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P R E F A CЕ.
LEWIS CORNARO, the Author of the following Discourses, was descended' from one of the most illustrious families in Venice; but by the ill conduct of some of his relations, had the misfortune to be deprived of the dignity of a nobleman, and excluded from all honors and public employments in the State. Chagrined at this unmerited disgrace, he retired to Padua, and married a lady of the family of Spiltemberg, whose name was Veronica. Being in possession of a good estate, he was very desirous of having children; and after a long expectation of this happiness, his wife was delivered of a daughter, to whom he gave the name of Clara. This was his only child, who afterwards was married to John, the son of Fantini Cornaro, of a rich family in Cyprus, while that island belonged to the Republic of Venice. Though he was far advanced in life when his daughter Clara was born, yet he lived to see her very old, and the mother of eight sons and three daughters. He was a man of sound understanding, determined courage and resolution. In his younger days he had contracted infirmities by intemperance, and by indulging his too great propensity to anger; but when he perceived the ill consequences of his irregularities, he had command enough of himself to subdue his passion and inordinate appetites. By means of great sobriety, and a strict regimen in his diet, he recovered his health and vigor, which he preserved to an extreme old age. At a very advanced stage of life, he wrote the following Discourses, wherein he acquaints us with the irregularity of his youth, his reformation of manners, and the hopes he entertained of living a long time. Nor was he mistaken in his expectation, for he resigned his last breath without any agony, sitting in an elbow chair, being above a hundred years old. This happened at Padua, April 26, 1566. His lady, almost as old as himself, survived him but a short time, and died an easy death. They were
interred in St. Antony's church, without any pomp, pursuant to their testamentary directions.
These Discourses, though written in Cornaro's old age, were penned at different times, and published separately: The first, which he wrote at the age of eighty-three, is entitled, A Treatise on a Sober Life, in which he declares war against every kind of intemperance; and his vigorous old age speaks in favor of his precepts. The second treatise he composed at the age of eightysix; it contains further encomiums on sobriety, and points out the means of mending a bad constitution. He says, that he came into the world with a choleric disposition, but that his temperate way of life had enabled him to subdue it. The third, which he wrote at the age of ninety-one, is entitled, An Earnest Exhortation to a Sober Life; here he uses the strongest arguments to persuade mankind to embrace a temperate life, as the means of attaining a healthy and vigorous old age. The fourth and last, is a letter to Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia, written at the age of ninety-five; it contains a lively description of the health, vigor, and perfect use of all his faculties, which he had the happiness of enjoying at that advanced period of life.
This useful Work was translated some years ago into English, under the title of, Sure and certain Methods of attaining a long and healthy Life. The translator seems rather to have made use of a French version than of the Italian original; he has likewise omitted several passages of the Italian, and the whole is rather a paraphrase than a translation. This has induced us to give the public an exact and faithful version of that excellent performance, from the Venice edition in 8vo. in the year 1620. The first edition was published by the author at Padua, in 4to. A. D. 1558.
The Spectator, in a paper on health, written in an easy and lucid manner, contains many judicious remarks on that subject, and touches upon the merits of Cornaro's useful little work. From the apposite nature of that Essay, we are persuaded, it will form a very appropriate Introduction to the present translation, which has more of "the mixture of the old man in it" than any other, and which is " rather a recommendation than a discredit to it." We do not, therefore, hesitate to think that it cannot be unacceptable to the reader, who will have little cause to cavil with the mild opinions and clear reasoning of the amiable, modest, and instructive Addison.
[FROM THE SPECTATOR, NUMBER 195.]
Fools, not to know that half exceeds the whole,
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 rightlyprepared 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 practised 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