« ZurückWeiter »
Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease,
Indulge the veteran ox; but wifer thou,
From the bald mountain or the barren downs,
Expect the flocks by frugal nature fed ;
A race of purer blood, with exercise
Refin'd and fcanty fare: For, old or young,
The fall'd are never healthy; nor the cramm'd.
Not all the culinary arts can tame,
To wholesome food, the abominable growth
Of reft and gluttony; the prudent taste
Rejects like bane fuch loathfome lusciousness.
The languid ftomach curfes even the pure
Delicious fat, and all the race of oil:
For more the oily aliments relax
Its feeble tone; and with the eager lymph
(Fond to incorporate with all it meets)
Coily they mix, and fhun with flippery wiles.
The woo'd embrace
Chufe leaner vianer viands, ye whose jovial make
Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes :
Chufe fober meals; and roule to active life
Your cumbrous clay; nor on th' infecbling down,
Irrefolute, protract the morning hours.
But let the man whose bones are thinly clad,
With chearful eafe and fucculent repaft
Improve his flender habit. Each extreme
From the bleft mean of fanity departs.
Taught by experience foon you may difcern
What pleafes, what offends. Avoid the cates
That lull the ficken'd appetite too long;
Or heave with fev'rish fluthings all the face,
Burn in the palms, and parch the roughning tongue;
Or much diminish or too much increase
Th' expence, which nature's wife œconomy,
Without or walte or avarice, maintains.
He justly obferves that every creature, except man, is directed by inftinct to its proper aliment. This is so true, that their inftinet has often been of the utmost consequence to those who have failed in queft of countries undiscover'd, where they never attempt to eat any fruits which the
birds have not fed on. But man, voluptuous man, fays our author, feeds with all the commoners of nature, and
Is by fuperior faculties misled;
Misled from pleasure even in queft of joy.
Sated with nature's boons, what thousands feek,
With dishes tortur'd from their native taste
And mad variety, to fpur beyond
Its wifer will the jaded appetite!
Is this for pleasure? Learn a jufter talte;
And know that temperance is true luxury.
Would you long the sweets of health enjoy
Or husband pleasure; at one impious meal
Exhauft not half the bounties of the year,
Of every realm. It matters not mean while
How much to morrow differ from to-day;
So far indulge: 'tis fit, befides, that man,
To change obnoxious, be to change inur'd.
But ftay the curious appetite, and tafte
With caution fruits you never tried before.
For want of use the kindeft aliment
Sometimes offends; while cuftom tames the rage
Of poifon to mild amity with life.
He then points out the mischiefs that attend eating to excels, even of any aliment, and advises us to observe the calls of nature, but not fo as to eat too freely after long abftinence.
When hunger calls, obey; nor often wait
'Till hunger fharpen to corrofive pain :
For the keen appetite will feaft beyond
What nature well can bear; and one extreme
Ne'er without danger meets its own reverse.
Too greedily th' exhausted veins absorb
The recent chyle, and load enfeebled powers
Oft to th' extinction of the vital flame.
To the pale cities, by the firm-fet fiege
And famine humbled, may this verse be borne;
And hear, ye hardieft fons that Albion breeds
Long tofs'd and famifh'd on the wintry main;
The war fhook off, or hospitable shore
Attain'd, with temperance bear the fhock of joy;
Nor crown with festive rites th' aufpicious day;
Such feaft might prove more fatal than the waves,
Than war or famine.
But tho' the extremes of eating, or of fafting, are to be avoided, it is imprudent to confine the ftomach always to the fame exact portion; for, as he observes,
it much avails
Ever with gentle tide to ebb and flow
From this to that: So nature learns to bear
Whatever chance or headlong appetite
May bring. Befides, a meagre day fubdues
The cruder clods by floth or luxury
Collected, and unloads the wheels of life.
He then speaks of the regimen neceffary to be obferved in the several seasons of the year, and recommends in the fummer the tender vegetable brood, with the cool moist viands of the dairy; but tells us that
Pale humid winter loves the generous board,
The male more copious, and a warmer fare!
And longs with old wood and old wine to chear
His quaking heart. The feasons which divide
Th' empires of heat and cold, by neither claim'd,
Influenc'd by both, a middle regimen
Impose. Thro' autumn's languishing domain
Defcending, nature by degrees invites
To glowing luxury. But from the depth
Of winter when th' invigorated year
Emerges; when Favonius flufh'd with love,
Toyful and young, in every breeze defcends
More warm and wanton on his kindling bride;
Then shepherds, then begin to fpare your flocks;
And learn, with wife humanity, to check
The luft of blood. Now pregnant earth commits
A various offspring to th' indulgent sky:
Now bounteous nature feeds with lavish hand
The prone creation; yields what once fuffic'd
Their dainty fovereign, when the world was young;
Ere yet the barb'rous thirst of blood had feiz'd
The human breaft. Each rolling month matures
The food that fuits it moft; so does each clime.
This paffage is, I think, very beautiful, as alfo is the following introduction to his precepts for drinking water, and the fubfequent lines concerning the choice, and proper ufe of that element.
Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead;
Now let me wander thro' your gelid reign.
I burn to view th' enthufiaftic wilds
By mortal elfe untrod. I hear the din
Of waters thundring o'er the ruin'd cliffs.
With holy reverence I approach the rocks
Whence glide the ftreams renown'd in ancient fung.
Here from the defart down the rumbling steep
Firft fprings the Nile; here burfts the founding Po
In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves
A mighty flood to water half the Eaft;
And there, in gothic folitude reclin'd,
The chearless Tanais pours his hoary urn.
The task remains to fing
Your gifts, (fo Paon, fo the powers of health
Command) to praise your crystal element:
The chief ingredient in heaven's various works;
Whofe flexile genius sparkles in the gem,
Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine;
The vehicle, the source, of nutriment
And life, to all that vegetate or live.
O comfortable streams! with eager lips
And trembling hand the languid thirty quaff
New life in you; fresh vigour fills their veins.
No warmer cups the rural ages knew;
None warmer fought the fires of human kind.
Oh! could thofe worthies from the world of Gods
Return to vifit their degenerate fons,
How would they fcorn the joys of modern time,
With all our art and toil improv'd to pain!
Learn temperance, friends; and hear without difdain
The choice of water. Thus the * Coan fage
Opin'd, and thus the learn'd of ev'ry school.
What leaft of foreign principles partakes
Is beft: The lighteft then; what bears the touch
Of fire the leaft, and fooneft mounts in air;
The most infipid; the most void of smell.
Such the rude mountain from his horrid fides
Pours down; fuch waters in the fandy vale
For ever boil, alike of winter frosts
And fummer's heat fecure.
And this fubject of water-drinking he concludes with some observations, on the proper use of other liquors, which are drawn from nature and experience. His reflection alfo on the nature of fermented liquors, and their tendency to refift putrefaction, and of confequence to retard digeftion, is very juft and philofophical.
Nothing like fimple element dilutes
The food, or gives the chyle fo foon to flow.
But where the ftomach, indolently given,
Toys with its duty, animate with wine
Th' infipid ftream; tho' golden Ceres yields
A more voluptuous, a more fprightly draught;
Perhaps more active. Wine unmix'd, and all
The gluey floods that from the vex'd abyss
Of fermentation fpring; with fpirit fraught,
And furious with intoxicating fire,
Retard concoction, and preferve unthaw'd
Th' embody'd mafs. You see what countless years,
Embalm'd in fiery quintefcence of wine,
The puny wonders of the reptile world,
Maintain their texture, and unchang'd remain.
Mean time, I would not always dread the bowl,
Nor every trespass shun. The feverish ftrife,
Rous'd by the rare debauch, fubdues, expels
The loit'ring crudities that burthen life ;
And, like a torrent full and rapid, clears