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of, who, but for this accursed vice, might have been an ornament to the world, an honour to their country, and have afforded me as much joy in their lives, as I now feel concern at their deaths.
In order, therefore, to put a stop to so
great an evil, I have undertaken this little book, and I attempt it the more readily, as many young gentlemen have requested it of me, moved thereto by seeing their fathers drop off in the flower of their youth, and me so found and hearty at the age of eighty-one. .
They begged me to let them know by what means I attained to such excellent health and spirits at my time of life. I could not but think their curiosity very laudable, and was willing to gratify them, and at the same time do some service to my countrymen, by declaring, in the first place, what led me to renounce intemperance and lead a temperate life ; fecondly, by shewing the rules I observed;
and thirdly, what unspeakable satisfaction and advantage I derived from it; whence it may be very clearly seen how easy a thing it is for a wise man to escape all the curses of intemperance, and secure to himself the inestimable felicities of vigorous health and chearful age.
The first thing that led me to embrace a temperate life, was, the many and fore evils which I suffered from the contrary course of living ; my constitution was naturally weakly and delicate, which ought in reason to have made me more regular and prudent, but being like most young men, too fond of what is usually called good eating and drinking, I gave the rein to my appetites. In a little time I began to feel the ill effects of such intemperance; for I had fcarce attained to my thirty-fifth year, before I was attacked with a complication of disorders, such as, head-achs, .a fick stomach, cholicky uneasinesses, the gout,
rheumatic pains, lingering fevers, and continual thirst ; and though I was then but in the middle of my days, my constitution seemed so entirely ruined that I could hardly hope for any other termination to my sufferings but death.
The best physicians in Italy employed all their skill in my behalf, but to no effect. At last they told me, very candidly, that there was but one thing that could afford me a single ray of hope, but one medicine that could give a radical cure, viz. the immediate adoption of a temper, ate and regular life. They added moreover, that, now, I had no time to lose; that I must immediately, either chuse a regimen or death, and that if I deferred their advice much longer, it would be too late for ever to do it. This was a home thrust. I could not bear the thoughts of dying fo foon, and being convinced of their abilities and experience, I thought the wisest course I could take,
would be to follow their advice, how disagreeable foever it might seem.
I Then requested my physicians to tell me exactly after what manner I ought to govern myself? To this they replied, that I should always consider myself as an infirm person; eat nothing but what agreed with me, and that in small quantity. I then immediately entered on this new course of life, and, with so determined a resolution, that nothing has been since able to divert me from it. In a few days I perceived that this new way of living agreed very well with me; and in less than a twelvemonth I had the unspeakable happiness to find that all my late alarming symptoms were vanished, and that I was perfectly restored to health.
No sooner had I began to taste the sweets of this new resurrection, but I made many very pleasing reflections on the great advantage of tenperance, and thought within myself, “ if this virtue has
“ had so divine an efficacy, as to cure me w of such grievous disorders, surely it “ will help my bad constitution and con“ firm my health.” I therefore applied myself diligently to discover what kinds of food were properest for me, and made choice of such meats and drinks only as agreed with my constitution, observing it as an inviolable law with myself, always to rise with an appetite to eat more if I pleafed. In a word, I entirely renounced intemperance, and made a vow to continue the remainder of my life under the same regimen I had observed : A happy resolution this! The keeping of which entirely cured me of all my infirmities. I never before lived a year together, without falling once, at least, into fome violent illness; but this never happened to me afterwards; on the contrary, I have always been healthy ever since I was temperate.
I must not forget here to mention a circumstance of considerable conse