Page images

ultimately successful. Neither in this nor the preceding case did any material injury arise to the mental or corporeal functions, from the obliteration of the artery.

The next case, in which Mr. Collier tyed the external Iliac, in order to remove an Aneurism of the Femoral Artery, ended unfavourably; though the operation itself seems to have been performed without any peculiar difficulty. Shortly afterward, however, the patient grew irritable and restless, with excessive pain and a sense of coldness; the limb became gangrened; and on the fourth day he expired. No obvious cause appeared, sufficient to account for this event.

In the fifth volume of these Transactions, some observations by Dr. Somerville were inserted, on the Diuretic Effects of the Pyrola umbellata, and in the present volume we have some additional remarks on the medical properties of this plant by Professor Barton of Philadelphia. It is stated that a black colour of the urine is occasionally produced by using the pyrola, a fact which has been observed with respect to the Uva ursi ; and in some other points a resemblance appears between the operation of these plants, as there is between their sensible

qualities and botanical characters. Dr. Travers, of Newark, relates a case in which the Ossification of the Larynx obstructed Deglutition, and caused the death of the patient. The state of the parts was ascertained by an examination after death, of which the following is the result:

The cricoid and árytenoid cartilages were much increased in size, and completely converted into bone; by pressing upon the csophagus an obstruction was offered to the passage of food, and a distinct circular line was seen upon the posterior part of the cesophagus, occasioned by the pressure of the cricoid cartilage, both above and below the obstructed part. The oesophagus was natural in appearance.

The remaining cartilages concerned in forming the larynx and trachea appeared in a slight degree to partake of the same morbid change. The thyroid gland was not increased in size, but it was firmer than usual, and many small depositions of bone were distributed throughout its substance.

Dr. Somerville then details (in Latin) some curious particulars concerning the anatomical Structure of the Hottentot

, and especially the singular Conformation of the female Genitals, for which we shall refer to the original. Nothing appears in the habits or customs of the people which can account for this peculiarity. - Mr. Morel relates an interesting case of a Gunshot-Wound of the Shoulder-joint, in which the shoulder having been severely injured, and amputation of the limb being the only remedy, a considerable part of the os humeri, including the head of the bone, was removed. The operation was

[ocr errors]

easily performed, and the result justified the experiment. After an interval of six weeks, this report was made:

The wound requires no further dressing, and the man is in excellent health. The distance between the cup of the scapula, and the extremity of the humerus, is not more than an inch and a half. On measuring the arm from the top of the acromion to the points of the elbow, the difference between it and the other arm is. about one inch and a fourth. There is a little motion in the shoulder, but all the variety of motions of which the fore-arm and hand are capable are preserved, and he is daily acquiring more strength. .. I have within the last month seen the man: he is completely recovered, and has the perfect use of his fore-arm and hand.'

In the Philosophical Transactions for 1811, Mr. Brodie gave an account of some experiments, from which he attempted to subvert the chemical theory of animal heat by shewing that, when the brain has been destroyed, heat ceases to be evolved, although respiration is artificially kept up, and the blood is made to undergo the usual change in passing through the lungs; the inference drawn from which experiments was, that the nervous power is essential to the production of animal heat. Mr. Earle now endeavours to corroborate the opinion of Mr. Brodie by some pathological observations, (Cases and Observations illustrating the Influence of the nervous System,) in which the paralysis or destruction of a nerve had the effect of permanently lowering the temperature of the muscles to which it was distributed. It seems also that these parts are less able to bear the vicissitudes of temperature, and that they are more liable to inflammation and consequent gangrene, from an excessive degree either of heat or of cold, than parts which possess their natural connection with the nervous system. We consider the point as one that cannot be decided, except by a more full deduction of facts, and by a greater number of experiments than have hitherto been performed: but, in the mean time, we feel the value of the remarks that have been made, and regard them as tending to the elucidation of one of the most mysterious functions of the animal economy.

Some sensible observations ensue by Mr. Brodie, on the Treatment of varicose Veins of the Legs. In certain diseases of the lower extremities, the enlarged state of the veins is an insurmountable obstacle to the recovery, and it has been proposed to divide or tye the large trunks in order to obliterate them. This plan has been successful in some instances, but in others serious consequences have ensued from the inflammation excited in the vessel, so as to present a formidable, M 2


obstacle to the operation. Mr. B. has found material benefit, , on some such occasions, without any corresponding disadvantage, by tyeing the varicose branches instead of the trunk itself; and he concludes with these observations:

• From the result of the foregoing and of many other cases, I am induced to conclude, that the operation which has been described, may be frequently employed with great advantage to the patient. At the same time I wish to be understood as recommending the adoption of it, not indiscriminately, but with a due attention to the circumstances of each individual case.

The cases for which it is fitted, are, not those in which the veins of the leg generally are varicose, or in which the patient has little or no inconvenience from the complaint, but those in which there is considerable pain referred to a particular varix, or in which hæmorrhage is liable to take place from the giving way of the dilated vessels, or in which they occasion an irritable and obstinate varicose ulcer.'

To this paper succeeds an account of the last Illness and Death of Prof. Saussure, related by Dr. Odier. The history is minute and rather diffuse, and it would be difficult to give a short abstract of it but in general it may be remarked that the Professor laboured under two sets of symptoms, one which seemed connected with a discase of the nervous system, and the other with a morbid condition of the abdominal viscera; and, by an examination after death, both the brain and the intestines were found to be considerably deranged in their structure.As an appendix to this paper, Dr. Marcet gives an account of some circumstances connected with the complaints of the late Dr. Ferguson; which are interesting as they afford an example of an individual who, after a severe attack of hemiplegia, at the age of 50, recovered his health, chiefly by a very strict attention to regimen, and lived in the full enjoyment of his faculties for forty-three years.

We have next a paper from Mr. Kinder Wood, containing an account of a very singular Case of Chorea Sancti Viti, not very unlike one in the last volume of these Transactions; in which a woman, of a sane mind and of adult age, experienced an irresistible propensity to dance about the house in the most extraordinary manner. Except the singularity of the fact, we observe no circumstance, as far as the external evidence is concerned, which should cause us to doubt the correctness of the narration-Particulars concerning the Structure of a monstrous Foetus, by Prof. Maunoir of Geneva. The following paragraph contains a perspicuous description of this singular production:

« In order to obtain a correct idea of the form of this singular being, we must imagine two female fætuses, each divided trans


versely into two portions; the one containing the greater part of the trunk, the head, and pectoral extremities, and the other consisting of the pelvis and the pelvis extremities. We must then suppose the operation of some blind power tending to repair this injury, and to reunite all the parts that had been separated; but which, instead of bringing each portion in contact with the corresponding part from which it had been divided, had united the trunk of the one with the trunk of the other, and the pelvis of the one with the pelvis of the other; so as to form, on the one hand, an individual composed of a very irregular kind of trunk, with two heads and four pectoral extremities : and on the other, a being consisting of two pelves, and four pelvic extremities. Lastly, we must conceive this latter being united to the former by. being placed transversely upon it on its back, just as a sack of corn is laid on the back of a mule.'

The state of the individual parts of the internal structure is minutely described, and illustrated by an engraving.-- We have then another communication by Mr. Wood, containing the History of a Cure of the Cesarean Operation ; which, like all other similar cases in this country, proved fatal. To this succeed some observations by Mr. Wardrop, on the Laceration of the Fibres of the Muscles, particularly of the external Gastrocnemius ; and the volume concludes with some remarkable facts respecting the effect of the internal Use of the Nitrate of Silver in blackening the Colour of the Skin, by Dr. Albers of Bremen, with some additional facts by Dr. Roget. From this joint communication, the point seems to be clearly established that, occasionally, after the long continued enployment of this substance in small doses, the skin acquires at first a bluish and at length almost a black hue.

The blood does not appear to be affected, and there is reason to believe that the membrane of Malpighi is the part in which the alteration of colour is produced.

ART. VI. The Study and Practice of the Law considered, in their

various Relations to Society. In a Series of Letters. By John Raithby, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barrister at Law.

Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 461. 125. Boards. Cadell and Davies. WE E were stopped in entering on the perusal of this book by

two rather squeamish advertisements, under the name of prefaces, which lay in our way at the threshold. On advancing, however, we found ourselves entertained with a very goodly appearance of sound sense, habited in very becoming and in some respects even eloquent diction.

We were accordingly led to survey the whole performance with more attention than we were at first disposed to think it deserved ; M 3


and we mean to present our readers with a somewhat larger sampe of it than we once surmised could contribute either to their amusement or their profit.

The members of none of the professions have maintained a more respectable character than the barristers of this country; and, whatever imputations may lie against some of the inferior member of a court of law, the gentlemen of the bar and the higher practitioners have never been charged with any of the arts of chicanery, or petty-fogging. This greater purity of character is partly owing, no doubt, to their farther removal from temptation, in consequence of their less frequent communication in any direct manner with their clients, and their exemption from all those petty details of circumstances which it is so much the interest of those who live by them to involve and extend. It is also partly owing to the long unproductive attendance which most young advocates, for good and obvious reasons, must undergo before they advance into practice ; – a delay which, by implying possession of the means of a becoming subsistence during this barren novitiate, implies such a state of worldly circumstances, and such connections in society, as are friendly to sentiments of honour and just principles of conduct. We think, however, that it is chiefly to be ascribed to the liberal and comprehensive course of education which success at the bar, and the prospects united with it, demand. A knowlege of the mere technical parts of the science is doubtless indispensable; or, rather, the more intimate is the barrister's acquaintance with them, so much the more is his advantage: but there is a far higher knowlege with which his mind must be intimately imbued ;--- which views all form, whether consisting in technical phraseology, in arrangements for the conduct of process, in structure of deeds, or in any other part of the profession, as the creature and handmaid of science, and as arising out of, and altogether auxiliary to, her loftier purposes ; -- which regards law as a great moral institute, intended to perfect the principles of our fellow-subjects through the medium of their practical intercourse with one another, not as a mere instrument of attack or defence, conferring reputation and emoluments in proportion to the dexterity with which it is wielded ;—which, by rendering every other subject of inquiry tributary to itself, imparts to the mind a freedom and vigour unknown to narrower studies; -- and which, by the unalterable connection between comprehensiveness of view and the love of virtue, exalts the conduct and purifies the heart of its possessor. This higher knowlege is the result of the liberal course of education to which we have alluded. Classical learning, by which



« PreviousContinue »