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rigid discipline of the oldest scholars. Overcome by fear or grief, she falls into a syncope from which she never rallies. Such a singular phenomenon may well astonish the community. It were well for the rising generation if the lesson it teaches led to reformation in the management of children. It is surprising at what a tender age children are placed in school, and brought under the restraints of a worse than prison discipline. At that period of childhood, or rather of infancy, when during its waking hours every muscle naturally requires activity and free play for its proper development, the child is compelled to sit for hours as unmoved as a statue. But to this cruel restraint we have the additional evil that the child is confined to a room the atmosphere of which is infected with poisonous gases and foul exhalations from human bodies. The conditions necessary to retard the growth and development of the child are complete, and the result is always accomplished. We see many of the effects of such training in the feeble bodies, dwindled legs and arms, curved spines, and nameless other deformities of adolescents. But how many unseen and unappreciated vices of development and growth are created by these causes! How destructive to the delicate organization of the nervous system is such training of the child, and how sadly are its functions perverted! In the case related we see how seriously the nervous system had be

come weakened, and how slight a cause completely overpowered it. We may well believe that this poor child is but a type of the children of our schools. Though such a melancholy termination of their pupilage is rare, yet thousands of children are doubtless brought to the very verge of the grave by the unhealthy influences acting upon their susceptible organizations. The vital question recurs: At what age should a child be sent to school? There can be no doubt that previously to the ages of six or seven the child should neither be subjected to systematic physical restraint, nor should its mind be tasked with appointed lessons. The full and perfect development of the body is a more important end to be attained in the training of the child than the cultivation of its mind. That system of education is perfect which secures these two objects. Previously to the age which we have fixed a child may be an apt scholar, though free from all bodily restraint. The cultivation of the powers of the body and mind may go together, and is productive of the very best results. We see in the Kindergarten of the Germans the very perfection of this system of training. Here the infant is free to play and romp in the open air, amid a profusion of flowers, or on the grass lawn, watched by a careful and tender nurse, who acts at the same time as teacher. While the child revels in the pure air and sunshine, it imperceptibly learns the lesson of the day. But

though we are unable to place a child in a school so favorable for its due and proper training, a faithful parent may accomplish much by personal instruction while the child still enjoys the most perfect freedom. In commenting upon this subject, Dr. Ray, a very able writer has said:

"Instinctively the young child seeks for knowledge of some kind, and its spontaneous efforts may be safely allowed. With a little management, indeed, they may be made subservient to very important acquisitions. In the same way that it learns the names of its toys and playthings, it may learn the names of its letters, of geometrical figures, and objects of natural history. There can be but little danger of such exercises being carried too far. But the discipline of school, if obliging the tender child to sit upright on an uncomfortable seat for several hours in the day, and con his lessons from a book, is dangerous both to mind and body. To the latter, because it craves exercise almost incessantly, and suffers pain, if not distortion, from its forced quietude and unnatural postures. To the former, because it is pleased with transient emotions, and seeks for a variety of impressions calculated to gratify its perceptive faculties. The idea of study considered in relation to the infant mind, of appropriating, assimilating the contents of a book, of performing mental processes that require a considerable degree of attention and abstraction, indicates an ignorance of the real constitution of the infant mind, that would be simply ridiculous, did it not lead to pain, weariness, and disgust. And such is the strange abandonment of all practical common sense on this subject, that many a person fails to view this practice in its true light, who would never commit the folly of beginning the training of a colt by taking it from the side of its dam, harnessing it to a cart or plow, and keeping it at work through a sultry summer's day.”

XXXVIII.

PHYSICIANS IN OLD AGE.

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SURGEON once remarked, very shrewdly, that "few medical men grow old gracefully." The remark, doubtless, had reference to the pertinacity with which our elder brethren cling to business, and to those public positions which they have ceased to fill creditably. This fact has, doubtless, the greatest significance to the aspiring young practitioner. As he plods along his wearisome way to make his single daily visit, and that too often to a charity patient, he conceives the greatest contempt for the grasping ambition of the white-haired septuagenarian who dashes past over roads which he has traveled half a century, to the families of the wealthy. But in the eyes of all men his position is not enviable who, crowned with wealth and honor, toils on, as does many a medical man, unmindful of the shadows of the evening which are gathering thickly about him. The question is occasionally asked by members of other professions,

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'At what age do medical men retire from active life?" The only answer which can be given is," at that age at which death overtakes them." If it is honorable to die with the harness on, without a

moment's interval in which to compose the mind for the great and eternal change, our profession is, of all others, the most worthy of the distinction. Seldom do we have an example of a successful physician who has retired voluntarily from his business with health and faculties unimpaired. Medical men there are in retirement, but they have not sought seclusion from a philosophical view of the amenities of age, but because they could no longer pursue their avocations. Unless some unlucky accident or unfortunate cerebral attack so far destroy their powers of locomotion, as to render their visits to their patients positively objectionable, our older brethren pursue their daily and even nightly duties far past the period of life at which men in other employments seek the repose which is generally grateful to old age. In the hot strife for business, we meet the veteran side by side with the graduate fresh from the schools. No toil or sacrifice of personal comfort can induce him to relax his efforts to maintain his hold upon his families, and to enlarge the circle of his practice. If we pass from the circle of private to the more responsible duties of public practice, we find medical men who have passed the period at which the mental and physical powers begin to decline, still occupying stations which they have long ceased to honor. In many hospitals there are medical attendants, infirm with age, clinging, with a grasp that only death will loose,

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