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not worked. The oxen which have be applied to the enlargement and combeen used for draught, when turned pletion of the members, are from this into a rich pasture, are soon covered time produced in a superabundance, with wholesome fat. By means of which turns to fat. The same is the abundant food and confinement, geese, case with people who have lost their turkies, and other poultry, may
arms or legs. As they eat and drink dered prodigiously fat; and the same no less, though they have no longer effect is produced by them upon man. those limbs to nourish, they become in When Demetrius Poliorcetes was kept general exceedingly plethoric and fat, in confinement, and yet provided for in since they daily retain a quantity of a royal style, he acquired such cor- nutritious juices that is not distributed pulence that he died of it in a few as furmerly in the deficient members. months.
From these observations any one Tranquillity of mind also tends to who wishes for rotundity of form will promote corpulence when superadded know how to proceed in order to obtain to the circumstances already mentioned. that desirable quality. I am not so Hence we rarely find that persons sub- biassed, however, as to assert that no ject to violent passions grow fat; but advantage whatever is attached to corin general that such as are disposed to pulence. A fat man may tumble into corpulence are either volatile or not the water with less apprehension than overburdened with sensibility. For a raw-boned figure; because the fat the same reason much sleep encourages being a substance of a lighter nature is the increase of fat. If it be true, as better calculated to keep him afloat some naturalists assert, that the bears, than the muscle of the latter, who which sleep all the winter, are fat when needs the aid of a couple of blown bladthey come forth again from their re- ders or a cork to give him the bouyantreats, this is to be ascribed to no other cy which the former derives from his cause but the torpid state in which they portly paunch. As fat saves from have passed their time. Why do carp drowning, so also it may preserve for a grow so fat when enveloped in moss, time from the effects of intense frost, unless because they are kept in a state because it protects the flesh from the of inactivity and stupor out of their inclemency of the weather. On other natural element ?
accounts it would not be well to have The absence of such passions as re- no fat : for it renders the joints supple duce the strength and consume the vital and fitter for motion; it prevents the spirits contributes not a little to corpu- friction of contiguous parts, keeping lence. Compare only a patient ox them always moist and slippery ; it and a quiet gelding with an ungoverna- communicates a greasiness to the skin ble bull and a fiery stallion, and you which renders it soft and smooth, and will find that a more weakly body and defends it from the sharpness of the cooler blood render the former infinite- air; it unites the fibres of the muscles ly more disposed to feed than the latter. into compact masses, and secures them This calmer circulation of the blood is from becoming entangled with each favourable to the secretion of fat in other, and with the minute vessels and general; and this is the reason why nerves which are every where distribumost persons increase very much in ted among them; it serves the purpose bulk between the ages of forty and of a soft and compressible cushion on fifty years. At that period the pulsa- which we sit and lie more comfortably; tions of the heart and the circulation it prevents wrinkles, by imparting a are not so strong and so rapid as in the pleasing plumpness to the contours of heyday of youth, and to this the cessa- the body; and it adds to the whiteness tion of the growth of the body must of the complexion, owing to the transcertainly contribute its share. A man parency of the skin, wherefore sick after he has ceased to grow continues and meagre people usually have a salto live, as far as regards food and exer- low look. All these are real benefits, cise, just as he did before; the conse- but they are attached to a moderate quence is, that the juices which used to degree of corpulence alone.
Quesnay calculated that a grown brain never becomes fat, the blood acperson, when in his natural state, ought cumulates in its vessels and expands to have about eight pounds of fat. them to such a degree that they burst, The average weight of a man is about which is frequently the immediate one hundred and sixty pounds : but as cause of apoplexy. Haller mentions there have been very fat people who it as a fact universally known, that have weighed four, five, nay even six corpulent persons are disposed to apohundred pounds, it may easily be im- plexy. The annals of medicine relate, agined, that in these cases there must that a man who, though weighing uphave been a prodigious deviation from wards of six hundred pounds, neverthe state of nature. There have been theless possessed extraordinary agility, seen persons with fat six inches deep and whose waistcoat would button, under the skin; and similar instances without straining, round seven men of have been known among brutes. Hogs ordinary dimension, died in his twentyhave been made so fat that their skin ninth or thirtieth year, leaving a pregwas fifteen inches above the bone. nant wife and five children. Louis An ox, which otherwise would weigh Coute, who measured eight feet round five or six hundred weight, may be the body, and whose fat, after the refatted to nearly a too and a half, which moval of the skin, was, from the outer is half the weight of an elephant.- surface to the abdominal muscles, beThese astonishing deviations from na- tween thirteen and fourteen inches ture cannot possibly be attended with thick,-in short, a man weighing eight beneficial results ; and of this physi- hundred pounds, died in his forty-sixth ciaas in all ages have been fully aware. year of apoplexy. The intestines It is an observation as ancient as Hip- were neither larger nor fatter than in pocrates, that health, when at the high- an ordinary subject. His liver, on the eet, as in the fat athletæ, was precari- other hand, was triangular and induraous, because it could not then experi- ted; and it was attached for the space ence any change, unless for the worse. of five inches to the omentum. "No Celsus considered a square-built figure, person can hesitate to believe such neither too fat nor too lean, as the best. evidence, which is moreover confirmed Sanctorius observed, that after the pro- by the experience of all ages. cess of digestion is finished daily, a Somnolency is another complaint to man ought to be as heavy as he was which corpulent persons are liable. before it, if he is in perfect health. Boerhaave once had an interview with But how can this hold good respecting a doctor, who had grown fat with frepeople, who, after every meal, add to quent unnecessary bleeding, and who their weight a considerable quantity of was so lethargic that he fell asleep at superfluous joices ?
least ten times during their conversaIn enumerating the dangers to which tion. Athenæus relates of Dionysius, very corpulent persons are exposed, tyrant of Heraclea, that he was so shall quote the words of other physi- sleepy, owing to his excessive corpucians, without taking any personal lence, that it was impossible to keep share in these sinister predictions. him awake without thrusting pins Apoplexies hold a prominent place in through the fat into his flesh. the list. Hippocrates knew from ex The insensibility and stupidity of perience that fat persons more com- corpulent persons go hand-in-hand with monly die a sudden death than less this disease; for the fat covers and buones; and so he says in several places. ries the nerves, which must be touched Boerhaave ascribes the disposition of by sensible objects, in order to our corpulent persons to apoplexies, to the having any perception of them. obstructed circulation of the blood moreover compresses and paralyses the througb the vessels compressed by the muscles, the nerves of which also it infat. The blood gives way to this pres- capacitates for moving them. Nicomasare, and accumulates in those places chus, of Smyrna, was by corpulence where there is no fat to prevent the rendered incapable of locomotion; and expansion of the vessels. As then the we have had instances in England of
persons, who, from the same cause, corpulent person. The patient had could scarcely stir from the spot. The overheated himself by too violent exmeagre animals, on the contrary, which ercise in summer. The melted fat had might be supposed to be weak, such as discharged itself into the vessels, and greyhounds, racers and hunters among distended them to such a degree as to horses, stags, &c. are remarkable for produce apoplexy, which was removed their agility, and appear to fly through by the bleeding. the air.
“Lastly," says Haller, “excessive As the exuberant fat compresses the corpulence induces dropsy, and this is lungs, it is obvious why corpulent per- the most common end of such persons, sons experience a difficulty of respira- in whom those blood-vessels, which tion, and are sometimes suddenly suffo- ought to receive the returning gaseous cated. The same thing frequently fluids, are probably obstructed. Finalhappens to ortolans and other birds, ly, there are observations proving that which are apt to grow very fat. Simi- stones are liable to be formed in the lar instances are related of men. Aris- kidneys when overloaded with fat.” totle makes mention of a man who was
What a terrific catalogue of ailments suffocated by his fat, which was six for you miserable gorbellies !
But inches thick ; and Dionis observes, what is still worse, every word of this that infants at the breast are sometimes is true, and not a single point can be carried off in the same way, because denied, or even doubted. I feel for the milk contains many butyraceous you much too sincerely not to lay beparticles, which are easily transformed fore you all the means that should be into fat. Hippocrates also was ac- employed by those who would either quainted with this species of death. prevent or reduce corpulence. Here Corpulent persons, says he, are fre
you will find lessons which will make quently suffocated by inflammatory fe- your hair stand on end. vers and shortness of breath, and in
Abstinence is a really golden mean general die suddenly.
against the exuberance of nutritive The corpulent have also reason to juices. By long continued abstinence apprehend a deficiency of blood. serpents become quite lean. In autumn Their alimentary juices are deposited the cellular substance of the cameleon, in too great quantity, and as it were in the lizard, and the frog, is full of fat; a crude state in the cellular substance, and after the winter's fast, they are because their impaired powers are in- found in spring quite empty.
But capable of digesting them. The blood though it is certain that fasting cannot vessels, moreover, are too much com- make a person fat, still it is not a little pressed by the fat to be able to contain of it that will make him lean. A much blood. On this account Boer- young man who drank nothing but wahaave makes a fundamental distinction ter, abstained from drinking at one between fat and plethoric persons. time sixty days and at another forty-six. “ The corpulent,” says he, "are con- During the first of these periods he sidered as plethoric, because they are took animal food, but in the second out of breath at the slightest motion; nothing but such aliments as the Cathobecause the most trifling circumstance lic church authorizes in fasts. Being impels the blood to the head; and be- weighed both before and after, he was cause they are so liable to apoplexy." found each time a few pounds lighter; But all this merely proves that the but after the second abstinence, this blood does not flow freely through the reduction was greater than after the straitened vessels, and by no means first. By drinking afterwards twice a that those vessels contain too much of day, he recovered his former weight in that fluid. This observation is of prac- six days, and gained a few pounds in tical utility. Bleeding is serviceable addition. Hence we very speedily reto plethoric, and must of course be cover, by means of the most temperate pernicious to the fat, unless in cases meals, what we have lost by rigid and like that related by Boerhaave, who, long-continued abstinence, even though by bleeding, saved the life of a very we were to confine ourselves to a fast
diet, which furnishes a smaller quanti I wish corpulent people no diseases ly of juices than animal food, but yet for their cure; still less can I recommore than is requisite for the support mend medicines to them. Dr. Fotherof life. We must therefore seek more gill observes, that a strict adherence to efficacious means.
vegetable diet reduces exuberant fat Galen commended the effect of men- more certainly than any other means tal cares and anxieties as a remedy for that he knows, and Dr. Cheyne furcorpulence and Ovid was well acquain- nished, in his own person, an extraorted with their operation :
dinary instance of its efficacy. This Attenuant rigiles corpus miserabile curæ; physician, when between thirty and Corporis omnis abit; vox tantam atque ossa supersunt. forty years of age, had, by indulgence
Haller mentions two cases in point, in the pleasures of the table, swelled to which I must introduce. “Cares and such a size as to exceed thirty-two exertion of the mental powers render stone weight. He was obliged to have the body very lean; and those persons the whole side of his chariot made are invariably fatter io whom the pas- open to admit him; and he grew shortsions are more moderate. Hence, breathed, lethargic, nervous, and scorCæsar was accustomed to say that he butic, so that his life became an intolerawas not afraid of fat, sleek-headed ble burden. Jo this deplorable condimen,' because such men are not in gene- tion, after trying in vain all the power ral very solicitous about the common of medicine, he resolved to confine wea! or the preservation of liberty. himself to a milk and vegetable diet, The celebrated Dean Swift, while ió- the good effects of which quickly apvolved in cares and hostilities, was ex- peared. His size was reduced almost tremely meagre ; but became exces
a third, and he recovered his strength, sively corpulent after bis mental facul- activity, and cheerfulness, with the ties failed, and he had fallen into a state perfect use of all his faculties. of idiocy."
White Castile soap has been proIn this list may be classed all the vio- posed as a remedy to melt down and lent passions. Strong exercise also re- facilitate the absorption of fat. A very duces fat; but this method should not corpulent man took every evening half be resorted to, till great part of the an ounce dissolved in half a pint of exuberant fat has been absorbed in water, and in two years became half a some other manner. This follows of hundred weight lighter. He continued course, for the shortness of breath and the use of it, and in six years was perindolence of corpulent people, forbids fectly cured. The soap operated as a much bodily exertion. Hence, other diuretic without any inconvenience. means must previously be tried for re- Boerhaave employed acids, crystals of ducing the huge hill of flesh," and to tartar, cream of tartar, and such like this end friction, which is a passive purgatives ; but Haller relates that motion, may probably conduce. Za- vinegar taken for this purpose by a cutus Lusitanus, Muys, and Quesnay, master-builder, occasioned incessant relate, that by oft-repeated friction un- vomiting and death, after which the wieldly corpuleoce has been removed. inner coat of the stomach was found Fever diminishes fat in a wonderful indurated to the depth of an inch or manner. One person lost from this more. cause thirty pounds, another after sali Lieutaud recommends acetum scillivation fifty pounds, and a third in the ticum taken in small doses, with fresmall-pox eighty pounds of his weight. quent purging and brisk exercise : but But it should be observed, that after it will seldom happen that the patients illness and a course of medicine, the will be found sufficiently steady to perfat usually accumulates again as fast assist in any of these courses; the disorit before diminished. A hog that is der, from its nature, rendering them fastened up may be made fat in three irresolute and inattentive to their condays, and a lark fatted in one night be- dition. The principal use of rules, comes much poorer in the course of therefore, inust be with a view to prethe ensuing day.
vention; and persons disposed to cor
pulence should be careful in time to pulent readers, nocturnal vigils and prevent it from becoming an absolute meditation. There is no remedy for disease, by taking a great deal of exer- reducing obesity with more honour than cise, not indulging in sleep, and abridg- algebra, if the patient only studies it ing their meals, especially supper. fundamentally at night and cuts wood
Instead, however, of the tedious and by day. This remedy is sympathetic: partly dangerous means enumerated it operates through the spirits, and reabove I would recommend to my cor- moves sat by a +b. Feb. 1814.
(Sel. Mag.) SCIENTIFIC MISCELLANY.
OF VINOUS OR SPIRITUOUS FERMENTATION. WINE, beer, and similarly fermen- the hip, have the citric acid unmixed
ted liquors, appear to have been with any other. known in the earliest ages. Thus the After this sweet but somewhat tartish Scripture informs us that the patriarch liquor of which I have spoken is presNoah planted a vineyard, and drank sed from the different fruits employed wine; and the heathen writers are unan- in making wine, it is left to stand awhile. imous in ascribing the invention of this It then becomes thick and muddy, beverage to their earliest kings and moves up and down, and throws up heroes. Beer also seems to have been scum and bubbles of air to the surface. discovered at a very remote period. It This is called working or fermenting. was in common use in_Egypt in the It continues in this state for some time, time of Herodotus ; and Tacitus informs differing according to the quantity of the us that it was the general drink of the juice, and the temperature of the air. Germans. Whether the ancients had It then gradually settles again, becomany method of procuring ardent spiritsing clearer than at first. It has now from these or any other liquor does not lost its sweet flat taste, and has acquired appear. The Greeks and Romans, a briskness and pungency with a heathowever, seem to have been ignorant of ing and intoxicating property; that is, them; at least we can discover no allu- it has become wine. And this process sion to them in their writings.
is called vinous fermentation. Wine is mostly obtained from the
The basis of wine, as may be perjuice pressed from grapes and other ceived from what has been mentioned fruits. This is at first a sweet watery above, is its sweetness ; and if sugar liquor with a little tartness, but which and water, with the addition of a little has no strength or spirit, and in this tartar, be mixed together, an artificial state is calied must. "The tartness aris- must might be made, and the vinous es from the presence of some acid, one fermentation would take place as before: or more of which may be found in most but in this latter case the wine would if not all fruits. Those most abundant be devoid of flavour. The great adand likewise most common are the vantage then of fruits in making wine Malic, Sorbic, and Citric acids.* Ap- is, that, in addition to the sweetness, ples, barberries, plums, sloes, elder they communicate likewise the flavour berries, and the berries of the moun- for which they are themselves distintain ash, contain both malic and sorbic guished, and which is generallý supposacids ; gooseberries, currants, bilberries, ed to arise from the presence of some cherries, strawberries, and raspberries, volatile oil; though it exists in such a have the malic and citric combined; small proportion, that chemists have while oranges, lemons, cranberries, and not as yet been able to obtain it in a
separate state. The fruits employed Malic from malum the apple, in which this acid in our own country for making wine, most abounds ; Sorbic from Sorbus aucuparia, the are principally currants, gooseberries, mountain ash; and Citric from Citrus the citron tree. raspberries, and elder berries. The