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under similar circumstances, and, for the reputation of protective power, enjoyed by venetian blinds and gauze pavilions.
We do not think that enough stress has been laid upon the efficacy of trees, in giving protection from the influences of Malaria. It is true, that their usefulness has been acknowledged from the earliest times. We might fill pages with trite quotations from Pliny, Varro, Lancisi, Volney, Rush, Johnson, and others, to establish this point which has never been disputed. But we are anxious to contend for an important distinction here. Every kind of tree will offer a mechanical impediment to the passage of air carrying Malaria; any foliage will condense the moisture with which it is combined; but if this were all, then should the densest growth, and the broadest and thickest foliage be of most obvious efficacy in prevention. The contrary, however, is remarkable and notorious. The pine, who, with his tall trunk, elevated branches and linear leaves, opposes less mechanical difficulty to the transmission of air, and less surface for the concentration of dews and vapours than any other of the majestic inhabitants of the forest, seems gifted with singularly salubrious powers, and imbued with healing and preserving virtue in every bough. To what shall we attribute this. Every tree circulates its peculiar fluids; that the effluvia which it secretes and eliminates, are also specific and peculiar, is equally evident; it is not altogether unreasonable to suppose that certain of these exhalations may possess chemical properties and affinities that enable them to combine with and decompose, or neutralize Malaria, or the principles which go to constitute this poison. Whether all other trees, whose juices are of a terebinthinate quality, are endued with similar efficacy with the pine, we are not prepared to say, but we believe that observation will go far to establish the fact.
We are now prepared to indicate the various modes by which we are to endeavour, at the diminution of the production of Malaria in the first instance, and, in the second, at the contraction of its limit of injurious operation. A judicious system of draining, if carried into energetic operation, is capable of entirely relieving our middle and upper country from the invasion of Malaria disease. In our low country, although it does not promise so much, at least, immediately, it is still our most important, nay, almost our only means of hopeful relief. The draining of low, moist lands has been always found to improve the air around them, ultimately, though at first, as in early clearing, by increasing the exposure of the decaying material formerly overflowed with water, it increases, sometimes, in a terrible degree, the amount of miasmata, evolved. The enterprise of our
sister city Savannah, has instituted, on a large scale, an experiment of the effect of draining, and the system of dry culture, applied to the rice-lands in her vicinity, is said to be already productive of beneficial results. The probabilities in its favour are every day, for reasons above alluded to, becoming greater and greater. Every inhabitant of the south must pray heartily for its entire success.
Our soil is composed, to an inexhaustible depth, of vegetable materials; the heat of our climate will remain the same, or nearly the same forever; if we cannot convey off the moisture so as to diminish, very considerably, the decomposition which it fosters, and the evaporation which gives force to the product of that decomposition, this fertile portion of our globe must, forever, continue to be, to the same extent, as at present, uninhabitable, or be abandoned to the lower orders of the animal creation. Nor should we be discouraged by the apparent vastness of the undertaking. By means, such as these, many large portions of country have been reclaimed and improved, and have been found, richly, to repay the labour expended on them.
Houses, in a Malaria country, should be situated on such elevations as may present themselves, somewhat raised from the ground, on the western side of a water-course or swamp, if there be one in the neighbourhood. Until the draining of this swamp is effectually accomplished, the exuberant underwood and small bushes which line its banks should be left undisturbed. A considerable body of trees, completely cleared of underbrush, should surround the house at a little distance from it. Pines should be left standing, or a situation near them chosen-if they are not at hand, we think there is some reason to believe the hickory to be next in value, as a protective from, or corrective of, Malaria. During the summer and autumn, fires should be lighted at evening, and kept burning, until an hour after sunrise in the morning, especially if the weather be close and damp, or if fogs rise from the ground, or approach the house from any quarter.
It is to the several circumstances, formerly noted, which limit the sphere of action of Malaria, its necessary combination with aqueous vapours; its consequent weight which prevents it from rising in a state of concentration to any great height, and obstructs its passage to a distance, unless when wafted by winds, which, at the same time, dilute and disperse it, and the attraction and affinities which cause it to adhere to trees, and occasion it to be more or less acted on by the emanations from them, it is to these circumstances that we must attribute the salubrity of our pine-land settlements, their comparative-nay, with regard to
some of them, we might venture to say absolute exemption from the dominion of Malaria, and the happy protection which they afford from miasmatic diseases. . Situated as they are in the very heart of our low country, surrounded by and in the midst of fields and morasses, their existence is of the utmost importance to the agricultural part of our population. Shaded by the lofty pine, fixed on a soil, light, arid and absorbent, and unincumbered by low thick masses of underwood, we have here the favourable conditions of dryness, a certain degree of elevation-these tracts being well entitled to their common appellation of "ridges"-sufficient ventilation-free admission being given to the sun and to breezes from whatever direction-the presence of trees, and these of a genus whose terebinthinate exhalations are almost universally believed to distribute some principles of a balmy and salutary nature.
To preserve these advantages, however, in their full value, some attention would seem to be necessary. The most perfect cleanliness of yards and offices must be observed; nothing should be planted near the dwellings, even the delights of the flower garden being prohibited, and all offal, of every kind, buried at some distance. It has been recommended also, that a new position should, every four or five years at farthest, be selected for the house, which ought as often to be rebuilt of new materials. Certain of our pine-land villages have, however, subsisted for a long series of years, and still retain their reputation as healthy residences. We are not prepared to say whether these derive their established character for salubrity, from the observance of the regulations pointed out, or from some felicitous peculiarity of location, which prohibits the invasion of noxious effluvia.
It has been noticed, that the presence of moss (Tillandsia usneoides) upon the pine, is an indication of a state of the air at the spot, unfavourable to health, and that the gradual encroachment of this parasitic vegetable upon the trees of a ridge, previously healthy, is a fair warning that it is about to lose this general, though not uniformly characteristic exemption of our sandy barrens. We shall not find it difficult to explain the fact, allowing its correctness. The moss delights in moisture, and attaches itself to the growth of moist situations. It forms thus a good hygrometer, and gives proof that the neighbouring low grounds are becoming more abundant, and spreading more widely than formerly. We might hope to avert the threatened evil by timely and perfect draining, and it is to be lamented, that such attempts have not been more frequently and energetically made, VOL. II.-No. 3. 24
rather than yield, as we have too often done, point after point, to the pestiferous dominion of this evil principle. In a similar way would we account for the great abundance of insects and vermin to be found in miasmatic situations, and for the common opinion that an unusual multiplication of gnats, flies, musquitoes, &c. betoken the approach of an unhealthy season. These little creatures cannot exist without moisture, which, with heat, so much fosters their production, that these principles have been supposed by not a few philosophers, fully capable of generating them or bringing them into being.
Dr. MacCulloch goes at some length into the discussion of the question why Rome suffers more from Malaria now, than she did formerly. Without entering into the details of this matter we like the suggestion, (p. 175) that "after all, one of the greatest differences between Ancient and Modern Rome may be rather a political than a physical question; the difference between a state of activity and wealth despising disease, and one of sloth and poverty retiring before it, giving it also the means of acting with an accelerating effect." This is, indeed, a brief expression of our views. There are abundant allusions made in the older writers, which prove that Rome and its surrounding country were always specially liable to pestilential fevers; if, in a greater degree now, the political changes to which she has been subjected, are entirely sufficient to account for all and more than all the difference.*
There is one circumstance connected with the different state of population in the vicinity of Rome, in ancient and modern times, which we think has not been sufficiently considered. The experience of Carolina proves, that a dense population, although the cause of some diseases, yet corrects and diminishes the sources of others. This is found to be the case in the centre of Rome as well as of Charleston. The very smoke produced by the domestic uses and the necessary manufactures of a numerous people, diminishes and almost destroys those remittent and intermittent fevers which are the common forms of disease in an unhealthful country. Under such a protection, mankind will multiply and increase, until some political revolution shall change the condition of the population. Until war shall decimate the inhabitants with the sword-scatter abroad those who escape, or reduce them to abject poverty. The causes of depopulation will then begin to act, and will increase with accelerated energy. Diseases will re-appear and multiply. Those who can fly will shun the pestilence, those who remain will, in a great measure, perish every circumstance will give new activity to this destroying power, until a country becomes as desolate and dangerous as the Campagna of Rome. The difficulty in the case is, to fill such a country with inhabitants. Now it should be kept in remembrance, that in the prosperous days of Rome, the plains of Latium and Etruria, improved and embellished by the arts and wealth of a prostrate world, were cultivated by slaves, whose residence was not voluntary. These, the wars and conquests of Rome supplied in unstinted numbers. The captives and victims of each war were distributed among the conquering soldiers, or sold in the markets of the capital. A numerous population was thus constantly maintained in all the districts adjacent to Rome. The country was, probably, made more healthful by this population, and the wealthy proprietors resided on their domains only in those months, when the Malaria did not manifest itself. Cicero and Horace
The subject is particularly interesting to us from a certain analogy presented in the history of the lower division of our own section of country. Throughout the summer and autumn, our flourishing plantations and ripening fields must be abandoned to the care of slaves and hirelings, and our planters confined closely to the sea-coast, or imprisoned in the settlements among the pine-lands; and although our rich low grounds and woody swamps must always have been the local habitation of every miasmatic affection, yet there is a general belief prevalent, that this evil has for some time past been increasing. During the reign of frost, the inhabitants of the low country think themselves safe from the ravages of miasmatic pestilence. Released from their summer residences in the month of November, they may remain among their fields until the return of spring, whose balmy zephyrs waft to us on their soft warm wings the elements of destruction. It is too certain that the necessity for this enforced absence urges somewhat earlier than in former years. The trim avenues, and well-built mansions, scattered over the face of these fertile districts by the successive generations of our predecessors, may be seen, in numerous instances, fast hastening to decay-the period of safe residence in them being, as it is alleged, sensibly diminished and still diminishing.
It is not easy to give a satisfactory explanation of a statement so melancholy, yet we will notice some circumstances which seem to us to claim attention as affording a hint which may lead to a solution of these difficulties. We have spoken of the absolute necessity of the presence of certain degrees of heat to produce Malaria; paradoxical as it may appear, it yet derives its greatest occasional power from cold. Malaria diseases are most rife and most malignant in September and October, when the nights are cool and the dews settle upon the earth at evening, and the fogs rise heavy and dark in the morning; the alter
speak frequently of the custom of retiring, to avoid autumnal fogs and fevers, from Rome itself to the delightful villas amidst the ridges of the Appenines or to the sea coast of Baie and Salernum. And with regard to the cultivators of this soil, we suspect that as now in similar cases, as even in countries where free labourers are employed in mines, in crowded manufactures, in the workshops and occupations in which lead, copper, arsenic, sulphur and many other poisonous substances are freely used, the calculations were made as to the profit or convenience, not the healthfulness of the employment. How little the Romans regarded the insalubrity of a climate, or permitted it to interfere with their arrangements, an incident mentioned by Tacitus, will distinctly shew. The Senate, wishing during the reign of Tiberius, to remove from Rome the followers of Egyptian and Jewish rites, decreed, "ut quatuor millia libertini generis, ea superstitione infecta, quis idonea ætas, in insulam Sardiniam veherentur, coercendis illic latrociniis, et si ob gravitatem coeli interissent, vile damnum."-An. Lib. ii. 85. This will also shew that the climate of Sardinia cannot be now worse than it was reputed to be in the days of Tiberius or of Tacitus.