Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/643

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PSYCHOGENESIS IN THE HUMAN INFANT.

accompanied by a loud clashing of musical instruments: thus, it is mentioned in the "Life of St. Patrick," that he was unable with the most formidable interdicts to drive away a cloud of bats that had been taken for demons; but what his formulas could not effect was done by a deafening sound of cymbals, which drove them away, as may well be imagined, in great affright. The greatest of the numerous miracles ascribed to St. Patrick was that of driving the venomous reptiles out of Ireland. Colgan seriously relates that the saint accomplished this feat by beating a drum, which he struck with such fervor that he knocked a bole in it, thereby endangering the success of the miracle, but an angel appearing, mended the drum, and the patched instrument was long exhibited as a holy relic. The Rev. Alban Butler, however, in his "Life of St. Patrick," states as a popular tradition of the Irish, that the miracle was given by his staff, called the "Staff of Jesus," which was kept in great veneration at Dublin.

Ribadeneira, the Jesuit author of "Lives of the Saints," states that no venomous beasts after the miracle could live or breathe in Ireland, "and that even the very wood (of the country) has virtue against poison, so that it is reported of King's College, Cambridge, that being built of Irish wood no spider doth ever come near it."—Abridged from Land and Water.

 

PSYCHOGENESIS IN THE HUMAN INFANT.[1]
By Professor W. PREYER, of Jena.

WHOEVER would watch the growth of the human mind must first make the soul of the child the object of a methodical investigation. The new-born child in its pitiful helplessness is already an object of extraordinary interest for the psychologist; yet it seems incomprehensible that the progressive unfolding of the senses of the infant—of his will, his reason, his passions, his virtues—has not engaged the attention of any but his relatives. For thousands of years children have been born and lovingly taken care of by their mothers, and for as long a time the learned have contended respecting the growth of their minds without studying the children themselves. The volumes that have been written on the subject without this study are of small use, because they lack the basis of fact. Schoolmasters and tutors can give but little help in the investigation, for the development of the faculties begins long before they are called in to assist it.

The study of the earliest mental growth is useful in its bearing upon the future training of the child. Only certain faculties are innate in every man. A true method of instruction should proceed from the

  1. Translated from the German by W. H. Larrabee.