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friends to owe his talent to the earnest thoughts and hopes of his
mother during pregnancy--she is said to have pictured the child as a son
destined to become a great moral philosopher, her mind being so firmly
fixed on this fact that she felt it was already an assured fact.
The Greeks were wont to surround the pregnant women with beautiful
statuary, and it is recorded that in many cases the children afterward
born closely resembled these works of art and beauty. It is claimed that
many Italian women closely resemble the face shown in Raphael's
"Madonna," copies of this celebrated picture being quite common in
Italian households. Frances Willard, the temperance worker, is said to
have very closely resembled a young woman of whom her mother was very
fond. Many family resemblances are believed to have arisen in this way,
rather than by heredity. Zerah Colburn, the mathematical prodigy whose
feats astounded the scientific world in the early part of the last
century, is said to have derived his wonderful faculty from maternal
impressions of this kind; his mother is said to have occupied much of
her time during her pregnancy in studying arithmetic and working
problems, the study being quite new to her and proving very interesting.
Cases similar to those above quoted might be duplicated almost
indefinitely. The story is practically the same in each and every case.
The principle involved is always that the pregnant mother took a decided
interest in certain subjects, studies, and work, and that the child when
born manifested at an early age similar tastes and inclinations. But far
more important to the average prospective parent is the fact that many
authorities positively claim that ANY PREGNANT MOTHER MAY CONSCIOUSLY
AND DELIBERATELY INFLUENCE AND SHAPE THE CHARACTER, PHYSICAL, MENTAL,
AND MORAL OF HER UNBORN CHILD.
Newton well says, on this subject: "In the cases usually given to the
public bearing on this topic, the moulding power appears to have been
exercised merely by accident or chance; that is, without any intelligent
purpose on the part of mothers to produce the results. Can there be any
doubt that similar means, if purposely and wisely adopted, and applied
with the greater care and precision which enlightened intention secure,
would produce under the same law even more perfect results. Is it not
altogether probable that an intentional direction of the vital or mental
forces to any particular portion of the brain will cause a development
and activity in the corresponding portion of the brain of the offspring?
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