Page images
PDF
EPUB

gram

lation, of the fibres, (by which the offending fiziness of the humours may be attenuated) it restores insensible perspiration to its usual falutary degree.

It were but too easy to give several instances, beside the few hinted, in which the language of this pamphlet (for we are not speaking of its style) differs both from the true idiom and mar of the English wrote and spoke in Middlesex, &c. But some allowance perhaps should be made for the habit of a provincial dialect, and manner of expression ; especially in a gentleman, who seems to have attended more to his business, than his language. He will be deemed we imagine, upon the whole, by his competent medical Readers, a considerate man, and a safe useful practitioner. This may sufficiently content a'writer, who avers that, —- if his endeavours should prove of the least service to either professor or patient, sufficient recompence will recur to the Author.'

But we should observe here, that by professor, this gentleman certainly meant any other physical, and perhaps, country practitioner; and never imagined his work could illuminate the academical profesors of any branch or department in physics, in any of our universities.

K.

T.

A Review of the London Dispensatory. Wherein are considered the

Inconsistencies of some Medicines, and the real merit of others. Addressed to the College of Physicians. 8vo. Is. 6 d. Cooke.

HIS Addresser will lose no credit, we imagine, by sup

pressing his name; since at whatever rate he may estimate his own abilities, his Readers will generally suppose them exceeded by his ill manners. His title page gave us some hopes of fuch a degree of candour, as might be exercised in censuring, where there was real occasion for it, like a friend and a gentleman. But his manner of reprehending is extremely abrupt, dogmatic, and arrogant; and proves the less tolerable, as his strictures, in our opinion, are far from being constantly right. To evince this, we shall compare a few of his very laconic ones, , (whose brevity is sometimes their only recommendation) with the judgment of a medical writer, who is allowed to have given satisfactory proofs of his pharmaceutical and chemical abilities, as well as of his intimate acquaintance with the Materia Medica.

Our Author's stricture, then, on the antiscorbutic juices, is thus snarled out;- Not fit for a Dispensatory prescription, or to keep in the shop.' Now though it is incontestible that the fresh juices, when procurable in their season, are preferable ;

yes yet as the inveterate and chronical disease, against which they are calculated, prevails too often when they are not so procurable, must the afflicted scorbutics be debarred from them in the best state in which they are to be had ? The accurate Editor of the improved edition of Quincy says of these juices, p. 244, (after having specified the best method of expressing and keeping them 243) Preserved 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 nameless Addresler gives us his affurance, and pretty confidently indeed, thus, - This is the worst extract among the whole.'—The gentleman just before cited says, p. 249,

This extract retains a great share of the virtues of the root, (which he had justly recommended, p. 126) its taste is somewhat warm, and not ungratefully bitterish. It is true this physician thinks this extract made from a spirituous menstruum rather more efficacious. Of the Extract of Jalap our Addresler, 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 subject, when he says, p. 250, of the book already cited, • This extract is an useful purgative, preferable to the crude root, as being of more uniform strength; and as the dose, by the rejection of the woody parts, is rendered smaller : the mean dose is twelve grains.'—This is common and medical sense together, which Hippocrates observes to be fo frequently united. Any apothecary who has seen jalap, must see what different proportions of resin (its purging principle) are contained in different Nices or parcels of the root; and the greater nauseousnets of swallowing nearly a threefold weight of the powder. The milder common Caustic, this Reformer pronounces- Beneath all criticism. But may not a very tender subject, with a thinner skin, and more intolerant of pain, who would not submit to the stronger caustic, be prevailed on to submit to this, when necessary? 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 safe and gentle puke; and as its operation is next to instantaneous, and that of a moderate proper dose quickly over, it may be peculiarly eligible, immediately after swallowing any poison, or taking an excessive dose of opium, whether by mistake or with design. Under the article cf Spirit of Sal Ammoniac, he thus compliments the collegiate compilers of the London Dispensatory - The London Dispensatory was collected by tho c who never, in my opinion, made a medicine in their lives. Now tho', strictly as physicians, the manual composition of medicines is not their province ; yet, as accomplished physicians, they cannot confiftently be ignorant of the general

principles

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 such respectable persons as these compilers muit decently be presumed. 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 so often and so 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 sometimes disposed to short intervals of indulgence; for after his

not thinking there is any occasion for a fpirituous as well as simple alexiterial water from the same plants,' he graciously nods out at last, . It may however stand.' So that if he should not prove even a Licentiate in Phyfic, it is plain he has appointed himielf a Licencer of Medicines. The compound Aniseed Water, he observes, is very disagreeable. Dr. Lewis terms it, p.381, a • very elegant Anifécd Water, the angelica seeds greatly improving

the flavour of the anile.' Of the Cardamom seed water our Licencer remarks, ' The greater part of the virtue of the cardamom feed is not extracted by distillation with spirit.' But Dr. L. p. 382, calls this a grateful, cordial, carminative water, the cardamom feeds giving over, in this process, the whole of their flavour;' indeed he does not say their whole virtue. They seem to agree however in preferring the simple Pepper-mint water to the fpirituous, which, the Dr. says, is not near so strong of the herb, though distilled from an equal quantity of it. But they differ, toto cælo, about Viper-broth, which Dr. L. says, p. 394, is a very nutritious and restorative food, and, continued for a length of time, has sometimes 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 such mcdicines as these, physic has fallen into great disrepute.' He graciously ratifies the Chalk and Musk julaps just in four words,

may be still continued.' After having commended the syrups of quinces, of lemon-juice, of mulberries, and very laconically confirmed the cautions of the college about making syrup of diacodium (which seems to repeal his former edict about theit total ignorance of pharmacy] he lays, the Syrup of Sugar is the most useful 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 absolutely proscribes, as 'too indelicate for any prescription. Of this however Dr. L. fays, it is doubtless a medicine of confiderable efficacy, though very unpleasant.' But perhaps our pharmaceutical Coryphæus cannot dispense with the Aavour of a ihallot himself; and would not allow even a coughing

Spaniard

Spaniard, in our raw phlegmatic winter, a little of this oxymel. Yet were a disagreeable taste or scent sufficient to expunge every such drug from the Materia Medica, what must be done with aloes, alla-fæetida, valerian, and many more very efficacious ones ? His abhorrence of cummin seeds is nearly as great as that of garlick ; these good carminatives however may be sufficiently comforted with the approbation of the pigeons. He forbids fyrup of buckthorn, except in glyfters, from the same delicate principle; though Sydenham thought, in his younger days, he had found in it a specific for dropsies; and indeed in such a chronical disease, while the constitution is still moderately athletic, it is not without its use. Besides, de gustibus non eft difputandum. Of Ægyptiacum this Author (whom we do not chuse to affront with the ironical appellation

of a Gentleman) says, rather more diffusively than usual, “This is a very inelegant preparation of little use and less virtue :' subjoining in Italics, only fit for the physicians horses heels, and for them provided, I suppose :'

- But the poor horses, as well as their proprietors, must take a smack of this Flagellator's lash; though we may certainly term this cruel severity, as Horace says, Ærugo mera.

Having thus cursorily reviewed full two thirds of this Reo viewer's Address, we have no doubt but our Medical Readers will think the foregoing specimen of it a very fufficient one. It is manifest this Momus sat down with a professed purpose to rail and reprehend as much as poflible; his interspersed commendation of some articles being too probably intended to procure himself the character of an impartial estimator, and thence to make his coarse, inelegant, and frequently unwarrantable reflections fink the deeper. Certainly however, after the commendations he has here and there bestowed on a few of their prescriptions (though sometimes so expressed, 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 himfelf into a Medical Inquisitor, a Censurer of Censors? If his real knowledge and merit are equivalent to what he assumes, it must redound to his honour to inform the world, where such an oracular fage is situated ; and by what human appellation he chuses to be dreaded hereafter. Nevertheless, a majority of the gentlemen, whom he strains hard to depreciate, may probably entertain a still lets formidable idea of his Galenical abilities than ourselves ; and conclude, that a very moderate attention to all these documents, from an enemy, will fufficiently apprize them of the utmost he can teach : except their utter filence, to his many animadversions here, should provoke him to a speedy publication of that faultless, or incorrigible Dispensatory, we may presume he has long been meditating.

An K

An Account of the first Settlement, Laws, Form of Government,

and Police of the Cesares, 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.

W

HEN we consider how very simple and obvious the

ends of civil Government are, it seems strange that so many various forms of policy should have been instituted, and that so few have approached any tolerable degree of perfection, while the far greater part have been diametrically opposite to what ought to have been the design of their institution. But when we reflect on the baneful influence of the selfish affections of mankind, we shall not wonder, that the art of Government still remains in this deplorable state of imperfection.

It is not owing to the ignorance of Legislators that good and equal laws were never instituted in

any

State. But it arises from wilful errors in the original frame of political constitutions, or to accidental revolutions, which establish an interest in the Governors, supe or to, and distinct from, the interest of the verned.

At the first institution of civil Governments, whether they are supposed to be established by usurpation or compact ; that is, in other words, whether they are despotic or comparatively free, the interest of the Rulers is the first, or at least too much the principal object of policy. If they are founded on usurpation, the Usurper maintains by terror what he acquires by force: and thus fear, as Mountesquieu observes, is the principle of despotism. If they are established by compact, the people are apt to compliment the Magistrate in whom they confide, with too great a share of power and influence,

As it is the nature of Power to be encroaching, the Rulers watch all opportunities, and take advantage of every circumstance, to extend their sway. Encroachments of this nature sometimes pass in fiience, 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 constitution, under the fanction of severe penalties.

Thus the generality of Governments seem to be founded on the reasoning of Thrafymachus in Plato's Republic, who there defines Justice to be," That which is for the interest of the Superior.” When such systems, however, are once establihed, various

causes,

1

« PreviousContinue »