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DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL.
EDUCATION THE FIRST THING. INTRODUCTORY.
A New Attempt. Indefatigable Student. Embryo of Immor
tality. Learning to see. How the Little Child learns. Labour makes beautiful. A Great Work. Will subdued. The World of Fancy. Where is the Attention? The Wild Colt. Napoleon's Memory. Somewhere and Somebody. Investigate and reason. Garden of Life. For Eternity. Better than Wealth. The Polished Jewel.
I AM about to try to do what, as far as I know, no one has ever yet attempted ;-I am now to undertake the preparation of a book for the sole benefit of the school-girl. I am intending, as far as possible, to have two characters. I mean, I wish to throw myself into her situation, to feel her trials and wants, and at the same time, so to remain myself that I may drop hints and bestow advice that may be useful to her.
A few years since, and you were all little
children. Your education began when you first opened the eye and noticed the light, when you first bent the ear and distinguished sounds, when you first put forth the hand and brought it in contact with something else. The first two years of life, though the impressions and the feelings and emotions excited are all now forgotten, were, perhaps, the most important of any two years that you have lived. You were then an indefatigable student, -learning size and distances, forms and colours, sound and tones, the different taste of food and drinks, the geography of your home, the tones of the human voice and the variations of the human countenance. Then you first learned the difference between the smile and the frown, the bitter and the sweet, the cold and the hot, the distant and the near, the hard and the soft, the great and the small, the sweet tone and the harsh, the feeling of pleasure and of pain. Then the emotions of joy or of grief were easily aroused and quickly passed away ; — then hope and fear followed each other in quick succession. Then you began to compare, to judge, to discriminate, and to remember. Then you first learned
EMBRYO OF IMMORTALITY.
that a picture would recal an object before seen, and even that it might be recalled by the mysterious power of the memory. Then the powers of the mind, feeble indeed, began to unfold themselves, and the germ of an immortal nature began to be developed. No hand, no voice, no care, and no love, but that of one being, were fitted to begin the education of such a being. Need I say whose ? No voice thrilled upon the little heart, no hand felt so soft to the silken head, no look beamed so bright, no love watched with such vigilance and such sleepless care, as that of the Mother ! To her care and watch and love was committed the first training of that mind whose thoughts were to be deathless, and the first forming of that character which was to grow for ever.
The nursing of a planet, a moon, or a sun, which will shine a few ages of time and then go out, would be of less consequence than the training of such a mind. If the mother cannot do battle with the elements without, and if she cannot mingle with the strifes and struggles of business and take her place and crowd her way with the eager mul
LEARNING TO SEE.
titude who carry on the concerns of the world, she has a higher and a holier duty to perform. She has committed to her the embryo of immortality, and the little feet which she first teaches to walk are receiving a direction from her which will never change.
Now what is the object which we have in educating a daughter ? It is very plain that we wish to teach her to use her eyes. We point her to the window. We turn her face to the candle. We shew her bright colours. Then we teach her to use the ear. We call her in different tones of voice. We make musical sounds. We cheer her with notes of cheerfulness, and we quiet her with the soft tones of music. Next we educate her to use her hands. We put things into them. We close the hand and teach her to hold fast. We teach her to move the hand, to shake the rattle, and to expect that the next shake will make the same noise. Then we teach her to use the feet, to poise her weight on them, and then on one foot while she carefully takes up and moves the other : to balance herself and to move where she will. Then we instruct