Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/240

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times we should have endured the pangs of hunger, or subsisted on the scanty fare allowed, even had it been properly cooked, which it seldom was. Fortunately, nowadays, I believe, the cuisine in public schools is much improved, and more care is taken that growing boys should have a sufficiency of those foods that lay the foundations of a sound constitution in after life. A parent would do well, before sending his progeny to school, to see that the ventilation of the rooms, the sanitary arrangements of the school, and the diet and the capabilities for gymnastics and outdoor exercise are adequate. These things are of as much, if not of more, importance than the knowledge of Greek and dead languages, etc. There is every reason why, while the intellectual faculties are being trained, proper care should be taken of the material part; in fact, a boy's mind can not be stored with information which may be useful to him in after life and the health maintained at a standard to resist disease, if, at the same time, the brain is not fed by proper food, and the constitutional stamina kept up by exercise and fresh air.

There are some diseases due to carelessness in early life that leave traces that may handicap their possessor throughout existence, and possibly the worst of all is rheumatic fever. In this case, mischief may be done to the heart that can never be remedied, and therefore it is necessary in the days of adolescence, when the individual is careless of consequences, that a boy or a girl should be properly clad, and more especially that the covering next the skin should be flannel. The tendency that rapid changes of temperature have to induce this disease where an individual inherits the gouty and rheumatic diathesis, should make its prevention a matter of great importance, and much may be done by forethought and care to obviate the risk. Another result of school life that may bear bitter fruit in after life, that never seems to have attracted the attention it should do, is that the weak and the strong are allotted the same amount of intellectual work. This should not be. "The wind should be tempered to the shorn lamb," and the amount of intellectual work of each boy should bear some proportion to his physical and mental power.

Of course, it would be useless to expect the young to apply to themselves rules that bear fruit when they get to middle and old age. They are too young to have forethought and to understand that, like a bottle of new port, they ought to carefully mature, so as to improve as time goes on. It is a melancholy circumstance, as I have seen even recently, a lad, unfortunately left with boundless wealth and a great name, beginning life at seventeen years of age, and becoming a prematurely old man at twenty-four, and there are few medical men of large experience who can not recall numerous instances of men who have overdrawn their con-