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in meals, that he advises the time of eating to be continually varied, --on this principle, that regularity begets expectation in the stomach, and the disappointment of that expectation must needs produce petulance and ill temper in the child, as often as it occurs; whilst on the contrary a varied system may be as easily established by habit, and will be accompanied with more independence. To prevent children from drinking more than enough, he advises that no draught be permitted them between meals that is not prefaced by a piece of dry bread; and we are to remember that hunger and thirst are as much the creatures, and therefore the subjects, of habit, as any other of our propensities. There is no matter in which servants are more narrowly to be watched than this of diet, for they are but too prone to relieve themselves of trouble and inconvenience by indulging the desires of children. Fruit is generally condemned as unwholesome, and children are led to regard it, like our first parents, with the greater longing, from the rigorous law which restrains them from it. But there is not sufficient discrimination used on this head, for many fruits are not only innocuous, but highly conducive to health, when eaten in their season, and with that moderation without which no food is wholesome. Such fruits are straw. berries, cherries, gooseberries, currants, apples, and pears, which should however not be eaten alone, but with bread, and are best at breakfast-time. Sweetmeats of every kind are to be, without exception, banished from the nursery-table. One only desire is to be indulged without restraint, - this is the inclination to sleep ; sleep being as necessary to a child as food itself: and with respect to early hours, the importance of which is universally admitted, this may be observed, that although it may be impossible, in after life, always to maintain the rule in this respect, yet by keeping it inviolate in the child, you may so far provide against future excess that sitting up shall always remain to him a species more or less of discomfort and uneasiness. The younger the child, the more needful the sleep; but there is an age when the desire for sleep is apt to slide into a fault, and any evidences of a lazy disposition must be followed by prompt correction. He must be reduced by degrees to eight hours, which may be considered the proper term of rest for adults. Children ought not to be awakened in a rude manner, but gradually, and with kind words; they experience a certain pain in waking, which should not be added to by noise, especially of a kind to frighten them. The time of sleep is carefully to be observed, but not the manner; and a child should be accustomed to various conditions in his rest : his bed so that it be always hard-should be inade sometimes in one fashion, and sometimes in another, that he may not be unprepared for the vicissitudes of travelling and the many changes that he is certain to encounter in life. Locke is of opinion that physic should never be administered by way of prevention, but only by way of cure, and that costiveness, against which it is usually applied, may be overcome simply by the determined will of the person suffering, and by a habit of regularity in “soliciting nature.” He sums up his recommendations on the subject of health in these words :" Plenty of open air, exercise, and sleep, plain diet, no wine or strong drink, and very little or no physic, not too warm and strait cloathing, especially the head and feet kept cold, and the feet often used to cold water, and exposed to wet."
The health of the boily being duly provided for, the mind next claims our care ; and here it will be proper to give, in Locke's own words, the proposition with which he opens this part of his subject. It conveys the very pith of his doctrine.
“ As the strength of the body lies chiefly in being able to endure hardships, so also does that of the mind. And the great principle and foundation of all virtue and worth lies in this, that a man is able to deny himself his own desires, cross his own inclinations, and purely follow what reason directs as best, though the appetite lean the other way.” (Sect. 33.)
Here, as before, the over-fondness of the mother is the first subject of observation, as it is the first barrier in the way of the child's improvement. It is not unusual even to find some little perverse tricks rather admired than reproved, as being thought not unbecoming the innocence of childhood. Whether this be the result of tenderness or of a weak judgment in the parents, it is equally reprehensible, and fails not to produce consequences in the end which the parents themselves are the first to complain of, though they choose to be ignorant of the share they had in the mischief. The amusement which children afford to grownup people, occasions them too often to be treated like play-things. Their humours are indulged for the sake of their lively spirits, and they are not to be crossed lest they change the scene and turn entertainment into trouble. Also because they are presumed to be in
capable of any great vices at so early an age, people consider it quite harmless to allow them a full license for any little improprieties they may have a mind to, forgetting that the proportion of the fault to the age is the same, and that, by indulgence then, they will come to arrogate to themselves the same privilege when a riper age shall bring with it desires and passions no longer innocent. This culpable negligence of the mind and disposition of the child during its tenderest years, when every impression made is of such lasting consequence, is the more surprising, when we consider how much judicious management and elaborate attention are bestowed even on dogs and horses, whose temper and character are wont to be taken notice of from the earliest period, and checked and guided in a thousand ways with a view to their future utility and well being. It is only our own offspring that we meglect in this point, and " having made them ill children, we foolishly expect they should be good men.” But there is commonly a worse evil than neglect in early education ; this is what Locke calls “the downright teaching them vice ;” and it is seen chiefly in those moments when nothing perhaps is further from the minds of the parents than the injury they are committing. In the way of pastime, children are taught to strike those around them, and to take a childish revenge on anything which gives them pain, because forsooth their little hands can do no harm : but is not this teaching them a principle of violence, innocent indeed in its present results, but pregnant with the seeds of future vice? In the same way the foundations of pride are laid, and nothing is thought more harmless than to trick a child out in finery, and fondle it the more for its pretty looks. Lying
is too frequently taught by example; in apprentices and servants, it is even used to be commended, so long as it serves the purposes of the master, -and is it to be expected that a child after this will refrain from lying and prevarication when he can make it serve his own purpose? The love of eating and drinking is fostered by the obvious importance attached to those pleasures by grown people, and by their being too often proposed in the shape of pleasure or reward to children. The first thing a child should be made to know, is, that those things which are given to him are given because they are considered proper for him to have, and not because they are pleasant; and in order to implant at once an early acquaintance with disappointment and restraint, whatever a child importunately demands should, for that very reason, be refused him; to which this rule must be added, that anything so refused is never to be conceded to crying, or all mastery will be lost.
In the opinion of Locke, awe of the parent is the first principle which should be implanted in a child's mind, for this being acquired, obedience and respect will follow of themselves, and then affection will be easily added to the rest, without endangering authority; but, on the other hand, authority cannot with the same ease be raised on a groundwork of love. Notwithstanding these opinions, Locke is opposed to corporal punishment ; all he contends for is, that whatever rigour is needed, is needed most at first; it is to be relaxed as the child grows older; herein directly opposing the usual method, which is to begin with tenderness, and resort to severity afterwards. Although it be so important a part of education to discipline the minds of children, yet great care must be had that the