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assert thy cause, and perpetuate thy honours ?- Yet let us not despond: let us be charitable; let us be just. That there still are many encouraging exceptions, we acknowledge with pleasure; nor is the ata tempt in which we are now engaged a proof, that we wholly despair of the Commonwealth, emasculated and corrupted as are the greatest part of her offspring,
· We have already endeavoured to account, in some measure, for their degeneracy. It will appear yet less astonishing, however as we hinted before it must always be affecting, if we consider the modes of Education which prevail at prefent. Let us briefly trace them, even as far back as the Nursery. There, indeed, the whole character of boys is commonly perverted and ruined. How? By a cruel indulgence of those desires, passions, fan-: cies, and foolish humours, which should be early checked and regulated, and which, because on the contrary they are fostered
in their wild luxuriance, quickly shoot into a strength that is seldom afterwards subdued, without great difficulty. The little creatures are flattered, dressed, decorated, pampered, gratified with money, and entertained with continual encomiums on handsome faces, fine cloaths, good eating, great riches, high rank, and other such edifying topics—by whom ?-by the very persons whom they are taught to regard as the patterns of wisdom. What is the result? Their bodies are debilitated, and their minds debased : they are rendered children for life, disqualified to endure fatigue, hunger, and hardship, without unmanly complaints; apt to be deranged by the flightest accident, and discomposed by the least contradiction; to be violent, vain, capricious, headstrong, luxurious, mercenary, selfish; llaves to their appetites, tyrants to those about them; and thus, in the very rudiments of their existence, so to speak, unfitted for whatever is ftrenuous in action, firm in suffering, philosophical in life, and amiable in manners. Such, I am sure, is the natural tendency of the conduct we reprobate; nor can I help thinking, that we often perceive in the nursery the embryos of those distorted beings called fops, fribbles, and coxcombs. So at least they were wont to be called : but it is one of our late refinements, to give them an Italian appellation. You may smile, if you will: I am in earnest when I say, that the lax nerves, the ludicrous decorations, the affected jargon, the trivial conceits, 'the courtly fimper, the soft infipidity, and the hard: unfeeling heart, of the thing now termed ambut no, I will not name it may generally, in the first instance, be attributed to the effects of the nursery, whatever improvements of the same kind it may afterwards receive in the school of Fashion.
counterworked by reflection, experience, adversity, in the succeeding scenes; if many boys are by the original energy of Nature, and the gracious discipline of Providence, enabled to outgrow the futile habits of their early years; nó thanks to those wicked or foolith parents who did every thing to spoil them. -Ah, ye Mothers of Britain, what a mighty talk is yours! Of what fuperlative importance to the happiness of mankind! How much have those of you to answer for, whose fantastic fondness has, froin the very days in which you ought to have laid the foundation of virtue and glory, entailed corruption and dishonour on your offspring ! How ftrangely different from the Mothers of Antiquity, who, having bred their fons to every thing manly and heroic, were accustomed, when they went out to fight for their country, that great predominating object to which all others gave way in sheir affections--were accustomed, I say,, to charge them either to come back victoVOL. II.
rious, or to be brought back dead, chusing rather that they should not live than live in shame!
When we mention this, we cannot help admiring many of the expedients made use of, in the purest times of the ancient Commonwealths, to inspire their youth with magnanimity. Beside that education was made the immediate concern of the ftate, and the children of individuals were regarded and treated as the children of the public; what impressions, think ye, must have been necessarily produced on young minds by witnessing the laurels, the crowns, the triumphs, the trophies, the monuments, the statues, with which illustrious conquerors and patriots were rewarded, and by hearing the funeral orations and the festive songs in praise of their valiant and virtuous progenitors, who had consulted, pleaded, struggled, bled in behalf of their country? If, by the desire of kindling in their youth this ardent paflion for glory,