Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

formation. The parents of the children were mostly agricultural laborers. The examiner was dealing with grammatical “diminutives," and particularly with the force of the suffix kin-e.g., mannikin, a little man, etc. On his asking the lads to give him a few examples of such "diminutives," a number of eager hands was soon raised. The gentleman, much gratified at such a ready response to his question, pointed to one of the lads for an answer. "Lambkin, a little lamb," was the reply. "Very good indeed," said the inspector; and he pointed to another lad, Tomkin, a little Tom," was the answer. The gentleman somewhat demurred at this, but finally accepted it. He then pointed to a further lad. Buskin, a little 'bus!" was the response. The inspector's countenance fell. 'Now, my lads," he pleaded, "do take time to think before you speak. The last answer was altogether wrong." And he pointed to a little yokel behind who, in his desperate eagerness to catch the inspector's eye, had ventured to half mount upon the form. "Well, you, my lad?" said the inspector, pointing at last to this young hopeful. "Pumpkin, sir, a little pump !"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"The Irish are so called because they live in the island of Ireland. It is a beautiful country as is chiefly noted for three prinsipal classes of things, which is namely, its great greenness, its big bogness, and its little sham. rocks. It says in our lesson books as green is the favorite color with all the Irish great and small classes. Shamrock is nothing but a little bit of green clover. But the Irish love it. They cant manyfacture things in Ireland same as we can in England, from a trackion ingin to a sowing needle. But still the Irish manyfacture the follering classes of things very exseedingly, namely, Linin, bacon, shop eggs, and whisky. The Irish are nearly as fond of bacon as they are of potatos; and as for that there whisky, the Irish love it. The hearts of the Irish, the book says, are all very warm. If you was walking out in the country and you met a pore man, you could easily tell whether he was an Irishman; for if he was an Irishman, he would perhaps be in a pashion and have a pig with him."

ANALYTICAL TABLE OF BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 1890.-The Academy remarks that the statistics of books published in the United States during 1889 show the same decrease, as compared with the figures for the preceding year, as the corresponding figures of the tables issued by the Publishers' Circular,

and adds at the end of the paragraph, We can only suggest that the wants of the reading public are becoming more and more satisfied with newspapers, reviews, and magazines, and that authors consequently find their own best market in the same field." This view is confirmed by the classified table of publications during 1890. The decrease in the number of new books and new editions is very nearly the same as that recorded for 1889. In educational works and books for the amusement of the young, we find higher figures. Of novels there are not quite so many as in 1889, and yet the reader of fiction has had provided for him almost three new novels per diem, besides one in a new edition for each week-day. Perhaps the most striking fact to note is that artistic works, whether new or in new editions, have dropped to about half the number put forth in the preceding year. Poetry at first sight seems to be idler, but the increased number of new editions shows that at all events public taste does not flag in that direction. Belles-lettres, too, as a class, does not suffer by comparison with the production of 1889. Here, too, the number of reprints is also in excess, showing that interest in pure literature or standard works is not on the decline. Lastly, books which have to be ranged under "miscellaneous" are greater in num. ber than those of 1889.-Publishers' Circular.

man.

"LIEUTENANT GRANT OF THOBAL❞ seems quite indisposed to look upon his gallant achievement as a final attempt to win glory at the cannon's mouth, or, indeed, as anything beyond a mere incident or accident of a soldier's career. When telegraphed to by the Viceroy in terms of congratulation and praise, he modestly replied that, with such men as he had with him, the work was easy. An answer worthy of a good soldier and a brave And only on Wednesday [week] the public read, to its sorrow, that one of those wounded in the attack on the Manipuris near Palel was young Grant, who probably was given a place in the expedition almost by prescriptive right. Our sincere sympathy is with Lieutenant Grant's father, Lieutenant-General Grant, to whom this untoward occurrence must be a great blow. We earnestly hope that the hardy young Scot, who held a little army in check for days with a mere handful of natives, will soon get over his wound, and once more resume the war-path, to which he seems to take with hereditary readiness.Broad Arrow.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

WE all recognize, more or less, the existence and raison d'être of the moral conscience, that factor which guides man's action, and bids him control his desires on the borderland, a little to one or other side, of his neighbor's interests. This restraining sense, which impels him to consider himself, not only in relation with his fellows, but likewise in his relation toward that higher man whom evolution sets before him as his model, and in whose shadowy presence he is ashamed, this restraining sense we allow to be a symptom of the healthy sensitiveness of the moral nature, and according to its degree of development and its condition of sensitiveness we consider the particular mind to which it belongs as being highly organized and in a state of health.

Some of us are born without any very great possessions in this direction. Some of us have permitted the healthy faculty

NEW SERIES.-VOL, LIV., No. 2

10

to atrophy by long disuse of the divers qualities of which it is composed, or we have rendered it tough and unimpressionable with the cicatrices of many wounds we have torn in its once delicate surface.

Whatsoever we may do in practice, theoretically we are all agreed as to the importance of developing to the full, and maintaining the vitality of this principle, which subtends our moral growth and progress. It is curious that equally with the existence of a moral conscience there has not also been discovered and described a physical conscience, whose duty toward the body is precisely the same as is that of the moral conscience toward the mind. The healthy moral conscience, with its vanguard the moral imagination, is ever aspiring to a higher level of action; and has not the body likewise a conscience which, in exactly the same way, strives to maintain the normal level, and, moreover,

aspires according to its ability to get higher planes of physical health? If we do a dishonorable deed, we suffer from shame and repentance; if we do some injury to the body, our physical conscience cries out in pain at the wrong inflicted. If our moral consciousness be properly indignant at our wrong-doing, it will not content itself with mere remorseful imaginings, nor is our bodily consciousness content with starting under the sense of injury, but sooner or later sets in motion a reparative process to rectify the results of accident.

We might imagine that the physical is superior to the moral conscience in that it seems generally to repair its wrongs; but, unfortunately, this is too often only seem ing; it unites the gaping wound, heals the patent injury, but in how few cases is it so sensitive and efficient that it rests not until the wrong has been fully rectified But too frequently it scamps its work, and puts in inferior material wherewith to unite the breach. The old scar breaks out afresh, after pretence for years of being healed; just as a man's sin, of which his smarting conscience had professed to cure him, breaks out anew in wrong-doing.

In how many cases of rheumatic fever, for example, does the body heal the inflamed joints, and so renew them that the victim does not suffer life-long miseries from his ill repaired tissues? The chronic rheumatism which is an almost invariable sequela of the acute illness is nature's life long outery against inferior material which has been put in by an unworthy physical conscience. Cancer very frequently takes its starting-point from the cicatrix of an old wound, a striking proof of the degenerate tissue which has been used for the repair of the wound, tissue which is not only greatly inferior to the material it simulates, but is such an alien that it turns and rends the body which nurtures it.

In all cases, and these are legion, in which acute disease passes into chronic, the physical conscience has failed in its duty; it has failed to keep up the physical standard, whose guardian it is; it has failed to supply, in the place of cells destroyed by disease, cells equal to these in character and vitality; like many a guilty moral consciousness, it spends the rest of its days in bemoaning and bewailing the

[blocks in formation]

Physiologically speaking, an important duty of each tissue is to reproduce tissue similar exactly in character and equal in quality to itself. Existence goes on with the continued destruction and renewal of those minute microscopic cells of which the body is composed. The body to-day is not the body of yesterday; the wear and tear of twenty-four hours' living has resulted in the disintegration and reconstruction of more or less of its cell constituents.

A change of air will stimulate a flagging conscience to a higher sense of duty, and it will fulfil its better possibilities by putting in material of healthier type. The result is a sense of renewed life, a raising of the vitality, a quickening of the nervous powers. We come back from a holiday literally another person. But presently the conscience falls into old lax ways, old indolent shiftless habits, and reconstructs the body, not on its original lines of health, not according to its better possibilities, but on the slipshod methods of a former defalcation. The benefit derived is only temporary; we sink back soon on to the same low health levels as heretofore. The fault lies largely with ourselves in having ever tolerated these levels, in not having brought the conscience to book, in not having demanded from the first the strict observance of its duty.

Recognizing the obligations and duty of this conscience, we should not permit its temporary aberrations to become habits. But how few of us ever give a thought to the conservation of our health and its maintenance at its highest possibilities until the demoralization of our physical conscience and its degraded levels are materially perilling the comfort of existence. And then it is too late. The relaxed tone out of which health's elasticity is more or less gone cannot be strung to its normal pitch, the bad habit has become the system's chronic condition. Not only has the power of aspiration perished, but it has lost footing even on the platform whence it should have aspired.

In many cases of acute illness the blame of this degeneration is not unshared by art, which steps in to incommode an already inefficient agent. Like the majesty of the law, which stretches out its mighty hand and incarcerates the transgressor,

who, repentant of his sins, was beginning to right the wrongs he had perpetrated, so also the majesty of medicine too often lays its mighty hand upon the tardy physical conscience, soothes its remorse with sedatives, dulls its sensitiveness with opiates, demands that it fulfil its repairing contract to time, and so impels it to fill in the breach with rough, unfinished material. There is no doubt but that we do harm by our indiscriminate relief of symptoms. Pain is a symptom of the sensitiveness of the nerves on guard at the seat of disease, and this very pain, "which mislikes us much," acts as a never-failing sentinel stimulating the brain to send its armament of healthy blood, its quantum of nutritive plasma, in order that the bodily structure be rightly and properly restored, restored on the plan of its original construction, so delicately, minutely, and perfectly, that no man may detect a weakened spot.

Medicine does well when she busies herself in stimulating and assisting a tardy, inefficient physical conscience; but she must surely do injury when she opposes the operations of a conscience which is healthily sensitive and active, and knows best along which lines the reparative process should proceed. We cannot blame the doctor because his patient ignorantly appeals to his sympathies against his own interests, but we must blame the art of medicine which does not teach both patient and doctor that the temporary inconvenience of a symptom must not be considered before the permanent interests of a life. The patient's query to his physician is not "How long should I remain in bed in order to restore my health to its original integrity ?" but "How long, O, you Esculapian tyrant, do you mean to keep me here?" He will not spare time for an absolute and perfect recovery; he has so little consideration for his body, upon the condition of which his future well-being depends, that instead of gratefully and religiously regarding its needs, he requires its warning cries to be stifled in order that he may work out his own further wreckage unhindered.

The natural outcome of this demand is that the doctor must perforce use all his art in so dulling the physical conscience and so blunting its sense of duty, that it no longer cries out at its wrongs and asks for restitution. The patient so treated

thereupon experiencing no further inconvenience from its importunities, exclaims "I am well;" just as we, having drugged our war-correspondents and put our telegraphic apparatus out of order, might, on opening our morning paper, remark, "Peace is restored, I see, because there is no news from the seat of war !"

It sounds paradoxical to say that disease is a normal healthy process, but this is strictly true. The phenomena of illness are the symptoms of a struggle which the system is making in order to throw off some injurious influence, or to give rest to some disabled organ. The sufferer who, without even temporarily losing his composure, can digest the bacillus taken into his stomach, calmly converting it into his own substance, and so turning it to his own uses, or in his lungs can comfortably oxygenate it into heat-producing fuel, is in a better state of health than is he who flies into a state of excitement, loses his head, and frets and fumes himself into a fever in bringing his forces to resist the attack; but this latter is immensely superior in health to another whose physical morale is at so low an ebb that it does not object to the noxious contact, but permits the entry of disease germs into its citadel, and their free admixture with and demoralization of its citizens.

Scarlet fever is the terrified cry of the childish physical conscience at the contact of the baleful germ; the innocent composure is startled, the sensitive balance overthrown. The tender skin glows with a vivid blush at the touch of the intruder ; the scarlet rash is the danger signal mounted by the sentinels of health, and at all these outposts a vigorous attempt is made to rout the foe.

Measles, diphtheria, typhoid, typhus, small-pox, all these are phenomena of resistance made by the constitution against some element of evil introduced into its midst; the various symptoms of these several affections arising from the action of the particular organs or glands to which the body deputes the task of dealing with the enemy.

In scarlet fever the skin and throat are made the points of exit of the foe, and in forcibly thrusting him through these gateways friction and congestion and damage result on the threshold. According to the speed with which he can be ejected,

is the limit of his time and opportunity to deteriorate and injure the general health; according to the denseness and violence of his numbers is the injury done on the threshold of his expulsion. The special garrison whose duty it was to get rid of him, may do so at the expense of its own existence. The foe may be thrust forth while the garrison is left blocked by the dead and dying, whose putrefaction and disintegration may poison the city it died in defending. This is according to the force and deadliness of the enemy, according to the quick sensitiveness of the conscience in perceiving his presence, its power of promptly and properly arraying its forces against him, and, last of all, of the healthy integrity and efficiency of the forces so arrayed.

In considering the question philosophically, we can but regard a large class of diseases as symptoms of a reactionary effort of health to throw out of the system some material or element inimical to it. The capacity for sickness is, therefore, in a degree, a test of health, in that it is a measure of the sensitiveness of the physical conscience. There are, of course, persons whose health is so perfect that their physical, like their moral, conscience is able to dispose calmly of the evils which threaten it; but there are more who only by a temporary uprising and loss of balance can so bring their strength to resist the ills that assail them. In still greater number are they whose physical, like their moral, consciences are not fastidious and do not trouble to fight the shadowy foes of ideal life, moral or physical.

Men who work in sewers but rarely suffer from typhoid fever and other similar diseases, to which noxious gases and noxious germs render other persons liable. They get used to it, and so it does not harm them, we say; but if we properly explain ourselves, we shall say that it is not because it does not harm them, but because their physical sense is so blunted by use that it is dumb under its injuries. For there can be no doubt but that the health must suffer. It is impossible to continually breathe poison into the lungs without suffering therefrom. The negative condition of not breathing in pure fresh supplies of oxygen is perverted into an absolute injurious position of contaminating the blood with fœtid gases. These men must suffer; by the very constitution

of the body and its needs they must suffer, even though they do not complain.

A man may sin and sin again, but we cannot argue that because he feels no remorse, because his blunted moral sense has ceased to warn him of and struggle against his soul's contamination, that therefore his evil-doing does not harm him. the contrary, we look upon him as in a far lower depth of moral ill-health than is he who sins and repents, and sins and repents, even though he sin unto seventy times seven.

On

Hospital nurses, just after return from a holiday, more frequently than any other time succumb to infectious disease. So long as they remain in the germ-laden, depressing hospital air, they are far less liable to infection. A rest and change to fresh, pure atmosphere raises the tone of the physical consciousness, makes it more appreciative of unwholesome influences, and it rises at once in healthy rebellion against these; whereas, in the deteriorated condition which hospitalism induces, the system tolerates and makes no protest against the germs which assail it. Such possibilities of tolerance are, of course, a sacrifice of individual welfare to general expediency, but let us recognize them as being only this; do not let us flatter ourselves that the victims of such necessities enjoy all life's advantages, and let us in justice to them lessen to the utmost the disadvantages of such necessitous circumstances.

66

We

Taking into consideration these facts, we cannot but wonder if the protection" offered us by the inoculators is not obtained by destroying the healthy innocence of the physical conscience. must remember that the inoculator cannot offer us freedom from attack; he promises only to blunt the conscience so that its composure shall not be disturbed when the attack is made. We must remember also that the reason for such disturbance of our composure, the reason we are so prostrated that we must take to our beds and suffer pain and thirst and fever, is because our forces are being used to vanquish a foe, because there is a struggle going on within us, real and intense, in order that this foe shall not injure the perfect citadel of our health.

But if no cry warn us that the invasion is made, if no gathering of our forces drain our strength, if no prostration allow

« AnteriorContinuar »