nearly ten years ago. It was favorably received, and the author has been encouraged to pursue still further the line of thought there opened. This second edition is so nearly rewritten as to be practically a new work. Several chapters have been removed, and others condensed and modified, while much new matter has been added. It is obvious that there are two chief elements in this change: first, the progress of the subjects, or the increase of our actual knowledge concerning them; and, second, the author's own progress in mastering them. He is occupied by the most tangled and obscure of modern investigations, upon many of which the intellect of the world has but just fairly entered; these he discusses from an independent point of view, putting forth his own conclusions freely and fully. These are such as to merit attention; and the reader who desires to be thoroughly up in modern biological and psychological discussion will find much in Mr. Murphy's volume to repay attention.
The range of the sciences connected with materia medica and therapeutics is not only a very wide but also an ever-shifting one, growing by constant accessions of facts and material, condensing by sifting and discarding, and appropriating all that which has proved of real and more than ephemeral value. Pharmacopœias and compendiums of materia medica, in order to keep pace with both accessions and restrictions, and with general progress, have therefore to be revised or rewritten from time to time.
In the United States, where there as yet is no legally authorized Pharmacopœia, and the existing one is but the voluntary work of delegates from a number of medical and pharmaceutical societies and colleges, the "United States Dispensatory," of Professors Wood and Bache, for more than forty years has been the unrivaled standard in this special and important branch of the healing art, and as such has, to a very large extent, overshadowed the "Pharmacopœia." Since the appearance of the fifth decennial revision of the "United States Pharmacopœia" in 1873, and the failure of the "United States Dispensatory" to embrace in time its improvements, alterations, and additions in the way of a new commensurate edition, the want became more and more patent of a new critical digest, supplementing the Pharmacopœia, representing the advanced state of materia medica, and discarding the bulk of obsolete material. The announcement some years ago that Professors Stillé and Maisch, of Philadelphia, had engaged in the preparation of such a work was therefore received with the more satisfaction and confidence, as both authors are recognized authorities in their respective departments. The result of their joint labor has now made its appearance in the above named volume, containing 1,540 pages, 88 pages of indexes, and 201 illustrations.
The practical importance of the objects of this work, the elaborate and comprehensive treatment of the immense material, embracing the natural history, chemistry, pharmacy, and the actions and uses, of the entire domain of the present materia medica, in a concise and lucid style, and commensurate with the advanced state of the kindred sciences, make the "National Dispensatory" at once a complete digest of its kind in the English language and a creditable publication of the American press.Without entering in detail upon a critical survey of this voluminous work, of its many excellencies and comparatively slight and few shortcomings, it affords us special pleasure, in justice to its intrinsic value, its importance, and its prospective usefulness, to add our unqualified approval of the masterly way in which the authors have accomplished their task, and have succeeded in furnishing for general use, and to the professions of pharmacy and medicine in par-