If the facts have been thus for above fixty years past, (whereof I could with a little farther recollection produce many more instances) I would ask again, How it hath happened, that, in a nation plentifully abounding with nobility, fo great share in the most competent parts of public management hath been for so long a period chiefly intrusted to commoners, unlefs fome omiffions or defects of the highest import may be charged upon those to whom the care of educating our noble youth had been committed ? For if there be any difference between human creatures in the point of natural parts, as we usually call them, it Mould teem, that the advantage lies on the side of children born from noble and wealthy parents ; the same traditional Noth and luxury, which render their body weak and effeminate, perhaps refining and giving a freer motion to the spirits, beyond what can be expected from the grofs, robuft iflue of meaner mortals. . Add to this the peculiar advantages which all young noblemen poffefs, by the privileges of their birth; fuch as a free access to courts, and an univerfal deference paid to their persons.

But as my Lord Bacon chargeth it for a fault on princes, that they are impatient to compass ends, without giving themselves the trouble of consulting or executing the means ; fo perhaps it may be the disposition of young nobles, either from the indulgence of parents, tutors, and governors, or their own inactivity, that they expect the accomplishments of a good education, without the least expence of time or study to acquire them.

What I said laft, I am ready to retract; for the case is infinitely worse; and the very maxims set up to direct modern education, are enough io destroy all the feeds of knowledge, honour, wisdom, and virtue, among us. The current opinion prevails, that the ftudy of Greek and Latin is loss of time ; that public schools, by mingling the fons of noblemen with those of the vul. gar, engage the former in bad company ; that whipping breaks the spirits of lads well born ; that universities make young men pedants ; that to dance, fence, speak French, and know how to behave yourself among great persons of both sexes, comprehends the whole duty of a gentleman.

persons the See the poem called The grand question debated, in vol. 6. P. 343

I cannot but think this wise system of education hath been much cultivated among us by those worthies of the army, who, during the last war, returning from Flanders at the close of each campaign, became the dictators of behaviour, dress, and politeness, to all those youngsters who frequent chocolate-coffee gaming houses, drawing. rooms, operas, levees, and assemblies; where a colo, nel, by his pay, perquisites, and plunder, was qualified to outshine many peers of the realm ; and by the influence of an exotic habit and demeanor, added to other foreign accomplishments, gave the law to the whole town, and was copied as the standard-pattern of whatever Was refined in dress, equipage, conversation, or diversions,

I remember in those times an admired original of that vocation fitting in a coffee-house near two gentlemen, whereof one was of the clergy, who were engaged in some discourse that favoured of learning. This officer thought fit to interpose, and profeffing to deliver the sentiments of his fraternity, as well as his own, (and probably he aid fo of too many among them,) turned to the clergyman, and spoke in the following manner :

* D-n me, Doctor, say what you will, the army is " the only school for gentlemen.


my Lord Marlborough beat the French with Greek and “ Latin? Dan me, a fcholar when he comes into

good company, what is he but an ass ? Denme, " I would be glad, by G-d, to see any scho“ lars with his nouns, and his verbs, and his philofo.

phy, and trigonometry, what a figure he would " make at a fiege or blockade, or rencountring“ D-n me," &in After which he proceeded with a volley of military terms, less fignificant, founding worfe, and harder to be understood, than any that were ever coined by the commentators upon Aristotle. I would not here be thought to charge the soldiery with ignorance and contempt of learning, without allowing exceptions, of which I have known many ; but, however,

of your

the worst example, especially in a great majority, will certainly prevail.

I have heard, that the late Earl of Oxford, in the time of his ministry, never passed by White's chocolate house, (the common rendezvous of infamous sharpers, and noble cullies), without bestowing a curse upon that famous academy, as the bane of half the Englih nobility. I have likewise been told another passage concerning that great minister, which, because it gives a humorous idea of one principal ingredient in modern education, take as followeth. Le Sack, the famous French dancingmaster, in great admiration, asked a friend, whether it were true, that Mr Harley was made an Earl and Lord Treasurer ? and finding it confirmed, said, “ · Well, I “wonder what the devil the Queen could see in him ; “ for I attended him two years, and he was the greatest “ dunce that ever I taught.”

Another hindrance to good education, and I think the greatest of any, is that pernicious custom is rich and noble families, of entertaining French tutors in their houses. These wretched pedagogues are injoined by the father to take special care, that the boy shall be perfeet in his French; by the mother, that Mafter must not walk till he is hot, nor be suffered to play with other boys, nor be wet in his feet, nor daub his cloaths, and to see the dancing-master attends conftantly, and does his duty: The further infists, that the child be not kept too long poring on his book, because he is subject to fore eyes, and of a weakly conftitution.

By these methods the young gentleman is in every ar. ticle as fully accomplished at eight years old as at eight and twenty, age adding only to the growth of his perfon and his vice; fo that, if you should look at him in his boyhood through the magnifying end of a perspective, and in his manhood through the other, it would be impossible to spy any difference; the same airs, the fame strut, the same cock of his hat, and posture of his sword, (as far as the change of fashions will allow), the fame understanding, the same compass of knowledge, with the very same absurdity, impudence, and impertinence of tongue. He is taught from the nursery, that he must inherit a great estate, and hath no need to mind his book; which is a lesson he never forgets to the end of his life. His chief solace is to steal down, and play at span-farthing with the page, or young black-a-moor, or little favourite foot-boy, one of which is his principal confident and bosom-friend.


THERE is one young Lord * in this town, who, by an unexampled piece of good fortune, was miraculously snatched out of the gulf of ignorance, confined to a public school for a due term of years, well whipped when he deserved it, clad no better than his comrades, and always their play-fellow on the same foot; had no precedence in the school, but what was given him by his merit, and lost it whenever he was negligent. It is well known how many mutinies were bred at this unprece. dented treatment, what complaints among his relations, and other great ones of both sexes; that his stockings with silver clocks were ravilhed from him ; that he wore his own hair ; that his dress was undistinguished ; that he was not fit to appear at a ball or affembly, nor suffered to go to either : and it was with the utmost difficulty that he became qualified for his present removal, where he may probably be farther periecuted, and poflibly with success, if the firmness of a very wor, thy governor, and his own good difpofitions, will not preserve him. I confess, I cannot but wish he may go on in the way he began ; because, I have a curiofity to know by so fingular an experiment, whether truth, honour, justice, temperance, courage, and good sense, acquired by a school and college education, may not produce a very tolerable lad, altho' he should happen to fail in one or two of those accomplishments, which in the ge. neral vogue are held so important to the finishing of a gentleman.

It is true, I have known an academical education to have been exploded in public affemblies; and have heard more than one or two persons of high rank declare, they could learn nothing more at Oxford and Cambridge, than to drink ale and smoke tobacco ;

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* The author is supposed to mean the Lord Viscount MontCaffel if Ireland.

wherein I firmly believed them; and could have added some hundred examples from my own observation in one of those universities : but they all were of young heirs, sent thither only for form ; either from schools, where they were not suffered by their careful parents to stay above three months in the year; or from under the management of French family-tutors, who yet often attended them to their college, to prevent all possibility of their improvement. But I never yet knew any one person of quality, who followed his studies at the university, and carried away his just proportion of learning, that was not ready upon all occasions to celebrate and defend that course of education, and to prove a patron of learned men.

There is one circumstance in a learned education, which ought to have much weight, even with those who have no learning at all. The books read at school and colleges, are full of incitements to virtue, and discouragements from vice, drawn from the wiselt reasons, the strongest motives, and the most influencing examples. Thus young minds are filled early with an inclination to good, and an abhorrence of evil; both which increase in them, according to the advances they make in literature : and altho' they may be, and too often are drawn, by the temptations of youth, and the opportunities of a large fortune, into some irregularities, when they come forward into the great worid; yet it is ever with reluctance and compunction of mind, because their bias to virtue still continues. They may ftray sometimes out of infirmity or compliance; but they will soon return to the right road, and keep it always in view. I speak only of those excesses which are too much the attendants of youth and warmer blood; for as to the points of honour, truth, justice, and other noble gifts of the mind, wherein the temperature of the body hath no concern, they are seldom or ever known to be wild.

I have engaged myself very unwarily in too copious a subject for so short a paper. The present scope I would aim at, is, to prove that some proportion of human knowledge appears requisite to those who, by their birth or fortune, are called to the making of laws, and in a subordinate way to the execution of them; and that


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