Billeder på siden

uniform bone : there seemed to be no diploë, and the sinus frontalis was wanting.

2. The dura mater was so firmly attached to the internal parietes of the cranium, that the reiterated attempts of two strong men were insufficient to detach it, and the vessels of that niembrane were completely injected with blood. It was united from point to point by membranous bridles to the pia mater.

3. Between the pia mater and the convolutions of the brain were found many globules of air, with exudation of lymph and numerous adhesions.

4. The great falx of the dura mater was firmly attached to both hemispheres by membranous bridles, and its vessels were turgid with blood.

5. On dividing the medullary substance of the brain, the exudation of blood from the minute vessels produced specks of a bright red colour. 'An extravasation of about 2 oz. of bloody serum was found beneath the pons Varioli, at the base of the hemispheres ; and in the two superior or lateral ventricles a similar extravasation was discovered at the base of the cerebellum, and the usual effects of inflammation were observable throughout the cerebrum.

6. The medullary substance was in more than ordinary proportion to the corticle, and of the usual consistency. The cerebrum and the cerebellum, without the membranes, weighed 6lbs. (mediche).

7. The channels or sulci of the blood-vessels on the

internal surface of the cranium were more numerous than usual, but small. • 8. The lungs were perfectly healthy, but of much more than ordinary volume (gigantiselle).

9. Between the pericardium and the heart there was about an ounce of lymph, and the heart itself was of greater size than usual ; but its muscular substance was extremely faccid.

10. The liver was much smaller than usual, as was also the gall-bladder, which contained air instead of bile. The intestines were of a deep bilious hue, and distended with air.

11. The kidneys were very large but healthy, and the vesica relatively small.

“ Judging from the observations marked 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11, the physician who attended Lord Byron concludes, that he might probably have recovered from his illness, had he submitted to the loss of blood which was recommended at the commencement of the disease. He thinks, however, that he can declare with tolerable certainty, from the appearances 1, 8, and 9, that his Lordship could not have survived many years, on account of his habitual exposure to the causes of disease, both from his habitual mental exertion, his excessive occupation, and a constant state of indigestion.”

From this account of the examination of the body, it is plain that Lord Byron died in consequence of inflammation of the brain ; at least, if the appearances really were as described. The cause of the attack was clearly his exposure to wet and cold on the 9th of AprilBy this exposure fever was excited. His brain was predisposed to disease, as is evident from the attack of convulsion from which he was scarcely yet recovered; and the fever once produced, excited inflammation in the brain the more readily on account of the predisposition to disease which had already been manifested in that organ. That he might have been saved by early and copious bleeding, and other appropriate remedies, is certain. That his medical attendants had not, until it was too late to do any thing, any suspicion of the true nature of his disease, we are fully satisfied. Nothing is known of any intention to bleed until the 15th, that is, the 6th day of the disease, and then one of the medical attendants

expresses in a very vague manner his opinion of the remedy: " it might be of service, but it could be deferred till the next day.” Could any man, who was led by the symptoms to suspect such a state of the organ as was revealed by inspection, thus speak? When Dr. Bruno, in his report, speaks of taking blood in the early stage " in grande abbondanza,” he speaks instructed by dissection. Were we to place implicit confidence in the accuracy of the report of Lord Byron's attendant, we should doubt, from all the circumstances, his having proposed, in an early stage, copious bleeding to his patient, and his Lordship's refusal to submit to the treatment. He called his complaint a cold, and said the patient would be well in a few days; and no physician would propose copious bleeding under such circumstances. It seems to us that Lord Byron's penetration discovered their hesitation, and suspected the ignorance by which it was caused, and that his suspicion was but too well founded. Without further evidence we should disbelieve in the total obliteration of the sutures; and we may add, that all the inferences deduced from the alleged appearances in 1, 8, 9, &c. are absurd; they do not afford evidence enough to warrant the slightest conjecture relative to the length or the brevity of life. It is, however, but fair to add, that Lord Byron always had a very decided objection to being bled; and Dr. Bruno's own testimony, which we have already quoted, ought

to have its due weight. That Lord Byron should have had an insurmountable objection to bleeding is extraordinary, and it in some measure confirms what he himself used to say, that he had no fear of death, but a perfect horror of pain.

Lord Byron's death was a severe blow to the people of Messolonghi, and they testified their sincere and deep sorrow by paying his remains all the honours their state could by any possibility invent and carry into execution. But a people, when really animated by the passion of grief, requires no teaching or marshalling into the expression of its feelings. The rude and military mode in which the inhabitants and soldiers of Messolonghi, and of other places, vented their lamentations over the body of their deceased patron and benefactor, touches the heart more deeply than the vain and empty pageantry of much more civilized states.

Immediately after the death of Lord Byron, and it was instantly known, for the whole town was watching the event, Prince Mavrocordatos published the following proclamation.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »