Perhaps the one obstacle to his being able to do so is，
Another class of social functions are "At Homes", tea parties, and receptions. The number of guests invited to these is almost unlimited, it may be one or two dozen, or one or two dozen hundreds. The purpose of these is usually to meet some distinguished stranger, some guest in the house, or the newly married daughter of the hostess. It is impossible for the host or hostess to remember all those who attend, or even all who have been invited to attend; generally visitors leave their cards, although many do not even observe this rule, but walk right in as if they owned the house. When a newcomer is introduced his name is scarcely audible, and before the hostess, or the distinguished guest, has exchanged more than one or two words with him, another stranger comes along, so that it is quite excusable if the next time the hosts meet these people they do not recognize them. In China a new fashion is now in vogue; new acquaintances exchange cards. If this custom should be adopted in America there would be less complaints about new friends receiving the cold shoulder from those who they thought should have known them.
In large receptions, such as those mentioned above, however spacious the reception hall, in a great many instances there is not even standing room for all who attend. It requires but little imagination to understand the condition of the atmosphere when there is no proper ventilation. Now, what always astonished me was, that although the parlor might be crowded with ladies and gentlemen, all the windows were, as a rule, kept closed, with the result that the place was full of vitiated air. Frequently after a short time I have had to slip away when I would willingly have remained longer to enjoy the charming company. If I had done so, however, I should have taken into my lungs a large amount of the obnoxious atmosphere exhaled from hundreds of other persons in the room, to the injury of my health, and no one can give his fellows his best unless his health is hearty. No wonder we often hear of a host or hostess being unwell after a big function. Their feelings on the morning after are often the reverse of "good-will to men", and the cause is not a lowered moral heartiness but a weakened physical body through breathing too much air exhaled from other people's lungs. When man understands, he will make "good health" a religious duty.
In connection with this I quote Dr. J. H. Kellogg, the eminent physician and Superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. In his book, "The Living Temple"*, the doctor speaks as follows on the importance of breathing pure air: "The purpose of breathing is to obtain from the air a supply of oxygen, which the blood takes up and carries to the tissues. Oxygen is one of the most essential of all the materials required for the support of life. . . . The amount of oxygen necessarily required for this purpose is about one and one-fourth cubic inches for each breath. . . . In place of the one and one-fourth cubic inches of oxygen taken into the blood, a cubic inch of carbonic acid gas is given off, and along with it are thrown off various other still more poisonous substances which find a natural exit through the lungs. The amount of these combined poisons thrown off with a single breath is sufficient to contaminate, and render unfit to breathe, three cubic feet, or three-fourths of a barrel, of air. Counting an average of twenty breaths a minute for children and adults, the amount of air contaminated per minute would be three times twenty or sixty cubic feet, or one cubic foot a second. . . . Every one should become intelligent in relation to the matter of ventilation, and should appreciate its importance. Vast and irreparable injury frequently results from the confinement of several scores or hundreds of people in a schoolroom, church, or lecture room, without adequate means of removing the impurities thrown off from their lungs and bodies. The same air being breathed over and over becomes densely charged with poisons, which render the blood impure, lessen the bodily resistance, and induce susceptibility to taking cold, and to infection with the germs of pneumonia, consumption, and other infectious diseases, which are always present in a very crowded audience room. Suppose, for example, a thousand persons are seated in a room forty feet in width, sixty in length, and fifteen in height: how long a time would elapse before the air of such a room would become unfit for further respiration? Remembering that each person spoils one foot of air every second, it is clear that one thousand cubic feet of air will be contaminated for every second that the room is occupied. To ascertain the number of seconds which would elapse before the entire air contained in the room will be contaminated, so that it is unfit for further breathing, we have only to divide the cubic contents of the room by one thousand. Multiplying, we have 60*40*15 equals 36,000, the number of cubic feet. This, divided by one thousand, gives thirty-six as the number of seconds. Thus it appears that with closed doors and windows, breath poisoning of the audience would begin at the end of thirty-six seconds, or less than one minute. The condition of the air in such a room at the end of an hour cannot be adequately pictured in words, and yet hundreds of audiences are daily subjected to just such inhumane treatment through ignorance."
-- * "The Living Temple", by J. H. Kellogg, pp. 282 et al. Published by Good Health Publishing Co., Battle Creek, Mich., U.S.A. --
The above remarks apply not only to churches, lecture rooms, and other public places, but also with equal force to offices and family houses. I should like to know how many persons pay even a little attention to this important subject of pure air breathing? You go to an office, whether large or small, and you find all the windows closed, although there are half-a-dozen or more persons working in the room. No wonder that managers, clerks, and other office workers often break down and require a holiday to recuperate their impaired health at the seaside, or elsewhere.
When you call at a private residence you will find the same thing, all the windows closed. It is true that there are not so many persons in the room as in an office, but if your sense of smell is keen you will notice that the air has close, stuffy exhalations, which surely cannot be sanitary. If you venture to suggest that one of the windows be opened the lady of the house will at once tell you that you will be in a draught and catch cold.
It is a matter of daily occurrence to find a number of persons dining in a room where there is no opening for the contaminated air to leak out, or for the fresh air to come in. After dinner the gentlemen adjourn to the library to enjoy the sweet perfumes of smoking for an hour or so with closed windows. What a picture would be presented if the bacteria in the air could be sketched, enlarged, and thrown on a screen, or better still shown in a cinematograph, but apparently gentlemen do not mind anything so long as they can inhale the pernicious tobacco fumes.
It is a common practice, I fear, to keep the windows of the bedroom closed, except in hot weather. I have often suggested to friends that, for the sake of their health, they should at least keep one of the windows, if not more, open during the night, but they have pooh-poohed the idea on account of that bugaboo -- a draught. It is one of the mysteries of the age that people should be willing to breathe second-hand air when there is so much pure, fresh air out of doors to be had for nothing; after inhaling and exhaling the same air over and over again all through the night it is not strange that they rise in the morning languid and dull instead of being refreshed and in high spirits. No one who is deprived of a sufficiency of fresh air can long remain efficient. Health is the cornerstone of success. I hear many nowadays talking of Eugenics. Eugenics was founded ten years ago by Sir Francis Galton, who defined it thus: "The study of agencies under control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally." The University of London has adopted this definition, where a chair of Eugenics has been founded. This science is undoubtedly of the first importance, but what advantage is good birth if afterward life is poisoned with foul air? A dust-laden atmosphere is a germ-laden atmosphere, therefore physicians prescribe for tubercular convalescents conditions in which the air is 90% free from dust. However, the air of the city has been scientifically proven to be as pure as the air of the country. All that is necessary to secure proper lung food is plenty of it, -- houses so constructed that the air inside shall be free to go out and the air outside to come in. Air in a closed cage must be mischievous, and what are ill-ventilated rooms but vicious air cages, in which mischiefs of all sorts breed?
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