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swelling about the pectoral muscle, but no appearance of inflammation in or near the wound. Death took place a week after the accident.* Two questions naturally suggest themselves to every inquirer on this subject ; the first being—Is inoculation from putrid bodies more dangerous than from recent ones 2 Experience gives Theory a hard rap on the knuckles when delivering her answer, for fresh bodies are the most dangerous. It fortunately happens, however, that Theory is always able to follow Experience, and it is easy to allege that the danger depends on a virus which is decomposed by putrefaction. The second question is—Can the morbus anatomicus be communicated otherwise than by inoculation? And here Experience, in the person of Mr. Travers, speaks as follows: A laundress, while washing the sheets of a patient who had died of this disease, was overcome by what she described as a peculiar faint smell; she was instantly seized with violent pain in the shoulder, and a large abscess afterwards formed in the arm-pit. Moreover, several persons in the same house with a gentleman suffering from diffuse inflammation (including his nurse)
* The appearances observed on examination may interest some of our readers. There was no morbid appearance in the finger, hand, or fore-arm ; but, on dissecting off the pectoral muscle, a large quantity of lymph and pus was found, not forming a distinct abscess, but occupying the cellular membrane. The principal seat of the suppuration was in the immediate vicinity of the axillary plexus of nerves, around which a considerable quantity of pus was accumulated. Some of the glands were inflamed, but not more than might naturally be expected in parts surrounded by pus. The stomach and intestines were much distended with air, but there was no certain evidence of actual inflammation having existed in them.
were attacked with typhus fever, complicated with various anomalous symptoms. Though the case of the laundress might be attributed to inoculation, the other ones must evidently submit to a different interpretation. An important point, still to be considered, is the treatment of the dissector's disease; and here, as in many other cases, the doctors disagree so totally, that if we learn nothing else from the discrepancy of their opinions, at least we must not refuse to be taught the fact that medicine is an art still in its infancy. An ingenious surgeon, Mr. Shaw, recommends that the patient should be kept for some days in a state of intoxication with porter and opium; while another man of note, Dr. Duncan, extols large bleedings and other depletory measures. Either one of these two extremes can but rarely be requisite. Inter utrumque vola. If the pain is great, the pulse strong, and the patient not exhausted by the depressing atmosphere of a dissecting-room, bleed once or twice; in ordinary cases, be content with opium and aperients. Of course it will be advisable to give vent to the confined matter by free incisions, and afterwards to support the patient by cordials and stimulants, by mutton chops and old port, just as when an ordinary abscess has been evacuated. But how is the disease to be prevented The anatomical forceps of Captain Bagnold, by rendering the sewing up of bodies more easy, will prevent many a puncture. But, supposing a puncture to have been made, how are its ill effects to be guarded against 2 The best antidotes are to suck the wound, and then to apply some caustic to it. So great is the efficacy and the reputation
of this remedy, that Chaussier advises the dissector to have a phial of muriate of antimony always in his pocket. The experiments of Sir David Barry have shown that the application of a cupping-glass prevents the absorption of poisons, and this prophylactic may therefore be used in very suspicious cases. Lastly, the dissector must be sustained by a generous diet; and though we would not recommend him to follow the prescription which is fathered upon the old physicians, and get drunk once a month, we would certainly advise, that, at least once a month, he should quit his subject and his scalpels, enjoy the uncontaminated air of the country, and, in Horatian phrase, “wash away his ills with sweet wine.”
LXXV. TRANSLATABLE PUNS.
ADDISON has given an excellent test by which we may know whether a piece of real wit has been achieved, or merely a pun perpetrated. We are to endeavour to translate the doubtful production into another language: and if it passes through this ordeal unharmed, it is true wit; if not, it is a pun. Like most tests, however, this fails occasionally ; for there are some few puns that, in spite of the prohibitory law, can smuggle themselves into the regions of true wit, just as foreigners, who have perfectly learned the language of a country, can enter as natives, and set alien acts at defiance.
We will give two or three examples of these slippery fellows, who, to use a modern phrase, have succeeded in driving a coach-and-six through Addison's Act.
The lectures of a Greek philosopher were attended by
a young girl of exquisite beauty. One day, a grain of sand happened to get into her eye, and, being unable to extricate it herself, she requested his assistance. As he was observed to perform this little operation with a zeal which, perhaps, a less sparkling eye might not have commanded, somebody called out to him, Mn row xopov &lap?sipps, i. e. Do not spoil the pupil. Cicero said of a man who had ploughed up the ground in which his father was buried, Hoc est were colere monumentum patris—This is really cultivating one's father's memory. A punster, being requested to give a specimen of his art, asked for a subject. “The King.” “The King is not a subject,” he replied. This holds good in French likewise—(Le Roi n'est pas un sujet.) The last two cases belong to a class which is, perhaps, more extensive than is commonly supposed; where the two senses of the word are allied by an easy metaphor, and may consequently be found in more than one language. We will give another of the same kind. Erskine was reproached with his propensity of punning, and was told that puns were the lowest kind of wit. “True,” said he, “and therefore they are the foundation of all wit.” Madame de Lamotte was condemned to be marked with a hot iron on both shoulders, as well as to perpetual imprisonment, for her frauds in the affair of Marie Antoinette's diamond necklace. At the end of ten months, however, she made her escape from l'Hôpital, where she was confined, by the aid of a soeur, who said, when quitting her, “Adieu, Madame, premez-garde de vous faire re-marquer." (Farewell, Madam; take care not to be re-marked.) A French editor, when quoting this, observes, * Nous ajouterons qu'il faut bien avoir la fureur de dire de tristes bons-mots pour en faire sur un pareil sujet." At a time when public affairs were in a very unsettled state, M. de G-—, who squinted terribly, asked Talleyrand how things were going on. " Mais, comme vous voyez, Monsieur." (Why, as you see, sir.) Another pun, attributed to the same great master, is not only translatable, but is much better in English than in French. During the reign of Bonaparte, when an arrogant soldiery affected to despise all civilians, Talleyrand asked a certain general what was meant by calling people pequins. * Nous appellons pequin tout ce qui n'est pas militaire," said the general. (We call everybody who is not a soldier, a pequin,—a miserable creature.) * Eh ! oui," replied Talleyrand, * comme nous autres nous appellons militaires tous ceux qui ne sont pas civiles." (Oh ! yes ! as we call military all those who are not civil.)
LXXVI. DIALECTS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
BALBI, a learned Venetian, has written a work containing some account of all the languages in the world, which he divides according to their varieties and dialects. He expatiates on the dialects of the Turks, Abyssinians, Laplanders, and a hundred others, and comes at length