« ПретходнаНастави »
'The satiro was well intended, if we regard it as so many of the ancients either not known or not being masters ourselves; but probably a philoso- understood. It was not reasonable to attempt new pher would rejoice in that liberty which English- conquests, while they had such an extensive region men give their domestics; and, for my own part, 1 lying waste for want of cultivation. At that pe can not avoid being pleased at the happiness of those riod, criticism and erudition were the reigning slupoor creatures, who in some measure contribute to djes of the times; and he who had only an invenmine. The Athenians, the politest and best-na- tive genius, might have languished in hopeless ob tured people upon earth, were the kindest to their scurity. When the writers of antiquity were suffislaves; and if a person may judge, who has seen ciently explained and known, the learned set about the world our English servants are the best treated, imitating them: hence proceeded the number of because the generality of our English gentlemen Latin orators, poets, and historians, in the reigns are the politest under the sun.
of Clement the Seventh and Alexandler the Sixth. But not to lift my feeble voice among the pack This passion for antiquity lasted for many years, of critics, who probably have no other occupation to the utter exclusion of every other pursuit, till but that of cutting up every thing new, I must some began to find, that those works which were own, there are one or two scenes that are fine saire, imitated from nature, were more like the writings and sufficiently humorous; particularly the first in- of antiquity, than even those written in express terview between the two footmen, which at once imitation. It was then modern language began to ridicules the manners of the great, and the ab- be cultivated with assiduity, and our poets and orasurdity of their imitators.
tors poured forth their wonders upon the world. Whatever defects there might be in the composi- As writers become more numerous, it is natural tion, there were none in the action : in this the per- for readers to become more indolent; whence must formers showed more humour than I had fancied necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge them capable of. Mr. Palmer and Mr. King were with the greatest possible ease. No science or art entirely what they desired to represent; and Mrs. offers its instruction and amusement in so obvious Clive (but what need I talk of her, since, without a manner as statuary and painting. Hence we the least exaggeration, she has more true humour see, that a desire of cultivating those arts generally than any actor or actress upon the English or any attends the decline of science. Thus the finest other stage I have seen)-she, I say, did the part statues and the most beautiful paintings of anall the justice it was capable of: and, upon the tiquity, preceded but a little the absolute decay of whole, a farce, which has only this to recommend every other science. The statues of Antoninus, it, that the author took his plan from the volume Commodus, and their contemporaries, are the finest of nature, by the sprightly manner in which it was productions of the chisel, and appeared but just beperformed, was for one night a tolerable entertain- fore learning was destroyed by comment, criticism, ment. This much may be said in its vindication, and barbarous invasions. that people of fashion seemed more pleased in the What happened in Rome may probably be the representation than the subordinate ranksof people. case with us at home. Our nobility are now more
solicitous in patronizing painters and sculptors than those of any other polite profession ; and from the
lord, who has his gallery, down to the 'prentice, UPON UNFORTUNATE MERIT. who has his twopenny copper-plate, all are ad
mirers of this art. The great, hy their caresses, Every age seems to have its favourite pursuits, seem insensible to all other merit but that of the which serve to amuse the idle, and to relieve the pencil ; and the vulgar buy every book rather from attention of the industrious. Happy the man who the excellence of the sculptor than the writer. is horn excellent in the pursuit in vogue, and whose How happy were it now, if men of real excelgenius seems adapted to the times in which he lence in that profession were to arise! Were the lives. How many do we see, who might have ex- painters of Italy now to appear, who once wandercelled in arts or sciences, and who seem furnished ed like beggars from one city to another, and prowith talents equal to the greatest discoveries, had duce their almost breathing figures, what rewards the road not been already beaten by their preile- might they not expect! But many of them lived. cessors, and nothing left for them except tritles to without rewards, and therefore rewards alone will discover, while others of very moderate abilities be- never produce their equals. We have often found come fanous, hecause happening to be first in the the great exert themselves not only without proreigning pursuit.
motion, but in spite of opposition. We have often Thus, at the renewal of letters in Europe, the found them flourishing, like medicinal plants, in a Laste was not to coinpirse new books, but to com- region of savageness and barbarity, their excellence ment on the old ones. It was not to be expected unknown, and their virtues unheeded. that new books should be written, when there were They who have seen the paintings of Caravagio are sensible of une surprising impression they make; upon this subject, instead of indulging each hia bold, swelling, terrible to the last degree; all seems particular and whimsical system, it had been much animated, and speaks him among the foremost of better if the writers on this subject had treated it his profession ; yet this man's fortune and his fame in a more scientific manner, repressed all the salseemed ever in opposition to each other. lies of imagination, and given us the result of
Unknowing how to flatter the great, he was their observations with didactic simplicity. Upon driven from city to city in the utmost indigence, this subject the smallest errors are of the most danand might truly be said to paint for his bread.
gerous consequence; and the author should venHaving one day insulted a person of distinction, ture the imputation of stupidity upon a topic, who refused to pay him all the respect which he where his slightest deviations may tend to injure thought his due, he was obliged to leave Rome, the rising generation. and travel on foot, his usual method of going his I shall therefore throw out a few thoughts upon journeys down into the country, without either this subject, which have not been attended to by money or friends to subsist him.
others, and shall dismiss all attempts to please, After he had travelled in this manner as long as while I study only instruction. his strength would permit, faint with famine and The manner in which our youth of London are fatigue, he at last called at an obscure inn by the at present educated is, some in free-schools in the way-side. The host knew, by the appearance of city, but the far greater number in boarding-schools his guest, his indifferent circumstances, and refused about town. The parent justly consults the to furnish him a dinner vithout previous payment. health of his child, and finds an education in the
As Caravagio was entirely destitute of money, country tends to promote this much more than a he took down the innkeeper's sign, and painted it continuance in the town. Thus far they are anew for his dinner.
right : if there were a possibility of having even Thus refreshed, he proceeded on his journey, our free-schools kept a little out of town, it would and left the innkeeper not quite satisfied with this certainly conduce to the health and vigour of permethod of payment. Some company of distinc- haps the mind, as well as of the body. It may be tion, however, coming soon after, and struck with thought whinsical, but it is truth; I have found the beauty of the new sign, bought it at an ad- by experience, that they who have spent all their vanced price, and astonished the innkeeper with lives in cities, contract not only an effeminacy of their generosity: he was resolved, therefore, to get habit
, but even of thinking. as many signs as possible drawn by the same artist, But when I have said, that the boarding schools as he found he could sell them to good advantage ; are preferable to free-schools, as being in the coun and accordingly set out after Caravagio, in order try, this is certainly the only advantage I can allow to bring him back. It was nightfall before he came them, otherwise it is impossible to conceive the up to the place where the unfortunate Caravagio ignorance of those who take upon them the imlay dead by the roadside, overcome by fatigue, re- portant trust of education. Is any man unfit for sentinent, and despair.
any of the professions ? he finds his last resource in setting up school. Do any become bankrupts in trade? they still set up a boarding-school, and drive
a trade this way, when all others fail: nay, I have THE BEE, No. VI.
been told of butchers and barbers, who have turn
ed schoolmasters; and, more surprising still, made SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1759.
fortunes in their new profession.
Could we think ourselves in a country of civil
ized people; could it be conceived that we have ON EDUCATION,
any regarà for posterity, when such are permitted
to take the charge of the morals, genius, and health TO THE AUTHOR OF THE BEE
of those dear little pledges, who may one day be SIR,
the guardians of the liberties of Europe, and who As few subjects are more interesting to society, may serve as the honour and bulwark of their aged so few have been more frequently written upon than parents? The care of our children, is it below the the education of youth. Yet is it not a little sur- state ? is it fit to indulge the caprice of the igno prising, that it should have been treated almost by rant with the disposal of their children in this par. all in a declamatory manner? They have insisted ticular? For the state to take the charge of all its largely on the advantages that result from it, both children, as in Persia and Sparta, might at present to the individual and to society, and have expatiated be inconvenient; but surely with great ease it in the praise of what none have ever been so hardy might cast an eye to their instructors. Of all as to call in question.
members of society, I do not know a more useful, Instead of giving us fine but empty harangues or a more honourable one, than a schoolmaster,
at the same time that I do not see any more ge- not, to give children a relish for learning? They nerally despised, or whose, talents are so ill re- must esteem learning very much, when they see warded.
its professors used with such ceremony! If the Were the salaries of schoolmasters to be aug- usher be despised, the father may be assured his mented from a diminution of useless sinecures, child will never be properly instructed. how might it turn to the advantage of this people; But let me suppose, that there are some schools a people whom, without flattery, I may in other without these inconveniences; where the master respects term the wisest and greatest upon earth! and ushers are men of learning, reputation, and But while I would reward the deserving, I would assiduity. . If there are to be found such, they dismiss those utterly unqualified for their employ- cannot be prized in a state sufficiently. A boy ment: in short, I would make the business of a will learn more true wisdom in a public school in schoolmaster every way more respectable, by in- a year, than by a private education in five. It is not creasing their salaries, and admitting only men of from masters, but from their equals, youth learn proper abilities.
a knowledge of the world; the little tricks they There are already schoolmasters appointed, and play each other, the punishment that frequently they have some small salaries; but where at pre- attends the commission, is a just picture of the sent there is but one schoolmaster appointed, there great world, and all the ways of men are practised should at least be two; and wherever the salary is in a public school in miniature. It is true, a child zt present twenty pounds, it should be a hundred. is early made acquainted with some vices in a school, Do we give immoderate benefices to those who but it is better to know these when a boy, than be instruct ourselves, and shall we deny even subsist- first taught them when a man, for their novelty ence to those who instruct our children ? Every then may have irresistible charms. member of society should be paid in proportion as In a public education boys early learn tempehe is necessary: and I will be bold enough to say, rance; and if the parents and friends would give that schoolmasters in a state are more necessary them less money upon their usual visits, it would than clergymen, as children stand in more need of be much to their advantage, since it may justly be instruction than their parents.
said, that a great part of their disorders arise from But instead of this, as I have already observed, surfeit
, plus occidit gula quam gladius. And we send them to board in the country to the most now I am come to the article of health, it may not ignorant set of men that can be imagined. But be amiss to observe, that Mr. Locke and some lest the ignorance of the master be not sufficient, others have advised, that children should be inured the child is generally consigned to the usher. to cold, to fatigue, and hardship, from their youth; This is generally some poor needy animal, little but Mr. Locke was but an indifferent physician. superior to a footman either in learning or spirit, Habit, I grant, has great influence over our coninvited to his place by an advertisement, and kept stitutions, but we have not precise ideas upon this there merely from his being of a complying dispo- subject. sition, and making the children fond of him. We know that among savages, and even among "You give your child to be educated to a slave," our peasants, there are found children born with says a philosopher to a rich man ; "instead of one sucht constitutions, that they cross rivers by swimslave, you will then have two."
ming, endure cold, thirst, hunger, and want of It were well, however, if parents, upon fixing sleep, to a surprising degree; that when they hap. their children in one of these houses, would ex- pen to fall sick, they are cured without the help amine the abilities of the usher as well as of the of medicine, by nature alone. Such examples aro master : for, whatever they are told to the contrary, adduced to persuade us to imitate their mar.ner of the usher is generally the person most employed in education, and accustom ourselves betimes to suptheir education. If, then, a gentleman, upon put- port the same fatigues. But had these gentlemen ting out his son to one of these houses, sees the considered first, that those savages and peasants usher disregarded by the master, he may depend are generally not so long-lived as they who have upon it, that he is equally disregarded by the boys; led a more indolent life; secondly, that the more the truth is, in spite of all their endeavours to laborious the life is, the less populous is the counplease, they are generally the laughing-stock of try : had they considered, that what physicians the school. Every trick is played upon the usher; call the stamina vitæ, by fatigue and labour become the oddity of his manners, his dress, or his lan- rigid, and thus anticipate old age : that the number guage, is a fund of eternal ridicule; the master who survive those rude trials, bears no proportion himself now and then cannot avoid joining in the to those who die in the experiment: had these laugh, and the poor wretch, eternally resenting things been properly considered, they would not this ill-usage, seems to live in a state of war with have thus extolled an education begun in fatigue all the family. This is a very proper person, is it and hardships. Peter the Great, willing to inura the children of his seamen to a life of hardship, never exposed to our view, we have no great do ordered that they should drink only sca-water, but sire to beconie acquainted with those parts of learnthey unfortunately all died under the experiment. ing which pretend to account for the phenomena.
But while I would exclude all unnecessary la- One of the ancients complains, that as soon as pours, yet still I would recommend temperance in young men have left school, and are obliged to conhe highest degree. No luxurious dishes with high verse in the world, they fancy themselves transportseasoning, nothing given children to force an ap- ed into a new region. Ul cum in furum venerint petite, as little sugared or salted provisions as pos- existiment se in aliam terrarum orbem delatos. sible, though never so pleasing ; but milk, morning We should early therefore instruct them in the exand night, should be their constant food. This diet periments, if I may so express it, of knowledge. would make them more healthy than any of those and leave to maturer age the accounting for the slops that are usually cooked by the mistress of a causes. But, instead of that, when boys begin boarding-school; besides, it corrects any consump- natural philosophy in colleges, they have not the tive habits, not unfrequently found amongst the least curiosity for those parts of the science which children of city parents.
are proposed for their instruction; they have never As boys should be alucated with temperance, before seen the phenomena, and consequently have so the first greatest lesson that should be taught no curiosity to learn the reasons. Might natural them is, to admire frugality. It is by the exercise philosophy therefore be made their pastime in of this virtue alone, they can ever expect to be use- school, by this means it would in college become ful members of society. It is true, lectures con-their amusement. tinually repeated upon this subject may make some In several of the machines now in use, there boys when they grow up, run into an extreme, would be ample field both for instruction and and become misers; but it were well, had we more amusement: the different sorts of the phosphorus, misers than we have among us. I know few the artificial pyrites, magnetism, electricity, the excharacters more useful in society; for a man's periments upon the rarefaction and weight of the having a larger or smaller share of money lying air, and those upon elastic boilies, might employ useless by hiin no way injures the commonwealth; their idle hours, and none should be called from since, should every miser now exhaust his stores, play to see such experiments but such as thought this might make gold more plenty, but it would not proper. At first then it would be sufficient if the increase the commodities or pleasures of life; they instruments, and the effects of their combination, would still remain as they are at present: it mat. were only shown; the causes should be deferred to ters not, therefore, whether men are misers or not, a maturer age, or to those times when natural curiif they be only frugal, laborious, and fill the station osity prompts us to discover the wonders of nature. they have chosen. If they deny themselves the Man is placed in this world as a spectator; when necessaries of life, society is no way injured by their he is lired with wondering at all the novelties about folly.
him, and not till then, does he desire to be made Instead, therefore, of romances, which praise acquainted with the causes that create those wonyoung men of spirit, who go through a variety of ders. adventures, and at last conclude a life of dissipa- What I have observed with regard to natural tion, folly, and extravagance, in riches and matri- philosophy, I would extend to every other science mony, there should be some men of wit employed whatsoever. We should teach them as many of to compose books that might equally interest the the facts as were possible, and defer the causes unpassions of our youth; where such a one might be til they seemed of themselves desirous of knowing praised for having resisted allurements when young, them. A mind thus leaving school stored with all and how he at last became lord mayor; how he the simple experiences of science, would be the was married to a lady of great sense, fortune, and fittest in the world for the college course; and beauty: to be as explicit as possible, the old story though such a youth might not appear so bright, of Whittington, were his cat left out, might be for so talkative, as those who had learned the real more serviceable to the tender mind, than either principles and causes of some of the sciences, yet Tom Jones, Joseph Andrews, or a hundred others, he would make a wiser man, and would retain a where frugality is the only good quality the hero more lasting passion for letters, than he who was is not possessed uf. Were our schoolmasters, if early burdened with the disagreeable institution of any of them had sense enough to draw up such a effect and cause. work, thus employed, it would be much more In history, such stories alone should be laid beserviceable to their pupils than all the grammars fore them as might catch the imagination : instead and dictionaries they may publish these ten years. of this, they are too frequently obliged to boil through
Children should early be instructed in the arts, the four empires, as they are called, where their from which they would afterwards draw the great-memories are burdened by a number of disgusting est ud'antages. Wlzen the wonders of nature are names, that destroy all their future relish Car ou Evor himorians, wio lay be whidtii W truest find me once more addressing schoolmasters on the teachers of wiso n.
present method of teaching the learned languages, Every species of fattery should be carefully which is commonly by literal translations. I would avoided; a boy, who happens to say a spnghtly ask such, if they were to travel a journey, whether thing, is generally applauded so much, that he hap- those parts of the road in which they found the pens to continue a enxcomb sometimes all his life greatest difficulties would not be most strongly reafter. He is reputed a wit at fourteen, and be membered? Boys who, if I may continue the alcomes a blockhead at twenty. Nurses, footmen, lusion, gallop through one of the ancients with the and such, should therefore be driven away as much assistance of a translation, can have but a very 28 possible. I was even going to add, that the slight acquaintance either with the author or his mother herself should stifle her pleasure, or her language. It is by the exercise of the mind alone vanity, when little master happens to say a good that a language is learned ; but a literal translation or smart thing. Those modest lubberly boys who on the opposite page leaves no exercise for the seem to want spirit, generally go through their memory at all. The boy will not be at the fatigue business with more ease to themselves, and more of remembering, when his doubts are at once satissatisfaction to their instructors.
fied by a glance of the eye; whereas, were every There has of late a gentleman appeared, who word to be sought from a dictionary, the learner thinks the study of rhetoric essential to a perfect would atttempt to remember, in order to save hilo education. That bold male eloquence, which often the trouble of looking out for it for the future. without pleasing convinces, is generally destroyed To continue in the same pedantic strain, though by such institutions. Convincing eloquence, how. no schoolmaster, of all the various grammars now ever, is infinitely more serviceable to its possessor taught in the schools about town, I would recomthan the most Horid harangue or the most pathetic mend only the old common one; I have forgot tones that can be imagined; and the man who is whether Lily's, or an emendation of him. The thoroughly convinced himself, who understands his others may be improvements; but such improvesubject, and the language he speaks in, will be nents seem to me only mere grammatical niceties, more apt to silence opposition, than he who studies no way influencing the learner, but perhaps loadthe force of his periods, and fills our ears with ing him with trifling subtleties, which at a proper sounds, while our minds are destitute of convic- age he must be at some pains to forget. tion.
Whatever pains a master may take to make the It was reckoned the fault of the orators at the learning of the languages agreeable to his pupil, he decline of the Roman empire, when they had been may depend upon it, it will be at first extremely long instructed by rhetoricians, that their periods unpleasant. The rudiments of every language, were so harmonious, as that they could be sung as therefore, must be given as a task, not as an amusewell as spoken. What a ridiculous figure must ment. Attempting to deceive children into inone of these gentlemen cut, thus incasuring syl- struction of this kind, is only deceiving ourselves; lables, and weighing words, when he should plead and I know no passion capable of conquering a the cause of his client! Two architects were once child's natural laziness but fear. Solomon has said candidates for the building a certain temple at it before me; nor is there any more certain, though Athens; the first harangued the crowd very learn. perhaps more disagreeable truth, than the proverb edly upon the different orders of architecture, and in verse, too well known to repeat on the present showed them in what manner the temple should occasion. It is very probable that parents are told be built ; the other, who got up to speak after him, of some masters who never use the rod, and conseonly observed, that what his brother had spoken quently are thought the properest instructors for he could do; and thus he at once gained his cause. their children; but though tenderness is a requisite
To teach men to be orators, is little less than to quality in an instructor, yet there is too often the teach them to be poets; and, for my part, I should truest tenderness in well-timed correction. have too great a regard for my child, to wish hin Some have justly observed, that all passion a manor only in a bookseller's shop.
should be banished on this terrible occasion; but, I Another passion which the present age is apt to know not how, there is a frailty attending human run into, is to make children learn all things; the nature, that few masters are able to keep their languages, the sciences, music, the exercises, and temper whilst they correct. I knew a good-naturpainting. Thus the child soon becomes a talker ed man, who was sensible of his own weakness in in all, but a master in none. He thus acquires a this respect, and consequently had recourse to the superficial fondness for everything, and only following expedient to prevent his passions from beshows his ignorance when he attempts to exhibit ing engaged, yet at the same time administer jushis skill.
rice with impartiality. Whenever any of his puAs I deliver my thoughts without method or pils committed a fault, he summoned a jury of his connexiun, so the reader must not be surprised to peers, I mean of the boys of his own or the next