Beyond every thing, watch that no causes producing foul air are allowed to exist for a moment. A vase of neglected flowers will poison the air of a whole room. In the area or cellar, a decaying head of cabbage, a basket of refuse vegetables, a forgotten barrel of pork or beef brine, a neglected garbage pail or box, are all premiums upon disease. Let air and sunlight search every corner of the house. Insist upon as nearly spotless cleanliness as may be, and the second prime necessity of the home is secure.
When, as it is written, man was formed from the dust of the earth, the Lord God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Shut off that breath of life, or poison it as it is daily poisoned, and not only body, but soul, dies. The child, fresh from its long day out of doors, goes to bed quiet, content, and happy. It wakes up a little demon, bristling with crossness, and determined not to “be good.” The breath of life carefully shut out, death has begun its work, and you are responsible. And the same criminal blunder causes not only the child’s suffering, but also the weakness which makes many a delicate woman complain that it “takes till noon to get her strength up.”
Open the windows. Take the portion to which you were born, and life will grow easier.
DRAINAGE AND WATER-SUPPLY.
Air and sunshine having been assured for all parts of the house in daily use, the next question must be an unfailing and full supply of pure water. “Dig a well, or build near a spring,” say the builders; and the well is dug, or the spring tapped, under the general supposition that water is clean and pure, simply because it is water, while the surroundings of either spring or well are unnoticed. Drainage is so comparatively new a question, that only the most enlightened portions of the country consider its bearings; and the large majority of people all over the land not only do not know the interests involved in it, but would resent as a personal slight any hint that their own water-supply might be affected by deficient drainage.
Pure water is simply oxygen and hydrogen, eight-ninths being oxygen and but one-ninth hydrogen; the latter gas, if pure, having, like oxygen, neither taste nor smell. Rain-water is the purest type; and, if collected in open vessels as it falls, is necessarily free from any possible taint (except at the very first of a rain, when it washes down considerable floating impurity from the atmosphere, especially in cities). This mode being for obvious reasons impracticable, cisterns are made, and rain conducted to them through pipes leading from the roof. The water has thus taken up all the dust, soot, and other impurities found upon the roof, and, unless filtered, can not be considered desirable drink. The best cistern will include a filter of some sort, and this is accomplished in