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• fhould read much, we fould not event takes place, there can be no ima . read many books. Lord Shaftesbury, proprietyin suggesting methods, which, in his Characteristics, v. i. 142. says, if they cannot perfect the fyftem of in• It is improper to call a man well ftruction, may at least have a tendency read, who reads many authors, since to improve it. To effe& this rational
he muft of necessity have more ill'mo- purpose, it will not be necessary to • dels than good; and be more stuffed alter the course of knowledge, but • with bombaft, ill fancy, and wry only to abridge the means employed * thought, than filled with solid sense for its acquisition. For what is educa• and just imagination.'
tion Education and instruction, says “ Sir W. Temple, in his Esay on Hooker, are the means, the one by Learning, obferves, that it lessens the ufe, the other by precept, to make
force and growth of a man's genius, our natural faculty of reason both the and doubts whether the weight and better, and the fooner to judge rightly number of so many other men's between truth and error, good and • thoughts and notions, may not fup- evil. By preserving this accurate defi. • press his own, or hinder the motion nition clearly and diftin&ly in our
or agitation of them, from which minds, we shall soon discover at what .all invention arises; as heaping on stage of life all elementary fudies • wood, or too many sticks, or too fhould cease. The moment when it • clofe together, fuppreffes, and some- should commence, reason sufficiently • times quite extinguishes a little spark, indicates. At our entrance into the • that would otherwise have grown up world, we are helpless and ignorant ; • to a noble flame.'
and the mind, like blank paper, is ca. “ It has been thought advisable to pable of receiving any impressions postpone the publication of the cata- which may be made upon it. This logue of books referred to in page 267, then is the point where we ought to until the publication of the second vo- begin, nor should we defist until the lume, which, with the present, will mind is competent to form its judg. embrace all those parts of knowledge ments without the direction of the pathat are called elementary.
rent or tutor. As education is merely “ The present work is not written the instrument of facilitating our atfor the learned; but exclusively for tainment of this capacity, it Thould be that large portion of the community, laid aside as soon as the object is at: who have been too much neglected by tained. This is the point where it learned writers. It is on this account should end; but no determinate period that authorities have been leis quoted, can be alligned for its accomplishment, and the oftentation of reading many because it must vary according to the books avoided. Public utility has been genius, application, and health of the my fole object; and if thinking men pupil. The law of England has fixed will have the courage to pursue such the age of manhood at twenty-one. measures as have been recommended. It very properly makes no allowance in this treatise, I will venture to pro for any extraordinary exceptions that gnosticate that a great advancement may arise, because in the formation of will be made in the cause of truth, every law, or general rule, it is imposvirtue, and freedom." P.iv.
fible' for the legisator to foresee the
particular cases that may spring forth EXTRACTS.
to defeat the end of that law. Com.
mon utility is always preferred to inON THE BEST MODE OF EDUCATION. dividual advantage. But, notwithstand
“ MANY ages have elapsed since a ing the propriety of the general rule, it controversy began on the moft eilica- must be admitted that there are many cious mode of instructing youth; some bright geniuses, which have acquired preferring a public, and others a pri- more real knowledge at fixteen, than vate education. The question is not others at twenty-fix; and this chiefly yet determined; nor is it likely to be arises from their minds having been determined, until, by repeated and con- early directed to the acquisition of the vincing experiments, men become dif. real, substantial knowledge of things." posed to abandon their old habits, and P. 46. to adopt a more expeditious and more “ The infancy of an human being useful course of l-arning. Until that and of focieties bear an exact refem
blance to each other; and the rapid that a man of knowledge and virtue is progress of the individual from a state a more reputable character than the of total ignorance to a ftate of know- agreeable piper, the correct fiddler, ledge, is a correct miniature of the the pretty dancer, or the merry coxrife and progress of social institutions. comb.. The attractions of the latter,
The latter, indeed, has required a long are momentary, but the impreslions revolution of ages to bring them to which the former leave on the mind any degree of maturity; whereas the are deep and lasting; his name is never former is very often the work of a mentioned without respect, nor his fingle life. The cause of this difference character noticed without reverence it will not be difficult to explain. A and esteem. The philosopher, therechild finds all the artificial discoveries fore, who is not too nice and cenfoof fociety ready at his hands; they rious in his observations on human appear to him like so many originals, affairs, will not openly avow himself as ancient as nature itself. His only hostile to such propensities, as long as object therefore is, to have their feve. they do not tend directly to vitiate the ral properties unfolded, without in- understanding, or to corrupt the heart. quiring who was the inventor, or when The character of a Timon or a Dios the thing under contemplation was in- genes, described by the pen of history, vented. But this is not applicable may serve at this distance of time to ftrialy to focieties in their early condi- entertain our minds; but if we look tion; for every new discovery is the deeper into their dispositions, we shall result of neceflity, and the mind being find no epithet lo proper for them as intent only.en the means of self-pre- that of ill-natured madmen." P.
'. 49. fervation, is little disposed to range “ The progress of human sciences into the unexplored regions of science. has been retarded solely because men To provide for his immediate wants, have neither been sufficiently acquaintconftitutes the whole philosophy of ed with the capacity of their minds; the favage; the investigation of the nor have felt with suflicient force the phenomena of nature, and the philo- neceflity of exercifing them. Consea fophy of mind, are left to times poste- quently, if, in a system of education; rior to the first organization of com we would make use of the only method munities; when men enjoy in security to which we are indebted for all that the advantages of order, ldfure, and we have hitherto acquired, we must at civilization. Ignorance and wonder are first enable a child to comprehend the the attributes of the unlettered barba- faculties of his mind, and make him rian; doubt and inveftigation, of the sensible of the neceility of exerting enlightened citizen.
them. If we succeed in both, every “ These observations are not advan- successive , undertaking will become ced for the purpose of depreciating the ealy; for, instead of imagining as inany value which the generality of men principles and methods as are distina affix to fuch acquirements. On the guished in the arts and iciences, we contrary, the elegant and frivolous hould have nothing more to do than trifles which are so apt to please the to observe with him. This is not a vanity of the indulgent parent, having, plan of very dificult operation. For by the scandalous negligence of man if the faculties of the understanding be kind, become incorporated in the fyt- the fame in a child as in a man, why tem of education, ought to be attended should he be deemed incapable of oba to, because, from this circumstance, the serving thein? It is true, that they world attaches to them a greater de have been exerciseid on a less number gree of importance than they would of objects; but at least it mut be otherwise deserve. All that can be at- granted that they have been exercised, tempted in this age of diffipated man and often with success. Why then can ners, is, to implore those who are con he not be made to notice what patles cerned in the guardianship of youth, within himself, when he has alrcady not to appreciate too highly such pur-forined judgments and reasonings,when fuits, nor to permit them to swallow up
he has had delires, and contracted hathe more usefaloccupations of the mind. bits ? Why can we nidt induce him to For after ail that can be said in their remark the occaiions in which he has favour, it is univerfally acknowledged,
rightly managed them, or those in even in the circles of levity and fathion, which they have been mifinanzged, VOL. V.-No. XLIX.
and inftruct him, from his own expe. the same in each tudy, it become rience, to manage them in future more more familiar to him every day: the - advantageously? When he has made more he becomes informed, the more these primary observations, he will ex. facility he acquires in informing him. ercise his faculties with better judg- self; and if the period of his education ment; and henceforward he will be has been too short, he may, a one and more defirous to employ them, until without affiftance, acquire every fort by frequent efsays the habit of exer- of knowledge that has not been subcising them will be insensibly acquired. mitted to him before.” P. 70. From the moment that a child begins “ In this syllabus of education, it is to comprehend the use that is to be proposed to aslift the human mind in derived from the employment of the unfolding its powers in that order faculties of his mind, he will require which nature and experience authorize. nothing further than a proper direction A child is led from absolute ignorance to enable him to seize the thread of to knowledge, and from one fpecies of the sciences, to follow them in their knowledge to another in a regular con progress from first to last, and to learn nected chain of acquirements, until be in a few years what has cost mankind a has attained all the elements which his long revolution of ages to acquire. It future destination in life requires. To will suffice that he make obfervations, inftrućt him further than in the ele
. when he is capable; and when he can ments of knowledge is not the province not observe by his own exertions, it of education. All that it can and will will be enough to give the history of perform is to furnish him with such observations which have been made. allistances, that, whatever department This method poffeffes besides many of science he may afterwards select for advantages. It removes from our studies his future occupation, he may be en. a multitude of superfluous objects, abled to undertake it without the aid which detain without instructing us in of a preceptor. Men are not intended our progress; and rejects those empty to be in leading-strings all the days of sciences which confift principally in their lives. The time will arrive, when, words or vague notions, and which disengaged from the advice of the tu. are called primary or elementary sci- tor, and the admonitions of the parent, ences, as if it were necessary to lose a youth must plunge into the bustle of time in learning nothing, in order to the world, and confide entirely to the prepare ourselves for studying one day principles which he has imbibed during or other to fome advantage. It averts the term of his education. Then it those disgusts which a child cannot will soon appear, whether the plans of avoid experiencing, when in the com. his education have been well chofen, mencement of his studies obftacles are 'and whether his future progress will opposed to him which' he cannot fur- do credit to the care that has been ex: mount, and doomed to store his me.. hausted upon him during his infancy. mory with words that he does
not un. “ When we consider that all our derstand, he is punished for not retain- future hopes respecting a child, reft ing what he never comprehended, or solely on early care, and that the man for not having learnt what he never will be exa&ly what the child was in felt the necessity of learning. On the : miniature, we mhall never regret any contrary, it enlightens with facility, labour or expense that we may devote because from the first leflon it leads to his inftruction. When a young man him from what he knows to what he quits the house of his father, he is inwas ignorant of; it excites his curio- ftantaneously environed with a multifity, as he judges from the knowledge tude of dangers and fascinating attac he has already gained, of the facility tions. He ought therefore to be cely of obtaining more ; and his vanity, fat- fortified, not only againt vice and fetered by his first progress, renders him duction, but against dattery, which to anxious ftill to acquire. It instructs nerally precedes them. He ought like• him almost without any exertion on wife to be so elegantly prepared for his part; because, instead of making a the great world, that he may reckon parade of principles, it reduces the with fafety on his own probity and Iciences to the history of observations, qualifications, when an emergency of experiments and discoveries. And arises to call them into action. In vain lastly, as it never varies, and as it is will a youth perplexed with difficulties
NEGLECTED IN SCHOOLS.
in the world, invoke the learning of THE ENGLISH GRAMMAR TOO MUCH Greece and Rome, if he be ignorant of the constitution of our nature, the « THE propriety of introducing modes of thinking which prevail, and the English grammar into English the nice shades and distinctions that schools, cannot be disputed; a comexist between right and wrong. He petent knowledge of our own language should understand well the constitu- being both uteful and ornamental in tion, laws, and genius civil and mili- every profession, and a critical knowtary of his native country, and he ledge of it absolutely necessary to all. thould not be imperfe&tly acquainted persons of a liberal education. The with the civil polity of surrounding little difficulty there is apprehended to nations. The Latin and Greek lan- be in the study of it, is the chief reaguages, confidered as models of taste son, I believe, why it hath been fo and fine writing, are useful to form much neglected. The Latin was so the ftyle, and tharpen the wit of men. complex a language, that it made of But a coryphæus in ancient learning is necessity (notwithstanding the Greek but a mere pedant if he be ignorant of was the learned tongue at Rome) a the nature, beauties, and power of his considerable branch of Roman school mother tongue. His learning, which education: whereas ours, by being would otherwise be an useful ornament more fimple, is, perhaps, less generally to his more pra&ical knowledge, can
understood. And though the gramnot but impede his progress in the mar-school be, on all accounts, the world. An Englishman destined to re most proper place for learning it, how fide in his native country, is to think, many grainmar-schools have we, and write, and speak in English, not in of no small reputation, which are defLatin or Greek; and the greatest cause titute of all provision for the regular that has hitherto obstructed the refine- teaching of it? Indeed, it is not much ment of English literature, is the total above a century ago, that our native neglect of our own language during tongue seemed to be looked upon as our education. We cannot therefore below the notice of a classical scholar; be surprised when we find scholars ex. and men of learning made very little press themselves awkwardly in it; or use of it, either in conversation, or, in when we discover that the French,' writing. And even fince it hath been Italian, Latin, and Greek tongues, are made the vehicle of knowledge of all better understood (because they are kinds, it hath not found its way into more attended to) than our own. Our the schools appropriated to language, acquaintance with the authors of anti- in proportion to its growing importquity should have taught us better To obviate this inconvenience, plans
. For according to the undoubted we must introduce into our schools teftimonies of Quintilian and Cicero, English grammar, English compofithe greatest pains were taken to in- tions, and frequent English translations struct the Roman youth in the Latin from authors in other languages. The tongue, before they were taught the common objection to English compoGreek, which was as foreign to them fitions, that it is like requiring bricks as French, Latin, or Greek are to the to be made without straw (boys not English. 'Were the Roman republic beings supposed to be capable of fo in existence, and were it judged pro- much reflection as is neceffary to treat per that its youth should be conversant any subject with propriety), is a very in the language of our country, we frivolous one ; in many of which the should find that it would not be at. whole attention may be employed upon tempted until they had been thoroughly language only; and from thence youth acquainted with the general principles may be led on in a regular series of of Latin. The same observation will compositions, in which the tranfition apply to us. Let the divine languages from language to sentiment may be as of antiquity be cultivated as a part of gradual and easy as poslible. education, but let them not abforb “ The English language is, perhaps, the whole ; let them allilt the style, of all the present European languages, but never exclude the bold and lim by much the most fimple in its form ple energy of the British language." and conftruction. Of all the ancient
languages extant, that is the most fim3 C 2
ple, which is undoubtedly the most an- language makes'no part of the ordinary cient: but even that language itself method of instruction, which we pass does not equal the English in fimpli. through in our childhood; and it is city. The words of the English lan- very feldom that we apply ourselves to guage are perhaps subject to rewer va. it afterward. Yet the want of it will riations from their original form, than not be effectually supplied by any those of any other. Its substantives other advantages whatsoever. Much have but one variation of case; nor practice in the polite world, and a gr. have they any distinction of gender, 'neral acquaintance with the best au. beside that which nature hath made. thors, are good helps; but alone will Its adje&tives admit of no change at hardly be sufficient: we have writers, all, except that which expresses the who have enjoyed these advantages in degrees of comparison. All the pos- their full extent, and yet cannot be res sible variations of the original form of commended as models of an accurate the verb are not above fix or seven; style. Much less then will what is whereasin many languages they amount commonly called learning ferve the to some hundreds; and almoft the purpose; that is, a critical knowledge whole business of modes, times, and of ancient languages, and much read, voices, is managed with great case by ing of ancient authors: the greatef the affistance of eight or nine commo critic and most able grammarian of the dious little verbs, called from their use last age, when he came to apply bis auxiliaries. The construction of this learning and his criticism to an English language is so easy and obvious, that author, was frequently at a loss in our grarnmarians have thought it hardly matters of ordinary use and common worth while to give us any thing conftruction in his own vernacular like a regular and lyftematical syntax. idiom. A good foundation in the geo In truth, the easier any subject is in neral principles of grammar is in the its own nature, the harder is it to first place necessary for all those who make it more easy by explanation; are initiated in a learned education; and nothing is more unnecessary, and and for all others likewise, who shall at the fame time commonly more dif. have occafion to furnish themselves ficult, than to give a demonstration in with the knowledge of modern lanform of a propofition almost felf-evi- guages. Universal grammar cannot be dent. It doth not then proceed from taught abstractedly: it must be done any peculiar irregularity or difficulty with reference to some language alof our language, that the general prace ready known; in which the terms are tice both of Ipeaking and writing it is to be explained, and the rules exem. chargeable with inaccuracy. It is not plified. The learner is supposed to be the language, but the practice, that is unacquainted with all but his native in fault. The truth is, grammar is tongue; and in what other, confifte very much neglected among us: and it ently with reason and common sense
, is not the difficulty of the language, can you go about to explain it to him? but on the contrary the fimplicity and when he has a competent knowledge facility of it, that occafion this neglect. of the main principles of grammar in Were the language less easy and fimple, general, exemplified in his own lan. we should find ourselves under a ne- guage, he then will apply himself *ith ceflity of ftudying it with more care and great advantage to the study of any attention. But as it is, we take it for other. To enter at once upon the granted, that we have a competent science of grammar, and the study of knowledge and skill, and are able to a foreign language, is to encounter acquit ourselves properly, in our own two difficulties together, each of which native tongue: a faculty solely ac would be much leftened by being taken quired by use, conducted by habit, separately and in its proper order. For and tried by the ear, carries us on these plain reasons a competent gran. without reflection; we meet with no Inatical knowledge of our own lan. Tubs or difficulties in our way, or we guage is the true foundation upon do not perceive them; we find our which all literature, properly fo called, felves able to go on without rules, and ought to be raised. If this method we do not so much as fufpe&t that we were adopted in our schools; if chil. stand in need of them.
dren were first taught the commen “ A grammatical ftudy of our own principles of grammar, by some poolt