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inserting anything which would detect him. This must effectually cramp both the thoughts and the style. Now it is a fact, that the style of Ossian is most simple and unembarrassed-to a degree seldom or never surpassed. His words seem to flow from him without any effort whatever; while the thoughts are often original and uncommon, and at the same time natural. Such poems, therefore, never were, and never shall be, composed by one who describes an unknown period, and is perpetually shackled by the dread of committing himself, either by thought or by expression."
Capital! Why, does not the man see that the very fact of the period being unknown would be of the greatest advantage to a person who was desirous to palm on the world a forgery, or to hash up in a peculiar style the floating traditions he found in his own age? A writer of considerable poetic powers, like Macpherson, might write such stuff for ever," to use Johnson's words, "if he could abandon his mind to it."
The internal evidence in the case of the poems attributed to Ossian appears to be of the most uncertain and feeble kind. And now, when on the subject of authenticity, what other sort of proof does there exist than the said internal? Or is there the slightest ground for believing that any additional light will ever be adduced on the subject of any kind? To attend to the last of these questions first, we hesitate not to assert that the time is now for ever gone to hope for any more light in a written form than that which Macpherson's pen furnished. But further, never can oral traditions, or any new examination of the Celtic language add anything hereafter, in regard to the controversy, to what is already known. The very character of the Highlanders has been wonderfully changed since Macpherson's time. The country has been almost Anglicized. Thousands have emigrated. Manufactures, and the arts of peace at home, independent of the military services of multitudes in foreign parts, together with a variety of other circumstances, steam-boating among the number, have destroyed the materials upon which to work with the view of eliciting the new light desired.
But what of the existing evidence upon the question whether "The Genuine Remains of Ossian,"-as Mr. Macgregor is pleased to call them, and of which he has given a translation, as did Macpherson before him,-be poems that were composed or collected by the latter? Why, it is nil, or next to nothing; for the "Genuine Remains," or the poems in "Original Gaelic," are all printed from the hand-writing of the said James Macpherson, who died in 1796; and what the value may be of an ancient "original" in modern manuscript in a case of controverted authenticity, we leave to others to determine. Not one of all the earnest and vigilant searches which the subject has set on foot, ever brought to light a single document to authenticate these poems. Is it necessary to add a word to the report of the Highland Society's Committee, which was
drawn up by Henry Mackenzie, the "Man of Feeling," where these words occur,-" The Committee on the whole reported that Ossianic poetry was formerly common, general, and in great abundance through the Highlands; but that they could not say how much of his collection Macpherson had obtained in the form in which he had given it to the public, and that they had not been able to obtain any one poem the same in tenour and title with those he had published:" and this report was after eight years' search by members of the Highland Society!
"Ossianic poetry was formerly common;" of this there can be no doubt. But what are we to understand by the term Ossianic ? This, we opine, that traditions regarding persons whose names were Ossian, Fingal, Oscar, Gaul, &c. have been current from a very remote period, probably from near to the beginning of the Christian era, both in Ireland and Scotland; and that the legends concerning these heroes became, at least in the latter country, the subjects of a national oral poetry,-of ballads and fictions. Macpherson did not invent the names of these heroes, nor was he the author of the legendary poetry. Far from it; for a chain of evidence exists, proving that a traditionary body of Gaelic poetry was current, at least from the tenth century downwards; which, however, must have been greatly modified, exaggerated, and distorted, as it passed from one age to another, being necessarily always influenced by the state of civilization into which it was thrown. This traditional poetry, there is every reason for believing, supplied the foundation for Macpherson's compositions. It is not possible, it is contrary to all literary history, and all analogy, to conceive that the Ossian of the present generation of Highlanders, and which is the Ossian of Macpherson, could be that of a few centuries earlier. Indeed the existing poems internally contradict the preposterous supposition; for they are in the dialect of Macpherson's own age. It could not be otherwise than that he should give, in the absence of all ancient manuscripts and authorities, whatever was Ossianic, the shape which it had assumed in modern times; his own imagination and art affecting the traditions both in style and story more or less.
We are perfectly aware that a variety of other and minor questions have engaged the controversialists on the Ossianic question; and also that the Celts not only never cease harping upon the wornout theme, but make as much ado about any one of their many assumptions and assertions, as an impartial person would about a main point or real evidence. We have, however, recurred to the stale subject and one that the world cares not for, chiefly for the purpose of calling attention to the pertinacity of a people who are as proud of their country as they are brave, or as they were wont to be rude, ignorant, and poor.
ART. IX.-A Concise and Practical Treatise on the Principal Diseases of the Air-passages, Lungs, and Pleura. By ALFRED CATHERWOOD, M.D. London: Duncan.
ALTHOUGH not in a condition to pronounce a confident opinion on the professional value of Dr. Catherwood's treatise, we are perfectly safe in saying that the subjects he has taken up are of the first importance, and therefore any distinct views that may be taken of them deserve attention. We may also affirm that the manner in which the diseases of the lungs are handled in this volume before us, manifests a large acquaintance with that melancholy list of ills which the human race is heir to. Perhaps we have reason to notice the rather too apparent egotism of our author. But that is a trait characteristic of medical men; consequently it might appear to be affected if it were laid aside. But, to our business as announced, which becomes the more pleasant, seeing that the language of the book is adapted to the comprehension of the non-medical reader, and the subjects arranged so as to be most easily understood, compared and referred to.
The first part of the treatise is upon the diseases of the Air-passages. We cannot do better at the outset of our extracts and abstract than begin with quoting part of the chapter on Acute Mucous Catarrh. It affords a good specimen of the Doctor's manner of procedure throughout the volume, and also of the formidable ills of mortals :
"When a mucous membráne is attacked with common inflammation-I say common, to distinguish it from specific inflammation-a catarrhal disease is produced. The word catarrh is of Greek origin, derived evidently from the verb Karappe to flow down, and was originally intended to signify the disease which in ordinary language was called a cold. At the present day it is applied as a generic term to three distinct species of disease; viz. catarrh of the conjunctiva, of the air-passages, and of the bladder. Its limitation by writers to the diseases here mentioned is unphilosophical, unscientific, and opposed to the principles of physiology, -principles on which nosological classification can alone be advantageously based. What reason, I may ask, is there for calling an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the vagina, leucorrhoea, while an inflammation of the same kind of membrane in the bladder is designated catarrhus vesica? -Certainly none. Again, What can be more absurd than Dr. Cullen's arrangement with respect to diseases of mucous membranes,—diseases which have the closet saffinity to each other? The same sort of answer may be given; for we find that this celebrated Professor, and those who followed in his wake, placed some of these affections in one class and some in another, apparently without due consideration-certainly without sufficient foundation. How much more in accordance with the present advanced state of science would it be to class diseases according to the nature of the
tissue, or peculiar structure which they invade! Were this plan universally followed, the study of diseases, and the therapeutic means necessary to be adopted for their cure, would be much facilitated.
"Catarrh affecting the air-passages may be divided into the following species:
1. Acute Mucous Catarrh.
4. Chronic Pituitous Catarrh.
6. Whooping-Cough; or, Spasmodic Catarrh.
"Acute Mucous Catarrh.-Of all diseases, catarrh affecting the airpassages is the most common. It attacks persons of every age, even from the cradle to the grave; both sexes, and all temperaments indiscriminately: those, however, of a bilious habit are, perhaps, more disposed to this variety of catarrh, or the acute mucous, than others. Unlike many other diseases, one invasion gives a predisposition to a second attack, and hundreds of individuals are to be found who suffer from this disease several times in the course of a year; in fact they 'get a cold upon a cold,' and are scarcely ever quite free from catarrh.
"Anatomical Characters.-Redness, more or less diffuse, and swelling of the mucous membrane, constitute the anatomical characters of this disease.
"General, Functional, and Local Signs.-Acute mucous catarrh is ushered in by a sensation of cold, sometimes confined to the back and loins, but more generally diffused throughout the body: in very severe cases, the onset very closely resembles the cold stage of ague; the skin becomes pale, corrugated, and rough, producing the appearance commonly called goose-skin; the teeth chatter in the head, and the application of ordinary artificial heat seems to possess but little power in moderating the shivering. The pulse during this stage of the disorder is exceedingly weak; the debility extreme; the mind is remarkable for its listlessness, and the eye is dull and without expression. After a time, the sensation of cold gradually subsides, and is succeeded by a glow of heat. The heart beats with more force and frequency; the temporal arteries throb, and delirium occasionally supervenes. The skin becomes hot and dry; the mouth parched, and the urine high coloured.
"It has been already stated, that every part of a mucous membrane may be attacked with catarrh; for the convenience, however, of more accurately describing the functional and local signs of acute mucous catarrh affecting the air-passages, the diseases may with advantage be divided into the following varieties: viz. Mycteritis, or cold in the head; Cynanche Pharyngea; Cynanche Tonsillaris; Laryngitis; Trachitis; and Bronchitis."
Having treated briefly in their order of these varieties, Dr. Catherwood proceeds to offer observations on Auscultation, at the same time differing in some instances from the distinguished inventor of the art. He says,
"There is, perhaps, scarcely a disease in which percussion and ausculVOL. III. (1841.) No. III. 2 E
tation give more important information than that which at present occupies our attention. Without their employment the nature and extent of the disease cannot accurately be determined, for the general and functional signs are common to some other diseases of the chest; but with their aid, the signs become unequivocal, and the precise nature of the malady completely revealed.
"Absence of the Respiratory Murmur.-On the application of the stethoscope to the chest, an absence of the respiratory murmur may sometimes, to a larger or smaller extent, be perceived. This sign by itself is not pathognomonic, for it occurs in some other diseases of the chest, such as hepatization of the lung, the presence of a tubercular mass, an effusion into the pleura, &c.
"On percussing the part where the respiratory murmur is absent, a clear sound is elicited, which demonstrates that the cells of the lungs contain air; for if a dull sound were produced it must depend either on the absence of air from the air-cells, or pleuritic effusion. The respiratory murmur can be (in a case of acute mucous catarrh), for the most part, restored by the act of coughing to the parts from which it had disappeared, when the impediment is owing to an accumulation of mucus obstructing the bronchial tubes; if, however, the absence of the murmur be caused by a thickened state of the bronchial mucous membrane, coughing, of course, will produce no such effect.
"Rale Sonore, Rále Sibilant, Rále Muqueux.-The râle sonore and the râle sibilant usually appear very early in this disease, but the râle muqueux only during its second stage. The character of the râle sonore is extremely variable; sometimes it resembles the snoring of a person asleep; at other times the cooing of a wood-pigeon, or the sound produced by the fourth string of a tenor-violin; occasionally a deeper sound is heard, which has been compared to the third string of a violoncello.
"The râle sonore, when once completely established, is permanent for a considerable length of time, as it depends either on a tumefaction of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes, or an alteration in their form, by which a contraction of their calibre is produced. The degree of contraction may, generally, be pretty fairly estimated by the sharpness or flatness of the sound; for instance, if the sound be sharp, the tubes themselves, or their inner lining, are but little altered; if, on the other hand, the sound be flat, we may be certain that the change from their normal condition is considerable. Again, the intensity of the sound is found to vary much it may be so feeble as to be heard only with difficulty, and in the immediate vicinity of its site; or it may be so loud as to be heard even at some distance from the patient.
"When the râle sonore occupies the tubes of both lungs, danger is to be apprehended. The râle sibilant very frequently exists with the râle sonore; it is heard only at the beginning or termination of inspiration: the character of its sound, like the râle sonore, varies much. It is usually a slight though prolonged hissing sound; sometimes it is like the chirping of birds; at other times, the click of a small valve; and occasionally it resembles the sound produced by triturating an unctuous substance in a mortar. This râle is evidently seated in the smaller bronchial