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follow those zealous iconoclasts, who, in banishing superstition from the temple, would “break down all the carved work thereof with axes and hammers.” When we praise the style of Hippocrates, we praise it as far as it can be discerned through the corruptions of the text; for, if any student is unconscious of his obligations to the patient critics who have smoothed the way for his perusal of the ancient poets and historians, we would recommend him to try his hand at the Greek physicians. He will respect Elmsley, and adore Porson, and heartily wish that a Hermann or a Schneider would clear up Hippocrates and Aretaeus. For want of an editor, they are in the state of those heroes of the olden time, forgotten, says Horace, for want of a poet:
4 g Omnes illachrymabiles
Urgentur ignotique longa
Even the aphorisms, though the editions are more numerous than the leaves which strew the ground in autumn, are replete with errors introduced by ignorant transcribers. A great number of the aphorisms have the air of being violently transplanted from the other works of the author, and several are repeated in substance and almost in words: this is especially the case in the eighth section, which is perhaps altogether spurious. A few examples may serve to give our readers some motion of the tone and manner of these celebrated axioms. “Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme
“The fat are more apt to die suddenly than the lean.” —$ ii. 44. “When pain arises in two different places, the stronger one obscures the other.”—$ ii. 46. (It is on this principle that the gout is said to cure the tooth-ache; and that the nervous and irritable usually derive benefit from blistering and other excoriations.) “The south wind causes deafness, dimness of sight, heaviness of the head, weariness, and a sense of relaxation: such are the symptoms which the sick experience when it prevails. But should the wind be from the north, coughs, sore throats, constipation, dysuria, shivering, and pains in the side and chest [are frequent.] When it prevails, we must expect such things in diseases.”— § iii. 5. “ Autumn is unfavourable to the consumptive.”— § iii. 10. (On account of the rapid changes of temperature ?) The list of aperients, which is now of enormous length, was so scanty in those early ages, that Hippocrates seems to have been obliged to make use of hellebore as an ordinary purgative, though he well knew its occasional violence, for he says, “hellebore is dangerous to those whose flesh is healthy, for it causes convulsions.”—S iv. 16. In a subsequent aphorism, he informs us that “convulsions caused by hellebore are fatal.”—$ v. 1. “When convalescents suffer pain, abscesses form in the situation of the pain.” “But, if any part was in pain before the illness, the disease fixes itself there.”—$ iv. 32 and 33.
“ Ulcers on the bodies of the dropsical are not easily healed.”—$ vi. 8. (And therefore the practice sometimes recommended of evacuating the fluid from dropsical limbs by numerous incisions and punctures is by no means void of danger.) “It is a bad thing for cough to supervene upon dropsy.”—$ vi. 35. (Because it probably proceeds from the fluid collected in the abdomen pressing upon and irritating the dia
LXXIII. STRAITS OF THERMOPYLAE.
THERE was a vast assembly at Marlborough-house, and a throng in the doorway. My Lady Talbot said, “Bless me ! I think this is like the Straits of Thermopylae (" My Lady Northumberland replied, “I don't know what Street that is, but I wish I could get my through here.”—H. Walpole's Letters to the Earl of Hertford.
LXXIV. MORBUS ANATOMICUS,
It is highly probable that the virus with which dissectors are often so unfortunate as to inoculate themselves is as various in quality as it is in effect; and it is equally, or even more probable, that the difference in effect may frequently depend on the difference in the constitutions of the inoculated. Whatever is received, say the schoolmen, is received in proportion to the recipient; a rule which is eminently true in the reception of diseases or infection. Thus, when the atmosphere is impregnated with the poison of cholera, the effects on individuals vary from an attack which prostrates its victim in a few hours, to a slight diarrhoea, or a simple uneasiness. - A scarlet fever is sometimes a noisome distemper, raging like a pestilence; at others, a mere blush upon the skin... The plague itself is perhaps nothing more than a typhus fever at its acme of aggravation; and thus, too, the dissector's malady has numerous species and several very distinct genera. Sometimes it fortunately happens that the disease is chiefly, though not entirely, local ; matter forms under the tendons of the pricked finger, and the absorbent glands in the vicinity become inflamed, but to no great extent, as the disease is cut short by a few free incisions, which evacuate the matter; and the headache and fever soon disappear. In another form of the disease, the superficial absorbent glands are affected, but not in consequence of the confinement of matter within the finger; and the inflammation is out of all proportion to the apparent cause. The accompanying symptoms are also more violent than in the kind just described; for there is severe headache and vomiting, with a hot skin, a furred tongue, and a rapid, bounding pulse. A vesicle, which is usually healed by the third or fourth day, forms upon the wound. The pain attending this form of the disease is sometimes so great, that two cases are recorded in the Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, where the patients sank under it; while, on the other hand, it is sometimes so trifling that the patient rather complains of inability to move the affected limb than of actual pain in it. If the disease be slight, the red lines along the arm, which mark the course of the inflamed glands, disappear in three or four days, and the glands themselves soon begin to diminish in size. In more unfavourable cases of this genus the glands suppurate, and the patient recovers with difficulty, or is perhaps destroyed by hectic fever. A fatal termination is not common, however; for Mr. Travers tells us, that, of twenty deaths which take place after wounds received in dissection, not above one arises from the inflammation of the superficial absorbents, and yet this inflammation is perhaps the most common form of the morbus anatomicus. If the deep-seated absorbents should be affected instead of the superficial ones, the red lines along the arm will be wanting, the symptoms will be those of the preceding genus in a severe form, and the disease will be longer in attaining its period of maturation. Lastly, in the most fatal and characteristic form of the disease, the cellular membrane (the loose and spongy texture lying beneath the skin) becomes the seat of diffuse inflammation, and the patient too often sinks beneath the shock, though no part vulgarly supposed to be vital is attacked. A case of this kind is given in an excellent MS. essay on the morbus anatomicus, by Mr. Philip Fernandez, which is now lying before us. The patient was a pupil of St. George's Hospital, who pricked his finger while examining the victim of a fatal attack of peritonitis.” There was exquisite tenderness and some