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· a state of firmness and compact- results, as when direct debility
ness, conjoined with the contrac- was the consequence of their sutility peculiar to the living, perseding more proper food. The healthy fibre. Without such a best diet for youth in this climate, condition of the body, the func- is undoubtedly a mixture of anitions of the vital organs cannot be mal and vegetable food, plainly properly performed; the action cooked, for dinner; with the usual of the heart in particular, and of breakfast and evening meal; addthe larger arteries, becomes too ing a larger proportion of milk languid to carry the blood through than is customary. If I were the innumerable convolutions of called on to specify the kinds of the minute or capillary vessels, animal food most suited for growwhich permeate the glandular and ing boys, who can take active exconstitute the lymphatic system, ercise, I should certainly name and from the blood of which the mutton; but as it is good to accussecretions are produced, and nu- tom the stomach to every descriptrition and assimilation effected. tion of food, beef may be occaIn such a state of the body, the sionally given; and even the least glands become obstructed, and digestible meats, lamb and veal, the brain and nervous system ac- should not be altogether prohibitquire a morbid susceptibility both ed. Every description of poultry of internal stimuli and of external and of game are readily digested, impressions; and that condition of when not overroasted: but, in this the frame which is denominated state, few articles of food disascrofulous supervenes. In our gree so much with the stomachs climate, therefore, the diet of the of the young, producing flatuyouth of both sexes should not be lence, fetid eructations, and other of too fluid or of too mild or mea- symptoms of indigestion. Fish is gre a nature ; but should compre- less nutritious, less digestible, and hend a larger proportion of animal more flatulent than animal food, matter than would be admissible especially the darkcolored fish, under other circumstances. Scro- such as salmon and mackerel, and, fula is, now, certainly less gene. therefore, is less adapted for the ral among the middling and the ordinary diet of young persons ; higher ranks of society than for- but there can be no objection to merly ; and this may, in a great its occasional use. Butter, eggs, measure, be attributed to the and cheese, are not unwholesome, custom of feeding boys and girls except in peculiar states of the at school, less on broths, puddings, habit, which will be noticed in and similar fluid and farinaceous the next section. Salted meats, articles, than was the custom half in general, are too stimulant for a century ago. Still, however, the period of life of which I am puddings and pastry form too large treating, though they are less a proportion of the food of youth ; likely to prove hurtful in this cliand I am disposed to think, that mate than in warmer regions. the liberal supply of these, after With respect to beverage, the a substantial meal of animal food, temperament of youth, the natu-by producing a tendency to re- ral exhilaration of the animal spipletion,—is nearly as prejudicial, rits and the ready excitability of from the indirect debility which the nervous system, at this age,
render wine, porter, ale, and eve- redundant. This is an error into ry stimulating liquor, not only su- which parents are very apt to perfluous, but highly injurious, permit boys to fall, on their reeven in our climate ; and, to em- turn from school, during the holiploy the language of a venerable, days; and it is, indeed, a frequent nonagenarian philosopher, Lord source of disease in schoolboys. Monboddo, “ to give youth ardent If climate should influence the spirit is to anticipate old age, and quality of diet in youth, the seato rob it of its staff.” The drink sons of the year, also, must reof boys, therefore, should be con- quire a variation of it, both as refined to water and table beer. So gards quality and quantity. Thus, much with regard to the quality in summer, a larger quantity of of the food; it is equally necessa- fluid nutriment is necessary to ry to attend to the regulation of supply the waste of the liquid the quantity, which is too often part of the blood which is carried left to be determined solely by off in the form of perspiration : the appetite.
there is, also, a greater tendency, In the youth of both sexes, as at this season, to febrile states of food is required not only to supply the body ; and, therefore, more the ordinary detrition of the body, farinaceous matter, baked fruits, but to prop up the growing frame, and subacid aliments, are admisa larger quantity, comparatively, sible. In winter, on the other is necessary, than in more ad- hand, as the cold, acting on the vanced life; but the keen appe- surface, throws the blood, or ratites of the young are apt to car- ther retains it accumulated, on ry this beyond the powers of the the interior, a generous and somestomach ; and effects, nearly the what stimulant diet is necessary, same as those resulting from im- to aid in producing that reaction, proper diet, ensue. When the without which the blood cannot stomach is overloaded, its diges- be diffused over the surface, nor tive powers are diminished; much its healthful balance maintained. of the food passes from it without From the foregoing remarks, if being converted into the pulta- correct, the following inferences ceous substance termed chyme, may be deduced :—That the diet which is essential towards fitting best adapted for the state of boythe food to be introduced into the hood and youth, in this climate, is blood; and, therefore, instead of that of an animal kind, and in monourishing the body, the surplus derate quantity; and that both the aliment, which does not undergo quality and the quantity of the this change, acts as an irritating food should be regulated by the matter to the intestines, causing seasons of the year. various diseased states of them, II. Influence of the Habits of and even producing obstructions Life.-Contingent circumstances of the mesenteric glands, and con- modify every general law; and, sequent atrophy. The appetite therefore, however correct may in youth should, therefore, be mo- be any set of rules for diet in derated; and, if too long intervals youth, yet, as the habits of life be not interposed between the vary, exceptions must necessarily meals, an under supply is less be admitted to the strict observlikely to injure than one that is ance of these. Thus, a boy living
in the country, enjoying the free eral rules for diet must also be
city of the brain, a vague wander- of prejudice and mismanagement. ing of the eye, a gaping of the This occurs, in many instances, mouth, with a stupid expression in constitutions of a very different of features, and an aptitude to nature ; and, yet, this very diet gluttony, as presaging the great- has produced those vigorous boest of all evils which can befall dies and muscular frames, which, the species,-a state of Idiocy. animated with courage, and unWhen any of these indications are subdued by fatigue, have contriperceptible, much attention is re- buted to the extension of British quired, so to modify the diet as influence, both commercial and not to augment the natural ten- military, over every region of the dency to disease, but rather to globe. check it ; and by strict care in But predispositions to certain this particular in early life, it is diseases are not always obvious i not impossible that hereditary and it is, consequently, necessary predispositions, by being kept in parents to remark the effect of down in several successive gene- certain descriptions of diet on rations, may be gradually weak- boys, and either to continue or to ened and ultimately destroyed. avoid them according to their efThus, where there is an evident fects. Thus, if a boy, who has scrofulous diathesis in a family, a the usual allowance of animal diet calculated to produce tone food, rapidly acquires obesity of and to keep up the powers of life, body, with a high color and an inif it does not overexcite the nerv- creased irritability of habit, with ous system, is absolutely necessa- greater irascibility of temper than ry,—and a similar diet is proper heretofore, there is much probawhere there is either an heredi- bility that a continuance of the tary or otherwise marked tenden- same plan of diet will favor the cy to consumption, provided the production of fever, or of inflamdisease has not already com- matory diseases of the most danmenced, -whilst this description gerous character. The proporof food would only operate as fuel tion of animal food in such a case to fire, in a habit with an inflam- should be immediately diminishmatory tendency. The neglected, and the individual confined to of these indications in Scotland a vegetable or farinaceous diet has been productive of great mis- till the overtenacity of the frame chief. The national food, oat- is lowered, and the tendency to meal porridge, is given, indiscri- febrile excitement subdued. In minately, to all boys ; but it is some persons, also, there are pescarcely swallowed by some when culiarities connected with the it becomes sour on the stomach, nervous system, which render causing distension, oppression, and them liable to suffer from the disorder of this organ, so that lit- employment of food which is pertle or no nutriment is afforded to fectly innocuous to others. This the body ; the boy is thin, pale state, which is termed idiosyncraand bloated in the countenance, sy by medical writers, can be the mesenteric glands become known only by the effects which obstructed, and either disease is follow the use of certain articles entailed on the manhood of the of diet ; but these, when once individual, or he sinks the victim their effects have been perceived,
should be rigidly avoided in future; indeed, so well understood, that for it is impossible to say to what no good physician relies solely on extent the constitution may suffer, the moral management of the infrom persisting in the use of anys sane ; but combats the diseased thing which produces a morbid in- state of habit, in which has origifluence on the frame. Thus shell- nated any mental aberration, by fish, particularly lobsters and the same remedies that he emcrabs, cause fever, accompanied ploys in simple corporeal diswith nettlerash, in some persons; eases.
If these premises, theremushrooms, bitter almonds, and fore, be correct, the inference various kinds of spices, produce a must be admitted, that the mode similar effect in others; and in- of dieting youth may have a constances are recorded in which it siderable effect on the developehas resulted from eating a smallment of mind. In considering this morsel of the white of egg. subject, we set out with this reWhen these results occur, the mark, that the intention of nourfood which produces them is ac- ishment in man is certainly not so tually a poison to the particular much to add to the bulk of the habit on which it thus operates. body as to fit it for the due per
IV. Influence of Diet on the In- formance of the purposes of his tellectual Faculties.-As the period creation ; and, acquiescing in this of life now under review is that in truth, in laying down rules for the which mind is most active and cu- diet of youth, I should say, in the riosity is awakened; and in which language of one who, though rep. there is an unquenchable thirst resented as a glutton and a revelfor knowledge of every descrip- ler, yet, in this instance, is made tion,-it becomes a question of to utter the wisdom of a Solomon, some importance, whether par- “Care for the limbs, the ticular modes of nourishing the thewes, the stature, bulk, and big body, at this age increasing daily semblance of a man? give me the towards the perfection of man- spirit, Master Shallow."* How hood, be injurious to the deve- is this to be accoinplished, so far lopement of intellect? It is un- as diet is concerned, is the quesnecessary, for our purpose, to in- tion ? quire, metaphysically, into the In answering this question, we nature of the connexion between have only to determine what is mind and body ; it is sufficient to that state of the body which we know, that many circumstances denominate health. Perhaps the which affect the corporeal part simplest definition that can be of our frames influence the func- given of health is, that it consists tions of the soul; that a perfectly in that condition of the vital orsound mind is incompatible with gans which is best adapted for the many diseased conditions of the performance of their various body; and that, when these states functions; and in which these are are removed by physical means, performed with the least degree the mind recovers its wonted vi- of consciousness. In this condigor and energy, with the return- tion of the body, the mind, being ing health of the body. This perfectly free from attention to connexion between the spiritual and corporeal part of man is now,
Shakspeare, Henry IV,