Front Page Titles (by Subject) I.: ORATIO SUASORIA AD ARTES. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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I.: ORATIO SUASORIA AD ARTES. - Hippocrates, The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen 
The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Epitomised from the Original Latin translations, by John Redman Coxe (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1846).
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ORATIO SUASORIA AD ARTES.
an oration in favour of the arts and sciences.
In this first book of the introductory division of the works of Galen, we have a topic of much interest presented for consideration. Galen sets off by showing that man alone, of all the animal creation, is endowed with reason, by which he is qualified for the pursuit of every art and science;a that consequently, the improvement of the mind is of infinitely more importance than that of the body, or than an increase of wealth; and therefore that it is disgraceful to neglect those sciences for the mere pursuit of gain. This leads him naturally to a description of Fortune, whose inconstancy is pointed out, and exemplified by several conspicuous and familiar instances; such as Crœsus, Priam, Dionysius, Cæsar, and others; and he deduces from various circumstances, the superiority of striving to improve in the beneficial arts, to that of toiling in the mere pursuit of riches; strengthening his remarks by quoting the opinions of Diogenes and Demosthenes and others on the subject. He furthermore points out the folly of those who lay great stress on their nobility, aiding his own, by the remarks of Themistocles and Anacharsis.—Even the elegance of the body, and of furniture and dress, &c., is considered by him of little importance, unless it be at the same time united with a well-adorned mind.b He cautions all to whom his remarks apply, by no means to misapprehend him when he speaks of study or of the arts; none of which are of importance, unless they benefit society; and he supports his views, by giving some details and particulars relative to the care bestowed in the gymnastic trainings of the athletæ, in preparing for their duties of merely a corporeal character. He considers the nature of the arts as being twofold; the one is noble, from its connexion with the gifts of the mind; the other is ignoble or inferior, being dependent on corporeal labour alone; the first receives the name of liberal; the other is called mechanical. Then, as might be anticipated, he places medicine at the head of the first division, from its being superior to every other mental pursuit that classes such among the liberal arts.
[a ]Brutes, however, he concedes that they possess somewhat of the like in common with us, some in a greater, others in a less degree—but all, with few exceptions, are deficient in art; and what these enact, man imitates—as spiders, bees, &c. From these and other enumerated causes, although reason is not wanting to other animals, yet man alone, as superior to them, is said to be endowed with it.
[b ]Here he inserts a story of Diogenes, who received an invitation to dine with one whose house was splendidly furnished, in the highest order and taste, and nothing therein wanting. Diogenes, hawking, and as if about to spit, looked in all directions, and finding nothing adapted thereto, spat right in the face of the master. He, indignant, asked why he did so? Because (said D.) I saw nothing so dirty and filthy in all your house. For the walls were covered with pictures, the floors of the most precious tessellated character;—and ranged with the various images of gods, and other ornamental figures. Now (adds Galen), since we are connected with the gods by the use of reason, so are we with brutes, inasmuch as we are mortal; it is therefore more expedient to attend to the mind and its improvement, than to the body and its appendages, &c., by which we are on a par with the brutes alone.