Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/262

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enormous size, and when accompanied by idiotcy or extreme imbecility of mind, which is by no means uncommon, they furnish a most humiliating and painful spectacle. These swellings are generally attributed to some deleterious quality in the water, and are considered by the natives as incurable. Mr. Coxe in his travels through Switzerland, observed the same disease to prevail in some districts, and remarks, that there also it was not unfrequently accompanied by extreme mental weakness. Whatever be the cause, the effect is most distressing; and although the United Provinces presented more temptations to the European than they at present do, the thought that the climate, the water, and the diseases most prevalent in the country, all conspire in lowering the tone of the mind, and sapping the foundations of man's noblest faculty, would make the most sanguine pause before choosing it as a permanent residence.

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