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stance of either than is presented by the life and character of this illustrious man. And whatever be the condition of him who seeks to profit by the story, none can be so low but he is in a position as advantageous as Johnson, and none can be so high but that with all his helps he will have enough to do to emulate his model.
Art. VIII.--1. The English Bread-Book for Domestic Use,
. adapted to Families of every Grade, &c.; with Notices of the present System of Adulteration and its Consequences, fc. By
Eliza Acton, Author of Modern Cookery.' London, 1857. 2. Rapport sur le Procédé de Panification de M. Mège Mouriès.
Par MM. Chevreul, Dumas, Payen, Peloun, et Peligot. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. Paris, Janvier,
1857. 3. On some points in the Composition of the Wheat-Grain, its
Products in the Mill, and Bread. - By J. B. Lawes, F.R.S., &c.,
and J. H. Gilbert, Ph. D., &c. London, 1857. 4. Pharmaceutical Journal. Articles on Alum in Bread. London,
May, 1857. 5. Report of the Medical Officers of Health for the District of
Holborn March 16, 1857. 6. Géographie Botanique Raisonnée. Par M. Adolp. Decandolle.
Paris, 1855. 7. Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. London,
1854. 8. Annales des Sciences Naturelles. 4me Série. Paris, 1854-6. 9. Micrographic Dictionary. By Dr. J. W. Griffiths and Pro
fessor Henfrey. Articles · Yeast,' Vinegar Plant,' • Fermentation.' London, 1856. IN the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto
This was the fiat pronounced to the first man who tasted of the tree of knowledge, and learned to distinguish good and evil. Originally a curse, it has become in the present state of the world a blessing. Only in those countries where it is literally in force does the human race strive to raise itself above the beasts of the field. In the banana-plains or the bread-fruit islands of the tropics, where man has not to wrest from the stubborn soil the natural gifts of the Creator, the immunity appears to carry with it the seeds of decay and dissolution. The cultivation of corn and the manufacture of bread form the occupation of large sections of the population of all highly civilized nations; and so intimate is the dependence
of the remaining classes upon this industry, that a considerable share of many great political changes may be traced up to its varying conditions. Bread, however, albeit it has more than once afforded a war-cry in struggles of no little magnitude among ourselves, is now so accessible to those who are willing to labour, that the questions chiefly discussed at present relate rather to its quality than its quantity. We hear with some surprise from time to time, from over sea, of bread sold in towns below the cost price; and the visitor to Paris views with wonder the prisonlike bars which commonly protect the bakers' shops; but the questions of government and political economy indicated in this state of things have little bearing on our English life.
The improvement which, in the lapse of centuries, has taken place in the condition of the people is strikingly exhibited in the history of their diet. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth wheat was nearly confined to the rich. Even their households were frequently fed on bread made from rye or barley. Of all joints, says the proverb, commend mne to the shin of beef, which contains marrow for the master, meat for the mistress, gristle for the servants, and bone for the dogs.' These distinctions have long since ceased. The servant no longer eats gristle for meat or rye for bread. The peasant in old times was often reduced to a loaf concocted of beans, peas, oats, and acorns ; and because these were also the food of animals, there was a common saying, that hunger sets his first foot in the horse's manger. At the present hour wheat is the sole grain used for bread throughout England, and beans are only employed in limited quantities, either fraudulently to adulterate flour, or in some instances to improve it when the quality is bad.
These adulterations have of late excited great attention. The question is not new. Smollett, in his Humphry Clinker,' had
“ told the same tale in 1770 as has been repeated after the lapse of three quarters of a century. It is thus that he describes the atmosphere, victuals, and drink of London :
I am pent up in frowsy lodgings, where there is not room enough to swing a cat, and I breathe the steams of endless putrefaction. If I would drink water I must quaff the mawkish contents of an open aqueduct exposed to all manner of defilement, or swallow that which comes from the river Thames, impregnated with all the filth of London and Westminster. The concrete is composed of the drugs, minerals, and poisons used in mechanics and manufactures, enriched with the putrefying carcases of beasts and men, and mixed with the scourings of all the wash-tụbs, kennels, and common sewers within the bills of mortality. As to the intoxicating potion sold for wine, it is a vile, unpalatable, and pernicious sophistication, balderdashed with cyder, corn spirit, and
the juice of sloes. In an action at law laid against a carman for having staved a cask of port, it appeared, from the evidence of the cooper, that there were not above five gallons of real wine in the whole pipe, which held above a hundred, and even that had been brewed and adulterated by the merchant at Oporto. The bread I eat in London is a deleterious paste niixed up with chalk, alum, and bone-ashes, insipid to the taste and destructive to the constitution. The good people are not ignorant of this adulteration; but they prefer it to wholesome bread, because it is whiter than the meal of corn. Thus they sacrifice their taste and their health, and the lives of their tender infants, to a most absurd gratification of a misjudging eye; and the miller or the baker is obliged to poison them and their families, in order to live by his profession. The same monstrous depravity appears in their veal, which is bleached by repeated bleedings and other villainous arts, till there is not a drop of juice left in the body, and the poor animal is paralytic before it dies; so void of all taste, nourishment, and savour, that a man might dine as comfortably on a white fricassee of kidskin gloves, or chip hats from Leghorn. As they have discharged the natural colour from their bread, their butcher's meat and poultry, their cutlets, ragouts, fricassees, and sauces of all kinds, so they insist upon having the complexion of their potherbs mended, even at the hazard of their lives. Perhaps you will hardly believe that they can be so mad as to boil their greens with brass halfpence, in order to improve their colour; and yet nothing is more true. Indeed, without this improvement in the colour, they have no personal merit. They are produced in an artificial soil, and taste of nothing but the dunghills from whence they spring. As for the pork, it is an abominable carnivorous animal, fed with horseflesh and distillers' grains; and the poultry is all rotten, in consequence of a fever, occasioned by the infamous practice of sewing up the gut, that they may be the sooner fattened in coops.
Except for its liveliness, this might pass for an extract from the Report of the recent Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Adulteration of Food Bread is still pronounced to be a deleterious paste'; and such accusations of wholesale poisoning have been brought against the purveyors of the principal article of fond of nine-tenths of the population of our towns as startled even our phlegmatic islanders from their habitual composure. As it is enough to cry fire' to make the whole of an audience rush to the doors, without waiting to ascertain whether there is any fire or not, so the public are easily alarmed by the charge of adulteration, and are ready to accept without inquiry the evidence for the prosecution. When a pestilence arose in the middle ages, the Jews were often accused of poisoning the wells, and were put to death in good faith for the imaginary crime. Many persons in our day are nearly as credulous. Mr. Campbell'stated at the Society of Arts' that he
had been consulted three times in six months by individuals who had been frightened by the assurance of their medical attendants that to live in rooms papered with green paper was to subject themselves to a slow poison, because the green contained arsenic, the fumes of which were perpetually given off. The notion was altogether fanciful; and Mr. Campbell found that, even at a temperature of 140 degrees, no fumes of arsenic were emitted. In fact, it does not require the aid of science to raise some scepticism in any reflecting mind. Fontenelle was told that coffee, like a green-papered room, was a slow poison. Very slow indeed,' he replied, for it has been sixty years in killing me.' So when a medical man tells us that we have been all our lives swallowing poison every day at breakfast, dinner, and tea, we are apt to ask ourselves whether our experience is in accordance with his assertions. Miss Acton, in her Bread Book,' has undertaken the useful task of teaching housewives how to make good bread of every description. But she too is an alarmist, and she has injured her work by a number of statements, mostly borrowed from ignorant and interested persons, on what she calls the present system of adulteration and its consequences.'
The earliest accounts of the cultivation of corn constitute at the same time the beginning of the history of agriculture. The eldest-born of Adam was a tiller of the ground. When Abraham entertained the angels, he said to Sarah, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.' In our translation of the Bible the grains referred to in the earliest periods are called wheat and barley (Exod. ix. 31, 32; Deut. viii. 8). Commentators on the Old Testament regard the word kussemeth as indicating the kind of wheat now called Spelt (Triticum spelta); but Decandolle has justly observed that this assertion is questionable, since Spelt is hardly ever cultivated in warm climates, nor are its seeds found in the Egyptian tombs, as they probably would be supposing it to have been the kussemeth of the book of Exodus. A supernatural origin was attributed to the cultivation of wheat by the Greeks, who worshipped Ceres as the author of this gift. According to M. Stanislas Julien, the Chinese have a record of its first cultivation in their country, which states that the Emperor Chinnong introduced it in the year 2822 B.C. Roxburgh and Pidding inform us that ordinary summer wheat has a distinctive Sanscrit
It is probable that the cultivation of corn has been diffused from a centre lying between the mountains of Central Asia and the Mediterranean. What, however, was the actual locality of the wild plant, and how widely it had spread when
human industry was first applied to its increase and improvement, are questions far from settled, and involving many and various lines of inquiry.
In the first place we have no satisfactory evidence that wheat of any kind has been found in a wild state within the historical period. The authority of the Greek writers is not worth much. Diodorus speaks of it being found wild in Palestine, and states that the Greeks believed it to have grown spontaneously in Greece before Ceres taught the culture. Theophrastus and the naturalists do not appear to have held this opinion. Strabo says that it was self-sown in Hyrcania (Mazanderan), and reports a still more decided account of its growth in a country of northern India, in Musicani regione. Most of the modern notices of the discovery of wheat supposed to be wild are from travellers in Western Asia. Linnæus reports the statement of Heinzelmann, that it is indigenous among the Baschkirs. Olivier, in his · Travels in the Ottoman Empire' (1807), gives an account of a district, incapable of cultivation, on the right bank of the Euphrates, north-west of Anah, where, he says, we found, in a kind of ravine, wheat, barley, and spelt, which we had seen several times previously in Mesopotamia.' M. Balansa, a French botanist, has recently (1854) announced the discovery of wheat, in a botanising excursion to Mount Sipyla, in Asia Minor, under circumstances which rendered it impossible to suppose that it was otherwise than spontaneous. It might, however, in such a country have been spontaneous without being aboriginal ; the remains of former cultivation being everywhere visible in the deserted regions of those ancient lands. Possibly the original area of wheat extended from Asia Minor to the north-west of India. In any case its wide diffusion must have occurred at a very early epoch, since it possesses a wonderful variety of names in the ancient languages of Asia and Europe, and plants spread by intentional transport almost always retain more or less of the appellation which they bore in the countries from whence they were derived.
These remarks apply to the ordinary wheat (Triticum vulgare) of botanists, which includes the winter' and summer' wheats of the agriculturist, with their numerous varieties. T. turgidum (turgid wheat) and T. compositum (Egyptian wheat) were cultivated by the Egyptians and by the Romans in the time of Pliny. Neither of them have a distinctive Sanscrit name, and they are not cultivated in India. This would indicate a probable origin in Africa. Spelt (T. spelta), an inferior grain, is one of the species which Olivier speaks of finding wild in Mesopotamia, and André Michaux discovered it near Hamadan, in Persia.