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about half as strong as brandy or rum! yet it is well ascertained that a bottle of either of these wines will produce less injury than one fourth of a bottle of brandy, though taken with water. Thus we see the wine-drinker is an open, bold and generous drunkard, of a ruddy hue and full apoplectic habit; whilst he who soaks brandy or spirits becomes livid, trembling, pale and thin; is liable to dropsy and paralytic affections, with nervous debility. Diseases of the liver also are well known to proceed very often from the use of ardent spirits, whilst, as physicians have frequently observed, no such disorders follow the intemperate use of pure wine; though wine, in which brandy is subsequently mixed, has repeatedly caused hepatic affections. Now, though alcohol is unnecessary to the healthy, the weak, who have formed a habit of taking it, may perhaps require its moderate use, but they should never take it in an uncombined state. They will find it least noxious in wines diluted with water, particularly in Port or Sherry, and, in some instances, in Claret; but if the dyspeptic can do without them altogether, it will be better for him; for it is seldom they can be obtained free from injurious mixtures. It is well known that nothing is more hurtful to the great majority of weak stomachs than nuts, and both Sherry and Madeira receive their putty flavour from almonds. Red wines derive their astringent quality from an indigestible extract from the skins of the grape. We think it due here to Drs. Philip and Paris, to state that they are satisfied, from experience, that a total abstinence from wine has often added to the distressing symptoms of the dyspeptic who has been habituated to it. The latter gentleman says, “in cases where the vinous stimulant has been withdrawn, I have generally witnessed an aggravation of the dyspeptic symptoms, accompanied with severe depression of spirits : like Sinbad, in the Arabian tale, the patient has borne a weight on his shoulders which he has in vain attempted to throw off, until the fermented juice of the grape enabled him to triumph over his misery.” We trust that none will regard this as a license to “crack a bottle" who can do without it; and that all will remember that wine is not nourishment.
But to return : coffee painfully increases the arterial action, producing palpitation of the heart, &c. and in spite of all that has been said and written in its favour, is, we think, nearly as injurious to the dyspeptic as so much brandy. Tea acts on the
tion of wine, was formed during the process by a new combination of the carbon and hydrogen contained in the wine'; or, in other words, that the alcohol was a product and not an educt of distillation. For ourselves, we shall agree with Mr. Brande in opinion till it be proved that alcohol can be produced by a combination of those two gasses.
nervous system, as is well proved, by its almost universal effect in producing wakefulness. They are both absolutely unnecessary to any one; for if something warm must be taken, the distressed stomach will find a harmless succedanium in milk and water sweetened, or gruel. Malt liquors are likewise to be avoided generally; but as this rule is liable to exceptions, each should carefully try and judge for himself. Beer and ale have, sometimes, assisted the peristaltic motions, and thereby restored a tone to the alimentary canal; but they too commonly turn sour on the stomach, irritate its nerves, and stupify the brain: indeed, for the latter quality, they are almost proverbial. Pure water, in small quantities, is the most innocent liquid we can take. At first it may seem to disagree with the morbid stomach from its absolute strangeness, and we have known it produce heartburn; but its habitual introduction will soon restore to it the natural affection of the organ. Soups, stews, gravies and sauces, the skin of poultry, fat and grease of all kinds, except fresh unmelted butter, green vegetables, particularly cabbage, turnips and spinach, new potatoes, crabs and lobsters, uncooked fruits, pickles, puddings, ices, pastry and confectionary, comprise the principal dangerous articles. Many more are added by dietetical writers, but perhaps without sufficient reason, as fish (and on this doctors differ very much) goose, tame ducks, &c. ; indeed we have known dyspeptics who could never eat turkey with impunity. Dr. Kitchener, who thinks higher of the cook than of the doctors, complains that the latter have "merely laid before the public a nonsensical register of the peculiarities of their own palate and the idiosyncracies of their own constitution :” and in the Lady's Address to Willy Cadogan in his Kitchen. 4to, 1771, she says :
“ But alas! these are subjects on which there's no reas'ning,
No more nor no less-than the worst thing of all.'” But seriously, though all the first mentioned articles are injurious to most dyspeptics, yet there is not one which some of the most afflicted may not take with impunity, if in a moderate
quảntity, except grease when burnt, which we have never yet found any human stomach to endure.
One or two other rules on eating, and we have done with this part of our subject. Change frequently the dishes on which you dine ;-toujours perdrix will pall even the stoutest digestion. Avoid those things you dislike. Food which is agreeable to the taste and eaten with a relish, will do more good even than that which is esteemed more wholesome, but is not so palatable. For this we have the authority of Drs. W. Hunter, J. Hunter, Heberden, Sydenham, Armstrong, Smith, and a host of others. Adair says"What is most grateful to the palate, sits most easy on the stomach." Falconer observes—Things most disagreeable to the palate, seldom digest well or contribute to the nourishment of the body.” And last, though not least, for he speaks from experience, old Montaigne, in his usual pleasant, egotistical vein, remarks—"My appetite is in several things of itself, happily enough accommodated to the health of my stomach; whatever I take against my liking, does me harm; but nothing hurts me that I eat with appetite and delight.” Use as small a quantity of seasoning and other condiments as possible, with the exception of table salt, which assists digestion when taken moderately with what we eat; combined with meats it becomes less wholesome, and in some measure changes its nature. Highly spiced food is so generally admitted to be injurious, that it would be unnecessary to caution any sick person against it, were it not for the injudicious advice of some of the writers on diet. Old Dr. Moffat, for instance, in his Treatise on Food, says, “ whosoever dreameth that no sick man should be allured to meat by delightful and pleasant sauces, seemeth as forward and fantastical as he that would never whet his knife. Why hath nature brought forth such variety of herbs, roots, spices, &c. fit for nothing but sauces, &c. but that by them the sick should be allured to feed ?” Dine principally on one kind of meat, with the usual accompaniment of vegetables; recollecting, however, that the latter, unless of the farinaceous kind, are liable to generate acidity, and meat, in exclusion of vegetables, is much too stimulant in this climate, even in winter. But one thing it is necessary for the dyspeptic to attend to rigorously-regularity in taking his meals. If breakfast be eaten at eight, dinner should follow at two or three, and if a third meal be added, it should never be later than eight. If the habitual hours be broken in upon, it disarranges the habits of the digestive organs, and produces great injury. Dr. Paris strongly insists on this, and observes very justly—"in every situation of life, we too frequently pass unheeded, objects of real importance, in an over
anxiety to pursue others of more apparent, but of far less intrinsic value; so it is with the dyspeptic invalid in search of nealth. What shall I eat? Is this or that species of food digestible ? are the constant queries which he addresses to his physician. He will religiously abstain from whatever medical opinion or popular prejudice has decried as unwholesome; and yet the period at which he takes his meal is a matter of comparative indifference with him : although he will refuse to taste a dish that contains an atom of vinegar, with as much pertinacity as if it held arsenic in solution, he will allow the most trifling engagement to postpone his dinner hour. So important and serious an error do I consider such irregularities, that I have frequently said to a patient labouring under indigestion, “I will wave all my objections to the quantity and quality of your food, if I am sure that such a sacrifice of opinion would insure regularity in the periods of your meals.”
But man lives not by meat and drink alone, nor will they, without assistance, restore the puny to strength. Exercise, change of air, abandoning bad habits, cleanliness, &c. require much of the dyspeptic's attention ; indeed, we might add, the attention of all men. Literary and professional men in this country, (except physicians) suffer more from want of exercise than any
other cause. Their labours being sedentary, are more fatiguing even to the body than those of the ploughman. Their vessels become obstructed and straitened, their circulation flags, their animal spirits evaporate, and they seldom feel the enjoyment which vigorous health imparts. The German constitution appears to be better calculated to withstand these injuries than that of any other people. There are instances of their scholars living perpetually in the house, yet possessing good appetites with perfect digestion, and presenting the appearance of florid health, though with the lower extremities almost useless from inaction. Seeing no company, except an occasional visit from a literary friend, and perfect regularity in taking their coarse meals, are, no doubt, among the causes of this difference, but they alone are not sufficient, we think, fully to account for it. Climate may have a greater effect than either.
To effect a cure, hard study should be avoided for some months, the conversation of agreeable persons, if it can be obtained without trouble, will serve with light reading, to keep the mind from ennui, which, of itself will give a fit of indigestion. A light and pleasant mental pursuit that can be taken up and relinquished at pleasure, without producing much excitement, will be found beneficial. But his chief dependence must be on bodily exercise, which enlarges the capacity of the veins
and all the vessels, increases the circulation of all the fluids, gives size and strength to the muscles, hardens the bones, and enlivens the spirits. Exercise is divisible into two kinds, active and passive : in the former, the patient moves himself, in the latter he is moved by other means. The former is for the strong who wish to preserve their powers; the latter for the weak who desire to acquire strength. Violent active exercise is labour, and produces fatigue, which is disorder ; and if persisted in, ultimately destroys health and brings on premature decrepitude. This has not been sufficiently attended to. Invalids, to whom exercise has been recommended without discrimination, have rendered themselves worse by splitting wood, swinging heavy dumb bells, and taking long walks.. Gymnastics, beyond a certain point, (which differs in all persons according to their strength) become hurtful even to the most
obust. As long ago as the time of Galen, we find this was insisted on. In his discourse to Thrasybulus, he censures the violent athletic exercises of the gymnasium as injurious to health, but recommends that which is moderate as bigbly beneficial. The muscles when overstrained, gradually lose their energy, become rigid and painful, and debility supervenes. Two striking instances of this are given by Dr. Sheldrake in a late lecture on muscular action, delivered in London. One was the case of Delphini, a buffo performer at the Opera House, and the strongest man of his day in England, who, it is stated, sunk into premature decay from his professional exercises. The other was Grimaldi, who acted the clown and other pantomimical characters at Sadler's Wells, and other theatres. "He had a frame,” says Dr. Sheldrake, “ like the body of Hercules, and strength that was equal to it, besides more activity than any other performer in his time. Four years ago, in the forty-fourth year of his age, he quitted the stage in consequence of being rendered incapable of following his occupation, by the total failure of his personal powers.” In poor Grimaldi's last address to his audience, he said, among other things, "sickness and infirmity have come upon me, and I can no longer wear the motley. I am sinking fast-I now stand worse on my legs than I used to do on my head; but I suppose I am paying the penalty of the course I pursued all my life ; my desire and anxiety to merit your favour, have excited me to more exertion than my constitution would bear, and, like vaulting ambition, I have overleaped myself."
But moderately active exercise, taken at proper periods, conforms to our nature, and is all important to the dyspeptic who is strong enough to enjoy it. He who is not, should confine