Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

nested with, and derived from, a long algebraical process con-' tained in the second section of his second Essay. We therefore iefer the curious analyst to the work itself.

The fourth section of the present performance contains a brief view of the rife and progress of the public debts of Great Britain*; Mr. Gale here points out the mistakes that have heretofore been made with respect to the manner of conducting the funding system, and the ease with which those mistakes might have been from time to time rectified, by a conversion of the debt. The conversion os the debt in his opinion is still practicable, and the only method that can be of benefit both to the creditors and the Public.

The Author has added to this Essay a large Appendix, containing many valuable tables of the comparative values of redeemable annuity Stocks, bearing different rates of interest, subject to different tenders for the redemption of the capital, by the help of which the calculations ate rendered less laborious.

• Mr. G. states the public debt at the commencement of the year 1786 — £270,000,000, and the interest or annuity thereon, at j£ 9,500,000. When the troubles with America broke out in 17";, the amount of the debt was £ 136,000,000; so that it was nearly doubled in the space of 8 years, viz. from 177c to 1783; and the debt annually incurred during that time was £ 17,000,000. Such an instance of expenditure cannot be equalled in the history of any

C0UDtsyl A,-!*,.

Art. XIII. Qbstr<vations en the Nature, Kinds, Causes, and Prevention of Insanity. By Thomas Arnold, M. D. Vol.11. 8vo. 7s. Boards. Cadell. 1786.

WE gave an account of the former volume of this work in our Journal for July 1782} in which we observed that the Author was a man of extensive and accurate reading. The continuation of his learned work fully supports the opinion we had formed of its merits, and of the Author's labour and diligence, as well as his literary abilities.

The first section of this volume contains a relation of the various appearances observable in bodies on dissection, collected principally from Bonetus and Morgagni. This account concludes with several general remajks on the state of the body after death, as set forth by Haller.

In treating the cauies of insanity, our Author treads, as he acknowledges, on slippery ground. The enquirer is undoubtedly liable to much obihxct.on and perplexity from the intricacy of the road, and from the irrperfect lights on which he is obliged sorely: it is often, indeed, extremely difficult to fix any firm and sure footing, and the inmost caution ib absolutely necessary in order to make any considerable advances toward truth and certainty; nor is judgment less requisite if we would avoid failing into error, or bewildering ourselves in doubt or obscurity. Avoiding all conjectures and subtle reasoning, that too frequently darken rather than elucidate any abstruse subject, JDr. A. adheres to the plain direct paths of experience and observation, and arranges such causes as are known to produce insanity, in the cleareft and simplest manner, according to the most distinct division of them into remote and proximate: the former containing all those causes which have commonly been marshalled under the difterent kinds of predisposing and occasional; and the latter those

* which are so necessarily connected with the disease, that the one existing, continuing, changing, or ceasing, the other must of course exist, continue, change, or cease.' Of remote causes our Author is enabled to speak with some degree of precision, since a considerable knowledge of them may be obtained by experience and observation; for the greater part of them are either the immediate objects of our fenses, or directly deducible from known facts which are so. He divides them naturally into two kins1?, bodily and mental; and each of these are subdivided into several species. We are under the necessity of reminding him that in our account of his first volume we charged him with too slavish an adherence to methodical arrangement. We are by no means enemies to method, when it is neither fanciful nor artificial; but we cannot commend it when it is founded on circumstances neither distinct nor important enough to lead to solid and useful deductions. Dr. A. after his extensive systematical table of the divisions of the bodily and menial remote causes of insanity, launches out into a very diffusive metaphysical disquisition concerning the operations Of the mind on the body, and vice versa. We have ever been of the fame opinion with the poet concerning those gentlemen who talk of the foul and its actions, that they "tali much awry." It is absolutely impossible to speak consistently or clearly on those things of which we have no adequate ideas; and we arc soiry to fee a man of Dr. A.'s apparent abilities and learning bestow so much time and labour on a subject which can have no other foundation than conjecture, and which has hitherto been, and perhaps will ever remain, beset with clouds and impenetrable darkness.

Of the proximate causes, the Author confesses he can fay but little. It is almost, if not altogether, impossible to arrive at the knowledge of the true and proximate, or physical cause of most disorders 5 we may think ourselves happy, if, by accurate observations, and just deductions from plain and evident facts, we can discover some general cause which constantly accompanies the disease. * After much accurate reasoning the Doctor concludes,

* That the proximate causes of insanity, from whatever remote

Rev. Oct. 1787. Y cause cause or causes it may derive its origin, are, without doubt, seated in the brain.'

In treating of the prevention of insanity, notwithstanding the importance of the subject, the Author endeavours to avoid minuteness. It is necessary to be diligently attentive to the strict observance of whatever may tend to preserve or regain the health and to contribute to the perfection of the whole human fabric. This opens to the Doctor a large field for speculation and practice: he confines himself to the following particulars, each of which he fully elucidates:

■ 1st, Temperance in food, drink, steep, and the indulgence of the sensual appetites. 2. Exercise. 3. The due regulation of thepassions, 4. Attention to the operations of the imagination; and care to check its propensity to too great aclivity. 5. An assiduous diligence in the improvement of the reajoning faculties of the mind, and a watchful avoidance of the various causes of imbeciliity. 6. The careful avoidance of too long continued, too intense, too uniform thinking, and of excessive watching. 7. The avoidance of the other occasional causes of insanity, so far as they may by our care and diligence be avoided. 8. Rational views of God and Religion, free from superstition, enthusiasm, or despondency; and a conscientious and chearful performance of the duties which religion prescribes.'

Since no mention is made of the method of cure, nor any directions given concerning the remedies necessary to be used in order to the removal of confirmed insanity, we may suppose that our learned Author, not having finished his work, intends to favour the Public with a continuation of his labours. fc,—*' *n

Akt. XIV. An Inquiry into the present State of Medical Surgery. Vol. II. By Thomas Kirkland, M.D. Member of the Royal Medical Society at Edinburgh. 8vo. 6 s. 6d. Boards. Dodsley, 1786.

DR. Kirkland having, in his former volume *, described those inflammations which terminate in discussion, proceeds to treat of those which end in suppuration. After shortly describing phlegmone and abscess, Dr. K. enters into a long discourse on purulency, and purulent abscesses; on the subject, puruiency, he adheres to the opinion of Van Swieten, which is sufficiently known to our medical Readers.

Abscefles engage much of our Author's attention. From a variety of observations, he deduces a number of excellent practical rules relative to the treatment of different species of these tumours. He reprobates in the strongest terms every attempt to discuss any .' ■' > '■

* For an account of which fee Rev. vol. lxiw p. 381,.

critical

critical inflammation occasioned by a metastasis tending to suppuration. After the abscess is formed, Dr. K. gives the necessary instructions for its treatment, and the method of opening it$ where this operation is requisite, and illustrates every part of his doctrine with cafes that occur in authors of credit, or which have fallen under his own care.

The Doctor then proceeds to consider such abscesses as require a particular treatment. In this part of his Work, he displays much learning, and a thorough acquaintance with former writers on the subject. His practice is established on rational principles, and, consequently, must be preferred to that which is founded on hypothesis; more especially when he constantly confirms that practice, by presenting his readers with the numerous Cafes, in Which it alone succeeded, in preference to other methods that had been ineffectually prosecuted, though proposed and recommended by practitioners of authority and judgment.

The next objects of Dr. K.'s disquisition are those cases in which inflammations terminate in gangrene and spbacelus. The opinions of the ancients are here examined, and their practice is defended, particularly Celsus's method of treating this disease. * The words gangrene and spbacelus,' Dr. K. observes, ' have been used as synonymous terms; yet, as dividing diseases into stages has always been useful in practice, and because gangrene and sphacelus often require opposite treatment, we shall divide them into gangrene, fphaceloide-gangrene, and sphacelus, and these again into local and spreading.' He is of opinion, ' that abscess and gangrene differ only in degree of violence;' and he defines a sphacelus to be ' an extinction of life in the affected part* and absolute putrefaction.'

To follow Dr. fC. through all the species of gangrene and sphacelus, and his method of treating them, would require more room than our limits will allow: we shall therefore proceed to his next chapter, which treats of Struniæ, or the Evil.

The most useful part of this chapter is that which is employed in distinguishing swelled glands, of various kinds, front fcrophulous and strumous swellings; and we could have wished the Doctor to have enlarged on this subject. We have long been of opinion that obstinate glandular swellings-are often attributed to a fcrophulous cause, which might have been perfectly cured, or, at least, much relieved, by a method distinct from those that are usually followed in fcrophulous cafes.

Abscesses in the joints, commonly known by the term white swellings, form the subject of the next chapter. Dr. K. enumerates the several methods of cure that have been recommended in tbese cafes, and shews, from the nature of the disease, what is most rational j or likely to succeed. After a carles has com

Y % menced, menced, amputation seems the only resource, when a colliquative fever and other dangerous symptoms threaten a speedy dissolution. The different methods of performing this operation are described, and a few general remarks on the necessity of having recourse to if, conclude the present volume: which, we understand, is to be followed by another on the subject of ulcers.

Dr. K. hath prefixed to this volume a defence of some doctrines contained in the firsts against the objections of certain critics,—among whom, the Monthly Reviewers are duly noticed; but for the particulars, we must refer to his book: abiding, as we respectfully do, the decision of that tribunal to which the Doctor hath appealed—with that candour and modesty which at once evince his regard to decency, and his love of truth.

__ —- A-**

Art. XV. The History of Henry VII. os England, written in the Year 1616. By Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, &c. Now firil new •written, 1786. 8vo. 6 s. bound. Murray.

THE style of Lord Bacon has, without doubt, sometimes that quaintness which was prevalent when he wrote: pedantry and punning were esteemed the criterion of learning, and a necessary ornament in the writers of those days.

Bacon's History of the Reign of Henry the Seventh has nevertheless been looked upon as a pattern for historical composition; the true sublimity of which consists more in the greatness of thinking than, in the pomp of expression ;—in tracing circumstances with judgment,—in relating them with clearness and connexion, and in making every part of the story instructive, rather than in sprinkling it over with the false ornaments of a brilliant diction, which too frequently divert the reader's attention from the intrinsic matter of the work.

That native simplicity and genuine dignity, which are thegrearest ornaments of Bacon's writings, is totally destroyed by the present Editor, who hath, in the publication before us, given ample proof how well he is qualified " to marr a curious tale in the telling."

To (hew our Readers that our observations are not without foundation, we have selected the following, from the instances where this moderniser has debased the sterling worth of the valuable original. We have chosen part of a speech (which the pretender, Perkin, made to the Scotch King on being introduced to him), since the Editor scruples not to fay, in his Preface, that * the speeches and state papers are given as in the original, unaltered—his [the Editor's] design not being to new write the history, but to smooth the old language, and render it rather more pleasant to the ear.'

.. - „ Bacen,

« ПредишнаНапред »