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Westphalian Nobleman Christian Franz Dietrich von Fürstenberg Provides Instructions on the Education of his Daughters (1743)

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The parents’ duty

is to guide the children to prayers, to diligent perusal of good books; to guide the children to work hard and to like working in order never to be idle but always occupied. In order for them to recognize why they have come into this world, i.e. to pray and work, the delights, however, must only be placed between work and pleasures between the sorrows.

One must not allow oneself to be dominated. One must be on one’s guard against flattery

One must not allow oneself to be dominated by manservants or maids, also one’s manorial officials – if one has advanced as far in the world that one has such; this should not, however, cause the individual to swing to the other extreme, i.e. that after opportunities arise, one would not consult reasonably with each one and contemplate a matter.

Therefore, the children must watch out very carefully in this respect not to become prejudiced in favor of bad things by the servants’ dazzling and saying what one wants to hear. The children must, however, trust completely those that are presented to them for their upbringing.

The children must not gossip

The children must not go spread things from one to the other – something usually a fault of women that may hold many sins, they must not be disdainful, want to be precocious, but get used to overlooking many things, remain silent about many things; they must not allow themselves to be instructed to be foul-mouthed, to offer up information, to hold animated talks, to chat constantly, not ever remain completely silent, because anyone with a knack to chat a lot must know a lot or lie a lot, with the latter being the case on the whole.

Concerning reviewing. Calculating money

Upon arriving from the Rhine, I will have the older children invited for reviewing them; how are they doing with respect to arithmetic? They will be given money to calculate; the question is how to go about it; perhaps one also has to consult with my wife, from what sources the children ought to make money.

The children’s behavior

The children must not be complicated but behave as they are.

Concerning writing and composition

Things are not going very well with respect to my daughters’ writing and character. The question is whether P. Plaudus or Dingerkus ought to give an instruction? The letters must also be composed on different contents and not solely on the same content.

Moreover, in the course of time they will have to write both German and French letters.

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