H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

consuetude, and therefore by no means to bee brought in opposition to my argument.

That health is exceedingly promoted by temperance and an equable flow of the spirits, is remarkably sett forth in the lives of the ancient pedagogues. Gorgias, the master of Isocrates lived to bee 104. The year before his death some one demanded, in his school, how hee had been able to support soe long the tedious and opprefsive burden of old age; to which the sophist replyed, "That hee regretted nothing hee had done, and felt nothing of which hee could reasonably complain: my youth, (sayed hee,) cannot accuse mee, nor can I accuse mine old age." Isocrates, his scholar, in the ninety-fourth year of his age, published a book, and survived that publication four years; in all which time he betrayed not the least failure, either in memory, or in judgement; but as hee had long lived, so hee died, with the reputation of being the most eloquent man in Greece*. Xenophilus, an eminent Pythagorean philosopher, taught a numerous train of scholars, till he arrived at the age of 105; and even then enjoyed a very perfect state of health, and retained his abilities to the last.

In the luxurious age of Augustus, Lucius Volusius escaped all the fatal consequences of intemperance, by a life dedicated to agriculture and contemplation. Illustrious in his retirement, and though pofsefsed of great opulence, never obnoxious even

Plutarch in vit. Isocrat.

to the bloody spirits of the Roman tyrants, hee attained his ninety-third year.

Now, as from the whole tissue of biographical investigation, touching the acquisition and preservation of health, it will bee found that temperance, and rationall pleasing engaging pursuits, are the great agents whereby the important blefsing is gained and secured, let us conclude that the first and grand element of the art of life is the regiment of health.

As I have written elsewhere, "there is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physick, a man's own observation; what hee finds good of, and what hee finds kurt of, is the best physick to preserve health.”

A man may surely avoyd the appearance of extraordinary singularity of dyet, or regiment of health, and yet govern his proceedings therein with a due regard to the good estate of his bodie; and this ought to be early imprefsed upon the minds of our young people, when at the age of puberty they are entering in the world, and the seas of the dangerous syrens.

The stallions of Spayne are kept chaste untill a goodly age, that their strength bee fully confirmed; and they are young when ours are only fit to bee given to the dog kennel.

They are also accustomed to the company of the females without being unseasonably rampant and excefsive, and may be set forth as an example and pattern for the conduct of our youth in the first attainment of vigorous manhood.

In the proper fruition therefore of the pleasure incident to the married estate, wee may place another

great rule for the regiment of health, and the art of life.

During the whole of the estates of youth and of manhood, the desire of pleasing the other sex doeth constitute a great part of the common ambition of fashionable life; and as much of that part of life among all ranks of men, as time and opportunity will permit.

Now let it be duely perpended by our Strephons, that their Chloes will esteem them rather for the riches they have yet to bestow, than for the money they have thrown away in handfuls among the populace.

* Moreover, though it bee true that from the commodity and artificial aids of society, man's instincts are much lefs vigorous and instructive than those of the brutes, yet nevertheless there are strong indications among savage nations, of humane instincts, that deserve due consideration among those that are most civilized.

The natives of the torrid zone, whose stomachs and other viscera are apt to be relaxed by the heat of the climate, and where the bile overflows from similar causes, bountiful nature hath not only afforded infinite plenty and variety of carminiatives and antiscepticks, but given to the people an insatiable propensity to mix them with their ordinary food. Sir Walter Raleigh reporteth, that it is even common for the natives of these burning climes to devour the pod of the pepper tree as they pafs along in the fields; and that they chew also the bitter barks

[ocr errors]

of sundry trees, during the seasons of the rainy weather, which is found to keep them from the fever which then rages with singular fury.

The use therefore of carminiatives and spices, ought to be substitued to that of strong liquors, which are not attainable by the poor, and are so apt, by excefs in the use of them, to hurt the health of the opulent.

It is a strange custom that prevails so universally among men, that of confounding their senses by fermented liquors, and seemeth to have been devised by savages somewhat advanced in the arts of agriculture, who found a dreadful listlefsnefs in the intervals of hunting and rural occupation, when corn and fruits grew with such abundance as to produce with lefs labour than was necefsary to excite their active powers in a regular succefsion.

The account given in the Scriptures of the first introduction of the fermented juice of the grape, favours the conjecture that the discovery was accidental; since it cannot be supposed that Noah, with the experience of six or seven hundred years, would have exposed himself to the view of his servants and children in a state inebriety, which he must have been able otherwise to have foreseen.

Now, as far the greater part of the human kind do abstain from the use of fermented and strong po tations, as among the Indian nations of Asia, the custom seemeth not to originate from nature, but habit; so that by a contrary habit it may bee vanquished. VOL. xiv.

[ocr errors]

To those, however, who would seek this noble victory over a vitious practice, it may be counselled that they ought not in the conflict with it to attempt either too much or too suddenly, nor yet too little : for if too much, the custom or second nature, as it hath been called, will be too strong for them; and if too little, the strength of the opposite intention will not have sufficient exercise. Invasion of uxorious rivers are best guarded against by throwing down small peebles on the margins thereof, where the invasion was experienced; and in like manner, the invasion of evil habits is most effectually to bee obviated by numberlefs and continual small increments of resolution, obtained by successful opposition to the tream of pafsion or appetite, till at last there obtaineth a strong bulwark of an opposite habit. To be continued.

ON POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS IN RUSSIA. SIR, To the Editor of the Bee.

D. Guthrie

As you offer at the end of your prospectus raisonné, a place in the Bee for foul fiends, I have a northern one, named Damavoy, whom I heartily with there, out of my stable, where he takes inconvenient liberties with my horses, who by no means agree with midnight rides, and daily drives.

After much learned research into the family and pedigree of this Rufsian goblin, I have made a discovery which I doubt not will recommend me to the

« TrướcTiếp tục »