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inquiring eye, and imperfect articulation implore through simplicity the indulgence of his hearers, and she does indeed make a way to the inmost recesses of all kind hearts, with a force as irresistible as it is pleasing. A little child in whom this charm of infancy is lost, causes as great a shock to a judicious mind, as it receives from the sound of a loud discordant voice issuing from the lip of a beautiful woman. Nay, a greater ; for the discordant voice may be a natural defect ; but as no child was ever an infant without having simplicity, so none could ever lose it during that period but through a cause of some kind : whether of carelessness in the parent, or aptitude in the child to copy the examples round him. If, as our great bard says, angels may weep over the fantastic tricks of man, mankind may in their turn shed tears over the unnatural expressions and affected manners of little children. Yet is this a subject for laughter to some, who make sport with folly, and misplaced sentiments. The Philistines, too, once made sport, and dearly did the merrinient cost them; they knew not the power of the victim they mocked, and awfully did they suffer. Those persons likewise who sport with vice and wrong, mock a Sampson also, and so shall they find as strength increases. The Nazarite was feeble when shorn, and he was despised. Wrong is small in infancy, and is counted as nothing. A time came for Sampson to shew his power, and he made the city tremble. A time, too, shall come for the young vices of infancy to discover their power, strength, and enormity, and they will shake a country to its foundation. For on the integrity or corruption
of our youth, depends the honour or baseness, glory or safety of the empire. As they are, so is the nation. As the child, so is the man; like as the man, so is his character.
IF A MAN THINK HIMSELF TO BE SOMETHING WHEN HE IS NOTHING, HE DECEIVETH HIMSELF.” “ MAN WHICH IS A WORM, AND THE SON OF MAN WHICH IS A WORM."." THE GREATER THOU ART, THE MORE HUMBLE THYSELF, AND THOU SHALT FIND FAVOUR.” “IN SIMPLICITY WE HAD OUR CONVERSATION."
The next attributive virtue of Modesty is Humility. The care which an infant requires; the anxiety which it perceives in those around to watch, tend, and preserve it; the pleasure with which, as a child, he is listened to, and the readiness of all to give him encouragement and assistance, are likely enough to make the little creature imagine he is a being of no small importance. Hence arise the airs which some little children choose to give themselves, the arrogance oftheir manner, and the unreasonableness of their demands. “ Mamma, mamma, get up, and do so and so for me,” and “ Mamma, mamma, undress my doll, and then dress it again for me ;" thus will many a little one run on. The weary mother, mother perhaps to another child yet an infant,
replies, “ My dear, I cannot, I am tired; I have risen several times to please you. Pray do not ask me any more. I cannot undress your doll again, my love, I have done so two or three times for you this afternoon pray try to do it for yourself.” The child replies, “ No mamma, you do it; you must do it; get up mamma, for me, and come here, you must come;" the mother again teplies in a tone of unaffected languor, “ My dear child, I cannot indeed ; your mamma is too tired.” The child rejoins, “ Mamma, mamma, do it for me."
This “ for me” the little one thinks must act as a spell. " How," his looks express, “ can I be refused ?" He seems hardly to credit his sense. « For me, mamma, for me," he continues ; till at length the mother, tired of the importunity, actually does what the unreasonable little being demands : but she grants the request as much to her own ultimate advantage as the lion in the fable did, when he acquiesced in the wish that the man expressed, to draw his teeth and pluck out his claws. For the present, the mother submits, at the price of some uneasiness, for the sake of peace. But it is a vain hope : for the child, presuming upon her weakness, and the facility with which she may be gained over, rises every time in his demands, and insists upon them with fresh pertinacity : till at length the parent, half reproachfully, half triumphantly, shakes her head and her hands, and in a loud whisper says, laughing to her neighbour so as to be heard by the child as well as the company, “I declare he is getting quite my master ; I do not know what I shall do with him, by and by,” not a word of which speech is lost to the little subject ot' it.,
Whatever is the rank of the family, the children of it should not be bred up to have high conceits of themselves, much less be taught to look for pre-eminence any where but in virtue. High birth is a noble appendage to those who disgrace it not. Great talents are an illustrious title to the respect and veneration of others, and truly powerful are they; for mind will rise in spite of all efforts to keep it in subjection, and merit in general will find its level. But distinguished virtue overtops both, and is as much superior to the accidental circumstances of rank, and fortune, and genius, as the oak is superior in strength and utility to the reed.
And besides the impolicy of allowing a child to fancy himself on an equality with his parents and grown friends, is it not a sad spectacle to behold a diminutive helpless being, more helpless than any animal of the creation of the same age, ordering, commanding, exacting with imperious tone, pert authority and imaginary importance ; swelling in its own conceit and ignorance, and triumphing over the aged, the good, and the respectable ? Setting at nought the expostulations of reason and experience, and overpowering with its arbitrary will, foolish whims and arrogant self-estimation, the remonstrance, the decision, the commands and the intreaties of even its own parents? It is a grievous sight, and one at which our better feelings revolt. Where, alas ! may we inquire, is Hown the natural and graceful diffidence of childhood ? That pleasing timidity, which acknowledges its own weakness while it implores our care and protection ? Which bids us expect a youth of modesty from a
childhood of humility, a promise of future excellence from a sense of present deficiency ? Spirit, life, vivacity, are all compatible with the humility of a child : but they are not to be employed as engines against the wishes of his parents. The very attempt to triumph over them proves one of two things: that the parents are ignorant, indolent and weak-minded persons, or that the child is an arrogant, presuming, or very forward one. The one party faintly resolving, and then indolently breaking their resolves ; the other insolently requiring and confidently making known its desires, and hesitating at nothing to gain the point and be victor. And what then? When the child, with the boldness and effrontery of elder years and more striking insensibility, asserts his demands, and, unabashed by the frown and expostulation of age, presents the unnatural picture of infantine weakness united to dictatorial insolence, what follows? That he is a spoiled child ; and that every succeeding month and year will give him a fresh title to this character.
And is this character, then, so odious ? Let us inquire of the maid in the nursery, who has to combat with its whims, conceits, rudenesses, and darings; or of the men-servants, to whom, as soon as the object is able to speak, it orders and counter-orders, scolds, and threatens, and defies. Ask the visitor in private, whose ears have been stunned, eyes fatigued, patience exhausted, clothes spoiled and mind irritated, by the riotous antipathy, or boisterous and fanciful preference of the spoiled child, whether he or she has one grain of regard or affection for the character. Desire