Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/457

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the whole, well known, for best construction, and it is well established that a frugal yet ample supply is essential of those substances which furnish in potential form the energy which is demanded by the animal machine. Especially should we avoid such kinds as will clog the machine and impede the evolution of the potential energies in kinetic form. These constitute main conditions of production and of maintenance of the maximum efficiency of the machine, and also of its passenger, the inner man, with whom, even in our individual selves, we have so uncertain and so mysterious an acquaintance.

Man has learned by scientific methods to identify and utilize a vast number of materials distributed amongst the various kingdoms of nature and the physician and the surgeon are able to perform wonders in the maintenance and repair of this mysterious motor. Plainness and simplicity of diet, frugality and maintained efficiency of the apparatus of preparation, are thus requisites for highest attainments, whether in physical or in intellectual and moral and spiritual realms, whether in gymnastics, in learning, or in imagination and in spiritual life. The famous athlete, the great man of science, the philosopher, the poet or the divine, each and all live a better life and are more perfect men in proportion as they perfect the physical side.

Methods of life and habits of body and mind exercise an enormous influence upon the health, happiness, capacity and achievement of the man. It is the daily experience of every one that only when the body is at its best can the mind and the soul rise to highest levels. Keep the animal machine in good order and the highest efficiency of the being dwelling within it is maintained—and only thus can efficiency be attained or maintained.

The teachings of comparative physiology, indicating what are the desirable and what the undesirable materials of construction, and the teachings of the natural instincts which, in the child as in the animal, reject harmful substances, give ample instructions to him who seeks, honestly and earnestly, for such knowledge. Guided by these precepts, an ambitious and intelligent man can usually find his way safely and successfully through the snares of this world which everywhere trap the foolish and unwary.

With ordinarily good physical health and a good body within which to dwell, at the outset, the way by which to an approximation of the ideal perfection of Agassiz, the 'soul of the sage in the body of the athlete,' is open to every man. No aspiring and earnest youth need doubt which is the proper course. The way toward the ideal, the perfect, man, is open to him.

The prerequisites of a successful life are health, strength, intelligence; power of self-control and of self-direction; selection of that profession, or that vocation, which gives largest opportunity for the pecul-