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leaps in the character of Harlequin; neither should we be inclined to give the odds in his favour if he were to enter himself as a competitor for the long race at a Highland meeting. But gentlemen in the position of Mr Banting, who, we believe, has retired into private life after a successful business career, are not expected to rival Leotard, or to pit themselves in athletic contests against hairy-houghed Donald of the Isles. As a deer-stalker, it may be that he would not win distinction -for it is hard work even for lightweights to scramble up corries, or crawl on their bellies through mosshags and water-channels for hours, before they can get the glimpse of an antler-but many a country gentleman, compared with whom Mr Banting at his biggest would have been but as a fatted calf to a fullgrown bull, can take, with the utmost ease, a long day's exercise through stubble and turnips, and bring home his twenty brace of partridges, with a due complement of hares, without a symptom of bodily fatigue. Mr Banting seems to labour under the hallucination that he was at least as heavy as Falstaff -we, on the contrary, have a shrewd suspicion that Hamlet would have beaten him in the scales.
It is, of course, in the option of all who are dissatisfied with their present condition to essay to alter it. Lean men may wish to become fatter, and fat men may wish to become leaner; but so long as their health remains unimpaired, they are not fit subjects for the doctor. We have no doubt that the eminent professional gentlemen whom Mr Banting consulted took that view of the matter; and having ascertained that there was in reality no disease to be cured, gave him, by way of humouring a slight hypochondriac affection, a few simple precepts for the maintenance of a health which in reality required no improvement. Probably they opined that the burden of his flesh was no greater than he could bear with ease; and cer
tainly, under the Circumstances, there was no call upon them whatever to treat him as if he had been a jockey under articles to ride a race at Newmarket, whose success or failure might depend upon the exact number of pounds which he should weigh when getting into the saddle.
Excessive corpulence, we freely admit, may have its in conveniences. It is, as Mr Banting justly remarks, rather a serious state of matters when a man, by reason of fatness, cannot stoop to tie his shoe," nor attend to the little Offices which humanity requires, vithout considerable pain and difficulty." To be "compelled to go down-stairs slowly backwards" is an acrobatic feat which no one save an expectant Lord Chamberlain would care to practise; and it is not seemly, and must be a disagreeable thing, “to puff and blow with every exertion," like a porpoise in a gale of wind. But, as we gather from the pamphlet, these distressing symptoms did not exhibit themselves until very recently, whereas Mr Banting says that he has been soliciting a remedy from the Faculty any time during the last thirty years. He also makes constant reference to his increasing obesity throughout that period; therefore we are entitled to conclude that with advancing years he acquired additional weight, and did not arrive at the climax until 26th August 1862, when, as he informs us, his weight was 202 1b., or fourteen stone six. That is not, after all, a very formidable weight for an elderly gentleman of sedentary habits. Tom Johnson, the pugilist, weighed fourteen stone when he entered the ring against and conquered Isaac Perrins of Birmingham, supposed to be the most powerful man in England, and weighing seventeen stone. Neat weighed fourteen stone after training; and, according to the best of our recollection (for we have mislaid our copy of Boxiana '), Josh Hudson was considerably heavier. Tom Cribb, the champion of England,
weighed sixteen stone before he went into training for his great fight with Molineaux, and reduced himself in five weeks, through physic and exercise, to fourteen stone nine. By dint of sweating and severe work, he came to thirteen stone five, which was ascertained to be the pitch of his condition, as he could not reduce further without weakening. Such instances go far to prove that, even when his circumference was the widest, Mr Banting had no reason to complain of excessive corpulency. But even if he had, the enlarging process was a gradual onebe had been complaining of obesity for thirty years; and if we suppose that he gained only a pound and a half per annum-which is a very low rate of increase-he must have been applying to the doctors for remedies against corpulence when he weighed only eleven stone three-a weight which most men of thirty-five years of age would regard as natural and appropriate.
We have thought it right to make these observations, because Mr Banting has chosen to insinuate that medical men generally are so ignorant of their calling, that they do not understand the evils of obesity, or cannot conquer it by prescribing the proper diet.
"The remedy," says Mr Banting, may be as old as the hills, as I have since been told, but its application is of very recent date; and it astonishes me that such a light should have remained so long unnoticed and hidden, as not to afford a glimmer to my anxious mind in a search for it during the last twenty years, even in directions where it might have been expected to be known.
would rather presume it is a new light, than that it was purposely hidden, merely because the disease of obesity was not immediately dangerous to existence, nor thought to be worthy of serious consideration."
Now, let us steadfastly survey this new light, which was flashed on the astonished eyes of Mr Banting by the last practitioner whom he consulted. That light-but we
really cannot continue the metaphor without making a botch of it, so let us have recourse to simpler language, and give Mr Banting's account of the dietary which he was advised to follow, and the reasons assigned therefor.
"For the sake of argument and illustration, I will presume that certain articles of ordinary diet, however beneficial in youth, are prejudicial in advanced life, like beans to a horse whose common ordinary food is hay and corn. It may be useful food occasionally, under peculiar circumstances, but detrimental as a constancy. I will therefore adopt the analogy, and call such food human beans. The items from which I was advised to abstain as much as possible were,-bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer, and potatoes, which had been the main (and, I thought, innocent) elements of my existence, or at all events they had for many years been adopted freely. These, said my excellent adviser, contain starch and saccharine matter tending to create fat, and should be avoided altogether. At the first blush it seemed to me that I had little left to live upon, but my kind friend soon showed me that there was ample, and I was only too happy to give the plan a fair trial, and, within a very few days, found immense benefit from it. It may better elucidate the dietary sanction to take; and that man must be plan if I describe generally what I have an extraordinary person who would de
sire a better table :
For breakfast, I take four or five ounces of beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon, or cold meat of any kind except pork; a large cup of tea (without milk or sugar), a little biscuit, or one ounce of dry toast.
For dinner, Five or six ounces of any fish except salmon, any meat except pork, any vegetable except potato, one ounce of dry toast, fruit out of a pudding, any kind of poultry or game, and two or three glasses of good claret, sherry, or madeira champagne, port, and
beer forbidden. For tea, Two or three ounces of fruit, a rusk or two, and a cup of tea without milk or sugar.
For supper, Three or four ounces of meat or fish, similar to dinner, with a glass or two of claret. For nightcap, if required, A tumbler
of grog-(gin, whisky, or brandy, without sugar)-or a glass or two of claret or sherry.
"This plan leads to an excellent
night's rest, with from six to eight
hours' sound sleep. The dry toast or rusk may have a tablespoonful of spirit to soften it, which will prove acceptable. Perhaps I did not wholly escape starchy or saccharine matter, but scrupulously avoided those beans, such as milk, sugar, beer, butter, &c., which were known to contain them."
Mr Banting subsequently specifies veal, pork, herrings, eels, parsnips, beetroot, turnips, and carrots as improper articles of food.
Now, before inquiring whether this dietary scheme be a new discovery or not, we beg to observe that Mr Banting has fallen into a monstrous error in asserting that every substance tending to promote fatness or increase the bulk of the human body is necessarily deleterious. His analogy, as he calls it, of the beans, is purely fanciful and absurd. Farinaceous food, which, with extraordinary presumption, he denounces as unwholesome, forms the main subsistence of the peasantry, not only of the British Islands, but of the whole of Europe; and are we now to be told, forsooth, that bread, meal, and potatoes are "prejudicial in advanced life"-that they may be "useful food occasionally, under peculiar circumstances, but detrimental as a constancy" Are we to conclude, because Mr Banting's medical adviser prohibited them, that milk and butter, beer and sugar, are little short of absolute poison? It would be easy to show, from the recorded tables of longevity, that the persons who have attained the most advanced ages, far beyond the ordinary span of human existence, have never used any other kind of diet save that which Mr Banting's adviser has proscribed; but the idea is so manifestly preposterous, that it carries with it its own refutation. If Banting's bill of fare be the right one, and if the articles which he has been advised to avoid are
generally hurtful to adults-heaven help not only the working-classes, but the greater proportion of the afford to begin the day as Mr Bantmiddle order, who certainly cannot ing does, with a meat breakfast of kidneys, broiled fish, or bacon, such as might make a Frenchman stare, to repeat the diet, with the additions of poultry or game, both for dinner and supper, to interject a fruity tea, and to wash down each meal with a few glasses of claret, sherry, or madeira!
In fact, Mr Banting has fallen into the egregious error of supposing that the food which agrees with him must agree with every other human being, and that articles which have been, perhaps judiciously, denied to him, must necessarily be hurtful to the rest of mankind. His logical position is this—
Banting is a mortal;
Bread, potatoes, &c., are bad for
No mortal should eat bread or
The following were some of the rules of diet approved of by the late John Jackson, the celebrated teacher of pugilism, with whom Lord Byron used to spar. They are given at full length in Sir John Sinclair's work upon health and longevity :
The diet is simple; animal food
alone and it is recommended to take very little salt and some vinegar with the food, which prevents thirst, and is good to promote leanness. Vegetables are never given, as turnips or carrots, which are difficult to digest; nor potatoes, which are watery. But bread is allowed, only it must be stale. Veal and lamb are never given, nor is pork, which has tendency to purge some people. Beefsteaks are reckoned very good, and rather under-done than otherwise, as all meat in general is; and it is better to have the meat broiled than roasted or boiled, by which nutriment is lost.
No fish whatever is allowed,
because it is reckoned watery, and not to be compared with meat in point of nutriment. The fat of meat is never given, but the lean of the best meat. No butter nor cheese on any account. Pies and puddings are never given, nor any kind of pastry."
The like diet is prescribed for jockeys, pedestrians, and all others whose weight is to be materially reduced; but in such cases recourse is likewise had to sweatings, hard exercise, and preparatory doses of medicine. Mr Jackson, however, says with regard to training—
"A person in high life cannot be treated in exactly the same manner at first, from the indulgences to which he has been accustomed; nor is his frame in general so strong. They eat too much made dishes and other improper food, and sit too long at table, and eat too great a variety of articles; also drink too much wine. No man should drink more than half a pint of wine." He says moreover : "A course of training would be an effectual remedy for bilious complaints. Corpulent people, by the same system, could be brought into a proper condition."
But, not to multiply authorities, which would be rather tedious, let us refer at once to the Physiologie du Goût' of Mons. Brillat-Savarin,
VOL. XCVI.-NO. DLXXXIX.
a work which has the merit of being extremely popular and amusing, and we shall presently see that no new light was flashed from the scientific lantern of Mr Banting's medical adviser. A translation, or rather abridgment, of that treatise, was published by Longman & Co., in book of Dining;' and from it we 1859, under the title of 'The Handextract the following remarks on
"OBESITY OR EMBONPOINT. "The primary cause of embonpoint is the natural disposition of the individual. Most men are born with certain predispositions, which are stamped dred persons who die of consumption, upon their features. Out of one hunninety have brown hair, a long face, and a sharp nose. Out of one hundred fat ones, ninety have short faces, round eyes, and a short nose.
Consequently, there are persons whose destiny it is to be fat. physical truth has often given me annoyance. I have at times met in society some dear little creature with rounded arms, dimpled cheeks and hands, and pert little nose, fresh and blooming, the admiration of every one, when, taught by experience, I cast a rapid mental glance through the next ten years of her life, and I behold these charms in another light, and I sigh internally. This ing, and gives one more proof that man anticipated compassion is a painful feelwould be very unhappy if he could foresee the future.
"The second and chief cause of obesity is to be found in the mealy or floury substances of which man makes his food. All animals that live on farinaceous food grow fat; man follows the common law. Mixed with sugar, the fattening qualities increase. Beer is very fattening. Too much sleep and little exercise will promote corpulency. Another cause of obesity is in eating and drinking too much."
Here the whole philosophy of the matter is set forth in a few simple terms. Certain people have a natural tendency towards fat, and that tendency will be materially assisted by a farinaceous and saccharine diet. But so far from regarding such substances as unwholesome, which view Mr Banting, in his pure ignorance, has adopted, Brillat-Savarin considers them as eminently nutritious;
he would only regulate their use in cases where the tendency has been clearly ascertained.
"Of all medical powers, diet is the most efficient, because it acts incessantly, day and night, sleeping or waking: it ends by subjugating the individual. Now the diet against corpulency is indicated by the most common and active cause of obesity; and as it has been proved that farinaceous food produces fat, in man as well as in animals, it may be concluded that abstinence from farinaceous substances tends to diminish embonpoint.
"I hear my fair friends exclaim that I am a monster, who wishes to deprive them of everything they like. Let them
not be alarmed.
"If they must eat bread, let it be brown bread; it is very good, but not so nutritious as white bread.
"If you are fond of soup, have it à la julienne, or with vegetables, but no paste, no macaroni.
"At the first course eat anything you like, except the rice with fowls, or the crust of pâtés.
"The second course requires more philosophy. Avoid everything farinaceous. You can eat roast, salad, and vegetables. And if you must needs have some sweets, take chocolate, creams, and jellies, and punch in preference to orange or others.
"Now comes dessert. New danger. But if you have been prudent so far, you will continue to be so. Avoid biscuits and macaroons; eat as much fruit as you like.
After dinner take a cup of coffee and a glass of liqueur. Tea and punch will not hurt you.
"At breakfast brown bread and chocolate in preference to coffee. No eggs. Anything else you like. You cannot breakfast too early. If you breakfast late, the dinner hour comes before you have properly digested; you do not eat the less; and this eating without an appetite is a prime cause of obesity, because it often occurs.
"The above regulations are to prevent embonpoint. The following are for those who are already victims:
"Drink, every summer, thirty bottles of Seltzer water- -a large tumblerful every morning, two hours before breakfast, and the same before you go to bed.
Drink white wines, and rather acid. Avoid beer like the plague. Eat radishes, artichokes, celery; eat veal and chicken in preference to beef and mut
ton. Only eat the crust of your bread; you will be all the lighter and younger for it.'
The system recommended by Savarin is, as our readers will observe, in essentials the same as that which Mr Banting has proclaimed, with so much pomposity, to be an original discovery; but how infinitely more elegant and refined is the carte sketched by the Parisian gastronome, than the gross fleshmarket bill of fare propounded by the English epicure! It will be observed that veal, which is expressly forbidden by Banting, is recommended by Savarin. We side in opinion with the Frenchman. Beef, as a constant article of food, is too nutritious for persons with a corpulent tendency. Roger Bacon, in his treatise, De retardandis Senectutis Malis,' expressly forbids it to old men, warning them that, if they accustom themselves to such meat, dropsies will be engendered, stoppages in the liver, and in like manner obstructions in the spleen, and stones in the kidneys and bladder. Veal and chickens, he thinks, ought decidedly to have the preference. And the following instance is strongly confirmatory of that view. Humphries, the pugilist, was trained by Ripsham, the keeper of the jail at Ipswich. He was sweated in bed, and afterwards twice physicked. He was weighed once aday, and at first fed on beef; but as on that food he got too much flesh, they were obliged to change it to mutton.
As there are many persons whose health and appearance would be materially improved by putting on a little more of that garb of flesh which has proved such an intolerable burden to Mr Banting, we confidently recommend to their study the treatise of M. Savarin, wherein the means of attaining a becoming degree of pinguitude are elaborately explained. Leanness, says this wise philosopher, though it may be no absolute disadvantage