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MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS.

On the Influence of Cold upon the hand, “a bracing cold,” and “a

Health of the Inbabitants of Lon. clear frost,"are familiar in the mouth don. From the Philosophical Trans. ofevery Englishman; and what he is a&ions,

taught to wish for, as among the

greatest promoters of health and THE extraordinary mildness of vigour. last January, compared with the Whatever deference be due to önusual severity of the january pre. received opinions, it appears to me ceding, affordo a peculiarly favour. however from the strongest eri. able opportunity of observing the dence, tha: the prejudices of the effect of each of these seasons, con. world are upon this point at least trasted with each other. For of unfounded. The average degrees these two successive winters, one of heat upon Fahrenheit's thermo. has been the coldest, and the other meter kept in London daring the the warmest, of which any regular month of January 1795, was 239 account has ever been kept in this in the morning, and 290 in the country. Nor is this by any means afternoon. The average in January an idle speculation, or matter of 1796, was 43o. 5 in the morning, mere coriosity ; for one of the first and 50°.1 in ihe afternoon. A steps towards preserving the health difference of above twenty degrees! of our fellow.creatures, is to point And if we turn our attention from out the sources from which diseases the comparative coidness of these are to be apprehended. And what months to the corresponding health. may make the present inquiry more inens of each, collected from the particularly useful, is, that the re. weekly bills of mortality, we sult, as I hope cicarly to make ap. shall ford the result no less reinark. pear by the following statemenis, `able. For in five weeks between is entirely contrary to the preju. the 31st of December 1794, and dices usually entertained upon this the zd of February 1795, the whole subject.

number of burials amounted to During last January, nothing was 2823.; and in an equal period of more common ihan to hear expres. five weeks between the 30th of sions of the unseasonableness of December 1795 and the ad of Fethe weather; and fears least the bruary 1796, to 1471. So that the want of the usual degree of cold, excess of the mortality in January should be productive of putrid dis. 1795 above that of January 1790, cases, and I know not what other was not less than of 1352 persons. causes of mortality. On the other A number sufficient surely to awak.

en

one

ken the attention of the most pre. among those who are said in the judiced admirers of a frosty winter. bills to die above 60 years of age, And though I have only stated the how regularly the tide of mortality evidence of two years, the same

follows the influence of this preconclusion may universally be vailing cause : so that a person drawn; as I have learned from a ' used to such inquiries, may forma careful examination of the weekly no contemptible judgment of the bills of mortality for many years. severity of any of our winter These two seasons were chosen as months, merely by attending to this being each of them very remark. circumstance. Thus their number able, and in immediate succession last January was not much above

to the other, and in every one-fifth of what it had been in the body's recollection.

same mouch the year before. The It may not be impertinent to article of asthma, as might be ex. the objects of this society, without pered, is prodigiously increased, entering too much into the province and perhaps includes no inconsi. of medicine, to consider a little derable part of the mortality of the mure particularly the several ways aged. After these come apoplexies in which this effect may be sup- and palsies, severs, consumptions, posed to be produced ; and to point and dropsies. Under the two last out some of the principal injuries of which are contained a large pro. which people are liable to sustain portion of the chronical diseases of in their health from a severe frost. This country : all which seem to be And one of the first things that hurried on to a premature termi. must strike every mind engaged in nation. The whole will most rea. this investigation, is its effect on dily be seen at one view in the fol. old people. It is curions to observe lowing table.

a

Whole No.f Aged above ending Mean heat. of deaths.

60.

1795

Apoplexy Asthma and Palsy. Fever. Consumption. Dropsy.

Morn. Noon.

290

6 Jan.250

244

51

13

4

20

73

.7

320

532

139

26

13

49

158

20

309

637

145

51

II

81

164

37

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Whole. Aged above ending Mean heat. of deaths.

1796.

Apoplexy Asthma and Palsy. Fever. Consumption. Dropsy.

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Week

13 Jan. 260

20 Jan. 24°

27 Jan. 19°

3 Feb. 250

Week

60.

12 Jan. 41°

19 Jan. 480

26 Jan. 47°

Notwish.

2 Feb. 419

49°

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cause

(475 Notwithstanding the plague, the they are worse protected from the remittent fever, the dysentery, and weather, so are they of course the the scurvy, have so decreased, that greatest sufferers by its inclemency. their very name is almost unknown But every physician in London, in London; yet there has, I know and every apothecary, can add not how, arisen a prejudice con- his testimony, that their. business cerning putrid diseases, which among all ranks of people never seems to have made people more fails to increase, and to decrease and more apprehensive of them, with the frost. For if there be any as the danger has been grow. whose lungs are tender, any whose ing less. It must in great mea. constitution has been impaired ei. sure be attributed to this, that ther by age, or by intemperance, the consumption of Peruvian bark or by disease, he will be very lia. in this coun:ry has, within the ble to have all his complaints in. last fifty years, increased from creased, and all his infirmities ag14,000 to above 100,000 pounds grarated by such a season. Nor annually. And the saine must the young and active think has probally contributed, from a themselves quite secure, or fancy

, -mistaken mode of reasoning, to their healih will be consirmed by prepossess people with the idea of imprudently exposing themselves. the wholesoinei.ess of a hard frost. The stoutest man may meet with But it has in another place * been iinpediments to his recovery from very ably demonstrated that a long accidents otherwise inconsidérable; frost is eventually productive of or may contract inflammations, or the worst putrid fevers that are at coughs, and lay the foundation of this time known in London; and the severest ills. that heat does in fact prove a real where the prevailing complaints preventive against that disease. among all orders of people are And although this may be said to coids, couglis, consumptions, and be a very remote efect of the cold, rheuinatisms, no prudent man can it is not therefore the less real in surely suppose that unnecessary ex. its influence upon the mortality of posure to an inclement sky ; that London. Accordingly a compari. priding oneself upon going without son of the numbers in the fore- any additional clothing in the segoing table will shew that very verest winter; that inuring oneneariy ewice as many persons died self to be hardy at a time that of fevers in January 1795, as did demands our cherishing the firm.

the corresponding month of this esi constitution lest it suffer; that year. I might go on' to observe braving the winds, and challengthat the true scurvy was last year ing the rudest efforts of the sea. generated in the metropolis from son, can ever be generaily useful the same causes extended to to Englishmen. But if generally, unusual length. But these are by and upon the whole, it be inexpeno means the only ways, nor in- dient, then oughe every one for deed do they seem to be the prin- himself to take care that he be not cipal ways, in which a frost open the sufferer. For many doctrines rates to the destruction of great very importantly erroneous ; manumbers of people. The poor, as ny remedies cither vain, or ever * Obseryations on the jail fever by Dr. Hunter, Med. Trans. Vol. III.

noxious,

In a country

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noxious, are daily imposed upon content to let it be the root of a the world for want of attention to peculiar class, which may hereaf. this great truth; that it is from ge. ter be divided into species, when neral effects only, and those founded the faculty shall have made it more upon extensive experience, that any their study. maxim to which each individual I cait it, merely for distinction's may with confidence rèter, can pos. sake, the Domiphobia, or dread of sibly be established.

home, which is the principa! symptom; it begins, as I said be.

fore, about the month of June, or The Domiphobia, or dread of Home. earlier, for I have at this moment

from the Monthly Mngazine. a family under my care, who are Sir,

dreadfully affiliated with it. The I very much approve of your al. mother, a remarkably heaitly. lotting a particular post of your looking, and indeed a very hand. magazine to the valuable purposes some woman, complains of a wasi. of medical improvem.ent; and ing of the flesh, want of appetite, what has been already done, will, listlessness, and dejection. I hope, lay the foundation of a two daughters, though possessed of series of communications, from the finest bloom of complexion, are which physicians may derive great inclined to consumption, have also advantage. From entertaining so lost their appetites, and are, high an opinion of this part of your use their moiher's expression, in a magazine, I am induced to offer very alarming situation. The sons my mito, by contributing a few have various pulmonic symptoms, remarks on a disease, not yet touch. shortness of breath, cough, and ed upon by your medical correspon. complain that the smoke of London dents, but which, by the time this entirely disorders them. The hus. communication will appear, must band is the only person who has be prerry well known in most fa. escaped the dis :rder, although he milies. It is very prevalent in the seems so inuch distressed at the Alonths of June and July, is at the sight of his family, that I should height in August, begins to de. not worder if he caughe it froin cline in September, and about the them. Every medicine I have pre. end of October generally disap. scribed, has failed in its operation. pears, though much will depend Indeed, I must confess, that this upon the weather.

is one of those disorders, in which I am somewhat at a loss to de. we are not to expect a cure from scribe this disorder, because being chern:cals or Galenicals. On the of very recent appearance in this contrary, if we leave nature 10 country, it has escaped the atten. perform lier work, a cure is imme. tion of Sauvages, Vogel, Cullen, diately found, for nature suggests and all our late Nosologists. It to the patients, from the very first has some symptoms peculiar to the attack of the disease, that it can class of fevers, and some to that of be relieved only by a jaunt to a insammalions, bu: it is a disease, if watering place. And hence a I may use the phrase, so original, very expert practitioner in my so niech per se, that we must be. neighbourhood, choosts to call it

the

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