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The result of that inquiry was to confirm beyond dispute the terrible suspicions which were afloat. It was found that the disease, which cut off so many of all ages and sexes, was no ordinary malady. It did not show itself in all cases in the same way, neither were its issues invariably fatal; but there was a character about it which was not to be mistaken. Persons might be, or seem to be, in perfect health up to a given moment; they eat, and drank, and went about their business as usual, till all at once a slight swelling, accompanied by redness, made its appearance in some part of their bodies, and health and strength, and not unfrequently life itself, disappeared with extraordinary rapidity. The boils in question affected often the forehead, but more frequently still, the armpits. They showed themselves, however, on other parts of the body likewise, and their progress to maturity was marvellously quick. If the patient was vigorous enough to hold out till they burst, then were his chances of recovery considerable; if they did not burst, he invariably died. But this was not the only mode in which disease did its work. People might be seen walking the street apparently in the highest health and spirits, till suddenly they were seized with giddiness, which did not throw them down, but spun them round and round, like 'sheep when afflicted by the complaint which is called the stag. gers. There was no instance of a patient surviving where the plague took this form. He fell from one fit into another, and dying in a few hours, became immediately afterwards black and livid, like one who has been poisoned.

No sooner was the presence of the pest made known than the governor adopted every possible precaution, in order to hinder the contagion from being carried into the barracks, where as yet no symptoms of the malady had shown themselves. The gates of all were shut, and guards mounted, with orders to shoot those who should attempt to pass, either from the military stations into the town, or from the town into the military stations. Outposts likewise were established, and a cordon drawn round the forts, any attempt to break which was to be dealt with in like manner; while the troops were ordered to send out the reliefs with bayonets fixed, and to clear the way for themselves in passing along the streets, as if they had been dealing with an enemy. In like manner each guard and piquet, after it had been relieved at its post, was marched into one of the casemented apartments, where the men were required to strip to the skin, and to bathe in huge jars of oil. At the same time their garments, and belts, and accoutrements were suspended over a fire of charcoal, and thoroughly smoked; a process which was said to bave contributed much to keep infection at a distance, but which was certainly not of a nature to gratify the colonels of regiments, who might have looked for a handsome reserve out of the government allowance for clothing.

Whether it was owing to these precautions, or that the style of living in barracks had something to do with it, or that Providence took more care of us than we either expected or deserved, I cannot tell; but it is as certain as it is remarkable, that not one British sol. dier died of the plague. Two years it was in the island, committing fearful ravages everywhere, and sparing in its wrath neither the old nor the young; but it came not near the quarters of the garrison, except in one instance, and that was a very remarkable one. Under the cavalier of St. Jaques, in the counter.force of the Port, there

is a casemate, or bomb-proof lodging, in and near to which dwelt two families between whom all direct communication was, on account of the plague, cut off, though, in other and brighter days, they had been the best friends possible. One of these consisted of a Maltese function. ary, the captain, as he was called, of the magazine, whose duty it was, to take care of the stores in that quarter, and of whom all men spoke and thought favourably. He was an old man, whom his very style of dress had rendered remarkable, for he wore a scarlet coat, in shape resembling that which I now wear, scarlet breeches, and crinison stockings, with a cocked-hat trimmed with gold lace, and hooked with bands that were made of gold — He, with his two daughters, inhabited apartments in the casemate, and very quietly, albeit very contentedly, they passed their days there. The other family of whom I have spoken, was that of Sergeant Crighton, of the British artillery, and which consisted of the sergeant himself, his wife, and two children, who dwelt in a small detached house hard by. Both parties had gardens, which a wall only divided; both parties, too, had goats, or rather the goats were their common property; and so just were they in their dealings one with the other, that, rather than divide the produce on each occasion of milking, they took it by turns to milk, and alternately kept the whole. Thus, if the Maltese milked the goats in the morning, the goats were driven to Sergeant Crighton's for milking in the evening; if the evening's gift went to the captain of the maga. zine, the British soldier put in his claim to whatever the morning might produce.

So long as the bills of health were everywhere clean, there neither occurred, nor could occur, any interruption 10 this device; indeed, the goats soon came to understand as well as their owners what was expected of them, and of their own accord went from house to house at the appointed seasons. It came to pass, however, some time after the plague had broken out, that Mrs. Crighton observed, from the appearance of the goats' udders when they arrived, that they had never been milked that morning. She was surprised; but either because no thought of evil entered into her mind, or that she looked upon the cir. cumstance as the result of accident, she took no notice of it. The animals were milked,—they were turned loose again, and betook themselves, as usual, to the place of pasturage. When, however, the same appearances presented themselves again and again, Mrs. Crighton became alarme:l, and, without communicating her intention to her husband, she determined to ascertain whether all were well with her neighbours. For this purpose, she clambered over the wall, and made her way to the apartments of the casemate; but, though she knocked several times, nobody paid attention to the signal. She then pushed open the door and entered. In one room lay ihe father in bed, and his two daughters stretched at length along the floor beside him. The Maltese family were dead, and the appearance of the bodies left no room to doubt that they had died of the prevailing malady.

Mrs. Crighton returned to her own home a sadder, if not a wiser woman,-but she returned not unscathed. Either she had contracted the seeds of the pest during the brief space which she stood in the dead chamber, or the udders of the goats which she milked conveyed to her the infection,-for she had caughthe plague. She communicated it, moreover, to her children, and within the customary period all became its victims; for it was one of the horrible parts of this hor.

rible tragedy, that people and houses which were suspected of infection, became things to be shunned by all around them, and that the very consciousness of this, as well as of other consequences which were sure to follow, caused the unhappy creatures themselves to conceal their misery.

Hence both of these families, as well as many more, which became utierly extinguished in Malta, died in secret; no one being aware that there was illness among them, till its results became palpable to the whole world.

As a matter of course, one of the first measures adopted by govern. ment, as soon as the state of the city became known, was to erect everywhere, in the ditches, and resting against the scarps of the glacis, numerous temporary hospitals. These were composed of a few boards only, which being hastily fastened together, were run up beside the breast-work of the fortifications and covered over, so as to be impervious to the weaiher, with light deals and tarpaulins. The orders issued were, that every person who was taken with the plague, no matter of what age, sex, rank, or condition, should be immediately conveyed to one of these pest-houses, and that all the wearing apparel and cotton and linen furniture belonging to the invalid, or to the house of which he might have been an inmate, should be immediately burned. These were terrible, though perhaps necessary, orders, --with which no human being complied who could avoid it; for cupidity is in the human breast a stronger passion than the love of life itself; and men preferred running the almost inevitable risk of infection, rather than that their property should be destroyed. In like manger, there were particular persons appointed to remain and bury the dead,-a body of wild Burgomotes from Smyrna, whom the temptation of large pay lured over to face the enemy, and to die or not, as chance, or ra:her Providence, might determine. There was something fearlully pictu. resque in the dress and bearing of these charnelites. They wore coarse canvass smock-frocks, with gloves which reached above the elbow, boots of untanned leather, and caps which, buttoning down over the ears, left only a small portion of their swarthy visages exposed. Their inplement of office, again, was a long hook, in form and size not unlike to a boat.hook, with which they seized the dead body, and dragged it from the place where it lay, and threw it in a cart; for in Malta, as in London long ago, the dead.cart traversed the streets both day and night, that corpses might be piled upon it,—that, unceremo. niously torn from hands which would have naturally prepared them for the grave, they might be cast unshrived, unblest, unmourned, into holes which the strange scavengers dug.

The plague in Malta, was, as I believe it generally is, very capri. cious in its operations. Multitudes caught it no one could tell how, and perished; whereas others who came in perpetual contact with the dying and the dead, escaped. Sergeant Crighton, of whom men. tion has already been made, offered a striking example of this fact His wife and children died beside him ; he watched them in their decline; and, when life became extinct, he did for them the last offices which he was permitted to do. He sewed the corpses in linen bags, took them one after another on his shoulder, carried them to the top of the garden wall by means of a ladder, and dropped them one after another into the dead.cart,-yet he never caught the infec. tion. The Burgomotes, on the other hand, though they carefully

abstained from handling the dead bodies—though they never touched them except with their hooks, and underwent frequent ablutions in jars of oil and vinegar-all, to a man, contracted the loathsome disease, and all died under its ravages. Ay, and more remarkable still, a thorough-paced ruffian of an Irish seaman, who, being under sentence of death for murdering his captain, had accepted the alternative which was offered to him, and became a charnel-man-ate and drank, and grasped the infected corpses with his naked hands, and went about unwashed and unmasked, and almost always in a state of intoxication, yet exhibited no symptoms of plague to the last. What became of him eventually I do not know; but that the pest had no influence over him is certain.

There occurred, as it was to be expected in a place so visited, frequent cases both of tenderness and its opposite, which were very remarkable. Among others, the following struck me at the time, and it is remembered now as more than uncommonly affecting. At a place called Vittorosia, not far from the magazine where Mrs. Crighton died, there dwelt a Maltese family—to what rank of life belonging I cannot tell, but certainly none of the meanest, though scarcely noble. From the non-appearance in public of any member of that household, it was surmised that the plague had broken out among them, and by and by this suspicion became confirmed in a way which moved all who saw it even to tears. There came to the balcony of that house one day two little children, the eldest about five, the youngest scarcely four years old, who, weeping bitterly, said that their father and mother, and all the rest, were asleep, and that they could not waken them. The fact was, that in that infected habitation there was no living thing except these children. All had died—and such was the horror of facing such a danger, that nobody could be prevailed upon to remove the little ones from their living tomb. Yet they were not wholly neglected. Day after day they came to the balcony, and letting down a basket by a string, their neighbours supplied them with food and drink, which they drew up for themselves and consumed. I have forgotten how long this state of things continued; but I know that it went on for some time. At last intelligence of the matter came to the governor's ears, and the police received orders to remove the children to a place more suited to their condition, while the house was cleansed of its putrifying inmates, and all the furniture burned.

It was about this time that the obstinacy of the inhabitants in concealing the ravages which the plague was making among them rose to such a height, that the authorities were obliged to counterwork it by means the most vigorous. Not only would each deny that there was sickness in his dwelling, but their dead they buried under the hearths of their kitchens, in the very wells—anywhere, in short, so that they might only escape the vigilance of the officers of the sanitary corps, and the confiscation of property which went along with it. The practice, shocking under any circumstances, but in such a case as the present pregnant with danger to themselves and others, began by degrees to be suspected by the police; and an order went forth, that the names of all who inhabited each particular house should be posted on the door, and that twice a day they should be required to answer from the balcony, when the roll was called over. By these means many a train of infection came to light, which

would have otherwise been concealed for ever, and many lives were saved, though at the expense of a great deal of valuable but polluted property. Yet a bad feeling was engendered by it in the minds of the inhabitants. They began to hate the troops—first, because they regarded them as instruments of oppression; and next, because they learned, to their astonishment, that not a single case of plague had appeared in any of the barracks. To what horrible inventions will men not be carried, if a spirit of rancorous and deadly hate towards their fellow.creatures once obtain a mastery over them! Seeing that our guards were incorruptible, and their vigilance untiringthat nothing was permitted to pass the barrack-gates, not even pro. visions or other necessaries, till they should have undergone a pro. cess of fumigation—the Maltese adopted the expedient of throwing money, and especially paper money, in the way of the men on duty, in the hope that by it infection might be carried into their quarters. The motive which actuated them in this proceeding was nut for a while suspected; but the probable consequence of bringing any un. clean thing, even money, within the barricade could not be over: looked; so that the soldiers were forbidden, on pain of death, to lift aught from the streets, and positive orders were given, in case any man should be caught in the act of disobedience, to shoot him on the spot. I do not believe that in a single instance our people disobeyed these orders; but there were others whose sense of duty was not ca. pable of overmastering their thirst of gain, and who followed their ruling impulse to their sorrow.

In addition to the ordinary police, a number of Maltese were at this tiine enrolled as a sanitary force, whose exclusive business it was to take care that the orders of government in reference to the sick and their effects were not violated. In particular, thcy had it in charge to burn the effects of all who died of the plague ; and as they were regularly officered, and the officers paid upon a liberal scale, little apprehension was entertained that they would fail in their duty. The government was deceived in this respect. Several of the officers were accused of appropriating to their own use large quantities of valuable stuff, which ought to have been consumed ; and being put upon their trial, the charge was brought home to them. They were condemned to death ; and a gallows being erected in the principal square of Fort Manuel, they were all hanged without mercy. Moreover, the better to impress the people with the wisdom of paying obedience to the laws, the names of the several culprits, with a statement of their respective ranks, and of the offences for which t'iey suffered, were inscribed on marble slabs, which slabs were introduced into the piers of the gallows, and may yet, I dare say, be seen. I believe that the effect of this example was good ; at all events, the burnings became more frequent after it had taken place than ever—and the heaps of ashes which were thus accumulated, as they lay in sheltered corners, chiefly in the ditches, have often been turned over since in search of jewels and coins, and not always, as I ascertained, unsuccessfully.

My tale of active life is told; and the residue of a personal history such as mine may be expressed within the compass of a few words. I continued to do duly with the third garrison battalion till the year 1816, when, my term of service having expired, I was ordered home for the purpose of getting my discharge. The board at Chelsea

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