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selves unworthy to fulfill them. Such an employment is that of a soldier; such a one is that of a teacher. Whe, then, shall educate my child? I have told you already, yourself. I cannot! Then make for yourself a friend who can. I see no other alternative.
A teacher ! what a great soul he ought to be! Truly, to form a man, one must be either himself a father, or else something more than human. And this is the office you calmly entrust to hirelings !
6. In this outset of life, while memory and imagination are still inactive, the child pays attention only to what actually affects his senses. The first materials of his knowledge are his sensations. If, therefore, these are presented to him in suitable order, his memory can hereafter present them to his understanding in the same order. But as he attends to his sensations only, it will at first suffice to show him very clearly the connection between these sensations, and the objects which give rise to them. He is eager to touch everything, to handle everything. Do not thwart this restless desire; it suggests to him a very necessary apprenticeship. It is thus he learns to feel the heat and coldness, hardness and softness, heaviness and lightness of bodies; to judge of their size, their shape, and all their sensible qualities, by looking, by touching, by listening; above all, by comparing the results of sight with those of touch, estimating with the eye the sensation a thing produces upon the fingers.
7. Far from taking care that Émile does not hurt himself, I shall be dissatisfied if he never does, and so grows up lunacquainted with pain. To suffer is the first and most necessary thing for him to learn. Children are little and weak,
apparently that they may learn these important lessons. If a child fall his whole length, he will not break his leg; if he strike himself with a stick, he will not break his arm; if he lay hold of an edged tool, he does not grasp it tightly, and will not cut himself very badly.
Our pedantic mania for instructing constantly leads us to teach children what they can learn far better for themselves, and to lose sight of what we alone can teach them. Is there anything more absurd than the pains we take in teaching them to walk? As if we had ever seen one, who, through his nurse's negligence, did not know how to walk when grown! On the contrary, how many people do we see moving awkwardly all their lives because they have been badly taught how to walk!
8. men, be humane! it is your highest duty; be humane to all conditions of men, to every age, to everything not alien to mankind. What higher wisdom is there for you than humanity? Love childhood; encourage its sports, its pleasures, its lovable instincts. Who among us has not at times looked back with regret to the age when a smile was continually on our lips, when the soul was always at peace? Why should we rob these little innocent creatures of the enjoyment of a time so brief, so transient, of a boon so precious, which they cannot misuse? Why will you fill with bitterness and sorrow these fleeting years which can no more return to them than to you? Do you know, you fathers, the moment when death awaits your children? Do not store up for yourselves remorse, by taking from them the brief moments nature has given them. As soon as they can appreciate the delights of existence, let them enjoy it. At whatever hour God may call them, let them not die without having tasted life at all.
9. The surest way to make a child unhappy is to accus-, tom him to obtain everything he wants to have. For since
his wishes multiply in proportion to the ease with which they are gratified, your inability to fulfil them will sooner or later oblige you to refuse in spite of yourself, and this unwonted refusal will pain him more than withholding from him what he demands. At first he will want the cane you hold; soon he will want your watch; afterward he will want the bird he sees flying, or the star he sees shining. He will want everything he sees, and without being God himself how can you content him ?
Treat your pupil as his age demands. From the first, assign him to his true place, and keep him there so effectually that he will not try to leave it. Then, without knowing what wisdom is, he will practice its most important lesson. Never, absolutely never, command him to do a thing, whatever it may be. Do not let him even imagine that you claim any authority over him. Let him know only that he is weak and you are strong: that from his condition and yours he is necessarily at your mercy. Let him know this — learn it and feel it. Let him early know that upon his haughty neck is the stern yoke nature imposes upon man, the heavy yoke of necessity, under which every finite being must toil.
In this way you will make him patient, even-tempered, resigned, gentle, even when he has not what he wants. For it is in our nature to endure patiently the decrees of fate, but not the ill will of others. “ There is no more,” is an answer against which no child ever rebelled unless he believed it untrue. Besides, there is no other way; either nothing at all is to be required of him, or he must from the first be accustomed to perfect obedience. The worst training of all is to leave him wavering between his own will and yours, and to dispute incessantly with him as to which shall be master. I should a hundred times prefer his being master in every case.
Reverse the common practice, and you will nearly always do well. Parents and teachers desiring to make of a child not a child, but a learned man, have never begun early enough to chide, to correct, to reprimand, to flatter, to promise, to instruct, to discourse reason to him. Do better than this: be reasonable yourself, and do not argue with your pupil, least of all, to make him approve what he dislikes. For if you persist in reasoning about disagreeable things, you make reasoning disagreeable to him, and weaken its influence beforehand in a mind as yet unfitted to understand it. Keep his organs, his senses, his physical strength, busy;v but, as long as possible, keep his mind inactive. Guard against all sensations arising in advance of judgment, which estimates their true value. Keep back and check unfamiliar impressions, and be in no haste to do good for the sake of preventing evil. For the good is not real unless enlightened by reason. Regard every delay as an advantage; for much is gained if the critical period be approached without losing anything. Let childhood have its full growth. If indeed a lesson must be given, avoid it to-day, if you can without danger delay it until to-morrow.
I do not intend to enter fully into details, but to lay down some general maxims and to illustrate difficult cases. I believe it impossible, in the very heart of social surroundings, to educate a child up to the age of twelve years, without giving him some ideas of the relations of man to man, and of morality in human actions. It will suffice if we put off as long as possible the necessity for these ideas, and when they must be given, limit them to such as are immediately applicable. We must do this only lest he consider himself master of everything, and so injure others without scruple, because unknowingly. There are gentle, quiet characters who, in their early innocence, may be led a long way without danger of this kind. But others, naturally violent, whose wildness
is precocious, must be trained into men as early as may be, that you may not be obliged to fetter them outright.
13 We are now within the domain of morals, and the door is open to vice. Side by side with conventionalities and duties spring up deceit and falsehood. As soon as there are things we ought not to do, we desire to hide what we ought not to have done. As soon as one interest leads us to promise, a stronger one may urge us to break the promise. Our chief concern is how to break it and still go unscathed. It is natural to find expedients; we dissemble and we utter falsehood. Unable to prevent this evil, we must nevertheless punish it. Thus the miseries of our life arise from our mistakes.
I have said enough to show that punishment, as such, should not be inflicted upon children, but should always happen to them as the natural result of their own wrong-doing. Do not, then, preach to them against falsehood, or punish them confessedly on account of a falsehood. But if they are guilty of one, let all its consequences fall heavily on their heads. Let them know what it is to be disbelieved even when they speak the truth, and to be accused of faults in spite of their earnest denial.
14. The only moral lesson suited to childhood and the most important at any age is, never to injure any one. Even the principle of doing good, if not subordinated to this, is dangerous, false, and contradictory. For who does not do good ? Everybody does, even a wicked man who makes one happy at the expense of making a hundred miserable: and thence arise all our calamities. The most exalted virtues are negative: they are hardest to attain, too, because they are unostentatious, and rise above even that gratification dear to the heart of man,— sending another person away pleased with us.
If there be a man who never injures one of his fellow-creatures, what good must he achieve for them!