Volume 11, Issue 1: Verbatim
Quotations on Children
Various Saints and Clever Pagans
Once in a hotel dining-room I said, rather too loudly, `I loathe prunes.' `So do I,' came an unexpected six-year-old voice from another table. Sympathy was instantaneous. Neither of us thought it funny. We both knew that prunes are far too nasty to be funny. That is the proper meeting between man and child as independent personalities.
The most essential educational product is Imagination. It is a wandering and even wild Imagination that all schools should chiefly instruct all school-children. For Imagination will teach them how to live a quiet and humdrum life... If this principle of the inner life were understood, we might today restore the sanity of civilization; and especially the poetry of the home.
[The Schoolboy's] actual companions, forced upon him by the inexorable decrees of a soulless and irrational state, are schoolma'ams, male and female, which is to say, persons of trivial and unromantic achievement, and no more capable of emulation in a healthy boy than so many midwives or dog-catchers...on the female side they have the instinct of duennas, and on the male side they seldom rise above the level of scoutmasters and Y.M.C.A. secretaries. It would be hard enough for a grown man, with alcohol and cynicism aiding him, to endure such a society. To a growing boy it is torture.
Attend to the child that blows bubbles
And see how much he is amazed
That so much froth and slobber
Endures so breif a phase
For, with respect to what you say, that the aspect of an infant in the first days after its birth is not so pure, so as that any one of us would still shudder at kissing it, we do not think that this ought to be alleged as any impediment to heavenly grace.
Children's verses, to sing themselves into the memories of the little folk, must be technically perfect. ...It is a waste of paper to print jingles unless they really jingle.
Let it be the principal part of your care and labour in all their education, to make holiness appear to them the most necessary, honourable, gainful, pleasant, delightful, amiable state of life; and to keep them from apprehending it either as needless, dishonourable, hurtful, or uncomfortable. Especially draw them to the love of it, by representing it as lovely.
Republics that set most store by their good citizens give most attention to the upbringing of their children. The depravity of the republics proceeds from the inattention and oversight of their good upbringing.
Johanne van Beverwijck
Therefore it is apparent, that the ordinary appointed means for the first actual grace, is parents' godly instruction and education of their children.
As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily remember that within everyone of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.
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