door of the next room. Haddy shrieked, â
the children all screamed, â Charles dropped
grandmamma's yarn, and, at the risk of his
own hand, rescued the kitten ; but seeing its
agony, with most characteristic consideration,
he gently dropped it in again, and thus put
the speediest termination to its sufferings.
The children were all sobbing. Wallace
stood pale and trembling. His eye turned to
his father, then to his mother, then was riveted
on the floor. The children saw the frown on
their father's face, more dreaded by them than
ever was flogging, or dark closet with all its
" I guess you did not mean to : did you,
Wally?" said little Haddy, whose tender
heart was so touched by the utter misery de-
picted on her brother's face, that her pity for
him overcame her sense of her own and pussy's
wrongs. Wallace sighed deeply, but spoke no
A GLIMPSE M 1AMU.V GOVERNMENT. 21
word of apology or justification. The children
looked at Wallace, at their father, and then-
mother, and still the portentous Bilenee was
unbroken. The dinner-bell rung. " Go to your
own r oom, Wallace," said his lather. "You
have forfeited yourright to a place amonj
Creatures who are the slaves of their passions
are, like beasts of prey, lit only for Bolitude.
Â« BOW long mUSl Wallace May upstairs?
asked Haddy, affectionately holding back her
brother, who was hastening away.
"Till he feels assured," replied Mr. Barclay,
fixing his Â»ve sternly on Wallace, -that he i
control his hasty temper; at least so far a-
not to be guilty of violence towards such &
dear good little girl as you are, and murderous
cruelty to an innocent animal; â till, sir, you
can give me some proof that you dread the
sin and danger of yielding to your passions so
much that you can govern them. The boy i:
hopeless," he added in a low voice to his wile,
as Wallace hit the room.
- My dear husband ! hopeless at ten years
old, and with such a good, affectionate heart as
his? We must have patience."
A happy combination for children is there m
an uncompromising father and an all-hoping
mother. The family sat down to table. The
parents were silent, serious, unhappy. The
children caught the infection, and scarcely a
word was said above a whisper. There was a
favorite dish on the table, followed by a nice
pudding. They were eaten, not enjoyed.
The children realized that it was not the good
tilings they had to eat, but the kind looks, the
innocent laugh, and cheerful voice, that made
the pleasure of the social meal.
" My dear children," said their father, as he
took his hat to leave them, " we have lost all
our comfort to-day: have not we?"
" Yes, sir, â yes, sir," they answered in a
"Then learn one lesson from your poor
brother. Learn to dread doing wrong. If you
commit sin, you must suffer, and all that love
you must suffer with you ; for every sin is a
a iolation of the laws of your Heavenly Father,
and he will not suffer it to go unpunished."
If Mr. and Mrs. Barclay had affected their
concern, to overawe and impose on their chil-
dren, they would not have been long deceived ;
for children, being themselves sincere, are clear-
sighted. But they knew that the sadness was
real ; they felt that it was in accordance with
their parents' characters and general conduct.
They never saw them ruffled by trifles. Many
a glass had been broken, many a greasy
knife dropped, many a disappointment and in-
A GLIMPSE AT FAMILY GOVERNMENT. 23
convenience incurred, without calling forth
more than a gentle rebuke. These were not
the things that moved them, or disturbed the
domestic tranquillity; but the ill temper, self-
ishness, un kindness, or any moral fault of the
children, was received as an affliction.
The days passed on. Wallace went to
school as usual, and retained to his solitude,
without speaking or being spoken to. His
meals were sent to his room, and whatever
the family ate, he ate. For the Barclays took
care not to make rewards and punishments out
of eating and drinking, and thus associate the
duties and pleasures of a moral being with a
mere animal gratification. "But ah! 1 ' he
thought, as he walked up and down his apart-
ment, while eating his pie or pudding, "how
different it tastes from what it does at table!"
and though he did not put it precisely in that
form, he felt what it was that ''sanctified the
food." The children began to venture to say
to their father, whose justice they dared not
question, "How long Wally has stayed up-
stairs!" and Charles, each day, eagerly told
how well Wallace behaved at school. His
grandmother could not resist her desire to
comfort him ; she would look into his room to
see "if he were well," "if he were warm
enough," or " if he did not want something.''
The little fellow's moistening eye and tremu-
lous voice evinced his sensibility to her kind
ness, but he resolutely abstained from asking
any mitigation of his punishment. He over
heard his Aunt Betsey (Mrs Barclay's maiden
sister) say, Â« It is a sin, and ridiculous besides
to keep Wallace mewed up so, just for a little
flash of temper. I am sure he had enough to
provoke a saint."
" We do not keep him mewed up, Betsey "
replied Mrs. Barclay, Â« nor does he continue
mewed up, for a single flash of temper; but
because, with all his good resolutions, his pas
sionate temper is constantly getting the better
of him. There is no easy cure for such a fault
If Wallace had the seeds of a consumption'
you would think it the extreme of folly not to
submit to a few weeks' confinement, if it af-
forded a means of ridding him of them; and
how much worse than a consumption is a moral
disease ! "
"Well," answered the sister, "you must do
as you like, but I am sure we never had any
such fuss at home; â we grew up, and there
was an end on't."
"But, maybe," thought Wallace, "if there
had been a little more fuss when you were
younger, it would have been pleasanter living
with you now, Aunt Betsey."
A GLIMPSE AT FAMILY GOVERNMENT. 25
Poor Aunt Betsey, with many virtues, had
a temper that made her a nuisance wherever
she was. The Barclays alone got on tolerably
with her. There was a disinfecting principle
in the moral atmosphere of their house.
Two weeks had passed when Mr. Barclay
heard Wallace's door open, and heard him say,
"Can I speak with you one minute before din-
"Certainly, my son." His lather entered
and closed the door.
"Father," Baid Wallace, with a tremulous
voice, hut an open, cheerful face, -I feel a- it
I had aright now to ask yon to forgive me,
ami take me back into the family."
Mi-, Barclay felt bo too, and kissing him, he
said, "I have only been waiting for you, Wal-
lace; and from tin- time you have taken to
consider your besetting sin, I trust you have
gained strength to resist it.*'
" It is not consideration only, sir, that I de-
pend on; for you told me I must wait till I
could give you proof; so I had to wait till
something happened to try me. I could not
possibly tell else, for I always do resolve, when
I get over my passion, that I never will get an-
gry again. Luckily for me, â for I began to^
be horribly tired of staying alone, â Tom Allen
snatched off my new cap and threw it in the
gutter. I had a book in my hand, and I raised
it to send at him ; but I thought just in time,
and I was so glad I had governed my passion,
that I did not care about my cap, or Tom, or
any thing else. 'But one swallow doesn't
make a summer,' as Aunt Betsey says ; so I
waited till I should get angry again. It seemed
as if I never should ; there were provoking
things happened, but somehow or other they
did not provoke me, â why do you smile,
" I smile with pleasure, my dear boy, to find
that one fortnight's resolute watchfulness has
enabled you so to curb your temper, that you
are not easily provoked."
" But stay, father, you have not yet heard
all. Yesterday, just as I was putting up my
Arithmetic, which I had written almost to the
end without a single blot, Tom Allen came
along and gave my inkstand a jostle, and over
it went on my open book ; I thought he did it
purposely, â I think so still, but I don't feel so
sure. I did not reflect then, â I doubled my
fist to strike him."
Â« O Wallace ! "
" But I did not, father, I did not, â I thought
just in time. There was a horrid choking feel-
â¢ ing in my throat, and angry words seemed
crowding out j but I did not even say, ' Blame
A GLIMPSE AT FAMILY GOVERNMENT. 27
you.' I had to bite my lips, though, so that the
" God bless you, my son."
" And the best of it all. was, father, that Tom
Allen, who never before seemed to care how
much harm he did you, or how much he hurt
your feelings, was really sorry ; and this morn-
ing he brought me a new blank book nicely
ruled, and offered to help me copy my Minis
into it ; so I hope I <lid him some good as well
as myself by governing my temper."
"There is no telling, Wallace, how much
good may be done by a single right action,
nor how much harm by a single wrong one."
" I know it, sir ; I have been thinking a great
deal since I have been upstairs, and I do won-
der why God did not make Adam and Eve
so that they could not do wrong. "
"This subject has puzzled older ami wiser
heads than yours, my son, and puzzled them
more than I think it should. If we had been
created incapable of sin, there could have been
no virtue. Did you not feel happier yesterday
after your trial, than if it had not happened?"
"Oh, yes, father! and the strangest of all was,
that, after the first flash, I had not any bad
feelings towards Tom."
" Then you can see, in your own case, good
resulting from being free to do good or evil.
You certainly were the better for your victory,
and you say, happier. It is far better to be
virtuous than sinless, â I mean, incapable of
sin. If you subdue your temper, the exercise
of the power to do this will give you a pleasure
that you could not have had without it."
" But if I fail, lather ? " Wallace looked in
his father's face with an expression which
showed he felt that he had more than a king-
dom to gain or lose.
" You cannot fail, my dear son, while you
continue to feel the worth of the object for
which you are striving ; while you feel that the
eye of God is upon you; and that, not only
your own happiness, but the happiness of your
father, and mother, and brothers, and sisters, â
of our home, depends on your success. "
" But, father, did you ever know anybody
that had such a passionate temper, that learned
to govern it always ? "
" Yes, my child, but not all at once. You
are placed in the happiest circumstances to
obtain this rule over your own spirit. The
Americans are said to be distinguished for
their good temper. I believe this is true,
not from any natural superioi-ity in them to
French, English, or Irish, but because they are
brought up among their equals, and compelled
from childhood to govern their tempers ;
A GLIMPSE AT FAMILY GOVERNMENT. 29
one cannot encroach on the rights of an-
" But it is not so with all Americans, father. "
" No ; those in the Southern States unfortu-
nately have not these restraints, â this equal
pressure on all sides, and they are esteemed
more irascible than the people of the North.
This is one of the thousand misfortunes that
result from slavery. But we must always re-
member, my son, that the virtue or vice pro-
duced by circumstances is not to be counted
to the individual. It is the noble struggle and
resistance against them, that makes virtue. It
was this that constituted the merit of Washing-
ton's subjugation of his temper."
" Was he, â was General Washington pas-
" Yes ; quite as irascible and passionate natu-
rally, as you are ; and yet you know it was his
equanimity, his calmness, in the most irritating
circumstances, that made him so superior to
"Was he pious, sir?"
" He had always a strong sense of his re-
sponsibility and duty to his Creator."
" And I guess, too, he had good parents, and
a pleasant home, and he hated to make them
" I guess he had, Wallace," replied his
father, smiling ; " but I can give you another
example for your encouragement. Which
among the Apostles appears to you to have
been the gentlest, â what we should call the
sweetest tempered ? "
"Oh, St. John, sir!"
" And yet he appears at one time to have
been very impetuous, â what you and I call
hasty tempered. He was for calling down
fire on the offenders' heads. So you see that
even a grown-up person, if he has the love oi
Christ in him, and lays his precepts to heart, so
that he will really strive to be perfect as hia
Father in heaven is perfect, may, at any age,
subdue his temper ; though the work is far
easier if he begins when a child, as you have,
in earnest, my dear boy. You have manifested
a virtuous resolution ; and you not only have
my forgiveness, and my entire sympathy, but
I trust you have the approbation of your
Heavenly Father. Come, come along to your
mother ; take her happy kiss, and then to din-
ner. We have not had one right pleasant
dinner since you have been upstairs."
" Stop one moment, father." Wallace low-
ered his voice as he modestly added, "I don't
think I should have got through it alone, but
every day I have prayed to God to help me."
" You have not been alone, my dear son,"
A GLIMPSE AT FAMILY GOVERNMENT. 31
replied his father, much moved, " nor will you
ever be left alone in your efforts to obey God ;
for, you remember, Jesus has said, ' If a man
keep my words, my Father will love him, and
we will come unto him and make our abode
with him.' God, my son, is present in every
dictate of your conscience, in every pure affec-
tion and holy emotion of your soul."
A farmer who has seen a beautiful crop bend
under the storm, and after it rise stronger and
more promising than ever, can have some fee-
ble conception of Mr. Barclay's -:iti>t'action,
while, leaving Wallace with their mother, he
assembled the children in the dining-room, and
recounted to them as much as he deemed
proper of his conversation with their brother.
The dinner-bell sounded, and Wallace was
heard running downstairs before his mother,
his heels as light as his heart. The children,
jumping up behind and before him, shouted
out his welcome. Grandmamma wiped her
eyes, and cleared her voice to say, " Dear me,
Wally, how glad we all are to see you ! "
Even Aunt Betsey looked smiling, and satis-
fied, and unprovokable for an hour to come.
Others may think with Aunt Betsey, that
Wallace's punishment was out of proportion
to his offence ; but it must be remembered, that
it was not the penalty for a single offence, but
for a habit of irascibility that could not be
cured without serious and repeated efforts.
Mr. Barclay held whipping, and all such sum-
mary modes of punishment, on a par with such
nostrums in medicine as peppermint and laven-
der, which suspend the manifestation of the
disease, without conducing to its cure. He be-
lieved the only effectual and lasting govern-
ment, â the only one that touches the springs
of action, and in all circumstances controls
them, â is ^//-government. It was this he
labored to teach his children. The process
was slow, but sure. It required judgment,
and gentleness, and, above all, patience on
the part of the parents; but every inch of
ground gained was kept. The children might
not appear so orderly as they whose parents
are like drill-sergeants, and who, while their
eyes are on the fugle-man, appear like little
prodigies; but, deprived of external aid or
restraint, the self-regulating machine shows its
A FAMILY DOTNEB. 83
A FAMILY DINNER.
The mult, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
As we have entered Mr. Barclay's dining-
room, we are tempted to linger there, and per-
mit our readers to observe the details of the
dinner. The right ministration of the table is
an important item in home education. Mr.
Barclay had a just horror of hurrying through
meals. He regarded them as something more
than means of sustaining physical wants, â as
opportunities of improvement and social hap-
piness. Are they not so? and is there any
danger of affixing an undue importance to that,
which may teach, at the rate of three lessons a
day, punctuality, order, neatness, temperance,
self-denial, kindness, generosity, and hospital-
ity? The conventional manners of high-bred
people are meant to express these virtues; but
alas! with them the sign often exists without
the thing signified. In middling life, the form
cannot exist without the spirit. The work-
ing men and working women of our country
need not remain for twelve hours chained to
the oar like galley-slaves ; and if they will
give up a little money for what the wealth of
"Rothschilds and the Barings" cannot pur-
chase, time, and devote that time to such a min-
istration of their meals, as shall secure " Earth's
best angel, health," as a guest at the family
board, â as shall develop the mind by con-
versation, and cultivate refined manners, â
they will find the amount of good resulting
to the home circle incalculable.
Alice and Mary Barclay took their " weeks
about," as they called it, to arrange and wait
on the table. The table was set with scrupu-
lous neatness. " Mother sees every thing,"
was their maxim ; and sure she was to see it,
if the salt was not freshly stamped, the castors
in order, and every napkin, glass, spoon, knife,
and dish put on, as the girls said, by plummet
and line. These are trifles in detail, but their
effect on the comfort and habits of a large
family of children can scarcely be magnified.
Few tables in the land were more frugal than
the Barclays', and few better served. They
did not, however, sacrifice the greater to the
less, and there were occasions when their cus-
tomary forms gave place to higher matters.
" Here is our dinner," said Mr. Barclay, turn-
ing his eye that had been riveted on the happy,
noisy children, to the table where Martha (still
the only domestic) was placing the last dish.
A FAMILY DINNER. 35
" The dinner here, and I have not changed
my cap ! " said Mrs. Barclay.
" And I have not brushed my hair ! " â " Nor
I," â " Nor I," exclaimed, in a breath, half a
dozen treble voices.
" It's all my fault, â forgetting to ring the
warning bell," said Martha, turning her eye
from Wallace to his mother, in explanation of
her lapse of memory.
"Never mind, Martha. Better to forget
rules for once, than forget your part in the fam-
" That's good, mother! let us break all rules
to-day, â let Wally sit by me."
" Oh, no, mother ! by me ! by me ! " exclaimed
" No. Take your usual place, Wallace, by
"Oh, where is dear little Haddy?" asked
Wallace, and was answered by her bouncing
into the room. She had been left upstairs to
finish a task. She took her seat beside Wal-
lace. There was some whispering between
them, and it was plain by her glad eye and her
putting her chubby arm around her brother
and hugging him close to her, that pussy and
the kite were drowned in Lethe.
"I guess, Miss Haddy." said Aunt Betsey,
" you got some help about your task."
" Aunt Betsey ! " replied the little girl, with
a quivering lip, " indeed I did not, â that would
be doing a lie." How forcibly the " oracles of
nature " come from the unperverted mind of
a child ! She who made this reply was but
four years old.
The blessing was asked, a usage observed at
Mr. Barclay's table. Whatever objection may
be urged against it from its abuse, he considered
the example of the Saviour a definitive prece-
dent for him. His distinct and touching
manner of acknowledging the bounties of
Providence fixed the attention. It was feeling,
" You have forgotten the napkins to-day,
Alice," said her mother.
Alice smiled, and replied in a low voice, " It
was Wallace's fault ; just as I was going for
them I heard him call father, and I forget
It was Alice's turn to serve the table, â a
task always assigned to one, in order to avoid
the confusion of the alternate jumping up and
down of half a dozen little bodies, the drop-
ping of knives and forks, the oversetting of
glasses, and the din and clatter of a disorderly
" There is a nice crust for you, Wallace,"
said Alice, as she passed round the bread ;
" you love crust."
A FAMILY DINGER. 37
" Aunt Betsey," called out little Haddy, who
unluckily observed her aunt trespassing against
one of the ordinances of the table, " it is not
proper not to use the butter-knife."
"Hush, Haddy," breathed her brother, but
not in time. The antagonist principle was
strong in Aunt Betsey's mind. She cherished
with equal fervor dislikes and partialities; and
poor little Haddy was no favorite.
" I wonder which is worst," she replied, "to
use my own knife as I was brought up to, or
for a little saucebox like you to set me right."
Willie, Aunt Betsey's pet, dropped his spoon,
put up his lips, and kissed the angry spot away.
" I guess, Alice," said Mary, " you mean to
brush Wally's place clean enough." Alice
smiled. She had unconsciously bestowed
double pains in brushing away her brother's
crumbs. How naturally affection makes the
most ordinary services its medium !
" O Mary ! " said Mrs. Barclay, " I forgot
when I gave you the pudding, that you com-
plained of a headache this morning."
" It is gone now, mother."
"It may come back, my dear."
Mary put down her spoon, and gently pushed
away her plate, saying, without the slightest
shade of dissatisfaction, " It looks very good."
Alice placed a dish of strawberries on the
table, â the first of the season, â saying, a*
she did so " Rather a scant pattern, mother."
" Yes, barely a taste for each."
" Give mine to Wally, then," said Mary.
" And mine too, â and mine too," echoed
and re-echoed from both sides the table.
" And mine too ! " repeated little Willie, the
urchin next his mother, who had been content-
edly eating his potato without asking for, or
even looking at, the more inviting food on the
The children laughed at his parrotry, and
Alice, kissing his head as she passed, said,
" Thank you for nothing, Willie."
" Why for nothing ? why not thank him as
well as the rest ? " asked Aunt Betsey.
" Because I suppose mother won't give him
" Why, Anne, you are not going to be so
ridiculous as not to give him strawberries!
You may as well starve him to death at once
and done with it. There is nothing in the
world so wholesome as strawberries."
"No fruit is wholesome for him just now,"
said Mrs. Barclay ; and she continued to dis-
pense the strawberries, without manifesting the
slightest irritation at her sister's interference.
She had often explained to her the reason of
the very strict regimen of her younger chil-
A TAMILT DIXlfEE. 39
dren ; but Aunt Betsey was one of those who
forget the reason, and feel the fact.
As the Barclays had no nursery maid, they
were obliged to bring their children to the ta-
ble, when, with ordinary habits, they would
have been nuisances. To prevent this, as well
as early to implant self-denial, they were not
tantalized with "a very little of this," and
"just a taste of that." They saw delicacies
come on and go off without snatching, reaching,
asking for them, or even craving them. Many
a time has a guest, on seeing the youngling of
the flock eating his potatoes or dry bread, re-
monstrated like Aunt Betsey on the superflu-
ous hardship. But the Barclays knew it was
not so. The monster appetite was thus early
tamed. Its pleasures were felt to be inferior
pleasures, â to be enjoyed socially and grate-
fully, but forbearingly. The children were
spared the visitations that proceed from over-
loaded stomachs. They rarely had occasion
for a physician. " How lucky Mrs. Barclay is
with her children ! " would her wondering
neighbors exclaim, " they never have any sud-
den attacks, never any fevers, and when half the
children in the city are dying with measles
and hooping-cough, these horrible diseases pass
lightly over them ; what can it be ? "
This is no fiction, but truth (though feebly
set down) from life.
We left Mrs. Barclay distributing the straw-