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perceive in many cases, that the believer in mysteries does little more, than dress up his deity in the choicest of human attributes and qualifications. I have lived among, and I feel an ardent interest in and love for, my brethren of mankind. This sentiment, which I regard with complacency in my own breast, I would gladly cherish in others. In such a cause I am well pleased to enrol myself a missionary.
February 15, 1831.
The particulars respecting the author, referred to in the title-page, will be found principally in Essays VII, IX, XIV, and XVIII.
CO N T E N T S.
Page 331, line 13, for “or that were thrown in my way," read
" that were thrown in my way, or."
OF BODY AND MIND.
THE PROLOGUE. THERE is no subject that more frequently occupies the attention of the contemplative than man: yet there are many circumstances concerning him that we shall hardly admit to have been sufficiently considered.
Familiarity breeds contempt. That which we see every day and every hour, it is difficult for us to regard with admiration. To almost every one of our stronger emotions novelty is a necessary ingredient. The simple appetites of our nature may perhaps form an exception. The appetite for food is perpetually renewed in a healthy subject with scarcely any diminution: and love, even the most refined, being combined with one of our original impulses, will sometimes for that reason withstand a thousand trials, and perpetuate itself for years. In all other cases it is required, that a fresh impulse should be given, that attention should anew be ex
cited, or we cannot admire. Things often seen pass feebly before our senses, and scarcely awake the languid soul.
“ Man is the most excellent and noble creature of the world, the principal and mighty work of God, the wonder of nature, the marvel of marvels a.”
Let us have regard to his corporeal structure. There is a simplicity in it, that at first perhaps we slightly consider. But how exactly is it fashioned for strength and agility! It is in no way incumbered. It is like the marble when it comes out of the hand of the consummate sculptor; every thing unnecessary is carefully chiseled away; and the joints, the muscles, the articulations, and the veins come out, clean and finished. It has long ago been observed, that beauty, as well as virtue, is the middle between all extremes: that nose which is neither specially long, nor short, nor thick, nor thin, is the perfect nose; and so of the rest. In like manner, when I speak of man generally, I do not regard any aberrations of form, obesity, a thick calf, a thin calf; I take the middle between all extremes; and this is emphatically man.
Man cannot keep pace with a starting horse: but he can persevere, and beats him in the end.
What an infinite variety of works is man by his corporcal form enabled to accomplish! in this respect he casts the whole creation behind him. What a machine is the human hand! When we
Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 1.