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kept cold, and the feet often used to cold water and exposed to wet.
3. The great mistake I have observed in people's breeding their children has been that this has not been taken care enough of in its due season; that the mind has not been made obedient to discipline, and pliant to reason, when at first it was most tender, most easy to be bowed. Parents being wisely ordained by nature to love their children, are very apt, if reason watch not that natural affection very warily - are apt, I say, to let it run into fondness. They love their little ones, and it is their duty: but they often with them cherish their faults too. They must not be crossed, forsooth; they must be permitted to have their wills in all things: and they being in their infancies not capable of great vices, their parents think they may safely enough indulge their little irregularities, and make themselves sport with that pretty perverseness, which they think well enough becomes that innocent age. But to a fond parent, that would not have his child corrected for a perverse trick, but excused it, saying it was a small matter, Solon very well replied: “Aye, but custom is a great one.”
4. He that has not a mastery over his inclinations, he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger of never being good for anything. This temper, therefore, so contrary to unguided nature, is to be got betimes; and this habit, as the true foundation of future ability and happiness, is to be wrought into the mind as early as may be, even from the first dawnings of any knowledge or apprehension in children; and so to be confirmed in them, by all the care and ways imaginable, by those who have the oversight of their education.
5. On the other hand, if the mind be curbed and hum
bled too much in children; if their spirits be abased and broken much by too strict a hand over them, they lose all their vigor and industry, and are in a worse state than the former. For extravagant young fellows, that have liveliness and spirit, need sometimes to be set right, and so make able and great men: but dejected minds, timorous and tame, and low spirits, are hardly ever to be raised, and very seldom attain to anything. To avoid the danger that is on either hand is the great art: and he that has found a way how to keep up a child's spirit, easy, active, and free, and yet, at the same time, to restrain him from many things he has a mind to, and to draw him to things that are uneasy to him - he, I say, that knows how to reconcile these seeming contradictions, has, in my opinion, got the true secret of education.
6. He therefore that is about children should well study their natures and aptitudes, and see, by often trials, what turn they easily take, and what becomes them; observe what their native stock is, how it may be improved, and what it is fit for; he should consider what they want, whether they be capable of having it wrought into them by industry, and incorporated there by practice; and whether it be worth while to endeavor it. For in many cases all that we can do or should aim at, is to make the best of what nature has given, to prevent the vices and faults to which such a constitution is most inclined, and give it all the advantages it is capable of. Every one's natural genius should be carried as far as it could; but to attempt the putting another upon him will be but labor in vain; and what is so plaistered on will at best sit but untowardly, and have always hanging to it the ungracefulness of constraint and
affectation. ✓ 7. It is virtue, direct virtue, which is the hard and val
uable part to be aimed at in education, and not a forward
pertness or any little arts of shifting. All other considerations and accomplishments should give way and be postponed to this. This is the solid and substantial good, which tutors should not only read lectures and talk of, but the labor and art of education should furnish the mind with, and fasten there, and never cease till the young man had a true relish to it, and placed his strength, his glory, and l. his pleasure in it.
The more this advances, the easier way will be made for other accomplishments in their turns. For he that is brought to submit to virtue will not be refractory or resty in any
thing that becomes him. And therefore I can not but 3 prefer breeding of a young gentleman at home in his fath
er's sight, under a good governor, as much the best and safest way to this great and main end of education, when it can be had, and is ordered as it should be.
8. It will perhaps be wondered that I mention reasoning with children; and yet I can not but think that the true way of dealing with them. They understand it asm early as they do language; and if I misobserve not, they love to be treated as rational creatures sooner than is im- , agined. It is a pride should be cherished in them, and as much as can be, made the greatest instrument to turn them by. I
But when I talk of reasoning, I do not intend any other but such as is suited to the child's capacity and apprehension. Nobody can think a boy of three or seven years old should be argued with as a grown man. Long discourses and philosophical reasonings at best amaze and confound, but do not instruct children. When I say therefore that they must be treated as rational creatures, I mean that you should make them sensible, by the mildness of your carriage, and the composure, even in your correction of them, that what you do is reasonable in you, and useful and nec
essary for them; and that it is not out of caprice, passion, or fancy that you command or forbid them anything. This they are capable of understanding; and there is no virtue they should be excited to, nor fault they should be kept from, which I do not think they may be convinced of; but it must be by such reasons as their age and understanding are capable of, and those proposed always in very few and plain words.
9. Beating is the worst, and therefore the last means to be used in the correction of children; and that only in cases of extremity, after all gentler ways have been tried, and proved unsuccessful: which, if well observed, there will be very seldom any need of blows. For, it not being to be imagined that a child will often, if ever, dispute his father's present command in any particular instance; and the father not interposing his absolute authority, in peremptory rules, concerning either childish or indifferent actions, wherein his son is to have his liberty; or concerning his learning or improvement, wherein there is no compulsion to be used: there remains only the prohibition of some vicious actions, wherein a child is capable of obstinacy, and consequently can deserve beating; and so there will be but very few occasions of that discipline to be used by any one who considers well, and orders his child's education as it should be.
The character of a sober man and a scholar is what every one expects in a tutor. This generally is thought enough, and is all that parents commonly look for. But when such an one has emptied out into his pupil all the Latin and logic he has brought from the university, will that furniture make him a fine gentleman? Or can it be expected that he should be better bred, better skilled in the world, better principled in the grounds and foundations of true virtue and generosity than his young tutor is?
The great work of a governor is to fashion the carriage and form the mind;?to settle in his pupil good habits,4 and the principles of virtue and wisdom; to give him, by little and little, a view of mankind; and work him into a love and imitation of what is excellent and praiseworthy; and, in the prosecution of it, to give him vigor, activity, and industry. The studies which he sets him upon are but, as it were, the exercises of his faculties, and employment of his time, to keep him from sauntering and idleness, to teach him application, and accustom him to take pains, and to give him some little taste of what his own industry must perfect. For who expects that under a tutor a young gentleman should be an accomplished critic, orator, or logician; go to the bottom of metaphysics, natural philosophy, or mathematics; or be a master in history or chronology? though something of each of these is to be taught him: but it is only to open the door that he may look in, and, as it were, begin an acquaintance, but not to dwell there; and a governor would be much blamed that should keep his pupil too long, and lead him too far in most of them. But of good breeding, knowledge of the world, virtue, industry, and a love of reputation, he can not have too much; and if he have these, he will not long want what he needs or desires of the other.
II. That which every gentleman (that takes any care of his education) desires for his son, besides the estate he leaves him, is contained, I suppose, in these four things, virtue, wisdom, breeding, and learning. I place virtue as the first and most necessary of those endowments that belong to a man or a gentleman, as absolutely requisite to make him valued and beloved by others, acceptable or tolerable to himself. Without that, I think, he will be happy neither in this nor the other world.
Wisdom I take, in the popular acceptation, for a man's