( Originally Published 1916 )
THE country was agitated some days ago by the news of a gentleman from Indiana, a preacher, too, who had deemed it needful to spank his pa.
Although I have enrolled my name on the list of them who do not believe in spanking children, and have thereto set down many and cogent arguments, I do not wish to be taken as being opposed to spanking per se.
Spanking is a most wholesome and health-giving exercise, and is not without its mental and moral advantageous by-products.
Fathers often need it, and they are fortunate if they have sons husky enough to give them what they are suffering for.
Why, also, when innumerable children are being daily pounded a posteriori and nobody seems to think it's anybody's business to interfere, should all this hullabaloo arise when one child proceeds to turn the tables and castigate dad a bit? What are we coming to? Where is our personal liberty? Where the inviolability of family secrets? 'What next?
There are a lot of people who need spanking. Let me call a few to your mind.
There is the college youth putting in his nights and days in acquiring a set of ruinous habits and cultivating an assortment of snob notions, when he ought to be trying to learn something in return for the money his parents are advancing. He is going to be a gilded social bonehead, simply because there is no proper official to turn him over the knee and whale some sense into him.
There is the down-and-outer, the man who thinks the world is against him, who can't try again, and who believes there is nothing now left for him but to go out into the garden and eat worms. There's no use talking to him. The only remedy for his case is a tough hickory lath and a strong right arm.
There are the women who are so sorry for themselves, who have every disease they hear of, whose complaining whine is as the unceasing November rain upon the window. Of course we would not strike a woman ; there ought to be a spanking machine.
Indeed, there is the whole army of self-pity; the weepers who rule their husbands by "the tyranny of tears" ; the naggers, human mosquitoes, and "the female of the species is more deadly than the male"; the drunken loafers who "can't" quit making beasts of themselves ; the gentlemen content to let their wives earn the living; the dudes and mashers who infest public ways, whose ,eyes insult every decent woman passing; the lackadaisical daughters who lounge about reading novels or manicuring their nails while mother washes the dishes; the egoist perky as a bantam rooster, and as pin-headed; and the whole dawdling set of idlers, who never dream of doing any of the world's work, are content to amuse themselves spending money other people have earned, and who, strange to say, look upon themselves as the superior class.
These to the shingle and the slipper! Let us have no "cruel and unusual" punishment, not the boot nor the wheel nor the Maiden of Nuremberg ! No. Turn them gently up, and with the hairbrush or other handy instrument, and upon the place the Creator especially designed for correction unto the soul's health—soak 'em!
The question may arise, Who is going to decide which individuals are to be spanked? The answer is simple. If no one has any other nomination to offer, I will decide.