Mercury, swallowed in the fluid state, often rapidly passes through the bowels, operating as a laxative by its weight in the manner above referred to. it has been given in cases of ileus arising from obstruction of the bowels, in the hope that its great weight might prove serviceable in disentangling the intestine, or forcing a passage through obstructing materials. in some cases, it is thought to have contributed to, if not produced a favourable result; but much oftener it has failed altogether; and, considering its liability to be retained in the bowels, and through chemical change to affect the system, it should be regarded as unsafe, and never used except under otherwise desperate circumstances. The metal has been given in quantities varying from an ounce to a pound or more.

Small leaden shot I have known to be used with an asserted laxative effect. They may operate both by their shape and weight, but, I need scarcely say, are quite inadmissible for therapeutic use; as, though lead unchanged is not poisonous, yet it may readily undergo alterations in the bowels, which will enable it to be absorbed, and to produce its poisonous effects on the system.