+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

denied to the elephant the possession of a musical
ear. M. Toscan, however, in his Décade
Philosophique, describes some apparently
decisive experiments which were made in the
beginning of the present century in the Garden
of Plants at Paris. An orchestra was erected
where the elephants could not see it. "On
hearing the first chords, the elephants left off
eating, and went in the direction whence the
sounds came, testifying their surprise by
different movements and various attitudes. Every
new air, every piece sufficiently different from
the preceding one to be seized by the ear,
made them undergo a new motion, and gave to
their movements characteristics approaching
nearer and nearer to the measure of the music.
Under the influence of the tender and
melodious air, O ma tendre musette! they fell into a
sort of enchantment; marching a few steps and
then stopping to hear better, and then they
came and placed themselves under the orchestra,
moving their trunks gently, and seeming to
inhale the amorous emanations of the music. The
gay and lively accents of the air Ça ira! seemed
to throw them entirely into a state of enthusiasm
and disorder."

With whatever deductions it may be wise to
receive the report of this Republican naturalist
respecting the democratic sympathies with the
air Ça ira! of the elephants of the 10th Prairial
of the year VI., the balance of evidence
palpably inclines in favour of the conclusion
that individual young elephants may have been
found by the ancients endowed with musical
aptitudes fitting them for a training, not merely to
dance in step themselves, but to guide the
movements of a dancing circle of their elephantine
comrades by clashing cymbals fastened to their
knees and trunks, correctly both in time and


WE have all heard of the fever-nests of
London. We know how men, women, and
children, hungry and listless, lie among rags
with glistening eyes and throbbing pulses. How
the wife may recover, and the husband who has
nursed her may drop into her grave, leaving the
widow weak from her sick-bed with sick little
children on the floor at her feet, there tossing
and moaning till they die and shall be happy, or
recover and return to wretchedness. We all
wish to send solace into these unhappy corners
of the town, and to help as we can in making
the lives of the very poor in London wholesomer
and happier. Much has been done. The
victims of typhussince we have had the Boards
of Health with their medical officers, and their
inspectors studying each court and alleyare
reduced in number. It is now five years since
we had a serious and open epidemic, such
fluctuations there have always been; the filthy pool
of fever if it has not overflowed is still among
us ready to overflow again, and it has no right
to be among us. All typhus and typhoid fever
is preventable. There is much to be done
before it shall be exterminated out of London,
and that we have made some little head against
the monster is precisely the best reason why we
should not relax in the war of extermination we
are bound to wage against it. Now is the
time, in days when there  is no panic, to recruit
our force and strengthen every outpost against
the enemy.

In the Liverpool-road, Islington, there is a
hospitalthe London Fever Hospital
expressly designed as a place of shelter for the
poor, who suffer from those fevers caused by
dirt and overcrowding, usually called infectious.
It is not built story over story, but its buildings
lie wide, covering much ground, and with a free
airy space of enclosed land around them. Miss
Nightingale has said that after seeing all the
London Hospitals, she found the Fever
Hospital the first for wholesomeness. The large
wards, full of windows letting in both air and
light, allow, by their measured proportion
between space and number of beds, double the
customary proportion of air to each patient; and
that double allowance is incessantly renewed by
open windows, and by every other available
means of wholesome ventilation. The part of
Islington in which the Fever Hospital occupies
its space of open ground, is itself airy and
wholesome; a fresh and quiet quarter of the
suburb that once had such good repute for
bracing air as to be itself called the London
Hospital. So many hopeless city invalids
formerly took lodgings in Islington that it had
something of the unnatural mortality of a Madeira.
That is a melancholy sort of wholesomeness,
no doubt; and so it is with the wholesomeness of
the fever nest kept ready for the healing of the
smitten poor who lie where, to themselves or
those about them, it is almost certain death to
lie. Nevertheless, it is a nest which anybody
born to wholesome things and wholesome
thoughts might some day be not sorry to have
helped in feathering.

Its history being associated with the later
history of London, typhus, the prevalence of
which is to a certain extent a measure of the
want of sanitary knowledge, or of the neglect of
sanitary discipline, is not without interest. At
the beginning of this century there was no fever
hospital in England; but there were in
Manchester, Chester, and one or two other towns,
valuable houses of reception for bad fever cases
withdrawn from the unwholesome fever nests of
those towns, and such houses were connected
with small systems of inspection and whitewashing,
directed by committees managing the funds
raised for such purposes by private subscription.
Those efforts for good were based upon a more
limited sense than we now have of the cause of
typhus. All that had to be done in the way of
drainage and construction of dwellings was very
dimly recognised, but the belief stopped at the
fact that infection rather spread from person to
person than that it arose in the same way
among many persons exposed to the same
noxious influence. Therefore, when anybody was
found in a close neighbourhood smitten with