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“Davusne? Ita, Davus, amicum
Sat. lib. ii. s. 7. “ What! Davus? Yes, Davus; a faithful slave to his master, and temperate enough, so that you may conclude him likely to live.” That is, so that your property in his person, which is what you chiefly care about, is tolerably safe.
This word frugi, the dative of frux, is evidently frugi deditus, inclined to subsist on the fruits of the earth, and was used to signify in the Roman language, the possession of almost every good quality which could grace our nature.
«Temperance, that virtue without pride, and fortune without envy, that gives indolence of body and tranquillity of mind; the best guardian of youth and support of old age; the precept of reason as well as religion ; physician of the soul as well as the body; the tutelar goddess of health and universal medicine of life; that clears the head and cleanses the blood; that eases the stomach and purges the bowels; that strengthens the nerves, enlightens the eyes, and comforts the heart: in a word, that secures and perfects digestion, and thereby avoids the fumes and winds to which we owe the cholic and the spleen: those crudities and sharp humors that feed the scurvy and the gout, and those slimy dregs out of which the gravel and stone are formed within us : diseases by which we condemn ourselves to greater torments and miseries of life than have perhaps yet been invented by anger and revenge, or inflicted by the greatest tyrants on the worst of men.” SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE's Essay ON THE Cure of Goot.
Speaking of the habitual intemperance of men in office at home, ambassadors abroad, and governors of our provinces, he says, “ But the ill consequence of it is not so obvious, though perhaps as evident to men that observe, and may be equally confirmed by reasons and examples. It is that the vigor of mind decays with that of the body, and not only humor and invention, but even
? As far as I am able to search into the etymology of those Greek and Latin substantives which nify food, I find that most frequently they owe their derivation to the action or the effect of eating : but that when they are derived from any particular article of diet, as is the case with Oitos OUTLOY; and in the Latin language with cibus, and probably penus, from pendeo, the reference is to vegetables only; and that on the other hand, those words which signify fish, flesh, or fowl, or have a reference to them in any way, never give rise to general terms importing food. It is the property of dictionaries to be so very imperfect, that we can receive from them little or no assistance in philological researches which are not of the commonest order. In examining the verb alo, to feed, the eye in passing glanced on the neighbouring word alea, a die, which I find unaccounted for in Ainsworth's dictionary in any but the idlest manner; and yet it is pretty obviously from the Greek word ans, aros, salt, which mineral crystallises in cubes.
2 “Indolence” is used in the simple sense of the term, exemption from pain.
judgment and resolution, change and languish with ill constitution of body and of health ; and by this means public business comes to suffer by private infirmities, and kingdoms or states fall into the weaknesses and distempers or decays of those persons that manage them.”Ibid.
It is scarcely necessary to add, that if these remarks of Sir William Temple be just, and he was a man who seldom made erroneous ones, the usual way of living among the higher orders, is attended with the most serious and deplorable consequences, I will conclude these extracts with some passages from Gassendi's celebrated letter to Van Helmont, and from Forster on the human species.
“ Itaque ego argumentabar non videri nos a natura comparatos ad animalium carnes comedendas ex conformatione dentium. Siquidem animalibus (de terrestribus loquebar) quæ ad esum carnis natura instruxit concessos esse dentes longos, turbinatos, acutos, dissitos, inæquales ; cujus generis, sunt leones, tigrides, lupi, canes, feles, cætera. Quæ vero natura creavit ut herbis duntaxat fructibusve vescerentur, iis adesse dentes breves, latos, obtusos, contiguos, æqua serie dispositos; cujusmodi sunt equi, boves, oves, capræ, cervi, alia. Porro autem homines sortitos esse a natura conformationem dentium non instar animalium quæ sunt prioris generis, sed instar eorum quæ posterioris : quocirca probabile esse, cum homines sint e terrestrium animalium catalogo, voluisse naturam uti in delectu ciborum sequerentur non priora illa videlicet carnivora, sed hæc posteriora quæ simplicibus terræ donis contenta pascuntur.” “I was therefore contending that we do not appear to be adapted by nature to the use of a flesh diet from the conformation of the teeth. Since all animals (I speak of terrestrial ones) which nature has formed to feed on desh, have their teeth long, conical, sharp, uneven, and with intervals between them ; of which kind are lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, cats, &c.
But those which are created to subsist only on herbs and fruits have their teeth short, broad, blunt, adjoining to one another, and distributed in even rows; of which sort are horses, horned cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and some others. And farther, that men have received from nature teeth, which are unlike those of the first class, and resemble those of the second ; it is therefore probable, since men are land animals, that nature intended them to follow, in the selection of their food, not the carnivorous tribes, but those races of animals which are contented with the simple productions of the earth.” GASSENDI OPERA, tom. vi.p. 20.
« Deus certe naturæ Author in eo maxime declaravit immensam quandam sapientiam, quod res omnes finibus suis sic accommodaverit, ut neque frustra quidquam factum sit, neque nobis homuncioVOL. XX.
nibus tutius unquam argumentari in rebus physicis liceat, quam dum arguimus causam finalem." “The great Author of nature has peculiarly displayed his stupendous wisdom in the adaptation of all things to their ends, so that he should make nothing in vain, and that it should never be permitted to us weak mortals to reason with more certainty on natural subjects than while we are tracing final causes.”
“Ut cætera enim omittam, probe meministi, quod attinet ad Arborem Vitæ, opposuisse me in statu illo innocentiæ felicissimo jussum fuisse hominem comedere non pisces, aut oves, sed ex fructibus quibuscunque (excepto solo scientifico), ac potissimum ex illo vitali. Quare et jam arguere possum ex primæva et labe carente naturæ nostræ institutione, destinatos fuisse dentes ad usum non carnium, sed fructuum."
“ To omit other points, you well recollect that when we were speaking of the Tree of Life, I observed that in that inost happy state of innocence man was commanded to eat, not fish or meat, but the fruits of the earth of every sort (the Tree of Knowledge' alone excepted), and especially of the fruit of the Tree of Life. Wherefore I here repeat that from the primeval and spotless institution of our nature, the teeth were destined to the mastication, not of flesh, but of fruits."
“Quod spectat ad carnes, verum quidem est hominem pasci carnibus ; at quam multa, quæso, agit homo quæ sunt ipsi contra vel præter naturam! Ea illi morum perversitas contagione veluti quadam jam inusta est, ut ipsius indoles in alienam prope naturam abiisse videatur. Hinc tota illa philosophiæ virtutisque cura in eo est, ut revocare hominem ad naturæ tramitem possit.” « As for flesh, true indeed it is that man is sustained on flesh; but how many things, let me ask, does man do every day which are beyond or contrary to his nature ! So great and so general is the perversion of manners which has taken place in him,
that he appears to have put on another disposition. Hence the whole care and concern of philosophy and moral instruction seem to consist in leading man back into those paths which he has forsaken.”
If it be objected that the industry is natural by which men contrive and form the knives, hatchets, and other instruments which enable them to kill and cut up the animals they devour, it may be answered that it is also by the same natural industry that we make swords and muskets to destroy our fellow-creatures, whom we never saw or exchanged a syllable with. Yet who will calmly say that this butchery is good or rational ? The power of fitting such instruments to our iniquitous purposes is indeed from nature, but the perverse use of that power is attributable alone to our physical corruption.
Or the Tree of Tears, according to Diodorus Siculus.
I wish that these quotations may turn the reader's attention to the clear and well reasoned letter of Gassendi, with which he cannot fail to be pleased. He will there see it stated that a lamb which had been fed on flesh until it was nine months old, on board a vessel sailing among the Greek Islands, refused the pasture that was before it when it was sent on shore, and eagerly sought the hand which held out to it its accustomed food.
In “ Forster's Observations on the Varieties of the Human Species,” p. 189, it is remarked, that “ The dogs of the South Sea Isles are of a singular race : they most resemble the common cur, but have a prodigious large head, remarkably little eyes, pricked ears, long hair, and a short bushy tail. They are chiefly fed with fruit at the Society Isles ; but in the low islands and New Zealand, where they are the only domestic animals, they live upon fish. They are exceedingly stupid, and seldom or never bark, only howl now and then; have the sense of smelling in a very low degree, and are lazy beyond measure : they are kept by the natives chiefly for the sake of their flesh.” " The dogs are of the same species as with those of Otaheite, having short crooked legs, long backs, and pricked ears. They are about the size of a common turnspit ; exceedingly sluggish in their nature : though this perhaps may be more owing to the manner in which they are treated, than to any natural disposition in them. They are in general fed and left to herd with the hogs, and I do not recollect one instance in which a dog was made a companion in the manner we do in Europe. Indeed the custom of eating them is an inseparable bar to their admission into society; and as there are neither beasts of prey in the island, nor objects of chase, it is probable that the social qualities of the dog, its fidelity, attachment, and sagacity, will remain unknown to the natives."
It would be no difficult task to increase the number of the instances above given, were these already adduced not fully sufficient to show that animals may be made to grow up and live on what is evidently not their natural food. It is a subject of much interest, and I trust that some student of natural history will take it up and investigate the consequences of perversion of diet among all the domestic animals. By the observations of Forster we see how far the dog, fed on fish and fruits, for neither of which his organization is fitted, may be degraded in every view except that of these islanders, who proposed only to render the flavor of his flesh delicate and agreeable. But to turn from this sort of repast, which we Europeans altogether reject, and pursue our subject.
It is not my intention to present the reader with a set of bills of fare for breakfast, dinner, and supper ; but I will say a
word or two of the manner in which we proceed as to this particular. Our breakfast is composed of dried fruits, whether raisins, figs, or plums, with toasted bread or biscuits, and weak tea, always made of distilled' water, with a moderate portion of milk in it. The children, who do not seem to like the flavor of tea, use milk with water instead of it. When butter is added to the toast, it is in a very small quantity. The dinner consists of
potatoes, with some other vegetables, according as they happen to be in season ; macaroni, a tart, or a pudding, with as few eggs in it as possible : to this is sometimes added a dessert. Onions, especially those from Portugal, may be stewed with a little walnut pickle and some other vegetable ingredients, for which no cook will be at a loss, so as to constitute an excellent sauce for all other vegetables, As to drinking, we are scarcely inclined, on this cooling regimen, to drink at all, but when it so happens, we take distilled water, having a still expressly for this purpose in our back-kitchen.
In the invigorated state which in two or three years would ensue on a return to the law of nature, a law which we never transgress but to our cost, the appetite would measure the quantity of vegetable food proper to be taken during the day; an advantage which is lost at a well furnished table, where the flavor of the dishes is too seductive for us to recollect that the juices of the meat have been compressed for our destruction.
Let it then be granted that of all animals man is the most unhealthy. Still I would contend that this state of disease is a
'That I may lose no opportunity of impressing the necessity of this distillation on the reader's nind, I will give an extract from Hawkesworth's Voyages, which will show that even spirits are not so mischievous, or at least not in the same way, as common water.
Every individual had been sick (at Batavia) except the sail-maker, an old man between seventy and eighty years of age; and it is very remarkable that this old man, during our stay at the place, was constantly drunk every day.”— Vol. iii. p. 319.
Of the island of Rotterdam in the South Seas:
“The people of this isle seem to be more affected with the leprosy, of some scrofulous disorder, than any I have seen elsewhere. It breaks out in the face more than any other part of the body. I have seen several whose faces were ruined by it, and their noses quite gone. In one of my excursions, happening to peep into a house where one or more of them were, one man only appeared at the door, or hole, by which I must have entered, and which he began to stop up, by drawing several parts of a cord across it. But the intolerable stench which came from his putrid face was alone sufficient to keep me out, had the entrance been ever so wide. His nose was quite gone, and his whole face in one continued ulcer; so that the very sight of him was shocking.”—Cook's SECOND VOYAGE, vol. ii. p. 20.
“Fire wood is very convenient to be got at, and easy to be shipped off; but the water is so brackish that it is not worth the trouble of carrying it on board; unless one is in great distress for want of that article, and can get no better." - Ibid. p. 22.