While writing this chapter I (How I Became A Fletcherite) have been forwarded material for indignation and a text for condemnation in the form of a book so full of food prescription that it is positively poisonous, as read with the intelligence of my own and current knowledge of the subject, that it ought to be pilloried as a "Horrible Example" of presumptuous prescription and proscription. It is an advertisement pure and simple, but so prejudicial to the natural facts in the case that it again raises the question of the advisability of a Supreme Court of the Physiology of Nutrition, to try such nutrition perverters for high treason to Mother Nature.

I will not name the book or the author, to further the advertisement. I once stopped a controversy with the doctor-father of the author by offering to wager him one hundred pounds that I could beat him out on a ten mile go-as-you-please tramp, which he had mentioned as one of his stunts to prove his contentions. Our ages were nearly equal, and the difference of training consisted of his prescribing for himself over 100 grams of proteid daily (less by 20 percent, than the vicious Voit *

* Carl Voit, of Munich, prescribed as Standard daily diet for a man doing moderate work: 118 grams of Protein, 56 grs. Fat, 500 grs. Carbohydrates, with a total fuel value of 3,055 large calories; increasing the same to 145 grains Protein, 160 grs. Fat, 450 grs. Carbohydrates, with a total fuel value of 3,370 or Koenig Standards, and less by 30 per cent, than the Standard that killed poor Professor Atwater), while I had subsisted for years on less than half his prescription. He warned me that I was courting death, but that he was providing for himself longevity by the mile. He got mad with me, and nearly fumed at the mouth, because I assumed to insist that only Mother Nature was a competent prescriber, intimating that he was not. I could not out-talk him, and so I sent him a challenge. He made the excuse that he was leaving for the Continent for a rest, but would talk further with me when he returned. His reputed forty-thousand-pound office practice of prescribing his favourlarge calories. This is the celebrated Voit Diet Standard. Professor Atwater, of Connecticut, went further, prescribing as Daily Diet Standard no less than 125 grams of Proteins, with sufficient fat and carbohydrates to equal a total fuel value of 3,500 large calories for a man doing a moderate amount of labour; increasing the amount of Protein to 150 grams, with fats and carbohydrates to a total fuel value of 4,500 large calories per diemite dietaries had worn him out and he was going for a rest. Later I heard of him in a sanatorium - surely disgraceful to a doctor to be compelled to go to such a place for "treatment."

The race, or contest, never took place, but since then I personally have several times broken records established by men one-half, and even one-third, of my age with progressive ease up to three years ago when last put to a test, and I have noted no letting-up of the progress of recuperation as judged by "feelings"or endurance when doing unusual stunts.

In this direction I now feel that 1 have done enough, and that it is not for age to tempt Providence by competing with the Prime of Muscularity in feats of strength and endurance. John L. Sullivan and Jefferies and many more went once too often into the ring, and Mother Nature, not Corbett or Jack Johnson, knocked them out for good and all. Fletcherizing does not include either imprudence or bluff. It merely trusts good Mother Nature for directions to accompany her nutriment-medicine. Whenever at any time I feel the impulse to turn somersaults from the lead platform of a man-of-war into good, clean salt-water - as I did a few years ago or so in the Philippines, as a demonstration to impress the natives - I will "up and do it, or die in the attempt" What I am doing now more than ever is keeping my ear to the mouth of Mother Nature, my finger on her pulse of command, and doing her biddings as well as I can interpret them. If a thing is not agreeable to do, I take it as a warning not to do it. There are so many useful things to do that are pleasant, what is the use of going out of the way to do disagreeable things. There are some things that are natural and agreeable that we should do, and which we have got out of the habit of doing, physical exercise, for instance. We are dealing with cultivated abnormalities always in a cramped and complex civilisation. "We are constantly doing the things that we should not do, and leaving undone those things that we ought to do," as the Prayer Book tells us, including carelessness of eating, and shirking physical exercise.

To return to the callow book of the canny doctor-son of my antagonist of a dozen years ago. It isn't so callow as it is canny, and since the persons in the case are of the canniest of peoples, those who are so shrewd that Jewish merchants do not thrive among them, and the prescription results in thousands of pounds a year revenue, the game may be set down to ordinary commercial cupidity and popular gullibility. It is safe to always warn against Prescription for Revenue. Like patriotism or religion for revenue, it is questionable, if not surely selfishly prejudiced.

On the other hand, Mother Nature charges no fee for her advice. She pays good coin as a premium for her patients in the same way that I bribed my first test subjects into eating right by paying them for eating in addition to furnishing the food.

Doubting Thomases

who are too lazy, or incredulous, or careless, to take a month to try the Mother Nature Prescription as interpreted by me, are liable to say: "Appetite is abnormal. Taste is perverted, and the demands of the body are wholly unnatural."

True! But abnormality of that sort can be corrected in a very short time. A "poor chap" who is lucky enough to have to go without food long enough to "whinney like a horse" at the smell of fresh-baked bread and the thought of good Danish butter on it, is not going to "turn up his nose" at even a crisp baked potato; neither is he likely to require sweetbreads to coax himself to eat. Correcting perverted appetite is like purifying a stream which is being polluted at its source and runs muddy all the way to the sea. Stop the pollution, and the stream will purify itself as fast as ever it can by hurrying along with its impurities to the great ocean sewerage.