Essays and Orations, Read and Delivered at the Royal College of Physicians to which is Added an Account of the Opening of the Tomb of King Charles

Halford, Henry

1833

PREFACE.
OF the following small collection of Papers, the two first were written for a work called
'The Transactions of the
Royal College of Physicians
,'
and were published in the fourth and fifth volumes of the series. The third was meant for the same work, but it was read at an evening meeting of the
College
, which was attended by many eminent characters in the church and in the law, as well as a numerous body of the profession.
The subsequent ones were written expressly for a mixed audience, to whom it was probable that a strictly professional paper would be less acceptable than one on a
medical subject capable of being illustrated by literature, (a common bond of connexion of all the liberal professions,) or which admitted of a discussion of the duties and offices of a physician in that last scene of human life in which every man, sooner or later, must appear and bear his part. The conduct of a physician on whom is fixed the only hope of saving life, and on whom the dying look often rests before the eye is closed for ever, may fairly be thought interesting to every hearer.
Papers so addressed to an audience have something of a rhetorical character about them, and approach the nature of the Latin Orations which follow. The first of these was given many years ago in commemoration of the Benefactors and eminent Physicians
of the College; the second on occasion of opening the new building, in
1825
. The account of what appeared on opening the Coffin of
King Charles I
. is a reprint of a former paper, and the drawing which accompanies it is a faithful representation of the countenance of the King at that time, (
1813
.)