Page images
PDF
EPUB

bè safely followed without any risk of injury in any case.. The explanations are, as little as is possible, embarrassed with an obscure and technical phraseology. There is no ostentatious display of physical skill, or rather of that medical ignorance, which a learned and sonorous vocabulary of terms is so often employed to conceal. The writer conmunicates what he knows in a simple, familiar, and unaffected way; and though he does not profess to be very erudite nor profound, yet he evidently knows as much as is requisite for those cases, wbich are of most general occurrence. In cases of great perplexity or difficulty, where the symptoms are very mysterious or contradictory, and the malady is difficult to be ascertained, the medical philanthropist who makes this dictionary his principal guide, will, un. doubtedly, do wise to have recourse to professional sagacity and experience. Dr. Reece is not a desperate adventurer in pharmacy; he is not a' kill or cure' physician : he knows that nature is usually hurt by violeat and abrupt transitions from oue state of sensation to another; and he neither ad. vocates the cause of sudden changes, nor of drastic drugs. His object in this work is to lay down such rules that the unprofessional practitioner in medicine, may be enabled to do some good, where good is to be done, without the danger of doing injury by herculean, but uncertain and speculative, remedies. We can therefore very safely recommend the purchase of this work to our clerical and other readers, who are anxious to alleviate the varied sufferings of their fellow-creatures, by the gratuitous and unfeed exertions of medical benevolence. The Medical Dictionary of Dr. Reece, is not only a plain and useful directory, but it has, at the saine time, the great advantage of being more cheap, more commodious, and inore portable, 'than any similar work with which we are acquainted, that details the modern practice of physic, and pretends to give any thing like a full and accurate representation of the varieties of disease, and the modes of cure.

As a specimen of this work,' we shall quote two articles : on two very common complaints-catarrh and cough. .: CATARRU consists in an increased secretion of mucus from the * membrane lining the nostrils, fauces, and often the lungs, attended with slight ferer, and cough. · It generally begins with a sense of stoppage in the nose, a dull pain, and a sense of weight in the forehead and stiffness in the motion of the eyes, and soon after a discillation of a thin fluid from the nose, and often the eyes, somewhat acrid, which constitute the complaint termed coryza, and, when the symptoms run high and the disease very prevalent infuenzur i - CRIT, Rey Vol. 16, January, 1309.

Cause of catarrh. "This disease is evidently the effect of cold, whicks, by checking the latural perspiration of the skin, produces a flux of Ruids to the membrane of the nose, and fauces and lungs. Of the treatment of catarrh. When the febrile symptoms are moderate, ic is only necessary to avoid exposure of the body to the cold,'and to abstain from animal food for some days; but when these symptoms run high, it will be proper to keep in bed, and to take frequently, some warm diluting drivk, as barley water, gruel, or weak white wine whey, for the purpose of promoting perspiration. Two table

spoonfuls of the following mixture may likewise be taken every three , - or four hours : take, of Almond Emulsion, siz ounces ;

Gum arabic powder, one drachm ; i Ipecacuan powder, six grains ;

Nitre powder, half a drachm;

Syrup of poppies, six drachms. Mix. • If the patient be affected with pains in the chest, and great dificulty of breathing, or disposed to consumption, the loss of blood from the arm, and the application of a blister to the side most affected, or over the breast bone should not be delayed. The diet should be low, and the beverage the almond emulsion, compound barley water, linseed or liquorice root tea.'

Cough. When cough occurs in a person of comsumptive habit,or børn of consumptive parents, or at the consumptive period of life, it requires more atiention than the patient is generally willing to allow. A blister to the breast bene, the loss of blood from the arm, the oce casional use of an aperient mixture and the cough mixture, low diet, and the use of Aunnel next the skin are all indispensably necessary to prevent organic disease of the lungs, ur chronic inflammation of the membrane lining the wind-pipe and bronchial ramifications, and the consequent morbid secretion of mucus, that constitute pulmonary consumption ; a very common termination of neglected coughs. For those chronic or habitual coughs to which many people are more or less subject every winter, attended with shortness of breath,weezing, and an expectoration of viscid phlegm, without pains in the chest or fever, the following mixture will proye very beneficial, in the dose of two table spoonfuls about every four hours. Take, of the emulsion of gum ummoniac, six ounces ; tinciure of squills, three drachmas spirit of hartshorn, two drachms ; paregoric elixir, sir drachms; purified honey, half an ounce.--Mix. The squill lozenge is also a very excellent medicine. When the cough is attended with swellings of the legs, paucity of urine, and great diffi. culty of breathing or lying down, three or four grains of oxy-phosphale of steel, made in a pill with a little honey, should also be taken twice a day; but as these are unfavourable indications, the advice of an experienced practitioner should be resorted to. For the cough of children from two months or upwarı!s, a gentle emetic of ipecacuan powder, administered every twenty-four hours, ge. nerally affords very considerable relief, and will often speedily cure it. If attended with great difficulty of breathing or pain on coughing,

a blister, or burgundy pitch plaister, should also be applied between the shoulders, or over the breast-bone, and a tea-spoonful of a linctus of almond oil and syrup of poppies, given three or four times a day. The almond emulsion is a very pleasant and excellent medicinal drink for children affected with cough ; it not only allays thirsty abates fever, and relieves the cough, but is so nutritious, that if a child takes more than a half pint in the course of a day it will require nothing else. Cough is also a symptom of pleurisy and in- ,, flammation of the lungs when it is attended with rigors, fever, and acute pains in the chest. Cough is also a symptom of dropsy in the chest, when it is attended with general debility of the system, often swelli:g of the legs especially towards night, great difficulty of breathing, and often a sense of suffocation when in an horizontal po. sition. Cough being symptomatic of such opposite affections of the lungs the danger of the general remedies (so industriously advertised by designing quacks), must appear obvious to the most ignorant. These medicines being composed of paregoric elixir,tincture of tolu, gum benzoin, &c, sold under plausible fictitious names,as the essence or balsam of some herb held in estimation for its supposed healing, powers, are a very serious imposition on the public ; their stimulating properties having no doubt often produced inflammation of lurbercles, and thus occasioned a fatal consumption. In simple catarrh they will produce pleurisy or inflammation of the lungs which by terminating in suppuration or mortification, destroys the life of the patient in a few hours, and even in chronic cough they are often hurtful by checking expectoration. It is a disgrace to the legislature that such impositions should be suffered to be practised with impunity. The lozenges sold under the name of tolu, patarosa, and paregoric, are, from their stimulating ingredients, improper in cases of recent cough ; they are likewise hurtful to the digestive organs by generating acidity in the stomach, and have a very injurious effect on the enamel of the teeth, which in scrophulous or rickety hạbits they either destroy or render black. Coughs, it must therefore be remembered, are not only the effects of obstructed perspiration, but proceed from various other causes, particularly in children, such as teething, bowel complaints,foul stomach, fever, &c.and are recurring symptoms in delicate habits. However coughs are generally considered a very trifling affection, every person acquainted with the delicate structure of the lungs must allow that they require the greatest attention and judgment in their treatinent. More people die in this country of cough than any other disease, which in its commencement might have been readily cured by the most simple medicine. Hæmoptoe, and consumption of the lungs are generally the consequences of neglected or ill treated conighs. Scarcely any disorder alarms the mind of the medical man more than cough, and hence, by attending to it on its first attack, medical men very rarely die of diseased lungs.'

'In many of the diseases of which Dr. Reece nas described

[ocr errors]

the nature and the cure he has very judiciously adverted to the treatment not only of the body but of the mind. The. mind is certainly a powerful agent not only in producing, but in mitigating and curing disease. The peculiar temperainent of the mind ought, therefore, to be an object of careful attention to the medical practitioner. Where the mind is perturbed by unruly passions, by glooiny and discoloured views of life,by the exaggeration of real, or the anticipation of fancied ills, where it is the prey of superstitious or hypochondriacal hallucinations, which are as frequently the cause as the consequence of corporeal debility, the vac ried combinations of pharmacy will be applied in vain. Many diseases may be cured by those who have the skill to administer solace to the mind, when cordials to the body will fail of their effect or only aggravate the malady, Thus the cures of quacks may often be ascribed to the power which they have the address to obtain over the imaginations of the ignorant. The body is hardly ever sick without the mind participating in the infirmity. Could we produce at will that pleasurable activity or quiescence of mind which is called hope, confidence, and the varied modifications of bene, volent propensity, we should find that we had in some instances wonderfully increased the efficacy of the drugs in the shops and in others diminished the necessity for their · use. Dr. Reece has therefore done very wisely to make

the state of the mind an object of attention in the core of disease. Some diseases, however corporeal they may seem, are entirely states of mind, which are indeed often productive of the most dangerous and incurable physical suffering and decay. We wish that this subject were more studied by the medical fraternity. To professional men Dr. Reece's Dictionary may be a useful manual for occasional reference and consultation; but we principally recommend the purchase of it to those for whom it is principally designed, the clergy and other benevolent persons who reside in the country, and are anxious to acquire a sufficient knowledge of pharınacy to enable them to do much good to their sick and suffering fellow creatures, at a small expense and without any risk.

Art. VI.- Account of the Life and Writings of James ;

Bruce, &c.&c. By Alexander Murray, F.A.S.E. Con
cluded from the last number of the C. K.
IN our last number we took no notice of the Appendix

Jargent from led wiiss.joute compoAbyssinovinces particuce

Arabia, Hable eneral map of time at the sourca map of

matter, which we to contains a gre

to this magnificent volume, which constitutes by far the largest part of its contents. Of this appendix, the letters

to and from Mr. Bruce occupy 154 pages, and 163 pages · · more are filled with the inscription on bis inonument,

with a list of the MSS. journals, common-place books, &c. from which his travels were composed ; a list of the Ethiopic MSS. which he brought from Abyssinia; a short geographical account of the Abyssinian provinces ; a short view of the Abyssinian court and government, a particu-, lar account of the Ethiopic MSS. from which Mr. Bruce composed the history of Abyssinia ; extracts from his journals and MSS. relative to his travels in Abyssinia and Nubia; a vocabulary of the Ambaric, Falashan, Gabat,. Agow, andTcheret Agava languages, a vocabularyof the Gulla language, with 20 plates engraved by Heath, containing principally articles of natural history, with a map or plan of two attempts to arrive at the sources of the Nile, and a general map of Mr. Bruce's travels in Egypt, Arabia, Habbesh, and Nubia. Hence it will immediately appear that the appendix- to this work contains a great deal of interesting matter, which we feel much obliged to Mr. Murray for having brought together in such a splendid volume.

It will be impossible for us to analyze the whole appendix which is formed of such scattered and disjointed materials ; all that we can do is to make selections from such parts as are most likely to interest the general reader. - Reviews are not designed so much for profound scholars or philosophers, as for the general mass of the people, whom they may at once edify and amuse, whose knowledge they may enlarge, whose taste they may refine, or whose vacant hours they may agreeably employ. And even those, who lower the highest above the conimon level of their contemporaries, may be interested in a re. view which exhibits an impartial, though necessarily im. perfect account of what is doing or what bas been lately done, in the literary world.

Among the letters in the appendix the first which we shall notice is, one from Mr. Bruce to his father, written soon after his return from Paris in 1754, where he had buried his wife who was then three months gone with child. This letter is a warm and artless'effusion of grief, oce casioned by the calainity which he had lately experienced, and accompanied with those sensations of despondency, which . though they may be the transient, are yet the constant inmates of that busom, which is not chilled with

o, Mr. Murray

endis

all that ost likely. Thed so

« PreviousContinue »