Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/684

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land attached to the homestead. The discipline maintained was of the least irksome kind, the men being allowed as much as possible to go their own way, so long as they obeyed the doctor's orders. Steady work and regular hours were, however, insisted upon, and the patients were required to pass the greater part of their time in the open air. They were supplied with light, nourishing food, and a moderate quantity of tea and coffee. No intoxicants were allowed to be brought to the farm, and only a limited amount of tobacco. The men were carefully guarded from everything that could excite or irritate them; and, at the same time, infinite trouble was taken to render their lives as bright and cheerful as possible. The beneficial effects of this régime were soon apparent. The physical and mental condition of the patients improved rapidly, and the attacks to which they were liable became less frequent and less severe. The fact of all around them being subject to the same misfortune as themselves, seemed to deprive that misfortune of half its terrors; a fit became merely an unimportant episode in life when it no longer rendered him whom it befell a pariah among his fellows.

The fame of the Labor Home, and of the good work being done there, soon spread through North Germany, and applications for admission arrived from all parts. By 1870 the success of the undertaking was so marked that the committee of management felt justified in reorganizing it on a much more extensive scale. An appeal for funds having been liberally responded to, a small estate adjoining the old homestead was bought, and on it a building was erected large enough to receive one hundred and eighty patients. The new home was placed under the care of the Westphalian Brotherhood, an order of laymen who devote themselves entirely to practical philanthropic work. So far the institution had been reserved entirely for men; it was now, however, resolved to admit both women and children. The new departure was not an unqualified success. Female epileptics are, oddly enough, much more difficult to manage than male: they are more passionate and less tractable; they seem, too, less able to grasp the fact that rules must be obeyed. Their somewhat flighty ways made them a disturbing element in Bethel; and it soon became evident that they must not be allowed to remain there in the same building as the men. Difficulties also arose in connection with the children, owing to the impossibility of keeping them apart from the older patients, some of whom were by no means desirable companions for them. A brief experience showed, too, that many disadvantages result from clubbing together in the same house a large number of patients of different ranks in life and in different stages of their common disease. The patients are required to contribute to the expenses of the Home according to