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depletion for relief, and for preventing the organic and general mischief which such morbid violence is always likely to produce. It is not often known precisely in what part of ihe system morbid excitement commences, nor is the existence of disease suspected or noticed until its baneful influence has been extended to the action of the heart and arteries, until the throbbing rapidity of their action airnounces its insufferable severity. The constant endeavour should be to repress and subdue the diseased excitement as soon as possible, and thus to anticipate the healthful restoration which the morbid conflict itself is, perhaps, designed to accomplish. Noxious and friendly powers to health prove morbidly stimulant: the excitement induced tends to expend the vital power that gives effect to the morbid cause, and thus to regain the healthful state. Excessive vascular distention, whether attended with increased or diminished arterial action, is a state of disease requiring the compressive and counteracting aid of depletion. By diminishing the vascular contents, the distended vessels are enabled to resume their natural dimensions, and to overcome the straining violence to which such an unnatural state of dilatation had subjected them. What obtains in this way by the natural contractility of the vessel, is afforded in various local ailments by external pressure and confinement. Ulcerous in. flammation, tumefactions, tendinous and ligamentous enlargements, and even cancerous diseases, are said to have been benefitted by pressure. In these cases the distended vessels have been compressed, and brought within their natural and lealthy sphere of action, when pain, extravasation, and morbid accretions have been relieved and cured. The influence of external pressure in amending inflamed, enlarged, indurated, and disorganised parts near the surface, is precisely similar to what takes place in enabling the morbidly-distended vessels, in internal affection, to resume the natural scope of their healthy action by diminishing their contents; in both instances the condition approaching to tearing asunder or lacerating the continuity of organic structure is removed, and the easy and calm state of healthy action substituted in its stead.

The principle of vascular distention has not been suffi. ciently regarded by pathologists in their estimates and speculations on morbid action. In referring every thing to the abstract energy of vital power, the mechanism of its action has been too much overlooked. A revered sufficiency has been assigned to its general efficacy, whilst its various evo. lutions and modes of action have been considered as too


mysterious for human comprehension. The effect of this neglect in medical practice has been to consecrate the doctrines of tone and debility, as affording a satisfactory explanation of all the morbid phenomena that are liable to occur. Had the diversified circumstances of diseased action been more referred to the various states of comparative repletion and inanition, a more direct and efficient mode of treatment would have been proposed and practised. The diseases originating in undue vascular distention, however induced, or in whatever degree existing, would then be directly combated by an appropriate remedy, whilst those which arose from a deficient state of that healthful condition of life would be aided by means suited to afford immediate relief. Numerous are the acute as well as chronic forms of disease that have their source in an unhealthful state of vascular distention. . The more violent or acute instances of this kind are readily noticeable; their symptoms are not ambiguous, but distinctly exhibit their true nature. Those of a chronic description are less evident: they indeed are often so enveloped in general debility, and in various indications of visceral disease, as greatly to obscure the precise character and extent of the affection. As in all other cases of disease, an ample scope is here afforded for rational contemplation; and the experienced and discerning practitioner will have but little difficulty in determining, by a mature consideration of the attending circumstances, in what the disease mainly consists, and how its cure should be attempted. On the one hand, abstinence from alcoholic stimulants of every kind, however disguised or named, vascular and alvine discharges to a suitable extent, sufficient dilution with aqueous fluids to determine to the surface, and an unoppressive nutritive diet, will conjointly overcome the various distressing effects of vascular diştention ; wbilst, on the other, restraining inordinate evacuations, a nutritious diet, moderate personal exertion, and, where more active excitement may be indicated; a limited use of fermented liquors, would speedily restore to the healthy standard such morbid states of rela tive inaction and emptiness of vessel as may occur in diseases of weakness and depletion.

Taunton; August 5, 1817.








History or the Art of Medicine, and the Auxiliary Sciences,

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phy. We shall, therefore, fill up a long hiatus, with which we have been charged by some of our readers. The first article is venerable, from the subject, and from his biographer. Biographical Account of Dr. IngENHOUSZ. By the late

MAXWELL GARTHSHORE, M.D. F.R.S. JOHN INGENHOUSZ was born of a mercantile family in Breda, ia the year 1730. He was educated at schools there, and afterwards studied at more than one of the Dutch or German universities. He took a degree in physic, and settled in his native town, where he practised with success for a few years. Being naturally indifferent to money, yet strictly economical, and having a moderate independence, he could no longer resist his ardent love of knowledge, and determined, like Pythagoras, Plato, and others, to visit countries and people from whom more might be learned.

From the publications of the Royal Society, and the characters of our philosophers, he was induced to come to London in 1764, and was luckily introduced to Sir John Pringle, through whom he became acquainted with Dr. Franklin, Dr. Huck, and all that circle of literary men that then attended his Sunday and Wednesday nights' meetings. The unassuming mildness and unaffected simplicity of our philosopher's manners, with his unremitting attention to scientific pursuits, soon gained him the favour of all; and his peculiar attention and accommodating respect to Sir John, who was always partial to foreigners, thinking they did more justice to his merit than his own countrymen, rendered Dr. Ingenhousz a particular favourite, and, by degrees, his constant visitor and attendant on all occasions.

Electricity being then a subject of much philosophic discussion, he einployed himself assiduously in experiments, and contrived many ingenious methods of improving electrical machines, varying the methods of employing them. He contrived a small machine, which he always carried in his pocket, and with which he used oc casionally to amuse- his friends. This naturally produced a degree NO. 225,


of intimacy with Dr. Franklin, then in high reputation with this country as a philosopher. With him and Sir John Pringle he made one summer a short trip to Paris ; and afterwards, with Dr. Franklin alone, a tour through Scotland and Ireland. He continued to pursue his philosophical and medical studies and acquirements in London till the year 1767, when he was recomniended by Sir John Pringle to attend the imperial ambassador to Vienna, in compliance with the Empress Maria Theresa's desire, to inoculate her family, in whom the small-pox had been fatal. Dr. Ingenhousz had never before practised, or thought particularly of inoculation, yet such was Sir John's opinion of his sagacity, docility, and general knowledge of physic, and steadiness of character, that, after practising inoculation for some inonths with Baron Dimsdale, at Hertford, he made no scruple to send him out as fully qualified for that important office, which he successfully executed in the year 1768; and in the year 1769 he inoculated the Grand Duke of Tuscany's family, at Florence. He declined many solicitations to inoculate at the Court of Turin; and, returning straight to Vienna, was appointed Body Physician and Counsellor of State to their Imperial Majesties, with a pension for life. He continued in Vienna for soine time, pursuing his philosophical and medical studies. What practice he attended to, I believe, was gratuitous.

He applied himself much to ingenious inventions and experiments; with which he used to amuse the nobility, foreign ministers, and curious strangers, at Vienna, in so striking a way as to gaiu himself a very high reputation for his natural magic.

He some time after obtained leave to travel to France, to gratify his original turn of mind, by witnessing the various experiments and discoveries in pneumatic philosophy, which then began to attract the attention of Europe. He was resident in Paris during the first commotions which took place in the revolution; and was so completely terrified by the outrages then committed, that he conceived, and ever after retained, the most indelible detestation of the principles and practice of the democrats. While at Paris he lived niuch with Rochfoucault de Maret, and with those other philosophers who were most eminent for their attentiou to, and discoveries in, pneumatic philosoplay.

After his success at Vienna, he came to England, in January 1778, and employed bimself chiefly in the pursuit of pneumatic philosophy. For this purpose he retired to the country, near London, for soine months; and, after a long and laborious course of close iuvestigation, published, in 1779, his experiments on vegetables, demonstrating their power of emitting vital air in sunshine, and azote in the night. These experiments be often repeated, improved, multiplied, and republished, on the continent, with various other philosophical essays, in French, German, and Latin editions. Of the Experiences sur les Vegetaux', he published at Paris, in 1787, the first volume, as a much augmented and corrected translation of the English pube lication of 1779; and, on bis second journey to Paris, in 1789, a second volume of the same work, with still more extended views,


On his return to Vienna, he married a sister of Professor Jacquin, by whom he liad no children, and with whom he did not live many years: his fondness for travelling, and his extreme attachment to England, engrossing the whole of his remaining life. This will be best understood by attending to the chronology and analysis of his numerous publications, which can be noticed in life of this kind only in a summary way:

The order of his publications, besides those already mentioned in our Transactions, are, first, his Experiments on Vegetables, published in London in 1779, before his first return to Vienna; a translation of which into Dutch was soon after published at the Hague, by Van Breda; and a German translation at Leipsic, by Molitor, in 1780); each was more enlarged than the original: and, what is remarkable, there were four different editions, published in four different languages, of this work, and all of them in the course of a few months. The first French translation being published soon after he passed through Paris to Vienna, in the year 1780, a second and much enlarged German edition of this work was published at Vienna, in three volumes, in 1786: and a second French edition of the first volume of the same work was published at Paris in 1787 ; and the second, with many additional improvements, in 1789.

His Nouvelles Experiences sur divers Objets de Physique was published in German by M. Molitor, professor at Mayence; and a second part of the same in 1782; and a second edition of the whole was priuited in 1784, containing a number of papers already published in our Transactions. This volume begins with a very correct and precise account of the system of electricity by Dr. Franklin; and the second memoir is a very ingenious explanation of all the phenomena of the electrophorus invented by Volta on his theory of positive and negative electricity, the greatest part of which he had already published as a Bakerian Lecture in the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1778. In the third memoir he disensses at great length the much disputed question whether points or balls are the best contrivance to preserve buildings from the effects of lightning. He enters into an examination of Mr. Wilson's experiments performed at the Pantheon, and endeavours to establish the superiority of pointed conductors in opposition to that gentleman, who asserted that they ought to terminate in balls; which last, he

says, will rather attract a strong shock; whereas the other, by acting at a much greater distance, will silently and gradually attract and convey to the earth the electrical fire, and so prevent its ever occasioning a severe stroke.

The following memoirs chiefly relate to experiments on inflammable and dephlogisticated air; describing air pistols and lamps; a method of procuring inflammable air from marshes, and in other ways; how to produce the most dazzling light; and how to light a candle at pleasure with an electrical spark; several of which are to be found in our Philosophical Transactions.

In the 13tb memoir we have a long account of the nature and best means of obtaining dephlogisticated air from various substances, 3 C 2


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