Sidor som bilder

wholesome rules, which were doubtless formed on the general customs of the times. We are now rushed into the very opposite extreme, and every day meet with children of two, three, four, and six years of age, who give themselves the airs of grown-up persons; and who are so far from appearing to think it necessary to wait before they speak until another have addressed them, that they often, by their rudeness in action and words, destroy the charm in conversation, and engross all attention to their own conceited prattle and insignificant little persons. Indeed, in some houses, it is well if the visitor have no reason to tremble for the safety of a new pelisse, or a handsome dress, when, as she knows, the children of it are allowed to climb up the staves of the chair and teaze a lady over her shoulder, or to scramble upon her lap, and stamp a muslin or satin gown with a hundred creases and folds ; or scruple not to turn from a second repast of tea, and buttered bread or toast, and with shining fingers approach every elegant female in the drawing-room, to her utter dismay; and it is fortunate if such a female be not distinguished in any such unpleasant manner, ere she can make her salutations, and retire from a family in which children are evidently masters, and the parents the dependants on their will and caprices.

You may be sure whatever your parents order you to do is right, therefore do it with a good will and readiness,

If strangers come in, rise; and when your parents have paid their compliments, do you bow or curtsey to them,

When you have bowed, continue standing. If your parents order you to sit down again, do so; if not, make a bow, decently out of the room, &c.

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The time is indeed gone by that the little girl or boy came into the sitting room with a bow or curtsey, and stood at the door until he was desired to be seated; when he not only listened with respect to the command, but even felt it to be his duty to observe the motion of the head or finger, that he might be directed to the corner of the apartment where it was the pleasure of his parents he should fix himself. That time is past : and perhaps the continuance of the customs it beheld is not to be regretted. But whether the young women and youths have advanced in goodness, in proportion as freedom and knowledge have been granted them ; whether their affection as children, and worth as men and women, have strengthened and flourished amidst the downfall of parental power, and the total extinction of awe, respect, and fear, are questions not easily answered. Certain it is, that the liberty given and usurped by children is nearly unbounded; and as this state of things must affect, to a very great degree, the manners of young persons, so will it at last end by settling itself into character; and probably, in the course of a few generations, by leavening the whole mass, and totally changing the national principles, habits, and character. Formerly, the parent taught his child to fear and respect him as a child ; with

years he hoped for love to grow from such a beginning; he seldom was disappointed. But now, the parent's endeavour seems to be directed to securing his child's love as the first grand object. He sets no bounds to indulgence; he dares not correct, lest it should displease. And how should it be otherwise ? But, at the

Years come ;

same time, what does it signify? The parent, however, considers crying and tears of great importance; he wishes for his child's love, and trusts to years to bring respect, esteem and gratitude. but he finds, with many a sigh and tear, in his turn, that he must look in vain for the others. It is revers. ing the order of right, to put love first and those noble feelings second. The sensations with which an infant gazes on the mother who nourishes it, are only the motions of affection stirring within it. For the powerful passion of love to burst forth, and burn with a steady continuance, there requires a preparatory fuel, the support of esteem, regard, and respect. Love, without these, is a superstructure of shadows; congregated mists, which sun or wind can destroy in a moment; a fire upon a hill, which a strife of winds, or opposition from rain, may at any instant put out. The present system, then, is one most dangerous; and he who shall adopt it, and expect the blessings of wise measures to attend his steps, will be equally disappointed with the simple traveller, who, pursuing the ignis fatuus, expects to overtake and grasp it. Of the two extremes, however, a fearful reserve and distance maintained with children, and an unbounded liberty given them, I cannot but think the first preferable : but the middle is the only true and safe course ; and in this alone will children learn what the wise preacher recommends : that there is a time for all things, or that the parent who caresses one moment, will be and ought to be obeyed in the very next, should he issue a command. And that the kindest and pleasantest of friends, the best of instructors and monitors, are

for ever indissolubly united in the same persons : the father and the mother.

It is necessary to apologize for this digression from the particular subject laid down. This shall now be resumed and concluded.

Patience, then, has been considered as it applies to the bearing of sickness, crosses, vexation, provocation and disappointment. Afflictions under a thousand forms might here be introduced, and added to the list; but from whatever cause, or of whatever kind, they do not properly belong to childhood; the losses which grieve maturity to the heart, only slightly affect them. A child of two, three, or four years of age, mourns but a few days for the loss of even a parent, sister, or brother; and to that of any other relative he is indifferent, unless he feel some kind of affection from habits of social intercourse. Indeed, this arises from the limited notion children entertain upon the nature of their loss; they apprehend nothing of death, and feel no more when a friend leaves them for ever, than when he might quit them for a definite period of time. Afflictions of body or mind, premature decay of any limb, extinction of any sense, affect the child no farther than as they may occasion pain. A fractured, or crooked limb; defect in the sight; an injury which produces deformity; deafness of one or both ears ; seams and scars from early disorders ; habitual convulsions ; none of these blemishes, deprivations, or evils, which cause the mother many a sigh, ever raise one in the child. Not even if he is so unfortunate as to have feet which are bent inwards, which he cannot but find to occasion him much in

convenience in walking, not even this defect, which his mother looks at with tears in her eyes, and reckons as one of the afflictions of her bosom, ever for a moment, during childhood, appears one to her offspring. The exercise of patience to support calamities which are not considered as such is therefore rendered totally useless; and the consideration of this virtue, as it makes an attendant on fortitude, must terminate here,









From what has been said, it will appear that the great end of patience is the endurance, under those dispensations, accidents or provocations which seem to admit of small, or no remedy or appeal. The effects will be resignation ; which resignation, fostered and encouraged, will produce contentment; herein is, in fact, the virtue of fortitude in a passive state : in the power of suffering well.

But how many evils of all sorts are there which will admit of a remedy! Which, when that remedy is sought for, discovered, and applied, will transform the evil into a blessing, or at least deprive it of its sting, and leave it harmless! This, too, belongs to


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