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confining my remarks to affections of the throat and lungs; therefore,
The farther consumptive persons can get from the lake or sea-shore or prairies, the better for them. The statistics of the U. S. Army show that while eleven soldiers out of a thousand die of Consumption on the Atlantic and lake coasts, only ./we die at the forts stationed away from the sea or lake shore. It requires a fact and a theory in unison to make a truth, and on such a truth can our practice, our habits of life, safely rest.
In a vast number of cases, hurry consumptive people to the grave. Doubtless many who go to sea regain their health, who in some respects appeared to have Consumption, but it will be a rare exception, if the reader can bring to his remembrance a single instance of a person deriving any material lasting benefit from a passenger sea voyage, who had the following general symptoms of actual or threatened Consumption: a constant dry hacking cough, with a decrease of flesh and strength and breath, of six, eight, or ten months' continuance. If the reader can remember such an instance, he will promote the cause of truth and science by communicating it in a letter to my address, and at my expense.
When persons then inquire if I would advise a sea voyage in a case of actual Consumption, I reply in the negative, for it oftener aids to kill than cure. Those who have tried it for the removal of consumptive symptoms, have so often assured me of its inadequacy, that although once an advocate for it, I have been compelled to abandon it from the multitude of strong facts against the practice. Many seem surprised that I should not be in favor of breathing the fresh air as it came from the ocean, and begin with great energy to reason about its purity, and to theorize about its freshness and bracing nature. Those who love argument, too often seek for victory and not information; and I have generally found that men are oftener reasoned into their opinions than out of them. As for theories, I am afraid of them. They all appear plausible enough, until you come to look at the items which compose them. It constantly happens that a theory is proposed, criticised, abused, pruned, trimmed, embraced, defended, fought, and died for; when some new fact is brought to light, sweeping away its broad foundations, and in a few years afterwards we can scarcely persuade ourselves to believe so great an absurdity ever had an advocate. Revolutions like these are constantly going on in every department of human knowledge, and he perhaps is the wisest who keeps himself unwedded, and follows without reluctance wherever well authenticated whole facts may lead him.
But to return to the benefit of the pure ocean air in tubercular disease. I have elsewhere declared with sufficient plainness, that without a large and frequent supply of fresh air, no Consumptive person ever did get well—nor ever will. But I have travelled many thousands of miles, in all kinds of sea craft, for months at a time, and have never yet found fresh air on any ship that ever floated, unless in the main top, and invalids do not often mount such places. I do not mean to say that there is no pure air at sea; but I do assert, that invalid passengers never get enough of it to do them any material good. Let any ship traveller look at the items of a voyage. You are in the cabin while you eat sleep and lounge, which, at the very lowest calculation, is twelve hours, supposing the weather ever so favorable. But how many days in a month is it suitable weather for an invalid to be on deck in any latitude? Three-fourths of the time it is too hot, or too cold, or windy, or rainy, and were it neither of these, every morning, as regular as the morning comes, the decks are too damp for an invalid to stand or walk on, until a long time after breakfast; and thus the freshest and loveliest part of the day is lost. As for taking exercise, it is a thing almost impracticable; for in the first place, there is no time ; and if there were, there is no place; and were there bo£h time and place, you cannot do it to any serviceable extent; for if the weather is fine, the greater part of the deck is occupied by the men repairing the sails or other rigging; and if the weather is foul, you do not want to be there. It is true that passengers have the privilege of the quarter deck, but I do not consider that much better than walking around a tub, bottom upwards. There is only one conceivable way by which a Consumptive person can be benefited by a sea voyage, and that is by performing sailor's duty, and living on sailor's fare, regardless of weather, taking it as it comes; making it, however, an indispensable consideration, to have full, regular uninterrupted sleep, dry and warm, and never go below decks. But as not one Consumptive in a million would have energy enough to undertake such a means of cure, it is not worth while to recommend it. Nor is a residence on the coast any better, because all coast situations are subject to sudden and piercing cold winds, producing chills, colds and pleurisies—counteracting in an hour, the benefit of a whole week's judicious nursing. A cool, dry, still atmosphere, is the grand desideratum for a Consumptive, and to secure this, should be his only inducement to leave home for any length of time; and when by suitable remedies, in careful and experienced hands, the system is first placed, and then kept in a condition to derive the greatest advantages from these circumstances, the restoration to health and life and friends, will be with great uniformity, speedy, regular, perfect and permanent, under suitable modifications.
Dr. Chapman, whose name is authority anywhere, said, nearly twenty years ago, that he had ceased to advise Consumptive persons to go south, from various considerations, want of adaptedness, want of accommodations suitable, indispensable. He says, " The coldness of a climate is not necessarily adverse to the Consumptive, neither promoting its development nor hastening its career, as proved by the limited prevalence of the disease in the extreme north of Europe."
If then consumptive disease is not as prevalent in northern latitudes as in southern; is incomparably less in the rude climate of northern Russia, in proportion to population, than in Great Britain, in Italy, in North America; and if England sends her consumptive soldiers from the West India stations, to recover their health in Canada, it is very conclusive of the fact, that the prevalent opinion which sends consumptive persons indiscriminately to the south, is not merely an error, it is a fault, and one which involves the sacrifice of health and life. The subject demands the mature investigation of all intelligent minds. i
Two lawyers visited New Orleans several years ago; both had Consumption unquestionably; one aged twentytwo, the other about thirty-five. The younger was able to -walk about very conveniently, and had no particular symptom except an unfavorable pulse, frequent fevers, and a constant, distressing dry cough; these he had been troubled with for several months; both parents remarkably healthy and well made. The elder had been an invalid for several years, cough, vomitings, night sweats, spitting blood; sometimes blood and matter together; at other times a heavy yellow matter, to the amount of a quarter of a pint in twenty-four hours; his clothes hung on him like bags, and he was too weak to walk a hundred yards. They being friends, held a consultation whether to apply to me or not. It was at length decided that the younger, as he was stronger and better, should go to Havana, especially as he wanted to see the country; the elder came to me, remained a few days, returned home, closely followed my directions for three months, and has not had better health for many years than he enjoyed two years after. The younger went to Cuba, remained three months, returned home and died. I know that one fact proves nothing in medicine, but similar cases are constantly occurring, and force upon the most unwilling mind the conviction of the truth of the views advocated.
There can be no doubt that those who do not practice exclusively in consumptive diseases, do frequently pronounce persons to have Consumption, which there is no hope of curing, unless by removal to a milder climate, however inconvenient or impossible such a removal may be, when, upon examination by a more competent and experienced practitioner, no proper foundation for such an opinion existed, as subsequent and speedy restoration to perfect health, by means not intended to reach the lungs, most conclusively demonstrated. The mischievous