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104 The Mouth.
of bestowing this name upon the virgin smile which shows itself with such timidity, which peeps forth with such grace, and which dare not, as it would seem, completely expand itself—the smile, if we may say so, which is not so much a smile as the desire of smiling. The half-smile is the charming symbol of innocence and candour, the emblem of virtue and of pleasure, simple, natural, and unsophisticated.* The full formed smile, however, is but little inferior to its younger sister. Somewhat less retiring and timid, it speaks with more spirit to the heart; and, the expression being more complete, tends to make it perhaps, still dearer to the admirers of beauty. The smile, when ingenuous, is, indeed, one of the most powerful charms of beauty. Its language is most expressive; mute indeed, but eloquent. It is by a smile that a bashful beauty approves an avowal which her tongue opposes, but with which her heart is flattered. How many conquests have been made by a graceful smile!
May it not be—is it not probable—that the poets and painters of antiquity found the model of Cupid's fabled bow in the graceful form of the female lip? Is not, indeed, the mouth of a handsome and virtuous woman, the most powerful weapon of the "mischievous boy," who, as has been observed, by a lady of great wit, can subject the stronger sex to the dominion of the weaker 1 The lip is truly, then, the bow of love; and of all the arrows discharged by Cupid, the smile of innocence, is certainly the most effective, and particularly the one which Milton says, " Loves to play in dimple sleek." Such is the power of a smile—but we cannot forbear remarking, that every thing, and even a smile may be abused, from our being able sometimes to counterfeit nature. Those charming smiles, which play spontaneously with such grace on the ruby lip of youthful beauty, too often owe their existence to the combination of artifice. 'Tis easy, however, to distinguish the one from the other; for the smile which is the offspring of art, is destitute of all that native grace, which can only be bestowed by the hand of nature, and the impulse of a pure heart. We should be careful then, not to confound the lovely expression of feeling and of mind, with the mechanical and studied movements of a counterfeit face. As the plants cultivated beneath a glass never assume the free and natural attitudes and freshened tints of those which grow in the open air of a genial climate, so the smile which is the child of art never possesses the truth and graces of its amiable model—the one is ingenuous love, which appears in all its loveliness, while the other is a dangerous net, spread by a deceitful hand.f Since, then, smiles are of so much importance to beauty, the mouth by which they are formed deserves the utmost care. The colour of the lips—the rich, fresh, Cleanliness of Children. 105
* Encyclop die des Dames. \ L'Art do se fairc Aimer.
ruby tint, so highly praised by poets, painters, and lovers, and upon which even philosophers delight to look, depends chiefly on health; and we can almost insure it, without chance of disappointment, to those who, from their earliest life, have been accustomed to observe the rules of health. Strict temperance and regular exercise in the open air, clothing adapted to preserve the body from the vicissitudes of the weather, while it leaves to every limb and muscle a perfect freedom of action, with a cultivated mind, and peaceful conscience, are the only genuine means of increasing health and of perfecting personal beauty.
The proper position, regularity, and whiteness of the teeth also, are essential to the beauty of the mouth, and add an additional grace to many a smile. The teeth, it is true, are but little under the dominion of art, with respect to their regularity and arrangement—though byattention to the general health pf the system,and especially by proper food and drinks, exercise and temperance, much can be done in preserving their whiteness and brilliancy.
In short, if one half the attention which is daily paid by females to increase the beauty of the mouth and face by artificial aids, were bestowed upon the rational means of preserving health—we should hear less of the faded charms—blanched lips and wrinkled brows, to conceal which, excites now so much solicitude in those who have, as yet, scarcely attained the prime of life.
CLEANLINESS OF CHILDREN.
The following excellent remarks upon the necessity of cleanliness in children, appeared originally in the Connecticut Observer. The erroneous opinion to which they refer is so generally maintained by a certain class in society, that we feel desirous of giving them a more extensive circulation, by transferring them to this Journal.
In section X. of the Catechism of Health, at page 19, we find the following question and answer:
"Q. Is the common saying, that children thrive best in dirt, correct?
"A. It is altogether false. Without a child is kept clean in its person and clothing, is lodged in a clean apartment, and sleeps in a clean bed, it is impossible to preserve it in perfect health."
Without explanation, these remarks would appear to many to be extravagant, and contrary to fact. Children, it will be said, who are allowed to play in dirt are as healthy as those who are confined in the parlour, and even much more so. But it ought to be remarked that our author is here speaking, not of the 106 Cleanliness of Children.
health of the child when compared with those around him, but of perfect health. He who is allowed to play in the dirt, may indeed be more vigorous than many other children, yet it is possible that his vigour would be still greater if he were kept clean. It is not the dirt which benefits him, but his active exercise in the open air, the advantages of which are more than sufficient, so far, to compensate for the injury he sustains from the earth, as to still leave him in a better state of health than those who are deprived of proper air and exercise. So that the sentiments in the work from which we have quoted may be true, notwithstanding the objection which is brought against them.
We are the more solicitous to combat belief in the salutary tendency of a neglect of cleanliness, because we know it prevails to some extent, and because we know also, both from reason and from fact, that it is a gross error. Every portion of the skin is pierced with little holes, which serve as outlets for the fluids of perspiration. They are so numerous that we cannot touch the skin with the finest needle without hitting one or more of these openings. While a person is in health, there is not a moment, sleeping or waking, in which fluid in the form of a vapour or mist is not escaping, unless the mouths of these little vessels are blocked up. Now, can they be closed with filth for hours together, and the subject escape uninjured 1 We do not believe it!
It is, however, true, that years sometimes intervene before the evil consequences appear. The office of the vessels of the skin being interrupted, by a law of the animal economy an increase of action is imposed on other parts, especially on the internal organs commonly called glands, which action is apt to settle into obstinate disease. Hence, at least when aided by other causes, often arise, in later life, after the source of the evil is forgotten, if it were ever suspected, rheumatism, scrofula, jaundice, and even consumption. There is something deceitful after all, in the ruddy, blooming appearance of those children who are left by the busy parent to play in the road or field, without attention to cleanliness. If this were not so, how comes it to pass, that they suffer much more, not only from chronic diseases, but from fevers and other acute diseases, than the same number of those children whose parents are in better circumstances?
There is a vulgar notion abroad that the smell of the earth is beneficial, especially to consumptive persons. We honestly believe, however, that it is as likely to create consumption as to cure it. Besides, in what does this smell consist? Do the silex, the alumine, and the other earths, with their compounds, emit any odour? Rarely, we believe, unless when mixed with vegetable matter. But no gases necessary to health are evolved during the decomposition of vegetable matter; on the contrary it is well known that many of them tend to induce disease. We Squinting. § 107
are thoroughly persuaded that too much attention cannot be paid to cleanliness; and the demand for such attention is equally imperious in the case of those who cultivate the earth, or labour in it, or on stone, during the intervals of their useful avocations, as in the case of those individuals who follow other occupations. We protest against the doctrine that the smell or taste of the earth, much less a coat of it spread over the surface, and closing up for hours and days together, thousands and millions of those pores with which the Author of this "wondrous frame" has pierced the skin can have a salutary tendency.
There is something so peculiarly grotesque in a squint, that it seldom fails to cause a risibility of countenance in the observer, on a first introduction, subversive, too often, of every other feeling. We have heard it occasionally asserted, that the loss of a limb, or an eye, excited for the brave an additional interest, in the opinion of the ladies; but we cannot charge our memory with ever having heard the same remark in regard to a squint, which, on the contrary, has always been considered a subject of merriment—and which even the most philosophical must admit to be the very reverse of a beauty. It is, at least, a defect that all would very willingly dispense with. In many instances squinting is dependent upon some mal-conformation, or disease, of the eye or its appendages: very frequently, however, it is the effect of a vicious habit acquired in youth, or is caused during infancy by allowing the light to fall constantly upon the eyes in an improper direction. The part of the room, in which the cradle or couch of an infant is placed becomes, therefore, a subject of very considerable importance. Tt should invariably be such, as will, while it screens the eyes from a dazzling or unequal light, prevent the latter from falling upon them sideways, or very obliquely. When the light which enters the room is moderate, and of a mellow character, the face of the child should be directly in front of it; but when intense and dazzling, it is better to place the child in such a direction as to allow the light to fall on the back part of its head, or upon the back of the cradle or bed. When in the evening, a lamp or candle, or an open fire, is burning in the room, the same precaution should be observed. As an infant will almost instinctively direct its eyes towards the light, unless this be uniformly diffused throughout the apartment, or be placed in a direct line with its eyes, it will, from the habit of viewing it side-ways, acquire a permanent obliquity of vision. This is more particularly apt to occur, and the consequent deformity is much greater, when, from the head being sunk in the
108 Ladies' Temperance Society.
pillow, or enveloped in a cap with a projecting border, the light can be viewed only with the eye placed the furthest from it. The same attention should be paid to the manner in which objects intended for the amusement of the child, are presented to its view. This should always be directly in front, so that it can see them without turning the eye in any considerable degree to one or other side. These precautions may seem trifling to the unreflecting, but their neglect has, we are assured, been not unfrequently the cause of a distortion of vision, to the inconvenience and mortification arising from which, the individual has been subjected during the remainder of his or her life.
LADIES* TEMPERANCE SOCIETY.
(From the Temperance Advocate.)
The annual meeting of this valuable auxiliary in the cause of temperance, was held pursuant to notice, on Friday evening last, at Dr. Gibson's. The report, which we hereto subjoin, is not as full, perhaps, as many at a distance might wish; but the circumstance of the society being in its infancy, was deemed an objection to going more into a detail of their labours. Like Hercules, it has seized the poisonous foe which at first threatened to exterminate it, and in its strength, has cast it to the ground—we trust fatally wounded. We know, that to the ladies much credit is to be attached, for their firmness and perseverance, even while opposed or sneered at by temperate men—as well as for the amount of good accomplished by them. Many anecdotes might be related of their usefulness, in promoting temperance and putting moderate or social drinking to the blush. Here is one:—A large assemblage had met to celebrate a wedding party, and wine was circulating in rich profusion. There were gentlemen present who were members of the temperance Society, some of whom " took a little; while the ladies absolutely refused to taste it, reproving by expressions not to be misunderstood, the misconduct of the temperance gentlemen, who had allowed circumstances and place to exercise an undue influence over them. One of them asked the servant for a pitcher of " cold water, and some tumblers;" which having obtained, she handed around the room, inviting " all the cold water admirers to sustain their precepts by example." It is hardly necessary to say, such as had been so injudicious as to take a glass of wine in their hands, set it aside for the more suitable and rational liquid of nature. Such was the effect of introducing the water, that in a company of above sixty persons, not a quart of wine was used! But for the report.
"The ' Ladies' Temperance Society of Sandy-Hill' was com