The Ladies' Vase eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 106 pages of information about The Ladies' Vase.
it flows.  If an obstacle is thrown across its path, it gathers strength, breaks away the barrier, and again bounds forward.  It turns, and winds, and proceeds on its course, till it reaches its destiny in the sea.  But, in all this, it has shaped its course and followed out its career, from babbling infancy at the fountain to its termination in the great reservoir of waters, according to the channel which its parent earth has provided.  Such is the influence of a parent over his child.  It has within itself a will, and at its bidding it goes forward, but the parent marks out its track.  He may not stop its progress, but he may guide its course.  He may not throw a dam across its path, and say to it, hitherto mayest thou go, and no farther; but he may turn it through safe, and gentle, and useful courses—­or he may leave it to plunge over wild cataracts, or lose itself in some sandy desert, or collect its strength into a torrent, but to spread ruin and desolation along its borders.

The fireside, then, is a seminary of infinite importance:  it is important, because it is universal, and because the education it bestows, being woven in with the woof of childhood, gives form and color to the whole texture of life.  There are few who can receive the honors of a college, but all are graduates of the hearth.  The learning of the university may fade from the recollection, its classic lore may molder in the halls of memory; but the simple lessons of home, enameled upon the heart of childhood, defy the rust of years, and outlive the more mature but less vivid pictures of after days.  So deep, so lasting, indeed, are the impressions of early life, that we often see a man, in the imbecility of age, holding fresh in his recollection the events of childhood, while all the wide space between that and the present hour is a blasted and forgotten waste.  You have perchance seen an old and half-obliterated portrait, and, in the attempt to have it cleaned and restored, may have seen it fade away, while a brighter and more perfect picture, painted beneath, is revealed to view.  This portrait, first drawn upon the canvas, is no inapt illustration of youth; and, though it may be concealed by some after-design, still the original traits will shine through the outward picture, giving it tone while fresh, and surviving it in decay.  Such is the fireside—­the great institution furnished by Providence for the education of man.



The prevalence of defective teeth in this country is the general subject of remark by foreigners; and whoever has traveled in Spain and Portugal is struck with the superior soundness and whiteness of teeth in those countries.  Though not a cleanly people in other respects, they wash their teeth often, and, by means of toothpicks, carefully remove all substances from between them after meals.  A little silver porcupine, with holes all over its back to insert

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The Ladies' Vase from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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