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sand, and paint to imitate stone, paper to build marble walls, and frescopainting to make the interior of a room appear larger or higher than it really is. Our ceremonies, literally understood, contain a great deal more than they are intended to convey. Much of our poetry is but fiction—not the history of what has happened, but the creation of imagination. In all dramatic performances the actors, as well as the spectators, are for a while withdrawn from real lite. We have imitations of all kinds of jewelry, American Eau de Cologne, counterfeit money, manufactured hair, false eyes, teeth and limbs.
We hate to be told by any one what he knows to be untrue. Bankruptcy, and even murder, are less shameful than a lie. No flush of the cheek is more burning than that which follows the detection of a falsehood. Why is it? Is the word more than a deed, or the tongue more important than the hand? Sean Paul explains it thus :
“When I confront another person, our souls are, as it were, hidden in our bodies. I may guess at his character and intelligence by his eye or his general appearance, but I am without certainty. It is ouly through language this embodiment of thonght, this audible reason, that I can converse with him. The tongue is the telegraphic wire between soul and soul, his last will is revealed by his spoken word, and the action of his soul lies clearly before me. The importance of the spoken word has lost in intensity by the invention of writing. When an idea is expressed, not in the living, life-giving word, but in dead characters, drawn upon lifeless paper, it loses, to a great extent, its power and vitality, and consequently a lie, when written or printed, appears less punishable. But how annihilating when the spiritual I of another human being communes with mine and tells me a downright lie! His living soul is vanished at once, only his bones, flesh, and skin are before me, and the words spoken by his tongue are just as insignificant to me as the wind whose howling does not indicate any pain. A spoken word may explain or annihilate many deeds; but it requires many deeds to neutralize the sting of one spoken lie. The liar treats his tongue as the beggar does his hand organ; the instrument plays a plaintive air, while the possessor rejoices at the money he receives. The liar is unjust. I give myeslf without reserve to him, while he gives me only his body; and by building a draw in the free bridge of true conversation, which he opens and shuts at his pleasure, he makes me a tool of his will."
It will be seen at a glance how important it is that children be trained to speak the truth. Only a clear understanding of the child's inclinations, peculiarities and capacities will enable parents and teachers to devise the best plans and means for its progress. For if a child is accustomed to lie, many other evil thoughts and babits may hide themselves behind that screen, and thus escape being observed or checked. It is still worse when a spoken lie has been previously matured, when, in telling it, the child is perfectly at ease and confident of success. In such a case, the whole position of those who educate, and of him who is to be educated, is changed;
ent, and future. An expected pleasure is to thein a present reality, and an alarm of a punishment they have met with in the past, will be experienced anew with the original intensity as often as they are reminded of it. Their hours and weeks are long or short, according to their feeling. All their experience and knowledge is the material with which they color their past trials or joys, magnify present impressions, and form new combinations, or build castles in the air. They live in dreams when waking, and are awakened by dreams when asleep. Up to a certain period they can not distinguish things as they are, from the creations of their fancy, and are therefore liable to be misunderstood.
It is not sufficient, however, not to accuse the child of a lie, when it is actually innocent; we must, as much as possible, remove all temptation to tell a lie.
If we could see clearly how our mental and moral faculties are called forth and developed by circumstances and events, we should meet many a case where adults caused a child to tell what was known to be untrue, and then punished it for it. If it is known with certainty that something wrong has been committed, parents or teachers ought first to ascertain whether the child knew the act to be wrong or not. In the latter case only proper instruction and advice are needed; any thing beyond that is of evil. But if the child is conscious of having done wrong, it should be met with a firm accusation which would not leave the least room even for the thought of a denial. If it be not fairly ascertained that the child did wrong, a skillful way of catechizing has been found the best method of getting at the truth. The questions ought to be put calmly, kindly, and in such a succession that the child does not see the connection between its answers and their consequences. After some facts are established, the child's true position is often clearly seen. This method, however, requires practice, skill, and, above all, an earnest zeal to benefit the child, whatever the cost may be. Young parents and teachers are apt to fail in these attempts. They are either so fond of their charge as to overlook many & case which ought to be investigated, or have not time and patience enough to arrive at a satisfactory result. Sufficient time must also be given to the child to consider fully the true meaning of the questions, or else an inconsiderate answer may be given in haste. If cases occur where, in all probability, the first lie may be expected, it is preferable not to mention such a case at all. The little child must be kept as long as can be in the belief that the parent or teacher knows the truth and is free from error.
Never advise or command a child to lie. This point is seldom in all its bearings strictly observed. Children are sometimes made to ask one's pardon, when they do not see any thing wrong in their doings; or they are commanded to show signs of affection to persons whom they do not like; or they are taught to learn and utter complimentary phrases, which they feel to be but words without meaning; or they are compelled to speak words of thanks after punishment, when they feel any thing but thankfulness. A mother wishes to be undisturbed, ard advises her daugh
ter to tell callers that she is not at home. A member of the family is to be surprised with a present. The child has heard of it, but is told to deny all knowledge about it if it should be questioned. An adult plays with children, hides himself, and asks some of them not to betray to the others where he is hidden; not to mention cases of a grosser kind which occur in the lower classes of society, where the division line between truth and falsehood is almost invisible.
Secondly. When a lie has been told, find out the motive and treat the child accordingly. The merit of a deed lies neither in its appearance nor in its subsequent consequences, but only in its motives. To read these in the hearts of the papils is one of the highest duties of all those who have to deal with children; and to purify these is to elevate their moral standard most effectually. The various motives which induce children to lie, may be brought in three groups—indiscretion, fear, and desire.
Lies of indiscretion are committed without forethought or plan. They may occur in conversation. The child, in talking with an adult, expresses bis loose ideas in words still less precise than his thoughts, and thus an original misunderstanding may cause the reproach of a lie. The child may be asked to testify as a witness before the family circle, to give advice to his playmate in a critical position, or to repeat a story. In these, as well as other cases, the child may have received a wrong impression, or his memory may be at fault, or his feelings and imagination may be wrought up to such a pitch, that he is incapable at the time to discrimin. ate between appearance and reality. What is to be done in such a case ? Sometimes the simple advice not to make fun, but to speak in earnest, may be of good effect; at other times it may be well to point out some of the contradictions of the statement, and request a correction of the mistakes. Or if the habit not to be careful enough continues, the child may be told that it will fall in disrepute, as one who does not adhere to truth. Good advice, instruction, and encouragement are all that is needed to counteract and prevent lies of this kind.
Another potent cause of lies is fear. A lie of fear is always committed when something has been done which the child knew to be wrong. The evil deed lies behind-confrontation and detection before him. Conscience tells him that panishment must follow, and imagination condenses and magnifies such punishment beyond proper limits. In the pressure of the moment there seems to be but one way of escaping, and with a trembling voice and downcast eye, the deed done is denied. In many of these cases parents are perhaps as guilty as their children. Their look, voice, and appearance magnify the importance of the deed, and the degree of punishment. They will even get into a passion, and speak words or commit deeds worse than those which they pretend to punish. In examination of this kind there is seldom enough kindness and forgiveness shown to make the child conquer his fear and confess the truth. The parent must feel really sorry, and try to make the child feel that it was its own deed which produced this perplexity on both sides. It would be faulty, however, to
hold out frequently the promise of forgiveness as an inducement to plead guilty. Parents must keep their hands free to punish or forgive.
The worst lie is that of desire. It is committed when false statements are made in order to obtain a certain wish. The object is clearly in view ; in order to reach it, a plan is made, the best' means are chosen, and the lie is told deliberately, and with full knowledge of its being a sin. Words and manner are carefully selected, the liar loses his identity, and becomes a mere performer. No child begins its bad career with such a premeditated violation of truth; it has always been prepared for it by the preparatory classes just mentioned. The conscience of a willful liar is already trodden under foot, and any other evil deed may be done; if temptation comes, the heart inclines to it, and a false statement will hide the deed from men.
The detection of such a lie should always be followed by a severe punishment. Rousseau and Kant propose to disbelieve for a while, all statements of a child after it has told such a lie. This may be good in some cases, but at other times, especially when the child has stated the truth, it might pat parents or teachers in rather an awkward position. Jean Paul thinks it best to condemn such a child to abstain from talking for a certain time, but this wouid prove to many a lazy child, especially in school, rather a reward than a punishment. Dr. Diesterweg and Dr, Benecke recommend, especially for young children, a comparatively severe corporal papishment, inflicted not in the heat of excitement, but after a while, in a loving, compassionate spirit. Dr. Dinter relates in his writings a case where one of his school-fellows was cured radically in the following man
B, the son of a laborious mechanic, was the intimate playmate of O, who had rich parents. As B's father bad met with considerable disappointment in his business, B expected no Christmas gift. He thought, however, he might have a pleasant time if O's father wonld invite him to spend Christmas eve at his house. Both boys agreed to carry out this plan. B told his father that he had been invited for that evening to Mr. O's house, and C begged his parents to give an invitation to his friend. Both fathers happened to meet and talk about this subject. They agreed upon a plan according to which both were to be punished by their own deeds. On Christmas O met B and took him to his own house. He was received kind. ly, but when the gifts were distributed and enjoyed, he, as an unexpected guest, did not receive any thing. It was the custom of the teacher of that place to call on some families that evening. According to agreement he called on Master B, and Mr. B accompanied him to O's house. Here the lie was detected, and in an adjoining room sentence was pronounced that O's Ohristmas tree and a new suit of clothes were to be given to a poor boy in the neighborhood, while B had to share his gifts with a boy appointed by the father. This had the desired effect. Both boys became truthful men.
Thirdly. The most potent factor is a good example. It surpasses the