Imatges de pÓgina

peror. He soon discovered the offender, but contented himself with saying, next morning, on the parade, that some officer in his guards had greatly insulted a lady who was dear to him in the summer-gardens : that when he relaxed the strict sumptuary laws which lately existed, he meant his subjects should enjoy a rational liberty; but he was sorry to find it had already degenerated into licentiousness. He further added his hope that such improper conduct would never be repeated; and concluded by trusting the gentlemen around him would think him mild, when they were told it was her Imperial Majesty who was the unfortunate lady so offended.” P. 137.

Doyen's critique on Sir Joshua Reynolds's style, though sarcastic was not wholly unjust. The picture which called it forth, was the infant Hercules strangling the Serpent ; a subject which the Painter bad not unaptly chosen as allego. rical of the progress of the Russian Empire. Doyen disregarded the voluptaous colouring, and looked chiefly to the undecided drawing, and the varied distribution of effect, light and shadow. At length when asked his opinion, he burst out,“ Superbe tableau ! magnifique! grand effet! beau coroli ! plein d'expression! and then with emphasis after a short hesitation, Renversez le, c'est toujours un beau tableau.

One or two of Mr. Walker's “Pastimes” might bave been omitted with advantage; but perhaps the standard of delicacy varies some little in the different temperatures of London and St. Petersburgh.

Art. VIII. The History of the Plague, as it has lately ap

peared in the Islands of Malta, Gozo, Corfu, Cephalonia, &c. detailiny important Facts, illustrative of the specific Contagion of that Disease, with Particulars of the Means adopted for its Eradication. By J. D. Tully, Esq. Surgeon to the Forces, Member of the Ionian Academy, late Inspector of Quarantine, and President of the Board of Health of the Ionian Islands. 8vo. 304 pp. Longman. 1821.

It is well known that an opinion las of late years been revived by some eminent medical practitioners, which is inclined to refer the communication of the plague rather to an infected state of the atmosphere, than to contagion. The subject,

naturally enough, bas been deemed of sufficient importance to form a branch of Parliamentary inquiry. With the hypotheses which have been produced before the Committee appointed to investigate this question, we have little concern; but the mass of facts which Mr. Tully has collected in the volume before us, chiefly on his own personal knowledge, will, we should think, be sufficient to convince the most relactant scepticism.

Two brigs from Alexandria anchored in the port of Malta on the 28th of March, 1813. They were furnished with foul bills of health, notifying the existence of the plague in the city which they had left, and two persons ou board one of them bad died suddenly during the voyage with symptoms of a violent pestilential nature. The crew of this vessel, the St. Nicbolas, was immediately transferred to the lazaretto, where, in little more than a week, the captain and the sailor who attended him, died under all appearances of the plague. The St. Nicholas on this calamitous event, was immediately sent back to Alexandria.

In a few days the plague broke out in the house of a shoemaker of Valetta ; a man whose principal occupation was smuggling. Himself, bis wife, and daughter, were victims to the disease. In all the cases of plague which immediately succeeded, communication with the shoemaker's family was distinctly traced ; and no doubt was entertained that infected goods had been clandestinely landed in his house from the stores of the St. Nicholas.

During the whole of the following summer and autumn, the disease was propagated and kept alive in various parts of Malta, by the plunder and concealment of infected property. The vigilance of government at length succeeded io checking these dangerous outrages through the greater portion of the island ; but the wretched inhabitants of Casal Curmi continued to set at nought all ordinances, and made their town a depôt for the malady. Sir Thomas Maitland's vigorous measures succeeded in extirpating it; but not until he had erected double walls round this town, which was put under martial law, and surrounded by cordons of troops repeated at intervals. It was some time before the germs of the plague were completely eradicated in the town itself; but they ceased to spread around it from the moment of circumvallation ; and not a single instance of the disease occurred among the soldiers who were employed in preventing escape from it.

On the 7th of January, 1814, all other towns in the island were emancipated from quarantine; so rapid was the effect

produced by the stoppage of communication. Curmi, iu which place we might reasonably expect to find the disease more obstinate, did not recover its full liberty till the 7th of March.

The island of Gozo was too near not to feel great alarm; but the strict exercise of the quarantine regulations, preserved it unharmed till free pratique was proclaimed at Malta. It was then, when all suspicion of danger had ceased, that the criminal indiscretion of an individual imported this horrible scourge from the neighbouring coast. One Angelo Galen, a temporary inhabitant of Casal Curmi, before the town was invested with military, concealed a box of wearing apparel in its neigbbourhood. When the restrictions were taken off, he carried this chest to Gozo. In two days he died suddenly; in six more his daughter followed him, and in rapid succession many inhabitants of this village shared the same fate, among whom were the priest who attended him and the person who assisted at his burial. By an immediate adoption of measures similar to those used at Malta, the farther ravages were suspended ; and out of a population of 15,000 souls, only ninetysix died. Among them we regret to include the name of Dr. M'Adam, Physician to the British forces, whose exertions were unremitted, but who unfortunately neglected his own security through disbelief in the power of contagion.

In December, 1815, the authorities in Corfu were informed that a malignant fever was raging in the village of Marathia, and that thirteen persons, out of a population of fifty, were at ready dead. The superstition of the inhabitants attributed their sufferings to the evil agency of the spirit of a man who had been recently murdered in their neighbourhood. Prayers and processions were eagerly offered as atonements; and all who died were said to be attacked either in the night, or returning from their field labours in the evening.

Under the inspection of Mr. Tully, the few huts of Marathia were immediately destroyed; tents were pitched for the houseless inbabitants, and a cordon was drawn round them. Unhappily but a few days before these precautions were used, some papás from different villages in the neighbourhood bad assisted the Marathians in a religious ceremony, calculated to appease the angry spirit. The disease was thus communicated, and traced to the residence of each individual who had been present. It became necessary to prevent all egress from the infected districts, and strong additional barriers were established for the purpose.

In the course of this service, Assistant Surgeon Toone fell a victim to his zeal. Of the troops dispersed over the whole

line, about thirteen died of the plague : and in each separate case, the source of contagion was satisfactorily traced. In one instance an entire guard entered an infected house for the sake of plunder. The most guilty were immediately executed, and several other of the offenders suffered under the consen quences of the disease.

The leading principle which guided Mr. Tully's operations was as much as possible to concentrate his hospitals, and circumscribe the encampments. The suspected or diseased persons in the district of Leftimo, comprizing seven villages, were gradually removed to the plain of Perivoli. During three successive days the sick, who filled three pest hospitals, vere transferred to the central depót. The distance was nearly three miles, the march occupied several hours, and not a man in the numerous escorts, who closely guurded the procession, was seized wiih infection. We think this fact conclusive; notwithstanding we have been told that" a single infected person is sufficient to contaminate the air of a whole city."

Under these prudent measures the virulence of the disorder seemed to abate, when Maria Canta, an interesting girl in Melicchia, who had scarcely attained her seventeenth year, and was to have been married as soon as the quarantine was removed, died under the most decided symptoms of plague. She had been attacked, as usual, in the evening after working at the back part of her house. An elderly relation of the deceased, who resided in an opposite part of the village, was next taken ill. The members of the family were examined by a Greek priest, under a threat of excommunication. It appeared that the son of the old woman was in habits of intimacy with the unhappy girl, had passed some time at the house when she was taken ill, bad assisted her in the first moments of her indisposition, and unconsciously had conveyed the disorder to his aged pareut. · As the precautions taken in all instances were the same, we need not repeat the method by which the disorder was stopped: but under the difficulties with which Mr. Tully had to contend, we are not a little surprised hat liis success. It will scarcely be credited that, in spite of the most rigid ecclesiastical as well as military prohibition, the three principal churches in Melicchia were clandestinely opened, and service performed in them before large congregations. The priests and their families were immediately hurried to the camp.

Through the medium of confession, the primary source of infection at Melicchia was at length ascertained, and it


evinced the subtlety of the poison-arelative of Maria Canta, who lived in the proscribed village of Potami, had escaped the vigilance of the sentries; and observing the deceased and her mother on the opposite bank of the river requested them to prune bis vines, and to insure their service, threw four piastres, wrapped in a small piece of linen, across the stream. The mother, who carefully deposited this parcel in her bosom, escaped its venom; the daughter, to whom it was afterwards given, was taken ill on the very day on which she received it from ber mother. Two days after this transaction, the man, who had thrown the money, was attacked with the plague in the worst degree, and himself and his whole family died under it. Thus it is clear that he was secretly under its influence at the time of communication with Maria Canta's mother.

Many of the details given in this volume, are of the most heart-rending description ; and confirm in all its points the close attention which Defoe has paid to fact in his most extraordinary work. The Primate of Melicchia in vain attempted to conceal the nature of the disorder which attacked his son, a child ten years of age: the general welfare demanded his removal, and the separation was eternal; he died soon after bis transfer to the hospital. The mother's indisposition was in like manner attributed by the distracted husband to her anxiety for the child : but shortly after her arrival in the camp, she was no more, baving survived her attack only twenty hours.

The origin of the disease in this island was afterwards satisfactorily traced to a chest, containing infected articles smuggled from Corfu, which was not opened in the district to which it communicated the disorder for more than a year after its arrival.

It is obvious, that in the hasty sketch which we have given of this volume, we have necessarily been compelled to omit many particulars, not only of great interest in themselves, but also eminently conducing to the proof of Mr. Tully's opinion. He writes in a clear, plain, manly style; and we rejoice to find that he is preparing to communieate to the public the medical treatment of the plague in the lonian islands, in a directly professional work. In the mean time, we shall briefly subjoin the leading particulars of his plan; and the chief deductions which he has made from the facts which came under his observation, .

The grand object was to prevent the smallest communication with the infected districts; for this purpose, every suspected family was put under sentinels, locked in at night, and

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