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quences must be bad. We have frequently known, even a fer months of close application to study ruin an excellent constitution, by inducing a train of nervous complaints, which could never be removed. Man is evidently not formed for continual thought, any more than for continual action, and would as soon be worn out by the one, as by the other. So great is the power of the mind over the body, that by its influence all the vital motions may be accelerated or retarded to almost any degree..
Thus cheerfulness and mirth quicken the circulation, and promote all the secretions; whereas sadness and profound thought never fail to retard them. Hence it would appear, that even a degree of thoughtlessness is necessary to health. Indeed, the perpetual thinker seldom enjoys either health or spirits; while the person who can hardly be said to think at all, generally enjoys both. Perpetual thinkers, as they are called, seldom think long. In a few years they generally become quite stupid, and exhibit a melancholy proof how readily the greatest blessings may be abused. Thinking, like every thing else, when carried to extreme, becomes injurious; and therefore those who have charge of children must endeavor not to go into the opposite extreme, but allow the children proper recreation, that they may return to thinking the better, and not by endeavoring to do too much, deprive themselves of the power of doing any thing. It will be seen, therefore, that discretion is a very essential quality in a master; for, if instruction be not managed with judgement, the child becomes like a ship without a rudder, or like fancy without judgement, all sail and no ballast.
and we should
There is nothing so delightful as the hearing and speaking of truth. For this reason there is no conversation so agreeable as that of the man of integrity who hears without any design to betray, speaks without any intention to deceive: this admitted, strive to our utmost to induce children to speak the truth. But our success, in a great measure, will depend on the means we take to accomplish that end. I know that many children are into falsehood by the injudicious methods adopted by those persons who have the care of them. I have known a mother promise her child forgiveness, if it would speak the truth, and, after having obtained confession, has broken her promise. A child, in this manner, will naturally be guarded against a second such deception. I have known others who would pretend not to punish the child for confession, but for first denying it, and afterwards confessing. I think that children should not be punished count after having been promised forgiveness; truth being of 100 great importance to be thus trifled with; and we cannot wonder if
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it is lightly esteemed by children, after the example is set by their parents. Having had several thousand children pass through my hands, it has furnished me with opportunities of observing the bias of the infant mind; and I must say, that I have not found children so inclined to evil and falsehood as I had heretofore imagined, neither so corrupt as is generally supposed. For if our dealings are fair and honorable with children, we may expect from them much better things. I do believe, when we have ascertained the proper method of treating children, it will be found that they came from the hands of their Creator in a much better state than we generally suppose, and that they are not so prone to vice, cruelty, lying, and many other evils, as is generally believed; and instead of snarling at each other like dogs, I find they will be as kind and good natured to each other as any race of beings on carth; for many of their faults are often committed rather through ignorance than intention. These things, therefore, have convinced me of the necessity and importance of a thorough change in the management of children from first to last, and instead of being almost the last thing thought of by our legislators, it should be the first.
Use of Pictures in Infant Schools. We hava twelve pictures in Natural History, each picture having a variety of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and flowers. The first thing we do is to teach the children the names of the different things, then to distinguish them by their forms, and lastly, they are questioned on them as follows: If the animal is a horse, we put the pointer to it, and say,
What is this? A. A picture of a horse. R. What is the use of the horse? A. To draw carts, coaches, wagons, drays, fire-eris ines caravans, the plough and harrow, and boats on the canals, and anything that their masters want them. Q. Will they carry as well as draw? A. Yes, they will carry a lady or gentleman on their backs, a sack of corn, or paniers, or even little children, but they must not hit them hard, if they do they will fall off their backs; besides it is very cruel to beat them. Q. What is the difference between carrying and drawing? A. To carry is when they have the whole weight on their backs, but to draw is when they pull any thing along. Q. Is there any difference between those horses that carry, and those horses that draw? A. Yes; the horses that draw carts, dravs,coal-wagons, stage-wagons,and other heavy things, are stouter and much larger, and stronger than those that carry on the saddle, and are called draught horses. Q. Where do the draught horses come from? A. The largest come from Leicestershire, and some come from Suffolk, which are very strong, and are called Suffolk punches. Q. Where do the best saddle horses come from? A.
They came at first from Arabia, the place in which the camel is so useful; but now it is considered that those are as good which are bred in England. Q. What do they call a horse when he is young? A. Foal, or a young colt. Q. Will he carry and draw while he is young? A. Not until he is taught, which is called breaking of him in. Q. And when he is broken in, is he very useful? A. Yes; and please, sir, we hope to be more useful when we are properly taught? Q. What do you mean by being properly taught? A. When we have as much trouble taken with us as the horses and dogs have taken with them. Q. Why you give me a great deal of trouble, and yet I endeavor to teach you. A. Yes, Sir, but before infant schools were established, little children like us were running the streets.* Q. But you ought to be good children if you do run the streets. A. Please sir, there is nobody to tell us how,t and if the man did not teach the horse, he would not know how to do his work.
Here we observe to the children, that as this animal is so useful to mankind, it should be treated with kindness. And having questioned them as to the difference between a cart and a coach, and satisfied ourselves that they understand the things that are mentioned, we close, by asking them what is the use of the horse after he is dead, to which the children reply, that its flesh is eaten by other animals, (naming them;) and that its skin is put into pits, with oak bark, which is called tanning; and that when it is tanned it is called leather; and leather is made into shoes to keep the feet warm and dry, and that we are indebted to the animals for many things that we both eat and wear, and above all to the great God for every thing that we possess. I cannot help thinking that if this plan were more generally adopted, in all schools, we should not have so many persons ascribing every thing to blind chance, when all nature exhibits a God, who guides, protects, and continually preserves the whole.
We also examine the children concerning that ill-treated animal, the ass, and contrast it with the beautiful external appearance of the zebra ; taking care to warn the children not to judge of things by their outward appearance, which the world in general apt to do, but to judge of things by their uses, and of men by their general character and conduct. After having examined the children concerning the animals th-t are most familiar to us, such as the sheep, the cow, the dog, and others of a similar kind, we to foreign animals, such as the camel, the elephant, the tiger, the lion, &c. &c. In describing the use of the camel and the elephant,
• This answer was giren hy a child five years of age.
there is a fine field to open the understandings of the children, by stating how useful the camel is in the deserts of Arabia; how much it can carry; how long it can go without water; and the reason it can go without water longer than most other animals: how ch the elephant can carry; what use it make of its trunk, &c. All these things will assist the thinking powers of children, and enlarge their understandings, if managed carefully. We also contrast the beautiful appearance of the tiger with its cruel and blood thirsty disposition, and endeavor to show these men and women in embryo, that it is a dangerous plan to judge of things by appearances, but that there is a more correct way of judging, which forms a part of the business of education. But working people consider that education consists merely in the knowledge of letters, and perhaps, they are not the only persons who think so; at all events, few attempt to go beyond this with young children, for whom I am attempting to legislate. I may observe further, that all those persons who have visited the school, as far as I have been able to collect, have approved of the plan; and I do sincerely hope, that when the British public are made acquainted with the good that is doing, and is likely to be done, by this mode of teaching infants, many will come forward and assist in establishing similar schools; not that I wish it to be understood that I hold up the school that I have charge of as a model for all ot 's. No: when men of talent and penetration take up the subject, which I hope they will, we shall no doubt have much more light thrown upon it; which probably will be the means of establishing a system upon truly scientific principles. I have hitherto endeavored to act as near to nature as possible, without straining the thinking powers of children beyond their capacities; but should any better plan appear, I will most cheerfully (if permitted) adopt it.
With these pictures the children are highly delighted, and of their own accord, require an explanation of the subjects. Nay, they will even ask questions that will puzzle the teacher to answer; and although there is in some minds such a natural barrenness, that, like the sands of Arabia, they are never to be cultivated or improved, yet I can safely say, that I never knew a child who did not like the pictures; and as soon as I have done explaining one, it it always, Please sir, may we learn this? Please teacher, may we learn that?' In short, I find that I am generally tired before the children; for instead of having to apply any magisterial severity, they are petitioning to learn; and this mode of teaching possesses an advantage over every other, because it does not interfere with any religious opinion, there being no body of christians that I know or ever heard of, who would object to the facts recorded in the Bible, being thus elucidated by pictures. Thus a ground-work may be laid, not only of natural history, but of sacred history also; for the objects being before the children's eyes, they can, in some degree, comprehend them, and store them in their memories. Indeed, there is such attraction in pictures, that you can scarcely pass a picture shop in London, without seeing a number of grown persons around the windows, gazing at thein. When pictures were first introduced into the school, the children told their parents; many of whom came and asked permission to see them; and although the plates are very common, I observed a degree of attention and reverence in the parents, scarcely to be expected, and especially from those who could not read.
By this plan, then, the reader will perceive, that the way may be paved, if I may be allowed the expression, almost to insure a desire in the children to read the Bible when they are able, and by their previous knowledge of the many leading facts contained therein, it is to be hoped that most of them will understand what they read, and consequently read day after day with increased delight, until they have acquired such a love, veneration, and esteem for the sacred writings, as all the powers of evil will never be able to eradicate.
It is generally the case, that what we have always with us, becomes so familiar, that we set little store by it; but on being deprived of it for a time, we then set a greater value on it: and I have found this to be the case with the children. If the pictures be exposed all at once, and at all times, then there would be such a multiplicity of objects before the eyes of the children, that their attention would not be fixed by any of them; they would look at them all, at first, with wonder and surprise, but in a short time the pictures would cease to attract notice; and, consequently, the children would think no more of them than they would of the paper that covers the room. To prevent this, and to excite a desire for information, it is always necessary to keep some behind, and to let very few objects appear at one time. When the children understand, in some measure, the subjects before them; these may be replaced by others, and so on successively, until the whole have been seen.
The human mind is susceptible of such an infinite variety, that it is continually seeking for new objects; and even the most beautiful, by being placed before our eyes too frequently, loses almost all its attraction, and ceases to claim our notice. Therefore, although the children are fond of this mode of teaching, unless it be managed with a proper degree of care, with a view to please as well as edify, the children will be cloyed by having too much at once; and whatever good the teacher may wish to do for his little