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ther blind, dull, or very dim-sighted; and requires to be polish'd or enlighten'd' by Art. 'Tis like a barren Field, that wants cultivating. It will never grow better without proper Til. lage. But till, or plough and low the Ground well, and it will let no Tares grow up there ; it will suffer no Briars, nor Thorns, nor Thistles, nor Weeds, nor any noxious Plants, to take Root: Nothing to flourish in it without Eradication, but only excellent Grain or Bread-Corn. The best natural Parts are but imperfect, with. out Learning. 'Tis good Discipline and acquired Knowledge, that must bring them to their great Perfection. The sureft Foundations of Virtue, Honour, and future Happiness, may be said to be laid in our Cradles, and rais'd up in the Arms of our very Nurses. Plutarch says, The Beginning, Middle and End of a happy Life consisteth in good Education. It keeps Youth from Disobedience, preserves them from Corruptions, and prevents their contracting ill Habits. Nothing was more esteem'd or establish'd among the Ancients, than the virtuous Institution of Youth. Plato insists upon it as the greatest Duty of Parents, next to the Preservation of their Lives. By the Falcidian Law, if the Son was hang'd for any Offence, the Father was punish'd with Banishment for not instructing him better; as an egregious Criminal, and highly accessory to his Child's Destru&ion. The famous Emperors, Trajan, and Adrian after him, brought up some Thousands of Noblemen's Children to Learning, Virtue and Arns, at their own proper Cost and Charge. For this great and good End did our munificent Kings, of latter Days, with other bountiful Benefactors, Found so many Itately Colleges and celebrated Universities all
over Christendom. They were appointed to cula tivate and improve the liberal Arts and Sciences; for the better Advantage of our youthful Education. Indeed every good Beginning of this Kind arises from Nature, the great Progress of it, from the Precepts of Reason; and the final Accomplishment of it, from a right Use, Exercise and Application of Knowledge. Nature without the Improvement of Learning is little worth; and Learning again, without the Helps of Nature, proves as difficult and dull of Apprehenfion. But both together, equally good, concurring in the same Person, render him the most perfe&t Master of Reason, or at least the most capable of Virtue, Wisdom and Religion. Lycurgus's familiar Example of the Two Dogs let loose ; the one taking after the Hare, and the other to the Porridge-Pot, plainly - shews, that the Power of Education far excels the Force of Nature, and alters the ordinary Bent of it for better things. Nothing avails more than Learning and Institution to turn our Hearts, excite our Wills, and conform our Passions to Virtue. They correct all evil Inclinations and Preturbations of the Mind, and dispose it to habitual Goodness, as well as invincible Tranquillity. Philofophy made the great Socrates, and the brave Themistocles, both naturally inclin'd to Vices at first, the most famous Examples afterwards of wisdom and Courage, of good Conduct, Honour and Fortitude. School Discipline.. like the Steel, fetches Fire out of the Flint of Nature ; it gives Light, Life and Activity to all the hidden Powers of the Soul ; it comforts the very Vitals of a virtuous Breast, warms his Heart with noble Desires, and inflames the dark Faculties of his Mind into the brightest Performänces. But, above all other Persons, the Sons of Princes, and Noblemen, &c. have the greatest Occasion for good Literature, to distinguish them from the meaner sort of ignorant Mankind, or even to make some more essential Difference between the King and the Cobler, a Peer and a Peasant, besides Crowns and Scepters, or Stars änd Garters.
II. FROM hence again we may likewise discover the great Advantages, as well as the Conveniency and Reasonableness, of providing proper Masters or Mistrelles to instruct our Children betimes, Male or Female, and to furnish their growing Judgments with the most substantial Principles of future Felicity, as well as Knowledge. 'Tis certain, that as Seals and Signets can easily make any Impression upon soft Wax, so wise Instructors may soon cast upon the pliant Minds of Youth, as in a Mould, the fairest Images and Ideas of Virtue, Piety, and Prudence. They are naturally as susceptible of Good or Evil, as capable of distinguishing between Light and Darkness. But then the Choice of a prudent Tutor, is the chief Business of a Father or Mother of a Family, who desire their Sons and Daughters should be made good Scholars, or happy Proficients in Understanding. Learning is but a Labyrinth, without such a Guide. And what young Gentleman would venture to wander into an unknown Maze, and have no careful Conductor ? A prosperous Voyage depends very much upon the skilfulness of the Pilot. In short, a discreet Preceptor may reasonably be deem'd as necesary for his Progress in the Studies of Happiness, as an indulgent Parent for his Birth, or a kind Patron for his Preservation and Preferment. Alexander the
Great thought he ow'd as much at least, if not more, to his Master Aristotle, than to his Father Philip ; and he made little Difference between the Natural and Political Obligation of his conscience; or no Distinction at all between his noble Extraction, and his glorious Instruction in Philosophy. How happy must that Parent be, who finds out such a valuable Treasure as a learned and judicious Tutor ; who is able to breed up his 'Pupil, (whether Royal, Princely, or of meaner Pedigree) to Honour by Knowledge, to Nobility by Merit, to Conquest by Valour, to Dominion by Wisdom, and to the Felicity both of Earth and Heaven at last, by downright Virtue and universal Veneration ! As to the main Business of Institution, either in Matter, Form, or Method of Teaching, few good Parents can be thought fo illiterate, as not to know wherein and how they would have their Children well instructed; whether to secular Interest and Profit, to good Manners and genteel Professions, or to profound Understanding and contemplative Learning. But however, it is to be remember'd always, that the great End of all their Studies must be strictly refer’d, by their superiour Directors, to the folemn Glory of God, and the serious Service of their Neighbours, by living up exa&ly to their several Charges and Vocations, without any Selfishness, sinister Views, or indire&t Practices. Aristotle does not only recommend in general Terms, but particularly prescribes also, that all Children of the most ordinary Capacities should diligently learn Grammar, bodily Exercise, Musick, and Painting. For without grammatical Knowledge, he affirms no Business can be well done; which depends upon Speaking, Reading and Writing exactly, fit for
common. Dealing and modern Commerce. The Gymnastical Part will mightily contribute to their Health, Strength and Vigour; through honelt Labours, moderate Exercises, and manly Diversions. Musick will highly conduce
to their Satisfaction, and serve to solace or recreate their Minds after the Fatigue of their Bodies, with its innocent Mirth and reviving Harmony. And then for Painting, it will agreeably put them upon considering the wonderful Beauty, wise Symmetry, and exact Composition of all Things, by representing them to the Life, and bringing their own Persons, as well as their Pieces or Pictures, into Admiration. I might reasonably add to these Four Qualifications, One more, of Drawing; to be as brief as I can, absolutely necefsary for most Trades, as well as Mechanicks or Mathematicks. And indeed, according to report, there are scarce any curious Workmen in all France, that do not understand this useful and ingenious Art, so much neglected in England; wherein they find a very good Account, and a considerable Advantage, by their nicest Performances. But I cannot forbear mentioning also this Author's own Rhetorick; which can never be too often read and revolv'd by the brightest Genius's or best Or.ators, who delight in the charming Art of Elocution and Persuasion: Witness Mr. Rapin's excellent Reflections. To say nothing of Cosmography, History, and Chronology, fit for Statesmen ; proper for Princes, Poets, of Politicians : Besides Law and Divinity, thé Two noblest Professions in the Universe, and the most requisite Qualifications for the Service both of Heaven and Earth. To pass by the Knowledge of the Classicks, as the sole Business of the Learned, judicious and inquisitive Griticks