It is now coming to be recognized that increase of blood pressure alone is not sufficient to account for all dropsical effusions.
In the treatment of effusions into the pleura and, though with less advantage, of pericardial effusions, direct mechanical interference was practised by one physician and another, till these means of attaining rapid and complete cure took their places as indispensable, and were extended from thoracic diseases to those of the abdominal and other inner parts formerly beyond the reach of direct therapeutics.
But it was rather in the chants and litanies of the ancient religion, such as those of the Salii and the Fratres Arvales, and the dirges for the dead (neniae), and in certain extemporaneous effusions, that some germs of a native poetry might have been detected; and finally in the use of Saturnian verse, a metre of pure native origin, which by its rapid and lively movement gave expression to the vivacity and quick apprehension of the Italian race.
What remain of these effusions have no special quality except good sense, refined feeling, accuracy of phrase, and a curious correctness of accent and rhythm.
Modern literature has nothing nobler, nothing more harmonious in the declamatory style than these three patriotic effusions.