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active and conversable man." The reaction of narcotics upon the nerves, when largely used, is, however, so immediate and disagreeable a penalty, that the English are in no danger whatever of becoming a nation of opium or hashish debauchees; and we feel no compunction in placing before them an account of some of those exceptional cases in which the results have been sufficiently delightful to constitute a temptation to one of the most ruinous species of debauchery.

The statistics of narcotics, and the phenomena attending the use of them in the climates to which they seem to be more particularly suited, deserve more attention as an element of "general knowledge" than they have received. Those who would be fully informed upon the subject, will find it very well treated of in Nos. 8 and 9 of Johnston's Chemistry of Common Life. The five great narcotics, which are articles of national consumption in one part of the world or another, are-tobacco, opium, hemp, betel, and coca. Tobacco is the one universal narcotic; the others are consumed by the human race in the following proportions: opium by four hundred millions, hemp (i. e. hashish) by between two and three hundred millions, betel by one hundred millions, and coca by ten millions. Besides these, Siberia has its narcotic fungus; the Polynesian Islands their ava; New Granada and the Himmalayas their thorn-apples; the Florida Indians their emetic-holly; Northern Europe and America their ledums and sweet gale, &c. "No nation so ancient," says Johnston, "but has had its narcotic soother from the most distant times; none so remote or isolated, but has found within its own borders a pain-allayer and narcotic care-dispeller. No other crops, except corn, and perhaps cotton, represent more commercial capital, or are the subjects of a more extended and unfailing traffic, and the source of more commercial wealth."

Besides the various effects which are common to all the principal narcotics, each has characteristics of its own. Hashish produces real catalepsy, and exaggerates rather than perverts the reports of the senses as to external objects; the thorn-apple, on the other hand, causes truly spectral illusions, and enables the Indian to converse with the spirits of his ancestors. The Siberian fungus gives insensibility to pain without interfering with consciousness. The common puff-ball stops all muscular action, but leaves the perceptive powers untouched. Cocculus indicus. makes the body drunk, without affecting the mind. Coca has the wonderful power of sustaining muscular strength in the absence of food, and of preventing the wasting of the tissues of the body during the greatest and most prolonged exertion. The effects of the different narcotics are not only peculiar, but often opposed. Opium and hashish, common in many of their effects,

are opposite in this, that the former diminishes sensibility to external impressions, whereas the latter almost infinitely increases it. Betel is even an antidote to opium, as tea is to alcohol. Tobacco suspends mental activity; opium and hashish increase it a thousand-fold.

Psychologically, opium and hashish are by far the most interesting of the narcotics; and of these two, hashish, though the less known, indubitably bears the palm. They have, however, many qualities in common. We seem to be reading of the Eastern "hashishins" in Lord Macartney's description of the Japanese opium-eaters. "They acquire an artificial courage; and when suffering from misfortune and disappointment, they not only stab the objects of their hate, but sally forth to attack in like manner every person they meet, till self-preservation renders it necessary to destroy them." The term "running a-muck" is said to be derived from the cry, "Amok, amok!" meaning "Kill, kill," with which they accompany their fantastic crusade. On one occasion a Japanese was "running a-muck” in Batavia, and "had killed several people, when he was met by a soldier, who ran him through with his pike. But such was the desperation of the infuriated man, that he pressed himself forward on the pike, until he got near enough to stab his adversary with a dagger, when both expired together." While such is not uncommonly the effect of opium, as of hashish, in the East and in tropical climates, the ordinary influence of both these drugs in northern countries is described by De Quincey in the contrast he draws between the effects of opium and alcohol: "Wine robs a man of his self-possession; opium greatly invigorates it: wine unsettles and clouds the judgment, and gives a preternatural brightness and a vivid exaltation to the contempts and the admirations, the loves and the hatreds, of the drinker; opium, on the contrary, communicates serenity and equipoise to all the faculties, active or passive; and with respect to the temper and moral feelings in general, it gives simply that sort of vital warmth which is approved by the judgment, and which would probably always accompany a bodily constitution of primeval or antediluvian health." Dr. Madden's description of his feelings under the influence of opium exactly corresponds to the effect of a dose of hashish just insufficient to produce the fantasia: "My faculties appeared enlarged; every thing I looked at seemed increased in volume; I had no longer the same pleasure when I closed my eyes which I had when they were open; it appeared to me as if it was only external objects which were acted on by the imagination, and magnified into images of pleasure.. In walking, I was hardly sensible of my feet touching the ground; it seemed as if I slid along the street, impelled by some invisible

agent, and that my blood was composed of some ethereal fluid, which rendered my body lighter than air. . . . . The most extraordinary visions of delight filled my brain all night. In the morning I rose pale and dispirited; my head ached; my body was so debilitated, that I was obliged to remain on the sofa all day." When, however, hashish is taken in large doses, it produces effects more extraordinary than those of any other drug of its class; and, as being the most singular and the least known of the narcotics, it deserves a special notice.

The narcotic principle of hemp is very imperfectly developed in northern climates, although the plant rivals wheat and the potato in its power of self-adaptation to almost every soil and temperature. The narcotic quality resides in the sap; it is a resin. The odour of a hemp-field, and the giddiness and headache which attack persons remaining long in it, prove the existence of this resin in the northern plant; but it is only in the East that it exists in such quantities as to render its extraction practicable. In India, Persia, and Egypt, however, the resin spontaneously exudes from all parts of the herb in sufficient quantities to be gathered by the hand. In Central India men with leather aprons rush about among the hemp-plants, which deposit their balsam upon that primitive garment. This even is dispensed with sometimes, and the Coolies receive the precious gum upon their naked skins. The "churrus" of Herat, which is one of the most powerful species of the narcotic, is obtained by pressing the hemp in cloths. The resin is not always separated from its parent plant, which is in some places gathered when in flower, dried, and sold in bundles. In this state it is the gunjah of Calcutta. The larger leaves and seed-pods are denominated bang. The tops and tender shoots, and the pistils of the flowers, are hashish par excellence; and this is the form in which it is usually smoked. The name hashish also belongs to an extract from the gunjah, obtained by boiling it with butter. The gunjah,—that is to say, the entire plant,-when boiled in alcohol, yields as much as one-fifth of its weight of pure resin. In the East the hashish is made up into various kinds of sweetmeats.

In one form or another, hashish seems to have been known to Eastern nations from very early times. The following is the passage of Herodotus which is alluded to by most of those who have written about the resin of hemp :

"They who have been engaged in the performance of these [funeral] rites [of the Scythians], afterwards use the following mode of purgation. After thoroughly washing the head, and then drying it, they do thus with regard to the body: they place in the ground three stakes inclining towards each other; round these they bind pieces of wool as thickly

as possible; and finally, into the space betwixt the stakes they throw red-hot stones. They have among them a species of hemp resembling flax, except that it is both thicker and larger. . . . . The Scythians take the seed of this hemp ; and placing it beneath the woollen fleeces, they throw it upon the red-hot stones, when immediately a perfumed vapour ascends stronger than from any Grecian stove. This to the Scythians is in the place of a bath; and it excites from them cries

of exultation."

Dioscorides and Galen allude to certain properties of hemp as a pain-allayer. M. Virey has endeavoured to show that the "Nepenthes, which the wife of Thone

In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena,"

must have been no other than hashish. This drug seems always to have been known to the Egyptians; who of old argued, according to Diodorus Siculus, that Homer must have lived in their country, from his possession of the secret known to the women of Egyptian Thebes. Pliny mentions hemp as adverse to virile power. In the Arabian Nights hashish is mentioned under the name of beng. But the chief historical interest of the drug is in connection with the strange and formidable sect of the Ishmaelites, who, in the time of the Crusades, spread throughout and beyond the Mussulman world a terror out of all proportion to their numbers. By means of this narcotic, the chief of the scct, the "Old Man of the Mountain," obtained over his followers an influence more absolute than has ever, before or since, been possessed by one man over others. Henry Count of Champagne visited the leader of the sect, who took him to the top of a high tower, on the battlements of which were stationed men in white robes. "I doubt," said the Old Man, "whether you have any subjects so obedient as mine;" and, making a sign to two of the sentinels upon the tower, they precipitated themselves from it, and were dashed to pieces. Summoned by the envoy of a powerful enemy to submit, the sheik called a soldier, and ordered him to kill himself, which he forthwith did. "Tell your master," said the Ishmaelite, "that I have sixty thousand men who would do the same." Marco Polo's romantic and picturesque account of the discipline by which this terrible sect of the "Assassins" was created and maintained seems to be true in its main features:

"You shall hear all about the Old Man of the Mountain, as I Marco Polo heard related by many persons. He was called in their language Alaodin; and had caused to be formed in a valley between two mountains the largest and most beautiful garden that ever was seen. There grew all the finest fruits in the world; and it was adorned with the most beautiful houses and palaces, the interior being richly

gilded, and furnished with finely-coloured pictures of birds and beasts, and the most striking objects. It contained several conduits, through which flowed water, wine, honey, and milk. Here were ladies and danisels, unequalled in beauty and the skill with which they sang and played on instruments of every description. Now the Old Man made his people believe that this garden was Paradise; and he formed it there because Mohammed had given the Saracens to believe that those who went into that place would meet great numbers of beautiful women, and find rivers of water, wine, milk, and honey: hence the visitors were led to think that this was really Paradise. Into this garden he admitted no man, except those whom he wished to make Assassins. The entry to the spot was commanded by a castle so strong, that he did not fear any power in the world. He kept in his court all the youths of the country between twelve and twenty years of age; and when he thought proper, selected a number who had been well instructed in the description of Paradise. He gave them a beverage which threw them into a deep sleep, then carried them into the garden and made them be awakened. When any one of them opened his eyes, saw this delightful spot, and heard the delicious music and songs, he really believed himself in the state of blessedness. When again, however, he was asleep, he was brought out into the castle; when he awoke in great wonder, and felt deep regret at having left that delightful abode. He then went humbly to the Old Man, worshipping him as a prophet. The chief then named to him a great lord whom he wished him to kill. The youth cheerfully obeyed; and if in the act he was taken and put to death, he suffered with exultation, believing that he was to go into the happy place. . . . . Thus scarcely any one could escape being slain, when the Old Man of the Mountain desired it."


Marco Polo's account is corroborated by Arabian writers; and the historian Von Hanmer does not dispute its probable veracity. Sylvestre de Sacy has demonstrated that the word 'assassin' is a corruption of hashishin, and has provided us with much curious information on the subject of hashish. The following account of the discovery of the herb-or rather one of its discoveries, for we have seen that it was known to the ancients-is taken by M. Sylvestre de Sacy from the Arabic:

"In the year 658 [of the Hegira], I asked the Scheik Djafar Schirazi, the son of Mohammed, and monk of the order of Haïder, how the properties of this drug came to be discovered; and how, after being confined to the Fakirs, its use became general. This was his answer: 'Haïder, the chief of all the scheiks, practised many exercises of devotion and mortification. He took but little nourishment, carried his detachment from every thing belonging to the world to a surprising extreme, and was of the most extraordinary piety.. He himself lived alone in a corner of his convent, and there passed more than ten years without going out or seeing any one but myself. One very hot day the scheik went out alone into the country; and when he returned, we remarked an air of joy and cheerfulness on his countenance


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