Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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according as the rains did or did not fall near its source.
The same thing is observable in our Loire; it increases or
diminishes in proportion to the rains on the mountains
whence that river flows.

Once, on my return from Jerusalem, I ascended the Nile
from Damietta to Cairo, about a month before the day on
which it is said that the Goute falls; and in the morning
our clothes were soaked in consequence of the dew that
had fallen during the night.

I supped with M. de Bermon, our vice-consul at Rosetta,
eight or ten days after the fall of the Goute. Three of the
party were that same evening seized with the plague, of
whom two died on the eighth day; and the other patient,
who happened to be M. de Bermon himself, would perhaps
have fallen a victim to the disease if I had not ventured to
prescribe a remedy, and lanced his abscess. I caught the
infection, and but for the butter of antimony,^ to which I
had immediate recourse, it might have been seen in my
case also that men die of the plague after the descent of
the Goute. The emetic, taken at the commencement of
the disorder, performed wonders, and I was not confined
to the house more than three or four days. A Bedouin
servant attended me; he endeavoured to keep up my
spirits by swallowing, without a moment's hesitation, what
remained of the soup I was taking; and being a predes-
tinarian, he laughed at the idea of danger from the plague.

I am far from denying that this distemper is generally
attended with less danger after the fall of the Goute. All
I maintain is, that the decrease of danger should not be
attributed to the Goute. In my opinion the mitigation of
the disease is owing to the heat of the weather, then
become intense, which opens the pores and expels the
pestiferous and malignant humours that remained con¬
fined in the body.

Moreover I have carefully inquired of several Rays} or

^ Now called, sublimated muriate of antimony.

^ Read rdis, the Arabic for a captain of a boat, a pilot.
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