Imatges de pàgina
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the seasoning and cookery, which by custom they are set to; and an over-much use of salt, besides that it occasions thirst, and over-much drinking, has other ill-effects upon the body. I should think that a good piece of well-made and well-baked brown bread, sometimes with, and sometimes without butter or cheese, would be often the best breakfast for my young master. I am sure it is as wholesome, and will make him as strong a man as greater delicacies: and if he be used to it, it will be as pleasant to him. If he at any time calls for victuals between meals, use him to nothing but dry bread. If he be hungry, more than wanton, bread alone will down; and if he be not hungry, it is not fit he should eat. By this you will obtain two good effects: 1. That by custom he will come to be in love with bread; for, as I said, our palates and stomachs too are pleased with the things we are used to. Another good you will gain hereby is, that you will not teach him to eat more nor oftener than nature requires. · I do not think that all people's appetites are alike: some have naturally stronger, and some weaker stomachs. But this I think, that many are made gormands and gluttons by custom, that were not so by nature; and I see, in some countries, men as lusty and strong, that eat but two meals a day, as others that have set their stomachs by a constant usage, like larums, to call on them for four or five. The Romans usually fasted till supper; the only set meal, even of those who ate more than once a day; and those who used breakfasts, as some did at eight, some at ten, others at twelve of the clock, and some later, neither ate flesh, nor had any thing made ready for them. Augustus, when the greatest monarch on the earth, tells us, he took a bit of dry bread in his chariot. And Seneca, in bis 83d epistle, giving an account how he managed himself, even when he was old, and his age permitted indulgence, says, that he used to eat a piece of dry bread for his dinner, without the formality of sitting to it: though his estate would have as well paid for a better meal, (had health required it,) as any subjects in England, were it doubled. The masters of the world were bred up with this spare diet; and the young gentlemen of Rome felt no want of strength or spirit, because they'ate but once a day. Or if it happened by chance, that any one could not fast so long as till supper, their only set meal; he took nothing but a bit of dry bread, or at most a few raisins, or some such slight thing with it, to stay his stomach. This part of temperance was found so necessary, both for health and business, that the custom of only one meal a day held out against that prevailing luxury, which their Eastern conquests and spoils had brought in amongst them; and those, who had given up their old frugal eating, and made feasts, yet began them not till evening. And more than one set meal a day was thought so monstrous, that it was a reproach, as low down as Cæsar's tíme, to make an entertainment, or sit down to a full table, till toward sunset. And therefore, if it would not be thought too severe, I should judge it most convenient, that my young master should have nothing but bread too for breakfast. You can not imagine of what force custom is; and I impute a great part of our diseases in England to our eating too much flesh, and too little bread.

MEALS.

15. As to his meals, I should think it best, that as much as it can be conveniently avoided, they should not be kept constantly to an hour. For, when custom hath fixed his eating to certain stated periods, his stomach will expect victuals at the usual hour, and grow peevish if he passes it; either fretting itself

into a troublesome excess, or flagging into a downrignt want of appetite. Therefore I would have no time kept constantly to, for his breakfast, dinner, and supper, but rather varied, almost every day. And if, betwixt these, which I call meals, he will eat, let him have, as often as he calls for it, good dry bread. If any one think this too hard and sparing a diet for a child, let them know, that a child will never starve, nor dwindle for want of nourishment, who, besides flesh at dinner, and spoon-meat, or some such other thing at supper, may have good bread and beer, as often as he has a stomach; for thus, upon second thoughts, I should judge it best for children to be ordered. The morning is generally designed for study, to which a full stomach is but an ill preparation. Dry bread, though the best nourishment, has the least temptation; and nobody would have a child crammed at breakfast, who has any regard to his mind or body, and would not have him dull and unhealthy. Nor let any one think this unsuitable to one of estate and condition. A gentleman, in any age, ought to be so bred, as to be fitted to bear arms, and be a soldier. But he that in this, breeds his son so, as if he designed him to sleep over his life, in the plenty and ease of a full fortune he intends to leave him, little considers the examples he has seen, or the age he lives in.

DRINK. 16. His drink should be only small beer; and that too he should never be suffered to have between meals, but after he had eat a piece of bread. The reasons why I say this are these :

17. 1. More fevers and surfeits are got by people's drinking when they are hot, than by any one thing I know. Therefore, if by play he be hot and dry, bread will ill go down; and so, if he can not have drink, but upon that condition, he will be forced to forbear. For, if he be very hot, he should by no means drink. At least, a good piece of bread, first to be eaten, will gain time to warm the beer blood-hot, which then he may drink safely. If he be very dry, it will go down so warmed, and quench his thirst better; and, if he will not drink it so warmed, abstaining will not hurt him. Besides, this will teach him to forbear, which is an habit of greatest use for health of body and mind too.

18. 2. Not being permitted to drink without eating, will prevent the custom of having the cup often at his nose; a dangerous beginning and preparation to good fellowship. Men often bring habitual bunger and thirst on themselves by custom. And, if you please to try, you may, though he be weaned from it, bring him by use to such a necessity of drinking in the night, that he will not be able to sleep without it. It being the lullaby, used by nurses, to still crying children; I believe mothers generally find some difficulty to wean their children from drinking in the night, when they first take them home. Believe it, custom prevails as much by day as by night; and you may, if you please, bring any one to be thirsty every hour.

I once lived in a house, where, to appease a froward child, they gave him drink as often as he cried; so that he was constantly bibbing; and though he could not speak, yet he drank more in twenty-four hours than I did. Try it when you please, you may with small, as well as with strong beer, drink yourself into a drought. The great thing to be minded in education is, what habits you settle; and therefore in this, as all other things, do not begin to make any thing customary, the practice whereof you would not have continue and in.

crease. It is convenient for health and sobriety, to drink no more than natural thirst requires ; and he that eats not salt meats, nor drinks strong drink, will seldom thirst between meals, unless he has been accustomed to such unseasonable drinking

19. Above all, take great care that he seldom, if ever, taste any wine, or strong drink. There is nothing so ordinarily given children in England, and nothing so destructive to them. They ought never to drink any strong liquor, but when they need it as a cordial, and the doctor prescribes it. And in this case it is, that servants are most narrowly to be watched, and most severely to be reprehended, when they transgress. Those mean sort of people, placing a great part of their happiness in strong drink, are always forward to make court to my young master, by offering him that which they love best themselves; and, finding themselves made merry by it, they foolishly think it will do the child no harm. This you are carefully to have your eye upon, and restrain with all the skill and industry you can: there being nothing that lays a surer foundation of mischief, both to body and mind, than children's being used to strong drink; especially to drink in private with the servants.

FRUIT. 20. Fruit makes one of the most difficult chapters in the government of health, especially that of children. Our first parents ventured paradise for it; and it is no wonder our children can not stand the temptation, though it cost them their health. The regulation of this can not come under any one general rule; for I am by no means of their mind, would keep children almost wholly from fruit, as a thing totally unwholesome for them; by which strict way they make them but the more ravenous after it; and to eat good and bad, ripe or unripe, all that they can get, whenever they come at it. Melons, peaches, most sorts of plums, and all sorts of grapes in England, I think children should be wholly kept from, as having a very tempting taste, in a very unwholesome juice; so that, if it were possible, they should never so much as see them, or know there were any such thing. But strawberries, cherries, gooseberries, or currants, when thorough ripe, I think may be very safely allowed them, and that with a pretty liberal hand, if they be eaten with these cautions. 1. Not after meals, as we usually do, when the stomach is already full of other food. But I think they should be eaten rather before, or between meals, and children should have them for their breakfasts. 2. Bread eaten with them. 3. Perfectly ripe. If they are thus eaten, I imagine them rather conducing than hurtful to our health. Summer fruits, being suitable to the hot season of the year they come in, refresh our stomacbs, languishing and fainting under it; and therefore I should not be altogether so strict in this point, as some are to their children; who being kept so very short, instead of a moderate quantity of wellchosen fruit, which being allowed them would content them, whenever they can get loose, or bribe a servant to supply them, satisfy their longing with any trash they can get, and eat to a surfeit.

Apples and pears too, which are thorough ripe, and have been gathered some time, I think may be safely eaten at any time, and in pretty large quantities; especially apples, which never did any body hurt, that I have heard, after October.

Fruits also dried without sugar I think very wholesome. But sweetmeats of all kinds are to be avoided; which, whether they do more harm to the maker

or eater, is not easy to tell. This I am sure, it is one of the most inconvenient ways of expense that vanity hath ye i found out; and so I leave them to the ladies.

SLEEP. 21. Of all that looks soft and effeminate, nothing is more to be indulged children than sleep. In this alone they are to be permitted to have their full satisfaction; nothing contributing more to the growth and health of children than sleep. All that is to be regulated in it is, in what part of the twenty-four hours they should take it; which will easily be resolved, by only saying, that it is of great use to accustom them to rise early in the morning. It is best so to do, for health; and he that, from his childhood, has by a settled custom made rising betimes easy and familiar to him, will not, when he is a man, waste the best and most useful part of his life in drowsiness and lying a-bed. If children therefore are to be called up early in the morning, it will follow of course that they must go to bed betimes; whereby they will be accustomed to avoid the unhealthy and unsafe hours of debauchery, which are those of the evenings; and they who keep good hours seldom are guilty of any great disorders. I do not say this, as if your son, when grown up, should never be in company past eight, nor never chat over a glass of wine till midnight. You are now, by the accustoming of his tender years, to indispose him to those inconveniences as much as you can; and it will be no small advantage, that contrary practice having made sitting-up uneasy to him, it will make him often avoid, and very seldom propose midnight revels. But if it should not reach so far, but fashion and company should prevail, and make him live as others do above twenty, it is worth the while to accustom him to early rising and early going to bed, between this and that, for the present improvement of his health, and other advantages.

Though I have said a large allowance of sleep, even as much as they will take, should be made to children when they are little; yet I do not mean, that it should always be continued to them, in so large a proportion, and they suffered to indulge a drowsy laziness in their beds, as they grow up bigger. But whether they should begin to be restrained at seven, or ten years old, or any other time, is impossible to be precisely determined. Their tempers, strength, and constitutions must be considered: but some time between seven and fourteen, if they are too great lovers of their beds; I think it may be seasonable to begin to reduce them, by degrees, to about eight hours, which is generally rest enough for healthy grown people. If you have accustomed him, as you should do, to rise constantly very early in the morning, this fault of being too long in bed will easily be reformed; and most children will be forward enough to shorten that time themselves, by coveting to sit up with the company at night; though, if they be not looked after, they will be apt to take it out in the morning, which should by no means be permitted. They should constantly be called up, and made to rise at their early hour; but great care should be taken in waking them, that it be not done hastily, nor with a loud or shrill voice, or any other sudden violent noise. This often affrights children, and does them great harm. And sound -sleep, thus broke off with sudden alarms, is apt enough to discompose, any one. When children are to be wakened out of their sleep, be sure to begin with a low call, and some gentle motion; and so draw them out of it by degrees, and give them none but kind words and usage, till they are come perfectly to themselves, and being quite dressed you are sure they are thoroughly awake. The being forced from their sleep, how gently soever you do

it, is pain enough to them; and care should be taken not to add any other uneasiness to it, especially such as may terrify them.

BED. 22. Let his bed be hard, and rather quilts than feathers. Hard lodgings strengthens the parts; whereas being buried every night in feathers, melts and dissolves the body, is often the cause of weakness, and the forerunner of an early grave. And, besides the stone, which has often its rise from this warm wrapping of the reins, several other indispositions, and that which is the root of them all

, a tender, weakly constitution, is very much owing to down beds. Besides, he that is used to hard lodging at home, will not miss his sleep, (where he has most need of it,) in his travels abroad, for want of his soft bed and his pillows laid in order. And therefore I think it would not be amiss, to make his bed after different fashions; sometimes lay his head higher, sometimes lower, that he may not feel every little change he must be sure to meet with, who is not designed to lie always in my young master's bed at home, and to have his maid lay all things in print, and tuck him in warm. The great cordial of nature is sleep. He that misses that, will suffer by it; and he is very unfortunate, who can take his cordial only in his mother's fine gilt cup, and not in a wooden dish. He that can sleep soundly, takes the cordial; and it matters not whether it be on a soft bed, or the hard boards. It is sleep only that is the thing necessary.

PHYSIC. 23. Perhaps it will be expected from me, that I should give some directions of physic, to prevent diseases; for which I have only this one, very sacredly to be observed: never to give children any physic for prevention. The observation of what I have already advised, will, I suppose, do that better than the ladies' diet-drinks, or apothecary's medicines. Have a great care of tampering that way, lest, instead of preventing, you draw on diseases. Nor even upon every little indisposition is physic to be given, or the physician to be called to children; especially if he be a busy man, that will presently fill their windows with gally-pots, and their stomachs with drugs. It is safer to leave them wholly to nature, than to put them into the hands of one forward to tamper, or that thinks children are to be cured in ordinary distempers by any thing but diet, or by a method very little distant from it: it seeming suitable both to my reason and experience, that the tender constitutions of children should have as little done to them as is possible, and as the absolute necessity of the case requires. A little cold stilled red poppy-water, which is the true surfeit-water, with ease, and abstinence from flesh, often puts an end to several distempers in the beginning, which, by too forward applications, might have been made lusty diseases. When such a gentle treatment will not stop the growing mischief, nor hinder it from turning into a formed disease, it will be time to seek the advice of some sober and discreet physician. I this part, I hope, I shall find an easy belief; and nobody can have a pretence to doubt the advice of one, who has spent some time in the study of physic, when he counsels you not to be too forward in making use of physic and physicians.

24. And thus I have done with what concerns the body and health, which reduces itself to these few and easily observable rules. Plenty of open air, exercise, and sleep; plain diet, no wine or strong drink, and very little or no physic; not too warm and strait clothing; especially the head and feet kept cold, and the feet often used to cold water and exposed to wet.

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