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and substance of the method is, to strengthen the body with nutritive and digestible food, and to enure it to great exertion by constant practice. The detail of the process is shortly as follows. A purgative medicine is given at the beginning to clear the intestines. They are fed fully on the lean parts of beef or mutton slightly broiled or roasted, with a little vinegar and salt, but no spices. The only vegetable substance they are allowed, is stale bread. They are required to drink very little; not more than three or four pints in the day, and this of old unbottled ale, and in very small quantities at a time. Wine is only allowed to those with whom ale disagrees; and spirits are entirely prohibited. They are exercised violently for three hours early in the morning, when they are rubbed down, and dressed dry, and then breakfast on their beef and bread. In three or four hours after, they are exercised a second time; and, after they are refreshed, dine in the same manner. They usually get no supper, and are allowed eight hours sleep.' The proper age for training, is from eighteen to twenty-five; and the process is generally completed within two months. The effects are to remove fat, and to add prodigiously to the muscular vigour, the goodness of the wind, and power of continuing in exertion. The training necessary for reducing the weight of jockies and riding grooms, consists almost entirely in abstinence and violent perspiration, brought on either by exercise, or heat and clothing. Some are said to have brought themselves down two stones in the course of ten days; and that without any sensible injury to their health.
The last chapter treats of Sleep; and begins with a long enumeration of the uses of this meritorious invention. The first praca tical inquiry is as to the proper quantity; and here, talking of Alfred and his tapers, the author is naturally led to inform us, that he himself has studied twelve hours a day for three months together; but he would not recommend it to any other person to try the same experiment.' After a great deal of argumentation, he settles in the old familiar axiom, that from six to eight hours is a proper portion of sleep ; but that infants and invalids may have more. He is of opinion, moreover, that it is right to sleep in the night, and not to rise too early, especially in cold or bad weather. Our bed-chambers, he thinks, should be airy, and not too warm. There follows, after this, a long deduction of the invention and improvement of Beds, which is treated of with proper gravity and method, in five sections, beginning thus.
The subject of the bed or couch, may be explained under the following heads. 1. The nature of the feather bed and bolster. 2. The height thereof. 3. The bed.clothes. 4. The curtains. 5. Miscellaneous remarks.
11. The materials on which any indivdual fleeps, is an important confideration. The skins of animals destroyed in the chase, would probably be the first article that hunters would think of. Rushes, Atraw, and heath, would naturally occur to husbandmen, and those who resided in the country ; and are ftill general in many countries, as France and Italy. In cold countries, more warmth is necessary, and feathers were thought of. Indeed, so partial are they in many countries in the northern parts of Europe to feathers, that they actually sleep between two down beds, however Itrange such a circumstance may appear to those who have not witnessed it. But, on the whole, the invention of what are called hair matrelles, is superior to every other, not overheating and relaxing the body, as feathers are apt to do ' 1. p. 741.
We are told, moreover, that we should undress when we go to bed; not wear too warm nightcaps, and lye on our sides, with eyes and mouth closed; and that if we find any difficulty in getting to sleep, we should abstain from tea and cotfee, take exercise, bathe the fect, ind count to a thousand. The chapter is closed by a variety of miscellaneous rules; the complexion of which may be judged of froin the following specimen.
It is a good rule, to lock the door of your bed.room previous to going to rest, so as to prevent your being suddenly and naftily roused by any person coming into the mom; and you should also examine the room carefully, that no cat, or dog, or any other animal, may disturb your Neep, the alarm of which may be bighly injurious.' I. p. 767, 768.
We have now gone through the whole original part of the Code of Health and Longevity, with such feelings of disappointment and fatigue, as, we are afraid, must have extended their influence to our readers; and, really, after the long trial to which we have subjected their patience, we have neither confidence nor courage to engage them in a minute examination of the supplementary volumes. Near 2000 pages of close printing, however, cannot be dismissed without some little notice of their contents; and, for the satisfaction of those whose curiosity is not yet satisfied, we shall now make an hasty sketch of their subject. • The second volume contains an account of the Antient writers on health and longevity, with extracts from their works; a catalogue of all the books ancient and modern on those subjects; and a selection from the communications which were made to the author during the composition of this work.
The account of antient authors is wholly extracted from modern commentators, or translators of their works. The catalogue, which is a mere list of title-pages, like a common sale catalogue, fills about 150 pages of pleasant reading. The communications which relate to the training of boxers and racers are the most curious and interesting. The greater part, however, consists of accounts of individuals who have attained to a great
e dispisagacity, aim of Blyth, ber of olds, of whom
age, with some notices of their maxims and habits, which are various and contradictory, to a degree that sets all system and theory at defiance. There is an infinite deal of trash, of cours, in these village gossipings. The most preposterous, perhaps, is in the account of an old man in Caithness, of whom it is recorded, " that he recollected a number of old anecdotes, particularly of Sir George Sinclair of Blyth, a cadet of the family of Ulbster, who, for his sagacity, and the manly, liberal and generous spirit which he displayed on all occasions, was called “thi Cock of the North.”
The third volume is entirely occupied with an account f the Foreign authors who have treated of health and longevity, and with extracts from their works, beginning with the Rigiinen Sanitatis Salerni, and ending with the treatise of Hallé on the Hygiène. There are some rare and curious things reprinted in this volume, with many that are dull, common, and contemptible.
The last volume is dedicated to the British authors who have treated of health and longevity, and is chiefly occupied with a republication of Lord Bacon's most insane and credulous quackeries, and the common and neglected treatises of Sir W. Temple and Mr Boyle on health and specific medicines. Among the British authors, Sir John Sinclair has admitted two American panphlets; one by Dr Rush on old age, and another by Dr Waterhouse on smoking cigars; which last is about the most miserable and childish performance we have ever seen, from any pen either British or foreign.
We take our leave of Sir John Sinclair with feelings of renewed astonishment at his patience and his temerity, in undertaking a work for which he was in all respects so unqualified: but without any emotions either of surprise or of compassion at his ill success. It is perfectly plain, that no one but a medical nan, of much experience and high reputation, can ever produce any work on dietetics, of the smallest authority, or, consequently, of the smallest use. Even if it were possible for a mere dilettante to avoid the many gross and dangerous errors into which Sir John Sinclair must have fallen, it is evident that no prudent man would give him credit for such sagacity, or think himself safe in the guidance of a mere adventurer, in a matter where we do not commit ourselves without anxiety to the care of the most experienced practitioner. In the hands of a bold theorist, however, the mass of materials which are here huddled together, might have produced many ingenious conjectures, and suggested many curious analogies. În the hands of Sir Jolm Sinclair, they have been altogether unfruitful, and produced nothing. His work is still a chaos, without harmony or order; and, instead of settling controversies by his reasonings, or maturing conjecture iu
to science by his genius, he appears merely as a doubtful reporter of contradictory opinions, and a timid retailer of the most shallow and familiar pricepts. We have expressed our opinion of this work the more freely, because the author appears to us to have stepped altogether out of his proper sphere in composing it, and, by this breach of privilege, to have exposed himself to the utmost severity of criticism. It is no part of the duty of a country gentleman, or a member of parliament, to be profoundly skilled in physiology; nor is it any disparagement to him, after all, to have written injudiciously on the most delicate and important of all the branches of Medicine, We give Sir John full credit for the excellence of his motives, and willingly bear testimony to the industry by which they have been seconded. It is our duty, however, to say, that on this occasion, his philanthropy has been misdirected and his industry misapplied.
ART. XIV. Poems, in Two Volumes. By William Wordsworth,
Author of the Lyrical Ballads. 8vo. pp. 320. London, 1807.
of the of labourin had occa
This author is known to belong to a certain brotherhood of
pgets, who have haunted for some years about the Lakes of Cumberland ; and is generally looked upon, we believe, as the purest model of the excellences and peculiarities of the school which they have been labouring to establish. Of the general merits of that school, we have had occasion to express our opi. nion pretty fully, in more places than one, and even to make some allusion to the former publications of the writer now be
fore us. We are glad, however, to have found an opportunity v of attending somewhat more particularly to his pretensions.
The Lyrical Ballads were unquestionably popular; and, we have no hesitation in saying, deservedly popular; for in spite of their occasional vulgarity, affectation, and silliness, they were undoubtedly characterised by a strong spirit of originality, of pathos, and natural feeling; and recommended to all good minds by the clear impression which they bore of the amiable dispositions and virtuous principles of the author. By the help of these qualities, they were enabled, not only to recommend themselves to the indulgence of many judicious readers, but even to beget among a pretty numerous class of persons, a sort of admiration of the very defects by which they were attended. It was upon this account chiefly, that we thought it necessary to set ourselves against this alarming innovation. Childishness, conceit, and affec-, tation, are not of themselves very popular or attractive ; and though mere novelty has sometimes been found sufficient to give them a
temporary currency, we should have had no fear of their prevailing to any dangerous extent, if they had been graced with no more seductive accompaniments. It was precisely because the perverseness and bad taste of this new school was combined with a great deal of genius and of laudable feeling, that we were afraid of their spreading and gaining ground among us, and that we entered into the discussion with a degree of zeal and animosity which some might think unreasonable towards authors, to whom so much merit had been conceded. There were times and moods indeed, in which we were led to suspect ourselves of unjustifiable severity, and to doubt, whether a sense of public duty had not carried us rather too far in reprobation of errors, that seemed to be atoned for, by excellences of no vulgar description. At other times, the magnitude of these errors-the disgusting absurdities into which they led their feebler admirers, and the derision and contempt which they drew from the more fastidious, even upon the merits with which they were associated, made us wonder more than ever at the perversity by which they were retained, and regret that we had not declared ourselves against them with still more formidable and decided hostility.
In this temper of mind, we read the annonce of Mr Words worth's publication with a good deal of interest and expectation, and opened his volumes with greater anxiety, than he or his ad.' mirers will probably give us credit for. We have been greatlyx disappointed certainly as to the quality of the poetry; but we doubt whether the publication has afforded so much satisfaction to any other of his readers :--it has freed us from all doubt or hesitation as to the justice of our former censures, and has brought the matter to a test, which we cannot help hoping may be convincing to the author himself.
Mr Wordsworth, we think, has now brought the question, as to the merit of his new school of poetry, to a very fair and decisive issue. The volumes before us are much more strongly marked by all its peculiarities than any former publication of the fraternity. In our apprehension, they are, on this very account, infinitely less interesting or meritorious; but it belongs to the public, and not to us, to decide upon their merit, and we will confess, that so strong is our conviction of their obvious inferiority, and the grounds of it, that we are willing for once to wave our right of appealing to posterity, and to take the judgment of the present generation of readers, and even of Mr Wordsworth's former admirers, as conclusive on this occasion. If these volumes, which have all the benefit of the author's former popularity, turn out to be nearly as popular as the lyrical ballads-if they sell nearly to the same extent-or are quoted and imitated 04