« AnteriorContinuar »
The biography of practically Christian characters, first introduced in short conversations, and afterwards more in detail, is of great value
beauties of nature and of art had no power. He had no leisure feeling which he could spare to be diverted among the innumerable varieties of the extensive scene which he traversed; all his subordinate feelings lost their separate existence and operation, by falling into the grand one. There have not been wanting trivial minds to mark this as a fault in his character. But the mere men of taste ought to be sileht respecting such a man as Howard; he is above their sphere of judgment. The invisible spirits who fulfil their commission of philanthropy among mortals, do not care about pictures, statues, and sumptuous buildings; and no more did he, when the time in which lie might have inspected and admired them, would have been taken from the work to which he had consecrated his life. The curiositjwhich he might feel, was reduced to wait till the hour should arrive, when its gratification should be presented by conscience, which kept scrupulous charge of all his time, as the most sacred duty of that hour. If he was still at every hour, when it came, fated to feel the attractions of the fine arts but the second claim, they might be sure of their revenge; for no other man will ever visit Rome under such a despotic consciousness of duty, as to refuse himself time for surveying the magnificence of its ruins. This implied an inconceivable severity of conviction, that he had one thing to do, and that he who would do some great thing in this short life, must apply himself to the work with such a conin the cultivation of the young heart; and if judiciously managed, forms a subject of the highest interest.
It is of no small importance to accustom children at table, from an early age, to feel pleasure in listening to, and taking their share in useful subjects.
When this habit is established, they will not, in future, wish for the society of those
centration of his forces as to idle spectators, who live only to amuse themselves, looks like insanity.
His attention was so strongly and tenaciously fixed on his object, that even at the greatest distance, as the Egyptian pyramids to travellers, it appeared to him with a luminous distinctness, as if it had been nigh, and beguiled the toilsome length of labour and enterprise by which he was to reach it. It was so conspicuous before him, that not a step deviated from the direction, and every movement and every day was an approximation. As his method referred every thing he did and thought to the end, and as his exertion did not relax for a moment, he made the trial so seldom made, what is the utmost effect which may be granted to the last possible efforts of a human agent; and there, fore what he did not accomplish, he might conclude to be placed beyond the sphere of mortal activity, and calmly left to the immediate disposal of Providence.—Essay ou Decision of Character.—/. Foster.
whose ideas and whose conversation rise no higher than the discussion of the various dishes; the merits and demerits of modes of cookery; suitable sauces, &c. &c. Much less will they feel any inclination to join in topics, which, however appropriate to the kitchen, they will feel to be not quite so to the parlour.
Teach them by precept, but, above all, by unvarying example*, to consider their meals as a necessary refreshment for the body, but as by no means worthy to occupy the mind. Let Parents, instead of encouraging f, omit no opportunity of keeping in subjection the animal propensities; on every occasion let them
* Children (nay and men too) do most by example.— Locke.
As the bodies of children are imperceptibly affected by the air they breathe, so are their minds by the moral atmosphere which surrounds them; that is, the tone of character and general influence of those with whom they live.—Hints on early Education.—Mrs. Hoare.
+ Why chain the attention of children to all that bespeaks the littleness of man, and his innumerable wants of eating, drinking, clothing: and never suffer it to rise to the contemplation of all that is excellent in him, and worthy of an immortal being ?—Early Education.—Miss Appleton.
be mindful to raise and to cherish the spiritual affections of our nature.
Instruction, imparted according to the foregoing hints, becomes daily more interesting to the child; for now he conceives and embraces things with more facility and accuracy, and is not embarrassed in giving words to his thoughts; he has gained a certain degree of strength, and does not hesitate at every answer which he has to give; giddiness and distraction, so common to young children, he has nearly conquered, and thus he amply rewards the patience and judicious kindness which have successfully developed his early powers.
These exercises are not intended to be regularly gone through, to be followed blindly, or administered mechanically, but are merely given as hints to Parents how they may profitably direct the attention of children *.
The little ones should not only be allowed,
* As the Mother is entrusted by Providence with the government of her children during their tender years, the mind ought to be no less her care than the body.—Lord Kaimcs.
but encouraged, on all occasions, to ask for explanation of every word, and of every sentiment, not perfectly understood: they should have liberty to state the impression produced upon their minds and feelings by persons and things.
Let Mothers particularly attend to this suggestion; not only because such permission will create a desire* for instruction, and because it will afford opportunities of correcting such ideas as may be erroneous, and of confirming such as are just, but because in the domestic circle alone can this privilege be enjoyed.
The system of education, to which children are generally subjected, upon leaving the parental roof, does not often admit of the least interruption of the regular lesson, however ignorant the children may feel of the meaning of what they are required to pronounce, and to treasure in their memory as a
* The business of an instructor is not so much to teach a child all that is knowable, as to raise in him a love and esteem of knowledge, and to put him in the right way of knowing and improving himself when he has a mind to it.— Locke.