to mental physiology, Car- penter, Maudsley, and Hughlings Jackson. As to their lack of appreciation of the arts, let me remind you that almost the only amateur pictures of such high merit as to find a place on the walls of the leading exhibitions are by doctors,—Sir Henry Thompson, Prescott Hewett, Seymour Haden, Evershed, and Propert. The best collections of " china " in London are those of four doctors. As to their lack of humour, let " Rab and his Friends " and the " Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table " plead. As to their political sagacity, let me remind you that your own columns have borne witness that to the rare political capacity and earnestness of Ernest Hart, aided by Anstie, is due the whole system of " Metropolitan Asylums," which are now a chief glory of London ; and that Ramsey, Farr, and Simon have laid the foundations of a system of public-health legislation which the perverseness of a single Minister has seriously marred, but which is still far in advance of anything else of the kind in Europe.— I am, Sir, &c., A DOCTOR, BUT NO SPECIALIST.