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rated actions be fashioned before-hand into the practice of what is fit and becoming; and not told, and talked to do upon the spot, what they have never been accustomed to, nor know how to do as they should: to hare and rate them thus at every turn, is not to teach them, but to vex and torment them to no purpose. They should be let alone, rather than chid for a fault, which is none of theirs, por is in their power to mend for speaking to. And it were much better their natural, childish negligence, or plainness, should be left to the care of riper years, than that they should frequently have rebukes misplaced upon them, which neither do, nor can give them graceful motions. If their minds are well disposed, and principled with inward civility, a great part of the roughness, which sticks to the outșide for want of better teaching, time and observation will rub off, as they grow up, if they are bred in good company; but if in ill, all the rules in the world, all the çorrection imaginable, will not be able to polish them, For you must take this for a certain truth, that let them have what instructions you will, and ever so learned lectures of breeding daily inculcated into them, that which will most influence their carriage, will be the company they converse with, and the fashion of those about them. Children (nay, and men too) do most by example. We are all a sort of chameleons, that still take a tincture from things near us : nor is it to be wondered at in children, who better understand what they see, than what they hear.
$ 68. I mentioned above, one great mischief that came by servants to children, when by their flatteries they take off the edge and force of the parents rebukes, and so lessen their authority. And here is another great inconvenience, which children receive from the ill examples which they meet with, amongst the meaner servants.
They are wholly, if possible, to be kept from such conversation : for the contagion of these. ill precedents, both in civility and virtue, horribly infects children, as often as they come within reach of it. They frequently
. dered from it from doing make them
learn, from unbred or debauched servants, such language, untowardly tricks and vices, as otherwise they possibly would be ignorant of all their lives.
$ 69. It is a hard matter wholly to prevent this mischief. You will have very good luck if you never have á clownish or vicious servant, and if from them your children never get any infection. But yet, as much must be done towards it, as can be ; and the children kept as much as may be* in the company of their parents, and those to whose care they are committed. To this purpose, their being in their presence should be made easy to them: they should be allowed the liberties and freedom suitable to their ages, and not be held under unnecessary restraints, when in their parent's or governor's sight. If it be a prison to them, it is no wonder they should not like it. They must not be hindered from being children, or from playing or doing as children; but from doing ill. All other liberty is to be allowed them. Next, to make them in love . with the company of their parents, they should receive all their good things there, and from their hands. The servants should be hindered from making court to them, by giving them strong drink, wine, fruit, playthings, and other such matters, which may make them in love with their conversation. .
$ 70. Having named company, I am almost ready to throw away my pen, and trouble you no farther on this subject. For since that does more than all precepts, rules, and instructions, methinks it is almost wholly in vain to make a long discourse of other things, and to talk of that almost to no purpose. For you will be ready to say, “ What shall I do with my son? If I “ keep him always at home, he will be in danger to be « my young master; and if I send him abroad, how is “ it possible to keep him from the contagion of rude“ ness and vice, which is every-where so in fashion ?
* How much the Romans thought the education of their children a business that properly belonged to the parents themselves, see in Sueto nius, August. sect. 64. Plutarch in vita Catonis Censoris ; Diodorus Siculus, 1. 2. cap. 3.
«. In my house he will perhaps be more innocent, but “ more ignorant too of the world: wanting there “ change of company, and being used constantly to “ the same faces, he will, when he comes abroad, be a * sheepish or conceited creature.”
I confess, both sides have their inconveniencies. Being abroad, it is true, will make him bolder, and better able to bustle and shift amongst boys of his own age; and the einulation of school-fellows often puts life and industry into young lads. But till you can find a school, wherein it is possible for the master to look after the manners of his scholars, and can show as great effects of his care of forming their minds to virtue, and their carriage to good breeding, as of forming their tongues to the learned languages; you must confess, that you have a strange value for words, when, preferring the languages of the ancient Greeks and Romans to that which made them such brave men, you think it worth while to hazard your son's innocence and virtue, for a little Greek and Latin. For, as for that boldness and spirit, which lads get amongst their play-fellows at school, it has ordinarily such a mixture of rudeness, and an ill-turned confidence, that those misbecoming and disingenuous ways of shifting in the world must be ünlearned, and all the tincture washed out again, to make way for better principles, and such manners as make a truly worthy man. He that considers how diametrically opposite the skill of living well, and managing, as a man should do, his affairs in the world, is to that malapertness, tricking, or violence, learnt among school-boys, will think the faults of a privater education infinitely to be preferred to such improve. ments; and will take care to preserve his child's innocence and modesty at home, as being nearer of kin, and more in the way of those qualities, which make an use. ful and able man. Nor does any one find, or so much as suspect, that the retirement and bashfulness, which their daughters are brought up in, makes them less knowing or less able women. Conversation, when they come into the world, soon gives them a becoming
assurance; and whatsoever, beyond that, there is of rough and boisterous, may in men be very well spared too : for courage and steadiness, as I take it, lie not in roughness and ill breeding.
Virtue is harder to be got, than a knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered. Sheepishness and ignorance of the world, the faults imputed to a private education, are neither the necessary consequences of being bred at home; nor, if they were, are they incurable evils. Vice is the more stubborn, as well as the more dangerous evil of the two; and therefore, in the first place, to be fenced against, If thạt sheepish softness, which often enervates those, who are bred like fondlings at home, be carefully to be avoided, it is principally so for virtue's sake; for fear lest such a yielding temper should be too susceptible of vicious impressions, and expose the novice too easily to be corrupted. A young man, before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortified with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtue; lest he should be led into some ruinqus course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and has steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation. Were it not for this, a young man's bashfulness, and ignorance of the world, would not so much need an early care. Conversation would cure it in a great measure; or, if that will not do it early enough, it is only a stronger reason for a good tutor at home. For, if pains be to be taken to give him a manly air and assurance betimes, it is chiefly as a fence to his virtue, when he goes into the world, under his own conduct.
It is preposterous, therefore, to sacrifice his innocency to the attaining of confidence, and some little skill of bustling for himself among others, by his conpersation with ill-bred and vicious boys; when the chief use of that sturdiness, and standing upon his own legs, is only for the preservation of his-virtue. For if confidence or cunning come once to mix with vice, and support his miscarriages, he is only the surer lost; and you must undo again, and strip him of that he has got from his companions, or give him up to ruin. Boys will unavoidably be taught assurance by conversation with men, when they are brought into it; and that is time enough. Modesty and submission, till then, better fits them for instruction: and therefore there'needs not any great care to stock them with confidence beforehand. "That which requires most time, pains, and assiduity, is to work into them the principles and practice of virtue and good breeding. This is the seasoning they should be prepared with, so as not easily to be got out again : this they had need to be well provided with. For conversation, when they come into the world, will add to their knowledge and assurance, but be too apt to take from their virtue'; which therefore they ought to be plentifully stored with, and have that tincture sunk deep into them. · How they should be fitted for conversation, and entered into the world, when they are ripe for it, we shall consider in another place. But how any one's being put into a mixed herd of unruly boys, and there learning to wrangle at trap, or rook at span-farthing, fits him for civil conversation, or business, I do not see. And what qualities are ordinarily to be got from such a troop of play-fellows, as schools usually assemble together, from parents of all kinds, that a father should so much covet it, is hard to divine. I am sure, he who is able to be at the charge of a tutor, at home, may there give his son a more genteel carriage, more manly thoughts, and a sense of what is worthy and becoming, with a greater proficiency in learning into the bargain, and ripen him up sooner into a man; than any at school can do. Not that I blame the school-master in this, or think it to be laid to his charge. The différence is great between two or three pupils in the same house, and three or fourscore boys lodged up and down. For, let the master's industry and skill be ever so great, it is impossible he should have 50 or 100 scholars under his eye, any longer than they are in the school together: nor can it be expected, that he should instruct' them successfully in any thing but their books; the forming of their minds and manners requiring a constant atten: