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evidence, derived from observation and reasoning, is far from yielding it effectual support. The following conclusions, deduced from the Doctor's experiments, contain an explicit statement of the opinions he has here advanced.
1. Common water gives products much resembling those which are derived from animal matter. It is probable, therefore, that it has received a taint from this matter in a state of decomposition, or, in other words, from putrefaction.
62. The metallic basis of the matter, which contaminates common water, exactly resembles arsenicated manganese. These metals unite in a great variety of proportions and different degrees of oxygenation. They form the basis of the matter wbich I have denominated septic poison. With the other principles I am not correctly acquainted, but they must be those which are common to animal matter. I have hitherto been foiled in every attempt to separate this compound into its constituent principles, whether it be made artificially or be found already formed.
*3. The same compound enters into the composition of animal matter. I have found it in the coal, which remains after the distillation of animal substances, and the ashes to which this coal is reducible by incineration.
4. As all animal matter is derived from the vegetable kingdom, the same substance must enter likewise into the composition of vegetable matter. It may be readily detected in the ashes of pit-coal, and I doubt pot, in common vegetable ashes.
In a word, then, the decomposition of animal, and, perhaps, of vegetable matter, that is to say, putrefaction, I believe to be the great instrument of the destruction of the human species. By this process a matter is developed, which becomes a true and proper poison to the human body. Different systems and different organs of the same system are embued with different degrees of resisting or conservative force. Hence the great body of the race perish prematurely, each at his appointed hour, but with phenomena infinitely varied, according to the varieties of the organs principally affected, the periods of life and the constitutional peculiarities of every individual. pp. 21-23.
The mode of treatment, by which our author thinks that a stop may be put to the progress of the most contumacious diseases, consists chiefly in the substitution of distilled for common water. Milk, whey, and buttermilk, with such fermented liquors as are formed from pure vegetable juices; such as cider, perry, and good foreign wiņes, and rum, brandy, &c. diluted with distilled water, are allowed: but salt, and salted meats, are to be used sparingly; while beer, porter, and all liquors the basis of which is common water, are forbidden. At page 7, the case is related, of a gentleman who was much relieved by this mode of treatinent. The second case is, of a child who had lost the use of his lower limbs, and seemed to derive advantage from this dietetic course; but with it were joined sea-bathing, and the yse of such medicines as seemed adapted to the circumstances of the case. Thus also, in the fifth case, appropriate medicines
were combined with the dietetic regimen, and were persisted in for seven months. Indeed, it will not be too much to say, that additional'and stronger cases will be required; before experience can be adınitted to have proved the truth of the doctrines here advanced.
The importance of detecting fallacy in opinions which tend to rob as of one of our choicest blessings, impels us to point out a few instances, in which our author has suffered his judgement to be misled by the doctrine he so industriously endeavours to disseminate.
Alluding to those diseases which he supposes to proceed from the influence of the septic poison, Dr. L, at page 9, says,
* Savage man is almost entirely exempt from their dominion, and he seems to possess a frame, in many points, physically different from that of man, in that degree of cultivation, to which he has hitherto arrived. In proportion as he emerges from his primæyal state, do these furies ad. vance upon him, and would seem to scourge him back into the paths of nature and simplicity.'
Having observed, with other physicians, that those who indulge much in the use of punch, become dropsical; our author imputes this bad consequence, not to the alcohol, but to the pernicious effects of the watery vehicle, of which he observes wine is destitute,
While the beauty of the Irish and Lancashire women, and the strength of the Irish men, are attributed, by our author, to the drinking of buttermilk, with their potatoes ; so, on the other hand, speaking of the preternatural excitement occasioned by the septic poison, he says,
* In some systems, happily constituted, in which the conservative powers are very great, and uniformly diffused over all the organs, this preternatural excitement may not occasion any apparent disease; but it is inconceivable, that any morbific force should continue perfectly inert, if constantly applied. It may therefore be fairly questioned, whether, in every subject it does not accelerate the period of old age; and whether it has not been a powerful instrument in preventing the race from attaining to that longevity, for which nature seems to have destined it, and to which, as we are informed by tradition, it arrived in the primitive ages of the world. p. 47.
It would evidently be necessary for Dr. L. should he hope to derive any force from these observations, to shew that more water is drank by civilised man of the present day, than by those who existed before the flood, or who now exist in a savage state. Until this be done, we trust these observations can have but little weight. Indeed; to dwell on opinions such as these, is entirely unnecessary; except to observe how much the mind of an ingenious and benevolent man, may be warped by an attachwent to a darling bypothesis, The industry and zeal manifested in this work, by Dr. Lambe, are, however, sufficient to induce us to wish to meet him again; but on ground which he may find more tenable.
Art. VIII. A Description of the Island of St. Helena; containing Observations on its singular Structure and Formation; and an Account of its Climate, Natural History, and Inhabitants. 8vo. pp. 262. price
6s. 6d. 1805. Phillips. W E have had occasions of exciting the public attention to the
Cape of Good Hope, as a valuable accommodation to our Eastern trade, when measuring the vast length of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The volume before us invites our notice to an object of minor importance, but of similar utility. About a thousand miles from any other land, in S. Lat. 16° W. Long. 6° SOʻ, rises a rocky island, first discovered, about 300 years ago, by a Portuguese navigator, on his return from India. To honour the saint on whose day he made this agreeable discovery, he called the island St. Helena. From the Portuguese it passed to the Dutch, and from them was wrested by the British arms. Neither its extent, which is in circumference less than thirty miles, nor its soil, (for it is chiefly a mere rock) can give it much importance; but its situation amidst a dreary tract, and its supply of pure water, have gained for it the notice and patronage of the East India Company. Under their auspices it has flourished, the scanty productions of the soil have been multiplied, and the inhabitants have increased to upwards of two thousand.
The anonymous author of this description gives us the result of “ a diligent search of five weeks.” Judging it, perhaps, more systematical, he commences bis description with an account of the materials of which the island is composed. But, as comparatively few readers will enter with much interest on these geological researches; we should have recommended a more popular subject for the commencement and nearly the first half of his volume, rather than an investigation on which the author himself makes the following just remark. 5. From the various, opposite, and contradictory views of things, into which even men of science and observation have been led, in their reasonings concerning the structure of the globe; it should seem that Nature, in the manner of accomplishing her great terraqueous revolutions, has hitherto mocked the imbecility of human research. p. 48.
After labouring to prove the volcanic origin of the whole island, we were rather surprised and diverted, to find the author following the steps of Kircher, to discover in this and other detached spots, the remains of Plato's long forgotten Atlantis. * The climate of St. Helena, notwithstanding its excessive:
c. drought, drought, for which some reasons are given, appears to be remarkably salubrious.' Where the rocks or lava are decomposed, they furnish a soil very favourable to vegetation ; and, contrary to the usual state of countries, the eminences are fertile, while the „valleys are abandoned to sterility.
The introduction of the cocos nucifera, which this writer, preferring nature to system, classes among palms, is earnestly recominended to the proprietors of St. Helena. We gratify ourselves with a quotation on this subject, which forms an agree- . able exception to the heathenish phraseology, by which nature is so often substituted for nature's God. .This is the most remarkable production of those islands and continental shores, which are situated within the torrid zone. Here this beautiful and useful tree is spread in such abundance and variety, that its appearance constitutes the peculiar and distinguishing feature of the lands where it grows, and its representation may be considered as the most natural symbol of tropical climates. It is unquestionably the best gift which the beneficent Author of Nature hath bestowed on the inhabitants of those sultry regions. Wonderfully adapted to the purposes of simple life, it yields without the labour of preparation that food and exhilarating beverage, which in austerer climates, can only be obtained with toil and care. Its broad and spreading foliage, of the most refreshing verdure, cools and shelters the thirsty soil where it grows, while it is easily fashioned into a light pavilion, which protects the natives from the sun and rain. Of the numerous classes of palms, though there are several more beautiful, there is none so eminently useful as the cocoa-nut. Man, in a state of nature, wants but little that is not supplied by this admirable tree, which is adapted to purposes, so various and manifold, that the Hindoos, who celebrate its uses in their songs and verses, regard it with wonder and veneration as a most lively and affecting example of the beneficence of Providence.
The same wise and benevolent design, which has so amply provided for the convenience and accommodation of the southern islands, and shores of continents, by the easy and abundant growth of this useful tree, has still further extended the benefit of this provision, by making its propagation from one land to another depend, in many instances, on the operation of natural causes. For these trees growing near the sea, and frequently over-hanging the surf, their fruit when ripe drops into the water, and is often carried to a great distance by winds and currents; and being, in this way, thrown upon the sandy shore of some remote island, it strikes root. In this manner palms have sprung up in some lininhabited isles, where no trees of the kind grew at sọ recent a period as that of the discovery of India by the route of the Cape of Good Hope.'
pp. 10-169. It appears from our author's account of the inhabitants, that, in spite of the fabled origin of their isle, they are genuine descendants of fallen Adam. The locality of their ideas is amusing; yet it was very natural for the fair islander to conclude that the arrival of the India ships must create als powerful sensations in London; as at St. Helena. VOL. II.
“ Sic canibus catulos similes, sic matribus hædos : : :
“ Nôram: sic parvis componere magna solebam." For our concluding extract, we reserve a circumstance to which the author of the volume has very properly adverted in his dedication, as furnishing an additional reason for the title of the HONOURABLE East India Company. By the abolition of slavery in St. Helena, the Company enjoys the desirable privilege of declaring that all its possessions are now exempted from the disgraceful and ruinous concomitants of slavery. O si sic omnes !
• Blacks, or rather persons of different shades of that colour, who discover in the variety of their complexions and features a strange and motley mixture of races, are employed in cultivating the country, in fishing, and in the capacity of household seryants. These people, who are either descended from the blacks brought here by the first European settlers, or who have been since imported from the West Indies, Guinea, Madagascar, or the Cape of Good Hope, were, till within these few years, in a state of slavery. But the practice of slavery here has been long since restrained in its exercise, and mitigated in its effects, by some humane and salutary regulations, and it has very lately, to the honour of the Directors of the East India Company, been wholly abolished. The release of six hundred blacks from a state of thraldom, can subtract but little from the guilt of Europe, or the wrongs of Africa : Yet it is consolatory to record even a single act of justice and mercy to an inconsiderable portion of this unhappy race, whom the enormous wickedness of Europeans has dragged from their homes, and condemned to slavery; not for any wrong they ever did us, or for any good we ever mean to do them; but because our power has unhappily enabled us to make their weakness and sufferings subservient to our avarice.' pp. 227, 228.
A longer residence on the island would probably have enabled the author to have furnished us with more complete information; and had he spent more time on the composition of his volume, he might have compressed and improved it, by the omission of some sentences, which repeat the same ideas almost in the same words; yet it is but justice to say, that it respectably performs the promise of its title. There are two plates exhibiting different views of the island, the external aspect of which is rugged and forbidding, but its interior is pleasingly romantic.
Art. IX. Naufragia; or Historical Memoirs of Shipwrecks and of
the Providential Deliverance of Vessels. By James Stanier Clarke, F. R. S. Chaplain of the Prince's Household, and Librarian to. bis Royal Highness. London, 1805. pp. 421. 8vo. Price 6s. 6d. Mawman. FEW persons who read at all, are insensible to the interest
excited by well written voyages and travels. Of this class of writings some exhibit scenes of peculiar difficulty, danger,