Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/331

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pathic disorders. After the action of the bowels has become perfectly-regular, after fat and sugar have ceased to cause heart-burn, the chronic lassitude—not pain exactly, but a nervous disinclination to active exercise—still lingers about the knee-joints; the flexor muscles of the upper arm still shirk their work; headaches that can not always be traced to dietetic backslidings recur at irregular intervals. The countenance is still sallow, the eyesight more or less impaired; even vertigo and murmurs in the ears occur, without their former gastric concomitants. But at the end of each month the progress in the direction of general health is unmistakable. Mountain excursions marvelously further the good work; but even the counting-house drudge need not doubt the reward of his perseverance, as long as he sticks to a plain diet, and such exercise as the opportunities of his leisure will offer on all but the busiest days. Unlike consumption (which can only be made non-progressive), dyspepsia can be thoroughly cured. As far as they are capable of repair, injuries to the respiratory organs heal quickly; gastric ailments with less ease but more completely.

Gymnastics, however, combined with cold-baths, air-baths, deep draughts of cold spring-water, dietetic aperients, temperance, abstinent forenoons, liberal siestas, cheerful evenings, and wide-open bedroom-windows, will speed the advent of the time when the after-dinner hour shall cease to be the "saddest of the sad twenty-four"—nay, when digestion, like all normal functions of the animal organism, shall be once more not only a painless but a pleasurable process.

By Professor T. H. HUXLEY.

I DOUBT not that you all joined in cheering Lord Wolseley and his companions in arms the other day, when they came to Windsor to receive their well-earned honors at the hands of the sovereign. If I had been among you I should have given a special cheer, on my own account, to the general—not so much to the successful soldier as to the man of science, who had thoroughly studied the conditions of the problem with which he had to deal; who knew what causes would produce certain desired effects; and whose experiments were followed by the predicted results more surely than sometimes happens with those which are made on a lecture-table.

But a much larger interest attaches to the day of Tel-el-Kebir, with all that preceded and followed it, than if it were an isolated experimental investigation of the great "survival of the fittest" prob-

  1. A lecture to the Eton Volunteer Corps, with some additions.