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[121]

XXIV. breaking and bending.

It is not many years since there prevailed in some parts of this country a method of discipline which would now be generally held barbarous even among the most conscientious parents. It was held to be an essential part of a child's training that as soon as its will was developed up to a certain point, it should be as definitely and distinctly broken as you break a plant upon its stalk. Instead of avoiding or postponing such a necessity, the parent fearlessly met the occasion, and was — for even the most rigorous parents were human-glad when it was over. The child must definitely be taught submission on some specific occasion, for submission's sake; and this without reference to its state of health, to its nervous condition, or to the possibility of obtaining the same result without such a direct contest. In fact, the direct contest was considered an advantage in itself; even if the way was clear to bending the will, that was not desirable — it must be broken.

Many persons now past middle age will recall

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