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the body; and when we speak of a light or heavy heart, we confound it with a less romantic organ. The heart, it is true, will beat quicker or slower, but the lightness or heaviness we feel, is not there. There is no sickness of the heart; it needs no cordial; and the swain who places his hand in front, whatever the polite may think, is the right marksman. There lies our courage, and thence proceed our doubts and fears. These truths should make us careful how we live; for upon the digestive organ mainly depend beauty and strength of person, and beauty and strength of mind. Even the most eminently gifted have never been proof against its derangement. It is through the digestion that grief and all the brooding affections of the mind affect the frame, and make the countenance fallen, pale, and liny, which causes Shakspeare to call it “hard-favoured grief,” and to say that “ grief is beauty's canker.” On the other hand, joy, or any pleasurable affection of the mind, which promotes digestion, at the same time fills and lights up the countenance. Often when I have been taking a solitary meal, the appearance of an agreeable companion, or reading any good news, has produced an instantaneous effect upon my digestive organs, and, through them, upon my whole frame. In the same way a judicious medical attendant will, in many cases, by talking his patient into an appetite, or raising his spirits, do him more good than by any medicines. That all this is through the stomach, I will prove by two instances. First, no one will doubt that the scurvy proceeds from the state of that organ, and that through that organ alone it can be cured. Now, I have read in medical writers, that after a tedious voyage sailors, grievously afflicted, have repeatedly been known to have instantaneously experienced a turn in the disorder on the sight of land, and that soldiers besieged have been affected in like manner, on the appearance of succour; that is, the spirits have produced the same effect that medicine or proper food would have produced, which must have been through the same organ. The second instance is what I have several times observed in my own person. When I have had any local inflammation from hurts, however remotely situated, what has affected my digestion, has at the same moment affected the inflammation. Fasting too long, eating too soon, taking too much wine, or having my spirits lowered, have instantly been unpleasantly perceptible in the seat of the inflammation; whilst taking food or wine when wanted, or having my spirits raised, have produced the direct contrary effect. How this is effected anatomically, I leave to the scientific to explain. I only know it from observation; but I do know it, and how to profit hy it, and I tell it to my readers that they may profit by it too, which brings me to a repetition of my rule—Content the stomach, and the stomach will content you.
To the caution I gave against stooping after meals, I should add that it is particularly to be avoided with any thing tight round the body, and the same may be said of all the actions I have enumerated. They are also pernicious in proportion as the meal has been full or rich. Any thing greasy or strong, especially the skin of the fat of roast meat, when disturbed by exertion, will produce the most disagreeable effects, or perhaps bring on a regular bilious attack. Packing up, preparatory to a long journey by a public vehicle, used often to be a cause of serious inconvenience to my health from my mode of doing it. First of all laying in a hearty meal, because I had a great distance to go, the very reason why I ought to have been abstemious ; then having to finish packing after eating, with more things than room for them, the hurry, vexation and exertion of arranging which, together with the fear of being too late, and bustling off, caused such a fermentation as not only made my journey most uncomfortable, but made me generally out of sorts for some time after. When I had brought myself into a regular state of health, and took care always to be beforehand with my arrangements, eating sparingly, and setting off composedly, I found an immense
difference, particularly in the absence of any feeling of being cramped in my limbs, which feeling was always annoying in proportion to my improper living. I find my supplementary observations have extended so much further than I contemplated, that I must defer commencing the subject of diet till next week ; but I was unwilling to omit any details, which might be useful, though at the risk of being on some points too minute.
DOCTOR GREGORY'S DESCRIPTION OF
What I have said in preceding numbers respecting the state of health I once attained, is not, I find, easily credited by those who have not had similar experience. I subjoin a passage from high professional authority, that of Dr. James Gregory, late Professor of Medicine in Edinburgh-confirmatory of my positions; and those who will take the trouble to make the comparison, will find how fully I am borne out. The passage was pointed out to me many years since by a physician, and I extracted it at the time, but had forgotten its contents till I had the curiosity to refer to it the other day, and I now give an abbreviated translation from the original Latin. I believe it is principally taken from Celsus. My most staggering assertion I take to be this : “ It seems that from the surface of an animal in perfect health there is an active exhalation going on, which repels impurity; for when I walked on the dustiest roads, not only my feet, but even my stockings, remained free from dust.” Dr. Gregory says of a person in high health-—“ the exhalation from the skin is free and constant, but without amounting to perspiration,”-exhalatio per cutem libera et constans, citra vero
sudorem, which answers with remarkable precision to “ my active exhalation,” and the repulsion of impurity is a necessary consequence. In fact it is perspiration so active as to fly from the skin, instead of remaining upon it, or suffering any thing else to remain ; just as we see an animal in high
health roll in the mire, and directly after appear as clean as • if it had been washed. I enter into these particulars, not to
justify myself, but to gain the confidence of my readers, not only on this particular subject, but generally—more especially as I shall have frequent occasion to advance things out of the common way, though in the way of truth. I have before remarked that well-grounded faith has great virtue in other things besides religion. The want of it is an insuperable bar to improvement in things temporal, as well as in things spiritual, and is the reverse of St. Paul's “ rejoiceth in the truth, believeth all things, hopeth all things;" for it believes nothing and hopes nothing. It is the rule of an unfortunate sect of sceptics in excellence, who at the mention of any thing sound, look wonderfully wise, and shake their heads, and smile inwardly-infallible symptoms of a hopeless condition of half-knowledge and self-conceit. But to return to the passage, which is as follows:
" When a man is in perfect health, his mind is not only equal to the ordinary occasions of life, but is able easily to accommodate itself to all sorts of situations and pursuits, his perception, understanding and memory, are correct, clear, and retentive; he is firm and composed, whether in a grave or a lively humour-is always himself, and never the sport of inordinate affections or external accidents; he commands his passions instead of obeying them ; he enjoys prosperity with moderation, and adversity with fortitude, and is roused, not overwhelmed by extraordinary emergencies. These are not
only the signs of a healthy mind, but of a healthy body also ; - and indeed they do not a little contribute to health of body; for as long as the mind is shut up within it, they will mutually and much affect each other ......
“ The muscles are full and firm, the skin soft, almost moist, and never dry, the colour, especially of the face, fresh and constant, and, whether fair or dark, never approaching to pale or yellow; the countenance animated and cheerful; the eyes bright and lively; the teeth sound and strong; the step firm; . the limbs well supporting the body; the carriage erect; every sort of exercise easy; and labour, though long and hard, borne without inconvenience; all the organs of sense acute, neither torpid nor too sensitive; sleep light and long, not easily disturbed, refreshing, and either without dreams, or at least without unpleasant ones, steeping the senses in sweet forgetfulness, or filling the mind with pleasant images. Other signs of a healthy body are the temperate circulation of the blood, the pulse strong, full, soft, equal, neither too quick nor too slow, nor easily raised beyond the ordinary rate; the respiration full, easy, slow, scarcely apparent, and not much accelerated by exercise ; the voice strong and sonorous, and in men deep, not easily made hoarse; the breath sweet, at least without any thing to the contrary ; the mouth moist; the tongue bright, and not too red; the appetite strong, and requiring no stimulants; the thirst moderate; the digestion of all sorts of food easy, without any fermentation, or sensation of oppression ; and the exhalation from the skin free and constant, but without amounting to perspiration, except from the concurrence of strong causes.”
There is one very important conclusion to be drawn from the above description, and that is, that a high state of health is a high moral state, which is the reverse of what would be generally supposed. Dr. Gregory says that a man in perfect health is not the sport of inordinate affections, and that he commands his passions, instead of obeying them, , which means, that there is no physical excess to make the