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are far below the Essays in point of merit and of style.
'Down a close street, whose darksome shops display,
More loathsome than the rags and rust they sell;-
By many a shatter'd stair you gain the door;
'Tis one poor room, whose blacken'd walls are hung
To fill the sides and make a frugal blaze.
The door unhing'd, the window patch'd and broke;
There stands the bench at which his life is spent;
Worn, groov'd, and bor'd, and worm-devour'd, and bent:
In one unvaried attitude he bends.
His tools, long practis'd, seem to understand
Scarce less their functions, than his own right hand.
Such is his fate and yet you might descry
A latent spark of meaning in his eye.
That crowded shelf beside his bench, contains
With algebraic lore its page is spread,
Early and late, when working time is o'er:
'From needful sleep the precious hour he saves,
-A light more dim is flashing on his mind,
Sighs at his fortunes, and resumes his craft. pp. 134–9.
Usefulness has evidently been the Author's principal design in these Essays, and their excellent tendency will ensure her ample reward. We have seldom met with a volume of poetry, that bore more strikingly the impress of native thought, or that supplied the mind more richly with materials for deep reflection. It is evident from the last extract, that Miss Taylor can achieve, as a poet, something of a still higher cast than even these Essays in Rhyme.
Art. VI. 1. Commentaries on some of the most important Diseases of Children. By John Clarke, M.D. &c. &c. Part the first. royal 8vo. pp. 198, Longman and Co. 1815.
2. De l'Education physique de l'Homme
&c. &c. à Paris, chez Treutal et Würtz. 1815. pp. 496,
par M. Friedlander, D.M.
OW to lesson the sum of physical evil incident to the state of infancy, is one of the most important problems that can exercise the public mind. That a fourth part of the human race should die in the first or second year after birth, would appear, as far as we are at all competent to judge of human affairs, to be inconsistent with the laws and destinies of our being. At all events it is as plain a duty devolving upon man to aim at the diminution of this, as of any other ill to which he is heir and such diminution, let us hail the fact with exciting satisfaction, has already commenced. We have recently witnessed a happy reformation in the management of young children. The good sense of mothers has at length protested against the nonsense and tyranny of nurses and nurseries, and the effects of such protest are more or less visible in the countenance and limbs of almost every child we meet.*
As it is then in the power of mothers to do so much, it is of consequence that every facility should be given, and every impediment should be removed to the exercise of their tender duties; and although the most correct precepts for the rearing of children are to be found in nature and instinct, it is necessary, especially in the present artificial state of society, not indeed to impose ordinances for blind and implicit obedience, but to point out rules for the guidance of maternal solicitude and such are, in part, the professed objects of the books the title pages of which are copied at the head of the present article. Taking these treatises as a text, and occasionally referring to their contents, we shall now proceed to our own brief" commentary" on some of the most important circumstances connected with the economy and maladies of infancy.
Before we proceed to do so we would in the first place join with some of our respectable contemporaries, in lamenting the faet and cautioning against the consequences, of continental emigration. It is mortifying to reflect that just at the time when the good sense of English mothers had been freed from
* Dr. Friedlander presents to his readers a table extracted from the register of the Lying-in Hospital in London, from which it appears that even in this public charity, there has recently been a very remarkable diminution in the number of casualties to lying-in women and new-born children; which this candid writer very justly attributes to an improved management of the concerns of the house, in consequence of more correct notions having come to prevail.
the shackles which had hitherto obstructed their domestic duties, it is painful, we say, to reflect that another source is opened for more than possible mischief, from the contact and contamination of French manners. It was actually becoming fashionable to be domestic and motherly; but are we not now at the very best likely to lose the little ground we had gained, rather than to make further advances in the right course; for although the political influence of France upon other nations has been recently so materially diminished, its ascendency as the arbiter of customs and regulator of manners will we fear continue to be acknowledged. We would not be unjustly national, nor are we, we hope so, in beseeching parents to stay at home, and in the bosom of their families bear the burden of the day, rather than rove abroad and take all the consequences of gallicizing their offspring, nay, of actually being the fathers and mothers of French children, merely because in France, music, and drawing, and dancing masters, can be procured at half the English price. Parents, we will allow, may be as competent to doing justice to their children in one part of the world as in another, and we are glad to be able to say that in the Metropolis of France, a very able and excellent publication has recently appeared, on the physical and moral culture of man from his earliest infancy to years of maturity; and we have no doubt that in every part and province of that fine country, there may be found females who might serve as models even for some English mothers; but it is the general feeling respecting what should constitute an accomplished woman, the standard of which we dread may become materially altered by the present rage for emigration and foreign settlements. We are, it is to be feared, preaching in the desert; but whether men will hear and forbear, or not, the duty of the attempt to convince is equally imperative.
"C'est avec la grossesse que commencent proprement les 'soins de la mère'. Females should begin to act the part of mothers the moment they find that they are to be so. They inust now at any rate forego the allurements of dissipation, and they must be equally careful not to give way to an indolent, sedentary disposition. Regular and temperate exercise is absolutely requisite for the well-being both of parent and offspring, and we believe that much mischief often accrues to each from a negligence respecting this demand of nature. will be well too for both mother and child, that as little attention as possible be given to those volumes of marvellous histories, which every nurse has ready to pour into the ears of the uniniti
*Not however written by a Frenchman, we would say, were we not fearful of displaying rather too much of anti-gallican prejudice. Such however is the fact; and we are surprised at the mastery which the Author of the work alluded to, and the title of which heads the present article, appears to have acquired over a foreign language.
ated, respecting marks and monstrosities, the consequences of desires and of apprehensive impressions. It would, we feel, be a hopeless task to attempt to convince even the present generation that all these things are merely ideal and visionary, and without support from either physiology or fact; but it may be proper to say that their number every day lessens, as the female mind becomes emancipated from the marvels and mysteries of nursery lore. We shall stop to quote a sentence or two bearing upon this parctiular from the work of Mr. Friedlander.
The celebrated professor Chaussier made particular observations during five years, of the number of deformities which occurred in the hospice de la Maternité, into which institution females are admitted under circumstances calculated to expose them to having children marked and deformed; and even in this hospital, out of twenty-threethousand one-hundred and ninety-three births, there were only onehundred and thirty-two, that had any marks of defect.'
And let the reader be particular to notice the nature of these defects.
Thirty-seven,' (Chaussier goes on to say) had lame or tortuous feet, the most common of all accidents, and without doubt occasioned, as indeed the greatest part of the others, by the mothers having endeavoured by tight lacing to conceal their pregnancy. Out of thirty-four infants, (the Professor continues,) who had any malconformation of the head or the back, there was not to be found a single instance of actual resemblance to beings, about which so much talk was wont to be made in former times of superstition and fancy.' p. 15.
We have thought proper to advert to this particular in this place, because it has been our fate to have witnessed much uneasiness during the whole period of pregnancy, arising out of this source of unfounded apprehension. Now, as it is scarcely possible for females to walk the streets of a great city without being subject to witness all kinds and degrees of mutilations and deformities, were the theory correct upon which the doctrine of maternal marks is founded, every child that is born into the world ought to have some palpable and prominent error of shape or structure. But we have just protested against going into the arguments or facts of the case, further than to caution anxious females against permitting themselves to become the dupes of mere fancy and invention on the part of others, and thus injuring both themselves and their offspring by suffering the apprehension to affect their health and comfort.
We shall not enlarge on the subject of pregnancy. We must however protest against a too liberal and indiscriminate employment of evacuants and of lowering measures, in order to obviate some temporary and partial inconveniences arising out of the state alluded to. Such expedients it is true are in some cases absolutely necessary; but even this necessity might for