Friday, October 26, 2012


A Little at a Time

Letter from Martin Madan to Charles Wesley (April 18, 1766), in Falconer Madan, The Madan Family and Maddens in Ireland and England, a Historical Account (Oxford: Printed for Subscribers at the University Press by J. Johnson, 1933), p. 128 (spelling unchanged):
As to Latin, the only way I find to make it pleasant is to do a little at a time, and to avoid making it a task. By these means my boy goes on well, and now begins to construe 'Æsops Fables'. I have a notion my friend Charles's genius is more disposed for the Gamut than the accidence, and if I can at all judge of his disposition, musick will be his fort. I think he bids fair to make a second Worgan. I have not read the book of Fenelon's you mention, but think writing treatises upon the Education of Children, is something like writing upon the art of making shoes of proper sizes, which can only be affected by measuring every particular person's foot. I see such difference of inclination, temper and disposition in my own children as sufficiently convinces me that I must act as the Physicians phrase it, pro re natâ, and adapt instruction just as the occasion offers. One thing nobody can be mistaken in, and which I would ever desire to observe, that is a grand point with me, viz, to conciliate the love, esteem and friendship of my children towards me, and to convince them that they can look upon none on earth so really and affectionatly their friend as I am.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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