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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/213

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A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF AN INFANT.

old. At the age of eleven and a half months, he could readily imitate all sorts of actions, such as shaking his head and saying "Ah" to any dirty object, or by carefully and slowly putting his forefinger in the middle of he palm of. his other hand, to the childish rhyme of "Pat it and pat it and mark it with T." It was amusing to behold his pleased expression after successfully performing any such accomplishment.

I do not know whether it is worth mentioning, as showing something about the strength of memory in a young child, that this one, when three years and twenty-three days old, on being shown an engraving of bis grandfather, whom he had not seen for exactly six months, instantly recognized him and mentioned a whole string of events which had occurred whilst visiting him, and which certainly had never been mentioned in the interval.

Moral Sense.—The first sign of moral sense was noticed at the age of nearly thirteen months; I said, "Doddy (his nickname) won't give poor papa a kiss,—naughty Doddy." These words, without doubt, made him feel slightly uncomfortable; and at last, when I had returned to my chair, he protruded his lips as a sign that he was ready to kiss me; and he then shook his hand in an angry manner until I came and received his kiss. Nearly the same little scene recurred in a few days, and the reconciliation seemed to give him so much satisfaction that several times afterwards he pretended to be angry and slapped me, and then insisted on giving me a kiss. So that here we have a touch of the dramatic art, which is so strongly pronounced in most young children. About this time it became easy to work on his feelings and make him do whatever was wanted. When two years and three months old, he gave his last bit of gingerbread to his little sister, and then cried out with high self-approbation, "Oh, kind Doddy, kind Doddy." Two months later he became extremely sensitive to ridicule, and was so suspicious that he often thought people who were laughing and talking together were laughing at him. A little later (two years and seven and a half months old) I met him coming out of the dining-room with his eyes unnaturally bright, and an odd, unnatural or affected manner, so that I went into the room to see who was there, and found that he had been taking pounded sugar, which he had been told not to do. As he had never been in any way punished, his odd manner certainly was not due to fear, and I suppose it was pleasurable excitement struggling with conscience. A fortnight afterwards I met him coming out of the same room, and he was eyeing his pinafore, which he had carefully rolled up; and again his manner was so odd that I determined to see what was within his pinafore, notwithstanding that he said there was nothing, and repeatedly commanded me to "go away," and I found it stained with pickle-juice; so that here was carefully planned deceit.