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transversalis, and strengthened by aponeurotic fibres derived from the conjoined tendons (Hey's ligament) forms another common seat of stricture. Indeed, as Mr Liston showed long ago, in dis sections where Poupart's ligament is fairly divided or dissected away, leaving these structures they can be demonstrated as a firm resisting arch forming the anterior and inner portion of the femoral ring in immediate contact with the hernia, and their division will generally suffice for relieving the constriction. In our own operations we have never required to divide Poupart's ligament except in a few cases, where, from the extremely matted condition of the sac and its contents, we have thought it safest to divide cautiously the lower portion of the external oblique tendon and the falciform process, so as to expose the peritoneal sac above the constricted and adherent parts.
The third, and what we consider the most important part of the memoir is the details of some peculiar and very interesting cases. After all, it is this sort of information which is so valuable to the surgeon, as preparing him by a knowledge of precedents for acting in similar emergencies, and those who have had the most practice
in hernial cases will be the readiest to admit the great utility of , studying such as those narrated by Mr Ward.
A System of Instruction in Quantitative Chemical Analysis. By Dr
C.R. FRESENIUS, Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy, Wiesbaden. Second edition. Edited by J. L. BULLOCK, F.C.S. 1854.
The provisions now made in our chemical laboratories for the instruction of students in analytical chemistry, are such as to make us at times half regretfully wish that we had been born into this busy world a year or two later than it was our fortune to be. Not very long ago, when laboratory fees were four, and in some cases six times higher than they are now, a pupil found even in university laboratories no special arrangements made for conducting him through a systematic course of instruction in the art of chemical analysis. The pupil was taught analytical chemistry very much after the fashion that agricultural students are, or used to be taught farming. One day the farmer's ploughs were busy, and the youngster got a lesson in plonghing; the next day the threshingmill was at work and he learned something of threshing; the third was market day, and he made his first attempt at bargaining; on the fourth sheep-shearing, or potato digging or pitting, or training a young colt, was the work in hand, and he helped to clip, or dig, or pit, or act as rough-rider, as the occasion demanded. Our laboratories were conducted after a similar fashion. To-day there was an excise case, and the pupil looked on whilst sugar was being sought for in tobacco, or pounded glass and sal-ammoniac in snuff. To-morrow an ironstone was undergoing analysis, and he was privileged to powder it in a mortar. The third day there arrived the stomach of a murdered man, and the squeamish novice followed with mingled delight and disgust the steps of the process which was to convict the poisoner. The next day the professor had some mysterious researches in progress (which it was privately whispered among the assistants were to end in a great discovery), and the student was to consider himself favoured if he were permitted to make oxygen or chlorine for the professor. Good chemists were made by this process, but much time was lost, and the progress of the pupil was uncertain and irregular. We have heard of a letter written from a famous laboratory by a pupil wlio excused himself for epistolising from such a place, because he was waiting for the platina crucille.”
All this is now managed in another way, and to no one are we more indebted than to Fresenius for the admirable system on which well-appointed laboratories are now arranged. He is not a great discoverer, nor has he turned his immense analytical skill to account in the prosecution of researches; but he has done science the greatest service by simplifying, systematising, and carefully testing our methods of analysis, which can now be taught to pupils easily and continuously, so that each shall begin at the beginning, proceed at his own pace, and leisurely train himself.
As a laboratory guide in this training, Fresenius has published two works : the one a volume on qualitative analysis now in its third edition; the other a volume on quantitative analysis, of which the edition under notice is the second.
It needs no other commendation at our hands than that it is a greatly improved issue of the first edition, which, soon after its appearance, took its place among the highest authorities of our analytical laboratories. It is a sequel to the qualitative analysis, but, nevertheless, is an independent work which may be consulted by those who are ignorant of the former.
Wanderings among the Wild Flowers: How to See and how to Gather
them. By SPENCER THOMSON, M.D., F.R.S.C.E. London, 1854. 12mo. Pp. 318.
We have had much pleasure in perusing this little work, which is intended chiefly to interest the young in the study of botany, by directing them in the examination of the external forms and characters of plants. It will serve as a useful and pleasing accompaniment of botanical rambles, and may be the means of leading ultimately to a deeper and more scientific study of the vegetable kingdom. The whole subject is treated in a popular way, without the employment of many scientific terms. NEW SERIES —NO. 1. JANUARY 1855.
The author gives in the first part of the work a brief notice of the organs of plants, the root, stem, leaves, and flowers. In the second he indicates the methods of clas-ification, and points out the characters and properties of some of the more important British orders: while in the third part he gives monthly illustrations of British wild flowers. In recommending rambles in the fields, Dr Thomson takes a retrospect of the pleasant excursions he undertook in his early days with Professor Graham of the University of Edinburgh. He r. marks, “ The success of the Edinburgh system of botanical teaching is perhaps greatly owing: first, to the circumstance, that whilst the lecture-room is not neglected, neither are the fields, and the Saturday excursions give force and interest to the lessons of the past week: and, second, to the almost unrivalled opportunities for botanical explorations which exist in the environs of the beautiful capital of the North.” We would call attention to the amusing account given of a trip in the immediate vicinity of Edinburgh in July 1835, atp 188.
The author gives two short chapters on the economical and medicinal wild plants of Britain, which have been perhaps too much neglected in our anxiety for exotic productions.
The work is illustrated by numerous woodcuts. These, however, are not so distinct and clear as they might have been in these dars when wood-cutting and printing have attained such perfection. Man of the cuts are copied from Maout's work; and they fall far short o) the original French woodcuts.
Upon the whole, we recommend the book as one which is calculated to interest the young student in the wild flowers which strew his path. The perusal of it will afford instruction and pleasure alike in the private chamber and in the fields. It is a work calculated to aid in the popular scientific movement of the present day. It is compiled by one who was in former years a zealous student of botany in Edinburgh, who still retains a love for natural science, and who finds that it furnishes a delightful source of recreation, even amidst the cares and anxieties of an arduous professional life.
PHYSIOLOGY. PROFESSORS VIALE AND LATINI OF ROME ON AMMONIA EVOLVED IN RESPIRATION
After a series of delicate experiments, conducted with the greatest con and minuteness, these eminent chemists have arrived at the following con clusions :
Ist. That ammonia is evolved in each act of expiration. They consider that a liealthy man expires, in 24 hours, 0-763 grammes of ammonia; and in
year a quantity equal to 278·504 grammes of the gas. They calculate that in a city containing 160,000 inhabitants, 44:56 kilogrammes of ammonia are evolved by respiration in the course of a year.
2d. That the ammonia is given off in the form of a sub-carbonate. 3d. That the lungs cannot expire pure carbonic acid gas.
4th. That the azote, pronounced by chenyists to be a product of respiration, is merely ammonia.
5th. That this ammonia keeps up the supply of the gas existing in the atmosphere, which, dissolved in rain, falls upon and enriches the earth.
6th. That the active principle of contagion is probably merely an ammoniacal salt. Their reasoning on this point is rather curious :-The lungs, skin, and excretions all give off a considerable quantity of ammonia, and contagious epidemics are generally developed where a large number of people are crowded together within a small space, or where the emanations of putrefying animal substances are rife. The latter emanations are always ammoniacal. Fumigations of chlorine, chloride of lime, nitric and acetic acids, are the antiseptics which decompose the ammoniacal salts, and probably also the contagious principle. Heavy rains, and tempestuous winds have been known to arrest the course of epidemics of contagious diseases. Viale and Latini believe that the ammoniacal salts which constitute the principle of contagion may be united either to carbonic acid, or to the metalloids (as sulphur, phosphorus, iodine, etc.), or to animal products, generating cyanogen, or to fatty bodies, fixed and volatile oils, or even to albumen, so as to act as a ferment.
7th. That during respiration a certain quantity of albumen is eliminated.
Professor F. Liebig, of Berlin, has published a letter in which he attaches great weight to the foregoing deductions, and considers the demonstration of ammonia in respired air as a fact of great scientific importance. -L'Union Médicale.
VIRCHOW ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE PLACENTA. In two instances he has found in the uteri of puerperal women who had died soon after delivery, that the entire uterine mucous membrane is not necessarily separated on delivery. In these cases there was a raw surface at the seat of the placenta, whilst the remainder of the surface of the uterus still bore its mucous membrane (decidua). The decidua scrotina is nothing more than that portion of the uterine mucous membrane with which the ovum is in connection upon which it rests. The maternal placenta is clearly formed out of an hypertrophy of the uterine mucous membrane, and of vessels at first simple, and later of a cavernous ektasia of the vessels through the confluence of the dividing walls. In this last, the capillaries, and in part the arteries, but mainly the veins, contribute. Between the ektatic vessels, the tissue of the mucous membrane is, at a later period, for the most part atrophied. As to the structure of the villi, he finds nowhere in the decidua elements which quite correspond with those of the villus-epithelium. When it is, moreover, remembered that the same epithelial laver is present in extra-uterine gestation, it must, he says, be in the highest degree probable, that it is an integral component of the fætus. The author gives as his conclusions, that we must admit that the fatal villi not only grow through the decidua, but also through the maternal Vessels, and that later the villi hang free and naked in the maternal blood. In all cases there is, as Schroeder van der Kolk and Goodsir have so much insisted upon, a great cell-layer between the maternal blood and the villi, which the materials which have to reach the fætal blood pass through. This structure will naturally determine the exchange of materials, and, according to circumstanees, may regulate or disturb it ; and we may admit that these cells are not unlike the secretion-cells of glandular orgaus.- Verhand der Phys. Med. Gesell. zu Wurzburgh, and Brit. and For. Med. Chir. Rev.
THE ASYLUM OF SAN BANDILIO IN SPAIN. [We know little, perhaps too little, of the state of medicine and of medical atřairs in Spain, and the prevailing impression tends to assign to both a very subordinate position in the world of science. We are well aware, however, ihat, amid the general depression, there are many distinguished men in the Peninsula, who struggle with praise-worthy zeal to maintain the dignity and advance the progress of medical science, in spite of the obstacles interposed by an inefficient government, and by institutions which have, too frequently, either lingered behind the age, or degenerated into complex systeins of abuses. A pleasing glimpse of a better order of things appears to be presented in the following notice of a lunatic asylum, newly established in the vicinity of Barcelona, which we willingly transcribe, with a few slight omissions, from a Spanish medical journal recently forwarded to us.]
Lunatic Asylum of Sun Bandilio de Llobregat.—Under this designation, an asylum for the treatment of the insane has just been opened in the vicinity of Barcelona, through the persevering zeal of our colleague, D. Antonio Pujadas, who has constantly distinguished himself by his enlarged schemes for the behoof of suffering humanity. By him, among the rest, was conceived and executed the inagnificent bathing establishment of La Puda; and it is he who now, in spite of a thousand obstacles, has offered to his country the first lunatic asylum, arranged with due reference to those improvenients which distinguish the more celebrated of the like institutions in other countries.
The establishment is situated upon an elevated ground, screened by mountain ridges, and on a site which surmounts the town of San Bandilio de Llobregat, is well as the extensive district traversed by the river of the same name. The hygienic advantages it enjoys have been acknowledged by a commission appointed to examine it by his Excellency the governor of the province. The water is excellent, the air pure; and nothing can be more agreeable than the
charming prospect extending over the course of the river, and the adjoining · country. In the building, numerous compartments, surrounded by galleries and terraces, corridors, courts, and squares, admit of a separate management of the different classes of the insane, so as to have the patients arranged methodically, according to their mental conditions; a plan indispensable for their suécessful treatment.
In all the corridors there are fountains, and water circulates in abundance ; the saloons and apartments are spacious, elegant, and well ventilated ; the greater part of them have a beautiful prospect ; some have cabinets for private servants, whom the higher class of patients may desire to have in attendance, when their state of mind permits the indulgence. In the departments of either sex are gardens and meadows, an orchard, and an avenue with quadruple rows of trees, where the patients may take exercise and amuseinent.
As bodily occupations are considered among the most powerful and efficacious means for the cure of mental diseases, the patients are accustomed to employ themselves, under the direction of a gardener and the attendants, in practical horticulture, for which purpose a proper piece of ground is set apart withio the walls of the establishment. As to the female patients, a work room is pro vided for them, in which they engage in every description of needle-worki under the guidance of skilful superintendents. Nothing is neglected in order to keep the inmates in full occupation, that they may be enabled to pass the time without weariness, while in most other institutions it is allowed to haog heavily upon them. The chaplain of the house gives lessons in history, geography, and morals, with the view of apportioning among them recreati09 and instruction. Another instructor exercises them in music, and gives dails lessons on the piano to the patients who bave cultivated that art. besides, a library provided with useful and instructive books, and various