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the composition of natural bodies, and considers the different states in which these may exist, according to aggregation, accumulation, or mixture. He then notices the affinity of aggregation and of composition; and having given some account of the different states of caloric, as well as of the simple bodies, sulphur, carbon, and phosphorus, he proceeds to the formation of the aeriform elastic fluids. These M. Brisson divides into two classes, viz.
ist. Vivifying:--comprehending atmospheric air and oxygen gas. 2d. Suffocating: -subdivided into three orders ; 1. Non-saline gases, as, Azotic2
Ammoniacal or alkalinej
Marsh hydrogen The characteristic properties of each of these gases are afterward separately described.
The author next speaks of the different states of water, and then treats of the combinations of caloric, oxygen, azote, 'hydrogen, carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus. In the subsequent lithological part, mention is made of the primitive earths, and of their various combinations; and we perceive that the Gems are divided according to their respective colours : viz. Ted, yellow, blue, and green. To this part is also annexed a table of the gravity and comparative hardness of the gems. The stones in general are divided by M. Brisson into four orders, namely,—I. Saline stones.--2. Stones properly so called.
3. Rocks.-4. Volcanic products. The Metals are divided into two orders; the first of which comprehends the perfect metals, gold, silver, platina ; and the imperfect metals, copper, iron, tin, and lead. The second order includes the whole of the semi-metals, viz. - Mercury, bismuth, cobalt, nickel, izinc, antimony, arsenic, manganese, tungsten, molybdena, · REY. APRIL, 1802
titanium, chrome, and tellurium *. To this part are subjoined tables, shewing the fixity of the metals in fire, as well as their relative degrees of ductility, hardness, tenacity, elasticity, sonorous property, gravity, oxidability, increase of weight by oxidation, allinity for acids, acidification, and adhesion te mercury.
M. Brisson afterward notices the mineral, metallic, veget. able, and animal acids ; and he then proceeds to speak of the alkalies, and of the formation of neutral salts. Here a great number of tables are added, shewing the various combinations of the different acids with the salifiable bases.
We next fiind remarks on other important chemical subjects, such as the different species of fermentation, on the nature, properties, means of exciting, and propagation of fire, on the specific heat of different substances, and on refrigeration.
In the appendix, the translator has added a table of the new French weights and measures, reduced to the English standard ; and also rules for converting the old French weights and measures into correspondent English denominations.
The reader will find an account of M. Brisson's work on Minerals, in our 28th vol. N. S. p. 565 ; and of the translation, in vol. xxxiii. p. 333.
Art. X. Reports on the Diseases in London, particularly during
the Years 1796, 97, 98, 99, and 1800. By Robert Willan,
science, that the physicians to public institutions would cireulate reports of their observations on the progress of diseases, from time to time. This idea has been happily realized by Dr. Willan, whose character, as an enlightened and accurate observer, is well known to our readers ; and the collection of his remarks, during but a short series of years, has furnished the profession with a valuable and interesting volume. As most of these reports, however, have already appeared in some periodical works, we shall confine our view of them to those which are now first printed.-The following description of Hectic, as an idiopathic disease, is given in the preface :
• All the species of Hectic are characterised by the recurrence every twenty-four hours, or sometimes every twelve hours, of heat of the skin, after slight chilliness, with a circumscribed flush of the cheeks, an increased velocity of the pulse, and violent perspirations
* Uranium seems to be forgotten by M. Brisson.
towards morning. In infancy, childhood, youth, and old age, (See page 19,) Hectic takes place, without any local affection, from changes in the constitution, connected with the different stages of human life. A similar state of disorder is often produced in persons of the middle age, when the constitutional vigour first appears to decline, not resisting as usual the operation of cold, fatigue, and other occasional causes. This state is mostly accompanied with aph. thous ulcerations of the tongue and fauces, and a large secretion of frothy phlegm. Under this head also must be ranked the Febris aphtłosa, or Hectica aphtirosa, often put down in the succeeding lists. It commences with violent and repeated shiverings, succeeded by Aushes of heat ; with pains of the head, neck, and limbs; roughness of the throat ; a dark redness and enlargement of the papillæ of the tongue; likewise an enlargement of the veins of the uvula, tonsils. &c. The formation of aphthæ is immediately followed by a dryness of the tongue, clamminess of the mouth, nausea, hiccough, heat in the stomach, which is increased by medicines, wine, or food taken warm. A diarrhæa supervenes, in which the stools are of a dark brown colour, and often streaked with blood. The urine is at first clear, but has afterwards a curdly pink sediment, as in other hectic cases There is usually pain and deafness in one ear, with great pain and tenderness in the soles of the feet. A circumscribed redness appears on the checks towards evening, attended with a quick pulse, heat of the skin, slight delirium, and restlessness, During the day the patient is languid, and heavy, sometimes thirsty, with but little appetite. After the tongue, fauces, &c. have been healed, the aphthous ulcerations return again, with internal heat, general uneasiness, and the same train of symptoms as at first. By frequent relapses of this kind, the patient is often reduced to an ex. treme degree of debility, and emaciation; and the whole duration of the complaint is from five to twelve weeks. The cases of Hectic. put down in the last report for the year 1800, were mostly of the kind here described.'
We quote the following excellent remarks on the impropriety of bleeding in some cases of rheumatism, because this is a point respecting which many practitioners are still imperfectly informed :
The rheumatism but seldom occurs here under its genuine inflammatory form. It is attended, in many cases, with every mark of extreme debility ; with a weak and quick pulse, never less than 120; with sighing, fainting, or hysterical symptoms ; with spontaneous sweating, and milliary cruptions. Such a state is hinted at by Dr. Mus. grave, under the article of arthritis chlorotica; and was before men. tioned, as being occasionally connected with, or succeeded by the Hectica adolescentium (see page 19). On this statement it must appear that blood-letting is generally inadmissible. Some practictioners, however, continue to let blood in most cases of Acute Rheumatism, thinking themselves justified in their mode of practice by the sizy appearance of the blood. The same principle might Icad them to empty the whole sanguiferous system; for, every time blood-letting is repeated, the
blood blood becomes more and more dense, or sizy. I have farther oße served, that, by bleeding repeatedly, the pains, swellings, and fe. brile symptoms, were not only aggravated at the time, but often protracted indefinitely; at least I have seen them continue, under such a mode of practice, upwards of two months. The ill success of it probably first induced other practitioners to adopt an opposite plan ; when it was found that Peruvian bark, and vitriolated iron, or the precipitate of it combined with myrrh, as recommended by Dr. Griffiths, afforded both speedy and permanent relief.'
In treating of Chlorosis, Dr. Willan mentions that Dr. Grila fiths's well-known mixture is an effectual remedy for this disease, when assisted by exercise and proper regimen. He adds;
The result of this compound is a precipitation of iron from the vitriol, and the formation of a neutral salt. As the medicine, in a liquid form, is generally found offensive to the stomach, it must appear desirable to obtain separately the precipitate, which may be afterwards combined at pleasure with the salt, with myrrh, or any other ingredient, and made into pills Such a preparation of Iron I have been in the habit of prescribing ever since the year 1783, and believe that all medical practitioners, after having once given it a fair trial, would be disposed to employ it more frequently than any other Chalybeate. An opportunity of experiencing its good effects is afforded to every one, as it may now be had of the principal chemists in London, it is also prepared with great accuracy at Apothecaries' Hall, and sold there iinder the title of Ferrum Præcipitatum.'
We must refer to the work for Mr. Moore's account of the process by which the precipitate is obtained.
This collection might supply us with many interesting extracts : but we consider it as a book which ought to be in the possession of every attentive practitioner ; and, for this reason, we shall content ourselves with having quoted enough to exemplify the accuracy and candour which are displayed throughout by the author.
Art. XI. A Brief History of Epidemic and Pestilential Diseases,
with the Principal Phænomena of the Physical World, which pre-
Boards. Robinsons. 1800.
to supply a great desideratum in medicine. The connection of Epidemic diseases with the medical constitution and physical qualities of the atmosphere is a subject of the highest
interest, but unfortunately we are not yet prepared to investigate it with success. The paucity of skillful observers is more felt on this point, than even the miserable deficiency of facts. If, instead of building up unsubstantial systems, eminent physicians had employed themselves, like Hippocrates, Sydenham, and Huxham, in describing the vicissitudes of the seasons, and the succession of diseases, we should now have possessed valuable materials for the natural history of Epidemics. The object proposed still remains unaccomplished, for Mr. Webster's facts are neither collected nor stated with sufficient discrimination. His apology for this failure is that medicine is not his profession : but from this consideration he might have foreseen the deficiencies of his work.
In consequence of this want of elementary knowlege, Mr. Webster has attempted a distinction respecting Contagioni, which appears to us very unnecessary;
The words infection and contagion are nised by medical writers, and in popular custom, as synonymous, and their etymologies war. rant the practice. But I conceive there are distinctions in this qua. lity or power of diseases, of communicating themselves by contact or near approach, which require to have each its appropriate language.
That quality of a disease which communicates it from a sick to a well person, on simply inhaling the breath or effluvia from the person diseased, at any time and in any place, may be called specific contag:on. Such is the contagion of the small-pox and the measles, which are therefore called contagious diseases.
That quality of a disease which, though insalutary, will not communicate it without the aid of other causes, as warm weather, or peculiar situation, and habit of body, and which requires the healthful person to be for a considerable time under its influence to gfve it effect, may be called infection. Such is the quality of the plague in all its forms, dysentery, and all typhus fevers. It may, pero haps, be possible for the effuvia of those who have these diseases, to be so concentrated and virulent as to communicate them to a person in health, by a single inspiration of air into the lungs. But if such can be the case in any instance, it is not the ordinary state of those diseases. Even in the plague many attendants on the sick never receive the disease at all; and in most cases healthful persons may, for hours, breathe the air of the rooms where the patients are, without any injury.
Hence infection is capable of all degrees of activity and force, froin a slight impurity of air, which affccts no person in health, to that virulent state of air which will produce vomiting in a person suddenly exposed to it. Infection is usually rendered inactive by severe cold ; specific contagion is never destroyed, but often rendered more active by cold. Hence the winter in northern latitudes usually puts an end to the plague, but makes no favourable alteration in the small pox. There are some exceptions to this remark, as it re. gards the plague, which will be noticed in the following work,