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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/717

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CORRESPONDENCE.

CORRESPONDENCE.
 

EDUCATION FOR MOTHERS.

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

MR. GEORGE L. GUY, in his address quoted from in one of the "Notes" of the April "Popular Science Monthly," asserts that "our bookish education" does not "in any sense fit our young people to enter upon the practical duties of life."

Why should it not? If a physician be called to attend a very ill child when perhaps the nursing is most important, which will give him the greatest sense of strength—the ignorant mother blindly striving to ease present pain regardless of future consequences, or the woman accustomed to use her reason? The first perhaps can not even read the labels on his bottles, the second can take notes of all he directs and give him on his return a faithful account of what has passed during his absence.

Often a mother's daily wish is that her education had been better, that she might more easily keep pace with her sons, who demand her sympathy in their intellectual pursuits, knowing that she can not share in their rough play. There are many rainy days, times of sickness or ennui, when the boys want occupation that can satisfy their growing minds, and yet not savor too strongly of the school-room. If their mother can make history interesting from her own full knowledge, which enables her to select a good book or to embellish a rather dull one, even quite little fellows will turn from childish stories with delight to listen. Another child longs to know something of the great forces about him. Why does an engine go? What is a compass? Endless are the questions, and happy the mother who can keep her sons about her while together they find the answers. If she can draw, again there is a pleasure in the lessons she can give in odd moments, and, almost without a thought on the child's part, he finds he can use a pencil, enjoying it in untold ways. It is the same with music, with the languages, botany, and many other studies. Children can not learn all they need at school, neither can we give them too many extra hours for lessons. Their afternoons and holidays must be as free for pure play as possible; but when, owing to circumstances, that can not be had, do not let them be idle; help them to the habit of employing their minds or hands usefully. How can a mother do that, especially for boys, if she only knows how to sew, to keep a house in order, and attend to the younger children? The baby needs her care for its frail bodily life—do not the minds and souls of her older children also cry out to her?

Mrs. William F. Jenks.
Philadelphia, Pa., March 27, 1888.
 

 

THE UNITY OF TRUTH.[1]

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

We still hear from time to time of sad examples of dogmatic utterances of the Church on subjects pertaining wholly to science. The last of these occurred only a few weeks ago at Baltimore. It seems impossible for most people to learn from experience unless the experience be personal. Only the reflective learn wisdom from history.

It is for this reason that we hail with pleasure the work before us. Its liberal spirit is as rare as its Christian fervor is deep. When clergymen have the boldness to write such books, and congregations the liberality of thought to receive such instruction, surely the traditional conflict between theology and science is nearing its end.

The writer assumes throughout the truth of evolution, and strives with great learning and eloquence to show that it does not destroy but only confirms all that is most essential in Christian belief.

We most heartily recommend the book to all truth-seekers, and especially to clergymen of all denominations.

Joseph Le Conte.
Berkeley, Cal., June 12, 1888
 

 

MORE ILLS OF CITY LIFE.

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

The article by Walter B. Piatt, M.D., on "The Injurious Influences of City Life," in the August "Monthly," suggests a mention of the mental and nervous irritation caused I by the petty annoyances and trespasses on individual rights constantly being inflicted by the jostling throng of a city. We are elbowed and nearly upset, our toes are trodden upon, and our sides are punched with umbrellas and market-baskets by the crowd in cars and ferry-boats, which are crowded because the corporations that own them take our money without giving us proper accommodations in return. At places of amusement, our view is cut off by persons who stand up or sit with large hats on in front of us. At home, dwellers in flats receive various disagreeable sounds and smells from their too close neighbors. In hardly any place are we secure from being pestered

  1. "The Unity of Truth." By Rev. Max Hark.