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Literary Notices.

August A feeling was abroad that all things The chief of these experiments must be new in the new world. There

communist co-operative was call for immediate application of ideas of life. In the old world, thoughts

scheme at Brook Farm, near Boston, remained cloistered a generation before

which was founded on the principles any questioned their bearing on public

of justice, wisdom, purity, brotherly or private affairs. In the new world,

love, and all the other virtues of huthe thinker was called on to justify manity, with of course a total absence himself on the spot by building an

of selfishness, intemperance, impurengine, and setting something in ity, injustice, or imperfection of any motion. The test of a truth was its

sort, and intended to promote huavailability."

man culture, including "the highest

physical, intellectual, and moral Elsewhere New England trans- education" of both old and young. cendentalism is thus described :

The author favours us with the constitution and bye-laws of the

association, which, after a brief “ Practically it was an assertion of the inalienable worth of man; theoreti

existence of five years with an cally it was an assertion of the imma- average of seventy members, ended nence of divinity in instinct, the trans

in failure and loss. This being the ference of supernatural attributes to

principal practical outcome of New the natural constitution of mankind. England transcendentalism, one Such a faith would necessarily be pro- would be disposed to think the tean in its aspects. Philosopher, critic, movement or school in which it moralist, poet, would give it voice ac

originated might as well have been cording to cast of genius. It would present in turn all the phases of ideal.

allowed to pass into oblivion. Such, ism, and to the outside spectator seem

however, is not Mr. Frothingham's. a mass of wild opinions ; but running opinion, though he is honest enough through all was the belief in the living to confess he did not of his own acGod in the soul, faith in immediate cord undertake the task of chroniclinspiration, in boundless possibility, ing its history. He maintains that and in unimaginable good. The editors transcendentalism in New England, and reviewers of its day could make whether a sound system of thought nothing of it."

and action or not, deserves to have

its history written, because as a It is doubtful whether those of matter of fact it has greatly influthe present day will find it much enced the character and destiny of easier to avoid misunderstanding the American nation. If he could the true nature of this mysterious really prove this satisfactorily, inmovement or school, even with the stead of simply asserting it, one aid of Mr. Frothingham's account might be willing to accept his conof it, which is in fact rather a clusion, though even in that case description of persons than of any the subject would seem to demand system of thought. More than a a higher and more exhaustive style fourth of the volume is taken up of treatment than it has received at with sketchy notices of the chief his hands. “ His purpose," he tells writers in Germany, France, and us, “has been to write a history; England, who are more or less ideal not a critical or philosophical hisin their cast of thought. Then tory, but simply a history; to prefollow chapters on the leading New sent his subject with the smallest England transcendentalists, their possible admixture of discussion, , religious opinions, literary works, either in defence or opposition. practical experiments in political He has therefore avoided the metaand social life, &c.

physics of his theme by presenting


Literary Votices.




cardinal ideas in the simplest state- next to Emerson, devoting a special ment he could command, and chapter to him under the designaomitting the details that would tion of “ The Mystic.” He is only cumber a narrative.” Surely described as “a thinker, interior, if the subject was worth handling solitary, deeply conversaut with at all, it should have been discussed the secrets of his own mind, like thoroughly. The idea of writing a thinkers of his order, clear, earnest, history of transcendentalism with. but not otherwise than monotonous out touching upon metaphysics or from the reiteration of his primiphilosophical discussion

tive ideas." A true follower of almost ludicrous to an unsophisti. Pythagoras, he abandoned the use cated mind, not indoctrinated with of animal food, and declining to transcendental mysteries. But if take part in the Brook Farm, or Mr. Frothingham is chary of philo- any other socialistic experiment, sophical discussion, he favours us "he undertook to do his part towards with here and there a specimen the solution of the labour and of transcendental literature, from culture problem' by supporting which we are tempted to present himself by manual labour in Conour readers with a single gem, by cord, working during the summer in " Thomas T. Stone, a modest, re- field and garden, and in winter tiring, deep, and interior man, a chopping wood in the village woodchild of the spiritual philosophy":- lands, all the time keeping his mind

intent on high thoughts. One of

' “Man is man, despite of all the lies these high thoughts was, that all which would convince him he is not, existing forms of society were obdespite of all the thoughts which jectionable, and that it was his would strive to unman him. There is exalted mission to show mankind a a spirit in man, an inspiration from the

better way of life. · Fascinated by Almighty. What is, is. The eternal is eternal; the temporary must pass

his vision of an ideal society, and it by, leaving it to stand evermore.

determined to commence with a There is now, there has been always,

scheme of his own, he resolutely power among men to subdue the ages, began by withdrawing from civil to dethrone them, to make them mere society as constituted, declined to outgoings and servitors of man. It is pay the tax imposed by the authorineeded only that we assert our prero- ties, and was lodged in Concord gative, -that man do with hearty faith jail.” affirm: 'I am ; in me being is. Ages,

Another transcendental curiosity ye come and go; appear and disappear; products, not life; vapours from the

who figures in these pages is Mr. surface of the soul, not living fountain.

Brownson, thus described :
Ye are of me, for me, not I of you or

rational stability of principle he for you. Not with you my affinity, but had nothing, but was completely with the Eternal. I am; I live; spirit at the mercy of every speculation. I have not; spirit am I.'”

That oihers thought as he did, was

enough to make him think otherThere may be more in this than wise; that he thought as he had meets the eye, but to those blest six months before was a signal that with only average perspicacity it it was time for him to strike his looks very much like solemn trilling tent and move on.” or ironical caricature. A still We fear our reaủers will think brighter luminary in the galaxy of we have already transcended the New England transcendentalists bounds of reason in devoting so is Mr. Alcott, whom the author ranks much space to such senseless mon

" Of


strosities, and will therefore refrain

degree from ignorance, which is not from further remark.

alone confined to the mass of the population, but is largely shared by those who claim to rank par excellence as

“ the educated classes." Cup and Platter ; or, Notes on There is, however, a growing disFood and its Effects. By G. Over- position in the public mind to reend Drewry, M.D., author of " The gard this subject with the importCommon-sense Management of the ance it merits, and we are inclined Stomach," and H. C. Bartlett, Ph.D., to believe that the time is not far F.C.S. Henry S. King and Co., distant when instruction in the London. 1876. It is only during leading principles that govern the the present century that the sub.

physiology of life and regulate ject of Dietetics has received the health, will be considered an essenattention which its vast importance tial part of national education. in the economy of human life de- The work before us is, in mands. Dietetics, properly under- respects, a valuable contribution to stood, includes the adaptability of the many popular treatises that food to individual constitutions have appeared, of late years, on the with a view to the preservation of subject of Dietetics. What relates health, and also regimen or hygiene. to the “ Platter" is commendable In other words, Dietetics is the for sound physiology, good sense, science of using food so as to

and practical utility. The writers maintain health, and also of em- very clearly point out how essential ploying it as an auxiliary curative

the knowledge is of the chemical agent in the treatment of actual elements of food, and of the laws disease. The valuable researches that regulate the all-important proof physiologists and chemists have

cesses of digestion and assimilation. succeeded in placing dietetics on a Upon this knowledge depends the sound scientific basis, and a com- skilful employment of diet as a petent knowledge of the subject, therapeutic agent, and also its especially in its prophylactic and judicious use as a most potent therapeutic bearings, is now rightly means of counteracting hereditary deemed an essential part of an ac- predisposition to disease :complished medical education.

Mankind, for the most part, live as if the air they breathe, and what “If every one were born healthy, and they eat and drink, had no serious there were no constitutional diseases, and abiding relationship with the the proper system of diet might soon preservation of health. Public

be arrived at; but inasmuch as, from

the earliest times to the present, a health is public wealth; hence the

certain peculiar tendency to some one great importance of educating the

particular form of disease, or a deviapeople in sound sanitive principles, tion from health, has been recognized which are few and easily understood. in each individual, it is of the highest The laws of health are just as importance to ascertain in which direcfixed and undeviating in their opera- tion the tendency lies. By a welltion as those that govern the uni.

regulated system of life, and notably verse, and no natural law can be

by a proper selection of food, we may

counteract that disposition, affording in infringed with impunity. But the laws of health are perpetually vio

plenty those matters which are lacking,

and withholding such as in each indilated, not only from indulgence in vidual case tend to form compounds in vitiated appetites, but also in a large excess of those necessary for health.

Literary Notices.

"In this way, for example, taking into fat, which is frequently a cause of
infancy and childhood, the well-known death. If care be taken to exclude as
disease called rickets' is caused by a much as possible those foods which
deficiency of phosphate of lime, on the directly tend to form fat, and if a
presence of which solidity of bone sufficiency of exercise is also insisted
depends. A healthy child may be upon, this tendency is diminished."
starved into rickets by withholding
those components of food, otherwise
plentiful, which contain these salts,

With respect to flesh meat, just as a rickety child may be fed intó

our anthors very properly protest health by giving food which contains against the cruel system of overthem in full proportion.

feeding which has been encouraged "In the case of rickets, lime is an to a baneful extent by the prizes absolute necessity; but in the case of

bestowed on gross obesity at agri. children brought up to drink plentifully

cultural exhibitions. The meat of of water charged with lime, we find goitre, or Derbyshire neck, all kinds

such animals, so far from being of deposit in the urine, and often stone

thoroughly sound, and nutritious in the bladder. Here, that which is in proportion to its bulk, verges so beneficial to a rickety constitution is closely on a condition of degeneracy most injurious when the system is over- that it is more dangerous than charged. Advancing, we may take the wholesome for the consumer:cases of pallor and weakness so commou in over-crowded towns and cities, which are due to a want of salts of iron in the Many persons, in selecting their blood; in them, the kind of food taken daily joint, believe, when they secure is of the utmost importance. in order the meat which is charged at the that it may provide a sufficiency of highest price, that they obtain the such salts.

finest possible nourishment. “ Again, in constitutional diseases, “They may sometimes be correct, they such as gout, rheumatism, or diabetes, may sometimes also obtain fine flavour, which are well known to depend upon the most juicy condition, and the most an excessive formation of uric acid, tender fibre. The wsthetic enjoyments lactic acid, and sugar respectively, the of carving may be indulged in so as to mode of controlling them is obvious, display ai once the dexterity of the namely, to exclude as much as possible carver, the skill of the butcher, and those matters which science teaches us the ripeness of the animal; and, at favour the formation of these com- the same time, a sufficiently scientific pounds, and to give those only which veterinary surgeon would pounce down will nourish sufficiently without en- upon the tempting helpings, and declare couraging these diseases.

that that which is most inviting has “So, in cases in which there is a diffi. only been obtained by the degeneration culty in the absorption and assimilation of the most valuable qualities of the of various matters, such as fats, which, meat. either in that form or in the form of "It may appear ridiculous to declare, oil, are incapable of being absorbed, with some emphasis, that at uo time of and which require a process similar to the year is the liability of purchasing that of saponitication, it is of the utmost diseased meat so great as immediately importance, not only to those structures after the great cattle shows. Instances, containing them, but to the health of however, have not been wanting to the entire body, that food should con. prove that the beasts exhibited have tain those matters in that condition, or been in that condition in which fat that the agents necessary to produce it deposited externally, and interstitially shall be present at the time of digestion. (as marbling of the meat), and also in

The converse also holds good in the viscera, has reached such a degree cases where there is a tendency to an as to admit of the easy passage of the excessive deposit of fat, and to a finger through the walls of the peridegeneration of the muscular tissues cardium, or membrane which surrounds

the heart. Mr. Gant testified that this was the precise condition in which he found several beasts exhibited by the late Prince Consort, the slaughter of

which anticipated by a very brief period

the inevitable termination of their lives by disease (fatty degeneration)."

While Drs. Drewry and Bartlett are thus scientific and practical in their observations on matters appertaining to the "Platter," we certainly cannot compliment them. on being equally so when dealing with the subject of the "Cup. They adopt and enforce the pernicious and illusory doctrine that alcohol is "food," properly so called, and have no hesitation in recommending it as fitting diet, in this climate, during the period of youth. More dangerous advice could not well be given. It is little to the purpose to say that "in health, perhaps, a greater superstructure of strength may be obtained without the use of any alcoholic fluids," when it is preceded by the positive assertion that "light beer or wines of low alcoholicity may be occasionally taken with benefit during the period of youth "-the most critical period of life, when most assuredly an appetite for pernicious stimulants should not be cultivated.


Totally ignoring enlightened medical opinion of the present day, our authors maintain that alcoholic drinks are not only salutary in a state of health, but that they cannot, as a rule, be dispensed with. Total abstinence is a physiological heresy according to their philosophy. "Alcohol fluids," they assert, are frequently found to exert a beneficial influence, and they can be no more dispensed with in many instances than can the nourishing but easily digestible food, just alluded to, as the proper food for persons living under the artificial conditions of civilized life."

Now the great preponderance of medical opinion, supported by physiological research and sustained by experience, denounces the hypotheses that alcohol is food, or

that alcoholic fluids are beneficial in a state of health. In a state of disease alcohol, like other deleterious matters, may be usefully employed, but to recommend their use as salutary in a state of health, and especially during "the period of youth," is to run directly counter to the enlightened professional opinion of the day.

Words; their Use and Abuse. By W. Mathews, LL.D. Chicago: Griggs & Co. London: Trübner & Co. 1876.-It is not easy to discover the precise object of the present volume, which has grown out of a lecture delivered by the author some twenty years ago. It can hardly have been to make any important contribution to existing knowledge on the subject, or to call attention to circumstances connected with the use and abuse of words which have not already been repeatedly pointed out. The author has derived his materials from works familiar to all readers who take any interest in such matters. He has brought to light no new facts ascertained by original investigation, established no new principle, and given utterance to no subtle criticism or striking observation. These deficiencies would scarcely be felt in a lecture intended simply for an hour's entertertainment. But in a permanent volume one looks for something more than a heterogeneous collection of odds and ends jotted down in a note-book from well-known authors, interspersed with anecdotes. and sayings that are too familiar,

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