« AnteriorContinuar »
timated it at 8 lb., Rye 5 lb. and 7 lb., Horne at 4 lb. 3 oz., and Valentin in his own person at 6 lb. Such estimates were too contradictory to afford any clue. The chemists bethought them of securing the requisite precision by taking the amount of carbonic acid expelled during the twenty-four hours as the standard of the amount of carbon necessary, and the amount of urea expelled in the same period, as the standard of nitrogen necessary. Tables were then drawn up setting forth the separate items of food requisite to supply this waste. But, apart from the profound distrust with which such chemical reasonings should be regarded, there is this separate source of distrust, that each man necessarily wastes different quantities under different conditions; if, therefore, our analysis of food correctly represented the amounts of carbon and nitrogen assimilated (which it does not), we should still have to construct a special table for each individual at each season of the year, and under varying conditions.
The question is really one of importance, when we have to apportion the rations of paupers, prisoners, soldiers, and sailors. Here we are forced to strike an average, although we know that on any average one man_will necessarily have more, and another less, than is absolutely requisite; but the impossibility of arranging matters otherwise, unless food be so abundant that it may be left to the discretion of each to eat whatever amount he pleases, forces the adoption of some standard which experience rectifies on the whole. Dr Pereira has furnished several dietaries adopted for masses of men, and from these the following is taken.
The scale of diet in the Royal Navy is thus given in the Regulations :
"There shall be allowed to every person the following quantities of provisions:
The daily allowance to the common soldier in Great Britain is 1 lb. of bread and lb. of meat, making together 196 oz. of solid food weekly; for this he pays a fixed sum, namely, 6d. daily, whatever may be the market price. He furnishes himself with other provisions.
As to the quantity each man should eat when unrestricted, it is to be determined by himself alone. We all, notoriously, eat too much, and consequently waste much food, even when we do not injure ourselves. Our sensations are the surest guides, yet they do not always tell us with sufficient distinctness when we have had enough: one thing is very clear, that to force the appetite-to continue eating after the stomach has once suggested "enough "-is sure to be injurious; and hospitable hosts, no less than anxious parents, should refrain from pressing food on a reluctant appetite, for it is not kindness, although kindly meant.
In closing here our survey, we must confess that it has exhibited few reliable scientific data. Indeed, to some readers it may have seemed that our efforts have been mainly revolutionary, shaking foundations which promised security, and disturbing the equanimity of scientific speculation. It is a fact that Physiology is at present in too incomplete a condition to answer the chief questions raised respecting Food; and this fact it was desirable to bring into the clear light of evidence ; for on all accounts it is infinitely better that we should understand our than that we should conignorance, tinue believing in hypotheses which enlighten none of the obscurities gathering round the question. It is in vain that we impatiently turn our eyes away; the darkness never disappears merely because we cease to look at it.
WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT-PART XII.
BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.
[The Author reserves the Right of Translation.]
The public man needs but one patron-viz. THE LUCKY MOMENT.
"AT his house in Carlton Gardens, Guy Darrell, Esq., for the season."
Simple insertion in the pompous list of Fashionable Arrivals!-the name of a plain commoner imbedded in the amber which glitters with so many coronets and stars! Yet such is England, with all its veneration for titles, that the eyes of the public passed indifferently over the rest of that chronicle of illustrious "whereabouts," to rest with interest, curiosity, speculation, on the unemblazoned name which but a day before had seemed slipped out of date-obsolete as that of an actor who figures no more in play-bills. Unquestionably the sensation excited was due, in much, to the ambiguous voices' which Colonel Morley had disseminated throughout the genial atmosphere of Club-rooms. Arrived in London for the season!"--he, the orator, once so famous, long so forgotten, who had been out of the London world for the space of more than half a generation. "Why now?-why for the season?"-Quoth the Colonel. He is still in the prime of life as a public man, and a CRISIS is at
It is astonishing how capricious, how sudden are the changes in value of a public man. All depends upon whether the public want, or believe they want, the man; and that is a question upon which the public do not know their own minds a week before; nor do they always keep in the same mind, when made up, for a week together. If they do not want a man-if he do not hit the taste, nor respond to the exigency of the time-whatever his eloquence, his abilities, his virtues, they push him aside, or cry him down. Is he wanted-does the mirror of the moment reflect his image?—that mirror is an intense magnifier; his proportions swell-they become gigantic. At that moment the public wanted some man; and the instant the hint was given, "Why not Guy Darrell ?" Guy Darrell was seized upon as the man wanted. It was one of those times in our Parliamentary history when the public are out of temper with all parties-when recognised leaders have contrived to damage themselves-when a Cabinet is shaking, and the public neither care to destroy nor to keep it ;-a time, too, when the country seemed in some danger, and when, mere men of business held unequal to the emergency, whatever name suggested associations of vigour, eloquence, genius rose to a premium above its market price in times of tranquillity and tape. Without effort of his own-by the mere force of the under-current
But that which gave weight and significance to Alban Morley's hints, was the report in the newspapers of Guy Darrell's visit to his old constituents, and of the short speech he had addressed to them, to which he had so slightly referred in his conversation with Alban. True, the speech was short: true, it touched but little on passing topics of political-Guy Darrell was thrown up from interest rather alluding, with modesty and terseness, to the contests and victories of a former day. But still, in the few words there was the swell of the old clarion-the wind of the Paladin's horn which woke Fontarabian echoes.
oblivion into note. He could not form a cabinet-certainly not; but he might help to bring a cabinet together, reconcile jarring elements, adjust disputed questions, take in such government some high place, influence its councils, and delight a
public weary of the oratory of the day with the eloquence of a former race. For the public is ever a laudator temporis acti, and whatever the authors or the orators immediately before it, were those authors and orators Homers and Ciceros, would still shake a disparaging head, and talk of these degenerate days, as Homer himself talked ages before Leonidas stood in the Pass of Thermopyla, or Miltiades routed Asian armaments at Marathon. Guy Darrell belonged to a former race. The fathers of those young Members rising now into fame, had quoted to their sons his pithy sentences, his vivid images; and added, as Fox added when quoting Burke, "but you should have heard and seen the man!"
Heard and seen the man! there he was again!- come up as from a grave come up to the public just when such a man was wanted. Wanted how?-wanted where ? Oh, somehow and somewhere! There he is! make the most of him.
The house in Carlton Gardens is prepared, the establishment mounted. Thither flock all the Viponts-nor they alone; all the chiefs of all parties-nor they alone; all the notabilities of our grand metropolis. Guy Darrell might be startled at his own position; but he comprehended its nature, and it did not discompose his nerves. He knew public life well enough to be aware how much the popular favour is the creature of an accident. By chance he had nicked the time; had he thus come to town the season before, he might have continued obscure; a man like Guy Darrell not being wanted then. Whether with or without design, his bearing confirmed and extended the effect produced by his reappearance. Gracious, but modestly reserved-he spoke little, listened beautifully. Many of the questions which agitated all around him had grown up into importance since his day of action; nor in his retirement had he traced their progressive development, with their changeful effects upon men and parties. But a man who has once gone deeply into practical politics might sleep in the Cave of Trophonius for twenty years, and find, on waking, very little to learn.
Darrell regained the level of the day, and seized upon all the strong points on which men were divided, with the rapidity of a prompt and comprehensive intellect his judgment perhaps the clearer from the freshness of long repose, and the composure of dispassionate survey. When partisans wrangled as to what should have been done, Darrell was silent; when they asked what should be done, out came one of his terse sentences, and a knot was cut. Meanwhile it is true this man, round whom expectations grouped and rumour buzzed, was in neither House of Parliament; but that was rather a delay to his energies than a detriment to his consequence. Important constituencies, anticipating a vacancy, were already on the look-out for him; a smaller constituency, in the interim, Carr Vipont undertook to procure him any day. There was always a Vipont ready to accept something-even the Chiltern Hundreds. But Darrell, not without reason, demurred at reentering the House of Commons after an absence of seventeen years. He had left it with one of those rare reputations which no wise man likes rashly to imperil. The Viponts sighed. He would certainly be more useful in the Commons than the Lords, but still in the Lords he would be of great use. They would want a debating lord, perhaps a lord acquainted with law in the coming CRISIS;-if he preferred the peerage? Darrell demurred still. The man's modesty was insufferable-his style of speaking might not suit that august assembly; and as to law-he could never now be a law lord-he should be but a ci-devant advocate, affecting the part of a judicial amateur.
In short, without declining to reenter public life, seeming, on the contrary, to resume all his interest in it, Darrell contrived with admirable dexterity to elude for the present all overtures pressed upon him, and even to convince his admirers, not only of his wisdom but of his patriotism in that reticence. For certainly he thus managed to exercise a very considerable influence-his advice was more sought, his suggestions more heeded, and his power in re
conciling certain rival jealousies was perhaps greater than would have been the case if he had actually entered either House of Parliament, and thrown himself exclusively into the ranks, not only of one party, but of one section of a party. Nevertheless, such suspense could not last very long; he must decide at all events before the next session. Once he was seen in the arena of his old triumphs, on the benches devoted to strangers distinguished by the Speaker's order. There, recognised by the older members, eagerly gazed at by the younger, Guy Darrell listened calmly, throughout a long field night, to voices that must have roused from forgotten graves, kindling and glorious memories; voices of those veterans now-by whose side he had once struggled for some cause which he had then, in the necessary exaggeration of all honest enthusiasm, identified with a nation's lifeblood. Voices too of the old antagonists, over whose routed arguments he had marched triumphant amidst applauses that the next day rang again through England from side to side. Hark, the very man with whom, in the old battle days, he had been the most habitually pitted, is speaking now! His tones are embarrassed -his argument confused. Does he
know who listens yonder? Old members think so-smile, whisper each other, and glance significantly where Darrell sits.
Sits, as became him, tranquil, respectful, intent, seemingly, perhaps really, unconscious of the sensation he excites. What an eye for an orator! how like the eye in a portrait; it seems to fix on each other eye that seeks it-steady, fascinating. Yon distant members behind the Speaker's chair, at the far distance, feel the light of that eye travel towards them. How lofty and massive among all those rows of human heads seems that forehead, bending slightly down, with the dark strong line of the weighty eyebrow. But what is passing within that secret mind? Is there mournfulness in the retrospect ? is there eagerness to renew the strife? Is that interest in the Hour's debate feigned or real? Impossible for him who gazed upon that face to say. And that eye would have seemed to the gazer to read himself through and through to the heart's core, long ere the gazer could hazard a single guess as to the thoughts beneath that marble forehead-as to the emotions within the heart over which, in old senatorial fashion, the arms were folded with so conventional an ease.
Darrell and Lionel.
Darrell had received Lionel with some evident embarrassment, which soon yielded to affectionate warmth. He took to the young man whose fortunes he had so improved; he felt that with the improved fortunes the young man's whole being was improved;-assured position, early commune with the best social circles, in which the equality of fashion smoothes away all disparities in rank, had softened in Lionel much of the wayward and morbid irritability of his boyish pride; but the high spirit, the generous love of independence, the scorn of mercenary calculation, were strong as ever; these were in the grain of his nature. In common with all who in youth aspire to be one day
noted from "the undistinguishable many," Lionel had formed to himself a certain ideal standard, above the ordinary level of what the world is contented to call honest, or esteem clever. He admitted into his estimate of life the heroic element, not undesirable even in the most practical point of view, for the world is so in the habit of decrying-of disbelieving in high motives and pure emotions of daguerreotyping itself with all its ugliest wrinkles, stripped of the true bloom that brightens, of the true expression that redeems, those defects which it invites the sun to limn, that we shall never judge human nature aright, if we do not set out in
life with our gaze on its fairest beauties, and our belief in its latent good. In a word, we should begin with the Heroic, if we would learn the Human. But though to himself Lionel thus secretly prescribed a certain superiority of type, to be sedulously aimed at, even if never actually attained, he was wholly without pedantry and arrogance towards his own contemporaries. From this he was saved not only by good-nature, animal spirits, frank hardihood, but by the very affluence of ideas which animated his tongue, coloured his language, and whether to young or old, wise or dull, made his conversation racy and original. He was a delightful companion; and if he had taken much instruction from those older and wiser than himself, he so bathed that instruction in the fresh fountain of his own lively intelligence, so warmed it at his own beating impulsive heart, that he could make an old man's gleanings from experience seem a young man's guesses into truth. Faults he had, of course-chiefly the faults common at his age; amongst them, perhaps, the most dangerous were-Firstly, carelessness in money matters; secondly, a distaste for advice in which prudence was visibly predominant. His tastes were not in reality extravagant; but money slipped through his hands, leaving little to show for it; and when his quarterly allowance became due, ample though it was-too ample, perhaps -debts wholly forgotten started up to seize hold of it. And debts, as yet being manageable, were not regarded with sufficient horror. Paid or put aside, as the case might be, they were merely looked upon as bores. Youth is in danger till it learn to look upon them as furies. For advice, he took it with pleasure, when clothed with elegance and art -when it addressed ambition-when it exalted the loftier virtues. But advice, practical and prosy, went in at one ear and out at the other. In fact, with many talents, he had yet no adequate ballast of common sense; and if ever he get enough to steady
his bark through life's trying voyage, the necessity of so much dull weight must be forcibly stricken home less to his reason than his imagination or his heart. But if, somehow or other, he get it not, I will not insure his vessel. I know not if Lionel Haughton had genius; he never assumed that he had; but he had something more like genius than that prototype-RESOLVE-of which he boasted to the artist. He had youth-real youthyouth of mind, youth of heart, youth of soul. Lithe and supple as he moved before you, with the eye to which light or dew sprung at once from a nature vibrating to every lofty, every tender thought, he seemed more than young-the incarnation of youth.
Darrell took to him at once. Amidst all the engagements crowded on the important man, he contrived to see Lionel daily. And what may seem strange, Guy Darrell felt more at home with Lionel Haughton than with any of his own contemporaries
than even with Alban Morley. To the last, indeed, he opened speech with less reserve of certain portions of the past, or of certain projects in the future. But still, even there, he adopted a tone of half-playful, halfmournful satire, which might be in itself disguise. Alban Morley, with all his good qualities, was a man of the world; as a man of the world, Guy Darrell talked to him. But it was only a very small part of Guy Darrell the man of which the world could say "mine."
To Lionel he let out, as if involuntarily, the more amiable, tender, poetic attributes of his varying, complex, uncomprehended character; not professedly confiding, but not taking pains to conceal. Hearing what worldlings would call "Sentiment" in Lionel, he seemed to glide softly down to Lionel's own years, and talk "sentiment" in return. After all, this skilled lawyer, this noted politician, had a great dash of the boy still in him. Reader, did you ever meet a really clever man who had not?