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December 31, 1898


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(27):1556-1558. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450270008001c

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This subject is so broad that one hardly knows where to begin. To have children as perfect as possible we should begin several generations back. The Mosaic statement, "visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children even unto the third and fourth generation," is a physical fact, which applies no less to the mothers than to the fathers. If parents would have the best possible children, they should get themselves in the best condition previous to the begetting of the children.

It is a humiliating fact that the most important act of a man's life is too often accidental. In the breeding of the lower animals the greatest care is used. If a farmer is breeding for milk, beef, or beauty, he selects the parent stock with the greatest care, with an eye to the particular point to which he is building. It is interesting to note with what

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