THE first requisite is to employ a proper nurse of a well-balanced temperament; for the qualities both temperamental and spiritual of the nurse are com­municated to the infant. Next, since we are recommended by the Institute to give the name on the seventh day* (after birth), the precept had better be conformed to. In delaying it, however, there is this advantage, that time is given for a deliberate selec­tion of an appropriate name. For if we give the child an ill-assorted one, his whole life is embittered in consequence. Hence caution in determining the name is one of the parent’s obligations towards his offspring.*

If we would prevent the child’s acquiring culpable habits, we must apply ourselves to educate him as soon as weaned. For though men have a capacity for perfection, the tendency to vice, as was before explained,* is naturally implanted in the soul. Accommodating then the moral culture, in the manner before prescribed,* to suit the disposition, we should lose no time in applying it. Shame, as we have remarked, being the first indication of the discerning power, the prevalence of this feeling is a proof of superiority and merit; and the sooner it is per­ceived, the greater pains should be taken to educate him properly.*

The first requisite is to restrain him absolutely from all acquaintance with those excesses which are characterized as vice. For the mind of children is like a clear tablet, equally open to all and any inscription.* Next to that, he should be taught the institutes of religion and rules of propriety; and, according as his power and capacity may admit, confined to their practice, and reprehended and restrained from their neglect. Thus, at the age of seven, we are told by the Institute to enjoin him merely to say his prayers; at the age of ten, if he omits them, to admonish him by blows. By praising the good and censuring the bad, we should render him emulous of right and apprehensive of wrong. We should commend him when he per­forms a creditable action, and intimidate him when he commits a reprehensible one; and yet we should avoid, if possible, subjecting him to positive censure; imputing it rather to oversight, lest he grow auda­cious. If he keep his fault a secret, we are not to rend away the disguise; but if he do so repeatedly, we must rebuke him severely in private, aggravating the heinousness of such a practice, and intimidating him from its repetition. We must beware, however, of too much frequency of detection and reproof, for fear of his growing used to censure, and contracting a habit of recklessness; and thus, according to the proverb, “Men grow eager for that which is with­held, ” feeling a tendency to repeat the offence. For these reasons we should prefer to work by enhancing the attractions of virtue.

On meat, drink, and fine clothing, he must be taught to look with contempt, and deeply impressed with the conviction that it is the practice of women only to prize the colouring and figuring of dress;* that men ought to hold themselves above it; and similarly of food and drink, that to make them the object of regard is the conduct of a brute. The proprieties of meal-taking, as presently given, are those in which he should be earliest instructed, as far as he can acquire them. He should be made to understand that the proper end of eating is health, and not gratification; that food and drink are a sort of medicine for the cure of hunger and thirst; and, just as medicines are only to be taken in the measure of need, according as sickness may require their influence, food and drink are only to be used in quantity sufficient to satisfy hunger and remove thirst.* He should be forbidden to vary his diet, and taught to prefer limiting himself to a single dish. His appetite should also be checked, that he may be satisfied with meals at the stated hours. Let him not be a lover of delicacies; he should now and then be kept on dry bread only, in order that in time of need he may be able to subsist on that. Habits like these are better than riches. Let his principal meal be made in the evening, rather than the morning, or he will be overpowered by drowsiness and lassitude during the day: flesh let him have sparingly, or he will grow heavy and dull. Sweetmeats and other such aperient food should be forbidden him; as likewise all liquid at the time of meals. Incumbent as it is on all men to eschew strong drinks, there are obvious reasons why it is superlatively so on boys, — impairing them both in mind and body, and leading to anger, rashness, audacity, and levity; qualities which such a practice is sure to confirm. Parties of this nature he should not be allowed unnecessarily to frequent, nor to listen to repre­hensible conversation.* His food should not be given to him till he has despatched his tasks, unless suffering from positive exhaustion. He must be forbidden to conceal any of his actions, lest he grow bold in impropriety; for, manifestly, the motive to concealment can be no other than an idea that they are culpable. Sleeping in the day and sleeping overmuch at night should be prohibited. Soft clothing and all the uses of luxury, such as evaporative retreats in the hot season,* fires and fur in the cold, he should be taught to abstain from: he should be inured to exercise, foot-walking, horse-riding, and all other appropriate accomplishments.

Next, let him learn the proprieties of conversa­tion and behaviour, as presently explained. Let him not be tricked out with trimmings of the hair and womanly attention to dress, nor be presented with rings till the proper time for wearing them. Let him be forbidden to boast to his companions of his ancestry or worldly advantages. Let him be restrained from speaking untruth,* or from swearing in any case, whether to true or false: for an oath is wrongful in any one, and repugnant to the letter of the Institute, saving when required by the interest of the public;* and even though oaths may be requisite to men, to boys they never can be so. Let him be trained to silence, to speak­ing only when addressed, to listening in the presence of his elders, and expressing himself correctly, — observances essential in all, but most of all in the sons of noblemen.

For instructor he should have a man of principle and intelligence, well acquainted with the discipline of morals, fond of cleanliness, noted for stateliness, dignity, and humanity;* well acquainted with the dispositions of kings, with the etiquette of dining in their company, and with the terms of intercourse with all classes of mankind.

It is desirable that others of his kind, and espe­cially sons of noblemen, whose manners have always a distinguished elegance, should be at school with him; so that in their society he may escape lassi­tude, catch demeanour, and exert himself with emulation in his studies. If the instructor correct him with blows, he must be forbidden to make out­cries; for that is the practice of slaves and imbe­ciles.* On the other hand, the instructor must be careful not to resort to blows, except he is witness of an offence openly committed. When compelled to inflict them, it is desirable in the outset to make them small in number and great in pain; otherwise the warning is not so efficacious, and he may grow audacious enough to repeat the offence.

Let him be encouraged to liberality, and taught to look with contempt on the perishable things of this world; for more ill comes from the love of money than from the simoom of the desert or the serpent of the field. Imām Ghazāly, in comment­ing on the text, Preserve me and them from idol-worship, says, that by idols is here meant gold and silver; and Abraham’s prayer (peace be on him!) is, that he and his descendants may be kept far removed from the worship of gold and silver, and from fixing their affections on them; because the love of these was the root of all evil.*

In his leisure hours he may be allowed to play, provided it does not lead to excess of fatigue or the commission of any thing wrong. Such are the pro­prieties which in all men are becoming, and most of all in young ones.

When the discerning power begins to prepon­derate, it should be explained to him that the original object of worldly possessions is the main­tenance of health; so that the body may be made to last the period requisite to the spirit’s qualifying itself for the life eternal. Then, if he is to belong to the scientific classes, let him be instructed in the sciences, according to the system already stated; if to the artistical, let him be employed (as soon as disengaged from studying the essentials of the Insti­tute) in acquiring the arts. The best course is to ascertain, by examination of the youth’s character, for what science or art he is best qualified, and to employ him accordingly; for, agreeably to the proverb, “All facilities are not created to the same person,”* every one is not qualified for every pro­fession, but each for a particular one. This indeed is the expression of a principle by which the for­tunes of man and of the world are regulated. With the old philosophers it was a practice to inspect the horoscope of nativity, and to devote the child to that profession which appeared from the planetary positions to be suitable to his nature.* When a person is adapted to a profession, he can acquire it with little pains; and when unadapted, the utmost he can take do but waste his time and defer his establishment in life. When a profession bears this incongruity with his nature, and means and appli­ances are unpropitious, we should not urge him to pursue it, but exchange it for some other,* provided that there is no hope at all of succeeding with the first; otherwise it may lead to his perplexity. In the prosecution of every profession, let him adopt a system which will call into play the ardour of his nature, assist him in preserving health, and prevent obtusity and lassitude.

As soon as he is perfect in a profession, let him be required to gain his livelihood thereby; in order that, from an experience of its advantages, he may strive to master it completely, and make full progress in the minutiæ of its principles. And for this livelihood he must be trained to look to that honorable emolument which characterizes the well-connected. He must not depend on the pro­vision afforded by his father. For it generally happens, when the sons of the wealthy, by the pride of their parents’ opulence, are debarred from acquiring a profession, that they sink by the vicis­situdes of fortune into utter insignificance.* There­fore, when he has so far mastered his profession as to make a livelihood, it is expedient to provide him with a consort, and let him depend on his separate earnings.

The kings of Fārs, forbearing to bring their sons up surrounded by domestics and retinue, threw them off to a distance, in order to habituate them to a life of hardship.* The Dilemite chiefs had the same practice. A person bred up on the opposite principle can hardly be brought to good, especially if at all advanced in years; like hard wood, which is with difficulty straightened.* And this was the answer Socrates gave, when asked why his intimacies lay chiefly among the young.

In training daughters to that which befits them — domestic ministration, rigid seclusion, chastity, modesty, and the other qualities already appropri­ated to women — no care can be too great. They should be made emulous of acquiring the virtues of their sex, but must be altogether forbidden to read and write. When they reach the marriageable age, no time should be lost in marrying them to proper mates.*

Such is the method of educating children; and since we have had occasion to promise an exposition of certain so-called proprieties of behaviour, we are bound to compress them in the present place; not that those proprieties are here given as solely incumbent on the young, but because the young are to be supposed more capable of acquiring them.