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periment. Upon making a ligature upon a nerve, the motion of the
• The eleciric matter, whose action on the nerves is very great,
• I am of opinion that the nervous liquid is an element sui generis*, which exists and is produced in the nerves only; hence, like other. elements, it is a thing unknown, and only to be known by its effects.
6. The pulpous softness of some nerves, and their lax situation does not allow them and the brain, to act on the body and the soul only by oscillation. Lastly, a tense chord although ligated, oscillates.
< Use of the Nervous Fluin. It appears to be an intermedi. ate substance between the body and the soul, by means of which the latter thinks, perceives, and moves the muscles subservient to the will. Hence the body acts upon the soul, and the soul upon the body.
Lastly, it appears to differ from the vital principle ; for parts live, and arc irritable which want nerves, as bones, tendons, plants, and in- i sçcts,
On this subject, we shall only remark that much is here affirmed concerning that which is of so subtile a consistence, as never to have been detected.'
The translator proposes, on a future occasion, to give some observations on the Chemical Analysis of the Human Fluids, in a distinct Treatise.
0. Art. 46. Observations on Mr.Simmons's Detection, &c. &ç. with a
Defence of the Cæsarian Operation, &c. &c. Illustrated by nu,
The question is now decided against the operation : let it then rest,
for precision of language, nor for novelty of information. It contains a heavy detail of practice which is familiar to every intelligent physician; if we except the large doses of fossile alkalí recommended by : the author.
We were amused by the superb manner in which an old acquaintance is introduced by Dr. G. (p. 7, &c.; as “the Salt of many Virtués.' The reader needs not fly to the ingenious Doctor to procure this noble medicine, which is only the ci-devánt Sal Polychrest, the late Kali Vitriolatum, and the present Saiphat of Potash ; “ Your son that was, your boy that is, your child that shall be*.” A more important deficiency in chemical knowlege appears at p. 41, where Dr. Gibson recommends Dr. Griffiths's mixture of sulphat of iron; myrrh, and potash, as the best form’ for administering chalybeates : in this formula, it is evident that the sulphat of iron must be decomposed, and the iron be precipitated by the potash; the Salt of maný Virtues, indeed, is thus substituted for thechalybeate, but this is clearly a quid pro quo, not in the author's contemplation.-We do not mean, by this remark, to discourage the use of Dr. Griffiths's formula ; we only object to its being recommended as the best mode of giving iron ; the metal given in substance, in form of rust, or of oxyds otherwise obtained, may each deserve a preference, according to particular circumstances.
It is no objection to a medical work, that the author may have been anticipated in some of his observations : but we have a right to expect that the principal pårt of it shall be original. In this respect, we think, Dr.Gibson has laid himself open to remark, since the greater part of his treatise consists of extracts : but we must do him the justice to aid that most of them are attributed to their respective authors:
the Legs, without Rest; illustrated with Cases. By Thomas
Mr. Whately conceives that the difficulty of curing wounds and
Mr. Whately recommends the pressure to be made by the application of Aannel rollers round the limb, over a very simple dressing, as of spermaceti ointment; applying compresses, so as to fill up any inequalities of the part, and to make the whole cylindrical.
The cases occupy a considerable part of the volume, and are illustrated by a coloured plate, very neatly executed, exhibiting various * Merchant of Venice.
MONTHLY CATALOGUE, Miscellaneous. specimens of diseased bones. We mention this engraving, because we are glad to see such useful assistance to verbal description becoming more general, in medical works.
cally arranged, and interspersed with a Variety of useful Observ.
pp. 285. 35. 6d. Boards,
The professed end of the compiler of this volume is, to set before men the grand object of veneration and worship, to rouse them to their duty, to facilitate their happiness, to shew them the deformity of vice, and to inspire them with true and exalted views of the sacred religion of Jesus.? The anecdotes are of various kinds ; ' many have been often related: but (says the editor) diamonds are not the less valuable or splendid for being strung and set in order : novelty has not been so much my design as utility; to which it is added, that what had been before scattered in an extensive field are here arranged for an easy review ; and an index is given at the end of the volume to assist for this purpose.
In this diversified performance, we meet with names antient and modern, and occasionally of some persons now living: -Mr. Buck does not produce authorities for the relations which he gives ; nor is it always.requisite: the account of a servaut who robbed his master, (p. 119,) and was tempted to the act by atheistical conversation which he had heard at his table, is (if we recollect aright) better and more accurately told in Davies's Life of Garrick, In p, 234,
we observe ascribed to Vespasian (diem perdidi.) what is related of his 1 son Titus.---The compiler, however, ' deprecates the severity of the
critic; and hopes that candour will perform the office of a friend more disposed to pardon than to indulge invective.'—We shall therefore only observe that, though some things might have been omitted, and some defects be pointed out, we are on the whole bere presented with a volume which may afford entertainment and improvement. Hi. Art. 50. An Apology for the Missionary Society. By John Wilkes.
8vo. is. 6d. Chapman. 1799. This loose declamation, which was delivered at a debating-society, glitters with the tinsel and foil of metaphor and quotation, but emits little of the mild and steady light of real argument. The auihor undertakes to prove that the conduct of the Missionary Society, in attempting to propagate Christianity ia heathen countries, is more deserving of applause and encouragement than the conduct of the Ams. rican Quakers in emancipating their negroe slaves. No doubt, the design of the Missionary Swety was in some respects laudable : but report-says that the undertaking has totally miscarried.
A quarto volume has been publiched, giving an account of the late voyage of the Missionaries from England to Otaheite; from which some interesting passages will, in due time, be seleeted for the entertainment of our readers.
Mooy Art. 51. Canterbury Taks. ' Volume III. By Sophia and Harriet
Lee. 8vo. PP. 522.- 75. Boards. Robinsons. 1799.
VYe have been greatly interested and gratified by the perusal of this ad lítional volume, which is fully equal in merit to the former part of
the work. The first story in this collection, which is intitled the Ofa ficer's Tale, is particularly well-imagined, and contains many touching incidents. The Clergyman's Tale, which follows, is of a more solemu and gloomy cast, and levies indeed a heavy tax on the sympa. thetic feelings of its readers.-If we were inclined to point out any imperfection in this pleasing publication, we should mention that there is rather too much similarity in the ground-work of both these stories. In the first, a son meets, without knowing, his mother'; in the sea cond; the wandering son encounters his father withont discovering him.-The language is generally correct, and even elegant : but it is occasionally turgid or obscure, when an effort at sublimity is uva. vailingly made. Indeed, we have long had opportunities of observing that no circumstance is so injurious to style, as the passion for fine.writing. When writers of real merit, like the authors of the pregent volume, countenance this species of false taste, it is the duty of the critic to point out the mistake, and to remind both authors and readers that the most simple and true expressions are always the most forcible.
At the end of the volume, the writers remove the thin veil of reality which they had placed before these stories, in saying that they were related by travellers at an Inn at Canterbury ; and they are now cenfessed to be day-dreams, to which Miss S. L. acknowleges she has been always subject. . Addressing herself to the reader, she says, “ if you should find this as pleasant as I have done, why we may henceforward recite tales without going to Canterbury'. We have no doubt that many of her readers will be happy to take a nap with her ; and, “old as we are,” we beg to enrol ourselves in the number.
"To the MONTHLY REVIEWERS, i GENTLEMEN,
as I was informed by Mr. Hammick of the dangerous erratum of eight for three grains of calomel, p. 38. 1.9. of the Contributions from the West of Engl.114, (see Rev. September, p. 68. 1. 3.) I notified it in two Medical Journals, and added the correction to the unsold copies of the book. I beg you to let this stand as a farther notification.-- Miss M. Norton is not only living, but, as I heard from good authority, on being threatened with a return of her complaint, received benefit as before from hydrogen gas. Your observation on the two cases where hydrocarbonate was used is just. They are not decisive: but they shew the innocence of the practice; probably however they were not worth publishing. -At the Pneumatic iusiitution, we shall be ugpardonable if our trials do not bear the most rigid scrutiny. In private practice, a complicated treatment is not easily avoided.
I am glad to have the concurrence of the M. R. in a proposition 50 alarmingly important as this, that the public have not hitherto de rived a degree of information from the practice in infirmaries, equal to the trouble and expence bestowed upon them. I am glad also that the writer of the article, thinks, with me, that some farther. means qught to be adopted for preserving the phaumona cbserved in these repositories of disease. The mere judgment and activity of the medical aliendants are not, as experience shews, suficient for this great pura pose. In observing that my plan is too forcing, I know not if it escaped the critic tha: I represent it as impracticable till a discovery
in physiology should be capable of exciting as warm sensations as a ministerial harangue." I evidently suppose, all along, that the publió must be educated to this scheme.—The Reviewer seems to think that the mixed assemblies would favour cabal. I think just the contrary.At present, cabal appears to me, at least, to have almost uncontrouled dominion in metlicine ;-and though the figure which a physician would cut at the projected meetings would be no absolute criterion of his merit, it would be a much better than any the public now has. Im. becility and mediocrity, so exhibited, would never get to the top of the profession.-All this is mere opinion against opinion; and I rather wonder that I have found so many medical men agreeing with me in the main, than one disagreeing in particulars.
I know not whether the fact respecting the rotation of surgeons at Edinburgh * be as stated in the Review :--but I should supposé the scarcity of dead bodies to be the reason of the inferiority of the Scotch operators, if they be inferior. The French surgeons, as a body, are stated to excel the British in operations; and I suppose for the same reason. In the Review, p. 62. 1. 20. it seems to be assumed that the hospital functionaries are superior to other physicians and surgeons. This requires to be proved : it is just the point in debate; and, were it so, infirmaries surely ought to have been of more use to medical science and general humanity: for, in our publishing age, few, after having kindled a light with great trouble, would hide it under a bushel - I look upon my plan as calculated to introduce rather than interrupt observers :-mere opinion again!
• Concerning the importance of chemical physiology, I shall have occasion to treat at large in a periodical publication which will sbortly be set on foot by Mr. Davy, and myself, along with others. The ingenious member of your corps justly says that the idea is not new: mbut (p. 65. 1. 37) he seems to have forgotten that science means an arrariged body of facts. His allusion to our knowlege concerning imetals does not refute my opinion, though it should be wrong.--We may have many important detached facts, but no science ; and, if the actions of the living organs depend simply, as I believe, or in great measure, on their composition, without advances in chemical physio. logy, medical science must continue a chimära : an assertion which I repeat after years of anxious consideration. Tam, Gentlemen, • With great respect for your long and useful labours, Yours,
THOMAS BEDDOES.' We certainly think, with Dr. Beddoes, that some new regulations are necessary, in most public infirmaries, for the extension of medical knowlege ; and we only differ from him respecting the particular plan which he has proposed. Voluntary communications, offered when the observations of the practitioners shall have been properly matured, appear to us to be preferable to those which would be ex: acted at stated periods, on Dr. Beddoes's scheme.
Our opinion of the difficulties, attending periodical meetings of the subscribers to an infirmary, is formed from observation ; nothing can be more open to the influence of party and catal. The wisest mea. sures, the most obvious improvements, may be discountenanced by the clamors of a few prejudiced men, collected by the industrious runners of an intriguing practitioner. The only appeal, remaining for oppressed merit, must be made to the good sense of the public at large.
62d Oct. 1799.
• * If it regard the clinical institution, it proves nothing, because that insutution is so recenti'