ページの画像
PDF
ePub

are, 1. Parentage.-2. Perfect Birth.-3. Gra will produce a tree, or plant, of the same sort, dual Growth. - 4. Natural Constitution. — 5. || and possessed of equal beauty and duration, Form.-6. Sex; and, 7. The Efforts of Nature provided two points be attended to.-1. That to renew the Distinctions of Youth.

the seed be sound and wholesome. --And, 2. “ Each of these particulars it will be pro- That it be deposited in a proper svil. per separately to consider.

" 1. The seed must be sound and wholesome.

Hence, in animal life, the advantage of being " 1. Parentage.

descended from ancestors, who have no taint in « There is no circunstance which seems

their constitution likely to affect the health of more to indicate nealth and probable longevity | their progeny. By some authors, the existence to any individual, than his being descended up hereditary diseases is totally disbelieved ; from healthy and long-lived ancestors. It is

though they acknowledge, that there exists a well known, that children have a predisposition predisposition to that effect : bu' daily expeto suffer from the maladies of their parents; rience must satisfy every man of common oband, on the same principle, they are well en

servation, that there are many maladie, a distitled to enjoy the perfections of those to whom position to which children will inherit from they owe their birth. Indeed, in the course of itucir parents, even where endeavours have not all the numerous inquiries which we have made been wanting to check that tendency. There regarding this branch of the subject, it fre

are suine instances indeeil, where, by great quently appears, though the rule is far from care, the gent, to which the father has been a being universal, that wherever any individual martyr, bas not affected the son ; but unless was distinguished for longevity, his progenitors, lithe saine care has been continued, the grandson either on the paternal or maternal side, enjoyed suffers froin the disease. a similar duration or length of life.

“ It is also to be observed, that the parent " Let it not be supposed, however, that

must be alllicted with the disease before the having aged parents is an infallible criterion of child was born, or at least, that there must long life: we see every day how much, in this have been a previous taint iu his constitution; respect, persons even in the saine family differ Lutherwise, no predisposition, or hereditary tenfrom each other; and how often the brothers | dency, takes place, there being, in this case, and sisters of those, who have lived beyond a

no retrospect. For instance: if no gouty taint century, have died, some in infancy, some at had existed in a family, and if the parent were manhood, and some at the other periods of not affected by it, till he had reached forty years life.

of age, all his children born previous to that “ Indeed, the result of the most extensive || period would be exempted from it; whilst all and particular inquiry that has hitherto been those born afterwards could hardly escape a made regarding old people, parnely, the reports disposition to that malady. transmitted to the author from Greenwich and

" 2. The seed must not only be wholesome, Kilmainham hospitals, and from the workhouses but deposited in a good soil. And here it may in London and the neighbourhood, proves to be observed, how much, in regard to animal what extent the rule may be justly carried. llife, depends upon the healthy state of the The number of individuals beyond 80, con-| mother. Indeed, it is confirmed by experience, tained in these reports, amount to no less a

that the state of the child's health, and the number than 598; of these, 303 affirmed that greater or less strength of its constii ution, detbey were descended from long-lived ancestors ; spends much more on the condition of the mobut the remaining 295 either could not give any |ther than that of the father. By a weakly faaccount of that important circumstance at all, ther, robust child may often be produced, or declared, that there was nothing remarkable provided the mother has a sound and vigorous in regard to the longevity of their ancestors. | body. On the other hand, the strongest man Though having aged parents, therefore, may will rarely obtain a lively, healthy child, from give a predisposition to a lengthened duration || a inother who is weak and sickly. of life, yet a variety of other circumstances, " There is reason to believe that the outward more especially those which are afterwards shape, at least of the male, depends more upor enumerated, --as perfect birth, gradual growth, the father than the mother'; but that the ta&c. must contribute thereto.

lents and the structure of the mind are de“ That long-lived parents should, to a con- | rived from the mother. The first point is as. siderable extent, have children likely to live | certained in this manner : If any person will long, is not to be wondered at; the same cir- | compare a father of 60 and a son of 30, he eumstance takes place in vegetable as well as in may possibly see very little resemblance ; bu animal life: the seed of every tree, or plant, if he will retain in his mind the image of the

father at 60, and compare it with the appear. dern experience has proved tbat the idea is ill ance of the son when he approaches to that founded. It is now perfectly ascertained, that, age, the similarity will become most striking, || with one exception, the longer the fætus rein regard to looks, voice, habits, &c.; conse mains in utero after the seventh month, the quently the original frames must have been, || stronger and healtbier it proves; so that a child from the beginning, extremely similar. As to born at the end of the eighth month, has a the second point, a clever womay has seldom better chance of living than one born before children remarkable for deficiency of parts; that time. It is incredible, at the same time, nay, the abilities of many families may be what variety, in degree of vitality, is observed traced to one distinguished female, who intro- in the fætus. In some, the slightest circumduced talents into it, or, according to a com stance destroys life; whereas, in others, the mon expression, mother-wit, which have de- | vital principle is with the utmost difficulty ex. scended not only to her children, but have be- || tinguished. come hereditary in her posterity.

In regard to the question, whether a fætus “ In considering how much the healthiness of of seven months old inay become a person disa the children depends upon the condition of the tinguished for health and longevity, there is a parents, it has been suggested, that diseased living witness that such a circum-tance may persons should be prohibited to marry, as likely take place; for James Donald, an old man re. to produce nothing but disease, deformity, and siding near Dunbarton in Scotland, aged about political mischief. This, however, would be 100 years, was born, it is said, in the seventh going much too far: yet nothing surely can be month. better founded, than strongly to recommend “ As there ought properly to be but one to those, who are likely to inherit any family child at a birth in the human race, among the disease, to be peculiarly circumspect in their cases of imperfect birth, ought to be enumemanner of living, and to guard against its at

rated those instances, where more infants than tacks, at least at an early period of their lives,

one have at once been produced. For, as Ba. by an attention to air, to exercise, and to diet.

con has well remarked, the first breeding of It is certain, that family diseases have often, creatures is ever most material; consequently, by proper care, been kept off for one genera

a lesser coinpression, and a more liberal nourish. tion; and there is some reason to believe, that,

ment of the young one in the womb, tends by persisting in the same course, and forming much to long life. This happens, either whet judicious connubial connexions, such discases young ones are brought forth successively, as might at length be wholly eradicated; and that in birds, or when there are single birilis. In a family constitution may be found as capable regard to the human race, when there are only of improvement as a family estate.

twins, it does not seem to make any material

difference; and an example has been trans“ 2. Perrect BIRTH.

mitted to the author, from Montrose in Scot“ It is well known, that nine calendar months land, of twin brothers of the name of Watt, are the proper period, during which the fætus | both still living, who have passed the goth year ought to remain in the womb of the mother ; || of their age. This is, however, the only inand such is the beautiful arrangement which stance of such a circumstance that has reached Nature has made for its protection and nourish our knowledge; and it is beliered, that no exmeut, that should it be sovner expelled, in ample can be produced of any case, where a consequence of any accidental circumstance, greater number than twins have been distin. no possible care or attention, after birth, can guished for long life. well compensate for the advantages of which it has thus been deprived; though great care,

« 3. GRADU AL GROWTH. or the circumstance of having healthy parents, " Lord Bacon seems to have been the first, will go far in remedying even this heavy mis- | who, hy a careful and miunte inquiry into the fortune.

duration of the lives, both of man and a num“ There was formerly an idea, that children ber of different animais, established this imof eight months growth seldom, if ever, throve; portant principle, that creatures in general lived whilst those of seven months might.

in proportion to the slowness with which they “ It is certainly of importance to the health of reached maturity; and, indeed, this is the case the child, and the future strength of the indi

in regard to the vegetable as well as the animal vidual, that the fætus should complete nine kingdom. It is a sign, he observes, that Namonths in the mother's womb. As to the alle lure finishes her periods in larger circles, gation, that children of eight inonths will not “ It is owing to this circumstance, that people thrive. when those of seven months will, mo in cold countries, and whose growth is not ac

celerated by enriching food, or early de- || mals, in general, should live eight times the bauchery, live much longer than the natives of number of years which is requisite to the atwarm countries, who are reared in a manner in tainment of their perfect growth ; and, on the & hot-bed, and who are full-grown men and idea that man attains to full maturity at 20 women at 12 years of age.

years, a strong presumption thence arises, that " Nay, the gradual expansion of the men- the age of man might be extended to 160 years. tal faculties is almost as important as the

“ But Buffon justly remarks, that persons of growth of the person. It rarely happens that either sex, who are long before they arrive at premature genius lasts long. Such prodigies their full growth, should outlive those who ad. seldom survive the fiftieth year of their life,vance more rapidly to that point, because, in and in general they perish at a much earlier the latter case, the bones, cartilages, and fibres, period.

are later in arriving at that degree of rigidity “ Perhaps one principal cause why the du- which is necessary to their destruction. tation of human life is, on the whole, Jessened

" 4. NATURAL CONSTITUTION. in periods of civilization and industry, is this, that all descriptions of men are brought for

" It is hardly to be credited, how much in. ward too rapidly. The children of the poor are

dividuals, even those who resemble each other compelled to work before their strength is at in several respeeta, vary in constitution or temall matured, which injures their growth, and perament; and still more, such as differ in lays the foandation of future diseases. The

form, looks, size, complexions, Sc. You will childern of the opulent, on the other hand,

see one affected by the least cold, and another have their education unnecessarily hastened,

that can brave all the elemerits. One bears and they enter into the world before they are

pain with ease and fortitude, whilst the least fit to guard against its snares. It is certainly bodily trouble affects the other most severely. necessary that a foundation be laid, in early and gentle, whilst with others they are violent,

With some constitutions all distempers are mild youth, for the most essential branches of education, as grammar, writing, and aritlimetic, and cured with difficulty. One person, you and some knowledge acquired of the learned will find, liable to catch any contagious dislanguages, and of the most important languagesorder, whilst another inay visit, without hazard, of modern times. If a good foundation, how- houses the most infected with the plague, or ever, be laid, and if there be ang tuin or dis- other similar malady. One is inclined to get position for the acquisition of learning, it is fat and unwieldy, even at an early age, whilst. astonishing how soon a youth of genius will others remain light and active, even to the acquire all the knowledge essential for the close of life. In some there seems to be a generality of the situations of life, without certain bodily and mental disposition to lonbeing too much hurried on: but if he be gevity ; in conseqnence of which many india brought forward too early, he gets into com-viduals, frequently under the most unfavourable pany beyond his years, he must, to a certain circumstances, and in the most unwholesome extent, follow their example; he gets habits of climates, have attained tù a great and happy dissipation, the growth both of his body and age; whilst in others, the most salubrious mind is unfortunately accelerated, and he lays a country air, a district abounding with aged infoundation' either for a sickly and miserable old abitants, a strict adherence to the best rules age, or perlaps for a premature dissolution. of diet, a regular course of recreation and cxe

" Though it is generally acknowledged, that | ercise, and, when necessary, the aid of the the duration of lite may be reckoned from the most skilful physicians, -eren all these advan. period required in growing to maturity, yet tages combined, are not sufficient to insure a authors differ regarding the manner in which long and healthy life. the result ought to be calculated. Buffon “ It would certainly be desiralle to know, contends, that though man finishes his longi- why the buman body, being equally organized, tudinal growth, or arrives at his highest sta as far as anatomical observations shew, do not ture, when he reaches the 16th or 18th year of the same general causes produce the same efhis age, yet that his body is not completely fects upon all? What is the real difference beunfolded, in regard to thickness, before he has tween one constitution, or temperament, and attained 30. A man, therefore, who grows till another? Is it founded upon any difference in 30, ought to live till 90 or 100, or three times organization, hereditary or otherwise? Or is it the period of his growth.

only the consequence of a certain continned “ Lord Bacon, on the other hand, con manner of life and habit? It is said, that such siders it to be a rule of nature, that ani- questions are inexplicable by the laws of animal

Supplement- Vol. II.

economy; and that the idea of distinct tem- storation and healing; by means of which the perament is a chimera; nay, that if distinct | losses we daily and hourly sustain are not only temperaments did exist in nature, they must repaired, but repaired well. This not only debe altered by so many adventitious circum-pends on a sound digestion, and a regular cirstances, that the consequences drawn from culation of the blood, but also upon the perfect them inust in general be erroneous. Instead of state of the absorbing vessels, and the organs entering, therefore, into such abstruse specu- of secretion ; by means of which our nourishlations, we shall proceed to consider, what are ment not only reaches the place of its destinathe signs of a constitution the most likely to tion, but also perfectly pure, and completely enjoy health, and to attain longevity.

freed from all extraneous and pernicious mix. It is said, that the great Boerhaave learned ture. It is this circumstance wbich has enabled the characteristic signs of perfect health from persons, as a Duke dle Richelieu and a Louis XV. dealers in slaves, who, from long practice, ne.

to attain great age, amidst a life of debauchery cessarily become particularly well acquainted and fatigue; for, with such an advantage, conwith the doctrines of signs or symptoms; and sumption may be exceedingly strong, withont some useful inforniation might be obtained, by the individual suffering much, if it be speedily ascertaining the system pursued by them in repaired. Nor is a strong natural power of such examinations. The following are the signs healing less advantageous, since it keeps back which, according to medical authors, denote al and removes the cause of disease: this is more good natural constitution, and prognosticate especially exemplified in savages, who are in long life.

so healthy a state that the most dreadful "1. A sound stomach and organs of digestion; wounds heal up without surgical assistance. without which it is impossible to enjoy good o. An uniform and faultless conformation of health, or to attain to great age. Lord Bacon the whole body; as an imperfect structure gives justly calls the stomach, the father of the fa-| an easy opportunity for the rise of local dismily;' for if it goes wrong, the whole body eases, which may bring on death.—7. No parsuffers. It is the principal and most important ticular weakness of any part; for, even where organ for the restoration of our nature; and, the organizatiou is apparently good and perindeed, when our stomach is in good order, the tect, there may be a secret enemy in some passions, which are so often the causes of dis- part or intestine, from which destruction may ease, have a less destructive influence on our afterwards be conveyed to the whole body.bodies.--2. A well-organized breast, and or- 8. A medium quality in the texture of the organs of respiration; breathing being one of the ganization, strong and durable, but not too înost incessant and necessary of the vital ope- dry or rigid; which latter qualities are ex. rations, the means of rendering the blood, ex-tremely prejudicial to the duration of life.hausted in the course of circulation, again ca In the last place, in the words of an eminent .pable of serving the purposes of life.-3. A physician, · Sani denique hominis est, veneren heart not too irritable. Though the circulation appetere, et ad eam valere, et sobolem procreare;' of blood is essential, yet it necessarily occa and indeed it seldom happens, that those who sions a great waste, or internal consunption. are in this respect deficient, or whose persons Those, therefore, who have a hundred pulsa- | are mutilated, live long. tions in a minute, must be wasted much more “ But it must not be supposed, that without speedily than those who have only sixty. A a natural good constitution the enjoyment of stout, uniform pulse accordingly is a strong | good health and longevity cannot be expected; sign of long life, and a great mean to promote many examples, as that of Galen and others, it; where a pulse, either always quick, or prove the contrary; and indeed it is to be obwhere every trifling agitation of the mind, served, that strong constitutions sometimes de or other circumstances, increases tsi rapidity, || not last so well as the more feeble; for, in the 'can hardly be accompanied by lung life. Afirst place, those who enjoy that adrantaze, certain degree of rest is absolutely necessary, || are tempted to take less care of their health, that the nourishing particles may bettle, and and to use greater freedom with it; and, in the be converted into the substance of our bodies. second place, they often suffer more from the -4. A good temperament. The best is the same disease than those who have less energy sanguine tempered with a little of the phleg- to contend with it, the vehemence of the dise matic: this produces a serene, clicerful mind, order being sometimes aggravated by the moderate passions, undaunted courage, and streugth of the patient. that state of soul which is the most titted for

" 5. FORM OF THE INDIVIDUAL. luggeving. --5. A strong natural power of re

“ Among the various circumstances which

necessarily tend to promote health and longevity, l of the body. From the joining of the cullar. independent of attention to the observance of bones, to the articulation of the shoulder-bone particular rules, there is none of more essential with that of the arm, is one face; when the importance, than the form which the individual irm hangs down, or is bended forward, it is four receives from nature; for it is evident, that, || faces in length; two between the joint of the in su delicate a machine as man, any material || shoulder and the elbov, and two between the fault, in regard to structure, must sooner or | elbow and the root of the little finger, in all later be fatal.

five faces, aud an equal number for the other “ As it is probable that the form most likely | arm, which is precisely the length of the body; to please the statuary and painter, from the about half a face remains for the length of the beauty and symmetry of the shape, is the best | fingers; but it must be remarked, that half a calculated to enjoy good health, we shall first face is lost in the joints of the elbows and give the dimensions which these artists have shoulders, when the arms are extended. The fixed upon as the standards of perfection, pre- hand is about a face in length, the thumb a vious to any medical or anatomical description third of a face, or nose, and the longest toe is of a similar nature.

nearly of the same length with the thumb. “ Artists commonly divide the height of the || The under part of the foot is equal in length body in:o ten times the length of the face; | to the sixth part of the height of the budy. they likewise divide each face, or tenth of the “ Such is the standard, according to which body, into thice equal parts : the first com we may form an idea of the best proportions mences at the springing of the hair on the fore of the male human figure; though it may be head, and terminates at the root of the nose; impossible to find such a degree of symmetry the nose is the second division; and the third || and perfection in any one individual that ever extends from the nose to the end of the chin. existed. In measuring the rest of the body, they use the

“ Medical men, in the views they give of terin nose, or length of the nose, to denote the || the form the best calculated for health and third of a face, or the thirtieth part of the longevity, deal more in general description than body. The first face begins at the root of the lin such minute details. According to Hufehair, above the forehead, and extend: to the land, who has dwelt inore fully than any other end of the chin; but from the top of the fore medical author upon this part of the subject, head to the crown there is still a third of a face, ll the following is the portrait of a man destined or a nose, in height.—Thus, from the top of for longevity: the head to the end of the chin, there is a face

“ He has a proper and well-proportioned and a third; from the chin to the juncture of stature, without, however, being too tal. He the clavieles, or collar-bones, two thirds of a

is rather of the middle size, and sumewhat thick face; and, therefore, from the top of the breast

set. His complexion is not too florid ; at any to the crown of the head, is twice the length rate, too much ruddiuess in youth is seldom a of the face, or the fifth part of the body; from | sign of longevity. His hair approaches rather the joining of the clavicles to the under part of to the fair than the black; his skin is strong, the nipples, they reckon one face; from this but not rough. His head is not too big; he has to the navel, is the fourth face; and the fifth large veins at the extremities, and his shoulders extends from the navel to the division of the are rather round than flat. His neck is not too inferior extremities, which should complete half long; his belly does not project; and his hands the length of the body. Two faces are ex are large, but not tuo deeply cleft. His foot is hausted between the thigh and knee, to the last rather thick than long; and his legs are firm of which they allow half a face, being the first and round. He has also a broad arched chest, half of the eighth face; two faces are assigned a strong voice, and the faculty of retaining his between the knee and top of the foot; and breath for a long time without difficulty. In from that to the sole, half a face; which com- general, there is a complete harmony in all his pletes the ten faces, or length of the body. I parts, His senses are good, but not too deli. This division has been made from men of di- cate; his puise is slow and regular. pary size; but, in those of a higher statt..., “ His stomach is excellent; his appetite they allow but half a face additional, between | good ; and digestion easy. He eats slowly, the nipples and the commencement of the and has not too much thirst, which is always a thighs, which, in tall men, is not the middle sign of rapid self consumption. of the body. When the arms are fully stretched “In general, he is serene, actire, susceptible in a horizontal line, the space between the l of joy, love, and hope ; but insensible to the tips of the middle fingers is equal to the length | impressions of hatred, anger, and avarice. His

6% 2

« 前へ次へ »