Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/206

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what quick and feeble; their countenance is pale; the lips are not unfrequently somewhat blue; and the tongue is covered with a thin, whitish, and somewhat slimy fur. The appetite is in abeyance; there is a feeling of nausea; and the first evacuation is generally dark in color.

What is the pathological condition of such patients at this moment? Simply this: The blood contains an excess of carbonic acid, which, circulating with the blood through every organ, disturbs the natural action of every organ, blunting its sensibility, vitiating its particular function, and interfering with those molecular changes which constitute healthy nutrition.

A person thus affected does not usually die. The body, removed to a pure atmosphere, begins at once to excrete the carbonic acid by the lungs, the liver, the skin, the kidneys, and the bowels, and in the course of a few hours the more visible manifestations of its baneful effects have passed away. It, however, often happens that a sense of weariness and muscular debility is felt for days afterward. Night, too, frequently places such subjects in the same condition as before. The same bedroom is occupied; the same inadequate means of ventilation continue; the same accumulation of carbonic acid takes place; and the same effects upon the bodily organs are repeated. Blood charged with an excess of carbonic acid again pervades every tissue of the heart, diminishing its vitality, lowering its sensibility, and assimilating its nutrition to that of the reptilian heart. But the low character of the nutrition of the reptilian heart does not accord with the comparatively quick circulation, rapid nutrition, vital power, and energy of action required by the human heart. The one cannot be substituted for the other. In man the change results in disease where disease does not exist—aggravates disease where it is already present.—Lancet.


FRUIT has become a necessary of life—a great variety of fruit indeed, and a great deal of it; and this will become more and more the case with the increase of intelligence and thrift. The great abundance of most kinds of fruit for the last two or three years may cause us to feel a security, which is not well grounded, with regard to the conditions of climate necessary to the unfailing production of fruit. Only within a few years past have there been seasons when the fruit-crop was very light, and not at all adequate to the demand. One of the causes of this is the capriciousness of the seasons, and this capri-