Infanticide in ancient times

   The life of a child was by no means sacred in the eyes of the ancients. Plato taught that a defective child should not be reared. In the various Greek republics it was considered an excusable act, if not a duty, to put an end to a maimed child. The Roman father decided whether the child should live or perish. The old Norse viking took the new born child on his arm. looked it over, and decided its fate. Until put a stop to by British occupancy, the women of India destroyed their infants, girls especially, with shocking freedom. Infan­ticide is still practised, it is said, in the South Sea Islands and among the natives of Australia. The Chinese are accused of the same crime. In modern countries the killing of a young child is regarded as murder and is punished as such. In modern cities foundling hospitals receive unwelcome children. That the temptation of infanticide may be lessened, babes may be secretly placed in a drawer in a hall to be taken out by an attendant on the other side of the partition.