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In adding another volume to my series of little books on the mental phases of personal hygiene, it must not be supposed that I fail to recognise the faults of those which have already appeared. No one, probably, is more sensible of their imperfections than I am.
They all bear irritating marks of the haste with which the component papers were written at various times, with different purposes; and there is much need of amendment as to the selection made and the manner in which they have been grouped together under arbitrarily chosen titles. For example, “The Secret of a Clear Head” should have been issued as a supplement to “ Common Mind-Troubles,” of which it forms part.
It is, however, only from a literary point of view that I regret the original style of these articles, and the mode of their presentation in a collected form. To the views expressed in them I adhere, although I would gladly have the opportunity of strengthening many of the arguments used, and of simplifying much that is needlessly obscured by the language employed.
If the present collection should meet as warm and kindly a reception as that which has been accorded to its predecessors, I shall be more than ever convinced that matter is of higher moment than manner in any attempt to interest the public, and that readers and reviewers are alike generous and forbearing.
J. MORTIMER GRANVILLE.
May 25th, 1881.
HOW TO MAKE
BEST OF LIFE.
Health is not something superadded to the life and self-experience of body and mind, but a simply natural life and self-experience of body and mind without any felt hindrance from weakness or disorder in either part of the being. It is a purely relative term. What is health to one individual may be disease, or at least incapacity, to another. It is therefore necessary to speak of health as a condition or state which, while it is doubtless governed by general laws, cannot be defined in the abstract. It is important to bear this in mind when laying down what are termed maxims of personal health.
What is one man's meat may be another man's poison; and those only are wise who, in seeking to conform to what they believe to be the general laws of health, concern themselves with the prin