Imatges de pÓgina

time they are supporting two or three such families in their village; ay, and pinching themselves too, that they may have every comfort and luxury.

God grant that their eyes may be opened, before it is too late, to the folly and misery of their present course, which is leading them on by sure and certain steps in the path to destruction.

You hear the fiendish laugh, the oaths, the strife,
The curses heaped upon a helpless wife;
The wretched harlot's song, the drunkard's roar,
The noisy fiddle and the rattling floor;
You see the ragged mother, sick and pale;
You hear the miserable infant's wail :-
That is the English workman's happy lot,
That is the music to “the poor man's pot !"


DUCATION is happily becoming more practical every day ; but it is a melancholy fact, that even now, in this enlightened century, the first baby is often the object of its mother's first lessons in the art of rearing children. To teach young girls," writes Sir W. Jenner, "how not to destroy their future children is surely as important as to teach them much of what is

now considered essential for them to know. I would have an infant nursery attached to every national girls' school, so that the girls might be practically taught how to fulfil their practical duties to their family and to society."

But while we contend that the rearing of babies should be a matter for education, we would not hint that there are any hardand-fast rules, the carrying out of which would render of secondary importance the constant tender watching of the mother. Such rules, indeed, might largely apply for the welfare of the body, but who shall legislate for the mind ? Health is "

a sound mind in a sound body;" we may feed the body by rule, but the culture of the infant mind rests in very great measure upon that delicate tact and discernment which, combined with love of children, is the peculiar gift of a woman, but varies infinitely in different mothers.

The infant comes into the world perfect in form, but powerless to act; with a mind as yet untaxed by thought, wakening to the thousand external impressions which shall hereafter sway it, yet possessing a bias inherited from the mingled sentiments of many ancestors-a bias which should not be overlooked because it

does not render itself at once apparent, but should be carefully observed, in order that it may be softened, strengthened, or guided by a mother's gentle influence. No mother can be too thoughtful, too refined, too highly gifted with knowledge for this important task, for the effects of this earliest guidance are traceable throughout life. It is a matter of the commonest knowledge how infinitely children vary, even from very early infancy, in temper ; they vary equally widely in nervous sensibility to all external impressions. A flea-bite, which will pass unnoticed by one infant, will send another into a fever; the irritation of the gums in the teething of one child will cause convulsions, while another will scarcely suffer at all. One infant will remain placid and still and pleased for hours--it is a good baby ; another will chafe and fret if not constantly attended to—it is considered naughty; yet these are two definite degrees of sensibility, which every mother should recognise and allow for, and every doctor should know; for the placid child may pass with little notice into a dangerous state of illness, while the irritable infant is in a fever with a fleabite.

During the first two or three weeks of infancy the baby is almost entirely in the hands of the nurse; and this good lady very often considers that the life of a child during the first twelve hours at least of its existence is entirely due to her untiring energy; for it is a remarkably common fact, so common indeed that any one of intelligence lower than hers would regard it as natural, that the mother is unable to nurse her child for the first few hours of its existence; so the moment the doctor turns his back the buttered sugar is disposed of, while the water-gruel simmers on the hob!

Now, except in particular cases, in which the advice of the doctor in attendance should always be obtained, a child does not require anything sooner, and can be given nothing more suitable to its earliest requirements, than that which it naturally derives from its mother. And provided the mother's health be good, and she be able to nurse her child, no other food whatever is necessary before it is six or seven months old. But in order that this rule should hold good, it is necessary that the mother pay much attention to her own health, have a well-ventilated room and plenty of nutritious and suitable food, otherwise neither she nor the child will get on well. It is for this reason often necessary for the poor partially to wean their infants before they are six months old. There is, however, another very important fact to be borne in mind, viz. : that the child does not require to be nursed every time it cries.

During the first month an infant should be nursed every two hours ; afterwards the interval should be gradually prolonged to three or four hours. Too frequent feeding is one of the commonest causes of illness (sickness and diarrhoea) in infants. It is

of course important that the mother should get as many hours of uninterrupted rest at night as possible, and by giving the last meal late in the evening, and keeping to the same time, say eleven o'clock at night, the baby will sometimes get into the habit of resting contented for four or five hours, thereby recruiting its own digestive power and allowing its mother time for a refreshing sleep. When maternal rest is imperative, the baby may be fed once during the night by the nurse with a little weak milk and-water.

Babies should be as soon as possible made to sleep in their cradles, instead of being lulled to rest in their mothers' arms; they will very readily get into the habit, and thus interfere less with other household duties an important point with poor people.

It very commonly happens that the mother is unable to nurse her child for six months; sometimes not for three ; sometimes, but more rarely, not even for one. It is of the utmost importance in these cases that the child should derive nourishment from its mother, either wholly or in part, for as long a period as possible : infants brought up by hand very rarely live, and if they are suckled for even a week or a fortnight their chances of life are much improved. When the mother is from any cause totally un. able to continue to suckle her child before it is six weeks old, a wet-nurse should if possible be obtained, and should be most carefully selected by a medical man : one important point to be attended to in the selection is that the child of the nurse be of the same age as the foster-child.

The four constituents of milk which render it sufficient for every requirement of an infant are sugar, cream or fat, albuminous matter (casein or curd), and salts. Human milk and that of other animals contain these substances in various proportions, each variety being best adapted to the wants of the particular species. Cow's milk is heavier than human milk, for which it is most commonly used as a substitute; it contains more albuminous matter, a larger proportion of salts, and is less sweet. In order to render this milk better adapted for the consumption of the human infant, it must be diluted with water and sweetened. The amount of dilution must vary with the age of the child : at first an equal part of water, or even a little more if the milk be very good; indeed, until the child is a fortnight old, one part of milk to two of water with a little cream is the best mixture; after the child is a month or six weeks old, about a third part of water must be added ; after three or four months, a fourth part of water ; and when the child is five or six months old, the milk may be given undiluted. The infant should be raised in the nurse's arms while taking the bottle. It is a common but improper practice for nurses and mothers to feed their children while lying flat on their laps.

The amount of milk or milk-and-water given at each meal must also vary with the age of the child—from six to eight tablespoonfuls every two hours at first, gradually increasing to a breakfastcupful every four hours when the child is five or six months old. A small lump of loaf sugar or half a small teaspoonful of sugar of milk should be added to each bottle of milk to sweeten it. Moist sugar should never be used for this purpose, on account of its liability to set up fermentation in the milk, and thus cause it to disagree. Cow's milk curdles more firmly than human milk, and for this reason sometimes disagrees. To rectify this, lime water may be substituted, either in part or altogether, for the water ; or carbonate of potash may be added, in the proportion of a grain to each ounce of the milk : the former addition is most useful when the milk has a tendency to produce diarrhoea, the latter when the reverse is the case. By these means also a certain amount of acidity, not uncommon in the milk of London cows, may be rectified. A small quantity of cream, one or two teaspoonfuls to the half-pint, is often a desirable addition, particularly to London milk.

The milk should be warmed by holding the bottle containing it in hot water. When, notwithstanding the above precautions, it disagrees with the child, it should be boiled, by which means the proportion of curd is much diminished. It matters very little what feeding-bottle is used, so long as it draws easily, and can without difficulty be kept perfectly clean. It should be rinsed out with clean water every time it is used, some clean water should be drawn through the tube, and the mouthpiece cleaned, and the tube and cork placed in water until again wanted. The smallest drop of milk left in the bottle or tube turns sour, and will inevitably set up fermentation in any milk which is added to it, and make the child ill.

But proper food is not the only thing which is essential to a child's health, if not to its life. Good fresh air, abundance of light and warm clothing, are scarcely less so. The nursery, even for the smallest infant, should be the most cheerful room in the house, airy, well lighted, its walls hung with attractive pictures. For the first two or three weeks, before the infant can be said to have migrated into the nursery, the light must not be too glaring. The child should be washed all over with warm water at least once daily. In summer-time it should be taken out in fine weather once or twice a day, after it is a fortnight old, at first for a short time only; in winter-time it should not be taken out until it is at least a month or six weeks old ; it should be carried by the nurse until it is four or five months old, by this means it is kept warmer, and, from frequent change of position, gets more exercise. After this age, however, a perambulator is to be preferred, well supplied with wraps, and with a hot-water bottle for the feet. The simple plan of carrying an infant which is adopted in this country is, perhaps, the best for all purposes. By the frequent change of position there is no chance of the limbs becoming cramped, while much exercise is secured to the back ; but caution is necessary here, for some infants are particularly weak in the back, and must only be held in a sitting position for a very short time together.

It is of the utmost importance to keep children warm; and the younger the child is, the more carefully must this rule be observed. Young infants have no means of keeping themselves warm, and are in this respect, as in others, wholly dependent upon those about them. It is a mistake commonly made by robust people, who say that children are made hardy by exposure to cold. Provided it be abundantly supplied with good fresh air, a child cannot be too carefully protected against chills and draughts. An apparently trivial discomfort, namely, coldness of the feet, should always be looked for and obviated; for it often leads to much suffering, particularly from uneasiness and cramps in the stomach. Babies should learn to exercise and to feel their limbs from a very early age : a good arrangement for this purpose is to have a soft rug on which they can lie and kick about at pleasure.

The law requires that an infant shall be vaccinated before it has reached the age of four months, unless a medical certificate shall have been obtained stating that the child's health is too delicate to render the vaccination advisable before that time. Two days after vaccination has been successfully performed on a healthy child, a small red pimple appears, upon which a vesicle or bleb forms, which reaches its perfect condition on the eighth day, and becomes surrounded by a red ring. This begins to fade on the eleventh day, and the vesicle dries up and heals, leaving a small

The child is usually somewhat feverish and fretful during this time, and not unfrequently a few spots are scattered over the body, which are hard and shotty to the touch. These are due to the vaccination, and need excite no alarm. It is necessary to be particularly careful to keep the child from exposure to cold, but beyond this no special precautions are required.


WHY NOT FOR ME? ARK ! how the gospel trumpet The streams thereof are rich and free: sounds!

[abounds; And why, my soul, why not for thee.? Christ and free grace therein Free grace to such as sinners be: Thus Jesus came the poor to bless, And if free grace, why not for me? To clothe them in God's righteousness; The Saviour died, and by His blood

This robe is spotless, full, and free: rought rebel sinners home to God;

And why, my soul, why not for thee? He died to set the captives free:

Eternal life by Christ is given, And why, my soul, why not for thee?

And ruined rebels raised to heaven; The blood of Christ, how sweet it Then sing of grace so rich and free, sounds,

And shout, my soul, 'tis all for thee! To cleanse and heal the sinner's wounds!

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