Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/727

This page has been validated.



not only for use in the bringing up of other children, but also because of the light which it may throw on the more difficult problems of general psychology. These thoughts have been brought to mind by a reading of Dr. Sully's Children's Ways.[1] The book consists of selections from the author's recently published Studies of Childhood. The somewhat abstruse discussions and the technical language of the psychologist, which were present in the first work, have been done away with, and the style and subject-matter adapted to the needs of the general reader. The book may perhaps be summed up imperfectly as a popular study of the various instincts, emotions, and habits of mind of the average child as exhibited in the several stages of his progress to a realizing sense of his true relation to his surroundings. The results and dangers of certain thoughtless modes of treatment and early education, and the means which should be taken for eliminating, as far as possible, the numerous barbarous atavisms which are manifested in the human young one are pointed out. Regarding the much-discussed question of the moral nature of the child, Dr. Sully very happily says: "So far from saying that child nature is utterly bad or beautifully perfect, we should say that it is a disorderly jumble of impulses, each pushing itself upward in lively contest with the others, some toward what is bad, others toward what is good. It is on this motley group of tendencies that the hand of the moral cultivator has to work, selecting, arranging, organizing into a beautiful whole." Some amusing stories, which are told as illustrating various typical characteristics of childhood, form a charming adjunct to the more strictly practical text. The book is extremely interesting reading, and should prove suggestive and instructive, especially to mothers, who are as individuals most unfortunately prone to look on the latest comer as simply "my baby," and to lose sight of the future in the immediate emotional pleasure of pleasing him. Dr. Sully suffers somewhat from this same fault of over-enthusiasm, occasionally allowing his interest to get the better of his judgment; but many will consider this a happy fault in these extremely practical days. On the whole it seems to us that this condensation of the "Studies" was well conceived, and that if it gains the circulation its importance deserves we may look to see a marked improvement in the observation and training of children.

A better characterization can hardly be made of Mr. Means's sober book on Industrial Freedom[2] than that given by Mr. Wells in the introduction which he furnishes to it. Its aim, he says, is to show that no good can come out of the proposals that are made for legislative interference between employer and employed or out of socialistic schemes. "The author considers the existing methods of distributing the products of human activity by means of the wages system, and demonstrates that it tends to establish working people in a state of independence rather than of subjection; to promote industrial freedom and not to produce 'industrial slavery.' He shows how intimately the welfare of laborers is connected with the prosperity of their employers, and how the attempts to diminish the wealth of corporations may diminish the fund of capital out of which laborers are

  1. Children's Ways. By James Sully, M. A., LL. D. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 193. Price, $1.25.
  2. Industrial Freedom. By David MacGregor Means. With an Introduction by the Hon. David A. Wells. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp.248. Price, $1.50.