This is a subject which will bear line upon line and precept upon precept. Many persons have availed themselves of the cheap and easy means which we have formerly recommended in the shape of the daily use of absorbents, but a larger number strangely neglect these means, and foul air and impure drainage are followed by disease and death. Sifted coal ashes and road dust are the remedy, kept in barrels till needed for use. A neat cask, filled with these absorbents, with a long-handled dipper, is placed in the closet, and a conspicuous placard directs every occupant to throw down a dipper full before leaving. The vaults, made to open on the outside, are then as easily cleaned twice a year as sand is shoveled from a pit. No drainage by secret, underground seams in the soil can then poison the water of wells; and no effluvia can arise to taint the air and create fevers. On this account, this arrangement is safer and better than water-closets. It is far cheaper and simpler, and need never get out of order. There being no odor whatever, if properly attended to, it may be contiguous to the dwelling. An illustration of the way in which the latter is accomplished is shown by Fig. 1, which represents a neat addition to a kitchen wing, with hip-roof, the entrance being either from the kichen through an entry, or from the outside as shown by the steps. Fig. 2 is a plan, showing the double walls with interposed solid earth, to exclude any possible impurity from the cellar in case of neglect. The vaults may be reached from the outside opening, for removing the contents. In the whole arrangement there is not a vestige of impure air, and it is as neat as a parlor; and the man who cleans out the vaults say it is no more unpleasant than to shovel sand from a pit.
[Illustration: Fig. 1.]
Those who prefer may place the closet at a short distance from the house, provided the walk is flanked on both sides with evergreen trees; for no person should be compelled to encounter drifting snows to reach it—an exposure often resulting in colds and sickness. A few dollars are the whole cost, and civilization and humanity demand as much.—Country Gentleman.
[Illustration: Fig. 2.]
[Illustration: Fig. 3.]
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POISONOUS SERPENTS AND THEIR VENOM.
By Dr. G. ARCHIE STOCKWELL.
Chemistry has made astounding strides since the days of the sixteenth century, when Italian malice and intrigue swayed all Europe, and poisons and poisoners stalked forth unblushingly from cottage and palace; when crowned and mitered heads, prelates, noblemen, beneficed clergymen, courtiers, and burghers became Borgias and De Medicis in hideous infamy in their greed for power and affluence; and when the civilized world feared to retire to rest, partake of the daily repast, inhale the odors of flower or perfume, light