The Age of Uncertainty

The Age of Uncertainty

To sit over a foolish or even a wise novel when the daily duties of life demand our attention is absolutely wicked. We have seen, in our own life, the mother of a family devote herself to novel reading.

The father was at sea in the merchant service. A boy, a girl, and the house demanded the wife's attention. The children were neglected, dirty, ragged, untaught, running about the roads; the house was dirty beyound description, for there was but one servant, who naturally, followed her mistress's example.

The wife could not make her income suffice her, because no one watched against waste or dishonesty in the kitchen, and her husband, when he came home from sea, was arrested for her debts.

The son, utterly ruined, ran away from school, and finally disappeared in Australia. The daughter, trained only in the unreal folly of novels, married secretly a man much below her father's station - he was also an hereditary madman!

When the mother of the boy and girl married, she had been a lovely, clever girl. But novel reading, like intoxication, bought misery on her and on two following generations.