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a friend. There are persons whom the heads of a family must visit, and whom they could never love, who nevertheless are not destitute of some merit ; or there are certain ancient ties which are not to be broken without setting a whole neighbourhood in a ferment, and violating the forms of good breeding. It is in vain to say we will associate with none but such as we can make real friends. We cannot make friends till we know them, and an opportunity for this may never perhaps occur. Great events, which call for heroic sacrifices, and ask the display of qualities which demand our love, seldom fall upon members of a civilized nation. The little world of one family moves quietly in its own sphere, alternately vexed and pleased by the small occurrences of day and day, and gently agitated by the interests which swell its own wishes. Provided our acquaintances be persons of good morals, we must be content to let them have their whims and caprices, their self-love and their volatility. This variety children must see if they enter a drawingroom, which, if they never enter in childhood, they will be no ornament to in maturity. But we should be careful to preserve them from all the contagion of diversity of opinion and rancour of prejudice; and, if a mother or guardian be anxious on the subject, she may easily do so, by encouraging her child's prattle with one person whom she values, rather than with another whom she does not : by assuming an air of severity or cool displeasure that will sufficiently check a person who only sports with a child from compliment to the parent; or by doing what she has it always in her power in her own house to do ; send
ing the child away to his chamber on some little honest pretext or other.
As children grow older, they are very apt, in their proneness to judge from appearances, to conceive strong and hasty prepossession for this or that person, whether of their own age or otherwise. Possibly young people thus attach themselves for one of tliese
Because their pride may be gratified by visiting persons of higher birth, or greater fashion and fortune than they in a general way do; persons, whom not to know, would 6
argue themselves unknown :" Because they themselves may be of the higher rank, and desire the homage of those inferiors, who are ready to offer it ;
Because custom and habit, or circumstance, have made the intimacy one of necessity : or, because they may have pleasure, sympathy, and delight in their society, and sought it from no motive of worldly interest.
From being an acquaintance on any of these terms, the person is sought after, invited, familiarized with, and detained beyond the length of a formal visit. The acquaintanceship then glides gently away, and what is termed friendship, remains in the place.
Oh, how has this sacred title been dishonoured and abused in its application! How many beings call, themselves friends, and are so named by others, who have not one beat of generous feeling in their breasts! whose motive is interest, whose ruling passion is gain, whose delight is to court the sun of prosperity, and whose care is to move away with the approach of reverses !
That a child may not betimes learn to degrade this word from its true sense, a mother should teach him what a friend is, and how mighty a discovery it is to find one;
that when once he has secured such a treasure, it should be held invaluable. Children form friendships with children, and youth with youth. In general, some equalizing sympathy is necessary to really ensure this noble intimacy; whether it be of age, of tastes, of pursuits, or of obligations. It is slow in forming, when it is to stand, for, as the admirable Feltham observes, that love is never lasting which flames before it burns. A mother can scarcely be too cautious in directing the friendships of her child. If he be of a warm-hearted, generous, open, confiding nature, he will take up the ideas, as he will copy the manners of his friend. There is a charm in noticing every little peculiarity of the person we love, and from noticing, we come at length to imitate, without being conscious of so doing. This sufficiently shews the danger of young friendship, which has not good principle and habit on both sides to give it value.
In a general way, young people should be instructed to form few close attachments away from the members of their own family, but to cultivate the society of an acquaintance with attention; and should be taught to bear in mind, that the end of good society is rational amusement and instruction. Our aim should, therefore, be, to hold frequent intercourse with our superiors ; not so much our superiors in wealth, as in talent and knowledge; that we may stand some chance for improvement, and so far differ
from the haughty Roman, who, desiring always the the pre-eminence, said, he would rather be first in the village than second in the capitol.
The last point for consideration, is the relation of children with servants, peasants, and the poor. One of them has already been touched upon in another place. An equal gentle behaviour is always to be enforced from children to inferiors, whether they be servants or peasants. If we do not permit intimacy with the household, neither should we allow fretful, improper, hasty altercation. Every service required should be asked for in a mild affable tone and manner, and thanks should always accompany the service. If, in any way, children might conduce to the comforts, or promote the happiness of any and all about them, they should be taught to do so, that while the heart is tender we may mould it to impressions of goodness and universal humanity.
But if several reasons may be adduced against the familiar intercourse of children with servants, they do not hold in speaking of the familiarity of well-born children with the peasantry. The grand failings of servants are a disregard of truth, and an affectation of manners above those of their class. Those who doubt the first assertion, may ask themselves and declare, how many such persons they know, of whom they can say, “ Truth only passes those lips : I can place full and entire dependance in all that they utter.” Wherever such domestics are found, and
* A lie, says the son of Sirach, is a foul blot in a man, yet it is continually in the mouth of the untaught.
some there doubtless may be, they should indeed be prized, and many faults be pardoned in consideration of this so great quality ; but where testimonials cannot be offered in such confidence, let parents never give children from under their own superintendance.
In some judicious little work for children, which I have read, the hero of the tale is made to say to his mother, “ Why do you object to my talking much to our servants, and yet encourage me to speak to the peasants." The exact words of the reply I cannot remember, but the following remarks may convey a part of their meaning :
That the class of servants, which are originally sprung from the peasants and low ranks, being taken young into families of fashion and fortune, are thus transplanted to new climes, moulded to new forms, and grow habituated to customs to which they have been hitherto strangers.
That the influence of example around them, the state of plenty and luxury in which they live, and the fashionable license of sentiment and impunity of riches, all and severally aid in making a vague but false impression of actual life, and in creating a disgust to country pursuits, manual labour, and simple habits:
That such persons, when totally unprepared by previous useful instruction, are on these elevations filled with speculations of grandeur, finery, shew and selfindulgence, which no force within them can withstand but that of good sense, an humble mind, and solid principles; that they copy their employers and forget themselves: the maid, with all the failings of her lady, divested of her grace, elegance, or higher virtues,