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to that made from sea-water, even to the bay-sair. Some experiments of its use I have made myself; and our college, being consuhed by the Lords of the Admiralty, gave their opinion in its favour. There is in this nothing of that noxious quality, whatever it be, which is always found in'the marine silt, and cannot, by any known methods, be separated from it; and which, us w* fee, makes the sea-air, as well as its water, unwholesome. And I cannot but sey, that I am sorry to see some of our physicians, of late years, so fond of presenting the drinking of it to their patients, particularly in serophulous distempers. I am well assured, that it has sometimes brought on scorbutic symptoms, besides other mischiefs. .
I must add, that if, instead of our salt- fish, stockfish, which is dried without any salt, were provided, it would be more wholesome. The Dutch do so; and also, in lieu of oatmeal, they put on board gorr, which is, as 1 have been informed, a kind of barley ground; and is not so hot and drying as oatmeal.
I will here relate what that experienced a-nd brave admiral, Sir Charles Wager, once told me m a discourse I had with him concerning the health of our seamen. He said, that one year, when he commanded our fleet in the Baltic, his sailors were terribly afflicted with the scurvy: but he observed that the Dutch ships, then in company with ours, were much more free from this disease. He could impute this to nothing but their different food, which was stock-fish and gort; whereas ours was salt-fish and oatmeal. He was then come last from the Mediterranean, and had, at Leghorn, taken in a great quantity of lemons and oranges. Recollecting, from what he had often K k 2 'heard,
heard, how effectual these fruits were in the cure of this distemper, he ordered a chest of each to be brought upon deck, and opened every day. The men, besides eating what they would, mixed the juice in their beer. It was also their constant diversion to pelt one another with the rinds; so that the deck was always strewed and wet with the fragrant liquor. The happy effect wai, that he brought his saisors home in good health.
It is very commonly known, that, in our East-India ships returning home, the men are very much afr fected this way, and that upon their very, approach to the island of St Helena, they are strangely relieved by the fresh odoriferous air; and perfectly recovered, after some days, by eating the fruits we have mentioned, and living chiefly upon the vegetables, which kind nature has supplied that place with in profuse plenty.
What has been said may serve for a very good proof of the reasonableness of the advice given some years ago, by our college, to the Lords of the Admiralty, viz. that a quantity as wine-vinegar should he allowed to the company- of every strip. This qualifies the salt of the food, and makes some amends for the want of sob-acid fruits. But 1 must remark, that the vinegar of strong beer has neither the flavour nor the virtue of that from wine; and ought indeed to be forbidden our tables.
1 shall conclude what I have to say with regard to seeding on herbs, in the scurvy, with a remarkable relation, contained in a- book published, not many years since, by a Dutch physician, on this subject*.
* Observations E circa scorbutam, austore Jchsnne Fred. Bachstrprn. Lugduni L'-.itavor. 1734. 1 :mo, p. 8.
A sailor, in one of the Greenland ships, was so entirely broken and disabled by this disease, that his companions, when the fishing was over, put him into a boat, and sent him alhore; leaving him there to perish, without the least expectation of a recovery. The poor wretch had quite lost the use of his limbs; he could only crawl about upon the ground: this he found covered with a plant, which, having nothing else to support life, he, continually grafing like a beast of the field, plucked up with his teeth. Every country is, by the bounty of Providence, provided with antidotes against the diseases to which its inhabitants are chiefly liable. In a short time, he was by this means perfectly recovered to his strength, and, after his return home, related the sact to thii writer. It was soon aster observed, that this herb was cochlearia, or seurvy-grass. Some of it was, for inquiry's sake, brought over hither in pots, and was found to be somewhat different from that of our country, being more mild, and not so pungent and sharp.
Thus much for the vegetable diet. I must add, that besides the herbs and fruits mentioned, there are many others very wholesome in this disease: some like cochlearia, of a subtile and volatile juice,, as the nasturtium, beccabunga, or brookiime; others more cooling, and therefore more proper in hot constitutions, or feverish heats, as sorrel, endive, lettuce, purflain, &c. And, indeed, I think it will be best to join in use the hotter with the colder, that they may qualify each other; especially, because the acid, fruits were found, in Lord Ansou's voyage, to be of most extraordinary benefit *.
* See voyage, p. 117. and also 308.
Neither ought it to be omitted, that milk of all kinds, when it can be had, and its whey, which may be clarefied with some of the herbs now named, is an antiicorbutic food and physic.
But, as the design of this discourse is to demonstrate the usefulness of the preceding machine, it will be right to'add some illustrations and observations to those I formerly made in my paper read before the Royal Society, and reprinted in Mr Simon's book *. I have already taken notice, that the reason why the writers upon this disease have not ascribed it more to the air, than they have done, must be, because they were more acquainted with it at land than at sea. Now, it is very plain, that as the hurtful qualities of the sea-air must be heightened by its being closely confined, without due circulation, particularly when it is also saturated with effluvia from the breath of many persons almost stifled up together; so the continual shifting and changing of this element, must of course be attended with great advantages; nay such perhaps, as one unacquainted with the nature of things, would hardly be brought to believe. But I ■ refer to my mentioned paper, and Mr Sutton's addi- > tions.
I must lastly remark, «hat it is almost incredible how soon the sick, even though just dying, begin, when brought ashore, to feel the salutary effects of the land: for whereas the Commodore had buried twentyone men in two days, before his arrival at the island of Tinian, yet he did not lose above ten, during his two months stay there f. For so healing, and. contrary to the malignity and bad qualities of the sea
* Above, p. 220. f See voyage, p. ;c-.
air, was that of the land, that the patients, even upon their being exposed upon the ground, immediately recovered.
But it may seem still more marvellous, that the vapour of the cold earth itself should also contribute to their speedy recovery. Lord Anson told me, that one of his men, who rowed the boat ashore, was so weak, that he fell down at the oar almost dead : when landed, the poor man desired his mates that they would cut a piece of turf out of the soft ground, and put his mouth to the hole: upon doing this, he came to himself, and grew afterwards quite well. This puts me in mind of what I have formerly seen done by the boys on Shrove-Tuesday, the too cruel anniversary martyrdom of cocks; when one of these creatures was knocked down and expiring, it was sometimes brought to life again, by instantly putting its head, for a short time, into a-fresh-made hole in the earth.
This sudden good effect of fresh air affords a plain proof of what we have before said, that, besides the blood, the animal spirits themselves are very much affected in this disease: for such immediate relief could only be given by the means of this active fluid, the main instrument of all vital motions. And as the protracting this advantage in the open air is the cure at hand ; so the making a constant circulation even of that which is not so wholesome, in the ship, must do a great deal towards the prevention of the distemper.
The End os the Second Volume.