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THE preface to the first edition of this work explains the motives which led to its publication in 1858. It was received with favour, the entire edition having been exhausted within the year. I did not, however, republish it, because it was my wish to indite a more complete work, one more worthy of the rather ambitious title I had selected, and because I had not the leisure to accomplish this design. Confirmed invalidism overtook me shortly after the essay appeared, and I then determined to follow to the letter the hygienic principles which I had propounded. Indeed it is owing to my having had the courage so to do that I then escaped death, and that now flattering friends tell me that I am a better man, physically, than I was twenty years ago!

One of the rules of conduct that I laid down for my guidance, and to which I have scrupulously adhered ever since, was to do nothing whatever, professionally, scientifically, or even socially, that could not be accomplished between a nine o'clock breakfast and a six o'clock dinner. Such a resolve, steadily carried out, considerably curtails literary leisure, and mars ambitious literary designs. Moreover, my thoughts passed into other channels, and other literary labours took precedence.

Some little time ago I casually took up the allbut-forgotten book, and read it through. My "matured" verdict was that the physiological errors it points out, and the admonitions it gives, apply as much to the present time as to the past, and that it was worth rescuing from oblivion in its pristine shape and form. So I have brought the physiological section up to the present state of science, and have merely revised the second part of the work, according to Horace's rule (De Arte Poeticâ, v. 445):

"Vir bonus et prudens versus reprehendet inertes,
Culpabit duros, incomtis allinet atrum

Transverso calamo signum; ambitiosa recidet

Ornamenta; parùm claris lucem dare coget

Arguet ambiguè dictum; mutanda notabit;
Fiet Aristarchus!"

I am aware that since the appearance of this

essay several more complete works have been published on the same subjects, works which may be thought to render its republication unnecessary.

I would, however, remark that a writer like myself, who has been thirty years before the public, and who is the author of various successful books, has a benevolent, sympathetic auditory scattered over the world, composed of thousands whom he knows not, and never will know, and to them he can at all times appeal with confidence; they constitute a community over whom he exercises a hidden influence. They will read what he writes, will listen to what he says, when they would remain apathetic to perhaps better men, "charm they ever so wisely." It is to these unknown friends that I principally address myself, hoping, with their aid, to contribute to the destruction of widespread errors, and to give a slight onward impulsion to the chariot of truth and of scientific progress.

Last year I retired entirely from practice in England, intending henceforth to limit myself to winter labours in the south of Europe (Mentone), thus imitating the "Law Lords," and securing a "long vacation," a long brain rest. The first summer's leisure was to have been

spent in

renewing acquaintance with the English poets, the friends of early youth, in my country home, reclining in a hammock under the trees. The fact that a sense of duty has led me to sacrifice such a blissful holiday to the revision of former scientific researches must be my excuse, should an excuse be considered necessary, for this reappearance in the field of hygienic and sanitary science.

September, 1876.


SEVERAL favourable reviews which have appeared recently, in influential quarters, have brought the second edition of this work to an honourable but rather unexpected close. I have once more carefully revised it, and trust that the third edition may continue to deserve the cordial reception given to its predecessors.


October 8, 1877.

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