Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now the whole thing was as clear to Frank as the sun at noon; and he decided with old George on a plan of flushing the ditch by turning the branch of a running stream into it.

Accordingly, next morning four men appeared at an appointed time, and worked with Frank for two hours, and so continued to do for a whole week. Then they succeeded in turning a good stream of water into the ditch, which began instantly to produce a wonderful change for the better. And they were able to finish their undertaking in excellent style, for the farmer gave them wood to cover in the ditch, and then they laid sods over the whole, by way of a finish.

Meanwhile, however, Hooper lay at death's door with "the fever.” But whether by chance or no, certain it was that he began to mend from the day this work was done.

Charm of Interesting Stories.

READY MONEY AND CREDIT. Of course you all know what is meant by paying ready money for a thing. When you buy a loaf at the baker's, or a pound of sugar at the grocer's, you have money to pay for it. That is also called cash-payment, as cash is another word for money.

But some people sometimes don't pay at the time they make purchases, but delay payment till they get money. That is a very bad plan, I think ; for the expected money may not be so easily got. However, the baker, or grocer, or butcher, or draper, believes that it will be forthcoming by and by; so he trusts, or gives the things on trust or credit. This makes it very easy for you at the time, but it is not very safe; and it is more dangerous for you to take credit than for the tradesman to give it.

But, probably, you know already about that way of taking credit. I can tell you another way, which I daresay you have not thought of, but which you have practised in one way or another, for all that. Did you never take credit on yourself?

“How can that be" I hear you say; “certainly I could not receive ready money from myself; how, then, could I take credit on myself ?”

Not so fast, Master Doubter. When you last ate an unripe apple, had you not a headache, and, perhaps, a colic too? Well, the momentary pleasure of swallowing the apple was overweighed by the credit or trust you had in your stomach. Now, Mr. Stomach is a most obliging banker ; but, reasonably enough, he is chary of granting accommodations without a chance of compensation. And should the risk be great, he demands speedy repayment with high interest. He has a hundred ways, too, of finding out the worth and characters of his customers. Himself a prudent and long-headed man, the most wily can neither outwit nor overreach him; and he who is foolhardy enough to resist his lawful claims by force, falls in the contest,-slowly, perhaps, but surely. After all, then, you can, if you will, take credit on yourself.

Again, when you last wore tight shoes, perhaps the pain was not felt so much as when you took them off some time afterwards. The time during which pain was suspended was then the period of credit: payment for the abuse your foot suffered was merely put off. At last it came, however, with a heavy interest in the shape of corns and bunions.

Often in passing little cottages, or through narrow streets, I have seen filth of every description lying about, or collected in what is called a “cesspool.” The people living there put up with the disagreeable smells and nauseous sights, because they cannot trouble themselves to carry the filth elsewhere. “It is of no consequence," they say, “it does no harm.” No! It does not bark or snap at them, or prick them, or make them feel any particular pain, just yet. It does not make their legs, arms, or heads pay ready money. But wait a little, perhaps all three will smart for it in due time.

Look at those masses of offal and putrid matter! The smell is occasioned by floating particles of it entering your nostrils and mouth. These rapidly spread and thicken the air, more than a shower of fine flour would do: it is no longer fresh healthy air: and every moment it increases like an invisible smoke. Every breath draws some of that poisonous gas into your bodies, and taints your blood. Gradually you feel weak and sickly, “and a band of pain across your brow." Your motions are sluggish, and you are as pale as whitewash. Why, if you remained here any length of time, you would even become reckless, discontented, vicious, and poor; and all through the “ harmless dirt.” Wonderful dirt !

Presently you hear of one being stricken down by " the fever;": and then another and another. They were not required to pay ready money. “No! Why should they, indeed! So long as they could have credit.” Pay ere long, however, they must. It is the same with the foul air of a room ; the same with the glutton, who must suffer for his surfeit; and the drunkard for his debauch. In short, I could show you a thousand ways how you can, and perhaps do, take credit on yourselves by violating, through ignorance or vice, the laws of God.

Editor.

HEALTH OF HOUSES.

AIR, WATER, DRAINAGE. THERE are five essential points in securing the health of houses . -(1) pure air ; (2) pure water ; (3) efficient drainage ; (4) cleanliness ; (5) light. Without these no house can be healthy. And it will be unhealthy just in proportion as they are not.

(1). To have pure air, your house must be so built as that the outer air shall find its way with ease to every corner of it. House builders hardly ever consider this. The object in building a house is to obtain the largest interest for the money, not to save doctors' bills to the tenants. But, if tenants should ever become so wise as to refuse to occupy unhealthily built houses, builders would speedily be brought to their senses. As it is, they build what pays best. And there are always people foolish enough to take the houses they build. And if in the course of time the families die off, as is so often the case, nobody ever thinks of blaming any but Providence for the result. Ill-informed people help to keep up the delusion, by laying the blame on "current contagions.” Bad houses do for the healthy what bad hospitals do for the sick. Once insure that the air in a house is stagnant, and sickness is certain to follow.

No one thinks how much disease might be prevented, even in the country, by simply attending to providing the cottages with fresh air.

I know whole districts in the south of England where, even

I

when the windows are sashed, the sashes are never made to open at the top:

I know whole districts in the north of England where, even in quite new cottages, the bedroom windows are not made to open at all, excepting a single pane, generally placed low down in the window. Now if this open pane were in the upper row of the upper sash, it would be all very well. Very tolerable ventilation is procured by this means. But if it is in the lower row, it is all very bad. It does nothing but produce a draught setting inyards, actually driving the foul air upon the inmates, and not letting it out at all.

Only satisfy yourself of all these things by experiment for yourself.

What happens in a cottage? The rooms are always small and generally crowded. One or two rooms have to serve for all household purposes. And the air in them, especially at night, is stagnant and foul. Almost always there are closets or corners without either light or air, which make the whole house musty. And the house has itself hardly ever sufficient light.

Now, it is quite impossible to lay down a general rule without knowing the particular case.

It is for the father of the family to decide.

Sometimes an additional pane of glass, made to open and shut, and put into the wall where it is wanted, will make a cottage sweet which always was musty.

Sometimes à sky-light, made to open, will make an attic wholesome which never was habitable before.

Every careful woman will spread out the bedding daily to the light and air.

No window is safe, as has often here been said, which does not (pen at the top, or where at least a pane in the upper row of the ?pper sash does not open.

In small crowded rooms, I again repeat, the foul air is all above the chimney-breast, and is therefore quite ready to be breathed by the people sitting in the room or in bed. This air requires to be let off; and the simplest way of doing it is one of these, viz. :

1. An Arnott's ventilator in the chimney close to the ceiling. 2. An air-brick in the wall at the ceiling. 3. A pane of perforated glass in a passage or stair-window.

The large old fire-place, under which three or four people can sit—still to be seen in cottages of the south of England, and in old manor houses-is an immense benefit to the air of the room, Pity it has disappeared in all new buildings !

But never stop up your chimney. Of whatever size it is, it is a good ventilator.

And during almost every night of the year, pull your window an inch down at the top. Remember, AT THE TOP.

To clergymien, district visitors, and landlords may be said, “Help the people to carry out these improvements. They are often more willing to do so than you are to help. You will thus do infinitely more good than by supporting hospitals and dispensaries for them when they are ill of foul air. Why not prevent the illness which comes of foul air ? "

The main objection of working people to fresh air, is the cold. Warm the air introduced into cottage-rooms, by passing it through some fire-clay contrivance behind the grate, and heated by the fire,--the air to be admitted to the heating cavity direct from the outside, and entering the room above the chimney-piece. You can economise half the fuel by some of the new cottagegrates.

(2). Pure water is more general in houses than it used to be, thanks to the exertions of a few. Within the last few years, à large part of London was in the daily habit of using water polluted by the drainage of its sewers and water-closets. This has happily been remedied. But, in many parts of the country, well-water of a very impure kind is used for domestic purposes. And when epidemic disease shows itself, persons using such water are almost sure to suffer. Never use water that is not perfectly colorless and without taste or smell. And never keep water in an open tub or pail in a sitting-room or bedroom. Water absorbs foul air, and becomes foul and unwholesome in consequence, and it damps the air in the room, making it also unwholesome.

(3). It would be curious to ascertain by inspection, how many houses said to be drained are really well drained. Many people would say, surely all or most of them. But many people have no idea in what good drainage consists. They think that a sewer in the street, and a pipe leading to it from the house, is good

« PreviousContinue »