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able zeal! But is it to be imagined that in these days, when dancing-masters, and French teachers, “ singing men and fing. “ing women," with all the other ministers of fashionable amusement and unbounded pleasure, are in such repute, while a liberal and virtuous education, if thought of at all, is thought of only in the next degree,
can it be reasonably imagined, that under those circumstances, persons qualified as we have just mentioned, should be found, in any considerable number, willing to submit to the fatigue, solicitude, and mortifications, inseparable from the business of educating youth with real advantage?-I said, In any considerable number; for that there are such we chearfully acknowledge. May the merciful Father of the world raise up more! They are, without question, among the most meritorious members of society.
That in our public schools the learned languages are taught with success, though not without a waste of time which might well be spared ; that both in them, and in our universities, there are masters and tutors who would reflect credit on the highest literary stations, it were unfair to deny: but is it unfair to affirm, on the other hand, that the morals of young men are often debauched in those places ; that amidst the forms of regularity, and the show of rules, Shameful disorders are often committed, and solid study deplorably neglected, while not a few of the professors content them. selves chiefly with the luxurious enjoyment of that academical wealth which the royal and worthy founders confecrated to the propagation of piety and learning? Are these then the illustrious seminaries that in former days sent forth so many men fitted to shine in every sphere of science and virtue, men that manifested, by their own bright example, to what elevation found knowledge, and ingenuous breeding, can lift the human mind ? That there are now alive persons of different orders, who have discovered a just emulation of such renown, and are indeed among the lumi
naries of the age, we gratefully remember : but what serious man can look back on those celebrated seats of ancient literature, without a sigh to see them dishonoured by almost every species of modern infige nificance; to see libertines and fribbles issuing in swarms from the same halls, and the fame colleges, wbere principle and manhood were wont to reside? How much better for them, and for society, if such youths had been bred in the lap of simple nature ! Have we not met with plain untutored boys, who, in comparison of them, were heroes and philosophers ?
· Without entering into a detail of the education in vogue, I would only afk, Whether its general tendency is not to make our youth gay instead of sober, vain instead of modest, smátterers rather than scholars, and smooth rather than polite; at the utmost, pleasing triflers, and playfible insignificants, instead of useful characters and amiable companions; to form coxcombs and coquettes, not estimable men and attractive women; to accomplifh them as good dancers, instead of good citizens, and teach them to dress well, rather than to act wisely? For my part, I am far from wondering at the frivolous and vitiated turn of the age. How should it be otherwise, when worldly maxims are so much more inculcated than religious truths, and the punctilios of behaviour than the rules of morality; when the acquisition of languages is preferred to the exercise of reason and the attainment of wisdom, the little outside appearances of breeding and complaisance, to that real courtesy which is the result of a kind disposition, prompting decent respect and sweet attention; when Specious sentiments take place of genuine principles, and a fuperficial. uncertain honour, of an invariable and thorough integrity ;- in short, when the knowledge of the world is confidered as the chief science, and the cultivation of the Virtues is forced to give way to the study of the Graces? Poor Chesterfield ! Such was thy wretched
fyftem for the education of a darling and only son! What pity thy agreeable talents had not been more worthily and more happily directed !
That celebrated man certainly poffeffed. a brilliant and easy wit, much elegance and fiuency of pen, with a good share of taste, and a considerable tincture of learning. His remarks on a variety of topics are both sprightly and just. Many of his instructions are sensible and important. He was well acquainted with that part of of the species which he had seen; not indeed the best of either sex, as is sufficiently apparent from his representations of both, of the female especially. His frank con, fessions of former follies and vices deserve commendation; and it is impossible not to be pleased with the warmth and benignity of his paternal affection. But what, after all, was his main concern for its object.? Why truly, that this.fon, about whose figure and fortune he was immoderately
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