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that intensity of nutrition which constitutes completeness of organization. But in proof that its larger variations in the various species are based upon some other law, some more specifically nutritive phenomena, we could hardly find any better evidence than this very table. Is the Gopher (Testudo polyphemus), whose blood contains one-seventh more fibrin than any other animal mentioned here, and nearly twice as much as the blood of man, the physical and intellectual “Lord of the creation ?” Or, if so, is it judicious in Dr. Jones to publish such a statement in a country where Gophers abound; and, considering their vital and intellectual endowments, no doubt read all that passes through the press ? Or does our author, like Buckland in the geological ballad, rely on their herbivorous tendencies? But alas, on reconsidering the matter, this view of their superiority, humiliating as it must be to a member of the hitherto dominant race, is corroborated by the traditions of man (their usurper) in many countries. The Unamis of the American Indian; the tortoise of the Hindou legend, sustaining the world; the “ love of the turtle,” in ancient Greece; as well as in modern London, where its entombment in a kind of sarcophagus called an alderman is still one of the most solemn duties of our admirable system of municipal government--all these, and many more, suggestive facts start into light at the electric flash of our author's inspiration. Nor do we think anything can protect us from a Gopherocracy, unless, in the struggle for power, the human race should acquire a fibrinous supremacy by their sufferings, -- by the bloodshed and inflammation consequent upon the horrors of such a servile war as this indiscreet book is calculated to provoke.
The odour of the blood is alluded to as depending chiefly on the serum, and as producible with great distinctness by applying to this fluid Barruel's test of heat and sulphuric acid. We may remark, however, that, whether dependent or no on the fatty acid usually assumed to be its chief constituent, there can be little doubt that the odorous principle peculiar to this or that species pervades the whole body of the animal, and may be found in most of its secretions. It may certainly be detected in the fæces, in the pulmonary and cutaneous transpirations, and in the special stink-glands which in some creatures are developed as offshoots of the cutaneous or intestinal surface; and it is pretty distinctly to be recognised in the milk, the bile, and the urine. Furthermore, it appears to exist in the muscles-s0 far as can be judged, quite independently of the blood generally retained in their mass—thus forming the peculiar flavour of the different meats however modified by cookery. That it should be present in the serum is therefore by no means surprising; while, at the same time, the fact does not suffice to refute the opinion entertained by some anatomists, that, on general as well as special grounds, we must seek for its source in the structures, which are xar' šçox nv the blood-namely in the blood-corpuscles. The curious distinctness with which the odour may be developed in dried and comparatively stale blood, seems to confirm this opinion.
On the specific gravity of the blood and of the serum in different animals, the author gives us two tables, which lead him to a conclusion which we are scarcely inclined to contradict; though we must really doubt whether it is deducible from the facts he offers. “From this table we learn that the blood becomes more concentrated as the organs and apparatus and intelligence of animals are developed." Considering that we find in it a precisely identical specific gravity for the blood of an alligator, a cur-dog, and a pregnant woman, we really think the proposition can scarcely be enunciated, except on materials somewhat different from those Dr. Jones affords us; and are entitled to hope that a deputation of some society for promoting the “Rights of Women” will join us in begging their compatriot hereafter to base this proposition on less invidious or more indefeasible evidence. Perhaps, however, mere philoprogenitiveness is regarded by them as so incompatible with “woman's mission,” that they would only consider the above statement as an awful warning against stooping to domestic life.
In point of fact, to establish any broad propositions of the above kind, we require a far more extensive and accurate series of observations than any as yet at our disposal, not to say some more accurate and definite measure of the development of « organs,» «apparatus,” and “ intelligence” in the various animals. That some such general rule will be found, we may fairly expect; but meanwhile no à priori arguments, entitle us to a premature generalization on insufficient facts. And while in such tables as those of our author we may see the specific gravity of both the blood and the serum increase in passing from a lower to a higher class of animal, the rule is interrupted, or even reversed, for occasional species. In like manner, it is difficult to find numerical grounds for assuming that the increase is chiefly due either to corpuscles on the one hand, or to serum on the other. Furthermore, the various sizes and shapes of the corpuscles make number and quantity anything but convertible terms; so little so, that we may imagine the same total, corpuscular mass arranged to form an organ of very different efficiency, according as it is collected into a smaller number of large cells, or spread over a wider working surface by separation into a larger number of small cells. Finally, as regards the quantity of corpuscles, we have already adduced reasons for believing that the author's estimates are not only of necessity erroneous, but that the amount of error differing in the different instances (the quantity of corpuscles approaching accuracy much more nearly in the lower animals examined), they are not even comparable among themselves.
The author next investigates the effect of acetic acid, carbonic acid gas, carbonic oxide, and hydrogen, in altering the shape of the blood-corpuscles. He incidentally mentions the interesting fact, that both carbonic acid poisoning and asphyxia by ligature of the trachea caused the urine of the Chelonians (Emys serrata and Emys terrapin) examined to contain grape sugar, which is normally absent from this secretion.
The effects of starvation and thirst on the blood are next traced. The subjects of these observations are two alligators ; a series of the Emys terrapin, Emys serrata, and Testudo polyphemus, and lastly, a single cur-dog. Here again, however, the method of inquiry adopted precludes much stress being laid upon any of those details, which would otherwise have been precisely the most interesting. Indeed, the chemical features of the inquiry could scarcely have supplied much definite information, owing to the difficulties, inherent and circumstantial, of the physiological elements.
Thus, starvation and thirst are associated in all the experiments—an association which, in our opinion, ought to be checked by an occasional comparison with each separately, in instituting such experiments upon any particular species of animal. Indeed, mere death by thirst supplies little useful material for physiological deduction. Then, again, to compare the blood of one individual of a species with that of another, gives us little right to conclude the precise amount of effect produced by the starvation of one of them, until we have some clue to the healthy deviations due to idiosyncrasy, age, sex, or circumstances. Again, if we bleed an animal repeatedly, as in the case of the dog thus experimented on, we are adding a further complexity to any difference of composition afterwards observed in its blood, as well as an additional cause of death, likely to be very effective in an animal deprived of food. Lastly, in the Reptiles a similar, but even greater, imperfection attaches to these observations-namely, the process of death by starvation and thirst was never observed at all, the animal being slain when still living, often when still vigorous. Indeed, in the Gopher (Testudo polyphemus) this imperfection so far reaches its maximum that we may really question whether the creature can be said to have been starved at all. This animal, our author informs us, inhabits a barren sandy country, where vegetation is scarce, and it is often impossible to obtain water. After fifty-one days of abstinence, a Gopher retained life, activity, and a capacity for considerable muscular effort. On killing it, its colon was found occupied by a considerable amount of vegetable matters, which were saturated with juices, and incompletely digested! If any one of our readers can allow for all these sources of error, and reduce our author's various estimates of the blood to such as shall be comparable with the many admirable researches of the effects of inanition already before the scientific public, we beg to suggest his publication of the formula that effects such a desirable translation. In the meantime, we confess our utter inability to grapple with facts like these, save in the vague form in which they have long been known to physiologists. We quite believe our author when he assures us that deprival of liquid aliment diminishes the amount of water in the body; that this effect occurs more slowly in cold blooded than in warm-blooded animals; in active than in passive individuals; that it diminishes the blood-corpuscles, and still more the fat. But to deduce these propositions from a series of analyses like those here placed before us, recalls to mind the philosophers of Laputa, who drank tea by stratagem, and cut coats on principles of the strictest geometry. Similar objections might be taken to much that we find in the remaining pages of this contribution to physiology. They, too, teem with generalities always out of place—often utterly unjustifiable. A tabular statement of the proportionate weight of the heart to that of the body is no doubt interesting; though we do not think any such statement likely to throw light upon the mysteries of the circulation, until much more is understood upon some recondite points equally influential in the mechanism of this movement. No doubt the accumulation of materials is in itself a task of great importance, the right fulfilment of which deserves something more than praise. Still, when we find the frequency of the heart's beat in different animals taken as an index of the rapidity of the circulation, or chyme spoken of as a solution of albuminous matters, we doubt whether the book which contains such statements may not do harm as well as good.
Here, however, we may end a criticism which, though unsatisfactory, fulfils what we believe to be the duty of a scientific Review, when its attention is claimed by a series of researches so large, so laboured, and so pretentious as those we have in part analysed. We do full justice to the zeal and industry of Dr. Jones, and trust our readers will quite understand that this handsome quarto brochure contains scattered throughout its 140 pages many interesting and even important facts ; many illustrations of physiological principles in animals hitherto little subjected to research. We may add, moreover, that it carries with it intrinsic evidence of much more conscientious and painstaking accuracy than our remarks might seem to imply. It is not so much that Dr. Jones shuns any trouble, or distorts any facts to sustain his deductions; it is rather that he wants that wide knowledge of his subject, and that firm grasp of its essentials, which are so valuable in an inquiry of this kind. Still more, perhaps, are his defects attributable to his having attempted too much. A series of observations cannot be made a philosophical treatise; cannot even be successfully worked out so as to elicit a supply of new and useful facts, save by the inquirer confining himself strictly for the time to a few rigid quæstiones naturæ, arranged so as best to elicit a connected answer. And if (as this fault entitles us to suspect) Dr. Jones is either young in years, or unaccustomed to this kind of research, we venture, while exercising what we believe to be a duty at his expense, to assure him how gladly we should hereafter unsay whatever may appear disparaging to him, should the opportunity be afforded
He may rest satisfied that the subjects of research he has chosen are invaluable to the sciences he professes; and that with less haste and more prudence, his ability and industry may conduct him to a high eminence in physiology. In the meantime it is due to the great nation of which he is an unit, and the admirable series of Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge among which his researches are enrolled, to measure them by the ordinary standard of criticism. It is because America is taking up her proper position as a province in the great republic of science, and as such, putting forth works which may fairly rank as equal to any of the products of modern intellect in most of the departments of knowledge, that we feel the day is gone by for any affectation of measuring an American book by a different standard from an European one, for omitting all blame, and in bitter but true phraseology,“ Damning with faint praise."
Memoires de la Société de Chirurgie de Paris. Tome Quatrième. Paris, 1856
7. 4to. pp. 281-722. Memoirs of the Society of Surgery of Paris. In continuing our account* of the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Paris Surgical Society, we next come to a paper on
I. Acute Sub-periosteal Abscess. By M. CHASSAIGNAC.-He believes that the subject has not bad sufficient attention paid to it; indeed, so little has it been dwelt upon, that, joining his two cases to those contained in the best works on periostitis, he has been enabled to collect only eleven instances, excluding as he does from consideration periostitis occurring after amputation, and syphilitic periostitis. This paucity is in some measure due to the inexactitude of the discrimination of some writers preventing him utilizing their observations. Although these abscesses do not exist independently of periostitis, he has not found this the initial phenomenon in all cases, and therefore he has not wished to exaggerate its influence by adopting it as the designation of the affection. Sub-periosteal abscesses may be defined as collections of matter forming between the bone and periosteum in the course of some days or weeks, frequently attaining a large size, and being accompanied by severe general symptoms. They have occurred hitherto exclusively in early life, and generally in scrofulous subjects, the bones of the lower extremity being those which are most liable, and especially the tibia.
Of the symptoms, pain is that which precedes all others; and it is severe and excruciating, resembling in character that of panaris. It is deep-seated and localized, commencing when the abscess affects the femur at its lower part. There are then severe pains in the knee-joint, although the abscess never extends, as it does in osteo-myelitis, into the joint itself
. By its nocturnal exacerbation, the pain bears some resemblance to syphilitic pain; but such exacerbation, in point of fact, when observed in syphilis, is not due to that disease, but to the implication of bony or periosteal tissues. The radiating of the pain along the shaft of the bone is not an essential feature, as it is in osteo-myelitis, but an indication of the progress of the disease and the greater detachment of the periosteum. The swelling observed is never accompanied by change of colour. “At first limited to the spot where the affection commenced, it may become enormous, the thigh in some of the cases acquiring double its normal size. In osteo-myelitis, such enlargement is not attained, the greater rapidity of its course giving rise to a fatal termination, or rendering amputation necessary. A peculiarity of the tumefaction is, that it makes one, as it were, with the bone at the surface of which it exists ; at least, this is observed at the commencement of the affection, and especially at the front of the tibia. As the disease advances, tumefaction increases, and the limb becomes ædematous, and at last great tension and redness of the parts are produced; but the pain, though considerable, is not of the same acute character as when it was confined to its original seat. A tumefaction persists after the disease is nearly or quite cured, but in place of being soft, elastic, and fluctuating, it is hard and compact, being due to the secretion of layers of osseous matter by the periosteum during reparation. Fluctuation, easily detected over a superficial bone like the tibia, is perceived with difficulty in the case of a deep-seated one, as the femur. Detection is best accomplished, not by applying the fingers flat upon the limb, but by grasping the upper part with one hand, and the lower part with the other, and submitting it to alternate compression by each. The quantity of pus is usually proportionate to the amount of detachment of the periosteum, and is in some cases
• Vol. xix.
enormous; but when the incisions have been sufficient, and the patient's constitution is not very bad, it usually gradually decreases in amount. It is characterized by the presence of oily globules, and by fætidity, even when the incision is first made. The detachment of the periosteum, the prolonged suppuration, and the dry sound heard habitually in necrosis, combine to prove that in acute sub-periosteal abscess, more or less of the surface of the bone is affected with superficial necrosis. In general, the lamellary sequestra that result are discharged with the pus, or they may disappear under the influence of acidulated lotions or by resorption, except, indeed, when the bone becomes deeply necrosed, when a permanent sequestrum may result. The extent of the denudation of bone is proportionate to the size of the abscess, and is found to be far greatest in the case of the femur. The general symptoms are those which are met with in affections severally influencing the general economy. There is intense fever, the pulse rising to 140, and never being lower than 120, as long as the abscess remains unopened. It is small and feeble, while the face is pale, but sometimes flushed. The skin is hot, and great debility and emaciation are present. These symptoms, so serious at first, always undergo amendment after incision ; but should there arise obstacles to the free discharge and cleansing out of the abscess, the alarming condition returns, and the patient is soon reduced to the last extremity.
Anatomical Lesions. In the observations that have been related, attention has been almost exclusively confined to the condition of the surface of the bone, and none paid to that of the medullary cavity and the spongy extremities. It is rare to find the detachment of the periosteum extending around the whole circumference of the bone, some points usually yet retaining their adhesions." It loses its transparency, and becomes thickened, vascular, and friable. When the abscess is situated on the cranium, it is accompanied by a corresponding detachment of the dura mater. In the author's opinion, this is sometimes not due to a propagation of the disease to this membrane, but to the fact of an affection of the bone being reflected upon the two membranes. In almost all cases of sub-periosteal abscess, necrosis of the bone takes place where it is in contact with the pus, and sometimes the diseased process is propagated as far as the epiphyses, even inducing their separation. As a consequence of the abscess, we always meet with bony tissue of new formation.
Complications. The author relates two examples of these in one of which an articular abscess, and in the other osteo-myelitis, constituted the complication. In former researches of his on osteo-myelitis he had always found that that affection gave rise to sub-periosteal suppuration; but he has not found sub-periosteal abscess playing the part of exciting cause of osteo-myelitis. In a case furnished to him by Dr. Foucher such sequence seems to have been observed.
Diagnosis. The affections with which acute sub-periosteal abscess may be confounded are—very intense phlegmon, diffuse phlegmon, and osteo-myelitis ; and the diagnosis is sometimes a matter of difficulty. Fortunately this is not of much consequence as regards treatment, inasmuch as the indication in each affection is the performance of prompt incision. Nevertheless, it is always desirable to establish a prompt diagnosis; and in aid of this it is to be observed that in respect, 1, to phlegmon, the pain is less excruciating, the phlegmon does not form, as it were, part with the bone, the general system suffers less, and the pus more promptly reaches the surface. 2. The sub-periosteal abscess is distinguished from diffuse phlegmon by the absence of ædema and change of colour of the skin; by the fluctuation being well circumscribed; by the less diffused form of the swelling ; and by the more severe and more localized character of the pain. 3. As contrasted with osteomyelitis, the fluctuation precedes the ædema; the painful ædema accompanying osteomyelitis terminates by a hard and projecting border opposite the point where the disease of the bone ceases to extend to; in sub-periosteal abscess there is neither medullary suppuration of the bone, nor a general purulent infiltration of the whole limb; and while in osteo-myelitis the disease is propagated from one bone to another, passing towards the root of the limb through the articula