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believe that any will doubt the advantage of it, that it would be the greatest good for the women to be in common, and the children to be in common, if it could be accomplished."* It is then proposed that magistrates shall be appointed to receive the children immediately on birth, and carry those of a well formed and noble descent to certain nurses dwelling in another quarter of the city. But they are to be authorised to bring the mothers of those children, whom they have not been permitted to see, in order to suckle them,-still as if it were a business of stock and means of profit, — while every art is to be employed that no one should know the babe which she has borne. The rude Lacedæmonian was not more ruthless of the deformed child than is this contemplative sage. It is asked,— we shudder at the incestuous reason of the question,—“How shall fathers and mothers and other kindred distinguish each other? In no manner can they be known.” And this is he whom nations all but worship, the Divine Dreamer, the Celestial Seer! All invective, and not undeserved, is heaped upon the systems of modern infidelity: it is forgotten that their foulest dogmas first fell from his honeyed lips, that the metempsychosis of his spirit is among us in the most execrable licentiousness and disorganization, and that were he on the earth he would be the high priest of the orgies which every vir
tuous mind abhors and loathes. But the hideousness of the idol is lost to the votary in the marvel of its legend, the nimbus of its glory, and the distance of its shrine.
Xenophon, in his Institution of Cyrus, contrasts the laws of the Persians with those of other nations. “These laws appear to begin with a provident care of the public good; not at the point where most other governments begin; most other governments, giving to all the liberty of educating their children as they please. . . . But these laws, taking things higher, are careful, from the beginning, to provide that their citizens shall not be such as to be capable of meddling with any action that is base and vile.” He then explains the four plans of public life. That of the boys was national instruction under elders. They spoke of going to learn justice rather than letters. They held courts among themselves for the accusation of any offence. Their curriculum was in no sense literary, but a training of the body to temperance and warfare, and of the mind to habits of modesty and obedience. The whole must be received with much allowance, since the history is often wholly unauthenticated, and the writing is rather that of a pleasing romanticism than of a grave and veracious chronicle. It is, however, valuable as the opinion of so profound and so good a man.
Aristotle supports the same opinion. “No man can doubt, but that the education of youth ought to be the principal care of every legislator; by the neglect of which great injury befalls the civil polity of states."*
It may be thought that Grecian education was generally private. In the Dramatis Persone of both tragedy and comedy, the pædagogue frequently appears. But he was the person who had care of the very young of a household, without regard to their education. He was the man-nurse of the family, and was often employed in taking the boys to school. The true schoolmasters were the Paidotribes and the Didascalos. The law of publicity was not as rigid in Athens as in Sparta, but opinion and custom were on its side. The Areopagus is supposed to have had something to do with its direction. The educating system of Rome little appears. The choice of its youth studied in Greece or Ionia. The commonalty seems to have been hardy, ignorant, wayward. Quinctiliant speaks of former times as better than his own. The picture he draws is very beautiful of what had been the domestic bringing up of youth, with its then reverse. “Quis enim ignorat et eloquentiam et ceteras artes descivisse ab istâ vetere gloriâ, non inopiâ hominum sed desidia juventutis, et negligentiâ parentum et inscientiâ præcipientium, et oblivione moris
* Politics, lib. viii. cap 1. “Ori pesy our vomodern pecedesa agaypaτευτεον περι την των νέων παιδειαν, ουδεις αν αμφισβητησειε· και γαρ εν ταις πολεσιν ου γιγνομενον τουτο, βλαπτει τας πολιτειας.”
+ It is still unsettled whether Quinctilian, or Tacitus, or a third party, be the author of De Oratoribus Dialogus. It generally passes as the composition of the first. Any author might be proud of so noble a composition.
antiqui ? quæ mala primum in urbe nata, mox per Italiam fusa, jam in provincias manant: quamquam nostra nobis notiora sunt. Ego de urbe et his propriis ac vernaculis vitiis loquar, quæ natos statim excipuint, et per singulos ætatis gradus cumulantur, si prius de severitate ac disciplinâ majorum circa educandos formandosque liberos pauca prædixero. Jamprimum suus cuique filius ex castâ parente natus, non in cellâ emtæ nutricis, sed gremio ac sinu matris educabatur, cujus præcipua laus erat, tueri domum et inservire liberis. Eligebatur autem aliqua major natu propinqua, cujus probatis spectatisque moribus, omnis cujuspiam familiæ suboles committeretur, coram quâ neque dicere fas erat quod turpe dictu, neque facere quod inhonestum factu videretur. Ac non studia modó curasque, sed remissiones etiam lususque puerorum, sanctitate quadam ac verecundiâ temperabat. Sic Corneliam Gracchorum, sic Aureliam Cæsaris, sic Attiam Augusti, matrem, præfuisse educationibus, ac produxisse principes liberos, accepimus. Quæ disciplina ac severitas eò pertinebat, ut sincera et integra et nullis pravitatibus detorta uniuscujusque: natura, toto statim pectore, arriperet artes honestas: et sive ad rem militarem, sive ad juris scientiam, sive ad eloquentiæ studium inclinasset, id solum ageret, id universum hauriret."*
*“Who can now be ignorant that eloquence and the fine arts have fallen below their ancient glory, not from a dearth of men, but from the indolence of youth, and the neglect of parents, and the ignorance of instructors, and the deterioration of the ancient discipline ? The evils, begun in the city, have poured themselves over Italy, and now inundate the very provinces. Ours are, however, more visible. As I
Juvenal devotes his fourteenth Satire to the example of parents and its influence on children. He shows how soon the child takes character, that from the earliest years the blossom sets :
“Cum septimus annus
confine myself to the prevalent vices of the Metropolis, vices which destroy our youth and gather themselves into every stage of life, I will first speak of the uncompromising discipline which our ancestors exercised in teaching and training their children. In those times, each child could boast a modest mother. The infant was not sent, as soon as born, to the hovel of a mercenary nurse, but was reared on the knee and breast of its own mother, whose highest ambition was to regulate her home and wait upon her offspring. Some matron, related to the family, distinguished by unblemished morals, was set in charge of the little ones, before whose presence nothing low could be said and nothing dishonourable could be done. She ordered not only their studies and painstaking, but also their relaxations and sports, with a certain sanctity and reverence. It is thus we find that Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi, that Aurelia the mother of Cæsar, that Attia the mother of Augustus, superintended the education and unfolded the mind of their noble children. The consequence of all this unyielding system was, that the disposition of each was simple and self-consistent, unwarped by vices, and undiverted from scholastic pursuits : whatever was his bias, whether to military detail, or to the science of jurisprudence, or to the cultivation of eloquence, he gave himself to that pursuit, and thoroughly made himself master of it.”
*“When the seventh year had gone over the head of the boy, ere he has renewed his first teeth, although you put him under the instruction of a thousand most venerable masters, from that time he remains the same.”