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were only three rainy days in December, five in January, eight in February, and five in March. There followed, however, in the season referred to, a very wet April, during which there was much sickness amongst the visitors, especially diarrhea, with severe colic and fever. They had drenching rain daily for a week, and scarcely saw the sun for nearly three weeks. During the preceding four months, however, they had had the remarkably large average of six hours' sunshine daily.
There appears to be much bitter rivalry and no little ill feeling, attended with a considerable amount of misrepresentation, existing between Orotava and Las Palmas, and between Madeira and both !
The advocates of Las Palmas say that it has a much finer climate than Orotava or Madeira ; that it has a much larger amount of sunshine, a drier air, and is much more invigorating. It has, says an enthusiastic medical advocate, the finest climate in the world of which we have any knowledge'! On the other hand, it has been observed that it is less well suited for invalids than Orotava on account of its distance from the port, the difficulties of landing, and the necessity at present of living in the centre of a Spanish town, a long way off from the seashore.
Orotava is 1.5° warmer than Las Palmas, and 3° warmer than Madeira. Las Palmas, although a little warmer than Madeira, feels cooler owing to the refreshing north-east trade wind. The daily range of temperature at Las Palmas is slightly greater than at Madeira.
A literary friend, not an invalid-a very necessary distinction to make, in weighing evidence as to climate—who visited these islands in this present year, writes of Orotava as an enervating Eden, a climate which diffuses over one a deliciously dreamy languor,' and in the month of January last he encountered there 'a positively penetrating warmth. The present hotel is, he says, 'a Paradise, but a Paradise in a hole;' and he found at the site of the new hotel in course of construction, 200 feet or so higher, a great difference in the feeling of relaxation. Altogether he preferred Las Palmas as more bracing and as possessing a climate more suited to his needs. It must, however, be remembered that this is the testimony of an active, healthy man, and not that of a chilly invalid. It may safely be concluded that those more vigorous invalids who like a climate with a decidedly bracing element in it should choose Las Palmas rather than Orotava, although it must not be forgotten that the new hotel at the latter place will be 200 feet higher than the present one, and in more bracing air, and that appropriate sites for villas exist at the same or higher elevations.
If we compare the climate of the Canaries with that of Madeira, we shall find the latter to be somewhat moister, the rainfall to be greater, and the wet days more numerous.
But there are some very important counterbalancing advantages on the side of Madeira—the VOL. XXVI.-No. 150.
food obtainable there is very much better, there is an entire absence of dust, and the hotel proprietors provide for the wants of invalids in a most unusual degree. There are now new hotels built on high ground facing the sea with ample space around them, so that the bracing sea breezes are constantly felt. Had hotels in such situations been available in the past, it is probable that fewer complaints would have been heard of the enervating and relaxing character of the climate.
The climate of Madeira has been largely misjudged and imperfectly appreciated, if not unjustly discredited. The tendency in the minds of the public to fly to extremes, to be led away by indiscriminating fashion, or by interested advocates, is always deplorable; where invalids and ill health are concerned, it is often disastrous. Because elevated mountain regions have been found extremely beneficial in certain cases, that is no reason why a soothing, non-irritating atmosphere, allowing even delicate invalids to pass many hours daily in the open air, should not be of very great value in other instances. It is certainly regrettable that such a climate is not to be found nearer home, and that a five days' sea voyage is needed in order to reach it!
The capricious winter climate of the Mediterranean littoral, which seems to get more and more capricious year by year, leads to much disappointment to invalids and their friends, and the frequent occurrence of acute chest attacks there, due often to insufficient precautions, makes physicians long for an easily accessible warm and soothing winter climate, such as can only be insured at such resorts as Madeira, the Canaries, or still more distant places.
At the beginning of this paper, I spoke of the subtle dangers which often beset us in the surrounding atmosphere, and which make change of air' associated occasionally with sad calamities which it needs every possible caution to avoid. The cities of Southern Italy, and some even of the more northern ones, have laid many a British visitor low by their fever-laden atmosphere, and even in the Canaries and Madeira typhoid has carried off, under the saddest possible circumstances, many victims from amongst their visitors. An imperfect, insufficient, and uncertain water supply is one of the most constant of the causes of these disasters. Diversion of a water supply for purposes of irrigation by the native Portuguese was attended by a fatal outbreak of typhoid in an English family in Madeira during the past winter; and in nearly all the hotels in Italian towns, and in many elsewhere on the Continent, although it is boasted that English systems of house drainage &c. are adopted, I can testify from personal observation that the essential condition of a free and sufficient water supply is more frequently absent than present. Without a due supply of water, these systems’are useless, and merely encourage a false security.
Another danger encountered in frequented health resorts, in large and crowded hotels, is one to which I have already incidentally alluded; it is the presence of convalescents from infectious diseases who have been allowed to leave their homes prematurely, and who convey the germs of disease to others. This latter danger is one which it is very difficult to take precautions against, but it should be sufficient to appeal to heads of families, and to the medical attendants of families, not to allow those for whom they are responsible to become a source of disease and danger to others.
Change of air ’is now in the minds of most of us, for the season is at hand when we cast aside for a time the cares and toils of business, and seek for a renewal of health and vigour on the Scotch moors, or the Swiss mountains, or wherever the surrounding atmosphere is pure and bracing. It is at such times or in such places that the pure air we breathe and the calm beauty of rural nature bring to our minds their best, their wisest, and their purest thoughts, and the moral gain is as great as the material. The vanities of life and its vexations are obscured and thrown into insignificance in the presence of the grand scenes of the natural world, and we realise more and more the force of the words of the poet, that
God made the country, and man made the town.
J. BURNEY YEO, M.D.
A GOSPEL FOR THE CENTURY.
THERE have been times when the handwriting on the wall of history was hard to read. But such is not the time in which we live. No Daniel need come forth, in his prophet's garment, to tell us that the Belshazzar's feast glorified by some under the name of modern civilisation,' and by others loathed as a combination of luxury and sacrilege, cannot last. Mene, Tekel, Upharsin ' has been written against it in characters of flame and fire. It is judged and found wanting.
The whole European system that has grown up since the French Revolution has the air of an interregnum. It seems to be founded on no principle, to fulfil no aspiration. It inspires confidence neither in the Jew money-lender, nor in the paralysed and bewildered Liberal, nor in the mocking Conservative who uses and despises it; neither in the English Churchman, who knows it will not prevent his disestablishment, nor in the Irish landlord, whom it has sent—it unwilling, him unwilling-into the Land Courts for his reduced rental. It appeals to no Gospel. It is divided from the past by the great gulf of 1789. It does not express the facts of the present. It lives from hand to mouth in the violent see-saw of Parliamentary majorities, under the guidance of those who are called statesmen, but who will probably, in times to come, be known as rhetoricians and sophists.
The strong man armed, whose name is Prince Bismarck, keeps his house in peace. Yet, when we look steadily, we shall see that it is .smouldering at the four corners. In most other parts of Europe can we say, with a clear conscience, that governments are not a mixture of imbecility and mediocrity, resting on the martial law of conscription, and confronted by a heavy-laden people, discontented workmen, decadent upper classes, and a divided Christendom? It is an age of confusion. The social organism, as we have received it from our fathers, is deeply decayed, and its spirit gone. What man is there but confesses in private that great and unknown changes are hanging over us? But though we cannot foretell them in detail, we may have a strong presentiment of the direction they will take. The present state of society is doomed by its inherent contradictions to pass away. That which once was-feudalism, monarchism, Whiggism--will not return. Reaction is the dream of pious souls sitting by the chimney-corner and indulging in their after-dinner nap. History to such is a sealed volume, else they might learn therein that the past never comes out
of its grave as it went down thither. We shall not look upon the like of what they dream again. Restorations do not really happen ; and Sancho Panza is the only true prophet where he says, 'Tell me what you sowed yesterday, and I will tell you what you will reap to-morrow. Given the cause we may anticipate the consequences. The past does not live a second time; but the future is made of it.
a For my present purpose, I will call the seed of yesterday science. The harvest of to-morrow which it promises to bring forth is a new social order. And I ask, how do Christians propose to welcome that universal change,—with blessings or with anathemas? Ought we to continue preaching last year's sermons when a new era is about to dawn? And what are those elements or principles of the Christian creed which will carry it on into the future as an imperial public influence, rather than as a private opinion, or as one sect among many ?
I will endeavour to express my meaning as clearly as possible. The faith we Christians have inherited is, like its Object, divine and human. It has prospects out of this world into the infinite Beyond, and thus far is, in the dialect of Kant, transcendental. But as an incarnation of truth amongst men, it makes a tabernacle of the world we see; it lies within experience; it is of the present, and must deal with the material. Its task is essentially to redeem, raise up, interpret, and transfigure those weak and needy elements out of which the visible scheme of things is framed. A religion that was wholly transcendental would be too high for mankind. Theism itself, like pure oxygen, is the breath of life, yet not to be breathed alone. On the other hand, a religion which was merely of the present, bounded by time and the grave-such as moderns have invented and styled the Religion of Humanity'-would furnish neither scope nor aspiration for the spirit which looks through matter into eternal realms and sighs for an ampler ether, a diviner air. O amare, 0 ire, O ad Deum pervenire! cried the saints of old. It is the longing of every soul of man. Mysticism, you will say! I do not deny it, but it is a mysticism rising out of experience and by it well warranted. Let Wordsworth and all the poets bear witness that it is not mere fancy.
We are not to lose sight of this transcendental, or infinite, to which religion points the way. But the human element remains. If there is (as we know there is) a Divine Idea contained and bodied forth in the dogmas of Christianity, none the less is there a Human Idea which it is the hope of reason to attain by scientific methods. That idea, dimly discerned, unceasingly pursued, has given a law and assigned an ever-widening orbit to the movement which, from the Renaissance to the present day, has gone on, though with many a check and through strange vicissitudes, till it has grown into the power we now behold, and which many dread as an emanation from the pit. What is its nature ? It is primarily concerned not with the next world, but with this; with the relations of man to his fellow, rather than with those which he cannot but have (and which religion