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66
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
THE FIRESIDE.
As the infant begins to discriminate between the objects around, it soon discovers one coun­tenance that ever smiles upon it with peculiar benignity. When it wakes from its sleep, there is one watchful form ever bent over its cradle. If startled by some unhappy dream, a guardian angel seems ever ready to soothe its fears. If cold, that ministering spirit brings it warmth, if hungry, she feeds it; if in pain, she relieves it; if happy, she caresses it. In joy or sorrow, in weal or woe, she is the first object of its thoughts. Her presence is its heaven. The mother is the deity of infancy !
Now reflect a moment upon the impressible, the susceptible character of this little being, and consider the power of this mother in shaping the fine clay that is entrusted to her hands. Consider with what authority, with what effect, one so loved, so reverenced, so adored, may speak!
Thus, in the budding spring of life, infancy is the special charge, and subject to the special influence, of the mother. But it soon advances to childhood. Hitherto, it has been a creature of feeling; it now becomes a being of thought. The intellectual eye opens upon the world. It
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