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There is no use in putting up the motto, “God bless our home,” if the father is a rough old bear, and the spirit of discourtesy and rudeness is taught by the parents to the children, and by the older to the younger. There is no use in putting up a motto, “The Lord will provide,” while the father is shiftless, the mother is shiftless, the boys refuse to work, and the girls busy themselves over gew-gaws and finery. There is no use in putting up the motto, “The greatest of these is charity,” while the tongue of the backbiter wags in that family, and silly gossip is dispensed at the tea-table. There is no use in placing up conspicuously the motto, “The liberal man deviseth liberal things,” while the money clinks in the pockets of “the head of the household,” groaning to get out to see the light of day. In how many homes are these mottoes standing—let us say hanging—sarcasms, which serve only to point a jest and adorn a satire! The beauty of quiet lives, of trustful, hopeful, free-handed, free-hearted, charitable lives, is one of surpassing loveliness, and those lives shed their own incomparable fragrance, and the world knows where to find them. And they shall remain fresh and fadeless when the colors of pigment and the worsted and the floss have faded, and the frames have rotted away in their joints.—Sel.
— April And May, 1884 —