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which is the only approach to animal food which is allowed. They have no notion how the substance of a creature that ever had life can become food for another creature. A beef-steak is an absurdity to them; a mutton-chop, a solecism in terms; a cutlet, a word absolutely without any meaning; a butcher is nonsense, except so far as it is taken for a man who delights in blood, or a hero. In this happy state of innocence we have kept their minds, not allowing them to go into the kitchen, or to hear of any preparations for the dressing of animal food, or even to know that such things are practised. But as a state of ignorance is incompatible with a certain age; and as my eldest girl, who is ten years old next Midsummer, must shortly be introduced into the world and sit at table with us, where she will see some things which will shock all her received notions, I have been endeavouring by little and little to break her mind, and prepare it for the disagreeable impressions which must be forced upon it. The first hint I gave her
upon the subject, I could see her recoil from it with the same horror with which we lis-, ten to a tale of Anthropophagism; but she has gradually grown more reconciled to it in some measure, from my telling her that it was the cus
tom of the world,—to which, however senseless, we must submit so far as we could do it with innocence, not to give offence; and she has shewn so much strength of mind on other occasions, which I have no doubt is owing to the calmness and serenity superinduced by her diet, that I am in good hopes, when the proper season for her debut arrives, she may be brought to endure the sight of a roasted chicken or a dish of sweetbreads, for the first time, without fainting. Such being the nature of our little household, you may guess what inroads into the economy of it,—what revolutions and turnings of things upside down, the example of such a feeder as Mr.
is calculated to produce.
I wonder at a time like the present, when the scarcity of every kind of food is so painfully acknowledged, that shame has no effect upon him. Can he have read Mr. Malthus's Thoughts on the Ratio of Food to Population? Can he think it reasonable that one man should consume the sustenance of many ?
The young gentleman has an agreeable air and person, such as are not unlikely to recommend him on the score of matrimony. But his fortune is not over large ; and what prudent young woman would think of embarking hers with a man who would bring three or four mouths (or what is equivalent to them) into a family? She might as reasonably choose a widower in the same circumstances with three or four children.
I cannot think who he takes after. His father and mother, by all accounts, were very moderate eaters; only I have heard that the latter swallowed her victuals very fast, and the former had a tedious custom of sitting long at his meals. Perhaps he takes after both.
I wish you would turn this in your thoughts, Mr. Reflector, and give us your ideas on the subject of excessive eating; and, particularly, of animal food.
EDAX ON APPETITE.
To the Editor of the Reflector.
MR. REFLECTOR, I am going to lay before you a case of the most iniquitous persecution that ever poor devil suffered.
You must know, then, that I have been visited with a calamity ever since my birth. How shall I mention it without offending delicacy? Yet out it must. My sufferings then have all arisen from a most inordinate appetite
Not for wealth, not for vast possessions,-then might I have hoped to find a cure in some of those precepts of philosophers or poets,-those verba et voces which Horace speaks of :
“ quibus hunc lenire dolorem
not for glory, not for fame, not for applause, for against this disease, too, he tells us there are certain piacula, or, as Pope has chosen to render it,
“ rhymes, which fresh and fresh applied, Will cure the arrant'st puppy of his pride;"
nor yet for pleasure, properly so called : the strict and virtuous lessons which I received in early life from the best of parents,-a pious clergyman of the Church of England, now no more,—I trust have rendered me sufficiently secure on that side ::
No, Sir, for none of these things; but an appetite, in its coarsest and least metaphorical sense, -an appetite for food.
The exorbitances of my arrow-root and papdish days I cannot go back far enough to remember, only I have been told, that my mother's constitution not admitting of my being nursed at home, the woman who had the care of me for that purpose used to make most extravagant demands for my pretended excesses in that kind; which my parents, rather than believe any thing unpleasant of me, chose to impute to the known covetousness and mercenary disposition of that , sort of people. This blindness continued on their