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you, must, by this time, have obtained a pretty full knowledge of the principal events that happened in the world before they were bori. The business of this class is of a far more noble and extensive nature than this. It is to review those events in the calm light of philosophy, when related in their full ex'ent, attended with a deduction of their impiediate and remote causes and consequences, in order to make them a lesson of ethics and politics, and an useful rule of conduct and manners through life.
It is dangerous to send raw and unpractisec virtue abroad into a worll, where right and wrong are too often confounded; and nothing can obviate this danger, but the giving south a previous acquaintance with the world, and making them behold virtue and vice, with all their consequences, painted in genuine colours by the historian. Numerous are the evils that arise in society when youth are sent into it, espe. cially in any high station, without this knowledge. In such case, neither logics, mathematics, physics, rhe. toric, nor all the branches of speculative knowledge they are capable of attaining, can direct their conduct, nor prevent their falling a prey to designing men. These sciences, however, if we do not stop at them, are highly useful, and render the studies of this class pleasant and profitable. As the study of agriculture was made easy, by a previous knowledge in natural philosophy; so is the previous knowledge of the fun. damental principles of ethics, a fine introduction to the philosophical study of history. This subject Aratus resumes before entering upon history. He considers man, in the solitary state of nature, surrounded with wants and dangers, and nothing secure to any of the species, but what can either be acquired or maintained by force. From thence he takes occasion to shew the necessity mankind lay under of entering into society, and voluntarily resigning some share of their natural freedom and property, to secure, the rest.
Then he explains the different forms of government, with the advantages and inconvenien. cies in the administration of each.
This being premised, the youth enter upon the study of the Grecian history in the following manner. Aratus prescribes a portion of it, which, against next day, they must read in their chambers, and abridge the substance of it into writing, about twice or thrice as large as a copious argument of any chapter. This fixes the facts deeply into their minds, teaches them, moreover, to express themselves in a short and nervous manner, as occasion may require it; and when the whole is finished, serves as a recapitulation of the history, to which they may always have recourse through life, and bring the facts fresh into their memory. These summaries are revised in the class by the principal, who is careful to make them apprehend the blameable and praise-worthy, in the constitution of the several states; and, in the familiar way of dialogue, to make them give their opinion upon the facts mentioned, the manners and customs of the people, &c. drawing proper moral inferences from the whole. In this manner a portion is abridged, and descanted upon, every day, till they have gone over the history of the flourishing ages of Greece; which they per.. form in about the space of a month. The history of
Rome (Mr. Hooke's judicious collection of it) is studied, in the next place, down to the days of Augustus. This requires about two months more.
All between this period and the beginning of the sixteenth century is passed over, the remainder of the year being spent in the study of modern history; from some good introduction to which, they first take a general view of the principal states and kingdoms in Europe, that now divide that power among them, upon which depends the whole system of police operating at present. After that, they descend to study the history of England, from the beginning of the said century, in the same manner that they had before studied the history of Greece and Rome; the Principal taking care, as they go along, to note the rise, interests, dependencies, and constitutions of the several nations and states, whose histories are interwoven with that of England. They conclude the whole, with a view of our colonies in this hemisphere; their state, produce, interests, government, &c; taking some notice as they go along, of the French and Spanish settlements that we are chiefly concerned with in trade. Every Sunday night, about an hour is spent in the study of the bible history.
Though this is but a small part of the history of mankind, yet it is as much as can conveniently be brought, and much more than generally is brought, into a scheme of public education. The youth are thus sent into the world well acquainted with the history of those nations they are likely to be most concerned with in life; and also with the history of Greece and Rome, which may be justly called the
history of heroism, virtue and patriotism. This is enough to prepare them for society, and put them in a method of studying the history of any, other mations they think proper, in a philosophical manner, whenever their inclination and leisure shall prompt them to it.
This, continued Evander, is a sketch of the studies of the several classes; which I could with pleasure, in this account, pursue through all their different ramifications. But as this is inconsistent with my designed brevity, I have only mentioned the general heads of science, wholly neglecting such branches as are either included in, or necessary to, the knowledge of those I have mentioned.
In the second class, you will observe I have said nothing of plain trigonometry, because it is supposed in the study of geometry. Neither have I mentioned perspective, because connected with the beautiful science of optics; nor even optics themselves, nor spherical trigonometry, as they are all supposed in the general study of astronomy. In like manner, I have not mentioned dialing, because after being taught astronomy, and the use of the globes, the whole theory of Jialing is learned in a few hours; and thus of all the other classes, which I take notice of expressly, that you may not judge the studies of any one class disproportioned to the rest, without taking into the account all their branches, præcognita, and the like.
Here I told Evander, that I was fully satisfied that the studies of the classes were very well proportioned, as they become still more extensive the farther the youth advance in years; but that I thought the studies of every class were more than they could probably become sufficiently acquainted with in the time allotted to them.
He replied, that if the Miranian youth did not attend the duties of the college longer than the orclinary terms, my observation would be just. But vacations and holy-days in this college do not exceed two months, Besides, continued he, my country men do not propose any thing more than to give the youth a general knowledge of these studies. This is all that can be done at college. For as bent of genius will not carry all the youth of a class the same lengths in every study; that scheme of eclucation is sufficiently perfect, by which all the students may become ordinary pro, ficients in all the studies; and are put in a method of excelling in those particular branches to which nature has given them a genius. The * age of the youth contributes highly to aid the execution of such a scheme; and I can assure you, from experience, that by attending even eight or nine months in the year, all that is narrated above, may be done by youth of ordinary genius without making it any burden to them.
You will, no doubt, take notice that the number of masters are fewer than ordinary by this schene; and the economy different from that of most colleges, which have a distinct professor for every branch of science; as a professor of anatomy, botany, chy.
They must be at least in their 14th year when entered into these classes, and in their 19th when they leave them, as may be gathered from What is said above.