صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

fly away in attempting to colle&t them, but they may be caught again in this manner: a fheet is placed by night on the ground contiguous to the fwarm, and when they alight, the hive is placed over them, with the entrance flopped; then the whole is covered with a fheet, in which they are carried home. But they should not be placed near the hive whence they had originally departed.

When the time arrives for taking out the honey combs, which is generally in the month of June, when the flowers begin to decay, it fhould be done in the heat of the day, as the greater part of the bees are then abroad, but not during a high wind, or at the commencement of a new or full moon. The hiver must have his face and hands defended as above-mentioned, and accompanied by a perfon holding a chaffing dish, with a coal fire, covered with moist peat, to make the greater fmoke: this fmoke being infused among the bees from the top of the cylinder, they fly away or remain intoxicated at the bottom, then the hive is taken to pieces by drawing out the pins. The combs are cut out without deftroying the bees, except two cells, which are left around the hive; and, left the bees fhould feed on what remains, the incifion is covered with pulverized clay after this, the hive is put together as before.


The combs fhould not be taken out but when they are full of honey; it is rarely good the first year the bees affemble. In the months of March and Auguft the wax is

taken out, which is lodged in the firft divifion of the hive, after which the bees form other combs, and generate a young colony.

The hiver fhould often vifit the ground, and repair any accidents that have happened. If fnakes frequent the place, they fhould not be killed, fince they do not molest the bees, but deftroy the toads and lizards, which are obnoxious to them.

When the hives are decayed, they are taken afunder and fumigated; then the bees forfake their habitations and take shelter in an adjoining hive, previously prepared for that purpose. This thould be performed in the fpring, when the flowers begin to open and afford them fuccour. The fame method may be fed in taking out the honey; but if repeatedly practifed, it will extinguith the colony.

As the bees, in returning from their excurfions, are loaded and fatigued, there should be nothing near the hives to obftruct their defcent, which is not in a perpendicular courfe, but in an oblique one.

On Plica Polonica by Mr. Frederick Hoffman. From the Memoirs of the Manchefter Society.

SYNONYMS. Lues Pocufienfis:* 1 rica: Trichoma. PoL. Koldun or Gozdz. GERMAN. Juden-zopff: wichtelzopff: wixel-zorff: weichel-zorff. DISEASES, the tendency of which is fatal, and the occurrence D d 2 frequent,

Pokufia is a territory of Poland.

frequent, peculiarly claim the attention of the practical physician; while morbid affections which appear more rarely, and prefent un fual phænomena, more especially attract the enquiries of those whofe object is the extenfion of general fcience. The disease termed Plica Polonica is of the latter class. It is endemic in Poland; and feldom, if ever, obferved in any other part of Europe. During a long stay at Breslau in Silefia, I had frequent opportunies of obferving this difee and, as it is at prefent little known in Britain, I truft a brief narration of the principal circumftances connected with it will not prove uninterefting.

Both fexes are equally liable to the attacks of Plica. It ufually appears during infancy; and but feldom after the age of twenty. When once produced, it continues during the remainder of life. The acceffion of the complaint is in general preceded by irregular fpafmodic affections, pains in different parts of the body, a flow fever, and various diseases of the eyes; all which cease immediately on the appearance of the Plica.

The disorder confifts in a præternaturally rapid growth of the hair, with a copious fecretion of a vifcid matter from its bulbs. For the most part, the hairs of the head are alone affected; and that only in peculiar parts. In thefe, the hairs grow confiderably longer than in the reft; and are knotted and entangled with each other; being alfo covered with the vifcid matter which iffues from their roots, and which aflifts in gluing them to gether.

In proportion as the quantity of

this gluten, and the implication of the hair increases, it is ftill more and more difficult to clean and comb it; hence a degree of Phthiriafis is produced, and the head contracts an extremely fœtid fmell, to which however the Polish peafants are fo much accustomed that they endure it without complaint, or any manifeft inconvenience.

It is alfo an opinion univerfally prevalent with them, that the dif eafe is a falutary effort of nature to expel a morbid matter from the body; and that to interrupt the course of it would be productive of eminent danger; hence they make no attempt to cure, or even palliate the complaint. And if we may repofe confidence in authors of eftablished reputation, morbid affections of a fimilar nature to thofe which precede its occurrence, paralyfis, and even death itfelf, have fucceeded imprudent attempts to check the progrefs of the difeafe. In this respect, Plica bears fome analogy to the exanthemata, and various chronic cutaneous eruptions.

I am as yet unable to decide whether this complaint is hereditary or not. From fome obfervations indeed it appears, that a predifpofition to it may be tranfmitted from parents to their offspring; but my information on this head is too limited to ascertain the point. In one cafe which fell under my own obfervation, two brothers had Plica, both on the left fide of the head, and in about one third of their hairs: I learned from them, that their father and grandfather had also been affected with the disease in a form exactly fimilar. Befides

Befides the human fpecies, other animals are fubject to this complaint. It appears in fome of the fineft horfes in Poland. In them it is fituated in the mane, and fometimes in the long hairs around the hoof and fetlock joint. It attacks alfo the different fpecies of the canine genus; dogs, wolves, and foxes. Previous to its occurrence in the first, the symptoms of rabies ufually appear the tail is dropped between the hind legs, there is a flow of frothy faliva from the mouth, the fight and appetite are impaired or entirely loft; they are fnappifh, and difpofed to bite, but their bite does not produce hydrophobia. The wolf is affected in the fame manner; he leaves his wonted concealments in the woods, and runs wildly among the flocks, biting, and deftroying them, but without producing hydrophobia,

The impoffibility of afcertaining the true caufes of this fingular difeafe, has given rife to feveral vague conjectures on the fubject; as that of Le Fontaine, who attributes it to a corruption of the fat.

It is fomewhat remarkable, that Plica takes place only among the lower clafs of people; whence fome have conceived, that it is to be confidered merely as a confequence of uncleanliness.

But, in objection to this opinion, it may be urged, that it is unknown in the adjoining countries fubject to the Pruffian Govern ment, where the peasants are habituated to the fame cuftoms and mode of life, or nearly the fame, as in Poland-that its appearance affords evident relief to the fyftem, and its retroceffion is productive of dangerous confequences. The idea that it is a real and idiophatic difeafe,

is confirmed alfo by its occurrence in a variety of animals, and by the circumftance of its being confined to particular parts of the head; for which no reafon can be affigned on the former fuppofition.

A peculiarity of climate cannot be adduced as a caufe of this disease. Poland differs little in this refpect from the adjoining countries. The fummer heat is confiderable, the thermometer rifing frequently to 98°. 100°. 104°. and the cold in winter fo great, that it falls fometimes 10, 15 degrees below o. But though the changes in the atmofphere are fo remarkable, at different periods of the year, they take place with the utmoft regularity, the temperature paffing, by infenfible degrees, from one extreme to the other.

The Poles themfelves are a vigorous, hardy race; inured from infancy to labour, and to expofure to the viciflitudes of the atmofphere; almoft regardless of cold, they frequently fleep in the open air. Their diet confifts chiefly of animal food, and they are much addicted to the ufe of fpirits. They have an equal fondness for other ftrong ftimulating liquids. I have feen them drink, with the greatest pleafure, the falt brine in which herrings have been preferved, and even nitrous acid diluted with


Since no other caufe can be affigned for this disease, it is probable, that it arifes, according to the general opinion, from contagion; a contagion which, like that of Pfora, can be communicated by contact only: but this I have not been able to afcertain by any obfervations of my own. It is faid, however, by authors

of reputation, that Plica is frequent in Tartary; and that it was brought into Poland in the 13th century by the Tartars, who at that period made frequent irruptions into the eaftern parts of Europe.

A perfect confidence in the libcrality and candour of a fociety, the exertions of which have added confiderably to the treasure of fcience, encourages me to fubmit to it thefe few crude and curfory remarks; trufting that the moft trivia) contribution to the general ftock, will not be deemed unworthy its attention. At fome future period I hope to have opportunity and leifure to renew my obfervations on the fubject; and I fhall endeavour to fupply the deficiencies of the prefent fketch, by tranfmitting to the fociety the refult of my future remarks.

On the Power of the fixed Alkaline Salts to Preferve the Flesh of • Animals from Putrefactions, by, the Rev. Hugh Hamilton. From the Tranfactions of the Royal Irish Academy.

I CAME to the knowledge of the above mentioned power of alkaline falts, I may fay, accidentally; I had a with to procure fome kind of alkaline liquor that might be fafely taken for the purpofe of correcting acidities in the ftomach. I knew that a folution of falt of tartar was exceedingly offenfive to the tafte; and that, if it was of ftrength fufficient to neutralize any quantity of acid in the ftomach, it could not be fwallowed without danger to the paffages, from its cauflicity. It occurred to me, that its caufticity might proba

bly arife from its having a ftrong affinity to fomething or other, to get at which it burned or deftroyed the texture of the fleth. If this fhould be the cafe, it was natural to fuppofe, that this falt, if intimately mixed with fleb, would faturate felf with whatever it was that it had fuch a ftrong appetite for; and, being fo faturated, it would act no farther on our fleth, and might, without danger, be taken inwardly. To try this, I firft inclofed fome bits of lean raw mutton in a vial, with a strong solution of falt of tartar: but, after fianding feveral days, no fuch alteration as I expected appeared in the liquor. I was willing to account for this, by fuppofing the falt had a greater affinity to the water than to any thing in the flesh; I therefore cut fome flesh from the breaft of a turkey, roafted the day before, and made it as dry as I could; this I pounded in a mortar, adding, by degrees, fome dry and finely-powdered falt of tartar, until I thought there was enough, for I had no rule to judge by. The mixture grew moift; and, when it was fufficiently pounded, I fpread it into a thin cake on an earthen dith, and fet it before the fire, where it foon became dry, I found it had then a faponaceous mild tafte, for, the tafte of the falt was fcarcely perceptible. Having macerated this flesh in warm water, and poured off the clear liquor, I found it effervefred with vinegar, which fhewed that the falt was not fo far neutralized but that it would unite itfelf with an acid, fo that I confidered it as a mild alkaline liquor, fuch as I fought for. However, that I might have an opinion from a perfon

This falt had been fent to me rendered cauftic by quick lime, though I had not defired it.


a perfon of fkill on the fubject, I wrote to my late worthy and ingenious friend Dr. M'Bride, and acquainted him with the preparation I had made, and the intention of it. In his anfwer, he was pleased to fay he approved of the idea, and would make fome of the liquor I described, and let me know what he thought of it. He afterwards wrote to me, and faid he had tried the alkaline liquor, and thought it might prove an ufeful medicine, particularly as it might be mixed with milk and given to children, who have often acids in their ftomachs. He alfo mentioned a phyfician, then in Dublin, to whom he had recommended the liquor, and who had found great benefit from it. I first made this liquor in the year 1771; and, in the year 1777, being then at Bath, I met with an account of fome experiments made by Mr. Bewly, an ingenious chemift, which plainly proved that fixed air is an acid, and faturates alkaline.falts; this at once informed me what it was, in the fleth of an animal, that alkaline falts had fuch a ftrong affinity to. At the fame time I got from London one of Dr. Nooth's glafs machines, for impregnating water with fixed air, and to the water I added falt of tartar; after this, I thought no more of my alkaline broth, having got a way of obtaining what I wanted in a much more elegant


The only thing now worth attention in the experiment I have related is, that it difcovered a power in even cauftic alkaline falts to preserve flesh, I may fay, incorruptible; though it has been gene

rally imagined that fuch falts would confume it. I have fome fleth prepared with these falts in the year 1772; for finding fome bits made the year before had continued unaltered, I made fome more, and laid it by, to see how long it would keep, and what alterations it would undergo. I made it into a cake, and, when quite dry, I cut it into round bits, about the fize of half a crown, and put them into a drawer in my defk: I fhewed fome of them to Mr. Kirwan the fummer before last, when I had the honour of receiving a vifit from him at Armagh; and a few months ago I found fome pieces in another drawer, where they have lain near two and twenty years, and remain unaltered. When thefe pieces are broken they hang together by fibres, and look like a piece of platter taken from a wall; the fibrous or ftringy parts of the fleth do not feem to have been corroded or diffolved by the falt.

After I knew that fixed air was an acid, and faturated alkaline falts, I began to form conjectures about the means by which thefe falts had fo entirely prevented putrefaction in the fleth to which they were united. Animal fubftances afford much volatile alkali, andnow they are known to contain alfo a volatile acid gas. While these two volatile principles continue united with each other, they may prevent any material change from taking place in the fubftance; but, if one of them by any means efcapes, the other will follow; the acid feems to be the most volatile, and efcapes firft, though we may not be fenfible of its efcape, becaufe it has no fuch irong finell as

Dd 4


« السابقةمتابعة »