Monday, March 12, 2012

The Finlanders had tried variety of applications to no purpose

Nothing exemplifies this truth more than the history of a minute insect, or rather worm, of which we hive, in this dissertation, the first proper intelligence ; it is very curious, and worthy of notice. In Finland, Bothnia, and the northern provinces of Sweden, it was not unfrequently that people were seized with a pungent pain, confined to a point, in the hand, or other exposed part of the body, which presently increased to a most excruciating degree, and hath sometimes been suddenly fatal. This disorder was more particularly observed in Finland, especially about boggy and marshy places, and always in autumn. At length it was discovered, that this pain instantly succeeded somewhat that dropped out of the air, and in a moment penetrated and buried itself in the flesh. The Finlanders had tried variety of applications to no purpose, until at length a poultice of curds, or cheese, was found the most effectual in easing the pain ; and the event confirmed, that the insect was allured by this application to leave the flesh; as on its removal, this worm, no longer than the sixth of an inch, was found in it, and thus the cause of this painful disease explained.

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