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absence. And I am, your very humble servant,
T. B.: I shall conclude this paper with a letter from an university gentleman, occasioned by my last Tuesday's paper, (No. 239,), wherein I gave some account of the great feuds which happened formerly in those learned bodies, between the modern Greeks and Trojans. SIR,
• This will give you to understand, that there is at present in the society, whereof I am a member, a very considerable body of Trojans, who, upon a proper occasion, would not fail to declare ourselves." In the meanwhile we do all we can to annoy our enemies by stratagem, and are resolved, by the first opportunity, to attack Mr. Joshua Barnes, * whom we look upon as the Achilles of the opposite party. As for myself, I have had the reputation, ever since I came from school, of being a trusty Trojan, and am resolved never to give quarter to the smallest particle of Greek wherever I chance to meet it. It is for this reason I take it very ill of you, that you sometimes hang out Greek colours at the head of your paper, and sometimes give a word of the enemy even in the body of it. When I meet with any thing of this nature, I throw down your speculations upon the table, with that form of words which we make use of when we declare war upon an author,
Græcum est, non potest legi. • The noted Greek professor of the University of Cam. bridge.
I give you this hint, that you may for the future abstain from any such hostilities at your peril.
No. 246. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12.
Ουκ άρα σοι γε φατης ην ιααοτα Πηλεύς, , Ουδε Θετις μητης, γλαυκη δε σ' ετικτε θαλασσα, Πετραι τ' ηλιβατοι, οτι τοι νοος εστιν απηνης:
Ном. . No amorous hero ever gave thee birth, Nor over tender goddess brought thee forth: Some rugged rock's hard entrails gave thee form, And raging seas produc'd thee in a storm: A soul well suiting thy tempestuous kind, So rough thy manners, so untam'd thy mind. POPE. MR. SPECTATOR,
"As your paper is part of the equipage of the tea-table, I conjure you to print what I now write to
you: for I have no other way to communicate what I have to say to the fair sex on the most important circumstance of life, even the care of children. I do not understand that you profess your pape" is always to consist of matters which are only to entertain the learned and polite, but that it may agree with your design to publish some which may tend to the information of mankind in general; and when it does so, you do more than writing wit and humour. Give me leave then to tell you, that of all the abuses that ever you have as yet endeavoured to reform, certainly not one wanted so much your assistance as the abuse in nursing of children. It is unmerciful to see, that a woman endowed with all the perfections and blessings of nature, can, as soon as she is delivered, turn off her innocent, tender, and helpless infant, and give it up to a woman that is (ten thousand to one) neither in health nor good condition, neither sound in mind nor body, that has neither honour nor reputation, neither love nor pity for the poor babe, but more regard for the money than for the whole child, and never will take farther care of it than what, by all the encouragement of money and presents, she is forced to; like Æsop's earth, which would not nurse the plant of another ground, although never so much improved, by reason that plant was not of its own production. And since another's child is no more natural to a nurse than a plant to a strånge and different ground, how can it be supposed that the child should thrive; and if it thrives, must it not imbibe the gross humours and qualities of the nurse, like a plant in a different ground, or like a graft upon a different stock? Do not we observe that a lamb sucking a goat changes very much its nature, nay, even its skin and wool into the
goat kind? The power of a nurse over a child, by infusing into it with her milk her qualities and disposition, is sufficiently and daily observed; hence came that old saying concerning an ill-natured and malicious fellow, that he had imbibed his malice with his nurse's milk, or that some brute or other had been his nurse. Hence Romulus and Remus were said to have been nursed by a wolf, Telephus, the son of Hercules, by a hind, Pelius, the son of Neptune, by a mare, and Ægisthus by a goat; not that they had actually sucked such creatures, as some simpletons have
imagined, but that their nurses had been of such a nature and temper, and infused such into them.
Many instances may be produced from good authorities and daily experience, that children actually suck in the several passions and deprav. ed inclinations of their nurses, as anger, malice, fear, melancholy, sadness, desire and aversion. This Diodorus, lib. 2. witnesses, when he speaks, saying, that Nero the emperor's nurse had been very much addicted to drinking; which habit Nero received from his nurse, and was so very particular in this, that the people took so much notice of it, as instead of Tiberius Nero, they called him Biberius Mero. The same Diodorus also relates of Caligula, predecessor to Nero, that his nurse used to moisten the nipples of her breast frequently with blood to make Caligula take the better hold of them; which, says Diodorus, was the cause that made him so blood-thirsty and cruel all his lifetime after, that he not only committed frequent murder by his own hand, but likewise wished that all human kind wore but one neck, that he might have the pleasure to cut it off. Such like degeneracies astonish the parents, who not knowing
after whom the child can take, see one incline to stealing, another to drinking, cruelty, stupidity: yet all these are not minded: Nay, it is easy to demonstrate that a child, although it be born from the best of parents, may be corrupted by an ill-tempered nurse. How many children do we see daily brought into fits, consumptions, rickets, &c. merely by sucking their nurses when in a passion or fury? But indeed almost any disorder of the nurse is a disorder to the child; and few nurses can be found in
this town but what labour under some distemper or other. The first question that is generally asked a young woman that wants to be a nurse,
why she should be a nurse to other people's children?' is answered, by her having an ill husband, and that she must make shift to live.' I think now this very answer is enough to give any body a shock, if duly considered: for an ill husband may, or ten to one if he does not, bring home to his wife an ill distemper, or at least vexation and disturbance. Besides, as she takes the child out of mere necessity, her food will be accordingly, or else very coarse at best: whence proceeds an ill-concocted and coarse food for the child; for as the blood, so is the milk, and hence I am very well assured proceeds the scurvy, the evil, and many other distempers. I beg of you, for the sake of the many poor infants that may and will be saved by weighing this case seriously, to exhort the people with the utmost vehemence to let the children suck their own mothers, both for the benefit of mother and child. For the general argument, that a mother is weakened by giving suck to her children, is vain and simple. I will maintain, that the mother grows stronger by it, and will have her health better than she would have otherwise: she will find it the greatest cure and preservative for the vapours and future miscarriages, much beyond any other remedy whatsoever: her children will be like giants; whereas, otherwise they are but living shadows, and like unripe fruit: and certainly if a woman is strong enough to bring forth a child, she is beyond all doubt strong enough to nurse it afterwards. It grieves me to observe and consider