and winds and oceans deep,
All shapes might throng to share that fly or walk or creep.
That this was no mere poetic sentiment is proved by this pamphlet, which is an earnest vindication of Vegetarianism.
H. S. S.
W. E. A. A.
[ORIGINAL TITLE PAGE.]
BEING ONE IN A SERIES OF NOTES TO QUEEN MAB
(A PHILOSOPHICAL POEM).
Ιαπετιονιδη, παντων περι μηδεα ειδωσ,
Χαιρεισ πυρ κλεψασ, και εμασ θρενασ ηπεροπενσασ;
Σοιτ' αυτω μεγα πημα και ανδρασιν εσσομενοισι.
Τοισδ'ἑγω αντι πυροσ δωσω κακον, ω κεν απαντεσ
Τερπωνται κατα θυμον, εον κακον αμφαγαπωντεσ.
ΗΣΙΩΔ. Op. et Dies. 1, 54.
[Greek: Iapetionidê, pantôn peri mêdea eidôs,
Chaireis pur klepsas, kai emas phrenas êperopeusas;
Soit' autô mega pêma kai andrasin essomenoisi.
Toisd'egô anti puros dôsô kakon, ô ken apantes
Terpôntai kata thumon, eon kakon amphagapôntes.]
[Greek: ÊSIÔD.] Op. et Dies. 1, 54.
Printed for J. Callow, Medical Bookseller, Crown Court,
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PRICE ONE SHILLING AND SIXPENCE.
A VINDICATION OF NATURAL DIET.
I hold that the depravity of the physical and moral nature of man originated in his unnatural habits of life. The origin of man, like that of the universe of which he is a part, is enveloped in impenetrable mystery. His generations either had a beginning, or they had not. The weight of evidence in favour of each of these suppositions seems tolerably equal; and it is perfectly unimportant to the present argument which is assumed. The language spoken, however, by the mythology of nearly all religions seems to prove, that at some distant period man forsook the path of nature, and sacrificed the purity and happiness of his being to unnatural appetites. The date of this event seems to have also been that of some great change in the climates of the earth, with which it has an obvious correspondence. The allegory of Adam and Eve eating of the tree of evil, and entailing upon their posterity the wrath of God, and the loss of everlasting life, admits of no other explanation than the disease and crime that have flowed from unnatural diet. Milton was so well aware of this, that he makes Raphael thus exhibit to Adam the consequence of his disobedience:—
... Immediately a place
Before his eyes appeared: sad, noisome, dark:
A lazar-house it seemed; wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseased: all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs;
Intestine stone and ulcer, cholic pangs,
Dæmoniac frenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
And how many thousands more might not be added to this frightful catalogue!
The story of Prometheus is one likewise which, although universally admitted to be allegorical, has never been satisfactorily explained. Prometheus stole fire from heaven, and was chained for this crime to Mount Caucasus, where a vulture continually devoured his liver, that grew to meet its hunger. Hesiod says, that, before the time of Prometheus, mankind were exempt from suffering; that they enjoyed a vigorous youth, and that death, when at length it came, approached like sleep, and gently closed their eyes. Again, so general was this opinion, that Horace, a poet of the Augustan age, writes:—
Audax omnia perpeti,
Gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas,
Audax Iapeti genus
Ignem fraude mala gentibus intulit,
Post ignem æthereâ domo
Subductum, macies et nova febrium
Terris incubuit cohors
Semotique prius tarda necessitas
Lethi corripuit gradum.
How plain a language is spoken by all this. Prometheus (who represents the human race) effected some great change in the condition of his nature, and applied fire to culinary purposes; thus inventing an expedient for screening from his disgust the horrors of the shambles. From this moment his vitals were devoured by the vulture of disease. It consumed his being in every shape of its loathsome and infinite variety, inducing the soul-quelling sinkings of premature and violent death. All vice arose from the ruin of healthful innocence. Tyranny, superstition, commerce, and inequality, were then first known, when reason vainly attempted to guide the wanderings of exacerbated passion. I conclude this part of the subject with an extract from Mr. Newton's Defence of Vegetable Regimen, from whom I have borrowed this interpretation of the fable of Prometheus.
"Making allowance for such transposition of the events of the allegory as time might produce after the important truths were forgotten, which this portion of the ancient mythology was intended to transmit, the drift of the fable seems to be this: Man at his creation was endowed with the gift of perpetual youth; that is, he was not formed to be a sickly suffering creature as we now see him, but to enjoy health, and to sink by slow degrees into the bosom of his parent earth without disease or pain. Prometheus first taught the use of animal food (primus bovem occidit Prometheus) and of fire, with which to render it more digestible and pleasing to the taste. Jupiter, and the rest of the gods, foreseeing the consequences of these inventions, were amused or irritated at the short-sighted devices of the newly-formed creature, and left him to experience the sad effects of them. Thirst, the necessary concomitant of a flesh diet," (perhaps of all diet vitiated by culinary preparation) "ensued; water was resorted to, and man forfeited the inestimable gift of health which he had received from heaven; he became diseased, the partaker of a precarious existence and no longer descended slowly to his grave."
But just disease to luxury succeeds,
And every death its own avenger breeds;
The fury passions from that blood began,
And turned on man a fiercer savage—Man.
Man and the animals whom he has infected with his society, or depraved by his dominion, are alone diseased. The wild hog, the mouflon, the bison, and the wolf are perfectly exempt from malady, and invariably die either from external violence or natural old age. But the