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Art. 24. An Answer to a very extraordinary North-Briton ; pube
lished on Monday last, in the Publick Advertiser. A flimsy attack on the Ins.
on Midwifery: on a new Plan: containing full and plain Di-
2 s. 6d. Dilly. This work is offered to the public, as a cheap abridgement of the modern improvements in the art of midwifery; and is celigned at once to anfwer the purpose of a text-book, and the midwife's vade mecum.As a text-book, it might have been more fimple, more concentrated; and as an abridgement, it is in fome places very diffuse and onweildy. A quotation from the work itself, when compared with the original as it stands in Dr. Smellie, will convince our Readers of the truth of this observation. Dr. Smellie, to whom our Author is chiefly indebted for his materials, thus speaks of the evacuations necesary at the end of the month after delivery * : • Those who have had a fufficient discharge of the dochia, plenty of milk, and suckle their own.children, commonly recover with eale; and as the superfluous fluids of the body are drained off at the nipples, feldom require evacuations at tbe end of the month : but, if there are any complaints from fullness, such as pains and stitches, after the twentieth day, some blood ought to be taken from the arm, and the belly gently opened by frequenc glysers, or repeated doses of laxative medicines.
• If the patient has tolerably recovered, the milk having been at first fucked or discharged from the nipples, and afterwards discussed; no evacuations are necessary before the third or fourth week; and sometimes not till after the firit flowing of the menjes, which commonly happens about the fifth week : if they do not appear within that time, gentle evacuations must be prescribed to carry off the plethora, and bring down. the cutamenia.'. This the original: here follows our Author's correct, concise, and judicious abridgement.
• Lastly, p. 84, in order to the woman's complete recovery, we sometimes prescribe a few purges, as that of sena-leaves taken by way of tea, ta'f a drachm of powder of jalap and salt petre, mixed and taken in a draught of weak ale or water.gruel warmt; or a purging draughc
of half an ounce of tamariods, a quarter of an ounce of sena, . Vide Smellie's Treatise on the Theory and Praciice of Midwifery, B. iv, Ch. i. Sect. 2.
+ Our Author, surely, if he writes from experience, mut have practised upon very robust females.
and half a quarter of an ounce of cream of tartar, boiled in four ounces or a gill of water to two, and diffolving a quarter of an ounce of manna, and as much glauber salts when ftrained and warm, making it stronger or weaker as the patient requires, and giving them once or twice a week accordingly, in the morning fafting, to purge any superfluous humours out of the body that may remain at the end of the month after her delivery.
• Those women, who have their cleansings in sufficient quantity, and of long enough ftanding, and have plenty of milk, and suckle their own children, commonly recover well without any purgatives or other medicines, the humours being drained off that way, especially at the nipples. Yet, if there should be any complaints after the twentieth day, it will be necessary to give some of the purges above-mentioned, after taking first away a little blood with the lancet.
• If a woman has pretty well recovered, the milk having been fucked or discharged from the nipples, and afterwards discussed, (see Part ii. Chap ii. Article 4.) no purging of any kind is needful before the third or fourth week; sometimes not till after the first flowing of her courses, which is commonly about the fifth week, when, if they do not come down of themselves, we bleed her in the arm or ancle, and give her some of the above purges, or twenty grains of jalap powder, with eight grains of sweet mercury, the same way every now and then to promote that discharge, &c.'- -So much for our Author's work as a text-book, and abridgment.
With regard to the merits of this performance, as particularly fitted to be the Midwife's Pocker-companion, we apprehend our Author has some formidable rivals. Among others, we may mention Eucha. rius Rhodion, who practised physic at Frankfort on the Maine, and published a book on the subject of midwifery, in High Dutch; this work, about the year 1530, was translated into Latin, French, Spanish, and other languages, and was very well received as the woman's book all over Europe. -Of a much later date, and inferior character, are the labours of Salmon and Culpepper : to the first of these has been attributed a piece called Ariftotle's Midwifery; and the latter published a book intitled, A Directory for Midwives, by Nicholas Culpepper, Gentleman, Student in Phyfick and Astronomy. These curious performances were for many years in great vogue with the midwives, are still read by the lower sort of practitioners, and have contributed to keep up the belief of the marvellous effects of various medicines, and the more marvellous effects of various spells and charms. With rivals of such different degrees of merit, we pretend not to determine how far our Author is likely to succeed as the woman's man; as we are not sufficiently acquainted with the taste, genius, and philosophy of those respectable dames, who make up the several classes of female practitioners in these days.
Our Author feems to expect some fingular advantages, from having introduced English names and English terms, instead of those which have long been in ose from the dead languages. We have, says he, changed the terms of art used in medical books for others of the same import, but more familiar to midwives ; and, frequently, the more uncommon words, which occur in all kinds of books, for more plain and intelligible expressions.'But English terms will not be underkood, except the corresponding parts be pointed out upon the subject;
and with this assistance, the old terms, or indeed any terms, are easily understood, though not perhaps so easily remembered: the remembrance of terms, however, is chiefly for the uses of writing or conversation ; the remembrance of things is the matter of principal importance : and there is one inconvenience to which our Author's followers will be subject; he has not pointed out the old terms which answer to his English names, consequently they will in their reading be limited to The Midwife's Poco ket companion.
Upon the whole, we think this work but an indifferent abridgment of what has been more fully and clearly delivered by Smellie, Levret, and others. As to the language, it is frequently very pom pous, very uncouth. We use the u idening force of our hand :
:-our hand outwardly and artfully applied: :-our thumbs to the bind-head:-our other hand :-we,
efhift hands: pour fore and middle fingers. to each fide of the neck :-we thrust our fingers :
:-we fcratch it with our nails :-the nails of our fingers :-we pincb it with the nails of our thumb and fingers.-
-What a bustle have we here, with our thrusting, our widening, our scratching, our pinching ! and what an importance, with our arms, our hands, our fingers, our thumbs, our nails!— Nature certainly has been particularly kind to our Author, and bestowed upon him more arms, and hands, and fingers, and thumbs, and nails, than his neighbours !—Who would have thought, that, with all this fuperabundant dignity, our Author could have been any thing less than an M. D.!-Who would not have thought, that he had been * doubly dubbed !
An Advertisement appeared in the London Chronicle for the oth of May last, signifying, “That John Miemis has no degree of medicine from the Marilhal-college, Aberdeen ; and that, when he lately made application for a degree, it was absolutely and unanimously refused by the university. We could not but be furprized ar fuch an attempt to impose upon the public; especially as the real, intrinsic merit of this performance was precisely the same, whether written by John Memis, Surgeon, and Man-midwife :-or by John Memis, M.D. of the Marischal college, Aberdeen.'
D. Art. 26. A New Eljay on the Venereal Disease, and Methods of
Cure; accounting for the Nature, Cause, and Symptoms of that Malady. By J. Becket, M.D. 8vo. 2s.6d. Williams.
It hath been objected to the reviewers in general, that they often cri. ticize without mercy; that they are not fufficiently tender of the reputation of the Authors under their lah; and that their pens sometimes feem guided rather by their pasions than their judgment. We acknowledge a philosophical equanimity to be a proper ingredient in the character of a Reviewer; but those who have censured us for the want of this virtue, would do well to consider a moment, whether they believe it pos. fible for any man to read all the trash which is obtruded upon the public without being now and then a little provoked, and put out of humour? When we meet with a performance, every page of which discovers its author to be, not only ignorant of his subject, but illiterate, and deficient even in point of grammar; when we find the hand-bill of a C-p Doctor coarsely ipun into a half crown book, with the two re
fpectable letters M. D. in the title-page; when this is the case, we are firmly of opinion that Job himself, if he had been a reviewer, would sometimes have given way to a little honest refentment : exclaiming, as he did to his officious friends,—- Ye are forgers of lies, ye are physicians of no value ! Chap. xiii. V. 4.
B-t, Art. 27. Medicina Politica : Or, Reflections on the Art of Physic, as
inseparably connected with the Prosperity of a State. By Charles Collignon, M. D. Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge. 8vo. 15. Beecroft, &c.
This pamphlet, we are informed by the Author in his introduction, is intended as a supplement to his late Enquiry * into tbe Structure of the Hu: man Bodi, relative to its supposed Influence on the Morals of Mankind, in which it was allowed, that there are certain indispositions of the body which tend to generate irregular affections of the mind.. On this foundation, says the Author, generally have bad actions been excused; but this excuse will be deprived of its palliating power, if any thing can be found capable of removing those indispositions. This, Dr. Colignon is of opinion, may be obtained by a proper application of the medical art, the intention of which is to preserve and restore the health of the body. Unfortunately, however, for this doctrine, there are few individuals who could not, from experience, inform our Author, that the body when in perfe& health is most inclined to be vicious. But, if we were even to admit, that intemperance, ambition, pride, cruelty, &c. are the effects of a morbid crafis or motion of the blood, the remedy becomes an idle speculation, unless physicians were invested with full power to bleed, purge, blister, &c. whomsoever they please ; for we apprehend that those who are afflicted with pride, cruelty, &c. will seldom, of their own accord, call in a physician to cure them of these disorders.
We muit, however, in justice to the Author, observe, that his language is generally pleasing, and that his conclufion is fpirited and important. The following passage will be sufficient to give an idea of the Author's manner : "If health then may be deemed a blessing of so diffufive a natore as to affect the manners, as well as the prosperity of a people, can we help lamenting that injudicious books, millaken zeal, and pernicious patents, should join their formidable forces to destroy so great a good ? By injudicious books he means Practices of Phyfic, DJpensatoties, &c. in the vulgar tongue; by mistaken zeal, he alludes to the pious opposers of inoculation ; as to pernicious patents, it requires no explanation.
B-t. . See Review, Vol. XXXI. p. 335. Art. 28. A Letter to 7. K-M. D. with an Account of the
Case of Mr. T-n, of the City of Od. To which are subjoined some Observations on the Ulcered Sore Throat. By J. S, M. D. Oxford. 8vo. IS. Rivington.
When doctors of Divinity, or doctors of physic, suffer their private animofities to burst forth into print, we cannot help accusing them, in general, of having fachficed to resentment that dignity, honour and in
tereft of their tespective profeffions, which prudent men have been ever careful to support. We acknowledge, nevertheless, that there are particular cases which not only admit but require a public vindication. Dr. S begins this pamphlet with the copy of a letter, written by him to Dr. K. about iwo months ago, in which he accuses him of having violently aspersed his character both as a phyfician and a man. To this letter he received no answer ; 'which, by the known laws of decorum, he had certainly a right to expect; unless Dr. K had reasons for his filence, with which the public are unacquainted.
The nature of the dispute between these two physicians is briefly this: They both attended a patient dangeroully ill of a fever and sore throat, which Dr.K- believed to be merely inflammatory, and Dr. Smaa lignant, or ulcired. Those who are at all acquainted with phyfic, know, that this difference in opinion was of infinite importance to the patient, as the method of treatment in the first species of this disorder ought to be diametrically opposite to that in the other. But before we can enter upon the merits of the cause, it will be necessary to mention the symptoms which induced Dr. S- to pronounce the disorder à malignant, and not an infiammatory sore throat : viz. a small running pulse, intense heat and dryness of the kin, perpetual restlessness, anxiety, delirium, and lloughs on both the tonfils.
With regard to the pulse, though we cannot allow it to afford any infallible diagnostic in this case, yet, we contess its being small rendered it highly probable that the disease was not inflammatory, the angira inflanimatoria being constantly åttended with a frequent, firong, and somewhat hard pulle. The second fymptom mentioned, viz. int nfe beat and drgress of the skin, we cannot admic as pathognomonic. The third chain of symptoms is, however, of more weight in the balance; but the floughs on ibe tonfis ferm to determine the question. We say fein to determine, because we do not chuse to give a final opinion, unul we have seen a more circumstantial history of the case, from the beginning. If we were impowered to interrogate the evidence, we should take the liberty to ask the following questions :
IN, Was the patient amicted with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, in the beginning of the disease?
2diy, Did he swallow without much difficulty ? zali, Was his breath remarkably offensive ? 4thly, Was there any eruption on the skin? 5thly, Did he become worse after bleeding? 6:bly, Did he speak with a hollow voice? thly, Was he weak, and dejected? - 8thti, Is he of a relaxed, pituitous habit ?
gihly. Did the fauces, upon inipection, appear discoloured, spotted, or foughy?
1orbly, Was the patient delirious on the 2d, 3d, or 4th day of his disorder?
If all, or most of these questions should be answered in the affirmative, it will not be in our power to give it against Dr. S—; provided we have no doubt as to the judgment and veracity of the evidence.
Now.chere have already appeared two witnesses on behalf of the said Dr. So, plaintiff; namely, Mrs. Tinson, the patient's wife, and Mr. C. Ward, a surgeon who attended the patient. The first of these,