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or snow is made fluid by heat. It is then, as it were, sucked up by these cleansers, and conveyed finally to the blood, just at the heart, where they are mingled together and sent direct to the lungs, where they meet with the pure air that is breathed. Here an exchange takes place between the air and the blood. The air gives to the blood its oxygen, its life, while the blood gives its death to the air. Hence it is that the air gives life as it goes into the lungs, but gives death if breathed unmixed as it comes from the lungs; that is, if a healthy person were to breathe for three minutes, no other air than that which has just come off the lungs of another man, in three minutes he would die. Hence the double reason for my insisting so much on causing consumptive persons to breathe the largest possible amount of pure air; it unloads the blood more perfectly of its dead atoms, and also gives life to the essence of food which it also meets in the lungs; that is, puts the finishing work to its becoming living blood.
Let us notice next the builders, whose work is to supply new and living particles as fast as the old ones fall off and die. These new particles are in the blood, which delivers its living freight as it flows through the body, as a steamer delivers its freight to the thousand different ports as it ploughs along the majestic Mississippi. Whenever a living particle comes to the point where it is needed to supply the place of one just fallen or dead, by some inscrutable, inexplicable agency, as quick as electricity itself, a vesicle, a cell, a little boat, as it were, is formed, which floats it to the spot, delivers its charge, and bursts and dies, its duty done, the objects of its creation having been performed :—an apt typgjjfifce whole and living man, who, when the great oln Jt
tion is performed on earth, himself passes away in death; and happy indeed would he be, were that work so fully, so well, and so invariably performed. These little wrecked, these bursted boats, have been collected, and ascertained to be made invariably and almost wholly of two materials—phosphorus and lime, which also are constituents of the brain itself. This phosphorus and lime are supplied by what we eat and drink. If we.do not eat and drink enough, or if what we do eat and drink has not enough of these constituents; or if, again, it is not perfectly digested, then there is not enough of these constituents to make the necessary boats to freight the living particles to their destination; hence, the man wastes away to skin and bone, and dies—not because he does not eat, but because what he does eat, does him little or no good. Especially thus is it in Consumption; a man dies of inanition, or, as physicians say, an error of nutrition.
Consumptive people die for want of strength, want of flesh, want of nutriment; not for want of lung substance, as is almost universally supposed. They die, in almost every instance, long before the lungs are consumed, so far as to be incapable of sustaining life. Numerous cases are given where men have lived for years with an amount of available lungs not equal to one-fourth of the whole. They were there, perhaps, but not available, not efficient. The majority of persons who die of Consumption, perish before a third of the lungs have consumed away, in consequence of loose bowels, torpid liver, indigestion, night sweats, want of sleep, clogging up of the lungs with matter and mucus by the daily use of cough drops, balsams, tonics, or other destructive agents. These symptoms need but be controlled to protect life, indefinitely; that is to sayf if the symptoms were prescribed for according to general principles, and properly nursed, letting the consumptive portion of the disease alone, it would sometimes cure itself, or at least allow the patient to live in reasonable comfort for a number of years.
The reader may almost imagine that he has a clue to the cure of Consumption, if he could but give the patient phosphorus and lime, or phosphate of lime—that is, burnt bones—eight or ten grains, with the first mouthful of each meal, so as to let it be mixed with the food and carried with it into the blood; from twenty to thirty grains being daily needed in health. The scientific world were charmed less than a hundred years ago by the discovery of oxygen. It was supposed that as oxygen was the constituent of the air which imparted vitality to the blood, gave it its purity, its activity, and filled the man with life and animation, nothing was needed but to take enough oxygen to purify the blood, and thus strike at the root of all disease. Accordingly, the oxygen was prepared and administered. The recipient revived, was transported, was fleet as the antelope, could run with the wind. He smiled, he fairly yelled for joy, and—died, laughing, or from over excitement. The machine worked too fast; it could not be stopped, and pure oxygen has never been taken for health since.
Thus it will, perhaps, always be with artificial remedies; they cannot equal those which are prepared in Nature's manufactory. The phosphate of lime, in order to answer the purposes of nature, must be eliminated from the healthful digestion of substantial food in the stomach, and the only natural and efficient means of obtaining the requisite amount is, to regulate the great glands of the system in such a manner as to cause the perfect digestion of a sufficient amount of suitable food, and this is within the power of the scientific practitioner, in the great majority of cases of consumption, when attempted in its early stages; but for confirmed Consumption—that is, when the lungs have begun to decay away, it is criminal to hold out any promises of cure, or even of essential relief, in any given instance.
In illustration of the subject of a perfect digestion in its relation to food and fresh air, the following incidents are here given:
"suicide By Starvation.
"A very curious example of suicide by means of starvation occurred some years ago in Corsica. During the elections, the Sieur V. rushed into the electoral college armed with a dagger, which he plunged into the breast of a man who had done him some injury. The man fell dead at his feet. The assassination was committed in the full light of day, and in the presence of an assembled multitude.
"V. was tried, found guilty, and condemned to death. His high spirit and resolute character were well known, and it was suspected that he would seek, by a voluntary death, to evade the disgrace of perishing on the scaffold. He was therefore vigilantly watched, and every precaution taken to deprive him of the means of putting an end to his existence.
"He resolved to starve himself to death during the interval which elapsed between the sentence of the Court or Assizes, and the reply which the Court of Cassation would make to the appeal he had addressed to it.
"He had succeeded in concealing from the observation of his jailers a portion of the food with which they supplied him, so as to make it be believed that he regularly took his meals. After three days' abstinence, thfc pangs of hunger became insupportable. It then suddenly occurred to him that he might the more speedily accomplish the object he had in view by eating with avidity. He thought that the state of exhaustion to which he was reduced would unfit him to bear the sudden excess, and that it would inevitably occasion the death he so ardently desired. He accordingly sat down to the food •which he had laid aside, and ate voraciously, choosing in preference, the heaviest things. The consequence was that he was seized with a violent fit of indigestion, of which, contrary to. his expectation, the prison doctor speedily cured him.
"He then resumed his fatal design. He suffered again what he had undergone before. The torture was almost beyond his strength. His thirst, too, was intolerable. It overcame his resolution. He extended his hand towards the jug of water which had been placed in his cell. He drank with avidity, and, to use his own expression, was restored to life.
"To avoid yielding again to a similar temptation, he daily took the precaution of overturning the jug of water which was brought to him. Lest he should be induced to raise it to his lips, he threw it down with his foot, not venturing to touch it with his hand. In this manner he passed eighteen days.
"Every day, at different intervals, he noted down in
his album, a minute account of his sensations. He
counted the beatings of his pulse, and marked their
number from hour to hour, measuring with the mpst