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vapours, as above. Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself, when apparent to the eyes ; and we find the burden of anxiety greater by, much than the evil which we are anxious about : but, which was worse than all this, I had not that relief in this trouble from the resignation I used to practice that I hoped to have. I looked, I thought, like Saul, who complained, not only that the Philistines were upon him, but that God had forsaken him ; for I did not now take due ways to compose my mind, by crying to God in my distress, and resting upon his providence, as I had done before, for my defence and deliverance, which, if I had done, I had at least been more cheerfully supported under this new surprise, and perhaps carried through it with more resolution.
This confusion of my thoughts kept me waking all night, but in the morning I fell asleep; and having, by the amusement of my mind, been, as it were, tired, and my spirits exhausted, I slept very soundly, and awaked much better composed than I had ever been before. And now I began to think sedately; and, upon the utmost debate with myself, I concluded that this island, which was so exceeding pleasant, fruitful, and no farther from the mainland than as I had seen, was not so entirely abandoned as I might imagine; that although there were no stated inhabitants who lived on the spot, yet that there might sometimes come boats off from the shore, who, either with design, or perhaps never but when they were driven by cross winds, might come to this place ; that I had lived here fifteen years now, and had not met with the least shadow or figure of
any people before ; and that, if at any time they should be driven here, it was probable they went away again as soon as ever they could, seeing they had never thought fit to fix there upon any occasion, to this time ; that the most I could suggest any danger from, was from any such casual accidental landing of straggling people from the main, who, as it was likely, if they were driven hither, were here against their wills; so that they made no stay here, but went off again with all possible speed, seldom staying one night on shore, lest they should not have the help of the tides and daylight back again ; and that therefore I had nothing to do but consider of some safe retreat, in case I should see any savages land upon the spot.
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
ADDISON, 1675—1719. The following letter will explain 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 peruse books of this nature, but I found my pulse was irregular, and scarce ever read the account of any disease, that I did not fancy myself afflicted with. Dr. Sydenham's learned treatise on fevers threw me into a lingering hectic, which hung upon me all the while I was reading that excellent piece. I then applied myself to the study of several authors who have written upon phthisical distempers, and by that means fell into a consumption ; till at length, growing very fat, I was in a manner shamed out of that imagination. Not long after this I found in myself all the symptoms of the gout, except pain. I at length studied myself into a complication of distempers ; but accidentally taking into my hand that ingenious discourse, written by Sanctorius, I was resolved to direct myself by a scheme of rules which I had collected from his observations. The learned world are very well acquainted with that gentleman's invention, who for the better carrying on of his experiments, contrived a certain mathematical chair, which was so artificially hung upon springs, that it would weigh anything as well as a pair of scales. By this means he discovered how many ounces of his food passed by perspiration, what quantity of it was turned into nourishment, and how much went away by the other channels and distributions of nature.
Having provided myself with this chair, I used to study, eat, drink, and sleep in it ; insomuch, that I may be said, for the last three years, to have lived in a pair of scales. I compute myself, when I am in full health, to be precisely two hundredweight, falling short of it about a pound after a day's fast, and exceeding it as much after a very full meal ; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between those two volatile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch myself up to two hundredweight and half-a-pound ; and if, after having dined, I find myself fall short of it, I drink just so much small beer, or
eat such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgress more than the other half-pound, which, for my health's sake, I do the first Monday in
As soon as I find myself duly poised after dinner, I walk till I have perspired 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 a half, and on solemn fasts am two pounds lighter than on other days in the year.
I allow myself, one night with another, a quarter of a pound of sleep, within a few grains 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 exact calculation of what I expended and received the last year, which I always register in a book, I find the medium to be two hundredweight; so that I cannot discover that I am impaired one ounce in my health during the 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 dropsical. Let me, therefore, beg you, Sir, to consider me as your patient; and do 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,” which may be thus translated :—“I was well, but by trying to be better, I am here.” The fear of death often proves mortal, and sets people on methods to save their lives, which infallibly destroy them. This is a reflection made by some historians, upon observing that there are many more thousands killed in a flight than in a battle; and may be applied to those multitudes of imaginary sick persons that break their constitutions by physic, and throw themselves into the arms of death by endeavouring to escape it. This method is not only dangerous, but below the practice of a reasonable creature. To consult the pre
servation of life as the only end of it, to make our health our business, to engage in no action that is not part of a regimen or course of physic, are purposes so abject, so mean, so unworthy human nature, that a generous soul would rather die than submit to them. Besides that, a continual anxiety for life vitiates all the relishes of it, and casts a gloom over the whole face of nature, as it is impossible we should take delight in anything that we are every moment afraid of losing.
I do not mean, by what I have here said, that I think anyone to blame for taking due care of their health. On the contrary, as cheerfulness of mind and capacity for business are, in a great measure, the effects of a well-tempered constitution, a man cannot be at too much pains to cultivate and preserve it. But this care, which we are prompted to, not only by common sense, but by duty and instinct, should never engage us in groundless fears, melancholy apprehensions, and imaginary distempers, which are natural to every man who is more anxious to live than how to live. short, the preservation of life should be only a secondary concern, and the direction of it our principal. If we have this frame of mind, we shall take the best means to preserve life, without being over-solicitous about the event; and shall arrive at that point of felicity which Martial has mentioned as the perfection of happiness—of neither fearing nor wishing for death.
In answer to the gentleman who tempers his health by ounces and by scruples, and, instead of complying with those natural solicitations of hunger and thirst, drowsiness, or love of exercise, governs himself by the prescriptions of his chair—I shall tell him a short fable :-Jupiter, says the mythologist, to reward the piety of a certain countryman, promised to give him whatever he would ask. The countryman desired that he might have the management of the weather in his own estate. He obtained his request, and immediately distributed rain, snow, and sunshine, among his several fields, as he thought the nature of the soil required. At the end of the year, when he expected to see a more than ordinary crop, his harvest fell infinitely short of that of his neighbours. Upon which, says the fable, he desired Jupiter to take the weather again into his own hands, or that otherwise he should utterly ruin himself.
SIR. ROGER DE COVERLEY AT HOME.
ADDISON, 1675—1719. HAVING often received an invitation from my friend Sir Roger de Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his country-house, where I intend to form several of my ensuing speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humour, lets me rise and go to bed when I please, dine at his own table or in my own chambers as I think fit, sit still and say nothing without bidding me to be merry. When the gentlemen of the county come to see him, he only shows me at a distance. As I have been walking in his fields, I have observed them stealing a sight of me over a hedge, and have heard the knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I hated to be stared at.
I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of sober and staid persons ; for as the knight is the best master in the world, he seldom changes his servants; and as he is beloved by all about him, his servants never care for leaving him ; by this means his domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would take his valet-de-chambre for his brother, his butler is grey-headed, his groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen, and his coachman has the looks of a privycouncillor. You see the goodness of the master even in the old house-dog, and in a grey pad that is kept in the stable with great care and tenderness out of regard to his past services, though he has been useless for several years.
I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that appeared in the countenances of these ancient domestics, upon my friend's arrival at his country seat. Some of them could not refrain from tears at the sight of their old master ; every one of them pressed forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were not employed. At the same time, the good old knight, with a mixture of the father and master of the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves. This humanity and good nature engages everybody to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good humour, and none so much as