Page:An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798).djvu/254

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possesses a power, if strongly excited, of fixing its attention on other subjects.

I do not, however, mean to say, that a sound and vigorous mind has no tendency whatever to keep the body in a similar state. So close and intimate is the union of mind and body, that it would be highly extraordinary, if they did not mutually assist each other's functions. But, perhaps, upon a comparison, the body has more effect upon the mind, than the mind upon the body. The first object of the mind is to act as purveyor to the wants of the body. When these wants are completely satisfied, an active mind is indeed apt to wander further, to range over the fields of science, or sport in the regions of imagination, to fancy that it has "shuffled off this mortal coil," and is seeking its kindred element. But all these efforts are like