5 NOVEMBER 1870, Page 24

Physiological Essays. By Robert Bird, M.D. (Trilbner.)—Dr. Bird would not,

we suppose, resent being described as an extreme materialist ; but then, as our readers know very well, the materialism of the present s practically very far removed from, though it may be theatrically near to, the materialism of the past. It does not pretend to deny or to ignore the supreme importance of moral and intellectual action, but finds its satisfaction in connecting it with certain physical processes. That every thought, for instance, is preceded by, and in a sense results from, a certain physical action of the brain, may or may not be true ; but as long as we get a right estimate pat on each thought, we have no par- ticular interest—interest, we mean, as connected with these moral and spiritual truths which we hold to be supreme—in either affirming or denying it. Setting aside his philosophical theories, Dr. Bird appears to be a careful and ingenious observer of facts. The first of his four articles, on "Drink-Craving," is peculiarly interesting. It contains, among other things, a discussion of some newly suggested remedies for the morbid condition which is described by this name, and also a detailed plan for the establishment of a hospital for those so afflicted, for the benefit of the European soldiers in India. Few things of the kind could be more useful. The strength of the army is peculiarly affected by this evil, and it is well known that diseases specially common in the Indian climate, diarrhcoa and dysentery, are among the most active of the predisposing (causes. The other essays are entitled "Differences of Men," "Idiosyncrasy," and "On the Orign of Disease."