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effect may be due to the other saline matters; and in this respect I believe the Schwalbach water is considered to have generally the advantage, as better adapted for digestion by delicate constitutions. I have mentioned the disadvantage of the St. Moritz drinking arrangements in having the water pumped up and the source concealed; but the bath system appears to me to be still more open to objection. I should explain that this kind of water decomposes rapidly by exposure to the air, the decomposition being considerably hastened by agitation. In order to guard against this at Pyrmont and Schwalbach, the baths are laid at a lower level than the springs, and the water, being collected in closed reservoirs under ground, is allowed to flow by its own gravity into the baths quietly as possible, by which precautions very little deterioration is sustained. At St. Moritz, on the contrary, the water is first pumped up by steam power, and then kept in rough wooden reservoirs above ground, open to the air, by which agitation and exposure much loss of efficiency must naturally ensue. Then there is another difficulty, which I should hesitate to mention, were not the facts on record, that is, shortness of water. The spring used for bathing yields, according to the published determinations of two competent chemists, 22 French litres per minute, equal to about 1,122 cubic feet in 24 hours. This is but a small quantity compared with Schwalbach, where 5,000 cubic feet are obtained, and Pyrmont, which yields above 10,000. Hence at St. Moritz it is necessary to economise the water: the baths are very small, containing only from five to seven cubic feet each, and have been likened to coffins, from their fitting the body so closely; and the peculiar mode of warming necessarily introduces, by the condensed steam, a quantity of common water into them. With all precautions, common arithmetic shows that not more than about 150 to to 200 baths can be given per day; yet, in consequence of the incon
siderate rush to the place last year, I believe more than 300 per day were sometimes demanded; and the Swiss are not the people to refuse the demands of the English when money is to be made thereby. Practically, the weakness of the bath water is very obvious to those accustomed to Schwalbach or Pyrmont. At Schwalbach, too, about 14 cubic feet are given for each bath; and at Pyrmont 17 to 18 cubic feet. There is no temptation to dilute at either place, and the strength is much better preserved.
Some stress has been laid on the pure air of St. Moritz, which is said to be a powerful aid to the ironcure. The expression is so indefinite that one hardly knows in what sense to understand it. Chemically there seems no reason why the atmospheric mixture in the Engadine should be purer than in many places nearer home and at a lower level; if the term refers to peculiarities of climate-coolness, freshness, dryness, and so on-no doubt such advantages exist; but I think there are accompanying disadvantages, which ought also to be taken into consideration. The great and sudden changes of temperature and of weather must be trying to delicate constitutions, and not unattended with danger under a course of daily warm bathing, unless great precautions are used. Then the rarefaction of the air, due to the great elevation, must exercise a powerful effect on the system, though the nature of its action seems obscure, and may probably differ much in different persons and different states of health. The pressure of the atmosphere is reduced by 6 or 7 inches of mercury, or above 3 lbs. on every square inch of the surface of the body, which must necessarily put the vital functions under very unusual conditions; moreover, by the corresponding reduction of density (according to Mariotte's law), the quantity of oxygen taken into the lungs at each inhalation will be 20 per cent. less; and as the efficiency of the iron depends on its perfect oxidation in the body, the conditions here would seem to be less favourable than at a lower
level. At any rate, I think these abnormal conditions should receive more attention than heretofore from the physicians who send their patients here.
It is further urged that the beautiful excursions which may be made from the place will, by their exhilarating effect, and the exercise they induce, aid in the cure. This is, no doubt, applicable to a certain extent in cases of moderate debility, where such means would go far of themselves to effect a cure; but I fear that for real invalids, for whom the course of iron is the more important remedy, there is danger that the exercise may be overdone, and that the excursions may interfere with the regularity of the cure. Such invalids may also find themselves deficient in many of the comforts and conveniences so necessary in the sick chamber, and which are better attainable in a more genial locality.
What has pleased me best at St. Moritz is the careful and perfect manner in which the water is bottled for exportation. To do this so that the water shall retain its chief distinguishing property, that is, the perfect solution of the iron, is a much more difficult problem than is generally supposed. If a bottle be filled with water in the ordinary way, and put aside, it will be found soon to become turbid, and to throw down a brown precipitate; this is the carbonate of iron, and the essential characteristic of the water is thenceforth gone. It was a long time before it was discovered why this took place, and how effectually to prevent it; but, at length, the decomposition was clearly traced, partly to the escape of the free carbonic acid, the excess of which had been instrumental in keeping the iron in solution, and partly to the presence of atmospheric air, which, by super-oxidizing the iron, rendered it less soluble. The secret, therefore, in bottling the water was, first, to prevent the escape of the carbonic acid, and,
secondly, to exclude entirely the atmospheric air. It is attempted to do this with the Schwalbach water, which is largely imported into this country, but it is so badly done that the water is often worthless, as may be seen by the brown precipitate found in the bottles. At St. Moritz, on the contrary, I believe the process is fully effectual. The bottles (which are of sound glass, and not of imperfect earthenware, as at Schwalbach) are filled with as little agitation of the water as possible, and before corking the small quantity of air remaining in the neck is displaced by a stream of carbonic acid gas, artificially made for the purpose and used under considerable pressure. The cork is then driven tightly in by a machine, and secured with a metallic capsule. The water so bottled will preserve its properties for a long time, and as it can be delivered in England at a reasonable rate, it ought to command a good sale. I believe medical men would find it the best and most useful form of iron they could prescribe.
It is somewhat surprising that while there has lately been such a run from England upon two of the continental iron spas, Schwalbach and St. Moritz, the third, Pyrmont, should have been so entirely neglected, although, in many of the essential conditions for the iron-cure, it is the best of the three. The water is equally efficacious, more varied, and more abundant; the great spring in the centre of the Brunnen Platz is one of the most remarkable natural sights I have ever seen; the drinking and bathing arrangements are admirable; the situation is pleasant, and easy of access; the little town clean and pretty, and well provided with accommodation; the grounds are beautiful; and the cost of living is very moderate. Yet such is the influence of fashion, that while St. Moritz and Schwalbach are crammed full of English in autumn like pens full of sheep, Pyrmont has hardly twenty English visitors in a year.
W. POLE, LL.D., F.R.S.
M. OR N.
Siilia similibus curantur."
By G. J. WHYTE-MELVILLE,
AUTHOR OF DIGBY GRAND,' 'CERISE,' THE GLADIATORS,' ETC.
THE FAIRY QUEEN.
HAVE said that Simon Perkins was a painter to the tips of his fingers. Just as a carpenter cannot help looking at a piece of wood with a professional glance it is impossible to mistake-a glance that seems to embrace at once its length, depth, thickness, toughness, and general capabilities, so a painter views every object in nature, animate or inanimate, as a subject for imitation and study of his art. The heavens are not too high, the sea too deep, nor the desert too wide, to afford him a lesson, and the human countenance, with its endless variety of feature and expression, is a book he never wearies of learning by heart. When his professional interest in beauty is enhanced by warmer feelings, it may be imagined that vanity could require no fuller tribute of admiration than the worship of one whose special gift it is to decide on the symmetry of outward form.
As a painter, Simon Perkins approved of Nina Algernon-as a man he loved her. Lest his position should not prove sufficiently fatal, she had become of late practically identified with his art, almost as completely as she was mixed up with his every-day life. For many months, perhaps even for years, the germ of a great work had taken root in his imagination. Slowly, almost painfully, that germ developed itself, passing through several stages, sketch upon sketch, till it came to maturity at last in the composition of a large picture on which he was now employed.
The subject afforded ample scope for liberty of fancy in form and grouping-for the indulgence of a gorgeous taste in colouring and costume. It represented Thomas
the Rhymer in Fairy-land, at the moment when its glamour is falling from his eyes, when its magic lustre is dying out on all that glittering pageantry and the elfin is fading to a gnome. The handsome wizard turns from a crowd of phantom shapes, half-lovely, half-grotesquefor their change is even now in progress-to look wistfully and appealingly on the queen.
There is a pained expression in his comely features, of hurt affection, and trust betrayed, yet not without a ray of pride and triumph, that, come what might to the others, she is still unchanged. Around him the fairies are shedding their glory as trees in autumn shed their leaves. Here a sweet laughing face surmounts the hideous body of an imp, there the bright scales of an unearthly armour shrivel to rottenness and dust. The dazzling robes are turning blank and colourless, the emerald rays waning to a pale, sad light, the flashing diadem is dulled and dim. Yet on the fairy queen there lowers no shadow of change, there threaten no symptoms of decay.
Bathed in the halo of a true though hapless love, she is still the same as when he first saw her all those seven long years ago, glist ening in immortal charms, and knelt to her for the queen of heaven, where she rode-'under the linden tree.'
It is obvious that on her countenance, besides the stamp of exceeding beauty, there must appear sorrow, self-reproach, fortitude, majesty, and undying tenderness. All these the painter thought he read in Nina Algernon's girlish face.