A short time ago, the London Times gave an account of an old lady more than eighty years of age who had cut her third set of teeth, and her features, it is said, have now the juvenescence of thirty years. Many such facts could be collected. We are therefore bound, perhaps, to give credence to certain good authorities when they assert that such natural changes have occurred in the entire body, that the powers of youth have been restored to persons with whom they have been familiar. "Velescus de Taranta (let us by all means cite authorities) relates that there was an abbess in the nunnery at Monviedra, who reached the great age of a hundred years, and was then very infirm; but the lost powers of nature unexpectedly came back to her. Black hairs sprouted from her head, and the white hairs were thrown off ; all the teeth returned into her mouth ; wrinkles were lost from her face ; her bosom swelled, and she became at last as fresh and lovely as she had been at the age of thirty. Many flocked to see this marvel, and no doubt paid for the privilege ; but the abbess did not readily suffer herself to be seen, for she was ashamed (she said) of the recollections that her restored beauty awakened." It is also asserted that there are means in nature of restoring youth. In Household Words, it is said, that there is a fountain in the Island of Bonica which restores youth to those who drink its waters. Certain of the inferior animals are also acquainted with herbs that restore youth to them ; the stag recovers it by eating snakes, and the snakes recover it by eating fennel. Italian ladies used to eat snake-meat, in order to retain their freshness and youth. Johnston, in his Chemistry of Common Life, says—" Before a Circassian beauty is sent to the seraglio at Constantinople, she eats about an ounce of a very choice and peculiar description of manna (the Sinai manna), every day for eight or ten weeks. This has the effect of imparting em-lonpoint—or rather, of beautifully rounding all the angles of the human frame ; and without the least exaggeration the result is a form as beautiful as a living Venus de Medicis. This manna is also much esteemed in Syria as a remedy for affections of the chest." Roast hare is also said to be a great preserver of beauty. Several -well-authenticated instances are likewise recorded of rapid change in the color of the hair. By an inscription on a tombstone at Breslau, it appears that one John Montanus, who was a dean there, recovered the color of his hair three times. It is next to impossible to deny the great age of the patriarchs-of Methuselah, of Cainan, and of Enos. That they passed into age at the ordinary period of life familiar to us, and then continued with the same appearance of age and decrepitude for the remainder of their days, is not probable ; far more reasonable is it to suppose that they recovered their youthful powers at certain periods, like a plant that putteth on youth every spring. In our " seventh age" we not unfrequently again become " childish." Does it therefore appear incredible or impossible than man may occasionally, after his threescore years and ten, again exhibit the powers and physical qualities of youth ? SEPTIMUS PIESSE.
This article was originally published with the title "Encouragement to Old Folks at Home"