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of the complication that would be requir- | are capable of passing into, and combined, if such an animal as man were destin- ing with, each other. Further, they are ed, like a plant, to feed on carbonic acid transmutable into new principles under gas.'
In this view, or, as it is called, certain laws: thus the saccharine princithis beautiful arrangement in the mode ple is readily convertible, as we have seen, of nutrition,' the lower animals must be into acid termed oxalic ; or, under cerlooked on as a cuisine obligée for the wants tain circumstances, into a modification of of the higher-which, Dr. Prout adds, 'al- the oleaginous principle-alcohol. The most invariably prey on those that are consequence of the higher animal feeding inferior to themselves in magnitude, in on the lower is therefore that their food organization, or intelligence.'-(p. 470.) must consist of one or more of the above But almost invariably is scarcely suffi- staminal principles. “A diet, to be comcient qualification of his bold theory of plete, must contain more or less of all the the final cause of the system of universal three.'—(p. 477.) voracity.' Other generalisers, with Dr. Prout was led to take this comprescarcely less boldness, have asserted that hensive view of the essence of aliment by the final object of this very system is the reflecting that the only substance actually development of intellect! since it is only prepared by Nature herself for food, and by the exhibition of the most curious stra- for nothing else, is milk. In this, then, he tagems that most animals can obtain their thought we must expect to find a model prey. We confess that we have some of what a true alimentary substance misgivings about the security of the should be—a sort of prototype or pattern higher organisms from the rapacity of the of nutritive material ; and accordingly lower, and doubt much whether the lion the analysis of every known kind of milk does not consider man as his natural food. discovers it to be a compound of the three At all events, the question may admit of staminal principles enumerated, in admixlitigation as to the negro, who in Southern ture of various proportions. Hence, then, Africa leaves the field and the forest to his we fairly come to this conclusion, that eat lordly opponent, while he betakes himself what we may, we but consume the “sacto his hut, perched on the tall bole of some charine, the oleaginous, and the albumintree, whence he can view the glaring eyes ous principles ;' and that the art of cookmoving like meteors in the darkness, and ery, however it may impose on the palate hear the interrupted thunder of that voice in disguising or in varying them, does not break up the silence of the wilderness. long delude the archæus presiding over The sagacious elephant seems to have a the digestive functions. very serious dread of the stupid tiger;The contrast presented between the and we believe the crocodile-one of the poetical and the philosophical description lower organisms—appears to pay very of a banquet is a psychological curiosilittle deference to the higher orders which ty:come to slake their thirst in the stream on whose oozy banks he lies concealed. In ample space, under the broadest shade, In short, this system of universal voracity. With dishes piled, and meats of noblest sort
regal mode, is a very obscure one in the economy of And savour: beasts of chace, or fowl of game, nature ; and though its final cause is pro- In pastry built, or from the spit, or boiled, bably inscrutable, we thankfully acknow. Gris.amber-steamed: all fish from sea or shore, ledge that no one has exemplified some And exquisitest name, for which was drained
Freshet or purling brook, or shell, or fin, of its uses more genially than the gift- Pontus and Lucrine Bay, and Afric coast. ed author of the eighth Bridgewater And at a stately sideboard, by the wine Treatise.
That fragrant smell diffused, in order stood However varied the sensible qualities Than Ganymede or Hylas; distant more
Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue of food may be, there are, according to Under the trees now tripped, now solemn stood, Dr. Prout, but three great staminal prin- Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades, ciples from which all organised bodies are with fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn ; essentially constituted; viz., the saccha- of chiming strings or charming pipes ; and winds rine, the oleaginous, and the albuminous. Of gentlest gale Arabian odours fanned The first is the especial characteristic of From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells.'* plants; the second exists both in the ani. mal and vegetable kingdoms; the albumi
Alas! this exquisite variety of sensuous nous exists in the flesh and blood of ani- impression--this quintessence of the ma. mals, and, in a modified form, in all other textures. These three staminal principles
* Paradise Regained, b. ii.
terial eliminated by poetical alchemy-is, what is noxious in quality; to adhere, in short, to by a process scarcely less subtle, crystal- the simple and the natural, among which the boun. lised into three staminal principles ! Hear of his Maker has afforded him an ample selec.
tion, and beyond which, if he deviates, sooner or Dr. Prout
later he will suffer the penalty.'-Prout, pp. 507– • With regard to the nature and the choice of ali- 510. ments, and the modes of their culinary preparation,
Nevertheless, it would be a sad blunit follows from the observations we have offered, that, under similar circumstances, those articles of der to suppose that variety is unwholefood which are the least organized must be the most some ; and that any, or all, of the stamidifficult to be assimilated, consequently that the as- nal principles, in their concentrated form, similation of crystallized, or very pure substances, ought to be the daily food of man. So must be more difficult than the assimilation of any far from this, it is proved, beyond a doubt, oil
, are much less easy to be assimilated than sub- that nothing can be more pernicious than stances purely amylaceous; or than that peculiar highly nutritious matters compressed in condition or mixture of alcohol existing in natural a small bulk. Majendie fed dogs on wines, or than butter. In these forms, the assimila. tion of the saccharine and the oleaginous principles broths, sugar, or gum; they at first throve, is comparatively easy. Of all crystallized matters, but soon perished. Dr. Paris observes, pure sugar is perhaps the most easily assimilated; that the Kamtschadales, in order to make but every one is taught by experience, that much their fish-oil digestible, mix it into a paste less can be eaten of articles composed of sugar than
with sawdust. Dr. Stark's experiments of those composed of amylaceous matters. In some forms of dyspepsia, the effect of pure sugar is most on himself, coarse as they are, prove-if pernicions, perhaps fully as pernicious as that of they prove anything—how soon a diet of pure alcohol.
an unmixed kind, or of a highly nutritious Nature has not furnished either pure sugar or pure starch; and these substances are always the nature, will put an end to a person six results of artificial processes more or less elaborate, feet high, twenty-eight years old,' previin which, as in many of the processes of cookery, ously in perfect health ; for, in the short man has been over.officious, and has studied the space of seven months, he appears to gratification of his palate rather than followed the have brought on a scorbutic state of blood, dictates of his reason. duals, the assimilating and preservative powers of and ulceration of the bowels. the system are already so much weakened as to be The stomach requires, therefore, the unable to resist the crystallisation of a portion of stimulus of variety, though not a variety their Auids. Thus in gouty invalids, how often do of stimulants—a certain dilution, if we we see chalk-stones formed in every joint ? Now, with so little control over their own fluids, how can may so express ourselves, of concentrated they reasonably hope to assimilate extraneous crys- nourishment, and great care in what Dr. tallisations ? If
, therefore, such an invalid, on sit. Holland has termed the manner of taking ting down to a luxurious modern banquet, composed food, viz., in duly masticating it. Beauof sugar, and oil, and albumen, in every state and combination, except those best adapted for food, mont saw the stomach close on the bole would pause a moment, and ask himself the ques- of food as each mouthful descended, and tion, “Is this debilitated and troublesome stomach about fifty to eighty seconds elapsed beof mine endowed with the alchemy requisite for the fore it relaxed its hold to admit a second conversion of all these things into wholesome flesh and blood ?” he would probably adopt a simpler re.
portion. At least this time, then, should past, and would thus save himself from much un. be given to the due breaking up of the casiness. The truth is, that many of the elaborate food to fit it for infiltration by the gastric dishes of our ingenious continental neighbours are juice. Beaumont seems to despise, howscarcely nutritious, or designed to be so. They are mere vehicles for different stimuli-different ways, ever, Dr. Paris's dictum, 'that insalivain short, of gratifying that low animal propensity tion is as essential as mastication,' fortiby which so many are urged to the use of ardent fying his dissent by facts, of which he, spirits, or of various narcotics. In one respect, in, of course, must have had ample experideed—namely, that of reducing to a state of pulp those refractory substances which we have before mentioned the culinary processes of our neigh. 'I have known,' he says, 'many persons spit bours are much superior to ours; but in nearly freely and constantly, whose appetites and digesevery other respect, and most of all in the general tions were perfect. They who smoke tobacco are use of pure sugar and pure oil, their cookery is emi. constantly discharging large quantities of saliva, nently injurious to all persons who have weak diges. and yet I am not aware that dyspepsia is more comtion. On the other hand, in this country, we do not mon with them than with others.' in general pay sufficient attention to the reducing pro. cesses of the culinary art. Everything is firm and We now present Dr. Beaumont's elabocrude ; and though the mode of preparation be less rate table of digestibility; premising, howcaptivating, the quantity of indigestible aliment is quite as great in our culinary productions as in those ever, that wholesomeness of any article of France.
of food has a double reference, first to the • Providence has gifted man with reason; to his thing itself, and secondly to the person ; reason, therefore, is left the choice of food and and that the latter is influenced by a huddrink, and not to instinct, as among the lower ani.
dred causesmals.' It thus becomes his duty to apply his rca.
- by weather, by passion, by son to thal object; lo shun excess in quantity, and intemperance, by exhaustion,-&c. &c.
Tuble showing the Mean Time of Digestion of the different articles of Diet.
4 30 5 3 4 30 3 30 3 30
Pork, recently salted
bles, and bread.
do. Do. do. Do. do.
2 30 3 20
15 3 2 30 3 30 3 15
2 50 2 1 31 2 30 3 15 3 45 3 30 3 30 2 30 2 30 2 30 2 4 30
The American physician draws from 1 duces not only functional aberration, but disease of these details fifty-one 'inferences,' some
the coats of the stomach.
· That bulk as well as nutriment is necessary to of which we have anticipated, and others the articles of diet. are not exactly suited to this place. That the digestibility of aliment does not deAmong the most important are these : pend upon the quantity of nutrient principles
that it contains, " That stimulating condiments are injurious to That gentle exercise facilitates the digestion the healthy stomach.
of food. • That the use of ardent spirits always produces That the time required for that purpose is va. disease of the stomach, if persevered in.
rious, depending upon the quantity and quality of • That the quantity of food generally taken is the food, state of the stomach, &c. ; but that the more than the wants of the system require ; and time ordinarily required for the disposal of a mothat such excess, if persevered in, generally pro. Jderate meal of the fibrous parts of meat, with
bread, &c., is from three to three and a half hours.' Our limits do not permit our discuss--Observations, fc. p. 173.
ing the regimen fittest for the various The reader will now appreciate the stages of life ; we must specially refer third rule of Dr. Holland, thus clearly the reader, however, to Dr. Holland's and elegantly illustrated :
chapter · On the Medical Treatment of
Old Age. • There should be no sudden or urgent exertion avoid all but the slightest comment on
We are compelled also to soon after a full meal, nor immcdiately before it ; for the same ceneral reason applies to both cases.
the regulation of Dr. Caldwell's two diThe stomach requires (as does every organ) for visions of man—the fat and the lean. its appropriate function a sufficient supply of ner. The juste milieu, it is confessed, being vous power whencesoever derived, and a propor- the most difficult of all points to hittionaic increase of blood in its circulation, to min. ister to the actions of which digestion is the result. we fear, nay, we know, that few troubled It may be a physiological fact that these two con. with obesity will do anything to disenditions are identical, or that one involves the other. cumber themselves of the load, although But whether so or not, it is equally certain that we would greatly relax for their sakes both the nervous power, and the blood needful to digestion, are diminished and disturbed by strong
Abernethy's stoical cure of living on exercise immediately before or after a meal ; and sixpence a-day and earning it.' Of the this
, independently of the effects of mechanical three essentials, moderation in eating, agitation in the latter case, which is no doubt often moderation in sleeping, and vigorous exconcerned in disturbing the process. The proofs of these facts are furnished by constant experi
. ercise, rarely more than two are ence, and are familiar to us amongst other animals; complied with. In vain are sundry stout yet is attention not sufficiently given to them ei. gentlemen'seen steaming round the iher in the habitual directions of physicians, or in parks on a summer's morning, qualifying the rules which men apply themselves to the ma. nagement of their diet. "Hard exercise and fa. themselves by thus casting off the fumes tigue are often understood as a sanction for imme. of the hesterna cæna for a repetition of diate and ample food, without regard to the ex. the excess to-day. All that can possibly penditure of power that has taken place, or to the be gained by this deceptive toil is a few muscles and capillaries of the skin. Those who years respite from the ills that flesh is are exposed to ihe necessity of long and fatiguing heir to-the apoplexies, wheezing, asthjourneys speedily learn the error of this. But ex ma, dropsies, and ulcerated leg ; while perience of such kind is generally needed to teach that darling aspiration of middle-aged, it; nor is this always sufficient against the force of early impressions and the faulty babits of soci.
middle-sized Conservatives, who have ety.'--Notes, g.c., pp. 319-351.
turned twelve stone, of limiting the fi
gure within the secmly lines of the maWe wish we could enter more largely jestic, must be er cathedrà pronounced into the value and use of exercise for the chimerical. feeble of all ages, or could trace out the Men who have a constitutional tendengreat benefits which a judicious training cy to obesity, and are tied to a sedenta. of the muscular system has, not only on ry profession, should exercise stern general health, but on the brain and ner- watch over appetite and sleep. They vous system. It is not to the games and should learn by observation and meditagambols of childhood, but to gymnastics tion what substances create bulk ; and as a regimen that we allude ; the object should shun all which are highly oleagiof which is to bring out the defective nous, or saccharine, or farinaceous, but portions to a level with the symmetry of especially such as unite these three con. other parts.
A narrow est is soon ex- ditions. It is not easy to fatten the carpanded, and, with the increased play for nivora even in captivity, nor even herbithe lungs thus acquired, a more efficient vorous animals, unless they are nourishvitalisation of the blood is produced, ed by oil-cake, or other mixture of farina which speedily tells both on the bulk and and oil. Excess, therefore, in all fari. the energy of the higher organs. This naceous substances-bread, potato, paskind of exercise requires, however, judg. try of all kinds, and puddings, which ment both as to the when and the how unite the oily egg with sugar and farina, far it should be used, and cannot be con- are to be most sedulously shunned. Beer fided to the ordinary professors of fenc- too, which, as to its incrassating powers, ing and gymnastics. To one, however, must be looked on as a liquid farina, M. Hamon, of Jermyn Street, we make should be banished. All rich thick soups an exception. The series of safe and and puries, and many other compounds, judicious exercises introduced by that are to be excluded by those who are gentleman have, we know, been of great penetrated with the importance of the utility to weakly children, and even to anti-obesic principles laid down. With sedentary dyspeptics of all ages. all these omissions, enough and more
will be left in the animal and vegetable It is especially with regard to gout that kingdom, to satisfy even a luxurious pa- these observations are of weight; and late. While we throw out these hints, we may once more say, that the author's we at the same time warn those who separate Chapter on Gout and the Use will listen to them not to tamper with of Colchicum, is of very high value. such an instrument of health and disease Indeed we do not know any treatise in as is diet, without the sanction of some which so enlarged a view of this importbetter opinion than their own. It will ant subject has been taken. The reader be sufficient to state, that as obesity will gather from its perusal what every clings to two opposite kinds of constitu- practical physician well knows, that gout tion, the weak and the sluggish, and the is not a local, but a general or constiturobust and plethoric, so two opposite tional malady; that the external swelling modes of treatment are required, and of and redness are but the outworks of a either of these the patient himself is no disease pervading the blood, and often judge. We believe that many states of giving, during a life-time, a peculiar chaill health are induced by the selection of, racter to the habits, feelings, and ailments and a forced adherence to, certain kinds of those whom it affects: thus many of diet. Every habit of the body has at- forms of dyspepsia are simply gout; many tached to it peculiar maladies; and it is disorders of the chest also are derivates of a question the uninitiated cannot resolve, gouty irritation ; and not a few asthmas whether the tendencies they would coun- and diseases of the heart, bleedings from teract on their own theories by their the lungs, &c. &c., are better treated by new regimen are indeed worse than attention to the general than to the local those they may superinduce.
Fashion has interfered in many cases Dr. Holland has some excellent obserwith the doctrines as to the preservation vations as to the use and abuse of wine of health, and Dr. Holland has done (pp. 358, &c.). He concurs in the maxim wisely in selecting some of these for of Celsus, só far as wine is concerned, animadversion :
that intemperance in eating is generally
more noxious than excess in drinking. • Of late years, for example, this fashion has di
He seems to lean to the opinion that the rected itself against vegetable food-an erroneous
immediate symptoms of excess in wine prejudice in many, perhaps in the majority of are excitement of the brain, or a tenden
Allowing, what is partly proved, that ve-cy to somnolence and stupor, according getable matters are carried indigested to a lower as in particular frames the action of the admitting that more flatulence is usually produced renes is or is not quickened by the indul. from them, it still is the fact that a feeble digestion gence. He appears to treat as of no suffers no less, though it may be in different ways, significance the results of all attempts to from an exclusively animal diet. Morbid products classify different wines in a sanatory point are alike evolved ; and some of these affecting not of view, and hints at the self-delusion of only the alimentary canal, but disturbing other organs and functions through changes produced in bon vivants who think that by abstaining the blood.
from a glass or two of champagne they I know the case of a gentleman, having the purchase a right to an extra bottle of calculous diathesis strongly marked, in whom animal food, taken for three or four days, even in mo.
sherry or claret. We advise all winederate quantity, invariably brings on discharge of bibbers on whatever scale to meditate on lithic acid, as sand or gravel: suspended upon re. his various statements and reflections, and turn to vegetable diet. This is a particular in- last, not least, this parting prescripstance; but experience in gouty cases furnishes
tion : frequent and striking notices of the same general faci ; thus indicating a large class of disorders, • It is the part of every wise man, once at least having much kindred with dyspepsia, in which ex. in life, to make trial of the effects of leaving off cess in animal food rapidly becomes a source of wine altogether, and this even without the suggesmischief not merely by overloading the alimentary tion of actual malady. The point is one of interest canal, but by introducing morbid matters into the enough in the economy of health to call for such an system at large. A persevering abstinence from experiment; and the results can seldom be so whol. any such excess may be reckoned among the most ly negative as to render it a fruitless one. To ob. effectual preventives of gout in all its forms. tain them fairly, however, the abandonment must
• The rule of health being obviously that of blend. be complete for a time; a measure of no risk, even ing the two kinds of food, I believe the exception where the change is greatest ; and illustrating, more frequently required to be that of limiting the morcover, other points of temperament and particu. animal part in proportion to the other. The fashion lar function, which it is important to every man to of the day sets it down otherwise ; and this is one know, for the right guidance of his habits of life.' of the subjects where loose or partial opinions easily get the force of precepts with ibe world at large. * •Sæpe, si qua intemperantia subest, tutior est
in potione quam in escà.'