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The most moderate and auspicious method in which the old may endeavour to guide and control the pursuits of the young, undoubtedly is by the conviction of the understanding. But this is not always easy. It is not at all times practicable fully to explain to the apprehension of a very young person the advantage, which at a period a little more advanced he would be able clearly to recognise.

There is a further evil appertaining to this view of the subject. A young man even, in the early season of life, is not always disposed to obey the convictions of his understanding. He has prescribed to himself a task which returns with the returning day; but he is often not disposed to apply. The very sense that it is what he conceives to be an incumbent duty, inspires him with reluctance.

An obvious source of this reluctance is, that the convictions of our understanding are not always equally present to us. I have entered into a deduction of premises, and arrived at a conclusion; but some of the steps of the chain are scarcely obvious to me, at the time that I am called upon to act upon the conclusion I have drawn. Beside which, there was a freshness in the first conception of the reasons on which my conduct was to be framed, which, by successive rehearsals, and by process of time, is no longer in any degree spirit-stirring and pregnant.

This restiveness and impracticability are principally incident to us in the period of youth. By degrees the novelties of life wear out, and we become sober. We are like soldiers at drill, and in a review. At first we perform our exercise from necessity, and with an ill grace. We had rather be doing almost any thing else. By degrees we are reconciled to our occupation. We are like horses in a manége, or oxen or dogs taught to draw the plough, or be harnessed to a carriage. Our stubbornness is subdued; we no longer exhaust our strength in vain efforts to free ourselves from the yoke.

Conviction at first is strong. Having arrived at years of discretion, I revolve with a sobered mind the different occupations to which my efforts and my time may be devoted, and determine at length upon that which under all the circuinstances displays the most cogent recommendations. Having done so, I rouse my faculties and direct my energies to the performance of my task. By degrees howresolution


less vigorous, and my exertions relax. I accept any pretence to be let off, and fly into a thousand episodes and eccentricities.

But, as the newness of life subsides, the power of temptation becomes less. That conviction, which was at first strong, and gradually became fainter and less impressive, is made by incessant repetitions a part of my nature. I no more think of doubting its truth, than of my own existence. Practice has rendered the pursuits that engage me more easy,

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till at length I grow disturbed and uncomfortable if I am withheld from them. They are like my daily bread. If they are not afforded me, I

grow sick and attenuated, and my life verges to a close. The sun is not surer to rise, than I am to feel the want of my stated employment.

It is the business of education to tame the wild ass, the restive and rebellious principle, in our nature. The judicious parent or instructor essays a thousand methods to accomplish his end. The considerate elder tempts the child with inticements and caresses, that he may win his attention to the first rudiments of learning. He sets before him, as he grows older, all the considerations and reasons he can devise, to make him apprehend the advantage of improvement and literature. He does his utmost to make his progress easy, and to remove all impediments. He smooths the path by which he is to proceed, and endeayours to root out all its thorns. He exerts his eloquence to inspire his pupil with a love for the studies in which he is engaged. He opens to him the beauties and genius of the authors he reads, and endeavours to proceed with him hand in hand, and step by step. He persuades, he exhorts, and occasionally he reproves. He awakens in him the love of excellence, the fear of disgrace, and an ambition to accomplish that which “ the excellent of the earth” accomplished before him.

At a certain period the young man is delivered into his own hands, and becomes an instructor to

himself. And, if he is blessed with an ingenuous disposition, he will enter on his task with an earnest desire and a devoted spirit. No person of a sober and enlarged mind can for a moment delude himself into the opinion that, when he is delivered into his own hands, his education is ended. In a sense to which no one is a stranger, the education of man and his life terminate together. We should at no period of our existence be backward to receive information, and should at all times preserve our minds open to conviction. We should through every day of our lives seek to add to the stores of our knowledge and refinement. But, independently of this more extended sense of the word, a great portion of the education of the young man is left to the direction of the man himself. The epoch of entire liberty is a dangerous period, and calls upon him for all his discretion, that he may not make an ill use of that, which is in itself perhaps the first of sublunary blessings. The season of puberty also, and all the excitements from this source, “that flesh is heir to,” demand the utmost vigilance and the strictest restraint. In a word, if we would counteract the innate rebelliousness of man, that indocility of mind which is at all times at hand to plunge us into folly, we must never slumber at our post, but govern ourselves with steady severity, and by the dictates of an enlightened understanding. We must be like a skilful pilot in a perilous sea, and be thoroughly aware of all the rocks and quicksands, and

the multiplied and hourly dangers that beset our navigation.

In this Essay I have treated of nothing more than the inherent restiveness and indocility of man, which accompany him at least through all the earlier sections and divisions of his life. I have not treated of those temptations calculated to lead him into a thousand excesses and miseries, which originate in our lower nature, and are connected with what we call the passion of love. Nor have I entered upon the still more copious chapter, of the incentives and provocations which are administered to us by those wants which at all times beset us as living creatures, and by the unequal distribution of property generally in civil society. I have not considered those attributes of man which may serve indifferently for good or for ill, as he may happen to be or not to be the subject of those fiercer excitements, that will oft times corrupt the most ingenuous nature, and have a tendency to inspire into us subtle schemes and a deep contrivance. I have confined myself to the consideration of man, as yet untamed to the modes of civilised community, and unbroken to the steps which are not only prescribed by the interests of our social existence, but which are even in some degree indispensible to the improvement and welfare of the individual. I have considered him, not as he is often acted upon by causes and motives which seem almost to compel him to vice, but merely as he is restless, and impa

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