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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/679

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tenance, became thinkers and inventors. But learning is not now dependent on invalids; minds are not the better now for having to work in feeble bodies; each nation needs, for its full international influence, both health and knowledge, and such various and variable health, that there should be few places on earth or water in which some of its people can not live, and multiply, and be prosperous.

If, therefore, we or any other people are to continue ambitious for the extension of that higher mental power of which we boast, or for the success of the bold spirit of enterprise with which we seek to replenish the earth and subdue it; if we desire that the lessons of Christianity and of true civilization should be spread over the world, we must strive for an abundance of this national health—tough, pliant, and elastic—ready and fit for any good work anywhere.—Journal of the Society of Arts.




BUT we recognize the necessity of a more thorough altruism than that which merely considers the rights of others. That a community should progress as it ought, each member of the body social should feel that it is a part of his personal duty to consider the well-being of the rest. The weakness and the want of skill, the ill-health and the imperfect education of his fellows, are injurious to him and to all. In such degree as weakness or want of skill affects the productive power of some members of the community, the comfort and happiness of the stronger and more skillful are affected. The weak and inefficient members, who can not provide for themselves, must be provided for somehow. The trouble to the community which would arise from any plan for leaving the weak and unskillful unprovided for would be much more serious than the loss arising from the efforts made to help them. But these efforts being so much deducted from the general efforts of the stronger and more skillful members of the body social must be counted as loss. So that it is the interest of all to see that there may be as few weak and unskillful persons in the community as possible.

In like manner the sickness of our fellows is a matter in which we are interested. Apart from the necessity of restoring the sick to such health and strength as may fit them to take their part in the work of the community, the illness of others may bring illness to ourselves. Fever and pestilence, though they may first attack the weak, presently extend their attacks to those who had been strong. If even a man