The healthiest women I have known — those who have held through a long life more than the usual high average of health to the advanced age of eighty or ninety years — have borne the testimony given above in regard to the function of ovulation. The loss of blood was slight, and limited to about three days, and rarely, save at times of unusual ill-health, painful to a degree greater than discomfort.
Several of these women, from varying stations in life, had borne respectively from six to twelve chil dren; one had been twice married, but was childless from natural reasons; three were happy and useful un married women, and all passed the menopause with out unusual ill-health, incident, or accident.
I cannot forbear adding here what I believe to have been an important aid to health and longevity In all these exceptional cases among women. They were all active physically to the latest period of their lives, and were resolute, happy women, doing useful and willing service in that which God in his providence placed before them as their life duty. They also carried with them the jewel which has such alchemic power to give vigor to mind and body to those who have it,— the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price. The average longevity of women is, for sev eral reasons, greater than that of men. The strug gles of war, the large and constantly increasing mining interests, the perils of adventure, and expo sure by sea and land, decimate our male population.
Woman's province as wife and mother is not unnatural or unhealthful, nor is the completed round of maternity, with its duties and cares, in any wise calculated to limit or shorten the life, but rather to improve and extend it. It is a life calling for con
secration, patience, and self-denial; but, like our Saviour's life of loving ministry, the mother's love and self-sacrifice becomes the strongest saving power in the lives of her children, in the up-building of the home and the promotion of national well-being.
Women are more highly susceptible in nervous organization than men, but we must not attribute to womanhood the results of morbid or diseased nervous action, which will be always associated with a sickly imagination, or those debilitating habits of dress and sedentary indoor life which cause feebleness in children or adults.
The physical life of woman is not only planned for the exercise of much muscular power, but she has those qualities of vital organization which prepare her for endurance, and that tenacity to life which is a surer pledge of long life than great strength. This conservation of the forces is shown in the renewal of the energies after the cessation of ovulation in those who have repeatedly borne children, where there has been no deviation from the normal round of mater nity. The change of life, climacteric, or menopause, as it is variously termed, is regarded by many with grave apprehension, but it is the presence of disease that makes this period a time of danger, and if the general and local health be kept good, there is no reason to fear that it will not pass as safely as the in troduction and maturing of womanhood.