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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
M. EDGEWORTH LAZARUS, M.D.,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.
THE MOST VIGOROUS MAN,
The most Beautiful Woman.
A DIVINE HUMANITY,
The Author Medicates this Work.
PASSIONAL Hygiene! Why this is adding insult to injury. We have been nearly bored to death for the last fifteen years, with prosy moralities about health, and the dragchian of duty has been hitched on to the simplest offices of life, until what shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed, have come to be the all-absorbing meditations and discussions of a large class of cabbage-headed philosophers, which, besides the bad taste of the thing, makes them no healthier than other folks. Here comes now a new kind of Hygiene, passional hygiene-passional! there is no such word in the dictionary! O! suppose it means the influence of the mind upon the body. แ Dear children, you must never let your angry passions rise.” A double-distilled dose of morality!--the old plan of catching sparrows by throwing salt on their tails!-how humble and obedient the passions have always been before the majesty of MORAL PRECEPTS!!!
Reader, you never were more mistaken, and you are going to be considerably amused. This is not another moral nightmare, come to brood over the conscience of the poor individual who already dares not call his soul his own, and whom the moral physiologists are persuading out of the ownership of his body also. I have not the melancholy ambition to beplaster your life with rules and doctrines, or to stretch you on the procrustean bed of my ism. I also sincerely pity the poor victims who dare not eat, drink, sleep, move or speak, for fear of doing something wrong, and whose self-perfectioneering, like the futile labor of Sysiphus,
only adds momentum to their vices, while exhausting the resistance of their conservative instincts, and too often either ends in paralysis, or reacts into reckless outrage of harmonies.
The author is well aware, that our good practice in Hygiene, as elsewhere, has very little to do with our book knowledge, and often stands in the inverse ratio to it. He does not flatter himself that he shall add immensely to the stock of private virtues, or even to that of positive science, by new facts; every one may, however, find something to add to his store and new combinations, augmenting the value of old materials. Health, as it is here treated, is something more than a dietetic code of rules for private use; it is the entire harmony of man with his planet and his universe, not a scheme of individual evasion, to dodge the common evil, but a theory of integral or social redemption. The Sun does not remain content with moralizing all the grains of soil, rock or metal in a planet, and obtaining their private assent in order to organize the orbits of his planetary system. He acts on their collective masses, and these co-ordinate to the superior type of their movement the behavior of their atoms. It is thus with armies, races and societies; the generic movement rules that of the species, and the movement of the species controls the individual, as in armies it is that of his regiment or company; in society, that of his caste or class. Order, fashion, esprit du corps, &c., are terms expressive of this subordination, and whether we are to expect the Combined Social Order from the executive audacity of some despot, from the persuasive virtue of some hero, or from the spontaneous alliance of many humbler efforts; we need not, before its attainment, expect the laws of hygiene and harmony to pass from an abstract into a concrete state, or seriously to modify the course of private action.
Therefore, after exposing successively the natural harmonies of human life with the elements, with vegetable and animal beings, and with the Sun, great pivot of the general movement, I have presented the mechanism of the COMBINED ORDER in a lively and practical aspect, without aiming at scientific completeness, since this, which constitutes only an episode in the plan of my book, has been elsewhere elaborately treated.
In this book Man is considered soul and body together, or in