Page images

How":Anesthetics "Ahnul Pain

of the nineteenth century was made


the cells of the gray matter of the brain

cortex. It is familiar knowledge that when NE of the most important discoveries the blood is shut off from the brain, unoi

consciousness immediately results. Experiin this country awty back in the forties. ments show that pressure on the large arThis was the discovery of the pain-annulling teries in the neck may produce unconsciousproperty of sulphuric ether, the demon- ness in a few seconds. stration of which was made at the Mas- Although the anesthetic does not shut the sachusetts General Hospital by Dr. William blood off from the brain, it produces an T. G. Morton in 1846.

equivalent effect by so combining with the Dr. Horace Wells, of Hartford, Connec- brain cells that their affinity for oxygen is ticut, had used nitrous oxide (“laughing temporarily abolished. gas”) in dentistry even earlier; and there But when the oxygen supply of a cell is were other claimants to a share in the honor shut off, the cell quickly develops products of this momentous discovery, but they were that are virtually poisons. The province of all Americans. The application of chloroform oxygen is to combine with these poisons, to the same use was made subsequently by thus neutralizing them, and to carry them an Englishman, Dr. Simpson; but of course to the lungs where they are exhaled. Unthis utilization of a second drug did not for less such removal of the waste products can a moment rank in importance with the first be constantly carried out, the cell cannot demonstration made by Morton.

functionate normally. And inasmuch as It is somewhat surprising that the three the normal functioning of the cell of the drugs used at the outset, when anesthesia brain cortex (outer layer of gray matter) is was first introduced, should still hold their essential to the manifestation of consciousown as practically the only general an- ness, it follows that when the brain cells are esthetics in common use among surgeons. clogged by the anesthetic, consciousness is Cocaine has, indeed, been introduced as a eliminated. local anesthetic, and, recently, injections of When an anesthetic is inhaled for a long stovaine into the spinal canal have been time, other cells than the nerve cells graduutilized in selected cases; but for the general ally become involved, and the time will purposes of the surgeon, ether and choloro- come when the tissues as a whole are so form are still the standard anesthetics as vitiated as to cause death. As administhey were sixty years ago.

tered by the surgeon, however, the quantity There has been great progress, however, of anesthetic is regulated, so that only the in the method of administering the drugs, brain cells are pronouncedly involved.

. It in particular, Dr. Gwathmey's recent use is the peculiar and not very clearly exof heated vapors of ether and chloroform plained affinity of the brain cells for the supplemented with pure oxygen. But while drug that makes the practical application the technique of the use of anesthetics has of anesthetics possible. been thus perfected, the method of their Professor Verworn explains that the conaction has remained a mystery. New light dition of anesthesia as thus interpreted is has now been thrown on the subject, how- quite different from the condition of normal ever, by the researches of Professor Max Ver- sleep. In the latter, the supply of oxygen is worn, Director of the Physiological Labora- not withheld from the brain cells, it is only tories at Göttingen, who announced the re- restricted in amount, chiefly through a gensults of his investigations in a recent lecture eral reduction of the intracranial blood before the New York Academy of Medicine. supply, and the waste products that have

Professor Verworn ascribed the action of accumulated through hours of activity are the anesthetics to their peculiar affinity for removed.

[ocr errors]

The Price


George Broadhurst

Has a woman, when she enters into marriage, the right to claim from her husband the same leniency with regard to her past that he expects from her with regard to his? This is the question that is brought up in George Broadhurst's play, The Price, the story of which is given below. It is the old story of a woman's vain attempt to bury her sin as a man is allowed to bury his

NTO the life of Stannard Dole, an solicitously about the artist's breakfast

artist whose pictures do not sell be- has it been well prepared? It has; but cause they lack something, comes the Dole discounts material considerations in gifted Ethel Toscani, a young woman the contemplation of his wife's untidy

whose mother was English and whose appearance. He reproaches her for it father was a cultured Italian of the Bohe- sharply, and the dialogue becomes so unmian type. Dole, who had laid aside his pleasant that Ethel finally leaves the room. art for literature, has taken up painting To his wife's contention that she is not again; and now his pictures are selling to more attractive because she has lost all charm such good effect that he has become famous in trying to make his home comfortable, and prosperous.

Dole replies that, on the contrary, her loss Despite the high station that the artist of charm is due to her own carelessness and occupies, he has never been able to impress laziness; she simply has not made any effort Mrs. Dole—a woman in caliber the very to keep her youth and whatever good looks opposite of Ethel Toscani—with the neces- she had or to cultivate her mind by an intersity or the desirability of living as a lady est in intellectual pursuits. Mrs. Dole reshould. She was born to household drudg- torts by hinting her suspicion that the ery in her mother's boarding-house, and in change in her husband, which has enabled housework she finds the summum bonum of him to become a successful artist, is due to life. She is dowdy, slovenly in intellect, some cause that she does not yet understand, unesthetic; deadly materialistic in a sordid but that she intends to ferret it out. Dole and spiritless way. These qualities are all tries to explain it as a natural development, brought out in the opening scene, in which but his wife is unconvinced. she is showing Susan, the new housemaid, Mrs. Dole leaves, and the reëntrance of how to do the work. Ethel Toscani, who is Ethel Toscani puts the spectator in posDole's secretary, is present also, and her session of the secret that she and Dole have sympathy for the new maid, who has just been more to each other than employer and come out of the hospital and is far from employee, more than artist and secretary. strong, is sharply contrasted with Mrs. Dole addresses Ethel as “Dear," and atDole's harshness.

tempts to embrace her; but the girl points Susan goes out, and a moment later warningly to the door through which Mrs. Stannard Dole, a well-groomed, clean-cut

Dole has just gone. man of thirty-nine, comes in.

The jarring note between husband and DoleThis has got to end. She must wife is at once sounded. Mrs. Dole asks

agree to a divorce.


[ocr errors]

Ethel-She won't.

He then pleads with her to let him anDole-But when I tell her that I love nounce their engagement. When is this some one else —

secrecy to end, he asks; even though there Ethel-She will never release you merely is no harm in it, it is hateful to him because that you may be happy. Why should she? it savors of deception. Why should they You haven't thought of her side. I have. not meet openly as lovers instead of as mere

Dole-You talk almost as though you acquaintances. Ethel begs him to wait didn't want me to be free. Is that the rea- just a little longer. son for the change that has come over you lately?

EthelWe've been perfectly happy with Ethel-Please! It would be easier if she just a clasp of the hand which no one saw, were younger and more attractive. She å few whispered words that no one heard, might hope then to find a man who would a stolen kiss-like this—(kisses him). That's love her. What chance has she now? romance. That's fairyland. Once we leave

it, the gates close forever. Let us stay in it Fortunately for Ethel, interruption comes a little longer, dear, just a little. in the shape of a call from Professor Damer- Doctor-Very well. This is Thursdayoff, a mutual friend, a critic and a philoso- I won't announce our engagement till Monpher of sorts. He is a Russian, with a Rus- day. But on Monday, I shall. sian's belief in fatality. He is a man of the Ethel-(.Alarmed) Monday? world, with a broad point of view for its laws Doctor-Yes. of morality and for those who transgress Ethel-If I should-forbid it? them. He was a friend of Ethel's father, Doctor-Do you? and throughout the play he acts as her com- Ethel-If I should? forter and adviser, and finally as her confi- Doctor--I should think that there must be dant. The Professor has come in to see some special reason and I should want to Dole's new picture-the triumph of Love know what it is.

know what it is. Do you forbid it? I'm over Ambition. The short scene in which right, dear. You know I am. We love he expresses his admiration for it is inter- each other. You're to be my wife. To rupted by a call on the telephone, which re- keep it secret any longer seems like deceitveals the fact that Dole has called in the not intentional or wrong deceit—I know services of a brilliant young surgeon, who that-at the same time I can't help a feeling has recently returned from an extended stay that there's something underhanded about abroad, and that the artist is to undergo an it and that goes against the grain. So we'll examination, probably preliminary to an say Monday, shall we, dear? (Pause) operation. The surgeon is Ethan Bristol, Shall we? and the mention of his name is greatly EthelYes, we'll say Monday. disturbing to Ethel. The thought that Bristol is to operate on Dole seems to After Bristol has gone to his patient, obsess her.

Ethel confesses her fears to Professor DamEvents move more rapidly now.

eroff. She tells him that Bristol is deterscene between Ethel and the Professor, the mined to announce their engagement on fact is brought out that Ethel no longer Monday. The Professor advises her to loves Dole, but that she loves Bristol, the tell Ethan the truth about her relations surgeon, and has promised to marry him. with Dole, but she refuses. She is afraid

Soon afterward the surgeon arrives, and that he will never forgive her. She is there is some talk regarding the nature of praying for some means of escape from her Dole's ailment. Dr. Bristol declares that dilemma. there is slight danger, since ninety-three per cent. of such operations are successful. EthelThere must be a way out-there He expects to make a thorough examination must be! of the artist, and then probably to perform Professor-Fate nearly always finds a an operation for mastoiditis. Presently, means of escape, if one is willing to pay her the Professor makes some excuse to leave price, but she drives a hard bargain, and she Dr. Bristol and Ethel alone. Ethel immedi- exacts the last penny. ately goes to the Doctor, who takes her in Ethel-I'd pay any price she asked, and his arms and kisses her.

pay it willingly! Any price! Any!

In a


will you?

The Doctor, returning from his patient, You won't stand in the way of my happiness, interrupts them. He declares that an operation is necessary, but that Dole is in no Dole-You love--you- (With a gasp he condition to bear it. His heart is weak, sinks in chair) and any sudden shock would kill him.

Ethel-Dead! and I have- (She stops Then follows a scene between Ethel and terrified and uncertain what course to follow. Dole. He declares that he is going to reveal Pause. She goes to the door and starts to call the situation to his wife that very day. Ethan, but only says) Eth- No, I couldn't She pleads with him frantically.

explain! I couldn't explain! Ethel —You shan't-I tell you!

ACT II DoleWhy shan't I? It is my one chance and I am going to take it. Why should I More than a year has elapsed when the be miserable for the rest of my life. I am action of the second act begins. The rising entitled to my happiness and I'm going to curtain discloses the living room in the get it if I can.

home of Dr. Bristol, to whom Ethel has (Dole's announcement that he intends to tell been married for some months. A guest his wife that day for the time drives from for the evening is present in the person of Ethel's head the thought of the shock against Professor Dameroff

, and a lively conversawhich the doctor has warned her)

tion ensues between him and Florence Ethel-Am I entitled to mine?

Bromley, a lovely young girl of about Dole-Yes.

twenty, for whom Dr. Bristol has made a Ethel-Even though to get it I sacrifice place in his home upon the death of Floranother's pleasure?

ence's father. Susan also appears, inDole-Certainly.

stalled as maid to Ethel (Mrs. Bristol), for EthelYou are quite sure?

whom she expresses the deepest devotion. Dole-Quite.

Dr. Bristol is out, answering a profesEthelThen I will take it.

sional call. Presently Ethel appears, FlorDole-Of course you will.

ence being seated at the piano in the music Ethel-But not with


Stannard. room, which can be seen through the open (Pause)

doors at the rear. Dole-(Puzzled) Not with me?

Professor Dameroff suggests to Ethel Ethel-No; I can't take my happiness that it was generous of her to admit Miss with you—because I don't love you. Bromley to her home so soon after her marDole-Ethel !

riage. He has known brides who would not EthelI don't love you. I never did. I have been so generous. only thought that I did. But I do love another man, and I am going to have my EthelWhy not? happiness with him. Now do you under- Professor-We Russians have a proverb stand?

which says, “There should be no third in the Dole-(Gasping) You love-you-love- nest till the fledging comes." (The shock of which the Doctor spoke has come) Ethel-When I think of what love has

Ethel-I don't want to hurt you—you meant to others and when I consider what know that-but I must tell you the truth it has brought to me when I think that to now. I love Ethan Bristol and have prom- some it has meant untold misery, while to me ised to marry him. (Ethel, not realizing it has brought such wonderful happiness, what she has done, thinks that Dole's speech then I realize how fortunate I am-and I and manner result only from the revelation she wonder—I wonder if Fate will demand her has just made)

price. Dole-It's a lie!

Professor-Why think of such a thing? Ethel-It's the truth, Stannard. He is Ethel-You said she always did. Do you going to announce our engagement on

believe that? Monday.

Professor-I believe there is somethingDole-E-E-Ethan

call it what you will—that, at times, takes Elhel-Yes, I love him with all my heart from our fingers the threads of our lives and and soul, with every breath I draw, with weaves them into the universal pattern every drop of blood that is in my body! which it has designed.



[graphic][ocr errors]


Mrs. Dole-Oh, I know you're making a lot of money and that I could set down in a fine dress and fold

my hands, but I simply can't do it.
Mr. Dole-I suppose not.
Mrs. DoleI'm four years older than you are, just four, and I look at least ten.
Dole-And whose fault is it?
Mrs. Dole-Mine. I've done it trying to make you comfortable

EthelIf this should be one of the times? begs off from being teased. Ultimately,

Professor-How could it be? There is Dr. Bristol appears; and then, with the but one person through whom Fate could introduction of the subject of a new housework.

keeper, the happy domestic atmosphere beEthel-Mrs. Dole.

comes surcharged with the air of impending

tragedy. In the passages that follow, Ethel betrays Ethel, it seems, has found one tiny gnat the tenderest affection for Florence, whom in her very large jar of domestic honey she teases at length on the score of being household accounts are a bore and an enhard to suit, so far as men are concerned. igma to her. Her husband has observed this, Although she has introduced Florence to all and now he surprises Ethel with the anthe eligible young men she knows, declares nouncement that he will relieve her of all Ethel, none of them calls more than once or that in the future: he has engaged a housetwice. True, there was one, Ambrose Lor- keeper for her. Ethel expresses the greatrimer, who called with promising regularity est delight and can hardly wait to learn defor a while. Then, of a sudden, he too, like tails. Her joy changes to utter dismay a the rest, stopped coming. Ethel wants to moment later, when Dr. Bristol discloses the know what is the reason, and Florence re- identity of the new member of the household plies airily that she has her ideal, and then - Mrs. Dole—and follows this up with the

« PreviousContinue »