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empty, folded and rolled them - ùp' ture of the heart; we supposed that from head to foot, by separati: g the this mass which was not generally extremities of the bones at the plac s fo.nd oceursed only in fome, in pro- . where they had been once art culated, porion to the quantity of fal with
Another important observation which which that vilçus had been loaded. ve always made on those bodies In the exterior region of the tho. changed inio gruase was, that the abdo. 'rax in the bodies of women we found minal cavity was no more. The the glandular and adipose mass of teguments and muscles of that region the mamma converted into a very Were changed into the same matter white and homogeneous substance. with the other soft parts; they had The head was surrounded with the lank down and refted on the back faciy marier, the face iq most undis, bone, leaving no room for the viscera. tinguishable ; the mouth disfigured This surprised us much; we fought without tongue or palate ; the jaws in vain, in the greatest number of the luxated, and more or less asunder, bodies we examined, for the place and surrounded with irregular portions and the sub:rance of the stomach, the of grease. Soine lumps of the same inteft pes, the bladder, live“, fpleen, matter generally occupied the place matrix, &c. all these viscera had dif- of the organs situated in the mouth; appeared almoft without leaving a trace the cartilages of the nose participa of them. Sometimes, indeed, irre, ted of the general alteration of the gular masses of the greasy substance, fin; some white masses, ioftead of : from the size of a out to two or three eyes, filied their fuckets ; the ears' inches in diameter, were found in were equally decayed, and the hair the regions of the liver or spleen. till remained on the skin, though
The breast afforded very logular this last was changed like the other and interesting observations. The parts. It may be observed in pafhng, external part of that cavity was flat. that the bair seems fitted to refiit iened and compressed like the other for the greatest length of time any organs; the ribs, loosened from their fort of change. The cranium inclade articulacions with the vertebra, haded the brain, which was diminished fallen down and lay on the spine ; in Gize, black at the surface, and their curvature left between them and changed like the other organs; this. the vertebræ, but an ifconfiderable was continually found, winich thews space on each lide, very different it to be particularly disposed to change. from the thoracic cavity io size and into grease. form. There was hardly any veftige I shall now point out the different of the pleura, the mediaftinum, the modifications of this fat fubitance. Its large vessels, treachca, or even of the consistence is not always the fame ; lungs or the heart : :here were only in bodies which have suffered the in place of chefe fome lumps of the change only for the four or five wbite matter. In this case the mat years the matter is soft and very duck ter, which is the produce of the de- tile; it contains a great quantity of conspolition of the viscera loaded with water, and is very ligh: : in others blood and various humours, differs that have been charged for thirty or from that of the body, and of the forty years, it is drier and more brita long bones in being of a colour more tle, and in pieces of a closer textures or less browo or red. Sometimes in some which were placed in a dry We found in the thorax a mass irregu- foil, we have found portions of this gula ly rounded of the fame substance fat matter become semi-transparent ; with the rest that appeared to us to and in appearance, conüstence aod brite belong to the far and Gibsons struc- denels pretty much resembling wax.
· The nature of this substance was a singular phenomenon observed by affected by the period of its forma- the late M. Poulletier and myself. tion ; io general all that seemed to He had suspended in his laboratory have been long formed was white, a piece of human liver, to see what uniform, without extraneous mattery effect exposure to the air would have or remains of, fibrous structure ; such on it. It was in part corrupted, particularly was that which belonged without however exhaling any very to the fkin of the extremities. On the ferid smell; the larvæ of the dermefles, contrary, where the change had been and of the 'bruchus attacked it, and recent, the fat matter was less pure pierced it in every direction; at latt and less homogeneous, portions of it became dry, and after having been muscles, tendons and ligaments were suspended for more than ten years, it fill observable, though altered in co- turned white, friable, and somewhat lour; and in proportion as the con. fimilar in appearance to a dried mush version was more or less advanced, room ; it seemed to be nothing but a thefe remains were more or less pe- piece of carthy matter, without any Retrated with the greasy matter, as if fensible smell. But upon being subject. thruft into the interstices between the ed to experiment, we found it was by fibres. This important observation no means an earth; it melted with fhews, that it is not only the fat which heat, and was dislipated in a vapour of is changed into this greafy substance. very fetid smell ; fpirit of wine sepaThe rete mucosum of the skin, which rated from it a concrete oil, which anatomists have never considered as seemed to us to have all the properfat, changes eally into that substance, ties of the grease of the cemetery of the as does the brain. It is true that, cæ- Innocents exposed for several months teris paribus, the fu parts and bodies to the air. I. mention this here to that have been fat, pals most readiiy shew, that a glandular substance may into this Rate. We found according- be entirely converted into greasy mat. Jy the medulla in the long bones, en: ter. tirely converted into very pure grease; In some fubjects this matter affus we even saw that fat substance pass med a shining appearance of the co. from the internal part of the bone, lour of gold and Gilver, as if a small and occupy all the cavities of the or- quantity of mica had been scattered feous laminæ ; but if it be found that over its surface. There also appear: the fat changes easily into this fub- ed in several parts a brilliant tinge of Stance, and contributes evidently to red, orange, and carnation colours, Its quantity in fubje&ts that abound in especially round the bones. it, the fa&s already mentioned prove We learnt from the grave-diggers, that other parts, the cellular fubitance that three years were necessary to and the fat it contains, may also un convert bodies in the earth, into greafe. dergo the same change. I shall here When they are first ioterred, they do add two observations, in order to fix not fenfibly change colour, till at the our ideas with regard -10 this point. end of seven or eight days, when a The first is, that of the vast number of discoloration begins in the abdomen. bodies contained in the pits we have The belly (wells and appears diftend. described, it may be presumed, that ed by elastic fluids disengaged from the greater part had been eniaciated within. This diftenfion takes place bv the diseases of which they died; more or less fpeedily according to the and yet they were all absolutely con- bulk of the abdomen, the fluids cogverted into grease; so that it cannot be: tained in it, the depth at which the said that the fat alone had undergone boy is deposited, but especially the this alieration. The second refts on temperature of the air. Thus, a very fat subject, whose abdomen is full, lo vain we endeavoured to prevail on buried at no great depth in a warm the workmen to procure us an opfez!on, will exhibit this bloated state portunity of examining this elastic of the abdomen in three or four days, Auid in other burying places ; they while a dry meagre subject buried deep always resisted our intreaties, assuring in cold weather, may remain for se- us, that it was only by an unhappy veral weeks without any perceptible chance that they found in the earth a change. The grave diggers think corpse in this dangerous state. The they have observed, that tempestuous dreadful smell and poisonous activity weather accelerates the distension of of this elastic Auid, presupposes that the abdomen, which goes on increa- it is mixed with the hydrogene and fing till the integuments, becoming azote gas, holding fulphur and too weak, yield to the force of the in- phosphorus in solution, the ordinary ternal rarefaction, and burst with a and known products of putrefaction; fort of explosion. It would appear it may also contain some other deleto be about the ring, and sometimes serious vapour, the nature of which is about the umbilicus, that this erup- hitherto unknown, but whole terrible tion happens, and then there issues a effects on the life of animals is unhapHuid farios, brownish and fetid, 10. pily, but too well proved. Perhaps it gether with a very mephitic elastic is to another order of bodies, to an Huid, the effects of which are much essence more divided and fugacious dreaded by the grave diggers. Tra than the bases of the knowa elastic. dition, corroborated by experience, duids are found to be, that we must has taught them that it is only at this refer the matter which constitutes the period that the miasmata' disengaged nature of this fatal fluid. But howa from bodies in a state of decomposi. ever this may be, the people employtion, expose them to real danger. It ed in digging in cemeteries, all acbas sometimes happened that, in dig. knowledge that they dread no danger ging, the pick-axe has opened the ab- except from the vapour disengaged domen, from which that elastic vapour from the abdomen of dead bodies escaping has suddenly induced alphe- when that cavity bursts. They have xia on the workmen employed. . likewise observed, that this vapour : It will be understood that the same does not always prodace afphixia; rapture of the abdomen, and the dil that if they are at a distance from the engagement of the very mephitic gas corpse whence it proceeds they feel taking place in vaults as well as in the only a light vertigo, a sensacion of earth, this elaftic fuid being conden- uocasiness and debility, with nau. fed in such places, the persons de. sea : these symptoms last for several fcending into them imprudently will hours, and then succeed loss of appea be exposed to fimilar accidents. tite, weakness, and tremor ; all thefe
We wilhed very much to ascertain effects announce a subtile poison which by experiment, the nature of this fa. happily does not thew itself, except in tal gas, but had no opportunity, as no the first stages of the decomposition persons bad been buried in the ceme- of the bodies. May we not support tery of the Innocents for three years that from those fepric miasmata probefore *; and because the last corp- ceed ihe diseases to which those pero les that were deposited here in 1782 fons are exposed who live in the were past the stage in which this sep. neighbourhood of burying places, tic explofion of the abdomen happens. common fores, and in general in all
places This cemetery is now converted into one of the moł elegant Squares and finet markan places in Paris,
places where animal fubftances in laftly, if the sun's rays favour and ad. heaps are left to spontaneous decom. celerate evaporation, all these circums position ? May we not believe that a stances united, will so parch the body poison so violent as to kill animals by absorbing and volatilizing the juia Suddenly, when it escapes pure and ces, by conftringing and contrading concentrated from the matrix in the folids, that it will affume the ap which it was generated, and is recei. pea ance of thote mur: mies I have ved and diffused in the atmosphere, mentioned above. But the process will preserve sufficient activity to ope is different in the common pits; the rate on the nervots and sensible organs bodies there being heaped upon one of animals, animpression capableoffuf- another, are cot like the others expopending their action, and of deranging fed to the contact of a foil which can their motions? Who one has been absorb their humidity. As they cow witoess to the terror with which this ver one another, the evaporation cage poisonous vapour inspires the labour. sed by the atmosphere has little ers, and has observed in many of them or no influence on them in short, palid countenances and all the symp- they are not exposed to the action of toms which indicate the action of a external circumstances, and the alterlow poison, one would imagine that ation they undergo depends on their it would be more hazardous to deny own substance. entirely the effea of the atmosphere When the rupture of the abdomen of cemeteries on the peo; le in their has taken place, the internal putrefacneighbourhood, than to mulriply and tion which occasioned it has already cxaggerate the complaints that have diftroyed the structure of the soft vif. been made for some years past, by the cera of that cavity; the stomach and abuse that has been bestowed on the intestines no longer form one conti. discoveries made on the air and other nuous membranous tribe. The dif. clastic fluids.
" ferent portions that still remain, being But to resume our account of the broken and diffolved into a putrid fe destruction of corpses. The diftene fofity, fall down and link upon one fon and rupture of the abdomen take another; immediately the patretaction place both in the bodies accumulated becoming more and more rapid, en in the common pits, and in those that tirely destroys their texture ; so that are buried a. part ; but the changes there remains, after the rupture of the that succeed this first lage of fontan abdomen, cothing but some fragments Deous decompofition, are very differ which atrach themselves to the Gdes ent in the bodies in these differi nt of that cavity. The parenchyma of circumstances. Carcases in grarés, the liver, being firmer, seems to resto surrounded with a quantity of moist this sepric folvent, its humidity is not earth, are entirely destroyed, after un- fufficient to allow a total decompofidergoing all the succesive degrees of tion, and this, no doubt, is the cause the ordinary putrefactive process of those fragments of greate, which are this destruction is rapid in proportion found in the place of all the viscera to the humidity of the body, the of the abdomen. warn th or humidity of the atmof. The fame change happens in other phere; for moisture and beat are the cemeteries, where the same method prire source of rutrefaction. If the of interment prevails; but to investibo'ies thus detached are dry and e- gate the whole process of the decogimac:ated, if the ground in which they pofition, at every different period, ar: placed be dry and arid, and the would require many experiments and atmosphere without humidity; and, a great leogth of time.
General Description of the Roads, and mode of Travelling, in Sweden.
N URING my whole journey, ly prejudicial to agriculture. Of this
the provisions put into my you may judge from the following Wallet at Droningaard by my friends account: In ail the high, and even were very useful, and prevented my in the cross roads, post matters are to nplaining of a country, which, at appointed (chiverhoors), who are all the places where you are necessarily a fort of inokeepers (gal vry-bous); obliged to change horses, affords no and have under their direction a cerother fort of refreshment than some tain number of peasants. The peaa excellent milk, and bread of the fort sants in their turn, and according to described to you in my letter from the value of their farms, are obliged Fahlun. I found the inns upon this to provide one, or sometimes two, road, as in all the other parts in servants, with one, two, three, four; Sweden, very miserable. The hou- or more horses, which remain in wait, kes, being all of wood, and never ing for twenty-four hours, and are Wafhed, abound, in summer, with e- then succeeded by others. If any very fort of vermin; and the little traveller arrives, they are paid for cribs without curtains expofe you to their time and trouble, if not, they the piercing stings of a most dread lose both. You must perceive that ful ou aber of gnats, while the beds these services are very opprelive, and themselves contain various forts of cannot be performed without great dcinfe&s, against which even the mat-triment to the cultivation of estates; tress that I carried with mé proved although they are not very rigoroully: á very feeble defence.
demanded, especially in the time of You are recompensed, however, harvest. The horses are by no means for the fare, and the beds at the inos, always in waiting; and unless you fend by the excellence of the roads, which, forward a man and horse, you may though a little rough in some parts of be detained a long time for each rethe mountainous country, may rival lay. I therefore took the precauthose so much boasted of in England. tion of dispatching a voorloode (fo The bottom of these; except in Sca. they call them), and bis orders pronia, where there is a good deal of cured every thing to be in perfect fand, is a hard rock; and their readiness. Inci post-master, ivho is breadth is such, that four voitures commonly a peasant-himself; and os. may eally pass at a time, even in liged to furnish horses in his turn,, the narrowest parti The bed of gra- kas under him an inspector, (hall vel, which they lay upon the top, is karl), who, upon the arrival of a traalso fo beaten and compacted, as to veller, inquires the number of horses bare no where any appearance of a wanted, fetches them, and has them fut. This is to be raderstood, howharneiled. He then presents a jours ever, chiefly of the high roads and nal, (dag bók), divided into several those they call royal ; and upon these columns, in which the traveller, imyou may travel with great ease and mediately before he sets oíf, is rerapidity, the horses, though very quired to write his name, and characsmall, being strong and swift.
ter, the day and hour of his arrival, • The order established in the con- those of his departurc, the place from duct of posts, is very convenient whence he came, and to which he to strangers and travellers, but equals is going, with the number of hor1y burthenfome to peasants, and high fes he takes. One column in this Vol. XII. No. 68. L.
books, * From a Journey throug! Sekden, by a Dutch Officer.