Графични страници
PDF файл

These may

[ocr errors]

than the expression, he enters on the Arabian Phyficians,
beginning with Aaron of Alexandria, who wrote about
A. D. 620, and ending with Mesue of Damafcus, who lived
in the latter end of the twelfth century. In the course of this
detail, our Author gives us a few curious specimens of his own
Arabian erudition, in the Arabic letters, explained by English
letters and words ; from which we are become sufficiently
learned ourselves to inform our Readers, that Irk is Arabic
for a Nerve; Nocra & Almadid, both signify a Vein ; Tódari,
the Small-pox ; Chafbah, the Measles; Al-raib is Butter-milk;
and Al-kawabeli is equivalent to a Man-midwife.
be considered as ornaments at least to our Historian: and
here, after some general descant on Arabian Medicine, in
which he justly compliments them for their cool regimen in
the Small-pox, and for their introducing the milder cooling
Cathartics into practice, our Historiographer passes into Eu-
rope ; and beginning with the school of Salernum, in 802,
he comes down, after some extracts from Dr. Friend's History,
to the fifteenth century, and concludes this Section, of near
140 pages, with some account of Doctors Linacre and Caius
in this isand, and of Vefalius and Euftachius on the conti-

The third Section—-On the Improvement of Medical Knowlege after the restoration of Learning-commences with the great Lord Bacon, whose just rejection of the philosophy of Aristotle, which was the foundation of Galen's theory; and whose institution of experimental enquiries may be considered as the firm basis of, and a most valuable advancement to, real knowlege. From our immortal Harvey, whose fame must circulate as long as the human blood, Dr. Hillary passes to Sanctorius, whose statical discoveries have greatly conduced to a just reasoning and salutary practice in Physic. It was natural after this discovery for Physicians, in climates different from that of Italy, to investigate the various proportions of the several animal excretions in their own ; the result of which our Author fummarily relates. The exquisite injections of Ruysh, Morgagni, and Albinus, are mentioned ; and subsequent to these we have a list of several eminent chemifts, from Roger Bacon down to Stahl and Boerhaave. This is followed by no improper stricture on the ignorance, the vanity, and knavery, of some enthusiastic Alchemists, particularly on those of the illiterate Paracelsus, who affirmed, “ Philosophy could be taught' in no language, but HighDutch, and boasted of a Nostrum that would extend a man's




[ocr errors]

life to the age of Methufalem, though he died himself at the age of 47.” Some well-meant strictures on the most popular Noftrums naturally fall in here, though we think our Author scarcely attentive enough to facts, in regard to a celebrated Fever-powder, which, we are of opinion, notwithstanding our ocular conviction of its proving sometimes ineffectual, has, upon the whole, done more good, and much less milchief, than most of the others put together ; notwithstanding our Author's preferring small doses of the antimonial wine to it. His reasoning, however, in the main, against the absurd practice of attempting to precipitate the natural critical term of any acute disease, suppose the Small-pox or Measles, is certainly just; as these, and probably many other Fevers, have their natural and appropriate terms of growth and maturity, as regularly as most vegetable productions : and a premature extinctim of that febrile process, which is so frequently an 'instrument of health under the conduct of nature, and of her judicious observers and assistants, might prove as often fatal,

as the prevalence of the morbid cause over the united efforts of nature and art.

After fome notice of the earlier Writers on the Venereal disease, Dr. Hillary introduces the Scurvy, as one that has never been mentioned by the Greek, Roman, or Arabian Physicians; for which reason, he says, it has generally been esteemed a new disease. He derives our English name for it from the German word Scharboock, which, he says, signifies an Inflammation ; nor does he limit it to any part. Eugalenus calls it, in Low-Dutch, Schoorbuyck, which he supposes to refer particularly to the violent pains of the stomach and bowels, and the exulcerations attending them. But Boerhaave, who calls it Sccorbeek, judges it more probably to refer to the soreness of the mouth and gums, which is frequently a pathognomonic fymptom of it; and which will answer to fore mouth or Beck, a word still used in the northern parts of this kingdom for the human mouth, in a humorous way indeed, as being synonymous to the bill or beak of birds. We were surprized that a gentleman of Dr. Hillary's reading did not recur on this head to the Stomacace, or sore mouth, mentioned by Strabo and Pliny, which a jufter translation of the German word must probably have occasioned. We may observe too here, that some of the many cuticular diseases of the Arabians and Africans, and that disease called the lame diftemper; in some parts of North-America, do probably depend on a scorbutic cause, whose different appearances may


be varied by different climates and ways of living. But however this may be, our Author having mentioned a few of the earlier Writers on this disease, refers for the best treatment. of it to Boerhaave.----After a list of some of the principal discoveries in Anatomy and Physiology, in consequence of Lord Bacon's system, he employs the remainder of this Section, in his way of recounting the merits of Dr. Sydenham, Sir Isaac Newton, and Boerhaave. Most of this is certainly true and just ; but how trivial is it to swell his treatise with informing us of Sir Isaac's college and tutor; and how far from Leyden Boerhaave was born, with a vast deal more equally frivolous, and unessential to his work?

A great part of his fourth Section-General Remarks on the Improvements, and the Hindrances of its Improvementof Medicine we suppose, is employed in a frange and needless recapitulation of what he had said in the first and thind Sections, concerning Hippocrates and other antient Physicians. One of the most pertinent observations we meet with respects such Doctors as deride all theory in Phyfic, of whom he says, “Let them say what they please, they must form some idea of the disease, and its symptoms, under their cure, and have fome reasons for their chusing one method preferable to another, and for their doing so: so far as they do this, they have some sort of a theory, though it [should] be [but] a weak and imperfect one." Several medical Reflections are interspersed throughout this Section, which, though often crudely expressed and arranged, are not amiss in substance, inferring some medical Knowlege and much Experience. His considerations on the use and abuse of Blisters, from p. 354 to 359, are very juft, being fimilar to those of Boerhaave, who wrote generally; and of Baglivi, who wrote professedly on the fubject. He affirms, “The Singultus, or Hiccup, not to be a convulfive motion of the stomach and diaphragm, as it has commonly been thought, but of the Oefophagus, or Gullet." He afferts this observation to be solely his own, which may be the case : and, indeed, his opinion of this being the seat of the disease, seems no ways irrational; at least of that degree of it, which is removed by a sudden surprize, or by swallowing a little cold water, that may wash down any irritating particles adhering to it. But as the stomach (contiguous to the gullet) and the diaphragm are also irritable parts, it does not prove that the more strong and convulsive Hiccup, often occuring towards the fatal termination of different diseases, and which does not yield to cold water, nor I



[ocr errors]

even to musk or anodynes, may not be seated in the stomach or diaphragm. This Section, which more directly relates to the title-page of the book, and for whose fake the others may have been wrote, concludes with mentioning a kind of Aphthæ, or ulcerated throat in the American islands, of which disease our Author supposes himself the discoverer ; referring, for the description and cure of it, to his Treatise on the Air and Diseases of Barbadoes.

The fifth Section professes to give some remarks on the Materia Medica-Like patient Readers, and attentive Reviewers, we have read and even re-perused the 45 pages

of which it confifts, without acquiring a single new idea or notion from it, which would be a very bad reason for detailing any part of it to our Medical Readers. It contains some complaints on the great necessity of a farther reformation of the Dispensatory; but this might prove, as the ingenious Mr. Green fays, of mending the world itself, a vast delign: which we may safely predict will never be accomplished to every body's satisfaction. There is the lefs occafion for our taking notice of the sixth and last Section On the Action of Fire, &c. as we had animadverted on his former Treatife-On the Nature, Properties, and Laws of Fire, -Review, Vol. XXII. p. 1, and do not find the difficulties we objected to some parts of his system alleviated in this Section.

Thus have we accomplished no superficial survey of a work, whose title imports and professes so much ; and we imagine such a painful survcy, as must have qualified us for a proper estimation of it. Besides the justice our Author has done to the great merit of Boerhaave and Sydenham, he has as justly recommended the Hippocratic method of carefully observing the economy of nature in the conduct of diseases, and of assisting her conformably to it. And if he had not repeatedly inculcated and insisted upon this above twenty times, it might, perhaps, from its effential importance, have been allowable. But were we to substract all the irksome tautology of that single precept, after admitting such a repetition of it, the bulk of this performance would be considerably reduced. With regard to all of the historical part of Physic, which he has gleaned from Le Clerc and Friend, what has this been, in effect, but actum agere, scriptum refcribere! How much more brief and ingenuous had it been, in this respect, to have imitated Dr. Clifton, who premises to his

State of Phyfic, and Plan for the Improvement of it, as follows : “ 'To say the truth, whoever reads the Histoire of


Le Clerc, and the Continuation of it by Dr. Friend, may, if he please, save himself the trouble of reading much of the historical part of this book.” Besides, if the many trite mat-ters in this work, which can inform none but mere novices, had been omitted, the size of a moderate pamphlet would have contained all that could do real honour to the Author.

These few essential objections evidently affect the matter of his book; but how numerous are those which arise to the manner and expression of it! To specify a few more than "We have occasionally cited, in support of our general censure, wc have, p. 80, 81, a sentence about and about Asclepiades of Prusa, extended to above 40 lines, before it arrives, breathless, at a period ; and containing many a but, of which (to make the least meaning and coherence) three at least should have been ands. See also p. 212, 213, for another series of these empty buts. In the character of Galen there is a single rambling sentence, containing near 40 lines, some words of which must be changed, and others omitted, to make it grammar. We read, p. 106,“ The Methodists (in Physic) objected against all Specifics ; which, when enquired into, is only another term for our ignorance, or we know not how they act.” A little lower it is said, "Notwithstanding they rejected all reasoning, his (i. e. Cælius Aurelianus) works have many useful remarks, and some good methods of practice in them; therefore those who desire to see them may read his works, which he would do with more pleasure, if they were translated out of that barbarous Numidian Latin into Roman Latin.” We have been careful in all there, and many cqually crude passages, that we suppress, to consult the Errata, in which we find not one of them corrected.

Now, if these would be gross errors in a Writer, who pretended to no language but English, how must they be aggravated in one, who assumes an intimacy, with the learned languages! As the Latin verse fays-Extera quid quærit sua qui vernacula nescit ? And certainly it is reasonable that learning, as well as charity, hould begin at home. We must not wonder then, if this Gentleman is but little happier, when he meddles with Latin, and makes it his own, as Martial says of a bad repeater of his epigrams. In recommending the reading of Sydenham's works ; to the decies repetita of Horace, our Latinist has prefixed magis, though magis decies does not signily more than ten times, and is not Latin idiom, as plusquam would have been, and would have signified. Some interesting relection, however, on the decies repetita placebit,


« ПредишнаНапред »