Medicine: Gurgle, Gargle, Guggle

When Mark Twain toured Europe in 1891, he discovered that France had just the treatment for his rheumatic right arm: a soothing bath of spring water at Aix-les-Bains. "I began to take the baths and found them most enjoyable," he wrote, "so enjoyable that if I hadn't had a disease I would have borrowed one just to have a pretext for going on."

Frenchmen still agree that the water cure is as much a treat as a treatment. From their beginnings they have resolutely tried to drown their ills—real or borrowed—in the country's 2,500 springs that are laced with such life-giving elements...

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