Page images


[ocr errors]



quality. The treatment is the same whether it be hurt or frightened, or peevish without any visible

It is stuffed with what, at suitable intervals, EFFECTS OF EARLY GLUTTONY.

would, if properly selected, be wholesome nutri

ment; but which, given thus lavishly and frequently, The influence of the physical over our moral na. is a real load, generating crudities and all imagina. ture is at no time so strong as during the period of ble distress. infancy and childhood. A suffering

child is neces- In proportion as the articles of food allowed are sarily a cross one; pain is accompanied by restless- numerous and diversified in their nature, reliance on ness and crying--protracted disease by peevishness the suggestions of the appetite of a child is diminand ill-nature. This is a commonplace truth, admit- ished. We know not under these circumstances ted by all, and yet the inductions from it are neglect- how to separate artificial wants from instinctive ed by nearly all. Parents, the natural guardians of Parents seldom give themselves any trouble their children's health and welfare, are often the im- in drawing the distinction : everything which is mediate agents in the ruin of both. Misguided af- pointed out by their own prepossessions, the sugges- . fection is sometimes the cause of this fatal errour, tions of visiting friends, or the whims of the child, which more generally has its origin in indolence of is too often allowed to this latter. When crammed, character.

it is fretful and capricious ; and it is still further For the present we shall confine our strictures to crammed to sooth its fretfulness and capriciousness. the common practice of gratifying children in their Parents always bemoan the pitiable condition of calls for any and every kind of food, whatever may their sick children, and yet by a strange contradicbe the constitution of the former, or the nature of tion of human nature, they will often turn a deaf ear the latter. The instinctive wants of an infant are to all the advice which is given to prevent this unmanifested during the first year of its life by rest- happy condition of things. The delay of a single lessness and cries. Of these wants, the strongest minute on the part of a physician to visit their little is, without doubt, that of nutriment. The desire of darling, and his calmness in the sick room, that he motion is also very early developed; hence if the may the better discharge his duty, are bitterly exnew being be girt and bound up, so as to be prevent- claimed against, as evidence of a want of the feeled from freely dilating its chest and turning in every ings of humanity. What is to be said to those direction, it suffers, and evinces its sufferings by whose culpable indulgence brought on the disease, cries. Extremes of temperature, whether of heat by their wilfully going in direct opposition to the or cold, impress it, also, in a painful manner; breath-counsel of the very physician whom they now cening a close confined air is attended with similar in- sure ? They were cautioned and urged by every convenience. It may suffer from laborious digestion variety of argument and appeal to withhold the cause and all its concomitants. Diversified as are these of disease-gross and improper food. The penalty causes of infantile uneasiness, without supposing of neglect of the injunction was clearly and explicitly actual disease, which often exists unknown to, and pointed out. They choose to run all hazards, and unsuspected by, the mother, this tender but often and as effectually poison the child as if arsenick or mistaken parent has recourse invariably to the same henbane had been administered. Have parents who method of quieting her child. This is by putting it thus fearfully injure their children no foresight in to the breast

. If the uneasiness have proceeded their love! Must this feeling be so entirely animal from hunger, it is pacified; and, even in most cases, as not to extend beyond the moment of present imfor a short period, soothed by this means. But if pulse! We cannot, after all, but think that there is any of the other mentioned causes distress it, the more waywardness of purpose than genuine affection agitation and cries are renewed, to be suspended for in those persons who, by indulging the pleasure of a few minutes in the same way as before. Each the palate of their children, directly cause or throw new trial becomes, however, not only less success their bodies open to a long catalogue of diseases. ful, but actually a fresh cause of disturbance. "To Where, we would ask, is the exhibition of parental be extricated from heavy bedclothes at night, or its love in allowing their children to have their skins wearing a loose dress in the day- an occasional ex- disfigured by eruptions and sores, their eyes and tra tepid or warm bath-a slight change in the tem- ears inflamed, their necks studded with swellings or perature of the nursery or bed-room, or the introduc- hideous ulcers ? All these, as well as the slow tion of fresh air, would, each and severally, often wasting of the body and the exhausting cough, might assuage and remove the pain and distress of the have been prevented by giving simple food, and withyoung being, which are only aggravated by forcing holding unusual provocatives of appetite. We are beyond its real wants the functions of the stomach. aware that these are, to many, unpalatable truths; 'The impatience from thirst is not unfrequently con- but if they be the means of saving a single life, and founded with that of hunger, and milk is given when of preserving to a widowed mother her only child, a spoonful of pure water would be the most accept- we shall not regret having given them utterance. able and tranquillizing.

The moral effect of pampering the appetite of The above is, however, a course of venial errours, children by unceasing indulgence, is most melancompared with a continuance of the system, when choly. Is the mother afraid of an explosion of pasfood of a mixed and heterogeneous nature is given sion, a bribe in the shape of a cake or tart, is promto the child. Its passively swallowing whatever ised as a peace-offering to the little body. Does pap or posset is put into its mouth is mistaken for a it annoy a whole company by its cries or boisterous real fondness for these substances. Its cries are and ill-timed pranks, it is persuaded to be quiei by choked now, as in the first stage of its existence, the promise of some sweetineat or extra indulgence by food, and that not always of the most appropriate at the next meal. If it has been good, as the phrase





is, and learned its letters, the reward is still some had been laid in secundem artem—the mensa prima thing for the stomach. Eating is soon regarded as in short, was just despatched, when I gently raised the chief end and object of life by a child who sees the cover from the dish, where the beautiful porker no other incentive to good behaviour held out to it. lay smoking in his bright brown symmetry of form A premium would truly seem to be given for glut- and hue, enveloped in a vapour of rich deliciousness, tony. The use of the other nobler senses and of and floating in a gravy of indescribable perfection! the faculties of the mind-the early cultivation of After those delightful moments of dalliance (almost the kindlier feelings of our natúre, generosity, dis- dearer to the epicure than the very fulness of actual interestedness, pity, filial love, are all overlooked and indulgence,) were well over-after my palate was postponed, in favour of the one sensual, selfish, and prepared by preliminary inhalements of the odorous absorbing act of gormandizing:

essence-I seized my knife and fork, and plunged Deceit and a disregard of the admonitions of age in medias res. Never shall I forget the flavour of and experience are unintentionally taught to chil- the first morsel-it was sublime! But oh! it was, dren, when they hear such language as the follow as I may say, the last; for losing, in the excess of ing, addressed by a well-meaning guest to the moth-over-enjoyment, all presence of mind and manage

“ Just a little bit, ma'am, to cheat the doctor"- ment of mouth, I attacked without economy or and suiting the action to the word, he puts on the method, my inanimate victim. It was one of my plate of the dear little pet a small portion of dried boyish extravagances to conform myself in these my beef or fish, or tart, or cake, or apple-happy escape solitary feasts to the strict regulations of Roman if he does not put a glass in its hand, and let it custom. I began with an egg, and ended with an amuse the

company by sipping some wine. Ought apple, and flung into the fireplace (as there was no parents who wink at, or themselves commit, such fire, it being the summer season,) a little morsel, as indiscretions, be surprised at their favourite son in an offering to the dië patellarie. On this occasion, afterlife, postponing all prudential considerations, however, I forgot myself and my habits—I rushed, and the suggestions of his better judgement, for the as it were, upon my prey-slashed right and left, gratification of present appetite and passion. The through crackling, stuffing, body, and bones. I flung man is here merely carrying into effect the lessons aside the knife and fork-seized in my hand the which the child received.

passive animal with indiscriminate voracity-thrust whole ribs and limbs at once into my


med the delicious ruin by wholesale down my throat,

until at last my head began to swim-my eyes This is the title of an essay in “Traits of Trav- seemed starting from their sockets—a suffocating el," from which we extract the following picture; thickness seemed gathering in my throat-a fulness too true, unhappily, in its general outlines, though of brain seemed bursting through my scull-my given by its lively author in a somewhat exagger-veins seemed swelled into gigantick magnitude-I ated style of colouring. :

lost all reason and remembrance, and fell, in that · My father was a plain sort of a man- -liked

state, fairly under the table. plain speaking, plain feeding, and so on. But he

he "This, reader, is what we call, in common phrase, had his antipathies—and among them was roast pig. a surfeit. But what language may describe its conHad he lived to our times, he might probably have sequences, or give a just expression to the sufferings been won over by a popular essay on the subject

, it leaves behind ? The first awakening from the which describes, in pathetick phrase, the manifold apoplectick trance, às the lancet of the surgeon gives delights attending on that dish—the fat, which is no you a hint that you are alive, when the only taste fat—the lean, which is not lean--the eyes melting upon the tongue—the only object in the eye--the from their sockets, and other tender touches of de- only flavour in the nostril, is the once-loved, but now scription. Be this as it may, my, unenlightened pa- deep-loathed dish! The deadly sickening with rent would never suffer roast pig upon his table; which one turns, and twists, and closes one's eye. and so it happened, that, at sixteen years of age, I lids, and holds one's nose, and smacks one's lips— had never seen one. But on the arrival of that an- to shut out, and stifle, and shake off the detested niversary, I was indulged by my mother with a most sight, and smell, and tasle :--but in vain, in vain, in exquisite and tender two-months porker, in all its vain! But let me not press the point. Forty-two sucking innocence, and succulent delight, as the years have passed since that memorable day.--forty prime dish in that annual birthday feast, to which I thousand recollections of that infernal pig have was accustomed-in my own apartment--all doors flashed across my brain, and fastened on my palate, closed—no ingress allowed—no intruding domes- and fumigated my olfactories; and they are, every ticks—no greedy companions to divide my indul- one, as fresh-what do I say a million times more gences--no eyes to stare at me, or rob me of a por- fresh and intolerable than ever! Faugh! It comes tion of the pleasure with which I eat in, as it were, again.” in vision, the spirit of every anticipated preparation, while savoury fragrance was wasted to my brain,

INSUFFICIENT EXERCISE. and seemed to float over my imagination in clouds of incense, at once voluptuous and invigorating. Ah, He who does not spend several hours every day this is the true enjoyment of a feast ! On the pres- in some active exercise-as walking, riding on ent occasion, I sat in the full glory of my solitude- horseback, or in some amusement which calls nearly sublimely individual as the Grand Lama of Thibet, all the muscles into play, must inevitably suffer from or the brother of the Sun and Moon. The door a diminution of bodily strength, defect of appetite, was fastened—the servant evaporated-a fair pro- and imperfect digestion, and becomes sooner or later portion of preparatory foundation-soup, fish, &c., the subject of disease.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


stead, a husband-he too, an Englishman, a genThe following tale illustrates one of the many instances of dis- tleman and scholar, had been thrown upon the world.

tress among the poor seamstresses of New York and the lady Sympathy deepened into love-alone in a crowd, all who communicated it for publication in the Mirror vouched the world to each other, they married-he procured for its authenticity.

employment in a school, she plain needlework. Too “Do you give out work here?" said a voice, so close attention to the duties of his school, long soft, so low, so ladylike, that I involuntarily looked walks, and scanty fare, brought ill health and conup from the purse I was about purchasing for my fined him at length to his bed. darling boy, a birthday gift from his papa.

The shop, from which his poor wife obtained “Do you give out work here ?"

work, failed, and their resource was cut off. She "Not to strangers,” was the rude reply.

had looked long, weary days for employment-many The “stranger” turned and walked away. had none to give-others“ gave no work to stran“'That purse

very cheap, ma'am.”

gers.” Thus I found them to comfort them for a "I do not wish it now," said I, as taking up my little time--then I trust, they found indeed a Comparasol, I left the shop, and followed the stranger forter in heaven! lady.

The husband died first-died, placing the hand of Passing 'Thomson's, she paused--went in-hesi- his poor wife in mine! I needed not the mute, ape tated—then turned and came out. I now saw her pealing look he gave me ; , I took her to my own face—it was very pale-her hair black as night was happy home--it was too late! parted on her forehead-her eyes, too, were very It is a very little time ago, I went one morning to black, and there was a wildness in them that made her room; she had passed a restless night; had me shudder. She passed on up Broadway to Grand dreamed she said of her dear George--she called street, where she entered a miserable looking dwel- me her kind and only friend--begged me to sit a litling. I paused-should I follow farther She was tle while beside her, and looked up so sadly in my evidently suffering much-1 was happy-blessed face, that my own heart seemed well nigh breaking with wealth, and, oh, how blessed in husband, chil- I left her not again. dren, friends !—I knocked—the door was opened by In the still deep night I heard her murmura cross-looking woman

“ Sister Anne, do not speak so harshly to me! Oh, “Is there a person living here does plain sew- mam-ma, why do you leave me?" Then again ing ?" I inquired.

she said, “Give me an orange, my sister, I am very "I

guess not," was the reply. “ There is a wo- faint." Her soul was again in her own sunny home. man upstairs, who used to work, but she can't get "Lay me by my George, and God will bless you,” no more to do—and I shall turn her out to-morrow.” were her last words to me. I led my hushed chil

“Let me go up," said I, as, passing the woman dren to look upon her sweet pale face, as she lay in with a shudder, I ascended the stairs.

her coffin. They had never seen sorrow or death, “ You can keep on up to the garret,” she scream- and then I gave them the first knowledge of both ; ed after me—and so I did; and there I saw a sight then I told them of the sin, the cruelty, of those of which I, the child of affluence, had never dream- who wound the “stranger's” heart. ed! The lady had thrown off her hat, and was kneeling by the side of a poor low bed. Her hair

“ OUT OF DEBT OUT OF DANGER” is the molto had fallen over her shoulders-she sobbed notbreathed not-bui seemed motionless, her face bu- It should be never out of mind, and always in prac

and title of one of Maria Edgeworth's moral tales. ried in the covering of the wretched, miserable bed, tice. The most humiliating and uncomfortable sitwhereon lay her husband. He was sleeping. I his high pale forehead, around which

uation in the world, is that of the person who is in clung masses of damp, brown hair-it was knit, and debt, and sensible of his present inability to escape

the thrall. the pale hand clenched the bedclothes-words broke

To such it is unnecessary to talk ; but from his lips~"I cannot pay you now," I heard parents should make the sentiment at the head of him say, Poor fellow! even in his dreams, his our paragraph the basis of all instruction upon matpoverty haunted him! I could bear it no longer,

ters of worldly policy. The young man who has and knocked gently on the door. The lady raised health, a good salary, or even an indifferent one, her head, threw back her long black hair, and gazed

should have. no burden of little debts or large, unmildly upon me. It was no time for ceremony

paid, upon his memory. He should always take sickness, sorrow, want, perhaps starvation, were be- care also, to keep a shot in the locker, against confore me

"I came to look for a person to do plain tingency. To have one's income suddenly withwork” was all I could say.

drawn is bad enough, but when, in addition, there Oh, give it me,” she sobbed.

“ Two days we

are sundry arrearages of back® debts, all of which have not tasted food morrow

will be sure to torment him upon the least appear!

She gasped and tried to finish the sentence, but could ance of inability to pay, is the most unsettled. posnot. She knew that to-morrow they would be both ture of affairs a poor devil can get into. N. Y. Star. homelesss and starving!

“Be comforted—you shall want no more !" “ Those things are to be cherished which tend to

I kept my word. In a few days she told me all-elevate us above our ordinary sphere, and to abstract of days of happiness in a sunny West Indian isle, us from our common and every-day concerns. 'The ner childhood's home. Of the death of her father affectionate recollection and admiration of the dead and mother-of a cruel sister and brother-in-law- will act gently upon our spirits, and fill us with a how she left that home, hoping to find a brother in composed seriousness, favourable the best and America-how she sought in vain, but found, in- I most honourable contemplations."

looked upon


VOL V.-39



View in Broadway.

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »