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Medico-Chirurgical Review,



( Analytical Series.)

" Nec Aranearum textug ideò melior, quia ex se fila tingunt; nec noster vilior, quia ex alienis lubamus, ut apes.”


JUNE 1, 1822.

[No. 9.

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I. BRITISH PATHOLOGY. , Elements of Pathology, and Therapeutics ; being the Out

lines of a Work intended to ascertuin the Nature, Causes, and most efficacious Modes of Prevention and Cure of the greater Number of the Diseases incidental to the Human Frame ; illustrated by numerous Cascs and Dissections. By CALEB HILLIER PARRY, M. D. F.R.S. Member of the College of Physicians of London ; Physician to the General Hospital at Bath, &c. &c. Vol. I.

General Pathology. Octavo, pp. 464. London, 1815. Some of our readers may be surprized at our taking up a work that has been seven years before the public. It is true that it has been seven years before the profession, but they are not yet acquainted with it. We have reason to believe, or rather to know, that not four hundred copies have been distributed among a British professional public, of at least eight thousand individuals; consequently the work is virtually unknown to nineteen-twentieths of medical society. Were it a book of common merit, we should let it take ils chance; but believing it to be one of the most enlightenedl productions that ever issued from the press, in any age or in any country, we should hold ourselves culpable if we did not give it that publicity which may insure it an attentive, as well as an extensive, perusal. In the first number of the monthly series of this Journal, we attempted this objcct; but our well-meant labour failed on account of the then limited circulation of our Journal. The case is altered.

We can now makc known-effectually known, the mcrits of a publi. cation, from Delhi in the East, to Cincinnati in the West. Vol. III. No, 9.



It is true that Dr. Parry's work has been reviewed in medical journals. But, alas! as one of the most able writers of the age remarks~" modern criticism too often discloses that which it would fain conceal, but conceals that which it professes to disclose-it is therefore read by the discerning, not to discover the merits of an author, but the motives of the critic."

The course which we pursuc cannot well come under the above censure; for it is obvious that our public duty is also our private interest - that of charging our pages with useful matter from others, rather than captious criticism from ourselves.

The work now before us, we confidently predict, will stand a monument of fame to the author (now, alas! insensible to flattery or censure) “ ære perennius," and an honour to the age and country in which it saw the light.t With the ex. ception of a few points of doctrine, we believe that these “ Elements of Pathology" will defy the ordeal of, criticism, and finally reccive from the profession at large, a sentence the most honorable and gratifying which an author can wish, or the public voice confer.

It is a work, indeed, which may justly be characterized as“ pregnant with thought, and matured by reflection;" but it is, on this account, less suited for the lower than the higher classes of the profession. There is a terseness, a precision, and an aphoristic conciseness in every sentence, that will assuredly cause it to appear dry, or even obscure, to the sciolist, and to the less studious members of the media cal world; but which must render the work more valuable to those who look beyond the surface of things, and study with care the mechanism, the functions, and the lesions of thie human frame.

The extent of our analysis will, therefore, be proportionate to the value which we set upon the publication ; and we cannot pay a greater compliment to the author, or confer a greater benefit on our readers, than by allotting a portion of our Review to the dissemination of Dr. Parry's labours,

* Reverend Mr. Coulton's Lacon. ✓ One great reason, indeed, for our here bringing forward an extended review of Dr. Parry's work, is to shew our own, and our continental brethren what enlightened views of pathology have been entertained in this country, founded, not solely on post mortem appearances, as is too often the case, but chiefly on an attentive observation of morbid phenomena in the living body. The world will see that many doctrines now making much noise on the continent and in this country, have been completely anticipated by our own illustrious pathologist seven years ago.

which will at once evince the estimation in which we hold them, by the reluctance with which we shall part from them

The work is divided into one thousand and twenty-three aphorisins or passa ges, of unequal lengths, and apparently with little regard to order or arrangement. This plan we humbly conceive to be injudicious, inasmuch as it is very uninviting to the reader ; but Dr. Parry, no doubt, trusted to the sterling merit of the matter without shewing any very fastidious regard to the manner in which it is conveyed.

After some observations on the nature of medical science, our author enters on a consideration of the disordered states of the sanguiferous system, which form the most obvious deviations from health, of any incidental to the animal frame. Tbese consist in some excess or defect in the quantity or velocity of the circulation. The quality of the circulating mass is left out of consideration. The general velocity of the blood may be natural, while in particular parls of the body it may be retarded or accelerated. So also in regard to quantity; the excess or deficiency may be either general or local; that is, there may be excess in one part and defia ciency in another, or there may be general excess or deficiency in every part of the system at the same time, Exçessive quantity is denoted by quick motion of the heart; preternatural fulness of the arterial, capillary, and venous system, and vice versa. The habits of mankind in civilized society tend to produce excessive nutrition, and consequently plethora in the human frame. This state of the sanguiferous system characterizes nine-tenths of the diseases of persons in inoderately affluent circumstances. Blood is the pabulum from which, as it circulates through the capillaries or elsewhere, caloric is sensibly evolved, by whatever power that evolution may be cffected. An incrcase of momentum and quantum in the circulation of a part is characterized by preternatural redness and size of that part, and especially if the arteries leading to, and the veins receding from that part, be unusually distended. The quantity of blood in the whole system remaining the same, a diminution in one part must produce plethora in all, or some other parts of, the system, and vice versa. The same may be said of the momentum of the blood. The coats of arteries possess two powers

of tion ; the first is mechanical elasticity, the other a vital or muscular power, denominated by our author tonicity. It is something similar to muscular action, but our author denies that the middle coats of arteries are fibrous. They have, however, an inherent capacity of motion,” and that is enough. In the larger arteries the mechanical, in the capillaries, the tonic power prevails. Our author believes with


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