Back to Children's Moral Instruction
Peabody: As all are aware, the sexes and various
classes require different educations. What
is suitable for a boy is not suitable for a girl and what is necessary for the
nobility is not always a demand on the gentry.
Lady Befuddled: Yes, this I know. And having set it out, I will tell you, for my son Thomas I intend fully to raise him as a nobleman. For although we are of the gentry, Thomas is first born and will inherit our property and land. This inheritance gives him the opportunity to rise above his current station.7
Peabody: And once there he will have certain
responsibilities and authority. With
this authority it is essential that he be aware of the required education for
the nobility in addition to the gentry. Likewise,
since it is possible he will be marrying into either class, it is important he
be fully aware of the requirements and demands placed on his future bride.
Taking a look at James Nelsonís An Essay on the Government of
Children7, the different requirements for
men and women are
Lady Befuddled, although slightly off the current course of conversation, I would like to recommend to you never to push Thomas too hard
or demand that he do his work. If
you insist Thomas read such and such many pages a day or overflow his senses
with too many mathematic formula he will lose all desire for education and wish
only to play. However, if you work
to give study a non-obligatory aura, Thomas will view it as pleasure and,
without the insistence of another, move himself to excel5.
All children like to read when it is not demanded.