Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/324

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310
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

gradually lose their native brightness as well as their amiable temper.

But the same observations oblige me to say that its deleterious physical effects have often been considerably overrated. The gastric uneasiness, even after a hearty meal of meat (fat pork, perhaps, excepted), yields readily to exercise in open air. Meat does not interfere with the digestion of other food, and, above all, it produces no ruinous after-effects; its frequent use rarely becomes a morbid necessity. Besides, flesh undoubtedly contains many nutritive elements, though in a less desirable form than we might find them in vegetable substances. By dint of practice the system can be got to accept part of its nutriment in that form, and if we are reduced to the choice of starving on starch and watery herbs, or getting fat in an abnormal way, the latter is clearly the preferable alternative. As a rule, though, children during their school years had better stick to dairy products, farinaceous preparations, and fruit; hot-headed boys, especially, can be more effectually cured with cow's-milk than with a cow-hide.

The objections to flesh-food, however, do not apply to eggs, and not in the same degree to mollusks and crustaceans. On the banks of the Essequibo, in eastern Venezuela, I have seen troops of capuchin monkeys (Cebus paniscus) engaged in catching crabs, though in captivity those same relatives of ours would rather starve than touch a piece of beef. The dog-headed baboon visits the seashore in search of mollusks, and the South American marmoset, like John the Baptist, delights in grasshoppers and wild honey, though otherwise a strict vegetarian. The mediæval distinction between flesh and fish is not wholly gratuitous, either; carp, trout, and their congeners are, happily, almost as digestible as potatoes, for it would be a hopeless undertaking to dissuade a young Walton from boiling and devouring his first string of perch. On journeys, especially in cold weather, children may be occasionally indulged in such wayside delicacies as codfish-balls, oiled sardines, and ham-sandwiches.

 
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THE SABBATH.
By Professor JOHN TYNDALL, F. R. S.
II.

THE moods of the times—the "climates of opinion," as Glanvil calls them—have also to be considered in imposing disciplines which affect the public. For the ages, like the individual, have their periods of mirth and earnestness, of cheerfulness and gloom. From this point of view a better case might be made out for the early Sabbatarians than for their survivals at the present day. Sunday sports