Proportions of Animal and Vegetable Food.
Upon this subject, it is impossible to fix any absolute rules. This is a point which must be determined by the temperament, the state of the health, the constitution, etc. Persons of a scrofulous habit should eat freely of animal food. But an inflamed stomach should never be tormented with flesh. Meat is stimulating, and will be almost sure to do mischief when there is heat and tenderness at the pit of the stomach. There are cases of inflammation of this organ, in which it may be necessary to live on bread and milk, with articles of the stare7t group, for months, and even for years.
On the other hand, when the system has run low from some exhausting disease, which excites no feverish action, it may be necessary at times to take a diet almost exclusively animal.
It is absurd to talk of the same diet as adapted to all persons, even when in health. As well might we expect one shoe to fit every foot, or one coat every back, or one color every eye, or one doctrine every mind.
Temperance the Main Thing. - After all, the great thing to be aimed at is temperance. It is not so necessary to reject one article and use another, as to partake of all with moderation, ,I do not live to eat and drink; I eat and drink to live," said a wise philoso-pher of the olden time. One would think the moderns have reversed this rule. A modern table has the appearance of being spread for the purpose of inducing men to eat all their stomachs will hold. A man who can dine daily, for half a dozen years, at one of our first-class hotels, and then find himself free of dyspepsia and all other diseases, must have a fine constitution, as well as most admirable control over his appetite. Mr. Addison said, 1, When I behold a full table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy I see gout, cholic, fevers, and lethargies lying in ambuscade among the dishes "; to which he adds, with much truth, in another place, ,,Abstinence starves a growing distemper."
Good Results of Temperance. -A temperate diet has always been attended with excellent results, and always will be. There are times of great anxiety, when abstinence should be pushed to the extreme verge of endurance. During the siege of Gibraltar, Lord Reathfield, its gallant defender, lived eight days on four ounces of rice per day. Dr. Franklin, when a journeyman printer, lived two weeks on bread and water, at the rate of ten pounds of bread a week, and was stout and hearty. Dr. Jackson, an eminent physician in the British army, says, "I have wandered a good deal about the world, and never followed any prescribed rule in anything; my health has been tried in all ways; and, by the aid of temverance and hard work, I have worn out two armies, in two wars, and probably could wear out another before my period of old age arrives."
Lord Bacon was right in the opinion that intemperance of some kind or other destroys the bulk of mankind, and that life may be sustained by a very scanty portion of nourishment. Cornaro, whom' I have before mentioned as having lived fifty-eight years on twelve ounces of solid food a day, wrote as follows respecting himself in his eighty-fifth year: 11 1 now enjoy a vigorous state of body and of mind. I mount my horse from the level ground; I climb steep ascents with ease; and have written a comedy full of innocent mirth and raillery. When I return home, either from private business or from the senate, I have eleven grandchildren, with whose education, amusement and songs I am greatly delighted; and I frequently sing with them, for my voice is clearer and stronger now than ever it was in my youth. In short, I am in all respects happy, and quite a stranger to the doleful, morose, dying life of lame, deaf and blind old age, worn out with intemperance." Howard, the philan-thropist, fasted one day in the week; and Napoleon, when he felt his system unstrung, suspended his meals, and took exercise on horse-back.
Nothing can be plainer than the duty of fasting, when the stomach, having been overworked, is disinclined to receive food. Brutes invariably follow this suggestion of nature; they never eat when sick, -probably because they have no silly nurses to coax them to swallow stimulating aliments. The habit of putting high seasoned food into the stomach when it is inflamed and feverish is about as wise as directing streams of blue, violet, or red light into the eye when it is red and swollen with inflammation.
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