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From the dawn of civilization mothers, as a class, were held in reasonably high regard until Mother's Day was established, with the purpose of compelling every man, under pain of social ostracism, to declare that his mother was the greatest woman who ever lived, and to give proof, in consumer goods, of his tremulous adoration of her. In consequence a lot of men,--just to show that their souls are their own and without any ill-will toward the authors of their being--kick and buffet their mothers all over the house on Mother's Day, although during the other 364 days of the year they take them to the movies, buy them bags of nut fudge, and provide them with lacy shawls and crime-story magazines.

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Source Notes: "Of Compulsory Affection," The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks (1949).

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