Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/506

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cipal part of the day's work in the cool of the morning, and eats his principal meal in the cool of the evening, who rests during the hottest hour of the afternoon, and takes active exercise only in the swimming-school, may indulge in the dietetic prerogatives of the higher latitudes; Nature will condone his beefsteaks, pork-fritters, and some of his cocktails; his mince-pies will not rise and bear witness against him. But the happier biped who can waive those prerogatives will free his stomach from the necessity of digesting winter food in a summer climate, and, in return, will enjoy the freedom of the land, the privilege to work, play, eat, rest, laugh, or get mad, at any time he pleases. He has reconciled himself to Nature, and shares the natural rights of the creatures who have not forfeited their earthly paradise; for the artificial comforts of the North are, after all, only more or less imperfect imitations of the gratuitous luxuries which our forefathers enjoyed in their tropical garden home.


POPULAR expressions are often very significant. "I saw three dozen lights of all colors," or some similar expression, may frequently be heard from persons who have received violent blows on the head or face. Under the influence of shocks of this kind, the eye really seems to see infinite numbers of sparks. Shocks of a certain class impressed upon the nervous system seem to have the faculty of producing phenomena of light. This remark has been suggested by the facts we are about to relate, which lead us to suppose that sonorous vibrations are susceptible in certain cases of provoking luminous sensations. There are, in fact, persons who are endowed with such sensibility that they can not hear a sound without at the same time perceiving colors. Each sound to them has its peculiar color; this word corresponds with red and that one with green, one note is blue and another is yellow. This phenomenon, "color-hearing," as the English call it, has been hitherto little observed.

Dr. Nussbaumer, of Vienna, appears to have been the first person who took serious notice of it. While still a child, when playing one day with his brother, striking a fork against a glass to hear the ringing, he discovered that he saw colors at the same time that he perceived the sound; and so well did he discern the color that, when he. stopped his ears, he could divine by it how loud a sound the fork had produced. His brother also had similar experiences. Dr. Nussbaumer was afterward able to add to his own observations nearly identical ones made by a medical student in Zürich. To this young man, musical