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drawing out a piece of white bread, and some dried fruit, cat with good appetite this simple breakfast, in which Marcellus, who had not breakfasted at all
, would willingly have shared. He also drew out a piece of fine new cloth, which was in his wallet, half spread it out, looked at it with apparent pleasure, and put it back again. Here was another object of envy to the poor, ragged, old man. After this, the stranger rose, took a good silver watch out of his pocket, threw a glance round the adjacent country, and proceeded on his journey.
This man had seemed to Marcellus so happy in the place where he sat, that the latter felt an inclination to go and repose himself under the same beautiful nut-tree. He thought, that perhaps an hour's sleep under its shade would make him forget his troubles and his hunger.
He went out, without saying anything to Bertha, who was employed in furnishing her wheel with dias, in readiness for the next day. Ho crossed the high-road, and ascended the little hill. He had not reached the nuttree, when he already discovered something white lying at its foot. It was a folded piece of paper. He took it up, and, finding it heavy, opened it. It contained, first, four double louis-d'ors, and, in the second fold, one of those large crosses which women hang round their necks, attached to which was a small gold chain. Even in his better days, Marcellus, perhaps, had never seen so much gold at once; but this at least is certain, that he had seen it but very seldom.
(To be continued.)
THE LATE HOUR SYSTEM.
A LECTURE DELIVERED AT THE ISLINGTON AND PENTONVILLE
BY EDWIN LANKESTER, ESQ, M.D., F. L. S., &c. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,— Under any other circumstances than those which have brought me before you on the present occasion, I should have pleaded an excuse for not giving my lecture this evening. The fact is, I am labouring under indisposition ; but it will at least, I hope, procure me your indulgence for any incompétence that may perhaps characterize my remarks. I shall, however, do my best in a cause so sacred—the cause of suffering humanity. When I was first asked to give this lecture, I did not hesitate, for I have always felt the warmest interest in the cause ; and I entertain a hope that the testimony of a medical man may assist it. The object of the Metropolitan Drapers' Association is not to compel the Masters to close their shops early, but to impress the public with the fact, that it is the public who make the young men suffer. Whatever may be the amount of suffering inflicted upon the community from the long hours they are kept at their business, it is not those who are more immediately engaged in so keeping them who are the most guilty--but the public, who are constantly consuming the articles sold in these shops—it is they who must bear the burden of this responsibility. I think, therefore, that the Metropolitan Drapers' Association have done quite right in coming before the Public and saying it rests with you to emancipate us from our thraldom.
Now I am to suppose that you are somewhat ignorant of these evils, and I will endeavour to give you some account of the evils complained of. But I would just state this,
that the remarks which would apply to this class of the community are not confined to the Drapers alone, but extend in their application to Druggists, Grocers, and, indeed, all who are employed for a greater number of hours than is consistent with health. I will endeavour just to state, in as few words as possible, what these evils perhaps I cannot do better than quote the words of the Rev. Baptist W. Noel, in his Prefuce to the Prize Essay on Late Hours of Business, by Thomas Davies. He says here, that, with regard to the Drapers, they are generally "young men from sixteen years of age to twenty-five or thirty; are engaged in draper's shops daily about fifteen hours, of which fourteen hours and a half are actually employed in business. During this time they are not permitted to sit down, or to look into a book, but are standing or moving about from morning to night, generally in an atmosphere exhausted by respiration, and in rooms ill-ventilated. When night arrives, gas-lights and closed doors complete the deterioration of the air, till at length it becomes almost pestiferous. Meanwhile, their meals must be swallowed hastily, like the mouthful of water which impatient travellers afford to a smoking post-horse in the middle of a long stage. No exercise is allowed in the open sunshine, their only relaxation being to take a walk in the streets about ten o'clock at night, when the sober and virtuous part of the community have retired to their dwellings, or to smoke and drink away the last hour of their evening at a taver, or to form pleasure parties for the Sabbath. From the company of their friends—from all cultivated and virtuous society-they are, by their circumstances, excluded; all scientific institutions are closed against them by the lateness of their hours ; they are too tired to read after their work, and, when they throw themselves upon their beds, it is too often to breathe in the close bed-rooms, where numbers are packed together, an air more pestilential than that which poisoned them during the day.”
This I believe to be a correct epitome of the evils under which this class of young men labour. You will perceive that they are of great magnitude. There is first the number of hours they are engaged in business, which far exceeds what their health enables thein to withstand. Then, in the next place, we have the closed rooms often most imperfectly ventilated, and which, indeed, do not permit of being ventilated, except in such a way as to produce the greater evil of a perpetual cold draught of air. In the third place, we find that these occupations are of various kinds, and such as of themselves to produce a vast amount of ill health. There are many classes occupied in sedentary pursuits, thus exhausting the system, from the exclusion of action. Other persons are constantly obliged to be doing the same thing, thus producing an activity in one portion of the frame, while the rest of tho system is thrown into disuse. Others, again, are placed in constrained positions, thereby throwing an unduc strain upon certain parts of the body thus called into action. I do not mean to say that these remarks apply to Drapers in particular ; but they have to stand during a large number of hours, and their employment is exceedingly monotonous, and the injurious tendency of this monotony is greatly increased by the ill ventilation of the rooms.
Now another evil which I think the Drapers are more exposed to is, that of hastily partaking of their meals ;—a habit which involves great deterioration of health. Then we come to the exercise of the mind ; the mind gets wearied and exhausted by constantly superintending the same physical actions. That mind cannot be well developed that has its energy absorbed, or frittered away by attention to the maintenance of some trivial muscular exertion, or perhaps wearied by the incessant demand made by the whims and fancies of others.
This monotony is, perhaps, more obvious in factory labour than among shopkeepers. Again, we have in the case of these persons, an exclusion from society. Man, you know, is a social being, and the advancement of civilization is owing to this capability of man for society. But these individuals are almost excluded from social intercourse. The young man, kept at work till eleven of twelve o'clock at night, has no time to recreate himself in the enjoyments of society. It is this deprivation from which so many suffer--not more bodily than mentally; but I shall show you that tho one constantly re-acts upon tho other; and if you break down the barriers of health in the one, you break down the barriers in the other. We sometimes speak with disapprobation of that system of religion which excludes men and women from society in monasteries and nunneries ; but when I look at the Draper's shops, I see something like a system of monastic seclusion going on, excluding its victims from all the privileges of society. But let us trace the condition of these young men further. In that little passage I have read to you, the writer speaks not only of the sufferings they undergo in the day, but what they are also exposed to at night. It appears that even when reposing, they cannot obtain that pure atmosphere so necessary to every function of life.
I will now proceed to show you how this system must act injuriously on every organ of the body, and become the fruitful source of immorality, disease, and death. In the first place, then, I would call your attention to the general constitution of man-to his physical structure, and his position in the world. We find that he stands at the head of the animal creation; and we find that all animals are dependent for life and existence upon the vegetable productions of the earth ; and, was the vegetable kingdom to cease to exist, man would perish, and we should have nothing remaining but the immaterial world. This process of converting the vegetable into the animal, is performed by means of various organs which perform various functions in the animal frame. If we examine the animal frame, we find it consists of solids and fluids ; of the latter, the blood is the most prominent. It circulates through the whole frame, and it is out of this blood that the animal is made up. Blood is prepared from the vegetable kingdom ; and, being thus prepared, goes to build up the whole fabric of the body. Now, although man is not merely composed of particles of matter-although he does exhibit something more than the laws shown in the mineral kingdom, still his whole existence depends upon the fact of his being a material being. Whatever may be his powers of motion—whatever his sensations--his power of preserving his relations to the external world-whatever may be his power of reflecting upon and contemplating them, and thinking of them in connexion with the Author of his being, and rising on the wings of hope, and realizing another and a better existence, we find that the wholo depends upon definite physical conditions. It is thus, then, that this material consideration becomes of so great importance ;—it is thus that in considering the physical condition of man, we are considering the very foundations of his highest hopes and destiny.
Now, then, let me show you how, in this artificial existence which the shopkeeper leads, he is interfering with the functions of the various organs of his body, and consequently the health of his whole frame and mind and spiritual being. In the first place we will draw your attention to the fact of man taking his food from the vegetable kingdom ; and this food he takes by means of a set of organs, known as the masticatory and deglutatory organs. You will find here in this drawing some of these organs. This represents the mouth, in which you will find a set of teeth for the purpose of crushing and grinding the food-here glands for the purpose of supplying saliva,---and the tongue to carry the food thus prepared back to the throat, and thence into the stomach. If the food is not properly prepared by this apparatus, it is not fit to be digested. Now we find even in this simple process, that these persons are exposed to injury. We find, generally, that they consume their food so quickly, that half an hour is said not to be occupied by all the meals taken in a Draper's shop during the day. One would hardly suppose that cannibals would swallow their food so quickly ; and yet it appears that the young men are forced to do it. Here, then, is an evil at the very beginning.
Now let us go further:--here we have the stomach ; this organ secretes the gastric juice, and by it the food is reduced to what is called chyme: this chyme consists of solid and fluid; the fluid part is the chyle, which is taken into the system, and forms blood. Now the conditions under which this process is performed in a healthy manner are these:-in the first place, there should be a due secretion of blood sent to the stomach: now, in order that this blood should find its way to the stomach, it is necessary that all the other organs should be unoccupied ; if the brain and the muscular system be occupied, it is not properly sent to the stomach. Now, in the case of these young men, if half an hour only be given for all the meals, allowing a quarter of an hour to dinner, there is no time for digestion: they are hurried from their meals to business, and digestion is only imperfectly performed. Thus, then, we have frequently, I believe, in this very first stage of blood-making, the foundation of indigestion laid. And what is the consequence?—why, the blood is deteriorated ; and, if so, every other organ must suffer, as the blood makes up every other organ of the system.
We may now trace the chyle into the circulation. It passes from the stomach to the right side of the heart, where, being mingled with the blood, it passes from thence to the lungs, where, by exposure to the atmosphere, it becomes converted into blood. Now, there are several conditions necessary in order to render this blood fitted for purposes of nutrition. Not only, however, does the chyle pass into the lungs to undergo a certain change, but there is a quantity of blood which has a black colour, which is constantly returned by the veins, and this black blood meets with the chyle, and both together are carried into the right ventricle of the heart, and from thence into the lungs. Now, in passing into the lungs, the blood is exposed to the oxygen of the atmosphere, and the changes it undergoes are essential, in order that it may be converted into the fabric of the body. The atmosphere is composed of two gases, nitrogen and oxygen ; four parts of the former, and one of the latter. The nitrogen exerts little or no influence on the blood, but the oxygen chemically unites with certain portions of it, and effects important changes. The blood is composed of globules floating in a fluid medium. The globules are the part which are acted on by the oxygen. The globules of chyle, and the globules of black blood, contain carbon. The carbon is a material taken in with the food in considerable quantities in the form of sugar, butter, starch, and other products of the vegetable kingdom; but it does not build up the fabric of the system. It comes in contact with the atmosphere, and combines with its oxygen, and thus produces carbonic acid gas. Now, in this, we have two purposes effected: in the first place, a noxious material is carried off from the system; and in the second, we have a large quantity of heat given out. Now, then, if the atmosphere be deteriorated, this process takes place imperfectly; and what is the consequence? why a large number of the black globules get to the other side of the heart which ought to have been changed into a red state, and being circulated through the system, they produce a depressing effect upon the body. In the next place, the want of a due supply of oxygen prevents the giving out a sufficient quantity of heat by the union of the oxygen with the carbon, and the consequence is, that the body becomes cold, and its functions are languidly performed.
If you immerse an animal in a jar, and cover it up, it will consume the oxygen, and give out carbonic acid gas, and the consequence is, that you deteriorate the atmosphere, and it speedily dies. The animal dies, not so much from the poisonous carbonic acid, as from the want of oxygen gas. If you observe the animal, you will find that the animal heat becomes less, its heart beats more and more slowly ; the consequence is, the various functions of the body are not properly performed, it ceases to be conscious, its heart stops, and it dies. Now, then, what occurs under these circumstances,-a deprivation of the oxygen of the atmosphere will always occur in rooms imperfectly ventilated. There is seldom such a deprivation of air in shops as to produce death, but the causes that would produce death, if sufficiently intense, are acting there ; and what they cannot effect immediately, they do in the course of a short time, varying according to the degree of deterioration to which the atmosphere is exposed. The causes of deterioration of the atmosphere in shops not well ventilated are several. There is, first, a large quantity of impure air given out from the lungs, and the more persons there are, the greater will this be. The materials in a shop will also contaminate the air. Another cause is, that during the night, and during the day in dark streets, the places are lighted up with gas. How these lights are deteriorating the atmosphere!—for light and heat are produced in a gasburner, from the combustion of carbon, just as heat is produced in the body, and the consequence is consumption of oxygen and formation of carbonic acid. Thus we find there are several causes existing in the atmosphere of shops leading to impurity of the air. Now if you suppose this is going on for sixteen hours for six days out of the seven, you will see that the blood must more or less suffer; for there is no constituent of the body which is of so much consequence to the body as the blood. It is through its means that every organ of the body is maintained in due health ; but if it be imperfectly oxygenated, the functions of the body are gradually impaired, an insidious process goes on in the body, and, at last, the person sinks into some of those diseases which are known to be incurable. But not only are the causes of deterioration going on from a large number of individuals being collected together, but there is perpetually given off from the body of those persons
themselves a certain quantity of exhalation, arising from the natural secretion of the skin, injurious to the system. It is admitted, that organic particles, when taken again into the body, are injurious. They are got rid of, because they are not wanted; and if any gets back into the body again, it produces disease. This seems to be the frequent cause of influenza and catarrh. A large quantity of decomposing animal matter is carried into the atmosphere ; this the body absorbs, and the animal matter in the system is thrown into a state of fermentation, as it were, when persons are confined together in closed rooms, as is often the case during the winter: this animal matter is absorbed, especially during moist weather, and is the cause of a variety of diseases such as catarrh.
Now this is what those persons who are closely confined in shops are exposed to, and I believe it is not unfrequently the case, that all the persons in a shop are affected at once. This arises from insufficient ventilation. The same thing occurs in public rooms, where no provision is made for ventilation. Chlorine is given out from goods in shops, and produces a depressing effect upon the system. There is also frequently an escape of carburetted and sulphurated hydrogen from the gas-lamps, and these add other causes of depression and consequent disease. I would not point them out as a necessary source of disease ; but they combine, with other things, to produce ill-health, and should be avoided as much as possible.
But let me now carry you on to another system of organs,-a system suffering materially from this kind of confinement. I mean the muscular system--that system which distinguishes animals from plants. In the human being, it is found in the form of elongated fibres, and these fibres are supplied with blood-vessels and nerves. Every time that these muscles are used, certain atoms of which they are composed are destroyed, or removed, and these require to be renewed by others from the blood. It is this that causes persons to be exhausted, by constantly using the muscles. This exhaustion is increased, where there is a want of a due supply either in quantity or quality of blood. Now I need not tell you, that in places or occupations where persons cannot gain a due supply of pure blood, they must suffer, and this is frequently the
case, that persons engaged in an occupation requiring great strength, and employed in close places, find their strength fail them on account of the want of this necessary ingredient for renewing the structure of the employed muscles. But the nerves are still more important. Each muscle is supplied with a set of sentient and volitionary nerves. The first gives the power of sensation; the second conveys the volitions of the mind. Now,