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the pulse. He infers, from a comparison of the sphygmographic tracings before and after the administration of the drug, that it diminishes the tension of the pulse, but to ourselves, who are well accustomed to the use of the sphygmograph, the two tracings are identical, any slight apparent differences being manifestly owing to the imperfect application of the instrument, the differences being just such as an unaccustomed operator will see in his tracings of the same pulse at different trials. It would be well if all writers who give sphygmographic tracings would mention what instrument they employ and what pressure was on the spring of the instrument, otherwise the sphygmographic records are nearly valueless to the student.
Homoeopathy in its relation to the Diseases of Females, or Gynecology. By Thomas Skinner, M.D. Second Edition. London: Homoeopathic Publishing Company, 1883.
This is almost a reprint of the work published in 1875, and reviewed by us in this Journal (vol. xxxiv, p. 319). The principal changes we notice are that " Gynaecology" is now spelt right, and that two of the most interesting and amusing cases of the original are omitted, viz. that of the cat which "went all over the house mourning her loss [of kittens] in unmistakeable tones of grief," and was cured in half an hour by one globule of Ignatia lm, thereby illustrating " the power of homoeopathic medicines over the mind and affections," and that of the gentleman who "was bemoaning the fearful state of the timber trade," and was cured by the same remedy. The same threat of the author to publish a number of additional cases on which to build his "sweeping reforms," which appeared in his work of seven years ago, is repeated in this edition, but no additional cases are given. In the first edition a case of "menorrhagia with large uterine fibroid tumour" is given, and the author says "she continues to take the Platina c. m. (Swan) to see if it will have any effect in reducing the size of the tumour;" hut as this is omitted in the second edition we presume the "Platina c. m. (Swan)" did not reduce the size of the tumour. In the first edition the dilutions of Swan, Boericke, and Fincke are vouched for as being "made by processes such as Hahnemann himself would highly approve;" but in the second edition the names of Swan and Fincke are significantly omitted and others substituted, which would imply that Dr. Skinner no longer believes that Hahnemann would highly approve of their dilutions. But at the same time Dr. Skinner tells us where to get Swan's and Fincke's high potencies if we should desire to procure them, which we do not, now that Dr. Skinner cannot vouch for their Hahnemannic correctness. As Boericke, whose preparations still meet with Dr. Skinner's approbation, has abandoned high potencies and taken to low attenuations, we presume his potencies are out of the market. Where, in the first edition, Swan's and Fincke's potencies are mentioned, the figures expressing the potency are all altered in the second edition, thus the "c. m." becomes "15 m.," "10 m." is now "1 m.," "m. m." is "150 m." These are about all the alterations we observe in this new edition. One addition we find in it: a case of constipation (Case IV of the first edition) contains the new and important information, not vouchsafed to us in the first edition, that the patient's brother, "four years of age, is the veriest little d—1," whatever that may mean. But not this addition, nor the beautiful sky-blue and gold of the boards, can compensate to us for the loss of the two cases that adorned the first edition, which taught us how, with one and the same remedy in a very high potency, to alleviate the sorrows of pussy mourning her drowned offspring, and to assuage the grief of a gentleman "bemoaning the fearful state of the timber trade."
Gelsemium Sempervirens, A Monograph by the Hughes Medical Club of Massachusetts. Boston: Otis Clapp and Son.
The society which has honoured one of the editors of this Journal by adopting his name is composed of young medical men banded together for the study of materia medica; and the pretty little volume before us is the first fruit of their work. It is an arrangement of the symptomatology of Gelsemium on the model of the "Belladonna" of the Hahnemann Materia Medica. That is, although the provings and poisonings have their component elements dispersed under the headings of a schema, the interconnection of these is indicated by cross-references, so that the natural grouping is not lost sight of. We cannot think that such mode of presentation supersedes the necessity of giving the provings themselves in detail; but it is the next best thing thereto, and is—without any index—immediately available for clinical reference. We thus can hardly have too many monographs of the kind, and if all are done as well as the present one the profession will have abundant reason to be satisfied. The materials have been collected fully and discriminately; the botanical and chemical introductions are sufficient, and also the account of the experiences made with the drug on animals; and the commentary affixed to each section is thoughtful and thorough. We miss only the therapeutic element, which should—we think—play a larger part in a work of this kind, either in a separate chapter, or in the comments on the symptomatology of each region.
In reading this volume we have noted the following errors, which should be corrected in the future edition we hope it will attain. On p. 15 the alkaloid of Gelsemium should be "gelsemia," or (as the authors afterwards call it) "gelseminin," not "gelsemium and Professor Wormley should surely be said to have obtained "an alkaloid" instead of an "alkali" from the plant. On p. 17 Bartholow should not be described as " of Londonhe is their well-known compatriot. On p. 29 the experiments of Drs. Ringer and Murrell should not be classed among "Cases of Poisoning," and on p. 44 the latter physician's name should not be given as "Murril."
We shall hope to receive more work of this kind from the Hughes Club.
Town Eger's Mineral Waters and the Mineral Iron Moor at Franzensbad as Remedies used afar from the Wateringplace. Eger, 1883.
This little treatise is signed with the name of Dr. August Sommer, so we presume he is the author. He is evidently of the opinion of the renowned Dogberry that reading and writing come by nature, at least writing English, for he has here written a little book in what is intended for English, but which is evidently that language evolved out of his own inner consciousness. We do not suppose that many Britons could be found—though they are not wanting in audacity—who would be so bold as to attempt to write a treatise in German or French with the sole aid of a dictionary but without the slightest knowledge of the language; but such audacity is by no means uncommon among German and French mineral-water doctors, and the treatise under notice is by no means the only one we have received, which shows that the author's estimate of his knowledge of English is slightly in excess of its deserts.
"Franzensbad," Dr. Sommer tells us, " as most wateringplaces that have a natural store for medication in the plentifulness of mineral wells, mineral moors, or such kind of physicks, has been visited during the last years by a great deal more patients, recurring to those remedies, than at any time, and the number of these visitors is still increasing.''
And as, of course, the mother tongue of many of these visitors is English, Dr. Sommer is anxious that they should be provided with a little treatise which shall not only tell them all about Franzensbad and its mineral wells and moors,
but likewise introduce them to a doctor who is able to converse with them in their language.
"The rapid prosperity of our watering-place," he goes on, "seems the consequence not merely of a just ruling fashion, but of the eminent progresses of medicine and chymistry, both sciences—inseparable the one from the other—continuing to explore, to recognise, and to adopt successfully substances and qualities of Franzensbad's excellent remedies. To its quick increase there are adding no less the general ways of communication, considerably augmented and cheapened. Indeed, by these ways, now even those patients are allowed to enjoy the watering-place, who formerly, for the kind and gravity of their disease, or on account of their disfavouring fortune, never would have been able to take—so fatiguing and so expensive very often —a journey."
In this style the book goes on with amusing unconsciousness on the part of the author that he is writing nonsense. Some of his phrases are even more grotesque than the specimens we have taken from his introductory paragraphs. Thus: "The use of these remedies, therefore, seems indicated, everywhere there is a downed organ, or a whole system of downed organs, to vivify and to corroborate, or when the sustenance of the organism is to better, in order to lessen and to regulate its excessive excitability; unless there be already any incurable distinction or revolution of the concerning textures." He talks about" chronick goodnatured exsudations," "stowing-appearances,'' "abluent salts," "silicious-acid conjunctions," "its yieldingness is counted of circa 15—28 liters of water in the minute," "a most pernicious cure," "delucidly considered/' "the cold sputter is the best wine-well," "the treatening physician," "aggerated within the blood," "patients whose digesters are rather irritable, support a warmed well better than a cold one." But there is no use multiplying examples of the author's extraordinary English; the whole work is in a similar style. It is, or ought to be, a warning to all not to attempt to write a book in a language with which they are unfamiliar, for the mere desire to attract English