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season which does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very salutary, and often effects a radical cure. I speak from my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of otha ers to whom I have recommended this.
You will not be displeased if I conclude these hasty remarks by informing you, that as the ordinary method of swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and legs, and is consequently a laborious and fatiguing operation when the space of water to be crossed is consid. erable; there is a method in which a swimmer may pass with facility, to great distances by means of a sail. This discovery I fortunately made by accident, and in the following manner.
When I was a boy. I amused myself one day with Aying a paper kite; and approaching the bank of a pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite ascended (to a very considerable height above the pond, while I was swimming. In a little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my kite, and enjoying at the same time the pleasure of swim. ming, I returned ; and, loosing from the stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him on the other side, I began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally to halt a little in my course, and resist its progress, when it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much; by doing which occasionally I made it rise again--I have never since ihat tiine practised this singular mode of swim. ming, though I think it not impossible to cross in this manner from Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, however, is still preferable.
NEW MODE OF BATHING.
Lordon, July 28, 1768. I GREATLY approve the epithet you give, in your letter of the 8th of June, to the new method of treating the small pox, which you call the tonic or bracing method : I will take occasions from it, to mention a práctice to which I have accustomed myself. You know the cold bath has long been in vogue here as a tonic; but the shock of the cold water has always appeared to me, generally speaking, as too violent, and I have found it much more agreeable to my constitution to bathe in another element, I mean cold air. With this view f rise early almost every morning, and sit in my chamber, without any clothes whatever, half an hour or an hour, according to the season, either reading or writing. This practice is not in the least painful, but on the contra. ry, agreeable; and if I return to bed afterwards, before I dress myself, as sometimes happens, i make a supplement to my night's rest of one or two hours of the most pleasing sleep that can be imagined. I find no ill consequences whatever resulting from it, and that at least it does not injure my health, if it does not in fact contribute much to its preservation.--I shall therefore call it for the future a bracing or tonic bath.
March 10, 1773. I shall not attempt to explain why damp clothes occasion colds, rather than wet ones, because I doubt the fact : I imagine that neither the one ņor the other contribute to this effect; and that the causes of colds are totally independent of wet and even of cold.. I propose writing a short paper on this subject, the first leisure moment I have at my disposal. In the mean time I can only say, that having some 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 Sanctorious's balance, to estimate the different proportions of his perspiration when remaining one hour quite naked, and another warmly clothed. He pursued the experiment in this al ternate manner for eight hours successively, and found his perspiration almost double during those hours in which he was naked.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE GENERALLY PREVAILING DOCTRINES 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 have been killed by lightning, demonstrate equally your sagacity and humanity. It appears that the doctrines of life and death, in general, are yet 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 numer. ous and too circumstantial not to deserve a cer. tain degree of credit. As we are accustomed to see all the animals with which we are acquainted eat and drink, it appears to us difficult to conceive how a toad can be supported in such a dungeon. But if we reflect, that the necessity of nourishment, which animals 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 alinient'; and that others, which are covered with scales or shells, which stop perspiration, such as land sea turtles, serpents, and some species of fish, should be able to subsist a 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 ex. hales from its substance, and is carried off continually by the air. Perhaps, however, if it were burried in quicksilver, it might preserve, for a considerable space of time, its vegetable life, its smell and colour. If this be the case, it might prove a commodious method for transporting from 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 common flies preserved in a 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 m plo y ed to strain them out of the wine. In elss 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 forefeet, beat and brushed their wings with their hind feet, and soon after began