Sophronius, a wise teacher, would not suffer his children, even when grown up, to associate with those whose conduct was not morally pure and upright.
“Dear father,” said his daughter Eulalia to him one day, when he forbade her, in company with her brother, to visit a thoughtless friend; “dear father, you must think us very childish if you imagine we could be exposed to danger by it.”
The father in silence took a dead coal from the hearth and gave it to his daughter. “It will not burn you, my child; take it.” Eulalia did so, and her white hand was blackened and her white dress soiled. “One cannot be too careful in handling coals,” said Eulalia, in vexation. “Yes, truly,” said the father; “you see, my child, that coals even if they do not burn, blacken; so it is with evil company.”