صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

tually marries and the Queen. There is no vraisemblance in the supposition, that he should prefer Miss Pincushion -we beg pardon-we mean Miss Pincott-to Miss Jarman. He is too tame-a thousand degrees too tame.-It is but justice to mention, that Mr Hooper appears to greater advantage as the foppish courtier, Steinberg, than in any part in which we have yet seen him. His style of acting it is more subdued and less vulgar than it frequently is. He infuses, too, into the character, some of the vis comica; and his costume is laudable.

Old Cerberus.



By W. M. Hetherington, Author of " Dramatic Sketches, founded on the Pastoral Poetry of Scotland."

'Tis hallow'd ground! hush'd be my breath!
Uncover'd be my head!

Let me the shadowy Court of Death

With softest footstep tread!

The spirit of the place I feel,

And on its sacred dust I kneel-
For here all lowly laid,
As ancient legends soothly say,
Rest Bessy Bell and Mary Gray.

Scotia's brown pines in silent gloom

Commingle, broad and tall,

As Nature's self had o'er their tomb

Hung her own solemn pall;
A few faint straggling beams of day
Amid the blent boughs shifting, stray,
And on their low homes fall;
The Almond, gurgling down the vale,
Pours, ever pours their deep dirge-wail.

Where are the mounds, that, like twin waves,
Young children of the deep,

With gentle swell should mark the graves
Where side by side they sleep?
They, too, have melted quite away,
Like snow-wreaths, lessening day by day-
Time's wasting touch can sweep

Even Death's sad records from Earth's face,
Leaving of man no lingering trace.

And be it so! Their once fair clay,—
Like dewdrops in the stream,
Like leaves in the wan year's decay,
Like the sky-meteor's gleam,-
Though with its mother element,
Now undistinguishably blent

That human dust may seem,

Refined and purified shall rise,
To bloom immortal in the skies.

How vain the pompous tomb appears
Piled o'er the mighty dead,
While viewing through the mist of tears
Where the beautiful are laid!
Yes! in the gales that round me moan,
The stream, the grove, the letter'd stone,
Even in the dust I tread,

I feel the presence of a power
Guarding this consecrated bower.

Thrice hallow'd is this lonely dell,
Three Spirits, all divine-

Love, Innocence, and Friendship-dwell

Here, in one common shrine :

Here youth and virgin fair may meet,

May plight their vows by moonlight sweet,
May heart and hand entwine :—
No faithless foot this turf may tread,
For here they reign-The Sacred Dead!


By Alexander Maclaggan.

THE loud voice of a stormy e'en
Came raving to our cottage pane;
The cottar bodies steek'd their een
In sleep, to shun

Dreigh sights, that they a' day had seen
Deface the sun.

Unmindfu' o' the raging blast, (Though heaven to earth was fa'in' fast,) O'er hill, an' heath, an' field I past

By eerie turns,

To view the dark-the lone-the last Abode of Burns.

The grave of Burns! a throne of state! Revered, though mouldering desolate! I envied poortith's hapless fate

And quick decay,

As musing on the "furrows' weight" That o'er him lay.

His morn of life with darkness rose, Fell Famen's fingers mark'd its close, I'the space between unnumber'd woes Were on him hurl'd;

Yet from his darkness, light arose That glads the world.

O, Robie Burns! that I'd been livin'
When the power o' song to thee was given,
And seen, when misery mad had riven
Thy manly form,

Thy soul, the undying gift of Heaven,
Defy the storm!

Or seen thee in a calmer hour,
When o'er thee bent the blooming bower,
Mute gazing on the crimson flower,
The daisy fair,

And heard thee bless the Almighty power
Who placed it there.

Or seen thee in a lonely shade,
Fast wrapping in thy rustic plaid
Thy Mary, dear departed maid!
In fond embrace,

And mark'd the game fond passion play'd
Upon thy face!

Or seen thee in thine hour o' glee,
Wild, bold, and witty, frank and free,
Keen joining on the flowery lee
The rustic dance,
And watchin' frae Jean's lowing ee
Love's kindled glance!

Or seen thee by the ingle-nook,
When with thy jest the biggin' shook ;
Or stalkin' by the oaten stook,
Frae man afar,

When heavenward went thy passionate look
To the " lingering star."

Many are they who would aspire

To wake again thy sleeping lyre,

Wasting their breath to blow a fire

To burn like thine;

But black I see them all expire
Before thy shrine.

Burns! might I live again to see
A Bard among us like to thee,
My heart's best thanks I glad would gie
To God the giver,

And then contented close my ee

To sleep for ever!


DEAREST and gentlest! let me hold thee fast Within my arms, and kiss thy Parian brow; And whilst this soften'd light is o'er us cast,

Breathe with me fondly an impassion'd vow; And let the murmurings of our joy be heard,

Like rippling waves along the shining shore,
Not loud, but deep. Love is its own reward,
And hath of pleasures an exhaustless store.
I see the golden fancies of thy mind

Dancing, like fairies, round thy lips and eyes; Or, like the small clouds, chased by summer wind, Dissolving into sunlight as they rise :

[blocks in formation]

THERE is preparing for early publication a third volume of the History of the University of Edinburgh, by Alexander Bower, comprehending the period from 1756 to the present time, and containing, besides the History as extracted from the records of the University and Town Coune 1, biographical accounts of the eminent men now deceased who have filled professorial chairs. Among these are, Robertson, Ferguson, Robison, Monro, both Gregorys, Dugald Stewart, Playfair, Finlayson, Christison, Duncan, Murray, Brown, and several others.

Robert Handyside, Esq. advocate, is preparing for publication a work on the Law of Jurisdiction and Actions.

A new Novel, from the pen of Mr Grattan, called the Heiress of Bruges, is in the press.

Dr Seymour has in the press a work on the Diseases of the Ovaria, including encysted dropsy and malignant, diseases of those organs; to which are prefixed Physiological Observations on the Structure and Functions of these parts in the human being and in animals. The first Number of a London Musical Gazette, to be continued weekly, was published last Saturday.

An Historical and Topographical Atlas of England and Wales, exhibiting their geographical features during the Roman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman governments, is announced.

Miss E. E. Kendrick has in the press a little work, to be entitled Conversations on Miniature Painting.

The Book rarities in the University of Cambridge, illustrated by Original Letters and Notes, biographical, literary, and antiquarian, by the Rev. C. H. Hartshorne, M.A. is announced.

we noticed some time ago, is circulating proposals for publishing mezzotinto engravings of Mr Jeffrey, Mr Brougham, and Sir Humphrey Davy. Mr Jeffrey is from a portrait by that rising artist, Colville Smith; Mr Brougham, from a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, generally acknowledged to be the best, if not indeed the only happy likeness extant, of that distinguished author and states


SCOTTISH ACADEMY.-We remarked lately that rumours had reached our ears of dissensions in the Scottish Academy. They have broken out sooner than we had anticipated, and in the form of an ex parte statement of certain proceedings at a late meeting of the body. We sincerely hope, however, that this will prove, like the premature explosion of a mine, the means to carry off the lurking danger innocuously. The case (as a lawyer would say) is ably stated in the document we allude to, but perhaps more eloquently than correctly. We have ample materials in hand for a full, true, and impartial history of the whole transactions, but a press of matter obliges us to defer it till next week.

LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC DEBATING SOCIETIES IN EDINBURGH.-Most of these Institutions have commenced their winter campaign. In a country like ours, where no one individual can say that he may not be called upon some time or other to express his sentiments in public, the art of extemporaneous debate may be looked upon as a necessary part of education. It is in these Societies, too, that a young man best learns to instruct himself by his own exertions, and for an object of his own proposing; it is in them that he best learns to measure himself with his fellows. The Royal Medical Society was instituted in 1737, and, as its name indicates, confines itself exclusively to medical discussions. It was incorporated by royal charter in 1778. It is in the habit of hearing what are called medical news in the early part of its meetings-accounts of interesting and uncommon cases, and reports of discoveries in medicine and the cognate sciences. An essay is afterwards read by one of the members on some medical subject, and its doctrine and general merits form the subject of the evening's debate. At the close of each session the subjects of the dissertations, and the members who are to read them during the ensuing one, are appointed by the Society. Each member gives in to the secretary two copies of his dissertation three weeks before it comes to be discussed. During the first week it is transcribed for preservation into a book kept for that purpose under the secretary's inspection, and another copy is taken of it at the Society's expense. The three separate copies are then sent in rotation during the remaining fortnight to the members whose names are upon the roll, to be perused by them beforehand. This practice is calculated to give a greater maturity to the criticisms on the essay. This Society meets every Friday during the winter session in its hall in Surgeon-Square: it possesses an extensive and well-managed medical library, and a museum, which is daily increasing.-The Royal Physical Society was instituted some few years after the Medical, and its chief object is the prosecution exclusively of the physical sciences. It possesses a very good hall in Richmond Street, and a small library. It is not so numerously attended as the Medical Society; but its proceedings are in general interesting.-The Speculative Society was founded in 1764: and as the arena on which some of our most noted political characters first tried their powers, is more generally known among young men of literary habits than any other of our Edinburgh Societies. Its history, from the date of its commencement, would be a curious chapter in the narrative of the march of intellect in Edinburgh. The subjects for discussion are chiefly literary, moral, and political. It does not confine itself to any exclusive branch of science, but expatiates over that field of polite literature which is necessary to every gentleman, and indispensable to the finish of his character. It is a neutral ground, upon which men of all professions can meet with mutual advantage. The meetings are held every Tuesday, in the So

The Conductors of the Library of Useful Knowledge propose pub-ciety's hall, in the University buildings. It possesses a tolerable lib-
lishing a series of Treatises on the different subjects connected with
Domestic and Rural Economy, which they will denominate the
Farmer's Series.

The Memoirs of Bolivar, announced for immediate publication, are reported not only to contain much new information relative to the private history of that extraordinary man, but will also comprise a complete history of the Colombian Revolution.

Major Leith Hay is about to publish a Memoir of the Peninsular War, compiled from the memoranda of six years' service.

rary, and a fine portrait of the lamented Francis Horner, by Raeburn. -The Juridical Society was instituted in 1773. Beyond its own walls, it is known as having published the most complete system of Scottish Conveyancing. It indulges occasionally in debates of general interest; but the main stock of its discussions are legal. Only such persons can become members as are either members of a legal profession, or studying with a view to enter one. The Society met for the first time in its new and elegant hall in Charlotte Square on Wednesday the 18th of November. It is, we understand, making application for a crown charter, and has it in contemplation to found a complete law library. "Caparisons," Mrs Malaprop tells us, "are odoriferous:" yet were we inclined to distingui-h between the two last-mentioned so

TALES OF AN INDIAN CAMP.-This work, which is now announced for immediate publication, is from the pen of J. A. Jones, Esq. whose long residence among the Indian Tribes of North America has enabled him to collect most of the traditions current among all the na-cieties, both of which stand high at present, we should say that the Spetions of the Red Men dispersed over three millions of square miles in that vast continent. They will exhibit, we understand, their notions respecting the Supreme Being, the creation, the origin of their Tribes, and will comprise an account of their manners, habits, modes of life, marriage-ceremonies, &c.

FINE ARTS. Mr Walker, engraver, whose print of Lord Moncrieff

culative is perhaps more remarkable for extensive general knowledge and polished taste,—the Juridical for sound, practical, business-like habits of debate.-The Plinian Society restricts its attention for the most part to subjects connected with natural history and antiquities, Papers are read at each meeting on some topic of this kind, and the opinions they contain are afterwards criticised. The Society is patron

ised, we understand, by Professors Jameson and Graham, and possesses a cabinet of natural history, which is on the increase, including a very extensive herbarium.-We have noticed these societies, because their members are generally such as have completed, or are on the eve of completing, their studies; and we therefore incline to view them as a transition state between the apprentice and master in lite rature. Societies of a more juvenile character are so numerous, that we must decline even attempting a catalogue of them. Does the Academic Society still exist?-it was the nursery of our youthful genius.

THE SIX FEET CLUB-We understand that, among others, Sir Walter Scott, Professor Wilson, and the Ettrick Shepherd, are to be present at the Annual Dinner of this Club, which takes place on the 29th instant. The meeting cannot fail to be an interesting and delightful one.

THE CATHOLIC CHAPEL.-This place of worship, the interior of which has just undergone a complete renewal, re-opens to-morrow. The manner in which the decorations have been executed reflects the greatest credit on Mr Hay, and cannot fail to add to his already deservedly high reputation as an ornamental house-painter. The alteration that falls most in the eye is the introduction of what may be termed a hanging tracery under the roof-principals. Betwixt the chief ties, ribs have been judiciously represented, the intersections of which are covered by rich bosses. New architraves have been traced round the windows, with a bold and masterly pencil, and add considerable breadth and relief to their original effect. Around, and on either side of the altar-piece, similar architraves have been most happily introduced. In the form of the altar-piece itself no change has been made. It is painted in imitation of Sienna marble; and the centre canopy is skilfully projected by the introduction of a piece of sky behind it. The altar itself is painted in imitation of lapis-lazuli. What deficiencies we could urge have their origin chiefly in the original construction of the chapel, and cannot properly be reckoned to Mr Hay's charge. He is, however, responsible for a slight error in not making the ribs more decidedly of an oaken colour, which would have given unity of character to the roof; and also for the glaring colour of the drapery above Vandyke's Entombment of Christ. The bright red curtain and yellow fringes quite kill the colour of that scientific and finely-felt painting, which has suffered enough already from the unfavourable light in which it is placed. But, on the whole, the decorations are such as to accord with the church's ritual, the splendour of which they are destined to enhance by their presence. En passant-is it not rather an anomaly that the altar should stand at the west end of the chapel?

There are some very fine paintings here of the Venetian school. Leonardo da Vinci's Fresco of the Last Supper, would of itself reward a journey this length.-Padua—I am delighted with many of the pietures here; but chiefly with the frescoes by Giotto, Titian, and others a style of painting which I never before had an opportunity of examining. I can now understand the raptures with which I have heard artists and amateurs speak of the works of Giotto, and which till now always appeared to me overstrained.-Venice-After anxiously examining and studying almost all the best works of the Venetian school, I find the manner of all of them approach more or less to that of fresco. Among the splendid Works by Titian, Paul Veronese, and Tintonette, in the possession of the Academy of the Fine Arts, there is one-the Miracle of St Mark-by the latter, which, for effect, power of light and shadow, composition and character, baffles all descrip tion. It appears to me to have been painted first in water colours, and afterwards glazed in oil, which method never fails to produce a transparency of colour, and quality of texture, impossible to get otherwise. The colouring is gorgeous-of a deep rich tone. The greater part of the figures are in shadow, or apparently so, from be ing opposed to a broad light in the back-ground. This is a general practice of the Venetian painters, and makes their figures tall at a distance. The ex-Ducal Palace contains a large picture by Titian, called, if I remember rightly, Faith, St Mark,' &c. Although very large, it is not long enough to fill up the space between the two doors of the hall where it is placed; and to make it fit, two pieces of canvass are joined to it, and painted in oil by some artist of a later date than Titian. The figures, colour, and composition, are extremely well imitated, yet not so well as to deceive the eye of a painter."

Theatrical Gossip.-Drury Lane having been left half deserted in order that Covent Garden might be filled, has got into serious arrears. At a recent meeting of the Company, the principal performers agreed to lend the management 25 per cent of their salaries for ten weeks. It is hoped that things may thus go on till Christmas, when the Pantomime will probably replenish the treasury. There has been little novelty at either of the Theatres-Royal. A new piece by Mr Planche is in rehearsal at Drury Lane, in which, after a practice recently introduced at Vienna, a series of living tableaux will be represented, from celebrated paintings.—In an amusing trifle lately produced at the Adelphi, there is a mock-heroic incantation scene, in which the

ingredients thrown into the cauldron are as follows:-1. The kneebuckle of a blackleg. 2. One of the balls of a pawnbroker's sign. 3. A bad sixpence taken at the gallery-door. 4. A lady's complexion lost in the heat of a ball-room. 5. The under-crust of a baker's "dead-man." 6. The conscience of an attorney.-The West London Theatre is about to be opened in considerable force by Mr Alex ander Lee, Mr Percy Farren, and Mr Melrose.-The officers of the 70th Regiment stationed at Tipperary, have fitted up a Private Theatre, and are performing plays to all their friends-De Begnis has now, we believe, decided on visiting Edinburgh this season with an Italian company; he is at present at Liverpool, and Signora Blasis is the prima donna of his corps.-Macready will make his ap pearance here next week.-We also hear that we are to have a visit from Miss Smithson.-A Christmas pantomime, we are informed, is in preparation, in which Taylor, the celebrated clown, will appear. -The name of the young gentleman who has performed Shylock twice with good approbation, is Hedderwick;-his father is a respect able printer in Glasgow.

STATE OF CRIME IN FRANCE.-A report on the administration of criminal justice in France has been published in the Moniteur. A condensed statement of the results may have an interest for some of our readers. The total number of persons accused before the courts of assize, in the year 1828, is 8172; being an increase upon the total, during the year 1827, of 467. This increase is confined to crimes affecting property; crimes against the person have diminished by 67. Of the persons accused, 7396 have been tried; 776 did not appear. Among those who were brought to trial, the proportion of males to females was as 19 to 100. It is estimated, that the proportion of those criminals who were totally destitute of education was three fifths of the whole: the proportion of uneducated females is somewhat greater than that of uneducated males. By dividing the accused into classes, according to the education they had received, it was found that, among such as could neither read nor write, 37 out of every hundred were acquitted; among such as had a middling SAT. education, 44 out of every hundred, and among such as had received a superior education, 65 out of every hundred. The number of persons tried before the tribunals of correctional police in 1828 was 172,300. This is an increase upon the number in 1827 of 1154. The increase is chiefly among the thieves; 116 prosecutions were at the instance of the Crown for transgressions of the laws of the press. There does not appear from these statements to be any increase of crime in France from the year 1827 to the year 1828, greater than may be satisfactorily accounted for by the oscillation in the ex act quantity of crime in a nation from year to year, or by the greater activity of the legal authorities. By far the most important part of the document, in our estimation, is that which establishes the diminution of crime as we rise in the scale of education.

FINE ARTS IN ITALY.-We make the following extracts from a letter lately received from an Edinburgh artist of eminence, now in Italy." Milan-Went to the opera, and saw the Gazza Ladra. It is delightful, after being sickened with the melo-dramas of England, to witness the performance of an opera in a country where it is regarded as a work of art, and where the arrangements of the musical drama dare no more transgress the rules of harmony and melody, than a painting dare sin against those of perspective.-Visited the exhibition of modern paintings in the Palace of Arts. It contains a few good historical subjects; well composed, drawn, and coloured, but painted like all the modern pictures out of England-very deficient in richness and texture-sadly in want of Asphaltum and Megilp.



Nov. 14.-Nov. 20.

Marriage of Figaro, & The Youthful Queen.
Barber of Seville, & The Robber's Wife.
Merchant of Venice, & The Youthful Queen.
The Maid of the Mill, & Do.
THURS. The Haunted Tower, & Do.

Mary, Queen of Scots, William Thompson, & The Robber's


A NUMBER of interesting articles are still unavoidably postponed. Ettrick Shepherd, in our next. -"Letters from Paris, No. II." and "A Song about Love,” by the

The Celtic Legend" shall have an early place. We have no de sire to continue any farther correspondence with "F. H.”

The Verses by Andrew Mercer," of Inverkeithing, are much to our liking, and shall have a place at our best convenience.-The Lines by "W." of Gainsborough, Yorkshire, are a little too redundant, but are highly poetical, and after some abridgments shall be inserted." A Bachelor's Consolation" is clever, and shall appearOur two fair Correspondents, "Laura" and "Anna," are very delightful creatures, but they do not write quite such good poetry as we could wish.-The Verses by "J. H." though pretty, hardly come up to our standard.-We are afraid we must say the same to "Alpha" of Glasgow." J. C. A." of Paisley is not equal to "Lorma" in his Frenchification. To "A Winter's Song" we can give only a cold answer.


[blocks in formation]


A Treatise on Poisons, in relation to Medical Jurisprudence, Physiology, and the Practice of Physic. By Robert Christison, M. D. Professor of Medical Jurisprudence and Police in the University of Edinburgh. One volume, 8vo, pp. 698. Edinburgh: Printed for


ance to all, our readers will scarcely object to our entering into a pretty detailed analysis of the contents of this book.

The action of poison is sometimes confined to the part of the body to which it is applied, and sometimes it extends to distant organs; in other words, it is sometimes merely local, sometimes remote. of three kinds. Sometimes they decompose chemically, or The local effects of poisons are corrode the part to which they are applied; sometimes they inflame or irritate the part to which they are applied; and sometimes they merely produce a peculiar impression on the sentient extremities of the nerves, unaccompanied by any visible change of structure. The manner in which the influence of poisons is conveyed from one organ to another, seems to be, in some instances, sympathetic, in others, by absorption. The discoveries of Majendie on venous absorption, and the frequent disappearance of poisons during life from the shut cavities in which they have been enclosed, have rendered it a favourite doctrine that most of them act through the blood. Dr Christison

Adam Black. 1829. MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE has hitherto made slight progress in this country. There has been little encouragement held out to men of talent to devote themselves to its study. There is a proud, wilful, obstinate pride of common sense in the English character, that looks with resentment on the superior pretensions of science, and repulses, as insulting, its offers of assistance. No more deadly offence can be given to John Bull than to lay claim to better information than he possesses. The supercilious neglect with which he has hitherto listened to the arguments of the medical jurist in favour of the introduction of a more strict and satisfactory mode of col-holds it to be an erroneous opinion, that poisons affect relecting medical evidence, and in behalf of an efficient medical police, is quite in character. We are daily accustomed to hear it gravely impressed upon the minds of juries from the bench, "that this new thing called medi- | cal jurisprudence is no part of the law of the land;" we have almost daily instances that lawyers successfully resort to the trick of bringing forward some ignorant dolt whom good luck has furnished with the title of surgeon, to swear in the teeth of a scientific and widely-experienced investigator, and thus neutralize, to the satisfaction of an ignorant jury, the evidence of the latter; we cannot walk through a street of any city in the kingdom without having our eyes insulted by placards headed, "Medical Aid," and promising "the strictest honour and secrecy," glaring proofs of the inefficiency of a police which allows ignorant men, and of immoral character, to practise upon the shame, fears, and credulity of the lower orders, and commit murder by wholesale with impunity.

Among other inestimable blessings which we owe to this dignified apathy, not the least striking to one at all acquainted with Continental literature, is the miserably small share contributed by the experimentalists of Great Britain to the daily increasing stores of forensic medicine, when compared with what has been done in France and Germany. Hitherto we have been unable to reckon more than a stray pamphlet, an occasional article in a medical journal, and one or two institutional works, which are only adapted to teach the first rudiments of the science, not to diffuse an extended and practical knowledge. Dr Christison's volume is almost the first attempt among us to discuss the science independently, and in that detail which is requisite to exhaust the subject. The author has been long known in the Justiciary Court as a clear-headed and well-informed medical jurist; and he is still more widely known by his excellent and numerous contributions to the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal. The work which we have now in hands fully equals what our previous knowledge of his talents had led us to expect. As the subject is of such vital import

motely the general system. He admits that a few of them, and, in particular, arsenic and mercury, appear to affect most of the organs in the body, but maintains that by far the greater proportion seem to act on one or more organs only. Some of them act chiefly, if not solely, on the heart; others on the lungs; a great number on the brain, and a few on the spinal cord.

The action of poisons may be modified, both in degree and kind, from a variety of circumstances. Dr Christison enumerates as the principal:-1. Quantity. Not only are the effects of a poison administered in large doses more rapid; they are frequently quite altered in kind. 2. State of Aggregation. Poisons act more energetically the more they are subdivided,—and hence, most energetically in solution, or when reduced to a state of vapour. Differences in aggregation have been known to affect the kind, as well as degree, of action. 3. State of chemical combination. "Poisons which only act locally, have their action much impaired, or even neutralised, in their chemical combinations: the action of poisons which operate by entering the blood, although it may be somewhat lessened, cannot be destroyed or altered in their chemical combinations." 4. Miature. The effect of mixture depends partly on the poisons being diluted; partly on the mere mechanical impediment thrown between the poison and the animal membranes. 5. Difference of tissue in the parts to which the poison is applied. The variations having their origin in this source, depend chiefly on the relative quickness with which the absorption goes on, but not always. Some poisons which cause death when applied to a wound in small quantities, may be swallowed in large doses with impunity. Others are merely diminished in activity; and in some, it matters little to what textures they are applied. It is worthy of notice, that mineral poisons are the least, and animal poisons the most, affected by difference of tissue; while vegetable poisons hold a middle place. 6. Difference of Organ. The differences hence arising may in general be referred to difference of tissue, but not always. 7. Habit and Idiosyn


The tendency of the latter is to increase the activity of poisons, and even to render some substances deleterious, which to the greater number of persons are harmless. Such an idiosyncrasy may even be acquired. On the contrary, the tendency of habit is, with a few exceptions, to lessen the energy of poisons.

The classification of poisons is rather a difficult subject. Dr Christison has preferred classing them according to the symptoms they induce on man. He allows this method to be unsatisfactory, and only adopts it as the least deficient. According to him, all poisons may be arranged under one of three great divisions:-1st, The Irritants, including all whose sole or predominating symptoms are those of irritation or inflammation; 2d, The Narcotics, which produce stupor, delirium, and other affections of the brain and nervous system; 3d, The Narcotico-Acrids, which produce sometimes irritation, sometimes narcotism, sometimes both together. The first class comprehends the mineral acids, the fixed alkalies, the poisonous metallic compounds, some of the earths, the vegetable acrids, cantharides, the venom of serpents, poisonous fish, and diseased and decayed animal matter: The second, opium, hyoscyamus, lactuca, salanum, hydrocyanic acid, and the poisonous gases: The third, nightshade, thorn-apple, and tobacco; hemlock, and some other umbelliferous plants; monkshood; cocculus indicus, poisonous grain, and poisonous fungi.

The results yielded by the study of poisons, as tending to throw light on physiology and the practice of physic, have hitherto been such as to encourage further research, rather than such as can be said to have added materially to our knowledge in these two branches of study. Although they hold out fair hopes to the physician of the future discovery of new and more efficacious remedies and modes of treatment, it would be worse than madness to act as yet upon the immature researches of the toxicologist. Their bearing upon the science of jurisprudence is more immediate and practical; and to this subject, therefore, we must dedicate a few remarks, notwithstanding the length to which this article has already run.

his testimony must be judged of by the rules recognised by the court. The office of a medical police is, to superintend the cleanliness of cities-the character of the food exposed in the markets-the supplies of water-the locality and structure of manufactories, which, in their process, evolve noxious exhalations and the qualifications of medical practitioners. All these matters are left in this country to chance; and we believe it is now the only country in Europe where this is the case. A medical officer, such as we have suggested in the case of the sheriff courts, might extend his activity with great benefit in this direction. This is sufficiently established by a number of interesting facts stated in the course of Dr Christison's book, for which we refer the reader (among other passages) to the chapter on "Lead," and that on " Decayed and Diseased Animal Matter."


It only remains that we address a few suggestions to Dr Christison. His book is professedly practical, and he, on this account, declines treating of any but the more common poisons. We are inclined to think, that a satis factory work upon toxicology can only be produced upon the exhaustive plan, and that much light, even in what regards the practice of this country, may be obtained from comparative views of the working of foreign poisons, or of those known here under the influence of a different climate. We could also have wished that Dr Christison had given a catalogue raisonné of the principal Continental works which he has quoted. This would have had the double advantage of introducing his reader to a branch of medical literature which is too little cultivated among us, and at the same time of enabling him to judge of the value of any particular experiment, which must always be influenced by the accuracy of the operator and the credibi lity of the reporter. We make these suggestions for the benefit of Dr Christison's second edition, which, considering the valuable nature of his work, we doubt not will soon be called for.

Oliver Cromwell, a Poem, in Three Books. Edinburgh.
Oliver and Boyd. 1829. Pp. 200.

Medical knowledge is important to the lawyer and to the legislator, in two distinct points of view. To the former, it is chiefly necessary in discussing the evidence THIS work is, we believe, from the pen of Mr Dunlop for the commission or non-commission of a crime: to the of Greenock. On the whole, we look upon the preface latter, in enacting sound police regulations. With regard as the best part of it. The author is a much better prose to the former, we may remark, that in criminal cases of writer than a poet. The preface extends to twenty-two poisoning, the enquiry resolves itself (as in all criminal closely-printed pages, and contains an able and vigorous investigations) into two great questions:—First, the defence of Oliver Cromwell. We have no intention to reality of the death by poison; and, second, whether it enter into the merits of the question; but we profess our has happened through malicious intention or accidentally, selves to be "neutral and candid," and to such Mr Dunand by whose instrumentality. In the first question, the lop is of opinion that "it may be incontestably shown, opinion of the medical man gives the law to the jury. that disinterested patriotism, in the most moderate degree, His declaration, that death has been caused by poison, required decisive hostility to the King's measures; that ought to preclude all further enquiry into the fact. It Cromwell, as well as others, acted from honest principle stands in the same relation as the opinion of an architect, in this respect, and had but too cogent reasons to rouse to whom it has been remitted to report on the state of a them; that he fairly proceeded from one step of power to building. This view of the matter shows at once the another, by the natural progress of events, without being loose and unsatisfactory nature of the mode at present liable to the imputation of remarkable and criminal amadopted in taking this part of the medical evidence. bition; that the chief magistracy of Great Britain was The crown counsel employ a medical man, and proceed entailed on him by motives of self-preservation, by the upon his opinion; the counsel for the prisoner bring regard which is due to the protection of inestimable reliforward another to contradict him ;-the bench and the gious privileges, and in general by the incidence of things, jury, between this conflicting testimony, know not what which, perhaps, he himself could not in one sense counto think. It is the throw of a die whether the innocent teract; and that his reign, considering the untoward cirshall suffer or the guilty escape. Now it really seems to cumstances of it, presents nothing for which to load his us, that the remedy is as simple as the defect in our judi- memory with reproach." With so much admiration of cial institutions is notorious. The precognitions, which, his hero, it was natural to expect that our author would in Scotland, always precede the judicial investigation, are have devoted the main body of his book to a clear eluci taken by the sheriff. Let a competent medical officer be dation of his character and actions; and the name of attached to each sheriff court for the purpose of conduct- "Oliver Cromwell," which he has prefixed to his poem, ing such preliminary investigations as the one alluded to, certainly led us to conclude that we should find it dediand let his report be final. In the second part of the en-cated to his service. This is not the case. The plan of quiry-the question, namely, of intentional or accidental death, and the ascertaining of the criminal-the medical witness descends, of course, to the level of any other, and

the poem is as follows:-It is written in blank verse, and introduces us to Cromwell and his daughter, Mrs Claypole, between whom a poetical dialogue is sustained

« السابقةمتابعة »