Animation, is that property which distinguishes living from dead or inanimate matter, and is frequently used to denote the principle of lite itself. Strictly speaking, however, it is that which im-parts energy and activity to the vital powers •, as these may still continue, when animation is cither suspended or destroyed. It is capable of modification, and varies in its proportion at particular times, and in different persons.
In a moral or intellectual sense, it denotes an elevated state of the mind, in consequence of the predominance of some powerful passion, such as love, anger, ambition, etc. or the vigorous application of stimuli, such as wine, spirits, air, exercise, etc.
Of those causes which produce it in the highest degree, the chief and most essential is air;—given either in its purest state, or in certain combinations with other gases, its effects are so singular, as to resernble those which were formerly said to be produced by magic. Mr. Humphry Davy, of Clifton, in a work lately published, informs us, that after inhaling nitrous oxyd, a gas hitherto considered as irrespirable, several persons, as well as himself, generally exhibited symptoms of the highest animation. A chearful serenity and apparent exaltation of mind; a degree of expansion, as if the whole body with all its vessels • extended ; a powerful impulse to muscular action ; and an indescribable transport, together with an irresistible inclination to laugh, were among the effects whicch it seldom failed to produce.
Animation may be either diminished, or suspended, without in* juring or destroying the living principle. The former effect; may be in those persons who have suffered from long and close confinement in prisons, hospitals, I and heated assemblies, as well as in . consumptions,
Minnie complaints. In1 e cases, a proper and moderate application of the necessary stimuli, such as air, exercise, a nourishing diet, etc. will generally accomplish, either its partial or complete restoration. Of the latter, various instances have lately happened : persons who v. ere accidentally suffocated Or drowned, have, by timely and proper m< (particularly those recommended by that excellent institution, the Royal Humane Society), been successfully re-animated, when lire it-self seemed on the eve of departing.
Among those causes which principally tend to preserve and increase animation, are temperance, gentle exercise, nourishing diet, wine, moderate gratifications, and constant activity, both corporeal and mental.
Various methods have, at differ-ent times, been recommended to restore animation when suspended, either from suffocation or drowning; In Spain, they first lay the body with its head downwards, near a fire, till it begins to feel warm, and eject water from the trachea, or windpipe ; they them foment the whole breast; and seat of the heart, With spirits of wine; brandy, or bread dipped in strong wines. By these means, if the vit principle be nor the circulation of the blood is usually restored.—The French Academy advise tobacco-smoke to be forcibly injected into the anus and lungs, after which a vein to be opened in the arm and foot : asserted that, by this method, persons who had lain many hours under water, have been happily resuscitated.
In the Journal Historirque s'ur les matibres du ions, for Dec. 1758, A case is related by Dr. du Moulin, who succeeded in recovering a young woman, after she had lain for several hours under water. All pulsation having ceased, he considered it as a desperate case, and Was induced to try a method he had frequently observed to be successful with flies and other inserts, which, when drowned or apparently dead, had been revived by half burying them in ashes or salt. He accordingly ordered a quantity of dry pot-ashes to be strewed, about three inches deep, on a bed : upon this layer his patient was placed, and another, about two inches in depth, was spread over her. The head was covered with a cap containing some of these ashes ; and a stocking filled with the same material, was placed round her throat. Blankets were then laid on the bed and in half an hour her pulse began to bea; after which she quickly recovered. If pot-ash cannot be readily procured, dry salt may be used as a substitute.
In Russia, the common people are frequently deprived of sensation, by pestilential vapours arising from the following cause. Persons of rank, in that country, have double windows to their houses in winter, but those of the poorer classes . are only single. During frosty weather, an incrustation is formed on the inside of those windows, from a condensation of the breath, perspiration, etc. of a number of persons living together in the same room. This mephitic ' erust is mixed with the noxious fumes of candles, and of the oven with which the chamber is heated. When a thaw succeeds, and this plate of ice is converted into water, a deleterious principle is disengaged, which produces effects similar to those arising IV., m the. fumes of charcoal The method of recovering persons affected by this effluvia, is as follows: they are immediately carried out of doors, and placed on the snow, with no other covering but a shirt and linen drawers. Their temples, and the region of the stomach are then well rubbed with snow 5 and cold water and milk is poured down their throats. The friction is continued till the livid hue of the skin disappears', and the surface acquires its natural colour.
In cases of apparent death, from drowning, it is necessary to rub the breast and temples for a considerable time with salt, and all the other parts with warm cloths. Bladders filled with warm water, or bricks heated and wrapped flannel, should be applied to soles of the feet, under the armpits, and between the thighs, head should be covered with blankets, to preserve the lungs from too sudden an ingress of the on the renewal of respiration. When symptoms of return mation appear, a few ounces of blood may be taken from the arm.
As a proof of the success which has attended the exertions of medical men in this country, who have liberally co-operated with the be-nevolent design of the Royal Humane mane Society, under the immediate patronage of our august Sovereign, we shall adjourn this subject, in the words of our worthy friend, the philanthropic Dr. Hawes, a gentleman whose integrity and disinterested activity de-s;-rveequal commendation: "Animation (says this noble veteran), has been given to thousands since 1774, the birth of our life-saving labours."