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advantageous in its application in these examples, and in others which may occur, but also, that in some instances, it is the only substance which can be obtained possessing all the qualities requisite for the purpose.
J. CLARK. Bridgewater, Dec. 4, 1815.
On Vaccination in Hindostan.
[From Forbes's Oriental Memoirs, Vol. III.] The English have introduced the blessings of vaccination among all descriptions of people in Hindostan; by which means the lives of thousands, and tens of thousands, are annually preserved. In this humane undertaking, the Brahmins have risen superior to prejudice, and, under their extensive and powerful influence, all other casts of Hindoos have adopted the practice. Many letters on this subject from eminent Brahmins to medical gentlemen in India, do them honour; they contain the most liberal sentiments, and have been followed by a corresponding practice. Mooperai Streenivasachary, a Brahmin, thus writes to Dr. Anderson, at Madras, on vaccine inoculation:
“ I beg leave to observe, for the information of the natives of this country, that I have perused the papers which you have published on that wonderful, healthful, and immortal vaccine matter, discovered on the nipple and udders of some cows in England, by that illustrious physician Dr. Jenner; whereby the loathsome, painful and fatal Small.pox has been prevented from seizing the many of our fellow creatures in India, as well as in Europe.
“ I am an eye-witness, as well as many others, that numbers of children here have been inoculated with vaccine matter, without any injury or blemish whatsoever, excepting a small spot at the place where the matter is applied, which is commonly on the arm. It is therefore greatly to be wished that an intimate knowledge of this wonderful discovery may be acquired by the natives of this country, so as to enable them to preserve the lives of the rich and honourable, as well as those
of low casts. On this account it might be useful to remove a
MOOPERAL STREENIVASACHARY." As vaccination is now so generally adopted in Hindostan, and likely to become an universal blessing in that populous part of the globe, it may be satisfactory to mention the following singular fact, respecting the antiquity of vaccination in India, taken from the Asiatic Register for 1804; which is altogether a curious and authentic addition to a subject so interesting to humanity.
“ The fact stated in the following translation of a written memorandum from the Nabob Mirza Mehady Ali Khan, who was long resident at Benares, that the effects of vaccination have been known for a great length of time in that celebrated quarter of India, is referred to the investigation of those who have the opportunity and ability, since they cannot want the inclination, to prosecute so interesting an inquiry. The undoubted intimation of this fact, that vaccination has been practised among the worshippers of Bowannee, will not detract an iota from the merits of the Jennerian discovery; the fortuitous and happy circumstance that led to the discovery in Europe, has been unquestionably and most satisfactorily proved, whilst the anxiety, study, perseverance, and indefatigable exertions, which have been applied by its benevolent professor to ensure the conviction of the world, in the unbounded benefit of the discovery, have entitled him to the lasting gratitude of mankind. The full ascertainment of the fact will only go to afford an additional instance of primeval oriental knowledge; whether acquired or accidental is to be hereafter proved. It will only open an additional, neglected mine, for the curious and the learned; and will be another proof that the East has been the seat of wisdom,“ where learning flourished and the arts are
prized;" however much the neglect with which this knowledge has been treated in this country, may reflect upon the modern degeneracy, or the prejudices of the Indian character; which may, however, be all accounted for from the effects of the various revolutions to which their country has, for so many ages, been a prey; leaving thence room to the liberal construction of the unbiassed of every nation to conclude, that before the introduction of a foreign sway into Hindostan and the Deecan, its Hindoo inhabitants were versed in the arts and sciences, far beyond the other parts of the world, at the same remote period of time.”
Translation of a written Memorandum from the Nabob Mirza
Mehady Ali Kahn. During the period of my abode in the district of Benares, my eldest son being taken ill of a bad kind of the small-pox, and my friends interesting themselves for my comfort and his relief, one of them named Slookum Chund, a Hindoo, pointed out to me that there was in the city of Benares one Alep Choby, a Brahmin from Oude, whose practice was chiefly confined to this malady. Him, therefore, I lost no time in sending for to the town of Ghazeepoor, where I dwelt; and he arrived on the ninth day of the eruption; on seeing which he observed, that if the eruption had not taken place, he would have endeavoured to facilitate and render it easy, but that now it was too late. On asking Choby what the process was, he said, “from the matter of the pustule on the cow, I keep a thread drenched, which enables me, at pleasure, to cause an easy eruption on any child; adoring at the same time Bowannee, (who is otherwise called Debee, Mata, and Sebla, and who has the direction of this malady,) as well in my own person, as by causing the father of the child to perform the like ceremonies; after which I run the drenched string into a needle, and drawing it through between the skin and flesh of the child's upper arm, leave it there, performing the same operation in both arms, which always ensures an easy eruption; on the first appearance of which the child's father or guardian renews his worship to Bowannee; and as the animal this goddess rides on is an ass, it is customary for such parent or guardian to fill his lap with grain,
which an ass is sent to eat up These observances ensure the propitious direction of Bowannee, so that only a very few pustules make their appearance, nor does any one die under this process. Thus far did I learn from Alep Choby.
“Upon referring on this subject to a native, well versed in the learning and customs of the Hindoos, he told me that the practice thus described by Choby was not general among them, but confined to those who were attached to the worship of Bowannee, and adored her with implicit faith; and upon my asking the person whether he was aware how the matter of the pustule got from the cow, and whether all cows had such pustules, or only those of a certain description; he answered, that on these points he possessed no information, but had certainly understood that the cows had these pustules break out on them, and that from the matter thereof children were infected, acknowledging however that he spoke not this from ocular knowledge, but from report.”
Account of a new Blow-pipe, in a Letter from Mr. John
NEWMAN to the Editor.
[From the London Journal of Science and the Arts, No. I, 1816.]
SIR, As I conceive you must feel interested by every thing connected with science, I take the liberty of sending you a short description of an instrument calculated to lessen the fatigue attending some of the researches of an experimental philosopher. The common blow-pipe is an instrument, which, though of great value to the operative chemist, has many defects. Whilst in use it confines the motions of the person working with it, and renders him incapable of giving that minute attention to his experiment which is often required, and its application is confined, since by means of it the breath only can be employed to produce the required effect.
To obviate these and other disadvantages has been the object of many persons, and by adapting apparatus to the simple instrument, they have endeavoured to make it more complete and perfect. Some of these improvements are calculated to leave the operator unengaged with the immediate care of the instrument, and others enable him to feed the flame with such gazeous matter as will increase the combustion and exalt the temperature; but they have in general, I think, either rendered the instrument more bulky, and consequently inconvenient; or more intricate and subject to derangement. I have long thought the blow-pipe capable of much improvement, but it was an object also to preserve its simplieity; I fatter myself, that without lessening the latter, I have added something to the perfection of the instrument.
Having frequent occasion to condense the air in cavities, I had observed with some surprise the length of time required by the air so confined to escape through such small apertures as might exist, or were purposely made into these cavities; and in conversation with Mr. Brooks he suggested, that if the stream were tolerably equable, the principle which gave rise to such an effect might be followed with advantage in the construction of a blow-pipe, and I have since verified this idea.
The instrument I have made consists of a strong plate copper box perfectly air tight, three inches in width and height, and four in length, a condensing syringe to force air into the box, and a stop cock and jet at one end of it to regulate the stream thrown out. The piston-rod of the condenser works through collars of leather in the cap, which has an aperture in the side and a screw connected with a stop-cock, which may again communicate with a jar, bladder, or gazometer containing oxygen, hydrogen, or other gasses. This communication being made, and the condenser being worked, any air that is required may be thrown into the box and propelled through the jet on the flame.
The use of the instrument is very simple. By a few strokes of the piston the air is thrown into the chamber and forms a compressed atmosphere within it. When the cock is opened the air expanding issues out with great force in a small but rapid stream, which, when directed on the flame of a lamp, acts as the jet from a common blow-pipe, but with more precision and regularity. The force of the stream of air is easily adjusted by opening more or less the small stop-cock, and I have