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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/402

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396
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

posed to be heir to can be kept from troubling by approximating to the rules of life which a wild animal has to follow in the matter of a simple, and often spare diet, hard exercise and exposure to the open air. There is nothing more fallacious than the supposition commonly held that over-feeding and over-coddling indoors promotes health. The two together derange the natural functions of the body. He who seeks to save his life will lose it.

The body of a new-born babe is a glorious and perfect machine, the heritage of millions of years of evolution.

Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come.

******

Shades of the prison house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy.

The ill-conditioned body, anemic complexion and undersized muscles, or the fat and gross habit, the decay of the teeth, the disordered digestion, the nervous irritability and unhappiness are the result of "nurture"—not nature. In institutions children may be disciplined to vigorous health. After leaving school they are set adrift to face monotonous work in confined places, amusement in music-halls and cinema shows in place of manly exercise in the open air, injudicious diet, alcohol and tobacco—everything which the trainer of an athlete would repel.

And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost and deep almost as life.