28 February 1857
FRESH FERN LEAVES.
Entered according Act of Congress in the year 1855, by ROBERT BONNER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
THE "FAVORITE" CHILD.
Why will parents use that expression? What right have you to have a favorite child? The All-Father maketh his sun to shine alike upon the daisy and the rose. Where would you be, were His care measured by your merits or deserts? Is your child none the less your child, that nature has denied him a fluent tongue, or forgotten her cunning, when in careless mood she fashioned his limbs? Because beauty beams not from the eye, is there no intelligence there? Because the rosy flush mantles not the pale cheek, does the blood never tingle at your coldness or neglect? Because the passive arms are not wound about your neck, has the soul no passionate yearnings for parental love? Oh, how often does God, more merciful than you, passing by the Josephs of your household, stoop in his pity and touch those quivering lips with a live coal from off the altar! How often does this neglected one, burst from out the chrysalis in which your criminal coldness has enveloped him, and soaring far above your wildest parental imaginings, compel from your ambition, what he could not gain from your love?
How often does he replenish with liberal hand, the coffers, which the "favorite child," in the selfishness which you fostered, has drained of their last fraction. "He that is first shall be last, and the last shall be first." Let parents write this on their heart tablets. Let them remember it when they repulse the little clinging arms, or turn a deaf ear to the childish tale of sorrow. Oh, gather up those clinging tendrils of affection with gentlest touch; trample them not with the foot of haste or insensibility rudely in the dust.
And they in the darkest of days shall be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee.
Fanny Fern, "The 'Favorite' Child," The New-York Ledger (28 February 1857): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "The 'Favorite' Child," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.