Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/31

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guided by the judgment which she had [20] assisted to form. How common is the remark, "I have done this, or that, because my daughter thought it best." And the acquiescence, is still more common than the remark. The father, quotes the opinion of his sons with pride, and is perhaps governed by it, even when it differs from his own. This influence of the younger over the elder, naturally gains strength, as one comes forth with new vigour and energy, and the other, passing into the vale of years, learns to love repose.

It is important that the power which is eventually to modify us, should be under the guidance of correct principle. We select with care, a garment which is to protect us from cold, or which is expected to be in use for years. We are solicitous to obtain the best plan, when we erect a permanent habitation. We take pains that the chronometer which is to measure our hours, shall be accurate. Ought we not to be still more anxious, more faithful, more wary in fashioning the instrument, which is to measure our happiness, when the snows of the winter of life shall cover us? If we fail to instil correct principles into those, who are in the end to impress their own semblance upon us—if through their want of respectability, we are to be made less respectable, if even in their errors, we are to partake, as well as to be wounded, how great will be the loss! [21]