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and marasmus. As regards crime and acts of violence, we do not offer these remarks anywise apologetically; we would suggest them rather to the reflecting as a reason for exercising control and keeping in subjection that vis insita so apt to be in morbid excess, and, acting mentally, productive of crime and insanity, and bodily, producing disease and shortening life. In the instance of murders returned for the several provinces, it is satisfactory to find how comparatively small is their numbers, especially contrasted with suicides; and also that the smallest number has been committed in the one, Ulster, the population of which is reputed to be best educated, most industrious, and prosperous. Less satisfactory is the fact of the large proportion of suicides in the same province; but this is in accordance with another fact already alluded to, as denoted by the Census returns, that the sill?] educated are more subject to insanity than the uneducated. We have alluded to the greater average age of the female sex: it is a curious fact, and seems to be well established by the Census tables, that comparing the persons of very advanced age in Ireland and England, notwithstanding the great disparity as to the amount of the population in the two countries, there is a larger number of and above 100 in the former than in the latterviz., 711 in Ireland to 319 in England.* May not this, too, be owing to the same cause, a less demand on the vis vitae, in connexion with a lower kind of diet, and that productive of less action, less injury of the organization, and clogging (if the expression may be allowed) of the vascular system, produced by atheromatous and ossific deposition?
One topic more that we must notice, regretting it must be so briefly, is that which has been well illustrated in the Census tables viz., the seasons in connexion with disease. The freedom, with occasional and rare exceptions, of the climate of Ireland from malaria—that is, from the cause productive of ague—is perhaps as remarkable as the frequent presence and intensity of those causes which are productive of endemic and epidemic fever not of the intermittent kind, and of dysentery and diarrhoea.
“We attribute (say the Commissioners) the comparative immunity which the inhabitants of Ireland have had from ague, to the circumstance of the almost total absence of marsh or fen.”
“The extraordinary rapid growth of mosses, &c., while they have by accumulation of vegetable matter produced bog to so great an extent in Ireland, are not subject to those annual decompositions affecting the atmosphere, which have by other plants in all countries (we would rather say in so many countries] and in all times assisted to taint the air and produce disease either in the natives or strangers residing in the vicinity of the marshes in which they grow. Moreover, our bogs, from containing so large a quantity of tannin, may prevent their acting injuriously on animal life.” * And thus," observes the writer of the Reports upon the Tables of Deaths in 1841," "I am led to be. liere that the bogs of this country-the water of which thousands drink, and on the borders of which thousands live with impunity-do not in any way conduce to the propagation of ague, and much less than is generally supposed to that of other epidemic affections.
(* We may be allowed to suggest that this is in part accounted for by the absence of sufficiently authenticated records.-ED.)
A like and more remarkable immunity from ague is described as experienced in the pine swamps of Virginia.* It is worthy of remark also, that wet seasons in Ireland are considered generally, though not without exceptions, the most healthy, especially as regards those formidable and ever-recurring diseases, fever and dysentery. As to the climate of Ireland, in relation to the production of these diseases, there seems to be a good deal of obscurity. Etiologically we are disposed to infer that it is rather negative or passive, or at most at times merely predisposing, than in any of its peculiarities positively active; and that the engendering circumstances of both diseases are rather to be sought for in the unwholesome, crowded state of the dwellings of the inhabitants, and a poor, and in a famine period unwholesome, diet, than in any noxious element existing per se in the atmosphere. But the subject is too large to be treated summarily. An opinion is quoted in the Report, that for the last one hundred and fifty years fever has raged decennially in Ireland, without any very obvious cause. The epidemics enumerated following each other so rapidly, hardly accord with the opinion : they accord better with the commonlyreceived conclusions, that want, squalor, and fever are more associated in the way of causation-a conclusion clearly adopted by the Commissioners of Health, who, in their Report on the last great epidemic, state
"It is impossible not to be struck with the coincidence between the scarcity and consequent high price of potatoes and the prevalency of fever. In 1846, the scarcity was first felt, and fever began to show itself, and as prices still continued to rise in the winter of 1846 and spring of 1847, the effects of a want of food were seen in an alarming increase of fever; and during the years 1867 and 1848, and the greater part of 1849, the prices continued so high as to deprive the poor of their accustomed food, and notwithstanding all the long continued and benevolent exertions of Government and individuals, an pidemio of an unparalleled severity and extent continued its ravages."
In accordance with this, the tables of death show that the mortality from fover, as well as from the other great epidemics, was remarkably, least in that province in which, from the estates being larger and manufactures affording an aid to agriculture, the distress of famine was least experienced-rix, Ulster. For the sake of comparison, we insert the following:
Imaths than Leinster. Nunster. Ulster. Connaught.
25,612 Diarrhan $198 . 16,404 ... 9,321 ... 7,405 Starration. 11,097 .. 9,316 ... 1,165 ... 10,232
Totals 77,931 157,421 ... 64,688 ... 88,314 The connexion of the weather, the seasons with proportional mol taley is far better determined From the summary of these, as given by the Commissioners it appears_reriewing the whole decennial period, that the marimum or deaths from all diseases was during we
A Journer in the New Stare States mit Resks on their Economy. By harsh and uncertain weather of spring; that the number diminished with the warm weather of summer, and still more with the mild and more constant weather of autumn, increasing with the cold and greater variability of winter. The precise number of deaths returned under each season is the following :-Under spring, 443,182 ; under summer, 373,748; under autumn, 192,005, or 25,177 less than in spring; under winter, 340,787. Even dysentery and diarrhea are not exceptions ; indeed, on examining the whole of the great groups in which all the deaths from disease are arranged, we do not find and it is very remarkable-a single exception, not even in the class of violent and sudden deaths.
We must now, however unwillingly, draw to a conclusion, necessarily passing over many important subjects-important even in vital statistics in the folios before us. The period included in the Census, short as it is a single decennium-will always be memorable in the history of the country, and the future historian cannot fail of having a grateful feeling towards the Commissioners, Dr. Donnelly and Mr. Wilde, for the vast amount of valuable information which, with so much industry and ability, they have brought together, and more especially relating to the great events of the time,—the failure of the potato crop, suddenly stricken with disease and rot—the famine and pestilence ensuing—and the emigration, with their accompaniments, many of them so terrible, and their consequences, some of them, we rejoice to think, so auspicious. We have already expressed our opinion of the records of these events, as detailed in the Census; we can honestly say that we have never read, whether in history or romance, descriptions of wretchedness, suffering, and degradation so afflicting, and politically so instructive, as those we find in these annals. Here is one picture taken from these records :
“ December, 1846.-A terrible apathy hangs over the poor of Skibbereen ; starvation has destroyed every generous sympathy; despair has made them hardened and insensible, and they sullenly await their doom with indifference and without fear. Death is in every hovel; disease and famine, its dread preeursors, have fastened on the young and old, the strong and the feeble, the mother and the infant; whole families lie together on the damp floor, devoured by fever, without a human being to wet their burning lips or raise their languid heads; the husband dies by the side of the wife, and she knows not that he is beyond the reach of earthly suffering; the same rag covers the festering remains of mortality and the skeleton forms of the living, who are unconscious of the horrible contiguity; rats devour the corpse, and there is no energy among the living to scare them from the horrid banquet; fathers bury their children without a sigh, and cover them in shallow graves, round which no weeping mother, no sympathizing friends, are grouped; one scanty funeral is followed by another and another. Without food or fuel, bed or bedding, whole families are shut up in naked hovels, dropping one by one into the arms of death.” (Cork Ecantiner.)
And, such as this picture, there are many more we have marked, of famine-horrors not less distressing and heartrending, which we will spare our readers the infliction of reading. Let us pass to the results—the happy consequences, which are hardly less remarkable than their deplorable antecedents, and we would fain hope will more than
compensate for them, in conducing to a healthier state a more prosperous and less precarious future.
To recapitulate very briefly, even at the risk of some repetition on one side-the disastrous side-we find a diminution of population, from excess of deaths over births, and from emigration, to the enormous amount of 2,466,414; on the other--the prosperous-side we find, using almost the words of the Commissioners, a great advancement of the country; the extent of arable land and the value of farm-stock increased, with a decrease of the very small holdings and an increase of the larger; the worst class of houses in course of being replaced by a better, a smaller proportion of families dependent on their own mere manual labour for support; and the education of the people in favourable progress with increased means, more schools, and augmented Government aid. It may be well to show these ameliorations numerically. 1st. Of the dwellings, the indications of comfort; the decrease of cabins has been to the amount of 355,689! the increase of dwellings of the better class to that of 73,073. 2nd. Of means of livelihood. In 1841, 42.96 per cent. of the entire population were engaged in some occupation or profession; in 1851, the proportion had increased to 43.37 per cent., whilst those depending on their own manual labour had decreased 18.9 per cent. 3rd. Of education. In 1851, 5 per cent. more of the population, of the age of five and under sixteen, were at school, than in 1841; and there was a decrease of the proportion of those who could neither read nor write of 4 per cent. males and of 8 per cent. females. Coincident for the most part with these ameliorations, and mainly connected with them as causes or effects, are some others, such as the opening of inland communication by railways, a closer union with England, and freer intercourse by steamers; the exchange of landed property from insolvent to solvent hands, due to the Encumbered Estates Act; the introduction and diffusion of more capital; a better and more active agriculture, denoted not only by the increase of arable land and the increased value of stock, but even more by the diminution of waste land- viz., from 5,209,492 acres to 3,851,793 acres, and the augmented number of agricultural societies; the better condition and means of life of labourers, and it is believed a better quality of labour from money-payment of wages, and increase of wages from 6d. and 8d. a day to ls. and 1s. 6d.; and, through the operation of the New Poor-Law, an increasing attention and regard on the part of the rich towards the poor; lastly, not to omit an important element, the existence of an admirably-organized and disciplined policeforce, composed of natives, chosen irrespectively of religious creed, and yet acting in harmony-most usefully employed in the public service, the conservators of peace and order, and at the same time available and efficient whenever combined intelligence and activity are needed by the Government, so that through them “the most extensive inquiry can be conducted in Ireland with as much precision and exactness as a model operation on the most limited scale.” This has been said of this force by one thoroughly acquainted with them, and we have pretty good proof of its correctness in the circumstance of the police of Ireland having been, as we are assured by the Commissioners, the executive machinery, as enumerators, in collecting the materials of the Census.
Marvellous indeed are the changes and the ameliorations in their totality in so short a period, and most of all considering to what they are principally owing. Let us hope that as the great causes of Ireland's disasters are now so well known, they will be avoided in future; and then, if only justice be done to the people, and they are just to themselves, humanly speaking, reckoning on the capabilities of the country, the career of its prosperity may be pronounced to be certain and almost boundless, and happy, twice happy, the future.
"O! fortunati nimium, sua si bona nôrint."
REVIEW X. Guy's Hospital Reports. Edited by SAMUEL WILKS, M.D. Lond., and
ALFRED POLAND. Third Series. Vol. II. — London, 1856.
pp. 428. The second volume of the third series of the Guy's Hospital Reports' equally merits the praise, which we bestowed upon the first. It contains twenty original communications and eight lithographic plates. The following is an analysis of its contents:
I. Myeloid Tumour of the Scapula, by EDWARD Cock; with a Description of the Growth, by SAMUEL WILKS, M.D.—This tumour, which weighed a pound, was removed from the spine of the scapula of a female aged twenty-seven. It consisted of a bony cyst, containing a white curdy substance. This presented the myeloid structure which has been described by Lebert, Paget, and Gray, and to which we have recently had occasion to allude.* There was uothing “malignant” in the history of the case.
II. Third Septennial Report of Guy's Lying-in Charity. Also Report of the Lying-in Charity for Twenty-one Years. Collated from the Records by S. J. C. NORMAN. Presented by J. C. W. LEVER, M.D., and H. OLDHAM, M.D.-These reports consist of a series of statistical tables, which, considering the large number of cases from which they are compiled, are of considerable interest and value. During the twenty-one years (October, 1833, to October, 1854), 22,498 women were attended by the pupils of Guy's Hospital in their confinements.
It is stated that 21,553 children were born alive, while 1128 were still-born; and of the former, 52:3 per cent. were males, of the latter 61.7 per cent. ; thus showing an excess of nearly 91 per cent. in the males still-born, as contrasted with the males born alive, and a corresponding deficiency of the females still-born. This disproportion between the number of male and female still-births, which is accounted for by the larger size of the head in the former case, and the
• British and Foreign Medico-Cairurgical Review, vol, six, p. 387