Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

ton, Wall, and Vincent Richards have certainly and although in its effects so unlike the albubrought us somewhat more plainly to under- mens which make our tissues and circulate in stand that which happens. What gain is there the blood, it is yet so like these in composition for man? As yet there is little, except that, that whatever alters it destructively is pretty while a few years ago we were merely groping sure to affect them in like fashion. Hence the for remedies, to-day we are in a position to agents which do good locally at some cost to know with some definiteness what we want the tissues are worse than valueless when sent and what we do not want.

after the venom into the circulating blood. Yet, Let us see what the actual present gain is. possibly, we may hope to find remedies which If we mix any venom with a strong enough will stimulate and excite the vital organs which solution of potassa or soda we destroy its venom enfeebles. In this direction lie our hopes power to kill

. A solution of iodine or per- of further help. Anything which delays the fatal chloride of iron has a like, but a lesser capacity, effect of the poison is also a vast advantage and so also has bromohydric acid; but by far in treatment, because there are agencies at the best of all, as was first shown by Lacerda, work which seem to be active in renewing the is permanganate of potash. If this agent be blood and repairing the damage done to the injected at once or soon through a hollow tissues, so that recoveries are sometimes reneedle into the fang wound, wherever it touches markably abrupt. It is possible that free bleedthe venom it destroys it. It also acts in like de- ing followed by transfusion of healthy blood structive fashion on the tissues; but, relatively may prove efficient. speaking, this is a small matter. If at once we I am often asked what I would do if bitten can cut off the circulation by a ligature and while far from help. If the wound be at the thus delay absorption and then use permanga- tip of a finger, I should like to get rid of the nate freely, we certainly lessen the chances of part by some such prompt auto-surgical means death; yet, as the bites occur usually when men as a knife or a possible hot iron affords. Failare far from such help, it is but too often a futile ing these, or while seeking help, it is wise to aid, although it has certainly saved many lives. quarantine the poison by two ligatures drawn The first effect of venom is to lessen suddenly tight enough to stop all circulation. The heart the pressure under which the blood is kept weakness is made worse by emotion, and at while in the vessels. Death from this cause this time a man may need stimulus to enable must be rare, as it is active for so short a time. him to walk home. As soon as possible some Any alcoholic stimulus would at this period one should thoroughly infiltrate the seat of be useful; but, despite the popular creed, it is the bite with permanganate or other of the now pretty sure that many men have been agents above mentioned. By working and killed by the alcohol given to relieve them kneading the tissues the venom and the antifrom the effects of snake bite, and it is a mat- dote may be made to come into contact, and ter of record that men dead drunk with whisky the former be so far destroyed. At this time it and then bitten have died of the bite. For becomes needful to relax the ligatures to escape the consequences to the blood and to the gangrene. This relaxation of course lets some nerve centers which follow an injection of venom into the blood-round, but in a few movenom there is, so far as I am aware, no anti- ments it is possible again to tighten the ligadote; but as to this I do not at all despair, tures, and again to inject the local antidote. and see clearly thai our way to find relief is If the dose of venom be large and the distance not by stupid trials of this sort and that, but from help great, except the knife or cautery by competently learning what we have to do. little is to be done that is of value. But it is Moreover, we are in a position at present to well to bear in mind that in this country a bite say what not to do, and there is a large meas- in the extremities rarely causes death. I have ure of gain in being able to dismiss to the known of nine dogs having been bitten by as limbo of the useless a host of so-called anti- many snakes and of these dogs but two died. dotes.

In India there would have been probably nine Venom is an albuminous complex substance, dead dogs.

S. Weir Mitchell.

[graphic][ocr errors]

THE BIBLE IN TENNYSON. .

[ocr errors]

T is safe to say that there is one knows what you mean. If you allude to

no other book which has one of its characters or scenes, your readers' had so great an influence memory supplies an instant picture to illumiupon the literature of the nate your point. And so long as its words are world as the Bible. And studied by little children at their mother's it is almost as safe — at knees and recognized by high critics as the

least with no greater dan- model of pure English, we may be sure that

ger than that of starting neither the jargon of science nor the slang of an instructive discussion - to say that there is ignorance will be able to create a shibboleth to no other literature which has felt this influence divide the people of our common race. There so deeply or shown it so clearly as the English. will be a medium of communication in the

The cause of this latter fact is not far to language and imagery of the English Bible. seek. It may be, as a discontented French This much, by way of introduction, I have critic suggests, that it is partly due to the in- felt it necessary to say, in order to mark the born and incorrigible tendency of the Anglo- spirit and purpose of this essay. For the poet Saxon mind to drag religion and morality into whose works we are to study is at once one of everything. But certainly this tendency would the most scholarly and one of the most widely never have taken such a distinctly biblical form popular of English writers. At least one cause had it not been for the beauty and vigor of of his popularity is that there is so much of our common English version of the Scriptures. the Bible in Tennyson. How much, few even These qualities were felt by the people even of his most ardent lovers begin to understand. before they were praised by the critics. Apart I do not know that the attempt has ever from all religious prepossessions, men and been made before to collect and collate all women and children were fascinated by the the scriptural allusions and quotations in his native power and grace of the book. The works, and to trace the golden threads which English Bible was popular, in the broadest he has woven from that source into the woof sense, long before it was recognized as one of of his poetry. The delight of “fresh woods and our noblest classics. It has colored the talk pastures new”- so rare in this over-explored of the household and the street, as well as age— has thus been mine. But I do not mean molded the language of scholars. It has been to let this delight misguide me into the error something more than “ a well of English un- of trying to crowd all my gathered treasures defiled "; it has become a part of the spiritual into a single article. There are nearly three atmosphere. We hear the echoes of its speech hundred direct references to the Bible in the everywhere, and the music of its familiar poems of Tennyson; and simply to give a list phrases haunts all the fields and groves of our of them might tax the patience of the gentlest fine literature.

magazine reader so heavily that it would vanIt is not only to the theologians and the ish clean out of existence. It will be more sermon makers that we look for biblical allu- prudent merely to offer, first, a few examples sions and quotations. We often find the very of scriptural quotation, and then a few specibest and most vivid of them in writers profess- mens of scriptural illustration, and then to edly secular. Poets like Shakspere, Milton, trace a few of the lines of thought and feeling and Wordsworth; novelists like Scott, and ro- in which Tennyson shows most clearly the inmancers like Hawthorne; essayists like Bacon, Auence of the Bible. Steele, and Addison ; critics of life, unsystematic philosophers, like Carlyle and Ruskinall draw upon the Bible as a treasury of illus- On the table at which I am writing lies the trations, and use it as a book equally familiar first publication which bears the name of Alto themselves and to their readers. It is im- fred Tennyson— a thin pamphlet in faded gray possible to put too high a value upon such a paper, containing the “Prolusiones Academuniversal volume, even as a purely literary pos- icæ,” recited at the University of Cambridge session. It forms a bond of sympathy between in 1829. Among them is one with the title, the most cultivated and the simplest of the “Timbuctoo: A Poem which obtained the people. The same book lies upon the desk of Chancellor's Medal, etc. By A. Tennyson, of the scholar and in the cupboard of the peasant. Trinity College." If you touch upon one of its narratives, every On the eleventh page, in a passage describ

[graphic]

I.

[ocr errors]

ing the spirit of poetry which fills the branches that one of its most melodious verses is a nearly of the “great vine of Fable,” we find these direct quotation from the third chapter of Job: lines:

And the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary There is no mightier Spirit than I to sway

are at rest. The heart of man; and teach him to attain By shadowing forth the Unattainable ;

This is one of the instances — by no means And step by step to scale that mighty stair rare-in which the translators of our English Whose landing-place is wrapt about with clouds Bible have fallen unconsciously into the Of glory of heaven.

rhythm of the most perfect poetry; and it And at the bottom of the page stands this foot- is perhaps the best illustration of Tennyson's

felicitous use of the words of the Scriptures. note: Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."

But there are others, hardly less perfect, in This is the earliest biblical allusion which the wonderful sermon which the rector in we can identify in the writings of Tennyson. Edith and Leolin. It is a mosaic of Bible

Aylmer's Field” delivers after the death of Even the most superficial glance will detect its beauty and power. There are few who have language, most curiously wrought, and fused not felt the lofty attraction of the teachings of into one living whole by the heat of an inChrist, in which the ideal of holiness shines so of prophetic grief and indignation recurs that

tense sorrow. How like a heavy, dull refrain far above our reach, while we are continually

dreadful text: impelled to climb towards it. Especially these very words about perfection, which he spoke Your house is left unto you desolate! in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. V. 48), have often lifted us upward just because they the force of a superhuman and unimpassioned

The solemn associations of the words lend point our aspirations to a goal so high that it wrath to the preacher's language, and the passeems inaccessible. The young poet who sets

sage stands as a monumental denunciation of a jewel like this in his earliest work shows not only that he has understood the moral sublim- The social wants that sin against the strength of youth. ity of the doctrine of Christ, but also that he has rightly conceived the mission of noble po- contain some beautiful fragments of Scripture

Enoch Arden's parting words to his wife etry — to idealize and elevate human life. Once

embedded in the verse: and again in his later writings we see the same picture of the soul rising step by step

Cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds. 1

Is he not yonder in those uttermost
To higher things,

Parts of the morning ? If I flee to these 2 and catch a glimpse of those vast altar-stairs

Can I go from him ? and the sea is his,

The sea is his: he made it.3 That slope through darkness up to God.

The“Idylls of the King” are full of delicate In the poem entitled “Isabel"-one of the and suggestive allusions to the Bible. Take, best in the slender volume of 1830 — there is for instance, the lines from “ The Holy Grail": a line which reminds us that Tennyson must have known his New Testament in the original

For when the Lord of all things made himself

Naked of glory for his mortal change. language. He says that all the fairest forms of nature are types of the noble woman whom Here is a commentary, most illuminative, he is describing

on the sixth and seventh verses of the second And thou of God in thy great charity.

chapter of Philippians. Or again, in the same

Idyll, where the hermit says to Sir Percivale, No one who was not familiar with the Greek after his unsuccessful quest, of St. Paul and St. John would have been bold

Thou hast not lost thyself to save thyself, enough to speak of the “charity of God." It is a phrase which throws a golden light upon we are reminded of the words of Christ telling the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the us the secret of all victory in spiritual things: Corinthians and brings the human love into “ He that loseth his life · shall find it." harmony and unison with the divine.

In “ The Coming of Arthur," while the “ The May Queen” is a poem which has trumpet blows and the city seems on fire with sung itself into the hearts of the people every- sunlight dazzling on cloth of gold, the long where. The tenderness of its sentiment and procession of knights passes before the king, the exquisite cadence of its music have made singing its great song of allegiance. The Idyll it beloved in spite of its many faults. Yet I

1 1 Peter, v. 7; Heb. vi. 19. suppose that the majority of readers have

2 Psalm cxxxix. 9. read it again and again without recognizing

3 Psalm xcv. 5.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

ye

is full of warrior's pride and delight of battle, touch the first notes of well-known airs, and clanging battle-ax and flashing brand- a true then memory will supply the accompaniment song for the heavy fighters of the days of chiv- to enrich his music. This is what Tennyson alry. But it has also a higher touch, a strain has done, with the instinct of genius, in his of spiritual grandeur, which, although it may references to the stories and personages of the have no justification in an historical picture of Bible. the Round Table, yet serves to lift these knights His favorite allusion is to Eden and the mystiof the poet's imagination into an ideal realm cal story of Adam and Eve. This occurs again and set them marching as ghostly heroes of and again, in “The Day Dream," “ Maud," " In faith and loyalty through all ages.

Memoriam," "The Gardener's Daughter,"

“ The Princess," The king will follow Christ, and we the king.

Milton," “ Geraint and

Enid,” and “ Lady Clara Vere de Vere.” The Compare this line with the words of St. Paul: last instance is perhaps the most interesting, on Be followers of me, even as I also am of account of a double change which has been Christ.” They teach us that the lasting devo- made in the form of the allusion. In the edition tion of men is rendered not to the human, but of 1832, the first in which the poem appeared, to the divine, in their heroes. He who would the self-assertive peasant who refuses to belead others must first learn to follow One who come a lover says to the lady of high degree: is higher than himself. Without faith it is not

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere, only impossible to please God, but also impos

From yon blue heavens above us bent sible to rule men. King Arthur is the ideal of

The gardener Adam and his wife one who has heard a secret word of promise Smile at the claims of long descent. and seen a vision of more than earthly glory,

In later editions this was altered to “ The by virtue of which he becomes the leader and master of his knights, able to inspire their hopes form the reference was open to misunderstand

grand old gardener and his wife.” But in this and unite their aspirations and bind their service to himself.

ing. I remember a charming young woman And now turn to one of the last poems the lines referred to some particularly pious

who once told me that she had always thought which Tennyson has given us — “ Locksley old man who had formerly taken care of Lady Hall Sixty Years After.” Sad enough is its old man who had formerly taken care of Lady lament for broken dreams, dark with the gloom heaven at the foolish pride of his mistress. So

Clara's flower-beds, and who now smiled from of declining years, when the grasshopper has heaven at the foolish pride of his mistress. So become a burden, and desire has failed, and perhaps it is just as well that Tennyson rethe weary heart has grown afraid of' that stored the line, in 1873, to its original form,

and which is high; but at the close the old man

gave us “ the gardener Adam” again, to rises again to the sacred strain :

remind us of the quaint distich

When Adam dolve and Eve span, Follow you the Star that lights a desert pathway,

Who was then the gentleman ? yours or mine. Forward, till you see the highest Human Nature The story of Jephtha's daughter is another is divine.

of the Old Testament narratives for which the Follow Light, and do the Right-for man

poet seems to have a predilection. It is told half-control his doom-

with great beauty and freedom in “A Dream Till you find the deathless Angel seated in the vacant of Fair Women”; “ Aylmer's Field ” touches tomb.

upon it; and it recurs again in “ The Flight.”

In “The Princess" we find the Queen of

Sheba, Vashti, Miriam, Jael, Lot's wife, Jonah's When we come to speak of the biblical scenes gourd, and the Tower of Babel. And, if your and characters to which Tennyson refers, we copy of the Bible has the Apocrypha in it, you find so many that the difficulty is to choose. may add the story of Judith and Holofernes. He has recognized the fact that an allusion Esther

appears in “Geraint and Enid," and wins half its power from its connection with Rahab in “Queen Mary." In “Godiva” we the reader's memory and previous thought. read of the Earl's heart In order to be forcible and effective it must be at least so familiar as to awaken a train of

As rough as Esau's hand; associations. An allusion to something which and in "Locksley Hall" we see the picture is entirely strange and unknown may make of the earth standing an author appear more learned, but it does

At gaze like Joshua's moon in Ajalon. not make him seem more delightful. Curiosity may be a good atmosphere for the man of

The sonnet to “ Bonaparte” recalls to our science to speak in, but the poet requires a memory sympathetic medium. He should endeavor to Those whom Gideon schooled with briers.

can

II.

gratify my never quite forgotten desire to know life by pupils of the Government schools, are
more of this interesting poison. One day, how- here grouped so as to show at a glance all the
ever, a man offered me a small lot of snakes, and typical Indian poisonous serpents.
just then I learned of a supposed antidote in- Twenty-four years after my

first
essay,

the vented, it was said, by the famous French herpe. Smithsonian published 1 the results of another tologist, Bibron. In fact he never did invent an four years of additional work on the problems antidote, and how the queer mixture of iodine which had interested me in my early life. Much and corrosive sublimate got his authoritative of what I did in 1859 to 1862 needed no reëxname is still a mystery. I began in 1859 to amination, but new questions had arisen, and study the matter, and soon found that the anti- novel and accurate methods were now at our dote was worthless, and that no one knew much disposal. Moreover, I had been haunted for a about snake venoms. Not quite a hundred years year or more by the idea that serpent poisons previous Fontana wrote on the poison of vipers might not be simple but complex, not one thing an immortal work, and nearly another century but a mixture of two or more, and that this before him there were written two quaint books, might explain the causes of the difference be

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

9

TYPICAL INDIAN POISONOUS SERPENTS. (FROM A PAINTING BY ANNODA PROSACT BAGCHEE.) 1, Ophiophagus Elaps; 2-7, inclusive, Varieties of Cobra; 8, Trimesurus Carinatus, coiled around No. 1; 9, Daboia Russellü;

10, Bungarus Fasciatus; 11, Bungarus Cornutus ; 12, Echis Carinata; one unknown. one by Redi, 1664, and one by Charas, 1673. tween rattlesnake and cobra bites, and possibly Both of these little volumes are still worth read- give the clue to methods of successful treating. Charas's belief in the value of volatile salt ment. When a maggot like this gets into the of the ashes of calcined vipers as a remedy for brain of a man accustomed to want to know viper bite is an instructive exhibition of a form why, it breeds a variety of troublesome pleasof medical idiocy not without modern illus- ures. In my case it drove me once more to trations.

the laboratory, and caused me to seek the My own researches were carried on in the skillful aid of Dr. Edward T. Reichert, now intervals of a life of great occupation, and were Professor of Physiology in the University of published in 1862 by the Smithsonian Institu- Pennsylvania. Together we solved many pertion. About 1872, unaided by Government, in plexing problems. As some of these have for a climate where heat makes all labor difficult, the general reader an unusual interest, I purpose and at a cost in the way of money and mortal to restate here a few of our results, since our risks which few can comprehend, an Indian large Smithsonian memoir is not likely to come surgeon, now Sir Joseph Fayrer, created on before many of the readers of THE CENTURY. this subject a vast mass of material knowledge It has occurred to me that in telling my which without reward he gave to the Govern- story it might be well to show in popular shape ment of India. The illustration on this page was how the work was done, as well as its results. meant for a frontispiece to his splendid volume, To make it clearer, I must first explain the but was for some reason unused and came to me

1 “Researches on Serpent Poisons,” by S. Weir as a gift from Fayrer. The snakes, drawn from Mitchell, M. D., and Prof. E. T. Reichert.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »