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sion; and, though he used every effort to suppress desires at once so imprudent and unjust, the emotions of his mind in a short time became so strong, that they brought on a fever, which the physicians judged incurable.
During this illness, Alcander watched him with all the anxiety of tenderness, and brought his mistress, to join in those amiable offices of friendship. The sagacity of the physicians, by these means, soon discovered that the cause of their patient's disorder was love; and Alcander being apprized of their discovery, at length extorted a confession from the reluctant dying lover.
It would but delay the narrative to describe the conflict between love and friendship, it is enough to say, that the Athenians were at that time arrived at such refinement in morals, that every virtue was carried to excess. In short, forgetful of his own felicity, he gave up his intended bride in all her charms to the young Roman. They were married privately by bis connivance, and this uplooked for change of fortune wrought as unexpected a change in the constitution of the now happy Septimius: in a few days he was perfectly recovered, and set out with his fair partner for Rome. Here, by an exertion of those talents which he was so eminently possessed of, Septimius, in a few years arrived at the highest dignities of the state, and was constituted the city judge or prætor.
In the mean time Alcander not only felt the paiu of being separated from his friend and mistress, but a prosecution was also commenced against him by the relations of Hypatia, for having basely given up his bride, as was suggested, fot. noney...
His innocence of the crime laid to his charge, "and even his eloquence in his own defence, were not able to withstand the influence of a powerful party. He was cast, and condemned to pay an enormous fine. However, being unable to raise so lärge a sum at the time appointed, his possessions were confiscated, he himself was stripped of the habit of freedom, exposed as a slave in the market-place, and sold to the highest bidder. A merchant of Thrace becoming his purchaser, Alcander, with some other companions of distress, was carried into that region of desolation and sterility. His stated employment was to follow the herds of an imperious master, and his success in hunting was all that was allowed to supply his precarious subsistence. Every morning awakened him to a renewal of famine or toil, and every change of season served but to aggravate his unsheltered distress. After some years of bondage, however, an opportunity of escaping offered; he embraced it with ardour; so that travelling by night, and lodged in caverns by day, to shorten a long story, he at last arrived in Rome.
The same day on which Alcander arrived, Septimius sat ad
timius recollected his friend and former benefactor, and bung upon his neck with tears of pity and of joy. Need the sequel be related? Alcander was acquitted : shared the friendship and honours of the principal citizens of Rome; lived afterwards in happiness and ease; and left it to be engraved on his tomb, That no circumstances are so desperate, which Providence may not relieve.
THE BOHON-UPAS. A POISON-TREE.
A Description of the Poison-Tree, in the island of Java, and
its effects.-Arminian Magazine, London.
This tree is called, in the Malayan language, Bohon-Upas. In 1774, I was stationed at Batavia, as a Surgeon in the service of the Dutch East-India Company. During my residence there I received several different accounts of the Bohon-Upas, and the violent effects of its poison. They seemed incredible to me, but I resolved to investigate this subject thoroughly, and to trust only to my own observations. In consequence of this resolution, I applied to the Governor-General, for a pass to travel through the country. I had also procured a recommendation from an old Malayan Priest to another Priest who lives on the nearest inhabitable spot to the tree.
The Bohon-Upas is situated in the Island of Jara, about twenty-seven leagues from Batavia, fourteen from Soura Charta, the seat of the Emperor. It is surrounded on all sides by high mountains, and the country round it, to the distance of ten or twelve miles from the tree, is entirely barren. Not a tree, not a shrub, nor the least plant or grass is to be seen. I have made the tour all around, at about eighteen miles distant from the centre, and I found the aspect of the country on all sides, equally dreary. The easiest ascent of the hills is from that part where the old ecclesiastic dwells. From this house criminals are sent for the poison, into which the points of all warlike instruments are dipped.
This is a gum that issues out between the bark and the tree itself, like the Camphor. Malefactors, who for their crimes are sentenced to die, are the only persons who fetch the poison; and this is the only chance they have of saving their lives. Atter sentence is pronounced upon them by the Judge, they are asked in court, whether they will die by the hands of the executioner, or go to the Upas-tree for a box of poison. They commonly prefer the latter, as there is not only some chance
and their breasts stripped naked. In this situation they remained a short time in prayer, attended by several priests, until a signal was given by the judge to the executioner; on which the latter produced an instrument, much like the spring lancet used by farriers for bleeding horses. With this instrument, poisoned with the gum of the Upas, the unhappy wretches were lanced in the middle of their breasts, and the operation was performed upon them all in less than two minutes.
My astonishment was raised to the highest degree, when I beheld the sudden effects of that poison; for in about five minutes after they were lanced, they were taken with a tremor, attended with subsultus tentinum, after which they died in the greatest agonies. In sixteen minutes all the criminals were no
Some hours after their death I observed their bodies full of lived spots, their faces swelled, their colour changed to a kind of blue.
These circumstances made me desirous to try an experiment with some animals, in order to be convinced of the real effects of this poison ; and as I had then two young puppies, I thought them the fittest objects for my purpose. I accordingly procured, with great difficulty, some grains of Upas. I dissolved half a grain of it in a small quantity of arrack, and dipped a lancet into it. With this I made an incision in the lower muscular part of the belly of one of the puppies. Three minutes after it received the wound the animal began to cry out most piteously, and ran as fast as possible from one corner of the room to the other. So it continued during six minutes, when all its strength being exhausted, it fell upon the ground, was taken with convulsions, and died in the eleventh minute. I repeated this experiment on two other puppies, with a cat, and a fowl, and found the operation of the poison in all of them the same: none of these animals survived above thirteen minutes.
I thought it necessary to try also the effect of the poison given inwardly, which I did in the following manner. I dissolved a quarter of a grain of the gum in half an ounce of arrack, and made a dog of seven months old drink it. In seven minutes a retching ensued, and I observed, at the same time, that the animal was delirious, as it ran up and down the room, fell on the ground, and tumbled about; then it rose again, cried out very loud, and in about half an hour after was seized with convulsions and died.
From these experiments I have been convinced, that the gum of the Upas is the most dangerous and most violent of all vegetable poisons; and I am apt to believe that it greatly contributes to the unhealthiness of that Island. Nor is this the only evil attending it: hundreds of the natives of Java, as well as