How the Cold is a Disguise for Inebriation of All Kinds

April 6, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

written by Captain Parry (whom Lily finds quite dashing)

HU062371

also excerpted from The Captain’s Log (c. 1821) and to be published in our forthcoming publication The North Georgia Gazette.

The effect which exposure to severe frost has, in benumbing the mental as well as the corporeal faculties, was very striking in this man, as well as in two of the young gentlement who returned after dark, and of whom we were anxious to make inquiries respecting Pearson.  When I sent for them into my cabin, they looked wild, spoke thick and indistinctly, and it was impossible to draw from them a rational answer to any of our questions.  After being on board for a short time, the mental faculties appeared gradually to return with the returning circulation, and it was not till then that  looker-on could easily persuade himself that they had not been drinking too freely.  To those who have been much accustomed to cold countries this will be no newe remark; but I cannot help thinking (and it is with this view that I speak of it) that many a man may have been punished for intoxication, who was only suffering from the benumbing effects of frost; for I have more than once seen our people in a state so exactly resembling that of the most stupid intoxication, that I should certainly have charged them with that offence, had I not been quite sure that no possible means were afforded them on Melville Island, to procure any thing stronger than snow-water.  In order to guard in some measure against the danger of persons losing their way, which was more and more to be apprehended as the days became shorter, and the ground more covered with snow, which gives such a dreary sameness to the country, we erected on all the hills within two or three miles of the harbour, finger-posts pointing towards the ships.

sokolow_pg1_parry

artwork by Deb Sokolow

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One Response to “How the Cold is a Disguise for Inebriation of All Kinds”


  1. […] at the time…just ask any of our fine interns who had the task of transcribing the entire Georgia Gazette. Really, ask them. They’re still a little angry about it. As to why they were parentheses as […]


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