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THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH.

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BOOK I.

AIR.

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Daughter of Pæon, queen of every joy, Hygeia ; whose indulgent smile sustains The various race luxuriant nature pours, And on th’immortal essences bestows Immortal youth ; auspicious, O descend! Thou cheerful guardian of the rolling year, Whether thou wanton’st on the western gale, Or shak’st the rigid pinions of the north, Diffusest life and vigour through the tracts Of air, through earth, and ocean's deep domain.When through the blue serenity of heaven Thy power approaches, all the wasteful host Of pain and sickness, squalid and deform’d, Confounded sink into the lothesome gloom, Where in deep Erebus involv'd the fiends Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Swarm through the shudd'ring air: whatever

plagues
Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings
Rise from the putrid watery element,
The damp waste forest, motionless and rank,
That smothers earth and all the breathless winds,
Or the vile carnage of th’inhuman field:
Whatever baneful breathes the rotteu south;
Whatever ills th' extremes or sudden change
Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce;
They fly thy pure effulgence: they and all
The secret poisons of avenging heaven,
And all the pale tribes halting in the train
Of vice and heedless pleasure; or if aught
The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Mournful eclipse, or planets ill-combin’d,
Portend disastrous to the vital world ;
Thy salutary power averts their rage,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die.

Without thy cheerful 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 flow,
And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws:
“ How best the fickle fabric to support
Of mortal man; in healthful body how
A healthful mind the longest to maintain."
"Tis hard, in such a strise of rules, to choose
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
Through paths the Muses never trod before.

Nor should I wander doubtful of my way,
Had I the lights of that sagacious mind
Which taught to check the pestilential fire,
And quell the deadly Python of the Nile.
O thou belov'd by all the graceful arts,
Thou long the fav'rite of the healing powers,
Indulge, 0 Mead! a well-design'd essay,
Howe'er imperfect; and permit that I
My little knowledge with my country share,
Till you the rich Asclepian stores unlock,
And with new graces diguify the theme.

Ye who amid this feverish world would wear
A body free of pain, of cares a mind,
Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air;
Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke
And volatile corruption, from the dead,
The dying, sick’ning, end the living world
Exhal'd, to sully heaven's transparent dome
With dim mortality. It is not air
That from a thousand lungs reeks back to thine,
Sated with exhalations rank and fell,
The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw
‘of nature; when from shape and texture she
Relapses into fighting 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.
Besides, immur'd in many a sullen bay
That never felt the freshness of the breeze,
This slumb’ring deep remains, and ranker grows
With sickly rest: and (though the lungs abhor
To drink the dun fuliginous abyss)
Did not the acid vigour of the mine,
Roll’d from so many thund'ring chimnies, tame
The putrid steams that overswarm the sky;
This caustic venom would perhaps corrode
Those tender cells that draw the vital air,
In vain with all their unctuous rills bedew'd;
Or by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn
In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin
Imbib'd, would poison the balsamic blood,
And rouse the heart to every fever's rage.
While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds
Invite ; the mountains call you, and the vales,
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze

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That fans the ever undulating sky;

Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood
A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales In languid eddies loitering into phlegm.
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.

Yet not alone from humid skies we pine;
Find then some woodland scene where nature smiles For air may be too dry. The subtle heaven,
Benign, where all her honest children thrive. That winnows into dust the blasted downs,
To us there wants not many a happy seat!

Bare and extended wide without a stream,
Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise Too fast imbibes th' attenuated lymph,
We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice;

Which, by the surface, from the blood exhales.
See where enthron'd in adamantine state,

The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits ;

Their flexible vibrations; or, inflam'd,
There choose thy seat, in some aspiring grove Their tender ever-moving structure thaws,
Fast by the slowly-winding Thames; or where Spoil'd of its limpid vehicle, the blood
Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats, A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide
(Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise

That slow as Lethe wanders through the veins:
Rural or gay.) O! from the summer's rage, Unactive in the services of life,
0! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides Unfit to lead its pitchy current through
Umbrageous Ham !-But, if the busy town

The secret mazy channels of the brain.
Attract thee still to toil for power or gold,

The melancholic fiend (that worst despair
Sweetly thou mayst thy vacant hours possess Of physic) bence the rust-complexion'd man
Io Hampstead, courted by the western wind; Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gain
Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood; Too stretch'd a tone: and hence in climes adust
Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds

So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves,
Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoil'd. And burning fevers glow with double rage.
Green rise the Kentish hills in cheerful air;

Fly, if you can, these violent extremes
But on the marshy plains that Lincolo spreads

Of air: the wholesome is nor moist nor dry.
Build not, nor rest too long thy wand'ring feet. But as the power of choosing is deny'd
For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,

To half mankind, a further task ensues ;
de
With baneful fogs her aching temples bound,

How best to mitigate these fell extremes,
Quartana there presides; a meagre fiend

How breathe, unhurt, the withering element,
Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force

Or hazy atmosphere: though custom moulds
Head
Compress'd the slothful naiad of the fens.

To ev'ry clime the soft Promethean clay;
From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest

And he who first the fogs of Essex breath'd
With fev'rish blasts subdues the sick’ning land: (So kind his native air) may in the fens
Cold tremors come, with mighty love of rest,

Of Essex from inveterate ills revive,
Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains

At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught,
That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the loins, But if the raw and oozy heaven offend,
And rack the joints and every torpid limb;

Correct the soil, and dry the sources up
Then parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats Of watery exhalation : wide and deep
O'erflow: a short relief from former ills.

Conduct your trenches through the quaking bog;
Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine;

Solicitous, with all your winding arts,
The vigour sinks, the habit melts away;

Betray th' unwilling lake into the stream;
The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom

And weed the forest, and invoke the winds
Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy

To break the toils where strangled vapours lie;
Devour’d, in sallow melancholy clad.

Or through the thickets send the crackling flames. And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath,

Meantime, at home, with cheerful fires dispel
Resigns them to the furies of her train;

The humid air: and let your table smoke
The bloated hydrops ; and the yellow fiend,

With solid roast or bak’d; or what the herds
Ting'd with her own accumulated gall.

Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds
In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase.
Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake; Generous your wine, the boast of rip’ning years;
Where many lazy muddy rivers flow:

But frugal be your cups: the languid frame,
Nor, for the wealth that all the Indies roll,

Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,
Fix near the marshy margin of the main :

Shrinks from the cold embrace of watery heavens.
For from the humid soil and wat'ry reign

But neither these, nor all Apollo's arts,
Eternal vapours rise; the spungy

air

Disarm the dangers of the drooping sky,
For ever weeps : or, turgid with the weight

Unless with exercise and manly toil
Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.

You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood.
Skies such as these let every mortal shun

The fatt’ning clime let all the sons of ease
Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,

Avoid ; if indolence would wish to live,
Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh:

Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year

In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch
Or any other injury that grows

The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening blood;
From raw-spun fibres idle and unstrung,

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Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own ; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vais; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,

Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue; And his long nights of revelry and ease.

And even in penance planning sins anew. The naked negro, panting at the line,

All evils here contaminate the mind, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,

That opulence departed leaves behind; Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,

For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.

When commerce proudly flourish'd through the Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,

At her command the palace learn'd to rise, (state; His first best country, ever is at home;

Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies; And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,

The canvas glow'd beyond ev'n nature warm, And estimate the blessings which they share, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;

Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; As different good, by art or nature given

While nought remain’d of all that riches gave, To different nations, makes their blessings even.

But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: Nature, a mother kind alike to all,

And late the nation found with fruitless skill,
Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call; Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
With
food as well the peasant is supply'd

Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;

By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride; And though the rocky-crested summits frown, From these the feeble heart and long-fall'a mind These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down. An easy compensation seem to find. From art more various are the blessings sent; Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd, Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content. The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade; Yet these each other's power so strong contest, Processions form'd for piety and love, That either seems destructive of the rest.

A mistress or a saint in every grove. Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails; By sports like these are all their cares beguil', And honour sinks where commerce long prevails. The sports of children satisfy the child. Hence every state to one lov'd blessing prone,

Each nobler aim, represt by long controul, Conforms and models life to that alone.

Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
Each to the fav’rite happiness attends,

While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends ; In happier meanness occupy the mind:
Till carried to excess in each domain,

As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway, This favorite good begets peculiar pain.

Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay, But let us try these truths with closer eyes, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, And trace them through the prospect as it lies: The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; Here, for a while my proper cares resign'd, And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;

Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. Like yon neglected shrub at random cast,

My soul turn from them, turn we to survey That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast. Where rougher climes a nobler race display,

Far to the right where Apennine ascends, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion treed. Bright as the summer, Italy extends;

And force a churlish soil for scanty bread; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, No product here the barren hills afford, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;

But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, With venerable grandeur mark the scene.

But winter lingering chills the lap of May: Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,

No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, The sons of Italy were surely blest.

But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest. Whatever fruits in different climes are found,

Yet still, even here, content can spread a chars, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm. Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,

Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts that Whose bright succession decks the varied year;, He sees his little lot the lot of all; Whatever sweets salute the northern sky

Sees no contiguous palace rear its head With vernal lives, that blossom but to die;

To shame the meanness of his humble shed; These here disporting own the kindred soil, No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal, Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil:

To make him loathe his vegetable meal; While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand, But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil, To winnow fragrance round the smiling land. Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.

But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.

Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes; In florid beauty groves and fields appear,

With patient angle trolls the finny deep, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the sect; Contrasted faults through all his manners reign: Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the say,

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Breasts

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And drags the struggling savage into day. Have led their children through the mirthful maze; At night returning, every labour sped,

And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore, He sits him down the monarch of a shed ;

Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore. Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys

So blest a life these thoughtless realms display, His childrens' looks, that brighten at the blaze; Thus idly busy rolls their world away: While his lov'd partner, boastful of her board, Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear, Displays her cleanly platter on the board:

For honour forms the social temper here. And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,

Honour, that praise which real merit gains, With many a tale repays the nightly bed.

Or even imaginary worth obtains, Thus every good his native wilds impart, Here passes current; paid from hand to hand, Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;

It shifts in splendid traffic round the land: And ev’n those ills, that round his mansion rise, From courts to camps, to cottages it strays, Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.

And all are taught an avarice of praise ; Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms, They please, are pleas'd, they give to get esteem, And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms; Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem. And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,

But while this softer art their bliss supplies, Clings close and closer to the mother's breast, It gives their follies also room to rise : So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar, For praise too dearly lov’d, or warmly sought, But bind him to his native mountains more. Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;

Such are the charms to barren states assign'd; And the weak soul, within itself unblest, Their wants but few, their wishes all confin’d. Leans for all pleasure on another's breast. Yet let them only share the praises due,

Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art, If few their wants, their pleasures are but few; Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart; For every want that stimulates the breast,

Here vanity assumes her pert grimace, Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest.

And trims her robe of frieze with copper lace; Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies, Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, That first excites desire, and then supplies;

To boast one splendid banquet once a year; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws, To fill the languid pause with finer joy;

Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, To men of other minds my fancy flies, Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies. Their level life is but a mouldering fire,

Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire ; Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer

And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, On some high festival of once a year,

Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride. In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,

Onward methinks, and diligently slow, Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.

The firm connected bulwark seems to grow; But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow; Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar, Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low: Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore: Por, as refinement stops, from sire to son

While the pent ocean rising o'er the pile, Uoalter'd, unimprov'd the manners run;

Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile ; And love's and friendship’s finely pointed dart The slow canal, the yellow blossom’d vale, Falls blunted from each indurated heart.

The willow tufted bank, the gliding sail, Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;

A new creation rescu'd from his reign. But all the gentler morals, such as play [way, Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil Through life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the Impels the native to repeated toil, These far dispers’d, on timorous pinions fly, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.

And industry begets a love of gain. To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign, Hence all the good from opulence that springs, I turn; and France displays her bright domain. With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease, Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imPleas’d with thyself, whom all the world can please, parts How often have I led thy sportive choir,

Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire, But view them closer, craft and fraud appear, Where shading elms along the margin grew, Even liberty itself is barter'd here. And freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew ; At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, And haply, though my harsh touch fault'ring still, The needy sell it, and the rich man buys; But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill, A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves; Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,

Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, And dance forgetful of the noon-tide hour.

And calmly bent, to servitude conform, Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days

Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.

Heavens ! how unlike their Belgic sires of old !

Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow, Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;

Its double weight must ruin all below, War in each breast, and freedom on each brow; O then how blind to all that truth requires, How much unlike the sons of Britain now!

Who think it freedom when a part aspires! Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, And flies where Britain courts the western spring; Except when fast approaching danger warms: Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspis glide. Contracting regal power to stretch their own, There all around the gentlest breezes stray,

When I behold a factious band agree There gentle music melts on every spray;

To call it freedom when themselves are free; Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd, Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, Extremes are only in the master's mind!

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state, The wealth of climes, where savage nations ran, With daring aims irregularly great:

Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home, Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,

Fear, pity, justice, indignation start, I see the lords of human kind pass by ;

Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart; Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,

Till half a patriot, half a coward grown, By forms unfashion'd, fresh from nature's hand: I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour, True to imagin'd right above controul,

When first ambition struck at regal power ; While even the peasant boasts these rights to scan, And thus polluting honour in its source, And learns to venerate himself as man.

Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here, Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled share, Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear; Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore? Too blest indeed, were such without alloy;

Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, But foster'd even by freedom ills annoy ;

Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste; That independence Britons prize too high,

Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie. Lead stern depopulation in her train,
The self-dependent lordling stands alone,

And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,

Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call, Minds combat minds, repelling and repellid. The smiling long-frequented village fall? Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,

Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, Represt ambition struggles round her shore, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Till over wrought, the general system feels

Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, Its motion stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.

To traverse climes beyond the western main; Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,

And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Through tangled forests, and through dangerous Hence all obedience bows to these alone,

ways; And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown;

Where beasts with man divided empire claim, Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms, And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim; The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms,

There, while above the giddy tempest flies, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, And all around distressful yells arise, Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, One sink of level avarice shall lie,

To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die. Casts a long look where England's glories shine,

Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. I mean to flatter kings, or court the great;

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire,

That bliss which only centres in the mind; Far from my bosom drive the low desire ;

Why have I stray'd, from pleasure and repose, And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel

To seek a good each government bestows : The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel :

In every government, though terrors reign, Thou transitory flower, alike undone

Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain, By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun: How small of all that human hearts endure, Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure; That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! I only would repress them to secure:

Still to ourselves in every place consign'd, For just experience tells, in every soil,

Our own felicity we make or find. That those who think must govern those that toil; With secret course, which po loud storms annoy, And all that freedom's highest aims can reach, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy. Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.

The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel,

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