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compared with the felicity flowing from a union with a virtuous woman, who pours out her soul into the bosom of him she loves, who reposes in him with unbounded confidence, and whose great object of ambition it is to soften every care, to alleviate every calamity? What object can be more beautiful, or more engaging, than such a woman in the midst of her family, diffusing happiness on all around her? There, to use the words of the eloquent Rousseau, • Son empire est un empire de douceur, d'addresse, et de complaisance; ses ordres sont des caresses, ses menaces sont des pleurs.'
Considerable use, however, might be made of the difference, in disposition, in feeling, and in situation, between the sexes, if, in their intercourse with one another, those qualities which are most estimable in each were allowed their influence in a beneficial, not an extravagant degree. Were the men to drive from the society of the women gentleness, complaisance, sensibility; were the women to borrow from that of the men steadiness, deliberation, and fortitude; characters might be formed not less amiable than useful, not less engaging than enlightened. Wisdom could no longer be accused of severity, nor sprightliness censured for levity. Virtue would assume her most winning as well as her most respectable form; and many votaries would be fixed by her smiles, whom her precepts had been unable to retain.
No. 24. SATURDAY, JULY 16, 1785.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE LOUNGER.
Dis ille adversis genitus, fatoque sinistro.
JUVENAL. SIR, I am one of that class of men called valetudinarians, people whose ordinary state of health is sickness, and who are never well enough to live without the aid of a physician. My father, who was a cadet of a family of quality, died of old age at thirty-four. I was born in the seventh month, and passed the first three years of my
life in a basket lined with cotton, which was carefully placed by the fire-side of my mother's bedchamber, and carried with great caution round the room once a day for the sake of exercise. In my fourth
I was allowed to breathe the fresh air in the arms of my nurse; and by the time I had reached my seventh was able to walk round the parlour by the aid of a go-cart. But to record minutely the transactions of my infancy is not to my present purpose. Suffice it to say, that by the care of the excellent parent I have mentioned, and the power of medicine, I attained to the age of thirtyfive; and bating my asthma and a nervous atrophy, enjoyed, thank God, a very tolerable state of health. At this unlucky period, death deprived me of the best of mothers, and left me a helpless orphan with a fortune of £20,000.
Among the gentlemen of the faculty, whom, from my unhappy constitution, it was necessary to keep in constant pay, there was one whose attentions
seemed to partake so much of personal attachment, that I resolved to retain him in my house by a fixed salary. Dr. Doddipoll was a valetudinary like myself; and I had always experienced from him that tender condolence which the distressed feel for each other. His skill was very great—and he had at the same time so little of the quackery of his profession, that he openly derided all pretensions to mystery, and plainly declared, that he regarded his brethren of the faculty as solemn impostors. The long studies preparatory to this profession, and the extensive learning supposed to be necessary to attain a knowledge of its doctrines, he treated with the utmost ridicule. I have often heard him say, that he would engage to communicate the whole science of medicine to any person of common intellects in a couple of hours. My friend Doddipoll held but one maxim in physic, which was, that all diseases have their seat in the stomach, and proceed either from too great a richness and viscidity, or an extreme thinness of the gastric juices. The former was to be corrected by the use of attenuating food, the latter by that which is more nutritive. To the former class he referred my case: as it was evident, he said, from the thinness of my legs and the paleness of my complexion, that the juices were too thick to circulate freely through the minute lymphatics, and thus the parts were deprived of their due nourishment. His own case he decided to belong to the contrary class, as was apparent from the unwieldy size of his legs and belly, and the scurvy in his face. The thinness of the juices gave rise to a superabundant secretion, which distended all the vessels, occasioned too great a determination of blood to the head, and swelled the whole body. His regimen and mine were therefore totally opposite. To attenuate my juices, I was fed chiefly on skim-milk, panada, and vegetables; while Doddipoll, to correct
the tenuity of his fluids, was restricted to beef and pudding, turkey and chine, &c. a tankard of mild ale, and a bottle of old claret. You will forgive my use of medical terms, Mr. Lounger; they are, strictly speaking, my mother-tongue, and I cannot easily express myself without them.
My family consisted at this time, besides the doctor and myself, of my man-servant Peter, and my
maid Betty, two honest and faithful domestics; and I may say with great truth, there never was a better regulated or more orderly household. It was Peter's province to rub me down in the morning with the Aesh-brush, to make my water-dock tea, to attend me at noon with the dumb-bells, and measure out my hour of exercise, make up my electuaries, cook my sago and panada, boil my water-gruel and whitewine whey, air my flannel shirt, and put me to bed. Betty's services were chiefly dedicated to my worthy friend the doctor, who always gave her the commendation of an excellent and discreet young woman, and perfectly acquainted with all the duties of an handmaid.
Such, sir, was the course of my life, during those which may be termed my halcyon days; when, ah, the inconstancy of human affairs ! my friend, my companion, my Esculapius, was carried off by a fit of apoplexy. The poor doctor how shall I describe the melancholy scene! A fillet of veal stood upon the table. It was stuffed, which was his favourite way of dressing it. He looked at it for some time, muttered something about butter and oranges, fell back in his chair, and expired.
ALAS, POOR DODDIPOLL!
On this melancholy occasion, I had many consolatory visits from my friends and relations. Among
these last, I was much struck with the tender sympathy of one of my female cousins, the Honourable Miss Angelica Tempest. This lady, though past her bloom, had still the appearance of a fine woman. Though she had no fortune, having had an excellent education, she wanted none of the accomplishments of a lady of fashion. But what struck me most in her character was the sensibility of her disposition, and that affectionate concern she showed for all sort of distresses. She would often sit by me for hours, listen to my complaints with the most sympathising attention, and inquire into their particular symptoms with the tenderness of a sister, and the solicitude of a sick-nurse. To cut the matter short, sir, she so far won upon me, that in an evil hour, and tempted I believe by the devil, I threw myself at her feet, and proposed marriage. She did not disdain my suit
; and after a reasonable time for the adjustment of all punctilios, we became man and wife.
For the first week all went smoothly enough; but at the end of that period I began to perceive a rising spirit of innovation, which gave me some disquiet. I had made my account with some changes; as the family-establishment which was suitable to my bachelor state might be thought too contracted for that into which I had now entered. I therefore readily enough acquiesced in the proposal of hiring a larger house, and adding two to the number of our domestics; but it was with much concern I learned that the reform was to be begun by the dismission of the trusty Peter and the discreet Mrs. Betty. It was in vain Í urged the merits of both, their long services, and perfect acquaintance with the complicated system of my poor constitution, its wants, and its regimen. My wife declared, that to attend to these was no less her duty than her pleasure, and that, while she lived, no other hands than her own should touch