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very great. Lehmann says: "If the car-only is it that for the sake of conformity, bonic acid excreted by children or young ani- mothers thus punish and injure their little mals is calculated for an equal bodily weight, ones by scantiness of covering; but it is that it results that children produce nearly twice from an allied motive they impose a style of as much acid as adults.” Now the quantity dress which forbids healthful activity. To of carbonic acid given off varies with tolera- please the eye, colors and fabrics are chosen ble accuracy as the quantity of heat pro- totally unfit to bear that rough usage which duced. And thus we see that in children the unrestrained play involves; and then to presystem, even when not placed at a disadvant-vent damage the unrestrained play is interage, is called upon to provide nearly double dicted. “Get up this moment: you will soil the proportion of material for generating heat. your clean frock,” is the mandate issued to
See, then, the extreme folly of clothing the some urchin creeping about on the floor. young scantily. What father, full-grown “Come back: you will dirty your stockings," though he is, losing heat less rapidly as he calls out the governess to one of her charges, does, and having no physiological necessity who has left the footpath to scramble up a but to supply the waste of each day-what bank. Thus is the evil doubled. That they father, we ask, would think it salutary to go may come up to their mamma's standard of about with bare legs, bare arms, and bare prettiness, and be admired by her visitors, neck? Yet this tax upon the system, from children must have habiliments deficient in which he would shrink, he inflicts upon his quantity and unfit in texture; and that these little ones, who are so much less able to bear easily-damaged habiliments may be kept it! or, if he does not inflict it, sees it inflicted clean and uninjured, the restless activity, so without protest. Let him remember that natural and needful for the young, is more or every ounce of nutriment needlessly expended less restrained. The exercise which becomes for the maintenance of temperature, is so much doubly requisite when the clothing is insuffideducted from the nutriment going to build cient, is cut short, lest it should deface the up the frame and maintain the energies; and clothing. Would that the terrible cruelty of that even when colds, congestions, or other this system could be seen by those who mainconsequent disorders are escaped, diminished tain it. We do not hesitate to say that, through growth or less perfect structure is inevitable. enfeebled health, defective energies, and con
"The rule is, therefore, not to dress in an sequent non-success in life, thousands are aninvariable way in all cases, but to put on nually doomed to unhappiness by this unscruclothing in kind and quantity sufficient in the pulous regard for appearances: even when individual case to protect the body effectually they are not, by early death, literally sacrifrom an abiding sensation of cold, however ficed to the Moloch of maternal vanity. We slight." This rule, the importance of which are reluctant to counsel strong measures, but Dr. Combe indicates by the italics, is one in really the evils are so great as to justify, or which men of science and practitioners agree. even to demand, a peremptory interference We have met with none competent to form a on the part of fathers. judgment on the matter, who do not strongly Our conclusions are, then--that, while the condemn the exposure of children's limbs. clothing of children should never be in such If there is one point above others in which excess as to create oppressive warmth, it "pestilent custom” should be ignored, it is should always be sufficient to prevent any this.
general feeling of cold ;* that, instead of the Lamentable, indeed, is it to see mothers Aimsy cotton, linen, or mixed fabrics comseriously damaging the constitutions of their monly used, it should be made of some good children out of compliance with an irrational non-conductor, such as coarse woollen cloth;' fashion. It is bad enough that they should that it should be so strong as to receive little themselves conform to every folly which our damage from the hard wear and tear which Gallic neighbors please to initiate; but that childish sports will give it; and that its colthey should clothe their children in any ors should be such as will not soon suffer from mountebank dress which Le petit Courrier use and exposure. des Dames indicates, regardless of its insufficiency and unfitness, is monstrous. Discom- * It is needful to remark that children whose legs and arms fort more or less great, is inflicted; frequent have been from the beginning habitually without covering, disorders are entailed; growth is checked or
big óheolodon cease to be conscious that the exposed surfaces are cold; just
as by use we have all ceased to be conscious that our faces stamina undermined; premature death not are cold, even when out of doors. But though in such chiluncommonly caused ; and all beeause it is dren the sensations no longer protest, it does not follow that
and the system escapes injury; any more than it follows that the
Fuegian is undamaged by exposure, because he bears with material dictated by French caprice. Not indifference the melting of the falling snow on his naked body.
To the iraportance of bodily exercise most. Why this astonishing difference? Is it that people are in some degree awake. Perhaps the constitution of a girl differs so entirely less needs saying on this requisite of physical from that of a boy as not to need these acteducation than on most others: at any rate, ive exercises? Is it that a girl has none of in so far as boys are concerned. Public the promptings to vociferous play by which schools and private schools alike furnish tol-boys are impelled? Or is it that, while in erably adequate playgrounds; and there is boys these promptings are to be regarded as usually a fair share of time for out-of-door securing that bodily activity without which games, and a recognition of them as needful. there cannot be adequate development, to In this, if in no other direction, it seems ad- their sisters nature has given them for no mitted that the natural promptings of boyish purpose whatever-unless it be for the vexinstinct may advantageously be followed ; ation of schoolmistresses? Perhaps, howand, indeed, in the modern practice of break-ever, we mistake the aim of those who train ing the prolonged morning and afternoon's the gentler sex. We have a vague suspicion lessons by a few minutes' open-air recreation, that to produce a robust physique is thought we see an increasing tendency to conform undesirable; that rude health and abundant school regulations to the bodily sensations of vigor are considered somewhat plebeian; the pupils. Here, then, little needs to be said that a certain delicacy, a strength not compein the way of expostulation or suggestion. tent to more than a mile or two's walk, an
But we have been obliged to qualify this ad- appetite fastidious and easily satisfied, joined mission by inserting the clause“ in 80 far with that timidity which commonly accomas boys are concerned." Unfortunately, the panies feebleness are held more lady-like. We fact is quite otherwise in the case of girls. do not expect that any would distinctly avow It chances, somewhat strangely, that we have this; but we fancy the governess-mind is daily opportunity of drawing a comparison. haunted by an ideal young lady bearing not a We have both a boy's and a girl's school with little resemblance to this type. If so, it must in view; and the contrast between them is re- be admitted that the established system is markable. In the one case, nearly the whole admirably calculated to realize this ideal. of a large garden is turned into an open, But to suppose that such is the ideal of the gravelled space, affording ample scope for opposite sex is a profound mistake. That games, and supplied with poles and horizontal men are not commonly drawn towards mascubars for gymnastic exercises. Every day be- line women, is doubtless true. That such fore breakfast, again towards eleven o'clock, relative weakness as calls for the protection again at midday, again in the afternoon, and of superior strength is an element of attraconce more after school is over the neighbor- tion, we quite admit. But the difference to hood is awakened by a chorus of shouts and which the feelings thus respond is the natural, laughter as the boys rush out to play; and pre-established difference, which will assert for as long as they remain, both eyes and ears itself without artificial appliances. And give proof that they are absorbed in that en- when, by artificial appliances, the degree of joyable activity which makes the pulse this difference is increased, it becomes an elebound and ensures the healthful activity of ment of repulsion rather than attraction. every organ. How unlike is the picture of “Then girls should be allowed to run wild fered by the “Establishment for Young La--to become as rude as boys, and grow up dies”! Until the fact was pointed out, we into romps and hoydens!” exclaims some deactually did not know that we had a girls' fender of the proprieties. This, we presume, school as close to us as the school for boys. is the ever-present dread of schoolmistresses. The garden, equally large with the other, It appears, on inquiry, that at “Establishaffords no sign whatever of any provision ments for Young Ladies" noisy play like that for juvenile recreation; but is entirely laid daily indulged in by boys, is a punishable out with prim grassplots, gravel-walks, offence; and it is to be inferred that this shrubs, and flowers, after the usual suburban noisy play is forbidden, lest unlady-like habits style. During five months we have not once should be formed. The fear is quite ground. had our attention drawn to the premises by less, however. For if the sportive activity a shout or a laugh. Occasionally girls may allowed to boys does not prevent them from be observed sauntering along the paths with growing up into gentlemen; why should a like their lesson books in their hands, or else walk- sportive activity allowed to girls prevent ing arm-in-arm. Once, indeed, we saw one them from growing up into ladies? Rough as chase another round the garden; but, with may have been their accustomed play-ground this exception, nothing like vigorous exertion fro’i's, youths who have left school do not has been visible.
| in lulge in leapfrog in the street, or marbles in the drawing-room. Abandoning their or otherwise, is a grave mistake. An agreejackets, they abandon at the same time boy-able mental excitement has a highly invigorish games; and display an anxiety-often a ating influence. See the effect produced upon ludicrous anxiety-to avoid whatever is not an invalid by good news, or by the visit of an manly. If now, on arriving at the due age, old friend. Mark how careful medical men this feeling of masculine dignity puts so effi- are to recommend lively society to debilitated cient a restraint on the romping sports of boy- patients. Remember how beneficial to the hood, will not the feeling of feminine mod health is the gratification produced by change esty, gradually strengthening as maturity is of scene. The truth is that happiness is the approached, but an efficient restraint on the most powerful of tonics. By accelerating like sports of girlhood? Have not women the circulation of the blood, it facilitates even a greater regard for appearances than the performance of every function; and so men? and will there not consequently arise tends alike to increase health when it exists, in them even a stronger check to whatever is and to restore it when it has been lost. rough or boisterous ? How absurd is the Hence the essential superiority of play to supposition that the womanly instincts would gymnastics. The extreme interest felt by not assert themselves but for the rigorous dis- children in their games, and the riotous glee cipline of schoolmistresses!
with which they carry on their rougher In this, as in other cases, to remedy the frolics, are of as much importance as the evils of one artificiality, another artificiality accompanying exertion. And as not supplyhas been introduced. The natural spontane-ling these mental stimuli, gymnastics must be ous exercise having been forbidden, and the fundamentally defective. bad cosequences of no exercise having become Granting then, as we do, that formal exerconspicuous, there has been adopted a system cises of the limbs are better than nothingof factitious exercise--gymnastics. That this granting, further, that they may be used is better than nothing we admit; but that it with advantage as supplementary aids; we is an adequate substitute for play we deny. yet contend that such formal exercises can The defects are both positive and negative. never supply the place of the exercises In the first place, these formal, muscular prompted by nature. For girls, as well as motions, necessarily much less varied than boys, the sportive activities to which the inthose accompanying juvenile sports, do not stincts impel, are essential to bodily welfare. secure so equable a distribution of action to Whoever forbids them, forbids the divineall parts of the body; whence it results that ly-appointed means to physical developthe exertion, falling on special parts, produces ment. fatigue sooner than it would else have done: add to which, that, if constantly repeated, A topic still remains--one perhaps more urthis exertion of special parts leads to a dispro- gently demanding consideration than any ot portionate development. Again, the quantity the foregoing. It is asserted by not a few, of exercise thus taken will be deficient, not that among the educated classes the younger only in consequence of uneven distribution, adults and those who are verging upon maturbut it will be further deficient in consequencelity are, on the average, neither so well grown of lack of interest. Even when not made nor so strong as their seniors. When first repulsive, as they sometimes are, by assuming we heard this assertion, we were inclined to the shape of appointed lessons, these monot- disregard it as one of the many manifestations onous movements are sure to become weari- of the old tendency to exalt the past at the some, from the absence of amusement. Com- expense of the present. Calling to mind the petition, it is true, serves as a stimulus; but facts that, as measured by ancient armor, it is not a lasting stimulus, like that enjoy- modern men are proved to be larger than anment which accompanies varied play. Not cient men, and that the tables of mortality only, however, are gymnastics inferior in show no diminution, but rather an increase respect of the quantity of muscular exertion in the duration of life, we paid little attention which they secure; they are still more in- to what seemed a groundless belief. Detailed ferior in respect of the quality. This com- observation, however, has greatly shaken parative want of enjoyment to which we our opinion. Omitting from the comparison have just referred as a cause of early desist- the laboring classes, we have noticed a majorance from artificial exercises, is also a cause ity of cases in which the children do not of inferiority in the effects they produce on reach the stature of their parents; and in the system. The common assumption that so massiveness, making due allowance for diflong as the amount of bodily action is the ference of age, there seems a like inferiority. same, it matters not whether it be pleasurable In health, the contrast appears still greater. Men of past generations, living riotously as tended than that prescribed for the unen. they did, could bear much more than men of feebled children of past generations. the present generation, who live soberly, can That disastrous consequences must result bear. Though they drank hard, kept irregu- from this cumulative transgression might be lar hours, were regardless of fresh air, and predicted with certainty; and that they do thought little of cleanliness, our recent ances- result, every observant person knows. Go tors were capable of prolonged application where you will, and before long there come without injury, even to a ripe old age: wit- under your notice cases of children, or ness the annals of the bench and the bar. youths, of either sex, more or less injured by Yet we who think much about our bodily undue study. Here, to recover from a state welfare; who eat with moderation, and do of debility thus produced, a year's rustication not drink to excess; who attend to ventila- has been found necessary. There you find a tion, and use frequent ablutions; who make chronic congestion of the brain, that has alannual excursions, and have the benefit of ready lasted many months, and threatens to greater medical knowledge;-we are continu- last much longer. Now you hear of a fever ally breaking down under our work. Paying that resulted from the over-excitement in considerable attention to the laws of health, some way brought on at school. And, again, we seem to be weaker than our grandfathers the instance is that of a youth who has already who, in many respects, defied the laws of had once to desist from his studies, and who, health. And, judging from the appearance since he has returned to them, is frequently and frequent ailments of the rising genera- taken out of his class in a fainting fit. We tion, they are likely to be even less robust state facts-facts that have not been sought than ourselves.
for, but have been thrust upon our observaWhat is the meaning of this? Is it that tion during the last two years; and that, too, past over-feeding, alike of adults and juve- within a very limited range. Nor have we by niles, was less injurious than the under-feed- any means exhausted the list. Quite recently ing to which we have adverted as now so gen- we had the opportunity of marking how the eral? Is it that the deficient clothing which evil becomes hereditary: the case being that this delusive hardening theory has 'encour- of a lady of robust parentage, whose system aged, is to blame? Is it that the greater or was so injured by the régime of a Scotch less discouragement of juvenile sports, in boarding-school, where she was under-fed and deference to a false refinement, is the cause? over-worked, that she invariably suffers from From our reasonings it may be inferred that vertigo on rising in the morning; and whose each of these has probably had a share in children, inheriting this enfeebled brain, are producing the evil. But there has been yet several of them unable to bear even a moderanother detrimental influence at work, per- ate amount of study without headache or gidhaps more potent than any of the others: we diness. At the present time we have daily mean-excess of mental application.
under our eyes, a young lady whose system On old and young, the pressure of modern has been damaged for life by the college-course life puts a still-increasing strain. In all busi- through which she has passed. Taxed as she nesses and professions, intenser competition was to such an extent that she had no energy taxes the energies and abilities of every left for exercise, she is, now that she has finadult; and, with the view of better fitting the ished her education, a constant complainant. young to hold their place under this intenser Appetite small and very capricious, mostly competition, they are subject to a more severe refusing meat; extremities perpetually cold, discipline than heretofore. The damage is even when the weather is warm; a feebleness thus doubled. Fathers, who find not only which forbids anything but the slowest walkthat they are run hard by their multiplying ing, and that only for a short time; palpitacompetitors, but that, while laboring under tion on going up stairs; greatly impaired visthis disadvantage, they have to maintain a ion-these, joined with checked growth and more expensive style of living, are all the lax tissue, are among the results entailed. year round obliged to work early and late, And to her case we may add that of her taking little exercise and getting but short friend and fellow-student; who is similarly holidays. The constitutions, shaken by this weak; who is liable to faint even under the long continued over-application, they be excitement of a quiet party of friends; and queath to their children. And then these who has at length been obliged by her medicomparatively feeble children, predisposed as cal attendant to desist from study entirely. they are to break down even under an ordi- If injuries so conspicuous are thus frequent, nary strain upon their energies, are required how very general must be the smaller and into go through a curriculum much more ex-) conspicuous injuries. To one case where pos
itive illness is directly traceable to over-appli- | disordered functions but by malformation. cation, there are probably at least half-a-doz- He says:-"We lately visited, in a large en cases where the evil is unobtrusive and town, a boarding-school containing forty girls; slowly accumulating--cases where there is and we learnt, on close and accurate inquiry, frequent derangement of the functions, attrib- that there was not one of the girls who had uted to this or that special cause, or to con- been at the school two years (and the majoristitutional delicacy; cases where there is re- ty had been as long) that was not more or less tardation and premature arrest of bodily crooked ! "* growth; cases where a latent tendency to It may be that since 1833, when this was consumption is brought out and established; written, some improvement has taken place. cases where a predisposition is given to that. We hope it has. But that the system is still now common cerebral disorder brought on by common-nay, that it is in soine cases carried the hard work of adult life. How commonly even to a greater extreme than ever; we can constitutions are thus undermined, will be personally testify. We recently went over a clear to all who after noting the frequent ail-training college for young men: one of those ments of hard-worked professional and mer- instituted of late years for the purpose of sup cantile men, will reflect on the disastrous ef- plying schools with well-disciplined teachers. fects which undue application must produce Here under official supervision, where someupon the undeveloped systems of the young. thing better than the judgment of private The young are competent to bear neither as schoolmistresses might have been looked for, much hardship, nor as much physical exer- we found the daily routine to as follows:tion, nor as much mental exertion, as the full grown. Judge, then, if the full grown 80 At 6 o'clock the students are called,
* 7 to 8 studies, manifestly suffer from the excessive mental
" 8 to 9 scripture reading, prayers, and breakfast, exertion required of them, how great must be " 9 to 12 studies, the damage which a mental exertion, often " 12 to 17 leisure, nominally devoted to walk or other ex.
ercise, but often spent in study, equally excessive, inflicts upon the young!
“ 14 to 2 dinner, the meal commonly occupying twenty Indeed, when we examine the merciless school drill to which many children are sub
" 2 to 5 studies,
· 5 to 6 tea and relaxation, jected, the wonder is, not that it does great
" 6 to 8f studies, injury, but that it can be borne at all. Take “ 84 to 94 private studies in preparing lessons for the next the instance given by Sir John Forbes from
“ 10 to bed. personal knowledge; and which he asserts, after much inquiry, to be an average sam-| Thus, out of the twenty-four hours, eight ple of the middle-class girl's-school system are devoted to sleep; four and a quarter are throughout England. Omitting the detailed occupied in dressing, prayers, meals, and the divisions of time, we quote the summary of brief periods of rest accompanying them; ten the twenty-four hours.
and a half are given to study; and one and a In bed .
quarter to exercise, which is optional and
9 hours (the younger 10) In school, at their studies and
often avoided. Not only, however, is it that tasks
the ten and a half hours of recognized study In school, or in the house, the
are frequently increased to eleven and a half older at optional studies or the work, younger at play. 87 " (the younger 21) by devoting to books the time set apart for at meals . . . .
exercise; but some of the students who are Exercise in the open air, in
not quick in learning, get up at four o'clock the shape of a formal walk, often with lesson-books in
in the morning to prepare their lessons; and hand, and even this only
are actually encouraged by their teachers to when the weather is fine at the appointed time . . 1 "
do this! The course to be passed through in a given time is so extensive; the teachers, whose credit is at stake in getting their pupils
well through the examinations, are so urgent; And what are the results of this “ astound- and the difficulty of satisfying the requireing regimen,” as Sir John Forbes terms it? ments is so great; that pupils are not uncomOf course feebleness, pallor, want of spir- monly induced to spend twelve and thirteen its, general ill-health. But he describes some hours a day in mental labor! thing more. This utter disregard of physical It needs no prophet to see that the bodily welfare, out of extreme anxiety to cultivate injury inflicted must be great. As we were the mind-this prolonged exercise of the told by one of the inmates, those who arrive brain and deficient exercise of the limbs,-hefound to be habitually followed, not only by "Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine," vol. i. pp. 697, 698.