Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

the transpiration. It occurs very frequently among the labouring class in harvest-time when they have overheated themselves at work in the day, and neglect the necessary precautions against taking cold in the cool nights which succeed. As various kinds of fruit are just then eaten, it has been conjectured that the eating of fruit which is not ripe, or which is impregnated with pernicious effluvia, is the sole cause of dysentery. But though that circumstance may indeed contribute something towards the breaking out of the disease, and determine and occasion this species of putrid fever rather than any other; still we know from many attentive observations, that fruit is not the universal or main cause of this disorder. The first symptom of dysentery, which is so different from a common flux, shews that it arises from a general putrefaction of the juices, and that it is nothing but a putrid fever, which opens itself a way to its crisis through the bowels.

The art of guarding against all these dangerous diseases in the Dogdays consists in avoiding whatever tends to dispose our juices to putrefaction. A man's whole previous mode of life must lay the foundation for this. Two principal points are the constant enjoyment of fresh and pure air at all times of the year, and attention to keep up the insensible transpiration. I cannot too strongly exhort every one, on the first appearance of symptoms of these dangerous diseases, to consult without loss of time some experienced physician; and in cases where such a one is not to be had immediately, it is better to take nothing till his arrival, than by a bad beginning of the cure to lay the foundation for a melancholy termination.

The wish to render a service to my readers and to correct the pernicious prejudices of men in such important matters, has induced me to fill the latter half of this paper with considerations which to many may appear rather dry. I shall now make the application of all these considerations to the Dog-days. We have seen that all the danger we have to fear from them arises solely from the great heat to which we are usually exposed in those days. On account of this heat the taking of physic, bleeding, meditation, &c. are held to be prejudicial in the Dogdays, and not without reason, with this proviso, that the Dog-days are hot. As, however, all medicines are not hurtful in hot weather, and some diseases originating in the heat necessarily require the use of physic and bleeding, the rule is liable in this respect to a sweeping exception—unless indeed we are to believe that we ought to die rather than take physic in the Dog-days. On the other hand this prejudice is totally unfounded when the Dog-days are cool. Our makers of almanacks, therefore, would do well to change their antiquated mode of expression, and instead of exhorting their readers to Take no phi/sic in the Dog-days—let them substitute the following: It is hurtful to take heating medicines in hot weather. To heating medicines should, it is true, be added heating food and drink, heating passions, and too laborious work. I can scarely expect that your regular topers will abstain from their bottle in the Dog-days: they will not degrade themselves so low as to believe the influence of the Dog-star, and I apprehend that they will not be more likely to believe me. In this case, since I have done for them all that lies in my power, I must act towards them as, according to Holberg. some Jutlanders did towards a Swedish ship which they fell in with. This vessel was in such a wretched plight that her crew hourly expected her to founder, and solicited the assistance of the Danes. Though Sweden was then at war with Denmark, the Jutlanders took compassion on their state; but when they found that the Swedes were twice as numerous as themselves, they devoutly folded their hands, saying :—" Sink in the name of the Lord!"

PROCLAMATION BY AN EMPEROR.

Being hisjirst attempt in Poetry.

Whereas we took an opportu-
nity of stating to an U-
niversity, our royal view,

And giving our opinions,
That we much rather felt the need
Of quiet slaves who couldn't read,
Than learned men, an idle breed,

In these our dark dominions ;—

And as we question the alle-
giance of all those meddling fe-
males who form a coterie,

To hatch all sorts of crimin-
al designs with those illu-
minatx designated Blue- .
Stockings, and the scribbling crew

Of literary women ;—
We do command that Lady Ox-
ford he set within the Stocks,
, . if caught in this our orthodox,

And holy Roman empire;
And furthermore if Mrs. Hutch-
inso'n should fall within their clutch,
Let her, when recognised as such,

Be hoisted up with hemp higher.

And as we have a most espec-
ial objection to the Press,
That democratic, valueless,

And diabolic organ.
If caught iu Austria, we desire .

That all her books may form a pyre,
And in her own rebellious fire,

Demolish Lady Morgan.

Moreover, as our subjects know
Lord Holland to be anti-mo-
narchical, and a Carbo-

naro in his fancies,
If he should fall into their net,
We order them to tell Count Met-
tcrnicti.—Whereto our hand we set,

Given at Frankfort.—" Fkancis!" H.

DINNER IN THE STEAM-BOAT.
'<They fool me to the top of my bent."—Snaksfeark.

* Cohe, Mrs. Suet, Mrs. Hoggins, Mrs. Sweetbread, Mrs. Cleaver! dinner's ready; shall I show you the way down to the cabin? we mustn't spoil good victuals though we are sure of good company. Lauk! what a monstrous deal of smoke comes out of the chimney. I suppose they are dressing the second course; every thing's roasted by steam, they say,—how excessively clever! As to Mrs. Dip, since she's so high and mighty, she may find her own way down. What! she's afraid of spoiling her fine shawl, I reckon, though you and I remember, Mrs. Hoggins, when her five-shilling Welsh-whittle was kept for Sunday's church, and good enough too, for we all know what her mother was. Good Heavens! here comes Undertaker Croak, looking as down in the mouth as the root of my tongue: do let me get out of his way; I wouldn't sit next to him for a rump and dozen, he does tell such dismal stories that it quite gives one the blue devils. He is like a nightmare, isn't he, Mr. Smart ?"—" He may be like a mare by night," replied Mr. Smart, w-ith a smirking chuckle, " but I consider him more like an ass by day.—He! he! he!" Looking round for applause at this sally, he held out his elbows, and taking a lady, or rather a female, under each arm, he danced towards the hatchway, exclaiming, "Now I am ready trussed for table, liver under one wing and gizzard under the other."—" Keep a civil tongue in your head, Mr. Smart; I don't quite understand being called a liver—look at the sparks coming out of the chimney, I declare I 'm frightened to death."—" Well, then you are of course no longer a liver," resumed the facetious Mr. Smart; "so we may as well apply to Mr. Croak to bury you."—"O Gemini! don't talk so shocking; I had rather never die at all than have such a fellow as that to bury me."—" Dickey, my dear!" cried Mrs. Cleaver to her son, who was leaning over the ship's side with a most woe-begone and emetical expression of countenance, "hadn't you better come down to dinner? There 's a nice silver side of a round o' beef, and the chump end of a line o' mutton, besides a rare hock of bacon, which I dare say will settle your stomach."—" O mother," replied the young Cockney, "that 'ere cold beef-steak and inguns vat you put up in the pocket-handkerchief, vasn't good I do believe, for all my hinsides are of a work." —" Tell 'em it's a holiday," cried Smart.—" O dear, O dear !" continued Dick, whose usual brazen tone was subdued into a lackadaisical <wiiine, "I vant to reach and I can't—vat shall I do, mother ?"—" Stand on tiptoe, my darling," replied Smart, imitating the voice of Mrs. Cleaver, who began to take in high dudgeon this horse-play of her neighbour, and was proceeding to manifest her displeasure in no very measured terms, when she was fortunately separated from her antagonist, and borne down the hatchway by the dinner-desiring crowd, though sundry echoes of the words '"Jackanapes!" and "imperent feller!" continued audible above the confused gabble of the gangway.

"Well, but Mr. Smart," cried Mrs. Suet, as soon as she had satisfied the first cravings of her appetite, "you promised to tell me all about the steam, and explain what it is that makes them wheels go round and round as fast as those of our one-horse chay, when Jem Ball drives the trotting mare."—"Why, ma'am, you must understand—" "Who called for sandwiches and a tumbler of negus?" bawled the steward— "Who called for the savages and tumbling negres?" repeated Mr. Smart.—" Yes, ma'am, you saw the machinery, I believe—(capital boiled beef)—there's a thing goes up and a thing goes down, all made of iron; well, that's the hydrostatic principle; then you put into the boiler—(a nice leg of mutton, Mrs. Sweetbread)—let me see, where was 1?—In the boiler, I believe. Ah! it's an old trick of mine to be getting into hot water. So, ma'am, you see they turn all the smoke that comes from the fire on to the wheels, and that makes them spin round, just as the smoke-jack in our chimnies turns the spit; and then there's the safety-valve in case of danger, which lets all the water into the fire, and so puts out the steam at once. You see, ma'am, it's very simple, when once you understand the trigonometry of it."—" O perfectly, but I never had it properly explained to me before. It's vastly clever, isn't it. How could they think of it? Shall I give you a little of the sallad 1 La, it isn't dressed; what a shame!"

vOL. XI. NO. XLV. S

"Not at all," cried Smart, "none of us dressed for dinner, so that we can hardly expect it to be dressed for us. He ! he! he!"—" Did you hear that, Mrs. H. 1" exclaimed Mrs. Suet, turning to Mrs. Hoggins, "that was a good one, warn't it? Drat it, Smart, you are a droll one."

Here the company were alarmed by a terrified groan from Mr. Croak, who ejaculated, "Heaven have mercy upon us! did you hear that whizzing noise?—there it is again! there's something wrong in the boiler—if it bursts, we shall all be in heaven in five minutes."— "The Lord forbid!" ejaculated two or three voices, while others began to scream, and were preparing to quit their places, when the steward informed them it was nothing in the world but the spare steam which they were letting off".—" Ay, so they always say," resumed Croak with an incredulous tone and woe-begone look; "but it was just the same on board the American steam-boat that I was telling you of—fifty-two souls sitting at dinner, laughing and chatting for all the world as we are now, when there comes a whiz, such as we heard a while ago—God help us! there it is once more—and bang! up blew the boiler—fourteen people scalded to death—large pieces of their flesh found upon the banks of the river, and a little finger picked up next day in an oyster-shell, which by the ring upon it was known to be the captain's. But don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen, I dare say we shall escape any scalding as we 're all in the cabin, and so we shall only go to the bottom smack! Indeed we may arrive safe—they do sometimes, and I wish we may now, for nobody loves a party of pleasure more than I do. I hate to look upon the gloomy side of things when we are all happy together (here another groan), and I hope I haven't said any thing to lower the spirits of the company."

"There s no occasion," cried Smart, "for I saw the steward putting water into every bottle of brandy." The laugh excited by this bon-mot tended in some degree to dissipate the alarm and gloom which the boding Mr. Croak had been infusing into the party,; and Smart, by way of fortifying their courage, bade them remark that the sailors were obviously under no sort of apprehension. ". Ay," resumed the persevering Mr. Croak, "they are used to it—it is their business—they are bred to the sea."—." But they don't want to be bread to the fishes, any more than yon or I," retorted Smart, chuckling at his having the best of the nonsense.

"Well," exclaimed Mrs. Sweetbread, "I never tasted such beer as tin's—flat as ditch-water; they should have put it upon the cullender to let the water run out; and yet you have been drinking it, Smart, and never said any thing about it."—" Madam," replied the party thus addressed, laying his hand upon his heart, and looking very serious, "I make it a rule never to speak ill of the dead.—I am eating the ham, you see, and yet it would be much better if I were to let it exemplify one

of Shakspeare's soliloquies—Ham-let alone." "La! you 're such a

wag;" cried Mrs. Hoggins, "there's no being up to you; but if you don't like the l>am, take a slice of this edge-bone—nothing's better than cold beef."—" I beg your pardon, Madam," replied the indefatigable joker—" cold beef's better than nothing—Ha! ha! ha!"

"How do you fmd yourself now, my darling?" said Mrs. Cleaver to her son, who had been driven below by a shower, and kept his hat on because, as he said, his " 'air was quite vet."—" Vy, mother, I have been as sick as a cat, but I 'm bang up now, and so peckish that I feel as if I could heat any thing."—" Then just warm these potatoes," said Smart, handing him the dish, "for they are almost cold."—" I'll thank you not to run your rigs upon me," quoth the young Cockney, looking glumpish, "or I shall fetch you a vipe with this here hash-stick. If one gives you a hinch, you take a hell."—"Never mind him, my dear," cried his mother, "eat this mutton-chop, it will do you good; there's no gravy, for Mr. Smart has all the sauce to himself. Haw! haw! haw!"—" Very good!" exclaimed the latter, clapping his hands, "egad! Ma'am, you are as good a wag as your own double chin.'' This was only ventured in a low tone of voice, and, as the fat dame was at that moment handing the plate to her son, it was fortunately unheard. Dick being still rather giddy, contrived to let the chop fall upon the floor, an occurrence at which Mr. Smart declared he was not in the least surprised, as the young man, when first he came into the cabin, looked uncommonly chop-fallen. Dick, however, had presently taken a place at the table, and began attacking the buttock of beef with great vigour and vivacity, protesting he had got a famous " happetite," and felt " as ungry as an ound."—" I never say any thing to discourage any body," said Mr. Croak, "particularly young people; it's a thing I hate, but t'other day a fine lad sate down to his dinner in this very packet, after being sea-sick, just as you may be doing now, when it turned out he had broke a blood-vessel, and in twelve hours he was a corpse, and a very pretty one he made."

"I 'm not going to be choused out of my dinner for all that," repl ied the youth, munching away with great industry, and at the same time calling out—"Steward! take away this porter-pot, it runs."—"I doubt that," cried Smart.—" I say it does," resumed Dick, angrily, " the table-cloth is all of a sop."—" I '11 bet you half-a-ci own it doesn't." Done! and done! were hastily exchanged, when Mr. Smart, looking round with a smirk, exclaimed—" Ladies and gentlemen, I appeal to everyone of you whether the pot has not been perfectly still, and nothing has been running but the beer." This elicited a shout at poor Dick's expense, who sullenly muttered, •" 1 'm not going to be bamboozled out of an 'alf-crown in that there vav, and vat's more I vont be made a standing joke by no

« AnteriorContinuar »