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The important light in which the British legislature have eve regarded this national source of industry and wealth, in periods long antecedent to those in which our woollen manufactures come to be in such high estimation in the markets of Europe, the grand STAPLE commodity of the country, is conspicuously evident in the great number of immunities and charters granted, at different æras, by English kings and parliaments, to the inhabitants of this western province, by way of encouragement to them, to direct their whole attention to the native riches treasured in the bosom of their favoured country; immunities so various, and charters so extensive in their concessions, that this part of Cornwall seems, as it were, a separate kingdom, governed by a parliament of its own, and subject to a jurisdiction peculiarly calculated for the convenience and comfort of the natives. The chief power in these districts is vested in an officer called the lord-warden of the stannaries, who is supreme in law and equity, in cases that affect not the life of the subject, and from his sentence there is no appeal but to the Duke of Cornwall, in council, and, in case of the death or minority of that prince, to the crown.'
Mr. Maurice then gives a brief account of the successive voyages undertaken by the Carthaginians and Greeks to Britain
of the principal articles that formed the antient commerce of Egypt and Persia-of the origin, progress, and flourishing state of commerce in India in the remotest periods-and of the gradual progress of ship-building and navigation, &c.-The dissertation concludes with a more particular detail of the antient commerce of the Greeks with India and Britain.
This volume is accompanied with five good drawings, Imo, A piece of antient sculpture from the cavern of Elephanta, representing the evil principle of India. 2do, The most antient Pagodas of Deogur. 3tio, A perspective view of Stonehenge, from the north-east. 4to, A near view of the columns of Stonehenge, by moon-light. 5to, Coins bearing the symbols of the Phoenician rites.-We are sorry to be obliged to repeat that the very ingenious author has not yet learned the art of sufficiently compressing and methodizing his copious matter.
ART. XI. Remarks on the Arabian Nights' Entertainments; in which the Origin of Sinbad's Voyages, and other Oriental Fictions, is particularly considered. By Richard Hole, LL. B. pp. 258. 4s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1797.
HE estimation which the "Tales of a Thousand and One ΤΗ Nights" have obtained in Arabia, we are informed, led Mr. Hole to examine into the causes of the comparative neglect which they experienced in Europe; and these he resolves into two, viz. the inelegant and defective translation through the medium of which they are viewed; and the incredibility of the
stories. To obviate the latter objection seems his principal aim in the small work before us; in which he contends that the same kind of credibility is preserved in these tales, as the Greeks attached to the speciosa miracula of their poets; and ourselves to the vulgar superstitions of our own country. Thus, the Arabian writer, far from indulging his imagination in an unlimited range, seldom oversteps the enchanted circle traced by the credulity of his forefathers: the adventures are such as they were accustomed to credit; and the incantations such as they believed to be successfully practised by persons versed in the occult sciences:-but, since those tales wear internal evidence of having been composed at or after that flourishing period of the Khalifat, during which the stores of Grecian literature were unlocked to the Moslems, it may be conjectured that, together with Aristotle and Euclid, Homer would find his way to the banks of the Tygris; and that the poets of Baghdad would not be more scrupulous than the philosophers and mathematicians, in appropriating the antique treasures of the western world. Hence was obtained a new and copious source of the marvellous, from which our author thinks the Arabian tales have derived some of the imaginary beings who so frequently present themselves to our view.
Mr. H. proceeds to apply these ideas in a very diffuse commentary on the voyages of Sindbad the sailor, which story he denominates the Arabian odyssey;' and he proves, at the expence of much recondite erudition, that this eastern Ulysses has advanced nothing which may not be supported by the authority of Homer or Pliny, of Marco Paoli or Sir John Mandeville-in short, that Hindbad, and the rest of his sapient auditors, had not less reason to be satisfied with the veracity of his relations, than with the excellence of his wines. As a specimen, we extract a part of the 3d voyage.
Our unfortunate travellers, afflicted and desponding, wander over the island; and at length perceive an immense building, which they approach. They open a gate of ebony, enter into a court, and behold a vast apartment; on one side of which was piled a large heap of human bones, and on the other a great number of roasting spits. Their limbs fail them, and they fall to the ground in an agony of terror. Before they have power to recover themselves, the gate of the apartment opens with a hideous din; and a deformed gigantic negro, as high as a tall palmtree, advances towards them. A single eye glares in the middle of his forehead, whose brightness emulated that of a burning coal.
* Mr. Hole has mistaken the meaning of the two Persian words which form this name. They signify the " breeze of Sind," not the city; which would be Sindabad, not Sindbad.
It is sufficient, without procceding any farther in this story, to inform the reader that it is copied from the 9th book of the Odyssey. Polyphemus was the prototype of the Indian giant, and Ulysses of Sindbad. Some additional circumstances in the Arabian tale, though wild and grotesque, heighten the horror and interest of the story. It may be observed, that a giant in Arabic or Persian fables is as commonly a negro or infidel Indian, as he is in our old romances or Saracen Paynim, a votary of Mahaund and Termagaunt. Were the negroes authors, they would probably characterise their giants by whiskers and turbands; or by hats, wigs, and a pale complexion.
Sir John Mandeville says that, in one of the Indian islands, were "folk of great stature, as geauntes; and thei ben hidause for to loke upon; and thei han but one eye, and that is in the myddyle of the front; and thei eten nothing but raw flesche and raw fyssche."
We have sometimes been entertained by Mr. H.'s remarks, and have still more frequently seen reason to applaud the learning and ingenuity displayed in his researches: but that perplexing question, "cui bono?" recurs every moment during the perusal of his work. When we view him labouring to ascertain the particular islands, which were the scenes of the fabulous navigator's imaginary adventures, and attempting to "give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name," we feel inclined to ask, whether it be probable that the Arabian fabulist has attended more to geography than to history? His observance of the dictates of the latter appears in the first page, in which he introduces a Mohammedan prince of the Sassanian dynasty of Persian monarchs. Besides, we must confess that the coincidences discovered by Mr. H. do not, in our minds, establish the fact of the Arabian author having borrowed from the writers of Greece, of Rome, or of India. The materials on which the imagination must exercise its powers are not inexhaustible, and we frequently meet with similar combinations under circumstances in which each is manifestly original. Let us select, for an example, the same story to which we have just alluded, and which serves as an introduction to these tales; and may we not discover, in the adventures of Shahriar and his brother, the prototype of Ariosto's Giocondo, with as much probability as many of the analogies maintained by our ingenious author? Yet this coincidence we are disposed to ascribe entirely to accident; and to allow to the Italian, and to the Arabian, all the applause that may be due to the
ART. XII. Surgical and Physiological Essays. Part III. By John Abernethy, F.R.S. Assistant Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, &c. 8vo. pp. 208. 4s. 6d. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1797.
NOTHER* volume of essays by Mr. Abernethy will excite very pleasing expectations, in the minds of persons who are acquainted with his preceding performances. We entertained feelings of this nature, and have not been disappointed; for we have met with several articles of useful information in this third part, more particularly in the first essay on the injuries of the head. Mr. A. sets out with observations tending to restrict the use of the trephine, in slight depressions of the cranium, or in small extravasations on the dura mater. In those cases, however, in which the brain is uncommonly affected by pressure, or an inflammation of that organ has taken place, he not only recommends the raising of the bone, but considers Mr. O'Halloran's cases (Irish Transactions, vol. 4th †) as sufficient evidence that the operation, if not too long delayed, will give effectual relief.
The second section of the first essay is intended to fix the attention of surgeons on effusions of blood between the cranium and dura mater, particularly when the skull is depressed where it covers the middle artery of that membrane. To distinguish accurately such cases is of great importance. The existence of an interval of sense, between the accident and the stupor occasioned by the effused blood, is one clear diagnostic. If there be so much blood on the dura mater as to affect considerably the functions of the brain, the bone, to a certain extent, will receive no blood from within. Hence Mr. A. very ingeniously infers,
I believe that a bone so circumstanced will not be found to bleed'; and I am certain it cannot, with the same freedom and celerity as it does when the dura mater remains connected with it internally. Į need hardly say, that, in the cases which I have related, there was not the least hæmorrhage. But it is right to mention, that I have also twice been able, by attending to the want of hemorrhage from the outside of the cranium, to ascertain the extent to which the dura mater was detached within: and very frequently, when symptoms appeared to demand a perforation of the skull, I have seen it contraindicated by the hemorrhage from the bone, and, as the event has proved, rightly.
When the bone has remained long bare, the case may become perlexing. I once scraped a portion of the cranium which had been some time denuded, and found that it bled in such a manner, as suf
* See our account of the former vols. in different Reviews.
ficiently to point out the adhesion of the dura mater, and of course the inutility of employing the trephine.'
The third section developes the nature of the fungus or hernia of the brain. It is merely a protrusion in consequence of an hæmorrhage within its substance.
Conceiving that false notions prevail concerning concussion of the brain, the author devotes his fourth section to this important subject. He divides the whole train of symptoms into three stages.
The first is, that state of insensibility and derangement of the bodily powers which immediately succeeds the accident. While it lasts, the patient scarcely feels any injury that may be inflicted on him. His breathing is difficult, but in general without stertor; his pulse intermitting, and his extremities cold. But such a state cannot last long; it goes off gradually, and is succeeded by another, which I consider as the second stage of concussion. In this, the pulse and respiration become better, and though not regularly performed, are sufficient to maintain life, and to diffuse warmth over the extreme parts of the body. The feeling of the patient is now so far restored, that he is sensible if his skin be pinched; but he lies stupid, and inattentive to slight external impressions. As the effects of concus sion diminish, he becomes capable of replying to questions put to him in a loud tone of voice, especially when they refer to his chief suffering at the time, as pain in the head, &c.; otherwise, he answers incoherently, and as if his attention was occupied by something else. As long as the stupor remains, the inflammation of the brain seems to be moderate; but as the former abates, the latter seldom fails to increase; and this constitutes the third stage, which is the most important of the series of effects proceeding from concussion.'
Mr. A. thinks that concussion may in general be distinguished from compression, principally by being accompanied with less insensibility. He insists strongly on the evacuant or antiphlogistic plan.
Sect. V. treats of the inflammation of the pia mater; some important cases of disease of the bone are subjoined.
We have next a long supplement to the essay on the lumbar abscess. We shall content ourselves with recommending it to the attention of surgeons, and with observing that Mr. A. has lately found this species of abscess more frequently connected with a disease of the bone than he originally believed. In other cases, he has found his practice answer. Electricity, also, he has found so serviceable with occasional emetics, that he hopes many of these abscesses may be dispersed without any permanent exposure of their cavity.
The subjoined experiments on irritability are not great either in quantity or quality. Mr. A. concludes, from some Galva-nised limbs of frogs, that oxygene does not support the irrita