Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/246

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dry sherry after dinner, and before retiring to bed a cup of Liebig's beef tea and a biscuit may be taken.

During the day brisk walking exercise to an extent short of fatigue should be indulged in, or riding or cycling, as the case may be.

Such an individual in a few days would find himself a different person. Slight ailments of this kind, and errors of malnutrition, are much better treated by diet than by medicine. Of course, there are certain habits that are not conducive to long life, such as immoderate indulgence in the passions, whatever they may be, and the abuse of alcohol. There is no reason why a man should not enjoy, in moderation, all the good things of this life, and really the enjoyment of them means taking them in moderation. The man who enjoys wine is the man who takes just sufficient to do him good, and the man who drinks wine to excess, and suffers the next morning from headache as a consequence, can not be said to do so. Excess in alcoholic stimulants in early life means sowing seeds that will bear bitter fruit in mature age—if the individual lives to see it. The habit of "nipping" is conducive to shortening life more than any other habit. It stimulates the different organs of the body into unnatural activity, and the result is that certain of them, such as the liver and the heart, by the work thrown upon them, become, through the enlargement and engorgement of their tissues with blood, diseased after a time. This leads to their being useless as organs of elimination or of healthy structure, with the result that, when middle age is just over, the individual becomes prone to such complaints as Bright's disease, dropsy, cirrhosis of the liver, and other vital indications of decay. These habits are acquired in early life. The wind is sown then and the whirlwind is reaped later on. It is seldom that the young will learn the importance of, if I may so express it, training for old age, but there are exceptions to this rule. Only a few days ago a man came to consult me; he belonged to the luxurious classes, and, though only twenty-three years of age, seemed to have the forethought of a man of sixty. A fine, handsome young fellow of nearly six feet, he said to me: "Doctor, as most of my family have died young through becoming excessively fat, I want to know what I am to do to avoid this. I am already heavier than I should be." Now, a man in the full enjoyment of health and bodily vigor, who had so much foresight, and who wished to learn the means of attaining green old age, which he saw would be sapped by a hereditary tendency to obesity, undoubtedly deserves to do so, especially as the particular condition that he dreads can be so easily benefited without debarring him almost every luxury within his reach.

If more people followed this example, how many years longer