페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

over the mahogany. He must, forgetful of the " In short, she was born, and bred, and nurst,

And drest in the best from the very first, allegiance sworn under like circumstances the

To please the genteelest censorevening before, at the square below, vow that the

And then, as soon as strength would allow, red-faced cherub dandled up to his nose is the Was vaccinated, as babies are now, finest baby he ever laid eyes on, handle the pre

With virus ta'en from the best-bred cow cious burden thrust into his arms as gently as his

of Lord Althorpe's-now Earl Spencer." awkwardness will admit, and restoring - Time's All this, however, presupposes the mouth which noblest offspring" to awaiting nurse, handle the so soon after its advent into the world roars so snow-white, ribbon-bordered blanket which forms lustily for food, to have brought in it a silver the outer robe of the minute dignitary, with as spoon for the furnishing thereof. As, however, reverential a touch as if it were royal purple. the per-centage on babies' mouths of silver spoons

In default, however, of doing justice to our is a figure so minute as to be a dividend not worth theme of baby-dom in plain prose, we must have declaring, we must turn our attention-and, as in recourse to the higher powers of verse, and in duty bound, our chief attention—to the majority. this call to our aid the lines of no less a master We have in this country no foundling hospithan Thomas Hood. He describes the accession / tals with revolving baskets, in which a baby may of the opulent Miss Kilmansegg, distinguished at be dropped as easily as a letter in the post-office, a later period of her history as the possessor of and dispatched on its journey through life with a golden leg, which replaced the article of a sim- equal confidence in the government by the authors ilar character furnished by nature, but hopelessly of the flesh and blood as of the literary production. damaged by an accident.

Nor, in truth, do we think we want the basket * She was one of those who, by Fortune's boon,

aforesaid. It is too great a temptation to the Are born, as they say, with a silver spoon

needy and the vicious. Foundlings are, however, In her mouth, not a wooden ladle :

amply provided for, as they should be, by our city To speak according to poet's wont,

charities. But we have nothing to do at present Plutus as sponsor stood at her font,

with anonymous babies. We have an eye to the And Midas rock'd the cradle.

parent as well as the child. The poor baby (esAt her first début she found her head On a pillow of down, in a downy bed,

pecially if the first-born) is as important an indiWith a damask canopy over;

vidual in the eyes of his parents as your heir to For although, by the vulgar, popular saw,

thousands. The same pride, pomp, and circumAll mothers are said to be in the straw,'

stance" may not attend him, but equal or greater Some children are born in clover.

sacrifices are made to his welfare. He is hugged “Her very first draught of vital air, It was not the common chamelion fare

as closely, kissed as heartily, lauded as loudly, or plebeian lungs and noses.

dandled as daintily, wrapped as warmly, as his No-her earliest sniff

richer contemporary. His mother, however, must of this world, was a whiff

live, in order for baby to do so likewise, and in of the genuine Oito of Roses !

this getting-a-living process, baby is sadly in the “ Like other babes, at her birth she cried ;

way. The Indian squaw gets over the difficulty Which made a sensation for and wide,

by swathing up the small specimen to a board, Ay, for twenty miles around her ;

with a hoop to it, which has the double advantage For though to the ear 'twas nothing more

of helping to make his back straight, and enabling Than an infant's squall, it was really the roar of a fifty-thousand pounder!

him to be commodiously disposed of on his mothIt shook the next heir

er's back or a neighboring tree. In his library chair,

A French woman on her travels tucks baby up And made him cry, Confound her!

nicely in a shallow one-handled basket. This we “And how was the precious baby drest !

know from personal observation, having once, in In a robe of the East, with lace of the West, answer to a polite request from a cherry-cheeked Like one of Crasus's issue

Normande, reached down our arm from the banHer best bibs were made

quette of a French diligence for what we supOf gold brocade, And the others of silver tissue.

posed to be a basket of eggs, and consequently “And when the baby inclined to nap,

drew up with a care still more befitting its actual She was lull'd on a Gros de Naples lap,

contents of humanity in a more advanced stage By a nurse in a modish Paris cap,

of race and age. It appeared to answer the purOf notions so exalted She drank nothing lower than Curaços,

pose, as the infant slept well, and was done up Maraschino, or pink Noyau,

in a much more convenient form for handling And, on principle, never malted.

than long clothes and blanket, and was an ar“From a golden boat, with a golden spoon,

ticle of luggage decidedly preferable, in a qui. The babe was fed night, morning, and noon, escent state, to a bandbox. Neither of these

And although the tale seems fabulous,
'Tis said her tops and bottoms were gilt,

plans would, we fear, answer for the laboring Like the oats in that stable-yard palace built

woman. She could not fall to scrubbing a floor For the horse of Heliogabalus.

with baby pick-a-back, and to hang him up with “And when she took to squall and kick

her bonnet would not answer. For women who For pain will wring and pins will prick

work together, as in binderies, large clothing esE'en the wealthiest Nabob's daughter

tablishments, or factories, it would be still worse, They gave her no vulgar Dalby or gin, But a liquor with leaf or gold therein,

as the most tender-hearted proprietor, the most Videlicet-Dantzic Water.

| philoprogenitively organized head, could hardly

stand the united chorus of sundry shelves or peg- | staggering about with it like a very little porter rows tenanted by crying—for under such circuin- with a very large parcel, which was not directed stances it is naturally to be expected that they to any body, and could never be delivered any would be crying-babies.

where." We occasionally see a fruit-stall keeper with There are the other lodgers or the neighbors as a baby in her arms; but how could the active ap- an occasional resort ; but they have their own ple-women, who glide about the composing cases little responsibilities, and will require a reciproin printing-offices, manage a baby as well as a cation. It is evident, therefore, that a portion basket; or the energetic females who vend oranges of hard-earned wages must be paid to some old to travelers leaving our city shores balance a pyr-woman or “half-grown gal” to look after baby, amid of globular fruit in one set of digits, and and a proportionate retrenchment made in beef clutch a baby commodiously in the other? If and bread, or baby must look out for himself. the mother has to go out, therefore, to earn her The mother must give a morning kiss, and dedaily bread, her baby must be left at home. But part for her work with her head full of the awful in whose charge? The eldest sister-for we will stories she reads in the papers of little children suppose our young friend one of the junior mem- falling out of the window or on to the stove, or bers of the family-should be out at work, the rolling down stairs, being maimed or killed in a next oldest at school, the third is too little to be hundred ways. trusted for much supervision. The boys are This poor baby ought to be looked after ; but ready enough for the kindly care; but they should how is it to be done? None of our existing charbe at work or at school too, and if they are not, ities can do it. They will help to bring the child are too full of animal spirits, and somewhat too into the world, and, if its parents abandon it, take clumsy for the office. It is hardly fair, too, to care of the bantling. If the parents know their tax their good-nature continually, even for the duty better, and shun such a crime as they would welfare of brother or sister. Baby, in place of infanticide, they must take care of him. The Disa never-ending source of delight, at due inter- pensary will vaccinate and drug, if needful; but vals, may degenerate into a bore. Remember if the child be healthy, he must not look for any Johnny and Moloch in Dickens's Christmas story, thing more from the city until he is sufficiently and to make sure that you do, we will freshen advanced for A B C and the Primary school. your recollection :

His future course through the Free-school and "Another little boy was tottering to and fro, Free Academy to manhood is well provided for ; bent on one side, and considerably affected in his the hospitals will attend to him if he fall sick or knees, by the weight of a large baby, which he get run over; and the last scene of all will be was supposed, by a fiction that obtains sometimes kindly and decorously cared for like the first. in sanguine families, to be hushing to sleep. But These infant years are, therefore, the heel of oh! the inexhaustible regions of contemplation Achilles of the body politic, almost the only and watchfulness into which this baby's eyes were chance left, as it seems to us, for the ingenuity then only beginning to compose themselves, to of philanthropy to exercise itself upon. stare over his unconscious shoulder !

The want has been supplied in Paris by insti“It was a very Moloch of a baby, on whose lutions called Crèches (a child's crib). As, insatiate altar the whole existence of this partic-| thanks to some philanthropic American ladies, ular young brother was offered up a daily sacri- who have brought home ideas as well as bonnets fice. Its personality may be said to have con- from that great city, an establishment of the kind sisted in its never being quiet, in any one place, is about to be opened in New York, we have for five consecutive minutes, and never going to thought that an illustrated account of a “crèche" sleep when required. • Tetterby's baby' was as would be acceptable to our readers, and lead to well known in the neighborhood as the postman the good example of our New York ladies being or pot-boy. It roved from door-step to door-step copied elsewhere. in the arms of little Johnny Tetterby, and lagged! The object of these establishments is to proheavily at the rear of the troops of juveniles who vide a place where mothers going out to day's followed the tumblers or the monkey, and came work may leave their children in the morning up, all on one side, a little too late for every thing and come for them in the evening, secure that, that was attractive, from Monday morning until during the interval, their infants will be fed and Saturday night. Wherever childhood congre- carefully tended by good nurses. For this they gated to play, there was little Moloch making, are charged a small sum daily, designed as much Johnny fag and toil. Wherever Johnny desired to impress upon the parents the duty of providing to stay, little Moloch became fractious, and would for their offspring as for the support of the estabnot remain. Whenever Johnny wanted to go lishment. Infants are received at any age up to out, Moloch was asleep and must be watched. two years. Whenever Johnny wanted to stay at home, Mo- The first Parisian crèche was that of St. Pierre, loch was awake, and must be taken out Yet at Chaillot, situated in a region inhabited by a Johnny was verily persuaded thai it was a fault-poor population, although in the neighborhood of less baby, without its peer in the realm of En- the Champs Elysées. It was founded by the gland, and was quite content to catch meek curé of the parish and some ladies who had estabglimpses of things in general from behind its lished an infant school with success, and saw that skirts, or over its limp, flapping bonnet, and to go this institution was the next step in the samo

direction. The doors were opened on the four- | by holding on to the rails. If they fall, they feenth of November, 1844. It was provided can easily pick themselves up by taking hold of with twelve cradles and a small cot. This was the meshes of the net-work. The wall is hung followed by the Crèche St. Philippe du Roule, with representations of familiar objects, and on opened April 29, 1845, and by numerous others each side of the door is a large cage filled with in various parts of Paris.

singing birds, which the children are feeding. A M. Jules Delbruck, a gentleman of Paris, has few toys are scattered about the floor, and we see written a little volume on the subject of the in the little garden beyond a few nurses off duty, Crèches. It contains brief reports of the condi- sewing. tion of these establishments in the year 1848, A second apartment is devoted to cribs and dinand from these, his own researches on the sub-ing-tables. Both are designed for children from ject, his own ingenuity, and, to some extent, the one to two years of age. The cots are, of course, Phalanx of Fourier, he has drawn a picture of for the use of the infants when tired ; but it is. a model establishment of this character, which, found that, with the exception of an hour or so with the aid of his illustrations, we shall en after the principal meal, they are little in request, deavor to set before our readers.

the attention and consequent wakefulness of the We enter from a garden the apartments of the children being secured in the play-room during Crèche Modele, all of which are on the ground the day, so that their sound sleep, as well as that floor. We are first introduced to the play-room. of their weary mothers, is unbroken on their reIt is a lofty and well-ventilated hall. In the cen- turn at night. tre is a circular railing, formed of net-work, just The third room is designed for those whose high enough for an infant to reach when stand- | age is reckoned only by days and months. Here ing. Within this, a nurse has a group of children we find a triple row of cradles, not on the obsoplaying about her. The net-work keeps them in lete rockers of our infant days, and which were bounds, and does not hurt them if they fall against so readily stumbled over, but suspended from a it. Outside the inclosure is a circular rail-road, neat iron frame-work, and so arranged that part in which a joyful car-load of children are pro- can be rocked simultaneously, and part separately. pelled by two comrades, a little farther advanced In the aisles between the cradles are net-work in years, visitors from the neighboring infant railings, as in the play-rooms. A small organ school, one pushing, another pulling. Close to occupies one end of the room, whose notes will the wall, on each side, are two parallel ranges of soothe the senses to repose, or gently rouse them railing similar to that in the centre. They are from their rest. The idea is as old as Montaigne, designed to aid the children in learning to walk, / whose father, he relates in the delightful gossip of

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE PLAY-ROOM.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

his Essays, took great pains with his education, an errand around the corner, or crossing the and had him awaked in the morning by strains ocean to America, will know that she is a model of soft music, merging sleeping into waking as of neatness, and apparently of good nature. Those gently as Aurora's blush dispels the shades of of the crèche should be young and have pleasant night.

faces, and such it is not difficult to find. The nurses who are seen in these pictures in Blue and white are also the prevailing colors in neat cap and apron, are, of course, the all-import- the simple fittings up and decorations of the rooms, ant portions of the establishment. Of little use and of the light and simple bed-draperies. Every will be its admirable mechanical organization if thing is made as cheerful and simple as possible. these, its rulers, are not of kindly heart, winning M. Delbruck has some excellent remarks on the smile, gentle, patient, motherly endurance. M. religious paintings which, as is the custom in Delbruck illustrates the needfulness of this by his Roman Catholic countries in all charitable estabstatistics regarding the crèches in actual opera- lishments, decorate the crèche. The Crucifixion, tion. The uniform and admirable rule in each is which he finds in some of the existing establishthat every infant received must be clean. If the ments, he regards as a more fitting accompani. mother has neglected the duty, the nurses must ment to the maturity or the close of life than its make vigorous use of the soap and water, sponges commencement. Then, the dread import, the and towels provided. This sponging process blessed significance of the Sacrifice can be underfurnishes M. Delbruck's test question. Do the stood—the dying man looks upon the dying Savchildren cry when sponged? If they do, he sets iour. He would have the infant's eyes rest on the fault down as much to the nurse's hand as to the Holy Babe—the Child in his mother's arms— the sponge or child ; if they do not, it is a strong the most beautiful subject within the range of proof that the nurse is gentle and kind.

Christian art. This may be accompanied by the These nurses are all dressed in a simple uniform beautiful scene of Our Saviour calling little chilof blue and white, colors which have been gen- dren unto him. erally adopted at the existing crèches in place of this care in the decoration of the rooms is the more sombre tints, or of the appalling black carried out in minute but wise detail in all the of the religious orders. Those who are familiar arrangements. In every article of furniture with the French bonne, and any one who has ever rounded are preferred to angular forms, not only set eyes on her trim figure, set off by an always as more graceful, but as protecting the infant admirably-fitted though plain dress, and the little from many contusions young flesh is heir to, in muslin cap which forms her only head-covering parlor as well as kitchen or garret, from sharp summer and winter, in-doors and out, running on corners. The terminations of the little inclosed

walls are semicircular for this reason, and the nurse's knees, and allow the spoon to pass in model crib is composed entirely of net-work, at- regular and impartial sequence from mouth to tached to an oval hoop of light iron. It is chosen mouth. But there was a difficulty in the way of not only for the superior safety of the heads of carrying out this. The children who needed this the little outsiders, but for the comfort of its oc- care were those lately weaned, and just learning cupant, as its pliant material will allow the use to stand. Though their appetites were strong, of thinner and less heating mattresses. It is a their legs were weak, and the jar of a rude conmatter worth noticing, that the ends of the up-cussion of that part of the youthful frame by rights are decorated with little figures of angels, which appeal is usually made to the moral sentikeeping their watch and ward.” M. Deibruck ments was calculated to impair good digestion claims the spiral table, which is found in our pic- and good temper. Besides, who ever heard of ture of the crib-room, as his own invention. He any one, young or old, except through-by-daypresents it to us again in a somewhat modified, light railway travelers—and even they are abanand, we think, improved form.

doning the bolting process-eating one's dinner Is it not a cosy and delightful affair? Who standing? The obvious plan to protect the exwould have planned it but a Frenchman, familiar posed portions of the tender infant frame from with the snug restaurant corners, sociable tables too sudden contact with mother earth, was by the d'hôte, and comfortable salles à manger, of that compromise measure of a seat. This, and the city of good dinners and good digestion-Paris? | accompanying table—a virtual extension of the Here we have dinner and digestion combined, nurse's knees-constructed, its inventor sought the promenade encircling the dining-table. This at once to have introduced them into the crèches. happy design was the result of deliberation. M. To his and our surprise, he was met by an obDelbruck found, in his visits to the different jection, “such a thing has never been done,” crèches, that the dinner-hour, instead of being, ergo-after a more common mode of logic in the as in advanced civilized society, one of enjoy- Old than the New World—can't be done. Rement, was a scene of discord and confusion. peated visits and entreaties are of no avail; but Children cried then who cried at no other hour. the projector, though disgusted at meeting diffiAnd good reason had they for doing so; as, culties in so small a matter, persisted, until one while one was dining, seated on the nurse's lap, fine morning he met “excellent Doctor Moyand fed by her with a spoon, five were waiting nier," who pointed to the wind-mills of Monttheir turns. An obvious improvement on this martre, with the words, “Here you will find what state of things was to place the six around the you want; the nurses feed several infants at

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« 이전계속 »