We are indebted to a scientific contemporary for the
following interesting facts: -
While the gastric juice has a mild, bland sweetish taste,
it possesses the power of digesting the hardest food that can be swallowed.
It has no influence whatever on the fibres of the living animals, but
at the moment of death, it begins to eat them away with the power of the
There is dust on the sea and the land, in the valleys
and on the mountain top; there is dust always and everywhere. The atmosphere
is full of it; it penetrates the noisome dungeon, and visits the deepest,
darkest caves of the earth. No palace door can shut it out; no drawer
is so secret as to escape its presence. Every breath of wind dashed it
upon the open eye, which yet is not blinded, because there is a fountain
of the blandest fluid in nature incessantly emptying under the eyelid,
which spreads itself over the surface of the eyeball at every winking,
and washed every atom of dust away. This liquid, so well adapted to the
eye itself, has some acridity, which, under some circumstances, becomes
so decided as to be scalding to the skin, and would rot away the eyelids,
were it not that along the edges of them there are little oil manufactories,
which spread over their surface a coating as impervious to the liquids
necessary for keeping the eyeballs washed clean, as the best varnish is
impervious to water.
The breath which leaves the lungs has been so perfectly
divested of its life-giving properties, that to re-breathe it unmixed
with other air, the moment it escapes from the mouth, would cause immediate
death by suffocation; while, if it hovered about us, a more or less destructive
influence over health would be occasioned; But it is made of a nature
so much lighter than the common air, that the moment it escapes the lips
and nostrils it ascends to higher regions, above the breathing point,
there to be rectified, renovated, and sent back again, replete with purity
an life. How rapidly it ascends is beautifully exhibited any frosty morning.
But foul and deadly as the expired air is, nature –
wisely economical in all her works and ways – turns it to good account
in the outward passage through the organs of the voice, and makes of it
the whisper of love, the soft word of affection, the tender tones of human
sympathy, the sweet strains of ravishing music, and the persuasive eloquence
of the finished orator.
If a well-made man be extended on the ground, his arms
at right angles with his body, a circle, making the navel the centre,
will just take in the head, the finger-ends, and the feet. The distance
from “toe to toe” is precisely the same as that between the
tips of the fingers when the arms are extended. The length of the body
is just six times that of the foot; while the distance from the edge of
the hair on the forehead to the end of the chin is one-tenth of the length
of the whole stature.
Of the sixty-two primary elements known in nature, only
eighteen are found in the human body, and of these, seven are metallic.
Iron is found in the blood, phosphorus in the brain, limestone in the
bile, line in the bones, dust and ashes in all. Not only these eighteen
human elements, bit the whole sixty-two, of which the universe is made,
have their essential basis in the four substances – oxygen, hydrogen,
nitrogen, and carbon – representing the more familiar names of fire,
water, saltpetre, and charcoal. And such is man, the lord of earth –
a spark of fire – a drop of water – a grain of gunpowder –
an atom of charcoal!