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XLVI. Lunar Head Ache, with Remedies. MR. URBAN, I SEND you the following remarkable case, in hopes that some of your medical correspondents will take the trouble of considering, and giving their opinion upon it; and am
A YOUNG man, by trade a gardener, of the age
of twenty, two years, has been for seven years past (at every change of the moon,) afflicted with a most violent head-ache, which entirely destroys his appetite, deprives him of rest, and renders him totally incapable of following his business. He expects the return of his disorder about twenty-four hours before the change, from which time, till the change, the pain, and the ill consequences attending it increase, then gradually decrease, and about sun-set of the second day after, he finds himself perfectly recovered. He has frequently bathed in the sea, and taken vast quantities of medicine without the least good effect, as he thinks every return of his disorder is more violent than the former. He is, at all other times, extremely hearty, and of a healthy appearance.
Leeds, May 18th, 1771. Having been much afflicted with an obstinate head-ache, from which I feared I should find no deliverance, and being now greatly relieved of that troublesome complaint, I felt more compassion for the young man mentioned in your last month's Magazine, than would probably have been excited by the recital of another case equally troublesome.
My compassion for him has made me venture to give my opinion upon his case, and to offer a bint for his relief.
If the case is fairly stated, and no material circumstances concealed, I should apprehend this disorder to arise from a partial plethora, and would recommend the following method of cure :
Let his diet be very temperate both in quantity and quality ; let no liquor be drunk stronger than mild table beer, of a good age and well hopped, It would probably be still better to drink only water with his victuals. Let him eat no flesh meat but at dinner; let his breakfast and
supper be of milk, or water gruel: let his belly be kept gently open by some mild purgative taken occasionally at bed time. Let his head be kept cool : if he wears his own hair, let it be always cát thin; if a wig, let his head be shaved all over twice a week. I would advise him not to bathe his body, but to wash his head and neck every ing with the coldest water he can procure. Let him wear nothing tight or very warm about his neck, and in the night always sleep with the collar of his shirt unbuttoned. Let him frequently wash his feet in water, new-milk warm, and wear warm stockings. And at every approach of his headache, let him apply about six leeches to his temples or behind his eyes, a day or two before the usual beginning of the
paroxysm. During the fit he may keep his feet in warm water about half an hour, three times a day. In this me, thod he should persevere for six months at least, before he lays it aside; taking no medicines, except the aperient occasionally, during this course.
If these hints be judged worth notice, I sincerely wish the young man all imaginable success; and should be glad to know the result in some future Magazine.
Yours, &c, 1771, May.
W. H, CHir. MR. URBAN,
Looe, June 17, 1771, In your Magazine for April last, there is a request to some of your medical correspondents, for their opinion on a remarkable case, from a young man under the signature of W. E. As I take delighit in relieving the distresses of my fellow-creatures, I recommend to him the following powder: Take of Wild Valerian Root and Peruvian Bark in powder, each half a drachm; to be taken three times a day in any agreeable liquid, using for his common drink an infusion of sassafras shavings, or, as it is commonly called, sassafras tea. To begin taking it soon after the recovery from the paroxysm, and to defer taking it a day before its return is expected, and during its existence, that is, it is to be taken only in the intervals of the disorder.
I recommend the above medicine from the experience of having cured a girl, who laboured under the saine disorder
three years ; each successive return increasing in violence, The symptoms were exactly similar in every respect, excepting, that my patient had, during the paroxysm, or return of the disorder, a pretty free discharge of limpid serum from the eyes, mouth, and nose; and, at the decrease, an
hemorrhage from the latter. She had tried various medicines before she applied to me, without the least relief. I ordered the above, and a cure was effected, she having only had two returns of the disorder. The first was much milder than usual, the second, with greater severity; during each of which there appeared a redness behind the ears, and small lumps in the scalp, all over the head, which, however, vanished as the disorder decreased. Should it happen to prove successful upon trial with the person who now applies, it will afford me pleasure to be made acquainted therewith through the channel of your Magazine.
I am, &c. 1771, July
XLVII. Enumeration of Vulgar Errors. MR. URBAN, As arts and sciences make very perceptible advances in Europe, after every ten years, an Encyclopædie or Magazine, wherein to register our new stores, becomes, of necessity, a periodical publication. But as these dictionaries contain not only what is new, but generally a system of all that is known both new and old upon every article, they are too bulky and expensive for common use. Perhaps a more eligible method to treasure our acquisitions, and to mark the ground we have gained, would be to republish from time to time a book of Vulgar Errors, as fast as new lights, and better knowledge concurred to remove our old prejudices. Having long entertained this thought, my expectations were very greatly raised upon seeing an advertisement not a great while since, promising us a book of Vulgar Errors, by a fellow of one of the colleges in Cambridge, most celebrated for good philosophers and naturalists. I cannot say, however, that I found my knowledge very much advanced by this collection; and though every attempt to increase the fund of science deserves the acknowledgment of its votaries, yet I suppose every gentleman of reading will allow that a more scientific choice of articles might have been made than this of Mr. Fevargues. A collection of Vulgar Errors is not a collection of the errors of the vulgar, that would, indeed, be a large book, but of the errors of the common rate of philosophers and inen of science, Such is that of
Sir Thomas Brown, in which you will not find many errors of the common people, except that body was much inore learned than it is at present. Of all the books recommended to our youth, after their academical studies, I do not know a better than this of Sir Thomas's to excite their curiosity, to put them upon thinking and inquiring, and to guard them against taking any thing pon trust from opinion or authority. His language has, indeed, a little air of affectation, which is apt to disgust young persons; and it would be doing a very great service to that class, if any gentleman of learning would take the pains to smooth and adapt it a little more to modern ears.
It is near a century and a half since this book, which was the first of the kind that in any degree answered its title, was published. Since that age I know of no other but that above-mentioned, of the gentleman of St. John's. Yet as the growth of science has been so rich and fertile in the last century and this, I have no doubt but the list of errors removed would make a much larger book than even Sir T. Brown's. Out of more than three hundred I find mi. nuted by myself, here follow a few in one part of Natural History only
1. That the scorpion does not sting itself when surrounded by fire, and that its sting is not even venomous. Keysler's Travels, Maupertuis, Hughes's Barbadoes, Hamilton's Letter in the Philosophical Transactions.
II. That the tarantula is not poisonous and that music has no particular effect on persons bitten by it, more than on those stung by a wasp. De la Lande's Travels, Naples ; Abbé Richard's ditto, Experiments of the Prince of San Severo.
III. That the lizard is not friendly to man in particular, much less does it awaken him on the approach of a serpent, Hughes's Barbadoes, Brook's Natural History.
IV. That the remora has no such power as to retard the sailing of a ship by sticking itself to its bottom. De la Lande, alii passim.
V. That the stroke of the cramp fish is not occasioned by'a muscle. Bancroft's Guiana concerning the torporific eel.
VI. That the salamander does not live in fire, nor is it capable of bearing more heat than other animals. Sir T. Brown suspected it, Keysler has clearly proved it.
VII. That the bite of the spider is not venomous. Reaumur. That it is found in Ireland too plentifully. That it has no dislike to fixing its web on Irish oak. That it has no
antipathy to the toad. Barrington's Letter, Philosophical Transactions, &c. Swammerdam.
VIII, It is an error to suppose that a fly has only a micro, $copic eye. Dragon flies, bees, wasps, Aesh flies, &c. will turn off and avoid an object in their way,on the swiftest wing, which shews a very quick and commanding sight. It is probable, that the sight of all animals is in quickness and extent, proportioned to their speed.
IX. The porcupine does not shoot out his quills for annoying his enemy; he only sheds them annually, as other feathered animals do. He has a muscular skin, and can shake the loose ones off at the time of moulting. Hughes, et alië passiin.
X. The jack-all, commonly called the lion's provider, has no connection at all with the lion. He is a sort of fox, and is hunted in the East as the fox is with us. Shaw, Sandys.
XI. The fable of the fox and grapes is taught us from our childhood, without our ever reflecting that the foxes we are acquainted with, do not eat grapes. This fable came from the East, the fox of Palestine is a great destroyer of grapes. V. Hasselquist, Shaw.
XII. The eye of birds is not more agile than that of other animals, though their sight is more quick. On the contrary, their
eye is quite immoveable, as is that of most animals and insects of the quickest sight. British Zoology, &c.
XIII. The tiger, instead of being the swiftest of beasts, is a remarkably sluggish and slow animal. Owen's Dica tionary in verbo. Experiment at Windsor Lodge.
XIV. Sir Thomas Brown, who wrote against Vulgar Errors, maintains that apes and elephants may be taught to speak.
I am afraid of trespassing farther on your paper at this time. At some future opportunity I will convey to you a much larger list, under the heads of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, insects, vegetables, and minerals. "This common division seems more commodious, than that of Sir Thomas, who has given a · Miscellany of Errors in Natural History, Arts, Civil History, Religious Traditions, Paintings, &c. Natural History alone, would furnish a considerable volume, if we add to the heads I have just mentioned, the errors as to the Elements, the Air and Meteors, the Earth, the ' Waters, the Heavens. Civil History is a very large field also. A French author has lately given us a collection of various articles of Ancient History, which pass current, yet