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about the matter. He has no voice as ents of a child are, from the nature of to his education or his training, what the case, absolute despots. They may he shall eat, what he shall drink, or be wise, and gentle, and doting despots, wherewithal he shall be clothed. He and the chain may be satin-smooth and has to wait upon the wisdom, the whims, golden-strong; but if it be of rusty iron, and often the wickedness of other peo- parting every now and then and letting ple. Imagine, my six-foot friend, how the poor prisoner violently loose, and you would feel to be obliged to wear again suddenly caught hold of, bringyour woollen mittens when you desire ing him up with a jerk, galling his to bloom out in straw-colored kids, or tender limbs and irretrievably ruining to be buttoned into your black waist- his temper,- it is all the same; there coat when your taste leads you to select is no help for it. And really, to look your white, or to be forced under your around the world and see the people Kossuth hat when you had set your that are its fathers and mothers is apheart on your black beaver: yet this palling, - the narrow-minded, prejuis what children are perpetually called diced, ignorant, ill-tempered, fretful, on to undergo. Their wills are just as peevish, passionate, careworn, harassstrong as ours and their tastes are stron- ed men and women.
Even we grown ger, yet they have to bend the one and people, independent of them and casacrifice the other; and they do it un- pable of self-defence, have as much as der pressure of necessity. Their reason we can do to keep the peace. Where is not convinced; they are forced to is there a city, or a town, or a village, yield to superior power; and of all dis- in which are no bickerings, no jealousagreeable things in the world, the most ies, no angers, no petty or swollen disagreeable is not to have your own spites ? Then fancy yourself, instead way. When you are grown up, you of the neighbor and occasional visitor wear a print frock because you cannot of these poor human beings, their chilafford a silk, or because a silk would be dren, subject to their absolute control, out of place, - you wear India-rubber with no power of protest against their overshoes because your polished pat- folly, no refuge from their injustice, but ent- leather would be ruined by the living on through thick and thin right mud; and your self-denial is amply com
under their guns. pensated by the reflection of superior “ Oh !” but you say, “this is a very fitness or economy. But a child has one-sided view. You leave out entireno such reflection to console him. He ly the natural tenderness that comes puts on his battered, gray old shoes be- in to temper the matter. Without that, cause you make him; he hangs up his a child's situation would of course be new trousers and goes back into his de- intolerable; but the love that is born testable girl’s-frock because he will be with him makes all things smooth.” punished if he does not, and it is in- No, it does not make all things smooth. tolerable.
It does wonders, to be sure, but it does It is of no use to say that this is their not make cross people pleasant, nor viodiscipline and is all necessary to their lent people calm, nor fretful people eawelfare. I maintain that that is a hor- sy, nor obstinate people reasonable, nor rible condition of life in which such de- foolish people wise, – that is, it may
do grading surveillance is necessary. You so spasmodically, but it does not hold may affirm that an absolute despotism them to it and keep them at it. A great is the only government fit for Dahomey, deal of beautiful moonshine is written and I may not disallow it; but when about the sanctities of home and the you go on and say that Dahomey is the sacraments of marriage and birth. I happiest country in the world, why, I do not mean to say that there is no
you to Dogberry. Now the par- sanctity and no sacrament. Moonshine is not nothing. It is light, — real, honest ry and Susy can lay their case in these light, - just as truly as the sunshine. It charming "happiest days.” is sunshine at second-hand. It illumi- Then there are parents who love nates, but indistinctly. It beautifies, their children like wild beasts. It is but it does not vivify or fructify. It a passionate, blind, instinctive, unreacomes indeed from the sun, but in too soning love. They have no more intelroundabout a way to do the sun's work. ligent discernment, when an outside So, if a woman is pretty nearly sancti- difficulty arises with respect to their fied before she is married, wifehood and children, than a she-bear. They wax motherhood may finish the business; but furious over the most richly deserved there is not one man in ten thousand punishment, if inflicted by a teacher's of the writers aforesaid who would mar- hand; they take the part of their child ry a vixen, trusting to the sanctifying in- against legal authority; but, observe, fluences of marriage to tone her down to this does not prevent them from laying sweetness. A thoughtful, gentle, pure, their own hands heavily on their chiland elevated woman, who has been ac- dren. The same obstinate ignorance customed to stand face to face with the and narrowness that are exhibited witheternities, will see in her child a soul. out exist within also. Folly is folly, If the circumstances of her life leave abroad or at home. A man does not her leisure and adequate repose, that play the fool out-doors and act the sage soul will be to her a solemn trust, a sa- in the house. When the poor child becred charge, for which she will give her comes obnoxious, the same unreasoning own soul's life in pledge. But, dear me! rage falls upon him. The object of a how many such women do you suppose ferocious love is the object of an equal-' there are in your village ? Heaven ly ferocious anger. It is only he who forbid that I should even appear to be loves wisely that loves well. depreciating woman! Do I not know The manner in which children's tastes too well their strength, and their virtue are disregarded, their feelings ignored, which is their strength ? But stepping and their instincts violated is enough to out of idyls and novels, and stepping disaffect one with childhood. They are into American kitchens, is it not true expected to kiss all flesh that asks them that the larger part of the mothers see to do so. They are jerked up into the in their babies, or act as if they saw, laps of people whom they abhor. They only babies? And if there are three say, “ Yes, Ma'am,” under pain of bread or four or half a dozen of them, as there and water for a week, when their ungenerally are, so much the more do erring nature prompts them to hurl out, they see babies whose bodies monopo- “I won't, you hideous old fright!” lize the mother's time to the disadvan. They are sent out of the room whenevtage of their souls. She loves them, er a fascinating bit of scandal is to be and she works for them day and night; rehearsed, packed off to bed just as evbut when they are ranting and ramp- erybody is settled down for a charming ing and quarrelling, and torturing her evening, bothered about their lessons over-tense nerves, she forgets the infi- when their play is but fairly under way, nite, and applies herself energetically and hedged and hampered on every side. to the finite, by sending Harry with a It is true that all this may be for their round scolding into one corner and Su- good, but, my dear dolt, what of that ? sy into another, with no light thrown So everything is for the good of grownupon the point in dispute, no principle up people ; but does that make us consettled as a guide in future difficulties, tented ? It is doubtless for our good and little discrimination as to the rela- in the long run that we lose our pockettive guilt of the offenders. But there books, and break our arms, and catch is no court of appeal before which Har- a fever, and have our brothers defraud