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William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part I


59. To this a spare Diet contributes much. Eat therefore to live, and do not live to eat. That’s like a Man, but this below a Beast.

60. Have wholesome, but not costly Food, and be rather cleanly than dainty in ordering it.

61. The Receipts of Cookery are swell’d to a Volume, but a good Stomach excels them all; to which nothing contributes more than Industry and Temperance.

62. It is a cruel Folly to offer up to Ostentation so many Lives of Creatures, as make up the State of our Treats; as it is a prodigal one to spend more in Sawce than in Meat.

63. The Proverb says, That enough is as good as a Feast: But it is certainly better, if Superfluity be a Fault, which never fails to be at Festivals.

64. If thou rise with an Appetite, thou art sure never to sit down without one.

65. Rarely drink but when thou art dry; nor then, between Meals, if it can be avoided.

66. The smaller the Drink, the clearer the Head, and the cooler the Blood; which are great Benefits in Temper and Business.

67. Strong Liquors are good at some Times, and in small Proportions; being better for Physick than Food, for Cordials than common Use.

68. The most common things are the most useful; which shews both the Wisdom and Goodness of the great Lord of the Family of the World.

69. What therefore he has made rare, don’t thou use too commonly: Lest thou shouldest invert the Use and Order of things; become Wanton and Voluptuous; and thy Blessings prove a Curse.

70. Let nothing be lost, said our Saviour. But that is lost that is misused.

71. Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thy self, nor do thy self what looks to thee unseemly, and intemperate in another.

72. All Excess is ill: But Drunkenness is of the worst Sort. It spoils Health, dismounts the Mind, and unmans Men: It reveals Secrets, is Quarrelsome, Lascivious, Impudent, Dangerous and Mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a Man: Because he is so long void of Reason, that distinguishes a Man from a Beast.