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from the lungs by breathing, which, as before stated, is highly noxious. On this account they never should be kept in bedrooms, there are instances of persons, who have incautiously gone to sleep in a close room in which there has been a large growing plant, having been found dead in the morning, as effectually suffocated as if there had been a charcoal stove in the room.
A constant renewal of the air is absolutely necessary to its purity; for in all situations it is suffering either by its vital part being absorbed, or by impure vapors being disengaged and dispersed through it. Ventilation, therefore, resolves itself into the securing a constant supply of fresh air.
In the construction of houses, this great object has been too generally overlooked, when, by a little contrivance in the arrangement of windows and doors, a current of air might, at any time, be made to pervade every room of a house of any dimensions. Rooms cannot be well ventilated that have no outlet for the air ; for this reason there should be a chimney to every apartment. The windows should be capable of being opened, and they should, if possible, be situated on the side of the room opposite to, and furthest from, the fire-place, that the air may traverse the whole space of the apartment in its way to the chimney.
Fire-places in bed-rooms should not be stopped up with chimney-boards. The windows should be thrown open for some hours every day, to carry off the animal effluvia which are necessarily separating from the bed-clothes, and which should be assisted in their escape by the bed being shaken up, and the clothes spread abroad, in which state they should remain as long as possible ; this is the reverse of the usual practice of making the bed, as it is called, in the morning, and tucking it up close, as if with the determination of preventing any purification from taking place. Attention to this direction, with regard to airing the bed-clothes and bed after being slept in, is of the greatest importance to persons of weak health. Instances have been known in which restlessness and an inability to find refreshment from sleep would come on in such individuals when the linen of their beds had been unchanged for eight or ten days. In one case of a gentleman of a very irritable habit, who suffered from excessive perspiration during the night, and who had taken much medicine without relief, he observed that, for two or three nights after he had fresh sheets put upon his bed, he had no sweating; and that, after that time, he never awoke, but that he was literally swimming, and
that the sweats seemed to increase with the length of time he slept in the same sheets.
Various means are had recourse to at times, with the intention of correcting disagreeable smells, and of purifying the air of sick-rooms. Diffusing the vapor of vinegar through the air, by plunging a hot poker into a vessel containing it; burning aromatic vegetables, smoking tobacco, and exploding gunpowder, are the means usually employed. All these are useless. The explosion of gunpowder may, indeed, do something, by displacing the air within the reach of its influence; but then, unfortunately, an air is produced by its combustion, that is as offensive, and equally unfit to support life as any air it can be used to remove. These expedients only serve to disguise the really offensive condition of the atmosphere. The only certain means of purifying the air of a chamber which is actually occupied by a sick person, is by changing it in such a manner that the patient shall not be directly exposed to the draughts or currents.
No fumigation will be of any avail in purifying stagnant air, or air that has been breathed till it has been deprived of its vital part; such air must be driven out, when its place should be immediately supplied by the fresh, pure atmosphere. The readiest means of changing the air of an apartment is, by lighting a fire in it, and then throwing open the door and windows; this will set the air in motion, by establishing a current up the chimney. The air which has been altered by being breathed is essential to vegetable life; and plants, aided by the rays of the sun, have the power to absorb it, while they themselves at the same time give out pure vital air. This process, going on by day, the reverse of that described before as taking place during the night, is continually in operation, so that the purification of the atmosphere can only be prevented by its being preserved in a stagnant state.
STATISTICAL AND GENERAL INFORMATION CONCERN.
ING FOREIGN COUNTRIES.
The word Statistics is of modern origin, and denotes a detailed view of the population, industry, agriculture, and commerce of a country, or an inventory of its resources, force, revenues, and productions of every description. Something similar to this was practised in ancient times; for Aristotle, Xenophon, and other writers speak of periodical returns in Greece, bearing a resemblance to the statistics of the present day. It was also a custom sometimes to engrave important facts of this kind on walls and pillars. Tacitus tells us, that when Germanicus visited Thebes, he saw an inscription, which a priest interpreted to him as containing an account of "the tribute paid by the conquered nations, the specific weight of gold and silver, the quantity of arms, the number of horses, the offerings of ivory and rich perfumes presented to the temples of Egypt, the measure of grain, and the various supplies administered by every nation, making altogether a prodigious revenue. He tells us, moreover, that Nero, when the people complained of the oppressions practised upon them by the collectors, issued a proclamation, “ directing that the revenue laws, till that time kept among the mysteries of state, should be drawn up in form, and entered on the public tables for the inspection of all degrees and ranks of men.” The Romans, for some time, were also in the habit of making periodical enumerations of the people. In these registers were noted the name, age, and year of birth, the sex, the number of slaves and of domestic animals, and a valuation of all the property. In many nations of the East, a similar usage has prevailed from time immemorial.
But the subject of statistics, as a science, is of recent origin. Achenwall, a professor of Göttingen University, was its founder, about the middle of the last century. In 1748 he published a work on statistics, which has passed through many editions, and the plan of which has served as the basis of the most approved later treatises.
Geography and statistics have this difference; the former treats of the earth, in relation to its figure and geometrical measurements; to its structure, its physical characteristics, and political divisions; whereas the latter gives an account of whatever influences the condition of the inhabitants, or the operations of government on the welfare of men in promoting the ends of social being, and the best interests of communities.
These objects can be attained in different countries, only through the immediate agency of governments. Individuals may, with great labor, collect facts upon particular topics, but they have not the means nor the power to gather from all the branches of social economy such detailed reports, as are essential to a comprehensive view of the condition of a country. As yet, however, individuals have done more than governments in this respect. Statements of population and revenue are all that the official reports of states usually embrace. England and the United States are the only governments, in which the laws provide for a periodical census, extending to all the important branches of statistical knowledge. In England, the first census under this law took place in 1811, and is repeated every ten years. The first census under the law of the United States was taken in 1790, and is likewise repeated at stated periods of ten years each.
The most important works on the statistics of the United States are Pitkin's and Seybert's; and also the recent “ 'Tabular Statistical Views," by Watterston and Van Zandt.
XXI. STATISTICS OF THE WORLD.
[From the Companion to the British Almanac.]
The French are in the habit of bestowing very minute attention upon
this interesting branch of inquiry; and some of their men of letters have devoted themselves to the preparation of Tables of reference, which may show, from time to time, the progress and actual condition of the various states of the
world. Amongst others, M. Adrian Balbi has applied himself for twenty years to these important labors, and he has recently published a Chart, entitled “ Balance Politique du Globe, en 1828,” which is considered the most correct work of its kind, and which the author states is the result of a long period of the most laborious investigation. The late distinguished geographer, Malte-Brun, mentions this production, which was nearly completed before his death, as a most valuable abstract, of which he intended to insert a part in his concluding volume.
From this Chart of M. Balbi, the following Table has been compiled. The geographical division is that of M. Walkenaer. The surface of the earth has been estimated at 148,522,000 square miles, of 60 to the equatorial degree (geographical miles), of which nearly three-fourths, or 110,489,000 square miles are covered by the Ocean and the interior Seas; the remainder, consisting of 37,673,000 square miles, forming the five parts of the world, called Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australasia (or Oceania). The square geographical mile has been retained in the following Tables, instead of the English square mile being adopted, as the former is used in most works on geography, particularly in those of France and Germany. The English square mile is about three-fourths of the area of the square geographical mile; that is, four English square miles are nearly equal to three geographical.
The table contains in successive columns the names of countires, extent in square miles, population, reigning sovereign, or head of government, capital cities, with their population, principal religious denominations, revenue in pounds sterling, debt in pounds sterling, army, navy.
The particulars relating to each State are carried across two pages, and the figures prefixed to each are repeated in the last column of the right hand page, to assist the reference. For those States which have Colonial Possessions, a second line is given, showing the total extent of their power : – Example 1. — “French Monarchy, 154,000 square miles, 32,000,000 population ” — gives the area and population of France itself; but the second line, “ Total of French Monarchy," includes the amount of France and all its possessions and dependencies. Wherever this mark (?) is attached to a sum, or stands in the place of one, the information is considered questionable or is not to be obtained.