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Title: A History of Epidemic Pestilences: From the Earliest Ages, 1495 Years Before the Birth of our Saviour to 1848: With Researches into Their Nature, Causes, and Prophylaxis
Author: Bascome, Edward
Language: English
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                               A HISTORY


                         EPIDEMIC PESTILENCES

                        FROM THE EARLIEST AGES,

          1495 Years before the Birth of our Saviour to 1848:


                           AND PROPHYLAXIS.


                         EDWARD BASCOME, M.D.

    “The all-surrounding heav’n, the vital air,
    Is big with death: and tho’ the putrid south
    Be shut, tho’ no convulsive agony
    Shake from the deep foundations of the world
    Th’ imprison’d plagues, a secret venom oft
    Corrupts the air, the water, and the land.”
                               ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH.


                       HUGHES AND CO., PRINTERS,
                   KING’S HEAD COURT, GOUGH SQUARE.


                        TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

                       THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY,


                       TO DR. JOHN CONOLLY, M.D.



Inadequate as I feel to the task of conveying to you my sense of
obligation in being permitted the honour of dedicating this work to
persons of your high position and distinguished merit, I feel doubly
so, to express my admiration of your _immeasurable benevolence_,
as portrayed not only in your public capacities in general, but
more especially--the one in emanating, the other in carrying out
the provisions of the law for the protection and kind consideration
of those unfortunates of God’s creatures whom it hath pleased him
to afflict with the direst of human maladies, the privation or
prostration of the noblest of man’s faculties--Reason.

That your labours have been of incalculable benefit to suffering
humanity is too notorious to admit of either comment or eulogy from me.

That you both may live long in health, to see perfected “the good work
begun” by you, and that you may enjoy the satisfaction of a well-earned
reputation resulting therefrom, is the earnest wish of,

                                        My Lord,
                                            My dear Sir,
                                        With the highest respect,
                                          Your obedient,
                                              Humble Servant,
                                                      THE AUTHOR.


Feeling it to be incumbent on every one to contribute to the good of
his fellow-men, in as far as his experience enables him--

    “Non sibi sed toti mundo se credere natum;”

and presuming on the practical knowledge gained during a sojourn of a
quarter of a century in climes that are not the most hospitable, the
Author has been induced to offer to the public the following pages, as
his professional lucubrations on a subject deeply interesting to every
community,--a subject both comprehensive and obscure,--comprehensive,
inasmuch as it involves the consideration of a vast variety of disease
under the appellation of Epidemic Pestilence,--“The offspring of
inclement skies, and of legions of putrefying locusts,”--and obscure,
as regards the uncertainty which must ever appertain to all that
relates to the phenomena of Life and Death.

The Author has endeavoured to place in fair review the various opinions
of the most eminent historians (professional and otherwise), and
would impress on his readers, that on a subject embracing so wide a
field _as that of atmospheric influence, arising from elemental
disturbance, together with the boundless variety in the circumstances
of human society, as the exciting and predisposing cause of
disease_, the present volume must be read and considered as a whole;
for it is only by comparison of all the phenomena displayed in the
following History of Pestilences, that any thing like just or rational
conclusions can be arrived at,--conclusions such as the remarkable
coincidences of the observations and comments by historians, not only
of the earliest ages of the world, but those of more modern times,
fully warrant.

It has been the Author’s aim, by careful examination, to reconcile the
discrepancies of historians as regards dates,--discrepancies evidently
owing to the varying commencements of the year with different people or

In conclusion,--however dogmatical the Author may appear to be to
his readers in that which he has advanced as to the NATURE,
CAUSES, &c. of epidemic pestilences, he begs to assure them
that he has written from honest conviction; and with that assurance he
leaves the subject-matter in the hands of those capable of estimating
his efforts in behalf of SANITY.

           Ὁ οἴδαμεν λαλοῦμεν, καὶ ὃ ἑωράκαμεν μαρτυροῦμεν.

      “We teach that we do know, and testify that we have seen.”

   Wyke House, Brentford.



                         EPIDEMIC PESTILENCES.

                              CHAPTER I.

                      FROM 1495 B.C. TO A.D. 540.

    Πλείη μὲν γὰρ γαῖα κακῶν, πλείη δὲ θάλασσα·
    Νοῦσοι δ’ ἀνθρώποισιν ἐφ’ ἡμέρῃ ἠδ’ ἐπὶ νυκτὶ
    Αὐτόματοι φοιτῶσι.

    The earth’s full of maladies, and full the sea,
    Which set upon us both by night and day.

It is recorded that in the month Adar,--answering, according to our
computation of time, to the period between the middle of February
and March, the end of the Jewish year,--during the reign of Pharaoh
IV., king of Egypt, in the year of the world 2509 (anno 1495 before
the Christian era), and in the 80th year of the life of Moses, the
sacred historian and great captain of the hosts of Israel, many awful
prodigies in the natural world commenced, especially in commotions of
the elements, which were succeeded by a pestilence destructive both
to men and beasts in the low lands of Egypt. This terrible pestilence
was preceded by fearful commotions of the elements,--hail, thunder
and lightning, heat and drought, the generation of insects, &c.; for
the summer had been hot, and attended with heavy cold nocturnal dews
alternating with rains, after a humid winter. The weather had been very
variable; the excessive heats and hot winds exhausted the inhabitants
by day, and the cold damp dews chilled them by night: the atmosphere
was so filled with fiery elements, and clouds of dust and sand,
that men and cattle were in imminent danger of suffocation, and were
compelled to seek shelter from these dry storms and tempests. On the
10th, universal darkness prevailed, which continued for three days;
and on the 14th, deadly pestilence commenced, which, in one sudden and
universal destruction, swept away millions from the face of nature.

Anno 1471 B.C., by dire pestilence, the murmurers and mutineers in the
company of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were destroyed in the encampment
at Kadesh, in the desert of Paran, to the number of 14,700 persons;
and nineteen years after (1452 B.C.), by a similar pestilence, of the
riotous and drunken worshippers of Baal-peor, 24,000 men and women

In the year 1310 B.C., sixty years previous to the Trojan war,
the island of Ægina was visited by an epidemic pestilence, which was
fatal to great numbers.

Anno 1141 B.C., the people of Ashdod, a place lying on the seashore
between Gaza and Joppa, which is called in the New Testament Azotus,
were visited by an epidemic pestilence termed EMERODS--an affection of
the bowels, or malignant dysentery.

In the time of David, 1017 B.C., there broke out a pestilence
which in three days destroyed 70,000 persons. About the period of
this infliction, the first dreadful epoch of Spanish epidemiology is
recorded. The period, however, has been variously given; by some, it
is fixed at 1100 B.C., while other writers mention it as
having occurred during the great plague or dearth in Egypt. There were,
without interruption, _twenty-five years_ of drought in Spain;
springs were dried up, rivers became fordable, their waters becoming
almost stagnant; there was neither pasture for beasts nor fruit for
man; so great was the barrenness of the land, that there was scarcely
any green thing to be found, except some olive-trees on the banks
of the Ebro and the Guadalquiver. Such, says the historian, was the
melancholy state of our ancient Spain; “full of dreadful mortalities,
plagues, and miseries of every description, which, with emigration to
other lands, nearly depopulated our country.”

Plutarch mentions the occurrence of a great pestilence that happened in
Rome in the year 790 B.C., soon after the murder of Tatius: it was so
rapidly fatal that it is represented as killing almost instantaneously;
cattle as well as men were swept away, and all nature appeared one
desolate and abandoned waste: during this awful period it is said to
have rained blood, or crimson insects which turned the waters to the
colour of blood, as happened in Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh: the
crops failed, and the country of Campania may be said to have been
ravaged by the sword, famine, and pestilence. Plutarch also gives an
account of an epidemic pestilence which afflicted the inhabitants of
Italy, especially the capital of the empire, during the reign of Numa
Pompilius, of Hezekiah over Judah, and of Sennacherib over Assyria in
the year 710 B.C.: by this pestilence 185,000 of the Assyrian armies
perished at the siege of Jerusalem, which compelled the assailants to
raise the siege and to return to Nineveh, even after they had taken
all the principal cities of Judah, including Libnah, a city situated
about twelve miles south-west of Jerusalem. It was at this period that
Numa Pompilius instituted the Salii, a college of priests of Mars, who
carried the sacred shields in procession, to stop the pestilence.

Livy describes another pestilence which occurred at Rome during
the reign of Tullus Hostilius, 694 B.C. Zosimus, an officer during
the reign of Theodosius the Younger, speaks of the prevalence of a
pestilence in the city of Rome during the reign of Tarquin, anno 671
B.C.; and Dionysius Halicarnassus, Murator, and Functius have also
mentioned the occurrence of a great famine and pestilence in Rome, anno
545 B.C., which nearly depopulated Velitræ, an ancient town of Latium
on the Appian Road, about twenty miles to the east of Rome. A murrain
prevailed about this time among their cattle, which destroyed vast
numbers, and such havoc was made among the inhabitants of Latium that
the Volsci were necessitated to apply to the Romans to re-people their
cities. Rome also suffered the year subsequently, as did Campania,
celebrated for its lake Avernus, which emitted such poisonous vapours
that birds would not go near its banks: this pestilence spared neither
age nor constitution, and yielded to no remedies. It appeared suddenly,
destroyed its victims rapidly, and on the approach of continued cold
weather disappeared as suddenly as it came.

Anno 594 B.C. There perished this year a third part of the
inhabitants of Jerusalem by a severe pestilence.

Herodotus and Justin have recorded the destruction of the army of
Xerxes, when retreating into Asia after his defeat at the battle of
Salamis, by a grievous pestilence, which attacked both land and sea
forces, especially the army under the command of General Mardonius,
anno 480 B.C.: the victims were numbered at 150,000. During
this period Diodorus Siculus writes that the ancient Spanish troops
were the most faithful and courageous, and constituted almost always
the strength of the Carthaginian armies: he continues,--They (the
Carthaginians) took treasure and soldiers, who by their valour aided
the republic in their most critical times of war. The Spanish soldiers
endured hardship with indomitable courage, and, being naturally of a
robust make, were not intimidated by the pestilence which destroyed
others of the Carthaginian army of that time, nor by the 150,000 dead
bodies--plague-victims, which without burial strewed the plains. All
these circumstances did not prevent their appearing in arms, and
demanding the capitulation of Syracuse from its first tyrant, whilst
at the same time the other troops, shamefully abandoned by their
chiefs, took to a precipitate flight, and surrendered at discretion.
History says nothing of the means taken for the curing of this
horrible pestilence at Syracuse, nor shows clearly why the Spaniards
alone enjoyed an immunity from this pestilence, which was worthy of
being perpetuated in history. Villalba however mentions some physical
causes which he considers contributed to the remarkable exemption of
the Spaniards from the dire pestilence: he states that the ancient
Spaniards were a sober race; and, according to all authorities,
sobriety is a powerful means of protection against disease. Filarcus,
a citizen of Athens, was singularly struck with this fact: among the
rich who lived frugally, drank water alone, and were clothed with the
richest garments, moderation and bodily cleanliness were observed to be
of the highest importance in maintaining the sensible and insensible
perspiration; these functions of secretion and of excretion being
essential in order that the integral parts of the blood should preserve
its purity, its weight, its normal state of electricity, and natural
fluidity, upon which depend the preservation of health and the power
of resisting disease in times of epidemics, as is affirmed by medical
jurists, and as the ancient Spaniards practised. He continues,--Bathing
is also an efficacious means of removing the impurities that opposed
the sensible and insensible perspiration; and it would appear that in
Spain, long before the Second Punic War, bathing was in general favour.
The unmeaning sneer of Diodorus Siculus at the habit of the Spaniards
of washing their entire bodies with urine, will be recollected, whilst
Galen says that in Syria they avoid the plague by simply drinking
that liquid excrement. That the Spaniards used urine advantageously
as a topical lotion we shall find in the treatises on baths and other
subjects of ancient Spain. Drs. Ribeiro and Sanchez assert, with some
foundation, that the use of linen in Europe has caused pestilence to
be less frequent; thus, as it were, contributing to the cleanliness
which the ancients obtained by the use of their public baths. To a
similar cause we may attribute the rarity with which the Spaniards
were attacked by the aforesaid frightful pestilence. Catullus, Silius
Italicus, and Gratius Faliscus eulogize the vapour baths of the ancient
Sætabi: in fine, says Villalba, the sobriety, personal cleanliness,
bathing in common water, washing with urine, vapour baths, and the
wearing linen garments, with fortitude, concurred powerfully to the
immunity enjoyed from disease by our Spanish ancestors.

Anno 476 B.C. During this and the succeeding years, says
Florian de Ocampo, there prevailed in Spain from time to time a
series of pestilences and other minor diseases, by which a multitude
of persons perished. The Carthaginians, to appease the ire of the
gods to whom they attributed these fatal visitations, offered up
human sacrifices, and made incisions on their arms and legs, and on
other parts of their bodies: they also immolated cattle of all kinds,
according to the severity of the pestilence.

Orosius, another Spanish writer, and also Dionysius, relate the
occurrence of a terrible plague at Rome, which caused great mortality,
463 B.C. This was a grievous time, says the historian, men
and beasts being equally afflicted. The disease was preceded by great
heat and drought, and the calamities and fatigues of war, which were
greatly augmented by crowds of countrymen and herds of cattle received
within the walls of the city, in order to avoid the ravages and
plunderings of the Latins and Hernici, who then desolated the country.
The epidemic first seized on horses and horned cattle, then on man,
the poorer people being the chief victims: it began about the calends
of September, and raged until the end of November. The two consuls
Servilius and Æbutius, and many other illustrious Romans, fell victims
to the disease.

Livy and Dionysius inform us that, anno 452 B.C., nearly
one-half of the inhabitants of Rome were destroyed by the pestilence
_loimikié_, which was also communicated to the Æqui, the
Volsci, and the Sabines, and caused a great mortality amongst them.
The distress and consternation being general, the land was left
uncultivated, and the miseries of famine threatened to overwhelm those
who survived the epidemic. This pestilence was succeeded by another,
which, if possible, was more grievous; it lasted from 443 to 438
B.C. In time, so frequently had Rome been scourged by repeated
epidemic pestilences, that Livy styled it “urbs assiduis exhausta

In the second year of the Peloponnesian War, 435 B.C., epidemic
pestilence broke out at Athens, where the inhabitants of the Athenian
territory were crowded together into the city to avoid the ravages of
the Lacedemonians: it destroyed 5000 of the prime of their armies,
and an immense number of the poor, and continued without interruption
for five years. It began towards the close of an open spring, after
a severe winter, raged the four following summers and autumns, was
especially fatal to their armies at the siege of Epidaurus and Potidea,
and continued all through the severe winters. Thucydides, Lucretius,
Anacharsis, Plutarch, and Hippocrates give an account of a similar
pestilence which ravaged Persia about the same period. Artaxerxes,
the king of Persia, sent for the great physician of Cos and Greece
to come and arrest its progress, but Hippocrates nobly answered the
Persian monarch in these words, addressing Hystaspes, prefect of the
Hellespont: “To the epistle which you have sent, and you have asserted
to come from the king, write to the king as I briefly answer,--We
enjoy victuals, clothing, homes, and everything necessary for life
in abundance; and it is neither right for me to use the wealth of
the Persians, nor to liberate barbarians from diseases while they
may be the enemies of Greece. Farewell.” Thucydides describes the
symptoms of the disease in a cursory manner; Lucretius more minutely;
and from these historians we infer the following morbid phenomena.
The invasion was sudden and unexpected; the disease commenced with a
violent headache, fiery redness of the eyes, succeeded by pains and
inflammation of the throat, difficulty of breathing, and offensive
breath, a sneezing and hoarseness, violent fever with insatiable
thirst supervening: watchfulness and delirium or stupor, vomiting of
bilious matter, utter prostration of strength, and urgent flux of the
bowels, were noticed in the second stage of the disease. In the first
stage, the stools were dark and fœtid: there were hiccough, bleeding
at the gums, throat, nose, stomach, and bowels,--convulsions: pustules
or sores of a livid hue were also observed about the bodies of those
affected. This bilious plague or pestilence of Athens exhibited, from
the foregoing accounts, symptoms analogous to those of the bilious
remittent or yellow fever of America and the West Indies, and would
appear to have arisen from similar causes.

The historian, in speaking of the calamity, brings the causes of the
pestilence to our view. He says, “As they had no houses, but dwelt in
booths all the summer season, where there was scarcely room to breathe,
the pestilence destroyed with the greatest confusion, so that they
lay together in heaps, the dying upon the dead, and the dead upon the
dying: they were tumbling one over the other in the public streets, or
lay expiring round every fountain, whither they had crept to assuage
the intolerable thirst which was consuming them. The temples of which
they had taken possession were full of the dead bodies of those who had
expired there.”

Anno 427 B.C. a cruel pestilence or plague spread almost
through the world. Mariana and other Spanish writers say that it
commenced in Egypt, and, travelling through all the intervening
countries, reached Spain: the mortality in most places began among the
cattle. From various accounts it would appear that the country people
were first affected with this pestilence; afterwards the inhabitants
in the towns. Anno 404 B.C. Carthage was almost depopulated,
as recorded by Justin and Diodorus Siculus. The Carthaginians sent on
an expedition under Himilco to reduce revolted Sicily to subjection,
were destroyed in great numbers by pestilence; it was so fatal that,
according to one writer, Ocampo, there did not escape either Mallorcan
slingers, Celts, Andalusians, or Africans; many fell dead as soon as
they took the disease. The bad policy of leaving their dead bodies
unburied on the plains, a prey to dogs, &c., contributed in no
small degree to the propagation and virulence of the epidemic. This
pestilence was distinguished by the remarkable symptoms of violent
dysentery, severe fever, acute pains in all parts of the body, anguish,
and great depression of both mind and body. Similar disasters have
attended expeditions and long campaigns in warm climates within our
own time, as our expeditions into Egypt, Flanders, Brabant, the West
Indies, &c. testify.

Annis 393 and 383 B.C. the armies of Gaul and Rome were afflicted with
sore pestilence. In the latter year, there were many months of severe
drought in Andalusia and along the southern coasts, from the Pyrenees
as far as Cape St. Vincent; great famine ensued, with pestilential

Rome was revisited by pestilence anno 366 B.C.: it raged
dreadfully for three years, and swept away the great Camillus with
multitudes of his people. When the disease was at its height, it is
reported that 10,000 citizens died daily: it prevailed terribly in the
months of September, October, and November, and the Sibylline books and
Lectisternium were resorted to in vain. To add to their calamities and
distress, the earth opened in the midst of Rome, giving rise to the
tragical and superstitious decease of Marcus Curtius, by his throwing
himself, for the salvation of the city, into the awful chasm on the
site of which the lake Alba soon after arose.

Orosius in describing this pestilence says, “This was such a pestilence
as generally proceeds from irregular seasons, extreme drought, heat
of the spring, moisture in the summer and autumn;” which implies
that irregular seasons inducing a pestilential constitution of the
atmosphere, according to the doctrines of Hippocrates, who dictated
medicine to all the world in those days, were productive of pestilence.

Anno 362 B.C. The war of Sicily being ended by the death of
Dionysius the greater, the Republic of Carthage sent a captain named
Bostan as the governor of Mallorca, Minorca, Iberia, and Formentera, in
order that he should negociate with the Saguntians, and draw them over
to their side.

The city of Saguntum, now called Murviedro, was visited by an epidemic
pestilence. There was a great scarcity of provisions, and many deaths
occurred, even among the nobles. The people became sorrow-stricken and
disheartened, as reported by the magistrates to their new governor.
It may be inferred that the pestilence raged with severity, from its
having affected the higher orders.

Annis 346 B.C. and 405 from the foundation of Rome,
extraordinary inundations, with great damage to the cattle, fields,
and buildings, occurred. All the cities along the coasts on the
Mediterranean Sea suffered also from earthquakes; Saguntum, a principal
city, having suffered the most. Annis 332, 296, and 291 B.C.
Rome was again visited by pestilence, which was particularly fatal to
breeding women and to breeding cattle. A similar visitation affected
Rome anno 272 B.C.

Anno 237 B.C. the commotions of the elements in the shape of
earthquakes, severe drought, with the want of sufficient food, caused
great mortality among cattle and men in Spain, especially at Cadiz.

Anno 218 B.C. the toils of war and the forced marches of
the Carthaginian armies on their route to besiege Saguntum, and
the unflinching and brave defence by wearying out the assailants,
(says Mariana,) caused great pestilence among them. There were also
earthquakes and pestilence in several provinces of Spain, also great
storms at sea, throwing on the land quantities of fish, some of which
were unknown until this occurrence. There was also a fatal epizootic
among the dogs and birds.

Anno 216 B.C. In the summer of this year a fatal pestilence
began in the vicinity of Carthage. It was supposed that this putrid
disease arose from the crowded state of all places, from the multitude
of sailors and soldiers there at the time, the country being in a badly
cultivated state, the scarcity and bad quality of provisions, and
from the stagnant lake, which had always been viewed as a source of
disease. For a considerable period it was limited to the place where
it originated, but after a time other provinces became affected. Both
rich and poor fell victims to this dire disease: some of the principal
families suffered; and Hamilca, the wife of Hannibal, and their
offspring, were among its numerous victims.

Anno 206 B.C. a vast pestilence, preceded by immense swarms
of locusts, occurred in the land near Capua. The same historian, Livy,
relates that the Roman and Rhodian fleets, anchored at Phaselis in
the Gulf of Pamphylia in the midst of summer, and in an unwholesome
situation, suffered from pestilential diseases,--especially the rowers,
who were subjected to hard labour, and exposed to the burning rays
of the sun. He continues, that violent pestilence ravaged all Italy
annis 182 and 181 B.C. This continued for several years;
severe drought for six months, and consequent dearth of corn happened,
followed by terrible storms, pernicious seasons, and awful commotions
of the elements, coldness, dampness, moisture and dryness, noxious
vapours, and putrid exhalations. This extraordinary season was followed
by a great pestilence among cattle and among the inhabitants of Rome,
in the summer and autumn of the year 177 B.C. This pestilence
continued for four years, from 177 to 173, during which period swarms
of locusts deluged Apulia, as the Pontine provinces were covered the
previous year. So destructive were their ravages, that Sicinius the
prætor was commissioned with an army to drive them away!

“Pestilentia quæ priore anno ingruerat in boves, eo verteret in hominum
morbos; qui inciderant haud facile septimum diem superabant: qui
superaverant longinquo, maximæ quartanæ implacabantur, morbo. Servitia
maxime moriebantur, eorum strages per omnes vias insepultorum erat.
Ne liberorum quidem funeribus subficiebat. Cadavera intacta a canibus
ac vulturibus tabes absumebat; satisque constabat, nec illo, nec
priore anno in tanta strage boûm hominumque vulturiûm usquam visum.”
The translation of this pithy passage conveys that the pestilence
which first attacked cattle, fastened upon men,--those who survived
the seventh day did so with great difficulty, and were subsequently
afflicted by disease (or fever) of a quartan form. The poor and lower
classes were those who suffered most, their dead carcases lying about
the highways,--dogs and vultures left the carcases untouched which were
consumed by corruption,--neither in this nor in a former year was
there a vulture seen. From this graphic detail we may infer that the
beasts of the field were first attacked, then mankind; that the disease
underwent a sort of crisis on the seventh day, terminating either
in death or chronic distemper, as we see to be the case in our own
days; viz. consumption, dropsy, diseases of the liver and spleen, and
ague;--that it was most fatal among the lower orders, who are generally
more distressed in times of scarcity, and from other causes more
susceptible of disease, such as cold, damp abodes, and poor diet;--that
carnivorous animals were sick themselves, refusing to touch the carrion
carcases; in fact, the infected provinces were entirely deserted by
vultures;--lastly, that the malady was similar to our yellow, bilious,
remittent fever, in all its symptoms, as we see it occurring amongst us
in various places--the West Indies, America, &c.

Orosius gives us an account of another pestilence, which devastated
Rome, anno 144 B.C.

In the year 140 before the Christian era, the war of Viriathus having
been concluded, the proconsul Q. Pompeius Rufus commenced blockading
Numantia (now Algeria). The plan of his operations being to charge the
air with mephitic vapours, he determined on turning the course of the
river Douro, and inundating the country round about by means of its
waters, which would have the effect not only of spoiling the atmosphere
by its moist exhalations, but of inducing famine also, by the
destruction of all vegetation. These attempts were, however, fruitless,
inasmuch as the Numantians, being a robust and warlike people, resisted
the consequences of the proconsul’s attempts against them. Having
foreseen his intentions, they had supplied themselves with abundant
provisions, which they had intercepted from the Roman legions; while,
on the other hand, the Roman soldiers themselves fell victims to their
own measures, pestilence having broken out among them--a malignant
dysentery, equal in severity and fatality to that which formerly had
laid waste the army of Lucullus.

After this period to about that of 134 B.C., Scipio Æmilianus,
called the Numantine, organized his army, and having established
admirable rules of hygiene and semeiotics, whereby he preserved his
former strength and health, began to devastate the plains of Numantia,
of Vacca, and Palestine. The want of water which was experienced in the
latter place (Palestine) forced them to make wells to obtain drinkable
water, but unfortunately the water thus obtained proved to be of a
character productive of a malignant epizootic, which destroyed their
horses and other beasts of burthen: the pestilence among their cattle
increasing, obliged them to change their quarters to the plains of
Numantia in order to winter there.

Anno 130 B.C. The famous Numantines, so much dreaded by the
Romans on account of their valorous resistance, were not less feared by
the Greeks, than the horrible pestilence which prevailed in Numantia.
The Greek, Appianus Alexandrinus, speaks of them with admiration and
dread. The Numantine people, who had hitherto resisted the corrupted
condition of the air, ultimately suffered such exhaustion for want of
food, their stores having been consumed, that after having subsisted on
dressed skins of animals for several days, they fell into the frightful
necessity of becoming anthropophagi, so that from feeding on the bodies
of those who fell defending their country, pestilence arose, which
hastened the downfall of their city.

Anno 126 B.C. Epidemic pestilence prevailed with great
mortality in Africa. Orosius, Justin, and Livy, who have described
it, attribute this pestilence to the stench arising from the putrid
carcases of dead locusts, which were brought over by a strong east
wind in such multitudes that they devoured every green thing, even
to the bark of trees; they were subsequently driven by a south wind
into the Mediterranean, and being again washed on shore in the warm
season of the year, putrefied, and produced this awful pestilence,
which destroyed 800,000 in Numidia alone. On the sea-coast of Carthage
200,000 perished. Of such terrible visitations by insects, which to
this day exist in the East at particular seasons, carrying destruction
in their course, Lord Carnarvon gives a description in his ‘History
of Portugal and Gallicia.’ It will convey a pretty good idea of their
destructiveness and of the distressing consequences. Speaking of
natural exhibitions, of which he was an eye-witness in Africa, he
writes thus: “A fall of locusts is beyond description the most awful
imaginable--a most dreadful scourge, which is considered in eastern
and northern countries the most unfailing manifestation of the wrath
of God. Travelling along the western coast of Africa, I once beheld
this terrible infliction. These creatures fell in thousands and tens
of thousands around us and upon us along the sands on which we were
riding, and on the sea that was beating at our feet; yet we were
removed from their most oppressive influence; for, a few hundred yards
to our right, darkening the air, the great innumerable host came on,
slowly and steadily advancing in a direct line and in a mighty moving
column. The fall of locusts from this central column was so great, that
when a cow directly under the line of flight, attempting ineffectually
to graze in the field, approached her mouth to the grass, there rose
immediately so dense a swarm, that her head was for the moment almost
concealed from sight, and as she moved along, bewildered by this worse
than Egyptian plague, clouds of locusts rose up from under her feet,
visible even at a distance, as clouds of dust when set in motion by
the wind on a stormy day. At the extremity of the field I saw the
husbandmen bending over their staffs, and gazing with hopeless eyes
upon that host of death which swept like a destroying angel over the
land, and consigned to ruin all the prospects of the year; for wherever
that column winged its flight, beneath its withering influence the
golden glories of the harvest perished, and the leafy honours of the
forest disappeared. There stood those ruined men silent and motionless,
overwhelmed with the magnitude of their calamity, yet conscious of
their utter inability to control it, while further on, where some
woodland lay in the immediate line of the advancing column, heath set
on fire, and trees kindling into a blaze, testified the general horror
of a visitation which the ill-fated inhabitants endeavoured to avert by
such a frightful remedy. They believed that the smoke arising from the
burning forest, ascending into the air, would impede the direct march
of the column, throw it into confusion, and drive the locusts out to
sea, and thus deliver the country from their desolating presence.”

During the civil wars which were excited by Sylla and Marius, the Roman
armies lost 10,000 men by plague in the year 89 B.C.

Anno 60 B.C. Spain, according to the opinion of several
ancient and modern writers, both foreign and national, was one of
the countries most subjected to the frightful disease of leprosy.
Sauvages has asserted that there were no lepers in France, save those
that came from Spain and America. Senertus states that in Spain and
Africa elephantiasis (leprosy) is more frequent than in any other
part of the world. Dr. Casal coincides in this opinion, as may be
seen in his ‘Natural and Medical History of the Principality of the
Asturias;’ and, finally, the Academic Memoirs of Seville speak of its
existence in those countries, as owing to their communication with
the Arabs and Jews, without denying, however, that the prevalence of
the disease may have been influenced by the peculiar constitution of
Spain. Accordingly its dry and burning temperature has contributed
considerably, as it would appear, to locate this terrible disease,
especially in the kingdom of Andalusia, and in the principality of the
Asturias. The use of pork and other salted provisions, so commonly
employed as articles of diet in ancient Spain, is supposed to have
acted powerfully in perpetuating the disease, inasmuch as the opinions
of Ubilis and other physicians go to show that these sorts of aliment
are powerful generators of the malady. The first appearance of leprosy
in Spain coincides with its introduction into Italy, after having been
prevalent in the army of Pompey the Great about sixty years, more or
less, before the coming of Christ. The sons of the celebrated general
proceeded with the army of their father from Italy to Spain, to stem
the invasion of Cæsar, and this was in all probability the cause of its
first introduction into that country,--at least, it is so considered by
some writers.

Anno 49 B.C. The continued heavy rains and tempestuous
seasons, the like of which had never been seen by the oldest
inhabitants, caused frightful inundations of the rivers Cinca and
Segre. Epidemic pestilence, peculiar to an atmosphere surcharged with
moisture and poisonous exhalations, appeared immediately after. The
shepherds were obliged to withdraw their flocks in order to save them
from the waters, which, together with the increased price of corn
and of other food amongst the neighbouring populace, multiplied the
misfortunes of the army of Julius Cæsar, who had not only to combat
against the bravery of the Pompeians, but also against the trials of
famine and pestilence. Their distress would have been greater and more
lamentable, had not some of the neighbouring tribes, who had recently
become their allies, succoured them with the necessaries of life, which
were sent in under the escort of 500 Ilecaones, a tribe who occupied
the banks of the Ebro.

In the time of Mark Antony, anno 30 B.C., a pestilence of so
general a character prevailed, that it seems to have spread over the
whole world. Dion Cassius mentions this pestilence, which continued for
five years, destroying vast numbers of the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
it was also very destructive at Rome and in Palestine. The celebrated
triumvir died about this period of the pestilence, as mentioned by
Nuestro Alonso of Freylas in his ‘History of Pestilences.’

The next account of epidemic pestilence we have, is given by Tacitus,
who relates that in the East, in Asia Minor, fourteen years after the
commencement of the Christian era, pestilence prevailed; a severe
earthquake about this time was experienced; a comet is also mentioned
as having been seen, whose tail, it is said, with one fell swoop
hurled down a dozen cities at once. Another pestilence is recorded by
Suetonius as having raged with great mortality at Babylon: it caused a
multitude of Jews to remove to Seleucia. This year was marked by great
famine, in fulfilment of the prophecy of Agabus (Acts xi. 28). During
the reign of Claudius Cæsar, at this period, pestilence was rife in
Greece and Italy.

Pliny and Tacitus both give an account of those periods of mortality
from the year of our Lord 40 to 53 and 54, when most of the officers
of Rome died of pestilential disease: “ex omnium magistratuum genere
plerique mortem obierunt.” It was during the year 40 that the great
eruption of Etna occurred, which frightened Caligula from Sicily.
Dire famine was also experienced, which, with pestilence, extended
from Italy almost to India. Babylon was almost depopulated about
this period.--A.D. 88, pestilence carried off 30,000 of the
people of Rome. Tacitus gives an affecting account of the ravages of
this plague. The houses were filled with dead bodies, and the streets
with funerals; neither age, sex, nor condition were exempted from
it; slaves and plebeians were suddenly carried off by it amidst the
lamentations of their wives and their children, who were also seized
with the disease while administering to the sick and mourning over the
lifeless bodies of the dead. Pliny, Orosius, and other writers describe
this pestilential period as exceedingly fatal. Earthquakes, eruptions
of volcanoes emitting sulphureous vapours, inundations, tempestuous
seasons, and other awful commotions of nature, characterized this
period all over the inhabited globe. In June, a comet appeared; on
the 1st of November following, a tremendous ebullition of burning
lava issued from the crater of Vesuvius, deluging the country, and
Herculaneum and Pompeii sunk in a moment: these cities, with their
inhabitants, were buried in one universal mass. Thunder and lightning
pierced the heavens, and the ashes and smoke from the burning gulf
discharged into the air were wafted to Rome, Syria, and Africa, the
inhabitants whereof trembled lest the world should be destroyed or
turned into chaos; the fish in the neighbouring seas were killed.
These calamities were preceded by a long drought in Italy during the
summer; and in the autumn of A.D. 80 a terrible pestilence
broke out in Rome, and destroyed for some time 10,000 citizens daily.
Eight years after, A.D. 88, an epidemic pestilence appeared in
the north of England, and continued for some time; in 92, it carried
off 150,000 persons in Scotland.

Philo, the Jewish philosopher, gives a description of a ‘loimic’
pestilence which occurred during that century, and appositely conveys
the mode of diffusion and the circumstances of the confluent small-pox.
He says, “The clouds of dust suddenly falling on men and cattle
produced over the whole skin a severe and intractable ulceration; the
body immediately became tumid with efflorescences (ἐξανθήσεσιν) or
purulent phlyctenæ, which appeared like blisters excited by a secret
fire beneath. Men necessarily undergoing much pain and universal
soreness from ulceration and inflammation (φλογώσεως) suffered not
less in body than in mind by the severe affliction, for a continuous
ulcer was observable from head to foot.” These observations of Philo
are intended as a comment on Exodus, ch. ix. v. 9: it shall be “a boil
breaking forth with blains.” He finishes by observing, that it should
rank among pestilential diseases (ἐν τοῖς λοιμώδεσι νόσοις), or as
the infliction of a tainted atmosphere (πληγὴ ἀπ’ ἀέρος καὶ οὐρανοῦ).
From a passage in Dion Cassius’ Roman History, it would appear that
some mode of inoculation had been attempted in the reign of Domitian,
A.D. 92, and revived in that of Commodus.

A.D. 110, a severe earthquake was felt in Shropshire, in
England. Four years after, 114, a similar shock, but more extensive,
was experienced in China, which caused the destruction of much property
and of many lives. During the same period a pestilence prevailed in
Wales, which carried off 45,000 of its inhabitants, after a hot summer
and an inclement autumn. In fact, in those days there frequently
happened great inundations, especially of the river Severn: at one time
immense numbers were drowned in their beds, when 5000 head of cattle
were destroyed. A.D. 115, a tremendous earthquake laid waste
the city of Antioch. Five years after, A.D. 120, Nicomedia and
several neighbouring cities were swallowed up; and, A.D. 128,
Cæsarea and Necropolis met with a similar fate from a severe earthquake.

A.D. 133, a great drought existed in England, and the Thames
was almost dried up. This condition of the seasons was followed by
pestilence; and thirteen years after, Scotland was visited with an
epidemic, to the great destruction of its inhabitants.

Arabia was ravaged by pestilence in the year of our Lord 158. The
disease appeared in Rome during the reign of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
and Lucius Verus, preceded by a more destructive plague in Asia, which
the great Ammianus Marcellinus, the philosophic hero, asserted arose
from the foul air of a small box which a Roman soldier had opened
at the capture of Seleucia. This opinion was in accordance with the
superstition of the times. At that period the elements were greatly
deranged: commotions of the physical world, inundations of rivers,
agitations of the earth, devastations from locusts, caterpillars,
and every variety of the insect tribe, famine, putrid vapours, with
great inclemencies and irregularities of the seasons, foretold the
approach of the awful pestilence which in the same year desolated Rome:
its symptoms were, a burning fever and gangrene of the extremities,
particularly of the feet. These times were also distinguished by wars
and rumours of wars: 450,000 Romans were butchered in Syria and in
Cyprus by the Jews. Fourteen cities were destroyed by earthquakes,
amongst which was Antioch, with 100,000 inhabitants: 580,000 were
supposed altogether to have perished by the sword, famine, and

Aurelius Victor, speaking of the emperor M. Antoninus, gives a lucid
description of those calamitous times. He says, “Unless he had been
born for these times, all the affairs of the Roman empire would have
been ruined assuredly as if by one fall; for there was rest no where
from arms, and wars burned through all the East, Illyricum, Italy, and
Gaul. The motions of the earth, with annihilation of cities, inundation
of the rivers, thick pestilences, species of locusts infested the
fields; indeed, nothing can be said or conceived, by which mortals used
to be wasted with the severest agonies, which have not raged during his

A.D. 173, there was a severe winter, and consequently a famine
in England; a pestilence broke out the summer following, and continued
to the autumn and subsequent winter. In this year, as also in 175 and
178, Rome was visited by epidemic pestilence, which committed great
ravages among the soldiery. Five years after, it was again afflicted
with disease; and in A.D. 195, plague prevailed in all Italy.
“A great pestilence,” says the historian, “raged in all Italy, and
became most violent in Rome by reason of the great concourse of people
assembled from all quarters of the world. The emperor, by the advice of
his physicians, retired to Laurentum, a cool place beautifully shaded
with laurels, on the supposition that the sweet smell of those plants
counteracted contagion. The people of the city were also advised by the
physicians to fill their noses and ears with sweet-smelling ointments,
and to use perfumes, in order to prevent the action of human effluvia
and of the contagious air. These precautions, however, as might
have been expected, proved of little avail: the distemper proceeded
unchecked, and men and cattle continued to perish therefrom in
multitudes. Five thousand died daily in Rome for a considerable time,
and famine with pestilence persisted for three years.” (See Herodian,
Dion Cassius, &c.)

A.D. 203, there was an eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

In the year 211, a plague, preceded by an earthquake and a great
inundation of the river Trent, appeared in the British Isles.
A.D. 218, the river Tweed overflowed; and dire pestilence
followed four years after, destroying 100,000 lives in Scotland.

Mortal pestilence affected the whole world A.D. 250. Italy,
Ethiopia, Egypt, Asia, France, Spain, and various other parts suffered
great ravages from disease. “For twelve years subsequently,” says
Zosimus, “a pestilential fever followed the Scythians, and devoured the
scanty remains of the human race.” “Pestilence has contaminated the
face of the earth,” says Jornandes, a learned historian.

A.D. 252, Alexandria and other districts suffered from
epidemic pestilence, which continued its ravages with great fury
for twelve or fifteen years. This pestilence was not, however, one
uniform disorder, but was comprised of several different kinds, such
as dysentery, ignis sacer, or scurvy, typhomania, remittent fevers,
&c. According to Cedrenus, there were at the time singular exhalations
and dews, which resembled the ichors of dead bodies: “hence,” he says,
“constant loimoi, with other severe and unmanageable disorders (βαρέα
καὶ ἀνίατα νοσήματα), which destroyed multitudes of the people.”

A.D. 262. During the reign of Gallienus 5000 citizens of Rome
perished daily. Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage, a man of erudition (see
reprint, Fell, fol. Oxon. Amst. 1700), in detailing the symptoms of
this horrific pestilence, thus writes: “The symptoms were, a dejection
of spirits, exhaustion of strength, incessant involuntary evacuations,
violent fever of the bowels, with destruction of the sight, hearing,
and feeling.” Aurelius Victor asserts of this pestilence, that it
spread rapidly all over Rome, and arose from heavy cares and depression
of mind, as well as from a pestiferous state of the atmosphere. We may
here recognize all the terrible symptoms of that devastating disease
Cholera, which, beginning in the year 1817, ravaged the four quarters
of the globe, and continued for a series of years. Several earthquakes
were experienced this year in Europe, Asia, and Africa, with three
days’ darkness. A.D. 272, there was another eruption of

A.D. 292, pestilence and famine prevailed in England
and Wales; it also raged with great intensity in those places,
A.D. 310, carrying off, in the latter, 40,000 persons.

A.D. 302, epidemic pestilence (_loimos_), preceded by
famine, broke out in Syria. The account of this pestilential disorder
by George Cedrenus appears to be similar to that by Eusebius; he
says: “At this time almost every evil that can be enumerated fell
upon men--famine, loimos, and drought, with misfortune of a certain
disorder; it was an ulcer, the denomination of which was answerable to
its affinity with the fiery anthrax, spreading over the whole body: it
proved highly dangerous in all respects to the persons affected, but
by a particular determination to the eyes in most cases, it produced
blindness in thousands of men, women, and children.” Nicephorus says of
this disease--“It originated in famine, and was called anthrax; it was
an ulceration attracting or draining out humours, with an intolerable
stench, which, in spreading over the bodies, extended to and affected
with violence the eyelids (κανθοὶ), and occasioned blindness both in
males and females.” We are further informed by Eusebius and Cedrenus
that the army of Gallienus, in Armenia, was affected with pestilence,
which extended to every city in the eastern provinces, and even to
villages and lone houses. The great mortality among the poor was
attributable more to famine than to the disease; they were obliged to
eat hay, grass, roots, &c. The rich, however, were not exempt from this
pestilence, but were also carried off in great numbers. The emperor
Diocletian, according to Cedrenus, died of the malady: “he was affected
with severe pains over the whole body,--a violent phlogosis preyed upon
his inward parts, and his flesh melted like wax. In the progress of the
complaint, he became totally blind; his throat and tongue putrefied,
so that worms came from his mouth, and he emitted an odour not less
offensive than that of dead bodies in the sepulchres.” This malady was
evidently confluent small-pox.

A.D. 325, epidemic pestilence, preceded by famine, prevailed
all over Britain, and in many other parts of the world. During the
years 336, 355, 358, 362, 367, 368, and 375, deadly disease, with
famine and earthquakes, were again experienced in the British Isles. In
Wales alone, in the latter year, 43,000 persons died from pestilence.
A terrible earthquake was felt in Macedonia, and 150 cities were
swallowed up in Asia and Greece. Ammianus Marcellinus mentions a plague
which broke out in Amida, a city of Persia, during its siege by Sapor,
which was attributed to the distresses of war, and to the corruption of
unburied bodies lying about in the streets, plains, &c.

A.D. 361, there was a terrible famine in Italy. Four years
after, 365, severe shocks of an earthquake, with inundations round
the Mediterranean, did much damage. 50,000 persons were drowned at
Alexandria in the month of July. Italy and Syria suffered from plague,
which continued until 394. An inundation of the Nile nearly destroyed
the cities of Alexandria and Libya; and rain, storms, and drought
were experienced in Judea, which was also visited by immense swarms
of locusts. These phenomena were succeeded by dire pestilence. There
were several earthquakes at intervals between the months of September
and November, which destroyed many places in Europe. During the years
400, 407, 417, and 419, pestilence desolated Asia, Africa, and Europe;
a severe earthquake shook Cibyra, and destroyed many villages in its
neighbourhood: in 419, an earthquake swallowed up several cities in
Palestine. A.D. 442, pestilence swept away great numbers in
England this year. A.D. 446, on the 17th of September, at
Constantinople, a severe earthquake, attended with fire, pestilence,
and famine, caused great misery. The walls of the town with seventeen
towers were thrown down. A.D. 458, an earthquake destroyed
nearly all Antioch on the 14th of September. Pestilence, about the same
period, again broke out in England, and in various other regions, as
related by Echard. The Greek ecclesiastical historian Nicephorus, and
other writers, state that it prevailed more remarkably in Cappadocia,
Galatia, and Phrygia. Isodorus tells us that so great were the famine
and disease in Spain, in A.D. 443, that men fed with fury upon
each other.

From the year 450 until 467, pestilence raged in Rome; it revisited
the city A.D. 473. The year previously, 472, on the 11th
of November, at noon, there occurred an eruption of Vesuvius, which
ejected flames that were seen at Constantinople, obscured the sun at
noon day, and ravaged all Campania: there were ashes four inches deep
on the tops of houses many miles distant. A.D. 480, a severe
earthquake was experienced at Constantinople, which lasted forty days,
causing much destruction of life and property. Epidemic pestilence
infested Scotland; and Asia and Africa were nearly depopulated by
epidemic disease.

A.D. 502, Scotland was visited by epidemic disease, which
destroyed both men and beasts. A.D. 512, there was an eruption
of Vesuvius. A.D. 517, Palestine suffered from pestilence,
as did the inhabitants of Wales ten years after, in 527. The year
previous, 526, Antioch with several other cities was nearly destroyed
by an earthquake; it also suffered from a similar visitation two years
after, 528, when 4800 of its inhabitants were buried in its ruins.

A.D. 540, so dire a famine was experienced in Italy, that
parents were reduced to the cruel necessity of eating their children.
About the same period, during the reign of Justinian, a destructive
pestilence ravaged the greater part of Europe and Asia for more than
half a century. It was at first observed to be plague in its usual
form only, attended with tumours in the groin or axillæ, or behind the
ears; but in its progress it was found to consist of various disorders,
corresponding, in their leading features, according to the description
by Evagrius, to “the true pestilence.” These disorders consisted of
pestilential or scarlet sore throat, and dysentery, with small-pox and
measles. This fatal epidemic is shown to have continued in Asia until
the year 590. Some authors have computed the number destroyed during
this pestilential period at two millions.

                              CHAPTER II.

                        FROM A.D. 543 TO 1330.

A.D. 543, there was a terrible famine, during which, Procopius
says, 50,000 labourers died of hunger in the narrow region of Picenum,
and a still greater number in the southern provinces. In one place,
seventeen travellers were lodged; they were murdered and eaten: two
women who were detected in the commission of this atrocious crime
were slain. Earthquakes were experienced all over the world. In 544,
dysentery, which continued until 548, similating in severity the true
plague, committed great ravages in France.

A.D. 552, a severe earthquake was experienced at
Constantinople, doing much damage. Nine years after, 561, a similar
shock was felt at Rome, and also at Constantinople. The year following
there was so great a frost that the Danube was frozen over.

France, Germany, Italy, and various other countries of Europe,--in
fact, the whole inhabited globe,--suffered awfully from pestilence in
the years of our Lord 565–66, 583, 587, 589–90–91, 596 to 610: in the
course of 580, Antioch was again shaken by a severe earthquake. There
prevailed during this period, in the year 589, in Spain, writes St.
Gregory, bishop of Tours, a very singular pestilence, the principal
symptoms of which were pimples, or pustules, with buboes in the groins:
such great havoc did it make, that the houses were as so many tombs,
and the town as one vast cemetery: it was supposed that this disease
was brought from Marseilles in a vessel, as it had raged there the
year previously. St. Gregory, in his ‘History of the Franks,’ also
gives these particulars of this pestilential period: “In the fifth year
of the reign of king Childebert (A.D. 580), great floods,
tempests, earthquakes, hail, and several prodigies, were succeeded by
a dreadful plague; for almost every district of France was occupied
by a dysentery, in which the patients were affected with violent
vomitings, fever, headache, and excruciating pains in the loins:
what they discharged from their mouths was green or yellowish.” This
epidemic was particularly fatal to infants and children: “Parvulos
adolescentes arripuit letoque subegit: perdidimus dulces et charos
nobis infantulos,” &c. King Childebert recovered with difficulty, but
he lost his two sons. Austrigilda, queen of Orleans, sunk under the
disease; she retained to the last the ferocious and vindictive spirit
of the times, having exacted a promise from the king Gunthran that her
two physicians should be put to death if they did not save her; soon
after she expired, both of them were stabbed by the king’s order. The
Count d’Angoulême also died of the pestilence; the corpse appeared
black and charred, as if it had been laid over coals of fire.

Paulus Diaconus describes the Ligurian pestilence which raged during
this period, A.D. 566, in the time of Narses: “Cœperunt nasci
inguinibus hominum vel in aliis delicatioribus locis glandulæ in modum
nucis seu dactyli, quas mox sequebatur febrium intolerabilis æstus, ita
in triduo homo extingueretur: sin vero aliquis triduum transegisset,
habebat spem vivendi. Erat autem ubique luctus, ubique lacrymæ,” &c.
He concludes with the following passages: “Nulla vox in rure, nullus
pastorum sibilus, nullæ insidiæ bestiarum in pecudibus, nulla damna
in dominos volucribus. Sata transgressa metendi tempus, intacta
expectabant messorem: vinea amissis foliis, radiantibus uvis, illæsa
manebat. Nulla erant vestigia commeantium; nullus cernebatur percussor,
et tamen visum oculorum superabant cadavera mortuorum. Pastoralia loca
versa fuerunt in sepulturam hominum, et habitacula humana facta fuerunt
confugia bestiarum.”

Procopius, a Greek historian of Cæsarea, secretary to Belisarius, a
general during the reign of Justinian, records some important facts
of this pestilence, which ravaged the whole world; it lasted four
months at Constantinople, and, when at its height, it is supposed that
10,000 perished daily in that city. Nicephorus also describes this
pestilential period, and remarks that “certain little marks appeared
on the doors and outside of their houses, on their garments, and on
their utensils; some white crusts of a peculiar deposition from the air
adhered to all things, as damp moulds do on the walls or dwellings, and
dew on grass.”

In the year 590, at Rome, in the time of Pope Pelagius the Second,
there was a horribly destructive pestilence prevalent, and also in
Spain. The air was observed to be impregnated with a kind of mist and
fœtidness, which by irritation induced a sneezing; hence the custom
of saluting a person sneezing with the expression “Dominus tecum,” or
some similar expression, a practice which has reached our time. The
year following, 591, Britain suffered from a severe pestilence, also
Turenne, and the provinces of Arragon and Vivares. This disease was
called _inguinaria_, because buboes were formed more particularly
in the groin. In the year 610, pestilential small-pox committed great
ravages at Mecca.

A.D. 614, epidemic elephantiasis prevailed in Italy, and three
years subsequently, an epidemic pestilence, resembling the true plague.

In Syria, Arabia, &c., a great pestilence prevailed A.D. 639
and 640.

A.D. 654, Constantinople was devastated by a severe pestilence.

In the year of our Lord 664, a sudden pestilence (man-cyalm), after
depopulating the southern coasts of Britain, infected the provinces of
the Northumbrians, and, spreading for a long time in every direction,
destroyed great numbers. The year following, 665, it reached Italy,
causing great destruction of life. Fordum (Scriptores, xv. vol. iii.
page 646) cites a Greek historian to the effect that dire mortality
prevailed, A.D. 669, all over Europe, which did not spare the
remotest islands, Great Britain and Ireland. England also suffered
greatly, A.D. 672, from pestilence, at which period universal
disease appeared in Syria and Mesopotamia. England and Ireland were
revisited by pestilence, A.D. 679, beginning in the month of
July, and continuing until the end of September. Rome suffered from
similar ravages the following year, and in A.D. 683, England
again suffered from severe epidemic disease, which lasted three years.
A.D. 685, Syria and Libya were laid waste by disease. Ireland
suffered from a severe epidemic the same year.

From a singular portion of history which has been preserved in the
records of the church of Mayo, we find that the ‘ignis sacer,’ or
pestilence originating from famine, was similar to and contemporary
with the pestilence ‘man-cyalm,’ which raged among the British after
the departure of the Romans from Britain (664).

According to the records, two kings of Erin summoned the principal
clergy and laity to a council at Temora, in consequence of a general
dearth, the land not being sufficient to support the increasing
population. The chiefs (majores populi) decreed that a fast should be
observed both by clergy and laity, so that they might with one accord
_solicit God in prayer to remove by some species of pestilence the
burthensome multitudes of the inferior people_, and thus enable the
residue to subsist more commodiously. “Omnes majores petebant ut nimia
multitudo vulgi per infirmitatem aliquam tolleretur, quia numerositas
populi erat occasio famis.” St. Gerald and his associates suggested
that it would be more conformable to the Divine Nature, and not more
difficult, to multiply the fruits of the earth, than to destroy its
inhabitants. An amendment was accordingly moved, “to supplicate the
Almighty not to reduce the number of the men till it answered the
quantity of corn usually produced, but to increase the produce of the
land, so that it might satisfy the wants of the people.” However, the
nobles and clergy, headed by St. Fechin, bore down the opposition, and
called for a pestilence on the lower orders of the people. According to
the records, God’s judgment immediately fell upon the wicked authors
of the petition. The two kings who had summoned the convention with
St. Fechin, the kings of Ulster and Munster, and a third of the nobles
concerned, were cut off by the pestilence--‘Budhe connail,’ which was
by some called ‘pestis flava,’ by others ‘infirmitas icteritia.’

A.D. 685, there happened an eruption of Vesuvius.

In the year of our Lord 690, rains deluged Italy: six years after, 696,
pestilence prevailed in Constantinople, and during the years 703 and
713, Scotland also suffered from epidemic pestilence. Small-pox caused
great mortality in Spain, A.D. 714.

A.D. 717, 30,000 persons were carried off at Constantinople by
pestilence: it again appeared in the years 724 and 729. In the year 732
great numbers perished from pestilential disease at Norwich in England,
and also in Syria.

A.D. 740, the world was again visited by dismal pestilence,
which continued, with varied intensity, for 260 years, until the year
1000. During this period, 749, an earthquake destroyed many cities in
Syria. Among the many writers on the subject, Baronius, P. Diaconus,
Cedrenus, and Magdenburgh, make mention of an epidemic pestilence
which raged in Calabria, in Naples, also in Constantinople; in which
latter place the mortality was so great, that the living were unable to
bury their dead, cart-loads being huddled together into a vast common
excavation of the earth, while great numbers were left unburied. Short
mentions the prevalence of a fatal pestilence in Wales, A.D.
762, which afterwards extended all over England, continuing until
771. In Chichester alone it is stated that 34,000 persons perished.
Pestilence raged in France A.D. 779, and invaded Scotland
784. Lancisius and Bartianus in their Annals relate the occurrence of
disease in various parts of the world, which destroyed immense numbers
of cattle, especially in Germany, where the mortality was great among
the horned tribe. A.D. 801, St. Paul’s at Rome was thrown down
in the month of April; and in France, Germany, and in various parts of
Italy also, a severe earthquake was experienced. So intensely cold was
it in A.D. 806, that the Rhone was frozen over: the cold was
from 18 to 20 degrees centigrade below zero. Lancisius and Bartianus
also give an account of a pestilence that arose from excessive rains
and cold damp weather, A.D. 817 and 820, and prevailed through
all the dominions of Gaul. The crops failed from excess of moisture,
and famine ensued. The following winter was very severe: the Rhine and
the Danube continued one solid body of ice for _thirty days_,
and epidemic pestilence ensued in the spring, which persisted all the
summer and autumn. The succeeding winter, in 822, was very severe: the
snow lay on the ground twenty-nine weeks, and caused great destruction
to both men and beasts. A long drought followed in the summer, and
pestilence was the consequence: it was attended with such fatality,
that, A.D. 825, it killed almost all the inhabitants in France
and Germany.

In the year 853, epidemic pestilence broke out in Scotland: two
years after, earthquakes and violent tempests were experienced; and
in A.D. 856 there occurred an earthquake and a tremendous
inundation of the Tiber, which were succeeded by severe epidemic
sore throats, anginas, &c., as recorded by Baronius, Murator, Short,
and Magdenburgh. A.D. 859, the Mediterranean was so frozen
over, that carriages were driven on the Adriatic Sea. In 863,
epidemic pestilence ravaged Scotland; and in the year 874, myriads
of grasshoppers or locusts, of an immense size, with six feet and
two teeth as hard as flint, overspread Gaul. They devoured every
green thing, and were afterwards driven into the British Channel by a
strong east wind; their dead bodies were washed on shore, where they
putrefied, and therefore were supposed to have caused the epidemic
pestilence, which destroyed a third part of the maritime inhabitants
of Gaul. In 883, famine and pestilence afflicted Italy, and the year
following, pestilential disease raged at Oxford, which also affected
the cattle, destroying great numbers. Soon after this period, when
Alfred the Great had just finished the rebuilding of London, which
had been burnt and destroyed by the Danes, a plague occurred which
raged throughout the land for three years, carrying off many great
men and ministers of state, as well as others. About the same time,
A.D. 896, a mortal famine and pestilence, from intemperate
seasons, happened in Gaul, Germany, Italy, and various other places
in Europe. The frost, twelve years afterwards, A.D. 908,
was so severe, that most of the rivers in England were frozen over.
A.D. 912, a great part of London was again destroyed by fire.
A.D. 922, a pestilential fever was prevalent, and very fatal
in Scotland.

A.D. 929, the winter was severe. The Thames was frozen over
for thirteen weeks: a dreadful famine and disease followed; and in 937,
pestilence arising from great heat and long drought again raged for
some time in England.

A.D. 940, epidemic pestilence of severe character appeared in
the north of Europe amongst the cattle, being fatal to numbers. This
murrain amongst the cattle was followed by disease in man, from which
in Scotland alone 40,000 persons perished. In the year 964, the emperor
Otho’s army was almost entirely destroyed by pestilence. A malignant
fever or plague prevailed in London in 965, and a grievous famine
happened, in 976, in London, and also in Italy. In the year 981, great
mortality prevailed amongst the Lacedemonians; and six years after,
987, England suffered from malignant fevers, which destroyed many of
its inhabitants, whilst a sort of flux caused great mortality among
the cattle. A.D. 993, there was an eruption of Vesuvius. In
997, burning fevers and agues were fatal in England; and in the year
1005, pestilence, in the shape of the true plague, began and continued
for three years in various parts of the globe, more than half the
human race perishing therefrom. Thousands died from famine in Italy.
A.D. 1007, another eruption of Vesuvius.

Notwithstanding the great length of the pestilential period (260 years)
just noticed, in A.D. 1009, the earth became deluged with
rains and pestilence, which began among the Saxons. In the years 1012,
1019, 1020, 1021, and 1024, dreadful pestilential seasons followed.
A.D. 1017, it rained the colour of blood in Aquitaine for the
space of three days.

In the year 1025, the summer was wet and cold, and pestilence raged in
England and in other parts of Europe.

A.D. 1027, an extraordinary convulsive disease--which was
called ‘the dance of St. John or St. Vitus,’ on account of the
Bacchantic leaps by which it was characterized, and which gave to
those affected, whilst performing their wild dance and screaming and
foaming with fury, all the appearance of persons possessed,--first
showed itself in some persons near the convent church of Kolbig, not
far from Bernburg. According to an oft-repeated tradition, eighteen
peasants, some of whose names are still preserved, are said to have
disturbed divine service on Christmas eve, by dancing and brawling
in the churchyard; whereupon the priest Ruprecht inflicted a curse
upon them, that they should dance and scream for a whole year without
ceasing. This curse is said to have been completely fulfilled, so that
the unfortunate sufferers at length sunk knee-deep into the earth, and
remained the whole time without nourishment, until they were finally
released by the intercession of two pious bishops. It is said, that
upon this they fell into a deep sleep, which lasted _three days_,
and that four of them died, the rest continuing to suffer all their
lives from a trembling of their limbs. This tradition, divested of the
embellishments of crafty priesthood, will show the disease to have been
what we now call Chorea or St. Vitus’ dance.

A.D. 1029 and 1031, epidemic pestilence again pervaded Europe,
especially England and Gaul, after tempestuous seasons, devastations
of locusts, meteors, eruptions of volcanoes, comets, intolerable
vicissitudes of the weather, and famine had caused great havoc.

A.D. 1033, a pestilence infested England; and two years afterwards,
1035, in the month of June, so intense was the cold that all the corn
and fruits were destroyed. There was another eruption of Vesuvius the
year following. A.D. 1042, it snowed heavily during harvest-time; it
rained excessively throughout the year in many parts of Europe; the
sea overwhelmed Flanders, and a terrible commotion of the elements
was the precursor of famine and pestilence in England, Gaul, Germany,
&c.; cattle and men were equally destroyed. The following year, 1043,
there was another eruption of Vesuvius, and also one in A.D. 1048. A.D.
1063 the river Thames was frozen over for fourteen weeks. Pestilential
diseases, such as fluxes, pleurisies, fevers, &c., carried off many
hundred thousands of Saracens marching to invade Rome in the year 1064:
this pestilential epidemic continued until 1066. A.D. 1067, leprosy
being on the increase in Spain, lazar-houses for the lepers were first
established at Valencia by Ruy Diaz de Villar, which were called ‘Cid
Cunpandor.’ About this period an awful plague swept away a great part
of the inhabitants of Egypt and Arabia. The following year, 1068, a
great pestilence raged in York and Durham (in England), and a terrible
plague devastated Constantinople. A.D. 1075, so intense was the cold
this year that the Thames was frozen over from the month of November
until April the following year, 1076; with the exception of a very few
days, there was scarcely any thaw during all this period. A.D. 1077,
London was nearly destroyed by fire. About this period, and two years
after, famine, pestilence, and locusts made great havoc in Italy,
Russia, Flanders, and in England.

In the years 1087–88 and 1089, very rainy, cold summers and extreme
winters were experienced in England, Gaul, and Germany, when pestilence
and famine did much mischief in those countries. There were also famine
and epidemic disease in Italy. In the latter year, 1089, erysipelas
prevailed epidemically in France, causing great mortality. A.D. 1090,
a terrible earthquake was felt throughout England, which was followed
by a great scarcity of fruit and a late, unproductive harvest. The year
following, a severe storm was felt in several parts of England; the
wind was at south-west, especially at Winchelscomb, Gloucestershire,
where the steeple of the church was thrown down; there was much thunder
and lightning; the crucifix with the image of the Virgin was broken
in pieces. On the 5th of October, during the storm a thick mist for
several hours darkened the sky. A few days after, on the 17th, a
thunder-storm from the south-west destroyed upwards of 500 houses in
London: it unroofed Bow church; and at Old Sarum the steeple was struck
down, with many dwelling-houses.

A.D. 1093, a tremendous inundation occurred in Syria, by
which prodigious numbers of the inhabitants and cattle, such as oxen
and horses, were destroyed. A.D. 1096–97, 1100, 1103–4, and
1105, pestilence and famine happened from unhealthy seasons; there
occurred excessive rains, terrible inundations, severe winters,
inclement summers, variable autumns, multitudes of worms (papiliones),
and violent hurricanes in England, Palestine, and Holland, in which
latter place 100,000 persons were drowned by the inroads of the sea. It
was during this period, A.D. 1100, that the lands of Godwin,
earl of Kent, to this day called the ‘Goodwin Sands,’ were inundated.
1104, a comet was seen. The disease which prevailed in England was
an erysipelatous epidemic fever, in which the limbs of the sick were
discovered to be thickly beset with black and livid spots, like
carbuncles in the plague. Two years after, fevers, fluxes, &c., were
rife, and pestilence continued to prevail in various parts of Europe
in the years 1108–9, 1110–11. There appeared a comet in the years
1107 and 1110. A.D. 1113, the water of the Medway failed so
greatly, that the smallest boats could not float in its channel. The
Thames about the same period was so low between the Tower and London
Bridge that women and children waded over. Owing to so great an ebb of
the ocean, the sands were laid bare for a whole day for several miles
from the shore: pestilence ravaged Judea. A.D. 1116, severe
earthquakes were experienced in the month of December in various parts
of England, especially in Shropshire. Two years previously, 1114,
several bridges, being built of wood, were broken down in England by
the ice, when it thawed after the severe frost.

From the year 1120, a pestilential period equal in intensity and
destructiveness to that between the years 740 and 1000 (a period of
260 years), preceded by famine, murrain, &c., commenced, and continued
to ravage various parts of the globe until 1392 (272 years), a brief
notice of which, taken from the chronicles, will show its extent and

From A.D. 1120 unto 1125, erysipelas raged epidemically
with great mortality in England, and it has been computed that, by
it, a third of the population perished in those years. A.D.
1126–27 and 1128 a destructive pestilence again prevailed in England.
A.D. 1130, a severe earthquake was felt in Shropshire in the
month of September. A.D. 1133, the Po was frozen over from
Cremona to the sea, and the year after, 1134, an earthquake occurred,
just as King Henry was about to embark for Normandy, when flames of
fire burst out of certain rifts of the earth with great violence. On
the 2nd of August there was an eruption of Vesuvius, A.D.
1136, and the year following, a severe earthquake swallowed up the city
of Catania, with more than 15,000 of the inhabitants. Dismal pestilence
occurred again in England, lasting twelve years, from 1133 unto 1146;
famine also added to the miseries of the inhabitants, and much cattle
were destroyed by murrain, and for want of provender.

From the year 1150 to 1169 severe winters and dry summers were
experienced; there were frequent inundations and earthquakes; and
famine and pestilence swept the world, especially Scotland, Ireland,
Italy, Gaul, Sicily, Judea, Asia, and Africa. A.D. 1164,
there was a great inundation in Friesland, which covered nearly
the whole country, and destroyed vast numbers of the inhabitants.
A.D. 1167, Henry II.’s palace in Dublin, at which he spent
his Christmas, was built of wattles, with a straw roof, and the sides
formed of clay. A.D. 1172, great mortality from dysentery
was experienced in England; and two years after, small-pox, measles,
epidemic catarrh, scarlet fever, quinsies, and pleurisies were greatly
prevalent: similar maladies were rife in various other parts of the
world from 1175 to 1193. A.D. 1179, about Christmas, at a
place called Oxen-hall, near Darlington, in the bishopric of Durham,
the earth raised itself up like a lofty tower, and thus remained for
several hours, when on a sudden it sunk down again with a horrid
noise, and formed a deep pit, which continues until this day: it is
supposed that the wells that are now called Hell-kettles were formed
by this convulsion of nature. A.D. 1183 and following years,
a severe pestilence scourged England, and the plague raged at Rome.
A.D. 1185, an earthquake overthrew the church at Lincoln;
at the same time other places in the neighbourhood suffered from the
shock. Castile, and principally the city of Leon, suffered from a most
cruel plague which spared neither sex nor grade, visiting palaces as
well as the hovels of the poor. Many of the bishops were carried off.

A.D. 1190. The old chronicler Geoffrey de Vinsauf describes a
terrible famine and pestilence that happened in 1190, “in the army of
the Crusaders at the siege of Acre, owing to the villany of the Marquis
of Montferrat, the governor of Tyre, who not only refused to supply
the soldiers with food, but would not either allow of the townsfolk to
send them provisions.” So great was the famine and the scarcity, that
“a moderate measure of wheat which a man could carry under his arm
was sold for 100 aurei, a chicken for twelve sols, and an egg for six
deniers. The men were reduced to feed on their horses, which they were
compelled to kill, not even the entrails being rejected. Men of high
rank and the sons of great men fed upon grass even; and herbs such as
they once despised and believed not fit for human use, the greatness
of the famine made now most sweet to the starving. The public ovens
were constantly occupied by men fighting for the bread, and noblemen,
suffering from the pangs of hunger, became thieves and stole the loaves
from the bakers’ shops.” To add to their misery, heavy rains fell, and
pestilence broke out amongst them, so that a thousand deaths happened
daily. De Vinsauf says, “The unusual showers, by their constant and
continuous fall, had such an injurious effect upon the soldiers, that,
with the excess of the affliction, their limbs becoming swollen, the
whole body was affected as with the dropsy, and from the violence of
the disease the teeth of some of them were loosened and fell out.”
But few of those attacked recovered. Every section of this old work,
descriptive of this pestilence, ends with a fierce imprecation on the
Marquis for his desertion and perfidy.

A.D. 1193 and 1194, there was a famine in Italy, and
pestilence swept England, continuing till 1196. “The common people
perished in every quarter for lack of food, and the fiercest pestilence
followed, in the form of acute fever, which destroyed such numbers that
scarcely any were left to minister unto the sick; the customary funeral
service ceased, and in many places large ditches were made, into which
the dead were thrown.”--(Chron. W. Humford, vol. ii. p. 546–7.) There
was, A.D. 1196, a great famine and plague in the principality
of Catalonia, and 1199, pestilential fever raged at Cordova, in which
the celebrated physician Averrhoes observed that every patient who was
bled before purging invariably died.

England again suffered severely from epidemic pestilence in the year
1200, and also in the following year. A.D. 1205, a severe
frost was experienced in England from the 14th of January unto the 22nd
of March.

A.D. 1206, on the last day of the month of February, there
was an eclipse of the sun, which lasted six hours--the darkness was
as great as at midnight. This phenomenon was followed by abundant and
continued rains, inundations, and severe epidemic pestilence in Spain.

The years 1210–1213, 1217, 1218, and 1220, were marked by ordinary
seasons, except in Spain, Italy, and Friesland. In the former place,
Spain, 1217, the drought was so great as not only to destroy the
harvests, but the pasture had the appearance of having been burnt
up; famine was the consequence, with disease both in men and cattle.
In Italy the plague, it is said, scarcely left a tenth part of the
inhabitants alive, and in Damietta it is asserted that only three
persons out of 70,000 survived. In Friesland, A.D. 1218,
there was an inundation which destroyed cattle, houses, and many
persons. In 1221, excessive rains, floods, frosts, and inclement heats
induced a famine and pestilence, which almost desolated the whole of
Europe; in some countries, the living were exhausted burying the dead,
and in some cities scarcely a person survived the terrible destruction.

A.D. 1222, there was a severe thunder-storm in England with
lightning, which destroyed several churches; the summer was excessively
dry; frost and deep snow in April had destroyed the blossoms of the
fruits; the country was deluged with rains in autumn, and swept with
tempestuous winds; and the plague raged with uncontrollable fury in
Germany, Hungary, Gaul, Egypt, and other countries: the animals also
suffered from disease. The winter of 1225 was rigorous, following the
great drought. In 1224 a dearth ensued, and there was a great mortality
among sheep.

A.D. 1228, abundant rains, followed by a hot summer, the
subsequent winter being a severe one, induced fatal disease, and an
inundation at Friesland destroyed 100,000 persons.

The inundation of the Tiber, which happened A.D. 1230, drowned
all the lower city of Rome, the river rising even to the stairs of
St. Peter’s church: July and August following were exceedingly hot;
famine ensued, and afterwards pestilence commenced and continued until
A.D. 1235. England suffered also from pestilence, which
decimated the population; in that year 20,000 persons, it is supposed,
died of starvation alone in London. About this period, leprosy
became so common in England that it was made the subject of several
legislative enactments.

During this year, 1230, when King Don Jayme seized on the island of
Mallorca, a frightful and lethal pestilence prevailed not only among
the poor and wretched, but also among the higher orders; in the course
of only one month, several nobles and individuals of the first families
of Aragon and Catalonia died. The desolation which this dire pestilence
caused was such that it almost depopulated the island, and forced the
king to send galleys to Catalonia in search of colonists, he having
given an order to Don Pedro Cornel for 100,000 reals to bring from
Aragon 150 gentry,--caballeros or nobles. This pestilence increased
with another no less fatal disease, viz., ‘the Sacred Persian or St.
Anthony’s fire;’ so that this great monarch, anxious for the safety of
his people, established in the island, by his mandate of 13th September
of the same year, the hospital of St. Anthony for the reception and
treatment of all suffering from so terrible a malady, as appears in
the history of the kingdom of Mallorca written by the chronicler or
historian Don Vincente Mut. In imitation of this establishment, and of
that founded in Castro Xerez in 1214, other hospitals were erected for
the same purposes in Madrid, Saragossa, and in various other provinces
of the kingdom. Twenty-three years after, another hospital, called
after St. Lazarus, was established in the city of Seville, similar to
that which was built in the city of Valencia in the year 1067. The
Annals of Seville, written by Zurita and Don Alonso Melgado, state
that this hospital was founded by King Alonso the Wise. About this
time, 1230, Denmark, Italy, and Gaul were visited by a severe epidemic
pestilence, as also were various other parts of Europe; it continued
until 1236.

A.D. 1233 it thundered and lightened for thirteen days, with
heavy rains, which destroyed all vegetation in England, when famine
and disease were the consequences. At this time most of the houses in
London were built of wood and wattles, and thatched with straw; the
windows were without glass, and there were neither chimneys nor boarded
floors; common straw was used for the king’s bed. The Mediterranean
was frozen over; loaded waggons also crossed the Adriatic in front of
Venice. A.D. 1234 and the year following, 1235, the Thames
rose so high at Westminster, that the lawyers and other members of the
court were brought out of the Hall in boats. A.D. 1237, the
dancing disease, similar to that which was rife A.D. 1027 at
Kolbig, broke out amongst upwards of 100 children at Erfurt; they were
said to have been suddenly seized with this singular malady, and to
have proceeded dancing and jumping along the road to Armstadt; when
they arrived at that place they fell exhausted to the ground, and,
according to the account of an old chronicle, many of them died, after
they were taken home by their parents, and the rest remained afflicted
to the end of their lives with a permanent tremor. The years 1238 and
1239 were also destructive years in Europe.

A.D. 1240, the fish died on the coast of England; inclement
seasons prevailed, and pestilence appeared in various parts of that
country. Two years after, A.D. 1242, excessive rains swelled
the river Thames, and inundated the country round about Lambeth on the
Surrey side. The year following was remarkable for the appearance of
meteors and drought; deadly pestilence prevailed in various parts of
England. A.D. 1247, pestilence again occurred in England; it
broke out in the month of September. A.D. 1249, an earthquake
threw down St. Michael’s on the Hill without Glastonbury; a severe
shock was felt also about the same period in Somersetshire.

In the same year, 1249, a dreadful pestilence ravaged the armies of
St. Louis the Crusader, caused, says Joinville, his historian, by the
decomposition of the dead bodies of those who had been slain in two
great battles fought a few days previously. They had been thrown into
the river by the Saracens, and when they floated, were arrested by
the low bridge, which was the means of communication between the two
divisions of the French troops. The river was covered with them from
bank to bank, so that the water could not be seen a good stone’s-throw
from the bridge upwards. The pious king caused the bodies of the
Christians to be removed from the river and buried in deep graves;
those of the Saracens were thrust under the arch of the bridge, and
floated down to the sea. This occurred during Lent, and all that time,
being obliged by their creed to live on fish, the soldiers could get no
other than eelpouts,--a gluttonous fish, which fed on the dead bodies.
The disease which broke out among them, Joinville says, dried up the
flesh on their legs to the bone, and the skin became tanned as black
as the ground, or like an old boot that has long lain behind a coffer
(evidently a kind of dry gangrene). In addition to this miserable
disorder, those affected by it had another sore complaint in the mouth,
from eating such fish, that rotted the gums, and caused a most stinking
breath: very few escaped death that were thus attacked; and the surest
symptom of its being fatal was a bleeding at the nose; when that took
place, none recovered. Starvation was soon added to their miseries, for
the enemy was enabled so to blockade them, that the provision-boats
could not reach them. The disorder so increased in the army, that the
barbers were forced to cut away very large pieces of flesh from the
gums to enable their patients to eat. The mortality was very great
indeed, but what number thus perished miserably is not mentioned by

In the year 1250 the summer was rainy and tempestuous, and a hard
winter followed. The old town of Winchelsea was swallowed up by the
sea, and an earthquake was felt at St. Albans, that did much damage.
The summer of 1251 was intolerably hot; there was a famine in Italy,
and epidemic pestilence traversed all England, and was attended with
great mortality; a thunder-storm occurred, during which the chimney of
the chamber where the queen and her children lay at Windsor was struck
down, and the whole apartment violently shaken; large oaks in the park
were torn up by the roots: the lightning was so terrible as to surpass
any that had occurred in the memory of man. A.D. 1252, the
late frost in spring, succeeding drought, destroyed the vegetation;
there were heavy rains in July; at Michaelmas the plague began to rage
in London, and pervaded all England, continuing until August in the
following year, thus affording an instance of this disease beginning in
autumn, running through the winter, and terminating in the summer. The
winter of 1254 was severely cold; a murrain appeared among sheep, and
a mortal disease among horses called ‘the evil of the tongue.’

A.D. 1255–56 and 1258, the tides rose uncommonly high; a comet
was observed in 1256; the rivers swelled with excessive rains, tempests
levelled buildings, the summers were wet, the crops failed by the
destroying power of the elements, and dearth, famine, and pestilence
caused great havoc amongst the inhabitants of England; 15,000 persons
perished in London alone from hunger. “The inundations in autumn,”
says M’Culloch, “destroyed the crops; fatal fevers prevailed,
principal in the summer, during the dog-days, when to one cemetery
alone, that of St. Edward’s, 2000 bodies were carried.” Long droughts
succeeded, and the mortality continued until 1257. _A.D._ 1264,
a murrain destroyed much cattle in England, especially horses; and in
A.D. 1266, swarms of the palmer-worms destroyed all vegetation
in Scotland. In 1269, excessive seasons existed; pestilence destroyed
the Crusaders on their march to the Holy Land, and the French king and
his son perished by it. A.D. 1274, a grievous rot broke out
amongst the sheep, which persisted for twenty-five or twenty-eight
years, destroying almost all the sheep in England. From the year
1277 to that of 1340 similar seasons, inundations, famines, and
pestilence reigned at different times and in different places, among
the inhabitants of Britain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Prussia, Zealand,
Egypt, Germany, Bohemia, Spain, &c.

A.D. 1278. In the month of June, this year, the dancing mania
again occurred on the Mosel Bridge at Utrecht, when 200 fanatics began
to dance, and would not desist until a priest passed who was carrying
the host to a person who was sick, upon which, as if in punishment of
their crime, the bridge gave way, and they were all drowned.

A.D. 1283, King Philip of France invaded Spain with an army
consisting of 200,000 infantry and 8600 cavalry; when at Gerona,
this army suffered from pestilence, 4000 being carried off by it.
Innumerable swarms of flies, said to be as big as acorns, were
generated, and attacked both men and horses, numbers of whom were
killed by their poison. This pestilential season was attributed to a
miracle wrought by St. Narcissus.

According to the veterinary surgeons Martin Arrendondo and Fernando
Calvo, in the introduction to the Commentaries of the celebrated
Francisco de la Reyna, mention is made of an epizootic of great
severity, which occurred in one of the cities of the kingdom of
Seville, A.D. 1301, by which there died more than 1000 horses. The
above-mentioned authors derive their information from a paragraph of
Laurenciscus Rasius, in his work entitled ‘Hippiatria or Marescalia,’
in which, when speaking of the diseases of horses, he thus writes:
“Dicta autem infirmitas (febris) epidemialis est, et ex ipsa anno CCCI.
fuerunt in urbe mortui plusquam mille.”

A.D. 1285, a severe thunder-storm was experienced in various
parts of England: as the king and queen were holding converse in their
bed-room, a flash of lightning passed by them, doing them no injury;
but it struck and killed two of their attendants who were in an
ante-room. It was about this period that water was conveyed to London
by means of leaden pipes after fifty years’ labour. Severe dysentery
prevailed in various parts of the kingdom, as also an epidemic,
simulating the influenza of the present day, complicated with typhoid
symptoms, which persisted for upwards of ten years. A.D. 1299,
a comet was seen. The seasons for three years were inhospitable; severe
catarrhs with fluxes pervaded England.

A.D. 1302, great drought prevailed in Spain similar to those
which had occurred for centuries past; famine ensued, when pestilence
raged with great violence, carrying off thousands in various parts of
the country.

A.D. 1307–8, 1309, and 1310, intemperate seasons were
experienced, and famine was the consequence, more especially in
England, Ireland, and Scotland, with great mortality in the latter
country. It was about this period that coals were first brought into
use in England. Various parts of London, as shown by Stow, were in a
filthy condition, which, with the mode of living, and the disgusting
habits of the inhabitants, gave ample cause for the outbreak of
pestilence. Fleet ditch was “of such breadth and depth,” so says Stow,
“that ten or twelve ships’ navies at once, with merchandise, were
wont to come to the bridge Fleete; for some time this canal had been
neglected, and became an intolerable nuisance in a variety of ways.” It
was not until 1733 that it was arched over, when the Fleet Market was
built on it. Pope denounces the filthy condition of Fleet ditch in the
following lines of his ‘Dunciad:’

                                “By Bridewell all descend
    (As morning prayer and flagellation end)
    To where Fleet ditch, with disembouging streams,
    Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames,
    The _king_ of dykes! than whom no sluice of mud
    With deeper sable blots the silver flood:
    ‘Here trip, my children! here at once leap in,
    Here prove who best can dash through thick and thin;
    And who the most in love of dirt excel--
    Or dark dexterity of groping well;
    Who flings most filth, and wide pollutes around
    The stream, be his the weekly journals’ bound;
    A pig of lead to him who dives the best;
    A peck of coals a-piece shall glad the rest.’”

A.D. 1316, a peculiar disease prevailed in England,--fever,
with severe dysentery, which raged with an intensity and mortality
equal to the true plague: scarcity amounting to famine was experienced
at the same time, wheat selling at 45_s._ per quarter, equal in
those days to £30 sterling of our money. A.D. 1327, a comet
was seen; the year following, an earthquake, the greatest ever felt in
England, occurred on the 14th of November.

A.D. 1330, the weather was so tempestuous in England, and the
rains fell so heavily, that the harvest did not begin until Michaelmas.
A storm from the westward overthrew several houses and did much damage,
tearing up forest trees of immense size by the roots. Five years after,
1335, there was a grievous famine in England, which was succeeded by
pestilence, and attended with great mortality.

                             CHAPTER III.

                        FROM A.D. 1333 TO 1418.

Proceeding in the annals of antecedent ages, we have now to record a
series of mighty revolutions in the organism of the earth, accompanied
by general and awful commotions of the elements.

             “Earthquakes, Nature’s agonizing pangs,
    Oft shake th’ astonish’d isles;--the Solfaterre
    Or sends forth thick, blue, suffocating streams,
    Or shoots to temporary flame. A din
    Wild through the mountains’ quivering rocky caves,
    Like the dread crash of tumbling planets, roars.
    When tremble thus the pillars of the globe,
    Like the tall cocoa by the fierce north blown,
    Can the poor brittle tenements of man
    Withstand the dread convulsion? Their dear homes
    (Which, shaking, tottering, crashing, bursting, fall)
    The boldest fly; and on the open plain
    Appall’d, in agony the moment wait
    When, with disrupture vast, the waving earth
    Shall ‘whelm them in her sea-disgorging womb.
    Nor less affrighted are the bestial kind:
    The bold steed quivers in each panting vein,
    And staggers bathed in deluges of sweat;
    The lowing herds forsake their grassy food,
    And send forth frighted, woeful, hollow sounds;
    The dog, thy trusty sentinel of night,
    Deserts his post assign’d, and piteous howls.
                          Wide ocean feels
    The mountain waves, passing their custom’d bounds,
    Make direful, loud incursions on the land,
    All-overwhelming: sudden they retreat,
    With their whole troubled waters; but anon
    Sudden return, with louder, mightier force.
    The black rocks whiten, the vex’d shores resound;
    And yet more rapid, distant they retire.
    Vast coruscations lighten all the sky
    With volumed flames; while thunder’s voice
    From forth his shrine, by night and horror girt,
    Astounds the guilty, and appals the good.”

The great events to which we allude began, in the year 1333, first
in China. Here parching drought, succeeded by famine, laid waste the
tract of country watered by the rivers Kiang and Hoai. Rain, about this
period, fell in torrents in and about Kingsai, destroying, it is said,
by the floods more than 400,000 persons. The mountain Tsincheou, in
falling, formed vast chasms in the earth. About this time, according
to the diary of Ramon Vila, there were experienced dire famine and
pestilence at Barcelona, which in a very short time carried off 10,000

In the succeeding year, 1334, inundations occurred in the neighbourhood
of Canton. Soon after, at Tche, after an unexampled drought, pestilence
arose and carried off 500,000 human beings. Hecker graphically
describes the unprecedented and universal commotions of this period.
An earthquake happened near Kingsai, and subsequent to the falling-in
of the mountains of Ki-ming-Chan, a lake was formed, of more than a
hundred leagues in circumference, where thousands found their grave.
In Houkouang and Ho-nan a drought prevailed for five months, and
innumerable swarms of locusts destroyed the vegetation; famine and
pestilence, as is usually the case, following in their train. It is
remarkable, that, simultaneously with a drought and renewed floods
in China, in 1336, many uncommon atmospheric phenomena and, in the
winter-time, frequent thunderstorms were observed in the north of
France; and, so early as the eventful year 1333, an eruption of Etna
took place. According to the Chinese annals, 4,000,000 persons perished
by famine in the neighbourhood of Kiang in 1337; and deluges of rain,
swarms of locusts, and an earthquake which lasted six days, caused an
incredible devastation.

During this year, 776 of the Ejira, or 1334 of the Christian era,
Mohamed Ben Abdalla Ben Alkhatrib, a native of the city of Granada,
being a physician and a member of an illustrious family versed in
all species of cosmography, acquired considerable authority and
importance amongst many of the Moorish kings of Granada; but, towards
the termination of his valuable life, fortune became adverse; for
having been accused of treason during the reign of Ebn Alahmoz, he was
thrown into prison, and shortly afterwards died, leaving, amongst other
works on medicine and the veterinary art, one on the mode of avoiding
plague, which is cited by Casiri in his ‘Biblioteca Arábigo Hispana
Escurialense,’ tom. ii. pp. 71 and 72.

A.D. 1338, Kingsai was visited by an earthquake of ten
days’ duration; at the same time France suffered from failure in the
harvest. From this period until 1342 there was in China a succession of
inundations, earthquakes, and famines. It seemed as though everywhere
on the tops of mountains springs were made to burst forth, and dry
tracts were deluged in an inexplicable manner. Great floods also
occurred in the vicinity of the Rhine, in France, &c. In the year
following, 1343, the mountain Hong-tchang, in China, fell in; and in
Pien-tcheou and Leang-tcheou, three months after, rain followed, and
unheard-of inundations, which destroyed seven cities:

                        “Towers, temples, palaces
    Flung from their deep foundations; roof on roof
    Crush’d horrible, and pile on pile o’erturn’d,
    Fall total!”

In Egypt and in Syria violent earthquakes took place, and in China they
became from this time more and more frequent; for they recurred, in
1344, in Ven-tcheou, where the sea overflowed. A dreadful earthquake
was experienced at Lisbon, where vast numbers of the inhabitants
perished by the falling of the buildings. A.D. 1345, in
Ki-tcheou, and also in both the following years in Canton, great
commotions were experienced, especially subterraneous thunder.
Meanwhile floods and famine devastated various districts until 1347,
when the fury of the elements subsided in China.

Whilst pestilence was thus raging, China, Syria, Greece, Egypt,
Asia, and Africa suffered from it, A.D. 1346; and the year
following, 1347, a pestilence similar to that which subsequently
committed such ravages in the south of Gaul, Spain, and England (1348),
raged in Italy and Sicily.

1345. Guido de Gaullaco informs us that in Spain, in the month of
March, there broke out a pestilence, which he affirms spread all over
the world, leaving scarcely a fourth part of the human race alive.
Andres Laguna, Martinez de Leyva, Duarte Nunhez, and other medical
writers, speak with horror and astonishment of this terrific plague,
which, they say, lasted five years.

Abu Giaphar Ahmed Ebn Ali Ebn Khatemar, a native of the city of
Almeria, and one of the Arabian physicians, who, according to Casiri,
was instructed in the history of the great pestilences, which nearly
the entire world suffered from in the years of the Egira 748, 749,
and 750, or of the Christian epoch 1347–48 and 1349, quotes the
following passage: “The pestilence first broke out in Africa, whence
it extended through all parts of Egypt and Asia, and finally attacked
Italy, France, and Spain; but in the city of Almeria, where it raged
with great malignity, it lasted nearly eleven months, namely, from
the beginning of the month Rabiu, the first month of the year of the
Egira 749, and of the Christian epoch 1348, until the commencement of
the following year.” The work which contains the description of this
pestilence consists of ten chapters, and is entitled ‘Morbi in posterum
vitandi Descriptio et Remedia.’ Don Miguel Casiri makes mention of it
in his Codex of the year 1780.

Abu Abdalla Mohamed Ben Alkhatrib, a native of Granada and brother
of the other Alkhatrib, also wrote a work on the causes and cure of
the pestilence that affected the city of Granada in the year of the
Egira 749, and of our Lord 1348, entitled ‘Quæsita de morbo horribili
perutilia;’ and Casiri alludes to this work also in his Codex.

Villanius, the historian of Florence, gives an account of a pestilence
which commenced in A.D. 1346 in Upper Asia: it first appeared
in Cathay; it arose from a most filthy smelling vapour, supposed to
have proceeded from a certain fiery body, which either fell down from
the atmosphere, or was eructated from the earth. This vapour, like a
fire, consumed all that stood in its way,--animals, horses, trees, &c.,
for the space of fifteen days’ journey all around; and some most filthy
little beasts furnished with feet and tails, as also worms and a small
kind of snake in numberless multitudes, fell at the same time from
the atmosphere upon the earth; the stench and putrefaction from these
infected the very air and all the circumjacent regions. A pestilence
having arisen from them, spread around, depopulating the whole of
Asia, and subsequently Egypt, Greece, and Italy; thence it spread into
France, Spain, and England, and at length into Germany. In the city
of Florence alone, says Villanius, there perished 60,000 persons, but
St. Anthony computes the number to have been 100,000. There prevailed
about this period, or at the commencement of the year 1347, epidemic
pestilence, in the shape of pleurisies, quinsies, and spotted fevers,
which at last terminated in the real Oriental plague, with buboes and
carbuncles: it was reported that 50,000 were carried off in London
in one week, and the deaths at Norwich were almost equally numerous.
About this period, 100,000 persons perished from pestilence at Venice:
Lubeck lost 90,000, while the deaths from similar disease were computed
at 200,000 in the kingdom of Spain. This pestilence persisted in many
parts during the following year.

In the beginning of 1348 pestilence universally prevailed over Europe
and in other quarters of the globe; it commenced in Syria, spread along
the shores of the Pontic Sea, and of Greece and Illyria, passed into
Italy and Sicily, and thence to the island of Mallorca: according to
Zurita, it almost depopulated that island in less than a month, more
than 5000 persons having been carried off by it. In the same year,
continues Zurita, a general pestilence extended from the East to the
ultimate boundaries of the West, comprising in its ravages the kingdom
of Valencia and the principalities of Catalonia. In the month of June
it broke out in the city of Valencia, and its virulence was such,
especially in the maritime parts, that, as before noticed, scarcely
any part of Europe escaped,--persons died suddenly; from Italy it
passed into Sicily, Sardinia, and so on to Mallorca. So great was the
mortality at Barcelona, that in the month of June, during the usual
annual solemn procession, which caused a number of priests, &c., from
Scio to be present, thousands died, and amongst them four magistrates
and almost all the Council of Ciento. During this period, says another
author, the signs of terrestrial commotions were exhibited in Europe.

During the reign of Edward III. it rained in England from Midsummer
unto Christmas, when a pestilential period commenced. A disease termed
‘Sorte Diod,’--the black pestilence, or death,--committed the most
terrific ravages; the lungs were principally affected. Fracastorius, in
his ‘Syphilis,’ describes the malady. The translation runs thus:

    “A hundred years twice told have took their flight
    Since Saturn mix’d with Mars his hated light,
    Who, with their baleful influence, did infest
    The rich and potent nations of the East:
    Hence raged a dreadful pest before unknown,
    Which seized the lungs, and made the breast its throne;
    Four days it tyrannized with dreadful sway,
    When life in purple streams broke out and fled away.”

This malady was accompanied by fever, difficulty of breathing, and
spitting of blood; the respiration was so laborious that the sick were
obliged to be always in an upright posture; deglutition was difficult,
attended with flushed countenance and great restlessness: at the
onset the cough was violent, but without loss of blood; after a short
time, the expectoration becoming bloody, hemorrhage succeeded, when
death ensued in three days: spots and abscesses sometimes formed when
the disease was protracted unto the fifth day. After the disease had
persisted for some months, the lungs were no longer affected, but the
glands of the axillæ and of the groins, and the parotids, swelled and
suppurated. In England it lasted nine years. There were 50,000 buried
in one year in the Charterhouse churchyard in London. A murrain among
the cattle succeeded this pestilence, and there was a great scarcity
of all sorts of provisions. Greenland was entirely depopulated by this

During the year 1348, the island of Cyprus was also visited by a most
terrific pestilence; a tremendous earthquake shook the foundations of
the island, and was accompanied by so frightful a hurricane, that the
inhabitants who had slain the Mahometan slaves, in order that they
might not themselves be subjugated by them, fled in dismay in all
directions. The sea overflowed,--the ships were dashed to pieces on the
rocks, and few outlived the dreadful event, whereby this fertile and
blooming island was converted into a desert. Before the earthquake,
it is recorded by Deguignes (p. 225) that a pestiferous wind spread
so poisonous an odour, that many, being overpowered by it, fell down
suddenly and expired in dreadful agonies. This phenomenon resembles
many such noticed by ancient authors. This peculiar condition of the
atmosphere was evident to the senses; borne by the winds, it spread
from land to land, carrying disease over whole portions of the earth.
It has been further recorded that, during this period, 1348, an
unexampled earthquake, on the 25th of January, shook Greece, Italy,
and the neighbouring countries. Naples, Rome, Pisa, Bologna, Padua,
Venice, and many other cities suffered considerably; whole villages
were swallowed up; castles, houses, and churches were overthrown, and
thousands of people were buried under their ruins. In Carinthia, thirty
villages, together with all the churches, were demolished; more than a
thousand corpses were drawn from under the rubbish: the city of Villach
was completely destroyed, and very few of its inhabitants were saved;
when the earth ceased to tremble, it was found that mountains had been
moved from their position, and that many hamlets were left in ruins.
It is recorded that during this earthquake the wine in casks became
turbid,--a statement which may be considered as furnishing a proof that
changes causing a decomposition of the atmosphere had taken place;
similar destructive earthquakes extended as far as the neighbourhood of
Basle, and recurred from time to time until 1360 throughout Germany,
France, Silesia, Poland, England, and Denmark also, much further north.
In the month of August, 1349, says Walsingham, black death broke out
at Southampton, destroying half the population. According to another
estimate, (Rymer, Fœdera,) A.D. 1348–49, and 1350, one-tenth
part of the people did not survive. In a royal edict, issued December,
1349, it is said, “Non modica pars populi est defuncta;” in another,
1350, “Magna pars populi est defuncta.” This pestilence spread over
France and Germany, and invaded the northern parts of Europe in the
year 1349.

In the years of our Lord 1350 and 1351 sore disease prevailed in
Ireland, Holland, and in England; its infallible signs were, a great
fever, vomiting, and spitting of blood, hemorrhage from the nose,
mouth, ears, eyes, stomach, and bowels, indicating an universal
disorganization of the system. Here we have the worst symptoms
observable in the bilious remittent or yellow fever of the West Indies
and other parts. It traversed all Germany, Russia, Hungary, Spain,
and Gaul. In Denmark it spread terror and dismay, and it decimated
Iceland; it persisted during the summer, autumn, winter, and spring of
those years; and for several years after, violent peripneumoniæ raged
in Asia, Egypt, and various other parts of the globe.--A.D.
1352. During this year scarcely one-fourth part of the Oxford students
survived the plague. (A. Wood, Ath. Oxon., A.D. 1349–52.) It
fell with redoubled violence on workmen and servants. The same year
great numbers were carried off by pestilence in Montpelier. A great
many of the lower orders of society died of the plague in England.
This disease caused great ravages in Denmark, and also in Iceland; the
Greenland merchants were all destroyed by it: it seized the monks and
regular clergy of all descriptions; 133 out of 140 members died of one
society in Montpelier. A similar mortality happened in the Magdalen
Society; not one out of 140 in Marseilles survived; 66 Carmelites
perished in Avignon. This plague began in a monastery of crowded, idle,
voluptuous monks. Cattle suffered greatly in many countries; 6000 sheep
died in one pasture in England. Pestilence and famine, it is supposed,
carried off in China, about this period, at least 900,000 of its
inhabitants: in London, 50,000 bodies were interred in one graveyard.
The following estimate of deaths during the above awful period was
considered below the actual number of victims: in Venice 100,000 died;
Basle, 14,000; Erfurt, 16,000; Strasburgh, about the same number;
Paris, 50,000; Norwich, in England, 50,000; Marseilles, in one month,
56,000! Florence, 60,000; Avignon, 62,000; London, 100,000; in Lubeck,
90,000; in Spain, two-thirds of the population were destroyed; and
Ireland was nearly depopulated.

A.D. 1355, a peculiar kind of madness was epidemic in England;
those affected fled into the woods, and wandered about the fields.
(Hecker.) Three years after, epidemic pestilence ravaged England,
Africa, Cyprus, and also Italy and Florence, which last city, says
Petrarch, lost 100,000 citizens. The same kind of pestilence also
afflicted Gaul, Ireland, and Scotland. Stow, in his Chronicle, gives
a very graphic description of the foregoing pestilential period from
1348 up to 1357. The pestilence he describes as a new disease. He
says: “There began amongst the East Indians and Tartarians a certain
pestilence, which at length waxed so general, infecting the middle
regions of the air so greatly, that it destroyed the Saracens, Turks,
Syrians, Palestinians, and the Grecians with a wonderful or rather
incredible death; insomuch that those people being exceedingly dismayed
with the terror thereof, consulted among themselves, and thought it
good to receive the Christian faith and sacraments; for they had
intelligence that the Christians which dwelt on this side of the Greek
Sea were not so greatly troubled with sickness and mortality more than
common.” “At length this terrible slaughter passed over into those
countries which are on this side the Alps, and thence to the parts
of France which are called Hesperia, and so on, by order, along into
Germany and Dutchland; and the seventh year after it began, it came
into England, and first began in the towns and ports joining on the
sea-coasts, Dorsetshire, where, even as in other countries, it made
the country quite void of inhabitants, so that there were almost none
left alive. Thence it passed into Devonshire and Somersetshire, and
even into Bristol, and raged in such sort that the Gloucestershire men
would not suffer persons from Bristol to have any access unto them or
into their country by any means; but at length it came to Gloucester,
yea, and to Oxford and London, and finally it spread over all England,
and so wasted and spoiled the people, that scarce the tenth person of
all sorts was left alive; churchyards were not sufficient and large
enough to bury their dead in: they chose certain fields appointed for
the purpose, amongst which was the piece of ground denominated the
Churchyard of the Holy Trinity, near East Smithfield, opened by one
John Cory. One Walter Manny also purchased a piece of ground called
Spital Croft, containing thirteen acres, in which were interred during
the next year 50,000 bodies; in Norwich, no less than 37,104 persons,
besides Mendicants and Dominicans, and in Yarmouth 7502; so that the
living which was previously worth 700 marks was reduced to £40 per
year.” “What time this pestilence had wasted all England, the Scots,
greatly rejoicing, mocked and swore ofttimes, ‘By the vile death of the
Englishmen;’ but the sword of God’s wrath slew and consumed the Scots
in no less numbers than it did the other. It also wasted the Welshmen,
and within a while passed over into Ireland, where it destroyed a great
number of English people that dwelt there; but such as were right
Irish-born, that dwelt in the hilly country, it scarcely touched, so
that few of them died thereof.”

A.D. 1360. Thunder-storms, accompanied by heavy rains and
lightning, did much damage in various parts of England; houses were set
on fire, crops and cattle were destroyed, and pestilence, in the shape
of fevers and disorder of the bowels, carried off numbers.

On the 21st of January, two years after, A.D. 1362, a feast
was instituted, and a solemn mass celebrated in Scio, with divine
worship in all the churches, convents, and other public places, at
which all the clergy of the place assisted; and on the 15th of February
a papal jubilee was published for the repose of the souls of all those
who had perished by the pestilence, which had recently carried off vast

A.D. 1363, a dreadfully severe winter presaged noxious seasons
in Europe. Andalusia was afflicted with a terrible pestilence, which
having seized an almost incredible number of its inhabitants, is
marked among the ancient writings as the second mortality, in order to
distinguish it from the first of 1350, during which King Don Alonso
died in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar. This pestilence made such
an impression on the minds of all Spaniards, that in a sepulchral
inscription in the church of St. Pablo, we read that it was erected
during the second mortality, A.D. 1363. Two years after,
A.D. 1365, pestilence carried off 20,000 of the inhabitants of
Cologne and its vicinity.

From the year 1368 unto 1370, epidemic pestilence ravaged England and
Ireland; four years after, it continued to lay England waste. A similar
pestilence, about the same time, prevailed with great mortality in
Italy and in Gaul.

A.D. 1371, pestilence was rife at Barcelona; and on the
13th of June, imprecatory processions were instituted in each of the
parishes of that place on account of the pestilence, which lasted for
one year. A comet was seen this year.

A.D. 1372, pestilence invaded Germany, Egypt, Greece, and all
the East. Lubeck lost 90,000 of its inhabitants.

A.D. 1373, the use of coals was forbidden by Act of
Parliament, under the idea that the smoke in London corrupted the air.

In the year of our Lord 1374, the epidemic dancing disease of St.
Guy and St. John prevailed in Holland and in the Rhenish provinces,
and an analogous malady, called ‘Tarantisme’ and ‘Tigretier,’ among
the Abyssinians; a similar disease also prevailed in the Shetland
Islands, where it had existed from time to time, as it is said,
for one hundred years previously. The disease also prevailed in
France, and the sufferers were called ‘Convulsionnaires;’ it was
evidently the malady which we now term St. Vitus’ Dance or Chorea,
but prevailing epidemically. Hecker gives the following account of
this strange malady, as it occurred about this period also in Germany;
it was evidently a disease similar to that which broke out, A.D.
1027, in Bernburg, prevailed A.D. 1237 at Erfurt among children, and
subsequently among adults, A.D. 1278, at Utrecht. He says “that the
effects of the ‘Black Death’ had not yet subsided, and the graves of
millions of its victims were scarcely closed when a strange delusion
arose in Germany, which took possession of the minds of men, and,
in spite of the divinity of our nature, hurried away body and soul
into the magic circle of hellish superstition. It was a convulsion
which, in the most extraordinary manner, infuriated the human frame,
and excited the astonishment of contemporaries for more than two
centuries, since which time it has never re-appeared. It was called
the Dance of St. John or of St. Vitus, on account of the Bacchantic
leaps by which it was characterized, and which gave to those affected,
whilst performing their wild dance, and screaming and foaming with
fury, all the appearance of persons possessed. It did not remain
confined to particular localities, but was propagated by the sight of
the sufferers, like a demoniacal epidemic, over the whole of Germany
and the neighbouring countries to the north-west, which were already
prepared for its reception by the prevailing opinion of the times.

“So early as the year 1374, assemblages of men and women were seen
at Aix-la-Chapelle, who had come out of Germany, and who, united by
one common delusion, exhibited to the public, both in the streets
and in the churches, the following strange spectacle. They formed
circles hand-in-hand, and, appearing to have lost all control over
their senses, continued dancing, regardless of the by-standers, for
hours together, in wild delirium, until at length they fell down to
the ground in a state of exhaustion. They then complained of extreme
oppression, and groaned as if in the agonies of death, until they
were swathed in cloths bound tightly round their waists, upon which
they again recovered, and remained free from complaint until the next
attack. This practice of swathing was resorted to on account of the
tympany which followed these spasmodic ravings, but the by-standers
frequently relieved patients in a less artificial manner by thumping
and trampling upon the parts affected. While dancing, they neither saw
nor heard, being insensible to external impressions through the senses,
but were haunted by visions, their fancies conjuring up spirits, whose
names they shrieked out; and some of them afterwards asserted that they
felt as if they had been immersed in a stream of blood, which obliged
them to leap so high. Others during the paroxysm saw the heavens open
and the Saviour enthroned with the Virgin Mary, according as the
religious notions of the age were strangely and variously reflected in
their imaginations.

“Where the disease was completely developed, the attack commenced with
epileptic convulsions. Those affected fell to the ground senseless,
panting and labouring for breath; they foamed at the mouth, and
suddenly springing up, began their dance amidst strange contortions.
Yet the malady doubtless made its appearance very variously, and was
modified by temporary or local circumstances, whereof non-medical
contemporaries but imperfectly noted the essential particulars,
accustomed as they were to confound their observations of natural
events with their notions of the world of spirits.

“It was but a few months ere this demoniacal disease had spread from
Aix-la-Chapelle, where it appeared in July, over the neighbouring
Netherlands. In Liege, Utrecht, Tongres, and many other towns of
Belgium, the dancers appeared with garlands in their hair, and their
waists girt with cloths, that they might, as soon as the paroxysm
was over, receive immediate relief on the attack of the tympany.
This bandage was, by the insertion of a stick, easily twisted tight;
many, however, obtained more relief from kicks and blows, which they
found numbers of persons ready to administer; for where the dancers
appeared, the people assembled in crowds to gratify their curiosity
with the frightful spectacle. At length the increasing number of the
affected excited no less anxiety than the attention that was paid to
them. In towns and villages they took possession of the religious
houses; processions were everywhere instituted on their account, and
masses were said, and hymns were sung, while the disease itself, of the
demoniacal origin of which no one entertained the least doubt, excited
everywhere astonishment and horror. In Liege the priests had recourse
to exorcisms, and endeavoured by every means in their power to allay an
evil which threatened so much danger to themselves; for the possessed,
assembling in multitudes, frequently poured forth imprecations against
them and menaced their destruction. They intimidated the people also
to such a degree that there was an express ordinance issued, that no
one should make any but square-toed shoes, because these fanatics had
manifested a morbid dislike to the pointed shoes which had come into
fashion immediately after the great mortality in 1350. They were still
more irritated at the sight of red colours, the influence of which
on the disordered nerves might lead us to imagine an extraordinary
accordance between this spasmodic malady and the condition of
infuriated animals; but in the St. John’s dancers this excitement was
probably connected with apparitions, consequent on their convulsions.
There were likewise some of them who were unable to endure the sight
of persons weeping.” “A few months after this dancing malady had made
its appearance at Aix-la-Chapelle, it broke out at Cologne, where the
number of those possessed amounted to more than five hundred; and about
the same time at Metz, the streets of which place are said to have been
filled with eleven hundred dancers. * * * * * Girls and boys quitted
their parents, and servants their masters, to amuse themselves at the
dances of those possessed, and greedily imbibed the poison of mental
infection. Above a hundred unmarried women were seen raving about, in
consecrated and unconsecrated places, and the consequences were soon
perceived. Gangs of idle vagabonds, who understood how to imitate
to the life the gestures and convulsions of those really affected,
roved from place to place, seeking maintenance and adventures, and
thus wherever they went spread this disgusting spasmodic disease like
a plague; for in maladies of this kind the susceptible are infected
as easily by the appearance as by the reality. At last it was found
necessary to drive away these mischievous guests, who were equally
inaccessible to the exorcisms of the priests and the remedies of the
physicians. It was not, however, until after four months that the
Rhenish cities were able to suppress these impostures, which had so
alarmingly increased the original evil.”

A.D. 1375, on the 20th of June, an imprecatory procession
was instituted at Scio, on account of the dreadful pestilence which
broke out there, and which raged more than twelve months. (_Vide_
Capmany, ‘Historical and Chronological Compendium of Plagues,’ p. 66.)

A.D. 1379, epidemic pestilence prevailed in England,
especially in the northern parts of the island. A.D. 1380,
there was a general inundation in Spain, from which resulted epidemic
pestilence, characteristic of an atmosphere surcharged with moisture.
Three years after, 1383, was a period most fatal to Seville, in
consequence of a pestilence having broken out there, which extended
through its entire length and breadth. This terrible infliction was
called by the old inhabitants the third mortality: it was preceded by
inundations and extraordinary showers, which act unquestionably as
predisposing causes of disease. A severe earthquake destroyed several
churches A.D. 1382.

We have seen that the years 1350 and 1363 were denominated the years of
the first and second mortality. The precautionary measures that were
adopted to meet such evils were the formation of various hospitals
for the treatment of the sick, instituted by the bishop, dean, and
ecclesiastical and secular chapters. The physicians and surgeons not
only contributed by their science to the relief of the plague-stricken,
but also with their personal charity and the salaries which were
assigned them by the city authorities. A hospital was founded under the
protection of St. Cosmo and St. Amien in the parish of St. Salvalo, the
patronage of which was given to the city.

A.D. 1384. During this year the third plague of Mallorca
broke out; it caused considerable mortality, according to the account
given by Vincente Mut in his history of that kingdom. Numbers of the
soldiers of the army of Don Juan, the first king of Castile, who were
in garrison at Lisbon, fell sick in consequence of the severity of the
atmospheric changes, to which they were unaccustomed. The losses and
sufferings of the Castilian camp increased every day, and hundreds of
them became ill, and consequently the king was induced to change his
position and remove his armada to Seville.

At the commencement of 1386 there was in Gallicia much sickness among
the soldiers commanded by Tornas Moraix: the character of the epidemic
is but imperfectly given, but history states the mortality to have been
very great.

A.D. 1387, the army of the King of Portugal and of the Duke
of Lancaster suffered from severe pestilence in Benavento, and in the
towns of Matillas, Arzon, Villalobos, Rales, and Valderas, owing to the
scarcity of provisions. In the years 1388 and 1389, violent tempests,
preceded by great drought, happened; a famine ensued, when anginas and
dysenteries prevailed in England and in other parts of the world. The
disease affected children principally, and continued unto 1400. During
this period, 1391, the disease was especially mortal in England, being
felt most severely in Norfolk and at York. The year previously, 1390,
when King Edward was on his march and within two leagues of Chartres, a
violent storm arose, with thunder and lightning, which killed 6000 of
his horses and upwards of 1000 of his best troops.

A.D. 1394, a great mortality occurred from epidemic pestilence
in the kingdom of Valencia and in the principality of Catalonia,
arising from great heat; nearly 10,000 persons, a greater part of
whom were young, died in the city of Valencia alone. This pestilence
occurred during the reign of King Don Juan.--A.D. 1396. On the
9th of December of this year, King Don Martin retired to the city of
Perpignan in consequence of Barcelona being visited by pestilence.

A.D. 1400. The continued heavy rains and sterility having
induced famine in Seville, caused also great mortality and pestilence,
which diminished the population wonderfully. The author of the Annals
of Seville mentions that this plague occurred at centenary periods.

A.D. 1401. A comet was seen. Pestilence broke out at Florence.
30,000 persons died of epidemic disease this year in London. Five
years after, London was revisited by deadly pestilence. In Bourdeaux
a malignant dysentery destroyed 14,000 persons, and a similar disease
was equally fatal in Aquitaine and Gascony. A.D. 1407, the
Mediterranean was frozen over for fifteen weeks.--A.D. 1411.
Two diseases, very similar, appeared in France this year, and were
equally general; the first was called ‘Tac,’ the second ‘Ladendo:’
both were accompanied by severe cough. In the Ladendo there seems to
have been some affection of the kidney of an inflammatory nature:
the pain was as severe as in a fit of the stone, and was followed by
fever, loss of appetite, and incessant cough, which terminated very
frequently in unpleasant eruptions about the nose and mouth; the
disease ran its course generally in fifteen days, and was unattended
by danger, notwithstanding the severity of the symptoms. Three years
after, an epidemic disease of a similar nature re-appeared in France,
when it received the name of ‘Coqueluche:’ it was attended with severe
hoarseness, and was so general that all public business in Paris was
interrupted by it.

A.D. 1410. Epidemic pestilence broke out at Seville this year;
it commenced in Niebla, Gibraleon, and Trigueros, and extended thence
to Seville, where it raged from March unto August. On the 30th of May
and on the 5th of August an earthquake was felt at Barcelona, and
epidemic pestilence prevailed, which lasted until the anniversary of
the Nativity.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                        FROM A.D. 1418 TO 1530.

A.D. 1418, Strasburgh was visited by the ‘Dancing Plague,’
and the same infatuation existed amongst the people there, as in the
towns of Belgium and the Lower Rhine A.D. 1374; many who were
seized on seeing the affected, excited attention at first by their
confused and absurd behaviour, and then by their constantly following
the swarms of dancers. These were seen day and night passing through
the streets, accompanied by musicians playing on bagpipes, and by
innumerable spectators attracted by curiosity, to whom were added
anxious parents and relations who came to look after those among the
misguided multitude who belonged to their respective families.

Imposture and profligacy played their part in this city also, but the
morbid delusion itself seems to have predominated. On this account
religion could only bring provisional aid, and therefore the Town
Council benevolently took an interest in the afflicted: they divided
them into separate parties, to each of which they appointed responsible
superintendents, to protect them from harm, and perhaps also to
restrain their turbulence. They were thus conducted on foot and in
carriages to the chapels of St. Vitus, near Zabern, and Rotestein,
where priests were in attendance to influence their misguided minds
by masses and other religious ceremonies. After divine worship was
completed, they were led in solemn procession to the altar, where they
made some small offering of alms, and where, it is probable, many,
through the influence of devotion and the sanctity of the place, were
cured of this lamentable aberration.

It is worthy of observation, at all events, that the dancing mania
did not recommence at the altars of the saint, that from him alone
assistance was implored, and that through his miraculous interposition
a cure was expected, which was beyond the reach of human skill. The
personal history of St. Vitus is by no means unimportant in this
matter. He was a Sicilian youth, who, together with Modestus and
Crescentia, suffered martyrdom at the time of the persecution of
the Christians under Diocletian, in A.D. 303. The legends
respecting him are obscure, and he would certainly have been passed
over without notice among the innumerable apocryphal martyrs of the
earliest centuries, had not the transfer of his body to St. Denys, and
thence in the year 836 to Corvey, raised him to a higher rank. From
this time forth it may be supposed that many miracles were performed at
his new sepulchre, which were of essential service in confirming the
Roman Catholic faith among the Germans, and St. Vitus was soon ranked
among the fourteen saintly helpers (Nothelfer or Apotheker). His altars
were multiplied, and the people had recourse to them in all kinds of
distresses; they revered him as a powerful intercessor. As the worship
of these saints was, however, at that time stripped of all historical
connexions, which were purposely obliterated by the priesthood, a
legend was invented at the beginning of the fifteenth century, or
perhaps even so early as the fourteenth, that St. Vitus had, just
before he bent his neck to the sword, prayed to God that he might
protect from the dancing mania all those who should solemnize the day
of his commemoration and fast upon its eve, and that thereupon a voice
from heaven was heard, saying, “Vitus, thy prayer is accepted.” Thus
St. Vitus became the patron saint of those affected with the dancing
plague, as St. Martin of Tours was at one time the succourer of persons
in small-pox; St. Anthony, of those suffering under the ‘hellish fire;’
and as St. Margaret was the Juno Lucina of pregnant women.

A.D. 1426, the Baltic was frozen over, and on the 28th of
September a severe earthquake was felt in England. Dantzic was visited
by pestilence and famine; and the year following, England suffered from
epidemic pestilence, and a severe earthquake, which occurred on the
14th of July.

A.D. 1429, epidemic pestilence prevailed at Barcelona, as
is proved by the donation of £8 and 16 sueldos, which were paid to a
chaplain for his labour in removing for burial the dead bodies found in
the churches and elsewhere.

A.D. 1434, there was a severe frost in England, which lasted
from the 24th of November to the 10th of February in the following year.

This year, 1436, the seasons were inclement and rainy, and there was
a dearth of corn in various parts of Europe. Epidemic coughs, small
pox, and fevers swept away many thousands from the face of the earth.
The moisture which existed during the preceding year in Spain, was
excessive; it did not cease raining and snowing in Castile from the
29th of October, 1434, to the 7th of January in the following year,

Four years after, 1439, the city Huesca, in the kingdom of Aragon,
suffered from such a cruel pestilence, that, following the credulity
of the times, Alonso de Burgos says in his Treatise on Plague, “that
the disease in Huesca only yielded to a solemn and general vow which
the city made, to celebrate a feast on the day of the Conception of the
Virgin, and to observe its vigil with an absolute fast.”

A.D. 1438, there was a famine in England. During a storm on
the 25th of November a heavy gust of wind blew off the leads of the
Grey Friars Church, in London, and almost beat down the whole side of a
street called the Old Exchange.

A.D. 1441. During this year, brother Diego de Herrera
complained of an itching, or leprosy, all over his body: the physicians
declared the disease to be communicable, and obliged him to live
outside the monastery of Mejorada--a fact showing that this disease had
existed previously in Spain, and that the physicians were acquainted
with its characters. These observations are to be found in the life of
the illustrious Senhor Don Diego de Anaya, Archbishop of Granada.

A.D. 1443, there was a severe frost in England from the
14th of November until the 10th of February in the following year.
A thunder-storm with severe lightning did much damage to St. Paul’s
Church and to that of Waltham Cross; they were fired by the lightning
on Candlemas day. From about this period until 1450, famine and
pestilence were destructive to millions of the human race, especially
in Italy, Gaul, Germany, Asia, and Spain. About the same date, King Don
Alonso of Aragon, surnamed the Wise, conquered the kingdom of Naples.
The great obstacles which presented themselves before accomplishing the
subjugation of the provinces of Abruzzo, coupled with the sufferings
caused by a protracted and desperate war, subjected the numerous
cavalry employed in the service to attacks of disease. Great numbers
of their horses died from a particular kind of epizootic. This great
mortality caused the king to order his major domo, one Manuel Diaz,
to call together all the veterinary surgeons of his cavalry and the
surgeons of the infantry, in order that they should compose a work on
farriery--thus giving rise to the renewal of that most useful art, as
noted in the Spanish Hippiatria, or Veterinary of Spain.

A.D. 1446, the sea broke down the dykes at Dort, in Holland,
on the 17th of April, and drowned 100,000 persons.

A.D. 1448. “Owing to the heavy rains of the previous year,
1447,” says Martinez de Leiva, “a severe pestilence prevailed,
which was attributed to the excess of moisture, conjoined with the
unprecedented heat:” it was rife in various parts of Spain. On the 11th
of October, public prayers were offered up at Barcelona on account
of this pestilence and of other calamities, such as earthquakes, &c.
During this year great mortality occurred in the army of King Alonso
V., encamped in the neighbourhood of Pomblein.

A.D. 1450, in the month of June, a pestilence broke out
in the city of Saragossa. Zurita, who in his Annals of Aragon gives
an account of this pestilence, specifies but little, although it is
known to have raged for some time, and to have extended to Barcelona,
where it continued for two years after (1452). On the Sabbath, the
22nd of April, the authorities of this city, Barcelona, despatched
a state-messenger to the monasteries of Saint Gerónimo de la Murta,
of the district of Ebro, de Monte Alegre, de Poblet, de Santa Cruce,
and de Escala Dei, to solicit the brethren to implore the Almighty to
relieve them from the sore pestilence with which the city was visited.
On the 13th of June of this year, the Queen Donna Maria retired, with
her Court, from the city, for fear of the pestilence.

A.D. 1456. There were two comets observed this year: three
years after, 1459, the Baltic was so frozen over, that people travelled
on the ice from Denmark to Lubeck, Wismar, Rostock, and Stralsund.

A.D. 1465, pestilence again visited Italy. On the 6th of
December of this year, the brothers Miguel Capelier and Leonardo
Crestia, of the order of St. Francis of the Convent of Jesus, were
deputed by the corporation of the city of Barcelona to implore the
interposition of the Almighty to free the city from pestilence. The
year following, Cadiz was nearly depopulated by a plague. Other parts
of Spain suffered also from epidemic pestilence; so much so, that on
the 7th of January, 1466, the Council of Ciento voted that the Feast of
St. Sebastian should not be observed, on account of the epidemic which
was raging at Barcelona. Further, on Thursday, the 13th, the Council
of Thirty-two determined that an image of the guardian angel should
be erected; and on the 17th of November following there was a solemn
procession ordered.

A.D. 1468, epidemic pestilence raged at Parma.

A.D. 1471, Pope Sextus erected a brothel at Rome, and the
Roman prostitutes paid him a weekly tax, which amounted to 20,000
ducats a year.

A.D. 1472, a comet was seen. The year following, 1473,
excessive heat and drought prevailed, which persisted for three years.
About this period, 1474, the city of Valencia suffered from a severe
epidemic. Luis Alcanyis, a famous Valencian physician, published a
treatise in the Limosin language (that of the Troubadours), without
giving either the place of printing or the year of publication; but
it seems that he flourished about this period (1474), and that his
treatise was written in consequence of the epidemic under notice:
it was entitled, ‘Regiment preservatiu é curatiu de la Pestilencia,
compost per Mestre Luis Alcanyis, Mestre en Medicina.’

A.D. 1475–76, the Danube was fordable in Hungary, and swarms
of locusts destroyed all vegetation there and in Poland. The second
pestilence, which devastated the island of Mallorca, according to the
authority of Don Vincente Mut, occurred. A Board of Health was formed
by the governor of Mallorca, Don Berengario Blanels, in order to
prescribe rules for government and remedial measures. This ‘Morbeira,’
or Board of Health, was composed of a magistrate, a knight, a
physician, a surgeon, a tradesman, and a merchant. Quarantine for forty
days was established. In this year there was published a work entitled
‘De Epidemiâ et Peste, Magistri Vallestii Tarentini, Artium Medicinæque
Doctoris eximii,’ which was translated by Dr. Juan Villar into the
Castilian language. In the latter year (1476), the Council of One
Hundred ordered an imprecatory chapel to be consecrated at St. Roque,
in consequence of the prevalence of a terrible plague at Barcelona,
which lasted from the 27th of March until the 13th of November. On the
13th of July in the same year, a solemn procession took place, in which
were exhibited the bodies of St. Severus and St. Innocent.

A.D. 1477, in the reign of their Catholic majesties Don
Fernando de Aragon and Doña Isabel de Castilla, there broke out a
wretched pestilence of leprosy, which may be said to have prevailed
epidemically, so numerous were the cases. The duty of examining those
affected, and of expelling them from the cities and villages, was a
task exclusively imposed on the priests, in accordance with divine
authority, as laid down in Leviticus chap. xiii. Epidemic pestilence,
attended with bubo, prevailed in Italy, and raged without interruption
until 1485. Swarms of locusts committed great ravages in various parts
of the South of Europe, from the year 1478 until 1482. Within this
period, say in the years 1480 and 1481, malignant epidemics appeared
in the train of drought and famine in Switzerland and Germany; while
putrid fever, accompanied by phrenitis, prevailed in Westphalia, Hesse,
and Friesland. There never had been, in the memory of the inhabitants
of these places, so many _ignes fatui_ as during this period. The
harvests also failed, rendering it necessary to obtain supplies of
provisions from Thuringia.

A.D. 1482, France, under the fearful reign of Louis XI., after
two years of scarcity, became the scene of a devastating plague: it
raged in the form of an inflammatory fever, with delirium, accompanied
by such intense cephalalgia, that many are reported to have dashed out
their brains against the walls of their houses, or to have rushed into
the water.

A.D. 1483, there was so great an inundation in
Gloucestershire, that all the country round about was overflowed, and
many persons were drowned in their beds. The waters did not abate
for ten days,--thus preventing the Duke of Buckingham from passing
the river into Wales to join the Welsh, who had risen against King
Richard III., and consequently being indirectly the cause of the duke’s
misfortunes and of his violent death. Barcelona was again visited by
a pestilence, which lasted upwards of a year. The river Severn in
England overflowed; epidemic pestilence was the consequence. During
the following years, 1484–85, it extended all over England, having
first broken out at Shrewsbury, where, according to the testimony of
Dr. Caius, who resided in that town, 960 died in a few days. Some
authorities have spoken of this pestilence as having occurred under
circumstances extremely favourable to the generation of a malignant
disease, for it is said to have first appeared in the army of the Earl
of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII., upon his landing at Milford
Haven in 1485. This army consisted of foreign troops, brought over
in crowded transport-vessels. They were described by a contemporary
historian, Philip de Comines, as the most wretched soldiery he ever
beheld, collected, it is probable, from jails and hospitals, and
buried in filth. The disease soon spread to London, where it raged
from the beginning of August to the end of October, having assumed a
particular type: it was termed ‘sudor Anglicus,’ or sweating sickness,
and proved to be a mortal epidemic. It also prevailed in Ireland. The
symptoms were those of a violent inflammatory fever, which, after a
short time, caused great prostration of strength. There were also
present, oppression at the stomach, and violent headache, accompanied
by lethargic stupor, and the body was covered with a profuse fœtid
perspiration. The progress of this singular malady was very rapid, a
crisis always taking place within the space of a day and a night. The
internal heat from which the patient suffered was intolerable, yet
every thing cold, or even cool, was certain death. Two lord mayors and
six aldermen died in one week. The disease attacked the most robust and
strong, and spread without interruption over the entire kingdom, from
east to west. In a very short period vast numbers of the population
fell victims to this strange epidemic. Many of those who recovered from
the first attack were seized a second, and some even a third time.
Persons of rank, of the ecclesiastical and civil classes, were not
exempt; and great was the consternation when the disease broke out in
Oxford. The heads of colleges and the students fled in all directions,
and this celebrated university was deserted for six weeks. Three months
later, it appeared at Croyland, and carried off Lambert Fossedyke,
abbot of the monastery, on the 14th of November. During this period,
epidemic pestilence was rife in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark,
and Egypt.

A.D. 1485. This year, pestilence broke out in Seville, the
mortality from which was increased by the heavy rains and inundations
of the subsequent winter. The year following, Saragossa and other parts
of the kingdom of Aragon suffered from epidemic pestilence: it was of
a peculiar bubonic or glandular kind, the cure of which was attributed
to the intercession of Santo Pedro Arbues, one of the first Grand
Inquisitors of Spain, murdered by the populace for his cruelties, and
afterwards canonized by the papacy.

A.D. 1488, pestilence prevailed in Andalusia, which must
have been very fatal, especially in the army which King Don Ferdinand
commanded, although no correct accounts of its mortality are on record.

In the year 1489, Barcelona was again visited by a dire pestilence:
it broke out on the 3rd of November, and lasted until the 16th of
September in the following year. In vol. i. of the ‘Biblioteca Halleri’
there is a memoir published by Pedro Martyr de Anglesia, in which is
noted a certain disease accompanied by a pain in the joints, fœtid
ulcers in the mouth, and pustules, which are regarded by some modern
writers as the symptoms of the French pox (morbus Gallicus).

A.D. 1490, a bilious remittent fever was rife in various parts
of Europe. A putrid fever, supposed by some to have arisen from the
unburied bodies in Granada, raged with dreadful violence; by others it
was stated to have been imported by some soldiers who came from the
island of Cyprus, in which place this kind of fever was endemic.

A.D. 1492. Epidemic variola was unknown to the Indians until
it was conveyed to the East by the commercial intercourse of the Dutch:
it was also supposed to have been introduced into America by a negro
slave of Pamfilo Narvaes, when that Spanish general proceeded to Mexico
against his enemy, Hernando Cortés. The inhabitants of Zempoala lost
great numbers, and 16,000 Indians fell its victims.

In the year 1493, says Don Vincente Mut, there happened the fifth
plague in the island of Mallorca; it was called the plague of Boja,
and was so termed from the name of the man who is supposed to have
introduced it into the island.

During this period, Barcelona was revisited by pestilence, which
lasted from the 13th of June until the 4th of October. That the
venereal disease was not introduced from America into Europe this
year, by means of the troops of Admiral Christobal Colon, is a point
which has been already demonstrated in history. Astruc exhibits great
erudition in showing that the disease was not known before the years
1494 and 1496. In the list of writers of the kingdom of Valencia,
furnished by Vincente Ximeno, we learn that a Pedro Pintor was born
in that capital A.D. 1420, and died at Rome in 1503: he was
physician to Alexander the Sixth, who was also a Valencian, having
been born in the part called Xativa. From the historical writings of
Pintor, and of contemporary authors, it seems evident, as suggested by
Dr. Sanchez, that the venereal disease, during its first prevalence,
was a pestilential fever, which was communicable through the genitals,
and otherwise; and that at that period there was no discredit or stigma
attached to those who were afflicted with it: it was not considered to
be _contra bonos mores_. The Valencian author, following up the
astrological notions of his time, attributes the disease to the same
causes as epidemic plagues or pestilences.

During the vernal equinox of this year, this description of pestilence
broke out in the city of Rome, as is gathered from the following
quotation: “Talis autem epidemia in urbe Romanâ contigit anno 1493
mense Martii, post introitum solis in primum minutum Arietis.” This
disease was first noticed in the month of August.

Pedro Pintor, according to Cotunnius, professor of anatomy at Naples,
was amongst the earliest writers upon the venereal disease: his work,
entitled ‘De Morbo Fœdo his temporibus affligente,’ was published at
Rome A.D. 1500. He attributed the origin of the disease to a
conjunction of the planets, and no doubt he was acquainted with the
circumstance of the disease being propagated by cohabitation with a
diseased person. Several of the inhabitants of Rome were attacked
A.D. 1493, and the disease became common there until 1499; it
principally attacked the limbs with excruciating pains and pustular
eruptions, against which the physicians employed mercurial ointment
mixed with lead,--an invention said to be due to a Portuguese. So rife
did the pestilence become, that, according to Ruy Diaz de Isla, a
native of Andalusia, their majesties Don Fernando de Aragon and Doña
Isabel de Castilla gave instructions to their physicians to attend to
those stricken with the disease, who were received into the hospital of
San Salvador. Great numbers of the first professors and physicians of
the land investigated the symptoms of the disease, and after treating
it with the thousand and one remedies thought of with but little
success, it was considered to be a chastisement from Heaven which befel
all constitutions and conditions.

With reference to the origin of this pestilence--the venereal disease,
there are various opinions. When it broke out in the French army
at Naples A.D. 1495, the French called it ‘the disease of
Naples,’ and said that at the siege of that place there were certain
merchants who barrelled the flesh of men slain in Barbary, which they
sold for tunny! and that from such food the disease originated. It is
certain that cannibals are much infested with the venereal disease.
It was known in England before 1162, and was called ‘Brenning’ or
‘Burning.’ This appears from Bishop Winton’s records of the public
stews. The disease is well described by one Arden, who was surgeon to
Richard II., in 1156, in a work expressly written on the subject.

A.D. 1495, King Don Fernando convoked the Cortes in the city
of Tarragona, in consequence of the pestilence raging at Saragossa: it
was attended by buboes, carbuncles, &c.; and in the following year,
1496, it appeared in a petechial form among the soldiers employed
in Granada. Syphilis also prevailed at Naples amongst the troops of
Charles VIII.

In the year 1496, an epidemic ulceration, as it was then called, of the
skin (epidemic scurvy), invaded the inhabitants of Germany, Portugal,
Ireland, and other countries.

A.D. 1497, Barcelona was again visited by epidemic
pestilence: it made its appearance about the 18th of July, and
continued until November. Gaspar Torella, a native of Valencia,
physician and domestic prelate to Alexander VI., wrote a work upon
the Morbus Gallicus, which was printed at Rome, according to Haller’s
account, in the year 1497. Astruc makes mention of another work,
entitled ‘Ex Coitu cum Impurâ Muliere.’

In the year 1498, Francisco Lopez de Villalobos, physician to Charles
V. and to his son Philip II., published in Salamanca a folio work
entitled ‘Sumario de la Medicina.’ Juan de Banos, in the first ten
numbers of his ‘Voyages of the Portuguese to the East Indies,’ gives
a circumstantial account of a pestilence which seized on the crews of
their fleet after they had passed the Cape of Good Hope. The malady
commenced with erysipelas and putrescence of the gums, so that those
who were attacked were unable to take food; their bodies were racked
with excruciating pains, and the stench from them was intolerable. This
disease was evidently scurvy.

A.D. 1499, a great plague prevailed in Britain, carrying off
thousands; 30,000 were reported to have perished from it in London
alone. The king found it advisable to retire with all his Court to
Calais. In Brussels, epidemic pestilence victimized daily 500 persons;
mould-spots (signacula) were observed in Germany and in France. There
was a great mortality from murrain in cattle in Germany, and very
extensive destruction of all vegetation by blights and caterpillars.
The inhabitants of both France and Germany suffered greatly from severe
epidemic disease during this period; it assumed a glandular form, and
continued until the year 1503. This pestilence, says Schenckius, was
accompanied in some parts of Europe by famine, which was followed by
a most vehement intemperature of the seasons; for a winter preceded,
so terribly severe as to kill the brute creation everywhere, and the
heat of the summer was of such cruel intensity that trees were set on
fire by the heat of the sun: in fine, this year may be said to have
been the commencement of a century of putrid malignant diseases,--a
century replete with grand phenomena affecting human life in general.
In the year 1501, epidemic pestilence, says Luis Lobera de Avila, made
its appearance at Barcelona; it began about the middle of October, and
spread to various other parts of Spain. The disease, according to the
superstition of the times, was attributed to a celestial influence.
During this period, the use of guaiacum, or holy wood, in the treatment
of the venereal disease, was discovered: it was afterwards introduced
into Italy about the year 1517, where its utility was first made known
by a Spanish presbyter. Plague again visited Barcelona, and sadly
crippled its commerce. The viceroy of Sicily prohibited the entry of
shipping coming thence.

In the year 1504, China was nearly depopulated by pestilence. There was
also a great mortality in Ireland from epidemic disease; and plague,
about the same period, raged in Spain, in which country a severe
earthquake was experienced on the 5th of April: it did a great deal of
mischief, especially in Andalusia. About the same period a dreadful
shock was felt at Lisbon, which continued for eight days, overthrowing
several churches and more than 1500 houses, under the ruins of which
upwards of 20,000 persons met their death. Several of the neighbouring
towns were swallowed up, with vast numbers of their inhabitants. The
year following, two comets were observed. Spotted fever was rife all
over Europe, and pestilence prevailed in Lisbon.

In the summer of the year 1505, the sweating sickness again reared
its head in England; the disease first broke out in London: it was
of a much milder form than that which prevailed in the year 1485; it
disappeared towards the close of the autumn, and appears to have been
confined to England: no remarkable phenomena were observed here during
this pestilence; it was otherwise, however, in other parts of Europe.
The summer was wet, and the winter following a severe one; comets were
seen in this and the following year, and an eruption of Vesuvius took

A.D. 1506. From the 15th to the 26th of January, there blew
a violent storm from the south-west, which drove the King of Castile,
Philip of Austria, with his consort Joanna, from the Netherlands to
Weymouth; and as, some days before, a golden eagle falling from St.
Paul’s Church in London had crushed a black eagle which ornamented some
lower building, evil predictions were promulgated among the people
respecting the fate of this son of the Emperor.

Spain suffered greatly from severe pestilence in the year 1507, writes
Don Miguel Martinez de Leyva,--especially Barcelona, which place may
be said to have been scarcely ever free of pestilence. In the diary of
Ramon Vila it is stated that the pestilence was at its height in the
months of April, May, June, and July. On the 14th of August letters
were addressed to the governors of Sicily and Mallorca, informing
them that, in consequence of the cessation of the pestilence at
Barcelona, the royal family and the nobility had returned to the city.
The Portuguese physician Pedro Bayro, who had had much experience in
foreign parts, and of whom Don Nicolas Antonio makes memorable mention,
wrote a work entitled ‘Novum ac perutile Opusculum de Pestilentiâ et
de Curatione ejusdem per utrumque regimen, præservativum, scilicet,
et curativum. Turin, 1507.’ In this and the following year, 1508,
mention is made of swarms of locusts in the neighbourhood of Seville;
in fact, they are reported to have overrun Spain. Epidemic pestilence
followed, especially at Cadiz. Constantinople was nearly depopulated
by pestilence, which spared neither age nor sex. Germany also suffered
from epidemic encephalitis and malignant pneumonia.

A.D. 1510, a violent and universal catarrh prevailed over
Europe; in France it was called ‘Coqueluche’ (monk’s-hood), from the
practice of covering the patient’s head with a cap to protect him
from the air, which was considered very detrimental in this disease.
So general was the malady in France, that historians assure us that
but few of the inhabitants escaped.--A.D. 1511 a plague, and
1513 a malignant dysentery occurred in Verona.--A.D. 1515,
Spain was revisited by epidemic pestilence. A severe earthquake was
felt in Denmark, which threw down the steeple of the great church in
Copenhagen, and did much damage besides.

The sweating sickness again made its appearance, A.D. 1517,
in England, having broken out in London, which was crowded with
poor. From a scarcity of artizans about this time, it happened that
great numbers of foreigners emigrated from Genoa, Lombardy, France,
Germany, and Holland to London, and were engaged in the most lucrative
branches of employment. This circumstance appears to have increased
the prevalent distresses of the lower orders, and a great insurrection
of English artizans followed. The popular commotion was, however,
soon suppressed without any considerable damage; and Henry VIII., on
a solemn day appointed at Westminster for passing judgment upon the
prisoners apprehended on the occasion of the riots, bestowed pardon on
them, for he saw into the causes of their discontent, and very soon
after caused restrictive alien laws to be enacted. The higher classes
enjoyed no immunity from this pestilence; their ranks were thinned,
and no precaution seemed to avert death from their abodes. Ammonius
of Lucca, a scholar of some celebrity, private secretary to the king,
was cut off, after having boasted to Sir Thomas More, only a few hours
before his death, that by moderation and good management he had secured
both his family and himself from disease. Lords Grey and Clinton fell
victims to this malady, as did many knights, courtiers, and officers.
So rapid and violent was this disease in its course, that it carried
off those who were attacked in two or three hours, so that the first
shivering fit was the announcement of death; many who were in good
health at noon-day were corpses by the evening. This disease arrived at
its height about seven weeks after its first appearance, and continued
its ravages for six months. Many learned men at Oxford and Cambridge
were carried off by this terrible disease, at a time, too, when the
sciences were much cultivated and were flourishing. The town of Calais
was visited, and, what was very remarkable, none but the English
residents there suffered; the Frenchmen enjoyed an immunity from the
disease, which did not even spread to any other part of France,--at
least there is no account of its having done so. This same year Germany
was visited by a brain fever--an epidemic encephalitis. An earthquake
caused great destruction in Suabia. Another disease of much more
importance appeared in Holland, lasting only eleven days,--an epidemic
œsophagitis (diphtherite) it was considered to be, and from its
dangerous and inexplicable symptoms it spread terror and horror around;
it was so malignant and rapid in its course, that unless assistance was
procured within the first eight hours, the patient was past all hope
of recovery before the close of the day. Sudden pains in the throat,
with violent oppression about the region of the heart, threatened
suffocation, and at length actually produced it. From the journal of
Tyengius it would appear that this epidemic extended towards the south,
and in the same summer appeared at Basle, when in the space of eight
months it destroyed 2000 persons. Small-pox raged with great mortality
at this time in Hispaniola.

A.D. 1518. Marselio Ficino, in his work on the plague,
written according to Haller in 1518, describes the treatment that was
adopted, consisting chiefly in the application of cupping-glasses below
the carbuncles. In the city of Cascante, in the kingdom of Navarre,
there broke out an epizootic, which caused great destruction among
the horses of the regiments quartered there; the principal feature
of the pestilence was extensive apostemes on the head and throat,
attended with an insatiable thirst and hectic fever. About the period
of the earthquakes which were experienced in Xativa A.D.
1517, epidemic disease prevailed in many parts of Spain: it extended
subsequently to the city of Valencia, and caused great mortality in
1519. The public authorities, because of the general prevalence of
disease and the consequent mortality, withdrew to Murviedro.

A.D. 1521, in June, rogatory prayers were offered up in
consequence of the dreadful pestilence which ravaged Barcelona. The
plague raged at Dresden also.

The last plague of Mallorca, of which notice is taken by Don Vincente
Mut, occurred in the year 1523. Great numbers were carried off by it.
The city of Valencia also suffered from a similar pestilence, which was
attributed to atmospheric poison. The year following, 1524, a bubonic
pestilence, as it was termed, raged with great fierceness, and carried
off 50,000 of the inhabitants of Milan. The plague was also rife in
the city of Xativa, and the greatest pestilence from which the city of
Seville ever suffered, occurred about this time, and persisted for some

A.D. 1525, the sweating sickness, which had been for some
time raging in England, extended to other parts of Europe, and in the
course of five years spread over Lower Germany, the Low Countries,
Holland, Zealand, Brabant, Flanders, Denmark, Norway, and France. So
rapid was this disease, that on making its appearance in any place, it
would seize on 600 and upwards in a day, while of this number, when
so seized, rarely more than six recovered, so destructive was it. The
distemper was generally supposed to have been caused by some poisonous
quality of the atmosphere.

A.D. 1527, mention is made by Franco of a pestilence which
broke out at Xativa. Great numbers of the Imperial army of Italy were
destroyed by pestilence after the sacking of Rome; it also carried
off thousands at Wurtemburg. Hailstorms were prevalent about this
period in Italy. Cardinal Gastaldi relates that, in the following
year, 1528, the kingdom of Aragon was visited by severe plague, the
cause of which was superstitiously attributed to the ringing of the
great bell of Velilla.[1] Deadly fevers were rife in London, which,
in the autumn, degenerated into sweating sickness: it invaded Cork,
in Ireland, and Italy also. From this period (1528) until 1534, there
was experienced much suffering from famine, preceded by moisture and
great heat: repeated inundations occurred, and continuous summer fogs
prevailed in Italy. Petechial fevers were very destructive: the French
army before Naples lost great numbers from spotted fevers. The ‘trousse
galante’ carried off, it is said, a fourth part of the population of
France during this period: this disease was attributed to elemental
disturbances; the spring was cold, and the summer wet, so that the
growing corn was destroyed, and a dire famine was the consequence
throughout France, it being more distressing than the period of
scarcity in the time of Louis XI. on account of its long persistence;
for the failure of the harvest continued for five years in succession,
during which period all natural order of the seasons appeared to be
reversed. A damp heat prevailed in the autumn and in winter. The course
of all vegetation was changed; scarcely had the trees shed their leaves
in autumn, when they began to bud again and the fruit-trees to bear
blossoms. The disease was a highly inflammatory fever, which proved
fatal in a very short time, very frequently in the space of a few
hours. In many cases of those who recovered, the hair and the nails
dropped off, and convalescence was tedious, leaving the constitution
much shaken. These symptoms were evidently the same as those observed
in what was termed the ‘Dandy fever,’ which prevailed in later times
in France and in the West India Islands in the year 1828. During this
period drought, swarms of locusts, and fiery meteors were observed in
the north of Germany.

A.D. 1529, epidemic pestilence prevailed and carried off
many distinguished persons in England. Contemporaries agree in their
accounts of the dreadful weather all over Europe; the winter, however,
was mild, and vegetation particularly advanced; violets were gathered
at Erfurt in the middle of February: throughout the spring and summer
wet weather continued to prevail; constant torrents of rain deluged
the fields, and misery and famine spread in every direction. A heavy
rain of four days’ continuance in the south of Germany, in June,
was called the ‘St. Vitus’ Torrent,’ and was considered a hitherto
unheard-of event; whole districts were under water, and many perished
therefrom. An universal storm occurred again in August, occasioning
great floods, especially in Thuringia and Saxony: the sun was rarely
seen through the dark clouds during the latter part of summer and
the whole of the autumn: with the exception of some suffocatingly
hot days, the weather remained gloomy, cold, and wet, so that the
people fancied they were breathing the foggy air of Britain. Violent
remittent pestilence appeared in Amsterdam: Tyengius describes it as
having broken out on the 20th of September, in the afternoon, during
a misty foggy state of the atmosphere: it committed great ravages
for the period of five days, when it disappeared as suddenly as it
arose. In various parts of the German States the birds of the air
became diseased; in the neighbourhood of Freyburg, in the Breisgau,
they were found dead in great numbers, scattered under the trees, with
boils as large as peas under their wings, indicating a disease that
no doubt extended far beyond the Rhine. The river fish, from some
cause, became unfit for food, and the sweating sickness broke out
at Hamburgh, where it destroyed daily from forty to sixty persons.
This pestilence lasted about a fortnight at Hamburgh, and 2000 of its
inhabitants fell its victims: it afterwards spread all over Germany;
it prevailed at Lubeck, Stettin, and in Zwickau. Earthquakes were
experienced in Italy; blood-coloured rain fell at Cremona; a comet was
seen in July; and disease prevailed among the porpoises in the Baltic.
The famine in Germany this year is described by various authorities
as being frightful. Suabia, Lorraine, Alsace, and the southern
districts bordering on the Rhine suffered especially: in those places
the misery was equal to that in France. In the Venetian territory,
thousands perished from hunger, as was the case all over Upper Italy.
In Pomerania, a peculiar kind of debility or lassitude affected the
inhabitants: in the midst of their work, and without any conceivable
cause, persons became palsied in their hands and feet, rendering them
incapable of any exertion. About this period a pestilence, which was
called ‘the English disease,’ broke out at Brussels, and carried off
many of its inhabitants.

                              CHAPTER V.

                        FROM A.D. 1530 TO 1613.

A.D. 1530, the sweating plague raged in Germany, and epidemic
scurvy prevailed in Denmark: two years after, various parts of the
world were visited by what were called spotted or petechial fevers. In
the month of March, pestilence broke out in Aragon and in the city of
Saragossa: Italy and Spain suffered also from a gangrenous sore-throat.
In October, the Tiber overflowed, and the dykes in Holland were
suddenly burst by inundation, to the destruction of much property and
of many lives.

A.D. 1531. A comet was seen this and the following year.
The Tagus overflowed in the month of February, destroying nearly the
half of Portugal. Pestilence followed, and devastated several cities,
especially Lisbon, as recorded by Cardinal Gastaldi.

A.D. 1533, the kingdom of Aragon suffered much from the great
want of corn. Amongst the preventive measures taken, was the bull of
Pope Adrian VI. against forestallers. Notwithstanding all the measures
that were adopted, the want of food (what there was even being of bad
quality), with the excessive heat, &c., caused pestilence, which was
very fatal, especially in the city of Huesca, and, as it was said, only
terminated on the intercession of the Virgin _de los Dolores_.
The year following, 1534, the city of Narbonne suffered from plague.
Epidemic disease raged in Cork and also in Dresden A.D. 1535.
England, the year following, suffered from pestilence, which continued
for three years, 1537, 1538, and 1539. Mortal dysentery prevailed all
over Europe. In the latter year, the river Lea in England was nearly
dried up, and pestilence carried off great numbers in its vicinity.
The summer in Europe was so hot, that in many parts the woods took fire
spontaneously. The South of Europe was infested with swarms of locusts,
and plague was rife in Hungary during the war of the Turks in that

The famous Ruy Diaz de Isla published this year (1537) one of the best
works which had hitherto appeared on the venereal disease. In order to
avoid giving offence to any nation by using the popular names, such
as the French disease, the Neapolitan, &c., he denominated his work,
‘A Treatise of All Saints against the serpentine disease which came
from the Spanish island Hispaniola; a Treatise compiled in the great
and famous Hospital of All Saints, in the renowned city of Lisbon.’
Its author, following the opinion prevalent in his time, attributes
the origin of this disease to Hispaniola, where the natives call it
‘le llamaban, buainaras, bipas, taynas olias.’ The reason assigned
for using the appellation ‘serpentine’ is, because the disease was
considered to be analogous to the foulness of that reptile.

A.D. 1541, pestilence raged with great violence in
Constantinople, and carried off vast numbers. The year following, 1542,
clouds of red locusts, which came from Turkey, passed over Sclavonia,
Croatia, Austria, and Italy, and alighted in Spain in such numbers that
they destroyed every green thing. About this period the celebrated
Andres Laguna proposed for the cure of the plague an infusion of
carlina (white thistle), a drachm of which, after it had been infused,
was to be taken daily.

A.D. 1543, epidemic pestilence visited the city of Metz,
causing a frightful mortality. Two years after, 1545, a pestilential
epidemic, similar to that which prevailed so extensively A.D.
1528, called ‘la trousse galante,’ made its appearance in various parts
of Europe, slaying the robust and young; it was equal in awfulness and
mortality to the pestilence which in the days of Moses destroyed the
first-born of Egypt: the disease first appeared in Savoy, and over a
great part of France; it continued until the following year, 1546.
Parè, and a Flemish physician, Sanders, describe the symptoms of this
malady, which was attended, as in 1528, with the loss of the hair and
of the nails: its attack was rapid and very fatal. Patients at the
onset suffered from an overwhelming weight in the body, and a violent
headache, which soon deprived them of all consciousness; and stupor
ensued, with relaxation or loss of power of the sphincter muscles: in
most cases an eruption was observed, of which no mention is made in
former outbreaks of the malady; Sanders does not, however, distinctly
state its nature. 10,000 English residents died from pestilence in the
course of this year and the year following at Boulogne. The bubonic
plague made its appearance in the Netherlands.

A.D. 1547, heavy rains inundated Tuscany. Pestilence raged all
over Europe, especially in England, Holland, and Germany. The city of
Dresden also suffered from it. Mould-spots and red water were observed
in the north of Germany. The year following, pestilence continued in
England and also in Prussia, causing great mortality in both countries.
The kingdom of Murcia suffered from epidemic disease, and the question
arose, as had been frequently the case before, whether the disease
was contagious or not: great difference of opinion thereon prevailed.
Portugal also suffered about this period from pestilence.

A.D. 1549, vast numbers of caterpillars appeared in Germany
and destroyed all the herbage; they were followed by pestilence,
especially in the North, where petechial fever destroyed great numbers.

An epidemic catarrh, as well as dysentery, raged in France from 1550
until 1553. There had been great death in various parts of Spain,
and pestilence raged in Valencia: it was attributed to the effects
of damaged grain, which had been introduced for the support of the
inhabitants of that city. Don Pedro Jacobo Esteve makes mention of
these circumstances, in his commentary entitled ‘In Hippocratis librum
secundum Epidemiarum seu popularium morborum Commentarium.’ Seville
also suffered from pestilence. It was about this period that the last
attack of sweating sickness occurred in London; stinking mists were
first experienced on the banks of the Severn, which were overflowed.
On the 15th of April, 1551, the disease again broke out at Shrewsbury,
gradually extending in the course of the stinking mists, or fogs,
all over England. In the month of July it reached London, where the
mortality was very considerable: it is stated that 120 died of the
disease in a day in the city of Westminster. Two sons of Charles
Brandon, both Dukes of Suffolk, were carried off by it. This epidemic
subsided about the month of September in England, and was noticed as
being the fifth and last sweating sickness in this country.

Caius (John) published his ‘Booke, or Counseill against the disease
commonly called the Sweate, or sweatynge sicknesse, very necessary
for everye personne and much requisite to be had in the hands of all
sorts, for their better instruction, preparacion and defence against
the soubdin comyng and fareful assaultyng of the same disease (1552).’
About the same period, a mortal pestilence raged in Messina, blood
being in many instances discharged from the pores of the body of those
who were affected, three days before death. A similar disease prevailed
in Paris; in fact, epidemic pestilence may be said to have ravaged
various parts of Europe, especially Hungary, Transylvania, &c.

Senertus informs us, that pestilence not only overran Europe, but
almost the whole inhabited world. The spring of the year 1551 was
dry and cold, and the summer wet; inundations, earthquakes, meteors,
mock-suns, great tempests, and summer fogs were noticed: malignant
fevers prevailed in Suabia, and epidemic influenza was rife in
Spain. The two following years, malignant fevers overran Germany and
Switzerland; scurvy prevailed in Denmark.

A.D. 1555, the summer was hot, and heavy rains fell: febrile
diseases became very prevalent in England and France, and continued
with redoubled violence during the succeeding summer, which was also
excessively hot and dry: excessive commotions of the elements and
severe seasons marked this period. The city of Valencia suffered from
epidemic variola. Don Miguel Juan Pasqual, an eminent physician, makes
mention of this pestilence in his work ‘De Febre Pestilenti.’ About
this period, according to Cardinal Gastaldi, when the Emperor Charles
V. invaded the French territories, pestilence destroyed great numbers
of the peasantry and of the Spanish soldiery.

A.D. 1556, a whole province of the mountainous part of China
was in a moment absorbed into the earth; all the towns with their
inhabitants were buried in the ruins, and an immense lake of water
took its place, which remains to this day. A comet was seen this year.
Vienna about this time suffered from epidemic pestilence, as also
did Holland the year following; the disease continued until 1558.
This disease commenced in the form of influenza in various parts of
Europe, and in France, Italy, and Germany; Spain also suffered from
its violence, which was greater in some countries than in others, viz.
Florence and Tuscany. In France, malignant dysentery was the most
predominant malady; agues in Holland, and petechial or spotted fever
in Spain; the last-named disease was as fatal as the true plague.
A Spanish writer, Andres Laguna, physician to Charles V., Philip
II., and Julius III., wrote a work on this pestilence, (as did many
other eminent physicians,) entitled, ‘Discurso breve sobre la Cura y
Preservacion de la Pestilentia.’ In going minutely into the symptoms
described by these authors, we recognize all the symptoms of bilious
remittent or yellow fever, synocha, &c., as prevalent now-a-days, and
termed ‘Andalusian fever.’

A.D. 1557. A new infirmity, as it was then considered to be,
broke out this year in Spain, which nearly depopulated the peninsula:
it continued with great destruction until 1570. This new pestilence
was supposed to have originated with the Saracens, after the war of
Granada, that is, after King Don Fernando de Aragon, and Doña Isabel,
Queen of Castile, had conquered the city of Granada. That this disease
originated with the Spanish Arabs, was known from the fact that all
their disbanded soldiery communicated the disease to the inhabitants of
the cities and towns, as Luis de Torro relates in his work entitled ‘De
Febre Puncticulari,’ &c., to which type this pestilence belonged.

A.D. 1558, the city of Murcia suffered from pestilence, on
account of which the bishops and principal inhabitants deserted the
city. This fatal epidemic extended to all parts around Murcia and
to the kingdom of Valencia. The Jesuit Fathers assumed the temporal
as well as the spiritual care of the plague-striken. Many of the
attendants fell victims to the disease, amongst whom was the celebrated
Dr. Pedro de Cabera, son of the Viscount of the same name, together
with the padre Marco Antonio Fontoba.

Barcelona also at this period suffered from mortal pestilence; it
commenced in January, and continued unto July, when it ceased.

A.D. 1563, there was a great dearth of corn and other
provisions in London; famine and disease were the result, and 20,000
persons perished in consequence. France suffered from pestilence, and
Barcelona was again visited by it. Burgos--a city in which all the
reverend Fathers of the Society of Jesus, who administered the rites to
the dying, perished,--was nearly devastated by plague, as noticed by
Franco; in fine, many European cities suffered more or less during this
year from epidemic disease; among which were, Frankfort, Magdenburg,
Dantzic, Hamburgh, Wismar, Lubeck, Bostack, and Dresden.

A.D. 1564, an epidemic prevailed in the form of fatal quinsies
and spotted fever, in various parts of Europe. Barcelona again suffered
from pestilence, which broke out in the month of June, and lasted
unto November following. The city of Saragossa also suffered from a
cruel epidemic, from May unto December, during which period there died
10,000 persons in the city alone: it was supposed that the disease was
introduced from France by means of the clothes of persons who had died
there from the disease. Dr. Porcell, who was singularly successful
in treating the disease, wrote a work on it, and dedicated it to Don
Philip II.; it was entitled ‘Informacion y Curacion de la peste de
Zaragoza, y preservacion contra peste en general, por Juan Porcell
Sardo, Doctor en Medicina, Zaragoza.’ The symptoms of this malady were,
intense cephalalgia, sleeplessness and delirium, vomiting of bilious
matter, urgent thirst, nausea, accompanied by pain in the stomach:
dissection showed nothing particular in the humors; the gall-bladder
was extremely large, and distended with black viscid bile,--sometimes,
however, it was found empty. There was yellowness of the skin, and a
similar tinge was observed internally.

A.D. 1565, a pestilential epidemic prevailed in France, in
which bleeding was said to have been fatal to many; the disease raged
with great severity at Lyons. Charles IX. having inquired of his
physicians the most judicious mode of treatment, they expressed their
disapprobation of venesection. Seville and various other parts of Spain
suffered from a similar disease, which, however, was not very fatal;
great numbers are said to have owed their preservation to the use of
treacle, immense quantities of which the Catholic king Philip II. sent
to the Christian king Charles IX. Schenckius describes this pestilence
as having been preceded by a sharp frost in December, the distemper
having commenced in January: the air being filled with gross vapours
was supposed to have given rise to this malady.

Wierus informs us, that this pestilence afflicted all mankind; it was
preceded by small-pox and measles; it proved very fatal, depopulating
towns and cities, among which were Constantinople, Alexandria, Leyden,
London, Dantzic, Vienna, Cologne, and the whole tract of the Upper
Rhine, even unto Basle. The malady was accompanied by glandular tumors
in the neck; it was an aggravated form of quinsy, proving fatal to many
in one day. The sick were taken with vomiting, followed by a swelling
of the tongue,--afterwards loss of speech and difficulty of swallowing
anything, even in a liquid form; suffocation and death soon followed.

A.D. 1566, a pestilence began at Comorra, called in Latin
‘Morbus Hungaricus’ and ‘Lues Pannonica.’ The Emperor Maximilian’s
army, while carrying on hostilities against the Turks, lost many
thousands by this disease. The symptoms were as follow:

It began generally in the latter part of the day, towards evening,
with cold shiverings, succeeded in a short time by great heat and
insatiable thirst, lasting for some hours. There was pain in the head
and stomach. On the second, or third day at furthest, delirium set in.
The tongue was dry and black; the teeth were covered with sordes: some
spit blood; others suffered from diarrhœa. The sufferers generally were
covered with spots like flea-bites, chiefly on the breast. Stoppage
of the urine was considered a fatal sign. A similar spotted fever was
also prevalent at Paris the year following, 1567, carrying off great
numbers; it raged in many parts of Europe, continuing for three years:
it subsequently degenerated into a dreadful pestilence--the true
plague, and prevailed for the four following years.

A.D. 1568, Seville was visited by epidemic pestilence. Dr.
Andres Zamudio de Alfaro wrote a treatise on this malady, as did also
Francisco Franco, a native of Xativa, in the kingdom of Valencia,
physician to his Serene Highness the King of Portugal. Franco in his
work, alluding to the celebrated poet Ausias March, whose work he says
should be written in letters of gold, quotes the following therefrom:

    “Merge scient no te locas per joch
    Com la calor no surt à part estrema
    Lignorant veu que lo malat no crema
    He jutial sa puix que mostra bon toch,
    Lo pacient no podra dir son mal
    Tot aflebit ab llengua mal diserta
    Gest è color asats fan descuberta
    Gart de la fan que tant com lo dir val.”

During this year, 1568, the sea broke down the dykes, and almost all
Friesland was under water. Seventy-two villages were inundated, and
more than 20,000 persons lost their lives. Pestilence ensued.

A.D. 1570, epidemic pestilence was prevalent all over Spain;
it was similar to the maladies which prevailed some years previously,
and were called ‘febris diaria,’ and another, called sudorific fever,
of which Luis de Torro speaks: “Nonne pestilens aliquando diaria et
nostris diebus quædam appellata sudorifica visæ sunt, quarum nec
nomen quidam prisci audierunt?” It was carried to America through our
commercial intercourse, and prevailed with great mortality in the
city of Mexico. Dr. Francesco Bravo, a native of Ossuna, a celebrated
physician, wrote an extensive work on this subject, entitled ‘Opera
medicinalia’ in quibus quam plurima extant scitu medico necessaria,’
in quatuor libros digesta,’ which he dedicated to Don Martin Enriquez.
During this year, A.D. 1570, epidemic pestilences in the shape
of measles, erysipelas, malignant fever, &c., prevailed in various
parts of the world. 400,000 persons were drowned in Holland by the
inundation caused by the breaking down of the dykes. In Poland the
plague, and in Basle a malignant fever, were especially fatal.

A.D. 1572, the city of Augusta de Alemania was visited by a
pestilence, as recorded by Agricola. Dresden suffered from plague.

A.D. 1574, a remarkable aurora borealis was observed on the
14th of November. Pestilence, causing great mortality, prevailed in
various parts of Spain and Italy; and during the months of September,
October, and November of the same year, epidemic disease was rife
in London: it continued during the following year, and prevailed in
Verona, Venice, Africa, the Levant, and in Egypt: it persisted for
three years, until 1577. In the latter year, pestilence occurred at
Oxford, owing to some prisoners having been brought for trial in a
filthy state, from the foul condition of the cells: a stench arose,
which was supposed to have emanated from their persons. Some of the
judges and justices, among whom was Robert Bell, Lord Chief Baron,
and many of the jurors, with the high sheriff, died; and from the
6th to the 12th of July it is reported that 510 persons died from
the infection: it was termed in consequence ‘the black assizes.’ The
symptoms were described as consisting of a violent pain in the head,
with delirium; distress in the abdomen, and general prostration of
strength. Some were of opinion that this disease was generated by the
confinement of the prisoners, and that although they themselves did not
suffer from it, they communicated it to others by contagion: others
were of opinion that the disease was not in any way contagious.

The Court was held in a yard of the castle, a short distance from the
river Isis, the banks of which are low. It is recorded that a great
damp breath or fog existed at the time, the weather being excessively
hot and sultry. The physicians could not give the disease a name:
although it did not appear to them to be the true plague, it was as
destructive as that pestilence generally is.

A.D. 1579, the summer was moist and rainy, and was succeeded
by a cold dry north wind; the winter was open and chilly. An epidemic
catarrh pervaded all Europe: it began in Sicily, and showed itself
in Italy, Venice, and Constantinople: it infected Hungary, Bohemia,
and Saxony, and it afterwards prevailed in Norway, and raged in
Sweden, Poland, and Russia. The symptoms were, violent fever for some
days,--four or five generally,--with pains in the head and chest,
and severe cough, terminating in profuse perspiration. 4000 persons
died of it in Rome, 8000 in Lubeck, and 3000 in Hamburgh; and great
numbers were carried off in other places by epidemic pestilence.
Whilst this fatal catarrh ravaged Europe, one of the most destructive
plagues ever known began at Grand Cairo. Prosper Alpinus reports the
deaths from November, 1580, to July in the following year,--a period
of eight months,--to have amounted to 500,000. It has frequently been
observed that epidemic anginas, catarrhs, measles, &c., generally
precede great and destructive plagues or pestilences,--a fact that
has been frequently noticed in our day. The terrible pestilence
cholera, of 1817 and subsequent years, was preceded by influenza,
&c. For the constitution of the seasons, by which these diseases are
caused, becomes increased in its malignancy and powers by the repeated
accumulation of the peculiar poison, and it consequently induces
the highest gradation of disease, pestilence, or plague,--all these
distempers being essentially similar, differing in appearance only, as
modified by climate, season, &c., and also by the duration and energy
of various efficient causes. This year the plague raged at Marseilles.

A.D. 1580, a comet was seen. In the month of August, epidemic
catarrh broke out in Spain, and raged with such violence at Madrid,
that it almost depopulated the city. Variola prevailed principally
amongst children, to whom it was fatal in the city of Seville. The year
following, this city suffered from plague.

A.D. 1582, epidemic pestilence prevailed in various parts
of Spain; Cadiz suffered greatly. Dr. Juan de Carmona, a celebrated
physician and philosopher, wrote a work on the disease, entitled
‘Tractatus de Peste ac Febribus cum puncticulis, _vulgò_
tabardillo.’ In this work, which was dedicated to the Inquisitorial
Tribunal of Llerena, the author endeavoured to show that the
puncticular fever was unknown to the ancients, and that bleeding from
the arm was of great service in pestilential fevers: he states that
by this method he treated more than 10,000 persons, and always with
fortunate results, provided the practice was not contra-indicated by
the presence of buboes, carbuncles, and menstrual or hemorrhoidal
fluxes; he did not find the celebrated bezoar stone so efficacious as
it was represented to be, although it was in great repute amongst the
practitioners of Seville and other parts.

A.D. 1582, an earthquake was felt at Peru for 500 leagues,
some time after the city of Arequipa was overthrown. Pestilence
continued to prevail in various provinces of Spain the following year,
1583, with carbuncles, anginas, &c. Francisco Valles speaks of leprosy
in his work entitled ‘De iis quæ scripta sunt phisice in libris sacris,
sive de sacra philosophia.’ Plague, famine, and war destroyed numbers,
this year, in Flanders, and epidemic pestilence ravaged Moravia, and
was rife in London, Germany, and Holland. Egypt and Rome also suffered
from famine and disease.

A.D. 1585 and 1586, the winters were severe, and the summers
dry and hot; famine ensued; universal catarrh with general pestilence
followed, and prevailed all over Europe. The plague raged at Narva
and Revel, in Livonia, in the Gulf of Finland, 59° of north latitude:
6000 persons died at Revel. Thuanus considered that the disease arose
from the effects of war and the inclemencies of the weather--“a belli
incommoditationibus et cœli inclementiâ.” In the archbishopric of
Toledo small-pox broke out: the disease was remarkable, inasmuch as
almost all who were attacked were old persons, according to Andres de
Leon; ‘en su practico de morbo Gallico.’ Plague raged in Dresden in
both these years. On the 9th of July in the latter year, 1586, a severe
earthquake was felt, which shook Lima, and ran 170 leagues along the
coast, and 50 leagues across the mountainous parts.

A.D. 1587, epidemic small-pox broke out in the city of
Madrid: 5000 persons and upwards died of it in a short time. The two
following years, 1588 and 1589, a pestilence, similar to that of 1583,
appeared, and lasted three years: it committed frightful devastation in
Seville and its neighbourhood. In the latter year, plague prevailed in
Barcelona, and lasted from June to December; it was supposed to have
been imported from France.

A.D. 1590. A comet was seen this year during the reign
of Philip II. The city of Valladolid was attacked with petechial
pestilence. The celebrated Francisco Valles de Covarrubias depended
principally on local depletion by means of cupping-glasses for its
treatment. A dispute arose this year among the Italian physicians as
to the virtue of blisters in the treatment of the plague which was
prevailing there.

During the summer of 1592 the drought was extreme, and the autumn was
sultry and variable. The river Thames was fordable at London, and
epidemic pestilence destroyed 18,000 persons in that city. Various
other parts of England also suffered from it, especially Shropshire,
where it was very fatal. The city of Dresden suffered from plague in
this and the preceding year, 1591.

A.D. 1593, the island of Malta was ravaged by plague: the
year following, the city of Seville was visited by pestilence, which,
according to the authority of Rosell and Bezon, lasted for the four
consecutive years, 1594–97. Pestilence was also rife in many provinces
of Spain, especially in the year 1596. A comet was observed.

Malignant fevers prevailed in England about these periods, and London
was devastated by pestilence in 1599, as was also Lichfield, Leicester,
Kendal, Carlisle, Penrith, and Richmond. Pegu, in Asia, was nearly
depopulated the same year by famine and disease. Constantinople
suffered from pestilence: seventeen princesses, sisters of the Sultan
Mahommed, were carried off, three dying in one day. A mortal pestilence
destroyed much cattle in Italy, and plague carried off 70,000 of the
inhabitants of Lisbon and Spain.

A.D. 1600 and 1602, great numbers perished in Muscovy; it is
recorded that 500,000 died of famine and plague, and in Livonia 30,000
are said to have been carried off. In the latter year, 1602, the summer
and winter were cold and dry. Catarrh and acute fevers epidemically
scourged the human race; great famine prevailed for a series of years,
the crops having failed for several years successively. In Muscovy
the plague raged for three years; parents devoured their children;
and cats, rats, dogs, &c., were also used for food: all the ties of
nature seem to have been forgotten during this dreadful suffering;
the powerful overcame the weak, and human flesh was exposed for sale
in the shambles in the markets. Multitudes were found dead with their
mouths filled with straw and other filthy substances. Sacred history
affords us similar examples of wretchedness,--parents devouring their
children (2 Kings vi.); it occurred during the siege of Samaria by
Ben-hadad, king of Syria, (verses 28, 29,) “And the king said unto her,
What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy
son, that we may eat him to-day, and we will eat my son to-morrow. So
we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day,
Give thy son, that we may eat him; and she hath hid her son.” Similar
disasters happened at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel
v. 10).

About this period, 1600, the city of Granada was visited by
pestilential epidemics, which were very fatal; Fernando Bustos
gives an account of them. Gallicia suffered from epidemic
small-pox.--A.D. 1601, plague visited the city of Seville;
it carried off many of the higher classes.--A.D. 1602, in
the middle of March, pestilence broke out in the city of Jaen; the
principal symptoms were those of the true plague, attended by buboes
and glandular swellings: this pestilence soon extended to Seville,
Madrid, Valladolid, Burgos, Saragossa, Toledo, Cordova, Malaga, Velez,
Ecija, Antequera, Granada, Andujar, and to other places.

A.D. 1603, plague prevailed in England; 36,000 of the
inhabitants of London perished by it. A similar pestilence raged at
Paris, continuing for three or four years, and carrying off weekly 2000
persons during some portion of that time. This pestilence was supposed
by the physicians to have been imported into London, notwithstanding
the inclement seasons, and the famine and disease amongst the
cattle, dumb animals, and even among dogs. The year following, 1604,
the puncticular fever extended and raged with great violence all
over Spain, attacking old and young; none escaping. A.D.
1605, various parts of Spain were afflicted by epidemic pestilence,
especially Arbucias, where it was very fatal.

A.D. 1606. Epidemic pestilence prevailed all over Europe this
year, and continued for some years after; it extended to America,
where it attacked the company of emigrants taken out by George Popham,
who were settled at a place in America called Sagadahoe, a patent
having been granted by King James to some London merchants to form a
settlement there. Hutchison, Purchas, and Gorges, in their histories
of New England and Massachusetts, describe this unfortunate adventure.
Various provinces in Spain suffered from bubonic pestilence, which
was remarkable as having been confined principally to children; great
mortality from it occurred at Barcelona.

It was about this time that a mortal pestilence broke out in the fleet
of Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, who were on their way
to Virginia in America. It was a spotted fever, with yellowness of
the skin, attended by bilious vomiting, hemorrhages, &c.,--symptoms
which characterize yellow fever in the present day. It raged with an
intensity equal to the true plague: it was preceded by bad weather
and gales of wind lasting four days, which, with the crowded state of
the ships, was sufficient to account for all their sufferings. The
vessel in which Sir George Somers embarked was wrecked on the island of
Bermuda, where Sir George died of the pestilence. The weather during
this period was very inclement in England: heavy rains and inundations
of the Severn deluged the country round about Bristol: epidemic
pestilence soon after followed in Somersetshire and Norfolk. A comet
was seen this year.

A.D. 1609, in the month of July, pestilence broke out in the
cities of Citaro, Potraso, Castelnuovo, Padua, and other places of
Venice and Albania,--in fact, throughout the entire jurisdiction of
Ragusa. In August, the pestilence extended to Seville.

A.D. 1610, plague showed itself in the suburbs of the city
of Granada, to which place it soon extended, causing great mortality.
The year following, it prevailed in various parts of Spain, and
Constantinople suffered awfully from pestilence about the same time;
it carried off 200,000 of the inhabitants. “Such clouds, or swarms, of
grasshoppers,” says Short, “so plagued their city and country about,
that they darkened the sun, and left not any green herb or leaf in all
the country; they entered the bedchambers; they were nearly as large
as dormice, and had red wings.” The year following, 1611, Goelenius
writes, in his account of the plague which raged at Hesse and other
parts of Germany, followed by a great pestilence among pigs and cattle
in 1612, that a sudden and amazing quantity of spiders appeared; swarms
of locusts laid waste the vegetable kingdom in Provence, tempests
destroyed great numbers of shipping at sea, many dead bodies were
drifted on the English shores as also on the shores of Holland, and
a province, under the dominion of France, was nearly destroyed by
inundation. The summer in England was hot and dry, and malignant fevers
carried off great numbers.

A.D. 1613, epidemic pestilence occurred in various parts of
France; and in Montpelier there was a malignant fever, with livid spots
and carbuncles. Riverius states, that one-third of those who were
attacked with it died. At Lausanne, where pestilence raged with great
violence, there was such an abundance of flies as was never remembered
to have occurred previously,--“tanta ubique fuit muscarum copia, ut
post hominum memoriam vix similis visa fuerit.” (Hildanus.) Pestilence
also raged at Constantinople, where the physicians, supposing that
the cats spread the contagion, advised the Emperor, Achmet I., to
transport them to the desert island of Scutari. Spain, this year,
suffered from malignant sore-throat, which raged with such severity,
that it was considered to have been more fatal than in the year of the
_garratillos_ (quinsy). The year following, the winter was very
severe, the summer cold and wet, and the autumn variable. The most
deadly small-pox laid waste Crete, Alexandria, Calabria, Turkey, Italy,
Dalmatia, Venice, Germany, France, Poland, Flanders, Persia, and Asia;
it prevailed also, with great severity, in England. In some of these
countries, measles was also prevalent. The mortality from the natural
small-pox, at that period, equalled in fatality the plague in its worst
form. About this period, water was first brought by means of the New
River to London by Sir Hugh Middleton.

                              CHAPTER VI.

                        FROM A.D. 1616 TO 1704.

A.D. 1616, Germany was greatly troubled with epidemic agues.
Two years after, violent tempests, inundations, volcanic eruptions,
meteors, &c. distinguished this pestilential period or season. A
malignant angina prevailed at Naples: the plague infested Bergen,
Norway, Denmark, Egypt, the Levant, and many other places; and a
terrible yellow pestilence, in both North and South America, swept
away thousands of the Aborigines (Indians). Hutchison says, that the
Massachusetts tribe in North America, consisting of 30,000 persons, was
reduced to 300! Gorges writes, that the disease occurred in the summer
and autumn for several years, commencing A.D. 1618, and ending
in 1623. This distemper the Indians described as a spotted putrid
fever, with ulcers, and yellowness of the skin and eyes, and bleeding
from the mouth and ears. This pestilence must have been of domestic
origin, as no known intercourse had been held with any part of this new
continent; it evidently was endemic--a bilious pestilence.

A.D. 1617, a terrible inundation occurred in Catalonia in
Spain, from continued heavy rains, during which more than 50,000
persons lost their lives: the year following, a comet appeared. From
this time until 1623, Malta, Naples, Hungary, France, and England
suffered from epidemic diseases, such as small-pox, plague, &c. Seville
was visited by gangrenous sore-throat about this time; and in 1619,
many places in the Levant suffered from epidemic pestilence. In 1620,
Antonio de Fonseca, a Portuguese physician of the city of Lisbon, wrote
a work entitled ‘De Epidemiâ febrili, grassante in exercitû Regis
Catholici in inferiori Palatinato.’ During this year a heavy snow-storm
was experienced, which continued for thirteen nights and days; upwards
of 20,000 sheep in one district, Eskdale Moor, were destroyed by it and
famine conjoined.

A.D. 1622, London was visited by epidemic pestilence, which
continued for four years. In the first year there died 8000; in the
second, 11,000; in the third, 12,000; and in the fourth, 35,417. Plague
also broke out about this period in Amsterdam, and persisted, as it is
stated, eight years. Pestilence was prevalent in many parts of Spain.
In July, the Council of One Hundred, at Barcelona, received advice that
pestilence had broken out at Argel; orders were given, in consequence,
for the exclusion of all slaves and goods coming thence.

A.D. 1625, plague broke out in London, and raged with varied
intensity all over England; 30,000 persons were carried off by it in
London alone. Epidemic disease also prevailed in Italy, Denmark, and
Egypt. Inundations occurred in Spain. In the month of January, the
river Tormes departed from its bed, destroying cattle and houses in
Salamanca. Seville suffered similarly from the overflowing of the
Guadalquivir; and in the year following, 1626, pestilence carried off
60,000 persons at Lyons. France continued to suffer from pestilence the
two following years.

A.D. 1629, epidemic pestilence broke out in Narbonne; it also
prevailed at Amsterdam, and at Cambridge in England, where it raged
mortally: yellow pestilence was rife at the same time in America, and
plague raged at Marseilles.

A.D. 1630, the principality of Catalonia suffered from plague
in different parts: Drs. Mas, Mox, and Rosell described the disease in
their works: its symptoms were those of the malady which we now term
Andalusian fever,--a yellow bilious fever. The city of Guadix suffered
from pestilence of the puncticular type at the same time: it continued
there for two years and upwards. Gangrenous ergotism prevailed in many
of the provinces of France, as reported by Dr. Thullier, physician to
the Duc de Sully, the prime minister of Henry IV. The first symptom of
this extraordinary malady was a numbness of the legs, then pain with
slight swelling, devoid of inflammation, to which succeeded rapidly
coldness, lividness, mortification, and dropping off of the limbs. In
many instances, the nose, fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, thighs,
sphacelated spontaneously, and dropped off. The following extraordinary
account of a similar disease occurring in a family at Watlesham, in
Suffolk, was transmitted to the Royal Society of London, and published
in its ‘Transactions’ for the year 1762. The report was drawn up by
Charlton Wollaston, M. D., F. R. S.: it was as follows:

John Downing, a labourer at Watlesham, in the month of January, 1762,
had a wife and six children; the eldest, a girl about fifteen years of
age, the youngest aged four months; at that time all were very well, as
the man himself and neighbours assured Dr. Wollaston. On Sunday, the
10th of January, the eldest girl complained in the morning of a pain
in her left leg, particularly in the calf, increasing severely towards
evening. The same evening another girl (her sister), ten years old,
complained also of violent pain in the leg. On the Monday the mother
and another child, and on the Tuesday all the rest of the family,
except the father, were affected in the same manner. Their pains were
excessive, insomuch that the whole neighbourhood was alarmed by the
loudness of their shrieks. The left leg only in most of the cases was
affected; but in some, both legs were diseased. The infant was removed
from its mother’s breast as soon as it fell ill, and survived only a
few weeks. The nurse told Dr. Wollaston that it, too, seemed to be in
violent pain, and that its legs became black before death.

Dr. Wollaston’s inquiries were very minute; he was told that in about
four, five, or six days, the diseased leg became somewhat less painful,
and gradually turned black, appearing at first covered with spots as
if it had been bruised; then commenced the affection of the other
leg, with the same excruciating pains, and in a few days thereafter
that also began to mortify: in a very little time both legs were
perfectly sphacelated: the mortified parts separated from the sound
spontaneously, the attending surgeon having in most of the cases no
other trouble than merely to saw through the bone, with little or no
pain to the patient: the separation took place generally about two
inches below the knee; in some, rather lower, and in one instance the
feet separated at the ankles without any surgical aid; in others the
separation was less perfect. The eldest girl had one leg taken off, and
the other was entirely sphacelated, but the surgeon delayed removing
it, owing to a large abscess which had formed under the hamstrings,
attended with a swelling of the thigh. The mother’s right foot came
off at the ankle-joint, while the other leg, wasted to the bone, was
black and extremely fœtid, what little remained of flesh being quite
putrid and almost dried. In one child alone was one of the legs saved,
but with the loss, however, of two toes even from that. Three of the
children lost both legs, and another child both its feet. The father
was attacked about two weeks after the rest of the family, but in a
slighter degree, the pain being confined to two fingers of his right
hand, which turned blackish and withered for some time, but then got
better, and he recovered the use of them.

It is remarkable that during the time of this dreadful calamity the
whole family are said to have appeared well in some respects; that is
to say, they ate heartily, and even slept well when the pain began to
abate. When Dr. Wollaston saw them, they all seemed free from febrile
symptoms, except the girl already mentioned, who had an abscess in the
ham. The mother looked emaciated, and had but very little use of her
hands. The rest of the family seemed well; one poor boy in particular
looked as healthy and florid as possible, and was sitting on his bed,
quite jolly, drumming with his stumps!

On inquiry, it was evident that this disease proceeded from eating
bread made from spoiled wheat. Another labouring man, who had eaten of
the same bread, was affected with a numbness in both hands for about
four weeks from the 9th of January: they were continually cold, and the
skin peeled off his fingers’ ends: one thumb, he says, remains without
any sensation. A nurse who had lived with them from the beginning of
their illness was not affected.

A.D. 1631, there was an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. An
erysipelatous epidemic was prevalent in various parts of Europe. In
the month of April a decree was published in Spain prohibiting all
intercourse with France, where pestilence was rife. The year following,
1632, a similar decree was published prohibiting intercourse with
Narbonne. Plague broke out at Dresden, and continued until the year
1637. A.D. 1633, Newcastle-upon-Tyne was inundated; many lives
and much property were destroyed. The year following, 1634, plague
raged with great violence at Ratisbon; and in 1635, epidemic pestilence
carried off 20,000 of the inhabitants of Leyden; it also was very fatal
in many parts of Germany.

A.D. 1636, frequent and excessive rains induced epidemic
fevers during the summer and autumn in Barcelona and in other parts
of Spain; plague raged in London, destroying 10,000 persons. Nemiguen
suffered greatly from disease. Epidemic pestilence was also rife in
Egypt; and, according to Diemmerbroeck’s account, also in Holland and
Denmark. Constantinople with Natolia suffered greatly from disease of
a similar kind.--A.D. 1638, malignant fevers with small-pox
prevailed in the United States, and also along the coasts of South
America: and a new disease, which continued for ten years, attacked the
inhabitants, principally on the coasts of St. Andres, Malaga, Puerto de
Santa Maria, and Xeres de la Frontera. Many provinces in the interior
also suffered from it, as Burgos, Nieto, Viana, and other cities of
Navarette. A severe earthquake was felt at Naples and in Sicily; it
swallowed up several towns and more than 30,000 persons: it occurred
in the month of March. The year following there was a severe frost in
England, which continued for nine weeks, commencing on the 24th of
December. London was visited by epidemic pestilence of a severe type; a
similar disease was also rife in other parts of Europe.--A.D.
1640, many portions of South America inhabited by Spaniards suffered
from yellow pestilence.

A.D. 1642, in the month of January, heavy rains fell
continuously for sixteen days at Seville, during which time the
Guadalquivir overflowed its banks, destroying much property in Castile,
as also many of the inhabitants. The settlers at Newhaven, in the
United States of America, and those on the banks of the Delaware river,
suffered from pestilence, during this year. In the subsequent year, the
city of Boston suffered from epidemic disease, as did also many other
parts of the States. A malignant fever broke out in the army of the
Earl of Essex, whilst besieging Reading, in England; the king’s army
also suffered. Great numbers in both armies having died, it ultimately
extended to Oxford and to all the villages within ten miles. It first
appeared like a putrid synochus; after the middle of summer it raged
with increased violence and in a greatly aggravated form; spots began
to appear and pustules, attended with great prostration of strength;
many had buboes as in the true plague. During the dog-days the disease
was considered and treated as a mild form of plague.

A.D. 1644, epidemic malignant disease broke out at Madrid,
causing great mortality. Denmark and England also suffered from
malignant fevers, which were followed by dysentery. The preceding
summer had been excessively hot, and there were also heavy and frequent
showers, with dews at night.

A.D. 1646, inundations took place in Holland, in Zealand, and
in Friesland. Earthquakes were felt in many parts of the world; in
Chili, several mountains of the Andes sunk into the earth, one after
another. A comet was seen about this period. The ravages of locusts
were great during this and the two subsequent years. Pestilence caused
great destruction in Andalusia: plague raged in London, extending
to other parts of the kingdom, especially to Newark, Stafford, and
Totnes. About the same time it likewise occasioned great mortality in
Ireland. Epidemic catarrh prevailed in America, affecting equally the
Dutch, English, and Swiss colonists. Pestilential yellow fever was
rife throughout the West Indies, especially in Barbados and St. Kitts;
it has been computed that in the two islands 12,000 perished. Various
parts of Spain suffered from epidemic pestilence during this and the
following years: the city of Valencia suffered great mortality from an
epidemic; it was of so general a character, that it seized on old and

A.D. 1649, epidemic small-pox prevailed in the city of
Boston, United States; plague revisited London and Shropshire, and was
destructive in Ireland. Spain suffered dreadfully this year, especially
in the southern provinces, where, it is said, disease carried off
200,000 persons. Marseilles also suffered greatly. This year, says
Fray Francisco de Cabrera, was the most tragic ever known in Seville,
at least since 1246; the violence of the pestilence ceased about May,
when the city was one entire hospital. There was great mortality
also at Marbella, a port of the Mediterranean. In France, a very hot
summer, with much thunder and lightning, was experienced, which did
great mischief in Guienne, Bourdeaux, and other provinces, firing
hayricks, granaries, &c. Several of the Members of the Parliament of
Aix were found dead in their beds after a tempestuous night of thunder
and lightning; and the day following, the roof of the house in which
Parliament was assembled fell in, and killed several members.

A.D. 1650, the winter was open, and the spring cold and wet.
Severe influenza prevailed all over Europe, and was succeeded by a
general pestilence during the hot summer and autumn. It prevailed in
the form of ague in Denmark, and of inflammatory fever in France. This
epidemic, in rather a formidable character, called by some writers
‘ignis sacer’ and ‘fièvre St. Antoine,’ and by the French ‘ergot,’
raged during this period with great mortality in Sologne. The disease
was not ascribed so much to the scarcity of food, as to a diseased
state of the rye. It commenced with lassitude and debility, followed
by torpor, swelling, and burning heat, with excruciating pains in
the lower limbs, which became shrivelled and dark, and at length
gangrenous. There was reason, however, to believe that this malady was
the result of insufficient food, amounting almost to starvation, and
not of diseased grain. The lower classes, as is generally the case,
suffered most. Pestilence also caused great ravages in Russia and
Poland. Clouds of locusts were seen to enter the former country in
three different places: they afterwards spread over Poland to Lithuania
in such astonishing multitudes, that the air was darkened and the earth
blackened with their numbers. In very many places they were found
heaped up upon each other to the depth of _four feet!_ in others
they covered the surface of the ground like a black cloth. The trees
bent with their weight; and the damage sustained by the country was
beyond computation.

The city of Carmona was visited by epidemic pestilence, as was also
the neighbouring country. The disease which pervaded Andalusia soon
spread with great mortality through the populations of Catalonia,
Aragon, and Valencia. In the month of February the Council of One
Hundred (Ciento) of Barcelona were occupied with the pestilence which
was ravaging Tortosa. In May the same Council declared Gerona to be
in a pestilential condition. The year following, 1651, the city of
Huesca, as also Alcubierre and a greater part of the population of
Aragon, suffered from pestilence of rather a formidable character.
Barcelona soon became affected; the disease raged there with extreme
violence. Dr. Salvador wrote a work describing this pestilence: it
was entitled ‘Breve Tratado de la Peste y fiebre pestilente, en
el qual se trata de su esencia, causas, dignocion, preservacion y
purificacion.’--A.D. 1652, a comet was seen.

A.D. 1653. In Girona, at present called Gerona y Osterlique,
pestilence broke out, and raged with violence. The year following,
1654, epidemic disease again made its appearance in England and also
in Denmark. In the month of April it broke out in Chester in England.
Pestilential disease at this period was also rife in Turkey, Russia,
Presburg, Hungary, Italy, Egypt, Malta, Sardinia, Leyden, Riga, and
Amsterdam: 200,000, it is stated, died from it in Moscow alone, 9000 in
Riga, 13,200 at Amsterdam, and 13,000 at Leyden.

Two years after (1656), 240,000 persons were destroyed by mortal
pestilence in Naples; a great number--9000--in Benevento, 10,000 at
Genoa, the like number at Rome, and in the Neapolitan territories
generally it is supposed 400,000 perished. Cardinal Gastaldi,
speaking of the pestilence at Rome, states that it was one of the
most horrible diseases Rome had ever suffered from. The same author
eulogizes the precautionary measures adopted by the Spaniards and
the Portuguese. Franco, a physician of Carmona, in his work entitled
‘Elysius jucundarum Quæstionum Campus medicis imprimis utilis,’ lauds
as great alexipharmics the properties of the unicorn and of the bezoar

In the spring of 1658, epidemic catarrh prevailed all over Europe, and
in the following autumn degenerated into malignant fever: it caused
great mortality in England and France, where the seasons were very
intemperate. Epidemic disease was also rife in North America during
this period. The fever which prevailed in England was of a peculiar
kind--a pernicious intermittent: it was universal, and raged with as
great destructiveness as the plague. A similar disease, we are informed
by Morton, continued for some years previous to the plague of 1665.
Oliver Cromwell died of it; and Morton states that his own father also
perished by it, and that he himself and his whole family were infected.
“Matrem pientissimam, fratres, sorores, servos, ancillas, nutrices
conductitias, quotquot erant intra eosdem nobiscum parietes, ac fere
omnes ejusdem ac vicinorum pagorum incolas, hoc veneno infectos et
decumbentes vidi.” He proceeds to say that the cold weather afterwards
checked the disease in some measure,--yet the seeds of it seem to have
been by no means destroyed; for it still continued to show itself
under other forms: “durante enim brumâ, intermittentes quartanas,
tertianas, quotidianas, ab ejusdem veneni mitiore gradu oriundas, fere
æque epidemias videre erat ac in autumno συνεχέας seu remittentes;
neque mehercule sæviente gelu penitus defecerunt istæ febres
continentes. Atque equidem hancce febrem hoc pacto sub typo συνεχέος
præsertim simplicis et legitimæ, quotidianæ scilicet, vel tertianæ,
maxime vulgarem fuisse, et tempore autumnalis plus minus epidemiam,
usque ad annum 1664 observavi.” He informs us likewise, that in the
two years immediately succeeding the great plague, dysenteries were
very frequent; so that in the autumn of 1667, “civitas fere universa
hoc morbo correpta videbatur, atque singulis septimanis 345 plus minus
fluxu et torminibus confecti fatis cedebant.”

It was during this year (1658) that remarkable phenomena were observed
in various parts of Europe. The most tempestuous and inclement weather
was experienced; and on the day on which Oliver Cromwell died, there
arose a dreadful storm in England, which was felt all over Europe, and
from its severity seemed to threaten all nature.

Two years after, A.D. 1660, there was an eruption of Vesuvius.

A.D. 1661, a comet made its appearance, and an earthquake was
again felt with great severity at Chili: China suffered in a similar
manner the same year, 300,000 persons having been buried in Pekin alone.

The year following, A.D. 1662, great drought was experienced
in England; the springs were dried up, the rivers were very low, and
an epizootic prevailed with great mortality among cattle: it was of
rather a remarkable character, being a disease of the liver; a small
worm (entozoa), especially in sheep, it is said, seemed to prey on
the liver, lungs, and bowels: Venice was also visited by pestilence,
of which it is said 60,000 persons died. Puerperal fever was very
destructive this year at Leipsic and at Copenhagen.

A.D. 1663, severe pestilence prevailed in England. The
illustrious Sydenham graphically describes the various epidemic
maladies which prevailed all over England from the year 1661 unto 1680.
Inflammatory fevers and quinsies, he says, were more frequent in London
than they were ever before known to be. During the summer of 1664, in
the month of May, a comet was seen and a malignant fever prevailed,
which could not in many cases be distinguished from the true plague;
and in the month of June it became greatly aggravated. From the 2nd
of November the true plague raged with violence, and continued with
great mortality for eighteen months, unto May, 1666. Among the signs
foreshowing the advent of the plague, it is said that birds, wild fowl,
and wild beasts left their accustomed haunts, and but few swallows were
seen. In the summer of 1664, there were such multitudes of flies, that
the insides of houses swarmed with them; ants were generated in great
numbers, and might have been taken up from the highways in handsful;
the ditches were filled with frogs and various kinds of insects.

The plague was ushered in with seven months’ dry weather and westerly
winds: it commenced on the highest parts of London, in the parish of
St. Giles in the Fields, whence it extended rapidly to St. Martin’s,
Westminster, Highgate, Hampstead, and Acton; all these parishes and
villages were soon infected.

“The disease,” says Mr. Boghurst, a medical practitioner, who resided
in the metropolis during the whole period of the prevalence of the
disease, “spread not altogether by contagion at first, nor began only
at one place, and spread farther and farther as an eating and spreading
sore doth all over the body, _but fell upon several places of the
city and suburbs like rain even at the first_,--as St. Giles’, St.
Martin’s, Chancery Lane, Southwark, Houndsditch, and some places within
the city, as at Proctors’ Houses.” Boghurst further states that “this
year, 1665, in which the plague hath raged so much, no alteration nor
change appeared in any element, vegetable or animal, besides the body
of man, _except only the season of the year and the winds_; the
spring being continually dry for six or seven months together, there
being no rain at all, but a little sprinkling shower or two about
the latter end of April, which caused a pitiful crop of hay in the
spring: in the autumn there was a pretty good crop, but all other
things were healthy and sound, and all sorts of fruits, such as apples,
pears, cherries, plums, grapes, melons, cabbages, &c.; all roots, as
parsnips, carrots, turnips; all flowers, and medicinal simples, were
as plentiful, large, fair, and wholesome, and all grain as plentiful
and as good as ever.” 68,596 persons are reported to have been carried
off this year by the plague in London alone. A comet was seen in 1665,
and an earthquake shook Oxford. Immediately after the great fire, on
the 2nd September, 1666, which destroyed 13,200 houses, fatal dysentery
was very prevalent. During this period, a plague infested the island
of Malta; yellow pestilence, or fever, prevailed in the island of St.
Domingo, as also in many other of the West Indian Islands; Holland and
Prussia suffered from severe epidemic disease: and the year following,
1667, a miliary pestilence raged in Bavaria; Spain suffered from
epidemic pestilence, from which no province escaped: it caused great
mortality, and was rapidly fatal. Don Pedro Vasquez, a physician of
Toledo, describes the symptoms as being those of quinsy, attended with
malignant fever, in his work entitled ‘Morbi Essentia qui non solum
per hanc insignem urbem Tolitanam, sed per totam Hispaniam sparsim
grassatur, quem vulgus garratillo appellat, Apologetica Disceptatio; et
ea quæ in curatione hujus morbi sunt animadvertenda.’

The same year, A.D. 1667, Salamanca and Lisbon suffered from
pestilence. Yellow fever appeared in the United States of America in
A.D. 1668, and was especially destructive in the cities of
New York and Philadelphia; in the subsequent year, the inhabitants of
Norway were visited by pestilence in the shape of malignant measles,
which with small-pox was also rife in England. About this time, a
terrible earthquake occurred at Naples, which destroyed great numbers
of lives and houses in Benevento. The Archbishop was dug out of the
ruins, and became afterwards Pope Benedict XIII.

A.D. 1670, gangrenous ergotism broke out in Aquitaine, in
Sologne, and in the Galinois district; it continued until 1674, by
which time it had extended to Montagris and the neighbourhood.

A.D. 1672, in the month of December, there fell in the West
of England a shower of rain that froze into ice as soon as it touched
the boughs of trees or anything above ground, and by the increase of
size of the icicles, it broke all down with its weight. The ice on the
sprig of an ash weighing three-quarters of a pound amounted to sixteen
pounds. The rain that fell on the snow immediately became ice without
sinking into the snow, so intensely cold was the weather. About this
time, a strange phenomenon occurred; while the English were waiting
for the flow of the tide, in order to land on the coast of Scheveling,
they were disappointed; as the next tide flowed but two hours, when an
ebb for many hours succeeded, which carried the English fleet again to
sea before the return of the flow: the Hollanders were thus preserved
from an invasion, as it were, by a miracle. In Spain, great sterility
of the land and epidemic disease prevailed. In the month of May, the
Council of One Hundred were informed that pestilence had broken out on
the French frontiers. Miliary pestilence prevailed in Hungary; and in
the early part of the year following, 1673, an epidemic of a violent
character broke out in Spain, which continued until 1684; it was
described by Valcarcel as being of a tertiary type. The disease was of
a mild form in the months of May and June, but increased in malignancy
in August, September, and October to such a degree that it destroyed
nearly half the inhabitants of Barcelona.

A.D. 1675 and 1676, virulent small-pox and measles again broke
out in England. In the former year (1675), 11,300 persons were carried
off by plague in the island of Malta: a miliary epidemic was very fatal
in Hamburgh, and, according to Escobar, the inhabitants of the city of
Carthagena suffered from epidemic tertian fevers.

A.D. 1677, a comet was observed. Pestilence again broke out
in Murcia and Carthagena; thousands died of small-pox in Charleston,
Massachusetts, United States, and a plague desolated many parts of
Europe. From this year until 1679, epidemic pestilence overspread
Spain; and, according to the statements of several historians, the
capitals of Granada, Cordova, and Seville suffered greatly.

A.D. 1678. A comet was observed this year also. An inundation
occurred in Gascony, when the water spouted in jets from the sides
of an adjacent mountain in overwhelming quantities. Plagues ravaged
Algeria and Morocco.--The year following, mortal pestilence prevailed
in Vienna, and in Malaga and other parts of Andalusia.

A.D. 1679, pestilence and famine were rife in Germany from
June until the month of December the following year, 1680: two comets
were observed. Dresden suffered from plague, and cholera prevailed in

A.D. 1681, there was a great fire in Southwark, on the Surrey
side of the Thames, and 600 houses were destroyed. Bronchial disease
was prevalent in England: a mortal angina, which caused death in
twenty-four hours, raged in Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and Germany;
and at the same time a petechial fever prevailed in Dublin and in other
parts of Ireland: pestilence was rife in the island of Sardinia and in
different parts of Castile; it also broke out in the city of Esmirna,
and extended to Carthagena, Murcia, and Oran, and soon after to Malaga,
Antequera, Granada, Moron, Ronda, Lucena, Andujar, and other districts;
and thence to Xeres, Santa Maria, and Cadiz.

A.D. 1682, there was an eruption of Vesuvius, and the city of
Catania was destroyed by an earthquake; there was also an eruption of
Etna, which destroyed 60,000 of the inhabitants. A comet was seen this

A.D. 1683, there was a comet seen, and earthquakes were felt
in many parts of England. The winter was very inclement; and the frost
was so severe at Christmas, that the river Thames was frozen over below
Gravesend for thirteen weeks. Epidemic pestilence broke out in Argel
and other parts of Berberia. The winters of this year and the following
were the coldest ever experienced by the oldest inhabitants in Europe;
the summers were rainy, and the autumns cold: epidemic disease spread
over both continents--Europe and America. Pestilence, say Drs. Sastre
and Puiz of Spain, prevailed over nearly the entire world; the city of
Vich was greatly afflicted. Epidemic pestilence also prevailed with the
greatest violence on the coasts of Spain; the Hungarian fever did much
mischief in Leyden. The three following years the summers were hot and
dry; grasshoppers overspread Languedoc in France, the subsequent autumn
being cold and wet. Malignant fevers were very destructive in Europe
and America.

A.D. 1686, Friesland was inundated, and thousands of men and
cattle were drowned. The following year, an earthquake shook the island
of Jamaica and Lima. There occurred also an inundation in Yorkshire; a
rock opened visibly, and water was thrown into the air to the height
of an ordinary church steeple: a comet was observed. Yellow pestilence
caused great mortality in the West Indies, especially in the island of
Martinique, where it was called ‘Maladie de Siam,’ from the supposition
that it had been imported from that country.

A.D. 1688. Catarrhs, pleurisies, and dysentery were epidemic,
this year, both in Europe and America; and during the following years,
1689–90 and 1691, pestilence prevailed with great severity in Germany,
Italy, various parts of Spain, and in the United States of America: it
was preceded in America by hot and moist weather.

A.D. 1690, about the beginning of June, all the legumina and
springing corn were spotted with mildew; grapes and other fruits were
destroyed, or rendered unfit for use, and the leaves of herbs, shrubs,
&c., were eaten to the stems by various insects. Much rain fell during
the first seven months of the year and after the autumnal equinox in
Lombardy. “All the animals suffered,” observes Ramazzini; “even bees
and silkworms perished; and the cicadæ did not sing this year; swine
died of suffocation,--but the greatest destruction was among cattle.”
He applies the title ‘pestilential’ to the disease affecting men in the
season which proved so fatal to cattle. Miliary or sweating pestilence
committed great ravages in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Erfurt, and Jena.
Bilious remittent or yellow fever was prevalent in the United States of
America; it raged with great violence in Charleston. Various parts of
Spain, about this period, suffered from epidemic pestilence, especially
Perpignan and Bellagardi; disease was also rife in Italy. A severe
earthquake was felt this year all over Ireland.

A.D. 1692, the summer was hot and dry, and on the 7th of
June an awful earthquake swallowed up Port Royal, Jamaica; Lima also
suffered from a similar shock: 2000 citizens were drowned in the former

            “Earthquakes, Nature’s agonizing pangs,
    Oft shake th’ astonish’d isles.”

Mosquitoes and flies were generated in great numbers, and yellow
malignant or bilious remittent fever carried off 3000 of the
inhabitants of Port Royal, Jamaica. The same year, yellow fever was
also very fatal at Barbados, and continued to be so for several years.

The year following, 1693, an earthquake was felt in England, France,
and Germany; 60,000 persons, out of 254,000 inhabitants, perished about
the same period from a shock in Sicily.

A.D. 1694, an eruption of Vesuvius took place, and Messina was
destroyed by an earthquake. Epidemic catarrh raged among men and horses
in various parts of Europe. The seamen and troops under Sir Francis
Wheeler, sent to conquer the island of Martinique in the West Indies,
suffered dreadfully from yellow pestilence, which, during the same
year, was rife in the United States of America; the inhabitants of
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, were carried off in great numbers:
a Dr. Gamble strangely describes it as being a new disease; it was
called ‘the new distemper, or Kendall’s fever,’ at Barbados, where it
prevailed, causing great mortality. Miliary fever broke out in Berlin,
and continued for some time: it was not very fatal.

A.D. 1695, pestilence broke out amongst the American Indians.
The inhabitants of the island of Bermuda suffered from yellow fever;
and the following years, a similar disease prevailed in the United
States of America, especially in Connecticut, New Hampshire, &c.

A.D. 1698, a comet was seen. Spain suffered again from
epidemic disease; it was very fatal in Cerdena: Don Manuel de Alsivia
wrote a work describing the malady. The disease was supposed to have
been taken out to South America; various parts of the coast having
suffered severely from this pestilence, Buenos Ayres especially, it
spread to a considerable distance, and Lima was nearly depopulated by
it; for it nearly devastated the country, sparing neither Spaniard,
white, creole, mustee, mulatto, nor negro. North America also suffered
from pestilence: at this period, a dreadful disease affected the
Anglo-Americans; the inhabitants of Charleston and Philadelphia
suffered in the following year, 1699. There was an awful earthquake in
China, and nearly 400,000 persons were destroyed. A comet was seen this
year. The disease which affected the Anglo-Americans was considered
to be similar to, and as severe as the epidemic which had devastated
Barbados a few years previously. Fatal catarrh prevailed in England,
and plague in various places in the Levant: France also suffered from
pestilential catarrh, and an epizootic among the cattle, especially
among horses. Capmany describes the disease as being a bilious plague,
which at this time prevailed in Liorna, Geneva, Cerdena, Narbonne, and

A.D. 1700. Upon the death and in accordance with the will
of Charles II., and in obedience to the orders of Maria Theresa of
Austria, the celebrated and spirited Don Felipe VI. was invited to
Spain. The civil wars, which arose in consequence, produced great
devastation and ruin in the land, and were succeeded by an epidemic
of a severe type: it is supposed to have originated from the corrupt
and irregular habits of the soldiery, who were composed of different
nations; its form was that of a malignant exanthematous fever, attended
with delirium. Escobar speaks of the disease as being contagious.
Pestilential angina, says Bruno Fernandes, in his recent observations,
was so fatal to children, that at the commencement of this century but
few escaped its ravages, and the disease was in every way the most
fatal that had been experienced for a long time: it was called miliary
or sweating pestilence, at Breslau; and was very destructive to the
inhabitants of the island of Milo, in the Levant. In the North of
Europe it was followed by small-pox. During the subsequent seven years
of this century, epidemic pestilence prevailed in various parts of the
world,--England, Scotland, Friesland, the United States of America, &c.

A.D. 1701, there happened an eruption of Vesuvius: the year
following, 1702, the family seat of Borge, near Frederickstadt, in
Norway, sunk, with all its towers and battlements, into an abyss one
hundred fathoms deep, and its site was instantly filled with water,
which formed a lake three hundred ells long and one hundred and thirty
broad. Many persons, together with upwards of 200 head of cattle,
perished. A comet was seen about this period; and in the next year,
1703, small-pox and scarlatina raged at Boston, United States; in other
of the States they were attended with fever of a most malignant type.
During this period the drought was extreme; the autumn was sultry, with
cold damp nights, north winds, and frequent showers; bilious plague
broke out in the city of New York, and was more fatal than at any other
previous period; it was termed ‘the great sickness.’ Ergotism prevailed
throughout the whole country of Freiburg. A dreadful thunder-storm was
experienced in England on the 26th and 27th of November of this year,
which frightened the whole kingdom; the houses in London were violently
shaken, and many fell; the water rose to a great height at Westminster
Hall, and London Bridge was choked up with the wrecks of boats, &c.;
fourteen ships of war were lost during the storm, with great numbers
of seamen. The damage done by it in London alone was computed at
one million pounds sterling: at the same time Rome was shaken by an
earthquake, and the city of Aquila, in the kingdom of Naples, was
destroyed; many thousand persons were buried in its ruins. The year
following, 1704, there was an eruption of Vesuvius.

                             CHAPTER VII.

                        FROM A.D. 1705 TO 1795.

A.D. 1705, in the city of Ceuta, an epidemic malignant fever
broke out, and raged with dreadful violence, causing great mortality.
The appearances on dissection, as reported by Don Antonio de la Locha,
proto-medicus of the army, were as follow: “The blood was observed to
be coagulated in the ventricles of the heart, especially in that of the
right side, and also in the vena cava (in the immediate neighbourhood
of the heart); the pulmonary artery was similarly engorged. In the
aorta the blood was also very thick, but in moderate quantity: the
pulmonary veins were nearly empty. These phenomena were not observed in
all cases, since in the majority the blood was only thickened and not
coagulated; and the cause of this difference,” observes the reporter,
“was according to the greater or less degree of power of the malignant
ferment.” In the month of April, pestilential disease broke out at
Tunis: in the May following, Malaga was attacked by it; and in August,
the island of Cerdena suffered greatly from its violence.

A.D. 1706, a comet was visible, and thunderstorms were
experienced in many parts of England. The next year an eruption of
Vesuvius occurred, and an island, five miles round, rose from the
bottom of the sea in the Archipelago:

          ----“His hand the lightning forms,
    He heaves old Ocean, and he wings the storms.”

A.D. 1708, a severe storm, with thunder and lightning, was
experienced at Ipswich and Harrogate. A universal catarrh overspread
all Europe and America, and was followed by pestilential fevers.
Lanciscus relates that a similar epidemic appeared and raged with much
severity in Italy, principally at Rome: he describes the malady as
beginning with a running at the nose, or coryza, attended with pains in
the limbs, extending over the whole body, but felt more especially in
the chest. In the spring, peripneumoniæ prevailed; chills and flushes
suddenly seized persons, and were accompanied by severe cough, spitting
of blood, and turbid, scanty urine; the respiration was laborious, and
a general yellowness of the body was observed. In the years following,
A.D. 1709, 1710, and 1711, various parts of the coast of South
America suffered from putrid or yellow pestilence, especially in the
Brazilian territory; vast numbers were carried off of all complexions,
from the mulatto to the black. Seville and various other parts of
Spain were visited by dire pestilence at this period; it caused great
consternation amongst the inhabitants throughout Andalusia. The
celebrated Spanish physician, Dr. Don Diego Villalon, was famous for
its treatment. Plague or pestilence raged at Dantzic; a prodigious
number of insects, especially of spiders, had been noted in the city of
Seville the year previously. This pestilence continued for some time;
in fact, the five following years may be said to have been remarkable
for general and aggravated epidemic disease all over Europe. Horned
cattle and horses were observed to suffer greatly from an epizootic. In
Holland alone it is reported that 300,000 head of cattle were destroyed
by it.

A.D. 1709, Sologne was again visited by gangrenous ergotism,
a fourth part of the rye crop having been infected with the ergot
or spur. About this period, memorable for hard frosts, this disease
appeared in the cantons of Lucerne, Zurich, and Berne; it also
prevailed in those places in the years 1715 and 1716, and also
epidemically four or five times within the space of ten years at

A.D. 1710. Copenhagen and many parts of Sweden suffered from
sweating sickness this year: its victims at Stockholm were 30,000; and
it is reported that 25,000 died of it in Copenhagen in six months.
Pestilence raged in Lithuania; and the troops under General Nicholson,
destined to cooperate with the fleet of England in the reduction of
Canada in North America, encamped at a place called Wood Creek, in the
province of New York, were affected with a sore epidemic distemper,
which carried off great numbers.

A.D. 1711, a murrain broke out among cattle in Italy and
Germany; the disease was supposed to be a sort of typhus fever, but
was in fact, more properly speaking, a fatal dysentery. The following
year, A.D. 1712, a miliary or sweating pestilence raged at
Mümpelgart. There was an eruption of Vesuvius that year.

A.D. 1713, in consequence of small-pox being rife at
Constantinople, inoculation was practised: the following year, a fatal
epidemic raged among the horses and horned cattle in England, by which
70,000 head were destroyed: it was supposed to have been occasioned by
the excessive heat and drought during the summer months: great numbers
of insects were generated.

A.D. 1715, small-pox and measles were epidemic in many parts
of Europe, and malignant yellow pestilence raged in the United States
of America. Thomas Hacket, of Duck Creek, states that the disease was
equal in intensity to that which raged in London in 1665. Miliary fever
prevailed at Breslau and at Turin.

A.D. 1716, a dreadful storm, with heavy rains, thunder and
lightning, did much damage throughout England. On the 6th of March, an
aurora borealis was visible for three days. The noble city of Aguilar
de Campo, situated on the seashore, having suffered about this time
from cold and damp weather, epidemic variola broke out in the month of
March, and was the prelude to a pestilential sore-throat, or quinsy,
which lasted until December, 1719.

A.D. 1717, there was another eruption of Vesuvius, and
Friesland was again inundated. Half the province of Groningen was
ruined by it, and 2500 of its inhabitants perished: it occurred on the
24th and 25th of December. Various parts of the country suffered: all
the Lower Elbe was under water, and it is stated that fully 20,000
persons were drowned. From this period until the year 1721, according
to Dr. Casal, southern winds prevailed, with dry, cold weather, which
suddenly changed to a dry heat, lasting for weeks; after this, copious
rains fell, accompanied by frequent changes in the direction of the
winds. In the autumn, an epidemic jaundice became so general, that
nearly a tenth part of the population of the Asturias suffered from it.
Pestilence in the shape of the true plague carried off 80,000 persons
in Aleppo. We are told by Didier that this year the fields were barren
and the fruits bad, so that the poor, among whom the disease chiefly
raged at Marseilles, were almost starved during its prevalence. Mr.
Secretary Craggs applied to Dr. Mead to be advised as to the most
effectual remedy for or preventive of the plague.

A.D. 1718. A comet made its appearance this year, and a severe
shock of an earthquake was experienced in China. In the following year,
an aurora borealis was observed, which was supposed to have been not
more than thirty-eight miles high.

A.D. 1720, Marseilles was visited by a dreadful plague, which
raged with great fury. In order to mitigate the disease, the king’s
ministers commissioned Don Josef Fornés, a native of Hostal-Rich, to
proceed to the university of Montpelier, in order to consult with the
physicians of that university as to the best means of prevention and
cure. All social affection became extinct, the consequences being as
dreadful as those of the disease itself. Husbands and wives, parents
and children, and the dearest friends and connexions, hastened to
escape from each other, and an exclusive selfishness took possession
of every heart. The symptoms of this terrible scourge were variable:
shiverings were often followed by a quick pulse, which soon gave way
under pressure. The warmth of the skin was generally natural, whilst a
burning heat was felt within, and an almost inextinguishable thirst.
The tongue became white, the speech faltering, eyes glaring, face red
or congested, and sometimes livid; pains at the heart were frequent;
nausea and bilious vomitings, with looseness of the bowels and
hemorrhage, were always fatal symptoms. The most characteristic sign
of the malady was buboes in the groin or arm-pit, but these were not
always attendant, especially when the disease proved rapidly fatal, as
was the case in many instances. Toulon, Aix, and Arles also suffered
greatly from this pestilence: the deaths were estimated at one-third of
the whole population! In a district of Provence where the population
amounted to 247,899 persons, 87,659 perished. Miliary fever was
exceedingly prevalent and fatal in the canton de Bray, in Lower Seine.

A.D. 1722, Port Royal, Jamaica, was destroyed by an
inundation. Deadly yellow pestilence succeeded, the year following.
Hoffman, Schenckius, and other authors give an account of an epizootic
which prevailed this year in several parts of Spain. About the same
time, an epidemic pestilence, much more malignant than that which had
occurred in 1706, broke out in Granada, accompanied with exanthematous
eruptions. The city of Placentia was also visited by pestilential
fever, the best remedy for which Dr. Morena found to be stimulants,
such as wine, &c. Inoculation for small-pox was introduced into England
this year by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. The Princesses Amelia and
Caroline were among the first thus treated. A sore throat, attended
with dizziness and pain in the limbs, prevailed in London and was fatal
to numbers; measles were rife in America.

Plague did much mischief at Vienna, Hungary, and in the East: it
continued for two years. Dysentery raged in Upper Saxony, and ergotism
in Silesia.

A.D. 1723, yellow pestilence prevailed in many parts of
Spain, especially in the cities on the coast. Lisbon also suffered
from pestilence, the predominant symptom of which was black vomit.
Miliary fever prevailed at Frankfort on the Maine. Don Vincente Boibid,
a celebrated physician of Madrid, published a work entitled ‘Breve
Reflexion ό crisis medica sobre el Dolor Colico, con animo de remediar
tan continuos y largos tormentos como suele excitar quando molesta por
medio de un anticolico especifico, que le vence en media hora: y á
veces en una.’ This physician attributed the pestilence prevalent in
Spain to the use of fruit and snow-water. The year following, epidemic
catarrh prevailed chiefly amongst children in the principality of the
Asturias. Palermo was nearly destroyed by an earthquake; 6000 persons
perished. From this period unto 1727, malignant fevers prevailed all
over Europe and America. Louis, king of Spain, died this year from
small-pox, as did also the Duchess of Bedford. In the latter year,
inoculation was practised on criminals.

A.D. 1726, a series of anomalous diseases was prevalent in
Granada, and caused great mortality. Leprosy began to spread in the
city of Lebrija, in Andalusia; it lasted until 1764. About this period
a severe earthquake shook Palermo in September, and upwards of 6000
persons were buried in the ruins.

A.D. 1727, epidemic mania prevailed in Spain. Dr. Casal
makes mention of its having carried off many members of the Council
of Pilona. Carthage was visited by pestilence, similar to that which
prevailed in the year 1637.

A.D. 1728, influenza was epidemic in Spain: it was named by
Pedro de Rotundis, ‘un catarro sufocativo.’ Yellow fever was very
fatal to the inhabitants of Charleston, United States: it was termed
‘a bilious plague,’ from its severity. A similar disease carried
off great numbers of the population of Carthagena and Portobello,
in South America: the most fatal symptom was black vomit. This
disease made great havoc among the crews of the vessels under Don
Domingo Justiniani, and of the galleons under Lopez Pintado. Epidemic
pestilence was rife in Poland, Austria, and Siberia. The island of
Bourbon, as described by Don Ulloa, was afflicted with plague, as was
also Tripoli, Damascus, and Aleppo. Scarlet fever raged in Edinburgh,
and chincough in England. About this period, miliary fever, or
sweating pestilence, prevailed, with great mortality, at Chambery,
Annecy, St. Jean de Maurienne (Savoy), at Carmagnola, Vercelli, Ivrea,
and Biella. The seven following years, 1729–1735, pestilence raged in
Vienna, Pignerol, Fossano, Nizza, Rivoli, Asti, Larti, Acqui, Basle,
Silesia, Thrasburg (Lower Rhine), Trino, Frésneuse (Lower Seine),
Vimeux (Seine-et-Oise), Orleans (Loiret), Plouviers (Loiret), Meaux,
Villeneuve, St. George (Seine et Maine), Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden, and

A.D. 1730, the Thames rose to an uncommon height, and
inundated Westminster. An earthquake nearly destroyed the whole of
Chili. Epidemic pestilence commenced at Cadiz; the disorder was called
‘el vomito negro,’ and it was supposed to have been imported from South
America; at least so states Dr. Don Francisco Fernandez Navarette:
it extended in all directions to various parts of the Continent, and
persisted unto 1738, in which year a frightful dysentery invaded
the coast of Malaga and Seville, and, in fact, all the seaboard of
Andalusia. During the prevalence of this pestilence, animals were first
affected, especially those that were domesticated; birds which fed on
grain also suffered severely, such as poultry, pigeons, &c. Numerous
insects, called by the Spaniards ‘largostus,’ were generated previously
to the breaking out of this epidemic disease.

A.D. 1731, a shock of an earthquake was felt, on the 29th of
July, in China; and on the 20th of the March previous, Naples was so
shaken, that many houses were thrown down, and upwards of 2000 persons
were destroyed.

A.D. 1732, 1500 persons died, in London, of pestilential
fever, in one week, during the month of April; yellow fever was
destructive to the inhabitants of many of the States of America. The
year following, influenza overspread Spain and many other parts of
Europe. The island of Mallorca suffered greatly. This epidemic gave
rise to many excellent dissertations, which were published in the city
of Palma.

A.D. 1734, an earthquake destroyed many houses and five
churches in China, and many persons also lost their lives; it occurred
in the month of August. About the latter end of this year, in the month
of October, according to Albrecht, an epidemic dysentery, with swelling
of the head, attacked poultry, especially geese, in the environs of the
town of Coburg: they died with their bills open.

A.D. 1735, plague destroyed thousands in Egypt; various
pestilential epidemics raged for more than ten years, afflicting
France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Calabria, Switzerland,
New Spain, Aleppo, Tangiers, and Smyrna; yellow pestilence, or fever,
ravaged the United States of America, especially the cities of New
York, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, and Albany; it extended also
to the tribe of the Mohigan Indians, and was rife in the West Indies:
in Barbados it caused great mortality. During the winter, in North
America, which was cold and wet, a distemper, affecting the throat and
respiratory organs, nearly exterminated the young children.

A.D. 1736, the lower orders of the population of Seville
suffered from privations and disease, especially in the suburban
districts, at St. Roque, Calzada, and Bernardo. In the same year,
epidemic pestilence raged with great violence, at Grand Cairo, from
the 1st of February to the 12th of March: more than 100,000 persons
were carried off; 7000 were buried daily for some days. On the 24th of
December, the river rose to an extraordinary height. The summer of this
year was intensely hot in England, and swarms of gnats were so immense
all over the country, especially in Salisbury in Wiltshire, as almost
to constitute a plague; they appeared in dense clouds, and ascended
above the height of the steeple of the cathedral. Ergotism again broke
out in Silesia, in Suborth, and at Wealtemburgh, in Bohemia. Dr. Saine
describes the disease as beginning with a disagreeable titillation of
the feet, as if ants were creeping on them (formication), which was
soon succeeded by a violent cardialgia, or pain in the stomach; the
hands were next affected, then the head--many cried out that their
hands and feet were on fire: epilepsy was one of the concomitants of
the disease.

A.D. 1737, a comet was seen, and there was an eruption of

A.D. 1738, another comet was seen in February; drought
prevailed in Spain, and famine and pestilence followed: the malady,
however, was not of a mortal character.

A.D. 1740, epidemic disease was rife in Ireland; it proved
fatal to great numbers in the city of Dublin, and continued throughout
the following year. Lord Chancellor Jocelyn, writing from Ireland, in
the year 1741, to his brother Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke, in England,
mentions the distressed state of the country at this period, owing to
the entire failure of the potato crops, which was followed by famine
and disease to a frightful extent: fevers, attended with convulsions,
were epidemic in Germany: and the vomito negro was destructive to the
inhabitants of Spain; it prevailed at Malaga, and in many other of its
provinces. Pestilence broke out at Tobolsk, in Siberia, first attacking
horned cattle and horses, and afterwards human beings; it prevailed in
the form of pestilential carbuncle.

A.D. 1742–3, two comets were seen. In the archives of the
Franciscan Convent of San Diego de Carthagena it is recorded that
pestilence prevailed amongst the members, nearly all of whom suffered
severely, three only escaping.

A.D. 1745, a murrain broke out amongst the cattle in Turkey,
and was succeeded by a dire plague, which raged with great violence,
especially in Constantinople. This murrain among the cattle spread
and afflicted various parts of Europe; it was very destructive in
Switzerland, then diffused itself through Germany, Poland, and
Holland, and ultimately reached England: its progress was marked by
the appearance of a bluish mist in the atmosphere. Professors Sauvages
and Chaumel speak of a murrain as occurring about this period in the
Viverais district of France: puerperal fever was epidemic there at the
same time. An earthquake destroyed Lima and Callao, in Peru, on the
28th of October; out of 3000 inhabitants at Lima, only one individual

A.D. 1747, a comet was seen; and on the 14th of October
the Thames rose to a very great height. In the spring of this year,
there broke out in the territory of Huesca of Aragon, an epidemic of
malignant catarrh, which was succeeded by petechial fever. In the
Asturias, in March, the weather was variable and inclement, and an
epidemic icterus, or jaundice, attended with fever of a malignant
type, broke out, and continued unto the following May: it caused great
mortality. Two hundred thousand of the inhabitants were taken off by
pestilence in Constantinople about this time. Dysentery prevailed in
various parts of the United States of America, especially at Hartford
and Newhaven; yellow fever succeeded, and continued unto the year 1755.

A.D. 1748, swarms of locusts settled down in and about London,
doing much damage to the vegetation. Two comets were seen this year.

A.D. 1750, two earthquakes were experienced in London, the one
on the 8th of February, the other a month after, on the 8th of March.
The then lord mayor, one alderman, two judges, and the greater part of
the jury, with a number of spectators, caught the jail distemper in
the month of May at the Old Bailey. About this period, a shock from an
earthquake was felt at Philippoli in Romania, by which more than 4000
persons were destroyed. Two years after, in the month of August, 200
mosques and a great part of the city of Adrianople were destroyed by a
similar catastrophe.

A.D. 1751, there was an eruption of Vesuvius; famine and
pestilence were rife in the kingdoms of Isen and Cordova; the breaking
out of the pestilence being attributed to the arrival of mendicants
at the ports of Malaga. The year following, a terrific storm was
experienced in Charleston, South Carolina, United States, on the 15th
of September, during which the town and neighbourhood were inundated,
from which there resulted much loss of life and destruction of
property. Two years subsequently, there was an eruption of Vesuvius;
and on the 15th of July, a severe earthquake was felt in the Morea:
it swallowed up many villages and their inhabitants. Constantinople
and Grand Cairo suffered from a similar catastrophe on the 2nd of
September; two-thirds of their houses were destroyed, and upwards of
40,000 persons. A mortal distemper seized on cattle in England; 30,000
cows were reported to have died of it in Cheshire alone. From this
period until 1760, epidemic pestilence prevailed in various parts
of the globe; dysentery of a malignant type in the Northern States
of America, malignant fever in Normandy, gangrenous sore-throat in
Ireland and France, and a petechial fever in Constantinople, which
destroyed 150,000 persons. Famine and plague carried off great numbers
in Syria, Smyrna, and Cyprus: in the latter place disease destroyed
30,000 victims; Aleppo, Jerusalem, and Damascus also suffered from
epidemic pestilence. In the former place (Aleppo) the winter had been
severe, and had destroyed all vegetation; the cold was very intense;
the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer, exposed in the open air,
sunk entirely into the ball of the tube; millions of olive-trees that
had hitherto withstood the blast of fifty winters were blighted, and
thousands of persons perished from cold. The failure of the crop in
the succeeding harvest occasioned a universal famine with all its
attendant miseries. In many places the inhabitants were driven to
such extremities, that women ate their own children as soon as they
had expired in their arms from the want of nourishment; and numbers
of persons from the mountains and adjacent villages came daily to
Aleppo to offer their wives and children for sale for a few dollars,
to procure a temporary subsistence for themselves, and dogs and
human creatures might hourly be seen scratching together on the same
dunghill, and contending for a bone or a piece of carrion. Pestilence
followed closely on the heels of this famine, which lasted till 1758;
60,000 persons were swept away by it in the city and its environs.
Vast numbers of horses during this year died in London and in the
neighbourhood from a murrain. Yellow fever of extreme malignity swept
the West Indian Islands and the coast of Africa, as recorded by Lind,
who describes the mortality to have been produced by a pestilential
vapour, which arose in the south-east of the Guinea coast, and
traversed immense swamps: in several towns, among the negro population,
the mortality was so great that there were not sufficient left to bury
the dead, and the gates at Cape Coast Castle were shut for the want of
sentinels to guard them, the whites suffering equally with the blacks
from the fatal scourge. Yellow fever was also rife in the United States
of America during this and the following year, especially in New York
and Philadelphia. An atrabilious fever raged at Senegal.

A.D. 1755, on the 24th of April, an earthquake was felt
in Peru; it destroyed the city of Quito and great numbers of its
inhabitants. On the 27th of the following May, the island of Mitylene,
in the Archipelago, was destroyed by an earthquake, and about the same
period the city of Lisbon was shaken, and 70,000 persons perished in
the ruins. Half the island of Madeira was laid waste by an earthquake.
This awful commotion extended 5000 miles, even to Scotland.

A.D. 1757, on the 29th of October, an earthquake was felt in
the island of Malta: a severe frost was experienced in England during
this and the following year; a comet was also visible. About the same
time a severe shock of an earthquake was felt in the Azores. The year
following, 1759, three comets were seen; an earthquake on the 5th of
December destroyed Tripoli, and was as severely felt at Balbec.

A.D. 1760, a violent earthquake occurred on the 30th of
October in Syria; it did a great deal of mischief: there was an
eruption of Vesuvius. Until this time, extraordinary as it may appear,
there was not any such thing as a privy in Madrid: it was customary to
throw the ordure out of the windows at night, and it was removed by
scavengers the next day. An ordinance having been issued by the king
that every householder should build a privy, the people violently
_opposed_ it as an arbitrary proceeding, and the _physicians_
remonstrated against it, alleging that the filth absorbed the
unwholesome particles of the air, which otherwise would be taken into
the human body! His Majesty, however, persisted, but many of the
citizens, in order to keep _their food wholesome_, erected their
privies close to their kitchen fireplaces.

During this year the city of Carthagena again suffered from epidemic
pestilence, which persisted until 1763; the disease was a tertian
fever, which became very virulent during the dog-days, and caused
great mortality amongst the inhabitants of that city and the adjoining
provinces. The island of Cyprus suffered from plague about this time.
It also prevailed generally over the Ottoman empire; Constantinople,
Aleppo, Smyrna, Salonica, Broussa, Aden, Antioch, Antab, Killis Ourfah,
Diarbekr, Monsol, and many other large towns and villages experienced
its severity. Scanderoon, for the first time this century, suffered
considerably; the other Frank settlements on the sea-coast of Syria
being exempt, with the exception of Tripoli.

A.D. 1761, in the northern parts of the United States of
America, severe catarrh or influenza prevailed in the spring; it
changed its character to malignant yellow fever during the summer
and autumn. This disease was also prevalent in the West Indies. The
symptoms were slight cold, followed by extraordinary prostration of
strength, laborious respiration, cough, obtuse pains at the precordia
and in the chest and limbs. The malady presented the signs of a bilious
distemper, the countenance becoming yellow; insensibility or coma, and
sometimes delirium, supervened, when the patient was taken off with
all the symptoms of a regular bilious plague or yellow fever. About
this period a deadly epizootic broke out among the dogs in Madrid; it
extended over the entire kingdom: the disease, it would appear, was
confined to the canine race, no other kind of domestic animal having
suffered from it.

The Paving Act, which may be regarded as a useful sanitary measure,
was passed in England. A tremendous shock of an earthquake, attended
with volcanic eruptions, was experienced in the Azores in the month of

The year following, A.D. 1762, a comet was visible; and on the
9th of February the river Thames rose to a very great height. The heat
and drought this year in the United States of America exceeded all the
extraordinary seasons hitherto noticed. The inhabitants were greatly
distressed for want of water; bilious remittent fever raged in many
of the States in the following autumn, especially in Philadelphia. At
the Havannah, about the same period, great mortality was occasioned by
a similar epidemic. Pestilence also raged in Siam and in Bengal, in
Syria, and in various parts of Egypt. The influence of similar seasons
was experienced in England and Ireland, and also in France, where
pestilence was rife.

The summer of 1763 was moist and sultry; the Indians of Massachusetts
and at a place called Martha’s Vineyard in the United States of America
were swept away in vast numbers by a yellow or bilious pestilence. An
epidemic catarrh called ‘the snuffles’ was very destructive to cattle,
especially to horses, in Denmark. Pestilence again prevailed among the
canine race at Madrid; the poultry died of it at Genoa, and horned
cattle in France, as also in Sweden. This extensive prevalence of
epizootic disease indicated a pestilential condition of the atmosphere
and a disturbed state of the seasons: the disease first attacked and
proved fatal to dumb animals, and afterwards man became its victim: its
ravages were attended with great mortality.

Malignant fever at this period assailed all Naples, destroying, as
has been asserted, 20,000 inhabitants: it was preceded by famine. An
earthquake was felt at Comorra, in Hungary; 1500 houses were thrown
down, and many lives were lost, the sufferers being buried under the

A.D. 1764, on the 26th of December, a severe shock of an
earthquake was felt at Lisbon: a comet was visible. The treatment of
small-pox was greatly modified about this time by the introduction
of the cooling regimen, which was first recommended in England by
the Suttons. In the same year epidemic pestilence broke out in the
principality of Estremadura, and was very fatal: various other parts
of Spain suffered from the invasion of a similar disease; it carried
off great numbers at Cadiz, and its outbreak was attributed in a great
measure to the distresses occasioned by the Portuguese war; it was
a miliary fever, attended with glandular swellings, especially of
the parotids. Rain fell heavily during the months of April and May
in Carthagena, and consequently tertian fevers were prevalent; and
there perished of that disease upwards of 2000 persons in the city
during those two months. Pestilential disease ravaged Suabia, and
both Scotland and Ireland suffered greatly at this time from epidemic

Lethal epidemic disease prevailed in Austria; and in the greater part
of the United States of America bilious remittent fever, similar to
that prevalent in the West Indian Islands, carried off vast numbers.
The pestilence in Ireland was marked by all the symptoms of bilious
remittent or yellow fever.

A.D. 1765, on the 4th of June, an earthquake was felt along
the banks of the Ganges: a shock was experienced on the 19th of May
previously in the Pyrenean mountains. A severe storm occurred on the
east coast of Britain, and many seamen perished in consequence. Spital,
near Berwick, suffered greatly from this catastrophe.

A.D. 1766, there was an eruption of Vesuvius: earthquakes were
felt in various quarters this year; at Constantinople on the 22nd of
May, when 880 persons were buried in the ruins of the fallen houses;
a severe shock was experienced at Cuba, and St. Jago was completely
demolished, on which occasion hundreds lost their lives. The earth
opened in the Abruzzi in Naples, and many thousands were engulphed. The
river Taina on the 14th of November overflowed its banks, and destroyed
more than 12,000 houses with their occupants at Montauban in France.
Two comets were visible about this period. The summer was hot and dry
all over Europe, and in both the Americas; vegetable productions
were scarce in all these countries, and the winter following was
severe in both hemispheres; the mercury fell in many places 20° below
zero. Malignant catarrh swept over Europe; a murrain destroyed cattle
in the United States of America, the horses and horned cattle, &c.
perishing, especially in New England and New Jersey. A similar murrain
attacked cattle in Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Mecklenburg in Germany.
The following year, puerperal fever was fatal in Normandy. Small-pox
carried off at Pekin nearly 100,000 persons, principally young
children. There was about this period an eruption of Vesuvius; Spain
suffered from severe epidemic pestilence. In the month of December a
catarrh of a peculiar type broke out in Madrid, extending far and wide
over the Continent: it was not particularly fatal.

A.D. 1768, a severe storm destroyed ninety-six public edifices
and 4048 private houses on the 25th of October at the Havannah; many
lives were lost in the ruins. Pestilence again broke out in the city of
Carthagena, and raged with great violence and fatality. Vast numbers
of caterpillars infested Northampton and Massachusetts, in the United
States, and destroyed all traces of verdure. The summer following
was hot and rainy; small-pox, dysentery, and hydrophobia prevailed
in Boston and in other parts of the States: anginas were also rife.
Yellow pestilence raged in the island of Jamaica. In Holland, about
this period, 30,000 head of horned cattle and sheep were destroyed by a

Irregular seasons deteriorated the produce of the earth, and famine
and pestilence were the consequence. A dreadful famine and pestilence
in the year 1769 carried off, as has been recorded, _three millions
and upwards_ of the inhabitants of Bengal. The falls of rain had
been unfrequent and of short duration, so that every thing in the shape
of vegetation was parched up and unproductive. The grain crop was
almost a total failure, and as the two former crops had been scanty,
the unfortunate people in the hour of extremity had no resource; they
were driven by the cravings of hunger to the woods, where they perished
in thousands, after devouring the bark of trees and the remains of
putrefying vegetables.

Various parts of Spain suffered from epidemic pestilence this year. Don
Manuel Antonio Bela, a physician of some eminence, wrote and published
a work entitled ‘Una Disertacion sobre los cometas que no causan ni
anuncian enfermedades publicas,’ for the purpose of refuting the idea
that comets and other meteoric phenomena influence the production of
epidemic disease.

A comet was noticed this year; and the year following, 1770, was
remarkable for the severity of an earthquake which was experienced in
the island of St. Domingo. There was also an eruption of Vesuvius, and
deadly pestilence raged in many parts of Europe, carrying off great
numbers. The mortality from murrain at this period was great among
cattle in Sardinia, Holland, Flanders, &c. In Poland and Russia alone
upwards of 20,000 persons died of famine and disease: it is recorded
that 168,000 fell victims to a dire pestilence which prevailed in
Bohemia. In the city of Constantinople, during this year, 1000 bodies
were buried daily for some weeks. During this and the following year,
1771, a singular epidemic destroyed the foxes in the United States of
America. Tertian fevers of a malignant type again broke out in the
city of Carthagena, and the persons residing in the convent of St.
Diego again suffered from pestilence, which continued the two following
years: out of fifty-three padres of the convent, one only escaped.
Puerperal fever was fatally epidemic at Vienna.

A.D. 1771, there was an inundation in the North of England,
and there occurred also an eruption of Vesuvius. A.D. 1772,
strange phenomena were observed with regard to the body of Thomas
Beaufort, Duke of Exeter, which had been buried 345 years in the
abbey at St. Edmund’s Bury; when the leaden coffin was opened, the
flesh, hair, and toe and finger nails appeared perfect and sound,
as though he had not been interred many hours. On an incision being
made on the breast, the flesh cut as firm as in a living subject,
and there was even an appearance of blood. A similar phenomenon was
observed A.D. 1494, when the body of one Alice Hackney,
which had been interred 175 years, was accidentally dug up in the
churchyard of St. Mary’s Hill, London: the skin was whole, and the
joints of the arms, legs, &c. were pliable, the parts exhibiting a
natural appearance, as though she were but recently dead. A dreadful
hurricane happened this year in the Caribbean Islands. Plague raged at
Moscow, and, it is stated, carried off 133,299 persons within eighteen
months. Epidemic catarrh and measles prevailed in the United States
of America; small-pox was rife in Scotland; and the pestilence, which
was still raging in Carthagena, extended to other provinces of Spain.
Plague carried off great numbers in Bassora; 80,000 persons are said
to have fallen victims to the frightful pestilence; in short, famine
and disease about this time, induced by long and continued drought
and excessive heat, destroyed an incredible number of lives in the
peninsula of the Ganges. Baraillon gives an account of a most singular
pestilence with which France was afflicted in the year 1774: it was
termed Epidemic Convulsions, ‘sur une epue d’epilepsie qui reconnoit
pour cause le virus exanthematique malaire.’ A similar malady about
this period was rife in the United States of America. In England,
epidemic catarrh prevailed to a great extent; it was attended with sore
throat. Blight or mildew destroyed the oats in Scotland, and in the
United States of America wheat suffered from blast or blight; a bed of
oysters perished from disease at Wellflat Harbour, at Cape Cod, and
the lobsters disappeared from York Island, in the United States. In
the month of July, a murrain broke out among the horned cattle in the
province of Labourd, in France, and proved very destructive. It was
a sort of ramollissement of the brain, according to the authority of
Ignacio de Michelena, Juan de Ordoi, and Martin de Lorz. Dr. Alsinet,
a celebrated physician of Aranjuez, wrote a work this year on the
treatment of the tertian fever, which had been so prevalent all over
Spain: his plan of treatment consisted in giving emetics during the
intervals of the paroxysms, and bark immediately on the approach of the
cold fit; in cases of pernicious and malignant tertian, he gave double
doses. Puerperal fever was again epidemic at Vienna, and was attended
with great mortality.

A.D. 1773, the town of Guatimala in Mexico, with all its
riches and eight thousand families, was swallowed up by an awful
earthquake, and every vestige of its former existence obliterated, the
spot being now indicated by a frightful desert four leagues distant
from the nearest town.

The Severn this year was turned from its natural course by a great mass
of land moving from its place across the current near Bildewas Bridge
in Shropshire: this happened on the 27th of May. The year following,
a severe earthquake was felt at Altdorf in Switzerland on the 10th of

A.D. 1775, on the 8th of September, a severe earthquake shook
Wales and its neighbourhood. On the 19th of October, thunderstorms did
much damage in the North of England; it was about this time that the
three Dublin packets foundered at sea: and on the 14th of November, a
tremendous hurricane was experienced on the coast of Holland.

A.D. 1776, on the 10th of July a shock of an earthquake
was experienced at Andries in Italy, which overthrew the town, and
destroyed vast numbers of its inhabitants.

A.D. 1777, a dreadful hurricane visited St. Petersburgh; it
was attended by an inundation on the 14th of September, which did much

A.D. 1778, an earthquake did much harm at Smyrna on the 3rd
of July. This same year, after the British army had vacated the city
of Philadelphia, United States, bilious, yellow, or remittent fever
prevailed to a great extent amongst the inhabitants. The plague was
rife at Constantinople; an epidemic angina ravaged Manchester and
various other parts of England, and the city of Carthagena in Spain
again suffered from pestilence, similar to that which was observed
A.D. 1771; it continued, in fact, in an aggravated form, the
following years until 1779, and caused great mortality.

A.D. 1780, the winter was severe, both in Europe and America.
In England, on the 14th of January, the mercury fell 26° below zero,
and in Glasgow 46° below the same point. The summer of this year was
very hot; bilious remittent fevers raged in Philadelphia and in other
parts of the States; a ‘break-bone fever,’ as it was called, also
prevailed extensively, but was not fatal. The thermometer at times
stood at 102°. At this time cholera prevailed in the East Indies, and
is reported to have carried off at Hurdwar, during a festival which
is annually held there, some 20,000 persons, and during the following
year, 1781, to have assailed, in its most malignant form, a division
of the Bengal troops stationed at Garigani. During the summer of
1780, epidemic pestilence broke out in various parts of Spain: it
first made its appearance in a village of Passages in the month of
May, and continued for some time; it was supposed to have arisen from
intramural burial, the stench from the overcrowded graveyards being
intolerable. The burning heats, this year, may be said to have caused
much suffering in several parts of Europe, there having been scarcely
any rain; the summer having been succeeded by a heavy, cloudy winter,
predisposed the inhabitants of various parts of Europe to catarrhal
fevers: pernicious epidemics also prevailed in many parts of Spain; and
a malignant fever was rife amongst the inhabitants of Pampeluna: the
city of Olite was also similarly affected; after a time it extended to
Bericayú, Andosella, Mendaira, Toledo, Vidaurreta, and other cities and
places. In Pampeluna it persisted for six years, until 1787. A disease
termed ‘Andalusian fever’ prevailed this year in South America among
the Spanish colonists, and also at Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian
settlements. At Tauris, 15,000 dwellings were demolished, and vast
multitudes were swallowed up by an earthquake.

From the year 1781 down to 1789, epidemic pestilence committed great
havoc in various parts of the world. In England, an epizootic was fatal
to horses and horned cattle: of one hundred and sixteen horses located
in one barrack stable, all but thirteen were attacked; seventy-eight
died. The Channel fleet were great sufferers from epidemic disease;
11,732 sick were sent to Haslar Hospital; 1457 had scurvy; 240
dysentery, and 5539 suffered from severe fever. This may be taken as
a specimen of the health of the British navy down to the close of the
eighteenth century. Epidemic puerperal fever, about this period, was
very fatal in London. Measles raged in New York, Philadelphia, and in
other parts of the United States; and numerous cases of hydrophobia
occurred in the more southern States. In the month of July the weather
was so hot that the thermometer in the shade stood at 103°. In the
state of Maryland there was great mortality among horses and horned
cattle; and fish at this period died in vast quantities on the coasts
of Lapland and Norway.

A.D. 1782, in the month of July, there was a dreadful fire
at Constantinople, which destroyed upwards of 7000 houses; and in the
following month, a similar catastrophe caused the destruction of 20,000
more, many lives being lost: from the consequent crowding together
of the inhabitants, and from other suffering, famine and pestilence
followed. The epidemic pestilence which attacked the Bengal troops the
year previously at Garigani, extended to Sir E. Hughes’ squadron then
stationed in the East, and caused great mortality. The inhabitants
of the provinces of Languedoc and Roussillon were attacked with a
terrific epidemic, which caused great devastation. The governor of
Catalonia, in consequence of the great mortality, sent Dr. Masdevall
to inquire into the character of the epidemic, whether it was, as
it was publicly reported to be, the true plague, and whether it was
or was not contagious. Earthquakes during this year were frequent
in Calabria; they continued from time to time for four years, until
the end of 1786, producing many fissures, landslips, lakes, ravines,
falls of the sea-cliffs, and other changes, which taken together
afford one of the finest examples of the complicated alterations which
may result from a series of subterranean movements, even though of no
great apparent violence at the time. During this calamitous period, the
city of Messina in Sicily was destroyed, and 40,000 persons perished
by an earthquake; the city of Thessalonica suffered from a similarly
severe shock. A most intense frost commenced this year in England on
Christmas-day; it continued until the end of February in the following
year. A frightful epidemic broke out in the city of Lerida, which ran
rapidly through the extent of Tarragona, Manresa, Llasanes, Solsona,
Igualada, and Villafranca del Panades; it soon after prevailed over
nearly the whole of Catalonia. Pestilence broke out also in Tortosa and
in several of its districts; it soon extended all over the kingdom of
Aragon. This disease was principally variola.

A.D. 1784, nearly all the districts in the province of
Alcarria, especially Pastrana, suffered from pestilence,--an epidemic
tertian fever, which commenced in the month of November. About this
period, there was a great scarcity of water occasioned by the previous
hot and burning weather during a dry summer. The following spring was
rainy and damp, and there broke out exanthematous fevers, rheumatisms,
and intermittent quotidians, throughout all Spain; the small-pox,
which had prevailed the year before, and which at first appeared in a
benign form, soon degenerated, and assumed a malignant character. Dr.
Don Felix Ibañez, a physician of the city of Huete, but long resident
at Pastrana, describes the various diseases of this period in a work
entitled ‘Topographia Hipocratica ó Descripcion de la Epidemia de
Calenturas, tercianas intermittentes, malignas, continuo-remittentes
perniciosas, complicadas que re han padecido en la provincia de la
Alcarria desde el año 1784, hasta 1790, y 1791, y riguentes,’ &c.

The following year, 1785, epidemic tertian prevailed in Andalusia.
Dr. Don Juan Manuel Alvarez, of Constantina, wrote a work on the
pernicious intermittent fevers of this and the previous years, which
had been so extensively prevalent in the Peninsula: the disease was
felt more severely in Carthagena than during any other previous year;
it was exceedingly malignant, and destroyed vast numbers. Intemperate
seasons were attended with inundations from rains, so heavy as to form
lakes in some places. The city of Lerida suffered from variola.

A.D. 1786, in the city del Viso, on the confines of the
province of La Mancha, a frightful epidemic broke out, and destroyed
great numbers of the inhabitants. The city of St. Roque suffered
in the autumn from a similar pestilence: it proved to be a form of
pernicious intermittent. Dr. Don Josef Masdevall’s practice was
adopted in its treatment, and proved as successful as it had hitherto
done; it consisted of what he termed ‘la opiata antifebril y mixtura
antimonial.’ This year, Brother Miguel de Acero y Aldovera wrote a work
on the pernicious effects of intramural interments. The vomito negro
prevailed this year in the Havannah; its outbreak was attributed to the
emanations from putrid hides. In the Madras Reports, it is stated that
pestilential cholera was very destructive at Arcot.

A.D. 1787, there took place on the coast of Coromandel an
inundation proceeding from a severe hurricane; a district called Uppora
was overflowed by the sea on the 20th of May, when upwards of 12,000
persons lost their lives, and much property in cattle and houses was
destroyed. There was a violent storm that did much damage in England
and Ireland. There was also an eruption of Vesuvius.

A.D. 1788, severe frost occurred in England, commencing in
November, and continuing till the following March.

In the month of October, A.D. 1789, an almost universal
darkness overspread the land in America, and the most severe
pestilences on record occurred all over the United States, in the form
of anginas, croup, ulcerated sore-throat, putrid bilious fevers, &c.
Dr. Manson describes one of the epidemics thus; “slight influenza,
stinging pain in the jaws and limbs, soreness of the muscles of the
neck, attended with severe fever.” The measles, which occurred the year
previously, appear to have been the prelude to a series of epidemics
which raged for thirty years. Influenza was very severe in the cities
of New York and Philadelphia, and rapidly affected the other parts of
the States, wherever the same conditions of weather and atmosphere
prevailed: this disease also traversed the barren wilderness, seizing
on the Indian population, attacked seamen at sea, and raged with great
mortality through the western hemisphere, from the 15° to 45° of
northern latitude. Scarlet fever was also prevalent at Philadelphia,
and carried off great numbers of the young. These epidemics generally
exhibited as the predominant feature the superabundance of biliary
secretions, which were vomited.

A.D. 1790, the winter was very mild in America, there having
been but little frost until the month of February. In spring, catarrhs
prevailed; plethoric and consumptive persons suffered most, and were
the principal victims: measles appeared in autumn. The year following,
1791, the winter commenced early, and was very severe; the spring and
summer were dry and cold: catarrhs again prevailed: yellow fever broke
out in New York, and carried off numbers: scarlatina and hooping-cough
were also rife. About this period a kind of black worm, resembling a
caterpillar, appeared in Maryland, and destroyed the grass and corn;
they were represented as appearing in legions. At the same time a
blight destroyed the fruit and other vegetable productions; and another
distinct species of worm, called the palmer-worm, answering to the
description given in Sacred History, infested the land, devouring even
the forest trees, and destroying all woodwork. The thermometer at
Salem rose to 80° for fifty days, and for twelve days stood at 90°:
in various other parts of the States it varied from 90° to 102°. The
bilious plague, as reported by Dr. Rush, prevailed at Philadelphia.
The island of Grenada in the West Indies suffered from a similar
pestilence. Bilious remittent fever was also prevalent on the coast
of Africa: the plague raged in Egypt, and typhus fever committed great
ravages in England: yellow pestilence laid waste the Havannah; and a
severe murrain afflicted the horned cattle in Hungary, Servia, and
other European countries.

A.D. 1791, a tremendous earthquake was felt in Sicily, which
destroyed many lives and much property; it was equal in severity to
the shock experienced the year before at Borgo di San Sepolcro, during
which an opening in the earth swallowed up many houses with their
inhabitants. On the 2nd of February, this year, the Thames rose to an
extreme height, and overflowed many parts of Westminster.

A.D. 1792. This was a pestilential year in Egypt; it is
recorded that 800,000 persons died from plague. The winter of the
previous year, 1791, was very severe, and the spring wet and rainy
in the southern parts of the United States; the summer was cold up
to June, cold north-west winds prevailing. In May and June, locusts
appeared in the State of New York, and devoured the grain; the wheat
insect continued its ravages with great destruction to the crops in
Long Island and also in Maryland and north of the Elk ridge. In the
month of July, yellow fever raged terribly, causing great mortality in
the city of Charleston. A kind of caterpillar destroyed the lime-trees
in Philadelphia, and in the month of August, scarlet fever carried off
numbers in that city, as well as in New York, and in a place called

A.D. 1793, the spring was dry, the summer intensely hot and
showery, with hail, and the autumn dry and cold. A fatal dysentery
swept off vast numbers in Georgetown, Coventry; a nervous fever was
prevalent at a place called Fairfield. Yellow fever raged to an
alarming extent in Philadelphia, carrying off in the course of four
or five months upwards of 4000 persons: it was also fatal in Boston.
In the following year it prevailed in Baltimore, and at Norfolk in
Virginia. About this period a similar epidemic caused great destruction
in the island of Dominica and other of the West Indian islands: in
Dominica it continued for three years, until 1796.

A.D. 1794, an awful earthquake was felt at Naples, and
Vesuvius, pouring forth its flames, overwhelmed the city of Torre del
Greco. The following year, the weather was uncommonly bad, the spring
cold and late, the summer suffocatingly hot, damp, and rainy, whilst
south winds were prevalent,--the fruits perished from mould. There was
a disease among vegetables, especially the potatoes and cabbages. A
dense moisture penetrated into the inmost recesses of the houses, even
into desks, bureaux, &c., and the walls appeared covered with a damp
white mould, which destroyed the paper-hangings. Millions of mosquitoes
and other insects were generated; in fact, a pestilential constitution
of the air, answering to the description given by Hippocrates and
other writers, was evidenced by these signs. Yellow fever raged with
great violence in many parts of the United States of America, viz. in
Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, &c., and continued until 1800. “In
the whole course of my life,” says Professor Kemp, writing to Dr. Baily
on yellow fever, “I never experienced a state of air so distressingly
debilitating, and unfriendly to my spirits.” On the 6th of February,
this year, a severe shock of an earthquake was felt at Vienna. At this
period 10,000 persons lost their lives in three towns of Turkey by a
similar catastrophe.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                        FROM A.D. 1795 TO 1848.

A.D. 1795, a severe earthquake was felt on the 17th of
July at Manchester and in its neighbourhood: there was a second
shock afterwards on the 18th of October. On the 6th of November,
in the same year, a violent storm destroyed many lives and much
property in England. On the 24th of the following month, December,
a severe frost set in, and continued until the 23rd of January.
Murrain committed great ravages in Lombardy amongst horned cattle.
Professor Count Moscati and Drs. Deho, Bonvicini, and Gherardini
published a description of its symptoms, amongst which were observable
great rigidity and tension in the necks of animals, and also great
sensibility along the spinal column, towards the termination of the
malady. Two years after, 1797, a similar epidemic prevailed in the
Venetian States, especially in Friuli: horses, sheep, and poultry
suffered from this malady, as well as horned cattle. A severe
earthquake, this year, 1796, destroyed the whole country between Santa
Fé and Panama, including the cities of Cusco and Quito; 40,000 of the
inhabitants were in one second hurled into eternity. The seasons were
intemperate in the United States. Bilious remittent or yellow fever
prevailed at New York, Charleston, Boston, Newburyport, Philadelphia,
and in various others of the States. The year following, 1797, the
epidemic continued to cause great mortality in the States, especially
in Norfolk, Providence, Portland, and Savannah, and it extended thence
to New Orleans: it commenced with the symptoms of common remittent
fever, and increased progressively in violence, carrying off numbers of
the inhabitants.

A.D. 1798. The preceding winter was severe and long. The
summer, this year, was remarkably dry and sultry; the rivers afterwards
inundated the adjoining country, heavy rains falling at the same
time. Catarrhs, pleurisies, and sore throats prevailed, with bilious
fevers. In the autumn, grasshoppers infested the country round about
Pennsylvania and New England, and a pestilential fever commenced and
spread dismay among the inhabitants: many were carried off by it.
The citizens of New York, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Newport, Albany,
Boston, Portsmouth, and New London, suffered greatly from this disease,
which exhibited both bubo and carbuncle, with many other symptoms of
the true plague. A peculiar fog or vapour was observed in New York
during the most fatal period of this pestilence, especially in the
month of September. Lake and marsh fevers prevailed also about this
period in the low and swampy districts, such as Milford, &c. This
yellow pestilence was less generally characterized by inflammatory
action, and venesection was attended with less salutary effects than on
former occasions.

A.D. 1799. In Barbary, 3000 died daily from severe pestilence:
at Fez alone, 247,000 persons are said to have perished in consequence.
In Morocco, pestilence was preceded by famine, induced by extreme
elemental disturbance. At Mogador it broke out, in April, in the form
of virulent small-pox; by July it had assumed the type of the most
deadly species of plague: this fatal disease ceased in October, after
carrying off numbers. At a small village called Diabet, situated about
two miles south-east of Mogador, it raged with great violence for
twenty-one days, carrying off during that period one hundred persons
out of one hundred and thirty. Many populous villages, in the extensive
Shellah province of Haha, suffered in a similar manner. The birds
deserted their former abodes during the prevalence of this pestilence.
The Emperor, it is reported, had the plague twice during the time.

The summer in the United States of America, this year, 1799, was sultry
and dry, with much thunder and lightning, succeeded by deluging rains;
the autumn was variable, and the winter severe; the following spring
was cold and late, and yellow fever showed itself to a certain extent
in many of the States.

A.D. 1800, malignant yellow fever commenced at Baltimore,
and raged in Boston, and in various other of the principal districts
of the Union. In the autumn of this year, Cadiz became desolate from
a similar pestilence; by the middle of September the deaths amounted
to 200 daily: at this period the air, from its stagnant state, says
Arejula, became so vitiated, that its noxious qualities affected even
the lower orders of animals: canary birds died with blood issuing
from their bills; and in none of the neighbouring towns, which were
afterwards infected, did any sparrows appear during the epidemic. We
saw, continues Arejula, many of the domestic animals die with some
of the same symptoms as those presented by persons labouring under
the disease. Dogs were affected by the epidemic more than any other
animals; the cats next, and the horses, then poultry and canary birds;
dogs and cats were also subject to hemorrhages, but more so to the
black vomit, and to dark fœtid evacuations. The horses which I saw die,
he says, had that marble coldness of the extremities, or the general
convulsions, so remarkable in this disease. Another author, Fellows,
states that all the physicians in Cadiz and in Malaga who have written
on this disorder, and with whom he had conversed, confirmed to him
the facts as detailed by Arejula. The inhabitants of Xeres suffered
greatly from this yellow pestilence; it also prevailed at Malaga, and
in various other parts of Spain: it persisted unto 1804.

A.D. 1801, anginas, pleurisies, and yellow pestilence
continued to prevail for several years in the United States of America,
and in other places: typhus was rife in Ireland and England, especially
in London, from which city and countries it is scarcely ever absent.

A.D. 1802, a very hot and dry summer was succeeded in November
by incessant heavy rain: thick fogs spread over the country, and
enveloped such places in central Germany as were inaccessible to
ventilation; amongst others, the small Franconian town of Roettingen,
situated on the river Tauber, and surrounded by mountains. Towards
the end of the month an extremely fatal disease broke out, which
was without example in the memory of its oldest inhabitants, it
being totally unknown to them previously. The young and strong were
suddenly seized with pain and anguish at the heart, with violent
palpitations, and lacerating pains in the nape of the neck; profuse,
sour, ill-smelling perspiration broke out over the entire body, and
a suffering, as though a violent rheumatic fever had seized on the
tendinous expansions, accompanied this terrible malady: in the worst
cases a spasmodic trembling ensued, the patient fainted, the limbs
became rigid, and death closed the scene, frequently within twenty-four
hours from the commencement of the attack.

A.D. 1803. Influenza overspread the British Isles in the
spring of this year, causing great mortality: in severity it was
similar to those prevalent A.D. 1762 and 1782, as described by
Sir George Baker.

Tommasini describes a yellow pestilence which raged at Leghorn and at
Lucca A.D. 1804. A similar disease was also prevalent in the
West Indian Islands about this period, especially in the islands of
Martinique and Grenada. The year following, 1805, spotted typhus, or
petechial pestilence, was rife in various parts of the United States,
and caused great mortality.

A.D. 1809, epidemic pestilence suddenly made its appearance
amongst the British troops occupying Portugal.

A.D. 1810, in the month of October, yellow pestilence appeared
at Gibraltar: of the population of this fortress, amounting to 14,000,
only twenty-eight escaped the malady; twelve of these had had the
disease previously in the West Indies and elsewhere. A.D.
1811, puerperal fever was prevalent and lethal in Somersetshire.

A.D. 1812, Constantinople suffered dreadfully from plague,
which carried off 160,000 persons. Since the severe winter of 1794–95,
this country (England) had not experienced such an intense and
continued cold as occurred during the present season, from the 30th of
November, 1813, to February, 1814. The early part of December was raw,
chilly, and occasionally foggy; frost, which was severe, commenced the
day after Christmas-day: on the 27th it was accompanied by a thick fog,
which, towards noon, became so dense as to render all objects invisible
at a short distance, even with the aid of torches, so as to prevent the
departure of mail-coaches and of other carriages; numerous accidents
occurred in and near London. This singular and dark state of the
atmosphere, which was extremely offensive both to the eyes and lungs,
continued for the space of seven days, with scarcely any change, even
at noon, except the appearance of a dim light during the latter; and
as the frost increased, the houses, shrubs, and trees became thickly
covered with the freezing humidity of the fog. This state of things
terminated at the end of the week with a heavy fall of snow, which
continued until the streets were covered to the depth of several feet,
to the great interruption of all communication with the country for
several days. In the last week of January, from a partial thaw, immense
masses of ice were brought down the Thames, which, on the recurrence of
frost, became so united as to be capable of supporting the weight of
great multitudes of people, who were entertained in the booths erected
upon the ice during the fair near Blackfriars Bridge. The wind blew
almost invariably from the east and north-east, and was frequently very
high, rendering the cold more intense: on many days the temperature was
as low as 15° of Fahrenheit, and it was said to have fallen on some
nights as low as 11°, and even lower. The effects of this severity of
the cold were aggravated amongst the lower orders by the difficulty of
procuring fuel, in consequence of the great scarcity of coals, which
cost double the usual price. Persons of all ages suffered from severe
influenza, attended with fever of a rather malignant type: children,
and persons who had passed the middle period, as usual, suffered the
most, from their vital powers being less energetic than during the
intermediate periods of existence. During the months of October and
November (1813) typhus fever became more frequent than it had been for
several years previously: it prevailed mostly in the filthy courts
of Saffron Hill, near Hatton Garden, which are almost exclusively
inhabited by the lowest kind of Irish labourers. Scarlatina was also
rife, but was not very fatal. These diseases were not, however,
confined to the places where they first appeared; they soon showed
themselves in the crowded districts in the eastern and north-eastern
parts of the town, and in the Borough, and were greatly prevalent in
the alleys about Essex Street, in Whitechapel, near Golden Lane, Old
Street, and in many filthy courts about Cow Cross and Chick Lane,
in the vicinity of Smithfield: they were also rife in the districts
near Kent Street, in the parishes of St. George and St. Saviour, in
Southwark, in the courts running into Shoe Lane, Clare Market, the
Strand, at Somers Town, and, singular to say, they broke out last of
all in St. Giles’, the district proverbially the receptacle of beggary
and vice.

During this year (1813), yellow pestilence again made its appearance
at Gibraltar; it raged from October till the month of December, when
it subsided, after causing great destruction of the troops then in
garrison. The civilians suffered an equal mortality. In the year
following (1814), this epidemic again broke out in the month of August,
and disappeared about the end of October; it was not again heard of on
the rock until 1828.

A.D. 1813, plague made its appearance in the island of Malta,
where it had not been known previously for 138 years,--not since the
year 1675. From the month of April to that of November, 4483 persons
were carried off by it; it also raged at Gozzo, Corfu, &c.

A.D. 1815, the harvest was unfavourable all over Europe, and
several provinces of Naples were threatened with famine. On the 27th
of December, a suspicious epidemic broke out at Noya: it consisted of
a hot nervous fever, rapidly running its course, with gangrenous and
malignant boils and carbuncles; women were the first and most frequent
victims; children also suffered in a similar proportion; old persons
were more exempt. The disease soon afterwards appeared at Cagliari,
and it is stated not to have presented any of the characteristics of
the plague, although it was very fatal. This pestilence was preceded
by a famine, which commenced among the poor: other diseases prevailed
at the same time: the prevalence of a south wind seemed to increase
its propagative powers; it continued about six months, when it ceased
suddenly in the following year, 1816.

About this period, A.D. 1815, pestilential disease was
developed in the island of Corfu; it first made its appearance at
a little village called Marathea, in the district of Lefchimo.
Tully states that nothing could equal the wretched appearance of
the village,--poverty, with all its miserable train of attendants,
presenting itself to view at every step. Near this village stagnant
pools and marshes everywhere presented themselves: rains set in earlier
than usual, and were followed by a long drought and heat, unnatural for
the advanced season of the year, with a constant sirocco or south-east
wind: so rapidly fatal was this pestilence, that more than a fourth
part of the inhabitants were carried off in a few days. It is recorded
that out of 700 seized in this small village, only 78 recovered!

During the same year, the fall of rain in the East was remarkable,
especially during the rainy season, when it was indeed excessive,--and
that which rendered it the more worthy of notice was, that the Ganges,
the Soane, and the Coossee rivers burst their boundaries, and destroyed
a vast extent of agricultural property in the neighbouring districts.
The cold season that followed was also damp, and not bracing; and again
the hot or summer season that followed was also moist. The winter
which followed was unfortunately also damp, and the atmosphere during
the subsequent summer, A.D. 1816, was exceedingly loaded
with moisture in the shape of dense fogs; drought followed, for the
heat was intense; few north-westers, it is said, occurred to temper
the air, and those which did were accompanied with little or no rain:
towards the end of the month of May, the thermometer had risen to
98° in the shade,--a very uncommon height in Bengal. This scorching,
burning weather continued uninterrupted unto the middle of June. In
the remaining portion of June and in July the rains fell moderately
in Calcutta and in its vicinity; but in the month following, August,
the showers became scanty and rare, while the days and nights were
oppressively hot. In the western part of the provinces the great
drought which succeeded dried up the rivers, so that apprehensions
were entertained for the safety of the rice cultivation. The 1st of
September ushered in a most unexpected change: rain came down in
deluges, and continued unabated during the entire month: it caused a
greater and more extensive inundation than had happened within the
recollection of the oldest inhabitant.

The morbid effects of a long train of anomalous weather then became
evident amongst the people. Low fevers of a typhoid character
prevailed, accompanied by a malignant sore-throat,--a disease
previously unknown there, according to the Bengal Report.

A.D. 1817 was the commencement of a pestilential period,
during which disease raged rampant all over the habitable globe, and so
continued for a series of years: yellow pestilence prevailed with great
violence, and caused great mortality at Savannah, New Orleans, Mobile,
Natchez, the Havannah, Baltimore, Charleston, and elsewhere in the
United States.

Pestilential cholera commenced and committed great ravages, especially
in India, where it prevailed with an intensity and fatality equal to
those of a similar malady which was fatal to thousands of the human
race A.D. 260. This pestilence broke out in the month of
August, it is said, at a place called Jessore, a populous town in the
centre of the Delta of the Ganges, the capital of the Sunderbunds,
distant from Calcutta about sixty English miles, and there it caused
great mortality, proving fatal to almost all on whom it seized.
Jessore is described as being a crowded, filthy place, surrounded by
impenetrable and marshy jungles, and consequently exposed to all the
horrors of a malarious and ill-ventilated atmosphere. In the course
of a few weeks, 10,000 of the inhabitants perished in this district
only. In the September following, it broke out in Calcutta, where it
committed great ravages. It spread thence along the banks of the Ganges
in a north-westerly direction, not then extending further to the east
than Muzufferpore. It also attacked with great violence the English
army assembled in Bundelcund, under the Marquess of Hastings, on the
banks of the Sinde, in the most central part of India. Five thousand
men perished between the 15th and 20th of November, 9000 of the troops
dying altogether during this attack of the epidemic. The roads were
covered with the dying and the dead.

A.D. 1818. This dreadful epidemic extended to Jaulnah, on the
Madras side of the Indian peninsula, and in August of the same year
it reached Bombay; in fact, it may be said to have extended itself to
every part of India, and to many of the neighbouring countries, which
are to this day suffering from it, but in a mitigated degree. In March,
10,000 perished from it in Banda and its environs. Hutta, Saugur,
Ougein, and Kotah also suffered in a similar proportion. An equal
number died of cholera in the same month in Allahabad. In April and
May, Cawnpore, Meerhut, Agra, and Delhi were attacked, and the disease
raged in these towns with great severity. About the same time, Lucknow
and Fyzabad, cities in Oude, were ravaged by it, and 30,000 perished in
Goruckpore alone. In October, the disease broke out in Madras, and in
Ceylon in the following December. During this period, it proved very
destructive to the inhabitants of the Mauritius, raged violently in
the Burmese Empire, in the kingdom of Aracan, and in the peninsula of
Molucca. Yellow pestilence also raged at the same time in the United
States, and continued the two following years, 1819 and 1820, carrying
off great numbers in many of the States, especially in New York and
Philadelphia; it was also rife in the West Indian Islands, in Bermuda,
in British Guiana, and in various parts of the South American continent.

The year 1819 was marked by great commotions of the elements, and
a general spread of epidemic pestilence all over the world; its
prevalence was remarked in all the four quarters of the globe, each
portion having been visited by the forms of disease peculiar to its
several climates. A tract of country, the Ullah-Bund, in the Delta
of the Indus, extending nearly fifty miles in length and sixteen
in breadth, was upheaved ten feet; while adjoining districts were
depressed, and the features of the Delta completely altered. The island
of Penang, Sumatra, Singapore, the kingdom of Siam, and the isles of
France and Bourbon were infected with pestilential cholera. In the
single town of Bankok, the capital of Siam, 40,000 persons perished by
this dire destruction.

During the year 1820 cholera extended to Tonquin, Cambogia,
Cochin-China, Southern China, Canton, the Philippines, &c.

A.D. 1821, Xeres was visited by yellow pestilence; the British
troops suffered severely, and the civilians in greater proportion;
it prevailed also with great destruction at Cadiz, a city which
had suffered between the years 1800 and 1821, from eleven epidemic
pestilences of a similar type. (_Vide_ Professor Salva, of
Barcelona, on Yellow Fever.)--Sir James Fellows, in his reports on
the pestilential disorders of Andalusia during these years, asserts,
as before remarked, that the air from its stagnant state became so
vitiated that its noxious qualities affected even dumb animals. The
winter in America this year was mild until the end of December; the
spring was wet and cold, and the summer dry and sultry, with uncommon
heat; all vegetable productions seemed to wither, and the drought was
so great that the wells or springs were dried up; the thermometer rose
to 90° and 100° in May; and intermittent, remittent and bilious fevers,
with dysenteries, prevailed in the swampy districts. In the month of
August, yellow pestilence made its appearance at New York, and was soon
rife at Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and at Charleston; it was also
prevalent at New Orleans, Natchez, Mobile, Alabama, and the Havannah,
and extended along the low banks of the Mississippi river. From this
period until 1822, the disease, although diminished in severity, yet
carried off great numbers in the various districts.

Destructive cholera, which may be said not to have subsided at all,
visited, this year, 1821, the island of Java, Bantam, Mendura,
Borneo, and various other parts in the Indian Archipelago. In Java
it is reported that 102,000 persons were carried off by it, 17,000
of whom belonged to the town of Batavia, one of the most unhealthy
towns in the East. This same year, this dreadful pestilence, in the
month of July, reached Muscat in Arabia, in its western course, where
10,000 persons lost their lives, and during the remainder of the year
committed great ravages in various places in the Persian Gulf. In the
following month, August, it appeared in Persia, and raged with violence
at Bassora and at Baghdad. In Bassora, 18,000 lives, being one-third
of the population, were sacrificed in eleven days, and a similarly
fearful destruction befel Baghdad. In Bushire, where it broke out in
July, 1821, its ravages were most fearful. The bazaars were closed, the
houses abandoned, the unburied dead lay in heaps in the streets, and
the surviving population sought safety in flight. In Shiraz one-eighth
of the population perished.

In the years 1822–24, it revisited Tonquin and also Pekin, Central
and Northern China, the Moluccas or Spice Islands, Amboyna, Macassar,
Assam, and most of the other eastern countries. In Ispahan the epidemic
did not inflict much damage, but at Erzeroom it attacked the army of
the victorious Abbas Mirza, and swept his ranks from front to rear,
the terror-stricken soldiery throwing away their arms, and flying from
before the invisible destroyer. During these years, 1822–24, extending
to 1827–29–30, this pestilence prevailed in many of the principal
cities of Persia, and also in Chinese Tartary: it ravaged most of the
populous cities of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Judæa, and reached within
150 miles of the Georgian frontiers of Russia: it was also rife at
Orenburg and Astrachan, beyond which it seems not to have extended
until the years 1828–29, when it appeared at Orenburg, the capital of
the province of that name, situated on the Tartar frontier, 400 miles
north of the Caspian Sea. During this period, disease was rife in
various other parts of the world.

There was a great scarcity, A.D. 1822, and epidemic typhus
prevailed to a great extent in the west of Ireland, involving other
parts of that unfortunate country. An awful earthquake occurred about
this period at Chili, by which an immense tract of ground, 1000 square
miles, was elevated from two to six feet above its original level, and
a great part of the bottom of the sea remained bare and dry at high
water, with beds of oysters, mussels, and other shellfish adhering to
the rocks on which they grew. The fish being all dead, and exhaling
most offensive effluvia, disease consequently ensued. Ordinary typhus
prevailed in Paris, during which time many cases of spasmodic yellow
fever, as it was termed, were observed.

A.D. 1823, the Laplanders are stated to have suffered greatly
in their cattle from murrain; upwards of 5000 head were carried
off,--wolves even being destroyed by it, so intense and general
among the lower animals was the distemper. Yellow fever this year
prevailed in Lisbon and in the Island of Ascension, and also in various
settlements on the African coast, especially at Sierra Leone. The
two years following, 1824–25, pestilence was rife in Lisbon. Yellow
pestilence, in the latter year, devastated many places on the coast of
South America, especially in the Brazils. Yellow fever prevailed at
Rio de Janeiro. The drought was excessive, but was succeeded by heavy
rains, common in this quarter of the globe. At one settlement alone,
Aracaty, the mortality in a short time was estimated at 30,000. Great
numbers died during their efforts to reach the coast for water; wild
as well as domestic animals perished. The drought, with its attendant
misery and deadliness, was so great, that to this day the inhabitants
speak of the calamity with horror. About this period, small-pox
committed great ravages in Hamburgh; and at Grand Cairo 30,000 persons
died of pestilence.

A.D. 1826, epidemic typhus prevailed all over Ireland, and
caused great mortality. Dr. Graves, in his Lectures, refers to very
many well-marked cases of yellow fever. He says, “We have had this year
numerous cases which in their symptoms and their morbid anatomy agree
essentially with yellow fever,--yellow skin, black vomit, &c.”

A.D. 1827. In the early part of this year, Groningen,
Friesland, North Holland, Belgium, and Lower Germany suffered from
epidemic influenza. The previous summer (1826) was followed by moist
weather, and the countries were damp from inundations. The epidemic
raged with such mortality, that the Dutch Government found it necessary
to adopt strong measures to relieve the sickness which affected nearly
the whole population.

Yellow fever was prevalent in the United States; remittent fever
was also rife in various parts of England; the symptoms amounted in
severity to those of pestilence, and were such as had scarcely been
seen in England since the days of Sydenham.

This year, a singular malady--a sort of rheumatic fever, occasioning
great agony,--broke out in the island of St. Thomas, in the West
Indies, and affected almost every one of a population amounting to
12,000 persons. It obtained from the negroes the cognomen of ‘dandy
fever.’ It proved to be an exceedingly painful disease, crippling
persons for weeks and months, and obliging them to move about on
crutches; it was, however, rarely fatal: it spread generally all
over the West Indian Islands. A similar disease prevailed the year
following, A.D. 1828, in Paris, and was considered by the
Parisians as being of an extraordinary character. A writer thus
describes the malady:--It was generally unaccompanied with any great
degree of fever, but affected the whole nervous system in a most
peculiar manner; especially by a most painful sense of formication
in the hands and feet, as well as a degree of numbness which seized
first upon the members, and thence extended over the whole body.
The formication and painful numbness of the extremities were so
characteristic of the complaint, that at Paris and elsewhere in France
it was known by the name of ‘mal des pieds et des mains.’

The cellular tissue, in this disease, became affected after a while;
the hands and feet swelled, and œdema attacked the face and several
other parts of the frame: immense numbers suffered from it in France.
The sensations were compared to those caused by the punctures from
the points of a thousand needles, or of some such sharp instrument;
an intense degree of heat aggravated the sufferings, and many could
scarcely move their body or extremities without great agony; cramps and
spasmodic contractions were present in many cases; the digestive organs
were greatly disordered, and symptoms of cholera morbus were sometimes
developed in the course of the disease; eruptions of various kinds
occurred on the body; sleep was prevented by excessive pain and general
disturbance of the system; delirium sometimes supervened; the sight
and hearing, and the sense of smell, were altogether lost in some, but
in others only partially impaired. In some, convalescence followed in
a few weeks; in others, not until several months had elapsed. Great
numbers fell victims to the malady, and many perished ultimately from
its sequelæ.

This year, A.D. 1828, Gibraltar was again visited by yellow
pestilence, which attacked both the military and civilians; it
commenced in the month of September; it broke out among, and was
for some time confined to, the filthiest and most crowded parts, or
districts, on the rock, but it ultimately seized on all ranks and
classes of society. It was observed to prevail to a greater extent and
more severely in some situations than in others, particularly along
the line of wall facing the sea,--few of the soldiers stationed there
escaping an attack, so that it was soon found necessary to withdraw
the sentries stationed in the neighbourhood. From this period to 1834,
there was great famine in Italy; the seasons were moist and hot;
repeated inundations occurred there, and south winds and summer fogs
prevailed. The French army encamped before the city of Naples lost
great numbers by pestilence. A disease called ‘la trousse galante’
carried off immense numbers in France. There were during this period
great failures of the crops in England and elsewhere in Europe,
occasioned by wet and mild winters, followed by hot summers: epidemic
pestilence was the consequence.

The breaking out of epidemic pestilence in Orenburg, in August, A.D.
1829, was attended with some extraordinary phenomena,--the atmosphere
was suddenly filled with dense masses of small green flies, which
in Asia are looked upon as the forerunners of pestilence, and are
therefore called plague-flies; the streets swarmed with these insects,
and on quitting their houses, the inhabitants were literally covered
from head to foot with them.

A.D. 1830. A blight or disease, this year, made its appearance
in the potato and other crops in various parts of Germany, in Ireland,
and in America. In 1832, it was more general and severe in some
situations than in others.

Cholera about this period showed itself on the borders of the Black
Sea, penetrating thence into the centre of European Russia, where it
continued throughout the winter. Towards the beginning of autumn, it
commenced with great violence in the Georgian frontier of Persia,
having appeared in June, 1830, in the Persian province of Ghilan,
on the Caspian shore; from the southern parts of which it extended
northward, along the west Caspian shore, until it reached Baku, Tiflis,
Astrachan, and numerous other places, in its progress into the very
heart of the Russian empire. At Astrachan, from July to the end of
August, 4000 died in the city, and 21,270 in the entire province. 2367
persons died of it in Saratov; and shortly afterwards, of 1792 Don
Cossacks attacked, 1334 perished. At Penza, situate about 140 miles
north of Saratov, 1200 of the population were seized in the course of
a fortnight, and 800 sunk under it. At Nischnei Novgorod, where the
epidemic soon afterwards broke out, 1863 persons were taken ill, of
whom nearly a thousand died. The mortality in Bessarabia and Moldavia
was appalling: Jassi, the capital of Moldavia, was almost depopulated.
This insatiable malady continued to spread, carrying death in its
course westward and northward, through Russia, Poland, Moldavia, the
duchy of Posen, Silesia, and Austria, visiting Warsaw, with other towns
in Poland, and extending, May, 1831, to Riga and Dantzic; and in June
and July to St. Petersburgh and Cronstadt: it reached Berlin on the
last day of August, Vienna in September, and Hamburgh on the 7th of

A.D. 1831, cholera followed the Russian army employed in
the subjugation of Poland; it also proved very destructive in Warsaw
and in many other places during the months of April and May. In June
it prevailed in Cracow and other adjoining places, extending in its
course to Gallicia, Hungary, Smyrna, and Constantinople; it raged with
such intensity at Cairo, that 10,400 Mahomedans, besides Jews and
Christians, were carried off. During this year, whilst cholera was
progressing over the continent of Europe, it appeared at Mecca, where
it proved very destructive to the ‘Hadji,’ or pilgrims. In August, it
broke out at Alexandria, and nearly at the same time all the towns in
the Delta of the Nile suffered from its violence. This year, when the
pestilence was at its height at Baghdad, the population of the city was
computed to be 80,000; of this number, 7000 perished during the first
fortnight: the epidemic continued to increase in severity, until the
maximum rate of mortality for some days was 5000 daily: 50,000 are
supposed to have been carried off in this devoted city during the two
months it was devastated by this awful pestilence. In destructiveness
it was equal to any former visitation on record; it was, however, to be
attributed, not so much to the effects of pestilential miasmata, as to
concurring circumstances which obliged the inhabitants to congregate
densely in particular parts of the city. The rivers Euphrates and
Tigris are flooded twice in the year, first in the spring, from the
melting of the snow in the mountains of Armenia, and afterwards in
the autumn, from the periodical rains. The country round about was
inundated, this year, to an uncommon degree, beyond any traditional
example,--the lower part of the country particularly. At Baghdad the
waters were for a time kept from bursting into the town by means of
the walls, but on the night of the 26th of April a part thereof on
the north-west side of the city was undermined, and fell. The waters
immediately rushed in and caused the destruction of about 7000 houses,
burying 15,000 persons in the ruins: many of these were lying sick
of the pestilence; and there was besides a large number of unburied
dead. In consequence of the daily fall or partial ruin of houses from
the encroachments of the waters before their subsidence occurred, the
inhabitants were crowded together, and from being deprived of their
usual resources for the disposal of their dead, the sickening horrors
of the pestilence were accumulated tenfold before the eyes of the
unfortunate survivors, and thus constituted an additional aggravation
of their sufferings. The burial-places were laid under water, and while
the disposition and power lasted to bury their dead, every open space,
says an eye-witness,--the streets, the courtyards of mosques, and even
stables,--were turned up to furnish graves. In one stable-yard, which
the terrace of our house overlooked, says the same writer, nearly one
hundred graves were opened, and filled in the course of one day and a
half; it was a fearful sight indeed to see the uncoffined dead brought
in barrows and on the backs of asses, and laid upon the ground, till
the graves were made ready for them. As the mortality increased, the
dead were thrown out into the streets, and were greedily devoured by
the ravenous dogs which swarm in all the cities of the East. He did
much, then, who took the dead of his household to the river side and
threw them in. The pressure of famine was also greatly felt,--the
inundation cut off all supplies from the country round about; no fresh
provisions of any kind could be had, and although the higher classes,
who generally had a stock of corn on hand, were preserved from absolute
want, nevertheless respectable persons were seen in crowds begging from
door to door for food.

To continue: about the month of May, an epidemic disease made its
appearance in Paris, which on comparison presented symptoms analogous
to those of the epidemic pestilence described by Sauvages as occurring
A.D. 1743, and also to that described by Ruyoux, A.D. 1762. The term
‘la grippe’ was thought applicable to it.

As occurred in the epidemics of which we have spoken, and as has been
observed in former times, and noted by Rivére, Senertus, Sydenham,
Loes, Huxham, and many others, a remarkable analogy was noticed between
the ‘medical constitution’ which had existed for some months past,
and the development of this epidemic. All authors who have given
descriptions of catarrhal epidemics similar to that of which we are
writing, agree in saying that they have almost invariably followed cold
and moist seasons, and that they seemed more immediately to be produced
by sudden atmospheric vicissitudes.

These facts harmonize with those observed in Paris. The malady
commenced with symptoms of coryza, attended by cough and snuffling;
dyspnea, with severe bronchial irritation, supervened, when the
paroxysm all at once became greatly aggravated. One symptom was
remarked as being pretty general and prominent, viz., a feeling of
lassitude and fatigue of the limbs, with more or less great moral
prostration: the disease was not very fatal, and generally lasted
for eight or ten days. During this period an extraordinary epidemic
prevailed at a village called Mandroros, in Russia,--gangrene of the
spleen. From the singular nature of this disease, a description will
probably be found interesting. It commenced without any premonitory
symptoms; the patient was suddenly seized with a feeling of burning
at the pit of the stomach, accompanied by an insupportable pain in
the left hypochondria; lassitude, with vomiting of a greenish bitter
fluid, bowels naturally active, urine scanty, loss of appetite, and
laborious respiration. Putrid appearances supervened in the course of a
few hours, followed by meteorismus, borborygmi, yellowness of the skin,
and of the scleroticæ; facies Hippocratica, cramps, cold extremities,
and death. This disease, it is said, was not contagious, but epidemic,
and it is further stated to have resembled that which was called ‘the
plague of Siberia.’ After death, decomposition of the corpses took
place rapidly, a black spot first appearing over the splenic region.
Necrotomy showed the spleen in an engorged and gangrenous condition.

In October, 1831, cholera made its appearance in Sunderland, and a
month after in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; it visited Houghton-le-Spring,
North Shields, Tynemouth, South Shields, Gateshead, and other places.
The first appearance of it in London is reported to have taken place in
the following year, 1832, in the month of February, in the immediate
vicinity of the shipping; but solitary cases were met with in the close
filthy quarters of the very poor, early in December. In Scotland it had
made its appearance previously about Christmas; and in the following
January, Leith and Edinburgh suffered greatly. During this period
it broke out in France, Holland, and in the peninsula generally. In
the summer of 1832 cholera prevailed throughout England, Scotland,
Ireland, and Wales, and in the Channel Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, &c.,
and also among the emigrants arriving at Quebec; from the latter city
it extended to Montreal, Kingston on the Lake Ontario, and to the
surrounding neighbourhood. Soon afterwards, New York and Albany, in
the United States, were attacked, and in due time the disease extended
to Philadelphia, to Newcastle on the Delaware river, and to many other
parts of the United States; it raged at New Orleans, as did also yellow
fever: it made its appearance at the Havannah in the month of July,
1833. During the spring of that year influenza spread over every part
of Great Britain and Ireland: it had raged previously in Russia and the
northern parts of Germany, where it had inflicted great mortality in
its course.

On the 26th of March, Paris was again invaded by cholera, and the
inhabitants of Calais also suffered greatly; in Paris, at least 20,000
persons had fallen victims to this scourge by the end of September.
During this year and the following, it raged throughout Spain, and was
especially destructive in Madrid. Numerous places on the borders of the
Mediterranean were visited by this pestilence, and it re-appeared in
London and in other places in this country, as well as in North America.

From the year 1833 to 1838, plague raged with great violence, carrying
off vast numbers, in Constantinople, Cairo, Alexandria, and Smyrna.

A.D. 1834, cholera was rife at Gibraltar; it extended to the rock, and
no one seems to have escaped the disease. A singular phenomenon, a
shower of fish, was noticed on the 17th of May in the neighbourhood of
Allahabad. The zemindars of the village have furnished the following
particulars, which were confirmed by other accounts:--About noon, the
wind being from the west, and a few distant clouds visible, there was
a blast of high wind accompanied with much dust, of a reddish yellow
colour, with which the atmosphere was greatly charged. The blast
appeared to extend in breadth about 400 yards; immense trees and large
buildings were thrown down, and when the storm had passed away, the
ground all about the village was found strewed with small fish to the
extent of two bijahs: the fish were all of the chalwa species (_clopea
cultrata_, Shakespeare Dictionary); they were a span or rather less
in length, and from one sear to one and a half in weight; when found
they were all dead and dry. The Jumna runs about three miles south of
the village, and the Ganges fourteen W. by E. The fish were not fit
for eating, and it was said that when put in the pan for dressing they
turned into blood!

The writer of a history of cholera, published in the ‘Lancet,’ says:
“From the earliest times it has been a matter of common observation
that plagues and murrains among the lower animals not unfrequently
either preceded or accompanied the visitations to which mankind were
subjected. Thus, at the siege of Troy, we are told by Homer:

                            μετὰ δ’ ἰὸν ἔηκε·
    Δεινὴ δὲ κλαγγὴ γένετ’ ἀργύρεοιο βιοῖο.
    Οὐρῆας μὲν πρῶtον ἐπῴχετο, καὶ κύνας ἀργούς·
    Αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ’ αὐτοîσι βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς ἐφιεἰς

In India, we are informed that poultry and dogs frequently perished
during the prevalence of cholera, and with similar symptoms. At
Marienburgh, in Prussia, in the year 1831, the fish in the large ponds
in that government are all said to have perished during the prevalence
of the epidemic, and forty tons of them were buried from the single
pond of Dinperburgh. In Warsaw, some examples of a disease resembling
cholera were also noticed among the lower animals.

In the beginning of this year, A.D. 1834, the Egyptian
dominions of the Pasha suffered greatly from the ravages of pestilence
or plague. It first appeared in Alexandria, where it was reported to
have been brought from Malta: sanitary precautions were adopted, but
the prejudices of the people rendered them unavailing, and they were
consequently abandoned as being useless. By the end of February, the
deaths in Alexandria amounted to 200 daily. The disease then extended
to Grand Cairo, and soon after stretched up the valley of the Nile,
sweeping off the greater part of the population. In the month of March,
the deaths were computed to be from 300 to 400 daily at Cairo; in
May they had increased to nearly 2000. The town of Fua, situated on
the banks of the Nile, containing a population of 2500 inhabitants,
was stated to have lost 1800 in a very short period. The distemper
disappeared as the year advanced, but its ravages, together with the
long-continued military exertions of the Pasha, left Egypt almost

In the early part of the year 1835, there happened an eruption of
Vesuvius, which has been thus described by an eye-witness:--A new
crater having burst out, a stream of red-hot lava issued therefrom, in
the direction of Castelmare, spreading itself over several miles in a
few hours’ time, its course being marked by flames rising in volumes
from the ground over which it flowed. The intense heat occasioned by
this body of fire was felt at Sorrento. The same year, an earthquake
was experienced in South America on the 20th of February; it caused
the destruction of the cities of Talar and Carico, with the towns of
Conquenes, Linares, and Chillian: not a house was left standing in a
place called Conception, and the workmen who were engaged repairing
the cathedral of that city were buried in the ruins. In the month
of June, hail and thunderstorms did much damage in various parts of
England; on the 9th, 10th, and 11th, different parts of the country
suffered greatly; the destruction of glass in the neighbourhood of
Cambridge, on the 9th, was estimated at £2000. In Newmarket a similar
loss of property occurred. In Durham the lightning struck the western
tower of the cathedral, and hurled down an immense mass of stone,
which, alighting upon the pavement beneath, was dashed into innumerable
fragments, at the moment when a party of students belonging to the
university, who had been inspecting a monument recently erected,
alarmed by the crash, rushed from the cathedral; two of the party were
killed instantly by the falling ruin, and ten others were severely
wounded. About this period, in the month of January, the little village
of Raffhaten, on the frontiers of Wallachia, was the locality in which
there occurred the singular phenomenon of a shower of meteorolites:
about 6 A.M., on the 29th of January, the inhabitants were
aroused from sleep by a noise as of a heavy shower of hail, which was
immediately succeeded by a violent crashing of windows; great was the
astonishment subsequently to find that the earth, for the space of
nearly two leagues in circumference, was covered with a vast number of
small stones, the smallest of them being about a quarter of an inch
in diameter, while the largest were about the size of a marble; they
were of a light slate colour, and very heavy, as much so as pieces of
metal of the same size; when put into the fire, they burnt like coal,
emitting a considerable quantity of gas at the same time.

On the 10th of August the shock of an earthquake was felt in different
parts of the county of Lancaster: at Clitheroe two shocks were
experienced,--the first, occurring about twelve at night, was slight;
the second happened about half-past three in the morning; a rumbling
noise like distant thunder was first heard, and was instantaneously
followed by a violent shaking of the doors, windows, and furniture in
all the houses in the district; many persons started from their beds
in great terror, and rushed into the streets. It was felt at Downham,
Wisewell, Pendleton, Milton, Waddington, and in all the surrounding
villages to Blackpool. The shock was also felt at Liverpool, at
Ulverstone, Kendal, Garstang, Preston, and Blackburn, where it caused
serious and general alarm.

Cholera, this year, 1835, was rife at Leghorn, where it carried off
sixty or seventy persons daily. On the 25th of August, Odessa suffered
from a severe shock of an earthquake; it was first felt about five
in the afternoon, when a thick smoke of vapour arose at the foot of
Mount Ard-scheh (on the side of which Kassarich is situated), from
which columns of flames burst with a tremendous noise; it was like the
eruption of a volcano. At the same moment the earth was felt to rock,
and a terrible earthquake began, the shocks of which continued for
seven successive hours, accompanied with heavy thunder; persons felt
as though they were on the ocean when agitated violently by a storm:
about two thousand houses were thrown down; confusion and terror were
at their height; the inhabitants fled into the country, but many were
overtaken in their flight and buried in the ruins: an incredible number
thus perished. Up to the 1st of September, there were three or four
shocks daily, but of a trifling nature, doing but little mischief.
About this time the inhabitants of Kassarich, who had taken up their
abode in the fields, or fled into the villages, were able to return
to the town; all the villages to the distance of more than 140 miles
had suffered dreadfully; a great number of lives had been lost in
most of them, and many houses and other property had been destroyed.
The following are those who suffered the most;--at Tanlusia upwards
of sixty houses were thrown down, and many lives lost; great numbers
were killed at Tapirarchi, and Kerwer suffered greatly. The village
of Mantzofir was that which suffered the most. In Welekes only one
house was left standing, and great numbers lost their lives. Wersan
was completely swallowed up, as was also Kumetzi, on the site of which
a great lake afterwards arose. This year, 1835, may be said to have
been marked by a series of commotions; for in the month of November, in
the middle of the night, an earthquake was felt generally throughout
Calabria, Citra, &c.; it was followed by ten shocks at intervals. In
the midst of these commotions, Castiglioni, a commune in the district
of Cosenza, was levelled with the ground, and the greater part of the
population met an untimely death. The small village of Bonello shared
a similar fate. In Leppano, in Ronda, in Casole, and various other
places, great sufferings from the falling of the houses were endured.
Epidemics were prevalent all this year and the year following, 1836,
in various parts of the globe. In Europe, America (North and South),
and in the greater part of the West Indian Islands, an apoplectic,
pernicious fever, as it was termed, was prevalent in the northern

A.D. 1836. For two days the weather was exceedingly
boisterous, and the wind blowing hard from the north-east. On Sunday,
the 1st of May, the stormy winds increased, the land was darkened with
heavy clouds of dust, and the Thames all day appeared as rough as a
troubled sea. The effects of the storm were visible both on the land
and sea: numbers of houses were unroofed, and nursery gardens, with
other property, destroyed.

On the 18th of October, at about eight in the evening, the heavens
presented one of the most splendid of those phenomena known as the
‘auroræ boreales,’ or northern lights. There first appeared a large
luminous arch extending nearly from north to south, from which
streamers extended very low in the sky, running from north-east to
south-west, and increasing in number until they began to approach the
zenith, apparently with an accelerated velocity. Suddenly the whole
hemisphere was covered with them. This splendid scene, however, lasted
only about forty seconds: the variety of colours disappeared, and the
beams lost their lateral motion, and were converted, as is usual, into
flashing radiations, which kept diminishing in splendour until the
whole disappeared, leaving only a pale white light near the horizon.

A.D. 1837, cholera prevailed at Rome, causing great mortality,
from 200 to 300 dying daily. Of the frightful mortality of this dire
scourge one writer states, that in the Indian peninsula, from the years
1817 to 1830, of a population numbering somewhat more than 4,000,000,
1,800,000 became victims. Another author gives the following summary of
the numbers carried off during this pestilential period:--

At Erivan and Tauris one-fourth of the population were destroyed. In
Syria its ravages were extremely varied; in some localities, one-half
of the populace were carried off; whilst in others, as in Tripoli,
only one in about 200 died. At Tiflis, three-fourths of those seized
perished; at Astrachan, two-thirds were carried off. Out of 16,000
attacked in the province of Caucasus, 10,000 fell victims; at Moscow,
one-half, and at Orenburg only one-fifth of the inhabitants perished.
Out of 54,000 and upwards attacked in the Russian provinces, more than
31,000 died. In Hungary, 400,000 were said to have been seized, and
more than half were destroyed. In this country (England) and in Wales,
according to the Tables furnished by Dr. Merriman, from the Reports
sent in for the Privy Council, out of 62,000 attacked, 20,578 died.
In Ireland, out of 54,552 who were taken ill, 21,171 fell victims.
In the countries of Asia not subject to European dominion, the data
respecting the ravages of this disease were extremely vague and scanty,
although there is reason to believe that in some of them they were more
extensive than in India.

Yellow fever prevailed in various parts of the United States from
the year 1834 until 1839, especially in Charleston. The causes were
supposed to have been dependent on the extreme heat of the summer,--the
elevation of temperature having been greatly beyond what was ever
before known. The town was also crowded by strangers, who were employed
to rebuild the city after its conflagration: they were badly lodged;
and, in consequence of the high wages that were given, an immense
number of dissolute and intemperate persons were attracted to the city.
It was chiefly among this class that the disease prevailed.

A.D. 1837, influenza appeared in London in the first week
in January, the weather during the preceding four months having been
singularly wet, cold, and stormy; large quantities of snow having
fallen and collected on the ground, even in the streets of London,
where it lay for weeks together. The evaporation of the cold water,
the result of the succeeding thaw, rendered the air cold and damp
for a long time. In the month of November, this year, a hurricane of
great violence occurred from the south-west. On Christmas-day there
was a storm of wind and snow simultaneously all over the west of
Europe,--snow having fallen even in the streets of Lisbon and Palermo:
it fell so heavily in England, that it impeded intercourse throughout
the country. It was remarkable that snow fell at Canton in February, a
thing unknown to the oldest inhabitants. The French army marching upon
Constantina, in Algiers, suffered severely from three days of incessant
snow. Tremendous hurricanes were experienced about this period over
every part of the European and American seas. The weather in England
was uncertain and fluctuating from Christmas to the middle of February,
when influenza broke out: its duration in London was six or seven
weeks; half the population were attacked, and the ordinary rates of
mortality during this time were very nearly doubled. The aged and the
very young were those who principally suffered. The inhabitants of
Russia, Sweden, and Denmark suffered greatly. In Copenhagen, according
to Dr. Otto, at least 30,000 were labouring under the disease at one
time, in the month of January. Influenza was rife also in Scotland,
where it was observed earlier than in England, and it broke out
generally in the northern and eastern parts of England before it showed
itself in the southern and western. Paris was visited by this epidemic
a month later than London, the disease having previously prevailed in
Calais and other intervening places. It broke out with great severity
in the northern coast of Spain, being aggravated by the events of the
civil war then raging in Biscay and Navarre. An epidemic having the
character of the influenza of the northern hemisphere was also rife at
Sydney and the Cape of Good Hope in the latter part of the year 1836.

Towards the latter end of March, 1838, yellow fever broke out among
the garrison and the inhabitants in the island of Ascension, and
committed great ravages. The disease was preceded by heavy rains for
several days: large collections of water formed in consequence, which
evaporated under the influence of a burning sun. One of the most
extensive of these occurred in a foul and offensive site, surrounded
by low dwelling-houses occupied by Portuguese prisoners, the majority
of whom were attacked. The men employed in pumping out this water,
complained much of its offensive effluvium; they also suffered from
the fever, and that most severely. The epidemic extended to the crews
of several ships of war which touched at the island, and many of the
seamen and officers perished.

A.D. 1839. In the month of February, an epidemic pestilence
broke out, and proceeded with the rapidity of lightning at Mount St.
Bernard. It was characterized by typhoid symptoms, and attended by a
lengthened delirium, with occasional short, lucid intervals; out of
one family consisting of twenty-one individuals, three only survived:
it was confined exclusively to those living on the mountain. Epidemic
erysipelas raged with great intensity at Algiers during this period;
epidemic disease also prevailed in the district of Coulommiers in
France, termed ‘sudor miliaris.’ The premonitory symptoms varied very
generally: some of those attacked, when they awoke, found themselves
inundated with perspiration; in some, the disease was preceded for
some days by prostration of strength, with pains in the joints, &c.:
a prominent symptom was a pain and sensation of smothering in the
epigastric region; this feeling was greater or less in proportion
to the quantity of perspiration, which in some was so profuse that
on lifting up the bed-clothes a dense vapour was seen to arise: an
eruption appeared after the third or fourth day; ten days after,
the epidermis became wrinkled and fell off in the shape of scaly
furfuraceous matter. The most fatal cases were those in which agonizing
pains were experienced at the epigastrium. The autopsiæ exhibited
vesicular eruptions in the intestinal canal. Petechial fever was very
prevalent at St. Petersburgh this year (1839); it affected persons
in a peculiar manner; during their illness, there was no delirium or
appearance of disorder of the intellectual faculties; they spoke and
acted sensibly, but after the subsidence of the malady, towards the end
of the third or fourth week, they awoke as it were to a consciousness
of their condition. Measles also raged epidemically. Yellow fever,
this year (1839), was very destructive at Galveston in the republic of

A.D. 1840, blight appeared in Germany among the crops,
especially the potato; it prevailed to so great an extent, Dr. Martius
reports, as to cause a very serious alarm, and even to threaten the
total extinction of that esculent. At the same time, the island of
Arran, with other parts of the Highlands of Scotland, suffered from a
similar disease among the potato crops: it prevailed there from 1839 to
1842, destroying at least half the vegetation.

A.D. 1841, plague raged in Syria, and at Erzeroum with great
violence. During this period, extending to the year following, 1842,
an epidemic religious ecstasy, as it was called, prevailed in Sweden.
This singular epidemic malady was distinguished by two prominent and
remarkable symptoms,--one physical, consisting of spasm, or involuntary
contractions or contortions, &c.; the other, mental, being an ecstasy,
more or less involuntary, during which the patients fancied themselves
divinely inspired, and felt impelled to speak of supernatural things
which they fancied they saw; they were occasionally moved to preach. It
was the female portion of the community that suffered most. Anything
offensive to the mind re-acted convulsively on the body, causing a
sort of chorea, which it was attempted to distinguish or divide into
two distinct forms of the disease, called mental and physical chorea.
Several thousand persons were attacked by the disease; it was rarely
fatal. Persons who had been affected, when convalescing, felt languid
and debilitated, both in body and mind. Yellow fever at this period
was fatal at Key West, East Florida, in the United States. Early in
1841 remittent fever occurred among the crew of the ‘Wanderer’ a ship
belonging to the Royal Navy, chiefly among the boats’ crews who had
been employed in the rivers Nunez and Pongos. Seventy persons were
taken ill, and nine died. In the course of this year, remittent fever
prevailed in many other Queen’s ships employed on the African coast to
put down the slave trade.

A.D. 1843. Blight seized on the potato crop this year
throughout the United States, and also in British America. Epidemic
erysipelas, known by the popular name of ‘the black tongue,’ broke
out in November, 1843, in Ripley county, United States, and traversed
most of the townships of the Delaware, Dearborn county, &c. This
disease, Dr. Sutton says, “has either assumed several characters, or
we have several epidemics traversing the country together: one was
erysipelas connected with cynanche tonsillaris, or swelling of some
of the lymphatic glands in the throat; and another was considered to
be a typhoid pneumonia, sometimes accompanied by enlargement of the
axillary glands. These two diseases,” continued the writer, “have
been so intimately connected in my practice, that it has been a
question to me whether the last was not a pulmonic erysipelas, the
premonitory symptoms in each disease being alike, the character of
the fever in each being the same, and it was often the case that one
form of the disease changed into that of the other. The disease was
not generally fatal.” Boston, in the autumn of this year, was visited
by an epidemic fever; it prevailed also at a place called Erie in
the county of New York, during the months of October and November.
This little town, or rather settlement, Erie, is made up of some
half-dozen houses, containing a population of forty-three persons, of
which number twenty-eight were seized between the 19th November and
7th December, ten of them dying of the disease. Some disputes existed
in this little community, and the generality of them were of opinion
that the wells had been poisoned by some evil-disposed persons: there
was not, however, the least foundation for any such supposition. The
disease commenced with rigors, chills, pain in the loins and head;
typhoid symptoms supervened, the tongue becoming brown and dry; low
muttering delirium was noticed, also a cough, with expectoration of a
muco-purulent character. Another small town which about this period
was visited by a very fatal disease, yellow fever, is an inland
settlement in Wilkinson county, Mississippi, containing a population
of 750 inhabitants. It is situated about forty miles from Natchez, on
high ground, 340 feet above the level or bank of the Mississippi with
a gradual slope in all directions; there is no creek, pond, or low
land near the town,--in short, on a review of the town and surrounding
country, it would be pronounced to be one of the most eligible sites
in the south for a healthy settlement. At the time there was no yellow
fever prevalent at New Orleans,--in fact, there had not been any case
of the disease in any place along the river; consequently it could not
have been imported. Nearly every one in the town was seized; and the
mortality was great, seven to ten dying daily in so small a population
for the first week. The disease was very rapid in its progress; the
patients were suddenly seized with violent pains in the head and loins,
and with burning fever; in a short time vomiting of a blackish fluid,
similar to coffee-grounds, ensued, and in a few hours death closed the

A.D. 1842 and 1843, cholera in a sporadic form raged with
considerable violence in many parts of Persia, continuing at intervals
during the two subsequent years.

A.D. 1844, yellow pestilence committed great ravages at Goree,
in Senegal.

During the year 1845, the blight among the potatoes spread rapidly
through Germany, Holland, Belgium, the northern parts of France, and
over the greater portion of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This
pestilence re-appeared the year following, 1846. A phenomenon worthy of
notice was observed during the prevalence of this disease,--to wit, the
existence of a mist or fogs immediately previous to the blight in the
crops. In Holland, a thick stinking mist, which extended very widely,
was observed in 1845, antecedent to the potato blight. M. Petit states
that it was generally remarked in France that the disease made its
appearance after a fog. In England the same phenomenon was observed.

In the spring of 1845 remittent fever broke out on board the ‘Eclair,’
while on the coast of Africa; the first persons attacked being those
who had been engaged in boat-service. The vessel at the time lay off
the Sherbro’ river, and the boats had been employed for some time
exploring its creeks, and those in the Seabar branch of that river.
The disease continued to spread among the boats’ crews; and after a
while those seamen who had not been out of the ship became subject to
the fever, which committed such fearful ravages among them that at
last the ‘Eclair’ was ordered home as a _dernier ressort_. The
disease then presented all the characters of genuine yellow fever. On
the voyage, the ‘Eclair,’ after having been refused pratique at Goree,
put in at Boa Vista, one of the Cape de Verd Islands, where the crew
were landed, and stayed some days; but the epidemic continued to seize
its victims, and the crew consequently, both the sick and sound, were
again received on board, and the vessel got under weigh for England.
Before she reached Madeira, Captain Estcourt, Dr. M’Clure, and Mr.
Hartmann, the assistant surgeon, died, Mr. Machonchy, the surgeon to
the ship, expiring the day after. Mr. Sydney Bernard, assistant surgeon
of the ‘Growler,’ having volunteered his services, was appointed in
Mr. Machonchy’s place, and performed his duties to the last. On the
arrival of this floating pest-house in England, pratique was refused,
and the healthy, the sick, and the dying were all kept on board. The
result was the loss of several more lives, the disease not ceasing
until about a fortnight after her arrival at the Motherbank. Mr. Sydney
Bernard and Lieutenant Isaacson, the officer in command, were among its
latest victims. The deaths on board from the endemic, from first to
last, amounted to seventy-four. Fever prevailed very extensively in Boa
Vista, after the departure of the ‘Eclair,’ and was very fatal; great
numbers of the inhabitants were attacked.

In 1846, during the march of the Mormon worshippers across the desert,
on their road to the new state of Deseret or Utah, after their
expulsion from Nauvoo, they were greatly afflicted by endemic disease,
chiefly remittent and yellow fevers. In one camp alone, 31 per cent.
suffered, and the road was marked throughout with the graves of those
who perished. They also suffered much from a kind of strange scorbutic
disease, which they named the ‘black canker,’ and which was frequently

At this time it was remarked, a few days before disease fastened on the
potatoes, that a dense cloud, resembling a thick fog, overspread the
entire country; it differed from a common fog in being quite dry and
having a disagreeable odour.

To continue: this year and the following, 1847, epidemic remittent
fever was prevalent in Scotland. In Glasgow it was noticed that a
remarkable change had taken place in the epidemic constitution.
Exanthematous typhus--a sort of continued fever, characterized along
with other symptoms by an eruption over the body resembling measles,
running a course on an average of twenty-one days, carrying off
about 10 per cent.,--was supplanted by a remittent fever, sometimes
attended with petechiæ, but not with the measly eruption: it was also
often accompanied by jaundice. Epistaxis was very frequent; when the
disease occurred in women about the menstrual period, the discharge was
universally copious, and very many women in a state of pregnancy, who
were seized with the malady, aborted; a crisis generally was formed on
the seventh day; relapses were frequent,--in fact, almost invariable
under any and every precaution: the mortality amounted to about 3½ per
cent.; about 15,000 persons fell victims to this disease, principally
those residing in the ill-ventilated and filthy parts of the town,--the
poor and distressed. The smallness of the mortality compared with the
severity of the symptoms, and the debility it left behind, was a matter
of surprise. This malady appears to have been very similar to that
which prevailed in Dublin in 1826. Rutty, in his diseases of Dublin
during forty years, mentions several epidemics which resembled the
malady at Glasgow. They occurred in 1740, 1745, 1764, and 1765. There
is also some resemblance between this fever and that which prevailed in
Dublin in 1816, as reported by Dr. Stokes.

In the early part of 1845 cholera prevailed with great violence
along the banks of the Indus, and about the same period proved very
destructive in Afghanistan. Thence it extended into Persia, traversing
that country from east to west, spread northwards into Tartary, and
southwards into Kurdistan, and also into the pashalic of Baghdad. In
September it prevailed at Herat and Samarcand, and in the November
following at Bokhara. The extreme malignancy of the disease may be
understood by the description given of many of the cases. “Those who
were attacked dropped suddenly down in a state of lethargy, and at the
end of two or three hours expired without any convulsions or vomiting,
but from complete stagnation of the blood, which no remedies could
restore to circulation.”

During this period there took place in Kurrachee, near the mouth of
the Indus, the most terrific outburst of the pestilence that can be
conceived, which in the course of a few days swept off 8000 victims.
The description given by an eye-witness of the scene at Kurrachee, as
Dr. Gavin Milroy says (in his very excellent pamphlet on cholera), is
so full of fearful and instructive interest, as regards some of the
most striking characters of pestilential visitations, that we cannot
withhold a brief account of its leading particulars:--

The heat had been intense during the first fortnight in June, but the
station remained tolerably healthy. On Sunday, the 14th, the atmosphere
was more than usually stagnant and oppressive; one correspondent
who was present says, “The very heavens seemed drawn down upon our
shoulders; the feeling was suffocating.” A dark portentous-looking
cloud crept up the sky as the troops were proceeding to church, and
a sudden gust of wind threatened the building: it passed away almost
as suddenly as it came; and when the worshippers retired, the air was
as still as when they assembled. At the same hour did the pestilence
appear; before midnight nine soldiers of the 86th regiment were dead,
and men began to be brought to the hospital in such numbers, that
it was difficult to make arrangements for their reception; it was a
fearful night. With morning, came the tidings that the pestilence
was overspreading the town, and that fifty persons had already fallen
victims to its deadly poison. How awful must have been the rapidity
of the attack, when we learn that sometimes, within little more than
five minutes, hale and hearty men were seized, cramped, collapsed,
and dead! Men attending the burial of their comrades were attacked,
carried to the hospital, and were themselves buried the next morning.
Pits were dug in the churchyard, morning and evening; sewn up in their
bedding, and coffinless, the dead were laid side by side, one service
being read over all! For the next five days it raged with appalling
fury; it then abated in its intensity, but continued to hover about the
place for another week. Within less than a fortnight, 900 Europeans,
including 815 fighting men, were swept away. Besides these, 600 native
soldiers and 7000 of the camp-followers and inhabitants of the town had
been hurried into eternity. About this time, a virulent fever raged at
Sukkur, about 180 miles from Kurrachee, which proved fatal in a few
hours. Hyderabad, intermediate between the two places, was visited
almost immediately afterwards by cholera. Mr. Alexander Thom, surgeon
of the 86th regiment, at the time of the explosion at Kurrachee, thus
expresses himself: “I have witnessed disease of a severe and fatal
kind, and cholera itself in an apparently grave form, but I never could
have anticipated, even in India, its appearance in so appalling a
shape as that in which it was recently developed in the 86th regiment:
it burst forth almost literally like a thunder-clap, followed by a
lethiferous blast, proving almost instantaneously fatal.”

A.D. 1846, fearful mortality from famine and epidemic
pestilence occurred in Gallicia: during the first half-year, 1234
deaths occurred, and for the like period in the subsequent year the
mortality was 5188! During this time the weather was distressingly hot
in Canada, North America, the thermometer frequently standing 96° and
98°; numbers were carried off daily by fever. Epidemic cholera, after
raging with very great violence for two years in Persia, towards the
end of the summer of 1846, broke out at Tauris and Teheran, and during
the autumn advanced to places nearer to the Russian frontiers. On the
16th of November, 1846, cases occurred at the village of Ialiany, and
also in the same month at Leukoran; and it is worthy of remark, that
these were the places first attacked in 1830. The disease also appeared
at Bakrou, and advanced in December to Schêmakha and Derbent; and in
the month of February, 1847, to the town of Konba. Its appearance at
Ialiany and in the district of Talysch was marked with that malignity
which for the most part characterizes the commencement of cholera. We
observe at Ialiany a remarkable instance of the influence of the trade
and locality tending to foster it, selecting for its victims those who
had but recently recovered from the fever of the country: the cholera
almost invariably carried off every one attacked, nine-tenths falling
victims to the disease. In the localities of the trans-Caucasian
provinces, the attacks became less violent, and without the towns
the disease no longer presented a malignant type. Towards the end of
February, it was supposed that the disease had ceased, but in the
following month, March, it recommenced with redoubled violence, and
in April spread destruction with fearful rapidity. Traversing the
shores of the Caspian sea, it reached Tiflis in May. It also appeared
in this month on the other side of the Caucasus, at Kizliar, whence,
re-ascending the Terek, it penetrated to Mozdok, at the end of June to
Piatigorsk and to Georgierk, and entered Staowpol in the first week of

From October, 1846, to June, 1847, there occurred in the Caucasus and
trans-Caucasian provinces no less than 17,055 cases of cholera, of
which 6318 died. Astrachan suffered greatly from cholera, great numbers
of the inhabitants having been carried off, as was also the case in
Moscow. From official accounts received from St. Petersburgh, it
appeared the inhabitants of the western town Alexandrof were attacked
with cholera, and also the district of Olgapol, in Podolia. The latter
is about thirty miles distant from the Austrian frontiers.

A.D. 1846 and 1847, an epizootic or murrain destroyed much
cattle in Europe, principally oxen; dogs, horses, and sheep suffering
comparatively less. Great numbers of horned cattle were destroyed in
Wallachia. A kind of pleuro-pneumonia afflicted both men and beasts in
various parts of Scotland, principally in East Lothian, as well as in
Aberdeenshire, extending throughout the North; it also prevailed in
Ayrshire to some extent.

In the month of January of the latter year, 1847, influenza prevailed
on the coast of Portugal and in the south-east of Spain: it also
appeared in Newfoundland and in New Zealand; and in the month of March,
in Valparaiso; in April, on the coast of Syria: in July, August, and
September, it broke out on the west coast of Africa, south of the
equator; during which time (in August) it raged at Hong-Kong. In the
month of December, Paris was assailed by this malady, which was also
rife at Madrid; it was termed ‘la grippe,’ and seized more than half
the population: five thousand persons were said to have been laid up by
this wide-spreading disease at one time in Paris. About this period,
the island of Java was visited by epidemic diseases. Virulent small-pox
committed great havoc, and then typhus prevailed in Ireland; the
mortality among the medical profession was great, it being calculated
that one-fifteenth of the entire medical community died there during
the year. There was great mortality from typhus at Prague, between the
16th of December, 1846, and the 16th of December, 1847; the deaths
during that time amounting to 5192. During the latter year, 1847,
cholera was rife in Moscow, Stockholm, St. Petersburgh, and Cronstadt;
various parts of Europe were visited by influenza, the greater part of
the inhabitants of Copenhagen having suffered therefrom: the disease
also prevailed at Marseilles, attacking half the population of 80,000
persons; its character, however, was mild.

During the last fortnight of November, 1847, an epidemic of rather a
remarkable character broke out, and prevailed in the North of Scotland,
commencing in Dundee, travelling over the entire coast as far as
Kinnaird’s Head, and extending westerly, involving Huntly, Keith,
Elgin, and Inverness; it first affected the system by pain in the
throat, followed by headache, sickness at stomach, and expectoration of
a dark, bilious-looking substance. To such an extent did this malady
prevail, that the University and King’s College, then in session, were
closed; half the students at Marischal College and the university
were laid up; those at the grammar schools were afflicted in the
same proportion. At Edinburgh and Montrose the malady prevailed to
an alarming extent, the schools generally having been visited; 810
scholars belonging to the schools in the latter place suffered at one
time. The weather, which had been damp and rainy, was considered to
be the principal cause. Yellow fever prevailed at New Orleans, from
the 5th of July to the 22nd of October; it carried off 2544 persons.
Cholera this year prevailed at Trebizond, situated on the oriental
shores of the Black Sea. An author of eminence states that the
inhabitants of this city suffered cruelly: Constantinople was afflicted
about the same time by dire pestilence, which was fatal to numbers. We
have also an account of famine and pestilence in Silesia. The famine
and distress at Rybensk and Plesg were appalling; in many parts of the
latter place 4500 died more than in the preceding year, which was also
very fatal; from 15 to 20 per cent. of the inhabitants were cut off
by disease. In Rybensk great numbers died daily from famine, and the
Committee of Relief stated that hundreds of orphan children were seen
standing beside the corpses of their parents crying for bread.

During the last two years, epidemic pestilence was rife and fatal in
various parts of the world. In the latter year, 1847, influenza raged
all over England; and with the following observations, taken as the
substance of the Registrar-General’s Report, dated January 30, 1848,
this History of Epidemic Pestilences will conclude:

The meteorological phenomena were particularly remarkable prior to
the breaking out of the influenza. The population were inadequately
supplied with potatoes, from scarcity caused by the disease which had
existed the previous years,--a sort of blight. Scurvy became prevalent
at the beginning of the year. In April, typhus became epidemic, and
the mortality was increased. Diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera also
prevailed. The wind blew, from the first week in October, S. S. W.
and S. W. The weather was universally warm; a brilliant aurora was
observed, and shook the magnets, October 24th. It appeared eight times
during the quarter. On Tuesday, November 16th, there was a remarkable
darkness; the wind changed to N. W., and amidst various changes still
blew from the north over Greenwich at the rate of 160 and 250 miles a
day. The mean temperature of the air suddenly fell from 11° above to
10° below the average. On Sunday, it was 54°; Friday, 32°; on Friday
night, 27°. The earth was frozen; the wind was calm three days, and
on Saturday evening a dense fog lay over the Thames and London for
the space of five hours. No electricity stirred in the air during the
week,--all was still, as if Nature held her breath at the sight of the
destroyer come forth to sacrifice her children. On Monday, the sky
became overcast, the air damp; the wind changed in the night to S. by
E., and passed for four days over Greenwich at the rate of 200 and 300
miles a day. The temperature suddenly rose, and remained from 2° to 9°
above the average throughout the week ending on the 27th of November.
Influenza broke out: in the first week in December, 2454 persons
died; the week following, 2416 persons, and in six weeks, 11,339. The
epidemic in that time carried off 5000 over and above the mortality of
the season. The country districts do not appear to have been affected
to any extent,--a fact which shows how much purity of the air has to do
with the outbreak of epidemic diseases.

Influenza, it has been observed, is often associated with other
epidemics: it preceded and accompanied the plague or ‘black death’ in
the fourteenth century; it preceded the great plague in London, A.D.
1665; it followed epidemic typhus A.D. 1803; preceded typhus A.D. 1837,
and occurred in the midst of the typhoid epidemic in the year 1847.
Influenza also preceded and followed epidemic cholera, 1831 to 1833. In
short, it may be said that influenza has from time immemorial pretty
generally preceded and accompanied epidemic pestilence in every quarter
of the globe, as is noted by the Registrar-General to have been the
case in England, A.D. 1728, 1733, 1743, 1758, 1762; five years after,
A.D. 1767, 1775, 1782; again, A.D. 1788, A.D. 1803, 1831, 1832, and
following year, 1833, as also A.D. 1846 and 1847.

                              CHAPTER IX.


We have abundant reason for the belief that nothing is fortuitous; but,
on the contrary, that everything in this world of ours is the effect
of design; all things around us bearing evident stamp of the skill and
beneficence of its Omnipotent Author.

    “Thus at thy potent nod, EFFECT and CAUSE
    Walk hand in hand accordant to thy Laws;
    Rise at Volition’s call; in groups combined,
    Amuse, delight, instruct, and serve mankind.”

The histories of epidemic pestilences or diseases--because of the vast
numbers of persons on whom they seize at one and the same time, and
also because of their intensity and destructiveness,--are not only of
greater importance to mankind than are the generality of maladies,
but they are also of deep interest in as far as concerns questions of
pathology. Epidemics are also exceedingly interesting in a physical and
moral point of view,--their histories, and the investigation of their
causes, leading to an insight into the organism of the world, in which
the sum of organic life is subjected to the greater powers of nature;
for it would appear, as far as human knowledge extends, that all
organized bodies, from a variety of causes as dissimilar as they are
complicated and numerous, are more or less susceptible of change and
decay. Thus we see disease assail and carry off mankind at all times
and in all regions: murrain is destructive of dumb animals, while
blight spares not the vegetable kingdom, from the sturdiest oak to the
most diminutive herbage; in fine, all nature is subjected, in various
degrees, to the devastating tendency of the elements in their general
evolutions in the mundane economy, based on immutable laws, arising
from original and supreme provision:

                “Wonder-working hand,
           ---- in majestic silence sways at will
    The mighty movements of unbounded nature.”

Considering that epidemic pestilences or diseases have been from time
immemorial more destructive of mankind than all other maladies, or than
even famine and the sword combined, it is somewhat surprising that a
comprehensive and efficient investigation of such an important class of
diseases, founded on enlarged and scientific views, has never yet been
made,--in fact, has scarcely ever been attempted. Such apathy to minute
enquiry into the nature and causes of epidemics, and the indifference
evinced to every-day occurrences, so much attended to by the ancients,
is culpable in the extreme; for nothing can be more injurious to the
cause of truth, or tend more to retard scientific pursuits, than
such disregard of the nature of things, for daily experience alone
is sufficient to show that every effect in the physical world has
an antecedent cause, which is at all times open to experiment and
investigation, and which, however obscure at first, may often be
explained and understood by means of close observation and steady
perseverance in our researches.

Epidemics are acute diseases which run through their stages with
rapidity, consequently making it absolutely necessary that we should be
prepared not only to relieve those attacked with promptitude, but, if
possible, to prevent others being affected, which can only be done by
attending to the results of an unprejudiced investigation concerning
all that is known of the laws by which they are governed--the causes
whence they arise, and their mode of extension.

To the ancients, who were accurate observers of nature and of nature’s
laws, we are indebted for much valuable information as regards the
universal distempers termed Epidemic Pestilences,[2] and although
amongst their writings we may not at first sight recognize many
diseases according to our modern nomenclature, nevertheless by careful
perusal and investigation we shall be enabled to identify some of them
sufficiently to show the wisdom and the superiority of the arrangements
of our predecessors, when compared with the confusion and worse than
uselessness of many of the nosological distinctions and classifications
made since the days of Hippocrates, tending, as they do, not only to
divert us from the true character of disease, but also to mislead us in
our practical views.

The records of antiquity show that all kinds of pestilences, including
febrile diseases, have been known under various appellations from
the earliest ages of the world. From the beginning of the Jewish
nation,--from the first settlement of the Israelites in unhealthy Egypt
to the present day, we find noticed a series of plagues or pestilences
overspreading the various parts of the habitable globe, and destroying
millions of the human species; and if we refer to the histories of
ancient nations, as well as to the modern annals of medicine, we shall
find therein recorded the same character of diseases, arising from
like causes, occurring during similar seasons, happening in similar
localities, and marked pretty generally by the same circumstances.
The assumption, therefore, of the existence of any new disease, as
propounded by some modern authorities, would represent the Divine Power
as dispensing with the laws of nature,--in short, would imply nothing
less than the suspension or alteration of the operation of those laws
which the Almighty in his wisdom imposed on nature at the creation;

    “By whose almighty word
      They all from nothing came;
    And all shall last
      From changes free;
      His firm decree
    Stands ever fast;”--

--laws which the pious Psalmist of Israel in his contemplations on the
divine goodness and greatness of Jehovah, as displayed in the kingdom
of Nature, describes as the admirable chain of natural causes and
effects formed and preserved by him in this lower world:--whatsoever
the Lord pleaseth, He doeth in heaven and in the earth, in the sea,
and in all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends
of the earth, He maketh the lightnings for the rains, He bringeth the
wind out of his treasure, He smote the first-born of Egypt from man to
beast, He covereth the heaven with clouds, He prepareth the rain for
the earth, &c.--The supposition of the existence of any new disease
in our day is consequently untenable, but to be accounted for because
of our inability to trace diseases under the same names and precise
characteristic symptoms described by our predecessors in the study of
nature; in fact, the comparatively modern origin of some diseases may
be said to rest on the absence or deficiency of distinct and express
notice of them in the writings of the ancients, arising in some measure
from false or imperfect translations from the original, and from the
practice of the ancients in referring different malignant maladies to
the same pestilential constitution; for be it remembered that they
considered all febrile diseases bore such affinity to each other, that
they classed all pestilential epidemic distempers under one general
head or term, viz., PESTILENCE, PLAGUE, or FEVER; under the head
of consumption, they noted all chronic diseases; and boils, scabs,
pustules, blotches, carbuncles, &c., were included under that of skin

Further, with reference to modern nomenclature, we now hear pestilence
called plague in Egypt, yellow fever in America and elsewhere, bilious
remittent and intermittent, and also yellow fever in the West Indies,
and typhus or nervous fever in Great Britain: we read also of the same
epidemics which the ancients called pimples, pustules, apostemes, and
gangrenous sores, now being called distinct and confluent small-pox,
carbuncles, &c.: and I repeat that the perusal of ancient writings,
both sacred and profane, not only affords us ample evidence of the
origin, nature, causes, progress, and violence of such maladies
in the primitive ages of the world, but they also demonstrate the
identity of ancient pestilence and modern plague,--the resemblance
of ancient and modern fevers,--the similitude of burning boils and
modern carbuncle,--the like appearance of pustules and small-pox,--all
tending to prove that no _material_ alteration in the nature of
any diseases, or of their causes, has taken place since the first
population of the world; AND, ABOVE ALL, THAT THEY DISPLAY THE

                              CHAPTER X.


       “Docebo causas, quas diligentiâ experientiâque comperi.”

Experience has taught us that the phenomena of epidemic pestilences
or diseases are various and dissimilar, observing no regular course
or succession, but commencing and ceasing at periods influenced by
certain changes of the seasons, and modified by various circumstances,
especially such as locality and habit of body.

The chronicles of all nations are replete with notices respecting
the remarkable commotions of nature, which have proved from time
to time so inimical both to the animal and the vegetable kingdoms;
and on carefully reviewing the facts detailed in the histories of
epidemic pestilences or diseases, it will be readily perceived that,
during certain periods or seasons, ELEMENTAL DISTURBANCE has
enveloped, as it were, the entire globe, carrying death and misery into
every quarter. I am, therefore, of opinion that the grand phenomena of
nature, exhibited in the commotions of our physical world, supply us
with abundant materials for the explication of all epidemic pestilences
or diseases; that the latter are consequently assignable to natural
causes, without searching for or hunting after mysterious agencies, to
the neglect of those which Nature is constantly presenting to our view.

I am fully aware that ascertaining the causes of maladies of any
description is a matter attended with much difficulty, not only from
the variety and impalpable nature of the causes themselves, but also
from the peculiar functions and various idiosyncrasies of the living
system on which such causes act; numerous conditions being found
capable of modifying the effects of a common cause of disease, viz.
the season of the year, peculiar state of the atmosphere, especially
as regards heat and humidity, circumstances of locality, the different
temperaments of individuals exposed to their agency, the influence of
previous ailments,--all these concurring more or less in the production
of diversified forms of disease.

By way of illustration and with reference to atmospheric influence--the
_grand exciting_ cause of disease,--every practitioner is familiar
with certain conditions which are favourable to the production of
certain disorders, such as common catarrh or cold, and its more
aggravated form termed influenza,--hooping-cough, bowel affections,
gastric fevers, &c. The effects of external temperature first produce
on the functions of the skin (which connects us with the exterior
world) an augmentation or diminution of the natural discharges, by
suddenly changing or disturbing the balance of the circulating fluids
between the external and internal parts or surfaces, irrespective
of the perspiratory process, commonly termed sweat, there being
innumerable chemical agents more poisonous and of greater importance
as to their elimination from the system in the shape of insensible
perspiration. I repeat, that the effects of external temperature, by
causing a repercussion of the cutaneous exhalations (sensible and
insensible), so damage the _vitality_ of the system, as to be the
_exciting_ cause of disease; and, although from our imperfect
knowledge, it scarcely admits of investigation, setting aside chemical
research, so that we cannot explain or define the precise peculiarity
of each and every condition of the atmosphere favourable to the
production of each variety of disorder, the effects of such external
temperature are, however, not the less certain and obvious to our
senses. The agencies are all natural, comprised in the excess of state
or change acting on individuals whose susceptibility varies greatly
from moral as well as from physical _predisposing_ causes; but
our inability to define their peculiar conditions or auræ, as noticed
by Hippocrates, Sydenham, Bacon, and others, no more militates against
our reasoning upon their visible effects, than a knowledge of the
gravitating principle or power is essential to the proof of gravity.

But to the subject of the causes,--the exciting and the predisposing
of disease; it should be premised that when attributing epidemic
pestilences or diseases to natural causes, it must not be supposed or
inferred that any one of such causes, as heat, cold, moisture, drought,
&c., will alone be sufficient to induce disease: to effect that, there
must be a combination of these causes in continuance and succession, in
occasion and variation, as also in circumstance and virulence.

It has always appeared to me that a proper and sufficient distinction
is never, or rather, has never, been made, between the predisposing and
the exciting causes of disease--an error which leads to much confusion
and to contradictory conclusions on all sides. _Par exemple_,
in a Report on the epidemic pestilence which raged some years ago in
Ireland, it was unanimously determined, (so says the Report,) “that the
predisposing causes were, rapid atmospherical vicissitude, low marsh
and other effluvia.” Here we have the exciting cause, ‘atmospheric
vicissitude,’ jumbled together with a predisposing cause, ‘marsh
effluvia;’ while on the other hand, in recent Reports on cholera from
various authorities, we have marsh and other effluvia assigned as the
exciting causes, which, on reflection, will strike any one as being
obviously fallacious, inasmuch as if marsh and other effluvia are to
be considered as exciting causes, instead of predisposing to disease,
we should scarcely ever find those places free from pestilence where
these matters are supposed to be engendered, whereas we see various
localities in South America,--in British Guiana, for instance, and even
in Ethiopia,--which have been condemned as the hot-bed and nursery of
pestilence, where putrefaction is supposed to concoct and concentrate
its most lethal poisons,--still enjoy their seasons of salubrity: it
is, I repeat, from the absence of such distinctions as to the exciting
and the predisposing causes, coupled with the non-consideration of
the great variety of circumstances, both past and present, local and
general, individual and common, which are influential in the production
of disease, that so much uncertainty and disputation as to the causes
of epidemic pestilences have arisen. Such distinctions will appear to
be more important and necessary for the prevention and mitigation of
epidemic pestilence or disease, when properly considered, inasmuch as
the predisposing causes, which are in a great degree under our control,
are always in existence or operation to a greater or less extent, while
the exciting causes may be said to be of only occasional occurrence.

As before observed, the causes of diseases are described as the
predisposing and the exciting. The former, the predisposing causes,
I understand to be,--the want of light; impure air (especially
from defective ventilation), in which are included malaria and all
other noxious vapours, from whatever source arising; a scanty and
impoverishing diet; and, though last, not least, habit of body, induced
by the irregular and artificial life of man in a state of civilization,
which, by enervating the system, induces the predisposition to disease
by rendering the human frame more susceptible to external impressions;
the grand excitants of disease, such as elemental disturbance,
consisting of variations of temperature and the state of the
surrounding medium, as to hygrometric influence, electrical tension, &c.

Naturalists in all ages have concurred in the opinion that sudden
atmospheric mutations act injuriously on the subjects of the vegetable
kingdom as well as on those of the animal, and it will, I presume, be
admitted that the existence of the vegetable kingdom is necessary for
the support of the animal,--the physiology of both reflecting much
light on each other. We see the vegetable kingdom assailed by disease
termed _blight_,--‘pestiferous blight,’ as it has been called
by some; these blights are but pestilences affecting the vegetable
kingdom, and have ever been attributed to natural causes, elemental
disturbance, &c.

At the periods which have been remarkable for the occurrence of
blights, animals--such as horned cattle--have been known to suffer
sooner or later; and man also, as I shall in the course of these
pages fully show. Reasoning analogically, therefore, may we not
conclude that that state or condition of the elements which induces
blights,--pestilences in the vegetable,--will also act injuriously on
the animal kingdom, more especially on the human race, men being, from
habit of body, &c., more prone to or susceptible of disease?

Referring to the annals of history, which so abundantly show that
the ancients considered all universal distempers as originating in
the disturbed states of the seasons, I will cite a few instances
(commencing with sacred history) explanatory of the causes of universal
maladies, termed epidemic pestilences or diseases.

In the books of the Old and New Testaments we find beautifully
described the great causes of pestilence inducing their effects in
regular succession and with absolute certainty. The books of God, in
tracing the hand of Omnipotence through the medium of secondary causes,
producing effects punitive of guilty mortals, attribute all diseases to
the immediate interposition of Divine Providence:

   “Pestis et ira Deûm Stygiis sese extulit undis.”

And why?--Because God is the first great cause, the original creator of
all things, the preserver and governor of all things in heaven and on
the earth, and likewise the sole disposer of the elements.

Seeing, therefore, that our Creator, while possessing the sovereignty
of the universe, may employ what agents he pleases for the execution
of his purposes, we, in investigating the causes of all distempers,
without in the slightest degree impugning their divine origin, can
perceive that the Almighty Disposer of events effected his purposes by
the employment of natural means;--further, in expounding the causes of
disease, as existing in natural and common things, and modification of
beings and things of this natural world, we can do equal homage to the
Almighty’s wisdom and goodness, omnipotence, justice, mercy, judgment,
and providence, as we can in displaying them as immediately inflicted
on guilty man. Yea, more glorious do the attributes of the Most High
appear in the sublime mysteries of nature!

To particularize: when the governors of the five cities, Gath, Ekron,
Askelon, Gaza, and Ashdod, met for the purpose of contriving to rid
themselves of the ark which the Philistines had captured from the
Hebrews, it would appear that they were cognizant of the natural means
adopted by the Almighty to effect his purposes, although they, in their
impiety, doubted the divine origin of their affliction by pestilence.
Overlooking the omnipotence and all-wise direction of their Creator,
they exhorted the people to bear patiently that which had befallen
them, and to believe in no other causes of the pestilence which was
effecting their destruction _than those springing from the operations
of nature, which at certain revolutions of time produce such mutations
in the bodies of men, in the earth, in plants, and in all things grown
out of the earth, as to excite disease_.

With reference to elemental disturbance, the prophet Amos (ch. iv.
vss. 8 and 9) first describes the occurrence of a great drought,
then the generation of insects--the palmer-worm and the canker-worm,
which destroyed all foliage and herbage: vegetables, orchards, and
olive-yards, all fell a sacrifice, and induced a grievous famine,
succeeded by a dire pestilence.

Habakkuk, in his prayer, (chap. iii.) makes allusion to a great
pestilence preceded by earthquakes and great commotions of the
elements; the sun and moon standing still in their habitations, the
mountains trembling, and the waters overflowing, causing famine and
pestilence, to the destruction of 14,000 persons.

Again, in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, which contains the promised
cursings and blessings of the Almighty on his people, we have a
proverbial figure of speech, _expressively_ illustrative of the
natural means employed by our Creator in effecting his purposes: “And
thy heaven shall be brass, and the earth iron;” the one denoting a
drought, during which the heavens will yield no rain, inferring also
extreme heat; the other, the unproductiveness of the earth, yielding
no fruit,--the effects of such drought being to induce famine, and
ultimately disease. The experience of our own times exemplifies in the
fullest manner the concurrence, from _physical causes_, of famine
with pestilence--facts which the prophets of old always connected,
viz., the sword, famine, and pestilence, as being three evils which
generally accompanied or followed each other; and we cannot conceive
a doubt as to the association not being accidental, especially of the
two latter, but arising from their dependence upon similar atmospheric

Jeremiah (chap, iv., vss. 11 and 13), in describing the approach
of the armies of Babylon, compares them to the drying, parching,
scorching, and blasting winds of Egypt, Africa, Arabia, and Asia, which
wither and destroy the fruit of the earth, melting and oppressing all
living creatures; and he likens them to clouds of dust and whirlwinds
traversing those pestiferous countries of the East, where the heat
and drought, the dews and damps, heavy rains, the cold north winds of
winter and spring, succeeded by the suffocating heats of summer and
autumn, generate pestilence and cutaneous diseases.

In turning to the history of Egypt,--to this day a hot-bed of
pestilence,--we have graphically pictured a series of events occurring
and ending in the production of pestilential disease. The waters of the
rivers were first turned red, the fish died, and stank therein, causing
putrefaction of their bodies, while the waters became unfit for use,
either by men or beasts: secondly, swarms of frogs infected the land,
penetrating into the very houses; these were succeeded by a host of
insects, lice, flies, &c.: thirdly, the beasts of the field suffered
from murrain; and finally, man suffered from boils, blains, &c. If we
look into the topography of Egypt, we shall find abundant causes to
account for its great and continued insalubrity;--the whole country
lies near the tropic of Cancer; it is bounded towards the east by the
Red Sea, on the west by the deserts of Libya, on the north by the
Mediterranean, and on the south by Abyssinia or Upper Ethiopia. All the
lower country is encompassed by the arms of the Nile, and is inundated
annually by that father of rivers, when it overflows: it rises
twenty-four feet in perpendicular height at the medium increase of four
inches daily, and it continues from the end of June to the beginning
of September, when it begins gradually to subside. The inhabitants sow
their corn and vegetables in October and November, immediately after
the retiring of the waters; their harvest-time is in March and April.
Volney observes that the surface of the land successively assumes the
appearance of an ocean of fresh water, of a miry morass, of a green
level plain, and of a parched desert of sand and dust, and all in such
rapid succession that it can never be otherwise than insalubrious.

To recapitulate more fully. In that calamitous period in the days
of Moses, as shown in the history of Egypt already alluded to, the
season was distinguished by an extraordinary phenomenon, the waters
being turned to the colour of blood by the addition of some remarkable
materials or insects which killed all their fish, and caused the waters
to stink in all the low lands of Egypt, so that they could not drink
the waters of the river or of their ponds for seven days; this peculiar
condition of the waters, and the heat of the atmosphere, engendered
swarms of frogs, which, it is stated, came up into their houses, into
their very bed-rooms, entered into their ovens, and even into their
dough. Some great commotion of the elements, or a great and sudden
change of the weather, killed the frogs in their houses, villages, and
fields. When the people gathered their carcases into heaps, so great
were their numbers that the whole land stank with their putrefying
bodies; lice began afterwards to infect the inhabitants, as well as
the bodies of domestic animals; swarms of noisome insects, such as
flies, &c., succeeded the general putrefaction of the dead frogs,
and as the excesses of the seasons continued and increased, a mortal
pestilence among domestic animals, cattle and horses, camels, oxen and
sheep, ensued. This was the presage to an awful pestilence among men,
according to the common course of nature; indeed the Egyptians had not
recovered the loss of their cattle, when fiery pustules, apostemes,
and putrid ulcers infested their own bodies. After this succession of
evils, a dreadful storm of hail arose and destroyed cattle, herbs, and
fruit; in this tremendous tempest, we read that the lightning, mingled
with hail, ran along the ground, and was so very dismal and grievous in
its appearance and effects, that Pharaoh and all his people trembled as
if the pillars of nature had been shaken to their very foundation, and
the world was about to come to an end: to add to these dire calamities,
hosts of locusts were brought by the east wind over all the land of
Egypt; they rested on all the coasts and borders of the land, covering
the face of the earth, so that the ground was blackened by them; while
they devoured the residue of the herbs which the hailstorm had spared,
not one green thing remaining in the land of Egypt.

Soon after this, a strong west wind began to blow, which cast all
the locusts into the Red Sea, where they were drowned; their bodies
being subsequently washed on shore, stank intolerably, and became a
great auxiliary cause of pestilence amongst the inhabitants. Meantime
three days of astonishing darkness spread over all the land, and the
inhabitants could not see each other, neither did they rise from
their seats; pestilence meanwhile was rife in the land. This terrible
distemper first seized all the young and robust, all the first-born
of man and beast--from the first-born of the king to that of the
slave,--yea, there was not a house in which there were not some dead;
so tremendous was the stroke that the sacred historian calls it the
immediate judgment of God to punish their wickedness. And behold it
happened in the dead of the night, says the devout narrator, that the
Lord smote all the first-born of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh
that sat on the throne to the first-born of the maid-servant that
stands behind the mill, and even the firstlings of the beasts;--in
short, so dreadful was the calamity and destruction that the Egyptians
cried out, “We be all dead men!”

Looking to all the foregoing circumstances detailed, can we hesitate
to attribute the terrible malady which prevailed in Egypt to any but
the pestilential constitution of the season?--can we suppose the
operation of any other than natural causes, such as long drought,
excessive heats, hot burning winds, clouds of suffocating dust and
sand; heavy rains succeeding the drought; storms of hail mingled with
lightning; famine, the consequence of the destruction produced by the
locusts and devouring insects; the noxious emanations from dead frogs
which had been destroyed by the dismal commotions of the elements; and
the insufferable stench arising from the carcases of the quantity of
dead animals? Can we imagine, I ask, any other causes to have been in
existence to produce such awful pestilence than those of the sudden
great changes of the weather, inundations of the rivers, and the
universal corruption of dead animal and vegetable matter throughout the
dominion of Egypt? I reiterate the question,--have we not abundance of
material to account for this terrible infliction on the people of Egypt?

About this period of dire suffering of the Egyptians from pestilence,
the first dreadful epoch of Spanish epidemiology is recorded as having
commenced; the date, however, has been variously given. By some writers
it is fixed about the time of David, 1017 B.C., when 70,000
persons were destroyed in three days by pestilence; by other writers
it is stated to have commenced amongst the Spanish 1100 B.C.
There were _twenty-five_ years of drought in Spain without
interruption; springs were dried up; rivers became fordable, their
waters being almost stagnant; there was neither pasture for beasts, nor
fruit for man; so great was the barrenness of the land, that there was
scarcely anything green to be found, except some few olive-trees on the
banks of the Ebro and the Guadalquivir: such, says the historian, was
the melancholy state of ancient Spain, “full of dreadful mortalities,
plagues, and miseries of every description, which, with emigration to
other lands, nearly depopulated our country.”

The Greek poet, Homer, describes the causes of the pestilence which
attacked the armies at the siege of Troy as being attributable to the
extreme heat of the weather and the unfriendly seasons. He styles the
sun Apollo:

    “On mules and dogs th’ infection first began,
    And last the vengeful arrows fix’d on man;
    But let some prophet or some sacred sage
    Explore the cause of Great Apollo’s rage.”

Thucydides, another celebrated Greek historian, describes a similar
condition of the atmosphere with physical irregularities, as causing an
awful pestilence at Athens:

   τεκμήριον δὲ τῶν μὲν τοιούτων ὀρνίθων ἐπίλειψις σαφὴς ἐγένετο,
   καὶ οὐχ ἑωρῶντο οὔτε ἄλλως οὔτε περὶ τοιοῦτον οὐδέν· οἱ δὲ κύνες
   μᾶλλον αἴσθησιν παρεῖχον τοῦ ἀποβαίνοντος διὰ τὸ ξυνδιαιτᾶσθαι.

Lucretius, in imitating Thucydides, thus expresses himself:

    “Nec tamen omnino temere illis solibus ulla
    Comparebat avis, nec noctibus secla ferarum
    Exibant sylvis; languebant pleraque morbo
    Et moriebantur; cum primis fida canum vis
    Strata viis animam ponebat in omnibus ægram;
    Extorquebat enim vitam vis morbida membris.”

    “No longer birds at noon, nor beasts at night,
    Their native woods deserted; with the pest
    Remote they languish’d and full frequent died;
    But chief the dog his generous strength resign’d,
    Tainting the highways, while the ruthless bane
    Through every limb his sickening spirit drove.”

The poet Ovid, in the seventh book of his Metamorphoses, in describing
the terrible pestilence which occurred in the island of Egina (see
‘History of Pestilences’), represents the pestilence as arising from
the following causes:--He exhibits the earth covered with dense clouds,
darkness, and suffocating heat; the deadly south winds blowing for four
months, the very vapours of disease; the lakes and fountains infected,
the air poisoned, and the entire land infested with venomous serpents,
as happened to the people of old. The plague or pestilence first
attacked horses, oxen, mules, sheep, dogs, cats, and even birds, and
then it affected mankind; death was sudden, and the streets were choked
with the carcases of men and beasts, and universal nature seemed to be
suffering from premature caducity.

In order to show the identity of this pestilence with the plague of
Egypt, the bilious remittent or yellow pestilence of the West Indies
and the United States, the disease termed Andalusian fever which has
from the earliest ages made such havoc in Spain and the adjoining
country, and also with the pestilence which has more than once
visited both England and Ireland in days of yore, we have collected
the symptoms of that disease from Ovid’s poetical enumeration of the
morbid phenomena, which were,--great heat in the bowels, flushings
of the face, difficulty of breathing, bilious vomiting, pains in the
head, with obstinate constipation, great prostration of strength,
unquenchable thirst, delirium, often attended with coma, great anguish,
dry black tongue, cough, &c., which proceeded to a fatal termination in
the course of two, three, or four days: the following is a translation
or imitation of the original.

    “A dreadful plague from angry Juno came,
    To scourge the land that bore her rival’s name,
    Before her fatal anger was reveal’d,
    And teeming malice lay as yet conceal’d.
    At first we only felt th’ oppressive weight
    Of gloomy clouds, then teeming with our fate,
    And labouring to discharge the sultry heat:
    But ere four moons alternate changes knew,
    With deadly blasts the fatal south wind blew,
    Infected all the air, and poison’d as it flew.
    Our mountains, too, a dire infection yield,
    For crowds of vipers creep along the field,
    And with polluted gore and baneful teems
    Taint all the lakes and venom all the streams.
    The young disease with milder rage began,
    Seized on birds and beasts, approaching man;
    The labouring oxen fall before the plough--
    The ploughmen wonder, stare, can’t imagine how;
    The tabid sheep, with sickly bleatings pine,
    Their wool decreasing as their strength decline;
    The warlike steeds, by inward foes compell’d,
    Neglect their honours and desert the field;
    Enerved and languid, seek a base retreat,
    And at the mangers groan, but wish’d a nobler fate.
    The stags forget their speed, the boars their rage,
    Nor can the bears the stronger herds engage:
    A common faintness now invades them all,
    In woods and fields promiscuously they fall.
    The air exhales the stench, and, strange to say,
    The ravenous birds and beasts avoid the prey;
    The putrid bodies rot upon the ground,
    And spread the dire contagion all around.
    Meanwhile the plague acquires a larger size,
    It feasts on men, and scorns a meaner prize.
    Intestine heats begin the civil war,
    And flushings first the latent flame declare,
    And fiery breath, which seem’d like burning air.
    Their black dry tongues are swell’d and scarcely move,
    And short thick sighs from panting lungs evolve:
    They gasp for air, with vainest hopes to sate
    Their raging flames, but that augments their heat.
    No bed, no covering, can the sicken’d bear--
    All on the ground exposed to open air,
    They lie, and hope to find a pleasing coolness there.
    The burning earth, with hot oppression curst,
    Returns the heat which they imparted first.
    All remedies they try, all med’cines use,
    Which nature could supply or art produce:
    Invincible, it mocks the vain design,
    And art and nature foil’d--declare the cause divine.”

Hippocrates, the great founder and parent of rational medicine, in his
book on Epidemic Distempers, accurately delineates the vicissitudes of
the weather and the different seasons of the year, attributing to them
the causes of all diseases. He thus describes a state of atmosphere
producing a most extraordinarily dismal pestilence and mortality: A
season marked by abundant showers, a south wind following drought; a
hot and sultry autumn, with abundant rain; a humid, open, light, and
warm winter, extremes of cold after the conversion of the sun under
the equinox, with winds blowing, with snow and sudden great change of

“Annus austrinus, imbribus abundans atque in totum ventis tranquillus
fuit. Quum autem paulo superioribus anni temporibus justo majores
siccitates viguissent, sub Arcturum sperantibus austris multum fuit.
Autumnus obscurus, nebulosus, cum aquarum abundantiâ, hyems austrina
humida et levis. Longo vero post solis conversionem intervallo juxta
Æquinoctium, extremæ hyemes adfuerunt; jamque sub Æquinoctium ipsum
Aquilonares venti cum nivibus non ita diu speravere. Ver rursus
austrinum a flatibus quietum, aquæ multæ et continentes ad canem
usque. Æstas verum calida, æstus præfocantes magna. Anniversarii venti
(Etesias vocant) pauci disjunctim speravere. Sub Arcturum rursus
spirantibus aquilonibus aquæ multæ.”--(On Epidemics, bk. iii. sect. 3.)

Again, in section 8 and 18 we have: “In aëre considerandum quanta insit
caliditas, frigiditas, crassitudo, tenuitas, siccitas, humiditas an
plenior an vero minor et copiosior. In quibus quænam mutationes et ex
quibus fiunt, quomodoque se habeant, animadvertere oportet,”--plainly
signifying that a pestilential constitution of the seasons consists of
atmospheric vicissitudes, heat and cold, dryness and moisture out of
season and in excess.

Galen, the great commentator on the works of his master, assigns two
causes to pestilence; the one, a great irregularity of the seasons, and
consequently a pestilential state of the air; the other, a vitiated
condition of the human body from corrupt and defective food, impure
air, &c., by which means it is rendered liable to disease: here we have
the exciting and the predisposing causes of disease clearly pointed

Further, in illustration of continued drought inducing famine with its
other evils, disease and mortality, we may quote Tasso’s beautiful
description of the sufferings of the Christian army under the walls of

    “The leaves grew wan, upon the wither’d sprays
    The grass and growing herb all parched were;
    Earth cleft in rifts, in floods each stream decay,
    And barren clouds with lightning bright appear.
    Still was the air, the rack nor came nor went,
    But o’er the land, with lukewarm breathing flies
    The southern wind, from sun-burnt Afric sent,
    Which thick and warm, his interrupted blast,
    Upon their bosoms, throats, and faces cast.

    Nor yet more comfort brought the gloomy night;
    In her thick shades was burning heat up roll’d,
    Her sable mantle was embroider’d bright,
    With blazing stars and gliding fires for gold.
    Nor to refresh (sad earth’s) thy thirsty sprite
    The niggard Moon let fall her May-dews cold,
    And dried up the vital moisture was
    In trees, in plants, in herbs, in flowers, in grass.

    And little Silve, that his store bestows
    Of purest crystal on the Christian hands,
    The pebbles naked in his channel shows,
    And scanty glides above the scorched sands.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The sturdy bodies of the warriors strong,
    Whom neither marching far, nor tedious way,
    Nor weighty arms which on their shoulders hung,
    Could weary make, nor death itself dismay,
    Now weak and feeble cast their limbs along,
    Unwieldy burthens on the burning clay;
    And in each vein a smouldering fire there dwelt,
    Which dried their flesh, and solid bones did melt.

    Languish’d the steed, late fierce, and proffer’d grass
    His fodder erst despised and from him kest;
    Each step he stumbled, and which lofty was
    And high advanced before now fell his crest;
    His conquest gotten, all forgotten pass,
    Nor with desire of glory swell’d his breast;
    The spoils won from his foe, his late rewards,
    He now neglects, despises, nought regards.

    Languish’d the faithful dog, and wonted care
    Of his dear lord and cabin both forgot;
    Panting he laid, and gather’d fresher air
    To cool the burning in his entrails hot;
    But breathing (which wise nature did prepare
    To ‘suage the stomach’s heat) now booted not,
    For little ease, (alas!) small help they win,
    That breathe forth air, and scalding fire suck in.”

The learned prelate Eusebius gives a very philosophical description
of the impure state of the atmosphere during a great pestilence which
ravaged the Roman empire. He writes thus: “The air was so noxious,
every where deranged with corrupt vapours, fumes from the earth so
putrid, winds from the sea, exhalations from marshes and rivers so
injurious, that a certain poisonous liquor, as it were from putrid
carcases, was brought by the elements, and covered the subjacent seats
or benches, walls, and sides of houses, and the dew appeared like the
sanies of dead bodies.” (See edit. Paris. 1628.)

Tacitus, in his description of Rome, notes the occurrence, every third
or fourth year, of what they termed “tempus grave aut annus pestilens,”
and he gives the following tetrastichon--

    “Rome voracious of men subdues the lofty necks of heroes;
    Rome full of fevers is frightful with the seeds of death;
    Roman fevers are faithful by their lasting course,
    When they once invade, seldom quit the living man.”

If the site of Rome with its other concomitants be considered, we shall
readily understand why pestilences were there so rife. It is situated
in a level country on the low banks of the Tiber, surrounded by the
extensive Ostiensian and Pontine marshes, exposed to the powerful
rays of the sun, and subject to inundations and other commotions of
the elements; further the inhabitants having been constantly engaged
in war, did not cultivate their lands sufficiently to produce food
for half the population, nor had they any established commercial
intercourse with other countries, from which they could be supplied in
times of scarcity. From their perpetual inroads agriculture was also
interrupted among all the adjoining nations, and the far-famed Romans
were often reduced to the necessity of feeding upon grass, leaves,
and unwholesome roots, or of consuming the provender stored for their
cattle, till men and beasts, and, it is said, birds and fish, perished
together, so pestilential were the seasons; “vulgato per omne genus
animalium morbo.”

I might go on multiplying authorities _ad infinitum_ to show
that previously to the middle of the seventeenth century those ages
were full of physical and political miseries, sufficient to account
for the frequent outbreak of fatal maladies; and we shall also find
that subsequently to that period all those countries that have
adopted judicious regulations in the construction of their dwellings,
in widening their streets, improving the drainage, and securing an
adequate supply of the three grand essentials to vitality,--light, air,
and water, have proportionately experienced a corresponding immunity
from pestilence, a notable exemplification of which we have in this
our own country, although we are far, very far, in this the nineteenth
century, from the improved condition that our wealth and the repeated
warnings of disease which have been vouchsafed us, especially since the
year 1832,--now nearly twenty years,--should have given rise to.

It was not, however, until after the great fire in 1666, at the
rebuilding of London, as it were, that any measures were taken to
secure the public health. In the year 1665, during the time of the
great and terrible plague, our streets were narrow, and the houses,
which were built of wood, closed inwards towards each other, one
story projecting considerably above the other, till they seemed
almost to touch each other at the top, and looking upwards from the
street towards the sky was very like looking up from the bottom of a
well. There were scarcely any sewers; the streets were damp and wet,
and nearly everything in the shape of offal was thrown into them,
while certain corporate bodies, the ecclesiastical authorities even,
contended stoutly for the right of sending their swine into the
streets to feed upon such garbage as they found plentifully therein.
It would also appear that the general habits of the citizens in no way
counteracted the bad effects of their faulty architecture by domestic

The celebrated Erasmus asserts that the interior of the dwellings in
London was disgusting to the last degree. He plainly ascribed ‘the
sweating sickness,’ which was a species of plague, to the incommodious
form and bad position of the houses, the filthiness of the streets, and
the sluttishness within doors. In a letter to a physician of Cardinal
Wolsey’s, in which he gives an account of the domestic habits of our
countrymen in those days, he says, “There is a degree of uncleanliness,
and even of filth, pourtrayed, of which we can have no conception in
our times.” He continues: “The floors are commonly of clay, strewed
with rushes, which were occasionally removed, but underneath lies
unmolested an ancient collection of beer, grease, fragments of fish,
spittle, the excrements of dogs, cats, and everything that was nasty.”
Hentzer observes, that even the floor of the presence-chamber of the
Queen Elizabeth, in Greenwich Palace, “was covered with hay after the
English fashion;” and Hume remarks, as a proof of the meanness of
living in those days, “that the comptroller of the household of Edward
the Sixth paid only 30s. a year for his house in Channel Row, which
like the generality of the streets of London was unpaved and undrained,
and contained an accumulation of the offal and such filth as was
habitually thrown into them.”

Sydenham, who writes of the changes produced in the amount of disease
according to locality, the constitutions of the seasons, &c., notices
that London in his day was ill-built, ill-drained, ill-supplied with
water, and the neighbouring country to the very suburbs so badly
cleared, as to subject the inhabitants to a return of agues regularly
in spring and autumn; and in the journal of De Foe we have assigned
as one of the many causes of the pestilence that occurred in this
country in 1665, the crowded state of the city and suburbs, which were
prodigiously full in consequence of the disbanding of the armies after
the restoration of the royal family and of the monarchy. Our city, says
De Foe, was computed to have had in it 100,000 inhabitants _more_
than it ever entertained before; some computed the number as being
twice as many, so that pestilence became in one year (1665) more
terribly destructive from the immense numbers crowded together, aided
by peculiar elemental disturbances, which had been rife for several
years previously; pestilence indeed may be said to have existed in
London continuously from the year 1661 unto 1666.

In the year 1665 the terrible plague became aggravated in the month
of July, from the sultriness of the atmosphere, cold nocturnal dews
or damp fogs, frequent cold showers and cold winds alternating with
the warmth and dryness of the air; in short, every extreme vicissitude
seemed to exist in that dismal period of disease and death, producing
agues, bilious disorders, bowel complaints, &c. In the next month the
great general pestilence appeared to swallow up as it were all previous
diseases in one common destruction. Indeed, from the month of August
all other diseases were absorbed in the pestilence: all distempers,
commencing in their usual form, were uniformly resolved into the deadly
plague; and in the month of September, says the great historian,
“Death rode triumphant among the devoted inhabitants of London; having
borrowed the fatal scythe of Time, he mowed down the people like grass,
and immerged the poor remains in horror and despair.”

Having advanced thus much in support of the natural causes of universal
distempers or epidemic pestilences, culled from the histories of
pestilences from the earliest ages, we arrive at the consideration of
that ‘vexata quæstio,’--contagion.

                              CHAPTER XI.

                             OF CONTAGION.

Contention on such a subject as contagion is not to be wondered at,
when we consider the obscurity attendant on all that relates to subtle
agencies (the supposed qualities of contagion); and inasmuch as we
observe that different effects arise from the same causes, as also
similar effects from different causes in the human body, a vast field
is necessarily opened up for contention, as every impartial observer
will admit.

That the doctrine of contagion is of comparatively modern origin
(subsequently to Hippocrates), historical research fully shows, and it
would be really an endless, if not an unprofitable, task to review the
innumerable arguments of which contagionists and their opponents have
from time to time availed themselves in support of their respective
opinions, especially when the controversialists can enlist on the one
side such names as Chisholm, Clark, Cleghorn, Pringle, Bianchi, Lind,
Meade, Warren, and a host of others, as contagionists, and on the other
side, as non-contagionists, such men as Hillary, Huck, Hunter, Jackson,
Bouland, Pinckard, Bancroft, Scott, Rush, Miller, Caldwell, Chervin,
besides very many others of more modern date.

With reference to our present subject, contagion, it has always been
with me a difficulty to understand the precise or real sense in which
contagionists generally write; and I must confess my inability to
comprehend the meaning they attach to the term contagion, and also to
that of infection, so contradictory are their applications of the terms
_contagion_ and _infection_, some using them synonymously,
others making distinctions, between contagion and infection, of such
arbitrary signification, that they are really neither definite nor
intelligible; whilst contagionists themselves often depart from their
_avowed_ principles. For example, Papôn, in his work entitled
‘Epoques Mémorables de la Peste,’ considers the undoubted causes of
plague to be uncultivated lands, marshy soil, corrupt lakes, filthy
cities, concurring with occasional causes, such as intemperature of
the seasons and famine, whilst the bent of his researches is evidently
to prove that in every modern plague _foreign_ contagion was the

Dr. Meade, notwithstanding his advocacy of contagion, like most other
contagionists, is guilty of inconsistency in stating, “that a corrupt
state of the air attends all plagues.”

Again, Dr. Patrick Russell, a great contagionist, when giving a most
minute account of the origin, spread, and decline of the plague, admits
the inutility of quarantine laws for the prevention of contagion, and,
curiously enough, he lays much stress on what he terms “a pestilential
constitution of the air.”

Dr. Hamilton, another great contagionist, affirmed that the influenza
which prevailed in England,--in fact, all over Europe, in the year
1782, was contagious, and that the malady was propagated by contagion
only; yet at the same time he informs us that, “in different places,
many hundreds were seized with pestilence at one and the same time:”
and Dr. (afterwards Sir Gilbert) Blane, also a contagionist, speaks
of the influenza as having affected mariners in the very midst of the

It would appear, however, that to reconcile conflicting opinions,
various modern writers of experience and talent have endeavoured
to show that epidemic diseases, _not_ contagious at their
commencement, may acquire that character from confined air, filth, and
other accumulations. That impure air, want of light, crowding together
_unwashed_ numbers, &c., will by predisposition contribute to
the production and aggravation of disease, as we observe to be the
case in jails, hospitals, and in camp, I can fully understand; but
that epidemic diseases, such, for instance, as plague, yellow fever,
or cholera, are ever propagated by contact--contagion, I, after
twenty-five years’ residence in pestilential countries, have no reason
to believe; for I have seen epidemics seize on vast numbers at once,--I
have sometimes seen them attack a whole people, or a part thereof,
whilst at other times they have prevailed amongst the inhabitants of
particular provinces and cities only. On what principle of contagion
or infection, I would ask, can such universality or partiality of
disease be accounted for or explained? Surely not from any cognizable
property of contagion. All that I have ever read and seen of the nature
of epidemics militates against the doctrine of contagion, whilst all
that has been adduced, as far as my researches show, in support of
contagion, has been of a negative, or at all events not of a positive,

Epidemic diseases, which have appeared and spread at different
seasons,--in fact, at all times of the year,--in the middle of summer,
for instance, as well as in the depth of winter,--which have also been
found traversing whole continents, continuing their course for many
successive months, and often assuming a definite direction or progress,
often affecting large masses of people living on the same spot, while
others in adjoining localities are exempt,--cannot, I contend, be
attributed to contagion, but to the qualities and influences of the
surrounding atmosphere, coupled with enervating habits, &c.


A period of one hundred and sixty years has elapsed (up to the year
1832) since the occurrence of any plague or aggravated pestilence in
this our own country, notwithstanding our intercourse with countries
where awful pestilence may be said always to exist. Whence, then, I
would ask, our immunity for so long a period, if pestilence BE
IMPORTABLE AND CONTAGIOUS? for it would appear that in spite of
our increased intercourse and commerce with pest-ridden spots, our
freedom from pestilence has been greater, manifestly from the change in
our moral and physical condition since the seventeenth century, which
has given rise to a degree of public health to which our ancestors
were strangers when pestilence was rife in our land, and which is not
attributable, as some may suppose, to the vigilant enforcement of those
bugbears, ‘quarantine laws,’ of which a recent writer very justly
observes, “that they are not only absurd and needlessly burthensome to
commerce, but perverse and barbarous in the extreme, independent of
the injurious fears induced, being as dangerous to communities as they
militate against common sense and HUMANITY.”

Whilst on the subject of quarantine, the question may be asked,--How
is it that so little has been elicited in support of contagion from
the working of lazarettos?--it being to the interest of those who hold
such views to publish THE LETHAL effects of their lazaretto
occupations. Might we not expect, from the testimony of the responsible
officers in charge of such establishments, to be informed of an awful
annual sacrifice of life in such perilous occupations, from the
terrible exposure of those employed in them in unpacking contagion, as
it were wholesale? Have we any evidence from lazarettos to warrant the
belief in contagion? I think not; at least my _not_ very limited
researches have afforded me no such evidence, and I fear that it is
with the subject of contagion, as with other matters appertaining to
pestilence, that authors seek for the peculiar facts which especially
favour their preconceived opinions, whilst they strain the simple
bearing of facts to answer their own hypotheses. Further, we find
pestilence still as prevalent and destructive as in former years in
those cities in which the march of improvement has not appeared. Thus
Grand Cairo and Constantinople to this day are never free from the
plague. Grand Cairo is always crowded by a vast number of inhabitants
of the lowest order in the most abject state of poverty. The streets
are very narrow and close, and thirty or forty persons often inhabit
one small house. It is situated in a sandy plain at the foot of a
mountain, which, by excluding the winds, makes the heat more stifling.
Through the midst of it passes a great canal, which is filled with
water at the periodical overflowing of the Nile, and after the river
has fallen it is gradually dried up; into this are thrown all manner
of filth, carrion, &c., so that the stench which arises from this and
the mud together is insufferably offensive. At certain periods of the
year the plague preys upon the inhabitants, first appearing amongst the
lowest orders of the people, who are mostly in a wretched condition:
its progress is stopped only when the Nile, by overflowing, washes away
this load of filth; the cold winds, which set in at the same time,
purifying the air. The plague in Constantinople is generally observed
to break out in that part of the city which is low and marshy.

On searching the ancient records of medicine, and on referring to
history, both sacred and profane, nothing in the shape of evidence can
be found, previously to the time of Hippocrates, to show that epidemic
pestilences were thought to be contagious; in fact, all writers before
the Arabians invariably speak of epidemic diseases as arising from
places, seasons, and constitutions of the air; and nowhere in his
works does the great parent of medicine, the erudite and all-observant
Hippocrates, entertain the idea of contagion:--Δεῖ δὲ καταμανθάνειν τὴν
Κατάστασιν τῶν ‘Ωρέων ἀκριβῶς, καὶ τῶν Νούσων ἑκάστην.

I would ask of all unprejudiced persons, What could contagion have had
to do with the terrific and wide-spreading outbreak of pestilence at
Kurrachee (see ‘History of Pestilences,’ p. 177), where 8000 victims
were at once seized and carried off in a few days?

But that which I would urge in support of the
NON-CONTAGIOUSNESS of epidemic pestilences, irrespective
of EVERY other authority, is the remarkable fact, that in
our most ancient medical treatise, the 13th chapter of Leviticus,
no mention whatever is made of epidemic diseases being reckoned
contagious, although at the time when the Levitical code was being
propounded there was no lack of experience in epidemic diseases;
for in the days of Moses the times in Egypt were calamitous
indeed:--pestilence and famine ran riot through the land. Had epidemic
diseases, then so common and lethal in Egypt, been considered
contagious, the presumption is that they would have been enumerated as
such among those which were specified as possessing that character,
viz. leprosy, scabies, lues, &c.; and when we observe such minuteness
displayed in the Mosaic ordinances, to the very freeing of houses from
damp previously to occupation, we cannot suppose that precautionary
directions, as regards such universal and lethal maladies as epidemics,
would have been omitted. With this remarkable fact before us, derived
from sacred authority, I feel at a loss to conjecture the grounds
on which the idea of contagion is _at all entertained_, more
especially as we have the occurrence of pestilential disease not only
foretold, but their very nature and mode of production positively
conveyed to us from the same divine source.

“The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and
with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning,” &c. (Deut. chap,
xxviii.)--“And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and
shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast,
throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exod. chap, ix.)--“But the hand
of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and
smote them with emerods” (violent dysentery), “even Ashdod and the
coasts thereof.” (1 Sam. chap, v.)--“I also will do this unto you; I
will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague,”
&c. (Levit. chap. xxvi.)--“I will smite the inhabitants of this city,
both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.” (Jeremiah,
chap. xxi.)--The sun and the moon standing still in their habitations,
the mountains trembling, the waters overflowing, causing famine and
pestilence. (Habakkuk, chap. iii.)--“Behold, I will send a blast upon
him.” (2 Kings xix.)--“The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder
and dust.” (Deut. xxviii.)--“Thy heaven shall be brass, and the earth
iron.” (Ibid.)--“And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not,
that have no rain, there shall be the plague,” &c. (Zechariah, chap.

In conclusion: fully impressed with the necessity that for the
purpose of insuring anything like rational conclusions as to the
nature and origin, or causes, of epidemic pestilences, we should
not only enter upon their investigation divested of all prejudice
in favour of _exclusive_ doctrines, but at the same time be
actuated by an impartial desire for COMPREHENSIVNESS, as
being the only, the true way to surmount the innumerable difficulties
attendant on the investigation of universal distempers, and premising
with the opinion that at the onset we should be cognizant of the
_absolutely_ necessary distinction between the predisposing and
the exciting causes of disease, the due consideration of which guides
to preventive or sanitary measures, _I take leave_ to reiterate
my opinion,--an opinion founded on a careful review of the foregoing
history of epidemics,--that all epidemic pestilences or diseases are
to be accounted for on the principle of natural causes, viz., THAT

Λεγέτω μὲν οὖν περὶ αὐτοῦ ὡς ἕκαστος γιγνώσκει, καὶ ἰατρὸς, καὶ
ἰδιώτης, ἀφ’ ὅτου εἰκὸς ἦν γενέσθαι αὐτὸ, καὶ τὰς αἰτίας ἅστινας
νομίζει τοσαύτης μεταβολῆς ἱκανὰς εἶναι δύναμιν ἐς τὸ μεταστῆσαι
σχεῖν. And now I leave every one, whether physician or not, to pass his
own opinion concerning it, pointing out whence it was likely to arise,
and what causes he thinks sufficient to produce so entire a change in
the constitution of the human body.”--(Thucydides on Epidemics.)

                             CHAPTER XII.


    “Organic forms with chemic changes strive,
    Live but to die, and die but to revive;
    IMMORTAL MATTER braves the transient storm,
    Mounts from the wreck, unchanging but in form.”

The original mandate of the Creator has provided that by various
natural processes a constant equilibrium shall be preserved and
maintained, so that from age to age, until all the purposes for which
the earth is sustained be completed, the same ends will be accomplished
by the same agency:

    “That very law which moulds a tear
    And bids it trickle from its source,
    That law preserves the earth a sphere,
    And guides the planets in their course.”

We further know that all organized matter, whether animal or vegetable,
possesses the materials of which they are composed, for a limited time
only, life itself being but a boon, lent to serve the purposes of
Infinite Wisdom--

    “Which thus alternating with death fulfil
    The silent mandates of the Almighty’s will;
    Whose hand unseen the works of Nature dooms,
    By laws unknown;--who gives and who resumes.”

Again, on reviewing the histories of bygone ages, we learn that from
the earliest times disease has visited every country with a frequency
and malignancy always proportioned to the intensity of the predisposing
causes. Under the head of Nature and Causes of Disease, I have already
advanced that disease arises from certain conditions or vicissitudes of
the atmosphere, together with the application of other powers producing
direct debility. Over the former, as the exciting, the vital cause,
we have but little control; it is the latter only, the predisposing
causes, that we can attempt to counteract with a fair prospect of
success. Seeing that such predisposing causes more generally arise from
the infraction of the unalterable laws originally laid down for the
government of mankind,--from a neglect of the most obvious laws of our
being,--and that Providence, for the most part, acts by SECONDARY
CAUSES, we should direct our efforts to the arresting of every
condition which _predisposes_ to or aggravates disease, such
condition being more or less subject to human regulations.

“Prevention,” says the adage, “is better than cure.” When the sources
of sickness have been remedied, the production of the evil has been
limited, if not totally annihilated; it is, therefore, to the adoption
and enforcement, by judicious legislative enactments, of prophylactic
measures, based on scientific views, that we would direct especial
attention; for by such measures we not only, to a great extent, prevent
disease, by rendering the body less susceptible of it, but, when
attacked by it, we lessen its fatality, by placing the vital system in
a normal condition, capable of bearing up against it:--

   “Salus populi est suprema lex.”

It is a lamentable fact, that in this our own country, with all its
practical talent, and its great advance in civilization, hitherto so
little progress has been made in a matter deeply involving the moral,
as well as the physical, condition of the great mass of our population.
As one proof out of many of what may be effected by judicious measures,
we may advert to the present condition of our navy, as contrasted
with that of the last century. Formerly we heard among our seamen of
nothing but dysentery, fevers, scurvy, &c., which diseases have been
known to depopulate whole fleets. In the year 1726, when at sea, great
mortality occurred from these scourges in the fleet, consisting of
seven ships, under the command of Admiral Hosier, on the West India
station. He twice lost the crew of his own ship. In the year 1741, also
at sea, half the crew of Captain Anson’s fleet died from scurvy in less
than six weeks after leaving England; and in the year 1780, 11,732
cases of scurvy, dysentery, and fever were sent to Haslar Hospital
from the Channel fleet! whilst now, from the attention paid to the
construction of our shipping, to ventilation, cleanliness, and diet, we
scarcely meet with these diseases among the seamen, and the wards of
Haslar Hospital, which formerly were crowded with cases of scorbutic
disease, now seldom exhibit a case.

The two grand essentials for vitality are Light and Air, to which may
be added, Water. These, which are supplied to us by an all-wise and
beneficent Creator in unlimited abundance, are indispensably necessary
to a healthy state of animal life; the absence of the one, or impurity
of the other, as being detrimental to life, should take the lead of all
sanitary measures.

              ----Nature’s resplendent robe!
    Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
    In unessential gloom.”

We know from experience, that the influence of light and atmospheric
temperature upon living bodies is very similar, being manifested by
the strongest stimulating effects; in fact, light is known to be
an important agent in varying the phenomena of the atmosphere, its
stimulating effects being more or less modified by light, according to
the permanence and intensity of such light. The sun being the principal
source of light and heat, their influences may be considered as
inseparable, and acting in concert; if a thermometer were to be removed
from the dark into the light, the mercury would be seen to rise, and,
on the other hand, if it were to be conveyed from the light to the
dark, it would fall.

    “In tubes of glass mercurial columns rise,
    Or sink obedient to the incumbent skies;
    Or as they touch the figured scale, repeat
    The nice gradations of circumfluent heat.”

Milton beautifully apostrophizes the great luminary, Light, thus:

    “Hail, Holy Light! offering of Heaven’s first-born,
    Or of the eternal co-eternal beam,
    Bright effluence of bright essence increate,--
    Thy fountain who shall tell? Before the sun--
    Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
    Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
    The rising world of waters dark and deep.”

Commencing with the properties of light, we find its influence on
inorganic bodies and vegetables to be unequivocal; in short, it may
be said that so very extensive is its influence, that there is not a
substance which, when exposed to its action, does not experience some
alteration. Without light, independently of the heat which is its
ordinary concomitant, there would scarcely exist a trace of vegetation,
and when we reflect on the remarkable dependence of the animal and
vegetable kingdoms on each other, the animal by the extrication of
carbonic acid gas, affording a fluid essential to vegetation; the
plant, on the other hand, by the emission of oxygen, supplying the
atmosphere with the gas which is equally necessary for the well-being
of the former, we cannot suppose light to be less essential to animal

The chemical effects of light, and its influence on animal and
vegetable vitality, have much engaged the attention of philosophers:--

    “O Sun--
    Thou shin’st in boundless majesty abroad,
    High gleaming from afar--prime cheerer, heat;
    Of all material beings first and best!
    Efflux divine!
    Without thy quickening glance, our cumbrous mould
    Were brute, unlovely mass, inert and dead;
    And not as now, the sweet abode of life.
    How many forms of Being wait on Thee!
    Inhaling spirit; from the unfetter’d mind,
    By thee sublimed, down to the daily race,
    The mixing myriads of thy setting beam--
    The vegetable world is also thine!
    The very dead Creation, from thy touch,
    Assumes a mimic life. But this
    And all the much-transported Muse can sing,
    Are, to thy splendour, dignity, and _use_,
    Unequal far! Great delegated Source
    Of Light and Life, and Grace and Joy below.”

With reference to the vegetable kingdom, we see that the most delicate
of the discous plants or flowers turn constantly towards the sun; it is
also well known that the change of position of the leaves of plants,
at different periods of the day, is entirely owing to the agency of
light; plants growing in the shade, or in darkness, are pale, and
without their natural and healthy colour--they become ‘etiolated’ or
blanched. Gardeners avail themselves of a knowledge of this fact,
and, by excluding the light, they obtain celery, lettuce, &c., in a
white state. If a potato be placed in a dark cell, with but one small
aperture for the admission of light, on germinating, the sprout will
turn and grow towards the light, and will continue pale and light until
it reaches the light, and becomes fairly exposed to its stimulus, when
its natural and healthy colour will be assumed.

Light contributes to the maturity of seeds, fruit, and flowers.
Professor Davy found by experiment that red rose-trees, carefully
excluded from light, produced roses almost of a white colour.
Vegetables are not only indebted to the light for their colour,[3] but
their taste and odour are likewise derived from, or at all events
greatly influenced by, the same source. Light is also an essential
element in the topographical arrangement of plants. The southern slopes
of our hills and mountain ranges are always clothed with a more fully
developed race of plants than the northern; this depends wholly upon
the greater degree of light and heat which the former enjoy. The more
free the exposure, the more readily will most plants blossom, and yield
a rich fruit; so well is this understood in the grape countries on
the Rhine, that the right bank of that river, which faces the sun, is
reckoned to be much more valuable than the left, and commands a higher
price for its wines.

Turning to the animal kingdom, which is more immediately our province,
we find in that portion of nature an equal dependence on light for its
proper development and vitality. Animals droop when they are deprived
of light; there are instances on record where persons having been long
confined in dark places or dungeons (even though well ventilated),
their whole complexion has become sallow, their general health
deteriorated, pustules, with aqueous humours, have opened out upon
their skin, and they have become languid, and frequently dropsical.
In the absence of light, there is a predominance of the white fluids
of the body; the action of the lymphatic system is exalted, and it
imparts to the organization of animals that remarkable blanched
appearance called ‘etiolement.’ Hence the well-founded supposition,
that the absence of the solar rays of light contributes greatly to the
development of scrofula.

“Let in the sun, and you shut out the doctor,” says an old Italian
proverb. The effects of the free admission of light, as a point of
great importance to the well-being of every individual, has been proved
by the experiments of Dr. Edwards, who has shown that if tadpoles
be nourished with proper food, and exposed to the renewed action
of water (so that their bronchial respiration may be maintained),
but are entirely deprived of light, the growth continues, but their
metamorphosis into the condition of air-breathing animals is arrested,
and they remain in the form of large tadpoles. Dr. Edwards also
observes, that persons who live in caves and cellars, or in very dark,
narrow streets, are apt to produce deformed children. Rabbits, which
were kept in a dark cellar, were affected with mollities ossium, their
limbs being useless.

It has been recently stated, that the cases of disease in the dark side
of an extensive barrack at St. Petersburgh, have been uniformly, for
many years, in the proportion of THREE to one to those on the
side exposed to a strong light.

Dupuytren relates the case of a lady whose maladies had baffled the
skill of several eminent practitioners. This lady resided in one of
the narrow streets of Paris, and in a dark room in which the sun never
shone. After a careful examination, Dupuytren was led to refer her
complaints to the absence of light, and recommended her removal to a
more cheerful situation: the change was followed by the most beneficial
results; all her complaints in a very short time vanished.

In a series of experiments made by Mr. Simon upon cats, which that
gentleman confined in dark cellars, he found after death disease of
the kidney, resembling that morbid state of the gland generally known
as morbus Brightii (Bright’s disease), and, in other cases, incipient
fatty degeneration of the liver.

Humboldt has remarked, that among several nations of South America, who
wear very little clothing, he never met with a single individual with
a natural deformity; and the celebrated Linneus, in his account of his
tour through Lapland, enumerates constant exposure to solar light as
one of the causes which render a summer’s journey through high northern
latitudes so peculiarly healthful and invigorating; whilst the reverse
is observed in less favoured regions--

                      ---- “beyond Tornea’s Lake,
    And farthest Greenland, to the Pole extreme,
    Where, failing gradual, Life itself goes out;
    There Winter holds his unrelenting court.
    Near the wild Oby live the last of men!
    There, half-enliven’d by the distant Sun,
    That rears and ripens man as well as plants--
    There human nature wears its lowest form!”

We will now enter upon the consideration of another of the grand
essentials of vitality. Air--

   “Vivit Ætherias vitaleis suscipit auras.”

The word ‘atmosphere’ is of Greek origin, and signifies a body of
vapour in a spherical form. The rapidity of atmospheric air cannot be
explained on any principle but its fluidity; therefore atmospheric
air, the permanently elastic fluid which surrounds the earth, although
invisible, may be said to be material, and to possess all the common
properties of matter; for it occupies space, attracts and is attracted,
and consequently has weight. It likewise partakes of the nature of
a fluid, for it adapts itself to the form of the vessel in which it
is contained, and presses equally in all directions. Its power, when
vitiated, as a cause of disease, can only be determined by a scientific
examination of its properties, especially as regards its affinities
to other things. It should therefore claim the attention of every
individual, professional or non-professional, who has the comfort of
mankind at heart.

“It is scarcely possible,” says Professor Davy, “duly to appreciate,
in the vast economy of terrestrial adaptations, the importance of the
mechanism by which gases and vapours rapidly permeate each other’s
bulks and become equally diffused. The atmosphere which surrounds the
globe consists of a mixture of several aeriform fluids in certain fixed
proportions, upon the proper maintenance of which, by measure and
weight, the welfare of the whole organic creation depends.”

One of the principal uses of the atmosphere is to supply animals with
a medium for breathing. Breathing is an essential effort of the human
system. Its immediate effects are the operation of considerable changes
on the blood--

   “In the blood is life, which vitality depends on air.”

An outlet is also afforded to carbonic acid gas, and the acquisition
of a quantity of oxygen and nitrogen, which, combining with the
constituent parts of the chyle, convert it into the nature and quality
of nutritious blood. The temperature of the animal is supposed also
to be a consequence of the decomposition of air in the respiratory
process. The processes of respiration and combustion perpetually tend
to the destruction of the vital air, and the substitution of another,
which is a deadly poison to animal life. By means of ventilation
and circulation,--causing currents of air,--such poisonous air is
not allowed to accumulate, but is diffused through the surrounding
space, while the vital gas rushes, by a counter-tendency, to supply
the deficiency which the local consumption may have created; and thus
is explicable one of the self-apparent reasons as to the imperious
necessity for free ventilation.

Notwithstanding our imperfect acquaintance with the manner in which
water is suspended in the atmosphere, it is well known that the human
body is greatly influenced by the aqueous vapour in such a state of
suspension, and that the sources of poisonous emanations are active in
proportion to the grade of atmospheric humidity and its temperature.
An atmosphere surcharged with humidity not only prevents the cuticular
discharge necessary to a healthy state, but sensibly diminishes the
watery exhalations from the lungs, thereby inducing various morbid
effects on the system. We observe the conversion of volatile bodies
into a gaseous form exemplified in the perfume of flowers being more
sensible during the fall of dew of an evening or in a morning, when the
dew evaporates and is dissipated by the rays of the morning sun: in the
same manner, the exhalation of deleterious matters, such as the filth
of ditches and badly-drained sewers, becomes more active. Excess of
moisture also, by diminishing the vital action, provides another cause
of disease in conjunction with the enervating effects of deleterious
gases: hence the more poisonous properties or injurious action of those
gases in stagnant atmospheres, which are always more humid than where
there is efficient circulation, _i. e._ ventilation.

    “Of what important use to human kind,
    To what great ends subservient is the wind!
    Where’er the aerial active vapour flies,
    It drives the clouds, and ventilates the skies;
    Sweeps from the earth Infection’s noxious train,
    And swells to wholesome rage the sluggish main.
    For, should the sea unagitated stand,
    Death, with huge strides, would desolate the land;
    The scorching sun, with unpropitious beam,
    Would give to grief an everlasting theme;
    And baneful vapours, lurking in the veins,
    Would fiercely burn with unabating pains.
    Such were the plagues that spread o’er Egypt’s land,
    When Moses, taught by God, stretch’d forth his hand;
    From animated dust fell myriads rose,
    And vengeance shed o’er Israel’s harden’d foes.”

Signal benefit from ventilation was observed some years ago in the
Savoy and Newgate prisons, in both of which the jail fever was, as
it had always been, frequent and very fatal. It was tried on the
recommendation of the great and good Dr. Hales, whose studies and
experiments were constantly directed to the benefit of mankind. The
good effects exceeded even the Doctor’s most sanguine expectations, for
the numbers attacked were greatly decreased, and the fever became less
fatal, after due ventilation had been established, and the supposed
contagion had been thereby arrested. On a reference to the writings
of the benevolent Howard, we shall perceive that he found the prisons
on the Continent perfectly free from pestilential fever, owing to the
apartments in which the prisoners were confined being spacious and

    “Leaves, lungs, and gills the vital ether breathes,
    On earth’s green surface, or the waves beneath.”

Dr. Thomas Bateman, writing on the low fevers of London occurring
among the poor, observes that he has often been surprised, after having
seen a patient in the low muttering delirium of fever while in his own
habitation, to find him with clear intellect and invigorated system
after passing a night in the House of Recovery, although no medicine
whatever had been given. We have ourselves observed the remarkable
and decided effects on the pulse, caused by the removal of patients
suffering from low typhus and other fevers;--their improvement has been
general and decided, merely from the removal from a lower to an upper
ward, where the ventilation has been more perfect. Of the many striking
illustrations of the benefit resulting from the free access of pure
air, the remarkable decrease of disease and death among the carnivora
in the Zoological Gardens, as reported in 1845, since the improvement
of the ventilation, may be instanced. The following statement,
taken from the history of the Dublin Lying-in Hospital, shows in an
extraordinary degree the advantages resulting from free ventilation. In
this hospital, 2944 infants out of 7650 died in the years 1782–83–84
and 1785, within the first fortnight after their birth,--that is to
say, nearly one child out of every six died of convulsions, which were
called nine days’ convulsions by the nurses. These children foamed at
the mouth, the jaws became locked, the face swelled, and looked blue,
as though they were choking. This last circumstance led the physician
in attendance to attribute the disease and great mortality to the close
and crowded state of the hospital, causing a deficiency of good air.
Air-pipes, with other openings, were contrived,--the rooms were kept
sweet and fresh by means of ventilation,--and the consequences observed
were, that in the year

    1786 out of 1372 children there died  51
    1787   „    1375    „         „       59
    1788   „    1496    „         „       55
                ----                    ----
                4243                     165

So that, since ventilation has been properly effected, out of 4243
children there died 165; whereas the average number of deaths from the
same numbers, previously to ventilation, was 1632!

    “And all proclaim Omnipotence Divine.

           *       *       *       *       *

    We view his kind, his life-preserving care,
    In all the wondrous properties of AIR.
    Were once the energy of _air_ denied,
    The heart would cease to pour its purple tide;
    The purple tide forget its wonted play,
    Nor back again pursue its curious way;
    Gross vapours would the springs of life pervade,
    And make the brightest human blossom fade.”

Dr. Barron, among a series of experiments, confined a number of
young rabbits in a close damp situation; many of the animals died at
intervals varying from five to seven weeks from the time of their
incarceration. On the removal of the survivors to dry localities, which
were otherwise favourable to health from being well ventilated, their
condition soon became manifestly improved. This fact has been further
confirmed by the experiments of Sir James Clark and Dr. (now Sir
Robert) Carswell and Dr. Jenner.

In a report of the sickness which occurred among the Edinburgh Police,
as drawn up by the medical attendant, the effects of an ill-ventilated
station-house are noticed. It furnishes an additional example, if such
were needed, of the importance of pure air and plenty of it. The men
boarded and lodged in this place were originally the healthiest and
youngest men in the force; yet the rate of sickness among them was
very high, as was also the mortality--being more than treble that of
the other part of the force located elsewhere. Out of thirty-seven men
occupying the house in question, only one was found to be free from
functional disorder: the prominent symptoms being great sensibility to
atmospheric changes, copious cold perspirations, a constant sense of
fatigue, with pain in the eye-balls and loss of appetite.

It would appear that in all propositions for sanitary improvements,
the all-engrossing topic is--the noxious properties of stinking
vapours. The cesspools and sewers seem to be the chief object of
solicitude, even in legislative proceedings; as though there were
no deleterious gases surrounding our globe, inappreciable to the
olfactories, and yet of far more consequence in a sanitary point of
view. Now, although vapours arising from cesspools and imperfect
drainage unquestionably constitute one of the many predisposing causes
to disease, they are not of such paramount importance as ventilation;
for their noxious influence, from whatever source they may arise,
depends more or less on their existence in open or confined places.
The indefatigable Parent Duchâtelet, in his work on ‘HYGIENE
PUBLIQUE,’ has shown that stenches, filthy exhalations, however
disgusting, are not necessarily the cause of disease, when not pent
up, as _à priori_ they might be supposed to be. He informs us
that at one of the most extensive ‘Chantierres d’Equarrissages,’
situated at Montfauçon, within a mile or two of Paris, occupying a
large open space of ground, where thousands of horses, dogs, and cats
are taken yearly to be slaughtered, and where almost all the ordure
of Paris is collected together, the most abominable stenches are to
be met with: the ground, saturated with the blood of the slaughtered
animals, sends forth a most disgusting fœtor, as do also the enormous
mounds of putrid flesh collected for the purposes of manure, and for
the generation of maggots for feeding poultry! Yet the workmen living
and employed in these places, in the filthy occupation of glue and
music-string making, &c., enjoy an immunity from disease that is truly
astonishing, while their exemption from illness during the destructive
prevalence of cholera in Paris was equally remarkable. The existence
of such disgusting nuisances, as represented by Duchatelet, can by no
means be approved of; but reference to them is made here to show, by
well-ascertained facts, that the remedying of the effluvia arising
from imperfect drainage, cesspools, _et hoc genus omne_, is
not of such VITAL importance as the free admission of the
atmosphere; for we have seen that stagnant air is caused by the want
of a free current, and that it is rendered more humid than usual by the
non-admission of light (which is heat), and further that that humidity
increases the activity of noxious gases, so that where ventilation is
defective, there will always be an accumulation, and consequently
a concentration, of the gases from cesspools, exhalations from the body
by expiration, and from the skin; all these facts, physiologically
considered, will show the vast importance of the access of light and
of pure air, on which all sanitary measures, to be effective, must
be based. Ventilation, by striking at the root of the mischief, will
remedy all its evil consequences.

Again, it must be recollected that the object of ventilation is not
solely to dissipate and get rid of odours offensive to the olfactories,
but also to supply the system with a vital stimulus--the very
_pabulum vitæ_--the oxygen necessary for the proper performance
of the functions of the different organs, which cannot be obtained in
due proportion from stagnant air--the supply in such an atmosphere from
defective circulation being inadequate to the demand or consumption.
When an animal is inclosed in a limited quantity of atmospheric air,
it dies as soon as the oxygen has been consumed; and no other air
will maintain animal life but oxygen, or a mixture which contains it
in a certain proportion. Further, ventilation, by supplying the vital
stimulus, and inducing a normal condition, also fortifies the system
against atmospheric vicissitudes--the grand excitant of disease.

Opening up and enlarging drains, or establishing them where none
had previously existed, while the localities are allowed to remain
in a crowded state, will, while such operations are being carried
on, multiply the evil. A commencement must be made by rasing to the
ground the dens of physical and moral iniquity which have been so
disgracefully permitted to exist in the occupancy of those unfortunates
who have it not in their power to remedy the miseries to which it never
was the intention of Creative Wisdom that the meanest reptile should be
subjected, much less Man, once the image of his Creator,--His noblest

The subjects of Light and Air having been disposed of, we will next
discuss the properties of Water:

    “That chief ingredient in Heaven’s various works,
    Where flexile genius sparkles in the gem,
    Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine.”

It is a necessary beverage for man and other animals,--is perpetually
used as a solvent for a great variety of solid bodies,--acts an
important part in conveying nourishment to the vegetable world,
and gives salubrity to the atmospherical regions,--in fine, it is
a fluid so generally distributed over our globe, and consequently
so universally known, that to enter into the minutiæ of its various
properties would be superfluous for the purposes of these pages.

    “If there be any universal medicine in nature,
    It is water”--says HOFFMAN.

Considering water dietetically as well as medicinally, it cannot
but be a matter of wonder, to all who know anything of the water
drunk in this great metropolis, that no measures have ever been
taken for the purification of an element so essential to a healthy
existence, although many excellent plans have from time to time
been suggested by persons practically conversant with such matters.
In the Report of a committee of the House of Commons, published so
far back as 1836, it is stated of the water from the Thames, that
it “receives the excrementitious matter from nearly a million and a
half of human beings;--the washings of their foul linen,--the filth
and refuse of many hundred manufactories,--the offal and decomposing
vegetable substances from the markets,--the foul and gory liquid from
slaughter-houses,--and the purulent abominations from hospitals and
dissecting-rooms, too disgusting to detail.” The polluted state of the
water supplied to this vast metropolis is not, however, the only crying
evil. The deficiency in quantity as well as the deleterious quality is
also a matter of just complaint, the supply of this first necessary of
life being insufficient for drinking and culinary purposes, independent
of its uses as an hygienic agent, for personal ablution; the salutary
effects of which we will next consider--

    “And in the bath prepared my limbs I lave.
    Reviving sweets repair the mind’s decay,
    And take the painful sense of toil away.”

The use of the bath has doubtlessly existed from the beginning of
the world. Bathing appears to have been a practice instinctively
adopted by all nations and tribes throughout the universe. Amongst
the North and South American Indians--in Africa--even among the most
barbarous and uncivilized races--bathing is a usage to which they pay
_scrupulous_ attention: yet, strange to say, to this day, personal
ablution is little known or practised in this otherwise proudly
pre-eminent country, as a hygienic agent: it is viewed more as a matter
of luxury, and then but very sparingly had recourse to, even by our
wealthy and middle classes.

Socrates tells us that “bathing renders a man pure, both in soul and
body.” Clemens Alexandrinus says, it should be practised “for the sake
of HEALTH and cleanliness, and, lastly, of pleasure.”

The ancient Romans considered the bath as the most important item
in the economy of their lives: they regarded it as indispensable
for health and comfort;--an idea of the magnificence and luxurious
construction of the Roman baths may be formed from the poetical
description by Statius, of the baths of Claudius Etruscus:

    “Nothing there’s vulgar: not the fairest brass
    In all the glittering structure claims a place.
    From _silver_ pipes the happy waters flow,
    In _silver cisterns_ are received below.
    See where with noble pride the doubtful stream
    Stands fixed with wonder on the shining brim;
    Surveys its riches, and admires its state;
    Loath to be ravish’d from the glorious seat.”

The most remarkable bagnios were those of the Emperor Dioclesian and
Antonius Caracalla, with their curiously vaulted roofs, spacious
apartments, and a thousand other ornaments and conveniences. Those of
Dioclesian occupied 140,000 men many years in building them.

Bathing acts morally, as well as physically. It induces habits of
cleanliness, which are found allied only with self-respect, improved
temperance, intelligence, and morality.

    “This is the purest exercise of Health!
    Thus life redoubles; and is oft preserved
    By the bold swimmer, in the swift illapse
    Of accident disastrous.--Hence the limbs
    _Knit into force! and the same Roman arm
    That rose victorious o’er the conquer’d earth,
    First learn’d, while tender, to subdue the wave!!_
    E’en from the _body’s_ purity, the _mind_
    Derives a secret, sympathetic aid!!”

Nothing is more soothing to the irritable impulses of the passions,
than the peculiar serenity which the bath imparts. The Romans in their
days of sensuality, invariably had recourse to the bath to relieve the
effects of their dissipation, and of great fatigue from travelling, &c.
Who is there, we would ask, that has not experienced, after a night’s
debauch in the indulgence of luxuries, when the head and heart have
been oppressed, and the nervous energies prostrated, the restorative
and invigorating effects of the bath,--for what allays feverish
irritability and perturbation of the nervous system so admirably as the
_cold_, _tepid_, or _hot bath_, according as the offender may have been
accustomed to use. Everywhere on the Continent, baths are to be had in
the greatest state of perfection. The French perform entire personal
ablution daily. In Italy, Holland, and Germany they patronise the bath
to a great extent, and amongst the Turks and Persians, and throughout
Asia, bathing is imperative as a part of their religion. They consider
it an absolute necessary of life, whilst we, the most refined people in
the world, are satisfied with a change of linen, and that too, very
often over a not very clean under-garment, or body flannel!

The Hungarians and Russians bathe after the manner of the ancients;
in Russia especially, where the bath makes so much a part of the
system of living, it is used by persons of every age, and under all
circumstances. A Russian considers that the bath is a remedy for all
his ailments; he flies to it on all occasions; men, women at their
lying-in, and children, in almost all sicknesses, and before and after
a journey, &c., resort to the bath as their _solatium_--which, to
use the words of the illustrious Cullen, “imparts a sense of youth,
vigour, and self-complacency.” The Romans for five hundred years
together were without physicians; it was by means of the bath they
effected all their cures of disease, and to this day many nations cure
their maladies by the use of baths,--in which there is nothing so very
marvellous, as the simplicity of such means at first sight may lead
persons to suppose, when we consider the importance of the skin in the
animal economy, that it is not merely the organ of sensation, but that
it is endowed with an extensive and complicated nervous apparatus,
through which its sympathies with the entire organism are managed, and
that it possesses extensive secretory, excretory, and absorbing powers,
the _normal condition_ of these functions being essential not only
to _health_, but _to life itself_.

Considering our pretensions to all that is refined, there is perhaps no
race of people more devoid of personal cleanliness than ourselves.[4]
This is a fact (however unpleasant the reference to it may be) that
admits of no contradiction, for the greater proportion, including
even the _higher_ and the middle classes of the population of
this country, are never subjected to entire ablution during the whole
period of their lives,--from their childhood to their death. Fancy an
octogenarian sweltering in the accumulated impurities of three-fourths
of a century!

   “Buried in smoke, in filth, and poisonous damps.”

Can it be wondered at that _he_ hands down to his offspring a
corrupt, a tainted condition of fluids, which entails misery on them in
the shape of scrofula, and every variety of skin disease?

Independent, however, of any hereditary predisposition to skin and
other diseases, it is too much the custom for persons who merely splash
with water their neck, face, and hands daily,--neglecting to wash their
bodies from year to year, so that the effete matters of the system
become condensed on the skin, thereby obstructing the exhalant pores,
and causing various internal complaints, and very frequently universal
itching,--to reconcile themselves with the idea that their sufferings
have been caused by a scorbutic diathesis, which has been communicated
to them by their progenitors, without any fault of their own, or any
reference to their own filthy personal habits.

There is perhaps no greater absurdity than the common notion, that
washing the face and hands, and occasionally the feet, constitutes
personal cleanliness, or that such partial ablution can act
hygienically. It is from all parts of the body’s surface (more so from
some than from others, especially from those that are covered) that
chemical compounds and effete elements are eliminated in the shape of
the sensible and insensible perspiration--therefore, to escape the
evils attendant on filthy personal habits, we must not be content with
partial ablution, but extend it to the entire body.

To all those who may be ignorant of, or any way sceptical on, the
point of the hygienic value of personal ablution, we would recommend
the perusal of the writings of Drs. Andrew Combe, Southwood Smith,
&c.--they will then become acquainted with the important uses and
functions of their _own covering_,--they will find in the
above-mentioned authorities the subject of cuticular economy ably
investigated, and the intimate connexion of the outer and inner skins
(the one being a continuation of the other) clearly set forth, showing
that through the perspiratory system, consisting of openings in the
skin called pores, the temperature of the body is not only managed to a
certain extent, but also that a number of compounds, noxious to animal
life, are removed from the system, by which means the blood and other
fluids are kept in a state of purity. Perspiration, both as to matter
or quality and its quantity, is absolutely necessary for the well-being
of the human body: and in order to give some idea of the injurious
effects of interference with the functions of the skin by the retention
and the necessary accumulation of innumerable chemical agents, we
may refer to Lavoisier and Seguin’s researches on the subject. It
was estimated by them that _eight grains_ of perspiration are
exhaled by the skin in the course of _a minute_, a quantity which
is equivalent to _thirty-three ounces_ in the _twenty-four
hours_. On the cuticular surface it has been computed by them that
there are seven millions of pores, which being blocked up by impurities
for want of personal cleanliness, must prevent the elimination of
their contents, and these being again thrown into the system by the
circulation, cannot but be highly detrimental to health. Again,


To a want of personal purification by washing, therefore, the frequency
of many of our most distressing and fatal diseases, such as those of
the lungs and of the kidneys, termed consumption and Bright’s disease,
may be traced, as also the affection so common in this country, and
very justly termed ‘an Englishman’s inheritance,’ ‘dyspepsia,’ by our
making the lungs, the kidneys, and bowels, which are depurating organs
as well as the skin, act the part of scavengers to the entire system,
in the elimination of the greater portion of its impurities, and thus
perform the proper office of the skin.

“We know,” says an experienced and talented writer, “no country of
Europe where there is so little disposition on the part of the people
as in ours to give themselves even the exhilarating kind of ablution
which is derived from bathing. Dirty faces, dirty clothes, dirty
houses,--in fine, dirt all over,--are the characteristics of our
people; and yet, bad as they are (from necessity generally), we know
that there are worse effects underneath the surface, for where physical
dirt is seen, there also presides _moral degradation_.”

It is true that within the last few years many praiseworthy exertions
have been used for the purpose of establishing baths and wash-houses
for the poor, which it is to be hoped will meet with further
encouragement and extension; but as fashion rules a large portion of
mankind, even in physic, we would suggest, that in order to secure a
more complete and general use of personal ablution, our leaders of
fashion and the upper classes who have so much to say on the subject
of wash and bath-houses for the poor, should set the example by
establishing baths, after the custom of the Orientals, in their own
private residences; for, in spite of the increase of wealth and luxury,
of the splendour and extent of the houses of recent erection in this
country, baths are very far from being universal. Much may also be
attained by patronising the few excellent but neglected public baths
of this great metropolis; such measures would not only have the effect
of increasing the number of those baths already established, but of
inducing, from the increased facility, that personal purification,
which ultimately would be found to be indispensable. “_Usus est
altera natura._”

In concluding these our remarks on the three grand essentials to life,
we would observe that it is astonishing with what little amount of
food a human being may live in health and strength, (we of course
allude to those who eat to live,) when supplied in due proportion
with the requisites for vitality,--namely, LIGHT, AIR, and WATER.
Further, we would ask, what can be more monstrous in this enlightened
age, so outrageous of every principle of reason--so contrary to daily
experience and common sense, as “the barring-out the free fresh air,
and the meting-out to mortals of Heaven’s light,” by that blot on
civilization, the window-tax,--a tax which originated in iniquity,[5]
at a time, too, when so much is being agitated about sanitary
measures?[6] We neglect the first principles of vitality, to go
groping into sewers and cesspools, which we repeat are but secondary
considerations, the _ultimatum_ of which will prove to be but little
better than the relief of the olfactories, to tickle the gustatory
nerves by furnishing for our palates, in the shape of Thames water, the
filthy abominations of an overgrown city.

While on the subject of Prophylaxis, we must not omit allusion to the
barbarous and pestiferous custom of intramural burial, which cannot
be too strongly deprecated, as being not only subversive of every
Christian feeling--from the daily revolting spectacle of violated
sanctuaries--but otherwise demoralizing in the extreme, and poisonous
to the public. “Pessimum est tempore Pestis habitare in locis mortuorum
monumentis propinquis.”

From the disgusting apathy evinced in this huge metropolis in the
disposal of the dead, it would appear that nothing short of one of
those terrible epidemic inflictions--inflictions with which in former
days the Almighty was wont to visit the iniquities of his people, will
bring those whose immediate province it is to a sense of the evils and
perils of such abominations, which they, in spite of common sense,
actuated by cupidity and fool-hardiness, still perpetuate.

    “Ye who amid this feverish world would wear
    A body free of pains, of cares the mind,
    Fly the rank city; shun the turbid air;
    Breathe not the Chaos of eternal smoke,
    And volatile corruption from the dead,
    The dying, sickening, and the living world
    Exhaled, to sully Heaven’s transparent dome
    With dim mortality.”

That interment, or enclosing the dead in a grave, is a most ancient
custom, there cannot be a doubt. Amongst the ancient Jews to have no
burial was reckoned among the greatest of calamities. The exposure
in any manner of their dead (even criminals) was looked upon as a
pollution of their land. The Egyptians and Asiatics practised interment
from the beginning of time. Subsequently, it became the custom to
_burn_ the bodies of the dead. By Homer’s description of the
funeral of Patroclus, it would appear that the Greeks used burning as
early as the Trojan war. They also had recourse to interment, as is
seen by their historians, who give an account of the manner in which
the body was placed in the grave: Plutarch tells us that they were
laid with their faces towards the east or towards the west; and Cicero
informs us that, in early times, as those of Cecrops, interment was
altogether made use of by the Greeks,--but we have ample testimony
in history that it always took place _without_ their cities,
particularly amongst the Jews and Greeks, from whom the Romans derived
the practice. We have several passages in the New Testament, showing
that the Jews buried their dead _without_ their city. Thus,
the sepulchre in which Joseph of Arimathea laid our Saviour’s body
was in the same place where he was crucified (John xix. 41), which
was near the city (John xix. 20). And we are taught in St. Matthew
(xxviii. 52–53), that, at our Lord’s passion, the graves were opened,
and many bodies of the saints which slept, arose and came out of the
graves after his resurrection, and _went into the Holy City_, and
appeared unto many.

Servius, in giving an account of the unhappy death of his colleague
Marcellus, which happened in Greece, says that he could not by any
means obtain leave of the Athenians to allow him a burying-place
_within_ the city. The Romans observed the same custom from the
first building of their city; it afterwards became a law, as settled by
the Decemviri, “Neither burn nor bury within the city.” They generally
buried near the highways, in fields appropriated for the purpose.
Their reason seems to have been founded on sacred as well as civil
considerations: among the former, that passengers might see the graves,
and be reminded of their own mortality--hence, as Varro tells us, the
inscription on the monuments, ‘Sta viator!’--among the latter, “that
the air might not be corrupted by the stench of putrifying bodies.” It
is related of Propertius, that he was very earnest in desiring that
he might not be buried after the ordinary custom, near a _road_,
for fear it should disturb his shade. There were, however, exceptions
amongst the Romans to the prohibition of intramural burials, as in the
case of the Vestal Virgins, who, Servius informs us, were allowed by
law a burying-place within the city. The same privilege or honour was
permitted to some extraordinary persons, as to Valerius Publicola and
to Fabricius, to continue to their heirs; yet none of their families
were afterwards interred there, but the body being carried thither,
some one placed a burning torch under it, and then immediately took it
away, as an attestation of the deceased’s privilege, and his receding
from the honour. The body was then removed for burial to another place
without the city.

The ancient Persians never buried in cities or towns. Their kings were
interred on a high hill on the east of Persepolis: generally throughout
Persia and the Levant, there were no burying-places except those
without the city.

The cemeteries of the Turks were always without the towns, that the air
might not be corrupted by the vapours arising from the graves: they,
in like manner as the Romans, also bury by the sides of highways, that
travellers may be reminded to pray to God for the deceased. The Chinese
adopt a similar kind of sepulture. Eusebius informs us that when the
Christians, by favour of Constantine, built churches in the cities,
they had their burial-places allotted them outside the cities and towns.

According to Gregory of Tours, it was not until the latter part of
the sixth century, about A.D. 590, that funeral places and
cemeteries within the towns were consecrated.

Intramural burials and churchyards, it would seem, originated in the
idea that persons passing the graves of their relatives or friends on
their way to worship, might be reminded to offer up prayers for them;
and the profit might also be another motive. The gross and horrible
indignities now so frequently offered to the dead in consequence of
over-crowding, to the great scandal of our national religion and
character as a Christian people, could never have been contemplated; on
the contrary, it was intended to offer a sacred asylum for the mortal
remains of those whose memories were dear to us.

It was a maxim, not only with the Jews, but with all nations of the
world, that holy places are polluted by the presence of dead carcases
or of dead men’s bones. Hence we find that when Josiah desired to
profane the altars dedicated to idols, he burned dead men’s bones upon
them, which he took out of the sepulchres that were on the mount (2
Kings xxiii. 16). And when God threatened by Ezekiel to punish Israel,
he told them that their altars should be desolate: “and I will lay the
dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will
scatter your bones round about your altars.” (Ezekiel vi. 5.) As the
Jews by the divine law had ablutions, washings, and purifications for
defilements by the dead, which is called Βαπτισμὸs ἀπὸ νεκρῶν
(Ecclesiasticus xxxiv. 25),--a washing from the pollution contracted
by the touch of a dead body,--so the Gentiles also from them had the
rite of purification for defilements contracted from the dead; for the
_Flamens_ or _Funera Mater_, when dismissing the people after
a funeral, sprinkled them with water to purge them of the pollution
received by the sight of the interment; and on their entering into a
temple, they were first sprinkled with holy water, the ωυραντιεια, so
often mentioned by heathen writers, lest they should appear polluted
before the gods.

Hosperian informs us that the ancients greatly opposed the innovation
of burying in towns and churches, and on that account the councils of
their bishops made several canons and decrees against intramural and
church burials.

Whether the ancients burned or interred their dead, they never made
choice of the place of divine worship, either to bury the body or
deposit its ashes. For centuries after Christianity was established,
they never presumed to make God’s temple the carnicle of the dead: on
the contrary, when the ancient mode of burial without the city began
to be neglected, burials in churches were opposed by authority. A law
in the Theodosian Code has these words: “Let no one imagine that the
churches of the Apostles and Martyrs were designed for burial-places
for the dead.” The Emperor Charles the Great has this injunction, “Let
no one bury any dead in the church.” Subsequently, Louis the Pious
most strenuously opposed burying within the churches, requiring “that
the constitutions, used and settled by the ancient Fathers, should be
observed in the burial of the dead.”

So tenacious were the ancients of anything like desecration of their
churches, that we are told by Baronius that one Borachas being
persecuted by the Gentiles at Gaza, and having been left for dead, the
Christians took him up and carried him into the church; the Gentiles
and some of the authorities, on making inquiry for him, complained that
the Christians had broken the liberty of their city, and had trespassed
against their laws: for that they had brought a dead body into the
city, which ought in no wise to be done; they supposing that Borachas
was dead.

The being buried in or near a church, we are told, originated with the
first Christian emperor, Constantine, who, although he did not desire
to be buried within the church (a thing in his day unheard-of), was
resolved that his remains should be deposited as near as possible to
it, and they were accordingly inhumed in the porch of the great church
at Constantinople. Subsequently, the practice increased, and persons of
quality claimed a similar privilege; their inferiors again, although
they claimed not the right of being buried within the porches, deemed
it an honour to be buried as near thereto as possible; hence, another
reason assigned for large courts and yards about churches.

    “The melancholy ghosts of dead renown
    With penitential aspect, as they pass’d,
    All point at earth and smile at human pride.”

Some time after, Pope Gregory the Great brought into the churches, and
set up in the most solemn manner, relics enshrined in cases of gold,
which were sometimes placed upon, or over, but generally under the
altar. This made persons flock towards them, and bury their dead there,
in the hope that both might receive benefit from such veneration.
Thus, that which was originally considered a profanation, ultimately,
through the corruption of subsequent ages, became not only a means
of satisfying ambitious pride, but also apparently of conferring the
blessings of eternal happiness.

The custom of interring persons of rank in churches was first
introduced into this country by Cuthbert, the tenth Archbishop of
Canterbury, who in the year A.D. 798 procured the privilege
from the Pope to have churchyards for interment: with reference to
burying in churches, the custom did not arise earlier than the year
1076. In the reign of William the Conqueror, the council held at
Winchester, under Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, by the ninth
canon, opposed burial in churches; it soon after, however, became a
custom, and vaults were built under the altars.

“It is horrid,” said the Austrian emperor, “that a place of worship--a
temple of the Supreme Being--should be converted into a pest-house for
living creatures.”

A person who upon his death-bed makes it a condition in his will that
he should be buried in a church or chapel, acts like a madman; he
ought to set his fellow-creatures a good example, and not do all in his
power to destroy their health by exposing them to the effluvia arising
from a corpse in a state of putrefaction.

The following extract is from a sermon preached in 1552 by Bishop
Latimer, which proves that even at that comparatively early period,
when the population of London could scarcely have been one-fifth of
what it is now, the nuisance of intramural interments was found to be
dangerous to health. “The citizens of Naim,” observed the bishop, “hadd
their buryinge-place withoute the citie, which no doubt is a laudable
thinge; and I doe marvel that London, being soe great a citie, hath
not a burial-place without; for no doubt it is an unwholesome thinge
to bury within the citie, especiallie at such a time when there be
great sicknesses and manie die together. I think, verilie, that many
a man taketh his death in St. Paul’s churchyard, and this I speak of
experience, for I myself, when I have been there some mornings to heare
the sermons, have felt such an ill-savoured and unwholesome savour,
that I was the worse for it a great while after; and I think no lesse
but it is the occasion of great sicknesse and disease.”

Well would it have been for the inhabitants of this vast metropolis had
Sir Christopher Wren’s plan been carried out at the rebuilding of the
city, after the fire of 1666. All churchyards were to have been removed
without the town.

In the year 1786, the legislature of Germany passed a law, which was
punctually observed in the empire over which Joseph the Second ruled,
and which we would do well to imitate, instead of using the under-part
of our chapels as store and pest-houses. This law prohibited the
burying of dead bodies in any chapel or church whatever; neither rank
nor affluence can obtain permission to evade it, as in the enforcement
of it no respect is paid to persons.

Of the injurious and fatal effects of exhalations from overcharging
burial-places, we have a striking illustration, that scarcely admits
of a doubt[7]--at least, as far as predisposition goes. In an old
work, entitled ‘Dr. Dover’s Ancient Physician’s Legacy,’ we have
the following; Dover, it must be understood, was an extraordinary
character, uniting in his own person the profession of physic and
buccaneering. He says:--“When I took by storm the two cities of
Guyaquil, under the line, in the South Seas, it happened that, not long
before, the plague had raged amongst them. For our better security
and the keeping of our people together, we lay in the churches, and
likewise brought thither the plunder of the cities. We were very much
annoyed by the smell of the dead bodies. These could hardly be said to
be buried; for the Spaniards abroad use no coffins, but throw several
dead bodies, one upon another, with only a draw-board over them; so
that it was no wonder we caught the infection. In a few days after we
went on board, one of the surgeons came to acquaint me that several of
my men were taken after a violent manner, with that languor of spirits
that they were not able to move; in less than forty-eight hours, we had
in our ships one hundred and eighty men in this miserable condition.”

Dr. Adam Clarke, in his ‘Commentary on St. Luke,’ advises that “No
burying-places should be tolerated within CITIES or TOWNS, much less in
or about CHURCHES and CHAPELS. This custom is excessively injurious to
the inhabitants, and especially to those who frequent public worship
in such CHAPELS and CHURCHES. God, decency, and health forbid this
shocking abomination. * * * From long observation I can attest that
CHURCHES and CHAPELS situated in graveyards, and those especially
within whose walls the dead are interred, are perfectly unwholesome;
and many, by attending such places, are shortening their passage to
the house appointed for the living. What increases the iniquity of
this abominable and deadly work is, that the burying-grounds attached
to many CHURCHES and CHAPELS are made a source of PRIVATE GAIN. The
whole of this preposterous conduct is as indecorous and unhealthy as
it is profane. Every man should know that the gas which is disengaged
from putrid flesh, and particularly from a human body, is not only
unfriendly to, but destructive of, animal life. Superstition first
introduced a practice which self-interest and covetousness continue to

The Rev. Dr. Render, in his ‘Tour through Germany’ published in London,
in the year 1801, mentions the following case:--“In the month of
July, 17--, a very corpulent lady died at----. Before her death, she
begged, as a particular favour, to be buried in the parochial church:
she died on the Wednesday, and on the following Saturday was buried
according to her desire. The day following, the clergyman preached
her funeral sermon: the weather was uncommonly hot; and it ought to
be observed that, for several months preceding her death, a great
drought had prevailed; not a drop of rain had fallen, consequently it
was an uncommonly sultry season. The succeeding Sunday, the Protestant
clergyman had a very full congregation, upwards of 900 persons
attending, that being the day for administering the Holy Sacrament. The
weather still continuing very hot, many were obliged during the service
to walk out for a time, to avoid fainting; whilst some actually fainted
away. It is the custom, in Germany, that when people wish to receive
the sacrament, they neither eat nor drink that day, until the ceremony
is entirely over. The sermon occupied about one hour and a quarter;
after which the bread was consecrated, and, according to custom,
remained uncovered during the ceremony.

“There were about one hundred and eighty communicants. A quarter of an
hour after the ceremony, before they had quitted the church, more than
sixty of them were taken ill; several died in the most severe agonies;
others, of a more vigorous constitution, survived by the help of
medical assistance; a most violent consternation prevailed throughout
the whole congregation and town. It was concluded that the wine had
been poisoned, and so it was generally believed; the sacristan, and
several others belonging to the vestry, were immediately arrested, and
cast into prison. The clergyman, on the succeeding Sunday, preached
very excitingly, and pointed out to his congregation several others
concerned in the plot. This enthusiastic sermon was printed. The
persons accused underwent very great hardships; during the space of a
week they were confined in a dungeon, and some of them were put to the
torture; but they persisted in asserting their innocence. On the Sunday
following, the magistrate ordered that a chalice of wine, uncovered,
should be placed for the space of an hour upon the altar, which time
had scarcely elapsed when they beheld the wine filled with myriads
of insects; and by tracing them to their source it was at length
perceived, by the rays of the sun, that they issued from the grave of
the lady who had been buried the preceding fortnight. The people not
belonging to the vestry were dismissed, and four men employed to open
the grave and the coffin; in doing which two of them dropped down, and
expired upon the spot; and the other two were only saved by the utmost
exertion of medical talent. It is beyond the power of words to describe
the horrid sight of the corpse when the coffin was opened. The whole
was a mass of entire putrefaction; and it was now clearly demonstrated
that the numerous insects, both large and small, together with the
effluvia which had issued from the body, had caused the pestilential
infection, which was a week before attributed to poison. On this
discovery, those who had been accused of poisoning the wine, &c., were
liberated, and atonement made by the clergyman and magistrate for their
unfounded charge.”

It was said by St. Cyril, when offering an excuse for the mode of
burial of the Gentiles, “that their temples were only beautiful
monuments of dead men.” How differently would he have expressed himself
with regard to our Christian metropolitan churches or temples of this,
the nineteenth century, which are loathsome receptacles of corruption!

But a few years ago, in the autumn of 1843, the poisonous effects
of disturbing a graveyard were but too fatally evident. The church
and churchyard of Minchinhampton are very old,--the latter having
served for a burying-ground for the previous five hundred years; it
was consequently densely crowded with dead bodies. In rebuilding the
church, it became necessary, or was thought expedient, to lower the
surface of the graveyard to within a foot or two of the remains of
those buried. Many bodies were disturbed during this process, and
re-interred. The earth so removed of a dark colour--saturated, in fact,
with the product of human putrefaction--was, in a fatal hour, devoted
to the purposes of agriculture! About one thousand cart-loads were
thus employed--some on a new piece of burial-ground, to make the grass
grow quickly, some as manure on the neighbouring fields, some in the
rector’s garden! and some in that of the patron. The seeds of disease
were thus widely sown, and the result was such as any person of common
sense might have expected. The diffusion of a morbid poison which
soon followed, was evinced by an outbreak of fever in this previously
healthy locality. The family of the rector, and the inhabitants of the
streets adjoining the churchyard, were the first attacked, and were
also the greatest sufferers. The rector lost his wife, his daughter,
and his gardener. The patron’s gardener, who had been employed in the
unseemly act of dressing flower-beds with human manure, also died.
In short, wherever the earth had been taken, disease followed. The
children who attended the school took fever as they passed the upturned
surface of the graveyard, went home, and died; but they did not
communicate the disease to those who came near them, nor did it occur
in any person who had not been exposed to the cause of its development.
Seventeen deaths occurred, and upwards of two hundred children were
attacked with measles, scarlet fever, and peculiar eruptions.

Should not the fearful consequences of such unhallowed proceedings be
viewed as the retributive hand of Heaven, overtaking those concerned
in the desecration of the dead? The appropriation of the soil, which
should have been held as sacred;--of human remains, for the purposes
of agriculture--the cultivation of vegetables and flowers! and by one,
too, holding the sacred office of a pastor. _O tempora! O mores!_

Considering the immense importance of the subject, in a moral as
well as in a physical point of view, it is lamentable in the extreme
and truly disgraceful to a nation boasting of its character, general
superiority, and wealth, that a practice (intramural burial) should
obtain, in behalf of which no one single argument can be adduced, but
against which, religion, history, common sense, and daily experience
may be arrayed.

       *       *       *       *       *

On reviewing the foregoing observations, and on seriously contemplating
the condition of the ill-ventilated rooms and workshops, the damp,
dark, and insalubrious cellars,--little better than dungeons,--the
dreary, close, stifling courts, and narrow dark alleys of this vast
metropolis, into which the light of heaven rarely penetrates;--we say,
while contemplating these abodes of our lower classes, (which would
be injurious even to swine,) the culpable apathy, prejudice, and bad
arrangements of those whose duty it is to remedy such crying evils,
cannot but be obvious. In conclusion, we would therefore earnestly
recommend to all such delinquents for their guidance, and to all those
enlisted in the cause of sanitary reform, the salutary directions
as to washing, cleansing, purification, &c., conveyed in the Mosaic
Ordinances, especially in the following passages, as showing with what
minuteness all matters appertaining to health, to the very freeing of
houses from damp, were directed; that we, the enlightened and refined
of the nineteenth century, may profit thereby.

“34 When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a
possession, and I put the plague of leprosy[8] in a house of the land
of your possession;

35 And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying,
It seemeth to me _there is_ as it were a plague in the house:

36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the
priest go _into it_ to see the plague, that all that _is_ in
the house be not made unclean; and afterwards the priest shall go in to
see the house:

37 And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, IF the plague
_be_ in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or
reddish, which in sight _are_ lower than the wall;

38 Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house,
and shut up the house seven days:

39 And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look:
and, behold, _if_ the plague be spread in the walls of the house;

40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in
which the plague _is_, and they shall cast them into an unclean
place without the city:

41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and
they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into
an unclean place:

42 And they shall take other stones, and put _them_ in the place
of those stones; and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaister the

43 And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that
he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and
after it is plaistered;

44 Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, _if_ the
plague be spread in the house, it _is_ a fretting leprosy in the
house: it IS unclean.

45 And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the
timber thereof, and all the mortar of the house; and he shall carry
_them_ forth out of the city into an unclean place.”

                                           LEVITICUS, chap. xiv.


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                            GENERAL INDEX.

    Act, a Paving, passed, _p._ 131

    Adriatic, carriages driven on the, 30

    Africa, earthquakes in, 21

    ----, a fall of locusts in, Lord Carnarvon on, 14

    Agabus, prophecy of, 17

    Ague, 105

    Agues and fevers in England, 31

    Air, charging the, with mephitic vapours, 12

    ---- essential to vitality, 218

    ---- impregnated with mist and fœtidness, 27

    Alexandria and Libya nearly destroyed, 23

    Alexandrinus, 231

    Alexipharmics, 107

    Alfred, the rebuilding of London by, 30

    Alkhatrib, 46, 48

    Alonso V., army of, 66

    Alonso de Burgos, 65

    Alpinus, 92

    Alsinet, Dr., 135

    Alvarez, Dr., 139

    America, introduction of variola into, 71

    Ammonius, 77

    Amos, on elemental disturbance, 194

    Anacharsis, 7

    Ancient writings, 188

    Ancients, the, on epidemics, 186

    Andalusian fever, the, 87, 100, 137

    Andres Laguna, 48

    Angina, 30;
      a mortal, 112;
      pestilential, 116

    Anginas and dysenteries in England, 60

    Animal kingdom, the, 221

    Animals, carnivorous, attacked with pestilence, 12

    ---- disease among, 114, 146;
      dysentery among, 125;
      pestilence among, 98

    Antioch, earthquake at, 19, 23, 24, 25

    Apathy on the subject of epidemics, 185

    Apoplectic fever, 167

    Aqueous vapour, 224

    Aquila destroyed by earthquake, 117

    Arden, 73

    Army of Gallienus, 22;
      of king Alonso V., 66

    Art of farriery, 66

    Artaxerxes and Hippocrates, 7

    Asia, earthquakes in, 21;
      long continuance of pestilence in, 24

    Asia Minor, earthquake in, 16

    Astruc, 72, 74

    Athens, morbid phenomena of a plague at, 7;
      causes of a pestilence at, 8

    Atmosphere, the, 223;
      constitution of the, 9, 16, 21;
      uses of the, 223;
      sneezing induced by condition of the, 27;
      impure, 204;
      moist, 59

    Atmospheric changes, 60;
      influence, 190;
      poison, 79

    Aurelius Victor, 19, 21

    Aurora borealis, 91, 120, 121, 168

    Austrigilda, queen of Orleans, 26

    Avernus, poisonous vapours of the lake, 4

    Averrhoes, 37

    Babylon depopulated, 17

    Bagnios, 232

    Baltic, disease among porpoises in the, 82

    ---- frozen over, the, 64, 67

    Baraillon, 135

    Barcelona, earthquake at, 62

    Baronius, 29, 30

    Barron, Dr., experiments of, 227

    Bartianus, 29, 30

    Bateman, Dr., 225

    Bath, the use of the, 231;
      the ancient Romans, and the, _ib._

    Bathing, 5, 231

    Baths, vapour, of the Sætabi, 5

    ---- and wash-houses, 236

    Bell of Velilla, the miraculous, 79

    Bilious plague, 116, 123, 141

    ---- remittent fever, 71

    Birds and dogs, epizootic among, 10

    Black death, the, 50, 183

    ---- pestilence, the, 50

    ---- tongue, the, 173

    ---- worm, 141

    Blane, Dr., 209

    Blight, 135, 172, 174, 192

    Blights, 74

    Blood-coloured rain, 32, 82

    Board of Health formed, 68

    Bodies, unburied, 23

    Boghurst, Mr., 109

    Boja, the plague of, 71

    Bow Church unroofed by storm, 34

    Brain fever, 78

    Break-bone fever, 137

    Breeding women and cattle, pestilence fatal to, 10

    ‘Brenning,’ 73

    Bridges broken down by ice, 34

    Bright’s disease, 235

    Brothel at Rome, Pope Sextus erects a, 67

    Bruno Fernandes, 116

    Buboes formed in the groin, 27

    Bubonic pestilence, 79

    ‘Budho connail,’ 29

    Burial, intramural, 137, 237

    ---- in churches, 241;
      among the Gentiles, 246

    Burial-grounds, exhalations from overcharged, 243

    ‘Burning,’ 73

    ---- of London by the Danes, 30

    ---- fevers and agues in England, 31

    Cadiz, pestilence in, 10

    Cæsarea, earthquake in, 19

    Caius (John), 86

    Caius, Dr., 69

    Calabria, earthquake in, 138

    Campaigns in warm climates, 9

    Campania, famine in, 3

    Cannibals infested with venereal disease, 73

    Canton, inundations at, 46

    Capmany, 59

    Carnarvon, Lord, on a fall of locusts in Africa, 14

    Carnivorous animals attacked with pestilence, 12

    Carriages driven on the Adriatic, 30

    Carswell, Sir Robert, 227

    Carthaginians, destroyed by pestilence, 8

    Casal, Dr., 121, 123

    ---- on the Asturias, 15

    Casiri, 47

    Catania, earthquake at, 112

    Catarrh, 118, 130;
      a fatal, in England, 115;
      epidemic, 92, 105, 107, 114;
      violent, 76

    Catarrhs, 43;
      preceding pestilences, 92

    Caterpillars, 74, 85, 142

    Cattle, disease among, 29;
      distemper among, 128;
      epizootic among, 108, 115, 119, 130, 131, 138, 180;
      flux among, 31;
      malignant epizootic among, 13;
      murrain among, 31;
      pestilence fatal to breeding women and, 10

    Catullus, 5

    Cause, God the First Great, 193

    Causes of a pestilence at Athens, 83

    ---- of maladies, 189;
      instances explanatory of the, 193;
      Old and New Testaments on the, _ibid._

    ---- of pestilence, De Foe on the, 206

    ---- and nature of epidemic pestilences, 184–207

    Cedrenus, 21, 22, 29

    Celestial influence, disease attributed to, 75

    Cemeteries of the Turks, 239

    Changes, atmospheric, 60

    Channel, 126

    Chapel, an imprecatory, consecrated, 68

    Charging the air with mephitic vapours, 12

    Charterhouse churchyard, the, 51

    Chemical effects of light, 219

    Childebert, 26

    Children at Erfurt, the dancing disease among the, 39

    Chili, earthquake at, 108, 124

    China, 46;
      earthquakes in, 18, 87, 108, 115;
      floods in, 46

    Chinese mode of sepulture, 239

    Cholera, 21, 112, 137, 151, 152, 154, 158, 159, 160, 162, 163, 165,
        166, 168, 174, 176, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183;
      Reports on, 169

    ---- of 1817, 93;
      at Kurrachee, Dr. Gavin Milroy on the, 177

    Chorea, epidemic, 56

    Churches, burial in, 241

    ----, desecration of, 241

    Churchyard, the Charterhouse, 51

    ---- of Minchinhampton, 247

    Cibyra, earthquake in, 23

    Cicero, 238

    Civil wars, 116

    Clark, Sir James, 227

    Clarke, Dr. Adam, 244

    Cleanliness and moderation among the Spaniards, 5

    Cleanliness, personal, 233

    Climates, warm, campaigns in, 9

    Clopea cultrata, the, 163

    Coals first used in England, 43;
      use of, forbidden, 55

    Cold and wet summer, 32

    ---- intense, 29, 32, 33

    ---- weather, 30

    ---- winters, 113

    Combe, Dr., 234

    Comets, 16, 17, 32, 34, 42, 44, 55, 61, 67, 75, 82, 83, 87, 93,
        94, 95, 99, 104, 106, 108, 112, 115, 116, 118, 121, 126, 127,
        129, 131, 132, 134

    Commotions of the elements, 1, 10, 11, 17, 19, 45, 153

    ---- of Nature, 189

    Comorra, earthquake at, 131

    Condition of London, 205;
      of the navy, 217

    Conflicting opinions on contagion, 209

    Confluent small-pox, 22

    Constantine, 241

    Constantinople, 212;
      earthquake at, 24, 25;
      earthquake and famine in, 23;
      inoculation at, 120

    Constitution of the atmosphere, 9, 16, 21

    Consumption, 235

    Contagion, on, 208–215;
      conflicting opinions on, 209;
      doctrine of, of modern origin, 208;
      Scripture against, 213

    Contagionists and their opponents, 208

    Continent, prisons on the, 225

    Continuance of pestilence for 260 years, 29

    ‘Convulsionnaires,’ the, 56

    Convulsive disease, extraordinary, 32

    ‘Coqueluche,’ the, 62, 76

    Corn, mildew of, 113

    Cortes, the, convoked, 73

    Cotunnius, 72

    Coughs, epidemic, and fevers, 65

    Cromwell, death of, 107

    Cure for the plague, 84

    Cuthbert, 242

    Cyprian, 21

    Cyril, St., 246

    Dance of St. Vitus, 32

    Dancing disease, the, among children at Erfurt, 39

    ---- ---- of St. Guy, the, 56

    ---- mania at Utrecht, the, 42

    ---- plague at Strasburg, 63

    Dandy fever, the, 80, 156

    Danes, the burning of London by the, 30

    D’Angoulême, Count, 26

    Danube frozen over, 25

    Darkness, universal, 2

    Darlington, earthquake near, 36

    Davy, Professor, 223

    De Foe on the causes of pestilence, 206

    Dead bodies of locusts producing pestilence, 30

    ----, unburied, 8

    Deadly fevers in London, 79

    Dearth, 38, 65, 85, 88;
      a general, 28

    Death of Oliver Cromwell, 107

    ----, the black, 50

    Deguignes, 51

    Deluge in Italy, 29

    Denmark, earthquake in, 77

    Depopulation of Latium, 3;
      of Velitræ, 3

    Description of an eruption of Vesuvius, 165

    Desecration of churches, 241

    Destruction of the army of Xerxes, 4

    Deuteronomy quoted, 195

    Devotion, influence of, 63

    Diaconus, P., 29

    Dimmerbroeck, 103

    Diocletian, 22

    Diodorus Siculus, 5, 8

    Dion Cassius, 16, 18, 20

    Dionysius Halicarnassus, 3, 6

    Disease, a fatal, 147

    ---- among animals, 114, 146;
      among cattle, 29;
      among horses, 42;
      among Mormonites, 175;
      among porpoises in the Baltic, 82

    ---- attributed to celestial influence, 75;
      Bright’s, 235;
      exciting causes of, 191;
      extraordinary convulsive, 32;
      of Naples, 73;
      in rye, 106;
      predisposing causes of, 191;
      the dancing, 39;
      of St. Guy, 56;
      the English, 82

    ----, Prophylaxis, or mode of preventing, 216–250

    Disorders of the bowels, 55

    Distresses of war, 23

    Ditch, the Fleet, 44

    Doctrine of contagion, of modern origin, 208

    Dogs and birds, epizootic among, 10

    Domitian, inoculation in the reign of, 18

    Don Vincente Mut, 79

    Dort, the sea broke out at, 66

    Drinking urine, 5

    Drains, 229

    Drought, 30, 31, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 46, 60, 68, 69, 81, 95, 108,
        116, 126, 131, 135, 150, 195, 203;
      in Judea, 23;
      long, in England, 31

    Dry summers, 35;
      weather, 109

    Duarte Nunhez, 48

    Dublin Lying-in Hospital, statistics of, 226

    Duchatelet, 228

    Dupuytren, 222

    Dwellings of London, the, 206

    Dysentery, 21, 24, 104;
      a mortal, 83;
      in England, 35, 43;
      malignant, 2, 61, 77;
      malignant, among the Romans, 12;
      among animals, 125;
      in France, 250;
      fever with, 44

    Dysenteries and anginas in England, 60

    Dyspepsia, 235

    Earth, revolutions in the organism of the, 45

    Earthquakes, 22, 23, 25, 30, 34, 35, 40, 41, 47, 51, 52, 82, 112,
      at Antioch, 19, 23, 24, 25;
      at Barcelona, 62;
      at Catania, 112;
      at Chili, 108;
      at Comorra, 131, 133;
      at Constantinople, 23, 24, 25;
      at Lima, 94;
      at Lincoln, 36;
      at Lisbon, 47;
      at Naples, 103, 110, 143;
      at Odessa, 166;
      at Peru, 93;
      at Rome, 117;
      at Saguntum, 10;
      at Seville, 60;
      at Vienna, 143;
      in Asia Minor, 16;
      in Calabria, 138;
      in Cæsarea and Necropolis, 19;
      in Chili, 124;
      in China, 18, 87, 108, 115, 121, 124;
      in cities of Palestine, 23;
      in Cibyra, 23;
      in Denmark, 77;
      in England, 33, 44, 64, 65, 144, 166;
      in France, Germany, and Italy, 29;
      in Greece and Italy, 51;
      in Ireland, 114;
      in Jamaica, 113, 114;
      in London, 127;
      in Mexico, 136;
      in Nicomedia, 19;
      in Peru, 129;
      in Rome, 9;
      in Shropshire, 18;
      in Sicily, 142;
      in Spain, 10, 75;
      in Suabia, 78;
      in Switzerland, 136;
      in Syria, 29, 129;
      Messina destroyed by, 114;
      near Darlington, 36;
      near Kingsai, 46;
      St. Paul’s at Rome destroyed by, 29;
      in Egypt and Syria, 47;
      in Europe, 23;
      in Europe, Asia, and Africa, 21;
      in Xativa, 78

    Echard, 23

    ‘Eclair,’ remittent fever on board the, 174

    Eclipse of the sun, 37

    Ecstasy, an epidemic religious, 172

    Edinburgh police, sickness among, 227

    Edwards, Dr., experiments of, 221

    Effects of war, 66

    Egypt, a hot-bed of pestilence, 195

    ----, earthquakes in, 47;
      rain of crimson insects in, 3;
      the plague of, 200

    ---- topography of, 196

    Electrical tension, 192

    Elemental disturbance, 189;
      Amos on, 194

    Elements, commotions of the, 1, 10, 11, 17, 19, 33, 45, 153

    Elephantiasis, epidemic, 27

    ---- frequent in Spain and Africa, 15

    Emerods, 2

    Encephalitis, epidemic, 76

    England, anginas and dysenteries in, 60;
      coals first used in, 43;
      dysentery in, 35, 43;
      earthquakes in, 33, 44, 64, 65, 144, 166;
      epidemic madness in, 53;
      erysipelas in, 35;
      famine in, 31, 32, 33;
      fevers and agues in, 31;
      great heat in, 31;
      leprosy in, 38;
      long drought in, 31;
      severe frost in, 31

    English artizans, insurrection of, 77

    ‘English disease,’ the, 82

    Epidemic, an erysipelatous, 103

    ---- catarrh, 35, 105, 107, 114;
      chorea, 56;
      coughs and fevers, 65;
      dancing disease of St. Guy, 56;
      elephantiasis, 27;
      encephalitis, 76;
      jaundice, 121;
      madness in England, 53;
      œsophagitis, 78;
      religious ecstacy, an, 172;
      scurvy, 73;
      sore throats, 30;
      tertian fevers, 112, 139;
      variola, 71

    ---- pestilences, nature and causes of, 184–207

    Epidemics, physically and morally, 184;
      the ancients on, 186;
      Thucydides on, 215

    Epidemiology, Spanish, the first epoch of, 2

    Epizootic, an, 43;
      among dogs and birds, 10;
      among horses, 66, 78;
      among cattle, 108, 115, 119, 130, 131, 138, 180;
      malignant, among cattle, 13

    Erasmus, 206

    Ergot, 105

    Ergotism, 116, 125;
      gangrenous, 100, 111, 119

    Eruption of Etna, 46, 112;
      great, 17

    ---- of Vesuvius, 20, 21, 24, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 76, 103, 108,
        112, 114, 116, 117, 118, 120, 126, 127, 129, 134, 140, 143;
      description of an, 165

    Eruptions of volcanoes, 32

    Erysipelas, 173;
      in England, 35;
      in France, 33

    Erysipelatous epidemic, an, 103

    ---- epidemic fever, 34

    Escobar, 112, 116

    Essentials for vitality, 218

    Esteve, 85

    Etna, eruptions of, 46, 112;
      great eruption of, 17

    Europe, earthquakes in, 21, 23;
      introduction of the venereal disease into, 72

    Eusebius, 22, 204, 239

    Evagrius, 24

    Excessive heat, 66, 68;
      moisture, 65, 66;
      rains, 32, 40, 103

    Exciting causes of disease, 191

    Exhalations from overcharged burial-grounds, 243

    Experiments of Dr. Barron, 227;
      of Dr. Edwards, 221

    Extraordinary convulsive disease, 22

    ---- showers, 59

    Failure in harvest, 47, 69

    Famine, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 30, 33,
        35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 51, 60, 61, 65, 69,
        80, 82, 83, 88, 94, 100, 112, 121, 126, 128, 145, 149, 181

    ---- in Constantinople, 23;
      in England, 31, 32;
      in Gaul, Germany, and Italy, 31;
      in Italy, 23, 24, 30, 31;
      in Italy, Russia, Flanders, and England, 33;
      in London, 31;
      in Picenum, 25;
      in Spain, 23

    ----, pestilence originating from, 28

    ----, price of wheat during, 44

    Famines, 47

    Farriery, the art of, 66

    Fast, a, decreed, 28

    Fatal disease, a, 147

    Feast of St. Sebastian deferred, 67

    Fellows, Sir James, 153

    Fernando Bustos, 96

    Fernando Calvo, 43

    Fever, a bilious remittent, 71

    ----, a hot nervous, 150

    ----, Andalusian, 87, 100, 137

    ----, apoplectic, 167

    ----, a putrid, 71

    ----, brain, 78

    ----, break-bone, 137

    ----, erysipelatous epidemic, 34

    ----, inflammatory, 69

    ----, Kendall’s, 115

    ----, malignant, in London, 31

    ----, miliary, 120, 122

    ----, petechial, 128, 171

    ----, puerperal, 108, 138, 147

    ----, putrid, with phrenitis, 69

    ----, remittent, 172, 176;
      remittent on board the ‘Eclair,’ 174

    ----, scarlet, 142

    ----, spotted, 75, 88

    ----, the dandy, 80, 156

    ----, with dysentery, 44

    ----, yellow, 29, 146, 149, 156, 170, 171, 172, 173

    Fevers, 33, 34

    ---- and agues in England, 31

    ---- and disorders of the bowels, 55

    ----, deadly, in London, 79

    ----, epidemic coughs and, 65

    ----, low, of London, 225

    ----, malignant, 98, 103

    ----, spotted, 80

    ----, tertian, 132

    Fièvre St. Antoine, 105

    Filarcus, 5

    Filthy condition of London, 43

    Fire, a great, in Southwark, 112;
      London destroyed by, 31

    ---- of London, the great, 205

    ----, St. Anthony’s, 39

    Fires, dreadful, 138

    First epoch of Spanish epidemiology, 2, 198

    Fish, a shower of, 163

    ---- unfit for food, 81

    Flanders, famine in, 33;
      overwhelmed, _ibid._

    Fleet ditch, 44

    Flies and mosquitoes, 114

    ----, plague, 158

    ----, swarms of, 42

    Floods in China, 46;
      in France, 47

    Florian de Ocampo, 6

    Flux among cattle, 31

    Fluxes, 33, 34, 43

    Fœtidness, air impregnated with, 27

    Fogs, 146, 174;
      summer, 80

    Fonseca, 99

    Fordum, 27

    Fracastorius, 50

    France, dysentery in, 25;
      earthquake in, 29;
      erysipelas in, 33;
      floods in, 47

    Franco, 79, 90, 107

    French pox, 71

    Frenchmen, immunity of, 78

    Friesland under water, 90

    Frost, severe, 65, 66, 103, 113, 129, 139, 140;
      severe, in England, 31;
      sharp, 89;
      on the Danube, 25

    Frosts, hard, 119

    Functions and importance of the skin, 235

    Functius, 3

    Funeral of Patroclus, 238

    Galen, 202

    Gallienus, the army of, 22

    Gamble, Dr., 115

    Gangrene of the extremities, 19;
      of the spleen, 162

    Gangrenous ergotism, 100, 111, 119;
      sore-throat, 99, 128

    Gaol distemper, 127

    Gaspar Torella, 74

    Gastaldi, Cardinal, 83, 107

    Gentiles, mode of burial among, 246

    Geoffrey de Vinsauf, 36

    Germany, earthquake in, 29;
      famine in, 82

    Gloucestershire, inundation in, 69

    Gnats, 125

    God, the First Great Cause, 193

    Godwin, Earl, the lands of, inundated, 34

    Goelenius, 98

    Gorges, 97, 99

    Grand Cairo, 212

    Grasshoppers, 30, 97, 113, 145

    Gratius Faliscus, 5

    Graveyard, poisonous effects from disturbing a, 247

    ‘Great sickness,’ the, 116

    Greece and Italy, earthquake in, 51

    Greeks, interment by the, 238

    Gregory of Tours, 240

    Groin, tumours in the, 24

    Guadalquivir, the, overflowed, 100, 104

    Guaiacum, in venereal disease, 75

    Guido de Gaullaco, 48

    Gunthran, King, 26

    Habakkuk quoted, 194

    Habits of London inhabitants, 44

    Hailstorms, 79

    Hales, Dr., 225

    Haller, 74, 78

    Hamilton, Dr., 209

    Hard frosts, 119

    Harvest, bad, 149;
      failure in, 47, 69

    Harvest-time, snow in, 32

    Haslar Hospital, 138

    Heat, 121, 131, 150, 199;
      excessive, 66, 68, 135;
      great, 61, 80;
      great, in England, 31

    Heavy rains, 39, 41, 54, 66, 70, 85, 86, 99, 104

    Hecker, 46;
      his account of the St. Vitus’s dance in 1374, 56

    Hell-kettles, wells of, 36

    Herculaneum and Pompeii, 17

    Herodian, 20

    Herodotus, 4

    High tide in the Thames, 39

    High tides, 42

    Hippocrates, 7, 143, 186, 201, 212;
      Hippocrates and Artaxerxes, 7

    Histories of ancient nations, 186

    History of St. Vitus, 64

    Homer, 164, 238;
      on the causes of pestilence, 199

    Horses, an epizootic among, 66, 78;
      disease among, 42

    Hospital, Haslar, 138;
      of St. Anthony, established, 39;
      statistics of Dublin Lying-in, 226

    Hot and moist weather, 113

    ---- summer, 38, 41, 84, 86, 98, 104, 114, 137, 145, 146

    Howard, 225

    Humboldt, 222

    Hurricane, 51, 169

    Hutchison, 97, 99

    Huxham, 161

    Hygrometric influence, 192

    Ice for thirty days, 30

    Ignis sacer, 21, 28, 105

    Ignes fatui, 69

    Immunity of Frenchmen, 78;
      of the Spaniards from a pestilence, 4

    Imposture and profligacy, 63

    Imprecatory chapel consecrated, an, 68

    ---- processions instituted, 55, 59

    Inclement seasons, 40, 41, 42, 43, 65, 105, 108, 112, 131, 142,
        145, 150, 168, 169, 170

    Inclement seasons in England, Palestine, and Holland, 34

    ---- weather, 38, 81

    Inducing famine, 12

    Infected places deserted by vultures, 12

    ‘Infirmitas icteritia,’ 29

    Inflammatory fever, with delirium, 69

    Influence, atmospheric, 190

    ---- of devotion, 63

    ---- of trade and locality, 179

    Influenza, 123, 124, 130, 147, 148, 156, 169, 170, 180, 181, 182

    Inguinaria, 27

    Inoculation at Constantinople, 120;
      in the reign of Domitian, 18;
      introduced into England, 122

    Insects, 119, 124, 143;
      generation of, 1, 14, 19;
      rain of crimson, 3

    Instances explanatory of the causes of maladies, 193;
      of fatal effects from burial-grounds, 243, 245

    Institution of the Salii, 3

    Insurrection of English artizans, 77

    Intemperate seasons, 31

    Intense cold, 29, 32, 33;
      frost, 139

    Interment by the Greeks, 238

    Intermittent, a pernicious, 107

    Intramural burial, 137, 237

    Introduction of leprosy into Italy, 15;
      of variola into America, 71;
      of the venereal disease into Europe, 72

    Inundation in Gloucestershire, 69;
      in Syria, 34;
      of the Nile, 23;
      of the Tiber, 30

    Inundations, 10, 16, 18, 19, 20, 35, 37, 38, 42, 47, 59, 70, 80,
        83, 99, 100, 103, 104, 112, 113, 120, 134, 140, 160;
      at Canton, 46;
      round the Mediterranean, 23

    Ireland, earthquake in, 114

    Isodorus, 23

    Italy and Greece, earthquake in, 51

    ---- deluged, 29;
      earthquake in, 29;
      famine in, 23, 24, 30, 31, 33;
      introduction of leprosy into, 15;
      locusts in, 33

    Jamaica, earthquake in, 113, 114

    Jaundice, epidemic, 121

    Jenner, Dr., 227

    Jeremiah quoted, 195

    Jerusalem, siege of, 3

    Joinville, 40

    Jornandes, 21

    Juan de Banos, 74

    Juan de Carmona, Dr., 93

    Jubilee, a papal, 55

    Judea, storms and drought in, 23

    Justin, 4, 8, 13

    Kemp, Prof., 143

    Kendall’s fever, 115

    Khatemar, 48

    Kings of Ulster and Munster cut off by pestilence, 29

    Kingsai, earthquake near, 46

    Kurrachee, Dr. Gavin Milroy on the cholera at, 177;
      the pestilence at, 212

    La grippe, 161

    La trousse galante, 158

    Lacedemonians, great mortality among the, 31

    ‘Ladendo,’ the, 61

    Lake Alba, 9

    Lancisius, 29, 30, 119

    Largostus, 124

    Latimer, 243

    Latium depopulated, 3

    Laurenciscus Rasius, 43

    Lazar-houses established at Valencia, 33

    Lazarettos, 211

    Lectisternium, the, 9

    Leprosy, 65, 94, 123;
      in England, 38;
      in Pompey’s army, 15;
      in Spain, 15, 33;
      introduction of, into Italy, 15;
      pestilence of, 68

    ‘Leprous House,’ the, 249

    Leviticus, chap, xiv., 250

    Libya and Alexandria nearly destroyed, 23

    Light, chemical effects of, 219

    ---- essential to vitality, 218

    Ligurian pestilence, the, 26

    Lima, earthquake at, 94

    Lincoln, earthquake at, 36

    Lind, 129

    Linen, use of, 5

    Linneus, 222

    Lisbon, earthquake at, 47

    Livy, 3, 6, 11, 13

    Locality, influence of trade and, 179

    Locusts, 11, 13, 14, 30, 32, 84, 98, 104, 106, 127, 142;
      dead bodies of, producing pestilence, 30;
      immense swarms of, 23;
      in Italy, 33;
      swarms of, 46, 68, 69, 76, 81

    Loes, 161

    ‘Loimic’ pestilence, a, 18

    Loimikié, 6

    Loimoi, 21

    Loimos in Syria, 21

    London Bridge, wrecks at, 117

    London, deadly fevers in, 79;
      destroyed by fire, 31;
      earthquake in, 127;
      famine in, 31;
      filthy condition of, 43;
      habits of the inhabitants of, 44;
      low fevers of, 225;
      malignant fever in, 31;
      plague in, 104;
      starvation in, 38;
      the burning of, by the Danes, 30;
      the condition of, 205;
      the dwellings of, 206;
      the great fire of, 205;
      the plague of, 207;
      the rebuilding by Alfred, 30;
      water conveyed to by leaden pipes, 43;
      water first brought by the New River to, 98

    Long continuance of pestilence in Asia, 24

    ---- rain, 50

    Lotion, urine as a topical, 5

    Low fever of London, 225

    ---- water in the Thames, 34

    Lucretius, 7, 199

    Lues Pannonica, 90

    Luis Alcanyis, 68

    Macedonia, earthquake in, 23

    Madness, epidemic, in England, 53

    Madrid, sanitary state of, 129

    Magdenburg, 29, 30

    Mal des pieds et des mains, 157

    Maladie de Siam, the, 113

    Maladies, causes of, 189

    ---- ----, Old and New Testaments on the, 193;
      instances explanatory of the causes of, 193

    Malignant dysentery, 2, 61, 77;
      among the Romans, 12;
      epizootic, among cattle, 13;
      fevers, 98, 103;
      measles, 110;
      pneumonia, 76

    Mania, epidemic, 123

    Man-cyalm, 27, 28

    Manson, Dr. 140

    Marcellinus, 23

    Marcellus, death of, 238

    Marcus Curtius, 9

    Mariana, 8, 10

    Marselio Ficino, 78

    Martin Arrendondo, 43

    Martinez de Leyva, 48, 66

    Mas, Dr. 100

    Masdevall, Dr., 138

    Mass, celebrated in Scio, 55

    M’Culloch, 42

    Meade, Dr. 209

    Measles, 35, 98, 122, 138, 171;
      malignant, 110

    Measles, preceding pestilences, 92

    ----, small-pox and, 24

    Measures, precautionary, 60

    Mediterranean frozen over, 30, 39, 61;
      inundations round the, 23

    Mephitic vapours, charging the air with, 12

    Merriman, Dr., 169

    Messina destroyed by earthquake, 114

    Metamorphosis of tadpoles, 221

    Meteors, 32, 40, 81, 99

    Mexico, earthquake in, 136

    Michaelis, 249

    Middleton, Sir Hugh, 98

    Mildew of corn, 113

    Miliary fever, 120, 122

    ---- pestilence, 111

    Milroy, Dr. Gavin, on the cholera at Kurrachee, 177

    Minchinhampton, churchyard of, 247

    Miraculous bell of Velilla, 79

    Mists, stinking, 86

    ‘Mode of avoiding plague,’ 47

    Moderation and cleanliness among the Spaniards, 5

    Modern nomenclature, 188

    Moist atmosphere, 59

    Moisture, 80;
      excessive, 65, 66

    ‘Morbeira,’ a, or Board of Health, 68

    Morbid phenomena of a plague at Athens, 7

    Morbus Gallicus, 71

    ---- Hungaricus, 90

    Morena, Dr., 122

    Mormonites, disease among, 175

    Mortal angina, 112

    Mortality among sheep, 38;
      great, among the Lacedemonians, 31

    Morton, 107

    Mosaic ordinances, the, 248

    Mosquitoes, 143;
      and flies, 114

    Mould-spots, or signacula, 74

    ---- and red water, 85

    Mountain of Tsincheou, falling of, 46

    Mox, Dr., 100

    Murator, 3, 30

    Murrain, 3, 35, 42, 51, 74, 120, 126, 128, 135, 142, 144, 155,
        164, 180;
      among cattle, 31;
      among sheep, 42

    Naples, earthquakes at, 103, 110, 143;
      syphilis at, 73;
      the disease of, _ibid._

    Narses, pestilence in the time of, 26

    Natural causes for pestilences, 214

    Nature and causes of epidemic pestilences, 184–207

    Navy, condition of the, 217

    Necropolis, earthquake in, 19

    New River, water first brought by the, to London, 98

    Newgate, 225

    Nicephorus, 22, 23, 27

    Nicomedia, earthquake in, 19

    Nile, the, 212;
      inundation of the, 23

    Nomenclature, modern, 188

    Nuestro Alonso, 16

    Ocampo, 8

    Odessa, earthquake at, 166

    Œsophagitis, epidemic, 78

    Old and New Testaments on the causes of maladies, 193

    Ordinances, the Mosaic, 248

    Organism of the earth, revolutions in the, 45

    Origin of the venereal disease, 73

    Orosius, 6, 9, 12, 13, 17

    Otho’s army destroyed by pestilence, 31

    Overflow of the Severn, 69

    Ovid, 200

    Palestine, earthquake in cities of, 23

    Palmer-worms, 42

    Papal jubilee, a, 55

    Papiliones, 34

    Parè, 85

    Pasqual, 87

    Patroclus, funeral of, 238

    Paulus Diaconus, 26

    Paving Act, a, passed, 131

    Pedro Bayro, 76

    Pedro Martyr de Anglesia, 71

    Peripneumoniæ, 52

    Pernicious intermittent, a, 107

    Persians, interment by the, 239

    Personal cleanliness, 233

    Peru, earthquakes at, 93, 129

    Pestiferous blight, 192;
      wind, 51

    Pestilence in Egypt, A.M. 2509, 1;
      at Kadesh, 2;
      at Baal-peor, 2;
      at Ægina, 2;
      at Ashdod, 2;
      in the time of David, 2;
      in Rome, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 27,
          28, 38, 72;
      in Campania, 3;
      in Italy, 3, 11, 20, 27, 30, 33, 37, 67, 69;
      at Jerusalem, 4, 16;
      in the army of Xerxes, 4;
      immunity of the Spaniards at Syracuse, 4;
      in Spain, 6, 8, 10, 20, 23, (singular) 25, 27, 37, 43, 48, 59,
          66, 75, 76, 77, 89, 91, 93, 95, 97, 98;
      at Athens, 7;
      in Persia, 7;
      in Egypt, 8, 20;
      in Carthage, 8, 10, 13;
      in Andalusia, 9, 55, 71;
      in Saguntum, 9, 10;
      in Capua, 11;
      among the Roman and Rhodian fleets, 11;
      in Palestine, 13;
      in Numantia, 13;
      in Africa, 13;
      in Numidia, 13;
      among the Roman armies, 15;
      in Palestine, 16;
      in Asia Minor, 16;
      at Babylon, 17;
      in Greece and Italy, 17;
      from Italy to India, 17;
      in the North of England, 18;
      in Scotland, 18, 19, 20, 24, 29, 30, 31, 43;
      in Wales, 18, 22, 24, 29;
      in England, 19, 20, 23, 31, 32, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44,
          50, 52, 55, 59, 65, 69, 75, 81, 83, 84, 86;
      in Arabia, 19;
      in Asia, 19, 20;
      in Ethiopia, 20;
      in France, 20, 25, 29, 56, 61, 62, 77, 78, 80, 85, 98;
      among the Scythians, 21;
      in Alexandria, 21;
      in England and Wales, 21;
      in Syria, 21;
      in Britain, 22;
      in Amida, 23;
      in Italy and Syria, 23;
      in Judea, 23;
      in Asia, Africa, and Europe, 23;
      in Constantinople, 23;
      in Cappadocia, Galatia, and Phrygia, 23;
      in Asia and Africa, 24;
      in Palestine, 24;
      in Europe and Asia, 24;
      in Germany and Italy, 25;
      in the time of Narses, 26;
      in Britain, Turenne, and the provinces of Arragon and Vivares, 27;
      at Mecca, 27;
      in Syria and Arabia, 27;
      at Constantinople, 27;
      in the south coasts of Britain and provinces of the
          Northumbrians, 27;
      in Great Britain and Ireland, 27, 28;
      in Syria and Mesopotamia, 28;
      in Syria and Libya, 28;
      in Constantinople, 29;
      at Norwich, 29;
      in Syria, 29;
      in Calabria, Naples, and Constantinople, 29;
      at Chichester, 29;
      in Germany, 29;
      in Gaul, 30;
      in France and Germany, 30;
      at Oxford, 30;
      in London, 31, 41, 42, 49, 61, 77;
      in Gaul, Germany, and Italy, 31;
      in London, 31;
      in the north of Europe, 31;
      in Otho’s army, 31;
      in England and Europe, 32;
      England and Gaul, 32;
      in England, Gaul, and Germany, 33;
      among the Saracen invaders of Rome, 33;
      in Egypt and Arabia, 33;
      in York and Durham, 32;
      at Constantinople, 33;
      in Italy, Russia, Flanders, and England, 33;
      in Europe, 34, 38;
      in Judea, 34;
      in Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Gaul, Sicily, Judea, Asia, and
          Africa, 35;
      in England and Rome, 36;
      in Castile, 36;
      in the army of the Crusaders at Acre, 36;
      in Catalonia, 37;
      at Cordova, 37;
      in Damietta, 37;
      in Germany, Hungary, Gaul, and Egypt, 38;
      in Denmark, Italy, and Gaul, 39;
      in the army of St. Louis, the Crusader, 40;
      among the Crusaders, 42;
      in Britain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Prussia, Zealand, Egypt,
          Germany, Bohemia, and Spain, 42;
      at Gerona, 42;
      at Barcelona, 46, 50, 55, 61;
      at Tche, 46;
      in China, Syria, Greece, Egypt, Asia, and Africa, 48;
      in Italy and Sicily, 48;
      in Granada, 48;
      in Upper Asia, 48;
      in Cathay, 48;
      in Asia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, England, and
          Germany, 49;
      in Florence, 49;
      in Norwich, 49;
      in Venice, 49;
      in Lubeck, 49;
      in Syria, 49;
      on the shores of the Pontic, 49;
      in Greece and Illyria, 49;
      in Mallorca, 38, 49, 60, 68, 71;
      in Valencia and Catalonia, 50;
      in Sicily and Sardinia, 50;
      in Greenland, 51;
      in Cyprus, 51;
      at Southampton, 52;
      in France and Germany, 52;
      in Ireland, Holland, and England, 52;
      in Germany, Russia, Hungary, Spain, and Gaul, 52;
      in Denmark and Iceland, 52;
      among the Oxford students, 52;
      in Montpelier, 52;
      in England, Africa, Cyprus, Italy, Florence, Gaul, Ireland, and
          Scotland, 53;
      at Cologne, 55;
      in England and Ireland, 55;
      in Italy and Gaul, 55;
      in Germany, Egypt, Greece, and Lubeck, 55;
      in Holland and the Rhenish provinces, 56;
      in the Shetland islands, 56;
      in Seville, 59, 61, 70, 85, 97;
      in Gallicia, 60;
      in Benavento, Matillas, Arzon, Villalobos, Rales, and Valderas,
      at Norfolk and York, 61;
      in Valencia and Catalonia, 61;
      at Florence, 61;
      in Bourdeaux, Aquitaine, and Gascony, 61;
      at Seville, 62;
      at Barcelona, 62, 65, 67, 68, 69, 73, 75, 76, 79, 88, 94, 97;
      in Dantzic, 65;
      at Huesca, 65;
      in Italy, Gaul, Germany, Asia, and Spain, 66;
      at Saragossa, 67;
      at Cadiz, 67;
      at Parma, 67;
      at Valencia, 68;
      in Switzerland and Germany, 69;
      in Westphalia, Hesse, and Friesland, 69;
      in France, 69, 89;
      in Ireland, 70;
      in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Egypt, 70;
      in Saragossa and Aragon, 71;
      in Granada, 71;
      in Saragossa, 73, 83;
      in Germany, Portugal, and Ireland, 73;
      among Portuguese crews, 74;
      in Britain, 74;
      in Brussels, 74;
      in France and Germany, 74;
      in China, 75;
      in Ireland, 75;
      in Lisbon, 75;
      in Cadiz, 76;
      in Constantinople, 76;
      in Germany, 76;
      in Europe, 76;
      in Verona, 77;
      in Oxford and Cambridge, 77;
      at Calais, 78;
      in Germany, 78;
      in Holland, 78;
      in Hispaniola, 78;
      in Navarre, 78;
      in Valencia, 78, 79;
      at Dresden, 79;
      in Milan, 79;
      in Xativa and Seville, 79;
      in Lower Germany, Holland, Zealand, Brabant, Flanders, Denmark,
          Norway, and France, 79;
      at Wurtemburg, 79;
      at Aragon, 79;
      in London, 79;
      in Ireland and Italy, 79;
      in Amsterdam, 81;
      at Hamburg, 81;
      in Germany, 82;
      at Lubeck, Stettin, and Zwickau, 82;
      at Brussels, 82;
      in Pomerania, 82;
      in Germany and Denmark, 83;
      in Aragon, 83;
      in Italy and Spain, 83;
      in Lisbon, 83;
      in Narbonne, 83;
      in Cork and Dresden, 83;
      in Hungary, 84;
      in Constantinople, 84;
      at Metz, 84;
      in Savoy, France, 84;
      England, Holland, and Germany, 85;
      in Prussia, 85;
      in Murcia and Portugal, 85;
      in Valencia, 85;
      in London, 86, 88, 91, 95;
      in Messina, 86;
      in Paris, Hungary, and Transylvania, 86;
      in England and France, 86;
      among Spanish soldiery, 87;
      in Vienna and Holland, 87;
      in Spain and France, 87;
      in Murcia, 88;
      in Europe, 88;
      along the Rhine, 89;
      at Comorra, 90;
      at Seville, 90;
      in Friesland, 91;
      in Dresden, 91;
      in Spain and Italy, 91;
      among prisoners at Oxford, 91;
      in Europe, 92;
      at Marseilles, 93;
      in Flanders, Moravia, London, Germany, and Holland, Egypt, and
          Rome, 94;
      in Madrid, 94;
      in Valladolid, 94;
      in Dresden, 95;
      in Malta, 95;
      in England, Constantinople, and Spain, 95;
      in Muscovy, 95;
      in Granada, 96;
      in Gallicia, 96;
      in Seville, 96;
      at Jaen, 96;
      in England, 96;
      in Europe, 96;
      in the fleet of Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, 97;
      in Ragusa, 97;
      in Granada, 97;
      in Germany, 98, 99;
      at Constantinople, 98;
      in Crete, Alexandria, Calabria, Turkey, Italy, Dalmatia, Venice,
          Germany, France, Poland, Flanders, Persia, and Asia, 98;
      in England, 98;
      at Naples, Bergen, Norway, Denmark, Egypt, the Levant, North and
          South America, Hungary, France, and England, Seville, 99;
      London, Amsterdam, Spain, Argel, England, Italy, Denmark, Egypt,
          Lyons, France, Narbonne, Cambridge, America, Marseilles,
          Catalonia, and Guadix, 100;
      in Europe, 103;
      in South America, 104;
      in the United States of America, 104;
      in Oxford, 104;
      in Madrid, Denmark, England, and Andalusia, 104;
      in Ireland, America, West Indies, Spain, England, France,
          Denmark, 105;
      in Russia, Poland, Carmona, Andalusia, Tortosa, Gerona, Huesca,
          Barcelona, and Girona, 106;
      in England, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Presburg, Hungary, Italy,
          Egypt, Malta, Sardinia, Leyden, Riga, Amsterdam, Morocco,
          Naples, Rome, France, and North America, 107;
      in England, Venice, Leipsic, and Copenhagen, 108;
      in Salamanca, Lisbon, the United States, Norway, and England, 110;
      in Aquitaine, Sologne, Galinois, Montagris, 111;
      in Spain, Hungary, England, Malta, and Hamburg, 111;
      in Carthagena, the United States, and Europe, Spain, Algeria,
          Morocco, Andalusia, Germany, Dresden, England, Italy, Poland,
          Switzerland, Ireland, Sardinia, Malaga, Antequera, Granada,
          Moron, Ronda, Lucena, Andujar, Xeres, Santa Maria, and Cadiz,
      in Berberia, in Europe, and America, 113;
      among animals, 114;
      in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Erfurt, Jena, United States, Spain,
          Italy, and Jamaica, 114;
      in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Barbadoes, Berlin, among the
          American Indians, Spain, North America, China, England,
          France, Liorna, Geneva, Cerdena, Narbonne, and Nismes, 115;
      among the Anglo-Americans, 115;
      in Spain, England, Scotland, Friesland, the United States, and
          Freiburg, 116;
      in Ceuta, Tunis, Malaga, Cerdena, 118;
      in Rome, South America, Spain, Andalusia, Dantzic, Holland,
          Cologne, Lucerne, Zurich, Berne, Orleans, Sweden, 119;
      in Copenhagen, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Mümpelgart,
          Constantinople, England, United States, Breslau, Turin, 120;
      in the Asturias, Aleppo, Marseilles, 121;
      in Toulon, Aix, and Arles, Provence, in the Lower Seine, Jamaica,
          Spain, Granada, Placentia, London, America, Vienna, Hungary,
          Upper Saxony, Silesia, Lisbon, Frankfort, 122;
      in Granada, Andalusia, Carthage, the United States, South
          America, 123;
      at Chambery, Annecy, Savoy, Carmagnola, Vercelli, Ivrea, Biella,
          Vienna, Pignerol, Fossano, Nizza, Rivoli, Asti, Larti, Acqui,
          Basle, Silesia Thrasburg, Trino, Frésneuse, Vimeux, Orleans,
          Plouviers, Meaux, Villeneuve, Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden,
          Russia, Cadiz, Andalusia, London, United States, Spain, 124;
      in Coburg, Egypt, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland,
          Calabria, Switzerland, New Spain, Aleppo, Tangiers, Smyrna,
          United States, West Indies, North America, Seville, Grand
          Cairo, England, and Bohemia, 125;
      in Spain, Ireland, Germany, Siberia, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany,
          Poland, Holland, and England, 126;
      in Huesca, the Asturias, Constantinople, United States, London,
          Isen and Cordova, 127;
      in England, North America, Normandy, Ireland, France,
          Constantinople, Syria, Smyrna and Cyprus, Aleppo, Jerusalem
          and Damascus, West India Islands, 128;
      in Africa, United States, Senegal, 129;
      in Carthagena, Cyprus, the Ottoman Empire, United States, West
          Indies, Madrid, 130;
      in United States, Havannah, Siam, Bengal, Syria, Egypt, France,
          Denmark, Madrid, Genoa, Sweden, Naples, 131;
      in Spain, Carthagena, Suabia, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, United
          States, West Indies, 132;
      in Europe, United States, Germany, Spain, Carthagena, Jamaica,
          Holland, Bengal, 133;
      in Sardinia, Holland, Flanders, Poland, Russia, Bohemia, Vienna,
      Moscow, Bassora, the Ganges, Scotland, United States, France,
      Constantinople, England, Spain, 136;
      United States, Spain, South America, 137;
      England, United States, Garigani, Languedoc, 138;
      Catalonia, Tortosa, Aragon, Alcarria, Andalusia, 139;
      Carthagena, La Mancha, Havannah, United States, 140;
      America, Grenada, 141;
      Africa, Egypt, England, the Havannah, Hungary, Servia, 142;
      West India Islands, United States, 143;
      United States, Barbary, Morocco, 144, 145, 146;
      in England and Ireland, Germany, Gibraltar, Constantinople, 147;
      in London, Gibraltar, Malta, 148, 149;
      in Corfu, India, United States, Jessore, 150, 151, 152;
      Mauritius, United States, West Indies, East Indies, 152, 153;
      in the Indian Archipelago, Bassora, Bagdad, China, the Moluccas,
          Ispahan, Chinese Tartary, Ireland, France, Lapland, Africa,
          South America, 154, 155;
      in Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg, Grand Cairo, Germany, United States,
          England, West Indies, Gibraltar, 156, 157;
      in Naples, France, England, Ireland, America, Russia, Persia,
          Poland, Moldavia, Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg, Alexandria, the
          Delta of the Nile, 158, 159;
      in France, 161;
      in England, United States, Russia, Germany, France, Turkey,
          Gibraltar, 162, 163;
      in India, Prussia, Warsaw, Egypt, Alexandria, Grand Cairo, 164,
      Leghorn, Odessa, Europe, North and South America, West India
          Islands, 166, 167;
      in Rome, Syria, Moscow, Orenburg, England, Ireland, Asia, United
          States, London, 168, 169;
      England, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Cape of Good Hope,
          Mount St. Bernard, Algiers, St. Petersburg, Texas, 170, 171;
      Germany, Scotland, Syria, United States, Africa, 172, 173;
      in Persia, Senegal, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, England,
          Africa, among Mormonites, 174, 175;
      in Scotland, Ireland, Afghanistan, Persia, Tartary, Bagdad,
          Kurrachee, 176, 177;
      in Gallicia, Persia, Tauris, Teheran, Bakrou, Caucasian Provinces,
          Tiflis, the Caucasus, Russia, 178, 179;
      Wallachia, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, France, Russia, Turkey,
          Marseilles, United States, Trebizond, Silesia, England, 180,

    Pestilence among animals, 98

    ----, the black, 50

    ----, a bubonic, 79

    ----, dead bodies of locusts producing, 30

    ----, De Foe on the causes of, 206

    ----, Egypt a hot-bed of, 195;
      fatal to breeding women and cattle, 10;
      a filthy smelling vapour causing, 49;
      the Kings of Ulster and Munster cut off by, 29;
      at Kurrachee, 212;
      of leprosy, 68;
      a ‘loimic,’ 18;
      long continuance of, 29;
      long continuance of, in Asia, 24;
      the Ligurian, 26

    ----, a miliary, 111

    ----, originating from famine, 28;
      petechial, 147

    ----, rains and, 31

    ----, statistics of, 53

    ----, the true, 24

    ----, yellow, 99, 100, 104, 113, 151, 153, 155, 157

    ----, epidemic, nature and causes of, 184–207

    ----, natural causes for, 214

    Pestilential angina, 116;
      constitution, 187;
      or scarlet sore-throat, 24

    ‘Pestis flava,’ 29

    Petechial fever, 80, 128, 171

    ---- pestilence, 147;
      treatment of, 94

    Pharaoh IV., prodigies in the natural world in the reign of, 1

    Phenomena, remarkable, 108

    Philo on a ‘loimic’ pestilence, 18

    Phrenitis, putrid fever with, 69

    Picenum, famine in, 25

    Pintor, 72

    Plague, 24, 77, 103, 111, 112, 125, 136, 142, 145, 147, 149, 163,
        164, 172;
      at Athens, morbid phenomena of a, 7

    ----, bilious, 116, 141

    ---- of Boja, the, 71

    ----, cure for the, 84

    ----, dreadful, 121, 124

    ---- of Egypt, 200

    ---- flies, 158

    ----, the great, 183

    Plague in London, 100, 104, 207

    ----, mode of avoiding, 47

    ---- of Siberia, the, 162

    ----, a terrific, 48

    ----, treatment of, 78, 94

    Planets, origin of the venereal disease attributed to conjunction
        of the, 72

    Pleurisies, 33, 35

    Pliny, 17

    Plutarch, 3, 7, 238

    Poison, atmospheric, 79

    Poisonous effects from disturbing a graveyard, 247

    ---- vapours of lake Avernus, 4

    Pompeii and Herculaneum, 17

    Pompey’s army, leprosy in, 15

    Pope and the Fleet ditch, 44

    Pope Sextus erects a brothel at Rome, 67

    Porcell, Dr., 89

    Porpoises in the Baltic, disease among, 82

    Potato disease, 172, 174, 176, 182

    Pox, the French, 71

    Prayers, public, 66;
      rogatory, 79

    Precautionary measures, 60

    Predisposing causes of disease, 191

    Prevention, 217

    Prisons on the Continent, 225;
      Savoy and Newgate, _ibid._

    Processions, imprecatory, instituted, 55, 59;
      solemn, 67, 68

    Procopius, 25, 26

    Prodigies in the natural world in the reign of Pharaoh IV., 1

    Profligacy and imposture, 63

    Prophecy of Agabus, 17

    Prophylaxis, or mode of preventing disease, 216–250

    Prostitutes taxed, 67

    Puerperal fever, 108, 138, 147

    Puiz, Dr., 113

    Purchas, 97

    Putrid fever, a, 71;
      with phrenitis, 69

    Quinsies, 88

    Quinsey, 35, 98, 120

    Quarantine, 211

    Rain, blood-coloured, 82

    ---- of crimson insects, 3

    ----, long, 50;
      remarkable fall of, 150;
      a shower of, frozen, 111;
      in torrents, 46

    Rains and pestilence, 31

    ----, excessive, 30, 32, 40, 103;
      heavy, 39, 41, 54, 66, 70, 85, 86, 99, 104, 170

    Ramon Vila, 46, 76

    Rebuilding of London by Alfred, 30

    Red water and mould-spots, 85

    Registrar-General’s Report on the Influenza of 1847, 181, 182, 183

    Remarkable phenomena, 108

    Remedy for pestilential fever, 122

    Remittent fever, 172, 176;
      on board the ‘Eclair,’ 174

    Render, Rev. Dr., 245

    Reports on Cholera, 169

    Revolution in the organism of the earth, 45

    Rhone, the, frozen over, 30

    Rivére, 161

    Ribeiro, Dr., 5

    Riverius, 98

    Rogatory prayers, 79

    Romans, the ancient, and the bath, 231;
      malignant dysentery among the, 12

    Rome, earthquake at, 9, 117;
      Pope Sextus erects a brothel at, 67;
      the site of, 204

    Rosell, Dr., 100

    Rush, Dr., 141

    Russell, Dr. Patrick, 209

    Russia, famine in, 33

    Rye, disease in, 106

    Rymer, 52

    Sacrifices, 6

    Sætabi, vapour baths of the, 5

    Saguntum, earthquake at, 10

    Saine, Dr., 125

    Salii, institution of the, 3

    Salted provisions, the use of, 15

    Sanchez, Dr., 5, 72

    Sanitary state of Madrid, 129

    Sastre, Dr., 113

    Sauvages, 15, 126

    Savoy Prison, 225

    Scarlatina, 116

    Scarlet fever, 35, 142;
      sore-throat, 24

    Schenckius, 74, 89

    Scripture against contagion, 213

    Scurvy, 21, 74;
      epidemic, 73

    Sea broke out at Dort, 66

    ----, Winchelsea swallowed up by the, 41

    Seasons, intemperate, 31;
      inclement, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43, 65, 105, 108, 112, 131, 133, 142,
          145, 150, 168, 169, 170

    Senertus, 86, 161

    Sepulture, Chinese mode of, 239

    ‘Serpentine Disease,’ the, 84

    Servius, 238

    Severe frost, 37, 65, 66, 103, 113, 129, 140;
      storm, 118;
      winter, 30, 31, 35, 38, 41, 55, 94, 98, 137, 145, 148

    Severn, the, overflowed, 69

    Seville, earthquake at, 60

    Sheep, mortality among, 38;
      murrain among, 42

    Shipping, entry of, prohibited in Sicily, 75

    Short, 29, 30, 97

    Shower of fish, a, 163;
      of rain, frozen, 111

    Showers, extraordinary, 59

    Shropshire, earthquake in, 18

    Siberia, the plague of, 162

    Sibylline books, the, 9

    Sicily, earthquake in, 142;
      entry of shipping prohibited in, 75

    Sickness among the Edinburgh police, 227

    ‘----, the great,’ 116

    ----, the sweating, 70, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 83, 86, 114, 119

    Siege of Jerusalem, 3;
      of Troy, 199

    Signacula, or mould-spots, 74

    Silius Italicus, 5

    Simon, Mr., 222

    Singular pestilence in Spain, 25

    Site of Rome, the, 204

    Skin, the functions of the, 235

    Small-pox, 35, 78, 98, 112, 116, 120;
      confluent, 22;
      pestilential, at Mecca, 27;
      treatment of, 131;
      virulent, 111

    ---- and measles, 24

    Smith, Dr. Southwood, 234

    Sneezing induced by conditions of the atmosphere, 27

    Snow, heavy fall of, 169

    ---- in harvest-time, 32

    Snow-storm, a, 100

    Socrates on bathing, 231

    Solemn processions, 67

    Sore throat, gangrenous, 99, 128;
      scarlet, 24;
      epidemic, 30

    ‘Sorte-diod,’ the, 50

    Southwark, a great fire in, 112

    Spain, earthquake in, 10, 75;
      famine in, 23;
      leprosy in, 15, 33;
      temperature of, 15

    Spaniards, cleanliness and moderation among the, 5;
      their immunity from a pestilence, 4

    Spanish epidemiology, the first epoch of, 2, 198

    Spiders, 98, 119

    Spleen, gangrene of the, 162

    Sporadic cholera, 174

    Spotted fever, 75, 80, 88

    St. Anthony, 64;
      St. Anthony’s fire, 39

    St. Fechin, 28

    St. Gerald, 28

    St. Gregory, 25;
      St. Gregory’s ‘History of the Franks,’ _ibid._

    St. Guy, the dancing disease of, 56

    St. Margaret, 64

    St. Narcissus, 43

    St. Paul’s at Rome destroyed by earthquake, 29

    St. Sebastian, feast of, deferred, 67

    St. Vitus, dance of, 32;
      Hecker’s account of, 56

    ----’s torrent, 81

    Stagnant pools and marshes, 150

    Starvation in London, 38

    Statistics of pestilence, 53;
      of Dublin Lying-in Hospital, 226

    Statius, 231

    Stews, public, Bishop Winton on, 73

    Stinking mists, 86

    Stokes, Dr., 176

    Storm, severe, 118;
      violent, 61, 76

    Storms, 2, 10, 11, 16, 65, 108, 120, 127, 133, 140;
      in Judea, 23;
      in Thuringia and Saxony, 81

    Stow, 43, 44, 53

    Strange phenomenon in the tides, 111

    Strasburg, dancing plague at, 63

    Suabia, earthquake in, 78

    Subterraneous thunder, 47

    ‘Sudor Anglicus,’ the, 70

    Suetonius, 17

    Summer, cold and wet, 32;
      dry, 35;
      fogs, 80;
      hot, 18, 38, 41, 84, 86, 98, 104, 114, 137, 145, 146;
      wet, 75

    Sun, eclipse of the, 37

    Sutton, Dr., 173

    Swarms of flies, 42;
      of locusts, 46, 68, 69, 76, 81

    Sweating sickness, the, 70, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 83, 86, 114, 119

    Switzerland, earthquake in, 136

    Sydenham, 109, 161, 206

    Symptoms of a pestilence at Carthage, 8

    Syphilis at Naples, 73

    Syria, earthquake in, 29, 47;
      inundation in, 34;
      loimos in, 21

    ‘Tac,’ the, 61

    Tacitus, 16, 17, 204

    Tadpoles, metamorphosis of, 221

    Tagus, the, overflowed, 83

    ‘Tarantisme,’ 56

    Tasso, 203

    Temperature of Spain, 15

    Tempests, 98, 99;
      violent, 30, 60

    Tempestuous seasons, 32;
      weather, 44

    Terrific plague, a, 48

    Tertian epidemic, 139;
      fever, 132;
      fevers, epidemic, 112

    Thames, the, fordable, 95;
      frozen over, 31, 33, 113;
      high tide in the, 39, 124, 127;
      low water in the, 34;
      the water of the, 230

    Thucydides, 7, 199;
      on epidemics, 215

    Thullier, Dr., 101

    Thunder, subterranean, 47

    Thunder-storms, 38, 41, 43, 46, 47, 54, 66, 105, 116, 118, 145;
      in London, 34

    Tiber, the, overflowed, 83;
      inundation of the, 30

    Tides, a strange phenomenon in the, 111;
      high, 42, 124, 127

    ‘Tigretier,’ 56

    Tongue, the black, 173

    Topography of Egypt, 196

    Torrent, St. Vitus’s, 81

    Torrents of rain, 46

    Trade and locality, influence of, 179

    Treatment of petechial pestilence, 94;
      of plague, 78;
      of small-pox, 131;
      of the venereal disease, 73

    ‘Trousse Galante,’ the, 80

    Troy, the siege of, 199

    ‘True pestilence,’ the, 24

    ---- plague in France, 25

    Tsincheou, falling of the mountain of, 46

    Tully, 150

    Tumours in the groin or axillæ, 24

    Turks, cemeteries of the, 239

    Tyengius, 78, 81

    Typhoid epidemic at Mount St. Bernard, 171

    Typhomania, 21

    Typhus, 142, 146, 151, 155, 156, 173;
      fever, 149

    Ubilis, 15

    Unburied dead bodies, 8, 23

    Urine as a topical lotion, 5;
      drinking, 5;
      washing with, 5

    Use of coals forbidden, 55;
      of linen, 5;
      of salted provisions, 15

    Uses of the atmosphere, 223

    Utrecht, the dancing mania at, 42

    Valcarcel, 111

    Valencia, lazar-houses established at, 33

    Valles, 94

    Vapour, a filthy smelling, causing pestilence, 49

    Vapour baths of the Sætabi, 5

    Vapours, gross, 89;
      poisonous, of the lake Avernus, 4

    Variola, 140;
      introduction of, into America, 71;
      epidemic, _ibid._

    Vegetable kingdom, the, 220

    Velilla, the miraculous bell of, 79

    Velitræ depopulated, 3

    Venereal disease, the, 84;
      a pestilential fever, 72;
      cannibals infested with the, 73;
      guaiacum in, 75;
      introduction of, into Europe, 72;
      origin of the, 73;
      the origin of, attributed to conjunction of the planets, 72;
      treatment of the, 73

    Venetian territory, famine in the, 82

    Ventilation, 225, 226

    Vestal Virgins, the, 239

    Vesuvius, 17;
      eruption of, 20, 21, 24, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 76, 103, 108, 112,
          114, 116, 117, 118, 120, 126, 127, 129, 134, 140, 143;
      description of an eruption of, 165

    Vicissitudes of weather, 32

    Vienna, earthquake at, 143

    Villalba, 4, 5

    Villalon, 119

    Villanius, 48, 49

    Vincente Mut, 60

    ---- Ximeno, 72

    Violent catarrh, 76

    ---- storm, 76

    Virulent small-pox, 111

    Vitality, light and air and water essential to, 218

    Volcanic eruptions, 99

    Volcanoes, eruptions of, 32

    Vomito negro, the, 140

    Vultures, infected places deserted by, 12

    War, distresses of, 23;
      effects of, 66;
      civil, 116

    Washhouses and baths, 236

    Washing with urine, 5

    Water, 230;
      considered dietetically and medicinally, 230;
      conveyed to London by leaden pipes, 43;
      essential to vitality, 218;
      first brought by the New River to London, 98;
      of the Thames, 230

    Weather, dry, 109;
      hot and moist, 113;
      inclement, 38, 81;
      tempestuous, 44;
      vicissitudes of, 32

    Wells of hell-kettles, 36

    Wet summer, 75

    Wheat, price of, in famine, 44

    Wierus, 89

    Winchelscomb, storm at, 33

    Winchelsea swallowed up by the sea, 41

    Wind, a pestiferous, 51

    Window-tax, the, 237

    Winters, cold, 113;
      mild, 141;
      severe, 7, 18, 20, 30, 31, 35, 38, 41, 55, 94, 98, 137, 145, 148

    Winton, Bishop, on public stews, 73

    Wollaston, Dr., account of an epidemic of grangrenous ergotism by,

    Worm, black, 141

    Wrecks at London Bridge, 117

    Wren, Sir Christopher, 243

    Xativa, earthquake in, 78

    Xerxes, destruction of the army of, 4

    Yellow fever, 29, 146, 149, 156, 170, 171, 172, 173;
      pestilence, 99, 100, 104, 113, 151, 153, 155, 157

    Zosimus, 21

    Zurita, 49, 67

                          CHRONOLOGICAL INDEX


         Years.     Page
    1495              1
    1471 to 1017      2
     790     545      3
     594     480      4
     476     435      6
     427     404      8
     393     362      9
     346     216     10
     206     177     11
     144     140     12
     134     126     13
      89      60     15
      49      30     16


      40 to   53     17
      80     114     18
     115     158     19
     173     250     20
     252     302     21
     325     375     22
     361     467     23
     473     540     24
     543     589     25
     580             26
     590     672     27
     679     685     28
     685     801     29
     806     883     30
     896    1024     31
    1017    1042     32
    1043    1090     33
    1093    1120     34
    1120    1179     35
    1183    1190     36
    1193    1217     37
    1218    1230     38
    1236    1237     39
    1240    1249     40
    1250    1254     41
    1255    1283     42
    1301    1310     43
    1316    1335     44
    1333    1334     46
    1338    1347     47
    1346    1349     48
    1348             49
    1348             51
    1348    1352     52
    1355    1357     53
    1360             54
    1362    1373     55
    1374             56
    1375    1383     59
    1382    1389     60
    1391    1411     61
    1410             62
    1418             63
    1426             64
    1429    1441     65
    1443    1450     66
    1452    1473     67
    1474    1477     68
    1478    1485     69
    1485             70
    1488    1493     71
    1494    1499     72
    1495    1497     73
    1497    1503     74
    1501    1505     75
    1506    1510     76
    1511    1517     77
    1518    1519     78
    1521    1528     79
    1528    1534     80
    1529             81
    1530    1539     83
    1541    1545     84
    1546    1553     85
    1551    1555     86
    1556    1570     87
    1558    1564     88
    1565             89
    1566    1568     90
    1570    1577     91
    1579    1580     92
    1580    1583     93
    1585    1590     94
    1592    1602     95
    1600    1606     96
    1609    1610     97
    1611    1613     98
    1616    1620     99
    1622    1630    100
    1631    1636    103
    1642    1646    104
    1649    1650    105
    1652    1654    106
    1656    1658    107
    1658    1663    108
    1661    1666    109
    1666    1668    110
    1670    1676    111
    1677    1683    112
    1686    1690    113
    1692    1694    114
    1695    1700    115
    1701    1703    116
    1704            117
    1705    1708    118
    1709    1710    119
    1711    1717    120
    1718    1720    121
    1722    1723    122
    1726    1728    123
    1729    1734    124
    1735    1736     125
    1737    1745     126
    1747    1751     127
    1758             128
    1755    1760     129
    1761             130
    1762    1764     131
    1765    1766     132
    1768    1769     133
    1770    1772     134
    1774             135
    1773    1778     136
    1780    1789     137
    1782    1786     138
    1784    1785     139
    1786    1789     140
    1790    1791     141
    1791    1793     142
    1794             143
    1795    1797     144
    1798    1799     145
    1800    1802     146
    1803    1812     147
    1814             148
    1813    1815     149
    1815             150
    1816    1817     151
    1818             152
    1819    1821     153
    1822    1824     154
    1824    1825     155
    1826    1827     156
    1828             157
    1829    1832     158
    1831         159–162
    1833    1838     163
    1834             164
    1835         165–167
    1836             167
    1836    1837     168
    1834    1837     169
    1838             170
    1839             171
    1840    1843     172
    1843             173
    1842    1845     174
    1846         175–179
    1847         179–183

                               THE END.


[1] The miraculous bell of Velilla, a little village in Aragon, nine
leagues from Saragossa, about this time (the death of Ferdinand of
Aragon) gave one of those prophetic tintinnabulations which always
boded some great calamity to the country. The side on which the blows
fell denoted the quarter where the disaster was to happen. Its sound,
says Dr. Dormer, caused dismay and contrition, with dismal “fear of
change,” in the hearts of all who heard it. No arm was strong enough to
stop it on these occasions, as those found to their cost who profanely
attempted it. Its ill-omened voice was heard for the twentieth and last
time in March, 1679. As no event of importance followed, it probably
tolled for its own funeral. See the edifying history, in Dr. Diego
Dormer, of the miraculous powers and performances of this celebrated
bell, as duly authenticated by a host of witnesses.--‘Discursos
Varios,’ pp. 198–244. Prescott’s ‘History of Ferdinand and Isabella.’

[2] The term Plague or Pestilence, as used here, is meant in its
general sense to express all sorts of distempers; the Hebrew Deber,
which properly signifies plague, being used in the Hebrew tongue, as in
most others, to express every variety of epidemic disease.

[3] Some time ago, some fagots were sent into the Lings coalpit,
belonging to the Wingerworth Coal Company, for the purpose of filling
up the chasm over the timber, where the roof had given way. A bough of
hawthorn was carelessly thrown aside in an opening, and it is now in
full leaf and blossom. A branch of it was brought out at night; but
the leaves, and blossoms also, began to flag in a few hours after it
was exposed to the fresh air. There is still a part of the thorn in
the pit, 500 yards from the bottom of the shaft, in a healthy growing
state; all the difference observable between a thorn growing on the
top of the ground, and the one above named, is, that the leaf is quite
white, and the blossom without smell.

[4] A writer punningly remarks, that “Notwithstanding our national
situation, and the dominion we naturally claim and boast of over the
watery element, a degree of Hydrophobia still prevails among us.”

[5] A.D. 1695, on 31 Dec., the House of Commons resolved to raise
£1,200,000 for supplying the deficiency of the clipped money by a tax
on windows.

[6] Fortunately for the people, this tax was repealed while these pages
were passing through the press. It was not, however, deemed advisable
to change the language used in the text.

[7] For further evidence consult, _Diemerbroek_, _Agricola_, _Ammianus
Marcellinus_, _Quincy_, _Wolfius_, and though last, not least, the
works of Mr. GEORGE ALFRED WALKER, that most _indomitable_ advocate for
the prevention of the most disgusting abuses of our dead, with the view
of benefiting the stultified living.

[8] In explanation of what is meant by this text, ‘Leprous House,’
Michaelis observes that the walls of houses are often attacked by
something that corrodes and spoils them. The walls become wet and
mouldy from a mural salt, and that to such a degree as, in consequence
of the erosion spreading further and further, to cause the house to
tumble down; the plaster also becomes damaged, and requires frequent
replacing, furniture becoming spoiled, and persons being injured in
their health, by sleeping near such walls. If we experience such
effects in modern Europe, there is room to conclude that they were more
strongly exhibited at the earlier period under notice, and in countries
where the houses were but of one story and low. Taking this, therefore,
for the ‘house leprosy,’ the object of the Mosaic law or ordinance
is sufficiently intelligible. Besides, to this day there are certain
diseases of trees in Egypt and Palestine, to which the name of leprosy
is given. In Switzerland, also, they speak of cancer in buildings on
the same principle, and why should we not understand the leprosy in
buildings of the text as being something of a similar description?
It is true that man, stone, and clothes have not the same diseases;
but from some analogous circumstances, real or fanciful, the diseases
of man may be, and have been, evidently from the above, applied by a
figure of speech to diseases in other things.

If we believe that the house leprosy here spoken of was anything
relating to the disorder of the same name in man, it will be difficult
to account for the symptoms and mode of treatment; and if we suppose
that the walls of the house had taken a leprous contagion from man,
and were in a condition, when really infected, to transmit it to man,
the very direction to remove the furniture before the entering of the
priest, would lead to the contrary opinion, for removing the furniture
would be calculated to propagate the leprous infection. It was the damp
and unwholesome state of the house to which attention was directed.

Transcriber’s Note:

1. Obvious printers’, spelling and punctuation errors have been
   silently corrected. Some original spelling has been retained.

2. Superscripts are represented using the caret character, e.g. D^r.

3. Italics are shown as _xxx_.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Epidemic Pestilences: From the Earliest Ages, 1495 Years Before the Birth of our Saviour to 1848: With Researches into Their Nature, Causes, and Prophylaxis" ***

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