from Letters To Mothers
by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
PREFACE,ADDRESSED TO MOTHERS
You are sitting with your child in your arms. So am I. And I have never been as happy before. Have you ? How this new affection seems to spread a soft, fresh green over the soul. Does not the whole heart blossom thick with plants of hope, sparkling with perpetual dew-drops? What a loss, had we passed through the world, without tasting this purest, most exquisite fount of love.
Now, how shall we bring up this babe, which Heaven hath lent us? Great need have we to repeat the question of the father of Samson, to the angel who announced his birth, " how shall we order the child ?" Surely, we shall unite with fervour in his supplication to the Father of Angels, "teach us what we shall do unto the child."
Are you a novice? I am one also. Let us learn together. The culture of young minds, in their more advanced stages, has indeed been entrusted to me, and I have loved the office. But never before, have I been so blest, as to nurture the infant, when as a germ quickened by Spring, it opens the folding-doors of its little heart, and puts forth the thought, the preference, the affection, like filmy radicles, or timid tendrils, seeking where to twine.
Ah! how much have we to learn, that we may bring this beautiful and mysterious creature, to the light of knowledge, the perfect bliss of immortality! Hath any being on earth, a charge more fearfully important, than that of the Mother ? God help us to be faithful, in proportion to the immensity of our trust.
The soul, the soul of the babe, whose life is nourished by our own! Every trace that we grave upon it, will stand forth at the judgment, when the "books are opened." Every waste-place, which we leave through neglect, will frown upon us, as an abyss, when the mountains fall, and the skies shrivel like a scroll. Wherever we go, let us wear as a signet-ring, "the child! the child!" Amid all the musick of life, let this ever be the key-tone, " the soul of our child."
L. H. S.
[Scanned from and corrected to Letters to Mothers by Mrs. L.H. Sigourney. Published by Hudson and Skinner, Printers. Hartford, 1838.]