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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, although he should happen to fail in one or two of these accomplishments, which in the general vogue are held so im. portant 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; 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, fent 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 poffibility 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 occafions 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 wisest 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 although 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 world ; yet it is ever with reluctance and compunction of mind, because their bias to virtue still conrinues. They may stray 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 excelles which are too much the attendants of youth and warmer blood; for as to the points of honour, truth, juitice, and other noble gifts of the mind, wherein the temperature of the body hath no concern, they are feldom 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 executing of them; and that such knowledge is not to be obtained without a miracle, under the frcquent, corrupt, and sottish methods of educating those who are born to wealth or titles For I would have it remembered, that I do by no means confine those remarks to young persons of noble birth; the same errors running through all families where there is wealth enough to afford, that their sons (at least the eldest) may be good for nothing, Why should my son be a scholar, when it is not in. tended that he should live by his learning ? By this rule, if what is commonly said be true, that money answers all things, why should my son be honest, temperate, just, or charitable, since he hath no intention to depend upon any of these qualities for a maintenance ?
When all is done, perhaps, upon the whole, the matter is not so bad, as I would make it; and God, who worketh good out of evil, acting only by the ordinary course and rule of nature, permits this continual circulation of human things for his own
unsearchunsearchable ends. The father grows rich by avavarice, injustice, oppression ; he is a tyrant in the neighbourhood over flaves and beggars, whom he calls his tenants. Why should he desire to have qualities infused into his fon, which himself never poffeffed or knew, or found the want of in the acquisition of his wealth? The son, bred in floth and idleness, becomes a spendthrift, a cully, a profligate, and goes out of the world a beggar, as his father came in. Thus the former is punithed for his own fins, as well as for those of the latter. The dung: hill, having raised a huge mushroom of short du. ration, is now spread to enrich other mens lands. It is indeed of worfe consequence, where noble families are gone to decay, because their titles and privileges outlive their estates ; and politicians tell us, that nothing is more dangerous to the public, than a numerous nobility, without merit or fortune. But even here God hath likewise prescribed some remedy in the order of nature; so many great families coming to an end by the sloth, luxury, and abandoned lust, which enervated their breed thro' eve: fucceflion, producing gradually a more effeminate race, wholly unfit for propagation,
A LETTER to a very YOUNG LADY
on her MARRIAGE *
paying visits on account of your marriage being now over, you are beginning to enter upon a course of life, where you will want much advice to divert you from falling into many errors, fopperies, and follies, to which your sex is subject. I have always born an entire friendship to your father and mother ; and the person they have chosen for your husband, hath been for fome years past my particular favousite; I have long wished you might come together, because I hoped, that, from the goodness of your disposition, and by following the counsel of wife friends, you might in time make yourself worthy of him. Your parents were fo far in the right, that they did not produce you much into the world; whereby you avoided many wrong steps, which cthers have taken, and have fewer ill impressions to be removed : but they failed, as it is generally the case, in too much neglecting to cultivate your mind; without which it is impoffible to acquire or preserve the friendship and esteem of a wise man, who soon grows weary of acting the lover, and treating his wife like a mistress, but wants a reasonable companion, and a true friend, through every stage of his life. It must be therefore your business to qualify yourself for those offices ; wherein I will not fail to be your director, as long as I shall think yon deserve it, by letting you know how you are to act, and what you ought to avoid.
* This letter ought to be read by all new-married women; and will be read with pleasure and advantage by the most distinguished and milt accomplished ladies. Orrery.
And beware of despising or neglecting my instructions; whereon will depend not only your making a good figure in the world, but your own real happiness, as well as that of the person who ought to be the dearest to you..
I must therefore desire you, in the first place, to be very slow in changing the modest behaviour of a virgin. It is usual in young wives, before they have been many weeks married, to assume a bold forward look, and manner of talking; as if they intended to signify in all companies, that they were no longer girls, and consequently that their whole demeanor, before they got a husband, was all but a countenance and constraint upon their nature : whereas, I suppose, if the votes of wise men were gathered, a very great majoriry would be in favour of those ladies, who, after they were entered into that state, rather chose to double their portion of modesty and reservedness.
I must likewise warn you strictly against the least degree of fondness to your husband before any witness whatsoever, even before your nearest relations, or the very maids of your chamber. This proceeding is so exceeding odious and disgustful to all who have either good breeding or good sense, that they assign two very unamiable reasons for it. The one is grofs hypocrisy, and the other has too bad a name to mention. If there is any difference to be made, your husband is the lowest person in company, either at home or abroad; and every gentleman present has a 1. tter claim to all marks of civility and distinction from you. Conceal your esteem and love in your own breast, and reserve your kind looks and lav uage for private hours; which are to inny in the four ard twenty, that they will afford tire to