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EDITOR'S TABLE.

est degree probable that she inherited an unhealthy brain, which became gradually the seat of positive disease. Dr. Bennett was satisfied of the existence of some form of cerebral malady, but he had great difficulty in assuring the friends of the patient, even in her last days, that it was not a case of mere deception, perversity, and vicious caprice.

This example enforces its own lesson. Happily, tumors in the brain are not frequent, though they may be met with at any time. But the delicate and complex organ of thought and feeling is subject to numerous diseases of all grades of intensity, to morbid predispositions that come down as taints in the ancestral stream, to defective nutrition, to early perversion and arrest of growth by premature organization, to debility and exhaustion from overwork and lack of necessary rest—all of which are liable to disturb the mind and derange the conduct as absolutely as the existence of a tumor buried in its lobes.

Is there provision for communicating knowledge upon these subjects with any efficiency to teachers, in a single normal school in the land? While it should be at the foundation of the teacher's preparation, it is neglected everywhere. In all other vocations that are studied, the first thing is to get a knowledge of the nature and properties of the material which the student is to be employed upon; but, strange to say, in the training of teachers this kind of knowledge is practically left out of the curriculum.

 

 

THE PROGRESS OF JOURNALISM.

We have received, printed on a fly sheet, the article contributed by Prof. Sumner to Scribner's Magazine, on "What our Boys are reading." It is earnestly commended to the attention of editors in an accompanying circular, signed by Presidents Porter and Woolsey, and other eminent gentlemen of New Haven, and we are glad to have the subject thus weightily presented. Prof. Sumner says that—

"There is a periodical literature designed for boys of from twelve to sixteen years of age, that has been growing up among us within the last few years, until it is widely circulated, and that is of a very pernicious character. The boys' newspapers contain stories, songs, mock-speeches, and negro minstrel dialogues, and nothing else. The literary material is either intensely stupid, or spiced to the highest degree with sensation. The dialogue is short, sharp, and continuous, is broken by the minimum of description, and by no preaching. . . . The stories are not markedly profane and they are not obscene. They are indescribably vulgar."

Prof. Sumner gives illustrations of their coarse vulgarity, and points out that the type of character illustrated and applauded is that of the vagabond, the adventurer, the prize-fighter, and the blackguard. It is deplorable that such a style of literature should have appeared among us, and grown to an extended influence. Familiarity with it cannot fail to be vicious and degrading, and it is well to warn parents and teachers of this insidious agency of mischief, to which our youth are exposed.

Nevertheless, we must be fair to the boys, and remember the examples that are set them by older people. Prof. Sumner observes: "We say nothing of the great harm that is done to boys of that age by the nervous excitement of reading harrowing and sensational stories, because the literature before us only participates in that harm with other literature of far higher pretensions." But, instead of "saying nothing," we think Prof. Sumner should have felt it incumbent upon him to give emphasis to this consideration, and sharply reprobated a system of adult journalism, the imitation of which leads to such corrupting results. For the boys' newspapers are nothing less than imitations of more pretentious news-