Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/676

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the object of his thought with necessary food, clothing, and shelter, and care and relief in sickness. When these are adequate, and not before, is the exercise of the "so-called" religious influences of any avail. This, of course, is nothing more than practical common sense. A man reduced by lack of proper and sufficient nourishment, and surrounded by all the depressing influences of poverty, can not do wise thinking. There is not in his body the blood to send to the brain for use. Where there is no fuel there can be no fire.

It is safe to say, as a general rule, that when a man is well nourished his natural leaning is toward industry. He must have something to do. When a man is healthy and industrious he is a safe citizen. Health and industry united often point the way to ambition, and ambition directed in the right path may lead into vast regions of power and influence.[1]

No richer endowment can be bestowed upon one than a healthy and vigorous physical constitution. The possibility of starting man on the journey of life so equipped rests largely with women. The care of little children falls entirely to them during the time when they most need the greatest amount of wise and intelligent attention in order that they may be started in life with a sound body, which shall be the temple for the sound mind which is to be developed and cultivated later. Specialists of children's diseases claim that the manner in which a child is fed and cared for during the first five years of life determines what he shall be ever after.

I listened last winter to a series of lectures on insanity by a specialist of the subject. In speaking of the different forms of the disease, hallucination, melancholia, acute mania, etc., he said that those forms of disease almost always begin with the inability of the individual to digest food well. He does not eat well, does not sleep well, and after a time becomes what is called "nervous," which is usually nothing more than a malnourished condition of the nervous system; then he drifts into melancholia and finally insanity.

The treatment by Weir Mitchell the noted specialist of such diseases, is what might vulgarly but graphically be called stuffing. His patients are put to bed under the pleasantest and most comfortable conditions of absolute rest and freedom from responsibility, and then they are fed with as much nutritious and wholesome food as they can be made to eat. The results of this treatment have been most gratifying.

What woman with the belief that it was within the bounds of

  1. By ambition here is not meant the worldly ambition of amassing a fortune, but the noble ambition of doing some worthy and useful work in the world.