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ing establishment, which employment is regarded as being sufficiently laborious to test the capability of physical endurance, we have tho following statistics:
Says a gentleman, residing in Uxbridge, England, "I obtained the amount of bricks made by the largest maker, and the result in favor of the tee-totaller was very satisfactory. Out of 23,000,000 of bricks made, the average per man, made by the beer-drinker in the season was 760,269, while the average for the tee-totaller was 795,400, which is 35,131 in favor of the latter. The highest number made by a beer drinker was 880,000; the highest number made by a tee-totaller was 890,000; the lowest number made by a tee-totaller was 746,000; the lowest number made by a beerdrinker was 659,000, leaving 87,000 in favor of the former."*
Equally striking comparisons were made in an extensive machine shop. In the report of the proprietor, where between one and two thousand workmen were employed, he affirms, that in the summer-time, the men engaged as strikers to the forge who drink largely of water, are more active, can do more work, and are more healthy than those who make use of fermented liquors. Among agriculturists, where comparisons have been made by selecting equal numbers from the ranks of tee-totalism and moderate drinking, for the purpose of testing the capability of the two classes to endure protracted labor, in every instance the former have come off victorious.
As a familiar illustration of the influence of those substances like alcohol, which are deficient in strength producing elements, let us recur to our observation of facts in every day life. Who, when about to undertake a long journey, especially in warm weather, would confine his horse to a preparatory diet of potatoes, or continue this diet during the progress of his journey? His animal might become sleek and rotund while idle, laying up deposits of fat from his highly carbonaceous food, but after a few days of severe labor he would become dull and sluggish, and from loss of flesh and strength incapable of further exertion. Experience directs that his manger shall be well supplied with corn, hay, and oats. The article first mentioned abounds in fat-producing elements, while the latter afford those constituents which impart strength to the body, and by a slow process of assimilation to the different tissues they maintain an adequate proportion of heat, as . Medico-Chirurgical Review.
well as a due supply of albumen to the muscles and bones, thereby affording the true source of nervous and muscular power.
Does alcohol protect against extremes of heat or cold?
The first impression of cold upon the body is exhilarating. It quickens muscular motion, increases the number of respirations, and imparts an electrifying influence to the whole nervous system. Extreme cold, protracted for a length of time, powerfully depress es the vital energies. We would suppose, then, that any agent loaded with carbon and hydrogen, which could be appropriated by the animal organism, would be peculiarly fitted for counteract. ing this depressing influence. It will be remembered that the modus operandi of alcohol, is by direct imbibition into the blood, and by its impression upon the nervous system. It is not suscep tible of a gradual process of digestion, whereby its heat-producing qualities are slowly supplied to the lungs for the elaboration of beat, but its highly inflaminatory nature produces intense plethora of the blood-vessels, and great general excitement. In proportion to the degree of excitement will then be a corresponding stage of depression; increased sensibility to cold must follow the subsi dence of the impression made by a single potation. The toper, therefore, by frequent alternations of those opposite states of the system, loses his physical appliances to resist the effects of cold, and he either relapses into the fatal stupor of intoxication, or into that slumber which is the inevitable precursor of the freezing of the very fountain of life.
Naval commanders, who have wintered crews in high polar latitudes, give abundant testimony in confirmation of the views just expressed. "In 1619, the crew of a Danish ship of 60 men, well supplied with provisions and ardent spirits, attempted to pass the winter at Honduras Bay, but 58 of them died before spring; while in the case of an English crew of 22 men, in the same cir. cumstances, but destitute of distilled spirits, only two died. In the winter of 1796, a vessel was wrecked on an island off the coast of Massachusetts; there were seven persons on board; it was night; five of them resolved to quit the wreck and seek shelter on shore. To prepare for the attempt, four of them drank freely of spirituous liquors, the fifth would drink none. They all leaped into the water; one was drowned before he reached the shore, the other four came to land, and in a deep snow and piercing cold directed their steps to a distant light. All who drank spirits failed, and
stopped, and froze one after another; the man who drank none reached the house in safety." (Youmans, on Alcohol.)
Hot coffee and tea are much to be preferred as heat producing agents, being equally as prompt in imparting warmth to the body, and their effects are much more protracted. The ingestion of solid food, more especially lean and fat meats, keeps up a regular supply of heat, for it is, during the process of digestion and assimilation, imparting warmth to the body, and strength to the muscles and bones. In excessively cold countries, Lapland for instance, you will see the inhabitants luxuriating upon a dinner of train oil and tallow candles. Disgusting as this repast may appear to us, he, nevertheless, enjoys it; for the excessive demand made upon his blood for those materials which aid in resisting the external temperature, sharpens his appetite and affords him transporting pleasure. But it is asserted that in hot climates where the system becomes enervated by long-continued and elevated temperature, some stimulus is necessary to give appetite for food, and to brace up the relaxed fibre. It is a well established fact, that the inhabitants of hot climates require less food, particularly of a stimulating nature, than those inhabiting cold regions; and for the very obvious reason that there is less fuel required. As has been already remarked, a good portion of our aliment, during the winter, is exhausted in maintaining the natural temperature of the body; during the summer, the surrounding air being heated, the demand made by the respiratory system is withdrawn, and food of that kind and quality is called for which supplies the natural waste of the tissues. The hard laboring man will perceive very little dif ference in his appetite during this season, for the process of combustion is continuing at a rapid rate, and he would soon be consumed, did not the amount of surplus heat find exit in the form of watery yapor from the lungs, and through the skin in copious torrents of perspiration. It is the man of idle and sedentary habits who is troubled with a disgust for food. "A drop of comfort" immediately before dinner is solicited to spur up the languid stomach, and stimulate the drooping energies. But at such times, the individual pursuing an occupation wherein there is comparatively a passive condition of the muscles, nature is competent to dispose of but little food, and her demands are made accordingly. Instead of swallowing fire at such times, you must pour on water. At such an hour as you are in the habit of visiting the ale or por
ter fount, wake up your sleeping muscles in the varied exercises of the gymnasium, and then indulge in the glorious luxury of a cold bath, and in lieu of temporary hilarity, and a morbid relish for the tempting viands of the table, whereby your stomach is forced to receive double as much food as it can digest with case and comfort, inducing a sensation of heaviness and stupidity after dinner, there will be an electrical influence imparted to the mus cular fibre, a moderate increase of your appetite, an elasticity of step and feeling, that impart life and vigor to the digestive apparatus, and ease and comfort to the soul. Dr. Leibig, than whom I could not cite higher authority, thus discourses: "The Englishman, in Jamaica, sees with regret the disappearance of his appetite, previously a source of frequently recurring enjoyment; and he succeeds by the use of cayenne pepper and the most powerful stimulants, in enabling himself to take as much food as he was accustomed to at home. But the whole of the carbon thus introduced into the system is not consumed; the temperature of the air is too high, and the oppressive heat does not allow him to increase the number of respirations by active exercise, and thus to proportion the waste to the amount of food taken; disease of some kind must necessarily ensue." Thus, we see, that an individual in the enjoyment of health requires no aid from this despotic sov ereign for the performance of the most protracted and laborious demands upon his physical and mental energies. Temperance in diet, properly regulated exercise, and "Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep," and ablutions and draughts from the pure fountain, unadulterated as it issues from the bosom of earth, afford the motive and sustaining power by which the most complex and perfect of all machinery is maintained in a state of perfect integrity. Does alcohol protect from contagion?
The most perfect state of physical health, that in which the or gans perform their functions naturally, when each discharges its duty in faithful obedience to those physiological laws which a kind Providence has placed over the body physical, ensures the most efficient and successful resistance against the encroachments of disease. The successful military chieftain enforces that rigid, yet wholesome discipline, whereby the most implicit obedience is ensured. In anticipation of a collision with an approaching enemy, he marshals his forces, so that each division will act in concert, and with one grand object in view, to render reciprocal assistance
in repelling an attack. From a commanding position, with one sweep of his telescope, his practical and mathematical eye discov ers the most vulnerable points of his army, and every faculty of his mind is brought into requisition in adjusting the whole into perfect harmony and symmetry. So with the animal economy. When this delicate organism is subject to such extremes of excitement and depression, at one time an important organ almost paralyzed by over stimulation and exertion, and at another from a deficiency of nervous energy, "the pestilence that walketh in darkness," steals upon the sentinels at the outposts, and victory perches upon his standard. The testimony of hospital reports, and the records of benevolent associations, physicians and sur geons, give ample confirmation to this lamentable fact.
Writes Dr. Carpenter: "The nurses in the cholera hospital at Manchester, were at first worked six hours, and allowed to go home the other six, and the mortality was so great among them that there were fears of the failure of a supply. It was found, however, that they were much given to alcoholic potations (with the idea probably of better resisting the malady,) during their leisure hours, and they were, therefore, confined to the hospital and debarred from obtaining more than a small allowance of alcoholic drink; after which, not a single case occurred among them."
In the history of the ravages of pestilence, whether yellow fever, cholera, or dysentery, all reports agree that the bacchanalian, the debauchee, or even he who is habitually accustomed to the daily use of alcoholic potations in considerable quantities, is among the first to fall beneath the scythe of the Destroying Angel. The mechanism of the human frame is so complex, yet so complete in all its arrangements, exhibiting such beautiful harmony and concert in the movements of its different parts, that at the same time that we adore the wisdom and beneficence of the Divine Architect, we wonder that it can be maintained in motion, for even the mean duration of human life, under an observance of the most rigid. rules of health. In the processes of digestion, assimilation, secretion, and the reproduction of the tissues, any agent, the tendency of which is to interrupt the nice counterpoise between the assimilating and depurating organs, must necessarily derange the operations of the whole machinery. An excess of carbon in the blood, independent of the local effects of alcohol upon the stomach, and the general plethoric condition of the circulation, demands extra