Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/609

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THE FIRST THREE YEARS OF CHILDHOOD.


Weit besser für das Heil der Welt

Ist frommer Irrthum, der erhält,
Als kalte Wahrheit, die zerstört—[1]

may perhaps be open to question in certain cases. In the present case it is worth while to reflect that oftentimes men who awaken from a long-cherished though pious error betray their kinship to the beasts; while truth, sedulously handed down from generation to generation, and advancing enlightenment, make men more human.

Would that we could diffuse abroad a conception of the full truth of the Darwinian doctrine of development, to the end that every thinking man who has not already been caught by the counter-current might know what it comprises and what consequences it does not warrant!

 

THE FIRST THREE YEARS OF CHILDHOOD.

THE readers of the "Monthly" will remember the account of "An Infant's Progress in Language," by F. Pollock, in our September number. We also published an article on "Lingual Development in Babyhood," by M. Taine, in June, 1876. M. Bernard Perez has just published a book upon an analogous subject—the mental development of children under three years of age. The following résumé of his observations is translated from the "Revue Scientifique" for November, 1878.

I. Sensibility: Pleasures and Pains of the Senses.—From the first month the fœtus is sensible to the action of cold. Its nervous system commences to react.

Taste.—The first manifestations of pleasure in infancy are due to taste. A child two months and a half old will refuse with grimaces a sucking-bottle filled with water, or with milk too little sweetened.

Touch.—The feather of a quill passed over the eyes and nose of a child fifteen days old will make it frown. Agreeable sensations are not manifested before the age of two months, although they may exist before that time.

Temperature.—Infants die easily of cold even in summer. It is thought, however, that adults suffer more from cold, because they are better able to compare their different states.

Vision.—Color attracts a babe; lively colors charm it, dull colors also please if they are positive and distinct. Two children, one three months, the other five, were delighted by some sketches of a grayish color.

Hearing.—One child a month old liked to listen to playing and

  1. Far better for the welfare of the world is pious error, which sustains, than cold truth, which destroys.