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man, even if he has made the best possible use of the opportunities of becoming acquainted with practical chemistry commonly afforded by our medical schools, ought not in any case to take upon himself the responsibility of swearing to the presence or absence of a poison in an organic mixture. We regret that Dr. Taylor has not expressed an opinion on this matter, but we think we may infer that he agrees with us, from the fact that his descriptions of processes of detection are obviously not adapted for the instruction or guidance of the analyst, but rather for the suggestion and solution of all possible objections which might be raised in a court of law to the chemical proof. Dr. Taylor is well aware that no description of the chemical processes required for the detection of a poison, however perspicuous and detailed it may be, will fit a man to undertake an investigation to which he is unaccustomed, and which, even in the hands of those whose life is devoted to similar occupations, is attended with many difficulties.
Among the most important additions are the chapters in which the author has collected the facts relating to the deposition of poisons in the living body, and the period required for their elimination. From these facts it is concluded that the time required for this purpose varies, not only according to the nature of the poison and of the animal observed or experimented on, but that in the same animal or in man the same poison administered under conditions which are apparently similar, may be expelled by the secretions at rates which differ at different times. On this ground Dr. Taylor enforces the necessity of the utmost caution in founding conclusions as to the time which has elapsed since the administration of the poison from the quantity found in the stomach, liver, or other organs. In illustration of the necessity of this caution, Dr. Taylor refers to the well-known trial of Ann Merritt, for the murder of her husband, by the administration of arsenious acid; on this occasion a chemist of note declared upon oath that the poison must, from the quantity found in the stomach of the deceased, have been taken a few hours before death. This opinion was purely speculative, for although arsenic is absorbed and eliminated more rapidly than any other metallic poison, excepting antimony, there are no facts to prove that it would disappear from the
stomach in so short a time as a few hours, or even a day. At the trial of William Palmer, an opinion was expressed by Dr. Taylor himself, which at first sight appears similar: but here the question was one not of hours, but of weeks. It was then said that the presence of antimony in the contents of the stomach and intestines indicated that it had been administered within three weeks of death. This inference the author shows, we think satisfactorily, not only to be in accordance with all that was then known on the subject, but to be further supported by the experiments of Dr. Nevin, of Liverpool, undertaken since the trial, with a special view to the elucidation of the question.
We regret that our space does not allow us to pass on to the other chapters which distinguish this edition from the last. We invite the
attention of the reader especially to those which treat of poisoning by opium and nux vomica and their respective alkaloids. With regard to these, the opinion is maintained that no single chemical reaction should be admitted as proof of their presence; and that the value of any process used for detecting them is to be estimated, not so much by its delicacy, as by the absolute certainty of the results which it is capable of yielding
ART. III.-Sulle Virtă Igieniche e Medicinali della Coca, e sugli
Alimenti Nervosi in Generale. Del Dottor MANTEGAZZA. - Milano,
1859. Pp. 76. On the Hygienic and Medicinal Virtues of Coca, and Tonic Articles
of Diet generally. By Dr. MANTEGAZZA. The author accepts the distinctions which Liebig has drawn between the plastic or nitrogenous, and the respiratory or carbonaceous articles of food. To these two he proposes to add a third class, the “alimenti nervosi,” which have a stimulating effect upon the nervous system. He gives a classification of the various articles belonging to this class, of which he makes three subdivisions—the alcoholic, the alkaloid, and the aromatic. The substances comprised in the second of these subdivisions owe their properties to a peculiar alkaloid, and are farther subdivided into the coffee-like substances, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and Paraguay tea; and the narcotic, such as opium, Indian hemp, and coca
Coca is the dried leaves of a shrub which grows extensively in Bolivia, and on the Andes of Peru. It is the Erythroxylon coca of Lamarck, and belongs to the natural order Erythroxylaceæ. Some idea may be formed of the immense extent to which the substance is employed, from the fact that the value of the amount annually pro. duced in the republic of Bolivia is estimated at twelve millions of francs. Its use appears to be limited to Bolivia, Peru, and certain provinces of the Argentine Confederation, and consists in slow mastication along with certain other substances.
Its physiological actions are said to be the following: 1. It stimulates the stomach and promotes digestion.
2. In large doses it augments animal heat, and accelerates the pulse and respiration.
3. It induces slight constipation.
4. In moderate doses (1-4 drachms) it stimulates the nervous system, so as to render it more tolerant of muscular fatigue.
5. In larger doses it gives rise to hallucinations and true delirium.
6. Its most precious property is that of inducing the most pleasant visions (“fantasmagoria”) without any subsequent depression of the nervous energies.
7. Probably it diminishes some of the secretions.
The author observes that the antipathy against coca, which the vicious practice of chewing it, prevalent among the inhabitants of Bolivia and Peru, has gendered among Europeans, deserves to be orercome, and endeavours to show that the substance has medicinal properties of a high order, Besides being an excellent dentifrice, it stimulates powerfully the digestive functions, while at the same time it exercises a calmative influence over the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. In this double action upon the stomach-stimulant and calmative—it resembles Calumba. It is also recommended as an antispasmodic, and as of great service in many nervous disorders, and particularly in spermatorrhea and debility of the generative functions.
The preparations recommended are the leaves themselves, an infusion, and a tineture.
The memoir concludes with the histories of nineteen cases, in which the remedy was of great benefit.
Art. IV.-A Treatise on Fracture. By J. F. MALGAIGNE, Chirurgien
de l'Hôpital St. Louis. With One Hundred Illustrations. Translated from the French by J. H. PACKARD, M.D.-Philadelphia,
1859. MALGAIGNE's treatise on Fractures and Dislocations has enjoyed so wide a circulation, and such well-deserved renown, that we must own to a feeling of surprise at learving that before the appearance of the present work no attempt has been made to present so popular an author in an English dress. The present book is a contribution to our literature from America, and is the work of a gentleman whose name is not otherwise known to us. It is one which we can conscientiously pronounce very valuable, and which will, we hope, soon be followed by a similar translation of the other part of Malgaigne's great work, that on Dislocations.
As to the original work we need not add anything here to the high enlogium which was pronounced upon it in a former number, * except to say that time and experience have now given even a higher estimate of it. It was therefore with great pleasure that we saw it placed within reach of that numerous class of the profession in England who read foreign books either with difficulty or not at all. Dr. Packard's, however, claims to be something beyond a mere translation. He says in his preface :
“I have made it my great aim to render the text of the author as faithfully as possible, endeavouring at the same time to avoid offending the taste of the reader by the use of Gallic idioms. The notes which I have taken the liberty to insert are intended to set forth peculiarities in Americau views and practice, or accounts of cases in point; in one or two instances I have been able to look up quotations which were beyond my author's reach. An index has also been added, and a list, as full as circumstances would allow, of works hitherto published upon the same subject."
The former art of his task—that which regards the translation nerely—has been executed by Dr. Packard in an extremely satisfactory manner. Seldom indeed has it been our lot to read a brans
Vol. ill. pp. 588 et seq.
lation of any book, still less of a scientific treatise, in which the language is more clear, elegant, and natural-in which, as the translator says, "the taste of the reader is less offended by Gallic idioms." Nor is it, apparently, because Dr. Packard is pre-eminently familiar with the language that this satisfactory result has been obtained. In fact, to judge from some accidental slips which we have noted here and there, and which we should think could hardly have occurred to a practised French scholar, we should suppose that our translator does not enjoy a more intimate acquaintance with French than is very commonly possessed by gentlemen of good education.
It would perhaps be tedious to enumerate such slight errors as we had marked in the translation. They do not in general obscure the sense materially, and are in general easily recognisable by readers accustomed to the style of French medical authors. One blunder which runs through the whole book, and is frequently destructive of the sense of the author, is to render the French word "observation" by its English synonyme-the former being, as every French scholar is aware, their term for a written case. There are a few other such slips in the work, but there are few translations without them; and they need not prevent our recommending this book to English readers as a very faithful and readable translation of Malgaigne's classical work. Dr. Packard's style, we should say, is deformed by a few queer Americanisms, such as the use of "quite" for "very," which runs through the whole book, and appears sometimes several times in a page; "concluded" for "determined," &c. These are to be regretted, as they grate upon the ears of a reader in England, and might have been easily avoided by a man of education.
We cannot help regretting also that Dr. Packard should have confined himself so strictly to the servile labour of translating, especially as the passage we have quoted from the preface seemed to promise something of a re-edition. The additions, however, which Dr. Packard has furnished are merely short accounts of detached cases, or descriptions of apparatus for the treatment of particular fractures. The more important questions which have been imported into the general subject since Malgaigne wrote-by the introduction of chloroform, and by the great extension of the practice of excision-have been quite passed over by Dr. Packard. Others which Malgaigne has mentioned cursorily, but which deserve longer treatment on account of the greater experience of them which we now possess, such as the use of tenotomy in oblique fractures of the leg, the treatment of fractures of the lower extremity without confinement to bed, &c., are dismissed with the few contemptuous lines which Malgaigne assigns to them. Where Malgaigne has fallen into errors, or where modern inquiry has rectified or enlarged the views which he propounded, Dr. Packard seldom does more than indicate the authors who may be consulted, and sometimes leaves the question altogether. Hence this book, which we opened with great interest, hoping to find a complete exposition of modern theory on the subject of fractures, together with the numerous expedients which American ingenuity might have invented in its treat
ment, turns out to be nothing more than our old friend Malgaigne with a new English face-a very useful work, indeed, and one which we hope will have an extensive circulation, but which cannot demand a more detailed notice at our hands.
We should perhaps have stated that the illustrations to Malgaigne are reproduced in this book, very small and not very well executed, but still sufficiently clear in general to render the author's text intelligible.
ART. V.-Pathology and Social Science. The Irritable Bladder: its
THIS is an ill-advised work; it looks as if it were written for the public
"In every age and country there lives a man of pain,
Whose nerves like chords of lightning shoot fire into his brain;
To him a word's a sting-a look or sneer a blow,
And more in one short hour he feels than some in ages know." (p. 68.)
Lastly, a digression of nine pages is introduced for the benefit of seabathers, which Mr. Gant confesses to be not very relevant to his subject, ending with the following paragraph, which we quote as a sufficient justification for saying that the book is one intended for the public, and not for professional readers:
"On re-entering the machine the head should be washed with fresh water, and thus the hair may be preserved smooth and soft, and will not become crisp and coarse, as every one must have seen and experienced. If after this precaution the daughters of Neptune should choose to unloosen their tresses to the breeze, they may do so without the slightest risk of hair-splitting. I remember