Billeder på siden


the executive power of this realm in the year 1777, wher these letters were written,

The reasoning of this writer we think neither remarkable for acuteness nor consistency. The following passage we will offer to our readers, as a specimen of his style and fentiments,

• If Dr. Price would satisfy himself with this truth, 6s that the “ people are the foundation of all government," without drawing any conclufions from this concession, which it will not bear, so much would certainly be granted him. But he must not contend, because they are the foundation, that therefore they must also be the superstructure-that, because without them power would not exist, it must, therefore, exist folely in them. To infilt on this, would not be less absurd than, by removing the foundation still lower, to place omnipotence in dust and clay, because these are the original conftituent parts of the people.

They have their ample share in the government of this country by their delegates; the only legal, and indeed the only possible mode, in which they can exercise it; and they possess, (how justly, it is hard to fay,) the most material of all legislative privileges, by holding the purse-strings of the nation. Whether every moral agent has, or ought to have, the privilege of choosing his representative in what rank, or denomination of men, the right of election refidcs--whether all are not virtually represented by the body of national delegates—and how far an attempt towards a more equal representation may be expedient, are not subjects for present discussion. It is notorious, that according to the present law and custom of England, the people, under a certain defcription, have a right to proceed to a new election of men, under certain qualifications, to represent them in the House of Commons, at the expiration of feven years :-That having elected and returned them, there delegates are Tested with all the conftitutional pouer of their constituents - That these have eaten their septennial cake, and muft be mere childrea

for it, before the return of the same period. All this, I say, is notorious and incontestible. And thus the three estates, constituting the fupreme government of the nation, are established and recognized.

* Let us now advert to their operation, which is also too notorious to require more to be said concerning it in this letter, than the intent of it seems to call for. Sir William Blackstone fay's very truly, that " if the houses of parliament, or either of them, had

avowedly a right to animadvert on the king, or each other, or if " the king had a right to animadvert on either of the houses ; that - branch of the legislature, fo subject to animadversion, would “ instantly cease to be a part of the supreme power; the balance “ of the constitution would be overturned, and that branch or “ branches, in which this jurisdiction refided, would be complete“ ly fovereign."

'If this be constitutional language, and true with respect to the three branches of government, what thall we say of the fituation of this country,

if a right to animadvert upon all the three were lodged any where, independently of them all? This would strike, directly


to cry

and effe&tually, at the whole supreme power; and would place the fovereignty out of the fovereignty. It would induce the most complete confufion that the greatest enemies to good order and government could defire ; establishing a power unheard of in the annals of the world, and totally repugnant to experience, to common sense, and to the happiness of society; a power which would overturn the whole fyftem, by placing the subject on the throne of the fovereign, or create a contest, which must end in the extirpation of every thing but the soil ; enriched indeed, but enriched by the blood of its inhabitants, and for the benefit of the firit invader. May Heaven grant, that we may be arguing upon an impossible event; but it is itill the only event, toward which the principles and doctrines of too many have, for some years, been directly tending.'

The members of the House of Commons are much indebted to this author, for raising them not only above the controul, but above the nature of their constituents. • Duft and ashes, according to his doctrine of ratios, are to the people, as the people to their representatives. These superior beings are not to be censured for their conduct, but during seven years are to lord it uncontrouled over the rights and liberties of millions.


Art. y. Medical Communications. vol. 1. 8vo. 6s. boards.


(Continued.) WE E come now to Dr. Smith's account of the effect of some

medicines employed in the cure of cutaneous diseases. The perplexity in the diagnosis, and the uncertainty in the cure of such diseases, are universally known; and therefore any new information concerning either, must be welcome to every practitioner. Cutaneous diseases are ascribed by Dr. Smith either to some original fault in the conftitution of the child, or of the parent, and to a fcrophulous, gouty, or latent venereal taint. It would perhaps not be very difficult to raise objections against some part of this opinion ; but it is of more consequence to consider the practical part of this paper. Tincture of cantharides, has been found of some use; but it never produced a complete cure, except in one instance. This is agreeable to Dr. Home's experience of it, who found that it produced a certain diminution of the complaint, and then became ineffica cious. Dr. Home observes also, that it increased the quantity of urine, an effect which did not appear in Dr. Smith's patients. But the circumstance which ftruck us with the greatest furprize was, the enormous dose given by the latter. One of his patients, having begun with small quantities,


took at laft three drachms, three times a day. We do not believe that a fact more oppofite to the common expectations of physicians has of late been brought to light. Dr. Home's largest exhibition was, 35 drops, and four times a day.

Of the efficacy of vitriolic acid, in leprosy and herpes, Dr. Smith's obfervations impress us with a very favourable opinion. He tells us, that on many occasions it has performed a complete cure; and that he has only met with two persons, in whom it did not produce some sensible amendment. In this Dr. Home's conclusion is very different, but it relates only two cases.

The tinctura veratri, which has hitherto served fo little other purpose than to add a name to the pharmacopeia, and a bottle to the thelf, promifes to become an useful remedy, in diseases of the skin. Three cases are related, in one of which it lefsened, but did not remove the eruption; in another it accomplished a cure, and a third is still in progress, and the tincture bids fair to be of service. The dose was increased from 20 drops to a tea-fpoon full; but in one cafe this quantity produced, an hour and a half after it had been given, giddinels, hiccough, sickness, and sometimes vomiting, with a sense of great weakness, particularly in the lower extremities; and in one of the others, it occasioned symptoms of a like nature, though in an inferior degree. We are likewise told in a note, that the tinctura vératri was efficacious in curing a delirium, (without fever) which came on every evening, and lasted two or three hours, and hysterical convulsions. The fits of an epilepsy were kept off by it for some time, but they returned. Hence Dr. Smith thinks it likely

prove an useful remedy in nervous disorders.

In order to fix our attention on one of the most curions subjects that has of late engaged the notice of the medical world, we must not dwell on feveral succeeding articles.-+ But that the reader may know what he has to expect, we set down the titles :

Art. 17. A case of hydrophobia, by Mr. Robinson, of Guy's Hospital

18. Case of an ulceration of the æsophagus and offification of the heart, by Dr. Simmons.

19. An account of the diflection, by Mr. Watson.

26. A case of difficult deglutition, occasioned by an ulcer in the æsophagus, with an account of the appearances on diffection, by Dr. Garthshore.

Case of a suppression of urine, successfully treated, in which the bladder was punctured through the re&um. By Mr. Bentley, surgeon at Patlington, near Hull.

22. Pul


22. Pulmonary and other complaints, apparently sup; ported by fever of the intermittent or remittent kind, and cured by the bark, by Dr. Chapman of Sudbury in Suffolk.

In four of the five cases related in this article, the phthifical and hectic symptoms, were the fequel of catarrh and pleurisy.

- They had been treated either as phthisis, or as closely bordering upon it. The symptoms by which the author was led to prescribe the bark, were the absence of any poitmeridian exacerbation, and the deposition of a cateritious fediment from the urine, while the fupernatant liquor remained quite clear. We are not prepared to deliver an opinion on the facts stated here, and the reasoning upon them. We would rather wait till observation has determined something farther, for they will undoubtedly engage the attention of practitioners. In the mean time we see not, why it should be concluded, that the affection of the lungs was supported by a latent intermittent. Such an affection is a very natural consequence of the preceding diseases. In one case it would appear, as Dr. Chapnian has not failed to remark, that an abscess had been formed and burst, and in all the irritation produced by the diseased condition of the lungs, was quite adequate to the febrile fymptoms.

Shall we fay that the effect attributed to tire bark, was not produced by it? This supposition, the tenour of the narrative does by no means countenance. In one case, the disease was beginning to yield, the medicine was discontinued, and the symptoms recurred, but they were entirely removed by its repetition. A febrile disease, however, may be cured by the bark, without being a genuine intermittent or idiopathic fever of any kind.

23. On the efficacy of opium in the cure of the venereal disease, by Frederick Michaelis, M. D. physician-general to the Hessian troops.

The writer of this article is the same person with the author whose inaugural differtation on the croup displayed more extensive knowledge, and greater ingenuity, than the speculations of many older physicians, and who has lately been appointed professor at Hessé.

We have here a number of observations, seemingly authentic, upon a moft curious and important subject, of which, as they are the first that have fallen under our notice, it becomes us to attempt a distinct analysis. The discovery of the antivenereal powers of opium, like so many others, was accidental. A person who had taken various mercurial preparations in vain, had recourse to opium, for the alleviation of his pains. A perfect cure having been

[ocr errors]

very unexpectedly effected, Dr. Michaelis was led to try whether opium would be equally efficacious where no mercury was used. After some assurances of the accuracy of his trials, we meet with a few general reflections on the effects of opium, which we shall lay before our readers :

. It is truly aftonishing what immense quantities of this remedy the human frame will bear. We have been used to think two hundred drops of laudanum a day, a considerable dose, even in cases of tetanus, in which, for obvious reasons, greater quantities may be given than in most other complaints. But half a drachm, or two scruples of the extra&tum thebaicum daily, is what has, I believe, been seldom given. Yet this is the dose which several of my venereal patients (who never had been accustomed to opium) took for several weeks, with the best effect; and it was very remarkable, that these enormous doses often produced little or no fleep, and that when they had that effect at first, it generally went off in a short time.

• The effects this medicine produces upon the human body, have not yet been observed with sufficient accuracy. It is a general opinion, that it diminishes every secretion, perfpiration excepted. This certainly is a mistake ; and though in many cases it promotes a diaphoresis, yet in many others I have seen no such effect, but, in its stead, a plentiful fecretion of urine, so that in several patients, the quantity of urine exceeded that of all the fluids they had drank. This effect of large doses of opium on the secretion of urine, though not quite fo general a one as its promoting sweat, all my medical friends in New-York who made trial of this new remedy, have observed fo often, that, extraordinary as it may seem, the fact is beyond all doubt.

• Another effect, which I, and several of my medical friends, observed now and then, (though rarely) was, an increased secretion of saliva, sometimes amounting to an actual salivation ; a symptom which I could not ascribe to any former remedy, as it occurred even in those who had never taken any mercury. But what will perhaps appear ftill more incredible, is, that opium fometimes produces a most violent diarrhea, particularly when great quantities of it are accumulated in the bowels, As to its effect upon the pulse, I found generally that it quickened it at first, but afterwards commonly made it very now and full ; yet, in a few cases, I have seen it continue quick and small, till the opium was discontinued. Sometimes indeed it produced head-ach, anxiety, pain in the breast, &c. which used immediately to vanish after bleeding ; and for this reason, if the patient is of a full habit, we ought not to omit bleeding, before we give the opium. I also made it a constant rule, to cleanse the bowels previously, if there was any indication for doing so; it being well known, that opium is improper when there are impurities in the firft passages.

• I have seen some few whose stomachs did not bear opium in substance; and even the thebaic tincture was now and then thrown up, but this happened so feldom, that I did not find it necessary to ditcontinue the remedy. In general, I have observed, that patients


« ForrigeFortsæt »