Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/699

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
681
PHYSIOLOGY OF FREEZING.

start a habit toward certain objects and inhibit a habit toward certain others. Usually this is the case; but, in the one-sided development of civilized life, it happens that the timely age goes by in a sort of starvation of objects, and the individual then grows up with gaps in his psychic constitution which future experiences can never fill. Compare the accomplished gentleman with the poor artisan or tradesman of a city: during the adolescence of the former, objects appropriate to his growing interests, bodily and mental, were offered as fast as the interests awoke, and, as a consequence, he is armed and equipped at every angle to meet the world. Sport came to the rescue and completed his education where real things were lacking. He has tasted of the essence of every side of human life, being sailor, hunter, athlete, scholar, fighter, talker, dandy, man of affairs, etc., all in one. Over the city poor boy's youth no such golden opportunities were hung, and in his manhood no desires for most of them exist. Fortunate it is for him if gaps are the only anomalies his instinctive life presents; perversions are too often the fruit of his unnatural bringing up.

 

PHYSIOLOGY OF FREEZING.
By Dr. von NUSSBAUM.

SERIOUS ills often result from exposure to freezing, merely because many people do not know how to guard against troubles so induced. Delicate white faces .are sometimes disfigured by the nose turning red; this is liable to happen to one who has suffered from freezing of the organ, usually at the first snow-fall, perhaps even in midsummer; the hands may display, at these times, bluish-red and swollen fingers, and all this only because at some time in early youth, when these members had become frozen, proper care was not taken of them, and because there was nobody at hand who could offer sound advice. Chilblains, when wrongly treated, become very troublesome, and may lead to the loss of fingers or toes by mortification; and such an occurrence can even endanger life. If, during intense cold, we are subjected to influences that tend to lower our vitality, we may fall into a sleep, from which perhaps we may never awake.

No man knows in what circumstances he may at some time be placed. The courageous soldiers who, with Napoleon I, left the burning city of Moscow, probably never dreamed, while in sunny France, that they would sink down on snow-banks, and fall into a sleep that ends but in death! Many of them could perhaps have saved their lives if they had ever heard of the proper precautions to be taken against this danger. Some persons think that the drinking of strong liquor will enable them to resist the cold more readily; this, however, is very delusive. Even if we increase the activity of some organs by a