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now call old wives or vulgar recipes. With such the whole babitable world abounds; and of these thousands there are, which deserve the highest character, and the utmost attention. But without some such project, as this I have been hinting, they can never be brought home to us, nor so concentrated, as that the learned faculty may be made acquainted with them, and their patients reap the benefit of them. Hath the most ingenious part of mankind submitted to, or rather gloried in, the discovery of certain medicines, made by dogs and geese, and shall they not rather extend their inquiries among the rest of their own species, even in the most barbarous nations, where experiment hath evidently been more successful, if we may credit the accounts of rational and honest travellers, than hypothesis hath been among ourselves ? We all remember when mustard, crude mercnry, and tar water took their turns to be epidemic cures for all sorts of distempers. The general use of these things had this good effect, that they were found of great use in some cases, if they failed in others. Just so it may be reasonably presumed, that the endemial medicines of every country have been tried; and those retained, which for ages, were blessed for the recovery of health, and the preservation of life.
111, Man, or the microcosm, affords perhaps as many phenomena, as the great world. That man should be an atheist and wicked, is not among the least extraordinary; and yet a very good man, because he is a rarity, passes for a greater. I was acquainted with a woman, who regularly had her menstrual discharges from the skin over her right scapula. This skin, to the extent of about five inches, every way, lay half a line higher than the adjacent, and was always of a colour between red and purple. Her alterations were attended, for about ten days each, with sickness and misery inexpressible; but the evacuation was nearly as considerable as it ought to be, or as it had been, when more natural. A young woman, after a tedious and irregular fever, had an utter distaste to all manner of solid food, and lived almost wholly on water, whereof she drank three or four quarts every day, and a whole gallon every night. Thus she lived for several years, and was healthy, sprightly, fleshy, strong, and ruddy. The case of another woman is very well known to me, descended from families, on both sides, perfectly free from all sorts of women's complaints, who hath, for five or six years, been absolutely distracted, in consequence, I verily believe, of sleeping with a husband, as well before, as after
he went mad, during the space of ten or twelve years, to whom the disorder was remarkably hereditary. If the bite of a mad man is as dangerous as that of a mad dog, and experience hath proved it so to be, why may not a similar sort of virus be communicated from the perspiratory pores of one person into the absorbents of another? This very extraordinary instance may possibly have escaped the attention of physical gentlemen. I know an instance of a man, who survived five apoplectic fits; and was well assured of another, a labouring man, who, though he eat as plentifully as other men of his condition, had no evacuation by stool oftener than once in four or five months, but had at all times a plentiful sensible perspiration. Johnson and Muretus give us an account of a Corsican at Florence, who could regularly repeat a list of three thousand proper names, after hearing them but once deliberately read over to him. The cases of Seneca and Adrian, howsoever marvellous, were nothing to this; nor was that of Xerxes, to whom every soldier in his army, consisting of a million, was known by face and vame. My own case, in one respect, seems curious and extraordinary to the physicians of my acquaintance. Honey is in a small degree poisonous to at least one stomach in twenty; but to mine it is highly so. If I happen by accident to swallow the least quantity of it, almost immediately afterward, the palate of my mouth, and the entrance into my gullet, seem as if stuck full of infinitely fine needles; and the sensation is somewhat between that of pain and tickling. Almost instantly after this, the passage between my nose and throat feels as if plugged up by a finger thrust into it; and this scarcely ceasing, my stomach is affected in the same manner, as I believe it would be, if a large bright coal were placed in it. My only remedy is a strong puke. The honey of the wild bee bath no such effects on me. I was very well acquainted with a worthy gentlewoman, of good plain understanding, who had, during her youth, done all she could to sing, but never could utter three notes in tune, until the age of seventy, when she deeply doated, and then became exactly musical, so that she could hum all the common tunes as accurately as any man could perform them on a fiddle. In this state she lived for several years, and night and day did hardly any thing else, but ramble through the house where she lived, humming sometimes one tune, and sometimes another. Nothing ever appeared more unaccountable to me, not by any means, another woman, who seemingly without prejudice to health, lived twenty-eight days and nights, without any thing passing her lips but air. She was, all this time, not in the least degree indisposed, but chose to live without food. Buchanan, in his history of Scotland, mentions a man, who could do the same, for a much longer time, without inconvenience. Is there not therefore somewhat in the human frame, which may render it for ever, independent of mortal food? The human body was originally intended for an eternal independence of this kind, and will recover it, when the change, made in it by sin and corruption, shall be reversed. As to the longevity of the antediluvians and of the postdiluvians, for some centuries, no species of diet, nor mode of living can in the opinion of physicians, account for it. It is therefore submitted to that learned body, whether their constitutions did not probably undergo, at some time of life, as perhaps every fiftieth year, a periodical fever, similar to the moulting of birds, whereby all the finer vessels, already somewhat obstructed, might be opened and cleansed for a new freedom of circulation and nutrition. A low degree of this, like a ruin of primeval constitution, seems yet to subsist in the human body, and to shew itself in the return of cheerfulness and vivacity during the months of April and May; in some people cutting new teeth at fifty and at a hundred years of age; and particularly in such numbers of men and women marrying about the fiftieth year of their lives, who had laid aside all thoughts of matrimony for some years before. Might not physic take advantage of this critical effort in nature by purgations, alteratives, restoratives, &c. and proper additions of exercise, at these periods ? Bleeding and purging in the spring have been long found more conducive to health, than at other seasons of the year; and probably, if buds, leaves, flowers, fruits, were better understood, and successively applied, with judgment, considerable effects might follow. The human body, so subject in old age to capillary obstructious, ossifications, and all sorts of debilities, does not seem to have been fitted for a life of nine hundred years, without some such period as I have hinted. But no one hath thought of giving a like attention to the after-spring of fifty.
112. The mere dread of punishment, like #volcanic blast, can only force a wicked man upward, a little way, and for a very short time; and he soon tumbles down again, like an ignited rock, thrown up from Mount Ætna. He cannot be carried higher, but by some attraction from above, superior to his corrupted nature. The love of God, and of virtue, which is the will of God, must wing him up to the region of reward, or he sinks for ever. Yet there is hardly any thing else, but fear of punishment, that can introduce him to a distrust and distaste of vice, or begin in him a tendency to virtue. If, however, this tendency is once kindled in him, he rises from the fear of misery, like an electric flame from a volcano, and mounts till he mixes with his new congenial element of ether, in a seraphic love of God; and then he blesses the pangs of his new birth, turning bis infant cries into hymns and hallelujahs.
113. In some cases, an argument founded on analogy amounts almost to a demonstration. Such I take to be that of our astronomers, who judge the moon and planets to be inbabited by rational beings; and that there also God is known, adored, and served. It is on the strength of the same analogy, that I almost take for granted the like inhabitation at the bottom of our ocean, which occupies above two-thirds of this our terraqueous globe, and a much greater space and quantity of matter than the whole body of the moon. It would be ridiculous to suppose, that people of other worlds are exactly the same, in every respect with those of this; for instance, if there be no atmosphere about the moon, our nearest neighbour in the solar system, her people must, at least in one respect, differ considerably from us. Why, therefore, there may not be rational animals in the sea, as well as on the land, that is, a species of rational fish, I cannot conceive. It was as easy for the Creator to add an intellectual soul to a kind of fish, as to a kind of land animals. If such there are, analogy here again should teach us to believe, that their bodies are too ponderous to float or subsist in the upper and lighter regions of the water, as ours are, near the upper surface of the atmosphere. Pursuing this analogy, it will follow, that the subaqueous people must know a great deal more of us, than we of them. They frequently see us fighting battles between the sun and them, and ships sinking among them, with thousands of dead men, some entire and others mangled with wounds. This affords them an opportunity of many curious speculations. Query, can they form as high an opinionpof our virtue, as of our understandings ? It is hard to say, whether some of their philosophers may not have attended a Del Cano, a Drake, or an Anson, round the world, One of their journals, could we come by it, would be worth a million of my books, and equal the Principia of Newton, who
hath waited on the stars, just as they may have watched our ships. Was it Ariosto, or who else (for I forget), that hath written a romance, the scene of which is laid at the bottom of the ocean?
114. A Scotch clergyman, extending his extemporary sermon to an unusual length, and many of his congregation beginning to leave the church, he suddenly digressed from his subject, and said, Stay a little, my beloved, till I tell you the tale I have reserved for the latter part of this discourse. Once on a time, there was an old man, who lived on the side of a wood, and who went out, one day, to cut a wand. Guess, if you can, what use was to be made of the wand? I say a second time, what was to be done with this wand ? Since I perceive you cannot answer the questioni, I will tell you ; it was to bang a congregation, that would stay to hear a tale, rather than a sermon. It is my opinion, that this mau's sermon, or whatever else he said, must have been very well worth the hearing.
115. Our love of a garden, and the pleasure we take in the improvement of it, are certainly natural to us. Whether it was Sir Francis Bacon, or who it was, I forget, but some one, having observed this love and pleasure, said, man was made for a garden, and a garden for man, so that his taste for gardening is an effort, without his being so far sensible of the instinct, to get back to Paradise. Agriculture is gardening on a larger scale, but dictated by necessity, as that is by pleasure. Necessity and pleasure however are intermixed as motives to both. The analogy between these and the culture of the mind, is strong and beautiful. Our Saviour plans the parable of the sower on agriculture, as Isaiah had that of the vineyard on gardeving. Milton, I think, was in the right to employ our tirst parents as gardeners in Paradise, before their expulsion; and I cannot help being of opinion, that even then, in their state of innocence, their minds required cultivation; and the rather, as we find their Maker took on himself the office of a master-gardener, teaching them what they should eat, and what they should abstain from, and more than this, how to understand what he said to them; and how to espress themselves to each other, by the use of language. If some degree of culture was then necessary to them, it became more so to them, and us, their posterity, after an imbecillity of understanding, and a ferocity of passion became the characteristics of their nature. Nay, now the requisite culture demanded the use of somewhat similar to the plough and harrow. The soil was to be broken u