Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/836

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back of the cast are two lines of writing, greatly defaced, of which this much can still be read: 'Dean Swift, taken off his * * * * the night of his burial, and the f * * * * one side larger than the other in nature * * Opened before * * * The mould is in pieces.'" A deep indentation, says Wilde, shows where the calvarium had been sawn; and accurately corresponds with the division of the skull found in Swift's coffin in 1835. On the same excellent authority we know that the cast of the interior of Swift's skull is remarkable as showing the enormous development of the vessels within the cranium, the very small anterior lobes, the great size of the glandulæ Pacchioniæ, the exceedingly small cerebellum, a natural formation as may be seen by the very low position of the tentorium, the immense size of the posterior and middle lobes, particularly the former, and the absence of any appearance of disease in the anterior lobes, as far at least as this cast of the interior of the skull is capable of demonstrating.

Swift of course was not exempt from intercurrent diseases, the most important of which appear to have been a severe colic in 1696, which brought him to extremity, "so that all despaired of my life, and the newspapers reported me dead"; an attack of herpes zoster of the left neck and shoulder, with its atrocious after-pains, in 1712; and a severe attack of ague in 1720, which lasted a whole year. But these maladies appear to have passed away without permanent injury, and it is to the cold which, before he was twenty, gave him a deafness and an ear "which has never been well since," to which we must look as the origin of his physical and ultimately of his mental miseries, and which made him often describe himself as

"Vertiginosus, inops, surdus, male gratus aniicis."

He does not appear ever to have guessed that his vertigo was due to the state of the auditory organ, nor indeed did any physician ever suspect that such was the case in any one suffering from ear-giddiness, until, led to reflect on the subject by Fleurens's experiments on the semicircular canals of pigeons and rabbits, Ménière recognized the causal connection in 1861. The paroxysmal nature of the affection, with long intervals of immunity, is well marked in Swift's case, although it would appear from a quotation made by Forster, p. 253, from one of his note-books, that the fits were pretty frequent, the reference to fits in his journal and correspondence only applying to the more serious occasions. The quotation is as follows:

"1708. Nov. From 6th to 16, often giddy. Gd help me. So to 25 less. 16, Brandy for giddiness 2s. Brdy 3d. Dec. 5.—Horribly sick. 12th.—Much better, thank God and M. D.'s prayers. 16th.—Bad fit at Mrs. Barton's. 24. Better; but dread a fit. Better still to the end. 1709, Jan. 21st.—An ill fit but not to excess. 29. Out of order. 31. Not well at times. Feb. 7.—Small fit abroad. Pretty well to the end. March.—Headache frequent. April 2nd.—Small