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sired only to live with her like an indulgent | Tales of a king who had long languished friend, as the most morose and unsociable under an ill habit of body, and had taken husband in the world. It is no easy matter abundance of remedies to no purpose. At to describe our circumstance, but it is length, says the fable, a physician cured miserable with this aggravation, that it him by the following method: he took an might be easily mended, and yet no remedy hollow ball of wood, and filled it with seveendeavoured. She reads you, and there is ral drugs; after which he closed it up so a phrase or two in this letter which she will artificially that nothing appeared. He know came from me. If we enter into an likewise took a mall, and after having holexplanation which may tend to our future lowed the handle and that part which quiet by your means, you shall have our strikes the ball, he inclosed in them several joint thanks; in the mean time I am (as drugs after the same manner as in the ball much as I can in this ambiguous condition itself. He then ordered the sultan, who be any thing,) sir, your humble servant.' was his patient, to exercise himself early in the morning with these rightly prepared instruments, till such time as he should sweat; when, as the story goes, the virtue of the medicaments perspiring through the wood, had so good an influence on the sultan's constitution, that they cured him of an indisposition which all the compositions he had taken inwardly had not been able to remove. This eastern allegory is finely contrived to show us how beneficial bodily
'MR. SPECTATOR,-Give me leave to make you a present of a character not yet described in your papers, which is that of a man who treats his friend with the same odd variety which a fantastical female tyrant practises towards her lover. I have for some time had a friendship with one of those mercurial persons. The rogue I know loves me, yet takes advantage of my fondness for him to use me as he pleases. We labour is to health, and that exercise is are by turns the best friends and the great-the most effectual physic. I have described est strangers imaginable. Sometimes you in my hundred and fifteenth paper, from would think us inseparable; at other times the general structure and mechanism of an he avoids me for a long time, yet neither human body, how absolutely necessary exhe nor I know why. When we meet next ercise is for its preservation: I shall in this by chance, he is amazed he has not seen me, is impatient for an appointment the tive of health, which in many cases proplace recommend another great preservasame evening; and when I expect he would duces the same effects as exercise, and may have kept it, I have known him slip away in some measure supply its place, where to another place; where he has sat reading opportunities of exercise are wanting. The the news, when there is no post; smoking
staring about him in company with whom he has had nothing to do, as if he wondered
how he came there.
his pipe which he seldom cares for; and preservative I am speaking of is temperance, which has those particular advantages above all other means of health, that it may be practised by all ranks and conis a kind of regimen into which every man ditions, at any season, or in any place. It may put himself, without interruption to business, expense of money, or loss of time. If exercise throws off all superfluities, tem
That I may state my case to you the more fully, I shall transcribe some short minutes I have taken of him in my almanack since last spring; for you must know there are certain seasons of the year, according to which, I will not say our friend-perance prevents them; if exercise clears the vessels, temperance neither satiates ship, but the enjoyment of it rises or falls. nor overstrains them; if exercise raises In March and April he was as various as the weather; in May and part of June I found him the sprightliest best-humoured fellow in the world; in the dog-days he was much upon the indolent; in September very agreeable but very busy; and since the glass fell last to changeable, he has made three appointments with me, and broke them every one. However, I have good hopes of him this winter, especially if you will lend me your assistance to reform him, which will be a great ease and pleasure to sir, your most humble servant. 'October 9, 1711.' T.
proper ferments in the humours, and promotes the circulation of the blood, temenables her to exert herself in all her perance gives nature her full play, and force and vigour; if exercise dissipates a growing distemper, temperance starves it. Physic, for the most part, is nothing else but the substitute of exercise and temperance. Medicines are indeed absolutely necessary in acute distempers, that cannot wait the slow operations of those two great instruments of health; but did men live in an habitual course of exercise and temperance, there would be but little occasion for them. Accordingly we find that those parts of the world are the most healthy, where they subsist by the chace; and that men lived longest when their lives were employed in hunting, and when they had little food besides what they caught. Blis tering, cupping, bleeding, are seldom of use but to the idle and intemperate; as all
No. 195.] Saturday, October 13, 1711.
Νήπιοι, ουδ' ισασιν όσα πλέον ημίσυ παντός.
THERE is a story in the Arabian Nights
those inward applications which are so much in practice among us, are for the most part nothing else but expedients to make luxury consistent with health. The apothecary is perpetually employed in countermining the cook and the vintner. It is said of Diogenes, that meeting a young man who was going to a feast, he took him up in the street and carried him home to his friends, as one who was running into imminent danger, had not he prevented him. What would that philosopher have said, had he been present at the gluttony of a modern meal? Would not he have thought the master of a family mad, and have begged his servants to tie down his hands, had he seen him devour foul, fish, and flesh; swallow oil and vinegar, wines and spices; throw down sallads of twenty different herbs, sauces of an hundred ingredients, confections and fruits of numberless sweets and flavours? What unnatural motions and counter-ferments must such a medley of intemperance produce in the body? For my part, when I behold a fashionable table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy that I see gouts and dropsies, fevers and lethargies, with other innumerable distempers lying in ambuscade among the dishes.
the second for my friends, the third for good humour, and the fourth for mine enemies.' But because it is impossible for one who lives in the world to diet himself always in so philosophical a manner, I think every man should have his days of abstinence, according as his constitution will permit. These are great reliefs to nature, as they qualify her for struggling with hunger and thirst, whenever any distemper or duty of life may put her upon such difficulties; and at the same time give her an opportunity of extricating herself from her oppressions, and recovering the several tones and springs of her distended vessels. Besides that abstinence, well-timed, often kills a sickness in embryo, and destroys the first seeds of an indisposition. It is observed by two or three ancient authors,† that Socrates, notwithstanding he lived in Athens during that great plague, which has made so much noise through all ages, and has been celebrated at different times by such eminent hands; I say, notwithstanding that he lived in the time of this devouring pestilence, he never caught the least infection, which those writers unanimously ascribe to that uninterrupted temperance which he always observed.
And here I cannot but mention an observation which I have often made, upon reading the lives of the philosophers, and comparing them with any series of kings or great men of the same number. If we consider these ancient sages, a great part of whose philosophy consisted in a temperate and abstemious course of life, one would think the life of a philosopher and the life of a man were of two different dates. For we find that the generality of these wise men were nearer an hundred than sixty years of age, at the time of their respective deaths. But the most remarkable instance of the efficacy of temperance towards the procuring of long life, is what we meet with in a little book published by Lewis Cornaro, the Venetian; which I the rather mention, because it is of undoubted credit, as the late Venetian ambassador, who was of the same family, attested more than once in conversation, when he resided in England. Cornaro, who was the author of the little treatise I am mentioning, was of an infirm constitution, until about forty, when by obstinately persisting in an exact course of temperance, he recovered a perfect state of health;‡ insomuch that at fourscore he published his book, which has been transfated into English under the title of Sure and Certain Methods of Attaining a Long and Healthy Life. He lived to give a third or
Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet. Every animal, but man, keeps to one dish. Herbs are the food of this species, fish of that, and flesh of a third. Man falls upon every thing that comes in his way; not the smallest fruit or excrescence of the earth, scarce a berry or a mushroom, can escape him.
It is impossible to lay down any determinate rule for temperance, because what is luxury in one may be temperance in another; but there are few that have lived any time in the world, who are not judges of their own constitutions, so far as to know what kinds and what proportions of food do best agree with them. Were I to consider my readers as my patients, and to prescribe such a kind of temperance as is accommodated to all persons, and such as is particularly suitable to our climate and way of living, I would copy the following rules of a very eminent physician. Make your whole repast out of one dish. If you indulge in a second, avoid drinking any thing strong until you have finished your meal; at the same time abstain from all sauces, or at least such as are not the most plain and simple.' A man could not be well guilty of gluttony, if he stuck to these few obvious and easy rules. In the first case there would be no variety of tastes to solicit his palate, and occasion excess; nor in the second any artificial provocatives to relieve satiety, and create a false appetite. Were I to prescribe a rule for drinking, it should be formed upon a saying quoted by Sir William Temple: The first glass for myself,
* Diog. Laert. Vita Philosoph. lib. vi. cap. 2. n. 6.
Diogenes Laertius in Vit. Socratis.-Elian in Var.
His. Lib. 13. cap. 27, &c.
1 Lewis Cornaro was born in 1467. In his youth he lived very freely; which brought him into a bad state of health, upon which he formed the resolution of confining himself to twelve ounces of food and fourteen of
wine daily; by which means, and exercise, he not only recovered his health, but acquired a vigorous constitution. He died at Padua in 1565.
fourth edition of it; and after having passed his hundredth year, died without pain or agony, and like one who falls asleep. The treatise I mention has been taken notice of by several eminent authors, and is written with such a spirit of cheerfulness, religion and good sense, as are the natural concomitants of temperance and sobriety. The mixture of the old man in it is rather a recommendation than a discredit to it.
Having designed this paper as the sequel to that upon exercise, I have not here sidered temperance as it is a moral virtue, which I shall make the subject of a future speculation, but only as it is the means of health. L.
of refinement are talking of tranquillity, he possesses it.
"What I would, by these broken expressions, recommend to you, Mr. Spectator, is, that you would speak of the way of life which plain men may pursue, to fill up the spaces of time with satisfaction. It is a lamentable circumstance, that wisdom, or, as you call it, philosophy, should furnish ideas only for the learned; and that a man must be a philosopher to know how to pass con-away his time agreeably. It would, therefore, be worth your pains to place in a handsome light the relations and affinities among men, which render their conversation with each other so grateful, that the highest talents give but an impotent pleasure in comparison with them. You may find descriptions and discourses which will render the fire-side of an honest artificer as entertaining as your own club is to you. Good-nature has an endless source of pleasures in it: and the representation of domestic life filled with its natural gratifications, instead of the necessary vexations which are generally insisted upon in the writings of the witty, will be a very good office to society.
"The vicissitudes of labour and rest in the lower part of mankind, make their being pass away with that sort of relish which we express by the word comfort; and should be treated of by you, who are a Spectator, as well as such subjects which appear indeed more speculative, but are less instructive. In a word, sir, I would have you turn your thoughts to the advantage of such as
MR. SPECTATOR,-There is a particular fault which I have observed in most of the moralists in all ages, and that is, that they are always professing themselves, and teaching others, to be happy. This state is not to be arrived at in this life, therefore I would recommend to you to talk in an humbler strain than your predecessors have done, and instead of presuming to be happy, instruct us only to be easy. The thoughts of him who would be discreet, and aim at practicable things, should turn upon allay-want you most; and show that simplicity, ing our pain, rather than promoting our innocence, industry, and temperance, are joy. Great inquietude is to be avoided, arts which lead to tranquillity, as much as but great felicity is not to be attained. The learning, wisdom, knowledge, and contemgreat lesson is equanimity, a regularity of plation.-I am, sir, your most humble serspirit, which is a little above cheerfulness vant, T. B.' and below mirth. Cheerfulness is always to be supported if a man is out of pain, but mirth to a prudent man should always be accidental. It should naturally arise out of the occasion, and the occasion seldom be laid for it; for those tempers who want mirth to be pleased, are like the constitutions which flag without the use of brandy. Therefore, I say, let your precept be, Be easy.' That mind is dissolute and ungo-myself the most suddenly, make a curtsey, verned, which must be hurried out of itself and let fall my hands before me, closing my by loud laughter or sensual pleasure, or fan at the same instant, the best of any else be wholly unactive. woman in England. I am not a little delighted that I have had your notice and approbation; and however other young women may rally me out of envy, I triumph in it, and demand a place in your friendship. You must, therefore, permit me to lay before you the present state of my mind. I was reading your Spectator of the 9th instant, and thought the circumstance of the
'Hackney, Oct. 12. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am the young woman whom you did so much justice to some time ago, in acknowledging that I am perfect mistress of the fan, and use it with the utmost knowledge and dexterity. Indeed the world, as malicious as it is, will allow that from a hurry of laughter I recollect
There are a couple of old fellows of my acquaintance who meet every day and smoke a pipe, and by their mutual love to each other, though they have been men of business and bustle in the world, enjoy a greater tranquillity than either could have worked himself into by any chapter of SeIndolence of body and mind, when we aim at no more, is very frequently en-ass divided between the two bundles of hay joyed; but the very inquiry after happiness which equally affected his senses, was a has something restless in it, which a man lively representation of my present condiwho lives in a series of temperate meals, tion, for you are to know that I am exfriendly conversations, and easy slumbers, tremely enamoured with two young gentlegives himself no trouble about. While men men who at this time pretend to me. One
No 196.] Monday, October 15, 1711.
Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit æquus.
True happiness is to no place confin'd,
must hide nothing when one is asking ad- | observer fancies he can scarce be mistaken
The mathematician will take little less
I may possibly some time or other animadvert more at large on the particular fault each profession is most infected with; but shall at present wholly apply myself to the cure of what I last mentioned, namely, that spirit of strife and contention in the conversations of gentlemen of the long robe.
No. 197.] Tuesday, October 16, 1711.
Alter rixatur de lana sæpe caprina,
EVERY age a man passes through, and way of life he engages in, has some particular vice or imperfection naturally cleaving to it, which it will require his nicest care to avoid. The several weaknesses to which youth, old age, and manhood are exposed, have long since been set down by many both of the poets and philosophers; but I do not remember to have met with any author who has treated of those ill habits men are subject to, not so much by reason of their different ages and tempers, as the particular professions or business in which they were educated and brought up. I am the more surprised to find this subject so little touched on, since what I am here speaking of is so apparent, as not to escape the most vulgar observation. The business men are chiefly conversant in, does not only give a certain cast or turn to their minds, but is very often apparent in their outward behaviour, and some of the most indifferent actions of their lives. It is this air diffusing itself over the whole man, which helps us to find out a person at his first appearance; so that the most careless
The liberal arts, though they may possibly have less effect on our external mien. and behaviour, make so deep an impression on the mind, as is very apt to bend it wholly one way.
This is the more ordinary, because these gentlemen regarding argument as their own proper province, and very often making ready money of it, think it unsafe to yield before company. They are showing in common talk how zealously they could defend a cause in court, and therefore frequently forget to keep that temper which is absolutely requisite to render conversation pleasant and instructive.
Captain Sentry pushes this matter so far that I have heard him say, 'he has known but few pleaders that were tolerable company.'
The captain, who is a man of good sense,
Upon my calling in lately at one of the most noted Temple coffee-houses, I found the whole room which was full of young students, divided into several parties, each of which was deeply engaged in some controversy. The management of the late ministry was attacked and defended with great vigour; and several preliminaries to the peace were proposed by some, and rejected by others; the demolishing of Dunkirk was so eagerly insisted on, and so warmly controverted, as had like to have produced a challenge. In short, I observed that the desire of victory, whetted with the little prejudices of party and interest, generally carried the argument to such a height, as made the disputants insensibly conceive an aversion towards each other, and part with the highest dissatisfaction on both sides.
The managing an argument handsomely being so nice a point, and what I have seen so very few excel in, I shall here set down a few rules on that head, which among other things, I gave in writing to a young kinsman of mine, who had made so great a proficiency in the law that he began to plead in company, upon every subject that was
Having the entire manuscript by me, I may perhaps, from time to time, publish such parts of it as I shall think requisite for the instruction of the British youth. What regards my present purpose is as follows:
Avoid disputes as much as possible. In order to appear easy and well-bred in conversation, you may assure yourself that it requires more wit, as well as more good humour, to improve than to contradict the notions of another: but if you are at any time obliged to enter on an argument, give your reasons with the utmost coolness and modesty, two things which scarce ever fail of making an impression on the hearers. Besides, if you are neither dogmatical, nor show either by your actions or words, that you are full of yourself, all will the more heartily rejoice at your victory. Nay, should you be pinched in your argument you may make your retreat with a very good grace. You were never positive, and are now glad to be better informed. This has made some approve the Socratical way of reasoning, where, while you scarce affirm any thing, you can hardly be caught in an
*Part i. can. 1. ver. 69, 70.