صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

on that score, in so much that cadaverical dissections are now performed in Egypt with the same facility as in our own country.

The third difficulty likewise the Government remedied, by liberally supplying, at an enormous outlay, a splendid assortment of books, anatomical figures, surgical instruments, and every thing else requisite for the institute ; whence we may affirm, without exceeding the truth, that in this it was rather extravagant, than parsimonious. A proof of this may be the Venus, made with wonderful nicety in Florence, by the chisel of the renowned Chey. Vacca BeLLINGHIERI, and purehased for the Abou-Zabel School at the enormous sum of 3000 dollars and upwards.

Thus surmounted the impediments that obstructed the accomplishment of this beneficent design, the next step was to regulate the course of studies, and to nominate the Professors. These operations had the following results.

1. Signor Gactini, Professor of general, descriptive, and pathological Anatomy, and of Physiology.

2. M. BERUARD, of private, public, and military hygiene, and legal Medicine.

3. M. DUVIGNEAU, of Pathology, and internal Clinics.

4. M. Clor, of Pathology and external Clinics, Operations, and Midwifery.

5. M. BARTHELEMY, of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, the Art of Formulas, and Toxicology.

6. Signor CELESIA, of Chemistry and Physics.
7. Signor FIGARI, of Botany and Horticulture.
8. Signor LASPERAURA, of Anatomical and Pathological preparations.

These were the Professors of the Abou-Zabel School at its first opening; but there were shortly after some remarkable changes which we deem superfluous to relate. We must however, for justice sake, remark, that besides the distinguished Dr. Clot, the two Italian Professors Celesia and Figari, (the latter a worthy pupil of the late Chev. VIVIANI), among the other above named, acquired especial esteem, and marked encomiums in the discharge of their duties.

We should be too prolix and fastidious, were we to enter into a detailed account of the various scientific improvements introduced into this School, and especially regarding the translation and explanation of the lectures, through the medium of the interpreters. We shall nevertheless observe, that at the close of every year a public exa

appointed to be held, at which the Arabian alumni should

mination was

About 6500 Rupees.

give a trial of the progress they had made, in the presence of the first authorities, as well in their medical, as in their philological studies.

The result of those examinations proved, what will not surprise any wise judge of such events, viz. that the progress of those classes, notwithstanding the immense effort of the promoters, was not by any means remarkable. In truth, with the exception of a few lads, who succeeded in a middling degree, the mass of the scholars drank very shallow of those new and unusual sources of science. It would be long to enumerate all the causes of such disgusting deficiency individually, but we will note the chief ones: 1. The advanced age of the majority of the students. 2. The privation of those elementary and primary principles, that are a step to higher branches. 3. The fatal intricacy of intermediate explanations. 4. Arabian indolence and listlessness, which every now and then transpire in the character and habits of that race.

5. The secret and powerful influence of prejudices, which although sometimes apparently obviated, never cease by degrees to shoot forth. 6. In fine, the bad selection of some of the teachers; a notorious fact, which we in vain would attempt to conceal.

Dr. Clot added lately to this College a collection of objects connected with Entomology and Ornithology, aided by the rare abilities of the Turinese naturalist, Signor Lovis Regeo, who has acquired an honorable reputation both in Egypt and elsewhere, which we are happy to proclaim, for such and other similar collections forwarded abroad.

The nature and brevity of this memoir will not permit us, as we would wish, to give a minute account of the glorious labours of the illustrious young man just alluded to, in congregating the materials of such exquisite collections, as well of the extraordinary perfection for which his works are distinguished, considered even in the light only of mechanical preparation : we will not however for justice sake, and to satisfy a praiseworthy love of country, omit to state, that not only Clot Bey, but also all the other professional foreigners that have visited Egypt, or examined the works of Sig. REGEo, unanimously avowed, that they had never witnessed things of a similar description more accurately and skilfully conducted ; and they readily bestowed on him, even through the medium of the public journals, praise so much the more flattering, as it was less suspicious, being spontaneous and remote. Hence although Sig. Regeo be, like all other men of merit, extremely modest, an enemy of every species of intrigue, and incapable of wishing to advance but through his own fatigue and knowledge, the Egyptian Government nevertheless always held him in due esteem, and after retaining him in divers ways employed

under Clor Bey, it decorated him at length with the title and degree of Professor attached to the Museum of Natural History, an office with which he is still invested, with general satisfaction, uniting as he does to a brilliant genius an excellent heart, that renders him acceptable and dear to all his acquaintance and friends.

Besides the alumni educated (well or ill) in the Abou-Zabel College, the Pacha sent to Europe, especially to France, about one hundred Egyptian lads, with the view of thus diffusing the enlightenment and civilization of this era throughout his dominions, and of acquiring at the same time the reputation of a prince who was a philosopher, a philanthropist, and a munificent patron of the sciences. The result of the second experiment was not much happier than that of the first, as the youths did not take back with them that useful assortment of science that was expected ; so that with the exception of a scanty number, the major part of them afforded to the Pacha no great source of congratulation for the trial he had made.

Vaccination was introduced into Egypt about the year 1824, through the beneficent designs of the venerable Chev. DROVETTI, whose continual traits of philanthropy resemble so many globules impregnated with vitality, which animate and give life to whoever receive them. With the approbation of his superiors, he formed a commission consisting of two Italian physicians, MASSARA and Cani, and of one Frenchman, M. Dumas, for the purpose of propagating in the interior of the country the practice of so precious an invention. This commission, provided by the never-sufficiently commendable Chev. DROVETTI with all the necessaries, encountered in the discharge of their duties immense difficulties and perils, so much so, that in the province of Menoufic a general insurrection was very near breaking out, as the Arabs, especially the women, * supposed that the incisions made on the arms of their infants, far from being a salutary antidote, were a politi. cal stratagem of the Pacha, whose object was to impress on the persons of his subjects an indelible mark, so as afterwards to be enabled to distinguish and kidnap them with greater facility into the military levies, and other raisings of men for the accomplishment of his vast enterprises ; so that after long and fruitless attempts the vaccination emissaries were compelled to desist and give up all hopes of success ; and thus among the Arabs became extinct the practice of JENNER'S antidote, which is doubtless one of the finest gifts bestowed by Providence on mankind in modern times. This is a great fatality for Egypt, where the small-pox frequently causes mortality in the extreme.

* It is calculated that the proportion of women at present in Egypt, is a third greater than that of men.

H. H. MEHEMET Aly continues however to have his children vacci. nated, as also the new born infants belonging to his Harem and household, which is also the practice of the grandees around him.

The first and greatest service that was to be rendered to Egypt by medicine, was to defeat the fatal malady that for ages had taken up its abode there, and which besides the internal havoc that it often creates in the country, threatens also to invade the European shores, and so causes the inhabitants of the latter to live in perpetual dread of such a scourge. We must however unfortunately confess that not even in this point have the medical innovations introduced into Egypt corresponded to the necessities and expectations of the promoters.

The ends to which sanitarial prescriptions should tend in countries which like Egypt contain the germ of the plague, are principally two: the first is, to destroy, if possible, the principle or vital spark of the evil, or to restrict at least as much as possible the consequence of its development: the second, to protect the country from the introduction of external pestilence. Now it is undoubted that neither of those ends has been attained by the local government through the medium of the sanitarial institutions still flourishing in that country; so that if the merit of the design or (as it is termed) of the good intention be abstracted, the world and the nation owe little to the promoters of those institutions.

It was only in the beginning of 1833 that the Pacha contemplated the establishment of a Sanitarial Board, the centre of which he made a so-called Consular Committee, consisting, as its name sounds, of the European Consuls accredited by his Government. The representatives of civilized nations were thought to possess an abundant store of knowledge for the utility of so important an institution ; but it would have been a wiser plan to seek such knowledge, in itself particular, in persons of the trade ; and in truth, with one or two exceptions,* the others had not the slightest idea of the topics they undertook to discuss ; thus this radical defect soon ruined the work they commenced. So much the more, because to the relative incapability of the superiors was soon added the absolute incapability of the subalterns selected to fill up the various situations of the new Egyptian sanitarial iatrarchy.

But the height of misfortune was, that the physicians specially devoted to the Sanitarial Committee, who with their counsels might

It is almost superfluous to observe that one of those exceptions is the Chev. and Councillor AcerHi, a man well known for his extraordinary talent and profound knowledge. Let it however be remarked, that as soon as he perceived the impossibility of attaining any useful result, he abstained from taking part in the new Consular Committee, so as to save himself from all responsibility.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

have corrected and moderated, at least in a great measure, the lamentable consequences of such primary sources, were in accordance (we grieve to advert to it) with the rest of the ill-compacted edifice, and were absolutely unsuited for the high and important office they undertook.* The provisions therefore that emanated from their Committee, and were executed by their subalterns, were, we regret, seldom useful, and often noxious to the State.

To commence from what we stated to be the first scope of the sanitary discipline with regard to an endemical disease, nothing was done to improve the salubrity of the country, if we except the prohibition, often eluded, of interring corpses in the interior, a device undoubtedly beneficial, but insufficient by itself to cut off the intrinsic fomites of the evil, as was required. In a recent little work on the Bubonic plague of the Levant, we explained the causes to which, in our opinion, Alexandria and Lower Egypt owe their deplorable privi. lege of having been for ages the chosen nest of that malady, and we will readily avow that many of them are such as to surpass perhaps the limited efficacy of human remedies. Nevertheless it is undeniable, that is by a well understood system of sanitary regulations, constantly acted up to, a part at least of those causes had been obviated, the awful scourge would either have less frequently desolated the country, or its consequences would have been less disastrous. Now what has been done by the Alexandria Committee in order to achieve so beneficial a result? We have already stated, either nothing whatsoever, or too little to produce any fruit ? And we might easily demonstrate it with examples, were we not disallowed by brevity from entering into minuter details. But not wishing our assertion to remain totally unproved, we will observe : 1st. That if human corpses be interred by day without the walls, the carcasses of camels, horses, asses, and of that numberless group of minor quadrupeds which at present people Egypt more than the bipeds, are shamefully allowed to rot in the inside streets and squares. 2dly. That dung, rubbish, filthy water, and similar off-scourings of the city always remain in the spot they happened to fall on, without any passage or exit to drain off from the habitations of the living-a most shocking inconvenience, that would alone suffice to render any climate naturally wholesome and pure, murderous to the last degree. 3dly. That neither the education, nor the condition of the people, properly so-called, being improved for reasons superior to the will of the Government, the dwellings or rather the huts of the Arabs continue to be real dens of wild beasts, squalid, filthy,

Now however Signor Grassi commences to distinguish himself with repeated observations; he is the chief doctor attached to the above named Committee.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »