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or sedentary3 occupations. When, therefore, the amount of exercise is diminished, the quantity of food should be lessened; and if this principle be disregarded, the tone of the digestive organs will be impaired,5 and the health of the system enfeebled. The rule of temperance, and its happy results, are thus set forth by the poet Milton:
"If thou wouldst observe
Till many years over thy head return.
So may'st thou live, till, like ripe fruit, thou drop
Gather'd, not harshly plucked, for death mature."
5. As a general rule for the quantity of food required, it may be stated that no more should be taken, at any age, or in any condition of the body, than is barely sufficient to satisfy the natural appetite. By a natural appetite is to be understood an appetite that is not perverted by disease, nor by mental excitement; not stimulated by highly-seasoned dishes; and not vitiated' by a long period of gormandizing. An unnecessary quantity of food oppresses the stomach, dulls the intellect, and causes general languor" of the whole body.
6. While most kinds of plain food, including ripe fruits in general, may be said to be of good quality, yet some kinds contain a great amount of nutriment, and some but little. Those which contain a very great proportion of nutriment, such as butter, the oils, sugar, and fine flour, are found not to digest so readily as coarser articles of diet, and not to be so and well adapted to the purposes of nutrition.
7. A dog fed on pure sugar, or olive oil, will soon become emaciated; but mix bran, or even saw-dust, with the sugar or the oil, and the vigor of the animal will be maintained for months. Feed a horse on grain alone, and he will soon die; but mix hay or straw with it, and no bad effects will be experienced. Our stomachs require, together with nutritious food, a suitable proportion of coarse and bulky, but not indigestible articles. Bread made from flour which contains a portion of the bran is far more conducive to health than that made from a finer material.
8. Animal food is found to be of a stimulating or warming character, while vegetables are the opposite. While both are adapted to nourish man, sometimes one is required, and sometimes the other. In childhood, when the organs are sensitive and excitable, a vegetable diet is usually the most appropriate, while to a person advanced in life an increased proportion of animal food is often found desirable. As a general rule, in the summer season a cooling vegetable diet is found most conducive to health; but those who are exposed to the cold of winter find increased comfort in a greater proportion of animal food.
9. Nature has adapted herself to this principle in stocking the waters of the frozen regions of the world with an abundant supply of animal life for food, while vegetable life abounds in the torrid zone. The temperament10 of the individual should also influence the choice of food; for while the dull and phlegmatic11 may indulge with impunity12 in a stimulating animal diet, the sanguine 13 and excitable are liable to be injured by it.
10. Moreover, food should be taken at regular periods, and at sufficient intervals to allow the process of digestion to be completed, and the organs to obtain adequate repose before they are required to resume their labors. Food or drink taken very hot is a fruitful cause of decayed teeth, sore mouths, and indigestion; and when taken very cold it chills the stomach, and likewise arrests the digestive process.
11. Finally, food should not be taken immediately before nor immediately after severe mental exertion, or bodily toil, nor for, at least, three hours before retiring to sleep. While the brain is laboring under great excitement, the increased flow of blood to that organ causes the stomach to cease its labors; and if, during sleep, the process of digestion is continued, the labor required of the stomach will often cause unquiet rest and troublesome dreams. It is also supposed that, during sleep, the brain does not furnish the stomach the same mental stimulus as during waking hours.
1 SYS'-TEM, an assemblage of things formed 3 SED'-EN-TA-RY, inactive; accustomed to into a regular whole; here used for the sit much. whole body.
2 E-MA'-CIA-TED, thin; wasted away.
4 TONE, healthy state or condition.
" "MOTHER'S LAP," here used for the earth 10 TEM-PER-A-MENT, state or constitution of or grave. the body.
7 VI-TIA-TED (vish'-a-ted), injured; changed 11 PHLEG-MAT'-1€, dull; sluggish. from a healthy state. 12 IM-PU-NI-TY, exemption from punishment.
8 GŎR'-MAND-IZ-ING, eating greedily, and too much.
13 SAN'-GUINE (sang-gwin), warm; ardent.
9 LĂN’-GUOB (lang-ctor), feebleness.
THE FABLE OF THE TWO BEES.
1. ONE fine morning in May, two bees set forward in quest' of honey; the one wise and temperate, the other careless and extravagant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic2 herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and the most delicious fruits. They regaled3 themselves for a time on the various dainties set before them; the one loading his thighs at intervals with wax for the construction of his hive, the other reveling in sweets, without regard to any thing but present gratification. At length they found a wide-mouthed phial, that hung filled with honey beneath the bough of a peach-tree. The thoughtless epicure, in spite of all his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality.
2. The philosophic bee, on the other hand, sipped with caution; but, being suspicious of danger, flew off to fruits and flowers, where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them. In the evening, however, he called for his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive, but found him surfeited in sweets which he was as unable to leave as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his legs, and his whole frame enervated,9 he was but just able to bid his friend adieu, and to lament with his latest breath that, though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence is inevitable10 destruction.
1 QUEST, search of.
2 AR-O-MAT-I¤, fragrant; having an agreeable odor.
6 SENS-U-AL'-I-TY, unrestrained indulgence of the appetites.
7 PHIL-O-SOPH'-Ie, temperate and reasonable; acting like a philosopher.
merri-SUR-FEIT-ED, filled to excess; cloyed.
3 RE-GALED', feasted.
4 REV'-EL-ING, feasting with noisy
9 E-NERV'-A-TED, weakened; enfeebled.
5 EP'-I-CURE, one who indulges immoderate-10 IN-EV'-I-TA-BLE, certain; unavoidable. ly in the luxuries of eating.
THE COMPLAINT OF A STOMACH.
[The stomach, after having suffered much from the great and unnecessary amount of labor required of it, and from unseasonable meals, stimulating drinks, and want of rest, is supposed to make the following complaint.]
1. BEING allowed for once to speak, I would take the opportunity to set forth how ill, in all respects, we stomachs are used. From the beginning to the end of life, we are either afflicted with too little or too much, or not the right thing, or things which are horribly disagreeable to us; or are otherwise thrown into a state of discomfort. I do not think it proper to take up a moment in bewailing the Too Little, for that is an evil which is never the fault of our masters, but rather the result of their misfortunes; and, indeed, we would sometimes feel as if it were a relief from other kinds of distress, if we were put upon short allowance for a few days. But we conceive ourselves to have matter for serious complaint against mankind in respect of the Too Much, which is always an evil voluntarily incurred.
2. What a pity that in the progress of discovery we can not establish some means of a good understanding between mankind and their stomachs; for really the effects of their non-acquaintance are most vexatious. Human beings seem to be, to this day, completely in the dark as to what they ought to take at any time, and err almost as often from ignorance as from depraved1 appetite. Sometimes, for instance, when we of the inner house are rather weakly, they will send us down an article that we could deal with when only in a state of robust health. Sometimes, when we would require a mild vegetable diet, they will persist in the most stimulating and irritating of viands.2
3. What sputtering we poor stomachs have when mistakes of that kind occur'! What remarks we indulge in regarding our masters'! "What's this, now?" will one of us say; What a ridiculous fellow that man is'! Just the very thing I did not want.
ah, detestable stuff! Will he never learn'?
If he would only send down a bowl of fresh leek soup, or barley broth, there would be some sense in it:" and so on. If we had only been allowed to give the slightest hint now and then, like faithful servants as we are, from how many miseries might we have saved both our masters and ourselves'!
4. I have been a stomach for about forty years, during all of which time I have endeavored to do my duty faithfully and punctually. My master, however, is so reckless, that I would defy any stomach of ordinary ability and capacity to get along pleasantly with him. The fact is, like almost all other men, he, in his eating and drinking, considers his own pleasure only, and never once reflects on the poor wretch who has to be responsible for the disposal of every thing down stairs. Scarcely on any day does he fail to exceed the strict rule of temperance; nay, there is scarcely a single meal which is altogether what it ought to be. My life is therefore one of continual worry and fret; I am never allowed to rest from morning till night, and have not a moment in the four-andtwenty hours that I can safely call my own.
5. My greatest trial takes place in the evening, when my
dined. If you only saw what a mess this
dinner is-soup, fish, flesh, fowl, ham, rice, potatoes, tablebeer, sherry, tart, pudding, cheese, bread, all mixed up together. I am accustomed to the thing, so don't feel much shocked; but my master himself would faint at the sight. The slave of duty in all circumstances, I call in my friend Gastric Juice, and we set to work with as much good-will as if we had the most agreeable task in the world before us. But, unluckily, my master has an impression very firmly fixed upon him that our business is apt to be vastly promoted by an hour or two's drinking; so he continues at table among his friends, and pours down some bottle and a half of wine, perhaps of various sorts, that bothers Gastric Juice and me to a degree which no one can have any idea of.
6. In fact, this said wine undoes our work almost as fast as we do it, besides blinding and poisoning us poor servants into the bargain. On many occasions I am obliged to give up my task for the time altogether; for while this vīnous3 shower is