Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/685

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1. Pass a law that no prescriptions containing opium or its preparations can be filled more than once at the druggist's without having the physician renew it. The extra cost of calling on a doctor when the medicine ran out would deter many poor people from acquiring the habit. Such a law would also make the doctors more guarded in prescribing opiates for trivial ailments. With the law in force, and the druggists guarded by strict registration laws, we could soon trace the responsibility to its proper source, and then, if these safeguards were not enough, physicians could be fined for administering opiates save in exceptional cases.

2. The great preventive to the habit is to keep the body in such a state that it will not require sedatives or stimulants. The young men and women in our cities have too big heads, too small necks, and too flabby muscles. They should forsake medicine, and patronize the gymnasium. Let them develop their muscles and rest their nerves, and the family doctor, who means well, but who can not resist the tendency of the age, can take a protracted vacation. Unless something of the kind is done soon, the residents of our American cities will be all opium-slaves.


THE stigmata—what are they? Wounds resembling those received by the Lord Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. When fully developed they consist of one in the palm of each hand, one on the dorsum of each foot, each indicating the place where a nail was driven in the act of nailing Christ to the cross, and one on the side, showing the effect of the Roman soldier's spear-thrust. Sometimes, in addition to these, there are signs upon the forehead, corresponding to the lacerations caused by the thorns. Stigmatization is the technical ecclesiastical term for the formation of such resemblances.

Görres acknowledges that in all Christian antiquity no known examples of stigmatization occurred. They are peculiar to the later eras of Christian history. Roman Catholicism has usually enumerated about eighty instances, but in 1873 Dr. Imbert Gourbeyre, professor in the School of Medicine of Clermont-Ferrand, in Belgium, and a writer attached to that religious system, enlarged the series so that it now comprehends one hundred and fifty-three cases, of which eight are living and known to him. Of all these instances that of Francis Bernadone, canonized as St. Francis d'Assisi, in Italy, is the first and most commanding. Born in 1186 and dying October 4, 1226, he is said to have received the stig-