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other dexterity, of which they have variety unimaginable. Note by the way, that when they have you at the tavern, and think you a sure bubble, they will many times purposely lose some small sum to you the first time, to engage you more freely to bleed (as they call it) at the second meeting, to which they will be sure to invite you.
A gentleman, whom ill fortune had hurried into passion, took a box and dice to a side table, and there fell to throwing by himself; at length swears with an emphasis, Damme, now I throw for nothing, I can win a thousand pounds; but, when I play for money, I lose my arse.'
If the house find you free to the box, and a constant caster, you shall be treated below with suppers at night, and cawdle in the morning, and have the honour to be styled, A lover of the house, whilst your money lasts, which certainly will not be long; for, as the Lamiæ destroyed men, under pretence of kindness, so it is here.
In a word, this course of life shall afford you so many affronts, and such a number of vexations, as shall, in time, convert both your soul and body into anguish; and anguish, in some, has turned to madness. Thus one Bull, a young fellow, not many years since, had, by strange fortune, run up a very small sum to fifteenhundred pounds, and put himself into a garb accordingly; could not give over, plaid on, fortune turned, lost it all, run mad, and so died.
If what has been said, will not make you detest this abominable kind of life, will the almost certain loss of your money do it? I will undertake to demonstrate, that it is ten to one you shall be a loser at the year's end, with constant play upon the square. If then twenty persons bring two-hundred pounds a-piece, which makes four-thousand pounds, and resolve to play, for example, three or four hours a day, for a year; I will wager the box shall have fifteen-hundred pounds of the money, and that eighteen of the twenty persons shall be losers.
I have seen (in a lower instance) three persons sit down at twelve-penny In and In, and each draw forty shillings a piece; and, in little more than two hours, the box has had three pounds of the money, and all the three gamesters have been losers, and laughed at for their indiscretion.
At an ordinary, you shall scarce have a night pass without a quarrel, and you must either tamely put up an affront, or else be engaged in a duel next morning, upon some trifling insignificant occasion, pretended to be a point of honour.
Most gamesters begin at small game, and, by degrees, if their money, or estates, hold out, they rise to great sums; some have plaid first all their money, then their rings, coach and horses, even their wearing-cloaths and perukes, and then such a farm, and at last, perhaps, a lordship. You may read in our histories*, how
Stowe's Survey, p. 337.
Sir Miles Partridge plaid at dice, with King Henry the Eighth, for Jesus Bells, so called, which were the greatest in England, and hung in a tower of St. Paul's church, and won them; whereby he brought them to ring in his pocket, but the ropes afterwards catched about his neck, for, in Edward the Sixth's days, he was 'hanged for some criminal offences.
Consider how many persons have been ruined by play. Sir Ar thur Smithouse is yet fresh in memory: He had a fair estate, which, in a few years, he so lost at play that he died in great want and penury. Since that, Mr. Ba-, who was a clerk in the sixclerks office, and well cliented, fell to play, and won by extraordinary fortune two-thousand pieces in ready gold; was not content with that, plaid on, lost all he had won, and almost all his own estate; sold his place in the office, and at last marched off to a foreign plantation, to begin a new world with the sweat of his brow: For that is commonly the destiny of a decayed gamester, either to go to some foreign plantation, or to be preferred to the dignity of a box-keeper.
It is not denied, but most gamesters have, at one time or other, a considerable run of winning, but (such is the infatuation of play) I could never hear of a man that gave over a winner (I mean, to give over so as never to play again;) I am sure it is rara avis : For, if you once break bulk, as they phrase it, you are in again for all. Sir Humphry Foster had lost the greatest part of his estate, and then, playing, as it is said, for a dead horse, did, by happy fortune, recover it again, then gave over, and wisely too.
If a man has a competent estate of his own, and plays whether himself, or another man, shall have it, it is extreme folly: If his estate be small, then to hazard the loss even of that, and reduce himself to absolute beggary, is direct madness. Besides, it has been generally observed, that the loss of one-hundred pounds shall do you more prejudice, in disquieting your mind, than the gain of twohundred pounds shall do you good, were you sure to keep it.
Consider also your loss of time, which is invaluable, and remember what Seneca says--Nulla major est jactura, quam temporis amissio.*.
Lastly, consider the great damage the very watching brings to your health, and in particular to your eyes (for gamesters work most by night) confirmed by this distich:
Allia, vina, Venus, fumus, faba, lumen et ignis,
A PENITENT SONNET,
Written by the Lord Fitz-Gerald (a great Gamester) a little before his Death, which was in the Year 1580.
BY loss in play, men oft forget
To him, that did bestow the same,
And thousand millions moe.
The greatest loss is the loss of time. See The Improvement of Time, p. 576.
I loath to hear them swear and stare,
For all their frets and fumes in sin,
There is no wight, that us'd it more,
That curse the luckless time,
I will offend no more,
DISCOURSE upon PRODIGIOUS ABSTINENCE*,
OCCASIONED BY THE
Twelve Months Fasting of Martha Taylor, the famed
Proving that, without any Miracle, the Texture of Human Bodies may be
With an Account of the Heart, and how far it is interested in the Business of Fermentation.
BY JOHN REYNOLDS.
Humbly offered to the Royal Society.
London, printed by R.W. for Nevil Simmons, at the Sign of the Three Crowns
near Holbourn Conduit; and for Dorman Newman, at the
Quarto, containing thirty-seven Pages, besides the Title and Dedication. To the deservedly famous and my honoured friend, Walter Needham, doctor of physick, as also a member of, and curator elect to the royal society.
Ir were a solecism of the first magnitude to entertain you with any thing like a narrative of the superennial fast, under all the havocks and depredations whereof the Derbyshire damsel hath hitherto been sustained, though emaciated thereby into the ghastliness of a skeleton, to the great astonishment of the Vulgus, Your correspondencies are so faithful, and your circumstances so advantageous, as wholly to supersede the necessity of my engaging in, and the possibility of my gratifying you, by such a province. However, indulge me, while bemoaning
This is the 69th number in the Catalogue of pamphlets, in the Harleian Library.
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myself, the liberty to tell you, that, concerning the Phænomena's attending this prodigious abstinence, my own thoughts have been so miserably ravelled, and my scanty intellectuals so inuch overmatched thereby, that I could not with any complacency look into those, nor with any delight consult these. A just reverence to reformed theologues, asserting a total cessation of miracles, forbade me to immure myself in any such supernatural asylum, and a prejudicate opinion of human bodies, in this animal state, allowed me not to eurefuge my fluctuating mind in physical causes clubbing together, by an anomalous copalation, to ingender so great an heteroclite. While thus lost in the chaos of confused apprehensions, and smarting under the hurricane of my own tumultuary thoughts, I hurry away to a very worthy and compassionate friend, who with a little deliberation runs through the diagnosticks of my malady, pitieth my case, and, after some sharp conflicts with his own modesty, affords the relief of a philosophical elixir (for so I call the ensuing discourse) wholly transferring the right, which he had in the happy results of his own contemplations, upon me. Now (Sir!) what, by much importunity, I extorted from him, for my own private satisfaction, I make bold to tender the world a view of, under the countenance and protection of your great name, which is not only able to secure it from the critical pharaphrases of an envious age, but also to command it the justice of an unprejudicate perusal, with such as know your worth. To my own grief, I have found it much an anodyne; or as a pleasant lullaby to my whimpering fancy; the issue of all hath been rest: Not knowing, but it may minister the like seasonable relief to others, who have not wit and philosophy enough to start any greater objections, than myself; I judged it worthy to tra vel the world. The confidence, wherein I seek to intitle you to the patrociny of it, is no less than an assurance of your benign nature, singular ingenuity, and obliging goodness, which have begotten and pupilled in me that persuasion, ever since I had the happiness and honour to know you. Besides, your clearer intellectuals, and your vast acquaintance with nature's recondite mysteries, made it wholly incongruous to adopt any other the object of this dedication. I do still remember, with the deepest resentments of a grateful heart, the happy distinction betwixt parts spermatick and parts hematick, wherewith in pity you relieved me, when anxiously enquiring, upon a religious account, after the principium individuationis in human bodies; a notion (as to me it seems) more able to rescue the grand article of our creed concerning the resurrection of the same individual body from under suspicion, and the many gross absurdities, that some philosophasters, and half-witted atheists, would fain clog it with, than any offerture of human reason, that I ever yet had the happiness to meet with! Here methinks I could break forth into an unxa, and congratulate my great, though Jate, felicity, that the id Xapaxтnpitov tò aũμa (as Origen, in one sense or other, calls it) the principle maintaining a numerical identity in human bodies, through the whole series of vicissitudes, changes, and sanctorian transmutations, betwixt the uterine formation, and the ultimate reunition of soul and body, should, after many a tedious search, and frustraneous disquisition, at last, be suggested by an hand able, in the maintenance of it, to grapple with any contradictor. In this you have satified not only my reason, but my curiosity too; and therefore, sir, so great is my opinion of your skill (absit omnis adulationis suspicio!) that, whatever dogma steps abroad with your name written upon it, I could almost surrender up myself as a perfect captive to it, were I not a man, and, which is more, a protestant, upon an implicit faith! But I have, I know not well how, digressed, and stepped aside into things heterogeneous to the purport of this dedicatory address. I therefore return to my ingenious friend's discourse, upon which, were my judgment in these matters worth any thing, I could afford to be liberal in the bestowance of my encomiums. But, as it is shrouded under your patronage, so it is submitted to your censure; (this I am bold to do, knowing the author so much an admirer of you, that he cannot reluctate) whether more worthy of your pity or your approbation, none can bet ter judge, than your discerning and deserving self. Therefore, such as it is, I leave it to your mercy; and beg leave to tell you, that I should presently fall out with myself, did I not, upon a faithful scrutiny, find myself in the number of those that really love and honour you
YOUR requests to take
into consideration the so much famed prodigious twelve-months abstinence of the Derbyshire maid, having the force of commands, have produced these lean results of the imposed meditations. It cannot be unknown to a person of your large endowments, and hot pursuit after substantial science, that both divines, medicks, historians, yea, poets and legenders, have presented the learned world with a great variety of wonderful abstinents, some whereof I shall briefly recite, as well to reserve your sliding time for more noble employments, as to manifest that our contemporary Derbense is not so singular as some may imagine.
Most certain it is, that the learned Moses + fasted forty days, and as many nights, whilst he abode on the burning mount; the great Elijah went as long in the strength of a meal, and no less was the fast of the § holy Jesus. ¶ St. Austin reports, that, in his time, one survived forty days fasting: But most strange is the story fathered on ** Nicephorus, of three brethren affrighted by persecution into a cave, where they slept three-hundred and seventy-three years, as was known by the coin they produced, when they awaked. The learned ++ Fernelius saith, he saw a pregnant woman that lived two months without meat or drink. ‡‡Zacutus Lusitanus reports, that at Venice there lived a man that fasted forty days, another there forty-six days; and from Langius and Forstius, two considerable writers, another, full three years, and that with just stature, good habit, free countenance, and youthful wit. The famous §§ Sennertus is copious in such stories; he relates from Sigismundus and Citesius, a person, he saith, worthy of credit, that the people of Lucomoria, inhabiting some mountains in Muscovy, do every year die, in a sort, or rather, sleep or freeze, like frogs or swallows, on November 27, and so continue in that rigid state till April 24; in which time they use no evacuation, save only that a tenvious humour, distilling from their nostrils, is presently condensed by the ambient cold, much like to isicles, by the which those patent pores are precluded, and the most endangered brain fortified against the fatal assaults of brumal extremities. The same Sennertus rehearses a story of a virgin at Padua, from Viguntia, professor there, who, Anno 1598, was afflicted with a fever, then a tumour, then arthritick pains, and pains in the ventricle, and whole abdomen; then with vomiting and nauseating of food, till, at last, she could take no food for two months; then, after another fit of vomiting, purging, and bleeding, she fasted eight months, and, after a little use of food, she fasted two months more. And, to be short, he stories it of three
* Καὶ ἐπαδεύθη Μωσῆς πάση σοφία Αἰγυπτίων.
1 Kings xix. 8.
Matt. iv. 2.
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Acts vii. 9. + Exod. xxxiv. 28. August. in Epist. 86. ad Casulanum. tt Fernel. Lib. vi. Patholog Cap. 1.
§§ Sennert. Pract. Lib. iíi. Pas. 1. Sect. ii,