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A LOSS OF RESPECT.

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This degradation of gifts, bestowed for nobler purposes, is not, as might be supposed, peculiar to authors, whose chief aim is gain. No, the desire of notoriety, induces, in many, who write not for money, a similar dereliction of principles. The young are, by nature, seldom, if ever mercenary. Although straitened circumstances may sometimes beget the desire to coin their talents into gold, I sincerely believe that literary distinction is the main object with them. Many would even be content to live and die in obscurity, could they cherish the hope that their works would survive when they were no more. To these youthful enthusiasts would I address myself in Southey's exquisite lines, bidding them remember that

“Fame's loudest blast upon the ear of Time
Leaves but a dying echo.”

Still, theirs is literary ambition of a nobler kind; and if conjoined with the worthy design of writing only that which, by upholding the cause of virtue, may benefit mankind, it is God-like. There is a tremendous responsibility in authorship, which is not sufficiently acknowledged. If men and women must write, -and I know they will, in spite of my warnings and representations,- let them bear in mind, that they will be held accountable for the effects produced by their works upon society, not only by society itself, but by an all-righteous Judge. Well would it be both for authors and readers, if the former engraved upon the holiest tablet of their hearts, these words, written by one of their own order, albeit in the far off land of the East.

“There is no writer that shall not perish; but what his hand has written shall endure. Write, therefore, nothing but what will please thee when thou shalt see it on the Day of Resurrection."

CHAPTER VII.

Presumption and Precocity of Youth at the present day-Neces

sity of Filial Subordination- What mode of Discipline proper to be adopted— Disadvantages of Precocity-Juvenile Amuse

ments—The Orphan Sisters—Expectancy and Ingratitude. It is not unusual to hear persons advanced in years assert, that youth, at the present day, assumes a more decided, or, in plainer words, a more presumptuous tone in society, than would have been suffered in their young days. Upon first hearing this accusation made, I felt inclined to question its justice, attributing it, rather, to the proneness of the elderly to believe in an universal deterioration. A little more observation, however, caused me to alter my opinion, and to acknowledge that the charge is not altogether without foundation.

The cause is complicated; the change seems to have been wrought gradually, like other changes, in the manners of the age. That taste for display, already commented upon, has, doubtless, done its part, by forcing into precocious maturity, powers which, to be healthful, ought to unfold themselves more slowly. But the presumptuo

But the presumptuousness of youth is, I think, chiefly owing to parental authority being generally more relaxed than it was wont to be.

I am no advocate for severe family discipline; on the contrary, I hold it to be absolutely necessary, in order properly to develope the qualities both of heart and mind, that there should subsist between parent and child a reciprocal confidence and an affectionate intercourse, unchecked by terror on the one side, or harsh reserve on the other. Still, I would have youth imbued with a salutary fear of offending, and with the necessity of obedience.

Capt. Marryatt, in his “Diary in America,” gives a picture of youthful presumption and precocity in that country, which, if correct, certainly makes our young people, at home, shine forth, by comparison, patterns of diffidence and filial obedience; so much so, indeed, that I should be silent upon the subject, did I not fear that in time we might come up to the standard of juvenile American independence. There, it appears, young people carry things with a very high hand, laying down the law to their own parents, whom they banish, at pleasure, from their society (is this credible?), upon occasions of festivity, obliging them to keep to their own apartments, lest the presence of elders should place any restraint on the diversions of the young. This, and other instances of filial insubordination, he ascribes, as I have done the very modified form of it which is beginning to mark domestic life in England, to insufficient authority on the part of parents, and an education

FILIAL SUBORDINATION.

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too early completed, and not based upon principles calculated to maintain social order.

The experience of past ages, which, in most human concerns, is appealed to, and held in respect, inclines to the strict exercise of parental discipline. Among the Romans, the authority of the father amounted to despotism the most cruel and unreasonable. The Athenians seem to have exercised a somewhat milder domestic sway. With neither pagan Greeks nor pagan Romans, however, have we now any concern. Our code of morality is drawn from a purer source, the Bible, which every where teems with precepts and maxims enforcing the necessity of a due subjection of youth. The wise proverbs of Solomon, touching filial obedience, are in every body's mouth; and, to come at once to the Christian era, when the wisdom of man was made perfect, through the revelation proceeding from God; the same doctrine which tempers parental authority with justice, and restricts it within the bounds of moderation, enjoins the submission of the child to the parent, the young to their elders, as vitally essential to the maintenance of social order.

Whenever, in the pages of history, we meet with a flagrant instance of the breach of these salutary laws, we trace also the lamentable results; and there are not wanting examples, where the individual, in whose favour the parent's or preceptor's authority has been particularly relaxed, himself bitterly deplores the error, of wbich, he feels, in

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