28 MARCH 1829, Page 13



WRITING books on health must be a very profitable occupation, for the number written is great, and the circulation of the best or the most attractive of them is said to be immense. The " Buchaneers," as THEODORE Hoois calls them, are one of the most numerous sects in domestic medicine ; and the number of editions through which the work which is their bible and text-book has passed, is an event in the history of publication. The author of the Simplicity of Health boldly tells us that he expects to make his fortune by the book—arid by the book itself, for he is not in the profession, and does not propose to advertise by means of his titlepage. It is pretty clear, however, that he has another resource in petto : he speaks shrewdly of a certain dentifrice he proposes ; and we should not be surprised pretty soon to find a little box at the chemist's, labelled with " Hortator's Toothpowder," and wrapped up in an advertisement of the " Simplicity of Health," by the inventor. We class the author of the Manual with the lay-doctors in spite of his designation of physician : judging from the contents of his book, we should conclude that he means physician in the sense of Mr. MORRISON and the ancients—a lover and student of nature ; and if we are not very far mistaken, the author belongs to the sex usually denominated as fair, though doubtless she has arrived at that time of life when all distinctions of complexion have long since faded into nothingness. The writer of Simplicity, we are pretty well convinced, is of the male gender, and his work bears evident marks of age—we should not be surprised to find that he is still older than the lady : for shortness, then, we will call " Sim- plicity" the old gentleman's book, and the "Manual" the old lady's; and it is singular how very strongly the characteristics of the two sexes are marked upon their respective productions. The Old Lady is as prosy as a tea-party : the Old Gentleman, on the con- trary, is short and crabbed; decided, tenacious, nay captious ; while the fair adviser deals in gentle and protracted obstinacy—she does not bluntly assert, or flatly contradict—she wears you into her way of thinking. It is very clear to be seen that the Old Gentleman is a most methodical person, regular, orderly, imperturbably exact : we would wager that he is a clerk in the Bank of England. We can see his whole day, nay even his night. He sleeps with his window open ; he rises early ; he never drinks tea for breakfast ; the death of his wife could not divert him from the purpose to which he de- votes the first five minutes after the morning meal : he dresses only to the waist until he washes ; this he does in cold water; he then squirts his ears and his eyes, shaves, puts on the remainder of his clothes, buckles his shoes, takes his hat and cane, and sets off' from Islington to the Bank every morning of his life as the clock strikes nine. His motions have hitherto regulated all that line of road which passes St. Luke's, traverses Finsbury Square, and ter- minates in Lothbury. He eats dry bread at one; dines at five, ab- stemiously; plays a rubber at whist; and goes to bed at eleven. He never wears flannel waistcoats : he never makes any alteration in his clothes, winter or summer: he never takes cold : his head is clear, his step firm, and his constitution sound : he will be on the superannuated list of the Bank for the next fifty years. The Old Lady calls her book a Manual: we are sure that she is a very amiable and respectable person, but we see nothing in her writings which corresponds 'to this title. A manual, that is worthy of being thumbed, ought to be the condensation of all existing in- formation on the subject treated of, arranged in such a way as to be of easy reference. Now the Old Lady has merely whipped up together all the commonplaces so usual ha the mouths of her sex and by a pretty long experience at frothing trifles, has managed to make her production stick together, and assume a shape not alto- gether unpleasins- to the eye. We would advise her to change her title : let her call it "an Old Woman's Warning, or Common- places with Comments ;" or, after the manner of the alliterative WADD, the Witty and wise, "Loose Lines for Liers-in-Bed," or something else nearer the mark than "Manual for Invalids :" with such a book for his Manual we are sure the invalid would sink under atrophy. In Hortator's precept there is some sense and seine novelty, and he is evidently a practical character—he has stuff in him ; but the woman is wishy-washy beyond bearing.