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(as I have since learnt) about 200 strong; M'Haffie, the senior "officer, Stewart and Leavock were close to me. I heard Brady's "voice at a little distance, and thought that the greater part of the "regiment was with us; but I was too soon undeceived-we made "several attempts to mount the parapet, but without success; not that "the works were high or the ditch deep, but that the earth gave way, "and we wanted numbers for mechanical support. It was in one of "these trials that I glanced my eye back upon the field, I could not
see far, for there was a thick mist with rain, and the smoke hung "heavy on the ground; but the sight was horrid—the dead lay "thicker than I could have counted them; then looking down into "the ditch, I perceived the smallness of our party, now reduced to "about seventy; still we believed that we were supported, and by "another effort actually crossed the works; an American officer sur"rendered his sword to me within their lines. I joined Leavock for some minutes in trying to make the men lay down their arms, (warned 66 by poor Couran's fate, and conscious of our want of power, we did "this cautiously,) I was astonished however to see M'Haffie in parley "with a superior officer of the euemy: each demanded the other's "sword; the altercation was not long-we were prisoners."-Rough Notes, MSS.
Hence it is evident that the 93d did not take the lead, and that if General Lambert had pushed on the 7th and 43d, a lodgement might have been made within the enemies' lines-for their confusion is evident, and irregular troops once broken cannot rally.
Our loss in this disastrous affair is computed at from fifteen hundred to two thousand men, including two generals, Pakenham and Gibbs, and many celebrated field officers. The plan of the action appears to have been well arranged, but its execution was faulty; we. unhesitatingly adopt the opinion that Sir R. Pakenham ought to have postponed the attack to the following day, when he found that he had not boats enough to convey Colonel Thornton's corps to the opposite bank; for it is evident that the whole merit of the design consisted in the flank attack; by which, had it been made an hour or two before the other, the attention of the enemy would have been distracted from the main object, and their guns on the other side of the river would not only have been turned upon them, but would have been directed in their unsheltered flank and rear.
We would willingly give more numerous extracts from the subaltern's most interesting details of these transactions, but we have already exceeded our boundaries; the reader however, may rest assured, that however copious our quotations may appear; we have left him, untouched, an ample fund of amusement and instruction in the work itself.
DR. SOUTHWOOD SMITH'S LECTURES
COMPARATIVE AND HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY.
PARTLY by the interest of the subject, and partly by our estimation of the talents of the Lecturer, we have lately been drawn into a very unusual haunt of literature, and at most unseasonable hours. In Webbe-street, in the Borough, at Grainger's School, a kind of high 'Change for bones and muscles, and tissues, and at half-past six in the evening of every Thursday, have we regularly found Dr. Southwood Smith, in the centre of a knot of students; animated by, and giving animation to, one of the most delightful and most elevating studies in nature. We are anxious not merely not to lose, but to propagate the benefit of our industry, in having thus sought science in a distant corner, unvisited by any but medical, or rather unmedical boys, their teachers, their subjects, and their patients. We propose, therefore, to give, for the information of those of less vigorous habits, and of later dinner hours on Thursday, the benefit of our Note-book. We shall begin with a few facts which we have learned, relative to the history of the teaching of this science in this country.
Natural history and physiology have hitherto been much neglected in England. Particular branches of physiology have indeed been cultivated with great success by several distinguished men, and to British philosophers and physicians we are indebted for some of the most valuable knowledge we possess relative to the science. But still, as a science, it has been little cultivated. It has been taught in a few of the medical schools. The late Dr. Gordon of Edinburgh, gave a very extensive and scientific course. A more limited course was commenced by a physician at Guy's or St. Thomas's Hospital, in London, and has been continued by Dr. Blundell. Dr. Roget has also delivered on two or three different occasions, an interesting and instructive course on comparative physiology to a popular audience. This comprehends, as far as we know, all the attempts which have hitherto been made to extend this science by lectures. Until the late, and still unfinished work of Dr. Bostock, there was no systematic treatise which could be consulted on the subject, excepting some translations of the works of the Continental physiologists. Physiology has been thought to be sufficiently taught to the medical man by the professor of anatomy, who has barely time to communicate what is essential to be known of his own art; while no provision whatever is made for any degree of instruction in this science of any portion of the unprofessional public. Yet physiology is one of the most interesting of the natural sciences. It teaches the mechanism and action of the animal being, its structure and function. It opens a new source of valuable knowledge to the man of literature and science; and if the physiology of the mind be included, the study of it then becomes of the highest importance to every one who would instruct or govern-who would benefit or influence men.
We are glad, therefore, to see that another person of very distinguished attainments, both literary and scientific, has come forward to direct the attention of the public to this interesting subject.
Though Dr. Southwood Smith's Lectures were written expressly for medical students, yet it was also his avowed object to adapt them to the scientific and literary public. While the most important facts of the science are communicated, we think he has succeeded in expressing them in such language, and exhibiting them in such a manner, as to render them perfectly intelligible to the unprofessional. The peculiar advantage of this course seems to be, that the subject is simplified, and the most general, important, and interesting principles of the science are brought forward prominently-exhibited distinctlyillustrated fully. The plan of the course is itself new; it is truly scientific: it is calculated to convey the knowledge to be communicated by the easiest, the shortest, and the completest process. He begins with the consideration of the simplest examples of animal existence: examines the organs and functions of the simple beings which are thus placed at the bottom of the scale, in order to exhibit a distinct view of the phenomena of life in its simplest condition; then traces through all the gradations of the scale, the gradual complication of organs and functions up to man, who, according to a general law of the animal economy, by possessing the most complicated organization, becomes the most perfect of all animals.
As the knowledge which is conveyed in the prosecution of this plan is very interesting in itself, and perfectly intelligible to the general reader, we purpose to give in the present paper an outline of the course, so far as it has yet been delivered. We trust next month to be able to carry on this sketch, or at any rate, at no distant period, to give a further view of Dr. Smith's valuable contribution to the spread of science.
There is a certain structure, there are certain functions, which are common to all living beings: before entering into any details which must comprise particular modifications of life, Dr. Smith commenced with a statement of what life is, and exhibited a general view of the phenomena which are common and essential to all the beings endowed with it.
All objects in nature, said the Lecturer, are either unorganized or organized. The sciences which treat of unorganized bodies, receive different names according to the kind of properties which it is their province to investigate. The sciences which treat of organized bodies are two only, viz. anatomy, which exhibits their structure; and physiology, which investigates their functions.
Organized bodies are distinguished from all others, by the exhibition of peculiar phenomena, the whole of which taken together, are designated by the term life. The science which treats of these phenomena is called physiology. Physiology then is the doctrine of life ; or the science which investigates the functions of living beings.
Life is not, as has been considered by many physiologists, a principle, a power, or any single thing. It is a general term used to express a certain series of phenomena, the combination of which constitutes the true notion of life. In order therefore to form an accurate and complete conception of life, it is necessary to consider what these phenomena are.
1. The first phenomenon of life, is the property which all the beings endowed with it possess, of resisting, within certain limits, the operation
of the ordinary laws of matter. The physical agents which subvert the existing combinations of unorganized bodies-air, moisture, heat, for example, not only do not within a certain range disturb, but are indispensably necessary to maintain the organic structure peculiar to a living being. The human body, while living, will resist a temperature higher than that of boiling water, without receiving the slightest injury; while the same body, deprived of life, would be rapidly and entirely destroyed by it. The manner in which it resists the operation of these agents is extraordinary. Physical and chemical changes are effected by the change of place and combination of the elementary particles of which bodies are composed: it might therefore be supposed, that the manner in which life resists the operation of the ordinary laws of matter is, by retaining in one unvarying relative position the identical particles of which the body consists; on the contrary, this counteraction is effected by changing these particles and their place with great rapidity, and without ceasing. Motion thus constant and rapid, is the means by which the decomposition of the living body is prevented.
2. The second phenomenon of life, is the property which the body endowed with it, possesses of assimilating proper matter to its own substance. Unorganized bodies consist of particles which are held together by mutual attraction: they increase by the juxtaposition of new particles, which are merely superimposed upon the pre-existing mass. The living body is endowed with the power of converting materials, of very different natures, into the homogenous substance, and of elaborating from that substance the various solid and fluid parts of which it is composed. The plant absorbs nutritive particles. from the soil, and converts them into its proper substance, and into its different juices. The animal receives its aliment into its interior; digestion decomposes it, recombines its elements in new proportions and in different modes, and thus forms all the tissues and all the organs of which its complicated structure consists. The process by which these changes are effected, is termed in the vegetable, imbibition-in the animal, digestion: the conversion of the digested matter into the substance of the body, is denominated assimilation, and because the materials are received within the body, and undergo in its interior the changes that are necessary, it is said to be by intussusception.
3. The third character by which the living body is distinguished, is that the materials of which it is composed have a peculiar arrangeThis arrangement is termed structure: the process by which it is effected is denominated organization; and the body in which it is formed, is said to be organized.
4. A fourth character is, that it derives its origin from a preexisting living being. Life is the source of life. Every living being formed, at some period, part of another living body, from which it was subsequently detached: every living body participated in the life of some other living body before it was capable of carrying on living motion by itself; and from the living power of the body to which it originally belonged, it derived this degree of development, which rendered it susceptible of independent life. To this there is no ascertained exception throughout nature. Recent microscopical observations, have led to the discovery of some facts, which seem at
first view to render the position doubtful, but it is probable that when the economy of these curious beings becomes better known, it will be found that the general analogy of nature remains unrelated. Hence an origin by geniture is one of the most striking characteristics of life. And so
5. Finally is a termination in death. After continuing in life a certain period, changes inevitably take place in the structure and functions of every living body, by which its existence is brought to a close. Unorganized bodies, on the contrary, would preserve their existence for ever, were no extrinsic force applied to them. Some mechanical agent must separate their particles-some chemical power must alter their composition, before they can be destroyed. But no mechanical or chemical agent disturbing the arrangement of its particles, the living body, after a certain period, ceases to live, from some internal cause. Hence a termination by death, forms one among the series of events which constitutes the condition of life.
The phenomena which have been enumerated, constitute a series : they may be truly said to form a train: they are invariably associated together. The term life, therefore, designates a complex idea, which, when analyzed, embraces several separate and more simple ideas: the combination of the whole constitutes the general notion. To say that a being possesses the power of resisting the operation of the general laws of matter, within certain limits-that it is nourished by assimilating foreign materials into its own substance that it is organized that it derives its origin from a pre-existing living beingthat its termination is in death-is to say that a body lives; and philosophically to answer the question, what is life, is to enumerate these phenomena.
After exhibiting this general view of the phenomena of life, Dr. Smith proceeded to state the order in which the science of physiology ought to be studied, and entered into the detail of the plan of the present course. By fixing the attention on the class of objects of which it is the province of this science to treat, he endeavoured to show why it is that it possesses so peculiar an interest. He stated, that it is distinguished from every other science, by introducing into it, as an essential part of its object, the discovery not only of physical but of final causes. It is its aim not only to ascertain by what any given phenomena of the living body is produced, but for what it exists. This, it is obvious, leads the inquirer into a kind of investigation which is peculiar to this science. It is the part of the physiologist to investigate, not merely by what agents the function of respiration, for example, is performed, but also for what use it is appointed in the animal economy. The adaptation of means to ends, the difficulty, yet the necessity of the object to be effected, the beauty of the contrivances chosen to secure it, are in many cases so curious and so exquisite, that there is nothing in the whole circle of human knowledge calculated to awaken in a well-constituted mind, a deeper interest or a more lively pleasure.
In the truest sense, the knowledge acquired in these investigations may be said to be the knowledge of ourselves: of ourselves, in the most comprehensive view that can be taken of our nature. Pschychology is a phantom, but in so far as it is founded on physiology. The moral