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ered and screened, trying to burst free from a “ The pain's gone.” long line of dappled clouds. So I stood in the “Yes, my darling. Oh, my child, my child!” recess of the bow window for some time, till The agony would have way for the minute. the rustle of a robe sounded in the room, and The little head turned restlessly on its pillow. Paula's hand upon my arm, and Paula's voice- "Is mamma sorry?” ** Husband! Wish is ill-very ill."
Mamma is content." I do not know what I said, or how she looked. There was a long silence. Then again the I only remember the sudden horror of the shock, weak, tremulous, tiny voicethe heavy weight that fell on my heart, crush- "Where are you, mamma ? and papa ?” ing all quiet thoughts away. I remember, too, We each took one small hand. that the sun had burst through the detaining “Why can't I see you? Why are you so clouds and shone round and golden, while the far off?" level light, intense and absolute, glorified the Paula slid her arm under the dear head and landscape that had seemed bright before. held her so. The slender breath grew short
It was strange, and yet not strange, that both and fast. Dr. Lethby drew near, looked for a Paula and I, from the first, had the same breath- minute, then left us softly. less terror of this illness that had suddenly “Mamma - papa !” we detected the faint smitten the child. She had drooped and sick-whisper, and bent down very close that we ened within a few hours, they told me. At might lose nothing of the fragile sound. first, Dr. Lethby himself was perplexed by the “Come, too. Come with Wish!" singular nature of the attack; but ultimately it And that was all. The lips ceased to be resolved itself into one of those dread fevers, so stirred, even by the futtering breath. A slight subile and sometimes so fatal. Sometimes- spasm convulsed her face for a moment and only sometimes! I said this to myself day after then left it settled in that pure, peaceful likeday, trying to keep up the show of hope. But ness we were to know it by evermore. I was a hypocrite. Through the long hours We leaned over her humbly. I felt as if in that I watched by the little bed where our dar- a dream. I could not realize; I could not beling tossed in restless delirium though I watched lieve in any thing that I saw. Wish lying as eagerly, as jealously, as if by the keenness there with that white, soft smile on her face of my vision I could fence off all ill that could was not real; and still less was Paula, sitting, come near her-still, I knew.
without word or sign, gazing down on the dead On the ninth day, exhausted, I had been face with her steadfast eyes. It was in an incompelled by Dr. Lethby to leave the sick room stinctive effort to break the circle of illusions for a space.
I fell into a heavy, torpid sleep, which surrounded me that I called on her name. from which I was aroused by a voice, “Come,” She roused then, and looked up. The anit said, “at once. The child is sinking. Nerve guish seemed to surge over her face in a gradyourself for your wife's sake. She suffers more ual wave of consciousness. It broke, with & than you can do."
forlorn wandering of the eyes, a beseeching gesAnd I rose and staggered to my feet, like ture of the outstretched arms, and a low, long, one in a dream, and followed him......... Idesolate wail. could not bear it. I could not bear to see the “My darling, my treasure ! Oh, my child, tiny figure, with its lily face and closed eyes, my child, my child !” lyin, there. All my manhood forsook me. I I sat there, mute, and watched her agony. Aung myself by the bedside and burst into a I dared not go near it. I was stone-like and passion of despair.
helpless. I felt as if all my world had slipped A hand took mine and pressed it. Paula had by me—Aoated away irretrievably into an unstolen to my side; Paula's voice spoke to me. known vortex, while I stood watching, as now,
"Hush, husband !” Only those two words, with my hands bound to my side and my utterbut in such a tone! Calm, comforting, tender. ance choked, even from lamentations. I looked up at her-her face wore the same ex- My last remembrance was of Paula coming pression as her voice.
to me, touching my forehead with her hands. "Is there hope, then?” I said, in a harsh Then every thing was blotted out from eyes and w ver, "and they told me there was none! mind. ... Paula, can she live ?"
I had been a strong man, vigorous in health * No. Oh, be still; for her moments are as I was held to be in intellect. But in that very few; and she can hear you."
long illness I seemed to be drained of life, both She was again hanging over the child, watch- mental and physical, till only the dregs of both ing every quiver of her little face, listening to remained. Then there followed a long period every faint breath that came and went. of convalescence, during which all I could do
Presently the eyelids trembled and unclosed. was to lie quietly where they placed me, someThe wide blue eyes sought the mother's face times with closed lids and heavy, listless and rested there content. A smile parted the thoughts vaguely traversing my mind; somepale lips, and she seemed to try to speak. times with my eyes wandering restlessly about “Mamma."
the room till they lit on Paula's patient face, She laid her head beside her, so better to whereon they would linger. About that face har the feoble utterance.
my thoughts grew entangled often. I could
not rightly order them. A misty consciousness, hill-I remembered it. Cruelly, relentlessly a painful yearning after something forgotten, bright it looked now in the soft sunshine. After continually led me into a maze of ideas so im- a little while I hid my face from it. perfectly comprehended that I felt more than " What month is this?" I asked her. She ever weak and helpless in the midst.
told me August. I paused to think; and she At length, one day, a very little thing broke divined my thoughts, and prevented the questhe spell that kept my mind so tightly in its tion that hovered on my lips. bonds. Some flowers were brought and laid “ It was the last week in July that our darbeside me.
Their delicate fragrance seemed ling went,” said she, softly. " And then," to steal into my very inmost heart. Among she presently added, in the same hushed tone, them were one or two sprays of white jasmine, ** you left me, too. I thought I had lost both." with their peculiar aromatic odor. On the “How did you bear it, Paula ?” I cried, wings of that subtle essence recollection came hastily. “Why did your heart not break? to me and renewed consciousness. These were Why was I the one to fail, and fall helpless at favorite flowers of our Wish; they had been this time ?" among those—the last gathered by her hands “A year ago," said Paula, “I should have --that I had carelessly taken up that evening- fallen helpless, too, Lewis. No human strength, a whole life since! and distinctly, to every no human fortitude is capable of enduring such smallest detail of “that evening," I remem- woe as ours.” She stopped abruptly, then addbered. I saw the radiant hill and the rosy ed slowly, in a strange tone-low, but distinct, sunset, the aspect the room had worn, and the and with a tremulous quiver vibrating through look on Paula's face when she came to tell me every word—“But I-I was not comfortless." that Wish was ill. Then came the long, I looked at her in silence. blurred, hazy memory of the ensuing days, “Lewis," she whispered, “I was not comscarcely of anxiety-that were too hopeful a fortless." A pause. "No," she went on, name for the feeling with which we hungrily slowly, and now her voice rose steady and watched every breath our darling drew, every clear, answering to the light that gathered and change on her face, every stirring of her limbs, brightened in her eyes, “a mother who has seen through that terrible time.
her child die is still not comfortless. For no From these remembrances I lifted my eyes mother who has lost her child can doubt. Lewand read their sequel in Paula's face. Yet was is, do you understand me? God is good," she there still something in that shadowed face cried, passionately, “and in his mercy he orwhich I could not understand. Involuntarily dered it so, that to a bereaved mother's soul my thought took words. “How changed !" I must come the conviction that is more than said. And again in my mind I commenced knowledge—the faith that is worlds above all groping about for some new revelation which reasoning. I know that I shall have my child should make things clearer to me. But at the again! Lewis, Lewis, I know.” sound of my voice Paula came and stooped be- She sank down beside me; and again the side me, looking earnestly into my face, as if soft rain of tears fell plenteously. When woshe were startled to hear me speak. Her own men weep so it is well with them...... And I voice trembled as she asked me “What was lay still and thought. changed ?” She was afraid lest my answer It was well with Paula, I could see that. should betray that I was still not myself, for- To see it steadied me, strengthened me, infipoor wife !- I had been utterly bereft of sense nitely. The feeling of that long convalescence for many weeks. “ You are changed, Paula,” was a very strange one. It might well be so, I said. "Is this new world ?"
for the clear head, the vigorous brain I had "Ay, it is, it is !" she answered me, and had a man's pride in possessing, had passed put her arms round me, and wept abundantly. from me forever; and during those months of
By-and-by, as she gradually told me the his- slow recovery to bodily strength, I had to grow tory of all those past seven weeks, I began to accustomed to the truth. Mental strength look in wonderment into her face, wherein I would never be mine again. All my capacities could detect no traces of the old stony despera- were bounded now by but a narrow circle. The tion that had been wont to come there when profound thought, the complicated reasoning, danger was near those she loved. For hers was that had been easy to me as pastime, I could a nature that could bear bravely, endure cheer- pursue no longer. fully, many troubles that most women would The affliction fell heavily upon me; perhaps shrink from; but when anxiety or sorrow really the smaller trouble it involved nerved us both touched her, it did more than afflict, it tortured to endure it better. My vocation was gone, her. All this slowly recurred to me with vivid- and with it, our means of living, save the small ness as I lay on my sofa, holding her hand fast, sum that yearly accrued to Paula. It was and watching the outline of the pale, beautiful enough to save us from absolute want; but my face that was slightly averted from me. She condition, the doctors said, necessitated many was looking at the landscape which was stretched luxuries, and to gain money for these Paula ont before the window. It was early autumn worked hard. Not writing; the time for that now; I knew the look of the trees in the gar- was past. She had lived too much, perhaps, den, of the copse on the slope of the hill. The to be able to put life on paper as she had done, years before. Imagination had been set aside
YELLOW FEVER. by vital, engrossing reality for so long that it could not now resume its functions as of old. IOME But she was more than content to teach the few rated the origin and early history of this little children that came to her every morning. fearful epidemic, and gave an account of its visIntercourse with children, indeed, grew to be its to this country down to the commencement one great solace of her life.
of the present century.
We now resume the The other-yes, I think I was a solace to her, subject, and propose to bring our sketches down even when I myself was most hopeless. I think to the present time. After the season of exI helped her, though I was very weak, and so treme activity which marked the close of the feeble as I have said.
last century the disease became comparatively And years passed on. Comparative wealth quiescent. It prevailed, indeed, as an endemic, came to us then ; but Panla for a long while and occasionally as an epidemic, in the cities continued her labor of love among the little of the extreme South, but, with the exception children.
of a few isolated cases, the States north of South We grew old together. It is not long since Carolina entirely escaped. About 1819, howshe left me. I have been very lonely since then; ever, another eruption took place. bat not, as she said once, not comfortless. This outbreak was not without its premonito
It has helped to wear away this time of wait- ry signs, distinct enough to indicate to an attening to write this history for you, my true and tive observer what was about to happen. A kind friend. You knew me when the world marked increase in the severity of the disease, applauded me as strong and great; and when and a corresponding augmentation of the morit compassionated my weakness and my ruined tality, was observed in the Southern cities. In prospects. And I think you, who, seeing deep- 1817, New Orleans nearly tripled the number er than the world, saw through both the strength of deaths of the previous healthy year. The and the weakness, will find the lesson that I same year the pestilence visited Natchez under know these pages must convey.
the Hill, and swept away three hundred souls. So, farewell.
In Charleston it was very severe, attacking per
sons usually exempt-negroes, young children, THE BIRD THAT SUNG IN MAY. natives, and old residents. It destroyed two A
BIRD last Spring came to my window shutter hundred and seventy-four.
In 1819, the weather generally was hot and And from his little throat did sweetly utter
sultry, with few and light showers. It was A most melodious lay.
marked by a very extensive prevalence of yelHe had no language for his joyous passion,
low fever, of a high grade of malignity. The Yo solemn measure, nor artistic rhyme; Yet no devoted miustrel e'er did fashion
pestilence can not be said to have traveled from Such perfect tune and time.
point to point; on the contrary, it broke out about It seemed of thousand joys a thousand stories,
the same time at many widely remote places, All gurbing forth in one tumultuous tide;
and prevailed at the same moment in Boston A halleluiah for the morning glories
and in New Orleans. That bloomed on every side.
At Natchez it was very fatal. Mach of the And with each canticle's voluptuous ending
original soil had been disturbed in the efforts He sipped a dew-drop from the dripping pane;
made to give gentle grades to the streets of the Then heavenward his little bill extending, Broke forth in song again.
upper town.* The year was signalized by a
most destructive flood, which swept over the I thought to emulate his wild emotion,
lower town and the surrounding country, leavAnd learn thanksgiving from his tuneful tongue; But human heart ne'er uttered such devotion, ing behind it the usual debris. Hundreds of Nor human lips such song.
acres were covered with the sediment of the At length he flew and left me in my sorrow,
deluge-fragments of trees, half-decayed vegLest I should hear those tender notes no more ; etable matter of every kind, and numerous And though I early waked for him each morrow, drowned animals. These lay putrefying in the He came not nigh my door.
heat which immediately succeeded the flood. But once again, one silent, summer even,
The streets were overflowed and the cellars. I met him bopping in the new-mown hay; Bat he was mute, and looked not up to heaven-
filled with water. By the middle of July inThe bird that sung in May!
termittent and remittent fevers had become very Though now I hear from dawn to twilight hour
prevalent. They gradually assumed a characThe hoarse woodpecker and the noisy jay,
ter of extreme malignity, and by September yelIn vain I seek through leafless grove and bower low fever became fully developed. The disease The bird that sung in May.
was so general and so deadly that the populaAnd such, methinks, are childhood's dawning pleasures, tion generally fled. Only nine hundred and
They charm a moment and then fly away;
Natchez is built upon a bluff overlooking the MissisThe birds that sung in May.
the bluff to the river. Hence the names of Upper Town This little lesson, then, my boy, remember,
and Natchez under the Hill. The latter furnishes a land. To seize each bright-winged blessing in its day; ing-place to boats, and is consequently crowded with peoAnd never hope to catch in cold December
ple who minister to the appetites and wants of the flatThe bird that sung in May!
boatmen. VOL. XV.-No. 85.-E
ten of the inhabitants remained behind to take In view of these facts it is necessary to seek their chances. The poor were cared for by the for some local cause of the disease. This is authorities, and removed to a place of greater not hard to find. The position of the wharves salubrity, and maintained at the public expense. and the character of the docks have already Meanwhile, the fever raged terribly among those been alluded to. In their construction they unwho remained. No class of the community es- fortunately resembled too closely those wharves caped. The domestic animals felt the influence of New York, in the neighborhood of which the of the poison. Many of them died, and even earlier epidemics of the century originated. the wild deer in the neighboring forests, are They were filled with the offal of the streets and said to have perished. The severity of the dis- of the neighboring shops. Shavings and chips case may be estimated by the large proportion constituted a large portion of their bulk, and of deaths. Out of the greatly reduced popula- these putrescible materials were covered over tion two hundred and fifty died.
with gravel. Some idea of the amount of perNew Orleans also suffered terribly. Mobile ishable substances which made up the bulk of was severely scourged, two hundred and ninety- these wharves may be derived from the fact that four of her population perishing. At Savan- an analysis of the water of an Artesian well nah it was confined chiefly to foreigners and upon one of them, made so late as 1854, showed unacclimated persons from the Northern States, that out of sixty-nine parts of solid residue in while at Charleston the disease was severe and a gallon, twenty-five were composed of organic general. In most of these places, the pestilence and volatile matter. ascended the navigable rivers, and penetrated Late in July the storm fell suddenly upon for some distance into the country.
Smith's wharf. This was then one of the busiThe Northern cities did not escape. Boston est portions of the city, and its sanitary condilost thirty-two by this fever in the month of Sep- tion was of the worst character. The cellars tember. In Philadelphia it had two centres, were wet, and in those warehouses which had one on Market Street wharf, the other in South- no cellars the water collected under the floors. wark. In New York it broke out in the same The back windows opened upon an alley which neighborhood which former epidemics selected was abominably filthy, and contained a large for their first attack. The authorities very wise- quantity of putrefying shavings of a most offensly ordered away the vessels which were lying at ive odor. Suddenly several persons engaged the wharves, and recommended a general evac- in business on this wharf sickened. In a few uation of the infected district. These steps days ten cases of yellow fever had occurred, and produced not a little clamor. Business men, most of them died. The respectability of the whose regular occupation was thus interfered victims attracted public attention, and there was with, protested against the proceeding and ridi- much uneasiness and alarm in the city. On culed the unnecessary aların of the Board of the last day of the month one of those sedative Health. Fortunately for the city the officers meetings of physicians so common at the outwere positive. Some persons refused to go, and break of epidemics took place, and the people one man, who had been forcibly removed, return. were gravely assured that there existed no cause cd clandestinely and shut himself in his house. of alarm, and that there was nothing unusual in His foolish obstinacy was not discovered until the health of the city. These soothing words, he was found dead in the place he was so un- however, did not quiet the alarm of those whose willing to leave. Several merchants, laughing friends and neighbors had so suddenly perished. at the precautions of the authorities, persisted The pestilential wharf was speedily deserted, in visiting their counting-houses : their death and the fever ceased for want of victims. It is atoned for their rashness. In spite of all oppo- remarkable that Spear's wharf, just opposite, sition, and in defiance of all ridicule, the author- separated only by the dock, and Bowley's wharf, ities went steadily on with their work. They on the other side of the alley, did not suffer at removed the poor people to Staten Island and all. The immunity of the latter has been atihe neighborhood of Hell Gate, where they were tributed to the fact that its windows did not open supported at the public expense. Finally, the upon the offensive alley, and that its occupants place was cleared, the watch doubled around it, had filled up and paved their cellars. the premises carefully cleansed, and the epidem- A fortnight had now elapsed and no new ic extinguished, with the loss of only forty-three cases having occurred the panic had already lives. It is impossible to say what might have abated, when it was revived by the report that been the result had the Board of Health been the dreaded fever had broken out upon the less energetic or less determined.
Point. It was said that it or a similar disease In Baltimore the epidemic broke out in the had been prevailing during the entire month of sidst of an uncommonly healthy season. July about Harris's Creek and Canton, rural Though the weather was hot and the rain districts in the vicinity of Fell's Point. The vicscanty, the city enjoyed an immunity from fe-tims were mostly farmers, and the fever seems Trile diseases to an uncommonly late period of to have been an exaggeration of the ordinary the summer. Indeed, after the yellow fever had remittents. At any rate the cases were nubroken out, it was still remarked that the por- merous and rather unmanageable. tions of the city unaffected by the pestilence The pestilence made its appearance first at continued healthy.
the foot of the Point, in the immediato vicinity of the water, among the dissipated people al- | till the end of November, attacking numerous ways found in such parts of a sea-port. The scattered sections of the city in the neighborbulk of the population was made up of sailors hood of the wharves. The entire number of and people who dealt with them. The improv- cases reported was 125, the deaths 83. It had ilent and uncleanly habits of this class of peo- the effect of calling public attention to the sanple are well known. They are always peculiarly itary condition of the city, and inducing them susceptible to epidemic disease, as well from to enter into very extensive schemes for imtheir habits of living as from their greater ex- proving it. posure to the causes of such disease. Of such The following year Baltimore was again atcauses there was no lack. The first cases oc-tacked and lost 173 of its inhabitants. Norfolk curred in an unpaved street near the docks also suffered. The origin of the disease in the and parallel with the water. The bed of the last named town appears to be pretty clearly street was deeply covered with shavings, which traced to a vessel from Guadeloupe, which, late emitted so horribly offensive an odor, that even in July, pumped out some bilge-water of a very the sailors, who were the chief occupants of the offensive odor. People living in the neighborhouses, complained of it. The authorities had hood of the wharf at which this vessel lay found the putrid matter removed, but it was remarked the stench so intolerable that they were comthat every laborer who was engaged in this pelled to close the windows and doors which work died of yellow fever. The people living looked toward the nuisance. Four days afteron the street were also attacked, and the pesti-ward, on the 1st of August, several persons who lence spread gradually along the wharves and had been exposed to these effluvia sickened with the adjacent streets. The vessels moored in yellow fever. From them the disease spread. the neighborhood became sickly, and were or- By the first of November the pestilence was dered out into the stream by the Board of over, and 160 persons had died. The violence Health.
of the disease was shown by its sparing no class The alarm became very general. People of the community. The blacks, who escape orkindled bonfires throughout the streets in the dinary epidemics, suffered very severely in this. vain hope of checking the pestilence. The au- After 1821, the seaboard cities again enjoyed thorities exerted themselves to put the infected an exemption from the visitations of this frightdistrict in a better condition, but their efforts ful pestilence. Individual cases occasionally were all in vain. All who could possibly get occur
curred, but no epidemic influence aggravated away now followed the advice of the Board of its fatality. So long did this season of quiet Health, fled from the plague-smitten spot, and last that many began to talk of it as they would desolation soon reigned throughout the busy of the Black Death, and to regard it as a hishive. Hearses and physicians' carriages were torical pestilence in which they had no more the only vehicles which threaded the silent interest than in the Plague so graphically dethoroughfares. The atmosphere of the district seribed by Thucydides. They were doomed, was as deadly as the valley of the Upas. It however, to disappointment. As early as 1850 could not be entered with safety. A lady who signs of the coming storm were visible upon the resided in the upper part of the city, which, as southern horizon. Rio Janeiro, reputed one of we have said, retained its health throughout the the healthiest of tropical cities, was attacked. epidemic, rode down in a carriage to one of the This city has long been a favorite resort for wharves in this vicinity in order to embark in invalids from the north, as well on account of a vessel shortly about to sail. She was obliged the salubrity of its neighborhood as of the beauty to wait a short time for a boat to convey her to of the surrounding scenery.
It is built upon the ship. Brief as was her stay it proved suffi- a marshy plain, embossed with high hills of cient to communicate the disease, and in three granite and gneiss, on the western shore of a days she was a corpse. The walking cascs were great bay. This sheet of water sends up into numerous; several persons fell dead in the the land numerous coves and bays, and washes streets without any previous warning. Septem- the bases of as many points and headlands. ber was the worst month. During its thirty Back of the city rise mountains from fifteen days, 640 persons sickened and 242 died. The hundred to three thousand feet high, with pretotal number of deaths from yellow fever was 350. cipitous faces, clad in all the varied luxuriance
During this year che fever was very general of tropical vegetation. The bay is studded with and fatal in the West India Islands. It again islands and rocks, and its shore is generally low crossed into Spain. At Cadiz, out of a popula- and swampy—“so doubtful,” says Dr. Lalletion of 72,000, 48,000 took the fever and 5000 mant, “ that in some places it can not be said died.
where solid land begins. These vast swampIn 1820, Philadelphia was again visited by plains are covered with a labyrinth of avicenyellow fever. After an unusually severe winter nias, paulinias, and rhizophores, beneath the and a late, wet spring, the summer set in sud- mysterious shadows of which millions of crusdenly with great heat and little rain. The docks tacea, annelids, and infusoria are generated, were in a filthy condition and odorous with the die, and putrefy.” Several rivers empty their effluvia of damaged potatoes and other decaying waters into this bay, thus making that mixture substances. Late in July, the first case of yel- of salt and fresh water, which, in every climate, low fever was reported, and the disease lingered has been found so prejudicial to health.