« PreviousContinue »
Hence the diamond is not crystalized charcoal. It is pure carbon.-What, then, is charcoal?-principally an oxyd of carbon; and there are other oxyds of carbon, containing less oxygen than charcoal, such as the incombustible coal or anthracolite, coaks, and plumbago. During combustion, the diamond actually shewed, in the changes of colour which it underwent, no indistinct signs of oxydation.
All these inferences rest on the accuracy of M. GUYTON'S manipulations; which were difficult indeed, but which no individual is perhaps more capable of performing without error. This paper will doubtless create many attempts to produce diamond powder from charcoal, by de-oxydation.
We have just received No. 92, but too late for farther Bed...s.
ART. XV. Von dem Perkinismus, &c. i. e. On Perkinism, or the
'HE first part of this publication consists of a tract by Dr. Perkins himself, entitled, Certificates of the Efficacy of Dr. Perkins's Patent Metallic Instruments; Newbury Port, 1796; and it is matter of some surprise to us, that the Copenhagen faculty were not satisfied of the inutility of this pretended discovery, by the very testimonies produced in the original work to demonstrate its importance. Certainly, if, in some instances, want of precision in the statement of cases, so great as to render it nearly impossible to divine their nature; and if, in others, assertions contrary to the very nature of things, joined to a confused and almost unintelligible set of directions; had been sufficient to damp the ardour of the philosophical contributors to the tract before us, we should not now have to make a report to the public of the result of their joint labours.
These contributors are not fewer than eleven; some of them presenting names which are familiar to all who are interested in physical and medical science, viz. Professors Abilgaard, Tode, Schuhmacher, and Bang; Surgeons Klengberg, Blech, Jacobsen, Hahn, Herholdt, Assessor, and Rafu.
The experiments were made with needles of iron, brass silver, zinc, copper, and lead; and some with pointed pieces of ebony and ivory.-Publications that challenge attention in the name of matters of fact have so indefeasible a claim; the
*We suppose the original needle: to be mere sharpened bits of iron and brass. Rev.
witnesses in the present case are so respectable; and the pub lic, once at least, felt so much interest in the subject; that we are induced to quote a sufficient number of the allegations of the Danish Doctors, article by article, to enable our readers to decide on the character of their evidence and we shall intersperse some concise remarks.
Experiment 1. on a patient, aged 31, with a shooting pain in his right knee all the needles used in the order in which they are above enumerated; on the use of the copper and lead, the pain ceased almost entirely. Why, in the name of common sense, was not the operation carried on till it was known whether the pain would quite cease? why so tantalise curiosity? 2. Continued pain with an ulcer of the joint;-iron and brass used; the pain sensibly decreased in the course of a few days: but what was the final result; did the pain go off entirely? 3. Stiffness in the knee, with some pain; amendment from silver and zinc; copper and lead considerably abated the pain; and, under the use of iron and brass, that and the stiffness almost went off:-almost again! 4. Gout in the left arm :perkinized with true perkinean needles; pain much abated, which amendment afterward increased! How precise! how satisfactory! 5. Pain on the left side of the head from a blow five years before, and inflammation in the left eye :-bismuth employed; the pain quite removed; and the eye could see better against the light. 6. A ganglion on the right great trochanter, with pain of the hip: little effect from iron and brass zinc increased the pain, as did lead-afterward, zinc and bismuth diminished it; and, on repetition of the operation, it went off entirely. 7. Violent pain about the left elbow; silver and zinc used with scarcely any effect. 8. Slight inflammation with pain of the right palpebræ :-with zinc and brass, effusion of tears, and a burning; but the pain went quite off in two days :-the reader will remark the but,—and probably subjoin, but would not the pain have gone off as soon or sooner without the operation? 9. An inflamed pterygium of the left eye, with pain in the face and head:-under the use of iron and brass, a good deal of weeping, but the headache was lessened, and the light became less distressing; under a second operation, the symptoms increased; under a third, there was some amendment. With silver and zinc, the pain ceased, the eye ran more, and the sight remained impaired. From the next operation, the pain of the head was increased, but that of the face removed. On using ivory, the pain seemed to lessen, but the eye swelled. The pain has since fluctuated. 10. Acute pain in the hind part of the head-after one operation,
the pain went off: but a morbid sensibility long remained.-So far Professor Schuhmacher.
11. By M. Klengberg.-Violent pain in the hip, of four weeks' duration, removed by cicuta and quicksilver: but, in moving the knee, they came on again, so that it was necessary to hold the limb still. Application of iron and brass drove the pain to the arms and back; the stiffness went almost entirely off, and the patient could take a few steps. M. Steffens perkinized repeatedly without the smallest effect:-sometimes, however, pain was instantaneously removed, e. g. 12. A man troubled with flying gouty pains felt ease for a couple of hours after each operation. 13. Head-ach went off, but there remained a pain all day in the lower jaw. 14. In M. Steffens himself, the pain of a head-ach shifted much under the use of the needles, and ceased in a quarter of an hour after he went Indeed!-Tooth-ach eased, but for a short time.
Prof. Bang made eleven experiments in Frederick's hospital. 1. A young peasant, who had been relieved of flying pains by mercury, was benefited by Perkinism; and on his discharge was advised to continue the use of the needles. 16. Nothing. 17. Case of Arthritic pains, which increased by night, with exostoses on both the shin-bones, mercurials confined the pains to the nodes, where they were almost intolerable. They were fully removed by the needles, and the nodes diminished. 18, 19. In two instances, increase of pain and sensibility rendered it necessary to desist from the operation. The following is one of the most remarkable facts: 20. A patient of Dr. Schuhmacher (perhaps that marked by us No. 6.) who had been dismissed cured, returned in two days with great increase of pain. A node was now found over the great trochanter, which had returned, as the patient said, after a former one had almost disappeared. The operation was daily employed, but to no purpose.-The next three cases amount to nothing; except that, in one, the pains increased violently.
Next follow four observations by M. Blech. 26. A woman subject (nearly every week) to a periodical pain, which lasted several days, was freed from an attack in five minutes. During the operation, the pulse was somewhat quickened; the hands, which used to feel cold, became hot, red, tumid, and perspired to such a degree, that a drop of moisture hung from each finger. The patient had no return in three weeks.-Were not these the effects of the working of imagination? Certainly, similar effects have been produced by this cause, when patients have believed themselves to be under the operation of metallic tractors, but were not. Three other cases by M. Blech had nearly equal success.
APP, REV. VOL. XXIX.
M. Abilgaard offers some conjectures concerning the possible electric effect of metallic points, held near diseased parts: but on these he lays small stress. He mentions the following experiments if the points of needles be held near to the tongue, a taste, partly acid and partly metallic, is perceived. If the points be moved over the face so as not to touch it, some feel a pricking, and others have no sensation. Are not the sensations here purely imaginary? A German author has remarked on this experiment, that it creates in him a sense of coolness; and that, with his eyes shut, he can tell over what part of his face the points have passed., Is not this owing to the morement excited in the air incumbent on the face ?-M. Abilgaard found that a very delicate female could point out the spot over which the needles were held; and that a pain of the knee, to which he is himself subject after long sitting, disappeared on passing needles through his clothes so as to bring the points in contact with his skin.-On holding an iron nail near the temple of a person who had been subject, during the whole winter, to rheumatic head-achs, the pain weat off, but soon fell on the eye. Here it was pursued with like success, and in the evening occupied its old seat, but was less severe. The part was now touched with the nail), on which it became easy; and it was not till the 4th day that any slight vestiges of uneasiness were again felt.
The other reports (there are fifty-one in all) maintain the same character. There are none in which we do not perceive either that fluctuation of feeling which, in the ordinary state of similar affections, is less regarded, because less attention is paid to it; or the mechanical effect of the points, as when the operation takes place near the eye; or the power of imagination. To prove any electric operation, experiments of a very different description would be necessary; and the writer of this article. would pledge his reputation that, the mechanical operation excepted, those who choose to practise Perkinism have no chance of making impression but from the patient's credulity and power of imagination; and that, whether pieces of metal, glass, wood, or stone, pointed or pointless, be used, no difference will appear in the average result :-nay, we will venture to predict that, if the operator trust, as we believe was the ease with some animal magnetisers, to the bare finger, there will be exactly the same chance of a crisis.
ART. XVI. Mémoires Historiques et
ported by De Boffe, London. Price 12s. sewed.
D URING many centuries, the Papal influence in the general transactions of Europe was very great and extensive; and though it has latterly been materially contracted, (indeed almost annihilated,) yet authentic memoirs of the life and transactions of him who possessed this dignity in times of peculiar interest, and in whose recent death the dignity itself has perhaps expired, must excite some curiosity and attention. are glad of the opportunity, therefore, of introducing to our We readers a publication, the author of which appears to have drawn his materials from authentic sources, and to write with some degree of that candour and that dignified gravity which become an impartial historian. We shall therefore proceed, with pleasure, to extract from his work a variety of particulars.
By whatever species of poison the life of the enlightened Ganganelli, Clement XIV. was abridged, it is now pretty gene rally supposed that his death was not natural. It is well known that, at the moment of signing the famous bull of Motu Proprio, which pronounced the extinction of the society of the Jesuits, Clement hesitated, and, from a kind of presentiment, said: "I am well aware that I am going to sign my death warrant : but that is of no consequence." His dissolution ensued fourteen months afterward, and the Jesuits and their partisans dared to celebrate it as a triumph.-The majority of the Cardinals never pardoned him for having put his name to this Bull; for the Jesuits ever were the surest props, the most dexterous champions, and the most devoted adherents, of the holy sce;which, after their alsition, appeared to be exposed to as great dangers as a monarchical state would be without the powerful order of nobility. Hence it was obvious that the Żelanti or zealots, who had gained an ascendancy in the sacred college, would use all their interest to get the vacant see filled by a person whose principles were congenial to their own. Such was Cardinal Braschi. He was a man of sense; and in his situation as treasurer to the Apostolic chamber, he had evinced some talents. In person he was handsome and genteel: advantages which do not always avail, but which seldom injure their possessor. He had been a pupil of Benedict XIV. which occasioned a fortunate prejudice in favour of his prudence;