The Possibility of Living 200 Years

The Possibility of Living 200 Years

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The Possibility of Living 200 Years By F. C. Havens

Format: Scanned PDF

Pages (PDF): 231

Publication Date: 1896

Illustrations: No

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Details:

Pages (PDF): 231

Publication Date: 1896

Illustrations: No

About The Book: This work represents the labor of many odd hours in a life devoted to business pursuits. No claim is made that the discoveries and suggestions relative to diet are new or original. Much reading and observation in regard to this subject showed the possibility of condensing the salient features of the works of leading authors on the subject of longevity a subject of more importance to humanity than any and all others. There is no royal road to health or long life, but neither is there any need for people to grope their way blindly along, and make both a matter of mere chance, as the vast majority of the human race are now doing. Such writers as De Lacy Evans, and other scientific investigators, point out a path to perfect health, and prove age to be a controllable disease. Illness and decrepitude are shown to be unnecessary evils, caused almost invariably by the lack of the knowledge of the plain and simple rules which are compiled and condensed in this little volume. The punishments inflicted by nature are usually as just as they are sure. Where people sin willfully sympathy is wasted. A quotation will be found herein from Sir Wm. Thompson, in which he points out an easy road to sickness and a rapid method of growing old an illustration of the absurdity of suffering the greatest misery for an indefinite period, as the result of two hours of imaginary happiness.


Excerpt:

There is a story in the Arabian Nights Tales of a king who had long languished under an ill habit of body, and had taken abundance of remedies to no purpose. At length, says the fable, a physician cured him by the following method: He took a hollow ball of wood, and filled it with several drugs, after which he closed it up so artificially that nothing appeared. He likewise took a mall, and, after having hollowed the handle, and that part which strikes the ball, he inclosed in them several drugs, after the same manner as in the ball itself. He then ordered the sultan, who was his patient, to exercise himself early in the morning with these rightly prepared instruments, till such time as he should sweat; when, as the story goes, the virtue of the medicaments perspiring through the wood had so good an influence on the sultan's constitution, that they cured him of an indisposition which all the compositions he had taken inwardly had not been able to remove. This eastern allegory is finely contrived to show us how beneficial bodily labor is to health, and that exercise is the most effectual physic.

I have described, in my hundred and fifteenth paper, from the general structure and mechanism of a human body, how absolutely necessary exercise is for its preservation; I shall, in this place, suggest another great preservative of health, which, in many cases, produces the same effects as exercise, and may, in some measure, supply its place, where opportunities of exercise are wanting. The preservative I am speaking of is temperance, which has those particular advantages above all other means of health, that it may be practiced by all ranks and conditions, at any season, or in any place. It is a kind of regimen into which every man may put himself without interruption to business, expense of money, or loss of time. If exercise throws off all superfluities, temperance prevents them; if exercise clears the vessels, temperance neither satiates nor overstrains them; if exercise raises proper ferments in the humors and promotes the circulation of the blood, temperance gives nature her full play, and enables her to exert herself in all her force and vigor; if exercise dissipates a growing distemper, temperance starves it.

Physic, for the most part, is nothing else but the substitute of exercise or temperance. Medicines are, indeed, absolutely necessary in acute distempers, that cannot wait the slow operations of these two great instruments of health; but, were men to live in a habitual course of exercise and temperance, there would be but little occasion for them. Accordingly, we find that those parts of the world are most healthy where they subsist by the chase, and that men lived longest when their lives were employed in hunting, and when they had little food besides what they caught. Blistering, cupping, and bleeding, are seldom of use but to the idle and intemperate. All those inward applications, which are so much in practice among us, are, for the most part, nothing else but expedients to make luxury consistent with health. The apothecary is perpetually employed in countermining the cook and the vintner.

It is said of Diogenes, that, meeting a young man who was going to a feast, he took him up in the street and carried him home to his friends, as one who was running into imminent danger, had he not prevented him. What would that philosopher have said had he been present at the gluttony of a modern meal? Would not he have thought the master of a family mad, and have begged his servants to tie down his hands, had he seen him devour fowl, fish, and flesh, swallow oil and vinegar, wines, and spices, throw down salads of twenty different herbs, sauces of a hundred ingredients, confections, and fruits of numberless sweets and flavors? What unnatural motions and counterferments must such a medley of intemperance have produced in the body. For my part, when I behold a fashionable table set out in all its magnificence, I fancy I see gouts and dropsies, fevers and lethargies, with other innumerable distempers, lying in ambuscade among the dishes.


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