Statistics of Human Life, 1870

According to a French statistician, taking the mean of many accounts, a man 50 years of age has slept 6000 days, worked 0500 days, walked 800 days, amused himself 4000 days, was eating 1500 days, was sick 500 days, etc. He ate 17,000 pounds of bread, 16,000 pounds of meat, 4600 pounds of vegetables, eggs, and fish, and drank 7000 gallons of liquid, namely, water, coffee, tea, beer, wine, etc., all together. This would make a respectable lake of 300 square feet surface and 3 feet deep, on which a small steamboat could navigate. And all this solid and liquid material passing through a human being in 50 years! Verily, there is after all some truth in the story of the ogre who drank a lake dry, to catch the fugitives that were sailing over it. Any man can do the sameonly give him time!

This estimate is, however, made for a Frenchman; for an American we have to modify it, by lessening the number of days he devotes to amusements, and in place of this substitute 1000 days for quietly speculating how to get more of the almighty dollar, 1500 days fortraveling by steam and horse power, and 200 days in waiting for means of transportation. The latter number is by no means over estimated for the inhabitants of New-York, Philadelphia, or other large cities of the Union.

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