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90
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
habits or vicious courses. Parents and teachers should he exceedingly cautious on this subject. A love of mimicry is an abuse of this princi­ple, which ought ever to be checked.
Curiosity is a remarkable and interesting trait of childhood, and, though possessed in various degrees of activity, is common to all children. It is first manifested in the infant's stare at the lighted candle ; it is afterwards displayed in the eagerness with which he asks various puzzling questions. The poet has beautifully described the first unfolding of this principle.
--------------------See its power expand
When first the coral fills the infant's hand. Throned in its mother's lap, it dries each tear, As her sweet legend falls upon his ear; Next it assails him in his top's strange hum, Breathes in his whistle, echoes in his drum. Each gilded toy that doting love bestows He longs to break, and every spring expose. Placed by your hearth, with what delight he pores O'er the bright pages of the pictured stores; How oft he steals upon your graver task, Of this to tell you, and of that to ask. And when the warning hour to bedward bids, Though gentle sleep sits waiting on his lids, How winningly he pleads to gain you o'er, That he may read one little story more.
Nor yet alone to toys and tales confined, It sits dark-brooding o'er his embryo mind. Take him between your knees, peruse his face, While all you know, or think you know, you trace;
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