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in a year, than by private education in have thus extolled an education begun in five. It is not from masters, but from fatigue and hardships. Peter the Great, their equals, youth learn a knowledge willing to inure the children of his seamen of the world : the little tricks they play to a life of hardship, ordered that they each other, the punishment that frequently should drink only sea-water; but they unattends the commission, is a just picture of fortunately all died under the experiment. the great world, and all the ways of men But while I would exclude all unnecesare practised in a public school in minia- sary labours, yet still I would recommend ture. It is true a child is early made temperance in the highest degree. No acquainted with some vices in a school ; luxurious dishes with high seasoning, nobut it is better to know these when a boy, thing given children to force an appetite, than be first taught them when a man, as little sugared or salted provisions as for their novelty then may have irresistible possible, though never so pleasing ; but charms.
milk, morning and night, should be their In a public education boys early learn constant food. This diet would make temperance; and if the parents and friends them more healthy than any of those slops would give them less money upon their that are usually cooked by the mistress of usual visits, it would be much to their a boarding school; besides, it corrects any advantage, since it may justly be said, that consumptive habits, not unfrequently found a great part of their disorders arise from amongst the children of city parents. surfeit,--plus occidit gula quam gladius. As boys should be educated with temperAnd now I am come to the article of ance, so the first, greatest lesson that should health, it may not be amiss to observe, be taught them is, to admire frugality. that Mr. Locke and some others have It is by the exercise of this virtue alone advised, that children should be inured to they can ever expect to be useful members cold, to fatigue, and hardship, from their of society. It is true lectures continually youth; but Mr. Locke was but an indif- repeated upon this subject may make ferent physician. Habit, I grant, has great some boys, when they grow up, run into influence over our constitutions ; but we an extreme, and become misers; but it have not precise ideas upon this subject. were well had we more misers than we
We know that among savages, and have among us. I know few characters even among our peasants, there are found more useful in society; for a man's having children born with such constitutions, that a larger or smaller share of money lying they cross rivers by swimming, endure useless by him no way injures the commoncold, thirst, hunger, and want of sleep, to wealth : since, should every miser now a surprising degree ; that when they hap- exhaust his stores, this might make gold pen to fall sick, they are cured, without the more plenty, but it would not increase the help of medicine, by nature alone. Such commodities or pleasures of life; they examples are adduced, to persuade us to would still remain as they are at present: imitate their manner of education, and it matters not, therefore, whether men accustom ourselves betimes to support the are misers or not, if they be only frugal, same fatigues. But had these gentle- laborious, and fill the station they have men considered, first, that those savages chosen. If they deny themselves the and peasants are generally not so long necessaries of life, society is no way lived as they who have led a more indolent injured by their folly. life ; secondly, that the more laborious the Instead, therefore, of romances, which life is, the less populous is the country : praise young men of spirit, who go through had they considered that what physicians a variety of adventures, and, at last, concall the stamina vite by fatigue and labour clude a life of dissipation, folly, and exbecome rigid, and thus anticipate old age; travagance, in riches and matrimony, there that the number who survive those rude should be some men of wit employed to trials bears no proportion to those who compose books that might equally interest die in the experiment: had these things the passions of our youth; where such an been properly considered, they would not one might be praised for having resisted
allurements when young, and how he, at it would be sufficient if the instruments, last, became lord mayor— how he was and the effects of their combination, were married to a lady of great sense, fortune, only shown; the causes should be deferred and beauty: to be as explicit as possible, to a maturer age, or to those times when the old story of Whittington, were his natural curiosity prompts us to discover cat left out, might be more serviceable to the wonders of nature. Man is placed in the tender mind than either Tom Jones, this world as a spectator; when he is Joseph Andrews, or an hundred others, tired with wondering at all the novelties where frugality is the only good quality about him, and not till then, does he desire the hero is not possessed of.
to be made acquainted with the causes schoolmasters, if any of them had sense that create those wonders. enough to draw up such a work, thus What I have observed with regard to employed, it would be much more service natural philosophy, I would extend to able to their pupils than all the grammars every other science whatsoever. We and dictionaries they may publish these should teach them as many of the facts as ten years.
were possible, and defer the causes until Children should early be instructed in they seemed of themselves desirous of the arts from which they would after- knowing them. A mind thus leaving wards draw the greatest advantages. When school stored with all the simple experithe wonders of nature are never exposed ences of science, would be the fittest in to our view, we have no great desire to the world for the college course ; and become acquainted with those parts of though such a youth might not appear so learning which pretend to account for bright, or so talkative, as those who had the phenomena. One of the ancients learned the real principles and causes of complains, that as soon as young men some of the sciences, yet he would make have left school, and are obliged to con- a wiser man, and would retain a more verse in the world, they fancy themselves lasting passion for letters, than he who transported into a new region : “Ut cum was early burdened with the disagreeable in forum venerint existiment se in aliam institution of effect and cause. terrarum orbem delatos.” We should In history, such stories alone should be early, therefore, instruct them in the laid before them as might catch the imagiexperiments, if I may so express it, of nation : instead of this, they are too freknowledge, and leave to maturer age the quently obliged to toil through the four accounting for the causes. But instead of empires, as they are called, where their that, when boys begin natural philosophy memories are burdened by a number of in colleges, they have not the least curi- disgusting names, that destroy all their osity for those parts of the science which suture relish for our best historians, who are proposed for their instruction; they may be termed the truest teachers of have never before seen the phenomena, and wisdom. consequently have no curiosity to learn Every species of flattery should be carethe reasons. Might natural philosophy, fully avoided : a boy who happens to say therefore, be made their pastime in school, a sprightly thing is generally applauded by this means it would in college become so much, that he happens to continue a their amusement.
coxcomb sometimes all his life after. He In several of the machines now in use is reputed a wit at fourteen, and becomes there would be ample field both for instruc- a blockhead at twenty. Nurses, footmen, tion and amusement: the different sorts of and such, should therefore be driven away the phosphorus, the artificial pyrites, mag- as much as possible. I was even going netism, electricity, the experiments upon to add, that the mother herself should stifle the rarefaction and weight of the air, and her pleasure or her vanity, when little those upon elastic bodies, might employ master happens to say a good or smart their idle hours, and none should be called thing. Those modest lubberly boys who from play to see such experiments but seem to want spirit generally go through such as thought proper. At first, then, their business with more ease to them.
selves and more satisfaction to their schoolmasters on the present method of instructors.
teaching the learned languages, which is There has of late a gentleman appeared, commonly by literal translations. I would who thinks the study of rhetoric essential ask such, if they were to travel a journey, to a perfect education. That bold male whether those parts of the road in which eloquence, which often without pleasing they found the greatest difficulties would convinces, is generally destroyed by such not be most strongly remembered ? Boys institutions. Convincing eloquence, how. who, if I may continue the allusion, gallop ever, is infinitely more servicenble to its through one of the ancients with the assispossessor than the most florid harangue tance of a translation can have but a very or the most pathetic tones that can be slight acquaintance either with the author imagined; and the man who is thoroughly or his language. It is by the exercise of convinced himself, who understands bis the mind alone that a language is learned; subject and the language he speaks in, but a literal translation, on the opposite will be more apt to silence opposition, than page, leaves no exercise for the memory he who studies the force of his periods, at all. The boy will not be at the fatigue of and fills our ears with sounds, while our remembering, when his doubts are at once minds are destitute of conviction.
satisfied by a glance of the eye ; whereas, It was reckoned the fault of the orators were every word to be sought from a at the decline of the Roman empire, when dictionary, the learner would attempt to they had been long instructed by rheto- remember, in order to save him the trouble ricians, that their periods were so har- of looking out for it for the future. monious, as that they could be sung as To continue in the same pedantic strain, well as spoken. What a ridiculous figure though no schoolmaster, of all the various must one of these gentlemen cut, thas grammars now taught in schools about measuring syllables, and weighing words, town I would recommend only the old when he should plead the cause of his common one; I have forgot whether client! Two architects were once candi- Lilly's, or an emendation of him. The dates for the building a certain temple at others may be improvements; but such Athens : the first harangued the crowd improvements seem to me only mere gramvery learnedly upon the different orders matical niceties, no way influencing the of architecture, and showed them in what learner, but perhaps loading him with manner the temple should be built ; the trifling subtleties, which at a proper age other, who got up to speak after him, only he must be at some pains to forget. observed, that what his brother had spoken Whatever pains a master may take to he could do; and thus he at once gained make the learning of the languages agreehis cause.
able to his pupil, he may depend upon it, To teach men to be orators, is little less it will be at first extremely unpleasant. than to teach them to be poets; and for The rudiments of every language, therefore, my part, I should have too great a regard must be given as a task, not as an amusefor my child, to wish him a manor only in ment. Attempting to deceive children into a bookseller's shop.
instruction of this kind is only deceiving Another passion which the present age is ourselves; and I know no passion capable apt to run into is to make children learn of conquering a child's natural laziness all things, -the languages, the sciences, but fear. Solomon has said it before me; music, the exercises, and painting. Thus nor is there any more certain, though the child soon becomes a talker in all, perhaps more disagreeable truth, than the but a master in none. He thus acquires proverb in verse, too well known to repeat a superficial fondness for everything, and on the present occasion. It is very probaonly shows his ignorance when he attempts ble that parents are told of some masters to exhibit his skill.
who never use the rod, and consequently As I deliver my thoughts without method are thought the properest instructors for or connexion, so the reader must not be their children ; but though tenderness is surprised to find me once more addressing a requisite quality in an instructor, yet
there is too often the truest tenderness in war with France pulled down his old sign, well-timed correction.
and put up the Queen of Hungary. Under Some have justly observed, that all the influence of her red face and golden passion should be banished on this terrible sceptre, he continued to sell ale till she occasion ; but, I know not how, there is was no longer the favourite of his cusa frailty attending human nature, that few tomers; he changed her therefore, some masters are able to keep their temper time ago, for the King of Prussia, who whilst they correct. I knew a good- may probably be changed in turn for the natured man, who was sensible of his own next great man that shall be set up for weakness in this respect, and consequently vulgar admiration. had recourse to the follow pedient to Our publican in this imitates the great prevent his passions from being engaged, exactly, who deal out their figures, one yet at the same time administer justice after the other, to the gazing crowd beneath with impartiality :- Whenever any of his them. When we have sufficiently wonpupils committed a fault, he summoned a dered at one, that is taken in, and another jury of his peers, -I mean of the boys of exhibited in its room, which seldom holds his own or the next classes to him ; his its station long, for the mob are ever accusers stood forth; he had a liberty of pleased with variety. pleading in his own defence, and one or I must own I have such an indifferent two more had a liberty of pleading against opinion of the vulgar, that I am ever led him : when found guilty by the panel, he to suspect that merit which raises their was consigned to the footman who attended shout; at least I am certain to find those in the house, who had previous orders to great and sometimes good men, who find punish, but with lenity. By this means satisfaction in such acclamations, made the master took off the odium of punish- worse by it; and history has too frequently ment from himself; and the footman, taught me, that the head which has grown between whom and the boys there could this day giddy with the roar of the million not be even the slightest intimacy, was has the very next been fixed upon a pole. placed in such a light as to be shunned As Alexander VI. was entering a little by every boy in the school.
town in the neighbourhood of Rome, And now I have gone thus far, perhaps which had just been evacuated by the you will think me some pedagogue, will. enemy, he perceived the townsmen busy ing, by a well-timed puff, to increase the in the market-place in pulling down from reputation of his own school; but such a gibbet a figure which had been designed is not the case. The regard I have for to represent himself. There were also society, for those tender minds who are some knocking down a neighbouring statue the objects of the present essay, is the only of one of the Orsini family, with whom motive I have for offering those thoughts, he was at war, in order to put Alexander's calculated not to surprise by their novelty effigy, when taken down, in its place. It or the elegance of composition, but merely is possible a man who knew less of the to remedy some defects which have crept world would have condemned the adulation into the present system of school education. of those barefaced flatterers; but AlexIf this letter should be inserted, perhaps ander seemed pleased at their zeal, and, I may trouble you in my next with some turning to Borgia his son, said with a thoughts upon a university education, not smile, Vides, mi fili, quam leve discrimen with an intent to exhaust the subject, but patibulum inter et statuam.to amend some few abuses. I am, &c. my son, the small difference between a
gibbet and a statue.” If the great could ON THE INSTABILITY OF WORLDLY be taught any lesson, this might serve to
teach them upon how weak a foundation
their glory stands, which is built upon An alehouse keeper near Islington, who popular applause ; for as such praise what had long lived at the sign of the French seems like merit, they as quickly condemn King, upon the commencement of the last what has only the appearance of guilt.
“ You see,
Popular glory is a perfect coquette: light of the eyes, that favourite of kings, her lovers must toil, feel every inquietude, that rose of perfection! I suppose you indulge every caprice, and perhaps at last know nothing of the immortal Fipsihihi, be jilted into the bargain. True glory, second cousin to the moon?"-"Nothing on the other hand, resembles a woman of at all, indeed, sir," returned the other. sense : her admirers must play no tricks; “ Alas!” cries our traveller, “ to what they feel no great anxiety, for they are purpose; then, has one of these fasted to sure in the end of being rewarded in death, and the other offered himself up proportion to their merit. When Swift as a sacrifice to the Tartarean enemy, to used to appear in public, he generally gain a renown which has never travelled had the mob shouting in his train. “Pox beyond the precincts of China !” take these fools !” he would say: how There is scarcely a village in Europe, much joy might all this bawling give my and not one university, that is not thus Lord Mayor !”
furnished with its little great men.
The We have seen those virtues which have, head of a petty corporation, who opposes while living, retired from the public eye, the designs of a prince who would tyrannigenerally transmitted to posterity as the cally force his subjects to save their best truest objects of admiration and praise. clothes for Sundays — the puny pedant Perhaps the character of the late Duke who finds one undiscovered property in of Marlborough may one day be set up, the polype, describes an unheeded process even above that of his more talked of in the skeleton of a mole and whose mind, predecessor; since an assemblage of all like his microscope, perceives nature only the mild and amiable virtues is far superior in detail-the rhymer who makes smooth to those vulgarly called the great ones. verses, and paints to our imagination when I must be pardoned for this short tribute he should only speak to our hearts, -all to the memory of a man who, while equally fancy themselves walking forward living, would as much detest to receive to immortality, and desire the crowd beanything that wore the appearance of hind them to look on. The crowd takes flattery, as I should to offer it.
them at their word. Patriot, philosopher, I know not how to turn so trite a subject and poet are shouted in their train. out of the beaten road of commonplace, Where was there ever so much merit except by illustrating it rather by the seen? no times so important as our own' assistance of my memory than my judg- ages yet unborn shall gaze with wonder ment, and, instead of making reflections, and applause! To such music the imby telling a story.
portant pigmy moves forward, bustling A Chinese who had long studied the and swelling, and aptly compared to a works of Confucius, who knew tire cha- puddle in a storm. racters of fourteen thousand words, and I have lived to see generals who once could read a great part of every book that had crowds hallooing after them wherever came in his way, once took it into his they went, who were bepraised by newshead to travel into Europe, and observe papers and magazines, those echoes of the the customs of a people whom he thought voice of the vulgar, and yet they have long not very much inferior even to his own sunk into merited obscurity, with scarcely countrymen in the arts of refining upon even an epitaph left to flatter. A few years every pleasure. Upon his arrival at ago the herring fishery employed all Grub Amsterdam, his passion for letters natu- Street; it was the topic in every coffeerally led him to a bookseller's shop; house, and the burden of every ballad. and, as he could speak a little Dutch, he We were to drag up oceans of gold from civilly asked the bookseller for the works the bottom of the sea; we were to supply of the immortal Ilixofou. The bookseller all Europe with herrings upon our own assured him he had never heard the book terms. At present we hear no more of mentioned before. What! have you all this. We have fished up very little never heard of that immortal poet?” re. gold that I can learn; nor do we furnishi turned the other, much surprised; that the world with herrings, as was expected,