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Gems, the Book of, ... 316
Gkeenough, The Sculptor, - 343
Grave Yards, Ornamental, - - 373
Geology and Revealed Religion, 441
Halleck's Poems, ... 88
Honor to whom Honor, -
Homeward Bound, -
Humming Bird, Lines to a,
How to write a Romance, -
Hannah Hervey, a Tale of the Cho-
Horatio Greenough, The Sculptor,
Halina Radzivil: or the Battle of
Hamilton's Memoirs of Count
Lays: by J. G. Percival, 47, 143, 233
Life, an Allegory : by J. G. Percival, 48
87, 205, 300, 427,
110, 220, 550, 647
Love at First Sight,
Lines on the Fire,
Literary Record -
Lines to a Cloak, - M;
Letters of Lucius M. Piso, etc., 221, 329
Leaves from the Common-place Book
of a German Student, - - 247
Lake Drummond, by J. H. Bright, 328
Mysterious Despot, The, - - 372
Midnight Reverie, - 478
Memoirs of Count Grammont, 532
Marryat's Complete Works, - 532
Married Man's Story, - - 559
Misanthropy, Folly of, - - 594
Nature's Temple, - 70
Night at the Fire, - - - - 94
Newton, Sir Isaac, - - - 312
Napolead, The, - &32
Odds and Ends, etc., 38, 190, 365, 595
Ornamental Grave-Yards, - - 378
Periodicity of Diseases, - - 1
Prospects of the Age, - - - 49
Partisan, The, 91
Poems, by Mrs. Ellet, - - - 92
Portraits of the Apostles, - - 110
Reading of the Will, ... 58
Record of a School, - - - 113
Rouge et Noir, - 151
Refutation, etc., - - - - 180
Soliloquy of Cromwell, - - 12
Study of the Scriptures, - - 110
Marshall, - - - - 111
Shall I Succeed 1 etc., - - 140
Songs of the Crusades, (Number
Sonnet, - - - - - 491
Sketches of Travel, - - - 493
Scenery of the Hudson, - - 534
Spain Revisited, - 639
Valuable Catalogue, -
View of the World,
Visit to Constantinople, etc.
Vol. VII. JANUARY, 1836. No. 1.
PERIODICITY OP DISEASES.
In a former communication, we gave a detailed account of certain experiments which tended to prove that 'all nature was not alive,' — 'that all animated beings were not mere congeries of minute living bodies. By a number of well-conducted experiments, the result proved, that all the interstices of space, whether of the water, air, earth, or space— whether of inert or animated matter — were filled with animal and vegetable life: that these minute unimakulas exist in these interstices, and are attached to their surfaces, both in the larvae and perfect state: that even the living human eye, is filled with them, their motion and presence being plainly discernible. Of the substances which formed the base of two hundred and eighty-eight experiments, honey and oil alone appeared to be exempt from the action of these minute and almost invisible class of beings.'
These being facts, on the accuracy of which the strictest reliance can be placed, the natural question then occurs of the duration of life of these animalcules, or atoms. If the following remarks can throw any new light on this subject, we trust that the French savans will take the matter into their own hands, and pursue the investigation zealously. We are confident that it is within the power of science to set this question at rest.
All fevers, of whatever type they may be, whether endemics, epidemics, or accidental, have a definite term of action, varying but slightly from the regular period. Fevers of a peculiar class, such as are denominated chills-and-fever, return periodically. They occur generally, every third day; but when the system is weakened by repeated attacks, they appear sometimes every day, and in extreme cases, twice in the twenty-four hours. These are the simplest kinds of fever, and are more under the control of medical skill than those of a different nature.
There are a variety of fevers which can take possession of the animal frame at pleasure; some few of a different character can never disturb the system but once: these are measles, whooping-cough, mumps, small-pox, and chicken-pox. The period of their influence over the human frame can be ascertained with singular exactness, owing to their character being contagious or infectious.
The term of life, in man, varies according to circumstances, but the average among all civilized nations is the same. This uniformity is easily accounted for, as the organic structure throughout the whole human family is the same, and it is only among barbarous nations, where there are great extremes of climate, that man does not live out his term — the threescore years and ten. With inferior animals the case is different, as the variety is endless, and as we descend in the scale,
VOL. VII. 1
thought can scarcely conceive of their numbers, and tlie variety of their organization.
Although animals themselves are a countless host, yet there are myriads of insects which find a birth-place for their progeny, as well as food to sustain themselves, on every individual of the animal species. These insects, in their turn, are infested by others still smaller, and, finally, our limited vision, even with the most powerful glasses, can only trace them to the animated molecules, being the smallest yet discovered of what are termed infusory animals. There can be no doubt that there are living beings still smaller, and the mind turns from the subject abruptly, when it considers, that though we can comprehend the magnitude of beings far greater than those which the earth has ever yet seen, we shrink with awe at the thought that there must be animated life a thousand times smaller than any yet discovered!
Animal substances, whether active or inert, from the body of man to those small specks of almost questionable locomotive powers, are the proper food for all organic animated matter. Accordingly, it is not surprising, when experiment and observation prove, that if the larger animals feed on those which are smaller and weaker, there are others of insignificant size which have the power, not only of annoying, but of destroying the life, not alone of the mammoth but of the elm.
Plants, numberless as they are, and different as they are in structure and character, are assailed by as great a variety of enemies, as the animal tribe. Plants not only serve as a birth-place for millions of insects, but for food, likewise. The same pabulum which causes the growth and health of a plant, nourishes and sustains locomotive, atomic life. Whilst that invigorating pabulum is present, the green slime of stagnant water— the lowest in the scale of vegetation — gives birth to myriads of pestilential animalcules, of a longevity and active force proportionate to the quantity of nourishment that the precarious and fragile texture on which they harbor can supply.
The energies of this destructive, invisible class are not confined to the sphere on which they were generated. When in their perfect state, they can change their location like the insects in the dust of old cheese, which is an animal substance; they live equally well, and increase in numbers, in the dust of old figs, (a vegetable substance,) for these two insects are precisely the same. The malignant animalcule can accommodate themselves to a nourishment far different from that which first sustained them. It is probable, that the same race which would produce the fevers incident to marshy places, might, under different circumstances, when rioting on more luxuriant food, produce the diseases called yellow fever, or cholera.
Water, air, and in fact all inert and organic animated matter, serve as birth-places to the smallest of organized bodies. We can easily imagine, that if a suitable effluvium were present, how fearfully destructive their accumulated numbers would be, if their station were in the atmosphere. We know that water, which receives but little injury from the action of large bodies that are passing through it, becomes impure, and undergoes a material change, when filled with the infusory animalcules.
Man, although he has by his ingenuity and intelligence succeeded in preventing noisome and offensive vermin from annoying and injuring