Now these symptoms, and their disproportion with the former, are the principal signs of pestilential distempers, among which the small-pox may be ranked; and it is chiefly by this difference that a skilful physician presently distinguishes the variolous fever from all others. May it not, at the same time, afford an additional proof, that all these disorders have their seat in the nerves, which of all other organs are most immediately connected with the soul?
The existence of these feelings being thus proved, our business must be to excite their opposites by means of amusement.
I was always struck with the resemblance of the earliest symptoms of this disorder with those of the sea-sickness. The anxiety, nausea, weariness, dejection, head-ach, are in both cases the same, and only differ in point of duration. It even happens sometimes, when a person is long and violently sick at sea, that some small degree of fever will appear at times, and the pulse shall be heavy and intermittent, as in the first period of the small-pox.
Sea-faring people know that dissipation is the best remedy for, and even a preservative against, these complaints. They advise such as are apt to be sick to keep upon deck, and to help in the working of the ship. I have many a time seen people violently sea-sick, instantly relieved by some strong impression on their mind. A ship passing by, the sight of land, any object that strikes unexpectedly, will in a moment perform a compleat cure.