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our family, that the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should attack my sister and I mention it in confidence, upon this occasion, that she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism, and cramp, without making mention of other accidents—what would be the fate of our poor family? Must not the regret of our parents be excessive, at having placed so great a distance between sisters who are so perfectly equal? Alas! we must perish from distress: for it would not be in my power even to scrawl a suppliant petition for relief, having been obliged to employ the hand of another in transcribing the request which I have now the honour to prefer to you
Condescend, sirs, to make my parents sensible of the injustice of an exclusive tenderness, and of the necessity of distributing their care and affection among all their children equally.
I am, with profound respect,
THE LEFT HAND
The following essays strikingly illustrate the admirable wisdom and philanthropy of Dr. Franklin, and, if read practically, would, no doubt, greatly lessen the number both of PhYSICIANS and PATIENTS.
THE ART OF PROCURING PLEASANT
AS a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have sometimes pleasing, and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other, for whether real or imaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If, while we sleep, we can have pleasing dreams, it is so much clear gain to the pleasure of life.
To this end, it is, in the first place, necessary to be careful in preserving health--for, in sickness, the imas gination is disturbed; and disagreeable, sometimes terrible ideas are apt to present themselves. But for health our main dependance is on EXEROISE and TEMPERANCE These render the appetite sharp, the digestion easy, the body lightsome, and the temper cheerful, with sweet sleep and pleasant dreams. While indolence and full feeding wever fail to bring on loaded stomachs, with night mares and horrors-we fall from precipicesare stung by serpents-assaulted by wild beasts-irurderers_devils-with all the black train of unimaginable danger and wo. Temperance, then, is all-important to sweet sleep and pleasant dreaming. But a main point of temperance is to shun hearty suppers, which are indeed, not safe, even when dinner has been missed; what then must be the consequence of hearty suppers after full dinners? why ouly restless nig ts and frightful dreams; and sometimes a stroke of the apoplexy, after which they sleep till doomsday. The newspapers often relate instances of persons, who, after eating hearty suppers, are found dead in their beds vext morning.
Another grand mean of preserving health, is to admit a constant suppy of fresh air into your chamber. A more sad mistake was never committed than that of sleeping in tight rooms, and beds closely curtained. This las arisen from the dread of night air: But, after all the clamour and abuse that have been heaped on night air, it is very certain that no outward air, that may come in, is half so unwholesome as the air often breathed of a close chamber. As boiling water does not grow hotter by longer boiling, if the particles that receive greater heat can escape; so living bodies do not putrify, if the particles, as fast as they become putrid, can be thrown off. Nature expels them by the pores of the skin and lungs, and in a free open air, they are carried off; but, in a close room, we receive them again and again, though they become more and more corrupt. A number of persons crowded into a small room, thus spoil the air in a few minutes, and even render it mortal, as in the black hole at Calcutta.* A single person is said
In India, where out of 140 poor British prisoners shut up in a small small room, 120 of them perished in one night.
to spoil a gallon of air per minute, and therefore requires a longer time to spoil a chamber full; but it is done, however, in proportion, and many putrid disorders hence have their origin. It is recorded of Methu. salem, who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have best preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air; for when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to him, "arise, Methusalem, and build thee an house, for thou shalt live yet five hundred years longer." But Methusalem answered and said, "If I am to live but five hundred years longer, it is not worth while to build me an house--1 will sleep in the air, as I have been used to do." Physicians, after having for ages contended that the sick should not be indulged with fresh air, have at length discovered that it may do them good. It is therefore to be hoped that it is not hurtful to those who are in health, and that we may be then cured of the acrophobia that at present distresses weak minds, and makes them choose to be stifled and poisoned, rather than leave open the windows of a bed chamber, or put down the glass of a coach.
Confined air, when saturated with perspirable matter,* will not receive more; and that matter must remain in our bodies, and occasion diseases; but it gives some previous notice of its being about to be hurtful, by producing certain uneasinesses which are difficult to describe, and few that feel know the cause.
But we may recollect, that sometimes, on waking in the night, we have, if warmly covered, found it difficult to get asleep again. We turn often without finding repose in any position. This fidgetiness, to 'use a vulgar expression for the want of a better, is occasioned wholly by an uneasiness in the skin, owing to the retention of the perspirable matter, the bed clothes having received their quantity, and, being saturated, refusing to take any
When you are awakened by this uneasiness, and find you cannot easily sleep again, get out of bed, beat up and turn your pillow, shake the bed clothes well, with at least twenty shakes, then throw the bed open, and leave it to cool; in the meanwhile, continuing undrest, walk about your chainber, till your skin has had time to discharge its load, which it will do sooner as the air may be drier and colder. "When you begin to foel the cool air unpleasant, then return to your bed, and you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep will be swret and pleasant. All the scenes presented by your fancy, will be of the pleasing kind. I am often as agreeably entertained with them, as by the scenery of an opera. If you happen to be too indolent to get out of bed, you may instead of it, lift up your bed clothes so as to draw in a good deal of fresh air, and, by letting them fall, force it out again. This, repeated twenty tiw.es, will so clear them of the perspirable matter they have imbibed, as to permit your sleeping well for some time afterwards. But this latter method is not equal to the former.
* What physicians call the perspirable matter, is that vapour which passes off from our bodies,
from the lungs and through the pores of the skin. The quantity of this is said to be five-eighths of what we eat.
Those who do not love trouble, and can afford to have two beds, will find great luxury in rising, when they wake in a hot bed,
and going into the cool one. Such shifting of beds, would be of great service to persons ill in a fever; as it refreshes and frequentiy procures sleep. A very large bed, that will admit a removal so distant froin the first situation as to be cool and sweet, may in a degree answer the same end.
These are the rules of the art. But though they wilt generally prove effectual in produciog the end intended, there is a case in which the most punctual ob. servance of them will be totally fruitless. This case is, when the person who desires to have pleasant dreams has not taken care to preserve, what is necessary above all things-A GOOD CONSCIENCE.
ON THE ART OF SWIMMING.
THE exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in the world. After having swam an hour or two in the evening, one sleeps coolly the whole night, even during the most ardent heat of summer,
It is cer
Perhaps the pores being cleansed, the insensible perspiration increases, and occasions this coolness. tain that much swimming is the means of stopping a diarrica and even of producing a con t tation.
With respect to those who do not know how to win, or who are affected with a diarrhea at the srason which does pot permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by clearising and purifying th skin, is found very saiutary, and often effects a radical cure. I speak from my own experie ce, frequently repeated, and that of others, to whom I have recommended this.
You will not be dispreased it I conclude these hasty remarks by informirig you, that as the orinary method of swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and legs, and is consequently a laborious and fatiguing operation, when the space of water to be crossed is considerable; there is a method in which a swinimer may pass a great distance with much facility, by means of a sail. This discovery I fortunately made by accident, and in the following manner.
When I was a boy, Lamused mysrlf one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the bank of a pond, wbich was near a inile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite ascended to a very considerab e height, above the pood, while I was swunming. In a little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my kite, and enjoying at the same tiine the pleasure of swimming, I returned, and loosing from the stake the string, with the little stick fastened to it, went ayali. into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back, and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond to the other side, I began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally to halt a litt e in my course, and resist its progress, when it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much, by doing which occasionally I made it rise again. I have never since that time practised this singular mode of swimming, though I think it not impossible to cross, in this manner, from Dover to Calais. The packet boat, however, is still preferable.