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this to be all very true, tell me how it happens, that, if I put a fine needle into the eye, and prick the nerve of vision, called the retina, that instant a brilliant light is produced; and if the ball of the eye be pressed with the finger, the person who is thus dealt with, will immediately behold, as he thinks, all the splendid colours of the rainbow. We notice this conclusion of Sir Charles Bell, for the purpose of contrasting it with an inference of quite an opposite nature, respecting this theory, which has been promulgated by one of his own colleagues in the composition of the Bridgewater treatises. We allude to Professor Whenall, who, in his treatise on Astronomy and General Physics, declares his perfect belief in this theory. In the 16th chapter of the first book of this work, he states, that the theory of undulations or vibrations appears to have such claims to our assent, that the views which we have to offer in regard to the design exercised in the adaptation of light to its purposes, will depend on the undulating theory. We do not believe that the Earl of Bridgewater, who left so large a sum of money behind him, to reward a set of persons who should best expound the wisdom displayed in the creation, ever meditated such a consequence would follow from his liberality, as the setting by the ears the expounders themselves of the principles on which the creation depended. What will the world say when it beholds that fixity of design, that fore-knowledge, that providence, which characterize natural objects, lost in the contending opinions of the illustrators, who certainly cannot, in such circumstances, possess any claims to the credit of being instructors. We dismiss this subject for the present, but not without expressing our surprise and disappointment that, in a co-operation of men for such an important duty as devolved on the writers of these treatises, no better system for the preservation of an orthodox uniformity should not have been laid down, than that which admits of such a strange irregularity, as that one colleague shall set up a laugh at the credulity of another.
Leaving the author's further remarks on the sense of touch, we proceed to the chapter which expounds the phenomena of the muscular sense as it is called, and in which are traced the proofs of the sensibility of infants to impression, and the gradual progress to perfection of their sense of touch. The conclusions arrived at in this chapter show that it is necessary that the motion of the hand and fingers, together with the consciousness that they are in motion, must be combined with the sense of touch, before the latter can be admitted to possess that influence which it undoubtedly exercises over the other organs; in other words, the whole phenomena of the sense of touch prove the necessity of combining the muscular sense with the sense of contact. But the nature of this necessity will be at once comprehended, by the following brief history of a very interesting fact. A mother while nursing her infant was seized with a paralysis, attended by the loss of power on one side of her body,
and the loss of sensibility on the other side. The surprising, and indeed, the alarming circumstance here was, that she could hold her child to her bosom, with the arm which possessed muscular power, but only as long as she looked to the infant. If surrounding objects withdrew her attention from the state of her arm, the flexor muscles gradually relaxed and the child was in danger of falling.
In this case it is manifest that the arm had two properties, one of which was here lost, that these properties exhibit themselves through a variety of the conditions of the nervous system; and, lastly, the perfect integrity of the muscle of a limb may continue while the sensibility by which it requires to be guided is lost, and that therefore the power of motion cannot be exercised.
The description of the human hand, copiously and exactly as it is given in this work, exhibits its wonderful construction as a perfect instrument for most of the purposes essential to the existence and convenience of man. Still, it is not the single endowment of man's superiority; it is merely the token of it ; the hand under the influence of any other animal than man, would be nothing compared with such an agent as it is now, having the grand advantages of being, in all its complicated movements, strictly guided by the superior intelligence which is given alone to man. The hand, therefore, in the language of the illustrious Galen, seems to have been conferred in all the beautiful adaptations of its structure, composition, and appendages, on man, because he was the wisest of living creatures.
After surveying the whole system of creation, particularly its animated division, the spirit of solemn reflection on the impressions which such a review is calculated to generate, is indulged in to some length by our author. We have been
We have been engaged, he says, in comparing the structure, organs, and capacity of man and of animals; we have traced a relation ; but we have also observed a broad line of separation between them, man alone capable of reason, affection, gratitude, and religion: sensible to the progress of time, conscious of the decay of his strength and faculties, of the loss of friends, and the approach of death.
One, who was the idol of his day, has recorded his feelings on the loss of his son, in nearly these words,—“ We are as well as those can be who have nothing further to hope or fear in this world. We go in and out, but without the sentiments that can create attachment to any spot. We are in a state of quiet, but it is the tranquillity of the grave, in which all that can make life interesting to us is laid.” If in such a state, there were no refuge for the mind, then were there something wanting in the scheme of nature: an imperfection in man's condition at variance with the benevolence which is manifested in all other parts of animated nature.
What is still further remarkable, that a very extended survey of nature is most likely to humble our notions of ourselves, and to diminish the number of our consolatory conclusions; for, what an insignificant planet does ours appear amidst the far more immense
worlds that shine in the boundless firmament that we see over our heads. The feelings which such contemplations inspire, and in which it may prove so imprudent to indulge, are, perhaps, most successfully to be counteracted, by directing our attention to the study of things more minute, and in which we are more immediately concerned, such as the perfection and display of an all-wise and all-knowing first Cause in the structure of the animal body, and its marvellous endowments; particularly since man has been at all times prompted by his interests to an intense degree of perseverance in examining that structure, and in estimating those endowments. Hence, the justice of the observations made in his concluding chapter by Sir Charles Bell, and which are too well deserving of being impressed upon the mind of every reasonable being, not to be cited in his own language:
• Man, possessed of genius of the highest order, may lose the just estimate of himself, from another cause. The sublime nature of his studies may consign him to depressing thoughts. He may forget the very attributes of his mind, which have privileged these high contemplations, and the ingenuity of the hand, which has so extended the sphere of his observation.
• The remedy, to such a mind, is in the studies which we are enforcing. The heavenly bodies, in their motions through space, are held in their orbits by the continuance of a power, not more wonderful or more deserve ing of admiration, than that by which a globule of blood is suspended in the mass of fluids—or by which, in due season, it is attracted and resolved: than that, by which a molecule entering into the composition of the body, is driven through a circle of revolutions and made to undergo different states of aggregation: becoming sometimes, a part of a fluid, sometime, an ingredient of a solid, and finally cast out again, from the influence of the living forces.'—p. 231.
To this we must add a still more important series of suggestions contained in the following passage:
• Whilst we have before us the course of human advancement, as in a map, we are recalled to a nearer and more important consideration : for what to us avail all these proofs of divine power-of harmony in nature of design-the predestined accommodation of the earth, and the creation of man's frame and faculties, if we are stopped here? If we perceive no more direct relation between the individual and the Creator ? But we are not so precluded from advancement. On the contrary, reasons accumulate at every step, for a higher estimate of the living soul, and give us assurance that its condition is the final object and end of all this machinery, and of these successive revolutions. To this, must be referred the weakness of the frame, and its liability to injury, the helplessness of infancy, the infirmities of age, the pains, diseases, distresses, and afflictions of life—for by such means is man to be disciplined—his faculties and virtues unfolded, and his affections drawn to a spiritual Protector.'-p. 233.
It would be quite a superfluous task in us to attempt to estimate the merit which ought to be ascribed to Sir Charles Bell, as displayed in this work; all that we felt ourselves justified in doing in reference to so deep and technical a contribution to an exalted science, was humbly to convey a description of the manner in which he has treated his subject, and occasionally to promote that object by citing specimens of his text. To our taste, however, we must say that the book affords a great deal to interest and instruct the mind, and to invite it, by a promise of much rational amusement, to studies that may not appear at first sight to be susceptible of such a purpose.
Art. XI.—Report of the Select Committee on the Vaccine
Board, with the Minutes of Evidence, and an Appendix. 1833. A Committee of the House of Commons was appointed in May, 1833, to enquire into the expediency of continuing the Vaccine Board. About the year 1806, it was deemed necessary to appoint some certain process by which facts could be collected in an authentic form, so as to determine how far Vaccination was a safeguard against small-pox. This institution was founded in 1806, by certain subscribers to the Royal Jennerian Society, who, owing to dissensions in the Society, (of which some account is given in the Evidence, seceded from it. The original Royal Jennerian Society was established in 1803, and until 1806 was well supported; but, by the secession of many of its subscribers at the period above referred to, it was brought to the verge of dissolution, and was finally dissolved in the year 1809, almost immediately on the founding of the National Establishment. Another Society, having the same name, was established in 1833 by certain Life Governors of the original Society, who were also connected with the London Vaccine Institution. With respect to the dissolution of the Royal Jennerian Society, the history of it is full of moral instruction, besides being in some measure an historical curiosity. The dissolution of that society was occasioned in consequence of some different treatment adopted by Dr. Walker, who had been elected medical inoculator; upon which a controversy took place, he defending his mode of vaccination, and Dr. Jenner, by whose influence he had been elected to that situation, totally disagreeing with his practice; and the consequence of this was, that remonstrances took place on the part of the Medical Council. There were two Boards; Mr. Charles Murray was secretary to the Civil Board, and Dr. Walker attended the Medical Council. Remonstrances were made as to some published avowals of the latter as to a different process of vaccinating the patients and treating the pustules, which Dr. Jenner considered as opening a door to great danger to the success of the practice; and the result of this was, that Dr. Walker persisting in his opinions and practice, Dr. Jenner, and most of his friends at the Medical Board, which consisted of some of the first physicians and surgeons of the metropolis, considering that Dr. Jenner's mode was simple, that it was found perfectly correct, felt, that it ought not to be deviated from ; but Dr. Walker still persisting in his own mode of inoculation, a variety of discussions took place, which led to something like partisanship on the one side and the other, until ạt length it was found necessary to discharge Dr. Walker from his situation. The result was, that several meetings took place, and one very large General Court of the society, in which it was determined to confirm the resolution expelling Dr. Walker. This was brought before the General Court, and the consequence was that Dr. Walker was threatened to be expelled by a very large majority, in consequence of a number of noblemen and gentlemen feeling that Dr. Jenner ought to be supported; but instead of coming to that vote, for which they were prepared, Dr. Walker was prevailed upon by some of his friends, and was permitted, to resign. This was considered tantamount to a dismissal; but he immediately, with some of his friends, among whom were some gentlemen in the city, by whom he was patronized, set on foot an institution called the “ London Vaccine Institution.” It appears that the number of patients vaccinated in these institutions and their branches, amounted in 1832 to 23,532, and that the number of charges of lymph sent from them for the purposes of Vaccination, amounted to 143,677. The first object of the committee was to ascertain what was the influence of Vaccination in checking small-pox in the metropolis; and this led to conclusions the most satisfactory regarding its efficacy. But the general results will be best explained by a comparative estimate of the mortality from small-pox, at periods when there was no vaccination, or when it was but little practised; and, lastly, when it was pretty generally practised. The object is best shown by the following table, which exhibits, during successive periods of 10 years, previous and subsequent to the first introduction of vaccination, in the parishes lying within the bills of mortality, the average total annual mortality, the average annual mortality from small-pox, and in every 1,000 deaths the proportionate number of deaths from small-pox :
21,591 1770 to 1780...
102 Ditto from 1780 to 1790..19,517
88 Ditto from 1790 to 1800..19,177
92 Ditto from 1800 to 1810..18,891
73 Ditto from 1810 to 1820..19,061
43 Ditto from 1820 to 1830..20,680
35 Average of three years,
654 from 1830 to 1832