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128
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
justice has been done, to compensate him by some soothing sugarplum or honied apology. It is not easy to conceive of any thing more likely to degrade the parent in the eyes of his offspring than such inconsiderate folly,— nothing more sure to destroy his influence over the mind, to harden the young heart in re­bellion, and make it grow bold in sin. In proportion as the parent sinks in his esteem, self-conceit grows up in the mind of the un-dutiful child. Young people, as well as old, pay great respect to consistency, and, on the contrary, despise those whose conduct is marked with caprice. The sacred relation of parent is no protection against this contempt. Those, therefore, who would preserve their influence over their children, who would keep hold of the reins that may guide them in periods of danger, and save them from probable ruin, must take care not to exhibit themselves as governed by passion or whim, rather than fixed principles of justice and duty.
There is another fatal danger in family go­vernment, from which I would warn every pa­rent, and that is partiality. It is too often the case that fathers and mothers have their favo­rite child. From this two evils result. In the first place, the pet usually becomes a spoiled
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