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HISTORY OF M. DE THOV, AND THE DIALOGUES OP CARDAN,
PROLONGING LIFE AND PRESERVING HEALTH.
CHAPTER VI. The extract of the thirty-eighth book of the History of M. President de Thou, runs thus:
“Lewis Cornaro was an extraordinary and admirable instance of a long life; for he lived a hundred years, healthful in body and sound in mind. He was descended from one of the most illustrious families of Venice ; but through some misfortune, owing to his birth, was excluded from all public honors and state employments. He married at Udina, in Friuli, one Veronica, of the family of Spiltemberg: and being in possession of a good estate he was desirous of having children to inherit it. In short, what by the prayers he put up, and by the help of physicians, he conquered the point ; and his wife, whom he dearly loved, and who was pretty well gone in years, was brought to bed of a daughter, when he least expected it. This daughter, named Clara, was married to John, the son of Fantina Cornaro, a rich family of Cyprus, by whom she had eight sons and three daughters.
« In a word, Lewis Cornaro, by his sobriety, and the regimen he observed in his diet, corrected the infirmities he had contracted by intemperance in his youth, and by the strength of his reason, moderated his inclinations and propensity to anger. So that in his old age he had as good a constitution of body, and as mild and eventempered a mind, as before in the flower of his youth he was infirm, and apt to fly out into a passion. He composed several Treatises when he was very old, wherein he tells us of the irregularity of his former life, and of his reformation, and the hopes he had of living long. Nor was he mistaken in his account, for he died calmly, and without any pain, being above a hundred years old, at Padua, where he had taken up his residence. His wife, almost as old as himself, survived him : but within a short time after, died a very easy death. They were both buried in St. Anthony's Church,
without any pomp, according as they had ordered by their last will and testament.”
In the Dialogues of Cardan, between a philosopher, a citizen, and a hermit, concerning the methods of prolonging a man's life and preserving his health, Cardan introduces the hermit discoursing
“ Whereas, in solid nourishments, and even in drinks, there are several things worthy our observation, viz. their natural qualities, and those which they acquire by the seasoning of them; the order and time wherein we ought to make use of them, without mentioning the quantity of those very aliments and drinks; it is not without reason that the question is asked, which of these things is to be regarded most?
“Some have declared themselves for the quantity, maintaining, that it has in effect a greater share than any other thing, in the preservation of health and life.
“The famous Lewis Cornaro, a noble Venetian, was of this mind. He treated on this subject at the age of fourscore, enjoying then a perfect soundness of body and mind. This venerable old man, at the age of thirty-six, was seized with so violent a distemper, that his life was despaired of. Even after that time, he took care to eat just the same quantity every meal; and though he was not free from a great many fatigues, and some misfortunes which occasioned his brother's death, yet the exactness of his regimen preserved him always in health, with an entire freedom of mind.
“ At seventy years of age, a coach, in which he travelled, was overthrown, by which he was dragged a great way, wounded in the head, and in one of his legs and arms. The physicians despaired of his recovery, and were for applying a great many remedies to him. But Cornaro tells us, that being well satisfied of the temperature of his humors, he rejected all the assistance of the physicians, and was quickly cured.
“Nine years after, when he was almost fourscore, his friends and his
very physicians advised him to add two ounces to his ordinary diet : within ten or twelve days after he fell sick, the physicians gave
over, and he himself began to fear the worst : however, he recovered his health, though with much difficulty.
«The same author adds, that being fourscore years old, his sight and hearing were sound and good ; that his voice held strong; that he sometimes sung in concert with his grand-children; that he could either ride or walk a-foot very well, and that he composed a comedy, which came off with applause.
“This wise old gentleman was then of the opinion, that a regular and small quantity of food contributed more than any thing else to the prescrvation of health ; for hc makes no mention of his
choice of diets. I am used, says Cornaro, to take in all twelve ounces of solid nourishment, such as meat and the yolk of an egg ; and fourteen ounces of drink. It is to be lamented that he did not precisely tell us, whether he took this quantity once or twice a-day : however, since he tells us that he did eat but a very little, it seems as if he did so but once a-day.
• The famous civilian, Panigarolus, who lived to a great age, though of a very weak constitution, never ate or drank above twentyeight ounces a-day. It is true, indeed, that every fortnight he purged himself, but he lived to above ninety.
“ It seems, then, as if Cornaro was minded to keep from us a perfect knowledge of his regimen, and only to tell us, that he had found out an extraordinary one ; since he has not informed us whether he took the quantity he speaks of, once or twice a-day; nor whether he altered his diet ; for he treats on that subject as darkly and obscurely as Hippocrates.
“ It is likewise strange, that the quantity of his liquid should exceed that of his solid diet; and the rather, because what he did eat was not equally nourishing, since he took the yolks of eggs as well as meat. In truth, to me he seems to talk more like a philosopher than a physician.”
Thus far Cardan : but, by his leave, if he had read what Cornaro has written concerning a sober and regular life with attention, he would have passed a sounder judgment on his writings ; for in them he not only speaks of the quantity, but in express term discourses of the quality of his diet.
TO BE OB»ERVED FOR THE PROLONGATION OF LIFE.
It is not good to eat too much, nor fast too long, nor to do any thing else that is preternatural.
Whoever eats or drinks too much will be sick.
Old men can fast easily; men of ripe age can fast almost as much, but young persons and children, that are brisk and lively, can hardly fast at all.
Growing persons have a great deal of natural heat, which requires a great deal of nourishment, else the body will pinc away.
But old men, who have but little natural heat, require but a little food, and too much overcharges them.
It must be examined, what sort of persons ought to feed once or twice a day, more or less allowance being always made to the age of the persons, to the season of the year, to the place where one lives, and to custom.
The more you feed foul bodies, the more you hurt yourselves.
THE DISMISSAL OF MINISTERS.
VINDICATION OF THE PEOPLE
CHARGE OF BLASPHEMY,
DEFENCE OF THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.
IN SIX LETTERS, ADDRESSED TO
AND THE RELIGIOUS PUBLIC.
Blasphemy and Sedition.
brought by the Ministers of the State
and Gospel, against the People. On the Religion of those who have made
the Charge of " Blasphemy and Sedition" against the People; and how far their political system accords with the
precepts of Christianity. As to the real Quantity and Quality of the
“ Blasphemy,” which actually has gone forth to the People through the medium
of the Press; what means have been used by these Ministers for its discovery and suppression; and a brief contrast of its amount with the amazing mass of religious publications in the same
period. As to the Conduct of the Clergy-the
only real danger of the Church. As to the Liberty of the Press in matters
of Religion—the causes and remedies of its abuse--especially considered with respect to Unbelievers,
" Methinks I see in my inind a poble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks: methinks I see in her an eagle mning her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam; purgiug and unskaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and Aocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms."
Milton's Speech for the Liberty of the Press.
Pam. NO, XXXVII,