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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Elementary Morality            31

of such universal interest ? It cannot be pretended that
there is nothing to be known on these matters beyond what
unaided boys and girls can be left without risk to find out
for themselves. Not one in a hundred who remembers
his own boyhood will say this. How, then, are they excusable
who have the care of young people and yet leave a matter
of such vital importance so almost absolutely to take care
of itself, although they well know how common error is,
how easy to fall into and how disastrous in its effects both
upon the individual and the race ?

Next to sexual matters there are none upon which there
is such complete reserve between parents and children as
on those connected with money. The father keeps his affairs
as closely as he can to himself and is most jealous of letting
his children into a knowledge of how he manages his money.
His children are like monks in a monastery as regards money
and he calls this training them up with the strictest regard
to principle. Nevertheless he thinks himself ill-used if his
son, on entering life, falls a victim to designing persons whose
knowledge of how money is made and lost is greater than his
own.

The Family
i

I believe that more unhappiness comes from this source
than from any other—I mean from the attempt to prolong
family connection unduly and to make people hang together
artificially who would never naturally do so. The mischief
among the lower classes is not so great, but among the middle
and upper classes it is killing a large number daily. And the
old people do not really like it much better than the young.

On my way down to Shrewsbury some time since I read
the Bishop of Carlisle's Walks in the Regions of Science and
Faith* then just published, and found the following on p. 129
in the essay which is entitled " Man's Place in Nature."
After saying that young sparrows or robins soon lose sight

* Walks in the Regions of Science and Faith, by Harvey Goodwin,
D.D., Lord Bishop of Carlisle. John Murray, 1883.