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These terms, incessantly repeated, render his style obscure, diffuse, and sometimes unintelligible. His other defects are numerous. His work is destitate of systematic arrangement, and he frequently suffers himself to be transported by his imagination. His reasonings are sometimes founded on arbitrary suppositions, rather than on the firm base of well-attested facts. By adopting, with an undue predilection; certain Brunonian opinions, he gets involved in manifest contradictions. In other respects, the various parts of his theory are most ingeniously connected; and present a crowd of interesting observations, which compensate, in some degree, for the weariness and disgustinseparable from an affected jargon, and a ceaseless repetition of the same favorite térms."
Comparative tables of the old and new weights and measures, and an explanation of the abbreviations employed in the execution of the work, succeed this introduction.
Of the magnitude of the undertaking, the reader may judge for himself; nine volumes have already reached us, and the letter D is far from being completed. The work, should it ever reach its close, can, we calculate, consist of scarcely less than twenty-four volumes. We are in daily expectation of receiving the immediate successors of the ninth.
In our next “ Selections," we propose to notice a long and interesting article, by Marc, (Combustions humaines spontanets) on the spontaneous combustion of the human body. This is a phenomenon, the occurrence of which can no longer be doubted. It has not attracted the attention of British philosophers in a degree adequate to its curiosity, and to its obvious connection with forensic medicine.
Adulteration of Medicines,
( Continued from the Gleaner, page 490. ) • Oil of Mace. The general reader will require to be informed, that the oil of mace, for which the following composition is sold as a substitute, ought to be expressed without addition, in the same manner as oil of linseed, - from the spice itself. R. Suet, lbs. 12; oil of olives, lbs. 3; bees wax, 15. 1; oil of cloves, oz. 3; essence of lemons, oz. 1 ; turmeric and alkanet sufficient to colour.
Powder of Jalap. (the most common recipe) R. Powdered jalap, tbs. 3; Bryony, lbs. 3; black hellebore, 15. 1.
Powder of Tin is always substituted by finely sifted
Spirit of Lavender. R. 'Bruised pimento, oz. 6; red saunders, oz. 8; oil of tartar, oz. ; proof spirit, I gal. lon.
It is singular that this tincture of Jamaica pepper and red sanders is scarcely distinguishable, in its sensible properties, from the genuine medicine; notwithstanding the ingredients, and ihe 'mode of employing them, are so different.
Venice Turpentine. R. Black resin, lbs. 4 ; oil of tur. pentine, lbs. 10.
Strasburg Turpentine. R. Black resin, lbs. 4 ; oil of turpentine, lbs. 23; oil of rosemary, oz. I.
Chian Turpentine. R. Canadian balsam, oz. 10; of turpentine, oz. 3; yellow resin, oz. 8.
Elixir of vitriol (for Apothecaries). R. Oil of vitriol, oz. 4; proof spirit, a quart; red sanders sufficient to colour. Or, for retail customers :- R. Water, oz. 4; oil of vitriol, oz. 1; logwood chips sufficient to colour.'
You will observe, gentlemen, that in the preceding formulæ, I have designated the various articles by those names under which they are most generally known ; that I have only transcribed such recipes as apply to ac tual substitution and adulteration. In my next letter, ! shall present you with such recipes as differ from those of the Pharmacopæia in the omission of important articles
, or in the variation from the prescribed proportions,
In this arrangemeni, nearly all the tinctures and ointments will necessarily be included. At a future period Jikewise, I shall take the liberty of calling your attention to the slovenly and inattentive mode in which your prescriptions are prepared, and to the extortions that are practised by the compounders of medicine, not only affluent and hypochondriac, but on the victims of poverty, and on the objects of your gratuitous advice. Of the im, portance of the subject on which I now address you, I have before expressed myself in terms that cannot be misunderstood; and I trust that there will be no necessity for the repetition of my sentiments.
The skill of the Physician and the researches of the Student must be vain, while the present abuses continue to exist. Improvemenis in your Pharmacopæias are empo - ty nothings, while the original intention of 'that Pharma.
copæia is hourly defeated by the avarice or ignorance of those to whom the composition of your prescriptions is
committed; and little credit will be given to your other exertions for the relief and preservation of your fellow creatures, while an evil so 'dangerous, so glaring, and so immediately depending on you for its abolition or correction, reinains unabolished and uncorrected.
ESSEX ASSIZES. JEWERS V. PERKINS.--Mr. Taddy stated this to be an action brought by the plaintiff, who was a pauper of Greenstead, to recover a compensation in damages for the injury sustained by the unskilfulness and negligence of the defendant in reducing a fraç. ture of the thigh bone.
Sergeant Best stated the case to the Jury. It appeared from the evidence, that the defendant was sent for to attend the plaintiff, but was in London on family affairs, having left Mr. Owen, a member of the College of Surgeons, in charge of bis bisiness. Mr. Owen immediately attended the plaintiff, ascertained there was an oblique fracture of the thigh, placed the limo in such a situation as tended most to relax the muscles, bled him, applied the saturnine lotion, and administered aperient medicine. Owen visited him twice that afternoon; but the plaintiff expressing some uneasiness at being attended only by Owen, requested that Mr. Philbrick, another surgeon in Colchester, might be called in to reduce the fracture. Owen acquiesced. Philbrick was a stranger to him, but he called and communicated the wishes of the plainliff; and the following morning Philbrick took Owen in his chạişe to visit the plaintiff, carrying with them splints, bandages, &c. for the reduction. Owen held the superior part of the thigh, and Philbrick made the necessary extension, and then bound on the splints with the many-tailed bandage. The limb was placed in a bent position on the outer side ; and having enjoined the patient to keep quiet, they left him. The defendant did not return from London till the night of the 6th ; and on the morning of the 7th visited the patient with Owen. The plaintiff appeared to be going on well ; defendaạt felt his pulse, ascertained the state of his health, and tightened the splints. That the case proceeded principally under the care of Owen, who visited him every alternate day for the first fortnight, and then twice a week. About the sixth or seventh week an inflammation appeared upon the foot, and the patient complained of considerable pain, which was attributed to rheumatism. The defendant attended, and applied leeches and other topical remedies.
The witnesses for i he plaintiff stated that he was throughout in great pain, and complained of a creaking of the bones ; lut No, 54.
Owen stated that there was no greater degree of pain than is usually attendant upon fractured thighs, nor any other circunstance to induce him or the defendant to suspect that all was not going on well. After the seventh week the splints and bandages were removed, and it was ascertained that there was great overlapping of the bones, that the thigh was much shortened, and the man rendered incapable of performing his daily labour.
Philbrick staied that he never reduced nor pretended to reduce the fracture; that it was a case very easy of cure, and that he would pledge his reputation to make the limb perfect. On crosscxamination, he admitted he had put on the splints and bandage; and on being asked if he had not said that he did regularly reduce the fracture, he replied “ I am persuaded I never said so I don't believe I ever did I am confident in my own opinion I never intended nor pretended to set it.”
Mr. Barker, a surgeon, of Colchester, a Quaker, drew from his pocket a human thigh bone, which he displayed as illustrative of his evidence; stated it to be a transverse fracture, and there was no difficulty in effecting a perfect cure.
On the part of the defendant, several surgeons, of the first respectability in the conntry, stated, that splints and bandages were never applied till the reduction of the fracture was accomplished, except where the patient was to be removed to a distance; that after the reduction the splints and bandages should not be removed, unless unusual pain, accident, or any particular circumstance, induced a suspicion that the core was not proceeding favourably. · From the evidence they had beard, the defendant was justified in assuming, when he first saw the limb, that the fracture was reduced, and all going on well.
Mr. Nunn stated, tbat Mr. Philbrick told him that he and Oisen had reduced the fracture. That at a parish meeting at Greenstead, when Philbrick and plaintiff were present, it was * stated, that Philbrick had reduced, or was party in reducing, the limb, and plaintiff did not contradict it. Mr. Nunn had examined the limb of the patient, and had no doubt the fracture was oblique.
Mr. Gurney made an animated and eloquent reply for the de. fendant, imputing the mischief to Philbrick, whom he suspected to be endeavouring to supplant the defendant in the medical care of the parish, and commented upon the contradictory nature of his testimony. Mr. Gurney stated that the defendant was a practitioner of great eminence in the county, and no less distinguished for his talent and skill, than for his feeling and humanity. The contract to attend the poor of this parish excluded all accidents, so that there was no interested motive to negligence.
Very many gentlemen of the first respectability in the county attended the trial, to give the defendant the highest character for skill, diligence, and attention; and several parish officers attended volui tarily to give testimony of the uniform attention and kind3) 255 which the defendant invariably bestowed upon the poor of their respective parishes; and the minister and church-warden of
this very parish of Greenstead also attended for that purpose. Baron Wood, in summing up, told the Jury there was no imputation of want of skill in the defendant; but the evidence on both sides proved that the operation was unskilfully done. Oxen called in Philbrick, and they were the agents of the defendant, and he is responsible for their acts. If they consider it a case of mere error of judgment, defendant was not answerable ; if of want of skill, Owen and Philbrick represented the defendant, and the plaintiff was entitled to their verdict.-Damages 300l.
We cannot refrain from expressing our surprise at the manner in which the evidence was summed up. What distinction the learned Judge drew in his own mind between error of judgment and want of skill we are at a loss to conceive. Error of judgment in any particular case is want of skill, quoad that case. know not how to reconcile the charge of the Judge that Perkins was liable for Philbrick’s want of skill, the latter being the agent of, or representing the former, to the facts previously stated, that the plaintiff expressed uneasiness at being attended only by Owen, and requested that Mr. Philbrick should be called in, and that Owen (Perkins's representative) was a perfect stranger to Philbrick, and called upon him only at the request of tbe patient. That an absent surgeon should be answerable for the wait of skill in another surgeon, chosen by the patient himself, may be law, but it does not appear to us to be perfectly reconcileable with justice.
Royal Institution. - Mr. BRANDE has recently delivered a Course of Lectures on the Rise and Progress of Chemical Philosophy, and its applications to the Arts; in which he unfolded the gradual advance of the Science, and illustrated it by experiment. The first Lecture embraced a view of the early periods of chemistry, in which, after briefly noticing the chemical records of ancient nations, Mr. B. proceeded to the age of Alchemy, the chief origin of which he referred to the new Platonists, whose rise marked the declining age of learning towards the end of the third century. The mysteries of transmutation and the season for the elixir of life were so well adapted to the genius of professors of dæmonology and magic, as to acquire among them rapid celebrity; and the history of their wanderings is not unimportant, as connected with the subsequent advances of chemistry. The best specimen of alchemical jargon is to be found in works written by or attributed to Geber, who is supposed to have been an Arabian prince of the seventh century. "Dr. Johnson derives the word gibberish from the language of Geber and his tribe. -As characteristic writers of the thirteenth and three succeeding centuries, Mr. B. selected Roger Bacon, of Somersetshire; Basil Valentine, of Erfur; Paracelsus, of Switzerland; and Van Helmont, of Brussels. -Entering upon the seventeenth century, the Professor furnished a sketch of the life and writings of Lord Bacon, and of the new turn wbich he gave to experimental philosophy. It was not till then that science shook off its deformed and sickly aspect, and acquired new and healthful vigour, Glauber and the Hon.