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untiring and a sworn enemy of dirt. The farmer is devout and his wife godly, but the home is unhappy, because childless, a "mysterious dispensation of Providence" having carried off the children at successive periods, and the farmer and his wife are devotees of a quack nostrum, the alleged virtues of which are solemnly set forth in astonishingly large and clear type in the family "almanac," with the usual and customary certificates of the clergy attached. Do you know a like family? If so, it will be a christian charity to tell the master about his well, and urge him to provide a storehouse for his vegetables, and the mistress to air her bed-chambers. This done, the next census may not show all the gain in population at the South, (where the use of cistern water is more common and the houses are ventilated,) and quack nostrums may then in truth become a drug upon the market.
I am inclined to think that the Malthusian laughs in his sleeve when he contemplates the popular
practice in cases of whooping cough, scarlet-fever, and measles, for he knows that as soon as any little patient has passed the dangerous stage of either of these diseases, he will be allowed to run about the street to infect other children, and that in the number thus infected, death may claim a royal harvest. Epidemics of scarlet-fever and the infantile diseases may be kept alive indefinitely by a careful exposure of the children in this way; and if this fails, the young convalescent may be sent to Sunday school. He will there have opportunity to infect a great many more little ones than he possibly could on the street. Seriously, and without satire, there is a most lamentable laxity in the matter of quarantining or confining indoors, until all danger of communicability is passed, children suffering from these contagious diseases. The physician in attendance should be consulted on this point, and his advice followed.
A physician is certainly culpable who, in the light of modern teaching, allows a patient with a
contagious disease to infect the remainder of the children in the household without warning. All such patients should be carefully isolated, and the other children kept out of harm's way, or, what is better, sent away from the house until the danger is over. Then let the bedding and clothing used about the patient be destroyed, the bed-room fumigated, and if there is paper on the wall, let it be removed and newly papered; have the carpet steamed and cleansed, and all reasonable precautions will have been taken. The temptation is strong upon me, before closing, to write here how much the power of whooping-cough, as a slayer of children, is underrated; but I shall not do so now. It is not intended to give too much information in this little book; for it is not well to give or receive too much cake for a shilling.
In beginning my remarks, I took occasion to say that the relative duration of the vital spark is in inverse ratio to its intensity, and implied that if one wished long life, he must moderate his emotions and passions. It is equally necessary to be moderate in everything. Pope said:
"Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Montaigne, while recognizing the law of moderation, bewailed its necessity. "Both "spiritual and corporal physicians," he says, "by compact betwixt themselves, can find no "other way to cure, nor other remedy for the "infirmities of the body and the soul, than what "is oft times worse than the disease, by torment“ing us more, and by adding to our misery and “pain."
Those who have lived to the greatest age in modern times have usually been those who have been moderate in all things pertaining to their daily life. Temperate eating and drinking, placid temper, moderate work, and moderate play are the talismanic actions that open the gate to the way of long life. May you, dear reader, walk therein, and I echo from my heart the toast of Rip Van Winkle:
"May you live long and prosper!"