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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Have I the Ague?

Would have posted sooner, but I have a cold. What did they call a head cold in America circa 1680? Surely William Coddington didn't holler to William Winthrop, "Get off the roof! You'll catch a cold!" It just doesn't seem authentic; I've never heard that kind of dialogue in the movies. I say, William Winthrop was a true cretin, wasn't he? Not as feebleminded as William Osbourne, or as clumsy as William Coggeshall, or as smelly as William Hutchinson, and certainly a cut above William Middleton, who, as we all know, built a chapel out of his own dung and then died face down in a bowl of crabmeat potage.

Update: Found a list of common colonial-American diseases/conditions. If my customary vim isn't restored soon, I intend to take this list to my doctor and demand antibiotics for them all. Am particularly worried about the yaws.

Flux
Cachexes
King's evil
Yellow jaundice
Griping
Gravel
Rupture
Yaws
Barbadoes fever (not caused by earthquakes or large runs of shad)
Pleuretick fever
Adultery
Quinsey
Colick
Palsey

3 Comments:

Blogger Chris Cope said...

How about the lurgy? My favorite illness is lurgy.

11:55 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I always thought it was "the grippe," but no, it is "the griping."

And "adultery" is very common today. Not as serious an illness as it once was. Some people actually enjoy getting it.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Elkie Schmitling said...

Have you not the decency to quarantine yourself? Now we may all catch it, unless of course you have adultry, because once you've had that you're no longer contagious.

11:28 AM  

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