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together with the dislocation of one of my ribs, kept me, I imagine, in a continual fever; I cannot otherwise account for my suffering so much more from thirst than I did from hunger. At last I discovered the thigh-bone of a bull (which, I afterwards heard, had fallen into the pit about eighteen years before me,) almost covered with the earth. #. it up ; and the large end of it left a cavity that, I suppose, might contain a quart. This the water gradually drained into, but so very slowly, that it was a considerable time before I could dip a nut-shell full at a time; which Io emptied into the palm of my hand, and so drank it. The water now began to increase pretty fast, so that I was glad to enlarge my reservoir, insomuch that, on the 4th or 5th day, I had a sufficient supply ; and this water was certainly the preservation of my life. At the bottom of the pit there were great quantities of reptiles, such as frogs, toads, large black snails, or slugs, &c. These noxious creatures would frequently crawl about me, and often got into my reservoir; .. I thought it the sweetest water I had ever tasted; and at this distance of time the remembrance of it is so sweet, that, were it now possible to obtain any of it, I am sure I could swallow it with avidity. I have frequently taken both frogs and toads out of my neck, where, I suppose, they took shelter while I slept. The toads I always destroyed, but the frogs I carefully preserved, as I ...] not know but I might be under the necessity of eating them, which I should not have scrupled to have done had I been very hungry. Saturday, the 16th, there fell but little rain, and I had the satisfaction to hear the voices of some boys in the wood. Immediately I called out with all my might, but it was all in vain, though I afterwards learned that they actually heard me; but, being prepossessed with an idle story of a wild man being in the wood, they ran away affrighted. , Sunday, the 17th, was my birth-day, when I completed my forty-first year; and I think it was the next day that some of my acquaintance, having accidentally heard that I had gone the way I did, sent two or three porters out purposely to search the pits for me. These men went to the miller's house, and made inquiry for me; but, on account of the very great rain at the time, they never entered the wood, but cruelly returned to their employers, telling them they had searched the pits, and that I was not to be found. Many people in my dismal situation would, no doubt, have died with despair; but, I thank God, I enjoyed a perfect Ferenity of mind; so much so, that in the Tuesday after
noon, and when I had been six nights in the pit, I very composedly (by way of amusement) combed my wig on my knee, humming a tune, and thinking of Archer in the “Beaux Stratagem.” At length, the morning, September 20, the happy morning for my deliverance, came ; a day that, while my memory lasts, I will always celebrate with gratitude to heaven! Through the brambles and bushes that covered the mouth of the pit, I could discover the sun shining bright, and my pretty warbler was chaunting his melodious strains, when . my attention was roused by a confused noise of human voices, which seemed to be approaching fast towards the pit; immediately I called out, and most agreeably surprised several of my acquaintance, who were in search of me. Many of them are still living in Glasgow; and it is not long since I had the very great satisfaction of entertaining one of them at my apartments. They told me that they had not the most distant hope of finding me alive; but wished to give my body a decent burial, should they be so fortunate as to find it. As soon as they heard my voice, they all ran towards the pit, and 1 could distinguish a well-known voice exclaim, “Good God! he is still living !” Another of them, though a very honest North-Briton, betwixt his surprise and joy, could not help asking me, in the Hibernian stile, “if I were still living 2" I told him “I was, and hearty too;” and then gave them particular directions how to proceed in getting me out, Fortunately at that juncture a collier, from a working pit in the neighbourhood, was passing along the road, and, hearing an unusual noise in the wood, his curiosity prompted him to learn the occasion. By his assistance, and a rope from the mill, I was soon safely landed on terra firma. The miller's wife had very kindly brought some milk warm from the cow; but, on my coming into the fresh air, I grew rather faint, and could not taste it. Need I be ashamed to acknowledge, that the first dictates of my heart prompted me to fall on my knees, and ejaculate a .. thanksgiving to the God of my deliverance; since, at this distant time, I never think of it but the tear of gratitude starts from my eye. 'oer, morning while I was in the pit I tied a knot in the corner of my handkerchief, supposing that, if I died there, and my body should be afterwards found, the number of knots would certify how many days I had lived. Almost the first question my friends asked me was, how long I had been in the pit Immediately I drew my handkerchief from my pocket, and bade them count the knots. They found seven, the exact number of nights I had been there. We
now hasted out of the wood. I could walk without support; but that was not allowed, each person present striving to shew me how much they were rejoiced that they had found me alive and so well. They led me to the miller's house, where a great number of people were collected to see me. A gentleman, who had a country house just by, very kindly, at my request, sent for a glass of white wine. I ordered a piece of bread to be toasted, which I soaked in the wine, and ate. I now desired the miller's wife to make me up a bed, fondly thinking that nothing more was wanting than a little refreshing sleep to terminate my misfortune. But, alas! I was stils to undergo greater sufferings than I had yet endured. By the almost continual rains, together with the cold damp arising from the wet ground on which I lay, and not being able to take the least exercise to keep up a proper circulation of the blood, my legs were much swelled and benumbed. Some of my friends observing this, proposed to send to Glasgow for medical advice. I at first declined it, and happy had it been for me if I had pursued my own inclinations; but, unfortunately for me, a physician and a surgeon were employed, both of them ignorant of what ought to have been done. Instead of ordering m legs into cold water, or rubbing them with a coarse j, to bring on a gradual circulation, they applied hot bricks and large poultices to my feet. This, by expanding the blood-vessels too suddenly, put me to much greater torture than I ever endured in my life, and not only prevented my enjoying that refreshing sleep I so much wanted, but actually Fo a mortification in both my feet. I do not mean, y relating this circumstance, to reflect on the faculty in general at Glasgow; for, I was afterwards attended by gentlemen who are an honour to the profession. The same method was pursued for several days, without even giving me the bark till I mentioned it myself. This happily stopt the progress of the mortification, which the doctors did not know had taken place till the miller's wife shewed them a black spot, about as broad as a shilling, at the bottom of my left heel. In a day or two more the whole skin, together with all the nails of my left foot, and three from my right foot, came off like the fingers of a glove. Opposite the river on which the mill stood there was a bleach-field. It is customary for the watchman in the night to blow a horn to frighten thieves. This I frequently heard when I was in the pit; and very often when I was in a sound sleep at the miller's, I have been awakened by it in the reatest horrors, still thinking myself in the pit; so that, in ão, I suffered as much by imagination as from reality.
I continued six weeks at the miller's, when the roads became too bad for the doctors to visit me, so that I was under the necessity of being carried in a sedan chair to my ..i. ings in Glasgow. By this time my right foot was quite well; but in my left foot, where the above-mentioned black spot appeared, there was a large wound, and it too plainly proved o the os calcis was nearly all decayed ; for, the surgeon could put his probe through the centre of it. The flesh too at the bottom of my foot was quite separated from the bones and tendons, so that I was forced to submit to have it cut off. In this painful state I lay several months, reduced to a mere skeleton, taking thirty drops of laudanum every night; and, though it somewhat eased the pain in my foot, it was generally three or four in the morning before I got any rest. My situation now became truly alarming; I had a consultation of surgeons, who advised me to wait with patience for an exfoliation, when they had not the least doubt but they should soon cure my foot. At the same time they frankly acknowledged that it was impossible to ascertain the precise time when that would happen, as it might be six, or even twelve months, before it came to pass. In my emaciated condition I was certain that it was not possible for me to hold out half the time : and, knowing that o must be a very great cripple with the loss of my heel bone, I came to a determined resolution to have my leg taken off, and appointed the very next day for the operation; but no surgeon came near me. I sincerely believe they wished to perform a cure; but being, as I thought, the best judge of my own feelings, I was resolved this time to be guided by my own opinion; accordingly, on the 2d of May, 1770, my leg was taken off a little below the knee. Yet, notwithstanding I had so long endured the rod of affliction, misfortunes still followed me. About three hours after the amputation had been performed, and when I was quiet in bed, I found myself nearly faintin with the loss of blood; the ligatures had all given way, and the arteries had bled a considerable time before it was discovered. By this time the wound was inflamed; nevertheless, I was under the necessity of once more submitting to the operation of the needle, and the principal artery was sewed up four different times before the blood was stopped. I suffered much for two or three days, not daring to take a wink of sleep; for the moment I shut my eyes, my stump (though constantly held by the nerve) would take such convulsive motions, o: I really think a stab to the heart could not be attended with greater pain. My blood too was become so very poor and thin, that it absolutely drained through the wound near a fortnight after my leg was cut off. I lay for eighteen days and nights in one position, not daring to move, lest the ligature should again give way; but I could endure it no longer, and ventured to turn myself in bed contrary to the advice of my surgeon, who, I happily effected, and never felt greater pleasure in my life. Six weeks after the amputation, I went out in a sedan chair for the benefit of the air, being exactly nine months from the day I fell into the pit. Soon after, I took lodgings in the country; where, getting plenty of warm new milk, my appetite and strength increased daily; and to this day, I bless God, I do enjoy perfect health; and I have since been the happy father of nine children.
1793, July. GEORGE SPEARING. -o
LXXXVI. Against shooting Swallows, Martens, &c. FROM the Maidstone Journal, June 18.
“At a meeting of the Kentish Society on Thursday last, the following very valuable observations were communicated by Mr. Hunt, gardener, of this town.
“A great custom has of late years prevailed in these parts among gentlemen, sportsmen, and game-keepers, of destroying the different species of martens or swallows, which entirely live upon the wing, and are only to be seen in this country during the breeding months of summer. Mr. H. remarked, that the number of these birds has, within these few years, greatly diminished, and that the F. year produces infinitely less than can be remembered in any preceding one. This diminution is attributed, in part, to the wanton havoc made of them by practitioners and others with their guns, who, without reflection, destroy what Providence sent for a great purpose. By shooting the old birds, the nestlings are in consequence destroyed; which, when added to a number of the latter lost in the seas by migration for the winter, unitedly assign a just reason for their great decrease. Minute observers calculate, that one of these birds daily destroys some hundreds of moths, flies, and other insects, parents of the alarming swarms of caterpillars, grubs, &c. that of late have committed such disasters in the gardens and fields on vegetation in general. It is earnestly hoped that the above-described gentlemen will