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unchecked progress of death by poison rather than | him to overprove his case. Thus he commences by natural disease.
the present year, 1852, by announcing 1,297 deaths ; No new natural epidemic was ever recorded in the and not content to deduce in his own way an annals of medicine as having dogged the steps of the agreement in amount with the corrected average, victims, like the hound that never quits the scent, he adds, moreover, by way of clinching his with the silent but sure increase of pace from year to assertion, that he has included various deaths in year, and with the invariable uniformity observable which coroners held inquests, which properly bein London blood-taint. Every novice of our acade- long to previous weeks, as if such additional mies reads in the works of the fathers of medicine numbers did not usually come in at the first week that it is the Protean changes of natural epidemics, of the year. Supposing his second view to be their inflections, their chameleon-like transitions, correct, then his average is wrong. If the average both as to symptoms and degree of admissibility be correct, the sentence which follows is a mere of cure, that constitutes their greatest difficulty. delusion. Let the reader refer to the first week of Such is the characteristic of natural disease. But the previous year, and he will find the same inquestarsenic, mephitic gases, and all other poisons, ever items, and let him recollect that the comparison have acted, and ever will act, in the ratio of dose and average is upon the first inquest-items-inand resisting power of the body corporate, the cluding weeks of ten years. Thus he will discover same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Infinites- the value and object of this supplementary official imal doses will purge, gripe, taint the blood and remark. destroy life. This is the grand test whereby In these remarks we have no desire to derogate natural disease may be distinguished from death from what has been done in former years, but to by poison. The evil cannot be rectified by the exclaim against official indifference at the last course taken by our Registrar-General in 1851. year's alarming retrogress of health. The history In vain will he augment his allowance for increase of former and earlier years, from the first organiof population. In vain, after wriggling with slow sation of their board, will convince any person who increments, will he boldly approach to a duplication has patience to make the research that the increaseil of his figures for allowance for increase of popula. mortality of London has never so much depended tion, as he has done only within a time very re- on increase of population as it has on sanitary negcent. The laudable object of these changes, to lect; and that, under sanitary exertions, the largest show an average decrease, still escapes his grasp, diminution of it has occurred under the greatest as if to mock his pursuit. It will be a source of increase of population. Can we forget that when melancholy amusement to pursue him in his awk- the census of London the less stood at 1,594,890, ward attempts to put the best face upon growing the annual mortality of 1837-38 presented (indedisease during the Exhibition year. After giving pendently of the cholera of 183:2) 53,597 ? As. twenty-seven unfavourable weekly returns ex- suming the rate of mortality of earlier periods pressive of his regret, surprise and alarm; in his before and in the infancy of the existence of the twenty-eighth (July 12) he takes courage and an- Board of Health, with such a corrected average for nounces a favourable aspect; in his twenty-ninth, increase as that adopted by our Registrar, the moragain raising his allowance for increase of popula- tality of London ought to be 70,000 a-year. If tion, he again finds material on which to repeat his such a system of altering their scale for increase, favourable opinion. Here ends his fortnight's almost to a duplex, be their only remedy, God help triumph. The Chairman of the Board of Health the inhabitants of London ! was then told what was seen clearly, that these two To use their own words, “The metropolis has weeks were the weeks of natural transition, agree- in itself all the elements of a healthy city. If the ably with a law of epidemics well understood. tides leave the banks of the Thames exposed, that Accordingly, out comes his return for July 26, great river sweeps through the city from west to and with it an increase of mortality from 873 to east, and the winds rush fresh over its waters. 956, and onward flowed the tide of death till the The land rises in undulations to Hampstead-heath next weeks of travsition, which began in the week and the Surrey bills; PURE water is abundant (?), ending November 1 ; although it will be seen that and would flow under almost every street; the by increasing his figure for supposed increases of artificial heat and gas, noisome as it sometimes is, population, just in proportion as town had become ascends in a vast column to the sky, and is replaced empty, he tries to anticipate nature by several by under-currents from the surrounding country. weeks. Again he has his fortnight's period of Their wealth enables the citizens to take advantage transition and rests. Again he congratulates his of all the suggestions, discoveries and resources of readers; but on the 15th of November he is again modern science; so that the metropolis need neither compelled to announce a sudden and formidable be fatal to so large a portion of its inhabitants, nor increase, which week by week maintains the cha- | undermine or damage the health of those who are racter for the remainder of the year, and will go collected every year within its circuit.” (Vide on maintaining it. Now this is pitiful, and the Hare's Letter in the Second Annual Report of more so from men who have the presumption to the Registrar-General, 1840.) So far as Nature's criticise Sydenham, à perusal of whose pages bounty is concerned, all he says is true; but as to would save thein for the future from such humi- the purity of the water, or the successful riddance liation. The reader, if conversant with the nature and spirit of evidence, will observe a feverish
* He does not tell his readers, what his table will show, that anxiety in the reports (amiable perhaps), inducing he has struck out the lightest year from his decennial average
of the gas, or any confidence in the wealthy of the eliminating factors, nor constrained to act upon metropolis being able, even, if willing, “ to secure their will to our own destruction, contra bonos the discoveries and resources of modern science," mores. The Registrar-General may get used to &c. &c., credat qui vult. When our sanitarian it, and so may the Board of Health; but we will officer wrote thus, all to him appeared couleur de tell them it were better for society if both boards, rose. Newly-installed and newly-calaried, he had instead of singing their own pæans, and mag. no gloomy reflections that it is to the wealthy pro- nifying the superiority of numerical arguments jectors and manufacturers, in a word to the mar- over Sydenham's natural method, would first learn riage of enormous wealth to that productive but the laws of epidemics, as inferable from that great mischievous bride, that artful hand-maiden, Modern authority. It would enable them to see a little Chemistry, that we owe more than half the mischief. further than a fortnight, as it enabled one to tell The reporter seems to have been enjoying that their noble chairman, at the earlier part of the félicité parfaite, rudely but frankly expressed in year, that flux-disease would necessarily be severe; the happy man's song:
and the deaths rose one-fourth accordingly, by the The smoke is good, and the gas is good,
bowel-flux alone, on the yearly aggregate amount And the winds are good in hot weather
of 1851, compared with that of 1850. The law The water is good, and our river is good,
was extracted and supplied, and a pledge given And we're all good fellows together. Parody on Old Song.
for the result. Lord Seymour and Professor
Owen, an ex-Commissioner of Health, have the When we read his eulogium we are tempted to vouchers
. These laws have for years been before exclaim, By Heaven! we have deceived ourselves the scientific world, and we know that not one has this livelong time! We had thought that in ever yet been disproved. We extract a paragraph our long experience of external agents on the from that code as being illustrative and instructive body-corporate, we could recollect public wells of the nature of London blood-taint flux: tainted by the gas-ourselves, for example, in
The atmosphere of organic matter thrown off insensibly sisting upon the poisonous character of that which by every population, more or less dense as a district may erst graced the foot of the statue at Charing-cross, be more or less open or close, and rendered more poisonous and to the south of that statue, where it is seen no by the exhalation from common sewers, churchyards, more ; for the once-celebrated pump is removed and vaults, slaughter houses, cesspools, factories
tion, &c. &c., all commingling therein, may be sufficient replaced by one at the north. We thought we to impress destructive force on the living, so as to receive could recollect, whenever we have examined the and impart the processes of reaction in the zymotic prindisturbed earth of the streets, finding it uniformly ciples necessary to the spread of typhus fever; but it is saturated with street gas ! and year after year we that epidemic influence to which all progressive epidemics thought we had heard complaints in the suburbs, have been traced. of roads noisome with it, of ornamental planta- In the capricious visits of an exotic, as in sweatingtions destroyed by it, of pipes, when replaced by sickness
, the earlier visitations may prove fatal to the those of larger calibre to meet increased demand, poor: in the latter the poor shall escape altogether, and being a cause, inter alia, of local outbreaks of the highest classes shall be the victims. Thus in the three flux and cholera. We had thought that our own the fourth they began to suffer; in the fifth severely; and
first visits of the sweating-sickness the rich escapel; in well at our suburban residence, and several public in the sixth extensively and exclusively, the poor escaping wells founded by charity, had been thus tainted, universally, So, in our own time, this capricious character and that there existed irrefragable proofs that the of new epidemics is still preserved. The Irish typhus, a London street surface is one mass of poisonous years limited to the poor; but in the progression of its
new epidemic, which first appeared in 1816, was for many earth. “That great river, too, that sweeps through unhappy naturalisation it has found its way to the upper the city from west to east
, with the wind rushing classes, and when contagiously introduced among their fresh over its waters,” we thought it had smelt families it is growing proportionably more fatal to them
than to the poor themselves.* of rotten eggs; and for the abundant supply
As in common poisons some, as for example tobacco, of pure water-how this world is given to error! hydrocyanic acid, foxglove, or the ancient state poison of The cels were said to get used to being skinned, Athens, subdue and extinguish the powers of life without and the apprehensions here expressed in the exciting reaction; others equally fatal excite violent inflamRegistrar-General's Report, in a sickly year, mate, arsenic, cantharides ; so it is with atmospheric
matory reaction and excessive heat; as corrosive sabliindeed, but yet at a time when by all the poisons developed by chemical and epidemical forces in three forms of blood-taint, London folk only manufacturing towns — some are remarkable for their died at the rate of ten a week, the year round, relaxing and prostrating effects on the nerves and tissues, are converted, as the gentleman grows older and as cholera superadded on London blood-taint, others for less sensitive, to a serene satisfaction in the year mations, as plague; and some forces also, like common
rapidly developing violent, active, and destructive inflam1851 ; when, from their own figures, as here poisons, produce mixed effects, as that of violent influenza, shown, the destruction by London poisons, inde- Reference to the registry of disease all over the world, pendently of natural disease, amounts to 5000 just as special reference to the registry of disease in Great deaths per annum, or about 100 per week, to say all our possessions, will show that bowel-flux when epi
Britain, and to our army and navy medical returns from nothing of the other thousands, whose health being demic arrests catarrh ; and, vice verse, the number of cases undermined become less able to resist the various maladies which flesh is heir to. The ordinary ills * The mortality (according to a Government report) has been are bad enough ; but we, no more than legitimate much greater among the higher ranks of society whom the disease heirs, are bound to accept and act upon the fatal has attacked, than in the labouring-class es ; and the physicians
and other attendants, as well as the clergy, have felt its destructive legacies of jobbing companies and smoke-and-filth-force in much more than an ordinary proportion.
of catarrh or bronchitis will gradually ascend in an exact| interment, and let the numerous places hitherto ratio with the descent of bowel-flux. In all epidemics, appropriated to that use be converted, after being portion as the forces relax the bowels they will manifest treated with a stratum of quick-lime, into lawns, less energetic action on the skin and on the air-passages; walks, gardens, squares, and such-like useful and not excepting the poisonous epidemic forces of small ornamental objects; but by no means let them be pos, for this last has at one time manifested its influence built upon. Replace your foul street-earth with a by inducing all ordinary febrile symptoms, except the eruption, for which in 1668 a diarrhea or spontaneous
more salubrious material. salivation was substituted. This explains why, in Asiatic
To supply the defect of burying-places, other cholera superadded upon its ally epidemic diarrhea, the grounds should be chosen, at proper distances, fever of reaction is languid and indistinct.- From “ The on the north side of a city, as southern winds Laws of Epidemics, or Code of Safety, by G. F. Collier, are more sultry and likely to convey to the N.D."
inhabitants any noxious exhalation; the diffuIt is but reasonable that as we have spoken so sion of which, it is well known, northern winds freely of the extent of a great social evil, and of tend rather to check than to promote. See that the reprehensible listlessness with which it is the increase of trade, and crowded assemblage allowed to spread, that we should be prepared with consequent thereon, be allowed to produce the hints for the correction and remedy.
least possible damage, whether where merchants We will do this with the confidence and facility most do congregate or in the more fashionable that can only result from long acquaintance with the atmosphere of a court. Control, as far as you subject in all its bearings. We speak with the can, the extent and impurities of illuminations and ease of an emeritus professor. Happy the Govern- lighting ; encourage early closing ; supply an ment, if they will listen and receive knowledge. ædilian prosecutor to compete with the companies Thus, if we had their ear, we would address them: who saturate our street-soil and our wells with
My lords and gentlemen,-Thirty years ago not noisome gas — our water with organic debris. twenty people died annually of diarrhea. Now, Lose no time in purifying our river ; let the near 3000 die of it, not from natural disease, but chemistry of manufacture be compelled to make undermined and poisoned.
obeisance to the Goddess of Health. Trust not The appearance of a new epidemical disease in the duties of an ædile to a mock analysing comany country ought not to excite surprise ; for good mission, with one commissioner doing his own reasons were proferred by John Hunter, and by duty, and secretary besides, at his own solitary others after him, for believing that under the modi- board, not entirely useless under the premierfying force of epidemical influence new poisons are ship of Mr. Thomas Wakley, M.P. In short, constantly produced among the poor of great cities. neither let your army, nor your navy, nor A collection of causes concurring produce malig- the civil population, be poisoned with unwholenant and fatally acute disease, simulating epidemical some food. Oondescend to think for the many, disease, without epidemical influence; but it is con- and supply them with some guarantee that they trary to the experience of ages that such disease be not dearly and generally supplied with unwhole
permanently spread itself over a great ex- some liquids. Bear in mind that tainted air is tent of country, unless aided by meteorologic poisonous, as well as tainted food. Look to your influence, and developed by the like combined hospitals, and to all your benevolent and parochial poisonous forces.
institutions, and see that they be not made hotThese poisonous forces have more than doubled beds of pest, as some of them are now, without since 1846, and they are undermining your manu- the slightest sanitary control, and with a mortality facturing population. The remedy is not in a of 130 per cent. Give the mechanics more room single panacea, but in the judicious use of the state for recreation ; give them ball-courts to their Materia Medica. In 1776 the evil was anticipated baths and wash-houses; and do not be afraid of by Dr. Samuel Johnson, and his friend Dr. Brock- driving them mad, even if they have music and lesby. Even then (Vide Gentleman's Magazine reading-rooms there ; it would be better for them and the Annual Register for 1776) the Govern- than the hot, reeking coffee-shops, where they ment of that time were told that they could not for seek relaxation, and more worthy of a great many years longer be allowed to remain blind to nation. In short, my lords and gentlemen, the evil, or deaf to an appeal for the remedy. We look to fire, earth, air and water. The first do but repeat the advice then given without any is hourly made an instrument for poisonous considerable enlargement or merit of our own. evolutions; the second is a mass, saturated with Create your proper ædilian officers, incorporate poison, which we daily tread upon; the third is their duties with those of the inspectors of build- tainted; and the fourth is corrupt. Learn that, ings of all kinds above and below the street earth, as twelve pence make a shilling, a sufficing az Greece and Rome did in their best times. Let number of causes create pest; and do not amuse all public buildings, whether for worship, amuse- and stultify the people with brass-farthing, aborment, or utility, be erected agreeably with the laws tive, and, because abortive, expensive attempts at of health, and not at the lawless caprice of wealth sanitary legislation. Again we say, “it is the last or fanaticism. Abolish and prohibit all intramural key-stone that makes the arch."
a song of willow.” “ The spiuners and the knitters i' the sun,
And the fond maids who weave with bones,
My soul to death! Peace, Conscience !-peace!
Though with woe-weeds her heart was sown,
The greater harvest is mine own; And shall the garner ne'er decrease ? For thus it is I dare to say,
"Mary, beseech my pardon still!"
The сир deceitful hope did fill From her has wholly passed away : Another and a surer path
Her trusting feet unwearied go,
And every eve a Christmas glow
Of friends who proudly come to see
In what a joyful dignity
Casteth a pallor on the walls ;
And every shadow there that falls Belongs to Sorrow more than Night.
“ Hand heart ! you feel it now!" All night,
Sleepless, I tossed upon my bed ;
For I had heard that she was wed To whom my early love was plight. But how we loved, how well and long,
How full of hope and fond belief,
With what extremes of joy and grief,
A plaint of Willow, sad and low;
'Tis death-or that more bitter woe When grief is aggravate of wrong. Falsehood ! thy guilt is mine! For e'er
Three summers those still eves had brought
To lovers' hearts so richly fraught,
And in the little garden-deemed
A world of flowers while there we dreamedThe summer eves were sweet no morc. Through grove to grove, by wood and mead,
Her bounding feet, still quickening, flew;
But when most fair the prospect grew
O'er the vast desert turning back ;
What 'tis when all to cheer and bless,
The dowry of all happiness, Is but the memory of a vow. And truly I have cause to fear
My vows may cost me dearly yet,
Unless the heavenly scribes forget Not all were murmured in her ear. Mary! my pardon still beseech,
That once, within the sacred shrine
When we two sat, thy hand in mine,
My trne pure love I would aver;
And when I turn my heart from her Then turn from me Thiy holy face !" The mad blasphemer :- all the while
The glorious organ pealed aloud ; And mid the prayers of all the crowd Those words went up that may beguile
I rose; a quiet in the air,
The sober meekness of the dawn,
Proclaimed another Sabbath mornA day of love, and rest, and prayer. And the thought stung me as as I rose,
How oft my old love, fresh from sleep,
Wondered how near she was to weepFor she had waked before her woesAnd said, “Whence is thus sullen pain?"
And then the start, the fitful sigh,
The gathering sorrow in her eye, When the old snake uncoiled again. Abroad ! abroad! I needs must walk
Where, rich in all the peerless wealth
Of morning love enjoyed by stealth, We roamed-to wonder more than talk : In the vast quiet of content,
With brimming hearts, with aimless feet,
And loving cyes that feared to meet —
As where we most were innocent:
In heaven arch-devils might repent Who boast of blasphemy in hell.
O Nature ! shall I never know
What bonds are cast 'twixt thine and mine,
Our souls, so trammelled yet divine, Thy suminer leaves and winter snow?
And this the fragrance of her breath,
And such the fervour of her kiss!
Oh, touch my lips again--the bliss Shall linger through the pangs of death!
Behold! a soft, autumnal breeze
Is circling o'er the sleepy corn;
Sedately onward it is borne,
A robe of penance round me flings,
And shakes my soul, as angels' wings Swept drooping o'er Bethesda's pool. Rise, O baptismal waters! Roll
Your soothing wavelets round my heart,
Anoint with patience all my thought, And make this halting spirit whole. For not in boughs of Indian palm,
O gentle Wind ! hadst thou thy birth;
Nor otherwhere in all the earth, Except it be Jerusalem !
How lexicon the languages,
That, half in love and half in fear,
The weary traveller stops to hear
That, like a loud triumphal horn,
Peals o'er the earth the march of morn-
An elder sister, calm and wise,
With deep, admonitory eyes,
With fires to weld the broken will,
With healing for the secret ill, And sympathy and peace for all. And here in this familiar place
Familiar and yet always new,
Still guised in brighter, sadder hue-
The stream we sauntered oft along,
And heard the lark's impetuous song Beleaguering the gates of God?Unconscious when the anthem stilled
Each hushed emotion pulsed again,
That half the music of the strain
The hill upon whose daisied height
We tarried long to watch the night
The hedgerows and encrimsoned skies,
All turn on me her golden eyes,
What here, and here, and there was said;
I know, too, that she is not dead,
They dim mine eyes, they flood mine ears,
And swift a spangled haze appears,
The measure of that happy laugh :
Sweet ghost ! mock not mine eyes, that half Believe they track her flying feet. And rob my memory no more
For masques! Indeed I cannot spare
One look of pride, or mirth, or care, Of all the thousands of my store. "Tis vain-resume that transient grace,
And smile, and I'll believe the chent !
Oh, thus indeed we used to meet, With all that glory on her face !
On passed the Wind, with robe outspread
To catch the melody that fell,
Like rain-drops, from the sabbath bell ;
The jewelled and unjewelled ear,
With one low song, serene and clear,
Where yet forbidden phantoms brood,
Will turn my steps—with grief subdued, But still pervading and profound. Farewell, O sister eloqnent !
Ere next I dare to search thce ont,
I'll build this ruined heart about With walls of patience and content. And there my love in bonds I'll keep,
Till, starved of thought, it die—and merge
In those sad drops that o'er the verge
And count the weary, weary days,
Before that dawn may break, whose rays
On watchful nights, you take the book
Inscribed of Love and Youth, and look
With all unclouded eyes--nor burn
The very ashes in the urn, With fiery embers of disdain.