is applied on the large scale. More especially they believe that the habit of inducing unnecessary emotional excitement, in young persons who are just entering the dangerous period of commencing sexual life, is so morally and physically injurious to a large number of individuals, that it may well be questioned whether those individuals might not have been more safely left in total neglect and ignorance. We suspect the writer in the Spectator little knows—for no one but a medical man can know—the terribly doubly-edged character of all those more powerful emotions which he believes are so exalting in their effects upon the spiritual nature. Here and there, it is true, we do find some one of such stern Roman nature that he can take a torturing emotion into the recesses of his heart, and discipline himself by the pain which its repression causes, and by that pain alone. But, for the common race of man, it seems to be the duty of the physiologist to insist first, that the immature and tender system of the young should never be exposed to the influence of any avoidable emotion, unless it be such as can be freely and harmlessly expressed, and in particular that self-invented spiritual tortures should be absolutely interdicted; and secondly, that older persons, who must be exposed to disturbing emotions, should at least be encouraged by all means to balance painful with pleasing and refining feelings, and, above all, to have confidence in the really soothing and strengthening character of regular fairly strenuous intellectual work, and the favorable influence which is exerted, even upon moral character, by the substitution of productive labor for the fluctuations of sterile excitement.—London Lancet.
|THE ROMANCE OF MEDICINE.|
IN once more gathering up the threads of this subject from other years, and endeavoring to address a lay audience from a laic point of view, one would naturally desire, according to the limited measure of one's ability, to grasp some medical subject for which we all have an affinity, and which may be of usefulness to some. But in these papers I enter into an implied bargain with my readers to tell them something picturesque and odd—something that may even be romantic and sensational: but I am also troubled with the uneasy idea that I might ventilate some matters that might be for the health and happiness of some of us. I am like some honest citizen who has only got some modest extent of garden-plot, which he feels bound to lay out with flowers, but at the same time he has some yearnings toward homely but esculent vegetables; or, to vary the simile, just as mathematicians have their pure and applied mathematics, so in discussing