Page images

of the organic matter contained in the breath is not yet fully ascertained; it is probably partly gaseous and partly solid. I have myself examined it microscopically in a good many cases, both in health and disease, and have ascertained the quantity exhaled under various conditions. It certainly contains numerous solid particles; some of it simply disintegrated organised material, some dried up epithelial scales, and in some diseases, as in measles and whooping cough and phthisis, the specific organisms of the disease.

Its quantity is indeed very small, I found that only about 0.2 of a gramme is excreted per diem by healthy adults, or 0.4 gramme per metre of expired air, but this is 500 times as much as Dr. de Chaumont found in the outer air, and when condensed upon solid bodies it often forms a perceptible foully smelling film, and we know further from Dr. Hammond's experiments that it is virulently poisonous, and it would probably sustain the life of the bacillus, though I am not aware of any direct experiments on this point.

We are now in a position to state the measures that are needed for the prevention of this terrible scourge of our population, and they may be thus briefly enumerated.

1. As far as possible the disinfection or destruction of the phthisical expectoration.

2. The discouragement of marriage between phthisical individuals.

3. The prevention of irritating dusts in workshops, or at any rate the adoption of means for sweeping them away from the mouths of workpeople, as is now almost universally done in the workshops of Sheffield.

4. The discouragement of stooping or confined postures during labour.

5. The better drainage of impervious soils, and the cleansing away of all kinds of filth.

6. The provision of thorough ventilation by night and day, not only in workshops, offices, warehouses, and factories, but also in the dwellings of both rich and poor, and in the streets and crowded alleys in which they live.

By the adoption of some such means as these I firmly believe that, in the course of time, we should see the present frightful mortality from consumption greatly diminished, and although they could probably be only partially carried out, every effort in the right direction would be rewarded by some improvement in the death-rate, not only from consumption, but also from other diseases, and especially diseases of the lungs.





"IF I wash thee not thou hast no part with me"-so spake the greatest of all teachers, and with humble reverence will I endeavour to draw from His teachings the lesson which I trust the working classes of this important and prosperous town may learn from the Congress of the Sanitary Institute.

Cleanliness is a subject which opens up ideas of almost illimitable magnitude. It is practically the very mainspring of our existence. It is spoken of as being "next to goodliness," or as some put it, "next to godliness"-cleanliness both without and within; and how many are the graces which surround the cleanly being? How great a moral did Sir Charles Napier point when in consultation as to the "articles" necessary to be taken by the men of his army on a campaign, he said, all that a man wanted in that way was "a bit of soap and a tooth brush?" He implied cleanliness of person to be the order of those under his command, and perhaps it may not be too great a straining of an inference to imply by the tooth-brush that those foul utterances which too often come from the mouth of man should not be.

The Great Duke of Wellington was a cleanly man. He is reported to have said his best officers were his greatest dandies, and he was wont to give a little lecture occasionally on a dirty button. Selecting some soldier from the ranks, who had probably "skipped" a button from his polishing performance, he would say, "The second (or otherwise) button on your coat, my man, is dirty; and what is the consequence? You are a dirty

man; the company to which you belong is dirty; the battalion is dirty; the brigade is dirty; the division in which you are is dirty. Egad! the whole British Army is dirty on account of that dirty button."

Now what did all this imply but cleanliness necessary to wellbeing; and attention to even the smallest detail was not beneath the touch of his master mind. Who can fully realise the value of attention to little things?. A little thought will, however, make us fully appreciate its importance. Sands make the mountain, moments make the year; nothing is too small or too insignificant to be overlooked. We all have our little corners to fill in the great scheme of life. A great painter, eminent for attention to small matters, said that looking to trifles made perfection, and that perfection was no trifle; and He of whom I spoke in commencing this address, said "even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Cleanliness in dress-dress suitable to station-is again an important point. Shakespeare said, "The apparel oft proclaims the man," and how true is this. What a sad sight it is to see a good British workman about in rags and tatters, slouching along-it may be as the Scotchmen say, "a bit fou" into the bargain. Such a sight always seems to point to that curse, a want of order. Order is Heaven's first law. The cleanly person is a creature of order; we never find a disorderly person smart and cleanly, nor do we ever see a slovenly uncleanly person orderly. How invaluable is that man or woman to those who employ them who bring order and cleanliness into their daily duty; method is at the root of all their actions, and out of method comes punctuality, for "Method is the very hinge of business, and there is no method without punctuality."

Cleanliness in the home. "Home! there's a magic in the word;" and how do not we working men-for I claim to be a working man as much as any of you-how do not we rejoice in a cleanly home, a refuge after the toils of the day, the remembrance of which lightens our daily task and makes the work go all the easier? and what joyous homes may we not have where cleanliness "rules the roost?" How much lies in the brightly polished metal, the bright blackened stove, the clean swept hearth, the bright, clean window-pane; the window-sill, it may be, decked with a few flowers, fit emblems of a bright place within? And how easy is all this of attainment. The late Sir Joseph Paxton, the great gardener, thus wrote on window gardening:-"The cultivation of flowers is of all amusements of mankind the one to be selected and approved as the most innocent in itself and most perfectly devoid of injury or annoyance to others. The employment is not only conducive


to health and peace of mind, but probably more good-will has arisen and friendships been founded by the intercourse and communication connected with this pursuit than any other. The pleasures arising from the culture of flowers are harmless and pure; a streak, a tint, a shade, becomes a triumph which, though often obtained by a chance, is secured alone by morning care, by evening caution, and the vigilance of days. It is an employ which, in its various grades, excludes neither the opulent nor the indigent, teems with boundless variety, and affords an unceasing excitement to emulation without contention or ill will. There is no other pursuit alike calculated for peer and peasant in which the distinctions are so trivial; for the cottager may possess and enjoy the same beauteous rose or fragrant mignonette in his little plot or his window that occupies a place in the garden of the richest. There are few surer tests of a happy home within than the flower-decorated window and neat kept garden; and there is no occupation for the leisure hours more calculated to keep it so, or to soothe the mind. It yields pleasure without surfeit; the more we advance the more eager we become." A pleasant picture truly, and one which, methinks, is already realised in some homes in Bolton. The Great Teacher often drew his pictures from flowers, and the higher we grow in appreciation of order and cleanliness the more we shall love them. Lady Blessington beautifully writes:

"Flowers are the bright remembrancers of youth:

They waft us back, with their bland, odorous breath,
The joyous hours that only young life knows."

Let me, then, recommend to you window gardening as one of the evidences of cleanliness. Perhaps it may not be out of place here to note that, to quote Lord Albemarle, some years since he was attracted by a bright, pretty little girl, who seemed to take much pleasure in caring for and watering the flowers which grew under a certain window where he sat; it seemed to give that simple and becomingly dressed little lady infinite pleasure. Who was she? The Princess Victoria, now and for over fifty years our Queen.

I spoke just now of perfection; that should be the aim of all of us working men. What are the essentials of a good working man? A healthy body, born of cleanliness; a healthy mind, naturally following cleanly and orderly habits; a clear brain, following both. Aim at perfection, let this be your resolve:"If I were a cobbler, it would be my pride

The best of all cobblers to be;

If I were a tinker, no tinker beside

Should mend an old kettle like me."

I think, perhaps, I have said enough generally as to cleanliness, and in order to have that pleasant home we must have a healthy house. There are certain essentials to this condition. The house should not be damp, and to ensure this it must be built on a healthy site; proper provision must be made to prevent the damp rising up the walls, and the dampness of the earth rising through the floors; if the soil be damp a sufficient layer of concrete should cover the whole site. I do not intend to weary you by going through all the details of house building, and I will only speak generally. Another important point about a healthy home is that no impure matter should be allowed to accumulate in and about the building; there should not be any blind corners with the dust swept up into them to fester and decay; the ash pit or receptacle should be frequently emptied, daily if possible. How often do we hear of "death in the dust-bin?" The floors of rooms should be scrubbed at least once a week; in one word, freedom from every kind of impurity is an absolute necessity. Then there should be abundance of light in a healthy house; no dark corners, giving a chance for filth to accumulate unseen; besides, plenty of light makes a house more cheerful. There should also be a plentiful supply of wholesome water; care should be observed that the cistern which supplies the drinking water does not also directly supply the water-closet, if such a thing exists. We require water from the first moment of our existence, and it enters largely into all the compounds of our daily wants. It should be jealously cared for, and the cisterns or other places for its reception should be frequently thoroughly cleaned out. A very large

number of "the ills our flesh is heir to" are due to the use of impure and improper water. Water, to be really wholesome, should be first boiled, then filtered through some one or other of the many media which are provided for this purpose. Plenty of soap and water and an efficient application of that useful commodity known as elbow grease will much tend to keeping up a healthy home. If it be possible, too, the water supplied to a house should be soft, not hard; cleanliness may then be more readily attained.

Again, plenty of fresh air should be supplied to a house. Ventilation is nothing more than air being constantly changed. Draughts are inexcusable, and by a proper arrangement of opening windows, air may be kept in motion without the inconvenience, annoyances, and danger of draughts. Care should be taken that the chimney flues are always open to assist in the circulation of air, and the pernicious practice, too commonly observed, of shutting down the flap of a register stove should be abolished. In the morning, on rising from bed, open all the

« PreviousContinue »