The charity infant who has opened its eyes in an institution is peculiar to the city. Its chances for life are less than those of any other class. Most of these babies if bottle-fed will die, as has been demonstrated in some of our nurseries. This is not because the infants are especially unhealthy when they come into the world. It is surprising, when one considers what hardships, physical and mental, the mothers have endured, that the children should be as robust and well-formed as they generally arc.
In view of the disastrous effects of artificial feeding, the plan now adopted is to have a woman nurse her own baby and one other. In this way the mortality has been greatly reduced. The public infant is probably best cared for when sent into the country and boarded with farmers, and this is now extensively done by some of the institutions.
AMONG the agencies by which we may hope to remedy the evils threatening us on account of the rapid wasting of our forests, Arbor-day promises to be one of the most important. A little thing to begin with, it is capable of such expansion as to become a wide-spread power for good.
For the settler on the naked, wind-swept prairie, to plant trees was one of the first necessities of life. Certainly, without the presence of trees existence there could not be comfortable, and the tendency of one's surroundings was to forbid any but a low type of civilization or of domestic life. Fertile soil is not all that is needful, nor can man live, as he was designed to live, by bread alone.
But manifest as was the need of tree-planting under the circumstances adverted to, it was not easy to effect the work. The very magnitude of it was as discouraging as its necessity was imperative. What could the planting done by a few settlers amount to on those wide seas of verdure, treeless and shoreless? Driven by necessity, as we have said, they did, many of them at least, plant their little groves of Cottonwood and other quick-growing but frail trees around their cabins. These gave some shelter to the cabins and their inmates. But what was to shelter the cattle and the crops? The haphazard efforts of a few, working here and there without concert, easily spent themselves in attaining results far short of what were needed.
It was the happy fortune of one living as a pioneer in the treeless region of the West, not only to feel with those around him the evils of their peculiar situation, but to devise an instrumentality which would arouse an interest in the needed work and an enthusiasm for it