Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XXXV.

Full Text Chapter 3.XXXV.

Chapter 3.XXXV.

'The two great causes, which conspire with each other to shorten life, says lord Verulam, are first—

'The internal spirit, which like a gentle flame wastes the body down to death:—And secondly, the external air, that parches the body up to ashes:—which two enemies attacking us on both sides of our bodies together, at length destroy our organs, and render them unfit to carry on the functions of life.'

This being the state of the case, the road to longevity was plain; nothing more being required, says his lordship, but to repair the waste committed by the internal spirit, by making the substance of it more thick and dense, by a regular course of opiates on one side, and by refrigerating the heat of it on the other, by three grains and a half of salt-petre every morning before you got up.—

Still this frame of ours was left exposed to the inimical assaults of the air without;—but this was fenced off again by a course of greasy unctions, which so fully saturated the pores of the skin, that no spicula could enter;—nor could any one get out.—This put a stop to all perspiration, sensible and insensible, which being the cause of so many scurvy distempers—a course of clysters was requisite to carry off redundant humours,—and render the system complete.

What my father had to say to my lord of Verulam's opiates, his salt-petre, and greasy unctions and clysters, you shall read,—but not to-day—or to-morrow: time presses upon me,—my reader is impatient—I must get forwards—You shall read the chapter at your leisure (if you chuse it), as soon as ever the Tristra-paedia is published.—

Sufficeth it, at present to say, my father levelled the hypothesis with the ground, and in doing that, the learned know, he built up and established his own.—