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the effects of the best system. Either servants, therefore, must thoroughly be free from every suspicion, which is almost impossible, or children must be sedulously restricted from their company.
To create in them a preference for the company of their parents, everything in the shape of pleasure should proceed from the latter.
The question, whether a private or a public education be most replete with advantage, is one of difficulty, from the mixture of good and evil that is in both. The greater innocence which recommends a domestic education is usually thought to be counterbalanced by that ignorance of the world which accompanies it, whilst the bustle and spirit of a public school are tainted with violence, deceit, or false pride. In considering this question, it must be remembered, that “ Virtue is harder to be got than a knowledge of the world.” The only real value that any quality of the mind, or of the body either, can fairly pretend to, is the degree of its subserviency to the cause of virtue. Violence is no virtue, though courage is; and modesty and steadiness are no faults, though a soft and tame disposition is one, and one which cannot be too much censured. The true advantage of confidence is the power which it gives for the preservation of honour and morality: how then can confidence answer this, its only legitimate purpose, when it is the offspring of a vicious experience? Nor is roughness courage, nor cunning wisdom, but rather the fictitious substitutes of the virtues they personate, and are so far from helping to form them, that they act in direct opposition to their spirit. To lay the foundation of character in assurance and self-sufficiency, and then to labour at a superstructure of modesty and virtue, is to begin at the wrong end; but the basis being in virtue, there is
no weight of other materials, whether for ornament or utility, winch it will not nobly support. Inasmuch as a private education, then, is more conducive to the early establishment of right moral principles, it is to be preferred to a public education; and with respect to those drawbacks that are used to be complained of, there are none which inay not be removed by proper methods. A boy, who is instructed by a tutor at home, should have every opportunity afforded him of mixing in company, and be encouraged to act and converse as his own reason dictates to him, and not be too much fettered by prescription, nor teased with directions in matters of trifling consequence; he should be left as much to his own discretion as may be compatible with the objects of his education. “But,” says Locke, in concluding this head, “ if after all it shall be thought by some that the breeding at home has too little company, and that at ordinary schools not such as it should be for a young gentleman, I think there might be ways found out to avoid the inconveniences on the one side and the other." *
That maxim of the ancients-“ Maxima debetur pueris reverentia" (the utmost reverence is due to children)-is of great wisdom, and teaches us to forbear in their sight from every act or word that can possibly offend that sense of truth and propriety which is native to them.' If this respect is wanting on the part of the parents, what respect can they hope to secure from their children? Punishment and rebuke must seem to
* He does not anywhere suggest the means of remedying the “ inconveniences” on the side of public education. Nor does he observe that a private domestic education, as here developed, is, in the majority of cases, impossible on account of the expense.
proceed from a just displeasure, or they lose their power; but with what show of justice can a father reprove his son for a fault, which he does not scruple to commit himself? Or if the commission of such fault be vindicated as the privilege of manhood, with what addi. tional force will not the example operate, when we consider that it is in the nature of children to anticipate the age of maturity, and to affect inanly ways? Instead of thus turning this natural disposition into a course of mischief by supplying it with an ill direction, rather let it be made serviceable to a good purpose. This will be accomplished, if those actions and occupations which are deemed proper for the child are made to appear the privilege of a superior age; by which means they will be rendered the objects of ambition and desire, instead of being regarded—as they too often are—with feelings of aversion, Whatever has been said against the use of the rod, may be equally urged against harsh language, which can scarcely ever do good, and must often do harm. It forfeits the child's respect, it forfeits his affection, and, what is worse, by frequency loses its own power. A child readily distinguishes between the language of passion and that of reason, and soon comes to despise the former; and when this is the case, there immediately results an inferiority on the part of the parent or teacher, which is entirely subversive of the necessary influence and authority. For one fault only should children be chastised, and this is obstinacy; yet here only when all other means of correction have been tried in vain ; and when it is done, let it if possible be so contrived that the shame, and not the pain, of the rod shall be the severest part of the punishment. How reluctantly our author recommends this last alternative, the following
sentences will show : “ This is certain, if it does no good, it does great harm.”-There must be "a nice study of children's tempers and weighing their faults well, before we come to this sort of punishment.”“ We must be sure it is obstinacy.”—“Nor is that hastily to be interpretated obstinacy or wilfulness, which is the natural product of their age or temper."*
Although obedience ought to be sufficiently secured by a sense of duty, and a veneration of the parent, early instilled, yet are children to be reasoned with. Here again advantage is to be taken of nature; for children take a pride in being treated as rational beings, and this pride is to be cherished and made a handle to turn them into virtuous courses. The meaning of what they are directed to do should, as far as possible, be explained to them, that they may be impressed with this general confidence that what is required of them is just and reasonable, and that those to whom they yield
* Furthermore, Locke is of opinion that when corporal punishment becomes necessary, it should never be carried into effect on the instant, lest it be-or even lest it seem to be—the result of passion, but should be solemnly deferred ; also that some discreet servant should have the execution of the punishment, and not the parent, though the latter should be present and give the order for it: this is to provide against the possibility of a personal aversion on the part of the child for its father or mother. But, here and in every other place where Locke mentions corporal punishment, there is evinced the same hesitation and irresolution. The necessity is still to be so “ urgent,” and the case one of such
extremity," that we can hardly tell whether his mind was finally made up as to the propriety of the remedy in any case. Even when he winds himself up to his purpose, he does not
to be capable of a positive, unqualified affirmation. " Then, perhaps, it will be fit to do it so that the child should not quickly forget it.” Lastly, he declares that in the event of flogging, once fairly tried, failing to effect the object of improvement, it must not be persevered in; if it does not produce that result, “ it will look more like the fury of an enraged enemy than the good-will of a compassionate friend.” “I know not what more he (the father) can do, but pray for him.”
obedience really love them and are seeking their good. In the selection of a tutor, no care, no trouble, no expense, compatible with the station of the parent, should be spared; extent of acres and a large patrimony are nothing in comparison with the fortunate choice of a tutor. The difficulty is great, but the pains worth taking. * The matter of learning or scholarship is far from being the primary qualification; the first con. sideration should be-his moral character, because his first duty will be to protect the moral character of his pupil, of which he cannot be the fit conservator who has no care for his own. The next consideration is his breeding, and knowledge of the world; the former ought to be such as to impart civility and elegance to the manners of his pupil, for without breeding all the other acquirements are obscured and depreciated ; the latter ought to prepare him for society, by giving him a due foreknowledge of what he may expect, the temptations with which his path will be strewed, the deceitful practices of men, and the full extent of good and evil, that the youth may not come forth into the living world only fortified with the rusty equipage of a dead language. The most dangerous stage in human life is the passage from the boy to the man, and it is to smooth this
passage and make it safe and easy, that the tutor's services are most valuable. As, sooner or later, the
* The following anecdote, which Locke relates, after Montaigne, affords a striking illustration, by contrast, of one of the advantages which this age of news and newspapers possesses over its predecessors. It will be evident to the reader what was wanted” in this case :
“ The learned Castalio was fain to make trenchers at Basil, to keep himself from starving, when his (Montaigne’s) father would have given any money for such a tutor for his son, and Castalio have willingly embraced such an employment upon very reasonable terms; but this was for want of intelligence." (§ 91.)