Archive for the ‘children’ Category

A sweet, old-fashioned girl

Miss Verity has been musing lately on the way people raise their daughters, and more particularly on the problems inherent in trying to bring up a sensible, modest, self-aware and self-controlled young lady in a culture that lauds the sloppy, the rude, the disorganized, and the promiscuous.

It’s not that she believes in imposing choices on young women. On the contrary, she believes in equipping them to make their own choices–real choices, one they’re actually making for themselves instead of being coerced into by peers, television, or a vague desire to be cool.

And to that end, it occurs to her, rather than raise girls under bell jars it would be wiser to keep them well-informed about the realities of the world. The girl who knows that some men are cads, some people are fools, and not everyone you meet has your best interests at heart is in a much stronger position from which to determine her course of conduct.

So a truly sweet, old-fashioned girl should probably have a core of shrewd common sense with which to defend that sweetness…



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Miss Verity has never been particularly interested in babies–she’s got nothing against them, and thinks they’re pretty to look at; she just prefers the company of older children and adults–and therefore has only a passing familiarity with the care and feeding of the little dears.

Nevertheless, she does know one ought not to feed them arsenic. Food adulteration being one of the ghastlier aspects of Victorian life, she’d prefer not to see it revived. There are undoubtedly many people to whom one feels tempted to administer arsenic, but babies ought never to be among them.

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