Sneezing, a convulsive motion of the muscles of the breast, which is caused by the irritation of the membrane lining the nose ; by acrid, pungent matters floating in the air; or by certain drugs denominated sternutatories or errhines; and in consequence of which, the air is expelled through the nostrils, with a certain loud, hissing report.
This muscular agitation arises, either from external or internal stimulants : in the former case, it is occasioned by the odour of snuff, sweet-marjorum, thyme, etc. inhaled through the nostrils : in the latter, it is induced by the acrimony of the lymph, which moistens the nasal membrane. The matter expelled by sneezing, is derived primarily from the nose and throat; a mucus being continually exuded into those parts from the pituitary integument; and secondarily from the breast and lungs.
Sneezing may be advantageously excited by the use of sternutatories, in certain affections of the head, eyes, etc, or, when foreign bodies have accidentally been introduced into the nostrils of children : such remedies, however, ought to be resorted to with caution frequent a repetition of that convulsive effort, will eventually weak-en the sense of smelling, or induce bleedings from the nose.
SNipe the Common, or Scolopax gallinago, L. a bird of passage, of which there are more than forty varieties, mostly breeding in Europe, and subsisting on insects. Some of these wild-fowl frequent moors, others delight in swampy bushes, and still others in the open fields. The two first classes are common in Britain, especially during the summer, and sometimes throughout the year. They seldom exceed four ounces in weight, and are, together with their long bill, from 10 to 12 inches in length : the breast and belly are white ; the back is covered with long feathers, beautifully variegated with black and reddish-brown spots.
Snipes are most frequent oh lofty mountains, and in moors, bogs, or marshy situations; where they construct their nests of dried grass, and lay. four dusky olive-coloured eggs. They may be easily taken, by placing in their haunts, twigs birch covered with bird-lime various directions : when one of the birds is caught, the sportsman should not be too hasty in remov-it; cause the creature will feed ig beneath its wing. and thus decoy numerous other snipes. But the most usual methods of obtaining these birds, are by means of nets, and by the gun, in months of November or Decem-ber, being then very fat: and, as they always move against the wind, the fowler ought to himself in the same direction; because they will then fly towards him, and consequently present a fair mark, at which he may aim with some prospect of success.
Snipes possess a most delicate flavour ; on account of which they are highly esteemed at the tables of the opulent ; who prefer them to partridges: but, as the former bird is eaten together with its intestines, which contain many stimulant insects, etc it has been justly supposed, tint the frequent indulgence in such food, is apt to induce the gout, or at least to accelerate its paroxysms.