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bing of filk, &c. Its occurring in him feems to difprove the idea which has been entertained of its caufe; for it has been thought, that the close connection of the nerve called the corda tympani with the membre Thenpani, expofed it to be affected by the motions of the malleus; and that, as it paffed to nerves connected with the teeth, they fuffered from the vibratory ftate of the nerve, produced by the agitations of the membrane. But, in this cafe, as the membrane was entirely deftroyed on that fide on which the fenfation was produced, fome other explanation must be reforted to; and I fee no reason why this effect should not be referred to that part of the auditory nerve which lines the labyrinth of the ear, which, being impreffed by acute and difagreeable founds, would convey the impreflion to the portio dura of the lame nerve, and to the teeth with which that nerve is connected.

The external ear, though two distinct muscles are inferted into it, is capable, in its natural ftate, of little motion; however, when an organ becomes imperfect, every agent which can be employed to increase its powers is called into action; and, in the cafe here defcribed, the external ear had acquired a diftinct motion upward and backward, which was observable whenever Mr. P liftened to any thing which he did not diftinely hear. This 'power over the mufcles was fo great, that when defired to raise the ear, or to draw it backwards, he was capable of moving it in either direction.

This cafe is not the only one of this defcription which has come under my obfervation; for another gentleman, Mr. A-, applied to

me under a fimilar complaint (but in one ear only), proceeding from fuppuration, and producing the fame effects. This gentleman has the lame power of forcing air through the imperfect ear; fuffers equally from bathing, if the meatus auditorius be unprotected; and feels, even from exposure to a ftream of cold air, very confiderable pain. The only difference I' could obferve was, that in Mr. A's cafe, the defect of hearing in the difeafed organ was fomewhat greater than in the former; for though, when his found ear was clofed, he could hear what was faid in a common tone of voice, yet he could not diftinguifh the notes of a piano forte at the fame diftance: a difference which might have in part arifen from the confufed noife which is always produced by clofing the found ear; or becaufe, as he heard well on one fide, the imperfect ear had remained unemployed, and confequently had been enfeebled by diffe.

From thefe obfervations it seems evidently to follow, that the lofs of the membrana tympani in both ears, far from producing total deafnels, occafions only a flight diminution of the powers of hearing.

Anatomifts, who have deftroyed this membrane in dogs, have afferted, that at firft the effect on the fenfe of hearing was trivial; but that, after the lapfe of a fewmonths, a total deafnefs enfined.Baron Haller alfo has faid, that if the membrane of the tympanum be broken, the perfon becomes at first hard of hearing,, and afterwards perfectly deaf. But, in thefe inftances, the deftruction must have extended farther than the membrana tympani: and the labyrinth muft


have fuffered from the removal of of voice was louder, it then remainthe flapes, and from the confequent ed altogether motionlefs. difcharge of water contained in the cavities of the internal ear; for it has been very conftantly obferved, that when all the fmall bones of the ear have been discharged, a total deafness has enfued.

It is probable, that in inftances in which the membrana tympani is deftroyed, the functions of this membrane have been carried on by the membranes of the feneftra ovalis and feneftra rotunda: for, as they are placed over the water of the labyrinth, they will, when agitated by the impreffions of found, convey their vibrations to that fluid in a fimilar manner, though in fomewhat an inferior degree, to thofe which are conveyed by means of the membrana tympani and the small bones which are attached to it; and thus, in the organ of hearing, each part is admirably adapted, not only to the purpofe for which it is defigned, but alfo as a provifion against accident or difeafe; fo that, whenever any particular part is deftroyed, another is fubftituted for it, and the organ, from this deprivation, fuffers but little injury in its functions.

It seems that the principal ufe of the membrana tympani is, to modify the impreffions of found, and to proportion them to the powers and expectation of the organ. Mr. P had loft this power for a confidera ble period after the deftruction of the membrane; but, in process of time, as the external ear acquired the additional motions I have defcribed, founds were rendered ftronger or weaker by them. When, therefore, he was addrefled in a whisper, the car was feen immediately to move; but, when the tone

Obfervations on the Signs exhibited by Animals, indicative of Changes in the Weather, by Signe Toledo, an Italian Author; Annals of Agriculture.

of ha

HEN the bats remain longer


than ufual abroad from their holes, fly about in great numbers, and to a greater diftance than common, it announces that the following day will be warm and ferene; but if they enter the houfes, and fend forth loud and repeated cries, it indicates bad weather. If the owl is heard to fcream during bad weather, it announces that it will become fine. The croaking of crows in the morning indicates fine weather. When the raven croaks three or four times, extending his wings, and fhaking the leaves, it is a fign of ferene weather. It is an indication of rain and ftormy wea ther when the ducks and geefe fly backwards and forwards, when they plunge frequently in the water, or begin to fend forth cries and to fly about. If the bees do not remove to a great diftance from their hives it announces rain; if they return to their hives before the ufual time, it may be concluded that it will foon fall. If pigeons return flowly to the pigeon-house, it indicates that the fucceeding days will be rainy. It is a fign of rain or wind when the fparrows chirp a great deal, and make a noife to each other to aflemble. When fowls and chickens roll in the fand more than ufual, it announces rain; the fame is the cafe when cocks crow in the evening, or at uncommon hours. Peacocks which cry during


the night have a prefentiment of rain. It is believed to be a fign of bad weather when the swallows fly in fuch a manner as to bruth the furface of the water, and to touch it frequently with their wings and breast. The weather is about to become cloudy and change for the worfe when the flies fting and become more troublesome than ufual. When the gnats collect themselves before the fatting of the fun, and form a fort of vortex in the fhape of a column, it announces fine weather. When fea-fowl and other aquatic birds retire to the fea fhore or marfhes, it indicates a change of weather and a fudden ftorm. If the cranes fly exceedingly high, in filence, and ranged in order, it is a fign of approaching fine weather; but if they fly in diforder, or immediately return with cries, it announces wind. When the dolphins fport and make frequent leaps, the fea being tranquil and calm, it denotes that the wind will blow from the quarter from which they proceed. If the frogs croak more than ufual; if the toads iffue from their holes in the evening in great numbers; if the earth-worms come forth from the earth, and fcorpions appear on the walls; if the ants remove their eggs from their (mall hills; if the moles throw up the earth more than ufual; if the affes frequently shake and agitate their ears; if the hogs fake and fpoil the ftacks of corn; if the bats fend forth their cries and fly into the houses; if the dogs roll on the ground and feratch up the earth with their fore feet; if the cows look towards the heavens, and turn up their noftrils as if catching fome fmell; if the oxen and dogs lie on their right fide; all thefe are figns which announce rain. The

cale is the fame when animals croud together. If the flame of a lamp crackles or flares, it indicates rainy weather. The fame is the cale when the foot detaches itself from the chimney and falls down. It is a fign of rain, also, when the foot, collected around pots or kettles, takes fire in the form of fmall points, like grains of millet; because this phenomenon denotes that the air is cold and moift. If the coals feem hotter than ufual, or if the flame is more agitated, though the weather be calm at the time, it indicates wind. When the flame burns fteady and proceeds ftraight upwards, it is a fign of fine weather. If the found of bells is heard at a great distance it is a fign of wind, or of a change of weather. Good. or bad fmells, feeming as if condenfed, are a fign of a change of weather. When the fpiders webs and leaves of the trees are agitated without any fenfible wind, it is a fign of wind and perhaps rain; becaule it denotes that strong and penetrating exhalations arife from the earth. A want, or too great a quantity of dew, being a mark of a ftrong evaporation announces rain; the fame is the cafe with thick white hoar froft, which is only dew congealed. If falt, marble, and glafs become moift fome days before rain; if articles of wood, doors, and chefts of drawers fwell; if corns on the feet, and fears of old wounds become painful; all these figns indicate that aqueous vapours are exhaled from the earth," and are no doubt directed by the electric matter which diffules itself then in greater abundance, and penetrates every body. Hence it happens that ftones become moift, that wood fwells, and falt becomes de


liquefcent by the moisture. When the ftones after being moist become dry, it is a fign of fine weather. On the other hand, when the weather inclines to rain, the water is feen to diminish in vales and fountains, because the humidity is then

a Letter from Dr. Johnson, Commiffioner of fick and wounded Seamen, to Dr. Blane.

Somerfet-Place, Oa. 28, 1799. My dear fir,

AVING in Auguft and September laft been engaged in a tour of public duty, for the purpole of felecting from among the prifoners of war fuch men as, from their infirmities, were fit objects for being releafed without equivalent, I heard, upon my arrival at Liverpool, an account of one of these prifoners being endowed with an appetite and digeftion fo far beyond any thing that had ever occurred to me, either in my obfervation, reading, or by report, that I was defirous of afcertaining the particulars of it by ocular proof, or undeniable teftimony. Dr. Cochrane, fellow of the college of phyficians at Edinburgh, and our medical agent at Liverpool, is fortunately a gentleman upon whofe fidelity and accuracy I could perfectly depend; and I requested him to inftitute an inquiry upon this fubject during my ftay at that place. I enclose you an attefted copy of the refult of this; and as it may probably appear to you, as it does to me, a document containing facts extremely interefting, both in a natural and medical view, I will beg you to procure its infertion in fome refpectable perio

carried away by the evaporation of HAV
the electric matter. It is certainly
a furprising phenomenon to fee the
earth, after very long and very
abundant rains, to be fometimes al-
moft dry, the roads quite free from
dirt, and the lands to become arid
and parched; this is a fign that the
rain has not altogether ceased, and
denotes a continual efflux of elec-
tric matter, which being renewed
carries with it, in the form of va-
pours, all the moisture that falls
on the earth. There is fometimes,
however, a great deal of dirt, even
after a moderate rain, which, in
that cafe, is a fign of fine weather,
because it indicates that evapora-
tion has ceafed. Dry earth and
moift ftones announce rain. The
hoar froft, which is firft occafioned
by the eaft wind, indicates that the
cold will continue a long time, as
was the cafe in 1770. If it thun-
ders in the month of December,
moderate and fine weather may be
expected. A fine autumn an-
nounces a winter during which
winds will prevail; if it is damp
and rainy it fpoils the grapes, in-
jures the fown fields, and threa-
tens a fcarcity. If it be too cold,
or too warm, it produces many ma-dical work.
ladies. A long feverity of the fea-
fons, either by winds, drought,
dampnefs, heat, or cold, becomes
exceedingly deftructive to plants
and animals.

Account of a Man who lives upon large Quantities of raw Flesh. In

Some farther points of inquiry concerning this extraordinary perfon having occurred to me fince my arrival in town, I fent them in the form of queries to Dr. Cochrane, who has obligingly returned fatiffactory anfwers. Thefe I fend along with the above-mentioned attefted


tatement, to which I beg you to fubjoin fuch reflections as may occur to you on this fubject.

I am, my dear fir,

Your most obedient humble fervant, J. Johntion.

To Gilbert Blane, M. D. F. R. S. and one of the commiffioners of fick and wounded feamen.

Charles Domery, a native of Benche, on the frontiers of Poland, aged twenty-one, was brought to the prison of Liverpool, in February, 1799, having been a foldier in the French fervice, on board the Hoche, captured by the fquadron under the command of fir J. B. Warren, off Ireland.

He is one of nine brothers, who, with their father, have been remarkable for the voracioufnefs of their appetites. They were all placed early in the army; and the peculiar craving for food with this young man began at thirteen years of age.

He was allowed two rations in the army, and by his carnings, or the indulgence of his comrades, procured an additional fupply.

When in the camp, if bread or meat were scarce, he made up the deficiency, by eating four or five pounds of grafs daily; and in one year devoted 174 cats (not their kins) dead or alive; and fays, he had feveral fevere conflicts in the act of deftroying them, by feeling the effects of their torments on his face and hands: fometimes he killed them before cating, but when very

hungry did not wait to perform this

humane office.

Dogs and rats equally fuffered from his mercilefs jaws; and if much pinched by famine, the entrails of animals indifcriminately became his prey. The above facts are attefted by Picard, a refpectable man, who was his comrade in the fame regiment, on board the Hoche, and is now prefent; and who affures me, he has often feen him feed on thofe animals.

When the hip, on board of which he was, had furrendered, after an obftinate action, finding himself, as ufual, hungry, and nothing elle in his way but a man's leg, which was thot off, lying before him, he attacked it greedily, and was feeding heartily, when a failor fnatched it from him, and threw it overboard.

Since he came to this prifon, he has eat one dead cat and about

twenty rats. But what he delights molt in is raw meat, beef or mutton, of which, though plentifully fupplied, by eating the rations of ten men daily, he complains he has not the fame quantity, nor indulged in eating fo much as he ufed to do, when in France.


He often devours a bullock's liver raw, three pounds of candles, and a few pounds of raw beef, in one day, without tailing bread or vegetables, washing it down with water, if his allowance of beer is expended.

His fubfiftence at prefent, independent of his own rations, arifes from the generofity of the prifoners, who give him a fhare of their allowance.", Nor is his flomach confined

The French prifoners of war were at this time maintained at the expenfe of their own nation, and were each allowed the following daily ration:-Twenty-six ounces of bread, half a pound of greens, two ounces of butter, or fix ounces of chocfe.


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