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Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds
Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase.
Generous your wine, the boast of ripening
years;

1

But frugal e your cups: the languid frame,
Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,
Shrinks from the cold embrace of wat'ry Heavens.
But neither these nor all Apollo's arts,
Disarm the dangers of the dropping sky,
Unless with exercise and manly tòil [blood.
You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging
The fat'ning clime let all the sons of ease
Avoid; if indolence would wish to live,
Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year
In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch
The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening
blood;

*

Deep in the waving forest choose your seat,
Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air;
And wake the fountains from their secret beds,
And into lakes dilate their rapid stream.
Here spread your gardens wide; and let the cool,
The moist relaxing vegetable store
Prevail in each repast: your food supply'd
By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,
By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,
To liquid balm; or, if the solid inass
You choose, tormented in the boiling wave:
That through 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.

Swells into cheerful hills: where marjoram
And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air;
And where the cynorthodon with the rose
For fragrance vies; for in the thirsty soil
Most fragrant breathe the aromatic tribes.
There bid thy roofs high on the basking steep
Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires.
And let them see the winter morn arise,

For with the viscous blood the simple stream
Will hardly mingle; and fermented cups
Oft dissipate more moisture than they give.
Yet when pale seasons rise, or Winter rolls
His horrours o'er the world, thou may'st indulge
In feasts more genial, and impatient broach
The mellow cask. Then too the scourging air
Provokes to keener toils than sultry droughts
Allow. But rarely we such skies blaspheme.
Steep'd in continual rains, or with raw fogs
Bedew'd, our seasons droop: incumbent still
A ponderous Heaven o'erwhelms the sinking soul.
Lab'ring with storms in heapy mountains rise
Th' imbattled clouds, as if the S ygian shades
Had left the dungeon of eternal night,
Till black with thunder all the South descends.
Scarce in a showerless day the Heavens indulge
Our melting clime; except the baleful East
Withers the tender spring, and sourly checks
The fancy of the year. Our fathers talk
Of summers, balmy air, and skies serere.
Good Heaven! for what unexpiated crimes
This dismal change! the brooding elements,
Do they, your powerful ministers of wrath,
Prepare some fierce exterminating plague?
Or is it fix'd in the decrees above
That lofty Albion melt into the main ?
Indulgent Nature! O dissolve this gloom!
Bind in eternal adamant the winds
That drown or wither: give the genial West
To breathe, and in its turn the sprightly North:
And may once more the circling seasons rule
The year; not mix in every monstrous day.

Meantime, the moist malignity to shun [paign Of burthen'd skies; mark where the dry cham.

The summer evening blushing in the West:
While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind
O'erhung, defends you from the blust'ring North,
And bleak affliction of the peevish East.
Oh! when the growling winds contend, and all
The sounding forest 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 sleep.

The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain
Of waters rushing o'r the slippery rocks,
Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest.
To please the fancy is no trifling good,
Where health is studied; for whatever moves
The mind with calm delight, promotes the just
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 seat, and uninfected gods.
Chiefly for this I praise the man who builds
High on the breezy ridge, whose lofty sides
Th' ethereal deep with endless billows chafes.
His purer mansion nor contagious years
Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annoy.

But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain,
Involve my hill! and whereso'er you build,
Whether on sun-burat Epsom, or the plains
Wash'd by the silent Lee; in Chelsea low,
Or high Blackheath with wintry winds assail'd;
Dry be your house but airy more than warm.
Else every breath of ruder wind will strike
Your tender body through with rapid pains; '
Fierce coughs will tease you, hoarseness bind your
voice,

Or moist gravedo load your aching brows.
These to defy, and all the fates that dwell
In cloister'd air tainted with steaming life,
Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms;
And still at azure noontide may your dome
At every window drink the liquid sky.

Need we the sunny situation here,
And theatres open to the South, commend?
Here, where the inorning's misty breath infests
More than the torrid noon? How sickly grow,
How pale, the plants in those ill-fated vales,
That, circled round with the gigantic heap
Of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope
To feel, the genial vigour of the Sun!
While on the neighbouring hill the rose in-
flames

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

2 The wild rose, or that which grows on the common briar.

Dwells not in mortal fire; whose gen'rous heat
Glows thro' the mass of grosser elements,
And kindles into life the ponderous spheres.
Cheer'd 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!

THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH.

BOOK II.-DIET.

ENOUGH of air. A desert subject now,
Rougher and wilder, rises to my sight.
A barren waste, where not a garland grows
To bind the Muse's brow; not ev'n a proud
Stupendous solitude frowns o'er the heath,
To rouse a noble horrour in the soul:

But rugged paths fatigue, and errour leads
Thro' endless labyrinths the devious feet.
Farewell, ethereal fields! the humbler arts
Of life; the table and the homely gods
Demand my song. Elysian gales, adieu!

The blood, the fountain whence the spirits flow,

The generous stream that waters every part, And motion, vigour, and warm life conveys To every particle that moves or lives; This vital fluid, through unnumber'd tubes Pour'd by the heart, and to the heart again Refunded; scourg'd for ever round and round; Enrag'd with heat and toil, at lasts forgets Its balmy nature; virulent and thin It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates Are open to its flight, it would destroy The parts it cherish'd and repair'd before. Besides, the flexible and tender tubes Melt in the mildest most nectareous tide That ripening Nature rolls; as in the stream Its crumbling banks; but what the force Of plastic fluids hourly batters down, That very force, those plastic particles Rebuild: so mutable the state of man. For this the watchful appetite was given, Daily with fresh materials to repair This unavoidable expense of life,

This necessary waste of flesh and blood.
Hence, the concoctive powers, with various art,
Subdue the cruder aliments to chyle;

The chyle to blood; the foamy purple tide
To liquors, which thro' finer arteries
To different parts their winding course pursue;
To try new changes, and new forms put on,
Or for the public, or some private use.

Nothing so foreign but th' athletic hind
Can labour into blood. The hungry meal
Alone he fears, or aliments too thm;
By violent powers too easily subu’d,
Too soon expell'd. His daily labour thaws,
To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass
That salt can harden, or the smoke of years;
Nor does his gorge the luscious bacon rue,
Nor that which Cestria sends, tenacious paste
Of solid milk. But ye of softer clay,
Infirm and delicate! and ye who waste
With pale and bloated sloth the tedious day!
Avoid the stubborn aliment, avoid

The full repast; and let sagacious age Grow wiser, lesson'd by the dropping teeth. Half subtiliz'd to chyle, the liquid food Readiest obeys th' assimilating powers; And soon the tender vegetable mass Relents; and soon the young of those that tread The stedfast earth, or cleave the green abyss, Or pathless sky. And if the steer must fall, In youth and sanguine vigour let him die; Nor stay till rigid age, or heavy ails, Absolve him ill-requited from the yoke. Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease, Indulge the veteran ox; but wiser thou, From the bald mountain or the barren downs, Expect the flocks by frugal Nature fed; A race of purer blood, with exercise Refin'd and scanty fare: for, old or young, The stall'd are never healthy; nor the cramm'd Not all the culinary arts can tame

To wholesome food, the abominable growth ́ Of rest and gluttony; the prudent taste Rejects like bane such loathsome lusciousness. The languid stomach curses even the pure Delicious fat, and all the race of oil: For more the oily aliments relax Its feeble tone; and with the eager lymph (Fond to incorporate with all it meets) Coyly they mix, and shun with slippery wiles The woo'd embrace. Th' irresoluble oil, So gentle late and blandishing, in floods Of rancid bile o'erflows: what tumults hence, What horrors rise, were nauseous to relate. Choose leaner viands, ye whose jovial make Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes: Choose sober meals; and rouse to active life Your cumbrous clay; nor on the enfeebling down, Irresolute, protract the morning bours. But let the man whose bones are thinly clad, With cheerful ease and succulent repast Improve his habit if he can; for each Extreme departs from perfect sanity.

I could relate what table this demands, Or that complexion; what the various powersTM Of various foods: but fifty years would roll, And fifty more before the tale were done. Besides, there often lurks some nameless, strange, Peculiar thing; nor on the skin display'd Felt in the pulse, nor in the habit seen; Which finds a poison in the food that most The temp'rature affects. There are, whose blood Impetuous rages thro' the turgid veins, Who better bear the fiery fruits of India Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber. Of chilly nature others fly the board Supply'd with slaughter, and the vernal powers For cooler, kinder sustenance implore. Some even the generous nutriment detest" Which, in the shell, the sleeping embryo rears. Some, more unhappy still, repent the gifts Of Pales; soft, delicious and benign: The balmy quintessence of every flower, And every grateful herb that decks the spring; The fost'ring dew of tender sprouting life; The best refection of declining age; The kind restorative of those who lie Half dead and panting, from the doubtful strife Of nature struggling in the grasp of death. Try all the bounties of this fertile globe, There is not such a salutary food

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Led by sagacious taste, the ruthless king
Of beasts on blood and slaughter only lives;
The tiger, form'd alike to cruel meals,
Would at the manger starve: of milder seeds
The generous borse to herbage and to grain
Confines his wish; tho' fabling Greece resound
The Thracian steeds with human carnage wild.
Prompted by instinct's never-erring power,
Each creature knows its proper aliment;
But man, th' inhabitant of every clime,
With all the commoners of Nature feeds.
Directed, bounded, by this power within,
Their cravings are well-aim'd: voluptuous man
Is by superior faculties misled;

Misled from pleasure even in quest of joy,
Sated with Nature's boons, what thousands seek,
With dishes tortur'd from their native taste,
And mad variety, to spur beyond
Its wiser will the jaded appetite!

How much to morrow differ from to day;
So far indulge; 'tis fit, besides, that man,
To change obnoxious, be to change inur'd.
But stay the curious appetite, and taste
With caution fruits you never tried before.
For want of use the kindest aliment
Sometimes offends; while custom tames the

Is this for pleasure? Learn a juster taste ;
And know that temperance is true luxury.
Or is it pride? Pursue some nobler aim,
Dismiss your parasites who praise for hire;
And earn the fair esteem of honest men, [yours,
Whose praise is fame. Form'd of such clay as
The sick, the needy, shiver at your gates.
Even modest want may bless your hand unseen,
Tho' hush'd in patient wretchedness at home.
Is there no virgin, grac'd with ev'ry charm
But that which binds the mercenary vow?
No youth of genius, whose neglected bloom
Unfoster'd sickens in the barren shade?
No worthy man by fortune's random blows,
Or by a heart too generous and humane,
Constrain❜d to leave his happy natal seat,
And sigh for wants more bitter thau his own?
There are, while human miseries abound,
A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth,
Without one fool or flatterer at your board,
Without one hour of sickness or disgust.

But other ills th' ambiguous feast pursue,
Besides provoking the lascivious taste.
Such various foods, tho' harmless each alone,
Each other violate; and oft we see
What strife is brew'd, and what pernicious bane,
From combinations of obnoxious things.
Th' unbounded taste I mean not to confine
To hermit's diet needlessly severe.

But would you long the sweets of health enjoy,
Or husband pleasure; at one impious meal
Exhaust not half the bounties of the year,
Of overy realm. It matters not meanwhile

rage

Of poison to mild amity with life.

So Heaven has form'd us to the general taste Of all its gifts: so custom has improv'd This bent of nature; that few simple foods, Of all that earth, or air, or ocean yield, But by excess offend. Beyond the sense Of light refection, at the genial board Indulge not often; nor protract the feast To dull satiety; till soft and slow

A drowsy death creeps on, th' expansive soul
Oppress'd, and smother'd the celestial fire.
The stomach, urg'd beyond its active tone,
Hardly to nutrimental chyle subdues
The softest food: unfinish'd and deprav'd,
The chyle, in all its future wanderings, owns
Its turbid fountain; not by purer streams
So to be clear'd, but foulness will remain.
To sparkling wine what ferment can exalt
Th' unripen'd grape? or what mechanic skill
From the crude ore can spin the ductile gold?
Gross riot treasures up a wealthy fund
Of plagues: but inore immedicable ills
Attend the lean extreme. For physic knows
How to disburthen the too tumid veins,
Even how to ripen the half-labour'd blood :
But to unlock the elemental tubes,
Collaps'd and shrunk with long inanity,
And with balsamic nutriment repair
The dried and worn-out habit, were to bid
Old age grow green, and wear a second spring;
Or the tall ash, long ravish'd from the soil,
Thro' wither'd veins imbibe the vernal dew.
When hunger calls, obey; not often wait
Till hunger sharpen to corrosive pain : 1
For the keen appetite will feast beyond
What nature well can bear: and one extreme
Ne'er without danger meets its own reverse.
Too greedily th' exhausted veins absorb
The recent chyle, and load enfeebled powers
Oft to th' extinction of the vital flame.
To the pale cities, by the firm-set siege
And famine humbled, may this verse be borne;
And hear, ye hardiest sons that Albion breeds,
Long toss'd and famish'd on the wintry main;
The war shook off, or hospitable shore
Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of joy;
Nor crown with festive rites th' auspicious day:
Such feasts might prove more fatal than the

waves,

Than war or famine. While the vital fire
Burns feebly, heap not the green fuel on;
But prudently foment the wandering spark
With what the soonest feeds its kindest touch
Be frugal ev'n of that: a litile give
At first; that kindled, add a little more;
Till, by deliberate nourishing, the flame
Reviv'd, with all its wonted vigour glows.

But tho' the two (the full and the jejune)
Extremes have each their vice; it much avails
Ever with gentle tide to ebb and flow
From this to that: so nature learns to bear

Adust and dry, no sweet repast affords;
Nor does the tepid main such kinds produce,
So perfect, so delicious, as the shoals
Of icy Zembla, Rashly where the blood
Brews feverish frays; where scarce the tubes
sustain

Whatever chance or headlong appetite
May bring. Besides, a meagre day subdues
The cruder clods by sloth or luxury
Collected, and unloads the wheels of life.
Sometimes a coy aversion to the feast
Comes on, while yet no blacker omen lours;
Then is the time to shun the tempting board,
Were it your natal or your nuptial day.
Perhaps a fast so seasonable starves
The latent seeds of woe, which rooted once
Might cost you labour. But the day return'd
Of festal luxury, the wise indulge
Most in the tender vegetable breed:
Then chiefly when the summer beams inflame
The brazen Heavens; or angry Sirius sheds
A feverish taint thro' the still gulph of air.
The moist cool viands then, and flowing cup
From the fresh dairy-virgin's liberal hand,
Will save your head from harm, tho' round the To vapid life. Here with a mother's smile

Its tumid fervour, and tempestuous course;
Kind Nature tempts not to such gifts as these.
But here in livid ripeness melts the grape :
Here, finish'd by invigorating suns,
Thro' the green shade the golden orange glows:
Spontaneous here the turgid melon yields
A generous pulp: the cocoa swells on high
With milky riches; and in horrid mail
The crisp ananas wraps its poignant sweets.
Earth's vaunted progeny: in ruder air
Too coy to flourish, even too proud to live;
Or hardly rais'd by artificial fire

world

Glad Amalthea pours her copious horn.
Here buxom Ceres reigns: the autumnal sea
In boundless billows fluctuates o'er their plains.
What suits the climate best, what suits the men,
Nature profuses most, and most the taste
Demands. The fountain, edg'd with racy wine
Or acid fruit, bedews their thirsty souls.
The breeze eternal breathing round their limbs
Supports in else intolerable air:
While the cool palm, the plantain, and the grove
That waves on gloomy Lebanon, assuage
The torrid Hell that beams upon their heads.

The dreaded causosa roll his wasteful fires.
Pale humid Winter loves the generous board,
The meal more copious, and the warmer fare;
And longs with old wood and old wine to cheer
His quaking heart. The seasons which divide
Th' empires of heat and cold; by neither
claim'd,

Influenc'd by both; a middie regimen
Impose. Thro' Autumn's languishing domain
Descending, Nature by degrees invites
To glowing luxury. But from the depth
Of Winter when th' invigorated year
Emerges; when Favonius, flush'd with love,
Toyful and young, in every breeze descends
More warm and wanton on his kindling bride;
Then, shepherds, then begin to spare your
flocks;

And learn, with wise humanity, to cheek
The lust of blood. Now pregnant earth commits
A various offspring to the indulgent sky:
Now bounteous Nature feeds with lavish haud
The prone creation; yields what once suffic'd
Their dainty sovereign, wheu the world was

young;

Tre vet the barbarous thirst of blood had seiz'd
The human breast. Each rolling month matures
The food that suits it most; so does each clime.
Iar in the horrid realms of Winter, where
Th' establish'd ocean heaps a monstrous waste
Of shiuing rocks and mountains to the pole,
There lives a hardy race, whose plainest wants
Relentless Earth, their cruel step-mother,
Regards not. On the waste of iron fields,
Untam'd, intractable, no harvests wave:
Pomona hates them, and the clownish god
Who tends the garden. In this frozen world
Such cooling gifts were vain: a fitter meal
Is earn'd with ease; for here the fruitful spawn
Of ocean swarms, and heaps their genial board
With generous fare and luxury profuse.
These are their bread, the only bread they know :
These, and their willing slave the deer that crops
The shrubby herbage on their meagre hills.
Girt by the burning zone, not thus the South
Her swarthy sons in either Ind maintains:
Or thirsty Libya; from whose fervid loins
The lion bursts, and every fiend that roams
Th' affrighted wilderness. The mountain herd,

3 The burning fever.

Now come ye Naiads, to the fountains lead;
Now let me wander thro' your gelid reign.
I burn to view th' enthusiastic wilds
By mortal else untrod. I hear the din
Of waters thund'ring o'er the ruin'd cliffs.
With holy reverence I approach the rocks [song.
Whence glide the streams renown'd in ancient
Here from the desert down the rumbling steep
First springs the Nile; here bursts the sounding
In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves [Po
A mighty flood to water half the East;
And there in Gothic solitude reclin'd,
The cheerless Tanais pours his hoary urn.
What solemn twilight! what stupendous shades
Enwrap these infant floods! thro' every nerve
A sacred horrour thrills, a pleasing fear
Glides o'er my frame. The forest deepens round;
And more gigantic still th' impending trees
Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the gloom.
Are these the confines of some fairy world?
A land of genii? Say, beyond these wilds
What unknown nations? If indeed beyond
Aught habitable lies. And whither leads,
To what strange regions, or of bliss or pain,
That subterraneous way! Propitious maids,
Conduct me, while with fearful steps I tread
This trembling ground. The task remains to sing
Your gifts (so Paon, so the powers of health
Command) to praise your chrystal element :
The chief ingredient in Heaven's various works:
Whose flexile genius sparkles in the gem,
Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine;
The vehicle, the source, of nutriment
And life, to all that vegetate or live.

O comfortable streams? with eager lips
And trembling hand the languid thirsty quaff
New life in you; fresh vigour fills their veins.
No warmer cups the rural ages knew;

& Wordswrith call this a

aportistes

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None warmer sought the sires of human kind.
Happy in temperate peace! their equal days
Felt not th' alternate fits of feverish mirth,
And sick dejection. Still serene and pleas'd
They knew no pains but what the tender soul
With pleasure yields to, and would ne'er forget.
Blest with divine immunity from ails,
Long centuries they liv'd; their only fate
Was ripe old age, and rather sleep than death.
Oh! could those worthies from the world of Gods
Return to visit their degenerate sons,

How would they scorn the joys of modern time,
With all our art and toil improv'd to pain!
Too happy they! but wealth brought luxury,
And luxury on sloth begot disease.
Learn temperance, friends; and hear without
disdain

The choice of water. Thus the Coan sage 4
Opin'd, and thus the learn'd of every school.
What least of foreign principles partakes
Is best: the lightest then; what bears the touch
Of fire the least, and soonest mounts in air;
The most insipid; the most void of smell.
Such the rude mountain from his horrid sides
Pours down; such waters in the sandy vale
For ever boil, alike of winter frosts

And summers heat secure. The crystal stream,
Thro' rocks resounding, or for many a mile
O'er the chaf'd pebbles hurl'd, yields wholesome,
pure,

And mellow draughts; except when winter thaws,
And half the mountains melt into the tide.
Tho' thirst were e'er so resolute, avoid
The sordid lake, and all such drowsy floods
As fill from Lethe Belgia's slow canals;
(With rest corrupt, with vegetation green;
Squalid with generation, and the birth
Of little monsters ;) till the power of fire
Has from profane embraces disengag'd
The violated lymph. The virgin stream
In boiling wastes its finer soul in air.

Nothing like simple element dilutes
The food, or gives the chyle so soon to flow.
But where the stomach indolent and cold
Toys with its duty, animate with wine
Th' insipid stream: tho' golden Ceres yields
A more voluptuous, a more sprightly draught;
Perhaps more active. Wine unmix'd, and all
The gluey floods that from the vex'd abyss
Of fermentation spring; with spirit fraught,
And furious with intoxicating fire;
Betard concoction, and preserve unthaw'd
Th' embodied mass. You see what countless
Embalm'd in fiery quintessence of wine, [years,
The puny wonders of the reptile world,
The tender rudiments of life, the slim
Uuravellings of minute anatomy,
Maintain their texture, and unchang'd remain.

We curse not wine: the vile excess we blame; More fruitful than th' accumulated board, Of pain and misery. For the subtle draught Faster and surer swells the vital tide; And with more active poison than the floods. Of grosser crudity convey, pervades The far remote meanders of our frame. Ah! sly deceiver! branded o'er and o'er, Yet still believ'd! exulting o'er the wreck Of sober vows !-But the Parnassian maids

⚫ Hippocrates.

4

Another time perhaps shall sing the joys,
The fatal charms, the many woes of wine;
Perhaps its various tribes and various powers.
Meantime, I would not always dread the
bowl,

Nor every trespass shun. The feverish strife,
Rous'd by the rare debauch, subdues, expels
The loitering crudities that burden life;
And, like a torrent full and rapid, clears
Th' obstructed tubes. Besides, this restless world
Is full of chances, which, by habit's power,
To learn to bear is easier than to shun.
Ah! when ambition, meagre love of gold,
Or sacred country calls, with mellowing wine
To moisten well the thirsty suffrages;
Say how, unseason'd to the midnight frays
Of Comus and his rout, wilt thou contend
With Centaurs long to hardy deeds inur'd?
Then learn to revel; but by slow degrees:
By slow degrees the liberal arts are won;
And Hercules grew strong. But when you smooth
The brows of care, indulge your festive vein
In cups by well-inform'd experience found.
The least your bane: and only with your friends.
There are sweet follies; frailties to be seen
By friends alone, and men of generous minds.

Oh! seldom may the fated hours return
Of drinking deep! I would not daily taste,
Except when life declines, even sober cups.
Weak withering age no rigid law forbids,
With frugal nectar, smooth and slow with balm,
The sapless habit daily to bedew,
And give the hesitating wheels of life
Gliblier to play. But youth has better joys;
And is it wise when youth with pleasure flows,
To squander the reliefs of age and pain!

What dextrous thousands just within the goal Of wild debauch direct their nightly course! Perhaps no sickly qualms bedim their days, No morning admonitions shock the head. But, ah! what woes remain ! life rolls apace And that incurable disease, old age, In youthful bodies more severely felt, More sternly active, shakes their blasted prime; Except kind Nature by some hasty blow Prevent the lingering fates. For know, whate'er Beyond its natural fervour hurries on The sanguine tide; whether the frequent bowl, High-season'd fare, or exercise to toil Protracted; spurs to its last stage tir'd life, And sows the temples with untimely snow. When life is new the ductile fibres feel The heart's increasing force; and, day by day, The growth advances: 'till the larger tubes Acquiring (from their elemental veins 6,

5 See Book IV.

6 In the human body, as well as in those of other animals, the larger blood-vessels are composed of smaller ones; which, by the violent motion and pressure of the fluids in the large vessels, lose their cavities by degrees, and degenerate into impervious chords or fibres. In proportion as these small vessels become solid, the larger must of course become less extensile, more rigid, and make a stronger resistance to the action of the heart, and force of the blood. From this gradual condensation ofthe smaller vessels, and consequent rigidity of the larger ones, the progress of

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