Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/50

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me not to go there, as in their opinion an epidemical disease was raging at that place ; but I did not listen to their warnings as I wished to be useful to those people who had implored my assistance, and at the same time to extend my experience. When I was near the village, I saw a great many Maronite girls (Christians,coming back from the well, with pitchers on their heads, each of them holding an onion in their hands, at which they frequently smelled.

The epidemical disease had the character of a Synochus, and several persons had died suddenly, which caused great alarm among the inhabitants. The silk gathering was just ended, and I found the diseased were located in miserable, low houses, deprived of fresh air ; I thought it advisable to cause them to be removed from their babita- ations, and brought into the manufactories, where previously the silk worms had been ; and the result of my treatment was, that none of my patients died of that disease. I was conducted from Mesrut-ul-Toofah, to a place a little farther up the Lebanon, to Aito, where the former French interpreter, Isaac Torbei, was confined to his bed with Angina, and was unable to articulate, in spite of all his efforts to do so. I examined his throat, and found an abscess therein, which I opened immediately ; by which operation my patient was able to talk instantly, and after a few days he entirely recovered.

From Aito, I was brought to Kannobin, to the residence of the Maronitan patriarch, where the Bishop Mootran Seman lay very ill, Kannobin is situated on a declivity, from whence a beautiful view is obtained of the valley. It is by no means a town, as the Dictionnaire Encyclopedique Ferancaise (second edition) erronously asserts, it being merely a convent. There is a curious custom attached to this country, and in most places of Asia. A physician being called on to attend a sick person, it is first arranged as to how much he will require for curing the same ; upon that arrangement being completed, the physician receives one moity of the sum agreed upon, and