Abbildungen der Seite

meats of the easiest digestion, with a glass or two of generous wine at each meal, and all taken in such prudent moderation, as not to load but strengthen the constitution. For at this critical juncture, a single act of intemperance, which would scarcely be felt in the wholesome frosts of winter, often turns the scale a'gainst nature, and brings on obstinate indigestion, load at stomach, loss of apetite, a furred tongue, yellowness of eyes, bitter taste in the mouth in the morning, bilious vomitings, agues, fevers, &c. which in spite of the best medicines, often wear a man away to a ghost. If blessed with a good constitution, he may perhaps crawl on to winter, and get braced up again by her friendly frosts; but if old or infirm, it is likely death will overtake him, before he can reach that city of refuge.

"The giddy practice of throwing a side our winter clothes too early in the


spring, and that of exposing our bodies, when overheated, to sudden cold, has destroyed more people, than famine, pestilence and sword."*—Sydenham.

Those who, by any accident, have lost a meal, (suppose their dinner) ought not to eat a plentiful supper; for it will lie heavy on their stomachs, and they will have a more restless night than if they had both dined and supped heartily. He therefore, who has missed his dinner,

should should make a light supper of spoon victuals, rather than of any strong solid food." Hippocrates.

*"I Saw (fays an American officer) thirteen grenadiers lying dead by a spring, in consequence of drinking too freely of the cold water, while dripping with sweat in a hard day's march, in summer, And many a charming girl, worthy of a tenderer husband, has funk into the icy embraces of death, by suddenly exposing her delicate frame, warm from the ballroom, to the cold air. And since " the universal Cause Acts not by partial, but by general laws," many a good foul, with more piety than prudence, turning out quite warm from a crowded preaching into the cold air without cloak or surtout, has gone off in a galloping consumption to that happy world, where pain and sickness are unknowu. What a melancholy thing it is, that people cannot take care of their fouls, without neglecting their bodies, nor seek their salvation without ruining their health!

He who has taken a larger quantity of food than usual, and feels it heavy and troublesome on his stomach, will, if he is a wife man, go out and puke it up immediately*. Hippocrates.

And here I cannot omit mentioning a a very ruinous error into which too many are fond of running, I mean, the frequent use of strong vomits and purgatives. A man every now and then feeds too freely on some favourite dish; by such excess the stomach is weakened, the i body body filled with superfluous humours, and he presently finds himself much out of sorts. The only medicine in this case, is moderate exercise, innocent amusement, and a little abstinence, this is nature's own prescription, as appears by her taking away his appetite. But having long placed his happiness in eating and drinking, he cannot think of relinquishing a gratification so dear to him, and so sets himself to force an appetite by drams, slings, elixir of vitriol, wine and bitters, pickles, sauces, &c. and on the credit of this artificial appetite, feeds again as if he possessed the most vigorous health. He now finds himself entirely disordered, general heaviness and weariness of body, flatulent uneasiness, frequent eructations, loss of appetite, disturbejr slumbers, frightful dreams, bitter/taste in the mouth, &c. He now complains of a foul stomach, or (in his own words) that his stomach is full of bile; and immediately

* The wife son of Sirach confirms this precept, and fays, Eccles. xxxi. 21. "If thou hast been forced to eat, arise, go forth and puke, and thou {halt have reft." And most certain it is, (adds an ingenious physician) that hundreds and thousands have brought sickness and death on themselves, by their ignorance cr neglect of this rule. But at the fame time people should carefully avoid a repetition of that excess, v\vhich renders such an evacuation necessary, for frequent vomitings do greatly tend to weaken and destroy the tone of the stomach.

takes takes a dose of tartar emetic or a strong purgative, to cleanse out his stomach, and so prepare for another course of high living. Of all the Apollyons or destroyers of nerves, health and life, this is the greatest; and I have no fort of doubt on my own mind but it has broken down more constitutions, brought on more distempers, and sent more people to an early grave, than all the vices of this bedlam world put together. How much wiser would it be in this case to follow the advice of the celebrated Bœrhaave, i. e. to use a little abstinence, take moderate exercise, and thereby help nature to carry off her crudities and recover her springs. I have been often told by a lady of quality, whose circumstances obliged her to be a good economist, and whose prudence and temperance preserved her health and senses unimpaired to a great age, that she had kept herself out of the hands of the physicians many years by


« ZurückWeiter »