UnBooks:Suffer the Little Children

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The novel Suffer the Little Children is also available in paperback.

Suffer the Little Children: A Monograph on Child-Rearing[edit]

By the Hon. Justice George Jeffreys

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes:
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.

Children should be seen and not heard, and those who are heard are inevitably young limbs of Satan up to mischief, and should be given a dozen of the best with a birch rod. Unfortunately, some people with more sentiment than common sense — to wit, psychologists and social workers and other professional do-gooders — are adamant that hitting children is bad for them. They claim that it causes emotional damage; destroys one of the most precious relationships, that between a parent and a child; and turns the little brat into a raving sadist who spends his life inflicting similar injuries on anyone unfortunate enough to be in a weaker position. This is arrant nonsense. “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” A child who is not soundly thrashed will inevitably turn into a puling milquetoast, a namby-pamby little weakling, and a sexual degenerate.

Consider the following illustrations which show the difference between a child who is spanked and a child who is not.


The child on the left, who is not spanked, is a mummy’s boy, a snivelling little wretch who whines and whinges when his delicate little feelings are hurt. Observe the pale complexion, the sunken eyes, the prematurely aged appearance, and the slumped shoulders. Observe the clammy hands, the suppurating facial pustules, the acrid belches, the flow of fetid matter from the fundament, the tongue coatings, the flabby muscles, and the draggy gait. All are characteristic of the chronic masturbator.

The child on the right, who is spanked every day, is likely to grow up robust and hearty, a fine upstanding young fellow, the flower of manhood, with a healthy appetite for blood sports, and is likely to have a proper manly career in the army, navy, church or as a scoutmaster. (This evidence is provided by the celebrated psychologist Dr. Ludovic Halfries, known for his argument that educating women is detrimental to their health, as their brains overheat and explode in their heads, as happened to the Russian chess player Nikolai Titov.)

I was beaten thrice a day (five times on Sundays), and it did not do me any harm. Quite the contrary; it instilled in me a proper respect for justice, and so led to my present exalted career, in which I may proudly boast that I have the record for condemning the most people to imprisonment (and, in happier days, capital and corporal punishment).

Whipping, in fact, makes a man out of boys. (And out of girls too.) The British Empire was successfully governed for decades by people who saw their parents but seldom, were spanked on the smallest pretext, and then went to boarding schools where they were starved, caned and assaulted by older students and by the headmaster. (Despite the current emphasis on “values-driven” education and the liberal arts, and governmental disapproval of the cane, schools of the type of Dotheboys Hall, governed by such benevolent pedagogues (and, on occasion, pederasts) as Messrs. Thwackum, Wackford Squeers and Abiatha Swelter, are happily still to be found.)

The decline of the Empire only set in with an aversion to corporal punishment. If they had been whipped every day, the British would still possess their empire, rather than succumbing to the mad urge to give the Empire away as fast as possible. Is it any surprise that juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, premarital sex, homosexuality, onanism, atheism, pacifism, vegetarianism and the single parent family are rife in the modern world? These are all abominations and violations of the natural order, caused by the degeneracy and decadence due to moral laxity. I therefore call for the restoration of Victorian values, beginning with firm discipline and martial masculinity.

Which, I ask you, is less acceptable: that a child should be treated fairly and firmly, and ends up well behaved and respectful toward his elders, or that an indulgent parent should, by misplaced sentiment and what they fondly imagine to be kindness, produce an egotistical little monster, with the attention span of a flea and who, at the age of thirty-five, is likely to throw a tantrum if his demands are not met on the spot? The parents of such a child have completely failed in their duty both towards the child and towards society.

Now, society, is, as Foucault (himself no stranger to discipline and punishment, judiciously administered in the brothels of San Francisco) argued, built on relationships of power. The father is harassed and bullied at work, the mother is subservient to her husband’s will, therefore it is only right and fitting that little boys and little girls should be entirely at their mercy, so that they may learn from as early an age as possible that life is cruel and unfair, before they can become idealistic or imaginative individuals.

The real world is harsh and unforgiving, and children need to be strong to survive. It is deeply regrettable that modern medicine, with its vaccinations, regular health check-ups, and welfare support for parents, places so much emphasis on trying to ensure that children are healthy, happy and well fed. The Spartans and Romans had the right idea when they exposed sickly children at birth. Anything that weakens them by turning them into cretinous invalids is only setting them up for failure later in life, as they will be taken advantage of by the first sharp operator they meet. Rather than wasting time being dandled on their parents’ knees, children should be dangled out the window.

Despite all the nonsense talked by Darwinists, we all know that the reason for having children is not to continue the human race, but to give parents an interesting hobby which will provide years of entertainment: namely, making the obnoxious, smelly, noisy little brats dance to their parents’ tune. After all, they cost the mother preeclampsia, an epidural and a Caesarean, and the father several months of sexual frustration. Even before they are born, children are, as St Augustine recognised, inherently wicked. Therefore, parents are entirely justified in doing whatever they consider necessary to redeem their children from perdition.

It is imperative that children should, from the very moment they come hurtling down the birth canal, be left in no doubt who is master of the house. Give the little horror the slightest leeway, and he’ll be jockeying for position before he’s weaned. Now, this is not how things should be. The disobedient child, as that benefactor of humanity John Calvin argued, deserves to die, whether by stoning, burning or beheading. In violating the authority of its father, it has violated God’s authority. Unfortunately, this suggestion did not meet with the approval either of the jury or of counsel, although the parents were unanimous in their support for the motion.

Methods of discipline[edit]


There are several methods which members of the Diligent Parenting Association, I am informed, use to break their children’s spirits and bring them to heel. These include:

  1. Completely disrupt the child’s body clock by playing one-man marching bands in the middle of the night. Drill a hole in the wall and whisper horrible things to it during the witching hour.
  2. Repeatedly make the child practise going up and down stairs, entering a room silently, or pushing its chair in. Ignore all psychiatric diagnoses of obsessive compulsive disorder.
  3. Dismember the child’s favourite toys before its eyes, and tell them, with a horribly calm smile, that this fate will surely befall them if they should displease Mummy.
  4. Threaten to send the child to boarding school as soon as it can walk.
  5. Make the child perform all the menial household tasks. Reward it by a diet of compost scraps, washed down with cod liver oil. Lock it in the cellar and make it sleep on pieces of sacking.
  6. Take the child for unnecessary medical treatment. The impression left upon a child by a room full of gleaming and specially sharpened surgical instruments, the smell of ether and taste of noxious medicines, the sight of desperately ill patients being rushed off to their death-bed, and a skeleton in the corner as grim memento mori cannot be valued too highly. Some children have also benefited from excursions to prisons, refugee camps, and cemeteries. It is a pity that public hanging has been abolished.

However, entertaining and often effective though these methods of psychological warfare may be, they all have considerable drawbacks in terms of time and money. That is why hitting a child is more effective.

How should a parent hit its child? Well, there have been too many cases recently of careless people braining the little tyke with a hatstand, flinging it out the window like a shot-put, or leaving it too long in the microwave. (A minute is quite enough to make the child feel thoroughly ill and incapable of doing anything more than sitting in a corner, glowing faintly, although, pace Jane Austen’s well-bred young minxes, doing rather more than genteelly sweating). Foolishly sentimental as modern society is, these excesses only serve to draw the disapproval of the neighbours and the attention of the police, with children (should they survive) removed by social workers, thereby depriving parents of the chance to practise their favourite hobby. Excellent though a defence lawyer may be, even his debating skills are as naught when confronted with the grisly evidence of a child splattered across the living room walls. So we are regrettably forced to abandon the idea of infanticide, and fall back on the time-honoured custom of hitting the child.

Discipline by proxy[edit]


Others argue that it is better if you can get someone else to hit your children for you. The adherents of this school argue that they run less risk of being in trouble with the law, and have the added fun of a quarrel with a complete stranger while getting to play act maternal outrage (an appeal to popular sympathy that always goes down well with the mawkish). Here are some excellent suggestions:

  • Let the greedy creature gorge itself on pies and sweetmeats, and then get it to be violently sick over somebody whose fixed expression of distaste indicates that he does not care for snotty-nosed wretches. Conversely, in a society struck by an obesity epidemic, so that it is impossible to go outside without the repellent spectacle of half a dozen gluttons waddling down the street like bull walruses, cars and pedestrians alike bouncing off their paunch, it is exceedingly difficult to tell whether a woman is pregnant or simply unhealthy. Therefore, teach your tender-minded little innocent the facts of life, and urge him to ask annoyingly impertinent questions. The results are even better if such questions are asked of a man.
  • Fill the child up to its gills on red cordial and take it to somewhere where it’s expected to behave in a decorous and becoming manner. For instance, the art gallery. There are few things more delightful than the sight of a dozen emaciated aesthetes — the sort who resemble one of Aubrey Beardsley’s more nightmarish creations, eke out meagre existences on absinthe and turpentine, and would in happier days have been given a life sentence for gross indecency — having their sensitive nerves shattered by the sight of little Albert smearing caramel over the Caravaggios and marmalade on the Michelangelos, or using Duchamp’s Fountain for its original purpose.
  • Even better, perhaps, is the opera house or concert hall. We strongly recommend WAGNER. (Failing that, Bach.) Not only are his operas, or “music dramas”, as the cognoscenti insist on calling them, excessively tedious — several hours without intermission, whereupon there is a frantic frenzied flight for the facilities, during which stampede more than one life has been lost — but Wagnerians tend to treat his works with religious awe. The work that best unites length with piety is Parsifal, an opera about the repudiation of the world and the renunciation of the flesh, which Wagner composed while dressed up in women’s clothes and reeking of cheap scent (for which I’d have given him six months hard labour without the option). If the child starts squalling in the first act Grail scene or anywhere in the third act, the audience will turn on it and rend it limb from limb. (WARNING: The same fate is likely to befall its parents.)

However, getting someone else to hit your children is simply not playing fair. It is cheating. They are your children, and your responsibility. Besides, it’s more entertaining and satisfying for parents to wallop their children. That, after all, is why most people have them in the first place.

Now, there is no point in being too soft. To use a wooden spoon or a slipper is not forceful enough, and it deprives the parent of one of their strongest weapons: terror. Remember, a terrified child is a docile one. Nor is there any point in using fists, whether boxing-gloved or not; only uncouth ruffians stoop to such measures, which, in any case, lack subtlety.

No, the best instrument is the cat o’ nine tails, which has retained its popularity throughout the vagaries and social upheaval of the previous three centuries. Not only is it durable, it is available in different colours and materials, to suit the user’s every mood. One gentleman of my acquaintance has a different “cat” for every day of the week, with handles of polished walnut and oak. I myself have one of the largest collections of mediaeval flagellant paraphernalia outside Europe, as well as a private gallery depicting ecstatic saints undergoing the last refinements of torture, a subject much favoured by the gloomier and more sadistic religious mediaeval painters.

Flogging is a fun pastime that the whole family can enjoy. Imagine a Dickensian family scene, with the snow falling outside the window, everybody gathered around the roaring fire in the hearth, doting Papa belabouring his pride and joy with all of his energy, while his son, through his pain and tears, becomes more manly, and will one day grow up to beat his own children within an inch of their lives. Isn’t that a heart-warming thought?