When we consider that this sitting for fourteen hours continuously, which the critic probably practised only while he was writing his “remarks,” is no more than what the tailor, in the ordinary pursuance of his art, submits to daily (Sundays excepted) throughout the year, shall we wonder to find the brain affected, and in a manner overclouded, from that indissoluble sympathy between the noble and less noble parts of the body which Dennis hints at? The unnatural and painful manner of his sitting must also greatly aggravate the evil, insomuch that I have sometimes ventured to liken tailors at their boards to so many envious Junos, sitting cross-legged to hinder the birth of their own felicity. The legs transversed thus [Illustration: X lying on its side] crosswise, or decussated, was among the ancients the posture of malediction. The Turks, who practise it at this day, are noted to be a melancholy people.
Secondly, his diet.—To which purpose I find a most remarkable passage in Burton, in his chapter entitled “Bad diet a cause of melancholy.” “Amongst herbs to be eaten (he says) I find gourds, cucumbers, melons, disallowed; but especially CABBAGE. It causeth troublesome dreams, and sends up black vapors to the brain. Galen, Loc. Affect, lib. iii. cap. 6, of all herbs condemns CABBAGE. And Isaack, lib. ii. cap. 1, animae gravitatem facit, it brings heaviness to the soul.” I could not omit so flattering a testimony from an author who, having no theory of his own to serve, has so unconsciously contributed to the confirmation of mine. It is well known that this last-named vegetable has, from the earliest periods which we can discover, constituted almost the sole food of this extraordinary race of people.
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ON THE IMMODERATE INDULGENCE OF THE PLEASURES
OF THE PALATE.
MR. REFLECTOR,—My husband and I are fond of company, and being in easy circumstances, we are seldom without a party to dinner two or three days in a week. The utmost cordiality has hitherto prevailed at our meetings; but there is a young gentleman, a near relation of my husband’s, that has lately come among us, whose preposterous behavior bids fair, if not timely checked, to disturb our tranquillity. He is too great a favorite with my husband in other respects, for me to remonstrate with him in any other than this distant way. A letter printed in your publication may catch his eye; for he is a great reader, and makes a point of seeing all the new things that come out. Indeed, he is by no means deficient in understanding. My husband says that he has a good deal of wit; but for my part I cannot say I am any judge of that, having seldom observed him open his mouth except for purposes very foreign to conversation.