Monday 24 June 2013

Hints on your Health


As soon as you are up, shake blankets and sheet,
Better be without shoes, than sit with wet feet;
Children, if healthy, are active not still,
Damp beds, and damp clothes will both make you ill;
Eat slowly, and always chew your food well.
Fresh the air in the house where you dwell;
Garments must never be made to be tight;
Homes will be healthy if airy and light;
If you wish to be well, as you do I've doubt,
Just open the windows before you go out;
Keep your rooms always tidy and clean,
Let dust on the furniture never be seen;
Much illness is caused by the want of pure air,
Now to open your windows be ever your care.
Old rags and old rubbish should never be kept,
People should see that their floor are well swept;
Quick movements in children are healthy and right,
Remember the young cannot thrive without light.
See that the cistern is clean to the brim,
Take care that your dress is all tidy and trim;
Use your nose to find out if there be a bad drain,
Very sad are the fevers that came in its train.
Walk as much as you can without feeling fatigue,
Xerxes could walk for full many a league.
Your health is your wealth, which your wisdom must keep,
Zeal will help a good cause, and the good you will reap.

London: Jarrold and Sons, 3 Paternoster Buildings,
The Ladies' Sanitary Association, 22, Berners Street, Oxford Street, W.


[an undated publication from the Ladies Sanitary Association (1857-1900), courtesy of Liverpool Records Office]


  1. Do you happen to know what year this is from? Sounds as though the Miasma theory still has pretty strong sway, but maybe that's just because I have been reading about it all day.

  2. Undated, but they were producing pamphlets all the way from early 1860s onwards ... belief in miasma continued pretty much throughout the century ... germ theory only made a very modest dent in it before 1900.