19 AUGUST 1865, Page 1


THE week has been full of plagues, rumours of plagues, and renie- dies for plagues. The cattle pest is spreading into all parts of England, and the cholera has already reached Marseilles, killing there some ten a day. It is marching slowly north-westward, may be expected here in a fortnight, and will probably prove severe, an epidemic among men just after an epidemic among cattle being almost always a terrible one. The Boards of Health are moving, but it is almost too late for extensive improvements, and the only thing remaining is to teach the people three great truths. First, that cholera is not contagious, and that a panic leading to the desertion of the sick is as absurd as it is cowardly. Secondly, that the best preventives before it arrives are cleanli- ness, ventilation, and pure water ; the best after it has arrived a lavish use of chloride of lime or common white-wash. And, thirdly, that the only sudden remedies which should be taken before the doctor's arrival are a wine-glass of brandy or a quarter of a grain of morphia, both palliatives found most effectual in India. They do not perhaps cure, but they prevent that terrible prostration of the nerves which makes the progress of the disease so quick.