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simultaneously expressed in art, is hardly plausible. To present such a dramatic development as occurring within the space of a decade and at the prompting of the theories of one author is highly problematic. This is not to downplay Rousseau's involvement. He did much to popularise certain ideas concerning the rearing of children, and his notoriety and prominence clearly endeared him to some members of the English aristocracy. However, ideas of the kind he articulated had a lengthy 52 Kilner quoted in Steward, The New Child. p.169 The Lady's Monthly Museum; or. Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction. 1798. See K. Thomas, Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England 1500-1800 (London, 1983), pp.34, 125, 147, 151 54 Shawe-Taylor, The Georgians. p.189. See also P. Earle, The Making of the English Middle Class: Business. Society and Family Life in London 1660-/730 (London, 1989), p.232; R. Porter, English Society in the Eighteenth Century (Harmondsworth, 1982), pp.284-5; J.H. Plumb, 'The New World of Children in Eighteenth-Century England', Past and Present 67 (1975), pp.68-70; Painton, Hanging the Head. p.200; Steward, The New Child. pp.16, 144, 192 lineage. The main predecessor to Emile and, I would argue, the most influential text for eighteenth-century constructions of childhood, was John Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education, first published in 1693. MJ.M.
either impossible or, at best, extremely difficult: "The Will of a tender Infant is, like its Limbs, supple and pliant, but Time confirms it, and Custom hardens it, and it is a cruel Indulgence to the poor Creature, to let it contract such Habits which must cost him so dear the breaking, or dearer is never broken."57 Such ideas were still prominent when Thomas Gisborne was writing his Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex in the 1790s. He emphasised the importance of the maternal role by hailing women's power to model the human mind at a young age, "fixing, while it is yet ductile, its growing principles of action." Again, like Steele, he recommended exploitation of this susceptibility, early signs of vice easily fought whilst "the twig" is still "young and tender."58 Such analogies, derived from the writings of Locke, were used so frequently as to point to his protracted influence. The garden in need of cultivation was perhaps the most commonly employed. 59 James Forrester warned that the infant mind should be closely attended to "else it either soon dwindles into a Shrub, or spends itself in luxuriant Weeds," Hannah More wished for appreciation of the individual characters of children as "the cultivator of the human mind must, like the gardener, study diversities of soil" and Mary Wollstonecraft employed it to recommend gentle persuasion as the aim of education, "only to conduct the shooting tendrils to a proper pole."60 Indeed, those drawing on such imagery even began to refer to each other.
The Tatler no.181 (6 June 1710), in The Tatler, II, p.484; Steele, Ladies Library, pp.92, 195-6,271 58 Gisbome, Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex, pp.12-13,380 59 Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, e.g. pp.122-3, 162 60 Dialogues on the Passions, Habits, and Affections peculiar to Children J. Forrester, (London, 1748), p.9; H. More, Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education, with a view of the Principles and Conduct prevalent among Women of Rank and Fortune 2 Vols. (London, 1799), I, pp.147-8; Wollstonecraft, 'A Vindication', p.l90 When the Reverend Fordyce advised mothers to study and watch the first formations of a child's mind so that they could "teach the young idea how to shoot," he was quoting from James Thomson's highly popular poem, The Seasons. 61 Others adopted the Lockean image of the mouldable substance. 62 Daniel Defoe wrote, "the genius, like a piece of soft wax, may be moulded" and James Nelson later claimed: "Children, if moulded while young, readily yield, like Wax, to the Impression."63 Finally the inscribable piece of blank paper, "void of all characters, without any ideas," "ready indifferently for any Impression" was equally popular.64 Hugh Smith claimed the comparison to be just, deducing that "children receive their prejudices and inclinations from the dispositions of those persons to whose care they are entrusted," whilst Thomas Gisbome complained that the analogy had its limitations. whilst a piece of paper remains blank if neglected, the child who is ignored by his parents will inevitably obtain potentially harmful sentiments and ideas from elsewhere. 65 The popUlarity of these conceits had some impact on the accoutrements and attributes featured in family portraits. An anonymous painting of c.17S4 in the Tate Gallery depicts a father instructing his two sons, one of whom writes on some white
Sambrook, ed., The Seasons and The Castle of Indolence (Oxford, 1991), p.34 62 Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, e.g. pp.232, 265 63 D. Defoe, The Compleat English Gentleman, quoted in Ezell, 'John Locke's Images of Childhood', p.150; Nelson, Essay on the Management of Children, p.300. They were paraphrased by John Theobald who wrote in The Young Wife's Guide, in the Management of her Children (London,
1764) in the dedication 'To the READER': "Children, like dough, are susceptible of all impressions."
Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, e.g. pp.222, 265; The English Theophrastus, possibly by John Gay, quoted in Ezell, 'John Locke's Images of Childhood',p.150 65 Smith, Letters to Married Women, pp.l69-70; Gisbome, Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex, p.46 paper, whilst his wife is seated in a classic Madonna pose, a baby on her lap, with an accompanying daughter clasping a flower. In The Clavey Family in their Garden at Hampstead of 1754 (fig.84), Arthur Devis similarly posed the father with his son, the latter holding up the familiar sheet of paper and gesturing to it as he casts an inquiring look towards his parent. 66 Similarly, children were very often portrayed within nature;
picking flowers, wandering on hillsides and playing with toys and games under the protective shade of trees. More specifically, infants were sometimes depicted in the act of gardening, an activity employed as a metaphor throughout Some Thoughts Concerning Education. 67 Johann Zoffany painted The Blunt Children in 1768170 (fig.85) struggling with large, unwieldy gardening implements. One child supports a
similarly burdened with a rake and barrow as his father raises one hand in a gesture of instruction, recalling that of the companionate husband (Dalmeny House, Edinburgh).
Finally, Master Henry Hoare was portrayed by Reynolds in 1788 as 'The Young Gardener' (fig.86), digging his spade into the ground with a laden barrow to one side, suggesting the fruitfulness of his labour. 68 The motif would have brought to mind the Lockean metaphor as well as indicating the future role of the child as a landowner, as the manager of the family estate. However, it could also have recalled the Also, see the portrait of the Buckley-Boar family, dated to c.1760, often attributed to Arthur Devis (Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Center for British Art). Whilst two daughters play with a captive bird, their brother is seated at a table garbed in a sombre suit, his pen poised on a blank sheet of white paper. His father advances on the left of the image, also holding a writing implement and paper.
See p.203, n.59 However, one critic in The Morning Herald, 8 October 1788 suggested that "a Banker's shovel would have been a truer emblem, unless like Timon he can dig for gold under a tree," wryly referring to the profession of Henry Hoare senior.
recommendation of Rousseau in 1762 that a child should be given a small patch of ground to cultivate in order to teach the value of obtaining the fruits of one's own endeavours and labour. 69 In Emile, Rousseau echoed many of the tenets of "that wise man, Locke."
Sensational psychology remained paramount in his own work and he wrote: "In the dawn of life, when memory and imagination have not begun to function, the child only attends to what affects its senses. The sense experiences are the raw material of thought." He similarly employed images adopted from gardening and the notion of the tabula rasa, claiming, "we are born capable of learning, but knowing nothing, perceiving nothing."70 He repeated Locke's emphasis on the value of exercise and on the benefits of fresh air, cold bathing and loose clothing to the constitution and physical development of an infant. He re-emphasised the role of the parents or of the parent substitutes as one of guidance, shielding the child from certain formative influences and deliberately exposing it to others. Such parallels reinforce the argument that Rousseau's edicts did not supplant those of his predecessor but rather consolidated and popularised the principles espoused in Some Thoughts Concerning Education.
Thus, in part thanks to Locke's dictums on childrearing, the eighteenth century witnessed an increased concern with the child's upbringing. As argued by Karin Calvert: "Where parents of earlier times had looked at their new infants and seen the terrifying physical and moral perils to be overcome, parents of the late eighteenth Noted in Shawe-Taylor. The Georgians, p.195 70 J.1 Rousseau. Emile (1762). trans I. B. Foxley, ed. P.O. Jimack (London and Melbourne.
1984). pp.22. 28. 31 century saw in their children infinite possibilities to be channelled and nurtured."7) Once external influences were held to be paramount, parents had to concern themselves with the control and manipulation of those influences and wished to have themselves depicted as such. Discussions and depictions of the training and forming of the infant mind proliferated, whilst anxieties over adequate fulfilment of the educational role increased.72 Mothers and fathers were not merely supposed to humour and indulge infantile capacities but to instruct their malleable offspring in such skills and moral codes as to create potentially virtuous and useful adults.
Portraits such as Romney's Mrs Cumberland teaching her Son, Charles (fig.68) or Zoffany's depiction of the family of the 3rd Duke of Atholl showed parents educating their progeny. Books conveyed "those virtues which parents wished to inculcate in their offspring" and schools increasingly advertised provision of useful and modem
career or fit a predestined role,73 Indeed, the education of a child according to its future rank in society was the topic of much discussion and it was commonly warned that ambition should take second place to likelihood. From Bishop Fleetwood and Richard Steele through to James Nelson and Priscilla Wakefield, the message was repeated: "What can be a greater Misfortune than to educate a Boy like a fine Calvert, Children in the House. p.58. See also R. Perry, 'Colonizing the Breast: Sexuality and Maternity in Eighteenth-Century England', in J.C. Fout, ed., Forbidden History: The State, Society.
and the Regulation of Sexuality in Modern Europe (Chicago and London, 1992), p.l 08 72 Pollock, Forgotten Children. pp.1l6, 120, 123, 140 73 Plumb, 'The New World of Children', pp.69, 79, 81 Gentleman, and not be able to support it? or to train a Girl with the expectation of keeping her Coach, and have little or nothing to give her."74 The sentimentalised discourse of motherhood was redolent with the issue of 'futurity'. Bearing and raising a child was deemed to be not so much a question of dealing with "what he is, but what he should be" and it was complained that "mankind are too apt to value things according to their present, not their future usefulness. "75 Women were advised that the nation depended on them to create citizens that would be both healthy and virtuous. They were counselled that their successful fulfilment or neglect of the maternal role had serious implications for society at large. Many warned that the resumption of widespread maternal breastfeeding was critical if the future generation of Britons was not to be "'a puny, valetudinary race. "'76 Such concerns over the responsibilities of mothers increased as the century drew to its conclusion.
Hannah More, writing in the context of the evangelical revival, delineated the instillation of "the principles of the whole rising generation" as the responsibility of women. This, she advised, gave them "a power wide in its extent, indefinite in its effects, and inestimable in its importance."77 Her opponent, Mary Wollstonecraft, expressed much the same view, in particular emphasising the control of mothers over the physical health and well-being of the young. In this, she echoed William Buchan 74 Nelson, Essay on the Management of Children, p.322. Also see pp.267-70. Fleetwood, The Relative Duties of Parents and Children, p.lOO; Steele, The Ladies Library, II, p.l45; P. Wakefield.