Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/567

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547
SKETCH OF CHARLES C. ABBOTT.

from a revival of the same remedies practiced in by-gone ages and in distant climes. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

It has occurred to me that women might, after being properly instructed, find the practice of massage a useful and profitable employment. I believe the usual time employed at one sitting is from twenty minutes to half an hour. To relieve, for instance, the oppression produced by irregularity of the action of the heart, gentle continuous rubbing would be practiced for ten minutes from the left to the right side in a downward direction, then from right to left. The patient should lie on a reclining board, and the masseuse stand so as to be able to rub firmly, though without inflicting the least pain. To calm nervous agitation and to induce sleep, it has been found that rubbing the spine is an almost certain remedy, and sufferers from neuralgia have often derived great benefit from massage.

Friction with pine-oil is a favorite cure for rheumatic affections in Germany, and also for bronchial and throat complaints. The aromatic, astringent fragrance of the oil, which is made from resinous portions of the fir-trees, has a salutary effect in pulmonary cases.

I happened lately to read an account of an institute in London whence "masseurs" are sent to private houses. I know nothing of the system carried out there, but I see that four guineas a week is the charge for daily visits at the patient's own house.

Such an expense would be out of the question for most people, as a course of massage should be continued for six weeks or two months. Indeed, there are many invalids, of great position and wealth, who have a masseuse attached to their households. Doubtless there are numbers of women who would gladly practice this healing art for moderate remuneration, and find much happiness in soothing pain and relieving weariness.—Nineteenth Century.

 

SKETCH OF CHARLES C. ABBOTT.

THE name of Dr. Abbott is familiar to the readers of the "Monthly" as that of the author of papers showing him to be on the best of terms with Nature, as well as of an archæologist who finds history where ordinary diggers would find only gravel and river-shells. It is as well known to readers of other periodicals in America and England, who are interested in the moving and the blooming life of the fields and the woods and the rivers. He has been making friends by means of his charming sketches, and the books that have resulted from them, till he now probably numbers all of the English-speaking world, who appreciate rural things, among his constituency. What remained wanting to fix his fame and make it general was given by his last book,