« AnteriorContinua »
summer is so great that it melts the pitch on the vessels. At Tornea, in Lapland, where the sun's rays fall as obliquely, at the summer solstice, as they do in Germany at the equinox, the heat is sometimes equal to that of the torrid zone, because the sun is almost always above the horizon. Under the poles, the climate is, perhaps, the most uniform. A greater degree of cold than any we are accustomed to, seems to reign there perpetually. Even in midsummer, when the sun does not go down for a long time (at the poles not for six months), the ice never thaws. The immense masses of it, which surround the poles, feel no sensible effect from the oblique and feeble beams of the sun, and seem to increase in magnitude every year. This is very remarkable; for there is the most undoubted evidence that these now deserted countries were, in former ages, inhabited. But, within a few years, large portions of this continent (if we may so call it) of ice have separated, and floated down to southern seas. This led the English government to adopt the project of penetrating to the north pole. Captains Ross and Parry, one after the other, have sailed as far as possible into the arctic ocean. (See North Polar Expeditions.)
From the general division of America into lofty mountainous plateaus and very low plains, there results a contrast between two climates, which, although of an extremely different nature, are in almost immediate proximity. Peru, the valley of Quito, and the city of Mexico, though situated between the tropics, owe to their elevation the general temperature of spring. They behold the paramos, or mountain ridges, covered with snow, which continues upon some of the summits almost the whole year, while, at the distance of a few leagues, an intense and often sickly degree of heat suffocates the inhabitants of the ports of - Vera Cruz and of Guayaquil. These two climates produce each a different system of vegetation. The flora of the torrid zone forms a border to the fields and groves of Europe. Such a remarkable proximity as this cannot fail of frequently occasioning sudden changes, by the displacement of these two masses of air, so differently constituted—a general inconvenience, experienced over the whole of America. Every where, however, this continent is subject to a lower degree of heat than the same latitudes in the eastern portion of the earth. Its elevation alone explains this fact, as far as regards the mountainous region; but why,
it may be asked, is the same thing true of the low tracts of the country? To this the great observer, Alexander Humboldt, in his Tableaux de la Nature, makes the following reply: "The comparative narrowness of this continent; its elongation towards the icy poles; the ocean, whose unbroken surface is swept by the trade winds; the currents of extremely cold water which flow from the straits of Magellan to Peru; the numerous chains of mountains, abounding in the sources of rivers, and whose summits, covered with snow, rise far above the region of the clouds; the great number of immense rivers, that, after innumerable curves, always tend to the most distant shores; deserts, but not of sand, and consequently less susceptible of being impregnated with heat; impenetrable forests, that spread over the plains of the equator, abounding in rivers, and which, in those parts of the country that are the farthest distant from mountains and from the ocean, give rise to enormous masses of water, which are either attracted by them, or are formed during the act of vegetation,-all these causes produce, in the lower parts of America, a climate which, from its coolness and humidity, is singularly contrasted with that of Africa. To these causes alone must we ascribe that abundant vegetation, so vigorous and so rich in juices, and that thick and umbrageous foliage, which constitute the characteristic features of the new continent." To these remarks Malte-Brun adds (Universal Geography, vol. v, book lxxv): Assuming this explanation as sufficient for South America and Mexico, we shall add, with regard to North America, that it scarcely extends any distance into the torrid zone, but, on the contrary, stretches, in all probability, very far into the frigid zone; and, unless the revived hope of a north-west passage be confirmed, may, perhaps, reach and surround the pole itself. Accordingly, the column of frozen air attached to this continent is no where counterbalanced by a column of equatorial air. From this results an extension of the polar climate to the very confines of the tropics; and hence winter and summer struggle for the ascendency, and the seasons change with astonishing rapidity. From all this, however, New Albion and New California are happily exempt; for, being placed beyond the reach of freezing winds, they enjoy a temperature analogous to their latitude." (For further information, see Malte-Brun's Universal Geography, book xvii, and the article Wind. Respecting the climate of
the U. States, see Darby's View of the U. States, chap. x, Philad. 1828.)
CLIMAX (from the Greek kipas, a ladder or stairs) and ANTICLIMAX are rhetorical figures; in the former of which the ideas rise in degree; in the latter, they sink. Climax was also the name of several mountains-one in Arabia Felix; another in Pisidia; another in Phoenicia; also of a castle in Galatia; also of a place in Peloponnesus, and another in Libya.
CLINGSTONE. (See Peach.)
CLINICAL MEDICINE (from the Greek xλívn, a bed) teaches us to investigate, at the bed-side of the sick, the true nature of the disease in the phenomena presented; to note their course and termination; and to study the effects of the various modes of treatment to which they are subjected. From this mode of study we learn the character of individual cases; theoretical study being competent to make us acquainted with species only. Clinical medicine demands, therefore, careful observation. It is, in fact, synonymous with experience. What advances would medicine have made, and from how many errors would it have been saved, if public instruction had always followed this natural course, so that pupils had received none but correct impressions and distinct conceptions of the phenomena of disease, and had attained a practical knowledge of the application of those rules and precepts, which dogmatical instruction always leaves indefinite! We are unacquainted with the method of clinical instruction in medicine, which was followed by the Asclepiades, but we cannot help admiring the results of it as exhibited to us in the writings of Hippocrates, who augmented the stores of experience inherited from them, by following in their steps. After his time, medicine ceased to be the property of particular families, and the path of experience, by which it had been rendered so valuable, was soon deserted. The slow progress of anatomy and physiology, the constant study of the philosophy of Aristotle, and endless disputes respecting the nature of man, of diseases and of remedies, occupied all the attention of physicians; and the wise method of observing and describing the diseases themselves fell into disuse. Hospitals, at their origin, served rather as means of displaying the benevolence of the early Christians than of perfecting the study of medicine. The school of Alexandria was so celebrated, according to Ammianus Marcellinus, that a careful attendance upon its lessons entitled the student to pursue the practice
of medicine. Another old and very thriving, although less known institution, was situated at Nisapour, in Persia; and hospitals, even before the flourishing period of the Arabians, to whom the happy idea is commonly ascribed, were united with these medical institutions. The last school, founded by the emperor Aurelian, and superintended by Greek physicians, spread the doctrines of Hippocrates through all the East. It was supported for several centuries, and in it, without doubt, Rhazes, Ali-Abbas, Avicenna, and the other celebrated Arabian physicians, were instructed. At the same time, the celebrated John Mesue, of Damascus, was at the head of the hospital of Bagdad. Of the mode of instruction pursued there, we know nothing; but we are inclined to form no very elevated opinion of the systems of an age which was devoted to all the dreams of Arabian polypharmacy. In truth, medicine shared the fate of all the other natural sciences in those barbarous ages. Men were little disposed to acquire, slowly and cautiously, the knowledge of disease, at the bedside of the sick, in the manner of the Greek physicians. It appears probable, that the foundation of universities led to a renewed attention to the study of medical science; and we find, accordingly, that in Spain, even under the dominion of the Arabians, there were schools and hospitals for the instruction of young physicians at Seville, Toledo and Cordova. But, even then, clinical studies were almost wholly neglected. Instead of studying the history of diseases, the pupils occupied their time with the most unprofitable pursuits. Not much more advantageous were the journeys which were made for the same objects to Italy and France, in the 11th and 12th centuries. The schools of Paris and Montpellier were those principally resorted to; but in these, the instruction consisted simply in lectures and endless commentaries upon the most obscure subjects; and, even at the close of the 15th century, when the works of the Greek physicians began to be printed, men were still busied with verbal explanations and disputes. Two centuries elapsed before physicians returned to clinical studies and instructions. Among the renovators of this mode of studying medicine may be named, in Holland, William von Straten, Otho Heurnius, and the celebrated Sylvius, about the middle of the 17th century; and it is said that clinical instruction was given, at the same period, in the schools of Hamburg, Vienna and Strasburg. Even Boerhaave,
who succeeded Sylvius as clinical instructor at Leyden, in 1714, has left us no journals of daily observation of disease, but only academic discourses upon the general principles of medicine. The influence of this celebrated school was first perceived at Edinburgh, and afterwards at Vienna, two schools which, in celebrity for clinical instruction, soon eclipsed their common mother, the school of Leyden. Cullen, one of the most celebrated teachers of practical medicine at Edinburgh, was too fond of fine-spun theories upon the condition of the diseased structures of the body, and the proximate causes of disease, ever to follow a uniform method in his lectures, and to adopt the entire history of disease, as observed at the bedside, as the basis of his system. From the account of what was effected in clinical medicine in Italy, Germany and France, in the course of the 18th century, we may discover both the constantly increasing attention to this department of knowledge, and the difficulties with which such institutions are obliged to contend. The Vienna school, by means of the labors of Van Swieten, De Haen, and, still more, of Stoll and of Franck, became a model of clinical study, since public lectures were given in the hospitals, and the simplicity of Grecian medicine successfully inculcated. The practice and study of medicine, in the hospitals in France, was only an indirect mode of gaining public confidence, till the period of the general revival of science, and the erection of the French École de Santé. In that, for the first time, clinical instruction was expressly commanded. At the present day, every good school has its establishment for clinical medicine connected with it; that is, an hospital, in which diseases can be seen and studied by those attending it. In Germany, the empirical or experimental mode of studying medicine was early given up for the more scientific form of lectures; while in England and France, the opposite extreme took place, and students were carried, as they sometimes are still, to the bedside of the sick, before they had been properly grounded in elementary studies. In Germany, there are very numerous journals, which contain clinical reports of cases, as there are so many clinical institutions appropriated to particular classes of disease. In the American schools, clinical instruction is almost wholly overlooked, although some slight lectures of this description are given by the physicians of hospitals.-The clinical school is called ambulatory, when the patients attend only at particular hours;
and it is termed polyclinic, when the instructer and his pupils visit together the beds of the sick.
CLINTON, Sir Henry, an English general, served in the Hanoverian war, and was sent to America, in 1775, with the rank of major-general, where he distinguished himself in the battle of Bunker hill. He was soon after sent against New York and Charleston, but without success. In a second attempt on New York, he entered the city, after having defeated the Americans on Long Island. Being appointed to the command of that station for the purpose of favoring the movements of general Burgoyne, his attempts were rendered ineffectual by the surrender of that general at Saratoga. In 1778, he succeeded Howe in the command at Philadelphia, which Washington obliged him to evacuate. In 1779, he obtained possession of Charleston. His connexion with Arnold (q. v.), his attempt to seduce the American troops by the offer of making up their arrears of pay, and his boast that there were more American royalists in the pay of the British king than there were soldiers in the army of Washington, illustrate the system of corruption then adopted by the British generals in America. In 1782, Clinton returned to England, having been superseded by general Carleton. He died in 1795. His Narrative of his conduct in America (1782), was answered by lord Cornwallis; to whom Clinton replied in Observations on Lord Cornwallis's answer (1783). He was also the author of Observations on Stedman's History of the American War (1784).
CLINTON, James, the fourth son of colonel Charles Clinton, was born, Aug. 9, 1736, at the residence of his father, in Ulster county, New York. He received an excellent education, and acquired much proficiency in the exact sciences; but his ruling inclination was for a military life. He was appointed an ensign in the second regiment of the militia of Ulster county, by sir Charles Hardy, the governor, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the same regiment, before the commencement of the revolution. During the war of 1756, between the English and French, he displayed much courage, and particularly distinguished himself at the capture of fort Frontenac, where he was a captain under colonel Bradstreet, and rendered essential service by taking a sloop of war on lake Ontario, which obstructed the advance of the army. The confidence which was reposed in his character may
be estimated by his appointment as cap tain-commandant of the four regiments levied for the protection of the western frontiers of the counties of Ulster and Orange, a post of great responsibility and danger, by which he was intrusted with the safety of a line of settlements of at least 50 miles in extent, which were continually threatened by the savages. After the French war, Mr. Clinton married Miss Mary de Witt, and retired from the army to private life. But he did not very long enjoy repose. June 30, 1775, he was appointed, by the continental congress, colonel of the third regiment of New York forces, the American revolution being then on the eve of commencement. In the same year, he marched with Montgomery to Quebec; and, in 1777, having been previously promoted to the rank of brigadier-general in the army of the U. States, commanded at fort Clinton, when it was attacked by sir Henry Clinton, in order to create a diversion in favor of general Burgoyne. After a gallant defence, fort Clinton, as well as fort Montgomery, of both of which his brother George, the governor, was commander-in-chief, were carried by storm. General Clinton was the last man to leave the works; but he escaped with a severe wound, and reached his house covered with blood. An expedition, soon after, having been planned to chastise the Iroquois on the frontier settlements, on account of some atrocities of which they had been guilty, the chief command was given to general Sullivan, who was ordered to proceed up the Susquehannah, while general Clinton was to join him by the way of the Mohawk. The junction was successfully accomplished, and, after one engagement, in which the Indians were defeated with great loss, all resistance ceased on their part, and, desolation being brought into their settlements, they fled to the British fortress of Niagara, where they died in great numbers, in consequence of living on salt provisions, to which they were unaccustomed. By this one blow, an end was put to their incursions and cruelties. During a considerable part of the war, general Clinton was stationed at Albany, where he commanded. He was at the siege of Yorktown, and here his conduct was marked by his usual intrepidity. He made his last appearance in arms on the evacuation of the city of New York by the British, when he bade an affectionate farewell to the commander-in-chief, and retired to his ample estates. He did not, however, enjoy uninterrupted repose, but
was often called by his fellow-citizens to perform civic duties, such as those of a commissioner to adjust the boundary line between Pennsylvania and New York, of a member of the legislature, and of the convention which adopted the present constitution of the U. States, and of a senator; all of which offices he filled with credit to himself and usefulness to his country. General Clinton was of a mild and affectionate disposition, but when greatly provoked, displayed extraordinary energy. In battle, he was calm and collected. He died Dec. 22, 1812.
CLINTON, George, the youngest son of colonel Charles Clinton, was born July 15, 1739, in Orange (then Ulster) county, New York. His education was superintended by his father, a gentleman of a highly cultivated mind, assisted by a minister of the gospel, named Daniel Thain, who had been educated at the university of Aberdeen. He evinced, at an early age, that spirit of activity and enterprise which marked his after-life. During what was called the French war, he left his father's house, and entered on board of a privateer, which sailed from the port of New York; and, after encountering great hardships and perils, returned home, and immediately accepted a lieutenancy in a company commanded by his brother James. He was present at the capture of fort Frontenac, now Kingston, where the company to which he belonged behaved with great gallantry. After the usual time of study, he was admitted to the bar, and practised with much success in his native county, until his election to the colonial assembly, where he became the head of the whig party, or minority, and uniformly opposed the arbitrary course of the government. April 22, 1775, he was chosen a delegate to the continental congress; and, in 1776, he was also appointed brigadier-general of the militia of Ulster county, and, some time after, a brigadier in the army of the U. States. At the first election under the constitution of the state, which was adopted at New York, April 20, 1777, he was chosen both governor and lieutenant-governor. Having accepted the former office, the latter was filled by Pierre van Cortlandt. He continued in the chief magistracy of the state during six terms, or 18 years, when he declined a reelection. In consequence of the great number of tories who resided in the state of New York, and its distracted condition, the situation of governor Clinton was more arduous and important than any other in the Union, save that of the
commander-in-chief. He, however, behaved with the greatest energy and intrepidity, not only as chief magistrate, but as actual head of the militia; and, for a long time, resisted the attacks of the whole British army, commanded by sir Henry Clinton. By a vigorous exertion of authority in the impressment of flour on an important occasion, he preserved the army from dissolution. His conduct at the storming of forts Montgomery and Clinton, in October, 1777, was particularly praise-worthy. He was greatly instrumental in crushing the insurrection under Shays, which took place in Massachusetts, in 1787. Governor Clinton was unanimously chosen president of the convention which assembled at Poughkeepsie, June 17, 1788, to deliberate on the new federal constitution. After remaining five years in private life, he was elected a member of the state legislature, at a time when the country was in an agitated and critical condition, and it is affirmed that his influence was the principal cause of the great political revolution which took place in 1801. At that period, he was also induced to accept again the station of governor, and, after continuing in that capacity for three years, he was elevated to the vice-presidency of the U. States, a dignity which he retained until his demise at Washington, April 20, 1812. He married Cornelia Tappan, of Kingston, Ulster county, by whom he had one son and five daughters, of whom but two daughters are still living. The following anecdotes are related of his energy and decision:-" At the conclusion of the revolutionary war, when violence against the tories was the order of the day, a British officer was placed on a cart in the city of New York, to be tarred and feathered. This was the signal of violence and assassination. Governor Clinton, at this moment, rushed in among the mob with a drawn sword, and rescued the victim at the risk of his life." "Some years afterwards, a furious assemblage of people collected, called the doctors' mob, and raged through New York, with the intention of killing the physicians of that city, and pulling down their houses, on account of their having dug up bodies for dissection. The violence of this mob intimidated the local magistracy. Governor Clinton fortunately appeared in person, called out the militia, and restored peace to the city." He discharged the functions of vice-president with great dignity. It was by his casting vote, whilst in that station, that the renewal of the bank charter was
negatived. In private life, he was kind and amiable, and warm in his friendships; as a public man, he is entitled to respectful remembrance.
CLINTON, De Witt, was born, March 2, 1769, at Little Britain, in Orange county, New York. He was of English origin. His father served with great distinction during the revolutionary war, and became a major-general in the army of the U. States. His mother was a De Witt, a member of the distinguished Dutch family of that name. Her parents had emigrated to America. He was educated at Columbia college, where he highly distinguished himself. He then commenced reading law with the late honorable Samuel Jones, and, in due time, was admitted to the bar. But before he was able to acquire any practice of importance, he was appointed private secretary to his uncle George Clinton, and continued in this office until the end of his relative's administration, in 1785. In the interim, he had been chosen secretary to the board of regents of the university, and to the board of fortifications of New York. In 1797, Mr. Clinton was elected a member of the legislature of New York, at the time when the two great parties, which have since divided the country, were organized, and embraced the republican or democratic side. In 1800, he was chosen by the council of appointment, of which body he was a member, to support their cause in a controversy between them and governor Jay. This was finally settled by a convention, which met at Albany, in 1801, when the constitution of New York was modified in various ways. The same year, he was chosen a member of the senate of the Union, in order to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of general Armstrong, and continued a member of that body for two sessions. After that period, he was chosen mayor of New York, and remained in this situation, with the intermission of but two years, until 1815, when he was obliged to retire, in consequence of the violence of party politics. In 1817, he was elected, almost unanimously, governor of the state; the two great parties having combined for the purpose of raising him to that dignity-so high was the general sense of his talents and services. This harmony continued until the distribution of offices, when, of course, discontent was excited, and at that time commenced a systematic opposition to his administration. He was reelected, however, in 1820, notwithstanding the great exertions of the opposite party, who