Harsh Medicine

This is from A Journal of Sir Henry De La Beche, in which he describes some strange, and unexplained treatment he received as a child. It seems it was to make him resistant to the cold, but he is lucky he survived.

“My mother has often told me that … Master Henry [ie the author]was subjected, by learned medical advice …. to a curious system of ‘induration’. Holes were bored in little Master’s shoes, for the purpose of letting the water he might tread in (and all know, who remember any thing of their childish days, what a delight treading in water is) to run freely in and out of the said shoes. A handy nurse was found and Master Henry turned out into rain and drizzle, or frost an shows, as the case may be. Moreover, in the winter, ice was not and then placed upon his loins. This appears somewhat sharp treatment, a sharp system of either making a child hardy or sending it to a grave. It did me no injury, on the contrary good, and probably I may attribute to it the fact that I never remember taking a cold from wet, though during my life well exposed to it, due care being commonly taken not to remain long quiet in wet clothes.”

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