2
413 occasionally to erotomania; the manifestation of this excitement in some parturient women who have been subjected to chlo- roform, and have not, therefore, been restrained by a sense of shame; the slight sanguinolent discharge which precedes labour, and which has been erroneously attributed to the laceration of certain hypothetical vessels of the cervix uteri, and many other circumstances which we cannot now enumerate, prove indubitably that the ovaria, after having been the exciting cause of the catamenial periodicity, are also the exciting cause of the uterine contraction at the expiry of the 280 days of gestation; that, in a word, parturition should be arranged in its ætiology with all those remarkable phe- nomena to which the ovaria give origin in the female sex. " We assuredly do not imagine that we have given even an imperfect sketch of all the valuable observations, of all the interesting facts, which Dr. Smith has, if we may be allowed the expression, scattered throughout his work, relative to this single question of the cause of parturition. Wo advise such of our readers as are familiar with the English language to refer to the work itself, where they will find an ample harvest of high philosophical reflections, ingenious analogies, com- parisons full of interest, and of practical deductions of imme- diate application in the exercise of our profession." An A nti-democratical Thesis. A medical student of the Faculty of Berlin lately took the following subject for his thesis:" De Morbo Democratico, Nova Insaniæ Forma." As soon as the fact became known, there was great stir among the democrats of the capital, who immediately appointed a deputation to go and carry on the disputation with the candidate, and catechize him severely for being a renegade from the tenets of his fellow-students. It appears, however, that the young man did not like the contest, Cr that the professors interfered, for the ceremony was post- poned sine die. - A Monument to Larrey. A statue of the celebrated LARREY will shortly be raised in the court-yard of the Val de Grace. The pedestal will be of marble, and on each of the four faces bronze basso-relievos will be placed, the subjects of which are taken from the prin- cipal deeds of the life of this illustrious surgeon. The statue will be solemnly inaugurated in the course of the present month. ___ Treatment of Chorea. M. FAIVRE D’ESNANS mentions in the Journal de Médecine et de Chirurgie Pratiques, that he has obtained the happiest results from the prussiate of iron in chorea and epilepsy, and .he gives several cases where the cure was obtained in between four and eight days. He uses the following formula:-Prussiate of iron, fifteen grs., extract of valerian, forty-five grains; make twenty-four pills. One pill to be taken three times a day, at six . hours’ interval, each pill to be followed by a wine glass of infu- sion of valerian. The author was induced to try the prussiate of iron, from having seen M. Jourdes use it, at the Military Hos- pital of Strasburg, for intermittent fever. As he considers that both diseases (chorea and ague) have their seat in the medulla spinalis, he thought that the same remedies would prove effica- cious in both complaints, in which supposition, according to his statements, he was not deceived. Rebíems and Notíces. On Stammering and its Treatment. By BACC. MED. Ogov. London: Churchill. 1850. 8vo. pp. 64. THERE is much in this little work to recommend it to the notice of all who are interested in the subject of which it treats. It is evidently the production of an accomplished - mind, directed to the study of the causes on which stammer- ing depends, by more than an ordinary or professional interest. The author divides his essay into three chapters or sections. In the first he reviews the plans suggested for the relief of stammering-viz., Dr. Arnott’s plan, or the use of some little auxiliary expiratory sound; the stream of sound; due infla- tion of the lungs; alteration of letters; reading and recitation &c. The extent to which these different plans can be useful and the points at which they fail, or are calculated to prove injurious, are very ably and fairly criticized. In the second chapter the author states his own views of the nature of stammering. He believes it to be, so to speak, a chronic chorea of the "speech muscles" arising from a loss of the equilibrium between the mental and motor nervous ener- gies. He shows that this may be the result of some inherent defect, perhaps exalted sensibility, in that "portion of the brain or ganglia, as well as their efferent nerves, which control the motions requisite for speech." He shows still further, that whatever this original defect may be, its effects may be kept up by habit, and even after the cause has disappeared, that it is nearly always aggravated by the state of the patient’s mind in connexion with his malady. The relative share which these conditions-that is to say, the mental and physical-have, in keeping up and aggravating the phenomena, are clearly and pointedly illustrated. In the succeeding and last chapter, the author describes the remedies, moral and physical, appli- cable as each condition predominates. For information on these points, we must refer the reader to the work itself, which will be found most deserving the attention of all who suffer from this painful affection. Objections to the Indiscriminate Administration of Anœsthetic Agents in Midwifery. By W. F. MONTGOMERY, A.M., M.D., AL.R.I.A. Pamphlet, 8vo. pp. 20. Dublin: Hodges & Smith. ALTHOUGH the periods are more smoothly and elegantly rounded, and the satire is a little more refined, the objections in this pamphlet are substantially the same as those in two or three previously published by other authors, under titles almost the same. This resemblance of argument arises, we believe,not from imitation, but from the necessity of the case, It is safe enough to write against the indiscriminate use of a medicine, as no one can, of course, be found to defend such a use of it. Dr. Montgomery’s tract, as he admits, has beea called forth by the perfect avalanche of pamphlets and pub- lications urging the adoption of the new practice of giving chloroform in midwifery, and by the ",overweening zeal, quite unparalleled" with which, as he says, it has been pressed. Of rather forced, not only on the profession, but on the public. It is quite certain that medical men have a great deal to com- plain of in this respect. It was only the other day that a paragraph, emanating originally from Edinburgh, went the round of the chief newspapers in this country, charging the profession in London with the greatest prejudice regarding chloroform, and asserting that they were a century behind their brethren elsewhere. This paragraph did not distinguish between midwifery and surgery, and it was implied that chlo- roform was scarcely used in London for any purpose, whilst the truth is, that both in private practice, and in the various hospitals, it is used almost invariably in surgical operations, that would otherwise be attended with much pain. As re- gards midwifery, the practitioners in London, and, we believe, in the rest of the world, unless it be in Edinburgh, agree with Dr. Montgomery in restricting the use of chloroform to the more painful cases. He says, 111 I fully acknowledge its value and utility in general in ob- stetric operations, such as instrumental delivery, turning a child in utero, or the removal of a retained placenta, and also in some peculiar circumstances of natural labour, inde- pendent of any operation." Dr. Montgomery attaches no value to what are called the "religious objections" to the use of chloroform. In this we agree with him. We believe it to be just as certain that labour will always, as a general rule, be accompanied by suffi- cient anxiety and uneasiness to make it a time of sorrow, as that man will continue to have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; yet we see no more harm in attempting to diminish the pains of childbirth, than in inventing machinery to lessen manual labour. There is a great want of consistency

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occasionally to erotomania; the manifestation of this excitementin some parturient women who have been subjected to chlo-roform, and have not, therefore, been restrained by a sense ofshame; the slight sanguinolent discharge which precedeslabour, and which has been erroneously attributed to thelaceration of certain hypothetical vessels of the cervix uteri,and many other circumstances which we cannot nowenumerate, prove indubitably that the ovaria, after havingbeen the exciting cause of the catamenial periodicity, arealso the exciting cause of the uterine contraction at the expiryof the 280 days of gestation; that, in a word, parturition shouldbe arranged in its ætiology with all those remarkable phe-nomena to which the ovaria give origin in the female sex." We assuredly do not imagine that we have given even an

imperfect sketch of all the valuable observations, of all theinteresting facts, which Dr. Smith has, if we may be allowedthe expression, scattered throughout his work, relative to thissingle question of the cause of parturition. Wo advise suchof our readers as are familiar with the English language torefer to the work itself, where they will find an ample harvestof high philosophical reflections, ingenious analogies, com-parisons full of interest, and of practical deductions of imme-diate application in the exercise of our profession."

An A nti-democratical Thesis.

A medical student of the Faculty of Berlin lately took thefollowing subject for his thesis:" De Morbo Democratico,Nova Insaniæ Forma." As soon as the fact became known,there was great stir among the democrats of the capital, whoimmediately appointed a deputation to go and carry on thedisputation with the candidate, and catechize him severely forbeing a renegade from the tenets of his fellow-students. It

appears, however, that the young man did not like the contest,Cr that the professors interfered, for the ceremony was post-poned sine die. -

A Monument to Larrey.A statue of the celebrated LARREY will shortly be raised in

the court-yard of the Val de Grace. The pedestal will be ofmarble, and on each of the four faces bronze basso-relievoswill be placed, the subjects of which are taken from the prin-cipal deeds of the life of this illustrious surgeon. The statuewill be solemnly inaugurated in the course of the presentmonth.

___

Treatment of Chorea.M. FAIVRE D’ESNANS mentions in the Journal de Médecine

et de Chirurgie Pratiques, that he has obtained the happiestresults from the prussiate of iron in chorea and epilepsy, and.he gives several cases where the cure was obtained in betweenfour and eight days. He uses the following formula:-Prussiateof iron, fifteen grs., extract of valerian, forty-five grains; maketwenty-four pills. One pill to be taken three times a day, at six . hours’ interval, each pill to be followed by a wine glass of infu-sion of valerian. The author was induced to try the prussiate ofiron, from having seen M. Jourdes use it, at the Military Hos-pital of Strasburg, for intermittent fever. As he considers thatboth diseases (chorea and ague) have their seat in the medullaspinalis, he thought that the same remedies would prove effica-cious in both complaints, in which supposition, according to hisstatements, he was not deceived.

Rebíems and Notíces.

On Stammering and its Treatment. By BACC. MED. Ogov.London: Churchill. 1850. 8vo. pp. 64.

THERE is much in this little work to recommend it to thenotice of all who are interested in the subject of which ittreats. It is evidently the production of an accomplished- mind, directed to the study of the causes on which stammer-ing depends, by more than an ordinary or professional interest.The author divides his essay into three chapters or sections.In the first he reviews the plans suggested for the relief ofstammering-viz., Dr. Arnott’s plan, or the use of some littleauxiliary expiratory sound; the stream of sound; due infla-tion of the lungs; alteration of letters; reading and recitation&c. The extent to which these different plans can be useful

and the points at which they fail, or are calculated to proveinjurious, are very ably and fairly criticized.

In the second chapter the author states his own views ofthe nature of stammering. He believes it to be, so to speak, achronic chorea of the "speech muscles" arising from a loss ofthe equilibrium between the mental and motor nervous ener-gies. He shows that this may be the result of some inherent

defect, perhaps exalted sensibility, in that "portion of the brainor ganglia, as well as their efferent nerves, which control themotions requisite for speech." He shows still further, thatwhatever this original defect may be, its effects may be keptup by habit, and even after the cause has disappeared, that itis nearly always aggravated by the state of the patient’s mindin connexion with his malady. The relative share which theseconditions-that is to say, the mental and physical-have,in keeping up and aggravating the phenomena, are clearlyand pointedly illustrated. In the succeeding and last chapter,the author describes the remedies, moral and physical, appli-cable as each condition predominates. For information onthese points, we must refer the reader to the work itself, whichwill be found most deserving the attention of all who sufferfrom this painful affection.

Objections to the Indiscriminate Administration of AnœstheticAgents in Midwifery. By W. F. MONTGOMERY, A.M., M.D.,AL.R.I.A. Pamphlet, 8vo. pp. 20. Dublin: Hodges &Smith.

ALTHOUGH the periods are more smoothly and elegantlyrounded, and the satire is a little more refined, the objectionsin this pamphlet are substantially the same as those in twoor three previously published by other authors, under titlesalmost the same. This resemblance of argument arises, webelieve,not from imitation, but from the necessity of the case,It is safe enough to write against the indiscriminate use of amedicine, as no one can, of course, be found to defend such ause of it. Dr. Montgomery’s tract, as he admits, has beeacalled forth by the perfect avalanche of pamphlets and pub-lications urging the adoption of the new practice of givingchloroform in midwifery, and by the ",overweening zeal, quiteunparalleled" with which, as he says, it has been pressed. Ofrather forced, not only on the profession, but on the public.It is quite certain that medical men have a great deal to com-plain of in this respect. It was only the other day that aparagraph, emanating originally from Edinburgh, went theround of the chief newspapers in this country, charging theprofession in London with the greatest prejudice regardingchloroform, and asserting that they were a century behindtheir brethren elsewhere. This paragraph did not distinguishbetween midwifery and surgery, and it was implied that chlo-roform was scarcely used in London for any purpose, whilstthe truth is, that both in private practice, and in the various

hospitals, it is used almost invariably in surgical operations,that would otherwise be attended with much pain. As re-gards midwifery, the practitioners in London, and, we believe,in the rest of the world, unless it be in Edinburgh, agreewith Dr. Montgomery in restricting the use of chloroform tothe more painful cases. He says,

111 I fully acknowledge its value and utility in general in ob-stetric operations, such as instrumental delivery, turning achild in utero, or the removal of a retained placenta, andalso in some peculiar circumstances of natural labour, inde-pendent of any operation."Dr. Montgomery attaches no value to what are called the

"religious objections" to the use of chloroform. In this we

agree with him. We believe it to be just as certain thatlabour will always, as a general rule, be accompanied by suffi-cient anxiety and uneasiness to make it a time of sorrow, asthat man will continue to have to earn his bread by thesweat of his brow; yet we see no more harm in attempting todiminish the pains of childbirth, than in inventing machineryto lessen manual labour. There is a great want of consistency

Page 2: Rebíems and Notíces

414

in some of those who have been making religious objections;for we are credibly informed that while they are unhand-somely protesting against any attempt to mitigate the curseinflicted on the woman, they do not hesitate to avoid the curseentailed on their own sex; that they, in short, eat bread whichthey do not obtain by the sweat of their faces.

Dietetics : an Endeavour to Ascertain the Law of Human Nu-triment. By CHARLES LAKE. Pamphlet. 12mo, pp. 48.London: Whittaker & Co.

The Vegetarian Messenger : a Quarterly Magazine, advocatingTotal Abstinence from the Flesh of Animals. Part I.Jan., 1850. 8vo. Manchester: Office, 15, Piccadilly.

IF Mr. Lane, and the writers in the Vegetarian Messenger,could convert the population generally to their practice, thequestion of the Smithfield nuisance would be settled: it wouldnot require removal, for it would subside, and disappear. Al-

though these gentlemen call themselves vegetarians, thegreater number of them partake of eggs, milk, butter, andcheese, which nutritive articles of animal food enter ratherlargely into the plan of a Christmas dinner, detailed in theMessenger. Whilst we are of opinion that human beingscould not remain long in health, on a strictly vegetable diet,we are not less satisfied that with the addition of eggs, andthe other good things enumerated above, health and strengthmay very well be preserved; and we are ready to admit thatthe practice of abstaining from flesh is an amiable one, whenunaccompanied by any severe reflections on those who have notadopted the peculiarity. There is, however, sometimes excesseven in abstinence itself, and Mr. Lane carries his opinionsto an extreme which we are happy to find is not generallyparticipated in by the writers in the Messenger. He con-siders that flesh is stimulating, and not nutritive ? He attri-butes small-pox, measles, and other diseases, to eating fleshmeat; has, in particular, a great horror of pork, which helooks on as the cause of scrofula, and various skin diseases,which he thinks are also aggravated by salt. He asserts that

eating flesh inflames the passions, and makes people ferocious.From the following passage, one would think that he hadnever seen a dog or a cat in his life. It affords a striking in-stance of the extent to which a favourite theory can causefacts to be overlooked or perverted.

" There is, moreover, one fact of irresistible influence in theanatomical view of this question-namely, that the tongues ofall carnivorous animals are rough, or covered with a series ofreturning or barbed projections, somewhat similar to the in-strument called a rasp, whereby the animal, in the action oflicking alone, is enabled to take off the skin of its prey cleanfrom the bone.’-p. 18.

THE HOMŒOPATHIC HUMBUG IN GUERNSEY.

To the Editor of THE LANCET.Guernsey, March 27, 850.

SIR,-The homoeopathist who lately provoked a rejoinderfrom a medical practitioner, in strict accordance with truth,though contrary to law, has, for some years, been seeking to in-duce the legitimate practitioners in this island to sanction thehomoeopathic imposture, by meeting him in consultation, " merelyfor the sake of diagnosis." Failing in his solicitations, direct andindirect, he has lately had recourse to provocation, with the viewof advertising himself by inducing breach of the peace.

After having been informed, in civil terms, by one of the gen-tlemen to whom he caused application to be made, that havingforfeited all claim to professional consideration he could not bemet in consultation-he, after a lapse of a year or two, wrote thefollowing circular.-Yours, &c.,

M. D.

No. 1.Sept. 18, 1848.

SIR,-I beg to be informed of the reasons which have inducedyou, together with Mr. - and Dr. --, to enter into a league

by virtue of which you are bound to refuse to meet in consulta-tion, not only me, but likewise any other medical man who mayhappen to consu:t with me on professional matters.To Dr. -.

_____ JOHN OZANNE

The gentleman addressed wrote the following reply.REPLY TO No. 1.

Sept. 18, 1848

SIR,-In reply to your note I have to state, that as it couldanswer no good purpose to discuss theories totally opposed toall scientific principles, I, in common with other regularly educated medical men, never meet irregular practitioners in consul.tation, including, of course, those who, directly or indirectly,practise that species of charlatanism which goes under the nameof homoeopathy.To J. Ozanne, Esq., M.D. (Signed) The subsequent notes were treated with the silent contempt

they merit. ____

No. 2.Sept. 28, 1848.

SIR,-One part of your note, in answer to mine of the 18tninstant, is so ambiguously worded, that I have in vain endea-voured to discover your meaning.As this ambiguity cannot be intentional, I have to request that

you will explain what the term "irregular practitioners " has todo with the question in my note, and that you will declare

positively, whether your intention is that it should apply to me.To Dr. JOHN OZANNE.

No. 3.Oct. 16, 1848.

SIR,-I beg leave to remind you, that in a note dated the 28thSeptember, I requested that you would explain a passage in yourletter of the 18th September, which I thought ambiguouslyworded, and the sense of which I could not exactly determine.As I have not as yet received any answer from you, and as it

is possible that you have not kept a copy of your letter, I think,

it proper to transcribe the sentence to which my note of the 28th’ September refers. It is as follows:—" I, in common with other

regularly educated medical men, never meet irregular prac-titioners in consultation, including, of course, those who directly. or indirectly practise that species of charlatanism which goes

under the name of homoeopathy."’ That every man is at liberty to speak his mind openly on any

scientific system, no one can deny; this liberty I fully allow you- in all that regards my opinions on scientific subjects; you may

call them .. totally opposed to all scientific principles," if youplease; you may even consider them quite unworthy of a seriousexamination, if such be your pleasure; but whenever my profes-

’ sional qualifications or my personal character become the subjectf of your comments, I have a right to know the exact meaning off whatever you choose to say, and this right I now claim in refer-- once to the sentence in your letter which I have transcribed.f To Dr. -. (Signed) JOHN OZANNE.1

No. 4.Oct. 25, 1848.

SIR,-As my letters of the 28th of September and of the 16thof October have been left unnoticed by you, I am compelled to-reiterate my demand for an explanatiou of the sentence alludedo in them.

But this is not the only point on which I am entitled to de-mand, and, if necessary, insist on receiving, a full explanation.

I have at various times been told, on the best authority, thatsince my interview with you in the house of the Rev. -, inFebruary or March, 1844, you have declared your motives forrefusing to meet me, or any medical friend who might consultwith me on professional matters, did not arise from my adhesionto homoeopathic principles, but from some deficiency in my pro-fessional qualifications.Now, Sir, considering that in the interview which took place

in the early part of 1844, you were informed by me that I wasfully qualificd, both in a legal and in a medical sense, to practisemy profession, I demand a declaration from you to the effect thatyour reasons for refusing to meet me, or any professional friendof mine in consultation are based solely upon my adhesion tohomceopathic principles, and upon no other grounds, and informyou, that unless you comply with this demand, I cannot in futurelook upon you either as a man of honour or a gentleman.To Dr. -. (Signed) JOHN OZAKNE.