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as they do themselves, in danger to be starved, if they have not flesh, at least twice a day. This I am sure, children would breed their teeth with much less danger, be freer from diseases, whilst they were little, and lay the foundations of an healthy and strong constitution much surer, if they were not crammed so much as they are, by fond mothers and foolish servants, and were kept wholly from flesh, the first three or four years of their lives.
But if my young master must needs have flesh, let it be but once a day, and of one sort, at a meal. Plain beef, mutton, veal, &c. without other sauce than hunger, is best and great care should be used, that he eat bread plentifully both alone and with every thing else. And whatever he eats, that is solid, make him chew it well. We English are often negligent herein; from whence follows indigestion, and other great inconveniencies.
§ 14. For breakfast and supper, milk, milk-pottage, water-gruel, flummery, and twenty other things, that we are wont to make in England, are very fit for children only in all these let care be taken that they be plain, and without much mixture, and very sparingly seasoned with sugar, or rather none at all: especially all-spice, and other things that may heat the blood, are carefully to be avoided. Be sparing also of salt, in the seasoning of all his victuals, and use him not to high-seasoned meats. Our palates grow into a relish and liking of the seasoning and cookery, which by custom they are set to; and an over-much use of salt, besides that it occasions thirst, and over-much drinking, has other ill-effects upon the body. I should think that a good piece of well-made and well-baked brown bread, sometimes with, and sometimes without, butter or cheese, would be often the best breakfast for my young master. I am sure it is as wholesome, and will make him as strong a man as greater delicacies; and if he be used to it, it will be as pleasant to him. If he at any time calls for victuals between meals, use him to nothing but dry bread. If he be hungry, more than wanton, bread alone will down; and if he be not
hungry, it is not fit he should eat. By this you will obtain two good effects: 1. That by custom he will come to be in love with bread; for, as I said, our palates and stomachs too are pleased with the things we are used to. Another good you will gain hereby is, that you will not teach him to eat more nor oftener than nature requires. I do not think that all people's appetites are alike: some have naturally stronger, and some weaker stomachs. But this I think, that many are made gormands and gluttons by custom, that were not so by nature: and I see, in some countries, men as lusty and strong, that eat but two meals a day, as others that have set their stomachs by a constant usage, like larums, to call on them for four or five. The Romans usually fasted till supper; the only set meal, even of those who ate more than once a day: and those who used breakfasts, as some did at eight, some at ten, others at twelve of the clock, and some later, neither ate flesh, nor had any thing made ready for them. Augustus, when the greatest monarch on the earth, tells us, he took a bit of dry bread in his chariot. And Seneca in his 83d epistle, giving an account how he managed himself, even when he was old, and his age permitted indulgence, says, that he used to eat a piece of dry bread for his dinner, without the formality of sitting to it: though his estate would have as well paid for a better meal (had health required it) as any subject's in England, were it doubled. The masters of the world were bred up with this spare diet and the young gentlemen of Rome felt no want of strength or spirit, because they ate but once a day. Or if it happened by chance, that any one could not fast so long as till supper, their only set meal; he took nothing but a bit of dry bread, or at most a few raisins, or some such slight thing with it, to stay his stomach. This part of temperance was found so necessary, both for health and business, that the custom of only one meal a day held out against that prevailing luxury, which their Eastern conquests and spoils had brought in amongst them: and those, who had given up their old frugal eating, and made feasts, yet began them
not till the evening. And more than one set meal a day was thought so monstrous, that it was a reproach, as low down as Cæsar's time, to make an entertainment, or sit down to a full table, till towards sunset. And therefore, if it would not be thought too severe, I should judge it most convenient, that my young master should have nothing but bread too for breakfast. You cannot imagine of what force custom is; and I impute a great part of our diseases in England to our eating too much flesh, and too little bread. § 15. As to his meals, I should think it best, that, as much as it can be conveniently avoided, they should not be kept constantly to an hour. For, when custom hath fixed his eating to certain stated periods, his stomach will expect victuals at the usual hour, and grow peevish if he passes it; either fretting itself into a troublesome excess, or flagging into a downright want of appetite. Therefore I would have no time kept constantly to for his breakfast, dinner, and supper, but rather varied, almost every day. And if, betwixt these, which I call meals, he will eat, let him have, as often as he calls for it, good dry bread. If any one think this too hard and sparing a diet for a child, let them know, that a child will never starve, nor dwindle for want of nourishment, who, besides flesh at dinner, and spoon-meat, or some such other thing at supper, may have good bread and beer, as often as he has a stomach: for thus, upon second thoughts, I should judge it best for children to be ordered. The morning is generally designed for study, to which a full stomach is but an ill preparation. Dry bread, though the best nourishment, has the least temptation and nobody would have a child crammed at breakfast, who has any regard to his mind or body, and would not have him dull and unhealthy. Nor let any one think this unsuitable to one of estate and condition. A gentleman, in any age, ought to be so bred, as to be fitted to bear arms, and be a soldier. But he that in this, breeds his son so, as if he designed him to sleep over his life, in the plenty and ease of a full for
tune he intends to leave him, little considers the examples he has seen, or the age he lives in.
§ 16. His drink should be only small beer; and that too he should never be suffered to have between meals, but after he had eat a piece of bread. The reasons why I say this are these:
§ 17. 1. More fevers and surfeits are got by people's drinking when they are hot, than by any one thing I know. Therefore, if by play he be hot and dry, bread will ill go down; and so, if he cannot have drink, but that condition, he will be forced to forbear. For, if he be very hot, he should by no means drink. At least, a good piece of bread first to be eaten, will gain time to warm the beer blood-hot, which then he may drink safely. If he be very dry, it will go down so warmed, and quench his thirst better: and, if he will not drink it so warmed, abstaining will not hurt him. Besides, this will teach him to forbear, which is an habit of greatest use for health of body and mind too.
§ 18. 2. Not being permitted to drink without eating, will prevent the custom of having the cup often at his nose; a dangerous beginning and preparation to good fellowship. Men often bring habitual hunger and thirst on themselves by custom. And, if you please to try, you may, though he be weaned from it, bring him by use to such a necessity of drinking in the night, that he will not be able to sleep without it. It being the lullaby, used by nurses, to still crying children; I believe mothers generally find some difficulty to wean their children from drinking in the night, when they first take them home. Believe it, custom prevails as much by day as by night; and you may, if you please, bring any one to be thirsty every hour.
I once lived in a house, where, to appease a froward child, they gave him drink as often as he cried; so that he was constantly bibbing: and though he could not speak, yet he drank more in twenty-four hours than I did. Try it when you please, you may with small, as well as with strong beer, drink yourself into a drought. The great thing to be minded in education
is, what habits you settle: and therefore in this, as all other things, do not begin to make any thing customary, the practice whereof would not have continue and increase. It is convenient for health and sobriety, to drink no more than natural thirst requires: and he that eats not salt meats, nor drinks strong drink, will seldom thirst between meals, unless he has been accustomed to such unseasonable drinking.
$ 19. Above all, take great care that he Strong drink. seldom, if ever, taste any wine, or strong drink. There is nothing so ordinarily given children in England, and nothing so destructive to them. They ought never to drink any strong liquor, but when they need it as a cordial, and the doctor prescribes it. And in this case it is, that servants are most narrowly to be watched, and most severely to be reprehended, when they transgress. Those mean sort of people, placing a great part of their happiness in strong drink, are always forward to make court to my young master, by offering him that which they love best themselves: and, finding themselves made merry by it, they foolishly think it will do the child no harm. This you are carefully to have your eye upon, and restrain with all the skill and industry you can: there being nothing that lays a surer foundation of mischief, both to body and mind, than children's being used to strong drink; especially to drink in private with the servants. § 20. Fruit makes one of the most difficult chapters in the government of health, especially that of children. Our first parents ventured paradise for it: and it is no wonder our children cannot stand the temptation, though it cost them their health. The regulation of this cannot come under any one general rule: for I am by no means of their mind, who would keep children almost wholly from fruit, as a thing totally unwholesome for them: by which strict way they make them but the more ravenous after it; and to eat good and bad, ripe or unripe, all that they can get, whenever they come at it. Melons, peaches, most sorts of plums, and all sorts of grapes in England,