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practices will ever be Only a few men are
I do not hope, or rather I do not believe, that these bad given up on the ground that they are injurious to health. found who have the resolution to withstand the demands of appetite, to secure even that earnestly sought for blessing.
No large number of men will believe these things are injurious, even on the plainest evidence of the fact; so that health will, I fear, ever come off wounded with the multitude, when pitted against appetite. But good may be done to a few-nay, to a great many-by the calm discussion of our subject. In this light I view the advocacy of Vegetarianism. I believe that every one who adopts its principles, and makes them the rule of life, does that which is in accordance with natural laws with the Almighty's laws-regarding diet. I believe they will be healthier and happier for the adoption of this practice; and I think they will be better fitted, socially, morally, and religiously, for the performance of their various duties in life.
I do not give the names of learned men who have advocated the claims of Vegetarianism, nor extracts from their writings; because to do so would encroach too much on your space. I shall, therefore, content myself by referring such of your readers as may desire full information on this very interesting question to the following works :-" Fruits and Farinacea the Proper Food for Man ;"*"Lectures on the Science of Human Life;"† and a little book which interested me much many years ago, written by John F. Newton, Esq., and published in London in 1811, entitled "The Return to Nature, or a Defence of the Vegetable Regimen."‡
Your little periodical goes forth among its numberless contemporaries to do a great work. May it find many earnest and practical supporters, and soon take rank among the most useful magazines of our day!
* By John Smith. London: John Churchill, Princes-street, Soho.
T. Cadell and W. Davies, Strand.
Reviews and Notices of Books.
FALLACIES OF MR. G. H. LEWES.
(1.) The Physiology of Common Life. By GEORGE HENRY LEWES, Author of " Sea-side Studies," "Life of Goethe," etc. Vol. I. London: Blackwood and Sons. 1859. (2.) An Argument on behalf of the Primitive Diet of Man. By Dr. F. R. LEES. London: Pitman. 1857.
MR. LEWES is a laborious reader, a professional author of considerable ingenuity, and an amateur physiologist of unbounded pretensions. When he has a theory to sustain, or a system to explode, nothing is allowed to stand in his way. If the accredited sense of a term is inconvenient, he proceeds at once to fabricate some novel signification. If an old definition will not fit his purpose, he at once elaborates a fresh formula; or if facts do not dovetail with his scheme, he coolly ignores or boldly denies them. If a hiatus exists in his proof, he quietly assumes the phenomena required. Thus, by means of the presence of undoubted talent and the absence of all obstructive scruples, he has contrived to work up a certain hybrid reputation amongst superficial readers and half-informed editors, by whom he is regarded as an equal compound of critic, physiologist, and philosopher! It is our painful duty to strip off the mask.
Physiologists, like Sir Charles Bell and Dr. Marshall Hall, are content to express the dif ference of which we are conscious, between the yawn which comes upon us when conversing with some respected friend, and the purposed cough with which we greet a bore in a public
meeting, by the appropriate terms of "automatic" and "voluntary" actions. They regard the first kind of action as an impression on the afferent nerves which produces a reflex action through their own direct centre, independent of the sensorium; while the latter actions produce a sensation expressly because the impression is transmitted to the seat of consciousness. The specific distinction is boldly abolished by Mr. Lewes, who declares that both classes of actions are equally "determined by the impulse of guiding sensations"! By a similar kind of license, he confounds "irritability” with "sensibility;" makes two centres of "sensibility" in man (i.e. two minds); and, by the creative power of his verbal-logie, endows the leg of a frog with perfect" volition"!
His discussion on Diet presents us with another example of logical conjuring. He declares that, by the dictates of physiology and the custom of physiologists, we are forced to call "alcohol FOOD, and very efficient food, too." In the famous Westminster Review article, of 1855, the parent of many of the pages before us, he expounded the logical ground of the doctrine as follows:-" Food is force: alcohol is force. Therefore, alcohol is food." Now, if we examine the major premiss, or definition, we shall find reason to reject it, as at once too specific and too general. We deny that food is force. Electricity is force; but it is not food. Gravitation and chemical repulsion are forces, but not marketable foods. Food, indeed, contains force; but so does a bar of iron, a lump of coal, or a log of wood. Yet they are not food. Water also contains force; but it is drink, not food. Prussic acid contains a terrible force, for a few drops will shatter the temple of life; but is it therefore food? That alcohol, then, should contain force, not be force, is nothing to the point. We are only "forced" to call that food, whether by the dictates of physiology or by the rule of common sense and custom, which unites all the following conditions:-(1) It must be a digestible organised compound. (2) It must be perfectly innocent. (3) It must efficiently contribute to the heat of the blood, or to the restoration of the tissue. Tried by this test, alcohol is not food; on the contrary, it is in general what physiologists style it-a poison; and, in the least noxious and most exceptional circumstances in which it can be used, supposed to be a "combustible," yielding heat, and simply like respiratory food in that single particular.
An illustration of Mr. Lewes's utter untrustworthiness is furnished in one of his Blackwood papers on "Food and Drink," which are re-hashed-up in these volumes. He makes the astounding statement, in attacking Liebig's distinction between nutritious and respiratory food, that "the nitrogenous albumen and fibrin of the blood amount to not more than 72 in 1,000 parts; and if a trifle be added for the globulin and homatin of the blood discs, that is all the nitrogen of the blood!"* He audaciously asserts this at p. 334 of Blackwood's Magazine, vol. Ixxxiii.; while at p. 695, he estimates this "trifle" at 131 in 1,000 parts! What are the facts, as admitted in subsequent papers? Why, that out of 216 parts of the solid matter of the blood, the nitrogenous constituents form 202 parts; the partly nitrogenous"extractive" 5; the salts 6; and the only purely non-nitrogenous oil, 1 parts! He gives, besides, at p. 262 of the work under review, an analysis of ox blood, with above 15 per cent of nitrogen, which is the ratio of nitrogen in albumen!
By way of sequel to the monstrous statement we have just exposed, Mr. Lewes affirms that "not a tissue can come into being without a large proportion of non-nitrogenous materials greatly exceeding the nitrogenous." Will Mr. Lewes have the condescension to inform us where we are to find this great excess of non-nitrogenous material, either in the blood, which is the pabulum of the tissues, or in the egg, which is the material out of which the chicken is formed?†
Mr. Lewes takes all sorts of liberties with the fixed and accepted sense of words. Matter and force, sustainer and stimulant, food and drink, air and aliment, are, in turns, made equivalent and convertible terms! "That," says he, "is an aliment, which nourishes. Whatever we find, in the organism, as a constant element, either forming part of its structure, or one of the conditions of its vital processes, that deserves the name of an aliment." This is a new use of terms, which will certainly get rid of certain specific distinctions, but will neither lead to any new principle, nor answer any useful purpose. It is the merest affectation of novelty, presenting us with fine words indeed, but no fresh ideas. Imagine an architect pompously announcing that, since water, carbonic acid, and oxygen severally unite with various parts of the building materials (as lime and iron), therefore water and gases are building materials,-you will have an example of philosophy after the Lewesian type. The word "food" is not equivalent either to force, or nutrition, or aliment, or vital conditions. Oxygen and carbonic acid, electricity, heat, sensation, irritability, water, lime, salt, oil, sugar, albumen, etc., are all necessary conditions or materials of vitality, but they are not therefore either aliment, or food, or nutrition. There is not only something "improper" in the attempt to call them so, but something highly absurd and insulting to common sense.
In the work before us (vol. i. p. 80), Mr. Lewes says, "The albumen and fibrine amount to less than 80 in 1,000 parts, including the globulin and hoematin of the blood discs."
We have just separated the twofold contents of an egg, and find that the oily (and partly nitrogenous) yolk weighs half an ounce less than the albumen (or white).
Mr. Lewes states what is absolutely untrue when he alleges that his language is the language either dictated by the science of physiology, or the custom of physiologists. Two of his greatest authorities, to whom he is greatly indebted for the best parts of his book, are directly opposed to him. Moleschott, for instance, declares that "Alcohol does not deserve the name of an alimentary principle;" while Lehmann announces it to be impossible for him to rank alcohol in "the class of substances capable of contributing towards the maintenance of the vital functions." Dr. Edward Smith, again, at the late meeting of the Social Science Congress, at Glasgow, declared it to be "absurd to call alcohol food." The time will come when the delusion that alcohol is "fuel" shall be equally discarded.
That fat and salts are essential to the formation of tissues, no one disputes; but how that fact overturns the broad and luminous distinction between plastic nourishment and fuel-food, we fail to comprehend. That plastic food is ultimately burnt (oxidised), can no more prove that its primary function was not to build up, than the fact that broken chairs and tables are finally used as fuel, can prove that they were not first of all part of the essential furniture of the house.
The manner in which Mr. Lewes picks and chooses his small facts, and by every art endeavours to exaggerate their import, strikingly but characteristically contrasts with the way in which he ignores the "massive evidence" that sustains the distinction so fallaciously impeached. His facts are of a loose and indiscriminate character, in which all sorts of varied conditions are lumped together: those which uphold the true theory are derived from the experience of men as much as possible under similar general conditions, and differing only in the particular of diet. We know, from observation of our own, and from that of others officially employed in public works in Ireland and elsewhere, that the amount of work got out of an Irish labourer and an English navvy respectively, does not depend upon the quantity of food they take, but upon the albuminous quahty of it. In this respect two or three pounds of flesh-forming food will go further than ten or even eighteen of starchy matter. So, on the other hand, the ability to resist cold depends, in extremely rigorous climates, not upon flesh, but upon starch and oil. Mr. Lewes displays his usual recklessness of assertion, when he compares the occasional gluttony of the Hottentot (preceded or followed by long fasts) with the use by the Esquimaux of twenty pounds of fat flesh and oil daily as his ordinary diet. The African Bushman gorges like a lion or tiger, because he has first starved or may starve; but the Greenlanders or Samoyedes consume large quantities of fat continuously, showing the cause to be a permanent one. Mr. Lewes says the reason is, "because more exercise must be taken in cold weather to develop the necessary amount of animal heat, more tissue must be wasted, and consequently more supply is needed for repair." But this philosophy is as fallacious as his facts, for the contrary is the case. For, first, the Esquimaux like to remain idle and inert in their huts, and only go out on necessity; while the Guachos of the Pampas, who almost "live in the saddle," are not at all great eaters. Second, while the latter have an appetite for dried flesh, the former prefer oil and blubber. Mr. Lewes has not even attempted to show by what process it is possible to conceive of large quantities of fat being transformed into the fibrinous or albuminous tissues of the frame; and at p. 174, he shows that French workmen who could not compete with English "navvies" while feeding on oily and amylaceous food, could at once do so when they were well-fed with mutton or beef. In harmony with this fact, it is found that the Eastern porters and boatmen, whose food consists of a proper proportion of flesh-forming vegetal food, are even stronger than the flesh-consuming English sailors.
Mr. Lewes has a singular faculty of contradicting himself in various parts of his book; and his inferences are often made directly in the teeth of his own facts. After occupying whole pages in showing that a rice and potato diet, in large quantity, united with little albumen, only produces a weak and "pot-bellied" population, without stamina, he draws, at p. 92, the extraordinary conclusion, that "to them, non-nitrogenous food must be sufficient for the chief supply of nutrition"!
At p. 127, it is affirmed that "gluten is capable of supporting life [as food] when given alone. It is the presence of gluten in wheaten flour that renders it pre-eminently nutritious." This is very true; but at p. 132, where it is asserted that gelatine alone is insufficient for nutrition, it is added, "a conclusion which is equally true of any other single substance."
At pages 173-4-5, we meet with a meagre and miserable attack on Vegetarianism." Mr. Lewes once practised the system for six whole months, his sympathetic soul being "seduced by the example and enthusiasm of Shelley. I could find no sensible difference except that I was able to study immediately after dinner." In anatomy Mr. Lewes puts his own assertions in the place of certain facts. The apes and monkeys are undoubtedly the nearest to the human structure of all creatures, and they are well known vegetable-feeders. The great master of comparative anatomy, Prof. Owen, as quoted in Dr. Lees's Prize Essay, declares that "the close resemblance" between the dental structure of the Quadrumana and Bimana, "shows that man was, from the beginning, adapted to eat the fruit of the trees of the garden." Mr. Lewes, in the face of this great authority, coolly tells us that "the Vegetarian theory is at variance with the plain indications afforded by our structure"!
He argues, besides, that Vegetarianism is wrong, because "it is the practice of millions to eat flesh." He had also asserted that millions are Vegetarians, and that many tribes flourish with it. So that we have here set up a canon of thought and a test of truth, which will prove "everything by turns, and nothing long." He adds-" In hot climates there seems no necessity for animal food; in cold climates it is imperatively demanded. In moderate climates, food is partly animal and partly vegetable. Against instincts so manifested, it is in vain to argue."
We deny the instinct for flesh, or animal oil, in particular. The instinct is for flesh-forming and heat-producing food; and that may be as well vegetal as animal. Whether it can be got of the former sort, in all latitudes, is another question. At Drontheim, the people can't get flesh-meat and vegetables, and are compelled to use fish. But with what result? An awful mortality, and consequent diminution in the average duration of life. The "pot-bellied Ryot" of India stuffs himself with rice, which keeps him poor in strength. Does Mr. Lewes argue that there is a special instinct for fish in the one case, and for rice in the other? The fact in both cases is, that the social and dietetic conditions are bad; and it is the business of reason to ameliorate them, not the function of philosophy to vindicate them.
In our second criticism we shall expose some further fallacies of this tricksy writer, relating to the subject of Tea and Coffee, and the principles of Teetotalism.
Pitman's Popular Lecturer. Edited by HENRY PITMAN, Reporter and Teacher of Phonography, Manchester. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.
THIS useful work has now reached a fifth volume (new series). It contains original lectures by Professor Owen, F.R.S.; Sir John Herschell; Mr. David Chadwick, F.S.S.; Professor C. Calvert, F.R.S.; Mr. J. D. Morell, M.A., LL.D.; the late Dr. Nichol, and other able lecturers whose names are less widely known."
The title may have led to a misconception of the work, as the aim of the editor has been to "give sound lectures, not such as are called popular,' only by their authors, but those that deserve to become popular for their merit." Such a publication can scarcely fail to elevate the standard of lectures, and thus be an advantage to those who lecture as well as those who listen to them.
Our Exemplars, Poor and Rich. London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin. THIS beautiful volume contains a large number of biographical sketches of men and women who have, by an extraordinary use of their opportunities, benefited their fellow-creatures.
That the work is edited by that devoted philanthropist, M. D. Hill, Q.C., the eminent Recorder of Birmingham, and that Lord Brougham has written a Preface to it, will be sufficient to commend it to the earnest consideration of all social reformers. We have read the 'sketches' with deep and varied interest. It is full of suggestive thought, rich character, and touching pathos; and is written without a single tinge of sectarian bigotry or even national narrowness. No one can read this volume without feeling his better nature expanded, ennobled, and elevated. We earnestly commend it to all our friends.
Meliora: a Quarterly Review of Social Science. London: S. W. Partridge.
We cannot too earnestly commend Meliora to the thoughtful attention of our readers. It is cheap, healthy, inspiring, and elevating. No social or temperance reformer should be without it. The articles are well selected and ably treated. Three volumes are now complete; and we know of nothing more appropriate as a New Year's Gift to a beloved son, or a valued friend, or a faithful servant. Its pages are full of instruction, and contain deeply interesting articles on the most spirit-stirring movements of this great age of SOCIAL REFORM.
Capital Punishments. Manchester: Johnson and Rawson.
THIS is a Report of a Discussion in the City Council, Manchester, on the motion of Mr. Councillor Fildes, for a memorial to the Home Secretary, asking for inquiries into the operation of the present law of punishment for the crime of murder. The memorial, after a spirited and able debate, was unanimously adopted.
TEMPERANCE.—Temperance is corporeal piety; it is the preservation of divine order in the body. It is the harmony of all the members thereof; the true symmetry and right proportion of part with part, of each with all; and so the worship of God with every limb of the body. If a man keep the law of his body in the large sense of the word Temperance, he acquires three good things-health, strength, and beauty. As a general rule these three will come: there are, indeed, particular and personal exceptions, but such is the rule. Let any race of men-say the New Englanders - for a hundred years fulfil all the conditions of the body, and observe the laws thereof, they will become distinguished for these three things.— Theodore Parker.
Intelligence, Reports, &c.
ELEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN VEGETARIAN SOCIETY.
THE American Vegetarian Society assembled at half-past ten o'clock a.m., on Wednesday, September 19, 1860, in the lecture-room of the Bible-Christian Church, Kensington, Philadelphia-the President, the Rev. Dr. METCALFE, in the chair.-Letters of encouragement, and expressive of abiding faith in the truth of the Vegetarian doctrine, and of the incalculable benefits it is destined to confer on mankind, were received and read from Dr. Isaac Jennings, of Oberlin, Ohio; Dr. C. S. Hall, of Burlington, N. J.; Dr. R. H. Muzzey, of Boston, Mass.; and other friends. After the appointment of a committee on business and resolutions, and other preliminary arrangements,
Mr. H. L. BROWN remarked that he was now pledged as a universal reformer, but he believed the Vegetarian cause to be one of the greatest and best of reforms that ever engaged the attention of the human family. He had been in practice nearly Vegetarian for twenty-five years, and latterly he had been almost exclusively a fruit-eater."
Dr. TRALL stated that he had been a progressive reformer for twenty-five years. He commenced in early life as a temperance reformer; then he became an anti-tobacco reformer; then a medical reformer; and, lastly, a Vegetarian reformer. Fifteen years ago he was very active among the temperance societies; but it was soon discovered that, when the excitement ceased, the temperance men fell away from the pledge, and many who abandoned the use of alcoholic beverages resorted to substitutes quite as bad or worse, among which were opium and tobacco. It was not difficult to trace the ill success of all our temperance and anti-tobacco enterprises, thus far, to those dietetic habits which induce the desire for narcoties and stimulants. The basis of all reform lay in individual conditions. If these were normal, no reform would be difficult; but, fill the man with morbid appetites, and almost any reform was impossible, for the reason that in nine cases out of ten the morbid appetite is stronger than the will-power. Dr. Trall alluded to his extensive correspondence with invalids all over the country, and in the Canadas and the West Indies, from whom he learned that Vegetarianism was making very encouraging progress in the world. Every week he heard from new correspondents who had been practical Vegetarians for months or years; and he seldom went into the country to visit a patient without hearing of one or more persons in the neighbourhood who were living on an exclusively vegetable diet. And although, as gathered in that room, there seemed to be few Vegetarians, yet their numbers in the whole country were really large, and they were actually accomplishing a great work.
Mr. BROWN agreed with Dr. Trall that the Vegetarian cause stood at the head of all reforms, and as a medical reformer, he would always recommend a man to be a Vegetarian. At the same time as they were in a climate not the most salubrious, and were therefore liable to disease, it seemed to him that, when labouring under colds, for example, and nature required a little assistance, some vegetable stimulant should be preferred.
Dr. TRALL could not understand why a person should advocate stimulating medicine and object to stimulating food; nor why one should recommend vegetable stimulants and object to mineral stimulants. All stimulants held the same false relation to the living organism. He saw before him the representatives of several medical schools. There were in the world some four or five distinct medical systems, so called, which had their advocates, but in one thing all of those present could agree. They all believed that nature, the Bible, and experience demonstrated the truth of Vegetarianism. When they had brought all the world over to the Vegetarian faith, they would take up and discuss their respective medical predilections.
Dr. GRIMES felt disposed to talk a little about medical reform. His advice was that we all live right, and then throw away medicine altogether. And so far as eating is concerned, the true way to live right was to subsist on fruits and vegetables. He could fully endorse the remarks of Dr. Trall on the subject of fundamental reform. He believed, and had long believed, that the Vegetarian Society is the best democratic association there is, or perhaps ever will be. True their meeting that day was small, but there they did not see their strength. He knew many persons who are disposed to enter into the Vegetarian enterprise and practise its principles, but they do not like to be alone. They are, perhaps, the only ones in families, here and there, who are so disposed, all the rest being flesh-eaters. Some years ago there was living in Canada West a person who was regarded by his friends as a perfect fanatic-so much so that he was almost excommunicated from their society. It turned out that he had got the Vegetarian idea, and had been distributing some Vegetarian journals and