known is the Virginian Quail, or Colin, as it is sometimes called—that being, according to Hernandez, its old Mexican name. It is the Ortyx (or Colinus) virginianus of modern ornithology, and has a wide distribution in North America, being called “partridge” in the Southern states, and elsewhere being known by the nickname of “Bob-White,” aptly bestowed upon it from a call-note of the cock. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to introduce this bird to England (as indeed similar trials have been made in the United States with quails from Europe). The beautiful tufted Quail of California, Lophortyx californica, has also been tried at large in Europe without success; but it is well established as an aviary bird. A few of the American Quails or Colins roost in trees.
Interesting from many points of view as is the group of birds last mentioned, there is another which, containing a score of species (or perhaps more) often termed Quails or Button-Quails, is of still greater importance in the eyes of the systematist. This is that comprehended by the genus Turnix, or Hemipodius of some authors, the anatomical structure of which removes it far from the genera Coturnix, Ortyx, and their allies, and even from any of the normal Gallinae. T. H. Huxley regarded it as the representative of a generalized stock from which the Charadriomorphae and Alectoromorphae, to say nothing of other groups, have sprung. The button-quails are now placed as a separate sub-order, Turnices, of the order Galliformes (see Bird). One species, T. sylvatica, inhabits Barbary and southern Spain, and under the name of Andalucian Hemipode has been included (though on evidence not wholly satisfactory) among British birds as a reputed straggler. The rest are natives of various parts of the Ethiopian, Indian and Australian regions. It is characteristic of the genus Turnix to want the hind toe; but the African Ortyxelus and the Australian Pedionomus, which have been referred to its neighbourhood, have four toes on each foot. (A. N.)
QUAIN, SIR RICHARD, Bart. (1816–1898), Irish physician, was born at Mallow-on-the-Blackwater, Co. Cork, on the 30th of October 1816. He received his early education at Cloyne, and was then apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary in Limerick. In 1837 he entered University College, London, where he graduated with high honours as M.B. in 1840, and as M.D. (gold medal) in 1842. Six years later he was chosen an assistant-physician to the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, and with that institution he retained his connexion until his death, first as full (1855) and subsequently as consulting physician (1875). He became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1851, and filled almost every post of honour it could offer except the presidency, in the contest for which he was beaten by Sir Andrew Clark in 1888. He became physician-extraordinary to Queen Victoria in 1890, and was created a baronet in the following year. He died in London on the 13th of March 1898. Quain, who was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1871, was the author of several memoirs, dealing for the most part with disorders of the heart, but his name will be best remembered by the Dictionary of Medicine, the preparation of which occupied him from 1875 to 1882 (2nd edition, 1894; 3rd, 1902). He sat on the Royal Commission on Rinderpest (cattle plague) in 1865. He was a cousin of Jones Quain (1796–1865), the author of Quain’s Elements of Anatomy, and of Richard Quain (1800–1887), who was president of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1868, and left £75,000 to University College, London, with which the Quain professorships of botany, English language and literature, law, and physics were endowed. A half-brother of the last two, Sir John Richard Quain (1816–1876), was appointed a judge of the Queen’s Bench in 1871.
QUAINT (O. Fr. cointe, from Lat. cognitus, known, probably influenced by association with Lat. comptus, neat), an adjective meaning unusual or fanciful, often applied to things with a sense of old-fashioned charm or prettiness. “Queer,” which has much the same meaning, is of doubtful etymology, but is generally taken as adapted from Ger. quer, crooked.
QUAKERS, originally a cant name applied in derision to the members of the Society of Friends, but now used without any contemptuous significance. It was said to have originated in the saying of Justice Bennet at Derby in 1650, “Tremble (or quake) at the word of the Lord,” but it is now certain that it was used as early as 1647, and arose from the physical manifestations of religious emotion characteristic of many of the early Friends. (See Friends, Society of)
QUANTUM MERUIT (Lat. for “as much as he has deserved”), in the law of contract, originally a form of action on the case, grounded on a promise to pay the plaintiff for work done as much as it was worth. It has been abolished as a special form of action, but the term is still in use where, in cases of special contract, there has been a breach amounting to a discharge by one party before the other party has done all that he was bound to do. In such a case the plaintiff sues for a quantum meruit or the value of so much as he has done.
QUARANTINE (Fr. quarantaine, a period of forty days), a term originally applied to the old sanitary preventive system of detention of ships and men, unlading of cargo in lazarets, fumigation of susceptible articles, &c., which was practised at seaports on account of the plague, in connexion with the Levantine trade. It is now a thing of the past in the United Kingdom and in the majority of other states. But, in common usage, the same word is applied to the sanitary rules and regulations which are the modern substitutes for quarantine.
The plague was the only disease for which quarantine was practised (not to mention the earlier isolation of lepers, and the attempts to check the invasion of syphilis in northern Europe about 1490) down to the advent of yellow fever in Spain at the beginning of the 19th century, and the arrival of Asiatic cholera in 1831. Venice took the lead in measures to check the spread of plague, having appointed three guardians of the public health in the first years of the Black Death (1348). The next record of preventive measures comes from Reggio in Modena in 1374. The first lazaret was founded by Venice in 1403, on a small island adjoining the city; in 1467 Genoa followed the example of Venice; and in 1476 the old leper hospital of Marseilles was converted into a plague hospital—the great lazaret of that city, perhaps the most complete of its kind, having been founded in 1526 on the island of Pomègue. The practice at all the Mediterranean lazarets was not different from the English procedure in the Levantine and North-African trade. On the approach of cholera in 1831 some new lazarets were set up at western ports, notably a very extensive establishment near Bordeaux, afterwards turned to another use.
The plague had disappeared from England, never to return, for more than thirty years before the practice of quarantine against it was definitely established by an act of Parliament of Queen Anne’s reign (1710). The first act was called for, owing to an alarm lest plague should be imported from Poland and the Baltic; the second act of 1721 was due to the disastrous prevalence of plague at Marseilles and other places in Provence; it was renewed in 1733 owing to a fresh outbreak of the malady on the continent of Europe, and again in 1743 owing to the disastrous epidemic at Messina. In 1752 a rigorous quarantine clause was introduced into an act regulating the Levantine trade; and various arbitrary orders were issued during the next twenty years to meet the supposed danger of infection from the Baltic. Although no plague cases ever came to England all those years, the restrictions on traffic became moremore stringent (following the movements of medical dogma), and in 1788 a very oppressive Quarantine Act was passed, with provisions affecting cargoes in particular. The first year of the 19th century marked the turning-point in quarantine legislation; a parliamentary committee sat on the practice, and a more reasonable act arose on their report. In 1805 there was another new act, and in 1823–24 again an elaborate inquiry followed by an act making the quarantine only at discretion of the privy council, and at the same time recognizing yellow fever “or other highly infectious disorder” as calling for quarantine measures along
- The strict sense of the term is also preserved in the “widows’ quarantine,” the right of a widow to remain in the principal house belonging to her husband for forty days after his death.