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In all these Affairs a wise Parent will keep a watchful Eye upon the Child, while he indulges it in these Gratifications of Youth and Inclination: A wise Parent will daily observe whether the Son or the little Daughter begin to be too much charmed with
any of the gay Ornaments and Amusements of Life; and, with a prudent and sacred Sollicitude, will take Care left any of them entrench on the more necessary and more important Duties of Life and Religion. And according to this View of Things, the Parent's Hand will either give a looser Rein to the Pursuit of these Exercises, or will manage the Propensities of the Child with a needful and becoming Restraint.
But among all the Accomplishments of Youth there is none preferable to a decent and agreeable Behaviour among Men, a modelt Freedom of Speech, a soft and elegant Manner of Address, a graceful and lovely Deportment, a chearful Gravity and good Humour, with a Mind appearing ever serene under the ruffling Accidents of human Life: Add to this a pleasing Solemnity and Reverence when the Discourse turns upon any Thing facred and divine, a becoming Neglect of Injuries, a Hatred of Calumny and Slander, a Habit of Speaking well of others, a pleafing Benevolence and Readinefs to do Good to Mankind, and special Compaffion to the Miserable ; with an Air
and Countenance, in a natural and unaffected Manner, expressive of all these excellent Qualifications.
SOME of these, I own, are to be numbered among
the Duties and Virtues rather than among
the Ornaments of Mankind : But they must be confessed to be Ornaments as well as Virtues. They are Graces in the Eye of Man as well as of God. These will be speak the Affection of all that know us, and engage even an ill-natured World betimes in our Favour. These will enable the Youth of both Sexes, who are so happy to attain them, to enter upon the Stage of Life with Approbation and Love, to pass through the World with Ease (as far as Ease may be expected in so degenerate and unhappy a State of Things) to finish the Scenes of Action on Earth with Applause, and to leave behind them the Monument of a good Name when their Bodies Bleep in the Dust, and their Souls dwell with God,
A Guard against evil Influences from Perfons.
T belongs also to a good Education that
Children be guarded and secured (as far as possible) from all evil Influences and unhappÝ Impresions which they may be exposed to receive both from Persons and Things. I shall fufficiently explain this Direction by particular Instances.
Let not Nurses or Servants be suffered to fill their Minds with filly Tales and with sensekess Rbimes, many of which are so absurd and ridiculous that they will not bear to be represented in a grave Discourse. The Imagination of young Creatures is hereby flattered and deceived: Their Reason is grossly abused and imposed upon : And by this Means they are trained up to be amused with Follies and Nonsense rather than to exercise their Understanding, which is the Glory of human Nature.
LET not any Persons that are near them terrify their tender Minds with dismal Stories of Witches and Ghosts, of Devils and evil Spirits, of Fairies and Bugbears in the Dark. This hath had a most mischievous Effect on
some Children, and hath fixed in their Con. ftitutions such a rooted Slavery and Fear, that they have scarce dared to be left alone all their Lives, especially in the Night. These Stories have made such a deep and frightful Impression on their tender Fancies, that it hath enervated their Souls, it hath broken their Spirits early, it hath grown up with them and mingled with their Religion, it hath laid a wretched Foundation for Melancholly and distracting Sorrows. Let thele Sort of Informations be reserved for their firmer Years, and let them not be told in their Hearing till they can better judge what Truth or Reality there is in them, and be made sensible how much is owing to Romance and Fiction.
Nor let their little Hearts be frighted at three or four years old with shocking and bloody Histories, with Massacres and Martyrdoms, with Cuttings and Burnings, with the Images of borrible and barbarous Murders, with Racks and red bot Pincers, with Engines of Torment and Cruelty, with mangled Limbs, and Carcases drenched in Gore. It is Time enough, when their Spirits are grown a little firmer, to acquaint them with these Madnesses and Miseries of human Nature. There is no need that the History of the holy Confeffors and Martyrs should be set before their Thoughts so early in all their most ghastly Shapes and Colours. These Things, when
they are a little older, may be of excellent Use to discover to them the wicked and bloody Principles of Persecution both among the Heathens and the Papists; and to teach them the Power of the Grace of Christ in supporting these poor Sufferers under all the Torments which they sustained for the Love of God and the Truth.
Let their Ears be ever kept from all immodest Stories and from wanton Songs : From Riddles and Puns with double Meanings and foul Intentions: Let them not be suffered to read wanton Jefts or amorous Romances: And due Care should be taken to remove all Books out of their way that may defile their Imagination, or teach them the Language or the Sentiments of Impurity. Nor let their Eyes be entertained with lewd and unclean Pictures, and Images of Things or Actions that are not fit to be exposed. These Things indeed have too often an unhappy. Influence to corrupt the Fancy and the Manners; and in riper Years have been the Occafion of numberless Mischiefs : But especially they should be kept far away from the Sight or Hearing of Children, Jest too deep and dangerous Impressions be made in those early Years of Life. Nothing but what is chaste, pure and innocent should come within the Reach of their Eyes and Ears. Even the common Neceflities and Actions of Nature thould be always expreffed before them in