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more or less useful and needful according to the different Stations and Businesses for which Children are defigned.
As the Sons of a Family should be educated in the Knowledge of Writing, Reading, Spelling and Accounts, so neither should the Daughters be trained up without them. Reading is as needful for one Sex as the other : Nor should Girls be forbid to handle the Pen or to cast up a few Figures, since it may be very much for their Advantage in almost all Circumstances of Life, except in the very lowest Rank of Servitude or hard Labour. And I beg Leave here to intreat the female Youth, especially those of better Circumstances in the World, to maintain their Skill in Writing which they have already learned, by taking every Occasion to exercise it : And I would fain perswade them to take Pains in acquainting themselves with true Spelling, the want of which is one Reason why many of them are ashamed to write; and they are not ashamed to own and declare this, as though it were a just and sufficient Excuse for neglecting and lofing the Use of the Pen.
TN a good Education it is required also that 1 Children, in the common Ranks of Life, be brought up to the Knowledge of some proper Business or Employment for their Lives; Some Trade or Traffick, Artifice or Manufacture, by which they may support their Expences, and procure for themselves the New cessaries of Life, and by which they may be enabled to provide for their Families in due Time. In some of the Eastern Nations, even Persons of highest Rank are obliged to be educated to some Employment or Profession; And perhaps that Practice has many Advantages in it: lt engages the younger Years in Labour and Diligence, and secures from the mischievous Effects of Sloth, Idleness, Vanity and a thousand Temptations.
In our Nation I confess it is a Custom to educate the Children of Noblemen and the eldest Sons of the Gentry to no proper Bufiness or Profession, but only to an Acquaintance with some of the Ornaments and Accomplishments of Life, which I shall mention immediately. But perhaps it would be
far happier for some Families, if the Sons. were brought up to Business and kept to the Practice of it, than to have them exposed to the pernicious Inconveniences of a fantering and idle Life, and the more violent Impulse of all the corrupt Inclinations of Youth.
However it is certain that far the greater Part of Mankind must bring up their Children to some regular Business and Profession, whereby they may sustain their Lives and support a Family, and become useful Members to the State. Now in the Choice of such a Profession or Employment for Chil. dren, many Things are to be consulted ? • (1.) THE Circumstances and Estate of the Parent ; whether it will reach to place out the Child as an Apprentice, to provide for himn Materials for his Business or Trade, and to support him till he shall be able to maintain himself by his Profession. Sometimes the Ambition of the Parent and the Child hath fixed on a Trade far above their Circumstances ; in Consequence of which the Child hath been exposed to many Inconveniences and the Parent to many Sorrows.
(2.) THE Capacity and Talents of the Cbild must be also confidered. If it be a Profeffion of hard Labour; hath the Child a healthy and firm Constitution, and Strength of Body equal to the Work? If it be a
Profession that requires the Exercise of Fancy, Skill and Judgment, or much Study and Contrivance; then the Question will be, Hath the Lad a Genius capable of thinking well, a bright Imagination, a solid Judgment? Is he able to endure such an Application of Mind as is necessary for the
- (3.) THE Temper and Inclination of the Child must be brought into this Consultation, in order to determine a proper Business for Life. If the daily Labour and Business of a Man be not agreeable to him, he can never hope to manage it with any great Advantage or Success. I knew a Bricklayer who professed that he had always an Averfion to the Smell of Morter : And I was acquainted once with a Lad who begun to learn Greek at School, but he complained it did not agree with his Constitution. I'think the first of these ought to have been brought up to work in Glass or Timber, or any Thing rather than in Bricks: As for the other, (to my best Remembrance) he was wisely disposed of to a Calling wherein he had nothing to do with Greek. .
And here I would beg Leave to desire that none might be encouraged to pursue any of the learned Professions, i.e. Divinity, Law or Pby fck, who have not the Signs of a good Genius, who are not patient of long Attention and close Application to Stu
the other;, disposed of with Greek.
dy, dy, who have not a peculiar Delight in that Profession which they choose, and withal a pretty firm Constitution of Body, for much Study is a Weariness to the Flesh, and the Vigour of Nature is sooner impaired by laborious Thoughtfulness than by the Labour of the Limbs.
(4.) It should be also the sollicitous and constant Care of Parents, when they place out their Children in the World, to seek out Masters for them who profess serious Religion, who practise all moral Virtues and keep good Orders, and good Hours in their Family. The Neglect of this Concern has been the Ruin of a thousand Youths in our Day; and notwithstanding the sensible Mischief arising from this Negligence, yet there is still too little Care taken in a Matter of fo great Importance *.
Thus much for this part of the Education of Sons. But you will say then, What Business of Life must Daughters be brought up to? I must confess when I have seen so many of the Sex, who have lived well in
* This Danger arises in a great* Degree from the immoderate Love of Pleasure, which so generally pro vails, and leads Masters into Parties and Engagements especially on the Lord's Day; which not only occafi. ons the Neglect of religious Instruction and Family Prayer on the Evening of it, but sets an Example to Servants which they think themselves authorized to follow, though it be generally to their own Deftruce tion.