Children are holy and pure. Even those of bandits and crocodiles belong among the angels.... They must not be turned into a plaything of one's mood, first to be tenderly kissed, then rabidly stomped at.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, January 2, 1889, to his brother, A.P. Chekhov. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 3, pp. 121-122, "Nauka" (1976).