A PLAN FOR THE CONDUCT OF FEMALE EDUCATION.
SECTION I. THE FEMALE CHARACTER.
THE PARENTS and guardians of young ladies of the last half century were less solicitous about procuring for them so extensive an education, as modern refine∣ment requires. Hence it happens, that female education has not yet been reduced to a perfect system; but is frequently di∣rected by those, who have not themselves had a good education, or who have not stu∣died the subject with sufficient attention. And tho' many ingenious remarks are to be Page 10found in the works of Locke, Rousseau, Genlis, and other writers still more mo∣dern; yet few of them are exactly appli∣cable to the management of boarding schools; the improvement of which is the intent of the present treatise.
The advantages of a good education consist in uniting health and agility of bo∣dy with cheerfulness and activity of mind; in superadding graceful movements to the former, and agreeable tastes to the latter; and in the acquirement of the rudiments of such arts and sciences, as may amuse our∣selves, or gain us the esteem of others; with a strict attention to the culture of mo∣rality and religion.
The female character should possess the mild and retiring virtues rather than the bold and dazzling ones; great eminence in almost any thing is sometimes injurious to a young lady; whose temper and disposi∣tion should appear to be pliant rather than Page 11robust; to be ready to take impressions ra∣ther than to be decidedly marked; as great apparent strength of character, however excellent, is liable to alarm both her own and the other sex; and to create admira∣tion rather than affection.
There are however situations in single life; in which, after the completion of their school-education, ladies may culti∣vate to any extent the fine arts or the sci∣ences for their amusement or instruction. And there are situations in a married state; which may call forth all the energies of the mind in the care, education, or pro∣vision, for a family; which the inactivity, folly, or death of a husband may render ne∣cessary. Hence if to softness of manners, complacency of countenance, gentle un∣hurried motion, with a voice clear and yet tender, the charms which enchant all hearts! can be superadded internal strength and activity of mind, capable to transact the business or combat the evils of life; Page 12with a due sense of moral and religious obligation; all is obtained, which education can supply; the female character becomes complete, excites our love, and commands our admiration.
Education should draw the outline, and teach the use of the pencil; but the exertions of the individual must afterwards introduce the various gradations of shade and colour, must illuminate the landscape, and fill it with the beautiful figures of the Graces and the Virtues.
SECTION II. MUSIC AND DANCING
ARE generally taught by masters, who profess those arts; concerning which we shall only observe, that they are fre∣quently believed to be of too great impor∣tance in female education; and on that ac∣count that too much time is expended on their acquirement. It is perhaps more desirable, that young ladies should play, sing, and dance, only so well as to amuse themselves and their friends, than to prac∣tise those arts in so eminent a degree as to astonish the public; because a great appa∣rent attention to trivial accomplishments is liable to give a suspicion, that more va∣luable acquisitions have been neglected. And, as they consist in an exhibition of the person, they are liable to be attended with vanity, and to extinguish the blush of youthful timidity; which is in young ladies the most powerful of their exterior charms.
Page 14 Such masters should be chosen to in∣struct young ladies in these accomplish∣ments, as are not only well qualified to sing and play, or to dance themselves; but also who can teach with good temper and genteel behaviour: they should recollect, that vulgar manners, with the sharp ges∣tures of anger, and its disagreeable tones of voice, are unpardonable in those, who profess to teach graceful motion, and me∣lodious expression; and may affect the taste and temper of their pupils, so as to be more injurious to their education; than any thing, which they are able to teach them, can counterbalance.
SECTION III. READING.
AS reading is as much a language to the eye, as speaking is to the ear; it re∣quires much time and labour for children to acquire both these languages. Such books should therefore be put into their hands, as join amusement with instruction, and thus lighten the fatigue of continued application, as Sandford and Merton, Pa∣rent's assistant, Evenings at home, and ma∣ny others.
In learning to read aloud, a clear and distinct enunciation is seldom acquired at schools; which is owing to the child stand∣ing close to the teacher, who looks over the book along with it; and hence the pupil finds no difficulty in being understood, even when she pronounces only half words. This however is easily remedied by placing the reader at the distance of Page 16two yards or more from the hearer; then the young scholar soon finds, that she is not understood, unless she expresses her∣self with clear articulation. For this pur∣pose the teacher should always be provided with a duplicate of the book, she teaches; that she may not be necessitated to look over the shoulder of her pupil.
As the young scholars advance in the knowledge of language, other books must be taught them both in prose and poetry; such as may improve their minds in the knowledge of things, in morality, religion, or which may form their taste. A great number of books for the use of children has been published in late years; many of them by very ingenious writers, and well adapted to the purpose designed, of such of these, as have come to my knowledge, a catalogue shall be given at the end of this treatise.
SECTION. IV. WRITING.
WRITING, as it keeps the body in a fixed posture, as well as drawing, and needlework, should not be too long appli∣ed to at a time; since the body, and even the countenance, may thus get a certain tendency to one attitude; as is seen in children, who are brought up to some me∣chanic art, as in polishing buttons or pre∣cious stones on a lathe. A proper manner of holding the pen, or pencil, or needle, with an easy but graceful attitude of the person, and an agreeable moderate atten∣tion of the countenance, should first be taught; for which purposes an inclined desk has many advantages over an horizon∣tal table for the books, or working frames; as the body is thence less bent forwards; and the light in general situations more vi∣vidly reflected to the eye.
Page 18 If the desk be sixteen inches broad, the furthermost edge of it should rise about three inches and half from the horizontal line; which produces the most convenient inclination, and the table or frame, which supports it, for the use of the taller chil∣dren, should rise about two feet eight inch∣es from the ground.
SECTION V. GRAMMAR,
WHICH is an abstract science teaching the texture of language, is too hard for very young minds; and is there∣fore generally taught too early: and the same may be said of Arithmetic. The English grammars in general use at schools are both tedious and defective composi∣tions; an epitome, or extract, from Lowth's grammar, with the late improvements of Mr. Horne Tooke in the theory of lan∣guage, would well supply this branch of knowledge; and might be given to the public under the name of a "rational English grammar."
Mrs. Devis has published a small and useful rudiment of grammar purposely for the use of young ladies: which may be taught as an introduction to Lowth's grammar. The Abbe Gaultier's Jeu de Page 20Grammaire may perhaps be rendered a∣musing to children, and convey to them ideas of the French grammar.
SECTION VI. LANGUAGES.
THE necessity of learning some an∣tient or foreign languages imposes a labori∣ous task on the youth of both sexes; which consumes years of their precious time, which might otherwise be employed in the acquisition of sciences. The difficulty of obtaining a competent knowledge of the Greek or Latin language is many times greater than that of obtaining any modern one; as may be deduced from the innu∣merable changes of the termination of their nouns, adjectives, and verbs; which to a beginner are all so many new words. And as the works of the best writers in these languages have been translated into our own, it is less necessary in the education of ladies to expend so much time and la∣bour in acquiring them. But as the French and Italian are less difficult to learn, and contain new books of taste and knowledge, Page 22which are yearly published in this age of literature; and as they are convenient for conversing with foreigners, who come hither, or in our travelling into other countries; and lastly, as they are agree∣able as well as fashionable studies; the pupils of boarding schools should be en∣couraged to attain one or both of them.
The method recommended by Mr. Locke in his treatise on education, sect. 162, of teaching languages by conversa∣tion, will on trial be generally found suc∣cessful in respect to modern languages with even the youngest children. Never∣theless a knowledge of grammar should afterwards be taught with care, if the child be too young at first to attend to it; for without the aid of grammar not only the French or Italian languages, but even the English will not always be spoken or writ∣ten with perfect accuracy.
For this purpose of acquiring modern languages by conversation, a school gene∣rally Page 23supplies better opportunities than a private family, besides the advantage of some degree of emulation, which frequent∣ly exists, where children converse to∣gether: another advantage of infantine so∣ciety is, that they learn many other things, as well as languages, by repeating them to each other; and obtain, what is seldom to be acquired from adult companions, some knowledge of physiognomy; as the passions of children are more legibly expressed on their countenances than at a maturer age. This knowledge of physiognomy, which is perhaps only to be acquired at schools, by giving a promptitude of understanding the present approbation or dislike, and the good or bad designs, of those whom we con∣verse with, becomes of hourly use in al∣most every department of life.
SECTION VII. ARITHMETIC
LIKE grammar is an abstract science, which is frequently attempted to be taught too early; at the same time it may be ob∣served, that the early initiation of most children into card playing before they come to school, by giving clear and visible ideas of the ten first numerals, seems greatly to facilitate their acquirement of arithmetic; and if this fashionable amusement could be so managed by the parents, who allow it to their children, as not to excite a desire of gain along with a contest of ingenuity, it might be rendered, in some measure, ad∣vantageous by exciting the mind to activi∣ty in this branch of science; but in never∣theless not proper to be used in schools, where its effects on the passions cannot be sufficiently watched, and counteracted.
So much of the science of numbers as is in common use, as the numeration, sub∣traction, Page 25multiplication, and division of money, should be learnt with accuracy; to which should be added the rule of three, and decimal fractions; which will abun∣dantly repay the labour of acquiring them by the pleasure and utility, which will per∣petually result from the knowledge of them thro' life. The higher parts of arithme∣tic, as algebra and fluxions, belong to the abstruser sciences.
There are many introductory books to the science of arithmetic; those I have heard most recommended are Vise's tutor's guide, Hutton's practical arithmetic, and Wingate's arithmetic; but it is probable, that most of the introductory treatises to a∣rithmetic must be nearly of equal excel∣lence.
SECTION VIII. GEOGRAPHY.
SO much of this science, as depends only on memory, may be taught to chil∣dren in their early years. They should be taught to point out on large maps the counties of England, and then the prin∣cipal divisions of Europe, and of the other quarters of the world; and lastly to trace out the principal rivers and mountains, which ingrave or imboss its surface, which is much to be preferred to dissected maps; as it is the situations, rather than the exact forms of counties and of countries, which should be attended to. Afterwards the use of the globes should be explained; and some short outline of astronomy ought to accompany these lectures.
A compendious system of geography on cards, published by Mr. Newberry, in St. Paul's church yard, supplies a very con∣venient Page 27method of instructing children. Other geographical cards by Bowles, tho' they only mention the latitude and longi∣tude of important places, may also be used with advantage. The maps, published by Mr. Faden, which have blank outlines to be filled up by the student, are well de∣signed, and not very expensive. The Ab∣be Gaultier's cours de Geographie formed into a game may, like his game at gram∣mar, be rendered amusing to children, and are tolerably well adapted both to pri∣vate families, where there are but few pu∣pils, and to public seminaries of in∣struction.
Fairman's geography, a small octavo sold by Johnson, contains a short account of the planets, and use of the globes. Brooks' gazetteer is an useful work; and some other good geographical publications are mentioned in the catalogue of books at the end of this work.
SECTION IX. HISTORY.
THE history of mankind is connect∣ed with the knowledge of the earth, which they cultivate. A summary of the history of England should precede that of other nations, as it may be more interesting, and more easily comprehended by English children. Afterwards an abridgment of the history of other nations both antient and modern may be collected from various writers, but are some of them already made concise and agreeable by Dr. Goldsmith in his histories of Greece and Rome, as well as of England and Scotland; which how∣ever cannot be well remembered without a previous knowledge of geography, or by consulting maps with every change of place in the account of transactions.
Afterwards a brief, but correct know∣ledge of history still more ancient, and of Page 29chronology, comprehending the four great empires of the world, with the rise of the present kingdoms of Europe from the fall of the last, may be acquired according to the plan of Mrs. Chapone in her letters on the improvement of the mind. This out∣line of history and chronology may be rea∣dily and agreeably learned from Priestley's chart of history; which with his chart of biography should hang amongst a collec∣tion of large well-coloured maps in the parlour of a boarding school, that they may frequently encounter the eyes of the young students.
SECTION X. NATURAL HISTORY.
THE history of the various other animals is also connected with our know∣ledge of the various parts of the earth, which they inhabit. This is termed na∣tural history, and may be taught to chil∣dren earlier than the histories of mankind, as being easier to their comprehensions, and thence more interesting and agreeable to them. Dr. Goldsmith in his history of animated nature has also made this part of knowledge of easy access; and Mr. Bew∣ick's account of quadrupedes, with wood∣prints of the animals, and amusing tale∣pieces to the sections, are quite charming to children. To these should be added a treatise on birds, with the scientific names admirably adapted for the use of schools by Mr. Galton, published by Johnson in St. Paul's church yard, London, in three small volumes. And besides these, children Page 31should be permitted occasionally to inspect the collections of foreign animals, which are frequently exhibited in this country; as an examination of the objects themselves conveys clearer ideas than prints and de∣scriptions, and at the same time adds to their knowledge, and gratifies their cu∣riosity.
SECTION XI. THE RUDIMENTS OF TASTE
ARE too much neglected in most boarding schools; these should be taught with some care, as perhaps peculiarly be∣longing to Ladies; since taste enters into their dress, their motions, their manners, as well as into all the fine arts, which they have leisure to cultivate: as drawing, paint∣ing, modelling, making artificial flowers, embroidery; writing letters, reading, speak∣ing, and into almost every circumstance of life.
The general rudiments of taste are to be acquired first by reading books, which treat professedly on the subject; as the ten papers by Mr. Addison on the power of imagination in the Spectator, vol. 6, No. 411; Akinside's pleasures of imagination; Burke on the sublime and beautiful; Ho∣garth's analysis of beauty; Mason's English Page 33garden; Wheatley's ornamental garden∣ing; and Gilpin's picturesque views. Se∣condly by selecting and explaining admir∣ed passages from classical authors, as the Beauties of Shakespeare, of Johnson, and of Sterne. And lastly, by exhibiting and explaining the prints of beautiful objects, or casts of the best antique gems and me∣dallions.
The authors above mentioned have di∣vided the objects of Taste into the sub∣lime, the beautiful, and the new; but a new sect of inquirers into this subject have lately added the Picturesque; which is supposed to differ from the beautiful by its want of smoothness, and from the sublime from its want of size; but this circumstance has not yet perhaps undergone sufficient examination.—See essay on Picturesque, by U. Price.
Others have endeavoured to make a distinction between beauty and grace; and Page 34have esteemed them, as it were, rivals for the possession of the human heart. But Grace may be defined Beauty in action; for a sleeping beauty can not be called graceful, in whatever attitude she may re∣cline; the muscles must be in action to pro∣duce a graceful attitude, and the limbs to produce a graceful motion. The suppos∣ed origin of our ideas of beauty acquired in our early infancy from the curved lines, which form the female bosom, is deliver∣ed in Zoonomia, vol. I. sect. xvi. 6; but is too metaphysical an investigation for young ladies.
SECTION XII. DRAWING AND EMBROIDERY.
DRAWING as an elegant art be∣longs to the education of young ladies, and greatly facilitates the acquirement of Taste. As this is generally taught by masters, who profess it, I shall only observe, that tho' as an art it consists of deceiving the eye, yet as a science it is capable of producing to the mind the most sublime and beautiful images, or the most interesting scenes of life, for our amusement, admiration, or in∣struction.
The same observation applies to Em∣broidery, which is painting with the needle instead of the pencil, and seems to have been a fashionable employment of ladies of the highest rank in the early ages of the world. As the ladies in polite life have frequently much leisure time at their dis∣posal, it is wise for them to learn many Page 36elegant as well as useful arts in their early years; which they may afterward cultivate for their amusement; and thus deprive solitude of irksomeness: And by being able to entertain themselves, they may be less solicitous to enter the circles of dissi∣pation, and depend less for happiness on the caprice of others.
Besides the amusement or accomplish∣ment of possessing the talent of drawing, there is another advantage resulting from it; which consists in using the pencil as a language to express the forms of all visible objects, as of flowers, machines, houses, landscapes; which can not in words alone be conveyed to others with sufficient accu∣racy: For this end it may be sufficient to draw in outlines alone the figures of na∣tural things, without expending so much time on this art, as is requisite to enable the learner to add the nice touches, which form the delicate gradations of shade and colour.
Page 37 It may be supposed, that some know∣ledge of the science of perspective should be previously acquired for the purpose of drawing the outlines of objects; but I sus∣pect, that this is not always necessary, since at our learning to see; before we have compared the ideas received by the sense of sight with those received by that of touch; any object placed before our eyes, as suppose the face of a companion, must appear a flat coloured or shaded surface, and not a solid substance covered with emi∣nences and depressions; as is so well proved by Bishop Berkley in his theory of vision. Hence if any one could so far unlearn the language of sight as to imagine the face of his companion to be a flat co∣loured surface only, (as it is really seen) he would draw from nature as easily and exactly, as if he was copying a picture, as the inequalities would appear lights and shades; and he would thus be enabled to take the likeness with much greater facili∣ty and accuracy without the aid of the rules of perspective.
SECTION XIII. THE HEATHEN MYTHOLOGY
IS connected with the study of taste, and should therefore be taught in boarding schools; as without some knowledge of it the works of the painters, statuarists, and poets, both antient and modern, can not be understood. But as a great part of this mythology consists of personified vices, much care should be taken in female schools, as well as in male ones, to prevent any bad impressions, which might be made on the mind by this kind of erudition; this is to be accomplished by explaining the allegorical meaning of many of these supposed actions of heathen deities, and by shewing that they are at present used only as emblems of certain powers, as Mi∣nerva of wisdom, and Bellona of war, and thus constitute the language of painters; and are indeed almost the whole language which that art possesses, besides the delinea∣tion of visible objects in rest or in action.
Page 39 These emblems however are not to be so easily acquired by descriptions alone, nor so easily remembered by young pupils; as when prints of antique statues, or me∣dallions, or when cameos, or impressions of antique gems, are at the same time shewn and explained to them. For this purpose the prints of Spence's Polymetis may be exhibited and explained; from which Bell's pantheon is principally ta∣ken: And Dannet's dictionary of mytho∣logy, originally written in French, may be occasionally consulted; and the notes on Mr. Pope's translations of Homer.
There is also a little book intitled, "Instructions sur les Metamorphoses, par M. Le Ragois," which, I am informed is an useful and unexceptionable work for this purpose, containing a kind of summa∣ry of each story of fabulous mythology: to which may be added a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, published by Garth; which I am told, is the 〈…〉Page 40work. Much agreeable knowledge of this kind is to be found in Byrant's mythology; Abbe de Pluche's history of the heavens; Warburton's essay on Eleusinian mysteries; to which I beg leave to add the descrip∣tion of the Portland vase in the notes to the first volume of the Botanic garden.
SECTION XIV. POLITE LITERATURE
MAY be divided into dissertations, plays, romances, poems; each of which, if the works are properly selected, may af∣ford amusement and instruction to young persons; of some of the books of each of these classes of literature a catalogue will be given at the end of the work.
Such dissertations, as have been gene∣rally admired, may be selected from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, the World, the Rambler, Adventurer, Looker-on, besides many others.
Plays are of three kinds, tragical, sen∣timental, and humourous; of the first, Addison's Cato has been long admired; and the tragedies of Thompson consist of fine language. Of the second kind Cumber∣land's comedies are instances; and of the Page 42third Sheridan's comedies; some of which are entertaining and inoffensive, and may be read by young ladies without injury to their morals, or much outrage to their feelings.
There are many plays, which are bet∣ter seen as exhibited on the stage, than as read in the closet; because the objectiona∣ble passages are generally omitted in the representation. But whether young la∣dies should be taught to act plays them∣selves, as is done at some boy's schools, is a matter of doubt. The danger consists in this, lest the acquisition of bolder ac∣tion, and a more elevated voice, should an∣nihilate that retiring modesty, and blush∣ing embarrassment, to which young ladies owe one of their most powerful external charms.
If young ladies act plays amongst them∣selves only, or without admitting more than two or three of their friends or pa∣rents; Page 43or if they repeat chosen scenes of plays, or speeches only, much of the above objection ceases, and some advantages may result to their attitudes or enunciation. Madam de Genlis' Theatre d'Education affords the least exceptionable whole plays, with the sacred dramas of Miss Moore, and of Metastasio.
3. Novels or romances may be divid∣ed into the serious, the humourous, and the amorous. Of these, the last should be intirely interdicted; but the first, when well managed, may convey instruction in the most agreeable and forcible manner: Such as Mr. Day's Sandford and Merton. The Children's Friend. Tales of the Cas∣tle. Robinson Crusoe. Edward, by the author of Zelucco. And to these may be added some other modern novels, the pro∣ductions of ingenious ladies, which are I believe less objectionable than many others; as the Evelina, Cecilia, and Ca∣milla of Miss Burney. The Emmeline Page 44and Ethelinda of Charlotte Smith; Inch∣bald's simple story; Mrs. Brook's Emily Montague; and the female Quixote; all which I have here introduced from the character given to me of them by a very ingenious lady; not having myself read them with sufficient attention. And last∣ly, the humorous novels, which are not written to inflame the passions, convey in∣struction, as far as they are imitations of real life: Of these are Le Sage's famous novel of Gil Blas; and Fielding's Tom Jones; neither of which however are pro∣per books for young readers.
There are many, who condemn the use of novels altogether; but what are epic po∣ems but novels in verse?—It is difficult to draw the line of limit between novels, and other works of imagination; unless the word novel be confined to mean only the romances of love and chivalry.
It is true indeed, that almost all novels, as well as plays, and epic poems, have some Page 45exceptional passages to be found in them; which might therefore be expunged, be∣fore they are allowed to be read by young ladies. But are young women therefore to be kept in intire ignorance of mankind, with whom they must shortly associate, and from whom they are frequently to choose a partner for life? This would be making them the slaves rather than the companions of men, like the Sultanas of a Turkish Seraglio. And how can young women, who are secluded from the other sex from their infancy, form any judgment of men, if they are not to be assisted by such books, as delineate manners?—A lady of fortune, who was persuaded by her guar∣dian to marry a disagreeable and selfish man, speaking to her friend of the ill humour of her husband, lamented, that she had been prohibited from reading novels.
Page 46 We must however observe, that novels are perhaps more objectionable in schools than in private education; as the com∣ments of one bad mind may be dangerous to the whole community: And as they are more amusing to young people than any other books, if read too early, they may give a distaste to more useful knowledge; which are good reasons for the total prohi∣bition of them in schools: And in private education, lest a preference of fiction to truth should be thus instilled, the ridicu∣lous passages, with which even the best no∣vels abound, should be carefully pointed out by a friend or governess: with their exaggerations, improbabilities, and fre∣quent deviations from nature.
There are indeed few books, which delineate manners, whether in prose or poetry, however well chosen, which have not some objectionable passages in them. In reading the fables of Esop, Mr. Rousseau well observes, that the effect Page 47on the mind may frequently be totally dif∣ferent from that designed by the author; as in the fable where the fox flatters the crow, and gains the piece of cheese, the moral was designed to shew the folly of at∣tending to flatterers; but may equally be supposed to applaud the cunning of the fox or flatterer, who is rewarded. In the popular narrative of Robinson Crusoe a childish superstition concerning intima∣tions of future events, somewhat like the second sight of the highlands of Scotland, is frequently inculcated; and the use of rum or brandy is proposed as an infallible cure in all maladies; which however I am told is corrected in the new Robinson Crusoe.
Pamela, and Joseph Andrews, and Cla∣rissa Harlow, are recommended by Ma∣dame de Genlis, and by Mrs. Macawley.— Madame de Genlis in a note in one of her works gives her reason for recommending Richardson's novels; because his heroines Page 48retain a more considerable degree of com∣mand over their affections than those of apparently less exceptionable romances. In this respect a novel called "Plain Sense," lately published by Lane, and written by an ingenious Cheshire lady, claims the preference to all others, and ap∣pears to me to carry this idea to excess.
The works of Richardson are never∣theless not only too voluminous, and thence would consume too much time, which might be better employed in schools: but in these, and even in Mr. Pope's rape of the lock, and his Eloisa to Abelard, many objectionable passages of another kind may be discovered. If these passages, from which so few books are totally exempt, were expunged, it might raise curiosity, and induce young people to examine dif∣ferent copies of the same work, and to seek for other improper books themselves; it is therefore perhaps better, when these books are read to a governess, that Page 49she should express disapprobation in a plain and quiet way, of such passages, ra∣ther than to expunge them; which would give a feeling of dislike to the pupil, and confirm her delicacy, rather than give im∣purity to her ideas.
Much therefore depends on the con∣duct of the governess in this respect, so long as they are under the eye of a judi∣cious monitor, no real harm could proba∣bly arise from their seeing human nature in all the classes of life, not only as it should be, or as it may be imagined to be, but as it really exists, since without comparison there can be no judgment, and consequent∣ly no real knowledge.
It must nevertheless be observed, that the excessive study of novels is universally an ill employment at any time of life; not only because such readers are liable to ac∣quire a romantic taste; and to return from the flowery scenes of fiction to the com∣mon Page 50duties of life with a degree of regret; but because the high-wrought scenes of elegant distress displayed in novels have been found to blunt the feelings of such readers towards real objects of misery; which awaken only disgust in their minds instead of sentiments of pity or benevo∣lence.
4. The works of the poets, as well as those of the writers of novels, require to be selected with great caution. The same may be said of painting, sculpture, and music; which by delighting the imagina∣tion influence the judgment, and may thence be employed either to good or bad purposes: But as poetry, when thus select∣ed, like painting, sculpture, and music, its rival sisters, is an object of refined taste, and affords an elegant amusement at least, it so far belongs to the education of young ladies.
Gay's fables, Thomson's seasons, Gis∣borne's walk in a forest, are proper for the Page 51younger classes of pupils; afterwards Pope's Ethic epistles, and essay on man, Gold-smith's poems, Akinside, Mason, Gray, and others, which are enumerated in the catalogue. I forbear to mention the Bo∣tanic garden; as some ladies have intimat∣ed to me, that the Loves of the plants are described in too glowing colours; but as the descriptions are in general of female forms in graceful attitudes, the objection is less forcible in respect to female readers. And besides the celebrated poets of our own country, as Milton and Shakespeare, tran∣slations from the antients, as from Homer and Virgil; and from the more modern poems of Tasso, and Camoens, may be read with pleasure and improvement, tho' some objectionable passages may perhaps be found in all of them.
5. For the purpose of forming a style in writing, a few well-chosen books should be read often over; till the ear acquires, as it were, the musick of the sentences; Page 52and the imagination is thus enabled to co∣py it in our own compositions; such as those papers of the Spectator, which are ascribed to Addison, and are terminated with a capital letter of the word Clio; or some of Lady Wortley Montague's letters from Turkey; or other works of chaste, distinct, and expressive style, not overload∣ed with metaphors, which with superabun∣dance of ornament injure perspicuity.
But for other purposes of education it is perhaps better to teach young people select parts of many books, than a few en∣tire ones; not only because the pupils will thus be acquainted with more authors in fashionable literature; but because the business of polite education is to give the outlines of many species of erudition, or branches of knowledge; which the young ladies may cultivate further at their future leisure without the assistance of a teacher, as may best suit their tastes or their situa∣tions.
Page 53 I cannot conclude this section on po∣lite learning without mentioning, that some illiterate men have condemned the cultivation of the minds of the female sex, and have called such in ridicule learned ladies; as if it was a reproach to render themselves agreeable and useful. Where affectation is joined with learning, it be∣comes pedantry, but this belongs oftener to the ignorant than to the cultivated; as is so well elucidated in "Letters to literary ladies," a small duodecimo published by Johnson, and written by one of the inge∣nious family of E—in Ireland.
SECTION XV. ARTS AND SCIENCES.
BESIDES the acquisition of gram∣mar, languages, and common arithmetic; and besides a knowledge of geography, ci∣vil history, and natural history, there are other sciences, an outline of which might be taught to young ladies of the higher classes of the school, or of more inquiring minds, before or after they leave school; which might not only afford them present amusement, but might enable them at any future time to prosecute any of them fur∣ther, if inclination and opportunity should coincide; and, by enlarging their sphere of taste and knowledge, would occasion them to be interested in the conversation of a greater number and of more ingenious men, and to interest them by their own conversation in return.
1. An outline of Botany may be learnt from Lee's introduction to botany, and Page 55from the translations of the works of Lin∣naeus by a society at Lichfield; to which might be added Curtis's botanical maga∣zine, which is a beautiful work, and of no great expence. But there is a new treatise introductory to botany called Botanic dia∣logues for the use of schools, well adapted to this purpose, written by M. E. Jacson, a lady well skilled in botany, and publish∣ed by Johnson, London. And lastly I shall not forbear to mention, that the philo∣sophical part of botany may be agreeably learnt from the notes to the second volume of the Botanic garden, whether the poetry be read or not.
2. An outline of Chemistry, which surprizes and enchants us, may be learnt from the Elements of chemistry by La∣voisier, originally published in French; to which may be added a small work of Fourcroy called the philosophy of Chemis∣try. The former of these illustrious che∣mists perished by the guillotine, an irre∣parable loss to science and to mankind!
Page 56 The acquirement of Chemistry should be preceded by a sketch of Mineralogy; which is not only an interesting branch of science, as it teaches the knowledge of dia∣monds and precious stones, and of the va∣rious mines of metals, coals, and salt; but because it explains also the difference of soils, and is thus concerned in the theory and practice of agriculture: But there is at present no proper introductory book, that I know of, on this subject for the use of children; as Cronstedt's and Bergman's, and Kirwan's mineralogy are too exact and prolix; nor could be well understood with∣out a small collection of fossils.
3. An outline of the sciences, to which Mathematics have generally been applied, as of astronomy, mechanics, hydrostatics, and optics, with the curious addition of electricity and magnetism, may best be ac∣quired by attending the lectures in experi∣mental philosophy, which are occasion∣ally exhibited by itinerant philosophers; Page 57and which have almost exclusively acquir∣ed the name of natural philosophy.
The books in common use for teaching these sciences are too difficult and abstruse for the study of young persons. Some parts of natural philosophy are rendered not unentertaining in the notes of the first volume of the Botanic garden, as the the∣ory of meteors, and of winds; and an ac∣count of the strata of the earth; which nevertheless require too much attention for very young ladies; but may be read with pleasure after leaving school by those, who possess inquiring minds. It is to be wished that some writer of juvenile books would endeavour easily to explain the structure and use of the barometer, and thermometer, and of clocks and watches, which supply a part of the furniture of our houses, and of our pockets.
4. In the same manner the various arts and manufactories, which adorn and Page 58enrich this country, should occasionally be shewn and explained to young persons, as so many ingenious parts of experimental philosophy; as well as from their imme∣diately contributing to the convenience of life, and to the wealth of the nations, which have invented or established them. Of these are the cotton works on the river Derwent in Derbyshire; the potteries in Staffordshire; the iron-founderies of Coal∣brooke Dale in Shropshire; the manufac∣tories of Birmingham, Manchester, Not∣tingham; but these are not in the province of a boarding school, but might be advan∣tageously exhibited to young ladies by their parents in the summer vacations.
5. In this section of arts and sciences it may be proper to mention the art of producing a technical memory invented by Mr. Gray; which may be readily ac∣quired by consulting his book, and may perhaps be of advantage in remembering dates or numbers; as they are expressed Page 59by letters, and formed into words. This work I attended to in my youth, but found it an amusing trick, rather than an useful art.
6. The art of writing Short-hand, which is said to be of English invention, should also be mentioned in this place. The book I learned this art from was pub∣lished by Gurney, and said to be an im∣provement on Mason; other treatises of short-hand I have also examined, but found them all nearly of equal excellence. I can only add, that many volumes, which I wrote from medical lectures, I now find difficult to decypher; and that as the words in short-hand are spelt from their sound only; those scholars, who practise this art early in life, are liable not afterwards to spell our language correctly; and lastly, that I believe, this art is still capable of improvement by first forming a more ac∣curate alphabet, than that in common use among all European nations.
Page 60 7. This section on arts and sciences may perhaps be thought to include more branches of them, than is necessary for fe∣male erudition. But as in male education the tedicus acquirement of antient lan∣guages for the purpose of studying poetry and oratory is gradually giving way to the more useful cultivation of modern sciences, it may be of advantage to ladies of the ris∣ing generation to acquire an outline of si∣milar knowledge; as they are in future life to become companions; and one of the greatest pleasures received in conversation consists in being reciprocally well under∣stood. Botany is already a fashionable study for ladies; and chemistry is ingeniously re∣commended to them in the Letters to lite∣rary ladies.
SECTION XVI. MORALS.
THE criterion of moral duties has been variously delivered by different wri∣ters: Expediency, by which is meant whatever increases the sum of public hap∣piness, is by some called the criterion of virtue; and whatever diminishes that sum is termed vice. By others the happiness or misery of the individual, if rightly un∣derstood, is said to be the bond of moral obligation. And lastly, by others the will of God is said to constitute the sole crite∣rion of virtue and vice.
But besides systematic books of morali∣ty, which are generally too abstruse for young minds, morals may be divided into five departments for the greater convenien∣cy of the manner of instruction.
- 1. A sympathy with the pains and pleasures of others, or compassion.
- 2. A strict regard to veracity.
- 3. Prudence, justice, chastity.
- 4. Fortitude.
- 5. Temperance.
SECTION XVII. COMPASSION.
A SYMPATHY with the pains and pleasures of others is the foundation of all our social virtues. "DO AS YOU WOULD BE DONE BY," is a precept which descended from heaven. Whoever feels pain him∣self, when he sees others affected with it, will not only never be liable to give pain, but will always be inclined to relieve it. The lady, who possesses this christian vir∣tue of compassion, cannot but be a good daughter, a good wife, and a good mother, that is, an amiable character in every de∣partment of life.
The manner of communicating this benevolent sympathy to children consists in expressing our own sympathy, when any thing cruel presents itself; as in the de∣struction of an insect; or when actions of Page 64cruelty are related in books or in conversa∣tion. I once observed a lady with appa∣rent expressions of sympathy say to her lit∣tle daughter, who was pulling off the legs of a fly,
This virtue of compassion is a certain foundation of benevolence; and on that account renders children good to their own parents in the latter part of their lives, as well as to all other people; an important circumstance to the happiness of our latter years! Where cruelty or malevolence resides in the breast, it is generally exercis∣ed most by the child upon the aged parent, with whom in civilized society he frequent∣ly resides; and who often lives so long as to stand in his way to the possession of a wished-for inheritance.
Page 65 This compassion, or sympathy with the pains of others, ought also to extend to the brute creation, as far as our necessities will admit; for we cannot exist long without the destruction of other animal or vegetable beings either in their nature or embryon state. Such is the condition of mortality, that the first law of nature is "eat, or be eaten." Hence for the preservation of our existence we may be supposed to have a natural right to kill those brute creatures, which we want to eat, or which want to eat us; but to destroy even insects wantonly shews an unreflecting mind, or a depraved heart.
A young gentleman once assured me, that he had lately fallen in love with a young lady; but, on their walking out one evening in summer, she took two or three steps out of her way on the gravel walk to tread upon an insect; and that afterwards whenever the idea of her came into his mind, it was attended with this picture of Page 66active cruelty; till that of the lady ceased to be agreeable, and he relinquished his design of courtship.
Nevertheless this sympathy, however amiable and necessary, may be carried to an extreme, so as to render miserable the person, who possesses it; since many piti∣able objects must be seen in our journey through life, which we have not power to relieve. This then furnishes us with a barrier or line, where to stop; that is, we should endeavour to render our little pu∣pils alive to sympathize with all remedia∣ble evils; and at the same time to arm them with fortitude to bear the sight of such irremediable evils, as the accidents of life must frequently present before their eyes.
There should also be a plan in schools to promote the habit as well as the prin∣ciple of benevolence; each young lady might occasionally contribute a small sum Page 67on seeing a needy naked child to purchase flannel or coarse linen for clothes, which they might learn to cut out, and to make up themselves; and thus the practice of in∣dustry might be united with that of libe∣rality.
Another still more practical mode of producing a habit of benevolence in chil∣dren might be by inducing them to em∣ploy some leisure hours in little works of taste, as in making artificial flowers, purses, fringes, and bestowing these on poor peo∣ple, in order that they might sell them for their support. Miss Hartley at Bath, the daughter of the great medical philosopher of that name, has lately exhibited an amia∣ble example of this kind of philanthropy; she has been long distinguished by her ta∣lents as an artist in painting; and has late∣ly distributed her elegant performances among the poor famished emigrants, who reside in her neighbourhood; who are thus greatly assisted by the sale of her works.
Page 68 Another channel, in which this sym∣pathy should be taught to flow, is in the observance of those attentions, which per∣petually diffuse happiness by promoting by courtesy of behaviour the cheerfulness, or forwarding by ready assistance the interests of those, whether equals, inferiors, or su∣periors; with whom every one happens to associate or reside: which constitutes the essential part of what is termed politeness of manners; and universally indicates a benevolent disposition.
SECTION XVIII. VERACITY.
FOR the purpose of inculcating a love of truth early in life the love of praise supplies the most certain means. This kind of honour has an honest pride for it's basis: a story is related in one of the mo∣dern volumes of the universal history of an inhabitant of Constantinople, who was brought to the scaffold for denying the divine mission of Mahomet; and on hav∣ing a pardon offered him, if he would then declare his error, answered, that he would not speak an untruth to save his life. And, I think, it is recorded, that one of the fathers of the church used to affirm, that he would not tell a lie, were he sure to gain heaven by it.
Page 70 I once heard an ingenious lady say to a company of her friends, that her daugh∣ter, a young girl, who stood by with a countenance flushed with pleasure, never told her a lie in her life: This happy use of flattery was likely to produce a love for veracity, which would never be destroyed by interested motives.
The disgrace of telling a lie should be painted in vivid colours, as totally de∣structive of the character of a lady or gen∣tleman, rendering them contemptible in the eyes of the world: And the inconve∣nience of this detestable habit of lying should be explained from its preventing their being believed, when they wish it; as is exemplified in the fable of the shepherd-boy; who called out "the wolf, the wolf," so often to alarm his neighbours, and thus to amuse himself, when no wolf was near; that when the real wolf attacked his flock, he could by no vociferation prevail on any Page 71one to come to his assistance: Or like the village-drunkard, who frequently a∣mused himself with crying out "fire," along the streets on his return from the ale-house in the night, to the great alarm of the neighbourhood; till at length, when his cottage was really in flames, his distress was not believed, and he could gain no assistance to extinguish them.
This sincerity of character should be confirmed by the example of the gover∣nesses, who should themselves pay the most exact and scrupulous attention to truth; they should not exaggerate trifling errors into reprehensible faults; and, where re∣proof is necessary, should give it with kind∣ness; and should not only punctually ful∣fil their own promises, tho' to their incon∣venience, but exact the same from their pupils in return.
To these should be added the precepts of religion, as soon as their minds are ca∣pable Page 72of receiving them, which uniformly inculcate truth and probity in all our words and actions.
SECTION XIX. PRUDENCE, JUSTICE, CHASTITY.
THE impressions on the mind made by recent examples placed, as it were, be∣fore our eyes have so much more durable effects, than the more abstracted ideas de∣livered in systems of moral philosophy; that I believe the most efficacious method of inculcating the virtue of prudence in respect to their own conduct is by telling young people the ill consequences, which have lately happened to others; whose per∣sons or names they are acquainted with: so that a repetition of the slander of a town, which always degrades the retailers, has sometimes its advantage as a lesson to the hearers.
There is another kind of prudence, which it is necessary to acquire in some de∣gree, Page 74which arms the possessor against the ill designs of others; hence they should be taught to beware of flatterers, gamesters, drunkards, and of all ill-tempered persons. As this prudence is to be acquired by the knowledge of mankind, such books as the maxims of Rochfoucault, and others, might be recommended; but they give too gloo∣my a picture of human nature to be put in∣to the hands of young ladies.
"Know yourself" is a celebrated in∣junction, and may constitute one depart∣ment of Prudence, when any one under∣takes some great action, or great change in the condition of life; but "know other people" is equally necessary in passing along this sublunary world, and may be inserted with propriety as another maxim in the code of prudence. The facility of know∣ing others in the daily intercourse of the world is produced by the knowledge of physiognomy, acquired at schools in early life; while the passions continue to be im∣pressed Page 75on the countenances of children; and which is never so well acquired in pri∣vate tuition; and thus constitutes one of the great advantages of school-education.
JUSTICE and CHASTITY, which are the principal links, by which civilized society is held together, are to be inculcated in young minds by similar methods; that is by pointing out by examples the public punishment, or public disgrace, which cer∣tainly accompanies the breach of either of these important duties: and afterwards to add the precepts of religion, when their minds are capable of perceiving their force, to co-operate with the effect of the laws of society, and of the opinion of the wise and virtuous.
SECTION XX. FORTITUDE.
IF female children are not treated with tenderness by a mother in their early years of infancy, they are perhaps liable to acquire a harshness of character, and an ap∣parent unfeelingness, which afterwards renders them less amiable; though it may give them greater fortitude; which should therefore be inculcated at their rather ma∣turer years.
Neither the robust assailing courage, which prompts to the performance of he∣roic actions, nor the ostentatious patience, which requires the flattery of the public eye, for its support, belong to the female character. But that serene strength of mind, which faces unavoidable danger with open eyes, prepared to counteract or Page 77to bear the necessary evils of life, is equal∣ly valuable as a male or female acquisition. This is termed presence of mind; it de∣pends on our judgment of the real value of things; and on our application of those causes, which contribute to turn disagreea∣ble circumstances to the best advantage; and can therefore only be acquired by the general cultivation of good sense and of knowledge.
An occasional effusion of tears has been thought an amiable weakness, and a mark of delicacy of the sex. When tears are shed at the irremediable misfortunes of others, it indicates an amiable sensibility; but when young ladies indulge themselves in a promptitude of dissolving into inces∣sant tears at every trivial distress of their own, it shews a kind of infantine debility of mind, and conveys an idea of their being unfit for the common duties of life; and should therefore be discouraged by reason∣ing on the kind and quantity of the evil, Page 78which disturbs them; and by reciting to them the examples of fortitude exhibited by others in disasters much more calamit∣ous, of which there are examples in the letters of Lady Russel: And lastly by re∣minding them of the consolations of reli∣gion.
A slight appearance of timidity has been esteemed another mark of delicacy of the sex; but timidity is the companion of debility of mind rather than of delica∣cy, and should not therefore be encoura∣ged. In respect to the expressions of fear the violent cries and distorted countenan∣ces of some ladies in situations of danger exhibit them in no very amiable attitudes; while they increase the confusion, and may be said "to help the storm;" but if to these be added an affectation of fear without cause; as when a young lady screams through the whole gamut at the sight of a spider, or a grass-hopper; the fault becomes voluntary, and should be Page 79opposed and conquered by the shafts of ridicule.
Impudence in common language has been termed boldness; and bashfulness has been ascribed to timidity; but neither of them with sufficient precision; as brave men have been known to be bashful, and cowards impudent. Assurance of counte∣nance arises from the possessor of it rather over-valuing his own abilities; and impu∣dence consists in this assurance with a to∣tal disregard of the opinions of others; but neither of them bear any analogy to fortitude. On the other hand modesty arises from the possessor of it rather under∣valuing his own abilities; and bashfulness consists in this modesty with great solici∣tude about the opinions of others; but nei∣ther of them are attended with personal fear. So charming is the appearance of this great sensibility by adding a blush to the features of beauty, that no endeavours should be used to extinguish it early in Page 80life. Nor should any means be contrived to increase it to excess, as embarrassment both of thought and action, and even im∣pediment of speech, is then liable to at∣tend the great anxiety it occasions.
SECTION XXI. TEMPERANCE.
INCLUDES the subjugation of the appetites and passions to reason and prudence; it consists in our moderation in the use of all those things, which con∣tribute to the convenience, comfort, or en∣joyment of life; as of food, dress, plea∣sures; and in the restraining our licenti∣ous passions, as of anger, vanity, love, am∣bition. The method to instil this virtue is by exhibiting the various inconvenien∣ces, which attend unlimited indulgence; and thus to inculcate the golden rule of "nothing to excess."
The example of the governess will have great effect in producing many of the Page 82virtues above mentioned in the minds of her pupils. Justice in the most trivial circumstance must be carefully and exact∣ly done between children in respect to each other in their little disputes at play. Moderation and self-government should al∣so constantly appear in the characters of those, who are to teach these virtues to others.
SECTION XXII. RELIGION.
THE precepts of religion are best taught by requiring the young pupils regu∣larly to attend such places of divine worship as their parents direct; and by reading on Sundays select parts of the holy scriptures, and some approved books of sermons; as those of Blair, and a few others; and by inculating the reasonableness of daily thanksgiving, and the duty of daily pray∣er, to the great author of all good.
The divine morality delivered in the new testament should be repeatedly incul∣cated to an infant audience, who cannot so well understand the metaphysical parts of religion, such as the duty of doing to others Page 84as we would they should do unto us: to love our neighbours as ourselves: to for∣give injuries, not to revenge them: and to be kind even to our enemies. For this purpose the sermons of the old Whole du∣ty of man are recommended; one of which might be read every Sunday evening.
Ladies of more mature years, or who have finished their school-education, may learn the necessity and usefulness of our ex∣cellent religion from Baron Haller's letters to his daughter, from Lady Pennington's advice to her daughter, and lastly from Mr. Gisborne's duties of the female sex: and the defence of the truth of it may be learn∣ed from Mr. Payley's evidences of christi∣anity; but perhaps it is better for them not to perplex their minds with many works of religious controversy.
SECTION XXIII. ADDRESS.
THERE is a fascinating manner in the address of some people, which almost instantly conciliates the good will, and even the confidence of their acquaintance. Ma∣chiavel in his history of Castruccio Castri∣cani observes; that his hero could assume such openness of countenance; that though he was known to be a man practised in every kind of fraud and treachery, yet in a few minutes he gained the confidence of all, whom he conversed with; they went away satisfied of his good will towards them, and were betrayed to their ruin.
This enviable address, which may be used for good purposes as well as for bad ones, may be difficult to analize; but may possibly consist simply in a countenance ani∣mated Page 86with pleasure at meeting and con∣versing with our acquaintance; and which diffuses cheerfulness by pleasurable conta∣gion into the bosoms of others; and thus in∣terests them in our behalf. It is not the smile of flattery, nor the smile of self-ap∣probation, nor the smile of habit, nor of le∣vity; but it is simply an expression of plea∣sure, which seems to arise at the fight of our acquaintance; and which persuades them, that they possess our love, and for which they barter their own in return.
However this conciliating manner may have been used, as above related, for bad pur∣poses; it probably proceeded originally from friendliness and openness of heart, with cheerful benevolence; and that in those, who have in process of time become bad characters, the appearance of those vir∣tues has remained, after the reality of them has vanished. What then is the method, by which this inchantment of countenance can be taught? certainly by instilling cheer∣fulness Page 87and benevolence into the minds of young ladies early in life, and at the same time an animation of countenance in ex∣pressing them; and though this pleasurable animation be at first only copied, it will in time have the appearance of being natural; and will contribute to produce by associa∣tion the very cheerfulness and benevolence, which it at first only imitated. This is a golden observation to those, who have the care of young children.
A very accomplished lady, who read the manuscript of this work, wrote the sol∣lowing with her pencil on the opposite page; "nothing can be more just and interesting than the whole of this section; yet however desirable it may be to mend an unpleasant abord, might one not suspect, since Nature has produced a diversity of manner, that an attempt to engraft this beautiful cheerful∣ness on a grave set of features might produce the worst of evil affectations? A natural sim∣plicity of manner, whether serious or gay, Page 88will always please; and probably this amia∣ble address may be rendered equally consist∣ent with natural manners, whether serious or gay?"
SECTION XXIV. CONVERSATION.
NEXT to the winning manners above described, the art of pleasing in conversa∣tion seems to consist in two things; one of them to hear well; and the other to speak well. The perpetual appearance of attention, and the varying expression of the countenance of the hearer to the sentiments or passions of the speaker; is a principal charm in con∣versation; to be well heard and accurately understood encourages our companions to proceed with pleasure, whatever may be the topics of their discourse.
Those, who have been educated at schools, and have learnt the knowledge of physiognomy from their playfellows in their early years, understand the pleasurable or painful fellings of all with whom they com∣verse, Page 90often even before their words are fi∣nished; and, by thus immediately conform∣ing the expression of their own features to the sensations of the speaker, become the interesting and animated companions a∣bove described, which is seldom seen in those educated in private families; and which, as before observed, gives a pre∣ference to school-education.
To speak agreeably in respect to manner consists in a voice clear, yet not loud, soft, yet not plaintive; with dis∣tinct articulation, and with graceful atti∣tudes rather than with graceful actions; as almost every kind of gesticulation is disagreeable. In respect to the matter it should be such as coincides with the tastes or pursuits of those, to whom the conversation is addressed. From hence it will appear, that both to hear well, and to speak well, requires an extensive knowledge of things, as well as of the tastes and pursuits of mankind; and must Page 91therefore ultimately be the effect of a good education in general, rather than a particular article of it.
There are however faults to be a∣voided, and cautious to be observed, in the conversation of young ladies; which should be pointed out to them by the go∣verness of a boarding school. Of these I shall mention first, that whenever the thirst of shining in conversation seizes on the heart, the vanity of the speaker be∣comes apparent; and we are disgusted with the manner, whatever may be the matter of the discourse.
Secondly, that it is always childish, and generally ridiculous, when young people boast of their follies, or when they accuse themselves of virtues; nei∣ther of which they probably possess in the degree, which they describe. A young lady was heard to say, "I am frightened to death at the sight of a Page 92bird:" And another, that she was so in∣considerate, as to give her money to the poor naked children, whom she saw in the streets in winter.
Thirdly, they should be apprized, that there is danger in speaking ill even of a bad person; both because they may have been misinformed, and because they should judge their neighbours with charity. A friend of mine was once asked by a young man, how he could distinguish, whether the lady, whom he meant to address, was good tempered; and gave this answer. "When any du∣bious accusation is brought in conversa∣tion against an absent person; if she al∣ways inclines to believe the worst side of the question, she is ill-tempered." There are some nice distinctions on this subject of good nature delivered in Lady Pen∣nington's advice to her daughters, which are worth a young lady's attention.
Page 93 Fourthly, that it is dangerous for a young lady to speak very highly in praise even of a deserving man; for if she ex∣tols his actions, she will seem to give her∣self the importance of a judge, and her determinations will sometimes be called in question; and to commend highly the person of a man is in general estimation inconsistent with the delicacy of the sex at any age.
Fifthly, young ladies should be ad∣vised not to accustom themselves to the use of strong asseverations, or of a kind of petty oaths, such as "upon my ho∣nour," in their conversation; nor often to appeal to others for the truth of what they affirm; since all such strong expres∣sions and appeals derogate somewhat from the character of the speaker: as they give an intimation, that she has not been usually believed on her simple as∣sertion.
Page 94 Sixthly, laughing vehemently aloud, or tittering with short shrieks, in which some young ladies, who have left school, indulge themselves at cards or other a∣musements, are reprehensible; as their dignity of character must suffer by appear∣ing too violently agitated at trivial circum∣stances.
Seventhly, and uniform adherence to sincerity in conversation is of the first im∣portance; as without it our words are but empty sounds, and can no more interest our companions than the tinkling of a bell. No artificial polish of manners can com∣pensate for the apparent want of this vir∣tue, nor any acquirements of knowledge for the reality of the want of it. Hence though the excess of blame or praise of the actions of others may be imprudent or im∣proper in the conversation of young la∣dies; as mentioned in the third and fourth articles of this section; yet in these, as in all other kinds of conversation, their opini∣ons Page 95should be given with truth, if given at all; but when the character 〈…〉 are concerned, they should 〈…〉 with diffidence and modesty.
Lastly, if at any time any improper dis∣course should be addressed to young ladies, which has a tendency to indecency, im∣morality, or irreligion, they should be taught to express a marked disapprobation both in words and countenance. So great is the power of the soster sex in meliora∣ting the characters of men; that, if such was their uniform behaviour, I doubt not, but that it would much contribute to reform the morals of the age; an event de∣voutly to be wished, and which would con∣tribute much to their own happiness.
To these might be added many other observations from the writers on female education concerning a due respect in conversation to superiors, good temper to Page 96equals, and condescension to inferiors. But as young ladies are not expected to speak with the wisdom, or precision of philosophers; and as the careless cheerful∣ness of their conversation, with simplicity of manner, and with the grace, ease, and vivacity natural to youth, supplies it with its principal charms; these should be par∣ticularly encouraged, as there are few ar∣tificial accomplishments, which could com∣pensate for the loss of them.
SECTION XXV. EXERCISE.
THE acquirements of literature, and of many arts, make the lives of young peo∣ple too sedentary; which impairs their strength, makes their countenances pale and bloated, and lays the foundation of many diseases; hence some hours should every day be appropriated to bodily exer∣cises, and to relaxation of mind.
Such as tend to produce activity, and to promote the growth of the person in res∣pect to height, are preferred in the schools for young ladies to those, which render the system more robust and muscular.
Of these playing at ball, at shuttlecock, swinging as they sit on a cord or cushion, Page 98and dancing, in the open air in summer, and within doors in winter, are to be pre∣ferred. To these some have recommend∣ed an exercise of the arms by swinging lead∣en weights, which are called dumb bells; these should be very light, if they be used at all, otherwise they load the spine of the back, and render the shoulders thick and muscular, and rather impede than forward the perpendicular growth of the person. The ringing of a real bell hung as is done in churches, or the frequent drawing up of a weight by a cord over a pulley, with a fly-wheel to prevent its too hasty descent, would be an exercise, which might be used with great advantage by young people; as it both extends the spine, and strengthens the muscles of the chest and arms.
Many other kinds of exercise have been recommended by authors: Madame Gen∣lis advises weights to be carried on the head, as milk-maids carry their milk-pails; Page 99and even to add weights to the soles of the shoes of children to strengthen, as she sup∣poses, the muscles of locomotion in walk∣ing or running. It is evident, that carry∣ing weights on the head must be injurious to young people, especially when there is a tendency to softness of the bones; as it may contribute to bend the spine by their pressure, and to impede the perpendicular growth of the body; and the walking in weighted shoes may induce awkward ges∣tures without any adequate advantage.
There are other modes of exertion, which, though graceful in themselves, are not allowed to ladies by the fashion of this age and country; as skating on the ice in winter, swimming in summer, funambula∣tion, or dancing on the streight rope: but walking with a stately measured step occa∣sionally, like the march of soldiers, and reading aloud frequently rather in a thea∣tric manner, as well as dancing and singing, Page 100will much contribute to give strength and grace to the muscles of locomotion, and of vocality.
SECTION XXVI. AIR.
THE strength and activity of young people not only depends on the perpetual exercise of their limbs, as described in the preceding sections, but on the purity of the air, which they breathe, and even on the occasional coldness of it. The cold air of winter acts on delicate people like a cold bath; as it diminishes the action of the sub∣cutaneous vessels for a time, and thus pro∣duces an accumulation of animal power, whence an increased action of those vessels and a consequent warmth of the surface of the body succeeds; and by this less expen∣diture of animal power during immersion in cold air, and its consequent accumula∣tion, the person becomes stronger for a time and more animated; which is termed Page 102in common language, "bracing the sys∣tem." Hence to strengthen delicate chil∣dren they should be encouraged to go into the cold air of winter frequently, but should not remain in it longer than a quarter or half an hour at a time. In summer young people can scarcely continue too much in the air, where they are shaded from the heat of the sun.
A constant immersion in pure air is now known to contribute much both to the health of the system, and to the beau∣tiful colour of the complexion. And this atmosphere should undergo a perpetual change and renovation; that the vital air, which constitutes about one-fourth part of it, may not be too much diminished by frequent respiration. Due attention should be given to this important circumstance both by frequently urging the young la∣dies to amuse themselves out of doors; and by the proper ventilation of the school-room, dining-room, bed-rooms, and Page 103their other apartments. For this purpose it is convenient to saw off about one inch from the top of every door of these crowd∣ed rooms, and opposite to this aperture to nail along the top of the door a tin plate about two inches wide, rising at an angle of about forty-five degrees; which will bend the current of air up towards the ceil∣ing; where it will be mixed with the warm air of the room, and sink down a∣mongst the society without the danger of giving cold to any one: And, besides these door-ventilators, the upper sashes of every window should always be let down a few inches, when the external weather will admit of it.
In respect to bed rooms, which have more than one bed, the doors should be furnished with similar ventilators for the due admission of fresh air; and during the summer-months a window should be kept a few inches open during the night as well as the day; the sash of which should have Page 104a bolt or other proper fastening for this purpose; nor should the fire-place be stopt up at any season by a chimney-board, or a bag of straw; as many rooms are made to shut up so close, that this is the only aperture, by which fresh air is admitted. To this should be added, that the bed-curtains should never be drawn close round the beds; which confine the air spoiled by frequent respiration, and the perspirable matter, like a noxious at∣mosphere over the unconscious sleepers. At the same time none of the beds should be placed very near either to an open win∣dow, or to an open chimney, as a partial current of air might be injurious by the coldness it might occasion.
In crowded bed-rooms, where children are close shut up for eight or nine hours every night, not only the pale bloated complexion, which is seen in children of crowded manufactories; but other diseases are produced by the impurity of the air, Page 105such as indigestion, difficulty of breath∣ing, and sometimes convulsive fits, as mentioned in Zoonomia, vol. II. class. iii. 1.1.5. and lastly putrid fevers; of which fatal instances frequently occur in the crowded habitations of the poor. Hence parents cannot be too careful in inspecting the bed-rooms, and the beds of the schools, to which they entrust their children; as not only their present comfort, but their future health, and sometimes their lives depend on this attention; as is further explained in the section on rheumatism.
Besides the due ventilation of rooms by a perpetual supply of pure air in sum∣mer, something should be here said about the manner of warming them in winter. As the quantity of air carried up a chim∣ney is very great, owing to its being ren∣dered so much lighter than the external atmosphere by the heat of the fire, strong currents of cold air press into the room at every chink of the doors and windows Page 106passing towards the fire; and are liable to give catarrh, rheumatism, kibed heels, and swelled fingers, to those scholars, who are exposed to them. To lessen these cur∣rents of cold air setting in at every aper∣ture, the chimney should be so contracted over the fire-grate, as to admit no more of the warm air to go up it, than is necessary to carry up the smoke; and hence much more of the warm air near the fire-place will rise up to the cieling; and descend∣ing, as it becomes cooler, in the distant parts of the room, will form a kind of ver∣tical eddy, and warm the whole apart∣ment; adding greatly to the heat produ∣ced by the radiation from the fire.
To effect this Doctor Franklin recom∣mended an iron or tin plate to slide under the mantle-piece over the fire, so as to con∣tract the aperture of the chimney to two or three inches in width, all the length over the fire-grate. And lately Count Rumford has accomplished the same purpose by a Page 107flat stone about twelve inches broad, and eighteen inches high; which is reared up∣on one end at the back of the fire-place, a∣bout eight inches above the grate, and leans forward towards the mantle-piece, so as to leave an aperture, three or four inches wide, and twelve or fourteen inches long, over the front of the fire-place. The use of both these contrivances is to contract the mouth of the chimney, and thus to ad∣mit no more warm air up it, than is neces∣sary to convey the smoke. And the slid∣ing iron plate in Franklin's plan, and the end-reared stone in Rumford's plan, are designed to be occasionally withdrawn for the admittance of the chimney-sweeper. These are described in detail in the essays of Doctor Franklin, and Count Rumford; and it is believed, that one-third of the fuel may be thus saved, and the rooms be kept more equally warm, and more salu∣tary.
SECTION XXVII. CARE OF THE SHAPE.
DELICATE young ladies are very liable to become awry at many board∣ing schools, this is occasioned principal∣ly by their being obliged too long to pre∣serve an erect attitude, by sitting on forms for many hours together. To prevent this, the school-seats should ei∣ther have backs, on which they may oc∣casionally rest themselves; or desks be∣fore them, on which they may occasion∣ally lean. This is a thing of greater con∣sequence, than may appear to those, who have not attended to it; and who wish their children to acquire a very erect attitude.
Page 109 When the least tendency to become awry is observed, they should be advis∣ed to lie down on a bed or sofa for an hour in the middle of the day for many months; which generally prevents the increase of this deformity by taking off for a time the pressure of the head and neck and shoulders on the spine of the back; and it at the same time tends to make them grow taller.
Young persons, when nicely measur∣ed, are found to be half an inch higher in the morning than at night; as is well known to those, who inlist very young men for soldiers. This is owing to the cartilages between the bones of the back becoming compressed by the weight of the head and shoulders on them during the day. It is the same pressure, which produces curvitures and distortions of the spine in growing children, where the bones are softer than usual; and which may thus be relieved by an hori∣zontal Page 110posture for an hour in the middle of the day, or by being frequently allow∣ed to lean on a chair, or to play on a carpet on the ground.
Young ladies should also be directed, where two sleep in a bed, to change every night, or every week, their sides of the bed; which will prevent their tendency to sleep always on the same side; which is not only liable to produce crook∣edness, but also to occasion diseases by the internal parts being so long kept in uniform contact as to grow together. For the same reason they should not be allowed to sit always on the same side of the fire or window: because they will then be inclined too frequently to bend towards one side; which in those consti∣tutions, where the bones are too soft, is liable to produce crookedness of the spine.
Page 111 Another great cause of injury to the shape of young ladies is from the pres∣sure of stays, or other tight bandages; which at the same time cause other dis∣eases by changing the form or situation of the internal parts. If a hard part of the stays, even a knot of the thread, with which they are sewed together, is press∣ed upon one side more than the other; the child bends from the side, which is uneasy, and thus occasions a curviture of the spine. To counteract this effect such stays, as have fewest hard parts, and especially such as can be daily or week∣ly turned, are preferable to others. A wise fashion of wearing no stiff stays, which adds so much to the beauty of young ladies, has commenced since the above was written; and long may it continue!
Where frequently lying down on a sofa in the day time, and swinging fre∣quently Page 112for a small time by the head, with loose dress, do not relieve a beginning dis∣tortion of the back, I have used with some success a swing for children to sleep in, as described in Zoonomia, vol. II. class. I 2.2.16. and also a crutch-chair, as there delineated; and where these do not seem to succeed, recourse may also be had to Mons. Vacher's spinal machine, first described in the memoirs of the academy of Surgery in Paris, vol. III. with a good print of it; and since made by Mr. Jones in London, at No. 6, North-street, Tottenham-court Road; which suspends the head, and places the weight of it on the hips.
It will be from hence easily perceived that all other methods of confining or di∣recting the growth of young people should be used with great skill, such as back∣boards, or bandages; and that their appli∣cation should not be continued too long at a time; least worse consequences should ensue, than the deformity they are design∣ed Page 113to remove. Of these the stocks for the feet of children, for the purpose of making them turn their toes quite out, and the frame for pressing in their knees, as they stand erect, at the same time, I suspect, when carried to excess, to be particularly injurious, and to have caused an irrecover∣able lameness of hip-joint; as explained in Zoonomia, vol. II. class I. 2.2.17. These therefore should be used with pro∣per caution, so as to give no pain or un∣easy feels, or not used at all.
To this it may be proper to add, that the stiff erect attitude, taught by some mo∣dern dancing masters, does not contribute to the grace of person, but rather militates against it; as is well seen in one of the prints in Hogarth's analysis of beauty; and is exemplified by the easy grace of some of the ancient statues, as of the Venus de Medici, and the Antinous; and in the works of some modern artists, as in a beau∣tiful print of Hebe feeding an eagle, Page 114painted by Hamilton, and engraved by Eginton; and many of the figures of An∣gelica Kauffman. And lastly, which is so eminently seen in many of the beauties of the present day, since they have left off the constraint of whale-bone stays, and as∣sumed the graceful dress of the ancient Grecian statues.
In the tendency to curviture of the spine whatever strengthens the general constitution is of service, as the use of the cold bath in the summer months. This however requires some restriction both in respect to the degree of coldness of the bath, the time of continuing in it, and the season of the year. Common springs, which are of 48 degrees of heat, are too cold for tender constitutions, whether of children or adults; and frequently do them great and irreparable injury, as I have witnessed in three or four cases. The coldness of river water in the summer Page 115months, which is about 65 degrees, or that of Matlock, which is about 68, or of Bux∣ton, which is 82, are much to be prefer∣red: The two latter are improperly called warm baths, comparing their degree of heat with that of common springs; where∣as they are in reality cold baths, being of much lower degree of heat than that of the human body, which is 98. The time of continuing in a cold bath should be but a few minutes; certainly not so long as to occasion a trembling of the limbs from cold. In respect to the season of the year, delicate children should certainly only use cold bathings in the summer months; as the going frequently into the cold air in winter will answer all the purposes of the cold bath.
Other means of counteracting the de∣bility of the system, or softness of bones, which occasion crookedness, consist in tak∣ing internally from 10 to 20 grains of ex∣tract of bark, with as much soda phospho∣rata, Page 116and mixed with from five to ten drops of tincture of opium, twice a day for three or four weeks; as is further treated of in Zoonomia, vol. II. class I. 2.2.14. and 16.
SECTION XXVIII. DRESS.
YOUNG Ladies should be instruct∣ed to shew attention to their dress, as it gives an idea of cleanliness of their per∣sons; which has so great a charm, that it may be reckoned amongst the inferior vir∣tues; for this purpose an elegant simplici∣ty of dress is to be recommended in pre∣ference to that superabundance of orna∣ment, where the lady herself is the least part of her. The form of dress must ne∣vertheless perpetually vary with the fashion of the time; but a person of taste may lessen those parts of a fashionable dress, which oppose beauty or grace; and bring forwards those, which are more coincident with them; so as to wear a dress in fashion, and yet not devoid of taste.
Page 118 Thus when large hoops were in gene∣ral use, which so totally militate with all ideas of beauty and grace; ladies of taste wore them as small, as custom would al∣low. So in respect to the ear-rings of the present day; since piercing the tender part of the ear for the purpose of suspend∣ing a weight of gold, or of precious stones, or of glass beads to it, reminds us of the savage state of mankind; those ladies of taste, who think themselves obliged to com∣ply with this indecorous fashion, use the lightest materials, as a chain of small pearls, to give a less distressing idea of the pain, they seem to suffer at every motion of their heads. Hence also long pendant and complicated ear-rings, however they may add to the dignity of riper years by their costliness, are unbecoming to young ladies; as they seem to give pain in the quicker, tho' more graceful, motions of juvenility.
Sir Joshua Reynolds, I think, observes in one of his addresses to the academy, Page 119that hard curls of hair stiffened with the fat of hogs, and covered with the flower of wheat, cannot be admitted into picture. The same may be observed of that coat of mail, the whale-bone stays, the use of which is now so happily discontinued. Both of these, however they may conceal the grey hairs and waining figures of those, who are advanced in life, are highly inju∣rious to the flowing locks and graceful forms of young ladies.
As beauty consists of lines flowing in easy curves according to the analysis of Hogarth; those parts of dress, which are composed of such lines, are always agreea∣ble. Thus a sash descending from one shoulder to the opposite hip, or a grecian veil thrown back and winding carelessly down behind, are always beautiful; but a few white ostrich feathers rising on the head before, and a train of silk sweeping on the ground behind, add so much grace to a moving female figure, as to attract all eyes with unceasing admiration.
Page 120 In moving forwards the hair falls back, and in very swift motion floats upon the air behind; hence by association of ideas, when the hair is made to retire from the cheeks, it gives an intimation of the youth∣ful agility of the person; and when it is brought forwards over the cheeks, it may consent with unmoving dignity, like the full wig of a judge, but diminishes our idea of the activity of playful youth.
Where the appearance of use in dress can be given to ornaments, it suggests an excuse for wearing them, and is therefore to be preferred; as diamond pins, strings of pearl, and a comb of shell, to restrain the exuberant hair; or knots of ribbons to fix the slipper on the foot, to contract the sleeve around the arm, to unite the vest up∣on the bosom, or to attach the cap above the forehead. And when these are similar in colour, it gives an air of simplicity, and a kind of pyramidal form to the dress; which the painters so much endeavour to Page 121exhibit both in their landscapes, and their groups of figures.
Other ornaments, which bear no analo∣gy to use in dress, should be sparingly worn; lest they give an idea, that they were designed to display the pride of the possessor, rather than to decorate her per∣son. These are sometimes seen so ill placed as to make deformities conspicuous, as a number of rings on singers distorted with the gout, or splendid buckles on turn∣ed-in feet. Where there is no appear∣ance of use, all shining ornaments should be so disposed as to direct the eye of the be∣holder to some beautiful feature of the la∣dy, who wears them; as diamond stars in the hair, and artificial flowers on the bosom.
Paint and perfumes are totally inadmis∣sible in the dress of young ladies, as they give a suspicion of natural defects in res∣pect to colour of the skin, and odour Page 122of the breath. Where there exists but a mediocrity of beauty, and youth is in the wain, a variety of pretty or of costly ornaments on the dress, and even the whiteness of powder in the hair, may sometimes mingle with our idea of the per∣son, and seem to render the whole fairer, more pleasing, or more respectable. But ornaments of every kind are useless or in∣jurious to youthful beauty; they add no power to the charm, but rather disenchant the beholder by abstracting his attention; which dwells with undiminished rapture on beauty arrayed by simplicity, and ani∣mated without affectation. Thus the ma∣jestic juno of Homer is arrayed in variety of ornament, and with ear-rings, which have three large pendant bobs to each, and commands universal homage. But his Queen of Beauty is dressed with more sim∣ple elegance, in her magic sash, or cestus, and charms all eyes.
The attention to taste in dress may ne∣vertheless be carried into an extreme; it Page 123should not seem to be the most important part of the education of a young lady; or the principal object of her care; she should rather appear to follow than to lead the fa∣shion, according to the lines of Mr. Pope.
Be not the first, on which the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
SECTION XXIX. AMUSEMENTS
ARE generally distinguished from exercise, as they relieve or exhilerate the mind. Cards may be occasionally used by children in private families, without their gaming for money; and will in general fa∣cilitate their acquirement of arithmetic; but cannot be allowed in schools, lest the young ladies should expend too much time upon them, or should play for money clan∣destinely. But the game of chess, from its bearing so great analogy to common life, is supposed much to improve the most useful powers of the mind: It has the experience of the remotest antiquity to recommend it, occasions no depraved passions, as it is not played for money; and by the caution per∣petually necessary to watch your adversary, Page 125and the judgment required to contrive, ar∣range, and manage your own affairs, em∣ploys and strengthens every part of the understanding.
Embroidery, drawing, music, as well as the exercises of dancing, swinging, play∣ing at ball, and shuttlecock, should be classed amongst the amusements of young ladies; and should be reciprocally ap∣plied to, either in the house or in the open air, for the purpose of relieving each other; and of producing by such means an uninterrupted cheerfulness of mind; which is the principal charm, that fits us for so∣ciety, and the great source of earthly hap∣piness.
SECTION XXX. PUNISHMENTS. REWARDS. MOTIVES.
IT is the custom of many schools to use some kinds of punishments, which either give pain or disgrace to the delin∣quent, as a fool's cap, or a meal of water gruel. The use of these are seldom if ever necessary in schools for young ladies, and are always attended with disagreeable consequences, as they either diminish the character of honour in the punished per∣sons, sink their spirits, or render them in∣sensible to the opinions of others; or in∣jure their health: Insomuch that at some schools all that can be acquired can scarce∣ly compensate the loss of cheerfulness, and degradation of mind, or bad health, which their punishments produce.
Page 127 Thus the sitting in the public school for an hour in a cap with bells diminishes the sensibility of a child to the opinions of her companions, and thus gradually de∣stroys one of the greatest motives to good actions, and of the greatest restraints from bad ones. For the same reason repri∣mands and even admonitions should be al∣ways applied in private, but applause or re∣ward in public.
A meal of water gruel, given as a pu∣nishment instead of a meal of animal food, so frequently had recourse to in some boarding schools, I believe to have laid the foundation of incurable debility. The diseases of debility, as scrophula, bronch∣ocele, softness of bones, and the conse∣quent distortion of them, are very com∣mon among the children of the poor in Derby, which on examination, I believe to be owing to their food consisting chiefly of gruel; or sometimes with milk, which has been twice skimmed, so that it is total∣ly Page 128deprived of its most nourishing part; at other times with weak salt broth, but sel∣dom with solid animal food. When broth is weak in respect to the quantity of flesh∣meat boiled in it, it is the custom of cooks to add much salt to it to increase the relish, which renders it still more injurious to weak children; as salt contains no nou∣rishment, and by its stimulus increases the action of the system; and by promoting great insensible or sensible perspiration di∣minishes the strength of the child more, than the small quantity of meat dissolved in the broth can counterbalance.
2. How then are refractory children to be governed? certainly by the superi∣ority of the mind of the teacher over that of the pupil. When a famous lady in Italy was put to the torture, and question∣ed by what sorcery she had governed a princess of the family of Medici; she an∣swered "by no sorcery, but by that power, which superior minds possess over inferi∣or ones."
Page 129 3. Besides the two circumstances, which so much govern the great world, I mean hope of reward and fear of punish∣ment; in the microscosm of a boarding school blame and praise, if given very sparingly, will be found strong motives to the little pupils to perform their tasks well, and of more efficacy ten times, than the meal of water gruel, or the disgrace of a cap and bells. Esteem and disgrace are observed by Mr. Locke to be of all others the most powerful incentives to the mind, when once it is brought to regard them: And if once you can communicate to chil∣dren a love of credit, and an apprehension of shame, you have instilled into them a principle, which will constantly act, and incline them to do right, tho' it is not the true source from whence our actions ought to spring; which should be from our duty to others and to ourseives.—See Essay on education, sect. 56, &c. where are many other valuable observations on this subject.
Page 130 4. Emulation at seeing others excel, if properly managed is another incitement to industry. But as this is liable to de∣generate into envy, it should rather be left to its own operation, than be promoted by pointing out the examples, which should be copied. It is better to say, "your task is not done to day so well as you sometimes do it," than to say, "your task is not done so well as your sister's." Since in the lat∣ter case envy, and its consequence hatred, may succeed; a thing of tenfold worse consequence than the neglect of a thousand tasks.
5. Tho' some degree of flattery may be used with success in teaching veracity to very young children, as mentioned in sect. 18. of this work, yet I think it should be used very rarely indeed, and only on very important occasions, lest it should become a necessary motive of action, instead of moral duty; as observed in Zoonomia, vol. II. class iii. 2.1.8. "The debi∣lity Page 131of the exertion of voluntary efforts prevents the accomplishment of all the great purposes of life. This often origi∣nates from a mistaken education; in which pleasure or vanity is made the immediate motive of action, and not fu∣ture advantage, or what is termed duty. This observation is of great value to those, who attend to the early education of their own children."
"I have seen one or two young mar∣ried ladies of fortune, who perpetually became uneasy, and believed themselves ill, a week after their arrival in the coun∣try; and continued so uniformly during their stay; yet on their return to Lon∣don or to Bath immediately lost all their complaints; and this I observed to hap∣pen to them repeatedly. All which I was led to ascribe to their being in their infancy surrounded with menial attend∣ants, who had slattered them into the exertions, which they then used. And Page 132that in their mature years they became torpid for the want of this stimulus, and could not amuse themselves by any vol∣untary employment, but required ever after to be slattered into activity; or to be amused by others."
6. Rewards have been given to children to excite their industry in the performance of particular tasks; these are certainly less eligible motives to action than the fear of disgrace, the love of re∣putation, and above all the obligations of duty. Where nevertheless these are thought proper, the kind of rewards re∣quires some attention; which should consist of books, or maps, or boxes of colours, or needle cases: but not of mo∣ney, or of trinkets for ornamental dress, or of a glass of wine. Where money is given as a reward for industry in chil∣dren, it may seem to them to be the pro∣per motive of their actions instead of re∣putation or of duty; and may thus in∣duce Page 133the vice of avarice or of extrava∣gance. Where a fine cap or gown is given as a reward of diligence, the pride of dress may be produced, and become their great motive of action, instead of the love of reputation, or of duty. And lastly, where a glass of wine is given as a reward for industry, a child is taught to believe wine to be a most valuable ac∣quisition, and a perpetual desire of it even to intoxication may be the con∣sequence. I remember a wealthy farm∣er, who had two drunken sons, tho' he was a sober man himself, who told me, that he ascribed this great misfortune to his having occasionally given them in their early life a cup of ale as a reward for their exertious.—See Locke on edu∣cation, sect. 52, &c.
7. A very accurate observer, who has long had the conduct of schools of various kinds for the instruction of the youth of both sexes, acquaints me, "That Page 134he has often with extreme surprize ob∣served a child make a greater progress in some one branch of education in three months, than another of similar age, oppor∣tunity, capacity, and even apparently of equal application, has been able to effect in three years." The same observation has been made by others, but he adds, "That this might probably arise from some trivial circumstance, which deter∣mined the inclination of the fortunate stu∣dent; and that it is possible, that the means may sometime be discovered of governing these incidents, and thus producing a new era in the art of education!"
Similar to this it has often been observ∣ed, that the first impressions made on our infant minds by accidental disgust, admi∣ration, or flattery, are the frequent causes of our antipathies or aversions, and con∣tinue through life to bias our affections or mislead our judgments. One of my ac∣quaintance can trace the origin of many of his own energies of action from some Page 135such remote sources; which justifies the observation of M. Rousseau, that the seeds of future virtues or vices are oftener sown by the mother than by the tutor.
SECTION XXXI. LISPING.
LISPING is a defect of pronuncia∣tion occasioned by children's making use of the sound of the letter TH sibilant in∣stead of the letter S; as instead of "is it so," they say "ith it tho." To break this habit they must be taught to pronounce the S, by putting the point of the tongue against the roots of the upper teeth; and not to put it between their teeth as in pro∣nouncing the TH. This is easily accom∣plished by putting their own finger against the point of the tongue, as it comes be∣tween their teeth, in attempting to pro∣nounce the letter S, and pushing it back into the mouth.
I once saw a young lady, who after she had left school, had the habit of using oc∣casionally, Page 137tho' not constantly, the gutteral CH instead of the letter S, which was un∣commonly disagreeable to English ears. She corrected this ill habit by being taught, as above, how to place the tongue in pro∣nouncing the S, but not without many trials and much attention for some weeks; as great efforts and pertinacious industry are required to break any habit, which has been long esiablished.
Many children from the difficulty of speaking it are liable to a defective pronun∣ciation of the letter R; this in indeed al∣most general in some parts of Northumber∣land, and is said to be a sound unknown in China; which obliged the catholic mis∣sionaries sent thither by Louis the 14th to change the name of the virgin Mary, from Maria into Malia, or from Mary into Mal∣ly. In speaking the letter R the middle of the tongue is made to vibrate with semivo∣cal air; whereas in pronouncing L, the edges of the tongue only vibrate; the Page 138Northumberland vernacular R is formed with sibilant air instead of semivocal air, or differs from the true R, as S differs from Z. Both which should be explained to those children, who have this imperfect pronunciation.
Among the lower orders of the people of London, who are called Cockneys, the letter W is pronounced sibilant like the German W, and not semivocal like our vernacular one; this seems to resemble the sound of V to inattentive ears; and these Cockneys, are thence supposed to use V instead of W, as Vomen and Vine, instead of Women and Wine. This defect is rea∣dily conquered by teaching such children to give more vocal sound to their W, by sounding it at first like OO.
SECTION XXXII. STAMMERING.
THIS impediment of speech has ge∣nerally for its remote cause a too great dif∣fidence, or bashfulness, joined with an am∣bition of shining in conversation; and for its immediate cause an interruption of the asso∣ciation of the initial letter of a word with the remainder of it. Which association is dis∣severed by the ill-introduced sensation of awe, bashfulness, desire of shining, or fear of not succeeding; and then violent vo∣luntary efforts are in vain employed to re∣join the broken association, and give rise to various distortions of countenance, as explained in Zoonomia, vol. II. class iv. 2.3.1.
That this impediment of pronuncia∣tion is altogether a disease of the mind, and Page 140not of the organs of speech, is shewn by the stammerer being able to speak all words with perfect facility, when alone, as in re∣peating a play; but begins to hesitate, if any one approaches; or even if he ima∣gines, that he is listened to. Those words also are most difficult to him to pronounce, which he is conscious, he cannot change for others, as when he is asked his own name, or the names of other persons, or of places; and the more so if he is aware, that the hearer is impatient to be inform∣ed, and that he cannot conjecture the name, before it is spoken.
It requires great attention, and much time to overcome this bad habit; they should be daily exercised in speaking sin∣gle words as in spelling; and when they hesitate or find difficulty in announcing the beginning of a word, they should re∣peat it frequently aloud without the initial letter, and at length repeat it with the ini∣tial letter in a soster tone.
Page 141 Suppose the stammerer finds difficulty in speaking the word "Paper," and says p, p, p, p, repeatedly, but cannot join the a after it. He must be taught to pronounce aper, aper, aper, without the initial p, for many successive times; and this aper should be spoken aloud with more breath than common, as if an h preceded it; and at length he should add in a softer tone the letter p to it.
This, together with an hourly atten∣tion to speaking and reading slowly, and practising in this manner every word, which is not readily spoken, both in pri∣vate and in company, I am informed is the principle, on which those masters cure this impediment, who make it a profession; and to this should be added a frequent in∣troduction to the society of strangers, in order to acquire less agitation or anxiety about the opinions of others.
SECTION XXXIII. SQUINTING.
THIS defect of vision, which is term∣ed strabismns, may frequently be con∣quered in children, if it be attended to early, before it has been long established by habit. In this deformity it generally happens, that one eye is better than the other, which induces the child to view ob∣jects with the best eye, and to hide the center of the nose. This greater irritabi∣lity of one eye is often occasioned, I sus∣pect, in infancy, by tying a bandage for too long a time over an eye, which has happened to be slightly inflamed, and thus decreasing its power of action by di∣suse; in the same manner the large muscles of the body become weakened by long in∣action; and the right arm is generally Page 143stronger than the left from its having been more frequently exercised.
In this case if the best eye be for an hour or two, or longer, covered every day with gauze stretched upon a circular piece of whale-bone, so as to render the vision of this eye as indistinct as that of the other, the child will naturally turn them both to the same object, and in a little time the weak eye will become stronger by being used, or the strong one weaker by disuse, and the child will cease to squint.
Another kind of squinting is owing in∣tirely to a bad habit, and consists in look∣ing at objects with one eye only at a time. The owl bends both his eyes upon the ob∣ject, which he observes; and by thus perpe∣tually turning his head to the thing he in∣spects, appears to have greater attention to it; and has thence acquired the name of the bird of wisdom. All other birds, I believe, look at objects with one eye only, but it is Page 144with the eye nearest the object attended to; whereas in this kind of strabismns the per∣son attends to objects with the most distant eye only. This habit has probably been produced, by a cap worn in infancy, which projected forward beyond the head on each side, like the bluffs of a coach-horse, so as to make it easier for the child, as he lay in his cradle, to view oblique objects with the eye most distant from them; which kind of cap is therefore to be avoided.
A curious case of this ill habit of vision is related in the Philos. Transact. vol. 68. by Dr. Darwin; which was relieved by fix∣ing a parchment gnomon on the nose of the little boy, which projected about an inch from the ridge of it, and caused him for a time to view oblique objects with that eye, which was nearest them.
SECTION XXXIV. INVOLUNTARY MOTIONS.
BY confinement in a school-room for many successive hours, and that with∣out being suffered to vary their posture, some of the more active and lively chil∣dren are liable to gain tricks of involun∣tary actions, as twitchings of the face, restless gesticulations of the limbs, biting their nails, &c. which are generally at first occasioned by the want of sufficient bodily exercise to expend the superfluous animal power, like the jumping of a squirrel in a cage; but are also liable to be caught by imitation of each other.
To prevent this kind of deformity children should be suffered to change their attitudes and situations more fre∣quently; Page 146or to walk about, as they get their lessons. To counteract it the ear∣liest attention is necessary; as a few weeks frequently establish a bad habit, which cannot be removed without great diffi∣culty: This however may be effected early in the disease by a bandage nicely applied on the moving muscles, or by adhesive plasters put tightly over them; or by an issue placed over them, so as to give a little pain, when the muscles are thrown into action under it.
SECTION XXXV. SWELLED FINGERS,
AND kibed heels, are inflammations liable to affect tender children in many schools during the winter months. The latter of these complaints is generally ow∣ing to the coldness of a brick or plaster floor to their feet, or to their sitting in un∣changed shoes and stockings, after walk∣ing in the wet; and the former to their being kept too long from the fire in the cold parts of the school-room without gloves.
Nothing prevents or cures these mala∣dies but a due attention to keep the ex∣tremities of delicate children warm, either by clothing, exercise, or fire. The in∣flammation of the heels or toes may be Page 148sometimes removed by covering them with a double linen rag moistened in a satur∣nine solution made by dissolving half an ounce of sugar of lead in half a pint of water, to be renewed morning and night. As the swelling of the fingers thus pro∣duced is liable to continue, and to injure the shape of them, it becomes of greater importance; but may in some measure be afterwards diminished or removed by the frequent application of vitriolic Ether to them.
The skin of the lips, and of the hands and arms of children is liable to become inflamed, and chopped, or rough, in frosty weather, owing both to the coldness and dryness of the air. The former is re∣lieved by the application of a lip-salve made by mixing minium or red lead with spermaceti and oil to a proper consistance; or by blue mercurial ointment. The lat∣ter by wearing leathern gloves, the inside of which is smeared with spermaceti soft∣ened Page 149with a little oil, or with pomatum; gloves thus prepared prevent too great ex∣halation from the skin in frosty air, and the consequent too great dryness and rough∣ness of it.
SECTION XXXVI. BEDS.
THE rheumatism, and other inflam∣matory diseases, are frequently occa∣sioned in crowded schools by placing some of the beds with one side against a wall; where the weaker child confined by a stronger bedfellow is liable to lie for hours together with some part of it in contact with the cold wall; which in the winter months has often been at∣tended with fatal consequences; and especially in those boarding schools, where the beds are small, and but one blanket allowed to each of them, and a scanty feather-bed.
We are indued with a very accurate sense to distinguish heat and cold, which Page 151should be nicely attended to; as the ex∣tremes of both of them are injurious to health, and more so in our sleeping than in our waking hours. The extreme of heat is not much experienced in this climate, except when it is artificially produced; but that of cold is the cause of numerous diseases of the most fatal tendency. A severe continued frost may may be borne by the strong, who can keep themselves warm by their activity, but is destructive to the weak and seden∣tary. In the year 1795 the weather in January, and in one week of February was uncommonly severe; the same five weeks in January and February 1796 were uncommonly mild; and it appears by the bills of mortality in London, that 2823 people died in these five weeks of frost in 1795; and that only 1471 died in the same five weeks of mild weather in 1796, which is not much more than half the number.—See a paper by Dr. Heberden in Philos. Transact. for the year 1796.
Page 152 Some misinformed parents have con∣ceived, that a hard bed contributes to harden their children in respect to their bearing cold, and have on that account laid them on straw-mattresses, or on beds with boarded bottoms. The only dif∣ference between lying on a soft or hard bed consists in this; the weight of the body in the former case presses on a larger surface, and in the latter on a less; neither of which has any reference to the habits of tenderness or hardiness in respect to cold and heat; unless indeed a feather-bed is so soft, that, as the child sinks down in the middle of it, the rising edges bend over him, and in part cover him. Perhaps beds made of soft leather properly prepared, and inflated with air, as the Emperor of Germany was said to use in camp, might be preferable on this account to feather-beds.
The beds for young children cannot therefore be too soft, however they may Page 153contribute to the indolence of grown people provided they do not keep them too warm by bending over them as a∣bove described. But the too great hard∣ness of beds is, I believe, frequently inju∣rious to the shape of infants by occasion∣ing them to rest on too few parts at a time; which hardens those parts by pres∣sure, and prevents their proportionate growth. It also occasions their sleep to be less sound by the uneasiness it causes, and in consequence less refreshing.
The feet and knees and hands of weaker children are liable to become cold in bed in winter, on which account it is more salutary for them to sleep with a bed-fellow, rather than alone; as they then naturally put their cold knees or hands to their companion in bed, and thus frequently prevent rheu∣matic, and other inflammatory diseases of fatal event. For the same reason it is better for a new born infant to sleep Page 154with its mother in winter, or with a young nurse, than in a solitary crib by her bed-side; unless the artificial warmth of the room be more nicely graduated, than is commonly done.
For the same reason, where children are too feeble from illness, a fire should be allowed in their bed-chamber in cold weather; as the cold air is otherwise injurious to their lungs, which cannot be clothed so as to prevent the contact of of the air, like the other parts of the bo∣dy; a fire contributes also to ventilate a room, and to circulate the air in it, and thence to render it more salutary; but it should not warm it to more than 60 or 65 degrees, that its temperature may not differ too much from that of the external atmosphere; as those, who are kept generally too warm, are liable to take cold, at every blast of air, not from 〈◊〉 degree of cold, to which they hap∣pen Page 155to be exposed, but to its difference from that, which they have been ac∣customed to.—See sect. xxvi.
The universal analogy derived from other animals, which produce a feeble offspring, evinces the truth of this doc∣trine, both in respect to the softness, and the due degree of warmth of their beds: Birds line the nests for their young with feathers; the eider duck, and the rabbit, pluck the down from their own breasts to increase the softness of the beds for their tender offspring; and brood them with their wings, or clasp them to their bosoms for the sake of warmth.
The number of hours required for salutary sleep is greater for younger chil∣dren, than for those more advanced; as during our progress through life we ac∣quire greater facility in using our volun∣tary power, and recruit it in less time when exhausted. The younger classes Page 156of scholars may go to rest at seven, or eight; but the elder should be allowed another hour for the purposes of reading or other kinds of improvement; the hour of rising must vary with the season.
SECTION XXXVII. DIET.
MILK is the food designed by na∣ture for young animals, and should be gi∣ven them in its recent state. As the cream is the most nourishing part of the milk, and is easier of digestion than the coagulable or cheesy part; and as milk constitutes a principal portion of the ali∣ment of children; to take off the cream once, or even twice, as is practised in some boarding schools, before it is given to the children, is a shameful circumstance of parsimony, and very injurious to their healths.—See sect. xxx, on punishments.
Nor should the milk given to children be long kept in a boiling heat; because much of its fragrant oil is then evaporated, Page 158as is evident from the fine odour of the steam of it, when taken from the fire; and its further deterioration from long boiling is shewn by its then inducing constipation, which is contrary to its effect in its recent and natural state.
Nevertheless even new milk does not always agree with children, after they have passed the years of infancy. For milk ta∣ken into the stomach must be always pre∣viously curdled or coagulated, before it can be digested, or converted into nou∣rishment: Hence milk is always found curdled in the stomachs of calves, and the acid juice of their stomachs is used to co∣agulate their milk in the process of cheese∣making: Now the stomachs of young chil∣dren abound more with this acid juice than in their riper years, and when a sufficient quantity of it is not produced for the pur∣pose of curdling the milk, which they drink, it is liable to disagree.
Page 159 To these few therefore, whose sto∣machs do not easily digest the coagulable part of milk, other fluid sood should be al∣lowed to breakfast, as gruel, or tea with cream and sugar in it, and with bread and butter; and to supper, a slice of cold meat, or of cheese, or tart, or bread and butter, with small beer or water for drink; but it is probable, that milk might be made to agree with all stomachs, if it was previous∣ly curdled by rennet, as I have often re∣commended with success to elderly per∣sons; or by letting it stand, till it becomes spontaneously sour like buttermilk, as is the custom of the inferior people of Scot∣land; except nevertheless where the dis∣taste of the child is owing to prejudice or caprice, which is then incurable but by time.
For dinner animal food plain dressed, with vegetables or bread, and pudding of wheat flour, milk, and eggs, with sugar or butter, are more nourishing than vegetable Page 160sustenance alone. Wheat flour contains more nutriment than that of rice, or bar∣ley, or oats; as it possesses more starch in proportion to its bulk, and a gluten ap∣proaching to animal matter. But much salt or spice should not be allowed in the diet of children, as they are certainly un∣wholesome by inducing a weakness of the capillary and absorbent systems of vessels in consequence of their too great stimulus, and contain no nourishment.
As butter and sugar are perhaps the most nutritive of animal and vegetable substances, they may be more easily taken to excess; on which account some mistaken parents have totally prohibited the use of them; which is a great disadvantage to weaker children, who require more nutri∣tive diet in less bulk than stronger ones.
For the drink of the more robust chil∣dren water is preferable, and for the weak∣er ones, small beer; but in this, as well as Page 161in the choice of solid food, their palates should be consulted; for the nice discern∣ment of this sense is bestowed on us by na∣ture to distinguish, what the stomach can best digest. It should however be observ∣ed, that in artificial viands the taste cannot distinguish, what is unwholesome; as sugar may be mixed with arsenic. So in the drinking of fermented liquors, as ale or wine, which are chemical productions, the palate is not to be consulted; a glass of mere wine should never be given to chil∣dren, as it injures their tender stomachs like a glass of brandy or rum or gin to a grown person; and induces those diseases, which it is often erroneously given to pre∣vent; as weakness of digestion, with the production of worms in consequence. Wine nevertheless diluted with thrice its quantity of water may be allowed, if re∣quired, instead of small beer; or ale or cider diluted with thrice their quantities of water.
Page 162 Ripe fruits, or fruit pies, are peculiar∣ly serviceable to the constitutions of chil∣dren, as well as agreeable to their palates; as they are known to prevent biliary con∣cretions, and consequent jaundice; and on the same account to render the skin clear∣er and fairer, as well as to counteract the tendency to putrid diseases. These should therefore be allowed to children at all sea∣sons; and may either occasionally consti∣tute a part of their diet; or may be recom∣mended to them, when they lay out part of their pocket-money with hucksters, in preference to seed-cakes, gingerbread, or sugar-plumbs; the former of which are generally made of bad flour deteriorated by spice; and the latter are liable to be co∣loured with gamboge, vermillion, verdi∣grease, or other noxious drugs.
Too long fasting, or food of less nou∣rishment than they have been accustomed to, are peculiarly injurious to children; as they weaken their power of digestion, im∣pair Page 163their strength, and impede their growth. The children of the inferior poor, and of families, which have adopted some ill-advised rules of abstemious diet, are frequently starved into the scrophula, and become pale-faced and bloated, owing to deficiency of the quantity of blood, and to want of sufficient stimulus to the absorb∣ent system.
If young people are thought to be too corpulent, a diminution of food with an increase of exercise, when they have ob∣tained their full growth, may be used with advantage; but even then not without cau∣tion. Since young ladies, after they have left school, who by ill advice use too great abstinence, are liable to become pale and emaciated, and to fall into universal debi∣lity; which remains through a diseased and comfortless life.
SECTION XXXVIII. ECONOMY.
1. A DUE regard to the prudent ex∣penditure of their money, a proper care of their clothes, and a parsimonious atten∣tion to the lapse of time, should be incul∣cated into the minds of young ladies. To effect these purposes one efficacious me∣thod, where the usual exhortations fail, may be to suffer their imprudence to pro∣duce some inconvenience to themselves; which they should be permitted to feel to a proper degree.
Thus a profuse unnecessary expendi∣ture of their pocket money will shortly in∣duce poverty; which should by no means be alleviated by a fresh supply of money; till the inconvenience produced has effect∣ed Page 165a conviction of the impropriety of their conduct. Except when the expenditure has been made for some laudable purpose, and then no time should be lost in restor∣ing the power of repeating it.
The same mean may be used in res∣pect to their omission to take care of their clothes; they should find the necessity of repairing them with their own hands, or of foregoing some visiting amusements, till new ones can be procured; that thus the consequent inconvenience may teach them economy, if they are otherwise too inat∣tentive to the usual admonitions on these subjects.
In respect to the economy of time the hours of amusement and of exercise should be regularly counted; and the length of time young ladies employ in dressing should be nicely attended to; as in adult life the hours consumed at the toilet of some ladies is perfectly ridiculous, and de∣tains Page 166them from more important duties. Perhaps a stated time might be allowed the young ladies for adjusting the articles of their dress, that they might acquire a habit of disposing them with neatness, taste, and elegance, and yet with expedition.
2. Men are generally trained from their early years to the business or profes∣sion, in which they are afterwards to en∣gage; but it most frequently happens to ladies, that tho' destined to the superin∣tendance of a future family, they receive scarcely any previous instruction; but be∣gin this important office with a profound ignorance of the value of money, and of the proper application of the things, which surround them.
Many young ladies destitute of mo∣thers, and without a home, are continued at school to a later age; such should be formed into a class, and properly instruct∣ed in domestic economy; each of them Page 167superintending the business of the family, a week or a month by turns; not only pro∣viding for the table, and directing the cookery, but they should also be taught other parts of domestic employment, as cutting out linens, and making them up with plain and strong needle work, either for their own families, or to be given as clothing for necessitous infants or mothers.
Such an addition of domestic know∣ledge and benevolent industry to orna∣mental accomplishments would give the school, that procures it, a decided advan∣tage over other schools, which have no such institution.
SECTION XXXIX. SCHOOL-EDUCATION.
THE advantages of a school-educa∣tion, where twenty or thirty children are properly instructed, over that in a private family are derived from several sources. First, it must be observed, that almost all our exertions in early life are owing to our imitating others; in child∣hood we are most liable to imitate the actions of those, who are somewhat old∣er than ourselves; and in manhood, of those who are in somewhat higher life; whence the general prevalence of fa∣shion in dress and manners. Now there are more examples to cause imitative activity in well conducted schools, and the children in consequence become more active in the pursuit of their stu∣dies, Page 169and in the acquirement of their ac∣complishments.
It may be added, that not only chil∣dren, before they have acquired the use of reason or voluntary deliberation, but that the greatest part of adult mankind learn all the common arts of life by imi∣tating others; and that even dumb creatures seem capable of acquiring knowledge with greater facility by imi∣tating each other, than by any methods, by which we can teach them. Thus dogs, when they are sick, learn of each other to eat grass as an emetic; and cats to moisten their paws for the purpose of washing their faces. And the readiest way to instruct all brute animals is by practising them with others of the same species; which have already learnt the arts, we wish them to acquire, as ex∣plained in Zoonomia, vol. I. sect. 22.3.
Page 170 A second advantage of schools, when well conducted, is that children often take pleasure in teaching each other, in∣somuch that at boy's schools I have of∣ten observed, that the lower classes have learnt more from their school-fellows of the higher classes, than even from their masters; which has sometimes arisen from the friendship, or vanity of the el∣der boy, and sometimes from the solicita∣tion of the lower one; but has in all cases been advantageous to both of them.
A third superiority of school educa∣tion arises from an emulation, which na∣turally exists, where many pursue the same studies, but which should not be encouraged by rewards or degradations; as it then may degenerate into envy or hatred; but should in general be left in∣tirely to its own operation; as mention∣ed in sect. xxx.
A fourth advantage of school-educa∣tion is from the children acquiring a Page 171kind of practical physiognomy; which renders them more intelligent, and more interesting companions; and is of great∣er consequence in our passage through life, than almost any single accomplish∣ment, as explained in sect. vi. and sect. xxiv. of this work.
Fifthly, where languages are learnt by conversation, as is generally practised in teaching the French language, a school-education properly conducted, is much superior to that of a governess in a private family. And languages are so much easier taught to children by con∣versation than by the abstract rules of grammar, that Mr. Locke is solicitous to have the latin and greek languages taught by conversation in boys' schools; and thinks the time of learning words might thus be much shortened, which now occu∣pies seven or eight years; part of which might be much better employed in acquir∣ing the knowledge of things.
Page 172 The Philosopher, who despising the goods of fortune said, "he was rich, though he carried about with him every thing, which he possessed," meant to assert, that strength of mind joined with strength of body, were superior to any other advan∣tages of life. A good education furnishes us with this inestimable treasure; it ac∣companies us at home, travels with us a∣broad; delights us in solitude, graces us in society; comforts us in misfortune, guards us in prosperity; contributes to the happiness of others, and ensures our own.
SECTION XL. CATALOGUE OF BOOKS.
I BEG leave to apprize the reader, that I have inserted a great part of the fol∣lowing catalogue of books for the younger children, because they were recommend∣ed to me by ladies, whose opinions I had reason to regard, and not from my own at∣tentive perusal of them; which has been prevented by my other necessary occupa∣tions. Such of them therefore, as are less generally known, a parent or governess will please to read, before they put them in∣to the hands of their children. And I can only add, that if I had myself been better acquainted with them, the collection would probably have been less numerous.
LEARNING TO REAP.—SEC. 3.
- SPELLING-Book, by D. Fenning.
- Harry and Lucy.
- Mrs. Barbauld's Spelling-Books.
- Mrs. Barbauld's Lessons.
- Fabulous History of Robins, by Mrs. Trimmer.
- Fairy Spectator.
- Circuit of Human Life.
- Scenes for Children.
- Rational Sports.
- Rational Dame.
- History of England, with cuts. 1 vol.
- Looking-Glass for the Mind, with cuts by Bewick.
- Cobwebs to catch Flies. 2 vols.
- Little Truths. 2 vols.—Little Mentor.
- Blind Child.—Poor Child's Friend.
- Davenport Family.—Letitia Lively.
- Page 175 Visit for a Week, or Hints on the Improvement of Time.
- Village School. 2 vols.
- Prince Le Boo.
- Sandford and Merton. 3 vols.
- Parent's Assistant. 3 vols.
- Evenings at Home, 6 vols.
- Leisure Hours, by P. Wakefield, 2 vols.
- Mental Improvement, by P. Wakefield, 2 vols.
- Juvenile Anecdotes.
- Pleasing Instructor, 2 vols.
- Rudiments of Reason, 3 vols.
- Rural Walks, by Ch. Smith, 2 vols.
- Rambles farther, by Ch. Smith, 2 vols.
- Juvenile Magazine.
- Governess of an Academy.
- Progress of Man and Society, by Trusler.
- Beauties of the Creation, by Riley.
- Mentoria, by Ann Murry.
- Gay's Fables.—Dodsley's Esop's Fables.
There are innumerable other books published for the use of children from one penny to a shilling and upwards by almost every bookseller in London. Many of the above are the works of reputable writers; and the others have been recommended to me by those, who have pe∣rused them.
GRAMMAR. SECT. 5.
- Grammatical Introduction.
- Mrs. Devis' Rudiments of Grammar.
- Lowth's Introduction to English Grammar.
- Ash's Grammar.—Smetham's practical Grammar.
- Johnson's English Dictionary, Oct. edit.
- Entick's Spelling Dictionary.
- General Grammar, by Messrs. Port Royal.
- Took's Epea Pteroenta, or Diversions of Purley.
- Jeu de Grammaire, par de Gaultier.
These three last treat of Grammar too minutely and artificially, rather as a science itself, than as an aid to facilitate the acquirement of languages, and are there∣fore less adapted to schools.
FRENCH LANGUAGE. SECT. 6.
- Chambaud's Grammar and Vocabulary.
- Cours de Lectures pour Les Enfans, par Abbe Gaultier.
- La Bagatelle, 2 vols.
- Petites Miscel. pour les Enfans.
- Le Magazin des Enfans, par M. de Beaumont.
- Education complete, par M. de Beaumont.
- Instruction pour les Jeunes Dames.
- Page 177 Theatre d'Education, par Mde. de Genlis.
- Les Veillies du Chateau, par Mde. de Genlis.
- L'Ami des Enfans, par Berquin.
- L'Ami des Adolescents, par Berquin.
- Mythologie des Jeunes Demoiselles, par M. de la Mi∣mardiere, 2 vols. 12 mo. Fr. & Eng.
- Conversations d'Emilie, French & English.
- Lodoick, French & English, 6 vols.
- Idylles de Gesner.
- Oevres de Florian.—Les Petites Montagnards.
- La Campagne de la Jeunesse:—Varietes Historique.
- L'Eleve et son Instructrice.
- Drames et Dialogues de Mad, de la Fite.
- Questions par Mad. de la Fite.
- Fables de Cambray.
- Letters de Mad. de Lambert a son fils.
- Discours fur l'Histoire universal, par Bossuet.
- Gil Blas.—Paul et Virginie, par St. Pierre.
- Letters d'une Peruvienne.—Lettres de Sevigne.
- Voyages de Cyrus. Numa Pompilius. Telemaque.
- Voyages de Jeune Anacharsis, 6 vols. 12mo.
ITALIAN LANGUAGE. SEC. 6.
- Tasso.—Metastasio.—Select Plays of Goldoni.
- Scelta Italiane.
- A selection of Metastasio's Works, in 2 vols. small.
- Page 178 Ganganelli.—Bentivoglio.—Pastor Fido.
- Gil Blas, translated into Italian.
- Lettres d'une Peruvienne, translated into Italian, with accents.
- Telemaco, a translation from Telemaque.
- Baretti's Italian Grammar.
- Baretti's Italian Dictionary.
- Baretti's Italian Library, 8vo.
The greatest part of these French and Italian books for the use of children, as well as very many English ones, may be had at Mr. Peacock's juvenile library, Ox∣ford-street, London.
ARITHMETIC. SEC. 7.
- Vise's Tutor's Guide.—Hutton's practical Arithmetic.
- Wingate's Arithmetic.
- Walkingam's Tutor's Assistant.
GEOGRAPHY. SEC. 8.
- Large well-colour'd four sheet Maps of the World, of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and of England.
- Geographical Cards by Newbury.
- Page 179 Geographical Cards by Bowles.
- Geographical Cards with prints of dresses.
- Fairman's Geography, 8vo.
- Turner's Geography, 12mo.
- Faden's Maps with blank outlines.
- Moral System of Geogrophy, 12mo.
- Harris on the Globes
- Guthrie's Geographical Grammar.
- Brookes' Gazetteer.
- Abbe Gaultier's jeu de Geography.
CIVIL HISTORY. SEC. 9.
- History of England, with prints.
- Characters of Kings of England, with heads by Bewick.
- Trimmer's Histories of England, Greece, and Rome.
- Riley's historical pocket Library, 6 vols. 12mo.
- Rollin's Ancient History.
- Goldsmith's Histories of Greece, Rome, England, and Scotland.
- Millot's Elements of History.—Plutarch's Lives.
- Priestley's Lectures on History.
- Priestley's Chart of History.
- Priestley's Chart of Biography.
- Mrs. Chapone's Letter on Chronology.
- Circle of Sciences, by Newberry, 7th v. on Chronology
- Page 180 Voyages and Travels, by Mavor, now publishing in Nos.
- Beauties of England.
- Beauties of Nature and Art, 13 vols. 12mo.
Hume's and Henry's Histories of England; Robert∣son's Histories of Charles the 5th, and of America; with Rollin's and Millot's antient and modern Histories, are too voluminous for school books.
NATURAL HISTORY. SEC. 10.
- Galton's Treatise on Birds, 3 vols. 12mo.
- Natural History of Beasts and of Birds, 2 vols.
- History of Quadrupeds, by Mrs. Teachwell, 2 vols.
- Rational Dame.—Bewick's account of Quadrupeds.
- Goldsmith's Animated Nature, 8 vols. 8vo.
- Buffon's Natural History abridged, 2 vols. 8vo.
Dictionaire Raisonne, par Bomare, 6 vols. 8vo. is a very useful work on Natural History to be occasionally referred to, rather than to be read as a school book. Pennant's books of Zoology; Barbut's Histoire des In∣sects; White's Natural History of Selbourn; and ma∣ny other works with numerous plates, are too volumi∣nous or too expensive for the use of schools.
RUDIMENTS OF TASTE. SEC. 11.
- Spectator, vol. 6, No. 411, to 422.—Burke on Sublime and Beautiful.
- Blair's Lectures.—Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty.
- Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination, 8vo.
- Longinus on the Sublime, translated by Smith.
- Mason's English Garden.—Wheatly on ornamental Gardening.
- Price's Essay on Picturesque.—Gilpin's Picturesque Views.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discourses to the Academy.
- Clio on Taste.—Beauties of Shakespear.—Of Pope, 2 vols.—Of Johnson,—Of Rambler, Adventurer, &c. 2 vols.—Of Stern,—Of Spectator, Tatler, &c. 2 vols.
- Warton's History of Poetry.—Pope's Essay on Criticism.
- Addison's Criticisms on Milton in the Spectator.
- Spence's Criticism on Pope's Odyssy.—Mrs. Mon∣tague's Essay on Shakespear.
- Warton's Essay on Pope, 2 vols. 8vo.
- Lord Kaim's Elements of Criticism, 2 vols.
This last work is highly ingenious, but too abstruse for young ladies, who might more easily improve their taste in respect to visible objects by frequently being shewn with proper remarks a select collection of the printe of beautiful landscapes, or of beautiful figures.
HEATHEN MYTHOLOGY. SEC. 13.
- Young Ladies Mythology, by Miss de la Mimardiere, 2 vols. 12mo.
- Bell's Pantheon, 4to.—The notes in Pope's transla∣tion of Homer.
- Dannet's Dictionary, in French or English, 4to.
- Instruction sur le Metamorphoses d' Ovide, par M. Ragois.
- Garth's Translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
- Spence's Polymetis, folio.—Bryant's Mythology, 3 vols. 4to.
- Abbe de Pluche's History of the Heavens, 2 vols. 8vo
These three last works are too difficult or too volu∣minous for young ladies, who might learn heathen my∣thology more casily and more agreeably from a select collection of the impressions from antique gems and medallions, or of prints of antient statues.
DISSERTATIONS. SEC. 14.
- Spectator, 8 vols.—Guardian, 2 vols.
- Tatler, 6 vols.—The World, 4 vols.
- Rambler, 4 vols.—Adventurer, 4 vols.
- Page 183 Mirror, 3 vols.—Anacharsis, translated from the French, 7 vols. 8vo.
- Conversations of Emelia, 2 vols.—Turkish Spy.
- Essays for young Ladies, by Miss H. Moore.
- Improvement of the Mind, by Mrs. Chapone,
- Lambert's Advice to a Son and Daughter,
- Gregory's Advice to a Daughter.—Locke on Education.
- Miss Bowdler's Works, 2 vols. 8vo.—Miss Talbot's Works, 2 vols.
- Calendar of Nature, by Dr. Akin,
- Introduction to the Knowledge of Nature.
- Hallifax's Advice to a Daughter.—Fitzosborn's Letters,
- Con Phillips's Whole Duty of Woman.
- Lord Chesterfield's Letters; the 1st volume only, 4 vols. 8vo.
- Some of Lady W. Montague's Letters, 2 vols.
- Rollin's Belles Lettres, 4 vols. 12mo.
- British Plutarch.—Johnson's Lives of the Poets.
- Aikin's Life of Howard.—Keir's Life of Day.
- Franklin's Life, by himself.—Enfield's Speaker.
- Elegant Extracts, 3 vols. large octavo.
- Preceptor, 2 vols.
The English and French prose translation of some of the antient classics should be added, as Mrs. Carter's Epictetus; Mrs. Fielding's Xenophon; Melmouth's Page 184Epistles of Pliny, and of Cicero to his Friends; and the Abbe Mongault's of those to Atticus; and many others.
PLAYS. SEC. 14.
- Addison's Cato.—Thomson's Tragedies.
- Caractacus and Elfrida, by Mr. Mason.
- Edgar and Elfrida—.Cumberland's Comedies.
- Sheridan's Comedies.—Beauties of Shakespear.
- Sacred Dramas, by Miss Moore.—Sacred Dramas, by Mad. de Genlis.
- Sacred Dramas, by Metastasio.
- L'Ami des Enfans.—Theatre of Education, by Mad. de Genlis.
- Tragedies de Racine.—Tragedies de Corneille.
NOVELS. SEC. 14.
- Sandford and Merton, 3 vols.
- Children's Friend, by Berquin.
- New Robinson Crusoe.
- Adelard and Theodore, by Mad. de Genlis.
- Tales of the Castle, by Mad. de Genlis, 5 vols.
- Moral Tales, by Dr. Percival,
- Moral Tales, by Miss Mitchel, 2 vols. 8vo.
- Stories from Life, by M. Wolstencrost.
- Page 185 Rasselas, by Dr. Johnson, with Continuation.
- Agatha, 1 vol. 12mo.—Plain Sense, 3 vols. 12mo.
- Disobedience, 4 vols. 12mo.—Edward, by the Author of Zelucco.
- Evelina, by Miss Burney, 2 vols.—Cecilia, by Miss Burney, 5 vols.
- Camilla, by Miss Burny, 5 vols.
- Emmeline and Ethelinda, by Ch. Smith.
- Simple Story, by Mrs. Inchbald.
- Emily Montague, by Miss Brooks. Female Quixotte, 2 vols.
- Belisarius, by Marmontel,—Caroline de Leitchfield,
- Les Romans de L'Abbé Prevot.
- Laure, 5vols. 12mo.
POEMS. SEC. 14.
- Gay's Fables.—Thomson's Seasons.
- Gisborne's Walks in a Forest.—Moore's Fable's for the Female Sex.
- Hayley's Serena, and his Epistles.—Cowper's Task.
- Gray's Poems,—Collins' Poems.
- Goldsmith's Poems, 2 vols.—Lord Lyttleton's Poems.
- Addison's Poems.—Carter's Poems.
- Aikin's Poems.—Jerningham's Poems.
- Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination.
- Page 186 Mason's Works, 3 vols. 8 vo.—Milton's Poetical Works.
- Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad.
- Pope's translation of Homer's Odyssey.
- Pope's Works,—Dr. Warton's edition.
- Garth's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
- Dryden's, or Pitt's translation of Virgil.
- Hoole's translation of Tasso's Jerusalem deliver'd, 2 vols.
- Mickle's translation of Camoen's Lusiad.
- Botanic Garden, 2 vols.
- Dodsley's Collection of Poems.
- Elegant Extracts, in verse.
- Henriade de Voltaire.
ARTS AND SCIENCES. SEC. 15.
- Lee's Introduction to Botany.
- Botanical Dialogues, for the use of Schools, by M. E. Jackson.
- Families of Plants, translated from Linneus, 2 vols.
- System of Vegetables, from Linneus, 2 vols.
- Notes on vol. II. of Botanic Garden.
- Curtis's Botanical Magazine, with colour'd prints; many volumes of which are already publish'd and which continues to be now publish'd at one shilling a number, 1797.
- Martyn's translation of Rosseau's Letters on Botany.
- Lavoisier's Elements of Chymistry, 2 vols. 8vo.
- Page 187 Fourcroy's Philosophy of Chymistry,
- Watson's Chymical Essays.
- Kirwan's Mineralogy, 2 vols. 8vo.
- Notes on Vol. I, of Botanic Garden.
- Grey's Memoria Technica.
- Gurney's Short-Hand.
- Ladies' Encyclopedia, by Seally, 3 vols. 12mo.
- Circle of Sciences, 7 vols. small.
- Introduction to Arts and Sciences, by Turner, 1 vol.
MORALITY. SEC. 21.
- Elements of Morality, translated from Salzmann, 3 vols.
- Gisborne's Duties of the Female Sex.
- Letters of Lady Russel, 8vo.
- Economy of Human Life.
- Old Whole Duty of Man.
- Paley's System of Morality.
- Gisborne's Answer to Paley.
These two last works are too scientific for young minds to encounter.
- Select parts of Scripture.
- Barbauld's Hymns.
- Sacred Dramas, by Charl. Smith
- Sacred Dramas, by Mad. de Genlis.
- Sacred Dramas, by Metastasio.
- Page 188 Old Whole Duty of Man.
- Blair's Sermons, 4 vols.
- Carr's Sermon's.—Ogden's Sermons.
- Baron Haller's Letter to his Daughter.
- Lady Pennington's Advice to her Daught.
- Fashionable Religion, by Miss H. Moore.
- Wisdom of God in the Creation, by Ray.
- Durham's Physico-Theology.
- Divine Benevolence asserted, by Dr. Balguy.
- Trimmer's Sacred History, 6 vols.
- Butler's Analysis.
- Paley's Evidences of Christianity, 2 vols. 8vo.
Books of controversial divinity are not recommended to Ladies.