« AnkstesnisTęsti »
To promote the fine arts in Britaing has become of greater importance than is generally imagined. A flourishing commerce begets opulence; and opulence, inflaming our appetite for pleasure, is commonly vented on luxury, and on every sensual gratification: Selfishness rears its head; becomes fashionable; and, infecting all ranks, extinguishes the amor patria, and every spark of public spirit. To prevent or to retard such fatal corruption, the genius of an Alfred cannot devise any means more efficacious, than the venting opulence upon the fine arts: riches fo employ'd, instead of encouraging vice, will excite both public and private virtue. Of this happy effect, ancient Greece furnishes one shining instance; and why should we despair of another in Britain ?
In the commencement of an auspicious reign, and even in that early period of life when pleasure commonly is the fole
pursuit, your Majesty has uniformly đifplay'd to a delighted people, the noblest principles, ripen'd by early culture, and for that reason, you will be the more dis
dif-posed to favour every rational plan for advancing the art of training up youth. Among the many branches of education, that which tends to make deep impresfions of virtue, cught : to be a fundamental object in a well-regulated go-, vernment: for depravity of manners will render ineffectual the most falutary laws; and in the midst of opulence, what other means to prevent such depravity but early and virtuous discipline? The British discipline is susceptible of great improvements; and if we can hope for them, it must be from a young and accomplished Prince, eminently sensible of their importance. To establish a complete system of education, seems reserved by Providence for a Sovereign who commands the hearts of his subjects. Success will crown the undertaking, and endear
GEORGE THE THIRD
THE THIRD to our latest posterity.
THE most elevated and most refined pleasure of human nature, is enjoy'd by a virtuous prince governing a virtuous people; and that, by perfecting the great system of education, your Majesty may very long enjoy this pleasure, is the ardent wish of
PRinting, by multiplying copies at will,
affords to writers great opportunity of receiving instruction from every quarter. The author of this treatise, having always been of opinion that the general taste is seldom wrong, was resolved from the beginning to submit to it with entire resignation : its feverest disapprobation might have incited him to do better, but never to complain. Finding now the judgement of the public to be favourable, ought he not to draw fatisfaction from it? He would be devoid of sensibility were he not greatly satisfied. Many criticisms have indeed reached his ear; but they are candid and benevolent, if not always juft. Gratitude therefore, had there been no other motive, must have rous'd his utmost industry to clear this edition from all the defects of the former, fo far as they were Suggested by others, or discovered by himself In a work containing many particulars both new and abstruse, it was difficult to express every article with sufficient perspicuity; and after all the pains bestow'd, there remained