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the passion had seized him, which was at least every month, he would break through all restraint, and, disappearing in the forest, was lost for many days, after which he would emerge powerless and altered. He was of some use to the Doctor, as a good and eager sportsman, and his confidence and good will were soon obtained by a liberal supply of fine gunpowder. His disposition was generally kind, but any remonstrance against his vices threw him into an ungovernable rage.
He frequently assured the Doctor, in his confidential moments, that he would rather, as he had done for months together, live alone in the midst of some Coca shrubs, in the most solitary spot in the wilderness, depending for support on his fishing-line and gun, than return home to his family at Huanuco, and live at ease. His description of the lonely visions that appeared to him in the forest at night, and of his delightful sensations at such moments, had something in them awful to a Christian mind. When it rained, he used to cover his half-naked body with the soddened leaves that had fallen from the trees, and he declared that when this wretched substitute for clothing was brought to steam by the heat of his body, he could lie for hours thus enveloped, without suffering inconvenience from either wet or cold.
The exciting principle of the Coca seems to be of a very volatile nature; the leaves where this quality principally resides, after being kept twelve months, become perfectly inert, and good for nothing. Large heaps of the freshly dried leaves, however, particularly while the warm rays of the sun are on them, diffuse a very strong smell, like that of hay, in which there is a quantity of melilot.
The natives never permit strangers to sleep near them, as they would suffer violent headaches in consequence. When kept in small portions and after a few months, the Coca loses its scent, and becomes weak in proportion.
The Coquero carries a small bag with him, in order to preserve the leaves entire, for he considers the broken ones to be worth but little, and the fragments and dust he throws away.
Besides this bag, he has a small calabash containing very finely-powdered lime. A metal needle runs through the stopper of the calabash, which is moistened when used, turned about in the powder
ed lime, and drawn into the mouth by the ball of chewed leaves, taking care not to touch the lips with the caustic lime, which would excoriate the palate even of the most practised Coquero. But the teeth are infallibly destroyed by it; and those of the Peruvians who are addicted to this custom, are black and carious.
The Doctor made trial of an infusion of this leaf, and found it had a flat grass-like taste, but he experienced to the full its stimulating properties. When taken in the evening, it was followed by great restlessness, loss of sleep, and other uncomfortable sensations.
Taken in the morning, a similar effect resulted, though in a slighter degree, accompanied with loss of appetite. An English physician, who had a sugar plantation near Huanuco, once, when unprovided with Chinese tea, made trial of the Coca as a substitute for it, but experienced such distressing sensations of nervous excitement, that he never ventured to use it again.
The consumption of Coca is confined to Peru, where the use of it, in more or less quantities, is universal. Nay, such is the superstitious feeling attached to this practice, that the lowest classes át Huanuco thrust Coca into the mouth of the dying, and infer his future happiness from the pleasure which the taste seems to impart to him.
The inordinate use of it speedily occasions bodily disease, and injury to the moral powers. The appetite becomes irregular, sometimes failing altogether, at others assuming almost wolfish voracity, especially for animal food. Years of misery dragon, until a painful and lingering death terminates the sufferings of the sad, degraded Coquero.
THE TANGHIEN TREE.
“ In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice ;
SHAKSPEARE The fruit of this tree has been long noted in the Island of Madagascar, as a native ordeal. The tree resembles a plum-tree, but its fruit is one of the swiftest and most deadly of vegetable poisons. The late King Radama, who had become somewhat enlightened, from his intercourse with Europeans, discouraged this dangerous custom during the latter years of his reign. His successor, the present Queen has, howerer, permitted its revival, and, particularly in a case