Life, in a peculiar sense, denotes the animated state of living creatures, or that space of time during which the soul is united to the body.

Longevity has always been highly estimated by man; hence the art of preserving life has become an important study, and ought to form part of the education of every individual.-—There is, however, a period at which mankind cease to grow ; and beyond which our existence continues for a limited time. Thus, if a person attain his full growth at the age of fifteen, he generally dies at that of sixty; provided that no accidents intervene, by which the vital principle be affected, and prematurely extinguished. According to the Calcu lations of others, every animal body is by Nature destined to live eight times the length of its growth. From the most accurate political accounts, made by comparing the bills of mortality published in different countries and climates, we shall insert the following result:-Of one thousand persons living in large cities, no less than thirty-five or thirty-six die annually; while, in country places, or small towns, only from twenty-eight to thirty deaths happen in a similar period. Among 1000 children, five die during parturition; and scarcely half that number in child-bed: but about 300 are computed to fall victims to a perverse mode of education, though suckled by their mothers; and not less than 500, or one half of all that are born, if reared by wet-nurses. The mortality of infants, indeed, has increased to a most alarming degree in this luxurious age; as the plurality of them is carried off by convulsions, and difficult teething. Among 115 dead persons, there is only one woman deceased in child-bed; and, of 400 mothers, one only by previous pains. - A greater proportion of boys than of girls die of the natural small-pox. - There are always to be found more aged persons in hilly or mountainous countries, than in low situations; and it is proved by the most authentic computation, that, of 3,125, only one individual survives the hundredth year. From the same source, the following is the most probable chance which persons may have for the duration of their lives, alter a certain fixed period, namely:

Years. i

Months.

A new-born infant will probably live -

34

6

A person of 1 year old

-

-

-

41

9

3

-

-

-

-

45

7

5

-

-

-

-

46

■ 4

30

-

-

-

-

44

9

15

-

-

-

-

41

6

20

-

-

-

-

38

3

25

-

-

-

-

35

3

30

-

-

-

-

32

3

35

-

-

-

-

29

8

40

-

-

-

-

26

6

45

-

-

-

-

23

0

50

-

-

-

-

20

11

55

-

-

-

-

17

0

do

-

-

-

-

14

2

65

-

-

-

-

11

5

70

-

-

-

-

8

11

75

-

-

-

-

6

8

80

-

-

-

-

4

10

85

-

-

-

-

3

3

90

-

-

-

-

2

0

The proportion of the female sex to that of males, with respect to the number of deceased, is as 100 to 108. - Previously to the 60th year, the chance of survivorship is in favour of women; but, after that age, men generally survive them. - Married women, on the whole, live longer than those in a state of celibacy.—From observations made for the space of 50 years, it is evident, that most persons die in the months of March, August, and September; but the fewest in November, December, and February. In populous cities, however, such as London and Paris, death makes the greatest havoc during the winter.

One half of the human race is doomed to dissolution, before they have completed the 17th year ot their age; but, after this critical period, the survivors' chance of life becomes more valuable with every year: hence, for instance, a person thirty years old, according to the preceding calculation, will probably live thirty-two years longer ; so that he may attain the age of sixty-two ; whereas a youth of fifteen, though he have a chance of living forty-one and a half years longer, will nevertheless arrive only at the 56th or 57th year of his age.

Conformably to the observations of Boerhaave, the most healthy children are born in the months of January, February, and March : indeed, the greatest number of births takes place during the two months last mentioned. The proportion of boys, annually born, is to that of girls as 104 to 100; but, on the other hand, a greater number of the former die during infancy than of the latter; so that, about the age of puberty, both sexes are nearly equal.—Among 65 or 70 infants, there is generally but one instance of twins. -The number of marriages, compared to that of the whole population of a country, is as 175 to 1000. Four children are generally computed to arise from each married couple; but, in towns, only thirty-five children from tea families.-Lastly, it is proved from the records of the most experienced physicians, that, among 100 persons living in cities, throughout the year, only twenty are indisposed, or confined to their beds for one month; or twenty-four for the space of a fortnight.

With a view to prolong human life, Lord Bacon recommends the bath, after which unctions of salves and oils are to be applied, in order to exclude the infl uence of the external air. In his opinion, a cooling diet, opiates, or narcotics, are the best means of preventing the internal consumption of the body, and to renovate it, when such decay has commenced. In certain constitutions, these remedies may possibly be productive of some advantage ; but it is an erroneous idea, that they will be universally beneficial : the whole of his project is more specious than practicable; and the basis on which his theory was apparently supported, has no real foundation.

We have already pointed out the most proper treatment of persons in a feeble state, under the article Debility ; and, at the same time, stated the necessary rules and direction for the preservation of health, and consequently the prolongation of life. There is, however, so much justice in the observations of the late illustrious Haller, on this subject, that we are induced to insert the following brief statement.—He remarks, that some of the causes which contribute to protract life, beyond its usual period, are external. Such, for instance, is climate: hence, the more northern latitudes, or about 50 degrees, are the most proper for youth ; because, in such a region, the circulation is less rapid, and acute diseases seldom

L1F dom occur. But in a more advanced age, when the pulsations of the heart are faint or slow, and its irritability is diminished, a warmer region is more salutary ; and he recommends aged persons to migrate 30 or 40 degrees, or even nearer to the equator, where they may enjoy, at pleasure, the genial warmth of the sun, or the cooling shade.

Among the internal causes of longevity, the rudiments of a sound body, descended from parents un-contaminated by hereditary disease, are to be considered as the principal : thus dropsy, gout, apoplexy, consumption, and the long train of disorders, that are too frequently transmitted from one generation to another, will in a great measure be prevented. With respect to the mode of living, Haller recommends abstemiousness during youth ; the drink should be water, which Nature has provided for our common use ; and he justly considers wine as a species of medicine. Animal food should be sparingly eaten, together with a large proportion of vegetables, and but a small addition of saline or aromatic substances. Temperance is, in every respect, an essential point; so that the quantity eaten, may be well digested, and perfectly assimilated ; that the blood may circulate regularly, and free from all corruption or infection, similar to that of an infant. Aged persons, however, may somewhat more freely indulge in the use of animal food : on the other hand, tranquillity, both of body and mind, is of the greatest consequence; as nothing is more detrimental, than an irritable or irascible disposition. Hence, a due mixture of a lively and placid temperament, is a very desirable condition, so as to be neither insensible of pleasure, nor too much addicted to the gratification of sensual desires. Moderation is, therefore, here likewise a beneficial attribute; but, with regard to sleep, old and decrepit people may be more indulgent.— Those readers, who are anxious to become acquainted with more minute rules and directions for prolonging human life, both in a state of health and disease, will derive considerable information from Professor Hufeland's " Art of pro* longing Life" (8vo. 2 vols. 10s. Bell, 1797), and from Dr. Struve's Asthenology : or, The Art of pre-serving feeble Life' (8vo. 8s. Murray and Highley, 1801), in which the subject is amply and philosophically discussed.