« AnteriorContinuar »
Children, in too many instances, are looked desire to do something, which old people upon as anything but a blessing : they have as well as young ones. It should are treated as incumbrances, or worse ; be remembered that the child's mind is and the neglect in which they are brought essentially active, and that if employment up renders it almost impossible for them, be not found for him, he will seek it for when they grow older, to know anything himself. If children were in all cases properly of moral or social duties. This properly directed, we shonld hear very result, we know, in numerous cases, is little about mischief. In some families not wilful-does not arise from ill inten- the children are considered to be very tions on the part of parents, but from good if they do not jump, sing, shout, or want of fixed plans and principles. There make a noise, and are grave and sedate are hundreds of families in this country as penguins. But this is in direct oppo. whose daily life is nothing better than a sition to nature: such very good children daily scramble—where time and place, are very much to be pitied. To be healthfrom getting up in the morning to going ful and happy, they must be allowed free to bed at night, are regarded as matters and hearty exercise of their limbs and of chance. In such homes as these, where lungs. the inmates are willing to do well, but It is a settled point in morals, that an don't know how, a word in season is often accidental fault or error is not to be welcome. “ Great principles,” we are punished as though it were an intentional told, “are at the bottom of all things ; offence. Like, we know, begets like; and but to apply them to daily life, many if, by continual punishment or snubbing, little rules, precautions, and insights are a spirit of opposition has been raised in a needed.”
child's mind, we must not be surprised In the relation between parents and at a display of obstinacy in return. If, children, precaution is, perhaps, more instead of saying to children, “ Leave needed with regard to punishments than that alone,” “Don't be troublesome,” anything else ; and as punishment is parents would tell them what to do, give most frequently inflicted for what is them something on which to expend their called mischief, we shall confine our re- activity, there would be but little occamarks to this part of the subject. In sion to complain of mischief. But this some families the children are continually system of training involves a great deal addressed as “tiresome plagues," "mis- of trouble ; and many parents, rather chievous little brats,” and such like terms. than take this trouble, oppose themselves Now, what is mischief? Are the sports to everything like liveliness on the part and occupations of unreflecting childhood of their children. It is certainly much mischief? Are inexperience and a desire easier to scold and flog than to guide by for change mischief ? Look at a youthful precept and example. No good, we are group,
often told, can be done with boys, unless “ Turning to mirth all things of earth, they are “kept down." But there is more As only boyhood can,"
real mischief in this keeping down than and say whether all the impulses they would ever enter the boys' heads if left exhibit are to be set down as mischief? to themselves. We should be very cauNine times out of ten, the annoyances tious of injuring the feeling of self-respect caused by the presence or pastimes of which the young possess in common with children arise, not from a desire to mar those of more advanced years. Weaken and spoil, but from thoughtlessness and or destroy this feeling, and there is little exuberance of animal spirits. Give a child or no hope for the character afterwards. a playthiny: he is amused for a time, but Punishing for mischief generally produces soon tries to alter the form of the toy, or this result, as the punishment is more breaks it to pieces. The little fellow did often proportioned to the parent's anger not mean to destroy it; perhaps he was than to the child's offence. curious to see how the thing was put Children cannot be wound up and set together, or was merely gratifying the agoing as a clock for a week together; they are liable to go wrong every hour, unless properly superintended and regulated :
THE “ TURKEY” PATENT OF
FROM THE FRENCI.
"Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are A FEW days after the Battle of Ivry, warm,
Henry the Fourth of France arrived, one And make mistakes for manhood to reform: Boys are, at best, but pretty buds unblown, evening, incognito, at Alençon, with but Whose scent and hues are rather guessed than a small retinue, and repaired to the house known.”
of one of his officers, who was firmly
attached to him. This officer was from The work of training is, in some degree, home, but his wife, to whom the king lightened by the fact that children are
was unknown, received him not only very imitative: what they see others do with every mark of respect, as one evithey will try to do themselves; and if dently holding a high rank in the army, they see none but good examples, good but with a cordial welcome, as he anconduct on their part may be naturally nounced himself to be a friend of her looked for. Children are keen observers, husband. However, a short time after and are very ready at drawing conclusions his arrival, the Prince, thinking he perwhen they see a want of correspondence ceived some symptoms of uneasiness in between profession and practice in those his hostess, said to her, “Is anything the who have the care of them. At the age matter, Madame ? I trust I have put of seven the child's brain has reached its
you to no inconvenience. Speak freely full growth ; it seldom becomes larger to me, for, rest assured that it would not after that period, and it then contains be my wish to incommode you in the the germ of all that the man ever accom
slightest degree.” plishes. Here is an additional reason
'Sir,” replied the lady, “I will frankly for laying down the precept:- Be your confess to you that I am in some little selves what you wish the children to be. embarrassment. This is Thursday, and, When correction is necessary, let it be slight as your acquaintance may be with administered in such a way as to make the province, you will not be surprised at the child refrain from doing wrong from the difficulty I find in providing you a desire to do right, not for the sole rea: such a supper as I could wish: I have son that wrong brings punishment., All had the whole town searched; there is experience teaches us that if a good thing literally nothing to be had, and I am is to be obtained, it must be by perse- quite distressed. One of my neighbours vering diligence; and of all good things, says he has a fat turkey in his larder, the pleasure arising from a well-trained which he will give me with great pleasure, family is one of the greatest. Parents provided he may come himself to take or educators have no right to use their share of it. This condition appears to children just as whim or prejudice may me impossible to be complied with, as dictate. "Children are smaller links in this man is one of our village artisans, the great social chain, and bind together whom I could not venture to admit to in lasting ties many portions which other. table with you; but, nevertheless, he wise would be completely disjointed: their seems so determined not to part from his joyousness enlivens many a home, and turkey, that no offer I can make will their innocence is a powerful check and tempt him to let me have it, save on these antidote to much that is evil. The im- terms. And now, Sir, you know the plicit obedience which is required of them whole cause of my embarrassment.” will always be given when called forth
“Would he be good company ?” said by a spirit of forbearance, self-sacrifice, Henry.
“Yes, Sir; he is the wag of the neigh
bourhood, and is, besides, a most worthy “Ere long comes the reward, And for the cares and toils we have endured man, a good Frenchman, a very zealous Repays us joys and pleasures manifold." royalist, and is well to do in the world.”
“By all means, Madam, let him come. man, “is by granting me a patent of I am rather hungry, and, even though nobility." he bore us a little, it is better to sup with • Is it to you ?” cried the king, in him than not sup at all.”
utter astonishment. The worthy turkey owner being sum- “And why not, Sire?_Though I am moned, arrived in full dress, bringing his but an artisan, I am a Frenchman, and turkey with him; and, whilst it was have a Frenchman's heart.” roasting, chatted away freely and merrily, Very well, my good friend; but what told lots of stories, and so amused the are to be your armorial bearings ?” king that, though famishing, he waited My turkey did me such good service for the supper most patiently.
to-day, that it is well worthy of the The man's flow of spirits seemed inex- honour.” haustible--he never flagged for one mo- “Well, be it so,” said the king, with a ment during the repast: all the while, burst of laughter. “ Ventre saint-grishowever, taking at least his full share of you shall henceforth be a gentleman, and the turkey. The good king laughed carry in your arms a turkey in pale.” heartily, and the more merry he grew, the The newly-made noble purchased a more his guest seemed at his ease, and property in the environs of Alençon, and cracked his jokes with redoubled zest. the crest of his descendants is still a But, as the monarch was rising from turkey in pale. table, the so lately familiar companion threw himself at his feet, exclaiming
BE SYSTEMATIC. “I implore your pardon, Sire. This day is certainly the proudest of my life. It will add more to your convenience I saw your Majesty when you first ar- and comfort through life than you can imarived, and was so fortunate as to recog- gine. It saves money. For a while it may nize you. I did not tell any one, not be a little troublesome, but you will soon even this lady, when I perceived she did find it easier to do right than wrongnot know the person of our great king. that it is easier to act by rule than with. Forgive me, Sire. Had I acted other out one. wise I should not have amused your Ma- Be systematic in everything ; let it exjesty so much, nor would your Majesty tend to the very minutest trifles, it is not have so much enjoyed my neighbour's beneath you. Whitfield could not go to surprise.”
sleep at night, if, after retiring, he reThe lady was also now at the feet of membered that his gloves and ridingthe king, who, with that condescending whip were not in their usual place, where kindness which was so essentially his he could lay his hands on them in the characteristic, begged them both to rise. dark on any emergency; and such are
“No, Sire,” cried the artisan, persist. the men who leave their mark for good ing in remaining on his knees; “I must on the world's history. It was by his lie at your feet till your Majesty deigns systematic habits from youth to age that to hear me a moment longer.”
Noah Webster was able to leave the “Speak,” replied Henry, who was world his great dictionary. “Method greatly delighted with the scene. was the presiding spirit of the life,"
“Sire,” answered the man, as gravely writes the biographer. as possible, “the glory of my king is dear Systematic men are the only reliable to me; and I cannot think, without pain, men ; they are the men who comply with how it will be tarnished by his having their engagements. They are minute suffered such a rustic as myself to appear men. The
man who has nothing to do is at his table. I see but one way of avert- the man who does nothing. The man of ing such a misfortune."
system is soon known to do all that he “And what is that way ?” replied the engages to do ; to do it well, and to do at king.
the time promised ; consequently he has "The only way, Sire," answered the l his hands full. When I want any mecha
nical job done, I go to the man whom I gleaming and glistening around -- long
always find busy, and I do not fail to find after the last crimson flush of evening :-/ him to be the man to do that job promptly bas faded away, and long before the rose and to the hour.
of dawn lights up the mountain peaks And more, teach your children to be while the valleys are still swathed in systematic. Begin with your daughters at darkness--though there is no wind to five years of age; give them a drawer or stir the foliage, and no muffled sound of two for their clothing; make it a point to a cataract reaches the ear--you will hear go to that drawer any hour of the day and far off from the desert wastes, a hollow night, and if each article is not properly inarticulate moan, an ineffable and mysarranged, give quiet and rational admoni-terious wail, as if nature shuddered untion; if arranged well, give an affectionate der some awful load, and was uttering a praise and encouragement. Remember pent sigh for its release. That is the that children, as well as grown people, will voice of the never-resting glaciers, which do more to retain a name than to make one. day and night crawl down towards the
As soon as practicable, let your child valleys, grinding the rocks that are their have a room which shall be its own, and basement, or wrenching them from their treat that room as you did the drawer. deep foundation. So all night long there Thus you will plant and cultivate a habit is silence in heaven, while the earth is of systematic action which will bless that moaning in its caves. It is not, however, child when young, increase the blessing the lady moon, but the sun, the fertiliser, when the child becomes a parent, and the life giver, the great source of energy, extend its pleasurable influence to the that wakes the thunders of the Alps. close of life. A single unsystematic per- Fiercely beat the beams upon the sides of son in a house is a curse to any family. the snow mountain, the vast accumulaA wife who has her whole establishment tions of a long and dreary winter; and so arranged, from cellar to attic, that she although the frost has long held the knows on any emergency where to go for masses in his gripe, and refused to let a required article, is a treasure to any them go, even he must yield to the power man (my experience reader !) while one that invigorates and releases the world. who never knows where anything is, and when it is by accident found, is almost
HISTORICAL ANECDOTE. sure to find it crumpled, soiled, or out of order, such a wife as the latter is un
On the dollars, stivers, &c., coined at the
town of Dordrecht in Holland, is the figure worthy of the name, and is a living re
of a milkmaid sitting under her cow, which proach to the mother who bore her.
figure is also exhibited in relievo on the water-gate of the place. The occasion was
as follows:- In the noble struggle of the SCENERY OF SWITZERLAND.
United Provinces for their liberties, the THERE is grandeur in the romantic Spaniards detached a body of forces from the scenery of other lands, but it is commonly main army, with the view of surprising Dorassociated with the idea of repose. There drecht. Certain milk-maids, belonging to a is silence on the mountain and the glen, ceived, as they were going to milk, some
rich farmer in the vicinity of the town, perstill and glassy is the wide expanse of the soldiers concealed under the hedges. They lake, the woods scarce tremble in the had the presence of mind to pursue their breeze, and the voice of the stream sounds occupation without any symptoms of alarm. like the gentle murmur or breath of On their return home they informed their nature in its sleep. But in Switzerland master of what they had seen, who gave inthere is no silence, or at best it is the formation to the Burgomaster, and the sluices hush that precedes the storm. Even
were let loose, by which great numbers of Night, the queen of silence, cannot dition defeated. The States ordered the
the Spaniards were drowned, and the expeenforce her mandate there while you farmer a handsome revenue for the loss he wander forth when the moon is at her sustained by the overflowing of his lands, height, and all her attendant sapphires I and rewarded the women.