In a large family of brothers and sisters, there is plenty of fun and amusement and social life. An only child, who has no companion of its own age in the family, is a lonely child and becomes old-fashioned in its ways by always being with grown people. But in a large family, the children are happier, because they play together and keep each other young
Then, when there are many children they help to train one another. The older ones, who have received some discipline and education, show the younger ones, by precept and example, how to behave, and so relieve the parents of a lot of trouble. And a number of children growing up together rub the angles and corners off one another. A man who has been brought up in a large family is less likely to be selfish, conceited, and awkward in society, than one who has had no brothers and sisters to take the vanity and shyness out of him.
A young man who is the member of a large family has ready-made for him a big circle of friends, who take an interest in his welfare, and are ready to help him in his career. He will have elder brothers who are settled in life, who can help him find congenial employment, and advise him from their own experience. He will never be alone in the world.
On the other hand, there are certain disadvantages. The parents cannot give so much individual attention to each child when there are so many children to care for. When there are only two or three, each one can be studied and trained much more efficiently; but when there are many, each child is lost in the crowd.
Probably, too, there is more quarrelling. The children have different dispositions, and they will not always agree. A large family is not always a united family, and it may split up into factions. A quarrel between brothers is often worse than one between friends or acquaintances.
Lastly, a member of a large family has less of worldly deeds to inherit from his father. A small patrimony divided between two or three may give each a comfortable income, but the share of each son in a large family may be a small pittance.