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He saw an Apothecary, on a white horse,
Ride by on his avocations;
And the Devil was tickled for it put him in mind
Of Death in the Revelations.
Click for full size. As you can see, all effort was put into making Joanna Southcott as awful as possible. Ms. Southcott was a self-styled prophetess, and claimed to be pregnant at 64 years of age, and died shortly afterward. It would seem she was held to be nothing more than a con by the medical establishment, with little consideration that she might actually believe all the nonsense she preached. The depiction of her is certainly nothing at all like her actual appearance (there’s a photo at the link.)
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The Walcheren Campaign involved little fighting, but heavy losses from the sickness popularly dubbed “Walcheren Fever”. Although more than 4,000 British troops died during the expedition, only 106 died in combat; the survivors withdrew on 9 December. […] Along with the 4,000 men that had died during the campaign, almost 12,000 were still ill by February 1810 and many others remained permanently weakened. Those sent to the Peninsular War to join Wellington’s army caused a permanent doubling of the sick lists there.
As for ‘Look Ass Peeps’ (Lucas Pepys):
In 1794 Pepys was made physician-general to the army, and was president of an army medical board, on which it was his duty to nominate all the army physicians. When so many soldiers fell ill of fever at Walcheren, he was ordered to go there and report. As a consequence the board was abolished; but Pepys was granted a pension.
2: confusion, muddle
[Origin: one of a number of similar-sounding reduplicated words in use around this time and meaning much the same thing, including hucker-mucker, which may be the original of the bunch if the root is, as some think, Middle English mukre “to hoard up, conceal.”]
2: of a confused or disorderly nature: jumbled.
“No, her book would hold a dark mirror to such conceits. Since Mother Eve’s day, women had whispered of herb lore and crafty potions, the wise woman’s weapons against the injustices of life; a life of ill treatment, the life of a dog. If women were to be kicked into the kitchen they might play it to their advantage, for what was a kitchen but a witch’s brewhouse? Men had no notion of what women whispered to each other, hugger-mugger by the chimney corner; of treaclish syrups and bitter pods, of fat black berries and bulbous roots. – A Taste for Nightshade, Martine Bailey.