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in the pupil, it will be necessary for the parent or tutor to animate his feelings by stimulating examples of great and distinguished virtue, which may be found abundant in sacred as well as profane history; and exhibit those disinterested parts of conduct where the passions take the lead, and where self-interest is sacrificed to equity, or to general utility.
Moral prudence differs widely from physical prudence; it has its origin in knowledge, gained from instruction or experience; and unlike the other, is never inimical, but favourable to virtue. Moral prudence is the use of the understanding, in regarding all the rules of rectitude, in improving all our accomplishments and talents, so as to employ them usefully both to ourselves and others.
Moral prudence is ever upon the watch to attend to the dictates of reason, amidst the clamours of passion. It proceeds from the love of virtue, and is connected. with so careful an examination of all its interests, as to allow no eager pursuit of some parts of it to be injurious to others. The parent and tutor will have opportunities to discover the true bent of their children's temper, inclination, and abilities; they will acquire their confidence by various winning arts and real tenderness. This will induce the pupil to throw off every disguise, and enable the tutor to introduce instructive observations in such a manner as is better adapted to steal on the mind and impress it with moral prudence, than the most laboured lectures of the schools.
STRICTURE THE FOURTEENTH.
RECREATION. PLAY TOYS. REWARDS.
child, let him have much as possible, in
As you value the interest of your freedom of exercise daily; and as the open air, constantly bear in mind, that a child is never happy, from having his own way. Decide for him, and he has but one thing to do; put him to please himself, and he is troubled with every thing, and satisfied with nothing.
Recreation to children is as necessary as their food. The object of the parent and tutor will be to divert their attention to useful recreation which will be innocent and beneficial to their health; and to pursue it with delight, they must not be allowed to tire in one recreation before they exchange it for another, so that they may return to it, when necessary, as to a pleasure that diverts them. Thus the exercise of the body and mind by turns will make their time pass pleasantly, and their health will keep pace with their improvement.
Whenever the recreations of children are attended with strife for mastery, he who begins the contest should be rebuked, and taught to manifest kindness and attention to the wishes of his play-fellows: and when he is once convinced of the means to procure love and esteem, and is assured that he will lose no superiority, he will receive more pleasure than in insolent domineering.
Locke justly considers that all the pastimes and diversions of children should be directed towards good and useful habits, or else they will cultivate ill ones. Nothing is to be overlooked and neglected as trifling that may have a tendency to form children's minds, for whatever introduces habits, and settles customs, deserves the care and attention of tutors. Playthings, then, should be carefully kept from being lost and spoiled, to prevent their becoming careless and squanderous; and but few should be bought, to teach them moderation in their desires.
We often find a bunch of keys, a few smooth stones or shells, a piece of paper, and a few bits of wood, serve as much to divert little children as curious and expensive toys. When they grow older, let them display their skill, by being directed to make their own toys, such as kites, whips, and so on: this will teach them application, industry, thought, and contrivance; qualities that will be useful to them when they become men, and therefore cannot be learned too soon.
The great excitements of youth will be seen in the Twelfth Stricture to be, esteem and disgrace. To flatter children by rewards that authorize the love of pleasure, and gratify the palate, inverts the order of education, and lays the foundation of future vices by teaching them luxury, pride, and covetousness; for he who gives
his child apples or sugar-plums to make him learn his book, promotes a love of pleasure, and indulges a dangerous propensity, which ought by all means to be subdued and stifled.
The parent who excites his child to the performance of any duty by the offer of money, and rewards the pains of learning his book by the anticipated pleasure of possessing something nice or fine, proposes these objects of appetite and dress, as the good things he should aim at. All pleasure and enjoyment should be given to children as the consequence of the esteem they are held in by the parents or tutor; and not as the reward of this or that particular performance, to which they would not have applied themselves without a selfish inducement.
STRICTURE THE FIFTEENTH.
We cannot but imagine that all corporal punishment might be excluded, if a right course were taken with youth from infancy. Certain we are, that all severity of punishment impedes the progress of education; and, that blows ought never to be used unless the tutor be assured that obstinacy and incorrigibleness make it absolutely necessary. The rod, which is the only instrument of government with many schoolmasters, and which Locke properly calls, the Scylla and Charybdis, on the one hand or the other, generally ruins all that are brought near it. This instrument of discipline, once used in official pomp as the insignia of consular dignity, was in the last age displayed as the ensign of pedagogue authority, and the whole art of education was supposed to lie in severe and frequent whippings. Parental tenderness gave way to the authority of a misinterpreted precept, that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Feeling was subdued by principle; and children, with an unrelenting hand were scourged into genius, memory, and every moral virtue. Thus was the mind, at an early period of life, disturbed and violently shaken by rigorous sensations: a perpetual irritation was produced, tranquility gave place to restlessness, the temper became