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as it is in the venereal disease. He directs a small portion of the mercurial oint-
ment to be rubbed upon the affected part twice a day, with the occasional use of
a gentle purge to prevent a ptyalism, which, contrary to what is observed re-
specting the venereal disease, is not beneficial in these cases. This mercurial
friction is to be continued (if necessary) for 2 or 3 months. Where, after using
the mercurial inunction for some weeks, no material advantage appeared to be
gained, in consequence of the carious bone not exfoliating. Dr. S. caused the
ulcers to be dilated, and pledgets moistened with tincture of myrrh, and other
stimulant and antiseptic dressings to be applied, and kept on with proper ban-
dages ; leaving the fulness and hardness, which often remained after the sepa-
ration of the bone, and the healing of the ulcers, to disperse of itself, or using
for this purpose nothing more than the gum-plaster.

In the 2d observation, an account is given of a girl 3 years old, who was at-
tacked with a pleurisy, which terminated in an abscess of the lungs, and diffi-
culty of breathing, which continued for some months ; after which there sud-
denly came on a discharge of pus from the vagina (per vulvam), which discharge
was almost continual day and night for nearly 4 months ; at the expiration of
which time, the patient got perfectly well, with very little assistance from me-

In the 3d observation, mention is made of an abscess of the spleen, terminat-
ing favourably in a purulent discharge from the vagina.

The 4th observation relates to an emission of blood in coitu, instead of se-
men. This happened in a young man l6 years of age, who, 4 years before,
had laboured under a virulent gonorrhoea, and who, for the space of 12 months,
had taken not only strong cathartics, but strong diuretics also. This discharge
of blood from the urethra was not accompanied with pain, and never happened
extra coitiis aut pollutionis tempus. Finding that the most powerful astringents
and various other medicines (among which was mercury given until it produced


a salivation) were of no use, the disorder was deemed incurable, and was ac-
cordingly left to itself. Dr. S. asks, whether the hemorrhage might not be
owing to a ruptured blood-vessel, from an ulcer in the prostate, or in one of
the vesiculae seminales ?

In the 5th observation, an account is given of an abscess in the hip-joint,
with a separation of the head of the os femoris. This happened in a girl
1 4 years of age. The hip-joint swelled, suppurated, and burst. The aperture
was dilated by the surgeon, who extracted the whole head of the os femoris ;
after which he introduced into the cavity of the abscess tincture of myrrh, and
the fuscum ung. fel. W. applying a tight bandage, and seldom removing the
dressings. In the course of d weeks it healed up, so that the girl could walk
easily, but not without limping.

The 6th observation gives an account of a spurious aneurism, without pul
sation, containing liquid blood. This occurred in the right arm of a woman,
and was consequent to phlebotomy, which had been performed in that arm a
year before. At the time when Dr. S. saw the patient, the arm was exceed-
ingly inflamed, and so much swelled as to measure 32 inches in circumference.
The tumour extended from the lower part of the shoulder almost to the
wrist. On the inside there appeared a small ulcer in a gangrenous state,
which showed that the tumour was ready to burst : it felt like a bladder
distended with water or other fluid, was without pulsation, and was so dense
as not to yield in the least to pressure. It was scarcely possible to feel any pul-
sation at the wrist. Some were of opinion that this enlargement of the arm
was occasioned by a steatomatous tumour (fungus adiposus) ; but Dr. S. and
others who were assembled in consultation, suspected it to be a spurious
aneurism. A roller was wrapped round the whole arm ; and it was agreed to
wait for the breaking of the tumour, which happened 3 days after ; when on
taking off the roller, there instantly spirted forth more than a pint (lib.) of
blood. The hemorrhage was stopped by the application of the fungus bovist.
and proper bandages. Two hours afterwards it was determined, in consulta-
tion, either to amputate the arm, or to take up the artery. The last of these
measures being preferred, a tourniquet was applied, and an incision made in
the sound part above the aneurism, and nearly in the middle of the arm,
through the integuments and belly of the biceps muscle, and a needle and
thread were passed under the artery, which was thus secured by ligature. The
aneurism was then laid open from top to bottom, whereupon there flowed out
a vast quantity of liquid blood, amounting to as much as 4lb. No arterial sac
was discovered, as in the case of a true aneurism, nor any polypus or coagu-
lated blood, as in the case of a spurious aneurism; but a cavity of a very dif-


ferent kind had been found between the cutis and muscles, and among the
muscles themselves ; and the muscles of the lower arm were displaced from
each other, as though they iiad been separated by art ; they had become pale,
having lost their natural colour and appearance ; and there was found adhering
to them a small quantity of a gelatinous or mucous matter, which after being
scraped off with the fingers and washed in water, became white. At the sides
of the aforesaid cavity, the blood was seen to issue from 6 or 7 different orifices,
to close which the strongest styptics were applied, and the whole cavity was
filled with lint, secured by sticking-plaster and a roller. By these means the
hemorrhage was soon stopped ; nevertheless, a train of unfavourable symptoms
(the consequence of the previous disease) came on, and continued increasing
until the 3d day, when the patient died.

Two Observations, by Job Easier, M. D. F. R. S. N°466, p. 277- An Ab-
stract from the Latin.

In the first of these observations, mention is made of a male infant, who was
born with a pendulous tumour formed on the back, where the os sacrum be-
gins, and reaching from thence down to the heels. On handling, it appeared
to contain a watery fluid. Although from its rosy complexion the infant had
the appearance of health, yet it died a few days after it was born. Dr. B. could
not obtain permission to examine the tumor after death.

The 2d case was that of a child who died of hydrocephalus, at the age of 2
years and a half: during all which time it took no other sustenance besides its
mother's tnilk. The father was healthy, but the mother was of a bad habit of
body. From the time of its birth the head was unusually large, and went on
gradually increasing, till it became so exceedingly bulky, that the child was
unable to support its weight, and was therefore obliged to be constantly in a
recumbent posture. The dimensions of the head, as taken after death, were
as follow : from the right meatus audilorius over the ossa bregmatis, to the left
meatus auditorius, 20^ Rhinland inches ; from the root of the nose to the first
vertebra 20 inches ; a thread drawn all round the head (beginning from the
root of the nose, passing across the os frontis, the temporal bones and occiput,
and meeting again at the same point in the forehead) measured above 25 Rhin-
land inches. On opening the head, and carefully removing the dura mater, the
pia mater appeared exceedingly thin and quite transparent, inclosing a great quan-
tity of a watery humour as clear as crystal, through which the basis of the brain
could be seen ; the basis of the brain, for the substance of the brain was so
compressed that there was no appearance of brain, but only a strong membrane,
thicker in some places, and thinner in others. The 3 cavities (ventricles) of


the brain formed one cavity, where the medulla oblongata and cerebellum, but
incredibly small, were seen. No vestiges appeared of the nates, testes, cerebri
vulva ; nor of the protuberantias cerebelli ; nor of the medulla spinalis. The
contained fluid weighed dlb. 1 1 oz. While the child lived, the vital and na-
tural actions were performed, but it seemed incapable of any animal action.
It was constantly quiet and drowsy, without crying, was deaf, and died with-
out any convulsion or apparent struggle.

Some Papers lately read before the Royal Society concerning the Fresh-water
Polypus ; an Insect which has this surprising Property, that being cut into
several Pieces, each Piece becomes a perfoct Animal, as complete as that of
which it was originally only a Part. Collected and published by Cromwell
Mortimer, M.D. i^c. Sec.R.S. N°467, p. 281.

[The history of the Polype (which is not an insect, but an animal of the
zoophyte tribe), is now so well known to all naturalists, that it cannot be
thought necessary to repeat all that has been said of it in the Philos. Trans. It
will be sufficient to give Mr. Trembley's paper only ; he being (after Leuwen-
hoek) the first observer of the animal.]

Observations and Experiments on the Fresh-water Polypus, by M. Trembley,*
at the Hague. Translated from the French, by P. H. Z. F. R. S. N° 467,
p. 283.

The animal in question is an aquatic insect, and was mentioned in the Philos.
Trans, for the year 1703, N° 263, and N° 288,

It is represented in fig. 10, pi. 14, as sticking to a twig. Its body ab, which
is pretty slender, has on its anterior extremity a, several horns AC, which serve
it instead of legs and aruis, and which are yet slenderer than the body. The
mouth of the polypus is in that anterior extremity ; it opens into the stomach,
which takes up the whole length of the body ab. This whole body forms but
one pipe; a sort of gut, which can be opened at both ends.

The length of the body of a polypus varies according to its different species,
and according to many other circumstances, to be mentioned hereafter.

M. Trembley knows 2 species, of which he has seen some individuals extend
their bodies to the length of an inch and a half; but this is uncommon. Few
are generally found above 9 or 10 lines long; and even these are of the larger

* M. Trembley, an ingenious observer at Geneva, is eminent for his discover}' of the green and
long-armed polypus, with some other species, of which he first observed the extraordinary power of
reproduction by cuttings, and of which he published the natural history, illustrated by elegant plates.


kind. The body of the polypus can contract itself, so as not to be above a line
or thereabouts, in length. Both in contracting and extending itself, it can stop
at any degree imaginable, between that of the greatest extension, and of the
greatest contraction.

The length of the arms of the polypus differs also according to the several
species : those of one of the species can be extended to the length of 7 inches
at least. The number of legs or arms is not always the same in the same spe-
cies. We seldom see in a polypus, come to its full growth, fewer than 6. The
same may be said of the extension, and of the contraction of the arms, as was
said concerning the body. The body and the arms admit of inflexions in all
their parts, and that in all manner of ways. From the different degrees of
extension, contraction, and inflexion, which the body and the arms of the po-
lypus admit of, result a great variety of figures, which they can form them-
selves into.

These insects do not swim ; they crawl upon all t[\e bodies they meet with
in the water; or on the ground, on plants, on pieces of wood, &c. Their
most common position is, to fix themselves by their posterior end b, to some-
thing, and so stretch their body and arms forwards into the water.

They make use of their progressive motion, to place themselves conveniently,
so as to catch their prey. They are voracious animals : their arms extended
into the water, are so many snares which they set for numbers of small insects
that are swimming there. As soon as any of them touches one of the arms, it
is caught. The polypus then conveys the prey to its mouth, by contracting or
bending its arm. If the prey be strong enough to make resistance, he makes
use of several arms. A polypus can master a worm twice or thrice as long as
himself. He seizes it, he draws it to his mouth, and so swallows it whole. If
the worm come endways to the mouth, he swallows it by that end ; if not, he
makes it enter double into his stomach, and the skin of the polypus gives way.
The size of the stomach extends itself, so as to take in a much larger bulk than
that of the polypus itself, before it swallowed the worm. The worm is forced
to make several windings and folds in the stomach, but does not keep there
long alive ; the polypus sucks it, and after having drawn from it what serves
for his nourishment, he voids the remainder by his mouth, and these are his
excrements. According as the weather is more or less hot, the polypus eats
more or less, oftener or otherwise.

They grow in proportion to what they eat ; they can bear to be whole
months without eating, but then they waste in proportion to their fasting.

The observations in the Phiios. Trans, principally concern the manner in
which these insects multiply. What is there said of them, is true and exact.


The more we search into the manner how a polypus comes from the body of its
parent, the more we are persuaded, that it is done by a true vegetation. There
is not on the body of a polypus any distinguished place, by which they bring
forth their young. M. T. had some of them, that greatly multiplied under his
eyes, and of which he can almost say, that they have produced young ones,
from all the exterior parts of their body.

A polypus does not always put forth a single young one at a time; it is a
commpn thing to find those which produce 5 or 6 : he had some which put
forth 9 or 10 at the same time, and when one dropped off, another came in its
place. These insects seem so many stems, from which issue many branches.
He learned by a continual attention to 2 species of them, that all the individuals
of these species produce young ones.

He had for 2 years under his eye thousands of them ; and though he ob-
served them constantly, and with attention, he never observed any thing like
copulation. On supposition, that this copulation is performed in some secret
manner, he tried at first to be sure it had not place between 2 of them, after
they were severed from the body of their parent. To this end, he took young
ones, the moment they came from the parent, which was alone in a glass ; or
he even parted them with scissars. Each of these young ones he put into per-
fect solitude, and fed them every one separately in a glass ; they all multiplied,
not only themselves, but also their offspring, which from generation to gene-
ation, as far as the 7th, were all confined to solitude with the same precaution.

Another fact, which he observed, has proved that they have the faculty of
multiplying, before they are severed from their parent. He has seen a polypus,
still adhering, bring forth young ones ; and those young ones themselves have
also brought forth others. On supposition, that perhaps there was some copu-
lation between the parent and young ones, while they were yet united ; or be-
tween the young ones coming from the body of the same parent ; he made
divers experiments, to be sure of the fact ; but not one of those experiments
ever led him to any thing that could give the idea of a copulation. The polypus
multiplies more or less, as he is more or less fed, and as the weather is more or
less warm. If plenty of food, and a sufficient degree of warmth concur, they
multiply prodigiously.

He next proceeds to the singularities resulting from the operations he tried
upon them. If the body of a polypus be cut into 2 parts transversely, each of
those parts becomes a complete polypus. On the very day of the operation, the
first part, or anterior end of the polypus, that is the head, the mouth and the
arms ; this part lengthens itself, it creeps and eats.



The second part, which has no head, gets one ; a mouth forms itself, at the
anterior end, and shoots forth arms. This reproduction comes about more or
less quickly, according as the weather is more or less warm. In summer, he
has seen arms begin to sprout out 24 hours after the operation, and the new
head perfected in every respect in a few days. Each of those parts thus become
a perfect polypus, performs absolutely all its functions. It creeps, it eats, it
grows, and it multiplies ; and all that, as much as a polypus which never had
been cut.

In whatever place the body of a polypus is cut, whether in the middle, or
more or less near the head, or the posterior part, the experiment has always
the same success. If a polypus be cut transversely, at the same moment, into
3 or 4 parts, they all equally become so many complete ones.

The animal is too small to be cut at the same time into a great number of
parts ; he therefore did it successively. He first cut a polypus into 4 parts, and
let them grow, next he cut those quarters again ; and at this rate he proceeded,
till he had made 30 out of one single one : and here he stopped, for there
would have been no end of the experiment. He has several parts of the same
polypus, cut into pieces about a year before ; since which time, they have pro-
duced a great number of young ones.

A polypus may also be cut in two, lengthways. Beginning by the head, one
first splits the head, and afterwards the stomach : the polypus being in the
form of a pipe, each half of what is thus cut lengthways forms a half-pipe ; the
anterior extremity of which is terminated by the half of the head, the half of
the mouth, and part of the arms. It is not long before the two edges of those
half-pipes close, after the operation. They generally begin at the posterior
part, and close up by degrees to the anterior part. Then each half-pipe be-
comes a whole one, complete : a stomach is formed in which nothing is want-
ing, and out of each half-mouth a whole one is formed also.

He has seen all this done in less than an hour ; and that the polypus, pro-
duced from each of those halves, at the end of that time did not differ from
the whole ones, except that it had fewer arms ; but in a few days more grew
out. He has cut a polypus lengthways, between 7 and 8 in the morning ; and
between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, each of the parts has been able to eat a worm
as long as itself.

If a polypus be cut lengthways, beginning at the head, and the section be
not carried quite through ; the result is, a polypus with two bodies, two heads,
and one tail. Some of those bodies and heads may again be cut lengthways,
soon after. In this manner he has produced a polypus that had 7 bodies, as


manv heads, and one tail. He afterwards at once cut off the 7 heads of this
new hydra : seven others grew again ; and the lieads, that were cut off", became
each a complete polypus.

He cut a polypus transversely, into 2 parts : he put these 2 parts close to
each other again, and they reunited where they had been cut. The polypus,
thus reunited, eat the day after it had undergone this operation : it afterwards
grew, and multiplied.

He took the posterior part of one polypus, and the anterior of another, and
brought them to reunite in the same manner as the foregoing : next day, the
polypus that resulted, eat : it had continued well 2 months after the operation ;
grew, and put forth young ones, from eacli of the parts of which it was formed.
The two foregoing experiments do not always succeed ; it often happens, that
the 2 parts will not join again.

To comprehend the following experiment, we should recollect, that the whole
body of a polypus forms only one pipe, a sort of gut, or pouch. He has been
able to turn that pouch, that body of the polypus, inside-outwards ; as one
may turn a stocking. He had several by him, that have remained turned in
this manner ; their inside is become their outside, and their outside their inside :
they eat, they grow, and they multiply, as if they had never been turned.

Facts like these, to be admitted, require the most convincing proofs. He
asserts he is able to produce such proofs. They arise from the detail of his ex-
periments, from the precautions he took to avoid all uncertainties, from the
care he used to repeat the same experiment several times, from the assiduity
and attention with which he observed them.

These animals are to be looked for in such ditches where the water is stocked
with small insects. Pieces of wood, leaves, aquatic plants, in short, every thing
is to be taken out of the water, that is met with at the bottom, or on the sur-
face of the water, on the edges, and in the middle of the ditches. What is
thus taken out, must be put into a glass of clear water, and these insects, if
there are any, will soon discover themselves ; especially if the glass is let stand
a little, without moving it ; for thus the insects, which contract themselves
when they are first taken out, will again extend themselves when they are at
rest, and thus become so much the more remarkable. In order to feed them,
we must know how to provide ourselves with insects fit for their food.

Some Considerations for determining whether Pendulums are disturbed in their
Motions by any Centrifugal Force. By the Marquis John Poleni, F.R.S.
N° 468, p. 299. From the Latin.

Sig. Poleiii observes that the method used in discovering the centrifugal force,

4l 2


has always been, to compare observations made in countries at a vast distance
from each other. But he here considers whether the same end may not be ob-
tained in the same country, or without change of place.

To this end, he first relates what the learned Huygens has laid down, in his
" Dissertation on the Cause of Gravity," when he endeavoured to discover,
how much a pendulum ought to be shortened, which is carried from France to
the equator. And then he states his own contrivance. But Huygens's con-
trivance need not be repeated here, as it can be seen in his book. Nor does
it seem proper to detail the particulars of Sig. Poleni's construction, as nothing
has ever resulted from it, and as the matter has been long since settled, as to
the variation in the length of pendulums depending on the cause in question.

Observaliones Astronomies habitie in Collegio Pekinensi a Patribus Societatis
Jesu, a Mense JSovembri 1 740, a Do. Jacobo Hodgson, R. S. S. cum Regia
Societate communicatee. N° 468, p. 306.

These Chinese observations are of no use now.

Account, by John Van Rixtel, F. R. S. of Mr. W. Kerssebooms * Second and
Third Treatise, corifirming the Manner how to know the probable Quantity of
People in the Provinces of Holland and IVest-Friezland, besides a Foundation
on which to prove the probable Lives of Widows, and likewise a Rule to know
the Duration of Marriages. N° 468, p. 315.

Mr. Kersseboom having advanced in his first Treatise, printed anno 1 738,
that the provinces of Holland and West-Friezland contained 980,000 souls, of
all ages, on a well-grounded supposition, that annually are born in the said
two provinces 28000 children alive ; but it having been the opinion, that this
should be more clearly demonstrated, he has thought it necessary to comply
with the same. In order to which, the author has divided the provinces into 3
general divisions, distinguished with the letters a, b, c ; and supposes on good
grounds, that in the first division marked a, are born alive annually SSQO chil-
dren, B ditto 19070, and c ditto 5040, making all together annually 28000.

And, as it has been proved in his first treatise, that for every child that is
born, the whole number of people is 35 times as many ; so it will prove, that
these numbers being multiplied together, it renders 980,000 souls.

But as it was impossible for the author to get an exact account, from all
places, of the births, weddings, and burials, (from which last two the first is

• See an account of the first part. Philosophical Transactions, N" 450. — Orig.


to be cited and proved) he gives the chief observations he was able to obtain ;
and believes that these, joined with those contained in his first treatise, will be

Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 72 of 85)