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and the end of the month, more than 900 drops of that tincture were taken: a large quantity for so young a person! This they sometimes thought had a good effect, as the jaw was at times somewhat loosened; but this advantage was temporary, and the stricture soon returned as severe as before. Though this medicine, given in large doses, did not affect her head, but only gave her quiet nights, yet it was occasionally obliged to be suspended; as her pulse was at times much sunk, and her sweats cold and clammy. Volatile liniments were liberally used to the rigid parts, and warm bathing was continued for many weeks, with much friction, while in the warm water. After warm bathing had been so long tried without sensibly good effect, cold bathing, recommended by Hippocrates (Пepì vov, lib. iii.) for the cure of this disease, was directed; and she was dipped (Περὶ νεσων, several times, without being apparently the better or worse for it.
From the end of Sept., as what had been done hitherto had not been able to prevent the rigidity extending itself, they desisted from attempting to relieve her by medicine, and determined to nourish and support her; and wait to observe, though it was scarcely to be expected, whether nature unassisted would point out any crisis for her relief. This attention was continued to the middle of Nov. without any other alteration than that her convulsions increased in their force; and every day, by those who were about her, was expected to be the last; and which was an event, as the prospect was so unpromising, much to be wished for. Dreadful however as her situation was, she was still alive: they were desirous therefore of omitting nothing that in the least might be expected to relieve her.
Dr. W. had heretofore many times observed, that in paralytic limbs, the muscles of which had for a considerable time ceased to be subservient to the will of the patient, he had been able, by means of electricity, to make any muscle he thought proper contract itself, and act as a muscle without the patient's being able to controul it. He had seen in one instance the good effects of electricity, in restoring to the hands and arms of a paralytic almost their accustomed strength, and voluntary motion; but these good effects, the greatest part of them at least, were only temporary, and the patient relapsed. But he had never seen or known. the effects of electricity in the contrary affection, viz. rigidity of muscles. He was very desirous therefore of trying its effects in this instance, and of shaking the rigid muscles by electricity; especially as he could have it done with very little pain, and no danger to the patient. He just now mentioned, that he was able in paralytic persons to make any particular muscle at his will exert its action. This was to be effected by simple electrizing only; but by modifying and altering the apparatus of the charged vial, he was able to do much more. It was 17 years before, that he discovered, and communicated at that time, that by means of the electric circuit he could cause the electricity to pervade any muscle, any number of muscles, or whatever part of the body he pleased, without affecting
the rest with that unpleasing sensation. Many experiments relating to this matter were printed in the 44th vol. of the Phil. Trans.
But to return to the patient: he ordered her to be electrized about the middle of Nov. This was done every day, or every other day, for about 20 minutes, by simply electrizing the muscles subservient to the motion of the lower jaw, her neck, and her arms. This at first was very difficult to be atchieved; as she was not capable of being placed in a chair to be electrized by herself, and as an assistant could scarcely hold her on account of her being greatly distorted. It with difficulty however was done. After about a fortnight the convulsions left her, and her sleeps were longer and more quiet; but the rigidity continued the same. After this, such parts of her body, as were thought expedient, were made part of the electric circuit, and were shaken by the explosion of the charged vial. These applications were at first more particularly made to the temporal and masseter muscles (the parts first affected) and to the muscles of the neck and arms; afterwards to those of her back, hips, thighs, and legs. Care was taken to moderate the shocks in a manner, not to be too severe; and she was electrized every 2d, and sometimes every 3d day.
These fits, which were of the epileptic kind, left her in about a fortnight from her being electrized, and had not afterwards returned, even in the slightest degree. In about a fortnight more her jaw was looser, and the muscles of her neck and arms had a large share of motion; and it was very observable, that as her muscles increased in their power of motion, they increased in their size, and the patient in her strength. By the end of January, by continuing the electricity, every muscle in her body was loose, and subservient to her will; and she could not only stand upright, but walk, and even run like other children of her age. With her strength, she had so far recovered her flesh and colour, that her appearance was that of a reasonably healthy child; and her breath had quite lost its late offensive smell. The only parts of her body not quite so loose as the rest were the temporal and masseter muscles, which were the parts first affected by the disease. This prevented her opening her mouth quite so wide as she formerly could; but this hindrance was so little, as not then to be noticed, unless hinted at beforehand. She went to school, lived at large, and went out every day when the weather was seasonable; but the electrizing was still continued, though not so constantly and regularly as before. This he proposed should be continued until the return of warm weather. In the last week this child was presented to the committee of the Foundling Hospital, where several of the governors, who were apprised of her case, expressed their amazement at so unexpected a recovery.
It is here to be observed that, except the muscles subservient to the motion of her jaw, none so long continued their rigidity as those of the back, denomi
nated longissimi dorsi by anatomists. These, when almost all the other muscles of the body were loose, remained tense and hard; and by drawing the loins up towards the shoulders, continued the arch of the spine before mentioned. As the patient was so much emaciated, these muscles might be traced, on each side of the spine, from their origin to their insertion; and for a considerable time after she was in other respects recovering, these felt hard like twisted cords. At length however, by directing the electricity through them, and the parts near them, in a very liberal quantity, these likewise gave way, and became as loose as any other muscles of her body.
In proportion as a matter is extraordinary, the proofs to support its reality should be extraordinary. That excellent maxim, nil temere credere,' should never be lost sight of in our inquiries, otherwise novelty and the love of the marvellous will be apt to mislead us. On the other hand, the indulgence of an extravagant pyrrhonism may prove equally detrimental in every endeavour to extend the bounds of science. It may prevent the giving due weight to matters of real information, and hinder their being made useful. For his part, he should think it an indignity offered to the R. S. to lay before them any extraordinary phenomenon, which was supported only by a slight degree of evidence. On the contrary, when a number of concurrent circumstances tend to establish a fact, we ought not in a certain degree to refuse our assent to it, though somewhat out of the common course. Thus in the present case; when an unusual disease of several months' continuance, and when the patient was supposed to be reduced to the last extremity; when medicines and applications of every kind, celebrated by the ablest writers and practitioners both ancient and modern, had been tried with little or no effect, at least with regard to the rigidity; when during a course of electrizing no medicines or applications of any kind were made use of; when likewise during this course, the patient voided no worms, had no purgations, eruptions on the skin, or kindly imposthumations, which might have been considered as critical discharges, and to have brought about the cure; when none of these things happened, and the patient under electrizing only, and that at a very severe season of the year, had been restored to perfect health, he could not refuse his assent in believing it effected by the power of electricity. That so active a principle, when properly directed to the diseased parts, should have important effects, no one could doubt who had been in the least conversant with it. Though at the same time he confessed being well apprised of the salutary effects of warm weather in restoring a more perfect motion to torpid limbs, that had the electrizing been begun in March, and continued to the end of May, though attended with the same success as in the present instance, he could not have suppressed his doubts of the warm weather greatly contributing to it. But as this
was done during the depth of winter, and that a severely cold one, no scruples in his mind could arise on this head.
Perhaps some might be of opinion, that even the cold weather contributed to cure this disorder. But it is well known that warmth relaxes the animal fibres, and that cold constipates and braces them. In this case, the muscles, composed of minute fibres, were as rigid and tense as they well could be, even in a diseased and obstructed state. If cold therefore contributed any thing, it was to make this case worse. And this was conformable to the opinion of Aretæus, (lib. i. cap. vi) who, among the causes of the disease, reckons intense cold; and says, "that for this reason the winter of all the seasons is most productive of this disease." He subjoins, "that women are more subject to it than men, on account of the coldness of their constitution." Celsus (lib. ii. cap. i) likewise expressly asserts, that cold sometimes is the cause of it, and in another part of his excellent work he says, "that the greatest caution should be used to defend the patient from cold; and that therefore the fire in his room should be constant.” He also recommends warm bathing, both in water and oil, as conducive to the cure of the disease. To these may be added the sentiments of Cælius Aurelianus, (De Morb. Acutis, lib. iii. cap. vi, viii) who considers that cold is frequently the cause of this disease. He recommends various kinds of warm external applications, such as warm bathing, rubbing the affected parts with warm oil, the application of warm cataplasms, bags of heated bran, or linseed. With Celsus, this author recommends that attention be given to the warmth of the patient's chamber. How far therefore, for the reasons and authorities beforementioned, cold weather could probably assist in the cure of this case, needed not in his opinion be insisted on.
March 27th, 1763, the patient continued well, her jaw was as loose as ever. The electrizing had been discontinued above a month, and she was in every respect perfectly recovered.
July 8th, 1763, the patient was perfectly well, and there remained not the least indications of her having been diseased.
VII. On the late Mild Weather in Cornwall; and on the Quantity of Rain fallen there in the Year 1762. By the Rev. Wm. Borlase, M. A., F. R. S. p. 27.
Our winters in Cornwall are generally more mild than any where in this island, but Mr. B. did not remember so wide a difference as that of the present season there and London. In November, on the 12th, 13th, 14th, our frost began, mostly attended with hoar frosty mornings: here and there a pool of still water had a film over it, scarcely strong enough to bear an egg, not a large pebble; and the frost was always over before noon. Frost of the same degree on the 18th and 20th, hoar frost only the 26th. Frost, but of no greater degree, Dec. 5th,
6th, and 7th. Hoar only on the 11th. On the 14th and 15th frost, but of the above degree only: a little sleet on the 31st post meridian. To the 22d no frost or snow. On these coldest days the thermometer was never so low as 38°, but on 3 days only, viz. Dec. 14th and 15th, and Jan. 9th. It will appear that our cold was nowise excessive, when it is considered that the balm of Gilead, in the natural open ground, has not suffered: the myrtles are in perfect health; the mignonettes in flower; the cluster rosé and white violet in bloom at Christmas; and the scarlet double ranunculus is full blown; the double hyacinths have formed their bells, and some are now ready to unfold. The whole quantity of rain fallen in 1762 was 29 inches.
VIII. A Delineation of the Transit of Venus expected in the Year 1769.
Mr. James Ferguson. p. 30.
Besides the delineation, Mr. F. points out some places that might be very proper situations for observing that transit, viz. Wardhuys in Norwegian Lapland, and the Solomon isles in the great South Sea; or that any other place near the north cape will be just as well for the northern observers; and Tuberon's isle, or St. Bernard's, or the Fly islands, in the great South Sea, will answer as well for the southern.
IX. An Account of an Appulse of the Moon to the Planet Jupiter, observed at Chelsea. By Mr. Samuel Dunn. p. 31.
The alteration of the angles of position made by the cusps of the moon, and a planet to which the moon makes a near appulse, will always enable those astronomically inclined to determine from observation, the longitudes of places, by the naked eye, and a clock or watch set to apparent or equal time. Such an observation Mr. D. made at Chelsea, Dec. 25, 1762, at 11h 0m 30s apparent time. Jupiter's distance from the moon half a degree, when in the line of the moon's cusps. Lat. 51° 29′ 5′′, Long. 41" west of Greenwich.
X. A Catalogue of the Fifty Plants from Chelsea Garden, presented to the Royal Society by the Company of Apothecaries, for the Year 1762, pursuant to the Direction of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart. By John Wilmer, M. D. p. 32. This is the 41st presentation of this kind, completing to the number of 2050 different plants.
XI. Observations made by Mr. John Bartram, at Pennsylvania, on the Yellowish Wasp of that Country. p. 37.
Mr. B. saw several of these wasps flying about a heap of sandy loam; they settled on it, and very nimbly scratched away the sand with their fore feet, to
* This insect belongs to the Linnæan genus Sphex.