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this, unless they have had their ideas enlarged by varied social intercourse, which teaches men more than any thing else the true value of things, and leads them not to attach importance to matters of no importance. The fundamental cause of this foolish pride I take to be a jealousy of superiority in wealth, from an over estimate of its value as compared with other things, though the feeling is attempted to be disguised with the greatest possible care; as a man of slender means, who piques himself upon his birth, has the greatest horror of being entertained by a wealthy upstart better than he can make a return, at the same time professing to hold wealth in the utmost contempt. This is a manifest contradiction ; but even in this inveterate case, a want of knowledge of the world is a necessary ingredient. Poor inen of good birth are often excluded from mixed society by their own folly, and by other causes; but where they are men of the world, they are generally among the most ready to partake of its good things without troubling themselves overmuch about the return; and I never knew one of such who was foolish enough to be restrained in his intercourse by notions of strict reciprocity. People who are confined to a small neighbourhood, or who never mix but with one class, are almost always strongly infected with this pride. It does not prevail much amongst persons of very different stations, but chiefly among those who are nearly on an equality, and who are most subject to jealousy of one another. To those who are above it, it appears truly ridiculous. It has this inconvenience, that it prevents free intercourse between neighbours who have a different command of pecuniary means, upon those terms which would be most advantageous to them both; for not only does it require that the style of entertainments should be the same on both sides, but that the number should be balanced. No one thinks of requiring an equality of sense, or wit, or learning, and why should the rule be different with respect to dishes or wines, except from a vulgar-minded feeling that money is more estimable than those qualities? The observance of equality of style is not always the result of pride, but often of an idea that it will be expected, or that without it there will be some dissatisfaction ; but the sensible mode of proceeding is, for all to keep regularly to that style which best suits their means, and then intercourse will find its true level. If the man of luxurious style seeks the society of his neighbour of simple style, it is because he finds some equivalent, and it is a loss to both that pride should bar their intercourse. The truth is, that the party who has the most limited means, often stands on the highest grounds, because the difference is made up by something superior to wealth. So far as equality of style prevails in London society, it may be said, in general, to be the result rather of slavery to fashion than of pride, and often of fear of causing disappointment. I have heretofore touched upon what I conceive to be its disadvantages. It is pity that, with the enjoyment of more political liberty than any other nation, we should make ourselves the slaves of so many absurd customs and fashions, and that, with courage enough against a foreign enemy, we should display such cowardice at home. It is to be hoped that in time we shall be able to do as we please, domestically as well as politically, provided we cause no inconvenience to others. At present, with a great deal that is reasonable, we live under a combination of restraints.
In order to enjoy the present, it is necessary to be intent on the present. To be doing one thing, and thinking of another, is a very unsatisfactory mode of spending life. Some people are always wishing themselves somewhere but where they are, or thinking of something else than what they are doing, or of somebody else than to whom they are speaking. This is the way to enjoy nothing, to do nothing well, and to please nobody. It is better to be interested with inferior persons and inferior things than to be indifferent with the best. A principal cause of this indifference is the adoption of other people's tastes instead of the cultivation of our own,—the pursuit after that for which we are not fitted, and to which, consequently, we are not in reality inclined. This folly pervades, more or less, all classes, and arises from the error of building our enjoyment on the false foundation of the world's opinion, instead of being, with due regard to others, each our own world. The hunters after the world's opinion lose themselves in diffusion of society and pursuits, and do not care for what they are doing, but for what will be thought of what they are doing: whereas, compactness and independence are absolute essentials to happiness, and compactness and independence are precisely the two things which the generality of mankind most of all neglect, or even frequently study to destroy.
Temperance makes the faculties clear, and exercise makes them vigorous; it is temperance and exercise united, that can alone insure the fittest state for mental or bodily exertion.
THE ART OF ATTAINING HIGH HEALTH.
Having finished what I had to say on the subject of dinners, which I consider as an essential part of my articles on health, I proceed to the few remaining topics I mean to touch upon. The first I shall take is exercise. Upon this depends vigour of body, and if the mind can be vigorous without, it can be much more so with it. The efficacy of exercise depends upon the time, the quantity, and the manner. The most invigorating time, I should say from experience, is decidedly that during the freshness of the morning air, and before breakfast ; but this will not do for invalids, or persons of very weak constitutions, though many underrate their own powers, and think that that is weakness which is only the effect of habit. They should try their strength by degrees, taking moderate doses of exercise at first, and after a small quantity of food, or, what I have before recommended, a few drops of the spirit of lavender on a lump of sugar, the efficacy of which, in preventing faintness or a distressing craving, is great. A few drops of lavender, and a short walk or gentle ride on a fine morning, will give a real appetite to beginners, which may tempt them to persevere till they can perform with ease and pleasure what would have distressed them exceedingly, or been wholly impracticable in the first instance. I always observe, that being well braced by morning exercise produces an effect that lasts the whole day, and it gives a bloom to the countenance, and causes a general glow, which exercise at no other time can. I have heretofore spoken at large of taking exercise with reference to meals, both before and after. As to the other parts of the day besides morning, the time most fit for exercise must depend greatly upon the season. In the depth of winter it is good to catch as much sun as possible, and in the heat of summer to pursue the opposite course. The coldest parts of the day, as a rule, are just before sunrise and sunset, especially the former, and I believe they are the most unwholesome to take exercise in. The French, who observe rules respecting health more strictly than we do, are particularly cautious about sunset, on account of the vapour which usually rises at that time, and which they call le serein. The morning air just before sunrise is often, even in warm weather, dreadfully chilly and raw, but there is no great danger of people in general exposing themselves to it. It is different at sunset, and it is then well to be on one's guard, especially if there is any feeling of damp, and particular care should be taken not to rest after exercise, or do any thing to check perspiration at that time, from which the most dangerous, and often fatal, maladies originate. Though I think the fresh morning air is the most invigorating in its effects, there is no period when I have felt actually so much alacrity and energy, as when taking exercise, either on foot or horseback, at the dead of night, provided the night is clear and dry, and most especially during a fine frost. The body and mind seem to me to be more in unison under such circumstances than at any other time; and I suppose from such effects that exercise must then be wholesome, but I think it should be after a generous meal, taken some time before. I have mentioned this effect of the night air in a former number, when speaking of digestion. Persons of different constitutions must judge for themselves at what periods of the day exercise best suits them, but taking care, I must repeat, not to confound the nature of the constitution with the force of habit. The best tests that they are right, will be keenness of appetite, lightness of digestion, and consequent buoyancy of spirits. Want of space compels me to break off till my next number.