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the street at night, and I could not name the sins and crimes which have been traced back to it. Go on to the main street of any considerable town or village in an evening. There you may see and hear, under its most favorable aspect, what goes on when boys are out at night, —rudeness and noise, vulgarity and profanity, that would start a blush upon the cheek of many an older sinner, and do send many of us shuddering on our way; and just this same thing happens wherever boys are thus suffered to run at large. Why shouldn't it? What is there to prevent 2 Darkness favors that which could not face the day, and many a boy becomes hopelessly depraved under its cover, who would go free if only his exposures were those of daylight. There are sins which, like foul birds, rejoice only in the night; and in dank dells, unvisited by sunshine, the poison-flower exhales its baleful breath. You wonder that your boys get such manners, grow so unruly at home, become indifferent to you and callous to every good impression. You marvel that they have learned to smoke and swear; you are shocked when you find that they have begun to gamble and to drink; you cannot understand these nightly fires, these street and store and house robberies, and the many other deeper crimes; and yet the prime cause lies just by, where you do not suspect it, — in the loosing your boys into the streets in the evening, because they want to go, and you do not know what else to do with them. I know how it is, – for I have been a son, and I am a father, and have already had to meet my own son on this point, — and I know, too, that it is not easy to satisfy a child of your greater kindness in your seeming injustice. But I would sooner put my boy into the cage of maddened serpents and beasts, than send him out from his home nightly, I know not where nor to what. At best, they could but kill his body; but the street at night, — after it has killed the body, it has the power to cast the soul into hell! The ranks of the drunkard, the thief, the incendiary, the murderer, are recruited from the street. But it is of no use for you to tell your boys to stay at home, or compel them to do it, unless you are going to do so yourself. No boy will treat a home otherwise than as he sees his father treat it. He may stay in because he must ; but you may be sure that he will pant for the time when he shall be his own man, and do as father does, not as he says; you may be sure that he will grow up with no desire to form a home of his own, or will form one merely as a selfish convenience. The home you make for him will be his ideal of home when he comes to fashion one for

himself. Here, too, let me say that I feel that many parents, who in many respects are just to their home duties, err in “going out” too much. They are too easily and too often tempted away from their homes, by things innocent enough in themselves, which yet, as conflicting with parental duty, they should deny themselves. There may be no harm, now and then, in leaving the child to be put to bed by a faithful domestic; but what a homesick feeling lies upon that little heart as it lays its head upon its pillow, with no sweet good-night kiss, and the childish prayer unsaid " There are many graver trials, as we men judge, but we have forgotten our own child-heart when we think so. The question coming nightly from a little crib I know is, “Good-night; are you going out 3’” — and never anything but duty compels the answer, “Yes.” There may be no harm, now and then, in leaving the older children to themselves for the evening. They may learn self-restraint and self-reliance so; but when this is repeated and re-repeated for no good cause, – when children see parents greedily seizing any pretext to get away from home, allowing some selfish desire to get the better of their duty, - when they find themselves second, and other things always first, a serious and lasting evil is inflicted upon the home. The constant and needless “going out" of parents is an example and an influence they shall in vain endeavor by other things to counteract. It leaves an impression on the memory unfavorable to the child, unfavorable to its future home. All honor to them that stay by the house for the sake of the children; and blessed the children whose evenings are made happy by the genial, it may be self-denying, companionship of father and mother. The mere staying at home, however, is not enough. The negative influence of your presence is not what your children want, but the positive influence of your interest. They want to feel your sympathy, and to know that you and they have but a single purpose for the time. What good does your sitting with them do, if they see you absorbed in your own affairs, noticing them only as in some way they interfere with or disturb you? The father and mother who are only a restraint upon their children add nothing to a home evening. They must do something directly and systematically for their children. I insist upon it, that we err in not thoughtfully and seriously planning for the profit or the pleasure of our children's evenings, suggesting, directing, if not participating in, work and play, ever ready, when the spirits flag or the zest is gone, to propose a change. I know what all this involves, – a little mother-love and a little motherwit, that's all. It does not require large wisdom, much learning, or the many appliances money can buy or ingenuity contrive. I say, there are no happier families than those which have none of these. Ask your own hearts : — away back in those simple homes of childhood, in those bright and happy winter evenings, starting so vividly and so constantly up before your vision, had you these ? Not one. By that evening fire a handful of corn kept you busy and merry till the bedtime came. You pushed the buttons or bits of leather to and fro upon the old backgammon board, or from corner to corner chased each other; or you sat with slate and pencil drawing most impossible horses and houses and men, – such as the clever artist of the “House that Jack built” must have brought freshly to the mind of many a man and woman of mid-life, – a dear reminiscence of boyhood's genius, for which I thank him. And then the book was not secretly, greedily read in a corner, enjoyed alone as now, but was sacredly kept till the evening, that all might hear it; and father read, and mother knitted, and children listened; and then they talked about it in the day, interchanging childish thought and parent wisdom, making the book a living, real, and profitable influence, a friend as well as an employment. All these things are cheap, and possible still, and all that the variety of our not more wise refinement may have introduced has not increased one whit the material of true happiness. The narrowest home of poverty has at its command, if but the heart will

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