is necessary that the first food taken at dinner should be quickly absorbed, so as to stimulate the nervous system and give tone to the stomach. In this way the appetite is stimulated and the sense of taste made more keen. Nothing acts so beneficially for this purpose as a small quantity of good soup. The more important adjuncts are, of course, pleasant surroundings and cheerful companionship.
Contrast the exhilarating effect, say, of a dinner at the "Grand," at Brighton, under the superintendence of its accomplished and obliging manager—with the open sea, and ever-varying kaleidoscope of life to gaze at—with the same dinner in a dull country hotel. Addison says, "Health and cheerfulness mutually beget each other." They undoubtedly do.
To maintain life at its highest standard and for the longest period should be the aim of every individual, and this can only be done by adapting our food to the requirements of the system and the time of the year. If the body is properly nourished, disease will not attack it; and if it does, will get no foothold. It is like an impregnable fortress—it may be assaulted, but it can not be taken.
But to get the economy into this state of perfection, it must be remembered that no more food should be taken than will be consumed in the operations of life, and no more stimulant than the amount previously indicated, so that no surplus of either shall remain in the body in the shape of excess of fat, or as waste, in the form of gout poison or acidity.
"Gluttony," says an old writer, "kills more than the sword."
On the other hand, there is no reason why food should not be made as palatable as possible—in fact, the more palatable it is the better. It is not excess in variety of food that is injurious, but excess in quantity.—The Gentleman's Magazine.