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neglect it and pass it by while it is merely troublesome, but when it really begins to do mischief,-to shake the stedfast purpose of the will, then a little sharp discipline must be administered.'

'Just so,' Mildred answered, and maybe if we let inclination alone too long without this discipline, the scourging will come from a higher hand.'

'And be more sharp,' Elinor said.

'And so more effectual;' rejoined her friend.

'Well, she continued presently, all this is more or less parenthetical: I was wanting to show you that it might be possible for one person, myself for instance, from peculiar circumstances or turn of mind, or from having had unusually great advantages, to help (may I even say teach, in some measure?) others so infinitely beyond me in real practical goodness that it seems very, perhaps really is, presumptuous in me to attempt such a thing.'

'Do you not think then, that knowledge in religious matters,' asked Elinor, 'is proportionate to practice? I mean that they who practice best really do know best also, and the reverse.'


'Yes,' Mildred answered, thoughtfully which consideration ought at once to close my mouth. But I do not mind presuming a little with you, Elinor, because I know you will allow me to take liberties.'

'If every one wanted teaching as much as I do, and were as glad to get it,' she replied, 'you might teach with no fear of being thought presumptuous.'


'I will tell you just where I think you do want teaching,' said Mildred; and I should imagine it may be the same with many others. I think you want to know how much really is in you. I believe there is very much dormant in your mind which only wants to be waked up. Do you not always find that anything which seems new to you, yet finds something responsive in your own mind, -you really did know it before, only you were unconscious of your knowledge. And in this way perhaps I may help you, by rousing the thoughts which are slumbering within you. And then, you find it difficult, I know, to put your ideas into words: those are by no means the best who are the most "full of words," yet a talker may be sometimes of use to one who is wise, thoughtful, good, and slow of speech, by clothing in words the thoughts which he does not know how to express.'

Surely you have apologised enough now for teaching me,' said Elinor, laughing, 'so go on and tell me something about the prac

tical part of teaching: an easy thing to talk about being practical, though so hard to be so.'

'It is a good thing then for us, that the practice is what we have to do continually, and the talking as seldom as we chuse, so shall we learn the best what we know the least.'

Well, I suppose you would agree with me in the foundations I would lay, these two, namely: obedience and reverence, which both spring from what is the basis, the groundwork and foundation of the christian character-humility.'

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Obedience, most certainly,' said Elinor, 'but how much do you mean by reverence?'

I mean especially with regard to any thing in any degree religious; and I would also inculcate a spirit of reverence to all in authority.'

'Yes, I quite go with you in your foundations; but how to lay them?' said Elinor.'

'It is very difficult,' said Mildred, 'to know the best way in which to enforce obedience in all cases. I am convinced that children cannot be taught very well in classes; the same system will not do for all; for instance, a stubborn, headstrong child cannot require the same treatment with one of those soft yielding characters which are so common.'

'But I do not see how you can obviate this difficulty,' said Elinor. 'No,' replied her friend, 'it is one which cannot be obviated, a necessity of school-teaching. So I suppose the only thing is to teach in such a way as will be best for the generality, and to vary it when we can, in particular cases which seem to need it.—Of course you must have rules ;-I should say, let them be very clear, and definite, and simple, so that no child can have the least difficulty in understanding them. Then take care not to have them too numerous or too hard; if they are either, there will be continual danger of their being suffered to fall into disuse, and you yourself will not like to insist on their observance. But have them few and light, and then make them binding; do not suffer the smallest infringement of them. Rule your children as you are conscious of requiring to be ruled yourself, and I believe you will never be very far wrong (and this again is a means of helping you to gain the feeling of identification with the children which I spoke of). In short, exercise a mild despotism over them.'

But it really seems foolish,' said Elinor, to insist on such

trifles, as for instance the way in which they stand; or to find fault with them every time they look about or talk.

Then do not make rules about snch things,' answered Mildred; 'if you have rules they must be observed. If such rules seem too hard to be observed altogether, and yet too important to be altogether neglected, do not mix up their observance with their neglect; I mean, do not let them be half observed and half neglected at the same time, but make rules again as to how far they are to be observed. I doubt very much whether you will ever make your children thoroughly obedient, without making them feel that they are actually under defined rules.'

'Tell me precisely what you mean about making rules for the observance of rules,' said Elinor; 'if you want to give me practical directions, they must be very simple and easy. I do dislike generalities.'


'Well Elinor, I wont generalize more than I can help,' said Mildred with a smile; I will give you an instance from the things you spoke of just now. With regard to position; I would make it a rule that while going through such or such a particular employment-say, their religious reading-I would insist on one uniform position, and would notice and rebuke every forgetfulness of this rule. But as this would be too irksome for very long, I would make them clearly understand that the rule applied only to the time of such employment, and that they are at liberty to sit and stand as they please at other times. I say, make them clearly understand this, for there is nothing more hurtful to a child's notions of obedience, than to let it suppose that it is allowed to neglect existing rules. And for the rest of the time, you might have only some lighter rule, such as, that the children are not to go from one part of the room to another without asking and obtaining your leave, under any pretence whatever. With regard to talking, you might follow the same plan:—if you thought you could not make them silent the whole time, you might take off the rule against it during some one particular occupation. I am not sure how far this might be good or necessary, but this I am sure, that it would be better to give them free leave to talk for a while, than to connive at their breaking the rule occasionally during the whole school-time.'

'Really you do not talk unreasonably for a theorist,' said Elinor, smiling; 'I think your theories seem practical and sound.'

You can only tell whether they are so by putting them into prac

tice,' Mildred answered; after all, all the theorising in the world is not worth so much as experience.'

Now, then, with regard to reverence?' said Elinor.

'First,—I would begin to instil it as early as possible,' replied Mildred; 'no child is too young to be made reverential, or rather, to be kept so, for I think most children have a tendency to reverence holy things, though they so very easily catch the habit of irreverence. But please, Elinor, if you have any wish to guard your little ones from irreverence, do not let them learn to read out of such books as this,' and she held up a Primer which she had taken from Elinor's hand and had been turning over; fancy setting a little creature, which hardly knows its letters, to read this for instance: to try all by the law of God. It is not the law of man. pen it, but God did say how all was to be put, so it was not the law of man, but it was the law of God;' or this again, To be fit to die you are to be as a new man, and to put off the old man. If I am to do so, let me see what the old man is!' Is that meant for a baptized child to read, Elinor?'

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Well, I will not defend the Primer,' said Elinor, laughing, ' though, as the children who read that book do certainly not understand it, it cannot do them much harm.'

I beg your pardon, Elinor, I cannot at all agree with you: I think it is just this custom of teaching children to read in religious books that is the beginning of much which we afterwards have to try to undo. Can it be right for children to have to spell through, and stumble over the most sacred names, as a mere task? The consequence of such a practice is, that they get familiarized with holy names and words; and so, then, according to the proverb, . 'familiarity breeds contempt,' they lose all reverence for them. You will find that children who have been taught to read in this method will say such words readily and without fear. The most holy names are to them no more than any other of the words they are in the habit of spelling over. I have known children (not educated in a school) so afraid to pronounce the name of God, or of our Blessed Saviour, that even while answering questions on religious subjects, they would seem to shrink from bringing these names into their answers; and when obliged to say them, would do so with downcast eyes, and blushing cheeks, and faltering voice. You may perhaps say, that this is extreme, and, if reverence can be extreme, it may be; but is it not infinitely preferable to the callousness which you will see in most school-children in this respect?'

'Yes, indeed,' said Elinor; I often shrink from asking questions on sacred subjects because of the entire fearlessness with which the children will answer and guess. And you think that learning to read in religious books may produce this effect?'

I am sure it may help to do so,' Mildred answered; and why should they not learn first to read mere secular nonsense? I think that I would not allow school-children to read anything religious, especially the Bible, until they could read at least tolerably well (I say school-children, because a different plan might perhaps be observed with children brought up at home under a mother's eye). And by this I do not at all mean that they should not receive religious teaching. But I think it would be better for you to read to them anything you thought good for them, and then talk to them about it very seriously and gravely. I would try, if possible, to make them feel that it is an awful thing to pronounce the name of God.'


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you try,' asked Elinor, to teach reverence chiefly by precept or by example?'

'By both,' Mildred answered, and most of all by trying to grow more and more reverential one's self.'

That you may teach the better by example?' said Elinor, enquiringly.

'No,' said Mildred, looking up at her, 'no: I do not think that should be our end or our aim.'


'I know what you mean,' Elinor said, thoughtfully; but I will tell you what was in my head when I spoke. You have read Margaret Percival" I know. Do you remember the conversations on education in that, in which Mr Sutherland insists on example, as, I think, the great principle of education? I was much struck by that when I read the book; I thought so very good and true.'

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Mildred thought for a few minutes; then she said, I too thought, and still think, Mr Sutherland's principle a very true one, but, to use his own phrase, 'it does not go deep enough;' at least to my mind.'

How do you mean?'

'Why thus: I would have you teach reverence, obedience, selfdenial, and so on, by example; but unintentionally. I mean, that you should not be intending or wishing to set an example, but that you should be intending and wishing, and, moreover, trying very heartily to be obedient and reverential, humble and self-denying. You know that you, as well as those you teach, have to learn these things then, I would say, set your heart stedfastly on learning and

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