Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/126

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gout, or they will never be free from-untoward symptoms, and will become miserable. Water-drinking at this stage of our social evolution is not, I feel very sure, the summum bonum for humanity.

The tendency to drink whisky, now so common, is not all due to medical prescription, as is often alleged. If good wines were readily procurable at fair prices, especially at hotels, more would be drunk. People resort to whisky because they know it is commonly to be depended on, whereas wine is dear and bad, and they seek at once to relieve their digestion and save their purses. They take far more alcohol, and lose the wholesomeness of the many other good things to be found in a moderate use of honest and sound wine. "Cheap claret" has done no good in England, but much harm, and intelligent persons now hardly know the difference between a vintage of the Médoc and the abominable stuffs that issue from Bordeaux, gathered from all other wine-growing countries, and called "claret." This has been well termed "red ink at a shilling, or, it may be, six shillings, a bottle." These compounds are disastrous to digestion, and it is small wonder that invalids and others resort to whisky. Real Médoc wine is never advertised for sale, but consumers have now ready means of knowing where to procure it.

The present agitations in favor of temperance, which should rather be termed efforts to abolish all alcoholic drinks, have, I believe, led members of our profession to neglect this important part of the subject of dietetics, and prevented their gaining an adequate knowledge of the nature and qualities of wine, a knowledge every physician should possess. Were this more commonly in possession, we should not hear such discrepant statements respecting wines dogmatically laid down by members of our profession.

Perhaps I should offer an apology for many of the remarks I have ventured to make in this communication, both because I have set down little that is new, and may also have appeared to uproot some well-grown opinions. I will only add, however, that I believe I have stated nothing that will not be found to be true and helpful in the daily practice of our art.—The Practitioner.


A novelty in scientific photography is the photograph of a meteor, which was obtained by Mr. John E. Lewis, of Ansonia, Conn., while trying to photograph Holmes's comet. The path of the meteor is shown as a bright, clear-cut, almost straight diagonal line running across the plate, and reaching across about eighteen degrees of the heavens. Where the line enters the field it shows minute variations indicating irregularities in the amount of the meteor's light; the rest of the line is sharp and level, and of about the breadth of a lead-pencil mark. At every point it appears brighter after only an instantaneous exposure than any of the stars, which were subjected to an exposure of thirty-three minutes.