Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/198

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


We know that Newton was misunderstood, while he pondered the frail orb of the soap [149] bubble; and Fulton ridiculed while he propelled that first adventurous vessel, whose countless offspring were soon to mock the winds, and tread the waves with their feet of fire.

Count not the child an idler, who studies the Book of Nature, or invigorates by active exercise, the wonderful mechanism of the body. Yet I would not speak lightly, of the love of reading. Oh no! This cannot be done, by those who reverence knowledge. I simply assert that Nature exhibits a diversity of operations. The various trades and professions must be filled. If all were sedentary men, who would compel the earth to yield her increase? or preside at the forge of the artificer? or speed the shuttle of the artizan? or spread the sail that bears to remotest regions, subsistence and wealth?

The use and ingenuity of the hands, should be encouraged in children. Neither should their ruling tastes be too much counteracted, in selecting their business for life. The due admixture, and welfare of different trades and professions in the body politic, is like the fine economy of the frame. "So that the eye cannot say to the hand, nor again the hand to the feet, I have no need of you." It is becoming but too common to depress mechanics and agriculturists, the very sinews