Table of Contents / Preface (1 references)
I went, directed by Heaven no doubt: for in this chest I found a cure both for soul and body. I opened the chest, and found what I looked for, viz. the tobacco; and as the few books I had saved lay there too, I took out one of the Bibles which I mentioned before, and which to this time I had not found leisure, or so much as inclination, to look into. I say, I took it out, and brought both that and the tobacco with me to the table. What use to make of the tobacco I knew not, as to my distemper, nor whether it was good for it or not; but I tried several experiments with it, as if I was resolved it should hit one way or other. I first took a piece of a leaf, and chewed it in my mouth; which, indeed, at first, almost stupified my brain; the tobacco being green and strong, and such as I had not been much used to. Then I took some and steeped it an hour or two in some rum, and resolved to take a dose of it when I lay down: and, lastly, I burnt some upon a pan of coals, and held my nose close over the smoke of it as long as I could bear it; as well for the heat, as almost for suffocation. In the interval of this operation, I took up the Bible, and began to read; but my head was too much disturbed with the tobacco to bear reading, at least at that time; only, having opened the book casually, the first words that occurred to me were these: "Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." These words were very apt to my case; and made some impression upon my thoughts at the time of reading them, though not so much as they did afterwards; for, as for being _delivered_, the word had no sound, as I may say, to me; the thing was so remote, so impossible in my apprehension of things, that, as the children of Israel said when they were promised flesh to eat, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?" so I began to say, Can even God himself deliver me from this place? And as it was not for many years that any hopes appeared, this prevailed very often upon my thoughts: but, however, the words made a great impression upon me, and I mused upon them very often. It now grew late; and the tobacco had, as I said, dozed my head so much, that I inclined to sleep: so I left my lamp burning in the cave, lest I should want any thing in the night, and went to bed. But before I lay down, I did what I never had done in all my life; I kneeled down, and prayed to God to fulfil the promise to me, that if I called upon him in the day of trouble, he would deliver me. After my broken and imperfect prayer was over, I drank the rum in which I had steeped the tobacco; which was so strong and rank of the tobacco, that indeed I could scarce get it down: immediately upon this I went to bed. I found presently the rum flew up into my head violently; but I fell into a sound sleep, and waked no more till, by the sun, it must necessarily be near three o'clock in the afternoon the next day: nay, to this hour I am partly of opinion, that I slept all the next day and night, and till almost three the day after; for otherwise, I know not how I should lose a day out of my reckoning in the days of the week, as it appeared some years after I had done; for if I had lost it by crossing and re-crossing the Line, I should have lost more than one day; but certainly I lost a day in my account, and never knew which way. Be that, however, one way or the other, when I awaked I found myself exceedingly refreshed, and my spirits lively and cheerful: when I got up, I was stronger than I was the day before, and my stomach better, for I was hungry; and, in short, I had no fit the next day, but continued much altered for the better. This was the 29th.