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I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits that are necessary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties, during 5 the present laws of union between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this particular 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 10 subject.

Had not exergise 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 15 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 before mentioned. And that we might not want induce-20 ments 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 produced without it. Not to mention riches and honor, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands 25 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 before they are fit for use! Manufactures, trade, and agriculture, naturally employ more than nineteen parts of the species in twenty; and as for 5 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 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 of his great hall are covered with

the horns of several kinds of deer that he has killed 15 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 otter's

skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to 20 be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks

upon with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of

arsenal filled with guns of several sizes and inven25 tions, with which the knight has made great havoc

in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His stabledoors 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, killed him a brace of geldings, and lost above half his dogs. This the knight looks 5 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 he patched the western door of his stable. When-10 ever 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.

15 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. 20 Doctor Sydenham ? is very 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 Medicina Gymnastica. For my own part, 25 when I am in town, for want of these opportunities, I exercise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb-bell that is placed in a corner of my room, and it pleases me the more because it does every

othing 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 5 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 is written with a great deal of erudi10 tion : it is there called the oklopaxla, or the fighting

with a man's own shadow, and consists in the brandishing of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaded with plugs of lead at either end.

This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives 15 a man 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, 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 think I have not fulfilled the 25 business of the day when I do not thus employ the

one in labor and exercise, as well as the other in study and contemplation.


No. 16. Sir Roger Hunting?
SPECTATOR No. 116. Friday, July 13, 1711


-Vocat ingenti clamore Cithæron,
Taygetique canes

Virg. Georg. iii. 43.

THOSE 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 an active principle in him, that he will find out something to employ himself 5 upon, in whatever place or state of life he is posted. I have heard of a gentleman who was under close confinement in the Bastile 3 seven years; during which time he amused himself in scattering a few small pins about his chamber, gathering them up 10 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.

15 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 20 in; and which seem to be extremely well suited to that laborious industry a man may observe here in

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