Imagens da página

Diffector, to exhibit such an accurate display of these, and many of the contiguous parts, as was previously necessary to produce the four elegant plates of them, which are annexed to these observations.

Such is the substance of the polemic part of these Commentaries ; from which it is sufficiently apparent, that Dr. Monro will find it impossible to disprove such teftimonies, with respect to the three contested points, as his Antagonist has produced. To view this matter, however, in the faireít light; as Dr. Hunter expressly ascribes the happy injection to his brother,-in which Dr. Monro succeeded equally two months after ; the latter may, in candour, be suppoled an equal Injector, tho', in this particular, a later one. That the substance of this part has long been concluded wonderfully extensive and tubular, is certain : but Mr. Hunter's compleat injection of it, has served as a very curious and satisfactory demonstration of its truth, and is the first that has come to our knowlege.

Had Dr. Monro contented himself with averring, that independent of the least hint or information of this preparation, or of the new doctrine of the Lymphatics, he had as compleatly filled the part, and as inconsciously maintained that doctrine, fulely from his personal investigation and deductions, such averment had been considerably more defensible ; notwithstanding the glaring improbability of these anatomical novelties being long a secret at Edinburgh, after their publication to many Pupils, and other Auditors, at London. For Dr. Hunter has justly allowed, " that two persons engaged in the same studies may, not iinprobably, light on the same discovery ;' and has cllewhere acknowleged his former opinion, “ that he had made fome discoveries himself, in which, he was afterwards convinced, he had been anticipated by Albinus and Haller.” He seeins, nevertheless, to have contracted no acrimony, nor ill language, from such anticipations; in which relpect he certainly merits imitation. On the other hand, it seems likely, that a Gentleman who had not been robbed of a discovery, but only anticipated in it, would have fairly acquiesced in bis confcious co-incidence with the penetration of another, who, from a variety of accidents, might have first started the discovery. But this circumstance of crying out firfi, with little temper and decency, looks like considering human flesh and ho fe Aesh, on the same footing; and suppolis jo keying in an anatomical Course, as fair as it was formerly fiiinoi! at a anatomical Course, as fair as it was formerly supposed at a horse-race. Real honour, however, that high and exquisite honesty, which should be expected among men of scientific and liberal pursuits, is a very delicate uniform virtue, and will no more permit our invading the property of another's mind, than the wife of his bosom, or the money in his purse: and some unfair pursuits are cominonly in view, when we prcfer the applause of others, or any of its lucrative confequences, to the well-founded approbation of our own hearts.

After all, however, there is no being certain, how long it is since this Gentleman may have intended to have atchieved these discoveries, in which, perhaps, he has only been prevented by the officious hurry and impatience of others. He has indisputably been much enamoured of them all,' and great love will plead for great allowances. It may be apprehended nevertheless, if this precipitate ardor for finding out shall ftill prevail, that its consequences may sometimes approach too near to finding more than was loft: and, at the very worst, a little generous truth may often turn out as reputably as too much invention.

With regard to the Author of these Commentaries, his fuperiority in the present debate, is too palpable for any, who consider writings abstracted from their Writers, to diffemble their conviction of it. This litigation will naturally establish his pretentions the more extenfively, and more specdily, perhaps, than might have been effected by publishing his discoveries without it. The origin of the contest, with the illiberal manner in which it begun, must have a natural tendency to confirm him in that candour with which he treats all his other anatomical cotemporaries whom he names: for we may reasonably conclude, no man ever feels the excellence of any virtue fo affectingly, as when he has been fenfibly hurt by the want of it in another. Consummate candour is probably one of the rarest attainments of human nature; and tho'to rejoice in the equal or even superior worth and happiness of others, founds romantie, and may be thought rather one of the beatitudes in a state exclusive of doubt and discord; yet it is very conceivable, that such excellent perfons, as have subdued all envy in themselves, may have some foretaste of so refined a fiuition in this.

Since the great and compleat discovery of the Circulation, all subsequent anatomical ones have been thought reputable, in proportion to the light and importance attending them; and it wire truly unjust to exclude men from fame, who lo


painfully, so disagreeably, and even sometimes so dangerously, employ themselves in the pursuit of it. It is no wonder then, if one Anatomist, who has investigated an useful, or were it only a very curious discovery, should affert an honour he had dearly earned ; and prove tenacious, or even vindi&tive of it, from the invasion or rapacity of another; especially in the present case, where there was no medium : as Dr. Hunter muft either have afferted his prior discovery of the contested points, or have sat down under the charge of that plagiarism, which he has so effe&tually repelled, and, with so much probability, retorted. This consideration will suficiently qualify that poignancy of resentment, and keenness of raillery, which abound in some parts of this work; while those detached from the controversy, and published for the information of Students in Anatomy, discover the accuracy and precision of a Maiter.

Philosophical Tranfusions, giving some Acccunt of the presint Un

dertokings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenio!!s, in mony confiderable Parts of the World. Vol. LII. Part I. For the Year 1761. 4to. 125. in Sheets.

Davis and Rey



HILE the publication of the Philosophical Trans

actions was entrusted solely to the Secretaries of the Society, it was no great wonder that a number of unimportant papers fould render such publication sufficiently voluminous, or that partia.ity should fometimes give a place to o:hers, redounding little to the credit of so learned and difcerning a budy. From the regulations, however, which were inade a few years ago, when a Committee was first appointed to reconsider the papers read before them, and select out of them such as they fhould judge most proper for publication, we were in hopes that the future collections would be more curious and įmportant, or, at leall, that if they could not be rendered more interefing, they would be less voluminous ; especially as the grounds of the preference given to the pieces laid before them were to be confeffedly, the importance or fingularity of the subjects, or the improved manner of treating them. We are in some degree mortified, however, to see the Compilers ftill proceeding so much in their old ftrain, magno esnatu magnas nifas dicere; and to find their publications answer much the fume end as formerly, viz. to satisfy the public, that the


meetings of the Royal Society are continued, and that their Transactions still afford dull reiterated accounts of all the Earthquakes, Eruptions, Hurricanes, Summer-showers, and Jack o'lanthorns, which have been recorded in the Newspapers and Magazines so long before, and in a manner so little worth remembering, as to have been almost forgotten.

Not that we mean to infinuate, that the miscellany before us extending thro' a quarto volume of 414 pages, contains nothing singular and important: but we must avow our concern to see the Philosophical Transactions, published by an English Royal Society, reduced almost to a mere Journal of practical, and often confessedly blundering, experiments and observations.

If we had the honour of this learned body and of our country less at heart, we possibly might not have spoken our minds thus freely; but, as we know the great and distinguished abilities of many of the Members of the Society, we would exhort them, if they have the same regard for the character and credit of their body, not to justify, by their indolence or neglect, the reflection recently cast on all establishments of this nature; que chacun de ceux qui les composent vaut toujours mieux seul qu'avec le corps*. But to proceed to give our Readers some account of the respective papers contained in this volume, agreeable to our plan.

NATURAL HISTORY and PHYSICS. Art. 1. An account of the use of Furze in fencing the Banks of

Rivers. In a letter from the Rev. Mr. David Wark. In this paper is recommended a method to raise locks and dam-heads, at one tenth of the ordinary expence, by means of furze, and a perpendicular wall of stone, or of dealboards. Art. 2. An account of a remarkable Halo. In a letter from The

mas Barker, Esq; Mr. Barker introduces this account with some observations not direly applicable to the subject, intimating his desire of hearing that some impartial person had examined into his opinion, concerning the change of colour' in Sirius, sometime fince presented to the Society +. The phenomenon here spoken of, was observed so long ago as May 20, 1737.

* Emile. Par J. J. Rousieau, vol. III. p. 316. + See Review, vol. XXV. p. 7,

Art. 3,

Art. 3. An account of a Meteor seen in New-England; and of

a Whirl-wind felt in that country. In a letter from Mr. John Winthrop, Professor of philosophy at Cambridge in New-England.

A simple relation of two phenomena, not very uncommon in most countries, and much less extraordinary in New England. 8. An account of an Eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In a letter

from Sir Francis Haskins Eyles Stiles, Bart. F. R. S. 9. Another account of the same Eruption of Mount Vesuvius. By

the same.

The public are here reminded, that an eruption of Veluvius happened in December 1760; that two English Gentlemen, with their guides, were obliged to run away from it, and that the Neapolitans were, as usual on such 'occasions, very much frightned. 12. Experiments on checking the too luxuriant Growth of Fruit

Trees, tending to dispose them to produce Fruit. In a letter from Keane Fitzgerald, Esq; F. R. S.

The Author of this paper tells us, that by cutting off the bark of fruit-trees, and putting it on again, he made the branches so circumcised, produce fruit very plentifully. 13. An account of the Urtica Marina. In a letter from Joseph

Gaertner, M.D. In this paper are described several species of the Urticæ Marine, called by Mr. Hughes * animal flowers; Dr. Gaertner classing them under the fame genus as the Hydra of Linnæus, commonly called the Polype. Their figures are given, neatly engraved. 14. A Catalogue of the fifty Plants from Chelsea Garden, pre

sented to the Royal Society by the Company of 4, stbucaries, for

the year 1760. 15. An account of the Cicuta, recommended by Dr. Storke; by

William Watson, M. D. F. R.S. The design of this paper is to ascertain the species of the Cicuta recommended by Dr. Storke, so that medical Practi

See Review, vol. III. p. 197. Hughes's Neural History of Barbados.


« AnteriorContinuar »