Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/45

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5
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE EAST.

Tharsus, Adana, Alexandretta, and Antiochia. At Aleppo I found many Germans among the numerous Europeans, and on that account would willingly have practised there for some time. Unhappily I fell sick on the road, as between Adana and Alexandretta I had to cross anunhealthy, low and marshy country, where malaria and marsh-fever were prevalent. In consequence I was attacked with a disorder called sub-acute inflammation in the spleen, which afterwards turned into an obstinate quartan ague, of which I got cured only when I had left Aleppo; and that, I suppose, was the reason why I could not get an extensive medical practice. A physician ( was the saying ) who is not able to cure himself, can never cure others.

After a two months' stay on the Syrian coast, during which time I enjoyed the best health, I tried to get back again to Aleppo ; but at the last station before reaching Aleppo I caught the fever, on the same spot where it left me, and curious enough I found, in my journal, it happened on the same day it would have befallen me had I not left Aleppo at all. Thus it continued to be my constant companion during all my stay there; but as soon as I took my leave of that place,it deserted me, without having been expelled by any remedy. I had full ten months to suffer by that tiresome guest. The experience I had myself, agrees with that sentence, " Febris autumnalis est longa non lethalis." During these ten months I got but few cessations of my illness, and then only at short intervals. One may infer from this, that obstinate diseases, defying every medical assistance, can only be cured by travelling, I mean to say ( change of air ) by removing from the country where the disease is caught.

Subsequently I had the opportunity of effecting several cures in Tripoli — where these marshy fevers are endemical — with 'a compound mentioned in the second volume of my work, containing arsenic and bitter almonds ( prussic acid ) in minute doses, which was eminently efficacious where sulphate of quinine failed.

I quitted Aleppo before the fatal catastrophe of the