Page images

distinguished as an " Hospital Painter," we think that no one will be forward in disputing with this gentleman the title of an Hospital Poet. He commits a glaring impropriety in the outset of his lay, when he tell us of his

Forsaking with disdain the futile aid

Of Roman deities and Grecian nymphs,',.

and then invokes the aid of the Eternal God' to assist the Muse. We find little cause for either praise or blame in the rest of this performance; the style is insipid rather than incorrect: but if the author continues his work, it is possible that he may become more animated in his descriptions, and thus be better enabled to excite the sympathy of his readers.

Art. 30. The Maniac, a Tale; or a View of Bethlem Hospital: and the Merits of Women, a Poem from the French. With poetical Pieces, original and translated By A Bristow. Crown 8vo. 10s 6d. Boards. Hatchard. 1810.


If Mrs. Bristow does not appear to be a first-rate-poet, she certainly possesses a respectable portion of talent, and her little volume affords proofs both of correct judgment and of poetic fancy. pays less attention than some of her cotemporaries to the harmony of her numbers, but her serious pieces evince taste and reflection. She has translated the Abbé Delille's description of a stag-hunt (in L'Homme des Champs,) with spirit and feeling nearly equal to his own; and her poem on the Merits of Women,' which appears to have been written con amore, has all the animation of an original composition. The passage descriptive of maternal solicitude and tenderness contains so much truth and nature, that we hope to be applauded for transcribing it:

• Grave censors of the sex, whose eyes severe
View these fine talents with contemptuous sneer,
At least, can warmest gratitude, ah! say,
Their use ul fond exertions e'er repay?
Ere yet existence breathes the vital air,

Their cares for us commence; their love we share.
When, after months of languor, terrors pain,
Then pangs still more acute doomed to sustain,
The patient sufferer to maternal arms

Receives her pledge of love: its infant charms
Raising enthusiastic rapture high,

She vows, with thankful heart, and tear-fraught eye,

To him she will devote each anxious care;

No toils remit, no tender office spare,

To shield his infant state from infant woes.
She o'er him angs to watch his soft repose:
Chases the insect, who, with buzzing sound,
Or brushing wing, might break his rest profound.
Dark midnight's shade no pause in feeling makes;
Her ear attentive, 'midst deep silence, wakes,

To catch the slightest noise that might annoy
The tranquil comfort of her precious boy.
Or, should, at length, sleep's balmy pressure close
Her heavy eye-lids in a short repose,

E'en dreams her tender vigilance alarm;
She starts; flies to repel the threatened harm:
In fixed attention o'er her treasure bent,
Long she contemplates him with looks intent;
Then, scarcely satisfied her fears were vain,
Resumes her couch, to watch and wake again.
Anon, when stretched, his little hands are spread,
And gentle clamours speak his slumbers fled,
Clasped in her arms, she quick, to still his cries,
The pure, health-yielding nourishment applies,
By Nature given, who nothing gives in vain,
Our feeble state to comfort and sustain.'

Art. 31. Yuli, the African. A Poem in Six Cantos. Crown 8vo. 48. Boards. Hatchard. 1810.

We are assured in the preface that this poem is founded on facts, and we think that the principal story is interesting and even affecting but the versification seldom rises above mediocrity, though it never sinks below it. The concluding canto possesses more spirit and force than the rest; and the description of the hero's revenge and death is creditable to the talents as well as to the feeling of the writer.


Art. 32. Rudiments of Chemical Philosophy; in which the first Principles of that useful and entertaining Seience are familiarly explained, and illustrated. By N. Meredith. 12mo. 4s. Boards. Hatchard, &c. 1810.

The author of this little volume candidly informs us that only a short time has elapsed since he became acquainted with the science in which he now professes to instruct others. Notwithstanding the different elementary works that have been written on chemistry, he appears to consider that a more popular treatise is still a desideratum; and, as he is induced to hope that he possesses at least the talent of writing or speaking plainly,' he has endeavoured to supply the deficiency. He has chosen to convey his ideas in what we regard as the very objectionable form of question and answer; yet we must give him a degree of credit for the perspicuity of his style, and for his knowlege of the subject on which he treats. At the same time, we do not exactly perceive either the necessity or the utility of this publication; and we think that the "Conversations on Chemistry," mentioned in our 50th vol. p. 330, formed a better work than Mr. Meredith has produced, precisely on the same plan, and written for the same class of readers.

Art. 33. The Rudiments of Chemistry; illustrated by Experiments and eight copper-plate Engravings of Chemical Apparatus. By Samuel Parkes. 12mo. 58. Boards. Lackington and Co. 1810.

This work is at least recommended by its cheapness; a quality which is unfortunately become so rare, as to deserve to be pointed out whereever it exists. We think that we can also commend it as being tolerably accurate, and as containing a fair compendium of the present state of chemical knowlege. To a young beginner, it might be an amusing and useful task to go through Mr. Parkes's volume, and perform the experiments which he describes in the course of it. These appear to us to be well selected; and the directions are, for the most part, sufficiently clear. We may say of the publication in general, that, without possessing any high degree of literary merit, it will probably be found of considerable utility in diffusing a taste for chemistry, among those who would have neither inclination nor capacity to profit by a more elaborate performance.

Art. 34. An Essay on the Use of a regulated Temperature in Winter-cough and Consumption: including a Comparison of the different Methods of producing such a Temperature in the Chambers of Invalids. By Isaac Buxton, M.D., &c. 12mo. 4s. 6d. Boards. Murray,

&c. 1810.

The subject of this volume possesses more importance than has generally been attached to it. We daily hear of the wide spreading depredations of phthisis; we ascribe its effects to the variable nature of our climate, and we consider a removal to a warmer atmosphere as the only remedy on which much dependence can be placed: yet it is remarkable that, under this impression, but few attempts have been made to procure for our patients, at home, that equable temperature which is sought at a distance with so much expense and difficulty. It is obvious, on the first view of the question, that the defects of climate cannot be entirely remedied by any artificial warmth communicated to confined chambers; because, though we might be completely successful in the exclusion of cold, we necessarily deprive our patients, in a great measure, of the advantages of air and exercise: but still, when we contemplate the complicated objections which often present themselves against the removal of a patient from his own home to a distant part of this kingdom, and yet more, to a foreign country, we may conceive many cases, in which we should be inclined to adopt the more practicable though less efficacious method. The subject had not escaped the notice of the late Dr. Beddoes; who, among the other means which he pointed out for removing consumption, confined some of his patients in heated rooms and in cow-houses: but so much excentricity was mixed with all his movements, and his different projects were presented to the world with so much unpropitious eagerness, that we cannot be surprized if they made only a temporary impression on the public mind. The discussion is, however, now brought fairly into notice by Dr. Buxton; and we hope that the modest and unassuming manner in which he treats it will recommend his tract to notice, rather than prevent it from receiving due attention.

He begins by some remarks on the nature of that complaint which is correctly though perhaps not scientifically named winter-cough, and on its frequent termination in consumption. He then traces the

P 3


manner in which it is aggravated by exposure to cold, and particularly by the frequent changes which occur in our variable climate and he afterward proceeds to give a few cases in which this consumptive tendency was apparently suspended, if not entirely cured, by confining the patients to chambers, the temperature of which was carefully regulated. The latter part of the work properly consists of directions for obtaining this equable temperature; and Dr. B. particularly insists on a species of fire-place, which he thinks is better than the open chimney commonly used in this country, or than the closed stove that is employed in Germany. The former necessarily produces currents of air, which counteract the very object of the treatment; and the latter tends to contaminate the purity of the atmosphere of the room. Instead of these, he advises the adoption of a well known apparatus, which he chuses (we do not know why) to call the compound German stove, but which is in fact the common shop-stove and ironing-stove used in laundries.'

It consists of a stove, of any shape, projecting some distance into the room which it is to heat, and opening into this room. It resembles the English fire-place, because it opens into the apartment which it warms, thus causing a constant ventilation. It resembles the German stove, because it exposes a large heated surface, continually warming the particles of air which come into contact with its sides.'

The preceding remarks will probably be sufficient to induce our medical readers to examine Dr. Buxton's work; in which they will not indeed meet with much force of reasoning, nor many very impressive facts, but will find some sensible suggestions which may perhaps hereafter be turned to good account.


Art. 25. On the Revival of the Cause of Reform in the Representation of the Commons in Parliament. By Capel Lofft, Esq. Barrister at Law. The 2d Edition, with Additions. 8vo. pp. 37. Bone and Hone. 1810.

Mr. I offt hails with hope and pleasure the returning attention of the public mind to the important subject of this tract, and has given to the world, in the form of a pamphlet, the observations which appear to have been designed as an address to the Friends of Reform, assembled at the Crown and Anchor on the 1st of May 18c9. His general sen timents meet our entire concurrence; and they are here announced with a mixture of firmness and moderation, which we should rejoice to see universally imitated by those who honestly labor for the accomplishment of a great practical benefit, and are not actuated by the selfish motives of idle popularity or personal importance. Rea soning from the known effects of public opinion on the deliberations of the House of Commons, even as at present constituted, in accomplishing the abolition of the Slave Trade, and in compelling the resignation of the late Commander in Chief, Mr. Lofft does not des pair of inducing a reformation of that body by a vote of its own, in conformity to the enlightened wishes of the whole community. Let it then be remembered that, in order to effect this desirable ob


ject, the expression of such a wish, and the conviction of its gratification being necessary to the salvation of the country, must be universal; and the language of prudence, as well as of sincerity, will be that which has a tendency to unite the greatest possible number of suffrages in favour of this important measure. Nothing exclusive, nothing vindictive, nothing illiberal, should mingle itself with the feelings of a real friend to reform : slander, suspiciồn, and distrust, with a promptitude to ascribe all difference of opinion to base and sordid motives, are not the means of obtaining a cordial and widely extended co-operation in any public cause. We have lamented to witness too large an admixture of such sentiments in the proceedings of many well meaning persons, who have espoused the cause of reform, and who for so doing have been honoured with Mr Lofft's panegyric but to that gentleman himself we impute nothing of this sort, while we observe with pleasure a disposition to allay all unnecessary irritation, and to render justice to all men. Yet it may be questioned whether the following paragraphs, wise and liberal as they are, would have been received with patience by those to whom they were intended to have been addressed;


The public has lost all implicit confidence in leaders of parties, and that is well. But it is losing with it that which it is far from well to lose its respect, affection, and merited veneration, to its deceased worthies. I do not wish man immoderately to revere his fellow man, however amiable, wise, and excellent. But that virtue upon which death has set the seal, is consecrated to a just and rational respect. Those who immediately forget or change their sentiments toward the illustrious dead, can be expected to have little steadiness of attachment to the worth which is not yet removed from us.

Mr. Fox died, as he had lived, in the service of his country, and of mankind. He died, I have no doubt, many months at least, the earlier for his last devotion of himself to that service When I consider that he last came into office under the languor of a fatal and hopeless illness, that he lived only about seven months after, and cannot be said to have been effectively in office, except in one or two great emergencies, more than five of that time; that in this short period, by personally standing forth and exerting the last energies of his great and generous mind for a great object of justice and humanity (indeed one of the greatest), he carried it, regardless of all personal and official discouragements, of all cabinet division, and party influence, and parliamentary interest against it; I think and feel what I said last night, that we ought to cherish the memory of Charles James Fox (Honourable or Right Honourable, or any dif ference of titles vanishes when plac'd in the balance with his name), that we ought indeed to cherish the memory of Charles James Fox, whenever we meet for parliamentary reform, or for any great public object: not because he was the head of a party; for I know of no parties in the grave: but because he was the friend of his country; of the pure and free principles of the constitution; the friend of reform in parliament, in and out of power; the friend of the peace, Liberty, and happiness of mankind. He had by carrying the resolve

P 4


« PreviousContinue »