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duce shade, and those who live in them live in of sleep than we do in the summer. On the shadow.
longest day in the year, seven hours of sleep is In many residences where there is plenty of sufficient for most men and women who are in window-space there is much neglect in keeping the prime of life. On the shortest day, nine the windows clean. Windows should be cleaned hours of sleep is not overmuch, and, for those once a week at least, and a great desideratum is who are weakly, ten or even twelve hours may to bring into general use a simple mechanical be taken with real advantage. In winter, chilcontrivance by which the window-sashes can be dren should always have ten to twelve hours of easily removed and turned into the room, so as sleep. It is not idleness to indulge to that exto enable the cleaning to take place without the tent, but an actual saving, a storing up of invigoperilous process of standing outside on the win- rated existence for the future. Such rest can dow-sill. Among the poor who can not afford only be obtained by going to bed very early, say to have a professed window-cleaner the windows at half-past eight o'clock or nine. often become quite obscured, because the women It is wrong as ever it can be that our legisof the household can not get at them, as they lators should often be sitting up, as we know say, on both sides, and the men are not at home they do, times after times, in the dead of night, in the day to give them assistance. Baker's new trying against life to legislate for life. It is most ventilating window promises to answer best for foolish that public writers, who hold so many the object here stated. The sashes of this win- responsibilities in their hands, should be called dow hang on centers instead of sliding up and upon to exercise their craft at a time when all down. When they are closed the sashes fit neat- their nature is calling out to them, “Rest, rest, ly and exclude draughts and wet effectually; and rest!" It is said I am foolish for declaring these when they are opened they can be set at any re- things. Is it so? I am standing by Nature, quired angle to admit air. The greatest advan- speaking under her direction, and, without a tage of all is that each window-sash can be thought of dogmatism, I am driven to ask, May turned over, so that it may be cleaned with equal it not be the world that is foolish the world, I facility on its inside and outside surfaces without mean, of fashion and habit, which could, if it exposing the cleaner to the risk of standing out- would, change the present systems as easily as side at any stage of the cleaning process.
it criticises the view that it ought to make the The introduction of daylight reflectors has change. Anyway, this I know, and it is the truth been, in late years, a very great and useful ad- I would here express, that in every man, woman, vance. The dark basements of town-houses can and child there is, at or about the early time I be so often completely lighted by these reflectors have named, a persistent periodical desire for that I wonder they are not universally demanded sleep, which steals on determinately, which, taken in places where their action is effective. The at the food, leads to a good sound night's rest, light they afford is steady, often actually bright, and which, resisted, never duly returns, but is and always pure.
replaced by a surreptitious sleep, broken by
wearing dreams, restless limbs, and but partial SLEEP AT HOME.
restoration of vital power. I have said before, I have been speaking about sunlight, and am make the sun your fellow workman. I repeat led by this to refer to another and allied topic, I the saying now. I do not say, go to bed at all mean night and hours of sleep. If it be good to seasons with the sun and rise with it, because in make all possible use of sunlight, it is equally this climate that would not be, at all seasons, good to make as little use as possible of artificial possible; but I say, as a general principle, as light. Artificial lights, so far, have been sources closely as you can, make the sun your fellow of waste, not only of the material out of which workman; follow him, as soon as you are able, to they are made, but of the air on which they burn. rest, and do not let him stare at you in bed many In the air of the closed room the present com- hours after he has commenced his daily course. monly used lamps, candles, and gaslights, rob Teach your children, moreover, this same lesson, the air of a part of its vital constituent, and sup- and the practice of it, whereupon there will be, ply in return products which are really injurious in a generation or two, even in this land of fogs to life. Gaslight is in this respect most hurtful, and dullness, a race of children of the sun, who but the others are bad when they are long kept will stand, in matter of health, a head and shoulburning in one confined space. The fewer hours ders above the children of the present generation. after dark that are spent in artificial light the better; and this suggests, of itself, that within
BEDROOMS AND BEDS. reasonable limits the sooner we go to rest after FROM the subject of sleep I am led by as dark the better. We require in the cold season easy and natural a transition to the subject of of winter, when the nights are long, much more bedrooms and beds as I was before led from the subject of light to the subject of sleep. But expressing the whole of the error that really experhaps some one will say, Why, in speaking of ists. a home and fireside topics, should you begin with When we enter the bedroom we too often find bedrooms? There is the drawing-room, surely, it, though it may be a good-sized room, altogethfirst to be thought of; that room in which the er unsuited as a sleeping-apartment. It may be company gathers when company comes together; situated either at the back or the front of the that room in which the lady of the house takes house ; it may or may not have a fireplace, and, the most pride, shows the most taste, feels most if it should have a fireplace, the register may or at home. There is also the dining-room, or sit- may not be open. The windows may be large or ting-room, or breakfast-room, or study. Again, small, according to mere caprice of the builder, there is the kitchen-of all rooms, surely, the or of accident, or of necessity; and, whether the most important in every sanitary point of window will open or shut from the top or the view?
bottom sash, or from both, is a matter of smallWe will enter all these rooms in good time; est consequence. As a rule the bedroom-winbut let us go into the bedroom first, and get that dows that have a double sash open only from the in order, because, after all, it is really the most bottom, and it is the most usual occurrence to important room in the house by far and far again. find the sash-lines out of gear altogether, or the I know it is not commonly thought to be so. I frames in a bad state, so that the sash has to be am quite aware from my daily observations, for supported with care, or “humored," whenever it over thirty years, that this is one of the least has to be opened or closed. Then to the winpopular notions about bedrooms. I often think, dow, that the room may look snug and comfortas I wend my way up ever so many different able, must be muslin blinds (half blinds), rollerkinds of stairs daily, that a doctor's usual jour- blinds, and very often heavy curtains. When ney would be something like that on a tread- the window is opened the roller-blind blows out wheel were it not for the fact that there is always like the sail of a boat, or blows in, at the risk of some new ending to his ascents, and that on his knocking down the looking-glass. Sometimes mission of freedom and usefulness he is carrying Venetian blinds, which are never in order for two the blessings of the services his brethren are months together, take the place of roller-blinds, giving to him, for dispensation, into the sanctua- and it becomes quite an art to manage the laths, ries of sorrow. But one fact would lighten my though these blinds are on the whole the best. heart very much more-I mean the fact, if it Then the walls of bedrooms are in most instances were as fully as it were easily realizable, that I covered with paper, and of all rooms in the house should always find the bedrooms in sickness or they are least frequently papered. “The lower in health befitting their office and the purpose to rooms must be papered, they look so very dirty; which they are assigned.
the bedrooms are dingy, but they may stand over As a rule I regret to record that from want another year; nobody sees them." To carry out of appreciation of what is most healthy, in oppo- further the idea of snugness, the bedrooms are sition to a keen appreciation of what is most fash- carpeted, it may be over their whole surface right ionable, the bedroom is too often the part of the up to the walls of the rooms, and the carpet is house that is least considered. It may be in any nailed down, so that it may be swept without bepart of the house. There is no room too much ing dragged out of its place. out of the way or too little cared for that may Again, the bedroom is too often made a kind not be a bedroom. “This is only a bedroom,” is of half lumber-room-a place in which things the commonest observation of the woman who is that have to be concealed are carefully stowed deputed to show you over an empty house that away. “Under the bed " is a convenient hidingstands to be let. “We can turn the dressing- place. It is the fact that once in a public instituroom into a bedroom whenever we like,” is not tion for the sick which I inspected there existed unfrequently a housewife's, and even a good an arrangement by which each new patient who housewife's, expression. “Give me a shake-down came in to be cured had his every-day clothes, somewhere," is the request of the unexpected after they were taken off his body, put into a traveler or visitor who wants to stay with you all rickety old box and pushed under his bed, to renight. “Anywhere will do, so long as it is a main there until he was able to put them on again bed.” “This is only an attic; but it is large when he “left the house " or until he died, if his enough for one servant, you know, and two have disease ended fatally, and his relatives claimed slept in it many a time before now.” These are them. I found eighteen of these boxes of clothes the kind of ordinary terms that are applied to secreted systematically under eighteen beds in bedrooms as apologies for something that is con- one insalubrious sick-room or ward of this fessedly but observedly wrong about them. The establishment. In private houses this same language itself implies error; but it is far from plan of stowing away old clothes, old boots
and shoes, and the like, is too frequently put in three positions, the bedroom that has a southpractice.
western view is the most fortunate in our country, I notice once again that the occurrence of The winds from the southwest are the most fredamp or wet in the ceilings and walls of a bed- quent, and so the room can be most frequently room is much more readily tolerated than it is ventilated by them, from the open window, during elsewhere. If a pipe bursts and the drawing- the day. These winds, moreover, are soft winds, room or dining-room ceiling is covered with a and compare favorably with the eastern winds, dark patch, ever so small, that must be at once from which it is always good to be protected as attended to, it looks so very bad. But a patch of much as possible. The bedroom having a southsimilar character, though it look like a map of western aspect gets the longest share of light the United Kingdom, with the Straits of Dover during the day. The early morning light soon and the coast of France as an opposing outline, feeds it with a subdued and agreeable light, and may remain on the ceiling of the bedroom until in the evening it gets the later rays, almost the it dries, and then, being dry, may still remain, last rays of the life-giving sun. because if the water should come in again the condition will be as bad as ever.
II. I will say no more about bedrooms to their The bedroom should in all cases be shut off disparagement. The errors I have pointed out from the house during the time it is occupied, so when they are present are unpardonable in re- that the emanations from the rooms may not engard to the healths of those who permit them, ter into it. It should be ventilated, I mean, inand, inasmuch as the health of these is of far dependently. In our present houses the bedgreater moment than their equanimity of senti- rooms are actually the traps, or bell-jars, into ment, I must run the risk of disturbing the tem- which, in too many cases, the air of the lower per that I may assist the health. I feel the less rooms, charged with the gaseous or vaporous compunction on this head because what I am products made during the day, are laid up. In about to propose in the way of remedy means these instances the occupants retire to sleep in nothing but economy of reconstruction along the an atmosphere of their own emanations, to say whole line. I will tender in a few rules what are nothing of what comes from the kitchen, from the essentials of a healthy bedroom. If they can gas, and from other sources of impurity. It is not all be carried out in every case, many of them most easy to ventilate the bedroom independently. can be without any serious difficulty.
Nothing more is wanted than to remove one or The reason why I give these rules in respect two bricks in the outer wall beneath the flooring, to bedrooms the first place in domestic sanitation and to carry up a wooden tube four inches square is obvious enough, if but a few moments con- for a room of very moderate size-say eighteen sideration be given to the importance of the bed- feet long, fourteen wide, and twelve high-into room as the center of the household. In this the room from that opening. This tube should room, if a due proportion of sleep be taken, the ascend into the room six to eight feet. It may third part of all the life is passed, thirty years out be covered at the top with a layer of gauze or of a life that reaches to an age of ninety. In muslin if the current of air is too strong. The what other room in the house is so much of the tube should be six feet from the bed. The bed life passed without change ? In the sitting-rooms may be protected from a draught by a light curwe move about, we have the doors frequently tain or screen placed between it and the tube. open, and in numerous ways we change the air, In some houses it is not difficult to bring a and change our own relations to it. In the bed- four-inch wooden tube through the whole length room we are shut up closely, we are unconscious of a partition from the top to the bottom floor of of what is going on silently around us. If the a house, and to let a supply of air enter that tube air becomes close we do not notice it, and it may at the upper part, and distribute air to every become positively poisonous without our knowl- room that lies in its course. edge. Moreover, during sleep we are most sus. On rising in the morning the bedroom-winceptible to influences which act detrimentally dows should be opened at the top and bottom upon us. We are breathing slowly, and we are equally, and, except when the weather is very not casting off, or eliminating, freely the products wet, they should remain open until the sun beof animal combustion.
gins to go down. It is a bad practice to leave
the windows open late in the day, and this espeRULES FOR BEDROOMS.
cially in the winter. The air becomes charged 1.
with damp, and a damp air is really as dangerous The bedroom should, by preference, have its as, if not more dangerous than, a close air. To window either on the southern side of the house, sleep in damp air is quite as bad as to sleep in the southeastern, or the southwestern. Of the damp sheets, and is a most common cause of
rheumatism, neuralgia, and chronic cold or ca- at all, but it also admits a current into the room tarrh. When the windows of the bedroom are from the house, which to a certain extent is obclosed the door ought also to be closed, and the jectionable. entrance of air into the room be allowed to take It has been recommended by some sanitarians place only through the communication with the to ventilate the bedroom from the window by the external air.
plan of costless ventilation of Dr. Peter Hinches While provision is made for the entrance of Bird. In this plan the lower sash of the window air, an equal provision should also be made for is raised a few inches, the space between the the escape of air. This is best effected by an window and the window-sill being filled up by a opening in the chimney-shaft near to the ceiling solid piece of wood. A space is in this way left where there is, as there ought always to be, a between the two sashes up which flows a confireplace and shaft. The opening for the exit of stant current of air. I have tried this method, air up the shaft may be protected by an Arnott's and I have modified it by letting the upper sash valve.
down, and filling up the space between it and the The late Dr. Chowne invented a process of top part of the window-frame with board, which exit ventilation which answers well for bedrooms, is, I think, the better arrangement, and for stairand to which he gave the name of “siphon ven- cases I do not think anything is so good. But tilation." The name was very unfortunate, be- in bedrooms, the windows of which are opened cause there is no siphon principle in it, and ow- and closed so frequently, and which have blinds, ing to this the plan received very severe handling the plan does not answer so well as the tube of by the late Dr. Neil Arnott. The plan neverthe- which I have spoken. There are more frequent less is very good and cleanly, and when from an draughts from the window, and not, I think, so Arnott valve smoke and dust issue, as they often regular a supply of air. will in rooms placed at the upper part of a house, the Chowne tube is excellent. A three- or fourinch piece of stove-piping is let into the wall from It is always a matter of great moment to the ceiling down to the mantel-piece. Near the maintain an equable temperature in the bedroom. ceiling the tube opens into the room. At the A bedroom, the air of which is subject to great, mantel-shelf the tube is made to turn at a right and frequent, and rapid changes of temperature, angle into the chimney. At all times there is a is always a trap for danger. To persons who current of air down this tube into the chimney, are in the prime of life, and who are in robust and when there is a fire in the grate the exit cur health, this danger is less pronounced, but to the rent is extremely sharp and effective, while there young and the feeble it is a most serious danger. is always freedom from soot and smoke in the It is specially dangerous to aged people to sleep room, an advantage which recompenses for the in a room that is easily lowered in warmth. extra friction and resistance caused by the tube. When the great waves of cold come on in these Chowne's plan is so effective and simple that I islands, in the winter season, our old people behave often brought it temporarily into action in gin to drop off with a rapidity that is perfectly closed rooms by simply turning a piece of stove- startling. We take up the list of deaths pubpiping into a chimney at the fireplace, and run- lished in the “Times" during these seasons, and ning a straight piece of tubing from the elbow the most marked of facts is the number of de up to near the ceiling, and temporarily fixing it ceased aged persons. It is like an epidemic of against the wall.
death by old age. The public mind accepts this When exit ventilation can not be carried out record as indicative of a general change of exterby a chimney-shaft owing to the circumstance nal conditions, and of a mortality therefore that that there is no fireplace or shaft, it is next best is necessary as a result of that change. I would to carry it out into the staircase by a diaphragm not myself dispute that there is a line of truth opening made over the door of the room. An and sound common sense and common observaopening twelve inches long and four inches wide tion in this view ; but when we descend from the is made vertically through the wall, in the space general to the particular we find that much of over the door. Into this opening is placed a the mortality, seen in such excess among the metal frame as wide as the thickness of the wall, aged, is induced by mistakes on the subject of with a partition or diaphragm of thin metal warmth in the bedroom planted vertically in the center of it. When this The fatal event comes about somewhat in this metal frame is fixed in the wall a current of air way: The room in which the enfeebled person will be found to pass, after the room is closed, has been sitting before going to bed has been into the room on one side the diaphragm, and warmed probably up to summer heat; a light out of the room on the other side. This secures meal has been taken before retiring to rest, and an outer current, which is better by far than none then the bedroom is entered. The bedroom perchance has no fire in it, or if a fire be lighted the decay of the lungs, and that the one is the provision is not made to keep it alight for more result of the other." than an hour or two. The result is, that in the Flourens, from whose work on “Human Lonearly part of the morning, from three to four gevity" I copy this extract, demurs to the concluo'clock, when the temperature of the air in all sion drawn by Reveillé-Parise. He will admit it parts is lowest, the glow from the fire or stove in part only. “Old age," he asserts, “ does not which should warm the room has ceased, and the commence in any organ. It is not a local but a room is cold to an extreme degree. In country- general phenomenon. All our organs grow old, houses the water will often be found frozen in and it is not always at the same organ that we the hand-basins or ewers under these conditions. feel the first effects of age; it is sometimes one,
Meanwhile the sleeper lies unconscious of the sometimes another, according to the individual great change which is taking place in the air constitution.” around him. Slowly and surely there is a decline I agree for my part with both these authors, of temperature to the extent, it may be, of thirty because I think there is nothing in experience or forty degrees on the Fahrenheit scale; and which is different or is in opposition to either of though he may be fairly covered with bedclothes their views. Flourens is correct in saying that he is receiving into his lungs this cold air, by all the organs grow old together. Reveillé-Parise which the circulation through the lungs is ma- is correct in suggesting that the lungs more usuterially modified.
ally go first, because they are at one and the The condition of the body itself is at this very same time most exposed and most vital. time unfavorable for meeting any emergency. In It is not in the least degree irrelevant to my the period between midnight and six in the morn- present discourse to dwell on this argument. It ing, the animal vital processes are at their lowest shows better than any other argument could ebb. It is in these times that those who are en- show how easily the depressing influence of cold feebled from any cause most frequently die. We tells on the vital organs, and specially on the physicians often consider these hours as critical, lungs of the sleeper, whose vital capacity is aland forewarn anxious friends in respect to them. ready impaired by age. The minute vessels of From time immemorial those who have been ac- the lung, in the pulmonary circuit of blood over customed to wait and attend on the sick have the lung, are paralyzed by the cold so easily that noted these hours most anxiously, so that they congestion of blood in them is an almost natuhave been called by one of our old writers “the ral result if they be long exposed to cold. And hours of fate." In this space of time the influence this, in truth, is the most common event in the of the life-giving sun has been longest withdrawn aged, leading to that bronchial irritation and obfrom man, and the hearts that are even the strong- struction which is called congestive bronchitis, est beat then with subdued tone. Sleep is heavi- from which so many are recorded as having died est and death is nearest to us all in “ the hours when winter shows its face. of fate."
The practical question that comes out of this The feeble, therefore, are most exposed to discussion is, How shall the danger of congesdanger during this period of time, and they are tion of the lungs be avoided in the sleeping-apartmost exposed to one particular danger, that of ments of the enfeebled ? congestion of the lungs, for it is the bronchial Our forefathers replied to this question in a surface of the lungs that is most exposed to the very plain and striking manner. They shut themaction of the chilled air; and, in the aged, that selves up in a warm tent. The old four-posters exposure is hazardous.
and the old tent bedsteads are the still extant One of the ablest writers on the hygiene of witnesses of the ways and means for keeping out old age, M. Reveillé-Parise, attaches so much the cold in the old times. In country-houses one importance to the function of the lungs in the sometimes finds still the massive four-post bedaged that he comes to the conclusions, first, that stead with its heavy damask curtains and snug old age commences in the lungs; and, secondly, inclosure. Advocate of fresh air as I am, I conthat, as a rule, death commences in the lungs in fess still to a lingering liking to this snug inclothe aged. He reasons in this manner: “If we sure when I see it on a cold midwinter night. I reflect that it is from the blood that life derives met with it not very long ago, and I crept into the principles which maintain and repair it, that it with a sort of quiet glee as if feeling unusuthe more vigorous, plastic, and rich in nutritive ally safe and comfortable in so cozy a retreat. principles the blood is, so much the more organic I won't let mere likings tempt me to say that life increases and manifests itself, and that the the plan is a good one. It is really not comorgan of sanguinification is the organ of respira- mendable, or only so when nothing better is at tion, we shall be compelled to admit the opinion hand. If in a large room with cold walls and that the age of general decline commences with floors on a cold night I were obliged to sleep in