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her parents unless she immediately ceased the vile practice. In less
than ten days the mysterious symptoms which had puzzled many physicians
disappeared altogether. The swollen, tender breast was no larger than
the other, and was so entirely restored that she was able to strike
it a full blow without pain.
So great was the depravity of this girl, however, that she had no notion
of making a permanent reform. She even boasted of her wickedness to
a companion, and announced her intention to continue the practice. We
sent her home, and apprized her parents of the full facts in the case,
for which we received their deepest gratitude, though their hearts were
nearly broken with grief at the sad revelation made to them.
Notwithstanding their most earnest efforts in her behalf, the wretched
girl continued her downward career, and a year or two after we learned
that she had sunk to the very lowest depths of shame.
Once this now wretched, disgraced creature was an attractive, pure,
innocent little girl. Her adopted father lavished upon her numerous
presents, and spent hundreds of dollars to obtain her recovery to health.
Yet through this awful vice she was ruined utterly, and rendered so
wholly perverse and bad that she had no desire to be better, no
disposition to reform. God only knows what will be her sad end. May
none who read these lines ever follow in her footsteps.
The Danger of Boarding-Schools.--Some years ago a young lady came under
our medical care who had suffered for some time from a serious nervous
difficulty which had baffled the skill of all the physicians who had
had charge of her case, and which occasioned her a great amount of
suffering, making it necessary that she should be confined to her bed
most of the time, the disease being aggravated by exercise, and the
patient having been much weakened by its long continuance.
All the remedies usually successful in such cases were employed with
little or no effect, and we were feeling somewhat perplexed concerning
the case, when the young lady sent for us one day and upon our going
to her room in answer to her call she immediately burst into tears and
acknowledged that she had been addicted to the habit of self-abuse and
that she was still suffering from involuntary excitement during sleep.
Having been placed in a boarding-school when quite young, she had there
learned the vile habit, and had practiced it without knowing anything
of the ill effects or really appreciating its sinfulness. When she
learned, some years after, that the habit was a most pernicious vice
and of a character to bring destruction to both soul and body of one
addicted to it, she endeavored to free herself from its shackles; but
she found herself too securely bound for escape. It seemed, indeed,
an utter impossibility. Her thoughts had long been allowed to run in
sentimental channels, and now they would do so in spite of the most
earnest efforts to the contrary, during her waking hours; and in sleep,
while the will power was not active, the imagination would run riot
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