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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/214

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

As this child was educated solely by working on his good feelings, he soon became as truthful, open and tender as any one could desire.

Unconsciousness, Shyness.—No one can have attended to very young children without being struck at the unabashed manner in which they fixedly stare without blinking their eyes at a new face; an old person can look in this manner only at an animal or inanimate object. This, I believe, is the result of young children not thinking in the least about themselves, and therefore not being in the least shy, though they are sometimes afraid of strangers. I saw the first symptom of shyness in my child when nearly two years and three months old; this was shown towards myself, after an absence of ten days from home, chiefly by his eyes being kept slightly averted from mine; but he soon came and sat on my knee and kissed me, and all trace of shyness disappeared.

Means of Communication.—The noise of crying or rather of squalling, as no tears are shed for a long time, is of course uttered in an instinctive manner, but serves to show that there is suffering. After a time the sound differs according to the cause, such as hunger or pain. This was noticed when this infant was eleven weeks old, and I believe at an earlier age in another infant. Moreover, he appeared soon to learn to begin crying voluntarily, or to wrinkle his face in the manner proper to the occasion, so as to show that he wanted something. When 46 days old, he first made little noises without any meaning to please himself, and these soon became varied. An incipient laugh was observed on the 113th day, but much earlier in another infant. At this date I thought, as already remarked, that he began to try to imitate sounds, as he certainly did at a considerably later period. When five and a half months old, he uttered an articulate sound "da," but without any meaning attached to it. When a little over a year old, he used gestures to explain his wishes; to give a simple instance, he picked up a bit of paper, and, giving it to me, pointed to the fire, as he had often seen and liked to see paper burnt. At exactly the age of a year, he made the great step of inventing a word for food, namely, mum, but what led him to it I did not discover. And now, instead of beginning to cry when he was hungry, he used this word in a demonstrative manner or as a verb, implying "Give me food." This word, therefore, corresponds with ham, as used by M. Taine's infant at the later age of fourteen months. But he also used mum as a substantive of wide signification; thus he called sugar shu-mum, and a little later after he had learned the word 'black,' he called liquorice black-shu-mum—black-sugar-food.

I was particularly struck with the fact that when asking for food by the word mum he gave to it (I will copy the words written down at the time), "a most strongly marked interrogatory sound at the end." He also gave to "Ah," which he chiefly used at first when recognizing