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ONSERVATIONS ON THE GENERALLY PREVAILINA
DOCTRINES OF LIFE AND DEATH.
To the same.
Your observations on the causes of death, and to experiments which you propose for recalling to lif those who appear to he killed by lightning demor strate equally your sagacity and huinanity. It ap pears that the doctrines of life and death, in general, are yet but little understood.
A toad iuried in the sand will live, it is said, un til the sand becomes petrified; and then, being in closed in the stone, it may live for we know not hos many ages. The facts which are cited in support of this opinion, are too numerous and too circumsiantial not to deserve a certain 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 dun. geon. But if we reflect that the necessity of nourish. ment which animals experience in their ordinary state, proceeds from the continual waste of their substance by perspiration; it will apprar less incredible, that some animals, in a torpid state, perspiring less, because they use no exercise, should have less need of aliment, and that others, which are covered with scales or shells, which stop perspiration, sucks as land and 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 inmediately, if exposed to the air without having its roots immersed in a humid soil, from which it may draw a sufficient quantity o. moisture to supply that which exhales from its subslanco, and is ca:ried off continually by the air. Perhaps, however, if it were buried in quick-silver, 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 of trang porting from distant countries those delicate plant which are unable to sustain the inclemency of the
e r, at sea, and which require particular care ia attention.
I have seen an instance of common flies preserved FEITE a manner somewhat similar. They had been SAM 'owned in Madeira wine, apparently about the time
was bottled in Virginia, to be sent to London. At ie opening of one of the bullies, at the house of a
iend where I was, three drowned flies fell into the derst glass that was filled. Having heard it remarked Hibrat drowned flies were capable of being revived by nižae rays of the sun, I proposed making the experi unit nent upon these. They were therefore exposeit 10 3, he sun,upon a sieve which had been employed to strain
hen out of the wine. In less than three hours, two of is hem by degrees began to recover life. They com1, "nenced by some convulsive motions in the thighs, rind at length they raised themselves upon their legs, suviped their eyes with their fore feet, beat and brush
ered ineir wings with their nind feet, and soon after be Hegan to fly, finding themselves in Old Ergland, with
out knowing how they came thither. The third cuntinued lifeless until sun-set, when, losing all hopes of
bim, he was thrown away. GE wish it were possible, from this instance, to inni rent a method of embalming drowned persons in such En manner, that they may be recalled to life at any . period, however distant: for, having a very ardent
desire to see and observe the state of America an hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, until that tiine, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But since, in all probabilicy, we live in an
ge too early, and too near the infancy of science, to ee such an art brought in our time to its perfection, I must, for the present, cuntent myself with tive treat, which you are so kind as to promise me, of the resur ? (ection of a fowl or a turkey-cock.
TO BE USED BY THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO
UNDERTAKE A SEA VOYAGE.
WHEN you intend to take a long voyage, nothing a better than to keep it a secret till the inoinent of you departure. Without this, you will be continually in errupted and tormented by visits from friends and cquaintances, who not only make you lose you valuable time, but make you forget a thousand things which you wish to remember; so that when you are embarked and fairly at sea, you recollect, with muck uneasiness, affairs, which you have not terminated, accounts that you have not settled, and a number of things wbich you proposed to carry with you, and which you find the want of every moinent. Would it not be attended with the best consequences to reforın such a custom, and to suffer a traveller, without deranging him, to inake his preparations in quietness, to set apart a few days, when these are finished, to take leave of his friends, and to receive their good wishes for his happy return.
It is not always in one's power to choose a cap 'ain; though great part of the pleasure and happi ness of the passage depends upon this choice, and though one must for a time be confined to his compary, and be in some measure under his command. If he is a social scusible man, obliging and of a good disposition, you will be so much the happier. One sometimes meets with people of this description, but hey are not coinmon; however, if your's be not of his nuniber, if he be a good seamnan, attentive, careul, and active in the management of his vessel, you nust dispcnse with the rest, for these are the most essential qualities.
Whatever right you may have by your agreement with him to the provisions he has taken on board for the use of the passengers, it is always proper to havo sorne private store, which you inay make use of occasionally. You ought therefore to provide good wa. ter, that of the ship being often had · but you mus
pit it into battles, without which you cannot expect we preserve it sweet. You ought also to carry with you good tea, ground coffee, chocolate, wine of that sort which you like best, cider, dried raisins, al. monds, sugar, capilaire, citrons, rum, eggs dipped in oil, portable soup, bread twice baked. With regard 10 poultry, it is alınost useless to carry any with you, unless you resolve to undertake the office of feeding and faitening them yourself. With the lit:le care which is taken of them on board a ship, they are al. most all sickly, and their flesh is as tough as leather.
All saiinis entertain an opinion, which unrloubt edly originated formerly froin a want of waiei, and when it has been fo:md necessary to be sparing of it, that poultry never knew when they had drank enough, and that when water is given them at disurelion, they generally kill themseives by drinking heyond measure. In consequence of this opinion, they give them water only once in two days, and even then in small quantities: but as they poir this water into troughs inclining on one side, which occa. sions it to run to the lower part, it thence happens that they are obliged to mount one upon the back of another in order to reach it; and there are some which cannot even dip their heaks in it. Thus continually tantalized and tormented by thirst, they are unable to digest their food, which is very dry, and they soon fall sick and die. Some of thein are found thus every morning, and are thrown into the sea; while those which are killed for the table are scarcely fit to be eaten. To remedy this inconvenience, it will be necessary to divide their troughs into small compartments, in such a inanner that each of them may be capable of containing water ; but this is seldom or never done. On this account, sheep and hogs are to be considered as the best fresh provisions that one can have at sea; mutton there, being in general very good, and pork excellent.
It may happen that some of the provisiors and stores, which I have recommenrled, may become almost useless, by the care which the captain baş taken to lay in a proper stock : lut in such a case you may dispose of it to relieve the poor passengers
who, paying less for their passage, are stowed among the common sailors, and have no right to the cap lain's provisions, except such part of them as is used for feeding the crew. These passengers are some. times sick, melancholy, and dejected ; and there are often women and children among them, neither of whom have any opportunity of procuring those things which I have mentioned, and of which perhaps they kelve the greatest need. By distributing amongst them a part of your superfuity, you may be ofthe great est assistance to them. You may restore their lealth, save their lives, and in short render them happy; which always affcrds the liveliest sensation in a feel. ing mind.
The most disagreeable thing at sea is the cookery: for there is not, properly speaking, any professed cook on board. The worst sailor is generally chosen for that pur. pose, who'forthe most part is equally dirty. Hence comes the proverb used among English sailors, that God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks. Those, however, who have a better opinion of Providence, will think otherwise. Knowing that sea air, and the exercise or motion which they receive from the rolling of the ship, have a wonderful effect in whetting the appe. tite, they will say, that Providence has given sailors had cooks to prevent them from eating too much; or that, knowing they would have bad cooks, he has given them a good appetite to prevent them from dy ing with hunger. However, it you have no confi dence, in these succours of Providence, you may yourself, with a lamp and a boiler, by the help of a litile spirits of wine, prepare some food, such as soup, hash, &c. A small oven made of tin-plate is not a ad piece of furniture; your servant may roast in it
piece of multon or pork. If you are ever tempted o eat salt beef, which is often very good, you will find that cider is the best liquor to quench the thirst generally caused by salt ineal or salt fish. Sea-biscuit, which is too hard for the teeth of some people, may be softened by steeping it; but bread double baked is best ; for being made of good loaf-bread cut iuto slices, and baked a second tine, it readily im. bibes water, becomes soft, and is easily digested: it