Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/442

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

they are, and give the real feelings of honorable men and women toward the actions and occurrences which make up the story. Bad novels, on the contrary, make their readers believe themselves and others to be what they are not, disturb their judgments, and fill them with false hopes as to what they may expect at the hands of destiny. Novels impel their readers to pursue the thoughts and foster the emotions of the accomplished or smart heroes and heroines whom they have been led to admire. When these thoughts and emotions are pure, generous, and elevated, fiction becomes an agent for good; but when its model characters are willful, pompous, immoral, and impossibly successful withal, its effect is deplorably degrading.

 

Sanitary Entombment.—Entombment, or deposition in a mausoleum, is represented, by the Rev. Charles R. Treat, as the mode of disposing of the dead to which the human race, as a whole, has shown the most evident preference. Sanitary entombment is described by him as comprising this feature combined with desiccation, a process which is performed naturally in some atmospheres, and which the author believes can be made artificially practicable, with entombment, everywhere. He proposes, therefore, the arrangement, in buildings like the "Campo Santo" of Pisa, of sepulchres "so constructed that anhydrous air could enter or be made to enter, and withdraw, laden with moisture and morbific matter, which it would convey to a separate structure, where a furnace would complete the sanitary work that the anhydrous air had begun, and return to the external atmosphere nothing that would be noxious." This would retain the form and much of the substance of the body, and subject the noxious, volatile particles to cremation.

 

Conditions of Vigorous Old Age.—The present greater proportion than formerly existed of men who pass the age of seventy years, reach fourscore, or are active at ninety years, points to one of the brighter phases of our civilization. The association of this vigor with different physical types is suggestive of a certain generality of origin, and encourages the hope that it may be partly dependent on personal conduct. As a first condition toward obtaining effective longevity, Dr. B. W. Richardson advises parents to begin for their children by saving them the infliction of mental shocks and unnecessary grief, and making everything as happy for them as they can. The persons themselves, when older, should avoid grief and eschew hate, jealousy, unchastity, and intemperance, all of which hasten the coming of old age. When old age has really begun, its march may be delayed by rules securing the least friction and the least waste: subsistence on light but nutritious food, varying according to the season, and moderate in quantity; dressing warmly, but lightly, so as to enable the body to maintain its even temperature; keeping the body in fair exercise and the mind active and cheerful; maintaining an interest in what is going on in the world, and participating in reasonable labors and pleasures; securing plenty of sleep during sleeping hours, in a room kept at a moderate temperature; and avoiding passion, excitement, and luxury. The weaker man may thus sometimes show himself the more tenacious of life.

 

The Chartreuse Liquor.—The Chartreuse liquor is made under the direction of the monks of the abbey of the Grand Chartreuse, in the high Alps of Dauphiny. This abbey is the headquarters of the Carthusian order, which has some fifteen houses in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. The manufacture is carried on by paid operatives, under the supervision of the abbey steward, while the rest of the monks have no concern with it. The population of the village are employed in collecting the herbs, which, mixed with eau-de-vie, are distilled along with the spirit. This brandy is purchased, not made at the abbey. Only one of the operations—the mixture of the herbs—is a secret. The manufacture of Chartreuse as a market product has grown up since 1835. Previous to that time it was made only on a small scale as a remedy. There were formerly three kinds of Chartreuse made, the white, yellow, and green; but the white has been abandoned. The green is the strongest and most expensive; and the monks recommend a mixture of one third green and two thirds yellow as the best. A Chartreuse is