Skip to main content

Full text of "Lectures to ladies on anatomy and physiology"

See other formats








" God is paid when man receives ; 
T" enjoy is to obey." 


No. 133J Washington 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 



THE question has often been asked, why I should de- 
viate so far from what is considered the appropriate 
sphere of woman in our country, as to meddle with those 
studies which form the subject of this little volume. 
Firmly believing that all things are under the control of 
the Divine Providence, I will mention a few of the cir- 
cumstances which have induced me to give attention to 
these studies. 

From infancy I have never known health, and very 
early in life the foundation of a pulmonary complaint was 
laid, by close dressing, which must, before many years, 
consign me to a premature grave. Under these circum- 
stances, it is not strange that my attention was turned 
toward medical works. 

When about 18 years of age, I commenced reading 
on Pathology, and continued for several years reading 
Medical, Anatomical, Physiological, and Pathological 
works, as they came in my way. I concealed my pen- 
chant for this kind of books as mucffas possible, as I did 


not like to be ridiculed and censured for reading works 
which females seldom read, and I did not myself see 
that much use could result from such a course of study. 

In 1837 I attended several lectures given by Sylvester 
Graham, in Lynn, Mass., the town where I then resided. 
The knowledge I obtained from Mr. Graham gave vital- 
ity and consequent usefulness to what I had before 
acquired. It was comparatively unimportant for me to 
know the mechanism of the human stomach, whilst I 
knew nothing of the causes which deranged its func- 
tions and produced disease. 

Those who have heard my lectures know that I regard 
Mr. Graham as one of the greatest benefactors the 
world ever had. For most of what is practically valua- 
ble in this work, I am indebted to his teachings directly, 
or to principles upon which I have reasoned, which 
have been derived from him. 

To medical men I am under great obligation. They 
have kindly assisted me in every way in their power. 
They have loaned me books ; they have admitted me 
to their museums ; they have permitted me to see dis- 
sections. Besides, wherever I have lectured, they 
have endeavored to correct the misapprehensions of the 
people, and to encourage me to disseminate knowledge. 

What I have learned through their kindness, I have 
tried to make useful to the world. How far I have suc- 
ceeded, I leave othys to determine. 



The Importance of the Study of Anatomy and Physiology, p. 9 


The Formation of Bone. . . ' . . . . . . 28 


Number and Position of the Bones 47 


Muscles, Eye, Ear and .Nose. . . . : '.' . . 68 


Circulation, Respiration and Ventilation. . . . . 91 


Anatomy and Physiology of the Stomach. . . . 109 


Dietetics . . ' . . 131 


Dietetics, 148 



Dietetics 166 


Fluids . . . 184 


Nervous System 205 


Nervous System. 220 


Diseases of the Spine 238 


Education. . 260 





WHOEVER shall convince mankind of the neces- 
sity and importance of the study of Anatomy and 
Physiology, and those laws which govern life and 
health, will do more toward promoting the general 
good and happiness of our species, than he would 
if he gave us priceless gems and gold without 
measure. Man came from the hand of his God a 
noble being, made in the image of his Creator. 
That he is not that godlike being now, we have 
most of us a perception of some kind. I know 
there are those who say man's tendencies are to 
good, rather than to evil. Those who say this, 
must nevertheless feel that he is weak, that he is 
often turned aside. We may have faith in human- 
ity, we may believe that man can be elevated 
will be ; and we may labor in this blessed faith for 


the race ; still the crime, the wretchedness, that 
exist on every hand, speak most truly, that man is 
depraved, fallen, perverted. I care not by what 
term men designate the moral and physical disor- 
der with which our world is cursed. Man is here 
in his degradation. We see it, feel it, in ourselves 
and others, unless we have lost all of true humanity. 
To Phrenologists and Physiologists, I need not 
undertake to prove this doctrine. The first sees in 
the organization of man a want of true balance 
the last sees in it disease. 

Says the Phrenologist, " If a man has a deficiency 
of perceptive power, he cannot always judge of the 
true. If he have too large acquisitiveness, he must 
have large conscientiousness, or he will clutch his 
neighbor's money, and so on of all the other 
organs of the brain." According to Combe, a man 
with deficient moral organs, and the organs of the 
animal propensities large, needs a moral guardian, 
as much as a man who wants the organ of number 
needs a ready reckoner, in business transactions. 

According to the Phrenologist and Physiologist, 
the balance of healthy action is lost in our race ; 
and according to these, hospitals should be erected 
for the sinful, as for the sick. This is certainly 
taking a benevolent view of poor erring humanity. 
I come not so much to advocate this doctrine, 
though I confess it has charms for me, as to lay it 


before you. It will not hurt thinkers to think of 
it ; to turn and examine it on every side ; dive into 
its depths; sift it thoroughly; that if there be 
any truth in it, they may find it. It is a contempt- 
ible ignorance, nay, more, a hopeless ignorance, that 
will not examine. 

Let us for a moment take a view of the evils that 
overspread our world, that are the legitimate conse- 
quence of ignorance. We need not turn to the right 
hand or to the left, to demonstrate the evils that 
result from a want of knowledge. They cluster 
around us in awful fruitfulness. They enter into 
every ramification of civic life as it now is. It is 
idle to attempt reformation by ordinary means, in 
the present state of things. We must strike at the 
root ; and I am so charitable to poor human nature, 
poor as it is, that I believe a vast, an incalculable 
amount of suffering is the result of ignorance, not 
of wilful error ; consequently to remove this igno- 
rance, is to strike at the root. I do not say that 
knowledge, followed out in all its bearings, would 
save the present generation. Many have been 
born with feeble constitutions, in consequence of 
the errors of their parents. They have been trained 
in a manner most destructive to health. There are 
many, who, let their course be ever so judicious, 
could never attain a state of health, and cannot hold 
on to life many years. Still their lives might be 


lengthened and rendered vastly more comfortable, 
did they know the laws that govern life, and had 
they moral courage to act in accordance with them. 
And they would save their children a vast amount 
of suffering ; for it is a fact, physically speaking, 
that the errors of the parents are visited on the heads 
of their children. When the mother's whole system 
is diseased, and under a vitiating influence, we can- 
not expect that she will give health to her child. I 
need not attempt to demonstrate to you the truth of 
this assertion ; your own good sense will lead you 
to assent to its truth at once. In no case do the 
effects of physiological ignorance appear more 
lamentable, or more fatal, than in children. There 
seems to be something more revolting, in destroying 
the innocent, than in committing suicide. Infants 
are committed to our care ; we are their natural 
guardians. But thousands of these little innocents 
are destroyed every year, literally "killed with 
kindness ;" and it is a wise, a benevolent law of 
Providence, that the poison should thus quickly do 
its work ; for if they are spared, it is but to endure 
protracted suffering. The miseries of infants com- 
mence even before birth. They are born with 
deteriorated constitutions, and predisposition to dis- 
ease. Their hold on life is often so slight, that but 
a breath will break the attenuated thread. O that 
I could speak to the heart and the understanding 


of every mother. I would persuade her to let the 
life of her child be precious in her sight. But how 
can this be, when she is all the time laying suicidal 
hands on herself; and during the time she nurses 
her child, it is a part of her being. What mother 
does not know, if she is ill, her nursing infant will 

/ * o 

be ill ? Milk is formed of such materials as are put 
into the stomach. If good materials are wanting, 
it is formed of such as there are. We know that 
medicines affect the milk. When it was fashiona- 
ble to drink wine and strong drink, the deadly 
draught passed almost unaltered to the lips of the 
little innocent who hung at its mother's breast, from 
which nought but the pure streams of life should 
ever flow. But alcohol is not the only deadly 
substance, and when the food of the mother is 
improper, it induces a train of evils, that have a 
reciprocal influence in aggravating each other. The 
stomach of the mother becomes diseased. The del- 
icate lining membrane is inflamed, perhaps ulcer- 
ated ; digestion is imperfectly performed ; the tem- 
per of the mother is continually irritated by the 
morbid condition of her system. A host of sym- 
pathies are excited ; the unhappy, because unheal- 
thy mother, has many cares beside her fretful child. 
She thinks she has a " cross infant." People should 
learn to call things by their right names : we should 
say a diseased infant. My heart has long been 


pained at beholding the ignorance of mothers. I 
rejoice that a spirit of inquiry is awakened, that the 
laws of life and health are beginning to be investi- 
gated and understood. I am persuaded that the 
long night of error is about to be chased from our 
land, by the glorious sunlight of truth. The con- 
science should be awakened on the subject of health. 
It has too long been lulled asleep by the opiate of 
indulgence. The table has been made a snare ; 
men have made a god of appetite, and received in 
themselves that recompense of their error which 
was meet. From the cradle, we have been taught 
to go astray. The appetites of children are vitiated, 
and their systems predisposed to disease. All this 
is done through ignorance, which in many cases is 
unavoidable. I have seen a mother muffle her new 
born infant as closely from the air, as if some deadly 
miasm were floating in every breath of the pure 
element. Thus the poor infant is rendered suscep- 
tible of disease from what should be its vital nour- 
ishment. Mothers in their ignorance poison the 
very fountains of life and health. The infant is 
not only muffled closely when carried out, but its 
nursery is often so contrived as to exclude pure 

Another contrivance to vitiate the air, is that mis- 
chievous invention, a cradle with a head. It is 
surprising that mothers will use these, apparently 


without reflection, when they know that air once 
breathed is unfit for respiration a second time ; and 
that they will throw a piece of muslin, a silk hand- 
kerchief, or a heavy cloth, over the open part of the 
head, and thus keep the child, during the time 
of sleep, immersed in poison, and at every breath 
inhaling it ; at a time too when the powers of resist- 
ance possessed by the system lie in a measure dor- 
mant. I have uncovered an infant, who had two 
or three blankets and a quilt over its face, in one of 
these cradles. What would be the feelings of one 
of these mothers, if she should see her child swal- 
lowing corrosive sublimate ? And yet she pursues 
a course as irrational, as wrong, as if she introduced 
poison into the stomach of her child. The poison 
may be more slow, but it is not the less deadly and 
sure. The frequent occurrence of fits in children, 
would prove it to the anxious mother, had she her 
eyes but half open to the cause though impure 
air is far from being the only cause of fits. " Dark- 
ness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the 
people," in natural as in spiritual things. The 
mother looks upon the babe which her ignorance, 
her mistaken kindness, have destroyed, as the victim 
of some special providence. I admit it is a provi- 
dence that takes her child away, and a merciful 
dispensation that removes the little creature from 
suffering ; but it is an effect that follows a cause, as 


much as hanging is a cause, and death an effect. I 
am no advocate for hardening children by improper 
exposure. I would have a judicious course pur- 
sued by every mother, to invigorate her child ; then 
no injurious consequences will result from an expo- 
sure, that in other cases, under ordinary manage- 
ment, would be death. What this judicious course 
is, I shall endeavor to show hereafter. 

The exclusion of pure air from the lungs and 
bodies of children, is only one evil arising from 

The ignorant mother says, " I always wean my 
child when ' the sign comes right.' I feed it as soon 
as I can make it swallow. I don't have to learn my 
child to eat when I wean it. I always give it every 
thing that I allow myself to eat. Then the child will 
get used to it, and such food will not hurt it." This 
is almost as bad as " getting used " to hanging. 
Can the infant stomach, which has only the capaci- 
ty to hold a glass, " get used " to hold half a pint, 
without violence ? Can the delicate lining membrane 
of the infant stomach, which is far more delicate and 
susceptible than its external skin, bear the stimuli 
of spice, pepper, flesh, &c., mingled in that very 
injurious compound, " mince pie," without injury, 
when it would produce a sore if applied to the 
external skin ? Yet how many mothers give their 
children " mince pie," and bring forward the plea 


that " such food will not hurt children, if they are 
only used with eating it." I have seen a mother 
feed her child, whose age was four months, with 
pork, hog's fat, and potatoes, when the little suf- 
ferer had whooping cough. It was agonizing to 
witness the convulsive throes of the poor child, as 
the outraged stomach rejected, with loathing and 
abhorrence, the deadly and unnatural injesta. 

I would that I were not under the necessity of 
sullying my pages with a notice of the abuses of 
civic life. The necessity that these errors should be 
brought to view and corrected, must constitute my 
excuse for bringing subjects before my readers, disa- 
greeable to them and to me. The child above 
mentioned, after being fed in such an improper man- 
ner, was enveloped in blankets, the head as closely 
as the body. At the first stopping place, when 
allowed again to breathe the pure air, the child's 
face was discovered to be a deep purple, as if it 
were in the last stage of strangulation. The mother, 
though as sensible and accomplished as most women, 
owing to the lamentable want of physiological infor- 
mation at this day, had no idea that impure air caused 
the deathly appearance of her child. She had cov- 
ered it from the air, to prevent its taking cold. 

In view of such abuses, it is cheering to re- 
flect that light is beginning to break in upon us. 
Many see that they have been steeped in error to 


the very lips, and are making praiseworthy efforts 
to escape from the evil influence. Many people 
seem to think that all diseases are immediate visita- 
tions from the Almighty, arising from no cause but 
his immediate dispensation. Many seem to have 
no idea that there are established laws with respect 
to life and health, and that the transgression of these 
laws is followed by disease. In this sense disease 
is a visitation from the Almighty. People complain 
of being ill, and seem to think it no more necessary 
to ascertain the cause of their illness, than to deter- 
mine why the sun shines to-day, when it was cloudy 
yesterday. Let any one suggest the idea that their 
habits are wrong, and he is met at once with, " I 
am no Grahamite, I eat and drink, as other folks 
do. I take snuff, because rny physician recom- 
mends it, for the catarrh, or weak eyes ; and I 
smoke, because my food hurts me. I drink tea, be- 
cause I have the sick headache. 1 drink coffee, 
because I love it, and will drink it ; and I always 
have the headache, when I don't drink coffee in the 

It is in vain to attempt to get these persons to 
adopt correct habits, without knowledge. They 
will listen to you, and perhaps determine to adopt 
what you tell them is right. But long habit has 
depraved the appetite and the functions. These 
cannot be corrected in a day, a month, or perhaps 


a year, or years. They are impatient. They wish 
for rapid results. They do not know the laws which 
govern life. They are at the mercy of every wind 
that blows. They must contend with their own 
depraved appetites, the fears and solicitations of 
friends, and often they have ah oracular warning 
from some pretender to medical knowledge, who 
may have intruded into the profession. And these 
persons have a blind confidence in medicine, often 
equal to the Arab's confidence in amulets and 
charms. They may not have confidence in the 
regular medical profession. No matter ; they place 
a blind confidence somewhere ; perhaps in botanic 
medicines, perhaps in calomel or lobelia, or in the 
last advertised quack nostrum ; and if the practi- 
tioner promises them indulgence, or in other words 
that they may eat and drink what they choose, and 
pay no attention to their habits, they will have so 
much the more confidence. 

With such people, habits are nothing, medicine 
is all. They would willingly go through a course 
of druggings, when they could hardly be persuaded 
to relinquish one hurtful indulgence. Could they 
be induced to give up dosing, and adopt correct 
habits, they might add years to their lives. I am 
far from decrying the regular and rational practice 
of medicine. That physician who has sense and 
science, who knows all that he can learn of human 


anatomy and physiology, who will enlighten people 
with respect to hygienic laws, and administer medi- 
cine judiciously, when it is a less evil to give than 
to withhold it, is a blessing to society. 

Physiology, were it understood, would make 
people tremble at the idea of dosing continually, or 
even occasionally, with purgatives and other medi- 
cines. Did people know the danger of introducing 
poisons at hap-hazard into the system, under the 
name of medicine, they would beware. A little 
reflection would convince you that medicines which 
you have been accustomed to consider harmless, 
are in reality poisons. Why should the system be 
in such haste to reject these substances, by vomit- 
ing, purging, and deathly perspiration, if they are 
not poisonous. Terrible intestinal disease is induced 
by this dosing with purgatives and other medicines. 
Do not think you are safe, because you have a 
vegetable medicine. There are active and deadly 
poisons in the vegetable, as in the mineral kingdom. 
You may say, " I do not poison myself or my family 
with minerals." Prussic acid, henbane, cicuta, &,c. 
are deadl) poisons, and yet they are vegetable pro- 

The end at which physiologists aim is prevention. 
They do not make war upon this or that medical 
school, which is honestly endeavoring to benefit the 
race. But the general resort to quacks and their 


nostrums, is a great evil. We should live in such 
a manner as not to need medicine of any kind. 
But if from past errors, or a vitiated constitution, 
we need medicine, let us have the best possible 
help, and let not our habits counteract all a physi- 
cian's efforts. Who would think of resuscitating a 
drowned man, whilst he was under water ? Just 
as vain is the attempt to restore permanent health 
to persons whilst they are indulging the very habits 
that made them sick. 

It is surprising, that people will trust their lives 
in the care of those who are not even pretenders to 
medical knowledge ; who denounce the study of 
Anatomy and Physiology as useless, and who would 
fain persuade us that they have found a shorter road 
to the healing art than rational, laborious study. 

Whilst I plead for the regular study and practice 
of medicine, if mankind will so abuse themselves as 
to need medicine, I detest ignorance and quackery, 
when found in the medical profession, as much, or 
more, than when found elsewhere. 

The rage for quack medicines has become almost 
as general as the demand for water. If ever Anat- 
omy and Physiology, and those laws which govern 
life and health, come to be generally understood in 
the world, a vast amount of money will be saved, 
and a vast amount of misery escaped. 

I do not say how far men will be faithful to 


these laws, when understood. All history fur- 
nishes lamentable proof that knowledge is not vir- 
tue. Genius, knowledge, mental cultivation of the 
highest order, have been disgraced by the commis- 
sion of crime, the darkness of which was in propor- 
tion to the blaze of intellectual light. But with 
many in our land, knowledge of the laws of life is 
alone wanting, to insure obedience to them ; and it 
is to be hoped that when physiological knowledge 
is generally diffused, quacks of all kinds will have 
to seek some other employment than battening on 
the life blood of the community. Lest any one 
should misunderstand me, I will here state distinctly 
what I mean by the term quack : " A boastful pre- 
tender to knowledge he does not possess." Con- 
sequently, being a member of a medical society, 
does not hinder a man from being a quack. Knowl- 
edge is what we want. It should be diffused, not 
locked up in any profession. 

It is much to the credit of the medical faculty, 
that they are striving to diffuse knowledge. With 
many, every thing in Physiology is to be learned ; 
for nothing, or next to nothing, is known. Many 
people who have much information about many 
things and many books, appear to have less knowl- 
edge on the subject of health, than a poor black 
woman I once met, who came from Africa, and 
had been deprived of most means of acquiring infor- 


raation. Said " Achaby," (that was her African 
name,) " I thinks people disgests their food better, 
when they chaws it well." Observation had taught 
her this truth, and she was wiser than many of her 
superiors in knowledge. Some people seem never 
seriously to consider why their teeth were given 
them. They do not use them properly, and they 
are soon taken from them. Reason and Physiology 
teach that the teeth might last to old age, as well 
as the other bones, did we not abuse them by 
neglect, through the medium of the stomach, and 
other means. 

The doctrine of sympathy between the different 
parts of the system, needs to be better understood. 
Many parents, for trifling ailments, dose themselves 
or their children with powerful medicines, whilst 
the most skilful physicians rely on abstinence, and 
correct habits, for the cure of slight disorders, and 
resort to medicine with caution for the cure of those 
which are more serious. 1 am fully impressed with 
the value of medicine in the hands of a skilful phy- 
sician ; but I am as fully impressed with the value 
of good habits, or in other words, of prevention. 
Terrible evils result from the indiscreet use of med- 
icines, especially purgatives and emetics. Medi- 
cines often induce much more serious disorders than 
those they are administered to cure. The frequent 
use of drastic medicines causes inflammation of the 


mucous membrane that lines the stomach and intes- 
tines, piles, and many other evils. 

Think of this, ye mothers, who dose yourselves 
.and children with salts, or with calomel, or with 
you know not what, in the " Brandreth's pills," and 
the thousand and one quack medicines with which 
the ignorant are abused. That person who shall 
enlighten people with regard to the indiscreet use 
of purgatives alone, will deserve the thanks of the 
community. I have seen parents who would boast 
of curing their children of various disorders by the 
use of powerful medicines, unaided by a physician. 
The children had lived, notwithstanding they had 
been most injudiciously treated. The parents little 
knew the evils they were creating and perpetuating, 
by these " cures." Should diseased action be estab- 
lished in a part of the system not at first attacked, 
they know nothing of the vital economy, they con- 
sider it the consequence of the disorder, not of the 
drugs they have ignorantly administered. Should 
a child after passing through a period of illness, 
and a course of domestic practice, appear as though 
some deadly mildew or blight had struck it, the 
disorder is uniformly considered the cause. " My 
child," says the mother, " had the measles." or scar- 
let fever, as the case may be, " and the disorder did 
not leave him well, and he has been unwell ever 
since." With all the abuses that surround us, is it 


wonderful that the mortality among children is so 
great ? Is it wonderful that there is so much disease 
and imbecility of body and mind in after years ? Is 
it wonderful that there is a precocious and unnatu- 
ral development of animal instincts and passions, 
and that ruin, in many instances, is the conse- 
quence ? 

I have glanced at a few only of the evils that 
are the result of ignorance. I have not yet noticed 
that fruitful source of death, tight lacing, upon which 
so much has been said within the last few years. I 
do not say knowledge would reform all who indulge 
in this ruinous practice ; but let knowledge be dis- 
seminated, and we have good reason to believe that 
we have moral principle enough in our land, when 
influenced by knowledge, to work wonders for our 
race. Those who are not influenced by a sense of 
duty, will fear and tremble, when made sensible of 
the dreadful effects resulting from compression. 

Mothers should teach their children to regard 
tight lacing as dishonorable and criminal, and that 
it is as much at variance with beauty and propor- 
tion as it really is. But mothers not only neglect 
to learn their own anatomy, and thus neglect to 
teach their children, for the plain reason that they 
cannot teach what they do not know, but they 
lace themselves in a deadly manner, and make the 
clothing of their children, frf)m infancy, so tight as 


to obstruct the circulation. Thus they commence 
the work of death from the cradle. I have known 
an ignorant, yet in many respects amiable mother, 
who made the clothes of her little daughter, only 
three years old, so tight that she could not bear to 
have them hooked, only when in company. Think 
ye this mother would wilfully murder her child ? 
Far from it. But fashion was the mother's tyrant ; 
and though this child was her darling, the object of 
her unceasing care, yet she dared not do otherwise 
than yield obedience to fashion. Let us not con- 
demn her until we examine our own habits, and see 
if we are not in some way the slaves of this unmer- 
ciful deity that the world has exalted. 

People should be awakened to a consciousness 
that there are duties that they owe to themselves as 
well as to those around them. Some of the more 
obvious causes of injury are carefully avoided. We 
would not stand in the way of a falling building ; 
we would not swallow corrosive sublimate ; but we 
see numbers drawing suicidal cords, till the blood 
labors on its course with the greatest difficulty, so 
imperfectly oxidyzed that the lips and face of the 
victim are often purple. These are objects of pity 
and blame to those who are producing not less fatal 
results, by the use of deadly narcotics. They will 
perhaps take the pipe or the cigar from the mouth, 
to inveigh against tight lacing, whilst their prostrated 


energies, their deathly weakness and trembling, 
ought to warn them that they are as surely commit- 
ting suicide, as the victim of vanity and fashion. 

The evils of civic life cluster before me in such 
a manner, that I can glance only at a few of them. 
Females are more particularly victims than males, 
as the customs of society deny them out door ex- 
ercise, and make them in many instances mere dolls 
and pretty things. During the day, and often a 
large portion of the night, they are loaded with 
clothing of a fashion the most absurd and ridiculous. 
Weak and exhausted from the excess of clothing, 
when they retire to rest, they sink in the enervating 
feather bed, loaded with the absorbed miasm of 
perhaps an hundred persons, who have before slept 
on it. The insensible perspiration or transpiration, 
which is continually thrown off from the human 
body, loaded with waste and hurtful particles, is 
thrown back upon us when we are sunk in a feather 
bed ; and thus the body is immersed, through the 
night, in a vapor bath, saturated with the health- 
destroying effluvia of our own bodies. The system 
is thus enervated, and rendered susceptible of injury 
from changes. Those who are always fearful of 
taking cold, almost always have a cold. Can the 
delicate female, who loads herself with an excess 
of clothing in hot weather, be aware that she is 
weakening her whole system, laying herself open to 


disease, and even inviting it and all for fashion's 
sake ? The belief that it is not moral obliquity, but 
want of information, that causes the many abuses 
we see in society, is a great consolation. 

I have surveyed but a small part of the vast field 
before us. The advantages of knowledge become 
more apparent as we investigate, and the overwhelm- 
ing woes, that are the consequences of ignorance, 
are presented with awful definiteness to our minds. 



THE first step to be taken in the pursuit of 
science, is to discipline the mind. It is no child's 
play, to learn and understand the wonderful mechan- 
ism of the human system. When we consider the 
importance of this knowledge, I trust we shall all 
be willing to give the subject that patient attention 
and investigation which insures reward. 

I once saw a young lady whose beauty, accom- 
plishments and general knowledge made her quite 
fascinating ; and yet she was so ignorant of anato- 
my, that speaking of one of her friends, who had 


spinal disease, she said her friend was " dreadfully 
afflicted with the spine in her bach bone.'" What 
lady would not shut herself up and study anatomy 
for months, rather than make such a ridiculous 
blunder ! 

The frame work of the body, that is, the bones, 
will first claim our attention ; not because the bones 
are independent of the other parts, but because we 
must have a starting point. The bones form the 
basis of the human system they support, defend, 
and contain the more delicate organs. Some may 
suppose the bones destitute of life, and hardly 
organized, and not liable to disease and death ; but 
anatomy explains to us the structure of the bones, 
and shows their vessels. These vessels are full of 
blood, which nourishes the bones. The bones grow 
and decay, and are at times the subjects of terrible 
disease. The formation of bone is a very curious 
process. The bones of the infant, before birth, are 
cartilaginous. The bones of young children are 
soft and yielding ; and it is a wise provision, as they 
meet with many falls that would endanger hard or 
brittle bones. I once saw an Irish woman holding 
her insensible babe in her arms, which had fallen 
from the top to the bottom of a long flight of stairs. 
The mother was comforted and relieved from her 
fears of a fractured skull, when she was assured by 
a physician, that her child's skull would bend an 
inch before it would break. 


According to Bell and others, the cartilage that 
supplies the place of bone in the infant is never har- 
dened into bone. These cartilages have their blood 
vessels, and the first mark of ossification is an artery 
running into the centre of the jelly, in which the 
bone is to be formed. By an artery is meant a 
blood vessel, which carries blood, that is capable of 
forming, nourishing and renovating the different parts 
of the body. By ossification is meant the formation 
of bone : os being the Latin for bone, and ossify 
meaning to form bone. This artery, which runs 
into the centre of the cartilage or jelly, carries par- 
ticles of bony matter, which are deposited, and a 
minute speck of bone appears first ; then particle 
after particle is carried and deposited, the jelly 
being carried away by another set of vessels to 
make room for the bone. Thus the work goes 
on, till the jelly or cartilage is carried away, and 
bone laid in its place. Some anatomists have said 
that the cartilage is not removed, but that the bony 
matter is impacted into its interstices. This may be 
true in some degree, but we have the best authority 
for believing that most of the cartilage is removed. 
You now see that bone is made from blood, as are all 
parts of the body. This is the vital fluid, that nour- 
ishes and renovates the body. You can now see why 
a bad state of the blood should affect the bones. I 
wish you to understand that there are organs whose 
business it is to take from the blood those particles 


that are to form or renovate any organ or part of the 
body. Thus the organs select, with what seems 
almost living instinct, those particles which are to 
form bone, and they are deposited. This is regu- 
larly done, in a healthy state of the organs ; and 
what will form bone is not alone selected, but the 
material for hair, skin, nails, muscles, and indeed 
every part and particle of the human body. 

In order to the formation of good blood, you will 
at once see the necessity of good food. As every 
part of the body depends on the blood for nutrition, 
how important that this fluid be not only perfect in 
its kind, but properly manufactured, without injury 
to the vital organs. We know that a skilful work- 
man will, by much labor, make a pretty good arti- 
cle of poor materials. So it may be of the blood, 
whilst the eliminating organs remain in a tolerably 
healthy state. But it does not hence follow, that 
good materials are not better than poor. And be- 
sides, we should remember that this unnecessary 
labor is wearing out the vital organs. 

The blood may be bad from being made of bad 
materials, or from a deranged state of the organs of 
assimilation. A good workman may become, by 
loss of power, either of body or mind, incapable of 
making good work, even of good materials. It may 
be said, we cannot detect any difference between 
blood made from good materials and that made from 


poor. I answer, we can read an author through his 
doings. The body is imperfectly nourished, and 
becomes diseased, when the blood is not good. 

It is a truth, that in order to have perfect bones, 
and to keep them in a state of health, the organs 
whose business it is to convey nourishment to the 
bones, should be in a healthy state, and they should 
have the best materials from which to extract this 
nourishment. And it is certain, if the vital organs 
are continually disturbed and troubled by improper 
substances from which to eliminate nourishment, 
they will become jaded and deranged, and finally 
the whole regularity, harmony and economy of their 
action will be broken up, and all will go wrong. 
The assimilating organs cannot suffer alone. There 
is a sympathy between all the organs of the body ; 
however great, complex, or minute, " all are but 
parts of one stupendous whole." If one wheel in 
a clock is injured, all will go wrong, because all the 
parts are dependent on each other. 

You now perceive that all parts of the body are 
formed from the blood, and that all parts are formed 
by means of vessels, of organs whose business it is 
to eliminate particles from the blood, that will form, 
nourish or renovate the several tissues and organs. 

If we take improper food, or food at improper 
times, or in improper quantities, we cannot have 
good blood formed, because there is not suitable 


materials, or because the organs that make blood 
are rendered capable of working only in a lame and 
crippled manner. 

Bone is formed of earthy matter phosphate of 
lime and gelatine. Where these parts are duly 
balanced, we have proper bone. 

There is so much sympathy and relation between 
the different parts of the body, that good habits, and 
temperance in all things, are necessary to preserve 
all parts in health. " If one member of the body 
suffers, all suffer with it." It is not the due obser- 
vance of one thing, or two things, that will make 
us healthy or happy. 

You see that bone is composed of earthy matter 
(phosphate of lime) and gelatine. Now if there is 
an undue proportion of gelatine, you will at once 
perceive that the bones will be too soft, and here 
comes to view that terrible disease called mollites 
ossium, or softening of the bones. Instances have 
occurred in this disease, where the bones of the 
miserable sufferer might be bent so that the heels 
would touch the back of the head. The bones are 
at times so soft, in this disorder, that they may be 
cut through with a knife. Numerous cases are on 
record, of such softening of the bones. An eminent 
writer, speaking of the cause, says, "It appears 
frequently to consist in a morbid state of the diges- 
tive organs ; but it is seated, perhaps, as often in 


the assimilating or secernent vessels, that is, the 
vessels that separate and appropriate those parts 
and particles that go to make up the bones." 

Now if people will abuse themselves, their diges- 
tive organs, or the other organs in the vital econo- 
my that are laboring for parts of the great whole, 
they must expect, as a consequence, the derange- 
ment of the functions. They must expect disease. 
It may be of this kind, it may be of some other. 

Another disease of the bones is that familiar to 
you under the denomination of rickets. Here let 
me observe, as a proof of the degeneracy of man, of 
his having left right habits, and come under the do- 
minion of wrong habits, the fact that rickets and its 
varieties are comparatively of modern date, and 
cannot be traced back farther than the seventeenth 
century. It is the opinion of the most eminent 
pathologists, that rickets may be traced, in most 
instances, and bating the predisposition inherited 
from diseased parents, they might have said in all 
instances, to the want of a pure air, a warm and dry 
atmosphere, regular exercise, nutritious food, and 
cleanliness ; and the severity of the symptoms is 
very generally in proportion to the extent or multi- 
plicity of these concurrent causes. 

Proper exercise, a dry, pure and temperate at- 
mosphere, plain, wholesome food, cleanliness, and 
cold bathing, have often wrought a cure, without a 


particle of medicine, though medicine may be neces- 
sary at times. No mother or nurse should for a 
moment admit the idea that she pays proper atten- 
tion to cleanliness, without bathing the whole sur- 
face of a child's body daily. 

It is believed rickets is not as common now as it 
was several years since, because people see that a 
rational course will save them from the evil. Peo- 
ple are beginning to be aware that a regimen that 
will cause them to recover from illness, will preserve 
them in health. They are beginning to learn that 
they bring suffering and disease upon themselves 
and their offspring, by indulgence in habits which 
are only pleasant, or even tolerable, because we 
are depraved, or because they are habits. People 
suppose themselves the victims of some dire disease, 
which has come upon them, they know not whence 
or wherefore. They seem to have a kind of vague 
idea that they are afflicted with sickness for their 
sins ; but they have not the shadow of an idea that 
it is for sin against the laws of life. I have heard 
Christians gravely arguing about the origin of dis- 
eases. I have heard them attribute sickness to the 
fall of man ; but not one word was said about eat- 
ing and drinking every thing nothing of unclean- 
ness, and of the thousand and one abuses of civic life. 

I will here give a brief notice of a terrible dis- 
ease, in which the bones and brain seem to suffer 


most. I allude to the disorder called Cretinism, 
found mostly in the valleys of Switzerland, among 
the Alps, and also among the Pyrenees. This 
disorder resembles rickets, though generally more 
severe, and more to be dreaded, as the organs of 
the brain share the fate of the diseased body ; and 
there is an almost total obliteration of the mental 
faculties. " In Cretinism, the body is stinted in its 
growth, and the organs in their developement. The 
abdomen swells, the skin is wrinkled, the muscles 
are loose and flabby, the throat is often covered 
, with a monstrous prominence, the complexion is 
jvan, and the countenance vacant and stupid. The 
cranium [skull] bulges out to an enormous size. 
Their blunted sensibility renders them indifferent 
to the action r pf cold or heat, and even to blows 
and wounds. They are generally deaf and dumb. 
Their organs of sight, smell, taste and feeling are 
very limited htiheir operation, and of moral affec- 
tions they seem wholly destitute." 

The causes of this terrific malady, are, first, a 
close, iiumid and oppressive atmosphere.-... Their 
valleys a'ije' surrounded by high mountains, that 
shield them from fresh currents of air. They are 
thus continually steeped in a poisoned atmosphere, 
as their natural situation makes them the victims of 
the same contamination jhj^ people in civic life 
bring about by means of "closed carriages, close, 


unventilated rooms, crowded assemblies, where veils 
are often drawn before the face to further contami- 
nate the already poisoned air. Every young lady 
ought to know that air once breathed is unfit for 
respiration a second time. Though I shall speak 
more particularly of air hereafter, I can hardly 
avoid saying, here, that though veils are bad enough 
in the open air, yet in a close room or crowded 
assembly, they are so great an evil, that every lady 
who wears one over her face, is verily guilty, 
whether she knows it or not.* 

Though Cretinism may not be the result of a 
confined atmosphere, yet experience demonstrates 
that disease and death are its legitimate fruits. Other 
causes contribute to form Cretinism improper food, 
indolence, uncleanliness, and hereditary taint, often 
of many generations. In this disorder we see the 
lamentable effects of many deleterious influences 
combined. Each of these influences would sepa- 
rately work an amount of mischief; but when com- 
bined, their effects become apparent to all, even to 
the most careless observer. If we would be free 
from each and every disorder, we must avoid each 
and every cause of disorder. The causes of disease 
are not as obscure as many are disposed to believe, 

* I by no means wish to condemn veils, when the severity of the 
weather makes them necessary f but this was written when it was 
the fashion to wear veils close drawn in church and other assemblies. 


and the causes of our many trials and difficulties in 
this world, lie more at our own doors than people 
are willing to acknowledge. 

There is in the human system a continued waste 
and renovation. One set of particles are continually 
being thrown out of the system to give place to a 
new set, so that the entire system is continually 
being formed, wasted and renovated. There are 
vessels or organs whose business it is to cast these 
particles out of the system, that they may give their 
place to fresh particles, just eliminated from the 
blood. Now it is obvious that if there be a torpor 
of the secernents, or those vessels which separate 
particles from the blood to make any particular 
part, whether it be bone or brain, or whatever it 
may be, if there be disorder or torpor of these secer- 
nents, the part will not be properly nourished ; and 
if the excernents, or those vessels which separate 
and throw out particles from the system, keep on 
their work, the balance of healthy action will be 
lost, and disease will ensue, and the reverse of 
this is equally true. For instance, the bony matter 
which the excernents should throw out of the sys- 
tem, is at times left in the bones, and they become 
impacted and brittle. There are cases of debility 
and functional derangement of the excernents, where 
the bones become brittle instead of soft. There 
seems to be in these cases a deficiency not only of 


gelatine, but of one or more of the constituents of 
healthy earth of bones. I know an individual who 
has twice broken the fibula (the smaller bone of the 
leg) when walking deliberately along the street : 
the bone snapped like a pipe-stem. The limb was 
set, and in due time, by perfect rest, united. After 
a few years, that bone, or the bone of the other leg, 
(I do not recollect which,) broke short in precisely 
the same manner. Be it remembered, this good 
man was a free liver, and though he ate no more of 
what are termed good things than many others, and 
though his manner of living, perhaps, caused no 
greater amount of suffering, in the aggregate, than 
others endure, yet he received a part of his punish- 
ment in a little different manner. I say a part, as 
he had almost continual rheumatism ; and this is by 
no means a novel complaint, and will not be, so 
long as men tempt their appetites, and, as a natural 
consequence, eat much more than they need, and 
make all their habits fruitful sources of mischief. 

There is sometimes a sluggishness or debility in 
the vessels of the system, and hence their work is 
often improperly done. Bony matter is sometimes 
left to stagnate in the blood vessels, and they are 
thus rendered rigid and even ossific. They are 
even at times converted into bony tubes. As the 
arteries carry bony matter, and are in fact the instru- 
ments by which ossification is performed, there seems 


great danger, if their healthy action is disturbed, 
that they will cause extensive mischief, either by 
carrying and depositing bony matter where it does 
not belong, or in consequence of debility and a de- 
ficiency of action, the earthy particles are left to 
stagnate in the sides of the vessels, and thus con- 
vert them into bony tubes. Instances of this kind 
have frequently occurred. 

There is also at times a deranged and erratic 
action of those vessels which carry bony matter. It 
is thus often carried to, as well as left in, the wrong 
place. Bony matter has thus been found in perhaps 
every organ of the body in the brain, in the heart, 
in the kidneys and glands ; and even the ball of the 
eye has been found changed to bone, or, as we say, 
ossified ; and in one comparatively recent instance, 
the whole body was ossified or changed to bone. 
It may be said, it will frighten people to know all 
this : I would that they might be frightened out of 
bad habits into good ones ; for sooner will the sun 
again stand still, than any be thus afflicted, who 
obey the laws of nature. But disease, and suffer- 
ing, and unnatural death, will ever await those who 
live in rebellion against these laws. 

We have thus briefly noticed some of the diseases 
of the bones, and it may here be remarked, that gen- 
erally, those parts of the body that are the slowest 
to become sensible of disease and distress, are sub- 


jects of the keenest anguish when aroused to dis- 
eased action ; as those persons who bear a great 
deal of maltreatment without having their anger 
aroused, are usually very spirited when they are 

Every bone has, like the soft parts of the body, 
its arteries, veins, and absorbent vessels ; and each 
bone has nerves although the sensibility of bones, 
unless diseased, is very slight. Bones have no feel- 
ing, that is, they convey no sensation to the brain, 
when cut in amputation ; yet no pains are more 
severe than those of the joints and bones, when 
they are diseased. The bones serve as the basis 
of the soft parts. They also support and direct 
motion, and some of the bones have even a higher 
use, as the bones of the skull, which protect the 
brain. The ribs and sternum, or breast bone, which 
protect the lungs and heart, are often made the 
instruments of mischief, by means of compression 
upon the viscera within. I cannot now go out of my 
way to speak of that worse than heathen abomina- 
tion, tight lacing. Truly, it is far more to be depre- 
cated than the hook with which the wretched in- 
habitants of Hindostan pierce their flesh, and thus 
suspend themselves and swing in the air, the victims 
of a cruel superstition. The suffering and death 
produced in this way, are not to be compared with 
the misery and death which are the consequence of 


compression. Injuries to those bones which guard 
the heart and lungs, are almost as fatal as injuries to 
those which guard the brain. The breast bone may 
be made to press inward upon the heart in such a 
manner as to burst it. But more commonly the poor 
sufferer dies a slow and miserable death, worn out 
by anxiety and oppression, fainting, palpitations, 
anxious breathings, quick and interrupted pulse, 
still more frequent faintings, and death. I trust I 
shall hereafter convince the most incredulous of the 
truth of what I have just said : but one thing at a time. 

It may be well here to speak of the teeth. There 
are three periods in which dentition, or the breeding 
and cutting of teeth, takes place uniformly in 
infancy, in youth, and adult age ; and sometimes 
teeth are produced in advanced life. 

The teeth of man are composed of two distinct 
sets, differing both in number and structure. The 
first, or smaller set, consist of ten for each jaw. 
These are usually cut between the ninth and twenty- 
fourth month after birth, and are shed between the 
seventh and fourteenth year. These are called 
the milk teeth. The second, or larger set, con- 
sist of fourteen, fifteen or sixteen for each jaw. 
These, with the exception of the farther grinder, 
are usually cut by the eighteenth year. This gen- 
erally appears after the twentieth, and sometimes 
as late as the thirtieth year ; and they are hence 


called the wisdom teeth. The rudiments of the 
teeth lie in the jaw bone, like little lumps of jelly. 
They are surrounded by a peculiar membrane, and 
a bony socket. This socket shoots up from the jaw 
bone, as the teeth advance. It accompanies the 
growth of the tooth, and at first entirely surrounds 
it, in consequence of its being secreted and hardened 
with more rapidity than the tooth. By this admi- 
rable contrivance a firm support is given to the gums, 
from the time of birth, and the infant is enabled to 
make sufficient pressure to nurse, without interfering 
with the form which the teeth are destined to re- 
ceive. In due time, however, the socket yields its 
upper surface, and the tooth is forced through, and 
cuts not only the socket, but the gum. 

When the first set of teeth has answered its tem- 
porary purpose, it has its roots absorbed, and the 
teeth are shed. The sockets also are absorbed, at 
the same time, and disappear. This change is 
wonderful, and shows us clearly the nice adapta- 
tion the different parts of the body have to the con- 
dition of the body. 

The large, permanent teeth, with their appropri- 
ate sockets, are produced when they are needed. 
Before the first set of teeth are shed, there are two 
sets in the jaws. With children there is often 
much irritation and functional derangement during 
the period of breeding and cutting teeth. To 


enable a cjhild to pass safely and comfortably through 
this period, such a course should be pursued as will 
invigorate the child, and render its health firm pre- 
vious to this time of trial. The whole surface of 
an infant's body should be bathed every day, from 
its birth, with cold or slightly warm water. It 
should not be kept from the air ; its nursery should 
be thoroughly ventilated. I do not like the term 
nursery ; it implies too much confinement. Chil- 
dren and infants should not be confined ; they should 
have air ; they should have exercise. Few people 
are sufficiently sensible of the importance of air and 
exercise. The blood will not be good, unless we 
have pure air. This I shall fully demonstrate in 
another place. But good blood will not circulate 
freely without exercise. 

Whatever renders the general health of the child 
good and firm, in the first months of its existence, 
will diminish its danger in the period of dentition. 
Indeed, were children rationally managed, there 
would be little trouble experienced at this season. 
There is sometimes considerable inflammation, when 
the teeth shoot upward rapidly, and the membrane 
that surrounds them does not readily give way. 
This can be immediately removed by cutting down 
to the tooth. When the imprisoned tooth is thus 
set at liberty, the inflammation ceases as by a charm. 
Some object to cutting the gum, fearing that the 


tooth will not readily come forward, and that the cut 
edges will unite, and form an indurated substance 
above the tooth, and thus render it more difficult 
for the tooth to protrude. Experience does not 
justify these fears, but shows conclusively, that it is 
best to set the tooth at liberty. Life has, no doubt, 
often been saved by resolutely cutting the gums. 

There is often much local irritation in teething. 
The grand point to be gained is to moderate this 
irritation. A diarrhoea, or excessive flow of saliva, 
is nature's method of doing this ; but how many 
mothers are excessively alarmed at the diarrhoea, as 
if this were the disease, and not a relieving process. 

And here comes in that dreadful practice of drug- 
ging the little sufferer, often to death. Laudanum, 
paregoric, "Godfrey's cordial," and many more 
deadly mixtures, are in their turn resorted to. 
Happy is the child who is hardy enough to live in 
spite of these abuses. My heart aches when I see 
innocent children thus abused by kind parents, who 
would do them good, but who are ignorant. I can 
hardly restrain my indignation, when I contemplate 
the disease and misery and death which are caused 
by quacks, and their detestable compounds, which 
are sold by men whose only aim is to get money. 
Many who will not give their children opium, will 
not hesitate to give them cordials and elixirs, the 
bases of which are opium. 


A most distressing circumstance came to my 
knowledge, not long since. A young woman had 
a lovely babe. This darling was slightly ill, and 
of course demanded more care than ordinary. The 
mother was told to give it paregoric to quiet it. She 
did so ; but she gave it so large a quantity, that her 
child slept the sleep of death. A friend of the mis- 
erable mother told me that she often went to the 
grave of her child, and threw herself upon its ashes, 
to weep, and upbraid herself with its murder. 

O may mothers be persuaded to let these deadly 
drugs alone. What is poisonous hi large quantities, 
is poisonous in small quantities. Its effects may be 
less obvious, but though slow, they will be sure. 
The practice of dosing children with narcotics, or 
indeed any medicine, is a practice fraught with 

Dentition is often attended with pain and function- 
al derangement, in the adult. I recollect reading in 
a medical work, of a lady who was extremely ill., 
and who was thought to be far gone in a decline \ 
and the cause was, all the while, one of the wisdom 
teeth was struggling to cut through the membrane 
and gum that bound it. A slight touch of the lancet 
set the tooth free, and all the alarming symptoms of 
disease and decline rapidly disappeared. 




THE bones of the head, which contain and de- 
fend the brain, are eight in number. The frontal 
bone forms the forehead and fore part of the head. 
The parietal or wall bones, from parietes, the Latin 
word for wall, form the sides and upper part of the 
head. The os occipitis, or occipital bone, is named 
from occiput, or back of the head, from its forming 
the back part of the head. The ossa temporum, 
or temporal bones, form the lower parts of the sides 
of the cranium or skull. They are called temporal, 
from tempora, the Latin word for times ; as the 
hair first turns grey on these bones, denoting the 
time of life. The ethmoid and spheroid bones are 
hidden in the base of the skull. The ethmoid bone 
is perforated with holes. Through these holes it 
transmits the olfactory nerves. It takes its name 
from these holes, ethmoid or sieve-like bone. It 
forms an important part of the nose. The os sphe- 
roid lies in between the occipital bone and the 
ethmoid bone. It lies at the top of the throat, 
forms the back of the nostrils, supports the centre 
of the brain, and transmits several of its nerves. All 


these bones are joined together by seams, which 
have indented edges, much like saw teeth, which 
shut into each other. These seams are called by 
anatomists sutures. 

The spine, or back bone, which supports the 
head, is a long line formed of twenty-four distinct 
bones, named vertebrae, from the Latin vertere, to 
turn. Each bone has a hole through its centre, 
and when put together, they form a long tube, 
which contains and protects the spinal marrow. 
The bones of the spine are very free in their motions, 
and yet very strong. The spine is flexible enough 
to turn quickly in every direction, and yet it is 
steady enough to protect the spinal marrow, the 
most delicate part of the nervous system. The 
atlas is the uppermost bone of the vertebral column, 
so called because the head rests upon it. The 
second is called dentatus, because it has a tooth-like 
process, upon which the atlas turns. Where the 
head is joined with the atlas, there is a hinge joint, 
by means of which we can move the head backward 
and forward, and up and down. The turning mo- 
tion is obtained by means of the tooth-like process 
of the dentatus. When we nod, you see we use 
the hinge joint. When we turn the head, we 
use the dentatus. This tooth-like process is sep- 
arated by a broad flat ligament from the spinal 
marrow. It is completely shut up from the spinal 


marrow by this ligament. All the vertebrae joined 
together make a canal or tube of a somewhat trian- 
gular shape, in which the spinal marrow is con- 
tained, which appears to be a direct branch 
of the brain. The whole course of this canal or 
tube is rendered smooth by delicate lining mem- 
branes. The spinal marrow lies safely there, mois- 
tened by an exudation from the membranes. All 
the way down the spine, this medulla, or spinal mar- 
row, is giving off nerves to the different parts of the 
body. There is a notch in each vertebra, and 
when they are put together, two notches coming 
together form a hole ; through these holes twenty- 
four nerves are given off on each side of the spine. 
Between every two bones of the spine a cushion of 
a firm, elastic substance is interposed. It is called 
intervertebral substance, and somewhat resembles 
India rubber. This substance is powerfully elastic, 
for though it yields easily to whichever side we in- 
cline, it returns to its place again in a moment. 

This elasticity is of very great importance ; it 
enables us to perform all our bendings and turnings, 
and in leaps, shocks and falls, its elasticity prevents 
harm to the spine. During the day, these elastic 
cushions yield by continual pressure, so that we are 
a little shorter at night than in the morning. And 
in old age people are shorter than in youth, and the 
aged spine is also bent forward by the yielding of 



the intervertebral cushions. Any undue inclination 
to either side will cause distortion of the spine from 
the yielding of this elastic substance on one side, 
whilst it rises on the other. At last the same change 
happens to the bones, and the distortion becomes 
fixed and not to be changed. 

The importance of a knowledge of these facts 
concerning the spine will soon be apparent. Just 
think of a child sitting in a cramped and unnatural 
posture during six hours of each day, in our ill-con- 
structed school houses, allowed little time for relaxa- 
tion or exercise, and obliged to hold the head down 
and study, or pretend to study, when the body is 
often in excruciating torment. 

Is it wonderful that distortion of the spine, with 
all the distress and anguish it brings in its train, 
is so common ? The yielding bones of children are 
more easily distorted than the bones of older persons. 
When the frame is yielding, and the whole system 
most susceptible of hurtful impressions, children are 
cramped and confined, and exposed to moral and 
physical influences eminently calculated to ensure 
moral and physical destruction. 

Such is the infatuation of many under the old 
system of school government, that many parents 
and teachers wish their children to sit perfectly still 
during school hours, without a smile, a whisper, or 
even an inclination to the right hand or left, to 


obtain any thing like rest. 1 rejoice that this iron 
system is giving way to the more rational, humane 
and life-preserving social system. 

Under the old method, little or no interval or 
recess must be allowed. Children must be like 
posts or blocks in school, and they must not relax 
out of school. 1 have seen a good lady, who was 
visiting a school, manifest great impatience toward 
a little girl, because she moved her hands when 
reading, and I have more than once had my dress 
tugged by little hands, when company was present, 
(who might have been a delight and a treat to the 
school by unbending a little, as they would in a 
family,) with " When will they go away ? " 

Such unnatural constraint ought not to be im- 
posed. It makes children unhealthy and unhappy. 
They learn to hate, rather than love their teacher. 
They hate school they hate often an amiable 
teacher, merely because that teacher has not under- 
standing or independence enough to pursue a right 
course. Many have understanding enough ; but 
they have not independence. They dare not face 
public opinion. I would not counsel any one to go 
against public opinion, unless it be wrong to go with 
it. We all love the good opinion of our fellow 
creatures ; but when we have a duty to perform, 
public opinion will never exonerate us from blame, 
if we are such slaves that we dare not discharge 


our duty. True, we should ever act with prudence, 
and much may be done silently and without osten- 
tation, which could not be done in a different man- 

Exercise is by many considered romping, espe- 
cially in schools. It is considered worse than lost 
time, and if the teacher exercises with the scholars, 
as every teacher will who regards the moral, physi- 
cal and intellectual improvement of children and 
youth for all these are closely connected such 
a procedure is regarded by many as highly impro- 
per and even vulgar. 

An intelligent teacher once said to me, in refer- 
ence to my joining in the exercises of my pupils, 
"I don't love to see teachers romp with their 
pupils." She was ignorant of anatomy and physi- 
ology, and she revolted at the idea of mingling in 
the sports of her pupils, not reflecting that it is 
highly important in a moral as well as a physical 
point of view. By mingling in the exercises of a 
school, a teacher can control and direct them can 
see that the exercise is neither too violent or too 
long continued can by well-timed caution and 
reproof keep unkindness and ill feeling in check 
and by encouraging innocent mirth and cheerful- 
ness, add greatly to the common stock of health and 
happiness. And the love and respect children feel 
for instructors who thus teach them how to exercise 


and develops their bodies, as well as their minds, 
are very great. And if a teacher is a Physiologist, 
as every teacher ought to be, the pupils will thus 
learn much of Anatomy and Physiology. 

It will be evident to all, that when scholars, young 
or old, are confined in school to uncomfortable 
benches, the evil is greatly increased, if their clothes 
are too tight : and how few dress sufficiently loose 
for the purposes of health and comfort. More of 
this, however, hereafter. But who that for one 
moment contemplates the abuses to which our spe- 
cies is subjected, would not exclaim, in bitterness of 
spirit, Alas, for outraged humanity ! 

There are many other methods for procuring dis- 
tortion of the spine. One is to sit at embroidery. 
Any steady, trying, sedentary labor may produce 
distortion. Young people whose frames are hardly 
developed, and whose bones are yielding, sit much 
in this manner, with their dress fitted tightly to their 
forms, or rather their forms fitted to their close dress, 
in a manner most destructive to health. 

O that the customs of society would let females 
out of prison. O that they might be allowed to 
rid themselves of the torment and torture of a 
style of dress fit only for Egyptian mummies. 
And will our countrywomen ever be such servile 
slaves to customs they might reform ? Will they 
always ape the wasp, when the freedom of grace 


and ease are within their reach ? The free, full 
and swelling waist, the graceful folds of the floating 
robe, with its true Roman elegance, must these 
ever be mere ideal goods ? Will not American females 
rise in the full vigor of intellectual majesty, and hunt 
from society constraint and compression, and the 
untold anguish they produce? 

But what avails the Roman style of dress, if our 
waists must be cramped beneath its swelling folds ? 
I have no patience with the world : man, on whom 
the noble gift of reason was bestowed to improve 
his condition, makes himself more wretched, more 
to be pitied than the lowest animal. Why is it so ? 
It is because, though made " upright, he has sought 
out many inventions." 

The ribs are twenty-four in number twelve on 
each side. They are joined to the vertebrae by 
regular hinges, which allow of short motions. They 
are joined to the sternum or breast bone, by carti- 
lages. Seven of the ribs are called true ribs, be- 
cause their cartilages join directly with the sternum ; 
three are called false ribs, because they are joined 
by cartilage with each other, and not directly with 
the sternum. There are two called "floating ribs," 
because they have no connection by cartilage or 
otherwise with the sternum. The sternum is the 
breast bone. It completes the cavity of the chest, 
defends the heart, forms a place of attachment for 


the ribs, and a fulcrum for the clavicle or collar 
bone to roll on. The sternum in youth consists of 
several pieces, which unite in after life, so as to 
leave but three pieces, and one of these is a carti- 
laginous point, called the ensiform cartilage. This 
cartilage in youth is easily bent out of shape, and a 
permanent displacement of it, with very injurious 
results, may take place from leaning much against 
the sharp edge of a bench or desk at school, lacing 
the clothes too tightly, &tc. 

The clavicle or collar bone is placed at the root of 
the neck, above the breast. It extends from the tip 
of the shoulder to the upper part of the sternum. It 
is named clavicle, from its resemblance to an old 
fashioned key. It is useful as an arch or brace, to 
keep the shoulders from falling in. The scapula or 
shoulder blade is a very curious bone. This bone 
is merely laid upon the chest, connected to the clav- 
icle by its acromial process, and by a capsular liga- 
ment with the humerus. It is bedded in the flesh and 
moves and plays freely by means of muscles. The 
socket where the head of the humerus or upper 
bone of the arm fits in, is quite shallow and allows 
of free motion. The whole scapula is covered with 
broad flat muscles, [by muscles you will understand 
flesh,] which move the shoulder in various direc- 
tions. This freedom of motion depends on a con- 
struction of the joint, which renders the shoulder 


more liable to dislocations than the other joints. 
The joint of the shoulder slips out more easily than 
the other joints, yet it is often very difficult to be 
set, and it sometimes requires much skill and great 
strength to set the shoulder when dislocated. 

Were people fully aware of the wonderful and 
intricate machinery of all parts of the human frame, 
they would be cautious, they would be more than 
cautious, they would revolt from the idea of em- 
ploying quacks and " natural bonesetters " to wrench 
their limbs, even though by a happy accident these 
should at times succeed in getting a bone into place. 
Who ever heard of a natural watch-maker, or even 
a natural basket-maker 1 These trades require 
practice. Men must be educated in them, before 
they can become skilful. Yet such is the gullibility 
of mankind, that people will submit to have their 
bones operated upon by men who know not their 
number or position, any more than the quack who 
attempted to set an old lady's shoulder. I have for- 
gotten whether it was or was not dislocated. Be 
that as it may, he undertook to set it. After sun- 
dry severe wrenchings he told her he had succeeded 
in getting three of the bones into place, and he 
thought he should soon set the remainder. Now 
if this woman had known the number and position 
of the bones, she would have told the quack that he 
might have the care of all the bones in her shoulder 


over three, but of no others. But so people are gulled 
and abused, because they have not knowledge. 
With what pleasing and joyous anticipations do the 
friends of science look forward to that period when 
this black night of ignorance shall be chased from 
our beloved land, and light be poured in, even to 
every dark corner. 

How can the dawn of this day be hastened ? I 
answer, by the efforts of woman : let woman use 
her energies, let her attain that moral and intellect- 
ual elevation which is her right. Let her attain 
that height where men cannot look down upon her, 
if they would. Let her repudiate at once and for- 
ever those sickly tales of fiction that enervate the 
mind, without informing or improving. Let her 
nobly resolve that she will have science, that she 
will be no longer a plaything, a bauble. When 
woman thus arises in the greatness of her intellectual 
strength, then there will be a new era iXtbe history 
of our world. 

The bones of the arm are threein number. The 
upper or os humeri, or humerus as it is commonly 
called, has at its upper end a round knob or head, 
which fits into the socket of the scapula or shoulder 
bone. Though this socket is shallow, yet the acro- 
mion and coracoid processes keep the arm bone or 
humerus in its place. These two processes alone 
must impress the mind with the idea that wisdom 


and design made us what we are. Between the 
elbow and the wrist are two bones, the radius and 
the ulna. The radius is so called from its resem- 
blance to the spoke of a wheel, and the ulna from 
its having been used as a measure. 

The radius is connected with the wrist, and turns 
along with it, in all its rotatory motions. The ulna 
belongs more especially to the elbow joint. So you 
see that the bending motion of the arm is provided 
for by the ulna, as that forms a hinge joint at the 
elbow, and the turning motion by means of the 
radius, which is joined at the wrist and then is laid 
on the ulna, where it turns. The radius belongs 
entirely to the wrist, and the ulna entirely to the 
elbow, yet they have never been known to be sep- 
arated in the living frame by any accidental force, 
however great. 

The carpus, or wrist, consists of eight bones, all 
movable, yet closely packed in. The metacarpus, 
or bones of the hand, are five ; the remaining bones 
of the hand are fourteen. Much has been said of 
the importance of the human hand. Little do we 
ordinarily realize of its immense value. Man is born 
naked, yet capable of clothing himself. But how 
would he clothe and feed himself without hands ? 
It is difficult to conceive, at once, how superlatively 
wretched the human race would be without hands, 
and how soon the race would become extinct. 


What a blessing is the human hand ! Let us real- 
ize the greatness of the gift, and never employ our 
hands in any evil or useless work ; but let the works 
of our hands ever be such, that the great Giver of 
every good can look upon them with approbation. 

We now come to speak of the bones of the pel- 
vis. It is a circle of large and strong bones stand- 
ing between the trunk and the lower extremities. It 
is called pelvis, perhaps, from its general shape, 
which somewhat resembles a dish pelvis being 
the Latin word for vessel. Perhaps it may be from 
its containing so much in its cavity, that it is called 
pelvis or vessel. It is formed of four large bones, 
the os sacrum behind, the os coccyges below, and the 
ossa innominata at the sides. The ossa innominata,, 
or nameless bones, have sockets to receive the hip. 
The sacrum forms the lowest point of the back bone. 
It is perforated with holes : through these holes are 
transmitted a bunch of nerves. 

The tfr'gh bone, or femur as it is called, is the 
largest bone of the body ; it supports the whole 
weignt of the body. The body is seldom so placed 
as to rest equally on both the thigh bones. Com- 
monly it is so inclined as to throw the whole weight 
on one side. You see then the necessity that this 
bone should be very strong. It may well be said 
that the human frame, as a whole, and in all its 
parts, is a masterpiece of design and contrivance. 


The head of the thigh bone or femur is the most 
perfect in the human body. It is completely re- 
ceived into a deep socket in the ossa innominata. 
It is naturally, without the help of ligaments, the 
strongest joint in the body. But, as a farther secu- 
rity, there is a very strong ligament attached to the 
round head of the femur, and this grows fast to the 
bottom of the socket, and thus so firmly secures the 
joint that it is seldom dislocated. You see how this 
joint might be slipped out of its place, by some of 
our varied movements, were it not tied in. 

In the leg, between the knee and ankle, are two 
bones called the tibia and fibula. The knee joint 
is very curious. It is not a ball and socket joint, 
neither is it a proper hinge joint, guarded on either 
side with projecting points, like the ankle. The 
bones at the knee are merely put together and then 
secured by means of ligaments. These constitute 
its strength, and by means of these it is the strong- 
est joint in the whole body. In those who abuse 
themselves by improper living and habits, thess liga- 
ments are diseased. You are aware how ten\ble 
diseases of the knee are, and by preventing exercise, 
they cause many other truly distressing disorders. 

The tibia is a very large bone, and needs to be, 
as it bears the whole weight of the body ; ihejlbu- 
la being placed by its side, to strengthen the leg 
and form the ankle joint. 


The patella, or knee pan, is a curious little bone, 
which is a kind of pulley, that enables the muscles 
to act with great power. 

There are seven bones in the ankle, five in the 
metatarsus, and fourteen phalanges in the foot. 
The bones of the foot are fastened together very 
strongly, by means of a gristle. This gristle yields 
so as to enable us to tread with equal ease on level 
or uneven surfaces. The arching of the foot has 
been regarded as a very curious contrivance, and it 
is indeed curious. For a moment let us suppose 
our feet made of one piece of bone, or that we had 
wooden feet. How very difficult we should find it 
to walk ! And how very difficult many do find 
walking, from the fancy they have taken to im- 
itate the Chinese ladies ! Why do our females 
wish to be heathen?, while living in what is called 
a Christian land ? Why mar the fairest and most 
useful part of Heaven's grand mechanism, by such 
ridiculous fashions ? 

A great physician once said that " snuff would 
never injure any one's brains, because any one who 
had brains would not take it." But we know bet- 
ter than this ; we know that sensible people are as 
often the slaves of bad habits as those who are de- 
ficient in sense. Sensible ladies will pinch their 
feet, under the false notion that it is genteel to have 
small feet. Genteel ! Is it genteel to have corns, 


to have a shapeless mass of a foot, that would 
frighten an anatomist, or that he would at least set 
down as a nondescript ? Is it genteel to have im- 
peded circulation, and all its train of horrors? Oh, 
when will ladies of sense " come to their senses," 
and leave off tight shoes, and the thousand torments 
which they inflict upon themselves, at fashion's bid- 
ding ? In the present mode of dressing, or rather 
compressing feet, we have something very anala- 
gous to wooden feet. Ladies who wear fashionable 
shoes, would be very unwilling to have wooden 
feet. They would decide at once, that there would 
be no elasticity in such feet. 

Then, in the name of common sense and common 
humanity, why squeeze the feet till they are well 
nigh as inefficient as the foot of a Chinese, or a 
wooden foot ? Ladies, think me not too severe 
upon this wicked fashion ; I realize at least a part 
of its evils. I know something, to say the least, of 
the injurious effects of impeded circulation, and you 
would know, if you would tie a cord round a limb 
so tight as wholly to stop the circulation of the 
blood. You would be satisfied that the death of 
the limb would be the consequence. Now by com- 
pressing the feet, we produce bad effects in propor- 
tion to the pressure applied. But you will under- 
stand this more fully, when you have become ac- 
quainted with the blood and its circulation. But 


trust me, ladies, this fashion of pinching the feet is 
cruel, unnatural and dangerous ; besides, it destroys 
elegance in the walk, and makes our ladies totter 
and hobble along like a cripple, or a fettered crim- 
inal. Let us have more room in this world. 

All parts of the human system bear marks of 
wonder-working power and design. You will recol- 
lect that in speaking of the joints, I have often 
spoken of the ligaments which help to form the 
joints. These ligaments are of different kinds. 
There are tendons, which are short, strong cords, 
fastened to the ends of the muscles, and then to the 
bones. Had the muscles been continued and fas- 
tened to the bones, our joints would have been un- 
seemly and misshapen masses, and would not have 
had the strength they now have. There are other 
ligaments which arise from the membrane which 
surrounds the bones, which is called the periosteum. 
These ligaments form bags, which completely shut 
up the joints. These, from a peculiar fluid which 
they exude, and which lubricates the tendons, 
muscles and bones, are called bur SOB. mucosa or 
mucous bags. 

The bursa or bags and the capsules of the joint 
are much the same thing. They pour out a fluid 
called synovia upon their inner surface, which not 
only keeps them moist and supple, but as it were 
oils the joints, and prevents their wearing out. It 


is very evident dry bones would soon wear out ; 
but such wonderful provision is made for our nu- 
merous motions, that our joints last as long as we 
last to use them unless people abuse themselves 
by taking improper food and drink, - and by other 
improper habits, so as to bring upon themselves 
that disease which is characterized by a deficiency 
of this synovia or lubricating fluid. In this disorder 
the bones grate as the heads of the joints rub togeth- 
er, and those who thus suffer resort perhaps to doc- 
tors, perhaps to quack medicines, to get cured of 
what they should have known how to prevent. 
But it is to be feared that some will not try to pre- 
vent these evils, even when taught. I once saw a 
man climb with much difficulty into a stage coach. 
He had the gout, and could with difficulty get up 
the steps of the coach. But as soon as he was 
seated he commenced a tirade against plain food. 
He declared himself temperate with regard to drink. 
By this he probably meant that he drank no ardent 
spirits. But he had managed to get the gout, with- 
out ardent spirits. He declaimed against a plain 
way of living, talked of Grahamism, saw-dust bread, 
&tc. A lady who sat next him, cast a significant 
glance at his swollen limbs, and remarked, in sub- 
stance, that plain food was excellent for lameness. 
He replied that he would not live on such food, if 
he knew it would prolong his days. He was for a 


" short life and a merry one." 1 confess I thought 
I could not be very merry if I had been afflicted 
with gout as badly as he was. But it is a solemn 
thing that men should think they have a right to 
squander life because it is theirs. They would 
think it wrong to commit suicide, by hanging, 
or drowning, or severing the jugular vein ; but they 
seem to have no idea that they are as verily guilty 
when they indulge in those habits and that manner 
of living that will assuredly shorten life. When 
will people be aroused to view these subjects as 
they ought ? When will they consider that as 
great an amount of guilt is attached to the man 
who gluts or poisons himself to death, as to one who 
cuts his throat or hangs himself? I need not to go 
into a labored argument to prove that temperance 
is a virtue. You all believe it it is no new doc- 
trine. It is inculcated in the Holy Scriptures ; it 
has been recommended by great men in different 
ages of the world. The greatest medical writers 
have insisted on temperance. I do not use the 
word temperance in its popular or technical sense. 
I mean moderation in eating as well as in drinking 
and in all things. 

Sir Isaac Newton, when he applied himself to 
the study, investigation and analysis of the theory 
of light and colors, to quicken his faculties and fix 
his attention confined himself to a small quantity 


of bread, during all the time, with a little sack and 
water. Many instances might be given of great 
men who have thus lived. 

But let us return again for a few moments to the 
bones. The long bones are hollow, and their cav- 
ities contain marrow, which is solid oil. Authors 
have differed about the use of this. Some have 
thought it intended to lubricate the bones. One 
eminent anatomist seems to think it more of an 
accidental deposition than others allow. Some 
think it intended to support the body in seasons of 
privation, when no food can be obtained, or in sick- 
ness, when no food can be taken. I have heard it 
called by an excellent anatomist, " a granary for 
the support of the body in seasons of sickness and 

We have abundant reason to believe, that whether 
we understand its uses or not, it is indeed a wise 
provision, and answers a valuable end. It consists 
of bunches of globules arranged on a kind of stock, 
and when shaken out resembles a cluster of grapes 
on the stem. These globules, when seen by a 
microscope, are round and white, seeming like little 
pearls. Each stalk is an artery, and a twig of the 
artery goes to each little globule. Each artery 
secretes and fills the cell of its globule with marrow. 

It may now, perhaps, be well to review a little 
what we have learned. We have considered, first, 


the formation of bone. We have seen how it is 
deposited at 6rst, particle by particle, by means of 
arteries. We have attended to the shape and uses 
of many of the bones, and have seen how they 
may become diseased, and what are the causes of 
disease in them. The whole head above the neck 
consists of sixty-three bones. The spine or back 
bone, contains twenty-four separate bones ; these 
are called vertebrae. At the bottom of the spine 
are four more. There are twenty-four ribs twelve 
on each side. Then there is the breast bone or 
sternum. A complete human skeleton contains 
two hundred and forty bones. The study of the 
nature and structure of bones is called osteology. 
The study of the muscles only is called myology. 
The study of all parts of the body, bones, muscles, 
tendons, nerves, brain, blood vessels, heart, lungs, 
skin, &ic., is called anatomy. Physiology is the 
study of the living animal, and the uses of all these 
parts, and how they act. 




WE now come to speak of muscles. Muscles 
are the lean part of flesh what is often called lean 
meat. They are red, owing to the blood that cir- 
culates through them. You can soak or boil the 
blood out, so as to leave the muscles nearly white. 
The muscles are the instruments of motion. Per- 
haps many of you are not aware that your bones 
are clothed with flesh or muscles, to enable you to 
move. You could not move a finger, a hand, or 
even open your eyes, without the help of muscles. 
Sometimes the muscles grow into the bones directly. 
They seem to be glued on, by means of the perios- 
teum, but generally they end in short tendons, which 
grow to the bone, and thus fasten the muscles. 
These tendons are short, strong straps, and you are 
familiar with them in flesh, though not by this name. 
They are sometimes called "whit-leather," or 
" packwax." The tendons in a turkey's leg above 
the knee have hardly escaped your attention, for 
they are almost as tough as leather. I once saw a 
lady offended for life, with a gentleman, because he 
helped her to a turkey's leg. She thought the offer 



of such a bundle of tendons an insult. The mus- 
cles usually terminate in these tendons, and these 
grow on to the bones ; but sometimes the muscles 
grow directly to the bones. Motion is performed 
by the contracting or shrinking of the muscles. 

Being fastened to the bones at each end, if they 
shrink, you will at once perceive that they will draw 
one bone up towards the other. Thus the biceps 


muscle, as it is called, is fastened to the shoulder 
and one of the bones of the forearm, and you can see 
how it must by shrinking draw up the arm toward the 
shoulder. So it is with the muscles of the leg. We 
wish to lift our feet, and the muscles shrink, and we 
are enabled to do it. So it is with every motion ; we 
are enabled to perform it by means of muscles 
even to raising the eyelash, or contracting the brow. 
There is a story in that excellent little work on 
anatomy, called the " House 1 Live in," which so 
admirably illustrates the action of muscles, that I 
cannot forbear repeating it, even though familiar to 
many of you. " In front of St. Peter's church at 
Rome, stands an obelisk of red Egyptian granite, 
124 feet high. It was brought from Egypt to Rome, 
by order of the Roman Emperor Caligula. How- 
ever, it lay partly buried in the earth, where it was 
laid down, till about 250 years ago, when Pope 
Sixtus V., by the help of forty-one strong machines, 
eight hundred men, and one hundred and sixty 
horses, succeeded, in eight days, in getting it out of 
the ground. But it took four months more to re- 
move it fifty or sixty rods farther, to its present sit- 
uation. When they reached the spot, the grand 
point was to raise it. They erected a pedestal, or 
foot piece for it to stand on, shaped like four lions ; 
by means of powerful machines, strong ropes and 
tackle, they succeeded in placing the bottom on the 


pedestal. Then they began with their machinery 
to raise it. But when it was nearly up, so that it 
would almost stand, the ropes, it is said, had stretch- 
ed so much more than the master workman had ex- 
pected, that it would go no farther. What was to 
be done ? Fontana, the master workman, had for- 
bidden all talking, and they now stood holding upon 
the tackles, so silently, you might have heard a 
whisper. Suddenly an English sailor cried out, 
'Wet the ropes.' This was no sooner said than 
done ; when, to the joy and surprise of every one, 
the ropes shrunk just enough to raise the obelisk to 
its present place, where it has stood nearly 250 

At first thought, this story may not seem to you 
to have any thmg to do with the action of the 
muscles. But the muscles shrink to draw up or 
move a limb, or any part of the body, much as 
these wet ropes did, to move the obelisk upward, 
so that it stood upright on its pedestal. Muscles 
contribute much to beauty. They clothe the bones, 
which without the muscles seem unshapely and 
almost frightful. 

It is thought by some that fat contributes to beauty. 
Some fat may round the form, and make it look bet- 
ter ; but much fat is a sign of disease. The ideas 
of ill health and fat are so associated in my mind, 
that I dislike very much to see fat people. A strange 


ignorance pervades community upon this subject. 

People are not aware that fat in excess, is a disease, 

as much as dropsy ; and that it is ranked among 

diseases by medical men. 

I am not prepared to say how much fat belongs 

naturally to the system in a state of health; 

but I believe the quantity which 'is usually taken 

as the standard of health, is very far from it. 

A child may be fed on improper food so that an 
excess of fat may be generated. At the same time 
proper exercise may be neglected ; this will increase 
the deposition of fat. Bathing the whole surface of 
the body may also be neglected. The pores thus 
become closed, and the dissolved oil, or fat, has no 
chance to pass off with the perspiration. Thus the 
child becomes diseased, loaded with fat, and is re- 
garded by thflse around as a "very healthy child, 
else how could it be so fat ? " The child may have 
very ill turns, and even at times be dangerously ill, 
but the friends console themselves with the idea 
that it is natural for children to have ill turns. 
" Why," say they, " all children have sick spells." 
And then the child looks so fat and healthy, this is 
surely a comfort. It may be a friend who is a physi- 
ologist, and consequently a plain liver, has a very 
healthy child, but it is not fat. Plain vegetable 
food will not make much fat. " What a miserable 
looking child ! " says one, " How poor the little 


creature is ! " says another, sorrowfully. " Starva- 
tion, Grahamism ! " says a third, in no very gentle 

Fat often concretes on the surface of the skin, 
becomes mixed with hardened rnucus, and forms 
those little pimples so common on the face. A 
plain, simple diet, and frequent ablutions, will in 
time wholly cure this disagreeable eruption. I 
knew a young man, who was a very gross liver, f 
whose face was one continued cluster of these pim- 
ples, with their disgusting yellow heads. He was 
so proud, he could not endure the sight of his face, 
and he determined to abjure his gluttony, to im- 
prove his countenance. He succeeded, by plain 

diet, and bathing the whole surface of his body, 

j i 

in getting quite a smooth, handsome face. But in the 
mean time, he lost a large amount of fat, and be- 
came quite lean. But the best of the story remains 
to be told. He had very little mind previous to this 
alteration ; or rather, such was the state of his body, 
that his mind was weighed down and cumbered, 
and had no chance for action. He was a dull, 
poor scholar, and his friends despaired of his ever 
becoming useful to himself or others. But after 
this change in his habits, he became as studious 
as he had before been dull and idle. He made 
rapid progress in study, and his whole being and 
character seemed altered. 


Fat is a bad conductor of heat. It keeps the 
body warm. Those who have much fat perspire 
easily, and are almost always too warm. Where 
the secretion of fat is beyond a moderate quantity, 
say about one-twentieth part of the whole frame, 
the play of the different organs is impeded ; the 
size of the blood vessels is diminished ; the pulse is 
oppressed ; the breathing becomes hard and diffi- 
cult. There is an accumulation of blood in the 
head and heart, because it is with difficulty that the 
blood can flow through the oppressed and compress- 
ed vessels. There is a general tendency to drow- 
siness and palpitation, and there is always danger of 
apoplexy. Fat sometimes overloads one organ, 
sometimes another, and sometimes the whole system. 
It is regarded by medical men as a dropsy of oil 
instead of water. 

John Mason Good, the justly celebrated author 
of " The Study of Medicine," Book of Nature," 
Sic., says, with regard to the cure of obesity, or fat, 
" that as a life of indolence and indulgence in eat- 
ing and drinking is highly contributory to obesity, 
the remedial treatment should consist in the use of 
severe, regular and habitual exercise, a hard bed, 
little sleep, and dry and scanty food, derived from 
vegetables alone." 

11 Generally speaking," says the same great 
author, " the diet and regimen just recommended, 


with a spare allowance of water, will be sufficient 
to bring down the highest degree of adipose corpu- 
lency." " Of this," says Good, " we have a 
striking example in the case of Wood, of Billerica, 
in Essex. Born of intemperate parents, he was 
accustomed to indulge himself in excessive eating, 
drinking and indolence, till in the forty-fourth year 
of his age, he became unwieldy from his bulk, was 
almost suffocated, labored under very ill health from 
indigestion, and was subject to fits of gout and epi- 
lepsy. One would think all these enough for one 
person to bear. Fortunately a friend pointed out to 
him the life of Cornaro. He instantly resolved to 
take Cornaro for his model, and, if necessary, to 
surpass his abridgements. With great prudence he 
made his change from a highly superfluous to a very 
spare diet, gradually first diminishing his ale to a 
pint a day, and using much less animal food, till at 
length finding the plan work wonders, in his renewed 
vigor of mind as of body, he limited himself to a 
simple pudding made of sea biscuit, flour, and 
skimmed milk, of which he allowed himself about 
one and a half pounds, about four or five o'clock, 
for his breakfast, and the same quantity for his din- 
ner. Besides this he took nothing, either solid or 
fluid, for he had at length brought himself to abstain 
even from water, and found himself easier without 
it. He went to bed about eight or nine o'clock, 


rarely slept for more than five or six hours, and 
hence usually rose at two o'clock in the morning, 
and employed himself in laborious exercise of some 
kind or other, till his breakfast. By this regimen, 
he reduced himself to a middle-sized man of firm 
flesh, well colored complexion, and sound health." 

This course, or something analagous to it, Dr. 
Good recommended to the famous Lambert, of 
London, of whom it was facetiously said, that he 
was the greatest man in England. He Weighed 
seven hundred and thirty-nine pounds. But Lam- 
bert did not try the experiment of curing himself 
by this simple, self-denying course, and he died in 
about three years after consulting Dr. Good. 

It is presumed those who wish to become lean 
will not despair of accomplishing their object, after 
hearing the case of Wood of B llerica. If they will 
add bathing to their abstinence, they may be sure 
of success in time. Bathing keeps open the pores, 
and gives the dissolved oil a chance to pass off \\ ith 
the perspiration. Many people seem to suppose 
fat people and fat children are healthy. I have 
heard the remark made of fat persons, " They 
complain a great deal, but they look well ;" and 
children, too, who are fat, are called " pictures of 
health." People ought to be better informed on 
this subject. I would have no one get the idea 
that all fat people are gluttons, or that all gluttons 


are fat. Some people have a peculiar tendency to 
grow fat, even on a very small quantity of poor 
food. Let such bathe the whole surface of the 
body often, and use active exercise. Others will 
remain poor, when they take large quantities of 
food. When food is taken in excess, it breaks 
down the powers of the stomach, and disables it 
from assimilating nourishment sufficient for the body. 
Hence great eaters are sometimes very poor and 

We now come to consider the skin. This is 
compressed cellular substance. By cellular sub- 
stance I mean a membrane composed of little cells. 
The skin consists of several layers. The outermost 
is the cuticle, or epidermis. It is a dry thin mem- 
brane, a little like gauze, and is, as far as we know, 
insensible. This is the thin skin that is raised by a 
blister, only it is very much thickened by the in- 
flammation. This outer layer is a protection to 
what is beneath. It is described by physiologists 
as full of pores for the passage of hairs, and for the 
orifices of exhalent and absorbent vessels. 

The rete mucosum, or mucous web, is next be- 
neath the scarf skin. In this the coloring matter 
seems to be placed. It is white in the European, 
and black in the African, &c. It is seen through 
the cuticle, as easily as a red cheek is seen through 
a white veil. Beneath this is the corpus papillare. 


This is formed by the extremities of nerves and 
blood vessels. Innermost of all is the corium, or 
true skin. This forms a firm layer, and makes the 
whole of the necessary solidity. If this true skin 
is destroyed by any means, such as a burn or an 
injury, it never grows again. So should any of you 
hear of an ointment that will heal a burn, without a 
scar, you may be sure it will be of no use, if the 
true skin is burned through ; and if it is not destroy- 
ed, the burn will of course heal without a scar, 
whether you apply the ointment or not. Many 
people believe that an ointment made of white 
clover blossoms will heal a burn, however deep, 
without a scar. But this belief shows their igno- 

Some people are much troubled by slight scratches 
and cutaneous Injuries. " I have a dreadful humor," 
says one ; "my flesh will not heal." Now it is a 
fact tnat is independent of any human testimony for 
or against it, that plain temperate living, with bath- 
ing, has a tendency to cure the very worst of what 
are called "humors." There may be a constitu- 
tional taint, which it may be difficult to eradicate, 
but this, if taken early enough, may be eradicated 
by proper regimen. Those who are thoroughly 
temperate in their food and drink, as to quality and 
quantity, who daily bathe the whole surface of the 
body, and who take proper exercise, need not fear 


" humors." They will not long have a " terrible 
humor " to prevent their flesh from healing, when 
injured. But those who indulge in warm slops of 
whatever kind, whether poisonous or otherwise, 
take much animal food, oil and butter, fee., and 
allow their pores to become closed, by neglect of 
bathing, must expect humors, and they will have 
them, whether they expect them or not. I once 
saw a gentleman who was terribly afflicted with a 
cutaneous eruption, which rendered his life extreme- 
ly disagreeable. He was a gross liver, and at one 
time it was aggravated to such a degree as to be- 
come intolerable, by the use of dough nuts. He 
was quite fond of this very objectionable kind of 
food, and took them freely at almost every meal. 
But his " humor " became so troublesome and dis- 
tressing, that he was obliged to pay attention to it. 
He was induced to try the Graham system of liv- 
ing. He left the use of greasy food, and practised 
bathing daily. He confined himself, with very little 
exception, to plain vegetable food, and in less than 
a year the cutaneous eruptions disappeared, and his 
skin was as soft and fair almost as that of a babe. 
This gentleman has since returned occasionally to 
his former manner of living, but the use of oily food 
always induces a return of his humor. 

Cutaneous eruptions sometimes appear, when 
bathing is first commenced, where they have not 



before existed. The person may be frightened at 
the idea that bathing causes humors. I have no 
doubt but the bathing produces the eruption, by 
opening the long closed pores, and causing a deter- 
mination toward the surface of hurtful particles that 
had been festering in the system, or seeking an 
outlet some other way. But the eruption will not 
long continue. Healthy and natural action will 
soon ensue, and the humor will disappear. I know 
very well that physicians have been found ignorant 
enough to say that animal food, oil, butter, &c., 
should be eaten by those afflicted with scrofula and 
other humors ; but this doctrine is so repugnant to 
common sense and common observation, that it does 
not need a serious refutation. 

A word upon the use and abuse of the hair. 
The skull is clothed with hair, which serves a very 
important purpose in shielding the head, by dead- 
ening the force of blows. The skull consists of 
two tables, with a net work of vessels interposed. 
This cancelli, or net work, serves to nourish the 
bones, and at the same time keeps the inner table 
of bone from feeling the full force of a blow on the 
outer. The outer table of the skull is more yield- 
ing than the inner, more tough and fibrous. The 
helmet of the Roman soldier was made of steel, and 
lined with leather, and had hair on the outside ; 
without this lining on the inner side, and the pro- 


tection of hair on the outer, the blow of a sword 
on the helmet would have brought the wearer to 
the ground, by the mere force of percussion extend- 
ing to" the brain. Now the skull is so contrived ; it 
is lined with a soft material, and the outside is pro- 
tected with hair. 

The hair needs much attention, to keep it clean 
and soft. It is much influenced by the health of 
the body. You know that after a severe fit of ill- 
ness, fever, &c., the hair falls off. 

People are often led to try this thing and that 
thing, to keep the hair from falling off, and to make 
it grow, after it has fallen off. Doubtless there are 
many thousand pounds of hog's fat sold every year, 
as bear's grease, &c., to cause the hair to grow. 
Correct habits, and daily washing the head with 
cold water, and combing it with a fine comb, are 
the best preservatives and restoratives of hair. 

If any one's hair should grow whilst putting on 
these quack ointments, which after all are only 
common oil and fat disguised, they may rest assured 
that it would have grown equally well without 

It is extremely desirable that the head should be 
as thoroughly washed as any part of the body, and 
that, too, every day. When the hair is very thick, 
the roots can be washed without wetting the entire 
length of the hair. The outside of the head has 


much to do with the inside, whether we know 
it or not ; and serious mischief often results from 
suppressed perspiration in the head. Much evil 
results from loading the head with caps and hoods. 
We should dress the head as light and cool as 
we can, and be comfortable. It is of vast impor- 
tance, and those who pursue a contrary course may 
have ague, tic doloreux, and even inflamma- 
tion of the brain, as a reward for following ab- 
surd fashions. But may we not hope yet to see 
fashions in accordance with the physiological laws 
of our nature? A majority of the present fashions 
are an outrage on humanity, and many of them as 
repugnant to health as they could well be contrived, 
even had the contrivers sought after the most dele- 
terious mode. 

Let us for a moment take a view of some of the 
" comforts " of a martyr to fashion. See her head 
loaded with hair, natural and artificial, and over 
this a cap heavy with ornaments, and under it ex- 
halations, and foreign mixtures, in the shape of hair 
oil, perfumes, &c. Over all is a large, heavy, hot 
bonnet ; and drawn closely over the face is the veil, 
to keep out the vital air from the poor compressed 

This is a sad picture to a physiologist ; for he is 
thinking of the evils that result from these fashions. 
But let us travel downward. The upper portion 


of the arm is often squeezed, so as almost to stop 
the circulation of the blood, and make the hands 
purple. Then there is the waist screwed as in a 
vice. The lungs compressed, the circulation of the 
blood impeded, the vessels of the lungs collapsed, 
and all the internal viscera displaced, tortured by 
compression, and thrown into confusion. Add to 
this the enormous load of clothes worn by almost 
all our ladies, and the pain of tight shoes, and we 
have an amount of tortures that would move a heart 
of stone. Should a missionary describe such cruel- 
ties as existing among heathens, we should pity 
them most sincerely, though we should feel that it 
was a disgrace, even to the darkened daughters of 
Hindostan. Let no one suppose I have now done 
with tight lacing : by no means ; I intend to por- 
tray its horrors far more fully and particularly. I 
mean to show the evil in all its bearings, as plainly 
as 1 am capable of doing it, hereafter. 

We now come to the examination of the eye. 
The eye is a bag, or sack, containing a clear, thick 
liquid, somewhat like the white of an egg. The 
outer coat of the eye, that which is exposed to the 
contact of the air, is the conjunctiva, a mucous 
membrane. The outside of the eye is called the 
sclerotic coat. This is a thin, white membrane. 
It is strong and firm, and as dense as tanned lea- 
ther. It is what we call the white of the eye. 


There is an opening in the centre, where the cornea 
is set. It is placed here much like a watch crystal, 
and is as transparent. 

The cornea is so hard and firm, as sometimes to 
bend the point of the operator's knife, when ex- 
tracting cataract. Beneath the cornea is the cho- 
roid coat, which is the medium for the blood ves- 
sels. Beneath the choroids is the pigmentum ni- 
grum, or black paint ; this substance closely re- 
sembles black paint, and is deposited on the inner 
side of the choroid. It can easily be washed off. 
The iris is the colored circle which surrounds the 
pupil of the eye. It is a membrane hung before 
the crystalline lens. The iris divides the liquid or 
humor, as it is called, into two parts ; the part 
which is before the iris is called aqueous, or watery 
humor, and the part back of the iris is called vitre- 
ous or glassy humor. The crystalline lens is a 
small body, convex on both sides, clear like the 
humor, though much harder, and lies directly back 
of the iris, and swims as it were in the liquid or 

Lastly, the optic nerve is spread out at the back 
part of the eye. The rays of light pass through 
the cornea, aqueous humor, crystalline lens, and 
vitreous humor, and fall on the retina, which is the 
expansion of the optic nerve, at the back of the eye. 

I have thus briefly given the anatomy of that 


" world of wonders," the eye. The eyes may be 
injured in various ways. They suffer much from 
sympathy with a diseased body. They suffer from 
over exertion, and from being exerted in too strong 
or too weak light, and from sudden alternations of 
light. Going suddenly from bright light into dark- 
ness, or from darkness into light, injures the eyes. 
They make ereat exertion to accommodate them- 
selves to the different degrees of light, and this 
violent exertion injures them. Light is the proper 
stimulus of the eye, but when too much stimulus of 
any kind is taken, it is an injury. 

Though we may bring ourselves to bear an ex- 
cess of light, and also to see with very little, still it 
is better ever to keep in a medium. " It is record- 
ed of the Emperor Tiberius, that he could see in 
the dark. LeCat tells us of a young woman, who 
could see at midnight, as well as at noon. Persons 
shut in dark prisons, learn to distinguish the mi- 
nutest objects, the absence of the stimulus of light 
causing an expansion of the pupil of the eye. In 
the Journal des Scavans, for 1677, we find the 
case of a musician who had one of his eyes struck 
with a lute string rebounding when it broke from 
being screwed too intensely. The eye inflamed, 
and the patient found, to his astonishment, that with 
his disorder he had acquired the power of seeing in 
the dark, so as to be able to read. He could only 


see in the dark with the inflamed eye, and not with 
the other eye." 

These examples show the force of education and 
habit, for even the eye may be educated to see 
with very little light. 

Looking into a fire is very injurious to the eyes, 
particularly a coal fire. The stimulus of light and 
heat united, soon destroys the eyes. Looking at 
molten iron will soon destroy the sight. Reading 
in the twilight is very injurious to the eyes, as 
they are obliged to make great exertion. Reading 
or sewing with a side light, injures the eyes, as both 
eyes should be exposed to an equal degree of light. 
The reason is, the sympathy between the eyes is so 
great, that if the pupil of one is dilated by being 
kept partially in the shade, the one that is most 
exposed cannot contract itself sufficiently for pro- 
tection, and will ultimately be injured. 

Those who wish to preserve their sight, should 
preserve their general health by correct habits, and 
give the eyes just work enough, with a due degree 
of light. 

The eyes of infants should be guarded from strong 
light in the night, whether from a lamp or fire. 
They are fond of a light, but they should not be 
indulged. People are generally sufficiently careful 
in guarding infants from light and air in the day time. 

The eyelids guard the eyes, in a degree, from the 


effects of light ; the eyebrows catch a part of the 
dust that would fall in the eye, and the tears wash 
out what does get in, and the dirty water is ordina- 
rily conducted off through the nose. 

We will now pay a little attention to the ear. 
The ear consists of two parts, the external and in- 
ternal ear. The external ear is concave for the 
collection of sound, or rather those vibrations of air 
which strike on the tympanum, or drum of the ear. 
The tympanum is a thin film, or membrane, drawn 
tightly across the passage into the ear, like a drum 
head. It is about three-fourths of an inch from the 
external opening. This is called tympanum, be- 
cause this is the Latin word for drum. The air, 
when struck by a sonorous body, vibrates, something 
like the vibrations of water when a pebble is thrown 
into it. You have seen wave succeed wave, till 
they spread to considerable distance, when a peb- 
ble was thrown into water. These vibrations of 
air strike on the drum of the ear, and produce 
sound. The opening into the ear is guarded by a 
bitter substance, called ear wax. This is supposed 
to keep out insects. No insect can get farther into 
the ear than the tympanum, unless there is a hole 
through that. People should wash their ears, and 
prevent accumulations of ear wai, for these will 
sometimes cause partial deafness. I once saw a 
lump of ear wax taken from a gentleman's ear, as 


large as a bean, and almost as hard. This had 
been very troublesome to him and partially deprived 
him of hearing. 

Many people have great fear that insects will 
get into their ears, especially earwigs. But as no 
insect can get further than the tympanum, in a nat- 
ural state of that organ, and as that is only three- 
fourths of an inch from the external orifice, if they 
will wash, or syringe their ears with weak soap 
suds, often, they need not fear insects of any kind. 

The anatomy of the nose is very curious. It has 
cavities to collect odors, as the ear has a cavity to 
collect the vibrations of air. The organ of smell 
is a mucous membrane, which lines the cavities of 
the nose. It is called the schnciderian membrane. 
It is highly probable that in a natural state of the 
organ of smell, we could detect what would be in- 
jurious to us. In a natural state this sense is vastly 
more acute, than in the depraved state almost uni- 
versal amongst us. The more simple people live, 
the more in accordance with the laws of our nature, 
the more acute will be the sense of smell. 

Some people are fond of scents, that are disagree- 
able to others. This does not prove that there is a 
natural difference in noses. It merely proves that 
the force of habit is great. Some abuse the nose, 
and through that the stomach and whole system, 
by taking snuff. This practice not only destroys 


the sensibility of the olfactory nerve, but produces 
many evils. I can speak feelingly on this subject, 
having been in this hurtful, filthy and wicked habit 
seven years ; and it is now ten years since I became 
emancipated. Snuff has a powerful effect upon the 
nervous system, owing to its deadly narcotic prop- 
erties. It very much 'injures digestion, by being 
conveyed into the stomach, with the saliva. The 
stomach also suffers from sympathy with other 
parts, which the snuff more immediately affects. 
Dizziness, weakness, nervous prostration, trem- 
bling, sickness at the stomach, are all consequences 
of snuff-taking, with numerous other evils, that I 
have no time to enumerate. I believe snuff-takers 
are well aware of the injurious effects of snuff. But 
they will not own even to themselves the mischief 
it is doing them. They excuse themselves for in- 
dulging in the practice in various ways. One has 
a humor, and a physician has recommended snuff. 
Such a physician ought to be I will not say in 
the state prison, but more honest or better informed. 
Another has the catarrh, and takes snuff for that. 
The very thing to perpetuate and aggravate any 
disorder of the head is snuff. Another has weak 
eyes, and she tries to think, and make others think, 
that she takes snuff to improve her eyesight. Half 
the time these excuses do not satisfy those who 
make them. But they feel so guilty for indulging 


in the habit, that they want an excuse. I believe 
my excuse was weak eyes, but the real reason was 
I had got imperceptibly into this wretched habit, 
and had learned to love snuff. I suffered all the 
evils I have enumerated, from its use, and many 
more. I knew it was killing me, and yet, like the 
poor enslaved drunkard, I kept on. And knowing 
this, was I scarcely less guilty ? I know the cases 
are not parallel, because the drunkard abuses others 
beside himself. The snuff-taker does not, except 
it be by peevishness, and restlessness, induced by 
the use of snuff. But have we a right to squander 
and throw away life, by indulgence in such habits ? 
If we shorten life, and the habitual snuff-taker will 
very much shorten life, even though all her other 
habits are correct, I say if we thu? shorten life, are 
we not verily guilty in the sight of the Almighty ? 

The sickness, the misery that result from its use 
are very hard to bear, and very much abridge our 
usefulness. To say the least of snuff-taking, it is 
a horrid waste of health, of comfort, of usefulness, 
and life ; and beside the legitimate effects of the 
tobacco, there are other sources of mischief to be 
found in snuff. It is said that one species of mag- 
got fly lays its eggs in snuff. Should these eggs 
hatch in the head, the consequence must be terrible. 

Pungent odors, of any kind, have a tendency to 
injure the delicate lining membrane of the nose. 


Smelling bottles stimulate this membrane very 
greatly ; and excess of stimulation is very hurtful, 
as it exhausts vital power. Smelling bottles proba- 
bly cause one to take cold in the head, because the 
schneiderian membrane is over stimulated, and 
there is a consequent relaxation, a falling below the 
natural tone of the organ, and it is thus deprived 
of its power of resistance ; and thus those who use 
smelling bottles have colds and inflammation of the 
mucous membrane, that lines the cavities of the 
nose. J have no doubt thousands use smellin^ bot- 


ties with no conception of their injurious effects. 



WITHOUT a regular and proper circulation of the 
blood, we fade, wither, and die, as hundreds do 
on every hand, in consequence of impeded circula- 
tion. This I shall demonstrate to you, in describing 
the circulation of the blood, and its uses. The for- 
mation of blood should first claim our attention, for 
a few moments. 


7 . A 


q, the descending vena cava, returning black blood from the head 
and upper extremities. 

o, the ascending vena cava, returning the same kind of blood from 
the lower parts of the body. 

n, the right auricle of the heart, where both veins meet. 

p, and x, veins from the liver, spleen and bowels, uniting with the 
interior cava. 

The auricle being filled, contracts and forces the blood into b, the 
ventricle ; next the ventricle contracts and sends it to k, the pulmo- 
nary artery, which branches into I, I, to supply the lungs in both 
sides of the chest. From the lungs, where a scarkt color has been 
given it, four veins of the lungs gather it together, and deposit it in 
the left auricle, r ; that contracts, and the blood is driven into the 
left ventricle, a ; lastly, the ventricle contracts' and throws it into c, 
the aorta, which conducts it over and' through every bone, muscle 
and organ. 


You are aware that food is reduced by the action 
of the stomach, and its solvents, to a pulpy, porra- 
ceous mass, called chyme ; that the nutritive part 
of this chyme is taken up by the absorbents, and 
is a milk-like fluid called chyle. The vessels which 
take up this chyle, gradually unite, until they termi- 
nate in one large vessel, called the thoracic duct ; 
this runs in direct line up the spine, and is emptied 
into the left subclavian vein. It is thus carried 
across to the right side of the heart, where it is 
poured into the heart, and thus mixed with the 
venous blood. The heart contracts and throws 
this mass of venous blood and chyle into the lungs, 
to be vitalized. 

The lungs are a delicate, sponge-like tissue, con- 
sisting of innumerable air cells. The membrane 
that composes these cells is much more delicate 
than the finest gauze. As the air is inhaled into 
the lungs, the blood by means of these gauze-like 
air cells comes in contact with it and unites with its 
oxygen, one of the constituent parts of the air we 
breathe. You are aware that the lungs are situated 
in the lateral portions of the chest, each side of the 
heart. They are surrounded by the pleura, a deli- 
cate membrane, and a duplicature of the pleura also 
covers the heart. Adhesions of the pleura to the 
ribs and lungs cause irritation, and great uneasiness, 
pain in the side, &tc. You know that in the pres- 


ent mode of dressing, or rather compressing the 
chest, pain in the side is so common, that it is con- 
sidered something incident to humanity. A young 
lady once said to me, " I thought all persons had 
pain in the side, when they took much exercise." 

Those of you who are acquainted with chem- 
istry, know that the air we breathe is composed of 
two gases, oxygen and nitrogen. 

Oxygen is the vital portion of the air, and is 
mixed with the nitrogen to temper, or dilute it, as 
it seems. As I before remarked, the heart con- 
tracts, and throws the blood into the lungs ; it there 
comes in contact with the air, imbibes oxygen from 
the air, and thus becomes vitalized. It gives off 
carbon, with which it has become loaded, in its pas- 
sage through the body, and becomes of a florid red 
color, by its union with oxygen. From the lungs 
it is carried back into the left side of the heart. 
The heart contracts, and throws this revitalized 
blood into the arteries. By these it is carried all 
over the body, and gives nourishment to every part. 
After it has thus travelled all over the body, in the 
arteries, it is carried back by the veins, to the right 
side of the heart, where it is poured into the heart, 
mixed with the chyle, vitalized in the lungs, and 
thus prepared again to go the round of the circula- 
tion and give nourishment to every portion of the 
body. It is of the highest knportance that the 


blood should be freed from the carbon, with which 
it has become loaded in its progress over the body, 
and that it be united with oxygen. No blood is 
fit for the nourishment of the body, unless it has 
passed through these changes ; nay, more, it is a poi- 
eon, which stagnates rather than circulates in the 
vessels when it is pent, for there is no regular cir- 
culation. All the blood in the body, which amounts 
to several gallons, passes through the heart, on its 
way to and from the lungs, once in four minutes. 
Ladies, I cannot answer for your blood, but this 
should be the fact. My object is to make you 
understand the mischiefs that arise from the ruinous 
practice of compressing the chest. You are aware 
that the system is nourished by the blood ; that this 
vital fluid, when left at liberty, traverses every tis- 
sue of the body, and gives nourishment to every 
part. In order that the system be properly nour- 
ished, the blood must not only circulate freely, to 
every part of the body, but it must be proper blood. 
Yet what proper nourishment can there be in a 
mass of impurities called blood, which for hours 
does not come in contact with the air, and which 
consequently cannot give off carbon, or imbibe oxy- 
gen. If these pent up, poisoned streams were not 
set at liberty during the hours devoted to sleep, the 
poor sufferer would be much sooner released from 
bodily suffering. It is not my province to follow 


the immortal spirit, and shall I say the immortal 
spirit of a suicide ? I am at a loss to conceive how- 
American women have become thus deeply involved 
in this absurd and ruinous fashion, a fashion a thou- 
sand times more hurtful, and more to be deprecated 
than that of the Chinese, who compress the feet of 
their females. It is vain to say it is the stupid or 
weak-minded alone, who are the victims of this 
fashion. Women of the finest minds, the deepest 
and tenderest sympathies, formed to love, to be be- 
loved and to diffuse happiness to those around them, 
and often to thousands, who dwell with intense in- 
terest on their productions, go down to a premature 
grave destroyed by this fashion ; and not only 
themselves the victims, but their corset-broken con- 
stitutions descend to their children, and thus suffer- 
ing is perpetuated. 

It is a melancholy error, to suppose that we can 
give away what we do not possess. We cannot 
give perfect health to our children, unless we our- 
selves possess it. Were the desolations of tight 
lacing confined to its immediate victims, I could be 
better content to remain silent. But when I see 
the race sinking beneath the evil, it seems time that 
a warning voice should be raised, and raised in such 
a manner as to startle the gifted from their slumber 
of security ; for the gifted are no less the victims 
than the ignorant. I, who have at least sense 


enough to understand a part of the evils that result 
from compression, was, at the age of fourteen, well 
nigh destroyed by it. And though by great care, 
and a sedulous employment of all the means calcu- 
lated to remedy the evil, my life is made tolerably 
comfortable, still I am a wreck the grasp of death 
is upon my vitals, placed there by the murderous 
corset, at the early age of fourteen. I know that I 
am doomed, that I can live but a short time at the 
longest. I would be of the greatest use while I 
remain. I would awaken females every where. I 
would loosen the death grasp of the corset, and 
send the now imprisoned and poisoned blood re-' 
joicing through the veins of woman. 

If 1 can do this, may I not be willing to sacri- 
fice myself to misrepresentation and abuse? 
What is an individual, compared with the whole 
race ? What is the comfort of one, compared with 
the health and happiness of thousands ? 

I am satisfied that information alone is wanting. 
Let woman once know her own organization, and 
she will tremble at the thought of sacrificing her- 
self, for she will know that she is doing it. Many 
have no idea that the consequences of compression 
extend farther than present discomfort and incon- 
venience ; and many have so paralyzed the muscles 
that hold the body upright, that they cannot sup- 
port themselves in an erect posture, without corsets. 


Hence the universal exclamation, "I could not 
live without corsets : I should fall in pieces." Such 
must take measures to restore the contractile power 
of the muscles. A variety of gymnastic and vocal 
exercises, suited to this end, I have taught in my 
vocal philosophy classes. These exercises enabled 
me to become erect, after I had been, for fifteen 
years, so much bent as to suppose that I had per- 
manent distortion of the spine. 

I have said that knowledge alone is wanting. 
Of a certain class of minds this is true. I know 
very well, that there are melancholy exceptions. I 
have an instance in my mind's eye. A young lady 
was my pupil, a few years since, when I was en- 
gaged in school keeping. She attended to the 
study of anatomy with the class. She laced very 
tightly in the morning, and in the afternoon she 
drew the cords of death still tighter, all the while 
averring she was not tight. 1 warned, entreated, 
demonstrated but all availed not she seemed 
bent upon destroying herself, though in other re- 
spects amiable. The work was soon completed ; 
she was seized with a fever ; her lungs were pro- 
nounced " much affected," by her physician. A 
few days, and she was a corpse, as much mur- 
dered as if she had drawn the cords about her 

And this state of things is on every hand. So gen- 


eral is the distortion of the female form, and death 
from this cause, that when I asked a physician in 
Philadelphia, if he had a female skeleton, distorted 
by tight lacing, " No," said he, " we have no need 
to save them ; we can get one when it is wanted, 
at a week's notice." Is there not terror enough 
in this answer, to send woman out of what is called 
her sphere, if she can by any means draw atten- 
tion to such tremendous evils ? 

When I have been constrained to speak to ladies 
of the inevitable destruction they were bringing 
upon themselves they would reply, "Mrs. Gove, I 
don't lace, I wish you could see Julia, A., or Mary 
B. ; they dress tight ; but I am always loose. I 
cannot bear any thing close." And they said this, 
when the delicate air cells of the lungs were col- 
lapsed in such a manner as to produce inflamma- 
tion ; all the internal viscera deranged, the blood, re- 
fused a passage through its proper channels, was 
forcing its way through other vessels, and rendering 
them aneurismal. Physicians think there is great 
danger when they are obliged to tie one important 
blood vessel, in. consequence of the distention the 
other vessels must necessarily suffer, from the in- 
creased quantity of blood they are obliged to trans- 
mit. But what must be the danger, when numbers 
of blood vessels, especially the superficial ones, are ob- 
structed, and almost entirely collapsed, and the blood, 


diverted from its proper channels, is thrown into 
other and deeper seated vessels. These vessels 
must of necessity become aneurismal. The regular 
pulsation of the heart and arteries is broken up, 
and palpitations, difficulty of breathing, and faint- 
ness, and at times even suspended animation, are 
the consequence. Many persons suppose that 
moderate compression about the chest is admissible, 
and even useful. If this* be true, why not com- 
press the throat, on the same principle ? The lungs 
should be fully inflated at every breath. But how 
few fully inflate the lungs during the day. I hesi- 
tate not to say, that not one in fifty, I fear not one 
in five hundred, fully inflates the lungs during the 
day. If the blood cannot come in contact with 
the air, as it is evident it cannot, if the lungs are 
not inflated, then it is utterly unfit to nourish the 
body, even if it could circulate, which it is evident 
it cannot. 

There is a darkness of complexion, a bilious hue, 
as it is often termed, about those who lace tightly, 
that has no alliance with beauty. The blood, 
loaded with carbon, and other impurities, and des- 
titute of the oxygen, the vital principle, imparts a 
livid, purple hue to the lips, and a sallowness to 
the complexion. I have known a lady of clear, 
brilliant complexion, by tight lacing, to become 
dark, and to have a cadaverous look that was almost 


frightful. She was induced to attend to the study 
of anatomy. The consequence was, she laid aside 
the corsets at once, and for ever. In a short time 
her brilliancy of complexion returned ; she had the 
glow and animation of health, and seemed like an 
emancipated slave. She was truly an emancipated 
victim of fashion. 

The effect of compression in paralyzing the mus- 
cles of the chest, is not understood as it should be. 
It is a law of our nature, that if an organ is not 
used, we lose the use of that organ. The muscles 
of the chest are not employed in holding the chest 
upright, but they are so compressed that they cannot 
be properly nourished by the blood. They lose 
their healthy contractile power ; they are incapable 
of supporting the body ; hence the need of mechan- 
ical support. Hence, too, one cause of distortion 
of the spine, from irregular and deficient action of 
the muscles. It is owing to this paralysis of the 
muscles, that ladies think they cannot give up me- 
chanical support. If they wish to perpetuate the 
evil, and never to remove it, they should continue 
their present course. They may be sure that they 
have greatly injured themselves, if they find they 
cannot keep erect without mechanical support. 

In view of the delicate organization of the lungs, 
their proneness to rupture, when unduly compress- 
ed, and the exceeding commonness of bleeding at 


the lungs, induced by compression, who would not 
wish corsets banished from our world ? I have 
myself bled at the lungs, till I fell apparently as 
dead as I will ever be. Certainly, if I cannot speak 
scientifically upon this subject, I can at least speak 
feelingly. More evils to the lungs result from 
paralysis of the muscles, than we are aware of. 
The effort to speak is not made in accordance with 
truth and nature ; unnatural labor is put upon the 
lungs in speaking ; hence the developement of pul- 
monary consumption is hastened. The nervous 
evils attendant upon tight lacing need an abler pen 
to delineate. Youth is the time for brilliant hopes, 
and aspirations after the true, the beautiful. But 
the hopes of our race are cut off, the buds of 
genius often are nipped ere they have blossomed ; 
and to brightness and beauty succeed the gloom of 
the pall, or at best a blasted existence. The buoy- 
ancy of youth, the excitement of pleasure, hopes 
that spring in the young heart in spite of misery, 
often keep our ladies from sinking under their self- 
imposed torture, and even make them gay and 
cheerful. The length of time they support life 
shows the power of endurance possessed by the 
human system ; but they must fail as surely as 
results follow causes. I have not the shadow of 
a doubt that much of that nervous irritability, that 
ennui, that hangs over the finest minds, shrouding 


their fairest prospects in gloom, may be traced to 
the influence of lacing, before or after marriage, 
or both. The miserable victim of an absurd fash- 
ion has destroyed herself! See her attenuated 
form ; hear her hollow cough ; see her hand placed 
instinctively upon her side, to ease the piercing 
pain ; see her hanging over her poor babe, to 
whom she has been able to give but half an ex- 
istence. Often she cannot nourish her infant. The 
fountains of life are for ever sealed by compression. 
The babe must be committed to hirelings, or brought 
up in an unhealthy and unnatural manner at home. 
The unhappy mother lives on, a prey to disease, 
perhaps to those moral aberrations, which are its 
consequence ; and often she sinks with consumption, 
that fell destroyer, that riots, gorged to the full, 
with half the loveliness of earth. Terrible reflec- 
tions these ! 

In view of all these facts, in view, too, of the 
fact that numbers of the best educated females in 
England and America have discarded corsets, 
will our ladies continue slaves of a fashion as absurd 
as it is ruinous ? Let all those who have the least 
love for science, for philanthropy, or Christianity, 
answer, No : resolutely, and firmly, No. 

I hesitate not to say, that tight lacing is doing an 
amount of mischief in our land, fully equal to that 
wrought by alcohol. Then let public sentiment be 


equally aroused against it. To do this we must 
enlighten, which depends on woman. But woman, 
unaided, can never accomplish this great work. 
There is a unity in the race, and unless they act in 
unison, little can be done on any great question. 
Would our own loved land have been discovered, 
had not the energies of Columbus been assisted by 
Isabella. Would our independence have been 
achieved, had there not been many mothers beside 
the mother of Washington ? We may strive to be 
good or great alone, but we strive against fearful 
odds, and it will only be in isolated cases that we 
shall succeed. Masses will never be elevated in 
this way. Men should every where express their 
disapprobation of this cruel fashion. What avails 
a woman's reason, or her determination to consult 
health and comfort, if she is sure of being called a 
" dowdy," by the man she admires ? I grant some 
women have independence enough to survive even 
such a remark : but most of the sex would choose 
to be sacrificed. I know many men of worth, and 
science, have raised a warning voice, and that with 
many tight lacing is considered as vulgar, and as 
much opposed to true elegance of form, as it really 
is. Still, it is little more than three years, since I 
heard a lady called a " dowdy," who had given up 
corsets, and that too by a gentleman who has lec- 
tured on Anatomy. I would fain believe that all 



gentlemen have correct taste as respects the female 
form. But I know many who are fine scholars, 
who are exceedingly ignorant of anatomy. They 
learn to admire what they see daily, and they see 
every day, what should make them tremble and 
grow sick at heart. 



Perhaps these two drawings might with propriety 
be left to speak for themselves. But we would ask 
attention to the free, full and natural outline of the 
one, and the cramped, contracted, unnatural angles 
of the other. [Tiie illustrations accompanying this 
lecture are from that excellent work, " The Class 
Book of Anatomy," by Dr. J. V. C. Smith, a 
book that ought to be in every family.] 

Works of fiction, sickly tales that make clay wasps 
of their heroines, foster the false taste of the com- 


munity. Not long since, I took up a newspaper 
and cast my eyes over the first page, which con- 
tained a story. I read this sentence, " Rising, she 
displayed a delicately slender waist, rather smaller 
than ordinary." Let the dissecting knife display 
the ulcers in the lungs, within that waist, and it 
would not seem desirable, to the most vain and 
sickly sentimentalist. 

" Oh ! my Nora's gown for me, 
That floats as wild as mountain breezes, 
Leaving every beauty free 

- To sink or swell as heaven pleases." 

I have now demonstrated the importance of 
breathing freely. Next in importance is the quality 
of the air we breathe. You are aware that we are 
continually throwing out carbonic acid gas, from 
the lungs, and taking up oxygen. I believe it is 
estimated that we render a gallon of air unfit for 
respiration, every minute. Ventilation must be in 
proportion to this expense. No one is safe, unless 
it is. You are aware that carbonic acid gas de- 
stroys life suddenly, when we are exposed to it in 
its undiluted state. We ought to know that when 
mixed with the air we breathe it destroys as surely, 
though more slowly. I need not call your attention 
to cases where this gas has proved fatal, such as 
wells, cellars, and rooms where charcoal is burned. 
You are familiar with these examples. You know 


that this gas is produced by combustion, as well as 
by breathing. And knowing this, we act as if we 
had no knowledge on the subject. Our rooms are 
heated, and seldom aired. Our schools, our lecture 
rooms, our steamboats, cars, coaches, and other 
means of conveyance, even our churches, are so 
many manufactories of death, from the fact that 
pure air is excluded, and what remains is robbed of 
its oxygen, loaded with carbonic acid gas, and the 
impure exhalations continually arising from the 
human body. The lungs are forced to receive the 
poison. The consequences must be obvious, if we 
will but reflect for a moment. The amount of in- 
jury done by impure air, in our schools and churches 
alone, is enough to make us tremble, if we were 
but alive to it. But how greatly is the injury in- 
creased when the lungs are compressed in the man- 
ner we see at church, and at school. 

The manner in which ventilation is neglected at 
schools, is more painful from the fact that the young 
creatures who are there confined six hours in a day, 
without any regular and systematic exercise, are 
less capable of resisting hurtful impressions, than 
those who are older. Children fail often at school 
and sink under illness, or the seeds of consumption 
are sown there, to be developed in after years. 
Yet few parents ever suspect that the impure air of 
the school room has any thing to do with the ill- 


ness of their child. Few inquire whether the 
school room is ventilated or not. I know that other 
causes are continually undermining the health of 
our youth. The process of educating our children 
by steam, if I may be allowed the expression, does 
them great injury. Bad air is only one cause of 
evil. Compression is only one cause. Still the 
evils to which they give rise, may well be called 
"Legion," for they are many. I have a school- 
room now in my mind's eye, where for many years 
about one hundred scholars attended. I never 
knew it ventilated but once. Then I went into it 
to make preparation for a lecture. The air was so 
bad, that 1 found it difficult to remain till the win- 
dows could be raised. Had not the room been 
wanted for use, it would have remained close shut 
till the next day, when the children and teacher 
would have again inhaled the poisonous air. 
The teacher was a friend of mine, and an intelli- 
gent lady. I called on her to warn her of the fatal 
consequences of breathing such an atmosphere. I 
found her with her large school immersed in poison. 
Her little son, some four years old. appeared as if 
some deadly blight had struck him. I told the 
mother he must die, unless removed from that school 
room. He sat on a low bench, and as you know 
carbonic acid gas is heavier than air, consequently 
he was more exposed to its influence, than the 


larger scholars. To my earnest warning, the 
mother returned this answer, " I suppose he would 
be better out of school." My words seemed to 
fall on her ear, " like drops of rain upon a glossy 
leaf." I however solemnly repeated the warn- 
ing. The lady was herself very strong. In about 
two months, the child died, and in a very short 
time after, the mother sunk and died also. But no 
alteration is made in the treatment of that school. 
No one inquired the cause of the teacher's death, 
or that of her child, or why their own children 
were like drooping or withered lilies in consequence 
of disease. 



\THIS world is emphatically a world of change^ 
This truth has been beautifully commented on by 
various writer!} But as a truth with which we have 
much to do in the present lecture, I introduce it 
here. Every thing is continually changing. Not 
a leaf, not a plant, not a flower, not even a blade 
of grass is the same to-day, that it was yesterday. 


They are changed. They are giving off one set of 
particles, and assimilating or taking up other parti- 
cles. These plants must have nourishment. They 
must have earth, they must have water, to supply 
the place of these particles that are thrown off. 
Deprive them of this support, and they wither and 
die. So it is with man ; our bodies are continually 
changing. With man there is constant waste and 
renovation. One set of particles are thrown out of 
the system, and another set is at the same lime 
supplied by that vital fluid that nourishes all parts 
of the body. I mean the blood. Now the great 
laboratory for the elimination of particles that go to 
make up the blood is the stomach. You know 
that you put food into the stomach, and that it is 
reduced by the action of the stomach and its pecu- 
liar solvents, to a pulpy mass, and that from this 
mass the materials that go to make up the blood 
are eliminated. But more of this, by and by. I 
am desirous that you should first understand the 
anatomy of the stomach and organs immediately 
connected with it. 

The stomach of man is a membraneous, muscu- 
lar bag, lying on the left side, under the ribs. It 
reaches toward the rrj:ht side, a little beyond what 
we call the pit of the stomach. 

The stomach consists of three membraneous 
layers or coats. It has numerous glands, blood 
vessels and nerves. 



The outside of the stomach is a tough, shining 
membrane, which lines the abdomen, and consti- 
tutes the outer covering of all the intestines. This 
membrane strengthens the stomach, and binds down 
the intestines and other organs in their places. 


The human stomach somewhat resembles, in sliape, the bag of 
the Scottish instrument of music called the bagpipe. It lies directly 
across the body, just under the edge of the ribs, and in such close 
contact with the diaphragm or floor of the apartment which contains 
the lungs, that the latter seem to rest directly upon it. The place 
where the food pipe enters it is called the cardiac ^orifice, and the 
termination or outlet of this spacious saloon is called the pylorus or 
pyloric orifice. House 1 Live In, bij Dr. Wm. A. Alcott. 

a, sesophagus. b, cardiac portion, c, great or left extremity. 
d, small extremity, e, stomach tied at the pylorus. /, great ante- 
rior curvature. g,g, omenlum or caul. 


The middle and muscular coat of the stomach con- 
sists of a layer of fibres. These traverse the stomach 
longitudinally. The internal layer of this middle 
coat consists of circular fibres. The uses of the 
muscular coat have a distinct reference to the function 
of digestion. By the joint action of the longitudinal 
and circular fibres the stomach is enabled to con- 
tract and lessen its size, so as to adapt its capacity 
to the volume of its contents. 

By the successive action of these layers of fibres, 
running as they do in different directions, a kind of 
churning motion is produced in the stomach. This 
motion of the stomach agitates the food and con- 
tributes both to break it down, and to mix it with 
the peculiar fluid which has such an important part 
in the process of digestion. I mean the gastric 
juice, of which I shall tell you more presently. 

The internal coat of the stomach is called the 
mucous or villous coat. It is a velvet-like mem- 
brane, of a pale pink color. The extent of this 
layer is greater than the others, and it is conse- 
quently wrinkled. 

The upper aperture of the stomach is called the 
cardiac orifice, from cardia, heart, because it lies 
near the heart. The lower orifice is called pyloric, 
or pylorus, from door-keeper, because when any 
thing improper has been admitted into the stomach, 
this orifice is closed upon it and refuses to let it pass 
into the intestines, thus acting as a door-keeper to 


prevent what is improper from passing. These 
improper substances are either ejected from the 
stomach by vomiting, or after repeated trials they 
are at last allowed to pass through the pyrolic orifice. 

The stomach is nourished by numerous blood 
vessels. It also has nerves, of which I shall speak 
by and by. Many curious facts respecting the 
stomach and its functions have been made known 
through the medium of an accident that happened 
to the person of Alexis St. Martin, in the year 1822. 

" At the age of eighteen he was accidentally 
wounded in the stomach by the discharge of a mus- 
ket. The charge, consisting of powder and duck 
shot, entered the left side of the youth, he being at 
a distance of not more than one yard from the muz- 
zle of the gun. The contents entered posteriorly 
and in an oblique direction, forward and inward, 
literally blowing off integuments and muscles of the 
size of a man's hand, fracturing and carrying away 
the anterior half of the sixth rib, fracturing the fifth, 
lacerating the lower portion of the left lobe of the 
lungs, the diaphragm, and perforating the stomach. 
The whole mass of materials forced from the mus- 
ket, together with the fragments of clothing and 
pieces of fractured ribs, were driven into the mus- 
cles and cavity of the chest. 

" Dr. Beaumont saw him twenty-five or thirty 
minutes after the accident occurred, and on exam- 


ination found a portion of the lung as large as a tur- 
key's egg protruding through the external wound, 
lacerated and burnt, and immediately below this 
another protrusion, which on further examination 
proved to be a portion of the stomach, lacerated 
through all its coats, and pouring out the food he 
had eaten for his breakfast, through an orifice large 
enough to admit the forefinger. Subsequently the 
integuments sloughed off, and left the opening into 
the stomach much larger. The coats of the stomach 
protruded through the aperture, and finally adhered 
to the pleura costalis and external wound. In one 
year from the time of the accident, the injured parts 
were all sound, with the exception of the aperture. 
The perforation was about two and a half inches in 
circumference, and the food and drinks constantly 
exuded, unless prevented by tent compress and band- 
age. In 1825, Dr. Beaumont commenced a series 
of experiments with him at Fort Mackinaw, Michi- 
gan. From that time till 1833, Dr. B. at different 
intervals continued to experiment upon this man. 
It appears that during that time, he was possessed 
of considerable health and vigor." 

Dr. Beaumont says that he enjoyed general good 
health. But directly afterward he says, " For the 
last four months he [St. M.j has been unusually 
plethoric and robust." 

Now plethora, or inordinate fulness of the ves- 


sels, is disease, and though very many have this 
habit of body, who have perhaps much vigor, still 
it is disease. I know many persons think a full 
red face indicative of health. But I have learned 
to look upon such a countenance with pain. I 
know that there is plethora, or congestion ; that the 
blood is unduly accelerated ; that it is driven on 
its course in a manner, to borrow the simile of 
another, very analagous to the high pressure steam 
engines. To carry out this borrowed simile, for I 
know of nothing that will so aptly illustrate the 
case, we may take pleasure in seeing the proud 
boat cut her way, amid sheets of foam, through the 
waves ; but we see not her danger. Every inch of 
her boiler is strained to bursting, and anon, tim- 
bers, planks, and all parts of the fair fabric are fly- 
ing in fragments through the air, and mangled limbs 
and dead bodies are mingled in the dreadful ruin. 
Now that person who is stimulated till his whole 
system is on the verge of acute disease and death, 
though he may have the appearance of health, and 
like the over-worked steam engine, may have vast 
power, has this accession of power at a like risk. 

But to Alexis St. M. The belief that he was 
in a degree diseased, does not affect many of the 
facts observed by Dr. Beaumont ; it only renders 
us cautious about receiving all his deductions as 
facts and true scientific conclusions. It is doubtless 


true that Dr. B.'s observations and conclusions re- 
specting the gastric juice, are of more value than 
those of any other physiologist, because no one ever 
had such an opportunity for observation as Dr. B. 
Though a few cases have occurred in which direct 
access has been had to the interior of the stomach, 
and though Richerand, and other physiologists have 
availed themselves of these opportunities to get in- 
formation respecting the digestive process, yet the 
patients generally have been but a short time under 
the care of these observers, and have never had 
that degree of health that St. M. had. In this case 
the patient was a series of years under Dr. B.'s 
care, and there was consequently ample time and 
opportunity for a very great variety of experiments. 
Dr. B. also carried on his experiments with much 
judgment and care. One point that is of immense 
importance is completely settled by the experiments 
of Dr. B. It is, that the " gastric juice does not 
continue to be secreted between the intervals of di- 
gestion, and does not accumulate to be ready to act 
upon the next meal." You are doubtless aware 
that the gastric juice is that fluid that is secreted 
and poured into the stomach to digest our food. 

This gastric fluid is a powerful solvent, and will 
digest food out of the stomach by keeping it warm, 
that is if the food is first finely divided. 

In the aperture of St. Martin's stomach a valve 


formed, which shut up the opening. By pushing 
aside this valve the cavity within became visible to 
a considerable extent. When St. M. lay for a 
time on his left side a portion of the internal villous 
or velvetty coat of the stomach was protruded 
through the aperture. Owing to this circumstance 
Dr. B. could see what changes occurred, both when 
food was swallowed, and when it was introduced 
into the opening. On examining this internal coat 
of the stomach with a magnifying glass, he perceived 
an immediate change of appearance ensue, when- 
ever food of any kind was brought in contact with 
it, very fine nervous and vascular papilla? could be 
seen arising from this villous or velvetty internal 
coat of the stomach, from which distilled a pure, 
colorless and slightly viscid fluid, which collected 
in drops on the points of the papillae, and trickled 
down into the stomach, and mingled with the food. 
This fluid was the gastric juice, which was mingled 
with the food by the peculiar churning motion of 
the stomach, till every part of the food was brought 
in contact with it, and was dissolved by it. 

It is recognized as a law of nature that all things 
are continually undergoing change. Well has it 
been said, " Not even a breath of wind can pass 
along the surface of the earth without altering in 
some degree the proportions of the bodies with 
which it comes in contact ; and not a drop of rain 


can fall upon a stone without carrying away some 
portion of its substance." 

Now though every one is aware that change is 
continually going on amongst dead and inanimate 
matter, yet perhaps comparatively few reflect, that 
still greater changes are going on in the vegetable 
and animal kingdoms. We know that a dress will 
wear out, though the process of removing particle 
after particle of it is slow and imperceptible. We 
know that furniture and dwellings are continually 
changing, and wearing out. But are we equally 
aware that far greater changes are going on in living 
bodies, and that every exertion we make, every 
breath we draw is attended with waste of the par- 
ticles that go to make up our bodies, so that the 
same particles that make up the body to-day will 
not all be present in it to-morrow, and so on, till 
the whole body is changed ? Now if this waste 
goes on without renovation, we shall soon be en- 
tirely wasted, or so far as not to be able to sustain 
life. This principle is seen in those who are de- 
prived of food, and thus are starved. One great 
distinguishing characteristic between living bodies 
and inanimate matter is this: though in the living 
animal a continual waste of substance is kept up, 
by exhalations from the lungs, the skin, the bowels, 
and the kidneys, and though not a movement can 
be made without increasing the circulation, and thus 


adding to the general waste, yet there are organs 
whose business it is to supply all the demand thus 
made. This is one great distinguishing character- 
istic between- dead and living bodies. When dead 
bodies undergo changes there is no renovating 
power. The human system throws out each day 
several pounds oi substance by the ordinary organs 
of excretion. This waste, without the power of 
repairing the loss, would soon reduce us so low that 
the system would be incapable of supporting life. 
Three quarters of the substance of the body have 
been lost before death ensued. Now the stomach 
is the storehouse where are put materials for repair- 
ing the waste of the body. And the Creator has 
given us hunger and thirst as watchful monitors to 
inform us when we need food to repair the waste 
of the body. The intention of taking food is to 
support the body, to supply the waste induced by 
action. We should eat in order to live. But how 
few do this. How many live to eat instead of eat- 
ing to live. Sensual gratification in eating, in 
drinking, in every thing, seems to be the ruling 
motive with very many in our perverted and de- 
praved world. " These things ought not so to be." 
We should come to that state, where, " whether 
we eat or drink or whatever we do we should do 
all to the glory of God." People should not in- 
quire what will best please a depraved and perverted 


appetite, but what will be best for them. They 
should inform themselves on these subjects, learn 
their organization and what is best for them, and 
then resolutely do what appears to be duty. How- 
ever unpleasant it may be at first, it will become 
pleasant by habit. I know people think they can- 
not live on plain food. They say they have no 
appetite for it. They want something that will 
" relish." But if a person by habit can get so as 
to love the taste of tobacco, that nauseous weed, or 
the smell and taste of rum, that " liquid fire," as it 
has been often and aptly denominated, I ask, need 
we despair of being able yet to relish plain food. 

Hunger and thirst are given us to notify us that 
the system wants a supply of nourishment. That 
is, true hunger and thirst advertise us of this fact. 
But there are in this world, and especially in this 
age, a vast number of counterfeits and perhaps a 
natural appetite is as rare as almost any thing. An 
old dietetic writer defines a natural appetite thus 
" The natural appetite which is as well stimulated, 
and satisfied, with the most simple dish, as with 
the most palatable." How many such appetites 
think ye there are ? How many of you would be 
satisfied to make a meal of bread, of fruit, of rice, 
of potatoes, and nothing else ? I do not say that it 
is right, or proper that any of you should come, at 
once, to such diet as this. But 1 do say, were the 


appetite natural and unperverted, you would be 
perfectly satisfied with such food. The same writer 
who thus defines a natural appetite, speaks of arti- 
ficial and habitual appetite in this manner. " The 
artificial appetite, is that excited by stomachic elix- 
irs, cordials, pickles, digestive salts, &c., which re- 
mains only as long as the operation of these stimu- 
lants continues." " The habitual appetite, or that 
by which we accustom ourselves to take victuals at 
certain hours, and frequently without an appetite." 
Now I have a terrible fact in reserve for those who 
eat too much, either from habit or from an artificial 
appetite, induced by the use of stimulants. 

When the stomach is excited, it pours out the 
gastric fluid, much as the salivary secretions are 
poured into the mouth. We know that by chew- 
ing cloves, or other stimulating substances, we ex- 
cite the secretory organs of the mouth, and that 
afterwards there is dryness and inflammation of the 
mouth, and thirst. So it is with the stomach. It 
may be unduly stimulated, and the gastric fluid 
secreted and poured into the stomach till the se- 
creting organs are exhausted, and no gastric fluid 
can be obtained by applying the usual stimulus of 
food. In such a state food cannot be digested ; it 
putrefies or turns acid, and irritates and distresses 
and deranges the stomach and its functions, and by 
sympathy all other parts of the system. In disease 


the gastric juice and the internal coat of the stomach 
undergo great changes from a state of health. Dr. 
Beaumont had ocular demonstration of these facts; 
for, unlike others, he had the opportunity of seeing 
what was going on in the stomach. Whilst attend- 
ing St. Martin, he found that when a feverish state 
was induced, whether from obstructed perspiration, 
from overloading the stomach, or from fear, anger, 
or other mental emotions depressing or disturbing 
the nervous system, the internal or villous coat of 
the stomach became sometimes red and dry, and 
at other times pale and moist, and lost altogetl er its 
smooth and healthy appearance. As a necessary 
consequence, the usual secretions became vitiated, 
impaired, or entirely suppressed. When these dis- 
eased appearances were considerable, the system 
sympathized. The mouth became dry, and there 
was thirst, quickened pulse, and other bad symp- 
toms, and " no gastric juice could be procured or 
extracted, even on applying the usual stimulus of 

We see, from this statement of facts, how very 
important it is that no food be taken, when these 
symptoms are present. Some people have an idea 
that a patient who has fever should have food to 
support the strength. No food can be digested in 
such a state, and of course it is the height of folly, 
. not to say rr.a Iness, to give food. It was once said 


by a skilful physician, that one might as well at- 
tempt to build up a house in flames, as sustain a 
patient's strength by food, who had fever; and I 
have heard a physician say tha^ he believed he 
could cure fever with no other medicine than cold 
water, externally and internally applied. 

Now many people err by taking food when the 
stomach is not in a situation to digest it. If a 
child falls, and is hurt, or is frightened, or is 
crossed, and cries, how many mothers give food, or 
nurse the child, to quiet it. My heart is pained for 
mothers, because in their ignorance they destroy 
their children. It is often the case that children 
who have nothing to do, contract a habit of eating. 
They have a morbid, counterfeit appetite, ami v'^ 
teaze, and the mother, with many cares, kno\ , + ji 
how to quiet them. Thus she is induced to give 
them food when she knows they do not need it. 
But she does not know the tremendous conse- 
quences of such indulgence ; she does not know 
that she is inducing disease, that she is in fact de- 
stroying her child by the course she pursues. 

In the present state of society, employment is 
regular. Waste is consequently regular, and of 
course the supply should be regular. This is one 
reason why we should take our meals regularly. 
But there is another reason besides this ; the stomach 
is a muscular organ. All muscles that act, need 


rest after action. After the stomach has digested a 
meal, it should rest ; but when we, or our children, 
are continually taking luncheons, what time has the 
stomach for rest ? Besides, we introduce a great 
deal more into the stomach, than the system de- 

Many persons, and especially children, habitually 
take confectionary between their meals. This prac- 
tice is a fruitful source of disease and death. The 
confectionary is hurtful, because it is taken when no 
food ought to be taken, and would produce disease, 
and very much shorten life, if it had no hurtful qual- 
ity. Human life is doubtless much abridged by 
taking wholesome food, when none should be taken ; 
bu& -confectionary is more to be dreaded, because it 
i?sef] itself unhealthy food, and because much essen- 
tial oil, and even alcohol, are imprisoned in it, and 
because the coloring matter is often a deadly poi- 
son. The effect of the stimulating substances min- 
gled with the sugar in confectionary, is more inju- 
rious than people suppose. Indeed, many who 
have a conscience against taking ardent spirits, do 
not scruple to take confectionary. 

They may suppose that the alcohol is in so small 
quantities, that it cannot be hurtful. But let such 
contemplate the effects of ardent spirits in small 
quantities upon the stomach of Alexis St. Martin, 
as detailed by Dr. Beaumont. The evil attending 


' * 

the use of alcohol may not be felt directly, but it 
is there, nevertheless. On examining St. M.'s 
stomach, after he had used ardent spirits, Dr. B. 
found its mucous membrane covered with erythe- 
matic (inflammatory) and aphthous (ulcerated) 
patches, the secretions vitiated, and the gastric 
juice diminished in quantity, viscid and unhealthy ; 
although St. M. complained of nothing, not even of 
impaired appetite. "Two days later, the inner 
membrane of the stomach was unusually morbid, 
the erythematic (inflammatory) appearance more 
extensive, the spots more livid than usual ; from the 
surface of some of them exuded small drops of 
grumous blood, the aphthous (ulcerated) patches 
were larger and more numerous, the mucous cover- 
ing thicker than common, and the gastric secretions 
much more vitiated. The gastric fluids extracted 
were mixed with a large proportion of thick ropy 
mucus, and a considerable muco-purulent dis- 
charge, slightly tinged with blood, resembling the 
discharge from the bowels in some cases of dysente- 
ry." Notwithstanding this diseased appearance of 
the stomach, no very essential aberration of its 
functions was manifested. " St. M. complained of 
no symptoms indicating any general derangement 
of the system, except an uneasy sensation at the 
pit of the stomach, and some vertigo, with dimness 
and yellowness of vision, on stooping down and 


rising again ; had a thin yellowish brown coating 
on his tongue, and his countenance was rather sal- 
low, pulse uniform and regular, appetite good, 
rests quietly, and sleeps as usual." 

Notwithstanding all this disease, this man wou?d 
probably have called himself " pretty well." He 
had a good appetite, or rather, Dr. B. says he had a 
good appetite. We can hardly suppose a healthy 
appetite, where there was such extensive disease. 
But people who eat confectionary, have not only 
those evils which arise from the alcohol mixed with 
it, but the evils resulting from taking food at impro- 
per times, taking too much food, and of a very un- 
healthy kind. Besides, the coloring matter is often 
a deadly poison. I know many good people eat 
confectionary because they are ignorant. They 
would not eat it. did they know the mischiefs that 
result from its use. But I have yet hardly begun 
to tell its injurious effects. By unduly stimulating 
the system, it excites unholy passions, and the young 
and inexperienced, and unsettled, are often as 
effectually stimulated, and led to licentiousness by 
confectionary, as by ardent spirits. 

Every one now acknowledges the degrading and 
sensualizing influence of ardent spirits. When peo- 
ple are once convinced that confectionary also is 
doing a great amount of mischief, though in a more 
concealed manner, Christians will no more use it. 


These things need but to be understood in our land. 
I would as soon use, or sell ardent spirits, as confec- 
tionary. Its baneful effects upon children are not 
understood. Were they made known to parents, 
they would be shocked inexpressibly, that they had 
ever indulged children with the tempting poison. 

It is painful to see children indulged as they are 
in forms of food that are doing such indescribable 
injury. Will not mothers be warned and entreated 
not to indulge their children with confectionary. 
It is far easier and better to prevent the evils arising 
from its use, than to cure them. The habit, when 
once formed, is hard to be broken up. Still mothers 
should spare no pains. Above all, never give chil- 
dren presents of confectionary. It is horrid ! Make 
them intellectual, not sensual beings. 

It is very necessary that children, as well as 
grown people, take their food regularly. They 
may need a lunch when small, as their rapid growth 
makes them need more nutrition than adults. But 
to deprave their appetites, to lead them astray, from 
the cradle, by giving them improper food, and food 
at improper times, is cruelly wronging the helpless, 
who look to us for protection. I know a family, 
and who does not know such a family ? who have 
lost several children, and these children were lost 
by improper indulgence, by wrong management. 
Yet the parents do not dream of this. They think 


they did all for their children that they could do. 
They did, with the little knowledge they possessed, 
do all they could, and much more than they should 
have done. They had the best medical attendance, 
and did all the doctor told them to do. But their 
children were taken away. 

Still these parents have followed precisely the 
same course with each succeeding child, the 
course of indulgence. Had those children been 
rightly managed in all things, I have not the shadow 
of a doubt, they might now have been living. But 
they were not rightly managed. They were al- 
lowed to eat every thing usually eaten, among what 
are termed good livers. They were doubtless much 
injured during the first months of their lives by the 
improper food, and habits of the mother, by impure 
air, &c. But as soon as the little innocents could 
eat, they were fed with hurtful food, at improper 
times, and in improper quantities. The skin was- 
neglected. Perhaps they were never bathed a 
dozen times during their lives. And when, in con- 
sequence of all the abuses to which they were sub- 
jected, disease attacked them, the afflicted parents 
wondered why their child was the victim of disease. 
They did not know that the penalty of violated 
laws was visited upon their child. That its sick- 
ness was an effect that follows a cause. 

What is past cannot be recalled ; and what was 


done in the days of ignorance we should not recall 
to harrow the mind, but as a warning. In the 
future there is a redeeming power. That parent 
who knows not the anatomy and physiology of the 
stomach, should obtain information. Knowledge 
is more needful for the mother than gold, or silver, 
or precious stones. What mother who knows not 
the anatomy and physiology of the skin, will neg- 
lect it, both as respects herself, and her children. 
But if she has that information she ought to have, 
she will feel that it is as important to bathe the 
whole surface of the body, and thus keep the pores 
open for the transmission of waste and hurtful par- 
ticles, as to take her meals and give her children 
theirs. Nor am I digressing here, for if the skin is 
not thus attended to, the hurtful particles are thrown 
back upon the intestines, and disease is the conse- 
quence. Many diarrhoeas and bowel complaints are 
to be referred to this cause. 

I have seen a pale sickly child indulged with 
fruit and confectionary, and then suffered to sleep 
directly, when its stomach was in such a state that 
all its energies were imperatively demanded, and 
even then the result would be bad enough ; and 
when the child awoke with a degree of fever, and 
languor and restless anguish, which no language can 
express, it was scolded, and perhaps whipped for 
being cross. And this was done by an affectionate 


mother, who would have revolted with horror from 
the deed, had she known what was the true situa- 
tion of her child, and its danger. But in her igno- 
rance she has caused the mischief, and we cannot 
expect her to cure or alleviate it. 

The excessive use of stimulants in food is a very 
great evil. It lays the foundation for many more 
evils. There is no nutriment in these stimuli. The 
whole family of spices could not keep us from 
starving. They unduly excite the stomach, cause 
an artificial appetite, thus causing us to eat too 
much. They produce disease in the stomach. I 
knew a gentleman who lived in the usual manner, 
and besides took tobacco and a great many cloves. 
His stomach became diseased to such an extent 
that for several years before his death, the exercise 
of washing his hands " wrenched his stomach," as 
he expressed it, and gave him great pain. The 
coats of the stomach became thickened, and finally 
the pyloric orifice grew up, and for thirty-six days 
prior to his death, nothing passed out of the stomach. 




IN the last lecture I demonstrated to you that 
the system was continually wasted and renovated. 
Appetite is placed as a watchful sentinel to warn 
us when the stomach needs materials to supply, 
through the medium of the blood, the waste of the 
system. We have reason to believe that if men 
lived as they ought, they would have a natural and 
healthy appetite, and that they might with safety 
follow its dictates. But people have so long erred 
physically, mentally, and morally, that they can 
place little confidence in themselves. There is a 
very great degree of sympathy between the stomach 
and all other parts of the body. All the organs 
accompany the stomach in its departure from health, 
and the derangement of the other organs produces 
a corresponding derangement of the digestive func- 
tions. I recollect the case of a gentleman who had 
dyspepsia. At times he was tormented with dis- 
tressing pain in his head. The pain was intolerable. 
By bathing his head, literally plunging it in cold 
water, the pain would entirely leave his head, and 
then he had the most excruciating distress in his 


stomach. Thus he was continually agonized be- 
tween the two. If this man could have been made 
sensible that medicine could never reach his case, 
without a change of habits, what an amount of suf- 
fering he might have escaped. But people who 
have by wrong habits brought themselves into such 
a state, or one analogous to it, seldom think much 
of their habits. Indeed, they are often like spoiled 
children, they indulge themselves, and are indulged 
by their friends, more, because they are sick. If 
an abstemious course is recommended by a physi- 
cian, it is not always that his advice is followed. 
And too many physicians place too much confidence 
in a course of drugging, and very many, it is to be 
feared, give medicine more to satisfy the patient, 
than in accordance with their best judgment. Many 
people think if they are ill, they must take a great 
deal of medicine, and if they are very sick, they 
must take a very great deal of medicine. I once 
heard two ladies conversing about a certain physi- 
cian whose charges for medicine were considered 
high ; one remarked, " If I had to pay so much, I 
should want a good parcel of medicine." The cir- 
cumstance reminded me of an anecdote I heard of 
Prof. Smith, of New Haven. A certain man wished 
to buy an emetic. The doctor took out the usual 
quantity and charged the usual price, which was 
one dollar for advice and medicine, I believe. 


" What ! " said the man, " so little medicine for 
so much money. 1 want my money's worth, sir." 
The doctor shook a little more from the phial. 
Still it was not enough to satisfy the patient. He 
remarked again that " he wanted the worth of his 
money." The doctor shook pretty liberally this 
time, probably gave him as much as he dared give 
him. The man went away tolerably well satisfied 
with the quantity. The doctor requested him to 
call after the medicine had operated, and let him 
know how he felt. After a few days the poor man 
came, weak and haggard enough ; he was probably 
satisfied that the doctor had given him the worth of 
his money. 

The stomach is supplied with a profusion of ner- 
vous filaments, which form a kind of net work in 
its immediate neighborhood. The abundance of 
these nerves accounts for the severe and often 
fatal results of a blow on the pit of the stomach. 
A distinguished writer says, " the co-operation of 
the nervous system is necessary for the production 
of appetite," and there is a direct sympathy between 
the stomach and the rest of the body, " by means of 
which the stimulus of hunger becomes unusually 
urgent where the bodily waste has been great." 

We find in children a keen appetite, as they 
have to repair waste, and carry on growth at the 
same time ; consequently, a greater supply of nour- 


ishment is required by children, than grown people. 
But here a serious mistake may be committed pa- 
rents may think children need much, to repair waste 
and assist growth, and they indulge them with too 
great quantities, and with food of an improper qual- 

Another great error is committed, by people who 
have attained their growth, and whose occupations 
are sedentary, or who do not labor or exercise much, 
and consequently their waste is slight. These per- 
sons often indulge as much, and perhaps more in 
the pleasures of the table, than those whose occu- 
pations are laborious, or who use much active exer- 
cise. Dyspepsia is a necessary consequence of such 
a course. 

The remarks of a distinguished physician upon 
this subject are so much to the point, that I cannot 
forbear introducing a quotation from his work. H 
says, " There are numerous persons, especially in 
towns, and among females, who having their time 
and employments entirely at their own disposal, 
carefully avoid every thing that requires an effort of 
mind or body, and pass their lives in a state of in- 
action entirely incompatible with the healthy per- 
formance of the various animal functions. Having 
no bodily exertion to excite waste, promote circula- 
tion, or stimulate nutrition, they experience little 
keenness of appetite, have weak powers of diges- 


tion, and require but a limited supply of food. If, 
while inactive and expending little, such persons 
would be contented to follow nature, so far as not 
to provoke appetite by stimulants and cookery, and 
to eat and drink only in proportion to the wants of 
the system^ they would fare comparatively well. 
But having no imperative occupation, and no enjoy- 
ment from active and useful exertion, their time 
hangs heavily on their hands, and they are apt to 
have recourse to eating, as the only avenue to pleas- 
ure still open to them ; and, forgetful or ignorant of 
the relation subsisting between waste and nutrition, 
they endeavor to renew, in the present indulgence 
of appetite, the real enjoyment which its legitimate 
gratification afforded, under different circumstances. 
Pursuing the pleasures of the table, with the same 
ardor as before, they eat and drink freely and abun- 
dantly, and instead of trying to acquire a healthy 
desire for food, and increased powers of digestion, 
by exercise, they resort to tonics, spices, \\ine and 
other stimuli, which certainly excite for the mo- 
ment, but eventually aggravate the mischief. 

" The natural result of this mode of proceeding is, 
that the stomach becomes oppressed by excess of 
exertion, healthy appetite gives way, and morbid 
craving takes its place ; sickness, headache, and 
bilious attacks become frequent ; the bowels are 
habitually disordered, the feet cold, and the circula- 


tion irregular ; and a state of bodily weakness and 
mental irritability is induced, which constitutes a 
heavy penalty for the previous indulgence. 

" So far, however, is the true cause of all these 
phenomena from being perceived, even then, that a 
cure is sought, not in a better regulated diet and 
regimen, but from bitters to strengthen the stomach, 
laxations to carry off the redundant materials from 
the system, wine to overcome the sense of sinking, 
and heavy lunches to satisfy the morbid craving, 
which they only silence for a little." 

I have introduced this long quotation, contrary to 
my usual practice, because the language here used 
exactly expressed what I wished to present to 

I am astonished that a well educated physician 
can be other than a temperance man ; I use the 
term temperance here, not in its technical applica- 
tion, but in its broad sense, as applied to eating, as 
well as drinking. How astonishing it is, that people 
should overtask, stimulate, and jade their stomachs, 
till they are sick, and then resort to more stimulating 
food, condiments, and even wine and bitters, to 
create an artificial appetite, to enable them farther 
to abuse their already abused stomachs, and through 
these the whole system ? How many persons eat 
without a healthy appetite ! They have something 
to please the palate, and entice them to eat, when 


they need nothing so much as rest for their tired 
stomachs and assimilating organs. 

In my last lecture, you will recollect, I spoke 
particularly of the gastric fluid, and its agency in 
digesting our food. You are aware, that in order 
to have our food properly digested, it should be 
properly masticated. Professor Hitchcock says 
that a physician of distinction, whom he once con- 
sulted, said to him, " Have you ever thought for 
what purpose Providence gave you teeth ? " If all 
physicians should put the same question to dyspep- 
tic patients, they would do much good. The truth 
is, many people seem never to have thought why 
their teeth were given them. They do not use 
them properly, and they are soon taken from 

It is a fact that ought to be understood more 
generally than it is, that if any part of the system 
is not used, the use of that part or organ is taken 
from us. We have need of every organ we 
should not wantonly throw away any. When food 
is " bolted," as the saying is, a la boa constrictor, 
instead of being properly masticated and swallowed, 
two serious evils are produced. One is, the food is 
not divided finely, and the gastric juice cannot act 
upon food in masses, or it can only act upon the 
surface of the mass, and owing to the heat of the 
stomach, a very different process may be going on 


in the centre of the mass. Another evil is, proper 
insalivation of the food is prevented. The. saliva 
has a very important part to perform in the process 
of digestion. Those persons who lose the saliva, 
from whatever cause, experience much trouble in 
consequence of it. Those of you who are acquaint- 
ed with the manner in which linen is spun in many 
parts of our country, know the truth of this state- 
ment. Those who spin the linen, cannot wet it 
with their saliva but a short time, without rinding 
their health give way ; while those who wet their 
thread with water, experience no inconvenience. 
You are aware, that after the food is introduced 
into the stomach, it is converted, by the action of 
the stomach and the gastric fluid, into a pulpy, por- 
raceous mass, called chyme. It is highly important 
that chyme, from which the blood is made, should 
be good. But if food is eaten, which is wholly 
unfit for the human stomach, or if proper food be 
eaten in an improper manner, without attention to 
mastication, how can the chyme formed be good ? 
In order that chymification be properly performed, 
and good chyme be the result, we must eat proper 
food in a proper manner. We must not load the 
stomach with an excess of food more than the 
system needs to supply waste ; if we do, the gas- 
tric fluid will be exhausted, and all the horrors of 
dyspepsia will be upon us. 


When the chyme is formed, it is forced by the 
contractile power of the stomach into the duode- 
num. Duodenum is derived from duodenus, con- 
sisting of twelve ; because this first portion of the 
intestines is supposed to be about twelve inches long. 
It there meets with the bile from the liver, and also 
with the pancreatic juice, a fluid much resembling the 
saliva. This pancreatic juice comes from the pan- 
creas, or sweet bread. The name is derived from 
the Greek pas, all, and creas, flesh, it being a fleshy 
substance. The pancreas is a large gland that lies 
across the spine, a little below the stomach. 

The chyle is taken up by absorbents called lac- 
teals, and carried and mixed with the blood, and 
forms nutriment for the system. What is left is a 
yellowish mass, of more consistency, and is the 
indigestible or excrementitious remains of the food. 
This mass traverses the whole length of the intes- 
tinal canal, and is mixed with waste matter from 
the blood, &c., which is also thrown off through 
the same channel. 

It would give me great pleasure to tell you more 
of the process of digestion, and those organs partic- 
ularly concerned in it. But I cannot do this in so 
limited a course as this is. I can only tell you some 
facts, I can only glance at subjects as we glance 
at objects on a rail-road. I can take no leisurely 
surveys of the ground over which we pass. But it 
is better to learn something than nothing j and here- 


after we may have opportunity for more particular 
and scientific inquiry into these subjects. 

I would urge upon all those who wish accurate 
and extended knowledge on these subjects, to study 
Graham's " Lectures on the Science of Human 
Life," a work which no one should neglect to read, 
who wishes to know himself; a work which is 
probably greater, and destined to be of more use, 
than any uninspired work ever written. 

In structure, the intestines much resemble the 
stomach. They consist, like the stomach, of three 
coats, the outer, or peritoneal ; the middle, or 
muscular; and the internal mucous or villous, or 
velvetty coat. The peritoneal is a white, smooth, 
firm membrane. It serves as a support, a medium 
of attachment, to fix the intestines in their places. 
Its smooth moist surface admits readily of the mo- 
tion of the intestines, their gliding over each other, 
and their change of place, when we breathe, or 
when the stomach is distended. The motion com- 
municated to the intestines, when we breathe, facil- 
itates their action. You will recollect that muscles 
are the instruments of motion. The middle coat of 
the intestines, like that of the stomach, is composed 
of transverse and longitudinal fibres. By the alter- 
nate contraction of these two kinds of muscular 
fibres, the excrementitious matter in the intestines is 
propelled downward, and thus cast off. 

It is important that the food should consist of 


nutritious and innutritious matter. When thus duly 
balanced, the nutritious matter is separated and goes 
into the blood, and the innutritious matter passes off 
through the intestines, and keeps up the peristaltic 
or worm-like action or motion of the bowels. If 
there is no innutritious matter in the food, this mo- 
tion cannot be kept up in the intestines; and, you 
will remember, if an organ is not used, we lose the 
use of it ; and if there is nothing to keep up the 
action of the intestines, costiveness and disease are 
the sure results. Many take too nutritious food, 
and consequently the action of the bowels ceases. 
They resort to drastic medicine " physic," as they 
term it " to restore the action of the bowels." 
They do indeed stimulate the bowels to action. 
These substances, usually known by the name dras- 
tic or purgative medicines, are in fact poisonous. 
The system, by its various organs, goes to work 
immediately to expel them, when they are taken. 
By applying the term poisonous to such medicines, 
I do not wish you to understand that 1 consider 
them like arsenic or prussic acid but that they 
are poisonous, that they are inimical to the best in- 
terests of the system, is plain, by the labor that 
ensues for their expulsion, when taken into the sys- 
tem. We may need such medicines at times, per- 
haps. When something wrong is in the system, we 
can get it thrown off by introducing something that 


the system will expel, because the recent mischief 
and the prior one are thus expelled or thrown out 
of the system together. Great judgment is neces- 
sary, to enable an individual to determine when to 
take medicine. 

In common with the skin, the internal mucous 
or velvetty coat of the stomach has to perform two 
functions, that of excretion, or throwing out, and 
that of absorption, or taking in. It has a great num- 
ber of minute vessels on its surface, from the ex- 
tremities of which excretion takes place. By these 
vessels much of the waste matter that ought to be 
thrown out of the system, is removed. This waste 
matter is poured into the intestines, mixes with the 
excrementitious matter, and is thus cast out. 

Drastic or purgative medicines greatly excite 
the excretory vessels of the intestines. They secrete 
or excrete fluid with great rapidity, when these 
medicines are taken ; they excite the excretory 
vessels, and these vessels pour out fluid into the 
intestines, often in large quantities. Those who 
take purgatives, think that there must be much 
that needs to be " physicked off," as it is vulgarly 
termed, merely, from the fact, that the excretory 
vessels are excited to undue action, and thus rapidly 
secrete and pour forth fluids that did not before 
exist in the intestines. You will see at once, that 
when these vessels are thus unduly excited, much 


relaxation, want of tone, and often dryness, and 
inflammation will be likely to follow. The excre- 
tories cannot act to throw off waste matter, nor to 
secrete a lubricating fluid, to assist the intestines in 
keeping up the peristaltic action, even when the 
food has a sufficiency of innutritious matter. Much 
of that troublesome costiveness, that prevails amongst 
almost all classes, but particularly the sedentary, 
may be remedied by taking proper food, where nu- 
trition, and innutrition are properly balanced, and 
by attention to exercise. I think I have plainly 
shown that purgative medicines aggravate the evil. 

I by no means wish you to understand that these 
medicines are never necessary. But no one should 
take them without the best advice. This tamper- 
ing with medicines, purgative especially, is doing 
an amount of mischief hardly to be calculated. I 
have known an individual to take purgatives for in- 
flammation of the lungs. Many do not know where 
the stomach is situated. They merely know they 
have a stomach, and if there is distress any where 
in the cavity of the chest, they take it for grapted 
it is in the stomach, and forthwith take a dose of 

II physic." It is truly lamentable, and yet some- 
times laughable, to see the mistakes they make. 
Some medicines stimulate the mucous membrane 
of the intestines to such a degree, that they are as 
it were burned up. The spirituous liquors distilled 


from rye infected with the ergot, or " spurred rye," 
has this effect. A portion of the intestines of those 
who have died from drinking this double poison, 
have been found so acted upon by the poison, that 
they would crumble to ashes under the mere pres- 
sure of the finger of the dissector. 

The regular and due action of these excretory 
vessels should be kept up by taking food in which 
nutrition and innutrition are properly blended. 
Magendie found by experiment, that animals fed 
on substances purely nutritious, did not live much 
beyond forty days. If at the end of forty days 
their food was changed, and those substances given 
which contain nutritious and innutritious matter, it 
made no difference. Though they devoured the 
new food with greediness, still they fell off and 
soon died. 

We here see how Providence has adapted the 
food of man to the structure of man. But when 
we separate the purely nutritious parts of food from 
those parts the Creator has designed to be used 
with the nutrition, we do ourselves great injury. 
Magendie found that a dog fed at discretion on 
pure wheaten bread and water, does not live be- 
yond fifty days ; whilst one fed on the coarse mili- 
tary bread, seems in no respect to suffer. Animal 
oil, one of the most difficult substances in the world 
to digest, is eaten by the Greenlanders mixed with 


saw-dust, and by means of this purely innutritions 
matter, a quantity is assimmilated, we can hardly 
say digested, sufficient to sustain life; though it 
is indeed a miserable existence, that is thus sus- 
tained. In some parts of the world poultry are fed 
on charcoal and fat. They are thus fatted, ren- 
dered greasy, by the assimilation of oil. The char- 
coal enables them to live, by keeping up the action 
of the intestines, and the fat answers the purpose of 
nutrition. The appetite mankind have for grease, 
is truly astonishing. A substance so nearly taste- 
less, and that subjects us to so much distress, when 
taken into the stomach, one would suppose would 
be little used. 

The importance of the due admixture of nutri- 
tious and innutritious matter in our food, may be fur- 
ther demonstrated by an experiment of Magendie. 

" He fed a dog three years old, and in good con- 
dition, solely on pure white sugar and distilled 
water. For seven or eight days the animal ap- 
peared to thrive well, was lively, and ate and drank 
with avidity. In the second week he began to fall 
off, though his appetite continued good, and he ate 
six or eight ounces of sugar in twenty-four hours. 
The emaciation went on progressing as well as the 
loss of strength. He died on the thirty-second day 
from the commencement of the experiment." 

Other dogs were submitted to the same experi- 


ments, and with the same results. He tried also 
olive oil, and gum arabic, with similar results. 

A distinguished physician of Philadelphia after- 
ward fed dogs on sugar mixed with saw-dust, and 
they continued in good case. 

Another set of vessels are spread over the inter- 
nal or velvetty coat of the intestines. These are 
the lacteals or absorbents, that take up the chyle 
from the chyme. The chyle is carried in a direct 
line up the spine by the thoracic duct. It is 
emptied into the left subclavian vein, and is thence 
carried across to the right side of the heart. It is 
gradually introduced, and then it is carried into the 
lungs, and comes in contact with the air, and 
undergoes those changes essential to its vitality. 
Breathing is considered, and justly too, the com- 
pletion of the process of digestion. 

Proper food may be introduced into the stomach, 
at proper times, and digestion may go on regularly ; 
good chyme may be formed, and good chyle, but 
the chyle must come in contact with the air, or it 
cannot be made good blood. And if we have not 
good blood, the body cannot be properly nourished, 
the whole system will become diseased, and very 
soon digestion will be disturbed, and the whole 
machinery will go wrong. People commit a hun- 
dred mistakes, through ignorance of anatomy and 
physiology. I have explained to you the nature 


of the mistake people make when they take purga- 
tive medicines to throw off what the medicine in 
reality creates. A similar mistake is made with 
emetics. People take emetics to clear the stomach 
of bile that is not there, but which is thrown up 
from the gall bladder and duodenum, by the invert- 
ed action of the stomach and intestines. At first, 
the contents of the stomach are thrown up, but this 
does not satisfy the patients. They want to see the 
bile, that is not in the stomach, but which they 
think is there. It is true, at times there may be 
bile in the stomach, nauseating the sufferer, but 
probably in nine cases out of ten, it is brought into 
the stomach, and thrown up, by the action of the 

I have now shown you that digestion and assim- 
ilation take place in the stomach and intestines ; 
that neither the stomach or intestines are adapted 
to very concentrated aliment. Many people are 
troubled with costiveness, and habitually pay much 
for medicine, merely because their food is too nutri- 
tious. There is no waste or excrementitious mat- 
ter to keep up the peristaltic action of the bowels. 
There is, in fact, nothing to cast out of the system. 
All, or nearly all, is nutrition, and is consequently 
all absorbed. 

A lady may think she lives very simple, and in 
a manner conducive to health, when she lives on 


rice and milk, or flour bread and milk. But pre- 
sently she finds herself under the necessity, as she 
supposes, of taking aperient or purgative medicines 
to excite the action of the bowels. She supposes, 
in her ignorance, that much stuff is lodged in the 
bowels, because little has passed off. But the truth 
is, the rice, milk and flour bread are so purely nutri- 
tious, that they are nearly all absorbed, and there is 
next to nothing to cast off. Now if this person 
resorts to purgative medicines, they will excite the 
excretories to undue action ; disease, inflammation, 
and derangement of the internal organs, will be the 
inevitable consequence. Dreadful mistakes of this 
kind are committed every day. Oh, that a knowl- 
edge of physiology could be spread all over our 
beloved land, and that men and women might no 
longer be the dupes of quacks and impostors, and 
the slaves of ignorance 1 



IN my last lecture 1 explained the process of 
chymification and chylification. We now come to 
a consideration of that kind of aliment which is best 



suited to the constitution of man. Various opinions 
have been entertained and advanced, by different 
physiologists, with regard to what was intended as 
the food of man. Some consider that his organiza- 
tion indicates that he should feed on vegetables 
alone. Others consider that a mixed diet is indi- 
cated by his organization. We know life can be 
sustained on grain, fruits, or flesh. 

We have reason to believe, as I shall show here- 
after, that the health of flesh eaters is not as perfect 
as that of vegetable eaters, nor their lives as long. 
Still travellers in North or South America have been 
sustained in what they considered perfect health, 
exclusively on the flesh of wild animals. It should 
be remembered, however, that such flesh is not to 
be compared with the flesh of those animals which 
are diseased, corrupted and perverted by man. 

Some people seem to think that they may neglect 
their habits, and eat any thing and every thing, if 
they eat no flesh. " Why," say they, " I am very 
temperate. I live on the ' Graham system.' I 
don't eat any meat." It is vain, it is useless, and 
worse than useless, for people to leave animal food, 
and run into far greater abuses than the moderate 
use of plain, healthy flesh meat. It is true, I do 
not eat animal food ; but I am sure I might eat 
what would be much worse for me. And the 
excessive use of good vegetables, in many instances, 


does more injury than the moderate use of flesh 
would do. I am far from pleading for the use of 
animal food, by animal food I mean what has 
had life, but I would have people rational. I be- 
lieve, with that father in medicine, Dr. Cullen : 
" Vegetable aliment," says Cullen, "as never over- 
distending the vessels, or loading the system, never 
interrupts the stronger emotions of the mind ; while 
the heat, fulness, and weight of animal food is an 
enemy to its vigorous efforts." 

Again, he says, "I am firmly persuaded that any 
man, who early in life will enter upon the constant 
practice of bodily labor, and of abstinence from ani- 
mal food, will be preserved entirely from disease." 

I can bring quotation upon quotation from old 
and established writers on medicine and health, to 
prove that in their opinion vegetable diet was most 
conducive to health. 1 am not about to say man 
cannot live on this thing or that thing. We know 
man can live upon almost any thing; experience 
has abundantly demonstrated this fact. The poor 
inhabitant of the frozen regions can live, upon train 
oil and saw-dust : but this does not prove it is best 
for him. Our object is to become convinced what 
diet is best for us, what is most conducive to make 
us, physically, mentally and morally, what we should 
be. I know it is not admitted, or even thought of, 
by many good people, that diet has any effect upon 



the morals of a people. I once saw a paper that 
advocated the doctrine that the animal propensities 
were unduly stimulated by stimulating food, such as 
highly seasoned meats, Sic. " Away with such 
nonsense," said a good man, to whom I gave the 
paper. He would not even look at the sentiment, 
much less examine it, and condemn it afterward. 
From the concurrent testimony of the greatest med- 
ical writers, from the testimony of numerous indi- 
viduals who have made experiments to determine 
the effects of animal food, we are led to conclude, 
that animal food is more stimulating than vegetable ; 
that it increases vascular action ; and that it is, hence, 
very ill suited for people of consumptive habits. 
But it is not to be denied, that many of the ill effects 
attributed to animal food, are occasioned by the con- 
diments and oils used with it. Flesh is, I allow, 
more stimulating than vegetables, and 1 am satisfied 
that the animal propensities are much influenced by 
a stimulating diet. This sentiment may appear, to 
those who have not examined the subject, ultra. 
Dr. Cullen says, " it is animal food that especially 
predisposes to the plethoric and inflammatory state, 
and that food is therefore to be especially avoided." 
We may not conclude from this, that Dr. C. used 
no animal food ; but if honest in his sentiments, we 
must be led to conclude that he was sparing and 
temperate in its use. I know a physician of emi- 



nence in his profession, who for about twelve years 
almost entirely left the use of animal food. I heard 
him remark, " I have eaten very little flesh since I 
studied medicine." 

Dr. William Lambe, of London, a distinguished 
physician and scholar, a prominent member of the 
college of physicians, and author of several valuable 
works, is now about seventy-six years of age, and 
has lived upon vegetable food thirty-four years. 
The following quotations are from a work entitled 
" Additional Reports on the effects of a peculiar 
regimen in cases of cancer, scrofula, consumption, 
asthma, and other chronic diseases." " We see 
daily examples of young persons becoming con- 
sumptive, who never went without animal food a 
day of their lives. If the use of animal food were 
necessary to prevent consumption, we should expect 
where people lived almost exclusively upon such a 
diet, that the disease would be unknown. Now 
the Indian tribes visited by Hearne lived in this 
manner. They do not cultivate the earth. They 
subsist by hunting and the scanty produce of spon- 
taneous vegetation. But among these tribes con- 
sumption is common. Their diseases according to 
Hearne are fluxes, scurvy, and consumption." 

Dr. Lambe further says, " In the last four years 
several cases of glandular swellings have occurred 
to me, at the general dispensary, and I have made 


particular inquiries into the mode of living of such 
children. In the majority of cases they had animal 

" It seems certain that animal food, predisposes 
to disease. Timoric in his account of the plague 
at Constantinople asserts, that the Armenians, who 
live chiefly on vegetable food, were far less disposed 
to the disease, than other people. Contagions act 
with great virulence upon bodies prepared by a 
full diet of animal food." 

The same great man says further, " The use of 
animal food hurries on life with an unnatural and 
unhealthy rapidity. We arrive at puberty too 
soon, the passions are developed too early, in the 
male they acquire an impetuosity approaching to 
madness ; females become mothers too early ; and 
too frequently, and finally, the system becomes pre- 
maturely exhausted, and destroyed, and we become 
diseased and old, when we ought to be in middle 
life." Professor Lawrence, author of Lectures on 
Physiology, member of the Royal College of Sur- 
geons, London, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery 
to the college, and surgeon to several hospitals, has 
the following remarks respecting the indications 
afforded by our anatomical character, which are, 
as you will perceive, decisive in favor of vegetable 

" Physiologists have usually represented that our 


species holds a middle rank, in the masticatory and 
digestive apparatus, between the flesh eating and 
herbivorous animals, a statement which seems rather 
to have been deduced from what we have learned 
by experience on the subject than to result from an 
actual comparison between men and animals. The 
teeth and jaws of men are in all respects much 
more similar to those of monkeys, than any other 
animal. Thus we find that whether we consider 
the teeth, the jaws, or the immediate instruments of 
digestion, the human structure closely resembles 
that of the simiae, (monkey race,) all of which in 
their natural state are completely herbivorous." 

Many things are to be considered, if we would 
preserve health and life, beside diet. We should 
not neglect any thing which will preserve health 
and life. We have no right to throw away a par- 
ticle of either. If we can, by pursuing a particular 
course, have more of bodily and mental vigor, and 
have our passions more under our control, are we 
not bound to adopt this course ? That a course 
of temperance will secure us against many evils, I 
think none are prepared to deny. But the ques- 
tion is, what is temperance? I answer, what I 
consider temperance, is plain food, in moderate 
quantities. A person may be strictly temperate, 
and yet eat animal food. But no person can in 
my estimation be considered temperate who in- 


dulges in large quantities of animal food, with the 
usual accompaniments of such food. It is surely a 
much greater waste of life to take animal than 
vegetable food, because animal food is more exci- 
ting, more stimulating; it increases vascular action. 
A temporary fever is the consequence of a full meal 
of flesh, what the old medical writers used to 
call the fever of digestion. They were accustomed 
to see people who ate meat have this state of fever, 
and as probably all ate meat who came under their 
notice, they concluded that this fever of digestion, 
as they called it, was a natural state. But those 
who live on vegetable food have none of this " fever 
of digestion." I have tried both methods, and know 
what it is to be thirsty, and feverish, after my meals 
of flesh, and other stimulating and healing food, and 
I know what it is not to be thirsty, and not to take 
fluid, or even think of taking it, for weeks, except 
the fruits that I ate with my meals, and a cup of 
milk, perhaps, with two of my meals in the day. 
Now this stimulating diet makes the vital current 
hurry on its course, and there is a waste of life in 
proportion to this excess of action. Whatever in- 
creases vascular action, in other words the circula- 
tion of the blood, wears out the vital powers, faster 
than they would otherwise wear out. The manner 
in which stimulating food, condiments, &c., wear 
out our vital powers, is very analogous to the effect 


of ardent spirits, only it is a more gradual work, 
The aromatic condiments stimulate the stomach 
and digestive organs, and they furnish a temporary 
assistance to digestion, just as wine or brandy may 
do this ; but it is at a great expense to the stomach, 
and, through the stomach, to the rest of the system ; 
for the connection and sympathy is very intimate 
between the stomach and all parts of the system, 
as all parts derive their nourishment from the stomach. 
All these stimuli, whether condiments or ardent 
spirits, prematurely wear out the powers of the 
system, and the individual who uses them dies be- 
fore the time. If any live to old age, who use them, 
it dees not prove that they are useful ; it only proves 
that " mankind are tough," and will live long, in 
spite of abuses. If they can live so long with such 
abuses, how long might they live, were their habits 
what they should be ? 

Speaking of condiments, Professor Hitchcock 
says, those who do not use them, " will not expe- 
rience that temporary glow and excitement of one 
whose system is braced up by a tonic diet, but he 
will enjoy comfort and serenity of mind, long after 
the other is in his grave." 

The same writer, speaking of milk diet, says, 
" A diet chiefly of milk produces a most happy 
serenity, vigor and cheerfulness of mind, very differ- 
ent from the gloomy, crabbed and irritable temper 


and foggy intellect of the man who devours flesh, 
fish and fowl, with ravenous appetite, and adds pud- 
ding, pies and cakes to the load." 

I agree with this truly great man, with respect to 
milk, where the habit of the individual is such that 
milk agrees with him or her. Those who have a 
tendency to fat, will do well to abstain from milk, 
and those who take milk, should take it in small 
quantities. People err much, by thinking milk light 
food, and taking too much at a time. They thus 
overload the stomach, and produce headache and 
other evils, which might be avoided by taking a small 
quantity. Another error to be guarded against is, 
eating fine bread with milk. There is hardly any 
innutritious matter in fine bread and milk ; and, as 
I have already told you, the nutriment is conveyed 
into the blood, and there is no innutritious matter to 
keep up the peristaltic action of the intestines ; and 
where the diet is wholly of fine bread and milk, 
costiveness, and often inflammation and serious dis- 
ease are the consequence. 

If such bland and apparently innocuous food as 
flour bread and milk, will produce such results, 
what are we to think will be the effect of the various 
kinds of high seasoned food, taken hot ? We are 
to remember that the stomach is lined with an ex- 
ceedingly delicate membrane, and that this mem- 
brane is continued through the intestines. In post 


mortem examinations, this membrane is found dis- 
eased, covered with eruptions of various kinds. 

Animal food is of itself very stimulating; but 
this is a slight evil, compared with the compounds 
that are taken into the stomach. The basis may 
be flesh ; it may be healthy, it may be diseased ; 
but of all the flesh brought into the market, \ve may 
safely conclude that but a small portion is healthy. 
In speaking of what enters the stomach, we will 
begin with the flesh ; then there is red and black 
pepper, mustard, horse-radish, catsup, vinegar, 
pickles, peppers, and pepper-sauce. At times spirits 
are taken with such a dinner; but we will leave 
them out, as we have reason to hope that remarks 
on spirits will touch no one who reads these lectures. 
But hot coffee is taken, so hot that it would scald, 
almost, the external skin. Here is this mixture, 
lying in contact with the delicate lining membrane 
of the stomach, at a high temperature ! What must 
be the inevitable consequence ? for fever is im- 
mediately induced by such a meal. 

If people doubt that these mixtures would produce 
a blister, applied to the external skin, just let them 
try it. Perhaps some of you have tried mustard 
or pepper, in case of ague or toothache. Such will 
not need to try it again. And I can assure you, 
that the mucous membrane of the stomach is far 
more delicate and tender than the external skin. 


What then must be the situation of the stomach ? 
Can it be healthy ? No it cannot. We are not 
left without proof positive on this subject. Post 
mortem examinations reveal tremendous facts, and 
show, that in cases where people called themselves 
well, there was internal disease disease of the mu- 
cous membrane of the stomach and intestines, 
which must have been of long standing. The 
stomach of Alexis St. Martin presented proof posi- 
tive of the hurtful effects of food in common use. 
After dining on oysters, the internal membrane of 
the stomach was found to have ulcerated patches, 
and other diseased appearances presented them- 
selves. After eating broiled veal, fried sausages, 
&c., (very common articles of food, and by many 
not even suspected to be unhealthy,) St. M.'s 
stomach presented diseased appearances of a for- 
midable character. But he complained of no sense 
of pain, symptoms of indisposition, or even of im- 
paired appetite, when the mucous membrane of the 
stomach was inflamed, ulcerated, and even bleeding. 
The following is an extract from Dr. Beaumont 
on gastric fluid : " August 3d, inner membrane 
of the stomach unusually morbid. The erythema- 
tous (inflammatory) appearance more extensive, and 
spots more livid than usual, from the surface of 
which exuded small drops of grumous blood ; the 
aphthous (ulcerated) patches, larger and more nu- 


merous, the mucous covering thicker than common, 
and the gastric secretions much more vitiated. The 
gastric fluids extracted at this time, were mixed with 
a large proportion of thick, ropy mucus, and consid- 
erable muco-purulent matter, slightly tinged with 
blood, resembling the discharge from the bowels, in 
some cases of chronic dysentery." 

Notwithstanding all these diseased appearances, 
St. M. complained of little distress. To be sure, 
he bad an uneasy sensation and tenderness, at 
the pit of the stomach ; he had some dizziness 
and dimness of vision, when he stooped and rose 

Now how many would call themselves well, when 
they had such troubles as these ? St. M.'s course, 
to produce these diseased appearances, had been 
precisely similar to the course of a great many who 
do not dream that they are doing any thing wrong. 
True, they have ill turns, but then they are " sub- 
ject to ill turns" So they tell us, and many seem 
to have no idea that by pursuing a different course, 
they might get rid of this slavish subjection. 
When I hear people say, " I have a dreadful sick 
headache, once a week, or once a month," as the 
case may be ; ' and I don't expect to get rid of it, 
all our family were subject to sick headache," I 
think she who complains, and " all her family," 
were wrong in their habits. Let one who has sick 


head-ache take a moderate quantity of plain food 
in the morning, say a slice of good bread, not made 
of fine flour, an apple, a pear, or any good fruit. 
If milk agree with her habit, let her take a small 
cup of milk, or she may take some gruel, or rice 
broth made without flesh, if she must have fluid 
to supply the place of coffee, which by the way 
does more to produce headache than almost any 
one thing. 

Let this sufferer take such a breakfast at six or 
seven o'clock, (six is the best hour for summer, and 
seven for winter,) and let her take nothing except 
good cold water into her stomach till noon ; then let 
her take a plain dinner. She may eat boiled vege- 
tables, peas or beans, but she must not eat " pork " 
with these vegetables, for the oil is so difficult of 
digestion, that she will surely find herself in trouble 
if she does. There are many forms of plain food ; 
there is an almost endless variety, instead of the 
starvation which many imagine, where no animal 
food and no oil is taken. Good bread is the main 
article, then boiled vegetables, peas, beans, rice, 
rice pudding, sago, tapioca, and fruits, baked, and 
cooked in other ways. O, the world is full of good 
things, without eating the dead ! Let the sufferer 
from periodical headache, or indeed from any ache, 
make a selection from these good things, and not 
take too much variety, be guarded on this point, and 


leave tea and coffee, take her meals at regular inter- 
vals, about six hours apart, and take no luncheons. 
Let her take exercise enough, and not too much, 
let her retire to bed at nine or ten, and rise at four, 
five, or six ; five is the best for most people, six will 
do, and four for those who can receive it ; let 
her bathe the whole surface of the body daily, either 
in warm or cold water, and rub the skin dry with 
a hard crash towel ; let her regularly do this, and 
she may expect improved health, if there is any 
vital energy left to improve. Let mothers pursue 
this course with themselves, and with their chil- 
dren, with this variation ; children have to support 
the continual waste of the system, and growth 
also, and they must have food oftener than those 
who have got their growth. But a great mistake 
is committed by giving children food too often. 
Small children should have a lunch, midway be- 
tween their meals, forenoon and afternoon, and at 
no other time ; larger children should have a lunch 
only in the forenoon. It is an error to feed children, 
and put them directly to bed. How many poor 
children are fed with, or allowed to eat, hot fine 
flour bread and butler, mince pie, or some other 
rich pie, and rich cake, and then put to bed ; and 
they are blamed for being " cross," as it is called, 
after being allowed to eat such improper food. 
The mother knows the child is sick often, and rest- 


less and uneasy nearly all the time. But she 
makes no alteration in its food, or in her manage- 
ment of it. She may have lost several children at 
two or three years of age, but she seems to think it 
was a special dispensation of Providence, and not 
in the least to be set to the account of her manage- 
ment of her child. She does not reflect that her 
rooms were perhaps improperly aired, and that bad 
air did its part toward diseasing her infant. She 
does not know that it is of the highest importance, 
in order that the functions of the skin be properly 
performed, that her child should be bathed daily. 
She does not know that very often diarrhoeas are 
produced to carry off waste and hurtful particles 
from the body, that ought to be thrown off through 
the pores of the skin. She is frightened at the 
diarrhoea, and gives the poor infant some astringent, 
or supposed astringent, to stop it, perhaps boiled 
milk, or flour boiled in milk. You know how this 
operates ; as there is no innutritions matter in the 
flour and milk, there is little to pass off through the 
intestines. But perhaps the poor child does not 
get off so easily. It must be subjected to a course 
of domestic practice. It must take tincture of rhu- 
barb, or some quack medicine, and if the mother 
is bold enough, even calomel. I have known a 
mother give her infant calomel, dose after dose. 
O ! that some one could speak on this subject, with 


a voice that might be heard from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific ! O ! that mothers could be taught, 
not two or three hundred, but thousands and tens 
of thousands, to let deadly mixtures alone, to sub- 
stitute a warm bath for a dose of poison. When 
children are thus disordered, often nothing is neces- 
sary, but a rational course with respect to food, 
bathing, clothing, and air. 

I would not have you understand that I think 
medicine always unnecessary, even though I con- 
sider it poisonous. But if children must be so man- 
aged, or rather mismanaged, as to be sick, let the 
parents have the best advice. Let there be no 
resort to regular or irregular quackery. That mother 
who gives her child a dose of quack medicine, or 
opium, or paregoric, or " Godfrey's cordial," or any 
of any of the numerous deadly mixtures now in the 
market, goes far toward putting a knife to its throat ; 
and often the consequence is more to be lamented, 
as the poor little sufferer lingers along and suffers 
almost a thousand deaths. 

The premature developement of the passions, 
under a stimulating diet, is well worthy our serious 
consideration. I know there are many good people 
who are not prepared to think eating and drinking 
have any thing to do with licentiousness. Though 
I shall follow out this subject hereafter, I must 
glance at it now. The day has gone by, in which 


it is necessary to prove that ardent spirits, even in 
small quantities, degrade and sensualize. But many 
take as hurtful injesta as ardent spirits. We can 
look at this subject, I mean the sensualizing 
effects of rich, stimulating food. It will do no harm 
to examine ; " truth and oil will come uppermost ! " 
"Prove all things, and hold fast that which is 

I once read, in a medical work, of a young tiger 
who was reared in a family, and was perfectly 
gentle whilst he was kept on vegetable food. His 
master was taken ill, and bled. After being bled, 
he slept, and his arm bled again, by a displacement 
of the bandage. The tiger was on the bed with 
his master, and licked the blood from his arm ; he 
became furious immediately. No measures could 
tame him, and they were obliged to shoot him. 

The following is the testimony of Dr. Dick, 
author of the " Philosophy of Religion," and sev- 
eral other works deservedly popular : " To take 
the life of any sensitive being, and to feed on its 
flesh, appears incompatible with a state of inno- 
cence, and therefore no such grant was given to 
Adam in Paradise, nor to the antediluvians. It 
appears to have been a grant suited only to the 
degraded state of man after the deluge, and it is 
probable that as he advances in the scale of moral 
perfection, in the future ages of the world, the use 


of animal food will be gradually laid aside, and he 
will return again to the productions of the vegetable 
kingdom, as the original food of man ; as that which 
is best suited to the rank of rational and moral intel- 
ligence. And perhaps it may have an influence, 
in combination with other favorable circumstances, 
in promoting health and longevity." 



1 HAVE spoken, in a former lecture, of the injurious 
effects of grease, of any oily substance or compound, 
when taken into the stomach. The more I study, 
the more I observe, the more satisfied I am that 
grease or oil, in whatever form it may be taken, is 
one of the most powerful agents in producing cuta- 
neous eruptions, and what are termed " humors." 
Understand me, I do not think this one article alone 
produces all the humors and cutaneous eruptions, 
but that it exerts a powerful influence in producing 
them. Abernethy says, " The great cause of all 
variations in the skin is to be met with in the diges- 
tive organs." 

Some time since I gave advice in the case of a 


child, who was a most loathsome spectacle, having 
been " afflicted with a humor," as its parents said, 
from about the time it began to feed freely. One 
eye seemed nearly destroyed, and, on the whole, I 
hardly ever saw a more pitiable object. " What is 
the child's food ? " I asked immediately. It is 
worthy of note, that people almost universally know 
that grease, butter, &tc., are bad for what are termed 
" humors." The mother replied, " My child craves 
every thing she ought not to eat, and the doctor did 
not tell us to make any difference in the child's 
diet." The fact was, the child was very sick, 
most of the time ; it was, of course, indulged in 
what was improper for it, what was killing it, 
merely because it was ill, or because it was being 
killed. " The doctor " was drugging the child, 
without paying any attention to its habits. The 
parents had spent almost every thing they possessed 
on physicians, and the child was nothing benefitted, 
but rather grew worse. I confess I had little con- 
fidence that any thing could save the pitiable object 
before me. Poor little suffering innocent my 
heart ached for it. I gave the mother some ad- 
vice ; the most important part of which was, to 
bathe the whole surface of the child's body in warm 
water thoroughly every day, and to exclude oils of 
every kind from its food. The consequence was, 
that in less than three months the child was nearly 


well, and I presume that in a few months more 
it became perfectly well, if they continued to fol- 
low the directions. By pursuing a simple and 
rational course like this, how many thousands might 
be saved every year, that are now paid for regular 
and irregular quackery. 

Let no one for a moment suppose that I denounce 
the regular and rational practice of medicine. Far 
from it. I honor the regular and rational profession. 
I respect, I revere, I prize most highly, those truly 
scientific and noble minded men who are an orna- 
ment to the profession. But quackery I detest, 
let it be found where it may, either in the medical 
profession, or out of it. This dosing continually 
with medicine, to please a patient, or line the pock- 
ets of a practitioner, deserves the severest reproba- 
tion. Medicine is a necessary evil. 1 have much 
confidence in medicine, judiciously administered. 
But 1 have learned enough of the wonderful mechan- 
ism of " the house I live in " to dread, worse than 
disease, the unskilful use of medicine. It is indeed 
" playing with edge tools," to give medicines at 
random. People take Brandreth's pills, and other 
quack medicines, at hap-hazard, for whatever diffi- 
culty they may have. It may be disorder of the 
heart, or inflammation of the lungs, or the stomach 
may have been overworked, till it refuses to work 
longer. No matter what may be the trouble, down 


goes a dose of Brandreth's pills, or Indian Purgative, 
or whatever happens to be in fashion. A few years 
since the " celebrated Hygeian " pills were curing 
every thing; at least so said its unprincipled or 
ignorant advertisers. Now Brandreth's pills, or 
Indian Purgative, and lastly, if I have kept the track 
rightly, of which, by the way, I am by no means 
sure, lastly, comes the " Tomcttinc" a new con- 
trivance to gull people out of money and probably 
health,* for 1 have no belief that the inventors of 
the " tomatine " will content themselves with as 
harmless articles as tomatoes, or seed cucumbers, of 
which to manufacture quack pills, or drops, as the 
case may be. 

But many are determined to be gulled and im- 
posed upon. They must have medicine of some 
kind, and unless the physician is inflexible, they 
will have it. If the physician will not dose them 
sufficiently, they will make up the difference by 
taking quack medicines. Thus physicians often 
feel obliged to keep up the delusion by giving some 
harmless article called medicine, to keep the patient 
from taking some deadly mixture. But knowledge 
cannot advance in this way. To give such harm- 

* Since this was written, quack doctors and nostrum makers have 
' by no means rested from their labors. They have rather " doubled 
their diligence." If any one wishes for a medicine which will infal- 
libly cure every ill which flesh is heir to, he has only to take up the 
nearest paper, and he will assuredly find it advertised. 



less articles, is acknowledging ihe principle that 
medicine is necessary, when it is not necessary. 
This mode of procedure may save a life now and 
then, for a little while, but it is fastening down the 
veil of ignorance, and will eventually produce much 
evil. It is better, far better, to enlighten, even 
though it can be done but slowly. Let people de- 
stroy themselves if they will with medicines, but let 
not physicians aid them in the work of death. A 
physician may do as Professor Muzzey did, give a 
good lady pills made of brown bread, because she 
was determined to have medicine. I am not about 
to say Prof. M. did wrong, for after the lady had 
recovered, and was praising his pills, he told her 
what they were made of. 

A physician of my acquaintance, whose mother 
was obliged always to take calomel pills, at a cer- 
tain season of the year, substituted bread pills, and 
his mother assured him they had a very powerful 
effect, and relieved her immediately. 

But circumstances might prevent a physician 
froai telling a patient of the imposition, and they 
might want, or think they wanted more pills, and 
they would not often be able to get those that were 
as harmless as Prof. M.'s. After all, "honesty is 
the best policy," and if a patient needs advice, let 
him have it ; if he needs medicine, let him have it. 
But let him be sure he needs it. Let him be sure 


all is right with his habits. A skilful physician may 
do all that can be done, and a patient may undo, 
faster than the physician can do, by improper habits. 
In a medical work of much value, I find the 
following : " Errors in diet are the great source of 
disease ; amendment of diet is the great basis of 
recovery. Medicines may relieve or suspend the 
majority of diseases, but medicines can never cure, 
without the aid of regimen." And Abernethy says, 
" I say it is horribly absurd, and I have no patience 
to hear and see what I do, as if medicine could 
cure a disease. They are the means which we 
employ to correct faulty action in the various func- 
tions of the body." Now what are we to think of 
those empirics, who pay no attention to the hab- 
its of those to whom they sell medicine. " O ! " 
say they, "you may eat and drink what you please, 
if you will take the medicine. We lay no restric- 
tion with regard to diet." And many would rather 
give hundreds of dollars, than deny themselves their 
favorite indulgences. The effect of grease, of oil of 
every kind, upon the stomach and system, are very 
far from being understood. There is no question 
but some oil is digested, especially in cold climates, 
by aid of the bile, by being made with the bile into 
a kind of soap ; but all medical and physiological 
testimony shows that it is very difficult of digestion, 
even after being mixed with the bile. When di 


gested, it is by an unnatural and unhealthy process. 
What is not carried through this kind of difficult 
and unhealthy digestion, is left to fester in the sys- 
tem. Often the organs carry it as far as the sur- 
face, and it there forms the basis of a cutaneous 
eruption. If there is not strength enough in the 
system to carry it thus far, we have assurance of 
some internal difficulty, eruption, or trouble of some 
kind. Many people seem to have no idea, that 
they lay themselves open to disease, and invite it, 
by a rich, stimulating and oily diet. If the small 
pox were at their doors, and they had never been 
vaccinated, they would feel the necessity of using 
plain, wholesome food. They would not dare load 
and irritate the system with oils, salt, &tc. Yet 
they seem wholly unconscious, that a regimen that 
will enable them to pass with safety through small 
pox, will enable them to pass with safety through 
any other disease, or to resist its attacks altogether. 
Yet this is the fact. All the disorders incident to 
childhood have been divested of their terrors to my 
child, merely because she has been reared in a 
degree of temperance. I say a degree, for her 
habits have been far from right. It is a sad thing 
to have friends, sometimes, especially when they 
influence us or our children to do wrong. 

I have seen a child struck down, as it were, in a 
moment, with scarlet fever, with a lunch of rich 


cake in its hand. The child had been reared on 
rich, stimulating food. That fever might be de- 
scribed in one word. It was death. Whilst another 
child, who had been kept in a good degree of tem- 
perance, and bathed occasionally, was violently 
seized with this same fever, and by rational treat- 
ment passed with safety through it, never refraining 
entirely from play on any day of its illness, and only 
remaining five days in the house. 

In many cases of scarlet fever, all that seems 
necessary is abstinence from food, pure air, cleanli- 
ness, and bathing with cold water, when the heat 
is great, and with warm water when the patient is 

I know some children, who have not been reared 
in temperance, may pass with safety through this 
and similar disorders ; but the chances are greatly 
against them, and their getting through with safety 
does not prove that temperance is of no value. It 
merely proves that the child is tough. Some years 
since the small pox raged in the north part of Ver- 
mont and Canada. Many families were inoculated 
with it. All who did not have the disorder the 
natural way, were inoculated. I passed some time 
there, some years after this. Those whose families 
were inoculated lived very temperately and ration- 
ally, for a time before they were inoculated. They 
said the disorder was stripped of all its terrors by 


this course, and they dreaded it no more than mea- 
sles, and they would as willingly have their families 
pass through it, as through measles. Yet they 
never seemed to think for a moment that refraining 
from salt, grease, fee., would give them a similar 
immunity in measles and other disorders, or save 
them entirely from many diseases. If by temporary 
abstinence from rich food people can gain such 
advantages, what may they gain by temperance 
for years, joined with perfect cleanliness ? Bathing 
the whole surface of the body, thus keeping up the 
action of the skin, and enabling it to throw off waste 
and hurtful particles, that would otherwise fester in 
the system, and cause disease, though of such im- 
mense importance, was not thought of by those who 
adopted a course of temperance in order to pass 
through the small pox with safety. 

I have known several individuals who had small 
pox after living on the Graham system for a few 
years, and they did not suffer nearly as much as in 
ordinary cases of measles. Some were not confined 
to the house on any day of their illness. 

It is singular that people will not reason, and 
and conclude rationally, with such facts before them. 
Because stimulating food excites, and gives present 
power, they conclude that it gives strength. They 
cannot see the analogy between stimulating food 
and stimulating drink. They think that animal 


food gives more strength than vegetable food because 
it excites more, and quickens the circulation, thus 
hurrying on the vital current, and wearing out, by 
this undue excitement and stimulation, as surely as 
ardent spirits, though not so rapidly. " O ! " say 
the defenders of this course of living, " our grand- 
fathers lived in this manner, and they enjoyed good 
health, and lived till they were sixty or seventy 
years of age." Very true, they might have enjoyed 
a good degree of health, though their grand-children 
may not know at this day exactly how many " aches 
and pains " they had. But the question is, not how 
long did they live, or how much health did they 
enjoy ; but how long might they have lived, and 
how much health might they have enjoyed, had 
their habits been exactly right ; and how much vigor 
might we have inherited from them that we do not 
now possess. Besides, their habits were really much 
better than the habits of their children's children. 
They were active ; they did not turn night into 
day ; nor did they take tobacco from infancy, as it 
were, as many do now. A child of seven years 
may now be found telling how sick it made him 
when he first began to smoke. So did not our 

But the question is not, what may we eat and 
live ? but what is best for us, physically, mentally, 
and morally ? The physical argument is powerful 


to my mind. A vegetable aliment, I am satisfied 
from experience, from observation, from the testi- 
mony of the great and good in different ages, is far 
better suited to sustain man in health, and enable 
him to be fully what he was intended, than animal 
food or a mixed diet. 

"Those Brahmins who abstain most scrupulously 
from the flesh of animals attain to the greatest lon- 
gevity." Dr. Lambe says, " Life is prolonged, in 
incurable diseases, about one tenth, by vegetable 
diet." He farther says, " It affords no trifling 
ground of suspicion against animal food that it so 
obviously inclines us to corpulency. Corpulency 
itself is a species of disease, and a still surer harbin- 
ger of other diseases. It is so even in animals. 
When a sheep has become fat, the butcher knows 
it must be killed, or it will rot and decline. It is 
rare indeed for the corpulent to be long lived. They 
are at the same time sleepy, lethargic, and short- 
breathed. Even Hippocrates, (that father of medi- 
cine,) says those who are uncommonly fat, die more 
quickly than the lean." 

Dr. Lambe farther says : " I have observed no 
ill consequences from the relinquishment of animal 
food. The apprehended danger of the change, 
with which men scare themselves and their neigh- 
bors, is a mere phantom of the imagination. The 
danger, in truth, lies wholly on the other side." Be 


it remembered, Dr. L. had lived thirty-one years 
on vegetable diet, when he wrote this. 

The Bible Christians of Philadelphia have lived 
many years, some of them between thirty and 
forty years, upon a vegetable diet. They have 
reared families of children, who have now families 
in their turn, and neither children or grandchildren 
have ever tasted flesh, fish or fowl. With the ex- 
ception of abstinence from animal food and intoxi- 
cating drinks, their habits are no better than those 
around them ; yet they have an ordinary share of 
health, and I never heard of a case of scrofula 
amongst them ; yet many believe that scrofula is a 
result of a vegetable diet. 

" Socrates, Plato, Zeno, Epicurus, and others of 
the masters of ancient wisdom, adhered to the 
Pythagorean diet, (vegetable diet,) and are known 
to have arrived at old age with uninterrupted 

It has been truly said, by one far wiser than I 
am, that " that animal food is unfavorable to the 
intellectual powers." I know many people have 
much intellectual power, who use animal food. 
This does not prove that they would not have more, 
if they used only vegetable aliment. All the senses 
are improved by vegetable diet. 

But most especially should the consumptive ab- 
stain from animal food. The heat, the increase of 


vascular action, induced by animal food, makes it 
very improper that such persons should take it. 

Milk and vegetables are most proper for the con- 
sumptive, even if they were proper for no one else. 

But to consider animal food in its influence on 
the mind. The mind sympathizes with the body. 
Whatever clogs and impedes proper action in the 
system ; whatever raises an undue excitement, and 
sends a vitiated fluid careering through our veins, 
or brings on congestion in the brain, or elsewhere, 
injures the operations of the mind. It cannot be 
otherwise. The sympathy between body and mind 
is very great, and must be, so long as they are 
united. We cannot abuse or neglect the one, with- 
out neglecting or abusing the other. 

But the moral part of our argument lies still nearer 
my heart. And here I would remark, that it is not 
against a small quantity of lean, healthy flesh, taken 
once a day, that 1 bring my argument. It is against 
a flesh diet, with all its stimulating accompaniments, 
such as spices, pepper, heating condiments of every 
kind, fat meats, oil, butter, Sic. This kind of diet 
induces disease. It hurries on life with an unnatu- 
ral speed. It produces a premature developement 
of the passions ; and where they are already devel- 
oped, urges continually to their gratification. Thus 
are men and women unduly stimulated, and conse- 
quently worn out, long before the time. 


In order to indulge in animal food, man must take 
life, unless he does like the Abyssinian, cut out a 
junk from the living animal, and eat it all quivering 
with life. But we kill animals before we eat them. 
Has not this practice a direct tendency to blunt the 
finer feelings of our natures ? What lady would 
kill a lamb, a calf, or a fowl, for the sake of its 
flesh ? Few, I apprehend, would do this, unless in 
a case of stern necessity, and then, surely, we should 
be justified both in killing and eating animals. 

Sir Everard Home, a distinguished philosopher 
and medical man, has the following: "In the 
history of man in the Bible, we are told that do- 
minion, over the animal world was bestowed upon 
him at his creation ; but the divine permission to 
indulge in animal food was not given until after the 
flood. While mankind remained in a state of inno- 
cence, there is ground for belief that their only food 
was the produce of the vegetable kingdom." 

I cannot forbear quoting a sentence from Plautus, 
a distinguished Roman writer, who flourished about 
two thousand years ago: "That man is not by 
nature destined to devour animal food, is evident 
from the constitution of the human frame, which 
bears no resemblance to wild beasts or birds of 
prey. Man is not provided with claws, or talons, 
with sharpness of fang, or tusk, so well adapted to 
tear and lacerate." 


Plutarch, the beauty of whose writings has charm- 
ed and even enraptured so many thousands, says : 
" It is best to accustom ourselves to eat no meat at 
all ; for the earth affords plenty enough of things 
not only fit for nourishment, but for enjoyment and 
delight, some of which may be eaten without 
much preparation, and others may be made pleas- 
ant by adding divers other things to them. 

" You ask me," continues Plutarch, " for what 
reason Pythagoras abstained from eating the flesh 
of brutes. For my part I am astonished to think, 
on the contrary, what appetite first induced man to 
taste of a dead carcass." 

I am free to admit that man has a perfect right 
to eat flesh, if he cannot get better food. Nor do 
I half as much object to healthy flesh, as to the 
manner in which it is cooked. But I want to be 
sure the flesh is healthy. If I must eat a piece of 
a dead animal, I want one that has not a pint of 
corruption in its liver, scattered about in some half 
dozen or dozen ulcers. I have myself seen an ani- 
mal killed, that was supposed to be in health, and 
its liver was studded with ulcers of various sizes, 
filled with corruption. A lady whose husband was 
in the habit of eating broiled liver, told me he often 
bought those that were filled with ulcers. The flesh 
of the animal had not these marks of disease, but it 
was just as much diseased. And think ye all the 


cookery in the world could tame such an abomina- 
ble mass, and make it healthful food ? It is dis- 
eased, and however stuffed, spiced, peppered, or 
buttered, it is still the same loathsome lump. 

Professor Hitchcock gives numerous instances of 
the effects of temperance in lengthening life. " Old 
Parr," says Prof. H., " who died at the age of one 
hundred and fifty-three years, was a farmer of ex- 
tremely abstemious habits ; his diet being solely 
milk, cheese, coarse bread, small beer, and whey. 
How much longer than one hundred and fifty-three 
years he might have lived, we are not able to tell. 
His physicians testified, after his dissection, that he 
died in consequence of a change from a parsimoni- 
ous to a plentiful diet." Lord Kaimes says, " The 
island of Otaheite is healthy ; the people tall and 
well made ; and by temperance, vegetables and 
fish being their chief nourishment, they live to a 
good old age. In many places, Indian corn is the 
chief nourishment." He says, also, that decayed 
teeth are unknown amongst them. 

Fresh fish is comparatively good food ; those 
kinds that are not oily or poisonous, may be eaten 
with safety. Still the objection against taking life 
to support life, when we have such abundance of 
good vegetables, comes in here. Fish are not fat- 
tened and diseased by man, before they are eaten. 
Hence they are much safer food. 


People may think they can eat the flesh and 
milk of diseased animals with impunity ; but they 
labor under a great mistake. Sir R. Phillips says 
that in 1599, the Venetian government, to stop a 
fatal disease among the people, prohibited the sale 
of meat, butter, or cheese, on pain of death. 

Who has not heard of the milk sickness of our 
own country, and the dreadful sufferings that result 
from taking the flesh or milk of those animals affect- 
ed with the poison that causes the milk sickness ? 

The habit of taking much salt with our food is 
very injurious. There is much prejudice through- 
out community in favor of salt. People have been 
taught to believe that they could not eat too much 
salt. But salt is a source of mischief, when much 
is taken, and we have abundant evidence that per- 
sons can abstain from its use with perfect safety, if 
not with benefit. Salt produces a feverish state, 
often causes strangury, and, without a shadow of 
doubt, aggravates cutaneous eruptions. 

Those who are not prepared to admit that salt is 
detrimental, would do well to look at scurvy, and 
see if they cannot admit, whilst contemplating this 
disease, that salt can be injurious. Salt produces 
thirst. A tax is thus laid upon the absorbent sys- 
tem, to carry off fluid that we should not need were 
it not for the salt. People have too much thirst in 
the common way of living. Fever is induced, 


what is termed by physiologists the fever of diges- 
tion, and we are obliged to take much fluid to 
quench the flame. This is wearing out the vital 
powers unnecessarily ; for if we live temperately, 
and our food is sufficiently succulent, and free from 
heating condiments, and an excess of salt, we seldom 
need drink. Some go without drinking for months, 
and yet enjoy good health, much better health 
than those who light up a fever in the system three 
times, and perhaps oftener. in the twenty-four hours. 
Those who thus induce fever three times or more in 
the day, are obliged to quench the flames they kin- 
dle by some liquid, and often water is too insipid to 
satisfy them ; they resort to tea and coflee, if to 
nothing worse. 

If people take much more food and drink than 
they need, and of a kind, too, that never ought to be 
taken, they must expect corpulency, plethora, hu- 
mors, and perhaps apoplexy. I know a lady who 
has long indulged in what are termed the good 
things of this life. She has the means of indul- 
gence in abundance. She knows nothing of her 
own organization, except " that somehow she came, 
and here she is." She has become exceedingly cor- 
pulent, and not long since she gave birth to a child, 
which lived but a little time ; and the poor mother, 
whose system was corrupted by long abuse, had 
broken breasts, and after lying between life and 


death, throwing off corruption from her surcharged 
system, she was enabled, by the powers of endu- 
rance possessed by her system, just to live. But she 
is still ignorant, still transgressing the laws of life, 
and must wear out before many years. 



I SHALL in the present lecture say much in favor 
of cold water. I am very happy that I am under 
no necessity to speak of alcohol, as a drink, in any 
form. I rejoice that this baneful poison is banished 
by common consent, from our catalogue of drinks. 
But take care, ladies, that you do not eat alcohol. 
A certain shopkeeper once told me that he " wet 
down his wedding cake with brandy." I suppose 
this was done to keep the cake sufficiently moist. 
I shall not attempt to determine which was worse, 
the cake or the brandy. 

I rejoice that in an assembly of ladies, at this 
day, there is no necessity to be eloquent in con- 
demning alcohol, and persuading them to disuse it, 
whether it be found in the shape of wine, gin, or 
cordial. So much has been written upon this sub- 


ject, that " he who runs may read." Still I cannot 
but feel a disposition to go out of my path a little 
to follow these deleterious fluids to their hiding 
place in solids, in the shape of " wedding cake," 
" mince pie," &c. 

I know a lady does not drink brandy, when she 
eats it in mince pie, or cake, and a drunkard does 
not drink rum when he soaks a brick-loaf in it, and 
eats it, congratulating himself on an unbroken tem- 
perance pledge. But is there any difference in the 
guilt of these two individuals ? 1 hope all present 
are fully sensible of the injurious effects of ardent 
spirits in all its fluid forms. But it comes in so 
many shapes, that there is much danger of our being 
deceived, and putting the enemy in our mouths. 
It is not only to be found in cake, and pie, but in 
numerous forms of medicine, which are recom- 
mended by quacks, and others, for ourselves and 
our children. There is the cordial, the tincture, 
the elixir, and the hot-drops. These gain access, 
where ardent spirits, undisguised, could never come. 
1 have myself heard a good lady say, who was a 
strong advocate for temperance, in its technical ap- 
plication, " I take hot-drops when I am sick, and I 
always give them to my children if they complain." 
" Hot-drops " was this lady's " cure-all." If a 
child was ill from repletion, which often happened, 
for the children had almost every thing they ought 


not to have, besides " hot-drops," they must take a 
dose of this medicine. li one of them fell and was 
hurt, a dose of hot-drops was given, and another 
dose was rubbed on the bruise. 

The effect of these stimulating substances on the 
mucous membrane of the stomach, I have shown 
you in a former lecture. The mere circumstance 
that alcohol is called medicine will not save the 
mucous membrane of the stomach from inflamma- 
tion and ulceration. Alcohol is alcohol, whether it 
be hid in cake, or pie, or disguised in elixirs, tinc- 
tures, or hot-drops. Fire is fire, and will burn our 
flesh equally, whether it be a kitchen fire, or the 
consecrated flame of the poor deluded idolater. 
Fluids, after passing into the stomach, are taken 
up, and conveyed into the blood, by appropriate 
vessels, called absorbents, and these fluids are just 
as much taken up by the absorbents, if they are 
taken mixed with solid food, as if they are drank. 
The serum, or watery part of the blood, needs to be 
supplied by fluids taken into the system. There is 
a waste of fluid matter in the system, as well as 
solid. Hence a supply of fluid is needed, as much 
as a supply of solid matter. The questions to be 
answered are, when should this fluid be taken, of 
what kind should it be, and in what quantities 
should it be taken ? It is conceded at all points, 
now, where respectable people choose to look for 


testimony, that this fluid should not be alcohol, in 
any of its forms. Wine, cider, and malt liquors, 
are all highly injurious. The excitement they create, 
in illness, and in health, their apparent tonic effects, 
in recovery from illness, are all artificial. They 
should be disused entirely. If they had no other 
ill effects, they increase vascular action, thus hurry- 
ing the circulation of the blood, and wearing out 
the vital powers, unnecessarily. I know it has 
long been the practice of our most skilful physi- 
cians, to give wine on recovery from illness. It 
has been the practice of the great, and the good ; 
and I have tried to think it was right, for this rea- 
son. But the more I study, the more I observe, 
and the more I think, the more I am satisfied of the 
truth of a sentiment advanced in a recent medical 
work of much merit. " Nothing can give strength 
to the system, but plain, wholesome food." " Other 
things may appear to give strength, but it is only 
excitement. Medicine may correct faulty action 
in the system, but food alone gives strength." 

I have watched the action of wine upon my own 
system, in recovery from illness, and I was at no 
time satisfied that it was well for me, though ordered 
by one of the most skilful physicians. I am accus- 
tomed to follow a physician's directions, in every 
thing, if I put myself under his care ; and though 
satisfied the wine was not well for me, in other 


words, that it was decidedly injurious, I took it, be- 
cause I would obey my physician ; and I got well 
in spite of the wine, and I suppose he thought I got 
well by the aid of it. This physician was a tem- 
perance man in the strictest sense of the word, as 
it respects ardent spirits. 

Strange that sick people should be condemned 
to bear the excitement of ardent spirits, or wine, 
(for at present they are nearly synonymous,) when 
well people cannot bear it without injury ! But I 
must hasten to take leave of a subject, which, at 
this day, ought not to demand a passing notice. 
But let all remember that they cannot take alcohol 
in any form, with safety, or give it to their children. 
No matter whether it be concealed in medicine, 
cake, pie, or confectionary, it is every where a 
deadly substance. " Alcohol does violence to the 
absorbents, and passes into the circulation un- 
changed." So testifies Magendie the great French 
experimenter. But among the deleterious fluids I 
must not omit to mention the deadly laudanum and 
paregoric, and solution of morphine. Though opium 
is a solid, these are fluids, and I am very willing to 
have this opportunity to speak of them. I can 
hardly think that those who take laudanum or mor- 
phine, or give their children paregoric, have the 
slightest conception of the mischiefs they are causing. 
If they wish to commit murder, or suicide, why not 


do it deliberately, and not " by inches 1 " But I 
will not be severe. These persons know not what 
they do. They have brought themselves into a 
state of misery, by wrong habits, and they seek 
relief from their misery. Thirteen years since I 
took laudanum, and thought I could have no rest 
from my misery without it. Had I continued the 
practice much longer, I should have had repose 
from bodily sufferings. The fact was, my habits 
were wrong ; I had deranged my nervous system by 
the excessive use of tea, and by almost continual 
study, night and day, till my life was disease. 
My excruciating pain was relieved for the time 
being, by laudanum, but it was only for the time 
being. I was perfectly sensible that it made me 
worse ultimately. 

I have wrecked my constitution by these means. 
I owe what little of vitality I now possess to tem- 
perance and regularity, and I can sympathize most 
feelingly with those who are destroying health in 
the manner I destroyed mine. Let those who 
do not wish to commit suicide, avoid opium in all 
its forms unless prescribed by a skilful physi- 

I now come to speak of tea, coffee, &c. Here 
I shall give you my opinion and my experience : 

In the first place, tea and coffee are taken when 
there is no natural thirst. A quantity of fluid is 


necessary, to supply the waste of the fluid parts of 
the system ; if we are in a healthy state, natural 
thirst informs us when fluids should be taken. But 
very few, who live in the usual manner, are in a 
state of health. The abundant use of condiments, 
and of flesh, and other stimulating articles of food, 
induces a state of fever, and very many drink only 
to quench the flame they have thus kindled. Others, 
whose diet is more as it should be, drink from habit. 
They are accustomed to drink so many cups of tea, 
or coffee or cocoa, or so many glasses of water, and 
they do not stop to consider whether they need 
this quantity of fluid. Others drink with their 
meals, and they drink because it is the custom. 
Some think that " they may as well be out of the 
world, as out of the fashion ;" and they want a cup 
of tea and a tea-spoon, or a cup of water, to keep 
themselves in countenance. 

Now all this would do very well, if the stomach 
were a bottle, or any thing but a stomach. As it 
is, it imposes unnecessary labor upon the system in 
every way. 

Nursing mothers think they must drink large quan- 
tities of some kind of fluid, to make milk for their 
infants. By persevering in this course, they bring on 
indigestion, and not only defeat the end at which they 
aimed, but cause much suffering for themselves and 
their little ones ; for we know that the health of 


the child depends very much on the health of the 

If we take food too stimulating, and thus create 
fever, which produces thirst, we thus waste life ; and 
all of us will find it short enough, at best. If we 
take fluid from habit, and not because we need it, 
we thus impose a heavy tax upon the absorbent 
system, to take up and carry off this fluid. When 
we drink with our meals, the absorbent vessels take 
up and carry away the fluid before the process of 
digestion begins. After putting this amount of un- 
necessary labor upon the absorbents for a time, they 
fail, just as any other organ would, that had to per- 
form too much labor, and then indigestion is the re- 
sult, and often diarrhoea a diarrhoea of indigestion, 
in which the food passes off with hardly any alter- 
ation : no alteration that approximates toward diges- 
tion. It is true, vegetable food may turn acid, and 
animal food may putrefy ; but neither of these 
constitute any thing like digestion. 

You will perceive that I am now speaking of the 
effect of innocent fluids, when taken in too large 
quantities. But all these mischiefs are aggravated, 
and others produced, by the use of improper fluids. 
We have abundant evidence to prove that tea is a 
narcotic, and therefore poisonous. Dr. Hooper 
says, in his Medical Dictionary, " In its natural 
state tea is a narcotic plant, on which account the 


Chinese refrain from its use till it has been divested 
of this property by keeping it at least twelve 
months." Now I am very sure, from this passage, 
that Dr. H. was a tea-drinker ; for though he says 
tea is a narcotic plant, he says also, the Chinese 
keep it till it is divested of this property. I am 
very sure, also, that the Chinese would have to 
steep it, as well as keep it, before it would be 
divested of this property. What evidence Dr. 
Hooper could have that it was divested of this 
property, I cannot see, when directly after, he says, 
" When taken too copiously, it is apt to occasion 
weakness, tremor, palsies, and various other symp- 
toms arising from narcotic plants." Dr. H. speaks 
of taking tea too copiously. Every one who takes 
tea will judge for himself or herself when they take 
it " too copiously." 

The good lady who has taken tea till every 
nerve trembles, and till she cannot hold her cup and 
saucer steadily, will not of course think she takes it 
too copiously, if she takes two, three, or even five 
cups, just to steady her nerves. The good lady 
who drinks tea to cure the headache, forgetting that 
those who do not drink tea are not so apt to have 
the headache to cure, will not think she takes tea 
too copiously, so long as she does not take enough 
to cure her head. 

But to be serious, let us see what Dr. Cullen 


says of tea. He says that scientific experiments 
prove that an infusion of green tea (as we have it 
in America) has the effect of destroying the sensi- 
bility of the nerves and the irritability of the mus- 
cles." He adds, from these considerations, we con- 
clude, firmly, that tea is a narcotic and sedative sub- 
stance. Dr. Cullen farther says, " It is very pos- 
sible it may, like other narcotics, in a moderate 
dose, prove exhilarating;" and he thinks, also, it may 
operate medicinally, like some other narcotics. But 
what do well folks want of narcotic medicines ? 
and if they are sick, they ought not to take medicine 
at hap-hazard, every day. They ought to have 
advice, and take what is best for them. 

But what is a narcotic ? some may ask. Dr. 
Cullen says, " As their power and operation may 
be extended so far as to extinguish the vital principle 
altogether, they form that set of substances which 
properly and strictly may be called poisonous." 

I^know many people do not think tea is poison, 
though they acknowledge if drunk strong it is hurt- 
ful. But is a pound of arsenic poisonous, and is not 
a grain poisnnnns ? Some say tea cannot be poi- 
sonous, for some of their relatives used it, and lived 
to be old. " My grandfather," said a young man 
in my hearing, " is eighty years of age, and he 
always used tobacco from his youth." Because 
this good old man had lived to a good old age, in 


spite of tobacco, it was proof positive to the young 
man, that tobacco was not poisonous. So it is with 
tea, and even with ardent spirits because they do 
not kill outright, or make people " down sick," they 
try to persuade themselves that they are not injuri- 
ous. If they are sick once in a while, they con- 
clude that they must be sick occasionally that 
sickness comes or is sent or perhaps, like a gen- 
tleman I once met, they charge it upon their ances- 
tors. " I am," said he, " convinced of the truth of 
your temperance principles ; but I enjoy perfect 
health, and do not feel the necessity of making any 
change." A gentleman present inquired if he never 
had the headache. " O yes," said he, " but then 
that is hereditary ; my grandmother had the head- 
ache, father had the headache, and I expect to 
have it." He thought it a matter of course, that he 
must have the headache, because his grandmother 
and father had it. He lived in the usual manner, 
and took tobacco freely. 

I know people say they cannot give up tea, and 
I know habit is very powerful. I know all this by 
experience. Ladies say, and good ladies too, and 
they believe what they say, that tea cures the head- 
ache. Now I have no question that tea alleviates 
their headache ; but I also believe it had much 
agency in causing it first. Ardent spirits derange 
the nervous system, and produce sickness, violent 


tremors, &c. ; but ardent spirits will relieve, for the 
time being, these symptoms. It will stimulate the 
deranged and jaded nervous system for a short time, 
as the whip will stimulate a jaded, worn-out horse 
to momentary exertion. So it is with tea. Tea 
has deranged and disordered the nervous system ; 
it has produced headache and other troubles ; yet 
by its momentary stimulus, it makes the sufferer 
feel better, rouses and exhilarates long enough to 
deceive. Why should a person whose habits are 
correct, have the headache, any more than the hand 
ache or the foot ache ? I confess I cannot see. I 
look upon all disease as an effect following a cause. 
I do not consider that it comes, or is sent, without 
a cause, any more than I consider that a watch or 
any thing else could make itself, without a maker 
" could just happen so." I see no reason why one 
thing should "just happen so," any more than an- 
other. I know people are born diseased, and with 
sus^ptibility to disease ; but in most cases, were 
theji properly brought up, and did they live right, 
after they are " brought up," we should hear less 
of hereditary disease. 

The following remarks from Prof. Hitchcock are 
so exactly to the point that I introduce them here : 
"If. the intemperate man abandon his cups for a 
time, he is bqset with that terrific set of feelings 
called the ' horrors ;' but at length they pass away, 


and nature moves on regularly and calmly, and 
peace and health and happiness return. Just so, if 
the tea-drinker gives up his beverage, he will find 
for a time that dulness, debility and headache are 
the consequences. Many, in such circumstances, 
conclude that this is certain evidence that tea is 
necessary for them, or very salutary, and they 
therefore return to its use. But were they to per- 
severe in their abstinence for a few weeks, or a few 
months, their morbid feelings would disappear, and 
probably their headache would be permanently 
cured." He also says that whilst he drank tea he 
found dull, nervous headache no uncommon com- 
panion ; but upon leaving it he was afflicted with 
almost constant headache and heaviness. He per- 
severed, however; his headache gradually disap- 
peared, and after a few months, " headache," he 
says, " was one of his rarest trials." 

If the opinions of eminent physicians are worth 
any thing, then they ought to be brought tq|the 
remembrance of those who take tea and coffee. 
Some may ask which does greatest injury, tea or 
coffee. I for one must answer, I cannot tell. A 
great man has said, " that is worst of which we 
drink the most ;" and I believe it. 

Dr. Londe says of coffee " Coffee accelerates 
the functions only by shortening their duration. It 
doubles the energy of the organs only by doubling 


the debility which follows when the excitement is 
over. Coffee produces, in irritable individuals, a 
remarkable agitation, an inclination for some kind 
of motion which they cannot resist, often a trem- 
bling of the muscles, spasmodic cramps, anxiety 
and palpitations. Nothing is more calculated to 
increase the emaciation, the paleness, and to hasten 
the exhaustion of the organs, in persons of an irrita- 
ble habit, than this beverage, which is altogether 
stimulating and not in the least nutritive." 

Dr. Beddoes' experiments go to establish, beyond 
the reach of controversy, the deleterious qualities 
of tea. " It was first ascertained, by a number of 
trials, with a variety of preparations from vegetables, 
that laurel water, infusion of opium, of digitalis and 
green tea, bear equal proportion, with regard to 
their destructive effects upon the hearts of toads and 
frogs, all rendering them instantaneously incapable 
of pulsation. In all the experiments tea proved as 
quickly poisonous as laurel water, opium, or digita- 
lis, and in some more so." 

Some suppose that the habitual use of strong tea 
creates a distaste for ardent spirits. I have tried to 
reclaim a drunkard by giving him strong tea, till I 
was tired of trying, and now believe I might as 
well have reformed him by giving him wine or 
cider. I have yet to learn that the use of a mild 
stimulant produces a distaste for a stronger. 


I believe that a large proportion of the nervous- 
ness, hypochondria and hysteria that hang over the 
finest minds among us like a thick black cloud, 
shrouding their brightest prospects in gloom, is to be 
traced directly to the use of tea and coffee. I have 
myself suffered much from nervousness, in my coffee 
and tea drinking days, and I know a worthy gen- 
tleman whose nervous system became so deranged 
by the excessive use of coffee, that he hardly saw a 
lucid interval. He was completely miserable him- 
self, and made his friends very miserable. His 
hobby seemed to be that he must come to want. 
His wife often feared he would take his own life. 
He was so enslaved to coffee, that if he dispensed 
with it one morning, he would have a terrible head- 
ache, and would even be incapable of business till 
he had a bowl of strong coffee made. While the 
stimulus of the coffee lasted he could attend to his 
business. He was induced, by the entreaties of 
friends, to abandon the use of coffee for a time. 

After much suffering from the absence of his long 
used stimulus, his nerves became settled, his fits of 
hypo left him, and he became a cheerful, happy 
man, and rejoiced in his emancipation. In a letter 
which I received from a Congregational minister with 
whom 1 correspond, I find some facts with regard 
to coffee, worthy your attention. This gentleman 
is as eminent for his piety, as his scholarship, and 


cannot therefore be suspected of slandering this bev- 
erage. His chum, while in college, was much ad- 
dicted to coffee, and was tormented with a dreadful 
headache, much of the time during his college course. 
But he used to say he knew it was not coffee that 
made his head ache. After he left college, his 
health became so much impaired that he was obliged 
to seek medical advice. He was induced to lay 
aside coffee. The consequence was, his head got 
well. Another gentleman who was a near relative 
of the writer, was a slave to coffee, and fancied that 
his wife was his enemy, though she was one of the 
best women in the world. He could not believe 
that she loved him, or that any thing was right with 
him. He thought that not only his wife, but his 
children and neighbors, were conspiring to work his 
ruin. He was persuaded to leave the use of coffee ; 
in a few weeks, his system became regulated, and 
he wondered, wondered ! he could indulge in such 
groundless suspicions, that made himself, and all 
around him, miserable. When he was relating the 
circumstances to the writer, a few months afterward, 
he said, " He had not a single doubt coffee was the 
principal agent in the matter. But," said he, " I 
would not believe it, or hear to a word of advice on 
the subject, till I was driven to the last extremity, 
and felt obliged to do any thing, and every thing, 
that was possible for relief; for," continued he, " I 


was tempted strongly to run, away and leave my 
family, and I was afraid I should take my own life 
in some frantic moment." He was a professor of 
religion, a respectable and influential citizen, and 
worth several thousand dollars, and between forty 
and fifty years of age." Let not tea drinkers think 
their favorite beverage innocent of producing such 
results, for I have known a lady, who was a slave 
to tea, and seldom took coffee, who had such fits 
of depression, that she would weep hours without 
knowing the cause. She often thought all her 
friends had forsaken her, and at one time she even 
attempted to take her own life. She acknowledged 
that she was often tempted to destroy herself. She 
left tea, and became calm, cheerful, and happy. 

I have promised to give you my own experience 
with respect to tea and coffee. From a child, I 
drank tea. My parents were great tea drinkers. 
I became so attached to tea, that I was not willing 
to make a meal without it, and I must have it very 
strong. At length I was not satisfied with it at my 
meals. I chewed it, and often put a handful in a 
cup, poured boiling water on it, let it cool, and then 
drank the infusion, and ate the tea. I became a most 
wretched being. I had never had firm health, from 
a child, owing to improper management in rearing 
me. Severe nervous prostration, accompanied by 
mental depression, were often my portion. Other 


bad habits joined with the tea in producing my 
misery, no doubt. But a great part of my distress 
left me when I left tea, although I still retained 
many bad habits. But I was not wholly relieved, 
till I adopted the temperance system in all its parts. 
After I left tea, I became gradually a slave to coffee. 
I had, therefore, a good opportunity to judge of the 
effects of each. I am satisfied coffee much increases 
arterial action, produces palpitation, weakness and 
trembling. I used coffee when my other habits 
were better, much better than they were when I 
took tea. I can judge better, perhaps, of the effects 
of coffee, than of tea, though I am convinced tea is 
equally hurtful. My weakness, and trembling, and 
sickness became so great during the forenoon, (for 
I only took coffee habitually in the morning,) that 
I was not able properly to attend to my duties as a 
teacher. In the afternoon my abused system would 
rally its powers, and I would be bettef. I resolved 
to abandon coffee. I did so, and immediately my 
system became renovated. I was enabled to per- 
form my duties with ease and cheerfulness, free 
from nervous prostration, or mental depression, free 
from palpitation, weakness and trembling. I now 
take plain food, with no seasoning except a very 
little salt. If 1 wholly disused salt, I believe it 
would be better. I take no fluid with my meals, 
except a small cup of milk, perhaps twice in the 


day. I eat no flesh, no oils, or grease of any kind ; 
and unless I use much exercise, I am seldom 
thirsty. I have sometimes passed weeks without 
taking any drink, or any fluid, only the small quan- 
tity of milk I eat morning and night. When I do 
need drink, water is the most grateful of all fluids. 
There is a delicious taste in pure water that tea 
and coffee drinkers know nothing about. But pure 
water is seldom found. Much impurity exists in 
our water. This impurity is the cause of many 
evils. The gravel is no doubt often caused, and 
always aggravated, by drinking impure water, espe- 
cially such as contains calcareous matter. Rain 
water, where it is caught in a proper manner, is 
probably better than any that many people can get. 
Filtered or distilled water would be better still, 
perhaps. But if so much mischief results from 
drinking impure water, should we not avoid, as far 
as we are able*, the necessity of drinking it ? Should 
we not eat succulent food, good milk and fruits, 
rather than light up a fever in our veins by the use 
of flesh, oils, condiments, &tc., which we must 
quench with impure water, or something worse ? 

Great care should be taken with respect to milk. 
Still slops, dirty swill, &tc., are not the natural food 
of a cow ; and such horrid slops, drained through 
the vessels of an unhealthy animal, (for a cow fed 
in this manner will quickly become unhealthy,) 


must be very improper food, to say the least of it. 
Good milk is good diet for many, though it does 
not agree with some, especially those who have a 
tendency to fat, or are troubled with humors. Let 
our habits be such that we have none but natural 
thirst, and pure water will be grateful and health- 

Extract of a Letter from Dr. John Burdell, dated 
NEW YORK, JAN. 27, 1842. 

MRS. GOVE : In accordance with your request, 
I send you the following on the subject of Tea and 
Coffee, which is the result of my own experiments 
on various animals. 

It is a law of the animal economy, that stimu- 
lants and excitants invariably result in a corres- 
ponding depression ; and if the depression goes 
beyond a certain point, death is the consequence. 

During my dental practice I have had an oppor- 
tunity of observing the condition of those of my 
patrons who were in the habit of drinking strong 
tea, and I have found that such persons have weak, 
irritable and sensitive nerves ; also their offspring. 
This led me to make some experiments, the results 
of which I now present to the public. 

I took a pound of young hyson tea and steeped 
it in soft water, and boiled it down to half a pint. 


I then procured a rabbit of about three months old, 
and kept it without food a sufficient length of time 
to leave the stomach empty. I then gave it ten 
drops of the decoction, holding its head in a position 
to cause the fluid to enter the stomach. The ani- 
mal appeared to be somewhat exhilarated for the 
space of three or four minutes, then laid down on 
its side and began moaning, as if in great distress ; 
and in about ten minutes from the time of my 
administering the dose, its struggles ended in death, 
the limbs being distended and very stiff. 

I also tried the effects of tea on a cat of the same 
age, after making another decoction from black tea, 
which the person who sold it said was of the best 
quality, arid was highly recommended by a cele- 
brated physician to a lady in delicate health. The 
decoction was stronger, as I boiled it down to less 
than a gill. The results were the same, only more 
rapid, as the animal ceased to breathe in less than 
three minutes, although the dose was not as large 
as I gave the rabbit, being but eight drops. 

I have used the decoction of tea for destroying 
the nerves of teeth, as a substitute for mineral 
poisons. Arsenic is used by many dentists for the 

Again I took a pound of coffee in its natural 
state, and boiled it in the same manner as I did the 
tea, and administered it in the same way, but had 


much difficulty in keeping it in the stomach long 
enough to produce much effect, before it was thrown 
off by vomiting. But when it could be kept down 
for any length of time, it destroyed life, but took 
longer to do it than tea. 

My last experiment was in trying the effects of 
tea and coffee on frogs. The former would make 
them jump three or four feet at first ; but the leaps 
grew shorter and shorter, until they were incapable 
of drawing up the hind legs for another jump, and 
soon expired. 

Yours, &c. 




IN treating on the various parts of the human 
economy, I pretend to no originality. I bring the 
opinions of the best recent physiologists before my 
sisters. There is some difference of opinion between 
late writers on physiology, respecting the nervous 
system. This difference in no wise affects the 
pathological remarks, or hygienic deductions of 
these lectures. 

In these lectures I shall give you the different 


opinions of physiologists. First, I shall bring before 
you the opinions contained in my oral lectures. 

Under the name nervous system, anatomists 
include those organs which are composed of a ner- 
vous or pulpy tissue. The nervous system, in 
man, is composed of two parts. That which is 
called the cerebro-spinal axis, which is the brain 
and spinal marrow, and thirty-nine or forty-two 
pairs of cords, called nerves, which pass off later- 
ally from the cerebro-spinal axis, and ramify over 
every part of the body. Secondly, the ganglions 
and plexuses, with their various cords, branches 
and filaments. 

Under the term encephalon, are included the 
contents of the cranium, which are the cerebrum, 
or brain proper, the cerebellum, or little brain, and 
the medulla oblongata. These different parts are 
included under the name brain. The brain proper, 
or cerebrum, occupies the upper part of the head ; 
the cerebellum is next below it, posteriorly ; and 
the medulla oblongata is lower still. 

I would here remark, that I cannot go into a 
description of the brain phrenologically, but I am 
fully impressed with the value of phrenology as a 
science, and would earnestly recommend to my 
readers, especially those who are skeptical as to its 
truth, the admirable works of George Combe, and 
the Messrs. Fowler. 


Combe's " Constitution of Man " is a work that 
is above praise. His other works are exceedingly 
valuable. The writings of O. S Fowler contain 
physiological and phrenological truth, well adapted 
to the wants of our age, and eminently calculated 
to bless humanity. L. N. Fowler is said, by good 
judges, to be the best practical phrenologist in 

French anatomists recken forty-two pairs of 
nerves. Of these, twelve pairs draw their origin 
from, or are connected with the encephalon, and 
thirty come from the spinal marrow. 

Each of the spinal nerves consists of filaments 
destined for two distinct uses, motion and sensi- 
bility. They have two roots, one arising from the 
posterior, the other from the anterior part of the 
spinal marrow. Sir Charles Bell says, that the 
anterior part gives rise to nerves of motion, the 
posterior, to nerves of sensibility. 

The series of ganglions and plexuses, with the 
nervous cords, fibres and filaments which unite 
them, are collectively termed the great sympathetic 
nerve. It is connected with each of the spinal 
nerves, and with several of the encephalic, but 
does not arise from either. The sympathetic is 
considered the great system of involuntary nerves. 
The nerves of the brain and spinal marrow, with 
their various ramifications, are called the nerves of 


animal life. These are distributed principally to 
the muscles of voluntary motion, and to the sensi- 
tive surface of the body, or external skin. 

The sympathetic or ganglionic nerves are called 
nerves of organic life. The ganglions of the sym- 
pathetic nerve give off branches, which some of 
them connect the ganglions with each other, and 
some interweave and inosculate and form plexuses. 
From these, numerous branches are given off to 
supply the different organs with nerves. 

Besides the more deeply seated ganglions, con- 
nected with the principal viscera, there are two 
series of them, which range along the anterior side 
of the spine, connected by nervous cords, which 
extend from the lower extremity of the spine to the 
base of the cranium, and enter by small branches 
through the carotid canal, along with the artery, 
and form connections with the fifth and sixth pairs 
of the nerves of the brain. 

These two series of what are termed peripheral 
ganglions, with their connecting cords, are called 
sympathetic nerves, because they are believed to 
form the most intimate union of sympathy between 
all the viscera concerned in organic life. 

At the base of the diaphragm, on the anterior 
side of the spine^ are two large ganglions, called 
semilunar ganglions. These give off numerous 
large branches, which, together with several from 


other parts, and some from within the cranium, form 
a very large central plexus in front of the spine, 
which constitutes a kind of common centre of action 
and sympathy to the whole system of organic nerves. 
This is called the solar plexus. From this branches 
are given off in every direction, uniting with nerves 
from the brain, and supplying the different organs, 
particularly the stomach and arteries. These are 
invested with a lace-work of nerves, which accom- 
panies them to their termination in the glands, skin, 
and mucous membrane, and other membranes. 

The cerebro-spinal nerves are instruments of sen- 
sation and perception. The sympathetic or gan- 
glionic nerves are instruments of sympathy ; and in 
a healthy state are not instruments of sensation ; but 
in a diseased state they have great morbid sensi- 
bility ; and a morbid sympathy may also be induced. 
You know that the nerves of the bones, in a state 
of health, convey no appreciable sensation to the 
brain. But bones may become diseased ; and no 
pain is more acute than the pain of diseased bones. 
The many abuses of the nervous system disorder 
the organic nerves, and render them acutely sen- 
sible. The nerves of sensibility partake of the 
injury. Thus there is disease from abuse, and 
disease from sympathy. 

A great physiologist, from whose works these 
views of the nervous system are taken, has said, 


" The proper performance of the functions of life, 
and the welfare of each and every part of the sys- 
tem, depend upon the integrity of the nerves, in 
supplying the necessary vital energy ; and this again 
depends on their healthy state. By inducing a 
diseased condition, and inflammation of any part, a 
new and abnormal centre of action may be estab- 
lished, equal in the power and extent of its influ- 
ence, to the importance of the part, and the de- 
gree of its morbid irritation, which will not only 
derange the functions of the part itself, but also, to 
a greater or less extent, those of the other parts, 
and sometimes of the whole system, causing an 
undue determination of the fluids to itself, and re- 
sulting in morbid secretion, imperfect assimilation, 
chronic inflammation, disorganization, by change 
of structure, by softening, or indurating, producing 
scirrhus, ossification, calculi, ulcers, cancers, and 
dissolution ; or mounting into a high state of acute 
inflammation, and in a more violent and rapid ca- 
reer, bringing on gangrene, or general convulsions, 
collapse and death." 

Since these lectures were written, some new 
views of the nervous system have been given to 
the world by Miiler, a German anatomist. These 
views will be found in the annexed extract from a 
letter which I received a short time since, from 
that profound scholar and able writer, D. Francis 


Condie, M. D. of Philadelphia. The letter was 
hastily written, with no view to publication, but 
Dr. Condie has kindly given me leave to make 
extracts from his letters, remarking, " that from the 
rapid manner in which these communications are 
written, in moments of uncertain leisure, their style 
is necessarily somewhat loose and careless, and cer- 
tainly very different from that in which I should 
clothe my thoughts, did I contemplate they were 
to be given to the public." I shall avail myself 
of the privilege thus kindly given, and shall mark 
the extracts with the letter C. 

After carefully studying these views of the ner- 
vous system, you will be better able to understand 
how we are affected by hurtful influences. 

" In the first place, it will be proper to lay down a 
definition of tone which is that state of the nervous 
system, when it responds with sufficient prompti- 
tude, vigor and regularity, to the healthful and natu- 
ral stimuli. Want of tone is of two kind ; first, 
when, from deficient excitability, the nerves do not 
respond with sufficient promptitude, vigor and reg- 
ularity, to the natural excitants, and the functions 
of the system in all, or in part, fall into a state of 
torpor. The second species of deficient tone is, 
when the nerves, from excess of excitability, re- 
spond too promptly, and often irregularly, to the 
ordinary stimuli, and often act with violence, from 


the impression of causes, which, in their normal 
condition, affect them but little, if at all. It is this 
latter species of deficient tone with which we have 
principally to do. It is produced by over-excite- 
ment, moral as well as physical by over-exertion 
of the organs, without sufficient intervals of rest 
by whatever reduces the physical energies of the 
system, deficient exercise, deficient food, mental 
and moral indolence, as well as by excessive men- 
tal labor, excessive evacuations, and by whatever 
impairs or vitiates the nutritive functions of the sys- 
tem, as excessive, improper, or deficient food, im- 
proper drinks, vitiated and confined air, deficiency 
of sleep, the depressive passions, &;c. 

" In regard to the extension or diffusion of morbid 
action, this takes place through the nervous cen- 
tres. Irritation of the stomach, by being reflected 
upon the heart and lungs, hurries the respiration 
and circulation. Irritation of the uterus, by being 
reflected upon the stomach, causes sickness, gas- 
trodynia, &tc. ; or upon the spinal nerves of motion, 
hysteria; and neuralgia, when upon the nerves of sen- 
sation. A piece of indigestible food in the stomach 
of a child, gives rise, by reflection upon the nerves 
of motion of animal life, to convulsions. A portion 
of a briar in the end of the finger, by a similar re- 
flection, causes tetanus, &c. &c." c. 

The world has so long looked upon passions 


misdirected, or excessive in action, that many seem 
to have come to the conclusion that certain passions 
or propensities are inherently bad, and that they 
should consequently be eradicated. Now if we 
look into this subject, we shall find that it is only 
the excessive or erratic action of the passions, 
that is productive of evil. The passions are them- 
selves good; and could the human being be so de- 
veloped that there would be a harmonic action of 
the passions, we should then see the perfection 
of humanity. For instance, caution is a faculty or 
passion that is productive of great good, but its ex- 
cess makes fear, or cowardice, which may produce 
great evils ; and its deficiency makes men reckless ; 
which is often a very great evil. The same is true 
of hope, reverence, or even conscientiousness. But 
you may say, surely we cannot have too much 
conscientiousness. You must remember that the 
moral sense is blind, and unless enlightened by the 
infusion of truth into the mind, is as likely to lead 
us wrong as right. The devotee is conscientious 
in casting himself beneath the wheels of Jugger- 
naut. The Hindoo widow is conscientious in im- 
molating herself upon the burning pile with the 
corpse of her husband. Christians are conscien- 
tious in adhering to various rites and ceremonies, 
that divide and scatter in Israel, and produce any 
thing but the fulfilling of the law, which is love. 


"Every physiological propensity, appetite or 
passion, is implanted in the human organism by its 
Almighty Author, for a wise purpose, and hence 
the indulgence to a proper physiological extent is 
proper and commendable nay, necessary for the 
well being of the individual, and for the preserva- 
tion of the species." c. 

It should be remembered that whatever deterio- 
rates, tends to destroy. 

" The great hygienic law in relation to all these 
passions is, carefully to guard against every thing 
which has a tendency to cause any of them to be- 
come so excessive, as to control the action of the 
organism, or to remove them from the control of 
the judgment and the will, and to render them 
masters, destroying by their tyranny our individual 
happiness, and depriving us of our power to do 
good, instead of being servants, ministering to our 
good, and that of our fellow beings." c. 

The natural degree of activity should be given 
to all our passions or propensities. Excessive or 
deficient action produces evil. He who loves his 
children too much, will be unjust to them, as well 
as he who loves them too little. Go over the cat- 
alogue of passions or faculties, benevolence, con- 
scientiousness, reverence, love of approbation, self- 
esteem, philoprogenitiveness, amativeness, &c. &c., 
in excess or deficiency, all produce evil. God has 


not implanted evil passions within us, but we have 
destroyed the healthy balance that should exist in 
us ; we have " sought out many inventions," and 
wrought out for our race that physiological, phre- 
nological, and consequently moral disorder, charac- 
terized by many, by the term total depravity. 

" We are to recollect, that while the excess of 
any of our natural propensities, appetites or pas- 
sions is to be guarded against, so nothing should be 
allowed under the normal circumstances for which 
we are created, which is calculated to obliterate, 
or render dormant, either of these propensities, ap- 
petites or passions. Their natural degree of activity 
should be aimed at, which, governed by reason and 
the higher order of sentiments, secures our health, 
our happiness, and our usefulness all of which are 
more or less diminished, or even entirely destroyed, 
equally when either of our appetites or passions is 
in excess, or deficient in energy. 

" These remarks are especially true of that appe- 
tite, instinct or passion which impels us to the prop- 
agation of our species. When kept within bounds, 
and exercised according to the dictates ;of nature, 
of reason and of virtue, it has not only a beneficial 
influence upon the Health and longevity of the sys- 
tem, it not merely promotes our individual happiness, 
and fulfils an important law of our being, ' increase 
and multiply,' but it has a tendency to soften and 


improve the heart, and by the new relations thus 
resulting, to promote feelings of kindness and be- 
nevolence, and to interest us more deeply in the 
happiness and well being of our fello\v creatures. 
But the instinct of which we are speaking, is one 
which requires to be watched with the greatest 
care. Its tendency in the present artificial state of 
society is to premature and excessive develop- 
ment, and to unnatural, excessive and destructive 
indulgence ; and to this cause are to be attributed 
very many, if not all of the sexual diseases, which, 
instead of being confined, as formerly, to those 
classes which revel in luxury, commence now to 
inflict their pains and penalties upon the sex at 
large." c. 

It is time that parents should know the evils that 
flow from a premature or excessive development 
of animal instincts and passions. No false delicacy 
should hinder parents and guardians, and all who 
have the care of children, from getting information 
on these subjects. I propose first to bring a few 
of these evils before you, and then to show how 
they are caused, and how they may be prevented. 
In doing this, I shall endeavor, by divine assistance, 
to use all necessary plainness of speech. I see 
myself standing on the verge of eternity. What I 
have learned I would leave to the world ; and I am 
confident that it will be well received by the virtu- 
ous and intelligent. 


The belief that the premature and excessive de- 
velopment of the sexual instinct constitutes disease, 
and becomes, by its immoderate gratification, the 
cause of numerous diseases, has been too much 
confined to physicians. Well meaning Christian 
ministers have not been slow to declaim against 
the sinner and the sin, whilst they have been 
wholly ignorant of the physical means of prevent- 
ing the evil. And let it be remembered that with- 
out proper physical training, all moral means are 
utterly inefficient to stay this evil. As well may 
we drop a living coal of fire into a magazine of 
powder, and beg, and pray, and exhort it not to 
explode, and expect to be obeyed, as to train our 
children in a manner directly calculated to produce 
impurity, and expect them, by the mere force of 
precept, to counteract the immutable laws of nature 
and remain pure. Causes must produce effects. 
If the rays of light pass from a rarer to a denser 
medium, they will be refracted. 

The diseases which may be traced to the exces- 
sive development and inordinate indulgence of the 
sexual instinct, are exceedingly numerous. I shall 
give a list of these diseases, premising that they 
may all be caused by social or solitary licentious- 
ness, yet that they may be produced by other causes. 
Diseases of the uterus, fluor albus, floodings, pro-r 
lapsus uteri, cancer of the uterus, &tc. &c. Medi- 


cal writers tell us that abandoned women very of- 
ten suffer from cancer of the uterus. The fact that 
the ceremony of marriage has been performed, will 
not save people from the consequences of venereal 
excesses. The laws of our nature remain the same ; 
and if violated, we must suffer the consequences. 

Numerous other diseases are produced by the 
excess which we are contemplating. Besides abor- 
tions and monstrosities, there are those general dis- 
eases which are caused by over excitement of the 
nervous system, hysteria, dyspepsia, undue nervous 
excitability, epilepsy, and various kinds of fits, pain- 
ful menstruation, diseases of the eye, apathy of the 
sexual appetite, or its undue violence, pulmonary 
complaints, bleeding at the lungs, diseases of the 
heart, St. Vitus' dance, exhaustion of the system, 
idiocy and insanity. Hundreds and thousands are 
hurried into a premature grave, or made wretched 
whilst they live, by these diseases, with no knowl- 
edge of their causes. 

Many lovely young women enter the married 
state, frail as the gossamer, from wrong physical 
training, unable to bear the slightest hardship, when 
it is their right, by God's intendment, to be hardy 
and robust. They fall victims immediately, and 
often the grave covers them and their first born, 
and " Mysterious Providence " heads their obitu- 
ary. Parent of Wisdom ! shall such ignorance for- 


ever shroud our world ? The functions of gesta- 
tion and parturition are as natural as digestion ; and 
were mankind brought into a natural and healthy 
state, we have reason to believe that these func- 
tions would be attended with little, if any pain. 
But the healthy tone of the nervous system is de- 
stroyed. Diseased, convulsed, and erratic action is 
established by the various abuses of civic life, and 
the most tender and endearing of all relations be- 
comes a terror and a curse. 

I know many mothers who, with their husbands, 
have adopted the " Graham System," or in other 
words, those correct habits recommended in these 
lectures ; and these mothers have abridged their 
sufferings in parturition from forty hours to one hour, 
and have escaped altogether the deathly sickness 
of the three first months of gestation. But they 
avoided all excesses as far as possible. We know 
that the Indians, the lower orders of Irish, and the 
slaves at the south, suffer very little in child bear- 
ing. Why is this ? God made us all of one blood. 
Is it not that these, living in a less artificial manner, 
taking much exercise in the open air, and living 
temperately, have obeyed more of the laws of their 
being, and consequently do not suffer the penalty 
of violated laws, as do our victims of civilization ? 




No form of nervous excitement is so injurious as 
solitary vice. The reports of our hospitals for the 
insane, if we had no other means of obtaining in- 
formation, would convince us that this vice is ex- 
ceedingly common. I shall proceed to show some 
of its effects, and then point out its causes and the 
means of preventing it. That the unnatural, pre- 
cocious, or excessive development of the sexual 
instinct is disease, as much as fever, and should be 
treated as such, I am fully persuaded. If hospi- 
tals were built for the social and solitary licentious, 
instead of casting them out from society, and suffer- 
ing them to herd in dens of infamy, destroying and 
destroyed, society might be in a more healthy state. 
But such is the excessive and diseased develop- 
ment of the animal nature of man, that the civilized 
world might well be turned into a hospital for the 
cure of diseases caused by licentiousness. 

In the reports of our lunatic hospitals, masturba- 
tion, or solitary vice, ranks next to alcohol in pro- 
ducing insanity. All the diseases caused by social 
licentiousness are produced by this form of nervous 


abuse. I would again remark, that many of these 
diseases may be produced by other causes. I have 
given advice in almost every form of disease in- 
duced by this vice. I have seen idiocy and insan- 
ity caused by it ; and I think with the excellent Dr. 
Woodward, " that it is time something were done 
to rescue the most moral, conscientious, and some- 
times the most promising youth from the mind- 
wasting ravages of an indulgence, of whose terrible 
consequences they have never been forewarned." 

Dr. Woodward says farther, " It is the vice of 
ignorance, not of depravity ; the sufferers are per- 
sonally less offenders than victims." This is a 
truth to be remembered. We should labor in the 
spirit of love, not of blame, for the restoration of 
fallen, diseased humanity. Children are born with 
the impress of sensuality upon their whole being, 
in consequence of the excesses of their parents. 
They are trained in a manner destructive to health, 
and it would be indeed a miracle if they should es- 
cape this vice. 

I am unwilling to leave this subject without 
again calling attention to the diseases which are 
caused by this habit. There is hardly an end to 
these diseases. Dyspepsia, spinal disease, head- 
ache, epilepsy, and various kinds of fits, which dif- 
fer in their character according to the degree of 
abuse and consequent disease of the nervous sys- 


tern. Impaired eye-sight, palpitation of the heart, 
pain in the side, and bleeding at the lungs, spasm 
of the heart and lungs, and sometimes sudden death, 
are caused by indulgence in this vice. Diabetes, 
or incontinence of urine, fluor albus, or whites, and 
inflammation of the urinary organs, are induced by 
indulgence in this practice. Indeed, this habit so 
diseases the| nervous system, and through that the 
stomach and the whole body, that almost every 
form of disease may be produced by it; though 
these disorders may arise from other causes, and 
may afflict those who never indulged in the habit. 
Some who have been in a degree enlightened on 
these subjects, have feared to have others enlight- 
ened, lest it should increase the evil. They say 
there is safety in ignorance. I answer, the silent 
course has been tried till our world has become one 
vast pit of corruption. Has the world been safe 
in its ignorance ? If not, will it be so hereafter ? 
Deslandes says that St. Vitus' dance is also at 
times caused by this vice. 

Deslandes and Tissot contain abundant evidence 
that the worst forms of spinal disease are occasion- 
ed by masturbation. But light has dawned upon 
us, and we should be thankful for the blessing. 

About eight years since, my mind was awaken- 
ed to examine this subject, by the perusal of a med- 
ical work that described the effects of the vice, 


when practised by females. This was the first in- 
timation I had that the vice existed among our sex. 
Since that time I have had much evidence that it 
is fearfully common among them. 

I have it from good authority, that among the 
insane admitted into the lunatic hospitals, from 
this cause, the proportion of females is nearly as 
large as that of males. The reports of our luna- 
tic asylums furnish melancholy evidence of the 
prevalence and increase of this vice. In the Fifth 
Annual Report of the State Lunatic Hospital at 
Worcester, Mass., we find the following :. 

" The number of cases of insanity from mastur- 
bation [self-pollution] has been even greater than 
usual, the past year, and our ill success in its treat- 
ment the same. No good whatever arises in such 
cases, from remedial treatment, unless such an im- 
pression can be made upon the mind and moral 
feelings of the individual, as to induce him to aban- 
don the habit. In this attempt, even with the ra- 
tional mind, we have to encounter mistaken views, 
as well as active propensities. No effectual means 
can be adopted to prevent the devastation of mind 
and body, and the debasement of moral principle 
from this cause, till the whole subject is well un- 
derstood and properly appreciated by parents and 
instructors, as well as by the young themselves." 

How many of earth's noblest, even the brightest 


and best of our youth, have sunk beneath slow, 
wasting, nervous disease, the cause of which was 
neither known nor suspected by themselves or their 
friends. They have felt that they were doomed 
that a destiny from which they could not escape 
held them in its relentless grasp. They have shrunk 
from the struggle of life as if they were all nerves, 
and as if each nerve was bared to the pitiless pelt- 
ing of the storm of life. They have felt sure that 
they were born with a " constitutional nervous sen- 
sibility," that made life a burden and a curse and 
often they have sought refuge in voluntary death, 
as a relief from sufferings that it was not in hu- 
manity to bear. Though there are many causes 
for nervous disease, still we have good reason to be- 
lieve that many who rise every morning " like an 
infernal frog out of Acheron, covered with the ooze 
and mud of melancholy," may trace their misery to 
this cause. Is he the friend of his species, is he 
the true philanthropist nay more, is he a Christian, 
who, knowing all this, can be silent ; can put his 
finger on his lip and say, " this subject is too deli- 
cate to be meddled with you will but increase the 
evil by your efforts ?" Let ministers, let Christians 
cease to denounce theft and murder. Let them 
blot from the blessed Book the commands against 
licentiousness, and give us an expurgated edition of 
the Bible, lest the reading of the Holy Scriptures 
increase the evil. 


A short time since, two sisters, ladies of the first 
respectability, informed me that when very young, 
they were put to a female boarding school, where 
this vice prevailed, and the practice was explained 
to them. They were blessed with parents who 
were willing to converse with and warn their chil- 
dren, and they escaped the contamination. 

There is reason to believe that in nine cases out 
of ten, those unhappy females who are the tenants 
of houses of ill fame, have been the victims of this 
vice in the first place. Were this the peculiar vice 
of the low and vulgar, there might be more excuse 
for the apathy and false delicacy that pervade the 
community respecting it. But it invades all ranks. 
Professed Christians are often among its victims. 
Sometime since I became acquainted with a lovely 
and intellectual young man, who was a student in 
one of our theological seminaries. His health be- 
came so poor that he was obliged to leave the sem- 
inary and return to his friends. I saw him lose his 
reason and become a maniac. I was satisfied, from 
all the symptoms in the case, that this sin was the 
cause of his wretched condition. He died without 
recovering his reason, and a friend of his who was 
in the seminary with him, told me after his decease, 
that he was indeed a victim of solitary vice that 
it caused his death. 


The following statement was given me by a lady 
of great worth and intelligence. 

" MY DEAR MRS. G. You request an account 
of my case. I little thought once that I should 
ever communicate my fearful experience to any one. 
But a sense of duty to my fellow creatures makes 
me willing to give the facts in my case ; and if only 
one is warned and saved from the misery it has been 
my lot to endure, I shall greatly rejoice. 

" My early education was religious, and guarded 
in the extreme. I was taught early to repeat a 
prayer every night ; and the Holy Scriptures were 
my almost constant companion. My parents never 
warned me against licentiousness, either social or 
solitary. It is true, social licentiousness was allud- 
ed to as a very shameful thing. Solitary vice was 
never mentioned. My parents being people of prop- 
erty, I was delicately reared, and took very little 
exercise ; doing very little work, with the excep- 
tion of nice and very laborious embroidery. I have 
little doubt my sedentary habits were a great injury 
to me. 

" My parents were very luxurious in their mode 
of living, using much animal food and large quanti- 
ties of the different condiments. As nearly as 1 
can recollect, I became addicted to solitary vice 
about the age of nine years. I was never taught 


the vice. Previous to this time, I think I had en- 
joyed as much health as most children perhaps 
more, for my constitution was always considered 
unusually firm. 

" At about twelve years of age, my health began 
to fail; I became dyspeptic and nervous. I often 
awoke in the morning bathed in tears ; and the most 
indescribable and horrible sinking of spirits was my 
portion during the forenoon. If I committed any 
little mistake, or fault, the recollection of it would 
haunt me for days, and make me superlatively 
wretched. I became pale as death, weak, feeble 
and emaciated. I had severe palpitation of the 
heart, pain in the side, and many symptoms of con- 
sumption. I had also, much of the time, distressing 
pain in the head. I had much dizziness, and my 
sight would often become entirely obscured, espe- 
cially when I stooped and rose quickly. My pa- 
rents were much alarmed about me, and the best 
medical advisers were called. They termed my 
disorder chlorosis,* and they gave me different pow- 
erful medicines calomel, brandy and iron, and let 
blood till my arms were frightfully scarred. 

" During all this time I was practising solitary 
vice to a great extent. My conscience often told 
me it was wrong, but the force of habit prevailed 

* A derangement of the menses. 


against my better feelings, and I continued to com- 
mit this sin against my body and soul. Social licen- 
tiousness I had learned to consider a dreadful crime, 
and I should have recoiled with horror from the 
deed. O that some one had arisen then, like your- 
self, to warn young women to tell them that sol- 
itary vice was sin, was adultery, as well as social 
licentiousness. O, how much misery I should have 
escaped, and not I alone, but numbers of others, 
had this been done. But no one raised the warn- 
ing voice. 

" For several years I continued in wretched 
health. My father travelled with me, and spared 
no pains or expense in purchasing gratifications, and 
in procuring the attendance of physicians. But at 
last relief came. God in his providence raised up 
that blessed man, Dr. Graham, and opened his 
mouth to speak on this subject. No words can 
express my gratitude to this devoted philanthropist. 
He stepped between me and death temporal, and 
for aught I know, eternal. The blessing of him that 
was ready to perish is emphatically his. Though 
he, like yourself, may have to bear slander and 
reproach for the blessed cause of purity, yet your 
reward is sure. 

" To Dr. Graham belongs greater praise than to 
the conqueror of a world. Shortly after the publi- 
cation of his Lecture to Young Men, I met with it. 


I opened it merely from curiosity, having little or 
no idea what it contained. Never shall I forget the 
mingled sensations of agony and gratitude that filled 
my soul. I here read my sin and its consequences. 
I procured a copy of the book, and perused it with 
great care. I left the wicked habit, and confined 
myself strictly to vegetable food, with a small quan- 
tity of milk and good fruits. I took my meals reg- 
ularly, about six hours apart. I procured a mat- 
tress and slept on it, instead of feathers, and daily 
used the cold bath. I took much exercise in the 
open air, and was particular in ventilating my apart- 
ment. In a short time my health began to improve. 
" Before my mind was enlightened on the subject, 
I had not the slightest idea that this practice was 
injuring my health. I had suffered much from 
a disease of the eyes. This soon left me. After 
a time the pain in my side left me entirely. I 
became free from palpitations and headache, and 
the glow and animation of health again returned. 
Though I began to recover very soon after the 
change in my habits, yet the pain in my side con- 
tinued with more or less severity for a considerable 
length of time, and the tendency to palpitation was 
very strong. 1 find myself now more inclined to a 
disease of the eyes, palpitation, and pain in the side, 
than any other illness. If I err in the quantity or 
quality of my food, or the amount of my exercise, I 


am apt to have a recurrence of these complaints ; 
but by care I can maintain a comfortable state of 
health all the time. 

" I am acquainted with a number of persons who 
have been the victims of this vice ; and I am per- 
suaded, from their experience as well as my own, 
that the entire abandonment of the habit, and the 
adoption of the Graham system of diet and regimen, 
will produce renovated health, if any means on 
earth can do it. 

" The Lord bless you, Mrs. G., and prosper you 
abundantly in your efforts to spread light on this 
truly awful subject. May parents be awakened, and 
this foul and blighting curse be removed from our 

A pious young woman has given me the follow- 
ing. I have never received a statement of this kind 
except from the most conscientious and worthy. 

"Mr DEAR MRS. G. I am willing to give you 
a statement of facts relative to solitary vice. You 
say you never found it among your mates. Would 
that I could say the same. My most dear and 
intimate friend was a victim of this vice, though 
considered a pattern of loveliness by those who 
knew her. I was induced when quite young to 
practise it, but not to any great extent. Fortu- 


nately, I met with a moral reform paper, that rep- 
resented the evil in its true light. I left the habit 
with loathing and abhorrence. I did not suffer 
materially in my health, with the exception of an 
obstinate disease of the eyes. 

" With the most earnest desire that information 
on this subject may be spread, I am your friend." 

The distressing details to which I have listened 
of nervous disease and irritability, of those disorders 
which are peculiar to females, of moral aberrations 
in consequence of the morbid condition of the suf- 
ferer, and of a state of partial insanity, have brought 
me to look upon my erring fellow creatures more 
as patients, than as criminals more as the victims 
of disease, than of crime. I would by no means 
discredit the doctrine of accountability. So long as 
the actions of persons are under the control of the 
will, they are accountable for them. But we all 
know that there is an amount of disease and insanity 
that removes us beyond the limits of responsibility. 
Let us diligently inquire into this matter before we 
blame the erring. 

Physicians have done much, within the last few 
years, to stay the progress of solitary vice. But 
many of them are still too fearful to do all that is 
required at their hands. A short time since I was 
conversing with a physician, who seemed to feel 


deeply on the subject. "But," said he, "-what 
can be done ? I dare not offend parents by telling 
them the habits of their children. Only the other 
day," said he, " I was called to a youth who was 
destroying himself by this practice, but I dared not 
mention it. The parents would have been very 
angry if 1 had." 

Surely it is the duty of physicians to make an 
effort to save the children of such parents, and 
clear their own souls of the guilt of suffering them 
to perish for lack of knowledge, even if they anger 
them. A parent had better be angry, than to 
mourn over the premature death of a promising 
child, or to see him languish in hopeless insanity or 

One of the most powerful procuring causes of the 
premature and excessive development of the sexual 
instinct, is the neglect of exercise. Active exercise 
in the open air, with a loose dress, is all important 
to health, at all ages, but particularly during the 
period of youth. The confinement of children 
during six hours of the day, to one position, in our 
close, un ventilated school rooms, is a tremendous 
evil. Girls are much more unjustly treated than 
boys, because they are not allowed scarcely any 
exercise out of school, and because of their tight 

If I were asked on what conditions, more than 


all others, health and purity depend, I should 


The bodies of children are enfeebled by indo- 
lence. The brain is excited by premature instruc- 
tion ; and the early reading of love tales, amatory 
poetry, romances, &,c., excite the imagination un- 
duly. Of course the imagination influences the 
organism, and the fires of passion rage and consume, 
while all without is calm. Parents and friends are 
unsuspecting, but the worm is in the bud. The 
healthy balance of the system is lost. A giant 
passion is roused, and with morbid and insane vio- 
lence it crushes its victim ; or if slower in its pro- 
gress, it still saps the foundations of life and health, 
and eventually destroys. Little can be effected in 
cases like this by outward remedial treatment ; a 
new direction must be given to the mind. Parents 
and care-takers must be aware that nothing but a 
passion can control and subdue a passion. They 
must make powerful and judicious appeals to some 
other passion or propensity. With some, the love 
of life is strong, and the certain death that their 
unhappy state will cause should be set before them. 
Conscientiousness, reverence for God and his laws, 
should be appealed to. But no occasional appeal, 
no transient effect, should be trusted. Regular 


attractive occupation for body and mind, should 
above all means be provided for the sufferer. 

We should strengthen the minds of the young by 
encouraging them to read history, biography, and 
books upon the natural sciences. The study of 
philosophy, mathematics and the languages, is worth 
much to health. Hygienic rules for securing the 
health of the body are invaluable, when the mind 
is taken into the account. But mere rules for the 
treatment of the body, without reference to the 
mind, must often, if not always, prove unsuccessful. 
Improper associates do much toward corrupting 
children. Still it will be altogether vain to guard 
children from improper associates, if the conditions 
of health are not complied with ; for they often as 
effectually corrupt themselves as another could do 
it. Still, our boarding and day schools are sources 
of untold mischief. If parents and teachers, and 
those who have the care of children, could know 
the laws of health as respects body and mind, the 
aspect of things in our world would soon be 
changed. The terrible waste of health, and life, 
and mental energy, that we now see result from the 
excessive development of the animal nature of man, 
would cease. Those sins that are the consequence 
of this unnatural development would cease, and 
then we might be convinced that the name of these 
sins was " legion." There is vast meaning in the 


words of Scripture, that " men are perishing for 
lack of knowledge." 

The dietetic habits of the people have much to 
do in causing the evil we are contemplating. A 
stimulating, oily diet of animal food, is probably 
next to neglect of exercise, in causing the undue 
development and excessive indulgence of the ani- 
mal instinct. Parents should religiously abstain 
from giving their children rich, stimulating food, or 
tea and coffee. Cold water is the only proper 
drink for them. The importance of correct diet 
should be felt by every parent. Alas, for children 
and for parents, where the " table is made a snare." 
The sins of Sodom were said to be pride, fulness of 
bread, and abundance of idleness. 

But some parents say, " If these things are so, 
why have I not known it long ago ? " I know 
many are reared in a plain, temperate, healthful 
manner, and escape vice, and a knowledge of it. 
Let such observe and inquire. 

There is a great want of confidence between 
parents and children. This ought not so to be, 
Parents should confide in their children, and in- 
struct and warn them, and treat them like reason- 
able beings, and not like mere animals. If the} 
are curious about their organization or origin, the} 
should never be met with subterfuge and falsehood 


but kindly told that when they are old enough they 
shall be properly instructed. 

We all know that the world is very corrupt, and 
is growing more and more so. What is the course 
for us to pursue in order to roll back the polluting 
tide that is overwhelming our world with moral and 
physical desolation. Every transgression against 
the laws of our nature, is visited on the head of the 
offender with a fearful penalty. The only course 
by which we can hope to renovate the human 
constitution, is, with the blessing of the Almighty, 
a course of strict temperance, a course of obedience 
to the laws of our nature, and the correct education 
of our children and youth. Let children be reared 
in temperance ; let them be daily bathed thoroughly : 
let them sleep on a mattress of hair, straw, or some 
elastic substance ; let them be encouraged to ex- 
ercise ; let the mind be occupied in a healthy and 
invigorating manner, and then the feeble, the in- 
efficient, the nervous, the fanatic, will not cross our 
path every hour, as they now do. Our insane hos- 
pitals will not be flooded with victims, as they now 
are, and those dens of infamy will cease to exist, 
which are at once the product and the bane of 
civilization. And the blessing of God will rest 
upon us and our children. 

The importance of a knowledge of these laws is 
beginning to be felt. People begin to be aware 


that insanity, idiocy and ill health have causes. 
Formerly they were considered mysterious dispen- 
sations of Providence. That they are dispensations 
of Providence, and depend on infraction of God's 
laws, phrenologists and physiologists have plainly 

Not long since I took up a book by a clergyman, 
containing an account of a whole family of children 
who were successively reduced to idiocy. The good 
man marvelled at this mysterious providence being 
permitted to afflict pious parents. He found the 
case in darkness [to him] he left it so. Truly 
such men must be called blind leaders of the blind, 
however excellent their intentions may be. 

In conclusion, let me entreat my sisters to study 
the science of human life. It is the science of 
sciences. We want light. The cause of humanity 
is the cause of God, for 

" God is paid when man receives. 
Tb enjoy is to obey." 

[When my Lectures were put to press, I supposed that the 
popular course would make three hundred pages. The two 
Lectures subjoined, though not in the regular course, I trust 
will be found valuable to the reader.] 




DISEASES and deformities of the spine have be- 
come so common, and almost fashionable, that it 
seems to me the votaries of science would be verily 
guilty, if they have so little philanthropy that 
they neglect to speak out on this subject, and in 
such a manner that the community can understand. 
I know there is a class of the community who can 
be benefited only in a reflex manner by scientific 
efforts. The want of common and general informa- 
tion, is a barrier raised between us and a certain 
part of the people. But if those who are abundantly 
able to understand these subjects, and to benefit the 
world by their example and conversation, will but 
use their energies, they will be instruments of great 
good in correcting abuses. Sometime since I was 
in a city where spinal diseases were very fashiona- 
ble. A lady was ill, and a Thomsonian practition- 
er was attending her. I inquired what her illness 
was. "Why," said one lady, "she has got the 
spine in her neck." It is evident these persons had 
little knowledge of anatomy. 

In considering distortions of the spine, it must be 


kept in mind how much the muscles have to do in 
keeping the body upright, and in maintaining the 
equilibrium of the body. If the integrity of the 
muscles is destroyed, they cannot support the spine. 
For instance, if the muscles that support the chest 
are paralyzed, they cannot hold the chest upright. 
Hence that stooping posture so common among 
young women who destroy the contractility of the 
muscles by lacing. The spine is bent forward, the 
intervertebral substance gives way, and assumes a 
wedge-like shape, and the spine becomes fixed in a 
degree of distortion. 

Young persons who sit much in a stooping pos- 
ture, or who incline to one side, and perhaps lean the 
elbow on a bench or desk, are subject to distortion ; 
the latter, to what is called lateral curvature of the 
spine. It is indispensable to the health of muscles, 
that they be alternately contracted and relaxed. 
You have probably all noticed that we tire much 
sooner when we stand for a considerable length of 
time, than when we walk. More muscles are brought 
into action by walking, than in standing. They 
are thus alternately relaxed and contracted ; and this 
is more favorable than either continued relaxation 
or contraction. Children who are obliged by fear 
of punishment to keep in a fixed posture at school, 
suffer greatly from the continued contraction of the 


From being obliged to keep constantly poring 
over a book, children contract a habit of stooping, 
or resting on the right side at school ; and owing to 
the length of time they are confined at the desk, the 
evil is greatly increased. Lateral distortion of the 
spine is thus produced. Many have this distortion 
who are not aware of it. It generally first shows 
itself in young girls by a prominence in the right 
shoulder, and by the right breast appearing larger 
than the other. 

The following excellent extracts are from Dr. 
Warren's Lecture on the Importance of Physical 
Education. The reader will perceive that I 
strengthen my positions by extracts from medical 
men of eminence. 

"Causes which affect the health and produce 
general weakness, operate powerfully on this part, 
in consequence of the complexity of its structure, 
and the great burden it supports. When weaken- 
ed, it gradually yields under its weight, becomes 
bent and distp/ted, losing its natural curves, and ac- 
quiring others, in such directions as the operation of 
external causes tend to give to it ; and these curves 
will be proportioned, in their degree and in their 
permanence, to the producing causes. If the sup- 
porting part is removed from its true position, the 
parts supported necessarily follow, and thus a dis- 
tortion of the spine effects a distortion of the trunk 
of the body. 


" The change commonly begins at the part which 
supports the right arm. The column bends towards 
the right shoulder, forms a convexity on the side 
where the shoulder rests, and thus elevates the right 
higher than the other. This elevation, or, as it is 
commonly called, growing out of the shoulder, is 
the first phenomenon that strikes the friends of the 
patient. Often when observed, it has already un- 
dergone a considerable change of position ; and the 
change is not confined to the shoulder, nor to the 
portion of spine immediately connected with it. On 
examination, it will be discovered that the curva- 
ture to the right in the upper part of the column, is 
accompanied, as a natural consequence, by a bend 
of the lower part to the left, and a correspondent 
projection of the left hip. It is perfectly obvious, 
that the inclination of the upper part of a flexible 
stick to one side, will leave the lower part on the 
other ; and when, by this inclination, the vertical 
support is lost, a disposition to yield at the curving 
points will continually increase, until it be counter- 
acted by some other power. Thus it happens, then, 
that any considerable projection of the right shoul- 
der will be attended by a correspondent projection 
of the left hip. 

" The rising of the shoulder involves other changes 
in the osseous fabric. For, as the spinal bones sup- 
port the ribs, when these bones project, they neces- 


sarily push forward the ribs dependent on them. 
These ribs form the frame of the chest, and of 
course the right side of the chest is projected for- 
wards, and causes a deformity in the fore part of 
the body. Nor do the changes stop here. The 
posterior ends of the ribs being pushed forwards, 
and the anterior ends being confined to the sternum 
or breast-bone, the right edge of the sternum will 
be drawn forwards, and the left edge consequently 
turned backwards. The fore-parts of the left ribs 
will be gradually forced inwards or backwards, and 
thus the left side of the chest distorted and con- 

" I am aware how difficult it is to have a distinct 
notion of these intricate changes in the human ma- 
chinery, without an exhibition of the parts concern- 
ed in them ; but it is my duty to present the train 
of phenomena as they exist in nature ; and I think 
they are sufficiently intelligible to excite considera- 
tion and inquiry. 

" Perhaps it may be imagined, that the cases 1 
have described are of rare occurrence, and that we 
have no occasion to alarm ourselves about a few 
strange distortions, the consequence of peculiar and 
accidental causes. If such were in fact the truth, 
I would not have occupied your time with the mi- 
nute details of these unpleasant subjects. Unhap- 
pily they are very common. I feel warranted in the 


assertion already intimated, that of the well-educated 
females within my sphere of experience, about one 
half are affected with some degree of distortion of 
the spine. This statement will not be thought ex- 
aggerated when compared with that of one of the 
latest and most judicious foreign writers. Speaking 
of the right, lateral curvature of the spine, just de- 
scribed, he tells us, ' It is so common, that out of 
twenty young girls, who have attained the age of 
fifteen years, there are not two who do not present 
very manifest traces of it.' 

" The lateral distortion of the spine is almost 
wholly confined to females, and is scarcely ever 
found existing in the other sex. The proportion of 
the former to the latter is at least nine to one. In 
truth, I may say that I have scarcely ever witness- 
ed a remarkable distortion, of the kind now spoken 
of, in a boy. What is the cause of the disparity ? 
They are equally well formed by nature ; or, if there 
be any difference, the symmetry of all parts is more 
perfect in the female than in the male. The differ- 
ence in physical organization results from a differ- 
ence of habits during the school education. It is 
not seen till after this process is advanced. The 
girl, when she goes from school, is, as we have be- 
fore said, expected to go home and remain, at least 
a large part of the time, confined to the house. As 
soon as the boy is released, he begins to run and 


jump and frolic in the open air, and continues his 
sports till hunger draws him to his food. The re- 
sult is, that in him all the organs get invigorated, 
and the bones of course became solid ; while a de- 
fect exists in the other proportionate to the want of 
physical motion. 

" A question may fairly be asked why these evils 
are greater now than formerly, when females were 
equally confined ? The answer, in reference to 
the young females of our country is, that they then 
took a considerable share in the laborious part of the 
domestic duties ; now they are devoted to literary 
occupations of a nature to confine the body and re- 
quire considerable efforts of the mind." 

You will readily see, that if the bones are not 
properly formed, they will be bent out of place 
much more easily. And bone cannot be properly 
formed if the habits of the individual are wrong 
if exercise is neglected, and pure air is not breathed. 
We can hardly insist too much on exercise. The 
bones of men, and of race horses during what is 
called training, are hard and white like ivory. These 
same bones will very soon degenerate where there 
is neglect of exercise. If the food be improper in 
quality or quantity, the blood will not be good. 
Of course the bones cannot be properly formed. 
Hence, too, distortion is easily produced. 

Neglect of the skin causes bone to be improperly 


formed. But you may ask, what can the skin 
have to do with the bones ? The worn out, useless 
and pernicious matter of the system is thrown out by 
the excretories of the skin, when the functions of the 
excretories are properly performed. The functions 
of the skin cannot be properly performed, without 
the pores are kept open by frequent bathing. Where 
this is neglected, the waste matter of the system, 
which should pass off through the pores, is thrown 
upon the lungs. The lungs are made to do the 
work of the skin. By this unnatural labor, and by 
means of the morbific matter thrown upon the lungs, 
they become diseased. The necessary changes by 
which the blood becomes perfect cannot be pro- 
duced. The blood is not good, and of course the 
bones cannot be properly nourished. They become 
soft, and easily bent out of shape. The super- 
incumbent load that rests on the spine and pelvis, 
peculiarly dispose these bones to distortion. 

A scrofulous state of the bones often induces 
distortion ; though this is but one among many 
causes of distortion. Scrofula is at the present day 
a prevalent and formidable disease ; and many 
causes operate in its production. 

It will at once be seen, that as all parts of the 
body are dependent on the blood for nutrition, they 
cannot be properly nourished unless the blood be 
good. The muscles that support the spine become 


weak, torpid and shrivelled. They cannot support 
the spine. There will be irregular contractions and 
relaxations. The spine will be thus distorted. 
There are so many causes steadily at work to pro- 
duce distortion, that it is not at all wonderful that 
almost every third female we meet with is more or 
less crooked. Whatever deteriorates the blood, 
affects the muscles and the bones thus increasing 
the chances of distortion. Impure air deteriorates 
the blood. No blood can be good unless vitalized 
by pure air. Improper and innutritious food of 
course affects the blood, tending to produce scrofula 
and other disorders. 

Respecting the causes of scrofula, I find the 
following sensible remarks in an essay on scrofula 
by Dr. S. Durkee, of Boston, published in the 
Boston Medical and Surgical Journal : 

" Whatever is calculated to impair the healthy 
tone of the system, may lay the foundation of the 
disease. I have now under my care a young man 
afflicted with scrofula, and in whom no hereditary 
taint can be traced. He has, until recently, led a 
sea-faring life. His complexion is dark. He is 
one of five children belonging to the same family, 
none of whom ever exhibited any signs of the 
complaint ; nor yet the parents. This patient's 
legs have been covered at times with large crops 
of scrofulous ulcers, duriner the last four or five 

* o 


years. My knowledge of his habits satisfies me 
that the disease is chargeable to them. 

" Another case is that of a female, who from 
childhood was the object of fond parental regard ; 
and while no means were unemployed for the cul- 
tivation of her mind, her physical education was 
comparatively neglected, and, as a consequence, 
her constitution, naturally slender, has been greatly 
undermined. For several years she was kept at a 
crowded boarding school, where little regard was 
had to pure air, exercise and diet. Her digestive 
powers first became enfeebled, which in time led 
to a train of symptoms of uncommon obstinacy, 
such as constipation, abdominal tumefaction, and 
glandular enlargements. I have long been ac- 
quainted with the family of which this young wo- 
man is a member, and have no reason to suppose 
that the scrofulous affections, under which she 
suffers, are attributable to hereditary predisposition. 
The health-destroying agencies to which she was 
subjected in early years, operating slowly and in- 
sidiously, afford an explanation of all that apper- 
tains to her case, so far as causes are concerned. 

" It is a matter of medical history, made certain 
by the investigations of Alison, that scrofula pre- 
vails to a greater extent in large towns and cities, 
than in the open country. What is the reason of 
this difference ? Certainly not because a higher 


per cent, of hereditary predisposition exists among 
the same number of inhabitants in one district rather 
than another, but because of the artificial modes of 
life incident to the abodes of city residents. Causes 
dissimilar in kind, but the same in effect, are con- 
tinually at work among the operatives-of extensive 
manufactories ; and hence the prevalence of the 
disease in these establishments. It were idle to 
dwell on these causes at length. Every practical 
man in the profession is familiar with them ; and is 
often compelled to contend with their influence in 
his efforts to conquer the disease. Take, for in- 
stance, an enlargement of the lymphatic glands in 
the first stage. If the patient live in a close, con- 
taminated atmosphere, and on meagre or unwhole- 
some fare of any description, or if he be under the 
influence of any cause calculated to bring debility 
upon the system, every exertion to benefit him will 
prove nugatory. Judicious hygienic measures con- 
stitute the sheet anchor in the case ; and it may be 
laid down as a correct proposition, that those 
causes which interrupt the cure, will produce the 
disorder. Scrofula has many features which bring 
it into near alliance with scurvy. 

" The digestive apparatus is the grand laboratory 
for preparing the materials for the support of the 
animal economy ; and if the digestive powers are 
subjected to the influence of causes which serve to 


debilitate them and disturb their proper functions, 
the process of chylification, being a part of their 
work, will be partially executed. The blood will 
consequently be deteriorated in its properties 
will be less nutritious less capable of sustaining 
and stimulating the general organization, and the 
vital forces will be depressed. 

" If by reason of impure air, bad food, or imper- 
fect digestion, the blood is degenerated and unfit 
for adequate nutrition, the organs most essential to 
life will often suffer to a fatal extent. So true is 
this fact, that in the lower animals strumous affec- 
tions in the lungs, mesentery, &c., can be produced 
to almost any amount, by withholding a sufficiency 
of food, or by allowing them that which is too rich. 
Quadrupeds and birds, transferred from their wild 
state and confined in menageries, where the atmos- 
phere is contaminated, and their food too concen- 
trated in form, frequently droop and die with lym- 
phatic engorgements. The same causes produce 
like effects in the human subject. In large towns 
the children of the poor suffer for lack of healthy 
sustenance, while those of the opulent are over-fed 
with all the varieties which the genius of cookery 
can invent. 

" Of all artizans in this country, shoe-makers are 
most liable to be attacked with scrofula from arti- 
ficial causes. The apartments in which they labor 


are small, and usually crowded ; the temperature is 
raised to an unhealthy degree, and the confined 
atmosphere largely impregnated with human effluvia 
and the smoke of lamps and tobacco, as well as 
with the specific exhalation arising from the mate- 
rial manufactured. Their attitude, in leaning with 
the head depressed for twelve or fourteen hours a 
day, and the pressure of the shoes against the ster- 
num, occasion a permanent deformity of the chest 
and crookedness of the spinal column. These 
causes induce torpidity in the functions of the 
stomach and intestinal canal, and the whole diges- 
tive apparatus is deranged ; the sanguineous fluid 
is depraved, its circulation indolent, and the powers 
of assimilation blunted the muscles flaccid, the 
countenance pale and sickly, and the whole con- 
stitution atonic." 

In this country, the abundant use of pork is doubt- 
less one great cause of scrofula. It is worthy of 
remark, that the term scrofula comes from a Greek 
word meaning swine evil, swine swellings, or morbid 
tumors to which swine are subject. The use of 
fat, be it ever so healthy a deposition, has a ten- 
dency to produce disease, because it is so difficult 
of digestion. But when mixed with the scrofulous 
matter, as it doubtless often is, it must be productive 
of much more evil. Let no one suppose that the 
deadly virus of disease in the flesh of diseased ani- 


mals, strumous hogs, &c., can be eaten with impu- 
nity. Sufficient quantities of plain, healthy, nutri- 
tive food, free from oils, heating condiments, &cc., 
should be given to children to prevent scrofula. 
Various opinions are entertained by different medi- 
cal men respecting this dreadful scourge that in- 
vades the glands, lungs, bones, &c. 

I know of no animals afflicted with scrofula, 
habitually, except men and swine. The reason 
why these two classes of animals are alone infected 
with this disease is sufficiently obvious. The habits 
of other animals are not bad enough to cause the 
disease ; but those of men and swine are just bad 
enough. The manner in which swine are kept in 
our country should claim the attention of all who 
use their flesh as food. 

I trust I shall be excused for giving so vulgar an 
animal a place in my pages, when our delicate 
females so often give it a place on their plates. I 
claim none of that delicacy that would shun a dis- 
agreeable subject, which it may be beneficial to 
humanity to discuss. 

It is well known that swine, in their natural 
state, are very active animals. The wild boar of 
Germany is exceedingly fleet, and always active. 
Its food, too, consists of nuts and fruit principally, 
though considered an omniverous animal. In its 
natural state, it has the advantages of pure air, 


good food, and abundance oi exercise. In the 
artificial life to which the animal is now reduced, it 
often has neither. Swine are fed on the most dis- 
gusting substances the most loathsome offal. 
They are kept in narrow pens, without exercise, 
and they breathe the most horribly offensive atmos- 
phere continually. Can we wonder that under 
such circumstances scrofula is developed. Nor is 
it at all wonderful, that with the same procuring 
causes, man should be afflicted with the same dis- 
ease, as he has one means of procuring the disorder 
that the hog has not. Men eat the flesh of swine, 
but the swine do not eat us. 

It is true, distortion of the spine exists in many 
cases where scrofula is not present, yet it must be 
evident to all that its presence always increases the 
evil. The present method of training children 
makes it a matter of surprise that any escape 

Let us contemplate the infant daughter, and fol- 
low her from childhood to mature age. In nine 
cases out of ten, perhaps ninety-nine out of a' hun- 
dred, the parents, particularly the mothers, are dis- 

A writer in the Boston Medical and Surgical 
Journal says : 

" I recently attended a post mortem examination 
of an infant who had died of scrofula. The me- 


senteric glands were a mass of tubercles. The ap- 
petite had been voracious the stomach had been 
distended till it was nearly transparent. The body 
was almost entirely bloodless. The brain, lungs 
and pancreas were studded with tubercles. Much 
of the brain was in a state of ramottissement. This 
was a case of hereditary scrofula, evidently from 
the father, showing conclusively that a subtle virus 
may be communicated, causing this disease, as well 
as syphilis. 

" Still, unless the system is deeply infected with 
the virus, have we not reason to believe that proper 
management with respect to diet and regimen, may 
eradicate the taint. I know a practitioner runs the 
risk, in these days, of being dubbed a Grahamite, if 
he recommends the antiphlogistic regimen in any 
case, or if he dare dissent from the long received 
opinion, that ' animal food is more nutritive and 
stimulating than vegetable ; that is, that the same 
quantity of the former will make more and richer 
blood, and will satisfy the demands of the digestive 
organs for a longer period, than the latter.' Now 
I, for one, will not surrender the right of private 
judgment, through fear that I shall be ranked with 
this or that class of real or supposed fanatics. 

" It is conceded by all, that meagre diet of any 
kind, has a tendency to produce scrofula. It has 
been my lot to mark the effects of a well-regulated 


vegetable diet in a number of cases of scrofula 
cases of long standing, and of a marked bad char- 
acter. My experience in these cases has not dem- 
onstrated that a mixed diet was best. I am not 
about to say there are no cases of a character to de- 
mand animal food. But in every case that has 
come under my observation, of hereditary or in- 
duced scrofula, where a well-regulated vegetable 
aliment has been used, it has been with advantage. 
In several instances a decided improvement and ul- 
timate cure was obtained by abstaining even from 
milk. I have seen some of the finest specimens of 
athleta who lived upon an exclusively vegetable 
diet not even partaking of milk ; and I think I 
should not be haunted with fears of diminished 
strength, if I could make up my mind to abstain 
from animal food. 

"Ought we not to be impressed with the belief 
that prophylactic means are worth infinitely more 
than therapeutic ? When mothers become enlight- 
ened on the subject of physical education when 
pure air, exercise, the use of the bath and a proper 
attention to the diet of children shall become as 
common as the neglect of these several particulars 
now is, may we not hope to see scrofula decrease 
as rapidly as it has increased for a few years past ? 
Would it not be profitable to inquire how far the 
compression which is exerting its influence on the 


nervous tissues, the circulatory system, and directly 
on the spinal column, has an effect to derange the 
normal functions of the system, and to produce 
scrofula ? " 

The child at birth is made the recipient of 
unhealthy nourishment. There are many causes 
which combine to make the mother's milk unhealthy. 
The functions of the whole system are depraved. 
The lying-in chamber is generally a most unhealthy 
place. Pure air is almost by common consent ex- 
cluded from the lying-in chamber. The vitiated 
air of the room is loaded with impure exhalations. 
The child is often enveloped in the bed clothes, and 
its head so covered that it has but a poor chance 
even to breathe the bad air allowed. Its tender 
body is bound with a tight swathe, or the more recent 
contrivance of the elastic band, which, in many in- 
stances, exactly resembles the leg of a coarse wool- 
len footing, is drawn on to chafe the tender skin. 
Clothes a half a yard too long impede, and indeed 
hinder its first attempts at motion. Bathing is in a 
great majority of cases entirely neglected. The 
first four weeks are generally spent in a confinement 
poorly calculated to make the child enjoy its new 
mode of existence, or insure its continuance in it. 

To an unreflecting mind, it may seem strange 
that in many situations half the children die before 
attaining maturity. It is stated that of 1000 chil- 


dren born in London, 650 die before ten years of 
age. It is stated by Combe, that " one hundred 
years ago, when the pauper infants of London were 
received and brought up in the work-houses, amid 
impure air, crowding, and want of proper food, not 
above 1 in 24 lived to be a year old ; so that out 
of 2800 received into them, 2690 died yearly. But 
when the conditions of health came to be better 
understood, and an act of Parliament was obtained, 
obliging the parish officers to send the infants to 
nurse in the country, this frightful mortality was 
reduced to 450, instead of upwards of 2000." 

Of the alarming injustice done the female frame, 
from a very tender age, we are all aware, or might 
be, if we will open our eyes. It is stated by Dr. 
John Bell, one of the greatest men of our age, 
" that in ten females free from disease, about eigh- 
teen or twenty years of age, the quantity of air 
inspired and expired averaged about three pints and 
a half, whilst in young men of the same age it was 
found to amount to six pints an alarming contrast, 
after allowing for the natural difference in the size 
of the chest." How deep the guilt of that mother 
who compresses the tender frame of her infant 
daughter, cramping the chest, distorting the spine, 
obliterating much of the circulation, compressing 
the lungs, and producing misery that it would take 
a volume to describe in all its details. 


With boys, much of the injustice of the nursery 
ceases as they grow older. They are allowed to 
mix in out-door sports and active exercise. Free 
circulation and breathing pure air make them com- 
paratively robust and healthy. Not so with girls. 
They are confined to the school room, the piano, 
and often to embroidery. They are fed on delica- 
cies, pies, pastry, &c. Take the hardiest animal 
in the world the dog, the bear, or the lion, and 
rear him as are our young ladies, and it would ruin 
his constitution. Do we wonder at the sufferings 
and ill health of the daughters of our land, when all 
is wrong with them from the cradle to the grave ? 

With chest deformed, spine and pelvis distorted, 
and every organ and tissue of the body imperfectly 
nourished, can we expect woman to become a 
mother without indescribable anguHh ? Or can we 
expect her offspring to live out half the days al- 
lotted to man ? 

Distortion of the spine is vastly more common 
than many suppose. Dr. Warren of Boston says, 
" I feel warranted in the assertion, that of the well 
educated females within my sphere of experience, 
about one half are affected with some degree of 
distortion of the spine." Such a statement, from a 
man of such enlarged experience and great skill as 
Dr. Warren, should alarm us exceedingly. 

La Chaise, in his work on Curvatures of the 


Vertebral Column, when speaking of lateral distor- 
tion, expresses his belief that " out of twenty young 
girls who have reached their fifteenth year, there 
are not two who do not exhibit very manifest traces 
of it." Dr. Forbes says, " We lately visited in a 
large town a boarding school containing forty girls, 
and we learned on close and accurate inquiry, that 
there was not one of the girls who had been at the 
school two years, (and the majority had been as 
long,) that was not more or less crooked." 

This is truly a lamentable, a deplorable picture 
of society. Is it necessary that this state of things 
should exist ? If so, why are not animals thus dis- 
eased ? The lambs that sport in our fields without 
stays or braces, with natural food, and water for 
their drink, have no spinal distortion, and no scrofu- 
lous bones. Btft the confinement, and compression, 
and impure air, and improper food of females, are 
enough to produce both these evils, and many more. 
It is much more wonderful that females suffer so 
little, than that they suffer so much. Besides the 
abuses to which they are subjected, they are born 
with deteriorated constitutions, and often the whole 
system is infected with scrofula and other diseases 
"before birth. 

I do not mean to give the idea that scrofula causes 
all the spinal distortions. By no means. But it 
always aggravates distortion when it has invaded 


the bones. There are cases of great suffering and 
disease from an affection of the medulla spinalis, and 
the nerves which proceed from it, independent of 
distortion. Abuse of the nervous system, either by 
solitary or social licentiousness, causes spinal dis- 
ease of a terrible character. In spinal disease the 
injury often is threefold. First, the mechanical 
pressure exerted by the distorted spine upon the 
nerves ; secondly, the morbific influence that has 
caused the distortion ; and thirdly, often an amount 
of nervous abuse that very greatly aggravates every 
other evil. 

I have read much on spinal diseases and the 
mode of cure, and I feel that there is hope even in 
very bad cases. It will be evident to all that those 
hurtful influences that have produced the disorder 
must be removed. Strict attention should be paid 
to hygienic rules in eating, drinking, dressing, sleep- 
ing, air, exercise, bathing, &c. 

Unless proper food be eaten at proper times and 
in proper quantities, we cannot expect good blood. 
The best regulated diet will avail little if compres- 
sion is exerting its baneful influence. Again, if there 
be no compression, if pure air be not breathed and 
cleanliness attended to, we shall have disastrous re- 

The means for the prevention and cure of spinal 
diseases and distortions are the same. Dr. John 


Bell says, " Regular and varied exercise in the open 
air, and that systematic kind by gymnastics, and 
good nourishing food, are the chief means for ac- 
complishing this end. A perseverance in these, 
for a length of time, has been followed by a cure in 
cases of a most discouraging nature." Speaking of 
those who are in quest of health and strength, he 
says, " To attain this end, no bitter, nor tonic, nor 
cordial, derived from the shops, no fermented, and 
still less alcoholic liquor can be regularly taken. On 
the contrary, a long perseverance in their use will 
be found eminently detrimental both to health and 
beauty. The only means of permanent restoration 
of the exhausted economy and feeble frame, and de- 
ficiency of contour, are plain nourishing food, free 
exercise in the open air, regular occupations, tran- 
quillity of mind, and a proper allotment of time for 



VARIOUS terms have been used to characterize 
our age. It has been called the " excital age," the 
" mechanical age," &tc., but it seems to me to be the 
age of discovery. Great truths, fastened by golden 


links to the throne of God, are thrown world wide, 
to be gathered up by mortals. Men are needed to 
present these truths to the world. The way-farers 
are too busy to heed them. It is a hard thing for 
these to cry truth in the market places ; but all 
things, I had well nigh said, are sold in the sham- 
bles in our age. 

The Divine Providence gives great minds to our 
world to discover truth to meet out necessities. 
But there is so much simulation, so many errors 
that only gain currency by counterfeiting truth, that 
men are cautious. This is well ; it brings out the 
energies of the apostles of truth. They are strength- 
ened by hardships, and inattention, and neglect. 
Like the infants of savages, none but the hardiest 
survive the hardships of their lot. They get " not 
what they wish, but what they want" in their in- 
tercourse with their fellow men. 

I have sometimes thought inattention more pain- 
ful to the philanthropist than contention. If men 
will think enough to quarrel wjth truth, they are 
coming. The mischief is, men do not think, as 
a mass. They appoint some one, if not by vote, at 
least tacitly, to do their thinking ; and they thank- 
fully receive ready made dogmas, and perhaps pay 
for them. 

With all deference to our very wise world, I am 
inclined to think that the word education is not un- 


Some years ago, a friend made me a present of a 
beautiful ice plant. I immediately set about culti- 
vating it in such a manner as would insure the 
largest amount of leaves and blossoms. I succeed- 
ed. It was the admired of all admirers ; but " pass- 
ing away" was written on it. I had educated it 
to death. Such is the course pursued with our 
children. Those of you who know my labors in 
the cause of physical education, will not expect me 
to separate physical from intellectual culture in my 
remarks. " What God hath joined together, let not 
man put asunder." 

I find so many more valuable thoughts on the 
subject of education than my own, that I feel bound 
to bring them before you. The following thoughts 
from the Common School Journal, that able organ of 
truth, which is, or ought to be, the boast of Massa- 
chusetts, are beautifully true : 

" Physical education is not only of great impor- 
tance on its own account, but, in a certain sense, it 
seems to be invested with the additional importance 
of both intellectual and moral ; because, although 
we have frequent proofs that there may be a hu- 
man body without a soul ; yet, under our present 
earthly conditions of existence, there cannot be a 
human soul without a body. The statue must lie 
prostrate, without a pedestal ; and, in this sense, 
the pedestal is as important as the statue. 


" The present generation is suffering incalcula- 
bly under an ignorance of physical education. It 
is striving to increase the number of pleasurable 
sensations, without any knowledge of the great laws 
of health and life, and thus defeats its own object. 
The sexes, respectively, are deteriorating from their 
fathers, and especially from their mothers, in con- 
stitutional stamina. The fifteen millions of the 
United States, at the present day, are by no means 
five times the three millions of the revolutionary 
era. Were this degeneracy attributable to mother 
Nature, we should compare her to a fraudulent 
manufacturer, who, having established his name in 
the market for the excellence of his fabrics, should 
avail himself of his reputation to palm off subse- 
quent bales or packages, with the same stamp, or 
ear-mark, but of meaner quality. Thus it is with 
the present race, as compared with their ancestors ; 
short in length, deficient in size and weight, and 
sleazy in texture. The activity and boldness of the 
sanguine temperament, and the enduring nature of 
the fibrous, which belonged to the olden time, are 
succeeded by the weak refinements of the nervous, 
and the lolling, lackadaisical, fashionable sentimen- 
tality of the lymphatic. The old hearts of oak are 
gone. Society is suffering under a curvature of the 
spine. If deterioration holds on, at its present rate, 
especially in our cities, we shall soon be a bed-rid 


people. There will be a land of ghosts and shad- 
ows this side of Acheron and the Elysian fields. 
Where are the young men, and, emphatically, 
where are the young women, who promise a green 
and vigorous age at seventy ? The sweat and toil 
of the field and of the household are despised, and 
no substitute is provided for these invigorating ex- 
ercises. Even professed connoisseurs, who lounge 
and dawdle in the galleries of art, and labor to 
express their weak rapture at the Jove-like stature 
and sublime strength of Hercules, or at the majes- 
tic figure of Venus, beneath whose ample zone 
there resides the energy which prevents grace from 
degenerating into weakness, even they will belie, 
in dress and contour, all the power and beauty they 
profess to admire. There is a general effeminacy 
in our modes of life, as compared with the indurat- 
ing exposures of our ancestors. Our double-win- 
dows ; our air-tight houses ; our heated and un ven- 
tilated apartments, from nursery to sleeping room 
and church ; the multitude of our garments of fur, 
and down, and woollen, numerous as the integu- 
ments around an Egyptian mummy, beneath 
which we shrink, and cower, and hide ourselves 
from our best friend, the north-west wind ; our car- 
riages in which we ride when we should be on foot ; 
all these enervating usages, without any equiva- 
lent of exercise or exposure, are slackening the 


whole machinery of life. More weakly children 
are born than under the vigorous customs and hardy 
life of our fathers ; and, what is still more signifi- 
cant, a far greater proportion of these puny chil- 
dren, under our tender and delicate nursing, are 
reared, than was formerly done. A weak cohesion 
still exists in many a thread of life, which, under 
the rough handling of former times, would have 
been snapped. Amid hardship and exposure, the 
young were toughened or destroyed. Nature pass- 
ed round among them, as a gardener among his 
plants, and weeded out the blasted and mildewed. 
She shook the tree till the sickly fruits fell off. She 
did not preserve these as the stock from which to 
produce the still more degraded fruits of a second 
season. But, under the modern hot-house system, 
the puny and feeble are saved. They grow up 
without strength, passing from the weakness of 
childhood to that of age, without taking the vigor of 
manhood in their course. By the various applian- 
ces of art, indeed, the stooping frame can be kept 
upright, and the shrunken be rounded out into the 
semblance of humanity. But these cheats give no 
internal, organic force. Though the arts of bolster- 
ing up the human figure, and of giving to its un- 
sightly angles the curvilinear forms of grace, should 
grow into a science, and its practice should be the 
most lucrative of professions, yet not one element 


of genuine beauty or dignity will be thereby gained. 
Such arts can never bestow elasticity and vigor upon 
the frame, nor suffuse 'the human face divine* 
with the roseate hues of health. The complexion 
will still be wan, the pulse feeble, the motions lan- 
guid. The eye will have no fire. The imagina- 
tion will lose its power to turn all light into rain- 
bows. The intellect will never be sufficiently 
expanded to receive a system of truths ; and single 
truths cut out from their connections, and adopted 
without reference to kindred truths, always mislead. 
The affections will fall, like Lucifer, from the 
upper, to fasten upon objects in the nether sphere. 
In a word, the forces of the soul will retreat from 
the fore-head to the hind-head, and the brow, that 
' dome of thought and palace of the soul,' will be 
narrow and ' villanously low ; ' for it is here that 
Nature sets her signet, and stamps her child a phi- 
losopher or a cretin. Here she will not suffer her 
signatures to be counterfeited, for neither tailors nor 
mantua-makers can insert their cork or padding 
beneath the tables of the skull." 

Education means to form the manners, to instruct, 
to nurture, &c. But the received definition seems 
to relate principally to the mere memorizing of 
words at school. A good definition of education is 
given by a recent writer : 

" The highest object of education is that of form- 


ing the mind and character to every thing that is 
manly and useful, developing the physical powers 
in their highest perfection, and seeking a correspon- 
dent development of the intellectual and moral man ; 
preparing men for the practical business of life ; to 
provide for their own subsistence and welfare, and 
the subsistence and welfare of others ; to advance 
civilization ; to increase the wealth of the commu- 
nity ; to adorn and embellish society by all the arts 
that ingenuity can invent, and to contribute to the 
general comfort, to multiply and extend the means 
of enjoyment and improvement, and further the 
progress of mankind in all that is useful and good." 
We hear of young ladies who have "finished 
their education ! " that is, they are just out of a 
boarding school, where perhaps some six or eight 
were crowded into one apartment at night, like so 
many prisoners. Are their bodies developed in a 
healthy manner? Are they hardy and robust? 
Can they engage in rural sports or labors with ease, 
comfort, and indeed high enjoyment? Are their 
minds disciplined and strengthened? Can they 
think deeply, closely and rationally on any given 
subject, and write out their thoughts ? Will a work 
on metaphysics give them more pleasure than a 
work of fiction, addressed to their feelings ? I will 
endeavor to answer each of these questions accord- 
ing to truth. 


The first three questions may be ably answered 
by the following quotations from Dr. Warren's able 
lecture on the importance of physical education, de- 
livered before the American Institute. 

" Action is the object for which organization was 
created. If the organs are allowed to remain inac- 
tive, the channels of life become clogged, and the 
functions, and even the structure, get impaired. 
Young animals are filled with the desire of motion, 
in order that the fluids of the body may be forced 
rapidly through their tubes, the solids thus elonga- 
ted and enlarged, and every part gradually and fully 

" The immediate consequences of action on the 
bodily frame are familiar and visible to daily expe- 
rience. Observe the sinewy arm of the mechanic. 
The muscles are large and distinct ; and when put in 
motion, they become as hard as wood, and as strong 
as iron. Notice those who are accustomed to carry 
considerable weights on the head. The joints of 
the lower limbs are close-set and unyielding ; the 
frame perfectly erect, and the attitude commanding. 
In the cultivator of the soil, though the form may 
be vitiated by neglect, you may observe that the 
appearance of every part is healthful, vigorous, and 
well fitted for labor. 

" While all of us are desirous of possessing the 
excellent qualities of strength, hardiness and beauty, 


how defective are our systems of education in the 
means of acquiring them ! In the present state of 
civilization, a child, soon after it can walk, is sent 
to school ; not so much for the purpose of learning, 
as to relieve its parents of the trouble of superin- 
tending its early movements. As he grows older, 
the same plan is incessantly pursued and improved 
on, till a large part of his time is passed in sedentary 
pursuits and in crowded rooms. In the short inter- 
vals of mental occupation, the boy is allowed to fol- 
low the bent of his inclinations, and seeks in play 
that exercise which nature imperiously demands. 
The development of his system, though not what 
it was destined to be, is attained in a certain way ; 
and he is exempted from some of the evils which 
fall heavily on the other sex. 

" The female, at an early age, is discouraged from 
activity, as unbecoming her sex, and is taught to 
pass her leisure hours in a state of quietude at home. 
The effects of this habit have been already spoken 
of in general terms ; and I would now point out some 
of its results in a specific manner. 

" In the course of my observations, I have been 
able to satisfy myself that about half the young fe- 
males brought up as they are at present, undergo 
some visible and obvious change of structure ; that 
a considerable number are the subjects of great and 
permanent deviations ; and that not a few entirely 


lose their health from the manner in which they are 

There is a natural joyousness in children, when 
they are not broken by disease, the same as in the 
young of all animals. This natural playfulness, if 
indulged, insures to a great extent the proper de- 
velopment of their frames. But they are cramped 
and confined every way, especially females. Their 
dress makes it even dangerous to exercise ; and then 
if they go out of their measured pace, they are 
checked, and told that such things are very im- 
proper for a little girl ; and perhaps the names romp, 
or " torn-boy " are added, to effectually cure the 
child of a disposition to healthful exercise. For six 
hours a day children must be confined in our prisons 
called schools ; but then boys make partial amends 
for this ; but girls are prisoners for life. With such 
an education for soul and body as our females re- 
ceive, the law may well class women with infants, 
minors and idiots, as it does. And yet, under all 
her disabilities, there are gleams of intelligence to 
be found even among us, that give promise of a 
brighter day, when men and women shall under- 
stand all the laws that govern body and mind, and 
act in accordance with them. 

It is painful to me to be obliged to present such 
answers to these questions, but every day's observa- 
tion confirms their truth. We see ill health and all 


its train of evils on every hand. I have shown yon 
in these pages that the miseries of our miserable 
race commence even before birth. Children live, if 
live they can, through the errors and ignorance that 
surround the nursery, and then they are sent with 
the brain all unformed to our schools, which are 
nurseries of disease. The females, surrounded by 
all the disadvantages that custom heaps upon them, 
grow up feeble and frail. Let us contemplate one 
of these fair daughters when she first sustains the 
relation of a wife and a mother. 

A year since she was led to the altar, a white 
robed vision of loveliness. Alas ! the worm was 
even then in the bud, and her husband and friends 
are soon called to weep over the grave of buried 
hopes. " After life's fitful fever she sleeps well." 
But did God intend that this misery should be the 
portion of his creatures ? Did he intend that the 
marriage relation, his own divine institution, should 
be the prelude to sufferings that no pen can de- 
scribe, and that often end in the death of one or both 
of the beloved beings on whom the friends hang 
with souls full of anguish and love ? 

We return again to the questions, Has our present 
system of education a tendency to strengthen the 
mind, to make deep and rational thinkers ? The 
vast demand for fictitious writings would alone an- 
swer these questions. Is the philosopher as well 


understood and as much honored by the mass as the 
writer of fictions, puerile though innocent ? 

I do not ask for the same education for woman 
that man receives. I do not wish to leave my sub- 
ject to enter into an argument about the equality of 
the sexes. I know full well, as woman is educated 
and enslaved by circumstances, that she is not equal 
to man. Whether she would be in a better state of 
things, I stop not to inquire. 

That there will always be a dissimilarity between 
the sexes, whether their education be the same or 
different, I think no one will deny. But dissimilar- 
ity is no proof of inferiority. Man has more of in- 
tellect, woman more of affection. But I have yet 
to learn that wisdom is superior to love. 

For the sake of the race, I ask that all be done 
for woman that can be done, for it is an awful 
truth that fools are the mothers of fools. For 
myself, I know that I am not a shadow of 
what I might have been had I been rightly edu- 
cated educated with wise reference to soul and 
body. I am a crushed wreck, a miserable remnant 
of humanity ; and knowing the disabilities under 
which I labor, I can plead for children. 

My mind takes cognizance of a few truths ; but 
had it not been broken by disease, I might have 
bathed in the ocean of truth, instead of catching 
drops of spray. But this is a heart sickening sub- 
ject, and I leave it. 


I am not one of those who charge man with in- 
justice to woman. Man as man is no more unjust 
to woman than he is to himself. Both are the 
slaves of circumstances. 

There is no doubt in my mind, that society, as it 
is, is radically and fundamentally wrong ; but we 
must make the best of it. Children ought to be 
under the care of those who have an attraction for 
the care and education of the young. Gold never 
bought affection. 

Confinement and impure air are not the only evils 
of our schools ; and we may well expect to ask in 
vain for pure air for our schools, when the wisdom 
of our state legislature is not sufficient to insure a 
supply of pure air. I have just come from the state 
house in Boston, and I there saw our senators and 
representatives deliberating amid an atmosphere so 
impure and disgusting, that it not only causes much 
present discomfort, but must very much shorten life. 
One of the representatives remarked to me that he 
" knew of nothing that he would more gladly pur- 
chase than fresh air." But such is the state of ig- 
norance and inattention on the subject, that a few 
who feel the importance of breathing pure air, do 
not hazard the expression of an opinion respecting 
the advantages of ventilation. 

The evil which I am now about to mention I 
charge upon community. It is educating our chil- 


dren as Americans do every thing else, in a hurry. 
We live in a hurry, we eat, drink, walk and think, 
if we have time to think at all, in a hurry. It is 
the vanity of parents that leads to the destruction 
of their children. Infant schools are such a mon- 
strosity, that is, where the brain of the child is 
forced, as we often see, that they deserve indictment 
as much as many other crimes that spring from igno- 
rance and pride. 

The brain of the child, according to Meckel, is 
not formed in all its parts till the seventh year. 
This delicate unformed organ is subjected to such 
excitement in our schools, that it is diseased, and the 
whole body with it and often insanity is caused. 
Dr. Pierce, a man of whom Philadelphia ought to 
be proud, says " that undue excitement is not 
only injurious to the brain as an organ of the body, 
but also deranges its functions, producing various 
diseases of the system, and oftentimes insanity." 
He says farther, " I shall endeavor to show that the 
course pursued in our schools in regard to the edu- 
cation of children, has this injurious tendency, and 
entirely fails of the object for which it was intended. 
It is generally known that clever children are sel- 
dom clever men. The brain is exhausted by over- 
culture, and the parents' vanity is satisfied by show- 
ing off a very forward or bright child at the expense 
of health, life and intellect. Parents see no con- 


nection between the unnatural excitement of the 
partially formed brain of their child, and dropsy of 
the brain, various nervous disorders, and that imbe- 
cility which is the fate of their children in after years. 
When parents lament that their children are dull, 
poor scholars, and that no force can make them 
study when they are bright and active for play and 
mischief, I rejoice. Happy is the child who can- 
not be broken into an intellectual drudge, who can- 
not be excited to preternatural exertion of the mind, 
who will not submit to be crammed with intellectual 
food, as fowls are crammed, fattened and diseased 
for a market. Education is powerful for good or 
evil. The brain and nervous system, the body and 
mind of the child, are to a greater or less extent de- 
stroyed by the unnatural training. Why is it that 
great men and great women are scarce ? Do you 
suppose that only one great soul is created in a cen- 
tury ? or do you suppose the manifestations of mind 
are dependent on the organization of the body, and 
that parents and teachers, and the false and unnatu- 
ral state of society, by diseasing the body and over- 
tasking the minds of our youth, produce those apol- 
ogies for men and women with which our world is 
cumbered ? They strangle and suffocate greatness 
in its earliest years. Do not think I have finished 
my catalogue of evils. A child may grow up amid 
impure air and confinement, and over-culture, weak, 


feeble and irritable, it is true, but if he is rightly gov- 
erned, all the mischief that could be done him is not 
accomplished. If the moral atmosphere he breathes 
is love, the child is not wholly ruined. But how 
many teachers suppose that it is improper to treat 
children kindly and familiarly ! They suppose that 
their dignity would be compromised by such a 
course. They do not say, " John, or Mary, will 
you have the goodness to do such a thing, or please 
attend now to your studies." But, " John, study 
your book ; do n't let me see you gazing about. If 
I see you laugh again, I '11 give you something to 
laugh for." These are little things, but straws show 
the way of the wind. I know there are kind teach- 
ers who do not for ever make a show of authority. 
There are those who are not hirelings, for their 
hearts are in their work. These will not be hurt 
by my remarks. I have heard a teacher say that 
her scholars loved her dearly, though she scolded 
and whipped them. This fact speaks well for the 
children ; but the fount of affection runs dry after a 
time ; and many an impatient, unlovely man had his 
temper ruined at school, and looks back to Mrs. 
Birch with feelings that I should not like to have 
cherished towards me. 

The government of schools seems to me as rad- 
ically wrong as the other circumstances that sur- 
round them. The motive power of all teachers 


should be love. They should have an attraction 
for teaching. They should love truth, and love to 
communicate it. I know many say children can- 
not be governed by love. Have those who assert 
this ever made the trial ? I know the natures of 
even young children are terribly perverted by abuse. 
When all is wrong at home with children, the 
teacher's labor is very much increased. But the 
superiority of love to brute force has not been suf- 
ficiently tested in our schools. Love is power, al- 
ways. It may not give us all power over a per- 
verted and hardened mind, but it gives much. God 
is omnipotent, and he is love. 

I have had much experience in teaching, and I 
wish no power over pupils that affection will not 
give me. I have had lads placed under my care 
that neither parents nor teachers could govern, 
with rods, force and fear to aid them, and yet they 
have been immediately subdued by calmness, kind- 
ness, and the conviction that I heartily desired 
their good. 

A lad was once confided to my care, of ten or 
twelve years of age. He had been turned out of 
the village school as wholly unmanageable. He 
had been severely whipped many times. Indeed, 
it seemed to me that severity and the rod had 
made him reckless. He came into my school a 
perfect Ishmaelite. The first day he glowered 


around him without attending to any thing particu- 
larly. In the afternoon, at recess, instead of going 
out with the boys by the door, he very deliberately 
leaped from a large open window next the road. 
This was probably intended as the commencement 
of hostilities with me. I took no notice of the 
transaction till the close of the school. I then 
requested him to stop a few minutes. He sullenly 
took his seat, and I seated myself beside him. His 
health was poor. He was a pale, nervous child, 
with combativeness enough, without arousing or 
irritating the organ. I spoke to him as a reasoning 
being, with a kindness which I really felt ; for his 
extreme waywardness had aroused no other feeling 
in my heart. I spoke to him of living in the world 
as he ought, in order to insure his own comfort and 
that of his parents. I told him he must, if he lived, 
become a man ; that I wished him to be a happy 
and useful man. I spoke of his capacity for use- 
fulness, which was truly respectable. I drew a 
picture of the happiness enjoyed in my school, and 
told him that I required obedience to all the rules 
of the school, and that the only penalty for disobe- 
dience was expulsion from the school ; that I had 
no other punishment. I alluded to his rude con- 
duct, and playfully asked him if he did not know 
that doors were made to go out at, and not windows. 
The little fellow's combativeness was completely 


put asleep. His heart was touched ; and when I 
gave him his choice to leave the school or make an 
acknowledgment that his conduct had been im- 
proper, and ask the school to forgive him, he 
readily chose the latter; and during the whole 
time he was under my care, he gave me no more 
trouble than the other scholars. He knew that if 
he conducted with propriety, he should be happy 
with us ; and that if he did not, he knew he was 
self expelled from the atmosphere of love. 

I could relate very many instances of a similar 

The manner in which children are classed at 
school is often productive of much mischief. The 
dull, slow scholar, who is obliged to study long 
and patiently, is placed beside the quick intellect, 
that enables its possessor to know a lesson by in- 
tuition almost ; and both scholars are required to 
get the same lessons. Often the result of this pro- 
cedure is to discourage the slow child, and give an 
inflated, unhealthy confidence to the " bright child." 
A judicious course in classing these scholars would 
often doubtless make the dull child a better scholar 
than the more brilliant. A slow, reasoning intel- 
lect is often more valuable than the rapid intuitive 

I think it must be obvious to all, that the intel- 
lectual powers can never reach that state of per- 


fection which is desirable, unless the body is de- 
veloped in health. Attractive industry, or agree- 
able exercise, are indispensable to health. There 
is no doubt that it would be far better for children 
at an early age to be trained to attractive industry. 
But if this cannot be procured, and we know that 
it cannot, only in isolated cases, in the present state 
of society, then agreeable and healthful exercise 
should be provided. 

Some years ago, when calislhenic exercises were 
introduced into schools, public opinion was very 
much against them. Five or six years since I in- 
troduced a variety of exercises into my school in 
Lynn, Mass. Strong opposition was manifested by 
some ; but in two or three years a teacher who 
proposed to establish a school there, advertised 
calisthenic exercises, and it was considered a re- 
commendation of her school. This shows that 
public sentiment is changing. Within the last year 
a school for teaching young ladies calisthenic exer- 
cises, has been established in Boston, by Mrs. 
Hawley, a lady who has taught these exercises for 
the last fifteen years. This admirable establishment 
is well patronized, having at this time one hundred 
and seventy pupils from the most intelligent fami- 
lies in the city. 

The following notice of this establishment from 
the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, shows 


the light in which these exercises are viewed by 
the medical profession. It gives me great pleasure 
to pay this well deserved tribute to Mrs. Hawley in 
this lecture : 

" A refined civilization is unfortunately accom- 
panied by various forms of physical deterioration, 
for which it is one of the special objects of science 
to provide a remedy. People of advanced age, 
who do not trouble themselves to philosophize on 
whatever strikes them as a departure from the 
common appearance of every day things, never 
heard in their youth of curved spines, distorted 
shoulders, or any other unsymmetrical derangement 
of the frame-work of the body, which are so char- 
acteristic of the present age, that institutions are 
exclusively devoted to their correction. Experience 
shows, too, that they are exceedingly necessary ; 
and they have been, therefore, well sustained by 
the intelligent public, and always sanctioned by the 
medical profession. Very recently, Mrs. Hawley, 
formerly Madame Beaujeu, of England, has com- 
menced a series of calisthenic exercises for young 
misses in this city, which are recognized by very 
distinguished physicians of Philadelphia, New York 
and Boston, as worthy of the patronage of parents. 
It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the value of ex- 
ercise for young ladies in a crowded city. Those 
who will take the pains to inspect Mrs. Hawley's 


hall, corner of Bromfield and Tremont streets, will 
be satisfied of the utility of her system. With a 
view of bringing the subject before the profession of 
Boston and its neighborhood, that they may avail 
themselves of ihe curative means which judicious 
calisthenic exercises promise in many conditions of 
a debilitated system, particularly in young girls, we 
are desirous of directing their attention to this lady's 
qualifications and claims." 

In order that children be rightly educated, it is 
necessary that teachers understand the conditions 
on which health of body and mind depend. But 
how many of our teachers are thorough physiologists 
or phrenologists, and consequently thorough meta- 
physicians? And if teachers were entirely qualified 
for their high trust, such is the ignorance of parents, 
such the state of society, that they could not fulfil 
its duties. Still, much might be done that is not 
now done, were teachers rightly educated, and had 
they moral courage to act in accordance with their 

In the words of another, " almost the best de- 
fence, at least one of the strongest safe-guards of 
morality, is the feeling of independence. If the 
world think that to be right which you think to be 
wrong, follow your own opinion, and preserve your 
self-respect. Consider that you would rather be 
honorable and despised, than be honored and dispi- 


cable. If the world holds you in light esteem be- 
cause it misunderstands your character, every mark 
of disrespect which it bestows upon you is a certifi- 
cate of the beauty and excellence of those virtues 
in which it erroneously supposes you to be defi- 

Jf teachers could realize the truth of these senti- 
ments, we should not find that "mush of compli- 
ance " which we now find in too many teachers. 
But how can we expect them to do justice in ihe 
education of children, when they have not been 
blessed with an education to fit them for this high 
trust ? A course must be struck out and pursued 
that will strengthen and improve the reasoning 
powers. Children at present are not taught or 
encouraged to reason as they should be. They are 
employed in memorizing words, as Mr. Rantoul 
has well said in his remarks on Education, published 
in the North American Review. " Education is 
not the getting by rote set forms of words, which 
may be altogether barren of fruit ; no, nor barely 
storing the memory with the information of facts, 
however extensive and useful." 

Children can easily be taught to reason ; and 
we well know that every faculty is strengthened by 
judicious use. When the mind is active in reason- 
ing, in searching for truth and the causes of things, 
no one passion gets the ascendency in such a man- 


ner as to remove itself from the control of the will, 
and thus lead the individual to folly, fanaticism or 
crime. Had the saints of olden times been engaged 
in discovering truth, in sound reasoning, they would 
not have spent days, weeks, and even years, upon 
their knees in prayer, till cavities were worn in the 
solid rock, and their knees became callous. Such 
a course now would be attributed to an unbalanced 
state of the mind, and consequent insanity. Thanks 
to progress ; our age is wiser than the days of 

If girls are taught to reason, they will not spend 
their days reading fictions, and their nights in mor- 
bid dreams of love a love that bears about as 
much resemblance to the true and healthful senti- 
ment of love, as the blasting simoom does to the 
refreshing breeze. Diogenes says that love is the 
occupation of the idle ; he might have said, of the 
unreasoning. No passion should be allowed to 
engross all or nearly all one's time and attention. 
God has given us various faculties. All should be 
cultivated. All should be exercised. If one as- 
sumes an undue prominence, mischief is the result. 

The right education of .one child is of immense 
importance to others. Whilst we live in society, 
we cannot really increase our own happiness with- 
out increasing the happiness of others. " True self- 
love and social are the same." 


" This is the foundation of all human wisdom," 
says Le Pere Buffier, " the source from which all 
virtues purely natural flow, the general principle of 
all morals and of all human society, that while I 
live with other men, who equally with myself desire 
to be happy, I must try to discover the means of 
increasing my own happiness, by augmenting that 
of others." 

I In the beautiful language of the gifted Rantoul, 
" Universal education, a higher education, such as 
shall put to shame not past ages only, but the pres- 
ent, must be provided for. The want is felt and 
will not longer be endured without a strenuous ef- 
fort to meet it. The philanthropist, the patriot and 
the Christian feel the urgent need of a generous de- 
velopment of the noblest powers and faculties, and 
the richest affections of our common nature, through 
that dull mass of humanity in whom they now slum- 
ber, inert and almost lifeless. The refinement of 
taste, which, without intellectual and moral cultiva- 
tion, ends only in elegant imbecility ; financial pros- 
perity, which, if not pressed into the service of vir- 
tue, may be prostituted to engender corruption 
absorbing political interests, which convulse the 
Union to its centre, and which unhallowed ambi- 
tion may pervert to the destruction of freedom, all 
these are insignificant, are as nothing and less than 
nothing, compared with this paramount necessity- 


The cry of the age is for true education. Its ad- 
vent is longed for, and prayed for, and believed in. 
It seems just bursting above our moral horizon, ra- 
dient with knowledge and virtue, shedding IMit into 

o * DO 

the understanding, and pouring warmth into the 
heart, a genial sun whose beams are for the healing 
of the nations. Glorious visions of future progress, 
and blessed omens of their coming consummation 
throng upon the soul, and fill it with comfort and 
joy, when the evidences of the earnest awakening 
of mankind, under the vivifying and quickening in- 
fluences of the bright-dawning era, present them- 
selves to our view. 

" How is the great work to be accomplished? 
What are our means of levelling the fortifications, 
impregnable since the creation of the world, in which 
ignorance and vice have entrenched themselves? 
Hope, which was Cesar's only portion when he 
went into Gaul ; faith in man's high nature and 
destiny ; the ardent enthusiasm which the grand 
object to be attained inspires ; the unquenchable 
zeal already active, and which will never rest, nor 
pause, till the victory is achieved, and darkness ab- 
dicates her narrowed empire." 

The momentous work of education should be 
committed to the care of those who love the work ; 
and they should live by their labor, not merely stay 
in the world. Dollars and cents can never pay the 


price of a solid and useful, a true education. But 
I have known a teacher who had worth and ability, 
toil through the weary year, unable to purchase the 
bare comforts of life, so small was her salary ; and 
yet such was her attraction for the work, that she 
would submit to privation, and want even, rather 
than relinquish her pleasant labor. The great want 
of community is for such teachers. 

The remarks of Dr. Channing, in his address at 
the Odeon on the 28th of Feb., 1837, are better 
than any thing I can present you on this subject : 

" We want better teachers, and more teachers, 
for all classes of society, for rich and poor, for child- 
ren and adults. We want that the resources of the 
community should be directed to the procuring of 
better instructers, as its highest concern. One of 
the surest signs of the regeneration of society will be 
the elevation of the art of teaching to the highest 
rank in the community. When a people shall learn, 
that its greatest benefactors and most important 
members are men devoted to the liberal instruction 
of all its classes, to the work of raising to life 
its buried intellect, it will have opened to itself the 
path of true glory. This truth is making its way. 
Socrates is now regarded as the greatest man in an 
age of great men. The name of Icing has grown 
dim before that of apostle. To teach, whether by 
word or action, is the highest function on earth. 



" Nothing is more needed, than that men of supe- 
rior gifts and of benevolent spirit should devote 
themselves to the instruction of the less enlightened 
classes in the great end of life, in the dignity of 
their nature, in their rights and duties, in the history, 
laws and institutions of their country, in the philos- 
ophy of their employments, in the laws, harmonies 
and productions of outward nature, and especially 
in the art of bringing up children in health of body, 
and in vigor and purity of mind. We need a new 
profession or vocation, the object of which shall be 
to wake up the intellect in those spheres where it is 
now buried in habitual slumber. 

" We want a class of liberal-minded instructers, 
whose vocation it shall be to place the views of the 
most enlightened minds within the reach of a more 
and more extensive portion of their fellow creatures. 
The wealth of a community should flow out like 
water for the preparation and employment of such 
teachers, for enlisting powerful and generous minds 
in the work of giving impulse to their race. 

" Nor let it be said that men, able and disposed 
to carry on this work, must not be looked for in such 
a world as ours. Christianity, which has wrought 
so many miracles of beneficence, which has sent 
forth so many apostles and martyrs, so many How- 
ards and Clarksons, can raise up laborers for this 
harvest also. Nothing is needed but a new pour- 


ing out of the spirit of Christian love, nothing but a 
new comprehension of the brotherhood of the human 
race, to call forth efforts which seem impossibilities 
in a self-seeking and self-indulging age." 

I have no belief that children can be educated in 
such a manner as to develope the highest powers 
of the body and mind, without attractive industry. 
Judicious exercise can do much, but a system of 
attractive industry can do more. Schools with 
which labor is connected, have already been estab- 
lished in our country. 

In Miss Beecher's excellent work on Domestic 
Economy, I find a sketch of an improved school for 
young ladies, which I give you with pleasure, pre- 
mising that I do not like the separation of the sexes 
in the work of education, though like medicine, 
surgery, jails, &c., it may be a necessary evil in the 
present state of society. The institution at Oberlin, 
Ohio, has all the advantages of the one mentioned 
below by Miss Beecher, and the sexes are educated 
together, as in a well regulated family. I have 
often thought if young persons must be separated 
during the period of education, why are not fami- 
lies constituted with reference to this rule ? Why 
are not some families composed entirely of boys, 
and others of girls. As this is not the case. T must 
think the separation unnatural, having its origin in 
the corruptions of the age. Miss B. asks the fol- 


lowing sensible questions, which it is hoped the 
wisdom of our age will satisfactorily answer: 

" But are not the most responsible of all duties 
committed to the care of woman ? Is it not her 
profession to take care of mind, body and soul ? 
and that too at the most critical of all periods of 
existence ? And is it not as much a matter of pub- 
lic concern, that she should be properly qualified for 
her duties, as that ministers, lawyers and physicians 
should be prepared for theirs ? And is it not as im- 
portant to endow institutions that shall make a supe- 
rior education accessible to all classes, for females, 
as much as for the other sex ? And is it not equally 
important, that institutions for females be under the 
supervision of intelligent and responsible trustees, 
whose duty it shall be to secure a uniform and ap- 
propriate education for one sex, as much as for the 
other? It would seem as if every mind must ac- 
cord an affirmative reply, as soon as the matter is 
fairly considered. 

"As the education of females is now conducted, 
any man or woman that pleases can establish a fe- 
male seminary, and secure recommendations that 
will attract pupils. But whose business is it to see 
that these young females are not huddled into 
crowded rooms? or that they do not sleep in ill-ven- 
tilated chambers ? or that they have healthful food ? 
or that they have the requisite amount of fresh air 


and exercise? or that they pursue an appropriate 
and systematic course of study ? or that their man- 
ners, principles and morals are properly regulated? 
Parents either have not the means, or else are not 
qualified to judge; or, if they are furnished with 
means and capacity, they are often restricted to a 
choice of the best school within reach, even when 
it is known to be exceedingly objectionable. 

" If the writer were to disclose all that could 
truly be told of boarding school life, and its influence 
on health, manners, disposition, intellect and morals, 
it would be a tale which would both astonish and 
shock every rational mind. And yet she believes 
that such institutions are far better managed in this 
country than in any other; and that the number 
of those which are subject to imputations in these 
respects, is much less than could reasonably be 
expected. But it is most surely the case, that 
much remains to be done, in order to supply such 
institutions as are needed for the proper education 
of American women. 

" In attempting a sketch of the kind of institu- 
tions which are demanded, it is very fortunate that 
there is no necessity for presenting a theory which 
may or may not be approved by experience. It is 
the greatest honor of one of our newest western 
states, that it can boast of such an institution, and 
one endowed, too, wholly by the munificence of one 


individual. A slight sketch of this institution, 
which the writer has examined in all its details, will 
give an idea of what can be done, by showing what 
has actually been accomplished. 

" This institution [the Monticello Female Semi- 
nary, endowed by Benjamin Godfrey, Esq., of 
Alton, Illinois] is under the supervision of a board 
of trustees, appointed by the founder, who hold the 
property in trust for the object to which it is de- 
voted, and who have the power to fill their own 
vacancies. It is furnished with a noble and tasteful 
building of stone, so liberal in dimensions and ar- 
rangement, that it can accommodate ninety pupils 
and teachers, giving one room to every two pupils, 
and all being so arranged as to admit of thorough 
ventilation. This building is surrounded by exten- 
sive grounds, enclosed with handsome fences, where 
remains of the primeval forest still offer refreshing 
shade for juvenile sports. 

" To secure adequate exercise for the pupils, two 
methods are adopted. By the first, each young 
lady is required to spend two hours in domestic 
employments, either in sweeping, dusting, setting 
and clearing tables, washing and ironing, or other 
household concerns. 

" Let not the aristocratic mother and daughter 
express their dislike of such an arrangement, till 
they can learn how well it succeeds. Let them 


walk, as the writer has done, through the large airy 
halls, kept clean and in order by their fair occu- 
pants, to the washing and ironing rooms. There 
they will see a long hall, conveniently fitted up. 
with some thirty neatly painted tubs, with a clean 
floor, and water conducted so as to save both labor 
and slopping. Let them see some thirty or forty 
merry girls, superintended by a motherly lady, 
chatting and singing, washing and starching, while 
every convenience is at hand, and every thing 
around is clean and comfortable. Two hours thus 
employed enables each young lady to wash the 
articles she used during the previous week, which 
is all that is demanded, while thus they are all 
practically initiated into the arts and mysteries of 
the wash-tub. The superintendent remarked to 
the writer, that after a few weeks of probation, her 
young washers succeeded quite as well as most of 
those whom she could hire, and who made it their 
business. Adjacent to the washing room was the 
ironing establishment, where another class were 
arranged, on the ironing day, around long extended 
tables, with heating furnaces, clothes frames, and 
all needful appliances. 

" By a systematic arrangement of school and 
domestic duties, two hours each day, from each of 
the pupils, accomplished all the domestic labor of a 
family of ninety, except the cooking, which was 


done by two hired domestics. This part of domes- 
tic labor it was deemed inexpedient to incorporate 
as a part of the business of the pupils, inasmuch as 
it could not be accommodated to the arrangements 
of the school, and was in other respects objection- 

" Is it asked, how can young ladies paint, play 
the piano, and study, when their hands and dresses 
must be unfitted by such drudgery ? The woman 
who asks this question, has yet to learn that a pure 
and delicate skin is better secured by healthful ex- 
ercise than by any other method ; and that a young 
lady who will spend two hours a day at the wash- 
tub or with a broom, is far more likely to have rosy 
cheeks, a finely moulded form, and a delicate skin, 
than one who lolls all day in her parlor or chamber, 
or only leaves them girt in tight dresses, to make 
fashionable calls. It is true, that long protracted 
daily labor hardens the hand, and unfits it for deli- 
cate employments ; but the amount of labor needful 
for health produces no such effect. As to dress and 
appearance, if neat and convenient accommodations 
are furnished, there is no occasion for the exposures 
that demand shabby dresses. A dark calico, gen- 
teelly made, with an oiled silk apron, and \\ide 
cuffs of the same material, secure both good looks 
and good service. This plan of domestic employ- 
ments for the pupils of this institution, not only 


secures regular healthful exercise, but also reduces 
the expenses of education, so as to bring it within 
the reach of many who otherwise could never gain 
such advantages. 

" In addition to this, a system of calisthenic ex- 
ercises is introduced, which secures all the advan- 
tages which dancing is supposed to effect, and 
which is free from the dangerous tendencies of that 
fascinating fashionahle amusement. This system 
is so combined with music, and constantly varying 
evolutions, as to serve as an amusement, and also 
as a mode of curing distortions, particularly all ten- 
dencies to curvature of the spine ; while at the same 
time it tends to promote grace of movement and 
easy manners. 

"Another advantage of this institution is, an ele- 
vated and invigorating course of mental discipline. 
Many persons seem to suppose that the chief object 
of an intellectual education is the acquisition of 
knowledge. But it will be found that this is only 
a secondary object. It is the formation of habits 
of investigation, of correct reasoning, of persevering 
attention, of regular system, of accurate analysis, 
and of vigorous mental action, that are the primary 
objects to be sought in preparing American women 
for their arduous duties, which will demand not only 
quickness of perception, but steadiness of purpose, 
regularity of system, and perseverance in action. 


" It is for such purposes that the discipline of the 
mathematics is so important an element in female 
education ; and it is in this aspect that the mere 
acquisition of facts, and the attainment of accom- 
plishments, should be made of altogether secondary 

" In the institution here described, a systematic 
course of study is adopted, as in our colleges, de- 
signed to occupy three years. The following slight 
outline of the course of study will exhibit the liberal 
plan adopted in this respect : 

" In mathematics, the whole of arithmetic con- 
tained in the larger works used in schools, the 
whole of Euclid, and such portions from Day's 
Mathematics as are requisite to enable the pupils to 
demonstrate the various problems in Olmsted's 
larger work on natural philosophy. In language, 
besides English grammar, a short course in Latin is 
required, sufficient to secure an understanding of 
the philosophy of the language, and that kind of 
mental discipline which the exercise of translating 
affords. In philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, 
botany, geology and mineralogy, intellectual and 
moral philosophy, political economy, and the evi- 
dences of Christianity, the same text books are used 
as are required at our best colleges. In geography, 
the largest work and most thorough course is adopt- 
ed ; and in history, a more complete knowledge is 


secured by means of charts and text books, than 
mdst of our colleges offer. To these branches are 
added Griscom's Physiology, Bigelow's Technolo- 
gy, and Jahn's Archaeology, together with a course 
of instruction in polite literature, for which Chal- 
mer's English Literature is employed as the text 
book, each recitation being attended with 'selections 
and criticisms from teacher or pupils, on the various 
authors brought into notice. Vocal music, on the 
plan of the Boston Academy, is a part of the daily 
instructions. Linear drawing and pencilling are 
designed also to be a part of the course. Instru- 
mental music is taught, but not as a part of the reg- 
ular course of study. 

" To secure the proper instruction in all these 
branches, the division of labor adopted in colleges 
is pursued. Each teacher has distinct branches as 
her department, for which she is responsible, and in 
which she is independent. By this method the 
teachers have sufficient time both to prepare them- 
selves and to impart instruction and illustration in 
the class-room. 

" The writer has never before seen the principle 
of the division of labor and responsibility so perfectly 
carried out in any female institution; and believes 
that experience will prove that this is the true 
model for combining, in appropriate proportions, the 


agency of both sexes in carrying forward such an 

" One other thing should be noticed, to the credit 
of the rising state where this institution is located. 
A female association has been formed, embracing a 
large portion of the ladies of standing and wealth, 
the design of which is to educate, gratuitously, at 
this and other similar institutions, such females as 
are anxious to obtain a good education, and are des- 
titute of the means. If this enterprise is continued 
with the same energy and perseverance as has been 
manifested the last few years, Illinois will take the 
lead of her sister states in well educated women ; 
and if the views in the preceding pages are correct, 
this will give her precedence in every intellectual 
and moral advantage. 

" Many who are not aware of the great economy 
secured by a proper division of labor, will not un- 
derstand how so extensive a course can be properly 
completed in three years. But in this institution 
none are received under fourteen, and a certain 
amount of previous acquisition is required in order 
to admission, as is done in our colleges. This se- 
cures a diminution of classes, so that but few studies 
are pursued at one time; while the number of well 
qualified teachers is so adequate, that full time is 
afforded for all needful instruction and illustration. 
Where teachers have so many classes that they 


merely have time to find out what their pupils learn 
from books, without any aid from their teacher, the 
acquisitions of the pupils are vague and imperfect, 
and soon pass away ; so that an immense amount of 
expense, time and labor are spent in acquiring what 
is lost about as fast as it is gained. 

" Parents are little aware of the immense waste 
incurred by the present mode of conducting female 
education. In the wealthy classes, young girls are 
sent to school, as a matter of course, year after 
year, confined six hours a day to the school house, 
and required to add some time out of school to ac- 
quiring school exercises. Thus, during the most 
critical period of life, they are confined, six hours a 
day, in a room filled with an atmosphere vitiated by 
many breaths, and are constantly kept under some 
sort of responsibility in regard to mental effort. 
Their studies are pursued at random, often changed 
with changing schools, while one school book after 
another (heavily taxing the parent's purse) is conned 
awhile and then supplanted by another. Teachers 
usually have so many pupils, and such a variety of 
branches to teach, that little time can be afforded to 
each pupil, while scholars, at this thoughtless period 
of life, feeling sure of going to school as long as they 
please, feel little interest in their pursuits. 

" The writer believes that the actual amount of 
education, permanently secured by most young la- 


dies from the age of ten to fourteen, could all be 
acquired in one year at the institution described, by 
a young lady at the age of fifteen or sixteen." 

Other schools, perhaps still better adapted to the 
wants of humanity, will doubtless be established 
hereafter. We have great reason to be encourp.^ed 
when we look at the "signs of the times." \Virh 
the intelligence and virtue that exist in community, 
we may be-assured that our course is onward. May 
it not only be onward, but upward, for ever. 


;*i f * : 

*' * 
'>*** i- * 

- I * 

> * 

^ *> 


University of California 


305 De Neve Drive - Parking Lot 17 Box 951388 


Return this material to the library from which it was borrowed. 

APR $ 200% 




A 000 606 501 5