It is painful to relate that twice in the course of the year which followed the publication of this great work he was arrested and carried to sponging-houses, and that he was twice indebted for his liberty to his excellent friend Richardson.
Bishop Heber described them as follows: - "The country is burdened with a crowd of lazy, profligate, self-called sawars (cavaliers), who, though many of them are not worth a rupee, conceive it derogatory to their gentility and Pathan blood to apply themselves to any honest industry, and obtain for the most part a precarious livelihood by sponging on the industrious tradesmen and farmers, on whom they levy a sort of blackmail, or as hangers-on to the wealthy and noble families yet remaining in the province.
If his body be left uncovered except by the sheet or blanket thrown over the cradle, the loss of heat is still greater, and it may be much increased by sponging the surface with either hot or cold water so as to leave it slightly moist and increase evaporation.
When the temperature continues to rise in spite of wet sponging and cradling, recourse must be had to the cold bath.
Contributions towards setting the poor to work, erecting the Royal Exchange, cleansing the city ditch, discovering new countries, furnishing military and naval armaments, for men, arms and ammunition for the defence of the city, are among what Herbert calls the sponging expedients of the government.
Sponging the body with very dilute solutions of sulphuric acid is useful to diminish the night-sweats of phthisis.