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Advice to Little Girls

Language: English

Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers 
for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to 
under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

If you have nothing but a rag-doll stuffed with sawdust, 
while one of your more fortunate little playmates has a costly China one, 
you should treat her with a show of kindness nevertheless. 
And you ought not to attempt to make a forcible swap with her 
unless your conscience would justify you in it, 
and you know you are able to do it.

You ought never to take your little brother's "chewing-gum" 
away from him by main force; it is better to rope him in 
with the promise of the first two dollars and a half 
you find floating down the river on a grindstone. 
In the artless simplicity natural to this time of life, 
he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction. 
In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction 
has lured the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster.

If at any time you find it necessary to correct your brother, 
do not correct him with mud--never, on any account, throw mud at him, 
because it will spoil his clothes. It is better to scald him a little, 
for then you obtain desirable results. You secure his immediate attention 
to the lessons you are inculcating, and at the same time your hot water 
will have a tendency to move impurities from his person, 
and possibly the skin, in spots.

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. 
It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, 
and then afterward act quietly in the matter 
according to the dictates of your best judgment.

You should ever bear in mind that it is to your kind parents 
that you are indebted for your food, 
and for the privilege of staying home from school 
when you let on that you are sick. 
Therefore you ought to respect their little prejudices, 
and humor their little whims, and put up with their little foibles 
until they get to crowding you too much.

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged. 
You ought never to "sass" old people unless they "sass" you first.

Note: the line-breaks are arbitrary - this is a piece of prose.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2009-03-06.
Last modified: 2016-10-28 15:49:54
Line count: 37
Word count: 386

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