Page images
[ocr errors]

Let them be useful to the world, not afraid of exertion nor labor; let them live by the proceeds of their own industry, and thus escape from want.

May the triumphal day of Thy pious one be a day of bliss to me! Help me, that when we appear before Thee, none of mine shall be wanting. Then shall I say with joy, “See, Father, here am I, and here are also those whom Thy grace gave unto me to be trained for heaven."

A father should every day pray to God, “Lord, teach me aright to stand in Thy place towards my children.” RUCKERT. (Poem.)

Education in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord," is and must be the principal thing.

All wisdom is not founded in the fear of the Lord, -all corporeal training and artistic skill, are of little use; but the fear of God, pious Christian feeling, habitude to virtue and good order, the right training of the heart, are useful in all things. They are security for present and future happiness.

Accordingly, it is the holiest of the duties of parents, and universally for church and state, not only to train the understandings of the youthful branches of humanity entrusted to them, but to elevate their hearts, and thus to educate a future generation deserving of happiness and of a blessing.

SCHWABE. Teachers should treat their pupils as they would their own children; should have pleasure in being with and among them ; should love them as affectionately as a good hen does her chickens; for in Donatus, first comes Amo, and Doceo follows afterwards.

Gizas. The teacher should be free from all selfishness; he should love, in his pupils, themselves and humanity; he should not respect a pupil less than himself

, but should even observe, with reverence, whether he has not inct, in the pupil, an individual of even higher grade of mind and capacity than himself.

The teacher should use all his powers to make his pupil a more valuable man than he himself is,

He should not claim any influence over the pupil than the latter feels of himself.

If love inspire him, and patience assist him, the consciousness of his divine vocation will enable him to overcome the difficulties of his work.

He should employ only such incitements and means of training as are noble, pure, and in harmony with the essential ideas of humanity, and such as unite virtue, love, justice and beauty ; so that the pupil may respect him as a true man.

KRAUSE. The first and principal mark of eminent mental endowments is a memory which easily grasps knowledge, retains it faithfully, and renders it up when desired.

The second mark is imitation.

For it indicates capacity for being taught, if young people endeavor to repeat what they sec.

A young man however does not give hopeful indications by trying to imitate for the sake of making others laugh.

If he really has talent, he will be modest; a feeble intellect would be preferable to a vicious tendency.

Yet this modesty will be very different from stupidity or indolence.
What such a boy is taught, he will understand without difficulty.

He will question inquisitively about many things; thus cndcaroring rather to follow than to lead.

Too carly a development of the mind does not easily bear good fruit.


Such children easily learn some little things, but soon lose their mental activity.

Precocious geniuses accomplish everything quickly, but not much.
What they know has no substantial foundation.

It is like seeds of grain scattered on the surface of the earth, which indeed quickly spring up and put out leaves, but wither before harvest with empty ears.

This rapid faculty of learning is very successful in early youth, but soon comes to a stand, and all admiration of it dies with it.

As soon as a teacher has otherwise examined the capacity of a pupil, he should seek how his mind requires to be managed.

Some, if not stimulated, grow indifferent; others will not endure anything of an imperative nature. Fear restrains some, others it deprives of their spirits. A continuous strictness quite prostrates some, while others are encouraged by it.

A teacher must be able to study the variations of character in his pupils, and to treat them accordingly; and so to instruct each, that the peculiar excellences of his character will be developed, and that thus he will be directed as his powers require.

Nature must advance by means of art.

He who is urged into employments to which he is not adapted, will accomplish no more than he whose mind is neglected.

Examination of the mental faculties and of their reference to instruction is absolutely necessary.

For some show a preference for history, some for poetry, some for law; while others had better be sent to the plough.

But if we find one whosc mind is quite corrupt, shall we allow him to proceed with his studies ?

It is necessary for a young person to apply himself to something; shall he not be permitted to make any exertions to do so ?

If he has any one good natural trait, it ought not to be neglected, but rather strengthened, and existing deficiencies, as far as possible, supplied.

Feeble intellects must be condescended to, at least so far as to learn what their natural tendencies are.

For in this way they may at least accomplish whatever they are capable of.

QUINTILIAN. The same education, under the same circumstances, may not produce the same virtues; for these differ according to natural endowments. For instance; the manly virtues are more commanding, the womanly more obedient, in character ;; and in like manner, minds vary in the same sex.

Our endeavors must therefore be directed towards the subjection of the unreasoning part to the reasoning part.

Thus are the virtues produced.

Education is intended to prepare the mind for instruction in moral excellence; as the land is prepared before the seed is sown in it.

Nature has planted within us an innate faculty of knowing and of conscience; by which we decide within ourselves upon existence and nonexistence, in doing and not doing, with a yes or no, without any further reasonings.

The better manners are, the better the condition of the whole state ; for the power of the law rests in great part upon usage.

If the gods concern themselves about men, that which lies nearest their hearts with regard to them is their nobler part; the improvement of the mind and moral faculties.

For as the eye receives light throughout the surrounding atmosphere, so does the mind through instruction.


[ocr errors][merged small]



Education should be commenced with the first appearance of the child's mind, by the mother and the nurse; in order that the child inay already be receiving useful training.

CARYSIPPUS. Education must proceed by developing this impulse, (of imitation) which man feels by nature; and must endeavor to lead him by this road to vir. tue and happiness.

ARISTOTLE. It is not at the beginning of the seventh year, as Hesiod directs, but at the very earliest age, that the mental training must gradually and progressively begin, in the same way in which the mental faculties of the child themselves develop.

But again the child should not be urged too early to continuous effort, but must rather at first be carried forward in a method more like play.

Nurses should be chosen, having good moral character and correct habits of speaking; for the first impressions upon the child are the most lasting

In like manner should the child's play-fellows be of irreproachable morals.

The sense of honor should early be brought into activity, and be stimulated by rewards and emulation.

As there are some exercises to which the body can only be trained in youth, so the first elements of education must bring out its principal points. They will be more easily comprehended at that age.

Those parents whose own education was defective, must bestow the more care upon the education of their children.

Although scarcely so much can be taught in the first three years as in one of those which follow next after, still it is in them, that the foundation is laid.

What must sometime be learned should not be begun too late.

Precocious geniuses are of small account. Their knowledge is not firmly based; it is like a seed cast upon the surface of the ground, which withers before it grows up.

All children should in other respects be treated indulgently, and recreative plays should be provided for them; yet still this indulgence should not be carried too far, lest it produce indolence.

Whenever the pupil, from pride, bad disposition or selfishness, does anything wrong, he should be reminded of it; for as Virgil says, “Habit is important for tender youth."

The educator and teacher should have paternal feelings for his pupil, because he supplies to him the place of parents.

The children should every day carry home with them some useful instruction from the mouth of the teacher; for the living voice gives richer nourishment than reading. The more thoroughly trained the teacher, the better he is.


[ocr errors]

Those cities which have bestowed most care upon gymnastics, bring their youth, it is true, to the apparent strength of an athlete; but they destroy the proper beauty and growth of the body. ARISTOTLE.

It is much better to row and dig, mow and throw the spear, run and jump and ride, hunt, fence, cut wood, carry burdens and cultivate the fields, in short to do whatever nature requires, than to practice gymnastics in palaces.

Galen. Since the body of men comes under our care before the mind, it should be attended to before it.

ARISTOTLE. Why do you nourish and discipline (quite too assiduously) your bodily strength ?

Nature has given it to beasts in greater measure.

When you have done all in your power, you will still be surpassed by the beasts.

PLATO. A child has within its mind little or nothing; it therefore learns more easily during childhood; just as we can much more speedily remember the experiences of the morning, than those which happened at a later period.

In after years, accordingly, man does much more by means of his understanding and the developed powers of it.

Man is as it were endowed with two instruments; the hand for the body, and the understanding for the soul.

Both these need development and discipline.

The love of parents for their children is greater than that of the children for their parents, because the former is much increased by recollections and by hopes.

Especially unselfish is the love of a mother; who desires her children to live, not for her sake, but for their own; and who has a strong affection for her children although they have no corresponding one for her.

Mothers love their children more than fathers, because they bring them forth with pain. But parents should be cautioned lest this love be carried to excess.

ARISTOTLE. Pregnant women should eat healthful food, should not neglect moderate exercise, and should above all things keep from getting into a passion of any sort, since this would have a bad influence upon the character of the child.

Solon. A pregnant woman should keep herself as quiet and unexcited as possible.

The mother should nurse her own child when not absolutely impossible; as even she wolves and she bears do.

Spiced food and heating drinks are poison to children.

When the understanding of children awakens, the first foundation must be laid in everything which they will have to learn in after life; in physics, by beginning to learn to know stones, plants, trees, &c.; in optics, by distinguishing light, darkness, colors &c. ; in astronomy, by observing the sun, moon and stars, and their movements; in geography, by proceeding from the knowledge of the cradle to that of the room, the home, the street, fields, and so on.

COMENIUS. As good hodily health in youth is the necessary condition of a healthy old age, the bodily exercises of children should not be neglected, and care should at the same time be taken that they are not made to lose their strength; which, according to Plato, is produced by sleep, and hard work.

[ocr errors][merged small]

As we prepare in good weather whaterer will be needed in a storm, so in youth must we lay up orderly habits and moderation, as savings against time of age.

Children should be led to industry in useful learning by persuasion and admonition; but never by blows and disgraceful treatment.

But such things only make them disinclined to effort and disgust them with their labor.

Blame and praise should be used alternately; but care should constantly be taken that the former does not discourage, and that the latter does not render over-confident and careless.

As a plant is nourished by moderate watering, but is drowned by too much, so are the mental powers of children strengthened by labors judiciously imposed, but are destroyed by excessive tasks.

Children should never be refused their necessary recreation; it should be remembered that nature has divided our whole lives into labor and recreation.

Thus we slacken the strings of the bow and the lyre, that we may be able to tighten them again.

Children must also be accustomed not to live effeminately, to restrain their tongues, and to overcome their anger.

Yet fathers should remember their own youth, and should not judge too harshly the transgressions of their sons.

As physicians mingle bitter drugs with sweet confections, and thus make what is a grecable a means of administering to the patient what is healthful, so should fathers unite the severity of their punishments with kindness; should sometimes give the reins to the impulses of their sons, and soin etimes check them; should be forbearing to a mere error, and even if they suffer themselves to become angry, should recover again from it.

It is often well to pretend not to have observed some action of children.

When we overlook the faults of our friends, should we not sometimes do the same for those of our children?

Children should be taught to be communicative and open; to avoid all that savors of secrecy, which tends to lead them away from uprightness, and to accustom them to wrong.

The understanding is not a vessel, that needs filling; it is fuel, that needs kindling. It is kindled to truth by the faculty of acquiring knowledge, and by love.

He who listens to the specch of another without kindling his understanding at it, as at a light, but contents himself with merely hearing, is like one who goes to a neighbor for fire, but only sits still there and warms himself.

He only receives an appearance of wisdom, like the red color from the shining of a flame; but the inner rust of his soul is not heated; nor is its darkness driven away.

PLUTARCH. He who disciplines his body is healthy and strong, and many persons have thus rescued their lives from danger, served their friends, been useful to their country, gained fame and glory, and lived a happy life.

The body becomes accustomed to whatever occupation is pursued; and accordingly it should be trained to the best exercises.

Forgetfulness, despondency, ill temper and even frenzy, often assail the mind, in consequence of neglect of bodily discipline, with so much power, as even to cause the loss of what knowledge is already gained.

Socrates. As the power of speech is easily misused, so are gymnastics; for superiority in bodily exercises can easily be abused to the injury of others.

« PreviousContinue »