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as if doubting ; but all was calm : the countenance of the mother had resumed its composure and kindness. Something like the question of "Why was that face just now altered ? Į had then the same kind of thing which I hold now," flashes instantly across the tender mind; perplexity arises, the feeling is too mighty for an infant, the matter is instantly given up and forgotten in the play with the object: yet a vague undetermined sense of weakness and contradiction remains impressed on the dawning reason. The very next time any thing is wanted, the infant will feel that a riotous perseverance will procure it; that on points of refusal and permission there is no fixed rule; that by crying very lustily for the loss of one thing, a similar one will be given ; that an action however seemingly wrong may be committed over again, if it suit the fancy to set the lungs to work; that, in short, a child may always conquer whenever he pleases.
Here is a mass of error from one inconsiderate, thoughtless deed! And yet we only wonder that our own children are not quite perfect, and that those of our neighbours are so peryerse, $o obstinate, so hų, moursome, so capricious, so discontented, so passionate, sp refractory, when from the false indulgence of mothers, and the selfish carelessness of attendants, whose only aim is to quiet Miss or Master, at any risk, the foundation for every kind of disorder and impropriety was laid." How very odd it is that the child should be so cunning, as to recollect that the last two nights he has been taken out of his bed and has sat up for an hour ; you see he will not be pacified till we do the same now," has observed many an ig.
norant nursery-maid. It is not cunning, but the dominion of habit just beginning to declare itself, and which, through the aid of memory, tells the infant that what has been done once, or twice, may be done again.
The curiosity of infancy must, then, be answered by j
moderate gratification. Whenever a child stretches forth its little hand to an improper object, we should condescend to recollect that it is a creature endowed with reason, and should accustom ourselves to say aloud, “ My child, you must not have that; it is not good for you.” This may be thought very silly, because the infant cannot understand language ; but there is something which it can understand, and this is the countenance. Now, to prove it, if any person doubt, let a mother shake her head and frown upon her child of six, eight, or ten months old; will be not lower his under-lip and begin to whimper ? Let her assume the expression of fear. The child will start, and look alarmed. She may pretend to grieve, and seem to shed tears, when gravity will steal over the baby's face. Or she may laugh, and the infant. will immediately smile. Now we know that a certain expression of feature accompanies every sentiment. Mild, affectionate expostulation can never throw an unpleasing cast over an anxious mother's countenance: « That thing you wish for, is not proper for you, my little dear, but mamma will find something else." An infant
may or may not understand the very words, but after a little eager impatience shewn, it would consider the affectionate, mild, yet firm expression of the mother's countenance, and feel not only that it must submit, but that there was nothing unreasonable in the
required submission ; especially as the careful parent would have selected a small piece of wood, or a stick of sealing-wax, a little box, or a sheet of paper, over which it might have full power, either to hold or to let fall. Here, then, is the first principle, never to allow an infant at one time that which, at another, may be improper : or, in other words, not to give any article for play which will require watching, for fear of accident to the infant or the object, because we who profess to watch, may forget to do so, and the accident may happen, for which the infant is sure in some way or other to be a sufferer,
It is the duty of all who are concerned with infants, in every possible way to encourage the feeling which everlastingly impels them. There are many large objects, as well as the thousands of small ones daily in use, or sight, which affect a baby to whom every thing is new.
It loves to be held up under both arms on a level with a chair ; to pat with its hands on the cushion ; to feel, look, and even put its mouth close, that it may make use of every sense to find out what the thing is. There can be no reasonable objection to this, nor to its touching a table, or the shutters, or blinds ; nor, if it bé attracted by the gandy colours of a carpet, to its being allowed to crawl over the fine surface, and feel the bright worsteds ; indeed, the last is a serviceable kind of amusement to an infant, its limbs are strengthened, and its chest opened by the exercise. Yet, even in such gratification as these trifling indulgences afford, some caution is
necessaryo We hold a very little child to a large looking glass ; this is well; and a most delightful object the infant
finds it, when he looks earnestly and sees another infant, and a person very inuch like her in whose arms he is held, with another room reflected, and in it the very same chairs, pictures, papering, &c. as there appears in that in which he is himself: all this is puzzling, but it is notwithstanding very pretty. The child desires to touch; this too we may permit; but the indulgence granted for any considerable length of time produces irritation, he sees every thing promised, and can possess nothing. It is wise therefore to move away to another interesting object; but a thoughtless person remains till the hand and the lips have pressed the mirror : the child, trying in vain to bite the surface, grows vexed and disappointed ; begins to cry and to be fretful, and this too we might have prevented; indeed all tantalizing should be studiously avoided.
But objects of life are much more amusing to children than inanimate ones. An infant is always delighted to play with little boys or girls ; laughs outright at any tricks or gambols they may shew, and always bounds with delight as they approach to kiss, or to fondle with it. Next to children, an infant is attracted by animals. A fly, beetle cat, spider, dog, bird, cock, hen, pig and cattle, are all pleasing and interesting to unprejudiced childhood. An infant which is old enough to notice, is quite as much amused with the sight of a spider as of a butterfly; but by being accustomed to hear inconsiderate persons cry out, “Oh nasty spider, we must kill it," and from seeing them actually put their threat in execution, it does at last feel an antipathy to spiders, and in general to most kinds of insects.
But a dog and .cat, or the young of these animals, are for the most part the lawful prey of children. They are allowed to drive their little sharp fingers into the fur; to pinch the skin ; to drag up the ears ; and to pull the tail of the unfortunate little kitten or whelp ; and if the poor beast attempt to defend itself, it is perhaps corrected. I have myself heard a mother say, on being reminded of the animal's sufferings, “Oh, nonsense! do you think a baby has strength to hurt a beast ?" Yes, I think it has; and I am of opinion that, if it be not taught better, it will have the inclination too. An infant will sometimes wind its hand so strongly in a sister or brother's hair, that tears will burst forth before the fingers can be dis; engaged. The grasp of a babe is very strong for an instant, and quite enough so, to force a good-natured dog or cat to cry out. The natural feeling of an infant is to look grave and to be startled, on a cry of pain, but on casting its eyes around, if it perceive no gentle admonition, no serious looks such as always appear when sister's hair is pulled, or her face scratched by little nails which are often very long and sharp; if it hear nothing like “Take care, my love, pussy is hurt; pussy is crying because you have hurt her; she knows when she feels pain;" if, in short, the child do not see any real commiseration for the beast; by a stroking down of her fur, or by a kind look directed to her, this child will go on tormenting, and teazing, and vexing dumb creatures, and will give admission in his little breast to all the first principles of hard-heartedness and cruelty. And thus are children cruel at first from ignorance and neglect, and afterwards from