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vision, but in vain. From that time to the present, more than ten years, he has remained color blind.
The use of tobacco is frequently productive of the impairment of eyesight among students. The sedentary habits of the student render him unfit to resist the injurious effect of this drug upon the nervous and glandular systems. That tobacco frequently produces amaurosis can be proved by the most credible authority. We have, this very month, been called to prescribe for a case of amaurosis evidently produced by the use of tobacco. This patient has improved by simple abstinence. He was such an inveterate smoker that he rose in the night to indulge in his pipe. Such cases are not unfrequent. This subject is considered at length in the volume before referred to.
The want of sufficient sleep is often the cause of the failure of eyesight. No one can spend so profitably one third of his time as in sleep. It preserves the mind from insanity, and secures nervous equilibrium. Few scholars should do with less than eight hours. It is improper to continue severe studies quite up to the hour of rest. The hour preceding sleep should not be spent in study.
INDIGESTION AND STIMULANTS. Indigestion is a frequent cause of disturbed vision. The reflecting reader needs no proof of this. The stomach has been called the second nervous center. All dyspeptics experience difficulties in the use of their eyes during times of peculiar derangement of the stomach. The scholar must keep on good terms with this organ if he would employ his eyes to the best advantage. There are many in the ministry who are not less dyspeptic than Timothy, and might find a prescription among the teachings of Paul. On this subject says an eminent writer :* “In the present state of public opinion on this subject there is comparatively little danger of the abuse of alcoholic drinks on the part of educated men, and especially of those * Dr. Bethune, Bibliotheca Sacra, April
called by their position to set an example of temperance. We are not so sure that, so far as the health of the individual is concerned, the error in many instances is not on the other side. The majority of those exposed to diseases of the eye are persons whose ordinary state of health would be called, in State-street, somewhat under par.” However, ever since Solomon sung of him who has redness of eyes,' inflamed optics have furnished the most indubitable evidence of excess.
The great Boerhaave remarks that “to say that any one article of food is wholesome or unwholesome, without knowing the constitution of the one for whom it is intended, is like a sailor saying that the wind is fair or unfair without knowing the port whither he is bound.” Indigestible articles variously affect different persons; shell-fish seems oftenest to produce a direct influence upon the eyesight. Beer, the German ocnlist, after alluding to the effects of indigestion, says: “The daily practice of every oculist is filled with coincident experience.”
Mental disquietude, though probably impossible to prevent in this world of care and anxiety, is often a cause of deranged vision. It is a great art, which very few, alas ! ever learn, to be always tranquil in this perturbed and disquieting world. Study and thought make men sensitive, and peculiarly exposes them to unrest.
SOME EYES BETTER THAN OTHERS.
It should never be forgotten that some eyes, without regard to constitutional peculiarities, will endure more wear and tear than others. Beer, the great German author so frequently referred to, observes :* “ The power of the eye increases in proportion to the lightness of the eye, and, on the contrary, diminishes in proportion to its degree of blackness. For example, dark blue eyes support much less expenditure of vision than the gray, and brown eyes can endure much less straining than the dark blue.” He further remarks, that of a hundred men who have black eyes, scarcely one can be found who is altogether contented with his sight. This rule has exceptions; but it furnishes a valuable guide with regard to the power of the endurance of the eyes in individual
* Pflege gesunder and geschwächter Augen.
ANOTHER CAUSE OF FAILURE OF EYESIGHT. Our paper would be imperfect unless allusion is made to some subjects difficult to write about. The excessive indulgence in venereal pleasures, as well as illegitimate abuse among youth, unfits the eyes for labor, and tends permanently to destroy their usefulness. This is especially true if conjoined to a habit of using tobacco in feeble subjects. We must learn to “ use this world as not abusing it.”
USE AND ABUSE OF GLASSES. VI. Mistakes in relation to the use of glasses frequently produces derangement and loss of vision. This article has been too much extended already to permit us to enter upon the discussion of this subject. It is full of importance; but to do it justice would require much space. We must refer again to the volume before-mentioned, after making a few suggestions :
1. Glasses should not be adopted without consideration and advice, and should be purchased only of reliable parties.
2. The lowest power that will answer the purpose should be selected, and no change should be made without advice.
3. It is dangerous to delay their use when required.
4. Colored glasses are seldom proper, and never except for a temporary purpose.
CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS. In order to enjoy healthy eyes, it is necessary to guard with care the general health. The student must sit in a pure atmosphere. He should frequently breathe the out-door air. He should use cold water bathing, if it does not disagree with him, in order to invigorate the nervous system. He should frequently change his position and vary his labor. His dress should be easy. His hat-brim should be wide. He should have regard to the condition of his stomach and bowels. He should employ his eyes sufficiently, but not immoderately. The eyes may be injured by too little as well as too much labor. As before said, overwork is one of the peculiar dangers to which the student is exposed. Above all things, do not tamper with the eyes when diseased, but seek at once competent advice and implicitly follow it. No reliance is to be placed upon empirical remedies or accidental advising. No local remedy is safe, except water, warm or cold, and this not always, if used in excess. The best guide to the usefulness of this remedy is the effect produced. If grateful, it may be regarded as proper and useful. Dr. Weller says: * " The reader will sadly
. err if he supposes that he has done all which is needful for his eyes when he has observed the prescriptions which concerns them immediately. He must pay attention to his general health. The eyes are so intimately connected with the human body, that nearly all the errors which affect it injuriously influence them also. Hippocrates meant to express this idea when he said : Ita valet corpus sicut valent oculi. Therefore, he who would enjoy continued health and soundness of vision, must regard as sacred all the rational laws of health.”
ART. VII. — GODWIN'S HISTORY OF FRANCE.
The History of France. By PARKE GODWIN. Vol. I. (Ancient
Gaul.) 8vo., pp. 495. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1860.
The origin and progress of the French people is of paramount interest and import to the student, whether attracted by mere curiosity, or by the hope of obtaining just conclusions in regard to the social and political changes of Europe. Their ardent and versatile genius, their impressible heart and ready hand, have always taken a leading part in these mutations. In arms, arts, and councils, their influence is felt throughout the civilized world. Ever ready for the initiative, even when most novel or perilous, they have tested all systems, and staked their wellbeing on the most diverse theories. So much are their examples and sympathy regarded, that when their streets are closed with barricades, and resound with republican songs, revolution flies over Europe; and the people's cause languishes and falls when it can draw no nourishment from French soil, and no encouragement from French arms and diplomacy. Monarchs and people alike watch with anxiety the tortuous and uncertain course of French policy; and to circumscribe its power and repress its activity, the map of Europe has been repeatedly recast. To trace the origin and career of this remarkable nation, and the effects of its differential qualities upon the progress of European civilization, would a priori appear a most inviting study. But these researches acquire multiplied interest from even a cursory glance at the immense field over which the journey extends. History never taught by more gigantic examples, held up more glaring beacons, or manifested the energy of human nature by more brilliant and more terrible results, than in the crowded diverse and tumultuous past of the French people. The historian and the philosopher, burdened by its great significance, almost despair of accomplishing even a suggestive portraiture or analysis. As the prehistoric mists drift away from the Gallic forest, two savage races, the one dark and little, the other tall and fair, are struggling for the mastery, the former sullenly backing to the marshes and promontories of the Atlantic coast. Some rays of Greek civilization gleam into the obscurity from the port of Marseilles. The Roman empire next extends its laws and progress over these western wilds, and Gaul can boast its cities adorned with marble baths and theaters, its transalpine institutions, habits, vices, and decay. Some huge blind impulse stirs in distant Asia, and soon the great Cimmerian ocean “heaving to the tempest's wing,” rolls its barbaric billows upon the devoted shore. From the Alps, the Belgian plain, and the gloomy Hercynian forest, age after age they sweep down, some to fall back from Aix and Chalons, oftener to remain settling from the vast crash and whirl of bloody con fusion into sedimentary strata of the great social formation which is to rise above that tossing chaos. Feudalism reduces society to some degree of order, but degrades the productive classes, who combine for self-protection into guilds and burghs, able to resist feudal violence. The systematic oppression and chronic warfare of feudalism are, in some measure, mitigated by the Church, which in this age of action deals actively with its children, and protects, intervenes, and censures with sword as often as with prayer. Religious and mil
* Diätetik für gesunde und schwache Augen.