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their conversation with the world, where they find that almost everything is judged by its outside. In short, the want of politeness takes off very much from the most solid merit, and makes virtue itself seem less estimable and lovely. A rough diamond can never serve as an ornament; it must be polished before it can be shown to advantage. We can not, therefore, take care too early to make children civil and well bred.
It is also to be wished that children should be accustomed to neatness, order, and exactness; that they take care of their dress, especially on Sundays and holidays, and such days as they go abroad; that everything should be set in order in their chambers and upon their tables, and every book put in its place, when they have done with it; that they should be ready to discharge their different duties precisely at the time appointed. This exactness is of great importance at all times and in every station of life.
ARTICLE X.-To Make Study Agreeable.
This is one of the most important points in education, and at the same time one of the most difficult: for among a great number of masters, who in other respects are very deserving, there are very few to be found who are happy enough to make their scholars fond of study. Success in this point depends very much on the first impressions, and it should be the great care of masters, who teach children their letters, to do it in such a manner that a child who is not yet capable of being fond of his book, should not take an aversion to it, and the dislike continue when he grows up.
The great secret, says Quintilian, to make children love their books is to make them fond of their master. In this case they willingly give ear to him, become docile, strive to
please him and take a pleasure in his lessons. They readily receive his advice and correction, are much affected by his commendation, and strive to merit his friendship by a proper discharge of their duty. There is implanted in children, as in all mankind, a natural spirit of curiosity, or desire of knowledge and information, of which a good use may be made towards rendering their study agreeable. As everything is new to them, they are continually asking questions, and inquiring the name and use of everything they see. And they should be answered without expressing any pain or uneasiness. Their curiosity should be commended and satisfied by clear and express answers, without anything in them deceitful or illusory; for they will soon find it out and take offense at it.
This great principle must be always in view: that study depends upon the will, which admits of no constraint. We may confine the body, make a scholar sit at his desk against his inclination, double his labor by way of punishment, force him to finish a task imposed on him, and for that end deprive him of his play and recreation; but can laboring thus from force be properly called study? And what will follow upon it but the hatred both of books, learning, and masters too, very often as long as they live? The will, therefore, must be gained; and this can only be by mildness, affectionate behavior, and persuasion, and above all by the allurement of pleasure.
ARTICLE XI.-To Grant the Boys Rest and Recreation.
A great many reasons oblige us to grant rest and recreation to children; first, the care of their health, which should go before that of knowledge. Now nothing is more prejudicial to it than too long and constant an application, which insensibly wears and weakens the organs, which in that age
are very tender, and incapable of taking great pains. And this gives me an opportunity of advising and entreating parents not to push their children too much in study in their early years, but to deny themselves the pleasure of seeing them make a figure before their time. For besides that these ripe fruits seldom come to maturity, and their early progress resembles those seeds that are cast upon the surface of the earth, which spring up immediately, but take no root, nothing is more pernicious to the health of children than these untimely efforts, though the ill effect be not immediately perceived.
If they are prejudicial to the body, they are no less dangerous to the mind, which exhausts itself and grows dull by a continual application, and, like the earth, stands in need of a stated alternation of labor and rest, in order to preserve its force and vigor. Besides, the boys, after they have refreshed themselves a while, return to their studies with more cheerfulness and a better heart; and this little relaxation animates them with fresh courage; whereas constraint shocks and disheartens them. I add with Quintilian, and the boys will doubtless agree to it, that a moderate inclination to play should not displease in them, as it is often a mark of vivacity. In short, can we expect much ardor for study in a child who at an age that is naturally brisk and gay, is always heavy, pensive, and indifferent even to its play?
But in this, as in everything else, we must use discretion, and observe a medium, which consists in not refusing them diversion, lest they should grow out of love with study; and in not granting too much, lest they should contract a habit of idleness.
ARTICLE XII.-To Train up Boys to Virtue by Discourse
What I have said shows that this is the indispensable duty of teachers. As it is often requisite to fortify children beforehand against the example and discourses of their parents, as well as against the false prejudices and false principles advanced in common conversation, and authorized by an almost general practice, they should be to them that guardian and monitor which Seneca so often speaks of, to preserve or deliver them from popular errors, and to inspire them with such principles as are conformable to right and sound reason.
It is requisite, therefore, that they have a perfect sense of them themselves, and think and talk always with wisdom and truth. For nothing can be said before children without effect, and they regulate their fears and desires by the discourses they hear.
There is still another shorter and surer way of conducting boys to virtue, and this is by example. For the language of actions is far stronger and more persuasive than that of words. It is a great happiness for boys to have masters, whose lives are a continual instruction to them, whose actions never contradict their lessons, who do what they advise, and shun what they blame, and who are still more admired when seen than when they are heard.
ARTICLE XIII.—Piety, Religion, and Zeal for the Children's
Christianity is the soul and sum of all the duties I have hitherto spoken of. It is Christianity which animates them, which exalts and ennobles them, which brings them to perfection, and gives them a merit, whereof God alone is the
principle and motive, and of which God alone can be the just reward.
What then is a Christian teacher, who is entrusted with the education of youth? He is a man, into whose hands Christ has committed a number of children whom he has redeemed with his blood, and for whom he has laid down his life, in whom he dwells, as in his house and temple; whom he considers as his members, as his brethren and coheirs, of whom he will make so many kings and priests, who shall reign and serve God with him and by him to all eternity. And for what end has he committed them to his care? Is it barely to make them poets, orators, and men of learning ? Who dares presume to say or even to think
He has committed them to the master's care in order to preserve in them the precious and inestimable deposit of innocence, which he has imprinted in their souls by baptism, in order to make them true Christians. This is the true end and design of the education of children, to which all the rest are but means. Now how great and noble an addition does the office of a master receive from so honorable a commission ? But what care, what attention and vigilance, and above all, how great a dependence upon Christ does it require !