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tinued to the fortieth or sixtieth, or farther.' Nevertheless Dr. Pringle affures us, that he has known it end, either in death or recovery, in seven days, but that in the hospitals it generally continued from fourteen to twenty.
In treating of the cure of this disorder, our author agrees in general with the method prefcribed by Dr. Pringle, except in a timid use of the bark, concerning which he fil retains the prejudices of the last age, notwithltanding its acknowledge ed power as an antiseptic; a quality which recommends it very particularly in the cure of a disease, in which there is an universal tendency to putrefaction.
Upon the whole, the first volume of this work is not without merit, tas it contains a general description of moft diseafes; but its chief value consists in the account of morbid appearances on dissection, which are frequently interspersed throughout the work. This volume is however little more than a translation into latin of the author's Precis de la medecine pratique, published some years ago.
The second volume we suppose to be original : it contains the author's system of the Materia Medica. He divides the whole into two books, one of which comprehends such medicines as are used internally, and the other, external medicines. The first book is divided into two sections ; one treating of thofe medicines which feem to act on the whole animal oeconomy, and the other, of chofe whose powers seem confined to some particular part. These sections are again subdivided into clarses, in which the several fubftances are diftributed according to their supposed effects on the human body, thus diluentia, rea frigerantia, temperantia, &c. and in each clafs they are finally 'divivided into emporetica, officinalia, and magistralia. The author moreover subjoins to each clafs, a short commentary on the several fimple substances, and officinal preparations therein contained.
If we were disposed to be severe upon this celebrated French phyfician, this second part of his work would afford us ample field for criticism. He very frequently ascribes to medicines, virtues founded only on ancient opinions, which later experience hath sufficiently exploded; and as to his chemical knowledge, it appears extremely borné. In his comment on the neutral salt called arcanum duplicatum, it seems, fays he, to be composed of the nitrous alkali, and vitriolic acid, being prepared of calcined nitre and green vitriol. If he had been at all acquainted with chemistry, he would not have talked of a nitrous alkali ; he would have known that there is nothing peculiar in the alkali obtained from nitre; that it is merely a fixed alkali, in no Iespect different from that which is produced by calcination from
. vegetables in general. This salt is what chemists commonly call Vitriolated Tartar, and may be generated by a proper combination of any two substances which contain the vitriolic acid and vegetable alkali. But what renders our Author's unacquaintance. with chemistry more conspicuous, is, that, in the very next article, he comments upon vitriolated tartar as being a different falt from the foregoing.
. After all, if we compare this volume with the generality of. books formerly written on the Materia Medica, it merits praise, on account of its greater fimplicity ; though we take the liberty, to assure the Author, that he might expunge a very considerable, number both of his simple and compound medicines, without any detriment to the art of healing.
Meditazioni sulla Felicità.
Reflections on Happiness.
12mo. Milan, 1765.
THERE is, perhaps, no word in the vocabulary, whose
I meaning is so vague and indeterminate as that of happi. ness. Nothing is more natural than for individuals, in making use of that term, to have an eye to their own peculiar emolument or gratification. But as it is impossible, from physical caufes, for a man to possess any constant state of satisfaction, in himself; so it is equally impossible, from moral causes, for him to enjoy any such constant state of satisfaction in society.
Without desires there can be no gratification, and every gratification is necessarily sooner or later disgusted by satiety. Whether our desires and gratifications, therefore, are of the physical or moral kind, we see there is an incapacity in the very nature of our constitution for constant gratification. By happiness, then, if we mean any thing really attainable *, we must mean some state of enjoyment, in which the moderation of our desires may prevent the grosser disgust of gratification. But how far such a state is, with regard to the individual, raised above a state of indolence and insipidity, will possibly admit of dispute; fince every motive of action is apparently attended with some desire, and the degree of activity is proportioned to the vehemence of that defire. Hence, to consider man merely as a physical and inde
. * And if we do not, to what purpose is it made the object of moral or philosophical disquisition! The happiness, we hope for in a future life, being a different object; the possession of which we are to be invelled with, in consequence of a total change in our conftitution; and of our putting of the corporeal body for the spiritual body.
pendent pendent being, it does not appear that he can be any farther a gainer by moderating the warmth of his desires, than in thereby diminishing the mortification of disappointment, or preventing the disgust attendant on gratification. With his desires we rank also his hopes and expectations; all which are equally opposed to disgust, fear or disappointment. And thus while pain and pleasure, in all their modes, are relative and reciprocal, we fee as little possibility of defining, as of attaining, physical happiness. There is a species of happiness, however, which is both definable and attainable, and which may with propriety be called social or political happiness. It will hardly be doubted by those, who have made matters of this kind their study, that the life of a savage is as physically happy, as that of the most polished citizen. If the former hath fewer pleasures and indulgences, his mortifications and disappointments are proportionably less : the sensibility of both is adapted to their difference of situation, and though they deal not, for the same amount, in the commerce of pleasure and pain, their balance, in settling the account, is equal. It is very different with regard to social and political happiness. The merchant, who trades for the revenue of princes, and annually returns millions, tho' he should save no more at the year's end, than the petty trader who deals for pence, is yet held in a very different light in point of respect and authority. His personal influence is greater, his enjoyments in every respect luperior; although at the same time his personal concern, asliduity and risk rise in the same proportion. And yet that he is more happy, in a political sense, than a mean trader, whose credit will barely enable him to pay his bills, cannot be doubted. In like manner, it cannot be disputed, that a polished nation is, in the same sense, much happier than a nation of savages. .
Now civilized man, being both a physical and political being, his happiness is of course dependant both on his natural constitution as a man, and on the civil constitution of the state or community of which he is a political member. Considered merely as the former, happiness is out of the question; he hath neither words to define it, nor means to attain it. As the latter, both the object, and the means of pursuing it, are obvious : but till he can separate the citizen from the man, and vice verfâ, he will naturally look for those gratifications as a man, to which he hath a right only as a citizen, and will make use of the means of the latter to gratify the desires and inclina. tions of the former. Hence it is, that the happiness of man, in a state of society, becomes a very intricate and complicated affair, both in its means and end. : App. to Vol. XXXIII. Nn
The * The very ingenious Author of the little piece before us, * seems indeed to consider it in this light, by his manner of treat'ing the subject, although he does not make those distinctions, with which we have thought it expedient to introduce this Article. We shall proceed, however, to give the Reader an abftract of his piece. .
• The cause of our unhappiness, fays this Writer, is the excess of our desires beyond the power of gratifying them : the only way to be happy, therefore, is either to diminish our defires, or to increase our power to gratify them, or both.–Now, the sum of our desires depends on the original sensibility of our disposition, on our constitution, and the affociation of our ideas: that of our power depending on the laws of nature, and the will of other intelligent beings. The end of our defires is to avoid pain, and seek pleasure, both of which the imagination is naturally disposed to exaggerate; as we find that neither one nor the other please or offend in reality fo much as they do in expectation. Hence an impartial examination into the very na'ture of our desires, tends to give us a new train of ideas, which ferves to diminish the sum of our defires themselves. Again, it is in the power of art sometimes to augment that natural power of gratification, which depends on the physical action of exter'nal causes. Thus a particular regimen, for instance, may augment that which depends on the organization of the body: or the afsiftance or non-resistance of other intelligent beings may, by various means, be purchased, obtained, or rendered indifferent to our happinefs; so that by this means our powers of gratification may be increased.
• To consider thele principles in their order : and, first, of the nature of our desires. The most general object of our desires is wealth ; and it must be confesled that riches, being the usual token of that power which men have over things, those who are rich seem to extend their own existence, and to interest a much greater part of nature in their pleasures. Reason ought to confine our thirst after riches within the bounds of · physical and moral utility; for the art of enjoying wealth is much more difficult than that of acquiring it. Whosoever is once arrived at the possession of a competency, generally multiplies his defires; either because, for want of due forefight, he prefers the gratification of his present caprice to that of future wants; or because, from a contrary principle, he is ridiculoully provident of fantastical exigencies to come, neglecting the gra
* Said to be a man of rank and fortune, now residing at Milan, and! Author of the litile tract entitled Dei Deliti e delle pere. See our lat Appendix.
tification of his present necessities. The prodigal and the miser are equally mistaken in their reckoning; the error of both lying in the greater concern they bestow on chimerical and imaginary wants, than on real ones. We may be clearly con: vinced, by an attentive examination into the nature of riches, that, wbenever they surpass the limits of competency, they necessarily bring with them the desire of increasing, and the embarrassment of securing them ; befides numerous other sufpicions and inquietudes, which multiply the sum of our defires beyond our power of gratifying them.'
From the confideration of riches, our author passes to that of rank and honours ; endeavouring to thew, that a thirst after ambition, is in every respect similar to that after wealth, and actended with like effects. He considers next more particularly the influence, which imagination has over both our pains and pleasures; and here he supposes that our voluptuous sensations lole more than any other, in their transition from imagination to reality. On the other hand, he conceives that our fears and anxiecies depend much less on the organization of our frame, and the real nature of the object, than on the error of our imagination, which exaggerates the distress of the danger. An attentive and careful examination, therefore, into the nature of things, says he, will greatly diminish the inAuence of that faculty, which is perpetually exciting irregular and immoderate desires; all which, in fact, arise from our ignorance. Such an examination also, he conceives, would tend to make us prefer that vigorous activity, in which the gratification of our moderate desires always leaves the soul ; and which never deprives us of the more agreeable sensations, viz. those arising from the satisfying those physical wants, which Spontaneously arise from our conftitution.
The distinction made by our author between moderate and immoderate desires, may possibly seem to clash with what we observed in the beginning of this article, respecting the relative nature of pleasure and pain in general. It is to be observed, however, that we are limited by our very nature and constitution, both to the enjoyment of pleasure, and the suffering of pain within certain bounds ; even as a spring, whose elasticity, we say, is always equal to its compressure. But this is to be understood with certain limits ; for if it be stretched or compressed too far, it loses the very virtue by which it is either compressed or dilated. It is thus with our capacity for pleasure and pain ; our sensations of which, how moderate soever, are proportioned to each other *. At the same time, nevertheless,
• So that tho' the moderation of our desires would make us more polisiNn: