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have not, and to adulterate philosophy with the spurious brood of hypotheses?'
We have quoted this passage merely to notice two defects : the one, that the author overlooks what he had before mentioned of the vibrations not being in the nerves themselves, but in the medium connected with them : the other, to remind him that the organs of sense are expressly formed to produce the peculiar impression on each. The organ of hearing, for instance, cannot be affected by the visual rays while it is lodged in a cavity in the skull. But these little errors do not materially affect the, work itself, which is, in general, entitled to our approbation
An Account of the Foxglove, and some of its Medical Uses;
with Practical Remarks, on Droply, and other Diseases. By William Withering, M.D. Physician to the General Hospital
at Birmingham. 8vo. 5s, in Boards. Robinion. WE
E cannot be too eager to disseminate useful knowlege ;
and if those practitioners who daily lament the distressful and unrestrained ravages of dropsy, should catch a ray of information from our account of this work, we would rę. commend to them not to be contented with an unceștain light, but to receive a greater illumination from the essay itself. They will find many valuable observations which we cannot abridge. We selected, in our fifty-seventh Volume, an extract from an ingenious work on the utility of Botanical Analogy,' which contained some remarks on digitalis. The author, from the nature of its companions in a natural class, conjectured that it was sedative and diuretic. We selected it, at that time, because we suspected that this judicious conjecture would be verified; and Dr. Withering's practice, with the observations of his correspondents, are the strongest testimony in its favour.
We have great reason to suppose that the foxglove may be a valuable remedy. It is powerfully diuretic, in a dose which does not excite that distresling nausea, inseparable from the . beneficial effects of some other narcotic remedies. Our author employs the leaf, gathered when the flowers are expanding ; and, after rejecting the leaf-stalk and mid-rib of the leaves, dries and powders them. From one to three grains of this powder is a dose for adults. If a liquid medicine be preferred, a drachm of the leaves is to be infused in half a pint of boiling water, adding to the ftrained liquor an ounce of any fpirituous water. An ounce of this infusion is a mean dose for als adult.
The foxglove when given in very large and quickly-repeated doses, occasions fickness. vomiting, purging, giddiness, confused vision, objects appearing green or yellow; increafed fecretion of urine, with frequent motions to part with it, and sometimes inability to retain it; low pulse, even as flow as 35 in a minute, cold sweats, convulsions, fyncope, death.
• When given in a less violent manner, it produces most of these effects in a lower degree; and it is curious to observe, that the sickness, with a certain dose of the medicine, does not take place for many hours after its exhibition has been difcontinued ; that the flow of urine will often precede, sometimes accompany, frequently follow, the fickness at the distance of some days, and not unfrequently be checked by it. The fickness thus excited, is extremely different from that occafioned by any other medicine; it is peculiarly distressing to the patient; it ceases, it recurs again as violent as before ; and Thus it will continue to recur for three or four days, at distant and more diftant interyals.'
But this severity is unnecessary; in the milder doses which we have described, it acts with little pain or distress, and the patient's appetite grows better.
• Let the medicine, therefore, be given in the doses, and at the intervals mentioned above :-let it be continued until it either acts on the kidneys, the stomach, the pulse, or the bowels ; let it be stopped upon the first appearance of any one of these effects, and I will maintain that the patient will not suffer from its exhibition, nor the practitioner be disappointed in any reasonable expectation.
If it purges, it seldom succeeds well, • The patients should be enjoined to drink very freely during its operation. I mean, they ihould drink whatever they prefer, and in as great quantity as their appetite for drink demands. This direction is the 'more necessary, as they are very generally prepoffessed with an idea of drying up a dropsy, by abftinence from liquids, and fear to add to the disease, by indulging their inclination to drink.'
We must add a little more, in the words of our attentive author.
• It seldom succeeds in men of great natural strength, of tense fibre, of warm skin, of florid complexion, or in those with a tight and cordy pulse.
• If the belly in ascites be tense, hard, and circumfcribed, or the limbs in analarca folią and resisting, we have but little to hope.
« On the contrary, if the pulse be feeble or intermitting, the countenance pale, the lips vivid, the skin cold, the swoln belly soft and fluctuating, or the anasarcous limbs readily pitting under the pressure of the finger, we may expect the diuretic effects to follow in a kindly manner,
• In cases which foil every attempt at relief, I have been aiming, for some time past, to make fuch a change in the conftitution of the patient, as might give a chance of success to the digitalis.
• By blood-letting, by neutral falts, by chryftals of tartar, fquills, and occasional purging, I have succeeded, though im. perfectly. Next to the use of the lancet, I think nothing lowers the tone of the system more effectually than the squill, and consequently it will always be proper, in such cases, to use the fquill; for if that fail in its desired effect, it is one of the bek preparatives to the adoption of the digitalis.'
A paralytic affection, or a calculus, are not increased by its use, though a fedative and diuretic.
The work, in general, contains a description of the cases in which the foxglove was used by our author, with its effects; and to these are added the observations of his correspondents. We cannot abridge them; nor is abridgement necessary, since we have already mentioned their results : we must, however, add, that the several cases contain many ulefal practical remarks, and afford many instances of decisive and judicious conduct.
This volume is concluded by obfervations on analarca, and the different fpecies of dropsy, with its several combinations; on afthma, epilepsy, and insanity, so far as they depend on water effused; on hydrocephalus and phthisis.
On hydrocephalus Dr. Withering fuggefts, that the watery effusion is probably an effect rather than the cause of disease. It was, we believe, a remark of the late amiable and judicious Dr. Gregory, that the apparent cause of the disease was not in any proportion to the fymptoms; but he did not suggest any other foundation for it. Dr. Withering supposes an inHammation previous to the effufion ; yet, from a full confideration of the circumstances, we think it scarely probable. The fever is apparently remittent; a form of fever not the attendant of inflammation. The symptoms are those of irritation without coma, as rettlefnefs, picking the nose, &c. which we do not perceive, when any part of the brain is affected by inHammation. We know not that the state of the brain has been accurately examined; but, from the symptoms, the nature of the patients usually afiected, its being peculiar to families, we fould suspect fome conftantly irritating power ; perhaps, if we may judge from the consequences, the absorb. ent system of the brain, which we may now, probably, speak of with confidence, is diseased, and the glands may be enlarged. This view of the difease will explain the operation of repeated topical bleedings, vomits, and purges, which are certainly sometimes successful in the early states. We can add our testimony to that of Dr. Withering, that the disease may occur without the usual diagnostics. We saw an instance where the cause was ascertained by diffection, in which none of the common symptoms were observed. It was very
« difficult to purge the child ;' but no paralysis or dilatation of the pupil was observed. About two days before the death of the child the face swelled, and appeared like that of an anafarcous leucophlegmatic person.
Dr. Withering thinks the phthisis pulmonalis is certainly infectious; the foxglove was once thought serviceable in it; but it is now useless. From this, and other circumstances, he supposes' the disease was then more easily curable than it is at present.'
A print of the foxglove is prefixed. It is taken from Mr. Curtis's Flora Londinensis, drawn with his usual accuracy, and coloured under his inspection.
The Talk, a Poem, in Six Books. By William Cowper, Efg.
8vo. 45. in Boards. Johnson. :T HE author informs us that a lady, fond of blank verfe; gave him the Sofa for a fubject. He obeyed; and having much leisure, connected another subjećt with it; and pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn ef mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a ferious affair--a volume.'
In the name of the public we pay our acknowledgments to this lady, as the primary cause of a publication which, though not free from defects, for originality of thought, strength of argument, and poignancy of satire, we speak in general, is Superior to any that has lately fallen into our hands. We here meet with no affected prettinefs of style, no glaring epithets, which modern writers so industriously accumulate ; and reverf. ing Homer's exhibition of his hero in rags, convey the image of a brggar, clothed in purple and fine linen.' This poem is divided into fix books ; to the first of them, though but a small part
has any thing allusive to it, the Sofa gives name. The author begins with tracing, in a humorous manner, the progress of refinement in what may be called sedentary luxury; from the joint-itool on which
« Immortal Alfred Sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms,' to the invention of the ' accomplished sofa.' He proceeds in exprefing his wishes to live estranged from the indulgencies it yields,
« The sofa suits
Though on a sofa, may I never feel.' This leads him to give an account of his truant rambles when a boy ; and to inform us, that the rural walks which delighted him when young, still afford equal pleasure at a more advanced stage of life. He proceeds to describe an ambulatory excursion. The reflections he makes in it naturally arise from the objects which present themselves to his view ; and the fcenery is depictured in chaste and exact colouring. We meet with no meretricious ornaments ; no superfluity of epithets and crouded figures, which often throw an indistinct glare over modern poetic landscapes, instead of representing their objects in a clear and proper light. His vindication of the long colonnade of correspondent trees against the encroach, ments of the present taste, and wish to
* reprieve The obsolete prolixity of made,' · will doubtless be reprobated by the votaries of Brown, and modern improvement. We, however, question whether they do not impress the mind with more sublime and awful ideas, than they could effe&t by any other mode of arrangement. Though people may vary as to their opinion, in this refpe&, they will certainly concur in admiring the following animated apostrophe. The image in the seventh line is equally new, just, and beautiful.
6 Ye fallen avenues ! once more I mourn
Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot.' The author now contemplates the thresher at his work; and deduces some pertinent remarks on the utility of exercise, and the pernicious effects of laziness and indulgence.
Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted moft,
Who oft'neft sacrifice are favour'd leaft.' The fuperiority of nature's works to the imitations of art is next pointed out, and the wearisomeness of what is com