Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/610

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these in after-years fail to grow up strong and healthy men? and, if so, is paterfamilias sure that their "simple," i. e., monotonous and meagre mode of feeding during their years of most active growth had naught to do with their failure?

Just as any system of teaching is a real success in proportion as it adapts itself to the peculiar needs—not of those who are quick and willing, but of those who are slow or averse to learn—so any scale of diet approaches perfection in exact proportion to the provision made, not merely for the average standard of taste and appetite, but for all reasonable deviations therefrom. The daily meals of a school may be abundant and of good quality, still, if they be not more varied than to my certain knowledge they often are, many a boy and girl must fail day after day to get those particular elements of nutrition which they specially require. The result with such boys and girls is that even in the midst of plenty they remain permanently underfed and imperfectly nourished, thus retarding, if not arresting, the due growth and development of their bodies, and strongly favoring the development of any inherited or other constitutional unsoundness lurking within them.—Food Journal.



THERE is, perhaps, no more amusing trait in human nature than that which leads people to criticise subjects about which they know nothing. And it seems to be a trait common to all minds, but differing much in intensity. Education roots it out to a considerable extent, but never quite obliterates it. The more ignorant the critic, the more confident are his assertions.

Four departments of knowledge are especially infested by these critical parasites, namely: physical science, metaphysics, politics, and theology. Persons wholly ignorant of political economy discuss taxation, capital, the rights of property, and similar questions, in the most solemn and owl-like manner; others, who know so little of natural history as to be almost unable to tell a grasshopper from a gorilla, will point out Darwin's errors most lucidly; and men who have the vaguest ideas as to the meanings of the polysyllables which they habitually use, expound, with wonderful clearness, the nature of infinity, and in. vent new theories of the universe for every day in the week.

At the present time, natural science is a favorite field for the gambols of these wiseacres. And, strange as it would seem, at first sight, their energies are usually directed to the highest and most difficult subjects. The sciolist rarely wastes his thoughts upon simple matters. And