Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Emile Quote

I have put in bold some nuggets for those who will undoubtedly skim this quote.

"What, then, must be thought of that barbarous education which sacrifices the present to an uncertain future, which burdens a child with chains of every sort and begins by making him miserable in order to prepare him from afar for I know not what pretended happiness which it is to be believed he will never enjoy? Even if I were to suppose this education reasonable in its object, how can one without indignation see poor unfortunates submitted to an unbearable yoke and condemned to continual labor like galley slaves, without any assurance that so many efforts will ever be useful to them? The age of gaity passes amidst tears, punishments, threats, and slavery. The unlucky fellow is tormented for his own good; and the death that is being summoned is unseen, the death which is going to seize him in the midst of this gloomy setup. Who knows how many children perish victims of a father's or a master's extravagant wisdom? Happy to escape his cruelty, the only advantage they get from the ills he has made them suffer is to die without regretting life, of which they knew only the torments.
Men, be humane. This is your first duty. Be humane with every station, every age, everything which is not alien to man. What wisdom is there for you save humanity?
childhood; promote its games, its pleasures, its amiable instincts. Who among you has not sometimes regretted that age when a laugh is always on the lips and the soul is always at peace? Why do you want to deprive these little innocents of the enjoyment of a time so short which escapes them and of a good so precious which they do not know how to abuse? Why do you want to fill with bitterness and pains these first years which go by so rapidly and can return no more for them than they can for you? Fathers, do you know the moment when death awaits your children? Do not prepare regrets for yourself in depriving them of the few instants nature gives them.

As soon as they can sense the pleasure of being, arrange it so that they can enjoy it, arrange it so that at whatever hour God summons then they do not die without having tasted life.


Janine the Bean said...

It's hard with the black background to see what is bold. I read the whole quote. Thanks for posting it. By the way, can I borrow the book? Or are you through yet?

One book you must read. And it's great fun.

HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY by the infamous Dr. Seuss.

It's right along these lines. I read it with the boys recently and enjoyed it again. One of my faves on Education. ;)

Mainely Me said...

Good Stuff

JPB said...

Great quote. I'm using this.