« AnteriorContinuar »
Compress'd the flothful Naiad of the fens.
From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest
With fev'rish blasts subdues the fick’ning land,
Cold tremors come, and mighty love of reft;
Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains
That fting 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 finks, the habit melts away ;
The chearful, pure, and animated bloom
Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy
Devour'd, in sallow melancholy clad.
And oft the forc'ress, in her fated wrath,
Resigns them to the furies of her train ;
The bloated Hydrops, and the yellow fiend
Ting'd with her own accumulated gall.
In quest of fites, avoid the mournfal 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 foil and watry rain
Eternal vapours rise ; the spongy air
For ever weeps ; or turgid with the weight
Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.
Skies such as these, let ev'ry mortal shun,
Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,
Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh
Or any other injury that grows
From raw. Spun fibres idle and unstrung,
Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple food
In languid eddies loit'ring into phlegm.
Yet not alone from humid kies we pine ; For air may be too dry. The fubtle heaven, That winnows into duft the blafted 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 inflam'd,
Their tender ever-moving structure thaws,
Spoild of its limpid vehicle, the blood
A mass of lees remains, a drofsy tide
That slow as Lethe wanders thro' the veins :
Unactive in the services of life,
Unfit to lead its pitchy current thro'
The secret mazy channels of the brain.
The melancholy fiend, (that worst despair
Of phyfic) hence the ruit-complexion d man
Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gaio
Too ftretch'd a tone : And hence in climes adults
So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves,
And burning fevers glow with double rage.
Fly, if you can, these violent extremes
Of air; the wholesome is not moist nor dry,
But as the power of chufing is deny'd
To half mankind, a further tak ensues ;
How best to mitigate these fell extremes,
How breathe unhust the withering elementy.
Or hazy atmosphere.
He then reflects on the force of custom, and the friend. ly power of native air ; which is so great, that they who are born and rurtured in those countries where the air is efteem'd bad, not only live in health, but are often recover'd by their native air from disorders caught in more friendly climates. He advises those, however, who live in marly, 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 same time a proper regard to diet, and exercise.
Mean time, at home with chearful fires dispel
The humid air : and let your table smoke
With solid roast or bakd; 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 Apollo's 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 kin and lungs, and bake the thick’ning blood,
Deep in the waving forest chuse
Where fuming 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 life, 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,
Chat thro' the thirsty channels of the blood
A smooth diluted chyle may ever flow :
The fragrant dairy from its cool recess
Its nectar acid or benign will pour
To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl
Of keen sherbet the fickle taste relieve.
For with the viscous blood the simple stream
Will hardly mingle ; and fermented cups
Oft dissipate more moiture than they give.
Yet when pale seasons rise, or winter rolls
His horrors o'er the world, thou may'it indulge
In feasts more genial, and impatient broach
The mellow calk. 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 profitable, as well as more pleasing.
Mean time, the moist malignity to Mun
Of burthen'd skies ; mark where the dry champaign
Swells into chearful hill's ; where marjoram
And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air ;
And where the * Cynorrbodon with the rose
For fragrance vies; for in the thirsty foil
Moft fragrant breathe the aromatic tribes.
There bid thy roofs high on the balking steep
Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires.
And let them see the winter morn arise,
The summer ev’ning blushing in the west;
While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind
O'erhung, defends you from the bluft'ring north,
And bleak affliction of the peevilh eaft.
0! when the growling winds contend, and all
The sounding forests fluctuates in the storm,
To sink in warm repose, and hear the din
Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights
Above the luxury of vulgar fleep.
The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser ftrain
Of waters rufhing o'er the Nippery rocks,
Will nightly lull you to ambrosial reft.
To please the fancy is no trifling good,
Where health is studied; for whatever moves
The mind with calm delight, promotes the juft
And natural movements of th'harmonious frame.
Besides the sportive brook for ever shakes
The trembling air ; that floats from hill to hill,
From vale to mountain, with incessant change
of purest element, refreshing still
Your airy feat.
He then recommends a dry house, but airy more than warm, because those who confine themselves to warm rooms are, when abroad, extremely subject to colds ; the ceilings too should be lofty, and the windows at mid-day opend to discharge the foul air. He would have a sunny Gtuation, where the windows open to the south, the excellency of which is proved from a consideration of the state plants are in when confined to a perpetual friade, and this book he concludes with an Apostrophe to the sun, which is truly sublime.
How pale the plants in those ill-fated vales
* 'The wild rose, or that which grows on the wild briar.
That, circled round with the gigantic heap
Of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope
To feel, the genial vigour of the fun!
While on the neighbouring hill the rose inflames
The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows
The tender lily, languishingly sweet;
O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine roves,
And autumn ripens in the summer's ray.
Nor less the warmer living tribes demand
The fost'ring sun: whose energy divine,
Dwells not in mortal fire ; whose gen?rous heat
Glows thro' the mass of grosser elements,
And kindles into life the pond'rous spheres.
Cheard by thy kind invigorating warmth,
We court thy beams, great majesty of day!
If not the soul, the regent of this world,
First-born of heaven, and only less than God !
Diet, the subject of the second book would not admit of so much poetical ornament as the proceeding, yet this is not without its beauties. At the beginning the author speaks of the circulation of the blood, and of its continual waste, which is supplyed by fresh aliments reduced by the concoctive powers into chyle, and then into blood; and, before he enters on the rules of diet, makes this just observation.
Nothing fo foreign but th' athletic hind
Can labour into blood. The hungry meal
Alone he fears, or aliments too thin;
By violent powers too easily subdu'd,
Too soon expell’d. His daily labour thaws,
To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass
That falt can harden, or the smoke of years ;
Nor does his gorge the rancid bacon rue,
Nor that which Ceftria sends, tenacious paste
Of solid milk.
This is follow'd by some rules for the choice of food, in which the author observes that liquid food, vegetables, and young animals, are eafiest of digestion : But he inveighs against such animal food as is made far by ungatural means.