Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

noxious, are daily imposed upon the world for want of attention to Ibis great truth ; that it is from general effects only, and those founded upon extensive experience, that any maxim to which each individual may with confidence refer, can possibly be established.

The Demiphobla, w dread of home.

From the Monthly Magazine %
Sib,

I very much approve of your allotting a particular part of your magazine to the valuable purposes of medical improvement; and what has been already done, will, I hope, lay the foundation of a series of communications, from which physicians may derive great advantage. From entertaining so high an opinion of this part of your magazine, I am induced to offer my mite, by contributing a few remarks on a disease, not yet touched upon by your medical correspondents, but which, by the time this communication will appear, must be pretty well known in most families. It is very prevalent in the months of June and July, is at the height in August, begins to decline in September, and about the end of October generally disappears, though much will depend upon the. weather.

J am somewhat at a loss to describe this disorder, because being of \ery recent appearance in this country, it has escaped the attention of Sauvages, Vogel, Cullen, and all our late Nosologies. It has some symptoms peculiar to the class ot" severs, and some to that of inflammations, but it is a disease, if I may ule the phrase, so original, so much per se, that we. must be

content to let it be the root of t peculiar class, which may hereafter be divided into species, when the faculty shall have made it more their study.

I call it, merely for distinction'! fake, the Domiphobia, or dread of home, which is the principal symptom; it begins, as I said before, about the month of June, or earlier, for I have at this moment a family under my care, who are dreadfully afflicted with it. Tho mother, a remarkably healthylooking, and indeed a very handsome woman, complains of a wall* ingofthe flesh, want of appetite, listlessness, and dejection. The two daughters, though possessed of the finest bloom of complexion, are inclined to consumption, have also lost their appetites, and are, to use their mother's expression, in a very alarming situation. The soas have various pulmonic symptoms, shortness of breath, cough, and complain that the smoke os London entirely disorders them. The husband is the only person who ha3 escaped the disorder, although he seems so much distressed at the fight of his family, that I should not wonder if he caught it from them. Every medici ne I have prescribed, has sailed in its operation. Indeed, I must confess, that this is one of those disorders, in which we are not to expect a cure from chemicals or Galenicals. On the contrary, if we leave nature to perform her work, a cure is immediately found, for nature suggests to the patients, from the very first attack of the disease, that it can be relieved only by a jaunt to a Watering Place. And hence a very expert practitioner in my neighbourhood, chooses to call it

the Hydro-mania; but I apprehend he is mistaken, for I never knew a patient more attached to water "when abroad, than when at home. There certainly, however, are symptoms, which indicate a mania of some kind or other; but so imperfect is our knowledgeof maniacal cafes, that I can derive no information from books. Arnold does not mention it in his last edition, although probably he may in the next, for which I am told he is preparing materials. Besides, I confess, that I am not very partial to increasing our catalogue of manias. So many things might be brought under this title, that a general history of madness would, I am afraid, be as comprehensive as the Annual Register, orany other work which professed to record the actions of man; but this is a digression.

It is peculiar to the disorder I am now speaking of, that the symptoms of it never appear, when the patients are by themselves: the presence, however, of a stranger, or a party of strangers, never fails to bring on the cough, dyspnœa, and other concomitants. But above all other occasions, they are most exasperated in the presence of the head of the family, whether a father, an uncle, or a guardian. Now, as, this is as much a disease of the mind as of the body, it strikes me, that the passion of envy, or jealousy, is strongly excited by the sight of persons who are not afflicted with the disorder, which is generally the cafe with fathers, uncles, and guardians; and that the patient, from a desire of communicating the disease, is impelled to throw out those miasmata, contagions particles, which will -affect all present.

That this is often done without producing the effect, I well know, but I must fay, that, in general. where the disorder is of lor.g continuance (a month or six weeks, for example) it seldom fails to impart such a degree of its virulence, as to affect the father, and theu, I observe, the cure is as good as performed.

From the few remarks I have thrown out, you will perceive, sir, f that although we cannot refer this disorder to any class hitherto mentioned by nonsologists, ye( we may rank it among endemics, or those disorders which affect the inhabitants of a certain district. This is most prevalent in the city of London, and extends a little way into the suburbs. I have met with n few cases of the kind in the borough of Southwark ; but the small villages near town are, I think, generally pretty free from it. As to. the Borough, it is rather singular, that some of the patients, after returning from Margate or Brighton, apparently perfectly cured, take lodgings nevertheless in a large building in St. George's fields j whether this confirms the cure, L know not, but I apprehend it may prevent a relapse, and I am doubtful whether any thing will so effectually answer this purpose. The tendency of the disorder to return, is one of the worst circumstances belonging to it, and sufficiently convinces me, that there is a radical error in the mode of treatment. 1 am not astiamed to confess, that 1 have often failed. If we physicians are not as frets in acknowledging our errors, as proud in announcing our cures, the medical art, as to practical usefulness, must stand still.*

"With respect to the causes of the
Porniphobia,

Domiphobia, they may be divided, as in the caseof other disorders, into remote, proximate, and occasional. On these I (hall not b« prolix. It is a great mistake, however, to ascribe this disorder to low living, or a poor diet. If that were the cafe, the poor would be afflicted by it, particularly this season. But the fact is, it attacks persons who live well, freely, upon a generous diet. Excessive indulgence never fails to bring it on, and it is remarkable, that those who have once indulged, are sure to have a relapse the following yedr. I scarce know an instance to the contrary. The mental affections are also to be taken into the account, and I have known cafes where it was brought on merely by talking about it; a wonderful proof of the intimate connection betwixt the mind and the body That there is an affection of the head, cannot well be doubted, from its being almost always attended with giddiness, wanderings, vain fears, and sometimes downright raving, the patient perpetually talking of balls, dances, breakfasts, rafhVs, sublcriptions, and other things, which very seldom much occupy the attention of persons of'sound minds and robust health.

I have now, fir, communicated the result of pretty accurate observation, and some practice in this disorder. I am aware, that, in the curative part, I have failed to impart much information. The fact is, and I honestly confess it, I have succeeded in very sew cases, and those were chiefly where the disorder was flight. Taken at the beginning, much may be done, but the patients are very apt to

conceal it, probably from motives of delicacy, until it acquires strength which common remedies will not oppose. The indications are likewise sometimes so complicated, that one does not know how to obviate one system without encreafing the violence of another. What can be done where there is an inflammatory tendency, accompanied by lowness and weakness, a very common form of the disease? I must, therefore, close the subject for the present, with observing, that an eminent physician of my acquaintance, Dr. Abraham Newland, has a very elegant form of prescription, which 1 never knew any patient refuse to take ; but it is liable to the fame objections I have already mentioned, namely, that it will not prevent a relapse. I am, Sir, Your very humble servant, C. fVarmiicl-Lane, May <)'h.

On Watering Places. From the /ame.

I AM a country gentleman, and enjoy an estate in Northamptonshire, which formerly enabled its possessors to assume some degree of consequence in the country; but which, for several generations,has been growing lets, only because it has not grown bigger. I mean, that though I have not yet been obliged to mortgage my laud, or fell my timber its relative value is every day diminishing by the prodigious influx of wealth, real and artificial, which for some time past has been pouring into this kingdom. Hitherto however I have found my income equal to my wants. It has enabled me to inhabit

inhabit a good house in town for four months of the year, and to reside amongst my tenants and neighbours for the remaining eight with credit and hospitality. I am indeed myself so fond of the country, and so averse in my nature to every thing of hurry and bulile, that, if I consulted only mi' own talle, I lhould never seel a wish lo leave the (belter of my own oaks in the dreariest season of the year; but I looked upon our annual visit to London as a proper compliance with the gayer disposition of my wife, and the natural curiosity of the younger part of the family: besides, to fay the. truth, it bad its advantages in avoiding a round of dinners and card parties, which we must otherwise have engaged in for the winter season, or have been branded wit!) the appellation of unsociable. O .r journey "gave me an opportunity of furnishing; my study with some new books and prints; and my wife of gratifying her neighbours with some ornamental trifles, before their value was funk by becoming common, or of producing at her table, or in her furniture, some new invented refinement of fashionable elegance. Our hall was the first that was lighted by the lamp d'Argand; and I still remember how we were gratified by the astonishment of our guests, when my wife with au audible voice called so the foot-man for the longs to help to the asparagus with. We iound ii pleal :nt loo to be enabled to talk of capital artists and favourite actors; and I made the better figure in my political debates from having heard' the most popular speakers in the iiou fe.

Once too> to recruit my wife's

spirits, after a tedious confinement from a lying-in, we palled a season at Bath. In this mannef therefore things went on very well in the main, till of late my fa* mily have discovered that we lead a very dull kind os life} and that it is impossible to exist with com* fort, or indeed to enjoy a tolerable share of health, without sp***ndi!i£ a good part of every summer at :i Watering-place. I held out a« long as I could. One may be allowed to resist the plans of dillipation, but the plea of health cannot decently be withstood.

It was soon discovered that my eldest daughter wanted bracing, and my wife had a bilious pom* plaint, against which our family physician declared, that sea bathing would be particularly serviceable. Therefore, though it wa» my own private opinion that rnjr daughters nerves might have been as well braced by morning ride* upon the Northamptonshire hills, as by evening dances in the pub* lie rooms, and that my wise's bile, would have been greatly letserscd by compliance with her Jitifomid. I' acquiesced; and- preparation* were made for our journey. Tin-In indeed were but slight, for the chief gratification proposed in tliii scheme was, an entire freedom from care and form We should find every thing requisite in ntir lodgings; it u ts of no consequent**) whether the rooms we lhould occupy for a few months in the summer, were elegant or not) thfl simplicity of a country life would be the. more enjoyed b)\the little" iliists we lhould be put to; and all necessaries would be provided in our lodgings. It was not therefore till alter we had taken them,

that

that we discovered how far readyfurnished lodgings were from affording every article in the catalogue of necessaries. We did not indeed give them a very scrupulous examination, for the place was so full, that when we arrived late at night and tired with our journey, all the beds at the inq were taken up, and an easy chair and a carpet were all the accommodations we could obtain for our repose. The next morning, therefore, we eagerly engaged the first lodgings we found vacant, and have ever since been disputing about the terms, •which from the hurry were not sufficiently ascertained; and it is not even yet settled whether the little blue garret which serves us as a powdering room, is ours of right or by favour. The want of all forts of conveniences is a constant excuse for the want of all order and neatness, which is so visible in our apartment; and we are continually lamenting that we are obliged to buy things of which we have such plenty at home.

1 It is my misfortune that I can do nothing without all my little conveniences about me; and in order to write a common letter I must have my study table to lean my elbows on in sedentary luxury; you will judge therefore how littic I am able to employ my leisure, when I tell you, that the only room they have been able to allot for my use is so filled and crowded with my daughters hat-boxes, band* boxes, wig-boxes, &c. that I can scarcely move about in it, and am this moment writing upon a spare trunk for want of a table. 1 am therefore driven to saunter about with the rest of the party; but in

stead of the fine clumps of beo, and waving fields of corn I have been accustomed to have before my eyes, I fee nothing but a naked beach, almost without a tree, «. posed by turns to the cutting cast. em blast, and the glare of a Jury fun. and covered with a sand tqually painful to the eyes and to the feet. The ocean is indeed an object of unspeakable grandeur; but when it has been contemplated in a storm and in a calm, when »e have seen the fun rise out of in bosom and the moon silver its eitended surface, its variety is eshausted, and the eye begins tort, quire the softer and more interesting scenes of cultivated nature, My family have indeed been persuaded several times to enjoy the sea still more, by engaging in i little sailing party; but as, unfortunately, Northamptonshire hat not afforded them any opportunity of becoming seasoned sailors, these parties of pleasure are always attended with the most dreadful sickness. This likewise I am told is very good for the constitution; it may be so for aught I know, but I confess Iamapt to imagine that taking an emetic at home would be equally salutary, and I am sure it would be more decent. Nor can I help imagining that roy youngttt daughter's lover has been left assiduous, since he has contemplated her in the indelicate situation ofasoip cabin. I have endeavoured to amuse myself with the company, but without much success; it consists of a few very great people, who make a set by themselves and think they are entitled, by tie freedom of a watering place, to indulge themselves in all manner of folijj'cnncrta; aud the reft i> a motk;

« AnteriorContinuar »