LEADING CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN. 93
to become the subjects of bad habits, they have exposed them to a great evil.
In connection with this subject, it may be useful to remark, that our tastes, our manners, our thoughts and feelings, are all regulated by habit. 1 low exceedingly important is it, then, that in the outset of life parents should put their children in the right path. Dr. Combe, in his Principles of Physiology, remarking upon the proper exercise of the brain, has laid down the principles by which habits are formed, in a manner so clear and striking, that they may well claim the careful attention of the reader. His words are as follows :
"Periodicity, or the tendency to resume the same mode of action at stated times, is peculiarly the characteristic of the nervous system; and, on this account, regularity is of great consequence in exercising the moral and intellectual powers. All nervous diseases have a marked tendency to observe regular periods, and the natural inclination to sleep at the approach of night is but another instance of the same fact. It is this principle of our nature which promotes the formation of what arc called habits. If we repeat any kind of mental effort every day at the same hour, we at last find ourselves entering upon it, without premeditation,