7 -' "'-;p)-' -- .
SNEW SERIES OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS,
By the EDITORS of the FAMILY ECONOMIST,
t_4rin for ummrur Inff nu
THEsE beautifill little Stories are admirably
adapted for presents and school prizes. They
are lively, interesting, instructive, and moral.
Each Story is illustrated with well-executed
engravings. They are among the best and
cheapest Books for Children published.
CARL THORN'S REVENGE.
RIGHT IS RIGHT, PART I.
RIGHT IS RIGHT, PART II.
WILLIAM TELL, THE HERO OF SWITZERLAND.
SWI.HING AND WORKING.
The aboRe ine One T ol., eat Wrapper, price Is.
LOST AND FOUND.
LITTLE TIM AND HIS FRIEND THE COBBLER.
THE STORY OF PETER LAWLEY.
tY YOUNG MASTERS.
A New Story is published on the first of every
E-S. -- au- .- ie ( o- s The Baldwin Library
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^Ji^^ t-^' LIGHTS RIHT, ART I ^*H--h>:H
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MEANS OF HEALTH.
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St Marttn's Ba-hs and Wash-houses.
GROOMBRIDGE & SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
olUl b2 all 3ooftellert.
I.-CONCERNING HEALTH. ... ... 3
II.-HEALTH DEPENDENT ON PHYSICAL CIR-
CUMSTANCES ... ... ... 5
III.-THE AIR oR ATMOSPHERE ... ... 6
IV.-THE LUNGS AND RESPIRATION... ... 7
V.-CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD ... 8
VI.-VENTILATION ... ... ... ... 10
VII.-LIGHTING ... ... ... ... 14
VIII.-WAMING ... .. .. ... ... 15
IX.-CLEANLINESS, BATHING, WASHING... 18
X.-SLEEP ... .. ... ... ... 24
XI.-FooD :-DIET ... ... ... 28
XII.-DIET CONTINUED :-DRINXS ... ... 35
XIII.-CooKING ... ... .. ... 39
XIV.-CLOTHING... ... ... ... ... 41
XV.-EXERCISE, RECREATION, AND AMUSEMENT 46
XVI.-HABITS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH ... 53
XVII.--ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, AND MEDICINE 56
XVIII.-GENERAL SANITARY CONSIDERATIONS... 62
Q. What is meant by Health ?
A. Health is a term which, when applied to human
beings, means that body and mind are in perfect condi-
tion ; we can also say of animals and vegetables that they
are in a healthy or unhealthy state.
Q. Can it be further explained ?
A. Yes: while we live, all parts of our body have
to do a certain amount of work, or, in other words, to
perform certain functions. We have to walk, run, sit,
stand, sleep, and eat, and whenever we can do these
without pain or inconvenience, we are in health.
Q. What do you mean by a healthy mind ?
A. The being able to think soundly, to remember, and
to control our actions by reason.
Q. Is health natural to human beings ?
A. Yes: health is generally a natural condition; but
owing to ignorance, to hurtful practices and habits, and
sometimes to accident and other causes, many persons
are not in health.
Q. Is it possible to recover health, when once lost ?
A. In some cases it is not, but inmost cases it is possible.
Q. How is health of bodyto be recovered or maintained?
A. By proper attention to certain natural laws, in re-
gard to the air we breathe, the food we eat, the exercise
we take, and the clothing we wear: these are the chief
matters for consideration.
Q. Are there no others ?
A. Yes: if we wish to enjoy health, we must also pay
attention to cleanliness, and endeavour to live in warm
and comfortable houses, and avoid every thing that is
known to be injurious to health.
Q. If attention to these matters keeps the body in
health, can the mind be kept in health also by the same
A. Yes: for it is said, if the body be sound, the mind
will be sound. It is often seen that if the body becomes
weak, the mind also weakens; and if the mind be
troubled or disturbed, the body often suffers in conse-
Q. Such being the case, what conclusion do you come
A. That it is the duty of every person, in whatever
circumstances, to endeavour as much as possible to take
care of his health; for health is one of the highest bles-
sings we can enjoy. We are told in scripture that
Health and good estate of body are above all gold, and
a strong body above infinite wealth."
Q. Is not the duty which you have just spoken of a
very troublesome one ?
A. It might appear so at first; but after a little prac-
tice, it becomes as easy to follow the rules of health, as
to enjoy recreation. In fact, pleasure cannot be enjoyed
unless we are in health.
Q. Can you give me any other reason why all persons
ought to attend to their health ?
A. Yes: the old should do so, not only for their own
sake, but for the sake of those who come after them:
parents should do so in order that they may bring up
healthy children, and the young should do so in order
that they may grow up vigorous and well-formed men
and women, able to discharge all duties towards them-
selves, towards other people, and towards God.
HEALTH DEPENDENT ON PHYSICAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
Q. Having now given an explanation of health, what
are we next to consider ?
A. We have now to learn in what way health depends
on physical circumstances.
Q. What do you mean by the word phyJsical ?
A. Physical means natural force or power: for in-
stance, heat and cold, rain and hail, frost and snow, are
produced by movements and changes in the atmosphere,
or as learned men say, they are the effect of physical laws
which govern the atmosphere.
Q. Give me some further explanation of the word
A. When a steam-engine works, it is the physical
power of the steam which moves it; so when a horse
draws a waggon, a man carries a load, a boy trundles his
hoop, a girl sews or knits, all is done by physical force.
Q. Proceed now to explain what you mean by physical
A. Physical circumstances means the way in which the
earth, and that which is on and around it, is suited to,
or adapted for, the life and support of human beings.
Q. If the earth is suited or adapted as you say to
human beings, are human beings also adapted to the
A. Yes: the air which floats around the whole earth
is that which our lungs are made to breathe, and no
other; unless we breathe this air in its purity we run
great risk of losing our health or of dying. Thus, if the
air is adapted for man, man is adapted for the air.
Q. Does the same rule apply with regard to other
A. It does: we cannot live unless we eat and drink;
and suitable food is provided for us in the flesh of ani-
mals, in fishes, in the grain and vegetables of the fields,
and fruits of the garden; while water, which is the most
wholesome drink, flows in abundance for all the inhabi-
tants of the earth.
Q. How is it then, if men and things are so well adapted
to each other, that so many people are out of health ?
A. Because, as I said before, generally, either through
ignorance or error, they disobey the natural laws and
live in an improper manner.
Q. Is it possible to lay down simple rules for their
A. Yes : it is not difficult to propose such laws; they
are already known to well-informed people, and those
who wish to do right and take care of their health may,
with a little practice, get into the habit of following them.
THE AIR, OR ATMOSPHERE.
Q. What is the air?
A. It is an invisible gas or fluid which surrounds the
earth on all sides and moves with it.
Q. You say that it is invisible, how then do we know
that it exists ?
A. If we move swiftly we feel it against our bodies, we
feel it also when the wind blows; we see, too, that ships
are moved by it, birds fly in it, and balloons float in it.
Were there no air none of these effects could take place,
neither would there be any life at all upon the earth.
Q. Of what is the air constituted or made ?
A. Air is made up of two gases mixed together, always
in the same quantities or proportions. One of these gases
is oxygen, the other nitrogen.
Q. In what proportions are they mixed ?
SA. There is nearly four times as much of nitrogen as
of oxygen; or to speak more exactly, in every 100 por-
tions of air, there are 79 of nitrogen, and 21 of oxygen,
besides a small quantity of a gas called carbonic-acid.
Q. What is carbonic-acid gas ?
A. It is a heavy poisonous gas, sometimes met with in
coal-mines; it kills those who breathe it. It is produced
also by decaying and burning vegetable matters, by the
THE AIR, OR ATMOSPHERE. 7
flame from lamps and candles, by the breath of human
beings and animals, and in foul drains and sewers.
Q. Have you any further observations to make con-
cerning the air ?
A.. Yes : unless the mixture be such as has been stated,
the air is not in a fit state for us to breathe. If the
quantity of carbonic-acid gas be increased it will destroy
life, as often happens to men who descend into sewers or
old wells. Nitrogen also, when unmixed, is fatal to life,
for which reason it is sometimes called azote, or life-
Q. Is there any means of guarding against this dan-
A. There is : before entering any place supposed to be
dangerous, a lighted lamp or candle ought to be passed
in, when if the flame goes out, we may be sure that the
air of the place would kill us.
Q. Now that we know how the air is composed, can
you tell me what is its use ?
A. The air serves many purposes in nature, but its
chief use is to support animal and vegetable life.
Q. How does it do this ?
A. By entering into the lungs and purifying the blood
of human beings and of all other animals.
THE LUNGS AND RESPIRATION.
Q. What are the lungs ?
A. The lungs may be described as fleshy sponges. In
human beings there are two, one on each side the heart,
fitted within the chest, and reaching from top to bottom
of the ribs. They are the same as the lights of a pig or
Q. What is the use or function of the lungs ?
A. The function of the lungs is breathing; taking air
into the body and sending it out again; and thus we
begin to see how the air and the lungs are adapted one
to the other.
Q. How can the lungs take in air ?
A. I have said that the lungs are fleshy sponges.
These sponges are full of little holes or cells: the number
of them is calculated at one hundred and seventy-four
millions, and each one of these takes in air as it comes
down the throat or windpipe.
Q. Why is there such a large number of little cells ?
A. Because a large surface of lung is required for the
air to act upon; and the more cells the more surface.
Q. What quantity of air enters the lungs ?
A. A full-grown healthy man draws in from one to two
pints each time he breathes.
Q. Can you tell what becomes of the air when thus
drawn in ?
A. It enters into all the cells of the lungs, where one
part of it is absorbed or taken up by the blood as it
rushes through, and the remainder is breathed out again,
mingled with carbonic-acid gas and vapour.
Q. Have you any observation to make on the air which
is thus sent out from the lungs ?
A. Yes : I have already stated that carbonic-acid is a
poisonous gas; therefore, air which has been once breathed
should on no account be taken into the lungs a second
time. It is of the highest necessity to breathe pure air
Q. What is the rate of breathing ?
A. Generally speaking, a man breathes from fifteen to
twenty times in a minute. Thus about 1000 pints of air
enter the lungs every hour; or 3000 gallons every
Q. Do you know of any word whereby to express the
act of breathing ?
A. Yes : respiration means breathing : a breath drawn
into the lungs is called an inspiration, and one sent out
CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD.
Q. Do you remember what was said concerning the air
as it is drawn into the lungs ?
CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD. 9
A. Yes: a part of it mingles with the blood.
Q. For what purpose ?
A. Air mingles with the blood in order to remove the
impurities which the latter collects while flowing through
the arteries and veins, and to keep up life, warmth, and
vigour all over the body.
Q. What do you mean by artery and vein ?
A. An artery is the tube, or pipe, as it may be called,
by which blood is carried from the heart, and a vein is
the pipe by which it is taken back again; and along
these it is always flowing.
Q. Is it always flowing ?
A. Yes, while we are alive; when it ceases to flow
then we die.
Q. By what means is the blood kept flowing in the
veins and arteries ?
A. By means of the heart, which has four hollow
spaces or cavities in it, and is so contrived as to keep on
working like a powerful pump.
Q. Explain this further ?
A. The blood, which the veins bring back to the heart,
rushes into one of the cavities called the right auricle,
which immediately contracts, or shrinks up, and so forces
the blood into an adjoining cavity called the right ven-
tricle, which in turn pumps it into the lungs.
Q. What takes place then ?
A. The blood flows over all the little cells described in
chapter iv, and there meets with the air which has been
breathed in, and is instantly purified. No sooner is it
purified than it rushes back to the heart, enters the left
auricle, which sends it into the left ventricle, and from
this it is pumped once more into the arteries.
Q. Is there any name for this wonderful process ?
A. Yes: it is called the circulation of the blood. The
alternate filling and emptying of the auricles and ventri-
cles, produce what is called the beating of the heart,
which can be felt by placing the hand on the lower part
of the ribs on our left side. If we apply an ear to a
person's breast, we may alsb hear the blood rushing
through, by listening attentively.
Q. You say that the blood is purified by the air in the
lungs ; give an explanation of this ?
A. While the blood is flowing through the arteries it
gives off nourishment to all parts of the body, and at the
same time takes up all waste or spent matters, which
would be hurtful, and cause diseases were they not re-
Q. Proceed with your explanation.
A. When it arrives at the ends of the arteries, the
blood enters the veins and so returns to the heart. When
first pumped into the arteries it was of a bright red
colour, but now it is almost black, owing to the carbon
or waste matters with which it is charged.
Q. What takes place next ?
A. As I before said, the blood is pumped again from
the heart into the lungs; here the oxygen of the air
unites with the blood and decarbonises it, which means
that it removes the carbon, or black waste matters.
Q. And then ?
A. The blood then regains its bright red colour, is
again pumped into the arteries, while the waste matters
come forth from the lungs mingled with the air and car-
bonic-acid gas as already described. In this way the
blood is continually circulated and purified during the
whole of our life.
Q. What would be the consequences if these waste
matters were not got rid of ?
A. If the waste were not expelled from the body, the
blood would lose its health and strength-giving pro-
perties, and disease and death would speedily follow.
Q. What is meant by ventilation ?
A. Ventilation means the act of admitting air into
aay place, or of causing a draught or current of air tc
p-ss through it.
Q. Does it mean that we are to ventilate with any
k ad of air ?
A. No: when any one speaks of ventilating a room or
building, it is understood to refer only to pure air; such
as was described in chapter iii.
Q. Is it necessary to admit air into places in which we
A. By all means: unless we breathe pure air continu-
ally, our blood cannot be purified and invigorated: as was
stated in chapter v, impure blood causes disease and
Q. Is it very troublesome to attend to ventilation ?
A. That depends on circumstances; but in most cases
it is very little or no trouble whatsoever.
Q. Which is the easiest method or way of ventilation ?
A. The easiest and quickest way of ventilating ordinary
rooms is to open the doors and windows, whereby the
fresh air outside rushes through and purifies the place.
Q. Is it safe to ventilate in this way ?
A. Not always ; for if a person is ill or heated it would
be hurtful for him to feel a sudden rush of air from with-
out, besides which, it is always more or less dangerous to
sit in a draught.
Q. How is the danger to be guarded against ?
A. Unless in very warm weather, the door and window
should only be opened now and then, and for a short time,
and the persons in the room should take care to sit out
of the draught.
Q. Which is the best time for admitting air ?
A. In the morning between eight o'clock and twelve,
but earlier than this in dry sunshiny weather. People
who have but one or two rooms to live in should make
it a rule to ventilate their rooms thoroughly after every
Q. Why so ?
A. Because it is desirable to get rid of the smell of
cooking as soon as possible. Some things such as onions,
boiled cabbage, salted herrings, &c., have a most unplea-
sant odour, which can only be got rid of by a few minutes'
Q. How can we know when a room or building re-
quires ventilating ?
A. Whenever there is in any place a close, damp, or
unpleasant smell, be the cause what it may, it is a certain
proof that the place wants ventilation; that good air
should be let in to drive the bad air out.
Q. Can rooms be ventilated in any other way
A. Yes: if a metal tube be fixed leading from the
upper part of any room which is to be ventilated into a
kitchen or factory chimney, where there is nearly always
a fire burning, the draught up the chimney will suck or
draw the bad air out of the room through the tube, and
so ventilate it.
Q. What is the cause of bad air in rooms ?
A. There are several causes : the chief are the breath
and perspiration of persons who live in the room, and
the smoke and vapour of lamps and candles.
Q. We have heard how the air is vitiated, or made
impure, by breathing; can you tell me in what way per-
spiration adds to the impurity ?
A. Perspiration is something which the body throws
off in waste, and as it goes slowly away from the surface
of our skin it mingles with the air and vitiates or spoils it.
Q. When does this take place ?
A. Always: while in health, day or night, we are con-
stantly perspiring. In hot weather, or after severe exer-
tion, we can see it plainly; but besides this, there is an
invisible or insensible perspiration, which we cannot see.
Q. What becomes of this insensible perspiration ?
A. It mingles with the air and spoils it rapidly, but
more rapidly in summer than in winter. If a man were
sitting in a room which contained sixty feet of air, the
insensible perspiration from his body would spoil the
whole in ten minutes and render it unfit to be breathed
a second time, if pure air were not admitted.
Q. In what way does the burning of candles and lamps
spoil the air ?
A. By the carbonic-acid and vapour which are pro-
duced; such vapours are very noxious or injurious.
Q. Now that we know in what way the air in rooms
and buildings is vitiated, tell me if there are any other
means of ventilation besides those already described ?
A. There are other methods of ventilating rooms: a
sheet of wire gauze or zinc pierced full of small holeF
may be put into the place of an upper pane in the win-
dow, so as to admit fresh air, or Arnott's chimney venti-
lator may be used.
Q. What is a chimney ventilator?
A. An opening of the size of one or two bricks is made
from the room quite through the breast of the chimney,
as near to the ceiling as possible; into this :optlni'; a
metal frame is fitted which has a balance-door that opens
inwardly of itself, so that heated or foul air passes from
the room through the opening, and goes away with the
smoke of the chimney.
Q. From what you say it appears that ventilators
ought to be fixed at the top of a room; why is this ?
A. Because it is the nature of warm or breathed air to
rise; ventilators are therefore fixed in or near the ceiling,
so that the air on its ascent may pass off without inter-
Q. Why should it pass without interruption?
A. Because, as before stated, we ought never to breathe
the same air twice, and unless the foul air be removed,
fresh air cannot enter in sufficient quantity.
Q. What quantity of fresh air is required ?
A. It has been calculated that each person requires ten
feet of fresh air every minute. Ten feet might be reck-
oned as about five bushels.
Q. What have you to say further on the subject of
A. That we ought as much as possible to avoid living
in small or overcrowded rooms, and to admit fresh air
into our rooms every day without fail, which we can
always do by opening the doors and windows should
there be no other way.
Q. Why is overcrowding to be avoided?
A. Because the more people there are in a room the
sooner is the air spoiled. The reason why people some-
times feel ill, or faint in large public meetings, or in places
of worship is, that the foul air is not removed fast enough:
the very smell is often insupportable.
Q. Why is it that ventilation is not better attended
to if it is so essential to health ?
A. Because people generally have lived in great igno-
14 S SANITATION.
rance of the subject, but the laws of health are now better
understood, and will, it is to be hoped, be well observed.
One fact is certain; we cannot retain our health, nor
have any enjoyment of life, unless we continually breathe
Q. What has light to do with health ?
A. The influence of light on health is very important,
much more so than would be supposed by most persons.
Q. Give me some examples.
A. Light promotes cheerfulness, and cheerfulness pro-
motes health: light assists the oxygen of the atmosphere
in giving people a bright and ruddy complexion. Men
employed in dark or globmy workshops, and miners who
work underground, are generally pale and sickly looking;
and plants will not grow and flourish without light.
Q. Can you state any other particulars concerning
A. Yes: it has been observed that persons who lay ill
a long time in ill-lighted rooms, recovered as soon as they
were removed to chambers into which the sun could
shine; and tadpoles, which are young frogs, will never
grow into frogs, if always kept in the dark.
Q. It appears, then, that we cannot have full health
without light ?
A. No, we cannot: it frequently happens that many
persons die in early spring, because of their health being
depressed by the dull and gloomy months of winter.
Q. Which sort of light is the best ?
A. That of the sun, or solar light.
Q. Is light good for every body ?
A. Yes: except in certain cases of illness, or weak
eyes. Sunlight stimulates the skin and the nervous sys-
tem, and thereby imparts a feeling of vigour. Infants
and children especially ought, in suitable weather, to pass
several hours of the day in sunshine.
Q. Is there more than one kind of light ?
A. Yes ; besides the solar or natural light, there is ar-
Q. What is meant by artificial light ?
A. That produced by artificial means, such as the light
of candles, oil, or spirit lamps, or gas.
Q. Is sunlight better than artificial light ?
A. Yes: because sunlight contains most of blue rays
which do not injure the eye, while artificial light contains
most of red and yellow rays, which annoy and weaken the
Q. Is it possible to guard against this injury ?
A. Yes: if the bright light of gas or of an oil-lamp is
made to pass through a blue glass shade, it then becomes
Q. Is there any other remedy ?
A. Yes: as we cannot do without artificial light dur-
ing the long dark evenings of several months in the year,
we should endeavour to avoid late hours of work or of
study, and long-continued writing or reading.
Q. Does any other hurtful consequence attend the use
of artificial light ?
A. Yes : as stated in chapter vi., the burning of gas or
candles vitiates the air of a room, and makes it unfit for
breathing. Therefore, care should always be taken to
provide ventilators for the escape of the foul air.
Q. Can you offer any general conclusions on the sub-
ject of light ?
A. The general conclusions are :-that all persons, but
children especially, should pass some hours every day in
the sunshine-that we ought to choose our houses or
lodgings, as much as possible, in sunny situations-
and last-light, health, and cheerfulness; darkness, dirt,
and wretchedness, generally go together.
Q. You have just said there are two kinds of light; is
there more than one kind of warmth ?
A. Yes: tht, e are also two kinds: natural and artifl-
cial. Natural warmth is that which comes from the sun,
and from the bodies of men and animals; artificial
warmth is produced by fire or spirituous liquors.
Q. How is the natural warmth of the human body
kept up ?
A. By breathing, by the food we eat, by exercise, and
the action of the nerves, and by the clothes which we
Q. Is warmth necessary to our bodies ?
A. Yes: without a proper degree of warmth, it is im-
possible to maintain health or comfort.
Q. What temperature or degree of warmth is most
A. The most salutary degree of warmth for the human
body is that which we sometimes have on fine days to-
wards the end of May, or when the thermometer shows
from sixty to sixty-five degrees.
Q. Is warmth necessary for all persons alike ?
A. Yes, but more especially for infants, young chil-
dren, and old people. It is a great mistake to suppose
that any one can be made strong or hardy by exposure
Q. How does health depend on warmth?
A. When the body is in a proper temperature, if in
health, the blood circulates freely, perspiration goes on
uninterruptedly, and the skin is kept in a moist and
healthful condition ; in short, all the bodily functions are
tpleisualy carried on.
Q. What happens when the body is not kept properly
A. The blood no longer circulates freely, the skin is
chilled, shrinks, and loses its healthy colour; perspira-
tion is checked, which gives rise to colds and coughs ; and
danu.groius diseases, attended by inflan:mn:t iocn, sometimes
take place in the inward parts of the body, owing to
their being over-filled with blood.
Q. How can we tell whether our bodies -,re -ufllciceiitly
warm or not ?
A. By the feeling of p!:i:- and di-o.:li',; t which cold
always produces. Tihe unie-, thi temperature of the air
falls below sixty or sixty-five degrees, the more pamful and
dangerous does the cold become. Indeed, it sometimes
happens that people die from exposure to cold in very
Q. In what way, then, are we to keep ourselves warm
in cold weather ?
A. As I have already stated, by proper food, clothing,
Q. How does food keep us warm ?
A. By keeping up a due supply of nourishment to all
parts of the body : if we eat too little, or take improper
food, the waste always going on from the body is not
made up, and so we grow weak, unable to resist cold, and
become liable to disease.
Q. How does exercise warm us ?
A. By causing the heart to beat and the blood to cir-
culate vigorously; more breath, too, enters our lungs,
and the oxygen of the air increases the warmth of the
Q. If we are prevented taking exercise, how are we to
keep ourselves warm ?
A. By sitting in rooms properly warmed: the heat,
however, should not be greater than sixty-six degrees.
School-rooms especially, in which children have to sit
still for several hours, ought always to be kept comfort-
Q. Is it possible to be too warm ?
A. Yes, many persons make a mistake on this point,
and coddle themselves until the idea of cold quite frightens
them. Some will scarcely stir out of doors in winter;
but every one who is in health will always find benefit
from brisk exercise out of doors in cold weather. Boys
who go skating or sliding seldom complain of being the
worse for the exercise.
Q. Is there no risk to any one from cold ?
A. Not with active exercise. But prs'ions with diseases
of the lungs, or chest complaints, require to be very care-
fully protected from cold. A respirator or shawl over the
mouth is a good protection, too much clothing, however,
is objectionable; the weight oppresses and wearies the
body, and keeps it too warm.
Q. What is the best method of warming a room ?
A. A room is best warmed by an Arnott's stove, by a
gas stove, or by means of steam or hot water, in iron
pipes, placed along the walls or under the floor. With
open fires, such as are commonly used in grates, more
than half the heat escapes up the chimney, unless the
grate be made to project, or the whole of the back and
sides be lined with fire bricks.
Q. Why is a stove or heated iron pipes better than an
open fire ?
A. Because the great waste of heat is avoided, and the
whole of the air in the room is warmed. But the venti-
lation of such rooms should always be carefully provided
for and attended to.
Q. Have you any further statement to make on this
A. Yes: rooms may be well ventilated by admitting
pure warm air, as by cold air. In some buildings, where
the air is warmed before it enters the apartments, they
are as comfortable and healthful in the winter as in sum-
Q. Are we then to understand, that all buildings
ought to be kept warm ?
A. We are: factories, workshops, or offices-wherever
men and women are employed, should always be properly
warmed. The health of the people would be thereby
promoted, and they would be enabled to work with greater
vigour and spirit than when exposed to cold.
Q. Are any other precautions necessary in cold
A. Yes: we should avoid going suddenly from the
open air, or when we are chilled, into a heated room;
and endeavour so to regulate our clothing and bedding,
as to keep our bodies comfortably warm day and night;
exposure to damp and draughts is also to be carefully
CLEANLINESS, BATHING, WASHING.
Q. What is meant by cleanliness?
CLEANLINESS, BATHIING, WASHING. 10
A. By cleanliness is meant the careful removal of dirt
from our persons, our clothing, and our habitations.
Q. Is it necessary that dirt should be removed ?
A. It is: for dirt is not only unpleasant and offensive
to sight, but it is detrimental to health: besides, to be
dirty is disgraceful.
Q. In what way is dirt detrimental or injurious to
A. Dirt on the skin chokes the pores, and impedes or
hinders the perspiration. Neglecting to clean the hair
sometimes causes sores on the head. Dirty food disor-
ders the stomach; dirty clothes and dirty houses breed
fevers and other painful diseases.
Q. Are such always the effects of dirt ?
A. More or less the effects of dirt are always harmful.
"When cholera, influenza, fevers, or contagious diseases
break out in a town, more people die in the dirty, dark,
and damp streets, than in other parts which are clean,
light and airy.
Q. What are we to conclude from these facts ?
A. That cleanliness greatly conduces to health, and
Q. Is cleanliness, in general, properly attended to ?
A. It is by many persons; but by far the largest
number seem scarcely to know what cleanliness means.
Q. How is this proved ?
A. By their never washing any other part of their
bodies than their face and hands,-and their feet very sel-
dom. To be really clean, we should wash ourselves all
over from head to foot every day.
Q. Why ought we to wash from head to foot ?
A. Because the perspiration, which forms a sort of
greasy coating to the body is thereby removed, and the
skin is brought into a proper condition for performing
its important functions. It has been already explained
that these cannot be interrupted without risk of disease.
Q. What method of washing the body is the best ?
A. That depends on circumstances: in favourable
weather we can bathe in a river or pond, or we may have
a bath to use with warm or cold water, fitted in our own
house, or if we live near any public baths, we may go to
Q. Is there any other way ?
A. Yes: if all other means fail, a basin of water and a
coarse towel may be used with great benefit to keep the
Q. In what way?
A. Immediately on getting out of bed in the morning,
dip the towel in the water, and with both hands rub
briskly over every part of the body, then wipe dry with
another, towel. By taking opposite corners of the towel
in each hand, there will be no difficulty in scrubbing the
back; and the feet may be washed when the person is
Q. What is the benefit of this method of washing ?
A. Not only is the skin kept clean, but immediately
after the rubbing, a warm glow overspreads the whole
body, which is veryexhilarating. It often happens thatper-
sons who get out of bed in low spirits, find themselves
completely revived by the wetting and friction of the
Q. Does it not require much time to wash in this way?
A. No: if every thing be prepared overnight, it will
not take more than five minutes, so that any person, even
workmen or labourers, may have all the comfort of a
morning bath, with but little trouble.
Q. Ought this to be done every day ?
A. Yes, every day, if possible ; but two or three times
a week is better than not at all; and if cold water be
objected to, warm water may be used.
Q. What is the best time of the day for taking a bath ?
A. About two hours after breakfast is the best time.
People who are engaged all day in business, are obliged
to go in the evening; but no one should take a bath
when tired or much fatigued.
Q. Should bathers remain long in the water ?
A. Not unless they are very strong and robust, other-
wise the body becomes chilled, and the health is weak-
ened. In general, from four to five minutes would be a
Q. How can we tell if a bath has done us good ?
A. By the pleasurable glow and warmth which come
over us as soon as we have rubbed ourselves dry. If,
CLEANLINESS, WARMTH, WASHING. 21
instead of growing warm, the body remains cold, it is a
sign we have staid too long in the water, or are in too
weak health to bear a bath, and we must act accordingly.
Q. Have you any other remark to make respecting
A. Yes: bathing sometimes causes head-ache; but it
is often found that this may be prevented by not wetting
Q. Have you any thing to do besides what you have
stated in order to be clean ?
A. Yes: the teeth require cleaning night and morning
with a brush and luke-warm water, which not only im-
proves the appearance of the teeth, but keeps the gums
healthy, and often prevents offensiveness of the breath.
When desired, a simple tooth-powder of charcoal, or
chalk and Peruvian bark may be used.
Q. Does any other part require attention?
A. Yes, the hair: it should be well combed and brushed
with a tolerably hard brush every morning, or as much
oftener as may be needful. Besides which, in washing,
the inside and back of our ears should be carefully
Q. Are hair oils or pomatums necessary to keep the
hair smooth and tidy ?
A. Except in a few cases of persons with very dry and
stubborn hair, all greasy applications are unnecessary.
Q. Explain this.
A. Each hair is a tube, and close to its root are oil-
glands, which are excited by brushing, and force their oil
through the tubes of the hair, and give it a bright and
beautiful appearance. This is nature's hair-oil, and it
surpasses all artificial applications, however costly.
Q. After personal cleanliness, what is next to be con-
A. Clean clothing i a clean body requires clean clothes.
Q. Can any rule be laid down with regard to clothes ?
A. Yes: clean under-clothing, such as shirts and che-
mises, should be put on twice a week. In warm ci'her
some persons change their linen every day, but most
people do so only once a week.
Q. Does this rule apply to all our garments ?
A. To all that we wear next the skin; stockings,
drawers, under-waistcoats, shirts, &c., should all be
changed at least once a week, if not oftener.
Q. Should we wear the same under-garments in the
night as in the day ?
A. No: all persons should change on going to bed,
and wear a suitable night-gown.
Q. Do all our clothes require the same attention ?
A. Yes: such articles as admit of it should be regu-
larly washed; others should be frequently brushed,
shaken, and hung for a short time in the open air. This
keeps them sweet and preserves them from moth.
Q. Does neglecting to keep clothes clean lead to any
ill consequences ?
A. Yes: when clothes are not regularly cleaned they
acquire a very unpleasant smell, which, if long neglected
may cause fevers. Besides which, several kinds of dis-
gusting vermin breed and lodge in foul garments.
Q. What comes next after clean skin and clean clothes ?
A. A clean house; for no one who has a proper regard
to cleanliness in himself would be willing to live in a
Q. Does any harm come of living in a dirty house ?
A. Yes: cleanliness in a house is not to be neglected
with impunity. As before observed, the more dirt the
more disease. Even should no disease break out, a dirty
house will be filled with bad smells, and become a breed-
ing-place for noxious vermin. Instead of a comfortable
home, as it might be, it will be a scene of filth and
Q. How are houses to be kept clean ?
A, By sweeping, scrubbing, scouring, white-washing,
and such-like means.
Q. Is there any rule for house-cleaning ?
A. Yes: the rooms in which we live constantly should
be swept and dusted every day, and the windows opened,
as stated in chapter vi. Bed-rooms require sweeping two
or three times a week, and floors should be cleaned with
water and a mop, or scrubbing-brush, once a week.
Q. Can these plans be regularly followed ?
A. They can: by those who are disposed to try. The
more regularly they are followed the less will be the
CLEANLINESS, WARMTH, WASHING, 23
trouble, while the comfort and happiness of home will
be very greatly increased.
Q. Can any further directions be given ?
A. Yes : it is a good plan when scrubbing floors to use
soft soap, and rub it into the crevices ; for soap is a good
purifier and removes insects. When scrubbed, floors
should not be wetted too much, especially in damp
weather, as damp floors are injurious to health.
Q. Should there be any particular time for scrubbing ?
A. Early in the morning is the best, as bedrooms will
then become dry before they are occupied at night. We
ought, as much as possible, to avoid sitting in a newly-
scrubbed room : damp is a great cause of rheumatism.
Q. When should rooms be white-washed ?
A. Once a year, but oftener if necessary. The best
time is in early spring, when all is becoming bright and
cheerful, after the cold and gloom of winter.
Q. Does white-wash do any real good ?
A. Yes: white-wash is generally made of lime, and
lime is one of the best purifiers we have. Pantries,
sculleries, closets, and all dark nooks and corners about a
house, should be regularly white-washed once a year.
Q. Will other colours serve as well as white ?
A. Yes : because the wash is first made with lime, and
afterwards coloured brown, green, or red, according to
taste. The pleasure which a clean house affords is worth
all the trouble it may cost to keep it so, and the yearly
purification by means of white-wash or colour, ought on
no account to be neglected.
Q. Are there any other matters which require attention
in house-cleaning ?
A. There are several: carpets, curtains and blinds
should be regularly cleaned or washed, walls should be
swept, and paint scrubbed, and every article in a house
should receive its proper share of attention.
Q. When should washing take place?
A. That depends on circumstances: those who have
an abundance of linen generally wash once a month,
while many others are obliged to wash once a week. But
unless people have a spare airy room in which to place
their dirty linen, it is best to wash frequently.
Q. Are any precautions to be attended to with regard
to washing P
A. Yes : it should always be carried on in a wash-house
or other building away from the place in which we live.
The steam has a bad unwholesome smell and injures
most things on which it settles.
Q. Is there no way of avoiding the trouble of washing ?
A. No: but by proper plans a good deal of the trouble
may be avoided; certain kinds of powders are now sold,
the use of which diminishes the labour. In some places
washing is done at so low a price, that many persons put
out all their linen to be washed, and people in humble
circumstances, who have but one or two rooms, can re-
sort to the public wash-houses.
Q. Can any general remarks be made in concluding
this part of the subject ?
A. Yes: a little thinking with the head will save a
great deal of work to the hands. Management in pre-
paration is better than hurry in execution. By the aid
of foresight and judgment, all household duties may be
properly and pleasantly performed. All persons may be
cleanif they will: no circumstances can justify dirt. Cleanli-
ness is a great good: it teaches people self-respect, and
self-respect leads on to better things. In short, to be clean
is a good foundation for a prosperous and comfortable life.
Q. Is there any connexion between sleep and health ?
A. There is ; for we cannot continue in health without
a proper allowance of sleep
Q. Is sleep the same as rest ?
A. No : to rest the body means simply to repose the
limbs and muscles, while the mind may be in a state of
activity, and elate with joy, or depressed by sorrow; but
sleep means total repose both of body and mind.
Q. Can we do without sleep ?
A. No: it is impossible to do without sleep. If
deprived of it altogether we should soon die.
Q. What are the effects of sleep ?
A. The effect of sound and healthful sleep is complete
restoration of the bodily and mental powers. We go to
bed worn out with labour or fatigue, our mind, perhaps,
wearied with gloomy thoughts and cares, but we wake in
the morning refreshed and invigorated, and with our
gloomy thoughts and cares changed to a spirit of hope-
Q. Which is the best time for sleep ?
A. The best, indeed the natural time for sleep, is the
night, when the bustle of the day is over, and darkness
and silence invite us to repose.
Q. How many hours should we sleep ?
A. That depends on age and other circumstances;
infants pass nearly the whole of the twenty-four hours in
sleep; children require from eight to ten hours ; adults
seven to eight hours; and old people need as much sleep
Q. At what hour should we go to bed ?
A. Children should go to bed from six to eight o'clock
in the evening; men and women two or three hours
later. In country villages, nine o'clock is the general
hour for retiring to rest, in towns it is ten or eleven and
sometimes still later.
Q. Is it desirable to sit up late, and sleep far into the
A. No: as a rule it is best to have one or two hours'
sleep before midnight; the morning hours are much less
favourable to sleep than the dark hours, immediately
before and after twelve o'clock. But all persons should
be careful to take a sufficiency of sleep.
Q. Is there any change in our bodily functions during
A. Yes: we breathe less often, and the beating of the
heart is slower than when we are awake, consequently
the circulation of the blood is slower. It is from this
cause that we require more clothes to keep us warm when
asleep, and that we feel chilly after having slept in a
chair, or out of doors, with only our ordinary clothes on.
Q. Can we do anything towards obtaining comfortable
A. Yes: our bed should be neither too hot nor too
cold: in winter we should have a sufficient number of
blankets or other warm covering, and our night dress
should be as loose as possible, especially round the neck.
Q. Why should there be no pressure round our neck ?
A. Because if the neck be confined the blood cannot
flow freely in the large veins which go to the head, and
the consequence is an injurious effect on the brain.
Q. Ought night-caps to be worn?
A. No: it is not desirable to keep the head too warm,
for which reason our pillows should not be too soft. As
a general rule, the hair will be found a sufficient covering,
except sometimes in very cold weather, when a light and
loose cap may be worn. Too much heat in the head
weakens the brain and prevents repose.
Q. What kind of bed is best for sleeping on ?
A. Feather beds generally are too soft and warm, but
in some cases they are to be preferred. The best arrange-
ment would be a horse-hair mattress for summer, and a
wool mattress for winter: some people choose straw all
the year round.
c Q. Is any other precaution to be taken ?
i A. Yes: our bed-clothes should be always perfectly
,clean and well-aired; whether in summer or winter, there
ought to be no more than enough to keep us comfortably
warm. Too much sleep, and too much covering are alike
Q. When do we take too much sleep ?
A. I have already mentioned the hours for sleep : lon-
ger than these is hurtful. As a rule, if we get up on our
first waking we shall have had sleep enough. Some per-
sons are accustomed to lie long in bed even when not
asleep : this lazy practice is by all means to be avoided.
Long lying in bed enfeebles the mind and body, weakens
the spine, and the nervous system, and makes people soft
and luxurious, instead of strong and hardy. Besides it is
a great waste of time; a person who lies in bed an hour
every morning longer than is necessary, loses seven hours
a week, thirty days of twelve hours each in a year-
upwards of three years in forty. How much good might
be accomplished in the time thus wasted.
Q. Is it necessary that we should be warm when going
to bed ?
A. Yes: for as before observed, a proper degree of
warmth promotes refreshing sleep; above all, we should
be careful not to go to bed with cold feet. The feet are
best warmed by exercise: dancing, skipping, walking.
Some persons much subject to cold feet get into bed with
woollen socks on, made sufficiently loose to slip off of
themselves in the night.
Q. Is it well to sleep soon after eating ?
A. No : for as the bodily functions are retarded during
sleep, food taken into the stomach is digested very slowly,
whereby rest is broken and disturbed by dreams. People,
therefore, should eat none but light suppers, and not go
to bed until an hour or two afterwards.
Q. Does going to bed early produce any other advan-
tage besides quiet sleep ?
A. Yes: it leads people to rise early: and more vari-
ous benefits attend early rising than almost any other
Q. Which is the best kind of sleeping-room ?
A. The best sleeping-rooms are those which are quiet,
dry, cool, and airy. Damp, or under-ground rooms should
never be slept in: pure air is as favourable to sleep as to
Q. Is it safe to sleep with the window open ?
A. It is, except in damp and very cold weather, and pro-
vided that no draught blows on the sleeper. Change of air
is as desirable during the night as in the day; some
persons, however, of delicate constitutions, are unable to
bearthe night air; in such cases thewindowmust be closed.
Q. Are curtains necessary ?
A. No: not more than may be sufficient to break a
draught. Curtains drawn closely round a bed are very
injurious, the air within is so much vitiated by the sleepers'
breath as to be quite unfit for respiration. In fact, a
small bird cannot live in it.
Q. Is there any other fact worthy of notice ?
A. Yes: persons should not sleep with their head
under the bed covering, for if so they breathe the same
bad air over and over again to the detriment of their
health. Neither should more than two persons sleep in
the same room.
Q. Ought bed-rooms to be warmed ?
A. All bed-rooms should have a fire-place, as this as-
sists ventilation; but except in case of illness, or its being
necessary to air a room, it is always best to do without
fire in sleeping chambers.
Q. Are any precautions to be observed when we get up
in the morning ?
A. Yes: the bed-clothes should be thrown back and
remain so for two or three hours, exposed to the air that
blows in from the window. This purifies them, after the
perspiration and breath of the sleepers during the night.
Beds should never be made up while warm, or they will
have an offensive smell and be prejudicial to health.
Q. Ought the night-dress to be exposed to the air ?
A. By all means : in many families and schools it is
the rule, but a mistaken one, to make the children roll
up their night-dress almost as soon as they take it off in
the morning, while yet charged with the exhalations from
the skin. The best practice would be to hang each night-
dress on a peg in the wall.
Q. Is cleanliness as necessary in bed-rooms as in other
parts of a house ?
A. More so; because when asleep we are less able to
resist noxious influences than when awake. One-third
of our life is passed in bed, and as it is during this period
that our powers are renewed, we cannot be too careful
that all around us is favourable. Aided by ventilation,
warmth, and cleanliness, sleep will wrap our senses in
peaceful repose, and thus prove a most important means
in the maintenance of health.
Q. Why do we eat food?
A. To maintain our bodies in life, health, and vigour.
Q. In what way does food support life ?
A. It has been explained that the blood circulates to
every part of the body, in so doing it supplies the bones,
the muscles, the hair, the nails, the teeth, &c., with all
that' is neeeassary for their growth and strength. This
FOOD :--DIET. 29
wonderful process is always going on, and therefore we
eat food in order that new blood may be made, and all
these parts nourished without interruption.
Q. How is the food converted into blood ?
A. When taken into the stomach food is digested, and
changed into a fluid that looks something like yellow
gruel. It then enters the intestines or bowels, from
which, after undergoing other changes, it is conveyed by
a duct or channel to the heart where it mingles, drop by
drop, with the other blood as it rushes onwards to the
Q. Can we do without food ?
A. For a time only: instances have occurred of per-
sons starving themselves to death; they died after from
twenty to forty days. When there is no more nourish-
ment left in the blood every part of the body languishes
and shrinks, and life ceases at last for want of aliment, as
a lamp goes out for want of oil.
Q. How do we know when we want food ?
A. By the feeling or sensation of hunger.
Q. What sort of food is most suitable for us ?
A. Vegetables and the flesh of animals.
Q. Is the flesh of all animals equally suitable ?
A. No: mutton and beef, game, rabbits and poultry
are the most proper. As a rule, all young meat, such as
veal and lamb, is to be avoided; not being full-grown it
contains but little nutriment and is difficult of digestion.
Q. Is pork digestible ?
A. Pork is not so digestible as beef and mutton. It is
best dried and salted as bacon and ham.
Q. Can you tell me the food on which we are most
A. Yes, it is bread. It is not easy to say how we
should live without it. Bread has been always spoken of
as the chief sustenance of man.
Q. How much ought we to eat at one time ?
A. It is not possible to establish any other rule with
regard to eating than this: to leave off the instant we
Q. Is there any danger in eating too much?
A. Yes: over-eating weakens the stomach, impairs the
bodily powers, deadens the mind, and not unfrequently
brings on disease and death.
Q. Is it possible to guard against eating too much ?
A. It is: if we partake only of good wholesome plain
food, and eat slowly, and chew thoroughly, we shall, as a
rule, be satisfied with a proper quantity.
Q. Is plain or choice food the most suitable for us ?
A. Plain food: delicate flavors, high-seasoned sauces
and spices may be relished for a time, but are almost
certain to tempt people into eating too much; and over-
eating, as already stated, produces many injurious con-
Q. Do all persons require an equal quantity of food ?
A. No: appetite is almost as various as feature, no two
are precisely alike. Children and youths require more in
proportion than full grown men and women.
Q. Why so ?
A. Because children and youths are growing; they
have as it were to be built up, and therefore require some-
thing more than to make up for the mere daily waste ;
but men and women whose growing is finished stand in
need of no more than will satisfy their appetite and keep
up their strength.
Q. Is it desirable to eat only one kind of food ?
A. No: as far as can be judged man appears to have
been formed to eat various kinds of food: some people,
however, confine themselves to a vegetable diet with but
little or no inconvenience. All vegetable is certainly
better than all flesh; but a mixed diet is the best.
Q. Is temperance in eating attended with beneficial
A. Yes, with many. The stomach is kept in good
working condition, well able to digest the food it receives,
the blood circulates freely, all the bodily powers are in-
vigorated, and a feeling of glad satisfaction pervades the
mind and the body.
Q. Ought children and grown-up people to eat the
same kind of food ?
A. Generally speaking, the food of children should be
of a lighter kind than that eaten by adults. The stomachs
of grown-up people will bear more solid and stimulating
food than those of children.
FOOD :-DIET. 31
Q. At what times ought we to eat ?
A. The most natural rule is to eat only when we are
hungry: most persons, however, appear to desire food
soon after rising in the morning, and after that, at inter-
vals of about five hours, the appetite returns again.
Q. What kind of food is best for breakfast ?
A. For children, porridge made of coarse oatmeal, with
milk or bread, dry toast and milk and water, as may be
most suitable. Milk agrees with nearly all persons, but
people generally choose tea, coffee, chocolate, or cocoa, at
Q. Is any one of these better than the others ?
A. There are some persons with whom tea or coffee
does not agree, they can drink only cocoa or chocolate;
others again are best suited with tea or coffee.
Q. Is there any rule that can be followed with regard
to breakfast drinks ?
A. Yes: each person should take that which best
agrees with him, being careful that the beverage be not
too strong. Very strong tea or coffee over-excites the
nerves and injures the stomach, and strong chocolate often
causes head-ache and depression of spirits.
Q. Is mixing them with milk to be recommended ?
A. It is: milk, not quite boiling hot, is a great im-
provement to coffee, cocoa, or chocolate; cocoa may be
given to children, if mixed with plenty of milk.
Q. What have you to say concerning bread?
A. Bread is so important an article of diet that it
ought always to be made of good materials. Seconds
and brown bread, when pure, are very wholesome; but
whichever kind is chosen it should not be eaten until it
is at least two days old.
Q. Why should bread be kept two days before we eat it ?
A. Because new bread, especially when warm, is very
unwholesome and indigestible ; it is apt to turn sour on
the stomach, and cause flatulence or wind: for this rea-
son, also, rolls and other hot cakes are to be avoided.
Besides, the eating of new bread is wasteful.
Q. In what sort of a place should bread be kept ?
A. Bread should be kept in a cool, light, well ventila-
ted safe or closet, and the same may be said of most
other kinds of food; if a place be damp, dark, or dirty
provisions shut up in it soon spoil and acquire a bad
Q. Have you anything to say about butter ?
A. Butter, in moderate quantities, is wholesome and
assists the digestion of bread in the stomach; but whea
spread on hot bread or toast it is very unwholesome.
Q. Ought we to avoid eating toast ?
A. It is best to refrain from hot buttered toast;
thin dry toast with cold butter may safely be eaten. We
should do well to remember that warmed or melted but-
ter is very likely to disorder the stomach. Butter is not
unfrequently a cause of phlegm in the throat, and ceasing
to eat it will sometimes relieve bilious complaints.
Q. Supposing we breakfast at eight, at what hour ought
we to dine ?
A. At about half-past twelve or one; because what we
have eaten at breakfast, will by that time be digested.
In five hours after a meal the stomach has had a short
period of rest after its work, and is ready for a fresh
Q. Is it proper to eat between meals ?
A. No: the habit which some people have of eating
almost every hour, tends to disorder the stomach, and
produces a constant feeling of discomfort. But if too
hungry to wait for the next meal, we may eat a biscuit
or a small slice of bread and a mouthful of meat, but
not more than enough to keep the stomach quiet, until
the proper time for eating arrives.
Q. Is it then, always, improper to eat luncheon ?
A. Not always: many persons dine late, either from
choice or necessity; and it would be too long to wait
from breakfast-time till late in the afternoon without
eating. If we eat no more than appetite really requires,
once in five hours, we shall best contribute to the health
of our bodies.
Q. What kind of food is most suitable for dinner ?
A. Roast or boiled meat, with bread and vegetables.
Q. Is one sort of vegetable preferable to another ?
A. Generally speaking, potatos are the most suitable;
but carrots, turnips, parsnips, young greens, peas and
POOD : -DIET. 33
beans are agreeable and wholesome. Cabbage is very
apt to disagree with the stomach, and should only be
eaten in moderation, as well as all raw vegetables, such
Q. Is cheese considered a wholesome article of food ?
A. There are different opinions with respect to cheese :
some people who take much laborious exercise out of
doors can eat great quantities of cheese without incon-
venience ; it often disagrees with other persons, and they
should eat as little as possible, or none at all. Fried or
toasted cheese is said to be more unsuitable for the
stomach than when uncooked.
Q. Ought pies and puddings to be eaten at dinner ?
A. Some sorts of puddings and pie-crust generally are
very indigestible, and are therefore to be avoided; they
are unwholesome because they are mixed with too much
butter or lard: if but a moderate quantity of either of
these be used, pie-crust may be made perfectly whole-
Q. Are not some kinds of pudding nutritious?
A. Yes: such as rice, sago, tapioca, barley, Iceland
moss, &c., are very nourishing, especially when prepared
With milk. They are the most suitable kinds of pudding
for children, and may be very agreeably flavoured by
Q. Is the fat of meat wholesome ?
A. What has been stated of butter, will also in part
apply to the fat of meat: the appetite in general is the
best guide. To most grown-up people a little fat is
acceptable; while nearly all children hold it in great dis-
Q. Ought children to be made to eat fat whether they
like it or not ?
A. By no means: the taste of fat is as repulsive to
children as that of train-oil or soap would be to adults;
their almost universal unwillingness to eat it is a proof
that it is not good for them. In some families and
schools, children are cruelly tormented by being forced
to eat fat; those who make them do so are greatly to be
Q. After breakfast and dinner there comes tea; is an,
thing to be said with regard to this meal ?
A. Persons who dine at one may take tea at four or
five; they ought not to eat much if they take supper
afterwards, as the liquid is the refreshment chiefly re-
quired at tea-time. Those who dine late in the day
generally drink tea at seven or eight in the evening.
Q. Are suppers necessary ?
A. Persons who take a great deal of exercise, or who
work hard, may take suppers: not so those who pass
most of their time within doors. The wise practice
would be to eat a good substantial meal at breakfast and
dinner, and to take no more than a slice of dry toast
at tea time for the rest of the day.
Q. What is the consequence of over-eating at supper ?
A. It was stated in chapter x., that, during sleep, the
bodily functions go on very slowly; therefore, if we go
to bed with a full stomach, the food remains undigested
nearly the whole night; and our sleep will be unrefresh-
ing and disturbed by dreams.
Q,. Is any other effect produced ?
A. Yes: we wake in the morning with a nauseous
taste in our mouth, dull in mind, and heavy in body;
and instead of having a good appetite for breakfast, we
scarcely care to eat at all. In this sort of dead-alive
way, many persons go on for years, when, by a little self-
denial, and ordinary care, they might enjoy vigorous
Q. Can any general conclusions be drawn as regards
A. The subject of eating may be thus stated:-We
should eat most heartily in the early part of the day,-
our food should always be of good wholesome quality,
and thoroughly cooked,-we should study to find out
what kinds of food are most suitable for us,-we should
carefully guard against eating too much,-and endeavour
constantly to control appetite by reason,-and then, we
may reasonably hope, that health will be the reward of
DIET CONTINUED :-DRINKS.
Q. Is it as necessary to drink as to eat ?
A. It is: life can be supported longer on all liquid
than on all solid food.
Q. Are all kinds of drinks alike suitable for human
A. No: some are positively injurious; but there is
one which is in all respects adapted for man-it is water.
Q. Is it better to drink water than other kinds of
A. Yes; because water invigorates instead of weaken-
ing the health; it neither spoils the appetite nor de-
ranges the stomach.
Q. Is water all alike ?
A. No: there are great differences in the quality of
water; the best is that of a clear bright river, running
over a gravelly bed, or of springs which are not hard, and
have no earthy or mineral taste. Rain water, too, when
quite pure, is very wholesome.
Q. What kinds of water are unwholesome ?
A. The water of stagnant ponds and ditches; that
which runs through marshes and bogs; that which is
drawn from wells near to a cess-pool or church-yard;
and worst of all, the water of a river into which run the
filth and refuse of a town.
Q. Are there any means of making impure water
A. Yes; by means of a filter. A filter is an earthen
jar, similar in shape to a large flower-pot. In it is placed
a layer of sand, fine gravel, and charcoal. Water is then
poured in; it is cleansed by passing through the layers,
and drops slowly out by an opening in the bottom.
Q. Does this process effectually improve it ?
A. Only to a certain extent: it is scarcely possible
to restore impure water, and it has been observed that
cholera is most fatal where people drink bad water. Per-
fectly pure water is to be preferred in every respect.
Putting toast into water does not improve the quality
it merely disguises a disagreeable flavour.
Q. What other beverages can be recommended besides
A. Milk, tea, and coffee, and similar preparations, as
described in chapter xi.
Q. Are not beer, ale, porter, wine and spirits whole-
some drinks ?
A. Only on particular occasions, and in small quanti-
ties; to drink largely and habitually of any one of these
is extremely prejudicial to health.
Q. May not ale and porter be taken daily, at dinner ?
A. It would tend greatly to the health and well-being
of society, if no intoxicating liquors of any kind were
drunk; but if persons cannot be persuaded to abstain
altogether, the next best course is to take but very mod-
Q. When are such drinks as above-mentioned benefi-
A. In certain conditions of health beer or wine are
useful as restoratives, and can be taken into the stomach
when drugs or other medicines would be rejected. Cases
occur, too, in which spirits may prevent life from sink-
ing, or re-invigorate the bodily powers when weakened
by some eudden shock.
Q. What rule should be followed in such cases ?
A. To ark the advice of a prudent and experienced
medical practitioner, and follow it.
Q. How is it that, if strong drinks are so injurious,
they are so much drunk ?
A. There are several causes for the general use of fer-
mented or intoxicating beverages : a mistaken belief that
strong liquors make the body strong; that they assist
digestion; that they keep the cold out; but the chief
cause is, the temporary elevation and excitement of feel-
ing which such liquors produce.
Q. Are we, then, to understand that strong drinks do
not strengthen the body ?
A. We are: it would be just as wise to suppose that
the strong scent of onions is strengthening, as that strong
liquors are. Strength of body is kept up by good whole-
some food and proper exercise; but the fact is, most
people relish strong drinks, and so invent all sorts of ex-
cuses for drinking them.
DIET :-DRINKS. 37
Q. What effects are produced on human beings by in-
toxicating liquors ?
A. The stomach is disordered, and the appetite thereby
weakened, so that a sufficient quantity of nourishing food
cannot always be taken; the body loses its vigour, the
mind becomes dejected, and can only be re-animated by
more drink; and when indulged in to excess, disease and
speedy death overtake the drinker.
Q. In what way does the body become weak ?
A. When spirit is taken into the stomach it is absorbed
the same as other liquids; but in its course through the
body it prevents the blood from depositing nutriment,
and therefore, as the daily waste is not made up, increas-
ing weakness is the natural consequence.
Q. Do all strong drinks contain spirit ?
A. All fermented drinks, such as beer, cider, wine, and
others contain spirit. This spirit which is mostly called
alcohol, can be separated from the liquors; and thereby
we know that those who drink intoxicating drinks swallow
spirit in some form or other.
Q. What conclusion are we to draw from these facts ?
A. That if we wish to avoid the injurious effects of in-
toxicating liquors, we must drink of them in but very
moderate quantities, or take only water. Strong drink
has slain its thousands of victims, but no one ever yet
repented of being a water-drinker.
Q. What are the effects of drinking water ?
A. Except in rare instances, those who drink water
only, enjoy a good appetite and regular health, quiet
sleep and a cheerful mind; while, the money which
strong drink would have cost may be laid out on edu-
cation and intellectual improvement.
Q. Can those who drink water only drink too much ?
A. Yes: it is possible to drink too much water, as
well as too much of other innocent beverages. Some
persons drink large draughts of cold water at dinner,
which do harm by chilling the stomach and retarding
Q. What quantity ought a person to drink at dinner ?
A. As a rule, half a pint would be sufficient; but by a
little care, any one may easily find out how much or how
little ought to be drunk. Some persons troubled with a
feeling of heaviness and discomfort after meals, have
found themselves quite relieved by refraining entirely
from drink at dinner.
Q. May soup be regarded as a drink, and is it whole-
A. Soup may in some respects be considered a drink.
When it is taken into the stomach, the watery part is at
once absorbed, and the nutritious part being left in a thin
and concentrated form is very indigestible. Soup, there-
fore, should be taken only in small quantities, and solid
food eaten with it. Children fed much on peas-soup are
very liable to mesenteric diseases.
Q. Is it always safe to drink water ?
A. When we are much heated, it is dangerous to
drink a rapid draught of cold water, because the sudden
chill gives such a check to the vital powers, as sometimes
to be fatal to life. At such times we may avoid all dan-
ger, and quench our thirst most effectually by sucking
water through a straw, or drinking it by spoonfuls.
Q. Is there any other precaution which can be ob-
A. Yes: by pouring cold water on our wrists, or
rinsing our mouths, either of which is almost as re-
freshing as a cooling drink.
Q. Have you any other statement to make concerning
A. Yes : over-drinking is as much to be guarded against
as over-eating: too much tea, coffee, chocolate, soup, &c.,
disturb and weaken the stomach, and injure the general
health. To say that we like a thing is but a poor excuse
for excess in the use of it. Reason was given to us for the
control of our appetites.
Q. What have you to say about cooking ?
A. Cooking is of much importance: good food may be
spoiled by bad cooking. Bad cooking, therefore, is pre-
judicial to health.
Q. What constitutes good cooking ?
A. Good cooking consists in preparing food with
cleanliness, skill, and punctuality.
Q. Is it very difficult to cook properly ?
A. The most perfect method of cooking is a highly
skilful and scientific operation; but with a little care and
attention, almost any person may prepare a relishing and
Q. What directions are to be followed in cooking ?
A. Special instructions in cooking would form a volume
of themselves, and all that can be given here is a few of
the leading principles.
Q. Explain these ?
A. Cleanliness and order are necessary: all the vessels
and utensils used in cooking should be kept perfectly
clean, and each one should be kept in its proper place, so
as to be readily found when needed.
A. Forethought and watchfulness are necessary: fore-
thought, to provide the needful supplies in proper time,
and with strict economy; and watchfulness, to prevent
spoiling, waste, or delay in the cooking.
Q. What are the next points for consideration ?
A. Skill and punctuality. Skill in cooking, as in any
other occupation, is only to be acquired by practice and
observation. For instance, if it be observed that a leg of
mutton, weighing eight pounds, is sufficiently boiled or
roasted in two hours, we may know that a leg of mutton,
similar in size, can always be properly cooked in the
same space of time.
Q. What have you to say of punctuality ?
A. Punctuality in cooking means that all the articles
of which a meal is composed should be ready precisely
at the time required.
Q. How is this to be accomplished ?
A. By a little attention: thus, if a dinner is to be
ready at one o'clock, and it takes two hours to roast the
meat, three hours to boil the pudding, and one hour to
boil the vegetables, we have only to put each article to
the fire at the proper moment, and all will be ready at
the right time.
Q. Which modes of cooking are the best ?
A. Roasting, broiling, stewing, boiling and baking.
Fried meat is much less wholesome than when prepared
in any one of the ways here mentioned.
Q. What other modes of cooking are unwholesome ?
A: Meat twice cooked, such as hash, is less digestible
than when only once cooked. The use of great quanti-
ties of fat or grease in the preparation of food is also
Q. In what way does well-cooked food contribute to
A. Properly-cooked food is the most nutritious, and
when it enters the stomach is in the fittest state to
undergo digestion, which process is immediately com-
menced, and completed within a natural time. But ill-
cooked food remains a long time in the stomach, is less
nutritious, turns sour, and causes pain and inconvenience,
if not worse.
Q. What sort of food is the most suitable ?
A. This has been explained in chapter ii; however, it
may be here repeated, that good plain food is most con-
ducive to health. Still it should be made as relishing as
possible by simple means; for the more we relish our
food, and the more cheerful we are in eating, the more
good will it do us.
SAN IT A llON. 4
CHAPTER XI V.
Q. Is health at all dependent on clothing ?
A. Yes: unless proper attention be paid to clothing,
we cannot expect to enjoy uninterrupted health.
Q. Why so ?
A. Because as much as possible we should endeavour
to keep our bodies in their natural equable temperature
or warmth. We all of us know the feeling of comfort-
able warmth; if hotter than this, we are too hot; if
colder, too cold.
Q. How is it then that we can remain in health in
very hot weather ?
A. Because nature provides a means of safety-it is
perspiration. Sometimes on a hot day, we feel languid
and altogether overcome by the heat; but presently,
perspiration breaks out, and affords immediate relief.
We no longer feel so hot, and are able to go through our
duties with ease and pleasure. Perspiration is a sort of
safety-valve, by which our bodies are saved from the
painful effects of over-heat.
Q. What kind of clothing ought we to wear in hot
A. Such as is light in colour and quality, and at the
same time porous.
Q. Why is light-coloured clothing the most suitable
in summer ?
A. Because light-coloured garments absorb less heat
than dark-coloured ones. A black brick in the sunshine
will be very much hotter than a white one placed near
it; so will a black or dark-coloured dress be much hot-
ter in summer than a light-coloured one.
Q. What is meant by porous clothing ?
A. Such as is not water-proof, or of very close texture,
and through which air and perspiration can pass freely.
If, in hot weather, we wear such clothes as prevent the
perspiration from passing everywhere freely from the
surface of our skin, we become oppresSed and almost
incapable of exertion.
Q. Having explained how to prevent too much heat,
now tell me how we are to guard against too much cold ?
A. In preceding chapters it has been shown that the
warmth of the body is mainly kept up by breathing and
eating; in winter this warmth goes off very rapidly, and
therefore we have to keep it in by putting on additional
Q. In what way do additional garments keep us warm ?
A. Not, as many people suppose, by keeping the cold
out, but by keeping the warmth in. There is a coating
of warm air between our skin and under-garment;
between this garment and the one above it there is also
a layer of warm air, and so on, for every additional gar-
ment we put on.
Q. Is thick or thin clothing the best for preserving
A. The effect of clothing depends on its quality:
woollen is warmer than cotton, and cotton than linen.
Woollen clothes best preserve the bodily warmth, because
heat passes very slowly through woollen, and is thus pre-
vented escaping from the body so rapidly as would be
the case with other clothing.
Q. Is light or heavy clothing the most suitable ?
A. Clothing ought to be rather light than heavy; be-
cause heavy clothes impede the movements of the body
and produce a feeling of weariness.
Q. Is it advisable to wear water-proof clothing ?
A. Not such as prevents the escape of perspiration; as
before stated, an insensible perspiration is always going
on while we are in health, and unless this has free passage
through our clothes we are sure to suffer in some way.
Q. How much additional clothing should we wear in
cold weather ?
A. No positive rule can be given for this : the best way
is to wear enough to keep us comfortably warm. It is a
mistake to endeavour to bear cold under the notion that
it strengthens the constitution: keeping up the natural
warmth is the true way to sustain health and strength.
Q. At what time is additional clothing more especially
A. When we leave a warm house to go out in the cold
air we need more than ordinary covering to prevent the
sudden chill that would be sure to follow. The additional
garment should be perfectly free from damp, and if warm
so much the better.
Q. Why so?
A. Because a coat or cloak, which has been hanging
for some time in a passage or closet, serves rather to chill
than to keep us warm.
Q. Why is it injurious to wear damp clothes ?
A. Because damp clothing withdraws heat from the
body rapidly, and occasions colds and sometimes fever.
There is always danger in damp, whether in house or
clothes. We cannot keep our garments too dry.
Q. In what other way is damp injurious ?
A. If we sit or sleep in a room where damp clothes are
hung up we do what is improper; damp in a bed-room is
Q. Is it necessary to be careful with the clothing of
A. Yes: particular attention should be paid to child-
ren's dress, for the very young are not so well able to
resist the ill-consequences of neglect as those of more
Q. What are the chief points to be attended to in the
clothing of children ?
A. Children's clothing should be warm and soft, with-
out being heavy or tight: there should be no pressure
to impede the movements of their little limbs, or cause
Q. What besides ?
A. Another point which all parents and nurses ought
to consider is to keep children properly warm.
Q. How is this to be done ?
A. By suiting the dress to the season. An infant or
child should never be coddled or overloaded with gar-
ments. Coddling brings on fretfulness and weakness, as
is often the case with infants who are wrapped up and
almost kept from breathing every time they are carried
out of doors.
Q. Give a rule for warm weather.
A. In warn weather children should wear loose-fitting
clothes, of such materials as will admit of being easily
washed and kept clean. Cleanliness greatly promotes
the comfort and good-temper of children.
Q. What difference is to be made in cold weather ?
A. Children should have sufficient clothing to prevent
their feeling cold, and every part should be properly
covered. They ought never to be dressed as young
Highlanders in cold weather, with bare arms and legs.
Many children suffer in health from careless exposure of
Q. What else have you to say about children's
A. Those who have the care of children should en-
deavour to learn and follow the best rules as regards
their dress; for young children are not always able to
state the pain or discomfort which they experience.
Many parents dress their children improperly, and
bring sorrow upon themselves, through ignorance. T14s
ignorance should be made to give place to proper know-
Q. Is it proper to wear flannel next the skin ?
A. Yes: flannel is an excellent substance for preserv-
ing the bodily warmth. Such persons as cannot bear the
friction of flannel may wear cotton underneath. Chamois
leather is also good for under-waistcoats.
Q. What further remains to be said on the subject of
A. One very important point to be attended to with
regard to our clothes is that they fit comfortably. Tight
clothes are not only inconvenient, they do much harm by
their confinement and pressure on the body.
Q. W here is pressure most injurious ?
A. Round the neck and waist; tight belts or bands
ought not therefore to be worn: but of all mischievous
articles of dress stays are the worst.
Q. Why so?
A. Because they compress the ribs and prevent the
lungs expanding to their full natural size : consequently
a tightly-laced female cannot take in sufficient breath to
keep ,her in health.
Q. W hy do women wear such hurtful things as stays ?
A. From a mistaken notion that a small waist is beau-
tiful; whereas the natural form is the most beautiful.
Those Indians who squeeze their heads flat between two
boards are not more foolish than women who squeeze up
their waist to a few inches diameter.
Q. Is it possible for women to dress without stays ?
A. It is very possible; and there are many sensible
women in this country who never wear them, with much
benefit to their health, and improvement in their appear-
Q. Proceed with your remarks.
A. We are to avoid tight neck-cloths or cravats, tight
collars, tight garters, tight shoes; in fact there should
be no pressure in any part of our dress if we wish to
retain our health.
Q. State some other effects of tightness in clothing.
A. Pressure round the neck disturbs the functions of
the brain, and weakens the powers of the mind: a tight
garter will cause cramps and swellings of the veins of the
leg, and tight shoes are the fruitful cause of corns and
Q. What general conclusions do you offer on the sub-
ject of clothing ?
A. Clothing should mostly be soft in quality, fit easily,
be kept very clean and dry, and be changed as often as
possible. Clothing should always (but more particularly
in winter) be rather too warm than too cool. In short,
the more we attend to natural laws with regard to dress,
as with most other matters, the more do we avoid pain
and sorrow, and promote our own comfort and health.
EXERCISE, RECREATION, AND AMUSEMENT
Q. What is meant by exercise?
A. The putting of our body into motion. For in-
stance, if a boy runs, walks, jumps, skips or dances, he
Q. Is it necessary for us to take exercise ?
A. Yes: for health depends greatly on exercise.
Q. How is health benefited by exercise ?
A. It is a law of nature that, the more a living animal
exerts itself, within proper limits, the stronger it becomes.
Q. State some particular facts.
A. When a boy first begins to learn to write, his fin-
gers ache with holding the pen, but in a short time the
pain ceases, and his hand becomes accustomed to the
A. If we work with tools, the skin on the palms of
our hands grows thicker than before, and better able to
bear blows and pressure; so if we walk much, the skin
thickens on the soles of our feet, and the muscles of the
leg are strengthened.
Q. How do we know this ?
A. We see it daily: a labourer or porter, accustomed
to carry heavy weights, is much stronger than a clerk
who sits at a desk, or stands behind a counter all day.
Besides, we may prove in our own persons, that exercise
strengthens the body.
Q. Can we see the value of exercise on other than
living objects ?
A. Yes: a flute, violin, or organ is greatly improved
by being frequently played on; a steam-engine works
more pleasantly after a little use, than when first set in
motion; and most workmen find their tools most useful
after a little service.
Q. It appears then that there is some resemblance be-
tween the human body and a machine.
A. The human body is a machine, most exquisitely
and wonderfully constructed, and it is only by proper
attention to the laws of health, that it can be maintained
in good working condition.
Q. Can we do without exercise ?
A. No: want of exercise brings on weakness of body,
lowness of spirits, a disposition to sudden alarms, and
tremblings of the limbs; the natural warmth is dimin-
ished, the face becomes pale and dull, and life is mate-
Q. If such be the effects of want of exercise, does
taking exercise produce opposite results ?
A. Yes: as already observed, exercise strengthens and
invigorates the body; instead of pallor, the features glow
with health and cheerfulness, the step becomes firm, and
weakness and tremblings disappear. Exercise, indeed, is
the best medicine and renovator of the spirits.
Q. Is it as necessary to take exercise regularly, as it is
to wash, eat, or sleep regularly ?
A. It is : exercise, to be really beneficial, should be
taken every day.
Q. Is one time better than another for exercise ?
A. That may be according to season, climate, and other
circumstances: in spring and summer, the morning and
evening would be best, while in autumn and winter, the
middle of the day should be chosen for exercise.
Q, How are we to exercise in bad weather ?
A. If the weather be such as to prevent our going out,
we must then take exercise in-doors.
Q. What sort of exercise is the best ?
A. Walking is to be preferred to all other kinds of
exercise; it causes movement of the arms as well as of
the legs, and brings numerous muscles into play.
Q. State some other effects of walking.
A. Our breathing becomes fuller and deeper while we
walk, more air enters the lungs; the blood circulates
more actively, and conveys an agreeable feeling of warmth
and pleasure to all parts of the body.
Q. Can you give any other examples ?
A. Walking is generally carried on in the open air, and
on that account alone is especially beneficial. But if we
ramble away from the streets of towns into the pleasant
fields and lanes of the country, the benefit is doubled, be-
cause the mind is re-animated as well as the body.
Q. Does the mode of walking require attention ?
A. Yes: we should be careful to walk with upright
body, our shoulders held back and chest thrown furwa .l:,
whereby most room is obtained for the healthy play cf
the lungs, and the body is maintained in its natural and
Q. Is walking equally suitable for all persons ?
A. With few exceptions it is: but each one should
regulate it according to his strength.
Q. Can any rule be followed for this ?
A. Yes: the rule in walking or any other exercise
should be, not to prolong it till we are very tired, though
it is well to feel slightly fatigued, because after slight
fatigue our rest is sound and refreshing.
Q. Is it advisable to take exercise before breakfast or
just after a meal ?
A. No : if we are obliged to go out early in the morn-
ing we ought first to eat something if it be only a crust
of bread. We ought, as much as possible, to avoid active
exercise when the stomach is empty or full.
Q. Why is exercise injurious immediately after eating ?
A. Because when any part of the body is exercised it
draws more blood and warmth to itself than go to
other parts. So when the stomach is filled with food,
the blood-vessels which surround it become fuller than
before, and the heat is increased to promote digestion.
Now, if by exercising other parts, we take away blood
and warmth from the stomach, digestion will either
cease for a time or go on very slowly.
Q. How long ought we to wait, after eating, before
taking exercise ?
A. If possible, two hours; by that time digestion
will be pretty far advanced, and we may work or walk
without risk or inconvenience.
Q. What are people to do who are obliged to return
to work immediately after their meals ?
A. Workmen and others who are compelled to resume
their labour almost as soon as they have swallowed their
blood, should eat in moderation; by not overloading the
stomach they will avoid many painful consequences.
Q. Ts exercise good for children ?
A. Yes, particularly so; children delight in activity
and movement, and are never so happy as when running
Q. Is it right to forbid children taking exercise ?
A. No: it is positively wrong. Many persons keep
children very quiet lest they should grow up rude and
coarse in manner; but this is a most fatal mistake.
Children without exercise are as unhappy as birds with-
Q. Ought we to take much or little exercise ?
A. As a rule no one ought to take less than two hours'
exercise, out of doors, every day.
Q. Is work exercise ?
A. In some respects it is not. Workmen in following
their trade seldom use more than one set of muscles:
compositors, shoemakers, and tailors, for instance, exert
the muscles of the arms only. Consequently, unless
such persons walk or join in active games they do not
take sufficient healthful exercise.
Q. Is any other kind of exercise as good as walking ?
A. As a rule no kind of exercise is so good as walking;
riding on horseback is the next best.
Q. What other modes of exercise are considered suit-
A. Dancing is good exercise, especially for children
and young people, the action is lively, it cheers and ex-
hilarates the spirits; and when not carried to excess is
highly favourable to a healthy state of body.
Q. Are there any objections to dancing ?
A. Some persons object to dancing from the notion
that it leads to dissipation and levity of mind; but any
other innocent amusement may become hurtful if carried
to excess. Under the eye of a kind and judicious mother
or governess, children may dance not only without dan-
ger, but with great pleasure and benefit.
Q. What is to be said of other modes of exercise ?
A. Skipping is good: the rope should be thrown
backwards instead of forwards, as the backward motion
tends to expand the chest and improve respiration.
A. Leaping, running and jumping, are spirited modes
of exercise, but are best suited for those who are strong
and stout of body; those who are weak and not much
habituated to active exertion, should use great caution in
Q. Is the effect of all such exercise the same as that
described of walking?
A. Yes; more or less all active exercise tends to im-
part a pleasurable feeling and warm glow to the body.
Q. Is it safe when we are heated by exercise to throw
open our clothing and sit on the grass or facing a breeze ?
A. It is hardly safe at any time to sit long on the grass;
6ut when we are heated it is positively dangerous. We
should keep our garments well closed around us, and
move about slowly, so as to cool gradually; or sit in-
doors out of a draught.
Q. Are we to attend strictly to these precautions ?
A. Yes: we should carefully remember that whenever
we are in a state of perspiration, we are on no account
to remain quite still, exposed to damp or a current of
air. It is only by continued exercise, or by seeking some
proper shelter, that we can avoid danger.
Q. Is exercise as good for girls as for boys ?
A. Yes: no difference should be made. The exercise
permitted to a well-trained boy may also be permitted to
a girl. Much of the ill-health to which young women
are subject, would be prevented by allowing them to
exercise themselves to their hearts' content in their early
Q. Then exercise is equally beneficial to males and
A. There is no doubt of it: and as exercise pro-
motes the natural grace and beauty of the body and
limbs, we may, by taking it actively, avoid many kinds
of awkwardness and deformity.
Q. Is there any other kind of exercise besides active ?
A. Yes: exercise may be either active or passive. I
have already explained what the former is; passive exer-
cise consists in being carried, riding in a cart, coach, or
Q. Is there any benefit in passive exercise ?
A. There is: the change of scene and movement
through the air seldom fail of producing a beneficial state
of mind which re-acts favourably on the body. But those
who are able should always prefer active exercise.
Q. Is riding on horse-back to be recommended ?
A. Yes: riding on horse-back exerts a different set of
muscles to those which we use in walking; on which
account, some pedestrians, when weary, find it more
restoring to mount a horse than to sit still in a chair.
Q. What precautions are to be observed in horse-
A. The same precautions are to be attended to in rid-
ing on horse-back as in other kinds of exercise. Over-
fatigue is to be avoided especially by those who are in a
weak state of health.
Q. When is exercise most beneficial?
A. When it animates the mind, cheers the spirits, and
invigorates the body.
Q. Is there any objection to amusing exercise ?
A. None at all: amusing exercise contributes to cheer-
fulness ana health, in other words it becomes recreation.
Q. What is meant by recreation ?
A. The re-making or restoring our strength, spirits,
and vigour. Games, and sports, and pastimes, are recre-
ation; the joyous and innocent frolics of children are
recreation; even a walk, or reading, or drawing, or viewing
sights may be recreation.
Q. Is it not a waste of time to engage in sports and
A. By no means: that which promotes bodily health
tends to composure and contentment of mind. All work
and no play is sure to bring on weariness and discontent.
Q. Ought grown-up people to play ?
A. Men and women require recreation as well as
children. Some prefer active and boisterous sports, others
like some gentle occupation; the choice must be left to
persons' own inclinations.
Q. How are people who work all day to take recreation ?
A. As we often see in the fine long evenings of sum-
mer, working-people go out to the open fields and play
at cricket, foot-ball, and other games ; but in winter, they
must resort to fire-side amusements.
Q. What are those to do who live in large towns, far
from the open country ?
A. In such a case they can only go to the nearest open
space, a river side, or park. In London, and some other
large towns, parks and exercise-grounds are now laid out
for the people.
Q. Should the laying-out of such places be encouraged ?
A. Yes : every city, town, and village in the kingdom
ought to have its recreation-ground proportionate to the
population. It is much cheaper to provide rational pas-
times than to punish crime ; and if people are encouraged
in active and healthful recreations, the disposition towards
crime will be greatly diminished.
Q. You mentioned fire-side amusements: state what
they are ?
A. Among fire-side amusements we may include read-
ing, singing, music, reciting passages from good authors,
playing at chess, puzzles, riddles, forfeits, and many others
which are well known. All are useful in their way, and
by a little wise management, it is possible so to vary them,
as to make evenings pass pleasantly and profitably.
Q. Are there any others ?
A. Yes: to visit museums, or instructive and improv-
ing exhibitions, to attend lectures, to frequent the me-
chanics' institute-all these may be classed with fire-side
recreations. All tend to inform and elevate the mind,
and to promote health of body. Violent passions are
restrained or softened by rational recreation. Work and
play, health and wealth, prosperity and happiness should
go together-and individual well-being become national
HABITS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH.
Q. Has habit any influence on health ?
A. It has: we have learned in preceding chapters
that good habits favour health, while bad habits are in-
Q. Which are the most general among bad habits ?
A. Those of dirty modes of living, of over-eating and
drinking, and various self-indulgences as already explained;
and others connected with trade or occupation.
Q. Give me some examples.
A. If boys or girls at school are allowed to sit leaning
forward over the desk or at their sewing, they get into a
habit of stooping, which is not only ungraceful but hurt-
ful. Any position which is not natural is injurious.
Q. State some others.
A. The trades of shoemakers and tailors are injurious
because of the stooping position in which the men are
compelled to sit; and if any means could be devised
whereby they could work without stooping, their health
and strength would be much benefited.
A. The occupations of grinders and polishers in shops
and factories where metal articles are made are also in-
jurious; the fine dust of steel or brass, or the grit of the
stone, enters the lungs of the men as they breathe; and
thus they are exposed to fatal disease.
Q. Is there no means of avoiding these evils ?
A. Yes: masks have been invented which prevent the
entrance of the metal dust into the mouths of the grind-
ers, and ventilating shafts have been contrived for carry-
ing it off; but it often happens that these workmen are
too ignorant to make use of the means thus placed within
Q. What are we to conclude from this ?
A. When we see people pursuing wrong courses for
want of knowing better or any other cause, we feel that
every proper means should be taken to spread proper
knowledge and enlightenment, so that those who are
ignorant may be taught to avoid what will do them harm.
Q. Have you anything further to say concerning
A. The trade of a painter is injurious, owing to the
noxious smell of white-lead; but the ill effects may be
lessened by attention to cleanliness, and changing the
clothes immediately on leaving work. Besides which,
there is reason to believe that the white of zinc which is
harmless, may be taken into use by painters, instead of
the poisonous white-lead.
A. Men employed in foundries and chemical works are
often exposed to injurious fumes; butchers, too, suffer
from the unwholesome smells in slaughter-houses. But
in all these cases it is possible to keep clear of much
harm by timely care and attention.
Q. Are there any other ill effects connected with trade
or business ?
A. Yes: and none more deplorable than those arising
from late hours; bakers are particularly unfortunate in
this respect, so also are grocers, linen-drapers, and some
Q. Are these evils unavoidable ?
A. They are not. It has been proved that bakers may
carry on their business without night-work; and by a
little management the shopmen of all traders who are now
kept in until very late in the evening, might be released
at eight o'clock at the latest, and thus enabled to take
exercise for their health or mental improvement.
Q. Have you any other statement to offer P
A. Yes: it ought to be remembered that to work, or
to live in over-heated or in cold rooms is hurtful. Too
much heat is bad, and too much cold is bad. Moderation
is the grand rule in this as in most other matters.
Q. Can workmen themselves do anything towards a
change for the better ?
A. They can: the men in a shop may always do some-
thing towards keeping it clean and properly ventilated;
they may avoid over-fatigue, and forced and painful pos-
tures of the body.
HABITS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH. 55
Q. Can you give me a list of bad habits which it would
be desirable and beneficial to avoid ?
A. I can: we may leave off eating too much, drinking
too much-smoking and chewing tobacco, and snuff-tak-
ing-wearing dirty clothes, or keeping a dirty skin.
Instead of sitting up late, either for work or for pleasure,
it would be best to go to bed at a reasonably early hour;
and instead of indulging in too much sleep, or lying too
long in bed, we may, if we will, rise in proper time in
Q. Go on.
A. We may leave off habits of idleness and take to
habits of industry; we may always endeavour to stand
or sit upright, instead of stooping; we may avoid over-
study, and over-work; too much reading or working by
candle-light. And lastly we may, if we will, shun any
mental habits of slander, envy, anger, jealousy, and the
like, which we may have acquired, and exchange them
for habits which promote our well-being and happiness.
Q. What consequences might be expected from the
acquisition of general good habits ?
A. In addition to a healthy state of body, good phy-
sical habits lead to a healthy state of mind; and good
mental habits to a healthy state of body-for the body
and mind re-act upon each other very powerfully, so
that if one be diseased the other will be diseased. As
they are so closely connected, it is our duty to keep them
both in the best possible condition.
ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, AND MEDICINE.
Q. What is meant by Anatomy ?
A. Anatomy is the science which describes to us the
structure of our bodies, and explains the mode in which
the whole is built up and put together.
Q. Of what use is anatomy?
A. A knowledge of anatomy is of great use; it enables
us to prevent or relieve disease, and to use means for the
preservation of our health, and to compare one animal
Q. Do we know anything of anatomy besides that of
our own bodies ?
A. Yes: owing to the researches of scientific men, a
good deal is known concerning the anatomy of other
animals--the horse, ox, and sheep, for example, as well
as numerous others; plants and vegetables have also an
anatomy. In short, we can apply the word to all organic
creation, which means to all living bodies whatsoever,
whether animal or vegetable.
Q. Explain in what way the knowledge of anatomy is
A. A surgeon well acquainted with anatomy knows how
the stomach is formed of three layers, and the uses of
each one; he knows also how the liver, heart, or kidneys
are formed, and so of other parts of the body; so that
when anything goes wrong with any part, he can tell the
best means for curing it.
Q. Is this also true of animals and plants ?
A. It is: many horses, cows, and other valuable ani-
mals are cured of diseases by doctors who are called vet-
erinary surgeons ; they have studied the anatomy of those
creatures and thus know what is best to be done. In the
same way a knowledge of the anatomy of plants gives
us the power of improving them, and of regulating their
Q. Can you give me any other example ?
A. Yes: anatomy shows us that our skin is made up
ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, MEDICINE. 57
of three layers, each layer having a special function to
perform. If we work or walk too much our skin blisters,
A lhiih is a sign that the part wants rest. But if we per-
sist in exercising, it much soreness and pain will be the
Q. Why so?
A. Because it is the outer skin only which will bear
rubbing or pressure, as it cannot feel; if this be rubbed
off the under skin is exposed in which the sense of feel-
ing resides, and as this surface is not made to bear
rubbing or pressure as the other is, we then suffer very
great torture, as any one may know who has ever walked
or worked with a raw blister on his hands or feet.
Q. Is our knowledge of anatomy complete ?
A. It is not; every year some important additions are
made to it by naturalists and medical men in all parts of
the civilized world.
Q. What are we to conclude from these facts ?
A. That those who undertake studies which benefit
mankind are deserving of our respect. It is only by an
examination of dead bodies that anatomists can tell what
is best in the medical treatment of living bodies; and we
are not to think ill of surgeons because they dissect
corpses in pursuit of anatomical knowledge.
Q. If a person dies of an unknown disease, is it desir-
able to endeavour to ascertain the cause by an examina-
tion of the body ?
A. It is most desirable to do so; and those who refuse
to permit such an examination often hinder our know-
ledge of the causes of such diseases, and prevent means
being taken for their cure.
Q. What have you to say concerning physiology ?
A. Physiology is based on anatomy. The latter, as be-
fore stated, teaches us how we are made, while the former
teaches us how we live.
Q. In what way does it do this ?
A. Physiology shows us how the skin performs its
functions-bow the stomach digests food-how the
bowels act-how the blood circulates-how the nerves
are placed to convey sensation-how the joints and mus-
cles play-in short, it explains all the phenomena or
functions of life.
Q. Is this knowledge of any great use ?
A. A knowledge of physiology is of the highest use and
benefit to mankind. If we are not well, it is very proba-
ble that some one of our bodily functions is disturbed, or
improperly performed; and by knowing its condition
when in health, a physician is best able to undertake
means for a cure.
Q. Can you give any examples ?
A. A very familiar example of physiological knowledge
is seen in the use made of the beating of the pulse. A
physician knows how many beats take place in a minute,
in a healthy person; and if the number be above or be-
low the natural standard, he judges of the nature of our
illness, and acts accordingly.
Q. Can you state any others ?
A. Yes: by looking at a child a medical practitioner
can tell when an attack of measles or small-pox, or some
other disease is coming on, and can then advise the proper
Q. What further ?
A. In cases of fever a well-qualified physician can tell
which of the internal organs are attacked; he can trace
the progress of the disease from one part to another; he
knows where it can be most easily checked, and where it
is the most dangerous.
Q. What is the consequence of such knowledge ?
A. The consequence is that the right kinds of medicine
are administered, and in the proper quantity; and if the
remedies be applied in time, the severe effects of fevers
may be very greatly diminished.
Q. Is it possible in all cases to mark the course of dis-
A. Not in all, because we are not yet fully acquainted
with all the causes of disease. Sometimes pain is felt in
one part when it is another part that is really affected.
A disordered stomach, as many persons know, is often
the cause of a head-ache. Pain is frequently considered
to be the disease itself, whereas it is only the effect.
Q. Are there any other examples of such singular
A. There are: in some cases of liver complaint, the
ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, MEDICINE. 59
pain is not felt in the liver, but in the right shoulder,
because of a nerve which connects the one with the other.
Disease of the lungs sometimes produces painful sensation
in the wind-pipe; and in certain affections of the hip-
joint it is the knee that suffers and not the part diseased.
A. Children sometimes die of water on the brain; but
this disease is in most cases caused by long-continued
disorder of the bowels. All these facts show the value of
physiology; since, were it not for the knowledge which
this science teaches, we should never be able to account
Q. Can you offer any observations on these pheno-
A. Yes: from such facts as these we understand that
disease can only be cured on scientific principles,
founded on a proper knowledge of cause and effect. In
former days, when much ignorance prevailed on the sub-
ject, remedies would have been applied to the seat of the
Q. Would such applications have effected a cure ?
A. No ; because, as we have seen, the disease was really
in other parts; and this should lead us to beware of
quacks and ignorant pretenders to medical knowledge,
who profess to be able to cure all diseases with only one
Q. This brings us to the subject of medicine, what
have you to say upon it ?
A. As physiology is based on anatomy, so medicine is
based on both these sciences; any one ignorant of anat-
omy and physiology ought not to be trusted to for medical
Q. Is there a remedy for every disease ?
A. It is not unreasonable to suppose that nature has
provided remedies for all ailments ; there are many, how-
ever, with which we are not yet acquainted.
Q. Ought medicine to be given in all cases of disease ?
A. That is a point to be left to the judgment of a wise
physician; but as a rule, the less of medicine that people
take the better.
Q. Why so ?
A. Because in many cases nature is the best restorer;
and it is too much the practice with idle patients and idle
doctors to trust to medicine for a cure which might be
better effected by natural means.
Q. Does nature then endeavour to cure diseases ?
A. Yes: for instance, if a wound be made in our flesh,
the neighboring blood-vessels begin almost immediately
to carry to the part the means of healing it. So it fre-
quently happens when our bodies are diseased that a nat-
ural effort is made to remove the cause.
Q. What then is the true system of healing ?
A. That which follows the lead of nature; sometimes
it is right and proper to assist her operat ions with a little
medicine, at others it is best to leave the work entirely in
her own hands.
Q. Can we do anything in the latter case towards pro-
moting a cure?
A. We can :. by living very temperately when we are
out of health. At such times our appetite generally fails,
a sign that we ought to eat but little, or not at all, for a
time. If we persist in eating too much the cure is re-
tarded; and we may easily know when it is proper for
us to eat by the feeling of hunger coming on in a healthy
Q. Can any rule be given for the diet of people when
out of health ?
A. The best diet for people when ill is very weak tea,
or toast-water, with dry toast or biscuits. But a wise
physician will always know best what to recommend in
Q. Is it right to tempt patients to eat with nice food ?
A. By no means: very little food and that of the
plainest kind is all that is required ; but in this, as in
other respects, the medical attendant's advice and direc-
tions should be punctually and faithfully obeyed. It is
of little use to call in a physician if his instructions are
not to be followed.
Q. Is any preference to be given in seeking medical
A. As a rule it is always most desirable to ask the at-
tendance of the best physician or surgeon; good advice
is always the cheapest in the end,
ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, MEDICINE. 61
Q. What further have you to say on this subject ?
A. It would be well if all persons would take some pains
to gain ever so little knowledge of the subjects treated of
in this chapter. They would then be able to comprehend
medical advice to a certain extent and to act upon it.
Q. And what besides ?
A. They would find that quacks flourish on the igno.
rance of the ignorant ; and as a little knowledge is better
than none at all, if people had only enough to keep them
out of the hands of quacks it would be a great saving to
their health and their pocket.
Q. How is the knowledge you speak of to be gained ?
A. The careful reading of a few books will be sufficient
for most purposes. Some trustworthy general principles
may be gained from Macaulay's Medical Dictionary ;
Graham's Domestic Medicine; Southwood Smith's
Philosophy of Health; South's Household Surgery;
Combe's Physiology and Digestion; Johnson's Life,
Health, and Disease; Mayo's Philosophy of Living, and
numerous others. r
Q. Ought every man then to try to become his own
A. No: if a man doctors himself, or asks the advice
of a quack, it is like setting a tinker to repair a watch;
he is sure to make bad worse. Let each one gain such
knowledge as will enable him to make a proper use of
his reason, and the evils of ignorance will disappear.
GENERAL SANITARY CONSIDERATIONS.
Q. We have now learned the way in which any one
may keep himself in health: will the same means serve
for the inhabitants of a town or city, or for a whole na-
A. They will. The means which, on a small scale,
contribute to the health and prosperity of a family, will,
on a large scale, serve equally well for a whole nation.
Q. How is this proved ?
A. By the best of all proofs-by experience. In times
past, the number of deaths yearly in this country, in pro-
portion to the population, was very much greater than at
present. Some diseases which formerly prevailed are
now never heard of; in fact, the health of the people
generally is very greatly improved.
Q. What are the causes of this improvement ?
A. The habits of the people are more cleanly now than
they once were : more attention is paid to comfort; better
food, clothing, and lodging are to be had than in former
times, while the better cultivation and drainage of the
land, in all parts, of the country have removed many
causes of disease.
Q. Is there anything further to be done in these
A. Yes, much: there is every reason to believe that,
under the blessing of Providence, further improvements
of the same kind would lead to equally important im-
provements in health.
Q. Will you state what is now required ?
A. Every street and alley of every town should be
swept clean, at least once a-day,-cess-pools should be
abolished and replaced by water-closets connected with
drains,-every drain should discharge itself into a sewer,
and a sewer should be constructed in every street.
Q. What further ?
A. The contents of sewers should no longer be per-
mitted to flow into rivers, especially when supplies of
GENERAL SANITARY CONSIDERATIONS. 63
water for drinking are drawn from those rivers: the best
water that can be had should be supplied at the lowest
charge to every house of every town, in abundant quan-
Q. Go on.
A. All trades injurious to health should be removed
from towns-all grave-yards in towns should be closed,
never more to be opened-and all burials should take
place in cemeteries, in the country, far away from human
A. Slaughter-houses should also be banished from
towns-cattle-markets should no longer be permitted in
the streets-no scavengers' heaps, no offensive refuse
should be suffered to remain where human beings are
Q. What other measures can be adopted ?
A. Besides what has already been stated, there should
be public baths and wash-houses for those who have not
the means of washing or bathing at home. In every
town, there should be public walks, pleasure and exercise
grounds, planted with trees; and the larger the town,
the more numerous should be the places of recreation.
Q. How is this to be accomplished ?
A. All desirable sanitary measures may be carried out
by entrusting them to individuals well-acquainted with
their duty, and who are determined to discharge it hon-
estly and conscientiously, to the best of their ability.
Q. Is this the only means ?
A. No: every individual, high or low, rich or poor,
may do something for his own and the general good.
Let every one in his own family or connexions steadily
follow all the directions for health and cleanliness given
in this book, and the labour of national sanitation will be
more than half performed.
Q. What benefits would follow such arrangements ?
A. Perfect sanitary arrangements would bring im-
proved health; and as people improve in health and
cleanly habits, they improve in morals, they become bet-
ter members of society, and willing to receive and value
A. With the spread and improvement of education,
we may look for a diminution of crime, and of much of
the abject misery which prevails. People in all ranks of
life would learn and understand the advantage of life-in-
surance; and be prepared to recognize the importance of
improving pursuits, and above all, of religion.
Q" Then all may assist in the good work ?
A. Yes: habit is a grand power. Early training will
form early habits; early habits, properly regulated, may
grow into duties, and the performance of such duties, as
these will, with the favour of Providence, lead to the
welfare of all. Nothing short of persevering diligence
and rectitude will ever effect the much-desired reform.
" Health and good estate of body are above all gold, and a
strong body above infinite wealth."
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