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Title: The Eastern, or Turkish Bath
Author: Wilson, Erasmus
Language: English
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Popular Series.


  HEALTHY SKIN: a Popular Treatise on the Skin and Hair, their
  Preservation and Management. Foolscap 8vo, Sixth Edition. 2s. 6d.


  Foolscap 8vo. 2s. 6d.


  THE EASTERN, OR TURKISH BATH: its History, Revival in Britain, and
  Application to the Purposes of Health. Foolscap 8vo. 2s.

  an Appendix on the Nature and Uses of Mineral Waters. Post 8vo,
  cloth, 6s. 6d.

  cloth, 10s. 6d.

Medical Series.

  PORTRAITS OF DISEASES OF THE SKIN. Folio. Twelve fasciculi, 20s.
  each, half-bound, £13.

  ON DISEASES OF THE SKIN. Fourth Edition. 8vo, cloth, 16s.; or, with
  Coloured Plates, 34s.

  ON RINGWORM; its Pathology and Treatment. 12mo. With a Plate, cloth,

  THE ANATOMIST'S VADEMECUM: a System of Human Anatomy. Eighth Edition.
  Foolscap 8vo, cloth, 12s. 6d.

  Edition. 12mo, cloth, 12s. 6d.

  ANATOMICAL PLATES; illustrating the Structure of the Human Body.
  Edited by JONES QUAIN, M.D., and ERASMUS WILSON, F.R.S. Folio. Five



                             TURKISH BATH.



                             TURKISH BATH:

                   Its History, Revival in Britain,


                      APPLICATION TO THE PURPOSES



                        ERASMUS WILSON, F.R.S.




It is now about twelve months since, that my attention was first
attracted to the EASTERN BATH. I thought I knew as much of baths as
most men: I knew the hot, the warm, the tepid, and the cold; the
vapour, the air, the gaseous, the medicated, and the mud bath; the
natural and the artificial; the shower, the firework, the needle,
the douche, and the wave bath; the fresh-river bath and the salt-sea
bath, and many more beside: I knew their slender virtues, and their
stout fallacies; they had my regard, but not my confidence; and I was
not disposed to yield easily to any reputed advantages that might be
represented to me in favour of baths. Mr. Urquhart talked to me, but
without producing any other than a passing impression; he had, many
years before, illustrated, under my observation, the beneficial effects
of heat and moisture on his own person; but it bore no fruits in me;
for where could I find another man who would submit to a process of
so much severity? Without being prejudiced against the whole family
of baths, I was not to be enticed into any belief or trust in them,
without some positive and undoubted proof. Such was the state of my
opinion with regard to baths, when an earnest man, with truth flashing
from his eyes, one day stood before me, and challenged me to the trial
of the Eastern Bath. I would, if no engagement occurred to prevent me.
"Let nothing stand in your way, for there are few things of common life
of more importance!" was the appeal of my visitor. "On Saturday, at
four o'clock?" "So be it." And on Saturday, at four o'clock, with the
punctuality of Nelson, I stood in Mr. George Witt's Thermæ.

To George Witt, F.R.S., the metropolis is indebted for a knowledge
of the Eastern Bath. Mr. Urquhart struck the spark in "The Pillars
of Hercules;" Dr. Barter caught it in Ireland, and fanned it into a
blaze; another spark was attracted by Mr. George Crawshay and Sir John
Fife, and burst into a flame in Newcastle-on-Tyne and the North of
England. Mr. Urquhart himself applied the match in Lancashire; but Mr.
George Witt introduced the Bath to London and its mighty ones. Rank,
intellect, learning, art, all met, as companions of the new "order of
the Bath," in Prince's Terrace, Hyde Park. And all will remember, with
kindness and affection, the generous disinterestedness and earnest
truthfulness of their host.

When I stepped into the Calidarium for the first time; when I
experienced the soothing warmth of the atmosphere; when, afterwards,
I perceived the gradual thaw of the rigid frame, the softening of the
flesh, the moistening of the skin, the rest of the stretched cords of
the nervous system, the abatement of aches and pains, the removal of
fatigue, and the calm flow of imagination and thought,--I understood
the meaning of my friend's zeal, and I discovered that there was one
Bath that deserved to be set apart from the rest--that deserved,
indeed, a careful study and investigation.

The Bath that cleanses the inward as well as the outward man, that is
applicable to every age, that is adapted to make health healthier,
and alleviate disease whatever its stage or severity, deserves to be
regarded as a national institution, and merits the advocacy of all
men, and particularly of medical men; of those whose special duty it
is to teach how health may be preserved, how disease may be averted.
My own advocacy of the Bath is directed mainly to its adoption as a
social custom, as a cleanly habit; and, on this ground, I would press
it upon the attention of every thinking man. But, if, besides bestowing
physical purity and enjoyment, it tend to preserve health, to prevent
disease, and even to cure disease, the votary of the Bath will receive
a double reward.

Having, in my own person, and in the experience afforded me by its
regular use, become convinced of the power and importance of the
Bath, I felt it to be a duty to make my impressions known to the
Medical Profession. With this object I addressed an essay, entitled,
"Thermo-therapeia, the Heat-cure," to the British Medical Association,
at their meeting at Torquay in August, 1860. In this paper, I urged
upon the members of the medical profession, particularly in the
provinces and rural districts, to erect a bath for themselves, as
an auxiliary armament against disease, as an addition to their
pharmacopœia; and to give their support to the establishment in every
village and hamlet in Britain of an Eastern Bath.

In September, 1860, I was invited to address a paper on the "Revival of
the Eastern Bath, and its Application to the Purposes of Health," to
the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, at their
meeting in Glasgow; an abstract of that paper will be found in the
second chapter of this treatise. And, having subsequently been called
upon to deliver a popular lecture at the Parochial Institution of
Richmond, I penned the historical account of the Bath which is embodied
in the first chapter. This explanation I hope my readers will accept
as accounting for a certain degree of repetition which occurs in this
volume; and which, without the devotion of more time to the labour than
I have at my disposal, could not be avoided.

It will be guessed, and with truth, that I am no longer a sceptic of
the value of the Bath, when the Bath embraces the virtues which are
possessed by the Eastern Bath. That it is a source of much enjoyment
may be inferred from the suddenness with which it has spread through
the metropolis of London. Turkish Baths meet our eye in almost every
quarter of the town, and three Companies have been formed, or are
in course of formation, for the establishment of Eastern Baths on
correct principles. One of these Companies, under the presidency of
Mr. Stewart Rolland, professes to draw its inspiration directly from
Constantinople, and will take, as its especial model, the Turkish Bath.

When adopted as a social custom, the Turkish model is clearly that
which ought to be imitated, on account of the moderate temperature
which belongs to it. The higher temperatures are upon their trial;
they are not a necessity of the process, they may have their uses in
disease; but it would be best to treat them with caution, or, as a
medicine, leave them wholly in medical hands. The Bath for the public
should be one that they may adopt with as much safety as the basin of
water with which they wash their hands.

The use of an elevated temperature is founded on the well-known power
of heat of destroying organic impurity--such as odour, miasma, and
animal poison. But, in this acceptation, when applied to the human
body, it becomes a medicine of the most potent kind; and should,
therefore, be left to medical management.

  _Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square,
              March, 1861._



  Ground-plan of the Palæstra or Gymnasium of the
  Greeks: after Vitruvius                                      p. xix

  Plan of the Roman Thermæ, from a drawing taken from
  the walls of the Baths of Titus                              p. xxi

  The Hypocaustum of the Roman Bath at Chester                 p. xxiii

  The Calidarium of Mr. George Witt's Bath                     p. xxv

  Mr. Urquhart's Bath at Riverside                             p. xxvii

  Ground-plan of my own Bath at Richmond Hill                  p. xxix

  The Dureta; the Moorish, and probably Phœnician,
  Couch, adopted by the Emperor Augustus                       p. xxxi

  The person reclining on this couch is so completely supported
  that he feels as though he were suspended in air.


  THE BATH, an animal instinct; coeval with the earliest existence
  of man; common to every rank; a ceremony of his
  birth, and a funereal rite; discovery of thermal springs;
  the Scamander; commemoration of the hot-bath by Homer;
  the hot-baths of Hercules; estimation of hot-baths by the
  Phœdrians; frequency of thermal springs; Hamâms of
  the East, Hamâm Ali, near ancient Nineveh; Hamâm
  Meskhoutin in Algeria; Baths of Nero in Italy; German
  thermal springs, Carlsbad, Wiesbaden, Ems, Aix-la-Chapelle;
  the Geysers of Iceland; thermal springs of Amsterdam
  Island; of America; of England, Bath, Bristol,
  Buxton, Matlock                                              pp. 1-5

  Primitive idea of the artificial hot-vapour bath; Bath of the
  American Indians; ancient Irish Bath, or sweating-house,
  the Tig Allui; Mexican Bath; Moorish Bath; the Hypocaust     pp. 5-9

  Eastern origin of the bath; Mr. Urquhart's discovery of the
  vestiges of the Phœnician Bath among the ruins of Baalbeck;
  Syrian Bath; Gazul, its nature and properties; Gazul and the
  Strigil derived from Mauritania; probable irradiation of the
  knowledge of the bath from Phœnicia                          pp. 9-12

  Hypocaust of the Moorish, Mexican, Greek, and Roman Bath;
  the only method of heating houses in Greece and Rome; the
  common practice in China; Chinese vapour bath,               pp. 12-13

  Baths of Greece; Gymnasia; Gymnasium or Palæstra; Lyceum
  Academia; Cynosarges                                         pp. 14-18

  Thermæ and Balneæ of Rome; Baths of Agrippa, Titus, Paulus
  Æmilius, Diocletian, and Caracalla; magnificence of the
  Roman Thermæ; Roman Baths of England; decline of the
  bath in Rome; construction of the Roman Bath; excessive
  indulgence in the bath by the Romans; Pliny's description
  of his own bath; Seneca's reproof of the luxury and wanton
  extravagance of the Romans                                   pp. 18-29

  Roman Baths of England; Uriconium; Chester                   pp. 29-33

  The bath lost by the Romans; preserved by the Turks; the
  Turkish Hamâm; construction of the Hamâm; costume of
  the bath; mode of taking the bath; the outer Hall, or
  Mustaby, the middle room, the inner room; shampooing;
  rolling and peeling the scarf-skin; soaping and rinsing;
  return to the Mustaby; the couch of repose; special characteristics
  of the Turkish Hamâm--vapoury atmosphere,
  low temperature; the Turkish process contrasted with the
  Roman; the order, the decorum, the dignity of the Turkish
  Bath; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's description of the
  Women's Bath in Turkey                                       pp. 33-46

  The Egyptian Bath; the Bath of Siout; the Bath at Cairo;
  Mr. Thackeray's experiences; Egyptian shampooing; M.
  Savary's description of the Egyptian Bath and Egyptian
  shampooing; its intellectual and medicative properties;
  Tournefort's experience                                      pp. 46-50

  Introduction of the Turkish Bath to Britain; Mr. Urquhart
  and the "Pillars of Hercules"; Mr. Urquhart's advocacy
  of the Bath; Mr. Urquhart erects a bath at Blarney for
  Dr. Richard Barter; spread of the Turkish Bath in
  Ireland                                                      pp. 50-52

  Pioneers of the Bath in England, Mr. Urquhart, Mr. George
  Crawshay, Sir John Fife, Mr. George Witt, Mr. Stewart
  Rolland; private Turkish Baths in England; Mr. Witt's
  Bath; construction; process of the bath; costume of the
  bath; "Companions of the Bath;" first impressions; effect
  of the Bath in the removal of pain                           pp. 52-55

  The delights of free perspiration; differences between the practised
  bather and the neophyte; thirst; beads upon the rose;
  counting our beads; freedom of perspiration in labourers
  exposed to high temperatures; a nutritive drink              pp. 55-58

  Temperature of the bath; mutual relations between temperature,
  size of apartment, moisture of atmosphere, and number
  of bathers; temperature relative to these conditions; effects
  of temperature in water, vapour, and air; man's capability
  of supporting temperatures of remarkable altitude in dry
  air; Mr. Urquhart's Laconicum; Sir Charles Blagden's experiments;
  Sir Francis Chantrey's oven; Chabert, the Fire
  King                                                         pp. 58-61

  The best temperature for the purposes of Health; practice of
  the Romans, who lost the bath, compared with that of the
  Turks, who have preserved it; philosophy of the bath;
  talking and thinking to be avoided in the bath; inconveniences
  of the bath to the novitiate; the cause and its
  remedy; advice; peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of constitution;
  wisdom of the Turks                                          pp. 61, 63

  Duration of the bath; influenced by temperature and idiosyncrasy,
                                                               pp. 63-64

  Second operation of the bath; shampooing; proper moment for
  the process; the Turkish process; the Moorish process;
  Captain Clark Kennedy's description of the Moorish Bath,
  and the operation of shampooing; the British shampooer,      pp. 64-72

  Third operation of the bath; the peeling of the scarf-skin;
  manner of performance; the camel's-hair or goat's-hair
  glove                                                        pp. 72-74

  Fourth operation of the bath; soaping; the wisp of lyf; the
  warm shower; the cold douche; alternate hot and cold
  douche; closure of the pores; restoration of the warmth of
  the skin                                                     pp. 74-76

  The Frigidarium; the process of cooling; the purified skin;
  sensations after the bath; the ordinary dress resumed;
  illustration of the use and effects of the bath in dispelling
  the cravings of hunger and fatigue                           pp. 77-79

  Mr. Urquhart's bath; the Laconicum; the spiracle of sweet
  perfumes; the Lavatrina; the cold pool; the hot and cold
  douche; breakfast; _kuscoussoo_; the chemistry of the preparation
  of food; its value to man                                    pp. 79-87

  My own bath at Richmond Hill                                 pp. 88-89



  General idea of the bath; and of its sanitary application; its
  popularity with the working classes                          pp. 90-92

  Construction of the bath, illustrated by the description of Mr.
  Witt's bath; the Calidarium; the heating apparatus; materials
  of construction; the flue; the _dureta_; Mr. Stewart
  Rolland's bath; the Lavatorium; the Frigidarium,             pp. 93-102

  Operation of the bath; costume of the bath; sensations of
  the bath; perspiration; the body washed in its own moisture;
  unpleasant sensations; contrast of the uneducated
  and educated skin; object of the bath; use of the cold
  douche; the cooling and drying process                       pp. 103-110

  Sanitary purposes of the bath; importance of the skin in the
  animal economy; structure and functions of the skin; exposure
  of the skin to the air; resistance of cold; costume of
  ancient Britons; defensive powers of the bath against catarrh;
  weakening of the skin by clothing; comparison of
  physical qualities of healthy and unhealthy skin; sensibility
  of the skin; hardening of the skin; nutritive properties of
  the skin; training; influence of the bath in the prevention
  of disease; curative powers of the bath                      pp. 111-127



  Proper employment of the bath; proper temperature; proper
  time for taking the bath; duration and frequency of taking
  the bath; customs of the Moslem; unfounded apprehension
  of taking "cold;" the bath cannot give cold; disturbance
  of nutritive function occasioned by the bath; strengthening
  and restoring properties of the bath: Mr. Urquhart's evidence;
  Sir Alexander Burnes's evidence; health of shampooers        pp. 128-141

  Medical properties of the bath; on what principles founded;
  its chemical and electrical powers; its preservation of the
  balance of the nutritive functions; it supersedes the necessity
  for exercise; estimation of the medical powers of the
  bath in Turkey; its influence in producing longevity; it
  removes fat; gives power of exercise; removes rheumatism,
  and cures spasm and cramp; example of cure of wry-neck,      pp. 141-152



  Adaptation of the Turkish Bath to the horse, dog, oxen, cows,
  sheep, swine, &c.; its application to the purpose of training;
  Mr. Goodwin's management of horses after severe exercise;
  his remarks on the use of the bath in the stable,            pp. 153-159

  The skin a respiratory organ; ventilation of the skin; clipping
  and singeing horses                                          pp. 159-161

  Dr. Barter's application of the bath to the treatment of the
  diseases of animals; report of a committee appointed to
  inquire into the utility of Dr. Barter's bath for the cure of
  distemper in cattle                                          pp. 162-164

  Observations on the use of the bath; and rules to be followed
  in taking it                                                 pp. 165-167

VITRUVIUS. (Page 15.)

_a a._ The portico. _b._ The Ephebeum, the room of the Ephebi or
youths, _c._ The Apodyterium and Gymnasterium. _d._ The Elaiothesium,
or anointing room. _e._ The Konisterium, or dusting room. _f f._ The
hot baths. _g._ The stove or Laconicum. _h._ The cold bath. _i._ The
Peristylium or Piazza, which includes the Sphæristerium, and Palestra.
_k k._ Xysti. _l l._ Xysticus silvis. _m._ The Stadium.]


_a._ The Frigidarium, or cool room. _b._ The Tepidarium, or room of
middle temperature. _c._ The Calidarium, sudatorium, or concamerata
sudatio; around this apartment are seen several ranges of platforms of
marble. _d._ A vaulted stove, covered by an arched cover, _clipeus_:
this stove gave additional heat to the part of the room wherein it
was situated, and constituted the Laconicum. _e._ The Lavatorium
or Balneum; there are marble platforms in this apartment, and in
its centre is an open bath, called, from its large everted lip upon
which the bather sat, _labrum_. _g g._ The Hypocaustum. _h._ The room
in which the water is stored and heated. In the uppermost vase the
water is cold, as is indicated by the absence of fire beneath it. In
the second vase the water is warm, being placed at a considerable
height above the fire. In the lowest vase the water is hot. _i._ The
Elaiothesium, or anointing room, from which the bather passes to the
Vestiarium or Spoliatorium.]


In the foreground are seen three of the short pillars or _pilæ_, with
square shafts and expanded heads and bases. Between these more distant
pilæ are visible, seemingly arranged in rows. The floor on which the
burning embers lay is uneven; while the roof, which is the under part
of the floor of the bath, exhibits evidences of the corroding action of
the fire. The Hypocaustum, in the Roman Thermæ, occupied the whole of
the under surface of the Calidarium, and the ruins bear evidence of the
use of fires of prodigious extent.]

[Illustration: MR. GEORGE WITT'S BATH; THE CALIDARIUM. (Page 53.)

_a._ The entrance door. _b._ A small window looking into the
Frigidarium; a gas lamp, for use at night, is seen through the pane.
_c._ A thick plate of glass in the outer wall, for admitting light. _d
d._ Ventilating holes; the lower one is furnished with a wooden plug.
_e._ The masonry which encloses the furnace. _f._ The flue, proceeding
from the furnace along the side of the room. _g g._ The flue crossing
the end of the room. _h._ The flue returning along the opposite side
of the room. _i._ The ascending flue. _k._ The flue crossing above the
furnace, and then ascending, _l l_, the angle of the room, to terminate
in the chimney. _f g g h_, support a wooden seat, on which the bathers
sit; along the front of this seat, as at _f_, _h_, are perforated tiles
and spaces, which give passage to the heated air. _m._ The warm water
tank. _n n._ A platform, which also serves as a seat; the feet resting
on the step _o o_. _p p._ The _dureta_; the letters are placed on the
feet of the couch. The floor is tesselated; and on the seat are seen
two wooden basins, containing soap and a bunch of _lyf_.]


_a._ The door of entrance. _b._ The ceiling of the vestibule of the
Bath. The side or rather the end of the vestibule _c_ is occupied by an
immense sheet of plate glass, through which are seen the Frigidarium,
and the window of the Frigidarium, with a trellis of roses beyond. _d._
The floor of the vestibule. _e e._ One side of the great Hall of the
Bath. _f._ A step covered with a Turkish towel. _g._ A platform, under
which the hypocaust, _h h_, extends from one side to the other of the
Hall. _i._ An ornamental grating, through which heated air enters the
Hall directly from the furnace. _k k._ The tent, or enclosed chamber
immediately over the furnace, where the highest degree of heat exists;
the Laconicum. _l._ A couch, of lower temperature, but still hot,
from being over the hypocaust. _m._ The spiracle of perfume from the
mignionette bed. _n._ The floor of the Hall. _o._ The Lavatrina. _p._
A couch of less heat than _l_. _q._ Steps leading to the pool of cold
water. _r._ The piscina or cold pool.]


_a a._ Front wall. _b._ Door of entrance from a lobby, leading from
the Frigidarium. _c._ Vestibule. _d._ Inner door. _e e._ Spiracles or
ventilators. _f._ Mouth of the furnace. _g._ Furnace of fire-brick,
enclosed in a jacket of hollow brick. _h h h._ Flue. _i._ Chimney. _k._
Returned flue, supporting a tank for warm water. _l l._ Outer wall; the
dark shade between _l h_, and _l k_, indicates the interval between the
flue and outer wall. _m._ The Lavatrina. _n._ Tesselated pavement.]


_a._ The plane for supporting the back. _b._ The thigh-plane. _c._
The leg-plane. _d._ The foot-piece, which is movable, and admits of
adjustment, to suit the comfort of the bather. _e._ The head-piece,
for supporting the head. _f._ Arc of the angle _a-b_. _g._ The angle
corresponding with the bend of the knee. _h._ Arc of the angle _b-c_.
_i._ Lower hole, for the foot-piece. _k._ Elevation of the trunk-plane
from the ground-line, _l_. _m._ One of the feet of the couch.

This figure is intended to exhibit the construction of the _dureta_,
the best lines of angle, and the size the most convenient for a person
of medium stature--say five feet, eight inches. If the person be taller
or shorter, a corresponding difference must be made in the length
of the three principal pieces. The _dureta_ is constructed of deal
boards, 20 inches long, nailed on a pair of lateral rails; the rails
being supported by a firm foot, _m_, and steadied by a bracket at
the angle _g_. The measurements are as follow:--_a_, 28 inches; _b_,
18-1/2 inches; _c_, from _g_ to the foot-piece, 19 inches; and from
_g_ to the extreme end, below the letter _i_, 23 inches. The holes for
the foot-piece are two inches apart; and the head-piece may be made
movable. The arc of the angle _a-b_, measured at _f_, from the upper
angle of _a_ to _g_ is 38 inches; the arc of the angle _b-c_, measured
at _h_ from the angle _m_ to the end of the plane _c_, is 37 inches;
the height of the upper end at _k_ is 24-1/2 inches; the height of the
angle _g_ at _l_ is 14-1/2 inches; and the dotted line from the angle
_m_ to the perpendicular _k_, 21 inches; the height of the angle _m_
from the point where the dotted line touches to the ground is 6-1/4
inches; and the height of the end at _i_ is simply the depth of the
rail--namely between two and three inches.

The _dureta_ after the above model is manufactured by Mr. Allen, 7,
Great Smith-street, Westminster.]




The Bath is an animal instinct: and, _par excellence_, a human
instinct; it is as much a necessity of our nature as drink. We drink
because we thirst--an _interior sense_. We bathe because water, the
material of drink, is a desire of the outward man--an _exterior
sense_. An animal, whether beast or bird, pasturing or straying near a
limpid stream, first satisfies the inward sense, and then delights the
outward sense. A man, be he savage or civilized, can no more resist the
gratification of bathing his wearied limbs in a warm transparent pool
than he can resist the cup of water when athirst. Instinct bids him
bathe and be clean. To inquire--Who invented the act of drinking? would
be as reasonable as to ask--Who invented the bath?

The bath is coeval with the earliest existence of man. Can it be
doubted that our first parents bathed their newly-created limbs in the
river that "went out of Eden to water the garden"? History teaches us,
that the Phœnicians and ancient Greeks of all ranks, from the daughters
of their kings down to the poorest citizens, were wont to bathe in
rivers and in the sea, for the purpose of cleansing their bodies and
refreshing and invigorating their frames. They had recourse to the bath
when they ceased from sorrow and mourning, after great fatigues of
whatever kind, before and during their meals, and at the conclusion of
their battles. Bathing was the first act of their lives, and it was a
part of their funereal rites. The birth of Jupiter, the Thunderer, is
celebrated by the poet Callimachus in the following lines:--

    "As soon as you were born and saw the light,
    Your mother's grateful burden and delight,
    She sought for some _clear brook_ to purify
    The body of so dear a progeny."

Again, of Alcestis, when about to lay down her life for her husband
Admetus, it is written:--

    "The pious dame, before the fatal day
    Of her own exit, bathed her beauteous limbs
    In _gentle rivulet_."

Plato, also, records how the good old philosopher Socrates, before
he drank the fatal cup of hemlock that was to consign him to Hades,
_bathed_ and _washed_ himself, that he might save the women, whose duty
it was, their troublesome office.[1]

[1] "Part of the funereal rites of the Moors was to convey the corpse
to the bath."--Urquhart, from "Mision Historial de Marueccos."

A short stage in the history of the bath leads us to the discovery of
springs of hot water, hot vapour, and hot air; and these very possibly
suggested to man's inventive mind the means of procuring so great a
luxury by his own contrivance. Homer commends one of the sources of the
Scamander for its warmth, and tells us how Andromache, with matronly
care, prepared a hot bath for her husband Hector, against his return
from battle:--

    "Her fair-haired handmaids heat the brazen urn,
    The BATH preparing for her lord's return."

We are taught also that Vulcan, or, as others say, Minerva, discovered
certain _hot baths_ ([Greek: Hêrakleea loutra]) to Hercules, that he
might replenish his strength after undergoing severe exertion and
fatigue. And the Phœdrians, according to Homer, laid great stress upon
the importance to the health and happiness of man of frequent changes
of apparel, comfortable beds, and _hot baths_.

It is one of the marvels of the earth's history, that hot springs,
or thermal springs, bubble upwards to the light, not only on Mount
Ida, the source of the Scamander, but in countless other places and
countries on the world's surface. These hot springs would appear to
have invited man to their use by their pleasant aspect and by their
warmth; and their enjoyment to have suggested the possibility of
contriving artificially a similar luxury nearer to his threshold.

The word Hamâm, which is equivalent to thermal springs, is not
unfrequently met with in the East as the name of a town or village in
or near to which hot springs are found. Hamâm Ali, in the neighbourhood
of ancient Nineveh, is an example of this kind. "The thermal spring is
covered by a building, only commodious for half-savage people, yet the
place is much frequented by persons of the better classes both from
Baghdad and Mósul."[2] Captain Kennedy, in his "Travels in Algeria and
Tunis," tells us of the hot springs of Hamâm Meskhoutin, which rise to
the surface at a temperature of 203° of Fahrenheit, only 9° short of
boiling, and are so abundant as to burst forth through any opening made
accidentally in the ground. "The thermal waters, in flowing over the
bank of the rivulet, have formed a calcareous deposit of great beauty,
resembling a cascade of the purest white marble, tinged here and there
with various shades of green and orange."

[2] F. W. Ainsworth: "Journey to Kalah Sherghat and Al Hadhr in 1840"
(Transactions of the Geographical Society).

In Italy, near the town of Pozzuoli, are some natural thermal
springs--the ancient Posidianæ, now called the Baths of Nero, of which
the temperature of the water is 185°, while that of the vapour which
rises from it is 122°. The spring is situated in a rocky cavern at the
end of a long passage formed by a fissure in the rock, and in this way
constitutes a natural bathing house.

In Germany, among others, are the thermal springs of Borcette, with a
temperature of 171°; Carlsbad, in Bohemia, 165°; Wiesbaden, Ems, and
Schlangenbad, in Nassau; Baden-Baden; Aix-la-Chapelle; Wildbad; and

In Iceland are the far-famed Geysers; in the Southern Ocean the hot
springs of Amsterdam Island; and many more are dispersed over the
Continent of America; while in England there are the thermal springs of
Bath, Bristol, Buxton, and Matlock.

The _heated rock_ and the _vaporization of water_ would seem to have
originated the primitive idea of a hot-air and hot-vapour bath; and
this idea we find carried out simultaneously in various parts of the
world and amongst the rudest nations. Mr. Gent, in his "History of
Virginia," describes the hot-vapour bath as employed by the American

"The doctor," he says, "takes three or four large stones, which, after
having heated red-hot, he places in the middle of the stove, laying on
them some of the inner bark of oak, beaten in a mortar, to keep them
from burning; this being done, they (the Indians) creep in, six or
eight at a time, or as many as the place will hold, and then close up
the mouth of the stove, which is usually made like an oven in some bank
near the water-side; in the meanwhile, the doctor, to raise a steam,
after they have been stewing a little time, pours cold water on the
stones, and now and then sprinkles the men to keep them from fainting;
after they have sweat as long as they can well endure it, they sally
out, and (though it be in the depth of winter) forthwith plunge
themselves over head and ears in cold water, which instantly closes up
the pores and preserves them from taking cold." After the bath, they
are anointed like the Romans, the pomatum of the Indians being for the
most part bear's-grease, containing a powder obtained by grinding the
root of the yellow alkanet.

But we find this primitive form of bath nearer home than the American
Continent--namely, in Ireland, although both the American and the
Irish bath may, Mr. Urquhart suggests, have been derived from the same
ancestry--that of the Phœnicians. In a foot-note appended to a page
on the universality of the bath, in his "Pillars of Hercules,"[3] Mr.
Urquhart gives the following very curious and very interesting account
of the practice of sweating employed in former times in Ireland, as
reported to him by a lady as a recollection of her childhood:--

[3] "The Pillars of Hercules; or, a Narrative of Travels in Spain and
Morocco in 1848." By David Urquhart, M.P. 1850.

"With respect to the sweating-houses, as they are called, I remember
about forty years ago seeing one in the island of Rathlin, and shall
try to give you a description of it. It was built of basalt stones,
very much in the shape of a bee-hive, with a row of stones inside, for
the person to sit on when undergoing the operation. There was a hole
at the top, and one near the ground, where the person crept in and
seated him or herself, the stones having been heated in the same way
as an oven for baking bread is, the hole on the top being covered with
a sod while being heated, but I suppose removed to admit the person to
breathe. Before entering, the patient was stripped quite naked, and on
coming out, dressed again in the open air. The process was reckoned a
sovereign cure for rheumatism and all sorts of pains and aches."

Dr. Haughton on the same subject remarks that:--"Two varieties of _Tig
Allui_, or sweating-houses, exist in Ireland, one kind being capable
of containing a good many persons, and the other only intended for a
single occupant." The former is that just described: it is heated in
the same way as an oven, by making a large fire of wood in the middle
of the floor, and after the wood is burnt out, sweeping away the ashes.
Besides the cure of rheumatism, the young girls who have tarnished
their complexion in the process of burning kelp or sea-weed for the
manufacture of soda, also resort to the Tig Allui for the purpose of
clearing their skin. The usual time for remaining in the bath is under
the half hour.

The second kind of Tig Allui--namely, that for the reception of a
single person only--is described by Dr. Tucker, of Sligo, as follows:--

"It is built of stone and mortar, and brought to a round top. It is
sufficiently large for one person to sit on a chair inside, the door
being merely large enough to admit a person on his hands and knees.
When any of the old people of the neighbourhood, men or women, are
seized with pains, they at once have recourse to the sweat-house, which
is brought to the proper temperature by placing therein a large turf
fire, after the manner of an oven, which is left until it is burned
quite down, the door being a flat stone and air-tight, and the roof, or
outside of the house, being covered with clay, to the depth of about a
foot, to prevent the least escape of heat. When the remains of the fire
are taken out, the floor is strewn with green rushes, and the person to
be cured is escorted to the bath by a second person carrying a pair of
blankets. The invalid, having crept in, plants himself or herself in
a chair, and there remains until the perspiration rolls off in large
drops. When sufficiently operated on, he or she, as the case may be,
is anxious to get out, and the person in waiting swaddles him up in
the blankets, and off home, and then to bed. I have heard old people
say that they would not have been alive, twenty years ago, only for
the sweating-house.... Remains of the Tig Allui are also found in the
county Tyrone, of the following dimensions:--five feet in height, nine
in length, and four in width, being built of solid masonry, and shaped
like a bee-hive at the top."

Another, and a very important step in the progress of the bath was the
contrivance of a mode of heating by means of which the temperature
might be made uniform, and might be regulated in any manner that
should be required. The hot stones of the North American medicine-man
were clearly a very bungling and uncertain expedient; little better
than the warm skin of a newly-killed animal; and the wood fire of
the Irish sweating-houses was more objectionable still, not only on
account of the impossibility of regulating the heat, but also from
the resulting impurity of the atmosphere and the danger of leaving
fragments of the heated ashes on the floor. The next contrivance, and
that which has continued to be the practice up to the present day,
was the construction of a furnace under the floor--in other words, a
_hypocaust_. Mr. Urquhart, speaking of the existence of baths among
the Mexicans and their probable introduction by the Phœnicians,
remarks:--"However magnificent their public monuments," their baths
were "such as are found in almost every house in Morocco,--a small
apartment seven feet square, with a cupola roof five to six feet high,
and a slightly convex floor, under one side of which there is a fire,
and a small low door to creep in by."

Reviewing the probable rise and progress of the bath, there seems
little doubt that the bath took its origin in the East, the
dwelling-place of our first parents, the birth-place of civilization
and knowledge. It was known at a very early period in Phœnicia. Mr.
Urquhart, in his recent work, "The Lebanon,"[4] relates his discovery
of a Phœnician temple, or crypt, among the ruins of Baalbeck, or
Baalbeth, _the House of Baal_--the Heliopolis, or _City of the Sun_,
of the Greeks; in which were traces of the existence of the bath. "But
the Phœnician crypt was not my only discovery. In a gap opening a few
feet into the masonry, I found mortar hard as stone where exposed to
the air, but soft within. Yet it was unlike other mortar; it was dark
grey, with particles of charcoal; when I brought out some, it was
recognised at once, and called _kissermil_, or ashes from the bath.
Those ashes are still used in this country for mortar, which with this
addition becomes as hard as stone. According to the old construction,
the baths were heated as an oven is, brushwood and dung being used as
well as wood. The combustion not being complete, there remain various
chemical compounds, alkali, ammonia, sulphate and carbonate of lime,
and carbon, which by entering into new combinations, bind the mortar
into a distinct substance."

[4] "The Lebanon (Mount Souria): a History and a Diary." By David
Urquhart. 1860.

"One thing is clear, there were baths at Baalbeck. In the elaborately
finished bath of Emir Beshir at Ibtedeen, one peculiarity struck me
as evidencing their high antiquity in this land. It was the absence
of cocks; instead of which simple plugs or clots of cloth were used
for the pipes which brought the water into the basins. As the Romans
and Greeks used cocks, the art of the bath had not been derived from
them, but traced beyond them. Still it was curious to observe these
ashes in the midst of Cyclopic blocks. And yet why should not the bath
have belonged to the very earliest period of human society? It is
sufficiently excellent to be from the beginning."

"I remembered that in opening up the pavement of an ancient bath on the
western coast of Africa, I had come upon a somewhat similar deposit,
in large quantities, under the floor. This was _gazul_, the product of
a certain mountain in Morocco, resembling soapstone, but composed of
an admixture of silex, alumina, magnesia, and lime, and which has the
peculiar property of polishing the skin when rubbed upon it, and so
cleaning off the dead epidermis. Being used for this purpose largely
in the baths, the grey deposit under the ruin in question is easily
accounted for. Might not this same _gazul_, mixed with kissermil, have
been the deposit which I took for mortar at Baalbeck?"

For the purpose of removing the dead epidermis from the surface of
the skin, "four processes have been adopted throughout the families
of the human race, and in successive times. The simple, the natural,
the first hit upon, was the rubbing down with the ball of the hand,
which is still the process used in this country for currying horses
of high breed. The three others, of a more refined and, I may say,
historical character, are, scraping, rolling, and polishing. The
scraping is with the _strigil_, which we know of from the Romans and
Greeks, but which is figured on the tombs of Lycia, and the Roman name
of which is derived from Mauritania. The rolling is that which we see
to-day practised by the Turks. The polishing is with the _gazul_, and
practised by the Moors, to whom it is confined, and who alone possess
the admirable substance which is used for it. Now, if _gazul_ was used
by the early inhabitants of Baalbeck, their bathing process belonged to
the last of these systems, and they carried on a traffic with Morocco."

From Phœnicia, from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, a knowledge of the
bath may have spread along the southern coast of the Mediterranean,
through Egypt, Tripoli, and Algiers, to Morocco and the Pillars of
Hercules; or it may, as Mr. Urquhart suggests, have been earliest in
use among the nations of Mauritania, and have been carried by the
Moors into the countries of the East. From Phœnicia, the knowledge
of the bath may have followed the line of caravan communication into
Russia, Persia, China, and Hindostan; while the ships of the then
greatest maritime country in the world would have carried it to Greece,
to Ireland, and to America. The bath is a common practice in Russia;
it is also well known in Persia, Hindostan, and China; and, as we
have already seen, its use in North America, in Mexico, and Ireland,
probably dates back to a very early age. Its progress in Europe we
shall presently see.

Speaking of the mode of heating the bath in Mexico and Morocco, I have
used the word hypocaust; this word is of Greek origin, and signifies
_under-fire_--that is, the fire is placed under the thing to be heated;
for example, under the foundation of the bath or of the house. The
Greeks and the Romans had no other means of heating their houses than
this; there was no open fire, but a fire under the foundation, from
which flues were carried upwards in the walls of the building. When a
great heat was required, as in the baths, the foundation was supported
on short columns (_pilæ_), and the entire space between the columns was
occupied with fire, while numerous ascending flues distributed the heat
around the rooms. Now it is curious to find that at the present hour
the Chinese continue the same means of heating their houses.

That they also employ the sudatory process of bathing, is shown by the
following extract from Mr. Henry Ellis's "Journal of an Embassy to
China," published in 1817:--

"Near this temple (at Nankin) is a public vapour bath, called, or
rather miscalled, the Bath of Fragrant Water, where dirty Chinese may
be stewed clean for ten chens, or three farthings; the bath is a small
room of one hundred feet area, divided into four compartments, and
paved with coarse marble; the heat is considerable, and as the number
admitted into the bath has no limit but the capacity of the area, the
stench is excessive; altogether, I thought it the most disgusting
cleansing apparatus[5] I had ever seen, and worthy of this nasty

[5] What would Mr. Ellis say of a country in which there existed no
"cleansing apparatus" whatever?--for example, his native country.

The Baths of Greece are celebrated for their magnificence; they formed
parts of buildings of vast extent and grandeur, termed Gymnasia.
The gymnasium was an institution of the Spartans of Lacedæmonia or
Laconia, and spread thence to other parts of Greece, and notably to
the metropolis of Attica, the famed city, Athens. The gymnasium was
sufficiently large to accommodate several thousands of persons, and
afforded space for the assembly of philosophers, men of science, and
poets, who delivered lectures to their scholars and recited their
verses; and for the pursuit of the favourite games and exercises of
their youths and men--namely, leaping, running, throwing the disc or
quoit, and wrestling; the purpose of these exercises being to give
strength to the people and make them accomplished warriors.

The different parts of a gymnasium or palæstra, were as follows:--

1. The PORTICOS, in which were numerous rooms furnished with seats for
the professors and their scholars.

2. The EPHEBEUM, a large space in which the ephebi or youths planned
and practised their exercises.

3. The APODYTERIUM, or undressing room; also called Gymnasterium, or
the room for becoming nude.

4. The ELAIOTHESIUM, or anointing room, which was equally used by those
who were preparing for exercise, and those who had completed their bath.

5. The KONISTERIUM, or dusting room, where the bodies of the wrestlers
and other athletæ, after being anointed, were well dusted over;
probably as a defence to the skin against injury.

6. The PALÆSTRA, or wrestling courts, which were bedded with sand more
or less deep, like the modern circus, in order to break the fall of the
combatants when they were thrown to the ground.

7. The SPHÆRISTERIUM, or court for ball exercise and raquets.

8. The PERISTYLE, or PIAZZA, within which was the area of the
Peristyle, for walking, and the exercises of leaping, quoits, ball, and

9. Then there were XYSTI, or covered courts, for the use of the
wrestlers in bad weather; XYSTA, which were walks between walls open at
the top and intended for hot weather; and a XYSTIC SYLVIS, or forest;
the intervals of the numerous ornamental columns of the building being
so called, and being devoted to walking exercise.

10. Next came the BATHS, which were hot, cold, and tepid water baths;
and a stove, or Laconicum, named after the city of Laconia and the
Lacedæmonians, from whom the Athenians derived their knowledge of the
hot-air bath.

11. And lastly, there was the STADIUM, a segment of an ellipse, which
received its name from being one hundred paces long, equal to six
hundred feet, or something less than an eighth of a mile. The Stadium
was furnished with rows of seats for spectators, and was intended for
the exhibition of feats of running and exercises upon a large scale.

The most remarkable Stadium known was one erected by Lycurgus on the
banks of the river Ilissus. It was built of Pentellick marble, and was
so magnificent a structure, that Pausanias the historian, in describing
it, informs his readers that they would not believe what he was about
to tell them, "it being a wonder to all that beheld it, and of that
stupendous bigness that one would judge it a mountain of white marble."

There were several gymnasia in Athens, the most noteworthy being, the
Lyceum, the Academia, and the Cynosarges.

The LYCEUM, founded on the banks of the river Ilissus, was consecrated
to Apollo; and not without reason, says Plutarch, but upon a good and
rational account, since from the same deity that cures our diseases and
restores our health, we may reasonably expect strength and ability to
contend in our exercises. The Lyceum is also interesting to us as being
the institution in which Aristotle taught philosophy. Aristotle was
wont to lecture to his scholars while walking, and his disciples were
therefore called Peripatetics; he continued his teaching daily until
the hour of anointing, which, with the Greeks, was a preparation for

The ACADEMIA was situated in the suburbs of the city, on a piece of
ground that had been reclaimed from the marsh by draining and planting.
It was called after an old hero named Academicus. Plutarch informs us
that it was beset with shady woods and solitary walks fit for study and
meditation; in witness whereof another writer says:--

  "In Academus' shady walks;"

and Horace writes:--

  "In Hecademus' groves to search the truth."

Plato taught philosophy in the Academia; but having in consequence of
the unhealthy nature of the soil caught the ague, he was advised to
relinquish it for the Lyceum. "No!" said the old man, "I prefer the
Academy, for that it keeps the body under, lest by too much health it
should become rebellious, and more difficult to be governed by the
dictates of reason; as men prune vines when they spread too far, and
lop off the branches that grow too luxuriant."

The CYNOSARGES was also in the suburbs of Athens, not far distant from
the Lyceum. It was dedicated to the god of strength, Hercules; and was
interesting from its admission of strangers, and half-blood Athenians.
Its name is derived from the circumstance of a white dog seizing upon a
part of the victim that was being sacrificed to Hercules by Diomus; and
was the origin of the sect of philosophers known as the "Cynics."

BATHS OF ROME.--When Greece was subjugated by the Romans, the Romans
carried back with them to Italy the taste for the bath. They erected
thermæ of great magnificence, and in so great number, that at one
period there were nearly nine hundred public baths in Rome. Agrippa
alone is said to have built one hundred and sixty, while Mecænas has
the credit of possessing the first private bath. The most famed of
the public baths were those of Titus, Paulus Æmilius, Diocletian,
Caracalla, and Agrippa. In these baths was centred all that was most
perfect in material, elaborate in workmanship, elegant in design, and
beautiful in art. Nothing was thought too grand or too magnificent for
their decoration. Superb marbles brought from the most distant parts of
the world; the choicest selections from the riches of their conquests,
the curious and wonderful in nature and in art; precious gems and
metals; and the finest works of the painter and the sculptor. That
beautiful production of the sculptor's art, the Laocoon, was discovered
among the ruins of the Baths of Titus, and the celebrated Farnese
Hercules in those of Caracalla.

The Baths of Agrippa were constructed of brick coated with enamel.
Those of Nero were supplied with water from the sea, as well as fresh
water. The Baths of Caracalla were a mile in circumference; they
possessed two hundred marble columns, sixteen hundred seats of marble,
and were capable of accommodating nearly two thousand persons; while
those of Diocletian surpassed all others in grandeur, and occupied
140,000 men for many years in their construction.

Within the bath was collected all that contributed to the enjoyment,
the luxury, and the gaiety of existence of the Romans. Here they
practised their games, their athletic sports; here they came to learn
the news of the day, to listen to recitations of poetry and prose,[6]
to hear the eloquent harangues of their orators, and to be entranced
with the chords of melodious music. There were temples devoted to
dancing, to refreshment, to the bath; and in their abundant gratitude
they raised up appropriate statues to the gods who were supposed to
preside over their several enjoyments. The great hall of their bath was
ornamented with the statues of Hercules, the god of strength; Hygeia,
the goddess of health; and Æsculapius, the god of medicine.

[6] Pliny, in one of his letters, relates, in reference to the
reading of poetical productions in the gymnasia:--"This year has
proved extremely fertile in poetical productions: during the whole
month of April, scarce a day has passed wherein we have not been
entertained with the recital of some poem. It is a pleasure to me to
find, notwithstanding there seems to be so little disposition in the
public to attend assemblies of this kind, that the sciences still
flourish, and men of genius are not discouraged from producing their

It is not to be wondered at, that, reared in the midst of the luxury,
in the enjoyment of their Balneæ or Thermæ, the Romans should have
carried with them their longing for the bath wheresoever they went,
wheresoever their victorious armies forced themselves a way; and that,
possessing a mastery over England and Wales, which they maintained for
nearly four hundred years, they should have founded baths in their
chief settlements in this country. Thus we have remains of Roman
baths in London, in Chester, in Bath, at Wroxeter (Uriconium) in the
neighbourhood of Shrewsbury, at Cirencester (Corinium), at Carisbrooke,
in Colchester (Camulodunum), and in several other places besides.

But here we are compelled to draw a line of distinction between those
grand institutions of their own metropolis, which comprised, as I have
just described, their places of recreation, of exercise, of amusement,
of diversion, as well as their temples of health; which were, in fact,
a centralization of almost all the public institutions of their city
into one--and those particular parts of these institutions which were
specially devoted to health. Although the remains of the Roman thermæ
in England are large, although their construction evinces a great
perfection in many of the arts of social life, particularly in the
manufacture of bricks and pottery, yet they scarcely bear comparison
with the grander thermæ of ancient Rome, and for this reason: that all
that was simply ornamental--or, if I might be permitted to say so, that
was superfluous--has been omitted, and nothing but the substantial
and the wholesome allowed to remain--that portion, in fact, which was
purely devoted to health and strength. We thus prune the bath down to
its simpler elements, and we prepare the way for the consideration of
the bath as it has been revived amongst us at the present day.

Without some explanation, it would be difficult to understand how an
institution which was regarded with so much veneration by ancient
Rome, should have totally fallen into decay in modern Rome; and that
the thermæ shall have ceased to have an existence in Rome at the
present day. It is clear that the games which were once played, and the
exercises which were practised, within the narrow limits of the thermæ,
grand though they were, have now sought a wider sphere: the paintings
of their great artists have been gathered into the ecclesiastical
edifices and academies; the statues and sculpture have found their way
into museums, or have been applied to the decoration of modern palaces;
refreshment is more conveniently obtained in the cafés and restaurants;
music and singing have been transferred to the opera; recitation to
the theatre; poetry and prose to the library; and dancing to the
assemblies; nay, the great hall of the Bath of Agrippa is now, in all
its integrity, a place of Christian worship. In a word, the thermæ has
become decentralized; whether as the result of the adoption of foreign
fashions, or as a matter of convenience, it may be difficult to say;
but so it is, and nothing of it now remains but the bath--that temple
of the ancient thermæ over which Hercules, and Hygeia, and Æsculapius
presided of old, and over which (in its humbler shape) they will
continue to preside to the end of time.

The Baths of Titus have fortunately preserved to us a drawing, taken
from its walls, which illustrates the construction and the mode of
taking the bath among the Romans.

Beneath the bath is shown the furnace, or _hypocaustum_, for heating
the rooms, as also the water used in the latter stages of the process.

Then follows a series of rooms, of which the principal are:--


2. The TEPIDARIUM, which is warmed to a moderate temperature, and is
intended to prepare and season the body before entering the hotter

3. The CALDARIUM, or _Calidarium_, sometimes called the SUDATORIUM, and
in the figure (Fig. 2), _concamerata sudatio_, was a room of higher
temperature, in which the perspiratory process was accomplished. In
this apartment there was commonly a recess, of a higher temperature
still, which was intended for special purposes, and was named
LACONICUM, in compliment to the Spartans of Laconia.

4. After the Calidarium followed a LAVATORIUM (Lavatrina, Latrina),
called in the figure Balneum, in which the body was washed after the
process of perspiration was complete. The mode of washing was to sit
on the everted edge or lip of a large marble trough--the _labrum_--and
to be rinsed with warm water poured over the body by means of a cup or
small basin (_pelvis_).

5. The bather then went into the FRIGIDARIUM, where he received an
affusion of cold water, and where he reclined, or sat, or walked about,
until he was cool or dry.

6. From the Frigidarium the bather passed into the ELAIOTHESIUM, or
anointing room, where he was smeared with fragrant oils previously to
resuming his dress in the VESTIARIUM.

Besides these, which were the principal rooms, there were others
devoted to additional processes, such as shaving, hair-cutting,
depilation, and hair-plucking.

The Romans carried the indulgence and decoration of their baths to so
unreasonable a pitch of luxury and extravagance as to call forth State
restrictions upon their use, and the reproof of their philosophers.
Juvenal levels a shaft of satire against those who make the bath the
instrument of gluttony; and Pliny scolds the doctors for declaring that
the bath assists digestion, and for withholding their denunciations
against its excessive abuse. Moreover, the Emperor Titus is said to
have lost his life through excess of the bath, having spent in it many
hours of the day. We cannot, therefore, be surprised that the time
devoted to bathing should be limited by imperial edict, as happened in
the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, the hours when the bath was open to
the public being confined to two,--namely, from three until five.

PLINY the Consul, in his admirable letters, speaks in most
affectionate language of the bath. "How stands Comum" (meaning Como,
his birthplace), says he, "that favourite scene of yours and mine?
What have you to tell me of the firm yet soft gestatio,[7] the sunny
bath?" In another letter, addressed to a lady, he says:--"The elegant
accommodations which are to be found at Narnia ... particularly the
pretty bath."

[7] A circus attached to Roman gardens, for riding or driving.

Describing his winter villa, Laurentium, after painting a series of
rooms, he continues:--

"From thence you enter into the grand and spacious _cooling-room_
belonging to the baths, from the opposite walls of which two round
basins project, large enough to swim in. Contiguous to this is the
perfuming-room, then the sweating-room, and beyond that the furnace
which conveys the heat to the baths. Adjoining are two other little
bathing-rooms, which are fitted up in an elegant rather than costly
manner: annexed to this is a warm bath of extraordinary workmanship,
wherein one may swim, and have a prospect at the same time of the sea.
Not far from hence stands the tennis-court, which lies open to the
warmth of the afternoon sun."

"Between the garden and this gestatio runs a shady walk of vines, which
is so soft that you may walk barefoot upon it without any injury."

Alluding to the mode of life of one of his friends, he observes:--

"When the baths are ready, which in winter is about three o'clock,
and in summer about two, he undresses himself, and if there happens
to be no wind, he walks for some time in the sun. After this he plays
a considerable time at tennis, for by this sort of exercise, too, he
combats the effects of old age. When he has bathed, he throws himself
upon his couch till supper[8] time."

[8] The state meal of the Romans, usually taken at the ninth
hour--_i.e._, three P.M.

SENECA reproves the extravagance and self-indulgence of his countrymen
in a memorable letter (his eighty-sixth), which is as follows:--

"I write from the very villa of Scipio Africanus, having first invoked
his manes, and that altar which I take to be the sepulchre of so great
a man.

"I behold a villa built of squared stone; the wall encloses a wood,
and has towers after the style of a fortification; the reservoir lies
below the buildings and the walks, large enough for the use of an army;
the bath is close and confined, dark, after the old fashion, for our
forefathers united heat with obscurity.

"I was struck with an inward pleasure when I compared these times of
Scipio with our own. In this nook did that dread of Carthage--to whom
our city owes her having been but once taken--wash his limbs, wearied
with labour; for, according to the ancient custom, he tilled his fields
himself. Under this mean roof did he live--him did this rude pavement

"But who at this time would submit to bathe thus? A person is held to
be poor and sordid, whose house does not shine with a profusion of the
most precious materials, the marbles of Egypt being inlaid with those
of Numidia; unless the walls are ornamented with an elaborate and
variegated stucco, after the fashion of painting; unless the chambers
are covered with glass; unless the Thasian stone, formerly a curiosity
worthy of being placed in our temples, surrounds the pools into which
we cast our bodies weakened with immoderate sweating; unless the water
is conveyed through silver pipes.

"As yet, I have confined my remarks to private baths only. What shall
I say when I come to our public baths? What a profusion of statues.
What a number of columns do I see supporting nothing; but placed as an
ornament, merely on account of their expense. What quantities of water
murmuring down steps. We are come to that pitch of luxury, that we
disdain to tread upon anything but precious stones.

"In this Bath of Scipio are small holes rather than windows, cut
through the wall, so as to admit the light without interfering with its
resemblance to a fortification.

"But now we reckon a bath fit only for moths and vermin, whose windows
are not so disposed as to receive the rays of the sun during his whole
career; unless we are washed and sunburnt at the same time; unless from
the bathing-vessel we have a prospect of the sea and land. In fact,
that which excited the admiration of mankind, when first built, is now
rejected as old and useless. Thus it is that luxury finds out something
new in which to obliterate her own works.

"Formerly, baths were few in number, and not much ornamented; for why
should a thing of common life be ornamented, which was invented for
use, and not for the purposes of elegance? The water in those days was
not poured down in drops like a shower, neither did it run always as if
fresh from a hot spring; nor was its clearness considered a matter of
consequence. But, ye gods! what pleasure was there in entering those
obscure and vulgar baths when prepared under the direction of the
Cornelii, of Cato, or of Fabius Maximus? For the most renowned of the
ædiles had, by virtue of their office, the inspection of those places
where the people assembled, to see that they were kept clean and of a
proper and wholesome degree of temperature; not of a heat like that
of a furnace, such as has been lately found out, proper only for the
punishment of slaves convicted of the highest misdemeanors. We now seem
to make no distinction between being warm and burning.

"How many do I hear ridiculing the simplicity of Scipio, who did not
admit the day into his sweating-places, or suffer himself to be baked
in a hot sunshine. Unhappy man! He knew not how to enjoy life!

"The water he washed in was not clear and transparent, but, after rain,
even thick and muddy. This, however, concerned him but little; he came
to the bath to refresh himself after his labour, not to wash away the
perfumes of a pomatumed body. What think you some will say of this? I
envy not Scipio: he lived in exile indeed, who bathed in this manner.

"Should you be told further, that he bathed not every day--for
those who relate to us the traditions of early times, say that our
forefathers bathed their whole bodies on market-days only--it will be
answered, Then they were very uncleanly. How, think ye, they smelt?
Like men of labour and fatigue.

"Since dainty baths have been invented, we are become more nasty.
Horace, when describing a man infamous for his dissipation, what does
he reproach him with? With smelling of perfumed balls! 'Pastillos
Rufillus olet.'"

Of the ancient Roman bath in England, we have several examples, the
most interesting being that which has been lately brought to light in
the ancient Roman city, Uriconium, in the neighbourhood of Shrewsbury.
Uriconium is close to the village of Uroxeter, commonly pronounced
Wroxeter, five miles from Shrewsbury. It is situated on the property of
the Duke of Cleveland, and is known to have existed at the beginning of
the second century of the Christian era, when the Romans held dominion
over England, and when England was a part, and a highly-treasured part,
of the Roman Empire.

It was of considerable size, having a boundary wall three miles in
circumference, and was, doubtless, a flourishing city; but fell a
victim to the ravages of fire and the sword during the fifth century,
and has since lain buried and unnoticed until the last few years, when
a society was formed for the purpose of excavating it.

The walls of the houses are remarkable for their thickness, namely,
three feet; while that of the wall of the town is four feet. They
are constructed upon a plan commonly adopted by the Romans--namely,
a facing of stone on each side, and the space between filled in with
rubble and that remarkable stone-like enduring mortar which has
suggested the name of a better kind of cement of the present time,
known as "Roman cement." The height of the houses was thirty feet; but
they had no upper storey, and there is no trace of staircase.

Of the mode of warming the houses and, _par excellence_, the baths,
the Rev. Thomas Wright[9] observes:--"The Romans did not warm their
apartments by fires lighted in them.... The floor of the house, formed
of a considerable thickness of cement, was laid upon a number of short
pillars formed usually of square Roman tiles placed one upon another,
and from two to three feet high. Those of the largest hypocausts yet
found at Wroxeter were rather more than three feet high. Sometimes
these supports were of stone, and in one or two cases in discoveries
made in this country they were round. They were placed near to each
other and in rows, and upon them were laid, first, larger tiles, and
over these a thick mass of cement, which formed the floor, and upon
which the tesselated pavements were set. Sometimes small parallel walls
forming flues instead of rows of columns supported the floor.... Flue
tiles--that is, square tubes made of baked clay with a hole on one side
or sometimes on two sides--were placed against the walls endways one
upon another so as to run up the walls."

[9] "Guide to the Ruins of the Roman City of Uriconium at Wroxeter,
near Shrewsbury." 1859.

My friend Mr. George Witt, having recently visited the ruins of the
ancient Roman bath still existing at No. 117, Bridge-street, Chester,
describes it as follows:--

"The most interesting of all the Roman antiquities of this ancient city
are the remains of a private Roman bath, showing the _Hypocaustum_, or
heating place beneath, in a state of great preservation. The hypocaust
is 18 feet long by 8 feet wide, and 3 feet high. The roof was supported
on thirty-two stone pillars (of a single block), broader at the base
and the top, and narrower in the middle; of these twenty-eight still
remain. On the top of the columns are placed, by way of capitals,
strong tiles from 17 to 23 inches square, and 3 inches thick, reaching
from pillar to pillar, thus forming, at the same time, the roof of
the hypocaust and the floor of the room above. Over all these is a
bed of hard concrete, 9 or 10 inches thick, the whole suited to bear
any amount of heat. The pillars are made of the red sandstone of the
district, and are so far worthy of note, that they differ from the
tile-columns of most of the Roman hypocausts found in other parts of
England, which are chiefly formed of piles of 8-inch tiles, 2 inches

"The room above the hypocaust, which was the hot-chamber of the bath,
called the _Caldarium_, has unfortunately been so dismantled, that
little or nothing can now be learned of its character or proportions,
two of the side walls only remain. The walls of these hot-chambers are
generally on the inside by ranges of hollow flue-tiles, coming up from
the hypocaust below, varying in number, according to the degree of heat

"There is nothing whatever here left of the _Frigidarium_, or
cooling-room, nor any other of the apartments of the bath, nor of any
of the contrivances used therein, except a sort of tank, 7 feet deep,
10 feet long, and 4 feet wide, situate near the mouth of the furnace,
which may have served either as a receptacle for warm water, or as a
place for a plunge in cold water, after the previous processes of the
bath had been completed.

"Like modern Rome, the present city of Chester stands some feet above
the level of the old Roman city; the visitors, therefore, must be
prepared to descend into a dark cellar, to inspect the hypocaust and
so-called bath! and to emerge therefrom, with a bitter feeling of
humiliation and regret, that our forefathers could have so ruthlessly
destroyed these interesting evidences of the manners and customs of
that wonderful people, who for upwards of four hundred years held
dominion over this island--a people to whom we are indebted for the
fundamental principles of our social civilization; for the introduction
of architecture, sculpture, coinage of money, construction of roads,
and for innumerable other arts and adornments of life. There can
be no more instructive proof of the mental darkness of those ages
which followed the overthrow of the Roman Empire, than the wholesale
destruction of the buildings of that great people, of which this is an
example; and it is to be lamented that this barbarism, in regard to
such monuments of antiquity, has not yet altogether disappeared."

And where, it may be asked, is the bath now; the conquering Romans have
ceased to be other than a name, or a weary lesson for schoolboys; the
Romans are gone, the Roman bath is lost. But here an eloquent modern
author, Mr. Urquhart, helps us in our difficulty with a quotation:--"A
people who know neither Latin nor Greek have preserved this great
monument of antiquity on the soil of Europe, and present to us, who
teach our children only Latin and Greek, this Institution in all its
Roman grandeur and its Grecian taste. The bath, when first seen by
the Turks, was a practice of their enemies, religious and political;
they were themselves the filthiest of mortals; yet no sooner did they
see the bath than they adopted it, made it a rule of their society, a
necessary adjunct to every settlement, and Princes and Sultans endowed
such institutions for the honour of their name." This, then, is the
answer to the question--Where is the bath now? The ancient Roman bath
lives in its modern offspring, the Turkish Bath--the Turkish Hamâm.

When, therefore, we see the words "Turkish Bath" in grand letters
paraded through our metropolis; when we see a human being performing
the part of a sandwich, with a broadsheet of Turkish bath in front,
and a similar sheet behind, himself representing a flattened anchovy
between the two slices, we shall know that the ancient Roman bath,
after being kept alive for many centuries by the fostering care of
the Turks, has at last come back to revisit its ancient haunts, and
to offer to modern Britons the enjoyments from which our forefathers
turned away with contempt as a custom of their conquerors. And we are
led to recognise the truth of my preliminary proposition--that the bath
is an instinct, and that, being an instinct, its survival of a race is
no longer a wonder, but is a law of nature--a law of the universe.

Let me now describe the Hamâm, or Turkish Bath as it exists at the
present moment in Constantinople; and in this description I shall take
as my groundwork the account given of it by Mr. Urquhart. It is a large
building, with a domed roof, a square massive body, from which minarets
shoot up, and against which wings abut containing side apartments. The
essential apartments of the hamâm are three in number--a great hall or
_mustaby_, a _middle chamber_, and an _inner chamber_. We raise the
curtain which covers the entrance to the street, and we find ourselves
in the _mustaby_, a circular or octagonal hall, maybe a hundred feet
high, with a domed roof, and open in the centre to the vault of heaven.
In the middle of the floor is a basin of water four feet high, with a
fountain playing in the centre, and around it are plants and trellises;
and resting against it, at some one point, the stall whence comes the
supply of coffee and pipes or chibouques.

Around the circumference of the hall is a low platform, from four to
twelve feet in breadth and three feet high. This is divided by dwarf
balustrades into small compartments, each containing one or more
couches. These compartments are the dressing-rooms, and the couches,
shaped like a straddling letter W, and adapted by their angles to the
bends of the body, are the _couches of repose_. It is here that the
bather disrobes; his clothes are folded and placed in a napkin, and the
napkin is carefully tied up. He then assumes the bathing garb; a long
Turkish towel (_peshtimal_ or _futa_) is wound turban-wise around his
head; a second around his hips, descending to the middle of the leg;
and a third, disposed like a scarf over one or both shoulders. Two
attendants shield him from view while changing his linen, by holding a
napkin before him; and when he is ready, the same attendants help him
to descend from the platform; they place wooden pattens (called _nalma_
in Turkish, and _cob cob_ in Arabic) on his feet, and taking each arm,
lead him to the middle apartment. The wooden pattens are intended to
protect the feet from the heat of the inner rooms, and from the dirty
water and slop of the passages.

"The slamming doors are pushed open, and you enter the region of
steam;" this is the _second chamber_, it is low, dark, and small; it
feels warm without being hot or oppressive, and the air is moistened
with a thin vapour. It is paved with white marble, and a marble
platform eighteen inches high occupies its two sides, while the space
between serves as the passage from the mustaby to the inner hall.
A mattress and cushion are laid on the marble platform, and here
the bather reclines; he smokes his chibouque, sips his coffee, and
converses in subdued and measured tones with his neighbour. This is
the _Tepidarium_ of the Roman bath; here the bather courts a "natural
and gentle flow of perspiration," and to this end are adapted the warm
temperature, the bath coverings, the hot coffee, and the tranquil rest.

"The bath is essentially sociable, and this is the portion of it
so appropriated; this is the time and place where a stranger makes
acquaintance with a town or village. While so engaged, a boy kneels at
your feet and chafes them, or behind your cushion, at times touching or
tapping you on the neck, arm, or shoulder, in a manner that causes the
perspiration to start."

After a while the bath attendant arrives; he passes his hand under the
linen coverings of the bather; if he find the skin sufficiently moist
and softened, the bather is again taken by the arms, his feet are
replaced in the wooden pattens, another slamming door is opened, and he
is ushered into the _inner apartment_, "a space such as the centre dome
of a cathedral," lighted by means of "stars of stained glass in the
vault." The temperature of this apartment, the Calidarium or Sudatorium
of the Romans, is considerably higher than that of the middle room; the
atmosphere is filled with "curling mists of gauzy and mottled vapour,"
the steam being raised by throwing water on the floor. In the middle of
the apartment is "an extensive platform of marble slabs," and on this
the bather is laid on his back, his scarf being placed beneath him to
protect his skin from the heated marble, and the napkin that served as
his turban being rolled up as a pillow to his head.

The bather is now subjected to the process of shampooing--that is, his
muscles are pressed and squeezed, his joints are stretched until they
snap, and they are forcibly bent in various directions. In the hands of
the professional shampooer the process is elevated to an art, and words
fail to convey other than a very imperfect idea of its nature.

After the shampooing, the bather is brought to the side of the
hall--around which are placed marble basins two feet in diameter,
supplied by means of taps with hot and cold water--and made to sit
on a board near to one of these basins. The attendant draws on a
camel's-hair glove. "He stands over you; you bend down to him, and
he commences from the nape of the neck in long sweeps down the back
till he has started the skin; he coaxes it into rolls, keeping them
in and up till within his hand they gather volume and length; he then
successively strikes and brushes them away, and they fall right and
left as if spilt from a dish of macaroni. The dead matter which will
accumulate in a week forms, when dry, a ball of the size of the fist."
In the course of his frictions he pours water from the basin over the
skin by means of a copper cup, to rinse off the impurities.

In the next place, a large wooden bowl is placed by the side of the
bather; this bowl contains soap and a wisp of _lyf_, the woody fibre of
the Mecca palm, and the body is thoroughly soaped and washed twice over
from the head to the feet, and, as a _coup de grâce_, a bowl of warm
water is dashed over the entire body.

An attendant now approaches with warm napkins; the hip-cloth, or
cummerbund, is dropped, and a warm dry napkin is selected to supply its
place; another is thrown over the shoulders, and the bather is placed
on a seat. The shoulder napkin is then raised, a fresh dry one put in
its place, and the first over it; a fourth is wrapped around the head;
"your feet are already in the wooden pattens. You are wished health;
you return the salute, rise, and are conducted by both arms to the
outer hall."

In the outer hall, the bather is led to his box; he drops the pattens
as he steps on a napkin spread on the matting of the platform; and
he stretches his limbs on the couch of repose. "The attendants then
reappear, and gliding like noiseless shadows, stand in a row before
him. The coffee is poured out and presented; the pipe follows; or if so
disposed he may have sherbet or fruit; the sweet or water-melons are
preferred, and they come in piles of lumps large enough for a mouthful;
and if inclined to make a positive meal at the bath, this is the time.
The hall is open to the heavens, but nevertheless, a boy with a fan
of feathers, or a napkin, drives the cool air upon him." The linen is
twice changed; and when the cooling is complete, "the body has come
forth shining like alabaster, fragrant as the cistus, sleek as satin,
and soft as velvet. The touch of the skin is electric." "The time
occupied is from two to four hours, and the operation is repeated once
a week." At the conclusion of the process, "the crispness of the skin
returns, the fountains of strength are opened: you seek again the world
and its toils; and those who experience these effects and vicissitudes
for the first time, exclaim--'I feel as if I could leap over the moon.'"

In reviewing the Turkish Bath and the process of bathing as pursued by
the Turks, we are struck by several features which appertain especially
to it: for example, its construction of three apartments only, instead
of the numerous apartments of the Romans; the three apartments being,
the grand hall, corresponding with the Frigidarium of the Romans,
and being at the same time the Apodyterium and Vestiarium. Secondly,
the presence of vapour in the middle room, corresponding with the
Tepidarium of the Romans. Thirdly, the existence of vapour in the
third and inner room, the Calidarium and Sudatorium of the Romans. The
presence of vapour betokens a low temperature, because watery vapour,
as is well known, is scalding at one hundred and twenty degrees of
heat; and we have fair grounds for concluding that there was no vapour
in the Tepidarium and Caldarium of the Romans, and that the temperature
of both was considerably higher. For Seneca, in his celebrated letter,
speaks of the importance of maintaining the baths at a "proper and
wholesome degree of temperature; not of heat like that of a furnace,
such as has been lately found out, proper only for the punishment of
slaves convicted of the highest misdemeanors. We now seem to make no
distinction between being warm and burning."--This criticism would
have been unnecessary had the bath contained watery vapour, as the
evil would then have corrected itself, and the vapour, being scalding,
could not have been supported. Pliny also, speaks of the "burning
pavement of the floor" in his narrative of an act of cruelty practised
by the slaves of Largius Macedo on their master. After beating him and
trampling upon him, they threw him on the floor of the hot bath, and
pretended that "he had fainted away by the heat of the bath."

Another peculiarity of the Turkish bath relates to one of its
processes--namely, the absence of the cold douche with which the Romans
concluded their bath. The Turks still dash cold water on the feet when
the bath is at an end; but they allow the bather to enter the mustaby
heated by the process and still perspiring--hence the necessity of a
change of linen during the cooling, and the aid of an attendant with
a fan to cool the body. Moreover, the process of cooling is in this
way considerably lengthened, and we can comprehend how the bath may be
prolonged to two, three, or four hours. In the Roman method--that is,
concluding with a cold douche or a plunge in cold water--perspiration
is immediately arrested by the closing of the pores, the body is cooled
more quickly, no change of linen is needed, no fanning is required, and
the cooling is accomplished equally well and in a shorter space of time.

The process of bathing, as pursued by the Turks, is also deserving
of note. It is as follows:--Firstly, there is the _seasoning of the
body_, in the accomplishment of which the skin becomes warm, soft, and
moist. Then follows the shampooing or manipulation of the muscles,
and stretching and playing the joints. Next comes the rubbing up and
removal of the surface-layer of the scarf-skin. To this succeeds
soaping and rinsing; and the process concludes with the cooling and
drying of the skin.

"These are the five acts of the drama." The first scene is acted in the
middle chamber, the next three in the inner chamber, and the last in
the outer hall.

But that which most of all strikes us in the Turkish bath is the
order, the decorum, the tranquillity, the dignity, the delicacy of the
whole proceeding. A screen is held before the bather while he unrobes;
his clothes are carefully folded and tied up; before he leaves the
platform, he is clad in a becoming costume, which he retains till the
end of the process, and he is guarded by similar decencies until he
retires and quits the bath. This is the example which all true admirers
of the bath hope to see followed in Britain: it is the Turkish bath
which we seek to emulate, not merely in its construction, but also in
its manners and management. There is one matter, however, in which
we must fail--namely, in the multitude of attendants; but in this
particular we must learn to do what we can, and not what we will.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu has afforded us the rare opportunity of
seeing the interior of a woman's bath in Turkey: her narrative, it is
true, relates to the practice in 1717, nearly one hundred and fifty
years back; but probably no great change has taken place since then.
The bath she visited was at St. Sophia, "famous for its hot baths,
that are resorted to for diversion and health." The bath "is built of
stone in the shape of a dome, with no windows but in the roof, which
gives light enough. There were five of these domes joined together, the
outmost being less than the rest, and serving only as a hall, where
the portress stood at the door.... The next room is a very large one,
paved with marble, and all round it are two raised sofas (platforms)
of marble, one above another. There were four fountains of cold water
in this room, falling first into marble basins, and then running on
the floor in little channels made for that purpose; ... the next room,
something less than this, with the same sort of marble sofas, but so
hot with steam ... proceeding from the baths joining to it, it was
impossible to stay there with one's clothes on. The two other domes
were the hot baths."

The mustaby was already full of women, and Lady Mary remarks on their
good breeding. She was dressed in a riding habit; "yet there was not
one of them that showed the least surprise or impertinent curiosity,
but received me with all the obliging civility possible. I know no
European Court where the ladies would have behaved themselves in so
polite a manner to such a stranger. I believe, upon the whole, that
there were two hundred women, and yet none of those disdainful smiles
and satirical whispers that never fail in our assemblies when anybody
appears that is not dressed exactly in the fashion. They repeated over
and over to me, _Guzél, péc guzél_, which is nothing but _Charming,
very charming_."

"The first sofas"--that is, the lower platform--"were covered with
cushions and rich carpets, on which sat the ladies; and on the second
their slaves behind them, but without any distinction of rank by their
dress, all being in the state of nature, that is, in plain English,
stark naked." There was as little to disturb them in that state as a
group of naked children in the nursery; they had practised the usage of
the bath from their infancy, and the idea of indelicacy would no more
have crossed their minds than it would that of Eve previously to her
temptation. "They walked and moved with the same majestic grace which
Milton describes our general mother with. There were many amongst them
as exactly proportioned as ever any goddess was drawn by the pencil
of a Guido or Titian--and most of their skins shiningly white, only
adorned by their beautiful hair, divided into many tresses, hanging
on their shoulders, braided either with pearl or ribbon, perfectly
representing the figures of the Graces.

"I was here convinced of the truth of a reflection I have often made,
_that if it were the fashion to go naked, the face would be hardly
observed_. I perceived that the ladies of the most delicate skins and
finest shapes had the greatest share of my admiration, though their
faces were sometimes less beautiful than those of their companions."
The ladies were occupied "some in conversation, some working, others
drinking coffee or sherbet, and many negligently lying on their
cushions, while their slaves (generally pretty girls of seventeen
or eighteen) were employed in braiding their hair in several pretty
fancies.... They generally take this diversion once a week, and stay
there at least four or five hours, without getting cold by immediately
coming out of the hot bath into the cold room, which was very
surprising to me."

This latter remark probably explains Lady Mary's refusal to take a bath
with her companions. One of the ladies pressed her very hard, until she
was at last forced to open her shirt and show them her stays, which,
she says, "satisfied them very well; for, I saw, they believed I was
locked up in that machine, and that it was not in my own power to open
it, which contrivance they attributed to my husband."

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu also illustrates the extravagant decoration
and expenditure that were bestowed upon some of the private baths
even in Turkey, an extravagance that calls to mind the baths of Rome.
Speaking of a bath she visited at Calcedonia, she observes:--"The
baths, fountains, and pavements are all of white marble, the roofs
gilt, and the walls covered with Japan china. Adjoining to them are two
rooms, the uppermost of which is divided into a sofa, and in the four
corners are falls of water from the very roof, from shell to shell,
of white marble, to the lower end of the room, where it falls into a
large basin surrounded with pipes that throw up the water as high as
the roof. The walls are in the nature of lattices; and on the outside
of them there are vines and woodbines planted that form a sort of green
tapestry, and give an agreeable obscurity to those delightful chambers."

THE EGYPTIAN BATH is an offshoot of the Turkish bath; and the process,
although somewhat different, preserves the general characteristics of
its parent. Bayle St. John, in his "Village Life in Egypt,"[10] gives
us the following sketch of the Egyptian Bath:--

[10] 1852.

"We went to the bath to be sweated and scraped, and rubbed and
lathered and soused, in company with the respectabilities of
Siout--brown-skinned, hairy, rotund gentlemen, who submitted to
the operation with a gravity and sedateness at once admirable and
ludicrous. Our presence, perhaps, put them upon stilts; but it was
evident that, as they lay like porpoises about the slushed benches,
enjoying a gentle titillation from the horny palm of the bath servant,
or submitting head, back, and breast to the cunning razor, they felt
what important people they were--citizens of a place which possessed
a real bath, with _hararah_, _faskiyeh_, and, above all, a scalding
_makhtas_--the summum bonum of the Egyptian bather; for not all the
race of Pharaoh bathe, as not all Frenchmen go to cafés, nor all
Englishmen to clubs. From Cairo to Siout we had not found one of these
luxurious establishments. In the antechamber, whilst we were being
kneaded as if for dough by a coaxing lawingee, one old gentleman, who
had doubtless been soaking for hours, came and sat down, wrapped in a
sheet, opposite to us."

Mr. St. John fails to tell us to what extent he appreciated the bath;
but Thackeray,[11] after a similar bath at Cairo, observes:--"The
after-bath state is the most delightful condition of laziness I ever
knew, and I tried it wherever we went afterwards on our little tour.
At Smyrna the whole business was much inferior to the method employed
in the capital. At Cairo, after the soap, you are plunged into a sort
of stone coffin, full of water which is almost boiling.[12] This has
its charms, but I could not relish the Egyptian shampooing. A hideous
old blind man (but very dexterous in his art) tried to break my back
and dislocate my shoulders, but I could not see the pleasure of the
practice; and another fellow began tickling the soles of my feet."

[11] "Notes of a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo." 1846.

[12] Probably the scalding makhtas of Bayle St. John.

M. Savary, in his "Letters on Egypt," published nearly a century back,
gives a description of the bath which is nearly identical with that
of modern writers. The first apartment, he says, is "a great chamber
in the form of a rotunda, with an open roof," and a fountain in the
centre, which plays into a reservoir. "A spacious alcove, carpeted,
is carried round, and divided into compartments, in which the bathers
leave their clothes," and to which they return when the bath is over.
When undressed, "sandals are put on, and a narrow passage is entered,
where the heat first begins to be felt; the door shuts, and twenty
paces further a second opens, which is the entrance to a passage at
right angles with the first. Here the heat augments, and those who
fear to expose themselves too suddenly to its effects, stop some time
in a marble hall (middle chamber) before they enter. The bath itself
(inner chamber) is a spacious vaulted chamber, paved and lined with
marble; beside it are four small rooms: a vapour continually rises from
a fountain and cistern of hot water, with which the burnt perfumes

His notice of the process of shampooing differs somewhat from that of
others:--"A gentle moisture diffuses itself over the body; a servant
comes, gently presses and turns the bather, and when the limbs are
flexible, makes the joints crack without trouble, then _masses_
(touches lightly), and seems to knead the body without giving the
slightest sensation of pain.

"This done, he puts on a stuff glove, and continues rubbing long,"
until the skin "becomes as smooth as satin; he then conducts the
bather into a cabinet, pours a lather of perfumed soap on the head,
and retires." "The room into which the bather retires has two
water-cocks--one for cold, the other for hot water; and he washes

"Being well washed and purified, the bather is wrapped up in hot linen.
Being come to the alcove, a bed is ready prepared, on which the person
no sooner lies down, than a boy comes, and begins to press with his
delicate hands all parts of the body, in order to dry them perfectly;
the linen is once more changed, and the boy gently rubs the callous
skin of the feet with pumice stone, then brings a pipe and Mocha

M. Savary then draws the following picture of the sensations of the
bath:--"Coming from a bath filled with hot vapour, in which excessive
perspiration bedewed every limb, into a spacious apartment and the
open air, the lungs expand and respire at pleasure: well kneaded, and,
as it were, regenerated, the blood circulates freely, the body feels
a voluptuous ease, a flexibility till then unknown, a lightness as if
relieved from some enormous weight, and the man almost fancies himself
newly-born and beginning first to live. A glowing consciousness of
existence diffuses itself to the very extremities; and, while thus
yielding to the most delightful sensations, ideas of the most pleasing
kind pervade and fill the soul; the imagination wanders through worlds
which itself embellishes, everywhere drawing pictures of happiness
and delight. If life be only a succession of ideas, the vigour, the
rapidity with which the memory then retraces all the knowledge of the
man would lead us to believe that the two hours of delicious calm which
succeed bathing are an age.

"Such, sir, are these baths, the use of which was so strongly
recommended by the ancients, and the pleasures of which the Egyptians
still enjoy. Here they prevent or exterminate rheumatisms, catarrhs,
and those diseases of the skin which the want of perspiration
occasions. Here they rid themselves of those uncomfortable sensations
so common among other nations, who have not the same regard to

[13] "Tournefort, who had taken the vapour baths at Constantinople,
where they are much less careful than at Grand Cairo, thinks they
injure the lungs; but longer experience would have convinced him of
his error. There are no people who practise this bathing more than
the Egyptians, nor any to whom such diseases are less known. They are
almost wholly unacquainted with pulmonic complaints."

With the Turkish bath for our model, let us now inquire--What the bath
has been doing in Britain? and, How a desire to restore it first came
among us? That it is among us is a fact beyond question, and that it
has spread through society with marvellous rapidity no longer admits
of doubt. In the year 1850, Mr. Urquhart published an interesting work
in two volumes, entitled "The Pillars of Hercules; or, a Narrative
of Travels in Spain and Morocco in 1848." In the preface to this
work occurs the following passage:--"I have no expectation that my
suggestions will modify the lappet of a coat, or the leavening of
a loaf; but there is one subject in which I am not without hope of
having placed a profitable habit more within the chance of adoption
than it has hitherto been--I mean the bath." In the second volume of
this work there is a chapter (Chapter VIII.) devoted to the bath, and
especially to a description of the Turkish and Moorish bath. It is
from this source that I have drawn the description which I have just
given; and the author refers to it in the conclusion of his seventh
chapter in these words:--"A chapter," says he, "which, if the reader
will peruse it with diligence and apply with care, may prolong his
life, fortify his body, diminish his ailments, augment his enjoyments,
and improve his temper; then, having found something beneficial to
himself, he may be prompted to do something to secure the like for his

Six years after the publication of this work--namely, in 1856--Mr.
Urquhart visited Ireland, and made the acquaintance of Dr. Richard
Barter, the proprietor of a water-cure establishment at Blarney. Dr.
Barter, struck with the conversation of Mr. Urquhart, and delighted
with his description of the Turkish bath, which he subsequently read in
the "Pillars of Hercules," wrote to him as follows:--"Your description
of the Turkish bath has electrified me. If you will come down here and
superintend the erection of one, men, money, and materials shall be at
your disposal."

Mr. Urquhart, in his zeal for the cause, on which he has so ably and
so eloquently written, accepted the invitation, and a month later, the
foundation-stone of the Turkish Bath of St. Anne's Hill, Blarney--the
parent of numerous baths which have since sprung into existence in
Ireland--was laid.

The chiefs of the pioneers of the Bath in England, following the
teachings of Mr. Urquhart, are, Mr. George Crawshay, Sir John Fife, Mr.
George Witt, and Mr. Stewart Rolland. The first private bath erected
in England was that of Mr. Crawshay, in 1857. In the same year, Mr.
Urquhart constructed a small bath at his residence at Lytham, and
the year following commenced his elegant bath at Riverside. Mr. Witt
followed in 1858, and Mr. Rolland in 1859. It was in Mr. Witt's bath
that I first took rank as a bather, and on that account, as well as
for its comfort and simplicity, and the philanthropic character of its
owner, Mr. Witt's bath will always occupy a first place both in my
memory and in my heart. Let me describe it.

On the ground-floor of his house in Prince's Terrace, Hyde Park, is a
room twenty feet long by ten feet in breadth, and twelve feet high,
with a window looking out upon a lead-flat. This room he divided by a
partition into two compartments, two-thirds of the room being devoted
to the purposes of a cool-room, and the remaining third to a hot-room.
The outer room being the Mustaby or Frigidarium; the inner room being
the hot-room of the Turkish Hamâm, the Calidarium and Sudatorium of the
Romans; there was no space for a middle room, or Tepidarium.

Piercing the wall of the Calidarium near its floor is a furnace of
simple construction, opening on the lead-flat outside, and projecting
for some distance inside into the room, where it is covered with a
casing of fire-brick; the furnace ends in a flue, and the flue, which
is one foot square, runs around the room, close to the floor, and close
also to the wall, being separated from both the one and the other by a
space of a few inches. Having completed the circuit of the room, the
flue ascends the angle of the apartment to the ceiling, and terminates
by opening into a chimney-shaft. The room is heated by the radiation
of caloric from the casing of the furnace, and from the flue; and the
flue being thirty-five feet in length, presents a radiating surface of
nearly fifty yards.

The other features in the construction of the Calidarium are, a wooden
seat, which runs round the room, immediately over the flue; a platform
which supports a _dureta_, or couch of repose; a small tank holding ten
gallons of water, kept warm by its position against the chimney-shaft,
and two pipes which project into the room, at an elevation of six feet
and a half, for supplying warm water from the tank, and cold water from
the ordinary house-service; add to this a double door of entrance, a
small window, and five circular holes in the wall for ventilation, and
the Calidarium is complete.

Let me now conduct the reader through the process of taking a bath.

We enter the Frigidarium; we divest ourselves of our clothing, which we
hang on pegs fixed along the end of the room; this is the Vestiarium,
or Apodyterium; and here we put off our shoes. We then dress ourselves
for the bath: we wind a long strip of Turkish red twilled cotton around
our hips, in the fashion of a cummerbund or kilt; it descends nearly
to our knees; we fold another strip turban-wise around our head; and
behold! we are ready to enter the region of heat. We need no wooden
pattens, no _cob cob_; on the clean India matting of the Frigidarium,
where shoe-leather never treads, there is no dust; on the floor of the
Calidarium we shall find neither slop nor excessive heat; we may press
our naked sole against Mother Earth as we would press palm to palm with
our dearest friend.

The question of precedence being settled, the double door is opened,
and we enter the Calidarium. How deliciously the warm air seems to
fold us in its soft embrace; we look at the thermometer: it is 135°.
How very nice! How very agreeable! are the expressions which we hear
softly breathed around us, for we are not alone: we are one of five
or six "Companions of the Bath." The air is clear--no vapoury mists;
it is fresh, for there is a free circulation of air through the room;
but how marvellously soothing! All care, all anxiety, all trouble, all
memory of the external world and its miserable littleness, is chased
from the mind; our thoughts are absorbed in rapturous contemplation of
the delights of the New World--the Paradise into which we have just
been admitted. The tyrant PAIN, even, loses his miscreant power here;
the toothache, where is it gone? the headache, gone too; the spasm
no longer bides; the grinding aches of craving appetite, the pang of
neuralgia, of rheumatism, of gout--all are fled; for this is the region
where the suffering find a soothing relief from all their torments; and
over the door is it not written:--THIS IS THE CALIDARIUM; PAIN ENTERS

Ten minutes slip away in an enjoyment that seems to last for a
lifetime; and what is our condition now? The skin is warm, it is soft,
it is moist, for sensible perspiration has commenced. Those parts
perspire first which have been most exposed to the air--namely, the
forehead, the head, the neck, the chest and shoulders, because these
parts, from that very exposure, are in the most normal state. We are
shortly, "like Niobe, all tears;" but our tears are tears of bliss.
Tears of perspiration collect in beads at the apertures of the pores;
tears glide down the surface, and fall from all the salient points
of our frame, from our elbows, from our finger-ends; a sweet languor
creeps over us, and we feel as though, like a heathen god of old, we
were dissolving into a liquid stream.

  "Here Fluvius wept; as now a stream declares."

We experience the truth of the saying of Sanctorius, "that melancholy
is overcome by a free perspiration, and that cheerfulness, without any
evident cause, proceeds from perspiration succeeding well."

It is a curious, but at the same time an obvious fact, with regard to
perspiration, that it depends very materially on the habit and training
of the skin. The beginner in the use of the bath perspires slowly,
languidly, partially, incompletely, while the accustomed bather is
known by the freedom of his perspiration. The apprentice-hand has no
thirst in the bath, for a small portion only of the excess of watery
fluid is abstracted from his tissues and from his blood. But the
practised bather has no such excess, his blood yields its diluting
water with great freedom, he thirsts in the bath, and he drinks freely.
I know a gentleman who sometimes consumes a gallon of water in the
bath, but none remains when he comes out: all has been dissipated by
perspiration. In a chemical analysis of the perspiration of a group of
bathers, recently made, that fluid was found loaded with saline and
organic matter in the recruits, but was almost pure in the veteran
bather: his blood was washed as clean as that of the working man who
eats the bread of labour--that sweetest of all bread, the bread that
has been earned with the sweat of his brow.

I hardly know a more curious or more beautiful sight than that of the
healthy skin of a practised bather, spangled over with limpid drops of
perspiration like dew-drops on the petals of a rose, or like beads of
crystal, as I heard a Doctor of Divinity once call them, in the bath.
The Reverend Doctor, although a distinguished member of the Protestant
Church, was, as a witty friend remarked, "devoutly counting his beads."

Among the labourers in hot rooms, or in proximity with hot furnaces, as
in the manufacture of glass, enamel, porcelain, and gas, the working of
engines, and the smelting of metals, perspiration is very profuse, and
the lost fluid is replaced by the drinking of water, or more commonly
of thin gruel; restoring the balance of fluids not by mere water, but
actually by a nutritive drink. Look at these men, working in the open
air, or in the midst of thorough draughts, with rivers of perspiration
streaming down their athletic frames, and ask their history; they
are healthy, long-lived and happy. In the copper-smelting works at
Swansea, the heat between the furnaces at which the men work is 200° of
Fahrenheit; they drink a gallon of thin gruel every hour, working four
hours at a stretch, and the ground on which they stand is a pool of

I have said that the temperature of Mr. Witt's bath is 135°, and a
very agreeable temperature it is; but the temperature of the bath is a
point upon which a few observations must be made. The temperature of
the Calidarium in Mr. Urquhart's and Mr. Rolland's bath is 170°, and is
equally agreeable, equally fresh, equally enjoyable. What then, it may
be asked, is the difference between these baths, that renders such a
wide range of temperature equally pleasant? It is one of construction.
Mr. Witt's Calidarium is small, well ventilated for its size, but a
higher temperature than 135° or 140° would be oppressive if more than
two or three bathers were present. Moreover, in Mr. Witt's bath, there
is an invisible vapour of water in suspension in the atmosphere. Mr.
Rolland's bath is larger than Mr. Witt's, and the atmosphere perfectly
dry. Size of apartment and dryness of atmosphere are therefore the
opposites of restricted space and moist atmosphere. Mr. Urquhart's
bath, with a higher temperature than Mr. Rolland's, is fresher than
either, because he has been enabled to combine greater size, greater
altitude, a fresher material, namely, marble, moisture, and partial
heating by means of the hypocaust. So the question of temperature must
be regarded as relative, and not positive; a higher temperature will be
fresher in a large and well-ventilated bath with few inmates, than a
lower temperature in a small and less perfectly ventilated apartment.
Whereas, the bath that may be fresh and agreeable in the morning when
few bathers are present, may be insufferable in the after part of the
day when a succession of bathers has rendered the atmosphere moist,
or when many bathers are therein. The effect of many bathers being
necessarily to curtail space, infuse moisture into the atmosphere, and
deteriorate the ventilating medium. The temperature of a bath must
therefore be specially adapted to the particular bath; it must rise or
fall with its proportions or with its means of ventilation; it must
rise or fall with its number of bathers; it must rise in the morning
and fall in the evening. We may fix the temperature of a hot bath, but
we cannot determine that of a Turkish bath.

One of the things which strikes the popular mind the most vividly in
the British Turkish bath is the _high temperature_. When we call to
mind that a hot bath is scalding at 110°, and a vapour bath at 120°,
we are astonished to hear of a bath that is enjoyable at 20°, 30°, and
even 50° above the temperature of scalding water. Nay, more, that can
be borne without inconvenience at _double_ the temperature of scalding
water. Mr. Witt, one evening at a dinner-party, explained the curious
difference of action of heat on living and dead organic matter. A few
days after, a baronet, who was one of the party, visited Mr. Witt in
his bath, and wrote to an incredulous friend as follows:--"I have been
at Mr. Witt's bath; all that he told us is true. I cooked a mutton-chop
on my knee! and in eating it afterwards the only inconvenience that I
experienced was in the matter of the bread--it became toast before I
could get it to my mouth." Since I first published this anecdote, a
very matter-of-fact gentleman has written to me to say: "Well! I can
believe the mutton-chop, but is not the bread changing to toast in
its way to the mouth a little too much for credit?" I can best answer
my matter-of-fact friend by saying, that in Mr. Urquhart's bath at
Riverside, I sat for at least ten minutes, and without the slightest
inconvenience, in his Laconicum, at a temperature of 240°--namely, 28°
degrees above the boiling-point of water. If I had had bread, or meat,
or eggs with me, they must necessarily have been cooked at that heat.
But in reality there is nothing wonderful in all this. I am informed
that during the Indian mutiny, the heat in the tents was sometimes as
high as 140°. Sir Charles Blagden remained for ten minutes in a room
heated to 260°. Sir Francis Chantrey's oven, in which his moulds were
dried, and which was constantly entered by his men, was heated to 350°.
The ovens in the slate-enamelling works of Mr. Magnus, at Pimlico, also
habitually entered by the workmen, have a temperature of 350°. And the
oven in which Chabert, the so-called Fire King, exhibited in London
some years back, was heated to 400° and 500°.

We may therefore pass over the bravery of the exceeding high
temperatures as an established fact, and not worthy of a single
further remark. Man, who would be scalded by water at a temperature
of 110°, and vapour or steam at 120°, can bear for a short time dry
air at a temperature of 500° of Fahrenheit, and upwards. But this does
not so much concern us as the question--WHAT IS THE BEST TEMPERATURE
OF BATH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF HEALTH? My answer must be, a moderate
temperature--a temperature ranging in medium limits between 120° and
140°. The Romans, who lost the bath, used very high temperatures; the
Turks, who have preserved it, who use it to this day, have recourse,
as I have already shown, to very moderate temperatures. For further
corroboration of the argument, let us glance at the purpose of the
bath--its intention is to _warm_, to _relax_, to induce a _gentle_,
_continuous_, and _prolonged perspiration_. It is obvious that a gentle
temperature will effect this object more thoroughly and completely than
a burning, parching temperature of 150° and upwards. Our purpose is not
to dry up the tissues, to rob the blood of its diluent fluid, but to
soften the callous scarf-skin that it may be peeled off, and to take
away the excess of fluids pervading the economy, and with this excess
any irritant and morbid matters which they may hold in solution.

But all this while I have been infringing one of the rules of the bath;
I have been talking in the bath, and talking is of doubtful propriety;
the demeanour of the bather while in the bath must be tranquil,
composed, calm; he must give himself up to the dissolving process
without exertion of muscle or mind; he may rub his skin gently; he may
talk gently, sententiously, like a Turk, but he must not allow himself
to become animated, and above all, he must not be vociferous. The bath
is a practice intended for the body's health, and therefore deserves
all our consideration and respect. The rule of Mr. Witt's bath cannot
be too closely adhered to--_only one talker at a time_--and it has the
further advantage that the talker knowing himself listened to, takes
time to think before he speaks.

In my experience it has rarely happened that a novitiate has felt any
inconvenience on his first entrance into the bath. The practised bather
is never disturbed from the beginning to the end of the process. But
the beginner may, after the first quarter of an hour, or when the
perspiration is coming forth in abundance, feel a little oppression,
sometimes a little faintness, and sometimes a little increased action
CALIDARIUM; if there be a Tepidarium he will go into it, if not, he may
step into the Frigidarium. The uneasy feeling soon passes away, and
then he should return to the Calidarium. He may do this as often as he
likes, and with the most perfect safety; and _with this hint_ it will
be his own fault if he suffer any inconvenience whatever. The remedy
is not so simple when, as sometimes happens, the fount of perspiration
is as yet unopened, when the bather has never perspired, or to a very
imperfect and trifling extent. Here, of course, the relief which is
afforded to the system by perspiration is absent, and the bather may be
seriously incommoded. He must not persist; force is antagonistic to the
animal economy; he must succumb, and essay to bring about perspiration
by the steady use of the vapour bath,--by such a bath, in fact, as the
middle room of the Turkish bath. I know many persons who have never
perspired, to whom the luxury of the bath is consequently lost. I know
others who cannot perspire in dry air, but can do so in vapour. How
frequently we are brought to reflect on the wisdom of the Turks, who
have added so much vapour to their bath since they received it as an
inheritance from the Romans.

How long shall I continue in the bath, says Amicus?--As long, my
friend, as may be agreeable to yourself. You do not ask me how long
you shall eat, nor how long you should sit at table. The instinct that
tells you to place your knife and fork across your plate, must also
direct you in finishing your bath. Something will depend, it is true,
on the temperature, and the rapidity of the process of perspiration.
If the temperature have been very agreeable, and perspiration slow,
continuous, and efficient, you may pass the best part of an hour in the
Calidarium. If it have been too hot, and the process untimely hurried,
you must bring your enjoyment more speedily to an end.

We shall suppose that our friends have enjoyed their bath, and have
agreeably spent three-quarters of an hour in the Calidarium:--the skin
is now warm and moist, and the whole frame, its muscles and its joints,
are softened and relaxed. This is the proper state and period, for
those operations on the muscles and joints which are called SHAMPOOING.
But as the art of shampooing is unknown in this country, or, if
attempted, is practised only in the public baths, we must be contented
in our private bath to pass over that process, the SECOND of the bath,
and betake ourselves to that which follows, the _rolling_ or _peeling_
of the scarf-skin.

We cannot, however, wholly pass by the process of shampooing without
a cursory glance at the nature of the operation and the manner of
its performance. In the _inner room_ of the Turkish bath, we have,
following the description of Mr. Urquhart, seen the bather laid upon
his back, on the marble platform under the centre of the dome, his
mantle converted into a sheet to protect him from the heat of the
marble, and his turban placed beneath his head in the guise of a
pillow. The shampooer, or _tellak_ as he is termed--and to perform the
operation properly there should be two,--"kneels at your side, and
bending over, grips and presses your chest, arms, and legs, passing
from part to part, like a bird shifting its place on a perch. He
brings his whole weight on you with a jerk, follows the line of muscle
with anatomical thumb, draws the open hand strongly over the surface,
particularly round the shoulder, turning you half up in so doing;
stands with his feet on the thighs and on the chest, and slips down the
ribs; then up again three times; and, lastly, doubling your arms one
after the other on the chest, pushes with both hands down, beginning
at the elbow, and then, putting an arm under the back and applying his
chest to your crossed elbows, rolls on you across till you crack. You
are now turned on your face, and, in addition to the operation above
described he works his elbow round the edges of your shoulder-blade,
and with the heel plies hard the angle of the neck; he concludes by
hauling the body half up by each arm successively, while he stands with
one foot on the opposite thigh. You are then raised for a moment to a
sitting posture, and a contortion given to the small of the back with
the knee, and a jerk to the neck by the two hands holding the temples."

At Dar el Baida Mr. Urquhart enjoyed the opportunity of "examining a
public bath of the Moors belonging to their good times. The disposition
varies from that of the ancient Thermæ and the modern Hamâms. The grand
and noble portion of the Turkish and the ancient bath was a dome, open
to the heavens in the centre." Such a dome, without the opening in the
centre, exists in the Moorish bath, but it is the inner and not the
outer apartment. "The vault has deep ribs in the fashion of a clam
shell, and is supported upon columns with horse-shoe arches spreading
between. Instead of a system of flues through the walls, only one
passed through the centre under the floor. To get at it, I had to break
through the pavement of beaten mortar covering a slab of marble. It was
nearly filled up with a deposit, partly of soot and partly of earthy
matter, which I imagined to be the residuum of gazul." The examination
of this bath awakened a desire to experience the process of the bath
as practised among this ancient people. There was a bath in the house
of the Governor of the province, but the Governor was away, and it was
not until Mr. Urquhart had sustained a long religious argument with
the Caid, that he was permitted to complete his experience. His bath
attendant and shampooer was the sub-governor; and the occurrence was to
be kept secret from the inhabitants of the town on religious grounds.
This may explain, perhaps, the roughness of the receptions which Mr.
Urquhart met with, and the absence of those refinements and comforts
which commonly belong to the Eastern bath.

The bather, he says, "enters the Calidarium naked, he has no bath
linen; the bath-room is single, and placed over an oven; while a
caldron of water, heated on the fire below, throws its steam into the
apartment. The floor is burning hot; he has no pattens; and boards are
laid for him to tread upon; the glove operation commences at once.
There was a dish of gazul for the shampooer to rub his hands in. I was
seated on the board with my legs straight out before me; the shampooer
seated himself on the same board behind me, stretching out his legs.
He then made me close my fingers upon the toes of his feet, by which
he got a purchase against me, and rubbing his hands in the gazul,
commenced upon the middle of my back, with a sharp motion up and down,
between beating and rubbing, his hands working in opposite directions.
After rubbing in this way the back, he pulled my arms through his own
and through each other, twisting me about in the most extraordinary
manner, and drawing his fingers across the region of the diaphragm, so
as to make me, a practised bather, shriek. After rubbing in this way
the skin, and stretching at the same time the joints of my upper body,
he came and placed himself at my feet, dealing with my legs in like
manner. Then thrice taking each leg and lifting it up, he placed his
head under the calf, and raising himself, scraped the leg as with a
rough brush, for his shaved head had the grain downwards. The operation
concluded by his biting my heel."

The Moorish bath "certainly does clear off the epidermis, work the
flesh, excite the skin, set at work the absorbent and exuding vessels,
raise the temperature, apply moisture;--but the refinements and
luxuries are wanting."

Captain Clark Kennedy and his friends met with no such difficulties as
those experienced by Mr. Urquhart. After a fatiguing day's journey,
they visited a public Moorish bath at Medeah, and Captain Kennedy
records their experiences, which show a family resemblance to the
Turkish Hamâm. Passing, he says, "through a narrow passage, we, entered
a room with two sides, occupied by a sloping divan seven feet wide,
and raised a couple of feet from the floor." "We took off our clothes,
replaced them with a voluminous wrapper of white cotton, and thrusting
our toes into leather loops tacked to a pair of wooden soles, shuffled
along, led, by an attendant, to a small apartment, full of steam and
tolerably warm, adjoining the bath-room. Here we changed our drapery
for dark cotton handkerchiefs, fastened round the waist like kilts,
and, passed on into a vaulted stone chamber, lit by a solitary lamp
hanging from the roof, whose sickly, light, struggling with the clouds
of steam and the darkness, just rendered visible the strange forms
of the bath attendants, naked, like ourselves, to the waist, with a
single lock of dark hair, dripping with, moisture, dangling from each
uncovered shaven head.

"The pavement was flooded with hot water, and at first the heat was
so oppressive I could hardly breathe; but the feeling went off after
having been seated for a few minutes on a stone bench in the centre
of the bath. We were now all laid out in a row on the pavement, each
stretched on a blue cloth, with a rolled-up towel under the head, and
an operator for each person. My attendant was a musical character, for
when he commenced shampooing he accompanied his labours with a song,
marking the chorus at the end of each verse by a punch of extra force.
Being well soaked and softened, I was now scrubbed with a camel's-hair
glove until I felt as if I had no skin at all. I then had my legs and
arms pulled, my head screwed round with a jerk, was then doubled up
like a boot-jack by his kneeling on my shoulders, my arms were brought
behind me, and while his knee was forced into the hollow of my back,
two or three dexterous twists put in motion each rib and vertebra;
he then finished by endeavouring to crack, separately, every toe and
finger. A large bowl of soap-suds was now brought, and, with a handful
of the soft fibres of the aloe, he lathered me from head to foot. A
plentiful supply of hot water was now poured over me, and, reconducted
into the interior, I was enveloped in clean, white, warm linen, a
long soft towel was wrapped round my head as a turban; and, lastly,
taken into the outer room, I was laid upon the divan with three or
four sheets over all." "The feeling of lightness and elasticity given
to a fatigued and stiffened body by a Moorish bath cannot be imagined
without being felt." "It was too much trouble at the time to analyse
my own feelings, but I remember the predominant idea was that I felt
exceedingly comfortable." The process lasted two hours.

And now a word as to the operation of shampooing. Any inhabitant of
a Northern climate like our own must read these descriptions of the
process with wonder not unmixed with dread. Who but a professed acrobat
would venture to submit to an operation in which a man "stands with
his feet on the thighs and on the chest, and slips (his feet) down
the ribs, then up again three times?" or "putting an arm under the
back, and applying his chest to your crossed elbows, rolls on you
across till you crack?" I have already explained that the operation
of shampooing requires that the skin and the whole body, especially
the muscular system, should be thoroughly softened before this process
is commenced; and it would appear that when the proper degree of
softening is attained, the Eastern people, who are remarkable for the
pliability and elasticity of their joints, can support the operation
without inconvenience. But the Northern races are built for strength
and endurance; their quality is solidity, not pliability; their joints
are too firmly knit, and the bones too strongly braced together, to
permit of the application of such force as would make the skeleton
crack, without serious inconvenience and, indeed, danger. We have but
to see the Asiatic throw his foot over his shoulder, bend his finger
upon the back of his hand, crack every joint of the fingers with the
most moderate traction, or drop gracefully upon the ground, sitting
on the side of the foot, with the sole upturned towards the skies, to
be assured that there is something in the structure of the bones and
joints of the Asiatic that does not exist amongst us. And if one of
these people were to tie himself up in a knot, we should not be much
surprised. We know, also, that this curious pliability of the frame
is enjoyed by Europeans born and reared in the East; and, moreover,
that where it exists in a most perfect degree while such persons are
residing in the East, it is considerably diminished, and even lost,
on their migration to a cold climate. There are, doubtless, many
persons amongst us who could bear the Turkish process of shampooing,
and particularly after a sojourn of some time in the East, where
the climate alone would tend to soften their organism; and we can
comprehend how a sailor, whose special education is pliability and
ductility of body and limb, could go through the process creditably;
but we cannot realize the same of the soldier or the ploughman; and
as little should we tolerate a similar penance ourselves. Turkish
shampooing may continue to be practised in the Turkish Hamâm, but the
process must be considerably modified before it can become popular in

There can be no doubt that a modified shampooing would form a valuable
addition to the Anglo-Turkish bath; that the friction of the skin, the
pressing and kneading of the muscles, the traction of the sinews, the
playing of the joints, even a certain pressure of the viscera, would be
attended with benefit; and when there existed stiffening or thickening
from chronic disease, as of rheumatism and gout, of immense advantage.
The British shampooer has all this to learn, and we commend to him two
considerations--agility and moderation.

After the shampooing--the second operation of the bath, that
which immediately follows the seasoning of the body by warmth and
moisture--there comes the THIRD OPERATION, the rolling and peeling of
the outer layers of the scarf-skin; an operation in which the Turks
are very expert. The scarf-skin has become softened and swollen by
the warm moisture of the atmosphere and the exudation of perspiration
from the skin, and is in a state ready for peeling and collecting into
rolls and removing by the process of friction with the camel's-hair or
goat-hair glove, the _kheesah_ of India. In this operation there is no
soap employed, the skin is as yet untouched with soap, and we rely for
our success on simple friction. The Moors commence the process a little
earlier, before the scarf-skin is thoroughly soaked, and use _gazul_.
The Turks give a longer period to the softening of the albuminous
layers of the epidermis, and _gazul_ ceases to be necessary. We have no
grease well powdered with dust to require the _strigil_ of the Romans;
we have no _gazul_; and we therefore follow in the footsteps of the
Turk: we soak lengthily, lazily in our Tepidarium, or the cooler side
of our Calidarium, and when we have artistically softened the epiderm,
when we are done to a turn, we assume the glove, and we sweep with long
strokes and firmly over the skin from the nuque to the podex, from the
brow to the toe's end, until we have rolled and slid off the softened
layers, and have developed the pure and satiny surface beneath. The
old scarf is shed, we cast our exuviæ, and we are refulgent in the
brightness and purity of our newest garment. After this, a warm flood
of water, rushing upon us like a summer shower, or streaming over us
like a waterfall from the regions of the sun; and all the foul scales
that constitute the paved mosaic of the outward man are washed clean

In the public bath, this delicious operation is performed by the bath
attendant, by the shampooer, the tellak, or in whatever other name
he may delight. In the private bath, the host is so condescending as
to give his guest a rub down, or an obliging and expert "companion
of the bath" does the kind office for his fellow C.B., particularly
if he be a callous, horny-skinned, and begrimed novitiate. We have
seen Mr. Witt playing the camel's-hair glove, with the grace of an
Apollo, by the hour; we have had our own epidermal integument groomed
with most exquisite tenderness by a noble of the highest rank, for
the time our "companion of the bath;" by those veteran pioneers
of the bath, Mr. Witt and Mr. Rolland; and we have travelled in
imagination to the ancient Phœnician city of Dar el Baida, nay, to the
antediluvian Baalbec itself, gazing in admiration on the very features
of the "giants that lived in those days," and on their marvellous
achievements, and embarking with Noah and his sons in their vast and
wonderful ship, while Mr. Urquhart has been sweeping adown our back and
limbs with the camel's-hair pad filled with Mauritanian gazul, at his
delightful Tusculum at Riverside.

The next operation, the fourth in order of proceeding, brings into
play the soap and the wisp of the white fibre of the Mecca palm--the
_lyf_. The bather stands before the operator, or sits on the margin
of the sunken basin that serves as a _lavatrina_ or _labrum_; the
operator draws towards him the wooden basin, half filled with warm
water, or warm suds, or in the Turkish Hamâm with soft soap; he dips
his white bunch of lyf in the snowy lather, or rubs it well with
Castile or ordinary soap, and he then gently, but thoroughly, glides
over the entire surface of the bather, from the crown of the head to
the soles of the feet. How exquisite is the feeling of the cleansing
operation to the sensorium of the skin; and how still more enjoyable
is the warm cascade which bursts over him as soon as the soaping and
its accompanying friction are at end; how difficult to bring the mind
to the belief that we have had enough. Were not thankfulness in the
ascendant at our recovered purity, we might be so sinful as to regret
that so delicious an enjoyment had come to an end.

But if the sensation of the warm shower is agreeable, no less so is
the process which immediately succeeds--namely, a douse, or douche, of
the coldest water. The body is so thoroughly warmed by the preceding
operations, that instead of striking a chill, as might be imagined by
the inexperienced, the coldness is most grateful, and the feeling of
freshness most exhilarating. Sometimes, an alternate douche of hot
and cold water is repeated in rapid succession, and it is a little
difficult for the bather to say which of the two is at the moment
bursting over him.

The intention of the cold affusion is to produce contraction of the
seven millions of pores which open on the surface of the skin. They
have acted freely, they have performed the duty that was required of
them: the key may now be turned, the lock closed; they may be sealed
up for the present, to be ready for further service at a future time.
The Romans often concluded their bath by plunging into a cold pool, to
attain the same object--the closure of the pores; and the Turks, as we
have already seen, omit the cold affusion, excepting to the feet, and
rely upon the cool atmosphere of their great hall, open to the sky, and
to the cooling influence of the current of air produced by a fan.

Where a middle room or Tepidarium exists, the process of washing,
beginning with the inunction with soap and ending with the cold douche,
is performed in that apartment. But where there is no Tepidarium, the
process is gone through in some convenient part of the Calidarium. If
the former, the bather returns to the Calidarium, and sits down for a
few minutes, until the skin becomes warm, and any coldness is removed
which may have been occasioned by the douche. Or, if the Calidarium
have been the scene of the lavatory process, the bather, in like
manner, takes his seat on a bench until all chill is dispelled.

With a skin perfectly warm, though no longer perspiring, the bather
now steps out of the Calidarium, receiving either immediately before
his exit, or as soon as he may have entered the Frigidarium, a warm,
dry cotton mantle for his body, and a warm, dry napkin for his head;
the wet hip-cloth is left behind in the Calidarium, or is dropped at
the entrance of the Frigidarium. The head and face are rubbed dry
by means of the napkin, and the mantle or sheet is wrapped around
the body and limbs, and the bather seats himself, or reclines on the
couch of repose, according to his taste; he remains passive, or calmly
conversing, and awaits with patience the drying of his skin.

A good Frigidarium should be, as its name implies, as cool as possible;
a breeze of air sweeping through the room is an advantage; the windows
should be open, for the bather courts the cool air, and delights in
feeling it play over his heated limbs. The Romans had an open terrace
connected with the Frigidarium, in which the bathers could walk,
enveloped in their mantle; and a walk in the open air, or in one of the
charming garden walks described by Pliny, would be most enjoyable. No
wiping, no friction is necessary to dry the skin; the mantle absorbs
some, and the cool air dissipates the rest of the moisture. And after
awhile the skin is left dry, satiny, and warm, without trace of
moisture or clamminess, and in a state in which the usual dress may be
resumed. This is the moment at which the description of Mr. Urquhart is
properly applicable:--"The body has come forth shining like alabaster,
fragrant as the cistus, sleek as satin, and soft as velvet."

The bather should now put on his clothing slowly and composedly;
no haste should hurry his movements, for haste might re-excite the
perspiration, the skin might again become moist, and _then_ there would
be danger of taking cold. But if the process be properly conducted,
cold is impossible; even the sensation of cold is for the time lost.
The bather feels renovated, restored, buoyant, good-tempered, strong,
the _beau idéal_ of God's divinest creation--man.

Let me illustrate the action of the bath by a recent experience of my
own, and at the same time draw attention to the proper use of the bath,
and its singular power of effacing fatigue and painful sensation of
every kind--among others, the imperious craving of hunger. A few weeks
back, after a day of severe labour, prolonged from six in the morning
until after seven at night, I arrived hungry and weary at the house of
my friend, Mr. Stewart Rolland. I was expected, but was late; and, as I
entered his library, dinner was being served. "Will you sit down with
us," was my host's salutation, "or will you take a bath?" "The bath!"
was my answer. "_Ruat cœlum!_"

I had only to step into the next apartment, after I had divested myself
of my clothes, to find a temperature of 150°. I took my place on a
couch covered with a soft Turkish sheet, and was soon covered with
perspiration, first as a thick dew, and then as a dripping shower. The
half-hour sand glass had nearly run out, when I entered the Lavatorium;
I soaped myself thoroughly from crown to sole; I turned a tap, when a
cascade of warm water poured over me, and rinsed away every particle of
soap; a second tap, and I was in the midst of a sheet of cold water.
The pores were now shut, and I returned to the Calidarium. A few
minutes sufficed to warm the skin, and then, wrapped in a warm and dry
mantle, I returned to the cooling room, and threw myself on a divan.

In twenty minutes I was dry and dressed, and in a state fitting to
return to my friends, and eat with appetite and with the certainty of
digestion, anything that might be set before me.

In the bath my fatigue had gone; the craving hunger which I suffered
on entering had ceased; natural appetite had taken the place of morbid
hunger; the tired stomach had regained its power, and was in a fitting
state not only to receive whatever food was given to it, but, better
still, to digest it. No wonder that the Arab of the desert prefers the
bath to food, and even to sleep; it supplies the place of both.

I have portrayed Mr. Witt's bath; let me endeavour to draw a
sketch of Mr. Urquhart's bath--a bath dear to the memory of all
early bathers--the bath at Riverside. We arrive at the door of the
Frigidarium, we loosen the latchets of our shoes, and we leave them
behind the lintel; the portal opens, and we enter. The apartment is
small, but it is sunny and bright; through the glass doors we see a
balcony festooned with the tendrils of the rose, now leafless and out
of bloom, for it is early winter; beyond the parapet of the balcony are
terraces of which the rose is still the favoured ornament; further on,
the rippled surface of a boisterous, noisy stream; then meadows with
grazing herds and flocks, and the faithful horse; beyond, the wooded
hill, arching like an eyebrow around the bright spot in which, as the
apple of the eye, sparkles the bath. At our side is a dureta; over
against us a reclining chair; and along the sides of the apartment a
soft-cushioned divan; in mid space a _sofra_ supporting a nargillé;
while around are books, some Turkish ornaments and chibouques; we
tread on the carpet of Persia and the clean, fresh, matting of India.
Opposite the glass doors is an immense sheet of plate glass, through
it we see marble steps, and in the depths to which these steps descend
there is the reflection of the sun. Shades of Mecænas and Pliny, will
ye not smile? Shade of Seneca, look not austere at the luxury of this
Briton of ancient descent; who courts the rays of Phœbus, smiling
through festoons of roses, to visit the deepest pool of his bath. Here
he can swim, while the sun glistens in the crystal drops that linger on
his skin, or makes mimic rainbows in the spray that he dashes before
him in his plunging revel.

A door opens by the side of the immense barrier of glass; we enter;
the door closes behind us. Then a second door; we pass through that,
and we are greeted with a delightful atmosphere; experience tells us
that no place of terrestrial existence can yield that soft, balmy, warm
æther but one--that one, the bath. We descend two steps, and reach a
platform, all of whitest marble; we become sensible of an increase
of warmth to the soles of our feet as we descend, and we are glad to
find soft napkins spread on the lower steps to catch our footfall. Two
steps more, and then another platform: the apartment expands at this
point into a large square lofty hall, and the marble platform stretches
from side to side the whole breadth of the hall. We are sensible, as
we stand on this platform, that we have reached the tropical line of
the bath, and that at no great depth beneath our feet must be the
Hypocaust. To our right is a small square tent, surrounded with scarlet
hangings; this is the _hottest of hots_, the Spartan Laconicum; it
is placed immediately over the furnace. We glance within the parting
curtains of the entrance; we see a cushioned divan of tempting
softness. At a later stage of our bath, we pass ten minutes in that
fiery tent; its customary temperature is 240° or 250°.

On the left of our present station is another divan, not enclosed by
curtains like the other, but admitting of being so if required. On this
divan, at a later stage of the bath, I spent many minutes of genuine
enjoyment; being farther from the furnace, but still over the meridian
of the Hypocaust, it was less hot than the enclosed tent: its common
temperature is 170°. "If you would like a breath of fresh air," said
my host, "draw out that plug." I saw a plug just above my head, just
near enough to reach by stretching out my hand. I withdrew it, not
because I wanted air, but in a spirit of obedience, or, if you will, of
lazy indolence. What a reward! what a delicious gush of ambrosial air!
Heavens! what Sybaritic contrivance is here? I looked round for the
shade of old Pliny, expecting to see him peering over my shoulder; but
he was not there; the modest Roman shade was abashed, was vanquished
by the modern Mecænas: the perfume was that of mignionette! Although
the last of the season, enough remained to enable my fancy to judge
how delicious that air must have been a month or two earlier. This was
one of the ventilating-holes of the bath, and my host had brought the
air that was to cool his bath from the perfumed atmosphere of a bed of
mignionette. How I longed at that moment for one half-hour of summer,
that I might test the other spiracles, that I might perchance inhale
the breath of roses here, and violets or lilies there.

And now comes a deeper descent (four steps), and behold, I am on
the floor of the bath. Still costly marble greets my tread. In the
corner opposite the fiery tent is another divan; here, far removed
from the torrid meridian, the temperature is still lower (about 150°),
but the atmosphere is everywhere fresh: it is clear that ventilation
is perfect, and there are no vapoury mists, no fleeting gauze of
ghost-like moisture.

I am permitted to gaze about me for a while, when my host leads me to
a small recess on the side corresponding with the couch of perfume. A
curtain is withdrawn, and I perceive that the bottom of this recess
is below the level of the floor, and that a marble step placed at one
end breaks the descent to the bottom. The bottom, also, is peculiar:
the marble slab slopes downwards to an opening, through which water
finds its way into the drain. I am aware that this is the Lavaterina
or Latrina--that here the novitiate is made to pass through the first
ordeal of the bath. Before he entered the sacred precincts of the
Apodyterium, he undid the latchets of his shoes: he left his shoes
beyond the door; he brought with him none of the dust of the external
world into the portals of the bath. In the Frigidarium, or rather in
the Apodyterium, he left behind him his vestments, and assumed the
simple garb of the inner bath. Now, and before he can claim to select
his place on the divans, he pays a further tribute to the god of
purity: the outer layers of his scarf-skin must be peeled away--he must
yield up his skin to the ordeal of the glove, the _gazul_, or the soap;
and then, semi-purified, he may range at will the apartment--he may
explore at leisure the mysteries of the bath.

We seat ourselves on the clean marble at the edge of the Lavaterina;
our host plays the soft pad of _gazul_ over the head, the back, the
sides; we complete the operation on the limbs and feet ourselves; Basin
after basin of warm water rinses the _gazul_ and the loosened epidermis
from the surface, and we rise from the Lavaterina to recommence our

Immediately in front of the flight of steps already described, and
occupying the centre of the remaining wall of the hall, is a square
pool, between four and five feet in depth, and reached by several
steps. In this pool are two feet of water, perfectly cold, with a tap
from which as much may be obtained as may be required. This water is
pumped up from the river, and filtered before it is admitted into the
bath: it, like the bather, is made to leave its dusty shoes outside the
door, and is thoroughly cleansed before it is permitted to invade the
sanctuary. In this pool, this _piscina_, the bather refreshes himself
with a plunge in cold water--in the summer cooled down with ice--when
he issues heated from the "hottest of hots," or when he completes the
bath; and here he may take his dip or his plunge, his douche or his
swim, with the sun shining in upon his polished skin.

Having received my freedom of the bath in the Lavaterina, I commenced
a series of visits to all the soft, the warm, the perfumed, the hot,
the cool, the cold nooks, that I could find. I rolled in enjoyment on
the divan by the side of the _piscina_, watching my "companions of the
bath," and especially a little Antinous, or rather an infant Hercules,
of five years of age, who one while crept into the fiery tent, and
another while disported himself like a young sea-god, with evident
delight, in the cold _piscina_. I then took my place in the higher
temperature of the torrid zone, on the divan that was breathed over by
the sweet expirations of the mignionette; and anon crept into the tent
with the scarlet curtains serving as a door, and wondered that I could
breathe an atmosphere heated to 240° without inconvenience.

It was now approaching the hour of breakfast, and however disinclined
I might be to leave the warm world in which I had spent more than an
hour, I was ready to acknowledge certain material warnings of the
charms of breakfast. Before, however, I could quit the bath, it was
necessary that the pores, which had been all this while filtering the
waste fluids of the body through their numberless apertures, should
be made to close; and with this intent I descended into the pool, to
experience and enjoy a new sensation. I crouched under the tap, while
a cold torrent poured over me, the little Hercules catching greedily
on his head any waste jets that glanced aside, and then shaking his
flaxen ringlets over his face and shoulders with a joyous laugh. But my
last experience was to come. At the word "Hold firm!" a full pail of
hot-water rushed upon me like an avalanche, and was instantly followed
by the same quantity of cold; this was repeated in quick succession
a number of times, and then, when my host's arms seemed tired of the
further repetition, I arose from the pool, and shook my soused frame on
the platform above, with a feeling of freshness and vigour that I shall
long remember--remember when the bath and all its vagaries shall have
become too familiar to suggest a note of their early impressions.

I was soon warm enough to quit the region of water, and ascend into
that of air--to quit the region of fire, and mount into that of the
sun, then smiling beamingly in at the window. My host gave my head a
good rub with a warm, soft Turkish napkin, and threw a warm mantle over
my shoulders; and it was with a feeling of "divided duty," the bath
on one side and the breakfast on the other, that I ascended to the
Frigidarium. Throwing myself on a softly-cushioned dureta, a half-hour
was spent in suggestive and instructive conversation, and then "to
breakfast with what appetite we may." Shades of immortal Shakespeare!
Speaking for myself, I should say, with the appetite of a man. Need I
say more. This is my memory of the delicious bath at Riverside.

My host placed before me a dish, or rather a basket, of that wonderful
Moorish food, the _kuscoussoo_, and our conversation naturally drifted
away to the mode of preparing food pursued by different nations, and
particularly to the mode of its preparation in the countries where the
particular food is indigenous. I was struck with my host's remark,
that while we draw food from other countries, we fail to learn the
native manner of preparing that food; and that from our ignorance on
this point we frequently deteriorate, and often destroy its properties

It is to be regretted that the very highest branch of the science of
chemistry--that which has for its object the _preparation of the food_
which God in his goodness has bestowed upon us, for the sustenance and
preservation of His greatest work, man himself--should be so miserably
neglected. How much happier man's state would be if this department of
chemistry were more cultivated and better understood; how greatly would
the nutritive power of food be developed, how much would be economized
in its use! How much might even the life of man be prolonged! Of the
many that die daily in their beds, surrounded by warm coverings, costly
hangings, and sorrowing friends, there are many who die of absolute
starvation--starved, because the modern science of culinary chemistry
has no better nourishment to offer than abominable beef-tea, wretched
mutton-broth, miserable arrowroot or sago, or detestable gruel. Tell
me, ye sick who have so narrowly escaped death, whether what I am
saying is not perfectly true; and that between nauseating physic on
the one hand, and equally nauseating diet on the other, have you not
"run the gauntlet" of destruction, from which your escape is indeed

The plan of the bath at Riverside was not lost upon me in an
undertaking on which I was then engaged--namely, building a bath for
myself. My Apodyterium is at the back of my house; from this a Xystos,
with a glazed roof, leads to the outer door of the Calidarium. Within
the outer door is a vestibule, which upon occasion may serve as a
Tepidarium. At the end of the vestibule is a second door, and this
opened, we are in the Calidarium, an apartment more than ten feet high,
fifteen feet long, and twelve wide. Along the side of the room runs
a flue, with an area of four feet by nine inches; the flue crosses
the end, and returns for a distance of two feet on the opposite side.
At the point of return is the chimney. Two windows with thick glass
let light into the room; and five circular openings, four inches in
diameter, and closed by a telescopic lid (Looker's ventilator), supply
an abundance of air; while a similar ventilator in the chimney-shaft
secures its free circulation. The floor is a tesselated pavement of
coloured octagonal tiles; and on the side corresponding with the door
is a sunken Lavaterina, three feet six in length, two in breadth, and
eighteen inches deep. Over the centre of the Lavaterina are two spouts,
for cold and hot water; the latter being obtained from a galvanized
iron tank, capable of holding twenty-five gallons, that stands on the
returned flue, against the chimney-shaft. In this bath, as in Mr.
Urquhart's, I expect to get various degrees of temperature, increasing
in altitude from a temperate standard in the vestibule, to the highest
temperature that can be required, immediately over the furnace, where I
have established my Laconicum.


[14] This chapter is an abstract of a Paper read at the meeting of the
National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, in Glasgow,
in Sept. 1860.


The Eastern Bath in its essential nature is a well ventilated
apartment, in which the air is heated to an average temperature of 130
degrees of Fahrenheit. The bather sits, or reclines, or stands, in
this apartment, moving about at his pleasure; while the heat, by its
stimulant action on the skin, causes the perspiration to issue from
its seven millions of pores, and to flow over the surface in greater
or less abundance. While the perspiration is spreading in a sheet
over the skin, trickling downwards in lively rills, and falling in
continuous drops from all the salient points of the frame, the bather
gently rubs his body and limbs with his hands; the softened cuticle is
raised in thin flakes, and if the bath be taken but seldom, the cuticle
is rubbed up in such quantity as to form little elliptical rolls,
more or less begrimed with dirt. After the lapse of a certain number
of minutes, varying from twenty to sixty or more, the bather soaps
himself thoroughly; he then receives a shower of warm water, which
washes the soap and impurity from the surface, and is most agreeable
to the sensations. He next has a shower or douche of cold water, which
effects the closure of the gaping pores, and is extremely refreshing.
He then envelopes his body in a cotton mantle or sheet, and retiring
to a cool room, to which the external air is freely admitted, he sits
or reclines, remaining as impassive as possible, until the skin is
thoroughly dried, and feels smooth and satiny in every part. The bather
then resumes his usual dress, and the process is complete.

THE SANITARY PURPOSES which the bath is calculated to fulfil are three
in number, namely:--




The bath is _preservative of health_, by maintaining a vigorous
condition of the body; a state the best suited for the happiness of
the individual, as rendering him in the highest degree susceptible of
the enjoyment of life; and a state the most advantageous to social
interests, as ensuring the highest working condition.

The bath is _preventive of disease_, by hardening the individual
against the effects of variations and vicissitudes of temperature,
by giving him power to resist miasmatic and zymotic affections, and
by strengthening his system against aberrations of nutrition and
the fecund train of ills that follow disturbance of the nutritive
functions--namely, scrofula, consumption, gout, rheumatism; diseases of
the digestive organs; cutaneous system; muscular system, including the
heart; nervous system, including the brain; and reproductive system.

The bath is _a cure for disease_ when the latter state is already
established, and is a powerful and effective medicine.

These are a general summary of the nature and attributes of the Eastern
bath, which I shall now endeavour to illustrate with more exactness and
in greater detail.

It is an interesting and important feature in connexion with the
revival of the bath in Britain, after a lapse of fifteen hundred
years, that it should have been so eagerly taken up and adopted by the
working classes. Several baths, founded and maintained by working men,
have been established in our great manufacturing towns--among others,
in Bradford, Barnsley, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Staleybridge,
Rotherham, and Rochdale; and this fact, together with the general
popularity of the bath among the artisan class, will doubtless lead the
thinking man to recognise in the institution attributes of sterling
value and prospective public utility.


The processes which constitute the Eastern bath--in other words, the
stages of the bath--are three in number, namely:--1. Exposure of the
naked body to hot dry air; 2. Ablution with warm and cold water;
and, 3. Cooling and drying of the skin.--The bath, or thermæ, should
therefore consist of three apartments devoted especially to the three
processes--namely, the hot room, or Calidarium; the washing room, or
Lavatorium; and the cooling room, or Frigidarium. Or, for private
use, two rooms; or one room divided into two compartments, Calidarium
and Frigidarium, would be sufficient; the Calidarium being used as a
Lavatorium after the sweating process is completed.

My friend, Mr. George Witt, of Prince's Terrace, Hyde Park, to whom
I am indebted for my first introduction to the bath, possesses a
bath of the simple construction to which I am now alluding; and as
it fulfils very satisfactorily all the purposes of the bath, I shall
proceed to describe it, by way of illustration of one of the simplest
forms of bath for private use. On the ground-floor of his house he
had a room twenty feet long by ten feet in breadth, and twelve feet
high, with a window looking out upon a lead flat. To convert this
room into a thermæ he divided it into two compartments, by means of a
wall which crossed it at about one-third from its further end. He had
thus two apartments--an outer one, the Frigidarium; and an inner one,
entered by two small doors, outer and inner, in the partition wall,
the Calidarium. To preserve the heat of the Calidarium a lath and
plaster lining was placed inside and at the distance of a few inches
from the wall, and the space between the lining and the wall filled
in with sawdust. The same was done to the ceiling, and the floor was
paved with earthen tiles set on concrete. On the side corresponding
with the exterior of the house a square of thick glass was let into
the wall, and, above and below, were four circular holes three inches
in diameter, and fitted with plugs for the purpose of ventilation.
Further, in the partition wall was a small square of glass through
which a thermometer could be seen from the outside, and a gas-burner
from the inside, enabling the bather to ascertain the temperature
of the Calidarium from the outside without opening the doors, and
supplying a light exterior to the Calidarium when the bath is used in
the evening.

Following this description, it will be seen that the Calidarium or
Sudatorium is simply a closed chamber, with an area of sixty-five
superficial feet, and containing seven hundred and fifteen cubic feet
of atmospheric air, the actual measurements being ten feet long by
six feet and a half wide, and eleven feet high; this chamber being
provided with sufficient means of ventilation through the agency of
the imperfectly-fitting doors, and also the occasional opening of the
doors on one side, and the four holes, already described as existing in
the exterior wall, on the other; and also, supposing the doors to be
more closely shut, between an ingoing current of cold air through the
two lower holes, and an outgoing current of hot air through the upper
holes. Ten persons can take the bath without discomfort, and without
being overcrowded in Mr. Witt's thermæ; I have myself formed one of
nine, but with six or seven the space is more than ample.

Let me now turn to the means of heating the Calidarium. In the
exterior wall, near its bottom, and opening on the lead flat, is a
furnace of the commonest possible construction, and capable, from its
free draught, of burning the commonest combustible material--such
as inferior coal, coal screenings, coke, cinders, and sawdust. This
furnace, encased in brickwork, is carried obliquely for a distance
of four or five feet into the Calidarium; and its flue, following
the angle of the floor, makes the circuit of the apartment. The flue
next ascends perpendicularly for a few feet, crosses the wall above
the brickwork which encloses the furnace, and then makes its way up
the angle of the room to the ceiling, where it escapes by means of a
chimney. The flue, in its course around the room, is raised from the
level of the floor, and separated from the wall by the breadth of a
brick, and consequently presents a free surface on all sides for the
radiation of heat. Its radiating surface is about one foot square, and
its length thirty-five feet. The common temperature maintained in Mr.
Witt's Calidarium is 130° to 140° of Fahrenheit. Mr. Witt tells me that
he has had it as high as 180°; and I have myself been in it, in company
with my friend Mr. Chadwick, at 150° of Fahrenheit.

As the British thermæ is at present in a state of infancy, the question
of construction, in reference to the threefold condition, of size of
apartment, degree of ventilation and temperature, and materials, is
before us for inquiry and research. The common plaster walls of Mr.
Witt's Calidarium answer perfectly: they are not too hot for the naked
skin, as a glazed or polished material would be; and they admit of
cleansing by water, whenever necessary. The red and blue earthen tiles
of his bath give a pleasant holding to the soles of the feet on account
of their roughness, and with the intramural position of the flue never
become too hot. Glazed tiles, although more elegant in appearance, are
too hot for contact with the skin, and require, consequently, to be
trodden on with wooden clogs; moreover, when at all moistened, they
are slippery and dangerous. Therefore, so far as our present means of
information go, it would appear that the more economical materials of
construction answer in every way the best. We are, however, still open
to instruction on these points, as well as in many others appertaining
to the bath, and we shall probably be doing best to adhere as closely
as possible to the Turkish model. Can the furnace, as at present
described, be improved? What combustible material would be the most
economical; taking into consideration the questions of price, of
rapidity of combustion and of deposition of soot in the flue, requiring
more or less frequent cleansing?

The flue in Mr. Witt's bath is constructed of galvanized iron plate,
and is square in form. This flue answers very well, but Mr. Witt does
not approve of iron, because in a hot dry atmosphere particles of the
metal are thrown off and mingle with the air. The best material for the
construction of the flue is earthen tiles or bricks; probably pipes
fitting end to end may, with some modification, be made to answer the
purpose, but heretofore they have been found to split with the heat.
Then, in the case of building a bath, the relative value of bricks,
and especially of hollow bricks, and pierced bricks, and bricks with a
surface finish, come under consideration.

Immediately over the fine passing around the floor of the Calidarium is
a wooden seat; and over the masonry of the furnace, a wooden step and
platform affording additional sitting room. On the platform is a wooden
couch, shaped like a straddling letter W, called the _dureta_ from the
hardness of its material, but in reality forming a most pleasant and
agreeable couch, as the angles of the couch correspond with the joints
of the body when in a reclining position. The dureta was borrowed
by the Emperor Augustus from Spain, or rather from Morocco through
Spain,[15] and contributes greatly to the luxury of the bath.

[15] "Pillars of Hercules."

It is a fault in Mr. Witt's bath that the flue entirely surrounds the
floor of the Calidarium, and consequently crosses the entrance door,
rendering it necessary to the bather to step down from the seat to
the floor of the apartment in going in, and to step upwards in going
out. This arrangement leads to occasional slips, particularly when the
floor is wet; and although unimportant to persons in the full vigour
of health, calls for caution in all, and especially on the part of
those who are in any degree infirm; and becomes a serious impediment
where it is necessary to lift an invalid into the bath. Fortunately
the inconvenience admits of an easy remedy; the flue, when it reaches
the jamb of the doorway, may be carried over the door and so onwards
along the side of the room; or it may be doubled back upon itself and
made to return to the line from which it started, and then carried to
any point of exit that may be suitable. A better material for the flue
is brickwork; and as the intention of the flue is to afford a large
surface for the radiation of heat, the plan has been adopted of making
flues of large size, for example, three or four feet in height. A short
length of a flue of these dimensions is equivalent to three or four
times the length of a flue of one foot square, and its course along two
or three sides of the room affords as much heat as can be required. I
visited lately a small bath in Bell-street, Edgeware-road, in which a
flue of this construction, about three feet in height and nine inches
in width, ran along three sides of the room, and gave out a temperature
of 160°.

In the Turkish bath and in some of the modern British Thermæ the
flues are carried under the floor, constituting a kind of Roman
_Hypocaustum_, and are made to describe a series of parallel rows,
which traverse from side to side and are connected at the ends. A very
high degree of temperature is attained by this arrangement, as in the
private bath of Mr. Stewart Rolland, of Victoria-street, Westminster;
but it presents this manifest objection, namely, that the floor is
so hot as to be unbearable to naked feet or to a naked skin, and is
therefore not without danger to an invalid who may have accidentally
fallen on the ground. Again, where very high temperatures are obtained,
the woodwork of the seats becomes so hot as to render coverings of some
kind necessary. The temperature of Mr. Stewart Rolland's Calidarium,
when fully heated, ranges between 150° and 170°, while with the aid
of a _Laconicum_ he is able to carry his temperature twenty degrees
higher; his couches and seats are, therefore, covered with cotton
sheets having a thick pile; and in place of wood he uses fibrous slabs,
which have a lower conducting power and are less influenced by the
heat. Moreover, in the construction of his walls he employs felt, on
account of its non-conducting and non-inflammable properties, as an
intermediate layer, in place of the sawdust used by Mr. Witt.

From want of space, as I have before remarked, Mr. Witt's Calidarium
becomes his Lavatorium at the conclusion of the sweating process; and
no inconvenience results from this arrangement, because ample time
can be spared for the drying up of the moisture before the bath is
required for use a second time. But where the requisite extent of space
exists, and, as a necessity in a public bath where a succession of
bathers enter and depart, a separate apartment should be devoted to
the purposes of a Lavatorium. And, as the Lavatorium should adjoin the
Calidarium, a few feet of the flue may be introduced into the partition
wall between the two, and made to warm the air of the Lavatorium,
converting it, in fact, into a Tepidarium. The Tepidarium of the
ancient Roman Thermæ was an apartment of an intermediate temperature
between the Frigidarium and the Calidarium, and supplied a transition
medium between the two extremes; warming and relaxing the body on
its way from the Frigidarium to the Calidarium on the one hand, and
qualifying the depression of the temperature from the Calidarium to the
Frigidarium on the other.

Before its escape from the Calidarium, the flue is made to heat the
water which is required for rinsing the body after thorough friction
with soap. For this purpose a tank holding a few gallons of water (Mr.
Witt's tank holds ten gallons) is fixed on a portion of the fine at the
upper part of the bath, and a short descending pipe, with a horizontal
arm fitted at the end with a rose, distributes a grateful shower of
warm water over the bather. Another horizontal arm, with or without a
rose, brings the cold water, with which the ablution is completed, into
the Lavatorium, and is distributed either as a copious shower or as a
descending douche, as the bather may desire. In Mr. Stewart Rolland's
bath I was indulged with an alternate douche of hot and cold water,
which was wonderfully delicious.

The third compartment of the bath (the Frigidarium) may be as large
as convenient, but should be abundantly supplied with the means of
procuring fresh air, and even a current of air; it is not only a
cooling-room, but also a drying-room, for in it the moisture left on
the body is thoroughly evaporated, and the skin becomes smooth and
satiny. The Frigidarium should be furnished with a couch and a few
easy chairs, and as it is intended to be trodden with naked feet, it
should have a clean wooden floor or a mat. Moreover, it is here that
fresh water may be kept for drinking, or the acidulated drinks, or the
sherbet. It is here also that should be found the _Columbarium_, with
its pigeon-holes for receiving the mantles, the sheets, the towels, the
cummerbunds, the combs, together with any other appurtenances of the
bath that may be in use.

Again, in the two or three-roomed bath, a portion of the Frigidarium
may be devoted to the purpose of a dressing-room, Apodyterium, or
_Vestiarium_. Here the clothes may be hung up on pegs as they are
removed, and here shoes and boots should be left, the presence of
shoes being strictly prohibited in the proper cooling part of the
room. In this arrangement we are made aware that among the Romans the
Frigidarium and the Vestiarium were separate apartments, and formed a
portion of that series which Pliny conceived might, with the strictest
economy of space, be comprehended in five or seven rooms, but would be
more completely carried out in nine. The Frigidarium of the Romans,
like the Mustaby of the Turks, was open to the vault of heaven.

Such is the Eastern bath, in reference to the question of construction;
it is either a spare room with a partition, a furnace and chimney,
and a small reservoir of water; or it is an outhouse with a similar
arrangement; or it is five walls, with a roof, erected in a convenient
spot; or it is an elegant "hothouse," pendent to a country villa; or
it may be an architectural wonder of ancient Roman grandeur. In other
words, it may come within the reach of the poor man, at the expenditure
of a few shillings or pounds, or it may be the metamorphosis of
hundreds and thousands of pounds into a palace of magnificence and
luxury. But the poor man's bath will be essentially as perfect as that
of Dives, and he will, if he be wise, carry the balance of cost to the
education of his children. In a small society of neighbours, clubbing
their means, the bath would cost less than the tobacco-pipe; and where
the rules of the Bath are rigidly enforced, as they invariably should
be, the Bath would become a school of moral discipline as well as
physical health, and be a potent counterblast to the public-house.


We will now _take_ a bath. We will endeavour to solve the question,
WHAT IS THE BATH? We enter the Apodyterium or Vestiarium; we divest our
body of its clothing; we hang our garments orderly on the apportioned
pegs; we place our boots on the ground under our clothing, pushing
the socks into the boots; we fold the _cummerbund_, a scarf of the
Turkish red twilled cotton eight feet long and eighteen inches broad,
around our hips, or we may prefer a kilt of the same material, or a
pair of short drawers, and we are ready to enter the Tepidarium, if
such there be; or, in the absence of a Tepidarium, the Calidarium. This
is the costume of the Bath, and a costume is indispensable. Without a
costume in the presence of others, the bath is not the bath--it is an
evil, and as an evil it should be suppressed with the utmost severity.
But I am not describing the Bath for those who would abuse it, but
for those only who have the intelligence to apply it to the high and
noble purposes of which it is capable. An addition to the above simple
costume is sometimes made by folding a cotton scarf around the head--a
kind of turban; and the turban has its advantages, as a protection of
the bare head against the extreme heat of the apartment. The turban,
when used by the gentler sex, protects and supports the hair, and the
cummerbund gives place to a loose cotton chemise, that of the Turkish
red twill being the most becoming and appropriate.

We now enter the Calidarium; we are impressed with the sensation of
a most agreeable warmth; we look at the thermometer, we find the
temperature to be 135° of Fahrenheit; we take our position on one of
the seats, or we ascend upon the platform above, and we discover that
a hard wooden couch, the _dureta_, may be the pleasantest couch in
the universe. We look around us; the atmosphere is clear, there is no
haze upon the window, the floor, the seats, and the walls are dry,
and yet there is no oppression to the breathing organs; we breathe as
agreeably as in the open air--nay, those who are ordinarily oppressed
in the air from chronic bronchitis or asthma breathe more lightly and
pleasantly here. But I must explain: I am now describing the sensations
experienced in Mr. Witt's bath, and the freshness of the atmosphere
of Mr. Witt's bath has always been praised by the most experienced
bathers, and by those who have been accustomed to the Bath in the
East. Mr. Witt attributes this virtue of his bath, and with apparent
reason, partly to sufficient ventilation, and partly to the presence of
his warm-water tank in the upper portion of the apartment; the water
of this tank, evaporated by the heat of the flue, descends into the
apartment, and pervades the atmosphere as an invisible vapour--a vapour
which is felt, but not seen; and he further remarks that a similar
effect is not attainable by the introduction of water on the floor of
the bath.

If, after our first entrance into the Calidarium, we place the hand on
any part of our skin, it gives the sensation of coldness, as compared
with the temperature of the apartment. Soon, however, the skin becomes
warm and dry; shortly afterwards it is moist and clammy; and later
still, the perspiration begins to flow with greater or less activity.
The freedom of perspiration follows the known structure of the skin
in reference to the sudatory organs; it is first perceptible and most
abundant on the face and hands, where the sudatory glands are most
numerous and most developed; it succeeds on the chest and shoulders,
then on the rest of the body, and lastly, on the legs below the knees.
The perspiration at first issues from the pores in minute drops, the
drops swell to the size of peas, and the skin looks as if it were
garnished, with crystal beads; the beads run into little rills, and the
rills trickle down the hollow ways of the surface in small streams. It
is at this period that the whole body admits of being washed by means
of the water that issues from itself, and that the secret of the small
quantity of water provided for the baths by the Romans is discovered.

It is when the perspiration commences to flow in abundance, that
the beginner in the use of the bath, or the owner of a susceptible
constitution, becomes aware of an increase of rapidity of the heart's
pulsations; and this sensation is commonly associated with a feeling
of oppression, something approaching to faintness. On the first hint
of this sensation, the bather should retire to the Tepidarium or
to the Frigidarium, and sit there for a few minutes, or until the
sensation has ceased; he may then return to the Calidarium, and upon
each recurrence of the sense of oppression always quit the Calidarium
for the cooler temperature without. The sensation which I am now
describing is the only disagreeable one attendant upon the use of the
bath; it is unknown to the practised bather, and to the strong or
callous constitution, and may be effectually obviated, even in the
most sensitive, by the simple precaution which I have just suggested.
Strange to say, these passages from the hot to the cold temperature are
not attended with a check to the perspiration, they only moderate it,
while the stimulus of the fresh air provides more ample chest-room for
the oxygenization of the lungs.

One of the most curious, and at the same time impressive, of the
phenomena of the bath, is the relative freedom of perspiration of the
educated and the uneducated skin; in other words, of the practised
and the unpractised bather. There are certain persons who have
never perspired, and these persons require a long training in lower
temperatures before they can be admitted with safety to the higher
temperatures; they are also much assisted by the addition of watery
vapour to the hot air, converting it, in fact, into a vapour-bath.
But of the rest of mankind, who present every facility for active
perspiration, but who have never had, or but seldom have, the
skin aroused to its normal activity, the variety in the energy of
perspiration is very remarkable. The practised bather is enveloped
in a sheet of perspiration, while the skin of the beginner is hardly
moist; if the practised bather but raise his arm, the water drips from
his elbows and finger-ends in continuous drops; his cummerbund is
saturated, and the water may be wrung from it as from a soddened cloth,
while the cummerbund of the neophyte is still dry. If the beginner rest
his back for an instant against the wall of the Calidarium, he shrinks
away from it, because of the intensity of its heat; but the practised
bather presses against it with all his force, and receives only the
sensation of an agreeable warmth, because the abundant moisture of
his skin is sufficient to keep the wall cool. The beginner loses the
moisture only of the surface of the body, and feels no resulting
internal sensation; but, in the practised bather, the skin sucks up
the watery fluids from the deeper streams of the sanguine flood, and
the bather thirsts in the operation. He drinks water from time to time
to replenish the waste; pint upon pint is taken into his stomach,
and finds its way firstly into the blood, and then into the sudatory
system of the skin; surely an apparatus of organs and a current of
blood so rinsed by the transit of pure water must undergo an important
purification. To the practised bather the drinking of water during the
perspiration of the body is reviving and necessary, because his blood
has need of water to supply the place of that which has been withdrawn
by the skin, and the amount of need is expressed by his thirst. But
the beginner has no thirst, and he will do well to avoid drinking, as
calculated to increase the labour of perspiration, and likely therefore
to be followed by oppression and faintness.

The time passed in the Calidarium, with the occasional retirements
already mentioned, may vary between twenty minutes and an hour;
_a continuous moderate perspiration of a certain duration_ being
the object which should be kept in view. Besides causing an active
perspiration, the warmth and moisture of the Bath soften the epiderm or
scarf-skin, and by gentle friction with the hand the softened epiderm
is rubbed off in small elliptical cylinders. At the conclusion of the
bath the skin should be gently rubbed over with soap, applied either
with the kheesah or goat-hair glove, or with a wisp of lyf--the white
woody fibre of the Mecca palm, commonly used for the purpose in the
East. After the friction with soap, the body should be thoroughly
rinsed by means of the warm shower-bath; and after the warm shower-bath
follows a shower of cold water, or a cold douche. The idea of a douse
of cold water upon a fully perspiring skin suggests a feeling of alarm
in the minds of those who have not experienced it, or have not thought
upon the matter; but in practice it is inexpressibly grateful to the
sensations, and wholly free from the shadow of danger.

The purpose of the cold douche is to cause a sudden shrinking or
contraction of the skin, and this contraction closes all the pores, and
tightens and braces the cutaneous vessels. The process is necessarily
accompanied with a trifling amount of cooling of the surface, and the
bather remains in the Calidarium for a few minutes longer, until this
coolness has passed away, and the skin is everywhere warm to the touch.
He then leaves the Calidarium, and enters the Frigidarium. When the
bather possesses a separate Lavatorium, the process of soaping, with
the subsequent ablutions, is performed in that apartment; and, being
accomplished, he returns to the Calidarium to recover his warmth, and
is then ready for the Frigidarium. The warming of the body after the
cold douche is thus shown to be an important part of the bath--as, in
fact, is every process, howsoever trivial each may seem when considered
separately and by itself.

On entering the Frigidarium the bather is enveloped in a large cotton
sheet or mantle, which covers him from the head to below the feet; he
lies or sits down, enclosing each limb in a separate fold of the sheet,
and he wipes his face and head with a dry napkin, or with a corner of
the sheet. He then remains perfectly tranquil and quiescent, the sheet
absorbs any excess of moisture, and the accumulated heat of the body
disperses the rest. After fifteen or twenty minutes he exposes an arm
to the air; then both arms and the upper part of the trunk of the body;
then the lower limbs; bringing every part of the skin in succession
into relation with the cool air or cool breeze of the apartment. Of
course, where an attendant is attached to the bath, the investiture
with the mantle, the wiping of the head and face, the wrapping of the
separate limbs, and the packing of the body, are performed by such
attendant, or one bather performs the office for another; but where the
bather is alone, he finds no difficulty in doing it all for himself.

The cooling and drying process, which is the special use of the
Frigidarium, is regarded by experts as not the least important part of
the curriculum of the bath. It is here that the moisture is dissipated
from the skin by the heat of the body, that the bather recovers from
any little physical exhaustion that the processes of the Lavatorium
may have occasioned, that the skin is brought into contact with the
open air, and imbibes its oxygen; that the man becomes sensible of
a delicious repose of the nervous system, and an equally agreeable
restoration of his powers. If the quiet impassibility of the Roman, or
the listlessness of the Turk, is to be imitated in the preceding stages
of the bath, it is doubly deserving of imitation here; calm, repose,
dignity, thankfulness, should fill the soul of the bather while in the
Frigidarium. When his skin is perfectly dry, but still warm, smooth,
and satiny to the touch, then, and then only, slowly and leisurely, he
should begin to resume his usual clothing. If he dress too soon he will
be apt to break out into a perspiration while putting on his clothes,
or after quitting the bath; in which case he will be in danger of
taking cold, and frustrating the benefits of the bath.


In reference to the sanitary purposes of the bath, I assume that it is
Preservative of Health; that it is Preventive of Disease; and that it
is also Curative of Disease.

The mode in which its power operates in the fulfilment of these results
is by the production and maintenance of a healthy skin. A healthy skin
I therefore assume to be the end and aim of the bath; and to support my
argument it will be necessary that I should point out the importance
of a healthy skin in the animal economy, and those conditions and
circumstances of common life that tend to deteriorate its structure and
function; to show, in fact, why the skin is worth preserving, and how
its preservation in a state of health conduces to the health of the
entire organism.

The skin, from its large extent, deserves to be ranked among the great
organs of the body, and belongs especially to that group that are
commonly called emunctory--in other words, the cleansers or purifiers
of the blood. In this sense it ranges side by side with the liver
and kidneys; and, all things considered, it would be a difficult
problem for any physiologist to solve, to determine which of the three
deserves to stand before the others in importance. These three organs
are sometimes called the scavengers of the body; and they may with
considerable truth be regarded as three great and important systems of
purification and drainage.

Now, if to drain the system of its impurities, to cleanse and purify
the blood of the animal economy, three grand systems of drainage are
required, the inference is plain, that one would not be enough--that
two might perform the office, but with a strain upon the machinery. But
to be perfect, to perform the office completely and efficiently, to be,
in fact, in health, to constitute health, all are needful. Therefore,
if in the course of these observations I can show that one of these
scavengers is weakened in its powers, and being weakened in itself,
throws an additional degree of labour on the remaining two; if, in
fact, our present mode of management of the skin tends to deteriorate
its powers as a purifier of the body, and consequently produces a
strain on the liver and kidneys, which leads to their deterioration and
disease, I shall, provided I can also show that the bath preserves the
health of the skin, make out a _primâ facie_ case in favour of the bath.

But it is not as an emunctory or purifier only that we must regard
the skin; its influence and power have a wider range of action in
the maintenance of health. Besides comprehending a vast system of
drainage tubes, which open on the surface by seven millions of pores,
and which in actual measurement would stretch over nearly thirty
miles if laid end to end; besides this, which belongs to its purely
emunctory function; besides, also, a wonderful and perpetual labour,
by which the skin is drawing from the blood certain organic elements
in the fluid state, and converting them into solid organic formations,
which are known as cells and scales, these cells and scales being the
tesselated mosaic with which the skin is finished upon the surface, so
as to render it capable of existence in the atmosphere of the external
world; besides this, and much more, unnecessary in this place to
detail, the skin is converted into a kind of sponge by the myriads of
bloodvessels which enter into its structure--bloodvessels, that many
times in an hour bring the whole--ay, every drop--of the blood of the
body to the surface; bring it that it may furnish the materials for
the microscopic pavement; that it may be purified by the abstraction
of its unwholesome principles; that it may breathe the vital air of
the atmosphere without;--besides this, also, the skin near its surface
is one vast network of nerves--nerves, mysterious organs, that belong
in their nature to the unknown sources of the lightning, the electric
currents of the universe. And, besides these again, there is every
variety of animal tissue and contrivance by which all this apparatus is
held together and maintained in the best state and position to ensure
its safety and perfection. In truth, the contemplation of the structure
and functions of the skin, when viewed with the eyes of the mind, is
almost overwhelming; and as we gasp breathless, to gain an instant of
reflection, the words of the Poet break upon our memory:--

    "In human works, though labour'd on with pain,
    A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;
    In God's, one single can its end produce,
    Yet serves to second, too, some other use."

One word more as to the importance of the skin in the animal economy,
and that word a summary of its functions and principal vital
attributes. The skin is a "sanitary commissioner," draining the system
of its impurities; it is an energetic labourer, in that perpetual
interchange of elements which in its essence constitutes life; it is
a regulator of the density and fluidity of the blood; it performs the
office of a lung in supplying the blood with oxygen, and abstracting
its carbon; it changes the crude organic elements of the blood, so
as to render them capable of nutrition; it emulates the heart in
giving speed to the circulating blood; it is the minister of the brain
and spinal marrow in its properties of sensation; and it feeds and
nourishes, and keeps in the highest operative condition, that part of
the nervous system which is confided to its care. Viewing the skin
in this way, and recognising its just claims to consideration as an
important animal organ, we are led to the conclusion that the skin is
a part of the digestive system, like the liver and kidneys, by virtue
of its emunctory and nutritive powers; it is an appendage of the heart
and a part of the system of circulation of the blood; it is a surface
lung, a breathing organ; and it partakes of man's intellectual nature
by its close connexion with, and dependence on, the brain. In the
lower animals, the skin combines in itself alone, the feeling, seeing,
smelling, hearing, and judging organ.

The structure of the skin--with its drainage tubes requiring a free
exit; its streams of blood seeking for oxygen from the air; its nerves
demanding the contact and stimulus of the atmosphere--obviously points
to the relation which should subsist between man and the external
world--to the fact that his natural and intended state is one of
nakedness. Certain portions of the skin, in different parts of the
world and among different nations, are commonly exposed to the air as
Nature doubtless intended the whole body to be. Our faces and hands; in
women, the neck, and often the shoulders; among the Highlanders, the
lower limbs; these portions of the body are naked, are unblushingly
exposed; and, as we all know, without inconvenience. Who ever feared
to take cold because his hands and his face were open to the free
air of Heaven? What lady ever complained of inconvenience resulting
from her _décolleté_ shoulders at an evening party or the opera, or
even from the bitter draughts of night air that frequently close
those entertainments? Who ever heard of a Highlander suffering from
rheumatism in the knees? That charming friend and companion of our
youthful dreams, Miss Jane Porter, who was always taking colds from the
slightest exposure of her skin to the air, once said to her brother,
who was a physician,--"How I wish that my skin were all face?" "Try and
make it all face," was his reply. And she partially succeeded; but for
complete success she wanted the knowledge of the Turkish Bath.

The bath has the property of hardening and fortifying the skin, so as
to render it almost insusceptible to the influence of cold. The feeling
after quitting the Calidarium is one of defiance of cold; the bather
has a longing for the cool air of the outer world, and with no other
covering than his cotton mantle, a lawn or a terrace would be his
chosen resort if the opportunity were within his reach. In the hands of
Mr. Urquhart, the bath has presented us with one remarkable instance
of the power of endurance of the skin developed by its aid. A fine,
athletic child of five years old has been brought up in the bath, and
has never worn other clothes than a loose linen garment. He is a sturdy
little fellow, with the independence of deportment of an Indian and the
symmetry of an Apollo. He was met one wintry day, when the snow was on
the ground, walking in the garden, perfectly naked. "Do you feel cold?"
inquired his interlocutor. "Cold!" said the boy, touching his skin
doubtfully with his finger, "yes, I think I do feel cold." That is, he
felt cold to his outward touch, but not to his inward sensations, and
it required that he should pass his finger over the surface of his body
as he would have done over a marble statue to be sure, not that he was
cold, for that he was not, but to be convinced that his surface felt

That the skin of man can support the temperature of a climate such
as that of Britain, when trained to it from the cradle, is perfectly
clear; our forefathers, the ancient Britons, wore no clothes. The Roman
invaders of Britain tell us of the "naked savages of Scotland." The
inhabitants of the Tierra del Fuego at Cape Horn, a country colder than
Britain, have no other clothing than a hide which they hang on their
windward shoulder; and their children may be seen, perfectly naked,
gambolling on the sea-shore, and scrambling in the bottoms of the boats
that come off to the passing ships. The mother of the little Apollo I
have already described called the attention of a friend to the warmth
of her infant's feet, and with the remark, "While my old nurse was
with me, the child's feet were always cold, because she insisted upon
covering them up with socks; but now that I leave them exposed to the
air, they are constantly warm."

I need scarcely say more to prove that the bath gives endurance, and
that endurance fortifies the individual against a very prevalent cause
of disease in this climate--namely, colds and affections of the chest
and lungs. A Doctor of Divinity whom I frequently met in Mr. Witt's
Bath, told me that during the winter-time he was scarcely ever free
from colds, often so severe as to lay him up for several weeks, and
that he also suffered from attacks of neuralgia; but that, since he had
adopted the use of the bath twice a week, all disposition to colds and
neuralgia had ceased; and, for the first time in sixteen years, he had
passed the winter without a cold.

It is impossible, therefore, to avoid the conclusion that the close
clothing of the body from the moment of birth, and the continuance of
the process throughout our lives, must tend to prevent the proper and
healthy development of the skin and also to debilitate it; and that the
opposite course, of exposing the skin to the air, and promoting its
natural functions by means of the bath, must have the contrary effect
of hardening and strengthening the skin and rendering its functions
more perfect.

In the bath we learn to distinguish by the eye and by the touch, the
weak and the strong, the unhealthy and the healthy skin; we find the
former pale, soft, flabby, wrinkled, sordid, starved, and morbidly
sensitive; while the latter is pink, hard, firm, elastic, smooth,
clear, sensible, and well nourished. When the fingers are drawn
forcibly over the skin of the practised bather, the white streaks
caused by the pressure are instantly restored to their pink hue when
the pressure is relaxed; the sanguineous stream seems to follow the
pressure like a surge and instantly obliterates its effects; and the
skin recoils with a snap like India-rubber when it is pulled away from
the body and suddenly released. In the bath there are no wrinkles and
no decrepit age; the skin becomes firm and elastic; it recovers its
colour and its smoothness; it fits close to the muscular frame beneath,
instead of falling away from it in grim festoons; its hues are selected
from the palette of youth. But this is not all: as the skin regains
its health, the hair returns upon the scalp of the bald; and white
hairs which have crept untimely and unbidden among the dark locks of
mid-age, shrink away from the sight, and seek a more suitable and more
unwholesome roost.

But these visual appearances of the skin, which obviously indicate its
unhealthy external characters, also denote a deficient and imperfect
circulation of the blood; a deteriorated sensibility; a defective
cell-formation and secretion; an exhausted tone and vigour.

In respect of one of these qualities--namely, healthy sensibility of
the skin--I met in the bath with a curious and unexpected illustration.
When I was invited by Mr. Stewart Rolland to pass from his Calidarium
at a temperature of 170°, into his Laconicum, in which the actual
temperature was 190°, but the sensible temperature some degrees higher,
in consequence of the presence of watery vapour, I was suddenly made
aware that the skin of my body had lost its power of appreciating
the higher degrees of heat, and that my face and hands were my only
reliable monitors of the actual elevation of the temperature.

To the face and hands the temperature was for a moment almost scalding,
but my body was sensible of no inconvenience. Had I been asked, before
I made this experiment, what part of the body would have suffered most
from the extreme heat, I should have said, the skin of the trunk of the
body, because this is naturally the most sensitive from being covered
and protected by clothing; but I was unprepared to find the real fact
in the very reverse of this--to learn that the skin of the trunk of
the body had lost its power of sensibility; in other words, had become
partially paralysed from disuse of its proper functions.

In a word, the habit of clothing the body, of keeping it shut in
from the air and from the light, weakens the nerves of the skin
and consequently the natural and healthy sensibility of the organ.
Although I could not appreciate the extreme heat of Mr. Rolland's
Laconicum, I should have suffered acutely from a scratch, a pinch,
or a blow on the bare skin: but the habit of the bath would reverse
this unnatural sensitiveness, the skin would learn to appreciate truly
instead of mendaciously; and blows, or pinches, or external injury,
unless very severe, would cease to be felt as an inconvenience or an
annoyance. The little boy bred in the bath complains of no hurt when
he is accidentally struck or when he tumbles; and that which would be
punishment to another boy is none to him. This, we see, must be the
natural state of the skin, otherwise the Indian could no more exist
without clothes than the lobster without his shell.

Another phenomenon of the bath shows the power of increased firmness
and solidity and strength which the texture of the skin acquires by its
use. A person unaccustomed to the bath bruises without any great force,
and the discoloration of the bruise, occasioned by the escape of blood
from its vessels and the dispersion of the blood in the texture of the
skin, lasts for a considerable time. Indeed, we know of some skins that
bruise upon the most moderate pressure, even without a blow. But the
practised bather does not bruise, excepting from serious injury; and,
when he does bruise, the discoloration is rapidly dissipated.

The power of influencing the skin by education is also shown in the
degree of facility with which perspiration is induced in the bather.
In the practised bather the perspiration comes almost at call; it
comes soon, freely, abundantly: but in the neophyte, the perspiratory
fluid is slow to emerge from its pores; it comes unwillingly and in
insufficient quantity. Each succeeding bath, however, exhibits an
improvement; and, in time, the perspiration obeys the word of command
in the pupil as well as in the master.

I have assumed for the skin the possession of a power of nutrition, and
have in this way brought it into the category of the digestive organs;
let me explain:--Nutrition, in its essence, is that interchange of
material, by the influence of which the old material is removed and
new material is deposited in its place. Now, the emunctory function of
the skin obviously results in the removal of the old material from the
body, and in proportion to the energy and completeness of its removal,
will be the eagerness of the tissues to take up new material from the
blood. If the skin be in the torpid and atrophied state I have already
described as the consequence of our present habits of life, this source
of interchange, of nutrition, will be valueless: but if, by improving
the health of the skin through the agency of the bath, or by any other
method that can be devised, we render its function more active and
energetic, we necessarily make nutrition also more active and complete.

The accomplishment of this object is the basis of that process known
by the name of _training_, by which animals are brought into the
highest state of condition and strength. It is for this that the
racehorse is galloped, and sweated, and often purged; for this, also,
the prize-fighter, the prize-rower, and the prize-cricketer are made
to go through a similar ordeal. It requires little argument to show
how admirably the bath is suited to this purpose; the sweating, the
cleansing, the strengthening of the blood, are obtained in the bath,
without effort and without exhaustion; and the system is brought into
that state which, above all, is most favourable for the absorption
of new and nutritious material. The bath has been already applied to
the training of horses, and before long will be used in the training
of men. The Romans kept their army in health and strength by means
of the bath; and the bath might, on the same principle, be adopted
with advantage under all those circumstances in which bodies of men
are assembled together, temporarily or permanently, as in barracks,
prisons, schools, factories, &c.

In the gas factories and metal-smelting houses, and probably in other
trades where men are exposed to great heat, a plan is adopted which
has considerable physiological interest, and is specially illustrative
of the nutritive capabilities of the bath. In the retort-house, the
stokers are kept for many hours in a deluge of perspiration; the drain
is consequently very active, and it is necessary to supply the loss
occasioned by that drain by means of drink. With this object, each man
is allowed a certain quantity of oatmeal daily: the oatmeal is served
out by the foreman, and is scalded with hot water and made into thin
gruel; this is the drink with which the men supply the place of the
perspired fluid. They give forth, in the shape of perspiration, water
holding in solution the used and useless materials of the frame, and
they receive in return a wholesome nutritive material. Can we wonder
that these men are perfect Athletæ in form, that they are in the finest
possible condition for labour; and that, although working in buildings
open to every draught of cold wind, and bathed in perspiration, they
never, indeed they cannot, take cold.

Let us apply this lesson of the retort-house to the ill-nourished,
weakly invalid; or, better still, to weakly, ill-conditioned children.
Let us suppose that we have the power, by an easy, pleasant process,
of extracting the old, the bad, the useless, even the decayed and
diseased, stuff from the blood and from the system by means of the
bath; how simple the operation by which we could give back in its
place wholesome and nutritious material.--Where would be atrophy and
scrofula, if we had this power?--and this power is, I believe, fast
approaching, fast coming within our reach, by means of the Eastern
Bath. We squeeze the sponge as we will; we replenish it as we will.

The faculty of preventing disease, as exercised by the skin, besides
being indirect and operating on the general health of the body, is also
direct. The skin repels the depressing effects of cold, of alternations
of temperature, of extreme dryness or moisture, by virtue of its own
healthy structure; by its intrinsic power of generating heat; and it
also repels other causes of disease, such as animal and miasmatic
poisons, by its emunctory power, which enables it to convey them
directly out of the body. In unwholesome states of the atmosphere, in
an atmosphere of malaria, which must necessarily pass into the body
with the inhaled air, and being in the lungs must be absorbed by the
blood, we naturally inquire by what means we escape the morbid effects
of such malaria? The answer is:--the malaria is conducted out of the
body as rapidly as it is introduced, by the emunctory organs--by the
liver, kidneys, and notably by the skin. If the powers of the skin be
weak, then the poisons are detained in the blood, and disease is the
result; but if the skin be healthy and active, then they can do no
evil; and ultimately they become innocuous. Thus the bath, by conducing
to the health of the skin, becomes a direct means of preventing disease.

Reasoning, on the same premisses, shows us how the bath may be
employed in the cure of disease. We can, at our will, so far excite
the emunctory power of the skin as to make it the means of carrying
off the elements together with the seeds of disease. If we wish to
comprehend the operation better, we have only to watch Nature's own
processes. A morbid poison is in the blood, it produces a shock to the
whole system, that shock is represented by a chill; next to the chill
succeeds a fierce fever, which marks the furious battle waged between
the poison and the blood; then follows the perspiration, which hurries
the contending poison out of the system; the perspiration, for the
time being, is the cure. The observation of this well known series of
symptoms suggested to the inventive mind of Mr. Urquhart the notion,
that by raising artificially, as by the bath, the temperature of the
body above fever-heat, the proper stages of fever might be stepped
over; the chill fit would pass at once into the hot fit, and the hot
fit be resolved by perspiration. The suggestion is worthy of mature

Let me conclude with a brief summary of the sanitary views which it
is my aim to inculcate in this essay.--I have endeavoured to show the
importance of the skin as an independent organ endowed with sensation,
circulation, powers of nutrition, and powers of elimination. I have
viewed it in its relations to the rest of the animal economy--the
digestive organs, the heart, the lungs, and the brain--with the purpose
of showing its influence on these organs. I have regarded it in its
natural state, as full of vigour, and possessing the properties of
healthy colour, texture, sensation, and secretion; and in the unnatural
state to which it has been brought by the perpetual use of clothing,
wherein its colour, texture, sensation, and secretion are unhealthy,
and its power of generating heat lost. I have explained the manner of
operation of the bath on the skin, both in its healthy and unhealthy
state; how, in the former case, it is a direct preservative of the
health of the skin, and, through the skin, of the entire organism;
and, in the latter, that it possesses the power of restoring the skin
to a state of health: further, that the bath may be made the means
of preventing disease, and an adjuvant in its removal when already



Admitting the importance of the bath to the health and well-being of
society, when properly employed, it becomes our duty to consider in
what the _propriety_ of its employment consists.

It consists in the selection of a _temperature_ which is suitable to
the constitution and idiosyncrasies of the individual; of a _time of
day_ most in accord with the constitution of the body; of a period of
_duration_ of the bath; of the _frequency_ of repeating it.

Then we have to consider certain points of detail which come before us
in the shape of objections to the bath: for example, the apprehension
of _taking cold_ after the bath; of causing disturbance of the
nutritive functions; of inducing weakness. And, again, we may view it
as a remedy against certain affections of a spasmodic type, in which
its mode of action is so clear as to be intelligible to the unmedical
understanding; and further, we have to regard it in its applicability
to our fellow-creatures of the four-footed class, and especially to the


The history of the Bath, together with its practice, so far as I have
been able to comprehend it, both point to the Turkish Bath, as it at
present exists in the East, as representing the proper standard of
temperature. The Turkish Bath is a mixed bath of vapour and heat; and
although we have no information of its precise thermometric grade, yet
we have sufficient data before us to be assured that the temperature
cannot be high; for we know, on the one hand, that watery vapour above
120° of Fahrenheit is scalding; and, on the other hand, that the
Turkish Bath is constantly taken by travellers and strangers; and that
inconvenience resulting from its temperature is an accident of the
rarest kind; so rare, in fact, as to be scarcely possible. Whereas, in
the high temperatures at present in use in London, 170° and 180° of dry
air, disagreeable and even dangerous symptoms are extremely common.

The great purpose to be arrived at, as far as temperature is concerned,
is to obtain one which shall be agreeable to the sensations; which
shall slowly expand the pores of the skin; which _shall produce gently
and slowly and without effort; so that it may be continued for an
indefinite length of time_. The temperature of 135° or 140° is very
agreeable to the sensations; but in me it excites a perspiration which
is too profuse; the energy of perspiration occasions a feeling of
exhaustion; and the exhaustion is succeeded by quickened action of the
heart, throbbing pulse, a sensation of faintness, of oppression, which
makes it necessary that I should quit the Calidarium for a few minutes.
It is true that these unpleasant sensations quickly pass off; but they
are again renewed after a time, as often as I return to the Calidarium.
It is easy to see why these disagreeable sensations occur; it is easy
to understand, that the blood, suddenly robbed of a considerable
proportion of its watery fluid, must, for the moment, occasion a
physiological change in the whole economy. But we must do more than
explain them to our own mental satisfaction, we must stop them; and the
way to stop them is, I believe, to use lower temperatures.

Again, high temperatures clearly frustrate the purpose of the bath;
by producing excessive perspiration, they shorten the period passed
in the bath; they bring it to a too sudden and too rapid conclusion.
Profuse perspiration is an excess of function, and excess of function
cannot exist without fatigue and consequent injury to the organ so
excited; together with more or less disturbance of the whole economy.
I have had many complaints of the bath made to me, which have been
clearly referrible to the use of high temperatures at the beginning
of treatment; and the abuse is so plain, that I wonder, having once
occurred, it could again be repeated.

These remarks point to the importance of a Tepidarium when a Tepidarium
can be obtained; the time passed in the Tepidarium may be considerable,
the body undergoing a gradual process of warming, of softening, of
perspiration; and at the end of this process, being transferred for a
few minutes only to the Calidarium.


The best time for taking the Turkish Bath, and, indeed, every form
of bath, is that which is least likely to interfere with the process
of digestion; for example, _before a meal_. But at this point it is
necessary to draw a line of distinction between the Turkish Bath and
all other kinds of bath: the Turkish Bath abstracts from the system a
proportion of its solid constituents, more or less considerable, while
it makes only a gasiform return in the form of oxygen. All other baths
abstract little or nothing; and therefore, in this particular, there
is a wide and important difference between them. It is as needful to
take the sea bath before a meal as it is the Turkish Bath; but the sea
bath may be taken before breakfast, which I should in nowise advocate
in the case of the Turkish Bath. I do not mean that, to those who can
bear it and who approve of it, the Turkish Bath might not be suitable
on first rising in the morning; but the generality of mankind will find
the most advantageous time for taking it from three or four, to five or
six hours after meal. At that time there will be that in the economy
which nature can spare, and often with benefit to the health, the waste
of the digestive process, the detrita of nutrition; whereas, before
breakfast, there is or ought to be scant matter for giving off from the
blood by way of perspiration. Invalids may take the Turkish Bath three
hours after breakfast; or three hours after the midday meal or lunch;
while the man of occupation may advantageously devote to its rites the
hour and a half or two hours which immediately precede dinner; and
the more engaged may probably, with equal advantage, take it in the
evening, after the dust and toil of the day are at an end, and shortly
before bedtime.

"Would it be no comfort, no pleasure, no benefit to an English lady, on
returning from a ball, and before going to bed, to be able, divested
of whalebone and crinoline, and robed as an Atalanta, to enter marble
chambers with mosaic floors, and be refreshed and purified from the
toil she has undergone, and prepared for the soft enjoyment of the rest
she seeks?"[16]

[16] "The Pillars of Hercules."


The length of time spent in the bath must be regulated: partly by
the object to be obtained; partly by the habits of the individual as
regards the use of the bath; partly by his strength and powers of
constitution; and partly by the temperature of the bath. The _object_
of the bather may be a moderate perspiration, or a thorough sweat; he
may desire simply to evaporate from his skin the waste particles that
occasion fatigue; or he may wish to distil from his blood the morbid
atomies of rheumatism, neuralgia, or gout; he may seek for the after
enjoyment which follows upon a day's hunting or shooting; or he may
strive to gain the health-giving results of active exercise, for a
body that has been immured in committee or in office all the day long.
I have shown, in an illustration at p. 78, how the bath may be used
for the removal of fatigue, of hunger, the cobwebs of the brain; and
how it may be made to fortify the powers of the muscular system and of

The practised bather will know when to cease the bath, without
reference to other authority than his own sensations and experience.
The weak and the strong must be equally guided by their powers of
endurance, and all must be influenced to a greater or less extent by
the thermometer. A bath at 180° cannot be borne for the same length of
time as a bath at 130°; and it is clear that if a protracted bath be
the object sought to be attained, the temperature must be moderate and
agreeable to the sensations. In the baths of very high temperature the
bather is forced to retreat before a full perspiration is accomplished,
and he is therefore rendered liable to a secondary perspiration, which
chills the skin and endangers catarrh and other local congestions,
while he is deprived of the refreshing and exhilarating sensation which
follows a properly-accomplished bath. For him, there is no jumping over
a lamp-post, much less "the moon."

I have often passed an hour in the bath. Mr. Urquhart, Mr. Holland,
and Mr. Witt have spent several consecutive hours in the bath. Mr.
Rolland lived in the bath for three days, quitting it only for a short
period at a time. To some, a quarter of an hour in the Calidarium would
be enough; while others would prefer half or three-quarters of an
hour. The Romans indulged in the bath to so great an excess, that it
became necessary to pass a law to restrict its use to two hours. Dr.
Millingen, Physician to the Sultan, in a letter from Constantinople,
addressed to Mr. George Witt, observes:--"If a Moslem enters the bath
for the object of a legal ablution, half an hour is amply sufficient;
if, however, a person wishes to go through all the stages of a complete
bath, an hour, at least, or one hour and a half, is the usual time."

The frequency of taking the bath must, like other points of balneal
economy, be regulated by the purpose sought to be attained. Where
maintenance of existing health is the object, once or twice a week may
be sufficient. I can conceive the bath to be made a part of the process
known as "dressing for dinner," and then it may be taken as often as
we dine. Medically, its frequency of repetition must be left to the
medical man; and in every case the amount of effect produced must
regulate its repetition. "Little and often," I would suggest as a maxim
applicable to the bath as to some others of the enjoyments of life; and
much to be preferred to the opposite position, "seldom and much." The
Romans took the bath daily; the Mussulmans take it once a week.

To the natives of a country possessing a damp, cold, and variable
climate, like that of Britain, wherein catarrhs are the scourge of the
population (such catarrhs being attributable in most cases to checked
perspiration and extreme cooling of the surface of the body), the
apprehension of cold and catarrh from the use of the bath is a natural
expectation. But the practice of the bath proves such an apprehension
to be unfounded, and our reason helps us to see that there is in
reality no such danger. The ordinary process of taking a cold is as
follows: we are warmed by exercise, perhaps somewhat exhausted at the
same time; the skin is bedewed with perspiration; the perspired fluid
evaporates, producing chill; and the chill occasions a shock to the
nervous system and to the whole economy, that results in the reaction
known as "_a cold_." But if we contrast these conditions with those of
the bath, we find that there is no parallel between them. In the bath
we perspire; in a warm and genial temperature we abstract from the
system all the watery fluid that Nature has, at the time, to spare; we
rinse off the perspiration with warm water; we shut up the pores by
means of cold water; we warm the body anew; we then rest tranquilly
until every particle of moisture is removed from the skin; and when we
are thoroughly dry, we put on dry and warm clothes. In this process it
is clear that there is not even a chink by which a cold can approach
us. If we hear of people taking cold after the bath, we may be assured
that they have broken its laws somehow or somewhere. The bath, properly
conducted,--and improperly conducted it is not the bath--THE BATH

That which is most needful to impress upon nations unaccustomed to
the bath, is a _respect for its ordinances_. People are apt, on their
first introduction to the bath as a new idea, either to take alarm
at the apparent severity of its processes, or to go to the opposite
extreme of treating it inconsiderately. People require training to the
bath, as they do to other processes which are calculated to affect
the well-being of their constitution. If they were bred to the bath
from their infancy, no training would be requisite; but as they are
not, there are very few who can go through the London Turkish Bath in
all its entirety, and as it is at present conducted, without risk of
accident of some kind--that is, before they are properly seasoned. I
call to mind a gentleman of susceptible constitution, whom I myself
introduced to the bath: the temperature did not exceed 135°; he felt
very little uneasiness during the process; but his liver took offence
at the inordinate and unusual industry of its coadjutor, the skin,
and was many days before its anger was appeased, the possessor being
much troubled in the meantime by the intestine feud of his interior.
But this affords no ground of argument against the bath; it only
corroborates the views of moderation which I am endeavouring to
inculcate. Had my friend taken the bath at a lower temperature, or
reduced its duration to a shorter period, he would have suffered no
inconvenience; and, after all, it was but the inconvenience attendant
upon the initiation of a new physiological process.

A similar event occurred in the instance of another friend, a literary
man, of sedentary habits, but thin, and not overcharged with waste
humours. The temperature of the bath was the same, but my friend was
not equal to the demand made upon his vaporizable fluids, and the use
of the bath tended to derange his nutritive functions and lower his
powers. Here, again, it was clear that a more moderate temperature,
a slower transpiration, and a shorter period of duration, were the
natural agents of cure. With these conditions there would have been no
strain on the circulating or nervous system, and the bather would have
enjoyed relatively the same advantages as another abounding in humours.
If we had a choice, if we had the opportunity of selecting subjects for
the bath, we should take them from the latter class; and these are the
persons who would derive the greatest benefits from its use. Another
example of the abuse of the bath was a lady who had taken twelve baths
with enjoyment and advantage: on entering the bath the thirteenth time,
the temperature was 190°, she felt uncomfortable, and remained unwell
for several days. On the other hand, I have had the pleasure of seeing
many with whom the bath had disagreed at first, become accustomed to
it, and derive great benefit from its regular use.

Non-bathers often express an alarm lest the bath may be weakening. But
the bath strengthens, it never weakens, except, as in the instances
above narrated, it be used improperly. The idea of weakening is
suggested by the loss of fluids by perspiration; but this loss is,
as I have endeavoured to show, a gain and not a loss. The expulsion
of watery fluids from the economy is a natural process, necessary to
our very existence, and without it we should die. It would be very
unreasonable to regard the watery fluids expelled by the lungs, by the
skin, and by other emunctory organs, as a loss of material necessary to
the economy, or a loss which could in any way affect the nervous and
muscular powers of the individual otherwise than beneficially--unless,
indeed, the loss be inordinate and excessive. Is it not one of the
conditions of our healthful existence, that we should earn our bread
with the sweat of our brow? and, writhe as we may under the verdict,
we must do so, or suffer the evil consequences of a breach of Heaven's
law. Mr. Urquhart has the following observations on this subject:--

"There is an impression that the bath is weakening. We can test this
in three ways; its effects on those debilitated by disease, on those
exhausted by fatigue, and on those who are long exposed to it.

"1. In affections of the lungs and intermittent fever, the bath
is invariably had recourse to against the debilitating nightly
perspirations. The temperature is kept low, not to increase the action
of the heart or the secretions; this danger avoided, its effect is to
subdue, by a healthy perspiration in a waking state, the unhealthy one
in sleep. No one ever heard of any injury from the bath. The moment a
person is ailing he is hurried off to it.

"2. After long and severe fatigue,--that fatigue such as we never know,
successive days and nights on horseback--the bath affords the most
astonishing relief. Having performed long journeys on horseback, even
to the extent of ninety-four hours, without taking rest, I know by
experience its effects in the extremest cases.

"A Tartar having an hour to rest, prefers a bath to sleep. He enters
as if drugged with opium, and leaves it, his senses cleared, and his
strength restored as much as if he had slept for several hours. This
is not to be attributed to the heat or moisture alone, but to the
shampooing, which in such cases is of an extraordinary nature. The
Tartar sits down and doubles himself up; the shampooer (and he selects
the most powerful man) then springs with his feet on his shoulders,
cracking his vertebræ; with all his force and weight he pummels the
whole back, and then turning him on his back and face, aided by a
second shampooer, tramples on his body and limbs; the Tartar then
lays himself down for half an hour; and perhaps, though that is not
necessary, sleeps. Well can I recal the hamâm doors which I have
entered scarcely able to drag one limb after the other, and from which
I have sprung into my saddle again elastic as a sinew and light as a

Sir Alexander Burnes, in his "Travels in Bokhara," on the same topic
observes:--"You are laid out at full length, rubbed with a hair brush,
scrubbed, buffeted, and kicked; but it is all very refreshing." And
Anquetil gives the following account of shampooing;--"One of the
attendants on the bath extends you upon a bench, sprinkles you with
warm water, and presses the whole body in an admirable manner. He
cracks the joints of the fingers and of all the extremities. He then
places you upon the stomach, pinches you over the kidneys, seizes you
by the shoulders, and cracks the spine by agitating all the vertebræ,
strikes some powerful blows over the fleshy and muscular parts, then
rubs the body with a hair-glove until he perspires, grinds down the
thick and hard skin of the feet with pumice-stone, anoints you with
soap, and lastly, shaves you and plucks out the superfluous hairs. This
process continues for three-quarters of an hour, after which a man
scarcely knows himself; he feels like a new being.

"You will see a hammal (porter), a man living only on rice, go out of
one of those baths where he has been pouring with that perspiration
which we think must prostrate and weaken, and take up his load of five
hundredweight, placing it unaided on his back.

3. "The shampooers spend eight hours daily in the steam; they undergo
great labour there, shampooing, perhaps, a dozen persons, and are
remarkably healthy. They enter the bath at eight years of age: the
duties of the younger portion are light, and chiefly outside in the
hall to which the bathers retire after the bath; still, there they are
from that tender age exposed to the steam and heat, so as to have their
strength broken, if the bath were debilitating. The best shampooer
under whose hands I have ever been, was a man whose age was given me as
ninety, and who, from eight years of age, had been daily eight hours in
the bath. This was at the natural baths of Sophia. I might adduce in
like manner the sugar-bakers of London, who, in a temperature not less
than that of the bath, undergo great fatigue, and are also remarkably

THE MEDICAL PROPERTIES of the bath are based upon its powers of
altering the chemical and electrical conditions of the organic
structures of the body and abstracting its fluids. The whole of these
changes take place simultaneously, and no doubt harmoniously; but
in certain instances we may rely upon a greater activity of one of
these processes over the other two: for example, in neuralgia, the
electrical power should preponderate; in the destruction of miasma and
poisonous ferments, the chemical power; and in the slow removal of
accumulated morbid deposits, as in chronic gout and rheumatism, the
fluid abstracting power. The required greater activity of one or other
of these powers would also be our guide to those physical conditions
of the bath which are calculated to effect these objects--for example,
temperature and moisture. The temperature and degree of moisture
for the treatment of disease must be different from that which is
suitable to health. It may be necessary to have recourse to very
high temperatures; or it may be requisite to fall below the healthy
standard. Moreover, the healthy standard itself may require variation
for different individuals and different constitutions. The physician is
perfectly conversant with this necessity of adapting his means to the
special constitution or idiosyncrasy of his patient.

One of the most important properties of the bath is its power of
preserving that balance of the nutritive functions of the body which
in its essence is health; in other words, preserving the _condition_
of the body. The healthy condition implies an exact equipoise of the
fluids and the solids, of the muscular and the fatty tissues, of the
waste and the supply. This state of the body is normally preserved by a
proportioned amount of air, exercise or labour, and food; but even the
air, the exercise, the labour, and the food must be apportioned, in its
kind and in its order, to the peculiar constitution of the individual.
Those who have ever had occasion to reflect on this subject, must
have felt the difficulties which surround it, and have been aware how
extremely difficult it is to say what may be faulty in our mode of
using these necessaries of our existence. If I were asked to select
an example, as a standard of the just equipoise of these conditions,
I should take the ploughman; intellect at the standard of day to day
existence, moderate food, vigorous but not over-strained labour,
plenty of air, and plentiful exposure. But who would care to accept
existence on such terms as these. Give us brain, give us mind, however
ungovernable, however preponderant its overweight to the physical
powers, however destructive to the powers of the body. In a word,
we select a morbid condition: our meals, our air, our exercise, our
indoor and outdoor habits are all unsound; we prefer that they should
be unsound; the necessities of our life, of our position, require
that they should be unsound. How grand, therefore, the boon that will
correct these evils without the necessity for making any inconvenient
alteration in our habits!

THAT BOON IS THE BATH. The bath promotes those changes in the blood for
which fresh air is otherwise needful. The bath gives us appetite, and
strengthens digestion. The bath serves us in lieu of exercise. "The
people who use it," writes Mr. Urquhart, "do not require exercise for
health, and can pass from the extreme of indolence to that of toil."
How glorious a panacea for those home-loving matrons whom no inducement
can draw forth from their _Lares_ and _Penates_, to enjoy a daily
wholesome exercise, and who, as a consequence, become large, and full,
and fat, and bilious, and wheezy; and who, in their breach of Heaven's
law, lay the foundation of heart disease. "A nation without the bath
is deprived of a large portion of the health and inoffensive enjoyment
within man's reach; it therefore increases the value of a people to
itself, and its power as a nation over other people."[17]

[17] "The Pillars of Hercules."

Dr. Millingen, in the letter to Mr. George Witt, previously referred
to, makes the following interesting remarks on the bath, and offers an
opinion of its importance, for which we were hardly prepared in a man
living in its midst, and having its operation constantly under his eye.
The prophet is clearly no less a prophet at home than abroad:--"As to
the application of the bath in the prevention and cure of diseases.
The working classes among the Turks, for such classes do exist, and
are as numerous and fully more hard-working than elsewhere, know of
no other means of prevention, on feeling indisposed, but the bath.
In the numerous cases arising from sudden changes in the temperature
of the body, a copious perspiration, which a stay of more or less
duration in the Calidarium is sure to occasion, does, in the great
majority of cases, restore the body to the equilibrium of health. After
over-exertion, again, the bath is had recourse to. In short, it is
looked upon so much in the light of a panacea by the lower orders, that
they hardly ever dream of consulting a physician when taken unwell. If
the bath fail to cure them, nothing else will succeed. This prevailing
conviction accounts, in a great measure, for the total absence of
dispensaries and civil hospitals, not only in this large city, but
throughout the empire. Yet I apprehend, from the tables of mortality
monthly published, that the mortality is not greater than it is in
countries blessed with those institutions. The higher classes, and
women especially, do not, as with us, know much about regular exercise,
so that I perfectly agree with you that, were it not for the ample
compensation afforded by the bath, they would not enjoy the excellent
health they generally possess.

"You speak of the temperance of the people as being pointed out as the
principal cause of gout being hardly known in this country. If this
is partly true, on the other hand I must remark that intemperance of
late years is much on the increase; and, moreover, that it is carried
on to an extent which, if stated, might be looked upon as fabulous.
Yet the gout is not more prevalent, nor delirium tremens either. This
immunity I can attribute to nothing else but to the expulsion of the
alcohol circulating in the system, by the lungs and skin, during the
stay in the bath. You wish to know how long, on an average, does a
person remain in the bath. If a Moslem enters the bath for the object
of a legal ablution, half-an-hour is amply sufficient; if, however, a
person wishes to go through all the stages of a complete bath, an hour,
at least, or, one hour and a half, is the usual time.

"I consider that you are engaged in an attempt, which, if successful,
will confer in an hygienic point of view, a service on our countrymen
as eminent as the discovery that has immortalized the name of Jenner.

"We have not here the statistical returns indispensable to ascertain
whether the medium range of human life is above or below the average
in other countries. Instances of extraordinary longevity are far from
being uncommon. I have known, and know yet, several individuals among
the natives more than a hundred years old."

My friend B---- is a man of leisure, so far as the common necessities
of life are concerned; his worldly career has been successful; and,
in gratitude to the Giver of mercies, he has devoted the remainder
of his days to the service of God, to the doing of all the good he
can to his fellow man; he is largely concerned in the management of
public charities of all kinds; he is regular in his habits, active, and
moderate in his diet; but, in spite of moderation, he is fat, and as a
man who despises personal indulgence, his fat is an annoyance to him,
and an incumbrance. "What can I do to become less bulky?" said he to
me one day. "Go to the bath," said I; "and after the bath walk to your
home in Kensington." "Impossible," said he; "Kensington is three miles
away, and I cannot walk the length of a street without panting." "Have
faith," said I, "and do as I tell you." A week after I received a note
from B----: "I took the bath, as you desired me; after the bath I felt
that I could walk to Kensington, or to Richmond, if I had chosen; but
I had an appointment that obliged me to hurry home in a cab. Yesterday
I took a second bath; I did walk home to Kensington, no less to my own
amazement than that of my family; I ate my dinner with a relish that
I had not known for years; and after dinner, the power and the desire
to walk were so great that I could hardly repress them." B---- has
continued the bath regularly ever since; he looks fresh and well, and
more shapely; he knows no fatigue in walking; during the late severe
winter he has required no great coat; in the midst of the bitterest
frost he walked to the Serpentine in his shirt sleeves, with his coat
upon his arm, and his clothing is now his only incumbrance. "I want to
fit up a bath for the poor in my neighbourhood," was his remark to me
at a late interview. "What convenience have you for the purpose?" said
I. "A capital roomy cellar," was his answer. "Sell your wine, then,"
said I, "and make a bath." "Oh! I can give away my wine," was his
rejoinder; "those who take the bath need no wine." Heaven's blessing on
thy head, B----; thou art an honour to the name of MAN.

While on the subject of examples of benefit to the health resulting
from the use of the bath, I may mention the case of a neighbour,
by name Buckland, who has put up a bath in Westmoreland-street,
Marylebone. Buckland was an upholsterer, but being seized with
rheumatic gout, lost his business and fell into poverty. For fifteen,
years he was a cripple, and tried in vain, medical remedies, waters,
and baths, one while taking the baths of Buxton, and another, drinking
the healing waters of Wales. He then, by good luck, fell under the
influence of Mr. Urquhart: by his advice he visited Manchester, and
took several Turkish Baths there; he then returned to London and
followed a course of baths at Evans's in Bell Street, Edgeware Road;
and in 1859 he fitted his own bath, and has managed it ever since.
He is no longer a cripple, but able to earn own livelihood, and is
an object of astonishment to those who knew him in the days of his
suffering. The medical eye discovers that he is not thoroughly sound
yet; but the degree of recovery which has already taken place is
marvellous, and one instance among many of the triumph of the Turkish
Bath. He has also had the good sense to discover the evil of very
high temperatures; so that he is one among the very few to whom I can
conscientiously consign the invalid.

There is a painful tension of the muscles known by the name of spasm
or cramp: like other complaints, it may be represented by a scale or
ladder, of which the lower bars are slight enough, but the highest
bring us to a knowledge of locked jaw, the fistful spasms of Asiatic
cholera, of tetanus, of hydrophobia. Heat and moisture are the
well-known and popular remedies for this state, and the good woman of
the house is always prepared in such cases to recommend hot salt, the
tin of hot water, hot flannels, and flannels wrung out of hot water.
These remedies are found to be useful, and, being easy of access, are
universal: a step above these stands the hot bath, that _unready_
remedy, that, except in public establishments where it is in common
use, is scarcely attainable. For the relief of, spasm, the hot bath
stands first among our external and simpler remedies; but miserable and
wretched indeed is the hot bath by the side of the Turkish Bath. In the
hot bath it is a perpetual struggle to keep your balance in the water,
to keep the head from going down and the feet from coming up; the head
is kept above the water in a temperature different from that of the
body, the neck feels cold and damp; the water is constantly varying in
temperature; and last of all, you are lifted out of the half-cooled
water into the chilly air, to recover your heat in a blanket the best
way you can. Perspiration in the hot bath is no sign of the state of
the skin; the head seems to perspire, but it is probably nothing more
than the condensation of vapour on the skin; the perspiration of the
rest of the skin, if it occur at all, is lost in the water of the bath;
and in the very outset of the perspiration, perchance, the pores are
chilled and a dangerous shock is communicated to the whole frame. Well
may Mr. Urquhart exclaim:--"None but a Frank would call a miserable
trough of water a bath."

When, years ago, I prescribed for Mr. Urquhart, while he was labouring
under a frightful attack of consecutive spasm, a hot bath, he gave me
a practical lesson of the uses of heat and moisture, by subjecting
himself to a vapour bath of such a degree of intensity and duration
as astonished all who saw it. The bath attendant whispered me that
he had never seen such a thing before, and relieved himself from
responsibility by saying Mr. Urquhart "would have it so." In fact,
he had converted the bath-room, for the nonce, into a Turkish Bath.
But how miserable, how puny, how inefficient is the hot bath, or the
boxed-up vapour bath, to the free, the open, the well-ventilated
and well-heated Calidarium! The sufferer from spasm may live in the
Calidarium, he may sleep there the whole night and the whole day; he
may not only bring his muscular system down to any degree of relaxation
that he desire, but he may keep it in that condition for any length of
time, or until the disposition to spasmodic tension has entirely passed

In a paper entitled "Thermotherapeia; the Heat Cure: or the Treatment
of Disease by Immersion of the Body in Heated Air,"[18] I appended the
following note as a convenient popular illustration of the action of
the Turkish Bath in the relief of muscular spasm. "How many are the
instances of spasm which come under the observation of medical men!
Spasm of the stomach, of the bowels, of the ducts of the liver and
kidneys, of the muscles. How needless to remind my brethren of their
infinite variety; of their fearful agony; of our poverty of means for
their relief. But here, again, the Turkish Bath cries out emphatically:
'Behold, we bring succour!' Without going more gravely into the matter,
let us smile over the paragraph which I have just cut out of the _Cork
Examiner_. As physiologists, we recognise the point and the value of
the illustration; as philosophers, we appreciate the lesson, and become
the wiser for its gift. 'One day last week, a boy, employed in Messrs.
Simpson and Baker's biscuit factory was ascending to a loft, when one
of the workmen below called him; and in turning his head quickly to
answer the call, he got a crick in the neck of such severity that the
head lay almost flat on the shoulder. The poor boy was going home in
great agony, when he was met by Mr. Hegarty, the proprietor of the City
View Turkish Bath, in the neighbourhood of Blarney, who, on learning
what was the matter with him, sent him to take a bath. When the boy was
inside about a quarter of an hour, and perspiration had set in, he was
placed under a tepid shower-bath, and as soon as the water commenced to
fall on him, the neck began to straighten, and in a short time the head
had recovered its natural position, to the great delight of the poor
lad, and rather to the astonishment of the other parties in the bath,
who did not expect so speedy a cure. The boy was still suffering from a
pain in the neck; but a second bath the next morning removed that, and
he returned to his work immediately.'

[18] This Paper was presented to the British Medical Association, at
its meeting in Torquay, in August, 1860, and was published in the
"British Medical Journal" of Oct. 13th, 1860.

"What remedy so potent for that dislocation and spasm of the fibres
of the sterno-mastoid as the relaxing warmth of the Calidarium. How
many who read this will call to mind hundreds of cases in which its
effects to the untaught mind would be equally amazing. We may dare to
balance its merits against those of chloroform. We may discover in
it a valuable aid in the reduction of dislocations; in the relief of
strangulated hernia; or in soothing the wasted pangs of parturition."



The Turkish Bath is not only applicable to man, but is suitable also to
animals, to the horse and the dog, those faithful and useful friends
and companions of man; and also to his oxen, his cows, and his sheep.
In the instance of the horse and dog, it is capable of preserving
health and condition, and preparing them by training for those feats of
strength and speed which are peculiar to those animals. And it becomes
an important and valuable medicine in treating their diseases.

In employing the bath as a means of training, we must have clearly
before us the powers of the bath, on the one hand, and the precise
objects which we wish to attain, on the other. The bath will abstract
the old material from the system, and will thereby render the system
more ready to take up and more capable of appropriating new and
strengthening nutritious matter which may be given to supply its
place. In other words, it will do the sweating part of the process
excellently, without fatigue, without wear and tear to the economy.
But this, although a necessary part of the process of training, is
only a part of the process. Other means are required to direct the
new nutritive matter to the organs which especially require it--the
organs of locomotion; and the principal of these means is exercise.
The racehorse must still have his muscles trained by exercise; the
prize-fighter, prize-runner, or prize-rower, must still pursue a
systematic course of exercise; but the exercise in both instances
is only that which is required to educate the muscles, to give them
power, precision, facility of action, and to strengthen the breathing
function; the exercise for the abstraction of unnecessary matter, for
the removal of fat, is no longer requisite; for that the bath will
amply and sufficiently provide.

My friend Mr. Goodwin, of Hampton Court, who has had much and the best
kind of experience in the management of horses, tells me that for more
than twenty-five years he has been in the habit of having his horses
washed whenever they returned to the stable in a state of perspiration,
and with the result that his stable was remarkable for the health and
condition of the animals. His process was as follows:--the horses were
thoroughly sponged over with warm water; then with tepid water; and,
lastly, with cold; the water was then scraped out of their coats with a
scraper (_strigillum_), and they were well wiped down with a leather.
After this they were covered with a cotton sheet, and their legs were
bandaged with cotton rollers. In fifteen or twenty minutes the sheet
was raised gradually, first at one corner, then at another, until it
was completely removed; the uncovered portion being thoroughly wiped
before the next was proceeded with, and the process being continued
until the animal was completely dry. After this treatment, there was no
fear of any subsequent _breaking out_, and however sharply the horses
had been worked, frequently after a run at the rate of twenty miles an
hour, they were ready and willing for a double feed of oats.

How different this picture from that of the common condition of horses
under similar circumstances; breaking out into a profuse, and often a
succession of profuse perspirations after being put into the stable,
and unable to eat their corn from faintness and exhaustion. But how
curious the parallel with the stages of the Turkish Bath: the exercise
is the _sudatorium_; then the operations of the _lavatorium_; firstly,
the warm affusion, then the cold douche and the _strigil_; and, lastly,
the _frigidarium_ and the sheet. Nay, the parallel permits of being
pushed even one stage further. My friend W. says:--"I have no objection
to see a friend in the bath, or invite him to dinner; but not both on
the same day, for the bath makes him so hungry, that my cook threatens
to give me warning."

Mr. Urquhart, in a note to "The Pillars of Hercules" observes:--"A plan
has recently been successfully adopted for drying horses after hunting.
Two men, one on each side, throw over him buckets of water as hot as
he can bear it; he is then scraped, and rubbed with chamois leather,
the head and ears carefully dried with a rubber, and his clothing put
on. In twenty minutes he is perfectly dry, and there is no fear of his
breaking out again: the old plan of rubbing him dry took from one to
two hours of very hard work, and he generally broke out once or twice,
and would often be found in a profuse sweat at twelve or one o'clock at
night. The bath might be adopted for horses." "At present we shampoo
our horses and clear off the epidermis, while we bestow no such care on
our own bodies."

On the application of the Turkish Bath to the management and training
of horses, the following letter, addressed by Mr. Goodwin to the Editor
of _Bell's Life_, is especially important and interesting:--

  "MR. EDITOR,--I hope your insertion of Mr. Erasmus Wilson's
  observations upon the advantages to be derived from the Turkish Bath
  may be the means of inducing owners of horses and their trainers
  to try its effects. It is obvious that in the racing stables such
  an adjunct must be found of great use to horses whose limbs are
  defective, and not capable of sustaining the exercise necessary
  to reduce their superfluous flesh, and also in cases where the
  constitutional powers of the animals in preparation will not admit of
  their doing the strong work required of them.

  "Mr. Wilson's remarks upon the system of washing horses after their
  work allude to a practice which was introduced, and successfully
  carried out, under my direction for many years in the Royal stables.
  The following narrative in relation to it may be some testimony in
  its favour:--When the late Earl of Jersey became Master of the Horse
  his lordship sent for me on one occasion hastily, to express his
  horror at seeing the stablemen wash a set of horses which had just
  come in from a sharp run on the Windsor road; and so great was his
  lordship's prejudice to the innovation that I was afraid I should
  not be able to persuade him to permit its continuance, to give him
  an opportunity of observing its effects. His lordship, however, at
  my earnest request, came back to the mews in two hours' time to look
  at those horses, and not only found them quite dry and well dressed,
  but all of them eating their corn with good appetites. This induced
  his lordship to pay particular attention, whenever the opportunity
  occurred, to the horses so treated, and he became such a convert to
  this method, so new to him, that he often brought his friends to
  witness the beneficial effects of it; and, amongst others, the late
  Mr. Assheton Smith came, and immediately adopted it in his hunting
  stables, and, I have heard, with great success.

  "I know not whether jockeys have ever tried the hot-air bath for
  reducing themselves; but as they are compelled often to undergo
  such killing fatigue and privation as to impair their strength and
  endanger their health, they may, I hope, now that it is brought to
  their notice, be persuaded to make early trial of that which seems to
  offer them so much comfort. And as Mr. Wilson remarks that the skin
  of the accustomed bather perspires more readily and freely than in
  those whose pores have not been trained to its operation, jockeys may
  anticipate the acquisition of some very acceptable information.

  "The expense of converting a loose box into a hot-air bath is so
  trifling that the experiment may be made at no great cost. London
  has already many Turkish Baths for bipeds, and I hope Newmarket will
  not be without one for quadrupeds. Col. Knox has testified to its
  beneficial results upon horses in Ireland; and Col. Towneley has one
  at his training stables at Middleham, which, I believe, has answered
  every expectation.

  "In the treatment of disease I have often experienced the benefit
  of hot air; for in former days, when maladies in the horse were
  more rapid and acute than we now usually meet with them, and were
  generally ushered in by a cold shivering fit, it was my constant
  practice at Carlton House stables, when such a case occurred, to
  take the horse at once into the men's kitchen, and put him before
  the large fire which always kept it at a high temperature. By the
  heat, with the help of constant friction, I generally succeeded in
  cutting short the duration of the cold, clammy sweat, which is always
  indicative of mischief more or less serious. Were it for the treating
  of disease only, if I had a stable of valuable horses under my care,
  I would soon have also a hot-air bath.

           "Yours, &c.,           W. J. GOODWIN.

  "Hampton Court, Nov. 28th, 1860."

I have assumed for the skin the rank of a respiratory, of a breathing
organ; and have endeavoured to show that the cooling and drying
operations of the Frigidarium are an important part of the bath, as
their performance is associated with the exposure of the skin to the
atmosphere. Mr. Witt urges the prolongation of this period of the bath
to as lengthened a degree as possible; and he delights to tell his
auditors, dispersed around him like Roman senators in the Forum, and
with no other garment than a cotton scarf, variously and negligently
twined around their bodies--that this was the period when Pliny betook
himself to his garden, and in the full light of the sun, and refreshed
by the sweet breath of the unfettered winds of Heaven, walked in
pleasant contemplation on a terrace carpeted with a beautiful little
moss of velvet softness. We read that Sir Walter Scott indulged in this
kind of atmospheric bath; we recognise in it the special charm and
much of the value of the river bath and the sea-shore bath; and we are
not startled when we hear from the mouth of an advocate of the Turkish
Bath, Dr. John Le Gay Brereton, in a lecture delivered in Sheffield
in 1858, that--"After leaving the hot room in Bradford bath, bathers
were in the habit, last winter, of jumping into a bed of snow which had
been collected for the purpose. I have myself spent the whole night
in the woods at Blarney, without any clothing save the bath-sheet,
after coming out of Dr. Barter's bath at that place. This was after a
ball, when, with several other gentlemen, we had retreated to the bath
for the sake of refreshment from fatigue. So delightful was the cool
air, that when far away from any dwelling, we threw aside even our
sheets, to enjoy the morning breeze at daybreak. You need not then fear
exposure to the air, after the bath; it is not so much for the sake
of _cooling_ that this process is necessary, as to keep up the action
of the bath by exposing the skin to air; it is to compel the skin to

The importance of _ventilating the skin_ is illustrated in the process
of clipping and singeing, as applied to the horse. The thickening and
lengthening of the coat of the horse in the autumn season is a change
obviously adapted to prepare the animal for the coming severity of the
winter; and however natural in his wild state, is ill suited to his
condition as a useful and obedient servant of man. As autumn advances,
and after a few cold days, the coat of the horse appears as if "broken
up" into plots, and the individual hairs stand out roughly, or, in
technical language, the coat "stares." Accompanying this change in the
appearance of the skin, the animal becomes weak and languid, loses his
spirit, breaks out into sudden and abundant perspirations upon slight
exercise, and shows himself unequal to his work. Now, the ready remedy
for this state of things is the removal of the excess of hair, and
the exposure of the skin to the action of the atmosphere. If the coat
be clipped close to the skin or singed, or, better still, be shaven,
the animal preserves his strength and vigour, and is equal to all the
labour that may reasonably be imposed upon him. Of the three processes,
shaving is the best, then clipping, and lastly singeing. As to the
latter, it is not quite clear whether its inferior position in rank
to the others is due to the less complete exposure of the skin to the
action of the air, or to the sealing of the ends of the hairs by the
act of burning. It is not improbable that the cut ends of the hair in
shaving and clipping may serve as breathing pores for the inhalation of
air, an advantage to the oxygenization of the circulation in the skin
that is lost in the contraction and obliteration of the cells of the
hair which ensues after singeing.

Another curious concomitant of clipping is the change in the colour of
the coat, a change which seems to indicate that the colour of the hair
produced in the winter time is different from that of the summer.

Dr. Barter, who has done so much to advance the popularity of the bath
in Ireland, and has given much attention to farming operations, has
applied the bath to the treatment of animals suffering under disease.
The following extracts from a "Report of the Committee appointed to
inquire into the Utility of the Turkish Bath erected by Dr. Barter,
at St. Ann's, Blarney, for the Cure of Distemper in Cattle," have an
interest peculiarly their own. Referring to one of the patients, the
reporters observe: "We were informed she had been about an hour and
a half in, had been eight days under treatment, and, as we were able
subsequently to satisfy ourselves, had scarcely a trace of disease
about her, and the next day was to be returned to the herd cured. She
seemed quite to enjoy her position, the perspiration was rolling off
her freely, and her breathing was slightly quickened. She carried her
head erect, her eyes clear and healthy, and when she was removed to the
outer room to get her douche-bath, no one could mistake the feeling of
refreshment and pleasure that the dashing of each successive bucket of
water over her seemed to give, and when she had been slightly rubbed
down she was turned out to graze, the day being fine and warm; but when
otherwise, there is a shed close by into which the animals are turned
after leaving the bath, to let them further cool and dry before being
allowed out.

"One circumstance is worthy of remark, which applies to all the animals
treated in the bath, and testified to by the men in charge of the
four different baths we were shown--namely, the evident pleasurable
recollection the bath seems to leave with them; all the different
animals--horses, dogs, cattle, and pigs--going of their own accord to
the door of the bath, and dogs particularly indicating their anxiety by
waiting at the door, whining till it is opened, and then running in.

"This finished our inspection, and we now beg to submit to your council
the conclusions at which we have arrived from the above facts, and the
information we were able to obtain in the course of our inquiries.

"First, the proportion of deaths to recoveries in the treatment of
cattle distemper with the Turkish Bath does not appear to exceed one
in ten, while the proportion that has been hitherto usual under other
forms of treatment has varied from one death in three to one in four of
the cattle attacked.

"Secondly, that the constitution is not impaired by the treatment with
the bath as it is by any of the other systems with which we are at
present acquainted; and that this fact is particularly illustrated by
the rapidity with which, in every case, the milk almost immediately
returns on the animal being relieved from the disease.

"Thirdly, that in the treatment of several of the well-known serious
diseases of the inferior animals, its use has been attended with the
most favourable results, and particularly in all inflammatory diseases
of the internal organs.

"In conclusion, while we are far from thinking that a subject of such
vast importance could be satisfactorily investigated in the very
limited time we were able to devote to it, we nevertheless feel that
we have seen and heard quite enough to warrant us in recommending the
subject to the calm and serious investigation of those most vitally
interested in the subject."


[19] These observations and rules for the bath were drawn up by a
gentleman of much practical experience on the subject, and I have
thought that I should be doing a service to the reader to reprint them
in this place. They are peculiarly suggestive of self-management in the

A Bath is an aggregate of many parts, all more or less essential in
forming the whole. To single out, therefore, any particular chamber, or
any special contrivance used therein, and to call it _the_ bath, is the
same as singling out any room in a house, and calling it _the_ house.

Bathing is a process; and that process is an elaborate one. It comes
without thought to those accustomed to it, and no form of words can
convey it to those who are not. The bath being the practice of a
cleanly and polite people, habits of cleanliness and politeness must be
observed by those who frequent it. No code of rules and instructions
can teach the use of the bath: strangers must learn from the attendants
how they are to conduct themselves, and not speculate upon what they do
not understand. The following injunctions, however, may perhaps be of
some service:--

I. The bath should be taken (especially by the uninitiated) before
dinner: but if in the evening, a light repast may be taken in the
middle of the day.

II. Habits of cleanliness, decorum and repose are imperative. The
floors of the inner chambers of the bath must never be trodden with
shoes; these, and all other ordinary articles of dress, are to be left
in the outer room. The bathing dress is to be strictly worn throughout,
and never laid aside, except when the bather may be the sole occupant
of an apartment. To ensure the necessary quiet and repose, all noisy
and exciting conversation is prohibited.

III. Where there is a tepid-chamber, the bather is to remain therein
for a short time, or until a gentle moisture appears on the surface of
the skin.

IV. He is then to proceed to the hot-chamber (having first twisted
a piece of linen around the head, in the form of a turban), and if,
at any time, the heat be found oppressive, the head may be wetted
with warm, and the feet with cold water; and he should pass to and
from a cooler room, until the system becomes habituated to the heat.
When the skin shall hereafter acquire a more healthy condition, and
copious perspiration speedily results from every bath, the feeling of
oppression will cease.

V. Water may be drunk, if desired; but to drink without the desire
sometimes produces sickness.

VI. Shampooing (where attainable) necessarily precedes the processes
of ablution, for which object the bather returns for a time to the
tepid-chamber. In the absence of better means, rough linen or hair
gloves may be used to remove the softened cuticle.

VII. From the hot-chamber he proceeds to the washing-room, if this
should form a separate apartment. After the whole surface of the body
has been well soaped and rubbed, it is to be exposed to a shower of
warm water; and this soaping and cleansing is to be repeated as often
as may be required. In all washings care must be taken that the same
water shall never touch the body twice.

VIII. Immediately following the final ablution with warm water, the
whole body should be subjected for a few seconds to a stream of cold
water; or the bather may take a plunge into a pool of cold water, where
such convenience forms a part of the bath.

IX. If this application of cold be long continued, or if it take place
in too cool a room, the bather should return to the hot-chamber for a
few minutes, in order that the skin may regain its previous degree of
warmth; generally, however (after having thrown aside the wet bathing
garb), it will be sufficient to envelope the whole body quickly with a
dry sheet, and to proceed at once to the--

X. Cooling-room, where the recumbent posture and perfect quietude are
enjoined for a few minutes, until the accelerated action of the heart
shall have quite subsided: the sheet is to be cast off by degrees, and
its place supplied with a fresh bath garment.

XI. Plenty of time is to be devoted to this important department of
the bath; the skin is to be exposed, as much as possible, to the
vivifying action of the sun and air, and opportunity thus afforded to
the newly-opened pores to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. Where the
cooling-room opens into a retired court, or garden, the open air is

XII. Before dressing, the whole surface of the body must be dry to the
touch. If the cooling stage be hurried over, a secondary perspiration
may break out; this may give cold, and this alone; but this is the
result of mismanagement, not of the bath. Finally; the bather should
"Dress deliberately, walk away slowly, and reflect properly on the
blessing that he has enjoyed."



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious printer's errors corrected.

In general, every effort has been made to replicate this text as
faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings,
inconsistently hyphenated words, and other inconsistencies.

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