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must cultivate a love for the same objects themselves. Take the little
ones into the country, if they are not so fortunate as to live there,
and in the midst of nature's glories, point their impressible minds
upward to the Author of all the surrounding loveliness. Gather flowers
and leaves and call attention to the peculiarities and special beauties
of each, and thus arouse curiosity and cultivate habits of close
observation and attention.
Early Associations.--As children grow older, watch their associations.
Warn them of evil influences and evil practices. Make home so attractive
that they will enjoy it better than any other place. Cultivate music;
its mellowing, harmonizing, refining influence is too great to be
prudently withheld. Children naturally love music; and if they cannot
hear it at home, they will go where they can hear it. Supply attractive
books of natural history, travels, interesting and instructive
biographies, and almost any other books but love-sick novels, and
sentimental religious story-books. Guard against bad books and bad
associates as carefully as though they were deadly serpents, for they
are, indeed, the artful emissaries of the "old serpent" himself. A taste
once formed for reading light literature destroys the relish for solid
reading; and usually the taste, once lost, is never regained. The
fascination of bad companionship once formed around a person is broken
with the greatest difficulty. Hence the necessity for watching for the
very beginnings of evil and promptly checking them.
The mind should be thus fortified against the trifles and follies of
fashionable life. It should be elevated into a sphere far above that
occupied by those who pass their time in fashionable drawing-rooms in
silly twaddle, with thrumming a piano, with listless day-dreaming, or
in the gratification of perverted tastes and depraved instincts in any
other of the ways common to fashionable life.
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