“True Christian politeness will always be the result of an unselfish regard for the feelings of others, and though you may err in the ceremonious points of etiquette, you will never be impolite.”

“If you wish to be a well-bred lady, you must carry your good manners everywhere with you. It is not a thing that can be laid aside. True politeness is uniform disinterestedness trifles, accompanied by the calm self-possession which belongs to a noble simplicity of purpose; and this must be the effect of a Christian spirit running through all you do, or say, or think; and, unless you cultivate it and exercise it, upon all occasions and towards all persons, it will never be a part of yourself.”

The Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness

Author: Florence Hartley Published: 1860


Chapter I.


Chapter II.


Chapter III.


Chapter IV.

How to Behave at a Hotel

Chapter V.

EVENING Parties--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter VI.

EVENING Parties--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter VII.

Visiting--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter VIII.

Visiting--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter IX.

MORNING RECEPTIONS OR Calls--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter X.

MORNING RECEPTIONS OR Calls--etiquette for the Caller

Chapter XI.

DINNER Company--etiquette for the Hostess

Chapter XII.

DINNER Company--etiquette for the Guest

Chapter XIII.

Table Etiquette

Chapter XIV.

Conduct in the Street

Chapter XV.

Letter Writing

Chapter XVI.

Polite Deportment and Good Habits

Chapter XVII.

Conduct in Church

Chapter XVIII.

BALL ROOM Etiquette--for the Hostess

Chapter XIX.

BALL ROOM Etiquette--for the Guest

Chapter XX.

Places of Amusement

Chapter XXI.


Chapter XXII.


Chapter XXIII.

On a Young Lady's Conduct When Contemplating Marriage

Chapter XXIV.

Bridal Etiquette

Chapter XXV.

Hints on Health

Chapter XXVI.



For the Complexion



The universal remark of travelers visiting America, as well as the universal complaint of Americans themselves, relates to the ill health of the fairer portion of the community. Look where you will, go to any city in the vast Union, the remark and complaint will be made everywhere. With every natural advantage of climate, yet from North to South, East to West the cry resounds.

Foreigners, admiring the dark-eyed girls of the southern states or the blondes of the northern ones, will remark, with comments upon beauty:--

"But she looks delicate, poor thing!--Not strong? Ah! I thought not, none of the American women are, and how soon these young beauties fade!"

It seems to me, amongst the subjects treated of in my present work, that a few words on health will not come amiss.

"Light and sunshine are needful for your health. Get all you can; keep your windows clean. Do not block them up with curtains, plants, or bunches of flowers;--these last poison the air, in small rooms.

"Fresh air is needful for your health. As often as you can, open all your windows, if only for a short time in bad weather; in fine weather, keep them open, but never sit in draughts. When you get up, open the windows wide, and throw down the bed-clothes, that they may be exposed to fresh air some hours, daily, before they are made up. Keep your bed-clothes clean; hang them to the fire when you can. Avoid wearing at night what you wear in the day. Hang up your day-clothes at night. Except in the severest weather, in small, crowded sleeping-rooms, a little opening at the top of the window-sash is very important; or you will find one window pane of perforated zinc very useful. You will not catch cold half so easily by breathing pure air at night. Let not the beds be directly under the windows. Sleeping in exhausted air creates a desire for stimulants.

"Pure water is needful for your health. Wash your bodies as well as your faces, rubbing them all over with a coarse cloth. If you cannot wash thus every morning, pray do so once a week. Crying and cross children are often pacified by a gentle washing of their little hands and faces--it soothes them. Babies' heads should be washed carefully, every morning with soap. No scurf should be suffered to remain upon them. Get rid of all slops and dirty water at once. Disease, and even death, is often the consequence of our own negligence. Wash your rooms and passages at least once a week, use plenty of clean water; but do not let your children stay in them while they are wet, it may bring on croup or inflammation of the chest. If you read your Bibles, which it is earnestly hoped you do, you will find how cleanliness, both as to the person and habitation, was taught to the Jews by God himself; and we read in the 4th chapter of Nehemiah that when they were building their second temple, and defending their lives against their foes, having no time for rest, they contrived to put off their clothes for washing. It is a good old saying, that cleanliness is next to godliness. See Heb. x. 22.

"Wholesome food is needful for your health. Buy the most strengthening. Pieces of fresh beef and mutton go the farthest. Eat plenty of fresh salt with food; it prevents disease. Pray do not let your children waste their pennies in tarts, cakes, bull's eyes, hardbake, sour fruit, &c., they are very unwholesome, and hurt the digestion. People would often, at twenty years of age, have a nice little sum of money to help them on in the world, if they had put in the savings' bank the money so wasted; Cocoa is cheaper and much more nourishing than tea. None of these liquids should be taken hot, but lukewarm; when hot they inflame the stomach, and produce indigestion.

"We are all made to breathe the pure air of heaven, and therefore much illness is caused by being constantly in-doors. Let all persons make a point, whenever it is possible, of taking exercise in the open air for at least an hour and a half daily. Time would be saved in the long run by the increased energy and strength gained, and by the warding off of disease."

Let it not be supposed that it is not the duty of every young lady to take due care of her health, and to preserve in all its power of utility every portion of vigor which has been bestowed on her.

With many young ladies, it appears to be a maxim to do everything in their power to destroy the health which is so much wanted in the real business of life, and which forms so important a requisite to happiness. In the first place, as to hours--they never leave the ball-room until utterly exhausted, and scarcely fit to crawl to bed. The noon-day sleep, the scarcely touched breakfast, that most important meal, are followed by preparations for the succeeding night's pleasures, or in head-aching morning calls, driving about in a close carriage, or lounging on a sofa, in an over-heated room, reading novels.

Dressing follows; the warm wrapper or dress is thrown aside; over the tightly drawn corsets is fastened a flimsy dress, with an inch of sleeve; the neck laid bare; thin stockings drawn on, in place of thick ones, and the consumption-seeker goes forth to the ball-room again.

"At times, you miss from the gay assemblage some former ornament--you inquire about her--she has taken cold. Inflammation of the lungs, caught it in an accidental draught of air by one of these fair half-dressed beings, carried off, not long since, one of the gayest and fairest of the belles of the season--after an illness of three days.

"Preservation of the health ought, from an early stage of existence, to be enforced as a duty upon the young. To walk daily; to have daily recourse, in summer, even twice a day, to the sponging with cold water, or the shower-bath;--to eat sufficiently of plain, nutritious food; to keep the mind calm--these are duties;--they should be habitually exercised. Care should be taken not to come out heated, with a shawl just pinned across the shoulders, from a heated room. Where there is delicacy of the lungs or windpipe, yet not sufficient to render a withdrawal from evening parties necessary, the use of a respirator at night is desirable. It is usual to have recourse to this valuable invention only when disease is actually existing--as a preventive, it is neglected. Yet, preserving the temperature of a warm room, it is an excellent precaution, and can easily be assumed when the shawl or cloak is put on. The atmosphere of a city is destructive where there is any pulmonary delicacy, and who shall say, where there is not pulmonary delicacy? In this climate, there is a tendency to it, more or less, in almost every family,--at all events, it is too easily induced in our predisposed constitutions, by cold, aided by the debilitating effect of heated rooms and an artificial mode of existence, and accelerated also, most decidedly, by bared shoulders. For, in this climate, it is scarcely ever safe to lay bare that portion of the frame, the back and chest in which the lungs are seated; and, although custom may greatly lead to diminish the injurious effects, the sudden chill may strike, and may never be recovered.

"During every season, certain people have 'head colds,' coughs, and 'feverish colds.' These are produced by certain states of climate acting on certain states of constitution. At particular seasons such complaints abound--at others they abound still more; and again, from some singularity, they prevail so much that people say, there is an Influenza.

"Influenza has been long known in the world. It has often visited Europe; and made its appearance on our shores with greater severity than at present. It has sometimes been very severe, and left many persons ill for a year or two.

"The symptoms of influenza need not be dwelt on, as they have been so generally felt by our readers or their friends. It varies in different people, to be sure, both in kind and in degree. Considering the number of people it attacks, it may be looked on as an innocent disease; but, on the other hand, looking at the increase it has made in the number of deaths, it is an exceedingly serious one after all.

"In simple cases--confinement to a pure and temperate air, warm drinks, and a warm bath, or, at least, a warm foot-bath, with an extra blanket, and a little more rest than usual, keeping to mild food, and toast and water, and taking, if necessary, a dose of aperient medicine,--is all that is required. In serious cases, the domestic treatment must become professional. Mustard plasters to the back relieve the headache. Squills find other medicines 'loosen' the outstanding cough. Bark and wine, and even cold baths are sometimes requisite for the weakness left behind. But these things can only be used with discrimination by a regular professional man.

"Supposing that the seeds of disease have not been laid in childhood, and that there is no particular predisposition to any malady in the constitution, a young woman enters life with every fair prospect of enjoying tolerable health;--yet, how variable, and delicate, and complaining, do the majority of women become! What a vast expense is incurred, during the course of their lives, in physicians, medicine, change of air, baths abroad and at home, and journeys! How few women can walk,--or can suppress nervous feelings,--or can eat like reasonable beings: how many suffer, or say they suffer from debility, headaches, dyspepsia, a tendency to colds, eternal sore throats, rheumatic attacks, and the whole list of polite complaints! With all our modern wisdom, with all our books on health, our smatterings of physiological science, our open carriages, sponging baths, and attention to diet, women now are a far more feeble race than our grandmothers, or even our mothers, were. What daughter can walk half as far as her mother can? What young woman can take the active part that her mother did? In most families, the order of things is reversed. It is not a child trembling for her mother's health, and fearing, lest her parent, no longer young, should be fatigued; but it is the mother who is always striving to spare her child exertions which she can herself perfectly well undergo, but which the enfeebled child of modern self-indulgence dare not encounter.

"Yes! we are a self-indulgent race, this present generation. Witness our easily excited feelings; witness our late hours of rising, our sofas and easy chairs, our useless days and dissipated nights! Witness our pallid faces, our forms, sometimes attenuated and repulsive while yet in early life, age marching, not creeping, on before his time; or witness our over-fed and over-expanded forms, enfeebled by indolence, and suffering the worst species of debility--the debility of fat. Witness our doing those things by deputy which our grandmothers did themselves; witness our host of scents and perfumed waters on our dressing-tables; our over-refinement, which amounts to an enervating puerility, and our incapacity of parting with one accustomed indulgence, even at the bidding of the learned and disinterested adviser?

"'In the education of women,' writes a modern physician, 'too little attention is given to subdue the imaginative faculty, and to moderate sensibility; on the contrary, they are generally fostered; and, instead of a vigorous intellect and healthy condition of mind, we find imagination and sentiment predominant over the reasoning faculties, and laying the foundation of hysterical, hypochondriacal, and even maniacal diseases.'[B] It is, in fact, this want of judgment in the management of early life that produces so much misery when women are called upon to perform an important part in society, and when all that exertion can do is required at their hands.

[B] "The Sick-Room," by Dr. A. T. Thomson.

"The duration of sleep should not, in the adult, exceed six or eight hours; women injure their health greatly by excess in this respect. On rising, all women should use some mode of cold or tepid bath; and, indeed, in this respect the practice of the present day is admirable; there is every facility for the bath. To some, the use of the shower-bath is deleterious, and to all inconvenient, and not likely to be resorted to except when positively ordered. Dr. Combe recommends for general use the tepid or warm bath, as being much more suitable than the cold bath, 'especially in the winter for those who are not robust, and full of animal heat.' When the constitution is not sufficiently vigorous to ensure reaction after the cold bath, by producing a warm glow over the surface, 'its use,' observes the same admirable writer, 'inevitably does harm.' But he enforces, that 'in order to promote a due exhalation from the skin, the warm, the tepid, or the shower-bath, as a means of preserving health, ought to be in as common use as a change of apparel, for it is equally a measure of necessary cleanliness.' He inclines to the use of the tepid bath, as likely to be the most generally efficacious.

"I have known the most beneficial effects from a modification of this advice, namely, from using a sponging-bath, into which you pour a jug of warm water, and in which you stand, whilst you sponge the body and limbs profusely with cold water. A strong friction should be employed after this process, either with horsehair gloves or with a large coarse towel, and few persons will find the use of the sponging-bath disagree with them when thus employed. It is, indeed, incredible, when we consider the importance of the exhalation performed by the skin, to what extent ablution is neglected, not only, as Dr. Combe specifies, in charitable institutions and seminaries for the young, but by ladies, in ordinary circumstances, to whom the use of the bath could be productive of no inconvenience. In nervous complaints, which are more or less the besetting evil of womankind, the bath, in its various forms, becomes an invaluable aid.

"In the formation of those habits which are necessary for the preservation of health, another circumstance, which, from its importance to health, cannot be deemed trifling should be mentioned. It is a general practice that beds should be made as soon as the occupants have left their rooms, and before the air has been freely admitted to play upon the recent depositary of the human frame; but this should be avoided. The bed-linen and blankets should be taken off, and the windows opened, so that, for an hour or more, a thorough ventilation should be procured.

"Upon another point, the inconsistency and mental blindness of women are almost inconceivable--the insufficiency of their dress to resist the attacks of our variable climate. How few women clothe themselves like rational beings! Although, in latter years, they have wisely adopted the use of warm dresses, and, more especially, of the valuable Scottish plaid, yet how commonly they neglect the aid of flannel in preserving them not only from cold, but in securing a necessary circulation of vitality in the skin! 'The necessary effect of deficient circulation in the skin,' remarks Dr. Combe, 'is to throw a disproportionate mass of blood inwards; and when this condition exists, insufficient clothing perpetuates the evil, until internal disease is generated, and health is irrecoverably lost.' How common is the complaint among young women, especially those of sedentary habits, of chilliness, cold feet, and other symptoms of deficient circulation! and yet how impossible would it often be--for women are usually obstinate on this head--to induce them to exchange the thin silk stocking for a warm merino one, or to substitute a proper walking shoe for the paper-like articles which they designate by that name! Hence arise many diseases, which are, by insensible degrees, fostered in the system by the unequal distribution of the blood oppressing the internal organs. The habitual tendency to that chilliness which has been referred to should never be disregarded, 'laying, as it does,' says Dr. Combe, 'the foundation of tubercles in the lungs, and other maladies, which show themselves only when arrived at an incurable stage.' 'All those who value health, and have common sense, will therefore take warning from signs like these, and never rest until equilibrium of action be restored.' Warm clothing, exercise in the open air, sponging with tepid water and vinegar, or the warm bath, the use of a flesh-brush or hair-glove, are adapted to remedy these serious and threatening evils.

"But, whilst insufficiency of clothing is to be deprecated, excessive wrapping up should also be avoided. Great differences exist between the power of generating heat and resisting cold in individuals, and it is therefore impossible to prescribe general rules upon the subject of clothing. The best maxim is, not to dress in an invariable way in all cases, but to put on clothing sufficient in the individual case, to protect the body effectively against the sensation of cold.[C]

[C] Dr. Combe.

"The insufficiency of warmth in the clothing of females constitutes only one part of its injurious effects. The tightness of dress obstructs the insensible perspiration hurtfully, and produces an irregular circulation. Every part and function of the human frame are linked together so closely, that we cannot act wrongly towards one organ without all suffering, nor act rightly without all sharing the benefit of our judgment and good sense.

"The mischief arising from cold or wet feet is admitted by all persons who have given the subject of health even the most casual consideration. In conversing with very aged people, you will generally find a disregard of diet, and very different notions and practices upon the subject of exercise and ablution; but they all agree in the necessity of keeping the feet dry. I remember inquiring of a venerable clergyman, who, up to the age of ninety-six, had enjoyed a fair proportion of health, after a youth of delicacy. I asked him what system he pursued. 'Now,' was his reply, 'I never took much care what I ate; I have always been temperate. I never minded the weather; but I always took care to keep my feet dry and well shod.' Wet and damp are, indeed, more unwholsome when applied to the feet than when they affect other parts; 'because they receive a greater supply of blood to carry on a high degree of perspiration, and because their distance from the heart, or centre of circulation, diminishes the force with which this is carried on, and thus leaves them more susceptible from external causes.'[D]

[D] Dr. Combe.

"God, in his infinite benevolence, has given to his creatures other means of acquiring a healthy warmth than by clothing; he has endowed us with the power of exercise--that blessing which women of weak judgment and indolent natures are so prone to neglect and disparage. Most ladies appear to think that the privilege of walking is only intended for persons of inferior condition. They busy themselves, in their in-door occupations all the morning, take a hearty luncheon, and drive out in their carriages until dinner-time. It is partly owing to such customs as these that a rapid deterioration takes place in the physical state of our sex, in their looks, and in their power of utility, and enjoyment of happiness. God never intended us to be inactive.

"The chief purpose of the muscles with which we are endowed, is to enable us to carry into effect the volitions of the mind; and, whilst fulfilling this grand object, the active exercise of the muscles is conducive to the well-being of many other important functions. The processes of digestion, respiration, secretion, absorption, and nutrition, are promoted, and the healthful condition of the whole body influenced. The mind also is depressed or exhilarated by the proper or improper use of muscular exercise; for man is intended for a life of activity: nor can his functions ever go on so properly as when he duly exercises those organs with which Nature has endowed him. The evils arising from want of exercise are numerous:--the circulation, from the absence of due stimulus, becomes languid, the appetite and digestion are weakened, the respiration is imperfect, and the blood becomes so ill-conditioned, that when distributed through the body it is inadequate to communicate the necessary stimulus to healthy and vigorous action. These points being established, it now becomes a consideration in what mode, or at what periods, ladies, in society, can most advantageously avail themselves of that privilege which is granted to so many, denied, comparatively, to so few.

"Much is said on the benefits of walking before breakfast, and to a person in full vigor it may, there is no doubt, be highly salutary; whilst, to the delicate, it will prove more hurtful than beneficial, producing a sense of weariness which destroys all the future pleasures of the day. I am disposed to think, however, from observation, that walking before breakfast may be rendered beneficial almost to any one by degrees. Most persons walk too far the first day; they are proud of the effort, become, nevertheless, exhausted, and dare not repeat it. A first walk before breakfast should not exceed a quarter of a mile; it should be extended, very gradually, and, in delicate women, with great care, lest over-fatigue should ensue. It is, however, so valuable a habit, such a saving of time, so refreshing, so soothing, that many sacrifices of inclination should be made to procure it; in a gay season the freshness and seclusion of a morning's walk is peculiarly needed, and when it becomes so difficult to take exercise in the subsequent part of the day, the afternoon being too short, and the evening too much occupied. And the morning's walk, stolen from the hour given to a species of repose which seldom rests, may be, without the reproach of indolence, followed by the afternoon's siesta--a practice much to be commended, and greatly conducive to rest of nerves and invigoration of the frame, when used in moderation.

"Exercise may be taken, by the robust, at any time, even after eating heartily, but the delicate ought to avoid that risk; they should resort to it only when the frame is vigorous enough to bear it, and this is usually from one to four or five hours after eating. The morning is, therefore, the best time; but exercise ought not to be delayed until some degree of exhaustion has taken place from want of food, as in that case it dissipates rather than renovates the remaining strength, and impairs digestion. Exercise immediately before meals is therefore, unless very gentle, injurious; if it has been violent, before eating rest should intervene. 'Appetite,' says Dr. Combe, 'revives after repose.'

"Of all modes of exercise, that which nature has bestowed upon us, walking, is decidedly the most salutary; and the prevailing system of substituting horse and carriage exercise almost entirely for it, is far from being advantageous to the present generation. Walking, which has for its aim some pleasing pursuit, and, therefore, animates the mind, is efficacious to the majority. Gardening, which is a modification of walking, offers many advantages both to the delicate and the strong, and it is a species of exercise which we can adjust to our powers. In a continued walk you must go on--you must return; there is no appeal, even if you have gone too far, and would willingly give up any further exertion. But, while gardening, you are still at home--your exertions are devoted to objects the most interesting, because progressive; hope and faith form a part of your stimulus. The happy future, when flowers shall bloom around you, supersedes in your thoughts the vexatious present or the mournful past. About you are the budding treasures of spring, or the gorgeous productions of summer, or the rich hues of those beauties which autumn pours forth most lavishly before it departs,--and is succeeded by winter. Above you are the gay warblers, who seem to hail you as you mingle in the sylvan scenes which are not all theirs, but which you share and appropriate. The ruffled temper, the harassed mind, may find a solace in the occupation of gardening, which aids the effect of exercise and the benign influence of fresh air. Stores of future and never-dying interest are buried in the earth with every seed, only to spring up again redoubled in their value. A lady, as a writer in the 'Quarterly Review' observes, should 'not only have but know her plants.' And her enjoyment of those delights is truly enhanced by that personal care, without which few gardens, however superintended by the scientific gardener, can prosper, and which bless as they thrive; her plants bestow health on the frame which is bowed down to train them--they give to her the blessing of a calm and rational pleasure--they relieve her from the necessity of excitement--they promote alike, in the wealthy and the poor, these gentle exertions which are coupled with the most poetical and the sweetest of associations.

"Exercise on horseback is not equally attainable with the two modes which I have just specified; when it is, the accelerated circulation, the change of scene and of ideas, are highly beneficial. Where the lungs are weak, it is thought by the learned to possess a great advantage over walking, as it does not hurry the breathing. The gentleness of the exercise enables a delicate person to enjoy the advantage of open air and motion for a much longer period than could be endured in the action of walking. From the tendency of horse exercise to equalize the circulation and stimulate the skin, it is invaluable, too, for the nervous and dyspeptic portion of young women, among whom, unhappily, such complaints are but too prevalent.

"Dancing, which is the most frequent mode of exercise with ladies in great cities, practiced, as it is, in heated rooms, and exhausting from its violence, often does more harm than good, from producing languor and over-fatigue. Unhappily there are but few modes of exercise in-doors adapted for women. If, from any circumstances, they are confined to their homes, and they become feverish and languid from want of exercise, it never occurs to them to throw open the windows and to walk about, or to make use of battledore and shuttlecock, or any other mode of exertion. They continue sitting, reading, or walking, or lounging, or sleeping, or gossiping,--whilst the bloom of health is rapidly giving place to the wanness and debility of the imprisoned frame.

"It is often the custom of young women to declare that they cannot walk, sometimes from indolence, no doubt, and want of habit, occasionally from real inability. But if we investigate the causes of this real inability, we shall often find it to proceed from an improper choice of time in taking exercise, or from a defective judgment in the manner of taking it. Many women exhaust and fatigue themselves with the duties of their house, and by a thousand trying occupations, including that which forms a serious item in the day's work, namely, running up and down stairs, and then discover that they cannot walk. Others go to extremes, and walk for a certain distance, whether they feel fatigued or not by such exertions. 'It is only,' observes Dr. Combe, 'by a diffusion of the laws of exercise as a part of useful education, that individuals can be enabled to avoid such mistakes,' To be beneficial, exercise should always be proportioned to the strength and to the constitution of an individual. When it causes extreme fatigue or exhaustion, it is hurtful; it ought to be resumed always after a period of rest, and adopted regularly, not, as too many persons are in the habit of doing, once in four or five days. The average walk which a young woman in good health and in ordinary circumstances, may take, without undue and injurious fatigue, is from four to five miles a-day. From this rule I except the very young. It has been found by experience that until twenty-two or three the strength is not completely matured. The rate of mortality, as it has been proved by statistical tables, increases in all classes of society from fourteen until the age of twenty-three, when it begins to decrease.

"Another precaution which I would recommend to those who have the regulation of families under their care, relates to the subject of ventilation. The heated state of our rooms in ordinary occupation is one great source of all those mischiefs which arise from catching cold, a subject on which Mr. Abernethy was wont to declare, that 'a very useful book might be written.' There are some houses into which one can never enter with impunity, from the want of due ventilation. Housemaids, more especially, have an insupportable objection to opening windows, on account of the dust which flies in and settles upon the furniture. This evil--for the soiling of furniture certainly may be called an evil--may easily be obviated by fastening a muslin blind against the open window, or by pinning a large piece of coarse muslin against it, so that the dusty particles will be excluded.

"Generally our ordinary sitting-rooms are tolerably well ventilated by the opening and shutting of doors, the size of the fire-place, &c., but in our bed-rooms the vitiation of the air is far greater, owing to these rooms being wholly closed during the seven or eight hours in which we sleep in them, and, also, owing to the mass of curtains with which we usually take care to surround our beds. In this respect we are, indeed, improved, by the introduction of French bedsteads, which are among the most valuable of modern suggestions. But, notwithstanding this improvement, and many others which reflection and science have contributed to introduce, we incur much suffering from our ignorance and prejudice on the subject of ventilation. For generations, society has experienced the evil effects of the want of ventilation, and has felt in towns its results in the form of fevers, general ill-health, cutaneous and nervous diseases; and yet the most direful ignorance continues on this subject. Hospitals are among the few well-ventilated buildings which are erected, because an idea prevails that ventilation is essential for the sick, but it seems to have been forgotten that what is essential for the recovery of health is equally necessary for its preservation. 'Were,' says Dr. Combe, 'a general knowledge of the structure of man to constitute a regular part of a liberal education, such inconsistencies as this would soon disappear, and the scientific architect would speedily devise the best means for supplying our houses with pure air, as he has already supplied them with pure water.'"

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