Imatges de pÓgina
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Cavenagh and Mr. Bruen, the heads of the old Protestant aristocracy, did not even venture to enter the lists against them. Such a man is Doctor Doyle : and yet this man, whose abilities are of the first ciass, whose power over popular opinion is incalculable, and who would, if he were permitted, enter into co-operation with the Government for any legitimate object of public utility, and, above all, the production of peace and happiness through the country, is kept apart by a miserable system from the authorities, and has not even succeeded in persuading them to abandon that system of education, which, beyond anything else, irritates and exasperates the Roman Clergy of Ireland.

The County of Wexford has, in throwing out Lord Valentia, got rid of a man, in whom the morgue aristocratique was combined with a feudalism in religion, (for there is such a thing in Ireland,) and has accomplished the double good of removing an evil and substituting a great good in the person of Mr. Henry Lambert. This gentleman unites all the requisites for the representative of a popular county. He has a large property, he is of ancient family, is devoted to the cause of true freedom, is at the same time reasonable in his views, and not only has the judgment to see what is likely to conduce to the public benefit, but the talents requisite to enforce his opinions, and become a powerful expositor of Irish wrongs in the House of Commons. For many years he did not take any very active concern in the business of agitation in Ireland. His tastes and habits are perhaps a little fastidious, and he did not in all likelihood relish the close approximation with turbulence and the ruder attributes of democracy, which a large participation in the pursuits of the Association would have involved. He led rather a secluded life at his country seat, where he beguiled his time with the graceful literature and the study and cultivation of those accomplishments which are most in affinity with a mind of a nice and delicate texture. He published some tracts on politics which were full of just observations, and written in a sparkling and vivacious style. . But he seldom appeared in the convocations of the people, and to the great mass of his fellow religionists was hardly known. He has now come forward to take the station which his circumstances and endowments entitle him to fill, and has already, by his forcible observations on the Newtown-Barry massacre, approved himself to be animated by the sentiments and possessed of the qualities, requisite for the efficient service of his country.

The member for the town of Wexford is Mr. Walker, son of a gentleman who was one of the Masters in the Irish Chancery, and who has a large estate near the town. Mr. Walker, although a Protestant and a member of the highest class of gentry in his county, was always distinguished for his steadfast and zealous support of the Catholic claims. He ingratiated himself in the popular liking to such an extent that it is hardly exaggeration to say that he was almost adored by the people. He never omitted an opportunity to sustain the lower classes, when oppressed by their superiors, and on the seat of magisterial justice was the dauntless champion of the poor. In one instance he particularly distinguished bimself. He found in an English parson settled in a good living in his neighbourhood, no other pastoral quality than a peculiar genius for the shear-ing of his flock. This shepherd of the people was also a Justice of: the Peace. This nuisance of the altar, and this tyrant of the bench, was resisted by Mr. Walker. He turned his weapons against himself, and dragged him into the Ecclesiastical Court as a delinquent against decency, and a mocker of the name of God. After having broken many hearts, it became his turn to perish of that malady which he had so often inflicted. The “ arte perire suâ” was a just retribution.

Lord Roden had already given some strange instances of that enthusiasm in religion which consists fully as much in interference with that of his neighbours as in attending to his own. He had incurred the resentment of the inhabitants of Dundalk, by introducing a clause in all leases made by him, to prevent any of his tenants from building, or allowing to be built, a Roman Catholic Chapel on the demised premises. This was sufficient, it is almost needless to say, to arm the priesthood and array the whole mass of religious passions against him. He might have been contented with the effects produced by this offence to the most sensitive of all feelings, but as if he had not succeeded to the utmost of his desires, he has recourse to an ensuring expedient, and puts in Captain Gordon of the Royal Navy, and of missionary celebrity in Ireland, as his nominee for the borough of Dundalk. The Captain may be, peradventure, a most estimable individual in all his personal relations, and he may have received a special delegation from Heaven on the quarter-deck on some fine moonlight night upon the high seas. He might have travelled on his tour of conversion, when he performed his progress through Ireland with Mr. Gerard Noel, from motives in which his heart alone, and not his stomach were concerned, and without the least reference to the justice of Pope's culinary predilection, when he exclaims—“ still let me dine with Saints !” but admitting him to be as sincere, though as yet not as fortunate as Mr. Wolfe, the converted Jew, it was a strange selection on the part of Lord Roden to choose a man so obnoxious to the Irish people, who have been accustomed to associate derision and contumely with his name. But that Lord Roden is known to be an inveterate antagonist of Reform, one would be tempted almost to believe that he intended to expose the monstrosities of the Irish borough system, by the nomination of a man, as an Irish representative, whom beyond any other, perhaps, Ireland would stenuously repudiate ! and who is no otherwise distinguished than by those barbarous homilies in which mysticism is involved in nautical phraseology, set off by a Caledonian intonation.

O'Connor Don is gone. His white and venerable head, his face flushed with rural health at seventy-two, his tall, straight, and erect figure are “ in my mind's eye.” He was the descendant of the last of the Irish Kings, and tempered his monarchical prerogatives by manners of peculiar kindness, which only reflected the affability of his benign and gentle nature. Peace be with him! His eldest son -But I shall return to the Irish elections in the next number. I have already exceeded my due limits.

C. D.

CHOLERA MORBUS. What is its nature? In what manner ought it to be treated ? And is it likely to visit the British Islands ? BY DAVID Uwins, M.D.

My reader must not imagine that I am about to frighten him out of his senses with medical polemics, and technical jargon, when I advert to three or four errors which have always (as it appears to me, for I would not be dogmatical) clung with more or less tenacity to, and thereby occasioned more or less of confusion in, the doctrines and principles of the healing art.

In the first place, the excitant of a disease, or one of its prominent characters, has by a curious sort of metonymical nomenclature been considered and described as the disease itself; or what is more to the purpose of our present argument, the error as to its consequences being in some measure similar, varied degrees of morbid action have been received, as differences absolutely in kind.

Secondly, the ideas of contagion and infection have been strangely confounded, even by men, who, for the most part, are precise in their language, and particular in their designation, of other things. · It has, thirdly, been taken for granted, and acted upon as a practical truth, that an infectious disease cannot be a contagious one, nor a contagious an infectious one.

Lastly, the management of a malady has been considered a mere abstract affair, whereas, in point of fact, it is one of the most circumstantial and relative of all things. The physician, in his endeavours to combat morbid action, has been supposed to be engaged with a substantial entity-and you hear talk of remedies for this, and cures for that distemper, as if, like the chemist, a medical practitioner had only to learn the opposites of the several derangements to which we are obnoxious to apply that to the particular case and thus to obtain the tertium quid of health.

I will give one or two instances of these several errors, and endeavour to make the argument apply to the resolution of the important queries placed at the head of the present article.

We will suppose a certain condition of atmospheric temperaturean undefinable and hitherto inscrutable state of circumambient aira too fearless exposure to sudden alternations of heat and cold—a dejected or apprehensive turn of mind—an indulgence in unwholesome fruits—to operate separately, or, to a greater or less extent, conjunctively, upon the frame, and the consequence shall be some kind or other of nervous, and stomach, and biliary derangement. Upon an individual of one constitution and under particular circumstances (and I have seen this happen in our own country) the rush of disordered action shall be such as to occasion a general cramp or spasm upon almost every part of the body (the biliary ducts included) -and the patient shall be hurled to the ground a lifeless corpse before medical aid can be procured. Surely the malady would in this case possess every title to the appellation of spasmodic Cholera—and yet it shall have been induced by the very same means which in other individuals of the family or the district shall merely occasion an acrimony in the quality, and superabundance in the quantity, of bile, a mere diarrhea, or, at the most, what is named a bilious Cholera, being the result. To imagine then that spasmodic Cholera, bilious

Cholera, and windy Cholera (the divisions of systematic writers), are so many abstract essences, necessarily acknowledging each its specific excitant, is to imagine erroneously.

Again, let a certain virus or poison, however generated, so be made to impinge upon the body as to bring about those particular effects to which the term fever has been very improperly applied.* If the attack is made in the autumnal season, or upon what is called a bilious constitution, the consequence will be “ a bilious fever;" if its influence be directed to the poor and ill-fed and filthy inhabitants of . a miserable alley in a miserable part of the metropolis, the distemper will prove a " typhus fever;" if we could suppose an individual labouring under this form of disease to be immediately, or with much more than rail-way rapidity conveyed to the shores of the Levant; and to communicate with another the second with a third, and so on in rapid succession, under external and internal circumstances calculated to foster it, plague in all its enormous malignity shall rear its head and carry dismay and destruction among the community. Let the conveyance of the typhoid sufferer be supposed in another direction ; let him be transported to the swampy shores and burning suns of a West India island-here his own malady will assume more of the bilious character, and if the cause and causes effecting this change in the kind of malady act with sufficient intensity, he shall become the subject of yellow fever himself, and be the medium of communicating the yellow fever to others. Who, I have elsewhere asked, has ever heard of the yellow fever becoming general in Britain ? and why, with all its acknowledged powers of communication, does it not become so ? Because it is an infectious as well as contagious distemper-in other words, it is dependent upon time, place, and circumstance, as well as upon a virus or poison. But I am told that Cholera has travelled from the East to the North, and that the virulent plague of the Levant has in past times been an English distemper. It is true that Cholera has so travelled, and that plague has in past times become general in this country; but among what people and under what circumstances has Cholera thus been transported from place to place ? and under what circumstances has the real plague ever been an English malady? The first has taken its route with migratory tribes and caravan travellers, among whom, from the very nature and mode of their existence, that kind of association is established which is the most calculated to preserve the seeds and foster the germination of a contagious poison. It has been conveyed to and communicated amongst districts where, as in the instance of the Cossacs, the subjects of its operation are in their habits and customs but one remove from thorough barbarism; and it has visited provinces which are torn and rent by the horrors of present or anticipated war, and where famine, and fear,

and

carnage, and their consequences, have rendered the people vulnerable to almost any species of malady, especially such as act particularly and prominently upon the nervous and biliary functions.

Fever is a word taken from a prominent symptom-viz. the increased heat- but this increase of heat is by no means proportioned always to the intensity of other marks, and there is, therefore, an impropriety in making it the essence of any malady. But I must not allow myself to go further into these objections, as my present design is of a popular nature.

I have just admitted that plague has heretofore visited Britain, in its true, and proper, and virulent form, instead of being the more mild or more malignant typhus of present times. But I hope and trust, nay, I am fully assured, that this will never again be the case. Upon what is my hope and expectation founded? not upon quarantine enactments, which I fear are as useless as they are expensive and vexatious ;* but upon the feeling that the polity of this comparatively happy country has, in conjunction with the active good sense of its inhabitants, brought the land and the particulars of its climate into such a condition as to prevent the generation of malaria, thus to prevent plague from becoming an infection, and to dilute it into a mere contagion. Blasts from noxious winds, and blights from baneful states of the atmosphere, still occasionally visit us; but the industry of our peasantry, under the direction of our men of science, has in a great measure rent asunder the formerly joint influence of soil and atmosphere; and our citizens have effected the same disunion of animal and putrid effluvia from aërial conditions of a noxious kind. I have heard it suggested that atmospheric infection is produced by myriads of insects, or their larvæ-a suggestion which may be considered as authorised by the appearances that vegetation assumes after what is named a blight has for a short time been hovering over the land. Others ascribe the malaria, which converts a contagious into an infectious distemper, to intestine commotions of the earth engendering chemical compounds, which mixing to a certain extent with the air, impart to it its deleterious qualities. No theory, however, has hitherto proved satisfactory which aims at the explication of atmospheric poison; but certain it is that man possesses considerable power, by the management of the soil, of mitigating its malign influence; and to the exercise of this power is, I repeat, our comparative immunity from pestilential influence in a great measure to be ascribed. Assuming Cholera, about which there is at present so much, and in my mind such needless apprehension, to be a contagious disorder, (and its contagious quality seems established by the best authority,) I say, assuming that it is communicable from one individual to another by immediate contact, you assume what is rather favourable to the supposition, that we shall always be preserved from any very formidable measure of its influence; because we can dilute the poison into comparative nonentity by our habits and by our polity; and we may meet its visits, not under the paralyzing depression of alarm, but with a manly determination to do all that man has a right and a power to effect, in the way of opposing what was in former times, and still is in some countries considered as an immediate visitation from Heaven of a punitory nature, and, therefore, that resistance to it is impious, and opposition unavailing. The Cholera in question seems to have been originally of sponta

If articles of merchandize could cause plague in the way that quarantine institutions suppose, we should often and often have been visited by the distemper, in spite of all the precautions of the most rigorous police. It is well known that officers at the several stations smile at what they are obliged officially to perform, in the same spirit that some of the more liberal priests of an austere and ceremonious religion, after going through the duties their functions impose on them, thank God that “ the farce is over. If • Reform" be required in any thing, it is required in the laws enacted for the prevention of plague. At the same time I should be far from countenancing the lawless proposals of your thorough anti-contagionists.

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