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A Magazine of General Literature.

Vol. 2. -- 1869. -- Issue 23.

Effects of Hashish

by Captain E. Burton

I HAVE often taken the drug, rather for curiosity to discover what its attractions might be, than for aught of pleasurable excitement I have ever experienced. The taste of the potion is exactly what a mixture of milk, sugar, pounded black pepper, and a few spices would produce. The first result is a contraction of the nerves of the throat, which is any thing but agreeable. Presently the brain becomes affected; you feel an extraordinary lightness of head, as it were; your sight settles upon one object, obstinately refusing to abandon it; your other senses become unusually acute -- uncomfortably sensible -- and you feel a tingling which shoots like an electric shock down your limbs till it voids itself through the extremities. You may stand in the burning sunshine without being conscious of heat, and every sharp pain is instantly dulled. Your cautiousness and your reflective organs are painfully stimulated; you fear every thing and everybody, even the man who shared the cup with you, and the servant who prepared it; you suspect treachery everywhere, and in the simplest action detect objects the most complexedly villanous. Your thoughts become wild and incoherent, your fancy runs frantic. If you happen to exceed a little, the confusion of your ideas and the disorder of your imagination will become intense. I recollect on one occasion being persuaded that my leg was revolving upon its knee as an axis, and could distinctly feel as well as hear it strike against and pass through the shoulder during each revolution. Any one may make you suffer agony by simply remarking that a particular limb must be in great pain, and you catch at every hint thrown out to you, nurse it and cherish it with a fixed and morbid eagerness that savors strongly of insanity. This state is a very dangerous one, especially to a novice; madness and catalepsy being by no means uncommon terminations to it. If an assembly are under the influence of the drug, and a single individual happen to cough or to laugh, the rest, no matter how many, are sure to follow his example. The generally used restoratives are a wineglassful of pure lemon-juice, half a dozen cucumbers eaten raw, and a few puffs of the hookah; you may conceive the state of your unhappy stomach after the reception of these remedies. Even without them you generally suffer from severe indigestion, for, during the intoxication, the natural hunger which the hashish produces excites you to eat a supper sufficient for two days with ordinary circumstances.