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neous or atmospheric origin, to have been communicated to and conveyed through parts and provinces as a mere contagion ; this contagion, however, being nursed and fostered into a species of artificial infection, and thus, from being in the first instance an infection, it. became a contagion; this contagion itself being again converted into some sort of infectious character by the habitudes and circumstances of the
affected. Now, were the malady more properly and strictly infectious—that is, were it like the influenza, ab origine ad finem, both infectious and contagious—we should have more reason to fear its descent
upon our shores. Even then, as in the instance of influenza, much might be done in the way of mitigation by separating the sick from each other; and thus preventing artificial from mixing itself with natural or aërial poison; but, in the present case, I conceive that every thing may be done by a care commensurate to its demands, and I should say, that were a whole ship's crew to be landed to-morrow on our coast, it would only be for medical men to treat the disease properly, and to insure a separation of the sick from each other, as well as from the inhabitants of the village or town into which the ship had unburdened its cargo, for the inhabitants of a neighbouring village to remain as secure in their dwellings as if the much-dreaded plague were three thousand, instead of only three miles from them.
They have only, I say, “ to treat the disease properly;" and here we have to advert again to the last species of error which has been said to mix itself up with vulgar speculations on the subject of medi
. “What is the cure for Cholera ?” do we hear in every company reiterated. I would reply, it is that which the immediate circumstances and complications, local and constitutional, of the case demand. Medical men, I repeat, when they encounter disease, do not encounter an abstract essence. Disorder has occasionally “a local habitation,” but it can never, properly and strictly, have “a name.” The same course shall be followed in different individuals with vastly different effects; and opium and ammonia, and calomel and blood-letting, and sudorifics, shall be all proper-nay, imperiously called for in this instance—they shall some be demanded, and some contra-indicated, in that instance—the malady still retaining from its excitant an appellation implying identity.
I alluded to cases, in the beginning of this essay, where frightful spasms had seized their victims, and crushed the vital principle by an eager grasp before medicinal aid could be procured. I recollect one particular instance, where a fine young woman, in the full vigour and Hower of life, was thus cut off from among the living, and who, most probably, might have had her life preserved to this day had a qualified person been at hand to pour down opium and ammonia in sufficient quantities, to drown, as it were, the cruel spasms. I have been called to other cases, where the timely administration of opium in due quantities has appeared to effect the purpose of immediate preservation, while the radical, or eventual indication, so to speak, has been for an opposite system of treatment; but it is obvious that in all severe cases of disordered visitation the main object of the medical practitioner ought to be to think of his patient circumstantially, and not of the malady abstractedly, and to prevent the extinction of the living principle by measures apportioned to the magnitude of the occasion.
And with what conscious satisfaction may not medical men appeal to the astonishing success attendant upon the treatment of Cholera, even in its direst degrees and forms, when called upon tauntingly by sceptics to show the ground of their pretensions to restoring power!
On this head, we may extract the following statement from Dr. Mason Good, who, in alluding to the Cholera of 1817, remarks, “ Of the dreadful spread and havoc of this cruel Asiatic scourge we may form some idea, from the report to the Medical Board at Bombay by George Ogilvy, Esq. Secretary. The population in this district alone is calculated at from 200,000 to 220,000; the total number of ascertained cases amounted to 15,945, giving a proportion of seven and a half per cent. Of these cases, 1294 sick had been without receiving medical aid; and there is reason to believe that of these, every individual perished! Mr. Ogilvy, indeed, expressly asserts it was not ascertained that any case had recovered in which medicine had not been administered; while it is gratifying to learn, on the other hand, that among those who had received the advantages of the judicious and active plan concurrently pursued, the proportion of deaths was reduced to 6.6 per cent. an alarming mortality still, but a marvellous improvement upon the natural course of the disease. In other parts of India, indeed, the deaths under the same plan of treatment seem to have been still fewer; for Dr. Burrell, surgeon to the 65th regiment at Seroor, out of sixty cases, makes a return of only four deaths; and Mr. Craw, on the same station, asserts that, on an early application for relief, the disease, in his opinion, “is not fatal in more than one in a hundred cases.' Than this statement nothing can be more satisfactory-nothing more demonstrative in favour of medicinal interference." “Let Nature alone to work its own cures" is the cant of many; but who, after perusing the above narrative, can fail to be convinced that this notion of leaving things to Nature is utterly and often fatally erroneous ?
If in the few foregoing intimations I have made myself understood by the reader, he will infer that I have very little apprehension of Cholera ever being an epidemic in Britain. It is possible that the bilious affections which are common with us at the autumnal season, may this
year assume a little more than their wonted malignity; but we have only to be dietetically careful and medicinally watchful, and I believe that much may be done in counteracting even such tendency. At the same time, I am far from joining the fierce and fearless anti-contagionist, who laughs at all preventive measures, and who derides Government enactments by comparing them with commands to build up high walls in order to keep in larks. The term contagion, these gentlemen contend, ought to be restricted to such maladies as measles, scarlatina, and small-pox; for it is these and these only which are capable of being conveyed by a specific poison from district to district, and from clime to clime. Dr. M.Lean, indeed, was so thoroughly imbued with this sentiment, that he entered, without the smallest scruple or care, into the Lazarettoes of the Levant, in which hundreds were labouring under plague. He became himself the subject of plague, and was cured of his distemper, but not of his conceit: for he afterwards returned to this country, and wrote an interesting July.-Vol. XXXII. NO. CXXVII.
book, the main purpose of which was to prove that the distemper in question is from an infectious atmosphere, and from that alone.
So far from going these lengths, I have supposed, and will still presume upon the possibility, that some contagion may find its way to our shores, but I hope not with sufficient intensity, as to measure or quality, for the production of any very serious disorder. Preventives, however, may very properly be had recourse to, if they can be instituted without filling the imagination with direful forebodings; and, under this impression, I will close my paper with an extract from a small volume on Cholera, lately published, by Mr. Searle, the extract itself, however, being one from Mr. Annesley's splendid work on Indian Diseases. I will mark in italics the points which I deem of the greatest practical importance.
“ All that I can say under this head may be comprehended under the general injunction of avoiding the predisposing and exciting causes of the disease. Whatever tends, directly or indirectly, to debilitate or fatigue the system; whatever lowers its vital energy, as excess of every description, disposes to the operation of the efficient cause of the malady. On the other hand, I am fully persuaded, that whatever tends to preserve this energy, serves to render the system impregnable to its operatious.
“ Exposure to cold, to chills, to the night deu', and to wet and moisture, ought carefully to be avoided ; and if at any time these exposures are inevitable, the system should be fortified against their effects. But the mode of fortifying the system requires consideration. This should not be attempted unless better means are not within reach, by wines or spirits: these generally leave the system, as soon as their stimulating effects have passed off, more exposed than before to the invasion of disease. Permanent tonics, however, and those more especially which determine to the surface of the body, at the same time that they improve the tone of the digestive viscera, and promote the regular functions of the bowels and biliary organs, may be resorted to on such occasions. For this purpose, infusion or decoction of bark, or of calumba, may be taken with the spiritus mindereri, or any warm stomachic; or the powdered bark may be administered, combined with the spicy aromatics. The same medicinal means may also be attended to whenever the disease prevails at the place where the individual resides, and should be put in practice when he retires to sleep, and as soon as he rises in the morning, before he leaves his apartment. He should avoid also sleeping in low and ill ventilated apartments, und be equally distrustful of sleeping near, or even of passing through, in the night time, marshy or swampy districts. If, however, these latter precautions cannot be taken, the medicinal means already suggested should be adopted.
“ The bowels should be attended to, and their functions regulated ; but in no case should this be attempted by debilitating purgatives, or by salts. The warm stomachic laxatives, and these combined with tonics, may be adopted with advantage as occasion may require. The surface of the body should be kept in a warm perspirable state : but excessive perspirations should be avoided.
“ The diet should be regular, moderate, and easy of digestion. Whilst low living ought to be shunned, its opposite should never be indulged in. The stomach ought to have no more to do than what it can perfectly accomplish without fatigue to itself, and to the promotion of its own energies. It must never be roused to a state of false energy by means of palatable excitants, or weakened by distending it with too copious draughts of weak diluents.
“ The state of mind ought to be regulated in such a manner as not to be excited much above, nor lowered beneath its usual tenor. The imagination should not for a moment be allowed to dwell upon the puinful consideration which the disease is calculated to bring before the mind ; and least of all, ought the dread of it to be encouraged. Those who dread not diseases, and who yet possess sufticient prudence to avoid unnecessary exposure to their predisposing and er66 It
citing causes, may generally be considered as subjected to comparatively little risk from them. This, I am persuaded, is particularly the case as respects epidemic Cholera; and I wish to impress it upon the minds of those whom the observation concerns.”
Since the above was written, I perceive that the College of Physicians has been acting under the commands of Government in instituting preventive measures, founded upon the contagious nature of the disorder in question. All this is exceedingly proper, and nothing, of course, will be left undone which it shall seem expedient to adopt by the gentlemen who compose the commission. But I would still
wish the public mind, while it is on the alert, not to be upon the alarm. Let not every bilious attack (and, as the hot weather has set in sooner than common, we shall be likely to have these attacks in a proportionate measure sooner,) —let not, I say, every bilious derangement be put down to the score of epidemic Cholera. Let us not frighten each other into malignant disease, nor succumb to the depressing apprehension that is abroad. On this day, (June 23rd,) we find the death confirmed of the Russian General Diebitsch. would appear,” says 66 The Times” newspaper,
" that he died of the Cholera ; and it may be presumed, that his death will thus tend to increase the alarm which that disease has already inspired in the north of Europe.” To me, however, the event in question does not seem at all to militate against the opinions I have above expressed. We can easily conceive that Diebitsch was in that state of mind which rendered him vulnerable to the shafts of disease. He found that Poland was no bed of roses; that he had something more to do than when he directed his hostile steps eastward ; and the discouragements and disappointments of the campaign were just such circumstances as we should expect would wound the spirit and debilitate the frame of a man who set out under the impression that conquest was at his command.
In the same paper, (“ The Times” of the 23rd of June,) we find some rumours reported of the Cholera having visited Dublin : these reports will very likely be multiplied and added to every day. We hope, however, that in a city like Dublin, which has been, for a long time, proverbial for medical skill and science, every care will be taken, even in the event of Cholera appearing, against permitting it to spread through the island. If once a disorder of a contagious nature were to make good its footing among the famished poor of the sister country, then, indeed, we should have just ground for alarm. But this, I trust, will, as there is every reason to hope it may be, averted.
I will take occasion to intimate, that contagion of all kinds makes its way into the system with much more readiness through the medium of the lungs than the skin. I am doubtful, indeed, whether, while the outer skin is whole or unabraded, any thing of a poisonous nature can be introduced by it. I merely throw out this hint in order that care, should its exercise be at all necessary, may be rather directed against inhaling the exhalations of the sick, than of coming in contact with the infected person. All the reputed antidotes to contagion are worse than nugatory. Covering the surface of the body with any material is a proposal childish in the extreme.
ODE TO THE QURANG-OUTANGS AT THE EGYPTIAN HALL.
“A LIKENESS for a shilling !"-Vide Records of Fine Arts.
Oh! dumb philosophers !-oh! sages mute !
For ye are "links" between them!
Oh! marvels twain,
How shall I sing your praise ?
I will not try, not I;
To come and bow
And to confess,
Satyrs ye are, 'tis true!
Will come and stare,
Divine the dancer is, I know;
But then the latter,
Melt into air-prodigious pair !
And looking on your aspects rare,
(A moral likeness of her brood)
“Lives" to that variety
Or were you caught
Alas I then you were brought
But then they talk !