Nay, they are not only uncomfortable abroad, but at home; and if I were to present to mothers in detail, a tenth of the evils which their daughters suffer from not adopting a warmer method of clothing, I should probably be stared at by some, and laughed at by others. All this, too, without speaking of going out of warm concert rooms, theatres, ball rooms and lecture rooms, into the night air, or out of school rooms and churches, to walk home with measured and stiffened pace, lest the sin unpardonable of walking swiftly or RUNNING,—that active exercise which health requires, which youthful feeling prompts, and which duty ought to inspire,—should unwarily be committed.
The tremendous evils of confining the lungs have been adverted to at sufficient length. In reference to that general subject, I need only add, that if the chest be not duly exercised and expanded, the liver, the lungs, the stomach, digestion, absorption, circulation and perspiration, are all hindered. And even so far as the various internal organs of the body are active, they act at a great disadvantage. The blood which they “work up,” is bad blood, and must be so, as long as the lungs do not have free play. Hence may and do arise all sorts of diseases; especially diseases of OBSTRUCTION; and such as are often very difficult of removal.
What can be a more pitiable sight than some modern girls going home from school or church in winter? Thinly clad, the blood is all driven from the surface upon the internal organs, and what remains is so loaded with carbon, which the lungs ought but cannot discharge, that her skin has a leaden hue; her teeth chatter; her very heart is chilled in her panting, frozen bosom; she cannot run, and if she could, she must not, for it would be vulgar! Every mother should shrink from the sight of such a picture.
Physiology of the human skin. Of checking perspiration. Diseases thus produced. “Dirt” not “healthy.” How the mistake originated. “Smell of the earth.” Effect of uncleanliness on the morals. Filthiness produces bowel complaints. Changing dress for the sake of cleanliness.
No mother will ever pay that attention to cleanliness which its importance to health and happiness demands, till she perceives its necessity. And she will never perceive that necessity till she has studied attentively the machinery of the human frame—and especially its wonderful covering.
The skin is pierced with little openings or pores, so numerous that some have reckoned them at a million to every square inch. At all events, they are so small that the naked eye can neither distinguish nor count them; and so numerous, that we cannot pierce the skin with the finest needle without hitting one or more of them.
When we are in perfect health, and the skin clean, a gentle moisture or mist continually oozes through these pores. This process is called perspiration; and the moisture which thus escapes, the matter of perspiration.