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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/603

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If you would preserve your children from wasting diseases, do not stint them in their sleep; chlorotic girls, especially, and weakly babies need all the rest they can get. If they are drowsy in the morning, let them sleep; it will do them more good than stimulants and tonic sirups. For school-children in their teens, eight hours of quiet sleep is generally enough, but do not restrict them to fixed hours; in mid-summer there should be a siesta-corner in every house, a lounge or an old mattress in the coolest nook of the hall, or a hammock in the shade of the porch, where the little ones can pass the sleep-inviting afternoons. Nor is it necessary to send them to bed at the very time when all nature awakens from the torpid influence of the day-star; sleep in the atmosphere of a stifling bedroom would bring no rest and no pleasant dreams. But an hour after sunset there will be a change; the night-wind rises and the fainting land revives; cool air is a febrifuge and Nature's remedy for the dyspeptic influences of a sultry day. Open every window, and let your children share the luxury of the last evening hour; after breathing the fresh night-air for a while, they will sleep in peace.



THE general democratic tendency of the past three hundred years has had some curious results. Free thought and free speech have brought about a universal freedom in criticism, so that, at the present time, singularly enough, it has come to be looked upon as a sign of high civilization and progress for every man to have an opinion about everything, whether he knows anything about it or not. One of the most complicated political problems that men have ever had to treat, viz., the Eastern question, is discussed in this city, by individuals and newspapers, with more readiness and assurance than in the council-chambers of Berlin or London, and every man above the condition of a rag-picker will give you his opinion on the philosophy of evolution. This exaggerated sense of self-importance brings with it not only the tendency to criticise everything not in accordance with each person's notion of what is right or expedient, but, inasmuch as conflicting currents of thought and action are unavoidable, a profound feeling of dissatisfaction with one's own environment. This feeling of dissatisfaction shows itself in curious ways. In place of the intense patriotism and personal loyalty of past ages, we find a widespread belief in almost all highly civilized nations that things are better managed elsewhere than at home, and the newspapers, here and abroad, are crowded with this not-always-well-based self-criticism. New York newspapers are