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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

on account of the fact that they can communicate certain kinds of energy to deranged functions, to modify, exalt, or depress—as may seem needful—in order to save life.

When a supercilious theorizer, a man who has not for a long series of years anxiously wrestled with the problem every day of his life how the sick can best be made well, thinks he can solve it far better than the tens of thousands who have so wrestled, one can only feel contempt for his inordinate vanity—to be merged into pity when he carries his bigotry about drug-poisoning so far as to leave Nature to war unaided with the putrescence of syphilis rather than take the potassium iodide. The outcome to such blood is its evolvement into extinction, as it deserves to be.

It is, Messrs. Editors, scarcely likely that one who had the privilege in his youth of sitting under the tutelage of such a master of organic chemistry as the late Professor Draper should not know the very elementary fact that digestion is a chemical process, or that he would fall into the blunder of a Dr. Oswald, who, in the last paragraph but one of his answer, writes of digestion and assimilation as being one and the same thing. But better things can not be expected of any one who quotes Dio Lewis, Graham—et id genus omne—as authorities in sanitary science, in place of Pettenkofer, Parkes, and Richardson. It is allowable to speak to the popular reader of a large meal as a load for the stomach, but it is presumable that Dr. Oswald, in his wrath at the application of a mechanical term to that process, is not acquainted with the views of some acute, recent philosophers, who think that all the phenomena of the universe can be explained on the laws of mechanics, from the motions of molecules up to those of the celestial masses.

Dr. Oswald asks, has observation not taught me that "the chronic hunger of the dyspeptic is as abnormal as the poison-thirst of the confirmed drunkard." Few things could more conspicuously display a man's ignorance of physiology and pathology than such a question. Not to enter into the several forms of dyspepsia, let me take the most common—a chronic deficiency of gastric juice to convert food into peptone. In such instances there is a dread of eating on account of suffering, with hunger because of the poverty of the blood and the gaunt wasting of the body from inanition. Yet the normal craving for food in a state of semi-starvation is held by our doctor as identical with the abnormal craving for alcohol by the diseased nervous system of the drunkard! The true remedy for the craving of the drunkard is complete abstinence from alcohol. Does Dr. Oswald, to carry out his parallel, recommend entire abstinence from food as a cure for the hummer of dyspepsia? Or would our astute M. D. prescribe a good large "drunk" once in twenty-four hours, even as he recommends one good large meal at a like interval for the dyspeptic? The ability to carry out the latter plan would take the tough physique of savages to endure, these being the order of men which he holds up for us to copy in our gastric performances. Dr. Oswald is apparently unable to discern that all the customs and habits of savages are intimately correlated to their vital organism, and that for us to adopt only one of them might prove murderous to civilized beings. For instance, among the sixty generations of barbarians of which he writes, all the weaklings were killed off in infancy by its perils; now, we nurse them up to adult life, and Dr. Oswald proposes to cure them of their weakness by the adoption of a savage habit—the one-meal-a-day system.

Perhaps Dr. Oswald will find that, in uttering a gratuitous insult in the closing sentence of his communication to that large body of medical men to whom alone is due the entire credit for all the great discoveries and improvements in anatomy, physiology, etiology, hygiene, pathology, surgery, gynecology, materia medica, and practice, he has only succeeded in belittling and defiling himself.

J. R. Black.

 

 

MORE SUPPOSED PRE-GLACIAL HUMAN TRACKS.

Messrs. Editors:

I noticed in a recent issue of the "Monthly," a note in the "Miscellany," referring to the presentation of fossil remains of the primitive horse by Professor Leidy, that the remark was made by Professor H. C. Lewis that, while evidences of post-glacial man were frequent, it was not known that any scientific observations of pre-glacial man had been found either in Europe or America, etc., etc. I wish to bring to the notice of the scientific men of America and Europe an incident which occurred in the town of Chatham in this State, some six or seven years ago, and which seems to me to distinctly prove the existence of pre-glacial man more decidedly than anything else that has come under my observation.

The town of Chatham, as may be seen by reference to the map, lies at what has been termed the "elbow of Cape Cod." It is exposed to the full sweep of the waves from the broad Atlantic, which during the storms from the southeast beat upon its shores with tremendous force. It was during such a storm—the exact date of which I can not now state—that the bluff upon which stood the two light-houses, was rapidly undermined; the bluff here was, on an average, some forty or more feet in height, and, like all the rest of the cape, was com-