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to the Ear) of Bath, Dr. Douglas showed that passages which Lauder had cited professedly from Massenius, Staphorstins, Taubmannus and others, had been interpolated into these authors by Lauder himself, from Alexander Hog's latin translation of Milton's Paradise Lost. Incredible as it may seein, it even appeared that Lauder interpolated Milton himself, and quoted lines from Paradise Lost which never existed in that poem.
Dr. Douglas' exposure was too complete to permit a struggle against it, Lauder confessed his imposition, and assigned as its origin liis anxiety to enhance the merit of Dr. Anthony Johnstone, (of whose paraphrase of the Psalms in Latin Verse he had published an Edition,) by lessening that of Miltun, Pope having, in his criticisms on Johnstone, contrasted him unfavorably with Milton.
George Psalmanazar's history of the Island of Formosa, published in London, in 1704, succeeded for a time in imposmg upon many. The real name of this person is not known, he was of French extraction, and his early life was ny no means irreproachable. Originally he had conceived the idea of pas. sing himself off as a Japanese convert to Christianity, but not finding this scheme successful, he determined upon assuming the character of a native of the Island of Formosa, and invented a new language wnich he called Formosan.
Meeting with a clergyman named Innes, who was chaplain to an officer in Flanders, the pair entered into an arrangement to visit London, and Psalmanazar having joined, at Nir. Innes' reqnest, the Established Church, was presented to Dr. Compton, Dr. Gibson, and several others who became his patrons. He next translated the church catechism into Formosan, and published his account of the Island, with engravings of ships, dwellings, &c., and so far was the public mind deceived, that this book passed rapidly through two editions and was generally looked upon as a faithful account of the Island and its inhabitants. The invention necessary to produce a new language, and the amazing tenacity of memory required to make his various and numerous conversations in his native language consistent, were, surely, designed for
We have already observed upon the eccentricity of medical writers, and in truth amongst their works we find the most remarkable examples of ingenions folly; butyet a folly so interesting that one prefers it to many a wise, grave treatise of our own time. Besides, in their old, odd books, me trace the gradual rise and progress of the noble science of healing, of the great art of Medicine,
7.!.:: Surgery, through the prohibition of the church, was, like money-lending, through the prohibition of receiving interest, confined solely, in its higher branches, to the Jews. The Jews were pronounced impious, and medicines received through their prescriptions declared accursed, and by a decree of the council of Lateran, the physicians were directed, under heavy penalties, to require that the patients should receive the sacra ments of penance and the eucharist, before medicine could be prescribed for them-thus it was supposed that the Jewish physicians would be readily discovered, as through bigotry they would refuse to obey this direction. The prescriptions were curious, but amongst the most strange of all was that commonly known as the Doctrine of Signatures-that is, certain herbs and plants were presumed useful in curing those parts of the human body to which they bore, or were fancied to bear, a resemblance. Capillary herbs were good in diseases of the hair. Wallnuts were presumed to be a sovereign cure in all diseases of the head, from the great reseinblauce between them and that portion of the human frame--the green covering of the outer husk, represented the pericranium; and salt made of the husk was good for injuries to the outside of the head. The soft inner shell was like the skull, and the thin yellow skin was like the dura and the pia mater. The kernel was so like the brain that it must of necessity be a perfect remedy for all diseases or injuries of that organ. William Coles, the herbalist, writes, that the “ Lily of the Valley is good to cure the apoplexy, for as that disease is caused by the dropping of humours into the principal ventricles of the brain, so the flowers of this lily hanging on the plants as if they were drops, are of wonderful use herein.” Kidney beans, from their perfect resemblance to the kidneys, were considered of great service in all urinary diseases. The yellow and purple spots upon the flowers Eye-bright, resembling the marks upon diseased eyes, the flowers were esteemed most efficacious in curing these disorders. Thistles and Holly, from their stinging the hand which touched them, were believed to be useful in curing the prieking pains of pleurisy; and the Saxifrage, from the manner of its growth, was esteemed a most powerful dissolvent of the stones And becanse the cones of the pine tree resembled the front teeth; a gargle of vinegar in which they had been boiled was classed as a most efficacious remedy for the tooth-ache.
But the Doctrine of Signatures was surpassed in its absurdity bythe reinedies and ingredients prescribed for the cure of diseases generally.-For consumption, pills of powder of pearls and whiteamber were prescribed ; for this disease, and also for dropsy, water distilled from a peck of garden snails and a quart of earth worms was good; and cock water was also recommended, and was made from the water in which a cock that had been chased, beaten, and plucked alive, had been boiled. For broken bones, the oil of swallows was prescribed; this was made by pounding twenty live swallows in a mortar : a grey eel with a white belly, closed in an earthen pot, and buried alive in a dunghill, gave forth an oil which was good for the hearing; but the water of man's blood was the most famous and expensive of all the old remedies, and, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, was “an invention whereof some princes had very great estimation.” To make it a strong man of a warm nature, and twenty-five years old, was to be selected and well dieted for a month with meat, spices and wine ; when the month had elapsed, veins in both his arms were to be opened and as much blood as he could bear taken from him. One handful of salt was to be added to six pounds of the blood, and this was to be seven times distilled, water being each time poured upon the residuum. This was to be taken three or four times a year, in doses of an ounce at a time-health and strength were supposed to be transferable by means of this mixture. May not the doctrine of transfusion have its origin in this custom?
The practice of surgery was still more curious. It was necessary that a dangerous and difficult operation for the stove should be performed on Louis XIV., and several men afflicted with a like disease were carried to the house of Louvois, the Minister, where the chief surgeon Felix operated upon them before Fagon, the physician of the King. Most of those operated on died; and that the King might know nothing of bis dangerous condition, or, of the means adopted to ensure certainty and safety in the cute, they were buried privately aud by night. The operatiou was performed successfully upon the king; but Felix Was so much agitated, that a nervous tromor settled upon him for life, and in bleeding a friend; on the day-succeeding that upon which the king had been so liappily cured, he disabled the patient irreparably. When Felip de Utre went in search of the Omeguas from Venezuela, he was wounded by a spear, thrust through the ribs just beneath the right arm. A Spaniard, who was ignorant of surgery, undertook to cure him, and De Utre's coat of mail was placed upou an old Indian who was mounted on a horse; the amateur surgeon then drove a spear into the Indian's body, through the hole in the armour, and his body having been opened, the spear being still kept in the wound, it was discovered that the heart was uninjured-thus they assumed that De Utre's wound was not mortal, and being treated as if the wound were an ordinary one, le recovered. When Henry II. of France was mortally wounded by a splinter from a spear, in tilting with Montgomerie, which entered his visor and pierced his eye, the surgeons, for the purpose of discovering the probable injury done to the King, cut off the heads of four criminals, and thrust splinters into their eyes, as nearly at the same inclination as the fatal one had entered that of the King. Ambrose Paré's chapter on poisons, and his “Strange Cure for a Cut Of Nose,” which we give in the words of his translator, Johnson, are remarkable :“ There was
a Surgeon of Italy, of late years, which would restore or repair the portion of the Nose that was cut away, after this manner. He first scarified the callous edges of the maimed Nose round about, as is usually done in the cure of Hair-lips; he then made a gash or cavity in the muscle of the arm, which is called biceps, as large as the greatness of the portion of the Nose, which was cut away, did require; and into that gash or cavity so inade, he would put that part of the Nose so wounded, and bind the patient's head to his arm, as if it were to a post, so fast that it might remain firm, stable and immorable, and not lean or bow any way; and about forty days after, or at that time when he judged the flesh of the Nose was perfectly agglutinated with the flesh of the arm, be cut out as much of the flesh of the arm, clearing fast unto the Nose, as was sufficient to supply the defect of that which was lost, and then he would make it even, and bring it, as by licking, to the fashion and form of a Nose, as near as art would permit; and in the meanwhile he did feed his patient with panadoes, gellies, and all such things as were easy to be swallowed and digested. The flesh that is taken out of the arm is not of the like temperature as the flesh of the Nose is; also the holes of the restored Nose cannot be made as they were before.”
Our space does not permit us to extend the subject farther, we have but glanced at it; to pursue it fully would be to fill some volumes. It is indeed but little to be wondered at,
that writers should exhaust their invention in search of novel ideas and topics, when making an attempt to fix themselves in the minds of men, and in the annals of literature, The selection of a strange or unusual subject, or a peculiar and remarkable mode of treating a common one, are but evidence of a desire to be remembered, and if not cherished as a genius, at least to be preserved in memory as a curiosity.
In a future paper we shall return to the consideration of this subject, and at greater length.
Art. V.-THE ROMANCE OF LIFE:
-TIIE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. The Count of Monte Cristo. By Alexander Dumas. London:
Chapman and Hall. 1847. In resuming the subject to which we devoted a small portion of our last number, we proceed to detail the facts upon which the principal incidents of the very entertaining novel of Alexandre Dumas, ushered into public notice under the aristocratic title of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” have been founded, and we fecl it necessary bere to premise, that we are
not to be considered as imputing plagiarism, or a deficiency of i imaginative or descriptive power, to the gifted Frenchinan
who has ron for himself an Luropean reputation, second perhaps only to that transcendant genius, whose romances have made us familiar with the characters of former kings, the habits of bye-gone times, the chivalrous honour of knight or noble, and the plain, simple, natural, feelings of man in his humblest phase-the immortal Scott. We rather accord the ready need of our praise to Dumas, for the ingenuity with which he adopts and adapts transactions of recent date to the construction of tales equally interesting as the choicest legends of the middle ages, and to which their greatest graces are imparted by the drapery of his imaginative power. lle commences the novel to which we refer, by a scene in Marseilles, in which the arrival of a ship from a distant voyage is naturally described, and we rejoice with the hero of the tale upon his