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and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself,

of life. I consider the body as a system of tubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another after 5 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, which

is a composition of fibres that are so many imperceptible 10 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 absolutely

necessary labor is for the right preservation of it. There 15 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 of which it is composed, and to give their solid parts a more firm

and lasting tone. Labor or exercise ferments the humors, 20 casts them into their proper channels, throws off redun

dancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.

I might here mention the effects which this has upon 25 all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understand

ing clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties during the present laws of union

between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this particu30 lar that we must ascribe the spleen which is so frequent

in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well as the vapors to which those of the other sex are so often 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 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 5 before mentioned And that we might not want inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the body as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered that nothing valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention riches and honor, even food and raiment are not to be come at 10 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 labored before it gives its increase ; and when it is forced into its several products, how many hands must they pass through 15 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 labor, by the condition in which they are born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind unless 20 they indulge themselves in that voluntary labor which goes by the name of exercise.

My friend Sir Roger has been an indefatigable man in business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his house with the trophies of his former labors. The walls 25 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 afford him frequent topics of discourse, and show that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall is a large 30 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 but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoin

ing 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. His 5 stable doors are patched with noses that belonged to

foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger showed me one of them, that for distinction sake has a brass nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen

hours' riding, carried him through half a dozen counties, to 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 amours 15 he patched the western door of his stable. Whenever

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.

There is no kind of exercise which I would so recommend 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 25 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 the “Medicina Gymnastica.”

For my own part, when I am in town, for want of these 30 opportunities 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 everything I require of it in the most profound silence. My landlady and her daughters are so well acquainted with my hours



of exercise, that they never come into my room to disturb me whilst I am ringing.

When I was some years younger than I am at present, I used to employ myself in a more laborious diversion, which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises that 5 is written with great erudition. It is there called the Oklowaxia, or the fighting with a man's own shadow, and consists in the brandishing of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaden with plugs of lead at either end. This

opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives a man 10 all the pleasure of boxing, without the blows. I could wish that several learned men would lay out that time which they employ in controversies and disputes about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, 15 which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.

To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties, and I think I have not fulfilled the business of the day 20 when I do not thus employ the one in labor and exercise, as well as the other in study and contemplation. L.


No. 116.]

Friday, July 13, 1711.


Vocat ingenti clamore Cithaeron,
Taygetique canes.


CHOSE who have searched into human nature observe that nothing so much shows the nobleness of the soul as that its felicity consists in action. Every man has such 25 an active principle in him that he will find out something


to employ himself upon, in whatever place or state of life he is posted. I have heard of a gentleman who was under close confinement in the Bastille seven years; during which time he amused himself in scattering a few small 5 pins about his chamber, gathering them up again, and

placing them in different figures on the arm of a great chair. He often told his friends afterwards, that unless he had found out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he should have lost his senses.

After what has been said, I need not inform my readers that Sir Roger, with whose character I hope they are at present pretty well acquainted, has in his youth gone through the whole course of those rural diversions which

the country abounds in, and which seem to be extremely 15 well suited to that laborious industry a man may observe

here in a far greater degree than in towns and cities. I have before hinted at some of my friend's exploits : he has in his youthful days taken forty coveys of partridges

in a season, and tired many a salmon with a line consisting 20 but of a single hair. The constant thanks and good wishes

of the neighborhood always attended him on account of his remarkable enmity towards foxes, having destroyed more of those vermin in one year than it was thought the

whole country could have produced. Indeed, the knight 25 does not scruple to own, among his most intimate friends,

that in order to establish his reputation this way, he has secretly sent for great numbers of them out of other counties, which he used to turn loose about the country

by night, that he might the better signalize himself in their 30 destruction the next day. His hunting horses were the

finest and best managed in all these parts: his tenants are still full of the praises of a gray stone-horse that unhappily staked himself several years since, and was buried with great solemnity in the orchard.


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