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envy of restless men above him, and a more inexcusable contempt of happy men below him. This would be sailing by some compass, living with some design ; but to be eternally bewildered in prospects of future gain, 5 and putting on unnecessary armour against improbable blows of fortune, is a mechanic being which has not good sense for its direction, but is carried on by a sort of acquired instinct towards things below our considera
tion, and unworthy our esteem. It is possible that the 10 tranquillity I now enjoy at Sir Roger's may have created
in me this way of thinking, which is so abstracted from the common relish of the world ; but as I am now in a pleasant arbour surrounded with a beautiful landscape,
I find no inclination so strong as to continue in these 15 mansions so remote from the ostentatious scenes of life;
and am at this present writing philosopher enough to conclude with Mr. Cowley,
•If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat
THE SPECTATOR ON EXERCISE. [ADDISON.]
No. 115. — THURSDAY, JULY 12, 1711.
UT sit mens sana in corpore sano. — Juv. SAT. X. 356.
BODILY labour of two kinds, either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure. The latter of them generally changes the name of labour for that of exercise, but differs only from ordinary labour as it rises from another motive.
A country life abounds in both these kinds of labour, and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of health, and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself, than any other way of life. I consider the body as a system of tubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic 10 phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another after so wonderful a manner as to make a proper engine for the soul to work with. This description does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, tendons, veins, nerves, and arteries, but every muscle and every ligature, 15 which is a composition of fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes or pipes interwoven on all sides with invisible glands or strainers.
This general idea of a human body, without considering it in its niceties of anatomy, lets us see how abso- 20 lutely necessary labour is for the right preservation of it. There must be frequent motions and agitations, to mix, digest, and separate the juices contained in it, as well as to clear and cleanse that infinitude of pipes and strainers 5 of which it is composed, and to give their solid parts a more firm and lasting tone. Labour or exercise ferments the humours, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret
distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in to its vigour, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those
spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our 15 intellectual faculties, during the present laws of union
between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this particular that we must ascribe the spleen, which is so frequent in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well as the
vapours, to which those of the other sex are so often 20 subject.
Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our well-being, nature would not have made the body so proper for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs, and
such a pliancy to every part, as necessarily produce those 25 compressions, extensions, contortions, dilatations, and all
other kinds of motions that are necessary for the preservation of such a system of tubes and glands as has been before mentioned. And that we might not want
inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the 30 body as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered, that
nothing valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention riches and honour, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands and sweat of the brows. Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we should work them up ourselves. The earth must be laboured before it gives its increase, and 5 when it is forced into its several products, how many hands must they pass through before they are fit for use ? Manufactures, trade and agriculture, naturally employ more than nineteen parts of the species in twenty; and as for those who are not obliged to labour, by the con- 10 dition in which they are born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labour which goes by the name of exercise.
My friend Sir Roger has been an indefatigable man in 15 business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his house with the trophies of his former labours. The walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of several kinds of deer that he has killed in the chase, which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they 20 afford him frequent topics of discourse, and shew that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall, is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks upon it with great satisfaction, because it seems he was 25 but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of arsenal filled with guns of several sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. 30 His stable doors are patched with noses that belonged to
foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger shewed me one of them that for distinction's sake has a brass nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen hours' riding, carried him through half a dozen counties, 5 killed him a brace of geldings, and lost above half his dogs. This the knight looks upon as one of the greatest exploits of his life. The perverse widow, whom I have given some account of, was the death of several foxes
; for Sir Roger has told me, that in the course of his 10 amours he patched the western door of his stable. When
ever the widow was cruel, the foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion as his passion for the widow abated, and old age came on, he left off fox-hunting; but a hare
is not yet safe that sits within ten miles of his house. 15 There is no kind of exercise which I would so recom
mend to my readers of both sexes as this of riding, as there is none which so much conduces to health, and is every way accommodated to the body, according to the
idea which I have given of it. Dr. Sydenham is very 20 lavish in its praises; and if the English reader will see
the mechanical effects of it described at length, he may find them in a book published not many years since, under the title of Medicina Gymnastica. For my own
part, when I am in town, for want of these opportunities, 25 I exercise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb
bell that is placed in a corner of my room, and pleases me the more, because it does every thing I require of it in the most profound silence. My landlady and her
daughters are so well acquainted with my hours of exer30 cise, that they never come into my room to disturb me
whilst I am ringing.