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In the 5th section, which offers « rules connected with the function of respiration, and the nature and qualities of the air which we breathe,' we have another example of the author's talent for classification. He divides it into not fewer than ten heads, furnishing rules respecting the soil and the seasons; for climates that are hot, cold, moist, and dry; for a light atmosphere and for one that'is heavy ; rules at sea; and lastly miscellaneous rules, which head is ramified into five subdivisions, in'titled infancy, youth, manhood, sickness, and old age.—We cannot say that we have felt much edified or instructed by the perusal of these sections: but we shall enable our readers to form their own judgment of them, by quoting the rules respecting the soil, which are placed under the first head:
< It has been justly remarked, that we are not-yet possessed of a complete test of the salubrity of air in general, and, till this can be obtained, our only guide must be experience. There are some indications, however, which prove the healthiness of a country; as, 1. The quality of springs, as they must denote the nature of the air, for both imbibe the saline and mineral exhalations of the ground; where the water, therefore, is sweet and good, the air probably partakes of the same qualities. 2. If the complexion of the inhabitants is clear and vivid, it is the sign of a wholesome air; and, 3. Where, in proportion to the nnmber of the inhabitants, many reach a considerable age, (which will appear from the bills of mortality), the air is necessarily healthy. On the other hand, dampness of wainscot, rotting of furniture, tarnishing of metals, rusting of iron, efflorescence' of salt upon any bodies, discolorations of silks and linens, are indications of dampness and insalubrity.
'The local qualities of the air depend upon the exhalations of the soil, and those of its neighbourhood, which may be brought to it by winds. It appears, however, from the careful inspection of various registers, that more regard ought to be had to the surface of the soil, than to its subterraneous contents.
1 A soil gravelly, chalky, or sandy, has but little perspiration, and Imbibes the moisture that falls upon it. It is, therefore, free from noxious exhalations.
* From a rich, fat, and marshy soil, a great quantity and variety of vapours are raised, by the action of the sun, and the heat which it communicates to the surface of the earth. These vapours, consisting of water, oils, salts, and several other ingredients, must variously affect the inhabitants by their contents, more especially at certaut times and periods of the year.. This accounts for a common observation, that rich soils, on the banks of rivers, in hot countries, arc extremely unwholesome.
* Mere watery exhalations are not so unwholesome, if they come from soils, such as clay, which retain water, provided it does not stagnate and become corrupt. Hence, also, the moisture from
peatpeat-mosses, more especially on the sides of hills, is not pernicious to health.
• The importance of the soil, and the exhalations which proceed from it, cannot be better elucidated, than by referring to an old method, the efficacy of which cannot be questioned, that of inhaling the vapour of fresh turned up earth, which has. in it something strengthening and refreshing even in small quantities, and, consequently, it must have a great influence on a larger scale. Bacon waa acquainted with a very old man, who, every morning, as soon as he awoke, caused a piece of earth to be held before his nose, that he might inhale the vapour. He recommends, therefore, the smell of fresh- earth, which may be obtained by following the plough, o» digging up the earth, particularly in the spring. Hufeland lias-lately recommended these means to consumptive persons, who may thus inhale the vapour, either in the open air, or in an apartment. The sensation produced by it is like that felt on inhaling vital air, and is inexpressibly animating.'
Chapter lid is allotted to the subject of liquid food, which Sir John endeavours to prove to be much more essential to existence than solid nutriment; and because anatomists have supposed that a larger proportion of fluid than of solid matter enters into the composition of the animal body, he concludes * that we ought to take a greater proportion of liquid than of solid nourishment.' As we cannot assent to the truth of this observation, so neither can we concur in the feelings of the author, when he laments that so little attention is bestowed on the liquid part of our diet; a failing which does not appear to us to be chargeable on the inhabitants of the southern part of our island:
'In-regard to solid food, (he says,) what pains are taken in rendering it marketable; what expence laid out in the purchase of it; what quantities of futl are expended, and how many servants are employed in preparing it for consumption; and yet, after all, the preservation of our health depends fully as much, if not more, on what we drink, than on what we eat. The liquid part of our food certainly goes into our finer vessels, the purity and salubrity of whose contents are surely of the most essential consequence to health; and if any disorders do attack them, thty are, from their delicacy and minuteness, the most difficult to cure, and to put to rights Let us consider on the other hand, how little attention is paid,, at least, in. modern times, to our liquid diet. The wine we take is often adulterated, and consequently becomes the source of disease. Our malt liquors are often mixed with unwholesome ingredients: and, in regard to water, which, as a general beverage, is preferable to every other, even where it is contaminated by unwholesome ingredients it is commonly drank as it is found, without any trouble to purify or improve , it. Hence, as a great voluptuary once contended, it ought to be accounted the most dangerous of all liquors, being almost constantly Impregnated with putrid, mineral, or other obnoxious substances. fj«r will these defects in the drink we take, be ever, it it said, tho
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roughly remedied, until we have domestic cooks for oBr liquid as well as for our solid sustenance.' .'
This chapter is divided into three sections, t. On the necessity and u=f8 of liquid food; 2. On the different kinds of liquids commonly used; and 3. The rules to be observed as to the consumption of liquors, in regard to time and. quantity. On the first of these subjects we are not detained long, but the second affords the author a copious field for exercising his talent of classification and arrangement. The fluids used in diet are separated into four kinds ; simple fluids, those that are compounded by art, fermented liquors, and distilled spirits. The simple fluids are water and milk. Sir John begins by an enunciation of the signs of good and bad water, taken (oddly enough) from Vitruvius; and then, after having divided waters into common and mineral, he proceeds to a minute discussion of the properties of common water. This fluid is considered under ten heads, 1. Rain, 2. snow, 3. hail, 4 ice, 5. spring, 6. well, 7. river, 8. lake, 9. marsh, and 10. pond water. The properties go 1 and bad, with the advantages and disadvantages of these species of water, are -til separately discussrd; and we are then I'd into a new string of inquiries, * 1. The means of conveying water from any distance, 2. The means of preserving it for use, 3. The different modes of improving it; and 4. The arguments which are commonly made use of in favour of this favourite beverage.' The 3d of these heads branches out into six different ramifications; water, we arc informed, may be improved * by 1. boiling, 2. cooling, 3. distilling, 4. filtering, 5. charcoal, and 6. machinery.'—In this part of the work, we meet with a proposal to churn water that has been boiled or distilled, in order to impregnate it with air; which, being one of the few original ideas that occur in these volumes, we shall lay before our readers without alteration;
'As the most important objection to the use of boiled or distilled water, is its vapidness, owing to the loss of that portion of air with which, in its natural state, it is impregnated; some cheap and easy means of restoring air to water, would be a most valuable discovery. Fiihaps a barrel or other churn might answer that purpose effectually. The common mode of impregnating water with fixed air, is troublesome and expensive, and, on that account, never can cotne into general it»e. Besides, fixed air is of a very volatile nature, and not in every case desirable to be taken in large quantities; whereas, the more that water can be impregnated with atmospheric air the better. The following plan, therefore, might be adopted: after the water is prepared by boiling, and the infusion df toasted bread, or any other article that is preferred, (if such an addition is thougkt necessary), let it be put into a common barrel churn, where it may be at once
i| subjected subjected to any agitation which may be wished for. In the course of its being thus agitated, it will absorb atmospheric air, and the, other elastic fluids with which it may come ia contact. It will thus become a liquor, safe, palatable, and wholesome; to be obtained with little trouble or expence; and accessible, in its utmost perfection, to the poorest individuals. In large towns, it may be prepared in considerable quantities, and sold so cheap as a halfpenny a bottle. In private families, it may occasion some trouble, but the expence will be next to nothing, at least the price of the churn would not exceed 2l. orgl.'
The subject of milk is treated in a similar manner with that of water, being separately considered as raw, boiled, and sour, cream, butter-milk, whey, milk punch, and milk-wine. On these points it is not to be expected that the author, after all his patient investigation, has been able to collect much new information. • '■
Fluids compounded with water are arranged under eleven heads, « z. infusions of grain, 2. gruel, 3. infusions of bread, 4. infusions of tea, 5. infusions of sage and other herbs, 6. coffee and its substitutes, 7. chocolate, 8. beef tea, 9. broth, 10. soups, and lastly, some miscellaneous articles.' We regret that we cannot follow Sir John through all the curious discussions to which these topics give rise. We can only specify as the most interesting of them, that oat-meal gruel, sweetened with treacle, is recommended as an excellent breakfast for the poor: but he advises that it should not be called gruel but burgou, as being a more * sounding appellation.' He gives a receipt for making toast and water, which was furnished to him by an «intelligent friendand we have a most valuable fact communicated, * that the best liquor after a hard drink is fresh whey; which is now, indeed, frequently made every morning, in many of the great families in Scotland, where drinking is carried to any excess, as a restorative.' Tea, of course, gives rise to a very long dissertation ; in which the arguments pro and con are stated so candidly, and the evidence on both sides of the question is so nicely balanced, that we are at a loss to determine which scale preponderates.'
We pass over the remarks on the remaining kinds of watery fluids, and proceed to the fermented liquors. These are discussed under seven heads: t. wine produced from the grape, 2. wines "made from other articles, 3. cyder, 4. perry, 5. malt liquors, 6. spruce beer, and 7. honey liquors. 4 Each of these,' the author observes, * and any articles connected with them, will require a separate discussion." Wine occupies a large share of notice j and after the different kinds of wine have been arranged into «the acid, the sweet, the
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mild, and the austere,' and the author has described the pro* perties of each, the efferts of wine on the constitution are detailed, and the question is very learnedly discussed whether . it ought to be generally used as an article of dirt: but all the information which we can collect is that some writers have recommended it to be taken with temperance, while others have regarded it as unnecessary. The subject of malt liquors is treated with respectful attention, and gives rise to five subdivisions; and we have likewise a disbemtion on the virtues of punch, a subject on which both the author's own sentiments and those of his correspondents seem to be in an unsettled state. We have, however, the evidence on both sides of the question, given with the greatest impartiality; on the whole it preponderates in favour of punch : but then we must not omit copious additions of acid and sugar, which appear to counteract the pernicious effects of the; spirit.
In the rules to be observed relative to the consumption of liquors, the author, as usual, enters on many controverted, points; inquiring, ist, into the total quantity of liquid that, ought to be taken in a day; 2, at what times this quantity should be taken •, 3, whether in a hot or cold state; 4. what diluent is the best calculated for digestion; and 5. what miscellaneous rules ought to be observed with regard tq drinking. On the first point, he gives the sentiments of a variety of authors who have treated on this subject; and it is then recommended to us to drink three pints of fluid per day ;—with respect to the second, it is stated that we should never drink on an empty stomach:—as to the third, that we should take liquids warm in cold weather and cold in warm, weather;—the fourth question is left undecided, but we arc favored with an account of some experiments on the relative power of different liquors in dissolving animal food out of the body, a process which our readers are probably aware can throw no light on that which takes place in 'he living stomach.—Among the miscellaneous observations, we meet with the following ingenious account of the origin; and use of dram-drinking;
« It it a custom, which almost universally prevails in the northern parts of Europe, to present a dram, or glass of liqueur, before sitting •down to dinner, It answers the double purpose ot a whet to the appetite, and an announcement that dinner is on the point of being served up. As the piac'icc has continued so long, most probably it has been found to answer tlie first of these objects, or at least to do no harm; and the other has the convenience attached to it, of letting those of the company engaged at cards or billiards know, that they