Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/112

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would lengthen our list too much to quote from the records of centenarians in other countries. Taking the mean of the censuses from 1869 to 1872, we find that Europe (except Russia, Turkey, and a few small states in the south) had in a population of 212,940,376, 17,313,715 persons more than sixty, 79,850 more than ninety, and 3,108 more than one hundred years old; or one person in twelve over sixty, one in 2,669 over ninety, and one in 62,503 over a hundred. According to a table we have calculated for fifteen countries of Europe, more women than men attain an extreme old age, and the difference increases with the age. The greatest number of persons over sixty years of age is found in France, but not the greatest number of centenarians. Calculating upon the given age at death, we have found the percentage of those among the deceased who were ninety years old and more to be, in Great Britain, 9·73; in Sweden, 7·39; in France, 6·58: in Belgium; 6·07; in Switzerland, 6; in Holland, 4·47; in Italy, 3·76; in Bavaria, 3·42; in Prussia, 3·06; in Austria, 2·61.

As to whether the proportion of great longevities is increasing or diminishing, we have information only for France. During the fourteen years, from 1823 to 1837, the mean annual number of persons dying centenarians was 152, or one for 217,105 inhabitants; during the eight years, from 1852 to 1860, the mean was 111 in a population that had increased twenty per cent. But, although the great ages seem to have diminished, the mean length of life has very sensibly increased, and this is much better.

A number of centenarians have made their regimen known. Not-withstanding some rare examples to the contrary, temperance, sobriety, and regularity of habits, are of the first importance; then follow heredity, a relatively comfortable condition, freedom from strong and frequent emotions, residence as far as possible in the country, exercise, and a healthy and quiet business. The celebrated but humorous German physiologist, Hoffmann, summarizes the means of reaching a great age as follows: "Avoid excess in everything, respect old habits, even bad ones, breathe a pure air, adapt your food to your temperament, shun medicines and doctors, keep a quiet conscience, a gay heart, a contented mind."—Revue Scientifique.



WHEN a strong and active mind breaks down suddenly, in the midst of business, it is worn out by worry rather than over-work. Brain-labor may be too severe, or ordinary exercise prolonged until it produces serious exhaustion; but the mere draining of re-