Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/38

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Mr. Carlisle's Lecture

perhaps some combination obtains which decomposes the water.

The four separated limbs of a recent frog were skinned, and immersed in different fluids; viz. No, 1, in a phial containing six ounces by measure of a saturated aqueous solution of liver of sulphur made with potash; No. 2, in a diluted acetic acid, consisting of one drachm of concentrated acid to six of water; No. 3, in a diluted alkali, composed of caustic vegetable alkali one drachm, of water six ounces; No. 4, in pure distilled water.

The phials were all corked, and the temperature of their contents was 46°.

The limb contained in the phial No. 1, after remaining twenty minutes, had acquired a pale red colour, and the muscles were highly irritable.

The limb in No. 2, after the same duration, had becomq rigid, white, and swollen; it was not at all irritable. By removing the limb into a diluted solution of vegetable alkali, the muscles were relaxed, but no signs of irritability returned.

No. 3, under all the former circumstances, retained its previous appearances, and was irritable, but less so than No. 1.

No. 4 had become rigid, and the final contraction had taken place.

Other causes of the loss of muscular irritability occur in pathological testimonies, somp examples of which may not be ineligible for the present subject. Workmen whose hands are unavoidably exposed to the contact of white lead, are liable to what is called a palsy in the hands and wrists, from a torpidity of the muscles of the fore arm. This affection seems to be decidedly local, because, in many instances, neither the brain, nor the other members, partake of the disorder; and it oftenest