Imágenes de páginas

the gum of opium separated from the resin as perfectly as it can be by the usual fluids, though inferior to the latter in point of force, yet retains a sufficient degree of power to affect the system considerably, if given in increased doses. Whether this be owing to the principle which gives activity tò opium being possessed, though in different proportion, both by the gummy and resinous, parts, or to the impossibility of perfectly depriving the gum of every portion of resin by the effusion of different menstrua, may seem doubtful; though to me it appears more than probable, that the resinous part is that alone which possesses activity, and that the gum serves principally to give it folubility in the gastric and intestinal fluids. To this conclufion we shall, I think, be led by the following considerations :

• ift. When the resin and gum are separated in the usual impera fea maññer, the activity of the former is considerably greater than that of the latter.

2dly. The gum thus separated must retain no small portion of resinous matter, both for the reason affigned in experiment XIV: and because the gum, by its natural attraction for, and union with the resin, will detain a part of it, preventing the alcohol from taking up the whole it would otherwise dissolve..

M. M. Laffonne and Cornette have given a very different view of the subject, and we have much reason to think that the opiate prepared by them, in which the resin is, in a great measuré, separated, is a medicine less inconvenient than the tincture. We think so, because we observe a considerable difference in the effects of pure opium and the tincture of this medicine :—we obserye a difference between the effects of the fyrupus è meconio in children's complaints, and the tinctura opii. These are facts not to be learned in the elaboratory, but which must be obvious to every attentive practitioner. -Our author's recapitulation we shall select: '

• From the whole of the facts, authorities, and experiments ads duced, we may, I think, fairly lay down the following positions :

"1. Opium is composed of a gumó a resin, an essential falt, and of earthy indiffoluble impurities.

62. The quantity of gum and resin is nearly equal; the proportion of the falt very inconsiderable; the earthy impurities amount to three parts out of twelve..

• 3. The gum, when perfectly separated from the resin, is divested of the peculiar properties of opium, poflefies no degree of astringency, but retains the whole of the bitterness of the medicine.

4. The resin is of two kinds, one more fuid, fixed in the heat of boiling spirit of wine, but capable of being volatilized in that of boiling water, especially if it be continued for a considerable length of time; the other portion is more fixed, and not capable of being


F 2

elevated by any continuation of boiling water heat. The resinous matter is void of bitterness, but posieties as well the whole of the astringency of the medicine, as of the peculiar and narcotic properties for which it is celebrated. The activity of the refinous matter seems to be destroved by the heat necessary to its elevatior., as the diftilled water of opium is perfe&ly inert.

5. The small portion of esential salt which opium contains, is analogous to that of other vegetable substances, and possessed of no, peculiar properties. ... 6. Whether it be occasioned by the presence of the faline matter, or by the attraction between the gum and relin, the union of both is so strong, that the resin cannot be perfectly separated from the yum by the action of different menstrua,

7. Any such separation of the component parts of the medicine, is of no use whatever in medical practice.

Dr. Crumpe next examines the different opinions of various authors, on the subject of opium, and refutes (no difficult task) the strange doctrines formerly offered, respedting its operation; particularly combating Fontana's fyftem of its acting on the blood, and Mr. Hunter's fancy of the blood being endued with life. He afterwards produces his own opinions, which, as Hamlet says, are 'words—mere words.' The animal system, he says, is endued with excitability, a principle not confined to the nerves, and, on this, opium acts as a sti. mulant.-As a stimulus, it is transitory, though diffusible, and hence arifes its indirect action. This is the opinion nearly of the late John Brown ; and we must attend to it a little, left too hasty an assent should lead us into error. • Opium has certainly at first a stimulating power; but that

it must consequently operate as a stimulant, is gratuitous. If its fedative operations be the effect of primarily stimulant onesa the degree of the latter should be in proportion to that of the former. This, however, is not the case, and, by increasing the dose, opium will appear to be sedative, without any prior marks of stimulus. When applied to the eye, &c. it produces pain, but this is also the case with every extraneous body; and, in many of the instances, pure water will do the same. Admit, however, the facts: must it follow that opium is fedative only because it has been a stimulant? As a gumrefin it must be stimulant, for the resin of plants is universally fo; but the stimulus of the coagulated oil is mitigated by the peculiar effects of the juices of the poppy.

Such are the primary effects resulting from its partial or general operation on the body in a state of health, and such can be the con. sequences of a stimulant power alone. That it Mews manifest signs of the fanie property, when operating upon the system in a diseafed

ftate, is equally evident. In the latter stage of typhus fever, attended with delirium subsultus tendinum, and other tynıptoms arising at that period from the great debility of the system, like wine, the vo. latile aromatic spirits, and other stimulants, either alone or in conjunction with them, opiuin has the most falutary effects. Of this the most respectable authors and practitioners have described and witneffed a variety of instances. In intermittent fevers it has frequently prevented the recurrence of a paroxyfm, when given before its expected approach: or even when exhibited after its commencement, it moderates its violence, and brings it to a fpeedy and easy termination; in these effects resembling the volatile and am. moniacal falts, aromatics, and many other ftimuli, which have so frequently been prescribed wish fimilar intentions and event. In the confluent small-pox, where a weak and quick pulse, flat and watery pufules, pallid skin, and other fimilar symptoms, denote a confi. derable degree of debility present, like wine and other cordials it is strongly indicated, and frequently produces most defirable confequences; and in a variety of spafmodic affections it is, as well as other stimulants, a remedy of acknowledged efficacy. Bot, defer. ring to á fubsequent chapter a more particular enumeration of its salutary effects in these and several other diseases, I shall content myself with referring to the authors already quoted in the second chapter, and transcribing from a few others fome passages which will sufficiently prove, that its stimulant properties and cordial effects have been very generally and diftin&tly noticed, and that it has been very frequently and successfully employed with such intentions by practitioners of the greatest skill and character. And first let me place the venerable Sydenham, in general fagacious in his enquiries, and ever actuated by the spirit of fidelity in relating their results : engaged in extensive practice, this medicine was frequently exhibited by him, and in so great a variety of inítances, his attentive mind could scarce fail being ftruck with the fimulant powers it so obviously pollefles; and we accordingly find, that he not only frequently prescribed it with an intention of supporting the powers of nature when languishing or oppreffed, but considered it as the most fupreme cordial ever discovered : “ Et praeftantifimum fit remedium, cardiacum unicu pene dixerim,” are the expreltive words he employs in conveying bis sentiment to his readers. That the celebrated Cullen perceived similar effects, and prescribere it with similar intentions, will be evident from a Night perural of his practical works. In Haller's Commentaries on the Institutes of Boerhaave we meet with a passage which clearly proves that he alto was struck with its stimulant properties, as he therein compares its action to one of the inost powerful Itimali we are acquainted with. “ Opium, says he, non alia ratione agit in corpus, quam alcool." A sentiment also adopted by Huxham, who, fpeaking of the em


F 3

ployment of opiates in small-pox, says, “ They are similar in effect to large doses of spirituous liquors.” · Such is the acute reasoning so warmly recommended! We will meet it pointedly. We deny, in the last stage of typhus, that, like wine, &c. opium has the most falutary effects, if by this equivocal expression the author means to infinuate that the effects are similar. We have often tried them attentively: wine will increase the quickness and frequency of the pulse; in some instances induce sleep, but generally with a flushed face, frequently with a clammy sweat, and laborious respiration. When more cautiously exhibited, it seems to recruit like food, or sleep. Opium, on the contrary, in these cases, does not increase the colour, or the quickness of the pulse: the subfultus lessens; the distracted looks assume a more complacenç aspect ; sleep, or a serene state of mind comes on; the skin iş fofter, the tendons less tense. These are the appearances, and, if the one is a stimulant, what is the other? · In intermittents, it stops a fever, and stimulants do the same -Excellent logician! By the same mode of reasoning, the cold bath, terror, a baked spider, and a numerous train of different and opposite remedies, act in the same way."

In the confluent small-pox it is useful, when the skin is pallid.—Is not musk the same? and is not every remedy, which determines to the skin, equally useful? We believe Dr. Crumpe and every other practitioner does not, in these cases, trust to such a stimulant, without wine and aromatics. This first of stimuli, therefore, to succeed, requires the aid of fubordinaté ones. · Sydenham calls it a cordial: it is fo, but not a cordial as it is a stimulant. We have taken it often, and it induces a pla. cid serenity, rather than high spirits : it seems to take off a weight rather than to add energy; and, above all, it is chiefly cardiac when it has ceased to be a timulant. :

Once more: it is injurious in inflammatory diseases. True, but not as a stimulant, for, if the proper secretions are kept up, it is highly beneficial. In rheumatism, where its pecu. liar property of determining to the skin is useful, opium never injures from its stimulating qualities. — The pharmaceutical management of opium, and its use and abuse in different disa eases conclude the volume; but these parts offer nothing particular or new. The opinions may be easily understood from the author's previous doctrines.

The · The Duty of Citizens in the Present Crisis. 870. 35. fewed.

Westley. 1793. W E are told that the Address, which forms the first pages

V of this work, was written originally for one of the late popular associations; and as many gentlemen, who then defired to become subscribing parties, have since requested copies, it is now presented to them with elucidations

It is a calm, manly, and expoftulatory' address to the people of this country, on the propriety of guarding, at the present important moment, that liberty which has been so dearly pur. chased by their ancestors; and to do all in their power to amend those parts of the constitution, which have cicher been impaired by time, or have not yet been rendered perfect. The points particularly insisted on are, a reform in parliamentary representation, an abhorrence of the suspension of the habeas corpus act, a steady defence and attachment to the mode of trial by jury, and the high importance of preserving the liberty of the press; concluding with an exhortation of the necellity of revising and simplifying the laws of England.

On each of these subjects the author agues with equal abi. lity and candour, particularly on the last; a circumstance which inclines us to conclude, that he has made it his particular study. He afterwards proceeds to consider the weight of the people in the scale of government, and the responsibility of ministers. On the former of these subjects we shall select a portion, which may serve to shew the manner and spirit in which the whole of the pamphlet is written :

An idea, says the author, has been industriously circulated, that the people are despised as a multitude and cyphers in the state. The "position I Mould hope to be impossible; and the face of the coun. try stamps it so. A view of the government evidently manifests that, although the established plan of its administration delegates authority to separate estates, in the character of trustees for the com. munity, there can actually be but one, and, politically, only two parties,—the king and the people; and that there does not exist a middle class. For, what are the nobility but a small number tup: posed to be selected and dignified by their virtues and services, and polit cally entrusted, for the benefit of the people, with the intermediate situation of a council and jury of the nation?

• The people are the real and solid support of the state ; and in stead of not existing any where, they are to be seen in all stations, as the prominent figure in the scene. Are they in the manageinent of the government ? - there can be no goverment without thein. Are they possessed of power? They are, - as being the national


« AnteriorContinuar »