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e qualido perpetuale
of existence ; nor is it in the power of man to arrest the stroke of death : But it is sometimes in his power to preserve a few faint memorials of those he loved ; and he finds a pleasure in attempting to perpetuate the remembrance of those amiable qualities which have contributed, in an essential manner, to augment his own happiness and that of others. These are the motives which induce the writer of this memoir to take up the pen on the prefent occasion.
To speak of Doctor Cullen in his profesfional quality as a physician, would require talents that do not belong to the writer of these pages : His writings are well known, and will be more juftly appreciated by others. It is Cullen as a man; as a member of society; as a man of letters, and a promoter of scientific knowledge ; we mean here to contemplate.
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The most striking features in the character of Doctor Cullen were, as a man of letters, great energy of mind, and vigour of enterprise, a quick perception, a retentive memory, and talent for arrangement: as a man mas a member of society, beneficence and warmth of heart, candour and sociability of difpofition, vivacity of temper, politeness and urbanity of manners. These peculiarities of character were perceptible in every transaction of his life ; had an influence on his conduct on all occafions; and gave a tinge to his studies, his reasoning, his pursuits, and his practice, through every period of his life.
To most men who have made attainments that could in any respect be compared with thofe of Doctor Cullen, study is a ferious, often a severe, and seemingly a burdensome employment : To bim, it never seemed to be more than an amusement; an amusement too of such a sort as never occupied his mind so much as to prevent him from indulging, with perfect freedom, those social dispositions which made him at all times take particular delight in the company of his friends ; so that to those pupils and friends who had access alike to perceive his fingular exertions in his literary capacity, to converse with him in his own house, and to know his mode of living, it has often afforded matter of wonder, how he contrived to ubtain that knowledge they found he possessed. For more than thirty years that the writer of this article has been honoured with his acquaintance, he has had access to know, that Doctor Cullen was in general employed from five to fix hours every day in visiting his patients, and in prescribing for those at a distance who consulted him in writing, and that during the session of the college, which in Edinburgh lasts from five to fix months, he delivered two public lectures of an hour each, sometimes four lectures a day, during five days of the week; and towards the end of the session, that his students might lose no part of his course, he usually, for a month or fix weeks together, delivered lectures six days every week ; yet during all that time, if you chanced to fall in with him in public or in private, you never perceived him either embarrassed, or seemingly in a hurry; but at all times he was easy, and cheerful, and sociably inclined : and in a private party at whist, for fixpence a game, he could be as keenly engaged for an hour before supper, as if he had had no other employment to inind, and would be as much interested in it, as if he had had a thousand pounds depending on the game. · Nor was it only after he was far advanced in life
that his opportunities for study were few, and the means of acquiring knowledge intesrupted by the preffing avocations of business. Though descended from respectable parents in Lanarkshire *, their circumstances were such as did not enable them to lay out much money on the education of their son William ; who, after having served a short apprenticeship to a surgeon apothecary in Glasgow, went several voyages 19 * His father was fome time Bailie, that is, chief magistrate of Hamilton
the West Indies, as a surgeon, in a trading vessel from London : but of this employment he tired, and settled himself, at an early period of life, as a country furgeon, in the parish of Shotts, where he staid a short time, practising among the farmers and country people, and then went to Hamilton with a view to practise as a physician, having never been fond of operating as a. surgeon. • The writer of this article had no opportunity of knowing Doctor Cullen, till he had nearly attained his fiftieth year : but from the ardour of mind, the vigour of enterprize, the vivacity of difpofition, and the sociability of temper the Doctor then possessed, it has often occurred to him, that during the younger part of life, Cullen could not fail to prove a very interesting character to such as were capable of judging of it, and of being a most engaging companion to those who knew how to enjoy life. These qualifications made him be foon taken notice of by the gentlemen of the country where he resided, to whole tables he was at all times readily admitted as a welcome guest.
While he resided near Shotts, it chanced that Archi. bald Duke of Argyle, who at that time bore the chief political sway in Scotland, made a visit to a gentleman of rank in that neighbourhood. The Duke was fond of literary pursuits, and was then particularly engaged in some chemical researches, which required to be elucidated by experiment. Eager in these pursuits, his Grace, while on this visit, found himself much at a loss for the want of some finall chemical apparatus, which his landlord could not furnish : but happily recollecting young Cullen in the neighbourhood, he mentioned him to the Duke as a person who could probably furnish it. He was accordingly invited to dine; was introduced to his Grace, who was so much pleased with his knowledge, his politeness and address, that he formed an acquaintance which laid the foun, dation of all Doctor Cullen's future advancement,
The name of Cullen by this time became familiar at every table in that neighbourhood; and thus he came to be known, by character, to the Duke of Hamilton, who then refided, for a sort time, in that part of the country : and that nobleman having been suddenly taken ill, the assistance of young Cullen was called in, which proved a fortunate circumstance in serving to promote his advancement to a station in life, more suited to his talents than that in which he had hitherto moved.
The character of the Douglasses, of which name the family of Hamilton now forms a principal branch, has always been somewhat of the same ftamp with that of the rising Cullen. Genius, benevolence, frankness, and conviviality of disposition, have been, with them in general, very prominent features : and if to that be added a spirit of frolic and of dislipation, these will be accounted as only natural consequences of those youthful indulgences that spring from an excess of wealth at an early period of life, and the licence al. lowed to people of high rank, The Duke was there. fore highly delighted with the sprightly character and ingenious conversation of his new acquaintance. Re. ceiving instruction from him in a much more pleasing, and an infinitely easier way than he had ever before obtained, the conversation of Cullen proved highly in. teresting to his Grace-10 wonder then that he foon found means to get his favourite Doctor, who was already the, esteemed acquaintance of the man through whose hands all preferments in Scotland were obliged to pass, appointed to a place in the university of Glass gow, where his fingular talents for discharging the du. ties of the station hę now occupied, soon became very conspicuous t.
+ It was not, however, folely to the favour of these two great men that Cullen owed his literàry fame. He was recommended to the notice, of men of science, in a way still more honourable to himself. The difcase of the Duke of Hamilton having refifted the effect of the first
During his residence in the country, however, several important incidents occurred, that ought not to be passed over in silence. It was during this time that was formed a connection in business in a very humble line, between two men, who, by the decrees of fate, had been ordained to become afterwards eminently conspicuous in much more exalted stations. William, afterwards Doctor Hunter, the famous lecturer on anatomy in London, was a native of the same part of the country, and not being in affluent circumstances more than Cullen, these two young men, stimulated by the impulse of genius to prosecute their medical ftudies with ardour, but thwarted by the narrowness of their fortune, entered into a copartnery business as furgeons and apotheciaries in the country. The chief end of their contract being to furnish each of the parties with the means of prosecuting their medical stu. dies, which they could not separately so well enjoy, it was ftipulated, that one of them alternately should be allowed to study in what colleges he inclined, during the winter, while the other should carry on the busi. ness in the country for their common advantage. In consequeuce of this agreement, Cullen was first allowed to study in the University of Edinburgh, for one winter; but when it came to Hunter's turn next winter, he, preferring London to Edinburgh, went thither. There his fingular neatness in diffecting, and uncommon dexterity in making anatomical preparations, his assiduity in study, his mildness of manner, and pliability of temper, foon recommended him to the notice of Doctor Douglass, who then read lectures upon anatomy and midwifery there, who engaged Hunter as an assistant,
applications, Doctor Clarke was sent for from Edinburgh, and he was so much pleased with every thing that Cullen had done, that he beeame his eulogist upon every occasion. Cullen never forgot this; and when Clarke died, gave a public oration in his praise, in the University of Edinburgh; which, it is believed, was the first of the kind in this country.