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the former, to Profeffor Sulzer, in which he relates his magnetie cures, and his having not only communicated the magnetic power to bodies of different kinds, fuch as paper, bread, wool, &c. but alfo collected the magnetic fluid in bottles, and made feveral of his patients feel the impreffion of magnetic bodies at ■ confiderable diftance. The academicians of Berlin feem to have little faith in these cures and novelties of Dr. Mesmer; not that they question his veracity, but fufpect his having been mifled by fallacious appearances, and having taken the poft hee for the propter hoc, a common error, which refults from paffing too precipitately from experiment to fyftem.
Memoir concerning the Salt of Canal, by M. COTHENIUS. It is well known, that feveral kinds of falts are generated on the furface of the earth, but it is rare to find on the surface of the earth a neutral,falt, in fufficient quantities for the ufes to which it may be applied. A portion of falt of this kind, generated on the furface of the earth, and drawn from thence by a lixivium (like faltpetre), was given to our Author by the Sardinian minifter at Berlin, who recommended it as an excellent medicine, with a memoir setting forth its discovery and its virtues. This memoir, together with the chymical experiments made on the falt by M. COTHENIUS, are inferted in this paper. From these we learn that Meffrs. Aloy, Father and Son, apothe caries at Canal, a village about ten leagues from Turin, in the province of Afti, obferved, fome years ago, that, in the months of February, March, and April, a faline earth, fomething between white and afh-coloured, vegetated on the surface of certain places in that district: they obferved that it was porous, friable, light, and spread itself abroad like mofs, about the height of two or three inches. They began their operations by extracting, by a lixivium, a confiderable quantity of this fubftance, and perceived, that a pound of the earth, in queftion, produced three ounces of pure falt, chryftalline, white, cafily diffoluble in water, of a bitterish taste, but not disagreeable, and somewhat ftyptical. Having obferved this falt with the microscope, they perceived that the little cryftals, which it compofed, were moftly parallelopipeds, though not of an exactly regular form,-that fome of them were of a configuration nearly prifmatic, with bafes triangular and hexangular, and that others refembled rhombufes, cubes, and octahedrons. Meffrs. Aloy made ftill farther researches concerning the nature of this fubftance: having obferved that its colour did not change, when mixed with fyrop of violets, and that not the leaft effervefcence was produced by its combination with acids, they concluded that it belonged to the clafs of those neutral falts, which are nothing more than the refult of the vitriolic acid combined with a calcareous abforbent earth, which previously was the bafis and matrix
of marine falt.-The falt of Canal (according to M. Cothenius)
An Effay on Curiofity. In this ingenious paper, which M. MERIAN judged worthy of being read at one of the meetings of the Academy, curiofity is faid to be the defire of difcovering new relations and connexions between objects of which we have previously Jome ideas. From this elegant, and (we think) juft definition the author concludes that the fource of that pleafure which the mind derives from the difcovery of new truths must be sought for in the proportion that there is between what is known and what is unknown. We difcover unknown truths by the means of fome, that are already known, and how could this difcovery be made in the way of inveftigation, if the former bore no fort of relation to the latter? If what is unknown had no relation with what is known, how could it be the object of defire to the mind, which cannot feel a propenfity towards any thing that is abfolutely unconnected with all its faculties and ideas,-From all this our Author concludes, 1ft, that, cæteris paribus, curiofity will be there in the fmalleft degree, where the relations, (i. e. the points of approximation or affinity) between what is unknown and known are the feweft in number, and that when the mind endeavours to fatisfy fuch curiofity, with refpect to objects, where the analogy is fo feeble, its labour will be rather painful
The Author of this paper is, as we learn, M. TREMBLEY, a very promiting young man, whofe pieces have obtained prizes in fe veral academies.
than agreeable.-2dly, That if, on the contrary, the relation between what is known and unknown be fuch, as that a fimple act of intuition is almoft fufficient to perceive the latter in the former, the mind will feel in the gratification of its curiofity, a diminution of pleasure proportioned to the exceffive facility of the investigation. Our Author illuftrates these propofitions by an ample detail of arguments and examples, that open a variety of interesting views in this branch of pfychology. These are followed by judicious and excellent reflexions on the usefulness of curiofity, the various abuses of which it is fufceptible, and the rules that ought to be followed in its gratification. We recommend this part of the memoir to the atheistical fophifts of Paris, the new-fashioned materialifts of London, and the presumptuous fyftem-builders of a pretended theological orthodoxy, who have deformed the beautiful fimplicity of the Chriftian religion by their crude inventions.-In a word, we recommend it to all thofe deluded unbelievers and fanatical believers, who fearching for knowledge in a sphere where there is little proportion between the known and the unknown (i. e. in a sphere beyond their ken), perfift obftinately in their idle investigation of this unknown, and, fubjecting nature to imagination, create principles, draw confequences and fill the mind with falfe lights, which ufurp the place of reafon and truth.
The hiftorical part of this volume is terminated by a short Account, or rather a fimple enumeration, of the MSS. or printed works, machines, inventions and projects, that were presented to the Academy during the course of the year 1775, and by the Eulogy of the celebrated Profefflor Meckel.
Chymical Experiments upon the Stone in the Bladder, by M. MARGGRAF. Thefe experiments are curious; but as they lead to no results that are interefting to humanity, we refer the curious Reader to the work itself.
Obfervations on Flutes, By M. LAMBERT. This excellent mathematician, in examining the modifications of found, which depend upon the holes of the flute, has carried his refearches and calculations ftill farther than Euler and Bernouilli, on this intricate fubject.-The engravings are neceffary to the compleat understanding of the reafonings of this profound academician, and, befide, thefe reafonings are not fufceptible of abridgment.
It is amazing to think, what comp'icated powers of elements and mechanifm muft operate in the performances of the fimplest air !
Experiments and Remarks on the Mills, which the water turns from below, in an horizontal direction.
Remarks on the Mills and other Machines, whofe Wheels receiv the Water at a certain Height.
Remarks on Wind-Mills.Thefe three Memoirs of M. LAMBERT, were the laft labours of that great man, whofe death, which happened fince the publication of this volume is an irreparable loss to the Academy of Berlin, and to the republic of letters.
The Hiftory of an extraordinary Difeafe. By M. COTHENIUS. This is one of thofe cafes, which has a fabulous afpect, and yet is a real fact. Fabula creditur, hiftoria narratur. The fubject of this Memoir is a woman, in whofe body, during her life, feventy-one needles were difcovered, of which the greatest part were extracted by furgeons, while fome pierced and forced their way in different places, and others were evacuated by ftools. After her death her body was diffected, and fixty needles more, of a great length, were found dispersed through the different vifcera. This fingular patient died at the age of 35. She was of a fanguine complexion, a tender conftitution, a lively turn, and was mother of five children. At the age of fourteen the was attacked by a fpaftico-convulfive disorder which lafted a month; at fixteen fhe was married, and was fafely delivered of
a child about a year after. During the fecond pregnancy, her fpafmodic complaint returned, and was removed; but it returned about four years after, together with a conftipation and fuppreffion of urine, which continued ten days. After he had ceafed to bear children, fhe was afflicted with a series of the most dreadful diforders, fpalms, excruciating pains in the abdomen, fuppreffion of the menftrua, afthma, dropfy, hectic fever, with other lamentable complaints, of which our Academician gives an affecting defcription, and which, both by their number and nature, mix compaffion with aftonifhment and dejection: the cafe of Job was health and well-being compared with hers for her body feemed to be the feat of all imaginable disorders. After an attack of the palfy, followed by a fuffocating catarrh, and that fucceeded by hysterical fpafms, which produced convulfions, and thefe followed by a hemoptyfis, an hæmorthage inthe nose, and a vomiting of black and fetid blood, the began to discover other symptoms, which made the phyficians conclude that she had a fchirrhus in the liver, and even a polypus in the heart. In the midst of this diverfified mifery, he felt pains like the prickings of pins or needles in different parts of her body, and one day, when she was employed in fome needle-work, a vomiting of blood feized her, which fo exhaufted her strength, that The fainted away, and was brought to herself by a fharp pain, accompanied with an idea, that he had funk into her breaft the needle with which fhe had been working. After preffing the part affected, the actually drew out a needle, but not the fame
with that she had been ufing; and this was followed by fix-andthirty more, extracted, at different times, by furgeons. Ап interval of repofe enfued, which was fucceeded by new pains and new chirurgical operations, in confequence of which a long needie was drawn from the umbilical region, five from the breaft, three from the abdomen, one from the region of the ftomach and feveral from other parts.
The Reader will be impatient to have our learned Academician's method of accounting for the existence of these needles in the body of the unfortunate patient. He places her diforder in the clafs of thofe that affect the nerves, in which strong paffions produce fuch violent perturbations, as difturb the order that is established by nature in the animal economy. In this cafe it is natural to think, that the bile contracts an acrimony which must infect the blood, and that fpafmodic conftrictions of the nervous fykem, often repeated, muft embarrass the course of the blood in the vifcera of the abdomen, and, above all, in the uterus. Thus, continues our Author, the blood being corrupted by the ftagnation, a matter, of a venomous kind, mixes itfelf with the nervous fluid, pafles through the nerves, obftructs excretions and fecretions of every kind, fometimes by relaxing the excretory glands, and fometimes by tearing the blood-veffels, from whence, in fuch cafes, the blood is emitted in large quantities. Now, as the ftate of the mind is known to depend, in many inftances, on the health of the body, and the brain is frequently affected in fuch a manner by fpafmodic conftrictions, as to trouble our ideas, to fufpend the exercife of reafon, and hindering perfons from knowing what they do, or remembering what has happened to them, M. COTHENIUS fuppofes, that his patient, in paroxyfms of this kind, had fwallowed needles, or thrust them into feveral parts of her body.- Having diffected the body in the prefence, and with the affiftance of the celebrated Profeffor Walter, an excellent anatomift, they found a confiderable number of needles in the left breast, and in other parts of the body. The position of these needles, the effects they produced, the ftate of the body and of the parts they had affected, are defcribed in a learned, interefting, and circumftantial detail, in this curious Memoir.
Among all the extraordinary cafes of a fimilar kind, that have been publifhed from time to time by phyficians, there is none fo fingular as that which is here related. In the twelfth Volume of the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sweden, there is an account of a parcel of needles (above thirty-two) fwallowed unluckily by a young lady; an accident followed by the moft cruel pains, and which required the moft fevere operations, before the needles were drawn out or evacuated, and a cure effected but in the cafe now before us, the patient perfifted in denying that he had