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sámímtlichen in Englischer Sprache abgefafoten Werke to ein Corpus gesammelt, das zuerst London 1714 in 3 Bänden in Folio, und zum Stenmal 1777 in 4 Bänden in 4. gedruckt worden ist. Ueber diesen merkwürdigen Schriftsteller verdienen, ausser dem 5ten Bande der Biographia Britannica, vorzüglich nachgelesen zu werden: The heads of illus trious persons of great Britain, engraven by M. Houbrake and Mr. Vertue, with their lives and characters by T. Birch, London 1747. Fol.
1) SOMB THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION, A
sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full den scription of a happy state in this world. He that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be but little the better for any thing else. Mens” happiness or misery is most part of their own making. He, whose mind directs not wisely, will never take the right way; and he, whose body is crazy and feeble, will never be able to advance in it. I confess, there are some mens' constitutions of body and mind so vigorous, and well framed by nature, that they need not much assistance from others; but by the strength of their natural genius, they are from their cradles carried towards what is excellent; and by the privilege of their happy constitutions are able to do wonders. But examples of this kind are but few; and I think, I may say, that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are
good or evil, useful or not, by their education. It is that which makes the great difference in mankind. The little, or almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies , have very important and lasting consequences: and there it is, as in the fountains of some rivers, where a gentle application of the hand turns the flexible waters into channels, that make them 'take quite contrary courses: and by this little direction given them at first in the source, they receive different tendencies, and arrive at last at very remote and distant places.
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 maile obedient to discipline, and pliant to reason, when at first it was most easy to be boved: Parents, being wisely
what they are,
ordained by nature to love their children, are very apt, # reason walch, 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 duly; 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 innos
But to a fond parent, that would not baye his child corrected for perverse trick, but' excused it, saying, it was a small, matter, Solon very well replied, aye, but custom is & great one..
The fondling must be taught to strike and call names, must have what he calls for, and to what he pleases. Thus parents, by humouring and cockering them when little, corrupt the principles of nature in their children, and wonder afterwards to taste their bitter Waters, when they themselves have. poisoned' the fountain; for, when their children are grown up, and these ill habits with them; when they are now too big to be dandled, and their parents can no longer make use of them as play- things; then they complain, that the brats are untoward and perverse; then they. are
offended to see them wilful, and are troubled with those ill humours which they themselves infused and fomented in them; and then, perhaps too late, would be glad to get out those weeds, which tbeir own hands have planted, and which now have taken too deep root, to be easely extirpated. For he, that has been used to have his will in every thing, as long as he was în ceats, why should we think it strange that he should desire it, and contend for it still, when he is in breeches? Indeed as he grows more towards a man, age shews his faults the more; so that there be few parents then so blind, as not to see them; few sq insensible, as not to feel the ill effects of their own indulgence. Tle had the will of his maid, before he could speak, or go; he had the mastery of bis parents ever since he could prattle; and why, now he is grown up, is stronger and wiser than he was then, why now of a sudden must be bę restrained and curbed? Why must he at seven, fourteen, or twenty years old, lose the privilege, wbich the parents indulgence till then to largely al
lowed him? Try it to a dog, or an horse, or my other creature, and see whether the ill and resty tricks, they have learned when young, are easily to be mended when they are knit: and yet none of these creatures are half so wilful and proud, or half so desirous to be masters of themselves and others as man,
We are generally wise enough, to begin with them, when they are very young, and discipline betimes those other creatures we would make useful and good for somewhat. They are only our own offspring, that we neglect in this point; and having made them ill children, we foolishly expect they should be good men. For if the child must have grapes or sugar-plums when he has a mind to them, rather, than make the poor baby cry, or be ont of humour;, why, when he is grown up, must be not be satisfied too, if his desires carry him to wine or women? They are objects as suitable to the longing of one of more years, as what he cried for, when little, was to the inclinations of a child. The having desires accommodated to the apprehensions and relish of those several ages, is not the fault; but the not baving them subject to the rules and restraints of reason: the difference lies not in having or not having appetites, but in the power to govern, and deny ourselves in them. He that is not used to submit his will to the reason of others, when he is young, will scarce hearken or submit to his own reason; when he is of an age to make use of it. And what
kind of a man such a one is likely to proye, is easy to foresee.
These are oversights usually committed by those who seem to take the greatest care of their children's education. But, if we look into the common management of children, we shall have reason to wonder, in the great dissoluteness of manners which the world complains of, that there are any foot - steps at all left of virtue. I desire to know what vice can be named, which parents, and those about children, do not season them with, and drop into them the seeds of, as soon as they are capable to receive them? I do not mean by the examples they give, and the patterns they set before lbem, which is encouragement enough; but that which I would take notice of here, is, the downright teaching them vice, and actually putting them out of the way of virtue. Before they can go, they principle them with violence, so
venge and cruelty. Give me a blow, that I may beat him, is a lesson which most children every day hear; and it is thought nothing because their hands have not strength to do any mischicf. But I ask, does not this corrupt their mind? Is not this the way of force and violznce, that they are set in? And if they have been taught, 'when little, to strike and hurt others by proxy, and encouraged to rejoice in the harm they have brought upon them, and see them suffer, are they no prepared to do it, when they are strong enough to be felt themselves, and strike to some purpose ?
The 'coverings of our bodies, which are for modesty, warmth and defence, are, by the folly or vice of parents, recommended to their children for other uses. They are made matters of vanity and emulation. A child is set a lorging after a new 'suit, for the finery of it; and when the little girl is tricked up in her new gown and commode, how can her mother do less than teach her to admire' herself, by calling her, her little queen, and her princess? Thus the little ones are taught to be proud of their clothes, before they can put them on. And why should they not continue to value themselves for this outside fashionableness of the taylor or tirewoman's making, when their parents have so early instructed them to do so?
Lying, and equivocations, and excuses little different from lying, are put into the mouths of young people, and commended in apprentices and children, whilst they are for their masters' or parents' advantage. And can it be thought, that he that finds the straining of truth dispensed with, and encouraged, whilst it is for his godly master's turn, will not make use of that privilege for himself, when it may be for his own profit?
Those of the meaner sort are hindered by the streightness of their fortunes, from encouraging intemperance in their children, by the temptation of their diet, or invitations to eat or drink more than enough; but their own ill examples, whenever plenty, comes in their way, shew that it is not the dislike of drunkenness or gluttony, that keeps them from excess, but want of materials. But if we look into the houses of those who are a little warmer in their fortunes, their eating and drinking are made so much the great business and happiness of life, that children are thought neglected if they have not tbeir share of it. Sauces and ragoos; and food
disguised by all the arts of cookery, must tempt their pulatos, when their bellies are full; and then, for fear the stomach should be overcharged, a pretence is found for the other glass of wine to help digestion, though it only serves to increase the surfeit.
Is my young master a little out of order? the first question is: what will my dear eat? what shall I get for thee? Eating and drinking are instantly pressed: and every body's invention is set on work to find out something, luscious and delicate enough to prevail over that want of appetite, which nature has wisely ordered in the beginning of distempers, as 'à defence against their increase, that being freed from the ordimary labour of digesting any new load in the stomach, she may be at leisure to correct and inaster the peccant humours.
And where children are so happy in the care of their parents, as by their prudence to be kept from the excess of their tables, to the sobriety of a plain and simple diet, yet there too they are scarce to be preserved from the contagion that poisons the mind; though, by a discreet management, whilst they are under tuition, their healths perhaps may be pretty well secure, yet their desires must needs yield to the lessons which every where will be read to them
this epicurism. The commendation that eating 'well has every where, cannot fail to be a successful incentive to natural appetite, and bring them quickly to the liking and expence of a fashionable table. This shall have from every one, even the
reprovers of vice, the title of living well. And what shall sullen reason dare to say against the public testimony? Or can it hope to be heard, it should call that luxury, which is so much awned, and universally practised by those of the best quality?
This is now so grown a vice, and has so great supports, that I know not whether it do not put in for the name of virtue; and whether it will not be thought folly, or want of knowledge of the world, to open one's mouth against it. And, truly, I should suspect, that what. I have here said of it might be censured as a little satire out of my way, did I not mention it with this view, that it might awaken the care and watchfulness of parents in the education of their children, when they see how they are beset on every side, not only with temptations, but instructors to vice, and that, perhaps, in those they thought places of security