Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/68

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they be more safely trusted to the guidance of their protective instincts. Don't be afraid that an active boy will hurt himself by voluntary exposure, unless his chances for out-door play are so rare as to tempt him to abuse the first opportunity. Weather-proof people are almost sickness-proof; a merry hunting-excursion to the snow-clad highlands will rarely fail to counteract the consequences of repeated surfeits; even girls who have learned to brave the winter storms of our Northwestern prairies will afterward laugh at "draughts" and "raw March winds." Winter is the season of lung-affections, the larger part of them induced by long confinement in a vitiated atmosphere; the part caused by light winter clothes is smaller than most people imagine. I have weathered a good many winters without fur caps and woolen shawls, and I ascribe my immunity to the circumstance that my guardian made it a rule never to force us to wear such things. The Moslems rarely eat before they have washed their hands, and a rather unscrupulous frontier Turk assured me that in his case the practice had nothing to do with superstition; it had become a physiological habit, whose omission, he had found, would produce a fit of very realistic nausea. In the same way more comprehensive ablutions may become a physiological necessity: there are people who owe their sound sleep and other sound things to their inability to go to bed without a sponge-bath. The habit can be formed in one summer.

The dietetic instincts of a rationally educated person should obviate the necessity of special precautions, but in large cities, where temptations walk in disguise, the welfare of inexperienced children may require additional safeguards. In the first chapter of this series I have enumerated the chief arguments of the vegetarian school. Among the incidental advantages of their system it might be mentioned that a purely vegetable diet is the most effectual precaution against a danger which only in one of its exceptional forms was lately brought home to us by the trichina panic. Flesh-eaters always run a risk of inoculating themselves with the germs of the various diseases which both beef-and man-flesh is heir to, consumption especially, and several disorders arising from the corruption of the humors, by the use of decayed or fermented food. Sausage-makers, like trance-mediums, never divulge their trade-secrets, but it is a suggestive fact that, in the Anglo-German cities of this continent, the scrofulous and decrepit old females of the bovine race are known by the name of Bologna cows. Abstinence from Wurst, boarding-house hash, and mince-pies, may diminish the danger, but abstinence from all animal food is the safer plan and the easier one. If children were restricted to a vegetable or semi-animal diet (milk, eggs, etc.), I doubt if many of them would afterward choose to overcome that instinctive repugnance to flesh-food expressed in the original meaning of the word frugality. The Romans of the Cincinnatian era, though entirely free from Buddhistic scruples, seem