Page:Letters of Life.djvu/48

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36
LETTERS OF LIFE.

eating into which some little ones fall, until the digestive powers are impaired in their incipient action. If sport, or exercise in the garden, led me to desire refreshment between the regular meals, a piece of brown bread was given me without butter, and I was content. Candies and confectionery were strangers to us primitive people. The stomach, that keystone of this mysterious frame, not being unduly stimulated, no morbid tastes were formed, and no undue admixture of saccharine or oleaginous matter caused effervescence and disease. The name of dyspepsia, with its offspring, stretching out like the line of Banquo, I never heard in early years. Spices were untasted, unless it might be a little nutmeg in the sauce of our nice puddings, which I still counted as a foe, because it "bit my tongue." When seated at the table I was never asked whether I liked or disliked aught that appeared there. It never occurred to me whether I did or not. I never doubted but what I should be fed "with food convenient for me." I was helped to what was deemed proper, and there was never any necessity, like poor Oliver Twist, to ask for more. It did not appear to me, from aught that I saw or heard, that the pleasure of eating was one of the main ends of existence. The advantages arising from early unpampered appetites, have remained with me; for in various sicknesses to which I have been subjected, the stomach, and the nervous tissues dependent upon it, have seldom sympathized, and the integrity of