Imatges de pàgina

even that which owes its origin to conquest, when it has become necessary for the public tranquillity and order, when it is the protector of property, the defender of personal liberty. Tell them that one of the most essential rights of citizens is that of denouncing the abuses of administration, and the vices of the laws, without ceasing to obey them, without deviating 'from the respect which is due to the magistrates; that it is even a duty to tell the truth at the risk of exposing one's self to unjust resentments; that sooner or later this truth will become useful, but that it would be criminal to wish to hasten its triumph by violence; that the excess of tyranny alone can justify an insurrection; and that the oppression must be very cruel indeed where the evils it may produce can be equal to those which are the inevitable consequences of a tumultuous revolution in political institutions. P. 231.

The original is written with great spirit; the version is in general faithful. Prefixed to the latter is a preface by the translator, with a proper panegyric on the author; and in translating it he has done an essential service to the British public.

ART. V.-A familiar Treatise on the Physical Education of Childa

ren, during the early Period of their Lives: being a Compendium addressed to all Mothers who are seriously concerned for the Welfare of their Offspring. Translated from the German of Christian Augustus Struve, M.D. &C. To which are prefixed Three introductory Lectures on the same Subject, by A. F. M. Willich, M.D. É c. 8vo. 85. Boards. Murray and Highley.

Translateriously concerne Compen

Where introdusustus Sermons


ON first perusing this work, and the three valuable introductory lectures by Dr. Willich, we intended to have engaged at considerable length in this inquiry: we find, however, much to commend, many things to disapprove; and the latter: are so minutely blended with the former, that to point out each would be a task almost endless. We shall therefore commence with noticing the translator's lectures, giving a concise view of what we conceive to be the securest path in this devious and doubtful progress, and, in the most striking parts, noticing Dr. Willich's opinions, whether they agree with or differ from our own.

Perhaps the historical sketch of the customs and manners of different nations, which constitutes a great portion of the first lecture, might have been omitted: we are seldom acquainted with their source, nor are we always certain of their effects. The present race is changed-we will not say that it has dege. nerated; for though we have lost the robust hardy constitutions of our ancestors, we have not their inflammatory habits, their

scorbutic nor their putrid diseases. On the whole, we think mankind have gained in health and comfort by the change. What is due to the later period of marriage we dare not say, because modes of life, and numerous other circumstances, must be taken into the account; and, if the two extremes of tender youth and imbecile old age be avoided, we see no great difference that can result from earlier or later matrimonial connexions. In the following recapitulation of what we have obtained and lost by modern refinements, we cannot wholly agree with our author. In the higher circles, there is not the imbecillity or irresolution that he suspects to exist; and we will tell him, that if it ever gain ground, it will be from his own system of a private education. The boy who has fought his way through Eton or Harrow will never be timid or irresolute in any situation. There never were more finely-drawn portraits than those of Geminus and Gemellus in the Observer, nor more faithful likenessęs. But we forget the promised "recapitulation.'

A few words, then, will be sufficient to recapitulate what we have actually gained, or lost, by our modern refinements in general. The lower orders of the people, especially in large towns, appear to have acquired immoral habits and relaxed principles, instead of their an. cient simplicity of manners and unshaken integrity ;-the middle ranks of society are perhaps the greatest gainers, as they are better informed, and have attained more skill in such pursuits as depend upon the combined agency of mental and physical talent ;-lastly, the higher ranks have become unquestionably more enlightened with respect to their true interest ; but I cannot repress the observation, that they have also become subject to hereditary diseases unknown to their ancestors, and that the acquisition of mental powers and abilities appears to be in no just proportion to the obvious decrease of physical energy. In short, our attainments in ethics are more extensive, perhaps more systematic; but I hope to be forgiven, when I assert that the present age appears to labour under a certain mental and corporeal imbecillity, scarcely definable by words, but which is evident in that fickle conduct, in that peculiar want of resolution and" mental vigour, which marks the actions of the most cultivated minds, and of which we rarely find instances among our less enlightened, but more consistent and determined forefathers.' P. 49.

The second lecture relates to the medical treatment of child. ren. On this subject we have bestowed great attention ; for we also are fathers. It is a fact that children born of healthy parents possess in general such a stock of corporeal vigor, that, instead of anxiety to preserve their health, it would not be easy essentially to impair it. If an adult require free air and exercise, the child must want the same: if the food must be adaptedto the organs of the father, so must it be to those of the child: if rest to the former must come unsolicited, in conse, quence of fatigue, to be wholesome and refreshing, so must it to the latter ; he is the man in miniature, and requires only attention to greater delicacy and irritability; crying is his language, and its dialect should be attentively studied. A child never cries wantonly ; he feels uneasiness or pain; he wants what he cannot call for; he feels desires which he cannot gratify. What then should be the conduct of the parent or nurse? He should first examine whether the child be in pain or unwell; next, whether cold, hungry, or thirsty. Each is soon known; for if he be not ill, he cannot counterfeit; if he cannot explain his feelings, he cannot mislead. There are few instances where an able practitioner will mistake a child's disease, though the latter cannot speak his symptoms.

Again : if he be not ill, he may be cold, hungry, or thirsty. The nurse gives food and drink, and is blamed for cramming him. By what standard is the measure of his wants ascertained? Does not each constitution require different proportions? and the error is, after an examination of the effects of either, to persist in the practice. If the child be quieted by food and drink, sleeps comfortably, without heat, oppression, or heavy breathing, and has healthy suitable evacuations, he certainly wanted food or drink, however often he may have had them during the day.

The dress of children should be light and easy, applied with little trouble, and fastened by strings rather than pins. Even in the present more rational period it might be much simplifred, and, like an eastern robe, be put on and fastened with a' girdle. In the most improved state of the dress at this time, there is only to blame the succession with which different things of different temperatures are to be worn and exchanged.

The medical treatment of children is the subject of the third lecture; and on this also truth is simply and easily attained. The declamation against quack medicines should have been confined rather to their abuse. We are equally unwilling with Dr. Willich to abridge the profits of a profession by which we live ; but if the quack will prepare a medicine in a more portable and pleasing form than the apothecary, there can be no objection to ordering it. We would not put Dalby's Carmi. native, for instance, into the hands of every nurse, who would stupefy the child to gain an hour or two of repose; but should have little doubt of giving it to our own children, or directing its dose from an apothecary. We know, too, many forms of worm medicines which we cannot so pleasingly imitate. It is the abuse therefore, as we have said, that should be opposed. With respect to other medicines, the materia medica of children may be very limited. Evacuants of the stomach and bowels are the principal; and every one knows that children not only bear with advantage the action of drastics, but are

greatly benefited by them. Dr. Willich prefers the purgatives to emetics; and, were we obliged to choose either exclusively, we should do the same. Restringents and opiates, sometimes warmed with spices, are often necessary under proper guidance; but for sudorifics and tonics we see little rooin, unless antimonials be classed among the former. For worm medicines, except we consider drastic purges as such, we see little occasion. Should anthelmintics be requisite, the helleboraster only is to be depended on; and this, from the smallness of the dose, may be easily disguised. In fact, fever certainly kills worms, and the drastic medicines only discharge them.' We know a fine boy who had several worm fevers, as they have been called ; but in every instance the fever had receded before the animals were discharged.

On other points, Mr. Northmore's and Rousseau's opinions are mentioned with respect. The object of the latter is to strengthen the mind and body before any instruction be communicated. This subject has been too often discussed to enable us to offer one new idea. We may soon return to it, and shall therefore only now take occasion to repeat what we have formerly insisted on, that the train of education should be conducted by the natural and gradual evolution of the intellectual powers. Memory is most early exerted, and we could wish it to be employed, not overburthened. While the powers of observation are engaged in the works of nature, while the mind is exercised by drawing consequences equally obvious and easy, the memory may be stored by mere amusement, sometimes even by learning rules, which should be early impressed, because they should be long retained. Rousseau's error is that of every systematic who follows too implicitly his own doctrine. The boy of early and premature intellectual acquisition seldom fills up the expectation which his first rapid improvement excitęd; and his mental knowledge, should it not be superficial, is often acquired at the expense of his bodily health. The chief object of a parent should be to procure the mens sana in corpore sano; but numerous are the hours which may be filled by im-. provement without encroaching on these important points. Yet this part of the systém Rousseau has overlooked-bis children were to be found among the enfans trouvés.

Mr. Northmore is himself a parent, and well qualified to judge of Rousseau's docuines; yet he must know that the physical education of children, as directed by the visionary of Geneva, cannot be always practised without injury, or at least without danger. He also, with our author, speaks in favour of private tuition. It is a subject which we have examined repeatedly in all its views, and with all its bearings. Many a heart-ache should we have been saved, could we have acquiesced in the eligibility of private tuition; but we could only admit

it to possess plausibility, if we were to educate a recluse philosopher. The child destined to live in the world must begin to live in it from his early years, and be accustomed to endure “ fortune's buffets and her frowns' as well as her smiles, to see vice as well as virtue, and to be guarded against the deceitful colouring of the former, as well as admonition and the better experience of others, properly pointed out, can contribute to render it odious. Many have been the refinements in this line, and delusive the prospects held out by the masters of many private seminaries; but we have not seen men of more virtue produced from these than from the public schools, and we have never beheld men of equal knowledge and learning.

The introductory lectures of the translator have led us farther than we had proposed; yet, like Sterne, we have been digressive and progressive also; for we have anticipated much that might: have been suggested by M. Struve's work..

When we examine the volume itself, we are greatly surprised at its having been offered to the English reader entire. The abuses of the nursery in Germany have been in a great degree corrected in England; and the management, as well as the diet, is so different in the two countries, that the rules recommended for the one are scarcely applicable to the other. But, after close attention to children, and long experience in their diseases and management, we are astonished that either should be regarded as a subject of difficulty. They are human beings, as we have said, in miniature—but still human. Has not the infant eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, and passions ? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die?' They are weaker than the adult; more irritable and more impetuous. But if weaker, their bulk is smaller, and they rest on their legs with less weight; they fall with less force; if more irritable, their motions are more easily appeased ; if more impetuous, their violence is more transitory. Every thing excites wonder; but few things, to a child that has not been previously intimidated, excite fear. Without experience of injury he feels no dread. If he fall violently, surprise for a moment will excite a cry; but if he see no one terrified, he will not continue to cry, unless materially hurt-for an active child is careless of a slight pain or inconvenience. He soon becomes sensible of his power and consequence, and should therefore never experience either; nor should he be led to consider disappointment but as a thing of course. He should have no assistance in what he can do himself, and soon be brought to consider every assistance to be a kindness, not a duty, from those around him, and taught that it is equally expected from him to those who are still weaker than himself.

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