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Bishop Burnet Thoughts on Education

For recreations, way should be given to the boy his own choice and inclination; only his governour must be by degrees, and in all wisedome, weaning him from childish and trifling ones; and the best course for that, is by substituting better and pleasanter ones in their place. Two good rules for this are, first, to converse so pleasantly and kindly with him, as that he may account his company his sweetest divertisement; and the other is, to consider what are the pleasures he is most taken with, and to procure him a refined and polished use of these. If he delight in a garden, and gathering flowers, then let him a corner of the garden be made up for him, where he shall have all flowers and plants, or a little nursery; and thus may be begin to understand the nature and the waies of educating and cultivating plants.


If he love music, then let him be bred with both singing, playing upon instruments, and dancing. If he love limning, painting, or engraving, or any other kind of mechanisme, let matters and tools be provided for perfecting him in it. If he love tales, provide him with these collections of them that are to be had. And thus by finding out what recreation pleaseth him, things may be so adjusted that even his idlest houres shall not entirely go to waste, but he may be spent in learning and practicing what may be a matter of use and divertissement in a riper age.