2 OCTOBER 1880, Page 3

Great epidemics seem to deprive multitudes almost of their reason.

At least, that is the explanation we should offer of the ghastly festival held at Memphis, in the State of Tennessee, on the 21st ult. The citizens have been free this summer from an outbreak of yellow-fever, and might have been expected, as they enjoy gregarious action, to organise a solemn religious thanksgiving, as they do for other blessings. It seemed to them, however, more appropriate to hold a "festival of triumph," with processions three miles long, and triumphal arches, one of which was "made of bales of cotton." The popular thought must have been that they were fighting a sort of supernatural enemy, Yellow Jack, and had beaten him, and were proud of themselves for the feat. Or was the festival, as it would have been in India, held in honour of Yellow Jack for being so com- plaisant and friendly this year ? There is nothing like terror for demoralising mankind, and, apparently, no terror like that of epidemics. Influenza kills as many, but a festival in honour of a low mortality from influenza sounds impossible.