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THE

CRITICAL REVIEW.

PO

SEPTEMBER, 1803.

ART. 1.-Historical Surgery, or the Progress of the Science of ile:licine: on Inflammation, Mortification, and GunShot Wounds. By John Hunt. 4to. 11. 19. Boards. Rivingtons. MR. Hunt appears to be an attentive judicious practitioner: he probes, however, to the quick; and his applications are in some degree corrosive, when, perhaps, emollients might have been applied with more advantage. To drop the metaphor, his criticisms, though accurate, are severe; and, were a reviewer, in his warfare, to be as extreme, to mark what is done amiss,' he must expect more clamorous complaints, than are generally met with, large as is his constant portion. In the introduction, he speaks of the advantages of experimental philosophy to a surgeon; but its importance is somewhat exaggerated. So far as it facilitates contrivances of convenience, and stores the mind with ready resources, it may be highly useful; but its actual employment scarcely extends beyond the first principles of mechanics. When we advance to the sublimer regions of philosophy, and endeavour to apply its truths to the animal machine, the greatest errors have been the consequence. Our author quotes, as an instance of this nature, 3r. Mend's, tract.De Imperio Solis ct Lunæ in Corpore humano,' founded on the Newtonian theory of the rides. The sun andi inoor cannot, he shows, have any in-, fluence on the human body: bat inis objection he carries too far. The Mediterranean has nợ tides, because its extent is not sufficient for the heavenly bod:e3 to produce the necessary expansion; and De la Place has demonstrated, that, unless we admit the depth of the ocean to be much greater than philosophers have supposed, tides cannot be produced, even in the Atlantic, by the attraction of the sun and moon. This gives additional force to the objection of our author: but he does not advert to a more remote influence. Aërial tides are certainly produced; and, from the variation of the air’s pressure, the human body is affected. The mercury in the Torricellian vacuum, from the same change, feels the influence of these bodies, as minuter observers of the variation of the height of the quicksilver have shown. Epilepsy we have certainly seen affected by the growing moon; and we must admit, with practitioners of credit, in warmer climates,

Crit. Rev. Vol. 39. September, 1803. B

that the periods of fevers are also influenced by the changes of that luminary. These observations, however, do not acquit Dr. Mead of the charges adduced by our authors and his fate affords a melancholy picture of the little durability of professional faine. Dr. Mead, not long since at the head of the medical profession, is now in the lowest rank. His works are seldom quoted, but to be confuted; and, when examined, they will be found not to add a grain to the stock of medical science. He was a man of learning, not of judgement: he could probably remember what his predecessors had observed; but he could not combine it with his own acquisitions : he could not, by reflexion, by comparison, or abstraction, elicit new truths, in addition to the dogmas of his masters. 'lle could not?'—the expression may be too strong: he certainly did not.

The first section of this work is on The Imperfections of the Treatment of Mortification, exemplified by the indiscriminate Use of the Bark at improper Periods of the Disease.'--In his historical view of the subject, Mr. Hunt begins with Mr. Bromfield, and marks, with disapprobation, his vague, indiscriminate, and contradictory language on the subject. We have not a word to say in his favour: but think Mr. Hunt somewhat unfair, in not taking up the inquiry ab ovo, and give ing the state of our knowledge of the subject at the time of Mr. Bromfield's publication. One of the earliest, if not the earliest, authors who recommended bark m mortifications, was, we believe, the first Dr.Monro, who also first applied it in the worst stages of the small-pox. • The second section comprises (The Division of Mortification into two Species, illustrative of the Effects of Bark and Opium.'-This part.pdates.to.Ir Poto's.observations on the mor-, tification of the joe år! Jeet; 2011 oum author is peculiarly severe on the confusion of lis.Pott's language, and the irrelevance of some of his remarks: 90 Hunt pretty plainly intiniates, that the opjuin was used by accident; and, when the surgeon was successful.nexes: 10:32re to what he owed his success. A want of*cantour, nomor rentioning his predecesser Mr. Sharp's remarks, is also, in our author's opinion, reprehensible; and where opium has apperred to succeed, much may be probably attributed to the ciforts of the constitution in the conquest of the disease. "

ill. Amputation considered as a Remedy in Cases of Mortification; and the Ambiguity of the pullic Opinion on this Subject.'-- In this section, also, our author supports the opinion of Mr. Sharp, i hat no amputation should take place, till not only a separation appears, but the constitution has regained some share of firmness; and is severe on Mr. Beil, not only for seeming to lean to the side of those who would perform the opetation before any separation was obvious, but for more point

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