We find the following sensible remarks in the Scalpel:— All the absolute evils of this world may be said to arise from ignorance and selfishness; perhaps all might be included in the word selfishness, if we give to that term its full and broad signification. Even our purest affections in their manifestation seem often only a desire to please ourselves, without reference to any result beyond the present. There is throughout the world a lack of perception of separate individuality, and of the consequences to that other being, of any course we may pursue. Among men the results of the acts of individuals toward each other and upon the community, have given rise to legislation and to laws. In each separate family pater-familias (sometimes indeed it is .mctter-isaailias) constitutes himself an'a bis various moods, the law by which his household is governed; and in many cases his daily emotions of anger or pleasure, disappointment or success, render his rnle benign and considerate, or harsh and tyrannical. Many again there are, who, by a steady, moral, unwavering mind, guide the household affairs, and the development of those youthful minds which God has intrusted to their care. To these, and to all, we address ourselves. It is impossible to instruct and develope correctly any two children by the same course of treatment ; it is vain to make any system a Procrustean bed ; it is inconsistent with the advance of humanity and with true individuality. While in morals there may be an absolute right and wrong, an unwavering adherence to the good and the true, the peculiar method of attainment to this rule is as varied as the minds upon the earth. The natural faculties of each child are as plain to careful observation as the sun at noon-day; and it is only necessary to know the mental bias of a child to enable us properly to determine the situation in life to which his or her powers are best adapted. Let every father, every mother, and all who hope to call themselves parents, forever bear this in mind. Watch the child at its play. Suffer it to play as it will, and note what sports attract it, wherein lies the chief pleasure. Away with those horrors, infant phenomena. Let nature alone, and do you, ignorant man, keep your great, coarse finger out of the delicate machinery, which, working by and through nature, will, at the proper moment, indicate the course to be pursued, the development which is sought. Permit childhood to guide you in the treatment thereof. Nature is a wise teacher. At infancy, the healthy body, incapable of progressive motion, demands rest; give then perfect quiet. Man's early life is a mere vegetative existence; the brain, gently pulsating beneath the unformed bone, is not yet the seat of reason, bnt of instinct; while natofe then demands entire repose, or, at the meet, passive action, whylshould a barbarous nurse and ignorant mother array the little form in thtok embroidery; dwplay it to the admiring multitude; dandle it with thumping vibration, or spin it like a boomerang in the air ? Why seek the most noisy promenade to confuse it with the uproar? Why pound it up and down over hundreds of miles, in the midst of smoke, effluvia, and all the rattle, noise and screams incident to railroad travel? Avoid those abominations called cradles; flee from the rocking of the crib, and all those swinging motions which cannot fail to produce, in a minor degree, those very agreeable sensations, that pleasant lethargy, which seizes upon one when he is taking his first lesson in drunkenness. What a renown would that agriculturist win for himself who should first invent a patent, portable, double action, self-rocking cradle for sucking calves ; what an advan. tage to the bovine race ! When by pure air, und its natural nourishment, [the pure milk of a cow, or ? goat, is far better than that of a feeble, passionate, or drunken nurse, when the mother cannot nurse her offr spring, J the child has be-= come old enough to creep nbout, down on the floor with it, and let It go; givo it a ball or something to treep after, and rest fully content that when tired, the. ? child will ease its play. Don't hurry the little ono to walk; do not encourage it to stand alone, lest bow-* legs and weak ankles be tha penalty of your too assidu ous care, of your selfish de. sire to Bee your child walk before nature has decreed it. When the proper time ar-rives the little hands will seek the tops of chair.seats, the little body will sway to and fro, erect for the first time ; soon the first step is taken, and then all is plain, Keep your books, your illuminated alphabet, your intellectual blocks, and your abortions of toys—caricatures upon nature—toys which it is no harm to fall down and whorship, since the like thereof exists neither in heaven above, nor in earth beneath, nor in the water which is under the earth. Let the child play one, two, three; what, says some one—four years! and not know a letter! Yea, my good madam, even until it reacheth the age of seven years, would we have the little mind free and unpuzzled; at liberty to observe, to desire, to construct, to play, to make out its own individuality. This is the great attribute of man—play; this divides him from the brute creation ; man alone can laugh. Remember that the longer the period of youth, the period of formation, the better, the more healthful, enduring, and longer-lived the man. Of all created beings man is the most helpless at infancy. —^^ .. - THE metal platinum, when massive, is of a lustrous white color; but it may be brought by separating it from its solutions, into so finely divided a state, that its particles no longer reflect light, and it forms a powder as black as soot. In this condition it absorbs more than 800 times its volume of oxygen gas, and this oxygen must be contained within it in a etate of condensation greater than that of liquid water.
This article was originally published with the title "Rearing Children Physiologically" in Scientific American 3, 26new, 401 (December 1860)