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In the government of a family everything depends upon a good beginning. . If you fail here, very faint is the prospect that you will ever succeed. If your first child is not well trained, and brought under entire subjection to your authority, you will find it extremely difficult to rule your household well afterwards. What can you do with the younger children, how can you expect they will reverence and obey you, when they have the example of headiness and insubordination in an elder brother constantly before their eyes? As “one sinner destroyeth much good’ in a community, so does one ungoverned child in a family; and above all if he be the eldest. It would be next to a miracle, if his example did not prove a permanent source of contagion. On the other hand, if you succeed happily in the management of your first born; if he is docile, obedient, and affectionate from the cradle, he will help you exceedingly, by the influence of his example upon the minds, tempers and habits of his younger brothers and sisters. The principle or instinct of imitation, as every one knows, is much stronger in early childhood than at any other period of life: and no where is it so strong as in the domestic circle. It is the electrical wire, which the eldest holds in his hand, and by which he communicates the spark to all the rest at pleasure. If, by the blessing of God, you succeed well in your first endeavors; if the early establishment of your authority is unquestionable and unquestioned by your own fire side, the prospect is fair, that with comparatively little trouble, you will secure the cheerful obedience of all your children; but
if you stumble at the threshhold, you can scarcely expect ever to recover from the shock. If you cannot mould the temper and habits of one child to your wishes, how can you manage several under all your disadvantages, arising from his bad example? But perhaps your first born is your only child; and if so, you will need to be especially on your guard against the undue ascendency of those parental yearnings, which bind it so closely to your hearts. It is a common remark, founded on observation and experience, that an only son or daughter is in great danger of suffering by too much indulgence, if not of being spoiled; and quite certain am I, that it requires more self-denial to thwart the wishes and curb the temper of an only child, than it would be if he were but one of a numerous family. If you do not watch and pray without ceasing, the dear little creature, upon whom your fondest hopes and affections are concentrated, will take undue liberties; and in one way or other, make dangerous encroachments upon that authority with which God has clothed you, and for the proper exercise of which He holds you accountable. Depend upon it, if you yield to the importunities of your son, or spare him when he does wrong, because you have but one and cannot bear to deny or chastise him, he is getting the master of you, to your certain retribution for unfaithfulness, and probably to his own undoing.— Say not then, he is my all, and therefore I cannot deny him, I cannot be severe in marking his faults; but rather say, that, as he is my all, it becomes me to be the more exact and faithful in the discharge of all my parental duties. The rights and duties of parents in this regard, extend through the whole period of the child's minority. It is not enough for parents to bring their children early under proper subjection, and then leave their authority to take care of itself. There is no such executive energy in any domestic code, however wise or reasonable. The work is only commenced, when you have subdued the refractory spirit of your child. It is indeed an auspicious beginning; and if you keep the advantage which you have gained, the task will ever be comparatively easy. But you must never let go the reins. If you relax, if you leave the child after it has once yielded, to follow its own depraved inclinations, it will soon become as headstrong as ever; and if it does not get entirely beyond your reach, it may cost you infinite trouble to regain the ground which you have lost. All the natural tendencies in the minds of our children are downward; and there is no overcoming this gravitating power, but by constant effort.— “Line must be upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.”
A judicious parent will not use exactly the same means to govern a boy of eight years old, as he does to govern a child of two; nor will he deal with a grown up son of fifteen, just as he does with a lad of ten. But though the means will be different, the end is the same. The young man of twenty in his father's house, has no more right to say that he will use his own discretion, in regard to observing the rules and regulations of the family, than a child of ten; and that parent sins against God, against the community in which he lives, and against his own family, who throws up his authority before his children can safely be left to govern and take care of themselves. What a heavenly example has Jesus Christ left, for the imitation of all children, down to the end of the world. When, after three days anxious search, his parents “found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions,” what did he do? Did he decline going home and being any longer under their control? No. “He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.” Let every son of twelve years old, who begins to feel restive under parental authority, and most undutifully to hanker after independence in his father's house, turn to Luke second, and read from the forty-first verse to the end of the chapter, and blush to think of the contrast between his undutifulness, and the fillal obedience of the Saviour of the world.
Family government, to be well and successfully administered, must be absolute.— Gentle reader, startle not at this proposition, as some autocratical ukase in the empire of | education. Pronouce it not false and dangerous, till you have taken time to think of it, and candidly to weigh the few thoughts which I have to suggest in its defence. I am sensible that nothing in the English vocabulary grates so harshly upon republican ears, as the word absolute.” To talk of an absolute government any where, within the protection of our stars and stripes, is calculated to stir up the spirit of seventy-six from ocean to ocean; and to call forth a voice of demoi. tion louder than “seven thunders.” But hear me patiently, and then judge.
Is an absolute government necessarily despotic and oppressive? What will you then say of the highest and most perfect government in the universe : Does not the great Father of the whole human family govern it with a perfect sway? Can any ongo stay his hand, or resist his will The objection, therefore, lies not against this form of government, but against the almost certain mal-administration of it, in the hands of any earthly ruler. In an absolute monarchy, the will of the sovereign is the supreme law of the land. All
power, legislative, judicial and executive, is vested in him. If he abuses it, he is a tyrant. If he wields it to oppress the people, he is a despot. But he is not obliged to be a despot because he is absolute. He might reign in righteousness, and in all his measures have a supreme regard to the happiness of his subjects; and if such a ruler could be found, endowed with wisdom, too, equal to his virtue, we might expect that his reign would be preeminently beneficial and prosperous. But this there seems to be no reason to look for, till the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” Any government is absolute, where the will of the head is the supreme law; or in other words, where there is no co-ordinate powers to modify or control it. And this is what I mean, when I say that family government must be absolute:—not tyrannical,— not despotic—as far from it as possible;—but supreme. ' A patriarchal government cannot be otherwise. The moment you modify it, in any way, it ceases to be patriarchal. Every parent must make the laws in his own little empire, and must see that they are obeyed. This is the divine institution. Parents are placed at the head of their respective families, to govern, as well as to teach their children, and how could they govern according to their best judgment and the dictates of their consciences, if the power was partly in other hands! In what other hands could it be safely placed? Would it do to bring in the children themselves as legislators, and leave it with them to decide, what laws they would or would not sanction, by their co-ordinate vote? Could it be done by a general confederation of heads of families, within certain limits 1 Could parents make the laws and then refer them for approval, to the legislative authorities of the state? I need not say a word to show, that either of these expedients would be ruinous. And then, if the administration of family government is not absolute and final, how can the authority of parents be sustained for an hour? The right of appeal supposes that there is some higher power to review and reverse their decisions. Where could such a power safely be lodged! What an anomaly would it be in human jurisprudence, to see children bringing their fathers and mothers by regular process before the tribunals : . But I will not enlarge. In the very nature of the case, the parental prerogative must be supreme, or family government cannot be maintained. How it ought to be exercised is quite another thing; and it is a question of vital importance, which I propose to consider in its proper place. But I feel well assured, that no other form of domestic government can never succeed. In the wide range of natural rule, supreme power in the 212
hands of one individual is not necessary—is not safe; but every man must rule his own house, according to his best light and judgment. His j must feel that he has a right to decide in all cases; and that his will is to govern, unless it plainly contravenes some paramount moral obligation, and thus encroaches upon the sacred rights of conscience.
ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD AT DAY BREAK,
Cease here longer to detain me, Fondest mother, drown'd in woe;
Now thy kind caresses pain me— Morn advances—let me go.
See yon orient streak appearing:
Hark! a voice the darkness cheering,
Lately launch'd, a trembling stranger, On the world's wild boisterous flood,
Pierc'd with sorrows, tost with danger, Gladly I return to God.
Now my cries shall cease to grieve thee,
Kinder arms than thine receive me,
Weep not o'er these eyes that languish,
Raptur'd, they'll forget all anguish,
There, my mother, pleasures centre— Weeping, parting, care, or woe
Ne'er our father's house shall enterMorn advances—let me go.
As through this calm, this holy dawning,
To an everlasting morning,
Blessings, endless, richest blessings, Pour their streams upon thy heart!
Though no language yet possessing, Breathes my spirit ere we part.
Yet to leave thee sorrowing rends me, Though again His voice I hear;
Rise ! may ev'ry grace attend thee, Rise and seek to meet me there.
True love is more frequent than true friend
On the Death of a Child at Day Break—Milton. Vol. II.
While the English language is understood, PARADIse Lost will be read and admired; and the enraptured reader of that wonderful poem will feel a desire to know something concerning its author. John Milton was born in London, December 9th, 1608. He was designed by his parents for the clerical office, but as he grew up to manhood he imbibed strong prejudices against the discipline of the established church, and refused to officiate at her altars. In 1632 he took his degree of Master of Arts at the University of Cambridge, where he had greatly distinguished himself by his intimate acquaintance with the classic authors, and by the remarkable elegance of his Latin versifications: so much so that it was remarked by Mr. Hampton, the learned translator of Polybius, that Milton was the first Englishman who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verses with classic elegance: on leaving college he repaired to his father's house in the country, where he passed five years in the study of the best Greek and Roman authors, and in the composition of some of his finest miscellaneous poems, including the Allegro and Penseroso, Comus and Lycidas. That his learning and talents had, at this time, attracted considerable attention, is proved by the production of the masque of Comus, which was written at the solicitation of the Bridgewater family, and performed at Ludlow Castle, in 1634, by some of its youthful members; as also by his Arcades, part of an entertainment performed before the countess of Derby, in the same manner, at Harefield. On the death of his mother, in 1637, he obtained his father's permission to visit the continent, and proceeded to Paris where he was introduced to Grotius; and thence he visited successively Florence, Rome, and Naples, in which latter capital he was kindly entertained by Manso, Marquis of Villa, the patron of Tasso. After remaining abroad for fifteen months, he returned to England, giving up his intention of visiting Sicily.
and Greece in consequence of hearing of the
commencement of hostilities between the King of England and the Parliament. “I esteemed it dishonorable,” writes he, “for me to linger abroad, even for the improvement of my mind, while my fellow citizens were contending for their liberties at home.” He hastened home to render all the assistance in his power to the party which he believed to be in the right. He espoused the side of the Parliament and the Puritans, and employed his pen in their cause with great zeal and effect. He now opened an academy and was also employed as Latin Secretary of State under - Cromwell, and at this time was afflicted with blindness; that calamity having been hastened by the time and attention which he devoted to writing in defence of the ruling party in the nation. In a treatise which he published about this time on church o: he
romised to undertake something, but yet he
new not what, which “might be of use and honor to his country;” a calm anticipation of great performance, which he amply redeemed by his Paradise Lost, . This great work was composed after his withdrawment from public life, and was published in 1667. It was sold by the author for an immediate payment of five pounds: but the agreement of the book
plexion. His hair was of a light brown; and, parted on the top of his head, hung down in curls upon his shoulders. His features were regular, his stature moderate, and his whole appearance dignified and engaging. His eyes were of a greyish color, full of expression, and when he was deprived of sight they did not betray their loss. At first view, and at a small distance, it was difficult to perceive that he was blind. The prose writings of Milton are numerous, but as our limits are narrow, and as it is his poetry that constitutes the basis of his fame, we will confine our notice to his poetical productions. He was a poet of the first order, and ranks with Homer and Virgil. Of the
seller entitled him to five pounds more when thirteen hundred copieshad been sold of the first edition; of the like sum after the same number of the second; and another five pounds after the samesale of the third. The number of each edition was not to exceed fifteen hundred copies. The first edition was published in ten books. In two years the sale gave the Poet a right to his second payment. The second edition was not given till 1674; and the poem now, by a judicious division of the seventh and tenth, was made to contain twelve books. Milton did not live to receive the payment stipulated for this impression. The third edition was published in 1678: and his widow, to whom the property, of Paradise Lost then devolved, agreed with the printertoreceive eight pounds for her right. After the publication of this great work, Milton wrote his Samson Agonistes, Paradise Regained, and several prose compositions. He died on Sunday, November 8th, 1674, and his remains were interred beside those of his father, in the chancel of St. Giles' church, London. He was thrice married, and, at his death, left a widow and three children who had been born to him by his first wife. Milton had a very fine skin and fresh com
sublimity of his genius and the depth and variety of his learning, there can be no difference of opinion; in respect to the first, he has certainly never been surpassed, and perhaps never equalled. Had he never written Paradise Lost, his Allegro, Penseroso, and Comus, must have stamped him a poet, in the most elevated sense of the word. Paradise Lost long struggled with bad taste and political prejudices, before it took a secure place among the few productions of the human mind, which continually rise in estimation, and are unlimited by time or place. Addison was among the first to call public attention to its beauties,
which he did, in a series of delightful papers in the Spectator. Since then, critics and bi
The Bower of Prayer.
ographers have vied with each other, in paying homage to the genius of Milton.
In the works of Milton there are many af. fecting references to the loss of his sight; particularly in Samson Agonistes, where he represents Samson as bewailing his condition, after the Philistines had put out his eyes; and in the third book of Paradise Lost, which opens with a most sublime apostrophe to light.
In a letter addressed to Leonard Philaria, the Athenian, and written in 1654, he thus described the manner in which he lost the power of sight.
“It is now, I think, about ten years since I ho my vision to grow weak and dull. n the morning, if I began to read, as was my custom, my eyes instantly ached intensely; but were refreshed after a little corporeal exercise. The candles, which I looked at, seemed as it were, encircled with a rainbow. Not long after, the sight of the left part of the left eye, which I lost some years before the other, became quite obscured, and prevented me from discerning any object on that side. The sight of my other eye has now been gradually and sensibly vanishing away for about three years. Some months before it entirely perished, though I stood motionless, everything which I looked at, seemed in motion, to and fro. A stiff cloudy vapor seemed to have settled on my forehead and temples, which usually occasions a sort of somnolent pressure on my eyes, and particularly, from dinner till evening. So that I often recollect what is said of the poet Phineus in the Argonautics;–
A stupor deep his cloudy temples bound,
I ought not to omit, that while I had any sight left, as soon as I lay down on my bed, and turned on either side, a flood of light used to gush from my closed eyelids. Then, as my sight became daily more impaired, the colors became more faint; but at present every species of illumination, being as it were extinguished, there is diffused around me nothing but darkness, or darkness mingled and streaked with an ashy brown. Yet the darkness in which I am perpetually immersed, seemed always, both night and day, to approach nearer to white than black; and when the eye is rolling in its socket, it admits a little particle of light, as through a chink, and though your physician may kindle a small ray of hope, yet I make up my mind to the malady as quite incurable; and I often reflect, that, as the wise man admonishes, days of darkness are destined to each of us. The darkness which I experience, less oppressive than that of the tomb, is owing to the goodness of the Deity, passed amid the pursuits
of literature, and the cheering salutations of friendship, And if, as is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; why may not any one acquiesce in the privation of his sight, when God hath so amply furnished his mind and his conscience with eyes While he so tenderly provides for me, while he so graciously leads me } the hand, and conducts me on the way, I will, since it is his pleasure, rather rejoice than repine at being blind.” Notwithstanding the disadvantages under which Milton labored, during the composition of this immortal work; encircled as he was by impenetrable darkness, we feel, while reading Paradise Lost, that
“—Samson hath quit himself
The Editor of the Garland will oblige by giving a place to the following lines, if found worthy.
“THE BOW ER OF P R A YER.”
To leave my dear friends, with my neighbors to part,
Sweet bower: where the pine and the poplar have spread,
And wove with their branches a roof for my head;
How of have I knelt on the evergreens there,
And Rourd out my soul to my Saviour in prayers
The early shrill notes of the loved nightingale
How sweet were the zephyrs perfumed by the pine,
For Jesus, my Saviour, oft deign'd there to meet, And bless with his presence my lonely retreat,
Oft filled me with rapture and blessedness there, Inditing with heaven's own language my prayer.
Dear bower! I must leave you and bid you adieu, And pay my devotions in parts that are new— Well knowing my Saviour resides every where, And can in all places give an answer to prayer.
Ho! monarch 1 flushed with Glory's pride!
Hie to the free-born Farmer's side,