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tion freer; a lassitude or debility takes place, from the uncommon expence of the irritable principle consumed by the increased actions of the heart and arteries, and the secretions dependant in a great measure on their
In short, the pulse is rendered harder, fuller, and stronger. The skin is redder than usual, but especially that of the face, with other signs of general plethora *, to which the fluids from increased absorption certainly contribute, though it chiefly arises from the increased force of the vascular system. In short, more or less of fever is kept up, which varies in different people, according to circumstances, continues for an indeterminate time, or until the increased force of the heart and arteries, kept up by the accumulated irritability of the system, from the previous effect of cold, ceases, that is, until the right balance between the irritability of the fibre and the external stimulus be properly adjusted.
* Heat has the property of expanding all bodies: thus a circular piece of iron made exactly to pass through a ring, when heated, will be found too large, and thus the rings on the fingers of those who have passed into warmer climates, will be found, from the increased size of that part of the body, too tight. In the cold fit of an ague rings are observed to drop off. But the PreTHORA here spoken of arises from the increased action of the absorbent, as well as the vascular System VOL. II.
But if, on the contrary, we pass from a warm to a cold climate no such evil effects are observed to take place. LINNÆUS, in a paper in the Amænitates Academiæ, expresses his astonishment at the impunity with which the heated LAPLANDER rubs himself with snow, or even rolls in the snow, and drinks the cold snow water. We every day see horses in a state of the most profuse perSpiration freely washed with cold water, and always without injury. I have, says Dr. BEDDoes, within these two years caused horses, accustomed to be stabled, to be turned out in winter ; and no cough, catarrh, or other disorder, has ever been the consequence. It appears therefore to me, continues this ingenious physician,' that within certain limits, and those not very narrow,
the transition from a higher to a lower temperature is attended with no danger to animals in a state of tolerable health; and a person, I conceive, might suddenly pass from an higher to a lower temperature without inconvenience, even where the difference is fo great as to be capable of producing considerable inflammation, if the change should be made with equal celerity in a contrary direction.
It has been before observed, that if you keep one of your hands in cold water for two minutes; then put both hands into warm water; and the hand which has been in
the cold water first will feel much the warmer of the two. Or else, handle some snow with one hand, while you keep the other in your bofom, that it may be no colder than the rest of your body; now bring both within an equal distance of the fire, and you will feel how much more THE HEAT affects the cold than the warm hand. This would be a dangerous experiment were the hand kept too long in the snow, or if the fire be too strong. For in some countries where the cold is much greater than it ever is in ENGLAND, it is common for people to have their toes and fingers and ears so frost-bitten as to lose all their feeling; and should that person warm them at a fire, or put them into warm water, a VIOLENT INFLAMMATION is sure to come on, and the part mortifies. So they are obliged to set cautiously about bringing the part back to its natural feeling, and they rub it hard with snow, by which means they recover it in the gentlest and most gradual manner*.
So when a person is out in very cold weather, the air, every time he draws his breath, brushes his noftrils, wind-pipe, and lungs; and just as is the case with the outward skin, it makes these parts more liable to be inFLAMED by HEAT. * Vide page 422.
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you attend to what not unfrequently happens in coming out of a cold moist air into a warm room, you will first perceive a glow within your nostrils and breast, as well as all over the surface of your body. Soon afterwards, more especially, if you drink warm or spirituous liquors, a disagreeable dryness, or huskiness, will be felt in the nostrils and breast; by and bye a short tickling cough will come on from an increased secretion of the glands of the nose, fauces, and wind-pipe, which being of a sharp nature stimulates the glands to a further increase of secretion, which often occasions a very large discharge of sharp mucus. You will perhaps at first shiver a little; this will make you draw nearer the fire and drink some more brandy and water: but it will be all to no purpose. The more you try to heat yourself, the more chilly and uncomfortable will you become, for you have now caught cold, that is, you have brought on AN INFLAMMATION of the chilled part, which is the smooth moist skin which lines the noftrils and goes down the wind-pipe into the lungs, and I wish you, with all my heart, well rid of it, and safe from the complaints which severe colds are apt to leave behind them.
I have sometimes been able to make other persons, says Dr. BedDoes, attentive to the progress of these
phenomena, and nothing has appeared more evident, than that during exposure to wet and cold no tendency to INFLAMMATION is perceptible, but that subsequent heat, exercise in the dry, and stimulants, produce the glow or
By keeping quiet and cool for some time after being wet in summer, and by avoiding a sudden transition into a warm temperature in cold weather, and by temperance with regard to diet (rather abstemiousness), in both cases those INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, for which cold only prepares the system, may be easily avoided; and any person, by acting upon these principles, may have at pleasure a sight or a violent catarrh, or no catarrh at all *.
* The popular treatment, therefore, of colds during their early stage is just as prejudicial as the ancient hot regimen during the SMALL-Pox. White wine whey, buttered ale, increased clothing, getting drunk, &c. originated from the supposition, that colds proceed from obstrusted perfpiration, whereas it is found from the very accurate experiments of SANCTORIUS, and our countryman Dr. KEIL, that the perspiration is at that time as abundant as at any other. It has continued, because the faculty were, till of late, unapprized of the nature of colds, and from partial success in this dangerous practice, as perspiration, when produced, carries off superabundant heat. For the fluid that cscapes from the body consists chiefly of watery moisture, which uniting with a large portion of sensible heat, is carried off in the form of steam. Hence the more speedy the evaporation, the more sudden is the diminution of heat; or, in more familiar terms, the greater is the degree of cold thus generated. Hence the heaping on of STIMULI in a disease demanding an opposite treatment, has oftentimes done good, but it is to be feared, it has not unfrequently done harm, whereas the treatment here laid down is both safe and effoftual. Vide Part IV. The Section on CATARRH.