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had rather a thousand times know at once what it is to which I must submit, and coinply with a grace, than have my mind warmed with the difcussion, be incited to recollect and to state with force a whole series of arguments, and then be obliged to quit the field with disgrace, and follow at the chariot-wheels of my antagonist.

But the case is in reality worse than this. The child may be unprejudiced and open to conviction. But it is little probable that the parent does not bring a judgment already formed to the discussion, so as to leave a finall chance that the arguments of the child will be able to change it. The child will scarcely be able to offer any thing new, and has to contend with an antagonist equally beyond his match in powers of mind and body.

The terms of the debate therefore are, first, If you do not convince me, you must act as if I had convinced you. Secondly, I enter the lifis with all the weight of long practice and all the pride of added years, and there is scarcely the. shadow of a hope that you will convince me.

The result of such a system of proceeding will be extreme unhappiness.

Where the parent is not prepared to grant a real and bona fide equality, it is of the utmost importance that he thould avoid the semblance

If this mode of proceeding can ever be salutary, it must be to a real discussion that they are invited, and not to the humiliating scene of a mock discussion.

The terms must be just and impartial.

If either party convince the other, there is then no difficulty in the case. The difference of opinion is vanished, and the proceeding to be held will be correspondent.

But it perhaps more frequently happens, in the tangled ikein of human affairs, if both parties without indolence or ill faith endeavour to do justice to their respective opinions, that no immediate change of sentiment is produced, and that both seem to leave off where they began. What is to be the result in this case ?

If the terms are impartial, the child is then to be victorious. For the conduct to be held is his, and ought therefore, so far as equality is concerned, to be regulated by the dictates of his judgment.

But it is more frequent for the parent to say, No, I have heard you out; you have not convinced me; and therefore nothing remains for you but to submit. .

Now in this case, putting myself in the place of the child, I have no hesitation to reply, Upon these terms I cannot enter the lists with you.

I had

had rather a thousand times know at once what it is to which I must subinit, and coinply with a grace, than have my inind warmed with the difcussion, be incited to recollect and to fiate with force a whole series of arguments, and then be obliged to quit the field with disgrace, and follow at the chariot-wheels of my antagonist.

But the case is in reality worse than this. The child

may be unprejudiced and open to conviction. But it is little probable that the parent does not bring a judgment already formed to the discussion, so as to leave a finall chance that the arguments of the child will be able to change it. The child will scarcely be able to offer any thing new, and has to contend with an antagonist equally beyond his match in powers of mind and body.

The terms of the debate therefore are, first, If

JOL do not convince me, you must act as if I had convinced you. Secondly, I enter the litis with all the weight of long practice and all the pride of added years, and there is scarcely the Mhadow of a hope that you will convince me.

The result of such a system of proceeding will be extreme unhappiness.

Where the parent is not prepared to grant a real and bona fide equality, it is of the utmost importance that he fhould avoid the semblance

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of it. Do not open a treaty as between independent states, when you are both able and willing to treat the neighbour-state as a conquered province.

Place me in the condition of a slave, I shall perhaps be able to endure it. Human nature is capable of accommodating itself to a state of subjection, especially when the authority of the master is exercised with mildness, and seems to be directed in a considerable degree to promote the welfare of the dependent.

The situation I deprecate is that of a slave, who is endowed with the show and appearance of freedom. What I ask at your hand is, that you would not, without a good and solid meaning, waken all the secret springs of my nature, , and call forth the swelling ambition of my soul. Do not fill me with the sublime emotions of independence, and teach me to take up my rest among the stars of heaven, if your ultimate puré pose be to draw closer my fetters, and pull me down unwilling to the surface of the earth. This is a torture more exquisite and refined than all that Sicilian tyrants ever invented.

The person who has been thus treated, turns restless upon the bed of his dungeon. He feels every thing that can give poignancy to his fate. He burns with indignation against the hourly H

events

tates of his own understanding. But this seems to be, for the present at least, impracticable in the education of youth. If we cannot avoid some exercise of empire and despotism, all that remains for us is, that we take care that it be not exer. cised with asperity, and that we do not add an insulting familiarity or unnecessary contention, to the indispensible affertion of superiority.

ESSAY

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