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og the earth from Hampstead toing the earth with it.
increased by offsets, which should be planted in very small pots; and if, in taking off the suckers, you find them very moist where they are broken from the mother-root, they should lie in a dry shady place for a week before they are planted. When planted, treat them like the old plants. Such kinds as do not afford plenty of offsets may generally he propagated by taking off some of the under leaves, laying them to dry for ten days or a fortnight, and planting them, putting that part of the leaf which adhered to the old plant about an inch or an inch and a half into the earth. This should be done in June.
There are few things, I believe, more venerable, more eloquently impressive in their antiquity, than an old tree. The ruins of an old and noble edifice, of which every shattered fragment, every gaping cranny, complains of the destructive hand of time, is young and modern in our eyes, compared with that which still survives its touch,—the old ivy, that still, with every succeeding year, moves slowly on, knitting its creeping stalks into every crevice, and carrying its broad leaves up to the very summit. What can be more venerable than the far-spreading roots of an old elm or oak tree, veining the earth with wood! Cross but that little piece of wood, called the wilderness, leading from Hampstead towards North End, where the intermingled roots are visible at every step, casing the earth in impenetrable armour, and forming a natural pavement, apparently as old as time itself-can all the antiquities of Egypt command a greater reverence ?
QUALITIES AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES.—Barbadoes aloes is generally deeper coloured and more opaque than the Socotrine; it is more tough, and when broken, presents surfaces less shining; while its odour is very strong and highly offensive. Its colour when powdered is dirty yellow, and it is said to be more active than Socotrine aloes; and hence, though its price usually exceeds that of the other, it is principally employed in veterinary practice. It is composed of 42 parts of resin, 32 of extractive, the remainder consisting of a matter analogous to albumen.
Aloes, when pure, is completely soluble in water and alcohol; but the hepatic aloe only affords 86 parts of soluble matter to these menstrua. Aloes puffs up and crackles while burning, and gives out much thick smoke, that smells strongly of the aloes. When boiled in water and reduced to an extract, it loses much of its purgative property. It is stated by Murray, that the substance of the leaves does not partake of the qualities of the extract, which is contained only in vessels situate immediately under the epidermis; and this explains why it is that the inhabitants of Cochin-china are able to prepare a wholesome fecula from them. The aloes examined by Braconnot appeared to that chemist to have some particular qualities, which induced him to consider it as a distinct substance, for which he proposes the name “amer resineux." Trommsdorf, on the other hand, and Bouillon La Grange, and Vogel, consider it as composed of resin, and a peculiar extractive matter. M. Fabroni, in the Ann. de Chimie, (vol. xxv.) states that he procured from the leaves of the A. Socotrina var. angustifolia, a violet dye, which resists the action of oxygen, acids, and alkalies. This juice, he says, produces a superb transparent colour, which is highly proper for works in miniature, and which, when dissolved in water, may serve, either cold or warm, for dyeing silk from the lightest to the darkest shades; and he reckons it one of the most durable colours known in nature. Aloes was used among the ancients, in embalming, to preserve bodies from putrefaction. Of this kind interpreters understand the aloes to have been, which Nicodemus brought to embalm the body of Christ. (John xix. 39.)
“This well known inspissated juice,” says Professor Taylor, “ of several varieties of plants, acts as a purgative in doses varying from five to twenty grains. When given in larger doses, or frequently repeated, it excites violent purging. It requires often many hours for its operation : it is less irritating than jalap or scammony, and it appears to act especially on the large intestines.
“ Aloes, mixed with gamboge and colocynth, are said to be the basis of a certain quack medicine, sold under the name of Morison's Pills. These have proved fatal in many instances from the exhaustion produced by excessive purging, owing to the large quantity of these pills, taken in frequently-repeated doses. Our knowledge of the symptoms and post-mortem appearances produced by these irritants, is, indeed, chiefly derived from the cases which have proved fatal under this pernicious treatment. In the seventeenth volume of the Medical Gazette, will be found four cases of this description. The most prominent symptom was excessive diarrhoea, with the discharge of large quantities of mucus and blood; the individual became emaciated, and slowly sank from exhaustion. In some instances, the symptoms are those of inflammation and ulceration of the bowels. In 1836, a man was convicted of having caused the death of a person by the administration of these pills; in this instance the death of the deceased was clearly due to the medicine, and on inspection, the stomach was found inflamed and ulcerated; the mucous membrane of the small intestines was injected and softened, and there was the appearance of effused lymph upon it. An ingenious attempt was made in the defence to draw a statement from the medical witness, that the good effects of some medicines invariably increased in proportion to the quantities taken !-this anti-homeopathic proposition was, however, very properly rejected. In all cases, it must be remembered, that these drastic purgatives may cause serious symptoms, or even death, when administered to young infants, or to persons debilitated by age or disease; nor is it necessary that the dose should be very large for fatal effects to follow. The medical question here may be, whether the medicine caused death directly, or whether it simply accelerated it. Hicrapicra appears to be a popular aloetic compound, and one death is recorded to have been produced by this in 1837-8. In another instance death was caused by an individual taking aloes in nitric acid, in which case the mineral acid was most probably the destructive agent. A singular case occurred in Germany a few years since, wherein a medicu-legal question was raised respecting the poisonous properties of aloes. A woman, aged 43, not labouring under any apparent disease, swallowed two drachms of powdered aloes in coffee. Violent diarrhea supervened, and she died the following morning, twelve hours after having taken the medicine. On inspection the stomach was found partially, and the small intestines extensively, inflamed. There were no other particular appearances to account for death, and this was referred to the effect of the aloes,
“ This case appears to show that aloes possesses an irritant action. A large dose given to a person debilitated by disease, might easily cause death as the result of exhaustion from hypercatharsis.”