The old mediaeval theory of disregard of the body is still so strongly ingrained in some of the noblest natures that they would far rather be ill now and then than have to think out habitually what is good for them and act up to it, or to believe when they are ill that it is their own fault rather than a visitation of Providence which they are to bear with resignation. They send for a doctor, pay him cheerfully, and hope for better days. This attitude of mind will change when people are trained from childhood to understand that all sickness not caught from a germ is preventible, and that doing without food for a day, or even two, does far less harm to the healthy than eating wrong food.To be able to miss a meal without feeling the worse, is one of the surest tests of being in good health. There was a time in my life when I nearly cried with misery if I did not get my tea at 5 o'clock, and felt quite ill all the evening. We must have patience and some courage. Revolutions are never effected in the bosom of peace and perfect concordance.

When I was young I remember saying to a friend, ' I wonder what the new religion will be when it comes ?' She answered, ' Something set to Wagner's music' This did not seem to me to strike the true note. She had been long in Germany and was devoted to Wagner and his genius. I was not musical, and did not at that time know much of Wagner, but from the little I did know I felt he did not strike the key-note of self-denial which in some form or other is the basis of all religion. It will be curious if the religion of the future should avoid the dangerous asceticism of the Middle Ages which denied the body, by going back to the earlier Greek idea which recognised it as deserving of all respect, and treated it as a precious instrument to be kept in the highest degree of efficiency and perfection: practising abstinence for the sake of health rather than as a direct means to moral excellence.

In advocating the diet, one of the hardest things to combat, after the opposition of friends and inconvenience to social life, is a certain fondness of food and drink among those who consider that the one legitimate indulgence of life is to eat, if not drink, what one likes. I know several people who never deny that they are much the better for dieting, but who nearly burst with indignation when sitting at a table and seeing others eating all round them, because they cannot do the same. This naive and childlike side of the question was rather a revelation to me, as all my life I had avoided the tilings I thought not good for me, however tempting they were.I can't understand eating that which you know does you harm. Modern vegetarianism has enormously grown out of sentiment, but I think it is exceedingly advisable that people who take to the simpler foods for health's sake rather than for sentimental reasons, should at least adopt an attitude of mind which will give the system a fair trial unprejudiced by likes and dislikes, mental irritation being bad for digestion.

A terrible idea has got about amongst my friends, and I might almost say patients, that if they take to the diet more or less strictly, they are not only to be quickly made quite well, but to remain so perpetually. Over-fatigue, change of weather, indigestion, &c, are supposed to have no effect at all on the non-meat-eater. Now I want everybody who undertakes the diet in consequence of ill health to understand that it cannot suddenly repair a debilitated state of the digestive organs. Most of our modern ailments are acknowledged to come from indigestion and non-assimilation. This goes on in many cases long after the excess of uric acid has ceased, and then the patients turn round on me and say, 'Why, after years of this self-denial and all the trouble that this peculiar feeding brings, am I to have this and that ailment?'The probability is that they have frequently not digested their simpler food any better than they did their mixed foods; they also do not get the enforced rest which attacks of illness, often lasting a week or more, imposed upon them. One can only assure them - and this sounds a feeble comfort - that they would have been much worse on the old diet, for I have never met a case which did not admit that any attacks of illness under the diet were very much milder than they formerly were.

It is obviously unfair to judge of a diet which is the best for man in health by its effects on invalids. People with weak digestions have a difficult hill to get over in leaving off meat, as doubtless it is lighter of digestion than any other food containing the same amount of nourishment. But people seldom realise that what may be a gain to the digestion may be an injury to the blood, and will bring round in time the very troubles from which they temporarily escape. For those who are digesting so badly that they are underfed, which can easily be told by colour of gums, loss of weight, excitable nerves, &c, it is most important that they should test themselves by weighing from time to time- say every three months. The nightmare of growing fat, alluded to before, makes many women believe they cannot take either milk or cheese. In these cases there must be a diet within the diet and a careful study of the proteid foods, which give nourishment without bulk.

In cases of severe dyspepsia, Mellin's Food is invaluable. Most people at the first difficulty say, ' The diet is not agreeing with me,' and go back to meat and champagne, which does them immense good for a short time till the increased uric acid in their system brings back their original troubles. All the relations are delighted, the doctor in attendance is jubilant, and the vicious circle again begins. Their winter or spring illness is attributed to cold and east wind.

I, from my experience, am quite convinced that in all cases of dyspepsia, rheumatism, gout, it is impossible to live up to anything like the full physiological allowance of proteid, especially in the case of women who do not work off the evil effect of non-assimilation by violent exercise as most men occasionally do. And here comes the great difficulty, viz. that each person has to find out for himself what amount of proteid he can assimilate, and in what form. Nobody else can know whether Nature is properly performing her functions, and digesting the food taken.Any necessityfor a return to drugs,or violently irritating foods like cracked wheat, is a sign that even the simpler foods are not being properly digested.