Constitution, is the particular temperament of the body, which depends chiefly on the state of its humours or fluids, and sometimes also on the solids, but especially the nerves.
It is curious, says Dr. Perci-VAL, to observe the revolution that has taken place, within the last century, in the constitutions of the inhabitants of Europe. Inflammatory diseases occur less frequently; and in general are less rapid and violent in their effects, than they were formerly. This advantageous change, however, is more than counter-balanced by the introduction of debilitating articles of food and drink, several of which were utterly unknown to our ancestors, but now universally prevail. The bodies of men and women are equally enfeebled and enervated: nay, it is no uncommon circumstance to meet with a very high degree of irritability under the externa) ternal appearance of great strength and robustness. Hypochondriacal complaints, palsies, dropsies, and ail those diseases that originate in debility, are now generally ende-mial; and hysterics, which were formerly peculiar to women, attack at present either sex indiscriminately. A variety of causes must Concur to effect so great and universal a revolution. The first of these is the general use of Tea ; to which article we refer. The second place may, perhaps, be assigned to the excessive use of spirituous liquors; a pernicious custom which, in too many instances, originates in the former ; as, from the lowness and depression of spirits occasioned by the continual use of tea,it becomes almost indispensably necessary to have recourse to something cordial and exhilarating. Hence many sagacious persons pretend to have discovered the grand secret of obviating the hurtful effects of that favourite drug, by mixing a few tea-spoonfuls of brandy with each cup of tea, especially in dull or hazy weather. Thus, they gra-dually become tipplers; and hence proceed those odious and disgraceful habits of intemperance, which, We fear, are at present with justice imputed to many females in the middle ranks of society, who, independently of this barbarous custom, would be. an ornament to their sex. Indignation and horror would strike our more temperate ancestors, could they behold their degenerate progeny approaching with rapid steps towards that humiliating state of apathy and servitude, in which many nations of Europe, both north and south of this island, languish in deplorable misery. - See Brandy and Spi-Rits.