« ПредишнаНапред »
95 able, manner, against female delicacy and innocence. In the former, that delicacy and that innocence are exposed under the greatest disadvantages to the sudden influence of highly fascinating allurements. It may be hoped however, that, coming to the encounter as yet little impaired, they may have some chance of escaping without fevere injury. At any rate, be this chance ever so small, it is greater than the probability, that when affailed from their earliest dawn, by flow poison inceffantly administered, they should ultimately survive.
To accustom the mind by degrees to the trials which it must learn to withstand, yet to shelter it from insidious temptations, while it is unable to discern and to shun the snare, is the first rule which wisdom suggests with regard to all trials and temptations whatever. To this rule too much at. tention cannot be paid in the mode of introducing a young woman into the common habits of social intercourse. Let her
cording to the answers which they receive concerning the number of servants kept in the house, the magnificence of their liveries, the number of courses habitually served up at table, the number of routs given at the town residence in winter, the extent of the gardens and of the park at the family mansion in the country, the intercourse maintained with nobility and people of fashion, and the connection fubsisting with the fordid occupations and degrading profits of trade. When daughters are educated at home, the fame passions reveal themselves; but being encountered by the superior attention which may there be paid to a girl's dispositions, and wanting the encouragement which they would have derived in the school from example and from the exercise afforded to them by a continual supply of fresh materials to work upon, they are more easily subdued. Both in public and in private education let them meet with that vigilant and determined opposition, without which
they they will enslave the heart, and render the character a detestable compound of haughtiness, malevolence, and insensibility.
In treating of Education, I have not yet adverted to the care of health. In the case of children who do not labour under any particular weakness of frame, the concern which education has with health confifts not so much in positive endeavours to promote, as in cautiously forbearing to injure it; not so much in devising means to affist Nature in establishing a strong constitution, as in securing full.scope for the benefit of her spontaneous exertions. Debility and disease require peculiar attentions. And universally, the plan of instruction ought to be so arranged as not to clash with the acquisition or the preservation of a blessing which, whether comfort or utility be considered, claims a place among the foremost attainable on earth. So intimate is the connection, so general the sympathy, between the body and the mind, that the vigour of
the former seems not only to remove obstacles to the operations of the latter, but even to communicate to its powers an accesfioni of strength. Wholesome food, early hours, pure air, and bodily exercise, are instruments not of health only, but of knowledge. Of these four indispensable requisites in every place and mode of education, the two first are seldom 'overlooked ; in schools the two which remain frequently do not awaken the solicitude which they deserve. Is pure
air to be found in the heated atmosphere of low and crowded rooms? Is it exercise to pace once in a day in procession down a street or round a square; or in regular arrangement to follow a teacher along the iniddle walk of a garden, forbidden to deviate to the right hand or to the left ? Pale cheeks, a languid aspect, and a feeble frame, answer the question ; and prognosticate the long train of nervous maladies which lie in wait for future years. It is not necessary that girls should contend in the hardy amusements which belit the youth of the other
sex. But if you wish that they should pofsess, when women, a healthful constitution, steady spirits, and a strong and alert mind let active exercife in the open air be one of their daily recreations, one of their daily duties (z).
(2) For the purpose of encouraging a propensity to saJubrious exercise in the open air, it seems desirable that girls fhould be allowed, when educated at home, and if possible, when placed in schools, to poffefs little gardens of their own, and to amuse themselves in them with the lighter offices of cultivation. The healthiness of the employment would amply compensate for a few dagged frocks and dirtied gloves. Besides, an early relish for domestic amusements lays the foundation of a domestic character. The remembrance of delights experienced in childhood disposes the mind in riper years to pursuits akin to those, from which the recollected pleasures were derived.