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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/210

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

one who offended him; and so it was with some of my other sons. On the other hand, I could never see a trace of such aptitude in my infant daughters; and this makes me think that a tendency to throw objects is inherited by boys.

Fear.—This feeling probably is one of the earliest which is experienced by infants, as shown by their starting at any sudden sound when only a few weeks old, followed by crying. Before the present one was four and a half months old, I had been accustomed to make close to him many strange and loud noises, which were all taken as excellent jokes, but at this period I one day made a loud snoring noise, which I had never done before; he instantly looked grave and then burst out crying. Two or three days afterwards I made, through forgetfulness, the same noise, with the same result. About the same time (viz., on the 137th day), I approached with my back towards him and then stood motionless; he looked very grave and much surprised, and would soon have cried, had I not turned round; then his face instantly relaxed into a smile. It is well known how intensely older children suffer from vague and undefined fears, as from the dark, or in passing an obscure corner in a large hall, etc. I may give as an instance that I took the child in question, when two and one fourth years old, to the Zoölogical Gardens, and he enjoyed looking at all the animals which were like those that he knew, such as deer, antelope, etc., and all the birds, even the ostriches, but was much alarmed at the various larger animals in cages. He often said afterwards that he wished to go again, but not to see 'beasts in houses'; and we could in no manner account for this fear. May we not suspect that the vague but very real fears of children, which are quite independent of experience, are the inherited effects of real dangers and abject superstitions during ancient savage times? It is quite conformable with what we know of the transmission of formerly well-developed characters, that they should appear at an early period of life, and afterwards disappear.

Pleasurable Sensations.—It may be presumed that infants feel pleasure whilst sucking, and the expression of their swimming eyes seem to show that this is the case. This infant smiled when 45 days, a second infant when 46 days old; and these were true smiles indicative of pleasure, for their eyes brightened and eyelids slightly closed. The smiles arose chiefly when looking at their mother and were therefore probably of mental origin; but this infant often smiled then, and for some time afterwards, from some inward pleasurable feeling, for nothing was happening which could have in any way excited or amused him. When 110 days old he was exceedingly amused by a pinafore being thrown over his face and then suddenly withdrawn; and so he was when I suddenly uncovered my own face and approached his. He then uttered a little noise which was an incipient laugh.