"Health," says Solomon, "is a faithful ambassador." Its voice must be heard before all others. The Creeks deified happiness, making it the supreme good; but disregarded those laws of health upon which perfect happiness can only be founded; and there is more true wisdom in the words of the "godlike Athenian" to his favorite, Euthydemus,1 and in his last sacrifice to Esculapius, than in all the oracles of Delphi and Dodona.
Know thyself. Said by Juvenal (xi-27) to be a saying descended from heaven, and called by Cicero (Tusc. Disp., 1-22) "a precept of Apollo." It was probably first used by Pythagoras, many of whose philosophical maxims were embodied in the works of the mythical Greek poetess, Phemonoe; and, adapting itself so admirably to the prevailing current of speculative inquiry, came to be employed very generally in the language of dialectics, Pittarus carrying the same thought into the practical affairs of life in hia famous aphorism: mupov rvwdtknow your opportunity.
Anthony sought happiness in his lust; Brutus in his ambition; Aristotle in the holy oracles of meditation; Napoleon in conquest; Milton in poetry; Paul in religion, and Juliet in love. We all have our ideals of happiness; to attain which, in the fullest measure, was the dream of the ages. And the desire is laudable, reasonable; and, so far as we know, entirely consistent with the will and purpose of the Creator. But it always carries with it the implication that no creative law be infringed or contravened in its accomplishment; to insure which there is the vox Dei within, answering to the vox humana without; prudence ever parleying with passion, conscience pleading with desire.
Paul understood this dual property of our nature when he spoke of the "law of the spirit," warring with "the law of his members," one unto life and the other unto death; and I strongly agree with the distinguished author of "The Simple Life," that the high-wrought nervous tension and luxury of the times, with the sexual and other vices which are their direct outgrowth, are only to be met and remedied by a return to primitive sources of pleasure and habits of life.