Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/681

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EDUCATION AS A SCIENCE.

compound in their nature, they represent feelings of great intensity, and they are specially invoked in the sphere of education.

The Emotions of Self.—"Self" is a very wide word. "Selfish," "self-seeking," "self-love," might be employed without bringing any new emotions to the front. All the sources of pleasure, and all the exemptions from pain, that have been or might be enumerated under the senses and the emotions, being totalized, could be designated as "self" or "self-interest." But, connected with the terms self-esteem, self-complacency, pride, vanity, love of praise, there are new varieties of feeling, albeit they are but offshoots from some of those already given. It is not our business to trace the precise derivation of these complex modes, except to aid in estimating their value as a distinct class of motives.

There is an undoubted pleasure in finding in ourselves some of those qualities that, seen in other men, call forth our love, admiration, reverence, or esteem. The names self-complacency, self-gratulation, self-esteem, indicate emotions of no little force. They have a good influence in promoting the attainment of excellence; their defect is ascribable to our enormous self-partiality: for which cause they are usually concealed from the jealous gaze of our fellows. It is only on very special occasions that persuasion is made to operate through these powerful feelings; they are too ready to turn round and make demands that cannot be complied with.

A still higher form of self-reflected sentiment is that designated by the love of praise and admiration. We necessarily feel an enhanced delight when our own good opinion of self is echoed and sustained by the expressions of others. This is one of the most stirring influences that man can exert over man. It exists in many gradations, according to our love, regard, or admiration, for the persons bestowing it, as well as our dependence upon them, and according to the number joining in the tribute.

The bestowal of praise is an act of justice to real merit, and should take place apart from ulterior considerations. But in rewarding, as in punishing, we cannot help looking beyond the present; we have in our eye merits that are yet to be achieved. The fame that attends intellectual eminence is an incentive to study, and the educator has this great instrument at his command.

Praise, to be effectual and safe, has to be carefully apportioned, so as to approve itself to all concerned. As the act of praising does not terminate with the moment, but establishes claims for the future, thoughtless profusion of compliment defeats itself. Praise may operate in the form of warm, kindly expression, and no more; in which sense it is an offering of affection, and has a value in that character alone. A pleased smile is a moral influence.

Discipline, properly so called, works in the direction of pain; pleasures are viewed in their painful obverse. The positive value of delights