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years of age; a man devout and contemplative, | kings in Italy, the father and the son, are reported though not unfit for civil affairs; his life was aus- to have lived, the one eight hundred, the other tere and mortifying, notwithstanding he lived in a kind of glorious solitude, and exercised a command, for he had his monks under him. And, besides, many Christians and philosophers came to visit him as a living image, frem which they parted not without some adoration. St. Athanasius exceeded the term of eighty years; a man of an invincible constancy, commanding fame, and not yielding to fortune. He was free towards the great ones, with the people gracious and acceptable, beaten and practised to oppositions, and in delivering himself from them, stout and wise. St. Hierom, by the consent of most writers, exceeded ninety years of age; a man powerful in his pen, and of a manly eloquence, variously learned both in the tongues and sciences; also a traveller, and that lived strictly towards his old age, in an estate private, and not dignified; he bore high spirits, and shined far out of obscurity.
six hundred years; but this is delivered unto us by certain philologists, who, though otherwise credulous enough, yet themselves have suspected the truth of this matter, or rather condemned it. Others record some Arcadian kings to have lived three hundred years; the country, no doubt, is a place apt for long life, but the relation I suspect to be fabulous. They tell of one Dando, in Illyrium, that lived without the inconveniences of old age, to five hundred years. They tell, also, of the Epians, a part of Ætolia, that the whole nation of them were exceeding long-lived, insomuch that many of them were two hundred years old; and that one principal man amongst them, named Litorius, a man of giantlike stature, could have told three hundred years. It is recorded, that on the top of the mountain Timolus, anciently called Tempsis, many of the inhabitants lived to a hundred and fifty years. We read that the Esseans, amongst the Jews, did usually extend their life to a hundred years. Now, that sect used a single or abstemious diet, after the rule of Pythagoras. Apollonius Tyaneus exceeded a hundred years, his face bewraying no such age; he was an admirable man, of the heathens reputed to have something divine in him, of the Christians held for a sorcerer; in his diet pythagorical, a great traveller, much renowned, and by some adored as a god; nothwithstanding, towards the end of his life, he was subject to many complaints against him, and reproaches, all which he made shift to escape. But, lest his long life should be imputed to his pythagorical diet, and not rather that it was hereditary, his grandfather before him lived a hundred and thirty years. It is undoubted, that Quintus Metellus lived above a hundred years; and that, after several consulships happily administered, in his
18. The Popes of Rome are in number, to this day, two hundred, forty, and one. Of so great a number, five only have attained to the age of foorscore years or upwards. But, in many of the first popes, their full age was intercepted by the prerogative and crown of martyrdom. John, the twenty-third Pope of Rome, fulfilled the ninetieth year of his age; a man of an unquiet disposition, and one that studied novelty; he altered many things, some to the better, others only to the new, a great accumulator of riches and treasures. Gregory, called the twelfth, created in schism, and not fully acknowledged pope, died at ninety years. Of him, in respect of his short papacy, we find nothing to make a judgment upon. Paul, the third, lived eighty years and one; a temperate man, and of a profound wisdom; he was learned, an astrologer, and one that tended his health carefully, but, after the example of old Eli the priest, over-in-old age he was made Pontifex Maximus, and dulgent to his family. Paul the fourth attained exercised those holy duties full two-and-twenty to the age of eighty-three years; a man of a years; in the performance of which rites his harsh nature, and severe, of a haughty mind, voice never failed, nor his hand trembled. It is and imperious, prone to anger, his speech was most certain, that Appius Cæcus was very old, but eloquent and ready. Gregory the thirteenth ful- his years are not extant, the most part whereof he filled the like age of eighty-three years; an abso- passed after he was blind, yet this misfortune no lute good man, sound in mind and body, politic, whit softened him, but that he was able to govern a temperate, full of good works, and an almsgiver. numerous family, a great retinue and dependence, 19. Those that follow are to be more promis- yea, even the commonwealth itself, with great cuous in their order, more doubtful in their faith, stoutness. In his extreme old age he was brought and more barren of observation. King Argan-in a litter into the senate-house, and vehemently thenius, who reigned at Cadiz in Spain, lived a dissuaded the peace with Pyrrhus; the beginning hundred and thirty, or, as some would have it, a of his oration was very memorable, showing an inhundred and forty years, of which he reigned vincible spirit and strength of mind. "I have, eighty. Concerning his manners, institution of with great grief of mind, (Fathers Conscript,) his life, and the time wherein he reigned, there these many years borne my blindness, but now 1 is a general silence. Cynirus, King of Cyprus, could wish that I were deaf also, when I hear you living in the island then termed the happy and speak to such dishonourable treaties." Marcus pleasant island, is affirmed to have attained to a Perpenna lived ninety-eight years, surviving all hundred and fifty or sixty years. Two Latin those whose suffrages he had gathered in the
senate-house, being consul, I mean all the sena- treme old man, no less than a hundred and fourtors at that time, as also all those whom, a little teen years of age, which could not possibly be, after, being consul, he chose into the senate, seven it being as improbable that a decrepit old man only being excepted. Hiero, King of Sicily, in should be set over Nero's youth, as, on the conthe time of the second Punic war, lived almost a trary, it was true, that he was able to manage hundred years; a man moderate both in his go- with great dexterity the affairs of state. Besides, vernment and in his life, a worshipper of the a little before, in the midst of Claudius his reign, gods, and a religious conserver of friendship, he was banished Rome for adulteries committed liberal, and constantly fortunate. Statilia, de- with some noble ladies, which was a crime no scended of a noble family, in the days of Claudius, way compatible with so extreme old age. Jolived ninety-nine years. Clodia, the daughter of hannes de Temporibus, among all the men of our Osilius, a hundred and fifteen. Xenophilus, an latter ages, out of a common fame and vulgar ancient philosopher, of the sect of Pythagoras, opinion, was reputed long-lived, even to a miraattained to a hundred and six years, remaining cle, or rather even to a fable; his age hath been healthful and vigorous in his old age, and famous counted above three hundred years. He was by amongst the vulgar for his learning. The island- nation a Frenchman, and followed the wars under ers of Corcyra were anciently accounted long- Charles the Great. Garcius Aretine, great-grandlived, but now they live after the rate of other father to Petrarch, arrived at the age of a hundred men. Hipocrates Cous, the famous physician, and four years; he had ever enjoyed the benefit lived a hundred and four years, and approved and of good health, besides, at the last, he felt rather credited his own art by so long a life; a man that a decay of his strength, than any sickness or coupled learning and wisdom together, very con- malady, which is the true resolution by old age. versant in experience and observation; one that Amongst the Venetians there have been found haunted not after words or methods, but served not a few long livers, and those of the more emithe very nerves of science, and so propounded nent sort. Franciscus Donatus, duke; Thomas them. Demonax, a philosopher, not only in pro- Contarerus, procurator of Saint Mark; Francisfession, but practice, lived in the days of Adrian, cus Molinus, procurator also of Saint Mark, and almost to a hundred years; a man of a high mind, others. But, most memorable, is that of Cornaand a vanquisher of his own mind, and that truly rus the Venetian, who, being in his youth of a and without affectation; a contemner of the world, sickly body, began first to eat and drink by meaand yet civil and courteous. When his friends sure to a certain weight, thereby to recover his spake to him about his burial, he said, Take no health; this cure turned by use into a diet, that care for my burial, for stench will bury a carcass. diet to an extraordinary long life, even of a hunThey replied, Is it your mind then to be cast out dred years and better, without any decay in his to birds and dogs? He said, again, Seeing in senses, and with a constant enjoying of his health. my lifetime I endeavoured to my uttermost to In our age, William Pestel, a Frenchman, lived benefit men, what hurt is it, if, when I am dead, to a hundred and well nigh twenty years, the top I benefit beasts? Certain Indian people, called of his beard on the upper lip being black, and Pandora, are exceeding long-lived, even to no not gray at all; a man crazed in his brain, and less than two hundred years. They had a thing of a fancy not altogether sound; a great traveller, more marvellous, that having, when they are mathematician, and somewhat stained with heboys, an air somewhat whitish, in their old age, before their gray hairs, they grow coal black, though, indeed, this be everywhere to be seen, that they which have white hair whilst they are boys, in their man's estate, change their hairs into a darker colour. The Seres, another people of India, with their wine of palms, are accounted long livers, even to a hundred and thirty years. Euphranor, the grammarian, grew old in his school and taught scholars when he was above a hundred years old. The elder Ovid, father to the poet, lived ninety years, differing much from the disposition of his son, for he contemned the muses, and dissuaded his son from poetry. Asinius Pollio, intimate with Augustus, exceeded the 22. The ages of nymphs, fawns, and satyrs, age of a hundred years; a man of an unreasonable whom they make to be indeed mortal, but yet profuseness, eloquent, and a lover of learning, exceedingly long-lived, (a thing which ancient but vehement, proud, cruel, and one that made superstition, and the late credulity of some have his private ends the centre of his thoughts. admitted,) we account but for fables and dreams, There was an opinion, that Seneca was an ex-especially being that which hath neither con
20. I suppose there is scarce a village with us in England, if it be any whit populous, but it affords some man or woman of fourscore years of age; nay, a few years since, there was in the county of Hereford a May-game, or morricedance, consisting of eight men, whose age com. puted together made up eight hundred years; insomuch that what some of them wanted of a hundred, others exceeded as much.
21. In the hospital of Bethlehem, corruptly called Bedlam, in the suburbs of London, there are found from time to time many mad persons that live to a great age.
sent with philosophy, nor with divinity. And as touching the history of long life in man by individuals, or next unto individuals, thus much. Now we will pass on to observations by certain heads.
23. The running on of ages, and succession of generations, seem to have no whit abated from the length of life. For we see, that from the time of Moses unto these our days, the term of man's life hath stood about fourscore years of age; neither hath it declined (as a man would have thought) by little and little. No doubt there are times in every country wherein men are longer or shorter lived. Longer, for the most part, when the times are barbarous, and men fare less deliciously, and are more given to bodily exercises. Shorter, when the times are more civil, and men abandon themseles to luxury and
But these things pass on by their turns, the succession of generations alters it not. The same, no doubt, is in other living creatures, for neither oxen, nor horses, nor sheep, nor any the like, are abridged of their wonted ages at this day. And, therefore, the great abridger of age was the flood; and perhaps some such notable accidents (as particular inundations, long droughts, earthquakes, or the like) may do the same again. And the like reason is in the dimension and stature of bodies, for neither are they lessened by succession of generations; howsoever Virgil (following the vulgar opinion) divined that after-ages would bring forth lesser bodies than the then present. Whereupon, speaking of ploughing up the mathian and Emmensian fields, he saith, Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulchris, That after-ages shall admire the great bones digged up in ancient sepulchres. For whereas it is manifested, that there were heretofore men of gigantine statures, (such as for certain have been found in Sicily and elsewhere, in ancient sepulchres and caves,) yet within these last three thousand years, a time whereof we have sure memory, those very places have produced none such, although this thing also hath certain turns and changes, by the civilizing of a nation, no less than the former. And this is the rather to be noted, because men are wholly carried away with an opinion, that there is a continual decay by succession of ages, as well in the term of man's life, as in the stature and strength of his body; and that all things decline and change to the worse.
24. In cold and northern countries men live longer commonly than in hot, which must needs be, in respect the skin is more compact and close, and the juices of the body less dissipable, and the spirits themselves less eager to consume, and in better disposition to repair, and the air (as being little heated by the sunbeams) less predatory. And yet, under the equinoctial line, where the sun passeth to and fro, and causeth a double
summer, and double winter, and where the days and nights are more equal, (if other things be concurring,) they live also very long, as in Peru and Taprobane.
25. Islanders are, for the most part, longer lived than those that live in continents; for they live not so long in Russia as in the Orcades, nor so long in Africa, though under the same parallel, as in the Canaries and Terceras; and the Japonians are longer lived than the Chinese, though the Chinese are made upon long life. And this thing is no marvel, seeing the air of the sea doth heat and cherish in cooler regions, and cool in hotter.
26. High situations do rather afford long livers than low, especially if they be not tops of mountains, but rising grounds, as to their general situations; such as was Arcadia in Greece, and that part of Etolia, where we related them to have lived so long. Now, there would be the same reason for mountains themselves, because of the pureness and clearness of the air, but that they are corrupted by accident, namely, by the vapours rising thither out of the valleys, and resting there; and, therefore, in snowy mountains there is not found any notable long life, not in the Alps, not in the Pyrenean mountains, not in the Apennine; yet in the tops of the mountains running along towards Ethiopia, and the Abyssines, where, by reason of the sands beneath, little or no vapour riseth to the mountains; they live long, even at this very day, attaining many times to a hundred and fifty years.
27. Marshes and fens are propitious to the natives, and malignant to strangers, as touching the lengthening and shortening of their lives; and that which may seem more marvellous, salt marshes, where the sea ebbs and flows, are less wholesome than those of fresh water.
28. The countries which have been observed to produce long livers are these; Arcadia, Ætolia, India on this side Ganges, Brazil, Taprobane, Britain, Ireland, with the islands of the Orcades and Hebrides: for as for Ethiopia, which by one of the ancients is reported to bring forth long livers, it is but a toy.
29. It is a secret; the healthfulness of air, especially in any perfection, is better found by experiment than by discourse or conjecture. You may make a trial by a lock of wool exposed for a few days in the open air, if the weight be not much increased; another by a piece of flesh exposed likewise, if it corrupt not over soon; another by a weatherglass, if the water interchange not too suddenly. Of these, and the like, inquire further.
30. Not only the goodness or pureness of the air, but also the equality of the air, is material to long life. Intermixture of hills and dales is plea. sant to the sight, but suspected for long life. A plain, moderately dry, but yet not over barren or
sandy, nor altogether without trees and shade, is at twelve or fourteen years; and if there were any very convenient for length of life.
31. Inequality of air (as was even now said) in the place of our dwelling is naught; but change of air by travelling, after one be used unto it, is good, and, therefore, great travellers have been long lived. Also those that have lived perpetually in a little cottage, in the same place, have been long livers; for air accustomed consumeth less, but air changed nourisheth and repaireth more.
thing eminent in the Spartans, that was rather to
33. Fair in face, or skin, or hair, are shorter livers; black, or red, or freckled, longer. Also, too fresh a colour in youth doth less promise long life than paleness. A hard skin is a sign of long life rather than a soft; but we understand not this of a rugged skin, such as they call the goose-skin, which is, as it were, spongy, but of that which is hard and close. A forehead with deep furrows and wrinkles is a better sign than a smooth and plain forehead.
34. The hairs of the head hard, and like bristles, do betoken longer life than those that are soft and delicate. Curled hairs betoken the same thing, if they be hard withal; but the contrary, if they be soft and shining; the like if the curling be rather thick in large bunches.
35. Early or late, baldness is an indifferent thing, seeing many which have been bald betimes have lived long. Also, early gray hairs (howsoever they may seem forerunners of old age approaching) are no sure signs, for many that have grown gray betimes, have lived to great years; nay, hasty gray hairs, without baldness, is a token of long life; contrarily, if they be accompanied with baldness.
36. Hairiness of the upper parts is a sign of short life, and they that have extraordinary much hair on their breasts, live not long; but hairiness of the lower parts, as of the thighs and legs, is a sign of long life.
32. As the continuation and number of successions (which we said before) makes nothing to the length and shortness of life, so the immediate condition of the parents (as well the father as the mother) without doubt availeth much. For some are begotten of old men, some of young men, some of men of middle age. Again, some are begotten of fathers healthful and well disposed, others of diseased and languishing. Again, some of fathers immediately after repletion, or when they are drunk; others after sleeping, or in the morning. Again, some after a long intermission of Venus, others upon the act repeated. Again, some in the fervency of the father's love, (as it is commonly in bastards,) others after the cooling of it, as in long married couples. The same things may be considered on the part of the mother, unto which must be added the condition of the mother whilst she is with child, as touching her health, as touching her diet, the time of her bearing in the womb, to the tenth month or earlier. To reduce these things to a rule, how far they may concern long life, is hard; and so much the harder, for that those things which a man would conceive to be the best, will fall out to the contrary. For that alacrity in the generation which begets lusty and lively children, will be less profitable to long life, because of the acrimony and inflaming of the spirits. We said before, that to 37. Tallness of stature, (if it be not immodepartake more of the mother's blood conduceth to rate,) with convenient making, and not too slenlong life. Also we suppose all things in modera- der, especially if the body be active withal, is a tion to be best; rather conjugal love than mere-sign of long life. Also, on the contrary, men of tricious; the hour for generation to be the morn-low stature live long, if they be not too active and ing, a state of body not too lusty or full, and such like. It ought to be well observed, that a strong constitution in the parents, is rather good for them than for the child, especially in the mother. And, therefore, Plato thought ignorantly enough, that the virtue of generations halted, because the woman used not the same exercise both of mind and body with the men. The contrary is rather true; for the difference of virtue betwixt the male and the female is most profitable for the child, and the thinner women yield more towards the 39. Leanness, where the affections are settled, nourishment of the child, which also holds in calm, and peaceable; also, a more fat habit of nurses. Neither did the Spartan women, which body, joined with choler, and a disposition stirmarried not before twenty-two, or, as some say,ring and peremptory, signify long life; but cortwenty-five, (and therefore were called manlike pulency in youth foreshows short life; in age, it women,) bring forth a more generous or long- is a thing more indifferent. lived progeny than the Roman, or Athenian, or Theban women did, which were ripe for marriage
38. In the proportion of the body, they which are short to the waists, with long legs, are longer lived than they which are long to the waists, and have short legs. Also, they which are large in the nether parts, and straight in the upper, (the making of their body rising, as it were, into a sharp figure,) are longer lived than they that have broad shoulders, and are slender downwards.
40. To be long and slow in growing, is a sign of long life; if to a greater stature, the greater
sign; if to a lesser stature, yet a sign; though, contrarily, to grow quickly to a great stature, is an evil sign; if to a small stature, the less evil. 41. Firm flesh, a rawbone body, and veins laying higher than the flesh, betoken long life; the contrary to these, short life.
42. A head somewhat lesser than to the proportion of the body, a moderate neck, not long, nor slender, nor flat, nor too short; wide nostrils, whatsoever the form of the nose be; a large mouth, and ear gristly, not fleshy; teeth strong and contiguous, small or thin set, foretoken long life; and, much more, if some new teeth put forth in our elder years.
43. A broad breast, yet not bearing out, but rather bending inwards; shoulders somewhat crooked, and (as they call such persons) roundbacked, a flat belly, a hand large, and with few lines in the palm; a short and round foot, thighs not fleshy, and calves of the legs not hanging over, but neat, are signs of long life.
44. Eyes somewhat large, and the circles of them inclined to greenness; senses not too quick; the pulse in youth slower, towards old age quicker; facility of holding the breath, and longer than usual; the body in youth inclined to be bound, in the decline of years more laxative, are also signs of long life.
45. Concerning the times of nativity, as they refer to long life, nothing has been observed worthy the setting down, save only astrological observations, which we rejected in our topics. A birth at the eighth month is not only long-lived, but not likely to live. Also, winter births are accounted the longer lived.
46. A pythagorical or monastical diet, according to strict rules, and always exactly equal, (as that of Conarus was,) seemeth to be very effectual for long life. Yet, on the contrary, amongst those that live freely, and after the common sort, such as have good stomachs and feed more plentifully, are often the longest lived. The middle diet, which we account the temperate, is commended, and conduceth to good health, but not to long life; for the spare diet begets few spirits, and dull, and so wasteth the body less; and the liberal diet yieldeth more ample nourishment, and so repaireth more; but the middle diet doth neither of both; for, where the extremes are hurtful, there the mean is best; but where the extremes are helpful, there the mean is nothing worth.
speak more exactly when we come to the inqui sition, according to intentions. Meanwhile that of Celsus, who was not only a learned physician, but a wise man, is not to be omitted, who ad. viseth interchanging and alternation of the diet, but still with an inclination to the more benign; as that a man should sometimes accustom himself to watching, sometimes to sleep, but to sleep oftenest. Again, that he should sometimes give himself to fasting, sometimes to feasting, but to feasting oftenest; that he should sometimes inure himself to great labours of the mind, sometimes to relaxations of the same, but to relaxations oftenest. Certainly this is without all question, that diet well ordered bears the greatest part in the prolongation of life; neither did I ever meet an extreme long-lived man, but being asked of his course, he observed something peculiar; some one thing, some another. I remember an old man, above a hundred years of age, who was produced, as witness, touching an ancient prescription. When he had finished his testimony, the judge familiarly asked him how he came to live so long: He answered, beside expectation, and not without the laughter of the hearers, By eating before I was hungry, and drinking before I was dry. But of these things we shall speak hereafter. 47. A life led in religion, and in holy exercises, seemeth to conduce to long life. There are in this kind of life these things, leisure, admiration, and contemplation of heavenly things, joys not sensual, noble hopes, wholesome fears, sweet sorrows. Lastly, continual renovations by observances, penances, expiations, all which are very powerful to the prolongation of life. Unto which if you add that austere diet which hardeneth the mass of the body, and humbleth the spirits, no marvel if an extraordinary length of life do follow; such was that of Paul, the hermit, Simeon Stelita, the columnar anchorite, and of many other hermits and anchorites.
48. Next to this is the life, led in good letters, such as was that of philosophers, rhetoricians, grammarians. This life is also led in leisure, and in those thoughts, which, seeing they are severed from the affairs of the world, bite not, but rather delight, through their variety and impertinency. They live also at their pleasure, spending their time in such things as like them best, and for the most part in the company of young men, which is ever the most cheerful. Now, to that spare diet there are requisite But in philosophies there is great difference bewatching, lest the spirits, being few, should be twixt the sects, as touching long life; for those oppressed with much sleep; little exercise, lest philosophies which have in them a touch of they should exhale; abstinence from venery, lest superstition, and are conversant in high conthey should be exhausted; but to the liberal diet, templations, are the best, as the pythagorical and on the other side, are requisite much sleep, fre- platonic. Also those which did institute a peramquent exercises, and a seasonable use of venery. bulation of the world, and considered the variety Baths and anointings (such as were anciently in of natural things, and had reachless, and high, use) did rather tend to deliciousness, than to pro- and magnanimous thoughts, (as of infinitum, of longing of life. But of all these things we shall the stars, of the heroical virtues, and such like,)