Abbildungen der Seite





Rules of Sir R. Philips.--1. Rise early, and never sit up late. 2. Wash the whole body every morning with cold water, by means of a large sponge, and rub it dry with a rough towel, or scrub the whole body for ten or fifteen minutes with flesh brushes.

3. Drink water generally, and avoid excess of spirits, wine, and fermented liquors.

4. Keep the body open by the free use of the syringe, and remove superion obstructions by aperient pills,

5. Sleep in a room which has free access to the open air.

6. Keep the head cool by washing it when necessary with cold water, and abate feverish and inflammatory symptoms when they arise, by persevering stillness.

7. Correct symptoms of plethora and indigestion, by eating and drinking less, per diem for a few days.

8. Never eat a hearty supper, especially of animal food; and drink wine, spirits, and beer, if these are necessary, only after dinner.

Rules of Dr. BOERHAAYE.—The following were the simple and unerring directions of this great man for the preservation of health ; they contained the sum and substance of his vast professional knowledge during a long and useful life:-“ Keep the feet warm; the head cool ; and the body open." If these were generally attended to, the physi-cian's aid would seldom be required.

EXPERIENCE OF HOWARD.-Wo give the following account of Mr. Howard's experience, which was furnished by him to a friend, as containing suggestions of a most important and valuable sort; and which, if adopted by many of the dyspeptics of the day, would go farther to ward their restoration to a healthful state of body and mind, than the inost learned prescriptions of the most celebrated doctors. " A more 'puny whipster' than myself, in the days of my youth, was I could not walk out in the evening, without being

wrapped up: I could not put on my linen without its being aired: I was, politely speaking, enfeebled enough to have delicate nerves, and was, occasionaHy troubled with a very genteel hectic. To be serious, I ain convinced that whatever enfeebles the body debilitates the mind, and renders both unfit for those exertions, which are of such use to us all as social beings. I therefore entered upon a reform of my constitution, and have succeeded in such a degree, that I have neither had a cough, cold, the vapors, nor any more alarming disorder, since I surmounted the seasoning.

Prior to this, I used to be a miserable dependant on wind and weather ; a little too much of the one, or a slight inclemency of the other, would postpone, and frequently prevent, not only my

never seen.



amusements, but my duties: or, if pressed by my affections, or by the necessity of affairs, I did venture forth in despite of the elements, the 'consequences were equally absurd and incommodious, not seldom afflictive. I muffled up even to my nostrils ; a crack in the glass of my chaise was susficient to distress me; a sudden slope of the wheels to the right or left, set me a trembling; a jolt seemed like a dislocation, and the sight of a bank or a precipice, near which my horse or carriage was to pass, would disorder me so much, that I would order the driver to stop, that I might get out and walk by the difficult places. Mulled wines, spirituous cordials, and large fires, were to comfort me, and to keep out the cold, as it is called, at every stage, and if I felt the least damp in my feet, or other parts of my body, dry stockings, linen, &c. were to be instantly put on; the perils of the day were to be baffled by something taken hot on going to bed; and before I pursued my journey, the next morning, a dram was to be swallowed, in order to fortify the stomach. In a word, I lived, moved, and had my being so much by rule, that the slightest deviation was a disease.

“ Every man must, in these cases, be his own physician. He must prescribe for, and practise on, himself. I did this by a very simple, but as you will think, a very severe regimen, namely, by denying myself almost every thing in which I had long indulged. But as it is always harder to get rid of a bad habit, than to contract it, I entered on my reform gradually; that is to say, I began to diininish my usual indul. gences by degrees. I found that a heavy meal, or a hearty one, as it is termed, and a cheerful glass, that is, one more than does you good, made me incapable, or at least, disinclined to any useful exertions for some time after dinner hours; and if the dilutive powers of tea assisted the work of a disturbed digestion, so far as to restore my faculties, a luxurious supper came in so close upon it, that I was fit for nothing but dissipation, till I went to a luxurious bed, where I finished the enervating practices, by sleeping eight, ten, and sometimes a dozen hours on the stretch. You will not wonder that I rose the next morning with the solids relaxed, the juices thickened, and the constitution weakened.

“ To remedy all this, I ate a little less at every meal, and reduced my drink in proportion. It is really wonderful to consider, how impercoptibly a single morsel of animal food, and a tea spoonful of liquor deducted from the usual quantity daily, will restore the mental functions, without any injury to the corporeal-nay, with increase of vigour to both. I brought myself, in the first instance, from dining on many dishes, to dining on a few, and then to being satisfied with one ; in like manner, instead of drinking a variety of wines, I made my election of a single sort, and adhered to it alone.

My next business was to eat and drink sparingly of that adopted dish and bottle. My ease, vivacity, health, and spirits augmented. My clothing, &c. underwent a similar reform; the effect of all which is, and has been for many years, that I am neither affected by seeing my carriage dragged up a mountain, or driven down a valley. If an accident happens, I am prepared for it, I mean so far as respects unneces. sary terrors ; and I am proof against all changes in the atmosphere, wet clothes, damp feet, night air, transitions from heat to cold, and the long train of hypochondria affections."


Hints TO STUDENTS.—Students, more than most persons, are apt to bring upon themselves a train of stomachic and nervous affections, in consequence of an intense application of mind, and neglect of appropriate exercise in the open air. No one, however, can long hope for the enjoyment, either of health or vigor of mind, who is not in the daily habit of exercise abroad. It is important, also, that his study should be large, perfectly dry, and often well ventilated. Great attention should also be paid to position. Students, whether they stand or sit, and by turns they should do both, should maintain an erect posture. Care should be exercised not to press, for any length of time, against a hard substance. The rocking chairs with a leaf, or round table, situated in front of them, and which are often found in our colleges, are highly improper. It is also recommended to students, for the purpose of giving exercise and strength to the lungs, frequently to read and speak loud. But some caution will be necessary, lest the exercise be carried too far. Vociferation should never be indulged. A naturally weak voice may be greatly strengthened by exercise ; and even a natural impediment removed, by careful and judicious perseverance. The case of Demosthenes illustrates this. His voice was so weak, and indistinct, that he could be scarcely heard or understood; yet he contrived to remedy both defects, by declaiming, while ascending the brow of a hill or walking amid the noise of the waves along the sea shore.

We must also enter our protest against midnight studies. The late President Dwight, whose experience rendered him perfectly competent to impart advice on this subject, gave it as his opinion, that as a general rule, nothing was gained by any student, by application to his books, after ten o'clock at night. The morning is the season most ap. propriate to study. It is also the best season for exercise. But both objects may be accomplished by early rising; a point of great importance, both in respect to clearness of mind, health of body, and rapid improvement. But in few things, perhaps, do students fail more than in the kinds of exercise adopted. They should not be those kinds, which are of course violent; nor those' which exercise only particular parts of the body. Great fatigue should be avoided. In general, riding on horseback, walking, or working in the garden, are to be preferred to most other kinds of exercise.

The utility of exercise, however, is often much diminished, by its being taken as exercise. On this point we quote the language of a distinguished writer, as well as student : “ A solitary walk, or ride, merely for the sake of exercise, and with no other object to stimulate our progress, as it is of all amusements the dullest, so it is found rather hurtful than advantageous. The mind still meditates in solitude, and the body, at the same time, labours ; so that both are exhausted at once, and the student returns to his closet fatigued, dejected, and disappoint

Some little amusement must therefore be contrived, or some business engaged in, which may operate as a loadstone; in attracting us, without being sensible of our own efforts, from our libraries, up the mountain, and along the forest, where health, with all her thousand joys, delights to fix her abode.”

With regard to diet, no good reason exists, why the student should deny himself any plain and wholesome food, provided that he eats not to complete satiety. This should always be avoided, as should supper late in the evening.


QUANTITY OF FOOD.-ABSTINENCE. And in regard to drink, water doubtless should constitute his principal drink. But more than most persons, should the student abstain from the use of spirituous liquors. They are a bane, to which none of the habits of his life present any antidote whatever. The laborer in the field, by his powerful exercise, may perspire away in a measure the effects of stimulating liquors : but the student in his application has no such effort to anticipate. Stimulating liquors, and close study, will soon undermine and destroy the best constitution ever given to man.

QUANTITY OF FOOD. In respect to the quantity of food adapted to the preservation of health, perhaps no invariable rule can be given. “ As a general rule," observes the authors of the Journal of Health, “it will be found, that those who exercise much in the open air, or follow laborious occupations, will demand a larger amount of food than the indolent, or the sedentary. Young persons, also, commonly require more than those advanced in years; and the inhabitants of cold, more than those of warm climates. We say this is a general rule; for very many exceptions are to be found, in each of these particulars. Thus, we not unfrequently find, that one individual requires more food to support his system than another, of the same frame of body and trade, and who partakes of the same degree of exercise. In fact, one person will support his strength, or even beconie more robust upon the same quantity of food, which will occasion in another, debility and einaciation.”

In general, persons eat by far too great quantity of food. The digestive powers are constantly put upon the stretch, and the ultimate effect is, that they become weakened and incapable of converting into nutriment a quantity of food, essential to a vigorous state of the

system. It should not be forgotten-an observation we believe of the celebrated Dr. Abernethy—that it is not the quantity of food, which is eaten, but the quantity digested, which administers to the support of the body. Hence, all that is consumed beyond the point of easy digestion tends to load and clog the machine--to impair the energies—and to render it less fit for future agreeable movements. The exact point when a person should lay aside his knife and fork we do not, and cannot perhaps determine ; but each one may judge in general, for himself." But if he experience any sensation of oppression -any “lond at the stomach” -he has eaten too much. A single mouthful taken after feeling satisfied, is injurious; indeed, we should contriye to stop short of that point.

In regard to children, a somewhat different regimen may doubtless with safety be adopted. A judicious writer remarks, “ whatever regimen you prescribe for children, provided you only accustom them to plain and simple food, you may let them eat, run, and play as much as they please, and you may be sure they will never eat too much, or be troubled with indigestion. But if you starve them half the day, and they find means to escape your observation, they will make themselves amends, and eat till they are sick, or even burst.”

ABSTINENCE. Abstinence is the avoiding or refraining from any thing to which there is a natural or habitual propensity. As a religious service it has often been enjoined in various systeins of religion ; but in the present article we design to speak of abstinence in relation


to its importance to health. As a preventive of disease, too much, perhaps, cannot be said in its favor; while wonderful effects, in the cure of disease, have been ascribed to it. One of these is recorded in the history of Cornaro, a noble Venetian, who, after a life of luxury, was, at the age of forty, attacked by a disease attended with mortal symptoms; yet he not only recovered, but lived nearly one hundred years, from the mere effects of abstemiousness. We are told of several individuals that have reached a century, a century and a half, nay, have even approached to the age of two centuries, supported on an extremely slender diet, which was thought to contribute materially to the preservation of their health. It is related of Howard, the celebra. ted philanthropist, that he used to fast for the purposes of health, one day in the week. Franklin for a period did the same. Napoleon, when he felt his system unstrung, suspended his wonted repast and took exercise on horseback. We are not of the opinion, indeed, of a French Physician that it is necessary ahsolutely to fast, in order to attain old age; but occasional fasting powerfully tends to renew the energies of the system, as the stopping of grinding at the mill presents an opportunity for the head waters to increase their power. The above Physician, to convince every one of the truth of his proposition, that fasting is essential, selects one hundred and fifty-two hermits, or bishops, who are known to have led a strictly temperate life-frequently fasting, and regularly alternating their studies and religious observances, with bodily labor, or distant journies, for purposes of charity and other duties. These he compares with the same number of academicians, one half from the Academy of Sciences, and the other half from that of Belles-lettres. On the one side, their joint lives amounted to 11589 years, and on the other only 10511; hence he concludes, that even frequent fasting would prolong the lives of men of letters more than seven years.

Whatever deductions might be made from the above account, certain it is that a moderate diet, with occasional fasting, is essential to uninterrupted health and cheerful spirits. It is related of Sir Isaac Newton, that while he was composing his celebrated treatise on Optics, he confined himself entirely to bread, with a little sack and water. Gen. Elliott, the defender of Gibraltar, during eight of the most anxious days of the siege, lived upon four ounces of rice per day. Most of the standard works of English literature were composed by men whose circumstances compelled them to adopt a spare diet—they fasted often times from necessity, rather than choice; yet their ideas were doubtless proportionately more clear—their conceptions more rapid and bold. President Edwards in his diary records it as the result of his experience, that he was more sprightly and healthy, both in body and mind, for the practice of self-denial, in eating and drinking. By a sparing diet,” says he, “and eating (as much as may be) what is light and easy of digestion, I shall doubtless be able to think clearer and shall gain time, first by lengthening out my life. Secondly, shall need less time for digestion after meals. Thirdly, shall be able to study closer without wrong to my health. Fourthly, shall need less time to sleep. Fifthly, shall seldom be troubled with the head-ache.” It was the reply of Cardinal de Sallis, arch-bishop of Seville, who died at the advanced ago of one hundred and ten years, when asked what rule he had observed

« ZurückWeiter »