The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

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Instance of the Efficacy of Temperance towards the procuring of long Life, is what we meet with in a little Book published by Lewis Cornare the Venetian; which I the rather mention, because it is of undoubted Credit, as the late Venetian Ambassador, who was of the same Family, attested more than once in Conversation, when he resided in England.  Cornaro, who was the Author of the little Treatise I am mentioning, was of an Infirm Constitution, till about forty, when by obstinately persisting in an exact Course of Temperance, he recovered a perfect State of Health; insomuch that at fourscore he published his Book, which has been translated into English upon the Title of [Sure and certain Methods [6]] of attaining a long and healthy Life.  He lived to give a 3rd or 4th Edition of it, and after having passed his hundredth Year, died without Pain or Agony, and like one who falls asleep.  The Treatise I mention has been taken notice of by several Eminent Authors, and is written with such a Spirit of Chearfulness, Religion, and good Sense, as are the natural Concomitants of Temperance and Sobriety.  The Mixture of the old Man in it is rather a Recommendation than a Discredit to it.

Having designed this Paper as the Sequel to that upon Exercise, I have not here considered Temperance as it is a Moral Virtue, which I shall make the Subject of a future Speculation, but only as it is the Means of Health.


[Footnote 1:  ‘The History of the Greek King and Douban the Physician’ told by the Fisherman to the Genie in the story of ‘the Fisherman.’]

[Footnote 2:  Diog.  Laert., ‘Lives of the Philosophers’, Bk. vi. ch. 2.]

[Footnote 3:  and at]

[Footnote 4:  Sir William Temple does not quote as a saying, but says himself, near the end of his ’Essay upon Health and Long Life of Government of Diet and Exercise’,

’In both which, all excess is to be avoided, especially in the common use of wine:  Whereof the first Glass may pass for Health, the second for good Humour, the third for our Friends; but the fourth is for our Enemies.’]

[Footnote 5:  Diogenes Laertius in ‘Life of Socrates’; AElian in ’Var.  Hist.’  Bk. xiii.]

[Footnote 6:  The Sure Way]

* * * * *

No. 196.  Monday, October 15, 1711.  Steele.

      Est Ulubris, animus si te non deficit oequus.



’There is a particular Fault which I have observed in most of the Moralists in all Ages, and that is, that they are always professing themselves, and teaching others to be happy.  This State is not to be arrived at in this Life, therefore I would recommend to you to talk in an humbler Strain than your Predecessors have done, and instead of presuming to be happy, instruct us only to be easy.  The Thoughts of him who would be
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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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