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demic without the other, Our author supposes them both to proceed from noxious exhalations from wet, low, and marshy grounds. What are the peculiar properties of these exhalations is perhaps not yet thoroughly understood. By experience it is found, that fevers and fluxes are more prevalent in places abounding with thefe exhalations, than in those fituations which are free from them; on which account, the exhalations are said to be the causes of the diseases; and the fact must be admitted, alıhough we cannot explain it. Beside the origisal cause, Dr. Hunter confiders other circumstances which co-operate with it either in producing or aggravating the disease, such as an exceffive use of rum, fatigue, hard labour, bad or scanty diet, long fafting, distress of mind, and exposure to rain.
The precautions which are to be observed in sending troops to the West Indies, and the means of preserving their health in that climate, are the next objects of the author's attention ; in treating of which he delivers many useful directions relative to the embarkation of the troops, their management during the voyage, their quartering after arrival in the country, their diet and exercise. In all these particulars, the calls of humanity, the interests of government, and the safety of our West India poffeffions, seem to be very materially concerned.
In the third chapter, Dr. Hunter describes the severs that prevail in Jamaica, which he divides into two kinds, viz. Remittent and Intermittent. The Remittent is the most frequent and the most fatal. The Doctor gives a long and minute description of all its symptoms, and mentions the several variations with wbich it is attended; whence he fhews that several writers on diseases of warm climates have multiplied the list of fevers; thus the yellow fever of the West Indies appears to be the semittent fever, accompanied with the peculiar symptom of a yellowness of the eyes and skin.
In treating of the cure of the remittent fever, he gives an account of the remedies, in the order in which they were administered, when the fever had its most usual appearance; he afterward enumerates the means that were found most successful in removing, or palliating, particular symptoms; and adds some cursory oblervations on the remedies, that have been either strongly recommended, or are in general use. He carefully avoids, in this part of the work, conjectural or speculative reasoning on the disease, and has confined himself to a fimple narrative of symptoms, and of the effects of medicine, collected from observation and experience ; but he afterward examines the hypothefis of former writers on the subject, and advances many probable opinions of his own. He refutes, with strong arguments, the opinions that the bile is the cause of the remittent fever--that the remittent fever is putrid - shut the yel
low fever is putrid and infectious, with some others; and, aco knowleging the great difficulty of explaining the phenomena, he states such methods as he thinks moft likely to produce a rational investigation of the nature and cause of remittent fe.
The intermittents of Jamaica are quotidians, tertians, and quartans, with all the varieties usually attending them in Europe : their cure is also the same.
The fourth chapter relates to the Dysentery, where the author confines himself to such observations as more particularly apply to the climate, not thinking it necessary to enter minutely either into the history of the dilease or the general method of cure, which have been amply discusled by many able hands.
The dry belly-ach of the West Indies, as here described by Dr. Hunter, is the colica pictonum of Europe, and the method of cure differs not from that in common use with us; confifting chiefly in procuring a free passage. It is not probably of much consequence,' says our author, 'what purgative is given, provided it operate effectually. In this coupery (England) the Extractum catharticum with Mercurius dulcis, and, if necessary, a small quantity of opium, are very effectual. Many experienced physicians have nevertheless preferred the gentle laxatives, such as manna, ol. Ricini, &c.' In Jamaica, however, he has found bad effects from the Calomel, five grains of it producing much inconvenience, by exciting salivation. This faci, known by experience, militates against the generally, and perhaps fallely, received opinion, that a determination of the humours to the skin prevents mercury from affecting the mouth; for in Janaica the perspiration is at all times profuse.
The remaining diseases of the soldiers described by Dr. Hunter, are, fores, ulcers, the venereal disease, complaines from infees, inflammatory disorders, consumptions, mania, and the prickly heat. These sometimes occur in Jamaica, but, except the fores, they are not attended with much danger, and are therefore slightly treated by the author.
Some remarks are added on the diseases to which the negroes are subject; and the work concludes with general directions for taking care of fick troops in Jamaica, and our other West India illands.
Such are the contents of the volume before us; which is replete with knowlege, and practical directions, grounded on experience and observation; and which will, consequenuly, be found not only useful, but even neceffary to fuch medical genılemen as are appointed to attend on our soldiers or sailors, in the warm climates.
ART, 55. Boards.
ART. IX. Exferiments and Observations, to investigate by che
mical Analysis the medicinal Properties of the Mineral Waters of Spa and Aix-la.Chapelle in Germany, and of the Waters and Boue near St. Amand, in French Flanders. By John Ash, M. D. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, of che Royal Society, and the Society of Antiquaries. PP.400. I 2mo. Robson. 1788.
HEN it is considered that the chief solvent of mineral
fubitances with which snedicated waters are impiegnated, is the aerial acid; and that the properties of this acid were only lately discovered, and perhaps all of them not yet sufficiently known; there can be little room to apologize, as Dr. Ash does, for obtruding on the Public a treatise on the method of ascertaining their component parts.
In the introduction to this volume, Dr. Al gives a brief birtory of the discovery of the permanent clastic fluids, and a concise account of the Phlogistic doctrine, as well as of the aerial philosophy of chemistry, adopted by our neighbours, the French, He enumerates also the opinions that have been beld respecting the cause of the heat in several springs, and points out the difficulties with which each hypothesis appears to be attended. He Thews the errors that prevailed on both fides of the question which, for many years, was debated, with much warmth, ac Bath,-- Whether sulphur was soluble in water, withoue une aid of an intermediate subitance;' and he gives a summary detail of the labours of Bergman and Kirwan in ascertaining the proper ties of the hepatic gas : together with the opinions of the Bishop of Landaff, and of Monnet, on the subject.
The remainder of the long introduction is employed in defcribing the method which the author pursues in his analysis. The tetts commonly used are here enumerated, together with the appearances which they produce on being added to differently impregnated waters. These re-agenis, however, are not to be depended on for ascertaining all the constituent parts of mineral waters, and much less for determining the proportions of the several ingredients. It becomes, theretore, neceflary to analyze mineral waters, and separate the different substances which they hold in solution. The conduct of this proceis, which must be varied according to circumstances, in a proper manner, is of great importance in the discovery of their real contents: Dr. Alh, therefore, describes there several methods, with great precision.
The Spa waters are the first which Dr. An examines; the result of his analyses, the particulars of each of which we shall pmit, will appear from the following comparative table :
vegetab, lia. alkali,
0.75 0.50 Sauviniere 32.50 33.50 3.75 1.50
0.75 Groisbeeck 32.25 35.50 3.25 1.50
0.75 Tonnelet 32. 40.75
0.75 Of the hot sulphurated waters of Aix-la-Chapelle 70.5 cubic inches contain 20 ounce measures of gas *, 14.5 grains of aerated lime, 30.75 of aerated mineral alkali, and 13.25 of salited mineral alkali. The temperature of these waters varies from 136 to 112 of Fahrenheit's scale.
The waters of Bordscheit, or Borset, are not analyzed; their contents being only guessed at from the similarity which they bear to the Caroline waters.
The waters and boue [i. e. mud] baths of St. Amand, are described as to their appearances with several re-agents, the author acknowleging his analysis of them to be imperfect.
The medical reflexions which close the volume, as well as those that are interspersed through various parts of the work, contain many useful remarks, and a brief history of the medical systems of several authors, particularly those of Stah), Hoffman, and Boerhaave.
Practical diredions, both general and special, are much wanted ; and had Dr. Alh, who appears, from several passages in his book, to be an experienced physician, increased or enlarged the directions, which he hath given, he would certainly have rendered his labours more generally useful; the volume before us, however, will, no doubt, be gratefully received by most scientific men.
R......m. ART. X. An Account of the Life, Writings, and Inventions of JOHN
Napier, of Merchiston. By David Stewart, Earl of Buchan, and Walter Minto, LL. D.
410. pp. 136. 75. 6d. - Boards. Murray, London ; Creech, Edinburgh. 1788. HE life of a learned and scientific man is generally com
prised in the history of his discoveries and writings; and in proportion to the utility and extensiveness of his labours, the account of his Biography will afford useful or curious information; and will, consequently, so far engage and interest the ato tention of the world.
If the epithet of Famous is to be bestowed on a man, who, by a single invention, has so fimplified the intricate and tedious
* The author calls this gas fixed air; and he no where mentions the quantity of hepatic air,
calculations necessary in astronomy, trigonometry, and various parts of natural philosophy, that the work of a few minutes fuffices, and is fubfticuted for the labour of as many hours, few fin have a better title to that epithet than the person whose life the Earl of Buchan has now laid before the Public.
John Napier was born at Merchiston, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, in the year 1550, of a family who had, for twelve generations, been of considerable consequence in that part of the country. From St. Andrews, where he was educated, his biographer has not been able to trace him till the publication of his * Plain Discovery *" at Edinburgh in 1593; though Mackenzie, in his Lives of eminent Writers of the Scotch Nation, says, that Napier paffed some years abroad in the Low Countries, France and Italy, and that he applied himself there to the study of mathematics.
Lord Bychan has enquired, but without success, among the descendants of Napier, for such papers or letters as might elucidate the history of bis life. When it is considered that Napier was a recluse mathematician, living in a country, almost, at that time, inaccessible to literary correspondence, it can scarcely be expected that the most diligent enquiry could be able to afford much information. His own writings, or those of his conteniporaries, are the only resources from which his biographer can hope to derive any benefit.
About the year 1593 Napier entered on that course of enquiry which led him to his great acchievement in arithmeue. This appears in a letter from Kepler to Crugerus, where that aftronomer says, “ Nihil autem fupra Neperianam rationem eje puto ; etsi Scotus quidam, literis ad Tychonem, anno 159+ scriptis, jam spem fecit canonis illius mirifici.”
Napier's “ Canon Mirificus,” the first publication on logarithms, appeared in 1614, so that upward of twenty years were consumed in preparing that wonderful book, which proved its author to be, as Kepler says in his letters, “the greatest man of his age in the particular department to which he applied bis abilities.”
Napier's last literary exertion was the publication of his Rhabdology and Promptuary in 1617 ; in which year, on April the 3d, 0. S. he died at the age of 67. He was interred in the cathedral church at Edinburgh: but no monument has been erected to his memory, nor is any other necessary than that which every astronomer, geographer, navigator, and political arithmetician daily erects, in availing himself of Napier's invena
* This publication was on the Revelations of St. John. One great mathematician ended, but Napier began, his career with that mysterious book.