On the duties of School-Boys, from the pious and judicious
Quintillian says, that he has included almost all the duty of scholars in this one piece of advice which he gives them, to love those who teach them, as they love the science which they learn of them; and to look upon them as fathers, from whom they derive not the life of the body, but that instruction which is in a manner the life of the soul. Indeed this sentiment of affection, and respect suffices to make them apt to learn during the time of their studies, and full of gratitude all the rest of their lives. It seems to me to include a great part of what is to be expected from them.
Docility, which consists in submitting to directions, in readily receiving the instructions of their masters; and reducing them to practice, is properly the virtue of scholars, as that of masters is to teach well. The one can do nothing without the other; and as it is not sufficient for a labourer to sow the seed, unless the earth, after having opened its bosom to receive it, in a manner hatches, warms, and moistens it; so likewise the whole fruit of instruction depends upon a good correspondence between the masters and the scholars.
Gratitude for those who have laboured in our education, is the character of an honest man, and the mark of a good heart. Who is there among us, says Cicero, that has been instructed with any care, that is not highly delighted with the sight, or even the bare remembrance of his preceptors, masters, and the place where he was taught and brought up? Seneca exhorts young men to preserve always a great respect for their masters, to whose care they are indebted for the amendment of their faults, and for having imbibed sentiments of honour and probity. Their exactness and severity displease sometimes, at an age when we are not in a condition to judge of the obligations we owe to them; but when years have ripened our understanding and judgment, we then discern that what made us dislike them, I mean admonitions, reprimands, and a severe exactness in restraining the passions of an imprudent and inconsiderate age, is expressly the very thing which should make us esteem and love them. Thus we see that Marcus Aurelius, one of the wisest and most illustrious emperors that Rome ever had, thanked the gods for two things especially—for his having had excellent tutors himself, and that he had found the like for his children.