« 上一頁繼續 »
tree. Such things as have a strong taste, are like wise commended, that is, all in which a falt prevails, because its acrid nature difagrees with the worm, and obliges it to leave the body. For this reason, I would propose falt-perre, and fal-ammoniac; and mineral waters, both cold and hot. The common people are not ignorant of the use of these. People who inha. bit the sea coasts, give their children sea water to drink, and those who live inland, cure them with wa. ter used in the refining of falt. Neither weuld I reject the vitriolic salts obtained from metals, such as fal martis, and lunar crystals. Orange and lemon juice, spirit of vitriol, spirit of salt-petre, and clyfsus of antimony, are beyond every thing in putrid fevers, proceeding from worins: but the dofe must be cau. țioufly prescribed, as the too great acidity of these remedies would convert the chyle into a solid substance. The risque of mistaking, with regard to children at the breast, obliges me to warn against the consequences; for whatever the proportion might be, it would not fail to coagulate the milk on their sto. mach.. Hartfhorn, sal ammoniac, and other volatile spirits have likewise the properties of a vermifuge. The same may be said of astringents : various experiments on tea, the rind of the pomegranate, and root of the mulberry have long ago brought them into repuie. Purgatives, likewise, ought not to be rejected, provided they be accompanied with turbeth or jalap, and that care is taken to prepare the patient by suitable medecines. If opium be thought proper, or other anodynes, I would strongly recom. mend caution, for instead of a cure, the consequence might be a fever.
The same may be the rind of the pon brought them
When worms have got into the stomach, we Ihould not only proceed in the manner directed 2bove, but they must be attracted towards the lower intestines, by injections of honey and milk. Dulci.
.. . fied
Lied mercury is, in this case, considered as the prime specific; but, in the use of it, two things must be attended to, with great care: First, not to give it in the form of powder, or in too great quantity :Secondly, to abstain from it, when the duodenum is surcharged with acrimony. In my opinion, it would be best to prescribe it in the form of an electuary, or rather in troches, which seems to be the safest way. But the physician must judge, and prescribe for his patients, according to their age, their strength and constitution: he must find the means of speedily discharging those worms which he has been successful in destroying, left they become more prejudicial after their death, than they were when alive.
The poison of insects is cured with the assistance of antidotes. If any external part is affected, terra figillata may be applied, root of gentian, and angeli. ca, leaves of carduus benedictus, sage, rue, juniper berries, oil of citron, serpent stone, scorpion, tarantu. ła, and other venomous insects, provided they are bruised. These are so many emollients and aperi. tives, but which would not be sufficient for any in. ternal part. Whether the poison of an insect, which has been swallowed, resides in the stomach, or has already mixed with the mass of blood, there is a ne. cessity for counterpoisons, as active and effectual; such as the glossopetræ, cinnabar, oil of almonds, mallows, and wormwood, gentian wine, milk, butter, lard, viper's flesh, oil of scorpions, &c.
Of antidotes in general, none appears to me so fingular, as that for the bite of the tarantula. It con. fifts not in the sympathy of animais, nor in the strength of metals, nor in the quintessence of vegetables : it is in music alone that it must be sought. It has so much influence on the affected persons, that it puts all their fluggish members in motion, so that
they they get up and dance till they put themselves into a profound sweat, and then fall down in a lethargy:
The perfpiration continues, during this state of rest, which frees the body from the poison diffused thro' it. Another fingularity is, that the fame air does not always produce the same effect; various kinds must be tried, till one suited to the quality of the poison is found; there is, however, one favourite air, which is agreeable to almost all the patients; ir is called, by the Italians, l' Aria Turchesea. Neither is the same instrument of music always used, one patient desiring the tambour, another the fute, the hautboy, the harp, the violin, &c. and each dances and agitates himself, til ihę ftrength of the puison is evaporated by the violence of the motion. The difference of fymptoms observable in different patients, is obferv. able in the tarantulas themselves. They are of vari. ous colours, and when taken, they are placed on thin boards, laid over a veffel of water. At the sound of a musical iustrument, some are seen to leap, others remain at rest, according to the difference of their temperament.
Before concluding this chapter, I have to mention one or two other methods of destroying flies. Regulus of arsenic is a most deadly poison to them, and the use of it could not be sufficiently recommended, if it were poffible to expect the necessary attention from those employed in preparing it ; but, the carelessness of most people, makes me almost ins clined to decry this method, notwithstanding its fuc cess. I leave it, therefore, to the prudence of those who are acquainted with its effects, and who are cautious in trying the experiment, to provide for the safety of themselves and their families. This poison is given to flies in a cup, or in earthen vessels made on purpose.
In 1235 appeared an anonymous work containing the description of an apparatus for destroying fleas. In 1729 was published the third edition of a cưa rious work on a fort of trap for these insects. The reader may consult these works, and profit from the receipt of Dr Southall an Englishman, who acknow. ledges his having got it from a negro. This receipt has the fingular effect of attracting the whole feas in a house to the same spot where their death awaits them.
CH A P. V
OF THE IMPROPER USE OF INSECTS IN THE AFFAIRS
WHEN mankind neglect to make a good use of reason, and give themselves up to vain and chime. rical speculation, there is nothing in nature which they may not pervert into a source of delusion. Every object however which we behold is distinctly marked with its own peculiar character which cannot be mistaken unless we willingly deceive ourselves. This is the case of those persons who presume to look into futurity, and who ap. ply things to other uses, than those for which God intended them. Matthiolus tells us that every gall that grows on the oak, if it has not a hole in it, does without exception contain either a fly, or a spia der or a worm ; that the first foretokens war, the
second pestilence, and the third famine. The rage for predi&ting future events is carried ftill farther : other visionaries combine the events of the former prophecy and assert that a swarm of locusts is a certain sign, that the country will be afflicted with these three scourges at one and the same time. Nay we have seen people mad enough to maintain that they have read on the wings of these insects characters fignificant of the above predictions. Ignorance and learning have both contributed to the delusion, there is hardly any thing in life, which does not give notice of something good or bad about to happen. Among our domestic infects there is one that gnaws and beats with so much regularity, that it imitates the beating of a watch, and has accordingly got the name of the death-watch, because when it is heard some foolish people believe that the death of some person in the family will soon happen. To confirm such predictions, examples are produced ; but what reliance can he had on proofs so ill founded? When two things happen in succeslion who hath told us that God meant to point out by the peculiarities of the one, the circumstances that would accompany the other ? There have been years in which those insects have excessively abounded, which are consid. ered as ominous, but which however have neither produced war, nor famine, nor pestilenice nor unu. sual mortality. These accidents may have occurred a long time afterwards, but could not therefore be the consequence of those pretended indications. Many people will forego nothing of their prejudices, but obItinately maintain that this effect flows from the cause they attribute it to; but how will they demonstraté the connection? How will they persuade us that those infects which appear in one country have been the forerunners of calamity in another? The world is a great theatre where the scene is perpetually occu. pied by similar tragedies ; so that no time perhaps