« AnteriorContinuar »
your child becomes accustomed to threats, and the passions of both rise with the voice. .
“How did you contrive to be so cool,” said a gentleman to a Quaker, “when that rascally porter cheated you?" His reply is a lesson to parents and housewives. “Friend, I long ago
obliged myself not to speak loud, and therefore · I never lose my temper." .. .
I have seen so many well-regulated families brought up under Solomon's discipline, and sometimes controlled by the mere sight of a switch hung over the mantelpiece, that I am tempted to think he is getting too much out of fashion, and modern theories, with their feather rods, “seem to me like the crackling of thorns under the pot.”
My first sally from my bedroom was to ride; a common custom in New-England. My babe protested with all his lungs, and well he might, against the preparations of his cumbrous toilet. He instinctively raised his trembling hands to his frilled cap, and when a smart blue satin hat
was perched on the top of that, making him by contrast look the colour of a mummy, his indignation was beyond all bounds; and the flannel blanket, enveloping the whole, scarcely smothered his screams. The motion of the chaise fortunately soon lulled him to sleep, and I was enabled to enjoy the repose of nature.
Every object was as fresh as though it had just sprung into being before my eyes. The beautiful sloping hills of Brooklyn, the sparkling fulness of Charles river emptying into the bay, the apple orchards filling the senses with gentle colours and odours, the sweet-brier throwing out its perfume at the very feet of passengers, the barberry bushes, with their delicate yellow blossoms, preludes to the scarlet fruit of autumn, and even the palace-like buildings, placed at almost regular distances along the road from Cambridge to Sweet Auburn, seemed all made for me. I pressed my boy close to : my heart, with a gush of gratitude to Him who had thus blessed me. The cares of life had not taken rough hold of Edward or myself, nor
were we satiated with its pleasures. There was ever a fount of gayety in our hearts, that threw its sprinklings over the deeper shades of parental consciousness, and gave that relish to the ludicrous which is almost always discernible in delicate minds. .
But rides, like all things else, must end. Fred awoke, and began to grow restive beneath the “ bonnet of blue.” I “shued” him as well as my strength would allow, but his clamour increased. Every father and mother, who have ridden through a populous city with a screaming child, will know how the perspiration stood on our faces at this awful publicity, and how we imagined that every eye was fixed on us, and every individual condemning the breeding of Master Packard.
I gave my hopeful baby into Polly's arms on our return, and reconnoitred my establishment below. A good-tempered woman was governing all its various departments. Mrs. Philipson was one of those who seemed to think the old allowance of a “peck of dirt” to a man was
too small, for her practical allowance was a bushel. / .
In vain did I seek for my own reflection in the dim looking-glass; a kitchen towel was thrown on the sofa; Edward, forgetful of all my hints and hopes, “that every thing was in order down stairs," had suffered his slippers, coat, books, &c. to accumulate with utter unconsciousness of the effect; no dusting-cloth had passed, like the wing of a good angel, over the furniture, and a waggish friend had written in plain characters on one of the tables, with his finger, “Mr. B 's compliments."
Voyons donc, je vous prie ;
Vicar of Wakefield. Mrs. Philipson, the votary of the Penates mentioned in the preceding chapter, had been obtained for me by my mother at the intelligence-office. It often startles me when I reflect what unprincipled wretches may be brought into the very heart of our domestic circles, and how the pure minds of our children may be blighted in their very unfolding, by these necessary but vicious instruments.
Mrs. Philipson was a chubby woman of forty,