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putting an end to a fit of intoxication, by making, doubtless, an impression on the heart and causation, when a sense of danger, or a piece of good or bad news, suddenly communicated, sobers a person on a sudden."
"I have heard," observed the merry-faced guest, "that moving about changing from one seat into another-will check the effects of liquor; and I have known persons who have left a social party perfectly sober, become suddenly tipsy in the open air. How is this to be explaiend ?"
"Precisely on the same principle," answered the Doctor; upon leaving an overheated room, on your returning homewards, you expose yourself to an atmosphere many degrees below that you have just left. The cold checks the circulation on the surface of the body; the blood is driven inwards; it accumulates, consequently, in the internal organs; and sometimes its pressure is such on the brain, as to produce on a sudden the very last stage of intoxication. The limbs refuse to support their burthen, and the person falls down in a state of profound insensibility."
"I have recently," said the Host," read in the Police Reports several cases of this description; and imagined that some narcotic drug must have been mixed with the liquor drank by such persons. Adulterations of some sort must go on to a frightful extent in gin-palaces."
"Not by any means," answered the Dootor," to the extent you suppose. It is said that the spirit-dealer makes his whisky or gin bead by adding a little turpentine to it. Well! what then? Turpentine is a very healthy diuretic. It is given to infants to kill worms in very large doses. Then, again, vitriol is spoken of; but so strong is sulphuric acid, that it would clearly render these spirits quite unpalatable. I do not affirm that the art of adulteration may not occasionally be had recourse to, even with criminal inten
tions, for such cases have been brought under the notice of the authorities; but I do not believe the practice is so general as some persons suppose. I apprehend dilution is a more general means of fraud.
"It has often occurred to me," said the Clergyman, "that our municipal regulations might, on this subject, be much improved. Our Excise officers enter the cellars of the wholesale and retail spirit dealer, only to gauge the strength of the spirit, and to ascertain how much it may be overproof, which alone regulates the Government duty; but for the sake of the public health I would go further than this. If a butcher be found selling unhealthy meat; a fishmonger, bad fish; or a baker cheat in the weight of bread, they severally have their goods confiscated, and are fined; and so far the public is protected. But the authorities seem not to care what description of poison is sold across the counter of gin-palaces—an evil which may easily be remedied. I would put the licensed victualler on the same level with the butcher and fishmonger: and if he were found selling adulterated spirits, and the charge were proved against him by the same having been fairly analyzed, he, too, should be liable to be fined, or even lose his license. The public health is, upon this point, at present, utterly unprotected."
"Some such measure," observed the Host, "might be advantageously adopted; but I confess that I do not advocate the prohibition principle; instead of preaching a Crusade against the use of any particular article, whether of necessity or comfort, let us educate the people, and improve their social condition by inculcating sound moral principles; they will soon learn that habits of industry and temperance can alone insure them and their children happiness and
prosperity; and in so doing you will teach a sound, practi- cal, permanent lesson."
"But," interrupted the Clergyman, "if we continue the conversation longer, we shall ourselves become transgressors; the stirrup-cup' is drained: much remains doubtless to be said respecting the evils, physical and moral, which arise from intemperance; but let us now adjourn."
"With all my heart!" said the Host," and now,' to all and each, a fair good night!'"
UR health and happiness depend very much on the way in which we regulate our lives. Strange as it may appear, there is a discipline which should be observed in our sleeping, as well as in our waking hours. But, after all, what is sleep? "It is so like death," said Sir Thomas Browne, "that I cannot trust myself to it without my prayers." Our medical philosophers puzzle themselves in vain to account for it; and move about in a circle of truisms, reminding us of the kitten described by Goethe, everlastingly playing with its own tail. There is no better description given of the approach of sleep than that which we find in one of Leigh Hunt's papers in the "Indicator."
"It is a delicious moment certainly, that of being well nestled in bed, and feeling that you shall drop gently to sleep. The good is to come-not past; the limbs have been just tired enough to render the remaining in one posture delightful: the labor of the day is done. A gentle failure of the perceptions comes creeping over one; the spirit of consciousness disengages itself more and more with slow and hushing degrees, like a mother detaching her hand from that of her sleeping child; the mind seems to have a balmy lid closing over it, like the eye;-'tis closing-'tis
more closing 'tis closed. The mysterious spirit has gone to take its airy rounds." But what is the immediate cause of sleep?-Let us explain.
There can be no doubt that a certain amount of nervous energy is necessary to support the activity of the body; and when this is exhausted by the exertions of the day, the organs of animal life become fatigued, and unable any longer to perform their functions. Hence their prostration, arising from the want of their usual nervous stimulus, superinduces a state of sleep. The perception of external objects becomes confused; the eyes grow dim; the lids drop, in spite of every effort to uphold them; then the muscles of the back and neck relax their tension; the head falls forwards, or to one side or the other, and the body sinks, as far as circumstances will permit, into a horizontal position. But the sense of hearing remains for a period after that of sight; so that we may hear the conversation of persons around us, long after we are able to perceive their gestures, and discriminate the object of their remarks. In this. half-waking, half-sleeping condition, which the French call "demi-sommeil," we may remain as in a pleasing reverie, for some time, until sleep absorbs the last glimmering of consciousness. Now, if this state arise, as we believe it does, from a deficiency or exhaustion of nervous energy, the more perfectly developed we shall find the nervous system, the greater will be the amount of sleep required to recruit the animal strength. Let us take a glance through the different gradations of the Animal Kingdom.
If we begin with Insects we shall find that although many, like the common housefly, remain for months in a state of torpidity, yet they may continue wakeful and cheerful throughout the year-in fact, they scarcely sleep at all. We shall next observe that in fishes the nervous