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not children be warned against a staring look, against stretching their eye-lids into a glare of wildness? may they not be forbid to look aside on any object in a squinting manner, when their faces are turned another way? should they not be instructed to look directly with their face turned to the thing they look at? May they not be taught with due courage to look in the face of the person they speak to, yet with an humble modest aspect, as befits a child? A becoming courage and a becoming modesty dwell much in the eye.
Some children should be often admonished to lay aside a gloomy and a frowning look, a scowling air, an uneasy
and forbidding aspect. They should be taught to smooth the ruffles of their brow, and put on a lively, pleasing, and cheerful countenance among their friends : some there are who have all these graces by nature, but those who have them not may be corrected and softened by the care of parents in younger years *.
2. Let parents teach children to use their tongues properly and agreeably; not only to speak, but to pronounce their words plain and distinct. Let them be instructed to keep due and proper distances between their words and sentences, and not speak in a swift hurry, with a tumult of syllables and clutter upon their lips, which will sound like a foreign gibberish, and never be understood. Nor should they drawl out their words in a slow long tone, which is · equally ungraceful and disagreeable.
There are two other common faults in speaking, and where they are found, they should be corrected early in children, The one is lisping, which is a pronunciation of the letter
* It may here be recollected by the way, that a gloominess of aspect does not always arise from a malignity of temper, but sometimes from fear of displeasing and incurring reproof; and is therefore often to be removed by speaking kindly to children, and encouraging them with expressions of candour and tenderness. To know how, in such cases, to divert a child, and make him cheerful and happy in the company of a parent, is none of the least important cares of education,
S or Z, or C before E and I, as though it were TH. Thus, instead of spice they cry thpithe, instead of cease they say theathe. This may be cured by teaching them to pronounce a few such words as these, where the sound of the letter S prevails, with their teeth shut close; and by forbidding them to put their tongue between their teeth at any time, except when TH is to be pronounced.
The other fault is stammering, which I suppose may be commonly prevented or cured by teaching children not to speak much, and to speak slow always ; and they should be warned against all anger or hastiness, or eagerness of spirit; for such a temper will throw out their words faster than the organs of speech can accommodate themselves to form the syllables, and thus bring a hurry and confusion into their speech; and they should also gain a good degree of courage or becoming assurance, and not speak with much concern or fear; for fear will stop the organs of speech, and hinder the formation of words.
But I insist no longer on the use of the tongue in speaking
3. As God hath given them feet, let parents teach them to stand firm and strong, and to walk in a becoming and decent manner, without waddling from side to side, without turning either or both of their feet inward, without little jerks in their motion, or long strides, or any of those awkwardnesses which continue with many persons to old age,
for want of having these irregularities corrected when they were young. Children should be indulged in their sports, sometimes in running swiftly, and in leaping, where there is no danger, in order to exercise their limbs, and make them pliant and nimble, strong and active, on all occasions.
As to their arms and hands, they were formed not to lie folded in the bosom, but to be engaged in some useful work; and sometimes, with due moderation, in robust and hardy exercise and toil; not so as to overstrain their joints, but to acquire firmness of strength by exercise. And more especially, they who are to get their bread by
their hands, should be inured to toilsome and vigorous labours almost from their infancy: they should be accustomed to work in heat and cold, and to bear rougher exercises and fatigues of body, that they may be fit to endure hardships, and go through those difficulties which their station of life may call them to, without any injury or inconveniency. And it is desirable, that the sons of all families should be in some degree inured to such difficulties as these, which men of all ranks are sometimes called to encounter.
If some fond and tender mothers had brought up their children in this hardy manner, they had not now, in all human probability, been mourning over their graves. In their younger years they would scarcely let them set the sole of their foot to the ground, nor suffer the wind to blow upon them : thus they grew up in a state of tenderness and infirmity, sickly and feeble creatures; a sudden heat or a cold seized them; their natures, which were never accustomed to bear hardship, were unable to resist the enemy; a fever. kindled in their blood, or a catarrh or cough injured their lungs, and early buried their parents hopes in the dust.
Thus I have finished the second general head of instruction, that is, children should be instructed to exercise and improve their natural powers, both of mind and body; and this is one necessary part of a good education, which parents and other teachers should attend betimes.
Self-Government. CHILDREN should be instructed in the art of self-government. They should be taught, as far as possible, to govern their thoughts : to use their wills to be determined by the light of their understandings, and not by headstrong and foolish humour; they should learn to keep the lower powers of nature under the command of their reason ; they should be instructed to regulate their senses, their imagina
tion, their appetites, and their passions. Let it be observed that I speak of these things in this place, not as a part of religion, though they are an important part of it, but give it as a direction exceedingly useful to all the parposes of human life in this world.
1. Their thoughts and fancies should be brought under early government. Children should be taught, as far as possible, to keep their thoughts and attention fixed upon what is their proper business; and to with-hold them from roving and wandering away from the work in which they are engaged. Many children have such wild fluttering fancies, that they will not be easily confined to fix upon one object for any considerable time: every flying feather, every motion of any person or thing that is near them, every sound, or noise, or shadow, calls them away from their duty. When they should employ their eyes on their book or their work, they will be gazing at every thing besides their task; they must rise often to the window to see what passes abroad, when their business lies within.
This volatile humour, if not gently altered and wisely corrected in early years, will have an unhappy influence to hinder them for ever from attaining any great excellence in whatsoever business they undertake. Children should be taught therefore to call in their wandering thoughts, and bind them to the work in hand, till they have gone through it, and finished it.
Yet this sort of wandering folly should not be chastised severely in young children, nor should it be subdued with violence, by too close and rigorous a confinement to many long hours of labour or study, in that early and tender part of life ; such a conduct might break or overwhelm an active and sprightly genius, and destroy all those seeds of curiosity which promise well for maturer years : but proper and agreeable methods should be used to persuade and incline the young learner to attend to his present employment. It is far better to fix the thoughts to duty by allurement than
by severity ; but some way or other it ought to be endeavoured, at least in a good degree.
This fixedness of the mind and active powers is not only of great service to attain useful knowledge, or to learn any business in common life, but it is of considerable advantage in religion, in attendance on divine worship, either prayer, preaching, or meditation ; where the mind is subject to a thousand distractions, for want of being taught to fix the attention in younger years. Persons who have well learned the art of governing their thoughts can pursue a train of thinking while they walk through the streets of London, nor will the noise and hurry of that busy place break the thread of their meditations. A happy attainment this, and a felicity which but few arrive at !
2. Children should be also instructed to govern their inclinations and wishes, and to determine their wills and their choice of things, not by humour and wild fancy, but by the dictates of reason. Some persons, even in their mature years, can give no other account why they choose and determine to do this or that, but because they have a fancy for it, and they will do it. I will because I will, serves instead of all other reasons. And in the same manner, they manage their refusal or dislike of any thing. I hate to do this thing ; I will not go to this place, nor do that work; I resolved against it; and all from mere humour. This is a conduct very unbecoming a reasonable creature ; and this folly should be corrected betimes, in our early parts of life, since God has given us understanding and reason to be the guide of our resolutions, and to direct our choice and all our actions.
3. Appetite is another thing which should be put under strict government, and children should be taught betimes to restrain it. That of the taste is the first thing that gets the ascendant in our younger years, and a guard should be set upon it early. What an unbecoming thing is it for children to be craving after every dish that comes to a table ? and that they will generally do, if they have never been