Mother and daughter.
Girl. Mother, I wish you would fetch me a Husband. I want one dreadfully.
Mother. Why do you wish to have a Husband? What would you do with one?
G. I want one to play with.
M. But a Husband cannot play with you. I should think you would prefer a kitten, for that can understand your play and play back again.
G. Yes, mother, and it can scratch and bite too. Now a Husband never scratches nor bites, and I like a Husband best.
M. You can teach a kitten not to scratch or bite, but you can't teach a Husband anything.
G. Can't I teach him to sit up, or to hold his tongue?
M. No, he will do that without teaching. I will fetch you a Husband, if you will tell me how he will be of any use to you.
G. He will make me love you better, dear mother.
M If I give you an orange, will not that do the same?
G. Why, mother, how you bother me. I want a Husband to look at, to hug, and to kiss, as if it was a little baby, but I do not hug and kiss an orange.
M. Do you think you could love a little Husband?
G. O yes, I am sure I could, if it was pretty.
M. Does my loving you depend upon your being pretty? I think it depends more upon your being good.
G. Well, mother, the Husband is always good as can be, but I am sometimes naughty.
M. The Husband is good because he can't be otherwise, and there is no merit in such goodness. To be really good, you must not only not do wrong, but you must do something right. Let me explain what I have said. I will fetch you a Husband if you insist upon it, but my opinion is, that you will like him much better, and he will do you much more good if you make it yourself.
G. I don't know how, mother.
M. I will show you.
G. Then I shall be glad to make him myself.
M. Though you may not make him so well as I could, at first, still he will be your own, and, you know, mothers love their own children better than other people's. (Kissing her.)
G. But, mother, why did you wish me to have a kitten instead of a Husband?
M. Because, in teaching such a young animal, you would learn much yourself that you couldn't learn from a Husband.
G. What would the kitten teach me, reading or spelling, writing or needlework?
M. She would teach you kindness. She would teach yon patience, if you had to bear with her ignorance ; forbearance, if you were tried by her ill temper ; forgiveness, if she offended you. There is hardly a virtue that would not be improved, if you treated her properly.
G. Why may I not have both a kitten and a Husband, then ?
M. You shall do so; and now I will go and find something to make the Husband of, while you go and get your work-box, for the best time to do work is while you are in the mood for it.