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unpleasant to do so when the eminent write in verse, apply his own principles to writer is an American, and the critic an his own work would be scarcely conceis. Englishman. Lowell himself was wont to able were it not for certain other examples speak of the British critic as an insular which shall be nameless. No poet with a person, ” and it is undeniable that the true ear could so persistently throw the British critic is a person living in an accent upon weak words as he does in island. Geography has always played an that fine
the " Comuneinoration important part in man's conceptions of Ode." He is constantly forgetting that
French criticism is not insular, for underlying all rhythms is the rhythm of France is not an island. And the same nature, the free movement of the thoughts remark applies to American criticism. As and emotions passing into words; and my ideas about Lowell as a poet coincide that, as I have said on a previous occasion, with those expressed in the following the object of all metrical expression is to quotation, I think it wise to stand behind achieve such complete mastery over the the buckler of so good an American as metrical form adopted as to make it seem Mr. George S. Hillard :
this free movement. The simpler the
metrical form, the more easily can this * Mr. Lowell has more of the vision' than the 'faculty divine.' He has the eye and mind
movement be rendered by means of verbal of a poet, but wants the plastic touch which melody. But in all metres the poet 'turns to shape the form of things unknown.' should never rest till he has made the His conceptions are superior to his power of structural emphasis peculiar to the form execution. We are reminded in reading his meet and strengthen the natural emphasis poetry of the observation of a judicious critic in a sister art, – that the picture would have of the emotion. Wherever there is a been better painted if the painter had taken sense of effort in reading a poem, such as more pains. In this volume there is more of
we experience in reading the “ Harvard the ore of poetry, but little of it in its purified Ode,” the “Sir Launfal,” and the sonand polished state. In all that belongs nets of Lowell, it arises froin a struggle to the form and garb of verse there is room for great improvement."
between the rhythm of nature and the
rhythm peculiar to the metrical form, such The critic dwelling in an island who as is never seen in the work of the great should dare to write in this way about any masters, but such as is constantly seen in American poet must needs be a bolder Lowell, and, indeed, in most American man than I. But it is amusing to observe poets except Poe and one or two living the way in which other American critics writers. The relation between quantity speak of poetic art as being a thing apart and accent in modern metres seems to be from poetry itself. To say that form is almost ignored in America. essential to poetry is not enongh. In the As a critic Lowell was one of the best deep and true sense poetry is form. Even equipped men of our time. His reading in prose the way of saying the thing in was both thorough and wide, and he never pure literature is as important as the thing ceased to be a reader. His studies of said. It is science that deals with the Dante and of Dryden would alone give Verstand of man. For pure literature has him a bigh place both as a student and as only to do with the Vernunft, leaving sci- a critic. The “Dryden" is an unequalled ence to address the Verstand ; and as there performance. There is scarcely a sentence is so little to tell the soul which it does in the essay that does not coruscate with not already know, and did not know ages intelligence, and almost the same thing and ages before Homer chanted the may be said in regard to the “ Dante." “ Iliad,” the way of telling it is almost As to Dante, however, it is a remarkable everything, even in prose. “Le style fact that poets who make a special study c'est l'homme" has thus a deeper mean- of the great Italian seem to be but little ing than Buffon himself supposed. But influenced by his
supreme method. in poetry the way of saying the thing is Dante's masterful conciseness and starlike of the first importance, as Lowell the purity of style, scornful of adjectives, even critic well knew, or he would never have those of color and form, were the special said (following Wordsworth), “ In all real admiration of Rossetti as they were of poetry the form is not a garment, but a Lowell ; and yet one remained as absobody.' That a man of Lowell's amazing lutely uninfluenced by the Dantesque gifts should not, when he set himself to method as the other. Is it that the richness of Shakespeare and those who have it is the fact that a poet of high order like followed in his wake has so dazzled the Rossetti can give his days and nights to English imagination that the high clarity Dante and yet fail to seize any one of his of Dante is out of their compass? If so excellences, while the voice of Shakespeare it is a pity, for Dante's stylo is so pure is recalled in many a lovely turn and darand so high that it may be called the ideal ing image, it shows how impossible it is to style. By the side of him other poets escape the influence of poetry written in may all be called mannered. It is the one's mother tongue.- Athenæum. voice of Nature herself speaking ; and if
ON THE ORIGIN, PROPAGATION, AND PREVENTION OF PHTHISIS.
BY PROFESSOR JOHN TYNDALL,
It is now a little over nine years since hereditary transmission ? Cornet describes I received here, at Hind Head, a memoir the attempts made to answer these and by Professor Koch on the “ Etiology of other questions. The results were Tuberculosis." Taking it in all its bear- flicting, and when subjected to critical exinge, the memoir seemed to me of ex- amination they were proved, for the most traordinary interest and importance, not part, inadequate and inconclusive. The only to the medical men of England, but art of experiment is different from that of to the community at large. I, therefore, observation ; so much so, that good obdrew
up and sent an account of it to the servers frequently prove but indifferent Times. The discovery of the tubercle experimenters. It was his education as bacillus was therein announced for the an experimenter that gave Pasteur such first time, and by experiments of the most immense advantage over Pouchet in their definite and varied character the propaga- celebrated controversy on spontaneous tion and action of this terrible organism generation ;” and it is on the score of were demonstrated.
experiment that the writers examined by With regard to his recent labors, Pro- Cornet were found most wanting. One fessor Koch may or may not have been evil result of this conflict of opinions, as hasty in the publication of his remedies to the propagation and prevention of for consumption. On this point it would phthisis, was the unwarrantable indifferbe out of place, on my part, to say a word. ence which it generated among medical But the investigations which first rendered his name famous, and which, I believe, The researches referred to and critiwere introduced to the English public by cised by Cornet are too voluminous to be myself, are irrefragable. His renowned mentioned in detail. Valuable informainquiry on anthrax caused him to be tion was, to some extent, yielded by these transferred from a modest position, near researches, but they nevertheless left the Breslau, to the directorship of the Im. subject in a state of vagueness and uncerperial Sanitary Institute of Berlin, where tainty. Cornet, in fact, when he began he was soon surrounded by able colleagues his inquiry, found himself confronted by and assistants. Conspicuous among these a practically untrodden domain. He en. was Dr. Georg Cornet, whose Jabors on tered it with a full knowledge of the gravthe diffusion of tuberculosis constitute the ity of his task. The result of his investi. subject of this article.
gation is a memoir of 140 pages, the imAfter the investigation of Koch, various portance of which, and the vast amount of questions of moment pushed themselves labor involved in it, can be appreciated by imperiously to the front :-How is phthisis those only who have read it and studied generated! How is it propagated ? it from beginning to end. What is the part played by the air as the That the matter expectorated by phthisivehicle of tubercle bacilli ?
cal patients is infectious had been placed healthy lungs to be protected from their by previous investigations beyond doubt. ravages ? What value is to be assigned The principal question set before himself to the hypothesis of predisposition and by Cornet bad reference to the part played by the air in the propagation of lung dis- virulence would be obtained which the case :- Is the breath of persons suffering microscope could never furnish. The from phthisis charged, as assumed by dust, after being intimately mixed with a some, with bacilli ? or is it, as assumed suitable liquid, was injected into the abby others, free from the organism? The domen of the guinea-pig. For every samdrawing of the air through media able to ple of dust, two, three, four, or more aniintercept its floating particles, and the ex- mals were employed. In numerous case's ainination of the media afterward, might, the infected animal died a day or two at first sight, appear the most simple way after inoculation. Such rapid deaths, of answering this question. But to ex- however, were not due to ihe tubercle amine a thousand litres of air would re- bacillus, which, as already stated, is exquire a considerable time, and this is only tremely slow of development, but to orone-twelfth of the volume which a man ganisms which set up peritonitis and other breathing quietly expires every day. If fatal disorders. Usually, however, some the air were only sparingly charged with of the group of guinea-pigs escaped this bacilli, the amount necessary for a thor. quick mortality, and, to permit of the deough examination might prove overwhelm- velopment of the bacilli, they were allowed ing. Instead of the air, therefore, Cornet to live on thirty, forty, or fifty days. chose for examination the precipitate from The survivors were then killed and examthe air ; that is to say, the dust of the ined. In some cases the animals were sick-room, which must contain the bacilli found charged with tubercle bacilli, the in greater numbers than the air itself. virulence of the inoculated matter being
He chose for his field of operations seven thus established. In other cases the ordistinct hospitals (Krankenhäusern), three gans of the guinea-pigs were found heallunatic asylums (Irrenanstalten), fifty- thy, thus proving the harmlessness of the three private houses, and various other lo- dust. calities, including private asylums, lecture- It inust here be borde in mind that the rooms, surgical wards, public buildings, bacilli mixed with Cornet's dust must have and the open street. The smallness of first floated in the air, and have been dethe bacilli has given currency to erroneous posited by it. Considering the number notions regarding their power of floating of persons who suffer from phthisis, and in the air. The bacilli are not only living the billions of bacilli expectorated by each bodies, but heavy bodies, which sink in of them, it would seem a fair à priori dewater and pus, and much more rapidly in duction that wherever people with their calm air. Cornet gathered his dust from normal proportion of consumptive subplaces inaccessible to the sputum issuing jects aggregate, the tubercle bacillus must directly from the coughing patient. He be present everywhere. Hence the docrubbed it off high-bung pictures, clock- trine of "ubiquity," enunciated and decases, the boards and rails at the back of fended by many writers on this question. the patient's bed, and also off the walls Common observation throws doubt upon behind it. The enormous care necessary the doctrine, while the experiments of in such experiments, and, indeed, in the Cornet are distinctly opposed to it. Testuse of instruments generally, has not yet, ed by the dust deposited on their furni. I fear, been universally realized by medi- ture or rubbed from their walls, the wards cal men.
With a care worthy of imita- of some hospitals were found entirely free tion, Cornet sterilized the instruments from bacilli, wbile others were found to with which his dust was collected, and be richly and fatally endowed with the also the vessels in which it was placed. organism. Cornet, it may be remarked,
The cultivation of the tubercle bacilli does not contend that his negative results directly from the dust proved impractica- possess demonstrative force. He is quite ble. Their extraordinary slowness of de- ready to admit that, where he failed to velopment enabled other organisms— find them, bacilli may have escaped him. weeds of the pathogenic garden-which But he justly remarks that, until we have were always present, to overpower and discovered a bacterium magnet, capable practically stitle them. Cornet, there of drawing every bacillus from its hiding, fore, resorted to the infection of guinea. place, experiment must remain more or pigs with his dust. If tuberculosis fol- less open to this criticism. Cornet's oblowed from such inoculation, a proof of ject is a practical one. He has to cou. sider the probability rather than the re- which will show whether we are able to mote possibility, of infection. The pos- protect ourselves against tuberculosis, sibility, even in places where no bacilli whether we can impose limits on
the show themselves, may be admitted, while scourge, or whether, with hands tied, we the probability is denied. Such places, have to surrender ourselves to its maligCornet contends, are practically free from nant sway. If the tubercle bacilli are danger.
carried outward by the breath, then nothIn the differences as to iufectiousness ing remains for us but to wait till an inhere pointed out, we have an illustration fected puff of expired air conveys to us of wisely applied knowledge, care, and our doom. A kind of fatalism, somecontrol, as contrasted with negligence, or times dominant in relation to this ques. ignorance, on the part of hospital authori- tion, would thus have its justification. ties. And this may be a fitting place to There is no inhabited place without its refer to a most impressive example of proportion of phthisical subjects, who, if what can be accomplished, by resolute the foregoing supposition were correct, supervision, on the part of hospital doc- would be condemned to infect their neightors and nurses. A glance at the state of bors. Terrible in this case would be the things existing some years ago will enable doom of the sufferer, whom we should be us to realize more fully the ameliorations forced to avoid, as, in earlier ages, the of to-day. I once had occasion to ask plague-stricken were avoided. Terrible, Professor Klebs, of Prague, for his opin- moreover, to the invalid would be the ion of the antiseptic system of surgery. consciousness that with every discharge He replied, “You in England are not in from his lungs he was spreading death a position to appreciate the magnitude of among those around him. "Such a state the advance made by Lister. English of things,” says Cornet, “would soon surgeons were long ago led to recognize loosen the bonds of the family and of sothe connection between mortality and dirt, ciety.' Happily the facts of the case and they spared no pains in rendering are very different from those here set their wards as clean as it was possible to forth. make them. Wards thus purified showed “I would not,” says our author, go a mortality almost as low as other wards into this subject so fully, I would not in which the antiseptic system was em- here repeat what is already known, were ployed. The condition of things in our I not convinced that, in regard to this hospitals is totally different ; and it is special point, the most erroneous notions only among us, on the Continent, that the are prevalent, not only among the general vast amelioration introduced by Lister can pub'ic, but even among highly cultivated be properly apprehended." I may say medical men. Misled by such notions, that Lister himself once described hospi- precautions are adopted which are simply tals in his own country which, in regard calculated to defeat the end in view. to uncleanness and consequent mortality, Thus it is that while one physician anxmight have vied with those on the Con- iously guards against the expired breath tinent. Klebs's letter was written many of the phthisical patient, another is careyears ago. Later on the authorities of ful to have his spittoon so covered up
that German hospitals bestirred themselves, no bacilli can escape into the air by evapwith the splendid result disclosed by Cor- oration. Neither of them makes
innet, that institutions which were formerly quiry about the really crucial pointthe chief breeding-grounds of pathogenic whether the patient has deposited all his organisms are now raised to a pitch of sputum in the spittoon, thus avoiding the salubrity surpassing that of the open possibility of the expectorated matter bestreet.
coming dry, and reduced afterward to a Cornet thus grapples with the grave powder capable of being inhaled. question which here occupies us. How, " While a positive phthisiophobia aphe asks, does the tubercle bacillus reach pears to have taken possession of some the lungs, and how is it transported minds, others ignore almost completely thence into the air ? Is it the sputum the possibility of infection. The fact alone that carries the organism, or do the that investigations have been published of bacilli mingle with the breath? This is late, with the object of discovering tuberthe problem of problems, the answer to cle bacilli in the breath, sufficiently indicates that the conclusive researches of health resorts. He regards them as earlier investigators have not received the sources of danger, and he insists on the proper amount of attention.
necessity of disinfecting the rooms and " We must regard it,” says Cornet, effects after the death or removal of tuber
as firmly established that, under no cir- culous patients. He recommends physicumstance, can the bacteria contained in cians, before sending patients abroad, or a liquid, or strewn upon a wet surface, to health resorts at home, to inform themescape by evaporation or be carried away selves, by strict inquiry, regarding the by currents of air. By an irrefragable precautions taken to avoid infectious disseries of experiments Nägeli has placed eases, tuberculosis among the number. this beyond doubt.”
The attention of those responsible for the The evidence that the sputum is the sanitary arrangements in the health resorts real source of tuberculous infection is of England may be invited to the followconclusive ; and here Cornet carnestly ing; observation of Cornet :-"On a promdirects attention to the fact that in the enade, amid a hundred phthisical persons houses of the poor the patient commonly who are careful to expectorate into spitspits upon the floor, where the sputum toons, the visitor is far safer tban among dries and is rubbed into infectious dust a hundred men, taken at random, and by the feet of persons passing over it. embracing only the usual proportion of The danger becomes greatest when the phthisical persons who spit upon the dry floor is swept by brush or broom. ground.” There is a still graver danger connected with the habits of well-to-do people who With regard to the permanence of the occupy clean and salubrious houses. This tubercle contagium, the following facts is the common practice of spitting into are illustrative. A woman, who had for pocket-handkerchiefs
. Here the sputum two years suffered from a phthisical is soon dried by the warmth of the pock- cough, and who had been in the habit of et, the subsequent use of the handkerchief spitting first upon the ground, and aftercausing it to be rubbed into virulent dust. ward into a glass or à pocket-handker. This constitutes a danger of the highest chief, was visited by Cornet. During her consequence, both to the individual using life-time he proved the dust of her room the handkerchief and to persons in his to be infectious. Six weeks after her immediate neighborhood.
death he again visited the dwelling. RubIt is a primary doctrine with both Kocb bing the dust from a square metre of the and Cornet that tuberculosis arises from wall on which he had formerly found his infection by the tubercle bacillus. Pre- infectious matter, and which had not been disposition, or hereditary tendency, as a cleansed after the woman's death, he incause of phthisis, is rejected by both of oculated with it three of his guinea-pigs. them. Facts, however, are not wanting Examined forty days after the inoculation, which suggest the notion of predisposi- two of the three were found tuberculous. tion. Cornet once attended, in a hotel, Cornet reasons thus :—"No doubt the an actress far advanced in phthisis. A dust which had thus proved its virulence guest, taking possession of her room after would have retained it for a longer time. her death, or removal, might undoubtedly Schill and Fischer, indeed, have proved become infected. The antecedents of the that, after six months' preservation, dried room being unknown, the case of such a sputum may retain its virulence. During guest would, in all probability, be referred this period, therefore, the possibility of to predisposition. It might be declared, infection by this dust is obviously open. with perfect sincerity, that for years he When, moreover, the quantity of infechad had no communication with phthisi- tious matter inhaled is very small, a concal persons. There is very little doubt siderable time elapses before the developthat numbers of cases of tuberculosis, ment of the bacilli renders the malady diswhich have been referred to predisposi- tinct. Even if a year should elapse after tion or inheritance, are to be really ac- the death of a phthisical patient before counted for by infection in some such ob- another member of the same household scure way.
shows symptoms of lung disease, we are Cornet draws attention to hotels and not entitled to assume a hereditary tenlodging-houses at, and on the way to, dency without further proof. Aware of