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true and philosophical in regard to Mesmerism, so far as its facts and phenomena have yet been investigated.
In spite of the imperfections we have noticed, there is much that is good and excellent in Dr. Webb's lecture, and that will repay the trouble of perusal. He has apprehended in a right spirit the duties and responsibilities of his calling, and inculcates, with earnestness and truth, the moral qualifications necessary for their due performance. Dr. Webb is well known to the profession, as the learned and laborious author of the Pathologia Indica ; and, although this introductory discourse will not add much to his well-earned reputation, all must respect and admire his unwearied zeal, untiring industry, and extended information.
Selections from the Vernacular Buddhist Literature of Bur
mah, by Lieut. T. Latter, 67th Regt. B. N. 1. Maulmain. American Baptist Mission Press. 1850.
THE immediate object of this brochure was to assist the officers of Government, serving in Arracan and the Tenasserim Provinces, in the study and acquisition of the Burmese language.
It consists, as we gather from the Preface, of three distinct treatises. The first is the Thoodamma Tsarie, a collection of tales and fables, illustrative of moral duties and obligations, and referring to scenes and sites in Hindustan, when Buddhism was the predominating religion there. It is now printed for the first time.
The second is called Dhammā Pada. It relates chiefly to the life and wanderings of Gaudama and his disciples, and embodies much of his doctrines in the form of oral discourses, apophthegms, and parables. It is a Burmese translation from the Pali.
The last treatise is entitled the Pootsha Pagienaga, or “Question and Answer:" and, as Lieut. Latter assures us, contains not only the exoteric and ceremonial tenets, but the very arcana, of the religion of Budh ; so that it merits the title of the “ Catechism of Buddhism."
We borrow from the Preface a specimen of its contents :
The Pootsha Pagienaga is a mixture of all kinds of information on Buddhist history and ethics. Many of its apothegms are admirable and interesting. A few extracts taken at random will give some idea of the work.
Five persons are there who should not be consulted-The five are these. The fornicator ; the adulterer ; the drunkard ; the quarrelsome person ; and the fool.
2. By what five modes may great difficulties be overcome ?-By the exercise of charms ; by consulting men of wisdom ; by speaking of good words ; by presenting of gifts ; and by making use of family connexions.
What are the eight characteristics of a great judge ?-Much learning and information ; observance of the sacred law and its obligations ; energy and
exertion ; ability and power ; not coveting another's goods ; and finally comeliness of appearance.
4. The four good principles, by which to overcome a foe, are these – Truth ; wisdom ; diligence ; and liberality.
5. Eight persons are there, who should be firm as a pillar of stone - Judges ; priests ; witnesses ; warriors in array ; generals ; ambassadors ; umpires ; and
'These are they, whose steadfastness should be as a pillar of stone.
What are the four great things hard to resign ?-Ope's children ; one's wealth ; one's life ; and one's wife.
7. What are the four duties which become the wise and good ?-When they hear another's faults, to be as if they had no ears; when they see another's sins, to be as if they had no eyes ; to other women than their own wives, to be as if they were dumb ; and not to bear another's transgressions in mind. These four become the wise and good.
What are the four that should be the components of conversation ?- Good words ; loving words ; true words : and holy words..
9. By what remembrances are an infant's disposition affected ?- An infant, if it have come from a region of torment, remenibering the miseries it has endured, weeps and moans. An infant, if it have arrived from the regions of the blessed, calling to mind its former glorious existence, laughs and crows.
10. What are the four things far from one another ? — The one bound of the great sea is far from the other; the rising is far from the setting sun ; the summit of the firmament is far from the earth ; but further still than these is the wicked from the righteous.
We regret that Lieut. Latter did not carry out his original intention, and favour the public with a translation of these very interesting treatises Holding in his hand the key to unthought of treasures, which may throw much light on the Ancient History of Hindustan, and perhaps give it an altogether new development, it is a duty, which his position imposes on him, to bring these treasures to the knowledge of the public. We confess that the rich mine, which Lieut. Latter indicates, was hitherto, by us at least, ignored and unsuspected. If it be any thing like, or even nearly like, what he represents it, he cannot confer a greater boon on oriental literature, than by setting to the work of translation vigorously, and at once; and, we have no doubt, that he will be liberally assisted by Government, and the leading Oriental Literary Societies. We give his very interesting statement in his own words :
The work, as it now stands, can interest only the Burmese student. To extend that interest, it had been the author's original intention to have accompanied it with a translation and notes. It is doubtful however whether this will ever be carried out. But he trusts that, in assisting his brother officers in the acquisition of the Burmese language, some of them will be induced to employ their intelligence and their leisure in illustrating and investigating the literature of Burmah. This literature affords vast stores of unexplored interest, and that interest by no means merely local. For the Buddhist literature of Burmah, said to contain 80,000 volumes, consists of translations of the Ancient Pali literature of Hindustan. When Buddhism was overthrown as a religion in Hindustan, the unceasing efforts of its conquerors were directed to destroying or altering its monuments and records. It is this fact which throws so much doubt and uncertainty on all researches into the actual domestic state of Ancient India. But in the meanwhile Buddhism had spread into India beyond the Ganges, carrying with it its vast records ; there, safe from persecution, it remains to the present day; and, stored in the garner house of ages, it offers a rich and willing spoil to the enterprising student.
Perhaps there is no historical fact, of which so little is correctly known, as Buddhism ; and yet none, which has left such voluminous materials for its investigation. The first arises from the circumstance that these records are in dialects, which have as yet not drawn the attention of the literary world ; the second, from the fact of the foundation stone of Buddhism being its vernacularizing spirit. Its two great characteristics are, and ever have been, Proselytism and Toleration. And in carrying out the first no mode was left untried. We find therefore, in its history, the Sabbath readings in the temple, and the preachings by the highway. Whilst its more abstruse dogmas were preserved in books for the instruction of the esoteric, every means was adopted to bring its simple axioms, its current apothegms, and moral maxims to the notice and comprehension of the humblest peasant. They were embodied in familiar and popular stories, such as those given in the present work. They used to be fixed upon posts at the crossing of roads. They have come down to us graved in the living rock. How many must there have been scrawled by the hand of the zealous on the passing wall! It is thus that Buddhism achieved for itself a wider extension than any other faith, so that even now, in the days of its decadence, it numbers perhaps as many votaries as all other religions put together. And it is in this that it affords so cheering and instructive an example to us, who have the greater advantage of possessing a still more glorious cause; and it proves to us how inevitable must be our success in propagating that cause, if we will but make use of the same means ;- viz., in every manner possible, however simple or humble-vernacularizing.
We sincerely hope, that we shall soon have to notice Lieutenant Latter again.
Bengal Dysentery and its Statistics, with a notice of the
use of large Enemata in that Disease, and of Quinine in Remittent Fever. By John Macpherson, M. D., Ist Assistant, Presidency General Hospital. Pp. 63.
It would be altogether foreign to the purposes of this Review to discuss professional questions, to attempt to reconcile discrepant theories of disease, or to canvass the relative merits of different plans of treatment, adopted in the management of tropical affections. Such topics, and such a manner of dealing with them, are suited only for the pages of a purely professional periodical ; but, as there is unfortunately at present no Medical Journal in Bengal to bring these matters to general notice, we feel bound to recommend to such of our readers, as take an interest in the subject, Dr. Macpherson's little pamphlet on the statistics of Bengal Dysentery.
The object of the author in laying the result of his observations and practice before the profession is not very apparent; but, as all additions to our knowledge of such dreadful scourges as tropical Dysentery are interesting and valuable, we shall not, on this account, quarrel with Dr. Macpherson's " attempt to apply the numerical method to the subject.” It is the means most likely to lead to improvements in practice, to dispel errors, to eradicate inefficient and erroneous plans of treatment, and to lead to sober rational views. It is rather humiliating to find that the vast accumulated experience of the two last centuries regarding Dysentery has added so little to the efficacy of the means of treating this disease adopted by Sydenham and Helvetius. It still continues at times to devastate provinces, decimate fleets and armies, and cut off numerous victims in the prime of life and health, as it did in the old expedition to Carthagena, and in many more ancient and modern campaigns, decided by the fell destroyer, more than by the skill and strategy of the commanders.
The most valuable part of Dr. Macpherson's brochure is the section, headed “ Pathological Facts,” giving in clear well arranged tables, a brief epitome of the chief morbid appearances found in 160 cases of acute, and 55 of chronic, dysentery. A very cursory examination shows that the records of the General Hospital have not been particularly minutely kept; and that many points of interest and importance are either altogether overlooked, or treated with a sententious brevity, that much diminishes their utility and importance. Liver “ large or small, soft or hard," is the sum total of information afforded respecting its abnormities in numerous instances; and this, we need scarcely say, throws very little light upon its actual morbid state, or its connection with dysentery. The expressions themselves are so very indefinite in the absence of all information as to the weight and measured dimensions of the organ, the length of time that elapsed between death and the examination of the body, and similar points of interest, as to render it very difficult to determine whether the organ vere really diseased or not.
Again, the peculiar diseased state of that portion of the digestive tube, which is the seat of the disorder, is very imperfectly noted : the fact of ulceration is recorded, and in most instances nothing
For all these imperfections, however, we presume that the record, and not the observer, is to blame.
The following summary of the true description of the changes produced by the Bengal Dysentery is a favourable example of the style and manner of the author :
It is not my intention to enter into any minute description of the state of the intestines, which has been faithfully described by both Twining and Raleigh. nor am I able to throw any fresh light on the nature of the dysenteric process. It has been compared to erysipelas by Siebert, and to the corrosion of mineral acids by Cruveillier and Rokitansky. The mechanical theory of the irritation of scy bala, or accumulation of fæces, acting on an inflamed surface, though generally abandoned, still finds some supporters. It has by many been attributed to the irritation of altered biliary secretion, or to its absence. Parkes considers it to be a process of ulceration, universally commencing in the solitary glands of the large intestine. Others, with Raleigh, consider it to be a simple inflammation of the mucous coat of the large intestine-(if it were simple, it would be more amenable to treatment). Whatever of truth or error there may be in these opinions, the appearance presented to us in simple Bengal dysentery is, that of an inflammation of the large intestine, which may be diffusive, ulcerative, purulent, hæmorrhagic, or gangrenous, according to circumstances. The disease in Europe and in India is essentially the same ; and the best scientific descriptions of Bengal dysentery are those given by Dr. Baly of London and Rokitansky of Vienna, although the latter has not met with the amount of ulceration, which is common here. As seen here, the process is very generally one of mortification and sloughing, not of simple ulceration ; i. e. the ulceration is often secondary, and occurs only after the sloughs are thrown off. Inflammation and ulceration of the solitary glands is very unusual, or has been very carelessly observed ; and I believe it may be stated generally, that in Bengal dysentery, they are not peculiarly or primarily diseased. It should be borne in mind that the state of the solitary glands, as observed by Murray and Parkes, exactly corresponds with their usual appearance in cholera, and that all Murray's, and most of Parkes's, cases occurred in dysenteric patients suddenly carried off by that disease.
Dr. Macpherson has furnished an appendix, on the use of large enemata in Dysentery, and of Quinine in “Remittent Fever,” which, we regret to perceive, looks very like a covert attack upon an interesting experiment now in course of trial by Dr. Hare at the General Hospital. The proper time to canvass that gentleman's theory and practice will be when the results of his investigations are, as they doubtless will be, submitted to the criticism of the profession at large. From all we have heard on the subject, we are inclined to accord to Dr. Hare very great credit for the industry and zeal with which he has advocated his particular views : and whether they were previously known to, and adopted by, others, appears to us to be of very secondary importance. The largest amount of credit we hold to be due to him, who succeeds in procuring the general adoption of a successful plan of treatment, in the new discovery of which he may have been anticipated by centuries, during which it lay buried, forgotten, and of no service to the sufferers from the particular disease which it was intended to remove.
All such gentle onslaughts, as this appendix, we class in the same category with the attempts made to deprive Harvey of his immortal discovery, by hunting out obscure passages in Galen and older writers, to prove that a knowledge of the real course of the circulation was known to the Greeks; or the more modern endeavour to pluck the plumes of Bell and Marshall Hall, by a forced interpretation of certain shrewd guesses in the writings of Whytt and Prochaska. The cases are by no means parallel ; it is the practice we wish to condemn. Dr. Hare may be altogether wrong, for aught that we know ; and nothing is further from our intention than to express any opinion whatever on his plans. We only contend for the principle, that he should not be judged unheard, and that it is scarcely fair to prejudge and prejudice his experiment in public estimation, before its conclusion.
With the exception above noted, we esteem Dr. Macpherson's monograph, although it contains nothing new, to be a valuable paper, and one of considerable interest to the profession. We hope it is only one of a series to illustrate the pathology and treatment of the different endemic and epidemic scourges of Bengal, from the records of the Hospital to which he is attached.