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tist, toiling heroically over the technique, and who has never done with the scales, may find some dreadful morning that the extensors of the wrist and fingers are seemingly paralyzed. It is time then to call on the doctor, even at the risk that his verdict may mean little less than professional extinction. Happily, however, for the army of small piano-players and teachers, cramp of the most seriout kind is infrequent in this calling. The manipulation of the key telegraph is a somewhat similar exercise, but one which apparently does not often lead to nervous breakdown.
The bow-arm of the violinist is apt to get cramped while the learner is going through his arduous apprenticeship; but when this is over, and the day of artistic execution has arrived, the movements of the bow-arm are so delicate as almost to preclude the possibility of strain. With the violin and 'cello it is the left hand that does the
greatest amount of muscular work, and this accordingly is the hand most prone to suffer; yet the master player, a Sarasate or a Nachez, will enthral his hearers through the hours of a long recital with scarcely any consciousness of physical fatigue. What strain there is, is chiefly felt in the higher nerve centres. Dr. Poore cites from Duchenne the case of a priest "who had a mania for playing the hautboy, and, as a consequence (as the patient thought) of excessive practicing on this instrument, he became troubled with a spasmodic contraction of the muscles of the right half of the abdo
men, which came on with each inspi
ration for a sufficient blast. Consequently the hautboy often emitted wrong notes, which considerably astonished his congregation."
I take from the "Lancet" (June 28, 1890) an instance of the effect of bagpipe-playing on the teeth:
Odonto-Chirurgical Society, said that, having his attention drawn to a single case, he has been led to examine the teeth of various pipers, and all of them presented "wearing away" of the cutting edges of six front teeth, in a greater or lesser degree, varying with the density of the tooth-structure and the time engaged in pipe-playing. He found on inquiry that, on the average, it took about four years to make a wellmarked impression, but that once the enamel edge was worn through, the "wearing away" was more rapid. Every one was aware of the way in which the tobacco-pipe wore the teeth of the smoker, but this was not to be wondered at, the baked pipeclay being a hard and gritty substance, but that a horn mouthpiece should have such an appreciable effect was, he thought, a matter of curious interest. He might mention, however, that the mouthpiece. suffered more than the teeth, the aver-. age life of a horn mouthpiece being. twelve to eighteen months, that of a bone or ivory one being about two. years. The peculiarity noticed was a crescent-shaped aperture on the cutting. edge of the front teeth in three localities-viz., between the central incisors:
and between the lateral and canine on. both sides. Mr. Macleod offers no explanation, but might not one be found. in the friction caused by the constant movement of the mouthpiece during playing?
In the same journal (March 29, 1890), appeared the following letter on the. subject of the clarionet:
In reply to "B Flat," I beg to say that I used to play the cornet, and found that it had a decided tendency to increase some friction and pain of dry. pleurisy from which I suffered. I then changed to the clarionet, with complete. relief to the symptoms. I was after a instrument, and had a return of the few years tempted to return to a brass
pain. I think that with moderate skill: there could be no injury to the neck. from playing the clarionet. It is not a question of hard blowing, but of "knack" in the management of the reed, and in keeping the whole instrument in order. I think a wind instrument requires almost as much care as C Natural
Mr. Macleod, at a meeting of the a watch.
It is, however, in the occupations mainly mechanical, involving the constant repetition of some particular and more or less automatic movement or series of movements, that the true craft palsy most commonly arises. “I have seen," says Dr. Vivian Poore, "a case of 'sawyer's cramp' in a man who made 'packing-cases' by the piece. Another interesting case was that of a man whose work consisted in covering pickle-jars with bladder. In this case it was the left hand which hecame impotent, and the muscles affected were the flexors of the finger which tightly grasped the top of the jar."
But it matters little what the trade is, provided the conditions are there which may tend to induce partial or complete impotence of a particular group of muscles. In all probability there is scarcely a workshop in the kingdom from which the possibilities of craft cramp in some form would be completely excluded. In greater or less degree the disability might be found in the composing-room of a printing office, in the sewingroom of a dressmaking establishment, in the tailor's shop, in the carpenter's, in the upholsterer's, in the monger's-the list might be extended ad inf. Dr. Poore has observed cases of bricklayer's cramp, in which the difficulty consisted in handling the trowel; and of milker's cramp, in which the milker could no longer grasp the teat.
Dancing, not the pastime of the ballroom, but the severe occupation of the trained and paid performer, is very liable to cause functional derange. ment when the toes are forced to bear the weight of the entire frame, the muscles of the calf being then subjected to an excessive strain. Dancer's cramp is said to be by no means un
The shop-assistant and shop-walker,
one of whom is more or less always standing and the other more or less always walking, are apt to contract a condition of the foot which the medical profession recognizes as "flat foot." It is observed that "when the foot is taken off the ground the arch of the foot reappears." This disfigurement is more likely to be found in young persons who "have not finished growing," than in adults.
Dr. Poore (Lancet, August 1890) describes a case of "mercurial tremor," the patient being an Italian aged sixty-two. He came to England at the age of seventeen, and had been working here for thirty-four years as a looking-glass silverer. His duty was to "run" the mercury over tin-foils spread upon sheets of glass; he was therefore constantly handling mercury and exposed to its fumes. With the exception of the mercurial tremor, the direct toxic effects of his trade, Dr. Poore found the man in perfect health. The tremor affected the hands mainly and the right hand more than the left. When at rest, the arms and hands of the patient were steady, but the instant he attempted to use his hands they were seized with an excessive trembling and shaking. He could not pick up a scrap of paper, he could not feed himself, and he was obliged to drink through a glass tube, owing to the impossibility of holding a cup steadily to his lips. The tremor was so "coarse" (unlike the tremor from alcohol or general paralysis) that when he tried to use his hands they jerked through several inches of space. He had been attacked first twenty-six years earlier, and after thirteen weeks' treatment in the London Hospital had completely recovered. Eight years later he had had a second attack, and from that also he had made a satisfactory recovery. After three weeks' treatment for the third attack, the Italian left the hos
pital much improved, and able to feed himself, but still far from well.
Dr. Poore says that cases of mercurial tremor are rare in this country, although "met with among workmen whose occupation brings them in contact with mercury or its salts." Mirror-makers are a class who have always been recognized as liable, "but not very liable," to chronic mercurial poisoning. At the present day, however, mirrors are made largely by chemical methods, the salts of silver being employed more than those of mercury. Cases of mercurial polsoning in this trade are likely therefore, to become rarer and rarer.
Dr. Poore had under his care in the hospital a mat-maker, forty years of age, whose left arm had become so stiff, contracted, and absolutely useless, that he could no longer follow his craft. The joints of this arm were so stiff that they “creaked audibly," and, although sensation was but little impaired the power of voluntary movement was almost nil.
In "tailor's cramp" the trouble seems generally to begin with a certain weakness of the right thumb and forefinger, which makes it difficult to hold the needle; and this difficulty increases until the tailor is obliged to give up work. There is little to see in the hand affected, any more than there is in a case of writer's cramp or writer's palsy; but, after a few stitches, the needle held between the thumb and forefinger eludes the tailor's grasp, and he can no longer push it through the fabric.
On the subject of glassblower's cramp a professional deformity of the hand to which attention has not often been drawn-a French specialist, M. Poncet, made an interesting communication some years ago to the Académie des Sciences. He described the deformity as consisting in a perma
The Leisure Hour.
nent and very pronounced flexion of the fingers upon the hand, which was more pronounced in the case of the third and fourth fingers than in that of the other two, leaving the thumb wholly unaffected. The inflexion occurred principally at the second joint, so that the second phalanx was fixed almost at right angles to the first. The malady, said M. Poncet, was unaccompanied by pain. The "distal joints" were more or less deformed, the fingers were bent into a curve and could not be extended. The skin of the palmar surface was somewhat thicker and more callous than was usual even with manual laborers. This deformity, known among French glassblowers as main en crochet or main fermée, comes on after a short practice of the art of glassblowing, and increases progressively. It appears to attack the majority of glassblowers, and, naturally, is most marked in those who have been longest at the work. M. Poncet regards it as due to the continuous application of the hand to the tube with which a glassblower manipulates his "metal." Thus, during the eight hours a day through which such a man ordinarily works, his fingers are without intermission kept closed about this tube, and the constraint induces, even within a month, some difficulty in effecting complete extension. This difficulty gradually becomes greater and greater, until at last it develops into a completely crippled condition of the hand. Altogether, according to M. Poncet, the trade of the glassblower as pursued in France is so unhealthy that the operatives who habitually take it up as young men are obliged to abandon it at about thirty-five years of age, "and do so with their hands permanently crippled in such a way as to render them useless for almost any other occupation."
IN TIME OF DROUGHT.
In the summer of 1900-01 a large portion of Australia,-practically the whole of central Australia-was suffering from the most disastrous drought within the memory of white men. It was not a case of one bad season coming after several good seasons, but the worst of a number of bad ones. The result has been almost the annihilation of the live-stock in the country; all who could have moved or sold their stock; those who, owing to the impassability of roads, were unable to do so have been obliged to watch their animals dying of starvation and want of water. Even in fair seasons it is a country of light-carrying capacity; on an average it will carry about sixty sheep or six head of cattle to the mile; and consequently the areas worked are very large; a thousand square miles is a moderate property, but there are many double and even treble that size. Everything is on a large scale, except the profits. One man, who had decided to get rid of his stock before the summer set in, sent to market, or moved to another district, sixty thousand sheep, and in districts nearer railways there have been several instances of two hundred thousand sheep being moved to fresh pasturage; while, as a contrast, a neighbor who preferred to take the risk of rain falling, or who was unable to get his cattle away, had left on his several properties at the end of the summer two thousand cattle out of one hundred thousand. And there are many, very many, who have not a single animal left.
flying months, or to feel the sickening dread of it all hanging as a nightmare over one. It may rain to-morrow, or it may not rain for two years; and even the rain may not be an unmixed blessing, for heavy rain falling on animals as weak as ours were will kill them in thousands, what with the cold and the wet and the country almost a morass. Only the other day at a railway-station on the central Queensland line there were three thousand weak sheep waiting to be transported to fresh pasturage; rain came down, nothing could be done with the sheep but to keep them there, and by the next morning, when three inches of rain had fallen, there was not one sheep alive; they had just died where they stood. However, until rain does fall, we can only make the most of our resources, while we watch our flocks and herds perish day by day.
As I start of a morning on my daily round, with a large water-bag slung around my horse's neck,-he poor beast must often go till evening without a drink I meet the first of the sheep on their way to water before the heat of the day. The country is rolling downs, covered thickly with stones like shingle on the beach; for four miles there is nothing but brittle stumps of grass which the stones preserve from being trodden out, and beyond are withered low-growing salt-bush, all nourishment seemingly long ago dried out of it. Here and there, along a gully or a water-course there are some stunted trees; and on the salt-bush and the withered fallen leaves the sheep are living, or trying to live.
Red soil, red stones, a few dingy green trees, and overhead a faint blue sky which loses almost all its color as it meets the horizon. oh you hate
ful sky of drought and heat! The long dusty lines of sheep are winding over the downs; heads down, they scarcely notice me as I ride close alongside them; here and there one raises its head, stops a moment, then on again, plodding its weary way along the pad to water; they have been thirty-six hours away from it, for the feed is too far out to let them get a drink each day, and their scraggy ribs are drawn together, so hollow are they. In time the leaders snuff the muddy odor of the water, and break into a run. Such a bleating there is as they reach the banks; the others behind catch it up, till it echoes down their files; and so for hours they string in, fill themselves till they can scarcely walk, and sleep and rest till evening.
The paddocks are about six miles square, and in a far corner I find a hundred sheep or so. Poor beasts, the combined effects of thirst and heat have made them absolutely stupid, as they do all animals,—aye, and men too. They have followed one fence, met the other fence and stayed; and as there, if allowed, they would stay till they perished, I take them in to water. The sun beats down relentlessly; the stones are so hot I can scarcely bear to touch them; and every now and then a gust comes swooping over them, a burning fiery blast, shrivelling the skin on my face. My eyes are scorched with the glare of the sun flung back from the stones, which shimmer all around me till in the distance they disappear in mirage.
they draw together now and then; the winds there seem blowing all ways, bearing the clouds with them, and towards four o'clock comes the boom of thunder; it even rains, but alas, it evaporates in mist long before it reaches the parched red earth. Other sheep are making towards water, caught on their way this morning by the mid-day heat and forced to wait under what shade they could find, while here and there a group have stood the long hours through with heads hidden beneath each other's flanks, patient, thirsty, panting. As the sheep I am driving know their way now, I turn them among some others also making for water, and go on my way homewards. Passing the waterhole I find some beasts stuck in its soft muddy banks, and many too weak to carry away their loads of water; their days are numbered, for most of them will die where they lie, the rest within a mile or two. As the sun goes down the clouds clear away, or we get a few drops of rain and a dust-storm.
And so it is all over the run; there is no feed within miles of water, and feed of little nourishment then. In the spring there were tens of thousands of rabbits; now there is scarcely one. Many have perished along a rabbitproof fence that divides the run, marking the border of Queensland and New South Wales; they huddled under the shade of the posts, gasping in the heat, perishing slowly. Should you follow one up as he hobbles in front, he goes but thirty yards, squeaks, and falls over, utterly exhausted. All along the length of fence sit sparrow-hawks and eagle-hawks and crows,-black-eyed crows, white-eyed crows-and such cold cruel eyes they have, these birds of death. From time to time they rouse themselves, flop heavily down, snatch a rabbit, and gorge once more, leisurely choosing the choicest tit-bits of their wriggling prey. So it is, too, with the