Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/30

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LETTER II.

INFLUENCE OF CHILDREN UPON PARENTS.

WE speak of educating our children. Do we know that our children also educate us?

"How much tenderness, how much generosity, says a fine writer, springs into the father's heart, from the cradle of his child. What is there so affecting to the noble and virtuous man, as that being which perpetually needs his help, and yet cannot call for it. Inarticulate sounds, or sounds which he receives half formed, he bows himself down to modulate, he lays them with infinite care and patience not only on the tender, attentive car, but on the half-open lips, on the cheeks, as if they all were listeners."

And if the sterner nature of man, is thus readily softened, how much more must the pliancy of woman be modified, through the melting affections of the mother.

Our authority over our children, passes away with their period of tutelage. But their influence over us, increases with time. The mother, associating her daughters with herself, becomes gradually