Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/420

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does not seem as if any education could add to the mind's own original repugnance to incur them; and, on the other hand, when something in the nature of reward is held forth to encourage certain kinds of conduct, we do not need special instruction to prompt us to secure it. There is, indeed, one obvious weakness that often nullifies the operation of these motives, namely, the giving way to some present and pressing solicitation, a weakness that education might do something for, but rarely does. The instructor that could reform a victim to this frailty would effect something much wider than moral improvement properly includes.

Going in search of some distinct lines of emotional association that enhance the original impulses coincident with moral duty, I think I may cite the growth of an immediate, independent, and disinterested repugnance to what is uniformly denounced and punished as being wrong. This is a state or disposition of mind forming part of a well-developed conscience; it may grow up spontaneously under the experience of social authority, and it may be aided by inculcation; it may, however, also fail to show itself. This is the parallel of the much-quoted love of money for itself; but is not so facile in its growth. For one thing, the mind must not treat authority as an enemy to be counted with, and to be obeyed only when we can't do better. There must be a cordial acquiescence in the social system as working by penalties; and this needs the concurrence of good impulses together with reflection on the evils that mankind are saved from. It is by being favorably situated in the world, as well as by being sympathetically disposed, that we contract this repugnance to immoral acts in themselves, and without reference to the penalties that are behind; and thus perform our duties when out of sight, and not in the narrowness of the letter, but in the fullness of the spirit. It would take a good deal of consideration to show how the schoolmaster might cooperate in furthering this special growth.



AMONG the many marvelous stories which are told of the Norwegian lemming (Myodes lemmus, Linn.), there is one which seems so directly to point to a lost page in the history of the world, that it is worth a consideration which it appears hitherto to have escaped. I allude to the remarkable fact that every member of the vast swarms which periodically almost devastate Norway perishes voluntarily, or at least instinctively, in the ocean. But as among my readers some may not be familiar with the lemming, a brief descrip-