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dren grow up, and their acquaintance extends beyond the family circle, the same practice should be gradually extended. “Don't you think your little schoolfellows, John and Mary,” said a fond mother to her boy, “don't you think they would be pleased, if you were to save some of these nice plums for them?” And, his countenance falling, she added, “Don't you think it would give you more pleasure to see them so happy, than if you were to eat them yourself?”
Greediness and avarice are the opposites to generosity and liberality. The former is general, the latter applied chiefly to the passion for money.
44. Kindness.—Oppression, cruelty to animals.Children should be taught to be uniformly kind to all around them. At first, oppression and cruelty generally arises from mere thoughtlessness. The sooner, then, the wickedness of such a course is pointed out, the better. Perhaps, the duty of tenderness to the brute creation is most properly placed on the ground, that God is their and our common parent and protector. But there is another point of view, well deserving attention, namely, the tendency, which either viewing or inflicting torment has, to harden the heart. Can he, who, in his tender years, has amused himself with torturing flies, and, as his strength increased, extended his tyranny over fowls, dogs, horses, and cattle, can such a one be expected to prove an affectionate brother, a kind master, a tender parent ? Will he be likely to sympathize with the misfortunes of his neighbors ? Will he treat his parents, in their old age, with tenderness and care, or will he view them as a burden, and look forward, with anxiety, to their final removal?
" Any thing to keep him quiet," answered an apparently-fond mother to my remonstrance, on seeing her supply her infant with flies and bugs, to torment. Misguided woman ! whose will be the fault, when thy child, whose heart thou thyself hast contributed to harden, shali exhibit its proper fruits, harshness and contumely towards thee, towards all mankind ?
• There is one trait of character in our American boys,” says the author of Fireside Education,' " which
I think deserves to be checked ; and that is, the incessant war that they carry on against familiar birds and the lesser quadrupeds. As soon as a boy can hurl a stone, he becomes a Nimrod, and goes forth as a mighty hunter against the bluebirds, cat-birds, swallows, and robins, that venture into our gardens, orchards, and fields. Not even the little wren, that comes with his fair offer of a dozen beautiful songs a day, for the rent of some nook or cranny about the house, is safe from the whizzing missile. Not even the little sparrow, that would build beneath your window, is tolerated. Not even the little ground-squirrel, that enlivens the woods, is permitted to eat his nut in safety. And, when the boy becomes a youth, the same exterminating war is carried on, though with a different weapon. With a fowling-piece in his hand, he roams the orchard and the field, slaughtering, without discrimination, jays, woodpeckers, sparrows, blackbirds, bob-o-links, and the rest of the feathered family.
“Now, is not this all wrong? Does not this partake of cruelty? And, besides, is it not obvious folly For my own part, I love to see the birds enlivening the landscape. The rigor of our climate drives them away for half the
year ; but I mourn when they are gone, and rejoice at their return. They are a great resource to those who will observe them. Their songs, however varied, are ever beautiful. Their forms, habits, and capacities, are themes of interesting study. It is delightful to see them building their nests, rearing their young, pursuing their food, and displaying their various musical gifts. Why, then, should we drive these creatures away ? Some of them, it is true, are thieves, and take more cherries and corn than we are willing to spare them, and I approve
of necessary scarecrows and suitable pelting, in these cases.
But why banish the whole feathered race, most of whom are not merely innocent, but absolutely useful in diminishing the number of noxious insects ? is not so in other countries. In England, birds generally are protected and cherished. I do not speak, now, of pheasants, partridges, and other game, which are sheltered in the parks, and preserved from all but his lordship’s
shot; but, throughout the whole country, the sparrows, bulfinches, goldfinches, thrushes, blackbirds, and other little songsters, are permitted to live, almost without molestation. They are seen, by hundreds, in every hedge and field. Many of them are almost domesticated around the houses ; and, even in the cities, such as Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, London, and others, amid the smoke of coal, the din of factories, and the throng of people, you see thousands of these little birds. In the heart of an English city, I have sometimes waked up, in the morning, and, from the bursting melody of finches and sparrows around, have imagined myself to be in the country:
Why is it that our custom, in respect to birds, is so different in America ? Have we derived from our pilgrim fathers a spirit of extermination ? Because the first settlers of this country cut away the forests, slaughtered the Indians, smote the bear and the bison, hunted down the panther and the wolf, have we derived from them a spirit of extirpation, which, now that the monsters of the forest are slain, is given up by men, but lives in our children, and vents itself on cat-birds and sparrows ? I know not ; but, be this as it may, I mourn over the solitude which is gradually gathering over the landscapes of New England, from the absence of the feathered songsters; and I mourn over that spirit of wanton cruelty, which makes man the
enemy, instead of the friend, of harmless birds." It is to be hoped, that, by the introduction of botany and mineralogy into the schools, our youth may visit the fields and groves for other and better purposes than the wanton destruction of so interesting a part of creation ; and that parents and teachers will embrace so good an opportunity of checking this unamiable characteristic.
It is an error to imagine that creatures in misery are the only objects of benevolence, and that it has no function but the excitement of pity. It is a wide-spreading fountain of generous feeling, desiring for its gratification, not only the removal of pain, but the maintenance and augmentation of positive enjoyment; and the happier it can render its objects, the more complete are its satisfac
tion and delight. Its exercise is a source of great pleasure to the individual himself; and, from the nature of the human faculties, every person, without injuring himself, has it in his power to confer prodigious benefits; or, in other words, to pour forth the most copious streams of benevolence on others, by properly gratifying their various feelings and intellectual faculties.
45. Magnanimity.—Meanness.—These traits relate to greatness of mind, and its opposite. Magnanimity is shown in passing over triling injuries, and, in this sense, it is connected with forbearance and mercy.
But in nothing is it more strikingly displayed, than in the confession of an error in opinion or practice ; in nothing is meanness more obvious, than in the obstinate adherence to error, or in shutting the eyes to facts, to prevent conviction. Yet, how rare is this display, either in the walks of private life, or in the halls of legislation. Some people, in arguing with children, teach them to be disingenuous, by the uncandid manner in which they proceed. They show a desire for victory, rather than for truth; they state the arguments only on their own side of the question, and they will not allow the force of those which are brought against them. Children are thus piqued, instead of being convinced ; and, in their turn, they become zealots in support of their own opinions ; they hunt only for arguments in their own favor, in place of seeking after truth; and they are mortified, when a good reason is brought on the side of the question opposite to that on which they happen to have enlisted.
To prevent this, we should never argue, nor suffer others to argue, for victory, with our children. We should not praise them for their cleverness in finding out arguments in support of their own opinion, but we should praise their candor and good sense, when they perceive and acknowledge the force of their opponent's arguments. They should not be exercised as advocates, but as judges; they should be encouraged to keep their minds impartial, to sum up the reasons they have heard, and to form their opinion from these, without regard to what they may have originally asserted. We should never triumph over children for changing their
opinions. “I thought you were on my side of the question," or, “I thought you were on the other side, just now,” is sometimes tauntingly said to an ingenuous child, who changes his opinion when he hears a new argument. It is no proof of his want of judgment, when he changes his opinion in this manner, that he vibrates, continually, from side to side. Do you think it a proof that your scales are bad, because they vibrate with every additional weight that is added to either side ? Debating societies, it is to be feared, have somewhat of the same tendency with that of the injudicious reasoners already alluded to, that of leading young people to seek for victory, rather than truth. We have now, and always shall have, a sufficiency of lawyers in the community ; but every child should be trained to be a good juror, a good legislator, a good judge. It may be asked, whether a man is properly fitted to exercise the elective franchise ; nay, still further, whether a man can be (except by chance) a sound, consistent Christian, who is incapable of weighing arguments, of looking at two sides of a question.
46. Good temper.-Ill temper. Good and ill tem
47. Good humor.-Fretfulness. ) per display themselves in the more important cases ; good humor and fretfulness in the more frequent and trifling occasions. A good-tempered man may be fretful at trifles ; but summons his philosophy to bear more important ills. А good-humored man will laugh at what occasions fretfulness in others ; but may succumb, and lose command of himself, on an important occasion, when he has most need of it. Both qualities are good in themselves; each is incomplete without the other.
48. Indignation.-Anger, resentment.-Indignation is the anger we feel at seeing others injured. Anger is the instant passion we feel on receiving an injury ourselves. Resentment is anger long retained. The first is a proper sentiment. The second is excusable, within proper bounds. The third is always wrong.
49. Sympathy.-Selfishness, envy.--Sympathy is that emotion by which we enter into, or participate in, the joys and sorrows of others. Selfishness expresses the