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purpura; the latter intimately connected, as to production, with defective and unwholesome nourishment. In the navy, the effects of the old and new system of victualling are well illustrated in the contrast between Lord Anson's crew and Captain Cook's, in their memorable voyages of circumnavigation; the one, mainly owing to bad provisions, with neglect of sanitary measures, crippled, and more than decimated; the other, amply provided with good provisions, with a watchful and most judicious attention to ward off the causes of disease, preserved in admirable health. A like contrast, and one not less instructive, is presented in recent times, in our army before Sebastopol, and in our fleet lying off that fortress, in the winter of 1854–55. The condition of both is too well known to need description; it may be sufficient to say, that the troops, on the verge of starvation, suffered as much as Lord Anson's crew, and from much the same diseases; whilst the crews of the adjoining fleets being, as usual, well fed, escaped those diseases entirely, and enjoyed uninterrupted health. And the example is in a remarkable manner confirmed, and rendered more impressive by the altered condition of the former—from a state of remarkable sickliness to that of high health, as soon as, from being half-starved, they were well fed. The French troops, at the same time similarly situated, but ill fed, in their turn becoming the victims of destructive disease. Wherever there is much fatal disease, the average length of life of course must be low. Respecting this, in either service, we cannot speak with any precision, owing to the men being discharged when no longer equal to their duties, whether from failing strength or existing disease; but this we know for certain as regards our troops, that the proportion of men remaining efficient after attaining the age of forty is very small
, an age in civil life at which man may be considered as having attained his full strength, and when his labour, except where great activity is required, is of most value. Further, in the instance of the troops, a comparison might be made with advantage between the health of the regiments and their diseases in different stations. Widely scattered as the latter are over the surface of the globe, we could show how diet and climate operate in relation to health and disease, and how, were science consulted, the diet should to a great extent be regulated by the climate, more solid food given in a cold than in a hot climate; in Canada, in winter than in Bengal; in England than in the West Indies; then we should not, we believe, find fatty liver and hepatic disease so prevalent in India, nor yellow fever and purpura in the West Indies. We would refer for some interesting facts on this subject to our number for July, 1856, in which notice is taken of Mr. Macnamara's paper on the higher rate of mortality of European troops in India in connexion with fatty degeneration of organs. The importance of the dieting of troops can hardly be too highly rated, when we consider the effects. The author whom we have just quoted, estimates the mortality of the soldiers in the regiment to which he belonged at 80 per cent. in seven years, that of the officers at 11 per cent., and the life of the soldier at 27 years. And now that our force in India is about to be increased from 20,000 to more than 50,000, and it may be to double that amount, how much more important it becomes, if we can reckon by degrees in such a matter. We remember reading a short time ago, in a leading article in the Times,' a confident expression, that of 30,000 troops then supposed to be required for Indian service, two-thirds would return home to give an account of their adventures; without pretending to the gift of prophecy, we can say with confidence, that one-third would be nearer the truth, unless precautions are taken as to diet, clothing, &c., very different from the old usages.
On fishermen and miners our remarks must be very brief. They, too, exhibit a well-marked contrast; the former, fully exposed to the action of atmospheric influences, the latter, in a degree excluded from them, working in a contined and often in a contaminated atmosphere, in which the only light is the feeble light of their candles; the former commonly having abundance of food, consisting chiefly of fish and the potato, the latter generally better fed than the agricultural labourer, and with a greater variety of kinds of food. The fishermen are commonly an active and vigorous race, long-lived, and the women prolific, little subject to disease, and we believe especially exempt from scrofulous ailments and from pulmonary consumption. The miners are less healthy, shorter lived, and seem to be especially subject to pulmonary consumption. The locality of their labours, their underground work in a heated and bad air, may conduce to these results as much as the free exposure to the sea breeze, under the light of heaven, with a diet into the composition of which iodine and bromine enter as ingredients, may contribute to ward them off and preserve health in the instance of the fishermen.
As there is a connexion between the diseases to which classes and races of men are subject and their habitual diet, so there is also a connexion between their habitual diet and their forms. Amongst those nations into whose food much oil or fat enters, fulness to corpulency prevails; witness the Esquimaux, the wealthy Turks, and the Chinese, and in a certain degree the English. We are told by an old and amusing writer, Père Lebat, that he was assured by the Caribs they could distinguish an Englishman when cooked from any other, by being more rich and succulent. On the contrary, a spare rather than a full habit will belong to those whose food, whether animal or vegetable, is destitute of, or contains little oleaginous or fatty matter; witness the Irish and French peasantry, the nomadic Arab, the North-American Indian. And we believe that fineness and coarseness of bone in like manner may be correctly referred to the quality of food, whether affording an ample or scant supply of the materials requisite to form bone. In relation to organic growth, the Lucretian principle is indisputable:
“Nullam rem è nihilo gigni unquam."
In the preceding remarks we have omitted mention of the fluids used as drinks in the examples brought forward. This omission has been intentional, drinks being foreign to our subject, and in relation to health and well-being, the fluids used to allay thirst being, we think, of less importance than the solids taken to afford support; and even in regard to the production of disease, we are disposed to believe, with one or two exceptions, that they are very subordinate; the exceptions which we hold to be of most importance are those diseases seated in the nervous system, such as delirium tremens and insanity, the one the product chietly of intemperance in ardent spirits, the other most prevalent amongst races given to the same intemperance. It may be asked, is not gout also a disease to be excepted ? We think not, it being almost unknown in the army and navy, in both which temperance is not the rule; and being chiefly witnessed, as already remarked, among the gentry; especially, we may add, of the last century; whose living was high, much animal food being used at the several meals, and the digestive function being disturbed by an excessive use of wine.
Before concluding this slight sketch, we beg briefly to advert to certain desiderata :
The first is, that our administrators should be indoctrinated in the physical sciences. A statesman may make a figure in the House of Commons or in the House of Lords, as an orator and debater, mentally trained as Mr. Gladstone would wish, having thoroughly engrafted on him the literature of the Greeks and Romans,* and yet for practical purposes, as when presiding at the War-office, the Board of Control, or the Board of Trade, be totally unqualified for the duties assumed. Why was it that our troops were so nearly starved before Sebastopol ? why was it that the Arctic exploring expeditions were so well and amply provided with appropriate and wholesome food, and enjoyed such excellent health? Was it not owing to ignorance in one instance presiding and making the arrangements, and intelligence and science making them in the other ?—the Government officials directing the provisioning of the troops; the Royal Society, through some of its ablest members, directing the arrangements for the Arctic expeditions. Had that gallant and unfortunate army (we speak of its disasters, not of its glorious feats of arms) been provided for in the same manner as the ships in any of the expeditions alluded to, how great would have been the preservation of strength and efficiency, the saving of life and exemption from suffering, and with economy of money-expenditure; indeed, if only pemmican and tea had been supplied in the place of salt beef, salt pork, and rum, much of the evil as to health might have been prevented. It would be well for the great laudators of classical literature to keep in mind that there are other excellences than a refined taste, and that there is a knowledge applicable to the ordinary purposes of life derivable from the study of the sciences—the experimental sciences-all of modern growth, which will be sought for in vain in the works of the ancients.
* See Mr. Gladstone's reported speech on the recent occasion of the examinations at Trinity College, Glenalmond. + Strictly, the first expedition, the arrangements for which were followed in all the others.
Secondly, we would point out as a desideratum the diffusion of agricultural and horticultural knowledge, so that the land might be made as productive as possible, the soil as enduring, and its culture as cheap and easy as possible. What waste there is even at present, owing to weeds—what waste of manure! Ilow often are inferior kinds of grasses, roots, and fruit-trees grown where superior ones might have been as easily and far more profitably cultivated! And yet agriculture and horticulture are said to be advanced in this country, as undoubtedly they are, and greatly so in comparison of what they were. It is this still imperfect state to which we would call attention, so well illustrated in the Essays of the late Mr. Andrew Knight, who did so much to improve them, especially his favourite, horticulture. We will take from his work only one example; it is that of feeding stock on potatoes. He states that potatoes eaten by hogs, cows, or sheep (all equally fond of the potato), will yield twenty times as much animal matter (butcher's meat) as the ground that grew the potatoes would have yielded if left in permanent pasture -that is, if the best kind of potato were grown, and with approved culture.
The next desideratum we would notice is that the people, especially the peasantry, should have instruction in the culinary art, so as to prepare their food well, with economy of means and least waste of substance and nutritive quality; and this instruction might advantageously be combined with some elementary infor. mation respecting the nutritive powers of different articles of diet, the best mode of preserving them, and the proportions in which certain of them may be best combined. The author whom we have just quoted expresses bis confident opinion that four ounces of meat, with sufficiency of potatoes to satisfy the appetite, would afford more efficient nutriment than could be obtained from bread alone in any quantity, and at a less expense; and we have been assured by a distinguished Arctic traveller and man of science, that a quarter of a pound of suet with a pint of Indian corn (about two pounds), made into porridge, with the addition of a few wild plants, is a better and more supporting daily ration than eight pounds of meat, the ordinary allowance, when exclusive, of the huntsmen in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company. The preservation of articles of food of a perishable kind is of almost vital importance, and yet how sadly, too, has it been neglected. Did our limits permit, we could have wished to have dwelt on this matter, and to have detailed some of the resources of science applicable to it; we must content ourselves with pointing out how even the perishable potato, whether cooked or uncooked, may be preserved by thorough drying without losing its nutritive qualities; if cooked, by being mashed and baked in the form of biscuits; if uncooked, by drying in slices, either by exposure to the sun and air, or with the aid of heat ;** the desiccative process being one by which most articles of food, whether vegetable or animal, can be very easily and most economically preserved.
Another desideratum, we cannot but think, is that the prejudices of people should be removed on matters of diet, as well as their knowledge extended. An effort is now making in Paris to bring into use horse-flesh; and the report, as might be expected, is most favourable. Had it been used in the Crimea when our troops were suffering from the want of fresh meat, in the same manner as it was * We have in our possession potatoes thus preserved the common potato and the more perishable potato of the West Indies-and still in good usual condition, after having been kept more than three years without any precaution except the putting them in a dry place.
freely used at Kars, how much disease might have been prevented, and how many lives saved! There are other substances to which we are glad to see attention invited, such as sea-weeds, of which, growing on our shores, and for the most part neglected, there are several species known of an esculent kind, and possessed, in addition to their very nutritive qualities, of special virtues, owing to the important principles which enter into their composition, iodine and bromine.* What is remarkable in regard to the composition of these vegetables, besides the iodine and bromine which enter into their composition, is the large proportion of azote which they contain. According to the analysis of Dr. Apjohn, the distinguished professor of chemistry in Trinity College, Dublin, they contain in their dry state absolutely more azote than most articles of our ordinary vegetable food-more even than wheaten flour of the first quality—the mean of eight kinds examined being to that of flour as 2-407 to 1.317. The following table gives the results of the analysis referred to, and for comparison, we subjoin the proportion of azote determined by the same inquirer in a few articles in use as the food of man and cattle. We quote from the fourth article, in the heading of this paper:
Experiments made by Dr. Apjohn in conjunction with Dr. Dary, in July, 1854.
Nitrogen per cent..
2.379 Rhodomania palmata (Dylisk)
Experiments made by Dr. Apjohn in August, 1864.
Per cent. of Protein conWater.
nitrogen in tained in
dry matter. dry matter. Chondrus crispus, bleached
17.92 82.08 1.534 9.587 unbleached :
21.47 78:53 2.142 17.387 Gigantina mammillosa
21.55 78.45 2-198 13437 Chondrus crispus, bleached, 2nd exp. .
19.79 80.21 1.485 9 281 unbleached, 2nd exp.
19.96 80 04 2.510 15.687 Laminaria digitata, or dulse tangle 21:38 78:62 1.588 9.925
black tangle 31:05 68.95 1.396 8.725 Rhodomania palmata, or dylisk
16:56 83:44 3.465 21.656 Porphyra lanciniata, or levre
17.41 82.59 4:650 29.062 Iridæa edulis
1961 80.39 3.088 19.300 Alaria esculenta, or murlins
17.91 82.09 2424 15.150
“N.B. The amount of water given in this table is considerably less than what belongs to the algæ when fresh from the sea, for they had all undergone a partial drying preparatory to being sent up from Ballycastle to Dublin for analysis."
Per-centage of Nitrogen in various Edible Substances dried at 212°.—(J. A.)
1.817 Beet-roots (mean of thirteen experiments)
1.848 Mangolds (mean of three experiments)
1.781 Swedish turnips (mean of five experiments)
That the nutritive power of these seaweeds is considerable appears to be well proved by long experience, as also their wholesome qualities; and the manner in which the price of one of them, carrageen moss (chondrus crispus), has risen in the English market, becoming used for the purpose of feeding pigs and calves, shows the estimation in which it is beginning to be held. The avidity and manifest relish with which certain of these esculent algæ are eaten by cattle, probably first suggested the idea that they might be fit for the use of man, and the pleasant taste of some of them and their grateful odour must have confirmed the idea when tried. Other substances might be mentioned, respecting which prejudices require to be removed or information afforded. We shall notice only one, the horse-chesnut, which we believe might be brought into use with great advantage, as part of the food of live stock, especially sheep and pigs. Now, we believe it is entirely neglected in this country, thongh possessed of highly nutritive qualities, and duly estimated for the same abroad, particularly in economical Switzerland.
* A public-spirited and philanthropic man, Sir Waltor C. Trevelyan, has offered prizes of 1001, and of 501. for the best essays on these plants in relation to their qualities and virtues, dietetic and medicinal, as we mentioned some some time back.
The last subject we shall advert to as a desideratum is pisciculture, a new term for a neglected thing. There was a time, and that not very remote, when many of our English rivers abounded in salmon, and salmon was one of the commonest and cheapest of fish in the districts through which these rivers flowedrivers, owing to want of due care and protection, now become almost if not entirely destitute of this valuable fish. The desideratum is that these rivers should be re-stocked, and that all our rivers and pieces of water capable of sustaining fish should be stocked with the kind best fitted for them. For this purpose, not only is it necessary that intelligent enterprise should be exerted, but also that laws for the prevention of poaching should be revised and rendered more stringent. Some years ago the fisheries of Great Britain, foreign and domestic, were calculated to produce not less than eight millions sterling a year. This is some criterion of their innportance; but were they improved to the extent they might be, how vastly greater would be their value! Fortunately, so far as the propagation of fish is concerned, there is little practical difficulty. Take one of our most valuable fish as an example—the one we have spoken of as almost extinct in our English rivers, the salmon. Its impregnated ova are almost as manageable as the seeds of a plant; with moderate care to keep them moist and give them air, they may be sent hundreds of miles, even by post, without losing their vitality; they may be hatched in the most ordinary vessels, or in any pond or cistern supplied with running water of average purity, a daily change of water only being required; and after exclusion from the ova, during the space of six weeks or thereabouts, they require no food, having attached to them in the residnal yolk-sack sufficient so long for their support; and further, after this time, when they need food from without, they may be allowed to leave their confinement, being capable of taking care of themselves; or if retained, they admit of being fed at no great cost or trouble. They appear to thrive pretty well on boiled liver broken fine, daily given them. These means of propagating and increasing the salmon, already in a few instances largely and successfully employed, are applicable to all the salmonidæ, its congeners, and, we believe, to all other migrating and fresh-water fish, many of which deserve to be better known and more widely distributed, such as the grayling, in this country, which is altogether unknown in Scotland and Ireland; such as the hucho (salmo hucho), of the Danube and its tributaries, an excellent fish, attaining a goodly size, of rapid growth when well fed, and, it may be inferred, likely to flourish in many of our rivers, the temperature of which differs but little from that of its native streams.
On the advantages of pisciculture we need hardly insist, they are 80 obvious-as, the rendering of rivers and lakes now running to waste sources of profit at trifling cost; the multiplication and cheapening of nutritive and agreeable articles of food; and the promotion of a delightful recreation and wholesome exercise, which we hold angling to be—a recreation, an exercise which appears to advantage in many respects in comparison with field-sports, such as hunting and shooting; not, like them, entailing a loss, but eventually securing a gain: the deer-forest and the game-preserve, it must be confessed, being almost identical with a desert, and too often made, by great sacrifices; the preserve by throwing good land out of cultivation, with diminution and waste of