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4.66 Account of the surprising Effecls of the Rattle-Snaki's Poison. Brffifn
Handsome. The article determin- concern the succession to the crown, ing the right of private persons to and became a fundamental law of Salic lands, was declared equally to the state.
Account of tbi surprising EJsc3s of the Rattle-snake'j Poison.
/""Aptatn Hall, a judicious andaccurate observer, being in South Carolina, procured a fine healthful rattle-snake, about four feet long, and with one Mr. Kid well, a surgeon, and three or four other gentlemen, made several experiments to try the effects of its poison. They got three cur-dogs, the largest not bigger than a common harrier; and the snake being tied and pinred down to a grass-plot, they took the largest of the dogs, and having tied a cord round his neck se as not to strangle him, the captain held One end and another person the other. Immediately on bringing the dog over the snake, he raised himself near two feet and bit the dog as he was jumping. The dog yelped, by which the captain perceived he was bitten, and pulling the dog to him as fast as he could, he found his eyes fixed, his tongue between his teeth, which were close, his lips drawn up so as to leave his teeth and gums bare; and, in short, he was quite dead in a quarter of a minute. They could not fee where the bite was, nor observe any blood; upon which ordering some hot water to scald the "hair off, they discovered only one puncture, with a blueish green colour appearing a little round it. This was just between his fare-legs and his breast, where the hair was thinner than in some other places.
Half an hour after this they took a second dog, which was somewhat
smaller, and brought him in like manner over the snake, which bit his ear, so that all the company saw it. The dog yelped much, shewed signs of being very sick, reeled and staggered about for some time, then fell down and struggled as if convulsed, and two or three times got up again, each time wagging his tail, though slowly, and endeavouring to follow a negro boy, who used to make much of him. They put him in a closet, and ordered the boy to look after him, who brought word in two hours that the dog was dead.
About an hour after the second dog was bitten, they took the third in like manner, which the snake bit on the right side of the belly, se that he drew blood. The dog for about a minute did not seem to be hurt, so they let him go and saw no more of him; but the next day a woman, who owned him, came to the captain, complaining of his cruelty for killing her dog.
Four days afterwards they got two dogs, as big as common bull-dogsj and the first, which the snake bit on the inside of bis left thigh, died exactly in half a minute, according to the watches of two gentlemen present. There were two very small punctures in his thigh, which looked livid, though no blood was drawn. The second dog was bit an hour after the first, on the outside of his thigh, where they perceived blood at two places; he soon sickened, and Mag.
Advantages if Husbandry: a Fable. 467
seur minutes. As they having several times attempted to
bite the slick,
thought the snake's poison was not spent, they got a car, which he bit an hour afrer; Ihe was very sick, and tiny put her in a closet; but by some means or other she got out, and (he next morning was found dead in the garden.
A month after these experiments were inasie. the captain procured a common ;>lack snake not of the viper kind, about t*o feet aud a baifiong, and just taken; and putting th:s and the lattle-Inake together, he irritated them so that they bii eirh other. He perceived that the black snake had drawn blood of the rattle-snake, before he took them asundei ; the black snake died in less than tight minutes, but the rattle-snake did not seem sick, or at all the worse tor his wound.
The last experiment the captain made with this nuke, was to try whether its poison would not prove mortal to itself. In order to this he hanged it in such a manner that it was not above half its length on the ground, and then so irritated it, by pricking and scratching it with two needles fastened to the end of a slick, that it soon bit itself, after
He then let it down, and it was quite dead in eight or ten minutes. The snake was then cut into five pieces, and given to a hog, the head-part first, in the fight of several people. The hog eat up all the snake, and ten or twelve day* afterwards the captain saw the hog alive and healthful.
To the instances already given of the strength and virulence of this poison on animals, let us add another on a vegetable body, which is mentioned by colonel Beverly, who fays, he was informed by colonel Taylor, that being in company with, others in the woods, they found a rattle-snake and cutoff his head; then with a green slick which he had in his hand', about eighteen inches long, the bark of which was newly peeled off", he urged and provoked the head till it bit the slick with fury several times; whereupon the colonel observing small green streaks rife up along the slick towards his hand, he threw it on the ground, and in a quarter of an hour it split into several pieces, and fell asunder from end to end.
The Advantaces^husb-andry: a FABLE.
IN the age of American adventures, "* about the year 1550, when all Europe proposed to grow rich in a moment, a Spanish gentleman, one Don Gregorio de Brice, being acquainted with some of Orellana's companions, lately returned from the fiver of the Amazons, procured intelligence of a small island, called by the natives Rhadamilla. This little spot of land was represented to be the true Herptndes of the anti
ents; for it abounded with woods, rivulets, pasturage, and gold-mines. Nay, the very stones were reported to have a mixture of gold in them. , Animated with this relation, Don Gregorio turned his whole estate into money, and fitted out a lliip, persuading his younger brother, Don Esltvan, to join with him in the adventure. The latter was a man of a cool head, and totally devoid of aa:bi;ion and avarice, but com5 plied
468 Advantages of Hu
plied from msre affection to his brother, whom he loved passionately, having no other relation.
In the voyage Don Gregorio touched upon the coast of Barbary, and purchased slaves to work in his mines: Estevan bought only a couple of score of sheep and a dozen of goats, with two males of each kind. Being asked the reason, his answer was, You, my brother, are a second Cain, a man of a bold enterprizing genius: I will imitate the humble Abel, and turn pastor; for meat and cloathing must be thought of, as well as the acquisition of precious metal. It shall be my business to act the part of proveditor general for you and your labourers, who may possibly find gold to be neither eatable nor drinkable. I will therefore supply the company with food, and you shall pay me for it out of your vast treasures.
Upon this Don Gregorio laughed; but a slight air of contempt was intermixed with his laughter. Ah, brother, said he, you have no spirit, no elavation of sentiment; that mind of yours runs too much upon vulgar masters. The man that has a mine of gold, commands every thing that this sublunary world can afford.— No, no — replied an old mariner from the bay of Biscay, shaking his head; there is a dash of good sense
in Don Estevan's proposal. It is
sometimes necessary to eat, as well as grow rich.
At length the ship reached the desired island. A gold mine was found according to expectation, and the produce thereof made it worthy to be called a Potosi in miniature. Mean while Don Greg"rio gave himself little concern about bodily sustenance, living in a great measure by imagination, and feeding upon
(bonify: a TalU. British the hopes of future abundance : but his associates had not sublimity of fancy enough to relish such fictitious aliment; for, after having worked all day, they were j-.ist able to support life with a few sinall fishes hard to be taken, and some ordinary fruits and vegetables, such as could be found in the neighbouring woods and vallies. During this interim, the shrewd sensible Biscayner, already mentioned, miffed little of occasioning a mutiny without intending it; for, having found no supper in the fields, not even a sallad of trefoil-leaves and thistle root?, he set his foot on a lump of gold which lay in the hut, and broke out into the following exclamation : fatal deceiver of mankind! said he, what art thou in thyself ?—Gladly would I exchange twenty such lumps of mjtal for as many pounds of the worst mutton fed upon Estremadura turnips! The rest of the crew conceived the fame indignation that the Biscayner did; but Don Estevan composed the disorder by assuring them, that to-morrow he intended to kill a lamb and a kid three parts grown, in order to give a bountiful repast to the whole society.
This he continued thrice a week; and from that time matters went on very comfortably: for Don Estevan fed the men nell, and cloathed them with the wool of his sheep and skins of his goats. His brother gave an equivalent in gold for all that was purchased; and that with a certain justice and nobleness of foul, quite peculiar to an old Casiiiian.
After three years thus spent, the men petitioned to return to old Spain, alledging, amongst other things, that their ship (though a new one, when they set out) would n:ver be able to sail heme, in case