« AnteriorContinuar »
or even Morton's repetition of opiates, till the patient is seemingly quieted, can produce no other than à disturbed and oppressive sumber, from the two great fulness and distention of the vessels, as well as from the rarefaction of the fluids contained in them. If this is the case, we plainly see how these oppressive slumbers may be prevented, viz, by pursuing the antiphlogistic course; for by plentiful bleeding, and daily purging, the patient is gradually disposed to softand quiet rest, in proportion to the emptying of the vessels; and sleep obtained in this way, is so far from being pernicious in any period of small-pox, that it is of the greatest use in promoting the kindly maturation of the pustules; whereas it is found in experience that long watchfulness, or the want of refreshing rest, interrupts this good effect, and increases the inflammation of the pustules, and irritation upon the whole nervoụs system.'.
A very important period of the small.pox, namely, the fecondary fever, comes next under our author's consideration. In treating of this subject, he begins with shewing the causes assigned for the secondary fever by some of the best writers on the disease, and he offers objections to the common .received , doctrine upon this head, which is, that the variolous pus contained in the pustules is absorbed into the blood. The following are the reasons for which Dr. Walker diffeņts from this opinion; and it must be acknowledged that they claim no small confideration:
rist. At the commencement of this fever, and for some days after, we may observe that most of the pustules, excepting such as inay have bursted by pressure, &c. are replete with pus, and incapable of containing more. Had absorption in any degree taken place, we might expect a proportional depletion of the puitules within the above period; but this is not the case, either on the body or extremities; and before this time the puftules on the face are generally so much encrusted, that little or no moisture can be abforbed from them: besides, many small. pox cases occur, where the secondary fever runs its course for some days, and terminates successfully, leaving the puítules on the body and extremities nearly in the fame state they were at the commencement of the fever, which shews it did not originate from the matter of the pustules being absorbed into the system.
2d. The doctrine of the absorption of variolous pus from the pustules into the blood, after it has been deposited in them for eight days, is contrary to the common course and order of nature, as it occurs in other cutaneous eruptions; more especially in such as have been thrown out from the circulating mass, by means of previous fever, and may strictly be called critical,
• 3d. In all those cases where the secondary fever occurs, and no diarrhça intervenes, nor early evacuations substituted to carry off the excefs of contagious fluids ; but, on the contrary, where a practice has been adopted, every way calculated to promote not only the swelling of the head, face, and fauces, but the general tumefaction
of the body. In these circumstances, it is not easy to conceive how
• 4th. To what has been advanced upon this argument, we shall subjoin another consideration, taken from the condition of the pus in the pustules at this period, which renders its abforption ftill more improbable.
i The tenacity and consistence of the variolous pus at that period when the secondary fever commences, renders it improbable that it can be received within the mouths of the absorbents. It will appear obvious to every one who has aitended to this circumstance, that from the formation of pus in the puftules, but especially for two days before their complete maturation, that there is, more or less, a daily exsudation of the thinner parts of the pus from the puftules; this is evident from their change of colour, and the gritty roughness that is to be felt on their apices; it is likewise demonstrated from the morbid effluvia being more discernible at this period, than in any of the former stages; and that at this time infection is more readily communicated than at any other. We may likewife judge of this fact from the aptitude of the puftules on the face to form into dry and folid crusts. If, therefore, there is a transudation of the thinner parts of the pus from the puftules, what remains will be left in such a state of viscidity as will render it incapable of being absorbed.'
The author next inquires whether the retained perspirable matter has any influence in the production of the secondary fever, as is commonly imagined. He observes, that when the far greater part of the surface of the body is covered with maturated pustules, it may be considered by some as giving a check to the secretion of insensible perspiration; ' but if this is
the true cause of the secondary fever,' says he, it must have ( operated in producing this effect long before the eleventh
day. He contends that if a numerous eruption of pustules prevents a discharge of the perspirable matter, it must produce this effect soon after the eruption is completed; the consequence of which will be, that, instead of an abatement of fever, which more or less takes place upon the eruption being completed, there must, from an accumulation of perspirable matter retained in the system, be a constantly progressive increase of fever seyeral days before the eleventh, which feldom or never happens.
The opinion that a retention of perspirable matter is the cause of the secondary fever, our author farther invalidates by observing
that, though the body is covered with variolous pustules, it does not appear that these altogether interrupt insenfible perspiration; as the peculiar fætor which always accompanies the small-pox, especially the worst kinds, plainly contradict the existence of any such effect. · Dr. Walker next endeavours to point out the apparent origin of the secondary fever, in a consistency with his theory of the disease. His opinion is, that the secondary fever being always connected with an extensive assimilation and a numerous crop of small-pox, it is occafioned by an excess of contagious fluids itill remaining in the system, and supporting a constant irritation, Other arguments are advanced by our author in confirmation of this doctrine ; but we have already extended the present article to an unusual length,
In three subsequent chapters the author treats respectively of the theory and prevention of pits, of ulcerations in consequence of small-pox, and of advantages arising from the preceding mode of treating the worst kinds of the disease. Much practical and useful observation occurs in the prosecution of these subjects; and in an appendix, representing the present state of the linall. pox, the author, from a view of the causes of its frequency and mortality, proposes some, means of still farther reducing the number of deaths. Of this we shall only say that his political as well as his medical observations are entitled to particular at tention.
We cannot conclude our account of this interesting work without acknowledging, in justice to the author, that we have perused it with great satisfaction. False hypotheses in physic have often been known to be supported by plausible arguments; but the system produced by Dr. Walker is certainly recommended by a peculiar assemblage of just and strong considerations. It is difficult to say whether his theory be more indebted for its origin to ingenuity, or to a multiplicity of concurring facts and practi. cal observations with which it is powerfully maintained. He has unquestionably examined the validity of his own doctrine with equal learning, candour, and judgment; and nothing seems wanting to its perfect establishment, but that the method of cure which he recommends may prove as successful with other practi. tioners as it has evidently done with himself. The best effects may be expected from a treatment enforced with so much useful observation.
Art. XI. False Appearances ; a Comedy. Altered from the
French, and performed at the Theatre-Royal, Drury-Lane. By the Right Hon. General Conway. 8vo. Is. 6d, Debrett,
London, 1789. W HEN ladies and gentlemen act comedies they should
doubtlefs be written on purpose for them, and they should be perfect in their kind. False Appearances, translated from the Dehors Trompeurs of M. Biffy, has certainly no faults, But we are told in its original Itate, however, abounding in a refined turn of wit, and by no means deficient in attic salt, it was supposed to want fome of the Cayenne humour, which makes the necessary seasoning for an English audience. We confess the wit is too much refined for our coarse conceptions, and the salt is too judiciously applied to be any where predominant. To fuit it still better to the upper regions, an abbé is added; but though, in the hands of Mr. John Bannister, he may be made a very comical fellow, he affords very little amusement in the closet. After all, the characters are natural, the incidents such as might be expected in common life, the moral perspicuous, and adapted to the comic muse, the dialogue chaste, and the catastrophe de. firable. But if Horace's idea of ut pi&tura poefis be just, this is not all we expect, or rather not all the critic will admit in dramatic performances. In pictures where the painter is left to his own fancy for the choice of his subject and figures, we expect him to represent nature to the greatest advantage. We allow a regular cast of features, a sweetness of countenance, and a degree of expression we never see afsembled in nature, and which perhaps, were we to see it, might be less pleasing than what we expect by its representation. Thus in comedy we admit a brilliancy of dialogue, a strength and variety of character we feldom expect should meet under limilar circumstances. And however we may fancy that with this latitude, it will not be difficult at any time to make a good play; a little reflection will teach us how much artifice and contrivance must be necessary to cover the delusion under these disadvantages. It has been said the French plays have ever been dull for want of variety of character; but we would rather impute it to an affected refinement of taste, or a too great severity of criticism. Whatever be the true case, we may justly consider False Appearances as a model of modern French comedy, viz, a too close representation of the dull scenes of life among the superior classes. Thus, though we allow there is nothing to censure, we shall in vain attempt to find any thing to praise.
Art. ART. XII. Antiquities of Great-Britain, illustrated in Views of.
Monasteries, Castles, and Churches, now existing. Engraved fror Drawings made by Thomas Hearne. Printed by James Phillips, Lombard-Street, published by T. Hearne and W. Byrne. Long Folio. Vol. I. consisting of Thirteen Numbers, at ios. 63. per Number. London, 1786,
TT must give pleasure to every lover of the arts to see the pro
gress they make, and the encouragement they receive. We hope that encouragement will not in the end destroy what it means to foster. It is in the power of artists, and only in their power, to prevent this evil. True to their art, they should never sacrifice it to bad taste, or immediate profit. In whatever ftyle they excel, their productions in that style should aim at pleasing the real judge, and not the vulgar and unknowing eye. In reviewing a work of the kind now before us, these reflections naturally occurred; for there is certainly great danger when works of art become a considerable object of trade (which is now the case that the artist will think of what will sell, more than of what should fell.
With respect to the production now under review, we hope we may congratulate Messrs. Hearne and Byrne on the success of their united labours, as their work is highly deserving of public patronage. Something of this kind had been attempted by Hollar; and, as far as exactness in the forms, and neatnels of execution go, he deserved praise; but he wanted taste, and many other requisites; he could copy nature, but knew not to catch her, if we may be allowed the expression, in her most proper and pleasing attitudes; his fore-grounds are always heavy, and in every respect despicable ; none of his views can be said to form a picture. Mr. Hearne, on the contrary, adds to truth of delineation the merit of giving a pleasing effect to his views. By choosing what we term the proper attitude of his subject, and by a scientific distribution of light and shade, his views in general appear like compositions, where the parts had been selected and arranged by a judicious painter. By his choice of the proper attitude he has attained another excellence, which is not only to give the form, but the character of the object. Whoever examines his representation of the castle of Edinburgh in this view, will find that he has given it, by this choice of attitude, that rugged and abrupt appearance which seems to breathe defiance, which is the distinctive character of the object; and which, in all the views of it we had before seen, we could not discern,