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to glory in health and prudence, and all their consequences, and to be ashamed of the opposites, their habits would be as easily formed to what is profitable and becoming, as to the re
Fashion is all. To suffer real inconvenience from useless, or worse than useless feats, for the empty pleasure of talking of them, is barbarous folly, to which sound training would make men superior. What a perversion is it to glory in riding or walking long distances, without rest or refreshment, in drinking several bottles of wine at a sitting, or in slaughtering game by heaps ! The true glory is to use a good constitution well, and for worthy ends. In my foolish days I have been foot-sore for a fortnight from toiling at one start over that distance, which now, by good management. I should perform with ease and benefit. I once set out, with a friend of mine, to walk thirty miles. He was quite unused to that mode of travelling, and, besides, at starting found himself not altogether well. From consideration for him I was obliged to be very careful, much more so than I should have been, if alone. We set off gently, and at the end of four miles breakfasted, after which he quite recovered. At the end of eleven miles further we had mutton-chops and spiced ale, both in moderation. My companion was so fresh at the end of his journey, that he ran over Waterloo Bridge, and we both went out to parties the same evening, as if we had only taken a walk in the Park. I have performed the same distance more than once at one start, but never without inconvenience for some time after. It is not calculable what may be accomplished in every thing in life, as well as in walking, by moderate beginnings and judicious perseverance. It is the great secret of
I do not know how I came to dismiss the subject of the art of dining without saying a few words in favour of that agreeable, but now neglected meal, supper. The two repasts used to hold divided empire, but dinners have in later years
obtained all but an exclusive monopoly, to the decay, I am afraid, of wit, and brilliancy, and ease. Supper has been in all times the meal peculiarly consecrated to mental enjoyment, and it is not possible that any other meal should be so well adapted to that object. Dinner may be considered the meal of the body, and supper that of the mind. The first has for its proper object the maintenance, or restoration, of the corporeal powers; the second is intended in the hours of relaxation from the cares and business of the day, to light up and invigorate the mind. It comes after every thing else is over, and all distraction and interruption have ceased, as a pleasing prelude and preparation for the hour of rest, and has a tendency to fill the mind with agreeable images as the last impressions of the day. Compared with dinner, it is in its nature light, and free from state. Dinner is a business; supper an amusement. It is inexpensive, and free from trouble. The attempt to unite the two meals in one, in the manner now practised, is a miserable failure, unfavourable to health and to the play of the mind. Nothing places sociability on so good a footing, and so much within the reach of all, as the custom of supping. There is an objection made to suppers, that they are unwholesome. Nothing, I think, can be more unfounded ; indeed, I believe them, if properly used, to be most wholesome, and quite in accordance with the dictates of nature. Undoubtedly, large suppers are unwholesome after large dinners; but not so light suppers after moderate dinners. I
think, if I were to choose, my ordinary course of living would be a simple well-conceived dinner, instead of the luncheon now in vogue; then tea, with that excellent adjunct, scarcely ever enjoyed in these days, buttered toast, about the present dinner hour, and a savoury little supper about half past nine or ten o'clock, with a bowl of negus, or some other grateful diluted potation after. I am of opinion there is no system so favourable to vigorous and joyous health as the moderate indulgence of a moderate appetite about a couple of hours before retiring to rest, those hours filled up with the enjoyment of agreeable society. In the colder months I have great faith in finishing the day with a warm and nourishing potation. It is the best preparation for one's daily end, sleep, or, as Shakspeare calls it," the death of each day's life;" and those, with whom it does not agree, may be sure it is not the drink's fault, but their own, in not having pursued the proper course previously. A good drink over a cheerful fire, with a cheerful friend or two, is a good finish, much better than the unsatisfactory ending of a moderate dinner party. Here I must mention that, in order to have good negus, it is necessary to use good wine, and not, as some people seem to think, any sort of stuff, in any condition. Port negus is delicious, if it is made thus. Pour boiling water upon a sufficient quantity of sugar; stir it well; then pour some excellent port, not what has been opened two or three days, into the water, the wine having been heated in a saucepan. Stir the wine and water well together as the wine is poured in, and add a little grated nutmeg. A slice of lemon put in with the sugar, and a little of the yellow rind scraped with it, makes the negus perfect ; but it is very good without, though then, properly speaking, it should be called wine and water. Supper is an excellent time to enjoy game, and all meats of a delicate nature, and many other little things, which are never introduced at dinners. I am far from wishing to explode dinners as a social meal, but I object to their enjoying a monopoly, and the adoption of the two meals on different occasions would furnish opportunities for an agreeable variety. One frequently hears people object to dining early on the ground that they feel themselves disinclined to do anything after dinner ; but this is a false mode of reasoning. After a late dinner there is a disinclination to action, especially if it is an overloaded repast; but the reason of this is, that the powers have become exhausted, which is a solid argument against late dining with reference to health and spirits. But a moderate dinner in the middle of the day, when the digestive powers are the strongest, instead of unfitting for action, has the very contrary effect, and a person rises from table refreshed, and more actively inclined than before. No one, whose digestion is in good order, complains of the incapacitating effects of luncheon, which is in reality a dinner without its pleasures. Luncheon may be said to be a joyless dinner and dinner a cumbrous supper, and between the two, they utterly exclude that refreshing little meal, tea. We live in a strange state of perversion, from which many emancipate themselves as much as they can, when the eye of the world is not upon them; and if every body dared to do as every body would like, strange changes would soon appear. If the state prisons were thrown open, and the fetters of fashion cast off, what inward rejoicing there would be among rich and poor, male and female! What struggles, what pangs, what restraints would be avoided! What enjoyments, what pleasures would present themselves, and what elasticity would be given to the different bents of the human mind! If
reason and virtue alone dictated the rules of life, how much more of real freedom would be enjoyed than under the present worn-out dynasty of fashion !
Published also monthly with the Periodicals, stitched in a wrapper.
AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.
BY THOMAS WALKER, M.A.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
BARRISTER AT LAW, AND ONE OF THE POLICE MAGISTRATES OF THE METROPOLIS.
PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 12 O'CLOCK BY H. RENSHAW,
356, STRAND, NEARLY OPPOSITE WELLINGTON STREET.
No. XXV.) WEDNESDAY, NOV. 4, 1835. [PRICE 3d.
Art of attaining High Health.
SAVINGS-BANKS FOR SEAMEN.
In consequence of the articles on the habits and treatment of sailors when on shore, in my nineteenth and twentieth numbers, I received a communication on the subject of an establishment of a savings-bank for that class of persons, from Mr. Hutchinson, actuary of the London Provident Institution, Blomfield street, Moorfields, with whom I became acquainted when he was serving the office of overseer in the parish of Limehouse, which is within the jurisdiction of my office. Mr Hutchinson is doubly entitled to attention on this subject; first, from a long residence in the maritime quarter of the metropolis and an acquaintance with parochial affairs there; and secondly, from a daily experience of several years in a savings-bank of great business. He informed me that he had some time since sketched a plan for a seaman's savings-bank, but that he was discouraged from going on with it in consequence
of the death of a gentleman who took a principal in