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vantage to the more grateful side: for example, that a man should sometimes accustom himself to watching, and sometimes indulge himself in: sleep, but oftenest the latter : That he should sometimes fast and sometimes eat freely, but oftenest the latter : and that sometimes he should strongly employ, and sometimes slacken the faculties of his mind; but oftenest slacken theni. Doubtless a well regulated diet has a principal share in the prolongation of life; nor have I ever yet met with a man of any great age, who did not, when he was asked, say he observed a certain peculiarity in his diet ; some one thing, others another. And I remember an old man of. above a hundred, produced as a witness upon au ancient prescription, who, when he liad given in his evidence, being familiarly asked by the judge what course he took to live so long ? unexpectedly replied, with the laugh of the audience, by eating before he was hungry, and drinking before he was dry.
A life spent in religious duties and offices, seems conducive to longevity: This kind of life is attended with ease, admiration, the contemplation of divine matters ; noble hopes, wholesome fears, pleasing melancholy; continual renewals, by observances, penances, and expiations, without sensual delights; all which conditions have a strong tendency to prolong life. And if to these be added, the austere diet, whicir indurates the body, and humbles the spirit; no wonder if it procures a remarkable longevity: like that of Paul the hermit; Simecn the stylite, or Columnar anchorite; with many other anchorites and hermits of the desart. · What approaches nearest to the former, is a life of letters; as that of philosophers, rhetoricians, granmarians, &c. for this also turns upon leisure, and such thoughts, as, little regarding the affairs of life, have no severity ; but delight by their variety and impertinence. Men of letters also live to their own wish, and bestow their time upon subjects that please them best ; and are commonly in the company of youth, which is more agreeable. But there is a great difference betwixt philosophers, as to prolonging life, in respect of their sects; those being the best for this purpose which have somewhat of superstition, and sublime speculation; as the Pythagorean, and Platonic. So likewise those which ranged the universe, and took in all the varieties of nature, and had clear, noble, and lofty thoughts (as of infinity, the stars, heroic virtues, &c.) were conducive to long life; as the philosophies of Democritus, Philolaus, Xenophanes, the astrologers and the stoicks. Those likewise were proper to this end, that without any deep spes culation, or severe enquiry, but on the footing of common sense, and vulgar opinions, calmly disputed on both sides of the question; as those of Carneades, the academicks, the ancient rhetoricians, and grammarians. On the contrary, the dogmatical philosophers, that turned upon perplexing subtilties, and examined and wrested every thing in conformity to certain principles; and lastly, all the thorny and strait-laced philosophies such as were generally those of the peripateticks and the schools, are bad for this purpose.
A country life is also well suited to procure longevity; as being led much without doors in the open air, not indolently but in action, and generally supported with fresh and unexpensive diet, without envy, without care.
We likewise entertain a good opinion of a military life in youth. Many great leaders have been long lived; as Corvinus, Camillus, Xenophon, Agesilaus, and others, both ancients and moderns. It is doubtless of service to long life when all things, from youth to old age, have a favourable and friendly tendency; so that a youth inured to liardships may alleviate and sweeten old age. We likewise judge that military passions, on the watch for battle and victory, give such a warmth to the spirits as conduces to longevity.
OF REMEDIES CONDUCING TO LONG LIFE: WITH REGARD TO THE TENTH ARTICLE OF THE
TABLE OF ENQUIRY.
THE art of medicine at present in use, regards little more than the preservation of health, and the cure of diseases; without, or but transiently, taking notice of such things as properly contribute to the prolongation of life. We shall, however, here lay down the medicines in esteem for this purpose ; which go by the name of cardiacs: for such remedies as in cures defend and corroborate the heart, or, more properly, the spirits, against poisons and diseases; being judiciously, and with choice, introduced into diet, may very probably also conduce, in some measure, to prolong life. And this we shall do, not in the common way by throwing such medicines in a promiscuous heap; but by selecting out the most eminent.
Gold is exhibited in three forms; viz. that of aurum potabile, as it is called; quenched in wine; and in substance, as in leaf or filings. The aurum potabile began to be given in dangerous or inveterate diseases, as an excellent cordial; and with no despicable success : but we judge, that the virtue is owing to the spirit of salt, which makes the solution, rather than to the gold itself; though this be studiously concealed. But if the body of gold could be opened without a corrosive menstruum, or by corrosive menstruums without any pernicious quality ; provided the solution were afterwards well washed, we judge it might be an useful thing.
Pearls are taken either in levigated powder, or in a magistery or solution, made with the juice of fresh and very tart lemons : they are likewise sometimes given in aromatic confections; and sometimes in a fluid form. Doubtless the pearl has some affinity with the shell it adheres to; and may have a like virtue with the shells of crawfish. . Among the transparent gems there are principally two accounted cordial; the emerald and the jacynth : which are given in the same forms as pearls ; excepting that their solutions are not in use, as we know of. But we a little suspect these crystaline gems of roughness; or of wounding the parts like glass.
The bezoar stone is famed for refreshing the spirits, and causing a gentle sweat : but the horn of the monoceros has lost its reputation ; though it still continues upon the same footing with hartshorn, the bone of the stag's heart, ivory, &c.
Ambergris is one of the best things for appeasing and comforting the spirits.