than the sword. The sports of the field, to which he was much addicted, procured him a great appetite; and by the favour of a neighbour, who had the merit of keeping a full table, he had daily opportunities of gratifying it at an easy rate. He asked a friend, how much port a man might drink without hurting himself? This question was put to a valetudinarian, who gave it as his private opinion, that a pint in a day was more than would do any man good. There, says he, you and I differ for I am convinced that one bottle after dinner will never hurt any man that uses exercise. Under this persuasion, he persevered in his custom of eating and drinking as much as could; though the excess of one day obliged him to take a large dose of rhubarb the next: so that his life was a continual struggle between fulness and physic, till nature was wearied out, and he sunk all at once, at the age of forty, under the stroke of an apoplexy. When nature fails in a strong man, the change is often very sudden. I who am obliged to live by rule, and am hitherto alive beyond hope, have seen the end of many younger and stronger men, who have unhappily presumed upon their strength, and have persevered in a constant habit of eating and drinking without reserve, till their digestive powers have failed, and their whole constitution has been shattered; so that either death, or incurable infirmity, has been the consequence.

What can be the reason, why the French people are so much less troubled with distempers, and are so much more lively in their spirits than the English? A gentleman of learning, with whom I had the pleasure of conversing at Paris, made this observation on the subject: "You English people give no rest to your faculties: you take three meals every day, and live in constant fulness without any relief: thus nature is

overcharged, crudities are accumulated in the vessels of the body, and you fall early into apoplexies, palsies, insanity, or hopeless stupidity. Whereas, if we are guilty of any excess, our meagre days, which are two in a week, bring us into order again; and if these should be insufficient, the season of Lent comes in to our relief, which is pretty sure to answer the purpose."

It is much to be lamented, and we are suffering for it in mind and body, that in these latter days of the Reformation, we have been so dreadfully afraid of superstition, that we have at length discarded every wholesome and necessary regulation; and because we do not whip our skins like the monks of antiquity, we stuff them till they burst. The consumption of animal food in England is by far too great for the enjoyment of health, and the public good of the community. The price of provisions becomes much more unreasonable; our fishery is neglected; and no one benefit arises, but that of putting money into the pockets of physicians and lawyers; which they never fail to do, who with constant fulness are sick in their bodies and quarrelsome in their tempers. The calendar of the Church of England, which is moderate enough in its restrictions, would be of infinite service to us, if it were duly observed. I once met with a wise and good man, far advanced in years, and of an infirm constitution, who assured me he neither used nor wanted any other physician. If we were to adopt his rule, nature would have that seasonable relief which is necessary; our health and our spirits would be better; suicide, a growing and tremendous evil, would be less frequent; our fishery would have better encouragement, a matter of no small weight to a maritime people, whose navigation is their natural defence; provisions would

be cheaper; the nation in general would be wiser; and perhaps we should also have a better claim to the blessing of Heaven, if we shewed a more pious regard to the wholesome regulations of the Christian church; which are now so shockingly neglected, that our feasts and merry-meetings are on Wednesdays and Fridays (perhaps on Good-Friday itself), when our forefathers of the Reformation, who kept up to what they professed, were praying and fasting.

The time hath come upon many great nations, when ill principles and self-indulgence, and that infatuation which is the natural consequence of both, have brought them to ruin; and in all appearance that time is now coming upon us. I am persuaded we have sunk more hastily into universal corruption, from the sanctified fastings of our Puritans in the days of Cromwell; whose rapine and violence, when compared with their affected mortifications, brought a scandal upon all the forms and appearances of Religion. Yet such has been our destiny, that while we have dropped the most religious of their practices, we have taken up with the worst of their principles, and are now suffering under the natural effects of them.



It is laid down as a principle of action by most young people of fortune, that there is no enjoyment of life without diversion: and this is now carried to

such excess, that pleasure seems to be the great object which has taken place of every other. The mistake is very unhappy, as I intend to shew, by taking the other side of the question, and proving that there is no enjoyment of life without work.

The words commonly used to signify play, are these four; relaxation, diversion, amusement, and recreation. The idea of relaxation is taken from a bow, which must be unbent when it is not wanted, to keep up its spring. Diversion signifies a turning aside from the main purpose of a journey to see something that is curious and out of the way. Amusement means an occasional forsaking of the Muses, when a student lays aside his books. Recreation is the refreshing of the spirits when they are exhausted with labour, so that they may be ready in due time to resume it again. From these considerations it follows, that the idle man who has no work, can have no play; for how can he be relaxed who is never bent? how can he turn out of the road, who is never in it? how can he leave the Muses who is never with them? how can play refresh him, who is never exhausted with business?

When diversion becomes the business of life, its nature is changed. All rest presupposes labour; and the bed is refreshing to a weary man; but when a man is confined to his bed, he is miserable, and wishes himself out of it. He that has no variety can have no enjoyment; he is surfeited with pleasure, and in the better hours of reflection, would find a refuge in labour itself. And, indeed, I apprehend there is not a more miserable, as well as a more worthless being, than a young man of fortune who has nothing to do but to find some new way of doing nothing. A sentence is passed upon all poor men, that if they do not work, they shall not eat; and it takes effect, in part,

against the rich, who, if they are not useful in some respect to the public, are pretty sure to become burthensome to themselves. This blessing goes along with every useful employment, it keeps a man upon good terms with himself, and consequently in good spirits, and in a capacity of pleasing, and being pleased with every innocent gratification. As labour is necessary to procure an appetite to the body, there must also be some previous exercise of the mind to prepare it for enjoyment; indulgence on any other terms is false in itself, and ruinous in its consequences; mirth degenerates into senseless riot, and gratification soon terminates in corruption.

If we compare the different lots of mankind, we shall find that happiness is much more equally distributed than we are apt to think, when we judge by outward appearance. The industrious poor, have, in many respects, more enjoyment of life, than the idler sort of gentry, who, by their abuse of liberty and wealth, fall into temptations and snares; and in the immoderate pursuit of imaginary pleasures, find nothing in the end, but real bitterness. The remedy of all is in this short sentence," to be useful, is to be happy." If Eugenio had followed the profession for which his father intended him, he might now have been alive and a happy member of society; but his father dying when he was young, he used his liberty (as he called it) and threw himself upon the world as a man of leisure with a small fortune. His idleness exposed him to bad company, who were idle like himself; they led him into extravagance; extravagance led him to gambling, as a last resort for the repairing of his fortune; but it had a contrary effect, and completed his ruin; and disappointments made him quarrelsome, and a quarrel brought on a duel, X


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