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only sound he heard for many minutes, until, at last, pattering feet neared him on the inside, and a child's voice asked who was there. To his friendly response the door was opened half-wide, and Vögelein's blank, pretty face peeped through.
Was Herr Lebensfunke at home? No; he had said that he wasn't at home; but then, she thought he was in the long room where mamma went to sleep. Could he be seen? No, she thought not; he was very tired, and, in her own- -Vögelein's-opinion, he was going to sleep too, just as mamma did. And the wizened little face, with its eldritch eyes and tangled hair, was withdrawn, and the door began to close. Ronald forced himself inside, and grasped the child's arm.
"Vögelein, don't you know me?" The girl, in nowise startled, gravely set her flickering candle on the doorstep, looked up at him wonderingly, as if he were an exhibition, and said she thought not, unless he had been asleep on the table.
"Good heavens!" cried Ronald, แ this child talk of nothing but people asleep on a table?"
But, as he spoke, a thought whirred through his brain. He drew the poor half-witted thing close to him and asked:
"Can Vögelein tell me something about mamma, and how she went to sleep?"
The child rambled on, pleased to find a listener to her foolish prattle. All he could connect into a narrative was, that the girl's mother, some seven or eight years before, had been drained of her life by the awful magnet, and that, as the child said, "the Herr Doctor ever since had talked just like mamma."
His dread was well founded, then. The old man's one dream and aim was to prolong his wretched life; could he doubt that he would not now make use of the means he had so unwisely thrown in his way? He turned about, half maddened.
"Girl!" he cried, "I must see the old man! Where is he?"
He couldn't see him, she whined. He was asleep up there, on the table. At one o'clock he had said he would wake up.
He pushed past her, mounted to the long room, pressed open the unfastened door, and entered.
The old man and the corpse of his former self lay together under the light of a lamp that swung from the beam overhead. An insulated carbon point was directed to each white, still breast. From the old man's hand a cord ran to a key beyond, arranged to make or break connection at a touch. By it stood a clock, with a simple mechanism attached that bore upon a second key like the first, evidently planned to press upon it when the hands should mark a given hour. The child had said that he would wake at one, and it was now past midnight.
Ronald Wyde comprehended it all now. The wily old man's feeble life had been withdrawn into the great magnet, and mixed therein with what remained of his own. In less than an hour the key would fall, and the double stream would flow into and animate his young body, which would then wake to renewed life; while the cast-off shell beside it, worn to utter uselessness by a toilsome century, would be left to moulder as a mothed garment.
Surely no time was to be lost; his life depended upon instant action. And yet, comprehending this, he went to work slowly, and as a somnambulist might, acting almost by instinct, and well knowing that a blunder now meant irrevocable death.
Carefully disengaging the cord from the old man's yet warm grasp, and setting the carbon point aside, he lifted the shrivelled corpse and bore it away, to cast it on the white rubbish-heap in one corner. Returning to his work, he stripped himself, and laid down in the old man's place. As he did so, the distant Minster bells rang the three quarters.
Was there yet time?
He braced his shoulders firmly against the brass plate under them, and moved
the carbon point steadily back to its place, with its tip resting on his breast; the silk-wrapped wire that dangled between it and the magnet quivering, as he did so, as with conscious life. Drawing a long breath, he tightened the cord, and heard a faint click as the key snapped down.
The same sharp sting as before instantly pricked his breast, tingling thrills pulsed over him, beats of light and shadow swept before his eyes, and he lost all consciousness. For how long he knew not. At last he felt, rather than saw, the lamp-rays flickering above him, and opened his eyes as though waking from a tired sleep. Sitting up, he gave a fearful look around him, as if dreading what he might see. The drunkard's body lay stretched and motionless beside him, and the clock marked three. He was saved!
Slipping down from his perilous bed, he resumed the old familiar garments that belonged to him as Ronald Wyde, shuddering with emotion as he did so. Only pausing to give one look at the pale heap in the shadowy corner, and at the other sleeper under the now dying lamp, he quitted the room and locked its heavy door upon the two silent guardians of its life-secrets. When he reached the street, he found the rain had ceased to drop, and that the cold stars blinked over the slumbrous town.
Before noon he had taken leave of Frau Spritzkrapfen, turned buxom Lottchen scarlet all over by a hearty, sudden farewell-kiss, and was far on his way from Freiberg, with its red-vined balcony and its dark laboratory, never again to visit it or them. And as the busy engine toiled and shrieked, and
I heard this strange story from its hero, one sunny summer morning as we swept over the meadowy reaches of the Erie Railway, or hung along the cliffside by the wooded windings of the Susquehanna. When he had ended it, he smiled languidly, and, showing me his still-mutilated hand, said that the old doctor's job had been a sad bungle, after all. In fact, the only physical proof that remained to verify his story, was a curved blue spot where the ingoing current from the magnet had carried particles from the carbon point and lodged them beneath the skin. Psychologically, he was sadly mixed up, he said; for, since that time, he had felt that four lives were joined in bim-his own, the remnant of Herr Lebensfunke's miserable hoard merged in that of poor birdling's mother, and, last of all, Hans Kraut's.
He left the cars soon afterward at Binghampton, watchfully followed by a stout, shabby man with a three days' beard stubbling his chin, who had occupied the seat in front of us, and had turned now and then to listen for a moment to Ronald's rapid narration.
A week later, and I heard that he was dead-having committed suicide in a fit of delirium soon after his admission to the Binghampton Inebriate Asylum. The attendant who made him ready for burial noticed a singular blue mark on his left breast, that looked, he said, a little like a horse-shoe magnet.
CAN AN INEBRIATE CONQUER HIMSELF ?
THE SUGGESTIONS OF ONE WHO HAS TRIED.
INEBRIATE asylums are expensive, and besides, not unnaturally offend, in their very designation, a kind of pride -false, if you choose--which every man possesses to a more or less degree. Their expense, too, usually falls on the friends of those whom they are designed to benefit, and, for these and other reasons, we propose to show that any man thus painfully situated may, if he chooses, illustrate for himself, and in himself, the title of this article.
Habitual inebriety presents a condition when the brain, being soddened and dulled by the long and extravagant use of the various poisons known under the general name of "ardent spirits," refuses to respond to the will-power. Secondly, when the stomach, by long custom, has so habituated itself to these stimulants that it takes to itself the prerogative of the will-power, and successfully demands their continuance.
Thus this morbid condition becomes a true physical disease, and must be treated as such. Of course, the final result to be attained is total abstinence from the evil habit.
But this result cannot be reached at once, because, first, of the inability of the will to act through the brain and enforce the desire; and second, because the intensified and abnormal condition of the stomach will not admit, with safety to the physical system, of the sudden reaction.
The change must be effected gradually, and the first step is to restore the brain to its normal activity; afterward the reorganization and establishment of the digestive and other functions may be safely attempted.
The effects of alcoholic stimulants upon the system are twofold: stimulative and anæsthetic. At first the oxygen, set free, courses through the circulation, exalting all the functions to the performance of extraordinary tasks. Then
the carbon takes its place, and its influence is observable in the deadening of all the faculties, the partial paralysis of the nerves and muscles, as observable in its effect on articulation and locomotion; lastly the brain sinks under the deadly influence, and anesthesia more or less complete, ensues.
But previous to ansesthesia, the brain acts with abnormal power. The passions become stimulated, and in this condition, the inebriate performs acts commonly only ascribed to insanity or idiocy.
Now, while this over-stimulated condition exists, it is impossible to regain the will-power, and here begins the treatment by which the unhappy victim may of himself, and by himself, become his own "inebriate asylum," with no loss of dignity, and regain his lost manhood by the exercise of a vital force, fairly Godlike in its nature.
This article is not addressed-for it would be useless, and is unnecessaryto those bestial beings, whose animal passions naturally direct them to criminal excesses, and whose loss to the world, should it occur from such or any other cause, would be nil.
It is addressed to those, who, by delicate temperament, uncongenial associations, or over-laboriousness, have fallen from their high and holy estate through the very means which they have adopted by which to sustain themselves and to keep alight, yet a little longer, the fires of hope.
Suppose, then, one of these, a sad and frail relic of departed nobility, with the slumbering and nearly dead ashes of his intellect and his aspirations occasionally flickering up with a spark of the old vitality. Suppose one who, for years, according to the strength of his constitution, has battled, with the aid of this deceitful ally, against a host of trials and annoyances, suddenly, by
one of those occasional visions of himself, which God graciously grants sometimes to the most degraded, finds within him a new determination awakened, to burst out of the chains that have enthralled him, and to become again what he has been, and more; and then finds the old, sinking, crushing feeling come over him, that tells him he is a slave. What shall he do?
One thing is certain: there can be no diminuendo in this.
There is no "tapering off" with the devil.
Either he has got you, or he has not got you.
The first part of the medical treatment in this physical disease requires the immediate removal of the patient from all disturbing influences, of what ever nature.
There must be no noisy children about, no quarreling women, no scandal-mongers pouring out their distilled venom to jar upon his nerves, and disturb his spirit: he must have absolute quiet and repose.
But to obtain this, there need not be recourse to an asylum.
There is none so poor, who is worthy to be saved, who has not a friend.
Let him then reach some such friend, trust and confide in him, and obtain the required shelter, rest, and attendance, for a few days.
Not for months, during which new habits of thought are formed and old business relations become broken off, and the man falls again into his old place utterly forgotten, and unable to regain the threads of his lost identity. Not in constant, daily association with such, from every walk in life, as have no other congeniality with him but the painful one of similarity of disease, an association demoralizing in its very nature; but among his friends, and those who know him, and form a constant bond of union with the great world he loves and lives in.
He may continue his relations with business and society by correspondence and by visits; and soothed and strengthened by the knowledge that he is not
forgotten, and that his hard fight is being fought among those who love him, and admire the renewed strength which daily animates him and enables him to struggle successfully; and not among strangers who treat his case purely from a scientific and routine point of view; his earnestness and determination are redoubled, and he nears the victory.
Having then gained this temporary asylum, we will say that he drinks his usual allowance of liquor, and retires to bed in his usual condition of inebriety.
He has taken care, in his steadier moments, to provide himself with twelve twenty-grain powders of Bromide of Potassium, which he will get at a first-class drug-store, on presenting the following prescription, which he can either obtain from a physician, or write for himself; but it is best to submit it to a physician before presenting:
Potassii Bromidi 3 ij.
Now it has been the regular custom, and the daily necessity of this unfortunate, for months-perhaps for yearsto stimulate into renewed power the brain and nerves, suffering after a night's abstinence from their daily food, perhaps with one, two, or more 66 cocktails," or quantities of greater or less extent of clear spirits.
He wakens from his stupor or troubled slumber, with his nerves all jarring, his muscles refusing to carry his tottering frame across the room; his tongue nearly paralyzed; his stomach nauseated; his brain crazed and inflamed; and he has recourse to the only thing he knows-poor creature, abandoned of men!-that will enable him to set about his daily and requisite tasks.
But now he has given himself a twoweeks' holiday, and his friends have promised to "see him through,"-and will keep their promise, for it is sacred; and so he need not get out of bed at
Now he takes one of his twenty-grain powders of Bromide of Potassium, and the internal conflict begins. It is a mortal fight with the foul Fiend himself.
all, and one horrible fear is removed brain; he slumbers for an instant, and at once. is wakened by a spasm; cramps assail his limbs, and he kicks them out; if a pin drops it has the reverberation of a ten-pin; spots, black and white, dance before his eyes, open or closed; hideous faces glare at him, and change and change like the patterns of a kaleidoscope; out of the pocket of his coat, hanging over yonder, there comes a wheel, which increases itself, and whirls spirally in the air toward him, till it vanishes under his very eyes, and still, behind all this phantasmagoria, he hears a soft musical voice saying, "Be not afraid! You shall win the fight!"
The patient has no cares, no thoughts. Some one smooths his pillows, shuts out the bright light which would torture his eyes, airs the room to suit him, and he feels once more as though he were a child again, nursed by his mother.
He does not want to eat, and he need not eat, for he has nothing to do but to lie still and fight, fight! Ah! There is the point. And now he shall show of what stuff he is made.
For there is no sterner, as there is no nobler, battle waged than this conflict of the sick man with himself and with the devil who has gotten possession of him.
At first the system, surprised by this novel condition of things, waits, patiently enough, for its usual morning corrective; but, at length, grown weary of waiting, and becoming even impatient-as the best-regulated systems, not to speak of ill-regulated ones, sometimes will-it begins to make itself heard.
Now it is to be understood that the motive of this article and its prime intention are, to show what the willpower of man, though subdued and crucified and stifled and subjected to the vilest slavery of earth, will do, if the man be a man, without the aid of asylums or other public and extraneous aid.
The fight is between the divinity of man and the power of evil, and the battlefield is the beautiful physical structure, which, we are told, is "made in the image of God," while the gage is an immortal soul.
There is a gnawing at the pit of the stomach, cold sweats crawl up and down the body; the skin is clammy; the head swims around and about; the muscles become completely relaxed; the nervous system is entirely unstrung; "strange dreams perplex" the dozing
And by-and-by the sedative which he has taken, and which has insidiously been seeking out the enemy's weak point all this time, finds it, and the patient falls into a sleep, the first natural sleep he has had for years.
But he wakes again to find the conflict going on harder than ever, and the craving stronger; and he takes a second powder, say three hours after the first, and a third at nightfall; and so the day passes.
The second day is worse than the first. The fancies are intensified; the system is coming out from under the alcoholic influence; and the reaction is the more terrible. But there must be no flinching now! Keeping continually before the mind, as it becomes clearer, the determination to crush out and root out, at any cost, this vile enemy to health and progress, the sufferer may also remember that each hour brings him more and more under the influence of his only friend, and each hour improves his condition and increases his ability to continue the conflict successfully.
Food should not be taken, unless urgently desired, and then it should be of the most nutritious character.
Broths of fowl or beef; steak, and such other meats as are best calculated to preserve the tone of the stomach, are to be preferred.
Let the patient satisfy himself through all that, by this treatment, he must succeed. If his paroxysms become stronger