"A MAN," says Celsus, "who is bles­sed with good health, should con­fine himself to no particular rules, either with respect to regimen or medicine. He ought frequently to diversify his manner of living; to be sometimes in town, some­times in the country; to hunt, sail, indulge himself in rest, but more frequently to use exercise. He ought to refuse no kind of food that is commonly used, but sometimes to eat more, and sometimes less; some­times to make one at an entertainment, and sometimes to forbear it; to make ra­ther two meals than one, and always to eat heartily, provided he can digest it. He ought neither too eagerly to pursue, nor too scrupulously to avoid intercourse with the fair sex: Pleasures of this kind, rarely indulged, render the body alert and active, but, when too frequently repeated, weak and languid. He should be careful, in time of health, not to destroy, by excesses of any kind, that vigour of constitution which should support him under sickness."

Keep constant to a plain diet. Those enjoy most health, and live longest, that avoid curiosity and variety of meats and drinks. Aged and decrepid persons ought to eat often, and but little at a time, of moist and liquid food, as such food nou­rishes soonest, and digests easiest. The less a sick person eats, the sooner he will recover; for it is a true saying, The more you fill foul bodies the more you hurt them.

The most unhealthy are found among those who feed high upon the most delicious dainties, and drink strong and spiritous li­quors; whereas others, who want such de­licate fare, are seldom sick, unless they have such unsatiable appetites as to eat too much. Experience teaches men, that, af­ter they have indulged their appetites to excess, they find themselves heavy and dull, and often sleepy, which sufficiently shews that those meals are prejudicial to the wel­fare of the body; whereas, in the morning before they have eaten, they are light and pleasantly easy. To sup sparingly is most healthful, because the stomach being not over burthened, the sleep is more pleasant; and from sparing-suppers, the breeding of those humours is prevented, which cause [Page 3]defluxions, rheumatisms, gouts, dropsies, giddiness, and corruption in the mouth from the scurvy. From fasting, or a very spare diet, many indispositions may be cu­red. And to preserve health, one meal should not be eaten till the former has pas­sed clean out of the stomach (which is known when hunger calls for another sup­ply) by means of which constant practice, the food will be converted to good chyle, and from good chyle, which is a milk-like substance, good blood will be bred, and from good blood generous spirits will be produced, on which a healthy constitution and liberal mind will ensue; but on the contrary, when too great a quantity of food is taken (for the pleasure of taste) which the stomach cannot well digest, the chyle will become raw and corrupt, foul the blood, effect the passions, and render the body disordered and unhealthy. Misers, who eat and drink but little, live long. Two meals a day are said to be sufficient for weak people, and all persons after fifty years of age, as the omitting of suppers conduceth much to their health.

Every intention in the cure of disorders may be answered by diet alone; but the [Page 4]food must be wholesome, and taken regu­lar, or the consequences will be bad. The poor are generally the first who suffer by unwholesome food, which often causes in­fection, and reaches people in every sta­tion. There are many ways by which provisions may be rendered unwholesome. Acts of Providence we must submit to. Bad seasons may either prevent the ripen­ing of grain, or damage it afterwards; but no punishment can be too severe for those who suffer provisions to spoil, by hoard­ing them, in order to raise the price. All animal substances have a constant tendency to putrefaction; and the soundest grain, if kept too long, becomes unfit for use. No animal can be wholesome which does not take sufficient exercise. Most of our stalled cattle, swine, &c. are crammed with gross food, but not allowed exercise nor free air, by which means they indeed grow fat, but their humours, not being properly prepared, remain crude, and oc­casion indigestions, gross humours, and oppression of the spirits, in those who feed upon them.

Good tea, taken in moderation, not too strong nor too hot, nor drunk upon an [Page 5]empty stomach, will seldom do harm; but if it be bad, or substituted in place of solid food, it must be prejudicial.

All high-seasoning, pickles, &c. are only incentives to luxury, and never fail to hurt the stomach. Plain roasting or boiling is all that the stomach requires. Were fer­mented liquors faithfully prepared, kept to a proper age, and used in moderation, they would prove real blessings; but while they are ill prepared, and various ways adultered, since preparing and vending of them have become the most coveted and lucrative branches of business, their quality should be strictly examined. Families ought to brew and bake for their own use; as the grand object of the venders is to render the liquors intoxicating, and the bread to please the eye, rather than to consult the health of the consumers.

Diet ought to be suited to the man­ner of life. A sedentary or studious per­son should live more sparingly than one who labours hard without doors. Many kinds of food will nourish a peasant very well, which would be almost indigestible to a citizen; and the latter will live upon a diet on which the former would starve.

It is the opinion of an eminent Physi­cian that fasting, rest, and drinking water, will cure most diseases; for fasting gives time to the stomach to unload itself of the cause of distempers, the cause of all diseases being begun in that bowel only; to the cleansing of which, drinking plentifully of water will much contribute.

With the assistance of fresh air, and the above means, the following case was ef­fected: "A neighbour of mine became very feverish, and his wife persuaded him to go to bed. I heard of it soon after, and gave him a visit, where I found the win­dows close shut, the curtains of the bed drawn, and the room very hot, for it was in the month of July: he was burning hot, and complained for want of breath. I drew open the curtains, covered him warm, and then opened the windows, and the wind blew into the room; upon which he soon told me his shortness of breath had left him. I persuaded him to drink some water, which he found did much refresh him; and, after I had taken my leave of him, he called for more water; and, while he had the cup in his hand, the apothecary came in, whom his wife had sent for, who, [Page 7]finding him about to drink the water, told him if he did do it he was a dead man; but, instead of forbearing, he drank it up in his presence: upon which the apothe­cary took his leave, and told him he would say no more to him. However, before night, the person got up, went abroad, and was cured of his fever.

That there is a possibility of curing dis­eases by a diet only that is temperate and cooling, such as milk, and the roots and seeds of vegetables, viz. potatoes, turnips, wheat, rice, barley, oatmeal, and full-ripe fruit, let the following remarkable instance, testified by Dr. Cheyne, evince: A physi­cian that lived at Croyden, who had long been afflicted with the falling-evil, by slow observation, found, that the lighter his meals were, the lighter were his fits. At last he also cast off all liquids but water, and found his fits weaker, and the intervals longer; and finding his disease mend, as its fewel was withdrawn, he took to vegetable food, and water only, which put an entire period to his fits, without any relapse; but find­ing that food windy to him, he took to milk, of which he eat a pint for a breakfast, a quart at dinner, and a pint for supper, [Page 8]without fish, flesh, bread, or any strong or spiritous liquor, or any drink but water, with which he lived afterwards for a num­ber of years, without the least interruption in his health, strength, or vigour.

Temperance or spare diet, void of dain­ties, never was injurious to the strongest constitution, and, without it, such as are weak and sickly, cannot long exist; for the more such persons eat and drink, the more weak and disordered they will still find themselves to be. It is custom only that makes men hanker after gluttony and drunkenness, and a contrary custom will make men abhor it as much.

Temperance will enable the rich to live more at ease, and enjoy their wealth the longer, being the surest way to prolong life, though it hath not the power to make those young who are aged; but it will make the aged more free from decrepid­ness, and die with more case, if the death­bed hath been well prepared for by a good life.


Printed for A. CUNNINGHAM, Southampton, and J. FOWLER, Salisbury. Price 1d.

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