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the law. In going through any of the genealogies handed down from
the early days of New England life, one cannot fail to be struck
with the number who have died in infancy. If this were so in
thriving and educated households, among the Winthrops and Sewells
and Mathers, where the children were spared as far as might be from
hardship, were tended with intelligence, and had the benefit of
such scanty medical skill as the colony could boast, how would it
be with the family of a yeoman or artizan in an outlying village ?
The change of climate, telling on a race not yet inured to it, the
winter air of New England imperfectly kept out by a rough log hut,
go far to explain this. It is hardly fanciful to think that the
gloomy training of a New England household, with its monotony, its
utter lack of moral sunshine, may have helped. By the joint
operation of these laws the population of New England was at once
abundantly replenished joint work- an(l ruthlessly weeded. Like a
tribe of savage opposite0 llien or f w1ld beasts, it was exposed to
a piti- tenuendes. less prOcess of selection. Such a process must
conduce to the physical vigour of a race; it would de- velope those
qualities which accompany physical vigour and depend on it. But
there are other qualities to which it would be fatal. That the
spirit of a Shelley could ever have shaped itself in the life of
New England was impossible. But the impossibility dated from a
stage earlier than that of training and culture. The birth of a
possible Shelley in a Puritan household would have been a striking
instance of what physiologists call atavism. But even if the
portent had occurred, we may be pretty sure that ' died in infancy
' would have been the only record of it in the family register.
Physical selection was part of the process wh...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
John Andrew Doyle
||152 x 229 x 17mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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