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vague and cautious definition is incorrect. There are numerous instances of persons dying of plague without the appearance of any eruption whatever, and sometimes without an attack of fever. In general, however, plague begins with shiverings, which are followed by heats ; sickness succeeds; the spirits sink to a most distressing degree, and the eyes assume a peculiar cloudiness and confusion. Violent pain, burning fever, and raging thirst follow, and wild delirium sometimes alternates with death-like swoonings. Painful glandular tumours appear, with purple spots and blotches resembling the bites of Aeas, or the stripes and bruises of a whip. In the plague of 1665 these were called tokens, as being the certain beralds of approaching death. Sometimes the victim of plague falls suddenly, unconscious of previous illness; sometimes a few hours hurry him to the grave; sometimes he dies on the second, the seventh, or any of the intervening days. Inevitable destruction will in one case immediately succeed apparent security; while, in another, a state of perfect safety is the next transition from one of the most imminent danger. The remedies for plague are not more certain than its symptoms. Sweatings, formerly the general practice, are now discontinued, bleedings are considered pernicious, coldbaths ineffectual, salivation vain. Frictions with oil were tried extensively by the French physicians in Egypt, but with little benefit. Coolness of the room, complete repose, a mild emetic, and a few cordial medicines, are the simple and uncertain assistances which art can afford to struggling nature, during the severest contest to which it is subject.

Another circumstance which aggravates the danger of plague, is the mild and disguised form under which it frequently makes its first approaches. At that very time when the bold and the ignorant should be roused to caution, and when one sceptic may cause a thousand deaths, plague will assume a shape which lulls even the fears of the timid, and baffles the scrutiny of the experienced. The first victim, the fruitful source of incalculable misery, is reported to have died of a common fever ; no tokens are discovered on the body, and the public are lulled into fatal security. In a few days, another sickens and dies, the same report is given-fresh cases occur, doubt and dismay reign-till at length the certain characteristics of plague appear, and before one precaution is taken, the flood of destruction has found a thousand channels through which to spread its poison.

But to the above uncertainties attending this terrible disorder another is to be added yet more extraordinary and pernicious. We allude to the dispute as to the mode by which it is propagated. Without perplexing the subject by nice distinctions, the question is simply this :Is plague contagious ? that is, conveyed by means of contact with diseased subjects, or with articles they have touched; or is it infectious ? that is, propagated by an atmosphere impregnated with pestilential miasmata.

We confess ourselves firm believers in the contagion of plague; and although the subject is undoubtedly attended with difficulties, and there are a few circumstances connected with it at present inexplicable, still we have on our side facts so numerous, so stubborn, and so strong, that the arguments of our adversaries have failed to convince us. Among the latter, Dr. Maclean holds a distinguished place, he has published a volume on the subject, and was examined before a committee

of the House of Commons when the alteration or repeal of our quarantine laws was contemplated. His opinions, and those of his opponents, were canvassed some time since in the Quarterly Review; but the writer of the article, in his anxiety to avoid dogmatism, became the victim of indecision; and if he left his readers unbiassed by prejudice, he left them also unconvinced by argument. Several of the facts, likewise, which bear most strongly on the question, were omitted, and the means most effectual towards arresting the progress of plague were scarcely alluded to; yet it is from these that the advocates of contagion derive their most powerful support.

Mr. Tully, surgeon of the king's forces, was in Malta during the plague of 1813, and was subsequently appointed chief of the health department, in which office be continued six years, and superintended in person the measures taken for the extinction of plague in Cephalonia and Corfu. He has published an interesting volume on the subject; and we choose it as our text-book on this occasion, because he appears to us to have had a wider and longer personal experience than other writers, and because his system of prevention having proved effectual, is a strong argument in favour of the opinions on which it was founded. We cannot help mentioning, in limine, that Mr. Tully escaped plague himself; and affirms, that he never knew it attack a medical man who believed in contagion; while, on the contrary, Dr. Maclean, bold and sincere in his non-contagion principles, entered the pest-house at Constantinople, freely communicated with its inmates, andtook the plague on the sixth day. He attempts to account for this without abandoning his favourite opinions ; but it must be evident that he did not previously anticipate this result of his experiment, and his subsequent explanations cannot destroy the fact of its failure.

If separation arrests the progress of plague, it seems scarcely possible to deny that the atmosphere cannot be the medium of its propagation. The subtle and infected air would penetrate into our retreats, and destroy us in our very sanctuaries. Guards, cordons, bolts, bars, seclusion would all be useless. Yet that separation is effectual may be shewn by a thousand instances. The fact that the families of European consuls in Turkish cities invariably escape contagion, of itself appears decisive. In Tully's ten years at Tripoli, we find an account of the ri. gorous precautions adopted. The doors and lower windows are securely fastened, to prevent the egress of servants ; a supply of such provisions as will keep is previously

laid in, and every thing received from without is deposited in an outer room or hall, of which the master of the house keeps the key. The articles are placed on straw, and the person who brought them having departed, the master, opening the door which communicates with the inner apartments inflames the straw by means of a taper fixed to a long pole, and does not remove the provisions till the smoke has thoroughly fumigated them. Bread, and those susceptible articles which would be injured by any other process, are purified by exposure to the sun and air. Protected by these regulations the families of Consuls will remain for months immured in their own houses, with no society but that of their fellow-prisoners, no exercise but a strol on the flat roofs of their habitations, and thus escape the pestilence which is carrying off thousands of their Mahomedan and unresisting neighbours. It is said, however, that the Turks are gradually becoming sensible of the advantages of our system, and are disposed, notwithstanding the principles of their religion, to act upon that universal principle -self-preservation. A few years since when the plague broke out in the arsenal at Tripoli, the Pasha resolved to protect his subjects from the exterminating effects of their piety, and by the energetic measures of Dr. Dickson, an English physician, the disorder was crushed in the birth.

The modern practice of separating diseased districts by means of a cordon of military, is another almost

irresistible proof that plague is not infectious. A wooden paling divides the sick from the sound, the patient from his guard! What can more convincingly demonstrate that plague is not propagated by the atmosphere? The laws, however, which regulate contagion are mysterious and irregular to a most extraordinary degree ; and we are sometimes reduced to reply to the objections of anti-contagionists, by suggesting difficulties and putting questions which the advocates of infection find equally perplexing and unanswerable. We are asked, for instance, if plague is contagious, how is it extinguished in countries where no precautions, no particular means of purification are adopted? Why are not Mahomedan states totally depopulated ? We reply by stating, that, in fact, plague is seldom extinguished in Turkish cities, where it constantly breaks out after short intermission; and that some predisposition of body is necessary for the reception of disorders even as undoubtedly contagious as the smallpox, since individuals will take it at one period after having been formerly inoculated without effect; consequently, that many persons may escape plague who take no precautions against it. And this answer ought to prove satisfactory to our opponents, since they must themselves have recourse to it when we in our turn demand—why are not cities depopulated if plague is infectious, since, in that case, every inhabitant must breathe the same pestilential atmosphere, and Turk and Christian be alike unable to escape the subtle poison it contains ?

Dr. Maclean's argument against contagion, derived from the fact that after 300,000 have died of plague in one season in Grand Cairo, and 200,000 in Constantinople, the disease will subside, notwithstanding that the clothes of the victims are worn by their surviving relations, or sold in the bazars, may be met, as it appears to us, by a recurrence to the admission of the occasional non-susceptibility of individuals. Surely after such a mortality, unaccompanied by separation, precaution, or purification, those who have escaped must all have been at some time exposed to the poison of plague; and whether it is contagious or infectious, alike owe their safety to the temporary non-susceptibility of their system. Some of Dr. Maclean's reasons for disbelieving in contagion are marked by a tone of rather gratuitous assumption. One of them runs as follows : “Plague being capable of affecting the same persons repea:edly, it would never cease, where no precautions are employed, (and in such case no precautions could avail,) until communities were extinguished. Turkey would long ago have been a desert.” Here are two things assumed, which are far from being generally admitted. First, it is more than doubtful whether plague ever does attack the same person twice; and, secondly, " that in such case no precaution could avail,not only destroys all the force of his own argument, (for if no precautions can arail how is Turkey endangered by the want of that which he himself considers useless ?) but is in itself a disputed question. The instances on record of re-infection from plague are all slight cases ; and Mr. Tully's large experience afforded him no example of the kind. He is of opinion that the seats of former plague tumours, like the cicatrices of old wounds, may become painful, and even suppurate on the occurrence of any accidental indisposition or fever, and that cases like these, in countries subject to plague, induce the belief of second attack.

De Foe relates of the plague in 1665, that when it had disseminated itself into every part of London, and separation of the sick from the sound had become almost impossible, it suddenly relaxed in its fury, and began to spare at the very moment it seemed disposed to exterminate. This is not an unfrequent feature in similar visitations, and cannot easily be explained but by the supposition that the disorder gradually exhausts itself, and that its venom becomes, as it were, diluted by frequent transmission. This appears the more probable from the circumstance, that, towards the decline of a plague, its symptoms become less virulent, and a large proportion of patients recover. The bills of mortality inform us, that from 1603 to 1670, London was only three years free from plague, yet it only raged violently in 1603, 1625, 1636, and 1665. These four great plagues are said to have been imported from Ostend, Denmark, and Leyden; yet why need we trace contagion to a distance, when it was still lurking in our own city ? Why did it so long lie torpid? What imparted to it renewed energy? These are questions not more puzzling to us, than to those of our adversaries, who affirm, “ that a single infected person can contaminate the air of a whole town.”

The advocates of infection lay great stress on the fact, that plague generally commences in the dirtiest and most confined parts of a city, and rages most violently among the poor ; and we are asked to explain this on the principle of contagion. We may reply by asking, how it is that plague, if infectious, and "produced by a change in the atmosphere," does not break out in various parts of a city at once'instead of spreading slowly, and attacking relations, neighbours, and friends. At Malta, in 1813, from the 19th of April to the 17th of May, eight persons died of plague; these were its first victims, and these were all connected by blood or intimacy. How can infection account for this ? We attempt not, however, to deny that dirt is a powerful assistant of contagion, nor that the effluvia of persons diseased by plague, as by almost every other disorder whatever, may, if cleanliness is not observed, in some degree infect the air. Neither can we dispute the fact of the temperature of the atmosphere having some effect on the dissemination of plague, since no other reason can be given why it has never appeared at Surat, Bombay, or in any part of India or Persia.

Yet, notwithstanding these difficulties, the contagious properties of plague can scarcely be doubted by any unprejudiced person, who peruses the mass of evidence which Mr. Tully has accumulated on the subject. So powerful, indeed, so subtle, so permanent is the poison of plague, conveyed, as it may be, by a fragment of paper carried on the breeze, by an inch of packthread, a lock of wool, or a stray cat, by the most minute particle of susceptible matter, that at first sight the disorder appears as formidable as if we were compelled to inhale it with the common air of heaven. This, however, is far from being the case If plague is contagious, to arrest its progress is difficult ; if infectious, it is impossible. Mr. Tully relates many curious instances of the extraordinary strength of the contagion of plague: the following exhibits at once its power and its caprice. “ The plague was raging in Potami, in Corfu, but the neighbouring town of Melicchia seemed likely to escape. The river Potami Howed between them, and an active police prevented all communication. The churches were closed, and the population daily inspected. Suddenly, a young woman of Melicchia, named Maria Canta, became ill, and died in thirty-six hours. An old relation, whose son had visited Maria, was attacked two days afterwards, and Mr. Tully immediately had recourse to energetic measures to stop the progress of the evil.

The most important step was to discover the source from which Maria had imbibed contagion ; and induced by the exhortations of a Greek priest, the Canta family confessed, that a relation who lived at Potami, and who had since died of plague, had contrived to elude the sentinels, and had thrown from the opposite side of the river four piastres wrapped in a piece of linen, with which Maria was to defray the expense of pruning his vineyard. The mother of Maria had picked them up, and put them in her bosom, but on coming home, gave them to her daughter, who placed them in a box, from which she took them only a few hours before she sickened of plague. By immediate separation of the suspected, Mr. Tully stopped the further progress of the malady.” In the above account we may observe, that the man who threw the money had not the plague at the time, though he had already imparted its poison to the linen— that the mother who first received the piastres, and who nursed her child till she was removed to the hospital, did not take the disorder—that the relation who visited Maria escaped the plague himself, but conveyed it to his mother, who died of it. On one occasion plague was distinctly traced to a small piece of cord attached to a bread-trough, and on another it was proved indisputably, that a skein of cotton occasioned the death of five persons.

Instances like these seem to invest plague with powers so extraordinary, that to arrest its progress appears a task too difficult for human means to accomplish. But what De Foe considered "impossible,” Mr. Tully affirms, may be brought to the certainty of a mathematical demonstration;" and he supports this hardy assertion by very powerful proofs. The means which he adopted were exceedingly severe, involving much general inconvenience, much private discomfort; but they were fully justified by strong public necessity, and ultimately saved the communities who groaned under their rigour. The ancient practice was to imprison the sick with their families in their own habitations, and to allow the unsuspected their freedom. The consequences were, that the latter spread the disorder ere they were aware that they had taken it, and that the houses so shut up became reservoirs of future contagion. Mr. Tully's first Plague maxim is “to trust no man,” he encircles the diseased districts with a cordon of military, establishes arrangements for the most vigilant co over inferior assistants, and annexes severe penalties to disobedience. The sick are removed to hospitals, the suspected divided into different grades of suspicion, and the rest of the population confined to their own habitations. Every man's house becomes



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