« السابقةمتابعة »
the that of
the state ?
“ If unchastity ntent to gaze in admiration, without any enquiry in a woman, whom St Paul terms the glory of man, Eo its basis or any solicitude for its durability. If, be such a scandal and dishonour, then certainly in a wever, it should be that the gorgeous temple will man, who is both the image and glory of God, it
able to stand only till Christian truth and light must, though commonly not so thought, be much come predominant, it surely will be wise of those more deflowering and dishonourable.”* But this 20 seek a niche in its apartments as their para- departure from the Moral Law, like all other deount and final good, to pause ere they proceed. If partures, produces its legitimate, that is, pernicious ey desire a reputation that shall outlive guilt and effects. The sex in whom popular opinion repro-tion, let them look to the basis of military fame. bates the offences, comparatively seldom commits
this fame should one day sink into oblivion and them: the sex in whom it tolerates the offences, -ntempt, it will not be the first instance in which commits them to an enormous extent. It is obvious, ide-spread glory has been found to be a glittering therefore, that to promote the present state of popuabble that has burst and been forgotten. Look lar opinion, is to promote and to encourage the want
the days of chivalry. Of the ten thousand Quix. of chastity in men. Etes of the middle ages, where is now the honour or That some very beneficial consequences result ne name! Yet poets once sang their praises, and from the strong direction of its current against the ne chronicler of their achievements believed he was offence in a woman, is certain. The consciousness ecording an everlasting fame. Where are now the that upon the retention of her reputation depends so lories of the tournament ! Glories
tremendous a stake, is probably a more efficacioas « Of which all Europe rang from side to side."
motive to its preservation than any other. The
abandonment to which the loss of personal integrity Vhere is the champion whom princesses caressed generally consigns a woman, is a perpetual and fearnd nobles envied ! Where are the triumphs of ful warning to the sex, Almost every human being Scotus and Aquinus, and where are the folios that deprecates and dreads the general disfavour of manerpetuated their fame? The glories of war have kind; and thus, notwithstanding temptations of all adeed outlived these; human passions are less mu- kinds, the number of women who do incur it is comable than human follies; but I am willing to avow paratively small. he conviction, that these glories are alike destined But the fact that public opinion is thus powerful o sink into forgetfulness, and that the time is ap- in restraining one sex, is a sufficient evidence that roaching when the applauses of heroism and the it would also be powerful in restraining the other. plendours of conquest will be remembered only as Waiving for the present the question whether the öllies and iniquities that are past. Let him who popular disapprobation of the crime in a woman is seeks for fame other than that which an era of not too severe-if the man who was guilty was forth. Christian purity will allow, make haste; for every with and immediately consigned to infamy; if he your that he delays its acquisition will shorten it's was expelled from virtuous society, and condemned luration. This is certain if there be certainty in for the remainder of life to the lowest degradation, che promises of Heaven.
how quickly would the frequency of the crime be But we must not forget the purpose for which diminished! The reformation amongst men would hese illustrations of the Military Virtues are offered effect a reformation amongst women too; and the to the reader ;—to remind him not merely that they reciprocal temptations which each addresses to the are fictions, but fictions which are the occasion of ex- other, would in a great degree be withdrawn. If cess of misery to mankind- to remind him that it is there were few seducers few would be seduced; and his business, from considerations of humanity and of few therefore would in turn become the seducers of religion, to refuse to give currency to the popular delusions—and to remind him that, if he does promote But instead of this direction of public opinion, them, he promotes, by the act, misery in all its forms what is the ordinary language respecting the man and guilt in all its excesses. Upon such subjects, who thus violates the Moral Law? We are told men are not left to exercise their own inclinations. that “he is rather unsteady;" that “there is a little Morality interposes its commands; and they are com- of the young man about him ;" that “ he is not free mands which, if we would be moral, we must obey. from indiscretions." And what is he likely to think
UNCHASTITY.— No portion of these pages is de- of all this? Why, that for a young man to have a voted to the enforcement of moral obligations upon little of the young man about him is perfectly natuthis subject, partly because these obligations are ral; that to be rather unsteady and a little indiscommonly acknowledged how little soever they may creet is not, to be sure, what one would wish, but be regarded, and partly because, as the reader will that it is no great harm and will soon wear off. To have seen, the object of these Essays is to recom- employ such language is, we say, to encourage and mend those applications of the Moral Law which are promote the crime—a crime which brings more frequently neglected in the practice even of respect- wretchedness and vice into the world than almost able men. But in reference to the influence of pub- any other; and for which, if Christianity is to be lic opinion on offences connected with the sexual believed, the Universal Judge will call to a seconstitution, it will readily be perceived that some
If the immediate agent be obnoxi. thing should be said, when it is considered that some ous to punishment, can he who encouraged him of the popular notions respecting them are extra- expect to escape ! I am persuaded that the frevagantly inconsistent with the Moral Law. The quency of this gross offence is attributable much want of chastity in a woman is visited by public more to the levity of public notions as founded upon opinion with the severest reprobation-in men, with levity of language, than to passion; and perhaps, very little or with none. Now, morality makes no therefore, some of those who promote this levity may such distinction. The offence is frequently adverted be in every respect as criminal as if they committed to in the Christian Scriptures; but I believe there is the crime itself. Do one precept which intimates that, in the estima- Women themselves contribute greatly to the comtion of its writer, there was any difference in the mon levity and to its attendant mischiefs. Many a turpitude of the offence respectively in men and wo- female who talks in the language of abhorrence of men. If it be in this volume that we are to seek for
• Milton · Christian Doctrinę, p. 624.
an offending sister, and averts her eye in contumely | generally the destruction of her moral principle if she meets her in the street, is perfectly willing to What is to be understood by collecting virtue into be the friend and intimate of the equally offending one point, it is not easy to discover. The truth
That such women are themselves duped by that as popular notions have agreed that she wire the vulgar distinction is not to be doubted—but then loses her chastity shall retain no reputation, a prinwe are not to imagine that she who practises this in- cipal motive to the practice of other virtues is taken consistency abhors the crime so much as the crimi- away :-she therefore disregards them; and thus by nal. Her abhorrence is directed, not so much to the | degrees her moral principle is utterly depraved. violation of the Moral Law as to the party by whom public opinion was so modified that the world did not it is violated. “ To little respect has that woman a abandon a woman who has been robbed of chastity, claim on the score of modesty, though her reputation | it is probable that a much larger number of these may be white as the driven snow, which smiles on unhappy persons would return to virtue. The case the libertine whilst she spurns the victims of his law of 'men offers illustration and proof. The unchaste less appetities.” No No.-If such women would man retains his character, or at any rate he retains convince us that it is the impurity which they re- so much that it is of great importance to him to preprobate, let them reprobate it wherever it is found : serve the remainder. Public Opinion accordingly if they would convince us that morals or philan- holds its strong rein upon other parts of his conduct, thropy is their motive when they spurn the sinning and by this rein he is restrained from deviating into sister, let them give proof by spurning him who has other walks of vice. If the direction of Public Opioccasioned her to sim.
nion were exchanged, if the woman's offence were The common style of narrating occurrences and held venial and the mau's infamous, the world might trials of seduction, &c., in the public prints, is very stand in wonder at the altered scene, We should mischievous. These flagitious actions are, it seems, a have worthy and respectable prostitutes, while the legitimate subject of merriment; one of the many men whom we now invite to our tables and marry to droll things which a newspaper contains. It is hu- our daughters, would be repulsed as the most abanmiliating to see respectable men sacrifice the in- i doned of mankind. Of this I have met with a terests of society to such small temptation. They i curious illustration.— Amongst the North American pander to the appetite of the gross and idle of the Indians “ seduction is regarded as a despicable public :-they want to sell their newspapers.--Much crime, and more blame is attached to the man than to of this ill-timed merriment is found in the addresses the woman : hence the offence on the part of the fe. of counsel, and this is one mode amongst the many male is more readily forgotten and forgiven, and she in which the legal profession appears to think itself finds little or no difficulty in forming a subsequent licensed to sacrifice virtue to the usages which it matrimonial alliance when deserted by her betrayer, has, for its own advantage, adopted. There is who is generally regarded with distrust, and avoided cruelty as well as other vices in these things. When in social intercourse." we take into account the intense suffering which It becomes a serious question how we shall fix prostitution produces upon its victims and upon their upon the degree in which diminution of character friends, he who contributes, even thus indirectly, to ought to be consequent upon offences against moraits extension, does not exhibit even a tolerable sen- lity. It is not I think too much to say, that so sibility to human misery. Even infidelity acknow. single crime, once committed, under the influence ledges the claims of humanity; and therefore, if re- perhaps of strong temptation, ought to occasion ligion and religious morals were rejected, this heart- such a loss of character as to make the individual less levity of language would still be indefensible. | regard himself as abandoned. I make no excepWe call the man benevolent who relieves or dimi. tions--not even for murder. I am persuaded that nishes wretchedness : what should we call him who ex- some murders are committed with less of personal tends and increases it?
guilt than is sometimes involved in much smaller In connexion with this subject, an observation crimes: but however that may be, there is no reasuggests itself respecting the power of Character in son why, even to the murderer, the motives and the affecting the whole moral principles of the mind. If avenues to amendment should be closed. Still less loss of character does not follow a breach of mora- ought they to be closed against the female who is lity, that breach may be single and alone. The | perhaps the victim-strictly the victim--of sedueagent's virtue is so far deteriorated, but the breach tion. Yet if the public do not express, and strongly does not open wide the door to other modes of crime. express, their disapprobation, we have seen that If loss of character does follow one offence, one of they practically encourage offences. In this diffithe great barriers which exclude the flood of evil is culty I know of no better and no other guide than thrown down; and though the offence which pro- that system which the tenor of Christianity preduced loss of character be really no greater than the scribes-Abhorrence of the evil and commiseration offence with which it is retained, yet its conse- of him who commits it. The union of these dispoquences upon the moral condition are incomparably sitions will be likely to produce, with respect to greater. The reason is, that if you take away a per- offences of all kinds, that conduct which most effecson's reputation you take away one of the principal tually tends to discountenance them, while it as motives to propriety of conduct. The labourer who, effectually tends to reform the offenders.. These, being tempted to steal a piece of bacon from the however, are not the dispositions which actuate the farmer, finds that no one will take him into his public in measuring their reprobation of unchastity house or give him employment, and that wherever in women. Something probably might rightly be he goes he is pointed at as a thief, is almost as much deducted from the severity with which their offence driven as tempted to repeat the crime. His fellow is visited: much may be rightly altered in the molabourer, who has much more heinously violated the lives which induce this severity. And as to men, Moral Law by a flagitious intrigue with a servant much should be added to the quantum of reprobagirl, receives from the farmer a few reproaches tion, and much correction should be applied to the and a few jests, rotains his place, never perhaps principles by which it is regulated. repeats-the offence, and subsequently maintains a Another illustration of the power of character, as decent morality.
such, to corrupt the principles or to preserve them, It has been said, “ As a woman collects all her is furnished in the general respectability of the legal virtue into this point, the loss of her chastity is
• llunter's Memoirs.
ofession. We have seen that this profession, ha- | with much less of aversion than that of less gifted Eually and as a matter of course, violates many men. To be great, whether intellectually or otherwise, d great points of morality, and yet I know not is often like a passport to impunity; and men talk as at their character as men is considerably inferior if we ought to speak leniently of the faults of a man
that of others in similar walks of life. A bating who delights us by his genius or his talent. This e privileges under which the profession is pre precisely is the man whose faults we should be most med to act, many of their legal procedures are as prompt to mark, because he is the man whose gitious as some of those which send unprivileged | faults are most seducing to the world. Intellectual ofessions to the bar of justice. How then does it | superiority brings, no doubt, its congenial tempppen that the moral offenders whom we imprison, tations. Let these affect our judgments of the man, d'try, and punish, are commonly in their general | but let them not diminish our reprobation of his of. nduct depraved, whilst the equal offenders whom fences. So to extenuate the individual as to apoloe do not punish are not thus depraved? The pri- gize for his faults, is to injure the cause of virtue in ner has usually lost much of his reputation before one of its most vulnerable parts. “Oh! that I could
becomes a thief, and at any rate he loses it with see in men who oppose tyranny in the state, a disze act. But a man may enter the customary legal dain of the tyranny of low passions in themselves. urse with a fair name: Public Opinion has not so I cannot reconcile myself to the idea of an immoral probated that course as to make it necessary to patriot, or to that separation of private from public s pursuit that a man should already have become virtue which some men think to be possible."* Proepraved. Whilst engaged in the ordinary legal bably it is possible : probably there may be such a ractice he may be unjust at his desk or at the bar, thing as an iminoral patriot: for public opinion ape may there commit actions essentially and greatly plauds the patriotism without condemning the im. icked, and yet when he steps into his parlour his morality. If men constantly made a fit deduction haracter is not reproached. A jest or two upon from their praises of public virtue on account of its is adroitness, is probably all the intimation that he association with private vice, the union would fr»eceives that other men do not regard it with per- ! quently be severed ; and he who hoped for celebrity pet complacency. Such a man will not pick your from the public would find it needful to be good as ocket the more readily because he has picked a well as great. He who applauds human excellence undred pockets at the bar. This were to sacrifice and really admires it, should endeavour to make its is character: the other does not; and accordingly examples as pure and perfect as he can. He should ll those motives to rectitude which the desire of hold out a motive to consistency of excellence, by reserving reputation supplies, operate to restrain evincing that nothing else can obtain praise unum from other fences. public opinion were mingled with censure. This endeavour should be cctified, if character were lost by actual violatione constant and uniform. The hearer should never be if the Moral Law, some of the ordinary processes of allowed to suppose that in appreciating a person's egal nien would be practised only by those who had merits, we are indifferent to his faults. It has been ittle character to lose. Not icdeed that Public complained of one of our printipal works of PeriOpinion is silent respecting the habitual conduct odical Literature, that amongst its many and arder.t. of the profession. A secret disapprobation manipraises of Shakspeare, it has almost never alluded to estly exists, of which sufficient evidence may be his indecencies. The silence is reprehensible : for found even in the lampoons, and satires, and pro- what is a reader to conclude but that indecency is a verbs, which pass currently in the world. Unhap- very venial offence ?
Under such circumstances, sily, the disapprobation is too slight, and especially not to be with morality is to be against it. Silence t is too slightly expressed. When it is thus ex- is positive mischief. People talk to us of liberality, pressed, the lawyer sometimes unites, with at least and of allowances for the aberrations of genius, and apparent good-humour, in the jest-feeling, perhaps, for the temptations of greatness. It is well. Let that conduct which cannot be shown to be virtuous, the allowances be made. But this is frequently only it is politic to keep without the pale of the vices by affectation of candour. It is not that we are lenient a joke.
to failings, but that we are indifferent to vico. It is Fame.-The observations which were offered not even enlightened benevolence to genius or greatrespecting contributing to the passion for glory, ness itself. The faults and vices with which talented involve kindred doctrines respecting contributions men are chargeable deduct greatly from their own generally to individual Fame. If the pretensions of happiness; and it cannot be doubted that their misthose with whose applauses the popular voice is filled, deeds have been the more willingly committed from were examined by the only proper test, the test the consciousness that apologists would be found which Christianity allows, it would be found that amongst the admiring world. It is sufficient to make fmultitudes whom the world thus honours must be that world knit its brow in anger, to insist upon the shorn of their beams. Before Bacon's daylight of moral demerits of a Robert Burns. Pathetic and truth, Poets and Statesmen and Philosophers with- voluble extenuations are instantly urged. There are out number would bide their diminished heads. The extenuations of such a man's vices, and they ought
mighty indeed would be fallen. Yet it is for the to be regarded: but no extenuations can remove the acquisition of this fame that multitudes toil. It is charge of voluntary and intentional violations of their motive to action; and they pursue that con- morality. Let us not hear of the enthusiasm of duct which will procure fame whether it ought to poetry. Men do not write poetry as they chatter procure it or not. The inference as to the duties of with their neighbours : they sit down to a deliberate ndividuals in contributing to fame, is obvious. act ; and he who in his verses offends against morals,
“ The profligacy of a man of fashion is looked intentionally and deliberately offends. upon with much less contempt and aversion than After all, posterity exercises some justice in its that of a man of meaner condition."* It ought to award. When the first glitter and the first applauses be looked upon with much more. But men of are past—when death and a few years of sobriet fashion are not our concern. Our business is with bave given opportunity to the public mind to attend men of talent and genius, with the eminent and the to truth, it makes a deduction, though not a due degreat. The profligacy of these, too, is regarded duction, for the shaded portions of the great man's
• Ad. Smith: Thco, Mor, Sent.
Dr Price: Revolution Serm.
character. It is not forgotten that Marlborough of the contents of one number of a newspaper mr. was avaricious, that Bacon was mean; and there are be small, but it is perpetually recurring. The edit great names of the present day, of whom it will not of a journal, of which no more than a thousand cop be forgotten that they had deep and dark shades in are circulated in a week, and each of which is ri. their reputation. It is perhaps wonderful that those by half a dozen persons, undertakes in a year a s who seek for fame are so indifferent to these deduc- of the moral guidance of thirty thousand individua tions from its amonnt. Supposing the intellectual Of some daily papers the number of readers is pretensions of Newton and Voltaire were equal, how great, that in the course of twelve months they r. different is their fame! How many and how great influence the opinions and the conduct of six or eig qualifications are employed in praising the one ! millions of men. To say nothing therefore of pe How few and how small in praising the other ! | tors who intentionally mislead and vitiate the publi Editions of the works of some of our first writers are and remembering with what carelessness respectio advertised, " in which the exceptionable passages are the moral tendency of articles a newspaper is filleexpunged." How foolish, how uncalculating even as it may safely be concluded that some creditable edit: to celebrity, to have inserted these passages! To do harm in the world to an extent, in comparison wit write in the hope of fame, works which posterity which robberies and treasons are as nothing. will mutilate before they place them in their libra- It is not easy to imagine the sum of advantages whi. ries !--Charles James Fox said, that if, during his would result if the periodical press not only exclude administration, they could effect the abolition of the that which does harm, but preferred that which do slave trade, it “would entail more true glory upon good. Not that grave moralities, not, especially, tha them, and more honour upon their country, than any religious disquisitions, are to be desired; but the other transaction in which they could be engaged."* every reader should see and feel that the editor main If this be true, (and who will dispute it ?) ministers tained an allegiance to virtue and to truth. There usually provide very ill for their reputation with hardly any class of topics in which this allegianc posterity. How anxiously devoted to measures com- may not be manifested, and manifested without any paratively insignificant ! How phlegmatic respect- incongruous associations. You may relate the com: ing those calls of humanity and public principle, a mon occurrences of the day in such a manner as is regard of which will alone secure the permanent do either good or evil. The trial of a thief, the par honours of the world! It may safely be relied upon, ticulars of a conflagration, the death of a statesmar. that “much more unperishable is the greatness of the criticism of a debate, and a hundred other mal goodness than the greatness of power,” for the great-ters, may be recorded so as to exercise a moral inness of talent. And the difference will progressively fluence over the reader for the better or the worsa. increase. If, as there is reason to believe, the moral That the influence is frequently for the worse needs condition of mankind will improve, their estimate no proof; and it is so much the less defensible beof the good portion of a great man's character will cause it may be changed to the contrary without a be enhanced, and their reprobation of the bad will be- word, directly, respecting morals or religion. come more intense- until at length it will perhaps be However, newspapers do mnch more good than found, respecting some of those who now receive the harm, especially in politics. They are in this country applauses of the world, that the balance of public opi- one of the most vigorous and beneficial instruments nion is against them, and that, in the universal esti- of political advantage. They effect incalculable bemate of merit and demerit, they will be ranked on nefit both in checking the statesman who would abuse the side of the latter. These motives to virtue in power, and in so influencing the public opinion as to great men are not addressed to the Christian : he prepare it for, and therefore to render necessary, an has higher motives and better : but since it is more amelioration of political and civil institutions. The desirable that a man should act well om imperfect great desideratum is enlargement of views and purity motives than than that he should act ill, we urge of principle. We want in editorial labours less of him to regard the integrity of his fame.
partizanship, less of petty squabbles about the worthThe Press. It is manifest that if the obligations less discussions of the day: we want more of the which have been urged apply to those who speak, philosophy of politics, more of that grasping intellithey apply with tenfold responsibility to those who gence which can send a reader's reflections from write. The man who, in talking to half a dozen of facts to principles. Our Journals are, to what they his acquaintance, contributes to confuse or pervert ought to be, what a chronicle of the middle ages is their moral notions, is accountable for the mischief to a philosophical history. The disjointed fragments which he may do to six persons. He who writes a of political intelligence ought to be connected by a book containing similar language, is answerable for sort of enlightened running commentary. There is a so much greater amount of mischief as the number talent enough embarked in some of these; but the of his readers may exceed six, and as the influence talent too commonly expends itself upon subjects and of books exceeds that of conversation, by the evi- in speculations which are of little interest beyond dence of greater deliberation in their contents and the present week. by the greater attention which is paid by the reader. And here we are reminded of that miserable die It is not a light matter, even in this view, to write a rection to public opinion which is given in Historical book for the public. We very insufficiently consi- Works.* I do not speak of party bias, though that der the amount of the obligations and the extent of is sufficiently mischievous; but of the irrational sethe responsibility which we entail upon ourselves. lection by historians of comparatively unimportant Every one knows the power of the press in influ- things to fill the greater portion of their pages. encing the public mind. He that publishes five People exclaim that the history of Europe is little hundred copies of a book, of which any part is likely to more than a history of human violence and wickedderange the moral judgment of a reader, contributes But they confound History with that portion materially to the propagation of evil. If each of his of history which historians record. That portion is books is read by four persons, he endangers the in- doubtless written almost in blood- but it is a very Aliction of this evil, whatever be its amount, upon small, and in truth a very subordinate portion. The two thousand minds. Who shall tell the sum of the intrigues of cabinets; the rise and fall of ministers; mischiet? In this country the periodical press is a powerful engine for evil or for good. The influence
• “Next to the guilt of those who commit wicked actions,
that of the historian who glosses them over and excuses then • Fell's Memoirs.
+ Sir R. K. Porter. Southey : Book of the Church, c. 8.
ars and battles, and victories and defeats; the nicating to them the knowledge and the spirit of Funder of provinces; the dismemberment of em- their age and country.”
."* _“ Knowledge does not res; these are the things which fill the pages of consist in being able to read books, but in underne historian, but these are not the things which com- standing one's business and duty in life.”—“ Most ose the history of man. He that would acquaint writers have considered the subject of Education as
mself with the history of his species, must apply to relative to that portion of it only which applies to Eher and to calmer scenes. It is a cruel mortifi- learning ; but the first object of all, in every nation, ition, in searching for what is instructive in the is to make a man a good member of society.”—“ Eduistory of past times, to find that the exploits of cation consists in learning what makes a man useful, onquerors who have desolated the earth, and the respectable, and happy, in the line for which he is reaks of tyrants who have rendered nations unhappy, destined.” * re recorded with minute and often disgusting accu- If these propositions are true'it is evident that the acy, while the discovery of useful arts and the pro- systems of Education which pbtain, need great and ress of the most beneficial branches of commerce, almost total reformation. What does a boy, in the re passed over in silence, and suffered to sink into middle class of society, learn at school of the knowblivion." * Even a more cruel mortification than ledge and the spirit of his age and country? When his is to find recorded almost nothing respecting the he has left school, how much does he understand of ntellectual and moral history of man. You are pre- the business and duty of life? ented with five or six weighty volumes which pro- Education is one of those things which Lord Bacess to be a History of England; and after reading con would describe as having lain almost unaltered hem to the end you have hardly found any thing to " upon the dregs of time.” We still fancy that we atisfy that interesting question—How has my coun- educate our children when we give them, as its prinry been enabled to advance from barbarism to civi- cipal constituent, that same instruction which was ization; to come forth from darkness into light ? | given before England had a literature of its own, Yes, by applying philosophy to facts yourself, you and when Greek and Latin contained almost the sum may attain some, though it be but an imperfect, i of human knowledge. Ihen the knowledge of Greek reply. But the historian himself should have done and Latin was called, and not unjustly called, Learnthis. The facts of history, simply as such, are of | ing. It was the learning which procured distinction comparatively little concern. He is the true histo- and celebrity. A sort of dignity and charm was rian of man who regards mere facts rather as the thrown around the attainments and the word which illustrations of history than as its subject matter. designated them. That charm has continued to As to the history of cabinets and courts, of intrigue operate to the present hour, and we still call him a and oppression, of campaigns and generals, we can learned man who is skilful in Latin and Greek. Yet almost spare it all. It is of wonderfully little con- Latin and Greek contain an extremely small portion sequence whether they are remembered or not, ex- of that knowledge which the world now possesses ; rept as lessons of instruction-except as proofs of an extremely small portion of that which it is of the evils of bad principles and bad institutions. For most consequence to acquire. It would be well for any other purpose, Blenheim ! we can spare thee. society if this word Learning could be forgotten, or And Louis, even Louis “ le grand ! ” we can spare if we conld make it the representative of other and thee. And thy successor and his Pompadour ! we very different ideas. But the delusion is continually can spare ye all.
propagated. The higher ranks of society give the Much power is in the hands of the historian if he tone to the notions of the rest ; and the higher will exert it: if he will make the occurrences of the classes are educated at Westminster and Eton, and past subservient to the elucidations of the principles Cambridge and Oxford. At all these the languages of human nature-of the principles of political truth which have ceased to be the languages of a living -of the rules of political rectitude ; if he will refuse people, the authors which communicate, relatively, to make men ambitious of power by filling his pages little knowledge that is adapted to the present affairs with the feats or freaks of men in power; if he will of man--are made the first and foremost articles of give no currency to the vulgar delusions about Education. To be familiar with these, is still to be glory :-if he will do these things, and such as these, a “ learned” man. Inferior institutions imitate the he will deserve well of his country and of man; for example; and the parent who knows his son will be, he will contribute to that rectification of Public Opi- like himself, a merchant or manufacturer, thinks it nion which, when it is complete and determinate, almost indispensable that he should “ learn Latin." will be the most powerful of all earthly agents in It may reasonably be doubted whether, to even the ameliorating the social condition of the world. higher ranks of society, this preference of ancient
learning is wise. It may reasonably be doubted
whether, even at Oxford, a literary revolution would CHAPTER XI.
not be an useful revolution. Indeed the very circumstance that the system of education there, is not essentially different from what it was centuries ago,
is almost a sufficient evidence that an alteration is Ancient Classics--London University-The Classics in Board- needed. If the circumstances and the contexture
ing-schools-English grammar--Science and Literature-- of human society are altered.--if the boundaries of Improved system of Education-Orthography: Writing : Reading : Geography : Natural History: Biography: Natu.
knowledge are very greatly extended, and if that ral Philosophy: Political Science-Indications of a revolution knowledge which is now applicable to the affairs of in the system of Education--Female Education, The Society life is extremely different from that which was ap
plicable long ages ago--it surely is plain that a “ It is no less true than lamentable, that hitherto modated itself to the new condition and new exigen
system which has not, or has only slightly, accomthe education proper for civil and active life has
cies of human affairs, cannot be a good system, canbeen neglected; that nothing has been done
o enable those who are actually to conduct the affairs of stands the fact ? When young men leave college
not be a reasonable and judicious system. How the world, to carry them on in a manner worthy of the age and country in which they live, by commu
. Art 4; Education. West. Rev. No. 1. • Robertson; Disq. on Anct. Comm. of India.
+ Play fair : Causes of Decline of Nations, p. 97, 98, 227.