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at least it does not injure my health, if it does not in fact contribute much to its perservation.— I shall-thereforé call it for the future a bracing or tonic bath.
March 10, 1773. I shall not attempt to explain why damp clothes océ : easion colds, rather than wet ones, because I doubt the fact. I imagine that neither the one nor the other contribute to ihis effect, and that the causes of colds are totally independent of wet and even cold. I. pro pose writing a short paper on this subject, the first leisure inoment I have at my disposal - In the mean time I can only say, that having suspicions that the common notion, which attributes to cold the property of stopping the pores and obstructing perspiration, was ill founded, I engaged a young physician, who is making some experiments with Santorius's balance, to estimate the different proportions of his perspiration, when reinaining one hour quite naked, and another warmly clothed. He pursued the experiment in this alternate manner for eight hour's successively, and found his perspiration almost double during those hours in which he was naked.
Observations on the generally prevailing doze
trines of Life and Death.
TO THE SAME. Your observations on the causes of death, and the experiments which you propose for recalling to life those who appear to be killed by lightning, demonstrate equally your sagacity and humanity. It appears that the doctrines of life and death, in general, are but little understood. · A toad, buried in sand, will live, it is said, until the sand becomes petrified; and then, being inclosed in the stone, it may still live for we know not how many
ages. The facts which are cited in support of this opinion are too numerous and too circumstantial not 10% deserve a certain degree of credit. As we are accusa tomed to see all the animals with which we are acquainted eat and drink, it appears to us difficult to con: ceive how a load can be supported in such a dungeon.But if we reflects that the necessity of nourishment, which aninials experience in their ordinary state, proceeds from the continual waste of their substance by perspiration; it will appear less incredible that some animals in a torpid state, perspiring less because they use no exercise, should have less need of aliment; and that others, which are covered with scales or shells, which stop perspiration, such as land and sea turtles, serpents, and some species of fish, should be able to subsist á considerable time without any nourishment whatever. A plant, with its flowers, fades and dies immediately, if exposed to the air without having its roots immersed in a humid soil, from which it may draw a sufficient quantity of moisture, to supply that which exhales from its substance, and is carried off continually by the air. Perhaps, however, if it were buried in quicksilver, it might preserve, for a considerable space of time, its vegetable life, its smell and color. If this be the case, it might prove a commodious methor of transporting froin distant countries those delicate • plants which are unable to sustain the inclemency of the weather at sea, and which require particular care and attention.
I have seen an instance of comnion flies preserved in à manner somewhat similar. They had been drowned in Madeira wine, apparently about the time when it was bottled in Virginia; to be sent to London. At the opening of one of the bottles, at the house of a friend where I was; three drowned flies fell into the first glass which was filled. Having heard it remarked that drowned flies were capable of being revived by the rays of the sun, I proposed making the experiment upon these. They were therefore exposed to the sun, upon
a sieve which had been employed to strain them out of the wine. In less than three hours two of them began by degrees to recover life. They commenced by some convulsive motions in the thighs, and at length: they raised themselves upon their legs, wiped their eyes with their fore-feet, beat and brushed their winggi with their hind-feet, and soon after began to fly, finding themselves in Old England, without kno, ing how they came thither. The third continued' lifeless until sunset when, losing all hopes of him, he was thrown away.
I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of einbalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for', having a very ardent desire to: see and observe the state of America an hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death; the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But since, in all proba. bility, we live in an age too early, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection, I must, for the present, content myself with the treat, which you are so kind as to promise me, of the resurrection of a fowl or a turkey-cock.
Precautions to be used by those who are about.
to undertake a Sea Voyage. When you intend to undertake a long voyage, nothing is better than to keep it a secret till the moment of your departure. Without this, you will be continue ally interrupted and tormented by visits from friends and acquaintances, who not only make you lose your valuable time, but make you forget a thousand things which you wish to remember; so that when you are embarked, and fairly at sea, you recollect, with much uneasiness, affairs which you have not terminatedly ac.
counts that you have not setul d, and a number of things w'ich you proposed to carry with you, and which you find the want of every mo sent. Would it not be afa tevded with ihe best consequences to reform such a custom, and to suffer a traveller, without deranging him, to make his preparations in quieness, to set apart a few days, when th+ se are finish d, in take leave of his friends and to receive their good wishes for his happy return ?
It is not al.vays in one's power to choose a captain.; though great part of the pleasure and happiness of the passage depends apon this choice, and though one must for a time be confined to his company, and be in some measure under his command. If he is a social sensible mall, obliging, and of a gooi disposition, you will be much the happier. One someliines meets with people of this description, but they are not common; however, if yours be not of this number, if he be a good seamalig, attentive, careful, and active in the management of his vessel, you may dispense with the rest, for these are the most essential qualities..
Whatever right you may have by your agreement with him, to the provisions he has taken on board for the use of the passengers, it is always proper to have some private store, which you may make use of occasionally. You ought, therefore, to provide good water, that of the ship being often bad ; but you must put itinto bottles, without which you cannot expect to preserve it sweet. You ought also to carry with you good tid, ground coffee, chocolate, wine of the sort you like best, cydir, dried raisins, almonds, sugal', capillaire, citronsyrum, eggs dipped in oil, portable soup, bread twice baked. With regard to poultry, it is almost useless to carry any with you, unless you resolve to undertake the office of feeding and faitening them yourself. With the little care which is taken of them on board ship; they are almost all;sickly, and their flesh.is as tough as: leather. • All sailors entertain an opinioir, which has undoubt. wedly originated formerly from a want of water, and
when it has been found necessary to be sparing of it, that poultry never know when they have drank enough ; and that when water is given them at discretion, they generally kill themselves by drinking beyond measure. In consequence of this opinion, they give then water only once in two days, and even then in small quantities : but as they pour this water into troughs inclining on one side which occasions it to run to the lower part, it thence happens that they are obliged to mount one upon the back of another in order to reach it; and there are some which cannot even dip their beaks in it. Thus continually tantalized and tormented by thirst, they are unable to digest their food, which is very dry, and they soon fall sick and die. Some of them are found thus every morning, and are thrown into the sea; whilst those which are killed for the table are scarcely fit to be eaten. To remedy this inconvenience, it will be necessary to divide their troughs into small compartments, in such a manner that each of them may be capable of containing water; but this is seldom or never done. On this account, sheep and hogs are to be considered as the best fresh provisions that one can have at sea ; mutton being there in general very good, and pork excellent. · It may happen that some of the provisions and store's which I have recommended may become almost use. less, by the care which the captain has taken to lay in a proper slock; but in such a case you may dispose of it to relieve the poor passengers, who, paying less for their passages, are stowed among the cominon sailors, and have no right to the captain's provisions, except such part of them as is used for feeding the crew, These passengers are sometimes sick, melancholy, and dejected; and there are often women and children among them, neither of whom have any opportunity of procuring those things which I have mentioned, and of which, perhaps, they have the greatest need. By distributing amongst them a part of your superfluity, you may be of the greatest assistance to them. You