health in the partner of his joys, is so dispiriting, how much more oppressive is it to those little ones, who are by nature allied to gladness. Childhood, whose richest heritage is its innocent joy, must hush its sportive laugh, and repress its merry footstep, as if its plays were sins. Or if the diseased nerves of the mother, do not habitually impose such sacrifices, it learns from nature's promptings, to fashion its manners, or its voice, or its countenance, after the melancholy model of the sufferer whom it loves, and so forfeits its beautiful heritage of young delight. Those sicknesses to which the
Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/83
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