« PreviousContinue »
prover author ha both in Gufe a second en if we
u ü. P. 23.
nent and useful, though bearing too frequently the marks of carelessness in composition, and at times too trivial, as well as pleonastic. , They were probably a juvenile performance. We meet, as we have already remarked, with no display of 'recondite criticism, or elaborate philology: but they are designed for the English reader, rather than for the scholar; and we observe, that, for the benefit of the former, the Greek quotations are occasionally printed in Roman characters. This must, unquestionably, prove a prodigious source of instruction and entertainment. As our author has given numerous instances of parallel passages and imitations, both in Greek and Latin, we would suggest the propriety, in the event of a second edition, of accompanying them with an English version; and, if we have not already prepared for him too much labour, it would be a convenience to have the portions of the original poem, which are either cited or referred to, arithmetically specificated by the number of the line from which they are brought.
• Deep revolved.] The word, in the original, is porphuresken, which comes from porphura, a kind of fisb, which is found in the most profound depths of the sea.' Vol. ii. P. 23.
What the author here means by, a kind of fish, we know not:--as for the rest, never having sounded the sea in its most profound depths, we cannot speak as to the accuracy of the gauge. We apprehend, however, that this kind of fish is the murex, so celebrated by ancient writers for the brilliancy and durability of its dye-purpureus colos conchyli—and which, instead of being dragged from the most profound depths of the sea, was originally discovered on the Tyrian coasts, and continued, while it was in use, to be a source of considcrable wealth to that industrious island. We cannot forbear to oba serve, that the inaccuracy we have just noticed, of quoting from a passage which does not exist in the translated poem, is here equally manifest. In the copy of the version before us, there is no such term as deep revolved. We apprehend it alludes to v. 743, in which we meet with
• Much he revolved the perils of the way:' but we cannot be certain. In reality, although not at the bottom of the sea, we are quite out at sea, and that without a come pass to direct us throughout the whole of this and the anterior page; in which not half the references correspond with the English version of the poem.
• Cyanea's rocks.] These rocks were called the Symplegades. They had ibis name from their colour.-See a preceding notc. Book Ti' Vol. ii. P. 93. .
Never, perhaps, did so short a note contain so many proofs
of inaccuracy and want of precision. The English reader, haring perused it, has still to inquire—what note? what name? what colour? and the Greek scholar, who, or what, is Cyanea? If the former be a grammarian, he will necessarily suppose, from the construction of the sentence, that the rocks were denominated Symplegades from their colour : but he will here be mistaken-Symplegades alluding merely to their reciprocal projection, or overhanging prominences: from their colour, they were termed Cyanee, or the Black rocks. But who or what Cyanea was, we have yet to learn.
• Now behind eartb.] He means here, that the sun sunk beneath the horizon.--The poet seems to suppose, that the confines of Ethiopia bounded the two hemispheres.---The ignorance of the ancients in geography, was very extraordinary.-It appears, that Herodotus did not believe that the earth was of a globular form.' Vol. ii. p. 177.
Herodotus was not the only man of learning who accredited this error. The spherical figure of the earth, and the existence of antipodes, was not generally admitted, till the bold adventure of Velasco de Gama into the Indian Ocean, by the Cape of Good Hope; and the tenet, even at this last period, was regarded as heretical. The stoics were the only philosophers of ancier.t times who allowed to the earth a spheroidal configuration: they had no idea, however, of antipodal nations, and only admitted the former, from the conceit that the universe itself was globular, and that the earth and planets partook of the same form consecutively. The more general, and indeed almost universal, opinion was that of the Epicureans, who imagined that the earth towards its basis became gradually more attenuate and symphoneous with the nature of the air, on whose bosom it was supposed to rest. Thus Epicurus, in his epistle to Herodotus, την γην τω αιρο εποχτισθαι, ως συγγενη. So also Lucretius, pursuing the same doctrine, Rer. Nat. v. 535.
· Terraque ut in media mundi regione quiescat,
Partibus aëris mundi, quibus insita vivit.' Had we not made the observation repeatedly before, we should be again tempted to remark, upon this note, that the reference which introcluces it-Now behind earth- does not occur in the text of the tranlations.
But enough of the notes : we advance to the third volume, the contents of which, as our allotted space is more than occupied, we must reserve for future remark.
(To be continued.de
ART. II.-- Pharmacopæiu Collegië Regü Iledicorumn Edinbur's
gensis. 8vo. 6s. Bourds. Robinsons. 1903. THE eighth edition of this Dispensatory was published in 1792; and we noticed it, at some length, in the seventh volume of our new series. The Edinburgh college, it seems, purpose to re-publish their national Pharmacopæịa every ten years-a practice which has its advantages and disadvantages. If. the changes be considerable, if an innovating spirit be suffered to wander without restraint, the new lesson can be scarcely learnit, before another will succeed; and the practitioner will err, not only in the title, but the proportions. If the changes be slight, and new medicines only be introduced, still shorter intervals might be highly advantageous. We have an example, in our own college, which will explain our meaning. The changes in the last London Dispensatory were so numerous, and sometimes so trifling, that they could not soon be comprehended, or were quickly disregarded. At this moment, among the older practitioners in the country, the new nomenclature is seldom employed. If then, at the end of ten years, the innovation was to be again complete, the directions would be little attended to. On the other hand, new medicines are introduced in practice, which have not the sanction of the college, and preparations, which have no certain standard. The tincture of digitalis, em ployed by Dr. Beddoes, varies from that recommended by different practitioners, who, in turn, vary from each other; and the preparation at Apothecaries'-Hall is not exactly the same with any of them. Though therefore, on the whole, we do not approve of this decennial system, yet we think an appendix should appear at even shorter intervals, and each succeeding appendix include the foregoing. The changes, in these, should be the essential ones only, and the additions such as cxperience seems to have sanctioned. The expense could be no objection, for. a single sheet would often contain them : it should be published, at the same time, in quarto and duodecimo.-- To return to the present work: we shall select a passage or two from the preface.
"Nova quædam, vel propriâ experientiâ vel gravissimis clarorum virorum testimoniis, nobis comnicndita, in numerum medicamentorum accepimus. Nounuila, majorum credulitate, forsitan et super. stiiione, invecta, resecuinius. Si quid vero hujusmodi auhuc supera sit, id postcris delendum reliquimus; præstat enim, ut nobis videtur, copiâ quam penuriâ premi.
Multorum medicamentorum nomina antiqua ci vulgaria, monentibus botanice et chemiâ nuper adeo feliciter cultis, cum aliis conuinutavimus; quo facilius et promptius ex ipsis nominibus vera eorum natura et compositio innotescant. . • In hoc opere, consilium nobis et quasi lex fuit, animalia et vege.
tabilia, quæ simplicia medicamenta præbent, iis solis nominibus indicare, quibus appellantur ab optimis historiæ naturalis et botanicæ scriptoribus : quâ in te scripta summi Linnæi nobis maximæ fuerunt auctoritatis. Ubicunque aliis scriptoribus fidere oportebat, auctores sedulò indicavimus. Tamdiu verò sub prelo versatus est hic liber, ut non mirum fuerit si quædam ad hanc operis nostri, partem spectantia detecta sint, postquam catalogus Materiæ Medicæ typis fuit totus impressus. Hoc, ut accepimus, jam factum est de ipecacuanhâ; quam clarus felix Avellar Brotero, botanicæ in academiâ Coimbrensi professor, accuratè descripsit nomine callicoccå ipecacuanhâ, et icone illustravit. Si fortè idem acciderit de aliis quorum notitia nondum huc pervenerit, auctores speramus nos habituros esse excusatos, qui non aliam ob causam eos non ut decuisset citavimus.
. Gravior autem labor nos haud parum moratus est in describendis variis præparatis et compositis quæ inter medicamenta recensentur. Hæc omnia propositum fuit iis solis nominibus definire quæ jam apud optimos hujus seculi chemicos invaluerunt. Horum sermo novus et quasi proprius, etsi nondum omnibus suis numeris et partibus absolutus, tamen ad scientiæ usus videtur accommodatissimus ; et adeo necessarius, ut non dubitemus eum, ut jam a junioribus receptus est, ita ob omnibus medicis et medicamentariis brevi receptum iri. Horum sermo in re medicamentariâ olim receptus, non alius erat quam vetus chemicus : igitur, ut nobis videtur, æquum est eum medicinâ exulare, qui jam in chemià prorsus obsolevit.
• Metuentes vero ne quorundam medicamentorum tituli nimis verbosi et incommodi forent, si omnes vel minutissimas partes denotarent quæ iis inessent, contenti sumus per titulos indicâsse præcipuas tantum eorum partes, unde, ut nobis videtur, vires et usus compositionum pendent. Ob eandem causam, simplicia quædam, in frequentissimo usu, et omnibus bene nota, præcepimus vulgaribus ipsorum nominibus ; cujusmodi exempla sunt opium, moschus, càstoreum, crocus Anglicus: sat esse rati indicâsse, in catalogo Materiæ Medicæ, animalia et vegetabilia unde obtinentur.' P. xiv.
We have quoted this passage, to introduce some remarks on the conduct of the college in respect to titles.---Pharmacy is indeed a branch of chemistry; but it is also a distinct science; nor can we allow that what may be proper in chemistry should be transferred to its scyons. A title of a preparation is a short designation of its nature; and, if custom have affixed a correct idea to a single word, why should it not be applied ? and, if practitioners have entertained a just view of the nature of a medicine, the descriptive title is useless and tedious. Crocus is certainly an improper appellation, and hepar an indefinite one; yet they are short and commodious. Antimonial powder is à term not descriptive of the chemical nature of the media cine: but it is given with the same certainty and success, as 0.xidum antimonii cum phosphate calcis. The conduct of naturalists, in other branches of science, is very different. Linnæus rejected Bauhine's specific characters, and adopted trivial names, for which he has been universally commended. To come nearer the point, Hauy, in mineralogy, has adopted short generic and specific appellations. The college, in their prescriptions, always preserve the trivial names of the plants; but this is equally tedious and improper. The Materia Medica is the proper place for pointing out the nature of the vegetable employed. The title there adopted says, explicitly, this species we mean to employ, and no other. The circuitous titles give the appearance of accuracy, without attaining the end, and disgust by their constant repetition. Let us copy, for a moment, the receipt for the spirit of lavender. It fills a page, very nearly, of the work.
· SPIRITUS LAVANDULÆ SPICÆ COMPOSITUS. • R. Spiritûs lavandulæ spicæ libras tres,
• Spiritûs rorismarini officinalis libram unam,
The arguments, also, of Mr. Kirwan--and we perceive sia milar ones in the lectures of Dr. Black-deserve particular attention. If we learn only these new appellations, we shall have another task-viz. to acquire the old-or we must resign many of the old chemical works; so, in pharmacy, Hoffman, Valea rius, Cordus, Mesne, and many others, will soon become unintelligible, without a glossary.
On turning to the list of the Materia Medica, we find a very striking inconvenience from these innovations. It is a puzzle to try the ingenuity of the reader; for he must look at other works to discover what medicines are included in this Dispena satory. We thought that the common axunge was omitted, and we could not find it in the list; the index aitorded no assistance, and it at last occurred under sus scrofa. Few know that mastiche is taken from the pistachia lentiscus, that the oleum cajeput is from the malaleuca leucadendron, manna from the fraxinus ornus, the palm-oil from cocos butyracea, &c. &c. ; yet all this must be discovered before we can find whether the medicine be ordered, by the college, to be kept in the shops. In short, a good principle, carried to its utmost extent, has produced the greatest inconvenience, and destroyed, in a considerable degree, the merit of an excellent work. The same error pervades the prescriptions; and the old name is not ale ways subjoined, to clear the difficulty. It is time, however, to examine more particularly the execution.
In the Materia Medica, many articles are omitted, and butfew added. We shall first notice the omissions ; but must pic.
CRIT. Rev. Vol. 38. July, 1803.