THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD v
A shopkeeper in New York, anhoyed by the continued depreda
tions of street urchins, caught one of them, a "boy 4 years old, tied
him, to a pipe in his store, and beat him with a piece of rubber tubing.
The child was rescued by a man who broke into the store, on
ihearinsr the little bov's cries. The storekeeper was arrested. When
he was brought before a judge, vthe latter was shocked at the pris
oner's brutality, and announced that before sentencing the man he
;wpuld like to have some expressions of opinion from the public as
'to what punishment should be meted out to a man who had beaten
a little child as this man had done.
The judge got expressions of opinion ; many people wrote letters
to him. And with this startling result that a great proportion of
the letters asked the judge to be lenient with the prisoner, on the
ground that the actions of the children who play in the streets of
New York are such as to drive any person to desperation and
Writer after writer said that tKe seem to be thousands of
children running about in this city who are simply little devils.
They attack and maltreat aged people; they commit every conceiv
able depredation that their impish minds can suggest. Many keep-
ers of small shops wrote that their lives had been made so miserable
by the unceasing malefactions of children that they could readily
! appreciate the state of frenzy which had possessed the man who beat
J the little boy. n
fj. What a ghastly picture to se set in the frame that we call "civil-
zization!" Children, little children, fhe supposed embodiment of all
.innocence, gentleness and beauty, portrayed as little fiends. It
(Iseems toohorrible to be true,,but the letters were from too many
lipeople, "and from too many ranks of society, to allow any doubt of
Whevtruth of the conditions they set forth. ,,
Who shall be arraigned at the high bar of justice for this griev-
-ous state of affairs?- The children? God pity the ..children poor,
neglected, warped, ignorant little beings, who know not what they
a do. It is the parents who sow the seed for this ugly harvest the
cparents who for their own selfish gratification bring into the world
creatures whom they are either too hampered or too indifferent to
'.guard and cherish and guide.
? There is a lesson, and a warning, in this sad little story, for
"every man and woman who confront the problem of parentage.
That lesson is the rights of the child!
. , &i&&iM&Jlifcti
xml | txt