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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/195

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FOUL AIR AND DISEASE OF THE HEART.

world what fools these pseudo-scientists are, and thus break the spell, which is as groundless as the Cock-lane Ghost, but which holds so many all-agape at their fantastic tricks.

Mr. Leifchild's book is popular, and yet sound and thoughtful. Its style is terse and clear. He represents the materialists and pantheists (the extremes are one) with fairness, and exposes the core of their absurdities, showing the higher ministry of Nature in declaring the glory of God, vindicating the equal authority of our intuitions and our senses, and the separateness, yet intimate connection, of mind and matter. It is a book that should find its way to every parlor, where the materialistic poison has been scattered, to straighten and strengthen the weak knees, and give color to the pallid cheek, letting the light upon the frightful spectre, and showing it to be but a man of straw. It is high time that this buffoonery in the name of science were played out. Scientific and religious men must join to put out the intruder, with a brand upon his back. To hold serious talk with him is only to set him up in his assumption. Mr. Leifchild's book exposes him to the world, pulls off the lion's skin, and turns the public fear into laughter. Let the voice of Truth be heard through a thousand such books, and the cant of materialism shrink into silence.

 

FOUL AIR AND DISEASE OF THE HEART.
By CORNELIUS BLACK, M. D. Lond., M. R. C. P.

IF the question were asked, "Which side of the heart is the more frequently affected by disease?" the answer, in perhaps nine cases out of ten, would be, the left. This answer would not, however, embrace the whole truth. It would be true of the aggregate of cases of cardiac disease without reference to age; but it would be untrue if the occurrence of cardiac disease were referred to the later periods of life. If a man lives to the age of forty years without having suffered from cardiac disease, and, if after that period the heart becomes affected, the mischief will, as a rule, be found to exist on the right side. If, on the contrary, cardiac disease should occur before that age, the disease will, almost invariably, be found to exist on the left side. Hence, it follows that the right side of the heart is the seat of cardiac disease occurring after middle age—the left side of the heart the seat of cardiac disease occurring before middle age.

As in time, so it is with respect to the nature of the diseases which affect the right and left sides of the heart respectively. Those of the right side are the result of tissue-degeneration, or of mere mechanical influences; those of the left side are almost invariably the product of