Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

314

MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE.

Kelp as a Manure.—The High- New Periodicals.—There is now land Society of Scotland have of- a periodical in Wigton, called the fered premiums for the reports of Oracle; another in Dumfermline, the most successful experiments named the Gasometer. About ten which have been made with Kelp, weekly miscellanies exist in Edinto ascertain its qualities as manure. burgh ; and lately, at Portobello,

Chancellor's Black. This is a the Brighton of Scotland, a weekly new name which has been conferred

publication, with a romantic deon an excellent sort of Scotch snuff, signation of the Wizard of the Tower, in compliment to Lord Brougham.

has made its appearance. Fossil Forest.–Dr. Weatherhead, Ben Jonson.-Some very curious a pedestrian tourist, has recently extracts from heads of conversation discovered an under ground fossil which took place in the year 1618, forest, above forty feet in thickness, between the distinguished dramatist and extending several along the and Drummond, of Hawthornden, banks of the Tiber, close to Rome. were read by Mr. Laing, at a late The Doctor is of opinion that this meeting of the Scotch Society of phenomenon was produced by an Antiquaries. earthquake, long before the foun

Population of Paris. In 1830, dation of Rome!

the number of births in Paris was Population Returns.—The fol

28,587—boys, 14,488-girls, 14,099 lowing is a comparative account of -in wedlock, 18,580-out of wedthe population of the United King- lock, 10,007.-Number of marriages, dom in 1821 and 1831:

7.324–between bachelors and spin

sters, 6052—bachelors and widows, England

1,827,901 6,801,827

383—widowers and spinsters, 729 2,093,456 2,365,807 Wales

widowers and widows, 160.--Num717,438 805,236

ber of deaths, 27,446—died in pri20,874,158 23,994,381 3,120,223

vate houses, 15,664-at civil hospiThe Invention of Printing.–The tals, 10,754—at military ditto, 606 Society of Arts, at Mentz, have an

-in prisons, 67 --and deposited at nounced their intention of erecting

the Morgue, 375. a monument to the memory of Got

Measuring by the Magnet.The tenburg, the inventor of the art of

Rev. Mr. Scoresby read a paper at printing. In support of their de

the scientific meeting at York, in termination, they invite the inhabi

which he describes a method of tants of every civilized nation, who

measuring rocks and other solid must feel gratitude to the discoverer,

masses by means of the magnet. to assist their efforts.

He had found from experiment that Polish Literary Society. - The

the magnetic influence fermeates Polish refugees assembled in Paris,

all substances, so as to act (with have constituted themselves into a club for the purpose of publishing of the interval) upon the compass.

power proportioned to the thickness translations of the Beauties of Polish

The thickness of a mass of freestone literature, in the various depart- has been ascertained in this way on ments of history, science, arts,

the Manchester and Liverpool railpoetry,&c.—Dulcesque reminiscitur

way. Argos.

Increase.

1821. 11,261,437

1831. 13,089,338 7,734,000

Ireland
Scotland

932,173
272,351
87,798

THE

MONTHLY REVIEW.

MARCH, 1832.

men vom.

Art. I.-Skizzen und Bermerkungen von einer Reise nach Danzig und

dessen Umgegend, im August und September, 1831, im Auftrage der Königl. Hannov. Immediat-Commission gegen die Cholera unternom

Dr. Louis Stromeyer. 8vo. Hannover. 1832. In the autumn of the year that has just passed, Dr. Stromeyer, a medical gentleman of some eminence in Hanover, was attached to a commission which was sent into Prussia, for the purpose of gaining accurate information concerning the cholera. This word, we are aware, is too often the prelude to a very dull and useless discussion ; we are compelled at once to assure our readers, that we have no intention whatever of uttering a syllable either on the nature or the treatment of cholera. We took up this brief work certainly with a view of obtaining some information on the character of that disease, but, as we proceeded, its various merits as a book of travels struck us so forcibly, that we were determined to share the gratification we received in its perusal with the public. It was on the 5th of August, 1831, that the author, in company with Dr. Schneeman, took his departure from Hanover. The cholera, at this period, had been raging in Polish Prussia. It first broke out in April at Warsaw, and is supposed to have been carried thither by the Russian invading army. To this disease, it is well known that Marshal Diebitsch fell a victim, on the 9th of June. The Prussian government, immediately on the appearance of cholera in its dominions, put into execution the most rigorous measures of precaution against its inroads, and a sanitary cordon was placed from the shores of the Baltic in the north, almost to Cracow in the south. Travellers from Poland, therefore, could not pass into Prussia without performing quarantine. As soon as the cholera began to manisest its existence in Austria, the cordon was extended on the Austrian side of the Prussian dominions. But vol. 1. (1832) no. III.

nothing would do ; the disease established itself in Prussia, and at the time when Dr. Stromeyer set out for that kingdom, the cholera had been raging three months in Dantzic.

The Doctor and his companion did not hesitate a moment to undertake the commission to travel into East Prussia, for the purpose of investigating the cholera. Their joy at the charge, (which gave them an opportunity of witnessing the most important events of their time,) was only diminished by the painful anxiety in which they left their friends; for, at that tine, the general notion respecting the contagious power of cholera was totally different from that which ultimately prevailed. It was indeed 'no pleasant feeling,' observes the author, 'to be obliged to make one's will before entering upon a journey, which separated us three or four hundred miles from our friends ; there news arrives when the events which are communicated have long given place to others, and the feelings which they excited have long been forgotten. But the thought of being useful to our country, and of learning upon the spot the nature of a disease which, in its violent mode of attack, far exceeds all others, so powerfully excited our thoughts, that our minds, during the journey, could not have been happier. In Berlin, the good-will of the Prussian Immediat-Commission obtained for us very quickly the necessary facilities and recommendations.'

The party travelled together only as far as Dirschau, where they separated, in order to obtain separate results from their individual researches, and to observe the different effects of the medical-police arrangements at Dantzic and Koningsberg ; since, in the latter, the regulations were much milder than in the former. Dı. Schneeman then proceeded to Elbing, and Dr. Stromeyer to Dantzic. In Dirschau, where the streets diverge towards Dantzic and Koningsberg, they found that quarantine establishments had been provided for persons coming from those parts of the country. Of these establishments three different kinds existed. For the aristocratics (honoratioren), two inps were set apart; for the military, a flowerhouse was prepared; and for poor travellers, who were provided for by the state, and were therefore forced to be patient, an old sheepstall was made ready. The state of health in these establishments had hitherto been very satisfactory,' observes the Doctor, ' a proof at least that ennai and impatience do not belong to the important sources of disease.' The hardening system introduced in these establishments, such as sleeping on straw-sacks, and a moderate degree of hunger, perhaps contributed to prevent illness :

• After this first acquaintance with the quarantine institution,' continues the author, 'I could not pass without emotion the cordon five miles beyond Dirschau. A step beyond the barrier, and I was plagued with cholera contagion for twenty days, and compelled to be again purified by fatigue and hunger. Besides the watch house, there was a shed to disinfect wares coming from Dantzic. This business consisted in washing and sprinkling the goods with a solution of chlorate of lime; this liquid stood

in open vessels, and smelt so little like chlorine, that the whole proceeding had to my mind a very hocus pocus aspect.

* Thirty steps beyond the first bar was a second, to which only persons from the infected place might come to converse with the purified. At this distance the conversation was naturally very irksome to those whose lungs were weak, and an old hectic grumbled in vain that he had not voice enough to give various commands to his son.

• On the way to Dantzic, I had an opportunity of witnessing the devastating effects of the cholera ; whilst in the environs the harvest was ended, and only stubble remained in the fields, the corn stood in full ear in the village of Russoczynn, the reapers having almost all died a few weeks before.'

On the 14th of August, Dr. Stromeyer reached the ancient city of Dantzic. Determined to lose no time in carrying into effect the objects of his visit, he made immediate arrangements for obtaining the opportunity of inspecting a patient labouring under cholera. On the day after his arrival he procured admission into a lazaretto, and he acknowledges, what every body will be inclined to give him credit for, that it was not without considerable emotion that he approached the bedside of the patient. His account of this event will be read with interest.

I now stood at last by the side of the frightful monster, on whose account I had left in the lurch all my effects and all my

fondest attachments, and had travelled nearly 500 miles. The appearance of this patient did not at all correspond with my previous expectations. Her pains were slighter, and her countenance less striking than I had anticipated; it resembled that which is exhibited in the last stages of nervous fever. The frequent vomiting was indeed disgusting to behold; and it generally excited nausea in the spectators. When I felt the pulse, I found the extremities, which were bedewed with cold sweat, exactly like icicles to the touch.

• Dantzic, for the extent of its population, is not a capacious city; its high houses and narrow streets give to it the venerable stamp of a rich commercial city; for its sinking prosperity in later times has not permitted it to change the venerable gothic, but very inconvenient style of its houses, for the more simple, but more comfortable accommodations of modern architecture. Most of the streets are so narrowed by flights of steps before the houses, that two coaches cannot pass one another, which is a great inconvenience, particularly to the doctors, who are obliged to drive their practice on foot. Wide fosses and very high walls surround the city, which is intersected by numerous canals of flowing water. Towards the south-west the city leans on a row of hills, from which the ground sinks suddenly towards the Vistula and the sea. The inundations of the Vistula and the vapours from the canals, constantly generate there a large number of rheumatic diseases and intermittent fevers; while inflammatory, and especially acute forms of disease, are rare.'

Dr. Stromeyer observes, that since the great flood in the spring of 1829, the city and the vicinity are liable, from the beginning of August, to an epidemic fever, which frequently commences in an intermittent, or terminates in one. Great numbers are affected, but very few die. In a visit to the city hospital, with Dr. Baum, the chief physician, the author saw, among an assemblage of 350

patients, an extraordinary number of these cases; many were ague patients, and several were afflicted with Norwegian lepra, gangrenous ulcers of the feet, and similar diseases. The character of these prevalent disorders, he thinks, is owing to the prejudicial influence of a damp atmosphere, impregnated with marsh miasma. No accurate explanation whatever could be obtained respecting the invasion of the cholera at Dantzic; the first unequivocal case was noticed on the 27th of May. The disease first attacked the old town, which, from its narrow construction, and thick pauper population, was very favourable to its development. The 'anti-contagionists, among whom were most of the physicians, laid great stress upon this fact, and said that the disease arose there, in general, from evidently accidental causes, such as exposure to cold, autumnal fruit stuffing, the extensive use of a very bad sort of beer, called Schemper, potatoe food,* and drinking ; shortly afterwards, cold water was generally assigned as one of these causes. This was the more safely to be done, as those things constitute the daily diet of the poor; and the authorities there found pleasure in representing this to be the cause of the cholera. People with weak digestion, old men, drunkards, and labourers, who worked near or in the water by day, or who at night slept half naked in damp abodes, were mostly attacked. Of the opulent class, very few died. Dr. Stromeyer could not, from all his inquiries, ascertain that there were as many as twenty, although of the citizens 900 were already dead. According to the communications of Dr. Dann, a member of the Prussian Commission of Physicians, which was sent to Russia on account of the cholera, the Dantzic epidemic differed from that observed at Moscow, only in the frequent occurrence of profuse sweats, which were, perhaps, in a great measure, to be attributed to the hot season.

The relative mortality, as represented in the public reports, which embrace an extent of 64,000 inhabitants (the several suburbs included), was very considerable. On the 15th of September, of 1183 civil patients, 932 were dead. But here it is necessary to bear in mind, that, on account of the house-closing system, which was strictly enforced, only the worst cases were published, whilst all that seemed likely to recover were kept secret. That this was the cause of the great apparent mortality, and not any peculiar malignancy in the character of the epidemic, may be inferred from the much more favourable report of its ravages among the military, since the attack of each patient was early announced. On the 15th of September, 243 soldiers had been attacked, and only 109 had died. The garrison at that time consisted of 4500 men.

* The German Medici continue to coufide in the vulgar notion, which has had so many learned supporters, among whom Saemmering is to be reckoned, that potatoes produce a rude chyle, mesenteric swellings, ruptures, and other maladies.

« НазадПродовжити »