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MICHIGAN FOOD & BEES

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

I remember I once tried the following remedy, which was said to be a sure cure: I was to pare all my finger and toe nails, wrap the parings in tissue paper, then bore a hole in a maple tree, put in the hails and plug up the hole. I did this and distinctly remember that afterwards, I was put through the entire gamut of this disease— "From Greenland's icy mountains, To India's burning strand, " for four or five successive seasons. A decoction of "culver root" was used as a kind of cholagogue by many,, but it did not cure the disease. The complaint had several phases. Some had it every day, some every other day. As it began with you, so it continued. It opened the account with you at such an hour on such a day, and then put in its appearance a little later every day or every other day, until your morning shake was changed to one at sunset or midnight. The cold sensation or shake increased in severity until it culminated in shaking the life nearly out of you; then by degrees the cold chills waxed and waned perceptibly less, untill they left you. The "fits" came so regular that the settler made his calculations by them. His calendar was divided into well days and ague days. The minister made his appointments to preach so as to accommodate his "shakes. " The Justice of the Peace entered the suit on his docket to avoid the sick day of the party, or his own. The constable watched the well day of the witness to get him into court; and the lawyer adjourned his case to avoid his ague day. The housewife regulated her affairs by it; she would do up her work, and sit and wait for the ague, as for a visitor to come. And the pioneer gallant went sparking on his well night, and then he sometimes found his Dulcinea sitting up with the "fever'n ager. " It would seem that this complaint was about worn out or broken up by the old settlers, for the ague of to-day is no more like that of the olden time, than the old, broken down man is like the one in robust manhood.

Michigan


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