Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/199

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and life-blood of the land, and to elevate a sort of speculating indolence which in the end, may [150] make the drones disproportionate to the honey in our national hive.

Yet whatever mental tendency our children may reveal, or to whatever employment they are destined, let us teach them the art of thinking. Let us prize the slightest fragment of thought which in broken whispers they submit to our ear. While we require their opinion of the sentiments and language of authors, the traits of character which they perceive around, and the trains thought which they find most salutary or agreeable, let us gently but faithfully regulate, a dazzling imagination, or a defective judgment. It has been said of one of our distinguished divines, that his mind in childhood, received impulse and colouring from a pious mother, who taught him how to think. Though she was early removed, he imbibed from her tuition, that love of letters, that taste for original and independent research which impelled him to conquer all the hardships of restricted circumstances, and obtain the benefits and honours of classic education.

Mothers should never remit their exertions, until by teaching their children to think, they familiarize them with the power and use of their own minds. Especially let them not "despise the day of small things," nor despair, if the effect of their