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two or three of our medical journals. To Dr. Johnson, in whose Medico-Chirurgical Review, vols. iii. and iv. there is a very elaborate and copious analysis, occupying 65 pages, I have already referred. But I may, notwithstanding, present another extract. After specifying a few defects in the first edition, which were corrected in the second, the author of the analysis* adds :
“With these trifling defects, we have no hesitation in pronouncing the work, beyond all comparison, the best of the kind in the English language. With the naval, the military, the provincial, and the colonial practitioner, the work before us, ought at once to supersede the unscientific compilation of Dr. ; and it will do so."
In a note, the same professional critic observes, “ We have just heard a gentleman remark, that he was rather disappointed in not finding minute information on a particular subject, for which he consulted these volumes. The complaint was unreasonable. For minute information, we must consult monographs, or distinct treatises. In a system like this, however extensive, we can expect no more than general information, and references to other and more elaborate works, on the particular subject discussed.”+
In “ Anderson's Quarterly Journal of the Medical Sciences,” vol. ii. No. 8. October, 1825, a full account is given of the improvements in the second edition of the Study of Medicine. The reviewer says, “We
* Usually imputed to Dr. Armstrong.
+ It ought, however, to be observed, that the work abounds throughout, with the statement of facts and the relation of cases; the latter uniformly given with graphic perspicuity, and, where they involved distressing or fatal consequences, with much sympathy and feeling.
have already expressed our satisfaction at the reappearance of this valuable und accurate work in a new edition. Of such a work, indeed, when we consider it to be the composition of one man, we may say, with truth, that the age of laborious diligence is not past, and that there is still an individual among us who can devour and digest whole libraries. This would, no doubt, be surprising even in a man of a retired life; but it is doubly so in one who is a practical physician, and a poet of no mean fame. For learning, for research, for original observation, where is the practical system of the present day, we may fearlessly ask, that can be compared to it?” “Dr. Good is a universal scholar; intimately acquainted with the learned and Oriental languages; he writes English with facility and elegance; and we are sure that every physician who is a man of taste and of learning, will peruse his pages with avidity and delight.”
Again, the Editor of the “ Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,” in the No. for January, 1826, after specifying the principal improvements in Dr. Good's new edition, proceeds:
“Of the merits of this work, we formerly expressed our opinion at considerable length; and it is not now requisite to resume the subject. Its good and bad points we canvassed in the spirit of liberal criticism; but we trust without asperity. Though we still entertain the same opinion of its defects, we must confess, the oftener we read it, the more excellent it appears. The information is copious, accurate, and various; the research and learning unrivalled; the style clear and precise; and the language, when not
too affected, is classical and pleasing. It certainly contains the most comprehensive and correct view of medical knowledge extant; and we know no work from which the student will derive greater information, and obtain it in a more interesting manner.”
I need not apologize for collecting these critical opinions from the most respectable professional authorities, on a work respecting the scientific value of which it would be the height of absurdity for me to offer any judgment, I may, perhaps, without incurring the charge of invading the province of others, remark, in addition to what has preceded, that Dr. Good richly merits a distinct eulogium for having, throughout these volumes, uniformly exerted himself to check the influence of fashion in the introduction and proscription of remedies, as well as in the practice of medicine generally.*
THE BOOK OF NATURE.
This publication issued from the press early in 1826, in three octavo volumes. It has, however, so infelicitous a title, that it conveys no adequate idea, I might almost say, no idea, of the nature of the publica
* Since the above was written, I have received a letter from my esteemed friend, Dr. J. W. Francis, of New York, in which he says, “The death of our mutual friend, Dr. Good, has produced a sensation among our medical brethren, that shews most satisfactorily how high he stood in the estimation of the profession. His writings are well known among us, and no less than three editions of his “Study of Medicine' have been printed for our medical improvement. I intend, dear sir, to transmit you some account of what we Americans have thought of him; and I rejoice to learn that you contemplate an account of his life and writings. Is it so? I wish to say a little of him, because of his vast renown in America, and the exemplary virtues of his private character."— This promised communicatior I much regret to say, has not yet arrived.
tion itself. These three volumes contain the lectures which Dr. Good delivered, in three successive winters, at the Surrey Institution. A few alterations and improvements have been introduced, of which the author thus speaks :
“The progress of time (since 1810) and the mental activity with which it has been followed up, have strikingly confirmed various hints and opinions which he ventured to suggest as he proceeded, and have introduced a few novelties into one or two branches of science since the period referred to; but the interval which has hereby occurred has enabled the author to keep pace with the general march, and to pay due attention to such doctrines or discoveries, in their respective positions of time and place.”
The plan of these volumes evinces less logical acumen than is exhibited in some of his other publications; but this may probably have arisen from the author's delineating the outlines of the first series of lectures, without having in contemplation any subsequent train of research beyond their immediate scope. Considered all together, however, notwithstanding the minor defects in arrangement, there is much, in the disquisitions thus collected, to amuse, to instruct, and often to delight and improve. The young in perusing them will find their thirst for knowledge kept alive while it is gratified; and may yield themselves to this instructor without any fear that their better principles will be sapped, or their happiness endangered. The author's style is vivacious, popular, and free from technical stiffness, in a few cases perhaps too oratorical; but he passes from subject to subject, in his widely diversified course, with that intellectual elasticity which was one of his
most remarkable endowments, and which gave the principal charm to his successive productions.
The volumes are devoted respectively to three series of lectures. Of these the first is employed in unfolding “ the nature of the material world, and the scale of unorganized and organized tribes that issue from it.” This series comprises fifteen lectures, which treat of matter and the material world, -the elementary and constituent principles of things,—the properties of matter essential and peculiar,-geology,--organized bodies, and the structure of plants compared with that of animals,—the general analogy of animal and vegetable life,—the principles of life, irritability, and muscular motion,—the bones, cartilages, teeth, hair, wool, silk, feathers, and other hard or solid parts of the animal frame,- the digestive function and its appropriate organs,—diversities of food taken by different animals,—the circulation of the blood,-respiration, and animalization,--the processes of assimilation and nutrition,--and the external senses of animals.
The second series is employed in developing “ the nature of the animate world; its peculiar powers and external relations; means of communicating ideas; and the formation of society.” The subdivisions (in 13 lectures) relate to-zoological systems, and the distinctive characters of animals—the varieties of the human race-instinct—the distinguishing characters of instinct, sensation, and intelligence-sympathy, and fascination-sleep, dreaming, reverie, and trance, sleep-walking and sleep-talking-voice and language, vocal imitations, and ventriloquism—the language of animals, the language of man-legible language, imitative and symbolical—the literary education of former