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»f application, rarely employed for such purposes by modern poets ; as the simile, in particular, though a. favourite 6gurp with the greatest bards .of foxmel- ages, is almost exploded by our contemporaries. We shall quote two of Mrs. West's, as elegant specimens of her still and taste in such embellishments. The following description of the gradual labours of education, is a striking example, of a negative comparison.
'Patient shall she toil,
There is something to our mind truly sublime and awfully affecting, in the simile, or rather parallel, that concludes th» following melancholy tribute of the Miise to the memory of Lady Maria Micklethwaite.
'Come, strew with flowers the bridal-path, and wake
A widow'd mother's comforter and friend,
Its blood and virtues on some honour'd house,
'So when the fall'n Ematbian race through Rom*
There is a short but elegant illustration of modesty, tJuft Reserves notice.
'Modest flowers adorn
It is not without reluctance that we omit a fine passage, written with peculiar delicacy, on a very exquisite and tender subject;—when the disinterested principle of self-sacrifice, which we have extolled as the chief glory of. the mother in the earliest infancy of her child, is again* tried, perhaps yet more painfully, when her daughter, grown up in her own. image; and fulfilling all her hopes, allows a stronger passion than filial piety to usurp her bosom, and yields to a .lover that hand which hitherto had been devoted supremely to minister to a parent's enjoyments. »
We should not forget to say that the poem is divided into five books—Infancy—Religious Instruction—Education—Separation from' Children--Maternal Sorrows. We think that the author warms and mends as she proceeds: there is a great deal of dry digression in the three first parts; b^t in the two Jatter there is an overbalancing proportion of powerful and pathetic interest. Fortune does not always favour the bravo in verse, and poefs are seldom the most successful, when they aye the most daring. The address which Mrs. W. has most absurdly put into the mouth of* the newborn infant to its mother, (p. 17.) would much better have come from the lips of its grandfather We have marked some inexcusably rude lines, which however it is needless to particularize.
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Art. IX. A Treatise on Medical Police, and on Diet, Regimen, £sV. In which the permanent and regularly recurring Causes of Disease in general, and those pf Edinburgh and London in particular, are described; with a general Plan pf Medical Police to obviate them, and a particui lar one adapted to the local Cirpumstanc.es of these Cities. By John Roberton,M. D. % Vols. 8vo. price l£s. Bqyce and Co. Edinburgh; Murray. 1809. . ■ ,
TN an introductory chapter of fifty-three pages, Dr. Ro
.* bertort has given an affecting description of some of
the evils which he wishes to alleviate, and sketched an
Outline of the, plan which he has to suggest for the pur
Sose. He .observes, with great truth, that $ the Bills of lortality, however defective and inaccurate, demonstrate the awful truth, that few of the human race die of old age, or natural decay; and that by far the greater proportion are, put off by diseases induced by'want of care, and propagate^ ky want of attention both to themselves and.their inferior* jjn society.' p. IS. .,
A full investigation into the causes of this melancholy fact, would be indeed of inestimable value; but when we consider how much the moral and physical condition of the human race re-act upon each other, and how intimately they are connected together, it would evidently be an undertaking of no common difficulty, and would require talents of a high, order, together with very extensive opportunities of observation and inquiry. A very great proportion, however, of the suffering and mortality which cast so deep a shade upon, the picture jof human life, may undoubtedly be traced to physical causes ; and it is to the developement and arrangement of these, that the medical philosopher may be expected most successfully to direct his attention. A great deal has "indeed been already done on this subject; facts and observations are every where to be found in the writings of medical men, and abundant materials are at hand', ready for collectionand arrangement. With respect to, the work before Us, it is evidently the production of an individual, possessing an ardently benevolent mind, and anxious to improve the condition of his fellow creatures, but not always under the direction of that strict logical discipline and severe discrimination, which are indispensably necessary to the successful pursuit of moral or physical inquiry. There is too great a want of judicious proportion in its subordinate divisions, and many subjects of great importance are passed over with yery hasty and insufficient notice 5 while others, of less general interest, areas disproportionately extended. The chapter^ of Soil,' for example, as a general cause of disease, extends to thirty-eight pages; while the corresponding one, on •* Police for Soil,' is dismissed in four, of which the most remarkable feature is, a recommendation to introduce limestone into those districts where it is not found, because Gibr raltar, which is a lime-stone rock, and some towns in North America built of lime-stone, are remarkably healthy ;,and ■because calcareous materials used for the purpose-of building, paving, &c. have been found of the greatest service, in sup,, ^pressing contagious distempers!! The interesting subject of the various ' Occupations' of civil society as a source of dis?ease, is comprised in eight pages; anil the corresponding chapter, intitled 'Police for Occupations,' fills about a page and a quarter! It may not be improper to observe that the term police is used by our author in a sense very remote from that to which it is in general restricted, as expressive of municipal regulation sanctioned by legislative authority; be uses it generally, as expressive of any plan for the reft&vai or prevention rif the causes of disease, whether in tended to be carried into effect under the sanction bf municipal •trAority or not; an application of the word, in which we presntrie fie' JsnWl likely'to have many followers..
The nature arid extent of the work wili be sufficiently oxJ*1ai ned by the following extract.
i The wort wifi be'divided into three Books; die first of which isgeoeraf> and the others particular.
.' 'The first bock is divided into two parts; the first of which allude* fe the sources' of disease, and the second to the modes of preventing or bf obviating them. The first part is divided into three chapters; of which the first two explain the causes, the third the reasonings upon these causes, and the diseases produced. The natural causes are soil, Climate, and situation. The artificial causes are the construction of houses, occupations, modes of living, and manners in general. ''.The tecond part is divided into two chapters. In the first of which is explained plans of police, by which diseases arising from the foregoing causes may be prevented. The second includes the practical methods by jvhich the diseases themselves may be remedied. Observations more or less, minute, atcbtding to their importance, respecting these plans of police, for each individual subject previously considered, shall form the . various sections of the first of these chapters, arranged cxacdy in the order to which the* subjects have been detailed.
* Book second is precisely a counterpart of book first, and all the principles detailed in it are particularly applied to the local circumstances of Edinburgh. Book third is also a precise counterpart of book first, and ill the principles detailed in it are particularly applied to London.' p. xlix.
It is evident, that, to do complete justice to so extensive «t subject, must require no inconsiderable diligence, and an extensive, acquaintance with the most eminent writers on medical subjects; but it strikes us as an unpardonable defect In the work before us, that there is a total want of reterebees to the authorities^ from which the facts and observe tions have been collected. The names of some of the most eminent ornaments of the medical profession, are indeed oc(eiisiohally introduced in the test as authorities for a specific fact, but never with any accurate reference to the work or -page fVom whence the observation has been obtained. This, ^perhaps, tmy render the work of less real value only with one &ass bf readersi but still it has a general effect in diminishing its respectability, and produces upon the mind of an intelligent reader much the same effect that hearsay evidence doe* tfpon that of an intelligent jury. We do not however intend &y aoy irruans to detract from the real merits of the work. it will be f»uwd to contain a very respectable mass of iirfbr* 'matron, on niariy questions bf general importance ; it exhit>ft& hltnoft perpetual pwoft of amiable and benevolent feel* ifl'fe add fcori«ftt principle ; and, thon^h there are many subordinate points on which we should differ in opinion, yet its
flews trray for the linWpt part be" safely recommended to gene^ ral adopti6n. As a work intended for popular instruction, the object of the author is laudable; though wfe cannot venture to. express an opinion that it is in any ^real decree attainable. The prevention of disease is certainly an object of importance to every individual and to every community; and on this subject the more the public mind can be enlightened, the better. It is as absurd to expect that every man can become his own physician as his 6Wn lawyer} but it is both a rational .and desirable object to make every person, iwafe bt the Hanger's' tof Which Iffe and health are perpetually exposed, and to feach those, who are already in possession of the greatest of all temporal blessings, by what means it may be preserved and improved.
We select the fdltovvirig extract as a specimen of the ftiithof's style arid manner, not from the novelty of the observations it contains, but from their real value.
* Not to load tile digestive organs by too large qbatteties,' or iftft poper qualities, either of food or dfif/k, is a matter of the very gfeaf* est importance. We ought never to indulge in" either of these, so as even to render us in the slightest degree unfit for business^ exercise, of pleasure of any kind. Thus we may preserve our minds in a vigorous* tranquil, happy state, capable of enjoying the various pleasures* H'hich this wgrld can afford; we are happy in ourselves, and diffuse the same spirit to all around us. Our sleep is tranquil; our dreams agreeable, and we awake refreshed and contented. Different is the fate of him who attends not to such things: He has little serenity of mind, and no lasting enjoyment. It is only while gorging himself With various kinds of food, and indulging in inebriating fidtiohs, that. tie experiences momentary delight, and this only lasts at most, for a ieW years. At other times he is irascible^ impatient, and discontented It ft / then he ply's the various provokers of appedte, that he may again erijdy as beforte momentary relief, and thus gradually, but surely and entirely, de<etroys the digestive functions; We're We only to drink when We are thirsty* desist when thirst is quenched; eat when we are hungry* and desist when our appetitfc Is satisfied, perhaps one half, if not greatly more of our most trouGlesome complaints would never be heard of.' Vol. Jl» P..7.1. .
The following extract from thex Recapitulation, and Condtji sion,' will enable oor readers to fomi some estimate of the mode of preventing diseases, especially infectious ones, which the views of our author would lead him to recommend and enforce.
1 A couhefl of heaWi bu^rt to be Ssteftlfsned, existing W sbhie^f tReprincipal "members of tSelegtstatUre.'so'ffle.'oflfre "chief magistrates c\ 'each citV, atid several medical attendants; anil this bbcry should be "en. %sfe'd wU-h sucli poweri Si ifnigtiV enable it to see iafl' ns Orders ekei. cuted with impartial justice, as well as that"n'ft 'uWneCelsary hardships be, under any pretence, inflicted. This body ought to appoint inspectors of