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petrate matrimony, under such circumstances, where both parties are afflicted with impecuniosity, were to realize what the French call the marriage of hunger and thirst. It is not our fault; we are more sinned against than sinning; more to be pitied than condemned; nay, we may be justly proud of our single blessedness, since it enables us to say with truth, that we are a matchless race.
Malthus is quite right; that is to say, where prudential considerations and moral restraint, as in the better classes of society, are allowed to apply the proper and only remedy to the evil of over-population. Of the present genteel generation none but the rich will or can marry. Twenty years hence the polite world will consist, with these few exceptions, of old maids and old bachelors, who, in due time, will disappear, and the surplus supply of both sexes, under which we are now labouring, will be no longer a subject of complaint.
To beguile the tedium of their involuntary bachelorship, the male sufferers have devised sundry expedients, whereof the most notable is the institution of those splendid clubs which continue to spring up in the metropolis, and are rapidly spreading into the provinces. Their pleasures and compensations, such as they are, should be restricted to the victims of celibacy; for I would seriously counsel every married man to imitate the gallant and doughty Hercules, who, when he took Omphale to his bosom, gave up his club. Dr. Johnson was not altogether right when he said, that a married man may have many cares, but that a single one can have no pleasures. I deny the latter clause, so long, at least, as the celibate is juvenile and nubile. In the present scarcity of conjugating gentlemen, I know not the animal, biped or quadruped, that is so much courted and caressed, feasted and fondled, petted and patronised, as the young bachelor, provided always that he be not notoriously branded as a pauper and a detrimental. The fortunate youth is the spoiled child of society. He never keeps a fast-day, not even if he live at Camberwell, and be related to Mr. Perceval. For him are balls perpetually given, in the hope that he may take for life the hand of that daughter whom he selects for the first quadrille. His days are a round of fêtes and entertainments, and for him do the corks of long-necked champagnebottles pop into the air, as if to remind him that he should lose no time in popping the question to the long-necked girl beside him. Thus he roams from fête to fête, and from flower to flower, sipping sweets, like the bee, and like him, too, humming his entertainers, since he has never cherished, perhaps, a single marital thought, and even piques himself upon the address with which he can gather the lime from the twig, or the bait from the hook, without being caught or compromised. Whether this be honourable or not, I will not determine. There is a well-known character going about town, and often brought up before our magistrates, who is in the habit of seating himself at his ease in taverns and coffee-houses, gormandizing upon rare viands and rich wines, and declaring, when called upon to discharge the reckoning, that his very narrow circumstances will not allow him to pay a shilling, a fact which his empty pockets unanswerably confirm. Woe, however, to this swindling epicure, and to the dinner-cozening bachelor, too, when he is found out. When the latter is no longer young, or is discovered to be a decidedly non-marrying
man, the community of mammas and misses take their revenge upon him. Adieu to the feast, the favour, and the ball, the smiling welcome, and the perfumed, three-cornered billets of invitation. He has received his congé, he is civilly dismissed, put upon the "not at home" list, and gradually dropped as an acquaintance.
Now is it that our forlorn bachelor, who has sacrificed the latter half of his life for the better enjoyment of the first, who has given his birthright, as it were, for a mess of pottage, retires to his club, and congratulates his furrowed brethren, that they have secured to themselves such a comfortable and luxurious home. How dare they profane that hallowed and delightful name? They have formed, indeed, a little world of their own, but it wants the cheering sun that should impart to it warmth and light, and give efflorescence to the charities and affections of its inmates. Their frame-work of domesticity is like the cold, inert, though comely and well-proportioned figure of Prometheus, before it was animated with the fire stolen from heaven. So long as the statue of which Pygmalion was enamoured remained mere marble, the studio, where his friends met to eat and to converse with him, might be termed his club. But when the image was converted into a breathing, beautiful, and warm-hearted woman; when he took her to his bosom, as the sweetener of his joys, the alleviator of his cares, the companion of his solitude, the charm of his social hours; when she became the mother of his children, and the delight of his whole life, then, and not till then, Pygmalion had a home.
Dark-orbed damsel! and you, her fair-haired, but not less beautiful companion, whose sighs have been wafted to mine ear, as I saw you, with my mind's eye, bending over the page, and regretting that you had little chance of enjoying such a home as I have described, I invite you to be reconciled to your lot. There was such sound philosophy in the dictum of the fox, as to the sourness of the unattainable grapes, that I respectfully counsel you to draw consolation from the same source. You might have been heiresses, you timidly whisper. Most sincerely do I congratulate you that you were not. Recall the fate of all those whom you have known. Marked as the prey and the victims of spendthrifts, profligates, and fortune-hunters, they have found the favours of the blind goddess the bitterest and the most besetting curse of their lives. But you might have married, and been happy, you timidly suggest, upon a mere competency. True, and you might also have been miserable. Blanks as well as prizes may be drawn from the matrimonial lottery, and it is a losing game to throw away a certain, for a doubtful and precarious happiness. Certain I call it, for the single blessedness of a female has, at least, many exemptions in its favour. And why should not our spinsters extend their privileges and enjoyments, by forming themselves, not into huge monastic institutions, like the clubs of the men, but into little societies and partnerships, of three or four, thus securing to themselves a household establishment and pleasant society, while, by combining their funds, they may command a larger share of the comforts and luxuries of life? For my own part, I have such a respect for the whole sisterhood of spinsters, and am so well convinced of the advantages they enjoy in their present state, that if polygamy were allowed, and I had a fortune adequate to the daring enterprise-I would marry them all myself! A COMPULSORY BACHELOR.
A FEW PLAIN AND PRACTICAL REMARKS ON CHOLERA.
BY A PHYSICIAN.
THERE can be but very few of our readers who are not aware that medical opinion as to the essence of this much thought of, and much talked of, and much written about malady, is threefold.
Some suppose an importation of the disorder from the Continent, and others deride this belief as altogether unfounded; while a third party, although they consider Cholera to be of indigenous or spontaneous origin in Britain, still conceive that it is propagated or communicated from one individual to another in the way of a contagious distemper.
Into the grounds of these opinions I do not here propose to enter; sufficient for my purpose will it be to assume that Spasmodic Cholera, in a degree at least, is now, while I am writing, present with us; and this being the case, I am called upon to offer a few remarks, first on its nature and character, secondly on the plans which should be pursued for its prevention in individual cases, and lastly on the methods which should be adopted in the event of its individual occurrence. The public has a right to expect from medical authorities some general intimation and instruction during the prevalence of an epidemic, and beyond such intimation it is not, as above hinted, my design to advance a single step.
What is Cholera? All who know any thing of the human frame in its structure and economy, know that a large mass, if I may so express myself, of nerves is found just at the region of the stomach; and it is known, further, that the wide sympathies of the stomach, with every part of the body, are manifested through the medium of this nervous peculiarity. Does the heart cease to act according to its wonted order? it is, in nine cases out of ten, from the connection of the heart nerves with this great central mass of the stomach. Is the brain dull and are the thoughts confused after a full meal? the cause of this distress and confusion is, in very great part, the nervous power being drawn upon too largely for the purposes of digestion. Are the secretions or excretions locked up, as it is expressed, or do they pour out more than their usual quantity? the rationale of the disturbance is this, that the nervous supply from the centre is irregularly distributed to the vessels concerned in secretion. Is the skin cold, and pale, and contracted? such surface condition is induced by the nerves of the stomach, and those of the skin not acting with harmonious consent. Lastly, and as especially applicable to our present inquiry, Do the muscles of the abdomen, or of the legs and feet, or of the arms and hands fall into what are called cramps? These cramps very generally originate in the supply from the centre being impeded or interrupted by the stomach condition.
Such then, and I have endeavoured to make myself understood, by employing technical phraseology as little as possible-such is the theory of Cholera. The stomach nerves are affected in a particular way by the disease-creating causesstomach irregularities, often of the most distressing kind are produced-these irregularities extend to the bowels, to the secreting organs, to the moving powers, and all is perturbation, or collapse, or cramp.
From these brief and cursory statements, the sources, and therefore the preventives of the disorder may be easily traced. It may be inferred how much is in an individual's power to prevent the morbific agency from mounting up to the effect of serious malady. And in the first place (as to preventives) I would say, knowing, as we all do, the amazing influence of mental affections on stomach condition: Be fearless without being presumptuous or careless. Whether Cholera be contagious or infectious, atmospheric or imported, its attacks, it will have been observed, are almost confined to the poor, and ill-fed, and half-naked, and filthy, and spirit-drinking inhabitants of ill-ventilated courts and alleys, where carelessness in the first instance, and a superstitious terror in the second, foster the stomach affection; and I am bold to say that no one who is careful in his habits and moral in his conduct, who eats what is wholesome and drinks what is salubrious, who clothes himself warmly, and keeps the surface of his body in a
state of cleanliness, will be at all likely ever to be seriously affected or capable of communicating the disorder to another, unless the malignancy of the disposing cause or causes, prove much greater than at present appears, even in threat. And here I must take occasion to complain of those among our medical brethren, whom I would call alarmists. But while I complain of them, I at the same time give them every credit for the best intention.
"What is it to live after nature?" was a question put to the philosopher in Rasselas, and I may expect to be asked, what is "wholesome food and salubrious drink?" I reply, that all things now should be especially avoided which are generally found in any way to disorder the stomach. Meat to one is poison to another; but for the most part, pork and veal should, at present, be steered as clear of as possible. Boiled beef, too, is highly objectionable, as are all made dishes, and articles of confectionery, and dessert fruits and preserves. Indeed dessert ought to be a thing entirely done away with, until Cholera is less common among us. Malt liquor, in the general way, is objectionable, unless the cellar inscription be acted up to—
"Man wants but little here below,
Table-beer, British wines, and even the lighter and wishy-washy wines from France, should not be much on the table during the present winter and spring. Coffee is not very good for the biliously disposed, unless it is boiled with a large quantity of milk and taken in the morning. Green tea is of course pernicious, and the best morning and evening beverage in the general way is good black tea with a large proportion of milk. For dinner beverage, cold brandy and water without sugar is for the most part to be preferred to any thing. It is not now the time for the port-wine drinker to break into his habits, but let him be aware of taking more than his daily quantum under the plea of more support and defence being required, and let him send down to his cellar for the oldest and least “fruity” that is to be found. Marshy districts and localities must be shunned. Clergymen, who are susceptible, may conscientiously change, if they can, their residence from lower and damp to higher and dryer parts; if they are compelled to keep where they are, and that where be a swampy spot, or clayey soil, let the fuel of the yard crackle away in all the fire-places in the house. Good clothing, as an absolutely necessary thing, follows of course. No matter how coarse the material, so as it serve the purpose of preventing the exit of heat from the surface too rapidly.
"Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within," will be entire sureties against the invasion of Cholera to any hurtful degree.
In regard to remedies, I shall be exceedingly brief, since I have supposed all along the efficacy of preventives, and I more than suppose that almost every part and portion of this favoured land is now well-furnished with scientific and efficient advisers. But I may say thus much, that no house ought to be without brandy, opium, and tincture of rhubarb. Is a person taken ill in his stomach in the night-time, or at a distance from a medical man, let him be made immediately to swallow a table spoonful of tincture of rhubarb, with twenty drops of tincture of opium in a wine glass of cold water. If cramps and spasms accompany the stomach affection, let hot water be forthwith procured, and the stomach be well fomented with flannels immersed in it, and then afterwards well rubbed with castor oil made a little warm by holding it before the fire; if equal parts of this oil and camphorated spirits be shaken together for the friction material, it would in the general way be an improvement upon castor oil merely. Indeed camphor is an excellent antispasmodic in stomach cramps. Hot water must also be freely applied to the cramped limbs. I have seen these cramps so violent that the patient could not endure the pain from them without the hands being immersed in water so hot that I could scarcely touch its surface. If there are convenient materials for it, the whole body ought to be immersed in a hot bath; the alpha and omega of the remedial process being that of diffusing heat, and circulation freely through every part of the body, and thus freeing the subject at once from the grasp and gripe of death. So rapid is the attack and so
speedy the subsidence of the disorder, that patients half dead with collapse and cramp on one half of the day, will be free from all pain and panic on the other. In one of the most violent attacks (so far as feeling was concerned) that I have seen, I was summoned from my bed to attend, and upon visiting my patient early in the forenoon, I found her in the drawing-room plying her needle and thread, as if nothing had happened. But here I must stay my hand, and I will conclude with a brief extract from a spirited article that has just fallen under my notice in a medical journal, entitled "The London Medical and Surgical Journal," published weekly. "Will the Cholera," say the editors, "attack the affluent who live in open and airy situations, whose aliment, comforts, and habits, are of a superior description? We fearlessly answer in the negative; it will be, and hitherto has been, confined to the poor, the distressed, the badly fed, the badly clothed, the filthy, and the intemperate. Among these, and these alone, will it prevail to any extent. All the statements made in this and the other European countries in which it has appeared lead to no other conclusion. It will be chiefly confined to low, damp, and ill-ventilated districts, and will visit only a few of the effeminate luxurious inhabitants of our squares."
I cannot resist the temptation of adding another paragraph from the same article, although by so doing I may be considered as violating the restrictions which I imposed upon myself at the commencement of my paper. "Could the Government," the article goes on to say, " be convinced of the accuracy of these conclusions, they would remove their baneful quarantine regulations, and not destroy the commerce of this great country, and further pauperize the lower classes of the community, or in plain language, predispose them to the disease."
THE LAW OF ARREST.
A TALE FROM FACTS.
ONCE upon a time there lived at Hamburgh a certain merchant of the name of Meyer-he was a good little man; charitable to the poor, hospitable to his friends, and so rich that he was extremely respected, in spite of his good nature. Among that part of his property which was vested in other people's hands, and called debts, was the sum of five hundred pounds owed to him by the Captain of an English vessel. This debt had been so long contracted that the worthy Meyer began to wish for a new investment of his capital. He accordingly resolved to take a trip to Portsmouth, in which town Captain Jones was then residing, and take that liberty which in my opinion should in a free country never be permitted, viz. the liberty of applying for his money.
Our worthy merchant one bright morning found himself at Portsmouth; he was a stranger to that town, but not unacquainted altogether with the English language. He lost no time in calling on Captain Jones.
"And vat?" said he to a man whom he asked to show him to the Captain's house, "vat is dat fine veshell yondare?"
"She be the Royal Sally," replied the man," bound for Calcuttasails to-morrow; but here's Captain Jones's house, Sir, and he'll tell you all about it."
The merchant bowed, and knocked at the door of a red brick house-door green-brass knocker. Captain Gregory Jones was a tall man; he wore a blue coat without skirts; he had high cheek bones, small eyes, and his whole appearance was eloquent of what is generally termed the bluff honesty of the seaman.