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to a man, "is a great disaster for ladies, for beauty is their life, and beauty consists chiefly in the rounded limb and graceful curve. The most recherché toilet, the best dressmakers in the world, cannot supply certain absences, or hide certain angles. But a woman who is born thin may be fattened like a chicken. It may take more time. The ladies must pardon me the simile, but I could not find a better." Clearly he is in the right. Even the savage instinct recognises the charms of female pinguitude, and takes care that it is properly cultivated. Art follows closely in the wake of instinct. What painter has ever dared to depict, or what sculptor to chisel out, a wood-nymph in attenuated form, or an angular and Scraggy Venus?
No wonder that Mr Banting, having a natural tendency towards corpulence, found himself, in his sixty-third year, much fatter than was at all convenient. He has, with amiable candour, given us a sketch of his former dietary, and after perusing it, we cannot wonder at the result. Buttered toast, beer, and pastry, were his favourite articles of consumption; and moreover, he was in the habit of taking four meals a-day, which is greatly too much for a man of sedentary habits and occupation. We are strongly inclined to think that if Mr Banting had somewhat restrained his appetite, practised occasional fastings, and entirely abstained from heavy wet, buttered crumpets, muffins, and pâtisserie, he would have fully attained his object, without discontinuing the use of bread, sugar, or potatoes. Men have been known materially to reduce their weight, and at the same time to gain additional health and strength, by restricting themselves entirely to the use of the, simplest farinaceous food. Such is the case of Wood, the miller of Billericray in Essex, stated in the Transactions of the London College of Physicians. This man, it would appear, had attained
to such a degree of corpulency by the free use of flesh meat and ale that his life had become a burden to him, but he succeeded in reducing himself to a moderate bulk by the following means: His reformed diet consisted of a simple pudding, made by boiling coarse flour in water, without salt. Of this he consumed about three pounds in twenty-four hours, and took no fluid whatever, not even water. On this he lived in perfect health for many years, went through a great deal of exercise in the open air, and was able to carry five hundred pounds weight, "which," says our authority, "was more than he could lift in his youth, when he lived on animal food, and drank freely of ale." In fact, the man fed upon porridge, from time immemorial the favourite diet of the Scottish peasantry, among whom obesity is unknown. Pure farinaceous food can never be hurtful. On the contrary, as Mr Banting may learn from a perusal of the first chapter of the Book of Daniel, it is infinitely more wholesome both for mind and body than a dietary of butcher-meat and wine. But buttered toast, pastry, and beer are proper materials for the formation of a Lambert; and so long as Mr Banting indulged freely in those luxuries, which we object not to his stigmatising as "beans," he was necessarily compelled periodically to enlarge the limits of his girdle.
Mr Banting, with great propriety, wishes that the subject should be well "ventilated," and we are doing our very best to gratify that desire. His own experiences, we are bound to admit, have been quite satisfactory, inasmuch as, by adopting a certain dietary, he has reduced his weight from 14 stone 6 lb. to 10 stone 10 lb. with apparent advantage to his health, and hitherto without any evil consequence. It is also remarkable that these results have been attained without the necessity of having recourse to violent exercise or the use of medi
cine, which latter consideration is undoubtedly in favour of his system. Mr Banting indeed makes mention of a certain corrective cordial which he calls the Balm of Life, a spoonful of which, taken before breakfast, he found remarkably salutary. The recipe for this draught he declines to give, but we have little doubt that it is of the same nature as that recommended by Mons. Brillat-Savarin for the reduction of embonpoint - viz., a teaspoonful of bark, to be taken in a glass of white wine, about two hours before breakfast. But he does not seem to have used any medicines of a purgative nature, such as trainers sometimes administer-a decided point in his favour; and altogether it is reasonable that he should hug himself on the successful result of his experiment. But nostrums, if we may use such a term, are not infallible. Mr Banting is to be commended for his prudence in not insisting too strongly upon the universal applicability of his system, which may not, as he candidly admits, be suitable for every constitution; for great harm might ensue if his suggestions were to be implicitly adopted, and violent changes made in their dietary and mode of living by persons whose bulk is not excessive. All sudden changes of diet are hazardous; and more especially when the change is made from what is usually considered a light diet-that is, one in which vegetable substances predominate to a heavier kind of nutriment. Excellent is the advice given in the Regimen Sanitatis of Salerno.
Failing exercise, their best means of maintaining health is to use frequent abstinence, and always to be strictly temperate. Meat breakfasts, and continuous indulgence in the flesh-pots of Egypt, are every whit as dangerous as the copious imbibation of wine, or the consumption of ardent spirits; and they may be confident of this, that a gross gladiatorial diet will neither secure them immunity from disease, nor promote their chances of longevity. Man is an omnivorous animal; but nature, by limiting the number of his canine teeth, has distinctly indicated that animal food ought to form the smallest portion of his nutriment. Dr Cheyne, in his 'Essay on Health,' gives the following calculation of the quantity of food sufficient to keep a man of ordinary stature, following no laborious employment, in due plight, health, and vigour. He allows eight ounces of flesh meat, twelve of bread or vegetable food, and about a pint of wine or other generous liquor, in the twenty-four hours. he adds that the valetudinary, and those employed in sedentary professions or intellectual studies, must lessen this quantity, if they would wish to preserve their health and the freedom of their spirits long. That may appear but spare diet; and we freely grant that a foxhunter or other keen sportsman might add to the allowance both solid and liquid, without any risk of evil consequences. But no man engaged in literary work will be able to accomplish anything worth sending to the printer, if he begins the day with kidneys, bacon, and mutton-chops, indulges in four substantial meals, and crams himself with as much butcher-meat as would satisfy the maw of a hyena. Of course his stomach, would be equally clogged and his brain addled if he stuffed himself with buttered toast, muffins, beer, and pastry; but such viands are more affected by ladies of Mrs Gamp's profession than by men
of intellectual pursuits, who know and feel that a clear head and a light stomach are indispensable for the prosecution of their labours.
We rise from the perusal of Mr Banting's pamphlet with our belief quite unshaken in the value of bread and potatoes as ordinary and universal articles of diet. We maintain the excellency and innocency of porridge and pease-pudding; and we see no reason for supposing that any one will become a Jeshurun because he uses milk with his tea, and sweetens it with a lump of Starch and sugar are eminently nutritious, but they are not therefore unwholesome; on the contrary, if used in moderation, they will promote longevity, and prevent many of those diseases which the copious consumption of flesh is exceedingly apt to engender. Mr Banting has certainly found a remedy for the complaint which weighed so heavily on his spirits; but we feel assured that he would have found the same measure of relief had he simply exercised some control over his appetite, given his stomach more time to digest by lessening the inordinate number of
his meals, abstained altogether from beer, and resolutely steeled his heart against the manifold temptations of the pastry-cook. We advise no one, whatever be his weight or girth, to adopt implicitly the system recommended by Mr Banting, at least until he has tried the effect of a temperate mixed diet (the vegetable element preponderating) combined with early hours and a due amount of exercise. We have no sympathy with the vegetarians. who decry the use of animal food, and believe that Nebuchadnezzar's hallucination in the way of pasturage was prompted by a natural instinct; but we are assured there is no instance on record of death ensuing from the use of farinaceous food, whereas close behind the carnivorous gorger stalks the hideous form of Apoplexy, ready to smite him down when his stomach is full, and the veins of his forehead distended with indulgence in his fleshly lusts. A mixed diet is the best: and after all that has been said and written on the subject, Temperance is the one thing needful to secure a man against the evils of inordinate obesity.
THE THREE-FOOT RULE.
A SONG ABOUT STANDARDS OF MEASURE, AND THE BATH MEETING OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.
AIR-" The Poacher."
WHEN I was bound apprentice,
So whether the chisel or file I hold,
Some talk of millimetres,
To measure beer and drams;
Too old to go to school;
So by pounds I'll eat, and by quarts I'll drink,
A party of astronomers
Went measuring of the earth;'
And forty million metres
They took to be its girth:
Five hundred million inches, though,
Go through from pole to pole;
So let's stick to inches, feet, and yards,
And the good old three-foot rule.
The great Egyptian Pyramid
And when the masons finished it,
The chap that planned that building,
And now 'tis proved, beyond all doubt,
WE suppose that no Federal, whether a native of the North or an obsequious advocate of Northern interests in this country, can find any particular gratification in contemplating the group of men who have come to the surface by the revolutions of Time's whirligig in America. The popular idols have been manufactured generally of the very coarsest and commonest clay; and even when permitted to remain on their pedestals, they are objects at least as much of ridicule as of admiration. We observe, indeed, that some English journals preserve, through all vicissitudes, their fealty towards Mr Abraham Lincoln; but we imagine that the admiration they profess is not so much for the individual as for some principle or other, certainly not democratic, which he is supposed to embody. To the eye of Europe in general he presents a rather melancholy spectacle, with nothing, except the honesty of purpose generally ascribed to him, to distinguish him from the swarm of politicians and generals that have been engendered by the corruption of the defunct Union. But there is one man who stands out in honourable distinction from the other public men of the North, remarkable alike for his consistency, his moderation, his singleness of purpose, his eminently respectable personal character, and his abstinence from the practice of those low arts to which men so commonly resort when they wish to gain the suffrages of a democracy: that man is General McClellan. Whether, in addition to his high character as a man, he is also, as his admirers assert, great as a general, is a subject on which, until lately, it was difficult to form an opinion. If success were the test of merit he must be pronounced a failure. But we have now before us, in his Report lately published, the means of knowing whether his plans were well adapted for the
attainment of their ends, and how far their failure was due to the Federal Government. After being called upon at a desperate crisis to resume the command-in-chief of the Federal armies, he was again deprived of it, his conduct arraigned before a commission of inquiry, and himself consigned to an inaction which, if deserved, would have been dishonouring, and during which he has occupied himself in putting into form, and connecting by a thread of narrative, the official documents and correspondence which he has deemed it necessary for his own justification to publish.
The steps by which men destined to sudden eminence attain the point from whence in great emergencies they at once stride into power, are frequently obscure and unnoticed by the world. McClellan's claims lay, not in his position or rank, for he was only a captain in 1861, but in the character he had established. He was distinguished in the academical course at West Point, and as an officer of known intelligence he was one of the commissioners selected to proceed on the part of the Federal Government to the Crimea, and to report on the different armies in the field before Sebastopol. So little prospect appeared, after his return, of promotion in the United States army, that he almost entirely relinquished the service, and became manager of a public company. There had been nothing in his career to show the world that he was likely to achieve anything beyond an honourable mediocrity. But he had established a reputation among those who knew him as a man of great intelligence and of superior endowments-an opinion shared, it is said, and proclaimed, by men whose names now stand higher than his own, and on less doubtful foundations-such men as Jefferson Davis and General Lee.
In the spring of 1861 he was