When people call in, or upon, a doctor, in the expectation of hearing that their internal mechanism is "all agley," and to pay well for the knowledge, they want something to show for what they have done and mean to do. The physician's catechism and advice that do not entail an application to a druggist for further help to the deranged machinery, the transfer of vial, box or packet to the patient's hands, and the passage of coin of the realm or paper of the republic from one pocket to another, are a violation of civilized usages.
"It is naught! It is naught!" saith the patient, and when he is gone his way he complaineth. Henceforward neither he nor his listeners to his tale of fraud, "doctor with" the candid practitioner forevermore.
It will be seen that a certain physician ran one positive and several possible risks when he said to an anemic, wild-eyed patient, teetering upon the inner edge of nervous prostration, with a tilt in the wrong direction:
"A sanitarium! By no means! And drugs, nervines, sedatives and the like would do you no permanent good. The best of them are mere placebos that amuse the invalid while nature cures him. What you need - what most broken-down women need - is fresh air and fresh fruit. Plenty of both! Live out of doors and live upon fruit!"
Then he charged as liberal a fee as if he had recommended an ocean voyage, Baden-Baden, Carlsbad, and "ines" and "ines" by the dozen.
If he had ordered a tank of oxygen to be sent to the invalid's room and fallen to work pumping the gas into her lungs at a cost of one hundred dollars per day, the sufferer and the sufferer's friends and gossips would have been satisfied, because impressed with the novelty and the scientific flavor of the proceeding. The means would be commensurate with the end to be gained.
Eat abundantly as much as you can without surfeit, of whatever fruit agrees with you best, and while this regimen is going on, sparingly of meat and rich gravies, not at all of pastry. Let the assuasive, and dissuasive, and persuasive juices of ripe, fresh fruit have their perfect work. Take your case in hand seriously, and with a definite, intelligent intention. Drugs interfere with nature; fresh air and fruit are her obedient handmaidens.
Many persons fancy that raw apples are indigestible, and only endurable in the early morning. Doubtless the old adage that fruit is gold in the morning, silver in the middle of the day, and lead at night, is to some extent answerable for this (to my way of thinking) erroneous impression.
Dietitians tell us that ripe, raw apples contain more phosphates in proportion to their bulk than any other article of food, fish not excepted. A recent writer on this point boldly declares that in this lies the secret of healthful longevity. They correct biliousness and act as a sedative upon the racked nerves and allay insomnia.
"Eat uncooked apples constantly, although, of course, in moderation, and drink distilled water only, and years will be added to your life, while the evidences of age will be long in coming.
"This argument is based on the supposition that as age advances, the deposits of mineral matter in the system increase, and that aging is little more than a gradual process of ossification.
"Phosphoric acid contains the least amount of earth-salts, and for that reason is probably the nearest approach to the elixir of life known to the scientific world.
"If you want to live long, to retain your youth at the same time, and to increase your brain-tissue, eat plenty of apples, 37 drink only distilled water, and eat as little bread as possible. A diluted solution of phosphoric acid is also recommended to those who care to take pains to follow the diet here outlined."
Tart apples are far more wholesome than sweet, and all, like potatoes, should be fully ripe when eaten.
Wash and polish them for the table, arrange in a silver basket or glass dish, and pass silver knives with them. The touch of steel injures the flavor.