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To be free-minded and cheerfully disposed at hours of meat, and of sleep, and of exercise, is one of the best precepts of long lasting. As for the passions and studies of the mind, avoid envy, anxious fears, anger, fretting inwards, subtil and knotty inquisitions, joys and exhilarations in excess, sadness not communicated.* Entertain hopes ; nirth rather than joy; variety of delights rather than surfeit of them ; wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature.
If you fly physic in health altogether, it will be too strong for your body when you shall need it; if you make it too familiar, it will work no extraordinary effect when sickness cometh. I commend rather, some diet for certain seasons, than frequent use of physic, except it be grown into a custom, for those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less,
Despise no new accident in your body, but ask opinion of it. In sickness, respect health principally, and in health, action; for those that put their bodies to endure in health, may in most sicknesses, which are not very sharp, be cured only with diet and tendering. Celsus could never have spoken it as a physician, had he not been a wise man withal, when he giveth it for one of the great precepts of health and
* See page 114.
lasting; that a man do vary and interchange contraries; but with an inclination to the more benign extreme: use fasting and full eating, but rather full eating; watching and sleep, but rather sleep: sitting and exercise, but rather exercise, and the like: so shall nature be cherished, and yet taught masteries.
Physicians are some of them so pleasing and conformable to the humour of the patient, as they press not the cure of the disease; and some others are so regular in proceeding according to art for the disease, as they respect not sufficiently the condition of the patient. Take one of a middle temper, or, if it may not be found in one man, combine two of either sort; and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty.
Fly drunkenness, whose vile incontinence
· THE pleasure of eating and drinking, and all the other delights of sense, are only so far desirable as they give or maintain health; but they are not pleasant in themselves, otherwise than as they resist those impressions that our natural infirmities are still making upon us. For, as a wise man desires rather to avoid diseases, than to take physic, and to be free from pain, rather than to find ease by remedies, so it is more desirable not to need this sort of pleasure, than to be obliged to indulge it. If any man imagines that there is a real happiness in these enjoyments, he must then confess that he would be the happiest of all men, if he were to lead his life in perpetual hunger, thirst, and itching, and by consequence, in perpetual eating, drinking, and scratching him. self; which any one may easily see would be not only a base, but a miserable state of life.
SIR THOMAS MORE'S UTOPIA.
TAKE especial care that thou delight not in wine; for there never was any man that came to honour or preferment, that loved it; for it transformneth a man into a beast, decayeth health, poisoneth the breath, destroyeth natural heat, brings a man's stomach to an artificial heat, deformeth the face, rotteth the teeth, and maketh a man contemptible, soon old, and despised of all wise and worthy men; hated in thy servants, in thyself, and companions, for it is a bewitching and infectious vice; and, remember my words, that it were better for a man to be subject to any vice than to it; for all other vanities and sins are recovered, but a drunkard: will never shake off the delight of beastliness, for the longer it possesseth a man, the more he will delight in it, and the elder he groweth, the more he shall be subject to it; for it dulleth the spirits and destroyeth the body, as ivy doth the old tree, or as the worm that engendereth in the kernel of the mut.
SIR WALTER RALEGH.
TAKE heed, therefore, that such a cureless canker pass not thy youth, nor such a beastly infection thy old age; for then shall all thy life
be but as the life of a beast, and after thy death thou shalt only leave a shameful infamy to thy posterity, who shall study to forget that such an one was their father.
SIR WALTER RALEGH.
ANACHARSIS saith, “ The first draught “serveth for health, the second for pleasure, the " third for shame, the fourth for madness.” But in youth there is not so much as one draught permitted, for it putteth fire to fire, and wasteth the natural heat and seed of generation. Therefore, except thou desire to hasten thine end, take this for a general rule: That thou never add
artificial heat to thy body, by wine or spice, until thou find that time bath decayed thy natural heat, and the sooner thou beginnest to help nature, the sooner she will forsake thee, and trust altogether to art.*
“Who have misfortune," saith Solomon, "who “have sorrow and grief, who have trouble without
* The following passage, beautifully illustrative of the above wholesome admonitions, is given by our immortal bard, in the character of the old servant Adum, in the comedy of “ As
you like it."
“ Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty,