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kind words and gentle admonitions, rather as minding them of what they forget, than by harsh rebukes and chiding as if they were wilfully guilty. 2dly, Another thing you are to take care of, is, not to endeavour to settle too many habits at once, lest by a variety you confound them, and so perfect none. When constant custom has made any one thing easy and natural to them, and they practise it without reflection, you may then go on to another. This method of teaching children by a re
Practice. peated practice, and the same action done over and over again, under the eye and direction of the tutor, till they have got the habit of doing it well, and not by relying on rules trusted to their memories ; has so many advantages, which way soever we consider it, that I cannot but wonder if ill customs could be wondered at in any thing) how it could possibly be so much neglected. I shall name one more that comes now in my way. By this method we shall see, whether what is required of him be adapted to his capacity, and any way suited to the child's natural genius and constitution: for that too must be considered in a right education. We must not hope wholly to change their original tempers, nor make the gay pensive and grave, nor the melancholy sportive, without spoiling them. God has stamped certain characters upon men's minds, which, like their shapes, may perhaps be a little mended; but can hardly be totally altered and transformed into the contrary.
He therefore that is about children, should well study their natures and aptitudes, and see, by often trials, what turn they easily take, and what becomes them; observe what their native stock is, how it may be im. proved, and what it is fit for: he should consider what they want, whether they be capable of having it wrought into them by industry, and incorporated there by practice; and whether it be worth while to endeavour it. For in many cases, all that we can do, or should aim at, is, to make the best of what nature has given, to prevent the vices and faults to which such a constitution is most inclined, and give it all the advantages it is capable of. Every one's natural genius should be carried as far as it could ; but to attempt the putting another upon him, will be but labour in vain ; and what is so plaistered on, will at best sit but untowardly, and have always hanging to it the ungracefulness of constraint and affectation.
i Affectation is not, I confess, an early fault Affectation.
""' of childhood, or the product of untaught nature: it is of that sort of weeds, which grow not in the wild uncultivated waste, but in garden-plots, under the negligent hand, or unskilful care of a gardener. Management and instruction, and some sense of the necessity of breeding, are requisite to make any one capable of affectation, which endeavours to correct natural defects, and has always the laudable aim of pleasing, though it always misses it; and the more it labours to put on gracefulness, the farther it is from it. For this reason it is the more carefully to be watched, because it is the proper fault of education; a perverted education indeed, but such as young people often fall into, either by their own mistake, or the ill conduct of those about them. . He that will examine wherein that gracefulness lies, which always pleases, will find it arises from that natural coherence, which appears between the thing done, and such a temper of mind, as cannot but be approved of as suitable to the occasion. We cannot but be pleased with an humane, friendly, ciyil temper, whereever we meet with it. A mind free, and master of itself and all its actions, not low and narrow, not haughty and insolent, not blemished with any great defect; is what every one is taken with. The actions, which naturally flow from such a well-formed mind, please us also, as the genuine marks of it; and-being, as it were, natural emanations from the spirit and disposition within, cannot but be easy and unconstrained. This seems to me to be that beauty, which shines through some men's actions, sets off all that they do, and takes with all they come wear; when by a constant practice they have fashioned their carriage, and made all those litile expressions of civility and respect, which
nature or custom has established in conversation, so easy to themselves, that they seem not. artificial or stu. died, but naturally to follow from a sweetness of mind and a well-turned disposition.
On the other side, affectation is an awkward and forced imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the beauty that accompanies what is natural ; because there is always a disagreement between the out. ward action, and the mind within, one of these two ways: 1. Either when a man would outwardly put on a disposition of mind, which then he really has not, but endeavours by a forced carriage to make show of; yet so, that the constraint he is under, discovers itself: and thus men affect sometimes to appear sad, merry, or kind, when, in truth, they are not so.
2. The other is, when they do not endeavour to make show of dispositions of mind, which they have not, but to express those they have by a carriage not suited to them : and such in conversation are all con, strained motions, actions, words, or looks, which, though designed to show either their respect or civility to the company, or their satisfaction and easiness in it, are not yet natural nor genuine marks of the one or the other; but rather of some defect or mistake within. Imitation of others, without discerning what is graceful in them, or what is peculiar to their characters, often makes a great part of this. But affectation of all kinds, whencesoever it proceeds, is always offensive: because we naturally hate whatever is counterfeit; and condemn those who have nothing better to recommend themselves by,
Plain and rough nature, left to itself, is much better than an artificial ungracefulness, and such studied ways of being ill-fashioned. The want of an accomplishment, or some defect in our behaviour, coming short of the utmost gracefulness, often escapes observation and censure. But affectation in any part of our carriage, is lighting up a candle to our defects; and never fails to make us be taken notice of, either as wanting sense, or wanting sincerity. This governors ought the more diligently to look after; because, as I above observed, it
is an acquired ugliness, owing to mistaken education ; few being guilty of it, but those who pretend to breeding, and would not be thought ignorant of what is fashionable and becoming in conversation; and, if I mistake not, it has often its rise from the lazy admonitions of those who give rúles, and propose examples, without joining practice with their instructions, and making their pupils repeat the action in their sight, that they may correct what is indecent or constrained in it, till it be perfected into an habitual and becoming easiness. Manners.
§ 67. Manners, as they call it, about which "De children are so often perplexed, and have so many goodly exhortation's made them, by their wise maids and governesses, I think, are rather to be learned by example than rules; and then children, if kept out of ill company, will take a pride to behave themselves prettily, after the fashion of others, perceiving them. selves esteemed and commended for it. But, if by a little negligence in this part, the boy should not put off his hat, nor make legs very gracefully, a dancing. inaster will cure that defect, and wipe off all that plainness of nature, which the à-la-mode people call clownishness. And since nothing appears to me to give children so much becoming confidence and behaviour, and so to raise them to the conversation of those above their Dancing
age, as dancing; I think they should be taught
op to dance, as soon as they are capable of learn. ing it. For, though this consist only in outward gracefulness of motion, yet, I know not how, it gives children manly thoughts and carriage, more than any thing. But otherwise I would not have little children much tormented about punctilios, or niceties of breeding.
Never trouble yourself about those faults in theny, which you know age will cure. And therefore want of well-fashioned civility in the carriage, whilst civility is not wanting in the mind, (for there you must take care to plant it early,) should be the parents least care, whilst they are young. If his tender mind be filled with a veneration for his parents and teachers, which consists in love and esteem, and a fear to offend them; and with respect and good will to all people; that respect will of itself teach those ways of expressing it, which he observes most acceptable. Be sure to keep up in him the principles of good-nature and kindness; make them as habitual as you can, by credit and commendation, and the good things accompanying that state; and when they have taken root in his mind, and are settled there by a continued practice, fear not; the ornaments of conversation, and the outside of fashionable manners, will come in their due time, if, when they are removed out of their maid's care, they are put into the hands of a well-bred man to be their governor.
Whilst they are very young, any carelessness is to be · borne with in children, that carries not with it the marks of pride or ill-nature: but those, whenever they appear in any action, are to be corrected immediately, by the ways above mentioned. What I have said con. cerning manners, I would not have so understood, as if I meant that those, who have the judgment to do it, should not gently fashion the motions and carriage of children, when they are very young. It would be of great advantage, if they had people about them, from their being first able to go, that had the skill, and would take the right way to do it. That which I complain of is the wrong course that is usually taken in this matter. Children who were never taught any such thing as behaviour, are often (especially when strangers are present) chid for having some way or other failed in good manners, and have thereupon reproofs and precepts heaped upon them, concerning putting off their hats, or making of legs, &c. Though in this those concerned pretend to correct the child, yet, in truth, for the most part, it is but to cover their own shame: and they lay the blame on the poor little ones, sometimes passionately enough, to divert it from themselves, for fear the by-standers should impute to their want of care and skill the child's ill behaviour.
For, as for the children themselves, they are never one jot bettered by such occasional lectures: they at other times should be shown what to do, and by reite