Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/763

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ably he had been encouraged sufficiently to lead him to seek for fame as a playwright. Upon his arrival at Paris, he formed the acquaintance of Prof. Saint-Marc Girardin, who induced him to give up his purely literary aspirations, and to enter upon the study of medicine. In 1839 he became an interne in the Paris hospitals, where his remarkable talents were soon recognized. Very early in his career he published a large and superbly illustrated work upon "Operative Surgery," in connection with M. Huette. This work was translated into many foreign languages, and met with great success; but his distinguished reputation as a physiologist, which dates from about 1848, afterward became so extended that his writings upon surgery have almost been forgotten.

In 1843 he discovered the nerve which gives the sense of taste to the anterior portion of the tongue.

In 1844 he made important advances in the knowledge of digestion by the stomach, following the discovery of the properties of the gastric juice in 1833, by Dr. Beaumont, an American physician.

In 1848 he discovered the production of sugar by the liver, which had not before been even suspected. At about the same time he discovered the digestion of fats by the pancreas, a fact of great physiological importance.

In 1844 he discovered the nerve which presides exclusively over the voice.

In 1847 he fully described, for the first time, the digestive properties of the secretions of the different salivary glands.

About 1853 he devised an accurate method of estimating the gases of the blood, and he did more than any of his predecessors to advance our positive knowledge of the process of interchange of gases in respiration.

His researches in the physiology of the nervous system were most extensive. He did more than any one before to illustrate the mechanism of secretion and excretion, and the influence of the nervous system over the action of glands. He was the first to fully and accurately describe the properties of the woorara poison, which is now so largely used in physiological research. It would be impossible, within the limits of this sketch, to give a comprehensive and intelligent account of Bernard's original investigations. Within the last twenty-three years he has published fifteen volumes upon subjects connected with physiology, embodying the results of his original work. He constantly and powerfully advocated the experimental method, and his dexterity in vivisection was truly marvelous. While he was at the zenith of his fame, nearly all physicians who visited Paris attended his lectures or witnessed the experiments in his laboratory. To all he was uniformly courteous and communicative; and the success of the demonstrations with which his lectures were profusely illustrated created the greatest enthusiasm. Between the years 1859 and 1865 he published very little, being in feeble health. During this time his thoughts must have