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LEADING CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN. 99
society of a superiorly endowed moral and in­tellectual people; the moral faculties will then be habitually excited and their organs invigo­rated by repetition, till a greater aptitude, or, in other words, a higher moral character, will be formed. There are, of course, limits set to this modification by the natural endowment of the individual; but where the original dispositions are not strongly marked, the range is still a wide one."
Children are perhaps less selfish than grown­up people, But self-love is with them the spring of action, and moves their souls as well as those of others. The proper control of this principle is full half the business of education. Selfishness is a strong and hardy plant, and grows thriftily in every human heart. It springs up in the family circle, and manifests itself in the little strifes and contentions between brothers and sisters. The older and stronger boy is very apt, if not duly admonished, to seek his own gratification, with little regard to the right of his companions. " Mother," said a younger brother, " is it right for James to take all the best of the bed to himself? " " Certainly not," said the mother. " But," said James, in defence, "I only take half the bed." " Yes," said the other boy, " but you lie right in the middle, and
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