Reb�ews and Not�ces

1850 The Lancet  
446 thit any inflammation manifesting itself on the skin may be arrested by covering the inflamed integuments with an adhesive compound, which will wholly and effectually prevent the contact of atmospheric air. This idea has been suggested to him by the experiments of Dr. Fourcault, who used to produce great disturbance of internal organs upon animals, which he painted all over with a resinous and adhesive compound. M. Latour formerly used gum to cover the parts, but has now substituted
more » ... n for it-two cases of erysipelas were cited, which, being treated in this way, were well in a few days. Rebíews and Notíces. . Second Edition. London. 1849. 8vo, pp. 527. THE art of reviewing is of truly British growth. The German reviewer, descending into infinitesimal details, writes folios on a pamphlet. The Frenchman, carried away by the impulse of his strong feelings, writes a diatribe or a panegyric; while the sterling impartiality and common sense of the English character, makes an Englishman a thoroughly good reviewer. But even amongst ourselves reviews are very different. There is the hymn of praise sung by the toady or the innocent pupil, or the unjust report which falls from the pen of a concealed malignant enemy. We have too much respect for our readers and Dr. Bennet to adopt either line of conduct, and shall find so much to com. mend, that we shall not hesitate to disapprove when we feel it our duty. Before we enter upon our task, we must be permitted to make a few preliminary observations. Whatever may be our own merits as practitioners, we must confess, that to the French we award the credit of all those modern improvements which have given precision to diagnosis. What Corvisart and Laennec did for the diseases of the chest by the habitual use of the pleximeter and the stethoscope, Recamier did for diseases of the womb by the invention of the speculum. Until the application of physical means of investigation to the study of diseases of the womb, the most dissimilar states were confounded under the name of leucorrhoea; all was doubt and uncertainty in diagnosis-doubt and uncertainty in ' , treatment. The field opened by Professor Recamier was subsequently cultivated by Duparque, Columbat, Gendrin, Jobert de Lamballe, and many of their contemporaries in Paris. The writings and practice of these eminent men have afforded the i best aids in the study of uterine diseases, and Dr. Bennet has sufficiently proved that he had well profited by such opportunities, by publishing, soon after his return to England in 1845, the first edition of the present work. On the appearance of that work, the knowledge of uterine pathology in England was exactly similar to what it was in France previous to Professor Recamier's advocacy of the speculum uteri. Sir Charles Clarke's treatise on " Discharges" was the text-book of the profession, and although the practitioners were in the habit of looking at and cauterizing ulcers in the throat, the possibility of looking at, or the necessity of Cauterizing, ulcers of the womb, was not even admitted, and the high tone of morality which distinguishes us from other nations long caused many practitioners to act as if they firmly believed that it was far better for women to lead a life of misery than to owe their recovery to a mode of treatment which required the inspection of a hidden sore. Reasoning so absurd, however backed by honourable prejudices, could not long stand against common sense. The investigation of uterine diseases has continued to gain ground; it has modified the practice of the first practitioners in London, however much they may publicly protest against French innovations, and it has bad still more effect on the practice and writings of the distinguished men who lead the medical profession in Scotland and in Ireland. Such has undoubtedly been the effect of Dr. Bennet's able exposition of French practice in uterine diseases. The second edition of our author's work is more voluminous, and much more important. When we reviewed the first edition, we commended a distinguished pupil, echoing the opinions we had received; we must now accept him as a teacher, and after considering his work in itself, we would compare it to works on the same subjects in England and in France, if our time permitted. Dr. Bennet's second edition is decidedly the best treatise on " Inflammation of the Womb. One of its principal merits is the distinction clearly established between inflammation of the body and inflammation of the neck of the womb. This distinction was not unknown to the ancients, for Paulus -ZEgineta and JEtius call scirrhus the chronic inflammation of the body of the womb, and seleroma that of its neck. This distinction was again revived in France : it is clearly established in several passages of Duparque's and Columbat's works on Diseases of the Womb; and it was still more to be learnt from the oral instructions of the French professors of the present day; for even our very slight acquaintance with
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)89156-5 fatcat:ssz5bkddhva7tnla7e7poo6f44