« AnteriorContinuar »
ALLUREMENTS OF VEGETATION.,
By sweet but irresistible violence, vegetation al. Jures our every sense, and plays upon the sensorium with a sort of blandishment, which at once flatters and satisfies the soul. To the eye, seems ought more beauteous than this green carpet of nature, infinitely diversified as it is by pleasing interchanges of lovely tints ? What more grateful to the smell, more stim. ulous of appetite than this collected fragrance which flows from a world of various perfumes? Can art, can the most exquisite art, equal the native flavours of Pomona; or are those sordid sauces of multiplex materials, which the ministers of luxury compose, to irritate the palate and to poison the constitution, worthy to vie with the spontaneous nectar of nature ? The living herbs spring up profusely wild o'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power of botanist to number up their tribes: whether he steals along the lonely dale, in silent search ; or through the forest, rank with what the dull incurious weeds account, bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain-rock, fir'd by the nodding verdure of it's brow. With such a liberal hand has nature fung their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds, inpumerous mix'd them with the nursing mould, the moistening current, and prolific rain.
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce, with vision pure, into those secret stores of healtb, and life, and joy ? the food of man, while yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
a length of golden years unflesh'd in blood, a stranger to the savage arts of life, death, rapine, carnage, surfeit and disease ; the lord and not the tyrant of the world.—Thomson,
To this primitive diet Health invites her votaries. From the produce of the field her various banquet is composed : hence she dispenses health of body, bilarity of mind, and joins to animal vivacity the exalt. ed taste of intellectual life. Nor is Pleasure, band. maid of Health! a stranger to the feast. Thither the bland Divinity conducts the captivated senses ; and by their predilection for the pure repast, the deep implanted purpose of nature is declared.-Oswald.
O rural life! 'midst poverty how rich! when hunger bids, there thou may'st nobly feast on what each season for thy use brings forth, in rch variety; the plough thy table, and a green leaf, by way of dish, supports the meal of fruit. A homely wooden jug draws up refreshing drink from the pure stream, which, free from poison, pours out health alone, and with soft murmur thee to sleep invites.---Herder.
ARISING FROM A VEGETABLE DIET.
IN NATIONS. When motives of mercy, compassion, benevolence, humanity, kindness, propriety, justice; when all these have failed, the examples of nations and indi. viduals may have some influence, Take, then, the following historical instances of habitual kindness.
Notwithstanding the narrow, joyless, and hard. hearted tendency of prevailing superstitions, we per. ceive in every corner of the globe, some good-natur. ed prejudice in behalf of persecuted animals, which the ruthless jaws of gluttony have not yet overcome.
Long after the perverse practice of devouring the flesh of animals had grown into inveterate habit a. mong the people, there existed still, in almost every country, and in every religion, and of every sect of philosophy, a wiser, a purer, and more holy class of men, who preserved by their institutions, by their precepts and their example, the memory of primitive innocence and simplicity. The Pythagoreans abhor. red the slaughter of animals: Epicurus, and the wor. thiest part of his disciples, bounded their delights with the produce of their gardens; and of the primi. tire Christians, several sects abominated the feast of blood, and were satisfied with the food which nature unviolated brings forth for our support.-Oswald. 6 Most of the Epicureans, following the example of the author of their sect, seem to have been contented with meal cakes of pottage, and the fruits of the earth.”—Porphyrius, lib. i. para. 48.
Just in the very times of the greatest simplicity, -almost entirely on simple pottage ; (Pliny, lib. xvii.
cap. 7. Aristot. Politic. lib. vii. cap. 10. Goguet, - tom. iii. ch. iii. art. 1. Valerius Maximus, lib. ii. ch. ii. 5.) and a similar diet, or even nothing but bad bread, is still the nourishment of almost all the Sclavonian nations in Europe, and of many of the inhab. itants of Italy ; [Von Taube, tom. ii. p. 64. Sult· zer, tom. ii. p. 370. Schintz, tom. i. p. 159.] and
yet these people are to be classed with those that are most conspicuous for muscular strength. Tho' the Illyrians feed hardy, dwell in miserable huts, and mostly in marshy and unwholesome regions, and on the whole are a heavy and sluggish race, yet it is oo difficult matter for them to bring down the monstrous oxen of their fertile country by repeated strokes of their brawny fists. | Taube ubi supra.
The nations which subsist on vegetable diet are of all men the handsomest, the most robust, the least exposed to diseases and violent passions; and they attain the greatest longevity. Such are, in Europe, a great proportion of the Swiss. The negroes, doom. ed to severe labour, live entirely on manioc, potatoes and maize. From the Pythagorean school E. paminondas issued forth, renowned for his virtues ; Archytas, celebrated for his skill in mechanics : and Milo of Crotona, for his strength; copying the vir. · tues of their founder, who was allowedly the first genius of his day, the most enlightened by science, the father of philosophy among the Greeks. As vegeta
ble diet has a necessary connection with many vir. · tues, and excludes none, it must be of importance to
accustom young people to it, seeing it's influence so • powerfully contributes to beauty of person and tran
quillity of soul. The children of the Persians in the time of Cyrus, aud by his orders, were fed with bread, water and cresses; and Lycurgus introduced a con., siderable part of the physical and moral regimen of these children into the education of those of Lacedemon. Such diet prolongs infancy, and the duration of life. I have seen, says St. Pierre, an instance of it in an english youth of fifteen, who had not the appearance of being so much as twelve. He was a most interesting figure, possessed of the most vigorous health and of a disposition the most gentle. He performed the longest journies on foot, and per. er lost temper, whatever befel him. His father, whose name was Pigot, told me he had brought him up entirely under the vegetable regimen, the good ef. fects of which he had learned by his own experience. He had formed the project of employing part of his fortune, which was considerable, id establishing somewhere in British America, a society, who should employ themselves in training, under the same regimen, the children of the American colonists, in the practice of all the arts connected with agriculture. May God prosper such a plan of education, which is worthy the most glorious period of ancient wisdom !-Stud. ies of Nature, iv, 357.
Lycurgus obliged all the citizens of Sparta to eat in public; forbade all seasonings and sauces, and did his utmost to prevent luxury. The Romans continued their grandeur till tainted with this vice; a. mong them to have eaten three times a day was a thing prodigious. Seneca, tho' worth millions, pre. ferred a crust of bread and a draught of water, 6. The most remarkable quality in the Florentine Pea. sants is their industry; for, during the hottest wea. ther, they toil all day without sleep, and seldom re. tire early to rest : yet, notwithstanding this fatigue, they live almost entirely on bread, fruits, pulse, and