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leaps in the character of Harlequin; tainly, under the circumstances, neither should we be inclined to there was no call upon them whatgive the odds in his favour if he ever to treat him as if he had been a were to enter himself as a competitor jockey under articles to ride a race at for the long race at a Highland meet- Newmarket, whose success or failing. But gentlemen in the position ure might depend upon the exact of Mr. Banting, who, we believe, has number of pounds which he should retired into private life after a weigh when getting into the saddle. successful business career, are not Excessive corpulence, we freely expected to rival Leotard, or to pit admit, may have its inconveniences. themselves in athletic contests It is, as Mr. Banting justly remarks, against hairy-houghed Donald of rather a serious state of matters, the Isles. As a deer-stalker, it may when a man, by reason of fatness, be that he would not win distinction cannot stoop to tie his shoe, "nor --for it is hard work even for light- attend to the little offices which weights to scramble up corries, or humanity requires, without concrawl on their bellies through moss- siderable pain and difficulty." To hags and water-channels for hours, be "compelled to go down-stairs before they can get the glimpse of slowly backwards” is an acrobatic an antler--but many a country gen- feat which no one save an expectant tleman, compared with whom Mr. Lord Chamberlain would care to Banting at his biggest would have practise; and it is not seemly, and been but as a fatted calf to a full most be a disagreeable thing, "to grown bull, can take, with the puff and blow with every exertion," utmost ease, a long day's exercise like a porpoise in a gale of wind. through stubble and turnips, and But, as we gather from the pamphbring home his twenty brace of let, these distressing symptoms did partridges, with a due complement not exhibit themselves until very of hares, without a symptom of recently, whereas Mr. Banting says bodily fatigue. Mr. Banting seems to that he has been soliciting a remedy labour under the hallucination that from the Faculty any time during the he was at least as heavy as Falstaff last thirty years. He also makes -we, on the contrary, have a constant reference to his increasshrewd suspicion that Hamlet would ing obesity throughout that period; have beaten him in the scales. therefore we are entitled to con
It is, of course, in the option of clude that with advancing years he all who are dissatisfied with their acquired additional weight, and did present condition to essay to alter not arrive at the climax until 26th it. Lean men may wish to become August 1862, when, as he informs fatter, and fat men may wish to us, his weight was 202 lb., or fourbecome leaner; but so long as their teen stone six. That is not, after health remains unimpaired, they are all, a very formidable weight for not fit subjects for the doctor. We an elderly gentleman of sedentary have no doubt that the eminent habits. Tom Johnson, the pugilist, professional gentlemen whom Mr. weighed fourteen stone when he Banting consulted took that view of entered the ring against and conthe matter; and having ascertained quered Isaac Perrins of Birmingthat there was in reality no disease ham, supposed to be the most powerto be cured, gave him, by way of ful man in England, and weighing humouring a slight hypochondriac seventeen stone. Neat weighed affection, a few simple precepts, for fourteen stone after training; and, the maintenance of a health which according to the best of our recolin reality required no improvement lection (for we have mislaid our Probably they opined that the bur- copy of Boxiana') Josh Hudson den of his flesh was no greater than was considerably heavier. Tom he could bear with ease; and cer- Cribb, the champion of England,
weighed sixteen stone before he went out making a botch of it, so let us into training for his great fight with have recourse to simpler language, and Molineaux, and reduced himself in give Mr. Banting's account of the diefive weeks, through physic and exertary which he was advised to follow, cise, to fourteen stone nine. By dint and the reasons assigned therefor. of sweating and severe work, he came to thirteen stone five, which was as “For the sake of argument and illustracertained to be the pitch of his condi- tion, I will presume that certain articles tion, as he could not reduce further of ordinary diet, however beneficial in without weakening. Such instances youth, are prejudicial in advanced life, go far to prove that, even when his like beans to a horse whose common or circumference was the widest, Mr. dinary food is bay and corn. It may be Banting, had no reason to complain of circumstances, but detrimental as a con
useful food occasionally, under peculiar excessive corpulency. But even if stancy. I will therefore
adopt the analohe had, the enlarging process was a gy, and call such food human beans. The gradual one-he had been complain. items from which I was advised to abstain ing of obesity for thirty years; and as much as possible were ---bread, butter, if we suppose that he gained only a milk, sugar, beer, and potatoes, which had pound and a half per annum--wbich been the main (and, I thought, innocent) is a very low rate of increase-he elements of my existence, or at all events must have been applying to the doc- they had for many years been adopted tors for remedies against corpulence freely: These, said my excellent adviser, when he weighed only eleven stone contain starch and saccharine matter tendthree-a weight which most men of ing to create fat, and should be avoided thirty-five years of age would regard to me that I had little left to live upon,
altogether. At the first blush it seemed as natural and appropriate.
but my kind friend soon showed me that We have thought it right to make there was ample, and I was only too hapthese observations, because Mr. Ban- py to give the plan a fair trial, and, within ting has chosen to insinuate that med- a very few days, found immense benefit ical men generally are so ignorant of from it. It may better elucidate the dietheir calling, that they do not under- tary plan if I describe generally what I stand the evils of obesity, or cannot have sanction to take and that man conquer it by prescribing the proper must be an extraordinary person who diet.
would desire a better table:
For breakfast, I take four or five * The remedy," says Mr. Banting, ounces of beef, mutton, kidneys, "may be as old as the bills, as I have broiled fish, bacon, or cold meat of since been told, but its application is of any kind except pork; a large cup very recent date; and it astonishes me of tea (without milk or sugar), a that such a light should have remained little biscuit, or one ounce of dry so long unnoticed and hidden, as not to toast. afford a glimmer to my anxious mind For dinner, Five or six ounces of any in a search for it during the last twenty fish except salmon, any meat except years, even in directions where it might pork, any vegetable except potato, have been expected to be known. I
one ounce of dry toast, fruit out of would rather presume it is a new light, a pudding, any kind of poultry or than that it was purposely hidden, game, and two or three glasses of merely because the disease of obesity good' çlaret, sherry, or madeirawas not immediately dangerous to ex champagne, port, and beer forbidistence, nor thought to be worthy of den. serious consideration."
For tea, Two or three ounces of fruit, Now, let us steadfastly survey this
a rusk or two, and a cup of tea
without milk 'or sugar. new light, which was flashed on the
For supper, Three or four ounces of astonished eyes of Mr. Banting by
meat or fish, similar to dinner, with the last practitioner whom he con a glass or two of claret. sulted. That light--but we really For nightcap, if required, A tumbler cannot continue the metaphor with of grog--(gin, whiskey, or brandy,
without sugar)—or a glass or two generally hurtful to adults-heaven of claret or sherry.
help not only the working-classes, “This plan leads to an excellent but the greater proportion of the night's rest, with from six to eight hours' middle order, who certainly cannot sound sleep. The dry toast or rusk may afford to begin the day as Mr. Banthave a tablespoonful of spirit to soften it, ing does, with a meat breakfast of did not wholly escape starchy or saccha- kidneys, broiled fish, or bacon, such rine matter, but scrupulously avoided as might make a Frenchman stare, those beans, such as milk, sugar, beer, to repeat the diet, with the addibutter, &c., which were known to contain tions of poultry or game, both for them."
dinner and supper, to interject a
fruity tea, and to wash down each Mr. Banting subsequently specifies meal with a few glasses of claret, veal, pork, herrings, eels, parsnips, sherry, or madeira! beetroot, turnips, and carrots as im In fact Mr. Banting has fallen proper articles of food.
into the egregious error of supposNow, before inquiring whether ing that the food which agrees with this dietary scheme be a new dis- him must agree with every other covery or not, we beg to observe human being, and that articles which that Mr. Banting has fallen into a have been, perhaps judiciously, demonstrous error in asserting that nied to him, must necessarily be every substance tending to promote hurtful to the rest of mankind. His fatness or increase the bulk of the logical position is thishuman body is necessarily deleteri Banting is a mortal; ous. His analogy, as he calls it, Bread, potatoes, &c., are bad for of the beans, is purely fanciful and Banting--therefore absurd. Farinaceous food, which, No mortal should eat bread or with, extraordinary presumption, he potatoes. denounces as unwholesome, forms But the falsity of the syllogism is the main subsistence of the pea- apparent. We are not all afflicted by santry, not only of the British Is- Mr. Banting's tendency towards obelands, but of the whole of Europe ; sity, and therefore we need not and are we now to be told, forsooth, regard " beans" with his more than that bread, meal, and potatoes are Pythagorean horror. There is a "prejudicial in advanced life"-—that deep truth in the old adage, that they may be useful food occasion- "what is one man's mcat is another ally, under peculiar circumstances, man's poison;" and Mr. Banting but detrimental as a constancy ” might have escaped no small amount Are we to conclude, because Mr. of ridicule had he carefully laid it Banting's medical adviser prohibited to heart, before promulgating the them, that milk and butter, beer doctrine that kidneys are more and sugar, are little short of abso- wholesome than potatoes, and that lute poison? It would be easy to bread should be generally tabooed. show, from the recorded tables of We fully appreciate the excellongevity, that the persons who have lence of the motive which has inattained the most advanced ages, duced Mr. Banting to offer his obfar beyond the ordinary span of servations upon corpulence to the human existence, have never used public; but we can inform him any other kind of diet save that that there is no kind of novelty in which Mr. Banting's adviser has the system which was recommended proscribed; but the idea is so by his last medical adviser, and manifestly preposterous, that it which has led to such fortunate recarries with it its own refutation. sults. Training has long ago been If Banting's bill of fare be the reduced to a science, and the diet right one, and if the articles which to be observed during training has he has been advised to avoid are received the most careful attention.
The following were some of the rules a work which has the merit of being of diet approved of by the late John extremely popular and amusing, and Jackson, the celebrated teacher of we shall presently see that no new light pugilism, with whom Lord Byron was flashed from the scientific lantern used to spar. They are given at of Mr. Banting's medical adviser. A full length in Sir John Sinclair's translation, or rather abridgment, of work upon health and longevity : that treatise, was published by Long
" The diet is simple ; animal food man & Co., in 1859, under the title of alone ; and it is recommended to take The Hand-book of Dining;' and from very little salt and some vinegar with it we extract the following remarks on the food, which prevents thirst, and is “OBESITY OR EMBONPOINT. good to promote leanness. Vegetables “The primary cause of embonpoint are never given, as turnips or carrots, is the natural disposition of the indiviwhich are difficult to digest; nor potatoes, dual. Most men are born with cerwhich are watery. But bread is allow. tain predispositions, which are stamped ed, only it must be stale. Veal and upon their features. Out of one hunlamb are never given, nor is pork, dred persons who die of consumption, · which has a tendency to purge some ninety have brown hair, a long face, and people. Beefsteaks are reckoned very a sharp nose. Out of one hundred fat good, and rather under-done than other ones, ninety have short faces, round wise, as all meat in general is ; and it is eyes, and a short nose. better to have the meat broiled than “ Consequently, there are persons roasted or boiled, by which nutriment whose destiny it is to be fat. This is lost. No fish whatever is allowed, physical truth has often given me anbecause it is reckoned watery, and not noyance. I have at times met in society to be compared with meat in point of some dear little creature with rounded nutriment. The fat of meat is never arms, dimpled cheeks and hands, and given, but the lean of the best meat. pert little nose, fresh and blooming, the No butter nor cheese on any account. admiration of every one, when, taught Pies and puddings are never given, nor by experience, I cast a rapid mental any kind of pastry.”
glance through the next ten years of her The like diet is prescribed for life, and I behold these charms in anjockeys, pedestrians, and all others other light, and I sigh internally. This whose weight is to be materially anticipated compassion is a painful feelreduced; but in such cases recourse ing, and gives one more proof that man is likewise had to sweatings, hard would be very unhappy if he could foreexercise, and preparatory doses of see the future.
“The second and chief cause of obemedicine.
Mr. Jackson, however, sity is to be found in the mealy or floury says with regard to training substances of which man makes his food.
"A person in high life cannot be all animals that live on farinaceous treated in exactly the same manner at food grow fat; man follows the common first, from the indulgences to which he law. Mixed with sugar, the fattening has been accustomed; nor is his frame qualities increase. Beer is very fattenin general so strong. They eat too ing. Too much sleep and little exercise much made dishes and other improper will promote corpulency. Another cause food, and sit too long at table, and eat of obesity is in eating and drinking too too great a variety of articles; also much.” drink too much wine. No man should Here the whole philosophy of the drink more than half a pint of wine." matter is set forth in a few simple He says moreover : “A course of train- terms. Certain people have a naing would be an effectual remedy for tural tendency towards fat, and that bilious complaints. Corpulent people, tendency will be materially assisted by the same system, could be brought by a farinaceous and saccharine diet. into a proper condition.”
But so far from regarding such subBut, not to multiply authorities, stances as unwholesome, which view which would be rather tedious, let Mr. Banting, in his pure ignorance, us refer at once to the ‘Physiologie has adopted, Billat-Savarin condu Goût' of Mons. Brillat-Savarin, siders them as eminently nutritious ; VOL. XCVI.—NO. DLXXXIX.
he would only regulate their use in dishes, artichokes, celery ; eat veal and cases where the tendency has been chicken in preference to beef and mutclearly ascertained.
ton. Only eat the crust of your bread ; “Of all medical powers, diet is the you will be all the lighter and younger most efficient, because it acts incessant- for it.” ly, day and night, sleeping or waking : The system recommended by Sait ends by subjugating the individual. varin is, as our readers will observe, Now the diet against corpulency is in- in essentials the same as that dicated by the most common and active which Mr. Banting has proclaimed, cause of obesity; and as it has been with so much pom posity, to be an proved that farinaceous food produces original discovery,; but how infinfat, in man as well as in animals, it itely more elegant and refined is may be concluded that abstinence from the carte sketched by the Parisian farinaceous substances tends to diminish embonpoint.
gastronome, than the gross flesh“I hear my fair friends exclaim that market bill of fare propounded by I am a monster, who wishes to deprive the English epicure ? *It will be them of everything they like. Let them observed that veal, which is expressnot be alarmed.
ly forbidden by Banting, is recom“ If they must eat bread, let it be mended by Savarin. We side in brown bread; it is very good, but not opinion with the Frenchman. Beef, so nutritious as white bread.
as a constant article of food, is too " If you are fond of soup, have it à nutritious for persons with a corpula julienne, or with vegetables, but no lent tendency. Roger Bacon, in his paste, no macaroni. ** Åt the first course eat anything you tis Malis,' expressly forbids it to
treatise, De retardandis Senectulike, except the rice with fowls, or the old men, warning them that, if they crust of pâtés.
. The second course requires more accustom themselves to such meat, philosophy. Avoid everything farina- dropsies will be engendered, stopceous. You can eat roast, salad, and pages in the liver, and in like manvegetables. And if you must needs have ner obstructions in the spleen, and some sweets, take chocolate, creams, stones in the kidneys and bladder. and jellies, and punch in preference to Veal and chickens, he thinks, ought orange or others.
decidedly to have the preference. “ Now comes dessert. New danger. And the following instance is But if you have been prudent so far, strongly confirmatory of that view. you will continue to be so. Avoid bis. Humphries, the pugilist, was traincuits and macaroons ; eat as much fruit ed by Ripsham, the keeper of the as you like.
After dinner take a cup of coffee jail at Ipswich. He was sweated and a glass of liqueur. Tea and punch in bed, and afterwards twice phy. will not hurt you.
sicked. He was weighed once a. " At breakfast brown bread and cho- day, and at first fed on beef; but colate in preference to coffee. No eggs. as on that food he got too much Anything else you like. You cannot flesh, they were obliged to change breakfast too early. If you breakfast it to mutton. late, the dinner hour comes before you As there are many persons whose have properly digested; you do not eat health and appearance would be the less; and this eating without an materially improved by putting on appetite is a prime cause of obesity, be a little more of that garb of flesh cause it often occurs. “ The above regulations are to pre- able burden to Mr. Banting, we
which has proved such an intolervent embonpoint. The following are confidently recommend to their for those who are already victims :
“ Drink, every summer, thirty bottles study, the treatise of M. Savarin, of Seltzer water--a large tumblerful wherein the means of attaining a beevery morning, two hours before break- coming degree of pinguitude are
fast, and the same before you go to bed. elaborately explained. Leanness, .. Drink white wines, and rather acid. says this wise philosopher, though
Avoid beer like the plague. Eat ra- it may be no absolute disadvantage