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A certain shade of regret fell on the face of Flidais, which was animated by transient blushes, as Siorna bade his supposed sister good night, and while she retired to her cabin, threw himself on the deck, to sleep under the solemn stars, and amid the gentle murmur of the surges.

LOCUSTA'S PRESENT.

THE slave who had found the box containing the poisoned ring and phial which the freed woman of Poppea Sabina was bearing from Locusta to her mistress, encountered on the same evening at a tavern, a comrade, a Jew, to whom he exhibited the articles. The latter, having examined them and found to whom they were directed, immediately suspected their object, and foreseeing a reward in connexion with their dark and secret use-having depreciated the value of the ring-immediately purchased them from the finder for a small sum, and the bargain effected, hastened to the Palace of Sabina, where no little consternation on the part of its mistress and her confidential attendants already existed.

The Jew, having inquired for one of the lower order of slaves-an acquaintance-informed him he had an important revelation to make to the Lady Sabina. As it happened, the freed woman whose carelessness had created so much apprehension, was the party sent to speak with him. He, however, refusing to disclose his secret to any except the mistress of the mansion, the latter ordered him to be admitted to one of the private apartments.

The Jew, on coming into the presence of the haughty beauty, stated, in subservient tones-the while his keen eyes centred on her face-that a person with whom he was acquainted had found certain articles directed to Poppaa Sabina, a ring and phial, which he had reason to believe was addressed to her by a noted character in Rome. Sabina, pale, but equally watchful, inquired, with a careless air, whether he had brought them. This he denied, but in a manner which convinced her he lied. At first she thought of calling her slaves and having him secured, but fearing lest this course should

cause suspicion, told him to produce the articles and he should be rewarded. Still hesitating, he inquired what sum he should receive for procuring them. Sabina, with an assumption of laughing indifference, told him he should not regret delivering them to the rightful owner; and forthwith proceeding to a cabinet, which she opened, carelessly poured out its contents-an immense heap of golden coin-on the couch whereon she sat. This done, she inquired, laughing, whether he could now produce the trinket for so great a reward.

When the Jew saw the mass of money, he became suddenly like one possessed-he breathed deep-every nerve quivered, and his whole frame trembled with excitement. Forthwith producing the articles, he held them toward her, at arms' length,-while she, smiling, pointed to the gold;-and then bowing, placed them in her hands. Clutching them eagerly she locked them in a cabinet, and then taking a few pieces of gold presented them to the slave, whose enraged face had become terrible; the while collecting and throwing the remainder into the cabinet, which she locked, told him, lightly, to depart and congratulate himself on her bounty, which was greater in value than those trifling matters-a trinket and vase of perfume-which had been lost through the carelessness of a slave. When the Jew heard this he burst forth into an ungovernable rage, declaring that he knew they both contained poison. Sabina, languidly laughing at this announcement, ordered him to begone for the present, telling him to return on the morrow at a certain hour, when, if the inquiries she made respecting him proved satisfactory, he should receive other marks of substantial kindness. Upon this the Jew, pocketing his pieces, and somewhat calmed by the hope of an additional largess, departed. Sabina, who from anxiety and apprehension had been somewhat confused during this colloquy, despite her affected indifference, which did not escape the eyes of the slave,the instant he was gone summoned one of her slaves to whom she whispered a few words. Then, calling her confidential freed woman, to whom she intrusted the poisons, she despatched her to the Palace.

It happened on her arrival the colloquy which ensued between this freed woman and her accomplice, a cook in the pay of Sabina, was overheard by one of Octavia's women, who immediately acquainted her mistress with its import. A sudden confusion in the chambers of the empress startled the miscreant emissaries who were arranging her death; and, while the woman fled to the palace of Sabina-still carrying the box-the cook-slave was seized by Octavia's freed men and put in irons; and thus, for a time, the gentle Octavia escaped the machinations of her enemies. The next morning the Jew was found stabbed, dead, lying between two of the tombs on the Appian Way, having gone so far the previous night on his route to the Egerian_valley, where a large colony of poor Hebrew plebs., the migratory dregs of Jerusalem in those days, located.

Sabina, having again secured her deadly treasure, bided her time for putting her desperate scheme in execution, and rendered by her influence over Nero disdainfully secure, felt little appre

hension of any consequences ensuing to her from the discovery of her criminal intentions. On Nero's arrival in Rome from Naples, where he had passed the festival of Vertumnus, the desperate beauty instigated a subtle scheme for the destruction of her innocent rival. A conspiracy, in which the infamous Tiggelinus took the lead, was formed-nefarious instruments suborned to trump up a case of adultery against the young empress-and with the accord of the wretched senators of those days, Octavia was found guilty, on the fictitious accusations of Anicetusone of the most reckless of the miscreant puppets of the court-and, to the mutual delight of Nero and Sabina, banished to Pandateria-a barren island some thirty miles distant from the Cumean promontory, but whither the hatred of Sabina, which could be satisfied by death alone, pursued her. A few days after she landed on its distant shores, attended only by a guard of rude Roman soldiers, a secret order was sent to the island for her immediate assassination.

THE RINDERPEST IN ENGLAND.

THINGS most often fall out very differently from human expectation. It was supposed that the new Ministry and Parliament would find no subject to occupy themselves with half so serious as the Reform Bill, and their real peril and difficulty has proved to be the Rinderpest. The nature of the discussion on the Address was not anticipated by the Government. There was a word or two about Fenianism, hardly a word at all about the Franchise, and a vigorous debate on the apathy of the Cabinet in the matter of the Cattle Plague. The very earn

estness of that first night's complaint, however, saved the Ministry. Had the feeling of the Houses been less marked in its exhibition, the timid statesmen who were waiting all through for the power behind of public opinion to impel them forward, would have dallied still longer with their responsibilities, and would have excited against themselves an opposition it would have been impossible to withstand. They had the wisdom to perceive where their deficiency lay, and to put themselves right with Parliament and the Country by

Cattle their Diseases, &c. Volume published in 1838, by Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.

The Cattle Plague. By Lyon Playfair, C.B., LL.D., F.R.S. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas.

On the Management of Farm Stock in Health and Disease, and more especially of dairy cows, with practical suggestions for the prevention and treatment of Rinderpest. By a Scottish Tenant-Farmer. William Blackwood and Sons.

The Cattle Plague: a paper read before the Athy Farmers' Club, January 2, 1866. By Walter R. Bulwer, Esq., J.P., Dublin: Hodges, Smith, and Co.

Symptoms and treatment of the Cattle Plague, with a sketch of its history and progress. By Arthur Wynne Foot, M.D., Dublin; Dublin: M'Glashan and Gill. London: Longmans.

hurrying on their Bill, making it something like what the exigency demanded. They surrendered themselves, in fact, to the House, Mr. Gladstone intimating that they would alter the scheme in any way in accordance with the general feeling; and that this was the only safe course was signally proved when, the Ministry having confronted the House on Mr. Hunt's amendment with respect to the absolute prohibition of cattle removal by rail, canal, or highway, they were beaten by a large majority, in which were found a number of their own supporters. The country, in short, was thoroughly aroused to a sense of the magnitude of the Plague calamity; a study of the history of the pest in 1745-57 had showed the necessity for stringent preventive measures if it was not to linger in the island for a similar period; the futility of expecting a larger proportion of recoveries than during the former visitation had come to be acknowledged; and there was nothing for it but to ask for those legislative measures which would compel selfish or careless persons to disclose the fact that their cattle were affected, in order that they might forthwith be slain. It was felt that without compulsory regulations it would be vain to hope for any "stamping out," and that general slaughter for purposes of prevention, as well as in cases of actually existing disease, would be unfair unless the farmer had some measure of compensation. After a struggle against theories, prejudices, and selfishness, it was admitted by the public press, and subsequently by the House of Commons, that he ought to be remunerated, not so much to make good his losses as to encourage him to disclose the fact of the Plague having attacked his stock, that it might be prevented at once from extending to neighbouring herds. To the exact nature of the Act passed for England, and the solid grounds on which its provisions can be defended against persons of the stamp of Mr. Bright and Mr. J. S. Mill, we shall refer again here it is sufficient to observe that neither of those philosophers seemed to understand the character of the visitation, or to be able to foresee the disasters to which its continuance must lead-disasters to all

classes in the community. "When," says Dr. Playfair, and the position is entirely sound, "the disease first appears in a new district, or when its proportions become within bounds in an old infected one, the slaughter of cattle, whether diseased or infected, is generally a public economy, but in such cases it would be right to treat it as such, either through the public purse, or, preferably, by local rates; while there is much objection to a general system of compensation, it becomes an act of necessary justice to farmers whose stock is sacrificed for a specific public purpose. Such a responsible power might be confided to the local authorities, if not left optional with them, but it must arise from an imperial necessity, and be exercised with discretion and skilled advice. Compensation for a specific purpose does not involve a principle of general payment for the loss of property by disaster." These are the enlightened views which the Legislature has been found ready to endorse despite the opposition of a small section of narrow representatives. They are the views which a majority of the members of the Royal Commission put forward with striking ability.

Before referring to the question in its more immediate and practical aspect it will be useful to recall briefly what is known of the history of these murrains. The record is an imperfect one, even of the latest ravages of the pest. The Plague of 1865–6, however, will have its historians, and all that our experience teaches will be handed down in the fullest detail for the information of posterity. The meagre notes preserved for us of the cause and character of the malignant distemper which has raged at various times in Continental countries and in our own, are those for the most part of physicians; but as their interest in cattle diseases was trifling, they did not make them a special study. They had not, besides, the means of collecting trustworthy accounts of the symptoms of the disease from the owners of the beasts, as data for investigation. How frequent murrain was in very early ages, the reader of the Scriptures and of classic authors is well aware. The calamity which befell Egypt during the controversy with Israel, though a very

and from thence the disease spread until every part of Venetia was ravaged by it. The story of this plague is told by Rammazini and Lancisi, and the symptoms by which it was characterized are stated briefly in the article on Murrains, written by Youatt, for the volume on Cattle issued in 1838 by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge :—

"It commenced with a shivering fit, thirst, difficulty of breathing, and general followed by unnatural heat, extreme debility. A thick mucous discharge from the nose and mouth speedily succeeded, attended by a very unpleasant smell. There were twitchings of various parts of the frame; frequent fœtid and blood ejections, and the appetite and rumination ceased.

direct act of Divine intervention, flock in the neighbourhood of Padua, was probably in kind not dissimilar from the pestilence which devastated the flocks of the Greeks during the siege of Troy. "The arrows of Apollo" to which Homer ascribed the plague, were but a poetical description of a cause undiscoverable-a confession of the inscrutable nature of a malady which to-day baffles the scientific as completely as it did those who saw their herds swept off by it five centuries before the Christian era. Virgil ascribed it to "vicious and sickly skies," and found it worst in summer and autumn, as is still the case. His account of the symptoms in the third book of the Georgics tallies remarkably with the descriptions of visitations of modern days. The occupiers of the Roman farms when he wrote were but too familiar with a murrain, not perhaps as deadly, but still akin to the Steppe form. In the Roman poet's time the disease seems to have affected other animals besides oxen. He specially mentions its effect upon the "victor horse," who, forgetful of his food, pawed the ground, whilst a “doubtful sweat in clammy drops appeared upon him;" his hide becoming parched, his hairs rugged, and as his pains increased his eyes rolling, and deep groans and heavings for breath,

On the fifth day there was a particular emption in the mouth, which covered the tongue and the pharynx, and abscesses followed, and the bones beneath quickly became carious. The cattle died generally on or about the fifth or ninth day. The hair usually came partly or entirely off. If after the fall of the hair, the skin became firmer, or if the disease attacked the legs, or thighs, and there were swellings of the joints, or about the limbs, and which almost prevented the motion of the animal, he generally recovered. Cows calves uniformly perished. On examination that give milk often survived, but their

after death hydatids' were found in the brain always, and it was said that they contained an infectious gas that could

“With patient sobbing, and with manly scarcely be endured. If this were the case,

moans,

Distend his lab'ring side."

There were cattle diseases in the fourth century, A.D., in the ninth and in the sixteenth, of which no record exists, but the losses were so extensive that they deserve to be classed among the great Plagues of the world's history. In 1682 an epidemic raged in France about which marvellous stories are related. Superstition and credulity mark the accounts that survive of this malady. The cattle, it was said, continued to eat and work until they dropped dead in the field. It was not until 1711, however, that the grievous epidemic appeared which has twice, at intervals, committed so much havoc. According to the eminent Italian physician, Rammazini, it was imported from Dalmatia by cattle-dealers who were in the habit of selling beasts of that country in Italy. A single animal straying from their herd infected a

they were vesicles formed by the extravasated air in the process of decomposition, and not hydatids. Ulcers were formed at the root of the tongue, and gangrene in the intestines. The third stomach always contained a hard, black, infectious mass, which adhered to the lining membrane and

could scarcely be separated from it."

This plague, for which no medicine was found of any avail, spread rapidly over Italy and acquired fearful strength. It attacked horses (as in Virgil's day), swine, deer, and even poultry. More than 70,000 cattle perished in one year in Piedmont. Thence it travelled with dire rapidity into France. Three years afterwards it had made its way to England. What devastation it caused, however, there was no chronicler adequately to tell. This was the pre-historic period of English murrains. It was not, as has been already said, until the plague among Cattle in 1745, which lasted down to 1757, that records

The Rinderpest in England.

were kept that might inform future
generations. From these it appears
that the 1745 disease began in a
district near London, and spread
from thence to almost every part of
the kingdom, dying down in a place
and unaccountably reappearing, un-
til, after twelve years, it seemed to
have worn itself out. It did not enter
Ireland, and the circumstance has
been mentioned repeatedly, in the
present situation of things, as a hope-
ful one.
Surrounded by its natural
protecting wall of sea, and having no
imports of cattle, Ireland is in the
most favourable condition for escap-
ing the pest.

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Dr. Playfair, in his admirable treatise, adopts the idea that the wars which raged in Europe in the early years of the eighteenth century, greatly extended, if they did not produce, the disease. Louis XIV. until his death in 1765, a To the wars of great part of the evils that followed is attributed. "The armies of the Allies, under Marlborough and Prince Eugene, frequently carried it in their train, or received it in the capture of commissariat cattle from the French." Holland from 1713 to 1723 lost more than 200,000 cattle. In almost every instance during this century, we find the plague spreading with violence whenever Russian and Austrian troops penetrated westward, or when the troops of other countries mingled with the former, either in war or peace. This was specially observed in the War of Succession at the death of Charles VI. in 1740. "It is familiar to every reader of history, that the Hungarians warmly espoused the cause of Maria Theresa, and as the tide of war rolled backwards and forwards, the Hungarian cattle used to feed the Austrian armies carried with them the seeds of the plague, and again spread these broadcast over Europe. years after the death of the Emperor In eight Charles VI. the west and centre of Europe alone, lost three millions of horned beasts."

When in 1744 the disease appeared in England, it was treated much as the plague was treated last year, when the word Rinderpest first started up in the journals of the day. It awakened no attention for some time. The precious moments during which it might have been checked by vigor

VOL. LXVII.-NO. CCCXCIX.

353

ous measures of isolation, prohibition,
and slaughter, were suffered to pass
away without anything being done,
and the nation became alive to the
extent and character of the danger
only when large herds of cattle had
been swept away, and the losses were
ment was compelled to interpose and
so great and general that the Govern-
add to measures of prevention one
of public compensation. The disease
was nearly a year in the community
before the slow machinery of a Com-
mission was put in operation, and
even then the efforts of the autho-
rities were confined almost entirely
measures which present experience
to the metropolitan county. The same
suggests, were ultimately acknow-
ledged to be the only effective method
of combating the plague. The idea
of a specific was abandoned after all
avail, and the poleaxe adopted as the
possible cures had been found of no
sole means of protecting the sound
cattle and circumscribing the cala-
mity. The cattle when killed were
buried twelve feet under ground,
their hides being slashed, and their
Orders in Council chased each other,
carcases covered with quicklime.
when in 1746 the magnitude of the
peril became apparent, and sales at
fairs and markets were entirely pro-
hibited in every town in England,
except of cattle ready for the butcher,
and for these there should be a clean
bill of health granted only upon the
oath of the owner, corroborated
before a magistrate. No beast from
an infected herd, though untainted,
would be allowed to be sold. But the
local supervision was imperfect, the
cattle-owners were apathetic, except
where aroused by the actual presence
of the disease, and the murrain
spread in consequence with rapidity.
Finally, after 60,000 head of cattle
had perished in one county, and
prohibited slaughter except in the
40,000 in another, the Government
immediate neighbourhood of the place
where the beast had been kept, and
cattle, both fat and lean-that is, ar-
put an entire stop to the movement of
rived at the state as to precautionary
measures, we, in March, 1866, have
reached in our conflict with the
present Plague. The grumbling of
the Londoners, however, led to the
revocation of these Orders, a meat-
famine having been the result, and

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