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a prison, he himself is no longer the master of his own actions; if his daughter sickens, she is taken from him ; he is not permitted to sacrifice bis life or risk his safety, for he would by so doing add to the general danger. The lower windows of houses are barred, or even bricked up, the doors are unlocked only for the purpose of ventilation, provisions are supplied under military escort by persons who have been previously subjected to a quarrantine of seven days, and who deposit them in vessels of water. A list of the inmates of each house is affixed to the door, all are examined daily by medical officers, and are obliged to air their susceptible effects very frequently, and to wash and fumigate their apartments.
By measures like these Sir T. Maitland stopped the ravages of the Plague in Malta, and Mr. Tully restored health and safety to Corfu and Cephalonia. The efficacy of the system was particularly exemplified at the village of Comitato, in the latter island. When Mr. Túlly arrived there, it presented a most frightful spectacle; the sick, the dying, and the dead were mingled together, and the streets strewn with rags and susceptible articles. Mr. Tully assembled the clergy, and induced them to promise co-operation with his measures. The rags were collected and burned by some steady person of each family, who kept to the windward of the flaming mass, and afterwards buried the ashes. Poultry, dogs, and cats were confined or destroyed. The troops then entered the town, and imprisoned the unsuspected ; the sick being removed to hospitals, and the suspected to encampments without the village. The latter were then shaved, washed in the sea, spunged with oil, new clothed, &c. The camps consisted at first of two hundred and thirty persons, but in nine days four families only remained for whom there was any apprehension. In fourteen days after Mr. Tully's arrival, the Plague ceased in Cephalonia, although it had been of a most virulent kind, carrying off fifty-nine persons in a few days, and never sparing when it once attacked.
Whether a system like the above could be effectually adopted in large and crowded cities is perhaps doubtful; and long may we be spared from the necessity of trying the experiment! We have been free from plague for one hundred and fifty years, and the most interesting question connected with the subject is, to what secondary causes we are indebted for this exemption-to our quarantine laws, or to the improved cleanliness and airiness of our metropolis ? Dr. Hancock attributes no efficacy to the former; he supposes that plague has been often in London since 1666, but that from want of encouragement by filth, &c. it has never assumed a more formidable appearance than that of contagious fever. Now with all due allowance for the immense improvement of our metropolis, yet can any one who has ever visited the haunts of its poor believe that plague might not there receive sufficient exacerbation from dirt and closeness to give it its first impetus ? and experience has everywhere proved that when this impetus has been given, it requires no fresh stimulus, but spares neither the rich nor the delicate. One of Dr. Hancock's reasons for disbelieving the efficacy of our quarantine system, is that none of our expurgators of goods have ever taken the plague; but this, if allowed weight, immediately destroys any argument founded on the improved cleanliness of London, and tends to prove not that the disorder has perished in the bud for
want of a congenial soil, but that its seeds have either never arrived in this country or have been at once destroyed by the measures adopted for expurgation.
The late plague at Malta affords a strong reason for attributing our long exemption to our quarantine system. Malta had been free from plague for one hundred and thirty-six years, and dated this freedom from the period when its quarantine laws were improved and enforced. Its climate is salubrious, the habits of its people cleanly; and its Quarterly Reviewers might in 1812 have asserted, like our's, that "it did not seem probable it could ever receive a sufficient measure of contagious miasmata to cause the prevalence of positive plague." But in 1813 a vessel arrives at Valetta with the plague on board, it is received into quarantine, and the crew placed in the Lazaretto. In a few days the disorder appears in the town; it spreads first among relations and friends, and at last becomes general. A communication between the family of the first sufferers and the infected ship is clearly traced. Well may the writer in the Quarterly venture to think it “nert to impossible to doubt the connexion of the plague at Malta with the arrival of the San Nicolo!” This is indeed almost the nearest approach which he makes to a decided opinion ; but it is produced by a strong and overpowering fact, supported by the most unquestionable proofs. This fact alone is enough to uphold our quarantine laws, and to make us tremble at the idea of their alteration ; for although the forty days of restriction might be reduced without danger to a shorter term, still we feel a kind of superstitious reverence for the system to which we attribute our long freedom from the attacks of plague. No doubt, however, were it to appear amongst us to-morrow, our danger would be aggravated as much by learned pertinacity as by vulgar ignorance ; hundreds would dispute its contagion, and die to prove their error; and as Dr. Russell observes, “If out of one hundred persons exposed to plague by a near approach to the sick, ninety only should become ill, the inability to assign reasons for the escape of the other ten would be converted into a positive argument against the disease being taken by contagion.”
Which of old were wont to lie,
In the pale blue sky?
And the lily love-enchanted ?
Like a thought earth-planted ?
Others now have no perfume ;
That hath lost its bloom.
In our blood, and quick decay,
Till it fades away.
LETTER ON THE TIMBUCTOO ANTHOLOGY.,
To the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine. SIR,— With every respect for the acknowledged ability with which you conduct your journal, and with all the hesitation which should belong to a country curate in a first attempt to appear in print, I venture to address you on the subject of an article in your last number, on “ Timbuctoo Anthology," concerning the authenticity of which I entertain some serious doubts. You must know, Sir, that the New Monthly Magazine is upon the list of our reading club, and a general favourite with its members, who are in the habit at their nightly meetings of canvassing the various topics, literary and political, which are started by the current publications of the day; and it is upon the joint opinion of a respectable majority of these gentlemen, and not upon the unbacked suggestions of my own mind, that I presume to insinuate a suspicion that you have been grossly imposed upon by the person who professes to give specimens of Timbuctoo literature; that Mr. Muggs has never visited the interior of Africa ; and that the whole communication is neither more nor less than what you Londoners call “ a dead hoax."
In the first place, Sir, let me call your attention to a remark of the worthy rector, whose curacy
I serve; namely, that Mr. Muggs (I beg his pardon, Captain Jonathan Washington Muggs) is a subject of the United States, and that we have the best authority in the world, the Quarterly Review, for believing that the Anglo-Americans are by the perversity of their moral and social institutions, much given to lying, and are indeed the most unprincipled vagabonds on the face of the earth. Now though I am not, I trust, deficient in that Christian charity which should accompany the cloth I have the honour to wear, yet I cannot but adhere to my rector's opinion (who is a very loyal and learned man, and a justice of the peace to boot), because the Americans are notoriously without a church establishment, and consequently without that "sound learning and religious education" which the people of these happy realms derive from a more steady adherence to the customs and laws of their wise and pious ancestors. To this observatioñ, Lieutenant Longbow, H.P. Royal Navy assented, remarking at the same time, that nothing was more likely than for Jonathan to trump up such a story, exactly as he did about the superiority of the American navy in the last war; notwithstanding that it was notorious that the Yankies gained all their victories by pure hazard, or superior weight of metal. The jealousy of the Americans respecting our supremacy in arts, com, merce, arms, policy and legislation, is notorious to all readers of the ministerial journals; and it may be easily imagined, that in order to deprive the African Company and the indefatigable English adventurers of any praise they might merit, by ultimately reaching the object of their destination, the malignant Captain Muggs would not scruple falsely to assert, that he had been beforehand with us, and patch up a silly tale, every line of which (by the way) contains its own refutation. If Mr. Muggs be not altogether a fictitious personage, and we may trust his own account of his life and adventures, it is not improbable, that he acquired from his cradle a habit of lying from his Timbuctoo mother : for we all know how little credit is due to a negro slave: seeing that our Colonial legislators, who ought to know best how the case stands, have wisely ordained, that the evidence of such creatures should not be receivable in a court of justice; which sufficiently proves not only that negroes are constitutionally liars, but that white men never speak any thing but truth. Indeed it will not be believed that the West India planters would set their faces against educating and proselyting their slaves, if they were not convinced that (as Aristotle wrote of the barbarians) the negroes were a degenerate race predestined to slavery, and were perfectly unable to enter into moral and religious relations. It is not therefore too much to infer that Mr. Muggs's whity-brown complexion ought of itself to suffice for justifying our taking his wonderful narratives cum grano salis, and trimming his pages by the light of reason and probability.
And here, Sir, let me call your attention to Captain Muggs's assertion that the Timbuctoos are cannibals, and sacrificed an author to their idol Mumbo Jumbo; which bears internal evidence of being a downright falsehood. Who is there that does not know that an author, long before the reviewers have done with him, is not worth picking up by the dogs? The whole anecdote is much more like a sneer upon our missionary societies for not having sooner converted the savages to Christianity; a sneer the more worthy of a Yanky antiepiscopalian, inasmuch as the discovery of the city of Timbuctoo must, in rerum natura, have preceded the conversion of its inhabitants. But such is the nature of national jealousy, that it overlooks the grossest impossibilities, and never pauses to correct its own suggestions by the dictates of candour and forbearance.
Mr. Muggs makes a great parade of literature and learned research ; but I shrewdly suspect that all his inquiries into Carthaginian antiquities have enabled him to attain to nothing but the true punica fides, in which, to say the truth, he seems a perfect adept. As for his nation of currycombers, his imagination must have been very hide-bound to hit upon so low a conceit: however it is what might be expected from the
saucy groom," so I shall say no more upon the subject. Then is not his story of the lake of molten lead, the merest Munchausen that ever was told. Lucian, in his “ true history," a work of great credit and authority, mentions rivers of wine containing fish of such intoxicating qualities, that they could only be eaten when diluted with fresh-water fish. But a lake of molten lead beats cock-fighting, as our villagewit, Tom Marksby, the gamekeeper, has it; besides, Mr. Croton, our apothecary, at my desire has consulted Cuvier, whose book contains no account of salamanders living on live coals; and I am sure that the telling such untruths to deceive the credulous public is a burning shame.
One thing, I own, surprises me, and that is, that you, Mr. Editor, did not suspect soinething, when the rogue stole a line from the Latin grammar and passed it off for an African inscription. For you must have known that “Hic NIGER" was no river, but a Roman gentleman that went up and down speaking ill of his neighbours, just as the Yankies do of us English.
But, Sir, when we arrive at the specimens of Timbuctoo poetry, the "plot begins to thicken;" and the daring malignity of the Jacobin comes to the surface; or as my neighbour Captain O'Blunder is wont
all the bother comes out of the stirabout.” The account of the Timbuctoo levee day is plainly intended as a parody upon the august ceremonies of our legitimate allies, with all their chivalric and pious ceremonies ; and there is no special jury in Westminster-hall but would convict the publisher on the innuendo, for the “ fat and grease" can only allude to the anointing the sacred person of kings; unless perhaps it is a sly hit at the Macassar oil with which our peers and peeresses anoint their heads when time begins to "thin their flowing locks," and that, you know, would be flat scandalum magnatum, to say the least of it. The supposed translation of " Hoo Tamarama bow wow" is also a libel upon our laureate odes: and the assertion that Quashiboo is descended from the great baboon tends plainly to hurt the feelings of some (whose station should protect them from such indecency) by reference to the failings of their great great grandfathers. By the by, Sir, could not this new but most sound principle of law be brought to bear more directly in support of social order and our holy religion? for as the royal family is generally believed to be descended from Adam, any abuse of any of the descendants of that common parent, cannot but prove pain. ful to the feelings of their royal relations. To this there is indeed but one objection, that the radicals are of the same blood; an objection too trifling to notice; since the upper classes agree in rejecting the relationship,-classes of which it may more especially be said, “regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis,”—a plain proof that the said radicals may be libelled with impunity, if induction has not lost its whole force and efficacy.
The more I look into your correspondent's article, the more evident does it become to me that the whole is a disguised satire upon every thing that is respectable. Even the gentle Shenstone cannot escape him; and Isaac Walton comes in for his share of abuse, whose piscatory propensities to impale live worms, and to put a hook into a frog, “as gently as if he loved him," are plainly sneered at in the verses —
And sew up live worms in a ring
To encircle her fingers and toes. And all this is done by the Jacobin Yanky, because Shenstone's banks were “covered with bees” instead of modern philosophers, and because Walton did not make use of decapitated kings for his bait instead of live reptiles.
Thus far, Sir, I had written when I received a letter from a friend, who has himself been a great traveller, and is a perfect adept in the history of languages. He assures me that the specimens of the Timbuctoo language given by your correspondent are analogous to no known dialect on the face of the earth. He likewise mentions a MS. extant in the Vatican (No. X. 25,674) which contains the narration (written, as Hamlet would say, in choice Latin) of a noble Roman, who during the Jugurthine war was sent an ambassador into the interior of Africa to the Timputani, a nation whom he describes as " homines teterrimi, Anthropophagi. Among this nation he resided for two years and a half, the better to maintain the “relations of amity” between them and the Romans, usually observed between civilized nations. From many collateral circumstances, as well as the identity of name, there can be no doubt that the Timputani the Timbuctoos are one and the same people. If I am right in this conjecture, the falsity of Mr. Muggs and his narrative is matter of pure demonstration. For