Page images

up its heat. This is consistent with the teachings of experience respecting the fattening of cattle; for it is well known that this may be accomplished much sooner, if the animals are shut up in a warm dwelling and are covered with clothes, than if they are freely exposed in the open air,

“ Now the condition of man may be regarded as intermediate between these two extremes. The construction of his digestive apparatus, as well as his own instinctive propensities, point to a mixed diet as that which is best suited to his wants. It does not appear that a diet composed of ordinary vegetables only, is favourable to the full development of either bis bodily or his mental powers ; but this cannot be said in regard to a diet of which bread is the chief ingredient, since the gluten it contains appears to be as well adapted for the nutrition of the animal tissues, as does the flesh of animals. On the other hand, a diet composed of animal flesh alone is the least economical that can be conceived : for, since the greatest demand for food is created in him (taking a man of average habits in regard to activity and the climate he inhabits), by the necessity for a supply of carbon and hy. drogen to support his respiration, this want may be most advantageously fulfilled by the employment of a certain quantity of non-azotised food, in which these ingredients predominato. Thus it has been calculated, that, since fifteen pounds of flesh contain no more carbon than four pounds of starch, a savage with one animal and an equal weight of starch, could support life for the same length of time during which another restricted to animal food would require five such animals, in order to procure the carbon necessary for respiration. Hence we see the immense advantage as to economy of food, which a fixed agri. cultural population possesses over the wandering tribes hunters which still people a large part both of the old and new continents.

“ The mixture of the azotised and non-azotised compounds (gluten and starch), that exists in wheat flour, seems to be just that which is most useful to man; and hence we see the explanation of the fact, that, from very early ages, bread has been regarded as the staff of life.' In regard to the nutritious properties different articles of vegetable food, these may be generally measured by the proportion of azote they contain, which is in almost every instance less than that which exists in good wheatflour. But it must not be forgotten that, owing to the varieties of constitution which have been pointed out among different animals, the power of parti.

cular substances to nourish man and cattle is not the same—the latter requiring a larger proportion of the saccharine and oleaginous compounds than is beneficial to him—especially when it is an object to cause a large quantity of fatty matter to be deposited in their tissues, or to be excreted in milk. Thus potatoes are found to increase the proportion of butter in the milk of a cow that feeds upon them; their starch being probably converted into fatty matter. It has been also shown by recent experiments, that the proportion of butter in the milk of a cow allowed to feed during the day in a pasture, and shut up at night in a warm stall, was much greater in the morning milk than in the evening -the former containing 5.6 parts of butter in 100, and the latter only 3.7 parts. This was evidently due to the diminished demand for the materials for respiration during the night, when the body was at rest and the skin kept warm. The experiment was then tried, of keeping the cow in a shed during the day, and feed. ing her with the same grass; and the proportion of butter in her evening milk then rose to 5:1 parts in 100. But this plan diminished the proportion of casein or cheesy matter in the milk, which was increased again by allowing the cow to pasture in the open field. Hence it ap. pears that stall-feeding is most favourable to the production of butter, and pas. turing to that of cheese.

These principles should be kept in view in regulating the diet of individuals, especially in certain disordered states of the constitution, which require to be treated by strict attention to diet. Thus there are some persons who have a remarkable tendency to the deposition of fat; and others in whom there is a morbid (or diseased) production of sugar in the body, which is carried off by the urine. In these cases, the diet should be so regulated as to contain the least possible quantity of the saccharine or oleaginous principles; the food being made to consist entirely of animal flesh, with a very small quantity of breador still better, with bread from which the greater part of the starch has been removed. On the other hand, there is a state of the system, known as that in which gout and gravel are liable to occur, in which there seems to be an excess of azotised matter i and the diet of such persons should be so regulated, that very little or no animal flesh should be employed as food, the aliment being made to consist almost exclusively of farinaceous (starchy) substances, such as rice, potatoes,” &c.

Botany, and the physiology of plants, are subjects which deservedly occupy

[ocr errors]

a considerable space in the plan before rangement, with their external characus. The choice between the Linnæan ters. and the natural system of arrange- Thus the mere assignment of a ment, is perhaps, at the present day, plant to its Linnæan class and order, less a matter of dispute than it was tells us nothing of its real nature or some time since, because the different relations ; such an assignment in the objects aimed at are now more gene. natural system, on the other hand, is rally understood, and the two systems in fact at once a description of much are not therefore regarded in the light of its character and properties; and of rivals. They have been well com

this is observed to hold good even up pared by an eminent botanist to an al- to the highest or most general result phabetical, as compared with a classed of classification. The division of all catalogue : the one eminently useful plants into monocotyledonous and difor reference; the other for giving us cotyledonous at once marks the rea real view of the objects collected. markable characteristic property of In the Linnæan system a small num- their mode of increase—the one being ber of characters, chiefly the number always endogenous, and the other exof stamens and pistils, are taken as the ogenous; the arrangement of the veins standard ; and the whole vegetable of the leaves (for the most part) parkingdom is distributed under classes allel in the one and reticulated in the and orders, according to the corres- other ; and the parts of the flowers pondences and differences among the more generally arranged in threes in several genera in these respects, no the one, and in fives or fours in the regard whatever being paid to any other. Again, whole classes under other characters. In the natural sys- this arrangement have common physitem all the characters of the genera cal properties, which are consequently are studied ; and those are united into in a great degree indicated in any inorders which present the greatest cor- stance the moment we have ascertained respondence in the characters that are the class to which a particular indiviregarded as of the most importance: dual belongs : thus the whole of the on the same principle the orders are Papaveraceæ possess narcotic properunited into classes.

ties; the whole of Ranaculaceæ are According to the Linnæan or artifi. acrid; all the Malvaceæ are destitute cial system, it cannot but follow that of unwholesome qualities. many genera, differing most widely in But without following any further their structure and physiological cha- the outline suggested by the view of racters, are often brought together the subject presented in the work beunder one denomination; while others, fore us, we have said enough to show perhaps in reality closely allied, are the importance of an easy compendious separated into the most distant groups. systematic introduction to so highly So that in fact it often happens that interesting and important a branch of under the same Linnæan genus two science, which we believe is in truth plants may have no one feature in daily becoming more popular among common beyond the number of sta- us; and the more it is attended to the mens and pistils. Such a system can more will its value be duly recognised. consequently lead us to no general Such an introduction, we think, is knowledge of the characteristic pro- here furnished to the elementary stuperties or habitudes of plants; whereas dent as will fully satisfy his wants, the natural system, grounded upon re- and afford a sufficient guide to more semblances of a far more extensive copious sources of information on the kind, and having a far more intimate various points in detail. kind of relation to the actual nature It is obvious, that, in reviewing a and distinguishing properties of the work of this multifarious character, structures, leads us to recognise much we cannot pretend to touch upon more more of the real order of nature, and than a few such points of its contents specific gradations and peculiarities o. as incidentally present themselves; organised structures from these accom- but we trust we have said enough to panying outward manifestations, which exhibit fairly to our readers somewhat we cannot but infer are connected by of its general character and pretensome hidden train of causation, some sions, and to express our opinion (so recondite principles of order and ar- far as our examination has extended)

on its general merits and adaptation to vanism, and magnetism ; while, we its particular objects.

presume, the important and invaluable Having thus spoken of the work as practical application of physical science, already advanced, we cannot omit a in the arts and manufactures, in the word with reference to our expecta- control and adaptation of the giant tions of the parts yet to come.

The power of steam, will receive a separate vast importance of chemical science at and detailed review proportionate to the present day, and the necessity for their important and beneficial use in philosophical accuracy in the develop- our social economy. ment of those beautiful principles now But the spread of sound elementary disclosed, connected with the entire scientific information is deeply imporchanges in the nature of bodies, from tant in another, and that the highest different arrangements of the same of all respects ;-as affording the basis elementary molecules, together with for a real and sound natural theology, the vast range of inquiries recently important in itself at all times—imopened, in connection with the mys- portant, more especially in an age terious agency of light, and even of when a spirit very hostile to such an some other, perhaps unknown, ethereal application of the subject, is but too matter, are points generally appre- prevalent in an open and undisguised ciated ; and in relation to which, so form--and of tenfold importance at

rapid has been the progress of dis- the present time, when that same spirit , covery, that a new elementary treatise assumes the disguise of a zeal for reli

will be looked to with no small interest, gion, and masks itself under pretenas expected to embrace a comprehen. sions to a peculiar sanctity, which sive account of these extensive dis. affects to deny and condemn all exercise coveries, which it is beyond the power of the reason in the investigation of of ordinary readers to follow up in Divine truth – which denounces all detail, and which are in fact every day attempts to derive a knowledge of the multiplying upon the compiler's hands. great Moral Cause of all physical causes, In geology, again, with all its rapidly from a study of these last, and with a progressing disclosures, the greatest sort of audacity almost incredible, diligence, as well as discrimination, adopts the very language of the bitterwill be required to arrest and condense est enemies of religion, and plainly the floating materials so abundantly tells us that the more we employ our furnished by the continued progress reasoning faculties in the search, the of research. But the great boast of more difficult shall we find it to arrive the modern advance of this science has at any satisfactory conclusion, or to been found in the establishment, for assure ourselves even of the existence the first time in our opinion,) by Mr. of a God! Nay, according to some Lyell, of the real foundations of a of these writers, there is something sound geological logic, or the true ap- sinful in the mere prosecution of those plication of the great principles of studies, and we are expressly informed, induction, in a field previously little that “men who are absorbed in physisubjected to such rigid laws.

cal or metaphysical science, or in maBut we look with more special anxiety thematics—such men are, in the sight to the manner in which the delicate and of Scripture, most immoral!" (Sewell's difficult subjects of heat and light may Christian (?) Morals.) Such are the be treated—we say anxiety, not for any views which are at this time adopted, doubt as to the capability of our author and widely inculcated by a very influto do full justice to them, but simply ential and increasing party-we deeply from our experience of the very faulty regret to add, existing and flourishing and defective manner in which those within the pale of the Established important points have been treated in Church, and the precincts of our some existing popular compendiums; v orthodox" universities. especially the absurd spirit of parti- There is, however, something so sanship, which has seemed to us to glaringly offensive, as well as intrinsianimate some elementary writers with cally futile in such views, that we respect to the grand question of the firmly rely on the common sense of the undulatory hypothesis. Similar re- public mind, as a sufficient barrier marks will apply to the vast range of against the general admission of them. subjects connected with electricity, gal- Still, so subtle are the argumentative

arts of their advocates, and so plausi. ble the show they can make of sophistry, skilfully worked up with many powerful associations, and invested with attractions of a theory, that it becomes the imperative duty of all who feel a regard for the interests of truth, and possess any means or opportunities for aiding in its diffusion and support, not to relax their efforts, nor rest in indolent security on the truth of their maxim, undeniable as it is, that its cause must ultimately prevail: ultimately it will; but the period may be lengthened, or shortened, according to the supineness or zeal of the advocates and disseminators of truth. Natural theology, and its connexion with phycal science, have been doubtless greatly illustrated and brought forward in many new and striking aspects of late years; but there is still much to be done in bringing these results to bear upon popular conviction, by the adoption of means for popular instruction in the principles.

In proportion as the foundation is securely laid in a sound and luminous 'exposition of the principles of science, so will the final and crowning conclusion of the great inferences of Divine truth be irresistibly and triumphantly established. There is also another point, of scarcely less importance, to be attended to, the distinct exposi.

tion of the nature and extent of these great conclusions: this is often overlooked, and where more is stated, as the result, than the premises will strictly bear, a palpable triumph is afforded to the unbeliever. Let then the writer or lecturer on Physical Science be careful, in reference to these sublime truths, to supply the most precise, sound, and well-weighed information in the first instance; and in the second, be rigorously distinct in explaining the exact nature, and keeping to the exact bounds of his deductive inferences, and the cause will have nothing to fear, but every thing to hope at his hands.

We have already remarked that the series now before us is to be completed by a treatise on Natural Theology. Nevertheless, the author has here and there, in the course of his work, in some degree anticipated the more special objects of that treatise, by in. troducing reflections bearing on those sublime and momentous topics, when the subject in hand seemed more directly to lead to them. Our limits will not allow us here to enter further upon such topics, than just to refer our readers for specimens of such reflections, to the Vegetable Physiology, p. 264, the Astronomy, p. 565, and the Mechanical Philosophy, p. 113.


From the Rhine,

August 1, 1843. LIEBER LORREQUER— The weather has been so cold and unfavourable for the last month, that serious apprehensions were entertained for the rye and wheat harvests. The corn merchants forced up the prices of corn so high that the poorer classes suffered severely, and the bakersin many places, as at Cologne and at Rastadt, in the Duchy of Baden, shut their ovens and refused to bake; the scarcity was so great that government were obliged to bring a large parcel of corn up the Rhine from Holland, and the commissariat ovens were set to work for the

poorer classes. Although there is every prospect of saving the corn harvest, the scarcity is still great, as the western part of Ger. many exported to Belgium last year more corn than they could spare, and it will require all the present crop to restore the balance. The price of meat has also risen, and is now for beef from fourpence to fourpence halfpenny per lb. There is this year grass enough, but unfortunately there is a deficiency of stock, as last year's scarcity of forage, compelled people to sacrifice their half-fed animals. I can assure you that there is little likelihood that any portion of south-western Germany or Belgium, will have either corn or beef to export this year ; let this be a consolation to your agricultural friends.

There are but few English on the Rhine this year, and the hotel keepers are beginning to exclaim against the repeal agitation, which they suppose keeps the people at home. Archbishop Droste von Vischering, of “mixed. marriage notoriety," passed through here on his way from Ems to Munster. Archduke Stephen, of Austria, was also here for two days on a tour which be was making of the Rhine provinces. King Leopold comes on the 3d, en ro to Weisbaden, and the King of Hanover on the 8th, on his way to Hanover.

The rejection, by the Rhenish diet, of the new criminal code is, as I anticipated, likely to produce important results in the other Prussian provinces.

It is said that the king, in one of his latest cabinet orders, has expressed a decided wish that the open procedure and viva voce examination, should be introduced in the eastern Prussian provinces. It is well known that Mullen, the minister of justice, has long interested himself in favour of these measures.

Political writings are increasing daily in number ; one sees almost in every newspaper announcements of new books forbidden by the censor. These works are for the most part published in Switzerland, at Zurich; and notwithstanding the prohibition, are brought into Germany in great numbers. It is almost a fortunate circumstance for an author to have his book prohibited, as it is for that very reason, whether good or bad, more extensively read. These political brochures are for the most part extremely violent, and crammed with the most erroneous and absurd political doctrines.

Two numbers of Bauer's “Liberale Bestrebungen, in Deutschland," have appeared; the one entitled the East Prussian, the other the Badisch-opposition.

A long chain of argument in one of these concludes with the fol. lowing sentence:-“ You will have now clearly perceived that the existence of a government is antagonist to the development of freedom.” This pas. sage shows pretty clearly what kind of freedom these people wish to attain.

The “true history of the German," published anonymously, but supposed to be from the pen of Held, is a very witty and amusing little book. It gives the following account of the birth, parentage, and education of Michael, a name applied to the German peasant, as John Bull is to the English :

* There was in the olden time a cer. tain Miss Teutonia, who seems to have been but indifferently brought up, as she passed most of her time in wandering through the forests which abounded in her country. During one of these rambles she formed a rather too intimate acquaintance with a vagabond heathen god, whose morality was

« PreviousContinue »