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Without thy chearsul active energy
No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings,
No more the maids of Helicon delight.
Come then with me, O Goddess heavenly gay!
Begin the song; and let it sweetly stow,
And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws:
"How best the sickle fabric to support
". Of mortal man; in healthsul body how
"A healthy mind the longest to maintain."
'Tis hard, in such a strise of rules, to chuse
The best, and those of most extensive use.;,
Harder in clear and animated song,,
Dry philosophic precepts to convey.
Yet with thy aid the secret wilds. I trace
Of nature, and with daring steps proceed-
Thro' paths the muses never trod before.
He then pays a compliment to Dr. Mead, and entering on the subject air, inveighs against that which we.breathe
in London, and fays,
It is not air-
That from a thoufand lungs reeks back to thine,
Sated with exhalations rank and sell,
The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw
Of nature, when from shape and texture sbe
Relapses into sighting elements:
It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass.
Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things.
Much moisture hurts; but here a sordid bath,
With oily rancour fraught, relaxes more
The solid frame than simple moisture can.
The reflection he has made on the benesit we receive from burning of pit-coal is truly philosophical, and draw a from experience; for, it has been observed, that no plague or pestilential disorder (properly so called) has appear'd in London since the introduction, and general use of this kind of suel.
The directions he then gives for the choice of air,, and of a country situation, are delivered in a manner very poetical and pleasing.
While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds
Invite; the mountains call you, and the vales,
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze
That fans the ever undulating iky;
A kindly fty! whose fost'ring pow'r regales
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.
Find then some woodland scene where nature smiles
Benign, where all her honest children thrive.
To us there wants not many a happy seat;
Look round the smiling .land, such numbers rise
We hardly six, bewilder'din our choice.
See where enthron'd, in adamatine state,
Proud of her Bards, imperial Windsor sits x
There chuse thy seat, in some aspiring grove
Fast by the flowly-winding Thames; or where
Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats,.
(Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise
Rural or gay.) O f from the summer's rage
O f wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides
Umbrageous Ham! But if the busy town
Attract thee still to toil for pow'r or gold,
Sweetly thou mayst thy vacant hours possess
In Hamfftead, courted by the western wind;
Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood;
Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds
Of Duhuich, yet by barb'rous arts unspoil'd.
We have already taken notice of the allusions to ancient fables in Virgil and others, and of the frequent use made of the sigure called Prosopopœia, by which the properties of life are given, not only to inanimate Beings, but to Virtues, Vices, Diseases, ilsc. Some of these beauties will be seen in the sirst paragraph of the following passage.
Green rise the Kentish hills in chearsul air;
But on the marshy plains that'JE^c.v spreads
Build not, nor rest too long, thy wand'ring seet.
For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,
With banesul fogs her aching temples bound,.
£>uartana there presides; a meagre siend
Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force
Compress'd the flothsul Naiad of the sens.
From such a mixture sprung, this sitsul pest
With sev'rish blasts subdues the sick'ning land,
Cold tremors come, and mighty love of reft,
Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains
That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the loins,
And rack the joints, and every torpid limb;
Then parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats
O'erflow: a short relief from former ills.
Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine;
The vigor sinks, the habit melts away;
The chearsul, pure, and animated bloom
Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy
Devour'd, in fallow melancholy clad.
And oft the sorc'ress, in her fated wrath,
Resigns them to the suries of her train;
The bloated Hydrops, and the yellow siend
Ting'd with her own accumulated gall.
In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain,
Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake %
Where many lazy muddy rivers flow:
Nor for the wealth that all the Indies roll
Fix near the marshy margin of the main.
For from the humid soil and watry rain
Eternal vapours rise; the spungy air
For ever weeps; or turgid with the weight
Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.
Skies such as these, let ev'ry mortal flum,
Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,
Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh
Or any other injury that grows
From raw-spun sibres idle and unstrung,
Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood
In languid eddies loit'ring into phlegm.
Vet not alone from humid fties we pine;
For air may be too dry. The subtle heaven,
That winnows into dust the blasted downs,
Bare and extended wide without a stream,
Too fast imbibes th' attenuated lymph
Which by the surface, from the blood exhales.
The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
Their flexible vibrations; or instam'd,
Their tender ever-moving structure thaws,
Spoil'd of its limpid vehicle, the blood
A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide
That flow as Lethe wanders thro' the veins:
Urractive in the services of lise,
Unsit to lead its pitchy current thro'
The secret mazy channels of the brain.
The melancholy siend, (that worst despair
Of physic) hence the rust-complexiorfd man
Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose sibres gain
Too stretch'd a tone: And hence in climes-adust-
So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves,
And burning severs glow with double rage.
Fly, if yon can, these violent extremes
Of air; the wholesome is not moist nor dry,
But as the power of chusing is deny'd
To half mankind, a. surther task ensues;
How best to mitigate these sell extremes,
How breathe unhurt the withering element,.
Or hazy atmosphere.
He then reflects on the force of custom, and the friendly power of native air; which is so great, that they who are born and nurtured in those countries where the air is esteem'd bad, not only live in health, but are often recovers by their native air from disorders caught in more friendly climates. He advises those, however, who live in marshy, or woody countries, to drain the bogs, and clear away the trees, so as to obtain a free circulation of air; and to pay at the fame time a proper regard to diet, and exercise.
Mean time, at home with chearsul sires dispel
The humid air: and let your table smoke
With solid roast or bak'd; or what the herds
Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds
Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chace.
Generous your wine, the boast of rip'ning years,
But frugal be your cups; the languid frame,
Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,
Shrinks from the cold embrace of watry heavens.
But neither these nor all As olid'% arts.,
Difarm the dangers of the dropping sky,
Unless with exercise and manly toil
You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood.
-If droughty regions parch
The skin and longs, and bake the thick'ning blood,
Deep in the waving sorest chuse your seat,
Where suming trees refresh the thirsty air,
And wake the fountains from their secret beds,.
And into lakes dilate the running stream
Here spread your gardens wide; and let the cool,
The moist relaxing vegetable store
Prevail in each repast: your food supplied
By bleeding lise, be gently wasted down,
By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,
To liquid balm; or, if the solid mass
You chuse, tormented in the boiling wave,
That thro' the thirsty channels of the blood
A smooth dihited chyle may ever flow:
The fragrant dairy from its cool rccese
Its nectar acid or benign will pour
To drown your third; or let the mantling bowl
Of keen flierbet the sickle taste relieve.
For with the viscous blood the simple stream
Will hardly mingle; and sermented cups
Oft dissipate more moisture than they give.
Yet when pale seasons rise, or winter rolls
His horrors o'er the world, thou may'lt indulge
In seasts more genial, and impatient broach
The mellow cask. Then too the scourging air
Provokes to keener toils than sultry droughts
And to those who would avoid an over-moist air, he lays down the following rules both for situation and building; which are season'd with such reflections as render them more prositable, as well as more pleasing.
Mean time, the moist malignity to shun
Of burthen'd skies; mark where the dry champaign
Swells into chearsul hills; where marjoram
And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air;