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simply with fomentations, and without the aid of any medicines. At each recurring menstrual period the urine was, and now is, voided highly charged with the catamenial fluid. During the three subsequent months Mr. Harrinson changed the size of the thread three times, so that at last it was reduced to as small a one as could be procured compatible with any strength and durability. In October the narrator withdrew the last thread. Unfortunately he was disappointed : in twenty-five days the dribbling was as bad as ever. Mr. Harrinson was glad enough, therefore, to retreat to his former posi. tion, by introducing now four large threads. In twenty-eight days they were reduced to one, and the patient was herself again.

Mr. Harrinson has purposely delayed the publication of the case, in order to test the sufficiency of the means employed. He is pleased to add (May, 1845,) that she remains in the same comíortable state. She changes the thread herself once in three or four weeks, goes about, performs her domestic duties, &c., with no inconvenience. Not a drop of urine has escaped for the last three years. The only precaution necessary is, that the thread be drawn down once a day, lo cleanse it from the sabulous matter which is deposited upon

it.Abridged from the Provincial Med. and Suig. Journal.

Progress of Quackery-Hahnemann and Holloway.—The follow, ing affords additional insight into the modus operandi of the medical cheats called homæopaths, while a contrast is presented by the effects of a rival practice. We always knew, and proclaimed it, that these advocates of a non-medical treatment administer most active remedies when the necessity for them arises :

Practices of Homæopathists. “SIR, -The account of the substitution of active substances, in any. thing but infinitesimal doses, for homeopathic globules, &c., as given in the last number but one in the Gazette, will not surprise many of those who have been accustomed to investigate closely the practice. I have also adduced analogous instances in the last edition of my work, especially the case of the Duke di Cannizaro, formerly well known in London as Count St. Antonio, who at Milan, being ireated homeopathically for some slight ailment, had to take three globules, at intervals of some hours. Having accidentally omitted the morn; ing globule, he said to his valet, when the time for taking the second arrived, that when he ought to take the third dose he would be at the opera, and that being homeopathic globules, it would do no harm to take the three at once, which he accordingly did, and was dead within two hours ;-the preparation being one of nux vomica.—Your obedient servant,

Edwin LEE." " Case of Death by Holloway's Pills. "Mr. Grimwood of Wallon, narrates the case of a man, aged 25, long labouring under scrofulous disease of the femur and tibia, by whom he was consulted, on the 25th of June last, for symptoms cative of inflammation of the intestinal mucous membrane. It appears

indi.

that the poor man, while in his ordinary state of health, was advised, with the hope of being cured of his old-standing complaint, to try Holloway's pills, beginning with five night and morning, gradually increasing the dose to ten, and then recurring to five. These instructions he punctually obeyed, with the effect of producing hypercatharsis, which he endured for about a week, in the belief that unless such an effect were caused, he could not obtain any benefit. This continued, and symptoms of greater severity setting in, Mr. Grim. wood's assistance was sought, about ten days or a fortnight after the man commenced taking the pills. He then presented evident symptoms of peritonitis and enteritis in an advanced stage, attended with great exhaustion, from the effects of which he soon sank. A postmortem examination does not appear to have been made.”Dublin Medical Press.

Pathology of Synchisis.- The Comptes Rendus contain an abstract of an interesting paper read before the Academy of Sciences, at the séance of July 19ih, by M. Bouisson, on that affection of the vitreous body known as synchisis.

It has long been desired to make out the real nature of this abnormal condition, and various hypotheses have been brought forward.

M. Bouisson had entertained the idea that the moveable and sparkling particles observed deep-seated in the eye, in persons affected with this inalady, were not caused by loose floating particles of the hyaloid membrane, but constituted of free crystalline morsels in the thickness of the vitreous body, the membrane of which was destroyed.

Upon devoting himself to some researches on the composition of the vitreous humour, he recognised the existence of a fatty matter, in such a state of minute division that the transparency of the humour was not affected by it. After having filtered the vitreous humour of the eye of an ox, he evaporated it in a porcelain capsule, and treated the residue with sulphuric ether. The resulting matter was then collected in a watch-glass, perfectly clean, and evaporated. During the process of evaporation, the ether deposited a fatty matter in a crystalline form. The same experiment upon a larger quantity of vitreous humour, obtained from several oxen's eyes, gave

the same result, but more clearly. M. Bouisson has also obtained this fatty matter, by treating the vitreous humour of the human eye in the same manner.

If these results be taken in connexion with the observations which demonstrate that crystals of cholesterine have been found in the posterior chamber of eyes which have for a long time been struck with blindness, one will naturally be led to believe, that in the normal condition a certain quantity of fatty matter is contained in the vitreous humour, which may be separated in a crystalline form by some peculiar pathological influence, and may acquire, in this form, that apparent mobility at the bottom of the eye which arrests our attention. From these facts and considerations the nature of synchisis may Before quitting this matter, we would call our reader's attention to one point in the preceding paper which seems to us to have an important bearing on a much disputed point of medical jurisprudenceviz., the distinction between respiration and inflation, or insufflation, in the lungs, in cases of suspected infanticide. To determine this distinction is a great desideratum. Now, supposing the analyses of M. Guillot to be correct, can we not make use of them for the abovementioned purpose ? He tells us, that as soon as the child has breathed, the quantity of fat in 100 parts of desiccated lungs diminishes but one-half at least, supposing the child to have arrived at the eighth or the ninih month of intra-uterine life. Thus, instead of the proportion of fatty matter being twelve, fifteen, or eighteen paris in 100, it is, by respiration, reduced to six parts. Now the question is, whether inflation will bring about this decrease of fatty matter as well as respiration. We should, á priori, think not; for this reduction of quantity is dependent on a vital action, and on certain chemical changes taking place in the blood under the influence of life. We can conceive how the pulmonary capillaries of the air-cells may become filled with blood by insufflation in a dead child, so as to resemble air-cells duly developed by respiration, but cannot understand how such a chemico-physiological change, as is the alteration of the proportion of fat in the lungs, can take place in such a manner, and after the extinction of life.

Be this as it may, the researches of M. Guillot are highly valuable in other respects, and are deserving of consideration and of repetition in this country; and if any relation or utility is perceived in them 10 forensic medicine, we shall have the merit of having directed the attention of the profession to them, and there will no doubt soon be inquirers in the same field to test the above researches in all their points of application.-Ibid.

Operating for Cataract under the influence of Mercury.-M. Tavig. not addressed a note to the Academy, stating that he looked upon mercurial salivation as means of preventing many of the evils of inflammation after the operation for cataract. He seems to have imbibed this notion from the general observation of the influence of mercury in acute inflammation of the iris and cornea, and from considering that such a condition of those parts of the eye is what is to be feared after operating. He has put this idea to the test, having operated on three patients, who were just beginning to be affected by mercury, and in whom, too, there were some complications. He effected a perfect cure in from three to five weeks, having had no ills resulting from inflammation. The mercury is continued two or three days after operating, combined with extract of opium, so that the salivation induced may be most severe, just at the time when the ordinary precursors of iritis, or of corneitis, make their appearance-that s, about the third or sixth day after the operation.-Ibid.

THE

MEDICAL EXAMINER,

AND

RECORD OF MEDICAL SCIENCE

NEW SERIES.-No. XXXVI.-DECEMBER, 1847.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

Objections to the Theories of Franklin, Dufay, or Ampere,

with an effort to explain electrical phenomena by the statical or undulatory polarization of omnipresent, ethereal, or ethereo-ponderable matter. * By ROBERT HARE, M. D., Emeritus Professor of Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania.

1. It appears, from the experiments of Wheatstone, that the discharge of a Leyden jar, by means of a copper wire, takes place within a time so small, that were the transfer of a fluid from the positive to the negative surface requisite for its accomplishment, a current having a velocity exceeding two hundred thousand miles in a second would be necessary.

2. The only causes for the velocity of an electric current, according to Franklin, are the repulsion between the particles of the electric fluid, of which it has been assumed to consist, and

* Read before the Academy of Natural Sciences, and although ordered to be published in the forthcoming volume, has been excluded by matter having priority of date. Hence, to avoid procrastination-with permission from the Academy—it has been communicated to the obliging Editor of this work.

This commnnication might have been offered to the Journal in which those affiliated with the University usually make their communications, were it not that my friend, the editor, to an inquiry replied, that "nothing which is not directly applied to medicine would be published in that channel. VOL. XI.

69

the attraction between those particles and other matter. These forces are alleged to concur in distributing the supposed fluid throughout space; whether otherwise void, or partially pre-occupied by conducting solids or fluids. Hence, when between two or more spaces, surfaces, or conducting masses, there is an unequal distribution of the electric fluid, the equilibrium is restored whenever a communication is opened, by means of a sufficiently conducting medium. Agreeably to this view of the subject, there seems to be a resemblance between the supposed effort of the electrical fluid to attain a state of equable diffusion, and that which would exist in the case of a gas confined in adjoining receivers, so as to be more dense within one than within the other; for, however the subtility of the supposed electric fuid may exceed that of any gas, there seems to be an analogy as respects the processes of diffusion which must prevail. But on the escape of any elastic fluid from a cavity, within which it may be condensed, evidently there must be a diminution of density, and of the consequent velocity of efflux, proportionally as the quantity left in the cavity diminishes, so that the latter portions would move with extreme slowness. Far from taking place in an analogous manner, electrical discharges are effected with an extreme suddenness, the whole of the redundancy being discharged at once in a mode more like the flight of a bullet, projected with infinite velocity, than that of a jet varying in celerity from a maximum to a minimum.

3. So far, in fact, is fan electrical discharge from displaying the features which belong to the reaction of a condensed elastic fluid, that agreeably to the observations of Henry, the result is more like the vibrations of a spring, which, in striving to regain its normal position, goes beyond it. The first discharge between the surfaces of a Leyden jar is not productive of a perfect equilibrium. The wave-like transfer of different polarities goes beyond the point of reciprocal neutralization, producing a state, to a small extent, the opposite of that at first existing; and hence a refluent discharge ensues, opposite in direction to the primary one. But even this does not produce an equilibriun., so that a third effort is made. These alternate discharges were detected by means of the magnetism imparted to needles exposed, in helices, to the consequent current, more properly called polarizing undulations or waves.

4. Supposing one or more rows of electrical particles, forming such a filament of electricity as must occupy the space within a wire of great length, to be made the medium of discharge to a Leyden jar; agreeably to the hypothesis of one fluid, the electrical filament must be attracted at one end of the wire, and propelled at the other, as soon as its terminations are brought into

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