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EVER since the beginning of things, the fact that one kind of food is best for the body and another best for the mind has been universally known and acted upon. That this law, however, could be further extended, and applied to the differentiation of intellectual qualities and capacities, no one seems to have imagined. That it can be thus applied I hope to prove.

The mind and body so act and react on each other that whatever affects the one must in some degree affect the other, and that two dissimilar sensations in the body would produce similar conditions of the mind will scarcely be asserted. Whatever we eat, then, must affect the mind, and each article of food must produce a certain state of mind.

Every study is best pursued in a particular condition of the intellect; mathematics require one state, languages another. If we could, in childhood, so act on the mind as to fix it permanently in any condition, We could produce in the child a preference for any study; if, in later years, we had the power of influencing the mind so as to favor the state in which it had become settled, we could greatly increase its power in its favorite study. From these considerations comes my theory, - a theory which I state as follows: It is possible, by feeding a man on certain kinds of food only, to increase to any extent his mental capacities in his specialty.

I do not now intend to dwell on the theoretical details of this hypothesis; I concern myself solely with its practical aspect.

Absolutely no attention is now paid to this important matter. How is it, for example, at Memorial Hall? Not only are Juniors and Seniors, Freshmen and Sophomores, compelled to eat exactly similar provisions, but classical men and mathematical men, those who are destroying themselves with chemicals, those who are wandering in the wilds of mediaeval history, and those who are floating in the calm atmosphere of philosophy, are one and all required to eat the same kind of food, with no other difference than squash or no squash, potatoes mashed or potatoes boiled.

This barbarous state of things should continue no longer. Let Harvard, ever foremost in improvement, adopt this last, this final reform, - the complement of the elective system. Then soon will she see her graduates far surpassing in learning and intellect those of the most renowned universities of the Old World.

I have only time to sketch roughly the plan I would adopt for the practical application of the system. I would divide the whole number of members of the Dining-Hall Association into five classes, and each of these I would subdivide into two subclasses. These divisions should be composed of men who take chiefly the following subjects: A. Languages. 1. Ancient. 2. Modern. B. Mathematics. 1. Hard. 2. Soft. C. History. 1. Of Events. 2. Of Institutions. D. Physics. 1. Useful. 2. Useless. E. Philosophy. 1. Comprehensible. 2. Incomprehensible.

Owing to the neglect of this matter, there is a deplorable ignorance of the effects, on the mind, of different foods. To obviate this difficulty a committee should be at once appointed to inquire into this subject. The President, Dean, and the leading Professor in each of the above-mentioned departments might from the committee, with a corps of proctors as assistants.

The committee should at once enter upon its wide field of inquiry, which should include, besides the effects of different foods, the results of different methods of cooking. The Freshmen classes would afford excellent materials for experiments; the researches might be conducted in one of the unused rooms at Gore Hall, while the cellars of Harvard offer unusual facilities for the construction of large and convenient catacombs. At the end of five years results ought to have been obtained definite enough to warrant the inauguration of the plan.

The only suggestions as to food that I have to offer are these: that fish form the fundamental dish in all divisions; that hash be strictly prohibited, since, owing to its strangely composite nature, it cannot but have a demoralizing effect; that antidotes to poisons be placed in the food of men who take chemistry; that Freshmen be fed on a separate course adapted to their tender years.

It is to be hoped that the authorities will give this proposal the notice it deserves.

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