Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/778

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sparkle. It brings to many of us a flood of recollections: pleasant company—bright eyes and rosy cheeks—laughter, sunburned mirth, and Provençal song—the feast of reason and flow of soul—the flow of words, repartee and banter—after-dinner speeches, and dull, formal dinners—all jumbled together. Even at this late day many a Cassio listens to the voice of the tempter Iago, who says: "Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used; exclaim no more against it!"

By J. M. FRENCH, M. D,

AN examination of the Massachusetts registration reports reveals some facts with reference to centennarians which are of interest, both in themselves considered and as illustrating some of the conditions favorable to great longevity.

The whole number of persons who died in Massachusetts during the ten years from 1881 to 1890, inclusive, at the age of one hundred years or over, was 203. The whole number of deaths reported during the same time was 394,484, making the proportion of centennarians one for every 1,938 of all deaths reported.

Dr. Farr, the celebrated English registrar general, in his March of an English Generation through Life, states that out of every 1,000,000 persons born in England only 223 live to the age of one hundred years. This is one in 4,484, or less than one half the proportion in Massachusetts. It must be remembered, however, that in respect to certain elements the conditions in the two cases are not parallel; inasmuch as, in the first place, the returns of deaths, especially of infants and young children, are much less complete in Massachusetts than in England; and, in the second place, a large proportion of persons of the younger ages are constantly going out from Massachusetts to settle in the newer portions of our country, leaving an abnormally large proportion of aged persons. Nevertheless, after all allowances have been made, the proportion of centennarians in Massachusetts is unexpectedly large, and leads to the belief that its climate and conditions of life are favorable to longevity.

The average age of these 203 centennarians was one hundred and two years, five months, and twenty-five days. One hundred and sixty-five were between one hundred and one hundred and five, thirty-one were from one hundred and five to one hundred and ten, seven were from one hundred and ten to one hundred and fifteen, and one was one hundred and eighteen years of age.

The next fact which claims our attention is that, of these 203