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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/712

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er's graphic power of imparting information which came with extraordinary force, even upon those who had lingered with delight upon the pages of Watson or Trousseau. In Charcot's case it was not merely that we descried an astonishing facility of picturing by the pen, but above and beyond this was the evidence of the influence of a fresh and powerful mind pervading every paragraph. Lesions of the nervous system formerly huddled together and massed under some name which, pretending to describe, had only obscured, began to emerge with a sharp outline and clearly differentiated form. . . . The written works of Charcot naturally fall into two great divisions—those dealing with nervous diseases generally, and those concerned with the more recondite and abstruse phenomena of hysteria and hypnotism. Probably his most notable works are his Lectures on Nervous Diseases and his volume on Cerebral Localization, both of which are accessible to English readers in the Sydenham Society's translations. In these are chronicled the great advances in our knowledge of nervous symptoms and nervous pathology with which Charcot's name will always be associated." A communication published in the Archives de Physiologie in 1868, on the condition known as "Charcot's joint," is also mentioned as one of his most interesting and important contributions.

Charcot's manner is described as having been short, "but in his way he was kind to his incurables," and "he felt remorse for having treated unfortunate patients as if they had no more feeling than subjects for dissection." He "was truth itself, but he wanted imagination, and was for that reason unable to look with any eyes but his own upon effects and their various causes." In private conversation he had none of the impatient vivacity frequently associated with the French manner. "He was anything rather than loquacious. An attentive, respectful, and sympathetic listener, he ever avoided any dogmatic expressions of opinion, even when dealing with subjects upon which his thought and experience had given him more than ordinary qualification for pronouncing judgment. He would listen with interest to a suggestion, conflicting perhaps with some published opinion of his own, and then, lifting his hands and shoulders with a little expressive gesture, would quietly say, 'It may be so.' He was fair and just in his references to the work of others." A resemblance has been remarked in his face and figure to the conventional type of an abbé.