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CHAPTER I Habit and Nervous Strain PEOPLE form habits which cause nervous strain. When these habits have fixed themselves for long enough upon their victims, the nerves give way and severe depression or some other form of nervous prostration is the result. If such an illness turns the attention to its cause, and so starts the sufferer toward a radical change from habits which cause nervous strain to habits which bring nervous strength, then the... more...

THE BODY-REPUBLIC AND ITS DEFENSE The human body as a mechanism is far from perfect. It can be beaten or surpassed at almost every point by some product of the machine-shop or some animal. It does almost nothing perfectly or with absolute precision. As Huxley most unexpectedly remarked a score of years ago, "If a manufacturer of optical instruments were to hand us for laboratory use an instrument so full of defects and imperfections as the human... more...

INTRODUCTORY. The essays which compose this volume deal chiefly with a variety of subjects to which every physician must have given more or less thought. Some of them touch on matters concerning the mutual relation of physician and patient, but are meant to interest and instruct the laity rather than the medical attendant. The larger number have from their nature a closer relation to the needs of women than of men. It has been my fate of late... more...

PREFACE. All diseases originate in the exuberance, deficiency, or retrograde action, of the faculties of the sensorium, as their proximate cause; and consist in the disordered motions of the fibres of the body, as the proximate effect of the exertions of those disordered faculties. The sensorium possesses four distinct powers, or faculties, which are occasionally exerted, and produce all the motions of the fibrous parts of the body; these are... more...


SECT. I. OF MOTION. The whole of nature may be supposed to consist of two essences or substances; one of which may be termed spirit, and the other matter. The former of these possesses the power to commence or produce motion, and the latter to receive and communicate it. So that motion, considered as a cause, immediately precedes every effect; and, considered as an effect, it immediately succeeds every cause. The MOTIONS OF MATTER may be... more...

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THE UNTROUBLED MIND Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d,Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,Raze out the written troubles of the brain,And with some sweet oblivious antidoteCleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuffWhich weighs upon the heart? Macbeth. When a man tells me he never worries, I am inclined to think that he is either deceiving himself or trying to deceive me. The great roots of worry are conscience,... more...

THE RENEWAL OF LIFE Every human being must sooner or later know the facts concerning the origin of his life on the earth. One of the most puzzling questions is how and when such information should be given to the young. There is nothing the parent more desires than that his child should have a high ideal in regard to the sex-life and that he should live in accordance with that ideal, yet nowhere is careful and systematic education so lacking as... more...

CHAPTER I. BIOLOGY. In this chapter we propose to consider Life in its primitive manifestations. Biology is the science of living bodies, or the science of life. Every organ of a living body has a function to perform, and Physiology treats of these functions. Function means the peculiar action of some particular organ or part. There can be no vital action without change, and no change without organs. Every living thing has a structure, and... more...