Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/56

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

as in ancient times; our contemporary medical men in Europe make but little use of it, probably because they are afraid of the violent pains inseparable from such operation,but this only produces the healing effect.

At Tripoli ( Syria ) I met with a very disagreeable incident by my improvidence, from which I learned some experience, and for that reason I will give the reader some account of it. Being an enthusiastic sportsman from my earliest age, I pursued some ducks in a marshy ground, where I remained for a couple of hours. It was in the winter season, on a lonely and desert place, about five miles from the town, and not far from the sea-coast.

I was quite alone, and so intent on the pursuit,that I observed, only a short time before sunset, that it was high time to return to my abode. I left the marsh, sat down on its border to dress myself; but to my astonishment my feet were motionless, stiff, and paralysed so that it was impossible, without assistance, to get on my pantaloons and boots. But my terror increased, when I reflected that I was in the desert, far from every human being ! What will become of me, thought I ? Must I perish by the frost of the night; or must I become a prey to the wild beasts on their nightly wanderings? Similar ideas rose in my imagination, and I was in a desperate situation.

But sometimes, at the moment when our calamity is highest, our delivery is nearest. Having committed that imprudent step of going into the marsh when I was fatigued and excited, I felt nothing as long as I was wading about ; but now, as the sharp air came in contact with my body, I felt the consequences of the evil I bad brought on myself. Against that paraplegy, there was only one remedy, namely :— to produce a perspiration on the whole body. But how was I to effect this? "Necessity is the mother of invention." I grasped my cloth pantaloons, and began to rub my feet with all my strength, until my hands got weary, and in the meantime my whole body became covered with perspiration. To my great satisfaction, I