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however, up to August 1836, subsequently | liquors. Nothing is more common than to amounted to eighty. An imperfect system see even very young children come to the of management was in operation for the table after dinner to drink a glass of wine. first three years, during which time from The least quantity produces violent effects four to six children, and sometimes more, on their accumulated excitability, and, by were constantly on the sick list. One or quickly exhausting it, ruins their constitutwo assistant nurses were necessary; a phy- tion through life, and often renders them sician also was in attendance two or three habitual drinkers. I can scarcely help attimes a week, and the deaths amounted in all tributing in some degree the many stomach to between thirty and forty, or about one complaints we meet with among young peoevery month. After this period the children ple in the present age, and which were unwere trained under an improved system, and known to our forefathers, to the abominable the results were highly satisfactory and en- practice of suffering children to drink fercouraging. The improved system, we may, mented or spirituous liquors. If these premise, included abstinence from animal liquors be only a slow poison to us, they are food and fermented liquors. The nursery a very quick one to them. A glass of was soon entirely vacated, and the services wine, on account of the accumulated exof the nurse and physician no longer needed; citability of children, will have more effect and for more than two years, no case of sick- upon then than a bottle will upon an adult ness or death took place. In the succeeding accustomed to drink wine."* twelve months, there were three deaths, but Dr.Beddoes says: “There are an infinite they were new inmates, and diseased when number of facts which show that the organithey were received, and two of them were zation of children is, in general, most apt to idiots.” The superintendents state, in ad- suffer from many classes of violent agents. dition, that “ sñice the new regimen bas Medical practitioners, much conversant been fully adopted, there has been a re- among the poor, find them perpetually markable

increase of health, strength, activity, stinting the growth and destroying the convivacity,cheerfulness and contentment, among stitution of their children, by their illthe children;

the change of temper is also judged kindness in sharing with them those very great. They have become less turbu- distilled liquors which they swallow with so lent, irritable, peevish, and discontented, and much avidity themselves. Among the far more manageable, gentle, peaceable, and causes so fatal to the health of the higher kind to each other."*

classes, the allowance of wine that is so often These facts, which might be strengthened served out to the children, short as it may by additional illustrations, lead us to con- appear, deserves to be considered as not the clude, that the adoption of a more natural least considerable.”+ and rational education of children would Sir A. Carlysle states: “ The most oblessen, if not to a great extent remove, the noxious practice is assuredly that of giving lamentable amount of disease and mortality children wine and strong drinks at an early which prevails among the juvenile portion period. In infancy, the texture of the of our population.

growing body is more susceptible of dis3. Testimonies of eminent medical writers ordered changes than after maturity. The on this subject.-The following testimonies fibres are then more susceptible of irritain support of the preceding observations, tiun; and alterations of structure, or errors form a selection from a considerable amount in any of the functions of the body, may be of similar evidence:

then established, and become the foundation Dr. Trotter remarks: “It may be asked, of future disorders, which may prove irreAt what age ought a child to begin the mediable. I doubt much whether the fuuse of wine? To this I must reply, that ture moral habits, the temper and intellecspirits, wine, and fermented liquors, of all tual propensities, are not greatly influenced kinds, ought to be excluded from the diet of by the early effects of fermented liquors infancy, childhood, and youth. The use of upon the brain and sensorial organs. Of these liquors is hurtful in proportion to the all the errors in the employment of fertender age in which it is begun. The pa- mented liquors, that of giving them to rent who offers them to the infant, whatever children seems to be fraught with the worst may be the motives of tenderness, ought to consequences. The next in the order of weigh the consequences. If the babe were mischief is, their employment by nurses, and left to the instincts of nature, these articles which I suspect to be a common occasion of would be the very last it would fix upon; dropsy in the brain in infants, as that is an their qualities are so diametrically opposite inflammatory disease in its commenceto the mother's milk."f

ment.”I Dr. Garnett observes: " I shall say a few

Dr. Macnish says:

“ Parents should be words on the pernicious custom of suffering careful not to allow their youthful offspring children to drink wine, or other fermented

* Lecture on the Preservation of Health, p. 107, * Alcott, on Vegetable Diet, Boston, 1838, p. 217. of Hygeia ; or Essays Moral and Medical, 1802. Essay on Drunkenness, pp. 170-4.

MS. Lectures on Fermented Liquors,


A poor

stimulating liquors of any kind, except in which arise from the use of brandy, corcases of disease, and then only under the dials, &c.,) when the intemperate habits of guidance of a medical attendant. Children the parents have been carried to a very naturally dislike liquors—a pretty convinc- great extent, in the production of dropsy of ing proof that in early life they are totally the brain, imbecility of mind, and a long uncalled for, and that they only become train of physical and intellectual evils, which, agreeable by habit.”*

perhaps, at the time, may have been attriDr. Dodš, in reference to the practice of buted to hereditary predisposition, or to administering small portions of gin-toddy other causes.” *. to soothe infants or little children, says, that Dr. Ayre, in his work On the Diseases of among other injurious effects which it has the Liver, remarks: “Few persons, not faupon the constitution of the child, “it leads miliar with the diseases of children, can ultimately to glandular diseases, especially have any just conception of the extent of of the bowels, to subsequent emaciation, and the practice which now prevails among the almost certain death. It exceedingly pre- lower order of monthly nurses, of giving vents the growth and full development of spirits and opiates to children. the muscular powers of the child. "It alters woman, the wife of a labourer, lately inthe muscular and energetic character of the formed me, that out of ten of her children, race. The progeny of intemperate parents who were born healthy, nine had died are less healthy in all their functions than under the age of three years, and most of the offspring of temperate parents.”t, them under two months; and that, by the

Mr. Poynder, an accurate and experienced advice of her nurse, she had given spirits observer, though not a medical man, re- to them all before they were a week old. marks: “I have observed, that the children Another poor woman had twins who were of dram-drinkers are generally of diminu- healthy until they were three months old, tive size, of unhealthy appearance, and sick- when, being obliged to work daily for her ly constitutions.” 1

subsistence, she endeavoured to procure Dr. Combe observes: “In childhood the herself rest during the night by giving them nervous and vascular activity is already so an opiate at bed-time. The consequence predominant as to render the common use was such as might have been foreseen; the of wine, fermented liquors, tea, coffee, and poor infants immediately became ill from other stimulants, decidedly injurious; and it, and, in the course of a few weeks, liteit is only in cases of low vitality or disease rally perished from its effects.” (of which none but a professional man can Dr. Conquest, physician to the City of judge) that any advantage is to be derived London Lying-in Hospital, in his Treatise from their use. Many parents, however, on Midwifery, says: “There is an evil too are in the habit of having their children generally prevalent, and most pernicious in brought to table at the end of their own its consequences on individuals and on dinner, and of giving them wine, fruit, or society, and by no means confined to confections, when nothing but mischief can mothers in the lowest classes of the comfollow from the indulgence. This practice munity, which cannot be too severely reought to be scrupulously avoided. The probated: it is the wretched habit of taking common practice of bringing young children wines and spirits to remove the languor into the dining-room and giving them wine, present during pregnancy and suckling; it even while they show a dislike for it, can- is a practice fraught with double mischief, not be too much reprobated. The taste, being detrimental both to mother and child; too, for such stimulus is speedily acquired, the relief afforded is temporary, and is inand, when encouraged, often goes far beyond variably followed by a greater degree of the limits contemplated by the over-indul- languor, which demands a more powerful gent parent."

stimulus, which at length weakens and Drs. Maunsell and Evanson, in their eventually destroys the tone of the stomach, valuable work on this subject, remark, in deteriorates the milk, and renders it altoreference to the diet of children, two or gether unfit to supply that nutriment which three years old: “After dinner some drink is essential to the welfare and existence of will be requisite, and a healthy child re- the child. Most nurses, who have good sense quires, or indeed wishes for, nothing but enough to try, will find the comfort of their water. Light fresh table beer would not be feelings best consulted, the constitution best injurious to the child of four or five years supported, and the improvement of their old, but it is unnecessary, and no advantage infants most rapid, when they avoid spirits, would in this instance result from the crea- wine, or beer, and drink milk as their ordition of a new want."

nary beverage." Dr. Harvey Lindsly says:

6 We have all The concurrent testimony of all medical seen these deleterious influences, (those writers, whether of ancient or modern times,

prohibits the use of inebriating liquors to

children and young persons. * Anatomy of Drunkenness, p, 244. † Parliamentary Evidence, p. 219, 1834. Ibid., Appendix, p. 423.

* Prize Essay, by Harvey Lindsly, M.D., WashManagement of Infancy, pp. 314-16.

ington, 1835.




many instances which have been adduced as examples of spontaneous combustion are merely cases of individuals who were highly susceptible of strong electrical exci

tation. He collates several curious cases “ The best,” said he, “ that I can you advise, from authentic sources. In one instance, Is to avoid the occasion of the ill;

Peter Bovisteau states, that the sparks of For when the cause, whence evil doth arise, Removed is, th' effect surceaseth still."

fire thus produced reduced to ashes the hair THE FAERIE QUEENE, B. vii., Cant. 6. of a young man. John De Viana says, that

the wife of Dr. Freilas, physician to the " 9, thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no Cardinal de Royas, Archbishop of Toledo, name to be known by, let us call thee-Devil!”

SHAKSPLARE. emitted, by perspiration, an inflammable

matter of such a nature, that when the rib“ There may be some difficulty in giving credit bon which she wore over her chemise was to so marvellous a diathesis : yet, examples of its existence and of its leading to a migratory and fatal taken from her person, and exposed to the combustion are so numerous, and so well authen-cold air, it instantly took fire, and shot forth ticated, and press upon us from so many different like grains of gunpowder. Peter Borelli countries and eras, that it would be absurd to with records a similar circumstance. The linen hold our assent.


of a peasant took fire whether it was laid

up in a box when wet, or hung up in the Remarkable examples of the evolution of inflam- open air. Ezekiel de Castro relates the remable gases from the human frame.-II.

Cases markable case of Alexandrinus Megetuis, of Human Combustion.—III. Incombustibility of a physician, from one of whose vertebræ the human frame in its natural state.-IV. Con- there issued a fire potent enough to scorch ditions of the body favourable to combustion.V. Theories of Human Inebriate Combustion. the eyes of those who were present.

Krantzius informs us, that during the wars INEBRIATE HUMAN COMBUSTION forms a of Godfrey of Boulogne, certain individuals branch of investigation fraught with deep who belonged to the territory of Nivers interest, whether we view it in regard to were burning with invisible fire, and that the thrilling nature of its details, or the some of them, to arrest this calamitous conphenomena which it presents for scientific dition, cut off a foot or a band where the research. The scepticism of past years, in burning had commenced.* Ancient writers particular amongst medical men, has to a relate, that in the time of the Roman consuls, "great extent disappeared, and although the Gracchus and Juventius, a flame issued rationale of this phenomena is as yet in- from the mouth of a bull, without the anivolved in obscurity, the fact of its occurrence mal suffering any serious injury. is undeniable. It would be absurd in the

John Henry Cohausen states, that a present day, as Dr. Mason Good asserts, gentleman in Poland, in the time of Queen to withhold our assent to these facts, sub- Bona Sforza, who had drunk two dishes stantiated by evidence as strong as it is con- of a liquor called brandy-wine, vomited clusive. “That cases of this kind,” says flames, and was in consequence consumed. Dr. Apjohn have really taken place, seems Sturmius assures us, that in northern now established by indisputable evidence."|countries flames frequently burst from It can no longer be doubted,” remarks Dr. the stomachs of persons in a state of Gordon Smith, " that persons have retired intoxication. Three noblemen of Courto their chambers in the usual manner, and land, who had made a wager which could in place of the individual, a few cinders, drink the most spirits, two of these unand perhaps part of his bones, were found." fortunate individuals died from suffoca

I. Remarkable examples of the evolution tion in consequence of the flames which of inflammable gases from the human frame. were emitted from their stomachs with Previous to entering into the details of great violence. I Thomas Bartholin states, these cases, and the phenomena which on the authority of Vorstius, that a soldier they present, it may be interesting to relate who had drunk two glasses of spirits died some remarkable analogous occurrences, after an irruption of flames from his which however apocryphal they may ap- mouth. Bartholin also mentions a similar pear to the reader, are related by men of accident after a drinking match of strong learning and research. Certain writers in liquor.|| Dr. Haller, who is well known as a valuable publication produce strong proofs a learned German physician of the last that very violent combustion may be pro-century, relates the case of a notorious duced in the human body by nature and by drunkard who was suddenly destroyed artificial processes. “ That animal bodies (from belching accidentally), in consequence are liable to internal combustion,” remarks of the vapour discharged from the stomach Sir David Brewster, “is a fact which was taking fire by coming in contact with the well known to the ancients.”+

The same distinguished writer is of opinion, that


* Ibid., pp. 321-22.

I German Ephemerides, Tenth Year, p. 55. * German Ephemerides, Observ. 77. Letters on Natural Magic, p. 321, 1832.

First Century. | Third Century.


flame of a candle. De Marc relates the sils. A piece of bread in the cupboard was case of a shepherd of Laliowitz, addicted to covered with it, and no dog would touch it excessive drinking, who, in the course of The infectious odour had been communihis last illness, was constantly affected with cated to other apartments. It appears from eructations of an inflammable nature, which the Annual Register, that the Countess had evidently an alcoholic odour.* Dr. Cesena was accustomed to bathe all her body Swediaur assures us, that spontaneous com- in camphorated spirits of wine. No contrabustion is very prevalent in the north of diction was made to the details of this exEurope, from the use of eau-de-vie, in traordinary event, which were published by which the inhabitants of that portion of the Bianchini at the time when it occurred. globe indulge to excess.

The Marquis Scipio Maffei, a contemporary It would be useless in the present instance of Bianchini, also attested the fact." Paul to speculate on the truth or error of these Rolli, moreover, confirmed the evidence to singular cases of semi-combustion. The the Royal Society of London. writer simply adduces them as statements The Annual Register adduces two other placed on record by men of eminence and similar cases which occurred in England; weight, and as introductory to cases yet the one at Southampton, and the other at more remarkable, whether as regards the Coventry. phenomena which they present, or the ac- The Annual Register for 1773, p. 78, decuracy with which they are detailed by tails another instance of the like kind, as writers of unimpeachable character. narrated in the words of Mr. Wilmer, sur

II. Cases of Human Combustion. geon: “Mary Clues, aged 52, was much adJacobæus, in the Transactions of Copen- dicted to intoxication. Her propensity to hagen, informs us, that in 1692, a woman this vice had increased after the death of among the lower ranks, who for three years her husband, which happened a year and a had used spirituous liquors to such a great half before: for about a year, scarcely a day excess, that she would take none or little had passed in the course of which she did other support, sat down one evening on a not drink half a pint of rum or aniseed water. straw chair to sleep, and her body was Her health gradually declined, and about found on the next morning almost entirely the beginning of February she was attacked consumed. The only parts not found de- by the jaundice, and confined to her bed. stroyed were the skull and the extreme Though she was incapable much action, joints of her fingers.

and not in a condition to work, she still conThe Annual Register for 1763 gives the tinued her old habit of drinking every day, following details from the Memoir of Bian- and smoking a pipe of tobacco. The bed in chini : « The Countess Cornelia Bandi, of which she lay stood parallel to the chimney the town of Cesena, aged 62, enjoyed a good of the apartment; the distance from it about state of health. One evening, having ex- three feet. On Saturday morning, the 1st perienced a sort of drowsiness, she retired of March, she fell on the floor, and her exto bed, and her maid remained with her till treme weakness having prevented her from she fell asleep. Next morning, when the getting up, she remained in that state till girl entered to awaken her mistress, she some one entered and put her to bed. The found nothing but the remains of her body following night she wished to be left alone; in a most horrid condition; at the distance of a woman quitted her at half-past eleven, four feet from the bed, was a heap of ashes, and according to custom shut the door and in which could be distinguished the legs locked it. She had put on the fire two and arms untouched. Between the legs lay large pieces of coal, and placed a light in a the head, the brain of which, together with candlestick on a chair at the head of the half the posterior part of the cranium, and bed. At half after five in the morning, a the whole chin, had been consumed ; three smoke was seen issuing through the winfingers were found in the state of a coal ; dow, and the door being speedily broken the rest of the body was reduced to ashes, open, some flames which were in the room and contained no oil; the tallow of two were soon extinguished. Between the bed candles was melted on a table, but the wicks and the chimney were found the remains of still remained, and the feet of the candle- the unfortunate Clues; one leg and a thigh sticks were covered with a certain moisture. were still entire, but there remained nothing The bed was not damaged, the bed-clothes of the skin, the muscles, or the viscera. and coverlid were raised up and thrown on The bones of the cranium, the breast, the one side, as is the case when a person gets spine, and the upper extremities, were enip. The furniture and tapestry were tirely calcined, and covered with a whitish covered with a moist kind of soot of the efflorescence. The people were much surcolour of ashes, which had penetrated into prised that the furniture had sustained so the drawers and dirtied the linen. This little injury. The side of the bed which soot, having been conveyed to a neighbour's was next to the chimney had suffered the kitchen, adhered to the walls and the uten- most; the wood of it was slightly burnt,

but the feather-bed, the clothes, and cover* Cyclopædia of Pract. Med., vol. i., p. 452.

|ing, were safe.

I entered the apartment Ibid., vol. i., p. 455.

about two hours after it had been opened,


and observed that the walls and every thing one of her daughters had returned from in it were blackened; that it was filled with Gibraltar. There was no fire in the grate, a very disagreeable vapour, but that nothing and the candle had burnt entirely out in the except the body exhibited any strong traces socket of the candlestick, which was close of fire."

to her. Besides, there were found, near the Vicq d’Azyr, in the Encyclopedie Me-consumed body, the clothes of a child and thodique, under the head “ Pathologic Ana- a paper-screen, which had sustained no intomy of Man,” relates a similar case. “The jury by the fire. The dress of this woman body of a woman, aged 50, who indulged consisted of a cotton gown. to excess in spirituous liquors, and went to Le Cat, in a Memoir on Spontaneous Combed every night in a state of intoxication, bustion, relates several interesting cases. was found entirely burnt and reduced to Having, as he remarks, spent several ashes, some of the osseous parts only ex- months at Rheims, in the years 1724 and cepted. The furniture of the apartment 1725, he lodged at the house of Sieur suffered very little damage.” The same Millet, whose wife got intoxicated every day. writer adds, that there had been many other The domestic economy of the family was cases of the like kind. In the Acta Medica managed by a pretty young girl, a circumet Philosophica Hafniensia, 1673, Thomas stance to which he makes especial reference, Bartholin relates the following circum- in order that all the circumstances which

"A poor woman at Paris used to accompanied the fact he relates may be drink spirit of wine plentifully for the better understood. This woman was found space of three years, so as to take nothing consumed on the 20th of February, 1725, at else. Her body contracted such a combus- the distance of a foot and a half from the tible disposition, that, one night, when she hearth in the kitchen. A part of the head lay down on a straw couch, she was all only, and a portion of the lower extremities burned to ashes, except her skull and the and a few of the vertebræ, had escaped extremities of her fingers.”

combustion. A foot and a half of the floorThe Transactions of the Royal Society ing under the body had been consumed, but of London detail an extraordinary and well- a kneading-trough and a powdering-tub, authenticated case of human combustion. which were very near the body, sustained It was attested at the time by a great num- no injury. M. Chriteen, a surgeon, exaber of eye-witnesses, was recorded in all the mined the remains of the body, with every public journals, and became the subject of judicial formality. Jean Millett, the buslearned discussion. Three accounts, written band, had, as usual, retired to rest with his by different authors, agree in all essential wife, who, unable to sleep, had gone into particulars. The following are the particu- the kitchen, where he thought she was lars: “Grace Pitt, the wife of a fishmonger, warming herself. Having fallen asleep, he of the parish St. Clement, Ipswich, aged was awakened about two o'clock with an about 60, had contracted a habit, which she infectious odour; and having run into the continued for several years, of coming down kitchen, he found the remains of his wife in every night from her bed-room, half- the state described in the report of the phydressed, to smoke a pipe. On the night of sicians and surgeons. A legal inquiry was the 9th of April, 1774, she got up from her instituted; the unfortunate husband was bed as usual. Her daughter, who slept brought to trial, and condemned on the with her, did not perceive she was absent supposition that he had murdered his wife, till next morning when she awoke, soon the better to intrigue with the handsome after which she put on her clothes, and, servant maid. An appeal to a superior and going down into the kitchen, found her enlightened court, however, set the cause of mother stretched out on the right side, with the combustion in its proper light. The poor her head near the grate; the body extended man was acquitted, but, from uneasiness of on the hearth, with the legs on the floor, mind, passed the remainder of his days in which was of deal, having the appearance an hospital. of a log of wood consumed by a fire without Le Cat relates another case of equal inapparent flames. On beholding this spec- terest, communicated to him by M. Bointacle, the girl ran in great haste and poured neau, curê of Plerquer, near Dol, February over her mother's body some water, con- 22, 1749. “ Madame de Boiseon, eighty tained in two large vessels, in order to ex- years of age, exceedingly meagre, who had tinguish the fire; while the foetid odour and drunk nothing but spirits for several years, smoke which exhaled from the body almost was sitting in her elbow-chair before the suffocated some of the neighbours who had fire, while her waiting-maid went for a few hastened to the girls assistance. The moments out of the room. On her return, trunk was in some measure incinerated, and she found her mistress on fire, and immeresembled a heap of coals covered with diately gave an alarm. Some people having white ashes. The head, the arms, the legs, come to her assistance, one of them enand the thighs, had also participated in the deavoured to extinguish the flames with his burning. This woman, it is said, had drunk hand, but they adhered to it as if it had a large quantity of spirituous liquor, in con- been dipped in brandy or oil on fire. Water sequence of being overjoyed to hear that was brought and thrown on the lady in

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