in his chair all day, with nothing to do more laborious than stirring the fire, and carrying his food to his mouth? If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them--not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.'

`I will lead him by the hand, Mr Markham, till he has strength to go alone; and I will clear as many stones from his path as I can, and teach him to avoid the rest--or walk firmly over them as you say;--for when I have done my utmost, in the way of clearance, there will still be plenty left to exercise all the agility, steadiness, and circumspection he will ever have.--It is all very well to talk about noble resistance, and trials of virtue; but for fifty--or five hundred men that have yielded to temptation, show me one that has had virtue to resist. And why should I take it for granted that my son will be one in a thousand?--and not rather prepare for the worst, and suppose he will be like his--like the rest of mankind, unless I take care to prevent it?'

`You are very complimentary to us all,' I observed.

`I know nothing about you--I speak of those I do know--and when I see the whole race of mankind (with a few rare exceptions) stumbling and blundering along the path of life, sinking into every pitfall, and breaking their shins over every impediment that lies in their way, shall I not use all the means in my power to ensure for him, a smoother and a safer passage?'

`Yes, but the surest means will be to endeavour to fortify him against temptation, not to remove it out of his way.

`I will do both, Mr Markham. God knows he will have temptations enough to assail him, both from within and without, when I have done all I can to render vice as uninviting to him, as it is abominable in its own nature--I myself have had, indeed, but few incentives to what the world calls vice, but yet, I have experienced temptations and trials of another kind, that have required, on many occasions, more watchfulness and firmness to resist, than I have hitherto been able to muster against them. And this, I believe, is what most others would acknowledge, who are accustomed to reflection, and wishful to strive against their natural corruptions.'

`Yes,' said my mother, but half apprehending her drift; `but you would not judge of a boy by yourself--and my dear Mrs Graham, let me warn you in good time against the error--the fatal error, I may call it--of taking that boy's education upon yourself.--Because you are clever, in some things, and well informed, you may fancy yourself equal to the task; but indeed you are not; and, if you persist in the attempt, believe me, you will bitterly repent it when the mischief is done.'

`I am to send him to school, I suppose, to learn to despise his mother's authority and affection!' said the lady, with a rather bitter smile.

`Oh, no!--But if you would have a boy to despise his mother, let her keep him at home, and spend her life in petting him up, and slaving to indulge his follies and caprices.'

`I perfectly agree with you, Mrs Markham; but nothing can be further from my principles and practice than such criminal weakness as that.'

`Well, but you will treat him like a girl--you'll spoil his spirit, and make a mere Miss Nancy of him--you will indeed, Mrs Graham, whatever you may think--But I'll get Mr Millward to talk to you about it:--he'll tell you the consequences;--he'll set it before you as plain as the day;--and tell you what you ought to do, and all about it;--and, I don't doubt, he'll be able to convince you in a minute.'

`No occasion to trouble the vicar,' said Mrs Graham, glancing at me--I suppose I was smiling at my mother's unbounded confidence in that worthy gentleman--`Mr Markham here thinks his powers of conviction at least equal to Mr Millward's. If I hear not him, neither should I be convinced though one rose from the

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