Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/501

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485
DO BIRDS IMPROVE IN NEST-BUILDING?

It is now only about 150 years since electricity was discovered, not more than 120 since the discovery of the Leyden jar enabled electricians to concentrate the vital fluid. What has it not done for us in that time! And while it was so decried at first, and has met with impediment after impediment, we now accept what it gives us, so quietly and so much as a matter of course, that a few days ago the announcement that electric communication was completed with the antipodes called forth nothing more than a short paragraph in the newspapers. May we not hope, then, the time has come when not only the scientific medical man, but every practitioner, will look for himself into the curative powers of electricity?

Every thing that is good, however, in the present day is sure to have a host of empirical imitators, and the inventions of which we have spoken are no exception to this rule. These chains and bands are really formed on scientific principles, giving the patient the benefit of the curative powers of electricity in a convenient form. There are many spurious appliances under the name of magnetic, electro-magnetic, and other high-sounding titles, that get confounded with the continuous current of electricity, which alone, in the opinion of the highest medical authorities, can have any effect on the diseases we have enumerated. The mischief done by these spurious imitations is incalculable, and they lead, not only to disappointment, but have a discouraging effect upon the public mind.

Judging by the extraordinary cases of cure by the use of these chains and bands, now well authenticated by the highest professional authorities, John Wesley was indeed prophetic when he wrote in 1759: "It is highly probable a timely use of this means might prevent, before they were thoroughly formed, and frequently even then remove, some of the most painful and dangerous distempers—cancers and scrofulous humors in particular—though they will yield to no other medicine yet discovered. It is certain nothing is so likely, by accelerating the contained fluids, to dilate and open the passages, as well as divide the coagulated particles of blood, that so the circulation may be again performed. And it is a doubt whether it would not be of more use, even in mortification, than either the bark or any other medicine in the world."—Belgravia.

 

DO BIRDS IMPROVE IN NEST-BUILDING?

TRANSLATED FROM THE REVUE DES DEUX MONDES,

By J. FITZGERALD, A. M.

A MAN'S house," says a learned hygienist, "is but an extension of his clothing: the tent is next-door neighbor to the mantle, and the roof is simply a big head-gear." A house, just like the clothes we wear, is, first of all, a shelter to protect us against the medium