صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

than I do now; and as I am to be a tradesman, he is determined, at present, to keep me at the reading and writing schools,

Har. That must be very dull and dry for you. And what good will all such learning do you, so long as you make the awkward appearance you do at present? I am surprised at your father's folly. So, because you are to be a tradesman, you are not to learn the graces! I expect to learn a trade too. But my papa says I shall first learn the dancing trade; and then, if I never learn any other, I shall make my way through the world well enough.

Tom. I don't know which discovers the most folly, your father or mine. Old folks certainly know more than young ones; and my father is much the oldest man.

Har. I don't believe that doctrine. There's Jack Upstart knows more than his father and mother both. And he is but nineteen yet. And he says

the present generation, under five and twenty years of age, knows more than fifteen generations that have gone before us.

Tom. I don't know how that is. But father early taught me this proverb, “ Young folks think old folks are fools; but old folks know young ones to be so." But to return to schools--Pray how far have you gone in

your

arithmetic? Har. Arithmetic! I have not begun th:t yet; nor shall I till I have completed dancing. That is a nurly study; I know I never sha I like it.

Tom. Writing I suppose you are fond of.

Har. I can't say I am, Tom. I once had a tolerable fondness fo it. But since I began dancing, I have held it in utter contempt. It may be well enough for a person to write a legible hand; but it is no mark of a gentleman to write elegantly.

Tom. You would have a gentleman spell well, I suppose.

Har. I would have him spell so well as to be understood; and that is enough for any man.

Tom. What say you to granimar and geography?

Har. Don't name them, I entreat you. There is nothing 1 so much abbor, as to hear your learned school boys jabbering over their nouns, their pronouns, their werbs, their parables, their congregations, their imperfections, and

confluctions.

confluctions. I'll tell you what, Tom, I had rather be master of one hornpipe, than to understand all the grammars which have been published since the art of printing was discovered.

Tom. I am sorry, friend Harry, to hear you speak so contemptuously of the solid sciences. I hope you don't mean to neglect them entirely. If you do, you must ex. pect to live in poverty; ani die the scorn and derision of ail wise men.

Har. Never fear that, Tom. I shall take care of my. self, I warrant you. You are much mistaken in your prognostications: Why, there's Tim Fiddlefaddle--he can't eren write his name; and as for reading, he scarcely knows B from a broomstick; and yet he can dance a minuet with any master of the art in Christendom. And the ladies all love him dearly. He is invited to their balls, routes, as. semblies, card parties, &c. &c. and he diverts them like any monkey.

Tom. And does he expect it will be the same through life? How is he to be maintained when he becomes old ? and how is he to amuse himself after he is unable to dance; as you say he neither can read nor write?

Har. Why, in fact, I never thought of these things before. I confess there appears to be some weight in these queries. I don't know but it will be best for me to spare a day or two in a week from my dancing, to attend to the branches you are pursuing.

Tom. You will make but little progress in that way. My master always told me that the solid sciences ought to be secured first; and that dancing might come in by the bye. He says, when his scholars have once entered the dancing school, their heads, in general, are so full of balls, assemblies, minuets, and cotillions, that he never can find much room for any thing else.

Har. I will still maintain it, notwithstanding all you can say in favor of your solid sciences, as you call them, that the art of dancing is the art of all arts. It will, of itself, carry a man to the very pinnacle of fame. Whereas, without it, all your writing, arithmetic, grammar and geography, will not raise one above the common level of a clown.

Тот. .

Tom I am no enemy to dancing, I assure you, friend Harry. It is an accomplishment suitable enough for those to learn who expect to have but little else to do. But for you and

те, who are destined to get our livng by some mechanical profession, there are doubtless many pursuits more advantageous. I think we ought to employ but a very small part of our time, in learning to dance. We will suppose, for instance, that you learn the trade of a carpenter, I would ask

you, if it would not be necessary to understand figures; so that you might be able to keep your own accounts; and so much geometry as to be able to measure heights and distances, superficies and solids? Would it not be very convenient to know a little of history, in order to acquaint yourself with the vario:?s orders of architecture, and where they had their origin? If you were shown a picture of St. Peter's Church, or a plan of Grand Cairo, would you not like to know enough of geography to tell in what part of the world they are situated?

Har. These are subjects which cousin Tim says never are agitated in the fashionable circles which he visits; and so I bid you good bye.

[ocr errors]

EXTRACT FROM MR. JOHN Q. ADAMS' ORATION,

DELIVERED AT BOSTON, JULY 4, 1793.

A

MERICANS! let us pause for a moment to conaider the situation of our country, at that eventful day when our national existence commenced. In the full possession and enjoyment of all those prerogatives for which you then dared to adventure upon all the varieties of untried being,” the calm and settled moderation of the mind is scarcely competent to conceive the tone of hercism, to which the souls of freemen were exalted in that hour of perilous magnanimity. 2. Seventeen times has the

sun,
in the
progress

cf his annual revolutions, diffused his prolific radiance over the plains of Independent America. Millions of hearts, which then palpitated with the rapturous glow of patriotism have

already

already been translated to brighter worlds; to the abodes of more than mortal freedom. Other millions have arisen to receive from their parents and benefactors, the inestimable recompense of their achievements.

3. A large proportion of the audience, whose benevoJence is at this moment listening to the speaker of the day, like him were at that period too little advanced beyond the threshold of life to partake of the divine enthusiasm which inspired the American bosom; which prompted her voice to proclaim defiance to the thunders of Britain; which consecrated the banners of her armies; and finally erected the holy temple of American Liberty, over the tomb of departed tyranny.

4. It is from those who have already passed the meridian of life; it is from you, ye venerable asserters of the rights of mankind, that we are to be informed, what were the feelings which swayed within your breasts, and impelled you to action; when, like the stripling of Israel, with scarcely a weapon to attack, and without a shield for your defence, you met, and, undismayed, engaged wi gantic greatness of the British power.

5. Untutored in the disgraceful science of human butchery;

; destitute of the fatal materials which the ingenuity of man has combined, to sharpen the scythe of death; unsupported by the arm of any friendly alliance, and unfortified against the powerful assaults of an unrelenting enemy; you did not hesitate at that moment, when your coasts were infested by a formidable fleet, when your territories were . invaded by a numerous and veteran army, to pronounce the sentence of eternal separation from Britain, and to throw the gauntlet at a power, the terror of whose recent triumphs was almost co-extensive with the earth.

6. The interested and selfish propensities, which in times of prosperous tranquility have such powerful dominion over the heart, were all expelled; and in their stead, the public virtues, the spirit of personal devotion to the common cause, a contempt of every danger in comparison with the subserviency of the country, had assumed an unlimited control. 7.

The passion for the public had absorbed all the rest; as the glorious luminary of heaven extinguishes in a flood

of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

model of refulgence the twinkling splendor of every inferior plan19 et. Those of you, my countrymen, who were actors in

those interesting scenes, will best know, how feeble and im

potent is the language of this description to express the imTifi passioned emotions of the soul, with which you were then & agitated.

8. Yet it were an injustice to conclude from thence, or from the greater prevalence of private and personal motives in these days uf calm serenity, that your sons have degenerated from the virtues of their fathers. Let it rather be a subject of pleasing reflection to you, that the generous and disinterested energies which you were summoned to display, are permitted by the bountiful indulgence of Heaven to remain latent in the bosoms of your children.

9. From the present prosperous appearance of our public affairs, we may admit a rational hope that our country will have no occasion to require of us those extraordinary and heroic ēxertions which it was your fortune to exhibit.

10. But from the common versatility of human destioy, should the prospect hereafter darken, and the clouds of public misfortune thicken as a tempest; should the voice of our country's calamity ever call us to her relief, we swear by the precious memory of the sages who toiled, and of the heroes who bled in her defence, that we will prove ourselves not unworthy of the prize which they so dearly purchased; that we will act as the faithful disciples of those who so magnanimously taught us the instructive lesson of republican virtue.

ON KNOWING THE WORLD AT AN EARLY AGE.

The knowledge of the world, in its comprehensive sense, is a knowledge greatly to be desired. To understand the human heart, lo know human manners, laws, languages and institutioas of every kind, and in various dations, and to be able to reflect on all these with moral and political improvement, is an attainment worthy of the greatest statesman and the wisest philosopher.

13

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »