Your parents gave their lives to keep you alive, Harry. A poor way to repay them — gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks.
We never know how to put ourselves in the place of children; we do not enter into their ideas; we lend them ours, and, always following our own reasonings, with chains of truths we heap up only follies and errors in their heads.[Nous ne savons jamais nous mettre à la place des enfants; nous n’entrons pas dans leurs idées, nous leur prêtons les nôtres; et, suivant toujours nos propres raisonnements, avec des chaînes de vérités nous n’entassons qu’extravagances et qu’erreurs dans leur tête.]
Thus parents, by humouring and cockering them when little, corrupt the principles of nature in their children, and wonder afterwards to taste the bitter waters, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
There is no good father, that’s the rule. Don’t lay the blame on men but on the bond of paternity, which is rotten. To beget children, nothing better; to have them, what iniquity!
The character and history of each child may be a new and poetic experience to the parent, if he will let it.
Some parents are so blinded by a fatherly fondness, that they mistake the very imperfections of their children for so many beauties, and the folly and impertinence of the brave boy must pass upon their friends and acqaaintance for wit and sense.
Parents take far too much notice of their children these days. Bring back the good old days of benign indifference.
Of course, everyone’s parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory. The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment, shame, and mortification should their parents so much as speak to them on the street.