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may indeed somewhat prevent interruptions in health ; but at the same time it is prejudicial to long life, because a various and different mixture of aliment is better and quicker admitted and received into the blood and juices, than such as is simple and homogeneous. It has also a very great power to excite the appetite ; which is the spur of digestion. We therefore approve of a well furnished table ; and a frequent change of dishes, according to the season of the year, or otherwise. *
So likewise, that notion of a simplicity of meats, without sauce, is but flashy and idle; for well chosen sauces are the wholesomest preparations of food, and contribute both to health and long life.t
Care must be had to accompany meats hard of digestion, with stronger liquors ; and sauces that penetrate and attenuate; but such as digest easily, with thinner drinks and richer sauce.
To the direction lately given, for taking the first glass of liquor warm at supper; we here
* Let due care be here taken to understand the author justly; and the grounds and reasons whereon he founds this judgment.
+ Many physicians seem to have introduced a kind of monastic diet into medicine. Let the enquiry be duly pro: secuted on both sides, before judgment is passed,
add, that by way of preparing the stomach, a good spiced glass of the liquor any one is most accustomed to, should be taken warm, half an hour before meals.
A well regulated preparation, and dressing of bread, meats, and drinks, directed with a view to the present intention, is a thing of exceeding great moment; though it appear mechanical, or to smell of the kitchen and the cellar; and infinitely more useful than all the pompous, fabled virtues of gold, gems, and bezoar.
To think of moistening the juices of the body by a moist preparation of food is childish; this may somewhat allay the heats of distempers, but is directly opposite to the nature of a balmy nutriment; and therefore, for the present intention, the boiling of meats is by no means comparable to roasting, baking, and the like.
Roasting should ever be performed quick, aud with a brisk fire; for meats are palled, and lose their nutrimental parts, by delay, and continuing at a slow fire.
All the more solid flesh-meats in use should not be dressed quite fresh; but a little salted; so as in great measure, or entirely, to prevent the use of salt at the table: for salt incorporated with the food, is of more service in distributing the nutriment than when used loose,
There remain to be brought into use, various proper methods of macerating and steeping flesh in convenient liquors, before it is dressed ; like those sometimes practised in the pickling of certain fish, and the preparing of dishes for the oven.*
The beating, bruising, or stamping of flesh be. fore it is dressed is of singular service. Every one acknowledges, that game taken by hawking, or by hunting, eats the finest; unless where the chase was too long continued : and certain fisk become much better food by being whipt and beaten ; as hard and austere fruits become soft by squeezing and pressure. But the best preparation of all would be, to bring into use a method of bruising and stamping the harder kinds of Mesh before dressing.
Bread moderately leavened, and very little salted, is the best; and should be baked in a sufficiently hot and quick oven.
All that regards the preparation of drinks for long life, may be nearly included under a single precept. The use of water, as the only potable liquor, may preserve life for some time; but, as we formerly observed, can never carry it to any
* See the author's new Atlantis ad finem. And bis Syl. va Sylvarum, under the article Foods.
great length. This needs no preparation. But for spirituous fermented liquors, the capital and almost only caution they require is, that their parts be rendered exceeding subtile ; and the spirit exceeding mild and gentle. Age alone can hardly procure this effect; for though it renders the parts somewhat more subtile, yet at the same time it renders the spirits more acrimonio'us: and therefore we, before, gave directions for steeping some fat substance in the cask; to take off this acrimony of the spirits. There is another way of procuring the same effect, without infusion or mixture; viz, by keeping the liquors in constant agitation; as, either by carrying them to sea, continuing them upon carriages at land; or suspending snall vessels by ropes, and swinging them daily, &c. for it is certain that such local motion attenuates their parts; and works the spirits so much into them, that they cannot afterwards turn tart or biting.*
In extreme old age, the food should be so prepared as to become a kind of half chyle before it is used. But for distillations of meat, they are perfect trifles; as the nutrimental and best part of them, does not at all rise in vapour.
* See the Sylva Sylvarum, under the articles, Clarificin. tion, Maturition, &c.
To incorporate meat and drink together, bee fore it comes to the stomach, is advancing in a degree towards chyle; and therefore, for example, let chickens, partridges, pheasants, &c. be boiled in water with a little salt; then cleansed, nade dry, and stamped; and afterwards put into new wine, or beer, whilst it is working, with the addition of a little sugar.
Expressions also, and fine choppings of meats, well seasoned, are proper for men grown very old; the rather, because they generally want teeth to chew their food; which is an extraordinary method of preparing it.
Three things may contribute to supply the defect of teeth : viz. 1. The productions of new ones; which seems extremely difficult, and not possible without an intimate and powerful renovation of the whole body. 2. By hardening the gums so, with the use of proper astringents, that they may in some measure perform the office of teeth ; which seems not altogether impracticable. And 3. By preparing the food in such a manner as not to require chewing; which is a ready and easy method. I
With regard to the quantity of meat and drink; some excess in both is now and then convenient, for washing or overflowing all the parts of the body; and therefore immoderate