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general rule, in about thirteen or fourteen hours after the treatment described has been adopted, the bad symptoms abate ; but should the least sign of torpor shew itself, more moving and more stimulant must be resorted to. The patient soon recovers after the wounds begin to heal, although very frequently nasty boils break out all over him. This remedy is one also adopted by the Red Men, who employ, in the absence of gunpowder, a brand made of burning pitch-pine ; and a drink made from herbs in lieu of whisky. We feel certain that what chiefly conduces towards the success of this treatment is great promptness of action in applying the remedies, aided by the patient's having a vigorous and healthy constitution. We have little or no trust in the application of any system of cauterisation short of actual fire; it is better_by far than the strongest ammonia or lunar caustic. A writer in Tinsley's Magazine gives a signal proof of this. The brother of the writer, an eminent clergyman in South Australia, was bitten in the wrist by the brown snake, said to be most deadly. An experienced bushman happening fortunately to be staying at the station near which the accident happened, immediately adopted the remedies we have just described, and with signal success; whereas one of the policemen resident at the same station died from the bite of a brown snake; but in his case a good hour had elapsed before he could reach his comrades to obtain the requisite help, and then it was impossible to keep him from falling into the fatal torporsure precursor of death.
The injection of ammonia into the veins near the wound, as practised by Dr Halford, has been much discussed lately as a remedy for snake-bites; and several cases have been reported from South Australia, where the bites of serpents hitherto considered deadly were said to be successfully treated in this way-repeated doses of sal-volatile mixed with strong spirit being at the same time administered internally. Now there is nothing novel in the administration of ammonia internally as an antidote to snake-poison; and if a skilled surgeon be at hand, and can at once inject ammonia into the veins, it may, from all accounts, prove a successful mode of treatment. But as instantaneous application is essential, and as few, if any, but a medical man could perform the operation, it is evident that the cases where the injection cure could be brought to bear must be rare. The case of the keeper at the London Zoological Gardens is a melancholy example of the deadly effect of the cobra's bite : although the man was in the very lap of learning, and everything was done that could be done, nevertheless he died within an hour after being driven to the University College Hospital, and ninety minutes after being bitten.
Dr Fayren has tried in India a long series of most interesting experiments, in the humane endeavour to discover an antidote to the bite of the terrible cobra ; but, so far as we can learn, without
A sheep was placed so that a cobra might strike it, and
it died in half an hour; a second sheep was taken, and some of the blood of the sheep killed by the cobra was injected into its veins ; the poison proved equally fatal, although its action was less rapid. Mr Frank Buckland himself told us that he felt the effects of the poison of the cobra coming over him, in the shape of stupor and dizziness. The skin had been slightly separated from the nail of one of his fingers whilst dissecting a rat that had died from the cobra's bite : being a medical man, he went at once and swallowed large doses of sal-volatile, which soon relieved him. A horse bitten by a cobra survived it only seventy-five minutes.
It is always well to know what is the best mode of proceeding in any sudden emergency; and as it may very possibly happen that a viper bite may be inflicted on a person distant from medical help, it will not be out of place to give a few succinct directions as to what had best be done at once. We have already endeavoured to shew that the success of any remedial measures, in case of deadly snake bites, depends upon prompt action, with a sound constitution in the patient. If away from a surgeon, immediately suck the wound, or get some one else to do it, and, if oil is procurable, fill the mouth with it whilst sucking. The application of a cuppingglass is of great value if it can be obtained. Tie a ligature very tightly above the wound, and, after the sucking, apply ammonia to the bites, and give the patient large doses of sal-volatile, say a teaspoonful in a wine-glassful of water every five minutes. Brandy and champagne may be also adıninistered with advantage, and by all means prevent the patient from falling asleep until the acute symptoms are passed. A powerful purgative had better be administered as soon as the sufferer has sufficiently rallied to take it. These measures, if resorted to with promptness, will, as a rule, prove successful in the cure of bites from our common British viper. The application of nitrate of silver in the after-treatment of the wound may be tried with advantage.
It is a curious fact that one poisonous serpent does not appear to be able to injure another of like nature, and yet if a venomous snake bite a non-venomous one, it always, or nearly so, proves as fatal as it would to a guinea-pig or a rabbit. Snake-poison is perfectly innocuous if swallowed even by man, so long as there is no abraded spot upon the lips, or in the mouth or æsophagus; the poison must get directly into the blood to produce its deadly effect. Still, it is an experiment no one, we should think, would be rash enough to try. It has been lately stated that snakes, both non-venomous and venomous, are rapidly killed by introducing a small quantity of carbolic acid into their mouths, and that if the wood-work of houses be smeared over with the acid, snakes will never come into them -an experiment well worth trying in hot countries where these death-dealers are so plentiful.
INVARIABLY DEADLY SERPENTS. We have lastly to refer to the serpents whose bites are invariably fatal, and, so far as we at present know, are beyond the power of man to cure.
The Cobras (Naja) are well and widely known, alike from the deadly nature of their bite, and the remarkable hood on the nape of the neck. The one from Southern Asia (Naja tripudians) grows to the length of about five feet, and has been the subject of enough fabulous stories to fill a large volume. Strict Hindus object to kill a cobra, but coax it into an earthen pot, and carry it to the opposite bank of the stream, to be set at liberty. When resting, the cobra's neck is no bigger than the diameter of the head; but under the influence of passion, the neck dilates, while at the same time the reptile raises the front part of its body vertically, making himself as stiff as a rod of steel.—The Egyptian Cobra (Naja haje) is even
more spiteful and vicious than his brother from Asia. These serpents constantly destroy themselves in the Zoological Gardens by striking savagely at the glass, if any one looks in at them. Their bite is always fatal. We have seen the Egyptian cobra, or haje, glide from under a bush as noiselessly as a shadow, and, with no apparent touch, strike a wounded quail we may almost say dead. They never seem to spare anything they have a chance of killing. An enraged cobra is the very embodiment of everything devilish and deadly. By some
persons, this cobra is supposed to Head of Cobra: a, under side of jaw. represent the asp used by Cleo
patra; our own opinion is, however, that the asp has its representative in the horned cerastes.-In Martinique and Santa Lucia, we have the terrible Fer de lance. Its venom is certainly fatal, though not immediately so; animals have been known to survive the bite of this snake from three to thirteen hours. The negroes often get bitten by it whilst working among the sugar-canes; the bite is rapidly followed by swelling, then the body becomes icy cold, the respiration grows low, insensibility supervenes, with acute paralysis, followed by an agonising death.
The White Lady, or la dama blanca, is terribly dreaded by settlers and the natives of Central America ; fortunately, its extremely active habits enabling it to bolt through the reeds or under brush like a
gleam of silvery light, greatly lessen the chances of getting bitten by it. Its habit is to frequent the river-banks, and it is sometimes seen swimming with its head raised above the water ; but the least noise alarms it, when it betakes itself to the reeds or long grass. Stupor is said to come on in about fifteen minutes after the bite is inflicted, death following immediately.
The bite of the Colebra de Sangre causes the blood to exude in a deadly kind of sweat from the pores of the skin, and a person has been rarely, if ever, known to survive its bite over twenty minutes. It is found in tropical America, and is seldom more than eighteen inches in length, but of a uniform crimson colour; hence its ghastly name, 'blood-snake.'
The beautiful Corale, or Coral-snake, also found in Central America, does not often exceed three feet in length; and yet its bite kills to a fearful certainty in half an hour at the most, and in this case, the blood coagulates solidifies. Though deadly, it is an extremely beautiful snake; rings of three colours surround its body-black, white, and red. We find the following story of its fatal power in Belgravia. The writer says : ‘The coral-snake is greatly dreaded in Central America, and the deaths it in those
Horned Cerastes. regions are probably equal in number to the deaths caused by cobras in India, and which, as far as can be estimated in such a country, are supposed to amount to several hundreds in the year. I personally know the particulars only in one case of death from the bite of a coral-snake, and this occurred in Southern Demerara. The victim was a M. Flament, a wealthy planter. His wife had been dangerously ill, and been visited daily by two physicians. While out late in the afternoon, strolling with his little daughter near the house, he was told by a servant that the doctors had come. He immediately hurried home by the shortest way, crossing a wide patch of grass. When nearly through this, and close to his own door, he was bitten by a small coral-snake, on which he trod while the reptile was vainly attempting to wriggle away. He rushed into his house, where the physicians were, and with trembling lips-for he knew his danger-told them hastily what had befallen him. Yet, though he had the benefit of their best advice and assistance
within a minute after he was bitten, nothing served to check the fatal action of the poison, and he died in three-quarters of an hour. The shock of this terrible calamity was fatal also to Madame Flament, who died the following evening.'
The horned cerastes, or asp, common in Egypt ; the river jack and puff-adder, as well as the many deadly snakes common to Australia, all illustrate the family from whose bite there is no result but inevitable death. So far, human skill has proved of no avail to cure a patient fairly bitten by these deadly serpents. What may be accomplished, no one can predict.
TAMING AND CHARMING OF SERPENTS. Several of the non-venomous species of serpents are capable of being domesticated, and may be made to distinguish those who feed and caress them. We shall now recount several instances of this. *I had,' says the author of British Reptiles, 'a common snake, many years since, which knew me from all other persons; and when let out of his box, would immediately come to me, and crawl under the sleeve of my coat, where he was fond of lying perfectly still, and enjoying the warmth. He was accustomed to come to my hand for a draught of milk every morning at breakfast, which he always did of his own accord; but he would flee from strangers, and hiss if they meddled with him.' Mr White, in his Natural History of Selborne, states that he knew a gentleman who had one in his house quite tame. Though this was usually as sweet in its person as any other animal, yet, whenever a stranger, or a dog or cat entered, it would begin to hiss, and soon filled the room with an effluvium so nauseous as to render it almost insupportable. 'An intimate friend of mine, says Mr Sheppard, 'had a common snake in his rooms at Cambridge, which became so familiar as to lie in a serpentine form on the upper bar of his chair. It would crawl through his fingers if held at a little distance before its head, or lie at full length upon his table, while he was writing or reading, for an hour or more at a time. When first brought into the room, it used to hiss and dart out its tongue ; but in no instance emitted any unpleasant odour. It was in all its actions remarkably cleanly. Sometimes it was indulged with a run upon the grass in the court of the college; and sometimes with a swim in a large basin of water, which it seemed to enjoy very much. In the Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle, there is related an instance of a snake which had been so completely tamed by a lady as to come to her whenever she called it, to follow her in her walks, writhe itself round her arms, and sleep in her bosom. One day, when she went in a boat to some distance up a large river, she threw the snake into the water, imagining that its fidelity would lead it to follow her, and that, by swimming, it would readily overtake the boat. The poor animal exerted all its efforts; but the current