Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/592

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574
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

effect upon the progress of any ailment requiring medical treatment. This class of cases occupies a sort of disputable ground, a border territory which scarcely permits of their being included in hand-books of insanity, nor yet in the ordinary systems of medicine. They are considered here among the aspects—not as outcomes of disease, as are the mental attitudes described in the earlier divisions of this paper, but rather as mental conditions, not normal nor yet insane, which exercise much influence over the progress and course of ordinary ailments.

Finally, there is a condition of temporary, evanescent brain-impairment, which is produced by acute disease, and especially by severe attacks of fever. The mental faculties are usually somewhat impaired by severe attacks of typhoid fever, and soldiers, after recovery from such, are not put on sentry duty for months, as they are pretty certain to forget the watchword and countersign. At other times, more marked impressions are made; certain acquirements are entirely lost, or the mind may even become a smoothed tablet. Many curious instances of such effects are furnished by Abercrombie, in his well-known work, "The Intellectual Powers," and by Carpenter, in his recent work on "Mental Physiology." Commonly enough, this passing condition of brain-impairment is followed by an accession of mental vigor and a condition of intellectual activity which remain permanently and exercise an excellent influence over the after-life of the individual.

The relations of body and mind are becoming much more comprehensible and better understood since Science has shaken off the incubus of theological teaching as to the severance of soul and body; that baneful psychology is now thoroughly undermined; the erroneous and mischievous superstructure is cracking and gaping on every side, and ere long the ground occupied by a crumbling ruin will be covered by a gradually growing erection, based on a foundation of facts, and reared by an expanding intelligence.

 

BIOLOGY FOR YOUNG BEGINNERS.[1]
By SARAH HACKETT STEVENSON.
II.

IN the chimney-corner by the kitchen-fire stood a quaint stone jar that every winter morning bubbled over with the light, gray foam of buckwheat-cakes. While our "mouths watered," our minds wondered—wondered at the magic by which so many cakes were made out of so little flour. We believed there were fairies in the yeast; but it was only the other day that I succeeded in finding these fairies, and I want to tell you how you may find them too.

  1. From "Boys and Girls in Biology," in the press of D. Appleton & Co.