Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

and require the aid of pepper as a stimulant; and since they are usually swallowed without chewing, the stomach is subjected to an additional labour in order to reduce them into chyme. When cooked, they are still less digestible, owing to the change produced in their albuminous principles.” “Lobsters are nutritive, but they are exposed to the same objection, on the ground of indigestibility ; and such have been their effect upon certain stomachs, as to have raised a suspicion that they contained something of a poisonous nature. Lobsters have occasioned pain in the throat, as well as eruptions on the skin, and even extended their morbid influence to pain in the stomach, and affection of the joints.Forsyths Dictionary of Diet, Art. “Fish.”

We have said that even the famed turtle seems included in the divine probibition ; and neither does it appear to be anexceptionable as an article of diet. Although known to be difficult to digest, its comparative rarity in this country may have prevented its evil qualities from being here much observed ; yet in climates where its abundance has made it an article of diet to our mariners, the evil consequences have not always been so easily overlooked. On his Voyage to the Pacific, six of Captain Beechy's seamen were afflicted with scurvy, in October, 1826 ; “and I cannot but think,” he remarks, “ that the indulgence in turtle, after leaving the Arzobispo Islands, which was thought so beneficial at the moment, induced a predisposition to the complaint. The disease assumed an unusual character, by scarcely affecting the gums, while patients were otherwise so ill, that a disposition to syncope attended the exertion of walking." The Captain mentions their diet on this occa

sion, being full allowance of fresh beef, and afterwards turtle and fish, with lemon-juice, pickled cabbage, and other anti-scorbutics, in contrast with their provisions while on the previous voyage, when they were quite free of scurvy, although they had been “ a very long time upon half allowance of salt provisions, and without any vegetable diet."-Beechy's Voyage, Vol. II. p. 319. In the last voyage they met indeed a more severe season, and the duty therefore was more harassing, but the Captain upon a review of the whole circumstances of the case, still regards the turtle as the cause of the scurvy in his sbip.

In regard to birds that may be eaten, there is no similar principle of classification stated, as in the cases of beasts and fishes, but a list of those that are “ unclean” is given, which includes, as I have said, all birds of prey, which, when used as food, bave been proved to lead to ferocity of temper and other evils. Of course, birds of every description not in that list of prohibition, are to be regarded as clean; but scholars, from imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew, are not agreed as to the particular birds to which some of the given names apply. Michaelis, however, (in his Commentaries, Vol. III. p. 245,) regards the goose as unclean, although it is eaten by the German and Polish Jews. He seems strength. ened in his conviction by the fact of its being, as is well-known, very indigestible; and an extracted paragraph from an Agricultural periodical, contained in a more general journal of the very day on which I write, renders the correctness of this conclusion, still more probable. The maintenance of this fowl, in numbers, upon unclean pastures, is therein recommended, from its eating readily the poisonous weeds,

and thus preventing the injurious effects which would otherwise result to the cattle by their doing so.* If observation has proved this to be the habit of the goose, it may surely be regarded as presumptive evidence of its being “unclean;" for the result of such food, although without killing the goose, is likely to render its flesh an unwholesome food for man.

Serpents, worms, and insects of all kinds except locusts, are also prohibited; and so much have mankind generally concurred in avoiding these, as to render remark upon the propriety of the prohibition, here, altogether unnecessary.

* The following is the paragraph referred to, from which it will be seen that immunity from the injurious effects of poisonous weeds is stated to belong also to the ass, an animal which is unquestionably unclean :

Utility of Geese and Asses to the Farmer.-It has been long remarked, that cattle of all kinds are never unhealthy where geese are kept in any quantity; and the reason assigned is simply this, that geese consume with complete impunity certain noxiou grasses which taint more or less, according to their abundance, the finest paddocks depastured by horses, bullocks, and sheep. Most farmers are aware of this; and in many places where the beeves appear sickly, change is tried, and the soil which the cacklers tread is converted, for the time being, into a sort of infirmary. The pasturing of two or three asses with sickly cattle has also been found productive of the best effects, from a similar reason.-Farmer's Journal."

PARCELS.

MY DEAR MADAM,

As you sometimes complain of being burdened with parcels of clothing, &c., for charitable purposes, I bave been requested to state, that if any of your readers will forward articles of clothing, either for grown persons or children, old linen, books or tracts, to P. P. C. Mr. Nisbet's, 21, Berners-street, Oxford. street, London, they will be carefully and thankfully applied to the purposes of the Poor Pious Clergy Clothing Society; an institution which, in the most quiet but judicious manner, supplies the wants of many distressed and most deserving families.

The Society is permitted to refer to Sir R. H. Inglis, Bart., the Rev. Dr. Spence of Cambridge, and the Rev. Dr. Marsh, of Leamington. Your's, my dear Madam, very sincerely,

A. F.

MY CABINET.

No. VIII.

THERE are five classes of minerals yet remaining on our list; but as they are of rare occurrence, and indeed are not found at all in a pure state, we need say but little about them.

Selenium is found only in Sweden, and in the Hartz mountains, combined with silver, lead, mercury, &c., its proportions in these mixtures being but small.

Boron is usually found combined with oxygen, in the state called boracic acid. It occurs in volcanic regions; when mixed with soda, as in the lakes of Thibet, it is called borax, and after being purified, is used in glass-blowing, and the testing of chemical substances. It also combines with lime and magnesia, but in all its forms is very rare.

Fluorine is also found in the acid state, and always combined with either lime or magnesia. We shall have occasion to speak of it when we come to the beautiful crystals of lime, called Derbyshire or fuor spar.

Iodine is a substance obtained from the ashes of sea-plants, and I believe is never found in any other way; when heated, it rises into a vapour of a peculiar and beautiful colour, between violet and lilac. It is a powerful agent in medicine.

« PoprzedniaDalej »