Whatever he touches, lies already dead on the dissecting table, and his skill is that of the analytical pathologist.
It is the crowning merit of the author that he never ceases to be an impartial spectator - a cold and curious critic. We might compare him to an anatomist, with knife and scalpel dissecting the dead body of Italy, and pointing out the symptoms of her manifold diseases with the indifferent analysis of one who has no moral sensibility.
Some had the rare courage to investigate the mysterious disease by dissecting the bodies of the dead.
In 1762, at the age of eighteen, he went up to Konigsberg with the intention of studying medicine, but finding himself unequal to the operations of the dissecting-room, he abandoned this object, and, by the help of one or two friends and his own self-supporting labours, followed out his earlier idea of the clerical profession by joining the university.
The crime has, however, never been proved, though a Milanese physician, who performed the task of dissecting the corpse of Peter Philarges, seems to have thought that he found traces of poison.