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this narcotic, (we shall see hereafter that a very contrary opinion lias prevailed); and that when used in the form of snuff the perfection of the organ of smell has always been injured. My own observation has led to a conclusion, that the conslant and profuse employment of this herb has been injurious to the brain and nervous system. In twenty-five years actual practice, a great number of cases of Paralysis have come under my notice; in all, or in the far greater part of these, the men were smokers, and the women snuff-takers.*
(To be concluded in the next Number.)
* It is not to be doubted that the immoderate use of Tobacco has, in some idosyncracies, produced alarming effects on the most efficient organs of the animal machine. "I have observed," says Cullen, "seve-" ral instances of great snuff-takers being affected in the same manner as persons are from long continued use of other narcotics, such as wine and opium; that is, by loss of memory, by fatuity, and the other symptoms of the •weakened or senile state of. the nervous system, induced before the usual period. I have found also," adds this ingenious physician, "that excessive snuff-taking produces all the symptoms of dyspepsia, particularly pains of the stomach, occurring every day." Almost two hundred years ago, Dr. Venner, in the quaint but forcible language of that time, objected to the use of Tobacco. "I will summarily rehearse," says the author of the Via Recta, "the hurts that Tobacco inferreth, if it be used contrary to the order and way 1 have set down. It drieth the brain, dimmeth the sight, vitiateth the smell, hurteth the stomach, de?troyeth the concoction, disturbeth the humours and spirits, corrupteth the breath, induceth a trembling of the limbs, exsiccateth the winde pipe, lungs, and liver, annoyeth the milt, scorchcth the heart, and ciuseth the blood to be adusted. Moreover it eliquateth the pinguic substance of the kidnies, and absumeth the geniture. In a word, it overthroweth the spirics, perverteth the understanding, and confoundeth the senses with a sudden astonishment and stupiditie of the whole body. All which hurts I affirme, that the immoderate and intempestive use of Tobacco doth affect, both by reason of its temperament (hot and dry in the third degree] ; but especially through the properue of its substance (deleteriall or venemous): Wherefore the use of it is only tolerable by way of physick, not for pleasure or an idle custome. To conclude, therefore, I wish them that desire to have mentem sanam, in cor/iore sano, altogether to abandon insanum firtefiosterumque Talacci mum." Via Recta ad Vitam Longam, 4to. Lond. 1638. p. 383. The destroying spirit of man taught the wandering savages of America to envenom their arrows with a poison prepared with this plant. The black pigment which collects in long-used tobacco-pipes, is a strong poison to some animals. Barrow (Travels in Africa) relates that he saw a snake poisoned with it. The effect was instantaneous as the electric s>hock. I remember to have seen the common English snake thus instantaneously destroyed. Bairow asserts, that the snake he saw thus
To the Editors of the Medical and Physical Journal.
1 SINCERELY regret that the letter which you did me (lie favour to publish in your last number lias considerably offended Mr. Ramsden; it is considered by him as containing animadversions on his practice. In justice, therefore, to myself, and in the hopes of removing a'.i such unpleasant impressions from that Gentleman's mind, I feel myself .called upon to state thus publicly, that such never was in the most remote degree my intention.—If that letter admits of any interpretation different from Mr. Ramsden\s own account of the operation, 1 am sorry that I should have adopted expressions capable of a construction which it was not my design they should carry.—By inserting this you will oblige,
Eanov.r Square, Jan. 14/Z>, 1811.
killed became immediately hard and rigid, as if dried in the sun. The Hottentots consider this substance, which they call oil of tobacco, as the most deadly of poisonous substances; but it is never applied to the points of their arrows, because it is too volatile to retain its deleterious quality. One Manwaringe, a chemical doctor, or a trading chemist, in 1666, brought a severe charge against tobacco. He accused it of producing scurvy, and wrote a duodecimo pamphlet to prove his accu-' satioB.
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Correct statements of Ahriosphpricnl changes in te/rnpSra^ ture* gravity, humidity and dryness, quantity of tain, falls of snow, direction, force, and continuance of winds;--when cctaprehending a long series of time, may be expected t&9e*\ velope some principle, or demonstrate some state of th#4ir" connected with widely spreading epidemics. The physicians" of former periods, from Hippocrates to Sydenham, very