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ment of my health my study. I rose from my book, stood bolt upright, and determined to be well. In pursuance of my resolution, I tried many extremes, was guilty of many absurdities, and committed many errors, amidst the remonstrances and ridicule of those around me. I persevered nevertheless, and it is now, I believe, full sixteen years since I have had any medical advice, or taken any medicine, or any thing whatever by way of medicine. During that period I have lived constantly in the world, for the last six years in London without ever being absent during any one whole week, and I have never forgone a single engagement of business or pleasure, or been confined one hour, with the exception of two days in the country from over exertion. For nine years I have worn neither great-coat nor cloak, though I ride and walk at all hours and in all weathers. My dress has been the same in summer and winter, my under garments being single and only of cotton, and I am always lightly shod. The only inconvenicnce I suffer, is occasionally from colds; but with a little more care I could entirely prevent them, or, if I took the trcuble, I could remove the most severe in four-and-twenty hours I do not mean it to be understood, that the same simple means would produce so rapid a cure in all persons, but only in those who may have acquired the same tendency to health that I have-a tendency of which I believe all persons are much more capable than they suppose.
In the course of my pursuit after health, I once brought myself to a pure and buoyant state, of which previously I had no conception, and which I shall hereafter describe. Having attained so great a blessing, I afterwards fell off to be content with that negative condition, which I call the condition of not being ill, rather than of being well. Real health produces an elasticity and vigour of body and mind, which makes the possessors of it, in the characteristic words of the Ploughman Poet,
« O’er all the ills of life victorious.”
And now having, I hope, excited the curiosity of my readers, and inspired them with some degree of confidence as to my qualifications for the task I have undertaken, I shall in my next number proceed to details.
CROSSING THE ALPS MATHEMATICALLY.
The following anecdote is founded on fact, and the local description is strictly accurate.
Every body has seen or heard of Bonaparte's road over the Simplon. As some English travellers were ascending it on their way into Italy, two young men of the party walked on considerably before the rest. Soon after they had passed the post-house on the summit, one of them, who had lately taken a wrangler's degree at Cambridge, and was now first launched into the world, observing the barrier of mountains in front, proposed to make a short cut along a cow track, which presented itself on the left. His less speculative companion thought it would be better to keep the road, and an argument ensuing
“ It is really quite astonishing,” exclaimed the mathe. matician with warmth, “ that people cannot reason. Don't I pursue with my eye an unbroken chain of mountains, there, covered with eternal snow? It is clear the road cannot continue in its present direction—it must curve round here This track is evidently the chord of the arc, and where cows can go, I can go. The case is as clear as any thing in Euclid-it does not admit of a doubt.”
“ But why then,” said the other, “ did not Bonaparte cause the road to be made here?"
“ Because he was a fool,” replied the wrangler; so saying, he struck into the path, and his friend, after a moment's hesitation, followed him.
“ I knew I must be right," said the Cantab, chattering away most authoritatively, till the cow-track at length diminishing into a sheep-track, he became rather less loquacious; and the sheep-track also terminating soon after amongst some ominous unevennesses, a dead silence and a halt ensued.
“Oh!” exclaimed the wrangler again, “ we have only to go on subtending the arc;" and so they did, till they suddenly arrived at the edge of a precipice at least five hundred feet perpendicularly deep, from which awful position they descried in the distance the road magnificently descending before them towards the village of the Simplon.
“I wish,” said the prudent traveller, “you had not been so extremely clever in proving this to be the nearest way, which proves itself to be no way at all. I will back Keller* against Euclid for a Swiss guide.”
“I was right, however," said the wrangler, “about the direction ; you may now see where the road winds under the mountain there, and but for this precipice we should just have cut off the curve, as I said.”
“A very near thing, truly !” replied the other; “but come, I shall take the command now." So saying, he turned to the right, and keeping along the brink of the precipice, was followed by the disconcerted wrangler till they arrived at a practicable descent over broken masses of rock, interspersed with stunted shrubs and alpine plants. The sun was already far in the west—the way was most difficult—the distance to the road was uncertain - the carriages would most probably have passed the anxiety of the two increased to a degree, that those who have not been in a similar situation or seen such tremendous scenery, can have little idea of. Here they slid down a steep descent of loose, sharp stones—there they scrambled up a rugged breastwork—then they skipped from fragment to fragment-till at last the wrangler setting his foot amongst some plants, which concealed a cleft, sunk up to the knee; and, in his haste to withdraw his leg, snapped the small bone of it. His companion, though slow in getting into difficulties, was ever prompt in getting out, and being strong and stout-hearted, he quickly mounted his friend upon his back, and, with extreme labour and scarcely less danger, succeeded in carrying him into the road. Here he deposited bis burden to rest; and as they sat in painful meditation, the shades of night were fast veiling the sublimities of nature-no sound was heard, nor was there any sign of living being. They had, however, only just resumed their harassing march, when they were cheered by the rolling of wheels behind them, and their own carriage, which had most fortunately been detained by an accident, rapidly descending the hill, put an end to their anxiety, and soon conveyed them to the inn, where they found the rest of their party assembled, and every thing prepared for their reception for the night. The next morning the mathematician was carefully conveyed towards Milan ; and there during a vexatious confinement he had ample leisure to reflect on the danger of ingenuity, when unaccompanied by experience. He is not the only one, whose theorizing has brought himself and others to the brink of a prccipice.
* The author of the well-known travelling map.
LONDON IN TIMES PAST AND PRESENT.
Considering the enormous, and in many parts demoralized, population of London, it is quite marvellous there should be so little personal insccurity. I have been in the habit for many years of going about all parts of the town and the environs, at all hours, without any precaution, and I never experienced on any occasion the slightest molestation; and I scarcely ever met in society any one whose own actual experience was different. It was not so formerly, as the following instances will serve to show. At Kensington, within the memory of man, on Sunday evenings a bell used to be rung at intervals to muster the people returning to town. As soon as a band was assembled sufficiently numerous to ensure mutual protection, it set off ; and so on till all had passed. George the Fourth, and the late Duke of York, when very young men, were stopped one night in a hackney coach, and robbed on Hay Hill, Berkeley Square. To cross Hounslow Heath or Finchley Common, now both enclosed, after sunset, was a service of great danger. Those who ventured were always well-armed, and some few had even ball-proof carriages. There is a house still standing, I believe, on Finchley, which in those days was the known place of rendezvous for highwaymen. Happily these things are now matters of history.
The standard of wealth is no less changed than the standard of safety. Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, was once the street of fashionable shops-what Bond Street was till lately, and what Bond Street and Regent Street together are now. I remember hearing an old lady say, that in her young days the crowd of handsome equipages in Tavistock Street was considered one of the sights of London. I have had the curiosity to stride it. It is about one hundred and sixty yards long, and before the footways were widened, would have admitted three carriages abreast. Within memory the principal carriage approach to Old Drury Lane Theatre, the last but one before the present, was through that part of Drury Lane which is now a flagged foot-passage, and called Drury Court, just opposite the New Church in the Strand. The ring in Hyde Park, so celebrated in old novels and plays, and so often the scene of duels, is still traceable round a clump of trees near the foot-barracks. It encloses an area of about ninety yards in diameter, and is about forty-five yards wide. Here used to assemble all the fashion of the day, now diffused round the whole park, besides what is taken off by the Regent's Park. At the rate the country is advancing in wealth,