Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/128

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January 28, 1860.]

in town they suddenly lose their asthma, and are somewhat disappointed that they cannot show their doctor the effect of a fit upon them. In many cases, however, they learn that the true doctor is city air—the worst city air, moreover, is generally the best for them. Thames Street atmosphere is particularly efficacious, and some even pick out the foggiest, densest, foulest lanes of Lambeth or Bermondsey as to them the balmiest, most life-giving of neighbourhoods. There are more extraordinary instances of idiosyncratic susceptibilities on the part of the air-tubes of some persons than even those examples would imply. For instance, some asthmatics can live at the top of a street in perfect health, whilst at the bottom of the same street they seem to be at the last gasp. We happened to know of a patient, who is more dead than alive at the top of Park Lane, but recovers immediately at the bottom of the same street; and Dr. Watson tells us, that he had an asthmatic patient who could sleep very well in the Red Lion, at Cambridge, but could never rest for a minute, on account of his asthma, in the Eagle in the same town.

Some asthmatics, with air-tubes more capricious and difficult to please than ordinary, make it the business of their lives to travel about in search of the air best suited to them. Thus, in their wanderings, they experience every conceivable degree of exasperation of, or exemption from, their disease; possibly in some lovely spot where the patient would willingly abide as in an earthly Eden, the asthma suddenly and rudely grips him by the throat and bids him depart or die. Journeying onward he may happen to come upon some barren ridge, or possibly upon that Plutonic region, known as the “Black Country.” Here the patient would hurry onward with horror and affright, but suddenly his tyrant interposes. This air suits him, it imperiously cries, and here the slave of irritable mucus membrane is but too glad to end his pilgrimage, compounding with dreary scenery and a savage people, for the perfect freedom of drawing the breath of life.

M. D.


alt = A small lake, surrounded on every side by rocky shores, evergreen trees, and steep barren mountains. In the foreground, evergreen trees on both sides frame a glimpse of the lake; in the background are high peaks with snow on their tops.
Beyond the Baths of Tasnad there is a chain of mountains extending towards the east as far as Kézdivásarhely,[1] rising ridge above ridge, covered by ancient forests; not a village or a hamlet is to be found in this solitary region; and even the high road through the country avoids its lonely wilds, tracked only by the paths of the hunter—even these are less beaten than centuries ago, when many a castle, now a ruin, in the midst of the forest, was inhabited by its hospitable lords,
  1. In the south-east, near the confines of Moldavia.