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shape, the Act claims, for its benevolent author, every eulogium that a human panegyrist can bestow; and, with regard to the second, were our own knowledge of mechanics and the nature of muscular action insufficient to convince us of the injurious effects of a perpetual and straining exertion to raise the whole weight of the body, by the alternate contraction and distension of the lower limbs, the opinions of some of the most eminent surgeons upon this important subject, would satisfy us of the impropriety and cruelty of inflicting such a punishment on prisoners, -especially on women and boys. Besides the inequality of the labour, as imposed upon persons with ponderous trunks and weak legs, and those with strong legs and light bodies, the accidents to which the tread-mill subjects every one condemned to its painful toil, afford a powerful reason against its continuance. To these and other cogent objections are to be added the consideration, that, by the indiscriminate application of the torture of this merciless machine, many innocent men, women, and children, become its victims; that it is calculated to beget a settled antipathy to labour; and that there is continual danger of the unhappy sufferers being, by its mischievous effects, disabled from future useful activity, should they be ever so willing to earn an honest livelihood.
With the leading topics of his book, Mr. Gompertz has mingled a variety of observations on carriage-wheels, the supposed practicability of flying, and other matters related to mechanical operations, with which we are by no means prepared to coincide. Of his ideas on these subjects, some are chimerical, others specious, and none, as we think, calculated to be advantageous to science or society. But, whatever we think of this portion of Mr. G.'s labours, we cannot close his volume without averring, that, regarding it in its aggregate, it appears to our judgment a valuable and praiseworthy publication; qualified to serve the cause of humanity, and worthy of being perused by every friend of benevolence, and abhorrer of those barbarities, which, while they inflict agony on the suffering patients, brand the tormentors with infamy, and deteriorate the moral character of the country.
Best Intentions; or, Reflections and Thoughts for Youth, Maturity, and
Age.-1 vol. small 8yo. pp. 240. Boys. The little volume now under our eye, comprises a collection of det, tached thoughts on moral and religious subjects, which, as far as they have any immediate bearing on temper, manner, and conduct, may prove useful to those who have read" but little, and have little opportunity of reading. To such, the ideas, however trite, may appear new, and the language, however homely, may pass for a model of elegance; but no one at all acquainted with the writings of our classic essayists, or our standard divines, will read with patience a publication that does not offer a single ethical or religious thought that has not long since been expressed a thousand times, and a thousand times better than by the unknown author of “ Best Intentions.”. We assure him, we do not repeat the title of his work without giving him full credit for its sincerity; on the contrary, we wish his abilities to enlighten his fellow-creatures had borne any tolerable proportion to the beneficence of his design. But a teacher of mankind, especially so diffident a teacher as is announced by the humble tone of the preface of this anonymous moralist and spiritualist, will, it is but charitable to suppose, be as willing to be instructed as to instruct; we, therefore, in return for his more than two hundred lessons, proffer him one, the value of which, even if he cannot discover, he need not doubt, - A good meaning is a poor apology for a bad performanceor, The “ Best Intentions” unrealized, are nothing worth. Far as we are from deeming ourselves perfect, it is not in such books as the present, that we seek the means of improvement. It is not because we are averse to immorality, that we can endure a dull, drawling, drowsy series of common-place reflections; nor, though we abhor atheism, can we bear the insolence of cant and affected godliness.
These remarks are sufficient to convey to our readers the opinions we entertain of the work of which we are now speaking; a work that we have not said, nor will we say, is positively destitute of utility: but that, we are ready to allow, may be read by the weak and ignoránt, without the absolute waste of their time; and that may enjoy the negative praise of keeping out of their hands worse publications than itself.
A Philosophical Dictionary. From the French of Voltaire. - 3 vol.
pp. 407. Hurst and Co. We notice this third volume of Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, not because the principles of the writer, as developed in this work, require any further elucidation than they have already received from us, but because we think the publication too important, not to have excited an attention sufficient to impart an interest to the progress of the undertaking. The pages we are turning over, present to their readers near a hundred articles, most of the subjects of which, independently of the manner in which they are treated, have a certain consequence of their own, that renders them worthy the perusal of the curious; and that, we doubt not, will attract the notice of the British public.
The standing motto of the publication, taken from the article “ Antiquity," in the first volume; is as follows:
“Without philosophy, we should be little above the animals that dig or erect their habitations ; prepare their food in them; take care of their little ones in their dwellings; and have, besides, the good fortune, which we have not, of being born ready clothed.”
LAW. The Code Napoleon; or, the French Civil Code, literally translated from the original and official Edition, published at Paris in 1804.
By a Barrister of the Inner Temple.--8vo. Hunter. Every new code is a national one; and not until it has for a long time existed, does it become encumbered with rotten and useless branches. The civil code of France is worthy of particular admiration, on account of the plain and concise manner in which every thing is disposed of and laid down. The most interesting part is that which regards irregular successions. The right of the natural child over the property of the father or mother deceased, is regulated in the following manner :
If the father or mother has left lawful descendants, such right extends to one-third of the hereditary portion which the child would have had if he had been legitimate. It extends to a moiety when the father or mother does not leave descendants, but many ancestors, or brothers or sisters; to three-fourths, when the father or mother does not leave either descendants or ancestors, either brothers or sisters.
The natural child has a right to the whole of the property, when , his father or mother does not leave relations of a degree capable of succeeding.
In case of the decease of the natural child, his children or descendants may claim the rights fixed by the preceding articles.
All claim is forbidden them, when they have received in the lifetime of their father or mother, the half of what is allowed them by the preceding articles, with an express declaration on the part of their father or mother, that their intention is to reduce the natural child to the portion which they have assigned him.
In the case in which this portion shall be inferior to the half of what ought to come to the natural child, he shall not be at liberty to claim more than the additional sum necessary to complete such ·moiety.
To children who are the fruit of adulterous, or incestuous intercourse, the law allows to them a subsistence merely. We highly approve of this latter clause; it makes a
distinction between vice and crime. Crime is an act which injures society, and, consequently, society has a right to punish. Vice, on the contrary, rests with the individual who commits it, and he ought to be merely accountable to himself. Sir William Blackstone defines crime, by saying, it is an act committed in violation of public law. Surely this is a very strange definition! It leads to the conclusion, that if an individual were travelling in the woods of America, and he were to meet with a solitary Indian, he would be justified in robbing and stripping him ; for if crime be merely a breach of law, it cannot dwell where law has no existence; and the Indian has no more idea of law, than the oaks of the forest. But the truth is, the word crime is synonymous with robbery; and only that which is robbery, or has some connection with robbery, can be termed crime. Crime then, or robbery, may be divided into four sections;-Murder, Adultery, Unlicensed Seizure of Goods, and Unprovoked Defamation. The offspring of adultery is the offspring of crime, and, consequently, quite a distinct being from the common illegitimate. The Country Attorney's Guide to the Practice of the Courts of King's
Bench and Common Pleas.- Butterworth. This is a volume which must be of infinite service to a country practitioner. Its contents are given in a series of letters; and we have no doubt that it will be found (as the author hopes) a useful and valuable companion to the voluminous compilations of Mr. Tidd, -Mr. Impey, and Mr. Archbold.
A Digest of Pleading in Equity, with Notes of the Cases decided in
the different Courts of Equity upon that Subject. By Basil
Montague, Esq., Barister at Law._2 vols. Clarke. The contents of these volumes are exceedingly well arranged; which, in fact, is all that is required in a work of this character. T'he author concludes his preface with these words: “ After thirty years' continued labour upon legal publications, and with the hope that I have availed myself of every opportunity to discharge my debt of obligation to my profession, and to my many kind and excellent friends in the high court in which it is my happiness and honour to practise, I please myself with thinking, that I may, for the future, pass my times of recreation in my favourite pursuit, the completion of an Edition of the works of Lord Bacon."
A Digest of the reported Cases on Points of Pleading and Practice in
the Courts of Equity in England and Ireland, and of the Rules and Orders of the same Courts; from the earliest Period to the present Time : intended as a Companion to Bridgman's Equity Digest. By
R. C. Bridgman, Esq.-8vo. Butterworth. At an early period of his professional life, the author's father formed a design of digesting and systematically arranging the whole of the reports, so as, by contracting the authorities of our law into a narrower compass, to facilitate reference, and diminish the labour of research.
Important and obviously useful as was such an undertaking, it was too great and too laborious for an unassisted individual to carry into execution. After printing two volumes of his work, under the title of “ Thesaurus Juridicus," which called forth the unqualified approbation of some of the most eminent members of the profession, the sacrifice of health and time compelled the author to abandon the hope of completing his design on the scale he had originally proposed.
He then produced a work in a more compressed form, under the title of “ An Analytical Digest of Cases in Equity;" a third edition of which was published two years since.
In the advertisement to that edition, Mr. R. C. Bridgman announced an intention of following up the design of that work, by publishing, in a distinct volume, a Digest of the Cases reported in Equity on points of Practice and Pleading. That intention, the work now offered to the public is an attempt to fulfil.
MEDICINE AND SURGERY. Observations on Acute Rheumatism, and its Metastasis to the Heart.
By Thomas Cox, M.D.-8vo. pp. 65. Cox and Son. DR. Cox “ intrudes his pages on the notice of the profession, not with the idea of offering any thing new, but rather to elicit from the more experienced such facts, &c." This he confesses, and, though we are not over-pleased with him for having put us to the expense of four shillings, for his fruitless search after knowledge, we are bound Crit. Gaz. Vol. 1. No. 2.
to say in his favour, that we verily believe he could offer nothing new on the subject of his work. Where is the merest tyro in the profession who requires proof of the metastatic tendency of rheumatism? If the Doctor seeks to elicit information, we will inform him, that rheumatism may shift to the head, the lungs, the stomach, the bowels, the kidneys, and various other viscera. Generally, if there be a lack of knowledge respecting one state of the disorder, it will prevail with regard to every other. Why then does he confine himself to a puerile attempt to illustrate metastasis to the heart alone? Doctor Cox, if we mistake not, is a son of the bookseller of that
To translate, and publish in an English dress, the valuable work of Dr. Musgrave on this very subject, under the title “de *Arthritide Anomala,” might prove to the one a source of useful information, and to the other a speculation of no contemptible profit.
The Surgical Anatomy of the Arteries of the Human Body, designed
for the Use of Students in the Dissecting-room. By Robert
Harrison.—2 vols. 12mo. Hodges and Arthur. CONSIDERABLE improvements have been made of late years in the compilations of this description. The only way to study anatomy with real advantage, is to view it in a direct connection with operative or pathological surgery. To Messrs. John and Charles Bell we are chiefly indebted for having successfully impressed this fact on the notice of the profession; since his rendering it that service, various treatises on this plan have appeared for the use of the dissecting students.
Mr. Harrison, in this little work, seems to have performed all that could be desired. To a perspicuous account of the arteries and their relative situations, he has added instruction respecting the mode of performing the operations to which they are liable.
An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, for the Use of Medical
Students and Men of Letters. By Thomas Sandwith, Surgeon.
12mo. pp. 192. Longman and Co. We are not fond of compendia for students ; but as the public require less extensive information “for anatomical subjects” than the juvenile professor, this work may prove generally acceptable. It is respectably compiled, brought forth in a pleasing form, and contains as much useful matter as could well be compressed within so limited a compass.
Nutrition, the circulation of the blood, the nervous system, and generation, with a brief account of the structure of the several organs concerned, form the subjects of the first part of the work: in the latter part, the bones and muscles are described ; to which are subjoined twelve excellent plates with descriptive references
We cannot close this notice without recommending the author to cancel his unsuccessful attempt at figurative composition. In imitation of the Roman poet, he bursts forth with Jamque opus eregi :
“ If I have not reared a monument to my own reputation, more durable than brass, I have, at least, erected an altar to the Almighty Maker of the universe! The