Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850,

BY GEORGE P. PUTNAM,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District

of New-York.

John F. Trow, PRINTER,

49, 51 & 53 Ann-st.

1934

<tars

PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

The previous edition of the following work having been fo: some years exhausted, and frequent inquiries for it having been made of the author, he has taken advantage of his earliest leisure to prepare a second edition. In doing this he has re-written nearly the whole volume, and added to it a large amount of new matter. The division of the chapters is left the same as in the previous edition,though each has been more or less enlarged—and the general arrangement of the subjects has not been essentially altered. That this edition will be found improved by the labors bestowed upon it, is a hope with which the author ventures to flatter himself, but on this point it is for others to decide.

Fort Washington, City of New York,

August 6th, 1850.

INTRODUCTION.

WHATEVER speculative views we may entertain in regard to mind-however distinct in its nature we may deem it to be from matter of the fact that it is essentially involved with our organic structure, and that between the two a reciprocation of influence is constantly and necessarily maintained, we are sufficiently assured. Of the mental constitution and its laws, we have not the faintest knowledge except as they reveal themselves through the medium of certain material conformations. Wherever these are discovered we are convinced that mind is, or has been, conjoined with them. Without such arrangements of matter, its astonishing phenomena have never been disclosed to us.

The mutual relationship and constant interchange of action subsisting between our mental and corporeal natures, can scarce have escaped even the most careless observation. Let the functions of either be disturbed, and more or less disorder will straightway be reflected to those of the other. The hardiest frame must suffer under the agitations and afflictions of the mind; and the firmest mind can. not long remain unharmed amid the infirmities and sufferings of the body.

Mind and body ought always to be studied together, and under their mutual and necessary relationships, otherwise our views of the animal constitution will be limited and erroneous. It has been said, that the less we know of the corporeal, the more we fancy we know of the spiritual world; and the contrary is doubtless equally true. He whose researches are altogether physical, or altogether metaphysical, is very liable to become exclusively material, or exclusively spiritual in his views.

The leading design of the present volume, as implied in its title, is to elucidate the influence of intellect and passion upon the health and endurance of the human organization. The character and importance of this influence has, it is believed, been but imperfectly understood and appreciated by mankind at large. Few, we imagine, have formed any adequate estimate of the sum of bodily ills which originate in the mind. Even the medical profession, concentrating their attention upon the physical, are very liable to neglect the mental causes of disease, and thus are patients sometimes subjected to the harshest medicines of the pharmacopoeia, the true origin of whose malady is some inward and rooted sorrow, which a moral balm alone can reach.

The work we are introducing will be divided into two Parts. Under the first we shall consider the intellectual operations in view of their influence upon the general functions of the body; but as their effects on the vital economy

« ForrigeFortsett »