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demnatory of the preceding treatment; she only shook her head, and groaned a little, in Creole French, removed the dressing, and rubbed the part with indigo for some time, giving me at the same time to understand, in a quarter of an hour I would be cured ; and saying this like a wise and resolute physician, who inspires confidence in his patient by seeming to have no lack of it in himself.

The inhabitants of the Western World have fortunately an antidote to the bites of the most venomous serpents in the plant vejuco guaco : the former word signifies a withe, the latter is the name of a species of hawk, which feeds upon serpents ; which name has been given to a plant that this hawk is in the habit of going to when wounded in its conflicts with the serpents. Humboldt saw its efficacy tried in two instances. A Mr. Higson of this city, a gentleman who has travelled much in South America, and whose authority is not to be disputed, saw its efficacy put to the test on several occasions, and it always succeeded. From all the accounts given of it by those who have seen its wonderful effects, I should say it is one of the most valuable plants in the Western World. Humboldt calls it guaco mikania. It was first discovered by a negro, who afterwards made a practice of handling the most venomous snakes, and with perfect impunity.


Humboldt observed, that when he pointed a stick moistened at the end with a tincture of the guaco, the serpent invariably turned away its head; but while he pointed a stick without the guaco, it did not move. The negroes and Indians, before they hạndle a snake, inoculate themselves in four or five places with the guaco; and also take some spoonsful internally of a tincture of it, and, when bitten, immediately apply the chewed or dried leaf to the bite.

There are various kinds of fish in the West Indies which are occasionally poisonous; and it is commonly considered that they become so from the substances they may happen to feed upon; an opinion which is probably erroneous. The symptoms produced by the poison of the several kinds of deleterious fish are pretty much the same as those of cholera, but attended with cuticular irritation and eruptions.

The gray snapper (coracinus fuscus) is occasionally poisonous; the conger-eel likewise : in 1791 several persons were poisoned in Grenada by eating of this fish ;--the negroes, it was observed, who had partaken of it, suffering more gastric derangement than the whites; a circumstance I should have expected, from the greater irritability of the negro stomach, which I have elsewhere had occasion to notice: the mal d'estomac, peculiar to them, is a proof of the susceptibility of that

organ to disease. King-fish, scomber maximus, is at certain seasons considered poisonous in Jamaica.

Baracuta at Antigua is reckoned poisonous, and I believe is so from all accounts; yet in the adjacent islands—it is a wholesome fish. This is no proof of the substances it feeds on in the locality of Antigua being of a poisonous nature. Humboldt has remarked, in his South American Travels, that the animals of the same country even, differ often very widely in their nature. In some rivers the caymans are innoxious, in others the reverse; it is the same with the venomous reptiles; but Humboldt does not ascribe this phenomenon to any difference in their food.

Burrows, the best authority on the subject of the poison of certain fishes, is of opinion that the poison depends not on the substances on which they feed, such as the marine productions, corullina opuntia, hippomane mancinella, or on copperbanks, but on a particular alteration in the secreted fluids, and in the functions at particular periods of these animals,-an alteration which disposes them singularly to speedy putrefaction. It may be well objected to the common opinion as to the mineral origin of this poison, that in the waters where these copper-banks are said to exist, no trace of the metal is to be detected in the waters; and fish that has been caught at sea, hundreds of miles

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from shore, has been found as poisonous as that taken on the banks in question. There can be no doubt, however, of the poisonous nature of the various moluscæ which attach themselves to the copper-sheathing of vessels ; for here, as it has been observed by Orfila, a large part of their surface is in actual contact with verdigrease: but this is not the case with the other fish I have mentioned ; and I think the poison of them may be, with far greater probability of truth, referred to a tendency to putrefaction, arising from some depravity in the secretions at particular periods. Any description of fish in a hot climate, when tainted, becomes poisonous ; and, in various hot countries, I have heard of accidents arising from the use of fish that had been long kept; and, in one instance to my own knowledge, in Damietta, producing the same urticary eruption and numbness of the extremities, which most frequently is observed in those who have eaten of fish that has been discovered to be poisonous.

Of the poisonous plants in this country, to enumerate even the names would occupy many pages. They abound; and the qualities of some of them are better known to the negroes than the whites. Those who think badly of the negroes speak badly of them; and among the worst things they say of

1 them, is their recourse to the coward's remedy for open wrongs—unavowed revenge. They charge

them with secret assassinations - that extreme length of dishonourable hatred which goes beyond the limits of oral murder, but not beyond the aim of insidious slander. They accuse them of practising on white men's lives—of poisoning their masters in the security of their own dwellings. That such perfidy did exist in former times, I believe,-nay, I know, from the lips of an old obeah practiser, that it did exist; but it existed at a time when it was lawful to cut off a man's foot for absenting himself from his master's home,-to slit up his nose for harbouring a runaway,—to cut off his ears for stealing a goat,—and, for a capital offence, to stake him to the ground, and burn him at a slow fire, or hang him in chains, and prolong the agonies of expiring nature for days together; barbarities which have been practised within half a century, and the details of which I have read with my own eyes, in the original record-book of the trials of this period. Some of the friends of the negroes, however, deny that poisoning was ever practised in these countries by the slaves. I agree with them that it was not practised to the extent that has been stated; but that instances have occurred,

; in which obnoxious overseers and other white persons have been removed by these atrocious means, I have no doubt. The times were barbarous, and the negroes were not the only people whose savagery conformed to them. The negroes

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