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fourteen, he would be most advantageously placed at a private school, under the care of a tutor, not only qualified to direct his literary pursuits, but who would watch, with anxious folicitude, over his manners and morals. Not that the parental attention fhould fuffer any fufpenfion upon this account; by that mild wifdom which fecures the affections while it informs the underftanding, much may be effected without encroaching upon the province, or affuming the authority, of a tutor, at this period, when the intellectual powers advance rapidly towards maturity, and knowledge already begins to be purfued as the means of mental gratification.
It is a very frequent fubject of complaint, that little befides the learned languages is attended to at the public fchools; but I think without fufficient foundation. At the age of thirteen or fourteen, which feems to be the proper period for entering into those feminaries, no inconfiderable stock of knowledge may reasonably be fuppofed, in a mind properly cultivated, to have been already attained. general idea of ancient and modern History, the first elements of Geographical and Mathematical fcience, a perfect familiarity with the French language, and a confiderable proficiency in the Greek and Latin tongues, may at least be prefumed. The proper bufinefs of a public school is to perfect a youth, thus prepared, in claf
fical literature; and furely it is not poffible to read the higher claffics without acquiring, at the fame time with an accurate knowledge of the languages, a knowledge of a far fuperior kind;a knowledge of facts, characters, and opinions, connected with the most distinguished and illuf, trious periods of the general hiftory of mankind, When an intimate acquaintance with the learned languages, and with thofe various kinds of knowledge which are to be derived from a study of the most celebrated writers in those languages is acquired, the proper period arrives for a removal to the Universities, where a regular fuperStructure may be erected upon the extensive and folid foundation which has been previously laid. It is with reluctance that I prefume to pass any cenfure upon the general mode of inftruction adopted by those learned and noble seminaries; I am well convinced that with right difpofitions, and with a mind properly prepared and cultivated, a youth may make as rapid improvements in every branch of useful knowledge at Oxford or Cambridge as at any feat of learning in Europe; Of this, the many great and illuftrious characters formed there, afford the most honourable and decifivè proofs. Surely, however, in Chriftian feminaries of Education, it would not be improper to pay a fomewhat greater degree of attention to the inculcating of the principles of the Chriftian religion. It is most certain that,
excellent as it is in itself, and firm as is the evidence on which it stands, it can never be expected to produce any confiderable effect where it has not been regularly and fyftematically taught. If the philofophers of Greece and Rome made it their great object to explain, and thought their time well employed in inculcating the tenets of the feveral fects to which they were attached, can it be thought unworthy the attention, or beneath the dignity of Chrif tian philofophers, to explain and inculcate the tenets of a divine revelation? In fact this ought to be a primary object of Education in a Chriftian country; but then it ought to be conducted in the true spirit of philofophy as well as of Christianity. What fhould we have faid had we been informed, that it was the practice of the Grecian fages to exact from their pupils, at their admiffion into the celebrated Schools of Antiquity, an exprefs declaration of their affent to thofe very tenets which were to be made the subject of future enquiry? How prepofterous would it have appeared to them, -how contrary to the spirit of philosophy, had the public profeffion of an exploded fystem been extorted from them by the State, in order to qualify them for the office of public inftructors! -A fyftem originally framed in an age of comparative darkness, by men in no refpect more, but in many refpects lefs capable of forming a
judgment agreeable to truth than themselves: How would they have difdained to fetter their ardent minds, which in the pursuit of truth so often "paffed the flaming bounds of place and time" in fuch ignoble fhackles !-How would they have felt themselves degraded, and how low would they have funk in their own eftimation, by fuch mental prostitution! Yet this is the wretched, the barbarous plan which ftill prevails in what we are pleased to call this enlightened age and country. It is a certain and melancholy truth, that the most able and intelligent men in our Universities are afraid to invite the attention of youth to the free investigation of the principles of Christianity, because by fuch an investigation the inconfiftency of their own conduct would appear in too ftriking and painful a point of view; and very ferious inconveniencies would arife from exciting in the minds of those who are intended for public teachers of that religion, doubts and fcruples refpecting the lawfulnefs of complying with thofe conditions which the State has unhappily thought neceffary to enjoin.
I cannot, in this curfory sketch, entirely omit to fpeak of the fashion which is become fo univerfal-of fending young men of fortune, after they have taken their degree at the University, to make what is called the grand tour. No doubt many very plaufible, and fome very just things may be faid of the advantages
to be derived from foreign travel; but I am well perfuaded, that in order to attain thofe advantages, it is neceffary to have a mind much better prepared and cultivated than the gene. rality of our young men of fashion poffefs. To expose an inexperienced youth, who has a very flight tincture of knowledge, and no true relish for it, whofe paffions are strong, and in whose mind no fixed principles of virtue are implanted, to counteract their influence to expose a youth of fuch a description to the temptations which he must inevitably encounter in fuch a fituation, is to expose him to almost certain ruin. The advice or remonftrances of a governor can no more avail to ftem the torrent of diffipation and vice, than a bulrush can ftop the inundations of the Nile. In fact, the very idea of appointing a governor implies an abfurdity. If a youth is fo devoid of fenfe or of virtue as to need a governor, he is not in fuch a state of mind as to be capable of improvement by travel. If Education has been properly conducted, the most dangerous and critical years of life are paffed, at that period when it is ufual to commence traveller. The very term governor is juftly difpleafing to the ear of youth now arriving at the age of manhood -it ought to be exchanged for that of companion and friend. "Let your fon," I would fay to the parent whom I was permitted to advise, "be fole mafter of his own actions;-free from