Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/350

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One would think it was generally known that milk is a peculiarly nutritive fluid, adapted for the fast-growing and fattening young mammal—admirable for such, for our small children, also serviceable to those whose muscular exertion is great, and, when it agrees with the stomach, to those who can not take meat. For us who have long ago achieved our full growth, and can thrive on solid fare, it is altogether superfluous and mostly mischievous as a drink.—Nineteenth Century.

[To be continued.]



THE subject of the "opium-habit" is one that recurs with ominous frequency in public print. Whenever touched upon, the intensity of interest elicited in the minds of certain readers (alas! how large a number) would be incomprehensible to one not drawn personally to it. That the literature of this subject is mainly very discouraging and unhelpful to this class is perhaps not the fault of its authors; but such is uniformly the case. Of innumerable articles in periodicals and books by the dozen which I have read, it must be said that, while the evils of the "habit" are pictured in burning lines, when the discussion of treatment is reached, the habitué is left to believe that, in his case, if it be not impossible of cure, an attempt at total abandonment with whatever medical skill he could command would be attended with such hazards, and would inflict such tortures, mental and physical, as would be beyond the average power of endurance.

Unquestionably but a small portion of the general public—of those, too, who know something of its blighting evils—have any adequate idea of the strength of this "habit," and of the great difficulty, or impossibility, in most cases, of unaided cure. The chief responsibility, indeed, with the habitué lies in his initiation rather than in his continuance of the "habit." He can not, like the user of alcohol or tobacco, by a strong effort of the will shake off his chains.

A pathetic story has lately come to my knowledge of a young man, an undergraduate in an Eastern college, who had become a victim of the hypodermic use of morphia. He went with his father, who was engaged in the lumbering interest, into the primeval forests of Maine, hoping that during a stay of months with the wood-choppers he would be able to fight out the battle of gradual abandonment successfully. Through a strange fatality, when the party had just arrived at their camping-place, and were transporting their goods across a stream, the case of morphia was broken by an apparent accident and its contents