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instances of very long life. Even in Holland people may become old; but this is not often the case, and few live to the age of 100.
In addition to these remarkable instances of long life, may be added that of the minister of Alnwick, re lated by Fuller, in his Worthies, who lived to a great age, who, according to this account, was 110 years of age in the year 1657. His name was Michael Vivian, a Scotsman, from Aberdeen. A good crop of hair, of a flaxen colour, succeeded his bald head; he had some new teeth ; and after forty years, during which he was unable to read the largest print without spectacles, there was no print nor writing so small but he could read without them. He had been at Alnwick fifty-five, years.
1786. Died, October 13, an old Constantinow, in Volhynia, in the 124th year of his age, a gentleman, named Hobol. When he was 21 years old, he served under King Sobieski, before Vienna ; he was never married; and was
a stranger to sickness. At 308 years he joined the fraternity of Capuchins, and continued with them during the remaining sixteen years of his life.
CURIOUS REMARKS ON THE PROBABLE CAUSES OF
The circumstances which favour longevity are,
1.-DESCENT FROM LONG-LIVED ANCESTORS.
I have not found a single instance of a person
who has lived to be 80 years old, in whom this was not
In some instances I found the descent was only from one, but in general it was from both parents. The knowledge of this fact may serve not only to assist in calculating what are called the chance of lives, but it may be made useful to a physician. He may learn from it to cherish hopes of his patients in chronic, and some acute diseases, in proportion to the capacity of life they have derived from their ancestors.
II. TEMPERANCE IN EATING AND DRINKING.
To this remark I have found several exceptions. I met with one man of 84 years of age, who had been intemperate in eating; and four or five persons who had been intemperate in drinking ardent spirits. They had all been day-labourers, and had deferred drinking until they began to feel the languor of old age. I did not meet with a single person who had not for the last forty or fifty years of their lives used tea, coffee, and bread and butter twice a day, as part of their diet. I am disposed to believe that those articles of diet do not materially affect the duration of the human life, although they evidently impair the strength of the system. The duration of life does not appear to depend so much upon the strength of the body, or upon the quantity of its excitability, as upon the exact accommodation of stimuli to each of them. A watch spring will last as long as an anchor, provided the forces which are capable of destroying them both are in exact ratio to their strength. The use of tea and coffee in diet seems to be happily suited to the change which has taken place in the human body, by sedentary occupations, by which means less nourishment and stimulus are required than formerly to support animal life.
* Medical Enquiries and Observations. By Dr. Rush, Philadelphia.
III.-THE MODERATE USE OF THE UNDERSTANDING.
It has long been an established truth, that literary men (other circumstances being equal), are longer lived than other people. But it is not necessary that the understanding should be employed upon philosophical subjects to produce this influence upon human life. Business, P litics, and religion, which are the objects of attention of men of all classes, impart a vigour to the understanding, which, by being conveyed to every part of the body, tends to produce health and
IV.-EQUANIMITY OF TEMPER.
The violent and irregular actions of the passions tend to wear away the springs of life. Persons who live upon annuities in Europe have been observed to be longer lived in equal circumstances than other people. This is probably occasioned by their being exempted, by the certainty of their subsistence, from those fears of want, which so frequently distract the minds, and thereby weaken the bodies of all people. Liferents have been supposed to have the same influence in prolonging life. Perhaps the desire of life, in order to enjoy as long as possible that property which cannot be enjoyed a second time by a child or relation, may be another cause of the longevity of persons who live upon certain incomes. It is a fact, that the desire of life is a very powerful stimulus in prolonging it, especially when that desire is supported by hope. This is obvious to physicians every day. Despair of recovery is the beginning of death in all diseases. But obvious and reasonable as the effects of the equanimity of temper are upon human life, there are some exceptions in favour of passionate men and women having attained to a great age. The morbid stimulus of anger in these cases, was probably obviated by less degrees,
or less active exercises of the understanding, or by the defect or weakness of some of the other stimuli which kept up the motion of life.
V. - MATRIMONY.
In the course of my enquiries, I only met with one person beyond 80 years of age who had never been married. I met with several women who had borne from ten to twenty children, and suckled them all. I met with one woman, a native of Hertfordshire, in England, who is now (at the time Dr. R. wrote), in the 100th year of her age, who bore a child at 60, menstruated till 80, and frequently suckled two of her children (though born in succession to each other), at the same time. She had passed the greatest part of her life over a washing tub..
I have not founds edentary employments to prevent long life, where they are not accompanied by intemperance in eating or drinking. This observation is not confined to literary men, nor to women only, in whom longevity, without much exercise of body, has been frequently observed. I met with one instance of a weaver, a second of a silversmith, and a third of a shoemaker, among the number of old people, whose histories have suggested these observations."
Dr. Rush did not find that acute, nor that all