Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/26

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her tact in detecting the minutest shades of temperament, her skill in forming the heart to her purpose, are proofs both of her prerogative, and of the Divine Source, whence it emanates.

It seems now to be conceded, that the vital interests of our country, may be aided by the zeal of mothers. Exposed as it is, to the influx of untutored foreigners, often unfit for its institutions, or adverse to their spirit, it seems to have been made a repository for the waste and refuse of other nations. To neutralize this mass, to rule its fermentations, to prevent it from becoming a lava-stream in the garden of liberty, and to purify it for those channels where the life-blood of the nation circulates, is a work of power and peril. The force of public opinion, or the terror of law, must hold in check these elements of danger, until Education can restore them to order and beauty. Insubordination is becoming a prominent feature in some of our principal cities. Obedience in families, respect to magistrates, and love of country, should therefore be inculcated with increased energy, by those who have earliest access to the mind. A barrier to the torrent of corruption, and a guard over the strong-holds of knowledge and of virtue, may be placed by the mother, as she watches over her cradled son. Let her come forth with vigour and vigilance, at the call of her country, not like Boadicea in her chariot, but like the mother of Washington, feeling that the first lesson to every