Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/540

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

in increasing refinement, and there will ever be need of a language of signs, so the height of specialization can only end in making every day a holiday indeed. Not that every day will be free from labor, or consecrated to a saint, but that the intricate world of things, of feelings, and of thoughts in which we live, will become so full of ever-present meaning to us that their stimuli will find daily rather than occasional expression, with a single or half-dozen friends instead of a multitude, with shorter hours of labor and longer hours of health, with music rather than with fire-crackers, with ever-thoughtful kindness instead of formal ceremony, and finally with pure and noble daily inspiration for living rather than a funeral pageant.


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NEW FACTS IN ALCOHOLIC HEREDITY.

By T. D. CROTHERS, M.D.

SOME years ago I examined two inmates of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, at Hartford, who from birth had distinct symptoms of acute intoxication. Both were boys, aged nine and thirteen years, who walked with a staggering gait and great muscular incoordination. One had a demented grin, and nodded continuously whenever he saw any one looking at him. The other had a dull, vacant stare, and congested, blear-eyed appearance. He was very irritable, and sensitive to observation, trembling with anger from any little cause. These and many other signs of intoxication were present, and had been noted from birth. The parents of both were inebriates. These cases aroused my attention, and since then I have gathered many notes and histories of similar cases.

Greatly to my surprise, I have found that these cases were not uncommon, especially in asylums and hospitals, and also in active life. Many of them are not so marked, and others require some peculiar conditions or circumstances to bring out these symptoms.

The history of the cases I have obtained may be divided into two classes: one, in which the symptoms of intoxication are present all the time; the other, in which these symptoms only appear from some peculiar circumstances or exciting causes.

In the first class, some prominent defect, such as idiocy, imbecility, and congenital deformity, is present, giving the case a distinctness irrespective of the signs of intoxication. Hence, these symptoms of drunkenness are not separate from other defects in observation. Thus, in a prominent family, one of the children, an imbecile, had all the suspicious hesitancy of manner, also the walk, of a drunkard.