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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/335

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DESTRUCTIVE TENDENCIES OF MODERN LIFE

Probably the day has gone by when it is necessary to argue with intelligent people in regard to the relationship between a man's intellectual power and his bodily health and development. Had we not the splendid example of the Greek civilization before us, we could still reason it out from analogy and observation that a healthy mind can not under average conditions exist outside of a healthy body. As President Eliot has neatly put it, "The scholar must use strenuously a tough and alert body and possess a large vitality and a sober courage."

The contempt in which bodily exercise has been held for many centuries and the undue laudation of mental as opposed to physical prowess are to a great extent at least a residuum of the reaction of the ecclesiastical and medical superstitions of the dark ages against the natural methods of the Greek philosophers and against what was considered a too predominant admiration for the physical as opposed to the spiritual side of life. It seems to have been considered heathenish to be well formed and well developed, erect of body and broad of chest. The ideal saint was anæmic to a degree; the ideal successful lawyer or prosperous merchant was of e full round belly with good capon lined'; the ideal lady was Miss Lydia Languish with wasp-like waist and no organs in particular. For the last half century, however, the reaction toward universal physical prowess and bodily excellence has been advancing, and just now with its gradually accelerated momentum it is making wonderful progress. A great and widespread awakening is taking place in regard to the proposition which I have laid down as axiomatic: that there must be a synchronous and properly balanced development of mind and body, if man is to even approximate his glorious destiny.

Unfortunately, many of the simplest rules relating to the development and care of the human body are as yet enveloped in mystery, or, to speak more exactly, no two authorities seem to agree upon them. The investigation of the régime in vogue in a number of sanatoria by Professor Fisher has demonstrated that scarcely any two of them agree in the diet prescribed for consumptive patients. The calorific value of the prescribed food for each person ranges, in the different institutions, between 2,000 and 5,500 calories per diem, or a difference of 250 per cent. If then in a disease which has received the great amount of attention and study which has been bestowed upon tuberculosis, for a number of years, and in which the modern treatment is mainly confined to the three natural agencies of diet, fresh air and sunlight, there is no accord amongst clinicians as to the standard diet, what wonder is it that in other diseased conditions and more especially in health the greatest confusion prevails in regard to the best form of diet?

Chemical and microscopic experiments in laboratories, however im-