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: Under the word Supper, Dr. P. introduces the following remarks:
• In the time of Elizabeth, the nobility and gentry were accustomed to dine at eleven, to bup between five and six, and to go to bed at ten. It is therefore evident, that any argument in favour of this meal, founded upon the healthy condition of our ancestors, must be falla
cious. By supper, in modern times, we understand a late meal just • before bed-time. But as sleep is not favourable to every stage of
digestion, it is very questionable, whether retiring to rest with a full stomach can, under any circumstances, be salutary. During the first part of the process, or that of chymification, a person so situated may, perhaps, sleep quietly, unless, indeed, the morbid distension of the stomach should impede respiration, and occasion distress : but when the food has passed out of the stomach, and the processes of chylification and sanguification have been established, the natural propensity of the body is for activity, and the invalid awakes at this period, and remains in a feverish state for some hours. Upon this general principle, then, suppers are to be avoided ; that is to say, hearty suppers, which require the active powers of the stomach for their digestion. The same objection cannot be urged against a light repast, which is generally useful to dyspeptics; and it has been truly and facetiously observed, that some individuals need not put on their night.caps, if they do not first bribe their stomachs to good behaviour. An egg, lightly boiled, or a piece of dry toast, with a small quantity of white wine negus, will often secure a tranquil night, which would otherwise be past with restlessness. Amongst the in. tellectual part of the community, there has ever existed a strong predilection in favour of suppers ; the labour of the day has been performed, the hour is sacred to conviviality, and the period is one which is not likely to be interrupted by the calls of busipess. To those in health, such indulgences may be occasionally allowed; but the physician should be cautious how he gives his sanction- to their wholesomeness. The hilarity which is felt at this period of the day, must not be received as a signal for repairing to the banquet, but as an indication of the sanguification of the previous meal.'
It may be expected of us, before we dismiss the subject of meals, to answer the frequent question, whether the introduction of tea, as an article of diet, may be considered as injurious or otherwise. On this head much diversity, nay, even absolute contrariety of opinion, has obtained. It has. been said, that a physician celebrated for his treatment of the insane, used to express it as his opinion that he owed half his practice to China tea; and many regard the habit of drink. ing it, as highly injurious to the nervous system ;* while others, recent intercourse with the French. When taken in this way, it should be made strong, clear, and without cream, or even milk.
* There are two opinions abroad on the subject of insanity, neither of which appears to be founded on fact. The one is, that the dis. on the contrary, maintain its salubrity, arguing that it tends to lessen the consumption of more solid, but less salutary ingesta, checks the disposition to wine-drinking in undue quantities, and is exhilirating without being exhausting. Our. opinion on this head is intermediate ; we, verily believe that the dreadful cohort of constitutional derangements which, being below the grade of nosological disorders, pass under: the general denomination of nervous ailinents, has been increased by the custom of tea-drinking; and that our frames generally are more hardy, the less we habituate them to any species of excitation that does not nourish as well as stimulate. Among the poor of the metropolis, we are sorry to see the custom so generally prevail, of taking tea at, almost all times of the day ; since the 'temporary stimulus that, it gives, is followed by that sort of relaxation of nerve and depression of spirit, which induces the consumer of it to resort to a still more reprehensible and baneful custom, viz. that of taking ardent and raw spirits ; a practice, respecting the mischief of which there can be no room to doubt. We deprecate likewise the custom of introducing young persons to the tea-table. The later in life the habit becomes established, the better. Tea-drinking, to children and youths, is both positively and negatively injurious.
That the products of fermentation have proved a copious. source of wide-spreading mischief, both of a physical and a moral kind, no one can for a moment question; but we think it extremely problematical, whether man, as he at present exists in this country, could altogether forego their use with advantage, or with impunity.
Respecting the good or bad effects of wines, very little can be said, that may be taken as a rule for individual practice. One thing respecting them seems pretty certain and uniform ; viz. that the wines which are manufactured in this country, are more apt to disagree with delicate stomachs, than those which are imported from foreign parts. This has been attributed to' the prevalence of the malic acid in the fruits of Britain ; and it has been remarked, ' that all those wines which contain an • excess of malic acid, are of bad quality. It is this acid which predominates in cyder and perry, neither of which liquors, however agreeable to the palate, is suitable to persons with feeble powers of digestion.
Dr. Paris tells us, that, in a dietetic point of view, wines may be arranged in four classes ; viz. sweet wines, sparkling wines, dry and light wines, and dry and strong wines. In the order is especially prevalent in this country. The other, that it has within the few past years been very much on the increase. See Dr. Burrows's work on Mental Derangement,
as the sparklinapidly intoxica or more per
surface and very di carbonica.com more" seguen
first class are included, the wines of Cyprus, the Vino Cotio of the Italians, and the Vinum Coctum of the antients, Frontignac, the rich and luscious wines of Canary, the celebrated Tokay, the Vino Tinto, the Italian Montefiascone, the Persian Schiraz, the Malmsey wines of Candia, Chio, Lesbos, and Tenedos, and those of the other Islands of the Archipelago. On account of the quantity of sugar contained in these wines, they are nutritive, but, from the same cause, they are apt to disagree with weak stomachs. • The sparkling, or effervescent wines include the Champagne: these' rapidly intoxicate in consequence of their alco
hol, which is suspended in, or more probably in chemical • combination with, carbonic acid gas, being thus applied in a • sudden and very divided state to a large extent of nervous 'surface; for the same reason, their effects are generally as • transitory as they are sudden.'*
The dry and light wines comprehend the Hock, Rhenish, Burgundy, Claret, &c. The Hock, Rhenish, and other wines of this class are the least injurious of any, on account of their not containing any uncombined alcohol. Burgundy would appear, however, to possess some stimulant property that is not sufficiently accounted for a
Madeira, Port, and Sherry, are arranged under the head of dry and strong wines. These are stimulating, but, at the same time, they are tonic and salubrious, if employed only in due quantities and under proper restrictions. · Beer is the liquor best adapted for that portion of our countrymen whose muscular energies are called into more extensive service than their intellectual powers; and it is especially adapted for those individuals whose labour is in the open air. This liquor differs from wine, in containing less of ardent spirit, and more of nutritive material ; so that it is literally meat and drink at the same time. The addition, too, of the hop, constitutes a very important peculiarity in this species of fermented liquor. Ale, Porter, and Small Beer are the three more generally used liquors of this class. The first contains a comparatively large quantity of farinaceous matter and saccharine mucilage in a state of less decomposition, and is therefore more fattening, and should be added to diet which in itself is not very nutritive, rather than taken in combination with a highly nourishing food : the ale-drinker, too, ought to take much exercise, otherwise he will find his digestion dis
* Mr. Hare supposes, as we intimated in the first section of the present article, that, in all cases of intoxication, there is an actual transference of a portion of the intoxicating material from the sto. mach to the brain; and the suddenness with which the sparkling wines affect the head, seems in accordance with the assumption.
Paris and others on Indigestion, fr. turbed, and his system clogged, by the liberal potation of his favourite beverage. Small beer, is but little more than an infusion of the refuse grain, and is not, when taken alone, calculated to agree with weak stomachs; but, if drunk rather new, it would prove more salubrious as a dinner beverage, than the wines that are so much employed. Porter is, perhaps, more tonic and more invigorating, while it is less nourishing than ale.; the liquorice and other materials which are used in its composition, are many of them, to say the worst, harmless; and even when quassia is substituted for hop, no great injury is done, although the practice is highly reprehensible. The soporific matters that are occasionally used, are, of course, objectionable, and likely, when largely employed, in conjunction with the other ingredients of porter, to create a tendency to apoplectic affection, But habit takes off a good deal from these effects; and, although we should be the last to sanction adulterations of professed simples in any way, we are disposed to think that, in this instance, as well as in the case of bread, public alarm has been unduly excited, both as to the extent of the evil and the degree of consequent mischief. It is satisfactory to know that, in spite of all the knavery of modern habits, in respect of the deterioration of our articles of diet, thé estimates which have recently been taken of the life and health of the inhabitants of Great Britain, have demon. strated a considerable improvement within the last half cen- tury. A great portion of this improvement is, we conceive, attributable to our increased power of mitigating the virulence, and arresting the spread of contagious fevers; and more especially to the diminution of deaths from small-pox; but, still, it is not in consistency with the fact of improvement, to suppose that we are quaffing poison with every potation, and that in all our transmuting processes, 'death is in the pot.
The medicinal considerations connected with the subject of Indigestion, we find we must again defer to the ensuing Num. ber, when we shall attempt to arbitrate the question between Dr. W. Philip, and his opponents, respecting the immediate and remote circumstances induced by a deranged state of the stomach and its appendages.
*** The Literary Information is deferred from want of room.
For APRIL, 1827,
Art. I. Voyage of H. M. S. Blonde to the Sandwich Islands, in the
Years 1824, 1825. Captain the Right Hon. Lord Byron, Com
mander. 4to. pp. 270. Price 21. 2s. London. 1827. NOTWITHSTANDING its more imposing exterior, this is
a book very inferior, in point of quality, to the highly interesting volume recently published by Mr. Ellis. It is, in fact, only supplementary to its precursor; and the additional details that it supplies, might have been advantageously compressed within the limits of a moderate-sized appendix. They understand these things, however, better in Albemarlestreet than they do in the Row ;' and the same matter which, in octavo, would only be deemed worthy of a chapter, claims, in quarto, the accommodations of a volume; while the decorations which seem quite insignificant on the humbler scale, bid defiance to criticism when exhibited in the ultra proportions of a folded sheet. But we are anticipating ; and, as we shall presently have to make specific comment on these particulars, we shall first dispose of the preliminary question, by endeavouring to ascertain the positive and comparative value of the information communicated in the work before us.
In our review of Mr. Ellis's volume, we gave such a general account of its contents, as will supersede the necessity for a minute analysis of Lord Byron's Voyage. It will, indeed, better suit the desultory character of the present narrative, to extract from it some of its more attractive details, than to follow it consecutively. The story is, on the whole, agreeably told, though with an occasional affectation of fine writing and sentimental reflection, that is singularly out of place when associated with a sailor's log-book, and the expressive simplicity of his vocabulary.
Our readers are aware, that, after a series of rulers, concerning whom nothing certain or important is recorded, the Vol. XXVII. N.S.