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which arise in the progress of their acquaintance, involve these conscientious lovers in anxieties and perplexities, which keep alive the curiosity of the reader, and are not cleared up till the close of the last volume. Hamlet Flowerdale is in holy orders, and passes through all the probationary stages of chaplain, tutor, and curate, before he becomes the grateful possessor of two good livings, with perfect credit to himself and satisfaction to his employers. Florence, finding herself, at the death of her father, left with a provision too slender for her maintenance, prefers the exertion of her talents, to dependence upon her aunt, and enters upon the difficult duties and mortifying station of a governess. Her adventures in three very different families are exceedingly well imagined, and afford a correct portrait of what is termed genteel society, when viewed from beneath.
In the winding up of the story, nothing appears superfluous, unnatural, or over-strained ; the events rise out of each other, much to the satisfaction of all the deserving characters introduced, and the inquisitive reader is at length enabled to guess why the book is called “Lady Jane's pocket.”
ART. VIII. A Philosophical treatise on the hereditary peculiari
ties of the human race: with notes illustrative of the subject, particularly in gout, scrofula, and madness. The Second Ed. with an Appendix, on the Goîtres and Cretins of the Alps and Pyrenees. By Joseph Adams, M. D. London. J. Callow,
1815. 8vo. Dr. Adams informs us, that his precursors in this walk of medical science have been but few; and he states the main object of his work to be :
“ To ascertain what provisions are made by Nature to correct any apparent deviations in the human race.
“And to show how far these provisions may be imitated or improved by Art.”
He distinguishes between family and hereditary peculiarities; the first being confined to a single generation, the children of the same parents; the second continued from one generation to another. Such diseases either appear at birth, or they arise afterwards. The first alone can properly be termed hereditary or family diseases; the latter are only susceptibilities of disease.
When appearing at birth, diseases are termed congenital or connate. Susceptibilities are divided by Dr. Adams into dispositions, whereby the disease is induced without external causes, or by causes that cannot be distinguished from the functions of the economy; and predispositions, when the
susceptibility requires the operation of some external cause to induce the disease.
Connate or congenital diseases are seldom hereditary; and dispositions to disease are oftener family than hereditary. Congenital blindness or deafness are seldom hereditary; though the disposition to them is often so. Gout and madness, though generally considered hereditary, are only so, the author observes, in predisposition. The younger members of families frequently fall into particular diseases at a critical time of life; and if they escape that period, they are afterwards free from the complaint.
“ When the susceptibility to an hereditary or family disease is so great as to amount to a disposition, that is, so great that the disease is induced without any external causes, we can have little bopes of preventing it; and that if the disease has arisen during the chunges about the age of puberty, we are to erpect a cure, more from a proper direction of the efforts of nature during that period, than from remedies which may be risetul in the saine disease, when excited by external causes, or induced at a more advanced age.” p. 21.
“ The danger or security of ihe rising offspring may often be estimated by a similarity of feature or character to those of their brothers or sisters, who have previously fallen into the disease.".
“ This remark'is still more applicable to that kind of consumption which affccts several brothers and sisters about the same age. The parents are often healthy, or at least free from this disposition; but the fate of some of their children gives an early presentiment concerning others born afterwards of a similar complexion, features, and temper. Meanwhile the young subjects are the last to see the danger, and when it is suspected, the ercess of life, if I may so call it, or the precocity of groæth and intellect is such as to precipitate a most interesting figure and character into a vortex, from which no caution can prove any security. But when the susceptibility is so slight as to amount only to a predisposition, we have rarely any means of discovering it till the disease itself approaches; nor is there any age at which we may call the patient secure. As, however, some external cause is always necessary to induce the disease, we may hope to prevent it by avoiding such causes, or to cure it by removing them. Hence, the importance of distinguishing the first described consumption from the scrofulous : the one à family disposition, requiring no cæternal cause to excite the disease, which exists in all cliinates, and is fatal in all; the other an hereditary pre. disposition, never excited into action but in certain climates, and the disease often cured by an early removal from them.” p. 22.
Another state of susceptibility demands some caution : “The state to which I reser is induced by pregnancy and child birth in women and at the more advanced climacieric in both sexes. Though the actions excited on these occasions ari-e from the functions of the economy, yet they are not the ordinary functions. In most cases the provisions of Nature are sufficient for preserving the subject during such changes; and on that account they are often too little regarded. In women not only pregnancy and child-birth, but the critical period of advanced life is strongly marked, and many judicious cautions are $o be found in medical writers on this last subject; but it is a great
mistake to suppose, that the change in men about the same age is lways unattended with any disturbance of the constitution." p. 28.
The Doctor proceeds next to the provision made by nature for correcting such hereditary peculiarities. In the diseases ensuing from climate, he remarks that those who are affected by them are prevented from propagating the disease by the course of its operation. He exemplifies this fact by the instance of Elephantiasis.
“ The Elephantiasis of ARET ÆUS is peculiar to warm climates: the disposition to the disease is hereditary, and the disease itself has hitherto proved incurable. I have never been able to learn that it has attacked emigrants from a colder climate, nor their immediatc descendants. A residence therefore of some generations is probably necessary to induce the disposition. When the diseased disposition is derived from inheritance, the action always commences before the age of puberty; and the subject never arrives at that state; the organs are never evolved, and no other marks of virility appear. When the disease originates with an individual, it usually commences at a more advanced age; but from that time, the organs which distinguish the sexes decay, and become gradually unfit for their original purposes. This fact of a disease, which arrests the progress to virility of every youth, and emasculates every adult whom it attacks, is so surprising, that after having witnessed it myself, I should have been backward in publishing the result of my observations, had not others been present at every examination; and I should have been unwilling to draw inferences from them, had not subsequent writers confirmed my account.'
“ Thus is an hereditary disposition to an irregularity of the most formidable nature, which being excited by climate, must have progressively increased in spite of all human institutions, arrested as soon as it occurs, by those very actions which form a part of the deviation from the usual progress of Nature," pp. 37–9.
He observes, that “ throughout all the animated productions with which we are acquainted, there is found a disposition in every variety to return to the original form,” unless when in, terrupted by accidental causes, among which, is the propagation of defects by the nuptial alliance with consanguinity, or with parties similarly constituted. Hence he takes occasion to celebrate the wisdom of that divine law, by which sexual intercourse is forbidden between near relations under pain of death, He also introduces some remarks on the dissemination of lunacy by marriage.
“ The number of maniacs does not increase in proportion to our increased population, and the great exciting causes of madness, namely, encreased wealth, and other sources of ambition. Nor is this the only provision we can trace. The worst stages of madness are attended with a total indifference to the sex, not to mention the very general inclina
See Edinburgh Medical Journal, vol. v. p. 500, Note-Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 81, July to December 1811, p. 145, seocnd Column; and Dr. Gourlay's History of Madeira,
tion to suicide, which the utmost vigilance cannot always prevent. Sceing then how little is left in so important a concern to the operation of human institutions, have we not reason to be satisfied with the provisions of Nature, and with the Divide commands ? Yet in the most serious of all hereditary peculiarities, the great susceptibility to madness, celibacy has been recommended as a duty. Before we venture to propose mcasures contrary to one of the strongest impulses of Nature, and to the first blessing which the Almighty Fiat bestowed on man, it becomes us seriously to weigh the consequences.
"Were this opinion universal, it would probably produce its effects only on the most amiable and best disposed, whilst the profligate and unprincipled would indulge themselves, regardless of posterity : It is scarcely necessary to hint at the result. To interdict marriages with the healthy individuals of such familicy, might do much towards extinguishing that enthusiasm, which, when well directed, proves the source of those achievements which aggrandize families, which increase the glory of nations, and improve the condition of mankind. Nor is this contined to heroes and statesmen, but extends to the effusions of genius and to the cultivation of the softer virtues. It is neither necessary, nor proper to introduce names, they will occur to every one who has lived long enough to become acquainted with the ramifications of families." p. 36.
The system of the author is supported by a number of appropriate cases, which our limits do not permit us to lay before our readers. To his treatise he has subjoined various notes. The first contains a curious passage from Boethius' Historia Scotorum :
“ Morho comitiali, amentia, mania aut simili tabe, quæ facile in prolein transfunditur, laborantes, inter cos ingenti facta indaginc inver.tos, ne genus fæda contagione ab iis qui ex illis prognati forent lederetur, castraverunt, mulieres hujusmodi morborum quavis tabe leprave infectas procul a virorum consortio ablegaverunt. Quod si harum aliqua concepisse inveniebatur, simul cum fætu nondum edito defodiebaiu viva.--Voraces, manducones supra quam erat humanum, helluonesque et perpetuæ ebrietati indulgenics aut addictos, ne tam fæda monstra in pairie dedecus superesseat flumine mergentes, prius quantum libuit et cibi et potus vorare ac ingurgitare eis præbentes, miti supplicio exterminarunt.”. p. 46.
The 21st note is principally occupied with the Elephantiasis, and it involves a few strictures on Dr. Bateman. The notes form an interesting part of the work, which we consider valuable to the profession, and very important to the public. The medical student will peruse with pleasure both the book and its appendages.
Scotorum Historiæ a prima Gentis Origine, cum aliarum et rerum et gentium illustratione non vulgari, Libri XIX. llectore Boethio Deidonano Auctore. Parisiis, 1574, lib. i. p. 12.
ART. VIII. The Royal Wanderer, or the Exile of England:
a Tale. By ALGERNON. In Three Volumes. London:
J. Johnston, 1815. This book belongs to a species of productions which it is impossible too severely to reprobate. They assume the form of a novel in order, with more safety, to circulate scandal respecting persons in elevated stations. By fictitious names and mysterious hints, they excite a greater degree of attention to the matters of which they treat; at the same time that they provide a disguise in which to escape, if any one should think them worth pursuing. This mode of insinuating falsehood-by publishing it as fiction, is admirably calculated to give it currency. It is just like communicating a report which one is particularly desirous of spreading, to two or three very respectable, antiquated, tea-drinking, chatty ladies, as a most important secret.
Under the disguise of a romance, the production before us professes to give its readers an account of the Journey of the Princess of Wales, with the motives which induced her to travel, and the reasons for her protracted absence. As to the travels of Her Royal Highness, we believe the writer knows just about as much as all the world do who read newspapers-the names of the places and of some of the personages she has visited. If he has enjoyed any other source of information, we presume it must have been a Gazetteer, or a book of roads. If we could credit his insinuations, he has lurked under the sofas at Carlton House, and been concealed in the seat of the Princess's carriage; he has been present at the interview of Maria Louisa and the Princess-been made the confident of all the maids of honor-and participated in the councils of the cidevant King of Naples. This writer seems an extraordinary sort of gentleman—with something singularly airy about himand possessed of the power of being at once at Milan and St. Giles's.
The newspapers presenting but slight foundation for a romance, the author fills up the interstices, between their various pieces of intelligence, with stories of the intrigues of the Princess's attendants, Her Royal Highness's private meditations, and sundry letters to her daughter-all bearing the same stamp of authenticity. Some of the principal characters in the country are represented in very odious coloring; and the motives of the Regent's council accurately measured according to the qualities of the writer's own mind.