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To Miss Augusta King.

New York, September 19, 1843.
A day or two after Parker left, A. and L. called to see me. I asked, “What brings you to New York?” “I don't know,” said Mr. A.; “it seems a miracle that we are here.” But whatever the miracle might be, I believe it restored no blind to sight. Mr. C. and J. H. went to hear a discussion between them and W. H. C. It was held in a very small room, the air was stifling, and both came home with a headache. I asked Mr. C. what they talked about? “I don't know.” “But can't you tell anything they said?” For some time he insisted that he could not, but being unmercifully urged, he at last said, “L. divided man into three states; the disconscious, the conscious, and the unconscious. The disconscious is the state of a pig; the conscious is the baptism by water; and the unconscious is the baptism by fire.” I laughed, and said, “Well, how did the whole discussion affect your mind?” “Why, after I had heard them talk a few minutes,” replied he, “I'll be cursed if I knew whether I had any mind at all!”

J. stayed rather longer, though he left in the midst. “How have you been pleased?” said I. “They've put my mind and body in a devil of a muss,” replied he; “and I wish they had stayed at home.” “What did they talk about?” “They did n't know themselves — how then should I? ” Being mischievous, I insisted that he should give some account. Being thus urged, he said they talked about mind and body. “What did they say?” “Why, W. H. C. seemed to think there was some connection between mind and body; but those Boston folks, so far as I could [53] understand 'em, seemed to think the body was all a d — d sham.”

This swearing, I would have you to understand, is not habitual, but was merely assumed for the moment, for fun and as a safety valve to a vexed spirit. I write it to you, thinking it may excite a smile.

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Theodore Parker (1)
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