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as babies, not as means of attracting attention. They pet and coddle them, and study the most abstruse of negro melodies specially for their amusement. They are in fear and trembling lest they should come to harm in the inclement weather, and at the slightest alarm of rain, cover up the poor bald heads of their tiny charges with scraps of their own scant clothing. I have known a girl of eight, as a tremendous grace and favour, lend her baby to another pal for five minutes. The favour would be priceless, only girl number two requites it by lending her baby for the like space of time to girl number one. The aim of feminine juvenile enjoyment seems to be reached when three little girls sit on one doorway with three infants on their laps, and compare babies. Quarrels sometimes arise as in the celebrated pomological case (Paris in Hisparides Reports); but the competition is ordinarily amicable, and the prize, in the shape of a haporth of sweetstuff, is awarded to the baby that was biggest and cried the loudest.

There are three great sorrows, three dreadful perils, that menace the life of a street child of eight-I call them street children, for they live almost entirely on door-steps, on kerbs, and at corners, their own dwellings being so confined and miserable—these sorrows are to spill, or to be detected in drinking, the dinner beer which she has fetched from the public-house ; to lose any portion of the “change out,” when she has been sent on an errand; and to drop her baby. This last is the nessun maggior dolore, the “sorrows' crown of sorrows." And I am given to think (in a parenthesis) that the great tenderness and solicitude evinced by these almost pauper children for the weakly nurslings under their care, is, that they have seen, from their very earliest infancy, the great drama of life, with its infinite varieties, its infinite woes and troubles, played out before them. Baby was born and suckled, baby may die and be laid out in its small, rough coffin, in the one room where the child and parents, and her brothers and sisters eat, and drink, and work, and sleep. Oh! preternaturally wise in your own esteem, these ragged children are your superiors in wisdom. We laugh and point to little miss dressing and undressing her doll, and whisper sapient things about the intuition of the duties of maternity; but Sarah Jane of the back street never had a doll beyond this pallid little innocent, and she has scarcely done dandling it for “mother," when the parish doctor comes, and she is a mother, and has a pallid baby of her own to dandle.

Mind, I am not so cynical as to deny that well-dressed, well-educated, grown-up young ladies are not exceedingly fond of babies, when nurse brings them for ten minutes or so from the comfortable nursery; but woe betide the importunate little damsel who interrupts Sister Ann while she is writing her letters or working her faldstools. - Take those tiresome children away,” I have often heard some handsome, impatient girl exclaim; while I will do the other sex the credit to admit that they are usually exceedingly gentle and forbearing with the little people, studying their curious ways, assuaging their little angers, listening to their wonderful tales about the “Fissamen's child'n dat was downed,” the “ Large big horses dat de ittle dog bark at," “ De gay mouse dat run all along de carpet, and Papa say a ' wat, a wat,'” and other notable histories and excerpts, mostly signifying nothing at all. I have oftener seen a child go up to a man and pull his whiskers, and say, “I like you," or

Do you ever have marmalade at home?” than I have seen one of these small members of the independent persuasion approach a handsome, proud young lady with expressions of endearment. Indeed, I have known great beauties pulled down a peg-so to use the

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vulgar term—by such inquiries of franc parler as, “How old are you ?” "What a long nose you've got;" or, “ Why do you bite your lips?" and I once knew a little girl-but she was a termagant—who bit a haughty and resplendent dame, assigning, when corrected, as a reason for the act, that “He" (her uncle in spectacles) " said they was vay pitty," whereas “she” (the resplendent dame) “wouldn't look at Doddy's new blue kid shoes.”

Mind, once for all, when I speak of the too frequent indifference of young women to young children, I allude but to the unmarried ones. You see, it is but natural, after all. All their thoughts, all their energies, all their aspirations tend to one point-conquest.

But so soon as a young woman is married, and is a mother, all her latent love for child-kind bursts forth. She loves them all-the big, the little, the slim, the stout, the boys, the girls, the romps, the

, prudes. She has rewards for their goodnesses and remedies for their naughtinesses. She is full of counsel on physic, diet, exercise, and education. She can expatiate as thusiastically on round jackets and corduroys as on pinafores and socks. Dear me! I have known a good matron talk half an hour on the infamous conduct of Bubb, the head boy at Doctor Gradus's, tearing the title-page out of her niece's youngest's Cæsar. And when the boys and girls grow too old to be fondled and petted by these good women, when they are above plum cakes and “tips," dolls and India-rubber balloons, they begin to admire their stalwart or graceful proportions in secret, and think what nice husbands they would make for their daughters, what willing, cheery helpmates for their sons.

God speed all that is good and honest in the world, and chiefly match-making! The philosopher declares that the mamma-syrens with dyed fronts egged on their daughters to sing seductive airs, as Ulysses in his ship went.



through the waves; but I say there are motherly doves knowing as to pairing time, and expert in the ways of billing and cooing; and I say that when Cock Robin married Jenny Wren-he was a good husband, albeit sometimes wild-there was no sincerer mourner at the red-vested C. R.'s untimely grave than his mamma-in-law (the widow of Sir Christopher Wren, who built that beautiful birds' nest just under the ball of St. Paul's Cathedral, London). Some of these days I intend to write a book in defence of mothersin-law. It will be preceded by one containing an apology for old maids, and followed by a third, comprising my longpromised vindication of the average conduct and character of stepmothers. I am sure there has been enough parrot-cry abuse of all these three classes of feminity for some one to undertake their defence.

Mem: from the whole of the above remarks, I exclude governesses and schoolmistresses. I believe


love children, and undertake the irksome and responsible task of education from their sympathy and earnest vocation; but to the ordinary and generic schoolmistress the child is a financial investment, a terminable annuity, an unit in a tabular state. ment. Moreover, she can scarcely be frank with the child. As many parents, so many faces must the schoolmistress have. Read “ Villette,” by Currer Bell. As to the governess, she may be, and is in very many admirable instances, devoted not only through duty, but through affection, to the interest of her pupil; but to the ordinary and generic governess the child is only so much concentrated headache inspirated weariness, and too often, alas ! accumulated insult. How happy she is at night, bare and lonely as the schoolroom is, when the worrying little things are gone to bed! Read the “ Life of Charlotte Bronté," by Mrs. Gaskill.

And now let me read Mrs. Petworth's legend to you, not

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in a comic spirit as you have done, but in its serious bearings on the relations of life, and the fitness of things. For I wish you to study the ways of children, as I hope and believe you will have to be among children some day—children that will love you-children that you will love and cherish. Doesn't it strike you that Mrs. P.'s might be a happier family if she studied Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and Murchison on the Silurian Formation, a little less, and darned her children's stockings a little? Here is a lady whose husband has a good income, and every wish and requisite to make her home happy. She is healthy and brisk enough, and Doctor Warrener says he has seldom seen children finer than hers. When Mr. Petworth comes home from the Stock Exchange, tired and eager to enjoy the delights of his fireside, and the communion and conversation of his wife's children, he finds only a pack of disorderly brats, who have turned all the furniture topsy-turvy, and have broken a good deal of it, too, since he left home for the city, and a studious, abstracted woman poring over some musty book she understands no more about than I do of the Stade Dues question, or scribbling Platonic compliments to the editor of some twopenny-halfpenny journal, who has inserted some pages of her mongrel metaphysical disquisitions in the hope that she will ask him to dinner. He should properly find his children trim, well combed, spruce, yet obedient, ready for a game at romps if need be, but amenable to being smoothed into proper order again immediately afterwards. How is he to take any solace in the society of these young cubs, their minds ruffled, their bodies heated by recent and furious intestine squabbles ? The little state has been divided against itself; and the maternal police, instead of preserving, or at least restoring order, has been collating the Pandects of Justinian. The father's ears are beset by

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