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Title: An essay on the government of children, under three general heads, viz. health, manners, and education
Author: Nelson, James
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "An essay on the government of children, under three general heads, viz. health, manners, and education" ***

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Digital Library.)



                                 ON THE

                         Government of Children,

                       Under Three General Heads,


                     Health, Manners, and Education.

                      By JAMES NELSON, Apothecary.

                           THE THIRD EDITION.

         _Just as the Twig is bent, the Tree’s inclin’d._ POPE.


              Printed for R. and J. DODSLEY, in Pall-mall;
            And Sold by J. HINXMAN in Pater-noster-row. 1763.




Countess of ——


Happiness being the grand Object of human Pursuit, it may, I imagine, be
modestly presumed, that every Attempt, however ineffectual, to render
That universal, must be universally well received. And yet, conscious as
I am that the following Essay aims solely at this Point, the Fear of
it’s being too feeble to stand alone, makes me desirous of procuring it
the additional Strength of your Ladyship’s Countenance and Protection.

The Subject is undoubtedly of great Moment, namely, the proper Government
of Children; which being ranged under the Heads of HEALTH, MANNERS, and
EDUCATION, affords not only the Opportunity of exposing many Errors, too
generally adopted, but also of pointing out a more natural and rational
Method of attaining the End proposed, than is usually pursued. And I
cannot but think, that, if this Method were seriously attended to, the
Happiness of all Mankind would be built on a more solid Basis, than it
has in common hitherto been.

Works of this Kind naturally calling on the Great and Good for Patronage;
it cannot be thought strange that I aspire to the Honour of your
Ladyship’s Protection is the Privilege of the Powerful: And therefore,
where Power is happily joined with Goodness, the Recourse of the Weak to
it’s beneficent Influence, is but a just Tribute of that Homage which is
due to superior Merit: And such is the unfeigned Respect I mean to pay
your Ladyship by this Address.

I have yet another Motive for presuming to offer this Performance to your
Ladyship; namely, the Hopes that it’s Use may, by this Means, be farther
extended. The World, Madam, has it’s Eyes upon You: The many Excellencies
of Mind and Heart so conspicuous in Yourself; and the uncommon Lustre of
every eminent Virtue in the noble Lord, with whom you have wisely chosen
to share the Dignity and Duties of the Matrimonial and Parental State,
have justly gained you, not only general Admiration, but general Esteem.

When the World shall behold you declining many of it’s Allurements, to
yield to the stronger Attraction of Parental Affection; when it shall
see you often decline the Assemblies of the Great, and retreat from the
Splendor of a Court, to take upon you the Office of a tender Mother,
by cherishing, watching over, and instructing your Offspring; when the
World, I say, shall behold you employed in Actions like these, it will
not only be charmed with the pleasing Task you have undertaken, but be
powerfully animated to pursue the same Measures; which alone can procure
that solid Happiness all seek, or seem to seek, yet so few find.

That nothing may ever interrupt your present Felicity; but that it may
be augmented to the most exalted Degree, by the additional Blessing of
wise and virtuous Children, is the sincere and fervent Wish of,

_Madam, Your Ladyship’s most obliged, and most obedient humble Servant_,

                                                            James Nelson.

_Red-lion-street_, HOLBORN, _Dec. 1, 1755_.


_The important Business of the Management of Children, thro’ every Stage
of our Dominion over them, has led many Writers to handle the Subject:
but on this, as on other Occasions, each has had some particular Point
in View; and each has directed his Steps to that End. One has considered
only the State of Infancy, and, with an Eye to their Health chiefly,
laboured to point out the Means of preserving it: another has passed
over that State, as if of no Consequence; and, while nobly aiming at
regulating the Passions, has inadvertently suffered them to be too deeply
rooted from an Inattention to their first Appearance: a third has made it
his principal Business to conduct their Education; and has either omitted
altogether the forming their Manners, or has supposed, what is very far
from being generally true, that the one is a necessary Consequence of the
other; or in other Words, that good Education will always produce good
Manners. Others have confined themselves to one Species of Education; or,
if they aimed at a perfect Piece, it was for an Individual only, or at
most, for one Class of a whole Kingdom._

_Yet, of the many excellent Performances on these Heads, no one, that
can here be recollected, has either been extended to general Life, or
has comprehended the Whole of a Parent’s Care for their Offspring. In
one we see delineated the Education of a Prince; in another, of an able
Statesman; in a third, of a great Commander; and so on: but these are
too narrow to instruct the Whole, and too confined to become general
Rules. They resemble, if the Comparison may be allowed, some great
Masters in Painting; one is happy in hitting the Likeness; another gives
an exquisite Softness and Ease to the Fall of the Arms; a third has a
peculiar Grace in his Attitudes; yet all, perhaps, are obliged to a
fourth for the Delicacy of the Drapery: while he too, who excels in this,
is unable to reach any Degree of Perfection in the rest._

_But here the Reader is presented with a more extensive Plan on the
Government of Children; a Plan adapted to general Use; calculated for
familiar Life: and which, without a Thought of Arrogance, or once
supposing it perfect, aims at the Good of all. The_ first _Part treats
of the general Means of preserving Health; in which every one is equally
concerned. The_ next _relates to forming the Mind; that is, shews the Use
of Manners, and points out the most rational Method of acquiring them:
to the End, not only that good Habits may be obtained, but that Reason
may always have the Ascendant of the Passions. The_ last _Part treats
of Education; which, tho’ here it makes a distinct Head from Manners,
yet are they to be considered as very strictly connected; because the
more exalted the one is, the mere conspicuous should the other be. As
in every State or Kingdom there are many Degrees of Rank and Fortune; so
great Pains have been taken to consider the Propriety of Education; and
to point out a judicious Degree of it for each Individual._

_Thus it is to be observed, that the Piece here presented is not designed
to direct the Fathers, and exclude the Mothers; to govern the Boys, and
neglect the Girls; nor to address the Great, and disregard the Little;
by no Means: it aspires at offering Advice to all; and, with equal
Zeal, aims at giving Aid to Parents of every Rank, Sex and Degree. It
regards the Care of Children as long as the Dominion of Parents may be
said to last; and neither neglects the Infant of a Day, nor gives up
unconcernedly, a Youth of either Sex, at twenty Years old._

_The Point most laboured at is indeed that of Manners; not only because
they are of the utmost Consequence in themselves, and furnish the surest
Means of being happy, and excelling in Life, but because the present too
general Depravity of them stands publicly confessed._

_Should it be urged, that as a great deal has already been wrote on the
same Topics, and in a masterly Manner too, all farther Attempts of the
like Nature seem needless; it may be answered, (besides what has already
been observed) that so fertile a Subject cannot easily be exhausted; and
being Points of the most weighty Concern, they will undoubtedly always
furnish thinking Men with Matter to expatiate on._

_The Thoughts here given are the Result of Reason, Observation and
Experience; and should it be said that they are not new, still it is
hoped they have a Claim to some Degree of Regard, as there is always
both Use and Entertainment in displaying even the same Sentiments in a
different Manner._


Nothing is more evident, than that a Love of our Children is a great
ruling Principle in human Nature; and that it makes a large Part of
that Self-love which sticks so closely to us. For them we aim at
Wealth, Power, and Dignity; for them our Views are endless, our Desires
boundless. Nor do we stop here; for, eager as we are in pursuing the
real or seeming Good of our Children, we extend our Views still farther,
even to their Children. And it is certain, that Mankind in general do
not think the great Business of Life compleat, unless they live (as
it is usually termed) to see their Children settled, and in a Way of
contributing to the great Family of the World. But were none to engage in
a State of Wedlock in order to become Parents, till their Abilities to
train up their little Offspring were try’d and approv’d, I am of Opinion
the Number of Marriage Licences would be greatly abridg’d.

Many run precipitately into this important State, without any
Fore-thought at all; but even among the wary, the discreet, and the
wise, how very few are there who reflect on the Duty of first acquiring
such a Degree of Knowledge as may serve to make their Children happy in
them, and themselves happy in their Children? It is this general Defect
in human Life, which has induced me to offer my own Thoughts on the
Government of Children; and my Aim herein is, to point out the Errors
committed in this important Work, and propose some Means of preventing
them for the future. A learned Writer on the Art of Medicine[1] says,
that he who advances the Knowledge of it, tho’ but a Step, deserves
the Thanks of the whole Species; if then I am but happy enough to give
one useful Hint, one helping Hand for the Public Good, I shall esteem
my Labours abundantly rewarded. But before I go any farther, let me
be understood: I am not giving Laws, but Counsel. The Experience I
have gained in the tutoring seven Children of my own, joined to the
Observations I have made on the Management of others of every Age and
Degree, seem to give me some Title to hope my Thoughts may prove useful;
if so, my End is answered.

Mr. _Pope_, in his moral Essays, tells us, that all Happiness lies in
three Words; Health, Peace, and Competence. May we not then hope, that an
Endeavour to point out the Way to Health, Manners, and Education, will
help us in the Pursuit of this great Object? For these rightly understood
and well conducted, Peace and Competence will seldom fail to follow.

Manners however is the grand Point I aim at; every thing else is
secondary to that. Health, it may not be in our Power to secure; and
School Education, all cannot reach to in any considerable Degree. The
Government of our Children is indeed an universal Obligation; but all
Men are not therefore obliged to be Physicians or Pedagogues. Still,
as neither Health nor liberal Instruction, where proper, are to be
neglected, I shall in their due Place speak of both, so far as seems
necessary for every Parent to know.

By Manners I do not mean that external Shew of good Breeding, which
consists only in a Bow, or Curtsy, or other personal Carriage, tho’ this
too is of Importance; but I mean, such a uniform Deportment, such a ready
engaging Behaviour, and such a Propensity to do what is right, as testify
a happy Disposition of the Mind and Heart; and appear, what they really
are, the Fruits of good Habits, either natural, or acquired, or both.

The grand Source of the too general Defect, we cannot but observe and
lament in the Manners of Children, is partly in themselves, but chiefly
in their Parents. In themselves it arises from a natural Love of Ease and
Liberty; in Parents, from a supine Neglect of that necessary Knowledge
already hinted at: in short, from want of reflecting why they are
Parents, and what is incumbent on them to do, in order to make their
Children happy in themselves, and useful to Society. But how shall I be
sheltered from the Imputation of Vanity? I am well aware how liable a
Man is to be censured, for attempting to point out to others, what every
one supposes himself to be already acquainted with: and where are the
Parents who once suspect, that they are so little acquainted with the
Duties of their State, as to be themselves the Causes of their Children’s

That there are many whose Ability in this important Work is far superior
to any thing I can pretend to, I am convinc’d; many who are happily
endowed with a competent Penetration and Skill to manage the Temper,
Genius, and Passions of Children, and who are equally assiduous in the
Exercise of those Gifts for the Benefit of the rising Generation: neither
is it for these I write; rather do I wish to receive their Instructions
myself. But, that the Bulk of Mankind are wholly thoughtless of, or
unacquainted with, the proper Methods of managing Children, is, I think,
very evident. In proof of which I appeal to every one’s own Observation.
Let the Generality of People look round them, and reflect how they find
the Majority of Children of every Rank among their Acquaintance. Are
they innocent, tractable, orderly, and courteous? Are they tolerably
instructed in the Knowledge necessary for their Age and Station? Or are
they not rather corrupt and untoward? Are they not rather unruly to a
Degree of Pity? Incorrigibly rude, or tolerably civil only by Starts;
grossly ignorant in many Things they ought to have been taught, and but
too knowing in others it were perhaps better they never knew at all? If
they really find this to be true in the Children of others, let them
turn their Eyes homewards, and impartially canvas their own Children’s
Deportment; and if upon discovering any of the like Deformities, they can
resolve to be just to themselves, I am confident they will to their great
Surprize awaken to the Consciousness of one Truth, which perhaps they
hitherto never so much as suspected; namely, that what they have the most
Reason to be displeased with in the Conduct their Offspring, is chiefly
owing to their own want of Skill, or want of Thought, in the Management
of those tender Plants.

As Men are sometimes seen to forget the Husband and act the Sovereign
only, so are they apt to think themselves supreme and independent in the
Power they have over their Children. But can we, upon Reflection, take
it to be the Intention of Nature, that Children be govern’d by Fathers
alone, while they are in Possession of the Blessing of having Mothers to
share a Part in that Government? Or can we consider paternal Sway as an
arbitrary Power, absolutely presiding over, and giving Laws to Children
without any Controul? No. Lest Fathers thus impower’d should invert the
Intention of the Creation by becoming Tyrants, the providential Laws
of Nature have wisely assigned a joint Portion of Power to the Mothers;
that the Father’s Authority and the Mother’s Sweetness being seasonably
and discreetly blended, both might equally contribute to one and the same
great End, the future Welfare of their Offspring: where the Roughness of
the one serving as a Spur to egg them on to the Pursuit of Happiness from
a Principle of Awe, the Smoothness of the other may sooth them forward,
from Motives of Affection; or, in a Word, that the Sternness of the
Father may serve as a Quickener to maternal Endearments, and the Mildness
of the Mother sweeten and render palatable the more bitter Draughts of
paternal Harshness.

It is no small Difficulty to fix the Time in which Parents should take
the Reins of Government into their Hands; but if it be considered that
we are by the Perverseness of our Nature prone to err, I think they
cannot begin too soon; in short, they should begin as soon as they
become Parents, that is, as soon as their Children have a Being. This
will appear to be strange Doctrine to those who have not reflected how
very early Children shew themselves. The Source of many of our Errors
with Regard to the Government of Children, seems owing to a mistaken
Notion of their Incapacity; whereas in Reality they have some Reason much
earlier than is commonly imagined; but till that dawns out, the Passions
alone are their Guides. Now if the Passions are suffered to gather
Strength, by cherishing and indulging them, (which is too commonly the
Case) and Reason remains feeble for want of being exercis’d, the natural
Consequence must be, that Children will grow obstinate, perverse, and
ungovernable in their Passions, before Reason is called forth to their
Assistance; and it will often prove a very unsuccessful Talk to hinder
them when grown up, from being Slaves to themselves, and Plagues to all
about them.

Parents then, to obviate these Evils, have two principal Points to aim
at, for their own and Children’s Happiness; and indeed for the Happiness
of all Posterity; _viz._ weakening their Passions, and strengthening
their Reason. And that this is greatly in their Power to effect, is
an undoubted Truth, tho’ it may often prove an arduous Task to reduce
to practice. Still it may, and ought to be aim’d at; and, if I may be
allowed to speak my Sentiments, I think I may confidently assert, that
all social Virtues, and the genuine Happiness which they are productive
of, will insensibly flow from a constant due Exercise of that Dominion
over our Children, which all Laws divine and human have entrusted to us.

’Tis wonderful to observe how very early a Wilfulness is discernable
in Children; and with what swift Progress it gathers Strength, if not
immediately and carefully check’d. I have seen a Child not above six
Months old, obstinately contending for a certain Position to be suckled
in, and the tender (simply tender) Mother painfully distorting her Limbs,
and straining her whole Frame, in Compliance to it, or it would not
suck at all: and I have seen too a Child, before one Year of Life was
compleated, so fantastically, and yet so obstinately humoursome, that all
that could be devis’d to give it, was not sufficient to gratify it: it
would roar for the first Thing it saw, then throw it away and fight for
another, and so on without Measure; and this at the Expence not merely of
Baubles, but of Glasses, China, and other valuable Things; and often at
the still greater Expence of the Mother’s Peace and Rest.

The next Advance is to the Use of Speech; and this Faculty is no sooner
acquired, but immediately follows the Abuse of it. Many Children,
indeed, are slow and backward in the Acquisition of it, but few are those
who are not too forward in misapplying this noble Gift. Let a Child of
three Years old, who has been much indulged, be bid to do any thing, and
how ready is it to answer, _I won’t!_ And if forbid a thing, how pert to
say, _I will!_ Yet let the fondling Parent ask it ever so plain and easy
a Question, it is a thousand to one, if a Word of Answer be obtained: the
cunning, obstinate Urchin is instantly dumb, and nothing shall restore it
to the Use of its Tongue, but the Gratification of its Humour with a Cake
or a Play-thing.

Thus are they generally suffered to run on to near the Age of Seven, with
little or no Variation, except that of their Appetites gaining head of
their Reason, and multiplying in proportion to the Objects which excite
them. And as during that Term of Life which we distinguish by the Name
of Childhood, Parents look upon the infant Reason of their Children,
as incapable of producing Fruits, they are but too apt to leave that
uncultivated, and to overlook, with an injudicious Contempt, their early
Deviations from it. But surely it were injuring human Understanding, to
agree with such Parents, in an Opinion which condemns itself; and which
they themselves are universally the first to contradict. For let the
Topic of Children be but broach’d to any of them, and what Encomiums are
we not sure to be tir’d with upon their own! What Enlargements on their
Comprehension, their Judgment, their Wit, and the surprizing Products
of all these, in the many excellent things they say and do! In the mean
time not a single Step is taken to improve all these boasted Talents, nor
to check the growing Humours which threaten them with Destruction; and
may, if neglected, grow into Habits more difficult to eradicate than an
hereditary Disease.

Left this should affect but little those Parents, who are more solicitous
that their Children should be fair in Face, and strong in Body, than
beauteous in Mind, and pure of Heart, let me convince even these, that
it is dangerous too to the bodily Welfare of Children, to neglect
cultivating their Reason from their earliest Infancy; or to be careless
of eradicating their little Humours, as soon as discover’d. And to this
end they need only view the Majority of them on a sick Bed; where they
will see this melancholy Truth (for such indeed we may call it) in its
full Light.

Diseases are one Part of the Portion of human Nature, in a State of
Mortality: no Stage of our Existence is exempt from them, and Childhood
as little as any. Let then an unmanag’d, humour’d, pamper’d Child be
sick; and besides the Abundance of otherwise unnecessary Trouble and
Affliction it brings on the Parents and the whole Family, what Danger is
not the Child itself exposed to, beyond what the Disease brings with it!

All wise Men agree, that Providence has furnished the World with Remedies
for most human Diseases, at least in their first Stages, and Men with
Knowledge to apply them. When skilful People are consulted in Time, the
Medicines good, duly prepared and given, the Nurse attentive, and the
Patient tractable, there is but little to be apprehended from the first
Stage of any Disease which is not mortal of itself, where the Habit of
Body is otherwise sound; barring such Accidents as cannot be foreseen,
nor consequently obviated. But what can Physicians, Medicines, Nurses,
all avail, in the Disease (otherwise ever so curable) of an untoward
Creature, against whom perhaps there are great Odds that it shall
not be conquered to swallow the least Portion of the most absolutely
necessary Remedy; nor to submit in Sickness to the least Controul;
indulged, perhaps, as it has been, in a Habit of slighting and baffling
all Authority while in Health? Just nothing. No; the Trouble indeed of
attending it, is doubled and trebled to those who are constantly about
it; the Expence is at least the same, if not considerably augmented; and
the Confusion, Affliction, and Alarms of the Parents, at the growing
Danger of their spoil’d Darling, immoderately encreas’d, on finding all
Remedies rendered ineffectual to it, by an Obstinacy which they (whether
conscious of it or not) have heretofore been the foolish Encouragers
of. In the mean time, the Disease gathers Strength, and the Child’s
Wilfulness with it; and the little ungovernable Patient falls an untimely
Victim to the former Mismanagement of the mistakenly fond Parents,
and its own present Unruliness. To see a fond Father, in Spite of the
Impotence of Tears, so general to his Sex, weeping over his Child, his
Heir, his only Hope of Joy, and vainly entreating him, whom he might
command, to take an easy Remedy! To behold a tender Mother, herself half
spent with Grief and Fears, prostrate at her sick Favourite’s Pillow,
expostulating with all the Eloquence of maternal Anxiety, and entreating,
praying, coaxing it to swallow a necessary Medicine, but still in vain!
To view the Parents at such a Juncture, inwardly divided, torn, and
almost consumed, between the alternate Motions of Tenderness, Impatience,
Love, and Anger, fruitlessly insist, where a Habit of Subjection should
have already made a Word or a Look sufficient; and yet to find the
humour’d Thing as resolutely bent on refusing, merely, perhaps, because
so much entreated! To eye all this, I say, were surely sufficient to
convince us, that it is a strange Inversion of the natural Order of
Things; and has a something in it extremely absurd: and the more so, when
we reflect, that the whole is an Effect of Folly in the Parents, and
chiefly owing to their former Neglect of exerting a little prudential

If this be too frequent a Case, as the Experience of many People must
convince them it is, let Parents in general remember, that their watchful
Industry to conquer and regulate the little growing Passions and Humours
of their tender Offspring, is as necessary towards the Preservation of
their Bodies, as for the Culture of their Minds.

That this Difficulty of conquering Children, and rendering them tractable
while sick, is no Exaggeration, I might appeal to the Consciousness of
most Parents throughout the Kingdom; nay, I could support the Charge by
many Instances within my own Knowledge; but shall content myself with
producing a very few from the Relation of others. A Friend of mine, who
had the Care of a young Gentleman, lately received a Letter from his
Boarding School, with this Information; “Master has been much out of
order, and what is worse, was out of the Reach of the Means of being
easily made better. He had indeed three Doses of Physic prescrib’d him,
but could not be prevailed on to swallow one; in short, they were all
spilt on the Sheets, for not a Drop went down his Throat.” A little Miss
not yet able to speak plain (as I was informed by a Person present) had
a Medicine to take which she obstinately refus’d; Mamma interferes,
and after many fruitless Entreaties gently corrects her; Miss still
persists in the Refusal, and is chastised with additional Severity, even
to the sixth time; at length, half breathless with crying, and ready
in appearance to burst with Passion, she has still her Spirit so little
conquered as to say in her imperfect Gibberish, “Well, if you _till_ me,
I won’t take it.” So Mamma overcome, lays down the Rod; and obstinate
Miss coming off with the Victory, shewed she had more Courage to receive
Correction, than the Mother Resolution to bestow it. The Truth was, that
Mamma had never had a Dispute with the Child, in which she had not the
Weakness to suffer it to get the better of her. A Lady of Rank I have the
Honour to be acquainted with, and who I’m sure in other Respects has good
Understanding, forfeited it greatly on a like Occasion. She told me her
Daughter, when in the Country, having a Fever, all usual Means were try’d
to prevail on her to take the necessary Remedies, but in vain! So far
from being mov’d to Compliance, she was thrown into such vehement Fits
of crying, whenever they were offered to her, that it was apprehended
her Fever would encrease, and endanger her Life: ’till at length by good
Fortune the Lady reflecting she had a Kitten which Miss was extravagantly
fond of, she resolved to try an Experiment. Accordingly, as often as
any thing was to be taken by Miss, Mamma holding Puss in her Hands,
protested it should be thrown out of the Window and killed, if she did
not take what was given her; and by this Stratagem brought the Child to
a Compliance, which nothing else could effect. I own the Expedient was
ingenious, and the Lady gave a Proof of her great Presence of Mind in
turning to the Child’s Advantage an innocent Foible she had been indulg’d
in. But surely at the same time she betrayed how much she had before
forfeited her Understanding as well as the true Tenderness of the Parent,
by the little Care she had taken to inculcate and enforce such Principles
of Obedience and Gratitude, as should have taught her on the like
Occasions to do at least as much out of Love and Duty to a fond Parent,
as she did out of childish Attachment to a Kitten. Now however lightly
People may think of these Things, who are not immediately concerned, they
must and will be acknowledged great Afflictions to all Parents who love
their Children, and see them in such Circumstances.

’Tis certain that Children may have Disorders which are not of a
dangerous Nature, and may therefore be got through without a nice
Observance of Rule; but then it is equally certain, that they have
oftentimes very dangerous ones, which necessarily require both Medicines
and Rule. And very eminent Physicians have declared it as their Opinion,
that many of these tender Lives have been lost, purely for want of
Submission to the Medicines and Rules prescribed them. Who then can
look back on the Causes of a Loss so detrimental to Society, and not be
offended at the general Neglect of Parents to remove them?

Nor can one, reasonably speaking, be less offended and concerned at the
universal Custom among Parents of remedying on such Occasions their
former Neglects, by present Falsehoods: that is, I mean, by attempting
to impose on their Children’s Senses and Understandings by manifest
Untruths. When a Child is to take a Medicine, is it not ridiculous to
call a bitter Draught sour, or a sour one sweet? Is it less absurd to
insist on a nauseous thing’s being pleasant, than it is to shew them
what is black, and endeavour to persuade them it is white? And yet this
is the Method commonly made use of with Children, to beguile down their
Medicines. It is true it may furnish People with an easy Pretext to
expatiate on their Children’s Capacity; but I am sure it adds no Honour
to their own. They may tell their Apothecary how much Pains they took
to cheat the Child, but the little Rogue was so cunning it would not
be cheated! They may display his Genius by telling how they called it
Wine, and gave it in the dark; or said it was Tea, and put it into his
own Cup; still nothing could deceive him: Oh! it is a sensible little
Creature! But what all this while is become of the Sense of the Parents?
For after all this Address, this mighty Juggle, it must still perhaps be
owned, that the Child does not take the Dose: or if it should, with a
Superiority of Sense, it justly reproaches the Parents with having told
it a Falsehood. “You said it was good, but I find it is nasty Stuff, and
I’ll take no more of it.” And too generally do they keep their Word. Can
Parents so palpably mislead their Children, and not be sensible of their
Mistake? Or can they be sensible of it, and not blush at their own Folly?

Thus far we have considered the Untowardness of Children, with some of
its Consequences, in that Stage of Life we usually call their Childhood;
that is, to seven Years old; for according to the Custom of familiar
Life, every Septenary is reckoned a Stage; tho’ Physical Writers divide
Life otherwise. With them there are eight Stages. From the Birth to
three Years old, is one; viz. the Infancy; from three to ten another; and
so on to Decrepidity. But as this Treatise attempts to reach no farther
than the Dominion of Parents generally extends, that is, till they become
Men and Women; it will not be consistent with my Design, to carry on
either Observation or Precept beyond the third Stage of Life.

Let us therefore proceed to take some Observation of them in the second
Septenary; when on all Hands it is agreed their Understandings are open,
and capable of receiving more important Impressions.

Now if we view the Generality of Children from seven to fourteen, I am
afraid we shall be obliged to confess, that however far they advance
in what is commonly called Learning, they gain but very little in
the Science of Manners. In _William_ of _Wickham_’s famous School at
_Winchester_ there is this Motto, MANNERS MAKETH MAN: Whereby we are
reminded, that all Learning which does not improve our Manners, is vain
and unprofitable; the Perfection of Manners being the End, which Learning
is only design’d as a Means to conduct us to. Yet so it happens, that
Parents are frequently misled by confounding Names, by taking one thing
for another, and concluding their Children have Manners because they have
Learning. Whereas in reality, a Child may, from want of proper Care,
have a great deal of Learning, and no Manners at all: or, on the other
hand, by timely and proper Tuition, advance greatly in the Improvement of
genuine Manners, with little or no School Learning: which is all that is
generally understood by the Word Learning, with regard to Children in the
second Septenary.

When a Man becomes Father of a Family, he usually applies the Boys, as
soon as he deems them of an Age for it, to School Learning; different
according to the Rank he bears in Life: while the Girls, by a shameful
Indolence or Contempt, are often neglected in this Particular, and
suffered to become alternate Plagues and Play-things at home: at least
with strictest Truth we may say, too little Care is taken to form either
the Mind or Heart of these to any great Advantage. The Boys, if dull,
return Blockheads, and so remain; if smart, grow boisterous, audacious,
conceited, and ungovernable; tyrannical to their Sisters; disobedient to
their Mother; and scarce are awed by their Father’s severer Brow. The
Girls remain uncultivated in almost every thing but Vanity and a Love of
fine Cloaths. Indeed they can work a little, (and perhaps but little) or
they can dance, and so they ought; but shall scarcely be able to spell a
Word right beyond a Monosyllable; or write the Direction on a Letter with
any Propriety. Is it an Exaggeration to say this is the usual Education
till fourteen? Surely Experience convinces us it is not; and tho’ some
Exceptions may doubtless be found, yet they are few in Comparison with
the whole.

Now let me ask the Parents of such Children, what real Comfort do they
find in them? Do they not often with Sorrow, nay almost with bleeding
Hearts, see them running counter to their Expectations and Wishes? Do
they not daily see, and must they not therefore daily lament (unless they
are self-blind) that all their other Profusion of Kindness so lavishly
poured on their Children, yields neither Profit to them, nor Comfort
to themselves? And whence the Cause of all this Disappointment? Alas!
’tis too visible, too apparent! It arises from a Neglect, or at least
an Abuse of that early Authority they ought to exercise over them: from
a Neglect, in not correcting in time their Irregularities and Humours;
from an Abuse, in correcting them without Judgment and Discretion. Nor
does this happen to People in inferior Stations only; no, ’tis every
Day to be met with, not merely from the Peasant to the Tradesman, but
from the Tradesman to the Nobleman; and even among those of the finest
Understanding. But whence the Cause of this strange Misconduct and
Omission? It springs, as I take it, from Ignorance, or Inconsiderateness,
or Partiality, or Passion, or from all together; but the most frequently
of any, from false Tenderness, and blind Indulgence.

Every Man has his own way of judging, and generally abides by it right
or wrong. I knew a Gentleman of refined Understanding, who frequently
forfeited it, by a boundless injudicious Fondness for his Children.
He would say to his little Boy at Table, Well, my Dear, what shall I
help you to? The Child, accustomed to have his own Will, unskilled to
make a proper Choice, and following the Gratification of his depraved
Palate, was sure to choose the most unfit Dish, by choosing the richest,
because the most savory. The Father indeed would fain set him right,
by recommending some simpler Food; No, my Dear, he’d say, have some
Mutton, Mutton is best for you; and so of any other plain wholsome Dish;
but this Advice proves too late, after having set him wrong; nor would
he eat a Morsel of any thing but what he himself approved of. The same
Gentleman, as a Proof of his Sense, took abundance of Pains to inculcate
strict Notions of Honour to his Children, tho’ he often degraded that
Sense in the Application of them. One Day, at the beginning of the Week,
he says to his Son, My Dear, I know you are a Man of Honour, and what
you once promise you’ll punctually perform; you are one Day this Week
to take Physic; tell me then, what Day will you fix on? The Boy pauses
a little, and replies, Saturday, Sir. Oh! fye my Dear, says the Father,
why stay ’till Saturday? why not take it to-morrow, or next Day? No Sir,
replies the Boy, with an unbecoming Pertness, I’m upon Honour; the Choice
of the Day was left to me, and I’ll not take it before. What an amazing
Inversion of Ideas! Honour with Disobedience! Who in this Case could be
said to hold the Reins of Government, the Parent or the Child?

Thus too does many an affectionate and even sensible Mother both see
and feel in a Daughter, whom Nature perhaps has endowed with all that
might make her sweet and amiable, an Untractableness she knows not
how to account for. But tho’ it is her own Mismanagement, or rather
no Management at all, which makes the Girl’s Desires irregular and
inordinate, still the fond Parent remains blind to the Cause. If Miss
knows Mamma is to go out without her, she’ll eat no Dinner; if the Dress
of the Day is not to her Fancy, she is sure to remain sullen ’till Night;
and if an accidental Difference is made to a Sister, or any other of
her own Age, she shall redden, and swell, and pout, and fret, ’till she
has fretted her Mamma sick, to see her untoward Behaviour; and possibly
fretted herself sick too. ’Tis easy to discern the Principles she acts
upon; they are Self-will, Vanity, and the Love of Pleasure, which she
has been used to be indulged in. No wonder then, that when these are not
gratified she is miserable; and while they are, is it likely that she can
long be happy?

There ought to be made a considerable Difference between the Children of
inferior People, and those of Rank, with regard to their Tuition; nothing
is more reasonable; since the latter have innumerable Advantages over,
and are to move in a very different Sphere from the former. Still the
Mistakes in all are too often essentially the same; and only conceal’d
or varnish’d over by the external Education. Now, what I contend for
is, that Parents of all Ranks have the Power, and are equally bound in
Duty, to be themselves the Teachers of their Children, with regard to
that Self-Knowledge, and the genuine Docility arising from it, which are
necessary to conduct them thro’ Life with Ease and Benefit to themselves,
with Honour and Pleasure to their Parents, and with universal Advantage
to Society in general. I say again, that all Parents have the Power of
answering this Obligation in great measure; but those of Rank, Fortune,
and Education, have it in an eminent Degree; and are therefore utterly
inexcusable, when they give into that gross Neglect of it; which we daily
see, even in the second and more improveable Stage of human Life.

Tho’ it is allow’d by all, that Children, long before they attain the
Age of fourteen, are in general capable of receiving very advantageous
Impressions, and are full as susceptible of the reverse; yet ’tis pretty
evident, that much the Majority to that Period, gain few or no good
ones; and I wish it were not as evident, that their principal Stock
are of the bad Kind. But let us proceed to consider them in the third
Septenary, which brings them to the Age of twenty-one; the Period which
generally closes our Obligations to them; shuts out in great measure our
Power over them; and sets them loose on the great Stage of the World,
every one to act their Part just as we have taught them. If well, great
is our Honour, great must be our Comfort; and great and lasting is their
Happiness likely to prove, to themselves, and to Posterity. If ill, no
matter what their Station is, they disgrace it; and the Disgrace with
double Force is reflected back on ourselves.

’Tis a well-known Maxim, that the first Impressions strike the deepest.
Thus, a Boy, who before fourteen has never been convinced that it was
necessary for him to obey, will afterwards laugh at it as ridiculous; and
if his first Lessons were Pride and Pleasure, the only Use he will make
of his Understanding when more at large, will be to study to continue in
the Pursuit and Augmentation of those his favourite Objects.

Whether we consider the Heir of a Family at the University, or his
younger Brother in a Merchant’s Compting-house; whether we consider
a young Stripling destin’d to the Law, to Physic, or view him behind
a Counter; we cannot make a true Use of our Eyes, without seeing
innumerable Disorders during this third Stage of Life. For tho’
heretofore he has been treated as a Child or School-boy, he will now
pretend to judge for himself; and as his Reason is weak, and his Passions
strong, that will slavishly run in pursuit of every thing which will
promote the Gratification of these. I have already observed, that the
only Use he will make of his Understanding, will be to abuse it. For
Example, he wants fine Cloaths, such, perhaps, as are very unbecoming his
Station; he wants two or three Suits, where one ought to serve; he wants
an encrease of Pocket-money, far beyond a reasonable Allowance, and often
beyond what his Father can afford; or finally, he has some more vicious
End in view. Now without once employing his Reason, or reflecting how
much he has abused the Indulgence of his Parents, his Passions urge him
on to effect whatever they suggest. To gain his Point then, with Address
and Cunning he applies to his Mother; whose blind Fondness for her Boy,
will not let the Father rest, till his prodigal Humour is gratify’d.
The Father, as a good one, shall argue the Case. “What, my Dear, can I
do with this extravagant Boy? I have spar’d no Pains nor Expence in his
Education, because on that I grounded all my Hopes of his future good
Conduct and Prosperity; he don’t want Sense, and has improv’d pretty well
in his Learning: if not quite so well as perhaps he might have done with
a little more Application, yet allowing for the natural Thoughtlessness
of his Age, at least well enough to know how to act better. Still I see
little Prospect of Comfort from him; because I see no Dispositions in
him but to Idleness, Folly and Extravagance. In short, if he goes on
thus, what better can I expect than to see him daily plunge deeper and
deeper into Extravagance and Vice: and what must the Consequence be but
irrecoverable Destruction? Shall I then by continuing to humour him
hurry on his Ruin, perhaps in my own and yours?” But the fond Mother
still persuading him that every present Folly is to be the last, urges
her Suit; and enforcing all that Influence which in an amiable Woman
seldom fails to succeed with an indulgent Husband and doating Father,
is almost always sure to carry her Point. Is not this the Situation of
many a Parent? Is not this the reigning Practice of many a Son? Of too
many indeed!—The Father here describ’d is such a one as most Men will
acknowledge to be a tender one; and some will be apt to think a discreet
one; in allowing for the Inconsiderateness of his Age, weighing like a
prudent Man his real Good, and generously resolving to furnish him with
every reasonable Means of being wise and happy: still is he disappointed;
and still are his Expectations frustrated. But need we ask the Cause?
Surely it is too plain. More Pains have been taken to pamper and humour
him, than to make it unnecessary to do either: more Time and Care have
been employ’d to furnish his Head, with perhaps merely ornamental
Knowledge, than to correct and enrich his Heart with such Sentiments as
might improve his Manners. Can we then wonder that he precipitates into
Ruin? No surely; we may rather wonder if he escapes it. But admitting
that Fortune still favours him, and that he keeps up his Dignity and
Reputation; how does he possess his own Mind, as a rational Creature, or
a Brute? Does he act so as to deserve the Esteem of Mankind? If not, Life
is not worth enjoying.

Let us now view the fairer part of our Species; those tender Branches
our Daughters. They (thank Heaven) are not naturally so liable to Vices
and Extravagancies as our Sons; but I wish I could say they were all as
good as they are capable of being made; as amiable in their interior
Sentiments, as their Forms might make us hope to see them. But alas! too
often those choicest Charms of our Eyes are the chief Plagues of our
Hearts; and it is we ourselves are the principal Causes, that they whom
Nature seem’d to have form’d to be our principal Comforts, should thro’
our Mismanagement become the Disturbers of the Peace of us their Parents,
and of their own Happiness.

A Girl enter’d into the third Septenary passes soon into a Woman; but
commonly speaking she is much sooner such in her Person and Appetites
than in her Understanding: whence arise many of those glaring Mistakes
they daily commit. A Girl who is tall generally conceits she is wise;
and because ’till now she has liv’d without controul, she thinks
Subjection and Obedience to her Parents, mean and slavish. It would be
a Reflection on young Ladies to say they have no Manners, but still it
is too generally true that their Manners are false ones; springing from
Pride, and influenc’d by it. A Girl (of any Figure in Life) soon knows
that the World has it’s Eyes upon her; and as there are certain Motives
which induce her to exert all her Skill to seem well bred, so there are
certain Times she really appears to advantage: but let the Mask be thrown
off; let the Restraint be taken away by which she is confin’d; and we
shall soon see where her Manners lye: we shall (I am afraid) oftentimes
discover that they are not the Dictates of a well-regulated Heart. But as
my Tenderness for the Sex will not suffer me designedly to misrepresent
things, let us examine fairly the Conduct of a young Lady according to
the too general Mode of breeding.

It appears already that the first Stage of Life was wholly spent
in gratifying her Humour; the second was employ’d in a superficial
Education, resembling in some measure a Building ornamented without, but
ill contriv’d and useless within. Self-will, Vanity and Pleasure have
hitherto been her Guides; and these instead of being check’d, are in the
third Stage, greatly strengthen’d and augmented: and have besides added
to them a boundless Love of Power and Uncontroul. Now from such a Source
what Virtues can we expect to flow? What Miseries may we not fear? Alas!
too soon are we convinc’d that her whole Soul is absorb’d in Pleasures;
her Head runs round with them; she is continually contriving, plotting,
scheming; and all Opposition of her Parents becomes too weak: she has
not, perhaps, a Spark of real Duty, nor the least Sense of her misguided
Steps: and happy is it for her if her mistaken Conduct does not in the
End plunge her into Sorrow too great to support. Happy is it for her if
the Stream of Pleasure she is borne down with does not insensibly carry
away her Honour and Virtue; or at least dash her on the fatal Rock of a
miserable Marriage. Wherever this Portrait is found to be genuine, let it
be remember’d, that the Painter who draws a real Likeness ought not to be
blam’d for the Disagreeableness of the Features.

Many, it is true, have Fortune to support their Pleasures, however
expensive or irregular; but where that fails, where Fortune is small,
and the Propensity to Pleasure great, Honour and Virtue stand so very
tottering, that they are in perpetual Danger: and if with this unbridled
Love of Pleasure, there be a tolerable share of Wit or Beauty, or both;
who that reflects, can help trembling even at the Apprehension of a Fall?
But tho’ a young Lady should escape those innumerable Calamities which
her giddy Conduct has laid her open to, what Hopes are there, that she
who has never borne Contradiction, will so demean herself as to become
amiable in the Eyes of others, or be happy in herself?

I could with great facility delineate a variety of shapes hideous to
behold, which young People of both Sexes shew themselves in, when guided
only by their Passions; but, to avoid Prolixity, will content myself
with the general View I have already presented; and proceed to lay down
such Rules as appear to me to tend most directly and securely to the
avoiding the various Evils our Children are subject to, and seem most
conducive to their real Happiness. But before I lay down any Precepts
let me premise, that all Laws in general give Parents the sole supreme
Power of governing their Children: ’tis the Order of Nature; and if her
Laws are inverted, nothing but Confusion follows. If then Parents do not
govern their Children at all; or what is worse, let their Children govern
them, which is often the Case, the almost unavoidable Consequence will
be, that Train of Irregularities and Disorders we daily see them run
into; in which Case, there are but two Ways of their becoming sensible of
their mistake: either from a natural Goodness of Heart awakened by Time
and Experience; or from a load of Misfortunes crushing them down for want
of Power to support them: now the one we ought not to trust to; and the
other we should bend all our Study to prevent.




Government of CHILDREN.


Tho’ the principal Design of this Attempt be that of regulating the
Manners of Children; yet as Health and Education are of vast Importance
in the Government of them, and are closely connected therewith; I think
myself oblig’d to speak of what may tend to preserve the one, and, in
a due Degree, promote the other. For the sake of Method I shall divide
my Subject into three Parts; that is, range it under the general Heads
of Health, Manners, and Education; which to me appears to be the only
natural Order of treating it. Mr. _Locke_, it is true, in his Treatise on
this Subject, calls the whole, Thoughts on Education; but notwithstanding
that general Title to his Book, he speaks likewise of Health and Manners,
and ranges them all in the Order here propos’d.

As Health is the reverse of Sickness, my Readers will easily discern that
it is not the Business of this Undertaking to invade the Physician’s
Province, by entering on the Cure of Diseases; but only to point out such
Means as seem to have the most rational tendency to prevent them.

First then, I earnestly recommend to both Father and Mother, that their
Children suck the Mother’s Breast. But why, you’ll say, take pains to
address each Parent distinctly? The reason is obvious. A Man cannot
be conversant in Life, and not see that many a sensible Woman, many
a tender Mother, has her Heart yearning to suckle her Child, and is
prevented by the misplac’d Authority of a Husband. Parents upon the whole
are to be consider’d as equally and mutually concern’d in the training up
their Children; therefore when I address them by that one common Epithet,
I mean either, or both. But there are, both in Nature and Reason, certain
Provinces assign’d to each; and a Man’s attempting to overturn them,
would be as absurd and preposterous, as a Merchant’s sending his Wife to
transact Business upon Change, while he stay’d at home to preside over
the Nursery.

Providence, we see, without any Expence to us, kindly sends Food into
the World along with the Child, by giving to the Mother a Breast flowing
with Milk. But to what purpose is this bestow’d? To be neglected and
render’d fruitless? No surely; we cannot think thus indignantly of so
great a Blessing. But besides this evident Design of Providence, there
is another important Consideration; which is, that Mothers by suckling
their Children cherish that Tenderness which Nature has implanted in
them towards their Offspring. For Experience shews, that the Office
of suckling considerably augments in them the Affection from whence
that Tenderness flows; serves as Fuel to keep their fond Breasts in one
perpetual Glow; and by sweetening their Care, enables them likewise to
bring the tender Infants thro’ their helpless Age?

Another Argument for suckling, which is not sufficiently attended to,
because not sufficiently known, is, that the Anxiety and Fatigue is
perhaps fully compensated by the Pleasure. The provident Author of Nature
has order’d in this, as in all, or most other Things, right and natural,
that the Inducement shall more than balance the Discouragement. All
Mothers who have experienc’d it, whose Minds are temper’d with natural
Affection, assure us, that there is an inexpressible Pleasure in giving
Suck, which none but Mothers know; for besides that the Sensation itself
is said to be mighty pleasing; to behold the Innocence, the Cunning,
the Tricks, and the various Whims of a Child; to observe likewise the
early Sentiments they discover; must doubtless give a Pleasure which no
Words can describe. Now if thus much be granted (and surely no Arguments
can reason it away) I cannot help advising in the strongest Terms, that
every Father consent, and even promote, that the Child be suckled by
it’s Mother; if the Mother be in a Condition for it. But then, this
Compliance, this Leave, if I must call it such, should be cordial, and
from the Heart; otherwise a Mother, tho’ the best Nurse in the World, may
become the most improper one, by a Husband’s so far souring her Temper,
as to render her Milk, not only good for nothing, but even pernicious.

The general Good of all being what I aim at, I mean to offer the same
Advice to all, as far as it can be practised; and therefore speak
according to the Nature of Things. Still I am not insensible how little
Probability there is that my Advice herein will be follow’d by Persons in
high Life. For what Room is there in general to hope, that a fine Lady
will lay herself under any of the necessary Restraints towards acting the
Part of a good Nurse, and generously give up some of the vainer Pleasures
of Life, in order to stoop to this Part of domestic Care? It is true that
there may sometimes be important Reasons which may make their doing so
improper; but it is greatly to be fear’d that those Reasons are oftener
affected than real; and as this is a Duty not so easily dispensed with
as People are apt to imagine, it is incumbent on Parents of the highest
Rank to consider how far they are really justifiable in deviating from
the Laws of Nature. But there is another important Consequence attends
the Neglect with which People of Rank treat their Offspring in this
Particular; that it thereby becomes a national Evil. It is universally
known that the Little imitate the Great, and mostly too in what is wrong;
that is, they catch their Vices sooner than their Virtues. Hence it
happens, that because a Woman of the first Rank does not deign to suckle
her Child, the Neglect descends to almost the lowest Rank; and many Men
whose Figure in Life is very inconsiderable, scorn to bear the Noise of
a Child, tho’ their own Flesh and Blood, only because it is a Practice
among their Betters to remove them. And hence too the Great have two
Reflections to make on this Point, the Duty they owe to their Children,
and, (tho’ perhaps it is not a proper Observation here) the Influence
which a Neglect of this Duty has on all beneath them.

While I am enforcing to Mothers the Duty of suckling their Children,
I must endeavour to omit no material Circumstance, either that will
contribute to the Ease of the one, or the Advantage of the other.
The first that naturally occurs, is, the Time when a Child should
be put to the Breast: and as this is a Matter variously thought of,
and often erroneously managed, tho’ I could say a good deal from my
own Observation, I have endeavour’d to settle it upon a much stronger
Basis, _viz._ the Experience of competent Judges. Dr. _Hunter_, well
known to the Public both by his Lectures in Anatomy, and his Practice
in Midwifry, and one of the Men-Midwives of the Lying-in-Hospital in
_Brownlow-Street_, informs me, that at the first opening of that Charity,
they generally conducted the Business of suckling in the following
Manner. The Child was not put to the Breast till the Milk came freely,
or run out of itself; and as the Breasts commonly began to fill in about
eight and forty Hours after Delivery, sooner or later, they were allowed
to fill more and more, perhaps as much longer, ’till the Milk began to
discharge itself: to forward this, the Breasts were frequently embrocated
with warm Oil; to invite the Milk both by the Softness of the Oil, and
the Motion given the Breasts by rubbing it in with the Hand. This Method
was adhered to pretty generally, ’till they found by Experience that
it was wrong. For besides that the Child might probably suffer in some
Degree, by being so long depriv’d of it’s most natural Physick and Food,
many grievous Effects often attend the Mother; _viz._ painful Swellings
and Inflammations of the Breasts, Milk Fevers, and Milk Sores.

These Inconveniences induced the Physicians of that Hospital to alter
the Method, which for some Time past has been as follows. The Child is
put to the Breast commonly within twenty-four Hours after Delivery: and
tho’ at first it sucks little, and that only a thin Serum, (which however
is of singular Service to the Infant by discharging the _Meconium_ that
fills the large Intestines) yet the Advantage to the Mother is, that by
this means the Milk comes gradually and kindly; and before the usual
Time of the Breasts hardening in the other Method, the Difficulty is
conquered in this; the Milk flows freely, the Breasts are soft and easy,
and the Heat of the Body continues temperate: insomuch that Dr. _Hunter_
farther assures me, that there has been much less of Inflammations of the
Breasts and Milk fevers, and but one Milk Sore among upwards of fourteen
hundred Women that have been deliver’d there since this Method has been

Here, tho’ it is a Digression from my Subject, I cannot help reflecting
with Pleasure on the Benefit arising to many industrious virtuous People
from the Institution of this Hospital. Every Charitable Foundation,
every Contribution to relieve the Needy, does Honour not only to those
who give, but to the Nation where it is given; for when Individuals
are known to be humane and benevolent, Strangers will conclude it as
a national Virtue. It is certain that all public Receptacles for the
Comfort and Support of the Distressed Indigent argue a compassionate
Heart in those who support them, and a just Sense of others Woe; but the
Lying-in-Hospital has a Delicacy in it peculiar to itself. The Ladies
who contribute to it’s Support, prove, in Terms far more expressive than
Words, their Sympathy with the Sufferings of their Sex; and particularly
with those whom Fortune has placed the farthest from them. The Gentlemen
who encourage it, and labour for it’s Promotion, shew a Tenderness which
can only dwell in manly Hearts: for he certainly comes nearest to the
Dignity of a Man, who has the tenderest Sense of the Sufferings of the
opposite Sex; and particularly of those, which his own Existence is the
necessary Cause of. But farther, most other Public Charities seem in
their Nature limited; seem to extend no farther than the immediate Relief
of those under their Care; whereas this is far more extensive: the
Mother is comforted, and with tenderest Care brought thro’ her Child-bed;
the Child (as far as Skill can reach) is safely entered on the Stage of
Life; and thus is Mankind not only preserved, but perpetuated; and thus
too is Society enlarged, and improved, to a boundless Degree. Thus much
have I said to do justice to an Undertaking in itself highly laudable,
and infallibly productive of the greatest Good. But there is another
Effect, perhaps hitherto unthought of, which will necessarily attend this
Hospital, and is no less than a general Concern; that of the Improvement
of Midwifry: the several Gentlemen who attend it in that Capacity, cannot
but have the best Foundation in their Art, that which is extended and
strengthened by the frequent Occurrence of the more nice and uncommon
Cases among such Variety: and the Women whom they educate to Midwifry
in that Hospital, must from their many Opportunities become valuable
Practitioners for such of their Sex as are inclined to employ them rather
than a Man.

But to return to the Matter in hand. This Method of putting Children
to the Breast much sooner than usual, corresponds with the Opinion of
Dr. _Cadogan_, who in a small Pamphlet on the Management of Children,
has said a great many sensible useful Things; and among the rest, he
proposes, that a Child be put to the Breast in seven or eight Hours
after it is born; whereby, says he, “It would not only provide for itself
the best of Nourishment, but by opening a free Passage for it, take off
the Mother’s Load as it increased, before it could oppress or hurt her;
and therefore effectually prevent the Fever; which is caus’d only by
the painful Distention of the lacteal Vessels of the Breasts, when the
Milk is injudiciously suffer’d to accumulate.” To this I have two Things
to add; First, to recommend to Parents that the Advice here given be
reduced to Practice, unless some extraordinary Circumstances intervene;
in which Case, their own Judgment must direct them to seek an Opinion
suitable to the Exigence. Secondly, that all Precautions be taken to
prevent the Mother’s catching Cold, or being too much fatigued in the
first Days after Delivery. It is here meant, besides the Child’s having
it’s most proper Nourishment, the Breast, as soon as possible; that the
Mother be secured not only from the Danger of sore Breasts, but even from
Inflammations and Fevers so common to the Sex in Child-bed. But while we
are guarding against Mischief one way, it is no less our Duty to prevent
it, if possible, every way; therefore do I again caution that the utmost
Care be taken to prevent the Mother’s catching Cold, or sitting up in
Bed too long for her Strength in the first Attempts to suckle her Child.
It is common for a Child, when first put to the Breast, to be unapt; the
Mother, especially if a young one, is often awkward; and if the Nurse be
unhandy or careless, the Consequences may be fatal; and indeed frequently
are so: the Reason is plain. The Perspiration which usually follows
Delivery is necessary; and where Nature is defective, Art is employ’d
to keep it up: if then these Sweats are salutary, whatever obstructs
or checks them must be dangerous; and nothing sooner or more certainly
effects this than the being injudiciously uncover’d. But besides catching
Cold, there is great Danger to be apprehended from Fatigue. That too much
Fatigue in these early Days after Delivery may be very pernicious, every
body knows who is experienced. Nothing so common as a Woman’s having had
a good Labour, and being so extremely well, that on the second, third,
or fourth Day she indulges herself with the Conversation of a Friend, or
sits up in Bed for some time for Refreshment; in Consequence of which she
grows hot, has a restless Night, and before Morning is in a raging Fever;
perhaps delirious.

The precise Time of a Child’s sucking is a Point much controverted,
particularly among Ladies, but nothing ascertain’d. The present Fashion
’tis true, is to let Children suck only three or four Months; but surely
this is too important an affair for Fashion to take place of Reason. From
my Acquaintance with the Learned on this Head, I gather, that generally
speaking a Child should not suck less than six Months, nor more than
twelve; but that the Medium, that is, nine Months, is for the most part
the best. Still there may be Reasons for varying these stated Times; if
so, Reason in that as well as in other things should be our Guide. And
farther, there may be Circumstances which impede the Mother’s suckling
her Child at all; the want of Health is a principal one; but then it
should be a real want of Health, not an imaginary one. Where then a
Doubt arises, I advise Parents not rashly and hastily to resolve for
themselves, but to consult proper Judges, and always, where it is in
their Power, be determined by their Physician.

But here, as an Encouragement to Mothers to suckle their Children, I must
observe, that it is the Opinion of Physicians that many Women would mend
their Health by it; and very few, if any, hurt a good Constitution,
unless thro’ Imprudence or Ignorance: now to obviate these, let Mothers
be careful to set out right, and then they have very little to fear.

Hunger, Fatigue, and Fretting, are the three most obvious things that
impair a Mother’s Health in Nursing. I say nothing of gross Intemperance,
violent Passions, and the like, for they are always to be banish’d; nay
we are not once to suppose they exist in the Sex. Hunger is carefully
to be avoided: while the Mother gives suck, she should never let the
Keenness of her Appetite go off by waiting long for her Meals; for that
often repeated will sink the Spirits, fill her with Wind, impair her
Strength, and consequently not only hurt herself, but prejudice her Milk

I confess it is my Opinion that a very nice regard to a Nurse’s Diet is
not so generally necessary as is imagined. Temperance is universally to
be held as a Rule; but under the appearance of avoiding one Error, they
run into a greater; they often eat of very rich Dishes, and shun the use
of Vegetables: whereas to People who are young and healthy, nothing is
more wholsome than Vegetables blended with Meat: and the only Caution
that is material to be given, is, that they guard them with Pepper;
whereby they will keep under the Effect they sometimes have, of producing
Wind. But should Garden Stuff, after all this, disagree, Prudence will
certainly direct the Mother to disuse it; tho’ at the same time it must
be own’d, that where this is the Case, her Digestion is not what it ought
to be to constitute perfect Health. To this Head I will add, that where
a Woman has been accustom’d to drink a glass or two of Wine or Ale at
Meals, she should not debar herself from it now; as her waste of Strength
and Spirits certainly demand at least her usual way of Life; tho’ it does
not seem needful for her to go far beyond it.

By Fatigue I mean so much Exercise as manifestly impairs the Strength, or
brings on various Pains, so as to render a Mother incapable of executing
what she has begun; or at least makes the Office extremely slavish to
her. Exercise is good, but Fatigue is bad. There are so many different
Conditions in this great Family of the World, and so many different
Circumstances in each Station, that it is impossible to lay down Rules
for every Individual, or prescribe an universal one for all; in general I
recommend on this occasion the joint Attention of both Father and Mother.
If a Man reflects that while his Wife is suckling her Child, she is
labouring to compleat the principal Work for which they came together, he
cannot surely suffer her to endure Fatigue beyond her Power to bear; nor
can he feel for her that Tenderness he ought, if he imposes any Hardship
on her that can be dispens’d with. On the other hand, the Mother is to
remember, that besides being chearful and keeping her Mind at rest, she
must keep her Limbs at rest too; that is, she must often forego other
Exercise, that she may be enabled to bestow a larger Portion of Kindness
on her Child.

But there are several ways a Woman may be fatigued with Nursing without
the least necessity. The first thing a Mother has to do, is, to use
her Child to such Positions in suckling as she likes best, and is most
convenient to herself. When up, the Mother should by all means sit
upright, and the Child be rais’d to the Breast: the Child should yield to
the Mother, and not the Mother to the Child. That distorted Posture so
commonly seen in suckling gives great Pain to the Back, and cramps all
the Limbs; and this without any other effect on the Child than indulging
a manifest Wilfulness. When in Bed, the Child should take the Breast as
it lyes; and not incommode the Mother by making her sit up in Bed by the
Hour, purely to humour it, as is too common: for this too, without any
Benefit to the Child, greatly increases the Mother’s Fatigue, by robbing
her of her Sleep, and by exposing her to catch Cold from the various
Seasons it happens in. But these Inconveniences may farther be obviated,
by letting the Child lye in a Cradle without the Breast the Night
thro’, or with a Maid in another Room; for it is certain, that neither
Breast, Drink, nor Feeding are so absolutely necessary in the Night as
is commonly imagin’d. Some of my fair Readers will, I doubt, reject my
Counsel in this particular; but I urge it on the double Motive of Benefit
to the Child, and Ease to the Mother. Yet not to be too rigorous in this
Point, not to affect too sensibly a Mother’s Tenderness, suppose a Child
be sometimes allow’d the Breast in the Night, it certainly should be only
sometimes; for the Practice of letting it drag at it the Night thro’ is a
grievous Error: it hurts both Child and Mother; the Child by this Means
is continually wrangling, fretting, and dissatisfy’d, and the Mother is
often so sensibly affected by it, as even to be thrown into Hysteric Fits.

Difficult as I acknowledge it is to lay down an universal Rule, I will
here attempt what appears to me to be generally practicable. According
to the usual Management of Children at the Breast it may be averr’d,
that they have too little Sleep, and too much Food: that is, their
Sleep is short and broken thro’ Mismanagement, and they are suckled or
fed oftener than is conducive to Health. Now to remove this Error, I
will not offer any Restraint in the Day-time, (tho’ that in the opinion
of an ingenious Writer[3] requires it) but endeavour to effect it by
regulating the Night. To this End let a Child be undress’d, it’s Night
things put on, and be fed or suckled at seven o’Clock, and then put into
it’s Cradle; where without rocking (if used to it and in Health) it will
fall asleep. Supposing the Mother to go to Bed at ten or eleven, if the
Child should happen to be awake, let it be turn’d dry (as the Nurses term
it) and suckled again; and it will sleep soundly for six or seven Hours:
perhaps now and then it will whimper a little, but if it is not touch’d
it will fall asleep again immediately. But supposing it is not awake
when the Mother goes to Bed, let it not by any means be disturb’d, for
that breaking of Childrens Rest so common with Parents makes them vastly
tiresome; all that the Mother has to do in this Case is, to keep a warm
Cloth in Bed with her, and when the Child awakes take away the wet one
as soon as possible, that it may not be too much disturb’d by the Sense
of Cold; that done, let it have the Breast, and it will commonly sleep
again till it is time for the Family to rise. The Child should not have
its Cloth shifted again; for frequently opening it when it ought to sleep
is a great Impediment to it’s Rest; and while wrapt up warm, and it lies
still, it receives no Harm from being wet: to this must be added, that
the Mother be very hush; no talking, no shewing the Candle, the Daylight,
or any thing that may awaken it thoroughly. If this Method be adher’d
to, I am persuaded it will have many good Effects; it will give a longer
respite than usual from feeding or suckling; it will obtain what is of
great Consequence to a Child’s Health, Sleep; and it will facilitate the
Mother’s Task by lessening her Fatigue.

To suffer by Hunger or Fatigue does great injury to the Mother
principally, but Fretting has always a double Consequence; it hurts the
Child too. A fretful Temper turns even Pleasure into Pain; well then may
it make a necessary Care a Fatigue. One Distinction however I would make
that I think deserves Attention; whether the Fretfulness be in Nature,
be fixt and incurable; or whether it be owing to external Accidents,
the Occurrences of Things; such as frequent Provocations from a Husband,
untoward Children, wasteful Servants, vexatious Law Suits, and many other
Evils Life is fraught with. In the first Case, Women would do well to let
suckling alone; for warm as I am in recommending this Practice, it is
certain there are some few Exceptions, and this is one. But in the other,
I urge suckling in great measure as a Remedy. For let the naturally
good-temper’d Mother but once reflect that Fretting hurts her Child, and
she will avoid it for her Infant’s sake: besides, the Love created in
her for it by the Exercise of this natural Duty, will make her forget
many other Cares; at least it will counterpoise her Troubles, by mingling
Pleasure with Pain.

There is a Class of Women who are lifeless and sluggish, an insipid Race
that do neither good nor harm; these should by all means suckle their
Children, for by so doing they would be enliven’d, and animated with
a Desire to become useful. If too they reflect, that the Intention of
Nature is, that they should rear their Children as well as bear them,
they will soon be ashamed of doing their Work by halves: and thus become
much happier in themselves, and of much more Consequence to Society.

By the Observance of these few Rules, Mothers in general may suckle
their Children, not only without Pain or Injury, but even with Pleasure
and Profit. They may sometimes improve their Health; often lessen their
Cares, and mend their Temper and Dispositions; and will always have a
pleasing Consciousness that they have obey’d the Laws of Nature, by
having done all that was incumbent on them.

If after all that has been said it is not thought expedient that a Child
should suck it’s Mother; a Breast is certainly the best Substitute: but
great Care should here be taken, in the Choice of a Nurse. She should be
young, healthy, good-humour’d, sprightly, and temperate. The newer her
Milk the better; it is best not to be above three Months old; and should
never exceed six Months, when the Child is first put to her Breast; if
beyond that, either the Child must be wean’d too soon, or suck a staler
Milk than perhaps it ought. Some are of Opinion, that Breast-milk begins
to lose of it’s nutritious Quality after the Expiration of a Year; but
let us here observe the Operations of Nature. The younger Breast-Milk is,
the thinner and lighter it is; fitted by Nature for the tender Stomachs
of new-born Babes: as it grows older, it becomes thicker, richer, and
more stubborn of Digestion; by which gradual Change it is suited to the
relative rising Powers of Digestion in the Child. Hence it would seem,
that Breast-milk, does not at this stated Time become poorer, but richer;
rich perhaps to a degree of Rancidity; which, like gross Food to others,
is sometimes stronger than Children can bear: and on this Principle it
is I recommend where a Breast is to be sought, that either the Milk be
young, or the Child wean’d soon.

But supposing a Child to have no Breast (as Arguments whether good or
bad will often be brought against it) the want of it must be supply’d by
coming as near to Nature as we can. In order thereto, it is the Opinion
of a Physician[4] in the Practice of Midwifry, whose Judgment in this
Matter ought to have weight, that Cows-milk be diluted with Water, ’till
it becomes as thin as Breast-milk, and given warm several times in the
Day; that is, as often as a Child would have the Breast were it to be
suckled: besides this, it should sometimes be fed with other Milk Diet;
viz. Bread and Water boil’d lightly together, and Milk added to it.

When a Child sucks it is usual to feed it with nothing but Water Pap,
that is, Bread and Water boil’d together, without the Addition of Milk;
from a Notion that it should not have two sorts of Milk; but this
Treatment is surely erroneous. Nay, there are some who improve upon this
Error, and give their Children (at least for the first Month) Water Pap
only, even tho’ they have no Breast.

It is both natural and commendable in Parents to inform themselves
what Distempers Children are subject to, and usually dye of; and if
we farther refer them to the Bills of Mortality, they will constantly
find, that Gripes, Looseness, and Convulsions make a great Part of the
Account. Now besides the latent Causes of these Diseases, they have a
very obvious one, _viz._ improper Food. For my own part I am convinc’d,
even to Demonstration, that many Infants owe their Death to the Mistakes
committed in this Point; and often to the false Practice of giving them
Bread and Water only, and omitting that most salutary part the Milk.
Milk (again I repeat it) is the Food of Nature; with that alone, to an
Infant, we may do almost every thing; without it, nothing.

Tho’ these first Rules here laid down should meet with general
Approbation, and Parents from seeing how natural and reasonable this
Doctrine is, be induced to follow it; they have still many things both to
do and avoid, that are greatly conducive to their Childrens Health; and
therefore demand their Attention and Regard.

As we have urg’d that Milk is the Food of Nature, so we may with equal
Propriety call Bread the Staff of Life. Breast-milk my Readers will
observe, is preferred to every other; but where that cannot be obtain’d,
then Cows-milk, made thinner and lighter by the Addition of Water,
is to supply its place; and, between whiles, the Child is to be fed
with Milk-victuals; from which, as it is thicken’d with Bread, it will
receive great Nourishment. But here great care must be taken to keep up
its Appetite for this Food at first setting out; as it is of all others
the most proper; and not spoil its Relish for it by the Admixture or
Intervention of any thing else while in Health, ’till a more advanc’d

The first Error usually run into, is, the immoderate use of Spice and
Sugar; which Physicians who have consider’d these matters positively
condemn: and if a Child is well, putting either of these in it’s
Victuals, answers not the least good End. Spice and Sugar are certainly
fine natural Productions, and of vast Use to Mankind; but the Food of
Infants should be as simple as possible; and if it is made otherwise by
the early use of these, the Effects will always be very troublesome, and
oftentimes mischievous. What is more common than to give young Children
Lumps of Sugar to eat; yet what more erroneous? Every Day’s Experience
shews us how wrong the Practice is: it vitiates their Taste; creates in
them an unconquerable Fondness for it, even to a Degree of Vulgarness;
and manifestly clogs their Stomachs.

The Error next in rank to these, or rather a part of the same, as Sugar
is greatly concern’d in it, is, the Custom Parents have of giving
Children Tea. Tea, to a young Child, if we omit the Milk, has not a
single Ingredient to recommend it: the Sugar in it has already been
treated of; the Water, (as Tea is usually drank too hot,) serves to scald
it’s Mouth and Throat, or at best to relax the Stomach and weaken the
Tone of it; and the Plant or Shrub it self has Qualities, which, to say
the least of it, seldom contributes to promote it’s Health.

That this Herb of which our Tea is made has had many Tongues to speak
it’s Praise, I am convinc’d; or it would not have obtain’d that universal
use we now see made of it: and some likewise have taken up their Pen, and
with great Labour describ’d its Virtues and Utility to Mankind: but all
this is too weak to stand against that infallible Guide, Experience. To
insist that Tea has no good Qualities would be offering an Affront to the
Judgment and Experience of many wise People, and is very far from being
my Design; on the contrary, I am convinc’d it has. Bohea Tea is esteem’d
balsamic, and Green is allow’d to be an astringent Stomachic. Still these
or any other particular Qualities, do not justify it’s general use; for
while the same Experience proves that for one who receives Benefit by
drinking it, ten receive Harm, it must upon the Whole be condemned.

Tea may be consider’d like some certain Drugs, which in skilful hands
are safe and useful, but in ignorant ones, poisonous. That the
intemperate and indiscriminate use of Tea is hurtful, is too well known
to be disputed; some it is true are manifestly refresh’d, comforted and
enliven’d by it; others feel not the least sensible effect from the
longest use of it, and drink it purely thro’ Custom; but again there are
others, and those much the Majority, who impair their Health so visibly
by this pernicious Practice, that they shorten their Lives, or at least
render them comfortless, if not miserable. Now who that considers these
things well, or but once reflects that ’tis at least ten to one that
their Children are Sufferers by it, can reasonably speaking be hasty in
bringing them to it; especially too if we farther reflect, that by a
seeming magic Power it often enslaves People even to Infatuation. Infants
then have nothing to do with this darling deluding Liquor; and when at a
more advanc’d Age, Parents should still give it them very sparingly, if
at all; and be careful to keep them if possible from ever being attach’d
to it.

Before I take my leave of this Article, let me recommend to Parents some
Observations for their farther guidance herein. Those Children who have
weak Nerves should not by any means drink Tea at all. Tea should never
be made strong; nor drank in large quantities, nor hot, nor without Milk,
nor very sweet. Tea should not be drank in a Morning by those who cannot
eat; nor can it in general be drank in the Afternoon with Safety, but by
those who have eat a hearty Dinner, and drink it soon. Bohea Tea is found
to affect the Nerves the most sensibly; and Green, from its Astringency,
is not only the most grateful, but its Effects prove it to be least

Many are the Errors which Parents fall into in the Management of
Children, especially at first setting out. I have often seen Children
wash’d away with the watry Gripes, when upon inquiry it appear’d they had
no other Food but Water Pap: others reject this, and fall into the Error
of giving Children Broth; which alone, is in it’s Nature too laxative for
Infants. But Water Pap must be condemn’d as far the most improper; for
it is manifest that Bread, of which it is made, besides the Fermentation
it undergoes in the Hands of the Baker, has, according to the Juices it
meets with, a farther Power of fermenting in the Stomach: therefore,
should Nature by chance be thwarted, should universal Observation be
for once contradicted, by shewing a Child whom Milk is unfit for; in
that case I recommend, that Broth be added to the Pap; which will bring
the Food nearest to the Quality of that animal Fluid, Milk, the natural
Nourishment. And as watry Gripes are often owing to ill-digested Pap,
Broth, tho’ laxative, would certainly from its Smoothness prevent or
lessen the Stimulation in the Bowels; as we find in the Cure of such
Gripes great Service from Glysters of Oil, Chickens-guts, and other
things of the like Kind.

But farther; I am clearly of Opinion, that the first Change in Childrens
Diet should be from Milk to Broth, and not from Milk to Meat: their
tender Stomachs ought not to be put too early upon the Office of
digesting the fleshy Fibres of Meat; but they may, as they approach to a
Year old, by way of Introduction to eating Flesh, and by way of changing
Diet, sometimes have Broth; but by no means for constant use, to the
neglect of Milk.

It is universally confess’d, that in _England_ we eat too much Flesh;
and were I to urge all that might be said on that Head, it would be
dwelling too long on a single Point. But since this Error of our Country
is acknowledg’d by many of the wisest Men in it, let it serve as a
general Caution to Parents; let them turn it to the Advantage of the
rising Generation; by being neither hasty in giving Flesh Meat to their
Children, nor even permitting them to be intemperate in the Use of it.

To enforce this Precept, and prove the Reasonableness of not giving
Children Meat so soon as is usual, I will here observe, that Physicians
say the first Digestion should be in the Mouth, the second in the
Stomach; whence it appears that Children have no Business with Meat ’till
they have Teeth to chew it; nay, not ’till they have their Mouths almost
full of Teeth; for they have not the Power of grinding down their Meat
sufficiently ’till they have got some of their strongest Teeth, and those
every one is sensible do not come first. Hence we are furnished with an
admirable Hint, which not to endeavour to reduce to Practice, would be
injuring our Children, and baffling the Labours of learned Men, who make
the Good of Mankind the Study of their Lives. Parents by the same Lesson
are instructed likewise, to make their Children accustom themselves to
chew their Meat well their whole Lives; for it is certain they would
thereby prevent many ill Effects arising from Indigestion.

Having thus, as near to Nature as I am able, led Parents into the first
Steps of the Management of their Childrens Health, I shall now touch
on Art; a little of which may, and will be necessary. It is plain that
Children are born full of Foulness, full of Excrement; and Nature to
remedy this, gives a purgative Quality to the Mother’s first Milk; which
Quality, as the Child cleanses, goes off. But if this first Milk be
drawn away by another, as is frequent, in order to ease the Breasts; or
the Child does not suck it’s Mother, but an older Milk; in that Case
it should most certainly be purged three or four times in the Month.
For my own Part I have gone farther, and tho’ my Children had the first
Milk, I always began by giving them a little Syrup of Rhubarb and Oil
of Almonds; which has constantly had a good Effect, not only on them,
but on many others under my Care: the Rhubarb scours and cleanses them,
and the Oil in some measure blunts its griping Quality, and prevents its
leaving a Costiveness so common to that Drug. But tho’ I have frequently
given this, yet Rhubarb in Substance, corrected with a small Portion of
Aromatic, or mix’d with Gascoign’s Powder, is found by Experience to
agree very well: Syrup of Violets or Marshmallows, join’d with Oil of
Almonds, are frequently given in order to cleanse the first Passages, and
are very proper; tho’ not so efficacious as Rhubarb. Nor are there any
better Purges than these for new-born Infants, unless, (which very seldom
happens) in great Costiveness, and then a little Manna. What farther
relates to Physic and physical People, shall be spoken of hereafter.

In a Treatise of this Kind nothing must pass unobserved that is
important; and nothing is more so, than the destructive Practice of
drinking spirituous Liquors. For a Woman to have a Habit of Dram-drinking
is always detestable; but for one who gives Suck, it is horrible beyond
Expression: it is fraught with double Mischief, Destruction to herself,
and Destruction to the Child. One would imagine, that so odious a Vice
wanted not to be inveigh’d against; or at most that the Caution could no
where be useful, but amongst Basket-women and Billingsgates. ’Tis true
indeed, that the Illiterate and Vulgar are the most addicted to it; but
melancholy Experience shews us, that Women every way happy in Life, Women
of the best Understanding, and the best Education, are but too often
tainted with it.

It is not my Design in general to write on the Foibles or Vices of
Parents, but of Children; yet it must be owned, that where the Actions
of the one have an Influence on the other, where the Connection is so
close that the Health or Morals of Children are affected by the Conduct
of Parents, it is perfectly consistent with the Plan I have laid down;
and consequently is within my Province. Thus then I observe, that there
are many Women who never tasted spirituous Liquors ’till they gave Suck.
A Child is kept lugging at the Breast ’till the Mother is ready to
sink, and a Friend recommends a Dram: the innocent Woman starts at the
Proposition; but it being strenuously urg’d that it will do her good and
the Child too, she follows the Counsel and drinks it. How reluctantly
and with how much dislike may be known by her shaking her Head at the
very Smell of it, making Faces when it is down, and declaring it is nasty
Stuff. Now for a while let me talk like an Apothecary. The Nerves give
Sensation to our whole Frame whether of Pain or Pleasure. This Dram acts
immediately on the Nerves of the Stomach, and instantly communicates
itself to those of the Brain, which are exquisitely fine; the Sensation
is pleasing, a general Glow is felt, and the temporary Relief it gives,
persuades her that Drams are not so pernicious as People pretend. But by
and by the Languor returns, and she has recourse to her Dram again; tho’
perhaps with this Difference, that instead of being persuaded into it
she seeks it herself; and thus by a Return of Wants, she finds a Return
of Desire; she flies so often to her fancied Remedy, that at length she
is innocently and insensibly led into a Habit which infatuates her: even
so far as often to rob her of the Power of getting rid of it. But the
Habit contracted, what is the Effect? Why, that which at first was only a
slight Injury, by this means becomes a mortal Wound.

The Human Frame, that Master-Piece of infinite Wisdom, is compos’d of a
great variety of Parts, of different Make, Texture and Quality; each of
which has it’s Use, and proper Office assign’d it. But that I may not
confound any of my Readers by nice or obscure Physical Divisions, I will
say it is compos’d of Solids and Fluids: the Fluids, that is, the Blood
and other Juices, are allotted to nourish and preserve the Solids; and
the Solids, that is, the Flesh and other hard Parts, serve as Pipes or
Channels to convey in a due Course the several Fluids to their destin’d
End. Now to preserve Health, it is necessary that our whole Machine acts
regularly; which it cannot do for any long Time with the pernicious
Habit we have been speaking of. Drams, which at first give only a slight
Wound to the Nerves, by frequent Repetition enfeeble them; and in the
End totally disable them; as is evident by their bringing on Tremblings,
weakening the Memory, and impairing the Understanding. To maintain
Health, the Solids are to keep up their due Force or Spring, that they
may propel the Fluids, and prevent their breaking them down by too great
a Resistance. The Fluids are to be kept in such a state, that they may
neither run too rapidly, nor clog by the way for want of the circulating
Power. Thus in Rivers, where the Banks and Fences are weak, the Pressure
of the Water will break them down; or if the Water be clogg’d and
render’d foul by any Mixture foreign to it’s Nature, or is otherwise
obstructed in it’s Course, it cannot reach those various Meanders, those
small Canals it was allotted to fill.

Hence every Eye may see how destructive this unnatural Habit must be
to our Frame. The Tone of the Stomach is weaken’d, and with it, the
Power of Digestion; Obstructions of the Liver and other Parts ensue; the
Solids are broke, and the Fluids forsake their proper Channels: hence
Jaundice, Dropsies, Palsies, and various other Distempers, fatal in their
Consequences, and doubly acute to those who reflect, that they have
brought them on themselves: for however thoughtless or indifferent they
may be while in Health, when bitter Remembrance accompanies the severe
Effects, the Situation must be dreadful.

I have observ’d that many are innocently led into this grievous Habit:
and they are the more liable to it, as the Goodness of their Constitution
preserves some longer than others, from being sensible of it’s ill
Effects. But they must beware of Illusions, and convince themselves of
one Truth at least; that instead of that Nutrition which proper Food
yields, the Blood and other Juices are by this means vitiated; and with
them that most salutary Fluid the Milk. It is true indeed that all Drams
are not alike pernicious; nor do they, as I have just hinted, act alike
on all Constitutions. Yet thus much is certain; that they all contain
fiery Particles, a Portion of caustic inflammable Matter, in general
very injurious to our whole Frame; very unfit to circulate in our Blood
and Juices; and above all, extremely prejudicial to those Infants who
imbibe the Infection by sucking at a Breast thus unhappily tainted.

But besides this dreadful Habit in the Mother or Nurse, there is a
Practice among the Vulgar still more shocking; and which must make
every reasonable Creature shrink with Horror; that of giving Drams to
the Children themselves, even while Infants. Nothing is more strongly
urg’d by all moral Writers than the Force of Example; and when they mean
to paint a bad Parent, they describe a Child imitating those Vices his
Father acts before him. But here Description is too weak; no Language has
Force enough to express the Horror of this Vice! These unhappy wretched
Parents forestall Imitation; they stay not ’till the Child has Power to
follow their Example; but pour the deadly Poison down the poor Babe’s
Throat, even before it can speak! What, I say again, what Language can
describe the Horror of this Vice? Surely none.

All wise Men agree, that Virtues flow, or ought to flow, from the Head;
that the Inferior receive their Influence from the Superior; and most
act by Imitation of their Betters: but Experience shews us, that the
Little can sometimes teach the Great Virtues they were before Strangers
to; and by a still stranger Inversion of the natural Order of Things,
it often happens, that the Great imitate the Vices of the Little. But
here I cannot refrain from exhorting Parents of every Rank never to
suffer themselves to fall into so dreadful an Error as that just hinted
at. Those who are already tainted with it are perhaps too abandon’d to
be reclaim’d; or have it not in their Power to remove the Mischief they
have caused: but those who are happily Strangers to it, must keep their
Attention awake; must live in a constant Resolution never to let a Child
so much as touch so dangerous a Weapon; unless they choose to be their
Childrens Murderers; choose to have them fall a Sacrifice to some dire
Disease; or become Cripples, Idiots, or Brutes.

Before I quit this Head, I must take Notice of an inferior Degree of the
same Error; less a Vice indeed, because there is an Intention of Good in
it, tho’ generally a mistaken one; I mean that of putting Brandy and
other spirituous Liquors into Childrens Victuals. How this Practice came
to be introduced is amazing! But tho’ the general Pretence is preventing
or curing Wind and Gripes, it is highly erroneous: for where these
Disorders really exist they should be treated in another Manner; and by
People whose Judgment can be depended on.

The next Degree of Error to this, is the early Custom Parents have of
giving their Children Wine. Grown People, even among the Temperate, often
drink much more of it than is either needful or beneficial; but Children
want it not at all. To give Wine to Infants is a gross Error; and even to
those who have pass’d that Stage, the Practice is very wrong.

Wine, tho’ a general Term for the Juice produced from Grapes, is
undoubtedly a very different Liquor, not only in Colour and Flavour,
but in Quality, according to the Country it grows in; as is manifest
by the different Effects of it on the Human Body. One Sort is found to
constringe too much; another is loaded with Tartar; a third abounds with
a large Portion of inflammable Spirit; and so on. But not to enter into
a physical Analysis of Wine, we will say it is allow’d to assist the
Digestion, to warm the Blood, and give a certain Sprightliness, which, in
other Words, we call a Flow of Spirits. Now in the Case of Children we
injure them if we give them gross Food, such as requires Wine to digest;
and if Wine be added to it, we put Fuel to Fire, Flame to Flame; nor does
the Blood and Spirits need this foreign Assistance while young: the one
is by Nature sufficiently warm’d; and the other are best supported by
Temperance and a chearful Disposition.

I will not take upon me to fix precise Rules on this Head, both because
it is very difficult, and in general they would not be adher’d to: but
thus much I seriously recommend, that Children in the first Septenary
taste no Wine at all; in the second be vastly sparing; and in the third
fix a Temperance built on solid Principles of Reason and Virtue; such as
will best secure to them Health and Happiness for their whole Lives.

I am here naturally led to speak of Malt Liquor, the native Produce of
our Country: but on this, as well as the two foregoing Heads, we must
keep Temperance in View, from the double Motive of Health and Virtue.
Experience teaches us, that Malt Liquor can be rais’d to any Degree of
Strength; that it is capable of inflaming the Blood and intoxicating the
Brain; consequently it is capable of weakening and destroying our Frame
when intemperately used. But besides these Effects, it has others often
very hurtful, but less regarded, because less sensible. One, from a
natural Weakness of the Bowels, it throws into habitual Purgings; another
it oppresses with Wind; and in a third, from its glutinous Quality, it
obstructs some of the Viscera, and has a peculiar Tendency to clog the
Vessels of the Lungs, and thereby hinder Respiration, produce Coughs,
and those fatal Circumstances frequently attending them. Hence it is
easy to see how necessary the Parents Attention is, to guide their
Children herein. Infants, at least for the first Year, have no Business
with Malt Liquor at all; they ought not to taste it: Milk, or Water, or
both together, is their proper Drink; and if after this Age, these were
made the Liquor to drink with their Food, it would be no worse for them.
However, not to be too rigorous in this respect, let Children after the
first Year, wash down their Victuals with light clear Small-beer; and
nothing beyond that for the first seven Years. In the second and third
Septenary, the same Rule which has been laid down concerning Wine, should
be observ’d in all strong Malt Liquors; they should be very sparingly
used. Nothing is more dangerous than the Indulgence of Parents in this
Point; for besides the many ill Effects already mentioned, ’tis coarse
and vulgar; it clouds the Understanding, and renders young People unfit
for Study. Besides these, it gives them an early Bloatedness; and greatly
endangers the laying the Foundation of a Sot for Life: or at least gives
them such a Hankering, as cannot but be a great Impediment to their

Nothing is more talk’d of for the Good of Children, and yet nothing more
unsettled, than the necessary Degree of Warmth; and while some Parents
are sanguine in maintaining the Necessity of much Cloathing, there are
others as obstinately prone to freeze their tender Babes: even skilful
and ingenious Physicians disagree in this Particular.

It is a Maxim in Philosophy, that Heat is a Principle of Life: and
indeed, without the Assistance of the Schools, every one knows the Truth
of it. All know, that Life is warm, Death is cold; and therefore to
support Life, there must always be a Degree of Warmth. This premised,
it appears that Warmth is natural to us; but where to begin, or how to
maintain such a Degree of it in our Children as will keep us from either
Extreme, is not easy to determine. However, to keep as wide of Error as
we can, we must keep close to Nature’s Laws.

Nature then, I think, points out to us, that new-born Children want more
Cloaths in Proportion than others. When we consider how warm a Bed they
have long been wrapp’d in before their Birth; when we consider too how
tender all their Fibres must be; and see them shivering, trembling and
cold as soon as the external Air surrounds them; we cannot but conclude
that they are greatly cherished and comforted by the Addition of Cloaths.

It is true that the same Philosophy which teaches us that Heat is a
Principle of Life, teaches also, that Action is the Cause of Heat: but
new-born Infants being incapable of Action to any Degree, it appears
to me, that for the Reasons already given, they stand in need of an
additional, or rather, an adventitious Warmth, from Cloaths, Fire, Sun,
or all, in their proper Time and Place.

Should any one urge that thin Cloathing of Children is the rational Way
to make them hardy, and inure them to Cold, I am ready to grant it; but
I cannot help being of Opinion, that it ought not to be begun with. In
most other Things relating to Children we succeed best by beginning at
once; but here I think we should proceed by Degrees. Let Parents then
at the Birth give Children all the Comfort Cloaths can afford them; and
when some Months Time has hardened their Fibres, and thereby strengthened
their Solids, let them be thinned gradually. One sensible Distinction may
be made that should be universally regarded: that is, the Difference of
Climate and Seasons. A Child born in the midst of Summer, or where the
Air is incapable of affecting it very sensibly, need not to have so much
cloathing as one born in the Depth of Winter, or in a colder Climate.

It is easy for my Readers to see that I am an Advocate for Warmth; and
that I do not only recommend it as yielding great Comfort to Infants, but
esteem it highly necessary and useful to them: and should any farther
Proof be required to support this Opinion, we may refer to all created
Nature, animate and inanimate.

In this View of Nature we shall find the Birds not only provide Nests
for their young, but cover them with their Wings, to guard them from the
chilly Air, ’till Time has encreased their Feathers. The Beasts with
amazing Tenderness, cherish their young, ’till Nature has lengthened the
Hair, the Wool, or whatever covers them; or Time has given them the Power
of Action. Farther we shall find, that Insects, and all the vegetable
Creation, shoot out into Life, and receive Vigor, Comfort, and Support,
from that glorious Body the Sun: so indispensably necessary is Warmth;
and so essential to the raising and preserving of All.

Such of my Readers as agree with me on this Head, must still be cautious
not to over-act their Part. This Preceps suits so well the tender Nature
of Mothers, that if heedless, they will easily slide into Error; and I
should be wanting in the Duty of a faithful Guide, or an honest Adviser,
if I did not endeavour to prevent it.

Dr. _James Douglas_, deservedly eminent in his Profession, once (within
my own Knowledge) gave it as his Opinion of a Child he attended, that it
perished with Cold. The Doctor had laid a Woman of Rank of her first, nay
her only Child, a Son too, and Heir to a large Estate. The Season was
cold; the Child was dry-nurs’d; and a small four-post Bed was, by the
Advice of some ignorant People, made on purpose for it to lye in alone.
In this neglected starving Way the Child was kept ’till ready to expire,
and when too late to help it, they sought Advice. All Means were try’d in
vain, the poor Babe sunk into the Grave: and, as I have already observ’d,
the Doctor, upon examining every Circumstance, pronounc’d it starv’d
to Death. Here we have an Instance of one Extreme of Error; and I have
introduc’d it as a Hint to Parents that all Extremes are to be avoided;
and that while they shrink at the one, they must be careful not to plunge
into the other.

It has already been agreed, that Children at the Birth should have all
the Comfort Cloaths can give them. I will now observe, that it is every
Way advantageous, that for the first Year at least, they lye in a Cradle,
or in a small Crib by the Bed-side of the Parents, or whoever has the
Care of them. To put an Infant in a Bed by itself for several Hours
before the Bed-time of the Mother or Nurse, is in general too cold a
Situation; and afterwards, if it is not then too hot, which with some
is a doubt, it is attended with several Inconveniences. First, it is
pretty sure to disturb the Child; a Matter of real Consequence: secondly,
when once disturb’d, it will very likely have no Sleep again but lying
at the Breast, a Circumstance attended with great Trouble and Anxiety
to those who suckle it: thirdly, there is always Danger more or less of
the Child being overlaid; which is a Consideration that ought justly to
alarm every Parent, as many Children have by this means been kill’d in
one Night’s time. I am very sensible how watchful a tender Mother usually
is, but there are Times that the best are unguarded; and it is surely
right for them to put it out of their own Power to hazard so dreadful an
Accident. Nay this Danger has been thought so great, however common the
Practice is, that the most sensible People have spoke and wrote against
it. To obviate therefore this Evil, Parents need only let Infants lye in
a Cradle or Crib; which will keep them in a regular equal Warmth, secure
them from all unnecessary Disturbance, and effectually prevent any fatal

By what has already been advanc’d, it appears, that tho’ due Care is
recommended, yet it is not design’d to cherish that false Delicacy
which Parents, especially Mothers, are but too apt to keep up in their
Children, whether Boys or Girls; on the contrary I have advis’d, that
their Cloathing be thinn’d by Degrees. Let them too be wash’d every Day
with cold Water, the Head and Limbs at least, if not all over; and be
carried out as much as can be into the open Air.

To breathe in a free, open, pure Air, is undoubtedly of great Use; by
giving that Spring to the Solids so conducive to the establishing and
preserving Health. Children therefore, especially if born in _London_,
stand in need of this Assistance; they should often have the Freedom
of tasting a sweeter Air, than that which usually surrounds their
Habitation. Here I am aware, that this Advice, instead of being properly
relish’d, will be swallow’d greedily; instead of its serving to rouse the
Care of Parents, it will endanger the banishing the Child, which under
the Pretext that Air is good, will be sent to a Place, where perhaps
every thing else is bad. Parents, especially the Fathers, who do not
love the Noise or any other of the Inconveniences attending the Care of
Children, have a short Way of doing Business by sending them at once into
the Country; and to support the Reasonableness of their Conduct, readily
tell their Friends, that those who write about these Matters recommend
Air, and say that Children thrive best in it. But surely they have
never study’d the Duty of Parents, or they must know, that it is always
incumbent on them, unless Necessity prevent it, to rear their Children
themselves. But to prove farther that it is not always a Child’s Good
which they seek, so much as their own Ease, it is often sent to be nurs’d
even in _London_; sometimes too in a part much worse than they themselves
live in; perhaps where noxious Effluvia are continually surrounding it;
or in some narrow Lane or close Alley.

Where real Necessity pleads, no Arguments can be brought against it:
otherwise I would universally recommend, that Children be brought up
under the Eye of the Parents. Let the Methods propos’d have a fair Tryal;
if those are ineffectual, and the Child does not thrive, by all means
remove it into the Country; but still, if practicable, accompany’d with
the Mother, and under her Care; if that cannot be comply’d with, send it
to a Nurse. Still I have one Objection that has great Weight with me,
whatever it may have with my Readers. The common Country People (such as
we may suppose take Children to nurse) tho’ usually very innocent, have
nevertheless that Innocence intermixt with a large Portion of Obstinacy;
in short, they will always do their own Way. Now it is well known that
almost the only Flesh Meat these People eat the Year thro’, is Bacon
and Pork; with this Meat, which of all others is the worst in the World
for Children, the Nurses cram them unmercifully. To tell them that they
give Children Meat too young, avails nothing; to urge that it is a gross
kind of Food, capable of creating bad Humours in the Blood, and thereby
accumulating Disorders, which like a smother’d Fire, will some time or
other burst out with Violence, is like encountering the Winds; Don’t you
see, they cry, how fat and jolly the little Rogue is? They are not aware,
that to be fat is one thing, and to be healthy another: for bad Fat may
be compared to ill-gotten Wealth, they both prey upon the Vitals. Thus
then while I maintain the Advantages arising from Childrens Breathing in
a pure Air, I cannot help condemning the Practice of exposing them to
many other Dangers.

Besides the Food, Warmth and Air, necessary for preserving the Health of
Children, there is another Mean of great Importance, but much neglected,
to the Detriment of many; viz. Exercise. When some Months Time, as I
observed before, has strengthened their Solids, they are then fitted
for Action; without which there is but little chance for Health: the
Laws of Nature demand it; and it is almost incredible, the Mischief that
attends the want of it. Exercise affords the most natural and the most
comfortable Warmth to our whole Frame that can be. Exercise makes the
Blood and other Juices circulate with Freedom; prevents the Mischief
too often arising from Stagnation, and throws off the redundant Matter
through the Pores of the Skin by insensible Perspiration. And Exercise
too, greatly contributes to that Flow of Spirits, that lively pleasing
Air and chearful Countenance so essential to our Happiness.

The first half Year of a Child’s Life is far the least troublesome to a
Mother or Nurse; for after that time Children begin to take Notice, shew
they love Action, and where they are well nursed, never are so happy
as when they are exercised; and indeed it is scarcely possible to give
them too much of it. There should be no Sluggards about a Child, no body
that wants either Will or Power to toss it about continually; and from
six Months, to a Year and half, or two Years old, it is really a great
Fatigue to give it due Attendance. But Parents must remember it is an
indispensable Duty; and their faithful Discharge of it will, generally
speaking, be amply rewarded by a more solid Health in their Children
than can be expected without it; and by having their future Trouble
greatly lessened: for how often does it happen that Children for want
of due Exercise grow ricketty, become Cripples, or are puny all their
Childhood, perhaps their whole Lives; to their own great Sorrow, and to
the inexpressible Trouble, Pain, and Expence of the Parents.

Rickets is a Distemper extremely common in _London_; but if the Rules
already laid down be observed, I dare affirm, it will very rarely be
seen. It is not indeed the Design of this Treatise to cure Diseases, but
to prevent them; yet as thousands of Children fall into the Rickets in a
manner insensibly, often without it’s being once apprehended; I would
here not only keep the Attention of Parents awake, but propose a Remedy.

Let us then observe, that many Children have all the appearance
imaginable of Health, Strength, and Vigor, till about nine Months old;
after that Age they begin to dwindle, grow listless, heavy and inactive,
which to account for, Parents find a thousand Causes, perhaps all wide
of the real. One ascribes it to cutting the Teeth, another to a Fever,
a third to loss of Appetite, and so on; when after a Time it proves the
Rickets: the Cause whereof is, generally speaking, bad Nursing. But
whether this, or any other Weakness produces the Distemper, I earnestly
recommend, that it be not suffered to pass unregarded, since much depends
upon our early Care.

The great and noble Remedy for this Disorder is a Cold Bath; and tho’
the Tenderness of Mothers may make them shrink at the Proposal, yet
neither their own Weakness, nor the Child’s Reluctance, must in this Case
prevail, especially when I assure them that a very short Time will make
the use of it not only easy but pleasant.

If a Child along with this Disorder has a Fever, a full quick Pulse
and short Breath (as is very common) Parents should certainly ask
proper Advice before they begin to use the Bath. But as some may be
careless in this Matter, or at least unwilling to submit; and as many
ill Consequences may follow from setting out wrong, I will in that Case
recommend, that two or three Ounces of Blood be taken away at the Arm
or Neck; next Day purge it with Rhubarb, and repeat it to three or four
times, at a Day or two’s distance between each Dose: and even where there
is no Fever, and the Lungs play freely, it should still be purged as
above directed.

The more Water and the colder the Bath the better. At first use it
only two or three times a Week, afterwards every Day; and continue it
(unless other Accidents intervene) ’till every appearance of Weakness
be vanished, even though it should last long, or come on in the coldest

To obviate as much as possible all groundless Fears, I will on this Head
add, that as Cold Baths act very powerfully on the whole Frame, they are
frequently observed to give Cold at first using; and sometimes affect the
Limbs and other Parts very sensibly; all which goes off on repeating it.
And indeed, where a Cold Bath is judged proper, the only Circumstance
which justifies the Disuse of it, is, it’s leaving a Shivering and
Coldness all over, instead of that pleasing comfortable Glow, which
generally follows the use of it.

The proper Cloathing of Children is a Consideration of great Importance;
and indeed the Opinions of different Men in the Learned World, and
of different Women in the Conversable World, are so very many, as to
render it next to impossible to fix a Standard for Dress with regard to
Health only, that would in any manner square with the various Notions
subsisting. Arguing on Principles of Philosophy, from Reasons founded
on the Knowledge of Anatomy, and the Animal Oeconomy, will not go down
with the Croud. Nor will Examples produced from Practice, prevail on the
Learned to think the general Practice right. It is not enough to say,
that different Nations act with more or less Propriety on this Head; for
even our own Country is herein much divided in itself.

What I have before observed on cloathing Children, relates only to the
keeping up a due Degree of Warmth, ’till Time strengthens their Solids;
but the grand Controversy is, what kind of Cloaths they should wear, and
how they must be put on; how Boys should be cloathed, and how Girls; what
Cloathing conduces to Health, and what impairs it: with many other Things
much disputed, but still unsettled.

Nothing is more certain than that Nature in general is our best, our
surest Guide, for the Conduct of Life; yet if we make the Law universal,
we shall undoubtedly sometimes err. Two things all Mankind inherit in
consequence of our first Parents Disobedience, viz. the Turbulence of
our Passions, and our bodily Defects and Infirmities: all are sensible
of this; all see and feel them, more or less. How small is the number
of those, whose Passions are by Nature so happily calm, as to keep them
free from Irregularities! How few are those, to whom Nature has given a
perfect Form: whose Stature, Limbs, and Features, bear exact Proportion
and Symmetry, free from Blemishes and Defects; such as constitutes a
finish’d Beauty: or whose Constitution is so happily temper’d as to have
no Bias, no weak Side, no redundant Humours to disturb Life and Health.
This I say is evidently the Lot of very few. Still Providence, ever kind,
has furnished us with Means to turn all things to our Advantage. To
regulate our Passions we are endowed with Reason; to rectify, as far as
Nature will permit, our bodily Defects, we are supplied with Judgment:
but as in the first Case we are apt to let Passion get the Mastery of
Reason; so in the other, we often let our Judgment err, or suffer Fancy
to take place of it. Hence arise many of those Mistakes Mankind daily run
into; and hence too the Judgment of one will sometimes be perverted into
Fancy, and the Fancy of another be falsly esteemed Judgment. From this
view it is easy to see, how vast a Field is open to Mankind to exercise
their Judgment in; but where that is weak, Errors will certainly make
their Way; which from the Propensity we have to do wrong, are sometimes
so prevailing and swift, as to become almost universal; even so far as
utterly to overturn superior Judgment. Now though we grant that every one
is possessed not only of a Power, but of a Right of judging; yet we do
not agree, that the Judgment of the Weak, or of those who have neglected
to exercise and improve their natural Faculties, should be abided by,
and made our Rule of Conduct: for as our Law-givers should be wise, and
as from them we seek to be secured in our Property and our Peace; so
from those who have searched into Nature, who have studied the Animal
Oeconomy, and are acquainted with the Structure of our Frame, from those
only can we rationally learn how to preserve Health. To apply then these
Arguments to the Matter in hand, I would recommend to Parents with regard
to Cloathing their Children, to be attentive themselves; to exercise and
improve their own Judgment, as far as they have opportunity; not suddenly
to run with the Croud, lest it prove a vulgar Error; but endeavour to
learn what is the Opinion of Judges: and by comparing that with the
general Practice, they may draw such Conclusions as will profit them most.

Dress, in the common Acceptation of the Word, is not my Province; those
People whose Business it is to promote it, know that the World is fickle
and inconstant; they know that Men will change, even though it be for
the worse, purely from a Love of Novelty: therefore is it that at one
Time a Man has his Hips almost up to his Arm-pits, another Time he must
stoop to get his Hand into his Coat Pocket; therefore is it that one Year
a Woman is (at the Will of the Stay-maker) to be short-waisted, another
Year long-waisted; with many more Absurdities, that ought at least to be
laughed at. But where Dress is capable of affecting our Health, it both
deserves and demands Attention and Regard: And to that End, I will for
the Instruction of my Readers, give the Sentiments of the Learned on this

It is the Opinion of many, that every kind of Bandage is an Error in
Practice; even Garters, Wrist-bands, and Collars; that they impede the
Circulation of the Blood, or at least render it unequal and irregular,
and prevent the proper Growth of the Solids; nay more, that they are a
frequent though latent Cause of Apoplexies, and other dreadful Diseases.
It is farther their Opinion, that whatever compresses the Frame,
(particularly the tender one of a Child) is dangerous; as Rollers,
stiff Stays, and the like: that as the Trunk of the Body contains,
what Physicians call the _Viscera_, in which are the chief Functions
of Life, whatever external Methods are used to bind or cramp them up,
is prejudicial to Health. That the Lungs particularly are to have free
room to play; and that if the Chest be externally press’d, whether by
Rollers, Stays, Waistcoats, or any thing else, it lays the Foundation
of many future Evils. To these general Opinions, let me add that of an
eminent Writer. Mr. _Locke_, in his Treatise of Education, says, “Narrow
Breasts, short and stinking Breath, ill Lungs and Crookedness, are the
natural and almost constant Effects of _hard Bodice_ and _Cloaths_ that
pinch. That way of making slender Waists and fine Shapes, serves but the
more effectually to spoil them. Nor can there indeed but be Disproportion
in the Parts, when the Nourishment prepar’d in the several Offices of the
Body, cannot be distributed as Nature designs. And therefore what wonder
is it, if being laid where it can on some Part not so braced, it often
makes a Shoulder or Hip higher or bigger than it’s just Proportion.” He
then produces the Example of the _Chinese_ Women, who of all People on
Earth, have the smallest Feet, not naturally, but made so by cramping
them; from a notion that it is beautiful; by which Practice, says he,
it is believed they impede their Growth and shorten their Lives. Now
to confirm and strengthen what is here advanced, we must observe, that
besides the universal Reputation Mr. _Locke_ so justly obtain’d as a
Man of Science, he was design’d for a Physician: and though he never
practised Physic, he had studied it. To these Opinions may be added the
general Consent of Mankind, that in those Countries where Stays are not
worn at all, the People are seldom or never known to be crooked.

Now let us examine the general Practice, and the Motives which influence
it; that no Injustice may be done in a Treatise that aims at the general
Good of Mankind. Mothers and Nurses observe, that a new-born Child has
no Support of itself; the Head leans on one side or the other; and the
Body sinks as it were into a Heap: to remedy which, and to prop up the
helpless Babe, they put what is call’d a Stay to its Neck, they roll a
Flannel many times round its Body, and at the Expiration of a Month it
is usually coated: that is, it continues when undress’d with the Roller;
and in the Day Time when dress’d, it wears a Stay about the Waist. The
Stay to the Neck is left off in some Months, and the Roller in about a
Year; some sooner, some later: but the same Method is used both to Boys
and Girls. The first, second and third Stays are usually very soft and
plyable; but after that, when a Child approaches to two Years old, they
are then made stronger, that is, stiffer to the Feel; and these Sort are
worn by Boys ’till they are breech’d, and by Girls their whole Lives.
Nurses urge, that Children are helpless, cannot sit upright, nor be
toss’d about without them. And I remember an eminent Surgeon, late of
one of our Hospitals, once told me, that a Child was brought to him with
several of its Ribs crush’d inward by the Hand of the Person who had been
tossing it about without its Stays.

But as I have just observed, it is not in Infancy only that Stays are
used; but in one Sex, ’till four, five, or six, Years old; and in the
other for Life. The Solicitude of Parents about Shape, is chiefly
confin’d to the Girls; Boys, when breech’d, like Eels, twist themselves
into a thousand Forms, and prove strait at last; while the Girls, with
less Freedom and more Anxiety, seldom come off so well. Still Mothers
contend for the Necessity of Stays; and maintain from Experience, that
the Shape, instead of being hurt with them, is spoil’d without them. Here
then is the grand Point, whether Nature requires these Props or not;
the Learned say they don’t; general Practice says they do: the Learned
recommend that Nature be left to Fashion the Parts herself; but general
Practice contradicts this: and who will take upon them to decide so
important a Matter? for me, I confess it is too much.

When I read or hear the Opinion of skilful Men, and weigh their
Reasoning, I heartily concur with them; and when I see an exquisite
Shape under a judicious Mother’s Management, I am inclin’d to applaud her
Judgment, and commend the Choice of her Stay-maker. However, that I might
not leave this Head and determine nothing, I have already recommended
to Parents to exercise their own Judgment, and to seek that of others;
whereby many of the Errors, become general thro’ Ignorance and Time, will
be removed. The Learned, unless dogmatical, will be brought to allow,
that Stays may often be worn without the least Injury; that as Girls are
by Nature more tender and delicate than Boys, many of them would have
been deformed either thro’ bad nursing, or some inbred Infirmity, tho’
they never had worn a Stay in their Lives: and Parents will be convinc’d,
that while Nature is labouring to compleat their Children’s Growth, both
Health and Beauty greatly depend on their not being braced injudiciously.

As I am speaking of Health and Beauty, it will not be improper to
observe, that with regard to the outward Form, what is most agreeable
to see, is often most conducive to Health and Strength. Thus the
Dancing-master has Power to confer many Advantages on his Scholars.
That Command and free Play of the Joints of the Knees, with the Habit
of keeping them unbent but when necessary, and the proper turning out
of the Toes, add great Firmness and Grace both to standing and walking:
that graceful Power of the Arms, the easy Fall, and the dropping of the
Shoulders from the Neck, gives a pleasing Distinction of the bred from
the unbred: and the keeping the Body upright, and throwing forward the
Chest, are besides being great Beauties, vastly conducive to the free
Exercise of the Lungs, and to the proper Action of the whole _Viscera_.

But while this Part of Education is justly commended as conducive to
Health, and pleasing to behold, what shall we say of those, who under the
Appearance of increasing their Beauty destroy it; and who, while aiming
at Health, often deprive themselves of Life. I have shewn that bodily
Defects are more or less the Lot of all Mankind; but where Judgment free
from Error can rectify them, we have Power to do it. If we can find a
Cure for Diseases born with us, we certainly may and ought; if we can
increase our Strength, and add Graces to Nature, we undoubtedly should;
we may curl our Hair, increase its Growth, or cut it off; we may and
ought to comb or shave our Head, pare our Nails, and scour off all
that Foulness which Nature throws out upon the Surface of our Body, and
maintain a constant Cleanliness: But all this does not imply that we may
give ourselves a new Face; and yet little less is frequently attempted.
When Nature is oppressed within us, she often, for our Relief, throws
out the Malady upon the Skin; if it happen to be on the Face, we grow
restless and impatient; we are ignorant of the Kindness done to us;
and to remove the Blemish to our Beauty, we unadvisedly drive back the
redundant Humour; perhaps on our Vitals; and thus fall a Sacrifice to our
Pride or Ignorance.

There is a Practice, particularly among the Great, shocking to Nature
and to Reflection; that of using Paint. Paint is to the Face, what
Affectation is to the Mind: as the one is a ridiculous Mimic of amiable
Qualities we are Strangers to, so the other is a ridiculous Affectation
of Beauty we cannot reach. But while Paint disappoints those who are
attach’d to it, by conferring false Beauty, it is attended with the
Mischief of impairing real; and many who by Nature alone would be comely
in the Decline of Life, are, by this odious Practice, hagged even in
Youth. Temperance, Exercise, good Hours, and a chearful Mind, will
best preserve the Bloom of Life; but such is the present Age, such the
prevailing false Taste, that Error is confounded with Error, and our
corrupt Judgment is still farther corrupted. There was a Time that Paint
was designed to give a false Bloom when the real was declining; but now
it is used to hide even the natural Bloom: it is made an Instrument to
destroy that Beauty which Providence has bestowed; and instead of being
grateful for the Blessing, it is shamefully hid under a pale Enamel, or a
dead White! What an Indignity, what an Affront is this to the Author of
all Nature, to the Bestower of all Blessings!

Lord _Hallifax_, in his Advice to a Daughter, goes so far as to dissuade
her even from the Use of Sweets. “Those Ladies (says he) who perfume
themselves, will be strongly suspected of doing it to conceal some other
Stink.” Cleanliness is to be preferred to every foreign Aid; for tho’
it is certain, that Nature throws off some offensive Matter, whether
perceptible or not, by the several Organs given for those Purposes, yet
daily washing the Mouth, combing the Head, and using every other Means
of Cleanliness, bids much fairer for rendering us inoffensive to others,
than the general and immoderate Use of Perfumes. And therefore I cannot
but concur with this noble Writer, in dissuading Parents from introducing
among their Children the Custom of seeking foreign Assistance in order to
be sweet. Should I add to this, that continually striking on those Nerves
which convey the Sense of Smelling to us, is prejudicial to our Health, I
should advance no more than what many learned Men hold as a Truth.

But there is another Pretext for using Sweets, which must not pass
unobserved; that of keeping us from being sensible of the various Smells
around us. It is true that those are sometimes so grossly offensive,
as to justify, and even demand, our shutting them out: but in general,
there is too much false Delicacy, too strong a Tincture of Pride, and
too little Sense of our own Infirmities in this Practice. On these last
Heads then I must beg Leave to admonish Parents, even of the highest
Rank (should this little Work ever fall into their Hands) to be greatly
circumspect with regard to their Children; that they be careful to give
them a due Sense of the Blessings Nature has bestowed on them; that they
point out to them the most rational Way of correcting natural Defects;
and above all, to imprint on them a just Detestation of every Practice
which has a Tendency to raise their Vanity, and add Fuel to their Pride.
To this end, Parents should convince their Children, that the fashionable
Cosmetics greatly endanger Health; Paint debases both the Face and the
Mind; the wanton Use of Perfumes is an Error in Principle, and all are
fraught with mischievous Effects.

It may be urged, that Children are not subject to the Use of these
things, at least while Children: I grant it. But my Readers must observe,
that when I enter on a Topic, I am naturally led thro’ it; and as we
never stand still in Life, so Parents must bring their Ideas forward,
and consider their Children as always advancing. Nay I may without
Impropriety say farther, that Vanity is one of the first things that
Children learn; and it demands the early Attention of Parents to keep it
under, by discountenancing the Practice of every thing which tends to
support or cherish it.

Parents are naturally anxious to have this first Entrance on the Stage of
Life got thro’ with Success; and I flatter myself, that the Rules already
laid down will conquer, or at least lessen the Difficulty attending it.
How eager are all good Parents to see their Children weaned; to have them
firm on their Feet; to find their Mouths full of Teeth; and to hear
them prattle: nay there are many, particularly Fathers, who think their
Children of no Importance, at least they have no Pleasure in them, ’till
these are effected. That nothing therefore may obstruct this Progress, I
will here add a Word or two more.

It is a Point much disputed, whether a young Child is better or worse for
wearing Shoes and Stockings; for my own Part, I think they are both: but,
as this may seem a Paradox, I will explain myself. The Disuse of Shoes
and Stockings is to make Children hardy; but my Readers will remember,
that unless Regard be had to Time and Season, they may cramp their tender
Limbs, and do them great Harm. Stockings therefore cannot with Prudence
be totally neglected, lest it prove a Neglect to the Child; and Shoes,
when they are put on it’s Feet, are, besides being not so disagreeable
to see, much safer to walk about in; as nobody can answer that Pins,
Splinters, Stones, and various other things will not sometimes fall in
their Way, even on the smoothest Floor, or a Carpet. Thus much in their
Favour: but what I have to say against them is not less significant.
According to the usual Method of managing Children, they wear no Cloth
in the Day-time after five or six Months old; and then, if they are not
carefully watched, they will frequently wet themselves, and thereby make
Shoes and Stockings an Impediment to their thriving, by soaking them, as
it were, in Wet, Cold, and Nastiness. Either then let a Child be kept
clean with them, or intirely go without them; for of two Evils, it is
always most eligible to chuse the least.

But a little Judgment and Attention would obviate this Inconvenience;
for as even Infants are not without various Ways of shewing their Wants,
an Attention to these, and a Method of putting them regularly into
their Chair, would be very convenient both to Mother and Child: and if
notwithstanding this, it should by chance wet itself, having dry Shoes
and Stockings always ready to put on, would prevent any ill Effect.

I am of Opinion, that Parents are often too eager to have their Children
walk; by which, they take such Means as serve to retard it. Two things
much in use manifestly keep Children back, viz. much sitting, especially
with their Cloaths up, and much standing. They should never sit long in
their Chair, nor be left to support the Weight of their Bodies, while
their Joints and Limbs are tender. Let them by all means feel that they
have Feet, but let them not be left alone, ’till Time, Air, and Exercise
have strengthened their Solids, and given them a lasting Firmness.

But we will now suppose that these first Difficulties are all surmounted.
Parents have still many things to do, which require indeed Attention, but
neither need, nor ought to be accompanied with any considerable Degree of
Difficulty or Pain.

Notwithstanding a Child is advancing, I still recommend, that Milk and
Water with Bread, or Milk-porridge, or Rice-milk, be it’s constant
Breakfast. Parents may sometimes alter their Course, may easily contrive
little Changes in a Child’s Diet, that will be very pleasing, without
either seeming to humour it, or varying it so sensibly, as to hurt the
Quality. For Example, in Summer, pour warm Water on Milk to take off its
Rawness, and let the Child with a Piece of Bread bite and sup: in Winter
let it have Milk-porridge, or Rice-milk. Milk is accounted to lose of its
natural Sweetness by boiling; therefore in general it should be avoided.

But there is another Principle Parents are to act by, viz. a Child’s
Habit of Body. Nothing is more certain than that our Food may be made
our Physic; and if our Judgment went Hand in Hand with Nature, we should
happily escape many bodily Infirmities, many grievous Evils: for it would
then be easy to see when she is regular, when not; whether she wants a
Curb or a Spur; whether she is robust or delicate; or, in fine, whether
she has any Bias, and where. To familiarize this, let me observe, that
where a Child is hot, dry, and costive, Parents should sometimes desist
from the Use of Milk, and give it Water-gruel, either with or without
Currants; or very small Broth, or Milk-porridge, which last is rendered
opening by the Oat-meal. So likewise, where the Bowels are weak, and
there is an habitual purging, the Child should be kept more closely
to Milk; have Rice-milk, Rice-gruel, or Broth thickened with Rice; or
thick Milk, or hasty Pudding made with Milk and Flour. Of one or other
of these things, as Occasion serves, a Child may properly breakfast as
long as the Guidance of Parents will be necessary: and when it is no
longer a Child, but comes to act for itself, it will not be easy to find
more wholesome Food. Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate are the most usual
Breakfasts in lieu of these. Tea has been spoken of already. Coffee is
hot and dry; it is rather fit for a Medicine than a Meal, and should be
used with Judgment; it is manifestly a Cephalic, and sometimes removes a
Head-ach instantaneously as if it were by Magic; but intemperately used,
it is very apt to sink the Spirits, and bring on Tremblings. Chocolate
has a nutritious, balsamic Quality, yet it disagrees with many People;
it does not sit easy on every Stomach; either from the natural Property
of the Nuts, or from its being made too thick, and sometimes drank with
Milk, which renders it still heavier. But, generally speaking, Tea is the
Breakfast for Children, which is often made worse, by being accompanied
with hot Bread. I have seen a Mother so cruelly kind, for so with Truth
we may call it, as to give a young Child all the Crum of a hot Roll for
its Breakfast; and this repeated every Day, till it had lost not only
it’s Appetite, but almost it’s Breath.

There is nothing Parents should more promote in their Children than the
Love of Bread; they should be taught to eat a great deal of it with their
Meat; be taught to eat it sometimes alone; but not be suffered to eat it
quite new: for the Custom of cramming Children with hot Bread, is one of
the Ways that make them unhealthy, without Parents being aware of it.

Butter is allowed to yield great Nourishment, but there are Objections
which Parents must not disregard. It often rises in the Stomach, is apt
to give that Pain which People call the Heart-burn, and is judged to be
frequently the Occasion of Childrens breaking out, by obstructing some
of the Glands. Butter therefore should be eat much more sparingly than
usual, and great Care should be taken that it is never rancid.

Cheese is a kind of Food which Children are naturally very fond of;
and, if left to themselves, will eat it to an immoderate Degree. I have
observed before, that little Changes in a Child’s Diet are at times very
right; particularly to prevent any Dislike to certain things, either from
Disuse or Affectation; but when Cheese comes in turn to be the Meal, it
should be under great Restraint. Suppose, for Example, a Child’s Supper
is to be Bread and Cheese, the Bread should most certainly be considered
as the Meal; a very small Quantity of Cheese to give it a Relish, and
convey it down, is all it ought to have. Cheese, tho’ nutritious, should
never be eat in large Quantity; it gives Children a restless painful
Fondness for what is relishing, and takes off their Appetite from more
wholesome simple Diet; it is found to disagree with many Stomachs;
toasted, it is particularly bad, and difficult to digest; and it has
often a Pungency, which creates Heat, Thirst, and Costiveness.

Flesh Meat has already been touched upon; I will here add, that besides
the Parents Care that Children do not begin too soon with it, nor eat it
intemperately, they must pay a due Regard not only to the Quality of the
Meat they give them, but to the Time and Manner of eating it.

Physicians are of Opinion, that Animal-food is not in Perfection ’till
full grown; for, like unripe Fruit, their Juices are crude, and always
more or less improper to mix with our Blood, ’till they are in a State
of Maturity: hence it appears, that Beef and Mutton are more wholesome
than Veal and Lamb. Nor should Beef, as the Fibres of it are very
strong, be eat too freely by those whose Digestion is weak; and when
rendered harder by lying long in Brine, it is still more improper.
Pork, tho’ a favourite kind of Food, is in several Respects improper to
be eat frequently; it is extremely apt to offend the Stomach; it has a
remarkable Tendency to bring on Purgings; and it is suspected not to form
so pure a Chyle, and to be more disposed to load the Blood with those
Particles which create scorbutic Disorders than any other Meat. Upon the
whole, no Meat is so universally suited to our Nature as Mutton. For
after all our Labour and Expence to obtain greater Rarities, after we
have fatigued ourselves with Sport, hunted down defenceless Creatures,
brought to the Ground the most wary Birds, and cloyed ourselves with the
choicest Viands, we find perhaps a truer Relish, and a better Appetite
for a Mutton-chop. So Topers, after spending the Night in search of the
richest Wine, after rioting in Excess, and wearying the Tavern-waiters to
please their Palates, seek Comfort and Refreshment in a Glass of Water.

Fish is a sort of Diet extremely improper for Children. I would recommend
to Parents never to let a Child so much as taste it for the first seven
Years at least. If it were nothing more than the Danger of Bones
sticking in it’s Throat, it is enough to alarm prudent People; but most
kinds of Fish are naturally flabby, cold, and watry; are very unfit for
young Stomachs, and usually made more so, by being accompanied with rich

Children should not be debarred Fruit; but the Use of it requires some
Attention; 1st, It should always be good in its Kind, and ripe. 2dly,
Regard is to be had what Sort agrees, and what disagrees. 3dly, Some
Limitation as to Quantity. It is a disputed Point whether we may eat
Fruit in a Morning; other Nations do frequently, we seldom. In _France_,
_Germany_, _Switzerland_, and many other Places, the People always eat
Bread with their Fruit; and it appears so rational that I believe it
were better that we did too. Fruit gives some a Pain at the Stomach,
others not; Apples, Currants, and those Kinds, which, tho’ ripe, have
still a Degree of grateful Acidity in them, usually agree best. Pears
and Plumbs, especially the _Orleans_ Plumb, have a Tendency to bring
on Purgings, which sometimes terminate in a Bloody Flux and Death; and
therefore should be given to Children with great Caution: but, in fine,
Experience here, as in many other things, is to be our Guide. One general
Rule I would recommend, which is, that the Skin or Rind of all Fruit
that is in any manner tough, be not eat. It is the Pulp and juicy Part
of the Fruit which refreshes us; and Nature, to preserve these, has
wrapped them up in a tough kind of Coat, which is judged by many to be
very unfit to take into the Stomach. I must not omit to speak of Nuts. I
observed before, that merely from the Danger of Bones Children should be
kept from Fish; so, had Nuts no other Effect than loosening the Teeth by
frequent cracking them, which they do manifestly, they should never be
meddled with; but in Fact they have. I have seen People eat Walnuts ’till
they could scarcely breathe; the famous _Barcelona_ Nuts, besides the
Substance or fibrous Part of them, often abound with a rank kind of Oil;
and even our own Hazel Nuts and Filberds, when eaten in any Quantity, are
apt to create Thirst, cord up, as it were, the whole Chest, and produce

Self-gratification on one hand, and Self-interest on the other, have
introduced several Trades the World in general might dispense with;
two of which demand my Observation, viz. the Confectioner and the
Pastry-cook. That these Trades have their Use I do not deny. A Nobleman,
according to the Rules of Politeness, cannot make an Entertainment
without a Desert; thus the Confectioner becomes necessary: in inferior
Life, the Coarseness of the Entertainment is taken off by the Assistance
of the Pastry-cook: all which may be reasonable, if reasonably used. But
when I consider the general Misapplication of these luscious Dainties to
Children, I cannot but condemn it.

If a Child is sent to visit a Relation or Friend, the grand Compliment
is, to apply to the Confectioner or the Pastry-cook; and ’till the little
Visitor be crammed with Biskets, or Cakes, or Tarts, or Sweetmeats, or
all in their Turn, and that even to a Surfeit, the welcome is not thought
compleat. Still there is some Excuse to palliate this Mistake; the Child
is considered as a Visitor; and these Excesses are the mistaken Effects
of Good-Nature and Respect; both which are apt grievously to err against
Judgment. But my Principals here are the Parents; for from them alone
must come the Habit of doing right, and by them alone must the Error be
prevented or corrected.

I have no Objection to a Child’s having a Tart or Bisket by Chance,
but I am a profess’d Enemy to the daily Abuses committed with them.
If we view the Loads of Wigs, Tarts, and Cakes, every Day made at the
Pastry-cooks, we must be astonished at their Consumption. The Truth is,
People give these Things to their Children ’till they have made them
sick, and then give them because they are sick. If a Person happens to
call on a Friend where there is a Child indisposed, it is ten to one but
they find a Tart in it’s Hands; Ah! poor thing, says Mamma, it has eat
nothing to-day, so I sent for a Tart for it. That the Hands, the Face,
the Apparel and Bedding of Children, imprudently indulg’d with this kind
of Food, be constantly daub’d and besmear’d, is the least bad Consequence
attending such Indiscretion; it has several other Effects, particularly
on their Health; by vitiating their Appetites, engendering Crudities, and
alienating them from more wholesome Diet.

But let us go lower into Common Life; and view the various Outlets from
_London_. What Swarms, what Multitudes of Children are there not in
the Fields on every fine Sunday! And what is their Entertainment? Why,
generally speaking, they are stuffed with a coarse kind of Pastry-ware
made coarse on purpose for Children, who of all the human Species ought
not to touch it: then to compleat the Mischief, they are to wash it down
with a foul, nauseous, heady kind of Ale, or other Malt Liquor. Yet when
one opposes this Practice, as every one must with Hand and Heart, who
has but a Head to guide them; Poor Things! cry the mistaken Parents,
what! take Children into the Fields, and not give them a Bun! But how
grievously does their dotard Fondness mislead them! Good Bread, with a
very little Sweet Butter, wash’d down with Water, or clear well-brew’d
Small Beer, would preserve their Health; while the only use of this
Trash, is to impair or destroy it.

To reduce to Method what has been here said concerning Diet, I must
observe, that next to the proper kind of Food, nothing is more conducive
to Health than a Habit of eating Meals regularly. Children accustomed
to eat all Day long are seldom healthy; besides, that it makes them
disorderly, and often throws a Family into Confusion to gratify all their
little Humours. The proper Breakfast has been already pointed out; their
Dinner should be made of one Dish, only, unless by great Chance a passing
Taste of a second; they should either eat a great deal of Bread, or
blend their Meat with Greens, Turnips, or other Garden Stuff; Pickles
and all high Sauces should not be touch’d by them; and their Meal should
be washed down with Water or light Small Beer. Their Supper may, like
their Breakfast, sometimes be vary’d, as to the Auxiliary; Bread is to
be the Repast; yet a small Portion of Butter, Cheese, Fruit, or Tart,
may in their Turn accompany it: the Vehicle the same as at Dinner. But
should a Child at intermediate Times, especially before Dinner, complain
of Hunger, and fasting long might make it’s Stomach ach; in that Case
nothing so good as a bit of Bread; and if used to it, it will eat it as
eagerly as the greatest Dainty; but to see Children walk about a House
with Tarts or Bread and Butter in their Hands, daubing every thing and
every body they touch, is certainly wrong; being not only detrimental to
their Health, but to their Manners too, as it is inexpressibly vulgar.

The Ideas of Parents may perhaps confine these Rules to the first
Septenary of a Child’s Life; but I must here observe, that no essential
Difference, no very material Changes can be made from this, even in
the second and third Stages, without some Degree of Error. Eating and
Drinking are made too much the Business and the Pleasure of Life, to be
consistent with either our Health or our Reason: Parents therefore who
aim at acting on right Principles, must for the sake of these, teach
their Children to be regular and temperate in the use of those. It is
right that they begin early, that they set out well; but it is doubly
so, that they keep them in the same Road; and as their Childrens Reason
gathers Strength, convince them that they must never quit it, if they
wish to live a long or happy Life: and that, of all human Gratifications,
an inordinate Attachment to Eating and Drinking is the meanest, and most
unworthy a Man.

Mr. _Locke_ proposes, as a great Means of preserving Health, that Boys
(for it is for them only that he writes) have Holes made in their Shoes
on purpose to let in the Wet; which (says he) being rendered familiar
to them, will prevent their catching Cold. It is certain this Gentleman
acts here upon a right Principle; but whether the Practice be altogether
eligible, is a Doubt. Nothing is so hurtful to the Head, the Eyes, and
the Breast, as catching Cold in the Feet; and therefore I cannot but
concur with this ingenious Writer, in recommending the Use of cold
Water in order to make Children hardy. I have before advised, that young
Children have their Limbs washed daily with cold Water; now as many
things may be rendered familiar and easy by Custom, if, as they advance,
their Feet were daily immersed in cold Water too, it would undoubtedly
be of vast Service, and greatly tend to confirm their Health. But if
this be never practised, or the Practice set aside, which is nearly the
same thing, it demands double Care of the Parents to prevent their being
liable to Colds.

To this End, Children’s Feet should be washed in Water a little warm’d;
for it is extremely dangerous to make a sudden Derivation of the Blood
up to the Lungs or Head, which is the natural Effect of cold Water. And
it is for this Reason that People are never suffered to walk into a cold
Bath, but are thrown forwards, that the Immersion may be total at the
same instant. Nay, Mr. _Locke_ himself was so sensible of this, that tho’
he advises washing the Feet daily in cold Water, he would have it begun
with in the Spring, and the Water luke-warm, and made colder and colder
by Degrees: “For (says he) it is to be observ’d in this, as in all other
Alterations from our ordinary Way of living, the Changes must be made by
gentle and insensible Degrees.”

The next Mean is, that Children have always dry Shoes. There is a
great deal of Mischief attends the mistaken Delicacy of Shoes. Those
who always tread on Carpets, who never go abroad without a Coach or
a Chair, may perhaps wear with Safety the thinnest that can be made;
but to see People in inferior Life, or those engaged in real Business,
trampling thro’ dirty Streets, and soaking their Paper-soals in continual
Puddles, is surely every way absurd: but as this Practice is evidently
detrimental to Health, as it frequently occasions Coughs, sore Eyes,
Head-ach, Rheumatism, and other Disorders, it is highly incumbent on
Parents to keep Children free from these Dangers by using them, in Winter
especially, to such Shoes as will keep them dry. On this Head it will
not be amiss to give a Caution against Shoes that pinch. Parents must
be attentive to this both in Boys and Girls, for many by this Means are
made so tender-footed, and have such painful Corns, that they are a kind
of Cripples their whole Lives: and are not only very uncomfortable to
themselves, but are often thereby greatly disabled from doing their
necessary Business.

I must not here omit, so far as relates to Health, to mention Sleeping,
and the Circumstances attending it. “Of all (says Mr. _Locke_) which
looks soft and effeminate, nothing is more to be indulged Children
than Sleep. In this alone they are to be permitted to have their full
Satisfaction, nothing contributing more to the Growth and Health of
Children than Sleep.” I have already with regard to Infants shewn, that
they ought not to be disturbed from their Rest; and even past that
Age Sleep affords them great Nourishment. Nothing certainly is more
injudicious and unnatural than the Custom many Parents have of keeping
their Children up late. If they wish them to be healthy, temperate, or
wise, they must create in them a Habit of early going to Bed and early
rising. As the many Conditions in Life oblige, or at least lead People to
act differently, so it is extremely hard to fix precise Rules herein; but
in general, ’till Children approach nearly to Men and Women, they would
do best not to sit up to see, much less to eat, a Family-supper at nine

Lying on soft Beds is undoubtedly wrong; the _French_ have a good Custom
of putting a Matrass above the Feather-bed, which prevents their sinking
into a Softness very prejudicial to Health. Soft Beds absorb too much of
our Juices, cause a greater Waste than we can spare, enfeeble our whole
Frame, and have a remarkable Tendency to give a Pain of Weakness in the
Small of the Back, by heating the Reins.

Mr. _Locke_, amidst great good Sense, has some Notions a little rigorous,
which probably are never followed, nor do they seem altogether needful.
He proposes that a Child’s Bed be designedly ill made; that is, sometimes
high, sometimes low, sometimes rough, sometimes smooth; for my part, I
am desirous to banish every ill-judged Tenderness, every false Fondness;
but as I write for the Use of both Sexes, and all Conditions, I cannot
confine my Ideas to a Tent or a Cabin. Let Children by all Means lie
on Matrasses instead of Beds, for the Reasons already given; let them
lie with a Bolster only, and no Pillow, for it is not good for them to
have the Head high; let them lie either on one Side or the other, and
not on the Back; and let them lie pretty straight in the Bed, yet not
fully stretched out, for that would impede the due Action of the animal
Functions, and render Sleep less profitable to them. With regard to the
Form of their Beds, I think, Decency requires that they be orderly and
regular; nor is there any Fear that a Change of Bed will affect them, for
most young People sleep sound wherever they are laid.

It has been generally said, that we should keep our Heads cool; and
many on that Principle, even tho’ their Heads are shaved, lie without a
Night-cap. I will not take upon me to determine the Matter, but observe,
that the Night-air seems to require some Guard; and many are of Opinion,
that lying with the Head warm is most healthful; and particularly good
for the Hair, the Eyes, and the Teeth.

Another Observation I shall here make, is, the Error of sleeping in small
Rooms, and by Choice in the lower Part of a House; it is certainly right
that we should have Space for a due Circulation of Air that it may not
become thick and foul, which is very common in close Bed-chambers; nor
should we lie surrounded with Curtains, for that is confining ourselves
to the Air within the small Compass of our Beds. Parents would do well
to let Children lie with the Curtains undrawn; and even where they have
tender Constitutions, drawn only at the Sides of the Bed; but never all
round, unless really sick: for this Practice, however common, is highly

Notwithstanding the general Rules laid down concerning Exercise, I must
here observe, that as Children advance in Life, that is, when they
approach to Men and Women, great Regard should be had to the Exercise
suitable to their Circumstances and Constitution; but these are too many
to admit of enlarging upon here. I will in brief observe, that those
who are hale receive the greatest Advantage from walking; the tender,
especially the Hectical, and those who have weak Nerves, cannot bear
this Exercise to any Degree, but gain Strength and Vigor from riding on
Horseback; and indeed it often happens, where walking cannot be borne
without great Fatigue, and waste of Strength and Spirits, riding, on the
contrary, not only gives Pleasure, but increases both. Where Infirmity is
so great, which doubtless will sometimes happen, that neither of these
Exercises can be pursued, then a Coach, or some ether Vehicle, should
supply their Place; for it is of great Consequence not totally to disuse
Exercise: but Parents must remember this is too indolent in a State of
Health; and is not by any Means to be encouraged by Choice. Besides
these, there are many others under the Name of Sports and Pastimes,
which if well regulated, and Care be taken that those engaged in them do
not injudiciously drink cold Liquors, or otherwise expose themselves to
inclement Seasons, are very salutary; such as Fencing, Dancing, Bowling,
Digging, Gardening, and many others; all in their Nature good, and at
times not to be shunned, especially by those whose Life would otherwise
be inactive, those particularly who are devoted to Study.

There are yet some farther things relative to Health, which Parents must
not disregard. Constitutions are so variously formed, that the same
Employment which suits one Child, will not another. If one is closely
confined to Study it will impair his Health, and either shorten his Days,
or make him miserable: if another is engaged in a laborious Business,
his tender Frame, perhaps, sinks under it: if a third is indulged in an
easy Occupation, where Action would have suited his Frame, he becomes
indolent, insipid, and infirm, a Burden to himself and others. Lastly,
there are Occupations in Life whose Fumes are known to affect us; and
some Regard should be had even to these, since the Health of our Children
is concerned: not that I here recommend the Observance of each Nicety,
or would have Children afraid of every Vapour that rises around them, or
of every Employment that is accompanied with Labour: no; that would be
making Life too painful, and fix in our Children an unmanly Timorousness,
which would make them puny, frivolous or hurtful; and would be swerving
from the Opinion of the greatest Men that have studied and wrote on
these Subjects: For _Hippocrates_, _Celsus_, and all those who were best
acquainted with what Physicians call the Non-naturals, maintain, that,
besides Temperance and Air, Exercise, and that too of the most laborious
Kind, particularly Husbandry, is indispensably necessary for Health.
What then in general I here advise, is, that Parents, in settling their
Children, have an Eye to their Health, at the same time that they study
their Interest and Prosperity.

Having thus with real Pains, and an unfeigned Desire to promote the
Welfare of Mankind, pointed out the general Means of preserving Health,
and, I hope, set in a true Light those Errors which usually tend to
impair or destroy it; if Parents seriously adhere to the one, and
avoid the other, their Children will receive many and great Advantages
therefrom. It may be urged, that the Treatment which suits one Child will
not another; and that general Rules are always subject to particular
Exceptions: I grant it. Still this does not justify those Parents who
submit to no Rules at all. I have said before, that all Laws give Parents
the sole Power of governing their Children; I may also maintain that
the same Laws oblige them to do every thing to promote their Welfare.
Those who are unacquainted with the Duty of a Parent, must learn; those
who know, must practice. Let this Admonition then rouse the Attention
of Parents; and let these Precepts serve as the Foundation, whereon
to build the solid Health of their Children. The Constitution is like
the Countenance, somewhat different in every one; where therefore any
Deviations from Rule are the Effect of Judgment, I sincerely applaud
them; and where any Principle here laid down proves erroneous, I
chearfully submit to the Removal of it.

Many of my Readers will still perhaps expect, that something should be
said concerning the manner of treating Children in Sickness; but they
must remember, that I set out with no farther View than the preserving
Health, by avoiding every Irregularity and Excess: and when Diseases
happen, which cannot be obviated, nor even foreseen, it is not the
reading a single Volume that will qualify Parents to undertake the Cure
of them: no; they must apply to those who make it their Study and their
Profession; to those whose Judgment, whose Integrity, and whose Diligence
they can confide in. To this End I will here endeavour to point out to
Parents the most rational Way of proceeding.

One would imagine, that nothing was easier to determine than this Matter;
for what can be more natural in Sickness, than sending for a Physician?
He who from his Youth has laboured to acquire Knowledge, who has devoted
his Life to Study, who has searched into Nature, and discovered the most
hidden Causes; who has sacrificed many even of the innocent Pleasures
of Life, that he might become useful to Mankind; and who, to accomplish
this, has spent perhaps a good younger Son’s Portion. Can any thing, I
say, be more natural or more rational than this Proceeding? And yet, who
is there that has any Knowledge of the World, that is acquainted with
_London_ particularly, that does not daily see a very different Practice?
Who is there that does not know, that the Apothecary, the Nurse, the
Quack, and many others, oftentimes baffle the Physician, or keep him out
of Play.

Every Nation is distinguished for some Peculiarities of it’s own. In
_France_ the Physicians have but little Dignity, and their Fees are low;
yet nobody in Sickness presumes to act without them; they are always
call’d first: in _England_, the Reputation of Physicians is deservedly
great; but their Fees are high, and they are usually call’d in last. As
Sickness is in it’s Nature every Way expensive, as the Doctor’s Fee is
always Gold, we cannot but be sensible, that there are many People in
the Nation, who either from a Desire to contract the Expence, or from a
Want of Ability to give the customary Fees, do not, at least ’till Danger
threatens, send for a Physician. And it is for these, and other Reasons,
that some Medium between the Patient and the Physician seems necessary:
which Medium is no where to be found, but in the Apothecary.

Let us now enquire a little into the Nature of the Apothecary’s Business,
and see of what Use he is to Mankind. Pharmacy, the Apothecary’s Art, is
branch’d out of Physic; for as now the Apothecary sometimes prescribes,
so originally the Physician was Apothecary too. An Apothecary’s Education
is not so deep, nor his Application to Study usually so close, as the
Physician’s: yet as Genius is not confined to the Physician, but is
by Nature as capable of residing in the Apothecary; some Degree of
Learning, an Acquaintance with proper Books, which are equally open to
both, and constant Observation on Diseases, will certainly furnish him
with a considerable Stock of useful Knowledge. Experience is the Mother
of Wisdom. While the Physician is labouring at Theories, the Apothecary
is perhaps deeply immers’d in Practice: and as all allow that nice
Observation is of vast Use in Physic, while the one is searching into
Causes, the other, if he improves as he ought the Opportunities he is
furnished with, gains a Knowledge of Effects. Hence it appears, that an
Apothecary is capable of being, not merely an useful, but a valuable
Man to Society; and perhaps equally so, both to Patient and Physician.
Physicians could not keep up their Dignity, nor act with Safety without
this Medium. Who is it they confide in that the Drugs are good, and the
Letter of the Prescription faithfully adhered to, but the Apothecary? Who
is it that gives the Patient that close Attendance he frequently wants,
but the Apothecary? Who is it that has the Trouble of applying Leeches,
of applying and dressing Blisters, of administering Vomits, _&c._ of
watching the various Changes that arise, and of running in Pursuit of the
Doctor to check some threatening Symptom, but the Apothecary? And who is
it, in fine, that on every Emergency, in every real or fancied Danger, is
called out of his Bed to administer some speedy Relief, or appease some
groundless Fears of the Patient, or their Friends, but the Apothecary?
Still all this, tho’ literally true, tho’ it proves the Apothecary (where
a good one) to have some real Importance, yet it does not put him upon
a Level with the Physician, much less justify the shutting him out from
Practice. Those who deny that Apothecaries can sometimes cure Diseases,
flatly contradict what every Day’s Experience proves; and those, who,
to magnify them, depreciate the Physicians, are guilty of an Injustice,
which can have no other Source than Ignorance, or an evil Mind: for, to
put Things upon a fair Footing, the Apothecary should be considered as an
Auxiliary; or, as I have before expressed it, a necessary Medium between
Physician and Patient.

Health is a nice Affair; and Life precious to every Individual. The
best Advice then I can give to Parents is, that they do not, where
these are at Stake, hazard either one or the other by Indolence, or an
ill-tim’d Frugality. Those who are rich, let them at once send for the
Physician, especially if it be a Matter of Moment; and surely Prudence
points out this to us: so those who cannot reach the best, let them
take the next best; that is, where calling in a Physician would too
sensibly affect their Circumstances, Prudence demands, that they employ
a good Apothecary. And even these, tho’ they consult their Apothecary
first, should strain a Point where Danger threatens; and neither attach
themselves too closely to the Man who is fond of his own Judgment, nor
condemn another’s Tenderness in proposing farther Advice. But I may on
this Point say farther, that it is sometimes the greatest Proof of Wisdom
in an Apothecary to desire the Advice of a Physician; for tho’ Diligence,
Integrity, and many other Qualifications are highly necessary in this
Profession, yet none is equal to that Penetration, which gives him the
Power of seeing Danger before it is too late to apply a Remedy.

As for the Calumnies, the Sneers, and the Misrepresentations of ignorant
or designing People, such as Apothecaries and Physicians being in league
together, and playing into one another’s Hands; the Eleven-pence in the
Shilling; the cramming People with Physic they do not want; and much
more of the like Nature; these are things that scarcely deserve any
Notice. I have now been above thirty Years in the Business; have seen and
done far from an inconsiderable Share; have attended with Physicians of
every Rank, from those who first enter’d into Practice up to those who
have reach’d the Summit; yet cannot charge either any single Physician,
or myself, with even an Attempt to enter into an Association to the
Prejudice of Mankind. On the contrary, I have seen some who have laboured
with disinterested Zeal for their Benefit; not merely because they could
not have their Fees, but because they would not take them. Here I cannot
help observing how much the World is misled by Appearances; because
People see an Apothecary with a good Suit of Cloaths on, they conclude
he is above Want; and because they see another in a Chariot, they
pronounce him rich: so too because a very few Physicians make Fortunes,
they conclude, that all of the Profession are Wealthy. But how fallacious
is all this! There is no Profession, no Trade in the Kingdom which we
call genteel, that has so few rich Men in it as the different Branches of
Physic. Many a Man in it, sensible that the World would have no Opinion
of his Skill, if he appeared to Disadvantage, keeps up a Port with aching
Heart; many a Chariot is in daily Danger of breaking down; and many owe
their Stability more to their own Patrimony, to their Wives Portion, or
some other fortunate Event, than to the Produce of their Business.

Two Things with respect to Sickness Parents are to guard against; one
is, the Neglect of calling for Help in time; the other, that amazing
Attachment to Nurses, and what they call good old Women. I esteem it a
Misfortune in a Family, where a Physician or an Apothecary appears as
regularly as the Baker; and to prove that I do so, I have said before,
that our Food may often be made our Physic; and have pointed out many
Ways to prevent Diseases: still it is a Fact, that all Errors are best
rectified at the Beginning; and the sooner a Distemper is attacked,
the sooner, in all Probability, will it be conquered. Good Women are
extremely apt to treat physical People with Contempt; and this chiefly
to magnify their own Skill. If they have any Knowledge, as some of them
doubtless have, to whom principally do they owe it? Is it not from
conversing with physical People, and seeing how they proceed? most
certainly. And yet these same good Women shall wonder that any body
sends for a Doctor or an Apothecary to a sick Child! What, they cry, do
these People know about Children? A good old Woman is better than all
of them. She must be a very good old Woman indeed, that knows more than
Men who have made the Knowledge of Diseases the whole Study of their
Lives. But supposing that Reason and Resolution get the better of this
Weakness; Parents have still more to do; it is not enough that Medicines
are prescribed, they must be sure that they are taken. For besides the
Repugnance in the Child, there is a Difficulty perhaps in the Nurse; and
if she thinks it wrong, it will be hard to set her right; and harder
still, to prevail on her to give them to the Patient. Parents, in this
Case, must either resolve not to ask Advice, or resolve to see the
Medicines taken.

Nurses have a Province of their own, in which they are very valuable,
that is, a diligent attentive Care; for in vain do Parents seek Advice,
in vain do Physicians prescribe, if Nurses are negligent, unwatchful,
or careless. But while I do them the Justice they deserve, while I
acknowledge the Merit of their Station, and recommend that it be
rewarded, I cannot help repeating to Parents, not to suffer them to
baffle superior Knowledge. If any Change happens to the Patient, or a
Difficulty arises unforeseen, let them suspend for a Time the Execution
of the Orders given them; but let them not frustrate the Physician’s
Intention, by throwing Medicines away, giving them by Halves, or giving
something of their own added to it, or in it’s stead; and then concealing
what they have done: all these things are grievously wrong, and every way
unjustifiable, as they frequently disappoint the Patient, or disgrace
the Physician. If a Nurse has made any useful Observation on the Patient
(which all good Nurses sometimes will) there is not a Doctor in the
Kingdom, if a Man of Sense, but will hear her, and turn it to Advantage;
but if her Conceit leads her to set aside or overturn what is proposed,
however merry it may make herself, every thinking Person in the World
must condemn so capital an Error.

The last Caution I shall give to Parents relative to Health, is, the
Danger of Nostrums and Quack-Medicines. I believe there is not a
Physician nor an Apothecary in the Kingdom but what has seen the Lives of
People, particularly of Children, sacrificed to this Practice. What is
it that constitutes the Physician, that proves the Man of Judgment, but
the varying his Prescriptions, not only according to different Diseases,
but according to the different Circumstances of the same Disease? And
yet these Nostrum-Mongers, with unparalell’d Boldness, often attempt to
conquer all Diseases with one Arcanum, one pretended Remedy. Who that
hears these Boasters, or that reads their printed Accounts, but must
discover many Absurdities on the very Face of them. The Man that promises
what is repugnant to common Sense, argues himself either a Knave or a
Fool; and yet People are often so little attentive, or so regardless of
Health, that they do not discover their Error, ’till it is sometimes
too late to remedy it. That I may do strict Justice to every one, I am
ready to grant, that many Discoveries have been made in Medicine by mere
Accident; and that some of the Nostrums in Vogue are in themselves good;
nay some of them were the Discoveries of able Physicians; Discoveries
since seiz’d on by designing People, and pirated into a kind of Property.
But what does all this avail in the Hands of ignorant People? What is a
Man the wiser for being placed in a Repository of the finest Drugs, if he
knows not how to apply them? Or wherein does he differ from one set in a
Library of the choicest Books, without being able to read? Yet are People
every Day vending Things, which they know not the Nature nor Use of; and
so far impose on the weak and credulous, as often to make a Fortune at
others Cost.

Opium, Mercury, and all the powerful Drugs, are every Day scattered about
the Kingdom, and indiscriminately offered to all, whether they want them
or not, whether they are good for them or not; and the specious Terms
they are recommended in are apt to mislead, not merely innocent, but very
sensible People. Since then Things are so, Parents must be very wary
how they touch such dangerous Weapons. ’Tis great Odds but they mistake
their Child’s Disorder; ’tis great Odds that the random Medicine they
give is not suited to it; and how will they reconcile it to themselves
if any fatal Consequence ensues? Upon the Whole, as a Friend to Mankind,
independent of any private Interest, as one who aims at the Benefit of
Society, and wishes to preserve the rising Generation, I cannot but
advise Parents to be tender, circumspect, and judicious, in so important
a Matter as their Children’s Health. When they are well, let them use
every prudent Means to keep them so; if they are ill, let them ask good
Advice; by which Means they will often save their Children’s Lives: and
even where a Miscarriage happens, their Prudence and Justice will be
attended with this Consolation, that they have done their best.


Manners comes next under my Consideration: it implies such a Government
of our Children as tends to regulate their Conduct, by making their
Actions what they ought to be. And though Health has been treated first,
from it’s being generally thought the most immediately necessary, yet if
this Regulation, this due Government does not accompany every Endeavour
to preserve their Children’s Health, Parents will often be disappointed,
and find their Labour fruitless.

The Basis of Government is Authority: without that, in vain do we
expect any Order in our Children, any Happiness to ourselves. Cities,
Armies, Kingdoms, all are sustain’d by it: and so too must private
Families be. By Authority I do not mean that stern Brow, that trembling
awful Distance, nor that Bashaw-like Behaviour, which favours more of
the Tyrant than of the Parent; no: I mean a rational, yet absolute
Exercise of a Degree of Power, necessary for the regulating the Actions
and Dispositions of Children, ’till they become wise enough to govern
themselves. But because some Children attain this necessary Knowledge
sooner than others, and one Child will be better able to conduct itself
at fifteen, than another at twenty, or even thirty; there is but one
general way of ascertaining the length of Time our Authority should be
exercised in it’s full Force; which is that settled by the Laws of our
Kingdom; viz. ’till the Age of twenty-one. And if we can once seriously
resolve to employ this Term so critical to Children, solely to their
Advantage, Authority will thenceforward become useless: it’s Terrors
will vanish, and be wholly absorbed in the united Considerations of the
Parent, the Friend, and the Companion: in a Word, our Children well
conducted to this Age will afterwards take as much Pains to make us
happy, as we have done to make them wise. But to proceed.

As soon as a Child discovers the first Dispositions to Perversity and
Self-will (which as sure as it is born it will too soon begin to do)
I advise most earnestly that it be attended to; for much depends upon
it. Here I must caution my Fair Readers in particular, not to suspect
me of Cruelty; since the Pains I am taking is intended to prevent the
Necessity of using any Severity during our whole Lives. But what! you’ll
say, should a Child be corrected before it can speak? I answer, that
the first Principle in human Nature is Self-love; Reason, the second
Principle, opens only by degrees. Now as soon as the Passions of Children
shew themselves, they should certainly be checked: and as the Fear of
Chastisement is included in Self-love, it is easy to turn this to their
Advantage, ’till Reason shall have gained so much Strength as to render
it unnecessary: no one can absolutely fix the Time, but within the Year
most Parents will find a Necessity to begin; and before half the first
Septenary is past much may be done.

In the Government of Children Parents should be obstinately good; that
is, set out upon right Principles, and then pursue them with Spirit and
Resolution: otherwise their Children will soon grow too cunning for them,
and take the Advantage of their Weakness.

Severe and frequent Whipping is I think a very bad Practice; it inflames
the Skin, it puts the Blood into a Ferment, and there is besides,
a Meanness, a degree of Ignominy attending it, which makes it very
unbecoming: still there may be Occasions which will render it necessary;
but I earnestly advise that all the milder Methods be first try’d. A
coarse clamorous manner of enforcing Obedience is also to be avoided; it
is vulgar, and nothing vulgar should be seen in the Behaviour of Parents
to their Children, because through the Eyes and Ears it taints their
tender Minds: still, let Parents make their Children both see and feel
the Power they have over them.

If a Child is passionate and wilful, a Look, or a little Tap on the Hand,
will, without hurting it, sometimes suffice to convince it that it is
doing wrong; and will often cure the Fault, or at least keep it under.
A Child, in a perverse Mood, throws down it’s Play-things; if they are
taken up fifty times successively, they are still thrown down as long
as the Spirit of Contradiction lasts: now the Remedy here should be to
take them away; or by a serious Countenance shew you are displeased;
and the Child will very probably not only soon be quiet, but be less
prone to do the like another Time. I have seen Children that could not
speak, distinguish perfectly those who were disposed to spoil them,
from those who were not; scratch Faces, break China, and play the tyrant
over all who humour’d them, and yet not offer to lift a Finger against
those who did not. By all means let Children be play’d with, and have
every Amusement; but great care must be taken to distinguish Play from
Mischief; innocent Freedom, from a growing Perversity.

The Humours even of Infants are innumerably various. One Child will not
sleep but on a Lap; another there is no Peace with unless rock’d in a
Cradle; a third will cry when a Candle is taken away; and to shew us
why it cry’d, it is quiet the Moment it is brought back again; a fourth
will swill Tea or some other improper Liquor out of measure and out of
time; and a fifth will eat Trash ’till it can eat nothing else, nor that
itself. In these Cases I advise Parents to consider if their Children
are acting for themselves, or they for their Children: one Grain of
Judgment will set them right; one Minute’s Reflection will shew them
their Error; but, when they once see it they must resolve to avoid it for
the future. I call’d some time ago on a Friend, and took a Family Dinner;
when to my great Astonishment I saw little Master, not yet a Year old,
drinking Porter. What, said I, do you give the Child strong Drink? Oh!
Sir, reply’d Mamma, he’ll drink nothing else. Now is not the Fault of
such Proceeding obvious? and is not the Remedy as obvious? Parents surely
cannot be so blind as not to see their Children’s Health impair’d,
and their Humours strengthen’d, by this misplac’d Indulgence; and all
for want of a little Resolution, a gentle Correction, or a seasonable
Reprimand; nay perhaps only a Look; which given with an authoritative
Air, would often have the desired Effect. Constant Experience proves how
wrong, nay how ineffectual, the opposite Practice to this is; those who
give a Child every thing it cries or asks for, strengthen indeed its
Wilfulness, but are far from making it happy. How many improper Things
are there which Parents give a Child because they cannot quiet it? Who
has not seen a Picture, a Book, a Watch, and other valuable things
exposed to be destroyed by it through this mistaken Management? But
surely it is right that even among the Baubles contrived on purpose, the
Parents, not the Child, should have the Command of them; that is, they
should be given or taken away at Discretion; and this without Passion
or Ill-nature on one Side, and without Clamour or Fretfulness on the
other. Parents should every Day more and more convince their Children of
their Power over them, by restraining their little Irregularities, and
by weakening their Passions; now this they cannot do without an early
Attention to their various Dispositions and Tempers; that they may thence
learn what Propensity is strongest, what Foible is most predominant.

Nature, ’tis true, is not alike bountiful to all; nor does she give
the same Propensity, the same Temper to all. One Child is born with
sweet and mild Dispositions; another more sanguine, and full of Fire;
a third has a Redundance of Acrimony; and so on: yet different Tempers
are sometimes a kindness bestow’d on us by Nature, on purpose for us
to act some certain Part on the great Stage of Life. It is therefore
the Parents Business to watch the Temper of their Children; to check
any evil Tendency, any ill Dispositions, and prevent every Excess from
growing into a Habit; nay more, to change the bad Humour into a good one;
as Physicians administer Medicines to alter the Blood and Juices. That
famous Reply of _Socrates_ to the Phisiognomist was excellent: “Nature
(says he) intended me a Monster; but Reason has made me what I am.”
Cardinal _Richlieu_ (speaking of external Graces) says, “Every thing to
a Gentleman should be natural.” Now it cannot be supposed that he means,
we should know how to speak, or move, or dance gracefully, without being
taught; no, but these Things by Acquisition should so far enter into us
as to seem interwoven in our Nature. Thus did Philosophy change the Vices
of _Socrates_ into Virtues; and thus should Parents correct and alter the
irregular Dispositions of their Children: they must temper and moderate
the Fire of one, lest it grow too impetuous; they must animate the
Mildness of another with a Degree of Warmth, lest it become sluggish; and
they must blunt and sweeten the Acrimony of a third, lest it degenerate
into Rancour; which last Frame of Mind, as it is of all others the most
detestable in itself, and the most dangerous to Society, so of all others
it requires the nicest Care to manage; in short Parents, as I have
already observed, are to let their Children see and feel their Affection
for them, and their Power over them; and then regulate their Actions as
they find necessary.

I have still my Eye on Children in the first Septenary, and with Concern
view the Majority of them humour’d, and therefore humoursome; Boys
audacious and impudent under the Name of courageous; and Girls pert and
vain under the name of witty. It is my Opinion the Parents need not
trouble themselves much to reason with their Children in this Stage;
first let them consider what is proper for them to do, or avoid; then
enforce their Compliance in soft and winning Terms; or, if not with a
smiling Countenance, at least with a smooth Brow and without harshness:
but whenever they attempt to disobey, let them shew by a Word or a Look
that they are absolute: which Method I think should be seriously adhered
to. Though I have already observed that Children have Knowledge much
earlier than is commonly imagined, they have yet no Judgment to guide
their Actions. What they chiefly discover to us at this Age is Cunning;
therefore if Parents neglect Reproof when necessary, they will soon get
the better of them. For Example, a Child cries because it is to go to
School; shall Parents fondly to quiet it keep it at Home? by no means.
A Dose of Physic is to be taken; shall they, because it is unpleasant,
humour the Child, and throw it away? no surely. There is no other Method
here but being serious; you must go, you must take it; when Children thus
see their Parents in earnest, Obedience very soon becomes familiar and

Nor is an unreasonable Compliance with the Humours of Children what
Parents take it for; they falsely think it Tenderness and Love; but far
from it; it is Love degenerated into Weakness and Folly. But it is easy
to soften this seeming Rigour in the Behaviour of Parents, by their
addressing the Understandings of Children at other Intervals, supposing
it to be open. What more natural and reasonable than to say to a Child,
You know, my Dear, all good Children do as they are bid; all Children to
become wise must go to School; you would not surely be rank’d among bad
Children by being disobedient? You would not, I hope, be a Blockhead?
yet if you do not apply to your Learning you must be one. Thus too with
Regard to Medicines: You know, my Love, Physic is to make you well; I
am sorry you have occasion to take it; I am sorry it is unpleasant; but
since it is necessary for you, prove yourself a good Child, and take it
at once. Here I must beg leave to expostulate with Parents on the Errors
usually run into in this last Particular. How comes it that there is
such an universal Difficulty in getting Medicines down a sick Child’s
Throat? How comes it that the most sprightly talkative Child cannot be
prevailed on to shew its Tongue to the Doctor, yet the Moment his Back
is turn’d he will loll it out twenty times? The Reason is plain; Parents
do not teach their Children to obey. Instead of Compulsion or Reason,
they use Flattery, Bribes and Deceit: but I am practically convinced
that all this, however common, is wrong: and indeed where Obedience is
not insisted on, and made a first Rule of Action, few things can be
right. As Medicines are generally nauseous, a Repugnance to take them is
as natural as shrinking at Pain; notwithstanding this, where they are
really necessary, and unless they are so, nobody ought to be troubled
with them, a Child at any Age, from the very Day it is born, till it is
a Man or Woman, may, and ought to be made to take them. But to do this
Parents must set out right; they must have the Child under Command. That
every Parent is actuated by a Principle of preserving the Life of their
Child, I will take for granted; but this is not enough: they must go on
to the Execution of the Means. The Infant of a Day shews its Repugnance
to swallow a few Grains of Rhubarb; the Child of a Year will twist it’s
Head about every Way it can, that the Spoon or Cup which contains the
Dose may not reach it’s Mouth; and by the time it is three or four Years
old, it will probably dash the Cup out of the Hand of those who offer
the Potion, or tell them in plain Terms it won’t take it. Now, without
mentioning the Consequence this may be of to it’s Health or Life, there
is another of great Importance; namely, that a Child thus used to get
the better of all about it, and convinced it can conquer it’s Parents,
is seldom disposed to conquer itself; so that where Self-will is very
strong, Reason will doubtless be weak; and only serve to aggravate the
Fault by fixing an Error, perhaps for Life. Yet great as all these
Difficulties appear, they vanish at the Entrance of Reflection and
Resolution. If Parents consider that they are bound by every Tye to make
their Children obey, and then resolve to fulfil this Obligation, the
Business is done: therefore with regard to Medicines, what have they
more to do? Nothing but the Execution, which may be effected with Ease.
For Example, take a Child from it’s Birth to the Age of twenty-one, and
divide this Time into three, not equal parts, but States; call the first
the unresisting State; the second the State of Cunning; and the third
the State of Reason. The first is extremely short, we cannot count it
by Years, and scarcely by Months; nor is there any Trouble here with
Medicines, but putting a Spoon or Cup to it’s Mouth, and holding the
Head back ’till the Dose is swallowed. The second State lasts long; and
tho’ soft and winning Words are always to be preferred, yet they seldom
succeed here; a serious Countenance and a resolute Air are the surest
Means to conquer; and these maintained, there is nothing to fear. The
Difficulties of the third State, that of Reason, are greatly lessened by
the Success of the preceding; for a Child habituated to obey, looks back
with Pleasure on it’s Compliance with every reasonable Command; and tho’
it before obey’d and took Medicines, because it must, it now takes them
because it ought.

I cannot but be of Opinion, that every Method in the Management of sick
Children contrary to this is erroneous; I think I have seen all tried
that is in the Power of human Invention; and many who read this cannot
but be convinced that their own Endeavours have often been fruitless.
The first Rule Parents are to lay down to themselves is, never to
deceive their Children; for surely those who are to teach them never
to be deceitful, cannot but be very unfit Persons to deceive them
themselves: nor does this square with the Practice of quibbling down a
Dose of Physic, under a thousand Shifts and Turns, and even manifest
Falshoods. The next Rule is, to avoid the Practice of Bribes. Children
should be taught to know, that their greatest Happiness is their Parents
Love; therefore the Custom of giving them Sugar-Plumbs, Cakes, Toys, or
Money for every thing they take, is grievously wrong: it gives them a
Fondness for improper things; it gives them a restless Desire for every
new Bauble; and above all, it gives them an early Mean-spiritedness; an
odious Selfishness; a Desire of being paid for every thing they do.

At the same time that I recommend to Parents never to call things
by wrong Names, never to attempt imposing on a Child’s Senses or
Understanding, or to force down Medicines with Bribes; so I also
recommend, that they avoid Harshness and Violence, unless pressed to
it by great Necessity; but this Caution is almost needless after what
has been said: for with the Method proposed, it requires no more than
to approach the sick Bed with, Come, my Dear, take your Dose; if the
Child says, it is nauseous, grant it: but at the same time say, We do
not take Medicines for Pleasure, but to make us well: if it declines
it, urge how wrong it is to dwell on what would be gone in a Minute;
and if any Difficulty still remains, inform it, that it is not for your
Sake you urge it, but it’s own; and that while you are doing all you can
to restore it to Health, you must, and will be obeyed. At intermediate
times, let Parents, by a fond, engaging Behaviour, convince their
Children how tenderly they love them; let them frequently mingle with
them in their little Plays and Sports; and let them sometimes overlook
Trifles, that they may have more Influence in Matters of Moment.

Lord _Hallifax_ observes, that the first Impressions Children receive
are in the Nursery; whence he infers, that Mothers have not only the
earliest, but the most lasting Influence over them.

That the first Care of Children, and many of the most tender Offices
they require, are the Mother’s Province, is an undoubted Truth; but when
the forming their Manners is under Consideration, the Influence of both
Father and Mother should, if possible, be equal; at least it is necessary
that Parents go hand in hand, and not counteract one another in the
Government of them.

Parents should make it a Rule to themselves, never to shew to their
Children, both at once, the Marks of extreme Anger, or excessive
Fondness; but when a Child has done such a Fault as demands of the Father
to affect great Severity, let the Mother put on an equal Share of Lenity
and Compassion mixed with Grief: and so on the reverse. Thus too on other
Occasions, when the Mother prudently exposes all the motherly Fondness
of her Heart, let the Father as prudently conceal a Part of his, and,
with an Air of Steadiness, insinuate, that the Conduct which is approved
is no more than Duty. But Parents will never be able to act with due
Moderation in the Government of their Children, without first resolving
to govern, with the utmost Prudence, their own Passions and Tempers. And
how will they be able to do this, unless they look inwardly, and study
to find them out? If the Man be of a choleric or morose Disposition,
and the Woman of a phlegmatic, mild, and affable Temper, the Contrast
may prove sovereignly beneficial to their Children, if the Parties,
conscious of it in themselves, resolve mutually to apply it under the
Direction of Prudence; and found the Government of their young Family’s
Passions on that of their own. Whereas, if ignorant of their respective
Foibles, or heedless to turn them to Advantage, they give a full Loose
to them, and agree in nothing but an unbridled Exertion of them as
Occasion or Accident offers, the Contrast will probably prove fatal both
to themselves and their Children: they will for the most part be pleased
and displeased alike out of Time and out of Measure; their Severities and
Lenities will often jar, and rob each other of their due Effect; their
Punishments and Rewards, by being never, or but seldom, and that by mere
Chance, proportioned to the Failings they mean to correct, or the Merit
they Wish to encourage, will prove fruitless, if not destructive: and
what is still worse, they will seldom fail, in the midst of Correction,
to strengthen the Misconduct they aim at reforming, by the Example they
give of it in their own Persons; and as seldom miss, in the Extravagance
of their false Fondnesses, of perverting the Minds of their Children
from the noble Love of Virtue, to the reptil Hankerings after Rewards,
Praises, and Caresses. If a Child is to be reformed of any peevish or
passionate Behaviour, what Effect can Correction have on him, if given
by a Parent delivered over by his own Passions to all the Fierceness of a
Brute? It may make him hate the Correction, but can never make him hate
Faults, the opposite Virtues to which he sees not the least Example of in
his Corrector. If another is to be encouraged in some commendable Action,
what Benefit will he receive from an Excess of Fondness, while the being
humour’d in other Actions, perhaps highly discommendable, only teaches
him to exchange Vice for Vice, or one Folly for another? Or finally, what
Advantage can be produced to Children from Reprehension or Approbation,
from Punishments or Rewards, however well proportioned, timed or placed,
if there appear to them in the Parents a Dissention in the bestowing
them; and that they are the Overflowings of Passion or Partiality, rather
than the Result of Reason and Equity? Parents then should seriously
acquaint themselves with their own Tempers, and mutually consent and
agree on the Methods of regulating their Children; never to reward or
punish, seem angry or pleas’d, but by Concert; and above all, never to
correct while in a Passion, nor reward till the fond Fit be over.

There are many things in the Management of Children rather to be wished
than obtained; not so easily practised as desired; among these, one
Expedient, I think, might often prove successful towards attaining this
happy Medium I have been speaking of. Where a Father is of a choleric,
hasty, and severe Disposition, and the Mother the reverse, which is
most generally the Case, it were greatly to be wished, that, by mutual
Consent, they sometimes exchanged Offices in the Government of their
Children. Would the Father resolve to make it his Study so to conquer his
Temper, as seldom or never, but in extreme Necessity, to interfere in
reprimanding and correcting his Children, but rather to take upon him the
Office of Commendations and Rewards; and of treating them with all the
Affability he is Master of: and would the Mother take an equal Resolution
to conquer the Softness of her Nature, to reprimand and punish them on
proper Occasions with all the Sternness she can summon; remitting them
for the Applause or Gratifications they may deserve to their Father:
would Parents, I say, with these Dispositions, resolve on the Practice,
I cannot but think it would produce excellent Effects in the Government
of Children: considering the very little Danger there would be of the
choleric, or naturally severe Father spoiling his Child by Excess of
Fondness; or the naturally tender Mother ruining it by extreme Severity.

I will here suppose, what is most agreeable to good Sense, that Parents
in general have such good Dispositions as to intend the real Benefit
of their Children; but either that they have not thought on what was
necessary to be done, or thought on it but confusedly: I will suppose too
that both Father and Mother agree in this general Intention. Still, as
all have their several Ways of judging, the most sensible People will be
liable to have different Notions of different Things, and even different
Ways of doing the same Thing; which, so far from being wrong, if well
attended to, may contribute to the great Emolument of both. Yet Parents
must be extremely cautious never to differ about the Government of
Children in their Hearing; it does incredible Mischief; but particularly,
it alienates them from their Duty; and weakens the Authority of the
Parents on one Side at least, if not on both.

If a Child is to be in the Hands of a Nursery-maid, (which is general
among People of Condition) great Care should be taken in the Choice
of her. I am an Advocate for Knowledge and Good-breeding, but they are
not so much wanted here. The Requisites are, Cleanliness, Good-temper,
Docility, and Innocence. Every one allows, and is sensible of the Benefit
of Cleanliness; and genuine Good-temper is no less advantageous; but if
with these Parents find a tractable docile Mind, joined with a native
Innocence, they have found a Treasure; and ought to prize it accordingly.
The Parents are to be their Children’s Guides, and the sole Judges what
ought to be done for them; therefore I cannot but account it a singular
Happiness, when they find a Servant who will treat their Children in the
Manner they require. But farther; a Servant with this Turn of Temper,
will every Day improve in the Knowledge and Behaviour necessary to her
Station: and from seeing the Reasonableness of the Parents Injunctions,
take pains to enforce them on the Child.

But as a Variety of Circumstances in Life may alter our Views; so we
are often obliged to vary our Mode of proceeding, tho’ directed to the
same Point. Thus it sometimes happens, that a very young Couple become
Parents, who are totally unacquainted with what ought to be done; in that
Case, it is undoubtedly necessary that they seek a Person already skilled
in this important Business; possessed too of all the Requisites I have
just pointed out: and such an one with Care and Pains may be found. As
Misfortunes are but too common, so there are Women who are not only well
born, but whose Education and Manner of Life is truly virtuous; whose
only Fault perhaps is, that they inconsiderately married too young; and
whose Misfortune is, that Death by depriving them of their Husbands, has
deprived them of Support: whence they are glad to accept of a Service,
which unexperienced Parents ought as gladly to engage them in, and reward
them for.

It is not enough that Children have wise and discreet Parents, who
employ too a faithful Deputy; no, they must also be guarded from the
Interposition of Friends and Relations. They are dangerous Sharers in
our Government, and dangerous Rivals in our Children’s Affections. No
body surely can mistake me so far as to think I would exclude Relations
from the Respect and Duty due to them; by no means: they may assist with
their Counsel in the Absence of the Children, or they may encourage
filial Duty in the Absence of the Parents; but in general they should
not be allow’d to interfere in the Management, nor on any Account
thwart the Parents Injunctions, or discover opposite Sentiments in the
Children’s hearing. What more common than for a Lady to have a Maiden
Sister live with her, who is pretty sure to spoil the Children by a
mistaken Fondness. A Child grows ungovernable, and the Parents correct
it; now as Children are cunning before they are wise, immediately it
flies to it’s Aunt; who, with eager Embraces, and pathetic Nonsense,
seldom fails to pervert the Parents Correction with ill timed, and
worse judg’d Consolations. Is it not easy to see that Children by this
Party Management will be misled; and that if it does not misguide their
Affection, it will at least weaken their Duty?

That Children have Knowledge very early is plain to us a thousand
different Ways, but in none more evidently than their close Attachment,
their visible Fondness, for some one Person, whether Father, Mother,
Aunt, or Nurse; though commonly it is the Mother or Nurse, or whoever is
most with them, or most humours them. This Fondness is perfectly natural,
and we are not to be surprised at it; but my Readers must remember it
is the Parents Business to regulate their Children’s Desires; and this
they cannot do, if they indulge and cherish a blind Fondness in them,
though it should be even to themselves. Filial Affection in it’s full
Extent is undoubtedly an exalted Virtue; still to be rational, it must be
just: and as there are many things which Parents cannot lawfully command
their Children to do, so there are many things which Children ought not
to comply with, even though commanded by a Parent. For Instance: if a
Man dislikes his Wife, or a Woman her Husband (and melancholy Experience
shews us these things do happen, and that there is sometimes a fix’d
Aversion on one side or both) is it therefore lawful for a Man to teach
his Children to hate their Mother; or the reverse? by no means: nor can
a Child comply with so impious a Command. People who know but little
of Life, may think such an Injunction impossible; but it is far from
it. Many Incidents approaching very near to this are too frequently to
be met with; and I have myself the Pleasure of being acquainted with a
Gentleman, whose whole Deportment is such as renders him amiable in the
Eyes of all who know him; yet this Gentleman, when a Student, was almost
totally abandon’d by his Father, for no other Reason than that of writing
some Letters of Duty and Affection to his Mother. But to return to this
first Fondness we discover in Children. The Cause of it is mostly owing
to their being too much confined to the Arms of one Person, or too much
indulg’d by another: yet whatever it is owing to, the Effects are very
disagreeable, very inconvenient, and sometimes very fatal.

When a Child is in the Arms of those it is fond of, no body must meddle
with it under pain of a Slap on the Face; and tho’ this Behaviour is
often put up with, and the Parents persuade themselves it is pretty, yet
their Friends, when absent, seldom fail to condemn them as the Cause of
this Behaviour: but should any one, regardless of the Slaps, take the
Child into their Arms, the little Creature is immediately in a Rage,
the whole Company is thrown into Disorder, and nothing can quiet it,
but returning to the Arms of the mistaken Fondler. Here at one View is
Error upon Error, Absurdity upon Absurdity; the Child by this mistaken
Fondness is made miserable, and the Mother or Nurse a Slave. Now to
obviate this Inconvenience, my Advice is, that every Child, after six
Months old, be accustomed to various Faces; be put into the Arms of
various People, young or old, fine or ordinary; so as to make every one
they see in some Degree familiar: Parents are to make their Children
happy; keep them active, lively, and smiling; and this they cannot do,
if they cherish or indulge in them a Dislike of going to any other but
themselves. I know this Weakness in Mothers and Nurses is attended with
many Inconveniencies; it creates in Children an early Fear; often an
unconquerable Shyness; it sours their Temper, and strengthens their
natural Wilfulness; which last Effect is plain to every Eye; for to make
the Child quiet they take it away from the Stranger; by which Treatment
it soon sees it can conquer it’s Parents. But Parents encourage this
partial Fondness in Children, for fear they should not love them: this is
a Mistake; for even Infants soon know their Mother or Nurse; and soon too
do they both see and feel a Happiness in them they do not find in others:
like People who toil themselves with Sights and Shows, they return to
their own Home, and enjoy a Content superior to every thing they felt

Children, while young, may be compared to Machines; which are, or
should be, put in Motion, or stopped, at the Will of others: but here
it must be confessed, that ’till they are able to conduct themselves,
they stand in need of good Conductors. For Example, Children have the
Gift of Speech; but to how perverse a Purpose, unless regulated? Their
Wit, their Cunning, or their Knowledge, often serve but to mislead them;
serve but to strengthen the natural Corruption of their Will. What is
more common than for a Child to make no Answer when ask’d a Question? Or
what more common than for another, or perhaps the same in a different
Mood, to tire a whole Company with incessant Prating? Now nothing can
regulate these but the Judgment of Parents; the whole Machine, that is,
the Words and Actions of Children, are to be under their Guidance alone:
to this End, they must set out with a Resolution to conquer; and never
quit the Field of Argument ’till they have. When a Question is ask’d a
Child, no Matter by whom, whether by the Parents, a Visitor, a Servant,
or a Beggar, it must never be suffered to go unanswered; all the Rules of
Breeding and Civility demand it; and nothing can excuse a Non-compliance:
so, on the other hand, when a Child has a fluent, voluble Tongue, and is
disposed to talk out of Time and Place, and to say perhaps many improper
or unbecoming things, it must certainly be restrained. But tho’ I urge
this, it is not merely because Children should speak or be silent; do
a thing, or let it alone, when bid; for however right or pleasing all
this is, it is far from being the only Motive; no, it is the Influence
the opposite Behaviour will have on Children’s future Lives that must
be the Point in View. A Child accustomed not to answer when spoke to,
will probably contract a morose, dogged, or, at least, an uncivil Habit;
another suffered to out-talk every body in the House, will be in Danger
of becoming an impertinent, if not an empty Prater; and if a third is
never refused the thing it asks for, it will be but ill prepared to
bear Disappointments. Parents I know are apt to think nothing of these
Irregularities; but it is Inattention to the first Errors, which lays
the Foundation of Vices for Life. What is it distinguishes Mankind
from all created Nature, but that superior Power, Reason? Yet what is
it makes this noble Faculty, this boasted Power, so often useless, nay
destructive, but the Corruption of the Will? Will is a distinct Power in
the Soul; but as it is naturally corrupt, if Parents neglect an early
Restraint of it in their Children, it is great odds that their Reason
will never be able to conquer it: nay there are many who never attempt
the subjecting it; who banish every thing which does not favour their
Inclinations, however irregular; and even among those who struggle for
Reason to gain the Ascendant, the Combat is often unequal. Hence appears
the Necessity of attending to the earliest Words and Actions of Children;
of observing the Biass they take; and of moulding their tender Minds,
that the first Dawn of Reason may be cherished and improved in them.

Parents should give their Children an early and an ardent Love of Truth;
in order to this, it is not sufficient that they give them Precepts,
they must add Example too. There is no Vice more dangerous, none more
odious, than a Habit of lying; and yet none more common. But what is
stranger still, Parents themselves are often the Persons who teach it
them. It is very far from being my Design to charge Parents with an
Intention of leading Children into this capital Error; but that they do
it either thro’ want of Thought, or want of Judgment, is evident. First,
they grossly mistake their Children’s Capacity; and from a Notion that
they know nothing, say a thousand improper things in their hearing:
then, when they find themselves observed, are obliged to use many Shifts
and Turns to get rid of their Curiosity and Importunity. The next Cause
is, that Parents do not make Duty their Children’s Rule of Conduct. A
Child sees something in it’s Father’s Hand, and asks, What is that? The
Father answers, Nothing. But why make so absurd a Reply? Will not the
Child in Return act the same Part? _Jacky_, what have you got in your
Hand? Nothing. A Child sees it’s Mother put Money, Fruit, or any thing
else in her Pocket, and asks for it; immediately she replies she has
none: the Child taking the Conviction of it’s Senses, cries for what it
has seen; and the Mother, after repeated Denials, has no other Way of
pacifying it, than the giving what it cries for; and thus prove she has
been maintaining a Falsehood. I was once in Company with a Lady, who with
a sort of half Whisper, said her poor little Girl had Worms, and she must
give her some Physic; Miss immediately cries out, What, you are talking
of me now: No, no, Child, says Mamma: I know you are, replies Miss; I
heard you talk of Physic, but I’ll not take any I am resolved: No, my
Dear, repeats Mamma, I’m not talking about you; I’m talking of somebody
that is in a Consumption. Surely such Behaviour reflects greatly on the
Understanding or Conduct of Parents. Children should be told their Duty
without Disguise; and it is certain they may often be won to it by soft
and gentle Means; but Falsehoods, Prevarications, and puzzling the Truth,
can never be the Way to lead them to it. Parents then, besides animating
their Children to a Love of Truth by daily Advice, must themselves
carefully avoid all obscure ambiguous Language in their hearing; all
Signs, Nods, and Winks, which can answer no other End than perplexing
their Understandings, or raising in them a restless painful Curiosity.
Sir _Roger L’Estrange_ tells a Story that pleases me for it’s thorough
Honesty. “A Man met an Acquaintance in the Street: What, my Friend, says
he, have you got under your Coat? Why, replies the other, what I have
under my Coat, I put there on purpose that you might not know.” Thus
Parents without quibbling or evading, without Harshness or Ill-nature,
need only convince their Children that all things are not proper for them
to have, nor all things fit for them to know.

There is a Propensity in Nature which greatly deserves the Attention of
Parents, that is, Curiosity: and this when well regulated, may without
Impropriety be called the Gate of Knowledge. How lifeless, spiritless,
and insipid, is a Child without it! How pleasing, and how capable of
daily Improvement with it! Parents then ought to cherish this Propensity,
as it’s Use is boundless. But tho’ Curiosity is in it’s Nature a Means
of Improvement, it is extremely apt to degenerate into Impertinence; and
herein Parents cannot be too circumspect. For as they are really two
opposite Qualities, the one a Virtue, the other a Vice; great Care should
be taken to praise and reward the former, and discountenance and punish
the latter. Parents, besides the Instructions and Encouragement they give
to Children in this Point, should throw them in the way of exercising it,
and attend to their Behaviour when unconstrained. For Example; if I never
lock up my Books, my Children will learn that they have the Liberty of
reading them, unless expressly forbid; so likewise if I leave Letters or
other Papers about without reserve, they may with Freedom examine them;
and if they did not, I should think them incurious: but if they look over
my Shoulder on purpose to see what I am writing, if they break a Seal to
read the Contents of a Letter, or pry into my Scrutore because I have
accidently left it open; it will be easy for me to determine that they
are degenerating into Impertinence.

Useful Curiosity shews itself by innumerable Enquiries into the various
Productions of Nature and Art; hence insensibly arises in Children,
a Love of Knowledge, and a Love of Labour; hence too they learn to
distinguish the Useless from the Useful; what they should pursue from
what they should avoid. Impertinence shews itself by prying into the
Affairs of others; employing their Thoughts and Time about what does
not concern them, to the Detriment of all within their Reach. Hence
springs that Neglect of real Knowledge we daily see in many; and that
Croud of Trifles which waste their Time, and tend only to hurt others,
and do themselves no good. For in proportion to the Time they spend in
acting wrong, so much do they lose of the Knowledge how to act right.
But besides it’s being so detrimental and destructive to Society,
Impertinence has something in it so mean and hateful, that Parents cannot
do too much to keep their Children free from it.

Parents should encourage in their Children a lively chearful
Disposition; but quite pure, and unmixt with Vice, however distant. In
order thereto, they should never suffer them, for any consideration, to
utter an indecent Word, or commit any irregular Action which has the
least bad Tendency; but above all, Parents must be careful themselves,
never to say or do any thing in their Presence that they ought not to
hear or see. This Caution may seem unnecessary, since all acknowledge
how great the Force of Example is; yet if we view the general Conduct
of Fathers particularly, we shall be obliged to own they stand greatly
in need of it. For what more common than to hear Men swear and utter
many indecent Expressions before their Children? And what more natural
than their Imitation of them? which Poison, when once imbibed, cannot
easily be expelled. As my Aim in writing is purely the Hopes of conveying
Instruction, so I speak my Thoughts with Freedom; and every one is at
liberty to take or leave what they like, or what they find most necessary
and applicable to themselves: still I cannot help urging in the strongest
Terms, a strict Regard to Decency as an universal and indispensable
Obligation. For whoever considers how naturally propense we are to catch
the Taint, and how very hard it is to wipe it off, will surely agree
with me, that those are much the happiest who escape the Infection the

But besides the nicest Care with regard to Words, Parents, as I have
observed before, should be greatly circumspect in their Actions. Nothing
gross or indecent should be done in their Sight; a Mother should by no
means appear too much undressed in the Presence of her Son; nor a Father
in that of his Daughter; for these and many other things, though in
themselves innocent, are not allowable; they give Boys a Boldness which
borders on Impudence; and they are apt to wean Girls from some Degree of
that Modesty they ought so carefully to preserve.

I cannot but recommend, what I doubt very few will comply with, that Boys
and Girls, even when Infants, have not only separate Beds, but, wherever
it is practicable, always lie in separate Rooms: nor should they ever be
exposed naked to one another, or the least wanton Curiosity be permitted:
the Eyes and Ears convey Corruption to the Mind; and we cannot begin too
soon to shut up every Avenue to Vice. I am sensible of the Singularity
of this Doctrine; but I am firmly persuaded many good Effects would
flow from the Practice of it. It is Matter of Astonishment to me, to see
discreet and good People universally over-run with the false Notion,
that Children do not observe; as if because they are Children, they
neither hear, nor see, nor feel: whence they often lead them, or suffer
them to be led very early into some kinds of Knowledge, which should
be the last for them to learn. I grant indeed that such is the general
reigning Corruption, that however carefully Parents avoid tainting
their Children’s Minds, they will still be exposed to the Contagion of
others; but if they have the Happiness of seeing these things always
discountenanced by their Parents, and are never suffered to copy the
corrupt Manners of others, the odds are greatly in their Favour: but if
after all they should still turn out vicious, Parents will have at least
the consoling Reflection, that they did every thing on their Part to
prevent it.

At the same time that Parents are industrious to make Children obedient
to themselves, they must teach them to consider every one as an
Individual of Society, and give them a deep Sense of the Necessity of
good Behaviour to all, whatever be their Circumstances or Condition. In
every Family there are particular Obligations which Children must be
taught to distinguish, and to reduce to Practice. Next to their Parents,
Children owe to all senior Relations, Respect and Duty; to their Brothers
and Sisters they owe not only a tender but an unalterable Affection; and
all of more distant Kin have a Claim of Respect which cannot be refused
them. Yet all this is but little, if compared with the universal Demand
Mankind have on one another. We cannot without Injustice deny Virtue and
Merit our Esteem; old Age is venerable, and to refuse the Honours due to
it, is a Degree of Impiety; Obligations demand Gratitude; Misfortunes
call for Friendship and Compassion; and even Vice and Folly demand our
Pity and Concern, nay more, demand our Endeavours to remove them. But
among the various Situations in Life, that which most requires the Care
and Attention of Parents is, the teaching Children a due Regard to People
in Poverty and Distress. It does not cost much pains to give Children
a proper and becoming Behaviour to their Betters and Equals; but to
persuade them to maintain a considerable Degree of Respect to Inferiors,
or to those in disadvantageous Circumstances, is an arduous Task; still
it may and ought to be done. Nothing so humanizes the Soul, nothing
so strongly proves the Man, as sympathizing with, and relieving the
Distresses of our Fellow Creatures: ’tis then the Duty of Parents never
to let their Children speak or act with the least Degree of Rudeness to
the lowest among Mankind; never to let them divert themselves with their
Rags or Misfortunes; but on the contrary, they should sometimes furnish
them with Money or other Things, that the Relief they design to give the
Needy may pass through their Hands: and at the same time imprint this
Truth on their Minds; that he who is thus reduced to ask, is often far
more deserving than he who bestows.

Another indispensable Duty of Parents to their Children is, that they
teach them never to dare to sport with the natural Defects of others.
As an ingenious Author says, “This Practice, though levelled at the
Creature, reflects on the Creator; it mocks the Architect, and burlesques
the Creation.” ’Tis strange that Persons of the best Understanding so
seldom reflect on this Point. What can be more absurd than to ridicule
one Man for being too tall, and another for being too short? one for
having too little Nose, another for having too much? The Degrees of
Beauty and Deformity are infinite; and to be perfectly free from natural
Defects and Blemishes is the Lot of very few: nor is it easy to fix the
Standard of Beauty. We know by Anatomy, Sculpture and Painting, the
general Rules of Symmetry and Proportion, and thus easily distinguish the
gross Defects; but Beauty in the superlative Degree, in it’s ultimate
Perfection, is not so readily determined. But farther; what is beautiful
in the Eye of one is not so in the Eye of another; what was accounted
Beauty in some former Age or distant Country, is not esteemed such at
present. Since then we see that ’tis our general Lot to be more or less
defective, and that All are made by one Almighty Hand, how inhuman must
it be to insult or despise another for what, if an Imperfection, it is
not in his Power to avoid; and that perhaps while the Insulter himself is
not free from other Blemishes, full as obvious and offensive to many.

But the Defects of the Body are not alone the Subject of our Ridicule; we
sport too with those of the Mind. Providence for wise Reasons does not
give to all alike; are we therefore to hold another in contempt for not
knowing so much as ourselves? Are we to laugh at a Man for not knowing
what he has had no opportunity to learn? no surely. A Neglect to improve,
and the Abuse of natural Talents, are the only things that deserve the
Scourge; and even here it often happens, that he who exercises the Rod,
deserves it more than he who feels it. Such however is the Partiality,
such the false Practice of Mankind. Can Parents then be too careful to
obviate these Errors in their Children? Can they take too much Pains to
imprint on their Souls the Meanness and Folly of such Mistakes? surely
they cannot.

Another Caution equally necessary is, that Parents utterly avoid all
Distinction of Favourites among their Children. Sometimes the Father
has his Darling, and the Mother her’s; sometimes they both doat on the
same Child, and neglect the rest. Again, it is frequently observed, that
Mothers are extravagantly fond of the Boys, and either treat the Girls
with a visible Indifference, or grossly neglect them, they know not
why. It is true indeed that it may, and sometimes does happen, that one
Child in a Family is superior in Parts to the rest, or is particularly
engaging, and may be said to merit that partial Distinction Parents
make; but to shew that Reason is not always their Guide, I appeal to
general Observation, whether it does not often happen, that the greatest
Favourite is the greatest Booby? Yet allowing that a Lady loves her Son
best, because he is really a smart Fellow; it is possible those very
Qualifications she so much admires, and which attract her to him to the
Prejudice of the other Children, are the things she ought to be most
displeased with; things, which if sounded to the Bottom, would often
prove Vice or Folly. But supposing that the favourite Son is really
what he appears, more amiable than the Girls; may not this be owing to
Accident or Design? May it not be the Effects of superior Education, or
a greater Knowledge of Men and Manners? most certainly. All young People
are, what they are, in proportion to the Opportunities they have had of
acquiring Knowledge, or the Use they have made of them; so shut them
out from Opportunities, and they can never improve; because they are
deprived of the Means: thus it often happens in Families; the Boys are in
the World, and gain a Knowledge of good Behaviour; the Girls are coop’d
up, and Mamma wonders at their Ignorance! But what farther increases
a Mother’s Surprize is, that she does not find her Girls improve in
proportion to the Opinion she entertains of her own Abilities: now
allowing, what cannot be generally true, that she has all that a Woman
can be possessed of, if they are confined to the Company of her chiefly,
their Knowledge of the World will be very scanty. To be acquainted with
the World, we must see it; to know Mankind, we must know their Faces, and
mark their Deportment; and from seeing a Variety of Manners, must come
the Power of polishing our own.

I say not this as an Intimation to Parents, that they ought to throw
their Children wild and untaught into the World, far from it; on the
contrary, I am convinced how much they want to be fortified against it’s
Snares; and how nicely they ought to be conducted: but with reference to
the Matter in hand, I would fain make Parents sensible how irregular,
nay how unjust their Partiality usually is; particularly in banishing
Children from their Affections for not knowing what they have had no
Opportunity to learn. If then Parents really intend the Good of their
Children, they must with the utmost Resolution throw off all Partiality;
if not, ’tis more than probable it may greatly injure, or even undo,
a whole Family. The Darling is liable to be ruined thro’ Indulgence;
the rest, thro’ Neglect and Ignorance. Children, by this unequal
Treatment, conceive a Hatred to one another, and often to the Parents
themselves, which perhaps lasts as long as their Lives. But besides
that, this injurious Treatment debases their Minds, it is productive
of many dreadful Evils; for hence proceed, not only inveterate Malice,
but Confusion, Law-suits and Poverty; and hence too proceed rash,
precipitate, and disgraceful Marriages; with many other Calamities, which
it would require a Volume to enumerate.

Parents should by all Means consider, that every Child is equally the
Object of their Love and Care; and, by the Right of Nature, equally
demands their Protection. The Laws indeed, for the Support of Families
and Dignity, have, in some Cases, made an Inequality in the Distribution
of Fortune, which must be submitted to: still that does not take off from
the Obligation of Parents, nor justify a blind or whimsical Partiality.
There is no Topic I would more enforce than this, yet none more difficult
to prescribe Rules for. It is certain, that rewarding the good, and
punishing the bad, is both a Virtue, and a Duty; yet at the same time
that I acknowledge how much the good Child deserves, I cannot resolve to
abandon the bad: the Voice of Nature and Reason cry out loudly against
it. I will for once suppose Parents entirely divested of Partiality, and
that the Difference is really in the Children, and not in themselves. Are
they sure there are no Faults in their Education? Are they conscious that
they have not exposed them to be corrupted by others, tho’ they have not
done it themselves? Are they convinced those Acts of Disobedience which
their Children commit are the Effects of Malice prepense? or may they
not be rather the Sallies of thoughtless, giddy Youth? All these things
Parents must nicely weigh, before they carry their Resentment against a
Child to Extremes. Let Parents reflect, that a Boy whom they cannot now
controul, and whom perhaps they are going to expose to the capricious
Fury of the Seas, and deliver up to an Academy of Vice and Profaneness
in order to reform him, may be much sooner reclaimed by proper Pains and
Remonstrances, than by throwing him into the Jaws of Licentiousness: for
how often do we see a disorderly Youth, touched, by a Parent’s well-timed
Clemency, with a Sense of his Mistakes; and when the native Fire of his
Youth is abated, become truly wise and good; a Pattern of Virtue, and
an Honour to the Age he lives in? Can Parents reflect on this, and not
resolve to try every Expedient before that of disinheriting a Child,
abandoning him to Misery and Want, or giving him up to that Nursery of
Immorality, the Sea? My serious Advice in this Point is, that Parents
be not hasty in driving things to Extremities. Let them with unwearied
Patience try every gentle Means in their Power; and certainly by such
Methods they will have the fairest Chance to succeed. For if Children
see their Parents constantly aiming at their general Good; if they find
them hold the Scale of Justice with an equal Hand; and experience their
Affection and Tenderness to be void of Partiality, even after repeated
Provocations; if, I say, they once become so happy as to reflect on
these Circumstances in their true Light, (as sooner or later undoubtedly
they will) I cannot but hope the most abandoned will be reclaimed, and
the hardest Heart softened into Tenderness, Respect and Duty. But here
lies our common Error; we grow impatient at a Child’s Disobedience and
Untowardness, and without striking at the Root of his Vices, without
levelling at, and removing the Cause, we dwell on the Effects; his
Follies give us Pain, and we do not try so much to cure him, as to ease
ourselves; and therefore rashly remove him from our Sight by sending him
to Sea: in my Opinion, the last Place in the Universe to make a bad Boy a
good one. I heard a Story some Years ago of a rich Citizen of _London_,
which deserves to be remember’d with Honour. He had a Son, some Years
past a Boy, addicted to every Extravagance, and who had almost worn out
the Father’s Patience and Indulgence by repeated Abuses of them, and by
continual Cravings. The Father at length consulted a Friend, in order,
if possible, to devise a Remedy: when he had poured out his Soul in
Grief, and shewn that his Kindness had been almost boundless; the Friend
replied, I have, Sir, a Remedy to propose, that I think deserves the
Experiment. The World calls you a hundred thousand Pound Man; but tho’
that may not be strictly true, yet from my own Knowledge you are very
rich: throw at once ten thousand Pounds into your Son’s Hands; that Sum
cannot ruin you, and it is possible it may save him. The good old Man,
with Heart full of Desire to do whatever might convince his Son how much
he wish’d his Happiness, very readily came into the Proposal: he sent
for him accordingly, and thus addressed him. “You know, my Son, how dear
I have always held you; you know how much I have desired your Happiness
and Prosperity, by the Pains I have taken to promote them; but you do
not consider how much you have abused my Indulgence: your boundless Love
of expensive Pleasures has so far blinded you, that you neither see my
Kindness, nor your own Folly. But here, take the utmost Proof of an
afflicted Father’s Fondness; take this ten thousand Pound, and husband
it as you please. If you use it well, it will not be the last Favour
you may hope from my Tenderness: but if you persist in the Abuse of my
Bounty, ’tis the sole Proof of it you must ever expect.” The Son, struck
with Amazement at so much Goodness, and touched with a deep Sense of his
former Ingratitude, from that Hour became all he ought to be, and all his
Father’s Heart could wish. This genuine Relation may in great Measure
serve as a Guide to Parents. It is true every one has not ten thousand
pound to give; but there are ten thousand Parents who may, by exerting
their several Capacities according to their Station, preserve their
Children from the Ruin they are threaten’d with: and thus turn them from
Objects of Vexation and Grief, into Instruments of Joy and Happiness.

At the same time that the Authority of Parents is to be maintain’d
above every other Consideration, Children should be taught to love them
to a superlative Degree. This Love in Children to their Parents, will
naturally make them fly to them on every Emergence; and thus Obedience
will become a Pleasure: whereas if they are kept at a Distance by an
austere Behaviour, or are treated in a cold, lifeless, insipid Manner,
they will be apt to doubt of their Parents Affection, and be induced
to seek Comfort from others: and then no wonder if they fly to Aunts
and Cousins, when even the Servants, from the Stable to the Kitchen,
will have Power to engage their tender Hearts, and rob Parents of that
superior Affection they ought so jealously to engross to themselves.
Nothing requires more the Parents Attention, than the preserving that
golden Rule, a Medium in their whole Conduct to their Children; therefore
while they are careful not to spoil them by too much Indulgence, they
should at the same time study to win their Hearts.

Parents should be particularly careful not to dispirit their Children;
which undoubtedly will have a bad Influence on their whole future
Conduct. There is a Degree of Courage to be maintained that is not only
graceful, but absolutely necessary to carry us thro’ Life, which Parents
therefore must not destroy. Some of my Readers may perhaps think, that
while I am enforcing Obedience, I am myself undermining Courage; but
let me ask them whether a Soldier loses his Courage by being under
Discipline? by no Means. On the contrary, a Consciousness of the
Regularity of his Exercise, and of his Skill in the Use of Arms, always
animates him in time of Danger: thus Children kept in Decorum, and under
a Habit of doing right, will have far less Fear than those who are acting
as their Passions lead them: unless indeed they are quite abandoned.

Courage discovers itself by a Command of Countenance, a dauntless
Air and Behaviour, join’d with such a Degree of Respect, Duty, and
Self-knowledge, as shews it to be free from Impudence and Self-conceit:
it is a Firmness of Spirit that enables us to encounter every Danger when
necessary; and to demean ourselves in a proper Manner under Trouble,
Pain, and Disappointment. But here Parents must be very careful to
distinguish false Courage from true, imaginary Evils from real: let
there be no trembling about Hobgoblins, or dark Holes; no Stories of
Apparitions to raise Terror in the tender Minds of Children: Parents
should never mention these things to them, nor, if possible, suffer any
body else to do it; unless it be to laugh at, and expose the Folly of

Nothing can be a greater Weakness than the creating or cherishing
these Fears in Children: nay how senseless a thing is it to make them
afraid of a dark Room, a Chimney-sweeper, or whatever else can impress
a groundless or an unjust Fear on them; for more or less they feel it
their whole Lives, and by that Means are oftentimes made very miserable.
Children, as soon as they can distinguish, should be taught to look, and
move, and speak with Courage; and, as they grow up, they should be put
frequently in the Way of exercising it, whereby many natural or acquired
Weaknesses will be conquered: such as, a Fear of the Water, Riding, and
innumerable other things, which Parents should by every Means endeavour
to prevent or remove: taking along with them this Caution, not to treat
those Children whose Spirits are naturally weak, with the same Freedom
they do the more robust; nor ever rashly expose them to real or imminent

There is another Species of Fear, so far removed from Virtue and good
Sense, that Parents cannot do too much to banish it from their Children’s
Minds; I mean that which is the Offspring of Superstition. What Pity is
it that this heathenish Principle should ever find a Place in a Christian
Breast: that People who are taught to rely on Providence alone, and
who know that Happiness is the infallible Reward of a virtuous Life,
should nevertheless desert that Providence, and turn their Backs on the
Comforts and Advantages annexed to it, to run in Search of Misery. Fear
is natural to the Soul of Man; but it is Reason only that can fix it’s
just Bounds. If I have a Child in the _Indies_, and dream he is dead, am
I to be miserable till a Letter from him convinces me of my Folly? If I
am about engaging in an Affair, of itself not only innocent but laudable,
am I to put it off because it is an unlucky Day? or because a senseless,
withered Hag shakes her Head over a Dish of Coffee-grounds, am I to fear
that Destruction is coming upon me? No, no; all these are Instruments
of Misery, which nobody must meddle with who claims being a rational
Creature. Superstition and Happiness are incompatible, as every Day’s
Experience proves. Parents then, effectually to avoid these Evils, must
teach their Children a just Abhorrence of Superstition; they must teach
them too, that the only Fear consistent with a Reliance on Providence,
and consistent with Virtue and good Sense, is the Fear of doing wrong;
that is, of being vicious.

The general Indulgence of Parents to their Children in gratifying their
unreasonable Humours, is no small Obstacle to their Happiness; but that
is not all, it disturbs the Oeconomy of the Family, and every Day,
perhaps every Hour, throws the House into Disorder; and thus turns
that into Slavery and Vexation, which Providence designed as a Comfort
and a Blessing. There is a well known pleasant Story which seems not
unsuitable here: A Lady gave her Daughter, about three Years old, to
the Care of a Nursery-maid, with positive Orders that Miss should never
be suffered to cry; Whatever she wants, says the Lady, be sure let
her have it; I will not have her cry. The Maid soon grew weary of her
little Tyrant, and archly resolved on a Method to convince Mamma of
her Mistake. Accordingly, one fine Evening, the Girl put Miss into a
Window; See, my Dear, says she, see that pretty Moon; shall I give you
that pretty Moon to play with? In a short time she work’d up the Child’s
Fancy so strongly, that nothing would quiet her but the Moon. At length
Mamma (upon hearing her Child cry) in great Rage entered the Room; How
dare you, says she, let my Child cry? Madam, replied the Maid, Miss
wants—Don’t tell me she wants; she shall want nothing she has a Mind
to have. Madam, repeats the Maid, (as soon as she could be heard) Miss
wants the Moon; and your Ladyship knows I can’t give it her. The Lady was
struck dumb; Miss still cried vehemently, and nothing could quiet her,
but a severe Whipping from Mamma’s own Hands.

There are but two Ways of subduing the Passions, _viz._ Force and Reason;
but there are a thousand Ways, and those daily used, to inflame and
strengthen them. When a Child is accustomed to have all it asks for,
it soon becomes unreasonable in its Demands; and in the End expects
Impossibilities. Now which is most eligible, to keep the Passions
regulated, and prevent their making great Resistance; or to suffer them
to rise to such a Height, that all our After-care will not be sufficient
to check them? Parents then should by all Means accustom themselves
to deny their Children some things, even such as are innocent and
reasonable; not indeed to gratify a cruel Pleasure, for that they should
abhor, but to familiarize them to Disappointments, that they may brook
them the better. Besides, by this Method, every Grant from the Parents
will be esteemed a Favour, and received with Gratitude and Alacrity;
whereas the granting every thing they ask, destroys the very Life and
Spirit of Compliance, and it ceases to be a Favour. A little Judgment
and Experience will shew Parents how to vary these Grants and Denials,
if they do but attend to them; and if Children are under any Degree of
Regulation, nothing is more easy.

Yet this by no means implies that Children are not sometimes to have what
they like; far from it: but the Regulation I have been speaking of makes
their own Lives comfortable and easy; and at the same time furnishes
Parents with frequent Opportunities of discovering their various
Inclinations and Propensities, and puts it in their Power to confer many
little Favours on them, that otherwise they would not be sensible of.
For Example; there are two Sorts of Meat at Table equally innocent; in
that Case Parents may sometimes, without Impropriety, give a Child its
Choice; this Indulgence, when allowed without Clamour or Rudeness in the
Child, looks graceful, gives it Spirit, and a pleasing Air: besides, it
affords Parents an Opportunity of discovering, if a Child has any natural
Antipathy, any unconquerable Aversion, to certain Kinds of Food; or any
thing in its Constitution that has a Repugnancy to certain Meats, which,
tho’ it may like, always make it sick; all which must be distinguished
from Humour and Daintiness. But it will be impossible to arrive at this
Knowledge, if my first Principle, Obedience, be neglected; for if a Child
be suffered always to have it’s own Humour, what a fantastical Figure
does it make at Table! I have seen a sensible well-bred Woman sweat
with Confusion at the Behaviour of her Child, and able to eat no Dinner
herself for attending to it’s Humours. One Minute it would have one Meat,
the next another; this was too fat, and that was cut in the wrong Place;
by and by it would have something else, and after all grow sullen, and
not eat half it’s Dinner: but Obedience obviates this Confusion, and
makes all calm and regular; Children take whatever is given them, and eat
it without Reluctance or Reserve. Thus while they see they are not to be
humoured, Parents will be at Leisure to attend to them, and may easily
observe what Food should be generally given, and what avoided; and thus
too Parents might have half a dozen Children at Dinner with Peace and
Joy, while the opposite Behaviour makes one a Plague to the whole Table.

This Attention to Children will likewise discover what Companions they
like, and often, why they like them; by which Means Parents will be able
to judge if their Dispositions are good or bad; vulgar or polite; tending
to Vice or Virtue; all which will furnish them with Hints for granting or
denying certain Acquaintance.

The same Rule Parents should observe, thro’ the stated Actions of every
Day; that is to say, at Rising, Breakfast, Dressing, School, Dinner,
Supper, and Bed-time; all are to be under such Regulation, that no
Opposition or Untowardness obstruct the Order of their Designs: these
I call the stated Actions, because they are things that constantly
and regularly return; and Parents should by all Means habituate their
Children to consider them as Acts of Obedience and Duty that must
be readily complied with. On this Head I earnestly recommend, that
Parents introduce Order and Method among their Children; by laying out
their Time, and allotting different Hours in the Day for different
Exercises; by which Means all will go smoothly on, and render their
various Employments extremely easy. Here I cannot help observing, how
ready People are to give opprobrious Names to what they dislike or
are Strangers to. A Man, because he does not love Order, or does not
understand it, endeavours to brand it with the Epithet of Formality;
whereas in reality, nothing considerable or truly important can be
carried on without it. How comes it, that, besides the Artizans, and
other Day-labouring Men, we so regularly see the Clerk in his Office,
the Merchant upon Change, the Physician with his Patient, and the Judge
on the Bench? but because the Nature of our various Employments in Life
require it, and because Order is the Soul of Action. To be convinced of
this, we need but view the first Elements of Learning, where we find
Letters and Figures always ranged in the same exact Order. But we may
go farther, by observing, that Logicians teach us the Arrangement even
of our Ideas; so indispensably necessary is Order and Method for the
conducting us through Life. But while I urge the Usefulness and Necessity
of Order, I would not be understood to mean a rigorous and starch’d
Preciseness in all we do; on the contrary, I have already recommended,
that Parents endeavour to give their Children an easy and a graceful
Air. I am very sensible, that as in the Productions of Nature there is
often displayed a beautiful Irregularity, thus Order and stated Times
may be dispensed with, in some of the greatest Actions the Soul of Man
is capable of. And as in Wit the sudden Propriety of the Thought and
Expression makes the Beauty of it; so in the Exigencies of Life, an
unpremeditated Act of Benevolence, doubly proves the Goodness of the
Heart from which it flows: still as Judgment is superior to Wit, so Order
is superior to Irregularity.

I have already recommended that Parents study to win their Children’s
Hearts; and it is on this Principle, that Love be made to take the
deepest Root in them. Love and Fear are two great Springs of human
Actions; both which must be maintained, both should by turns appear,
but Love must be predominant. Would Parents make their Children good,
let them daily instill into them that noble Motive, Love. Would they
make their Children happy, let them prove they desire it, by shewing
their Love to them. Would they make Duty a Pleasure, let them teach
their Children to love it, by teaching them a chearful Obedience. In
the whole Oeconomy of human Life nothing is so essential to Happiness
as this Principle; for as all Actions are, or should be guided by some
Principle or other, so those which have a generous well-directed Love for
their Motive, bid fairest for attaining that genuine Happiness, which
all aspire at, but so few find. Hence it is easy to see how necessary
it is for Parents to cherish in their Children this great Principle of
Virtue and Happiness; ’tis this keeps their Duty awake, and turns that
into Ease and Joy, which otherwise would be a Burthen and a Pain; ’tis
this that stems the Torrent of irregular Actions, and checks the rising
Passions of our Children, by producing in them the opposite Effect, Fear;
that is, a Fear of offending. Of all the important Steps necessary for
forming the Minds of Children, and for conducting them thro’ Life with
Happiness to themselves and others, nothing is more truly so, than the
animating their Actions with well-tempered Affection; it makes them
open, generous, and noble; and it takes off that Narrowness of Mind and
Heart, so disadvantageous to themselves, and so detrimental to Society:
for in proportion to the Affection they prove for their Parents, so
much will they increase in what in their future Lives they bestow upon
others. Children who love their Parents as they ought, will seldom fail
to diffuse in social Life a general Affection around them; they will
love their Husbands, their Wives, their Children, and their Friends: nay
they will love the whole human Race, by promoting, in some Degree or
other, the Good of every one within their Reach. Such are the Benefits
arising from a Love founded on just Principles; such the Force of this
Heaven-born Quality!

I have observed that Fear is another great Spring of human Actions; and
were it only such a Fear as Love creates, it would be truly laudable.
But Experience too sadly proves how much Mankind are actuated by a
Fear of Pain, Disgrace, and Poverty; a Fear which, in it’s Nature, is
servile, mean, and base; such as Parents should seriously endeavour
to banish from their Children’s Breasts. It may be reasonably asked,
whether this Baseness, this unworthy Fear, so visible in the Majority of
Men, be natural or acquired? When we view indeed our Children in some
Individuals, and see them forsake every generous Offer of being happy,
and cling immoveably to sordid Meanness, we may, in these Instances,
conclude it is Nature; but when we consider them in the Lump, and take
a general Survey of the Principles which guide their Actions, we must
surely own it is in great Measure acquired: that is, the Dignity of Man
is debased, in an almost constant Succession from Father to Son, by the
false Estimation we make of Happiness; by forsaking Reason’s purest
Streams, to follow our corrupt Passions.

To evince this, let me here descend a little to Particulars. Parents
desire their Children’s Happiness, (I say nothing of those Monsters
who neither feel nor act the Parent’s Part) but how do they attempt to
reach it? certainly in a Path the most remote from it. No sooner have
Children a Place on the great Stage of the World, but their Will is
irregularly cherished; before they know where they are, or know to what
End they have a Being, their tender Minds are impressed with Principles
as opposite to Happiness as Light to Darkness. Who first awakens in them
a Spirit of Resentment and fierce Revenge, even before they can speak?
Those who beat the Floor, the Chair, the Table, or whatever little Master
has heedlessly run against, and hurt himself with. Who first inflames
their Vanity, by kindling in them Self-admiration, and a Passion for
Dress? Those who set out with teaching Miss to admire herself only
because she is fine. Who is it raises in them a Thirst of Gain, an early,
and a sordid Love of Money? Those who give a mean Reward the Preference
to Virtue; or who, by direct or oblique Insinuations, persuade them
that there is no Happiness but in Riches. Who, in a Word, exposes them
to the Fury of every tempestuous Passion, by opening the Flood-gates of
irregular Pleasures? Those who indulge them in every thing they ask;
who never contradict their Humour, however irregular; or who neglect
to curb their Passions, and subject them to Reason. From this View of
the too general Conduct of Parents, we may with Reason infer that Fear,
the Spring which actuates the Majority of Mankind, is more acquired
than natural: for where inordinate Desires are cherished, a Fear of
not obtaining what we wish, or of losing what we possess, produces many
Actions unworthy ourselves: Actions not only unjustifiable, but which
constitute certain Misery under the Mask of Happiness.

To obviate then these Evils, to prevent the Acquisition of a base, mean,
unmanly Fear, and to lead Children into the Path to Happiness, let
Parents, as I have before recommended, make Love take the deepest Root
in them, but as Fear will naturally by turns prevail, let them with the
warmest Zeal labour to make it a Fear dictated by Love, and guided by

But how shall this be effected unless Parents act on right Principles?
The grand Obligations of Parents to their Children consist in teaching
them a Knowledge of themselves, a Love of Duty, and a Love of Virtue.
Whence it is evident, that the Attention of Parents to conduct their
Children as they ought, is indispensably necessary, even to the third
Stage of Life; but it is doubly so at the Beginning. It is a judicious
Observation, that he who sets out wrong is half undone; and tho’ this
holds good in the general Concerns of Life, yet it is no where more
applicable than in the false Steps taken in the initiating our Children.
For if Principles opposite to Self-knowledge, Duty and Virtue, are
either created, inculcated, or cherished, where is the Wonder that
Children prove the reverse of what was expected? or that while they seem
to aim at Happiness they find themselves wretched?

Those who build with Judgment, are always careful to lay a solid
Foundation. I will now hope that Parents are sensible that the general
Practice in the Management of Children is erroneous; and the general
Neglect of them unjustifiable. I will hope too, that I have here shewn,
however imperfectly, that Virtue alone is the Basis on which their
Happiness is to be raised. An early Obedience, a Love of Truth, a
spotless Innocence, and a becoming Courage, tempered with Self-knowledge,
make the Ground-work of my Design; of that genuine Manners I mean to
recommend. The Edifice however is still to be rear’d; that is, other
Virtues both general and particular are to be taught, and brought into
Habit: the whole Frame of Mind and Heart must appear regular, orderly,
and beautiful; not accidentally so, but resulting from Reflection; they
must be eager to embrace Virtue, and watchful to shun Vice: in a Word,
be always dispos’d to do what is right, and never, with Design, do what
is wrong. Here perhaps I should throw aside my Pen: if I have been so
happy as to convince Parents of their first Mistakes in this important
Work; those once rectify’d, the rest may be supply’d by abler Guides: for
I neither have, nor pretend to have, the Power requisite to display or
enforce those Virtues, the Knowledge and Observance of which make up the
Measure of our Duty.

But to awaken Parents still farther, I must observe, that teaching their
Children all the moral Duties is not only their Province, but more or
less their Obligation. A learned and ingenious _French_ Author says,
that Parents are the best Instructors, if they themselves are well
instructed. For, says he, “A Father who has but two or three accustom’d
to respect him, finds no Difficulty in keeping them to their Duty. He
has them constantly at home with him; he can take the Hours when they
are most docible; he knows their Capacity, their Genius, and their
Inclinations. He can instruct them at leisure, and allow the necessary
Time for it.” And a little farther he adds; “What is here said of Fathers
must in Proportion be understood of Mothers, principally in regard of
their Daughters.” Here then I recommend to Parents that they do not
content themselves with laying the Foundation, but labour on till the
Superstructure is raised and the Design compleated. For as Men who
justly aim at Reputation, and who desire to fill with Honour some Post
or Profession, spare no Pains to qualify themselves for it; so those,
who would fulfil the Design of Providence in making them Parents, must
take care that they do not lead Children out upon the Stage of the World,
and leave them to act their Part alone, till they have taught them those
Duties that will best secure Happiness both to themselves and others.

It will still perhaps be expected that I should treat of the farther
Means to effect this great End; but my Readers must remember, that
besides my being unequal to the Task, besides my being confined to the
Compass of a small Volume, these important Matters have already been
handled by many abler Pens, to which I refer them. However, to answer
in some measure a reasonable Expectation, and farther to prove the
Sincerity of my Intentions, I will here touch on those Virtues which are
universally allowed to be essentially necessary; and which all, who would
be esteemed wise and good, must both know and practise.

We are now to suppose, that Children are considerably advanced; not
only that their first Lessons were Obedience, but that their Minds have
been tempered with Duty, and with such a Knowledge of Right and Wrong,
as strongly to incline them to adhere to the one and avoid the other: we
will suppose too, that their Reason, unblinded by Passion, has gained so
much Strength as to be able to exert itself to advantage: that is, that
those Perceptions and Distinctions, with many other things which natural
Logic is capable of teaching, have so far improved their Understanding,
and disposed their Will, that they are fitted to receive more important
Lessons, and practise them when taught.

Prudence then comes first under Consideration: it implies such an
orderly Conduct of our Words and Actions, as keeps us free from those
Irregularities which hurt ourselves and offend others. Prudence is a
Virtue attended with innumerable good Effects, but particularly as it
frequently shuts the Door not only against Misfortunes, but against
Injustice. It is not to be doubted but that the Prudent are sometimes
unfortunate. A thousand Evils surround us, a thousand Darts threaten our
Destruction, which cannot be obviated because they cannot be foreseen:
still it is certain that Prudence keeps off many Calamities which would
otherwise befall us.

But besides the Advantages arising from Prudence to ourselves, it makes
us pleasing and useful to others. Men naturally love to converse with the
Discreet; from them they learn the Art of shunning those Rocks which so
many others have split on; from them they discover a safer Path to tread
in; and from them they often labour to model their own Actions. Farther,
the Prudent are not only pleasing, but valuable to Society. A prudent Man
is esteemed by all who have any Dealing with him. Mankind have naturally
an Attachment to their Property; therefore are they with great Reason
inclined to trust it in the Hands of the Discreet, rather than the
Indiscreet. Hence appears the Necessity of teaching Children the Nature
and Advantages of Prudence; but as it is one of the graver Virtues, it
seldom appears in young People, unless it be those who are so happy as to
have prudent Parents, that labour to implant an early Habit of it in them.

There is a natural Consciousness in the Mind of Man of his own
Significance; and where he takes Prudence for his Guide, some real
Advantage may always be made of it. No Man is so high as not to require
the Aid of those beneath him; no one so low but he may be useful to his
Betters. Parents therefore instead of inculcating on their Children a
false Pride, or raising in them a vain-glorious Flame, should give them
a due Sense of others Significance and their own; this, accompanied with
Prudence, will shew them the true light they stand in; shew them their
just Distance from those above them, their Nearness to those beneath
them. From this View will arise not only that genuine Self-knowledge so
essentially necessary for their Conduct in Life, but that becoming Pride,
which at the same time that it proves to them the Obligation of acting
in some certain Sphere, animates them with Resolution to behave in it as
they ought.

Prudence is a Check to Extravagance, Vice, and Folly; nay, it is often
the Guide of virtuous Actions; for even Benevolence, Generosity, and
Charity, Actions greatly noble in themselves, unless well directed,
timed, and placed, will often be the Cause of others Ruin and our own.
Prudence therefore, of all Virtues, may justly be call’d the Balance that
keeps us from Extremes.

I have elsewhere observed how dangerous it is for Parents to rate their
Children too high; nor is it less so to sink them too low: there is
a certain Spirit to be maintained, without which our Children will
degenerate into Meanness; there is a Degree of Dignity they must support,
without which they will become not merely useless, but burthensome:
Parents therefore must carefully attend to this, lest in avoiding one
Evil they fall into another: And no Means so likely to gain the Medium,
as Self-knowledge under the Direction of Prudence. By this they are
check’d in the Pride of towering too high; and by this they are lifted
from that Meanness which Sloth, Ignorance, or false Humility is apt to
plunge them into.

Here I might expatiate on the Cruelty of some Parents, who use every
body well but their own Children; who act not only the Sovereign, but
the Brute, the Tyrant, and the Monster over those whom Nature calls on
them to cherish, comfort, and love: and often, under the Pretext of
making their Children humble, harrass them into Misery, and fix a Hatred
to themselves. However, I will not pursue a Reflection so shocking to
Nature; but rather hope that once to know it will be a sufficient Motive
for it’s Banishment.

But of all the Advantages attending Prudence, there is none equal to
the Bar it puts against the Rashness of young People in plunging
themselves into the Mistake of an inconsiderate Marriage: and indeed
were it the sure Means of preventing this Evil alone, it would both
demand and deserve all the Attention of Parents to lead their Children
into the Knowledge and Practice of it. How few are those whose Passions
never rise above the Mark of Reason; how few whose Duty never nods; what
Grief does such a mistaken Step bring on the Parents; what Care, what
Sorrow, what Misery on the Children! Here, in the strongest Light, we
may view the necessity of Prudence. Suppose a Father (one of some Figure
and Circumstances) educates his Son suitable to his Condition in Life;
and then engages him in Business, either as a Clerk, an Apprentice,
or whatever Station occurs: at this Age, and in this Situation, he is
exposed to a thousand Dangers; but particularly to that of a rash and an
unequal Marriage. The young Fellow, if unguarded by Prudence, is open
to all the Arts, the Smiles, the Hypocrisy of some one at least of the
opposite Sex, who thinks it her Business to make her Fortune; while he,
a Stranger to his own Heart, and ignorant of the Consequences of such a
Step, involves himself in Sorrow, if not in Destruction. The transient
pleasing Dream once past, he looks around him with Amazement! but ’tis
now too late! the Chain is link’d, the Fetters are tied, and nothing
but Death can break them! After various Contrivances to conceal the rash
Deed, at length it reaches the Parents Ears. What a Scene of Affliction
is here! Not the lively Picture of a Poet’s Fancy; not the fabled
Representation of romantic Distress; but real Life overwhelmed with
boundless Grief. A generous Father who has spared no Cost to promote his
Son’s Felicity; a tender Mother, who with endless Anxiety has sought the
fairest Prospect for her favourite Boy; view them alternately struggling
with Love, and Rage, and Fear, and Resentment! What must they feel to
see their Expectations frustrated, their utmost Wishes vanished, their
darling Child undone! We say, it is dangerous to rouze a sleeping Lion;
nor is it less so, to kindle the Resentment of Parents: for to be greatly
exasperated is to fall into a Frenzy, which we cannot stop at Will. Thus
it often happens with those whose Children precipitate themselves into
Misery; their Rage becomes a continual Resentment, or an unconquerable
Hatred. And alas! how dreadful are the Effects! What more common than
for a Child to be banished from his Parents for a Step like this. I
know not what Effect a Description may have on those who hear or read
it, but, for my own Part, I think a Child, who thro’ such gross Folly
and Disobedience has shut himself out from the Doors, the Hearts, the
Affection of his Parents, is in the most calamitous Situation upon Earth.

But let us change the Scene. Let us suppose the Parents Grief subsided,
or that Love and Pity have got the better of Resentment. How fares it
with the disproportioned Couple? Does a Reconciliation with the Parents
secure Happiness to them? Alas, no; they know but little of Life who
conclude so. There is always Danger in Disparity, especially where Vanity
or Ambition predominates. The Woman who is suddenly lifted up from a very
low Condition, commonly makes but an aukward Figure; and what is worse,
she is apt, in affecting to be like her Betters, to misuse the Dominion
she is invested with; and, instead of demeaning herself like a good
Wife, she becomes a Vixen, a Shrew or a Tyrant. Yet granting that none
of these Evils happen, granting that a Woman has really Merit, and that
the labours to improve her natural Talents, in order to suit them to her
new Condition, there are still other Evils to fear. Reflection on past
Folly naturally draws Resentment on the Object of it: and tho’ when two
Parties once become Man and Wife, they are obliged to maintain Fidelity,
Tenderness and Love to one another; yet Experience unhappily shews us
that this Obligation is often violated. He who is extravagantly fond
without Regard to Merit, will often be unreasonable without Provocation.
Thus, when a Man, in his cooler Thoughts, compares what he is, with what
he might have been; reflects on what he has lost in grasping imaginary
Happiness, or views himself, thro’ a Disparity of Years, chained to faded
Beauty, to declining Life, while himself is in his Bloom; not all the
natural or acquired Merit of his Wife, not all the Tenderness that can
flow from the sincerest Love will be able to balance his Disappointment:
he frets, and swears, and raves, he breaks out into Extravagancies, which
frequently end in the Destruction of them both; Destruction to their
Peace, and Destruction to their Fortune.

Nor is this Portrait of private Woe the only one that can be represented.
A thousand others might be produced, all essentially the same, all
fraught with Misery, and only different in circumstances or Degree. To
see the Heir of a great Estate forsake his Father’s Mansion, and marry
the Dairy-maid; to see a young Lady trained up in all the Pomp and Pride
of Wealth, throw herself into the Arms of a Man whose only Merit perhaps
is a deceitful Tongue, or a borrowed lac’d Coat; or to see another steal
to the _Fleet_ and marry her Father’s Footman; are things so preposterous
in their Nature, that one cannot reflect on them without shuddering.

Certain it is, that great Merit sometimes lies cover’d in Obscurity; and
it is but justice to render it conspicuous, by raising the Possessors of
it to an exalted Station. And farther, a young Man, who has with great
Pains and Expence qualified himself to act in a genteel Profession, tho’
he should not have a Shilling in the World, has a Title to expect a
Fortune with a Wife; nor does he know his own Significance if he neglects
it: for allowing that the Woman he marries has Personal Merit, if they
are balanced by the same good Qualities on his Side, the Prospect he
has from his Trade or Profession is often more than an Equivalent for
the Advantages he reaps by her Fortune. Nor is it these things I mean
to inveigh against; what I condemn is in general far otherwise: we see
a wild Flame seize our Youth, Inclination cherishes it, and they fall
a Sacrifice to their Imprudence. How happy then are they whom Prudence
guides; how consoling the Reflection, that by steering with this Pilot
they escape the common Wreck.

Among the moral Virtues necessary to be inculcated, among the Obligations
of Parents to their Children, nothing so much demands their Diligence,
Attention and Regard, as the teaching them a Knowledge and a Love of
Justice. How noble is this Virtue! how vast in it’s Extent! and, alas!
how little is it practised! Some Virtues stand as it were alone, and may
be separated from every other; but this, when understood and practised
in it’s utmost Latitude, seems to unite almost every Virtue to itself.
Justice teaches us all the Obligations we are bound to maintain in
Society; now it is certain that these are many more than are generally
understood. Men soon learn those things which the Laws take Cognizance
of; and therefore, unless quite wretched or abandoned, avoid them; but
what are these, if compared to many others which Nature, Reason and
Reflection make us conscious of? What are these to the many Injustices
which spring from Pride, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, Slander and Revenge?
Surely nothing. But without enquiring what Actions evade the Law, or
triumph over it, I will endeavour to give my Readers a true Idea of
Justice; and point out to them the proper Steps for leading Children into
the Exercise of it.

Here I cannot avoid returning back to the Infancy of Children, nor help
reminding Parents of the Necessity of an early Care. Virtuous Principles
are the best Foundation of virtuous Habits; and should the Seeds of
Passion be too deeply rooted in our Nature to be extirpated, Reason, we
know, has Power to keep them in Subjection. This premised, I recommend
to Parents the utmost Assiduity in shutting out the very Source of
Injustice; that is, they must counteract those Passions which tend to
produce it; not only by inculcating the opposite Virtues, but by frequent
Reflections on the Danger of cherishing irregular Desires.

Justice is to be considered as general and particular; and tho’ Mankind
are apt to content themselves with a general Justice, yet it can never
claim the Merit of an exalted Virtue, unless we both know and practise it
in particular. To attain this Knowledge and Love of Justice, Children are
to be taught, even before they can speak, to part with any thing they are
in Possession of, and this readily, and without Clamour: the Effect of
which will be, that when a little more advanced, and they can distinguish
their own things from others, they will not eagerly desire the Property
of a Brother, a Sister, or Play-fellow. The next Step is, that Parents
avoid with the utmost Caution every the least Deceit, especially about
Money, and every thing which discovers to their Children a Fondness for
it. There is nothing more surprising to me, than the universal Disregard
Parents have to the Presence of their Children; a thousand things in
Life are necessary to be said and done which they, particularly while
young, should not be Witnesses to; and yet are Parents every Day and
Hour so impolitic and so imprudent, as not only to disclose their inmost
Thoughts, but to transact the most improper, nay perhaps the most
unjustifiable things before their Faces. As Children seldom have Judgment
to distinguish, they can only catch Appearances. Now suppose a Man in
a just Cause has played the Politician, and by the Force of Stratagem
recovered his Right; can it be a proper Subject for Children to be in the
hearing of? But should this Man have gone farther, and should he boast
a Conquest unjustly gain’d, perhaps to the Ruin of another; what Effect
must this have on the tender Minds of Children? Children in general act
by Imitation; therefore, as far as can be, they should see nothing but
what they may imitate. But farther, Children naturally think those things
right which they see done by their Parents; therefore they should see no
Action in them but what is really so. Farther still, Children, even under
a virtuous Education, are surrounded with a thousand Incitements to Ill;
their Eyes and Ears are continually open, and continually receive corrupt
Impressions, which dart to the Mind and Heart of the most innocent: where
then can they fly for an Antidote to this Poison? To whom shall they
have recourse; or by whom shall they be furnished with Weapons for their
Defence? By those to whom they are bound by every Tye; Parents alone must
stop the Torrent of every Evil to their Children, not only by virtuous
Precepts, but by virtuous Example. For as it is a certain Truth, that the
Influence of Parents is more than a Balance for a thousand others, the
Necessity of their opposing Vice with Virtue, is every way apparent: nor
is it any where more so than in the noble Cause of Justice.

This Rule established, I must again repeat to Parents the avoiding before
their Children every Appearance of Deceit, and every Fondness for Money.
If Children are taught to deceive, they will be induced to practise it
for the Sake of Gain; and if a Love of Gain be cherished in them, they
will often use Deceit to acquire it. How apt are Parents to Wish for
Money in their Children’s hearing; and this, not merely the Indigent,
those who want many of the Comforts, the Necessaries of Life, but those
who have already perhaps more than they make a good Use of. _Tom_, says
a vain Father to his Son, had I ten thousand Pound, you should be the
smartest Fellow in the Kingdom, ne’er a Lord in the Land should out-do
you. Thus too, a doating Mother addresses her Daughter, What Pity it is
my dear _Nancy_ should not keep her Coach; so sweet a Girl! Oh! that I
was but rich, you should marry nothing less than a Lord. What must be the
Effect of this Language? Must it not inflame the Heart, or fly to the
Head and make it giddy? most certainly. Nor does it stop here; for when
this irregular Love of Money is once deeply rooted, irregular Steps will
often be taken to make it thrive.

But to pursue the Idea of Justice, let me not confine myself to the
Passions, but speak likewise to the Understanding. I will hope that
Parents have shewn Children in Infancy the general Justice I have spoken
of; the obvious Rules of Right and Wrong; and check’d in them every
Shadow of Injustice: that is, that they have taught them never to meddle
with Money, be it more or less, or with whatever else belongs to another;
nor even to desire it; nor to be fond of dwelling on it, counting it, or
chinking it; (for Money has a strange Effect on both Eyes and Ears:)
never to put their Hands into another’s Pockets; much less to unlock
a Scrutore: never to evade the Payment or Acknowledgment of a single
Farthing; nor obtain unjustly even a Top, a Marble, or whatever can be
called the Property of another. Farther, that as they advance, Parents
inform them that there is a constant Intercourse between Man and Man:
that Providence has created some to labour one way, some another; that
the various Wants of Life are to be supplied by the Care, the Industry,
and the Sagacity of each in their several Stations; that the Poor are
destined to labour for the Rich, and the Rich to employ and reward the
Poor: that some in fine are born to govern, others to be governed. That
this Intercourse is called Society; and that Justice alone is the Band
that connects and ties it; consequently, that he is the most valuable
Member of Society, who despising selfish or sinister Views, who shunning
the Tricks, the Frauds, the Villainies of others, resolves to make
Justice his Rule of Action. That to this End, besides a general Knowledge
of Property, and an Acquaintance with those Laws which are made to defend
it; besides the adjusting Profits in Trade, stating Accounts fairly, and
paying Debts regularly; there are still many things to be considered,
some of which I will here endeavour to reason upon, as they visibly
produce some certain kind of Injustice in their Effects, tho’ their
Cause is often hid from common Eyes, or they are disguised by false or
palliative Names.

The first Spring of Injustice is Pride. Children, as I have just
observed, have their Minds impressed with a Love of Riches; whence
naturally follows an undue Degree of Self-esteem, accompany’d with a Love
of Power, Show, and Dignity: now to effect these, a thousand Stratagems
are used; every Obstacle which stands in the Way to Wealth or Preferment
must be overturned; every Difficulty must be removed. Hence it is easy
to see that unjust Means will often be used to gain the desired End; and
hence it is plain that those who ascend by indirect and violent Measures,
crush down many others as they pass. Parents therefore to obviate this,
must teach their Children that nothing can be lawful which injures
others; that they may indeed arrive at Honours and acquire Riches; but
that unless they are obtained without Guilt, and possessed without Pride,
they cannot be just: for even allowing that no undue Means are used to
support our Pride, there is Injustice riveted to the Vice itself; for the
Proud, to raise themselves, always attempt to depress or debase others.

Another Cause of Injustice is Sloth. Providence has created us to labour;
the Head, the Hands, the Feet, all are given to answer in some Degree
the same End; that is, the Preservation of ourselves, and the Benefit of
others. None are born to be idle, none who are so can with any Truth be
said to fill up Life as they ought. Those who have Talents are bound to
cultivate them as far as they have Opportunity, that they may counsel,
instruct, or assist others: those who have Fortune cannot without
Injustice neglect the Care, the Improvement, and the Distribution of it:
those who have no Fortune, but enjoy Health and Limbs, are Robbers of
Society if they refuse to work: and indeed among the various Objects of
Sloth, those who exercise neither Head, nor Hands, nor Feet, but lounge
and fawn and beg for a Subsistence, no Matter whether in Rags or Finery,
are of all others the most mean, at the same time that they are grossly
unjust. The Virtues opposite to this are, Industry, Application, and
Oeconomy; which Parents must raise in their Children betimes, and cherish
with Zeal and Pains.

A third Source of Injustice is Lust. What I have before said of an
universal Regard to Decency both in Words and Actions must not be
confined to the State of Childhood, but be enforced by Parents on their
Children as Rules that are never to be departed from; since what is in
it’s Nature wrong, nothing can make right: for if Innocence be a Virtue,
which even the abandoned will hardly dispute, every Deviation from it
must be more or less a Vice. As this then is a settled point, enlarging
on it here is needless; my only Aim on this Head being to make some
Reflections on the Vice when manifestly attended with Injustice.

It has been the Custom of every wise Nation both in their Writings and
Conversation, to inculcate and enforce the finest Morals, the most
important Truths under an Allegory or Fable; and where the Simile is
natural and the Expression emphatic, nothing is more powerful. Suppose
then a Father should lead his Son, as he approaches to Manhood, into a
Garden, and thus address him. “View here, my dear Child, the Beauties of
the Creation; see how abundantly the Earth is furnished with all that
can contribute both to our Use and Delight. But besides the unmeasurable
Bounty of Providence, behold the Gardener’s incessant Toil; what pains
he takes to improve the Soil; with what early Care does he water each
tender Plant; how watchful to secure them against destroying Vermin, and
how anxious to defend his Flowers from Blasts! Now tho’ Providence has
given to MAN a Power over all the Works of the Creation, ’twas never
meant he should abuse them. What then would you think of him who should
pluck the choicest Flowers here, purely for the sake of destroying them?
But should he go farther, and exercise a wanton Pleasure not only in
stripping them of their Beauty, but in rendering them offensive and
odious to all who see them? What, my Son, I say, would you think of
such a Man? But Oh! my dear Boy, should this affect you, should this
raise in you a Degree of Contempt; with how much Indignation must you
behold the Wretch, who, with a Complication of Crimes has deflowered the
fairest Part of the whole Creation: not an inanimate Rose, or Pink, or
Lilly; but robb’d a spotless Virgin of her Innocence! Tremble, my dear,
dear Child, tremble at the very Thought of so much Baseness! View with
impartial Eyes the guilty Deed! On one side the Deceit, the Oaths, the
Perjuries, and a thousand criminal Inventions to gain the desired End;
on the other, the dreadful Change from Innocence to Guilt; from Honour
to Infamy; from the Esteem of all, to the Contempt of all; and what is
stranger still, forsaken and despised by the very Seducer himself! Yet
Oh! my Son, let not these Reflections be made in vain; but draw Profit
from others Crimes: examine them in their true Light; be not misled by
those who palliate the blackest Actions with the specious Names of Wit,
and Love, and Gallantry; but live in a Resolution never to share in their
Guilt; never to injure another in the least Degree; but above all resolve
to suffer a thousand Evils, to sacrifice every Passion, rather than even
stain, much less destroy, the Flower of Innocence.”

These are Sentiments our Sons must be warmed with; these are Ideas of
Justice they must not be Strangers to, if we wish to make them good Men,
or desire to fulfil our Obligations as Parents. Innocence, wherever it
resides, is an inestimable Treasure; two things therefore Parents have
to do herein, viz. to teach their Children neither to destroy another’s
Innocence; nor suffer others to sully theirs. The first has just been
spoken of: I will only add, that the same Regard must be paid to all
Degrees, whether high or low: it is the Vice we are to keep in view,
not the Quality of the Person. ’Tis no Extenuation of the Crime, that a
Gentleman’s Son seduced his Master’s Cook; or that a young Nobleman has
ruined only a Tenant’s Daughter, or his Mother’s Chamber-maid; no, no,
there are no Distinctions in Virtue’s Cause: that lost, there are always
some to weep; the poorest have their Parents, their Relations, or their
Friends, to lament their sad Mishap; and those who are robbed of what
cannot be restored, have always their own Loss to deplore.

The next Care of Parents on this Head is, that they labour to preserve
their Children’s Innocence from being tainted by others. One would
imagine when Parents had taught their Children every Virtue, and enforced
them by their own Example, their Duty would be compleat; but far from it;
they have still the Obligation of representing to them the Snares, the
Artifices, the Villainies of designing People. In my last View I have
shewn that our Sons, either hurried by Passion, led by false Notions of
Gallantry, or Strangers to Right and Wrong, are often the Instruments,
or liable at least to be the Instruments, of others Destruction: in
this I must touch on the Necessity Children are under of being defended
from receiving Injuries. And here I must observe, that both Sexes are
equally in Danger. The Girls indeed have by Nature and Education more
Innocence, as well as more Tenderness; the Boys, tho’ more robust, have
more Temptations. Men are the Instruments, and dreadful ones too, which
chiefly destroy our Daughters; but bad Women on one hand, and corrupt
Men on the other, combine to destroy our Sons. Let Parents then point
out to them the Dangers they are exposed to, and furnish them with every
Means for their Defence; let them shew that the Colours Vice is painted
in are false and delusive; that however pleasing the Appearances are,
the Effects are bitter; that our corrupt Imagination is extremely apt
to mislead us, therefore they must not trust to this Guide, but seek
Security from Reason and Reflection; that they must not rely on their
own Strength, by exposing themselves to those who have the Subtlety and
Cruelty to form Designs against their Virtue; and that, in these Cases,
the greatest Proof they can give of their Courage is to run away, because
their Passions naturally incline them to stay; that those, in a word,
who wish to maintain their Virtue, must shun the Vicious: and where the
Affairs of Life unavoidably expose them to the Company of such, let them
by a constant discountenancing Deportment, shew their Disapprobation
of every unbecoming Word or Action; whereby they will check, and often
prevent, any Attacks on their Innocence. But farther, to enforce the
Virtue of Innocence, let Parents shew their Children the Obligations they
are under of preserving it; that besides the Insult offered to their
Creator who made them rational Beings, and thereby distinguished them
from the Brutes, their departing from it is an Injustice to themselves,
an Injustice to their Parents, and to all those who have laboured to
correct the natural Corruption of their Hearts, by instilling into them
every virtuous Principle.

A fourth Cause of Injustice is Avarice: which implies an inordinate Love
of Gain. Avarice puts on a thousand Shapes, and is to be found in Men
of every Rank and every Age; but it is most apparent in the Rich and
the Old: which is an Aggravation of the Vice; because the one have more
than enough already, and the other have not long to enjoy the Fruits
of it, even should they live to reap them. But what is most alarming
in the Avaritious is, the extreme Danger of going beyond the Bounds
of Justice; and what _Dryden_[5] says of Wits and Madmen may, by the
easiest Change,[6] be apply’d without Impropriety to the Covetous and the
Dishonest. How many Schemes are formed, how many Devices used to raise a
Fortune, or to add Hoard to Hoard? One circumvents another in Trade; and
with more than savage Cruelty, abuses the Power he has by keeping those
under that might otherwise flourish; and had rather see another starve,
than himself be deprived of what he does not want. A second burns with
a Thirst of Gaming, and values himself for his superior Parts, if he
can trick another out of his Money at Play; regardless of the dreadful
Consequences attending the Loss; and regardless of the Injustice of
the Acquisition. How do they possess their Minds who have raised their
Fortune on another’s Ruin? Do they ever reflect on the Misery of their
wretched Companion; or do they view the Distress of his Wife, his
Children, and his suffering Creditors? Surely if the Gamester did this,
even he who wins, and wins by a fair Bet, and equal Lay, must tremble at
Riches thus acquired: but if to this be added the Traps, the Snares, and
other Artifices to draw in weak or unwary Men to their Ruin, what must we
think of such Wretches? We may both pity and condemn the Ruined, but we
must abhor those who caused it, however great their false Triumph may be.
A third takes the Advantage of Distress or Weakness, and lends his Money,
not with Kindness, but with a sordid View: these are the Men who grasp at
Mortgages for the sake of fore-closing; and get Possession of an Estate
for half it’s Value; who inveigle a Widow that they may ruin her Affairs,
and enrich themselves; or get a Guardianship that they may beggar the
Children. A fourth, sensible what Power Riches give him, employs it to
the harrassing and depressing all beneath him; these are those who to add
to their superfluous Wealth suck the Blood and Vitals of the Poor, by
reducing their just Pay, and defrauding them of their Wages; or who with
inhuman Scorn depreciate that Merit which others possess; or crush it in
it’s Appearance. But how shall Parents, who perhaps may not live to be
Witnesses to these Actions, prevent them in their Children? The Answer
is easy. Imprint on them an early Love of Justice; and as they advance,
shew them the various Ways of deviating from it; that by viewing these
things in their true Light, they may conceive a just Horror of Crimes so
detestable in themselves, and so destructive to Society.

A fifth Source of Injustice is Slander. There are Men who would not game
another out of his Money, nor forge a Deed, tho’ they could obtain his
Estate with Security, nor run him thro’ the Body; yet shall, without
Scruple, butcher his Reputation with Slander. An unbecoming Levity of
Conversation and Behaviour is natural to many, who thereby do great Harm
without once being aware of it; but this, tho’ a great Evil in Society,
is Innocence, if compared with the Malevolence of others. There are Men
of such rancorous Hearts, of such malicious Natures, that they seem to
have nothing human but the Form; Wretches, who, to gratify their Spleen,
or to indulge a Pique, tear in Pieces the Good-name of those whose Merit
is perhaps superior to their own. All the moral Writers condemn this
censuring, cruel Humour; and a celebrated dramatic Poet[7] describes
very beautifully the superior Loss of Reputation to that of Riches. A
Man that is robbed on the High-way sees his Loss, and knows the worst of
it; but he who is levelled at from afar, or receives a Stab in the dark,
neither discovers his Enemy, nor knows where the Mischief will end. In
the great Family of the World, every one is furnished with Means for his
Support, be it more or less; all are in some Degree possessed of Power,
Genius, or Abilities to procure, if not a Fortune, at least Subsistence;
with what Face then does Mankind dare to frustrate the Intention of
Providence, by robbing another of that Reputation which he is labouring
to establish, and by which alone he is enabled to support his Wife, his
Children, and himself. With what Pretensions, or by what Authority do
they presume to strip another of the Merit he is possessed of? If I have
less Merit than another, let me labour to equal him; should I perchance
have more, let me not rob him of the little he is possessed of. But
Men of this detestable Spirit imagine, that in making others little,
they render themselves great; and thus unjustly use the Power they are
invested with, by abusing their Hearers Ears; prostituting their own
Tongues to the Destruction of others; and, lest Words should sometimes
be ineffectual, they add Nods, Winks, Shrugs, and whatever can express
Malice, Hatred, or Contempt. Pure Morality teaches us to throw a Veil
over others Faults; but Justice demands that we stifle not their Virtues,
much less pervert them: that is, we should be ready to acknowledge the
Merit due to them, but cannot deny it without the basest Injury.

Behold then what Justice requires of us! Parents who teach their Children
a Knowledge of Property, who inspire them with a Resolution never to
invade it in others, who teach them a Fairness in their Dealings, an
Exactness in paying their Debts, and a just Detestation of the Tricks of
sophisticating Goods, particularly Drugs, Wine, Food, and those things
that often elude our Senses, or affect our Health; who teach them to
obey the Laws of their Country, in avoiding all clandestine Trade, all
Commerce in prohibited or contraband Goods, and make them ashamed of
such Employments as require them to steal their Way through the World,
or skulk about in the dark; those Parents, I say, who do this, do well:
but that is not enough; they must check, nay conquer a babling censorious
Disposition, and create in its stead that generous Tenderness for others
that they would wish to meet with themselves: but above all, they must
inspire their Hearts and Lips with Justice, and imprint on their Souls a
Sense of the Baseness of Detraction, Calumny, and Slander.

Before I quit this Head, I must touch on a Species of Injustice
diametrically opposite to that we have been censuring: my Readers will
perhaps be surprized when I say it is Silence. So much is due to the
Cause of Justice, that we cannot always be silent without a Breach of
it. Men complain, and very justly, that true Honour is rare to be found;
yet, while this is granted, we must observe, that false Honour reigns in
it’s stead; but my Purpose here is, to consider how far it is an Act of

When a Man sets about a lawless Enterprize, his first Care is to engage
what he calls a Friend to second his Attempts, or at least to promise him
Secresy; but, to make it succeed, the Party employed is to be a Friend on
both Sides: here then is a manifest Injustice in the Silence of the third
Person, however innocent he may be otherwise. But what is the Principle
they act upon? Honour. What! shall I betray my Friend! has he not reposed
a Confidence in me? he has; and I will be faithful to it. Who can
reflect on the fatal Effects of this false Friendship, this mistaken
Honour, without trembling? Who is there, with any Knowledge of the World,
that has not seen Sorrow, Guilt, Destruction brought on Families by the
Connivance of a Servant, the Silence of a Brother, and the Weakness of
a Sister? What Barbarity in a favourite Maid to be the Instrument of a
young Lady’s Ruin, by conveying a Scrub into the very Family whose Bread
she eats; or at least sees her on the Brink of it, without speaking
a Word for her Preservation? How dreadful are those Friendships, how
preposterous that Silence, where a young Gentleman sees his Companion,
his Fellow-Clerk, levelling at the Destruction of an innocent Girl,
and not have the Soul to declare the guilty Design till too late? Or,
finally, where is the Sense, the Good-Nature, or the Justice of her who
sees a Brother taking fatal Steps, about to injure another’s Virtue, or
marry a Beggar, or ruin himself, and, as far as he has Power, his Parents
too, without once striking at the Root, by discovering his vicious
Intentions and Practices? Who that can distinguish Right from Wrong,
but must see the Injustice of this Silence? Parents therefore should
animate their Children with a Resolution never to enter into these false
Friendships, never to promise what is in it’s Nature wrong, nor ever to
promote or connive at another’s Harm, if in their Power to redress or
prevent it. But farther, Parents, in forming their Children’s Minds, are
in many Cases to adapt their Instructions to the Station of Life they
are expected to act in. Those of Condition must not see their Parents
injured, especially in a Matter of any Moment, and neglect to remove the
Fault: those who are to serve, besides Duty and Respect, owe Justice;
therefore must not only be faithful in their own Actions, but discover
any real Injustice in those of others; and particularly they must detest
with honest Scorn the being privy to an underhand Match. Laying Schemes,
conveying Letters, Concealments from the Parents, or Denials where Danger
is suspected, or otherwise contributing to the Ruin of a young Master or
Lady, even tho’ they could make their own Fortune by being in the Secret,
are Actions ever to be shunned, as they are base in their Nature, and
grossly unjust.

The last Source of Injustice is Revenge. I have said before, that pure
Morality teaches us to throw a Veil over others Faults; I may with
equal Truth say, it obliges us to forgive Injuries. For altho’ it is a
Justice due to ourselves to maintain our Right, yet the same Self-Justice
requires us to forgive those by whom we have been wrong’d. If we can
remove an Injury, we may, and ought; but Revenge is not the Weapon we
are to use for that Purpose. Whatever fires our Revenge, is apt to cloud
our Reason; Men therefore who meditate Revenge, seldom have Reason
for their Guide; and he who forsakes Reason, is a bad Judge how far
Revenge should be carried. If we mentally survey a revengeful Man, how
melancholy is the View! What Agitations in his Mind! what Flutterings in
his Heart! All Nature seems convulsed within him! and, in the Midst of
his Self-torture, his only Thoughts are, whether he shall ruin, or be
ruined; murder, or be murdered! But if we go farther, and behold this
Man in the Action he has so eagerly sought for, or carry our Ideas to
the Consequences of it, we must tremble with Pity. His Countenance is
an Index of his Mind: what Fury on his Brow; what Fire darts from his
Eyes; what Malice, in confused, imperfect Accents, flows from his Lips;
and what frantic Rage possesses his Soul! Sometimes a Duel is to repair
the Injury; dreadful Situation! since whichsoever falls, the Calamity
is inexpressible. Who can recall the Blood once spilt, the Life once
lost? who can console the wretched Survivor, when Revenge is glutted,
and Reflection calls him back to himself? or can the Receiver of the
Challenge draw Consolation in his future Life, from a false Point of
Honour? no, no; it is all Delusion; and independent of the Crimes which
gave rise to it, the Deed itself is gross Injustice. Revenge puts on many
Shapes: some seek it not in Blood, yet, with equal Fury, hunt another
to Ruin and Death by unjust Law-suits. What Havock does this make! How
many fall from Affluence to Want, from Splendor to a Goal, thro’ the
Inveteracy of Revenge! Not all the Concessions of the opposite Party,
not all the Tears of his Wife, nor the impending Ruin of his Children,
can appease the Revengeful: Savage-like, he quits not his Hold till his
Fury is glutted, till his Adversary is destroyed. Besides these, there
are many other Species of Revenge, less obvious indeed, but perhaps
not less criminal: there are Men whose Fury is less, but whose Malice
is equal: Men with cooler Heads, but with inveterate Hearts. Injuries,
whether fancied or real, seize the Heart of the Revengeful, and having
once taken place, a thousand things are machinated for Retaliation of the
Offence: every good Office ceases; ill Offices take place of them; cruel
to their Character when absent; arrogant and disdainful to their Person
when present; their Reputation torn to Pieces; false Constructions put on
their most innocent Actions; and every sinister Means used to strip them
of Fame, and Fortune; nay even of Bread. See here the dreadful Passion of
Revenge; view the Cruelty on one Side, the ruinous Effects on the other.
What Care then should Parents take to banish it from their Children’s
Hearts, seeing it is the Source of Misery to themselves, and Destruction
to others! Let them labour to stifle the first Resentments; let them
speak to their Understandings as they advance. Youth is naturally full of
Fire, and as now their Judgment is weak, they are easily misled by false
Notions of Honour; but where Malice is found to reside in their Hearts,
it will demand the utmost Pains to root it out: still all should aim at
effecting it. To this End, besides checking the earliest Resentments,
let Parents paint in the liveliest Colours the Deformity of Revenge;
let them shew how much it destroys their own inward Peace; let them
counteract the Passion by encouraging in them Meekness, Clemency and
Love; and above all, prove to them how much they sink beneath the Dignity
of Human Nature, how much they injure themselves, and how unjust they
are to Society in every Action that is accompanied with Revenge; but
particularly where Life, Health, Fame, Peace, or Property are affected by

Thus much have I said to shew the Necessity Parents are under of teaching
their Children the Knowledge and Love of that great Bond of Society,
Justice: it demands indeed much more Labour to discuss every Point; but
I persuade myself, that if their Hearts are duly impressed with the
Principles here laid down, they will be animated to know and practise
every other Act of Justice which their various Stations in Life offer
them the Occasions of. Virtues beget Virtues; one Act of Equity will lead
them to a second; a second will warm them to the Execution of a third; a
Self-denial of little irregular things, will make way for the Entrance
of Reason; and Reason exercised on the solid Principles of Justice, will
enable them to conquer every lawless Desire, every turbulent Passion.

Notwithstanding what has been said thro’ the Course of this Attempt, of
conquering our Passions, it is not to be understood that we are to be
passive, spiritless, and insipid; far from it; this would be frustrating
the Design of Providence. We are, under Reason’s Guide, to enjoy our
own Minds with honest Freedom; and he who has a warm Heart, a chearful
Mind, and a frank Behaviour, bids fairest for being a good Man. But what
irresistibly proves us design’d for an active State, is, the Virtue of
Fortitude. Fortitude is Patience improv’d; it is Courage exalted; it is
that Virtue which enables us not only to bear Sickness, Pain, Disgrace,
and Poverty, but arms us with Power either to conquer these Evils, or at
least so to weaken their Force that they may not bear too hard upon us.
In viewing Mankind in general, or if each views himself in particular,
it will be found that Life is imbitter’d a thousand Ways; all have their
own Troubles, all feel their different Sufferings; some indeed taste so
little of the Sweets of Life, or have them so strongly impregnated with
Sorrows, that they are scarce sensible of their Relish: Fortitude alone
then is the Remedy for these Evils; and therefore should be the Object of
every one’s Study. With this Weapon we are enabled to face every Danger,
to encounter every Trouble, and to struggle with every Difficulty: it
is the Instrument Providence has kindly put into our Hands; and not to
use it, is the highest Ingratitude, at the same time that it is being
ignorant of our own Happiness. Parents then cannot justify the Neglect
of this Virtue to their Children: and it is from this Knowledge of Life,
that I have already proposed, in Compassion and Regard to their future
Happiness, that they familiarize them, with all the Tenderness of good
Parents, to little Disappointments while young; that they may be arm’d
to bear greater as they ought. All irregular Desires we should disclaim
from our Hearts; but even with regard to those which are in their Nature
innocent, lawful, and reasonable, how often are we disappointed! How
then will Children, as they advance, struggle with Disappointments, if
Strangers to the proper Guide, if unacquainted with Fortitude?

But here I must observe, that many things are looked upon as grievous
Evils, which, if considered in a proper Light, are no Evils at all:
and to what is this owing? certainly to the erroneous Measures taken
at setting out. The Eagerness of Children after every new Trifle, the
Desire of engaging in whatever is called Pleasure, and the early Passion
for Dress and Show, make them earnest to have their Humour comply’d
with. Now as many of these things are highly improper, gratifying
their Demands must be an Error more or less; but this is the least
Part of the Evil: the Habit of having all they desire increases with
their Years; and without considering, whether the Things they seek are
necessary or reasonable, they pursue their Desires, and are wretched when
disappointed. Hence arise many of the Passions which disturb the Oeconomy
of Families, and fill the World with Disorder: Men disappointed in
their Business, and cross’d in their Will, burst into Rage, or contract
a Fretfulness which makes them unhappy in themselves, and painful to
all who see or feel the Effects of it: and Women who have been used in
Childhood to conquer their Parents, and in Youth all the World, who have
been constantly addressed in the language of Romances, and have been
vainly taught to think the Men their Slaves; Women, I say, who are thus
educated, are but very ill prepared to meet Disappointments: the first
Opposition throws them into Fits, whence follow Vapours, Melancholy
and Indolence; the next kindles their Resentment, which agitates the
Mind, spoils the Features, by tearing off the natural Softness of the
Countenance, and puts the sweetest Temper into a Ferment; and, if a
Husband be the Object of it, ’tis great Odds but a short Time creates
either an unjust Coldness, or a fixed Aversion. Mr. _Locke_, sensible
of the Danger of irregular Indulgence, thus describes the Situation of a
fondled Son. “He that hath been used to have his Will in every thing as
long as he was in Coats, why should we think it strange that he should
desire it, and contend for it still, when he is in Breeches? Indeed, as
he grows towards a Man, Age shews his Faults the more; so that there are
few Parents then so blind as not to see them, few so insensible as not to
feel the ill Effects of their own Indulgence. He had the Will of his Maid
before he could speak or go; he had the Mastery of his Parents ever since
he could prattle; and why, now he is grown up, is stronger and wiser than
he was then, why now of a sudden should he be restrained and curbed? Why
must he at seven, fourteen, or twenty Years old, lose the Privilege,
which his Parents Indulgence till then so largely allowed him?” From all
this it is evident, that the early planting of regular Desires, checking
the Growth of vicious ones, and subjecting Passion to Reason, are the
great Means to lay the Foundation of Happiness in our Children, and the
surest Fence against many Evils they would otherwise be exposed to: but
if after all this, Sorrow, Pain, Disappointment, or Poverty be their
Lot, let Parents teach them to meet it as they ought; teach them with the
firmest Resolution, with unshaken Constancy, to bear up against the rude
Attack; and teach them that the only way to lessen the Evils they cannot
avoid, is to adhere inseparably to that heroic Virtue Fortitude.

I am now led to speak of Temperance; the calmest Companion of the Heart
of Man. Temperance is the Virtue that bridles our irregular Desires; it
is nearly ally’d to Prudence, and has a close Connection with Justice;
it calms Revenge, and quenches the Fire of unjust Resentment; it
checks the Epicure, and stops the riotous Hand of the Bacchanalian; it
extinguishes or abates the Flames of Lust, and banishes every lawless
Action; it silences the flippant detracting Tongue, and gives in it’s
stead a pleasing Moderation of Speech; it shuts the Door against Avarice,
and proves experimentally, that Happiness does not consist in the eager
Pursuit or Acquisition of Riches, but in a contented Mind; it curbs that
strongest of all other Passions, Gaming, and distinguishes justly the
Absurdity and Folly of making that a dangerous Trade, which was only
designed as a Relaxation and an Amusement: Temperance, in a word, is the
Parent of many Virtues; the Parent of Peace, Prosperity, Health and Joy.
But while these are Truths acknowledged and received, how comes it that
we know so little of the Practice of them? How comes it that in general
these are mere Matters of Speculation? Alas! the Spring is tainted in
the Source. We are intemperate in our very Cradles; no wonder therefore
if we remain so our whole Lives. We are born with irregular Appetites;
and which, thro’ Errors in Judgment, or mistaken Fondness, are daily
rendered still more so. But let us leave these melancholy Reflections,
and consider the Advantages we enjoy, the Privileges we are invested
with. Providence, kind Providence, has given us Reason for our Guide; and
Reason will conduct us to Temperance.—Nothing can be more strange to all
Observation, than the Practice of forsaking Temperance; since every Day’s
Experience proves to us, that Intemperance produces the very opposite to
what we seek. Suppose when a Child is born, we ask the Parents what it
is they wish in that Child; they will answer, Life. But as Life alone,
that is, mere Existence, may by Infirmity or other Accidents be very
wretched, they will naturally wish for Health and Happiness. Well then,
Life, Health, and Happiness, are the general Wishes of Parents for
their Children. Now let us see how their Wishes are likely to succeed.
Their first Step is usually a shameful Neglect of the Food of Nature,
the Breast; the next, a blind Gratification of their Will; the third, an
almost total Neglect of their Manners; and a fourth, the cherishing in
them every irregular Affection. Where then is the Wonder that Parents are
disappointed? Life and Health depend on proper Food and other judicious
Management on one part; and if sick, an Obedience to Remedies on the
other part; and Happiness essentially depends in the first place on
Health; in the next, on the due Government of our Senses, Affections and
Passions. See here how Mankind deviate from themselves; how far they
depart from their own Principles. But what then is the Remedy? nothing
more obvious. Let Parents exercise their Reason in all the Steps they
take for their Children’s Welfare; let them examine Right and Wrong; let
them not only avoid Passion, but labour to correct their own Errors of
Judgment, that they may be the better enabled to prevent them in their
Children; but particularly, let them fix in them the Knowledge, Love, and
Habit of Temperance.

These Rules will doubtless be an Infringement on those Liberties Parents
usually take in indulging their Children’s Stomachs; and it will be a
greater in the Restraint it lays on their growing Passions: but they must
convince them of the Purity of their Intentions by speaking to their
Understandings; not all at once, but by Degrees, as they open and gain
Strength; so that Step by Step they may point out to them the Loveliness,
the Pleasure, and the Advantages of this uncommon Virtue. I say nothing
here of the State of Childhood, because it is already understood that
Parents have their Children’s Health regulated by proper Management,
and their Minds docile thro’ the Force of Obedience; but when Dress,
Pleasure, Company, Feasting, or whatever subjects us to be intemperate,
come into Play, as they are Actions which always cause a Struggle, more
or less, between Passion and Reason, it demands the greatest Care and
Attention of Parents to win them to a Love of Temperance.

An easy Submission to our Lot in Life is one of the greatest Attainments
towards Happiness. View a young Lady with a strong Passion for Dress;
every new thing strikes her; one Companion has a richer Silk than
herself; another has the sweetest Lace she ever saw; a third has
Ear-rings ten times handsomer than her own; she burns with Impatience
to equal them, and that granted, new things arise, and the others are
old tho’ not worn out; that is, her Relish for them is lost. Thus a
continual round of Fashions keep her incessantly anxious; and tho’
perhaps she possesses every thing, she enjoys nothing. Not so the calmer
well-instructed Fair; she considers that Propriety of Dress is what suits
her Station; and covets not another’s Jewels: she wears, without a Blush,
a meaner Silk than her meaner Companion; and free from the Extremes of
Negligence or Pride, she is qualify’d for all the Dignity that Dress can
give her; but is equally happy in an inferior Appearance. Thus too it
happens with our Sons: One is in the continual Pursuit of Pleasure, has
a thousand Contrivances to reach a Play, a Ball, or a Horse-race; and
is miserable if these things are going on without him: while another,
awaken’d by Reason, and check’d by Temperance, takes these things as they
come; and neither insipidly refuses the Chearfulness of an Entertainment,
nor is disturb’d of his Rest, or loses either his Temper or his Appetite,
if he is disappointed. Such is the Difference between Passion and Reason,
such the genuine Effects of Temperance.

Temperance, as I observ’d before, is closely connected with Justice; that
is, whatever thro’ Intemperance affects our Health, or endangers our
Lives, must be unjust. What can be more amazing than the false Judgment
of Mankind even in the most obvious things! All allow that we have no
Right voluntarily to throw away that Life which Providence has given us;
on the contrary, we are bound to support it, even under the Pressure of
Pain and Sorrow, to the last Moment. How comes it then that while this
is acknowledged, while Men justly shrink with Horror at the very Thought
of Self-murder, they have the Hardiness to dally with some murderous
Instrument? All the Arguments that are brought against Suicide, whether
by Sword, Pistol, Laudanum, or Arsenic, hold good, in some Degree, in
the Point before us. The oftener a Building is shock’d, the sooner will
it decay; the more Violence is us’d to a delicate Machine, the sooner
will it be destroy’d; and no Machine is so exquisitely delicate as Man.
Now as every Species of Excess, Riot, and Debauchery, is a Shock given
to our Frame, it must naturally impair our Health, and consequently
shorten our Lives. Many things tend to effect this, that Men in general
are Strangers to; but there are others they are too sensible of, yet
attempt not to remove, nay plunge themselves into. Here then appears the
Necessity of Temperance; here we see the great Obligation of Parents to
their Children in this Point: since they are not only accountable for
their Happiness, but even for their Health and Lives. To conclude, let
Parents in inculcating this Virtue dissuade their Children from every
irregular Attachment, and convince them that no intemperate Affections
are justifiable; that besides avoiding those irregular Passions which may
be said to reside in the Soul, there are others that dwell on the Senses,
equally capable of destroying us; particularly an unhappy Attachment to
sleeping, eating, drinking, and many other things in their Nature not
only innocent but indispensably necessary; yet, by the frequent grievous
Abuse of them, made the Instruments of our Destruction.

These are the things I had to offer on the Part of Manners; these are
the Steps I have already in great measure taken with my own Children,
and these the Sentiments I wish to inspire them with. If therefore,
as general Laws, they are equally applicable to others, my presenting
them in Print will, I hope, be consider’d with the same Candour they
are offered. But notwithstanding what has already been said, Parents
have still much to do. To keep up the Spirit of Government, they must
constantly remember that Nature and Reason are to be their Guides:
if we distort Nature, our Children will be preposterous Figures; and
if we banish Reason, they will be Brutes or Monsters. Parents must
remember too, that it is not for themselves that they labour to train
up their Children in Order, Obedience, and Knowledge; there must be
no self-pointed Views, no Pride, no Dispositions to tyrannise over
their own Flesh and Blood; these are Motives unworthy a Place in any
Parent’s Breast. Their principal Aim must be to make their Children
happy, by making them wise and good; and if they succeed herein, so
much Happiness will be reflected back on themselves as will amply
reward all their Labours. But they must not stop even here; tho’ this
Design is noble, they should have a nobler yet in view; that is, the
universal Good of Mankind: ’tis too narrow a Good that seeks itself
alone; Children must therefore be animated by their Parents with all
those Virtues that will make them dear and valuable to Society. Now what
Chance is there that Children will come on the Stage of Life with the
necessary Requisites, unless due Pains are taken to mould and temper
their Hearts, to form their Minds, and cultivate their Understandings?
Mr. _Pope_, after labouring to prove for what End we are in being, what
Good we are to pursue, and what Evil avoid, concludes, “that all our
Knowledge is ourselves to know.” If then this Self-knowledge is of such
vast Importance for the securing our Happiness even in a moral Sense,
and is so very difficult to be attained; surely Parents are under the
highest Obligation to their Children of improving every Means within
their Reach, for the gaining this only true Philosopher’s Stone. The
End, as Philosophers agree, is the first thing in the Intention; but the
Means to attain that End are surely, in the Case before us, either but
little known, or little practised; else we should not see such daily and
grievous Mistakes committed in the training up our little Offspring; nor
such a continued Chain of Vice, Folly, and Ignorance, as is the general
Result of this mistaken Manners, this want of Self-knowledge.

But here I must caution my Readers not to bewilder themselves in a
Maze of fancied Difficulties; not to throw aside these Instructions as
useful or practicable to none but those of Genius, Learning, and great
Abilities: the Light of Nature and Reason beams strongly on us all; and
Parents, as I have before observed, have it greatly in their Power to
regulate their Children’s Conduct: for after all, it must be confessed,
that it is not so much that Parents do not know, as that they want the
Will, to act rightly. But I hope, that such as are really ignorant,
will here, in some measure, be informed; such as already know, will
here be induced to practise: since by avoiding the Errors too generally
run into, so much solid Good will ensue. But, to return back again:
where or how are we to begin? Why—(as has already been advanc’d) by
Authority. Authority is undoubtedly the first Means towards attaining
this great End; the other Means are, a steady Attention to the various
Tempers of our Children; a strict Guard over our own Conduct; a watchful
Eye on theirs; joined to a serious Practice of every Lesson for their
Improvement: to which we are to add, such an Education as is suitable to
our Sphere in Life.


Education is a very extensive Subject; it is a vast Field to expatiate
in; and has employed the Thoughts and Pens of many great Men, with whom
I pretend not to vie: I confess myself far unequal to the Task; and
perhaps the greatest Service I can do my Readers, is to inform them,
that, besides the ancient Writers, the Archbishop of _Cambray_, _Tanaquil
Faber_, Mr. _Locke_, Monsieur _Crousaz_, and Monsieur _Rollin_, with some
others still later, have handled this important Subject. To these then
I refer them, as great and useful Guides; but not to these alone; they
must go farther; and apply to those, whose Province it is to reduce the
Theory of these to Practice: such are many of our living Guides; who tho’
they have not perhaps distinguished themselves by their Writings, are
notwithstanding deservedly eminent for their Skill in teaching.

Nor is Education what I principally engaged in, in this Treatise;
Manners alone, I have declared to be my Design; and if I can do the
present or future Age any real Service by the Plan of puerile Government
already laid down, I shall be happy in considering myself as a useful
Member of Society. Still it will appear that Education and Manners have
so great a Connection, that they are not always to be separated: many of
the Writers on these Subjects have considered them as one and the same
thing; many just Sentiments are imbibed at the same time that we are
acquiring Languages, and other Parts of Learning: and notwithstanding
a Truth which was advanced at our first setting out, that much Manners
might be acquired without School-learning, yet it is not to be doubted
that they ought to rise in proportion to the Education bestowed on
us. Two things therefore I aim at in pursuing this Subject, without
attempting to teach, or invading the Province of the Preceptor; the one,
to point out what seems necessary for both Boys and Girls, in different
Spheres of Life, to learn or avoid; the other, to shew how far the
Education bestowed on them is applicable to the Improvement of their
Manners; or to their Engagement in any Art, Profession, or Science.

As entering on the Subject of Education will naturally carry the Ideas of
Parents back to the Childhood of their Offspring, I will, in Conformity
with that, suppose, that the Rules already laid down chiefly regard
the first Stage of Life; at most, that they are the Ground-work of a
future Superstructure: this granted, I will suppose too, that Parents
have employed these first seven Years in moulding their Children, and
rendering them so far pliable, as readily to submit to whatever their
Parents think proper for them to engage in. There is a strong Passion in
many Parents to have their Children forward and early in their Learning;
where there is really a Genius, a very great Propensity and Aptness
to learn, this may certainly not only be allowed, but improved; yet
in general I think very little Account is to be made of what they can
learn before seven Years old: it is commonly Rote-work, and often forgot
almost as soon as learned. However, let these things be taken as they are
found: if a Child has a great Quickness and Facility in learning, let it
by no Means be check’d; on the other hand, let not another be severely
chastised, or it’s Life rendered miserable, who has not the same early
Aptness. Those who would avoid Error on this Point must consider, that a
Child’s Memory and Judgment are yet too weak to be much exercised; that
close Application and intense Labour are very unfit for this Infant Age;
that it is putting their tender Minds too much upon the Stretch; and
endangers either a fix’d Aversion to learn, or an incurable Dulness: let
them farther consider, that such a quick Child as I have been speaking
of, learns without the least Difficulty; and if they oblige one of
another Cast to learn as much in the same time, it is odds but they give
him more Pain than his Frame can bear. Parents then must be very careful
to avoid these first Mistakes in the educating their Children; since from
a natural Fondness to have them appear to Advantage, they often thrust
them on things that are unsuitable to their Age, and such as they are by
no Means qualified to undertake.

It must not here be understood, that nothing is to be attempted in the
first Stage of Life; that would be the opposite Extreme of Error; and
playful as Children usually are at that Age, the leaving them wholly to
themselves for seven Years would be not only injuring their Capacities,
but might endanger a Habit of Idleness: what I mean is, that all which
relates to Education should now be made as light, as easy, and as
pleasant as possible; that, as I have observed before, Parents should
take things as they are, and not be dissatisfied or disappointed, if they
find no extraordinary Progress made.

But this first Stage being over, the Business becomes serious; they are
now to enter the Schools. Parents of almost every Rank aim, or seem to
aim, at giving their Children Learning; ’tis a natural Ambition, and, if
rationally used, highly laudable. Those of an inferior Class say, with a
significant Shake of the Head, ’Tis a fine thing to be a Scholar! True,
it is so: but surely it is a sad thing to be a learned Beggar; and worse
yet to be a learned Blockhead: an unlearned Cobler is a Prince to either
of these. To judge of the Propriety of Education, we should, I think,
argue from a Knowledge of Life; for as no one surely will say that the
same Degree of it is equally proper for all, it follows of course that
it will be right or wrong, in proportion to our Knowledge or Ignorance
of Mankind, and of those Stations wherein it is so variously exercised.
Now in viewing it in this judicious Light, it appears to me, that the
Steps frequently taken by Parents in the educating their Children, are in
many respects erroneous. Nor is this by any means to be ascribed to the
Teachers, but to the Parents; not to the Plan, but to the Execution: for
as in the Order of Nature, every thing has it’s own Sphere, it’s Province
assign’d it, which cannot be departed from without Error; so in the
various Degrees of Mankind, if a proper Regard be not had to Situation
and Abilities, the Mistakes committed in educating our Children must be
very many.

At the same time that I venture to think our Notions of Education
sometimes erroneous, I confess it is extremely difficult to fix precise
Rules for a better; no wonder therefore if I err in the Attempt; and in
that Case, I hope, the Goodness of my Intention will plead my Excuse.
But here let me ask a natural Question; What is it all Mankind aim
at in the Education of their Children? certainly to give them such a
Degree of Knowledge as will qualify them to fill some certain Post,
some certain Station in Life: in short, to fit them for an Employment
suited to their Condition, such as will make them happy in themselves,
and useful to Society. This, I say, is, or ought to be our Aim: but
how grievously do we pervert it? Parents often mistakenly soar above
their Reach; like Adventurers in a Lottery, all gape for the highest
Prizes; all ambitiously strive to make their Children something more than
common, something above themselves; and by these Means often, very often,
overturn and utterly ruin them.

The principal Aim of Parents should be, to know what Sphere of Life their
Children will act in; what Education is really suitable for them; what
will be the Consequence of neglecting that; and what Chance a superior
Education will give them for their Advancement to Posts of Dignity.
I grant, it is Pity that a fine Genius should be uncultivated and
buried in Oblivion; but surely it is greater Pity that Parents should
so generally mistake their Children’s Station, Genius, Capacity, and
Inclinations, as they generally do; nay more, mistake their own Capacity
too; by engaging them in things above their Ability to conduct them
through. The first thing many Parents do, is, blindly to magnify their
Children’s Parts; in consequence whereof they engage them in such Studies
as square with their Fancy; they then turn their Eyes on some few great
Men, whose uncommon Merit, Genius, or Good-fortune, have rais’d them to
conspicuous Stations; and thus, in the Vanity of their Hearts, conclude
their Sons are to be Judges, Bishops, Generals, and I know not what.
But I would here earnestly dissuade Parents from this capital Mistake;
indeed it seems so glaringly absurd, that I am surprized it should be so
common. But those in inferior Stations will say, May we not then give
our Children Education? yes certainly: but it should be a suitable one.
What then, may we not aspire to raise our Children in the World? or must
they, from Generation to Generation, remain Mechanics, Tradesmen, or
the like? Let me not be misunderstood. Every one should look forward;
there is a necessary Degree of Spirit becoming all Mankind; but then to
be judicious, it must be rational: thus, at the same time that we avoid
sinking into Meanness, we must be very careful not to tower so high as to
endanger our dashing down into Error.

Education, tho’ design’d to lead us to every Advantage, is often bestowed
to our Disadvantage, by being the Cause of many Errors, we should
otherwise have escaped. Education is often wasted on us, either by being
improper for our Station, or by engaging us in things we are unfit for.
Education is a Term that often misleads Parents themselves; for many do
not know either it’s Extent or Use, nor know if their Children possess
it or not. These things considered, it is easy to conclude how common an
erroneous Education must be; and how much it behoves Parents to reflect
on the necessary Means to obviate the like Errors for the future.

I remember a Lady whose Coachman was an Instance of the Mistakes I have
been speaking of. I am resolved, says he to some of his Acquaintance,
to have one Gentleman in my Family at least. In order thereto, he gave
his Son Education, and then put him to an Attorney: this entitled the
young Fellow to dress out, and keep, what he call’d, good Company;
these led him to Pleasures, Gallantry, and many other Extravagancies;
in fine, the old Man broke his Heart; and the young one in a short time
was utterly ruined. But how much happier would he probably have been,
had he kept to his proper Sphere, and been a Coachman too! It frequently
happens, that honest industrious Men among the common Trades, as well
as others, grow wealthy, and consequently are ambitious of giving their
Children Learning; now as these People have usually but a very small
Share themselves, they know little more of it than the Name: they send
a Boy to School, and because they hear him speak hard Words, and see him
hammering at a Latin Exercise, sagely conclude that he has Learning; when
it is fifty to one, that, comparatively speaking, he knows nothing. It
requires a great deal of Time, Diligence, and Application for a Boy to
become a good Grammarian, tho’ taught by the best Methods and the best
Masters; what then must be the Fate of those who are under bad Teachers?
and that there are some such, I believe will not be disputed. But
supposing a Boy really acquires some Knowledge; let us see of what Use
it will be to him: his Father is perhaps a Baker, and it is convenient
to him to bring his Son up to his own Business; what does a Baker want
with Latin? nothing. Besides, continued Disuse will make him forget it;
or, should he retain it, of what Use could it be to him, but to make him
pedantic and self-conceited? But perhaps upon the Presumption that this
Boy is a Scholar, the honest Baker, desirous that his Son should cut a
Figure, sends him to the University, and he becomes a Divine: but what
Pity is it that a good Baker should be spoiled? The innocent young Man,
tho’ spirited up by his fond mistaken Parents, has perhaps no Talents,
no Genius, no Interest; what then must be his Fate? why—he must drudge,
and court, and wait his whole Life, and at last gain nothing. What can
be more mistaken than this Conduct, and yet what more common? It may be
urged, that these are Instances of illiterate Parents only, and that
People in better Life know better things: now allowing that to be the
Case, still as Parents of this Kind are very numerous, they stand in
great need of being set right, as the Errors they commit by this false
Education are productive of many Evils.

Every Nation has it’s Custom of dividing the People into Classes. The
_Police_ of _France_ divide them into Quality, Noblesse, Artificers,
and Peasantry. _England_, a mix’d Government, and a trading Nation,
have the Nobility, Gentry, Mercantile or Commercial People, Mechanics,
and Peasantry. Were we to subdivide the People, we might run it to an
Infinity: to avoid Confusion therefore, I will select five Classes;
_viz._ the Nobility, the Gentry, the genteel Trades, all those
particularly which require large Capitals, the common Trades, and the
Peasantry. But tho’ for the Sake of Perspicuity and Brevity, I confine my
Observations to these, yet they may occasionally be applied to others;
and tho’ _London_ may in general be called the Scene of Action thro’ my
whole Design, yet is it equally applicable to, and intended for, the
Benefit of the whole Kingdom.

Persons of Rank and Quality are, I doubt, placed in too high a Sphere
for any Instructions of mine to reach them; or should this Attempt fall
into their Hands, what Chance is there for it’s being useful to them,
since they seem to have every Advantage, every Help at command. Still as
true Wisdom consists in seeking Instruction wherever it can be found, and
as the lowest among Mankind may drop a Hint that may be useful to the
highest, I will, with all due Deference and Respect, venture to speak my
Thoughts; and if they reach the Ears of the Great, I dare hope, they will
at least commend the Design, if they cannot applaud the Execution.

Human Nature (as daily Experience shews us) is, in the general, alike in
all, from the Prince to the Peasant: the same Weaknesses attend us; the
same Passions torment us; the same Diseases kill us: all are the Work
of ONE GREAT ARTIST! all are born for the same great End! The Gifts of
Fortune indeed are innumerably different; the Advantages of Education
very many; and as a Train of Vices corrupts our Manners, so a Succession
of Virtues may be said to enoble our Birth and purify our Blood. Hence it
is we often see those exalted Virtues in the Great and Noble inherited
by their Posterity; and hence too we often discover, even where Pains
are taken to conceal it, an inbred Dignity, a Mein and Aspect superior
to the Generality of Men. Still this Rule is by no Means universal; for
the same Experience shews us, that great Men can do little things; even
such as the private and obscure would be ashamed of. And how so? because
Passion, not Reason, is their Guide. Parents then, we see, even of the
highest Rank, are under an indispensable Obligation of regulating the
Manners of their Children. Philosophers say, that all Passions are in all
Men; but that their Predominance is unequal, and different in different
Men: if so, the Great stand in most need of having them subdued, or at
least regulated, as the Power to indulge them is greater in them than
in others. But granting that Parents of Quality are convinced of these
Truths, and take all the Steps already recommended for training up their
Children in proper Decorum; granting too, that they design every thing
for their real Advantage; they have still many things both to do and
avoid which are not common to all.

Their first Care must be to avoid Sycophants, Flatterers, and Hypocrites;
they are but too constant Attendants on the Great, and their Business is
to diffuse an imperceptible Poison (if I may be allowed the Metaphor)
over both Parents and Children. Nothing is so amiable as Truth, nothing
more desirable, and yet nothing more difficult to reach the Great. If
a Nobleman has a Child whose Parts are weak, whose Genius is slow and
shallow, it is undoubtedly a Misfortune, but cannot be his Fault: the
natural Blindness of Parents keeps them from seeing these Defects so
clearly as another; but the unnatural, at least unmanly Artifices of the
Flatterer totally prevent their seeing them at all: and thus the noble
Heir is mistakenly taught to think himself what Nature has forbid he
shall ever be.

Another Care is, that Youth of Quality, who have Parts and Quickness, be
not suffered to waste the first Flower of their Age in Idleness: it is a
grievous Error, yet very common. I have already observed, that Parents
who know nothing are injudiciously, and even anxiously solicitous to
have their Children Scholars; and by a strange reverse Infatuation,
Parents of Rank are often very indifferent about it. This Error is
undoubtedly sometimes owing to themselves only by a supine Negligence
in their own natural Temper; but it is much oftener owing to the false
Praises given by those that have both the Parents and the Child’s Ear.
A young Heir soon knows the Title, Dignity and Estate he is born to
possess; too soon does he know his Independence, and too apt is he to
grow careless about his Learning on this very Account, but if to these
Impediments be added imaginary Excellence and Knowledge, thro’ the daily
Flattery of a Dependent, what is likely to be the Consequence? why, that
he will remain ignorant his whole Life. For who will take Pains to learn,
that is firmly persuaded he knows enough already? and that many of our
young Noblemen are trained up in this Disposition, nobody, I believe,
will deny: it is true that Time may convince them of their Error; but it
will then perhaps be too late to recover what they have lost.

The Education of a Nobleman should contain every thing that is both
useful and ornamental. As he is more conspicuous than others, as he
always stands on an Eminence, his Education should be such as may reflect
a Lustre on every one that beholds him. He is to be considered as a
Pillar of the Laws, an Honour and an Ornament to the Age he lives in. To
this End he is to study first, Languages; that is to say, two of the dead
ones, _viz._ _Latin_ and _Greek_; and of the living ones, besides his
Mother-tongue, _French_ at least. The Learned disagree very much as to
the Variety of Languages necessary to be acquired; some are of Opinion,
that besides these already named, _Italian_, _Spanish_, _Portuguese_,
and more yet, are becoming the Education of a great Man; and urge in
their Favour, that the more Languages are gained, the more the Mind is
enlarged: others dissent from this, and maintain, that a great Variety
rather confuses the Mind than otherwise; that _Latin_ and _Greek_ are
indisputably the Languages of all learned Men; after those, _French_,
and at most _Italian_, are all that need be added, as every thing may
be found in these, either originally or translated into them: but they
farther argue, that it is a great Waste of Time, spent merely in the
Acquisition of Languages, when so many nobler Studies are to be pursued;
Studies which at once strike the Mind, and constitute true Science. This
last Reasoning has, I think, great Force; but here for a Moment let me
leave the Nobleman, to make an Observation on general Life. Languages,
besides being considered as general Parts of Education, are particularly
necessary in certain Circumstances of Life. If one, whether for Education
or Business, goes to reside in _Holland_, _France_, _Spain_, or _Italy_,
it would be an Absurdity not to attain the Language of the Country; so if
another is to be a Merchant, surely he should not be a Stranger to the
Language of his Correspondents; thus are these, and many other things
more or less necessary, just as they are circumstanced: and therefore
should Parents, besides the Education they bestow on their Children, as
suited to their Station in general, join to it that which is necessary in
particular. But, to return;

Besides Languages, a Nobleman is to learn Philosophy, both Moral and
Natural; Mathematics; the ancient and modern Laws of our own Country; and
the Customs, Laws and Manners of other Nations. He should particularly
be a Critic in our own History, and our own Language; because they are
what in real Life he will have most occasion to exercise. To this solid
Learning should be added the Embellishments of polite Literature,
Poetry, Painting, and Music; and to compleat the Character, Dancing,
Fencing, Riding and Architecture. Tho’ this is going a considerable Way,
it is much the least Part of what ought reasonably to be expected from
him, considering the Light he stands in. It is of great Consequence
that his Preceptor have a good Head; but it is of much more that he has
an honest Heart. He is to humanize his Pupil’s Soul, and form him for
all those Actions that will give him a real, not a fancied Dignity. He
should raise in him an ardent Love of his own Country; but, as every
other Nation has it’s Virtues as well as Vices, he should at the same
time avoid the customary Prejudice of allowing them nothing. While he is
taught to think and act nobly, he should be informed that the Knowledge,
the Care and the Improvement of his Estate, are essential Obligations,
and such as cannot be dispensed with. He must be easy of Access, without
which Truth will seldom reach his Ear; nor will he be able to distinguish
Merit from Demerit; or know how to right the Injured, or punish the
Injurer. While he maintains his Dignity, he must be ready to condescend
to Inferiors with an humble Deportment where necessary; and be taught
to see and feel another’s Woe: which nothing will more inforce, than
convincing him of the Instability of all human Grandeur. His Dress and
Behaviour should be like his Quality, noble; yet perfectly free from
Affectation, Vanity and Pride. He must be taught to know, that ’tis not
for himself alone he is to live, but, from the politest Manners, a wise
Conduct, and a benevolent Heart, to diffuse Pleasure and Joy to all that
know him. Vice and Virtue are to be placed before him in their genuine
Light; and the Beauty of the one made a Contrast to the Deformity of the
other. While he is taught to distinguish Honour from Infamy, Nobility
from Meanness, the utmost Care should be taken to shew him how much he
would sink beneath a Man, should he become a Slave to any irregular
Passion. He should, for Example sake, as well as his own, be instructed
to shun every thing that is mean, base or vicious; and, in a word, be
endowed with all those Virtues that will make him generous, noble, wise,
and good. Much more might be said on this Occasion, much more might be
added; but as the Great are supplied with far abler Helps from other
Hands, I will only add on this Head, that if the Admonitions here offered
be reduced to Practice, every other Virtue, even the most heroic, will
become familiar and easy.

My next Topic is the Education of a young Lady of the first Quality; from
which, if the Course of my Design did not make it necessary, I would
gladly be excused: for as the most delicate Flowers require the tenderest
Treatment, so the conducting a Woman of Quality thro’ the first Stages,
and ushering her into the World, is of all others the nicest Part to act.
Still, as Nature and Reason are my Guides; by them I hope to be enabled
to offer some Aid, however small, for the promoting this great End.

As all Parents have a Right to exercise a proper Authority, so all
Children, however high their Rank, should be taught to obey. Great
Spirits may think Obedience mean; but Parents are to remember their
Children’s Happiness is at stake: without Obedience they cannot regulate
their Passions: and if not regulated, they have but little Chance for
Happiness. Misfortunes with a Coronet, Misfortunes with a Coach and Six,
are still Misfortunes; and it is the Business of every Parent so to
conduct their Children, that they may on their part avoid them, or so to
fortify them that they may bear them as they ought. But, as it is most
agreeable to good Sense, I will conclude that Parents of the highest Rank
are convinced of this, and have employed the Infant Age of their Children
accordingly. What next is to be done? What Education is most proper for a
young Lady of the first Quality? Such surely as will distinguish her from
the Crowd; such as will more adorn her Mind, than the Jewels she wears
adorn her Person.

The Errors committed in the Education of the Children of private Persons
are many, from the Parents educating them above their Rank; still there
is one general Excuse may be made for them, which is, that as the Turns
of Fortune are sometimes very great, they don’t know what Occasion they
may have for it. But in Persons of Quality the Case is different; they
are already at the Summit, and their Education should suit their Rank.
As soon therefore as the first Stage is over, (not to mention what she
may have learnt during that Period) a young Lady’s Time is to be esteemed
precious: Reading, Writing, Working, Dancing, _French_, _Italian_ and
Music are all to be taught her; and that not superficially, as is too
much the Custom; not so as to puzzle and confound her Understanding, but
to enlarge and improve it. A certain Author says, that there is not a
Man in a thousand who reads well; if so, and Men assert a Superiority
of Knowledge, it will be no unfair Conclusion to say, there is not a
Woman in two thousand that does: but I hope this Gentleman’s Assertion
is not true, and then the Conclusion falls of course. Still it is very
certain, that much more is required to read our Mother-Tongue well,
than is commonly imagined; and as that is really graceful, a young Lady
should be taught to set a great Value on it. To know the Words and their
Meaning is not sufficient; she must know the Pointing, the Emphasis and
the Cadence; and she must know too, how, in different Parts, and on
different Subjects, to modify her Voice, or she will never read well. To
read with Energy and Beauty, we should know our Subject; and here the
Understanding is concerned; this gain’d, we have nothing more to do but
to keep close to Nature; for the greatest Fault committed in reading is,
the throwing ourselves out of Nature. As I have formerly attended the
Lectures of several public Professors, I remember one who committed this
Fault of throwing himself out of Nature, as I have just observed; when
he read, he put on a Tone of Voice not his own; when he laid down his
Paper to explain what he had been reading, he was himself again; and thus
was he in and out of himself, if I may be allowed the Expression, ten
times in an Hour. And yet this was a Man of Letters, a Man of Science, a

The Hand-writing of a young Lady should have an easy Elegance in it; a
Medium between the _Italian_, which tho’ beautiful to see is usually
wrote very slowly, and that Meanness of Hand too common in the Sex.
Either of these Faults in a Lady’s Hand-writing will appear in their
true Light, if we consider that the Custom of writing familiar Epistles
is one of the most important Steps in her Education. Nothing tends more
to open the Mind, nothing bids fairer for gaining a Knowledge of the
World, next to the seeing it, than the giving and receiving one another’s
Thoughts with Freedom, in a virtuous Intercourse of friendly Epistles.
Now an evident Obstacle to this is the Manner of Writing; if a young
Lady’s Hand is a fine _Italian_, she hates the Thoughts of writing a
Letter, because it will take up so much Time; and if it be a bad Hand,
she says her Scrawl is so frightful, she is asham’d that any body should
see it. But there is another important Reason for familiarizing a young
Lady to her Pen, which is that of writing correctly. For a fine Lady not
to spell with exact Propriety, is frightful beyond Expression; but when
she has gained that, she possesses nothing till she writes with Grammar,
with Stile, and a suitable Turn of Expression. Some, it is true, have by
Nature a happier Turn this way than others, and may be said to be born
with a Talent for Writing; but tho’ this be granted, yet certainly a
great deal may be obtained by a due Care of their Education in this Point.

Needle-work is by no means below the Dignity of a Woman of Quality,
therefore she should certainly be taught it; for tho’ it may not be
called a thing she wants, yet the very Change of Employment is often a
Pleasure: besides that the knowing it is really useful. I have seen a
Woman of Quality at her sick Lord’s Bed-side, so far from being ashamed
to own she could use a Needle, that what things of that kind were wanted
during the Course of his Illness she would let nobody do for him but
herself; and thus at the same time that her Tenderness and Concern proved
the Sincerity of her Affection, she proved that it was not below her
Quality to be notable too.

Dancing I mention in course, tho’ it is needless to recommend it here,
not only because I have elsewhere done justice to this Part of Education,
but because all are convinced of it’s Importance, as an Accomplishment
which strikes the Beholder’s Eye, and gives more or less favourable
Impressions in proportion as we excel in it. But here, to avoid Error,
the End of Dancing should be remembered; that it is not so much for the
sake of shining at a Ball (tho’ that too may sometimes be necessary) but
to give an easy Air and Grace to all the Motions of the Body.

_French_, in it’s Purity and Perfection, is a great Ornament to a Lady’s
Education; but that is not all: it is not only polite, but highly useful;
both as she may have frequent Occasions to speak it, and as there are
many good Authors in that Language not yet translated into ours.

_Italian_ and Music for a fine Lady should be inseparable; for tho’ it is
allowed that our Music is vastly improved within half a Century past, yet
the Critics in that way insist, that Music in our Language is incapable
of equalling the _Italian_, from the great Number of Consonants it
abounds with.

When a young Lady is advanced thus far, she has certainly done a great
deal; but not enough. If she is taught to think that the Great must be
distinguished by their superior Knowledge, she will be animated with a
Desire to acquire it; and not sit down contented with an inferior Degree
of it. Still, as deep Studies and very close Application seem by Nature
more the Province of Men than Women, so I have not urged the Study of the
more learned Languages; and will leave this Point to be determined by the
Parents and Preceptors. History, ’tis true, gives us many Examples of
Queens and Ladies of every Rank, who were distinguished by their great
Learning. Sir _Thomas More_, High Chancellor of _England_, in a Letter to
his Daughter, commends her for the Purity and Elegance of her _Latin_;
and Madam _Dacier_, Daughter of _Tanaquil Faber_, is well known (besides
her other learned Works) to have translated _Homer_ from the _Greek_: but
these are rare Examples, and such perhaps as should rather be admired
than imitated. Nature, I think, points out to us, that the Education of
a Woman should rather be sprightly than grave; thus polite Literature
seems a fitter Study for a Lady than Syllogisms in Logic. However, that
a Lady of Quality may by no means be deficient, she should have, besides
what is already recommended, a Knowledge of Arithmetic, Geography, and
Drawing; to which may, with great Propriety, be added, at least a general
Acquaintance with Moral and Experimental Philosophy.

The Sketch here given is not to be considered as the Edifice, but
the Ground-work, the Foundation alone; the Superstructure is still
to be raised. In order thereto a young Lady is to be nicely directed
what Language she should speak, and what shun: what ought to be her
Sentiments, her Deportment, and her Actions. But first she should be
taught to know that the World has it’s Eyes upon her, and that in
proportion as she increases in Merit, so much nearer will she approach
to gaining universal Admiration and Esteem. The Reasonableness of this
Admonition will appear, if it be considered how many Actions we do
unworthy ourselves, only because we are unobserved, or at least think
we are so; whereas by keeping our Attention awake, and considering
ourselves as always beheld, we shall often blush at the very Approach of
Vice and Folly, and thus nobly fly from them. Yet this Consideration of
being beheld, tho’ in itself a Virtue, must be carefully inculcated and
nicely distinguished, lest it degenerate into a vain Desire of Applause:
her Business is to deserve Esteem, but not to look for it. We often see a
half-bred Player stare about him when he has finished his Speech, as if
he would beg a Clap, a Smile, or a Nod of Approbation; but we never see
this in a thorough bred one; he attends to his Part, to his Business, and
nothing else; he knows that the best way to obtain and secure Applause,
is to deserve it.

I have said a young Lady should be nicely directed what Books she is to
read; indeed it is too nice a Matter for me to determine; Mr. _Addison_,
in one of his _Spectators_, has, in a burlesque Way, given a Sort of
Lady’s Library; but I wish he had reversed it, and told them seriously
what Books would grace a Lady’s Closet, and improve her Mind. For my own
Part I think nothing is more difficult, even among Men, than a proper
Choice of Books. Wisdom and Virtue are the great Sciences we are born to
learn; Books and Men are the Channels to convey the Knowledge of them to
us. Now most Parents give their Children some general Cautions against
bad Company, but Books are usually thrown into one undistinguished
Heap: and tho’ some perhaps are pointed out to us as good, we are not
instructed to shun the bad; at least they are still open to our View.
Witness the Swarms of lewd Plays, Poems and Romances, calculated to
inflame the Minds, and corrupt the Hearts of the Readers: witness the
Sophistry and false Reasoning of many Writers, who take Pride in shewing
how ingeniously they can deceive: witness the Loads of Lumber produced by
those, whose Talents have been mistaken by making them Scholars without
Genius: and witness too the Train of Trifles the present Age abounds
with. From this clear and rational View of the State of Books, is it not
apparent how liable we are to be misled? True it is, that we may read
our whole Lives and learn nothing, nay far worse than nothing; learn
Vice, Error, and Impiety. Since then this Point is of such Consequence to
all, those in exalted Stations of both Sexes should have very able and
faithful Guides herein; as from their Influence so much Good or Bad must
flow. Still I must beg leave to caution Parents of the highest Quality,
to imprint on their Children’s Minds and Hearts this Maxim, that all
their Studies should tend to make them wise and good. Convinced of this,
as they advance in Years, their own Judgment and Goodness of Heart will,
in great measure, instruct them what to read, and what to avoid.

A young Lady should be taught to speak her Mother-tongue with great
Clearness, Purity, and Elegance; nothing coarse, mean, or vulgar should
ever drop from her Lips; nothing uncouth, strained, or affected; the one
debases her Quality, and the other her Understanding. Great Ladies may
perhaps think that their Greatness entitles them to say any thing; but
where this happens, it is certainly an Error in their Education; or at
least it is one in their Practice. There is yet a third Error in Speech
which Women of Rank should carefully avoid; an Error consistent with good
Sense, but good Sense obscured; that of catching every new-coin’d Word.
The _English_ being a living Language, is subject to great Variations
and Changes; but is now deservedly esteemed in high Perfection, as it is
certainly stronger, more expressive, and more copious than heretofore.
Still there is Reason to fear, that every Change is not an Amendment;
and if it be, a Lady should not be the first to adopt it: yet so it
happens, that a Desire to appear wise and learned sometimes makes them
over-shoot themselves, and thus by aiming too high, they are liable to
fall too low.

The Sentiments of a young Lady of Quality should be noble, virtuous,
and pure. While she is surrounded with external Grandeur, she must be
taught to support a Dignity of Mind, without which, all her Pomp will
be mere Farce and Pageantry, and only tend to inflame her Vanity; she
must be taught to know, that the noblest Sentiments are those which
inspire her with a Love of Virtue; and to be truly great, she must
condescend frequently to revolve in her Mind the Hardships, Sorrow,
Pain, and Sufferings of the various States beneath her: above all, she
must be taught to maintain a spotless Innocence; and live in a constant
Resolution to suffer any thing, however great, rather than disgrace her
Birth and Quality by any Action unworthy of herself.

Her Deportment must answer her Quality, and be elevated, majestic, and
noble; such as will strike us with Awe, at the same time that we see
in it a Complacency and Affability which charms us: such as will not
suffer even the most bold and abandoned to offer the least Indecency
or Rudeness, at the same time that it discovers a Heart susceptible of
the tenderest Impressions. An easy Grace, a lively chearful Air should
accompany all she says and does; but lest this should degenerate into
Levity, she must be instructed never to throw off, that great Ornament of
the Sex, Modesty.

Her Actions must be such as will contribute to others Happiness and her
own; such as will reflect a Lustre on herself, and attract the Beholders
of them to an unfeigned Esteem for her: Generosity, Benevolence, Charity,
and Humility, accompanied with a Sweetness of Temper, should alternately
prevail: and if the Distresses of others sometimes intrude too far upon
her, (which from their great Severity they are apt to do) let her not
add Misery to Misery, by dropping the Air of her Countenance, or use any
Bitterness of Expression, at the same time that she refuses to relieve.

I have here laboured to shew what Education is necessary to adorn a
Woman of Quality; and will leave it to abler Pens to refine, to correct,
and improve it. What I hope and wish is, that the Plan here laid down
may be deemed natural, practicable, and no way repugnant to good Sense:
nothing stoical, wild, or romantic; nothing, in short, (allowing for
the Difference of Genius, Health, and other Circumstances) but what
every Woman of Quality may and ought to be. But before I quit this Head,
I cannot help remarking how injuriously Men often think and speak of
the Capacities of the other Sex. If all be true that they urge, (which
with some is still a Doubt) that the Understandings of Women are weaker
than those of Men, yet it by no means excuses our excluding them from
Education. Nature indeed seems to have formed the Men strong in Mind and
Body, that they may labour either with their Understandings or their
Limbs as Occasion requires; the Women more tender, for Employments of a
gentler Kind: thus each have their several Provinces: allowing then the
Woman to be the weaker Vessel, that is, neither her Frame nor Faculties
so strong as the Man’s, does it imply that she has no Strength, no
Faculties at all? by no Means. Experience shews us that the Sex have
Wit, Judgment, and a Capacity to learn; how then can we justify our too
general Neglect of them? But this Error is of great Consequence even
to ourselves. If our Love for the Sex extends no farther than a gross
Sense, we miss our Aim if we expect to find Happiness; or if we go so
far as to consider them useful in their domestic Capacity, that will not
secure to us the agreeable: good Sense, and good Temper, improved more or
less by Education, should be every Man’s View in a Partner for Life; and
where shall we find them, if their Education be universally neglected?
A rational Man should choose a rational Companion; but how will such be
found, if Pains are taken to keep them ignorant? Thus it is evident, that
we are injuring ourselves, and Posterity too, by this unworthy Treatment
of the Sex. Still it seems reasonable, that as Men are to bear the Burden
of Business, they should have superior Education, as well as superior
Strength; therefore the only thing here contended for, is, that every
Woman should have her Mind improved, her Understanding enlarged by such
an Education as is best suited to her Condition in Life: such an one,
in short, as will make her lastingly pleasing by being both useful and

The Transition from the Nobility to the Gentry is very easy; for whatever
Difference there may be as to Rank and Title, it is certain that many
private Gentlemen have equal Ability to educate their Children as they
please. The Plan then already laid down for the Education of a Nobleman,
will in general hold good here. The eldest Son, to whom our Laws give
the Estate, should resemble our young Nobleman as nearly as may be; not
from a vain Desire of being equal to him, (tho’ it is the Way to make him
so) but from a laudable Ambition of being excell’d by none in Learning
and Virtue. Still there will sometimes be great Difficulty to persuade
young Gentlemen who are thus situated to apply themselves to Study: the
early Knowledge they have of the Fortune they are to inherit makes them
giddy; and they leave Study to their younger Brothers. What then is to
be done? Parents must discard their outward Fondness for their Children,
to prove their inward Affection; for how can they be said to love them,
while they suffer them to live in Ignorance? how can they be said to love
Virtue, yet lead their Children into Vice? Parents then must do violence
to themselves, they must be in earnest, and consider that the Education
of their Children is an indispensable Obligation. Parents, whatever be
their Fortune, must exert a due Authority over their Children; must shew
them they are serious, and convince them that they will not be trifled
with. Dr. _Busby_, the famous Master of _Westminster_ School, is said
to have made more eminent Scholars than any Man of his Time; the Reason
is obvious, he was in earnest; his Scholars durst not trifle their Time
away, or neglect their Studies: whether or no he carried it with so nice
a Hand as never to err by his Rigour, I will not presume to determine;
but if he did, it is no Matter of Surprise, since every Man is liable
to Error. Whoever considers the Depravity of our Nature, how propense
we are to love Ease, and fly from Labour, will be convinced that Boys
stand in need of every Help to make them diligent. The Authority of the
Parents, the Authority of the Masters, a Sense of their Duty, and a
pleasing Prospect of Reward, by the Acquisition of Knowledge, must all
combine to enforce their Compliance: and happy will it be for them if
they can all produce the desired Effect. But it will be happier still,
if the joint Endeavours of Parents and Teachers can create in Boys a
Love for Study, and an ardent Desire to gain Knowledge: then it is we
see them go to their Book with as much Alacrity as they go to Dinner;
then it is we see them striving to excel; and the Knowledge they gain
from a Love of Learning, makes them sprightly and happy in themselves and
pleasing to all that see them. Besides, this Turn of Mind has something
in it so promising, that it is what every thinking Parent would wish for,
and should earnestly strive to inculcate; yet he must not be surprised
if he does not always find it; and indeed Experience shews us, that it
is generally necessary to govern Children with a tight Rein: for early
Indulgence does them incredible Mischief; in particular, it gives them a
Reluctance for Study very hard to be conquered.

When these first Difficulties are got over, Parents should then apply
themselves to their Children’s Understanding: the joining Reason and
Authority together will give double Weight to their Injunctions. Suppose
then a Father addressing his Son, let us see what Reason will dictate.
“Do you know, my Dear, why you go to School? why I engage you in Study,
and threaten you so severely if you neglect it? is it for my Sake, think
you? or is it because I take Pleasure in giving you Pain? no; it is for
your Sake alone that I thus urge your Obedience. Providence has made me
the Instrument of your Being; therefore, as your natural Guardian, I
am accountable for your Education: Learning is the Road to Knowledge;
Knowledge will lead you to Virtue; and Virtue to Happiness. Need you
then any other Inducements to learn than the Duty you owe to me, and the
Advantages that will accrue to yourself? no surely; I trust you will
want no other Motive.” Is not this Method both rational and natural? I
think it is undeniably so; and that, by these easy Means, Parents may, in
general, promise themselves great Comfort in their Children by guiding
them as they see proper. Children, if moulded while young, readily yield,
like Wax, to the Impression; yet now they are merely passive: but when
Reason gains Strength, when they see their Parents acting with a generous
Affection for their Good alone, then it is that they are animated with
a Love of Duty, and with a Desire to become every thing that they would
have them be.

Every Gentleman of Fortune should certainly give all his Sons the
Education of Gentlemen; and therefore the younger Brothers are, in the
fundamental Points of Education, to accompany the eldest: but tho’ this
be granted in general, yet there are certain particular Rules to be
observed; some one Point to be excepted against, another to be pursued,
with many other things, according as Circumstances vary, all which
require the Parents Attention. I have just observed, that the Foundation
of their Learning should in all the Sons be becoming the Stock they
spring from: but the eldest must be graced with every Ornament. He must
be taught to know, that possessing a Fortune superior to his Brothers,
obliges him to acquire superior Qualifications. He is to consider himself
as one designed to do Honour to his Family, and to his Country; and
be convinced, that if he neglects to cultivate his Mind, he will be a
Disgrace to both.

Parents of this Class have, with regard to their younger Sons, two
principal things to do: first, they are carefully to attend to their
Genius, Temper, and Inclinations; and next they are to resolve on an
Employment suited to them: this settled, they are to pursue their
Education accordingly. The three learned Professions, Divinity, Law, and
Physic, require not only deep Erudition, but require too a Species of
Learning proper to each; besides, as these are Employments of the most
serious Nature, and of the most weighty Consequence, not to give them all
the Qualifications that human Wit is capable of attaining, is surely a
grievous Error. Yet are there sometimes other Errors too material to pass
unobserved: not those of the Head, but of the Heart. It is in general
hoped, that where due Care is taken in forming the Manners, the natural
Corruption of the Heart may be corrected; but where that is neglected, or
our Endeavours to effect it prove fruitless, which, it is to be feared,
they sometimes will, the utmost Care should be taken in the Choice of
an Employment for Life. It is a Rule in Life, that where we cannot do
any great Good, we should do no Harm; and therefore it should be a Rule
with Parents to place their bad Children, if they are so unhappy as to
have any, as remote from Mischief as possible. Now to apply this to the
Matter in hand, we must observe, that to fill up these important Stations
with all their just Requisites, we must not only have a sound Education,
and a clear Head; but we must also have an upright Heart: that is, we
must resolve to banish every sinister Aim, and have no Views but those
of Justice, Probity, and Honour. To what must we ascribe the general
Reproaches thrown with so much Freedom on Professions which have in their
Nature the strongest Claim to Respect, as their Foundation is Virtue,
Truth, and Justice; but to the corrupted Channels the Stream passes
through? For tho’ Men’s Judgments frequently err, and false Constructions
are often put on the best Actions; yet it is to be feared the Complaints
are sometimes but too just. Men strongly tempted by irregular Passions,
whether Pride, Avarice, Revenge, or others, will naturally incline to
gratify them: hence then appears the Necessity, in these Professions
particularly, of well-regulated Hearts: that on one side no Injury may be
done, and on the other, that no Censure may be justly incurred.

It is to be presumed that the younger Sons of every Gentleman’s Family
(unless by any lateral Means they have an independent Fortune) are to
engage in some Profession or Employment, in order to their Advancement
in the World; and it is perfectly right that they should: for by this
means they may not only fill up their Time like reasonable Creatures, but
become capable of doing Honour to some Profession, be useful to Mankind
in general, and often raise a Fortune equal to their elder Brother. Now
besides the learned Professions; the Sea, the Army, and the Exchange,
with many others, needless to enumerate, are open for them to engage in;
and hence farther appears not only the Necessity of considering their
Fortune, but of attending to their Genius, Temper, and Inclinations.

Nothing is more talked of than the Necessity of consulting our Children’s
Genius; and I think verily there is nothing so little understood, or
so little attended to. I know that many People say, there is nothing
more easy to discover than the Genius of Children; but if we view the
continual Errors committed in this Point, we shall have reason to think
otherwise. What is more evident than a general Partiality of Parents
to their Children? and what will naturally be the Consequence of it?
certainly a false Estimation of their Capacity. However, difficult as I
think this Knowledge is to be obtained, either from general Partiality,
Want of Penetration, or the natural Inconstancy of Youth; yet let us
not throw aside our Attention, nor wildly give up our Children to
Chance; but rather let us improve the Reason Providence has endowed us
with, and labour to draw such Conclusions as will most conduce to their
real Happiness. To act therefore with Judgment in this weighty Matter,
Parents must not, because a Boy says he will go to Sea, immediately send
him; nor because another says he will be a Soldier, directly buy him a
Commission. One perhaps only wants to get away from his Studies, and the
other thinks it a fine thing to wear a laced Coat. Youth is naturally
giddy, and what they like to-day, they will often dislike to-morrow;
Parents therefore would be grievously mistaken, were they to take every
Start of Fancy, every premature Request of their Children for Genius.
Still it is certain that they have many Ways of discovering what they are
capable of, and what they are inclined to; therefore our Prudence and
Judgment are to go hand in hand with these Discoveries. For Instance:
if we see a Boy of intrepid Courage, loving, seeking, and enduring
Hardships, and dwelling with Delight on maritime Affairs, at the same
time that he has virtuous Dispositions, and both loves and applies to
his Books; we need not hesitate to breed him to the Sea. So if we are
convinced, that another seeks a Commission from true Honour and Courage,
and from an ardent Desire to serve his King and Country, we may encourage
his laudable Ambition; but if we discover that his Motives are those of
being conspicuously dress’d, of sauntering and dangling one part of his
Time away, and raking and gaming another part; if we see too, that his
only Fear, is the Fear of having occasion to fight; we should certainly
reject his Request, and oblige him to apply another way: nay more, we
should convince him how mean a Soul he must have, to seek so inglorious
a life. In like manner, if we see a Boy whose Head is manifestly turned
for Business, whose Cast of Temper argues Method in every Action, we may
pretty safely conclude we hit his Genius, by making him a Merchant. But
there is a capital Mistake Parents frequently commit, that is, their
being influenced by some oblique Interest; which often tends to ruin
their Children. For Example: the Family has a Living in their Gift, and
a Boy must be bred a Clergyman on purpose to fill it: or there is an
Uncle a Bishop, therefore the Nephew must be a Bishop too; tho’ perhaps
he has no more Genius nor Chance for it, than he has of being Emperor of
_Morocco_. Thus another, who would have been an Adept in the Mathematics,
and have done Honour to the Science, or whose Sprightliness would have
made a Figure in polite Literature, is cramp’d with the Study of the Law;
not because he likes it, but because it is a Profession that may raise
him to be a Judge; perhaps Lord Chancellor: tho’ he has as little Chance
for either as the Clerk to a Justice of Peace. A third, in Nature’s
spite, is made a Physician, only because his Parents have seen a _Mead_,
a _Hulse_, or a _Wilmot_ standing at the Top of the Profession; and
therefore conclude their Son will have equal Genius and equal Merit.

Here then it is evident, that Parents are often mistaken, not only by
Inattention to the Genius of their Children, but by overrating their
Parts; by fixing a Profession for them, perhaps as soon as they are
born, or by blundering them into an Employment which their Education is
not equal to. On this last Point let me explain myself. Suppose I have
not over-rated a Boy’s natural Parts; suppose too that I have at great
Expence kept him at School for ten Years; it does not from hence follow
that he is learned: I must know if he has applied and improved these
Years to his real Advantage; that is, whether his Learning is deep or
superficial; I must know too the Tenor of his Studies, for even of those
who are very diligent, all Parts of Learning are not equal Favourites;
some are sprightly, some grave, some in short more striking to them than
others: lastly, I must know if the Nature of his Education be adapted to
the Employment I am about to engage him in. Without Attention and Regard
to these Circumstances, it will be impossible to keep clear of Error in
the Disposal of our Children for Life: and as not only themselves, but
Society too, must feel the good or bad Effects of our Choice, it is of
the highest Consequence that it be judicious.

But Genius is not the only thing to be considered in the fixing our
Sons for Life. Mr. _Pope_ has a Position,[8] which does not tally with
general Observation; for according to him there will hardly be a Man in
ten thousand qualify’d for the Station he is in. True Genius is, I think,
but rarely to be met with; plain natural good Sense, carefully improved
by Education, will certainly enable the Generality of Men to become
Proficients in any single Art or Science: that is, as by well directed
Steps they are capable of acquiring great Perfection in one Way, so would
they have been equally perfect had their Steps been directed another Way.
Our Defects in general are not so much owing to the Want of Parts, as
to the Want of cultivating them; hence appears that amazing Weakness in
some Parents, in shewing a Boy as a Prodigy, when every other Eye can
see there is nothing uncommon in him; and hence too appears the Folly of
others in neglecting those Improvements so essentially necessary for him.

From what has been here advanced it is pretty evident, that a young
Gentleman of moderate Parts well improved, is capable of becoming
whatever is pointed out for him, provided he is diligent. But here it
is my earnest Request, that Parents resolve to make their Children
happy; and this they cannot do but by complying in some measure with
their Temper and Inclinations; for it is on this chiefly their Felicity
depends. The same Boy (as I observed before) would become an Adept either
in This or That Employment, but it is perhaps one only that will make him
happy: therefore it is not always Genius, but Inclination, that requires
our Regard.

The seeming Resemblance of Genius and Inclination may make some People
take them for the same thing. Genius is a natural Gift, a Power in the
Soul to do what another, without that Genius, cannot do: Inclination
is a natural Propensity to pursue some certain Employment, whether we
have Genius to execute it or not. We are told of _Cicero_, that no Man
had a stronger Inclination to be a Poet than himself; yet with all his
great Abilities he had not a Genius for it. So in our own Times, we
have seen Men with the greatest Itch of Writing produce nothing that
argued Genius; some fond of Music almost to Distraction, without a Power
of acquiring it: and others with a Passion for Painting, whose Genius
amounted to nothing more than to dawb. On the other hand, there are Men
possessed of Genius, but devoid of Inclination; so true is it, that
however similar they appear, they are really distinct in themselves,
sometimes very near to, at other times very distant from, one another.
But to return to our Subject. As we have observed, that uncommon Genius
is not to be always expected, and as we have shewn, that general good
Capacity seldom is wanting; nothing more remains but to learn what
Employment will suit our Sons Temper and Inclinations, and then compleat
their Education accordingly. For surely it is wrong to insist on a Boy’s
applying to the Law, when the Delight of his Soul is the Study of Physic
and the Knowledge of Nature. Or is it not wrong to pin another down to
the Study of Divinity, when Commerce engrosses his whole Attention; or
his dauntless Heart burns to traverse the Ocean? and is it not equally
wrong to make a Boy a Merchant, who delights in the Study of the Law?
most certainly. These therefore are the things we must attend to, these
the general Steps to be taken or avoided; and as none but general Rules
can be laid down, the particular Exceptions every Parent’s Judgment must

A young Lady of the second Rank comes next under my Consideration: but as
I have dwelt pretty largely on the Woman of Quality, I have not occasion
to say much here. One material Distinction to be made in a Lady of this
Class is, whether she is an only Child, an Heiress, no Brother in the
way to enjoy the Estate; or whether she is only a younger Child, and
is to share the Fate of her younger Brothers or Sisters. In the first
Case, I would recommend that her Education approach to that of a Woman
of Quality, since it is highly probable she will become one; at least if
her Education, Conduct, and Deportment correspond with those of superior
Rank, she will always be Company for them: but, in the other Case, that
is, where a Brother sweeps away the Estate, it is certain that her
Education need not be so brilliant, nor ought to be so expensive as in
the first. Yet let not this damp a young Lady’s Spirits; I do not mean
to make her less happy, nor recommend the least Neglect of her; far from
it. A State Coach with three Footmen answers no better than a plain Coach
with one, for all the Purposes of a Coach: and a Diamond Necklace keeps
a Lady no warmer than a Necklace of inferior Value. Thus it is with the
Education of a Woman of Quality; it is in some measure merely ornamental,
without being essential to her Happiness. Still it is fit it should be
so. When the Superscription of a Letter begins with Her Grace, or Right
Honourable, when a Coach or Chair appears with a Coronet, ’tis fit that
due Deference and due Distance be observed; and to secure this, ’tis fit
that her Education have a suitable Dignity. But, as I have just observed,
this is not essential to her Happiness: and if those in private Life,
and of moderate Fortunes, aim at equalling these either in external
Appearances, or in too exalted an Education, they are pretty sure of
running into Error; for Happiness much depends on an Education suited
to our Condition in Life. Thus while I esteem it a Misfortune for a
Woman of Rank not to appear to the utmost Advantage, it seems no less a
Misfortune for a young Lady in private Life vainly to aspire at equalling

Still I warmly urge, that no contemptuous Neglect be shewn her; let
her be taught as thorough a Knowledge of her Mother-tongue as if she
were a Princess; let her too write, and dance, and speak _French_ to
Perfection: Music too I recommend, but not to Perfection. Here, I am
afraid, my Readers will start, and think that either the Author or the
Printer has committed an Error; but a little Patience, and we shall, I
hope, understand one another. When we consult a Physician, or a Council,
they take the Fee, and give us their Opinion; which Opinion we may either
reject or follow as we please. When I set out in this Undertaking, I
declared myself not a Lawgiver, but an Adviser; as such then let me be
considered. I speak my Mind freely, and like an honest Lawyer give my
Opinion honestly; where the Advice is good, follow it; where erroneous,
reject it: thus should all reasonable People do, taking along with them
this Caution, not to condemn rashly and precipitately, but weigh the
Matter well; and neither lavishly bestow unjust Praises, nor unfairly
rob Merit of it’s Due. This premised, I return to my Subject. It is
very certain, that a young Lady of this Class should learn Music; it
gives her a sprightly pleasing Air; it is a fine Relaxation from more
serious Employments; and it greatly contributes to keep up a Chearfulness
thro’ the whole Family: but I would not have her ambitious to excel;
and I think Parents ought not to covet it. To attain Music to great
Perfection, and to study the _Italian_ for that Purpose, is a Work of
great Labour, Time, and Expence; too much by far to gain what at last
amounts to no more than an Amusement. Ladies of great Rank and Fortune
have every thing at their Command, therefore should aim at Perfection
in all they undertake; but those in more private Life, have certainly
other things to do. They are, by all the Rules of Prudence, to be taught
to work: they should be taught to know too, that they must reduce their
Theory to Practice. They are to stoop likewise to domestic Cares; whereby
they will often be enabled to boast a Happiness which greater Ladies
are Strangers to. But supposing that either to gratify herself or her
Friends she engages deeply in the Study of Music; Parents are here often
cajoled out of their Money, and their Senses too, by their Daughter’s
fancied Excellence: and the same Man that is lavish in his Praises to
the fond Father’s Face, will perhaps in the very next Company swear
the Girl squeaks like a Pig. There is a great deal of Insincerity,
nay the grossest Flattery, attends this kind of Study; and Parents in
general have need of better Eyes than common to see thro’ it. However,
not to injure the young Lady’s Capacity, I will grant that she really
does excel: still I say, her Time might have been much better employed
in acquiring more useful Knowledge: such as is properly suited to her
Station. There are yet other Inconveniencies attending this Study when a
Lady excels, or has the Reputation of it; that of exposing both her and
the Parents to a great deal of gay Company at least, if no worse; such as
tends to dissipate the Mind, to shut out Reflection, and thereby check or
prevent the Knowledge of more weighty Obligations: and it often likewise
exposes them to a great deal of ill-timed Expence: which, as every Day’s
Experience shews us, frequently does great Harm, but seldom any Good.

It is certain that every populous Place, especially a polite City like
_London_, ought to have some Entertainments of this Kind; and Persons
of Quality and Fortune should give due Encouragement to them, as the
Performers make it their Bread, and labour their whole Lives to excel,
that they may give them the utmost Entertainment in their Power: all
this, I say, is highly reasonable, if reasonably used. But will not a
Concert, an Opera, or an Oratorio always furnish this? most certainly. Is
it worth a young Lady’s while, whose Fortune perhaps will be but scanty,
to consume a great deal of Time and Money, and at last fall short of a
Stage-performer? by no Means: any more than it is an Honour to a Man of
Quality to be called the first Fiddle in the Kingdom; or for a Gentleman
to boast that he can beat his Coachman at driving.

If to the Steps already laid down of a young Lady’s Education of this
Rank be added Arithmetic, Drawing, and Geography, I think every thing
will be done that her Parents need Wish; and enough, if well improved,
to enable her to make a very advantageous Figure. Still she should be
taught to know that this is only learning the Road; and she herself, with
these Guides, is to take care not to go wrong: good Company, good Books,
and an Attention to her own Actions, are to compleat her. She should not
aim at more deep or learned Studies, which probably would only make her
affected or pedantic; make her a Pain to herself, and disgustful to all
who converse with her, particularly her own Sex. Knowledge does not
consist in Words, but in Things; and a Language, merely as a Language,
conveys only the Knowledge of Words. If on this Foundation, and with
these Materials, she builds with Care, with Diligence and Judgment, I
dare affirm, that these alone will furnish her with every Means of being
wise and happy.

I am now to treat of the third Class of People, the Men of Trade and
Commerce, in which I comprize the Merchants, and all those that are
usually distinguished by the Epithets of genteel Trades and good
Businesses: such as require Figure, Credit, Capital, and many other
Circumstances to conduct and support them: But I confess there is no
small Difficulty herein. In some Countries the Gentry and the Men of
Trade are as distinct People as if each were a Kingdom by itself:
_England_, a trading Nation, connects more closely the whole Body of
the People; links them, as it were, in one continued Chain, and brings
them nearer to a Level. The Man of Trade marries the Daughter of the
Gentleman; the Gentleman the Tradesman’s Daughter: and again, the
Gentleman makes his Son (the younger at least) a Man of Trade. Hence
arises the Difficulty of separating them; nor can it indeed be altogether
done. The Reputation and Value of Trade has convinced Gentlemen of the
Usefulness and Necessity of an Alliance with it; and Trade is greatly
indebted to the many and great Fortunes thrown into it from the Produce
of Estates: thus are they blended and interwoven; and thus are they
become reciprocally beneficial. Still, according to the general State
of things, regarding the various Ranks in Life, I think we may make one
sensible Distinction without Offence; that is, Gentlemen may be said to
stoop or condescend to Trade, and Trade may be said to aspire not only to
an Alliance with Gentry, but to become Gentry too. Thus while I honour
Trade, I would by no means fail to pay a due Respect to Gentry; and
therefore give them that Preference they are intitled to.

Birth, Education, and Manners, may be said to constitute the Gentleman.
Birth alone, tho’ a Claim, is too poor a one to deserve that Title;
Education adds indeed a Lustre to Birth; but both together are not
sufficient without Manners: that is, to complete the Gentleman,
they should all unite. To adjust this Matter fairly, we may without
Impropriety urge, that Manners alone will give us a better Claim than
Birth and Education together; and why? because these are not in our
Power to choose. For Example: It is not my Fault that I was not born a
Nobleman, nor did I choose my own Education, but my Parents for me; yet
when once I have learnt to know Right from Wrong, if I chuse the Right,
and labour to maintain it for Virtue’s Sake; surely some Degree of Merit
is mine: therefore, to use again the good old Bishop of _Winchester_’s
Motto, MANNERS MAKETH MAN. Still, as I observed before, to perfect the
Character, all should combine: and thus if the Man of Trade depends on
his Acquisitions only, he will find himself greatly mistaken. There is
a pleasant Story told of King _Charles_ II. I think not unapplicable
here. An unbred Citizen becoming very rich, made a Friend at Court,
who informed the King he desired much to be made a Gentleman; That,
says the King, with a Smile, is not perhaps in my Power; but tell him,
I’ll do better, I’ll make him a Knight. Thus at the same time that he
conferred an Honour, he ingeniously reproached him, by shewing, that,
to make a Gentleman, required something more than even Money or Title.
The principal thing then that Men of Trade have to do is, to keep clear
of Self-sufficiency; and avoid that Arrogance and Conceit which Money
is apt to create. Their frequent Marriages and Intermarriages with
well-bred People, are some Means to effect this; and educating their
Children suitably is another. Thus the rising Generation at least will
be improved; and hence appears the Necessity of good Education and
well-regulated Manners for this Class of People: that as they insensibly,
as it were, become allied to their Betters, they may be taught properly
to coincide with them.

Many Reasons prove the Necessity of good Education for People of this
Class. In a Society of Men, suppose a Coffee-house, we see a promiscuous
Croud of Gentlemen and Men of Trade; in an Assembly of Women, we see
mixed with the Gentry, not only the Wife of the Merchant, but that of the
Brewer, the Distiller, the Druggist, and the Draper; and it is highly
necessary that these should have such Education, and their Manners so
regulated, as will make them fit Company for those. But there are more
weighty Reasons yet. Every Man conversant in Life, must have observed,
not only the many calamitous Falls from high to low; but also the
frequent Progressions from low to high; and where these Advancements are
the Fruits of honest Industry, I rejoice with them in their Success. A
Citizen grown rich by Trade, resolves to approach to the Gentry; and his
first Advance is usually to the Center of the Town. Here for a while he
sits down, and with sweet Content enjoys the Fruit of his past Labours;
but perhaps it is only for a while; the Heart of Man is restless, and he
burns to taste the Manners of the Court: thus he flies to St. _James_’s
_Square_, _Grosvenor Square_, _Berkley Square_, or one of the surrounding
Streets; thus the Son gets a Post, and the Daughter marries a Lord;
and thus the next Generation or two reaches the Summit of Grandeur and
Honour. If things are so, and daily Experience proves they are, is it not
highly necessary to set out with a good Education? most certainly. Still
it should be a suitable one. A Man of Trade may be qualified to keep
his Betters Company, without vainly aspiring to be like them; for that
would be rendering him unfit for the very Trade he is engaged in. Every
Man may and ought to look forward; but if every Man anxiously dwells on
future Greatness, and continually dreams of Posts, Titles, and Palaces,
it is the certain Way never to reach them: for tho’ the Advancements just
pointed out are, I think, literally true, yet are the Instances but few
in comparison with the whole. Therefore the Business of Parents is, to
give their Children first a just Sense of their present Station; then
to guide their Education, and regulate their Manners accordingly; that
done, leave the rest to Providence.

I hope this Reasoning upon the close Connection of Gentry and Trade is
clear and express; and proves what I advanced, that they are not to be
wholly separated. Whence it appears, that the Education both of Boys
and Girls of this Class must in general be like that of the preceding.
Still some Judgment, Prudence, and Self-knowledge are necessary to guide
Parents herein.

The first wise Caution is, that Parents consider their own Fortune, and
the real Prospects before them: it is not enough that a Man be of such or
such a Trade, to entitle him to train his Child equal to another of the
same Trade; for if this be taken as a Guide, many grievous Errors will be
committed. What can be a greater Misfortune, than to educate a Boy like
a fine Gentleman, and not be able to support it? or to train a Girl with
the Expectation of keeping her Coach, and have little or nothing to give
her? yet is this often the Case. Another Caution is, not to neglect such
an Education as may be at least solidly useful, if they cannot reach the
ornamental Part; for as Carving, Gilding, and Painting may at any time be
added to adorn a well-proportioned Room, so a sound Education is every
Day capable of Improvement: and as the Vicissitudes of Life are many, it
is right that Children should on every proper Occasion be able to prove
the Goodness of the Stock they spring from. To set this Matter in the
clearest Light, let us suppose any two of the same Business, no matter
what; one has a large Trade and small Family, the other a small Trade and
large Family; the Trade being the same, our Idea of both the Men will at
first Sight be alike; but if we come to a nearer View, and thence draw a
Comparison, we shall find it very unequal: for tho’ a Merchant is still
a Merchant, yet while one has great Difficulty to give his Daughter a
single thousand Pound, the other can with Ease give his twenty thousand.
Thus, tho’ each should educate his Children suitable to his Character,
yet each should at the same consider his Abilities.

Many other Rules laid down in the preceding Class hold equally good in
this. The Genius and Frame of Mind are to be attended to; particular
Studies are to be appropriated to particular Employments; the Disposition
of Soul should be nicely searched into, that every thing mean, narrow,
or base, may be subdued by the Principles of a generous Education. Most
young People, even of both Sexes, place their Happiness in external
Appearance, but Girls have naturally the strongest Passion for Dress
and Show; now Parents can never make the Education of their Children
solid, unless they reverse this Disposition, not only by teaching them
the Emptiness of this false Happiness, but by teaching them where to
find the true. There is indeed an Appearance suitable to every Station,
which to neglect, would be sinking into Meanness, and be a Disrespect to
those we live among; that then should be regarded, but that alone; for
all above should be made indifferent to us: Happiness is in the Mind, and
to improve the Mind is the Way to reach it. Nor is Happiness more among
the Great, with all their Grandeur, than among the Little; and if it be,
the Fault is in ourselves; since nothing is truer than the Maxim, which
says, that Happiness does not consist in enlarging our Possessions, but
in contracting our Desires. Nothing therefore can be more dangerous in
the educating our Children, than cherishing in them a Passion for Dress,
especially the raising them above their Abilities. Children should be
taught to know, that it is not how they look, but what they feel, that
deserves Solicitude: thus too in estimating Riches; it is not what we
lose, but what we suffer, that merits our Regard; since we may sometimes
lose a great deal, and suffer nothing.

Parents, in educating their Children, are to make them pleasing and
useful. It is the Opinion of several ingenious Writers, that the first
Appearance of a Stranger makes the strongest and most lasting Impression
on us; that, as they shew to more or less Advantage at first Sight, so
do we think more or less favourably of them ever after. Now, tho’ I
do not think this is universally true, since Experience shews us that
some who strike us at first never give us any Pleasure in their Company
afterwards, and others who have nothing very pleasing in the Beginning
of our Acquaintance, improve upon us at every Visit, and insensibly gain
our Esteem; yet it is certain, that our Deportment should always be such
as may dispose People to think favourably of us, and never such as can
justly offend. But here I must observe, that young People are very apt to
prostitute this Disposition, by using it only occasionally; whereas, to
make it a Virtue, it must be exercised universally, and become a settled
Habit; in short, it must flow from the Heart. A young Gentleman is to pay
a Visit to a great Man, to a rich Aunt, or to some Person of Distinction,
of whom perhaps he has Views or Expectations; what Pains are taken to
make a graceful Appearance, how exact is his Deportment, how nice is his
Behaviour, and how pleasing his Conversation! The Visit paid, the Mask
is thrown off, and he is a very Bear to every one else; nay perhaps even
to his Parents, to whom he owes all that he enjoys. So too a young Lady
who is to make her Appearance at an Assembly; no Player studies more to
get their Part before they come on the Stage, than she to attract her
Beholders; but then, like them too, when her Part is over, she often
falls below herself. But have Actions like these any Merit in them? can
it be a Virtue never to be civil but where we expect to gain by it? ought
we not to give every thing it’s proper Name, and call such Behaviour
Dissimulation and Hypocrisy? most certainly. To obviate then this Error
in our Children, and prove the real Use of Education, let Parents be
very careful to teach them an universal good Behavior; not partial,
narrow, or confined, but such as will shew itself at all Times, on all
Occasions, and to all Degrees of People: and if, as has been observed,
the first Impressions generally make for or against us according as we
behave, Youth must be taught to consider themselves as continually seen
by somebody or other for the first time; and therefore they must always
demean themselves in such manner as to deserve Esteem, if they ever hope
to gain it.

The other Point of Education is to make our Children useful; therefore
nothing that can contribute to it should be omitted. A young Man, besides
the first Education bestowed on him, besides the Pains taken by his
Parents to engage him in such a Station as gives him the fairest Prospect
of Happiness to himself, must be instructed to employ his Talents to
the Benefit of others; and in all things, as far as is consistent with
Prudence, Justice, and Self-preservation, promote the Happiness and
Advantage of every one within his Reach. Here let me add, that while our
Laws give the Men superior Power, a Father should be very careful to fix
in his Son a tender regard to the opposite Sex; not indeed to become
their Slaves, or degenerate into Effeminacy; not to be the Dupe of those
who study to allure; but to have a just Sense of their Merit, their
Innocence, and their Virtue: and thence resolve never to despise, insult,
or oppress them, nor ever to impose a Hardship on them too great to bear.
A Girl, on the other hand, is to be taught, that a Degree of Subjection
is allotted her; but that it must never be base, nor ever need be mean.
She must know too, that the Fruits of her Education are to appear in her
Actions; to this End, besides her Knowledge of Books, the Exercise of her
Needle, her Pen, and her Figures, she is to understand the Management of
a House, be acquainted with the various Seasons of Provisions, the Price
of Markets, Skill in Carving, Demeanour at Table, and, in a Word, the
whole Oeconomy of a Family. Lastly, she must know that her Province is to
please, and that every Deviation from it, is thwarting Nature; but that
the chearful Exercise of those Obligations her Station requires, will
best secure Happiness to herself, and the Esteem of all who behold her.

I flatter myself that what I have here said, will furnish my Readers
of this Class with some Help to guide them thro’ the Difficulties
that naturally attend their Duty as Parents. And if to this they add
the Exercise of their own Judgment, by varying the Rules as they see
necessary, their Children will undoubtedly receive much Improvement; and
reflect great Honour on themselves, who thus aim at the general Good, not
only of their own Offspring, but of all Posterity.

I have here enlarged on the Steps necessary to be taken for educating
three Classes of People, and now proceed to treat of the fourth; which
comprehends a very large Part of the Kingdom, but _London_ particularly;
_viz._ all the inferior Trades, and many others, that, according to the
Custom of associating together, we may consider as forming one Division.
Men, very valuable in their Way, and of boundless Use to Society: tho’ by
the Wisdom of Providence born rather to Labour than to Idleness; to be
obedient to the Laws, than to be the Dispensers of them.

I am well aware that Difficulties will occur to me on this Head, and
thereby sometimes break the Order of my Design; but, as I have elsewhere
observed, when Exceptions from general Rules are reasonable, it is
perfectly right to adhere to them. It would be Affectation in me to call
myself such a Stranger to the World, as not to know the Influence of
Money: Mankind is apt to contract a Degree of Esteem for all who possess
it; and the Possessor seldom fails to set a sufficient Value on himself
for it. Thus it often happens that Men, whose Business is but mean,
grow wealthy, have perhaps an only Child, and think they have a Right
to educate it as they please; for my own Part I do not mean expressly
to oppose it, because it may be nipping a promising Fruit in the Bud;
but Parents of this Class stand in need of more Knowledge to conduct
themselves herein than commonly speaking they are possess’d of.

Nothing is more frequent than for Men in different Stations to ruin
themselves by rashly aspiring; and he who has Reputation and Credit
in one Sphere, is perhaps undone if he moves beyond it. But while we
see that Money is apt to make Men even of good Understanding and good
Education giddy, no wonder that those of obscure Birth, no Education, and
a Life of ordinary Employment, spent mostly in ordinary Company, value
themselves for their Possessions far beyond Desert. To this is owing that
vain Strut, that supercilious Air, and Contempt of others, so frequent in
People of this Class; and hence too arise those Errors they daily commit,
by an ostentatious Education of their Children; by vainly aspiring to
equal their Betters, and often to surpass them, at least in Appearance. I
had occasion, some Years ago, to make a Visit to a young Lady of Fashion
and Fortune at one of our Boarding-Schools near Town, where the best
dress’d Girl in the whole House was a Poulterer’s Daughter. Can there be
any thing more absurd than this? yet is there any thing more common? It
is a general Observation, that ordinary People dress their Children finer
than People of Fashion; and why? only because they will shew the World
they are able to do it, and therefore will not be outdone. Parents are
not aware how destructive this false Pride, this vain mistaken Fondness
is to their Children: and the first Effect it has on them is, to make
them ashamed of their Parents, those very People who thus mislead them.
Can any thing be more preposterous and unnatural? yet is it undeniably

There is an unhappy Propensity among Mankind in general of being ashamed
of their poor and mean Relations, even among the Good; it is a Spark of
Pride very hard to be extinguished, yet it may and ought to be done.
And considering that scarcely a Family in the Kingdom is without them,
more or less, it is Matter of Surprise that such Pains should be taken
to stifle and conceal them: especially too if we reflect how much real
Honour it does ourselves to cherish, to countenance, and to espouse them.
Still it is true, that there is this Propensity, this Weakness in Men,
either from their Nature, or their Education. Shall we then, instead of
keeping under this Pride in ourselves, lead our Children into it too?
shall we deck them out so far above themselves only to despise us? and
to make them falsely happy, make ourselves truly wretched? nothing can
be a greater Folly, and nothing requires more the Parents Care to avoid.
I remember I once called to see a Friend who was an Apothecary; a young
Fellow, my Friend’s Apprentice, was at Work behind the Counter, and out
peep’d a laced Waistcoat. (I must observe it was in those Days when a
laced Waistcoat stood for something, for it has now, I think, lost all
it’s Significance.) As the Appearance was unusual, I enquired who that
young Gentleman was; and, to my great Surprise, was informed he was
the Son of a Coachman; and the Lace he wore was taken off his Father’s
Livery. Thus what was before no better than the Badge of Dependence, is
now turned into an Instrument of Contempt and Ridicule. In how many of
these things do the Weakness and Folly of Parents appear? would such a
Boy own his Father on the Coach-box? or would he not rather, with an
audacious Cock of his Hat, pass contemptuously by him? nothing better
could be expected. And yet People who take these Steps wonder their
Children are not good; wonder they are proud, vain, and untoward, when
they themselves have made them so.

Another Effect attending this misplaced Indulgence, this false Education,
besides the making them ashamed of their Parents and Relations, is, the
Influence it has on the Children’s future Lives: the Parents, it is true,
are often made wretched, but the Children are not happy. Every thing
raised above itself is in a precarious tottering State; the Building,
whose Foundation is weak, is every Day liable to fall; and the Man who
pretends to what he cannot maintain or support, is in perpetual Danger of
Ruin. Self-sufficiency and Money may make his Outside passable; but if
he is all Meanness, all Ignorance within, he can never procure a Grain
of Esteem, nor ever be solidly happy. Children may in time discover
their Parents Mistakes and their own Misfortune, but will then perhaps
have no Remedy to apply. Happy had it been for them had their Education
suited their Condition in Life; they would then have laboured with honest
Chearfulness; and by keeping within their proper Sphere, have had their
Labours crown’d with Success.

My Readers of this Class will, I am afraid, be apt to mistake me, and
think I design to keep them in a low dependent State; such an one as
they call being unhappy; far from it: I would not have undertaken this
Treatise at all, had I not designed the real, the universal Good of
Mankind. Without Vanity I can say it, no one has a more disinterested, a
more general Love of human Nature than myself; thousands have superior
Abilities, but few, perhaps none, have superior good Wishes for the
Happiness of Society; and should this very Performance prove a Trifle,
the Fault may be in my Head, but it is not in my Heart: my Intention is
good, if my Power is weak. Let this then serve as an Apology to all my
Readers, but let those of this Class in particular be persuaded, that
my Design is to augment the Happiness of their Children, not to lessen
it. But then, they must resolve to seek Happiness where it can be found;
if they wander into a Maze of Difficulties, and get into a Sphere they
are utter Strangers to, they will most probably miss of it; but if they
confine themselves within their own proper Orb, they need not fear to
find it. Still there is Reason to apprehend, that Men of every Rank, and
even among the lowest, will value themselves not for what they are, but
for what they have; and while People mistake Head for Brains, and Money
for Merit, the best Advice will often be useless.

But great as this Folly is, there is a much greater reigning. Money, as I
have already observed, is extremely apt to intoxicate Mankind; and it’s
Influence is but too visible both in high and low Life: but there are
thousands of this Class of People who pride themselves in educating their
Children learnedly and expensively, without the least Pretensions upon
Earth. If a Gentleman upon the Decay can get his Son educated suitable
to his Birth, Regard to his Family, and Regard to his Education, may
obtain him a genteel and profitable Employment: so too, if a Man in
an inferior Station is convinced he can purchase his Son a Place or a
Commission suitable to his superior Education, there is certainly room
to justify him, tho’ we blame his Vanity; but that People without the
least Expectations, that are conscious they cannot give their Children
a Shilling, who have not the Honour of a Family to support, nor a
Reputation to maintain, should run these strange Lengths, is amazing! The
Truth is, Pride and Ignorance are their Guides; they scorn to be outdone
by their Neighbours, tho’ all the while they really don’t know what it is
they are doing.

It is to be presumed that Children while Children, and while educating,
are in general Strangers to what may be their future Fortune on the
part of their Parents: now if they are taught to think themselves equal
to their Betters, taught to expect mighty things, and at length find
nothing, it is, I think, a grievous Calamity on one side, and gross
Injustice on the other: and yet is this evidently a daily Error.

The same things that yield us great Good, are often productive of great
Evil. Food, designed by the Laws of Nature to preserve Life and Health,
is often made the Instrument to destroy it. Education, designed to lead
us to Happiness, by enlarging and improving our Understandings in some
certain Way, is often made the Instrument of our Destruction. Hence
appears the Necessity of a temperate and a judicious Use of both; and
hence too we see, that the Education suitable for one, is very unfit for
another. But I will now point out what Education appears to me to be
generally proper for People of this Class; and where solid Reasons make
particular Exceptions necessary, it is my Advice that Reason take place
of general Rules.

I will suppose then that my Readers design with me the real Good of
their Children; and neither mean to neglect them, nor to hazard their
Ruin by overdoing things. To this End Boys are to be taught Reading,
Writing, Arithmetic, and Drawing; to which may be added, a Knowledge
of Maps. This Plan, tho’ comprized in a few Words, contains all they
need, nay all they ought to learn. It is usual in the common Businesses
to put Boys Apprentice at about fourteen Years old; now supposing they
begin to learn at seven, they have Work enough cut out for seven Years
at least; which if well attended to, and their Time be well employed, is
capable of turning to great account. I mean not to give offence to any
one, but as the Province I am engaged in obliges me to speak my Thoughts,
I may offend without Intention: and honest Truth, in a Matter of this
Importance, is not to be disguised. My Advice then is, that Boys of this
Class never once attempt to learn _Latin_. What do they want with it? or
what use can they make of it? will it enable a Man to make better Shoes?
will it assist a Taylor in cutting out a Coat? or will it give a Barber
a keener Edge to his Razor? Parents, when they send a Boy to School,
are often guided by the Master what he shall learn; he, naturally fond
of advancing his Scholar, puts him into _Latin_; and thinks him shabby
without it. But is it not possible that this Gentleman may be a Man of
real Merit, a good Grammarian, nay a compleat classic Scholar, yet a very
bad Judge of Life? most certainly. The Boy is thrust headlong into things
he does not want, and neither Parents nor Master consider the End: for
tho’ it is certain that Parents cannot always tell what their Children
will be, yet those of this Class are pretty sure they want not deep

Of all the Mistakes committed in Education, none is equal to that of our
being thrust into an Employment for which we are unqualified; especially
too if it be one of a serious important Nature; now no People on Earth
are so liable to this as the Class we are treating of; for as they are
apt to take a Remove beyond themselves for profound Knowledge, they
plunge their Children into a Labyrinth of Difficulties, by engaging them
in a Profession or Science far beyond their Power to reach.

I have already urged, that, in the Case before us, a learned Education is
needless and improper; but this is saying too little of it, and treating
it too mildly: we may go farther, and shew that it is even hurtful, by
being an Impediment to more useful Knowledge: and farther still, that
it is not always what it is taken for. A Boy in common Life has perhaps
about seven Years Schooling; the greatest Part whereof is employed in
learning _Latin_: his _English_ is notoriously neglected; and Writing
and Arithmetic he gains but imperfectly. Now I beg leave to ask, whether
these three last are not more useful to a Boy of this Stamp than _Latin_?
and whether it is not a Misfortune to spend his Time in gaining what he
has no use for, and omitting what he wants? But it is an Error in me
to call it gaining, when in Reality it is losing: for after a Boy has
been puzling his poor Brains, and been tortured with _Latin_ for several
Years, it is ten to one that, comparatively speaking, he knows nothing:
that is, nothing radical, and to the Bottom; nothing, in short, but what
one Year’s Apprenticeship will entirely efface. As a Proof that this is
no Exaggeration, losing Learning is not only the Fate of Boys in common
Life, who seldom get more than a Smattering, but it is confessed by every
Gentleman, by the deepest Scholars, that a long Disuse of a Language,
or almost any Branch of Learning, will in great measure wear it out
of our Memories: or at least take off that Facility which constitutes
Perfection. A Relation of mine was sent to _London_ some Years ago to
be educated fit for Business; a Friend had the Care of him; who, after
sending him to learn Reading, Writing, and Accompts for some Time,
resolved to compleat him by putting him for a Year to _Merchant-Taylors_
School to learn _Latin_. He did so; and that finished, he was put
Apprentice to a Cabinet-maker. But what availed his _Latin_? just
nothing. In three Months time he saw’d and planed it all away; he was not
a Pin the better for it; but he lost a Year of precious Time, that might
have been very usefully employed in improving what he had before learn’d,
and in applying himself to Drawing: a thing absolutely necessary for the
very Business he was put to, and which, to my own Knowledge, he has often
lamented the Want of. Now this is not a single Instance, an accidental
Mistake, but a general Error; hundreds and thousands of which might be
every day produced: the Consequences whereof are always more or less
wrong, and sometimes very fatal.

I have observed that useful things are neglected, to run in pursuit
of what to them is useless; that is, they leave a certain Good for a
precarious one. But we may reason still farther on this Head with great
Utility. Mankind is by Nature aspiring and ambitious; and where Wisdom
and Prudence accompany our Steps herein, they are highly laudable.
But if, instead of these, Ignorance and Vanity are our Guides, we are
pretty sure of going wrong. A Man of mean Extraction, and illiterate,
takes these mistaken Steps already pointed out, in bringing up his Son;
whence a false Pride is stamped on both, and is sure to increase with
the Boy’s Learning. The Father’s Care is to keep his Boy from disgracing
his Education. “_Jack_, (says he) I have bestowed Learning on you, to
make you a Man; look forward, and I don’t fear but you will make your
Fortune.” And the Son at the same time takes care to think himself a
better Man than his Father. But let us conduct him on; he is now a
Gentleman; because he has, or fancies he has, Learning. He must dress
fine, and keep Company with his Betters; this leads him to Expences
he cannot afford; no matter, he is a Gentleman, and must appear like
one. His Father, after rumaging his Brains for a genteel Employment, at
length puts his Son to an Attorney. But that’s a dull Life, he likes the
Stage better; and after having seen Plays by the hundred, he concludes
himself equal to any thing, and turns Player: where perhaps his highest
Character is to speak the Prologue in _Hamlet_’s mock Play, or to be the
rueful Apothecary in _Romeo and Juliet_. It is too well known what kind
of Lives these Gentlemen lead; they are mostly riotous, extravagant,
miserable, and short. Now can it be denied that these, and such as
these, are the fatal Consequences of this false Education? surely daily
Experience convinces us it cannot. But as I labour for the public Good,
so I desire to do the strictest Justice. I will grant then that a Boy of
this Stamp, and thus trained, does all on his Part to advance himself;
that he is prudent, temperate, and virtuous; still he has neither Bottom,
Interest, nor Friends; it is an hundred, perhaps a thousand to one, if he
arrives at any thing higher than being a Hackney-Writer, an Usher to a
School, or at most the slavish Master of an insignificant one.

Permit me here a short Digression. There are no People in the World,
whom I at the same time both honour and pity, so much as Schoolmasters
and Preceptors; those particularly to whom we owe the most essential,
the most solid Part of our Education. There is something strangely
inconsistent in Mankind, or they could not see a Master incessantly
slave, and toil, and sweat to instruct others, and leave him at last
without Reward. The Man who is qualified for a Teacher, must have
laboured many Years in the Pursuit of Knowledge. If we would wish this
Man to do Justice to our Sons, we certainly should do Justice to him;
that is, we should prove, at the same time that we desire our Children
to be made wise, that we have so much Gratitude as to make him happy,
by rewarding him as he deserves. From this ungrateful Disposition, or,
from a very misplaced Frugality, it often happens that Parents do not
seek the best Teachers, but the cheapest; whence not only follow the
fatal Consequences attending a bad Education, by a seeming one passing
for real, but also that many, who are by no means qualified, undertake
the important Task. To return then to my Subject, we cannot doubt but
that some of these unqualified Teachers are the Fruits of this false
Education we have been speaking of; Men, who tho’ unequal to the Task
they are engaged in, would have been distinguished as eminent Proficients
in another Way, and been very valuable to Society; while in this, the
highest Honour they arrive at, is perhaps the holding forth with a
dictatorial Air in an Ale-house.

Many are the evil Effects this false Education produces; for thro’ the
Mistakes of Parents, the Pride of Children shews itself very early, and
daily gathers Strength: they soon look down with Scorn and Contempt on
the mean Business of their Father; and soon aspire to what they have
not the least Chance to reach. But as they have been injudiciously
taught to aspire, we cannot greatly wonder at their mistaken Conduct:
hence we see them spending their Lives not merely in Trifles, but in
Riot, Extravagancies, and Debauchery: averse to Employment, averse to
Labour; too learned to be industrious, too ignorant to be wise. But how
much happier would they be to know themselves, and keep within that
Self-knowledge! How sweet is that Bread which is earn’d with honest
Industry! How much happier is the Man that labours at his Loom, than he
who with mistaken Pride, despising it, is perhaps reduced to be dependent
on others! Could then Parents in general of this Rank, but learn Content
in their Stations, and keep their Children from soaring beyond their
Reach, they would secure much Comfort to both, besides contributing to
the Happiness of Posterity.

My Readers will remember that the Scheme of Education for Boys of this
Class, is Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Drawing, and a Knowledge of Maps.
I will now shew what Advantage may be made of these, and endeavour to
prove, that this is so far from being a contemptible Education, that
when attained to Perfection, it is not only useful, but very extensively

Mr. _Addison_ says, that every Man who reasons is a Logician, tho’ he
has never studied the Rules of Logic: so too we may say, that every
Man who speaks grammatically is a Grammarian, tho’ he has not been
taught Grammar. What I here mean is, that a due Attention to Children,
and proper Instructions with regard to _English_ only, will enable
them to make a very considerable Figure both in Reading and Speaking.
Nature furnishes us with the Faculty of Speech, but the Mode of it in
great measure depends on the Place we are born in, and the Language we
are accustomed to hear. The Court, and the learned Part of a Nation,
certainly speak the purest Language; the Vulgar and the Illiterate speak
the coarsest, and the most corrupt: but there are many Degrees between,
who may be said to have the Power of choosing, as they frequently hear
both. It is then the Parents Business to be greatly attentive in this
important Point; especially as Experience shews us that a great Man
can be vulgar, and a little one polite, and the Medium can neglect the
Advantages in his Power by adhering to the wrong Side, when with equal
Ease he may attain the right. I have already cautioned the Great never
to sink beneath their Quality; and while they learn to be humble, they
must carefully avoid being mean. I have also recommended to the Gentry
to approach as near to the Quality in good Behaviour and polite Language
as possible: and to those of this Class, I strongly urge, that every
thing coarse, vulgar, and incorrect, is not only improper, but highly
unbecoming; is not only abusing the Faculties Providence has furnished
them with, but is debasing their Nature. If then the Parents of this
Class enter upon the Education of their Children with just Reflections
(which all, more or less, are capable of making) the natural Consequence
will be, that they will seek such Methods as are most conducive to their
acquiring a thorough Knowledge of their Mother-tongue.

It may be urged that a compleat Knowledge of the _English_ cannot be
acquired without _Latin_; but, with all due Respect, I beg leave to
dissent from this: I have seen a good _Latin_ Scholar greatly deficient
in the Knowledge of _English_, and a very correct _Englishman_ who did
not know a Word of _Latin_. But nice grammatical Rules are not strictly
the Province of Boys in common Life, and much may be done without
them. A good Master will enable them to read in a very expressive and
significant Manner, at the same time that he makes them acquainted with
his Subject. He will teach them the different Types, why a _Roman_, why
an _Italic_ Letter is used; where the Accent is to be laid on different
Words, and on the same Word in different Senses; where capital Letters
are to be used, and why; the different Stops, which we call Pointing,
and their Force; the Cadence, or Falling of the Voice, in ending a
Sentence, or a Paragraph; and, what is the greatest Beauty of all, where
to lay the Emphasis or Stress on every Expression, so as to give it
it’s utmost Energy. Farther, he will teach his Scholars to keep close
to Nature; and not suffer them to borrow a Whine, a Tone of Voice from
that almost universal Destroyer of Nature, Affectation. He will shew
them that the only thing which can be granted in this Case, is a certain
adjusting, or rather a little Elevation of the Voice in Reading, above
Speaking; and that they come nearest to true Reading, who would be
supposed to be Speaking, were a blind Man the Hearer. He will shew too,
that, according to Nature, all Subjects do not require equal Energy in
Reading; and consequently the Voice must be modify’d and varied, on
suitable Occasions: for as we are susceptible of various Impressions;
and as Joy, Grief, Anger, and other Passions, are differently expressed
by us without any previous Study, purely from the Force of Nature, so
a good Master will shew, that a Prayer, a History, and a Poem, have
each something different in their Nature; and that to give them their
due Propriety, Force, and Beauty, each must be read in a different way.
Besides these, the Master will shew his Scholars, that in order to speak
to Perfection they must observe first, what Language their Betters speak,
and by comparing it with that of the Vulgar, they will be enabled to
distinguish, not only good from bad, but Propriety from Impropriety;
whence they will insensibly learn, Gender, Number, and Case; Person,
Mood, and Tense, with many other things relating to Grammar, without once
supposing that they are acquiring them. Secondly, he will direct them in
the Choice of such Books as will give a double Relish to Reading, by the
Goodness of the Language they are wrote in. And lastly, he will recommend
their seeking Opportunities of hearing their Betters read, that they may
compleat by Imitation, what Instruction has laid the Foundation of.

But to give all the Satisfaction in my Power, I beg leave to observe,
that as Grammar (if I may be allow’d the Expression) is the Soul of
every Language, it may, in essential Matters, be taught in _English_
as well as in _Latin_: it is true, that, in compound Words, and some
of the Derivations, both _Latin_ and _Greek_ are necessary, and indeed
many other Languages; but they are only so for Gentlemen and professed
Scholars; and tho’ a mere _English_ Scholar cannot give all the
Derivations of Words, yet he can give all the Meanings, and all, or
most of their Rules; and thereby be enabled to acquire a considerable
Degree of Perfection, a pretty thorough Knowledge of his Own Language;
and sometimes a Knowledge superior to those who in other respects are
superior Scholars. Should it still be urged, that if Boys learn _Latin_,
a Knowledge of _English_ will be a necessary Consequence, and that
Grammar in _Latin_ is Grammar in _English_; I am ready to grant it: but
the Point here maintained is, that what is called a learned Education is
unnecessary and often hurtful to Boys of this Class, nor have they Time
to acquire it. Besides, there are always Difficulties in referring or
applying grammatical Niceties from one Language to another; Difficulties
which are not within the Province of every one to get over. If therefore
Boys of this Class, instead of engaging in _Latin_, which, as has been
shewn, they have not Time to acquire, nor in general have any use for
it if they did, would apply to the Study of _English_ only, and make
the most of that, they may improve to a great Degree; vastly more than
is usually done, because prevented by an injudicious Application to the

Thus much have I said, in some measure to do Honour to the Language of my
own Country; but chiefly with a View to remove the Errors too generally
run into by inferior People, partly from their Vanity, and partly from
their being Strangers to the many and great Advantages which this
Branch of Education only is capable of affording. I know that innocent
well-meaning People are often misled in educating their Children; and
have heard many say, that a Boy must learn _Latin_ to enable him to
spell _English_; but this is a vulgar Error, and henceforward, I hope,
will be removed. But yet farther to prove the Usefulness of our Language
in the real Concerns of Life, we may add, that by this alone may be
learnt, from those whose Province it is to teach, every Duty, every
Obligation we owe to God and Man; by this we are enabled to read the
sacred Writings; by this we can become acquainted not only with the
History of all _Europe_, both ancient and modern, but of the whole World;
and particularly with the History of our own Country: by this we are
furnished with Books containing Helps in Building, Planting, Gardening,
and many other things of great Use to Mankind; and by this, in a word, we
are furnished with vast Abundance of both Instruction and Delight; not
only from the excellent Translations from _Latin_, _Greek_, _Spanish_,
_Italian_, _French_, &c. but from the original Writings of many of our
own Countrymen: Men, whose Geniuses were perhaps inferior to none. Here,
without Flourish, Parade, or Exaggeration, my Readers will see how noble
an Use may be made of our Mother-tongue; how much Pleasure it will yield
us, how much Knowledge it will convey to us; and hence, I hope, Parents
will be induced to consider it in the Light it deserves.

Boys are next to engage in Writing; and I earnestly recommend that it
be closely attended to, and considered as a Matter of great Importance.
The present Method of teaching, and the Kind of Hand now usually wrote
in Business is, I think, admirable; the Merchants of _London_, and some
of our public Offices, shew great Perfection in this Way; and I would
recommend that every Boy both learn and practise a mercantile Hand, as it
is at the same time useful and beautiful. Every Man who is acquainted
with Life must daily see the too general Defects of Hand-writing. If a
Bricklayer, or any other Workman, brings in a Bill, what a pitiful Figure
it makes; nay, it is sometimes so very bad, that none but the Writer
himself can read it; and where we see one wrote out in a masterly Way,
it is ten to one but he has, at considerable Expence, employed somebody
to do it for him. Now this must surely be considered as a grievous
Misfortune, both as it is an Inconvenience, and a Loss; and which ought
carefully to be prevented in the rising Generation. Besides, if we
reflect on the unforeseen Advantages which many meet with who are fine
Penmen, we shall be convinced how necessary it is to excel in this Art.

We come now to Arithmetic, which includes a large Field of Knowledge.
The Use of Figures, is so universally known and allowed, that it seems
needless to urge any thing in their Favour. Men of all Degrees want
their Aid; they are the first Introduction to the Mathematics; and the
Knowledge of them is more or less necessary from the Prince to the
Peasant. If a Man fails in _Holland_, they immediately say, he has not
kept good Accounts; in Truth People of almost every Rank stand in need of
their Help; and their Use and Power thoroughly known and attended to,
would preserve thousands from Ruin. Parents then cannot do too much to
instruct their Children in this important Branch of Knowledge; especially
if they consider on one hand the Confusion and Perplexity which attends
the Ignorance of it, and on the other hand the many surprising Turns
for the Advancement of their Fortune, when possessed of the Knowledge
of it. All young People, as I have before recommended, should be taught
Method, and nothing more likely to initiate them in it than a masterly
Knowledge of Figures. Besides, Debtor and Creditor, Loss and Gain,
are by no means confined to the Merchant; every Man, however low his
Trade, or however narrow his Dealings, while he does trade or deal,
should understand what he is about: and he has no other Way than this of
attaining that necessary Knowledge. I am very sensible, that some Men,
even in Trade, have got thro’ the World, and make good Acquisitions,
without any considerable Degree of this Kind of Knowledge; but we may
truly say of such, that Fortune stood so very near them, that they
stumbled upon her: tho’, for one who has thus succeeded, a thousand have
miscarried. But my Aim is, to have the rising Generation so educated,
that either Misfortunes may be prevented, or, if they do come, that their
own Conduct may be irreproachable: and, I say again, no way more likely
to effect this, than knowing thoroughly and attending closely to Figures.
But farther, this and the foregoing Branch of Knowledge are strong
Recommendations in various Stations of Life: many, even from nothing,
have by these Qualifications become great Merchants; our _East-India_ and
other Companies frequently want Boys who write and account in a masterly
Way; and when young People set out in the World and act for themselves,
the Knowledge of their Affairs, from their Skill in Figures, is often a
Restraint upon them, and a Curb to their Passions; by keeping them from
what they see they cannot afford.

I shall now speak of that important, tho’ much neglected Branch of
Knowledge, Drawing. It is matter of Surprise to me that a thing so
obviously useful, and in many Respects so indispensably necessary,
should be so generally disregarded. Young Gentlemen at an Academy indeed
sometimes learn a little Drawing; but neither so often, nor so compleatly
as they ought; but it is not of those I now mean to speak, but of that
large Body of Youth comprehended in the fourth Class of People.[9] As
Parents cannot know certainly what their Children will be, it is fit
that, according to their Station, they should be so educated, as to be
prepared for whatever may suit their Circumstances, their Capacity,
and their Inclinations: to this End, besides Reading, Writing, and
Arithmetic, I earnestly recommend Drawing. To prove it’s Use, let us
first view the various Branches of Building; where we shall immediately
see the Necessity of understanding it. It is my Advice to all Parents,
without Exception, that they implant in their Children an ardent Desire
to excel; not to engage them in things they are unequal to, not to fill
their Heads with Chimeras of fancied Power and Abilities, but that
they labour with unwearied Industry to become perfect in their Way, be
their Profession, Trade, or Business what it will. Thus, if a Boy is
to be a Bricklayer, a Carpenter, a Smith, or any other Trade relating
to Building, it is right that he should be animated with a Desire to
become perfect, and not sit down contented with a scanty, superficial
Knowledge of his Business: and, to attain this, Drawing should be made as
familiar to him as Writing; which would greatly tend to his Advancement
in the World: for how often does it happen that a Gentleman wants his
own Conceptions and Designs explained and improved; which are easily
done by a masterly Workman, but are entangled and made worse by a
Blunderer. Drawing shews us the Difference between Beauty and Deformity;
as Features, Mein, Aspect, Stature, and the Power of Light and Shade. It
teaches us the Use of Lines, Angles, Squares, and Circles; it teaches us
the Rules of Proportion, what Base is proper for an Edifice of different
Dimensions; what constitutes a regular, what an irregular Building; it
distinguishes true Taste from false; it assists our Fancy, and enlivens
our Imagination; it is the Foundation of Architecture, and therefore
necessary for every Branch of Building: for tho’ there are general Rules
and Principles in each Order of Building, yet is there great Latitude for
what we call Fancy, Taste, and Judgment: and thus the whole Beauty and
Propriety of an Edifice may be said to depend on the artful blending of
the several Orders into one perfect Superstructure.

Thus much for the Usefulness of Drawing in Building; but I should injure
this Art if I stop’d here, for it is still far more extensive. It is not
enough that a Gentleman builds himself a House, it must be furnish’d
too; and if he be a Man of Fortune and Taste, he will not be contented
with what is merely useful, but will add the ornamental likewise: hence
appears the Necessity of the Artificers in this Way learning to draw in
order to excel. If an Upholsterer be sent for, it is an Advantage to him
not only to give the proper Dimensions of Furniture, but to display the
several Ornaments and Fancies in use, and even strike out new Designs of
his own; that he may convince People he is a Master in his Way: he cannot
shew a Piece of Damask or printed Linen, but the Draughtsman appears in
it; and it is right that he should be equally knowing in his own Business.

But if we take a more general Survey of things, in order to give us
a true and solid Estimation of real Life, we shall find this Art of
surprising Use. How many Trades are there subservient to the Arts and
Sciences? all those who make Maps, Charts, and Globes; all those who make
mathematical Instruments, and the vast Apparatus for the different Parts
of Experimental Philosophy; so too Engravers, Sculptors, Painters, and
Anatomists; all these, with many others, needless to enumerate, stand in
need of Drawing: So vast is it’s Use, and so necessary is the Knowledge
of it!

The last Step of Education for Boys of this Class is Geography, or the
Knowledge of Maps. Geography makes us acquainted with the whole Surface
of the Earth; the whole terraqueous Globe: it is first divided into
Quarters, viz. _Europe_, _Asia_, _Africa_, and _America_; again, these
Quarters are subdivided, so as to make us acquainted with particular
Provinces, Kingdoms, States, and Empires: hence it is easy to see the
Pleasure and Use that arises from this Knowledge. Men of every Rank
are liable to leave their native Country; and indeed it is often the
only Way to their Advancement. What a Pleasure then must it be to be
acquainted with a Road we never saw? to travel in a Country without Pain
from our Fore-knowledge of it? which is really the Case with an Adept in
Geography. But supposing our Travels exceed not the Bounds of our own
Country; it is a Subject of great Delight to be thoroughly acquainted
with that. Or farther yet: supposing we do not travel at all; Geography
has still it’s Use: it assists us in the Knowledge of History, and
thereby adds Instruction and Pleasure to our Reading: in fine, it makes
us acquainted with the whole World, without going out of our Closets.

My Readers are, I hope, by this time convinced, how advantageous these
Steps of Education are for many of the Purposes of Life; nay they are
such as some in better Stations are in great measure Strangers to, tho’
they may be possessed of Qualifications otherwise useful. If then to this
be added virtuous Dispositions, a docile Mind, a becoming Behaviour, and,
in a word, that genuine Manners recommended to all, I think Parents in
general of this Class may promise themselves much more Comfort in their
Children than they usually find.

Girls too of this Class are capable of being very valuable; but again I
must caution Parents to be aware of those Banes of Happiness, Idleness,
Pride, and Vanity. Idleness is justly called the Root of all Evil; and
Pride and Vanity are empty nothings: or if they can be said to produce
any thing, it is Evil. Girls of this Class have many things within
their Reach, and if well attended to, may attain them. They may read
and write to great Advantage; and learn so much of Accompts as will be
necessary for conducting their Concerns, and understanding those Affairs
they may in future Life be engaged in. They may and ought to work to
Perfection, but principally the useful Parts: and tho’ the ornamental is
highly commendable, yet it must not here be encouraged to the Prejudice
or Neglect of the useful. When this Foundation is solidly laid, let
them be carefully instructed in the Management of a House, according
to what has already been observed in the foregoing Class; from whence
they will receive such a Fund of useful Knowledge, as when joined with
good Demeanour, will procure them not only the Esteem of their Equals,
but that of their Superiors. Let Parents farther inspire them with
Dispositions daily to improve their Minds; to maintain with firmest
Resolution the nicest Innocence, even amidst the rudest Attacks, should
they occur to them; and lastly, to support themselves with a chearful
Mind in that State which is allotted them. In fact, Happiness is much
more within their Reach than they commonly imagine; but if they neglect
to consider the Advantages they enjoy beyond thousands who are beneath
them, and anxiously dwell on the Splendor of those above them, it is the
certain way never to find it.

Notwithstanding what has been said on this Class, Allowances are
still to be made as Circumstances vary; and if the Plan be in general
practicable, it is all that can be expected. Education is in some measure
accidental; and it is right to embrace those Advantages which Accident
offers, provided they do not interfere with more useful Knowledge, for
then they are no Advantages. For Example: nobody should neglect their
Mother-tongue; yet if they are so situated that they can add _French_
to it, they ought by all means to do so. In the preceding Classes
_French_ is considered as a necessary Part of Education chiefly from it’s
Politeness, and the Advantage of reading _French_ Authors; but according
to the present Age it is far more useful. _French_ is now so universal,
that a Man who speaks it can do Business with whatever Foreigner comes
in his Way; or should he go abroad, he can transact his Affairs in
any Country, or on any Exchange in _Europe_. But it is still farther
necessary. _Moliere_, in one of his Comedies, introduces a Conversation,
where a Servant is accused of flattering his Master: “What can I do?
replies he: I am to please, I am to secure my Service by keeping in his
good Graces, and I have no other way of doing it: therefore, continues
he, it is not the Fault of me who flatter, but of him who will be
flattered.” So in taking a View of Life we may sometimes observe, that to
secure the Interest and Favour of the Great, the Taylor, the Milliner,
the Shoe-maker, and many others, are expected to introduce their
Modes under a _French_ Tongue. But to do justice to the Wisdom of our
Nation, this is far from being general; therefore a general and close
Application to the _French_ for the fourth Class does not seem either
necessary or practicable; because to some it would be useless, in others
it would be forgot again, and by many it would never be attained.

Another Part of Education which is oftentimes merely accidental, is
Music. If a Man plays on any Instrument, it will be delightful to him to
employ his Son’s leisure Time in giving him something of so agreeable
an Accomplishment; or if he can improve his Daughter’s Ear or Voice,
by giving her a pleasing Manner in Singing, she should not be deprived
of it; for these things make young People sprightly in themselves, and
pleasing to others. But then Care must be taken that they stop here: they
must not engage in an expensive and laborious Study of Music, unless it
is to be their Trade; nor must they be attached to it so as to neglect
other Obligations, or so as to engage them in irregular Company: and
above all, great Care must be taken that they be not tainted by that
Torrent of Corruption, bad Songs.

There is indeed a Step of Education for this Class, as well as all the
preceding, which I think of Importance, could it be obtained without
the usual Inconveniencies attending it; that is, Dancing. I consider
Dancing as conducive to Health; I consider it as sometimes a Means of
preventing Deformity; and where there is no danger of that, all must see
that it is the great Means of making young People of both Sexes stand,
and walk, and sit, and even look and speak to advantage. Mr. _Locke_,
speaking of a docile Mind, and good Dispositions, as superior to every
other Consideration, says, “Parents surely must have a strange Affection
for _Latin_ and _Greek_, who will prefer them to their Sons Virtue.” So
too I may say of Dancing; if we cannot get the Good without the Bad, it
is better to let it alone. First, it is, for a great many People, too
expensive; nothing indeed to those of Fortune, and in great Business; but
to others, more so than is convenient. Next, it is apt to inflame young
People’s Vanity, as well as increase the Expence of their Apparel. A Boy
who learns to Dance is dissatisfied unless he has Pumps, white Stockings,
laced Hat, and many other things not necessary to his Station; and a Girl
rejoices when the dancing Days come, only because she is to have her
Silk Coat on. A third Objection is, the Danger of their contracting a
Passion for Dancing; for tho’ young People may sometimes very innocently
divert themselves with an Evening Ball or a Country Dance, yet an eager
Desire for these Engagements, especially to those of lower Rank, and
to those who live in _London_, are extremely dangerous. Still, as this
Qualification seems really necessary, if the Expence of the Master can
be submitted to, the other Difficulties may, I think, be got over. But
here the Manners are concerned: Children must obey, and wear without
a Struggle, and without a Blush, such Apparel as their Parents judge
fit for them. If besides this, they are made sensible that every Step
in their Education is taken purely for their Good, and are carefully
instructed never to abuse by an inordinate Attachment what is bestowed
on them only for Use; if Parents I say do this, they may in general hope
that all their Children learn will turn to good account.

The Province I am engaged in, and the tender Regard I pay to all human
Nature, demands that I speak of a fifth Class of People, usually term’d
the Peasantry: tho’ I think the principal thing to be done here, is to
admonish those in higher Spheres to behave with Justice and Humanity to
them, rather than to address themselves. If we speak of Education, here
it will naturally carry our Ideas to the Spade, the Plough, or the Team;
and which may without Impropriety be called Education to them. It is a
true Saying, that there is a right way and a wrong in doing every thing;
if so, it is an useful Part of Education to instruct them how to till
the Earth with greatest Ease to themselves, and with greatest Profit to
those who employ them. As early and constant Labour is the Province of
this Class, there is but a small Share either of Time or Abilities for
Instruction; still as they are by Nature susceptible of it, those who
have Power cannot employ it better than by bestowing it; so far at least
as may open their Minds to distinguish Truth from Falsehood, Right from
Wrong, Innocence from Guilt. If to this were added, at least the Power of
reading their Mother-tongue, it would at times be an Entertainment and
a Consolation to them; and it would remove, in some Degree, that total
Darkness and Ignorance they must otherwise remain in.

But here, for the Sake of Instruction, I must depart from the strict
Propriety of the Word _Peasant_, to touch on another Species of Rustics;
that is, those of the lowest Class of People, in _London_ particularly.
These People possess indeed the Ignorance of the Peasants, but they
seldom equal them in Innocence. Many are abandoned to every Vice;
many indeed are honest and industrious; but even among those who are
themselves good, their Children, thro’ an early false Fondness, or the
Corruption of others, are usually ignorant, untoward, and vicious. Whence
we daily see and hear in the open Streets such things as are Insults on
Mankind; such as must shock the Ears, and make the Heart tremble; and
such as cannot but be a Reflection on any civilized Nation. We say, it
is easier to obey than govern; and, in this Case, it is perhaps easier
to propose a Remedy, than to put it in Execution. But to cure an Evil
among the Little, we must address ourselves to the Great; for if they
have either their Example or Countenance, all Attempts to remedy it are
fruitless. Next we must turn our Eyes on those in Power, as Magistrates,
and Men in Office; if these exercise their Authority with Justice and
Fidelity, much may be done: but if they not only neglect this, but give
ill Example too, little is to be expected. Thirdly, the Children of these
People are to have some Degree of Education; the Boys, Reading, Writing,
and the first Rules in Arithmetic at least; which, if carefully taught
them, will qualify them for many useful Employments. The Girls should at
least read and work at their Needle. But all this, tho’ indispensably
necessary, is too weak to effect the Purpose designed. The Perverseness
of the Will, the Unruliness of the Head, and the Corruption of the Heart,
are still to be conquered. Manners alone then is the effectual Remedy:
and as, to cure a Disease, we must strike at the Root of it; so, to
rectify the Morals and Misbehaviour of the Corrupt, we must, on solid
Principles of Reason and Reflection, awaken the Mind, and regulate the


A Citizen of _Athens_ advising with _Xenophon_ about whither he should
send his Son for Education, It is my Counsel, answered _Xenophon_, that
you send him to _Sparta_. To _Sparta_! says the _Athenian_; is rude and
uncultivated _Sparta_ then preferable to _Athens_, the Seat of Arts and
Sciences? Yes, replies the Sage: at _Sparta_ he will learn a Science
worth all the rest, he will learn to obey. According to this Philosopher
then, Obedience alone is a Science productive of every useful Knowledge;
whereas, without it, all other human Knowledges are often useless, if
not, in general, dangerous Acquisitions.

Certain it is, that much may be hoped from setting out right, and every
thing is to be feared from a wrong Beginning. Parents therefore who aim
at making their Children wise, should aim at previously making them good.
That is, (to recapitulate the chief of what has been said) they must make
their Wills pliant and tractable, by teaching them an early, very early
Obedience: next, they should mould their Hearts, imprint on them a Love
of Truth, Honour, Justice, and every other Virtue: lastly, they should
form their Minds and Manners, by shewing them the several Duties of their
Station, and how to fulfil them.

The first Duties of Children are in great measure mechanical: an obedient
Child makes a Bow, comes and goes, speaks, or is silent, just as he is
bid, before he knows any other Reason for so doing than that he is bid:
the Dawn of Reason shews him general Duties; that is, that he owes to his
Parents and Guides Obedience, Respect, and Love: when his Mind is farther
opened, and his Judgment has gained Strength, he sees (if led by faithful
Teachers) that he is born for an important, nobly important Purpose; and
tho’ many particular Obligations, which he was before a Stranger to,
present themselves to his View, yet is he convinced that they are nothing
but what, under Reason’s Sway, he is capable of answering. Farther,
he sees that the Exercise of all moral Obligations are rendered light
by being reciprocal; and from a Sense that his own Support, Comfort,
and Happiness requires the Aid of others, he chearfully and willingly
labours for others. Lastly, he sees, that tho’ irregular Passions
sometimes raise Tumults in the Soul, and struggle for the Mastery, yet
from the Happiness of a well-tempered Heart, the constant Exercise of
Reason, and the Reflection he must needs make on the daily Instances
before him of Vice punished and of Virtue rewarded, he may not only
be enabled to give Virtue the Ascendant, but to give it on the purest
Motive; that is, for the Love of Virtue. All this, I say, unless Children
are by Nature untractable, or are over-powered by the Torrent of corrupt
Example, will generally be the Effect of well-regulated Manners: and,
possessed of all this, who can doubt but that they will then be wise? or
who can think that while thus much is wanting they ever can be wise?

Mankind, as has been observed before, naturally desire their Children’s
Prosperity and Happiness; but if they seek it in any other Road than
this, they must not wonder if they miss of it: rather may they wonder
in good earnest, if they ever find it. Still is the ultimate Point
untouched: for, besides that our Passions are to be regulated, and our
Actions to be innocent in themselves, and valuable to others; to make
them perfect, they are farther to be animated by a right Intention: for,
says a learned and ingenious Author, “the Intention is the Pulse of the
Soul.” Many Actions, in themselves indifferent, are rendered hurtful
by an Error in the Intention; and even those which seem calculated by
Nature to produce the most signal Advantages to others, as well as to us,
are often, for want of being properly directed to their right End, both
fruitless to those they were designed to benefit, and even detrimental
to ourselves. Here then we are to know, that moral Duties are of divine
Origin; and if Nature shews us the first Laws of Right and Wrong, the
Author of Nature implanted them in us. But our Obligations to the GREAT
CREATOR of us all will irresistably appear; if we duly survey ourselves
and every thing around us; for as thence we shall see that from Him alone
we receive all things, so thence shall we be convinced that to Him alone
all should be referred. Thus it is evident, that to fill up the Measure
of our Duty, three things are necessary: first, we are to be carefully
informed what is Right, and what is Wrong; secondly, we are inviolably to
adhere to the one, and avoid the other; and, thirdly, the Right we do
must be done from Principle; which can no otherwise appear in us than by
honouring and serving the Author of our Being, and of all the Blessings
we enjoy: these naturally lead us to believe in him, to hope in him, and
to love him; and these are Acts which constitute Religion. But here, with
all due Reverence, I drop my Pen; leaving the Consideration of our Duties
in a religious Light to those whose Province it is to point out, explain
and enforce them: to those, in a word, to whom the Office is given from



[1] Dr. _Shaw_. See _Quincy_’s Prælectiones Pharmaceuticæ.

[2] Since the second Edition of this Work, _three thousand Women_ more,
deliver’d in the same Hospital, are to be added to the above Number:
among which, not above four have had sore Breasts, and those were either
such as had no Nipples, or had formerly had Milk Sores; and all of them
except one, cured by Poultices only. Dr. Macaulay (to whom the British
Lying-in-Hospital is greatly indebted for his present close Attendance
thereon) is my Authority for this Note.

[3] Dr. _Cadogan_.

[4] Dr. _Parsons_.


    Great Wits to Madness sure are near ally’d:
    And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide.


    Av’rice and Knav’ry sure are near ally’d;
    And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide.


    ——Who steals my Purse, steals Trash.
    ’Twas mine; ’tis his; and has been Slave to thousands:
    But he who filches from me my good Name,
    Robs me of that which not enriches him,
    But makes me poor indeed.——



    One Science only will one Genius fit;
    So vast is Art, so narrow human Wit.

[9] Since the first Appearance of this Work in the Year 1753, the Society
for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce has been form’d
and establish’d;[*] in Honour to which, the Author begs leave to observe
that his Complaint on this Head (which he flatters himself was a just
one) is in some measure obviated: for, from the particular regard paid
by that Society to every Branch of the Polite Arts, Boys even in the
most inferior Stations of Life (as well as others) have it’s Countenance
and Approbation; and, by liberal Premiums, receive from it the Reward of
their Genius and Industry. Hence Drawing is already become a far more
general Study in England than heretofore; and hence, too, it may be hoped
(provided the Plan here laid down be deemed rational) that Boys of this
Class in particular will daily improve, and make, it both their Study
and Delight to acquire that Perfection which will manifestly tend to
their own Advancement in Life, and reflect Honour on their Country. A
contemplative Mind, united to a Heart warm’d with the Love of Mankind,
cannot but see with singular Pleasure the rapid Progress and growing
Power of that highly useful Society: For, from a beginning of about six
private Gentlemen, a few Years have increas’d their Number to near three
thousand Members; among which far the greater Part are Persons of Rank,
Learning and Fortune. But to what End do they associate, to what End do
they bestow their Time, their Thoughts and their Money?[†] The Answer is
obvious; it is to benefit others, not themselves: it is to encourage the
Industrious, and reward the Ingenious: and what is still more exalted, it
is to add Power, Strength and Lustre to their native Country.

[*] The Society commenced in March 1754.

[†] Every Member pays at the least two Guineas a Year; or one Payment of
twenty Guineas for Life. Besides the Committees (which meet almost daily,
and which are open to every Member) the Society, for the most Part of the
Year, assemble once a Week; at which Times so many useful and curious
Matters are discuss’d as render them a most rational Entertainment.
And, that no Partiality may be shewn, or Benefit lost, every Member has
full Liberty to throw out his Thoughts, and to propose whatever, in his
Opinion, may be of Utility, and advance the Intentions of the Society.


    Page   6. Line 12. _for_ disregarded _read_ disregard.
          52.       1. _for_ attend _read_ attended.
          82.       7. _for_ strange _read_ stranger.
         220.      18. _for_ he _read_ she.
         302.       5. _for_ were _read_ where.
         321.       4. _dele_ not.

Transcriber’s Note: The errata have been corrected, along with minor and
evident typesetting errors. The spelling and writing style of the 1750s
has been retained.

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