Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/877

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857
LITERARY NOTICES.

wise to the profession as a whole. Those who know nothing of dictionary-editing will hardly appreciate the editorial labor that this work represents. A sense of proportion in assigning the space to the several subjects in a vast field of knowledge must be constantly and watchfully observed, along with a due consideration for the value of everything that a distinguished contributor would wish to write on his favorite theme. It is given only to a firm hand and a delicate tact to achieve success in such an enterprise; and the measure of Dr. Quain's success must be, on the one hand, the compact form and size of his dictionary, and, on the other, the endless variety of the articles and the value of the signatures that they bear. An encyclopedic undertaking of this compass and quality brings to light both the wealth of our home resources in the particular learned profession, as well as the distinctively English characteristics of brevity and point. The new "Dictionary of Medicine" will take rank with the corresponding works in other departments of knowledge, for which the English press has acquired a certain distinction abroad; and it does not surprise one to hear that steps are being taken to have it translated into more than one Continental language.

The work is primarily a dictionary of practical medicine for the use of practitioners. It includes naturally all the diseases that come more particularly within the province of the physician as distinguished from that of the surgeon; but in the numerous articles on general pathology, general therapeutics, hygiene, medical jurisprudence, diseases peculiar to women and children, and subjects on the border-land of medicine and surgery, it includes all but the most technical parts of surgery also. It is, therefore, a work in which the general practitioner of medicine will find articles, in alphabetical order, on all the subjects that are likely to come under his notice in the course of his every-day work. The direct interest of it for the laity—the interest of the subject matter, if not of the volume itself—is proved by the liberal allowance of space given to many matters that are a concern to all educated persons. Chief among the articles of this class are those on "Nursing the Sick and the Training of Nurses" (Miss Nightingale), "Administration of Hospitals, and the Construction of Hospitals" (Captain Douglas Galton), "Public Health" (the late Dr. Parkes), "Vaccination" (the late Dr. Seaton), "Contagion" (Mr. Simon), "Personal Health" (Dr. Southey), and "Predisposition to Disease" (Dr. W. B. Carpenter). Shorter signed articles of general interest are those on "Diet," "Climate," "Health Resorts," "Mineral Waters," "Sea-Air," "Sea-Baths," "Sea-Voyages," "Sea-Sickness," "Baths," "Douche," "Hydrotherapeutics," "Exercise," "Fatigue," "Effects of Extreme Cold and Extreme Heat," "Sunstroke," "Malaria," "Periodicity in Disease," "Epidemics," "Plague," "Quarantine," "Disinfection," "Mortality," "Alcohol and Alcoholism," "Criminal Irresponsibility," "Civil Incapacity," and many more.

Many of the subjects of that class were, of course, ably handled by the older writers; and, more particularly, diet, climate, sea-voyages, and the like, were matters familiar to the contemporaries of Hippocrates and Galen. But there are not a few articles in this dictionary of which even the headings would have been looked for in vain in a similar work as recently as fifty or sixty years ago. "Anæsthetics," "Ophthalmoscope," "Laryngoscope," "Microscope in Medicine," "Clinical Thermometry," "Physical Examination" how great an increase in the useful power of medicine and surgery do these new titles represent! "Addison's Disease," "Lymphadenoma," "Leucocythemia," "Pernicious Anæmia," "Myxoedema," "Locomotor Ataxy," "Pseudo-hypertrophic Muscular Paralysis," "Diseases of the Spinal Cord," "Pneumogastric Nerve," "Sympathetic Nervous System"—how much is there here that is quite new and curious, and may one day be even useful! "Diphtheria," "Typhoid Fever," "Malignant Pustule," "Micrococci," "Bacilli," "Parasitic Skin Diseases," "Chyluria," "Thrombosis and Embolism," "Fatty Degeneration"—how much of progressive theory, better discrimination, and rational suggestion is contained in those! The headings "Antiseptic Treatment" and "Diseases of the Ovaries" will call to mind a degree of success in formidable surgical undertakings which no previous generation has known. It would be an endless task, and much too technical, to enter