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completely relieved, and on my calling about twelve, I found that the fifth pill was taken at midnight, and the sixth at four in the morning; after this she felt completely relaxed all over, her bowels rumbled about, and the swelling seemed to be enlarged and distended with wind, but soon after on feeling it with her hand, it had become softer, and presently went entirely up under very slight pressure. She took the draught at six, it had operated satisfactorily, and she was delighted to sleep all the day after. I was not less pleased to have the necessity for an operation to be superseded, which I had the day before considered as nearly inevitable. Dr. Butler Lane has so well set forth the modus operandi of this remedy that I have nothing more to add, than that if you consider this communication to be of any use as an encouragement to others to make such trials, it is quite at your service.-Prov. Med. Jour.

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Case of Ileus.-A portion of Intestine Discharged by Stool. By Dr. Nagel of Lemberg.-K. J. a domestic, aged 21, robust, always enjoying good health, except frequent attacks of colic within the last few years, was attacked in the night, 12th—13th February, 1843, with violent pains in the lower part of the abdomen, accompanied with shivering, frequent vomiting, and purging. On admission into the hospital on the morning of the 13th, he was in the following state:-Head hot and painful; tongue foul; thirst; abdomen swollen and tender to the touch ; skin dry: pulse full, hard, and frequent; vomiting, with watery stools tinged with blood. (Antiphlogistic treatment.)

The symptoms continued much the same till the 16th, when they diminished in intensity, and the stools were no longer tinged with blood. On the 19th there was violent tenesmus, accompanied on the 23d with prolapsus of a portion of intestine, which, however, was easily reduced without causing pain.

On the 26th, the patient free from fever, and altogether in a satisfactory state, passed by stool a portion of intestine twenty inches long, and at some points two inches broad; it consisted of a portion of the ileum, the cæcum, appendix vermiformis, the whole of the ascending colon, and a portion of the transverse. The mucous membrane was everted, of a brownish colour striated with black, especially the cæcum ; it was soft and easily removed. The peritoneal coat was likewise of a brown colour, and corroded, leaving bare the muscular coat, which was also destroyed at some points. For some days after there was slight pain at the lower part of the abdomen; but on the 23d March, the patient left the hospital perfectly cured.-Dub. Med. Press, from Oesterreichische Med. Wochen and Med. Gaz.

THE

MEDICAL EXAMINER,

AND

RECORD OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.

NEW SERIES.-No. XXXV. NOVEMBER, 1847.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

Sketch of Burmah and Medical Science among the Burmese.

By J. Dawson, M. D., forinerly of India. Burmah presents to the eye of the traveller, the philanthropist, and man of science, diverse characteristics, which are as interesting as they are curious, and seem generally unknown to most of the enlightened nations of the earth. As an independent Asiatic sovereignty, with borders and boundaries tolerably well defined, it is a pretty considerable dominion, and is bounded on the north by China, on the south by Siam, on the east by the independent Shan states, and on the west by the territory and bay of Bengal.

It is esteemed as being well supplied with a proper proportion of hills, mountains and vallies, small lakes, extensive rivers and springs, with plenty of excellent timber, and inexhaustible stores of geological and mineralogical productions. Vegetation is luxiiriant, and both crops and fruits, when cultivated, are abundant. In a word, the country is rich in the possession of all the natural resources necessary for the support of an overflowing population. But from the peculiarity of the government, the nature of the climate and other causes, it contains nothing like the amount of people which it could decently maintain. The entire population, including Talines, Karens and Burmans, numbers about fifteen millions.

Its greatest geographical extent runs north and south, and is over soo miles. Within this range of latitude, stretching some

63

VOL. X.

degrees beyond the tropic of Cancer, you have the extremes of wet and dry weather. To the north it is dry, the land in the neighbourhood of“ Ummeerapoora”—the capital of the empirebeing irrigated principally by periodical joundations of the Irra. waddie river. To the south it is wet, as much as 240 inches of rain falling during the year, 200 inches being the average quantity.

The government is a despotic monarchy, the King having complete control over the life, the liberty and property of any of his subjects. In his hands are the reins of absolute power, and he confides them to whom and how long he pleases. The name of the present sovereign of the kingdom is “Tharrawaddie.”. He usurped the throne in 1837, and won the sceptre by deeds of blood. His several official titles are, His Golden-footed MajestyKing of the Rising Sun-Lord of the White Elephant, reigning over Thoo-na-pa-ran-ta, Tam-pa-dee-pa and many other great countries.

As a nation, the Burmese are usually classed among the half civilized races of the world. The people individually are humane, hospitable and destitute of bigotry, but as a nation they are proud, arrogant and self-suflicient. They have regular laws, both religious and civil. They have a literature and an established national faith. In their numerous books, alled the Beedaghat, and Demathat, are contained the prescripts of their sacred and judicial institutions.

Gaudama is their divine lawgiver. He was their last incarnate deity, or Bhood. He died, it is said, of a diarrhea, pro

, duced by eating pork. In some of their religious temples, he is represented as lying on a sick couch, with a doctor standing near him, having a pill between his fingers, and just ready to be adıninistered as he fainted and expired. It is disrespectful to his memory, as well as positively sinful, to say that he is dead. Having entered "Nike ban," or the state of annihilation, he is regarded as no longer existing, either corporeally or spiritually. Believing in the transmigration of souls, of the passage of a spirit from one form or body into that of another, of the spirit of a man entering into that of an ox, a dog, or a cat, of a fish becoming a fowl, and a fowl a reptile, ultimate annihilation is the consummation of all their hopes and expectations in reference to eternity. During these almost endless peregrinations through the universe, in worlds unnumbered and unknown, the doctrine of personal merit is conspicuously held up to view. Do good and you will get good, is the old adage with them. Do evil and evil will recoil back upon your own head. By doing well they may be advanced to the dignity of angels and of gods. By doing ill they will be degraded to the level of fiends and fierce serpents.

* Intelligence has just reached of the death of this King.

Thus, the religion of the empire is Bhoodism. Unlike the Brahminism of the Hindoos, which is a cruel system of personal torture and bloody sacrifice, it is a humane system, based on certain laws, doctrines and precepts. It supports a priesthood and directs the building of magnificent temples and costly pago. das. It forbids the spilling of blood, even to the killing of a fowl, though monarchs have revelled in the slaughter of their unhappy victims. Contrasted with other forms of paganism and heathenish creeds, it might be considered as the mildest in principle, and the most humane operating system that could have originated in the mind of a mere man, unaided and unguided by any light drawn from the Christian religion. Some of their sacred laws are precisely analogous to those of the decalogue, recorded by Moses in the book of Exodus. Four of them are exactly similar in import, which prohibit killing, stealing, lying and adultery.

The institutes of Menu constitute their domestic and civil codes. Their criminal laws are very arbitrary. Decapitation is the common mode of executing malefactors; but on extraordinary occasions, emboweling, crucifixion with the head downwards, a horizontal division in a wedged position, by a saw into halves, tearing to pieces in quarters by elephants, have been cruelly and disgustingly practised.

Their books are not prepared of paper, but are formed of bundles of palm leaves, secured together upon a string. The writing is traced upon them by an iron point, stiletto, or pen.

The Burmese language appears to be derived from the Pali,which is one of the ancient sacred languages of the East. Being composed chiefly of guttural, palatal and nasal sounds, the spoken language is not mellitluent, but full, difficult, and harsh to the ear of a European.

In stature, the people are short, muscular, and firmly built. In movements, the females are graceful. The men sometimes at particular feats are very energetic and sprightly, but ordinarily they are slow and inaciive. Boat racing is a favourite exercise with them, and forms one of their great annual festivals. Few of them can be called stout or fat. The colour of their complexion varies from a light golden yellow to that of a blackishbrown. The very darkest of them is much lighter coloured than a genuine African.

From the following particulars may be obtained a good idea of their physical proportions. It is an average of twenty-five men, who were examined for admission into the ranks of the Local Corps, serving in the Tennasserim provinces, under the jurisdiction of the English government.

Mean age of these individuals was twenty-four years. height,

five feet, three inches. weight,

eight stone two pounds. Size round the chest,

thirty-two inches. Rice is emphatically the staff of life in India. Some condiment in the character of a curry is generally used with it. Many of the natives prefer a piece of roasted salt fish, with a sour vegetable, or fruit, to eat with the rice. They drink no coffee or milk, and very few Burmese take tea. Tea, however, is very frequently cooked up as a vegetable with garlic, onions, &c., and is prized as a delicacy. It is the customary offering when an application is made by a young man for the hand of a young lady in marriage.

The existing records of their ancient literature comprise many works on astronomy, astrology, metaphysics, history, chronology and medicine, beside some tables of the minor mathematics.

Medicine, as a science, is neither taught in schools, nor studied under private teachers. The profession has no medical colleges whatever in the country, and public hospitals are among the things which are yet to be founded. The people have none of the means or appliances possessed by enlightened nations for the acquisition and cultivation of this branch of useful learning.

The healing art is comprehended just about as well by the Burmese practitioners as it was by the bold, ignorant empirics of Greece, who practised before the time of Hippocrates. The most celebrated medical writer among them was Zeewaka. He was a disciple of Dee-tha-pa-mouk-ka, and flourished about 550 years anterior to the Christian era. To him are attributed many valuable treatises on medicine. His works, however, are nearly all lost, but his reputation is still cherished for his great learning and wisdom. For a knowledge of anatomy and mineral medicines he was eminently distinguished. Without striving to emulate his wisdom, his sollowers are content to revere him for his sagacity, admire him for his kriowledge, and applaud him for his success. Since his days there have been many interior writers, but none of any note within the period of modern times.

In questions of doubt or difficulty which may arise, it is a fundamental rule of the profession to refer everything to the authority of an ancient author. His opinion was so and so, and this is deemed enough. Possessing such a veneration for the ancients, and the fraternity apparently resting satisfied with what has hitherto been accomplished, has given rise to certain corruptions of these early writings. The practice of laud. ing to an extravagant degree these professional heirloonis, descending from previous ages, and, like the laws of the Medes

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