« ForrigeFortsett »
the natural advantages which your situation affords you, and to your cultivating the intellectual and moral powers of yourselves and your children.
3. The first article on which I would open my mind to you is that of education. Nature has been as bountiful to you as to any other people, in giving your children genius and capacity! it is then your duty and your interest to cultivate their capacities, and render them serviceable to themselves and the community.
4. It was the saying of a great orator and statesman of antiquity, that "The loss which the Commonwealth sustains, by a want of education, is like the loss which the year would suffer by the destruction of the spring."
5. If the bud be blasted the tree will yield no fruit. If the springing corn be cut down, there will be no harvest. So if the youth be ruined through a fault in their education, the community sustains a loss which cannot be repaired; "for it is too late to correct them when they are spoiled."
6. Notwithstanding the care of your legislators in enactting laws, and enforcing them by severe penalties; notwithstanding the wise and liberal provisions which is made by some towns, and some private gentlemen in the State; yet there is still, in many places, "A great and criminal neglect of education."
7. You are indeed a very considerable degree better, in this respect, than in the time of the late war; but yet much remains to be done. Great care ought to be taken, not only to provide a support for instructors of children and youth; but to be attentive in the choice of instructors; to see that they be men of good understanding, learning and morals; that they teach by their examples as well as by their precepts; that they govern themselves, and teach their pupils the art of self government.
8. Another source of improvement, which I beg leave to recommend, is the establishment of social libraries.— This is the easiest, the cheapest and most effectual mode of diffusing knowledge among the people. For the sum of six or eight dollars at once, and a small annual payment besides, a man may be supplied with the means of literary improvement, during his life, and his children may inherit the blessing.
9. A few neighbors, joined together in setting up a library, and placing it under the care of some suitable person, with a very few regulations, to prevent carelessness and waste, may render the most essential service to themselves and to the community,
10. Books may be much better preserved in this way, than if they belonged to individuals; and there is an advantage in the social intercourse of persons who have read the same books, by their conversing on the subjects which have occurred in their reading, and communicating their observations one to another.
11. From this mutual intercourse, another advantage may arise! for the persons who are thus associated may not only acquire, but originate knowledge. By study ng nature and the sciences; by practising arts, agriculture and manufactures. at the same time that they improve their minds in reading, they may be led to discoveries and improvements, original and beneficial; and being already formed into society, they may diffuse their knowledge, ripen their plans, correct their mistakes, and promote the cause of science and humanity in a very considerable degree.
12. The book of nature is always open to our view, and we may study it at our leisure. "Tis elder Scripture, writ by God's own hand." The earth, the air, the sea, the rivers, the mountains, the rocks, the caverns, the animal and vegetable tribes are fraught with instruction. Nature is not half explored; and in what is partly known there are many mysteries, which time, observation and experience must unfold.
13. Every social library, among other books, should be furnished with those of natural philosophy, botany, zoology, chymistry, husbandry, geography and astronomy; that inquiring minds may be directed in their inquiries; that they
y see what is known, and what still remains to be discovered, and that they may employ their leisure and their various opportunities in endeavouring to add to the stock of science, and thus enrich the world with their observations and improvements.
14. Suffer me to add a few words on the use of spirituous liquor, that bane of society, that destroyer of health, morals and property. Nature indeed has furnished her
vegitable productions with spirit; but she has so combined it with other substances, that unless her work be tortured by fire, the spirit is not separated, and cannot prove perni cious. Why should this force be put an nature, to make her yield a noxious draught, when all her original preparations are salutary?
15. The juice of the apple, the fermentation of barley, and the decoction of spruce, are amply sufficient for the refreshment of man, let his labor be ever so severe and his perspiration ever so expensive. Our forefathers, for many years after the settlement of the country, knew not the use of distilled spirits.
16. Malt was imported from England, and wine from the Western or Canary Islands, with which they were refreshed, before their own fields and orchards yielded them a supply. An expedition was once undertaken against a nation of Indians, when there was but one pint of strong water (as it was then called) in the. whole army, and that was reserved for the sick; yet no complaint was made for want of refreshment.
17. Could we but return to the primitive manners of our ancestors, in this respect, we should be free from many of the disorders, both of body and mind, which are now experienced. The disuse of ardent spirits would also tend to abolish the infamous traffic in slaves, by whose labor this baneful material is procured.
18. Divine Providence seems to be preparing the way for the destruction of that detestable commerce. The insurrection of the blacks in the West-Indies have already spread desolation over the most fertile plantations, and greatly raised the price of those commodities which we have been used to import from thence.
19. If we could check the consumption of distilled spirits, and enter with vigor into the manufacture of maple sugars, of which our forests would afford an ample supply, the demand for West India productions might be diminished, the plantations in the Islands would not need fresh recruits from Africa; the planters would treat with humanity their remaining blacks; the market for slaves would become less inviting; and the navigation, which is now employed in
the most pernicious species of commerce which ever disgraced humanity, would be turned into some other channel. 20. Were to form a picture of happy society, it would be a town consisting of a due mixture of hills, vallies, and streams of water. The land well fenced and cultivated; the roads and bridges in good repair; a decent inn for the refreshment of travellers, and for public entertain. ments. The inhabitants mostly husbandmen; their wives and daughters domestic manufacturers; a suitable proportion of handicraft workmen, and two or three traders; a physician and lawyer, each of whom should have a farm for his support.
21. A clergyman of good understanding. of a candid disposition and exemplery mora's: not a metaphysical, nor a polemic, but a serious and practical preacher. A schoolmaster who should understand his business, and teach his pupils to govern themselves. A social library, annually increasing, and under good regulation.
A club of sensible men, seeking mutual improve. ment. A decent musical society. No intriguing politician, horse jockey, gambler or sot; but all such characters treated with contempt. Such a situation may be considered as the most favorable to social happiness of any which this world can afford.
QUACKERY. A DIALOGUE.
Volatile. OUR humble servant, sir, walk in, sir, sit down, sir, (bringing a chair.) My master will wait on you in a moment, sir, he's busy dispatching some patients, sir. I'll tell him you are here, sir. Be back in a twinkling, sir. Sinclair. No, no, I will wait till he has done; I wish to consult him about
Vol. Right, sir; you could not have applied to a more able physician. My master is a man that understands phys. ic as fundamentally as I do my mother tongue, sir.
Sin. He appears to have an able advocate in you.
Vol. I do not say this, sir, because he is my master; but 'tis really a pleasure to be his patient, and I should ather die by his medicines, than be cured by those of any
other; for whatever happens, a man may be certain that he has been regularly treated; and should he die under the operation, his heirs would have nothing to reproach him for.
Sin. That's a mighty comfort to a dead man.
Vol. To be sure, sir; who would not wish to die methodically? Besides, he's not one of those doctors who husband the disease of their patients. He loves to dispatch business, and if they are to die, he lends them a helping hand.
Sin. There's nothing like dispatch in business. Vol. That's true sir. What's the use of so much hemming and hawing, and beating round the bush? I like to know the long and short of a distemper at once.
Sin. Right, undoubtedly.
Vol. Right! Why there were three of my children, whose illness he did me the honor to take care of, who all died in less than four days, when in another's hands they would have languished three months.
Vol. Sir, this gentleman is desirous of consultingDr. I perceive it, sir; he is a dying man. well, sir?
Do you eat
Sin. Eat! yes, sir, perfectly well.
Dr. Bad, very bad; the epigastric region must be shockingly disordered. How do you drink, sir?
Sin. Nobody drinks better, sir.
Dr. So much the worse. The great appetition of frigid and humid, is an indication of the great heat and aridity within. Do you sleep soundly?
Sin. Yes, when I've supped heartily.
Dr. This indicates a dreadful torpidity of the system; and, Sir, I pronounce you a dead man. After considering the diagnostic and prognostic systems, I pronounce you attacked, affected, possessed, and disordered by that species of mania, termed Hypochondria.
Vol. Undoubtedly, sir; my master never mistakes, sir. Dr. But for an incontestible diagnostic, you may perceive his distempered ratiocination, and other pathognomic symptoms of this disorder.
Vol. What will you order him, sir?