'On the Diseases of Literary and Sedentary Persons' by Samuel Tissot (1768)

A selection from 'On the Diseases of Literary and Sedentary Persons' by Samuel Tissot, 1768.


"It is an old complaint, that study, though essentially necessary to the mind, is hurtful to the body; and Celsus has intimated the necessity of a remedy. Those that are of weak constitutions, says he, as most studious men are, should take greater care than others, that what is impaired by application to their studies may be repaired by attention to their constitutions. And Plutarch, an admirable judge of what is right and becoming, declares it to be a shame, that the learned should spend days and nights in useless investigations, and at the same time neglect the art of preserving their health; being, doubtless, ignorant that the healing science was formerly looked upon as a part of wisdom, and that those chiefly required medical assistance, who have impaired their bodily strength by anxious thoughts and watchfulness.

There are two principal sources, from whence all the sufferings of the studious flow; the constant exercise and application of the mind, and the continual rest of the body; for they are as indolent in body, as they are budy and active in mind. By enumerating the ills, that arise from both causes, a dreadful crop of diseases will be displayed."