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ordered correction, many have been taught to be obstinate and refractory, who otherwise would have been very pliant and tractable. For, if you punish a child so, as if it were only to revenge the past fault, which has raised your choler; what operation can this have upon his mind, which is the part to be amended? If there were no sturdy humour or wilfulness mixed with his fault, there was nothing in it, that required the severity of blows. A kind, or grave admonition is enough, to remedy the slips of frailty, forgetfulness, or inadvertency, and is as much as they will stand in need of. But, if there were a perverseness in the will, if it were a designed, resolved disobedience, the punishment is not to be measured by the greatness or smallness of the matter wherein it appeared, but by the opposition it carries, and stands in, to that respect and submission that is due to the father's orders; which must always be rigorously exacted, and the blows by pauses laid on, till they reach the mind, and you perceive the signs of a true sorrow, shame, and purpose of obedience.
This, I confess, requires something more than setting children a task, and whipping them without any more ado, if it be not done, and done to our fancy. This requires care, attention, observation, and a nice study of children's tempers, and weighing their faults weli, before we come to this sort of punishment. But is not that better, than always to have the rod in hand, as the only instrument of government; and, by frequent use of it, on all occasions, misapply and render ineffiacious this last and useful remedy, where there is need of it? For, what else can be expected, when it is promis. cuously used upon every little slip? When a mistake in concordance, or a wrong position in verse, shall have the severity of the lash, in a well-tempered and indus trious lad, as surely as a wilful crime in an obstinate and perverse offender ; how can such a way of correction be expected to do good on the mind, and set that right? which is the only thing to be looked after; and, when set right, brings all the rest that you can desire along with it.
$ 79. Where a wrong bent of the will wants not amendment, there can be no need of blows. All other faults, where the mind is rightly disposed, and refuses not the government and authority of the father or tụtor, are but mistakes, and may often be over-looked; or, when they are taken notice of, need no other but the gentle remedies of advice, direction, and reproof; till the repeated and wilful neglect of those shows the fault to be in the mind, and that a manifest perverseness of the will lies at the root of their disobedience. But whenever obstinacy, which is an open defiance, appears, that cannot be winked at, or neglected, but must, in the first instance, be subdued and mastered; only care must be had, that we mistake not; and we must be sure it is obstinacy, and nothing else.
$ 80. But since the occasions of punishment, especi.. ally beating, are as much to be avoided as may be, I. think it should not be often brought to this point. If the awe I spoke of be once got, a look will be sufficient in most cases. Nor indeed should the same carriage, seriousness, or application be expected from young children, as from those of riper growth. They must be permitted, as I said, the foolish and childish actions, suitable to their years, without taking notice of them ; inadvertency, carelessness, and gaiety, is the character of that age. I think the severity I spoke of, is not to extend itself to such unseasonable restraints; nor is that hastily to be interpreted obstinacy or wilfulness, which is the natural product of their age or temper. In such miscarriages they are to be assisted, and helped towards an amendment, as weak people under a natural infirmity; which, though they are warned of, yet every relapse must not be counted a perfect neglect, and they presently treated as obstinate. Faults of frailty, as they should never be neglected, or let pass without minding; so, unless the will mix with them, they should never be exaggerated, or very sharply reproved; but with a gentle hand set right, as time and age permit. By this means, children will come to see what is in any mis. carriage, that is chiefly offensive, and so learn to avoid it. This will encourage them to keep their wills right, which is the great business; when they find,' that it preserves them from any great displeasure; and that in all their other failings they meet with the kind concern and help, rather than the anger and passionate reproaches of their tutor and parents. Keep them from vice, and vicious dispositions, and such a kind of beha. viour in general will come, with every degree of their age, as is suitable to that age, and the company they ordinarily converse with: and as they grow in years, they will grow in attention and application. But that your words may always carry weight and authority with them, if it shall happen, upon any occasion, that you bid him leave off the doing of any even childish things, you must be sure to carry the point, and not let him have the mastery. But yet, I say, I would have the father seldom interpose his authority and command in these cases, or in any other, but such as have a tendency to vicious habits. I think there are better ways of pre.vailing with them; and a gentle persuasion in reasoning (when the first point of submission to your will is got) will most times do much better. $ 81. It will perhaps be wondered, that I
Reasoning. mention reasoning with children: and yet I cannot but think that the true way of dealing with them. They understand it as early as they do language; and, if I mis-observe not, they love to be treated as rational creatures, sooner than is imagined. It is a pride should be cherished in them, and, as much as can be, made the greatest instrument to turn them by.
But when I talk of reasoning, I do not intend any other, but such as is suited to the child's capacity and apprehension. Nobody can think a boy of three or seven years old should be argued with as a grown man, Long discourses, and philosophical reasonings, at best, amaze and confound, but do not instruct, children, When I say therefore, that they must be treated as rational creatures, I mean that you should make them sensible, by the mildness of your carriage, and the composure, even in your correction of them, that what you do is reasonable in you, and useful and necessary for them; and that it is not out of caprice, passion, or
fancy, that you command or forbid them any thing, This they are capable of understanding; and there is no virtue they should be excited to, nor fault they should be kept from, which I do not think they may be convinced of: but it must be by such reasons as their age and understanding are capable of, and those proposed always in very few and plain words. The foun, dations on which several duties are built, and the fountains of right and wrong, from which they spring, are not, perhaps, easily to be let into the minds of grown men, not used to abstract their thoughts from common received opinions. Much less are children capable of reasonings from remote principles. They cannot conceive the force of long deductions : the reasons that move them must be obvious and level to their thoughts, and such as may (if I may so say) bé felt and touched. But yet, if their age, temper, and inclinations, be considered, they will never want such motives, as may be sufficient to convince them. If there be no other more particular, yet these will always be intelligible, and of force, to deter them from any fault, fit to be taken notice of in them, viz. that it will be a discredit and disgrace to them, and displease you.
$ 82. But, of all the ways whereby child, Examples.
* ren are to be instructed, and their manners formed, the plainest, easiest, and most efficacious, is to set before their eyes the examples of those things you would have them do or avoid. Which, when they are pointed out to them, in the practice of persons within their knowledge, with some reflections on their beauty or unbecomingness, are of more force to draw or deter their imitation, than any discourses which can be made to them. Virtues and vices can by no words be so plainly set before their understandings, as the actions of other men will show them, when you direct their observation, and bid them view this or that good or bad quality in their practice. And the beauty or uncomeliness of many things, in good and ill breeding, will be better learnt, and make deeper impressions on them, in the examples of others, than from any rules or instructions can be given about them.
This is a method to be used, not only whilst they are young; but to be continued, even as long as they shall be under another's tuition or conduct. Nay, I know not whether it be not the best way to be used by a father, as long as he shall think fit, on any occasion, to reform any thing he wishes mended in his son; nothing sinking so gently, and so deep, into men's minds, as example. And what ill they either oyerlook, or indulge in themselves, they cannot but dislike, and be ashamed of, when it is set before them in another.
$ 89. It may be doubted concerning whipping, when, as the last remedy, it
Whipping. comes to be necessary; at what times, and by whom it should be done : whether presently upon the committing the fault, whilst it is yet fresh and hot; and whether parents themselves should beat their children. As to the first; I think it should not be done presently, lest passion mingle with it: and so, though it exceed the just proportion, yet it loses of its due weight; for even children discern when we do things in passion. But, as I said before, that has most weight with them, that appears sedately to come from their parents reason; and they are not without this distinction. Next, if you have any discreet servant capable of it, and has the place of governing your child, (for if you have a tutor, there is no doubt, I think it is best the smart should come more immediately from another's hand, though by the parent's order, who should see it done; whereby the parent's authority will be preserved, and the child's aversion, for the pain it suffers, rather be turned on the person that immediately inflicts it. For I would have a father seldom strike his child, but upon very urgent necessity, and as the last remedy; and then perhaps it will be fit to do it so, that the child should not quickly forget it.
$ 84. But, as I said before, beating is the worst, and therefore the last, means to be used in the correction of children; and that only in cases of extremity, after all gentler ways have been tried, and proved unsuccessful : which, if well observed, there will be very seldom any need of blows. For, it not being to be imagined that