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Sunset, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "
In note, page 116, for “ lengthy," read “long."
* IF in any thing,” says Quintilian, when speaking on the utility of Rhetoric, “ The Creator has distinguished us from the rest of animals, it is by the gift of speech. They surpass us in strength, patience, in size, in swiftness, and especially in independence of foreign aid. Guided by instinct they soon learn by its instructions, to walk, to feed themselves, and to swim.
" Their protection against cold, and their weapons of defence, are provided for them by nature. But what pains and labour does it cost man to procure all these things..
“Reason is our inheritance, and seems to associate us to immortal beings. But how feeble would reason be, were it not for the faculty of expressing our thoughts by. speech, which is the faithful interpreter of reason. This is what is wanting in the inferior animals, much more than understanding, of which, it cannot be justly said, that they are absolutely destitute.
"If then we have received nothing from the Deity better than the use of speech, what is there, which we ought to cultivate with greater industry? What object is more worthy of our ambition, than that of rising above other men by that faculty, which alone raises them above the level of the brutes ?"
If it is thus important to be master of our speech, how much more so, that we possess the art of communicating our thoughts with ease and propriety by the pen ?--A8 the former has a limited circulation, the latter circulates throughout the world; as the former answers only, (in many respects) for the present or passing time, the latter can be preserved for the use of ages; and, it may be said, that it is by the latter, only, that the former is made most useful,
Admitting what is universally acknowledged, that the art of composing, and of communicating our thoughts with ease and accuracy is one of the most useful and important, I shall proceed to introduce such principles of Locke, Stewart, Reid, and others, as shall seem proper for the study of those, whose intellectual powers are but in the bud.
In which abridgement, the principal objects in view will be, to instruct the youthful mind* its natural and acquired powers; the laws by which they are governed ; and to show wherein, and how, the mode of acquiring a good style of writing and of thinking, by transcription, is approved both by common sense and Philosophy.
The arguments contained in the “ Introduction and Consequentia” are more properly adapted to the capacity of the instructor, than the student—and as such, it is wished they should be received.
It was suggested, by a gentleman whose deep learning and superior judgement are highly respected—whether a
* I would be understood by “youthful mind," to mean, the mind from youth to manhood.
For, a book of this nature cannot only be studied to advantage by the young, but by those, who are even mature in age ; that this is true, I have no hesitation in affirming, and so far from approximating to the nature of a conjecture-it is a muth gaiped by actual experiment and observation.
more extended compendium of Metaphysics would not render the work more useful? This suggestion was a good one, and was in a degree improved, though, perhaps not to the extent its author would have advised.
It is not so much to be considered- whether this Compend as a Compend of Metaphysics, but, whether it is, in connexion with the work that follows, as extended as it should be. I humbly conceive that it is.
The design being, first, to exhibit the philosophy of the system, and secondly, to enable the youth to become acquainted with those mental powers that are in some measure under their direction. Farther than this, with due deference to those who may differ from me, I deem as inexpedient ;-for it is better to be faulty in being too simple in plans of education-than too complex. • To discuss whether consciousness is a property of
organized matter, or to attempt a definite exposition of the percipient principle of the mind, or whether the medullary substance of the brain be the sensorium or not, or to enter into the abstruse parts of Metaphysics, would not only be useless in this book, but make the arguments more mixed and confused, and less calculated to promote and substantiate the object for which it is written. · Our more limited sphere is, to represent the mind in its original state, to make deductions from the Phenomena discoverable in its progress to maturity, and by strictly observing the several effects, to trace out their respective causes ; for, by a proper knowledge of cause and effect only—can the modes of culture be improved.
III. WHY IT IS NECESSARY TO ADOPT SUCH DESIGN.
It is certainly not unreasonable to require a child to cultivate and improve his mind ?—then, wherefore is it, to teach him that which he ought to cultivate ?