Sunday, May 20, 2007

Childhood 2

Childhood 2

I have just been flicking through Michel Rosen’s beautifully edited book called The Penguin Book of Childhood, (1995). Therein we read some wonderfully apt quotes on childhood. I’ll mention a few of the more apt and funny ones below here:

 “From the day your baby is born, you must teach him to do without things. Children today love luxury too much. They have execrable manners, flaunt authority, have no respect for their elders. They no longer rise when their parents or teachers enter the room. What kind of awful creatures will they be when they grow up?” Socrates 469-399 BC

 “Don’t pick your nose!” John Lydgate’s advice, among other things, to a boy serving at table, England, around 1400 A.D.

 “As soon as I am cum into the schole, this fellow goith to make water.” Words of some frustrated teacher in England, c 1450 A.D. I understand his sentiments well.

 “Beat him!” Advice of Henry IV of France to his son’s tutors, 16th century.

 “Children under 14 years of age, and above 5, that live in idleness and be taken begging, may be put into Service by the Governors of Cities, Towns, Etc. to Husbandry, or other Crafts or Labours.” Act of Parliament, under Henry VIII.

 The St Paul’s choristers were “pissing upon stones in the Churche…to slide upon as upon ysse.” Choirboys in winter, London, 1595.

The pictute above shows my father with me and my brother Gerard at our maternal grandmother's house in Crumlin around 1960 or so

To be continued

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