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and abominable. 4thly. That the identical groups of beggars now wander through the narrow and crooked lanes of the city, destitute of ventilation, who used to stray through them before, and who are the ordinary receptacles and most fatal propagators of endemical and contagious diseases. 5thly. That the necessary government regulations regarding food are still wanting, while that which is exposed to sale is generally another abundant source of epidemical maladies.
Having premised these deplorable truths, passing now to the other object of sanitary regulations, namely, that of protecting the country from foreign pestilence, we have to lament on this point also equal, if not greater blunders, quoting as simple instances of proof, 1st. The bad construction of the Lazarettos*, and especially of that of Alexandria, the first of his Highness's, which has nothing in it commendable, whether we speak of its site, or of the minutest particulars of its interior management and medical administration-a truth that we demonstrated in a previous work, addressed to H. E. BOGHO BEY, on the 15th December 1833, and which is gradually confirmed by daily experience. 2dly. The inconsistency of repulsive measures, that are every now and then adopted, such as, for example, to permit a free ingress on the land side to persons arriving from regions actually infected with the plague, and at the same time to use rigour (we know not if more barbarous or ridiculous) with the vessels and persons that arrive on the sea-side, while they reach from the remotest places, even solely suspected. 3dly. The little or no exactness wherewith the sanitary orders, whether well or ill decreed, are managed: because in consequence of the deep ignorance of the sanitary officials, especially the subalterns, their indifference and want of conviction, there is scarcely ever a case in which the observance of a salutary precept is not accompanied with a greater or less violation of another equally mighty, which abundantly preponderates the utility that might have been expected from the former: thus, for example, when a disorderly gang of beastly Arab keepers are compelled to insulate an infected object, to cleanse a house, to air tainted cloths, &c., we may affirm, without fear of being deceived, that in such emergencies directed to avoid contact, the latter almost always increases in place of diminishing, as was the intent of the order.
But we should be too prolix, were we to discuss more fully this subject. The sketches we have given will suffice.
* The Lazarettos of Europe are doubtless powerful means to prevent the diffusion of exotic maladies, originally contagious, depending on multiplied contact: but those of Egypt are little serviceable for its periodical and endemical diseases, and much more when the Lazarettos are so shockingly situated, ill-managed, and badly laid out.
Although the collection of facts by us adduced appear to prove that the Egyptian government has recognised in principle the social importance of medicine, we grieve to be obliged to add, that the practice of this science in Egypt is still carried on destitute of any check from Government; so that now-a-days, as in those of the thickest barbarity, any body may there entitle himself Doctor, and be reputed such, without the superintendence of any superior authority to impede the deplorable results that may ensue. The only examination that is usually made in such matter regards the verification of the title or patents for those that aspire to any post in the Medico-military department, and this examination itself is extremely mild, much more than justice allows; but with regard to the public practice of the science, it is, we repeat, free of every obstruction. There is no necessity of inculcating how the advantages of humanity and the decorum of the medical body itself demand, that a prompt and peremptory remedy be applied to so dangerous and disgraceful an error.
European physicians actually practising in Egypt (almost all employed in the army) exceed the ordinary necessity of the country, there being about seventy, not including apothecaries, who also abound. If those persons in place of blindly and systematically professing the opinions of their Masters, belonging as they do to so many different nations, had first well studied the country, so as to modify the precepts they had imbibed, according as the variety of the climate, of the prevalent constitutional maladies, and of the dispositions and other local circumstances required, their operations would doubtless have either dissipated or moderated the various scourges that generally afflict those regions; but as all, or almost all, in place of judiciously using their preconceived opinions, through a misunderstood, and we were about adding, a censurable esprit de corps et de nation, continue to profess there the maxims and precepts inculcated by their respective teachers for generations, not only widely differing, but often opposed in circumstances, it grieves us to conclude this memoir by stating, that languid humanity has not yet derived in Egypt from this medical anarchy all that aid that it undoubtedly would have received if reason had spoken in place of pertinacity and self-love. For our part, after having studied at length and with accuracy the atmospherical and physical qualities of the country and its inhabitants, we are convinced that abstinence from food, sedatives, bland refreshing purga
*The French physicians are fanatically attached to the system of BROUSSAIS; the Italian, to that of TOMASSINI; the English to those of CULLEN and BROWN; the German, to those of SCHILLING and SPRENGEL, whose doctrine consists in magnetic, electric, and chemical processes; all discordant in practice.
tives, and proportionate blood-lettings are in general the chief remedies that are suited for Upper and Middle Egypt, for the cure of sporadic diseases that occur there, and in Lower Egypt, a compound method, consisting of purgatives, diaphoretics, warm baths, anthelmintics, emetics, tonics, and antiseptics.
Such are the facts that indicate the actual state of Medical science in Egypt; and we consider that they demonstrate a conclusion, which we repute undoubted, as well relative to this particular subject, as to every other branch of innovation actually attempted in that country, viz. that they are as yet but a rough sketch, which cannot perhaps be brought to perfection but after a long period of time, when the REFORMER PRINCE who has commenced the undertaking, and his magnanimous son, IBRAHIM Pacha,* renowned as well for his rare talent for governing as for his military qualities-when both, we say, having laid aside thoughts of war, by which they have been hitherto distracted, will exclusively dedicate their cares to the internal regime of the State, proud one day of having added a family to the illustrious circle of civilized nations.
ART. VII.-Note on the dissection of the Arctonix Collaris, or Sand Hog. By GEORGE EVANS, ESQ. late Curator to the Asiatic Society. This curious little animal, for some time a living inmate of the Society's Rooms, having died suddenly on the night of the 20th January, apparently from the effects of cold, the following particulars of its dissection are offered to the notice of the Society.
In the length of the body it measured one foot, the head from the snout to the occiput five inches, and the tail, which is thin, straight, and pendulous, somewhat exceeded five inches.
The animal proved to be a young female, and had barely completed its second dentition. The only peculiarity worthy of notice, beyond what is already known and received, as far as regards its external organization, is a caudal pouch directly under the origin of the tail (something similar to what is found in the Badger,) but quite distinct from, and wholly unconnected with, the anus or genital organs. The sac is formed by duplicate folds of the common integuments, having a lining of naked membrane, secreting a brown unctuous matter, not unlike cerumen, or wax of the ear; the use of this peculiar structure and se
* Eldest son of the Viceroy, born in Macedon, three miles from Cavella-a son unmatched in his obedience to his father.
cretion would appear to be confined to the generative function solely, and is most probably of an analogous nature to the lachrymal sacs in most of the Deer tribe.
The stomach was large and simple, with a strong muscular pylorus, not unlike in figure and structure that of our common Indian Bear (U. labiatus) on which animal I offered a few remarks at our last meeting.
The liver is divided into five distinct lobes, the second on the right side being partially separated at its lower marginal part for the reception of the gall-bladder, which contained some greenish looking bile. The kidneys differed from those of the Bears in not being lobulated. The total length of the alimentary canal from the pylorus to the anus measured eleven feet two inches. The intestines throughout were of delicate structure, and exhibited no distinct division or peculiarity of form by which the larger could be clearly distinguished from the smaller, and consequently there is no cæcum in this animal, or any dilatation equivalent thereto, the canal merely becoming a little more capacious in its descent towards the anal opening, where there are two small glandular follicles on its verge.
The uterus and organs of generation were too small and undeveloped to admit of examination.
Tongue large, broad, and with a soft smooth surface.
The system of dentition was as follows:
the Incisors, Canines, and false Molars corresponding more to the Carnivora, while the true Molars are tuberculous, leading to the inference that the quality of its food must be of a vegetable nature. The last Molar in the upper jaw is very remarkably lengthened, in fact it is more like the two ordinary terminal teeth united into one than a single tooth, but this is not the case with the corresponding tooth in the lower jaw.
The diet of the animal while in captivity consisted entirely of bread, milk, and plantains; the latter being evidently its favorite food, to the total rejection of meat and flesh of all kinds.
There were no morbid appearances observable on opening the body to account for its sudden death; this coupled with the circumstance of the animal having up to the time of its demise been in perfectly good health, and appearing in fine condition on dissection, leads me to conclude it must have perished from exposure to cold.
It has been remarked by some naturalists that this obscure and anomalous animal is closely allied to the Bears and Pigs, forming a
bond of union, or kind of link, connecting the extreme limits of the Carnivora with the omnivorous Pachydermata, but I do not clearly trace the connection here said to exist. That it shows some very marked affinities to the Bears cannot be denied, and which are prominently displayed in its perfectly plantigrade motion, by the form and structure of the foot, and by some of its habits; but where the connection said to exist between it and the Pigs, beyond a mere accidental resemblance of its head to that animal is to be found, I am at a loss to conceive. If an analogy is to be traced, I should certainly say that in general appearance and physiology it is far more like the Badger than any other animal it has been compared to, and its approximation to it is made apparent by its kindred habits, dentition, and other structural peculiarities, possessing like the Badgers the caudal pouch, and wanting, like them, a true cæcum, which its dissection has pointed out. In short, I incline to consider it an aberrant form of Mole leading directly into the Ursine group, rather than taking an intermediate place between the Bears and the Pachydermatous family, to which last it appears from the above dissection to have little or no affinity.
The importance of making anatomical organization the basis of systematic arrangement, as promulgated by Cuvier in his great work the Regne Animal, cannot be too forcibly insisted on ; it is the only sure and safe guide to a correct analysis of genera and species, and where opportunities present themselves for these investigations they should never be lost sight of, while their results, however uninviting they may appear, should be duly noted and recorded as facts for the information of the systematic naturalist and inquirer after nature.
P. S. Since writing the above I have met with a delineation and description of an animal by Bewick (Hist. Quad. 4th edit, Newcastle upon Tyne 1800, page 284) called the "Sand Bear," in which he notices the name of " Sow Badger" as one of its appellations. The specimen from which his drawing was made belonged to the Tower of London Menagerie. He also quotes a white Badger (described by Brisson) as a native of New York, and believed to be of the same species. From the above quoted drawing of Bewick it is clear that the animal was known to English naturalists long before M. Duvaucel's description had appeared; and I record the fact in order to wipe away a portion of that reproach so frequently cast upon our countrymen, of allowing foreigners the honor of having anticipated us in the wide extended field of Eastern Natural History to which we have such ready access; and which reproach I am convinced (with as much support as is afforded by the Governments of other European Powers to similar objects,) would never have been either deserved or incurred.