Obrazy na stronie


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to be present on more than one occasion, it is not, I believe, remarkably punctilious in regard to mere matters of form. In fact, the Sovereign himself, like a sensible man, dislikes and despises ostentation; and always avoids ceremony and parade, if he can do so with propriety.

. Among the small number of extraordinary men which the nineteenth century has produced, Charles John, the present king of Sweden, must ever occupy a distinguished place. Embracing, in his early youth, the career of arms as his favourite pursuit, he has, by a succession of glorious deeds, too numerous here to particularize, not only raised himself to the highest degree of the military profession, but established a fame that must descend to the remotest posterity. Equally gifted with talents of the highest order as a statesman, so seldom to be met with in the warrior, it would seem as if nature, intending him to occupy a place among monarchs, had endowed him with these rare acquirements to promote the happiness of the Scandinavian people.

• His Majesty's prime minister at the present time is Count Wetterstedt : -gifted with superior talents as a diplomatist; indefatigable, upright, urbane, he has deservedly acquired the undivided confidence of the king, and the universal esteem of his fellow citizens. Unassuming and accessible to all, this minister discharges the duties of his important office with a zeal and perseverance that will long endear him to his country, whose welfare and prosperity is nearest to his heart.

The Court of Stockholm is graced by very many arniable and lovely women, who would vie, in point of beauty and accomplishments, with any in the world.

. Pre-eminent among these is the consort of Oscar, Crown Prince of Sweden. This Princess, who is the daughter of the late Eugene Beauharnois, Viceroy of Italy, has fulfilled the ardent wishes of the nation, by giving birth to three sons.

Their Royal Highnesses are extremely popular throughout the country; their amiable and condescending manners having endeared them to all ranks of people. During the winter season, the Prince and his consort reside at the palace in Stockholm; but they usually spend the summer months at Rosendahl or at Drottninghlom, a delightful retreat situated on an island of the Malarn, at about seven miles from the capital.

• The Prince is a man of great talents, and application to business; I have been told by those who have been much about his person, that there are few things he undertakes, that he does not succeed in.

His Royal Highness speaks Swedish almost like a native; the King, however, only converses in the French tongue.'-vol. ii. pp. 192---194.

From Stockholm our sportsman was soon again off to the forest, to skait on the snow, to hunt the bear, and resume the round of enjoyments with which the previous year had furnished him, and which we wish him health to pursue as long as a wolf, or capercali, is to be found in Scandinavia. After this compliment he can do no less than send us a hazel-hen or two when next he visits the banks of the Klar.


ART. V.-- The Influence of Climate in the Prevention and Cure of

Chronic Diseases, more particularly of the Chest and Digestive Organs, 80.- with an Appendix, containing a Series of Tables on Climate.

By James Clark, M.D. 8vo. 2d Ed. London: T. & G. Underwood. 1830. This work is worthy of the best times of medical history, because it is a generous attenpt, on the part of a professional man, to establish an easy and simple system of cure with reference to an important class of disorders, and that in utter contempt of every sordid suggestion that he was infringing on the interests of his craft. In the degree that Dr. Clark pushes his labours in this excellent enterprize to perfection, does he diminish the demand for medical interference: and it is not the least pleasing and honourable token of his indifference to all contemptible considerations, that he seems not to bestow a thought on this tendency of his exertions, however alarming they may prove to many of his less elevated brethren. This author may be regarded as the first scientific man in this country who has sought to mould the influence of climate on the physical condition of his invalid countrymen into an inductive system. But, notwithstanding his zeal and application, and although the subject is

that coines home to every man's bosom, still Dr. Clark has been enabled to advance but very slowly, compared with what he ought to be now in a state to accomplish. The reason of this backwardness, however, is easily furnished. As in every other branch of science, the knowledge of principles in this, can only be derived from facts : it is the peculiarity of this case, that to collect facts of any importance, it is necessary that there should be a great deal of co-operation between observers remotely situated, and of course amongst whom it must be very difficult to establish a uniform plan of concurrence. The machinery which it would be necessary to put in operation in order to expedite the inquiry, and establish the proper complement of principles on this subject, cannot by possibility be within the controul of any individual. Therefore he who by his personal toil, and personal influence, acquires the largest amount of information, and consequently does most towards the construction of general principles, surely deserves to be encouraged in his labours, and to be rewarded in his success. And still, though Dr. Clark's name may be now regarded as identified with this important subject, it is wonderful,-indeed quite unique, to observe with how little of the exaggeration of an advocate he comes to its consideration. Men, in general, exhibit infinitely more than the usual physical instinct for their offspring, -particularly when it comes from the mind. What a contemptible feeling, as to its fullness and devotion, is the affection of a parent for his child, compared with that of an author for his own dear theory,—the issue of his brain ! An average father will, in a case of dire necessity,

[ocr errors]

perchance, consent to the sacrifice of his body for the sake of his son or daughter. But he who has been delivered of some glorious scheme, particularly should it be the first born of his mind, will only be glad to yield body and soul too for the credit of his favourite creation. This is no unjustifiable observation; the history of philosophy bears us out. How is it that for theories of the most opposite character in the same branch of science, we have testimonies of equal value and credibility? How is it,-how can it be, except that partiality for his favourite theory uniformly blinds each partizan, blinds his eyes, blunts his senses, and his conscience as well; and hence the oaths of enthusiastic theorists are just as substantial as these at which Jove laughs, or haply those which evaporate with such surprising expedition in the atmosphere of the custom-house. To Dr. Clark nothing of this can be justly imputed. Where truth has undoubtedly been established, he proceeds with confidence;- where doubt exists no man is more timid and cautious. Whatever impression he may make upon us by his arguments, he is certainly not likely to deceive us by his enthusiasm. With such a guide as Dr. Clark, it is impossible for the most prejudiced to enter upon the discussion of this great topic, without feeling the propriety of divesting bis miud of all preconceived notions, and of entering into a tenperate and patient investigation of the subject.

We do not think that Dr. Clark has given to the word Climate, that expanded meaning which it undoubtedly ought to possess; because he cannot for an instant assert that the salubrity or the unhealthiness of a particular place depends exclusively on the character of the weather that most generally prevails there. Assuredly not, and he is well aware that art and accident have a vast deal to do in rendering it what it is in point of wholesomeness. What causes this crowded metropolis of ours to be so healthy, as to vie even with Nice itself, where the purest zephyrs from heaven breathe their influence, but that strict municipal vigilance which makes the care of the general health a matter of public responsibility ? The town of Torquay is defended on that side where cold and biting winds are likely to approach, by immense barriers of rising grounds. The protection would be just the same whether these hills were naturally formed, or were constructed by the labour of man. Climate, then, in its primitive import, does not comprehend the whole of those sources of peculiarity which distinguish one part of a continent or of a country from another. No doubt it is from not turning his attention sufficiently to this circumstance, that Dr. Clark has failed to notice many of those local accidents which sometimes operate very strongly in shaping the character of particular climate. Thus we know from Dr. Paris,* that in a part of Cornwall where agues used to be very

* See his very philosophical and correct Pharmacopoeia.

[ocr errors]

prevalent, the establishment of copper works has utterly abolished that species of disease. We know also that there is no part of the Continent-take even the most salubrious—which can boast of a lower rate of mortality than Manchester, Manchester, the crowded, the smoky, the unnaturally heated town. What is all this owing to but the enforcement of police regulations, by which cleanliness and due ventilation are secured to the inhabitants ? The same climate still exists in Lancashire as when the mortality of Manchester was absolutely appalling. Many facts of an analogous kind could be added, shewing that the healthiness of particular places, is the result, to a great extent, of causes which are not at all described by the word “climate." Points such as these deserve the utmost consideration, because without them it will be quite impossible to lay down any general principles which will stand the test of narrow investigation.

The question of the influence of climate being yet in its infancy, it would be great presumption in us, all unlearned as we are, to express any decided opinion upon it: but the importance of placing it on a sure footing, however scanty that resting place may be for the present, requires that it should be tried by every means of scrutiny, and subjected to every species of rational objection. When Dr. Clark tells us that he is satisfied that change of climate is one of the most powerful remedies we have for the prevention and cure of a numerous train of diseases, perhaps he does not mean to say that the remedy is in the difference of climate alone. A change of residence by a person in sickness or health, seldom takes place without a change of habit. We find that women bear bad climates better than men, and the reason is that they more easily adapt their food to the climate they are in. What a different race are the Hindoos, and the Malayans,—both having the same climate, --in point of physical and indeed moral health,

because of the difference in the manner in which each supports existence. Climate, then, has not so much influence in maintaining health as food has. We may ascribe as much power as we please to change of climate, but he must be mistaken who does not attribute a very large proportion of the favourable results from a change of residence, to either the total alteration of habits, to greater regularity of living, to a greater quantity of exercise, to the soothing influence of agreeable society, and the thousand newly acquired opportunities of regaining health, which are always to be found at the appointed places of migration.

We are not, however, disposed in any manner to deny that climate of itself-meaning thereby the general state of atmosphere, the freedom from exposure to peculiar winds, and, particularly, the temperature of the place—is calculated to have a very great effect on a certain class of invalids. If our own experience had not convinced us that such was the fact, the authority of Dr. Clark


[ocr errors]

would have been conclusive with us on the point. Time out of mind, patients have been transported from this country, to one part or another of the continent for the benefit of their health; to some, the journey has proved a successful experiment, whilst others, in all "probability, have had even their limited days of existence shortened by it. These cases have afforded materials for laying down some rules, which, although in some measure crude and confined, may serve as the nucleus of a regular science. As far as these rules go, they seem to be deserving of the deepest attention, inasmuch as they are, in several instances, totally opposed to popular opinions. Such, indeed, is the extent to which an erroneous theory on this subject has been carried, that, as Dr. Clark observes, many invalids, for want of discrimination in applying the proper climates to the diseases to which they are most suited, have gone abroad in search of that which they might have found almost at their own doors.' As the information and advice given in this work by the learned author are of great consequence, perhaps we could not be doing a greater service to the public than by giving from it, in a compressed form, the character and adaptations of some of the various receptacles for invalids of which Dr. Clarke furnishes any account. To begin with England.

The South COAST, comprehending the tract of shore between Hastings and Portland Isle, enjoys a temperature during the winter months of from one to two degrees above London. A greater quantity of rain falls on this coast than at London, and the proportion of difference is as 30 to 25. The climate generally may be described as soft, humid, and rather relaxing. The characters of some of the more celebrated residences deserve to be spoken of. Hastings will be found generally favourable to invalids labouring under diseases of the chest, particularly young persons who require to be protected from north-east winds. Dr. Clark, from his own observation, is

inclined to think this town unfavourable in nervous complaints, especially nervous head-achs connected with, or entirely dependent upon an irritated condition of the digestive organs, and also where a disposition to apoplexy or epilepsy has been manifested.* Brighton has an atmosphere dry, elastic, and bracing, the eastern part being more eligible, as having these qualities more perfectly than the part west of the Steyne. Nervous invalids, whom the Brighton air does not irritate, feel more vigour and energy there than almost at any other place. The best time for a residence there


* We are acquainted with a physician of eminence, who, though not able to live forty-eight hours in London, without experiencing the greatest suffering from determination of blood to the head, enjoyed uninterrupted health at Hastings for a considerable time. He resided too in one of the confined parts.


« PoprzedniaDalej »