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subject appears to have been investigated by him with considerable diligence. Its seasons he divides into the wet and the dry. The latter is generally ushered in by the explosion of two or three tornados, which, though formidable in themselves,' are still so long connected with the approach of a pleasant time, as that the inhabitants have sometimes prayed for their appearance. One of those strange commotions of nature is thus described by Mr. Boyle.
* A violent tornado appears to strangers a most appalling visitation, and produces an extraordinary effect upon their feelings. It consists of successive flashes of the most vivid lightning, tremendous shocks of thunder, rapidly and alarmingly reiterated, impetuous gusts of wind, deluging rain. This terrific combination of the elements sweeps along the whole of the coast under consideration; but it occurs with peculiar violence on what is called the windward coast, especially at Sierra Leone. Its denomination is derived from the Portuguese, it being a corruption of the word trueno, which means thunder-storm. Its approach is first discernible by the appearance of a small, clear, silvery speck, at a high altitude in the heavenly expanse, which increases and descends towards the horizon, with a gradual and slow, but visible motion. In its descent, it becomes circumscribed by a dark ring, which extends itself on every side, and as soon as the silvery cloud approaches the horizon, veils it in impenetrable gloom. At the moment, the elements seem to have ceased their operations, and the very functions of nature to be paralyzed; the atmosphere appears to be deprived of the spirit of vitality, and a sensation of approaching suffocation pervades and oppresses the physical system. The mind is wrapped in awe and suspense, but the latter is speedily relieved by the dark horizon being suddenly illuminated by one broad blaze of electric fluid; peals of distant thunder then break upon the ear, and rapidly approach and increase in fervency and violence, till the shocks become appalling ; when the thunder is at its loudest, a tremendous gust of wind rushes with incredible and often irresistible vehemence from the darkened part of the horizon, not rarely in its course carrying away roofs of houses and chimney pots, blowing down or uprooting trees, and laying the stiffest and largest ships on their beam ends, or sinking them under weigh or at anchor; and to that succeeds a furious deluge of rain, which falls in one vast sheet, rather than in drops, and concludes this terrible convulsion. The lightning is of the most vivid description, and, contrary to what has been reported of it, seldom sheet lightning, but forked and piercing, and often extremely destructive, both to things animate and inanimate. Its apparently doubtful, wild course, is sometimes directed to a large and lofty tree, and the foliage, at the points of contact, is blasted on the instant, the exposed branches are severed from the trunk, and, probably, the enormous trunk itself is rent to its basis and destroyed. When it comes in contact with a house, it frequently leaves it as great a wreck as ships have been seen to be on coming out of a severe action, or after a destructive storm; and, occasionally, the building entered by it may happen to remain untouched, and its inmates, some or all of them, as the author has known to occur, perish under its scorching influence. Occasionally, the spindle of a ship's mast, the most elevated part of it, may appear to be the point of attraction, and it will sometimes dart among the spars and cordage harmless, descending till it reach the deck, when it will suddenly quit the vessel by some aperture, and rapidly returning through another, seem to have acquired a new character with incredible velocity; for, steering its strange and rapid course into the main deck, or hold, it will kill, maim, or injure, every thing animate or inanimate, with which it comes in contact. Much good has unquestionably been effected by conductors; but those who have watched the progress of the electric fluid, will hold the theorist in no estimation, who does not make the atmosphere the first and most important point of consideration. The heavy peals, or rather the terrifying shocks of thunder, which follow the lightning, frequently vot only shake the buildings at Freetown, but the very foundations on which they stand; and the reverberations from the surrounding mountains increase, if possible, the awe excited by elementary commotion. The succeeding rain, or rather deluge, is happily of short duration, and, rushing down the various inlets and indentations in the adjoining mountains, it forms into streams, even a few minutes after its commencement, which sweep through the streets of Freetown with astonishing velocity, bearing with them all the exposed vegetable and other matter in a state of putridity or decay.
Such is the tornado; and it is by the preponderating power of its gusts, and the atmospheric influence of lightning and its rain, that noxious exhalations from the earth, and deleterious miasmata, before confined to the neighbourhood of their origin by opposed or light currents of air, in the day, or attracted by the land (the more lofty the more attractive) in the night, are removed, and, consequently, the indescribably distressing feelings occasioned by a foul atmosphere, are superseded by those comparatively pleasurable and enlivening sensations which have been already noticed.'--pp. 40–42.
The average time for the tornados to set in, is the termination of the month of September, from which time until Christmas, tolerably calm weather may be expected. At Christmas, the periodical winds called the harmatans commence, and continue to blow for six or ten weeks. It is very curious, that whilst to the natives, and to the Europeans, who, from long residence, may be said to be acclimated in the settlement, these winds are exceedingly annoying, the Europeans newly arrived, consider them as refreshing and salubrious. But during the raging of the harmatans, the furniture of every house is covered with fine sand ; and tables, chairs, doors, and, indeed, all materials composed of wood, will split or crack under their influence. Mr. Boyle concludes this part of his subject by a diary of the weather at Sierra Leone, for the term nearly of a year,-a document that will be read with extreme interest by all the cultivators of meteorological science.
The great object, however, of this work, is of a purely professional nature, and as, for many reasons, we are excluded from the consideration of such a subject, we feel that we are not doing adequate justice to Mr. Boyle, by noticing only the miscellaneous or merely supplementary portion of the work, on which it is probable he expended but a comparatively small share of his atten
Some facts, however, and profitable hints may be gleaned from the mass of medical information, which forms the chief contents of this volume. The climatorial bilious remittent fever is
first noticed. This fever, which may be attributed to excessive heat, is common to all the inhabitants of the tropics. Instances abound, of men, whilst working under the rays of the sun, dropping down dead, as if shot. Again, seamen, who, to avoid the inconvenience to which they were exposed, in sleeping between decks, contrived to stretch themselves on deck, exposed to the beams of a brilliant moon, have been known, in numerous cases, to contract severe fever. We remember, that in the account of one of the missionary voyages, a very fatal power is attributed to the rays of the moon. Some remarkable cases, indeed, are given, of death, or severe disease, said to arise from exposure at night, during a full moon.
Indulgence in the use of ardent spirits, is stated by Mr. Boyle, to predispose the constitution to the fever above mentioned ; and what is remarkable, is, he considers the mere water drinker to be in as dangerous a predicament, when attacked by fever, as the most inveterate worshipper of Bacchus. It is the person,' he observes, • who lives as nearly when abroad, as circumstances will allow, up to his general habits when at home, that is acting without fear; and of the three characters alluded to, has infinitely the best chance of recovery, when attacked by fever.' We pass over much of the subsequent contents of the volume, as consisting of matter too purely professional, to allow us to hope that we could, in the least, interest our readers, by dwelling upon it. We prefer accompanying Mr. Boyle in the prosecution of his voyage on the southern or leeward portion of the Western Coast of Africa, and as far as the island of Fernando Po. The object of Mr. Boyle, it may be proper to remind the reader, in the expedition which he is now describing, is to contribute interesting facts to the stores of medical knowledge ; and that, consequently, at whatever place he rests, at whatever point he touches, our author's principal inquiries are directed to the influences by which the health of the inhabitants is more or less affected. At the same time, he does not confine his investigations to one view alone: he notes various circumstances of habits and customs, in the occupants of the several parts of the coast, and has preserved many original observations of value respecting them. There is scarcely any great difference as respects civilization, between the inhabitants of one part of the coast and those of another. The absence of cleanliness, vegetable food, an unconquerable disposition to traffic, and, (where they have had experience of Europeans) fraud and treachery, constitute the chief and common characteristics of the negroes along the Western Coast of Africa. Some of those savage communities, however, have obtained distinction by carrying the vices of their race beyond all ordinary bounds, such, for instance, as the inhabitants of the part of the coast, in the neighbourhood of Cape Esteiras. Here the patives appear to be inore brutalized than any of the occupants of the African coast.
They are,' says Mr. Boyle, • savage and cruel to an extreme.Their houses and burial places, particularly those of the chief men, are ornamented with the skulls of innumerable victims of their brutal folly and superstition. If one of the chiefs sleeps badly, or is disturbed by dreams, often the effect of debauchery, the priests interpret it as a punishment inflicted by the Gods, for neglecting to sacrifice to them, and to the memory of their father, mother, uncle, or aunt, or some of their relations, a number of human victims, in order that their spirits might become attendants
upon those of the deceased, and so appease the Gods, and sooth the troubled spirits of their friends. Pursuing this view, the priest will occasionally order a number of helpless wretches to be cruelly butchered. The extent and atrocity of the sacrifice is regulated in proportion to the wealth of the dreamer, and the rank and nearness of kin of the individual whose spirit is supposed to be disturbed. The heads of those sacrificed are added to the heaps of skulls of persons previously murdered in like manner, and the whole are regularly collected around the habitation, or they are stuck on the roof of the hut by way of ornament. If a representation is made to them on the monstrous wickedness and folly of so wanton a waste of human life, their ordinary reply is, “ They are ours.
It is the best use we can make of them—you have stopped slaving as much as you ca
can-and they are of no other use — let slave ships come; they won't be killed : we will sell them for rum.” Mr. Whitelaw says, on the southern side of the Camaroons, and from that to Cape Lopez, the natives are reported to be cannibals.” This I doubt; but I have observed, that slaves from that part of the coast are exceedingly partial to, and devour with avidity, raw fesh. I have seen them fight like dogs for the raw entrails of cattle, and tear the entrails to pieces with their teeth while still smoking, full of excrement, and hardly separated from the animal; and they would gorge with raw meat until they could not move.'--pp. 349, 350.
With respect to Fernando Po, Mr. Boyle is of opinion, that it is an unhealthy situation, from circumstances which are almost insurmountable. We now take leave of Mr. Boyle's work, strongly recommending it as one full of new and important information, on a subject of pressing and universal interest.
Art.VII.-- Le Pauperisime de l'Angleterre et l'Espagne. 8vo. Paris.
1831. This is an ingenious publication, and leads to some considerations of great moment : we wish to see them more fully developed.
The writer admits the superiority of England over Spain in wealth, energy, literature, science, commerce, navigation and agriculture. On this subject he expresses himself in terms with which our countrymen should be satisfied. He then asks, whether they who compose the lowest class of English subjects are happier than those of the same condition in Spain. He observes that, when Englishmen write on this or any similar subject, they notice the superiority of England in the several articles we have men
tioned, and generally, if not universally, take it for granted, that this circumstance alone proves the superior happiness, even of the poorest class of the English people. Our readers will recollect, that, towards the middle of the last century, Jean Jacques Rous seau published his celebrated essay on the inequality of mankind, and contended in it, that the savage was happier than the civilized man. Argument and eloquence were seldom exerted with greater power, than in that publication ; but it made few converts, and the contest was decided in the public mind against the savage.
. It was revived by some of the leading Sans-Culottes, at the begining of the French Revolution, and we have heard that the system has some partizans in America. The philanthropic whimsies of Mr. Owen, have a tendency towards it. But we think these do not deserve serious discussion.
It is a more rational subject of investigation, whether the condition of the laborious poor of Great Britain and Ireland, does not present such an appalling scene of destitution and misery, as should rend the heart of every person acquainted with it, and bring the subject of the present work home to the feelings of every one. The point discussed by our author is, whether the lot of the poorest class in Spain, with all their want of employment and consequential idleness, be not preferable to that of the same class in England, with all their employment and consequential activity. A man who subsists by labour, should receive, in compensation for it, as much money as will enable him to support himself and his family, in that humble lot in which it has pleased Providence to place them. It should enable him to procure food, clothing, and habitation, suitable to their lowly situation. Our author contends, that, in all these respects, the poor of Spain are much better off than the poor of England. The warm climate of Spain is more favourable to them ; but this, he says, only shows that the English labourers and artificers are entitled to higher wages.
He observes, that the British and Irish poor are forced by their wants into employments, in which their labour exceeds their strength, or which are incompatible with their health ; and thus abridges the term which should be considered as the probable duration of their lives. He mentions the cotton-spinners, a great proportion of whom are little children of tender years. They are compelled to work twelve hours every day, in a room much too small for their numbers, and the air of which is impregnated with the most unwholesome, though invisible, particles. When we see the overgrown fortunes which have been raised by the owners of these manufactories, the comfortable situation of their principal or secondary agents, and the immense circulation of their productions, we are inclined to think it a national benefit; but if we reverse the medal, and shew the little cotton-spinners at their work, we shall be amazed at their hardships, privations, and bitter and long-enduring misery. We have selected this instance, because
vol. I. (1832.) no. 11.