Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/27

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its comparative advantages:

education be in their case practicable, yet to send their children, or at least their sons, to school. Such are—the superior practical ability of masters who have devoted their lives to particular branches of instruction;—the advantage, so important to boys, of finding their level among many the stirring and healthful influence of emulation;—the means of acquiring self-confidence, and the probability of learning good sense and common discretion, as well as pliability, on that wider field; and not least, the salubrious animal excitement, the buoyant inspiration of high which is to be had on the play-ground, and for which, it is extremely difficult to find an efficient substitute in the quietness of home.

But then, if we were thus to go into the general question, we must put in the other scale—beside the merely intellectual advantages stated above, those reasons which spring from the fact (hardly to be denied) that home is the place where, if at all, purity of sentiment is to be preserved from contamination, where the domestic feeling may be cherished, and the heart and tastes refined; and where, especially, religious knowledge, religious habits, a genuine conscientiousness, and an unfeigned piety, may best be parted, conserved, and promoted. These reasons will, with some parents, outweigh every other consideration; and yet such would do well to remember that there is a balance, even in relation to the moral welfare of children, and that an extreme anxiety to seclude young persons from all knowledge of, and contact with the evil that is abroad, induces, often, a reaction, worse in its consequences than an early and unreserved acquaintance with the world as it is. None are more likely to meet with cruel disappointments than those parents who trust too much to the innocence and ignorance which they think they can preserve within the sacred precincts of home; for such are often astounded by the discovery of the simple fact that the hu-