The study of tuberculosis

Clifford Allbutt
1907 British Journal of Tuberculosis  
WHEN the Editor asks me for my retrospect of tuberculosis, he bids me look back upon events .whose marvel can scarcely be seen truly unless the eye be shaded from the many other wonders of the last halfcentury--from the victory over typhoid fever, diphtheria, and septi-c~emia; from the rout of typhus; from the exposure of the fatal secret of malaria. Before my eyes are closed we may have tracked out the malignancy of cancer, and clapped a bridle on the earthquake. Early Recollections. My
more » ... lections. My retrospect begins in a shaded parlour at Ventnor, a room in which we were taught the art of embalming the air by stuffing cotton about the doors and pasting paper about the window-frames. There I had been sent as a little boy for whom it would be very nice to have such a change from the sterner and gloomier climate of a fifteenthcentury house in the north--a house built in a churchyard, and priding itself over the countryside in the sparkling water of its well in the scullery--or should I have written "skullery" ? So for a time I was to be the child companion of my father's cousin--a pretty lady, sweet and fragile, who had gone to Ventnor for a consumption. Little child as I was, even then her long thin hands, her wan face, her frail, willowy figure and gait made me wonder, almost more than I wondered to see the chicken, and the jellies, and such cates dismissed almost untasted. Even still I seem to hear the hack-hack of her hollow cough--too hard and hollow to come from that slender body; and again, the quick, stealthy coming and going of the physicia n ; and the mysterious hours in the bedroom--once very long--when I heard whispers of a blood-spitting. Then, when the,sun shone--it was winter, and the sun no constant visitor--my delicate lady ventured to pace--how slowly she paced !--up and down the south of the terrace. Such a poor short walk it seemed, after so much waiting and preparation, so much cloaking and muffling, and the eclipse of fhe hot
doi:10.1016/s0366-0850(07)80002-0 fatcat:vdqxlurhvjectmksmaspjjlfmy