Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

quantity may distress, or benefit, as it is taken judiciously or the contrary. Condition also makes an immense difference in the same person. I remember, when I entered Switzerland after the full living of Germany, I was as different from what I was when I left it, as lead from feathers. In the first case, the ascent of an ordinary hill distressed me, and at last I enjoyed a buoyancy which seemed quite insensible to fatigue. Females appear to require a much less quantity of exercise than men; and it ought to be gentle and agreeable, instead of violent or long continued. With them, also, much depends upon circumstances; and, in i Switzerland, delicate women can take as much exercise without inconvenience as would distress the strongest of the sex in less invigorating countries. With respect to time of life, the most vigorous periods of course demand the most exercise; but habit has always a great effect, and it is expedient not to relax from indolence instead of inability. As decay comes on, exercise should become moderate, and of short continuance at a time, and should be taken during the most genial periods of the day. Active occupations either altogether supersede, or diminish the necessity of exercise, for exercise sake ; but sedentary or confined employments require a regular course, in order to ensure anything like permanent good health; and the better the air, the more efficacious will be the exercise. As to seasons, in hot weather the

} least exercise seems necessary, and that of a gentle kind ; in a moderate temperature, the most may be taken with advantage; and when it is cold, exercise should be brisk, and then, from its bracing quality, a little goes a great way. Quantity of exercise depends very greatly upon kind and degree. That which moderately increases the circulation of the blood, so as to cause a glow on this side perspiration, the soonest suffices. Walking or riding at a brisk pace in a bracing air, or not over-strained exertion in some game which agreeably occupies the mind, will soon produce a sufficient effect. Where the mind is not engaged, much more exercise is required than where it is ; and a small quantity of violent exercise is not so beneficial as a greater quantity of moderate. On the other hand, a greater quantity of sluggish exertion does not possess the efficacy of a smaller quantity of an animating kind. Less of varied exertion, which brings the different muscles into play, will suffice, than of exertion all of the same kind : as walking over hill and dale promotes circulation more than walking over a flat surface, and different paces in riding are better than a uniform one. Unless exercise produces a glow, it falls short of its proper effect, and it will do this in the hortest time, when it is moderate, varied, and pleasing, and in in invigorating atmosphere. Violent exercise produces temporary

strength, but with a wear-and-tear of the constitution, and it often induces a tendency to disease, besides the danger of bodily injury from many causes.

As to manner of exercising, there is every degree from the easiest carriage to the roughest horse. Carriage exercise is of a very inferior kind in an invigorating point of view, and to the robust is scarcely exercise at all ; but to others it is very beneficial, though perhaps rather in the way of taking air than taking exercise, and it has the effect of diverting the mind. To this end it is most efficacious amidst new scenes. The most effective mode of all of taking exercise is, I believe, on horseback, and if it will not put those who can bear it into high health, I think nothing else will. For effect on the health and spirits I know nothing like a brisk ride on a good horse, through a pleasant country, with an agreeable companion, on a beautiful day. The exercise is thoroughly efficient, without either labour or fatigue, the mind is entirely in unison with the body, and the constant current of pure air produces the most vigorous tone. I have frequently heard of journeys on horseback restoring health, when everything else has failed. A solitary ride on an unwilling horse over well-known ground, for the mere sake of the ride, produces, comparatively speaking, very little benefit; and care should be taken to make this kind of exercise, as well as every other, as attractive as possible. Exercise on foot has many advantages. It is the most independent mode, is within everybody's reach, is the least trouble, and can be taken when other modes are not practicable, and is very efficacious. The feeling of independence is by no means the least of its advantages, and those who have the free use of their limbs have no occasion to envy their superiors in wealth their command of carriages and horses, about which there are constant drawbacks. Although I delight in a horse at times, yet I often think that on the whole the balance is against him on the score of freedom and independence. I have made many journeys on foot, and I do not know that, with good management, there is any mode of travelling which is capable of so much enjoyment with so little alloy. Horse exercise, on particular occasions, is certainly the most animating and delightful, but at other times it is attended

greater inconveniences. Exercise on foot derives much of its efficacy from being made attractive. A walk for a walk's sake is onsy half beneficial, and, if possible, there should be some object in view, something to engage and satisfy the mind. Exercise in games, dancing, fencing, and such accomplishments, derive a great deal of their benefit from the pleasure taken in them; and in contested games, care should be taken to avoid

with

anxiety and over-ardent exertion. There is a middle state of the mind between indifference and too much eagerness, which is the most favourable to health ; as there is a middle circulation of the blood between languor and a state of fever. In taking exercise, this rule should always be observed, to begin and end gently. Beginning violently hurries the circulation, and ending violently is very apt to induce colds and fever, and, besides, causes a stiffness in the joints and muscles. The blood should have time gradually to resume its ordinary current, or it has a tendency to settle in the small vessels, which is a cause of great inconvenience. Cooling gradually will prevent this.

The next thing I have to consider is sleep, upon the quantity and quality of which health mainly depends. I believe the general custom is to take too much sleep. What quantity is really necessary must depend upon various constitutions, and various circumstances in the same constitutions; but the rule is, as I think, that we should have one sound sleep, from which we should wake perfectly refreshed, without any heavy or drowsy sensation, or any wish to fall asleep again. The length of this sleep will depend upon way of living, quantity of exertion, mental or bodily, state of the atmosphere, and other causes ; but still the one sound sleep is the true measure. Falling short of this, or exceeding it, are both prejudicial. The first produces fever, the second languor. Our energy depends in a very great degree upon taking no more than the due quantity of sleep. In order to ensure its quality, we should lie down free from care, and have no anxiety about waking, which is destructive of perfect soundness. Our waking should be entirely voluntary, the result of the complete restoration of the powers. The quality of sleep depends upon attention to diet, exercise, and state of the mind, and in a great measure upon going to bed in a properly prepared state, neither feverish nor chilly, neither hungry nor overloaded, but in an agreeable composure and state of satisfaction of both body and mind. It is better to retire to rest from society than from solitude, and from cheerful relaxation than from immediate labour and study. The practice, which some people have, of sitting their fire out, and going to bed starved, with their mind fatigued with study, is the reverse of what is expedient; and sleep under such circumstances is of a very unsatisfactory nature. It is rather productive of what Milton calls unrest than rest. Sleep, to enjoy it perfectly, requires observation and attention, and all who wish for high health, will do well to keep the subject in their minds, because upon themselves chiefly depends the attainment of this, one of the greatest blessings of life. I think

shall certainly finish the subject of health in my next number.

I'm ROASTED APPLES. Some foreigners said rather wittily that we have no ripe fruit o England but roasted apples. As the season for ripening after this fashion is not far off, I offer a greatly improved mode, which was brought from Paris, and which, when well managed, makes rather a rich dish of rather an insipid one.

Select the largest apples ; scoop out the core, without cutting quite through ; fili the hollow with butter and fine soft sugar; let them roast in a słow oven, and serve them up with the syrup.

As I am on the subject of receipts, I will give another, which is also applicable to the season. It is a receipt for a salad, which I have seen at a few houses, but I think it deserves to be much more common.

Boil one or two large onions till soft and perfectly mild. When cold, mix the onion with celery and sliced beet-root, Toasted in the oven, which has more flavour than when boiled. Dress this salad with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. The onion and beet-root are very good without celery. Roast beef, with this salad and potatoes browned in the dripping-pan, or in the oven, is a dish to delight the constitution of an Englishman in the winter months.

The best lettuce salads I know are dressed by my friend Dr. Forbes, of Argyle Street, who is a proficient in aristology. His receipt is as follows:

Take the finest lettuces you can get; strip off the leaves with the hand, using only those which are well blanched. Put them into the bowl whole, and, if wet, wipe each with a napkin. Put a sufficient quantity of salt and pepper into the salad-spoon, and mix them with a little tarragon vinegar. Throw the mixture over the lettuce, and add vinegar and oil in the proportion of rather more than two spoonfuls of oil to one of vinegar. Stir the salad very well. It is best when not prepared till it is wanted. But if that is not convenient it should be kept in a cold place, or the lettuce loses its crispness. It is only by experience that the proper quantities of the ingredients for dressing can be accurately measured; but there should be great liberality of oil, and the quantity of vinegar depends in a great degree upon its sourness. This mode of dressing applies equally to my first receipt, with the exception, I think, of the tarragon.

HOT WATER. Having said much about wine, I will not omit all praise of hot water, the efficacy of which on many occasions in life is very

great, and cannot be too generally known. I will begin with a remarkable cure effected by it on myself. Many years ago, when I was labouring under what I supposed to be an attack of common sore-throat, I rode some miles on horseback, with a north wind in my face. I then got into the mail, and travelled nearly two hundred miles, and at the end of my journey I could scarcely speak or swallow. In the morning I was still worse, and on attempting to force down a little coffee I found it utterly impossible. In this extremity, a physician, now among the most eminent of his profession, called upon me partly through accident. He told me I had got a very bad quinsy, and he imme. diately ordered a kettle of hot water, recommending me to gargle with it as hot as I could bear, and continually. As we were on intimate terms, and he was then only commencing practice, he remained with me two or three hours to enforce his prescription. I found so much benefit, that after he was gone I persevered till night, at which time I was enabled to take food without difficulty, and in the morning there was no trace whatever of the attack, nor have I ever experienced another, though I was told it would most probably be the case. The medicine ordered me I did not taste, and the sole glory of my rapid and complete cure is due to the hot water. I have never had even a common sorethroat since, or I should certainly try the same remedy, though I never heard of its being so applied. In bruises I have found hot water most efficacious, both by means of insertion and fomentation, in removing pain, and totally preventing discoloration and stiffness. It has the same effect after a blow. It should be applied as quickly as possible, and as hot as it can be borne. Very cold water, applied immediately, will produce the same effect, though for a different reason. I was told the other day, by very high authority, that insertion in hot water would cure that troublesome and very painful thing, called a whitlow. The efficacy of hot water in preventing the ill effects of fatigue is too well known to require notice. I should think where water cannot be procured, that in the case of a bruise or blow immediate and continued friction with the hand would partly answer the purpose, by keeping up the action of the vessels. I infer this particularly, because I once avoided any inconvenience from a very severe bruise, by keeping myself in vigorous action. As I was crossing Smithfield one evening at a quick pace on my way to my office, I ran against a bar, and struck myself a little above the knees with such violence as to make me stagger. The pain was very great, but as I had no time to lose, and there was no vehicle at hand, I hurried on, at first with much difficulty, but by degrees more easily. The distance is about two

« ElőzőTovább »