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contidence in them, they will not talk against us before our faces, though they may do it with the same safety as if it were behind our backs. In the mean time, I cannot forbear thinking how naturally a historian who writes two or three hundred years hence, and does not know the taste of his wise forefathers, will make the following reflection,“ In the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Italian tongue was so well understood in England, that operas were acted on the public stage in that language.”
Music is certainly a very agreeable entertainment: but if it would take the entire possession of our ears, if it would make us incapable of hearing sense, if it would exclude arts that have a much greater tendency to the refinement of human nature; I must confess I would allow it no better quarter than Plato has done, who banishes it out of his commonwealth.
THE VALETUDINARIAN. No. 25.
The following letter will cxplain itself, and needs no apology.
* I am one of that sickly tribe who are commonly known by the name of Valetudinarians; and do confess to you, that I first contracted this ill habit of body, or rather of mind, by the study of physic. I no sooner began to perusc books of this nature, but I found my pulse was irregular; and scarcc ever read the account of any discase that I did not fancy myself af
flicted with. Dr. Sydenham's learned treatise of fevers
Having provided myself with this chair, I used to
* Sanctorius or Santorius, the ingenious inventor of the first thermometer, was a celebrated professor of medicine in the university of Padua, early in the 17th century, who, by means of a weighing chair of his own invention made and ascertained many curious and important diseoveries relative to insensible perspiration.
1623 · SECOND · AVENIR
stuly, eat, c'rink, and sleep in it; insomuch that I may be said for these land three years to have lived in a pair of scales. I compute mynell, when I am in full health, to be precisely two hundred weight, falling short of it about a pound after a day's fiunt, and exceedin ing it as much atier a very full meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between these two voluile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals i fetch myselfmp to two hundred weight and half a pound; and if after having dince I lind myself till short of'il, i drink just so much small beer, or cat such a quantity of bread, as is suflicient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgrens more than the other halt pound; whichi, formy health's sake, I do the first Monday in every month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after dinner, I walk till I have prepired five ounces and four scruples; and when I discover, by my chair, that I am so far reduced, I fall to my books, and study away three ounces more, As for the remaining parts of the pound, I keep no account of them. I do not dine and sup by the clock, but by my chair; for, when that informs me my pound of food is exhausted, I conclude myself to be hungry, and lay in another with all diligence. In my days of abstinence I lose a pound and alall, and on solemntants ain two pound lighter than on other days in the year.
. • Tallow myself, one night with another, a quarter of a pound of sleep, within a few grainy more or less; and if upon my rising I find that I have not consumed my whole quantity, I take out the rest in my chair. Upon an «Xuct calculation of what I exprended and received the last year, which I always register in a book, Ị find the medium to be two hundred weight, so that I cannot discover that I amnimpincel one ounce in my
health during a whole twelvemonth. And yet, sir, notwithstanding this my great care to ballast myself equally every day, and to keep my body in its proper poise, so it is, that I find myself in a sick and languishing condition. My complexion is grown very sallow, my pulse low, and my body hydropical. Let me therefore beg you, sir, to consider me as your patient, and to give me more certain rules to walk by than those I have already observed, and you will very much oblige
- Your humble servant.'
This letter puts me in mind of an Italian epitaph written on the monument of a Valetudinarian ; Stavo ben, ma per star meglio, sto qui.
LÆTITIA AND DAPHNE.
A FRIEND of mine has two daughters, whom I will call Lætitia and Daphne: the former is one of the greatest beauties of the age in which she lives, the latter no way remarkable for any charms in her person. Upon this one circumstance of their outward form, the good and ill of their life seems to turn. Lætitia has not, from her very childhood, heard any thing else but commendations of her features and complexion; by which means she is no other than nature made her, a very beautiful outside. The consciousness of her charms has rendered her insupportably vain and insolent, towards all who have to do with her. Daphne, who was almost twenty before one civil thing had ever been said to her, found herself obliged to acquire some
accomplishments to make up for the want of those at. tractions which she saw in her sister. Poor Daphne was seldom submitted to in a debate wherein she was concerned; her discourse had nothing to recommend it but the good sense of it, and she was always under a necessity to have very well considered what she was to say before she uttered it: while Laetitia was listened to with partiality, and approbation sat in the countenances of those she conversed with, before she communicated what she had to say.
These causes have produced suitable effects, and Laptitia is as insipid a companion as Daphne is an arccable one, Lætitia, confident of favour, has studied no arts to please ; Daphne, despairing of any inclination towards her person, has depended only on her werit. Lætitia has always something in her air that is sullen, grave, and disconsolate. Daphne has a countenance that appears cheerful, open, and unconcerned. A young gentleman saw Letitia this winter at a play, and became her captive. Ilis fortune was such, that he wanted very little introduction to speak his sentiments to her father. The lover was admitted with the utmost freedom into the family, where a constrained behaviour, severe looks, and distant civilities, were the highest favours he could obtain of Letitia ; while Dapbne used him with the good hu. mour, familiarity, and innocence of a sister : insomuch that he would often say to her, “Dcar Daphne, wert thou but as handsome as Lietitin" She received such language with that ingenuous and pleasing mirth which is natural to a woman without design. He still sighed in vain for Letitia, but found certain relief in the agrecable conversation of Daphne. At length, heartily tired with the haughty impertinence of Lætitia, and charmed with the repeated instances of good-hu