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nomical and efficient administration." In this report, the various State institutions are noticed, and generally in terms of commendation. The Secretary's report on the condition of county jails and infirmaries, is of much interest and demonstrates the necessity existing for a board of this kind. It has been said that an abuse exposed is half corrected. That there is much to expose and correct in these institutions, is shown by this report which makes clear the fact, that, “in the midst of communities noted for intelligence, virtue and wealth, cruelties have been practiced which would have disgraced the dark ages, and human beings who have been simply unfortunate, have, for weary months and years, been confined in pens so filthy and wretched as to be almost beyond belief." Let us hope that these abuses will soon cease, now that they are exposed.




Savannah: Republican Book and Job Office, 1869.

Dr. Charters, in speaking of education generally, after attempting to show that the present systems of education are inadequate to the demands of a civilization in all other respects so greatly advanced, proceeds to consider the subject, “chiefly in its relation to our own profession." Dr. C. believes that the most important deficiency in the preparatory education of young men desiring to enter the medical profession, lies in the direction of natural science. To remedy this, the prominent place should be given to science which has so long been oceupied by classical literature. “Mathematics being taught along with, and as an adjunct to, the natural sciences; the classics being, by no means, denied the full amount of attention in the course of study to which they have a legitimate claim."

No one will doubt the correctness of the position held in this address, that a preliminary examination should be instituted in every case, in order to determine whether the would-be doctor possesses the amount of knowledge necessary in order to begin the study of medicine intelligently.



Wheeling: W. J. Johnson, Book and Job Printer, No. 32 Monroe Street, 1869.

The constitution prescribes that the Society shall hold monthly meetings, and these, we are sure, will be interesting and valuable to the members, if the provisions of the constitution and by-laws are carried out. The fee-bill adopted by the Society is also presented.

The Society makes a distinction between ministers, and very properly, we think, decides not to dead-head them all alike. The members will attend gratuitously, “such ministers as have a stated charge and are dependent on their salary for support, but in no case will they do so where ministers have means of living ontside of their profession, or in any way countenance quackery."

J. R. W.



BY HOWARD F. DAMON, A. M. M. D., Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society, etc., etc. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1868.

This is a beautiful volume of two hundred and fifty-five pages, printed in large, clear type, on tinted paper, and is intended as a brief exposition of a large and important class of cutaneous diseases, and as such, it will undoubtedly be of practical advantage to the student and physician.

According to Dr. Damon, “the structural lesions of the skin consist in hypertrophy, atrophy, and pathological new formations," and the usual form in which these alterations are produced is, first the nutrition of the part is affected, then the functions, and finally, the structure. In the first class are placed the diseases that are the result of “a slight excess in the nutrition of the skin,” among which are callositas, or callus, cutaneous horns, ichthyosis, warts, condylomata, wens, pævi, etc. In the second, those depending on "a deficiency in the growth or a part or the whole of the tissues of this membrane," linear atrophy, alopecia, albinism, leucopathia, etc.; and in the third,


the pathological new-formations observed in the skin, as lupus, scleremia, elephantiasis, lipoma, epithelioma, etc.

While the classification may be "in accordance with the prevailing ideas in cellular pathology," we are not sure that it is either the best or the most natural.

The individual diseases are, usually, briefly and clearly described, and the treatment recommended, such as is approved by the best authorities.

Thirty-two pages at the end of the book are devoted to "brief histories of human horns," from 1599 to 1869. Many interesting cases are reported.

The bibliography of skin diseases, with which the volume closes, is valuable and complete.

J. R. W.



BY JOHN D. JACKSON, M. D. Pablished by order of the Society. Louisville: Bell & Co., Printers, 1869. From the author.

We think the Boyle County Medical Society acted wisely in ordering this address to be printed, as it is creditable alike to its author and the Society. Dr. Jackson, addressing the members of the Society, endeavors to answer the questions: "Have we by our organization, advantaged ourselves beyond what would have been were we unorganized? What is our present status compared with our past, and what are our prospects for the future?A lively picture is painted of the condition of the profession in a locality where no organized medical society is in existence, which seems to show in strong contrast the benefits flowing from such an organization. The necessity of continued labor, and the direction in which this labor is most needed, in order to attain the highest excellence in our profession, is shown in forcible and well chosen words.

If the Society is imbued by the spirit that animates the author of this address, it will certainly attain to the highest usefulness possible to such an association.


TREACLE.-('The subjoined is an extract from a long article with the above title, found in Good Words, December, 1868.)

Much of late years has been done in what may be called the geology of language. Philologists have been diligently at work with their hammers, splitting open dull and unpromising-looking blocks of words, and finding many curious fossils within them, that tell tale of themselves as wonderful as any Oozoon or Oldhamia of the Laurentian or Devonian formations. In some of the most familiar terms they have found a mine of historical interest, bringing down to us the memory of some obsolete custom or long forgotten incident. Among the most remarkable of the words derived from ancient languages, and now naturalized in our English tongue, which have brought with them some historical association or memorial, is the subject of my paper. The word treacle is derived from the Greek word therion, which meant, primarily, a wild beast of any kind, but was afterwards more especially applied to animals which had a venomous bite. By many Greek writers, the term was used to denote a serpent or viper specifically. In this sense, it is employed in the last chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, where we are told that “when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm." The Greek word translated “beast" in the fourth and fifth verses, is therion; and though the word rendered "viper" in the preceding verse is different, being echidna, it nevertheless specialises the meaning of therion, and proves that it refers to this species of serpent. But what connection, it may well be asked, can there be between a viper and treacle? How came such a sweet substance to have such a poisonous origin? Here comes in by way of explanation, one of those strange superstitions that were exceedingly common in ancient times, when little else but foolish marvels filled the pages of natural history. It was a popular belief in those days, that the bite of the viper could only he cured by the application to the wound of a piece of the viper's flesh, or a decoction called viper's wine, or Venice treacle, made by boiling the flesh in some fluid or other. Galen, the celebrated physician of Pergamos, who lived in the second century, describes the custom as very prevalent in his time. At Aquileia, under the patronage of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, he prepared a system of pharmacy, which he published under the name

of Theriaca, in allusion to this superstition. The name given to the extraordinary electuary of viper's-flesh, was theriakė, from therion, a viper. By the usual process of alteration which takes place in the course of a few generations in words that are commonly used, theriakë became theriac. Then it was transformed into a diminutive theriacle, afterwards triacle, in which form it was used by Chaucer; and finally it assumed its present mode of spelling as early as the time of Milton and Waller. It changed its meaning and application with its various changes of form, signifying first the confection of the viper's flesh applied to the wound inflicted by the viper's sting; then any antidote, whatever might be its nature, or whatever might be the origin of the evil it was intended to cure. Dr. Johnson, in the edition of his dictionary published in 1805, defines treacle as “a medicine made up of many ingredients," and quotes, in illustration of this definition, a sentence from Boyle: “The physician that has observed the medicinal virtues of treacle, without knowing the nature of the sixty odd ingredients, may cure many patients with it;” and another from Fleger: "Treacle-water has much of an acid in it.” Afterwards, medical prescriptions came to be prepared in some vehicle intended to cover their nauseous taste or disagreeable look; and this vehicle was generally some kind of sweet syrup or sugary confection, to which the name of treacle was applied. When the viscous stuff known as “molasses” was imported from the West Indies, it formed a welcome addition to the old limited list of vehicles for medicine. The tea-spoonful of honey or jelly used to take the taste out of the mouth, could not always be procured; but here was a cheap and efficient substitute that could be had in every shop in the country. The tears and groans under which many a household formerly suffered, were now quieted; and the refractory, unreasoning child, who dreaded the remedy more than the disease, was made to look kindly on those formidable medicines, castor oil, salts and senna, or rhubarb pills, and even to swallow them hurriedly, when disguised in the syren sweetness of the syrup, or accompanied with a liberal dose by way of counteraction to the goût. Hence, the molasses which came so opportunely to the aid of afflicted humanity, was in gratitude designated by the time honored name of treacle; and so completely did it usurp the title, that very few are aware that it had ever any other meaning or application.

Throughout our English literature, we find frequent allusions to treacle in this symbolical sense of an antidote against evil; allusions which, without the foregoing explanation of the origin of the word, would be utterly unintelligible to the great majority of readers. In one of the early editions of the English Bible, the familiar text in Jeremiah, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” is rendered, “Is there no treacle in Gilead ?” Sir Thomas Moore has this expression, "A most strong treacle against those venomous heresies.”. Chaucer says of our Lord, “Christ, which that is to every harm triacle ;” and Lydgate, the “monk of Ebury," a poet whose writings are now all but forgotten, has a kindred idea, which is expressed in these lines:

“There is no venom so parlious in sharpness,

As when it hath of treacle a likeness.

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