played host before he was well out of
his childhood, was urged to drink himself
into a fever, and died in his mother's
THE TALE UNFINISHED.
In some green quiet grave, brother,
We would thou hadst been laid,
Where gentle flowers wept their dew,
And softened sunshine play'd;
Where solemn trees kept murmuring
Their tremulous good-bye,
And streamlets' silver tongues should sing
Thy death-psalm tenderly.
Alas! Death bore thee down, brother,
In his most angry mood,
Commanding, in alliance fierce,
The fire to meet the flood.
Was it some warning gave thee aid
Of fiery wreck to tell?
All, brother, Fancy's dream hath had
Thine olive-branch was lost, brother,
'Mid that unequal strife,
When furious Death was hand to hand
With strong, despairing Life.
Oh! one cloud riseth from that wreck
That over England low'rs;
Perchance that sea whose pearls we seek
Was covetous of ours.
Perhaps the hour that prayer, brother,
Rose up at home for thee,
The hope of that unconscious love
Was sinking in the sea;
And none can tell how sadly bright,
Through all that stormy blaze,
One far-off flame, thine own hearth-light,
Was present to thy gaze.
And all thy pleasant books, brother,
How shall we read them now?
That wreck between us and the page
Will drive its burning prow:
And we must close the book, and pause
O'er memory's tablet pale,
Inscribed to him whose lifetime was
A sad, unfinished tale.
ONE OF THE EVILS OF MATCH-
THE existence in the world of a curious
form of disease, which had been manifested
in the human body since the invention of
lucifer matches, and caused by fumes from
the phosphorus used in their manufacture,
was first made known to the public
in 1848, by means of an article in the
British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical
Review. Before that time it had been
observed and written upon in Germany, where
the first manufacture of lucifer matches dates
some five or ten years earlier than in England.
The liability to this disorder of persons engaged
in making lucifers, is not extremely
great: probably there have not been more
than a hundred and fifty cases in the whole
time (which we may call roughly twenty
years) since lucifer matches have been used.
The Germans had fifty-two on record in 1848,
and if we had not been startled by a detail of
nearly fourteen from one factory at
Manchester, we should have estimated the whole
number of cases at about a hundred. The
phosphorus, it is agreed on all hands, does not
act injuriously on the constitution generally.
The fumes do not necessarily affect the lungs,
as we might have supposed. The German
workers affirm that their general health
does not suffer in the least, and experience
in London goes beyond that, to affirm that
it is even improved after attendance at the
factory. It is ascertained also, and this is
important to remember, that exposure for a
day or a month will not produce the
phosphorus disease: it rarely breaks out on any
person who has been less than four years at
the factory; most of those who suffer have
worked previously for a longer time.
Most writers have been induced to
suppose that the disease begins with aching
in a tooth that has previously been more
or less imperfect, or in people whose gums
are not firmly adherent to the bone. An
unsound constitution, especially scrofula, at
any rate, favours the development of the
disease. The next symptom is a decaying
of the jawbone. Pieces of it, probably as
large as peas, work themselves out. The
disease has destroyed its vitality; for bone
also lives and requires its blood-vessels and
its other apparatus. When bone is dead, an
admirable provision is made by which the
healthy parts combine to cast it out. The
surgeon generally takes care to extract the
disease artificially before it has become so
violent as to threaten life. Occasional deaths
are the result of this affection, but commonly
there is no more than great suffering for a
certain time, and then a permanent and
grievous disfigurement. Many sufferers, on
the other hand, have stated that constitutional
ailments with which they were previously
afflicted, have abated greatly when the jaw-
disease set in. It is also a fact, that the entire
loss of the lower jaw in youth does not involve
always its permanent disappearance.
Bone does not, however, appear to be so readily
reproduced after its destruction by phosphorus
as when destroyed by other causes.
A writer in the Medical Review, paid, in
1848, an unexpected visit to the Lucifer
Manufactory in Princes Square, Finsbury.
Fifteen girls, fifty boys, and eleven men were
then at work there, some of whom had been
engaged upon the factory for eight and even
ten years. No case of the disease had occurred
among them; all were in good health. They
were required to purify themselves from
phosphorus by washing their hands, on
entering and on leaving the place, in alkaline
water (phosphoric vapour is an acid neutralised
by alkali). Those who worked at
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