Reading about leeches today in the library. This image is a detail from a book published in 1816 about the medicinal leech. Another book from 1798 tells of an unfortunate young lady in India “a story is related of a girl being alone,espied a soldier at some distance, who she thought meant to approach her, when, in order to escape his observations ran and hid herself behind some bushes, surrounded by a swamp, filled with leeches, when so great a number fattened upon her, as to occasion her death. The fear of the soldier, no doubt, being greater than the alarm caused by the leeches, she was thereby confined in her situation so long as to afford the leeches opportunity to make vast depredations upon the skin.” What a tragic story!


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