« PreviousContinue »
lation, of the fibres, (by which the offending fiziness of the humours may be attenuated) it reftores infenfible perspiration to its ufual falutary degree.
It were but too eafy to give feveral inftances, befide the few hinted, in which the language of this pamphlet (for we are not fpeaking of its ftyle) differs both from the true idiom and grammar of the English wrote and fpoke in Middlefex, &c. But fome allowance perhaps should be made for the habit of a provincial dialect, and manner of expreffion; efpecially in a gentleman, who seems to have attended more to his bufinefs, than his language. He will be deemed we imagine, upon the whole, by his competent medical Readers, a confiderate man, and a fafe useful practitioner. This may fufficiently content a writer, who avers that, if his endeavours fhould prove of the leaft fervice to either profeffor or patient, fufficient recompence will recur to the Author.' But we should obferve here, that by profeffor, this gentleman certainly meant any other phyfical, and perhaps, country practitioner; and never imagined his work could illuminate the academical profeffors of any branch or department in phyfics, in any of our universities.
A Review of the London Difpenfatory. Wherein are confidered the Inconfiftencies of fome Medicines, and the real merit of others. Addrejed to the College of Phyficians. 8vo. 1 s. 6d. Cooke.
HIS Addreffer will lofe no credit, we imagine, by fuppreffing his name; fince at whatever rate he may estimate his own abilities, his Readers will generally fuppofe them exceeded by his ill manners. His title page gave us fome hopes of fuch a degree of candour, as might be exercifed in cenfuring, where there was real occafion for it, like a friend and a gentleman. But his manner of reprehending is extremely abrupt, dogmatic, and arrogant; and proves the lefs tolerable, as his ftrictures, in our opinion, are far from being conftantly right. To evince this, we fhall compare a few of his very laconic ones, (whofe brevity is fometimes their only recommendation) with the judgment of a medical writer, who is allowed to have given fatiffactory proofs of his pharmaceutical and chemical abilities, as well as of his intimate acquaintance with the Materia Medica.
Our Author's ftricture, then, on the antifcorbutic juices, is thus fnarled out; - Not fit for a Difpenfatory prefcription, or to keep in the fhop.' Now though it is inconteftible that the fresh juices, when procurable in their feafon, are preferable;
yet as the inveterate and chronical disease, against which they are calculated, prevails too often when they are not fo procurable, must the afflicted fcorbutics be debarred from them in, the best state in which they are to be had? The accurate Editor of the improved edition of Quincy fays of thefe juices, p. 244, (after having fpecified the best method of expreffing and keeping them 243) Preferved with the cautions above mentioned, they will keep good for a confiderable time; though whatever care be taken, they are found to answer better when fresh.' Of the Extract of Elecampane, the namclefs Addreffer gives us his af furance, and pretty confidently indeed, thus, This is the worft extract among the whole.'-The gentleman just before cited fays, p. 249, This extract retains a great share of the virtues of the root, (which he had juftly recommended, p. 126) its tafte is fomewhat warm, and not ungratefully bitterish.' It is true this phyfician thinks this extract made from a fpirituous menftruum rather more efficacious. Of the Extract of Jalap our Addreffer, very egotistically, decrees, I know of no advantage this has over the powder.' It is credible however, that a very different Writer will be thought to know fomething more on this fubject, when he fays, p. 250, of the book already cited,
This extract is an ufeful purgative, preferable to the crude root, as being of more uniform ftrength; and as the dufe, by the rejection of the woody parts, is rendered fmaller the mean dofe is twelve grains.'-This is common and medical sense to gether, which Hippocrates obferves to be fo frequently united. Any apothecary who has feen jalap, muft fee what different proportions of refin (its purging principle) are contained in different flices or parcels of the root; and the greater naufeousnefs of fwallowing nearly a threefold weight of the powder.-The milder common Cauftic, this Reformer pronounces Beneath all critici'm.' But may not a very tender fubject, with a thinner fkin, and more intolerant of pain, who would not submit to the ftronger cauftic, be prevailed on to fubmit to this, when neceffary? He affirms of the Salt of Vitriol, p. 15, that it is only used externally,' but we have frequently known it given, even to children, as a fafe and gentle puke; and as its operation is next to inftantaneous, and that of a moderate proper dofe quickly over, it may be peculiarly eligible, immediately after fwallowing any poifon, or taking an excefive dofe of opium, whether by mistake or with defign. Under the article of Spirit of Sal Ammoniac, he thus compliments the collegiate compilers of the London Difpenfatory- The London Difpenfatory was collected by thofe who never, in my opinion, made a medicinę in their lives. Now tho', ftrictly as phyficians, the manual compofition of medicines is not their province; yet, as accomplished phyficians, they cannot confiftently be ignorant of the general
principles of pharmacy, nor of chemistry: and we conceive our Author will not prevail on many competent Readers, to join in this very illiberal charge of ignorance, on fuch refpectable perfons as thefe compilers muft decently be prefumed. Of the Salt of Steel he very caninely growls out, nothing more than green vitriol or copperas.' But Dr. Lewis, to whom our Author is fo often and fo filently obliged, affirms, p. 301, The falt of steel is one of the most efficacious preparations of this metal.'
It were not candid however to omit that our Author is fometimes difpofed to fhort intervals of indulgence; for after his
not thinking there is any occafion for a fpirituous as well as fimple alexiterial water from the fame plants,' he graciously nods out at last, It may however ftand." So that if he should not prove even a Licentiate in Phyfic, it is plain he has appointed himself a Licencer of Medicines. The compound Anifeed Water, he obferves, is very difagreeable. Dr. Lewis terms it, p. 381, a
very elegant Anifeed Water, the angelica feeds greatly improving 'the flavour of the anife.' Of the Cardamom feed water our Li.cencer remarks, The greater part of the virtue of the cardamom feed is not extracted by diftillation with spirit.' But Dr. L. p. 382, calls this a grateful, cordial, carminative water, the cardamom feeds giving over, in this procefs, the whole of their flavour;' indeed. he does not fay their whole virtue. They feem to agree however in preferring the fimple Pepper-mint water to the fpirituous, which, the Dr. fays, is not near fo ftrong of the herb, though diftilled from an equal quantity of it. But they differ, toto cælo, about Viper-broth, which Dr. L. fays, p. 394, is a very nutritious and restorative food, and, continued for a length of time, has fometimes done good in leprous and other obftinate cutaneous diseases:' while our dictatorial Author decides, that it has no advantage over chicken-broth; and that, from fuch medicines as thefe, phyfic has fallen into great difrepute.' He graciously ratifies the Chalk and Mufk julaps juft in four words, 'may be still continued.' After having commended the fyrups of quinces, of lemon-juice, of mulberries, and very laconically confirmed the cautions of the college about making fyrup of diacodium [which feems to repeal his former edict about their total ignorance of pharmacy] he says, the Syrup of Sugar is the moft ufeful in the whole.' Nevertheless he, immediately after, thus fubfcribes to that of Ginger, A very good addition,' and to Syrup of Violets, A very pretty one for children.' The Oxymel of Garlic he abfolutely profcribes, as too indelicate for any prefcription. Of this however Dr. L. fays, it is doubtless a medicine of confiderable efficacy, though very unpleafant.' But perhaps our pharmaceutical Coryphous cannot difpenfe with the flavour of a fhallot himfelf; and would not allow even a coughing
Spaniard, in our raw phlegmatic winter, a little of this oxymel. Yet were a difagreeable taste or scent fufficient to expunge every fuch drug from the Materia Medica, what must be done with aloes, afla-foetida, valerian, and many more very efficacious ones? His abhorrence of cummin feeds is nearly as great as that of garlick; thefe good carminatives however may be fufficiently comforted with the approbation of the pigeons. He forbids fyrup of buckthorn, except in glyfters, from the fame delicate principle; though Sydenham thought, in his younger days, he had found in it a fpecific for dropfies; and indeed in fuch a chronical disease, while the conftitution is still moderately athletic, it is not without its ufe. Befides, de guftibus non eft difputandum. Of Egyptiacum this Author [whom we do not chufe to affront with the ironical appellation of a Gentleman] fays, rather more diffufively than ufual, This is a very inelegant preparation of little ufe and lefs virtue' fubjoining in Italics, only fit for the phyficians horfes heels, and for them provided, I fuppofe :" -But the poor horfes, as well as their proprietors, muft take a fmack of this Flagellator's lafh; though we may certainly term this cruel feverity, as Horace fays, Ærugo mera.
Having thus curforily reviewed full two thirds of this Reviewer's Addrefs, we have no doubt but our Medical Readers will think the foregoing fpecimen of it a very fufficient one. It is manifeft this Momus fat down with a profeffed purpose to rail and reprehend as much as poffible; his interfperfed commendation of fome articles being too probably intended to procure himfelf the character of an impartial eftimator, and thence to make his coarfe, inelegant, and frequently unwarrantable reflections fink the deeper. Certainly however, after the commendations he has here and there beftowed on a few of their prescriptions (though fometimes fo expreffed, as to make his readers dubious whether they are serious or ironical) it gives the College and the Public a right to enquire, who this individual Carper is, that hath thus erected himself into a Medical Inquifitor, a Cenfurer of Cenfors? If his real knowledge and merit are equivalent to what he affumes, it must redound to his honour to inform the world, where fuch an oracular fage is fituated; and by what human appellation he chufes to be dreaded hereafter. Neverthelefs, a majority of the gentlemen, whom he ftrains hard to depreciate, may probably entertain a ftill lefs formidable idea of his Galenical abilities than ourselves; and conclude, that a very moderate attention to all thefe documents, from an enemy, will fufficiently apprize them of the utmost he can teach: except their utter filence, to his many animadverfions here, fhould provoke him to a speedy publication of that faultlefs, or incorrigi ble Difpenfatory, we may prefume he has long been meditating..
An Account of the firft Settlement, Laws, Form of Government, and Police of the Cefares, a People of South-America. In Nine Letters, from Mr. Vander Neck, one of the Senators of that Nation, to his Friend in Holland. With Notes by the Editor. 8vo. is. 6d. Payne.
THEN we confider how very fimple and obvious the ends of civil Government are, it feems ftrange that fo many various forms of policy fhould have been inftituted, and that fo few have approached any tolerable degree of perfection, while the far greater part have been diametrically oppofite to what ought to have been the defign of their inftitution. But when we reflect on the baneful influence of the selfish affections of mankind, we shall not wonder, that the art of Government ftill remains in this deplorable ftate of imperfection.
It is not owing to the ignorance of Legiflators that good and equal laws were never inftituted in any State. But it arifes from wilful errors in the original frame of political conftitutions, or to accidental revolutions, which establish an intereft in the Governors, fuperior to, and distinct from, the interest of the verned.
At the first institution of civil Governments, whether they are fuppofed to be established by ufurpation or compact; that is, in other words, whether they are defpotic or comparatively free, the intereft of the Rulers is the first, or at least too much the principal object of policy. If they are founded on ufurpation, the Ufurper maintains by terror what he acquires by force: and thus fear, as Mountefquieu obferves, is the principle of defpotifm. If they are eftablifhed by compact, the people are apt to compliment the Magiftrate in whom they confide, with too great a fhare of power and influence.
As it is the nature of Power to be encroaching, the Rulers watch all opportunities, and take advantage of every circumftance, to extend their sway. Encroachments of this nature sometimes pafs in filence, nay, perhaps, are countenanced by the public voice of a deluded multitude, till at length they are claimed as prerogatives, and confirmed as part of the conftitution, under the fanction of fevere penalties.
Thus the generality of Governments feem to be founded on the reasoning of Thrafymachus in Plato's Republic, who there defines Juftice to be," That which is for the intereft of the Superior."
When fuch systems, however, are once eftablifhed, various