A Practical Medico-historical Account of the Western Coast of Africa: Embracing a Topographical Description of Its Shores, Rivers, and Settlements, with Their Seasons and Comparative Healthiness, Together with the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment, of the Fevers of Western Africa, and a Similar Account Respecting the Other Diseases which Prevail There

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Highley, 1831 - 423 pages
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Page 40 - Portuguese, it being a corruption of the word trueno, which means thunder-storm. Its approach is first discernible by the appearance of a small, clear, silvery speck, at a high altitude in the heavenly expanse, which increases and descends towards the horizon, with a gradual and slow, but visible motion. In its descent, it becomes circumscribed by a dark ring, which extends itself on every side, and as soon as the silvery cloud approaches the horizon, veils it in impenetrable gloom. At...
Page 40 - ... and violence till the shocks become appalling ; when the thunder is at its loudest a tremendous gust of wind rushes with incredible, and often irresistible vehemence from the darkened part of the horizon, not rarely in its course carrying away roofs of houses and...
Page 76 - Many instances have been known of men, whilst at work under the rays of the sun, dropping down, as if shot ; and that, without any previous threatening symptom or habit of indiscretion ; and also men, who, to avoid the closeness sometimes experienced in sleeping between decks, have slept on the upper deck, without the knowledge of the officer on watch, thus, exposing themselves to the apparently harmless beams of a brilliant moon, have often been known to be suddenly affected with fever. The rapidity...
Page 40 - Ceased their operations, and the very functions of nature to be paralyzed; the atmosphere appears to be deprived of the spirit of vitality, and a sensation of approaching suffocation pervades and oppresses the physical system. The mind is wrapt in awe and suspense, but the latter is speedily relieved by the dark horizon being suddenly illumined by one broad blaze of electric fluid ; peals of distant thunder then break upon the ear and rapidly approach and increase in frequency and violence...
Page 24 - ... and its seductive influences on a stranger, can form no adequate notion of the character and extent of its actual power. For the moment home is forgotten, or if remembered, the remembrance is accompanied with a desire it should be situated in such a seeming paradise. In thus speaking of the view on arriving at Sierra Leone, we are supposing that settlement to be made on a fine clear day, when the atmosphere is bright and comparatively devoid of malaria, and the river runs its natural course,...
Page 24 - ... minute details, the effect is magnificent. On the left hand is the Bullom shore, low, but covered with luxurious and richly-coloured bush, an occasional palm and pullom tree, rising in graceful form above the neighbouring mangroves : in appearance, it seems to embody the notions formed of fairyland, but its realities most sadly illustrate the folly of such dreams. The middle ground also occurs on the left hand, and it gives a variety to the view. In front, are the spacious river, (extending farther...
Page 24 - For the moment, home is forgotten, or if remembered, the remembrance is accompanied with a desire it should be situated in such a seeming paradise. In thus speaking of the view on arriving at Sierra Leone, we are supposing that settlement to be made on a fine clear day, when the atmosphere is bright, and comparatively devoid of malaria, and the river runs its natural course, unswollen and free from discolouration. Should the arrival, however, happen at a different period, when the atmosphere is dense,...
Page 41 - ... them under weigh or at anchor ; and to that succeeds a furious deluge of rain, which falls in one vast sheet, rather than in drops, and concludes this terrible convulsion. The lightning is of the most vivid description, and, contrary to what has b::en reported of it, seldom sheet lightning, but forked and piercing, and often extremely destructive, both to things animate and inanimate. Its apparently doubtful, wild course, is sometimes directed to a large and lofty tree, and the foliage, at the...
Page 42 - ... after its commencement, which sweep through the streets of Freetown with astonishing velocity, bearing with them all the exposed vegetable and other matter in a state of putridity or decay. ' Such is the tornado ; and it is by the preponderating power of its gusts, and the atmospheric influence of lightning and its rain, that noxious exhalations from the earth, and deleterious miasmata, before confined to the neighbourhood of their origin by opposed or light currents of air, in the day, or attracted...
Page 23 - They are lofty, perpetually clothed, from their summits to their bases, in all the fertile gaiety of nature's verdant and richest scenery; and there is a pleasing and endless variety in the outline of their countless peaks and declivities. As the ship draws in with the shore, signs of cultivation appear, and increase with rapidity, both in number and attractiveness. Freetown, and the lately-formed villages in its neighbourhood, at first shew like anomalous patches in the view, but, on a nearer approach,...

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