Publisher Information: Brighton & London: 1856.
Hall, Marshall (1790-1857). Four A.L.s. to George Harley (1829-96). The first letter dated March 13, 1856, from 11 Princes Street, Hanover Square, London; the remaining letters dated December 24, 26 and 27 from 37 King's Road, Brighton. 8vo. 12pp. total. 191 x 117 mm. Creased where previously folded, light soiling along folds, otherwise very good.
A series of letters on medical and scientific subjects from the British neurologist Marshall Hall, author of seminal works on reflex action and epilepsy (Garrison-Morton 1359 & 4812), to Dr. George Harley, who published the classic description of paroxysmal hemoglobinuria ("Harley's disease"; G-M 4171) in 1865. The letters refer to Harley's physiological experiment on a cat and what appears to be a course of investigations on the nerves using the poison woorali (a source of one of the constituents of curare); Hall agreed to supply Harley with woorali, and posed many questions and suggestions as to how Harley might proceed. Also mentioned are Claude Bernard's investigations of the pneumogastric [i.e., vagus] nerve, the work of the French physiologist Charles Brown-Sequard, and the investigations of Regnault and Reiset on respiration (G-M 932). The letters read as follows:
(March 13, 1856): I have long looked for you, hoping you would one day call on me. I was much pleased with your experiment. It was doubtless an Epileptoid affection induced by a morbid condition of incident nerves. Many such cases in the human subject are on record. Have you seen the (English) work of M. Brown-Sequard published in the United States? [possibly a reference to G-M 1322, Brown-Sequard's paper, "Experimental researches applied to physiology and pathology," Med. Exam. 8 (1852): 481-504] May I publish your experiment omitting the part respecting the cat's death by worrying-with?-or without?-your name? When did you last see Dr. Marcot? Pray make my kind remembrances to Prof. Sharpey. I trust his health is improved. _____________
(December 24, 1856): You are quite welcome to the Woorali; but how to get it [to] you I know not, until I return to London, which is uncertain as to date. All my goods & chattels are in a hired room in Wandsworth. I wrote you a third note. Did you receive it? I have procured Reid. Has [Claude] Bernard changed his opinion since 1855? I fancy not. I mean the opinion that the pneumogastric ends [illeg.] in the lungs, [illeg.] thro' the medulla [illeg.] in a reflex route. _____________
(December 26, 1856): I heard of your kind inquiries after me the other day at Mr. Bullock's. For an idea of my malady I may refer you to the Lancet for Nov. 22, p. 560 where you will find a series of [illeg.] which confirm my symptoms. I am certainly not worse since I came to Brighton seven weeks ago. But the cold, fog and north wind are very trying to me. How does your [illeg.] proceed? Pray write fully and tell me all about it. I have been reading your paper sur le Diabete. One idea has occurred to me: Could the Ether act in the lung, carried thither by the vena cava, right side of the heart and [3 words, illeg.]? What would be the corresponding effect of injecting it into the jugular vein? What are the precise effects of dividing 1. [illeg.] pneumogastris; 2. both; 3. the right; 4. the left? But you will say-Ohe, jam satis! Let me hear from you at great length and be informed that I shall always take great interest in your proceedings. _____________
(December 27, 1856): It has occurred to me that on leaving London, I gave the vial containing the Woorali poison to Mr. Lloyd Bullock (15 Hanover Street) for safe keeping. Pray call on him and ask if this be so and then it is very much at your service. Mr. Bullock will give it to you on showing him this poisons document! When you see Mr. Bullock pray kindly ask him about the degree of trouble to him of once more repeating my last four experiments, and then ask yourself whether you would kindly join him in making them less [illeg.] as to their results. A young friend of mine recently from Paris would be present. What I was to know is whether Bernard has changed his opinion as expressed in his 8vo volume p. that the excitation of the pneumogastric by [illeg.] air in the lung is a cause of the formation of sugar in the liver. Where is Regnault and Reiset's paper on respiration? What was the [illeg.] in your investigation? I am much obliged to Dr. Marcot. Why did I never see him recently when in London? Pray give him one of the inclosed, accept one yourself, and place the third on the Library Table at University College. DSB (Hall).Book Id: 38114