Page:An address to women (Goodwin).djvu/15

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charge of children, and therefore I make all allowance for irritation—but I have seen a mother come out of her cottage, and being for some reason angry with her child I have heard her say, "You little wretch, when I catch you I will break every bone in your skin." You know of course that she won't do it; and I have no doubt that her motherly heart—for she has a motherly heart notwithstanding her rough tongue—would not allow her to do it. I daresay if I said to her, "My good woman, I am stronger than you; that is a very proper and righteous judgment, which you have passed on your little boy; and if you will allow me, I will catch him and break every bone in his skin for you," she would reply, "You leave my child alone, Sir." She would take the child home, and probably would give me into the hands of the first policeman she met. But the threat to the child would nevertheless be of very evil consequence; and therefore I would say to every mother—Whatever you do, take care that you never lose your temper when you are dealing with a child. It is absolutely impossible, if you do, that the child can grow up to respect his mother.

To come to another point. I have no doubt that there are many persons here who live in poor, small houses; and I have no doubt that it is a very