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nor can the most signal success relieve immediate | pilgrim, who walks the grand tour on foot, will want. Our Saxon ancestors had but one name for form very different conclusions.*

wit and witch. I will not dispute the propriety of uniting those characters then, but the man who, under the present discouragements, ventures to write for the stage, whatever claim he may have to the appellation of a wit, at least he has no right to be called a conjuror.

To see Europe with advantage, a man should appear in various circumstances of fortune, but the experiment would be too dangerous for young men. There are many things relative to other countries which can be learned to more advantage at home; their laws and policies are among the number.

From all that has been said upon the state of our theatre, we may easily foresee whether it is likely The greatest advantages which result to youth to improve or decline; and whether the free-born from travel, are an easy address, the shaking off muse can bear to submit to those restrictions which national prejudices, and the finding nothing ridicuavarice or power would impose. For the future, lous in national peculiarities. it is somewhat unlikely, that he whose labours are valuable, or who knows their value, will turn to the stage for either fame or subsistence, when he must at once flatter an actor and please an audience.


On Universities.

INSTEAD of losing myself in a subject of such extent, I shall only offer a few thoughts as they occur, and leave their connexion to the reader.

The time spent in these acquisitions could have been more usefully employed at home. An education in a college seems therefore preferable.

We attribute to universities either too much or too little. Some assert that they are the only proper places to advance learning; while others deny even their utility in forming an education. Both are erroneous.

Learning is most advanced in populous cities, where chance often conspires with industry to promote it: where the members of this large university, if I may so call it, catch manners as they rise, study life not logic, and have the world for correspondents.

We seem divided, whether an education formed The greatest number of universities have ever by travelling or by a sedentary life be preferable. been founded in times of the greatest ignorance. We see more of the world by travel, but more of New improvements in learning are seldom human nature by remaining at home; as in an in- adopted in colleges until admitted every where firmary, the student who only attends to the disor- else. And this is right; we should always be ders of a few patients, is more likely to understand cautious of teaching the rising generation uncerhis profession than he who indiscriminately exam-tainties for truth. Thus, though the professors in ines them all. universities have been too frequently found to op

A youth just landed at the Brille resembles a pose the advancement of learning; yet when once clown at a puppet-show; carries his amazement established, they are the properest persons to diffrom one miracle to another; from this cabinet of fuse it. curiosities to that collection of pictures: but won- There is more knowledge to be acquired from dering is not the way to grow wise. one page of the volume of mankind, if the scholar only knows how to read, than in volumes of antiquity. We grow learned, not wise, by too long a continuance at college.

Whatever resolutions we set ourselves, not to keep company with our countrymen abroad, we shall find them broken when once we leave home. Among strangers we consider ourselves as in a solitude, and it is but natural to desire society.

In all the great towns of Europe there are to be found Englishmen residing either from interest or choice. These generally lead a life of continued debauchery. Such are the countrymen a traveller is likely to meet with.

This points out the time at which we should leave the university. Perhaps the age of twentyone, when at our universities the first degree is generally taken, is the proper period.

The universities of Europe may be divided into three classes. Those upon the old scholastic establishment, where the pupils are immured, talk This may be the reason why Englishmen are all nothing but Latin, and support every day syllothought to be mad or melancholy by the vulgar gistical disputations in school philosophy. Would abroad. Their money is giddily and merrily spent not one be apt to imagine this was the proper eduamong sharpers of their own country; and when cation to make a man a fool? Such are the unithat is gone, of all nations the English bear worst that disorder called the maladie de poche.

versities of Prague, Louvain, and Padua. The second is, where the pupils are under few restric

Countries wear very different appearances to travellers of different circumstances. A man who In the first edition our author added, Haud inexpertus is whirled through Europe in a post-chaise, and the loquor; for he travelled through France etc. on foot.

Teaching by lecture, as at Edinburgh, may make men scholars, if they think proper; but instructing by examination, as at Oxford, will make them so often against their inclination.

Edinburgh only disposes the student to receive

tions, where all scholastic jargon is banished, where they take a degree. when they think proper, and live not in the college but the city. Such are Edinburgh, Leyden, Gottingen, Geneva. The third is a mixture of the two former, where the pupils are restrained but not confined; where many, though learning; Oxford often makes him actually learnnot all of the absurdities of scholastic philosophy ed. are suppressed, and where the first degree is taken after four years' matriculation. Such are Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin.

As for the first class, their absurdities are too apparent to admit of a parallel. It is disputed which of the two last are more conducive to national improvement.

In a word, were I poor, I should send my son to Leyden or Edinburgh, though the annual expense in each, particularly in the first, is very great. Were I rich, I would send him to one of our own universities. By an education received in the first, he has the best likelihood of living; by that received in the latter, he has the best chance of becoming

Skill in the professions is acquired more by prac-great. tice than study; two or three years may be suffi

We have of late heard much of the necessity of cient for learning their rudiments. The universi- studying oratory. Vespasian was the first who ties of Edinburgh, etc. grant a license for practising paid professors of rhetoric for publicly instructing them when the student thinks proper, which our youth at Rome. However, those pedants never universities refuse till after a residence of several made an orator. years. The best orations that ever were spoken were The dignity of the professions may be supported pronounced in the parliaments of King Charles the by this dilatory proceeding; but many men of learn- First. These men never studied the rules of oraing are thus too long excluded from the lucrative tory. advantages which superior skill has a right to expect.

Those universities must certainly be most frequented which promise to give in two years the advantages which others will not under twelve.

The man who has studied a profession for three years, and practised it for nine more, will certainly know more of his business than he who has only studied it for twelve.

The universities of Edinburgh, etc. must certainly be most proper for the study of those professions in which men choose to turn their learning to profit as soon as possible.

The universities of Oxford, etc. are improper for this, since they keep the student from the world, which, after a certain time, is the only true school of improvement.

Mathematics are, perhaps, too much studied at our universities. This seems a science to which the meanest intellects are equal. I forget who it is that says, "All men might understand mathematics if they would."

The most methodical manner of lecturing, whether on morals or nature, is first rationally to explain, and then produce the experiment. The most instructive method is to show the experiment first; curiosity is then excited, and attention awakened to every subsequent deduction. Hence it is evident, that in a well formed education a course of history should ever precede a course of ethics.

The sons of our nobility are permitted to enjoy greater liberties in our universities than those of private men. I should blush to ask the men of learning and virtue who preside in our seminaries the reason of such a prejudicial distinction. Our youth should there be inspired with a love of phi

When a degree in the professions can be taken only by men of independent fortunes, the number of candidates in learning is lessened, and conse-losophy; and the first maxim among philosophers quently the advancement of learning retarded.

is, That merit only makes distinction.

This slowness of conferring degrees is a rem- Whence has proceeded the vain magnificence of nant of scholastic barbarity. Paris, Louvain, and expensive architecture in our colleges? Is it that those universities which still retain their ancient men study to more advantage in a palace than in a institutions, confer the doctor's degree slower even cell? One single performance of taste or genius than we. confers more real honours on its parent university

The statues of every university should be consi-than all the labours of the chisel. dered as adapted to the laws of its respective government. Those should alter as these happen to fluctuate.

Surely pride itself has dictated to the fellows of our colleges the absurd passion of being attended at meals, and on other public occasions, by those poor Four years spent in the arts (as they are called men, who, willing to be scholars, come in upon in colleges) is perhaps laying too laborious a foun- some charitable foundation. It implies a contradation. Entering a profession without any previ- diction, for men to be at once learning the liberal ous acquisitions of this kind, is building too bold a arts, and at the same time treated as slaves; at once superstructure. studying freedom, and practising servitude.


The Conclusion.

It is this difference of pursuit which marks the morals and characters of mankind; which lays the line between the enlightened philosopher and the EVERY subject acquires an adventitious import-half-taught citizen; between the civil citizen and ance to him who considers it with application. He illiterate peasant; between the law-obeying peasant finds it more closely connected with human happi- and the wandering savage of Africa, an animal less ness than the rest of mankind are apt to allow; he mischievous indeed than the tiger, because endued sees consequences resulting from it which do not with fewer powers of doing mischief. The man, strike others with equal conviction; and still pursuing the nation, must therefore be good, whose chiefest speculation beyond the bounds of reason, too fre- luxuries consist in the refinement of reason; and quently becomes ridiculously earnest in trifles or reason can never be universally cultivated, unless absurdity. guided by taste, which may be considered as the link between science and common sense, the medium through which learning should ever be seen by society.

It will perhaps be incurring this imputation, to deduce a universal degeneracy of manners from so slight an origin as the depravation of taste; to assert that, as a nation grows dull, it sinks into debauchery. Yet such probably may be the consequence of literary decay; or, not to stretch the thought beyond what it will bear, vice and stupidity are always mutually productive of each other.

Taste will therefore often be a proper standard, when others fail, to judge of a nation's improvement or degeneracy in morals. We have often no permanent characteristics, by which to compare the virtues or the vices of our ancestors with our Life, at the greatest and best, has been compared own. A generation may rise and pass away withto a froward child, that must be humoured and out leaving any traces of what it really was; and played with till it falls asleep, and then all the care all complaints of our deterioration may be only is over. Our few years are laboured away in va- topics of declamation or the cavillings of disappointrying its pleasures; new amusements are pursued ment: but in taste we have standing evidence; we with studious attention; the most childish vanities can with precision compare the literary performanare dignified with titles of importance; and the ces of our fathers with our own, and from their exproudest boast of the most aspiring philosopher is cellence or defects determine the moral, as well as no more, than that he provides his little play-fellows the literary, merits of either. the greatest pastime with the greatest innocence.

If, then, there ever comes a time when taste is Thus the mind, ever wandering after amuse- so far depraved among us that critics shall load ment, when abridged of happiness on one part, every work of genius with unnecessary comment, endeavours to find it on another; when intellectual and quarter their empty performances with the pleasures are disagreeable, those of sense will take substantial merits of an author, both for subsistence the lead. The man who in this age is enamoured and applause; if there comes a time when censure of the tranquil joys of study and retirement, may shall speak in storms, but praise be whispered in in the next, should learning be fashionable no long- the breeze, while real excellence often finds shiper, feel an ambition of being foremost at a horse-wreck in either; if there be a time when the Muse course; or, if such could be the absurdity of the shall seldom be heard, except in plaintive elegy, as times, of being himself a jockey. Reason and ap- if she wept her own decline, while lazy compilations petite are therefore masters of our revels in turn; supply the place of original thinking; should there and as we incline to the one, or pursue the other, ever be such a time, may succeeding critics, both we rival angels, or imitate the brutes. In the pur- for the honour of our morals, as well as our learnsuit of intellectual pleasure lies every virtue; of ing, say, that such a period bears no resemblance sensual, every vice. to the present age!



Written and spoken by the Poet Laberius, a man Knight, whom Cæsar forced upon stage. Preserved by Macrobius.*

Or Flavia been content to stop
Ro-O had her eyes forgot to blaze!
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop.

WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage, And save from infamy my sinking age! Scarce half alive, opprest with many a year, What in the name of dotage drives me here? A time there was, when glory was my guide, Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside; Unawed by power, and unappall'd by fear, With honest thrift I held my honour dear: But this vile hour disperses all my store, And all my hoard of honour is no more; For ah! too partial to my life's decline, Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine; Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys, Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please. Here then at once I welcome every shame, And cancel at threescore a life of fame; No more my titles shall my children tell, The old buffoon will fit my name as well; This day beyond its term my fate extends, For life is ended when our honour ends.



SECLUDED from domestic strife
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass, and crack'd his joke,
And freshmen wonder'd as he spoke.

Such pleasures, unallay'd with care,
Could any accident impair?
Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix
Our swain, arrived at thirty-six?
O had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!

*This translation was first printed in one of our anthor's earliest works. “The Present State of Learning in Europe," 12mo. 1759; but was omitted in the second edition, which appeared in 1774.

This and the following poem were published by Dr. Gold smith in his volume of Essays, which appeared in 1765.

Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze!
O! but let exclamations cease,
Her presence banish'd all his peace.
So with decorum all things carried;
Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then was-married.

Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
Or draw the curtains closed around?
Let it suffice, that each had charms;
He clasp'd a goddess in his arms;
And though she felt his usage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.

The honey-moon like lightning flew,
The second brought its transports too;
A third, a fourth, were not amiss,
The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss:
But, when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that deck'd her face
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the worse remain'd behind,
That very face had robb'd her mind.

Skill'd in no other arts was she,
But dressing, patching, repartee;
And, just as humour rose or fell,
By turns a slattern or a belle.

'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace,
Half naked at a ball or race;
But when at home, at board or bed,
Five greasy night-caps wrapp'd her head.
Could so much beauty condescend
To be a dull domestic friend?
Could any curtain lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing?

In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting;
By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powdered coxcombs at her levee;
The 'squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations:
Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were past between
Insulting repartee or spleen.

Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose:
Whenever age or envy rise,

How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.

Now, to perplex the ravell'd noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower:-
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Levell'd its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.

The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright:
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes;
In vain she tries her paste and creams,
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams:
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens;
The 'squire himself was seen to yield,
And even the captain quit the field.

Poor madam now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzled to behold
Her present face surpass the old:
With modesty her cheeks are dyed,
Humility displaces pride;
For tawdry finery is seen
A person ever neatly clean;
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good nature every day:
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.



LONG had I sought in vain to find A likeness for the scribbling kind: The modern scribbling kind, who write, In wit, and sense, and nature's spite: Till reading, I forget what day on, A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon, I think I met with something there To suit my purpose to a hair.

But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius
You'll find him pictured at full length,
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.

Imprimis, Pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right,
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bards decreed;
A just comparison,-proceed.

In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air:
And here my simile unites,
For in the modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.

Lastly, vouchsafe t' observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand;
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly famed for several uses.
To wit-most wondrously endued,
No poppy water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,

Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore.
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.

Now to apply, begin we then ;-
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twined,
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep.
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.

And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postcript.
Moreover Merc'ry had a failing;
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he
But even this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?

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