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36.-OPEN YOUR WINDOWS AND SHUT
"I wish my flowers would grow as well as yours do,” said Mrs Adams to her neighbour, Mrs Wells, "yours always look green and fresh in winter, and are covered with flowers in summer, and I am sure I cannot make out why mine are not so too, but mine just make a few poor sickly leaves, and these drop off and die without ever coming to flower." Those do look very like dying, I am afraid,” answered Mrs Wells, looking at the flowers, and then at her neighbour's pale children, and wonderiñg if she might venture to say what she thought. “They do, indeed, and I bought them at the very same shop you got yours, and your window is not a bit better than mine."
This was quite true, for Mrs Wells and Mrs Adams, and ten or twelve other people besides, lived in a row of cottages all built exactly alike. Some had one child, some five, but each had a cottage of four rooms. There
was a back kitchen, and a front parlour, and two little bed-rooms above, and the flowers were in the window in the front parlour, a sunny window looking on to a large open field.
“They ought to grow,” said Mrs Adams, “but nothing does well with me,-Polly and Fanny are ill and cannot go to school-just look at their poor pale faces, what a difference there is between them and that rosy cheeked little lad of yours!”
“If I might say what I thought,” began Mrs Wells, in some fear of offending her friend. " I believe it is setting all the windows open every day that makes all the difference both to flowers and children." "Well, that would be a funny thing !” replied Mrs Adams. “I am sure I don't see how that can be !” “ Not at all funny, your body wants air, just as much as food, in fact they tell me air is food.” “But surely there is air enough in this room?" “ Yes, for a short time, when it has been standing empty a while; but you know it is only a small room, and you keep your window shut, and the door only opens into the kitchen, where there is a fire, and where some of you are always sitting breathing in all the air there is, so what chance have you of getting any fresh air here?” “Well, I think you are too particular,” said Mrs Adams, “you cannot expect to have the same fresh air in the house you have outside, and in a room like this, there is surely as much as we ought to want.” “Not if doors and windows are always shut, for the room is small and the air soon gets bad." “But why should it get bad ? I don't see what is to make it do that." " Just draw a long breath,” replied Mrs Wells," and you will see what
I mean. There—no sooner have you drawn in as much air as your lungs will hold, than you breathe out just as much as you took in-and that which you breathe out is no longer fresh and good, but used up, and more or less poisoned ; now you must bear in mind, that we are all drawing in good air about fifteen times a minute, and putting out bad as often, so that after a very little time, all the good there is, is used up, and yet as long as we are alive we must breathe. So we go on drawing in the bad, and the bad gets worse and worse, and we suffer from it."
“ How do we suffer from it ? " asked Mrs Adams. “We turn pale, we yawn and feel weary, our heads ache, we feel faint, and if it went on long enough we should die.” “Well, there may be something in what you say,” replied Mrs Wells," for we have very bad headaches in this house, mine aches now."
If you will take my advice,” said Mrs Wells, "and open your windows, I think you will soon be much stronger. It is now ten years since I learnt that if the air in your rooms is bad, you are feeding yourself with poison, so I take care to have as much fresh air as ever I can, and I do believe if you let in the air you keep out the doctor. My doctor's bill is next to nothing, for he hardly ever sets his foot in my house."
“Put on your hats, children,” said Mrs Adams, "and take a run in the field, and I will open the window. Dear me! the doctor's bill runs away with every penny of my savings, and if you think opening the window will keep him out, I will begin this very
flatter-y pose-ess-eth till-age
But oh, the honest countryman
The ploughman, though he labour hard,
fla-min-ga fun-ish-ment pare-ment