LOVE AND ITS HIDDEN HISTORY.
chagrin differs from Balzac in its capacity of being repaired, and
brought back to its full size, after every exertion.
" ' For example, this present lecture, whatever its intellectual
worth to you, has a certain physical value to me, which is, con¬
ceivably, expressible by the number of grains of protoplasm and
other bodily substance wasted in maintaining my vital processes
during its delivery. My peau de chagrin will be distinctly smaller
at the end of the discourse than it was at the beginning. By and
b}-, I shall probabty have recourse to the substance commonly
called mutton, for the purpose of stretching it back to its original
size. Now, this mutton was once the living protoplasm, more or
less modified, of another animal, — a sheep. As I shall eat it, it is
the same matter altered, not only by death, but by exposure to
sundry artificial operations in the process of cooking.
" ' But these changes, whatever be their extent, have not ren¬
dered it incompetent to resume its old functions as matter of life.
A singular inward laboratory which I possess will dissolve a cer¬
tain portion of the modified protoplasm ; the solution so formed
will pass into my veins ; and the subtle influences to which it will
then be subjected will convert the dead protoplasm, and transub¬
stantiate sheep into man.
" ' Nor is this all. If digestion were a thing to be trifled with, I
might sup upon a lobster, and the matter of life of the crustacean
would undergo the same wonderful metamorphosis into humanity.
And, were I to return to my own place by sea, and undergo ship¬
wreck, the Crustacea might, and probably would, return the com¬
pliment, and demonstrate our common nature by turning my pro¬
toplasm into living lobster. Or, if nothing better were to be had,
I might supply my wants with mere bread, and I should find the
protoplasm of the wheat-plant to be convertible into man, with no
more trouble than that of the sheep, and with far less, I fancy,
than that of the lobster.' "
I hold that every one of us is born with a certain amount of
protoplasinal capital, both in fact and the power of gaining it.
Nothing wastes so much as heat, hence the affections will not bear
too much tampering with, for of all the earthly powers of life-
destroying, none are so effectual as the passions, especially the
amorous, for it destroys and saps the very citadel and capital of