The literary life and correspondence of the Countess of Blessington.
Author: Richard Robert Madden, 1798-1886.
New York,: Harper & brothers, 1855
Extract pp.398-400 concerning Dr FHF Quin, pioneer of homeopathy in England
page 398 CHARLES REILLY.
...Lady Oxford and her lovely daughters* were the bright stars round which revolved, not only the fashion, but the political intrigues of King Joachim's court, was fraught with reminiscences highly interesting, and was a never-failing subject of conversation with him. Having ceased to be the traveling medical attendant of the Oxford family, he commenced practice in Naples, and proved so eminently successful in it as to have realized a very large fortune so early even as 1821. He had married in Naples an English woman in affluent circumstances, a very thrifty and money-making person, but withal amiable and kindly disposed, the widow of the maitre d'hotel of the Duke de Gallo. This lady, far advanced in years, had two children-a son named Marzio, a young man of good talents, a fiery temperament, and ungovernable disposition, and a daughter, an amiable and pretty girl, who grew up to womanhood a highly-accomplished and attractive person (the belle of the Chiaja), who eventually became the bride of a young English surgeon, the successor of Reilly in his professional business. Reilly and his wife (and his daughter, I believe), a second wife also, whom he had married about ten years ago, all have passed away; and of the English, Irish, and Scotch-not a few remarkable persons, I may add-whom I remember in the habit of frequenting that pleasant and hospitable house of his,.with two exceptions-those of Dr. Quin, now established in his profession in London, and my worthy old friend, Mr. Ramsay, living in Mordaunt College, Blackheath-none, I believe, are in being. * The Right Hon. Edmund Harley, fifth earl of Oxford, born in 1773, married, in 1794, a daughter of the Rev. J. Scott, vicar of Ichen, near Southampton, and had issue three sons and four daughters. 1. Edmund, Lord Harley, born in 1800, died in 1828. 2. Alfred, Lord Harley (the present earl), born in 1809, married Miss Nugent in 1831. 3. Jane Elizabeth, married, in 1835, to Henry Bickersteth, now Lord Langdon. 4. Charlotte Mary, married to Colonel (now General) Bacon, a distinguished officer in the service of Don Pedro, of Portugal. 5. Anne, married, in 1835, to an Italian gentleman, the Cavaliere San Giorgio. 6. Frances, married, the same year, Henry Vernon Harcourt, Esq. 7. Madeleine, who died in infancy.
DR. QUIN. In 1821 my acquaintance with Dr. Quin commenced in Naples. He was then a young, rising medical practitioner, in great vogue with all fashionable English visitors and sojourners in Naples, full of life and spirits, of excellent address, with a keen perception of the ridiculous, and a great zest for merriment. But Quin had solid worth and good sound sense to bring to the aid of his professional talents, though some of the invalids of Naples, accustomed to grave, lugubrious doctors, seemed to think the philosophy of Heraclitus was more becoming physicians than that of Democritus. We are told by old Burton, that when Hippocrates came to Abdera, he found Democritus " busy in cutting up several beasts to find out the cause of madness and melancholy." And while he pursued his studies, he laughed ever and anon, and the public thought he was mad. But when Hippocrates conversed with him, he discovered there was a great deal of philosophy in his laughter. And he told the Abderites, though the little man laughed more profusely than other people, "that Abdera had not a wiser, a more learned, a more honest man, and they were much deceived to say that he was mad." "Thus Democritus was esteemed (drolly) of the world in his time; and this was the cause of his laughter, and good cause he had. "Olim jure quidem, nunc plus Democrite, ride Quin rides uita haEc nunc mage ridicula est."* Three-and-thirty years have had little effect in subduing Dr. Quin's high spirits, or making inroads on his vigor of body or vivacity of mind. The same quickness of apprehension and observation, unfailing humor, ready wit and repartee, characterize the most eminent homceopathic physician of London of the present day, that distinguished the young traveling physician of the Duchess of Devonshire in those early days of his and mine, which I look back to with feelings of pleasure, and * Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. 1827, vol. i., p. 34.
400 DR. QUIN.
recall among the reminiscences of times and scenes the most agreeable of my life. In his profession Dr. Quin is zealous and discreet, mindful of the sanctity of the sick chamber, and of the obligations it imposes on the physician. In private life he wins and retains the confidence and esteem of those with whom he becomes acquainted. His practice is chiefly among the aristocracy. The present King of the Belgians reposed the highest confidence in his skill. The late Duke of Cambridge left no means untried to induce him to accept the post of physician to his family on allopathic principles, but those efforts were in vain. Yet I remember when the doctor made a burla of Hahnemann and the infinitesimal dose system. At an early period of his career in Naples, professing to write against homeopathy, he went to Germany to inquire into the system; and he who went to scoff remained to study, and to become a convert to the new theory of medicine. Those persons are not likely to forget Dr. Quin who remember Naples and its society in the time of Sir William Drummond, Sir William Gell, the Honorable Keppel Craven, Sir Frederick Faulkner, the Margravine of Anspach, the well-known Abbe Campbell, the Blessingtons, Sir Richard Acton and his lady; Dr. Watson, the celebrated linguist; Ramsay, the Scotch merchant, with his elegant tastes and classic lore; Cottrell, the wine merchant, of Falernian celebrity, renowned for his lachrymosity, and his efforts to rival Francis, and to render Horace into better English than all previous translators; Reilly, the true Hibernian; Dr. Milne, the skillful Scot and accomplished gentleman of the Chiatamone; old Walker, of the Largo Castello, the expatriated Manchester reformer, who, in the good old times of William Pitt and George III., was tried for sedition, and narrowly escaped the fate of his reforming brethren, Muir and Palmer; and, though last, not least deserving of remembrance and of honorable mention in the list of worthies from foreign lands who figured in Neapolitan society some thirty years ago, the venerable commandant of the Castello D'Ovo, General Wade, the old Irish warrior, one of the brave old souls of the Brigade....