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sensible she may be to other voices, that one never fails to be heard by her quick ear. Mothers often relate that long after their children have grown to manhood and womanhood, they are startled from their slumbers by the old and familiar cries of their babyhood. This instinctive wakefulness of the mother to the wants of her child teaches a most important lesson in the care of children at night. It is a growing practice in our first-class families to commit the infant to the care of the nurse at night, that the mother may not be disturbed, but may have her regular and full amount of sleep. This is done under the pretence that the mother's health requires that her night's rest should not be broken by the care of the child. Except in extraordinary cases, there is no truth in the assertion if the mother and child are in ordinary health, the proper care of her infant at night does not tax the mother beyond her strength; while the judicious care of the child by the mother diminishes greatly the irritability and restlessness of the former. But there are certain positive evils and dangers attending the care of the infant by a nurse at night. It will prove in nine cases out of ten, that the nurse considers her own sleep of paramount importance, and, in about the proportion given, it will be found that she manages to obtain it. In the first place her affections are not stimulated by the child, and hence her sympathies are not en

listed in its care and welfare. She sleeps quite unconscious of and undisturbed by its cries, when its plaintive voice penetrates to the mother's ear, though in a distant and secluded part of the house. Thus many a helpless infant that has become tired of lying in one position, and merely requires to be changed to secure perfect rest and quiet, cries itself asleep from sheer exhaustion, unable to arouse the leaden ears of its nurse. One of the first and most dangerous consequences of committing the child to the care of the nurse at night, is her liability when asleep to over-lay and smother it without hearing its stifled cries. The English mortuary records show that two or three hundred children are thus killed annually. But if the child escapes death or injury from this cause, it is by no means free from danger from other sources. It is liable to be habitually drugged to sleep. This may, and doubtless will be regarded by many as an unjust suspicion upon their own "faithful" nurses; but there are too many facts accumulated against them to make it doubtful. It must be assumed as a truth that nurses will have their own usual amount of sleep. If they can not obtain it on account of the restlessness of the child, they soon learn the remedy for its sleeplessness. They try it secretly and cautiously, and find it succeeds perfectly; they repeat it with equal success several times; and now made bold and confident, they administer the anodyne with

liberal hand every night, or at least when they fear the child will disturb their own slumbers. A child thus treated soon becomes unusually irritable and peevish, its digestion is impaired, its complexion is a dirty, sallow hue, it suffers from constipation, and finally sleeps soundly only when under the influence of its accustomed drug. How many children in every wealthy and fashionable community, with good native constitutions, fall into premature decay from this cause it is impossible to determine; but the coroner's inquests prove that many infants die annually from the imprudent use of the drugs constantly found in nurseries. It can but be regarded as an axiom of the utmost importance in the rearing of children, that the mother should have the personal charge and care of them at night. A medical writer of great experience says: "How many children sleep the sleep of death through the undue administration of carminatives and other nostrums! It requires the mother's greatest vigilance to prevent such weapons being introduced into the nursery; for a nurse, however otherwise excellent, is apt to prefer the comfort of uninterrupted slumber to the performance of her duty in studying the welfare of the child committed to her care.' This advice can not be too frequently repeated by the physician in his daily visits among the wealthy and fashionable classes.

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XXVIII.

A SUSPENSE OF FAITH.

A

DISTINGUISHED leader of a religious sect characterized by its disregard of the teachings of the past, its rejection of all forms, creeds, ceremonies, and tangible incitements to devotion, and for its purely spiritual worship, recently startled the world by the announcement that a new Church was required to meet the religious wants of mankind. From his own stand-point it was evident to him that there was "a suspense of faith" among Christians; a prevalent dissatisfaction with those theological refinements which exalted the spiritual at the expense of the material; a certain anxious looking for the revelation of a new mode of worship. Regarding man as a finite being, having senses through which he is to gain a knowledge of the external world, and in all his pursuits dealing with substance and not shadow, with material forms and not essences, he very rationally concludes that to meet the religious exigencies of at least his own denomination, they should return to those forms of worship which in the highest degree stimulated to devotion by an appeal to the senses. Accordingly, he recommended the

establishment of a Church with temples of the most imposing architecture, with altars smoking with burning incense, with music the most solemn, and ceremonials the most impressive. This theological philosopher, though advocating the most absolute changes in his own sect, reasoned from true premises, and came to logical, rational conclusions. Man has a spiritual and material existence so intimately blended, and mutually so dependent, that the one contributes constantly to the aid of the other in their normal and healthy action. His religious being can not long subsist on the vagaries of the imagination, or the airy nothings of a speculative theology. Medicine, like theology, has its transcendental worshipers. Rejecting the methods of investigation by which every other science is advanced, they adopt a dogma at once irrational and insusceptible of explanation, and upon this build up a theory purely imaginary. Whatever does not square with this theory is to be rejected, though its practical value may have been proved. The acquired knowledge of the profession, however exact and true, is accounted as nothing, unless in harmony with this absurd principle. The history of medicine, in all that relates to its material interest, is obliterated, and a new era commenced. They thus discard alike the accumulated experience of the past, the discoveries of the present, and the aids by which nature and art are made to subserve the interests of science.

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