« السابقةمتابعة »
quack, and remained a helpless object of pity. Emetic had acquainted the manager that I was putrid, and would not live two hours, and directed him to bury me the moment the breath was out of me, as my disorder was taking; upon which the creeping fcoundrel ordered a coffin to be made, and a grave dug for me, and furreptitiously took seven pounds out of my trunk, which he paid for linen for fhrouding, and a dozen of Madeira wine to get drunk at my funeral. When the meffenger returned, which was fome hours after, my brother book-keeper, who had fome compaffion for me, brought a bottle of the wine into my room, and made me take a glass of it, and in a little time after gave me more, mixed with water, which caused me to perfpire very freely, fo that I became cool and fenfible, and retrieved in a few days amazingly; this affair confirmed the doctor's fuperficial skill, who shortly after died of a venereal difeafe, but did not neglect to make me pay an account of forty pounds, previous to his departure, for Styx; and the rafcal who had my coffin and grave prepared, was for feveral months afterwards laughed at by the neighbouring cowfkin heroes.
When fick and languid on my bed I lay,
Quacks, in general, make as free with their conftitutions as other people, and get themselves frequently drunk, which is very wrong, for they often adminifter medicine when they are deprived of their fenfes, and visit their patients in fuch conditions.
When a doctor (as he is called) gets the quackery of two or three plantations, he is looked upon as an Esculapeus of the times by the managers and overseers, and gets the quackery of them and their friends alfo, fo that it never cofts him any thing for board, washing and lodging, corn, or grass. The common charge for each negroe whether they are fick or well, is five fhillings yearly, befides the benefit of venereals, for which he makes a feparate charge, fo that he commonly gets about one hundred, or one hundred and fifty pounds for the attendance of the negroes and and whites on each plantation yearly, and all tha for about thirty fhillings worth of medicine When a quack has many plantations to attend he vifits each weekly, and keeps a fmall bool in the fick houfe, in which he enters the dif ferent receipts for the fick negroes, which the ma nager or overfeer reads to fome old black man o woman who attends them.
I fhall here give an extract, which curiofit tempted me one day to copy from one of the books.
Juno-for the belly-ach, to take a dofe of rhubar after it operates to drink lilipee and herrin broth.
Dutchefs-for the lax, to eat plenty of homony. Cruma and Sally Wagtail-for the pox, to repeat. the pills nightly, and continue the ointment and injection.
Betfy for obstructions in particular organs, to caution her against eating of dirt, and having connections with men at improper seasons. Mars-for the weakness in his joints, to drink plentifully of the decoction of lignumvita, and take a few drops of balsam capivia twice daily. Old Hector and Sambo-for the pains in their ftomachs, to eat plenty of homony and fungee; plantation eels and cane rabbits will not hurt them.
Phaba-for the scalding, to use the injection, and drink linfeed-tea.
South-for the fever, to drink fage tea, and when the hot fit is off, to drink the bark. Samuel-for his fores, to bathe them in the decoction of limes and cufhue leaves."
Fevers, agues, dry belly-achs, confumptions, and almost innumerable other difeafes, are frequent and often fatal attendants, not only on Europeans, but Creoles alfo; it often amazed me to find how imperceptibly my flesh melted, or stole away from my skin and bones, till I became the ghoft of what I had been. To-day, as it were, I was healthy and ftout, and in a few weeks after changed to a fkeleton. I believe I may attribute all the fickness I ever had to heats and colds, immoderate exercife, and making too free with
with my conftitution in other refpects: I affure you, it is not one in ten European conftitution could bear the hardships I have undergone: three years fucceffively I have been expofed, all weathers, to the fun's almoft intolerable heat, and heavy rains, in the months of January and February; when fainting beneath his meridian rays for want of a cooling breeze, I frequently plunged myself into a river or gully, though I never experienced the bad effect of fuch ill-timed bathing afterwards. When I quitted the fevere toils of a planter's life, and lived regular in town, I found the climate to agree tolerably well with me, and I was as active as I am now, thank God; therefore ftrenuously recommend it to you to avoid heats and colds, rains, heavy fogs, mifts, or dews, as much as poffible, as well as getting your feet wet, for they are the forerunners of almoft innumerable diseases.
In wet weather, the air, though cool, is more unhealthy than at other times; alfo the water, owing to its unfettled muddy ftate; for all the filth and dirt which is difperfed over the country is washed away, and circulates in every current, for which reafon filtering ftones are ufed, which not only purify, but cool the water amazingly. There are many task-masters, or employers, who care not how much young men expofe themfelves to the weather; but fuch are cruel, uncharitable brutes, puffed up with ignorance and empty pride, who forget their own origin, and the mean and
base degrees by which they did afcend; their hearts are callous, for they never were tutored in the schools of humanity. Should you enter into business in the country, when you fee an impending shower, haften to your home, or to fome hut, or place of shelter, till it is over; and at working hours, when thus obliged to fhun the weather, do not keep loitering about the hall or piazza, for it may be difpleafing to your employer; therefore retire to your room and read fome good book. When you chance to get wet, which you often will, be careful to change your apparel as foon as poffible, for wet clothes remaining on till they dry will restrain perfpiration, and may bring on an ague; when your feet get wet, though you be far from any house, take off your shoes and stockings, wash them and let them dry, and then put them on again; and if you wish to enjoy the pleasure and benefit of bathing, and bracing your limbs in a cold-bath, chufe a proper clean place in a river that is free from aligators, and go into it very early in the morning, when free from the prickly heat and every feverish fymptom; do not ftay long in, wipe yourself dry and dress quickly; but by no means attempt to tamper with your conftitution as I have done, by plunging into a cold-bath in the heat of the day; for I fuppofe thousands and thousands have by that means caused their own deaths.
Though you be ever fo warm and drowy, do not attempt to fleep where you will be expofed to