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general denials of possibility.
It is recorded that the mother of Charles Kingsley believed in maternal
impressions, and during her period of pregnancy exercised her
imagination and emotions in the direction of wishing, and imagining,
that the coming child should have the same love of Devonshire scenery
that so delighted her. The result proved her theory, for though Kingsley
never saw Devonshire until he was a man of thirty years of age, every
Devonshire scene had a mysterious charm for him throughout his entire
life. It is said that Robert Burns was so strongly impressed parentally
by the old Scotch songs and ballads that his mother sung during her
pregnancy, that his whole nature longed to express itself in like
measure and substance. He always believed that his poetic spirit was
kindled by this tendency on the part of his mother during the period
preceding his birth.
The mother of Napoleon Bonaparte during several months of her pregnancy,
accompanied her husband during his military campaigns in Corsica, and
during the entire term she lived in an atmosphere of battles, military
strategy, and troops. When the boy was very young he manifested an
unusual interest in war and conquest, and his whole mind had the
military bent, although his brothers were in no wise remarkable in this
direction. The artist, Flaxman, stated that his mother had related to
him how for several months prior to his birth she had spent many hours
each day studying drawings and engravings, and endeavoring to visualize
by memory the beautiful figures of the human body drawn by the masters.
The result was that from early childhood Flaxman manifested an intense
delight in drawing; and in after life his drawings were regarded as
masterpieces. He, and his mother, always attributed his talent to the
parental impressions above mentioned.
"Buffalo Bill" was believed to owe his characteristics to the mental
states of his mother, the family living in Missouri during the days of
frontier fights and disturbances, the mother being called upon several
times to exercise resourceful courage and fortitude. A well-known worker
along the lines of liberal Christianity is said to have attributed his
tendencies in that direction to the prayers of his mother, during her
pregnancy, that the child might be true to the teachings of the Christ,
and should be a laborer in the cause of human brotherhood. This man,
relating the fact, said: "I may have been converted before I was born."
A well-known writer along the lines of moral philosophy is believed by
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