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stances in the world ; and what my various relations to mankind round about me; what are my constant and what my occasional duties; what are the inward or outward advantages that attend me, or the disadvantages under which I labour. A wise and just survey of all these things, and keeping them always ja mind, will be of unspeakable use to us in the conduct of life, that we may set our chief guard upon our weak side, and where our greatest dangers lie; that we may expploy our talents aright, and seize all advantages to improve them for the best purpose, and proceed in the shortest way to piety, usefulness and peace.
2. The knowledge of mankind is also necessary to acquire prudence. And here young persons should not only be taught what is the general nature and capacity, the virtues and the vices, and the follies of mankind; but they should be informed also, or at least should be taught to observe more particularly, what are the peculiar tempers, appetites, passions, powers, good and evil qualities of the persons with whom they have inost to do in the world; that they may learn to behave wisely with regard to others, and that they make a proper improvement of all the brighter and darker characters which they observe amongst men, both for their own advantage and for the benefit of their fellowcreatures. This may have a happy influence to lead them to avoid the vices and follies which bave plunged others into wischief, to imitate the virtues of those who have behaved well in life, and to secure themselves from any dangers and miseries, as well as to pity the weaknesses apd sorrows of mankind, and afford them a willing and cheerful relief.
3. The knowledge of the things of the world, and the carious affairs of human life, must be included as one of the chief
foundations of prudence. It would be endless to run over particulars of this kind ; but in a special manner young persons should apply themselves to know those things which most nearly concern them, and which have the most immediate relation to their own business and duty, to their own interest and welfare; and it is a valuable part of wisdom to neglect other things, and not to waste our time and spirits in them, when they stand in any competition with our proper and most important work, whether we consider ourselves as men or as christians.
Solomon tells us; Eccl. ii. 1, 17. and viü. 5, 6. There is both time and judgment for every work, and for every purpose under the heaven; and that a wise man's heart discerneth both fime and judgment, that is, he judgeth well ooncerning what is to be done, and the time when to do it; and therefore the misery of man is great upon him, because he knows not this time and judgment, he doth neither discern what is proper to be done, nor the proper season of doing it. Prudence consists in judging well what is to be said, and what is to be done, on every new occasion; when to lie stilland when to be active ; when to keep sia lence and when to speak ; what to avoid and what to pursule ; how to act in every difficulty ; what means to make use of to coinpass such an end ; how to behave in every circumstance of life, and in all companies ; how to gain the favour of mankind in order to promote our own happiness, and to do the most service to God and the most good to inen, according to that station we possess, and those opportunities which we enjoy.
For this purpose there is no book better then the proverbs of Solomon. Several of the first chapters seem to be written for young men, under the name of Solomon's son : and all the rest of them should be made familiar to youth by their frequent converse with them, and treasuring them up in their head and heart. Among human writings of this kind, perhaps the book called Ecclesiasticus, though it be among the apocryphal writings, is equal tu the best of the ancients. And anong the moderns, I know not a better collection than the little book of Directions, Counsels and Advices, lately published by Dr. Fuller for the use of his son : though I could wisla he had rendered it universally acceptable to all readers, by avoiding some severities on the other sex; and that bad he spared his little railleries on the name of saints, though those offensive sentences are but few. Sect. VII.-The Ornaments and Accomplishments of Life.
THE last part of instruction which I include in the idea of a good education, is an instruction of youth in some of the useful ornaments and accomplishments of life.
It has been the custom of our nation, for persons of the middle and the lower ranks of life, who design their children for trades and manufactures, to send them to the Latin and Greek schools. There they wear out four or five years of time in learning a number of strange words, that will be of very little use to them in all the following affairs of their station; and this very learning also, is generally taught in a very tiresome and most irrational method, when they are forced to learn Latin by grammars and rules written in that unknown tongue. When they leave the school they usually forget what they have learued, and the chief advantage they gain by it, is to spell and pronounce hard words better when they meet them in English : whereas this skill of spelling might be attained in a far shorter time and at an easier rate by other methods,* and much of life might be saved and improved to better purposes.
As for the sons of those who enjoy more plentiful circumstances in the world, they may be instructed in the Latin and Greek languages for several valuable ends in their station; and especially those who design the learned professions, ought thiorouglıly to understand them; and such as pursue the study of divinity must be acquainted also with Hebrew and Chaldee, that they may read the Old Testament in its original language as well as the New
* See my Art of Reading and Writing, chap. 21.
The French is now a-days esteemed also an accoinplishment to botlı sexes. If they have time enough, which they know not how to employ better, and a good memory, I would not forbid it. There are several good books written in that language which are not unworthy of our perusal; and there are many words now introduced in the Euglish language, borrowed and derived from thence, as well as from the Latin and Greek ; so that it may not be improper for an English gentleman to learn these tongues, that he may understand his own the better. I add also, that if persons liave much acquaintance with the French nation, or liave occasion to converse with foreigners at court or in the city, or if they design to travel abroad, the French is a necessary tongue, because it is so much spoken in Europe, and especially in courts. But otherwise, there are so many of the valuable writings of the French authors perpetually translated into English, that it is a needless thing to go through much difficulty or take much pains in attaining it. I am inclined to believe that, (except in the cases above-mentioned) few have found the profit answer the labour. As for those persons who are bred up to traffic with other nations, they must necessarily learn the languages of those nations; and this I reckon not among their accomplishmeuts, but consider it as rather a part of their proper business in life.
In short it is a thing of far greater value and importance, that youth should be perfectly well skilled in reading, writing and speaking their native tongue in a proper, a polite and graceful manner, than in toiling anong foreign languages. It is of more worth and advantage to gentlemen and ladies to bave an exact knowledge of what is decent, just and elegant in English, than to be a critic in foreign tongues. The very knowledge of foreign words should be improved to this purpose ; and in order to obtain this accomplishment, they should frequently converse with those persons and books which are esteemed polite and elegant in their kiod. Thus far concerning the knowledge of words.' But the knowledge of things is of much more importance.
1. The young gentry of both sexes, should be a little acquainted with logic, that they may learn to obtaiu clear ideas; to judge by reason and the nature of things ; to ba judices of infancy, custom and humour ; to argue closely and justly on any subject; and to cast their thoughts and affairs into a proper and easy method.
2. Several parts of mathematical learning are also necessary ornaments of the mind, and not without real advantage : and many of these are so agrecable to the fancy, that youth will be entertained and pleased in acquiring the knowledge of them.
Besides the cominon skill in accounts which is needful for a trader, there is a variety of pretty and useful rules and practices in arithmetic, to which a gentleman should be no stranger: and if his genius lie that way, a little insight into algebra would be no disadvantage to himn. It is fit that young people of any figure in the world, should see some of the spriogs and clues whereby skilful men, by plain rules of reason, trace out the most deep, distant and bidden questions; and whereby they find certain answers to those enquiries, which at first view seemn to lie without the ken of mankind, and beyond the reach of human knowledge. It was for want of a little more general acquaintance with mathematical learning in the world, that a good algebraist and a geometer were counted conjurers a century ago, and people applied to them to seek for lost horses and stolen goods.
They should know something of geometry, so far at least as to understand the names of the various lines and angles, sur. faces and solids: to know what is meant by a right line or a curve, a right angle and an oblique, whethier acute or obtuse: how the quantity of angles is measured, what is a circle, a semicircle, an arch, a quadrant, a degree and minute, a diameter and radius : what we mean by a triangle, a square, a parallelogram, a polygon, a cube, a pyramid, a prism, a cone, an elipsis, an oval, an hyperbola, a parabola, &c. and to know some of the most general properties of angles, triangles, squares, and circles, &c. The world is now grown so learned in methematical science, that this sort of language is often used in cominon writings and in conversation, far beyond what it was in the days of our fathers. And besides, without some knowledge of tbis kind, we cannot make any farther progress towards an acquaistance with the arts of surveying, measuring, geography, and astronomy, which are so entertaining and so useful an accomplishment to persons of a polite education.
Geography and astronomy are exceedingly delightful studies. The knowledge of the lines and circles of the globes, of heaven and earth, is counted so necessary in our age, that no person of either sex is now esteemed to have had an elegant education without it. Even tradesmen and the actors in common life should, in my opinion, in their younger years, learn something of these sciences, instead of vainly wearing out seven years of drudgery in Greek and Latin.
It is of considerable advantage as well as delight for man. kind, to know a little of the earth on which they dwell, and of
the stars and skies that surround them on all sides. It is almost necessary for young persons (wbo pretend to any thing of instruction and schooling above the lowest rank of people) to get a little acquaintance with the several parts of the land and the sea, that they may know in what quarter of the world the chief cities and countries are situated ; that at the mention of the word Copenhagen, they may not grossly blunder and expose themselves, (as a certain gentleinan once did) by supposing it to be the name of a Dutch commander. Without this knowledge we cannot read any history with profit, nor so much as understand the common news-papers.
It is necessary also to know something of the heavenly bodies, and their various motions and periods of revolution, that we may understand the accounts of time in past ages, and the histories of ancient nations, as well as know the reasons of day and night, summer and winter, and the various appearances and places of the moon and other planets. Then we shall not be terrified at every eclipse, or presage, and foretel public desolations at the sight of a comet, we shall see the sun covered with darkness, and the full moon deprived of her light, without foreboding imaginations that the government is in danger, or that the world is come to an end. This will not only increase rational knowledge, and guard us against foolish and ridiculous fears, but it will amuse the
mind most agreeably : and it has a most happy tendency to raise in our thoughts the noblest and most magnificent ideas of God by the survey of his works, in their surprising grandeur and divine artifice.
3. Nutural philosophy, at least in the more general prin. ciples and foundations of it, should be infused into the minds of youth. This is a very bright ornament of our rational datures, which are inclined to be inquisitive into the causes and reasons of things. A course of philosophical experiments, is now frequently attended by the ladies as well as gentlemen, with no small pleasure and improvement. God and religion may be better known, and clearer ideas may be obtained of the amazing wisdom of our Creator, and of the glories of the life to come, as well as of the things of this life, by the rational learning and the knowledge of nature that is now so much in vogue. If I were to recommend a book or two on this subject, which may usefully be read by the ladies as well as gentlemen, I know none better than Mr. Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation,Dr. Derham's Discourses on the samé subject, the Archbishop of Cambray's Treatise on the Epistence of God, at least to the fiftieth section, Nieunenteit's Religious Philosopher, and Dr. Mather's Christian Philosopher. These things will enlarge and refine the understanding, improve the judgment, and bring the fa culty of reasoning into a juster exercise, even upon all manner of subjects.