ページの画像
PDF
ePub

pus is dead.

which said new regimen is, soine hun. he ran the gauntlet in many fevers, dred years afterwards, quoted to a gene- scarlet, brain, rheumatic, and typhus, ration yet unborn, as one of the most through Queensberry House and che melancholy cases on record, of an in- Infirmary. Others again there are valuable life having been sacrificed to fine, straight, stout, jolly ruddy-faced a mistaken policy of insurance. This fellows, such as you see in the Six-feet is to us a riddle, which we wish the Club, who occasionally go off like the clever Sphynx would solve, since Edi- snuff of a candle, after the long wick

has been hanging for an hour or two It is pleasing to think how very dif- alongside of the melting tallow-or ficult it is to kill people by improper who first keep walking about weakly medical treatment. The doctors have, and weekly in great-coats are rext doubtless, doomed many millions to seen shivering on horseback with long death-in their day—but many mil- hair to its heels--then observed with Jions more have escaped scot-free from whitey-blue faces at the window of a their most pernicious prescriptions, glass-coach-and finally--all within after having swallowed them with the the month-are hearsed invisible to most obe:lient and grateful simplicity, all eyes, and deposited beneath the galped them down with such mon- galleries of the subterranean moudiestrous ugly faces, that death most like- warp. ly took fright and scampered off to do But to return is the author of this the job of less forbidding and formi- medical work a Physician, an Old Wodable patients. Some people, indeed, man, or a Quack? Or is he of the Comthere are, whom we defy you to kill by posite Order? He is an Old Woman. hook or crook-and who, like old cas- The rustle of the petticoats is heard in tles that have stood sieges without end, the very preface. On his way up stairs, will crumble at last into ruins. You do you hear that he and the old lady that not so much wonder at their tenacity, used to edit my Grandmother's Reor rather pertinacity of life, for they are view, are twins. His object is, to lean, lank, bony, gaunt, grim and “impress people with the fact, that ugly customers, of whom death cannot there are certain means of insuring a get a fair hold, when the two stand up freedom from disease, and a long life.” to wrestle, and it is pronounced a dog. He is such an extremely old woman fall-or a draw. But the persons himself—such a dowager Lady Raworthy our unqualified admiration, ven-his origin stretches back into are your poor, puny, slight, slim, such a remote antiquity, that he has slender billies, weighing barely seven little allowance to make for those stone, and whom Favonius might fit foolish persons who persist in dying away with under his wing like a leaf at fourscore. Galen, he tells us, reach --who, the moment they receive the ed, by means of regimen, the great smallest insult from any disease whate age of one hundred and forty, although ever-be he who he may-shew fight, his constitution had been much shate without minding the difference of tered before he had arrived at the weight, and often by a dexterous dig twenty-eight mile-stone on the road on the wind, floor the lubber, amid of life, not then Macadamized. The the uproarious applause of the ring. noble Venetian, Cornaro, half dead They then put on their clothes with at forty, so restored himself to decent the utmost sang-froid, and leave the health, as to outlive the century that ground without a scratch. We know was born along with him, and see it several such prime bits of stuff--more gathered unto its fathers; and there especially one-a Highlander who was is an Admiral Henry, he tells us, of out in the Fifteen, theu a mere boy, Rovelden, in Kent, who, till his sixand afterwards, of course, in the tieth year was a martyr to various Forty-five, a growing lad of two score chronic diseases, but who some years -and who, never measuring above ago reached the age of ninety-one, and five feet three, nor weighing above walked daily three miles, back and seven stone seven-was yesterday— forward, to the neighbouring town of when he came for his caulker-as Tenterden without stopping or wetfine a fellow of a hundred and twen- ting his wbistle. “ The Admiral,”. ty and upwards, as ever turned up his quoth he, “ is, I believe, now living." little finger, although independently No doubt he is, and the very expresof being riddled by balls and bayonets, sion, “ I believe," seems to imply a doubt that proves our friend the Doc- prolongation of human life--free, too, tor to be, after all, of a very incredu- from all those diseaser which at prelous and sceptical mind- or if such sent flesh ir heir ío? What would puny fellows as Galen and Cornaro so become of the University of Edinbearded Time, why may not gallant burgh? The medical school would be old Henry-true English heari

of oak knocked on the head--and insteod of - live six hundred years or more,

and a hundred and thirty doctors per anbe entitled to add CCCCC to Rear-Ad- num issuing out of its gates, you miral ? The only difficulty with most might as vainly look for a physician as people is to get safely and stoutly on for a phenix-an arimaspian as anı the weather-beam of a hundred. After apothecary—a griffin as a graduate. that it is all plain sailing-and, were If there were no sufferings of the we not restrained by our veneration for body, there would be no paupers and old age, we should say that the man no charity. Religion would be a who dies at all after a hurdred and luxury rather than a necessary of life forty, must be a sed old blockhead -people in general would walk about - entirely superannuated, and in the counting their fingersmennui would last stage of dotage.

cease to be fashionable because epis Before we go farther, we wish, with demical — the most pathetic elegies all due respect, to ask this worthy Old would be poured over the interminaa Woman one single question. Why all ble lengih and slowness of buman this anxiety for a long life? Does life—and ten to one, there would be she not know that since the Flood the a violent re-action terminating in uniterm of human life has been fixed at versal suicide. about threescore and ten years? It Let us see, however, by what means is quice long enough. If a man will our author proposes to add a century but be busy, and not idle away his or so to the life of each purchaser of his time, he may do wonders within that volume. “I shall,” says she,“ properiod. Only think of Alexander the ceed at once to point out the qualities Great, who iad conquered the world of the chief articles used as food by at thirty, and having nothing more to man, both animal and vegetable, with do, got dead drunk in Babylon. Think the proper times for eating and drinkof Master Beattie, who was the Young ing, and the quantity best adapted to Roscius at twelve. Remember tiename the purposes of health and longevity; —which we have forgotten-of that in order that those who are earnestly universal linguist, who hopped the twig desirous of becoming acquainted with before he had cut all his single teeth the art of living long and comfortably, -or fairly given up sucking. Lord and of adhering thereto, may not be preserve us in this literary age-if at a loss on aay point of consequence people were to keep scribbling on for relating to so material a branch of that centuries ! When, pray, would a man art as diet.” The “ march of mind” or woman be in the prime of life? We moves at double-quick time, presume a maiden lady of sixty would awkward squad and all--and we look be quite a tid-bit-and that it would over our left shoulder, as we advance, be nuts to carry off the great-grandmo- with contemptuous pity, on our ancesther of a gentleman in extensive prac- tors. They knew nothing, they could tice at the English bar, or haply do nothing, and it is odd how they Lord Chancellor, to Gretna Green. contrived to keep themselves out of No-no-no-life is long enough as the fire. Before their eyes, the road it is—there is no occasion to stretch it to their own mouths lay dim and unto the crack of doom. Let us die at a certain, and they sorely lacked a fingermoderate age and be thankful. Why post. Even now, it would appear from this vain longing for longevity? Why this book, that mankind, although, or seek to rob human life of its melan- rather because, an omnivorous animal, choly moral-namely, its shortness left to their uninstructed reason and and deprive flowers, grass, dew,smoke, instinct, are incapable of arriving at vapours, clouds, and bubbles, of the the discovery of the proper hour of the poetry and passion now inherent in day at which they should all, as at the their names and natures, as natural toll of one bell, or beat of one gong, emblems of the destiny of man?

sit down to dinner. It is now someHave you ever ruminated, our good where about six thousand years since Old Lady, on the consequences of the man became an animal, or living crea.

now

ture, and it is singular he should all origin. Wheat and oats, a potatoe, along have been such an ass as never nay, even a parsnip, is of vegetable to have discovered—not only not the origin. The native of a cold climate longitude-but longevity. Millions, ought to eat much animal food-of billions, trillions, quadrillions of hu- a temperate climate much vegetable. man beings have been all that time In favour of vegetables, generally, it eating and drinking, indeed doing very may be said that man could hardly little else worth mentioning; and yet live entirely on animal food, but we they now know no more about the mat- know he may on vegetables. “A man ter, if indeed as much, as Adam or was prevailed on to live upon para Eve. Either the “ art of living long tridges without vegetables, but was and comfortably," to use our friend's obliged to desist at the end of eight words, is one of very difficult acquisi- days, from the appearance of strong tion, or all the nations of the earth symptoms of putrefaction.” The same are noodles, and incapable or unwor- man might have lived for eight years thy of reading to any effect this Ma- on potatoes, without appearing to pugazine. He speaks, in the passage trify. Vegetable food has also, we quoted above, ói of those who are ear

are told, a beneficial influence on the nestly desirous of becoming acquaint- powers of the mind," and tends to ed with the art of living long and preserve a delicacy of feeling, a livecomfortably ;" but heretofore, how liness of imagination, and acuteness of small must have been their number! judgment, seldom enjoyed by those What clouds of ephemeral children who live principally on meat." Now are for ever warping away on the wind every lady and gentleman in Great of death-whence coming and whither Britain lives principally, on animal poing, why, how, or wherefore, who food, or, as our author has it, “ on can tell ? Poor motley phantoms, they meat.” But then Dr Franklin, we are had not sufficient sense given to them told, “ took entirely to a vegetable to“ be earnestly desirous of becoming diet," and a delicate person he was acquainted with the art of living long truly! Why, he was as clever, acute, and comfortably, and of adhering and thoroughly coarse and unimaginathereto;" but why did not their parents tive a gentleman of the press as ever know this for them? Why suffered they defended Deism—the beau-ideal of a fate to blow them away out of sight philosopher, to be set up as an idol for ever, like midges, and thousands in a Mechanics' Institution. of other sorts of small insects, all most Notwithstanding the story of the parbeautiful when you look at them tridges, and of Dr Franklin,~" from through a microscope, nay, even mag- the preceding facts," quoth our friend, nificent miniatures - pardon the Iri. we rightly infer that the combina cism, if it be one

in their flexile ar- tion of an animal and vegetable diet is, mour, their brightly burnished coats in general, best suited to preserve a of mail beaten by the noiseless ham- perfect state of health and strength, mer of Nature out of silver and gold ! and, as society is now constituted, to

Yet true it is, this is a silly world- conduce to lorigevity.” and therefore let us see how an Old The excellent Old Woman then tells Woman is to set us all to rights. He us that the proportion of this mixture begins with diet — and tells us that is of iniportance that the valetudinafood is of two kinds-Solid and Li- rian will often find that a small proquid - which, for the sake of con- portion of animal food is the best for venience, he considers in separate sec- him, especially if he be very ill indeed tions. We have a confused recollec- —and that where little bodily exertion tion of having heard this distinc- is employed, much animal food is imtion-this distribution of the subject proper ; but where the bodily exercise -in early youth. It not, we are or labour is constant and great, the confident, a new discovery, as our use of animal food ought to be liberal. author seems to think. Indeed, the Now really, there needed no old world we inhabit may be also said to woman to come from her bed to tell be of two kinds--solid and liquid- us all this. Who ever ate, or saw the land and sea. But passing from eaten, a beef-steak without bread, or that, all solid food is either of animal potatoes, or shalot, or mustard,-all or vegetable origin. Thus, a cow or vegetables, every mother's son of them? ox, a cod or howtowdie, is of animal „What round of beef in this world was

ever devoured without greys or greens? the other, through and through her Even cannibals eat you with vege- teeth, tearing off all the sinews, and tables.

sucking out the pith, and even crunchSo, on the other hand, observe a ing the bones, till her plate is as clean man narrowly on a vegetable diet, and as if Bronte had licked it; and yet, you will be delighted to see the im- after all, the Old Lady does not scrumense quantities of animal matter ple to say, “ in the summer our diet which he devours. True, that enor- should be almost wholly vegetable !" mous shave of bread in his paw is ve- What a world this is for hypocrisy getable, but then the surface is the and double-dealing! eighth part of an inch deep of butter, Summer ! a pretty reason for a vewhich is animal, we believe, as several getable diet indeed in this country ! full-grown flies well knew a few mis Why, do you remember the summer nutes ago, now imbedded in a state of that came upon us some four years ago? insensibility in the yellow milkness. Thermometer seldom above fifty--the True, that boundless bowl of broth day a dismal drizzle, or an even-down seems filled to the rim with barley, pour--some light but no sun--and the beans, pease, turnips, carrots, and many night a hollow howl, through which other vegetables which we have notnow you could not hear the owls. A vea time to enumerate ; but two pounds of getable diet, forsooth! Pretty vegetamutton have been stewed down into bles they were-not two pease on an it, and so amalgamated with the mess, average to the pod ! Animal food, in that the whole seems the produce of all its possible modes, was the sole the garden, and the gormandizer before resource of the wretched inhabitants. you a member of the Horticultural Then, the summer did not stop at the Society. In short, it requires no nice usual time, but kept soaking away analysis to detect all vegetable diet to through the autumn on into the very be three-parts animal; and even in Ire- heartof winter-so that instead of a fine land, the potatoe, which, we cheerfully bold black frost at Christmas, we had grant, is, when eaten by itself, very a close clammy time of it, which, had much of a vegetable, often, thank people been weak from a vegetable diet, Heaven ! falls into the trap along with would have swept us off in thousands; a bit of pig's face or trotter, than whick but we found safety in the shambles, there is no matter more animal in all and the City, strong in animal food, the world. The mixture, then, of ani. was saved from the Plague. mal and vegetable diet will be found The first section of the chapter on So. to prevail so generally, both in savage lid Food terminates with this original and civilized life, as to set-now that advice: “ It is worthy of observation we have mentioned it—this Old Lady's also, that vegetable food is much the mind completely at rest.

best for children, after they have done There is but one step from the Tru.

with the nurse's milk.” Who ever ism to the Paradox. The Old Lady doubted it? Suppose a child weaned forthwith tells us, that, “in the sum

within the year, who ever thought of mer, our diet should be wholly vege- cramming it with fat bacon without table.” The devil it should ? 'What! any beans, with sausages, or haggis ? with all those beautiful fat lambs The imp would become a Vampire if bleating on the hills ? That hen and thus fed on blood-would fasten upon chickens searching for pearls on that its mother or dry-nurse; and when dunghill before our very eyes ? Those sent to school, instead of purchasing turkey-pouts, glancing their snake- barley-sugar with its Saturday penny, like necks and heads in every

direc- would regale on Pluck. tion-slim, yet satisfactory-and, as The good Old Lady now comes to part of a dinner for a single gentle particulars, and treats of Animal, as man, when nicely roasted,

oh what a one great branch of Solid Food. Bullremove! Leave the Old Lady herself beef, she informs us, is tougher than alone with such a temptation, about that of cow, and ox-beef best of all. Old four o'clock of the afternoon, for she ewe mutton is coarse-five-year-old keeps good hours, and she will not well-fed wether mutton fine-there pout at the turkey-not she indeed is less nutriment in veal than in the nor yet turn her back upon the ham. flesh of the full-grown beast-lamb is If quite alone, she will draw, with less dense than mutton-venison very both hanıls, first the one leg and then digestible, wholesome, and nutritious

[ocr errors]

--good pork is a very savoury food, By reducing to practice the above and suited to persons who lead an ac- information concerning Solid Animal tive and laborious life-some writers Food, any person of a tolerable constipraise it pickled—but with some deli. tution will infallibly, barring acci. cate people it immediately affecis the dents, reach a good old age, say a hunbowels in rather a violent manner dred and forty-the age of Galea. the flesh of the sucking-pig is a great We come now to the second great delicacy-bacon is a course and heavy branch of Solid Food-Vegetable. And food—hare and rabbit are suficiently first of fariva. Oi the two sorts of nutritious-turile a most nourishing bread, fine white, and coarse brown, and palatable food-and the esculent the latter, we are assured, is the most froz tastes much like chicken. Birds, easy of digestion, ard the most nutri. in point of digestibility, rank nearly as tive. Perhaps is may be ; but it is follows :—Common fowl-partridge, cursed bad, and infernally vulgar. It pheasant, turkey, guinea-hen, and has a sweetish damp taste, that adheres quail, pigeon, lark, thrush, and fieldpertinaciously to the tongue and pafare, woodcock, snipe, and grouse, late, and is generally gritty, and full are easy of digestion. The goose is fit of sand and small stones. Respectable only for strong stomachs, and those servants object to it, and you are who labour hard. The duck is pre- reckoned anything but a good Chris. ferable to the goose—and wild water- tian by the beggar who opens for its fowl cannot be much recommended, the mouth of his reluctant wallet. being generally beavy and indigesti- "A dog," it is asserted by our author, ble.

“ fed on fine white wheaten bread, Now, our own opinion is, that all the with water, both at discretion, does above birds are most easily digested; not live beyond the fiftieth day ; but and that, to a hungry man, it is of if fed on coarse bread, with water, little moment which of them you lay precisely in the same manner, he preupon his plate. It is an idiotic ca- serves his health.” Oatmeal porridge lumny against the character of wild- is not a bad thing, as the Scots can fowl, to say that they cannot be much vouch ; and on rice the Hindoos thrive. recommended. They are always in But never do you drink ale after rice bang-up condition — melt in your and milk, as it is almost certain of prumouth beyond all praise--and we defy ducing cholic. you not to digest them, if you ever The Old Lady herself, however, now digest anything. A teal !

and then makes some not unsensible The Old Lady is no admirer of fish, observations. Thus, she says that we and denies that they are nutritious. may consider it an unerring rule, that Salmon, she says, is unwholesome ! any kind of aliment for which we feel Pray, may we ask, to whom? Not to a natural and permanent appetite, is men or otters, although a very small salutary and conformable to our nae slice of salmon will indeed sicken a ture. We are delighted with the folCockney, who does not understand the lowing panegyric on the much-abucurd, and likes it all in a slobber. sed, blameless, and most meritorious Stewed oysters, we are told, are ex- Potatoe. tremely pernicious to lying-in women

" Of this kind is that invaluable root the -not so raw, which are highly nutri- potatoe, which, in the most simple prepatious, of easy digestion, and may be ration, and without any addition but salt, taken with great advantage by the ro- affords an agreeable and wholesome food to bust, as well as the weak and consump- almost every person. It is the best substi. tive. Notwithstanding this, in our tute we possess for bread, being a light, opinion, a single barrel of oysters is as alimentary substance, neither viscid nor much as is good for man or woman at

flatulent, and having little tendency to aci. a single sitting; and even that quan- dity. It is, consequently, very nutritious, tity may be pernicious without a jug A few dyspeptic and bilious people, in.

and, for the most part, easy of digestion. or two of Glenlivet. “ The best time for the consump- if not well cooked, or if not of a good sort ;

deed, find it to disagree, more especially tion of fish,” sayeth the old lady, is

but this is a rare occurrence. A convincing in the summer;" that is, when the proof of its highly nutritive qualities is, best among them are all either out of that the greater part of the arrow-root sold season, or not to be got for love or in England is extracted from it. The dry, money.

mealy sort of potatoe is the most easy of di.

« 前へ次へ »