Description of Babylonian sun-worship and cosmology. Notes Thomas Tenison'sTenison, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> claim that the tower of Babel 'was a temple within and an observatory without [...] while the resting place in the centre was chosen for the profound and unwearied philosophical investigations'. Describes how, in Babylon, 'the observation of the stars which led to astrology' was solely practised by the Chaldeans, who were 'celebrated' as 'priests and astronomers'. Notes the dispute over whether the Chaldeans or the Egyptians are the oldest 'race of astronomers' and emphasises the importance of astronomical observation to 'our antediluvian ancestors', although they became 'deluded by the beauty and lustre of the heavenly host'. Describes the Chaldean belief that celestial bodies are 'animated by intelligent beings of various rank and power in the universe'. (3) Ends with a discussion of the Babylonian zodiac and their belief in the influence of planets over 'the fortunes of men' (4).
Medical Practitioners, Gender, Cultural Geography, Medical Treatment, Health, Education, Colleges
Responding to a previous article on this subject (Anon, 'Superiority of Woman over Man', Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, 6 (1857–58), 364–68), attacks H Cornelius Agrippa von NettesheimAgrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >> for being guilty of 'extravagant compliments' towards women (13). Relishes the fact that in America 'woman may take her position side by side with man' and agrees with Agrippa that for a medical 'calling, in many instances, women are surely better suited than men'. Adds that the woman's 'intuitive perception' and actions on hearing her baby crying 'do more good than fifty bottles of fever mixture'. Hopes to see 'A College of Female Physicians' established in 'some town'. (14)
Recalls a story of 'a lady who, having adorned her person and painted her face, attended a fashionable lecture on chemistry', during which the lecturer's experiments caused the lady's face to change to the 'blue, yellow, and many coloured hues of a loathsome reptile'. (15)
Medical Treatment, Gender, Health, Sanitation, Disease, Physiology, Human Development
Argues that 'though Nature [...] has endowed all female creation with the attributes necessary to [...] the healthy rearing of their offspring', there are enough cases of mothers being 'physically or socially' unable to undertake these 'duties', that they are 'compelled' to 'call in the service of hired assistance'. Agrees that the unsanitary living conditions of some children 'would seem to set the laws of sanitary provision at a defiance'. Observes that while some children raised in healthy environments can still contract fatal diseases, many children raised in squalor 'live and thrive'. Argues that this 'apparent immunity to the physical laws' can be explained by the fact that, in this latter class of children, 'uncleanliness is counteracted by an unrestrained liberty of limb and mind' which results in the body being conditioned for a longer life. (28) Aims its remarks at the 'young and probably inexperienced mother' who, though dependent on the 'opinionated obstinacy' of nurses, can 'instruct another, and see that her directions are carried out'. Introduces the subjects of 'wet nursing' and 'artificial dry nursing' and proposes to describe the 'grand chain of causes' on which the life, organs, and development of the child depend.
Notes that Gian G ViscontiVisconti, Gian Galeazzo
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'amused himself [...] by the study of judicial astrology' and correctly predicted that the appearance of a comet in the sky signified his approaching death (46).
The extracted poem asserts that hope's 'joyous youth' began when 'yonder spheres sublime / Pealed their first notes' and that 'When all the sister planets have decayed' and when 'the realms of ether glow [...] Thou, undismayed, shalt [...] light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile' (60).
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Physiology, Vitalism, Natural Theology, Natural Economy, Nutrition, Disease
Opens by comparing the 'human body, materially considered' to a 'beautiful piece of mechanism, consisting of many parts, each one being the centre of a system, and performing its own vital function irrespectively of the others, and yet dependent for its vitality upon the harmony and health of the whole' (89). Compares the balanced mechanism of the human body to that of a watch. Notes some of the 'vital actions' of the body that follow inhalation of air, and the effect of air on a new-born child—the 'matchless "piece of work" that God has entrusted' to a mother (90). Gives detailed physiological descriptions of three interrelated 'vital' functions—respiration, circulation, and digestion—and their importance in the economy of life. Description of respiration includes physiological reasons why hot-baths remedy lung disorders. Description of digestion stresses that the stomach can only digest solids and explains how babies can survive on milk.
Describes the rich variety of animals and plants at the Jardin des PlantesJardin des Plantes, Paris CloseView the register entry >>, the place where the 'celebrated artist', Redouté, teaches his pupils 'how best to see Nature' (100). Notes how Redouté, the 'High Priest of Flora and Pomona', loved 'to show the beauties of his kingdom to an appreciating mind' and describes how the artist sought to instruct his class in depicting flowers (100–101).
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Class, Physiology, Medical Practitioners, Disease, Natural Theology, Natural Economy
Denies that social class affects a child's constitution (115). Outlines, with physiological explanations, the practical procedures for dealing with infants who cannot cry audibly or who suffer from the lung disorder associated with 'mute births' (116). Attempts to reassure mothers who accept reluctantly their nurses' apparently unfounded judgement that a crying baby is not necessarily ill. Explains that 'the voice or cry in childhood' is a 'wise provision of Nature to enlarge and keep in health so vital an organisation as that of the lungs', and adds a description of how crying gives way to speech and song (117). Warns that a child often cries through pain or thirst and urges nurses and mothers to distinguish these utterances. Argues that mothers should make themselves 'acquainted with the nature and wants of their child' so that they can better undertake their maternal 'duties' once the nurse has departed, and guard against the 'nefarious practices of unprincipled nurses' who devise cunning and 'inhuman' methods of stopping infants from crying and sending them into a 'troubled sleep'. Warns mothers of the dangers of nurses who sleep close to babies—notably, the possibility of babies suffocating from the bad air given off by sleeping humans. (118)
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Nutrition, Physiology, Pharmaceuticals
Outlines other 'sources of harm' that result from too close a contact between a baby and its mother or nurse. These include the dangers to the baby of suffocation and of sucking the breast after the mother has fallen asleep—a danger which it claims is equally injurious to the mother's health. Emphasises that it does not intend to dissuade mothers from 'adopting a course that is based on physical principles'—i.e. breast-feeding. (148) Proceeds to a detailed discussion of milk and the best diet and exercise for a suckling mother, with special reference to the dangers of consuming wines and spirits, and the benefits of malt liquor and stout. Describes the powerful effect of porter in increasing the secretion of milk and urges the use of a breast pump for drawing off superabundance of milk. Upholds the cleansing and nutritive function of the 'first' secreted milk and condemns its artificial and 'unctuous' replacements—the castor oil of the physician or the 'objectionable [...] nostrum' of the matron—as injurious to the baby's health (150–51). Strongly objects to 'physicking new-born children' and advocates administering medicine through the mother (151). Explains, with reference to physiological processes, how to deal with the problem of over-feeding babies with milk and of babies' pains in the stomach, bowel, and bladder. Notes the time period after which 'Nature has ordained the child shall live by other means' and explains why accustoming the child to the 'bottle' can strengthen the health of mother and child (152).
Mental Illness, Hospitals, Gender, Medical Treatment, Amusement
Describes a visit to a 'Maison de Santé, or private mad-house' in Southern France (161). Enters on a heated discussion with the asylum's superintendent, Monsieur Maillard, who, much to the narrator's astonishment, was forced to abandon the 'soothing system' of managing patients in favour of a 'rigid system of exclusion'. The superintendent explains that though he has given the 'soothing system' a 'fair trial' it has proved 'dangerous' in general, although the system, which involves humouring patients, did result in 'permanent cures' being effected. (162) The narrator describes how, over a lavish banquet in the asylum, guests discuss the habits of various inmates. In response to the narrator's assumption that 'the majority of lunatics were of the gentler sex', Maillard reveals that most of his patients are men (166). Later, Maillard explains that, a short while before, the 'soothing system' had resulted in the patients gaining temporary power over the asylum, and it gradually emerges that the patients are still in control, and that Maillard is actually one of them, and not the superintendent at all (167). The story concludes with the imprisoned keepers escaping and restoring control. The narrator notes that the 'soothing system' has since been resumed at the asylum 'with important modifications' (168).
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Gender, Health, Vitalism, Nutrition, Pharmaceuticals
Warns mothers against sharing nurses' belief that a child's reluctance to eat food and consequent physical suffering, can be attributed to its 'infantine longing'. (203) Explains how this condition is eventually solved by 'Nature, triumphing over abuse' or by the use of 'alternative powder'. Urges mothers to use a 'simple remedy' to 'remove the cause' and 'eradicate the effect'. (204) Explains how clothing can compress a child's internal organs. Argues that 'a child judiciously reared by hand has an infinitely better chance of living through the diseases of infancy' and of enjoying a healthier life (205). Agrees that 'Nature' qua the 'vital principle' has 'physical and curative powers', but points out that this power can be 'augmented or diminished at the will of the practical intelligence' (205–06). Believes that a infant can be best prepared against disease if it is brought up on an 'artificial diet' in addition to being breast-fed. Explains the domestic 'articles' and techniques needed for feeding an infant on an 'artificial diet', and what constitutes the most 'nutritious and strengthening food' (208).
Insists that 'Everything in Nature, according to God's law, follows a course of progress or decay' and illustrates the point with such examples as the rising and setting of the sun and the growth and decay of plants (214). Argues that a similar path of progress and decay happens in human feelings.
Observes that ''Gainst those whom fortune hath our rivals made / In way of science and in way of trade, / Stung with mean jealousy, she arms her spite, / First works, then views their ruin with delight' (219).
Astronomy, Eschatology, Religion, Superstition, Progress, Gas Chemistry
Describes a conversation between Charmion, a figure who has already 'passed through the Night into the Grave', and Eiros, who was 'still an inhabitant on the earth' before it was destroyed by a comet. Eiros describes how the 'calamity' had been 'entirely unanticipated' because it had been felt that comets were too tenuous to cause the 'fiery destruction' of the earth. (230) Goes on to describe how people gradually came to terms with astronomers' predictions that earth would make contact with a comet. Notes how the 'wise were freely permitted to rule the reason and the fancy of the crowd' and reassured them the comet would not injure the earth. On the other hand, 'Theologists [...] dwelt upon the biblical prophecies'. Once reason, however, had 'hurled superstition from her throne' it became accepted that the comet was not the fiery object which would bring the earth's destruction. The 'learned' discussed the minor effects of the comet on the geological, vegetable, and magnetic features of the globe. As the comet drew closer, however, the 'people' were struck with fear and felt the comet 'oppressed us with a hideous novelty of emotion'. (231) On first coming into contact with the earth, the comet was judged to have created a 'wild luxuriance of foliage', but shortly afterwards the comet's nucleus was thought to have turned the atmosphere into pure oxygen—an effect that was believed to cause a 'combustion irresistible' and a 'fulfilment' of the 'terrible details' of the 'Holy Book'. As the nucleus approached, a 'furious delirium possessed all men', and later, after a 'pervading sound, as if from the mouth of HIM', the 'whole incumbent mass of ether in which we existed' burst at once into a species of intense flame'. (232)
Medical Treatment, Gender, Health, Nutrition, Physiology, Anatomy, Human Development, Pharmaceuticals
Explains the beneficial effect of a warm bath on infants, notably its power to restore the 'natural warmth of infancy'. Emphasises the importance of cleanliness and warmth in the management of children, and the ill effects of medicines, strong light, and lack of water on the newly-born infant. Explains, in physiological terms, the symptoms and remedies for a variety of 'diseases of infancy and childhood', including 'milk fever'. Goes on to advise 'newly-confined' women and 'suckling parents' on treatments for afflictions of the breasts. Explains the origin of medical conditions associated with infants' teething in terms of a description of the formation of the teeth. Gives advice on the best treatment for teething.
An account of 'some of the most remarkable varieties of sea-weeds which are to be readily met with among rocks and pools, and which are often to be seen in the aquarium' (246). Opens by describing the beautiful forms of seaweed and its power to lead the mind towards 'the contemplation of the sublime excellence of Him whose handiwork is spread out in all creation'. Citing Charles KingsleyKingsley, Charles
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, believes seaweeds enable a woman to keep 'herself unspotted from the world'. (245) Citing Philip H Gosse'sGosse, Philip Henry
DSB CloseView the register entry >>AquariumGosse, Philip
Henry 1854. The Aquarium: An Unveiling of the Wonders of the Deep
Sea, London: J. Van Voorst
CloseView the register entry >>, emphasises how seaweeds and insects depend on each other for sustenance and recommends algae for the aquarium as prodigious generators of oxygen. Describes the complex appearance, characteristics, scientific names, and typical location of several other types of seaweed including sea-grass, sea-tang, and Irish moss. Notes the popularity of certain types of seaweeds with the 'lady collector' and distinguishes the olive, green, and red seaweeds.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Health, Mental Illness
Continuing his treatment of Eva Meredith, Dr Barnabé laments the futility of 'the physician's remedies when it is the mind which is the seat of the disease' (264). Although she avidly consumes the medicines that he prepares for her, her disease progresses. The illustration shows Dr Barnabé and other figures clustered around Eva Meredith's sick-bed.
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Health, Gender, Mental Illness, Disease, Vaccination, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmaceuticals
Concludes its discussion of teething and the possible medical conditions that it can cause, and describes operations on the gums. Goes on to discuss the characteristics of convulsions or 'infantine fits' and advises on the best course of treatment (268). Rejects the idea that children 'should, or must have, certain successive diseases, such as scarlet fever, measles, small-pox' so that they will be protected against such diseases second time around. Points out that 'even vaccination is not an infallible preventive against small-pox' and notes cases of a repetition of diseases in the same person. Describes, in a semi-technical way, the 'pathology' and symptoms of thrush. (269) Gives detailed advice on treatments for thrush, pointing out that 'it is always best to begin physicking through the parent' and that while 'very little medicine is needed' to treat the disease, warm baths and change of diet can benefit it (270–71). Opens a discussion of 'Eruptive Fevers', such as chicken-pox and cow-pox, which it regards as of pathological significance and of considerable importance to the constitution (271). Details the symptoms of, and treatment for, chicken-pox.
Religion, Astronomy, Ancient Authorities, Cosmology, Archaeology
Notes that some contend that the mysterious stone circles of the Druids 'were used as temples wherein the sublimest revelations of science were discussed, and the discoveries of ArchimedesArchimedes
(c. 287–212 BC)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >> anticipated' (278). Notes Julius Caesar'sCaesar, Julius (Gaius Julius)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> claim that the Gaulish Druids derived their 'customs and science' from the British Druids (279). Notes the Druids' interest in 'heavenly bodies and their motions, the extent of the universe and the world, the nature of things, the influence and ability of the gods' (281).
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Disease, Pathology, Vaccination, Gender, Pharmaceuticals
Continues its discussion of children's diseases. Details the pathology and symptoms of cow-pox and discusses the mode of vaccination against the disease. Notes the state legislation on vaccinating children and observes that while 'vaccination has been proved not to be always an infallible guard against small-pox, the attack is always much lighter' after the vaccination. Goes on to discuss the 'loathsome and repulsive eruptive fever' of small-pox. Urges the importance of 'cleanliness', quiet, dark, and 'judicious nursing' in the management of the disease. (313) Outlines the symptoms of small-pox to enable mothers 'at once [...]to define the actual nature of the disease'. Further distinguishes the external symptoms of the 'distinct', mild form of small-pox from the 'confluent', severer form of the disease. (314) Details the treatment common to both forms of the disease—notably the preparation of strong emetics, purgative powders, and potions to prevent pitting.
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Disease, Pathology
Continuing its discussion of children's diseases, details the origins and symptoms of the 'much dreaded' disease of measles (346). Discusses the treatment of the disease, notably the techniques of 'unloading the uncongested state of the lungs' and the use of 'aperient' powders (347). Emphasises the importance of not stopping 'the treatment with the apparent subsidence of the disease, as the after-consequences of measles are too often more serious, and to be more dreaded than measles itself' (348).
Describes Henry Allen who was 'only the village surgeon, not even an M.D., fellow of half a dozen learned societies, but merely a general practitioner'. Adds that he 'dispensed as well as prescribed his medicines, and accepted a five shilling fee, when his patients were too poor to pay a guinea'. (355)
Medical Treatment, Human Development, Disease, Pathology, Physiology, Nutrition
Continues the discussion of children's diseases with an account of the pathology and symptoms of scarlet fever. Proceeds to describe the symptoms of, and treatment for, 'hooping-cough', noting the fact that it is a 'spasmodic disease' whose symptoms are easily imitated by people in the locality of the sufferer and which can be treated by suddenly starting or diverting the mind of the person in the act of coughing (369). Describes the pathology and symptoms of, and the treatment for, croup, 'by far the most formidable and fatal' of all infantine diseases (369). Goes on to describe the nature of, and treatments for, diarrhoea, scalds and burns, bleeding from the nose, and bruises, lacerations, and cuts. Concludes with a description of 'baths and fomentations' for producing 'a stimulating effect over the entire, or part of the system' and for relieving such problems as the 'accumulation of blood in the internal organs' and 'difficulty of breathing' (372).