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having never made experiments to obtain the proof. Calcareous earth
is a solid substance, and on that account little adapted for being ab.
sorbed by the lacteals; therefore it may exist in the primæ viæ,
without getting into the blood-vessels. We are aware, that Mr.
John Hunter, the most eminent physiologist of the present age, is of
opinion that solids may be absorbed as readily as fluids. It is with
reluctance that we differ from so high an authority ; but we cannot
help thinking, that solid matter is always in some manner rendered
fuid before it can be taken up, and that calcareous earth in the form
of earth, however minute the particles, is never absorbed from the
intestines; but if it meets with an acid, it will unite with it so as to
form a salt, which will be dissolved by the aqueous fluids in the ali-
mentary canal, and carried with them into the blood-vessels. Thus
it may get into the circulation, in combination with another sub-
stance,

In the Auids of the body there is always contained a quantity of
volatile alkali, which is certainly produced by the operations of
the animal economy; acids have a stronger attraction to calcareous
earth than to volatile alkali. If such earth, pure and uncombined
with fixed air, is applied to a compound of volatile alkali 'with an
acid, it will unite with the acid and dislodge the alkali. But if fixed
air is admitted, a very different effect will take place ; the volatile
alkali will take possession of the acid, and the calcareous earth will
unite with the gas: this is a peculiar compound elective attraction,
which is learnt from experience, but could not have been foreseen.
The volatile alkali in the body is combined with fixed air; it will,
therefore be the means of precipitating the earth from its compounds
with acids.

• This is, perhaps, the manner in which acids bring on the calcareous habit.

There is another way, however, in which they may be supposed to operate so as to produce it.

• If they are absorbed from the intestines, and carried by the blood
into the bones, it is not improbable that they may take

up
the earth which enters fo largely into the composition of these sub-
stances. If the particles of madder, which give a red colour to the
bones, were of an acid nature, can it be doubted that they wauld
unite with the earth with which they come in contact ? We are not
enabled to say, from any change in the appearance, that acids are
permitted to enter their vessels : however, it is not unlikely that
they do.
ost

may be objected, that if this was the case the bones would by
degrees lose their firmness, and in the end become soft. But that
does not follow : for whenever, from an accidental cause, there is an
extraordinary waste of the matter of the body, the system is endowed
with a power of supplying the deficiency: and the actions of life are
exerted to obviate the mischief that would arise from the loss. Thus
frequent bleeding, instead of producing emptiness of vefsels, is apt to
occasion plethora.

• But it does not signify in what manner acids are inftrumental to calcareous earth being conveyed into the blood vessels; it matters not whether they take it from the intestines or from the bones. The

circumstance

a part of

Y 3

circumftance of the moft confequence to be ascertained is, thaté calcareous habit is produced by their means, and that from this effect they become the fources both of gout and gravel. Whether or not we are right as to the mode, we are convinced as to the fact, that acids taken in by the mouth, or generated in the ftomach, are almost the only causes of that habit.

• To many this idea may appear exceedingly absurd, when they confider that the most ftriking quality of such substances is to unite with calcareous earth so as to alter its very nature. But it is, perhaps, that virtue in the acid, on which the seeming absurdity is grounded, that produces the effect; it dissolves and carries with it into the cir. çulation that earth which otherwise would have been evacuated with the excrément; or it takes from the bones that which formed a part of their composition. In the blood vessels it meets with a substance with which it unites, and the earth is precipitated. Thus that which át first had the appearance of being an absurdity, is found, upon mature confideration, to be not only probable, but almost inevitable.'

The ingenious author has here given us the choice of two hypotheses, relative to the production of a calcareous habit but we are sorry to acknowledge, that we are far from being fatisfied with either of them. The idea of such a process as he mentions, carried on in the circulating fluids, no theoretical induction from chemical experiments can induce us to admits and when it is considered that persons, subject to arthritic complaints, are, for the most part, remarkably vegete, there cannot exist any degree of probability that this supposed calcareous habit thould be produced by robbing the bones of their nourishment.

Our author's prejudice in favour of his own doctrine has Jed him into some theraputic remarks, not entirely well founded. He observes, that calcareous earth, by itself, is free quently exhibited as a medicine, but has not the smallest tendency to produce, or increase, the calcareous babit, pro+ vided tủiat it does not meet with an acid in the intestines. Ta this observation we would reply, that calcareous earth is feldom administered for any other purpose than that of correcting an acid in the bowels'; for which intention, however, unless under particular circumstances, it is not the most happily calculated ; and whatever inconveniences it may produce in the primæ viz, by combining with an acid, it seems not, from any satisfactory reason with which we are acquainted, to exert any effect towards occasioning a calcareous disposition in the huids. Our author's remark on this subject, therefore, is not justified by experience.

Notwithstanding the author's theory concerning the immediate cause of the gout be liable to great obječtions, the dietetical regimen, which he recommends for the prevention

both

both of this disorder and the gravel, will meet with the approa bation of all who are conversant in practice. It is, however, not particularly adapted to these two diseases, but to chronical complaints in general, and to the state of most convalescents.

The author of this treatise, like feveral who have preceded him on the same subject, discovers considerable ingenuity. With materials drawn from the different sources of experience and imagination, he has erected a system which may appear to be well compacted in all its parts; he has arrayed it with a plaufibility that counterfeits the lustre of true science; and he has even bended to its fupport the whole Juvantia and Lædentia of medicine; but the hypothesis on which it rests is destitute of solid foundation in physiology, and the visionary fabric mult fall,

ART. IV. Poems, by Mr.Gray. A New Edition. Small 8vo. 45. 3d.

boards. Large paper, 7s.6d. boards. Murray, London, 1786.

To this elegant edition of Gray's poems, already well

known to the public, the editor informs us, that “ fome 6 articles are added which are not to be met with in

any

other « edition of the author's works. The plates are engraved, at

a confiderable expence, from original designs; and four new plates have been designed and engraved for this edition." Mr. Murray seems to inherit the spirit of his predecessor, Mr. Sandby; and No. 32, Fleet-ftreet, is still distinguished by publications where the fifter arts of poetry and design are united *. Of the new plates, the frontispiece is conspicuously excellent; it is at once a spirited and delicate performance, and does great credit to the needle of the artist, Mr. Sherwin. To him, indeed, may be applied, with much more justice than to Mr. Bentley, the following lines of Gray:

“ In filent gaze the tuneful choir among,
“ Half-pleas d, half-blushing, let the muse admire,
“ While” Sherwin “ leads her fifter art along,

“ And bids the pencil answer to the lyre.”
This is not the place to enter into an examination of the
poems; their superior '

merit has been long since determined,

* Mr. Sandby many years ago, in conjan&tion with the Knaptons, published ornamented editions of Virgil, Tererice, &c.; and Mr. Murray, befides the present work, has given to the public a beautiful edition of Thomion's Seasons, which does honour both to him and the artists he employed.

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It remains only to say of this edition, that it contains every poem of the writer which poffeffes pre-eminent excellency; the whole of that stable foundation on which he meant to build his fame. The poet alone appears, the man is not seen, at least only at that distance, and under that' guise, in which he chose to meet the public eye-as the moral, sentimental, and melancholy Gray. The editor seeks not to

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Had it been his intention to profit by the unbounded curiofity of the public for trifling anecdote, and unedited verses, however unworthy of the author, we are certain he might have considerably increased the fize of his volume with much of both; of which no part is to be met with in Mr. Mason's bulky compilation. This the editor has avoided, we think, judiciously. Perhaps he has profited by the error of his precursor; as there are undoubtedly in Mr. Mason's voluminous edition much unimportant correspondence, many petulant and false criticisms, and some poetry that ought to have been consigned to oblivioni How would the sensibility of his irritable bard fuffer, could he now see all his unguarded expressions, his flippancies, and every flight effusion of an idle hour, thus handed down to pofterity!

Art. V. Sermóns, by Samuel Charters, Minifler of Wilton. 8vo. 6s.

Dickson, Edinburgh ; Cadell, London ; 1786. Co OMPLAINTS concerning the progress of infidelity and

irreligion have been indulged and believed in all ages, but pever more than at present. While the Christian is alarmed at the symptoms of degeneracy, of which he is a melancholy witness, and fears that when the Son of Man cometh he will hardly find faith in the earth, the infidel rejoices in the happy omens of the downfal of fuperftition, and every form of our holy faith, by the progress of sceptical philosophy. Nothing can be weaker than the despondency of the one party, except the triumph of the other. If there be any one thing at the þottom of human nature, it is religion. A being who lives in a state of darkness and uncertainty; who finds that no human confolation can alleviate the evils of life; who hopes, and fears, and trembles at the approach of dissolution i will be led, by the law of his nature, to look up to an Almighty Power for protection in the present life, and for happiness in the future. While men continue as they are; to unite in society ; to act from sựnsıbility and passion, from hope and fear; to fhrink

from

.

from misery, and to court happiness; so long we may predict, without the spirit of prophecy, that religion, as an essential part of our nature, will, in a greater or less degree, keep its hold of the mind.

The success, which books of practical theology have had of late, is a striking proof that religious subjects are by no means indifferent to the age. Dr. Blair's sermons were the first that acquired the full run of public applause. They have been translated into most of the modern languages ; are numbered among the classics of the English tongue; and have completely fulfilled the elegant prediction, which was early made concerns ing them, " that they would foon occupy their place in the so closets of all the pious, and the libraries of all the polite.” Since that time, other collections have been well received by the world ; and we make no doubt that the volume before us, when its merit is known, will deservedly become a favourite of the public.

The fashionable reader, who expects the ornaments of modern composition, an elegant How of declamation, and rhetorical figures and flowers, in discourses of this nature, will be disappointed in the sermons of Mr. Charters. He will find nothing here to court the fancy, or to charm the ear. The characteristics of our author are sensibility, seriousness, fimplicity. He enters on his subject at once, without attempting to recommend it to the reader; truiting to the importance of his thoughts, he is parsinonious of his words; and pours the veras voces pectore ab 'imo with a noble neglect of artificial deçorations. He often just starts an image for the reader to pursue in his own mind; and hints an idea which may lead to a fpeculation. The faire penser, and the faire sentir, are happily exemplified.

As a specimen of these uncommon and striking sermons, we shall give an extract from the first, on Job vii. 16. I would ço not live alway;" a subject which has often occurred to every person that thinks and feels ; to every philosopher, and every Christian.

• III. We are led to this from the nature of human enjoyments. Human enjoyments, indeed, there are ; nor does our Father grant them with a sparing hand; for he remembers that we are duft. In infancy agreeable sensations spring from nourishment and care. In the days of our youth every thing that is new, or beautiful, or great, delights the imagination. As we advance in life, affection, and friendship, and love, are sources of peculiar and sweet enjoyment; it is enhanced by hope, and our ignorance of the evil to come. Employments which call førth our powers to exercise; moa ney, which purchaseth all things ; and a good name; are the comforts of riper years. Many of us know from experience that they are Auctuating, and that the memory of our early joys is all of them

that

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