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Such was Haller's activity, and so strong the impulse that urged him to literary pursuits, that, having had the misfortune to break his right arm, he learned in a few nights to write tolerably well with his left hand. He was incessantly employed, and communicated his activity to those about him. Activity confers on those who are endowed with it, to a certain degree, a kind of empire over others; it multiplies the faculties, and consequently the existence : but it keeps him who can. not set bounds to it in a continual fever, which consumes the blood, and, in this point of view, it shortens life. Due moderation should be observed in all things.
The great Frederic, an author and philosopher upon the throne, as well as a warrior, legislator, and politician, was likewise sensible of the value of time, and knew how to employ it. Wishing to break himself of a habit which he had contracted of lying too long in bed, he gave orders that a napkin steeped in cold water should be thrown over his face to waken him. He fixed beforehand the distribution and employment of his time, which he so regulated, as never to defer the business of one day to another. Till the latest period of his long life, he rose at four o'clock every morning, and dressed himself at
once, that he might not lose valuable time in changing his clothes during the day.
Convinced that the good use of time is one of the chief concerns of the wise, Prince Henry of Prussia, like his uncle Frederic, was in this point a model for philosophers, as well as statesmen-a circumstance the more astonishing in these two eminent personages, inasmuch as it seems scarcely reconcileable with the love of independence which formed the groundwork of their character. But this formality in the order of their pursuits and amusements was perhaps one of the principal causes of whatever great or useful they performed in the course of their lives. Reading was one of the means by which Prince Henry amused his solitude: he had recourse to it for that relaxation which contributes to support the mind even under the severest mortifications.
The learned and celebrated Dr. Samuel Clarke was peculiarly cautious not to lose the least moment of his time. He always carried some book about with him, which he would read while riding in a coach or walking in the fields, or if he had any leisure moments free from company or his other studies : nay, he would read even in company itself, where he might take such a liberty without offence to good manners.
We might extend our researches and quotations much farther.* It would perhaps be curious. and instructive to study the lives of illustrious persons with a special view to the employment of their time. But it is sufficient for our purpose to have shown by striking examples the justice and excellence of our principles. The judicious employment of time alone makes men great, learned, just, good, and happy.
XXVII. Of A GENERAL DivisioN OF THE VARIOUS EMPLOYMENTS
OF TIME DURING EACH INTERVAL OF TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.
We shall now propose a general plan, susceptible of infinite modifications, for an accurate and proportionate division of the various employnients of time in each day.
The most judicious arrangement for the application of each interval of twenty-four hours seems to be the following :-Eight or even seven hours will be sufficient for sleep.+ Eight hours should be devoted to study, reading, intellectual pursuits, or official duties. The remaining eight hours of each day will be occupied by meals, different bodily exercises, walks, visits, social duties, agreeable and instructive conversation, amusements and recreations of every kind. This divişion of life may, and indeed ought to be occasionally modified according to a person's circumstances and situation; but it is adviseable to depart from it as little as possible. With respect to meals and sleep, an ancient French adage prescribed the most suitable regimen for prolonging life: it was to this effect-Rise at six, dine at ten, sup at six, and live ten times ten.* homely distich:
* The reader may particularly consult the lives of the ancient philosophers, especially Pythagoras, Plutarch's Lives, the life of Bacon, the history of Queen Elizabeth, of the Czar Peter I. of the empress Catherine II. and the biography of the great writers of the last century. Wherever we meet with durable results, we find that they'sprung from great activity judiciously directed.
+ The Salernian school, which is less indulgent, allows but Our own
six hours' sleep alike to the young and the old, scarcely seven to the sluggard, and eight to none :
Sex horas dormire sat est, juvenique, senique ;
Vix pigro septem; nulli conceditur octo. * Fontenelle retired to bed regularly at nine o'clock, rose at five (after eight hours' sleep) employed himself till dinner time, about two or three o'clock in the afternoon; then spent the other six hours in recreation, in walking, or instructive conversation with enlightened men or amiable and intelligent women. Being fond of order and quiet, the regularity of his life and the moderation of his disposition at once promoted his happiness, preserved his health, and prolonged his mortal existence, which nearly reached a century. The reader may consult with adyan
Early to bed and early to rise
Is the way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, is too apposite to our subject not to occur to every reader. A habit of retiring early to rest, and of rising early, actually appears to be very favourable to the development of the powers and the preservation of health. * Those who lie half the day in bed become effeminate and enervated; they lose that activity which, properly directed, can alone confer value on life.
The greatest men have invariably given only a small number of hours to sleep, + but just so many as are absolutely required by nature : they have thus turned to account part of the time of which it robs those who indulge it to excess.
tage Bacon's Treatise on Life and Death, which contains some very curious inquiries on the art of prolonging life.
* “ It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service : but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears. Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Franklin's Memoirs, published by his grandson. Vol. v. p. III.
+ See above, Chapter XXVI. the examples of Aristotle, Sully, and Frederic the Great. Buffon insisted that his valet should pull him out of bed by force, if he could not make him rise without it.