Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

. (page 40 of 154)
Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 40 of 154)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

plant ; and in other cases (as in the pea and
bean) being included within it, forming the
large fleshy cotyledons or seed-leaves, which
first come to the surface after the seed has
begun to sprout, and which wither in propor-
tion as the young plant developes itself.
Starch is found abundantly, again, in the
fleshy underground stems destined to nourish
young shoots ; as are the tubers of the pota-
toe, and the rhizoma of the arrow-roots ; and
it has been lately pointed out that, if Ihe
blossoms be pulled oft' the plants before open-
ing, the accumulation of starch will be much
greater, in consequence of the exhaustion of
the store having been prevented. Starch is
also abundant in the fleshy roots which have
to furnish nutriment to the youngiitems, when
they first begin to grow, as in the Briony and
Elecatnpane. It is also foimd in the pith and
bark of many exogens, and in the cellular tis-
sue occupying the centre of the stem of many
eudogens (such as the sago palm,) where it
forms a reservoir of nutriment for the young

The deposite of starch generally continues
to increase so long as the plant which forms
it is in active vegetation. It then arrives at
its greatest amount, and remains the same
until the young parts which are to be supplied
from it have begun to grow ; and then it
rapidly diminishes. Thus, it has been staled
that a hundred pounds of potatoes contain of

In August, 10 lbs. In March 17 lbs.

September 14i lbs. April 13|lbs.

November ITlbs. May 10 lbs.

Although this deposition of starch fulfils a
part so evidently important in the vegetable
economy, we cannot doubt the wise and be-
nevolent intention of the Creator, in thus pro-
viding a store of nutritious and palatable food
for man in situations in which he can so easily
obtain it; and it is interesting to remark that,
from the completely separate form in which
it exists, it may be obtained in a state of
purify from many vegetables, which, as a
whole, are of very poisonous character. An
illustration of this fact occurs in the Cassava,
which forms a most important article of food
in almost all the warmer regions of the globe.
This substance is the starch contained in the
root of a plant termed Jatropha Manihot ;
and the root also contains a juice so poisonous,
that it is employed by some of the savages
among whom this plant abounds, to tip their
arrows and spears. The root is usually ground

or rasped into a sort of coarse meal ; and
from this, when put under pressure, the
juice rups off", leaving the starch nearly pure.
The Tapioca of Brazil is nearly the same
with Cassava.

Starch cannot be applied to the nutrition of
the tissues however, without undergoing an
important change, which reduces it, in fact,
to the condition of sugar or gum. Of this
change there are many instances in the pro-
gress of vegetation. That which is best
known is the conversion of the starch of
seeds into sugar, which takes place during
germination ; and upon this the process of
malting is founded. The grain of barley con-
tains a large quantity of starch ; but, when
the embryo is made to sprout, this starch is
converted into sugar for its nourishment.
Now the germination of the seed is caused by
steeping it in water, and then placing it in a
warm atmosphere ; and this is the first stage
of the process of malting. As soon, however,
as the growth of the embryo has proceeded
far enough for the proper quantity of the
starch to be converted into sugar (which is
known by the length of the young root, and
by the appearance of the grain itself) the
germination is checked by the application of
a higher degree of heat, which kills the
young plant ; and the newly-formed suoar
can then be employed to give sweetness to
water or other fluids. In the same manner,
the starch of potatoes, and other tubers, is
converted, when required for Ihe nourishment
of the growing buds, into sugar, which is ab-
sorbed by their vessels; and nearly the same
may probably be said of every other instance
in which starch is laid up for a purpose of this

Now this change of starch into sugar is one
of a purely chemical nature ; for it can be
performed in the laboratory of the chemist,
by pouring hot water on the starch, so as to
break the vesicles, and set free the contained
gum ; and then treating this with a weak acid
for some lime ; by winch the whole is con-
verted into a sugar that scarcely diflers from
that of other kinds. In the vegetable econo-
inj', however, this change is effected by an-
other means. In Ihe juices of Ihe plants
themselves, there is a substance termed dias-
tase, very minute quantities of which have
the remarkable property of changing starch
into sugar. This diastase exists in seeds, and
is found in larger quantities near Ihe eyes or
young buds of the potatoe, by the vessels of
which it is carried through the mass of starch
when required. How beautiful an arrange-
ment it is, that a substance possessed of the
remarkable property of converting starch into
sugar, should be formed wherever a store of
the first of these substances is laid up for the


purpose of airording a supply of the latter
when requited, — and that lU\aiiiasiase should
be found no where else than in the very parts
of the vegetable structure in which it will be
of use !

We see, then, that the form in which nour-
ishment is conveyed to the growing parts^
plants is that of gum or svgar. These '
substances-are composed of the same eleme
in nearly the same proportion ; and the former
may be ciianged into the latter. They are
usually found together in that thick mucila-
ginous* fluid which lies between theAark and
wood in summer, and which is grartbally or-
ganized, or converted into tissue ; and also in
that which forms the pulp of the very young
seeds which exist in the seed-vessel before the
flower has fully expanded. The gumminess
of this fluid is at once perceived by its gluti-
nous properties; and that it contains sugar is
known by the sweetness of its taste. Gum
and sugar, therefore, are to be considered as
the materials out of which the vegetable tis-
sues are constructed ; and starch must be con-
verted info one of these before it can be ap-
plied to a similar purpose.

Bread. — If you set any value on health, and
have a mind to support nature, you must not
separate the finest from the coarsest flour ;
because that which is fine, is naturally of an
obstructing and stopping quality. Ikit on the
contrary, the other, which is coarse, is of a
cleansing and opening nature ; therefore, that
bread is best, which is made of both together ;
for in the inward bran and skin of the wheat,
is contained a quality which is of a sweet,
friendly nature ; by reason whereof, the bread
which is made of fine and coarse together,
will not only be sweeter, and keep longer
moist, but is also more wholesome, and easier
of digestion ; gently loosening the bowels, it
will strengthen also more than the other
bread, made of the fine bolted flour. It must
be confessed, that the nutrimentive quality is
contained in the flour; yet in the bran is
contained the opening and digestive quality ;
and there is as great necessity of the one, as
the other, for the support of health ; for when
the finest flour is separated from the coars-
est and branny parts, neither the one nor the
other have the true operations of the flour of

By what has been said, we may gather,
that the eating of fine bread is inimical to
health, and contrary both to nature and
reason, and was first invented to gratify wan-
ton and luxurious persons, who are ignorant
both of themselves and the true virtue and
eflicacy of natural things. — Lute paper.

Water-proof Paste. — Three ounces of gum-
elastic cut into fine shreds, and put into a jug
with three quarts of seneca oil, make an ex-
cellent water-proof paste for boots and shoes.
The gum will dissolve if left to stand three
or four days ; before it is used it should be
stirred, and put on warm.

• IMiicilncc is the term applied to a solution of JTUm



A Word for the Close of the Year.

From Old Humphrey's '• Tlioughts for llie TliougliUul."

They say that people live longer in the
country than in the town, and perhaps they
may a few short years ; but be not deceived
y the saying, my country friends, fur the
unchangeable word is gone forth : " The
days of our years are three score years and
and y^by reason of strength they be
score ^ars, yet is their strength, labour,
and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly
away." Psa. xc. 10. Neither town nor
country can prevent the visits of death.

Death came up the village. It was in the
Spring ; the fresh leaves were budding forth,
and the snow-drops were peeping out of the
round. He went into the thatched cottage by
the ash tree, where sat old Roger Gough in his
arm-chair, with his brow wrinkled, and his
hair white as flax. Roger was taken with the
cramp in his stomach, and soon ceased to
breathe. " What man is he that liveth, and
shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul
from the hand of the grave ?" Psa. Ixxxix. 48.
The wheelwright's wife sat with her baby,
her first-horn, in her lap. It smiled as it lay
asleep, and breathed softly. The motlierwent
on mending stockings, every now and then
casting a fond look at her little treasure.
That day week its gentle spirit departed, leav-
ing its tontHlarents half heart-broken, tlow
uncertain is human life I " It is even a vapour
that appeareth for a little time, and then van-
isheth away." James iv. 14.

Death went down the village in the Sum-
mer. The heavens were bright with sun-
beams, and the earth seemed to smile; the
gardens were in their glory, and the merry
hay-makers were busy in the fields. The
sextr.n's son had long been ailing, and all
agreed that he could never struggle through
the winter. The red tinge on his cheek was
not of a healthy hue: consumption had mark-
ed him for the grave. He had taken to his
bed a fortnight ; when his head fell back
gently on his pillow, and he went off" like an
infant going to sleep. " As for man, his days
are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he
flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and
it is gone ; and the place thereof shall know it
no more." Psa. ciii. 15, 16.

Butcher Hancocks was the strongest man
in the parish ; but he was no match for death.
His chest was broad, his arms were sinewy
and strong, and his frame bulky, and well knit
together. " As hearty as Hancocks," was a
common adage. No matter! sickness soon
robs the stoutest of his strength, and pull
down the tallest man to the ground. The
fever fastened upon him, so that one hour he
raged with heat and thirst, and the next hi
teeth chattered with cold. His neighbour
carried him to his grave. " Lord, make mi
to know mine end, and the measure of ni'
days, what it is; that I may know how frail
I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a
hand-brendlh ; and mine age is as nothing
before thee; verily, every man at his best
stale is altogether vanity." Psa. xxxix. 4, ."J.
Death crossed the village in the Atitumn.

The orchard trees were bending beneath their
load ; the sickle was at work among the wheat,
and the scythe was sweeping down the barley.
Never was know n a more abundant year. The
loaded teams were seen in all directions, and
the gleaners were picking up the scattered
ears from the stubble, l-'armer Blount was
a wealthy man. He was in the corn-field with
reapers, when he suddenly fell to the
ground. Some said that he was struck by the
sun ; and others, that it was a fit of apo|)lexy;
but, whatever it was. Farmer Blount never
spoke after. You may, perhaps, have seen his
tomb by the stone wall of tlie church-yard,
with the iron palisades round it. Truly may
each of us say, " There is but a step between
me and death." 1 Sam. xx. 3.

Widow Edwards lived in the shed, at the
back of the pound. It was a wretched habita-
tion ; but the poor cannot choose their dwel-
ling-places. The aged widow had wrestled
hard with poverty; her bits and drops were
few and far between. Her son, who ought to
have been a staff for her old age to rest on,
was at sea. He was roving and thoughtless ;
but there is a heart-ache in store for him on
account of his aged mother. Death found the
widow alone, Ij iiig on her straw. No one was
at hand to couifort her, or to close her eyes.
" Watch, therefore; for ye kno.w not what
hour your Lord doth come." iMatt. xxiv. 42.
Death went round the village in the Win-
ter. The icicles were a foot long, hanging
from the pent-house in the carpenter's yard ;
and the snow lay here and there in heaps, for
it had been shovelled away from the front of
the cottages. Not a stone's throw troin the
finger post, at the entrance of the village,
dwelt Abel Froome, the clerk's father. For
years he had been afflicted ; but his mind was
stayed upon Christ, the Rock of ages, and he
loved to think of eternal things. He had lived
to a goodly old age ; and, as a shock of corn
ripe lor the harvest, he was ready to be gath-
ered into the garner of God. While his days
were numbering, his heart had applied unto
wisdom ; and he knew Him whom to know is
eternal life. Death found him silting up in his
bed, with the Bible in his aged hands; and
the last words that faltered from his lips were,
" Lord, now leltest thou thy servant depart in
peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes
have seen thy salvation." Luke ii. 29, 30.
Thus died Abel Froome. " Mark the perfect
man, and behold the upright, fpr the end of
that man is peace." Psa. xxxvii. 37.

The habitation of Harry Touks was in a
wretched plightwhen death crossed the thresh-
hold. Harry was an infidel, and scofied at
holy things. His days were mostly spent in
idleness, and nights in poaching, and in tippling
at the Fighting Cocks. Often had Harry
defied death at a distance, as a bugbear ; but
when he came in realily, he trembled like a
child. Pain racked him, and poverty distress-
ed him; but that was not all; for his con-
science was at work within him, and his mind
was disturbed. " The spirit of a man w ill
sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit
who can bear ?" Prov. xviii. 14. It was a hor-
rid sight to sec Harry clenching his hands, ^
tearing his clothes, and gnashing his teeth in



anguish, and quite as bad to hear tlie curses
he uttered iii his despair. He died as the
wicked die, without hope, " Driven from light
into darkness, and chased out of the world."
Job xviii. 18. " Rend your heart, and not
your garments, and turn unto the Lord your
God ; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to
anger, and of great kindness, and repentelh
him of the evil." Joel ii. 1:3.

If death thus goes up and down, and across
and around the village, at all seasons of the
year; if he takes away the young and the
old ; the feeble and the strong; the rich and
the poor ; the righteous and the wicked, how
long will he pass by thee ? Is it thy prayer
— " Let me die the death of the righteous,
and let my last end be like his?" Numb.
xxiii. 10. Is Christ thy hope, thy trust, and
thy salvation? If so, thoii niayest indeed re-
joice, and say with exultation, " Though I
walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with
me ; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
Psa. xxiii. 4.


Dr. Butler's third annual report, submitted
to the City Council in July, is now published.
He has certainly had enough to do during the
last twelve months. In the Lunatic Hospital
there have been 148 patients ; in the hospital
of the House of Industry, 733 ; and in the
hospital of the House of Correction, 415 —
making a grand total of 1296. There were
in the Lunatic Hospital at the beginning of
the year (namely, July 1, 1841,) 108; ad-
mitted during the year, 4'J ; discharged (in-
cluding 17 deaths), 53 ; remaining at the end
of the year, 95.

We cannot very conveniently republish
more than a few extracts from this otKcial
document, which is creditable to the author,
both in his character of physician and super-
intendent of the Lunatic Asylum. In speak-
ing particularly of the insane establishment at
South Boston, the report contains the follow-
ing observations.

" Such are some of the results which have
been eflected in the Hospital. Commenced
as a receptacle for the poor and incurable in-
sane of the city, it has expanded its arrange-
ments as the necessities of the city have de-
manded, and has received into the wards
nearly two hundred of the most unfortunate
and afflic-ted of our fellow-beings, among
whom not a few have been found intelligent,
virtuous, and estimable ; but poor, sick, and
destitute — events which may come alike to
all. Many have here found relief from the
worst calamity of all the varied forms of dis-
ease ; many have received partial relief; and
many more have found, in the kindness and
ready sympathy of those around them, strange
and unexpected tokens of a fellow-feeling,
which could bear with their infirmities, repress
the excitements, and cheer the despondency,
of the most friendless being on earth — the
poor lunatic.

" From the same causes, the general aspect
and character of our patients have continued
to improve : they are far more quiet, more

easily controlled, the paroxysms of excitement der twisted from

are less frequent and less violent, and excite
ment itself is less contagious : this influence
pervading the hospital, extends itself to the
recent cases, and gives us a more ready ascen-
dancy over them. Restraint, even of the
simplest kind, is rarely resorted to, and woidd
be less necessary, had we a solitary, in which
the noisy and turbulent could be occasionally
secluded, and thus prevented froip disturbing
and exciting others. We provide amusement
and occupation for them as far as it is in our
power; our sewing party is regularly attend-
ed, and is effecting much ; our garden is a
favourite resort ; walking parties go out every
pleasant day ; books, newspapers, and games
of various sorts help to i-elieve the monotony
of our halls. Many labour to good purpose
in the laundry, kitchen, garden, grounds, (kc."
It is truly gratifying to witness the pro-
gress of benevolence of feeling in those to
whom the care of this wretched class of be-
ings is confided. Those who are most conver-
sant with the insane are uniformly agreed in
regard to the system which has been adopted
in all the institutions of this country, as well
as in the best-managed ones of Europe. Co-
ercion is not recognized in the code of treat-
ment; but the asperities of diseased humanity
are subdued, if at all, by an untiring practice
iif kind regai-d for the comfort and happiness
of the patient. Instead of being roused to the
desperation of madness by severities, priva-
tions and cruelties, which only give perma-
nency to hallucination, and increase the
wretchedness of the miserable subjects of
mental maladies, their path-ways are now
strewn with flowers. Music and the refininir
influences of choice society; the beauties of
art, and the soul-elevating powers of practical
Christianity, are brought into requisition to
mitigate the intensity of their sufferings.
Such is the Pauper Lunatic Hospital at South
Boston — a place where the inmates are made
comfortable in body, and, as dir as possible,
under the guidance of well-directed effu
mind also. — Boaton Medical and Surgical

pinions, and, in a sinking

condition, drifting at the mercy of the waves.
It may be he lives to reach a port — but, live
or die, the whole crew would aver that nothing
more could have been done for him, " as the
captain gave Jack a-plenfy of pity sic." We
Are familiar with the whole routine of manag-
ing diseases on ship-board, and are therefore
enabled to appreciate this very useful medical
guide for seamen. Our merchants ought to
put a copy on board of every vessel leaving
port — Boston Medical and Surgical Re-

Neio MetJiod of Grafting Apple trees.
Plant the seed in rows at a suitable dis-
tance from each other; and the hills, say
about five feet apart in each row. But one
tree should be suffered to grow in a place.
Now when the young tree is sufficiently
grown, in the spring of the second or third
y quality of fruit_may be grafted in


A third edition of this popular work, by
Dr. Usher Parsons, of Providence, R. I., is
just from the prolific press of Little ds Brown.
Having heretofore expressed the favourable
impression made by this judicious compilation,
it would hardly be worth while to repeat it
again. Its circulation must be of immense
advantage to those for whom it is designed ;
and it will probably become as familiar to the
intelligent mariner as the use of the quadrant.
Sailors suflier exceedingly for the want of me-
dical advice. All vessels, or nearly all, have
a medicine chest, but no medical directions
worthy of credence. If a man is taken sick,
the first order from the captain is to give him
a dose of salts, without much regard to symp-
toms. If word comes from the forecastle
next morning that Jack is no better, then fol-
lows a huge paper of jalap and calomel ; and
after that, he is left to fate, much like a ship
in a gale — the sails torn, bolt ropes gone, rud-


the following manner : — First, bend the
over, and obtain for it a firm resting place,
either on a block, or a board, resting on the
nee, (after it has been divested of its branch-
es,) and with a stout sharp-pointed knife,
pierce holes directly through the centre of
he tree, about five inches apart, into which
he scions are to be introduced — leaving about
wo or three buds. A trench is then to be
duK, in a direct line between the trees, about
inches deep, and the whole tree bent
down and buried, leaving the tops of the scions
hove ground. In this new condition, the
scions become uniformly thrifty young trees,
pported and nourished by the buried tree,
from which issue, in due time, roots from its
entire length. The second year from this
operation, the whole parent tree may be dug
up, the new growth sawed apart, and trans-
planted. It will thus be seen that if the tree
is five feet in height, ten or twelve young
trees of whatever quality is chosen, may be
obtained in this way ; whereas, by the ordina-
ry method of grafting, there could be but one,
provided the graft lived. The young scion
will bear fruit thus transplanted, in the same
time it would had it been grafted into a tree
fifteen years old. — Late paper.

Povltri;.— The editors of the Albany Cul-
tivator stale, that if hens are given a box of
dry sand and ashes, to dust themselves in, they
will not be troubled with vermin ; and that if
allowed free use of limestone and gravel, they
will not have the gapes.

Wagons. — Tar, for greasing wagons, we
think an absurd article. In the hottest wea-
ther it soon gums up and becomes adhesive,
and in cold weather is always so. Wherever
iron axle-trees are used, blacklead mixed with
grease is best, or flour mixed with lard.

If promotion be so dangerous, I will take
leave of being ambitious. I am high enough
if I can stand upright.


For " The Frieiiil."

When worlds of life and light,

first glowed in heaven's blue arch,
In orbits plinned by malchlcss might,

They took their solemn march.
Then wilh unwearied wings,

Did new-born Time attend, —
To measure for created things,

Duration which coutd end.
Onward, with noi-eless plume.

He hastens for that day,
When void of life, and spoiled of bloom,

Creation shall decay.
The chain of coming years.

Drawn by his arm of power,
From dark futurity appears.

And [lasses, hour by hour.
Th.aigh like a flash it rise,—

Th mgli quick as thought it speeds, —
Each moment carries, as it flies,

A record of our deeds.
Yes, every evil thought.

And sinful act, and word,
Before that awful throne is brought.

Where Justice wields the sword!

Another year is past ! —

Now at Its closing hour,
O let the thonghiful spirit cast

A glance of [licrcing power,
Back o'er departed days; —

Their secret records read;
Trace out with grief our devious ways.

And mourn each erring deed.
Wilh vision cleansed by lears, —

Hearts purged by sorrows deep, —
O, let us seek in coming years,

A holier watch to keep.
To Jesus if we draw,—

His purging spirit prove, —
Our hearts shall bow with deeper awe.

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 40 of 154)