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The dictum with regard to food, then, is probably that of one of our most judicious medical men, to whom this community is largely indebted, who used to say to his class, "In brief, gentlemen, you may eat what you choose, when you choose, and as often as you choose; only be careful not to look at your tongues after you have done." For as in the highest stage which in this life we come to in the religious life, a man forgets he has a soul, through ninety-nine out of a hundred of the hours which he crowds full of enterprise for the glory of God, so, in the lower plane of which we speak now, he forgets, by a corresponding law, that he has a body. The degree to which he remembers or forgets it gives an accurate measurement of its frailty or its health.

For all this, however, he has a body; and the ignorance of youth, which risks it sometimes to its ruin, is not the same grace as the confirmed habit of discipline to which we would lead youth, which uses it as not abusing it. They are, at the least, as different as is innocence from virtue. Man has a body. It is one of his tools. His mind is the other. Now, the Latin Grammar is very right in saying, "The mind itself knows not what the mind is," which is as true of Spurzheim's mind as it was of Cicero's. But the mind does know, by this time, that, whatever it is or is not, it works by means of a physical arrangement called a brain, or a pair of brains. Let the question lie, then, what the mind is. Still, in discussing the discipline of its working power, we must say something, however unwillingly, on the physiological conditions of the brain, on the privileges to which it is entitled, and the cautions which it has a right to claim from those who would effect the most the most promptly, with an organ so exquisite and so delicate.

The familiar statement that the "brain is the stomach," or the "stomach is the brain," which we sometimes hear, would probably not satisfy the anatomists. But it expresses very conveniently some results of physiology and anatomy which all workmen ought to remember. The chief of them is this, that, at the moment that you have given the stomach its work to do, you have no right to call upon the brain, at the other end of the same system, to be working for you also. When

you are journeying, you take assiduous care that your horse shall not be compelled to do any work in the hour after he has slowly eaten his grain. The horse has cost you money; and, even in the poor business of his muscular action, you know that he needs all his vital resource for the single matter of getting his grain in part stowed away. Because you happen to be impatient, you do not risk his health, which you have paid for. Now, it is true that you never bought your brain at a horse-market. It might not fetch a bid there. Certainly it ought not, if you have no more practical notion, after your experience of it, than to set it hard at work while the whole working power of your system has been pre-engaged lower down. Consider what you have done. You have poured together a pint of coffee, three hot biscuits buttered, the lean parts of two mutton-chops, and a slice of stale bread, into the reservoir which contains your provisions for the first six hours of the day. You have done this by way of breaking the fast of the night before. Give to the officials who have the present charge of those supplies an hour's uninterrupted time, after you have done: do not embarrass them by constantly sending down to ask what is seven times nine, or what is the interest for four years and eleven days on blank hundred and blankty-blank dollars at blank per cent. Give them that hour of undisturbed work on their present business, and then start the engine slowly; and thank us, who have advised you, for the promptness and efficiency of its new evolution.

Without dabbling in the detail of physiology, we may say, simply, that one precise object for which you have eaten your breakfast is to give to this delicate organ, the brain, the compensation it needs for the work it did for you yesterday. You may call it wages, if you regard the brain as your servant, or food, if you regard it as your slave, or sympathy and encouragement, if you regard it as your friend. Whatever you call the breakfast, the fact is, that the brain lost in amount of substance yesterday just in proportion as you worked hard with it. The nice observations of a few years past have shown to a certainty that the brain loses elements, which may be detected as phosphates in the fluids of the body, just in proportion to the intensity of its exercise. The masterly ar

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gument with which you kept that drowsy jury awake yesterday cost you its weight in phosphate. The letter of entreaty which you wrote last night (which you should have left till this morning) was well put, succinct, and pathetic; and it cost you, therefore, its weight in phosphate. Your calculation of the comet's orbit differs by two days from Dr. Pape's. You have analyzed your work, and, in a day's careful labor, have proved to all men and angels that you are right, and that Dr. Pape is wrong. Yes, that is very fine; but the tongs which you put into that white-heat lost some little scales of iron as you turned over and over the equations and formulas. The triumphant calculation cost your brain just its weight in phosphate. Do not cheat the servant or the friend who has served you so. Or, do you count him as a slave, do not cheat yourself by starving him. And if you mean to work him in that same fashion to-day, let him have new phosphates exquisitely and carefully elaborated from the coffee, the chop, and the bread-and-butter; let the new and the old be well introduced to each other, and on good social terms, before you give the word for new duty.

It is not simply new substance, however, which the brain. requires. While we know very little about its methods, we know that it has methods which it insists upon. We will not anticipate the physiologists so far as to say it is a Voltaic battery but this is a guess so well sustained now, that we might do that with reason; and we may say that, in the particular matter with which we are dealing, it works with exactly the laws of a Voltaic battery. Those laws are now matters understood in daily practice. Bear them in mind. If you were De Sauty working the Atlantic Telegraph, seeking the highest power from your battery, and the most precise action, would you use the very same fluids to stimulate the plates month after month, regardless of the wear of the plates, and the disintegration of the liquid? Not at all. You have not only to renew the plates at certain periods, but you have, at shorter periods, to renew the liquids. Of course you would never attempt to work without liquids in the battery. As well work without plates. Of course you would not be satisfied, even though you had the best double-combination improved battery

which science ever invented, to work by splashing a little liquid, whatever might come along, on the plates for a moment. Though some result would undoubtedly follow, it would not be the high-pressure, extreme-tension result which you are in search of. You would pour in, with the utmost care, the liquids which had been prepared with the most accurate chemistry. And even then you would have to wait for some moments, more or less, before the battery would fully work on them, or they on the battery, and the high action begin. Now, whether the brain is or is not a battery, let the physiologists settle. It works precisely by these laws which we have stated. In sleep, for instance, it is inactive, if the fluids elaborated from food are not ruthlessly poured upon it, in which case it acts in dream or nightmare. Before breakfast, it is in no condition for active work. When breakfast comes, still it must wait till the elaboration of its precise liquid is completed. When that is at length poured on, grant the few moments, more or less, of the electrician, and then you may draw your sparks, lift your heavy weights, telegraph to the other side of the world, or the other end of time, at your pleasure.

With these mere hints, we close what we have to say of the very foundation of our subject, however important that foundation may be. In most of the popular frenzies on the connection of mind and body, some piece of successful treatment of disease is seized upon, and held up as the legitimate system to be pursued in health. Because a shower-bath occasionally gives to a disordered system the freshness and vivacity which it had forgotten, people tell you to take one every day, and that you shall be sure to be fresh and alive. The experiment fails. Because a bon vivant gains spirits and energy when he cuts off half his luxurious dinner, Sylvester Graham tells him virtually, that if he will give up the other half he will have twice as much spirit and energy. And in physical exercise, because a man works more lightly and happily after a walk, or other exercise sufficient to promote digestion and renew appetite, we are told to work like Hercules in a gymnasium, and to walk like Captain Walker in the training-ground. All this is absurd. If a man wants to work with his mind, he only

wastes food, time, and life by bringing his body up to the mark of a blacksmith's or a boxer's. He neither needs to run a mile in five-thirty, nor to lift 600 pounds, nor to walk up to the house-top by the lightning-rod. He wants exercise enough to keep him in high spirits, good appetite, and that absolute health which almost forgets there is a body to be cared for. The truth is, that a prime condition of vivid intellectual labor is, that one give as little attention as is practicable to the tools with which he works. And just as the mower loses repute for mowing who is constantly setting his scythe anew, or stopping to sharpen it, and just as he advances more slowly than the more skilful workman who does not complain of his tools, the mental artisan who works lightly in the harness with which it has pleased God to clothe his spirit advances with most success and most rapidity. It is folly to pretend there are no tools. It is folly to leave them to rust in the meadow over night. It is folly to pretend there is no harness. It is folly to leave the harness without oiling it. But it is worse folly to spend all one's life in sharpening one's scythe, or in beautifying the traces or the collar.

We shall leave, for a like reason, without any notice, the questions regarding diet, how the food should be concocted which is to renew the plates of our battery, if it be a battery, and how the liquids which are to be poured on it to excite its motion. Bearing in mind the golden injunction which we have quoted, that we may eat much as we please, if we do not make it too much the subject of aftermeditation; that the brain-stomach is most likely to digest our food for us, when we do not make the stomach-brain weigh it, analyze it, account for it, and justify it; resolving that we will not thus try to think cake and eat cake too,do not discuss the relative merits of coffee, tea, mattè, cocoa, or guarana, in their province of reproducing brain, which is, according to Liebig, their duty in the economy of civilization. Swedenborg wrote his oracles on coffee; and so, they say, does Agassiz his. Most poor sermons are written on tea, and, they say, some good ones. We have read capital editorials which were written on shells; we have heard that the high law-officers in England are detected with ale when they are VOL. LXXII. 5TH S. VOL. X. NO. I.



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