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dustry must be implied in the successful attainments of a wise man, and industry is one great fundamental check to temptation and to the suggestions of vice.
The passions, then, are good. Emulation springs from passion. Enthusiasm grows from passion. Genius lives in enthusiasm ; and acts of wisdom, virtue, heroism, magnanimity, and religious zeal, with excellence in science and art, which together form one glorious mass of religious and earthly example; all spring from enthusiam, The regular passions we repeat, are noble, but their excesses -are what we should dread and start from in horror.
THE PASSIONS OF INFANCY.
THAT WHICH HATH BEEN IS NOW.”
The infant, then, in looking round, as its frame strengthens, seems to gaze with surprise on every object which it meets with. Next to the expression of surprise arises admiration ; from admiration grows curiosity; curiosity is followed by desire or wishfulness. The consequence of desire gratified, is experience. From experience spring joy and love, fear or disgust, and sorrow.
To exemplify this gradual development, let us imagine a child of six months old in the arms of its nurse; it is carried by her into a light and shewy
room, or is seated on her lap by a glittering teatable. It immediately gazes round in surprise, the jittle hand is spread open, the eye expands, and wanders from object to object, always inclining most to rest on that which is animated or set in motion by art or accident; the head is elevated, and the lips are severed, but in profound silence. Presently the countenance assumes less of intensity : the eye parkles, a half smile plays on the lip, and discovers admiration. The manner now changes ; a little murmur, the extension of both arms, a quick movement of the feet and general impatience, shew curiosity : curiosity to listen, to inquire, to touch. Curiosity grows into desire ; an interrupted half angry cry and more eager gestures sufficiently mark the progress which emotion has made. Some ready hand is now prepared to give the child one from among the desired objects; this is, perhaps, a spoon, a cup, or a bit of china, by which some sort of noisy jingle is produced, and the faculties of hearing, seeing, and feeling are soothed; this to an infant is joy; joy springing from experience.
But let us suppose that water was the object of the infant's particular attraction; that the nurse incautiously suffered it to plunge its little fingers into à cup which was glistening through the steam of the hot fuid. The child is pained, withdraws its hand, and bursts into a fit of crying ; experience then brings sorrow.
The same child is attracted by a handsome cat, is allowed to touch her; unconsciously puts its finger into her eye, or strokes her too hard; the animal
11: turns, lifts
up her foot, and sheathes her claw in the tender flesh; screams and tears indicate sorrow, and the clinging to the nurse's neck discovers fear : and this too is the result of experience. .. But desire has another source, and one of great power.'. This is want ; and want is an acknowledgment of our dependance on the universal law, self, preservation.
Want is of two sorts, natural and artificial; these should be followed by moderation of enjoyment and restraint, which will produce submission to the dictates of religion and virtue, and open a way for the gradual practice of duty to God and man.
Such a knowledge is the very essence of good principles; and principles, good or bad, form a corresponding character.
Curiosity and desire are, then, the main springs to action during infancy, and in the judicious gratification or restraint of them consists much of the important art of early education. Let us further consider both; and first, to begin with curiosity.
Were man never impelled by this feeling, he would be lower than brutes; for a brute can turn out of his way from the right to the left, to look and examine, even when his appetite is satisfied, which is a proof that he does, in however small a degree, share so noble an impulse. But it happens that curiosity enters largely into the human composition, and from the smallest workings of reason in its dawn, grows into that mentai hunger, which increases in proportion
it is fed; which leads childhood on from elements to principle; urges youth from principle to art; im
pels forward maturity from art to science; and having encouraged the human mind in its intense search through different systems, forsakes not decrepitude till it is bowed down to the grave, and stands upon eternity.
I have already noticed the manner in which curiosity first shews itself in infants. The disposition to handle and examine is often most injudiciously checked by hastiness, inattention, or idleness in the attendant ; and hence one cause of impatience or fretfulness in the infant, which desired to exercise its powers. On the other hand, in the unguarded license of it is often the origin of odious faults which afterwards appear, and for which we can in no way allege any satisfactory reason. Let me give an instance of my meaning.
An infant will stretch out its hand towards a lighted candle with as much eagerness as to a piece of red sealing-wax; both are very attractive. A wine-glass is as pretty looking as a tea-spoon; and a tea-cup is quite as fine as two or three old keys tied together. Now it so happens, perhaps, that the mother or nursery-maid who is holding the child is a little wearied with the exertion of trying to damp its ardour, or check its efforts to reach or possess something it sees. The child is irritated by desiring in vain. The mother is possibly conversing with somebody, or engaged in thinking; at all events, she is not attending to the demands of the infant; presently it cries and leans forward again. “My dear child,” she observes, look. ing in its face, and in a tone of weariness, “what do you want ? there, let me see; a tea-cup ? well, hold it, but mind, do not break it: now hush, be quiet."?
The conversation goes on, or the train of thought is pursued. In a few minutes the infant seizes the keys and dashes them against the cup, which is broken and falls to the ground. The mother is then roused. Vexation, impatience, or anger darkens her countenance. The child starts, looks up, and instantly perceives the change. “Oh my dear child, low naughty it was to break the cup! Naughty child !" is the exclamation perhaps; but assuredly whether there is or is not a forbearance in words, there is no restraint over the countenance, and as the infant always turns to the face for its doom, tears and fright follow. The mother is now conscious that the blame belongs to herself: she immediately kisses the babe, and by way of consoling it for her own carelessness and injustice, may even offer it again another cup.
Now when a child of six, eight, or ten months has been so treated, let us very narrowly observe his own countenance. Are not wonder, perplexity, and confusion, expressed in every little feature, with something of the triumph of human nature in gaining a cause, however bad? As the child is first im, properly indulged by the parent; then reproved for an accident of which he was not conscious ; then caressed for shewing sorrow; and then indulged again in the same way; may we not throughout his little action discover the gradual operations of reason and consciousness begin and end in confusion ? For when the object once forbidden was received e second time, it was accepted with timidity and fear; the young eye looked incredulous on the object, from that to the giver, then back again several times,