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CHOLERA has at length broken out in the me- tropolis with a severity that has attracted the attention of all classes, including the Sovereign and Parliament. The locality in which the disease has alighted was precisely that marked out, by its overcrowded population and defec- tive sanitary regulations, as the most likely spot round London for the visitation. Bethnal- green and the adjacent districts are normally in such a condition as to render the approach of hot weather a season of gathering epidemic; and although it was known, from the path of cholera last year, that the present summer was likely to be an unusually unhealthy one, it does not appear that any extraordinary steps of '}re- eaution have been taken there by the local authorities. It is not in the nature of any constituted authory or corporation in this coun- try to move until it is absolutely compelled; but in apathy to the public interest and tardi- ness of motion a metropolitan vestry stands unrivalled. The kind and sympathetic letter addressed by command of her Majesty to the Bishop of London will gratify all, but surprise no one. It is but another indication of a thoughtful in- j. z, terest in all sections of the people, especially those who are called upon to suffer in any form, which has often been manifested before. In the donation for the relief of the sufferers by which it is accompanied, it sets a fitting and timely example, which will, no doubt, be widely followed; and as usual with the Queen on such occasions, the manner of the act is as kind as its spirit. It is indeed the case, to quote the words of the letter, that the sufferers are mostly in such a position of life as to be totally unable to provide themselves with the necessary means either to ward off the disease, or to support themselves under its influence." But, unfortunately, there are many thousands in the country to whom the character of such places as Bethnal-green, and similar spots in our large towns and cities, is almost entirely unknown, and who require the prominence given to the subject by the Queen's message to awaken them to a sense of duty to their indi- gent and suffering fellow-subjects. Little has come, at present, of the intro- duction of the subject in the House of Commons by Mr. J. A. Smith, whose question addressed to the Government on Monday night pointed to the necessity of interfering summarily where the vestries were neglecting their duty. Sev- eral instances of such neglect were brought by the hon. member before the House. Among them he stated that the parish authorites of Bethnal-green had not made the slightest pro- vision by special arrangement for the burial of the dead, and that he had ascertained when visiting the district that in many cases the bodies of persons who had died by cholera were consequently left for at least three or four days unburied, to the great distress and danger of b the survivors. No hospital had been opened for the reception of cholera patients, and the removal of nuisances in the neighbourhood was entirely neglected. The President of the Poor- law Board, in reply, expressed the disinclination of the Government to interfere at present with the vestries, which were under the supervision of the Privy Council Office, but intimated that those bodies were on their trial, and might expect to be summarily treated, if they should be found to fail. A conviction is rapidly extending in the public mind, that the sooner and the more summarily they are dealt with the better. But there are duties of individuals as well as of public bodies in cases of this kind, as it is the duty of all persons at the present time, not only to exercise every precaution them- selves to guard against a spread of the epidemic, but also to impress the necessity of similar pre- caution upon their neighbours. No filth or refuse should anywhere be allowed to exist or accumulate in the neighbourhood of dwellings, Where its presence is to some degree unavoid- able, disinfectants should be actively emploved. As recommended by Professor Miller, in the -circular issued by the Privy Council last year, the best disinfecting agents are chloride of lime, quicklime, and the preparation known as Con- dy's Fluid or carbolic acid. Lime-washing should be used at once for outhouses, and the interior of all premises in which infection has arisen or is likely to break out. It may be useful to quote here from the same authority the fact, that an apartment no longer occupied may be readily disinfected by burning in the room, in a pipkin, an ounce or two of flowers of sulpher. It is necessary to the process that the doors, windows, and chimney of the apart- ment should be kept carefully closed. Facts such as these should be made widely known the less intelligent and less well-in- formed of the people. But another duty is to guard against the alarm which is always a most powerful agent in the spread of an epi- demic. An old Eastern allegory runs to the effect, that Pestilence was once allowed by the Angel of Death to enter a city to destroy ten thousand of its inhabitants. On leaving the gates, the Destroyer was met by the Angel, who demanded to know why ten times the number had fallen. "I slew but ten thousand," replied Plague "Fear killed the rest." This aphorism conveys a lesson by which many amongst us may profit. In the present state of science, we may not know much about the laws of epidemics, but the laws of health are sufficiently ascertained, and a compliance with those laws by communities and by individuals will always deprive a pestilence of more than half its power.







To the Editor of the" Brecon…

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