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THE FAIRIES' FIRE.
The flowers, which cold in prison kept,
RICHARD EDWARDS, 1523.
SEB, where the first pale sunbeams of the year
Ha ! are they out?
TO A YOUNG LADY.
BY $. A. B. CURRIER.
DEAR NANCY, were I to place a gem upon thy brow, or thy youthful head encircle with a crown, I would from virtue's casket select her purest pearl; and, from the garden of humility, pluck the fairest flowers, and wreathe them into a garland, with which to adorn a Christian life. Be it thine modestly to win the diadem of virtue, that when thou leavest this for a holier clime, thy memory may still live, and, deep within the bosoms of thy friends, thy moral excellence be treasured.
BY REV. J. C. WEBSTER.
PLEASURE is more distinctly appreciated in contrast with pain, beauty with deformity, virtue with vice, holiness with sin. Nothing, perhaps, is better adapted to lead us to resume a right path than sad experience in the wrong. Nothing more clearly designates our duty than a faithful exposure of our error. In this way parents may learn how to secure filial love and obedience, by considering some of the methods in which they too often irritate the passions, and thus increase the disobedience, of their children. This is manifestly the reason of the apostolic injunction, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath."
It is readily granted that children will have their full share of sin to answer for. But they are too often “ visited with the iniquities of their fathers.” In a variety of ways parents excite their anger, even in their well-meant efforts to do them good.
They sometimes do this by unreasonable requirements. In their dermands parents do not always sufficiently regard the fact that their children are merely children, and they require of them what ought not to be expected. The service is too difficult. It requires a degree of bodily strength or mental maturity, not to be expected of a child. No argument is necessary to show that it is unreasonable to demand of a child, six or eight years old, what one, twelve or sixteen years of age, in ordinary circumstances, is alone adequate to ,
. accomplish. And it cannot reasonably be expected that a thing can be done by a child in a manner suited only to the mature judgment of an adult. What is done by a child, a parent must expect to be done in a child's way; and a child has a right to feel injured if any. thing more is expected of him. If such a right is not recognized, his angry passions will very likely be aroused.
The same result is produced by austerity in the exaction of duty. A demand in itself may be all perfectly right; but the manner of the parent is so repulsive, that the child is provoked. Its repulsiveness may consist in the look, and nothing but the look. We often speak quite as significantly by the eye as by the tongue;
and some have a peculiar faculty to look daggers.” None are more susceptible to the look than children. Who has not observed the intentness with which a very little child will sometimes look into a parent's eye to see what he means ? Austerity also may be in tone. When the words are all right there is something, at times, in their utterance which is repulsive to the young heart, and the merest child knows that the feelings which prompted the mode of expression are wrong. The tone, and nothing else, may indicate kindness or unkindness; and if it indicate the latter it must produce repulsion. Again, when the look and tone are wrong, they are most often accompanied by a wrong form of expression. “You lazy blockhead!" "You impudent rascal !" "I'll take your ears off!” and the like, are expressions too often heard, and which even the child soon learns are exaggerated and revengeful, and only serve to provoke his wrath.
An unreasonable denial of innocent gratification is attended by similar effects. The ideas of parents and children often differ very materially with regard to the nature and degree of indulgence, and the child's first lesson is, that the parent must be the judge in the case. But while it is easy for the parent to be too indulgent, there is danger, at times, on the other hand, that he may not be duly considerate of the real demands of a child's innocent wants. There are certainly joys and pleasures incident to childhood as well as to maturity; and parents are in danger of forgetting that they were once children, and that they needed gratifications which they do not Let them remember that their children are only what they
As far as possible, let the parent throw himself into the circumstances of his child, and, at times, be a child again, and join in his innocent pleasures. Let him get upon the floor, if you please, and roll marbles, and build block houses; or let him ramble over the fields, and coast down hill with his children. It may even be as much a duty as to go to his shop or counting-room. Such a principle affords no license to indulge one's self, or gratify his children with any wrong or hurtful pleasure. There is a broad distinction in nature between pleasures right and wrong, useful and injurious. And the youthful as well as the adult mind appreciates the difference. Let the distinction be recognized. But while it is right to deny our children, as we would ourselves, a wrong and injurious gratification, it is wrong to deny them the indulgence of a