Изображения страниц

pulses wholly unconnected with anything rational reaction more or less severe throughout Europe, in the agent--are more and more curiously devel- has resulted in a conviction that the world, during oped the lower we go in the animal creation. That the whole period, actually possessed a sufficient in addition to what we strictly term instinct, ani- supply of food, and that a deficient means of dismals are endowed with so much of a still higher tribution, together with a panic, peculiar to a state faculty termed reason, as will direct them so to of ignorance, but which would not exist in a state modify their instinctive impulses as to adapt their of enlightenment, was the chief cause of the ordinary habits and actions to extraordinary circum- misery, excitement, mad speculation, and widestances. And as a general summary, we may spread ruin to individuals that have ensued. adopt the words of the archbishop :

The question arising is-must this irregularity “To sum up, then, what has been hitherto said. and misery be a constant condition of humanity? It appears that there are certain kinds of intellectual Is it an ordinance of Providence, or an ignorance power—of what, in man, at least, is always called that can be removed by attaining higher steps in reason-common, to a certain extent, to man with mental and physical progress ? Must we read the the higher brutes. And again, that there are cer- Scripture phrase “ The poor shall never cease from tain powers wholly confined to man-especially all out of the land” as a denunciation of constantly those concerned in what is properly called reasoning recurring famine, or simply as an assertion of the -all employment of language as an instrument of physical and mental inequality of mankind, and an thought; and it appears that instinct, again, is to a certain extent common to man with brutes, though injunction on human power to protect human povfar less in amount, and less perfect in man; and erty? We hold to the latter! We cling to the more and more developed in other animals the lower belief that human misery is synonymous with we descend in the scale.

human ignorance, and that the Being who has “ An instinct is, as has been said before, a blind planted reason within us, gave us that reason to tendency to some mode of action, independent of enable us to develop every branch of knowledge, any consideration on the part of the agent of the end and remove from us these conditions, which are to which the action leads. Hunger and thirst are no less an instinct in the adult than the desire of the positive evils to civilized humanity, but salutary new-born babe to suck, although it has no idea that laws where mere instincts are the incentives to milk is in the breast, or that it is nutritious. When, action. on the other hand, a man builds a house in order to In common with the lower animals, the first have shelter from the weather, and a comfortable want of mankind is food. Savage man, like the place to pursue his trade, or reside in, the act is not wild beasts, consumes natural or spontaneous food. called instinct; while that term does apply to birds Civilized man is supported on artificial food, in the building a nest; because man has not any blind desire to build the house. The rudest savage al- production,

of which skill and labor have been ways contemplates, in forming the hut, the very applied. Wild animals, and wild fruits and roots object of providing a safeguard against the weather, supply wild men thinly scattered over a wilderand perhaps against wild beasts and other enemies. ness. Cultivated animals and cultivated plants But, supposing man had the instinct of the bird ; furnish food for the cultivated men ; and thus popsupposing a man who had never seen a house, or ulation thickens and arts advance, and it would be thought of protecting himself, had a tendency to

a very fair standard to measure the civilization of construct something analogous to a nest; or, again, supposing a bird was so endowed with reason as to nations by the quantity and varieties of their artifibuild a nest with a view to lay eggs therein, and sit cial food. on them, with a design and in order to perpetuate

In the wild state, all animal nature of the car. its species; in the former case, man would be a nivorous kind is supported by prey, and the human builder from instinct ; and in the latter, the bird hunter exists by the same law. Life is supported would be a builder from reason.”-p. 20.

by the destruction of life. Even when we have

cultivated our animal food, by changing the argali From the Westminster Review. into a sheep, the bison into an ox, the savage

boar 1. The Granaries of Grcat Britain; or, Perpetual into a tame hog, and many other similar processes, Preservation of Food.

we only make a variation without altering the con2. Epalizing prices and diminishing risk to Food dition of the law of prey. We increase the quanManufacturers and Food Dealers.

tity, but frequently also deteriorate the quality. Charles Lamb records that roast pig was a No artificial animal food can compare with the wild Chinese discovery, accidentally made by the burn- venison of the wild thymy heath as a healthy ing down of a house, and that for many years it nutriment, in producing, or rather in maintaining, was deemed essential to burn down houses in order a sound body for a sound mind. The perception to attain that delicate edible, being in fact not of this truth will continue to gain ground and proroast pig, but burnt-house pig. Even thus do we duce a change in the mode of training animals for in England talk of “mummy wheat” 3,000 years food, till the time shall come when the law o. old, and yet capable of germination. We have prey will disappear before the law of humai not yet asked ourselves the question whether the reason. “mummy” be essential, or whether the wheat Let us not be understood as advocating the might not be preserved 3,000 years without the bigotry of " vegetable diet” as an universal food. “mummy.”

The varieties of temperament in human beings are The painful realities of Irish famine, and the countless, and so should be the qualities of their

food. It is the province of chemistry to solve the so when the fight is over I should like to cat great question of the abolition of the law of prey, steaks from one of those brown deevils of Ingeuns and till that be done, we must be content to follow yonder to try what he eats like." the nature of the lower animals, obeying our nat We looked at the speaker, thinking he jested, ural instincts, subject to many of the evils engen- but it was no jest. It was simply a man of averdered by half progress. It is a certain thing, that age intellect, and very coarse nerves, who stood what we call civilization, i. e. half progress, has before us—one who by force of habit might have engendered amongst human beings many disorders obeyed moral laws, but too coldly practical ever to unknown in a state of nature. So, also, has it discover them for himself. He was merely going done in the case of the lower animals bred by a little beyond the practices of his wild companions. human beings for food; and it is impossible to They, albeit Christians, were in the habit of skindoubt that the flesh of those animals, deposited in ning their human foes to make horse-trappings of human stomachs, must react in various modes their hides; he, from curiosity, was desirous to mischievously.

taste their flesh. Possibly he might have called

himself a Christian also. We did not ask him his “ Like follows like throughout this mortal span; In bloodier acts conclude those who with blood descent, but it struck us that after all, the story of began.”

Sawney Beane* might be no fable. Such a man,

placed in a position where the only food was huThe practice of hunting wild animals for food man flesh, would have made his experiment a habit, engenders a disregard of animal life, which gradu- and would have enjoyed his cannibal meals with ally extends to fellow human beings. All history as much relish as a chief of the Feejee Islands. will bear testimony to the fact, that hunters are Our civilized habits, in slaughtering animals for men of violence, from Esau, who frightened Jacob, our food, are akin to savage nature. We should down to Grantley Berkeley, who “punches the regard with distaste the man who could voluntarily heads” of peasants. It was our fortune-good or kill and eat his own dog, or his cosset lamb, or bad—to sojourn for a long period in sunny climes, turtle dove. This difficulty is got rid of by selling amongst human tribes, half pastoral half predatory, the lamb and dove to another-exchanging lambs who lived on horseback, whose sole food was the and doves, precisely as Feejee mothers are said to flesh of recently slain animals and their drink exchange their children in time of scarcity, in order brackish water, their couch the grassy plain, and not to devour their own. All this is merely cheattheir roof the blue heaven. Lean, wiry, and lithe ing the conscience ; palliating the evil, not trying of body, with cat-like, half-sleepy eyes, and long to remove the cause of it. black horse-looking hair, these people possessed If we examine the question logically, it runs the attributes of tigers, and they passed their time thus : A large portion of the people living in a half in sloth, and half in ferocity. Often witness- state of civilization require food of a highly stiming, and sometimes compelled to join in the eating ulating kind. Our limited progress in chemistry of half-roasted flesh, torn from an animal just slain, forbids our finding this food otherwise than in animal and the mass still quivering, we have learned how, fesh. But with refined habits the great mass of by slight degrees, refinement departs, and the mind the community has acquired a horror at the thought becomes callous to horrors and bloodshed. The of butchering animals. A Whitechapel kennel or slightest word of provocation, and drawn knives to Whitechapel cellar, the rows of butchers' shops, gratify revenge, the dried blood of the animal on

are all objects passed by and spoken of with disthe blade mingling with the red torrent flowing gust. A practical butcher we regard as a Helot. from human veins, was a

occurrence. Why is this? Only because the habit of shedding To dress wounds was an almost daily task, and at blond has a tendency to brutalize. If this be so, last a drudgery, from which even compassion what right have we to set others to do that which shrunk. The gradual callousness of the natives is disgusting to ourselves? Or is it a right thing of more civilized climes was remarkable. Wounds to doom certain human beings to eternal brutality ? became a matter for mirth. On one occasion, There are jungle deserts in some parts of India encamped rudely, awaiting the attack of some hos- through which foot postmen carry the letter-bags. tile tribes, with bristling spears and prepared rifles, Occasionally postman after postman disappears in a native of Scotland, a mechanic of ordinary decent habits, tolerably educated, and possessing some five

* Sawney Beane, as the tradition goes, was a Scottish thousand pounds capital, entered into conversation outlaw, who had committed so many robberies and mur. with us—calculating the strategy of their position, ders that a large price was set on his head, and conceal.

ment hecame difficult. In his emergency, he discovered and the number that would be slain, all in the a large cavern on the coast only accessible at low water. cool, quiet, guttural Saxon dialect, denominated Here he took shelter with a congenial wife ; and 10 deLowland Scotch. And, gliding from one subject of his victims to his cavern, and are them as buichers!

stroy the evidences of murder, he used to carry the ladies to another, as easily as if discussing a chapter of meat, both fresh and salted. On such food, he " raised" Adam Smith, he thus went on. “Wall, noo, a stock of children, and lived respectably after his own awm thinkin' that we've tried maist kinds o' flesh marge” could obliterate his footsteps' uaces, it was not so

moral standard. But though the water * on the salt sea's meat-bull and quey and cauf, and horse, and with the smoke of bis hideous kitchen on the blue heaven. mule, and lion and deer, and ostrich and arma- He was tracked at last, and his race extinguished, with.

out any experiment as to the possibility of eradicating dillo, and bees-catcher and your common swine- the cannibal habits of the children.


succession. Search is made, and their remains, whatever constituted the flavoring matter, was with the letters, are found in the tiger's den. This wanting. The same thing takes place with cooked is thought horrible, and the tiger is shuddered at meat which is several days old, though not putrid. as soinething fiendlike. Yet how, in truth, does If we can once discover the principle of the aromas, this differ from the cellar of a butcher, strewed so to prepare them artificially, the arrangement of with the carcasses of sheep and oxen? Could the the solid bases of human food will probably not in. tiger reason, he might complain of the injustice volve any great difficulty. There is no more of a that holds him up to odium for keeping dead men's miracle in this, than in the common experiment of bodies in his cellar as food, while men in their preparing sugar from old rags or sawdust. cellars keep the dead bodies of sheep for the same These are speculations at which probaby existobject.

ing practical men will smile, till future more pracCan we alter this ? Can we abolish the law of tical men shall realize them; and meanwhile the prey? Let our chemists fairly try the experiment. question remains how most efficiently to apply our Liebig has shown that certain chemical ingredients, existing food, in the animal and vegetable forms, in certain proportions, must be taken into our so as always to have a surplus on hand in readiness bodies at intervals, order to supply heat, and for emergencies—how, in short, to enable the the waste of our bodies. Sugar, butter, and sim- speculator to store up food as well as other comilar substances supply the former ; blood and flesh modities, without risk of destruction ? If a mercontaining nitrogen supply the latter. To procure chant buy a shipload of pipes of wine or brandy, these substances we manure the ground with their he can deposit them in the London docks, and constituent materials. On the ground so manured they become a property, on which, if he produces we grow plants. On these plants we feed sheep the certificate or dock warrant, he can raise by and cattle. These sheep and cattle we cause to mortgage within ten per cent. of the total value. be slaughtered, and then bury them in our stomachs. But if he buy a shipload of wheat, or other grain, The problem then first is, how to dispense with and deposit it in a granary, he can raise no money part of these processes ?—to concentrate in the at all on it, because it is fluctuating in value ; and, vegetables a sufficient amount of the chemical in- moreover, “ there be land rats and water rats," gredients constituting flesh and fat, so as to pass and mice, and thieves, and weevils, and germinathem at once into the human stomach, without go- tion, and decomposition, and expenses of turning ing through the animal form ? To produce animal. over and measuring. In short, while the pipes of ized vegetables is the problem. Nor can this be wine remain a fixed quantity, the grain is a condeemed very difficult, if we divest our thoughts of stantly decreasing quantity. It goes into the grancabbages, turnips, carrots, potatoes, and similar ary corn, and comes out rotten bran. It has often coarse watery vegetables, and reflect that there are occurred to us that the term “animalized biscuit,” also olives, nuts, and other oily vegetables, and may have been originally suggested by some wagthat there are mushrooms—which seem to form gish miller, who after doing his utmost to winnow the link between animal and vegetable substances. away the weevil, finding the majority of the little Our culinary vegetables, in their existing state, are black vermin too snugly ensconced each in his barnot natural productions, but results of art, which ley or wheat corn, fairly ground them up in deart may be enhanced by chemistry and horticultural spair, and, to account for the strange flavor, gave skill, till it will be possible to produce a vegetable them a name indicating to willing believers the combining the qualities of the olive and the mush- pleasant calves' foot association of gelatine. Be room.

When this shall be accomplished it may this as it may, it is certain that the lieges of Great be possible to dispense with animal food, and the Britain may fairly claim the creature weevil as law of reason shall triumph in the extinction of constituting part of the food of man. Weevils eat the law of prey, by the progress of art, which is wheat, and working men eat weevils ; buying but another name for man's developed nature. bread of “small profits and quick returns." Wee

Whether our chemists will ultimately succeed vil may be good or may be bad, as food of men, in preparing nourishing and stimulating food wholly but assuredly it must be expensive food, inasmuch from inorganic matter, is another problem. When as its maintenance while getting up flesh is costly the mysteries of flavors and aromas shall be un -in farmer phrase, weevil “ eats more than his folded to us, those subtle influences which appear head is worth.” to constitute the principle of nutrition, it is prob With regard to animal food a similar difficulty able that we shall attain this end. There appears prevails; it is limited in its term of durability. to be no chemical difference between the odor of It is not fit for food while fresh, i. e. tough, and coal tar and attar of roses, more than between after it has become tender small is the interval charcoal and diamond ; yet in their action on our between that and putridity ; and, therefore, the senses they are wholly distinct. It was once our public must pay a high price to compensate the lot to live for a time on the flesh of cattle driven dealer for his risk ; unless the primitive practice with a caravan during a long journey. The flesh be resorted to of making contracı by sound of bell, of these animals, though not lean, was devoid of to ensure the sale of the whole previous to killing. all flavor. It was tasteless as chopped hay. The In all articles of periodical produce, and espepeople called it “ tired meat.” It did not nourish : cially in food, it will be found that the fluctuations the ozmazone, or animal spirit, or electricity, or in price are greatest in proportion to the difficulty


of preservation. The mass of mankind are con- i. e. underground pits of peculiar soil, covered in servative, and indisposed to take risks. The spec- with earth. Wheat thus treated lasts many years. ulative few must be paid in proportion to their The French armies were acoustomed to hunt for risks. During a personal residence in Spanish these deposits for subsistence. A flat stone usuAmerica we observed that the usual price of ally covered the opening; and on its removal a wheat in harvest time was half-a-dollar the fanega ; quantity of deleterious gas generally rushed out, but mid-time between harvests it usually rose to a sometimes killing the opener with asphyxia. In whole dollar. A rainy season occurred and pro- Canada West, hunters and Indians make deposits duced blight, and the maximum price was three of corn and other things in artificial caverns called dollars. Scarcity and ignorance induced the pres-caches, chosen in dry spots, and covered over. In ervation of the worst wheat for sowing, and the some of the internal parts of Spanish America, the following year the price rose to twenty dollars. common granary is the skin of an ox taken off Flour in barrels then first became an import from entire, and the legs and neck being tied round, it the United States into the granary of the Pacific. is filled with tightly-rammed earth through a hole To the want of efficient granaries was this evil in the back, while suspended between posts. mainly owing, and as in Ireland, the people resorted When dried to a state of parchment, the earth is to sea-weed in their extremity.

taken out, and the bloated bag, resembling a huge The preservation of food has at most periods hippopotamus, is filled with grain, which is thus been an object ; but the usual processes of man kept air and vermin proof. have been, for the most part, little in advance of Three conditions are essential to the process of the squirrels and other animals ; less than those putrefaction ; viz., heat, moisture, and still air, of the bees, which have an instinctive perception With wind, moisture is carried off; with cold, the of the true principle, viz., the exclusion of air, decomposing process is checked, as may be seen which they accomplish by hermetically sealing up by the carcasses of animals that lie through the their honey-cells. In some cases this principle is winter in snowy mountains, and dry up to glue. aimed at, but in a clumsy way. Preserved pro Without air, everything is locked up and remains visions, as meat, fish, soup, and milk, are en- in statu quo; as reptiles have been buried for ages closed in hermetically sealed tin cases, and ren- in blocks of stone or ancient trees, and then resumed dered durable for years. The air in these cases is their vital functions, unchanged by time. excluded by the agency of heat and a partial cook In direct opposition to these principles are the ing. The expense of these methods prevents granaries of Great Britain and other countries contheir being more than a luxury. Potted meats are structed. Their site is generally the bank of a prepared with antiseptics, and the air is excluded river, or the sea-side. They are built of many by a covering of melted fat. Green fruits and floors, at a vast expense. They are provided with vegetables are enclosed in sealed bottles, from many windows, each floor being the height of a which the air has been driven out partially by heat. man, yet not permitting more than twelve to fifteen Mears, antiseptically treated, are also preserved inches depth of grain on each floor for fear of from the air by enclosing a bladder or gut, in heating, unless in the case of very old samples. the form of sausages. Salted meat in brine is Men are continually employed to turn the grain preserved partly antiseptically by the salt, and over, to ventilate it, and clear out the vermin ; and partly by immersion in the liquid brine. Smoked the weevil is naturalized in every crevice, as surely meats are preserved, partly antiseptically by the as bugs in neglected London beds, or cockroaches empyreumatic acid, and partly by the watery par- in West Indian sugar ships. It is the admission ticles being driven off by the heat, so that the meat of air that permits this evil, that promotes germibecomes a kind of glue, and the air is excluded. nation, that permits the existence of rats and mice. Dry cakes of glue may be preserved any length of In the exclusion of air is to be found the remedy. time ; but if they be moistened to admit the air, The practicalization of this is neither difficult nor they soon putrefy. The charqui or jerked beef costly ; on the contrary, close granaries might be of Southern America is made into a glue by the constructed at far less proportional cost than the heat of the sun, and thus assumes the character existing kind. They might be made under ground of cheese ; decomposing by mites in the same man- as well as above ground, in many cases better

Dried flesh of this kind, mixed with butter They might be constructed of cast iron, like gasor fat, is the pemican of North West America, ometer tanks ; or of brick and cement; or of brick from which air is thus excluded. Egyptian mum- and asphalte, like underground water-tanks. It is mies have the air excluded by bandages.

only required that they should be air-tight, and There are various modes in which grain is pre- consequently water-tight. A single man-hole at served, some intentional, some accidental. What the top, similar to a steam boiler, is all the openare called brewers' grains, or spent malt, the cow-ing required, with an air-tight cover. The airkeepers in the neighborhood of London seek to pump has long ceased to be a philosophic toy, and preserve by covering them over in pits. The air has taken its place in the arts as a manufacturer's is not excluded, and therefore the method is inef- tool ; and no difficulty would exist as to that porficient. What is called mummy wheat has been tion of the mechanism. Now, if we suppose a preserved by the effectual exclusion of the air. In large cast-iron or brick cylinder sunk in the earth, Spain, wheat is preserved in what are called silos, I the bottom being conical, and the top domed over ;

[ocr errors][merged small]


an air-pump adjusted for exhausting the air, and partments, and also more buoyant. And the same an Archimedean screw-pump to discharge the arrangements would be equally available for varigrain, we have the whole apparatus complete. If ous kinds of goods subject to damage in transit we provide for wet grain, a water-pump may be such as are hermetically sealed in tin cases ; and added, as to a leaky ship. Suppose, now, a cargo thus the expense of package would be saved. of grain, partly germinating, and containing rats, In reservoirs on shore the air might not merely mice, and weevils, to be shot into this reservoir, be pumped out ; warm air might be pumped in, the cover put on and luted, and the air-pump at to dry damp grain. Water might also be pumped work, the germination would instantly cease, and in and out to cleanse the grain. the animal functions would be suspended. If it be Similar reservoirs or magazines on a smaller objected that they would revive with the admission scale might be constructed for butchers or other of the air, we answer, that the air need not be provision dealers, and meat might be preserved admitted, save to empty the reservoir. If it be fresh for weeks in the heat of summer, preventing contended that the reservoir may be leaky, we the necessity of waste, or of selling at ruinously answer, so may a ship; and if so, the air-pump low prices ; and so with the fish brought to Bilmust be set to work just as is the case with a lingsgate or other markets. On the same princiwater-pump in a leaky ship.

ple there is no doubt that fresh meat, as sea stock, The cost of an underground reservoir would might be carried instead of salt meat, and that possibly be more than one above ground, but it fresh provisions might be transported from any has the advantage of occupying space of other part of the world to any other part. Pork, or wise little value. One obvious cheapness of this beef, or mutton, or venison, might be killed in improved granary over those now existing is, that America, and transported into England. Weevilly that the whole cubic contents may be filled, where- biscuit would be a traditional commodity only, in as, in the existing mode, not above one fourth of the the annals of sailor craft. cubic contents can be rendered available. But many “Water-tight compartments" is at present the existing structures might be rendered eligible. For expression for a safe ship. “ Air-tight compartexample : the railway arches of the Eastern Coun- ments” would be a term expressive of equal safety ties, the Blackwall, and the Greenwich. In such and far more general utility. The expense of aircases the grain would be discharged into them tight joints for the man-holes or openings would be from wagons on the line, in the mode used with but trifling. By the application of gutta percha, coals. Reservoirs might be erected in farm yards, a perfect fit might at all times be ensured with and the grain threshed out and carried from the scarcely any expense. harvest field direct, with the absolute certainty of As regards the economy of transport of grain preserving it any length of time that might be from foreign countries, the process would be as desired. Or, inasmuch as it is a certain thing follows: The corn brought down the Mississippi that all farms must ultimately communicate with to New Orleans, or by canal or rail to New York, railways, by means of cheap horse-trains, or steam would be discharged into the air-tight magazines sidings, in order to work to profit, it would be of the vessel. On arriving at Liverpool, or Birdesirable that the granary should be erected at kenhead, or Harwich, the Archimedean screwsome central railway station, where a steam mill, pump would discharge the grain into close wagons would do the work of exhausting the air, dis on a railway on the edge of the quay. These charging the grain by Archimedean screw when wagons might be rendered measurers of quantity, required, and grinding it into meal.

being all made to hold a given number of quarters ; No better purpose could be found to which to and thus all labor and expense in measuring would apply the atmospheric engines and stations of the be saved. The wagons so loaded in bulk, and Croydon Railway with their existing air-pumps. without the expense of sacks, would discharge Communicating with all the southern wheat-their contents into reservoirs beneath the sidings ; growing counties of England, and also with the say, for instance, the railway arches of the Eastern Thames, no spot could be more eligible as a Counties. There it might remain secure against central depôt. In connection with these arrange- all detriment for any number of years the owner ments it would be desirable to minimize the cost might desire, with the minimum expense in transit of transit in every possible way.

and stowage. The wagons would be constructed The same arrangements that are good on land with a hatch at top and a discharge-pipe below. are also good at sea Many cargoes of wheat Lynn is the shipping port of Norfolk, where have been abandoned owing to heat and germina- grain is collected to forward by sea to the markets tion on their passage. Rats, mice, and weevils, of Yorkshire and elsewhere. With the granaries also, are very destructive. If the vessel were before described, in connection with railways, built with metal-lined air-tight compartments, the Lynn might become a centre for mills and biscuit air might be exhausted by puinp; occasionally manufacture. The government dock-yards, comtrying the pump to insure against leakage ; and municating with railways, might have similar esthus even new, undried grain, might be carried tablishments. There can be little doubt, that and delivered across the sea undamaged. Collat- with such arrangements, the prices of food would eral advantages would also be gained ; the vessel be far less fluctuating, and that it would become would be more safe by means of air-tight com- la practicable thing to borrow money on food as on

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »