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This is all I shall say of this matter in general, and is enough for laying the first foundations of virtue in a child. As he grows up, the tendency of his natural inclination must be observed; which, as it inclines him, more than is convenient, on one or the other side, from the right path of virtue, ought to have proper remedies applied ; for few of Adam's children are so happy, as not to be born with some bias in their natural temper, which it is the business of education either to take off, or counterbalance: but to enter into particulars of this, would be beyond the design of this short treatise of education. I intend not a discourse of all the virtues and vices, and how each virtue is to be at. tained, and every particular vice by its peculiar remedies cured; though I have mentioned some of the most ordinary faults, and the ways to be used in correcting them.
$ 140. Wisdom I take, in the popular ac. ceptation, for a man's managing his business ably, and with foresight, in this world. This is the product of a good natural temper, application of mind, and experience together; and so above the reach of children. The greatest thing that in them can be done towards it, is to hinder them, as much as may be, from being cunning ; which, being the ape of wisdom, is the most distant from it that can be: and, as an ape, for the likeness it has to a man, wanting what really should make him so, is by so much the uglier; cunning is only the want of understanding; which, because it cannot compass its end by direct ways, would do it by a trick and circumvention; and the mischief of it is, a cunning trick helps but once, but hinders ever after. No cover was ever made either so big, or so fine, as to hide itself. Nobody was ever so cunning, as to conceal their being so: and, when they are once discovered, every body is shy, every body distrustful of crafty men; and all the world forwardly join to oppose and defeat them: whilst the open, fair, wise man has every body to make way for him, and goes directly to his business. To accustom a child to have true notions of things, and not to be satisfied till he has them; to raise his mind to
great and worthy thoughts; and to keep him at a distance from falsehood and cunning, which has always a broad mixture of falsehood in it; is the fittest preparation of a child for wisdom. The rest, which is to be learned from time, experience, and observation, and an acquaintance with men, their tempers and designs, is not to be expected in the ignorance and inadvertency of childhood, or the inconsiderate heat and unwariness of youth: all that can be done towards it, during this unripe age, is, as I have said, to accustom them to truth and sincerity; to a submission to reason; and, as much as may be, to reflection on their own actions.
$ 141. The next good quality belonging to a gentleman, is good-breeding. There are two
W Breeding sorts of ill-breeding; the one, a sheepish bashfulness; and the other, a misbecoming negligence and disrespect in our carriage; both which are avoided, by duly observing this one rule, Not to think meanly of ourselves, and not to think meanly of others.
§ 142. The first part of this rule must not be understood in opposition to humility, but to assurance. We ought not to think so well of ourselves, as to stand upon our own value; and assume to ourselves a preference before others, because of any advantage we may imagine we have over them; but modestly to take what is offered, when it is our due. But yet we ought to think so well of ourselves, as to perform those actions which are in. cumbent on, and expected of us, without discomposure or disorder, in whose presence soever we are, keeping that respect and distance which is due to every one's rank and quality. There is often in people, especially children, a clownish shamefacedness before strangers, or those above them; they are confounded in their thoughts, words, and looks, and so lose themselves in that confusion, as not to be able to do any thing, or at least not to do it with that freedom and gracefulness which pleases and makes them acceptable. The only cure for this, as for any other miscarriage, is by use to introduce the contrary habit. But since we cannot accustom ourselves to converse with strangers, and persons of quality, without being in their company, nothing can
cure this part of ill-breeding, but change and variety of company, and that of persons above us.
§ 143. As the before-mentioned consists in too great a concern how to behave ourselves towards others, so the other part of ill-breeding lies in the appearance of too little care of pleasing or showing respect to those we have to do with. To avoid this these two things are requisite : first, a disposition of the mind not to offend others; and, secondly, the most acceptable and agreeable way of expressing that disposition. From the one, men are called civil; from the other, well-fashioned. The latter of these is that decency and gracefulness of looks, voice, words, motions, gestures, and of all the whole outward demeanour, which takes in company, and makes those with whom we may converse easy and well-pleased. This is, as it were, the language, whereby that internal civility of the mind is expressed ; which, as other languages are, being very inuch governed by the fashion and custom of every country, must, in the rules and practice of it, be learned chiefly from observation, and the carriage of those who are allowed to be exactly well-bred. The other part, which lies deeper than the outside, is that general good-will and regard for all people, which makes any one have a care not to show, in his carriage, any contempt, disrespect, or neglect of them; but to express, according to the fashion and way of that country, a respect and value for them, according to their rank and condition. It is a disposition of the mind that shows itself in the car. riage, whereby a man avoids making any one uneasy in conversation." • I shall take notice of four qualities that are most directly opposite to this first and most taking of all the social virtues. . And from some one of these four it is, that incivility commonly has its rise. I shall set them down,' that children may be preserved or recovered from their ill influence. : Roughness.
. 1. The first is, a natural roughness,
** which makes a man uncomplaisant to others, so that he has no deference for their inclinations, tempers, or conditions. It is the sure badge of a clown, not to mind what pleases or displeases those he is with; and yet one may often find a man, in fashionable clothes, give an unbounded'swing to his own humour, and suffer it to justle or over-run any one that stands in its way, with a perfect indifferency how they take it. This is a brutality that every one sees and abhors, and nobody can be easy with: and therefore this finds no place in any one, who would be thought to have the least tincture of good-breeding. For the very end and business of good-breeding is to supple the natural stiffness, and so soften men's tempers, that they may bend to a com. pliance, and accommodate themselves to those they have to do with:
2. Contempt, or want of due respect, dis. covered either in looks, words, or gesture:
Contempt. this, from whomsoever it comes, brings always uneasiness with it; for nobody can contentedly bear being slighted.
ito i 3. Censoriousness, and finding fault with
" Censorious others, has a direct opposition to civility. Men, whatever they are or are not guilty of, would not have their faults displayed, and set in open view and broad day-light, before their own, or other people's eyes. Blemishes affixed to any one, always carry shame with them: and the discovery, or even bare imputation of any defect, is not born without some uneasiness. Raillery is the most refined
Raillery way of exposing the faults of others; but, because it is usually done with 'wit and good language, and gives entertainment to the company, people are led into a mistake, and, where it keeps within fair bounds, there is no incivility in it: and so the pleasantry of this sort of conversation often introduces it amongst people of the better rank; and such talkers are favourably heard, and generally applauded by the laughter of the by-standers 'on their side: but they ought to consider, that the entertainment of the rest of the company is at the cost of that one, who is set out in their burlesque colours, who therefore is not without uneasiness, unless the subject, for which he is rallied, be really in itself matter of commendation; for then
the pleasant images and representations, which make the raillery, carrying praise as well as sport with them, the rallied person also finds his account, and takes part in the diversion. But, because the nice management of so nice and ticklish a business, wherein a little slip may spoil all, is not every body's talent, I think those, who would secure themselves froni provoking others, especially all young people, should carefully abstain from raillery; which, by a small mistake, or any wrong turn, may leave upon the mind of those, who are made uneasy by it, the lasting memory of having been piquantly, though wittily, taunted for something censurable in them.
Besides raillery, contradiction is a kind La of censoriousness, wherein ill-breeding often tion.
shows itself. Complaisance does not require that we should always admit all the reasonings or relations that the company is entertained with; no, nor silently let pass all that is vented in our hearing. The opposing the opinions, and rectifying the mistakes of others, is what truth and charity sometimes require of us, and civility does not oppose, if it be done with due caution and care of circumstances. But there are some people, that one may observe possessed, as it were, with the spirit of contradiction, that steadily, and without regard to right or wrong; oppose some one, or perhaps every one of the company, whatever they say. This is so visible and outrageous a way of censuring, that nobody can avoid thinking himself injured by it. All opposition to what another man has said, is so apt to be suspected of censoriousness, and is so seldom received without some sort of humiliation, that it ought to be made in the gentlest manner, and softest words can be found; and such as, with the whole deportment, máy express no forwardness to contradict. All marks of respect and good-will ought to accompany it, that, whilst we gain the argument, we may not lose the es. teem of those that hear us.
4. Captiousness is another fault opposite Captious. : to civility, not only because it often pro.
. duces misbecoming and provoking expres