LEADING CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN. 91
Tell him who spoke creatiou into birth,
Arched the broad heavens and spread the rolling earth ;
Who formed a pathway for the obedient sun,
And bade the seasons in their circles run ;
Who filled the air, the forest, and the flood,
And gave man all for comfort or for food;
Tell him he sprang at Clod's creating nod—
He stops you short with, " Father, who made God ? "
Such is the principle of curiosity in children. It is useful, as exciting the mind to investigation. But if it takes an improper direction, and seeks gratification by prying into private affairs, it acquires the character of impertinent inquisitiveness or contemptible meddling, and becomes a vicious and hurtful disturber of society. Young ladies who have a good deal of leisure on their hands need to be warned on this subject.
The love of novelty is universal in children, though it is less active in some than in others. It has its use, in stimulating the mind to new inquiries, and rousing the faculties to new enterprises : but if too much cherished, it leads to dissipation of thought and irregularity of conduct, interferes with industry, and interrupts and destroys perseverance. In its legitimate sphere, it is therefore useful; but when excessively developed, it becomes pernicious. It is a trait which calls for the watchfulness of parents.