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interested in its fate. The delight she enjoys in nourishing her helpless offspring, is of the most exquisite kind. In common with all the animals of the brute creation, she perceives a pleasure in the very act of suckling, abstractedly from mental feelings or reflection, which, by the way, may be an argument in favour of it, sufficient to recommend the experiment to those voluptuous females who have seldom exercised either their sensibility or their reason. But the mother, who cherishes in her bosom a babe endeared to her by manifold sufferings for its sake, who feels herself sustaining, by the milk of her own body, a human creature just separated from herself, yet almost as dependent on her for support as before its separation, must experience a satisfaction far preferable to every dissipated or licentious enjoyment. To suckle her own child, is so plain and self-evident a duty, that the mother who reflects at all, can have little relish for plea sure amidst the fashionable allotments of that time which ought to have been uninterruptedly devoted to her offspring. She who has been cruel enough to make an alien of her child, by removing it, as soon as born, to a distance from her family, has effectually blunted the acuteness of those feelings which were intended to interest the parent in her children's education. There are some who, having permitted one child to imbibe the milk of a stranger at the same time that they have nourished another with their own, have experienced a very perceptible preference for the latter, in point of natural affection. But, while the mother's love for her extruded little one is decreasing, or rather decaying in the very bud, it is of importance to consider, that he is perhaps imbibing so deeply the constitutional ill qualities of his suppositious nurse, as to contaminate both his body and his mind with the principles of pollution. The good mother, then, will think it one of her first duties towards her children, to feed them with her own milk.
Whatever the giddy votaries of passion and dissipation may practise, the Christian Mother (unless prevented by insuperable obstacles, which sometimes un
fortunately occur) will, on the contrary, obey with delight the impulse of natural affection, and the demands of duty; and, while she dispenses to her child the food which his heavenly Father has provided for him, she will rejoice in the thought, that no child of poverty is deprived of his allotted portion through her fault.
But she who is desirous of co-operating with the intentions of Providence towards her infant, will not only give him what nature furnishes for his sustenance, but will also be careful not to injure the quality of his food, by indulging angry passions, or the suggestions of her own appetite; neither will she feed her child too often or too abundantly. To be temperate in all things, is a christian virtue, the practice of which will be greatly facilitated in future life, by regulating the infant's appetite for food in the beginning. The tender mother, fearful of limiting her child's sustenance, frequently loses sight of this necessary caution; and the consequence is, that from repletion and imperfect digestion, the child is made uncomfortable and restless; the regular growth of his bodily organs is interrupted ; a craving for food, and a habit of fretfulness, hurt his temper; and by these means a foundation is laid for many evils, bodily and mental, which cannot easily be removed; whilst the child which is fed in a regular way, so as not to overload his stomach, and to give him time to digest his food, will enjoy, at proper intervals, that refreshing sleep so necessary at the beginning of life. He will be lively and comfortable in his waking hours, his body will increase in growth from day to day, be free from disease, and, under the especial care of his heavenly Parent, the bud of intellect will gradually unfold, and his mind become susceptible of inpressions which will rightly prepare it for religious instruction.
In the choice of a foster-mother, it should always be remembered that the stream partakes of the nature of the fountain ; and that a bad nurse may be the means of tainting the most healthy child. The hair of a goat that is nourished by an ewe, will be as soft as
wool ; but the wool of a sheep suckled by a she-goat will be as wiry as hair; and Giraldus Cambrensis gives an account of a sow, that, having been accidentally nourished by a bitch, miraculously hunted all manner of deer, as well or rather better than an ordinary hound. Phavorinus shews most clearly, that the deformities, dishonesty, impudence, and cruelty of the nurse, will, in a certain degree, be communicated to the child she fosters; for the milk contains the seeds not only of the diseases of the body, but of the dispositions of the mind. The mad and inhuman cruelties of Caligula are imputed, by Dion the historian, to the circumstance of his nurse having anointed her bosom with blood while he sucked her milk; and certain it is, that such a disposition could not have been derived from either of bis parents. Aulus Gellius, Beda, Franciscus Barbarus, and Guivarra, produce many instances of the like kind : and Cato is said to have made the children of his servants take occasional nourishment from the bosom of his wife, as a certain means of securing to him their fidelity and affection. Marcus Aurelius was so strongly impressed with the truth of this theory, that he anxiously recommended every mother, of what condition in life soever she might be, to suckle her own children; and a queen of France was so precise upon this subject, that when, during her absence, a strange nurse only once suckled her child, she forced the infant to eject the milk.
I shall introduce, at this place, Miss Talbot's letter to an infant.
“ You are heartily welcome, my dear little cousin, into this bustling world! Long may you continue in it, in all the happiness it can give; and bestow enough on your friends, to answer fully the impatience with which you have been expected! May you grow up to have every accomplishment that your friends can already imagine in you; and, in the mean time, may you have a nurse with a tunable voice, who will not talk an immoderate deal of nonsense to you! You are at present, my dear, in a very philosophical disposition. The gaieties and follies of life have no attraction for you. Its sorrows you kindly commiserate; but, however, do not suffer them to disturb your slumbers; you find charms in nothing but harmony and repose. You have as yet contracted no partialities; you are entirely ignorant of party distinctions; and you look with a perfect indifference on all human splendour. You have an absolute dislike to the vanities of dress; and are likely, for many months, to observe the first rule of conversation, silence; though tempted to transgress it by the novelty and strangeness of all the objects around you. As you advance farther in life, this philosophical temper will, by degrees, wear off. The first object of your admiration will probably be the candle ; and thence you will contract a taste, (as we all do,) for the gaudy and the glaring, without making one moral reflection on the danger of such false admiration, as leads people, many a time, to burn their fingers. You will then begin to shew great partiality for some very good aunts, who will contribute all they can towards spoiling you, And you will be very fond of an excellent mamma, who will teach you, by her example, all sorts of good qualities. But let me warn you of one thing, my dear; and that is, not to learn of her to have so immoderate a love of home, as is quite contrary to all the privileges of this polite age; and to give up entirely all those pretty graces of whim, Autter, and affectation, which so many charitable poets have declared to be the prerogative of our sex. O! my poor cousin, to what boast this prerogative, when your nurse, with a pious care to sow the sceds of jealousy and emulation as early as possible, tells you that you have a fine little brother come to put your nose out of joint? There will be nothing to be done then, but to be very good; and prove what, believe me, admits of very little dispute, (though it has occasioned abundance,) that we girls, however people give themselves airs, are by no means to be despised. Let the men unenvied shine in public: it is we who must make their homes delightful to them; and, if they provoke us, not less uncomfortable. I do not expect you to answer this letter yet awhile ; but as I dare say you have the greatest interest with your papa, I will beg you to prevail upon him that we may know by a line, that you and your mamma are well. In the mean time, I will only assure you that all here rejoice in your existence extremely; and that I am, my very young correspondent,
“ Most affectionately your's,
“ CATHARINE TALBOT."
Smithers's address of a mother to her sleeping child, describes the maternal feelings with peculiar tenderness :
Sleep on, Dear Babe, with joy I trace
Enfold thee round:
Thy slumbers sound!
E'en to the tomb;
For ever bloom !
Of weal or woe;
A grateful glow!
Vain though it be?
But most to THEE. The ever-kind Creator bas been careful to compensate the too fleeting enjoyments of love by a most valuable benefit, in consequence of wbich, even the meanest living creature seems to be animated by an emanation from the Deity. This blessing is the tender' affection of parents towards their offspring; and this sentiment is divine, for it is disinterested, and remains undiminished, though often repaid with ingratitude. It is celestial, because, ever entire, indivisible, and incapable of envy, it can extend to several objects at once. It is eternal and infinite, for it subsists beyond the grave. What an execrable monster would that mother appear, who should prefer a lover to her infant; to that helpless, innocent, and amiable being, whose existence nothing but maternal tenderness can preserve! Many species of animals, that sacrifice their own lives for the sake of their young, would reflect disgrace on such an unnatural parent. They not only give them birth,