colours or discolours, turns to wax in the warmth of 
June, hardens to tallow in the murk of February. The 
creature within can only gaze through the pane—smudged 
or rosy; it cannot separate off from the body like the 
sheath of a knife or the pod of a pea for a single instant; 
it must go through the whole unending procession of 
changes, heat and cold, comfort and discomfort, hunger 
and satisfaction, health and illness, until there comes the 
inevitable catastrophe; the body smashes itself to smither-
eens, and the soul (it is said) escapes. But of all this daily 
drama of the body there is no record. People write always 
about the doings of the mind; the thoughts that come 
to it; its noble plans; how it has civilised the universe. 
They show it ignoring the body in the philosopher's turret; 
or kicking the body, like an old leather football, across 
leagues of snow and desert in the pursuit of conquest or 
discovery. Those great wars which it wages by itself,
with the mind a slave to it, in the solitude of the bedroom 
against the assault of fever or the oncome of melancholia, 
are neglected. Nor is the reason far to seek. To look 
these things squarely in the face would need the courage 
of a lion tamer; a robust philosophy; a reason rooted 
in the bowels of the earth. Short of these, this monster, 
the body, this miracle, its pain, will soon make us taper 
into mysticism, or rise, with rapid beats of the wings, 
into the raptures of transcendentalism. More practically
speaking, the public would say that a novel devoted to 
influenza lacked plot; they would complain that there was 
no love in it—wrongly however, for illness often takes on 
the disguise of love, and plays the same odd tricks,
investing certain faces with divinity, setting us to wait, 
hour after hour, with pricked ears for the creaking of a 
stair, and wreathing the faces of the absent (plain enough 
in health, Heaven knows) with a new significance, while 
the mind concocts a thousand legends and romances 
about them for which it has neither time nor liberty