Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/828

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with his bare gums, but only after necessity had reduced him to a frugal regimen. A saccharine diet in the form of sweet ripe fruit has certainly nothing to do with the decay of the teeth, and it is a suggestive fact that toothache is almost exclusively an affliction of the northern nations.

Warts and Corns.—The predisposing cause of warts is unknown, and the popular remedies are rarely permanent. I have known warts to reappear after they had been thoroughly removed by the use of corrosive acids. The popular belief that they "spread" if the operation involves bleeding seems not to be wholly unfounded, and large warts can be more effectually cured by means of a tight ligature that gradually deadens the tissue. Warts on the upper side of the fingers can generally be atrophied by exerting a long-continued strain upon the adjoining muscles, as in holding up a heavy weight, or seizing the rings of a grapple-swing and dangling by one hand as long as the fingers can support the strain. A callous skin is thus formed under the wart, and before long the excrescence disappears. Corns are entirely owing to the pressure of tight shoes, and can be cured by the use of more commodious foot-wear. To suppress the symptom, while the cause remains, is of little avail, and, before a chiropodist could keep his promise to "remove corns with the root," he would have to eradicate the folly of heeding the mandates of fashion rather than the appeals of Nature.


THERE is only one way of escape from the conclusion reached in our last—that conduct is good or bad according as its total effects are pleasurable or painful—in which statement be it understood the word total means total, and is not limited in its application to the person whose conduct is spoken of. If it is supposed that men were created to suffer, that a power which they were bound to obey had planned such suffering, so that any attempt either to take pleasure or to avoid pain was an offense, then of course the conclusion indicated is an erroneous one.

No system of religion has ever definitely taught so hideous a doctrine. Even where sorrow and suffering are recognized as the lot of man, and even where self-inflicted anguish and misery are enjoined as suitable ways of pleasing Deity, it is never said that such sufferings are the ultimate desire of the Supreme Power. These tribulations are all intended for our good: we are to torture ourselves here and