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ing. He thinks that traces of a knowledge of the art are to be found in the customs and rites of the most remote ages, and that something very like the modern practice is mentioned by one of the oldest of the Greek poets:
"In the following verses of Solon, we have the earliest and perhaps the directest testimonies to the practice of manipulation, as a sanative process, to be found in antiquity. It is surprising that they should have hitherto escaped the notice of all the writers upon animal magnetism, many of whom have exercised great diligence in collecting the allusions to this process which occur among the ancients.
Πολλάκι δ' ἐξ ὀλίγης ὀδύνης μέγα γίγνεται ἄλγος,
Τὸν δὲ κακαῖς νούσοισι κυκώμενον ἀργαλέαις τε
Solon, apud Stobæum.*
(P. 35.) Passing over the whole of the introduction, which is replete with interesting matter, we come to the body of the work itself. It appears that some years since M. Foissac addressed a letter to the Academy of Medicine, requesting that an inquiry might be made into the phenomena of animal magnetism. A committee was appointed in pursuance of his request, February 28, 1826: it consisted of MM. Bourdois, Double, Itard, Gueneau de Hussy, Guersent, Fouquier, Laennec, Leroux, Magendie, Marc, and Thillaye. Laennec being obliged to leave Paris, M. Huson was substituted in his stead; MM. Magendie and Double did not attend the experiments. The committee appear to have carried on their investigations for about five years, with every variety of success and failure. Some of the successful cases admit of an easy explanation: the parties may have been tutored, or may have feigned an insensibility to noises, &c.; but there are others, again, which do not admit any solution. of this kind. For instance, a man named Paul exhibited what the magnetists call clairvoyance in the presence of the committee:
"While his eyelids were kept closed by M. Segalas, there was presented to him a volume which the reporter had brought along with him. He read upon the title-page, Histoire de France. He could not read the two intermediate lines, and upon the fifth he read only the name, Anquetil, which is preceded by the prepo
"Stanley, in his History of Philosophy, (1666,) has given us a very competent translation of these verses:
"The smallest hurts sometimes increase and rage
sition par. The book was opened at the 89th page, and he read in the first line-le nombre de ses he passed over the word troupes, and continued: Au moment ou on le croyait occupé des plaisirs du carnaval. He also read the running title Louis, but could not read the Roman cipher which follows it. A piece of paper was presented to him, upon which were written the words, Agglutination and Magnetisme Animal. He spelt the first, and pronounced the two others. Finally, the procès-verbal of this sitting was presented to him, and he read very distinctly the date, and some words which were more legibly written than the others. In all these experiments the fingers were applied to the whole of the commissure of both eyes, by pressing down the upper upon the under eyelid, and we remarked that the ball of the eye was in a constant rotatory motion, and seemed directed towards the object presented to his vision." (P. 167.)
We hasten to conclude this short notice, lest we should seem to many of our readers to occupy too much space in a practical Journal with the details of what they may consider the fabric of a vision;" but we can assure them, that if they have confined their reading to the one-sided accounts given by adverse critics, they will be startled by the evidence accumulated in Mr. Colquhoun's book. In short, we agree entirely with Dr. Prichard, who says, "On the whole, when we consider the degree of suffering occasioned by disorders of the class over which magnetism exerts an influence through the medium of the imagination, and the little efficacy which ordinary remedies possess of alleviating or counteracting them, it is much to be wished that this art, notwithstanding the problematical nature of the theories connected with it, were better known to us in actual practice, and that some of the foreign operators would introduce it more extensively into this country." (Cyclopædia of Pract. Med., art. Somnambulism.)
Observations on the Ulcerative Process, and its Treatment, particularly when affecting the Leg. By WM. ECCLES, Surgeon.London, 1834. 8vo. pp. 66.
THIS essay is so exceedingly short, that it must be considered rather as a specimen of Mr. Eccles' style, than as a practical treatise on ulcers. We do not wish to discourage his attempts,-far from it; nor do we intend to pen a panegyric on prolixity; but there is a certain point below which a subject cannot be abridged, without forming notes for a book, rather than a real work. The following extract (which occupies five pages of the original,) will show, however, that
Mr. Eccles writes vigorously and pleasantly enough, as far as
Surgeons, in general, are ignorant of the manner in which bandaging operates so beneficially. Nor do we find that authors throw much light on the matter. Even John Bell says no more than that it acts by supporting the veins; but he does not show how this support causes flesh to grow, nor even how it operates to relieve that distended condition of the vessels which is assumed to exist in the diseases under consideration.
"A modern author affirms, after stating that chronic inflammation 'consists in a dilated and feeble state of the venous circulation, accompanied by increased arterial action, the result of which is that the blood-vessels are unable to propel their contents,' that bandaging, acting as a mechanical support, restores to the vessels the power of propelling the fluid along their canals.'
"Mr. Baynton tells us that, in the inflammation attending ulcers, the parts are supplied with a larger quantity of blood than was furnished in a state of health; this, under the peculiar circumstances of the arteries, will occasion a greater deposition of lymph between the interstices of the muscles and in the cells of the cellular membrane than is necessary for their lubrication, or than the absorbents can carry away, which, gradually increasing, will remove the absorbents from their vicinity to the arteries, and consequently occasion a loss to them of the effect of arterial impulse which, while the vascular system of the limb continues in its perfect state, may be supposed to have considerable effect in propelling the returning lymph, as the lymphatic vessels are plentifully supplied with valves. Therefore, I conclude that the principal difficulty which occurred in the curing of ulcers has been occasioned by deficiency of power in the absorbent vessels.'
"If we throw aside all speculation which is based on such assumption as, that the arteries act more or less in inflammation, that the veins propel the blood, or merely convey it, that absorption is promoted by arterial action, the following appears to be the plain state of the case. The skin is more distended with blood than is natural, and bandaging tends to squeeze this fluid from its vessels, and consequently to diminish the cutaneous circulation. This explanation rests for proof on the evidence of our senses: the inflamed limb is distended, since by actual admeasurement we find it enlarged; it is distended by blood, because we find no other source for an accretion of matter except that fluid or the serum derived from it; it moreover demonstrates its presence to us by the redness of the skin, and by its unusual flow if this be cut. Lastly, that pressure drives the blood from the cutaneous vessels (be they named arteries, veins, or capillaries,) is evident, since, when we press our hands upon the skin, this becomes pale, and when we remove them it again reddens.
"We may say, positively, then, that a bandage presses the
blood out of the cutaneous vessels. It will be naturally asked, where does that fluid rush to? do you impede the circulation? The answer is, no; there is no impediment to the flow of blood through the limb generally, because the deep-seated arteries and veins carry that on with their usual facility; nor can there be any hindrance to the passage of blood from the larger cutaneous branches, because they have numerous anastomoses with those more deeply seated.
"In this way, then, an ulcer is relieved of the chronic inflammation: viz. by the diversion of the blood into another channel. It has been said, that this plan therefore should cure active inflammation; but this does not happen, because experiment shows that, while parts retain their natural vigour, the mechanical effect of pressure in diminishing the quantity of blood is counteracted by a tendency in the vital parts to act with greater force; so that we always find pressure excite inflammation in a healthy part, and increase that action in an organ already actively inflamed. Hence the absurdity of that indiscriminate use of bandages recommended at different periods by Whately, Baynton, and others." (P. 19.)
An Examination into the Causes of the declining Reputation of the Medical Faculty of the University of Edinburgh; and the Origin of another Class of Medical Professors, commonly called "Private Lecturers," &c.-Edinburgh, 1834. 8vo. pp. 59. THE author of this pamphlet is very angry with matters as they are, and still more angry with matters as they are about to be. He is terribly afraid that the new curriculum devised by the Edinburgh people will have the effect of preventing men with slender purses from entering the medical profession, and then goes on to say,
"Who will patiently attend a sick person night and day, encountering boisterous weather, cold and fatigue, with the greatest devotion?-the rich man, or he who has nothing to depend upon but a good character and his own exertions? Who will condescend most readily to perform a thousand little acts of kindness and attention? Who will call on an invalid twice or thrice a day, and bear with numberless whimsical rebukes, and be wearied out with long stories of perhaps imaginary evils? Who will take most trouble in soothing the mind of the afflicted, or comforting the broken-hearted?-the wealthy man, or he who has nothing but his own exertions to depend upon?
"If lords and ladies only were subject to pain and disease, it might be well to limit the profession to a few physicians, polished up to the highest pitch of refinement in all the arts and sciences. But when we look around us, and see the diseases and wants of multitudes in the various grades of society requiring the assistance of thousands of medical men, we may well ask, if such an extended
and therefore very expensive medical education be persevered in, who will attend the middle and lower classes, not to speak of the poor? The metropolis and large towns may be well supplied, but who will go to practise in the smaller towns or country districts?" (P. 25.)
A sad prospect indeed for the country towns, and for invalids who love to take a physician, like a saline draught, ter in die! However, let not the sick despair; for, though the doctors in posse may be unbearably fastidious, and shockingly over-educated, many of those in esse meet their patients on more equal terms; at least, if we may believe what follows.
"Every one connected with medical education in Edinburgh (except, perhaps, the professors themselves,) is aware that by far too large a proportion of candidates obtain degrees in physic, and that many persons have passed the ordeal who were notoriously inattentive to their studies, and dissipated in their habits, till perhaps within a few months of the day of examination: others, very industrious, but so stupid that they never could preserve a respectable status among their fellow-students, have likewise passed, to the no small surprise of their companions. So frequently have such circumstances occurred, that it is no uncommon matter to hear of Edinburgh graduates having made a bad appearance, nay having been rejected, not only at the College of Physicians in London, and College of Surgeons, but before the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries, at Apothecaries' Hall. The writer has known many who have received their degrees in Edinburgh, who were not to be trusted with the life of a cat, and who could not write a decent letter in the mother tongue, either in point of style or orthography, although they wrote, or rather got the credit of writing, a dissertation in Latin! Indeed, it is stated by persons connected with the Medical Corporations in London, that they possess letters from persons with Edinburgh diplomas that are quite disgraceful." (P.41.)
For ourselves, we do not expect the medical world to be turned upside down by the curriculum in question. We are quite sure that there will always be doctors of all marketable prices and qualities; some, like the refined physicians whom our author dreads, who would interrupt a gouty alderman in his favourite story, or contradict a maiden aunt, as if unconscious of her India bonds; and others who will "bear with numberless whimsical rebukes" on the lowest terms, and cheerfully submit to "be wearied out with long stories of perhaps imaginary evils."
There is one point on which the author is clearly in the right. The town-council ought to have nothing to do with electing professors; they are obviously disqualified, both by ignorance and long habits of jobbing, to judge of professional