CHAP. 18.—PARTICULARS RELATIVE TO THE ASP.
The sting of the asp takes deadly effect by causing torpor
and drowsiness. Of all serpents, injuries inflicted by the asp
are the most incurable; and their venom, if it comes in contact
with the blood or a recent wound, produces instantaneous death.
If, on the other hand, it touches an old sore, its fatal effects
are not so immediate. Taken internally, in however large a
quantity, the venom is not injurious,1
as it has no corrosive properties; for which reason it is that the flesh of animals killed
by it may be eaten with impunity.
I should hesitate in giving circulation to a prescription for
injuries inflicted by the asp, were it not that M. Varro, then
in the eighty-third year of his age, has left a statement to the
effect that it is a most efficient remedy for wounds inflicted by
this reptile, for the person stung to drink his own urine.