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practices of the sensual and corrupt the only practices proper to men.

The objections to both the modes of education here discussed are of great magnitude. It is unavoidable to enquire, whether a middle way might not be selected, neither entirely public, nor entirely private, avoiding the mischiefs of each, and embracing the advantages of both. This however is perhaps a subordinate question, and of an importance purely temporary. We have here considered only the modes of education at this time in practice. Perhaps an adventurous and undaunted philofophy would lead to the rejecting them altogether, and pursuing the inveftigation of a mode totally diffimilar. There is nothing so fascinating in either, as should in reason check the further excursions of our understanding *

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* The subject here treated of, may be considered as taken up, at the point where the present disquisition leaves it, in

Effay IX.

ESSAY

ESSAY VIII.

OF THE HAPPINESS OF YOUTH.

A SUBJECT upon which the
which the poets of all

ages have delighted to expatiate, is the happiness of youth.

This is a topic which has usually been handled by persons advanced in life. I do not recollect that it has been selected as a theme for description by the young themselves.

It is easy to perceive why the opinion upon which it proceeds, has been fo generally entertained.

The appearance of young persons is essentially gratifying to the eye. Their countenances are usually smooth ; unmarked with wrinkles, unfurrowed by time. Their eye is sprightly and roving. Their limbs elastic and active. Their temper kind, and easy of attachment. They are frank and inartificial ; and their frankness shows itself in their very voice. Their gaiety is noisy and obtrusive. Their spirits are inexbaustie ble ; and their sorrows and their cares are speedily dismissed.

F

Such

of the parent is endless. The youth is never free from the danger of its grating interfer

ence.

up the sum of

If he be treated with particular indulgence, and made what is called a spoiled child, this ferves in some respects to aggravate the misery of occasional control. Deluded with the phantom of independence, he feels with double bitterness that he is only bound in fetters of gold.

Pain is always more vividly remembered than pleasure, and constitutes something more subftantial in my recollections, when I come to cast

my

life. But not only are the pains of youth more frequent and galling, their pleasures also are comparatively slight and worthless. The greatest pleafures of which the human mind is susceptible, are the pleasures of consciousness and fympathy. Youth knows nothing of the delights of a refined taste; the softest scenes of nature and art, are but lines and angles to him. He rarely experiences either self-complacence or self-approbation. His friendships have for the most part no ardour, and are the mere fhadows and mimicry of friendship. His pleasures are like the frisking and frolic of a calf.

These pleasures however, which have fo often been the subject of lying exaggeration, deserye

to

thousand ways ? I am rebuked, and my

heart is ready to burst with indignation. A consciousness of the power assumed over me, and of the unsparing manner in which it is used, is intolerable. There is no moment free from the danger of harsh and dictatorial interruption; the periods, when my thoughtless heart began to lose the fense of its dependence, seem of all. others most exposed to it. There is no equality, no reasoning, between me and my task-master. If I attempt it, it is considered as mutiny. If it be seemingly conceded, it is only the more cutting muckery. He is always in the right; right and power in these trials are found to be inseparable companions. I despise myself for having forgotten my misery, and suffered my heart to be deluded into a transitory joy. Dearly indeed, by twenty years of bondage, do I purchase the scanty portion of liberty, which the government of my country happens to concede to its adult subjects !

The condition of a negro-slave in the West Indies, is in many respects preferable to that of the youthful son of a free-born European. The Nave is purchased upon a view of mercantile speculation ; and, when he has finished his daily portion of labour, his master concerns himself no further about him. But the watchful care

of the parent is endless. The youth is never free from the danger of its grating interfer

ence.

If he be treated with particular indulgence, and made what is called a spoiled child, this ferves in some respects to aggravate the misery of occasional control. Deluded with the phantom of independence, he feels with double bitterness that he is only bound in fetters of gold.

Pain is always more vividly remembered than pleasure, and constitutes something more subftantial in my recollections, when I come to cast up the sum of my life.

But not only are the pains of youth more frequent and galling, their pleasures also are comparatively flight and worthless. The greatest pleafures of which the human mind is susceptible, are the pleasures of consciousness and fympathy. Youth knows nothing of the delights of a refined taste; the foftest scenes of nature and art, are but lines and angles to him. He rarely experiences either self-complacence or self-approbation. His friendships have for the most part no ardour, and are the mere (hadows and mimicry of friendship. His pleasures are like the frisking and frolic of a calf.

These pleasures however, which have fo often been the subject of lying exaggeration, deserve

to

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