Billeder på siden

specimens of diseased bones. We mention this engraving, because we are glad to see such useful assistance to verbal description becoming more general, in medical works.



Art. 49. Anecdotes, Religious, Moral, and Entertaining; Alphabeti
cally arranged, and interspersed with a Variety of useful Observ.
12mo. pp. 285. 35. 6d. Boards.
ations. By Charles Buck.
Chapman. 1799.
The professed end of the compiler of this volume is, to set before
men the grand object of veneration and worship, to rouse them to
their duty, to facilitate their happiness, to shew them the deformity
of vice, and to inspire them with true and exalted views of the sacred
religion of Jesus.' The anecdotes are of various kinds; many have
been often related: but (says the editor) diamonds are, not the less
valuable or splendid for being strung and set in order: novelty has not
been so much my design as utility; to which it is added, that what
had been before scattered in an extensive field are here arranged for
an easy review; and an index is given at the end of the volume to
assist for this purpose.

In this diversified performance, we meet with names antient and
modern, and occasionally of some persons now living.-Mr. Buck
does not produce authorities for the relations which he gives; nor is
it always.requisite: the account of a servant, who robbed his master,
(p. 119,) and was tempted to the act by atheistical conversation
which he had heard at his table, is (if we recollect aright) better
and more accurately told in Davies's Life of Garrick, In p, 234,
we observe ascribed to Vespasian (diem perdidi) what is related of his
son Titus.-The compiler, however, deprecates the severity of the
critic; and hopes that candour will perform the office of a friend
more disposed to pardon than to indulge invective.'-We shall there-
fore only observe that, though some things might have been omitted,
and some defects be pointed out, we are on the whole here presented
with a volume which may afford entertainment and improvement.
Art. 50. An Apology for the Missionary Society. By John Wilkes.
8vo. Is. 6d. Chapman. 1799.




This loose declamation, which was delivered at a debating society, glitters with the tinsel and foil of metaphor and quotation, but emits little of the mild and steady light of real argument. The author undertakes to prove that the conduct of the Missionary Society, in attempting to propagate Christianity ia heathen countries, is more deserving of applause and encouragement than the conduct of the Ame rican Quakers in emancipating their negroe slaves. No doubt, the design of the Missionary Society was in some respects laudable; but report says that the undertaking has totally miscarried.

A quarto volume has been published, giving an account of the late voyage of the Missionaries from England to Otaheite; from which some interesting passages will, in due time, be selected for the enter

tainment of our readers.


Art. 51. Canterbury Tales. Volume III. By Sophia and Harriet
Lee. 8vo. pp. 522. 73. Boards. Robinsons. 1799.
We have been greatly interested and gratified by the perusal of this
aditional volume, which is fully equal in merit to the former part of


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the work. The first story in this collection, which is intitled the Of
ficer's Tale, is particularly well-imagined, and contains many touch-
ing incidents. The Clergyman's Tale, which follows, is of a more
solemn and gloomy cast, and levies indeed a heavy tax on the sympa.
thetic feelings of its readers.-If we were inclined to point out any
imperfection in this pleasing publication, we should mention that there
is rather too much similarity in the ground-work of both these stories.
In the first, a son meets, without knowing, his mother; in the se-
cond, the wandering son encounters his father without discovering
him. The language is generally correct, and even elegant: but it is
occasionally turgid or obscure, when an effort at sublimity is uua.
vailingly made. Indeed, we have long had opportunities of observ
ing that no circumstance is so injurious to style, as the passion for
fine writing. When writers of real merit, like the authors of the pre-
sent volume, countenance this species of false taste, it is the duty of
the critic to point out the mistake, and to remind both authors and
readers that the most simple and true expressions are always the most

At the end of the volume, the writers remove the thin veil of reality which they had placed before these stories, in saying that they were related by travellers at an Inn at Canterbury; and they are now confessed to be day-dreams, to which Miss S. L. acknowleges she has been always subject. Addressing herself to the reader, she says, if you should find this as pleasant as I have done, why we may henceforward recite tales without going to Canterbury.' We have no doubt that many of her readers will be happy to take a nap with her; and, "old as we are," we beg to enrol ourselves in the number.




As soon as I was informed by Mr. Hammick of the dangerous erratum of eight for three grains of calomel, p. 38. 1. 9. of the Contributions from the West of England, (see Rev. September, p. 68. 1. 3.) I notified it in two Medical Journals, and added the correction to the unsold copies of the book.-I beg you to let this stand as a farther notification. Miss M. Norton is not only living, but, as I heard from good authority, on being threatened with a return of her complaint, received benefit as before from hydrogen gas.Your observation on the two cases where hydrocarbonate was used is just. They are not decisive: but they shew the innocence of the practice; probably however they were not worth publishing. At the Pneumatic Institution, we shall be uspardonable if our trials do not bear the most rigid scrutiny. In private practice, a complicated treatment is not easily avoided.

I am glad to have the concurrence of the M. R. in a proposition so alarmingly important as this,-that the public have not hitherto derived a degree of information from the practice in infirmaries, equal to the trouble and expence bestowed upon them. I am glad also that the writer of the article, thinks, with me, that some farther means ought to be adopted for preserving the phaumena cbserved in these repositories of disease. The mere judgment and activity of the medical attendants are not, as experience shews, sufficient for this great purpose. In observing that my plan is too forcing, 1 know not if it escaped the critic that I represent it as impracticable till a discovery



in physiology should be capable of exciting as warm sensations as è ministerial harangue." I evidently suppose, all along, that the public must be educated to this scheme.-The Reviewer seems to think that the mixed assemblies would favour cabal. I think just the contrary. At present, cabal appears to me, at least, to have almost uncontrouled dominion in metlicine;-and though the figure which a physician would cut at the projected meetings would be no absolute criterion of his merit, it would be a much better than any the public now has. Imbecility and mediocrity, so exhibited, would never get to the top of the profession. All this is mere opinion against opinion; and I rather wonder that I have found so many medical men agreeing with me in the main, than one disagreeing in particulars.

I know not whether the fact respecting the rotation of surgeons at Edinburgh be as stated in the Review:-but I should supposé the scarcity of dead bodies to be the reason of the inferiority of the Scotch operators, if they be inferior. The French surgeons, as a body, are stated to excel the British in operations; and I suppose for the same reason. In the Review, p. 62. 1. 20. it seems to be assumed that the hospital functionaries are superior to other physicians and surgeons. This requires to be proved: it is just the point in debate; and, were it so, infirmaries surely ought to have been of more use to medical science and general humanity: for, in our publishing age, few, after having kindled a light with great trouble, would hide it under a bushel.I look upon my plan as calculated to introduce rather than interrupt observers:-mere opinion again!

Concerning the importance of chemical physiology, I shall have occasion to treat at large in a periodical publication which will shortly be set on foot by Mr. Davy, and myself, along with others. The ingenious member of your corps justly says that the idea is not new:

but (p. 65. 1. 37) he seems to have forgotten that science means an arranged body of facts-His allusion to our knowlege concerning metals does not refute my opinion, though it should be wrong.-We may have many important detached facts, but no science; and, if the actions of the living organs depend simply, as I believe, or in great measure, on their composition, without advances in chemical physiology, medical science must continue a chimera: an assertion which I repeat after years of anxious consideration. I am, Gentlemen,

With great respect for your long and useful labours, Yours, • 2d Oct. 1799. THOMAS BEDDOES.'

We certainly think, with Dr. Beddoes, that some new regulations are necessary, in most public infirmaries, for the extension of medical knowlege; and we only differ from him respecting the particular plan which he has proposed. Voluntary communications, offered when the observations of the practitioners shall have been properly matured, appear to us to be preferable to those which would be exacted at stated periods, on Dr. Beddoes's scheme.

Our opinion of the difficulties, attending periodical meetings of the subscribers to an infirmary, is formed from observation; nothing can be more open to the influence of party and cabal. The wisest mea sures, the most obvious improvements, may be discountenanced by the clamors of a few prejudiced men, collected by the industrious runners of an intriguing practitioner. The only appeal, remaining for oppressed merit, must be made to the good sense of the public at large.

If it regard the clinical institution, it proves nothing, because that institution is so recent.'

We mentioned the rotation in the surgical department at the Edinburgh Infirmary, from the recollection of the practice there many years ago. Every regular surgeon in Edinburgh had it then in his power to attend for a few months, in turn, at the Infirmary; and we have known instances, in which the term of attendance has been transferred from one practitioner to another. We cannot ascertain the present mode of attendance: but we alluded to the general surgical practice in the house, not to that of the clinical wards. We must beg leave to observe that we did not mean to insinuate any inferiority of the surgeons in Edinburgh, by our remark: we only stated that the plan of rotation had not there produced a greater number of capital operators, than the exclusive plan of the London hospitals had furnished, during an equal period. This fact is, in some degree, an objection to Dr. Beddoes's scheme. The Doctor has misunderstood us, perhaps because our expressions not weref sufficiently explicit, concerning the supposed superiority of hospital practitioners. We meant to point out the hardship of removing a man who should really be intent on improving medical science, from the train of inquiry which he had opened; and the cruelty of depriving the poor of his assistance, when they should have formed a confidence in his abilities, We hope that there are such hospital-practitioners. There is much difference between the simple addition of new practitioners, and the dismission of veterans, who are active and useful in their stations.


Notwithstanding the ingenious reasoning of Dr. Beddoes, we must still think that there is something better than chimera in medical science. An arrangement of facts may be considerable, and may be valuable, without being complete. Indeed, in what science can the arrangement of facts be said to be complete? And if a knowlege of the ultimate structure of the subject be indispensable, we must despair of attaining just notions, in many departments of natural history. The description of diseases, must be carried to greater perfection, before any important discoveries in pathology can be expected.

In this amicable discussion, we have delivered our own views of the subjects treated by Dr. Beddoes with the freedom due to our office, but, we hope, with the respect due to the Doctor; and, as we always endeavour to give an unbiassed opinion, we shall ever be ready to acknowlege any of the errors, from which professional criticism is not more exempted than other intellectual employments.

We must differ from A. Z. respecting the use of the conjunction
nor, for or, in a line of Miss Seward's Translation of the Ode to
Thaliarchus. [See Rev. Aug. p. 365.] Our correction is supported
by the practice of the best English poets; ex. gr. from Milton:
But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun,
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night
With this, her solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glitt'ring star-light, without thee is sweet."

In these numerous repetitions of the disjunctive particle, Milton did not deem the introduction of another verb necessary, as A. Z. thinks it to be. We are also of opinion that A. Z. mistakes in sup



posing that the first nor, employed by Miss Seward, signifies either g
it must require neither. It is certainly proper to attend to these mi
nutie, and we think with our correspondent that they are too much
neglected; but A. Z. himself has furnished an example of inattention
to them, when he says, sometimes the first conjunction is impro
perly placed, and the second does not answer to it or connect it."

J. C. objects to a sentiment contained in our review of Beaujolin's Travels of two Frenchmen, in our last Appendix, p. 535. when, speaking of the Orphan House at Hamburgh, it is said, that "the orphans have too much care taken of them, considering the class and condition for which they are designed; and are too well educated for the sphere in which they are to move." This idea, J. C. deems illi beral; and he thinks that it is also inconsistent with the additional remark that the maid servants of Hamburgh, who are chiefly taken from this institution, "in general behave well."-Whether these remarks be objectionable or not, the responsibility does not rest with us, for they are the sentiments of M. Beaujolin and his friend. Our opinion, however, is that they are perfectly defensible; and that it must be very obvious that young people, from the lower classes, may be too well fed, clad, and instructed, if they be destined in future life to those menial stations and low, occupations in society, (particularly on the continent of Europe,) which afford scarcely more than the ne cessaries of subsistence, and no opportunities for the use or display of superior mental accomplishments. A girl in the Orphan-House at Hamburgh is taught fiue needle-work, writing, and perhaps the rudiments of natural history, &c. Of what use can this be, when she is married to a labourer in the dock-yard, or hired as a cook to a tradesnan-As to the boys, whom J. C. does not seem to consider, an education superior to the requisites of their future lot may be much more injurious than in the case of girls; since the spirit and capabilities of their sex may prompt them to aspire to unappropriate situations, to break through the laws of society, and to become adventurers, and useless or dangerous members of the community.

Much more might be said on this subject: but we think that the line to be observed on each side of the question, as to the limits of instruction, &c. is in this case easily to be drawn, and very apparent. Hutt".


-A Middlesex Farmer is informed that we have not overlooked the agricultural work which he mentions, but that our critical plough has lately been rather irregular in its operations in this department.

A Friend assures us that "the Confessions of the Countess of Litchtenau," mentioned in our last Review, p. 117, is not a transla. tion of the Biography noticed in our xxviith vol. p. 501, but a distinct and very inferior work. When we spoke of the Confessions, we had not at hand the foreign publication, and our memory deceived us in supposing the identity of the two performances.

The letter of R. R. N. is unavoidably postponed.

[ocr errors]


In the last Appendix, p. 511. 1. 17. for awaken,' r. awakenėth
P. 519. 1. 8. from bottom, formach intended,' r. machines intended
In the Rev. for Sept. p. 18. 1. 2. dele the word author's.",

For Errors in this number, see pages 126, 140, 146,


155, 193, 217, 223, 239,

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »