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not to find in the world real personages, resembling the heroes she has read of-fain would she live like those imaginary princesses, whom fiction has described as always charming, always adored, and always beyond the reach of want. What disgust must she feel on descending from such a state of heroism, to the lowest offices of housewifery !
Some there are who push their curiosity still further, and without the least qualifications, presume to decide upon theological points.But those who have not sufficient grasp of intellect for these curiosities, have other pursuits, better proportioned to their talents : they are extremely desirous of knowing what is said, and going on in the world a song-news-an intrigue—to receive letters, and to read those that other people receive; these things delight prodigiously ; they wish every thing to be told them, and to tell every thing in turn : they are vain, and vanity is a sure incentive to talk. They become giddy, and volatility prevents those reflections from rising which would shew them the value of silence.
Of the First Foundations of Education.
o remedy the evils just complained of, it is of material consequence to commence a system of education from Infancy: this tender period, which is too often intrusted to imprudent and irregular women, is, in truth, the most susceptible of the strongest impressions, and consequently has a great influence on the future regulation of life.
As soon as children can lisp, they may be prepared for instruction: this
may be thought paradoxicalbut only consider what a child does before it can talk. It is learning
a language which it will, by and by, speak with more accuracy, than the learned can speak the dead languages, although studied at a mature period of life. But what is the learning a language? It does not consist solely in treasuring in the memory a great number of words—but in comprehending, says St. Austin, the meaning of each particular word: the child, amidst its cries and amusements, knows for what object each word is designed : this is obtained sometimes by observing the natural motions of bodies which touch, or shew, the objects of which one is speakingsometimes by being struck with the frequent repetition of the same word to signify the same thing. It cannot be denied but that the brain of children is admirably calculated,
from its temperament, to receive impressions from all these images; but what strength of mental attention is requisite to distinguish them, and to unite each to its proper object ?
Consider too, how children, even at such a tender age, attach themselves to those who flatter, and avoid those who restrain, them : how well they know to obtain their object by a tear, or silent submission: how much artifice and jealousy they already possess! “I have seen,” exclaims St. Austin,“ jealous child : it could not speak; but its face was pale, and the eyes were irritated against an infant that suckled with it." From this it
be inferred, that infants know more at such an early period than is usually imagined :