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Mr. Blain and Ritson were suited in genius ;-the master was a man of fine taste, and most passionately fond of the classics; and a lesson under him, was more in the manner of a conference or conversation, than in the usual dry didactic way of schools.

From the moment Ritson understood Greek, the Father of Poetry was his constant companion; and he read his battles with insatiable avidity.-After his return from Kendal, he studied mathematics under Mr. John Slee, a very intelligent Quaker, and an excellent mathematician, then resident at Mungrisdale, in the parish of Greystock: Ritson's ideas were so clear, that he understood the propositions in the first six books of Euclid almost as soon as he read them; and had he confined himself to mathematical studies, he would, undoubtedly, have distinguished himself greatly.

At the early age of sixteen, he commenced schoolmaster at Carlisle; where he conducted his school with great credit to himself and advantage to his pupils:-but after about two years of patient acquiescence in a course of life, in which his profits were by no means adequate to his labours, he set off, (though lame,) on a pedestrian excursion into Scotland, with an intention of visiting the Highlands; and particularly St. Kilda, and the island of Staffa. This journey he must needs have performed literally in the stile and character of a bard; for, though he entered on it, but indifferently provided, and with about twenty shillings only in his pocket, in about twelve months, he returned well apparelled, and with a pony.-In this tour he picked. up many beautiful beroic ballads and songs, which he used to sing with infinite glee,-a pleasing manner, and passionate expression, supplying the defects of voice and inusical taste.

On his return, he again sat down to the dull business of breathing dry rules into hecdless cars. He taught school at Penrith about two years: but, though the powers of his mind, his lively fancy, and the vivacity of his temper, always secured him an admittance into good company, still he sighed for a situation of greater scope, to enjoy opportunities of obtaining more copious information.-He, therefore, a second time, relinquished the ill-requited office of a schoolmaster; and, not much richer.than before, set

out on a journey into Scotland, with the intention of studying medicine at Edinburgh. Here he became particularly attached to the late Dr. Brown, who paid him much attention. There was, indeed, a great resemblance between their characters; they were both of them men of genius and learning, but eccentric, and sometimes impru dent.-Ritson remained two years at this celebrated seat of medical learning, during which time he supported himself by writing theses for such of his fellow students as were either too indolent or too illiterate to write for themselves--On his return from Edinburgh, he went to London, professedly with a view of completing his medical education; where, having no other resource, he supported himself by his literary exertions. He published a transla tion of Homer's Hymn to Venus, which was not ill received, though far inferior to his translation of Hesiod's Theogony, which, we fear, is irrecoverably lost-This last work was begun whilst Ritson was under Mr. Blain, and before he was twelve years of age; and we believe it was the only work with which he ever took much pains, as he continued to correct it as long as he lived. In his other poetical effusions, there was an original wildness; his mind was strongly tinctured with the sombrous magnificence of his country; so that his poetry, like Gray's, was sometimes overloaded with what Dr. Johnson calls a cumbrous splendor. This, however, is not so visible in his translations, which have all the ease of modern compositions. He wrote with uncommon facility; and his prose was vigorous and animated.

It seems to be the happy privilege of genius to know every thing, even matters of fact, as it were intuitively. Like the Milk-woman of Bristol, Ritson knew, understood, and wrote well on various matters, of which there is no evidence that he had ever heard. He had written, and intended to have published, a set of essays on moral and philosophical subjects; but these are also lost. He partly maintained himself in London, by taking private pupils; and also earned something by writing, for a time, the medical articles in the Monthly Review. Dr. Johnson speaks of the London booksellers as the best patrons

of men of learning; this may be the case with those who have already made their way to fame; but, if we may judge from the cases of Chatterton and Ritson, booksellers are not more forward than the rest of mankind, to patronize that genius, which the world has not previously patronized.

Ritson, though lame, with the aid of his staff, was active and alert; and he loved to wander among mountains and lakes, and there conceive and compose Poetry. In such situations, he touched every thing with the pencil of Salvator Rosa. He was an admirer of Shakespear, and well acquainted with the dramatic writers of Greece and Rome; and often talked of producing a dramatic piece on the Grecian model;-but this, and many other projects, which were for ever employing his busy and fertile imagination, were all blasted by a premature death.After a short, but irregular life in London, he died, after a few weeks' illness, at Islington, in 1789, and in the 27th year of his age.


SINCE I read the excellent review of Lloyd, on the Choice of a School, in your last number, I have occasionally turned my thoughts to the subject of education: having a son, for whom I have amassed an ample fortune, it is my ardent wish that his mental acquirements shall be adequate to his pecuniary possessions.

On this subject I wrote to a friend, who favoured me with the following observations, which, he says, are culled from a variety of reading. As I purpose to profit from his labours, I hope there will be no impropriety in requesting a place for his remarks in your useful Miscellany, that others may do likewise. Yours, respectfully,

Doncaster, July 9th, 1814.


Whatever Xenophon, Locke, or even Lloyd may have advanced on the subject, the first thing which ought to occupy the mind, respecting education, should be its ultimate object-a consideration too often neglected.Education includes the whole progress which forms the

human being in habits, principles, and every kind of culti→ vation. But of this even a very small part is in the power of the parent; and yet a still smaller can be acquired by purchased tuition of any kind. You may engage for your son competent masters and tutors, and you will do well; for they can, at least, give him the means of obtaining accomplishments and a knowledge of science; but, in the business of Education, they can do little for you. You may ask what will educate your son-your example will educate him; your conversation with your friends and acquaintance will educate him; the business he sees you transact; the likings and dislikings you express; these will educate him; the society in which you live will educate him; your domestics will educate him; above all, your rank and situation in life, your house, your table, your pleasureground, nay your hounds and your stables, will educate him and it is not in your power to withdraw him from the continual influence of these things, except you withdraw yourself from them also.


You talk of beginning the education of your son. The moment he was able to form an idea his education began, the education of circumstances,-insensible education, which like insensible perspiration, has a more constant and powerful effect, and is of infinitely more consequence to the habit than that which is direct and apparent. This education goes on at every instant of time, it goes on like time: you can neither stop it nor turn its course. these have a tendency to make your child, that he will be. Maxims and documents are good till they are tried, but no longer; they may teach him to converse, but nothing more, The circumstances under which your son is placed, will be more prevalent than your example; and you can have no right to expect him to become what you yourself are but by the same means. You have toiled during youth to set your son upon higher ground, and to enable him to begin where you left off. Do not expect that son to be what you were; diligent, modest, active, simple in his taste, and fertile in resources. You have put him under a very different master. Poverty educated you; opulence will educate him. How can you suppose the

result to be same? You must not expect that he will be what you now are; though relaxed from the severity of your frugal habits, you still derive advantages from having formed them; and, in reality, you like plain dinners, early hours, and old friends. But it will not be so with your son: his tastes will be formed from your present situation, not from your former one.

I wish not to be considered as inveighing against wealth, or against the enjoyments of it; I only wish to prevent unprofitable pains and inconsistent expectations.

From experience I have found that there is nothing which has so little share in education as direct precept.To be convinced of this, you need only reflect, that there is no point we labour more to establish with children, than that of speaking truth; and there is not any in which we succeed worse. And why? because they know that in the common intercourse of life, a thousand falsehoods are told. But these are called necessary untruths on important occasions.

I do not mean to assert that didactic instruction has no influence; it has much : yet the sentiments we occasionally utter, the conversation overheard by children, when playing unnoticed by us, have a far greater effect on their infant minds than what is addressed to them in the way of exhortation. To form a just idea of the effect these admonitions have upon your son, reflect upon that which a discourse from the pulpit, considered by you as merely professional, has upon yourself. There is in most children a perspicacity to discern between the maxims you adduce for the regulation of their conduct, and those by which you direct your own.


Respect nothing so much as virtue (says a father to his son); virtue and talents are the only basis of distinction." The child soon has occasion to inquire why his father takes off his hat to some people and not to others; he is told that outward respect must be proportioned to different stations in society. This is somewhat difficult to comprehend; however, by a little dexterity in explanation, he is made to understand it tolerably.

You may send your son to a public school; and, to secure his morals against the vice which you apprehend abounds there, you engage for him a private tutor-a

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