Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

physician applied to them, that he might be permitted to take out her heart for the purpofe of preserving it, and of carrying it with him to France. But they refused his entreaty with disdain and anger. Her remains were touched by the rude hands of the executioners, who carried them into an adjoining apartment, and tearing a cloth from an old billiard table, covered that forin, once so beautiful. The block, the cushion, the scaffold, and the garments which were stained with her blood, were consumed :ith fire. Her body, after being embalmed and committed to a leaden coffin, was buried with a royal fplendour and pomp in the cathedral of Peterborough. Elizabeth who had treated her like a criminal while ihe lived, seemed to be disposed to acknowledge her for a queen when she was dead. Twenty years after, James commanded her bones to be removed to Westminster, and to be deposited in their proper place among the kings of England.

· Such was the melancholy fate of Mary Stuart, queen of Scots, in the forty-fifth year of her age.'

This picture is finely touched. It shews the pathetic powers of Dr. Stuart very strongly. We acknowledge ourselves to have been much affected by it. But we proceed to the character of Mary, as drawn by the hand of this eminent mafter in characters. Such kind of historical portraits, indeed, we knew to have been lately reprobated by fome, as the SPLENDIDA PECCATA of modern historians. But let us not listen to the voice of fastidious prudery. A character that is properly delineated, is as natural as it is useful, and as useful as it is ornamental to history. It is the natural effusion of the mind, on the final dismission of a great actor from the scene. It is useful in giving a proper completeness to the narrative. It is all the rays of the narrative drawn judiciously together into a focus, in order to dispense light and warmth in one strong blaze at the close.

• Her abilities were an honour to her birth, which was most illustrious. Her virtues were great ; her inisfortunes greater. While she was capable of profound views, and a bold policy, she was firm and strenuous. Her underítanding was clear, her judgment penetrating, her spirit lofty, her application vigorous. But she was called to the exercise of royalty, in an unhappy and most critical riod. The troubles of the reformation had confirmed the turbulence of her nobles ; and she had been accustoined to the orderly government, and the refined and feducing manners of France. The zeal of her people for the new opinions was most passionate; and she was attached to the antient religion with a keenness that excited their fears. Her prime ministers, though able and popular, were deftitute of integrity and patriotism : and a conspiracy to disturb her peace, and to accomplish her ruin, was formed early by an imperious rival, who, to exorbitant power and immense wealth, added the fingular felicity of being directed by statesmen devoted to her purposes, and poslefied of the greatest talents. With the happiest intentions, with public spirit and the love of justice, with moderation, liberality and splendour, fhic attained not the praise of true glory. Circum

O 3

vented

pe

vented by the treachery of smiling and corrupted courselfors, and expored to the uncealing hatred and fulpicion, of turbulent ecclefiaftics, The perpetually experienced the miseries of disappointment, and the malignity of detractions. With great capacity for business, sie was unsuccessful in attairs. Infinitely amiable in her private deportment, the enjoyed not tranquillity and happiness. She was candid and open; engaging and generous. Her manners were gentle, hér temper chearful, her conversation easy and flowing, her wit polite, her information various, her taste elegant. But her husbands liké hér courtiers, were eager to interrupt her prosperity and enjoyments ; and while her administration was deformed with disasters and faction, her domestic life was embittered with disquietudes and forrow. With every claim to felicity, she was exposed to all the crosses of fortune ; and her form, which gave a splendour to her rank, her abilities, her virtues, and her accomplishments, served to ennoble her afflictions. The incomparable beauty and expreffion of her countenance, the exquifite propriety of her ftature, and the exact symmetry of her hape, attracted and fixed the admiration of every beholder. In her air, her walk, her gesture, she mingled majesty and grace. Her eyes, which were of a dark grey, spoke the situations and sensibility of her mind; the found of her voice was melodius and affecting ; and her hair, which was black, improved the brightness of her complexion. To give the greatest lustre to her person, she took a full advantage of the adventitious aids and garniture of drefs. She discovered an inexhaustible fancy in the richness and variety of her garments. She delighted in jewels and precious stones; and she was anxiously cuTious in the finenes and fashion of her linen. But while her mind and her person were so perfect and fo alluring, she was not exemptèd from frailties. Though capable of diffimulation, and acquainted with the arts of management and address, she did not fufficiently accommodate herself to the manners of her people. Her respect for her religion was too fond and doating to confift with the policy and the dignity of a great sovereign. In her counsellors she uniformly reposed too unbounded a confidence; and from the foftness of her nature, she could be seduced to give them her trust even after their demeanour was equivocal and suspicious. Her clemency was not -guided by prudence, and was generally repaid with ingratitude and insult

. To the protestant clergy, whose infolence was inordinate and feditious, the conducted herself sometimes with a paifion that was unbecoming, and sometimes with a remissness that detracted from her confequence. A determined contempt or a vigorous severity would have fuited better with her royal condition. She received her impressions with too much vivacity ; and from the delicacy of her organization she was disposed to that fpirit of caprice which is in some measure characteristic of her sex; but which, though often pleasant and even delightful in the still and endearing intercourfe of private life, betrays in public concerns the suspicionof inconstancy and indiscretion. Her faults, however were the result of amiable weaknesses ; and they excite regret rather than indignation. The most unpardonable error of her life was the romantic imprudence with which she ventured into England, and entrusted herself to the power of Elizabeth. By courage and perseverance the might have

defeated

defeated the turbulence and ambition of her nobles; and experienc, and time would have opened up to her all the arts of governmene But by this fatal step she involved herfelf in difficulties which she was never able to surmount. Elizabeth, to whom her abilities and beauty were a source of the most unrelenting jealousy and anger, embraced, with a ferocious ardour, the opportunity of humbling her completely as a queen, and as a woman. She was exposed to all the practices of a cunning and and a wicked vengeance. The vileft cá. lumnies, the post infulting' mortifications, the most studied barbarities, were employed againit her. She was made to exchange a kingdom for a prison ; and while the felt in her own person the cruelest injuries, she was afiicted with the dangers that threatened her coun. try and her fon. An inclement and suspicious adversary, who dread ed to encounter her when at liberty, tarnifhed the glory of an illus trious reign by trampling upon her fceptre while she was a captive. The rivalship of beauty Itill more perhaps than of talents, foltered the resentments of Elizabeth; and while she made Mary to suffer under her power, Me found tire most exquisite delight in overturning the dominion of her charıns. It pleated her in the greatest degree, that the beauty of the Scottish princess should waste itself in folitude, that she should be kept at a distance from admiration and homage, and that she should never experience, in any

fortunate alliance, the melting tenderness, and the delicate sensibilities of connubiai love. During the long period which passed from the flight of Mary into England till her death, her miferies were intensc, piercing, and uninterrupted. The bitter cup of her fortune, which often overflowed, never ceased to be full. But, though agonizing with conftánt afflictions, and though crowned with thorns, she ftill remembered that fhe was a queen, and maintained the elevation and the dignity which became her. To overwhelin her with distrets and anguifli, Elizabeth scrupled not to insult and to violate the inost establithed principles of law and justice, the honour of hospitality, the reverence of her festing the holiness of religion, the folemnity of engagements, the ties of relation, the feelings of humanity, the sanctity of innocence, and the majesty of kings. But no infolence of tyranny, no refinement of anger, and no pang of woe, could conquer or deftroy her greatness and her fortitude. Her mind, which grew in its powers under struggles and calainity, feemed even to take a ftrain of vigour from the atrocious passions of her rival; and during her lamentable captivity, and in her dying scene, the displayed a magnanimity and a heroiton that perhaps may have been equalled, but which has never been furpassed in any age, or in any nation."

We have taken so much notice of the history, that we can barely mention the large and important appendix to it, as Thewing our author's deep infight into the feudal polity of Scotland, and correcting loņue grofs mistakes in Dr. Robertfon upon this subject.

And we shall conclude our whole account with remar ng, that the language of Dr. Stuart, though disfigured at times with Scoticisms, is in general pure, elegant, and various, that on many occasions it is pointed and strong, and chat on some

It mounts into great energy and vigour; and we recommend his work to our readers in the warmest terms, as a most valuable addition to the once fiender, but now increasing, stock of dignified and philosophical history among us.

[ocr errors]

Art. XI. A Meinod of preventing or diminishing Pain in several

Operations of Surgery. By James Moore, Member of the Surgeons Company of London, 8vo. 25. 1784.

E shall consider only for the information of our

readers that part of this ingenious young gentleman's pamphlet, which relates to the circumstance mentioned in the title, and which is the sole intent of the publition, taking no notice of the introductory and ornamental parts; for in a matter of this fort, we would carefully avoid every kind of criticism, if even there were occasion for it.

Nír. Moore's idea is briefly this+Revolving in his mind, whether it might not be possible to alleviate or prevent the pain attendant upon chirurgical operations ; it occurred to him, that this end might possibly be accomplished by compression. He was led to the idea from confidering that kind of sensation, which we often feel when we say the leg is asleep; and which proceeds from compressing the sciatic nerve, by fitting in a certain position.

To make the experiment on himself, Mr. Moore placed a compress on the sciatic nerve backwards, and applied a tourniquet over it, which he tightened as much as he could bear. The experiment was unsuccessful.

It was repeated a second time, with the addition of a thicker and larger compress over the sciatic nerve, in order to increase the pressure ; and with no better success.

But as the sensation before mentioned in the leg, is not usually brought on till the nerve has been pressed upon for a length of time, the author was led to suspect, that the same continuation of the compression would be necessary to produce the desired effect in this instance. He therefore resolved to renew the experiment, continuing the compression as · long as he imagined it might be done with safety.

The result was, that in about fourteen minutes a tingling was felt in the toes; which, soon after, were quite benumbed. The numbness gradually spread itself up the leg and thigh, and in half an hour the foot, leg, and outside of the thigh, became so perfectly insensible, that they could be pricked or scratched with pins, without exciting any sensation ; and the foot had lost its power of motion. The inside of the leg and thigh, however, still retained a degree of feeling, notwithstanding the compression was continued for some

timé

time longer. This circumstance Mr. Moore judiciously alcribed to his not having included the crural and the obturater nerves in the compreffion.

The experiment was, therefore, repeated a fourth time with two thick compreffes, one of which was placed forwards on the crural and obturater nerves, (called also the anterior and posterior crural,) and the other backwards on the sciatic nerve. In half an hour the infenfibility was com plete, so that Mr. Moore did not experience the least fensation from scratching or pricking any part of the limb.

The experiment was again made, with the fame success, in the presence of Mr. Mocre's father, a gentleman well known in the literary world.

The author being now convinced of the success of the experiment, wished to obviate the objection that might be made to it, from the circulation of the blood in the limb being stopped for so long a time in this common mode of making the compreffion. He therefore gave directions to Mr. Savigny to make a compreilor, (a plate of which is anpexed to the pamphlet,) consisting of a curved piece of iron covered with leather, and of sufficient capacity to contain the thigh within its curve. At the posterior extremity of the instrument is a firm compress of leather, which is to be placed on the sciatic nerve, and at the other extremity of the inftrument is a screw, paffing through a hole, and terminating in an oval compress to be placed on the crural nerve. The compression of the instrument is thus confined to tivo points in the limb, which are nearly opposite to each other; while all the rest of the limbis kept free from preilure; so that the application of this instrument does not supersede the necessity of applying the tourniquet in amputations.

A similar instrument is described as adapted to the arm, but here there is no neceflity for a double compreffion. A single compress upon the axillary plexus of nerves is found quite sufficient.

It now remained only to try the effe&t of the instrument upon the living body, in the initance of a severe chirurgical operation ; an opportunity of doing which was foon given to the author, by Mr. Hunter of St. George's Hospital, in an amputation below the knee. We shall give an account of this experiment, and the result of it, in the writer's own words.

I went to the hospital the day before the operation, to try the instrument. The patient had loft all his toes, and had a large ulcer on his foot. This was so much inflamed and fo irritable, that dressing it in the gentleít manner gave him acute pain.

I applied the instrument; after the compression had been confinued for about half an hour, his limb became so insensible, that

rubbing

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »