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vessels of the skin, or of some miliary glands; which produces currants, strawberries, mulberries, or marks of wine ; but al. ways according to the disposition the external vessels were in. This disposition alone, as I had the honour of acquainting you before, madam, can determine the particular effects of this general effort; this alone determines the place and figure of the mark; all that imagination did, was to excite or suspend the general motion of the blood.
A fact of consequence often cited in favour of the force of imagination, proves clearly what I advance. We are told of a child that fell violently ill, because it's mother, during her pregnancy, saw a person afflicted with the same disorder. The fact is possible ; but it furnishes us with a fresh proof against the force of imagination; in fact, madam, were we to suppose that the imagination of the mother can mark the body of the child with the figure of the objects which have struck the mother, we ought always, as has been said before, to restrain that power to objects she could be acquainted with. To tell a country girl of the goodness of a pine-apple, without describing it's form, would never make her have a desire to eat it ? In vain her imagination would suggest to her an idea of tastes she has no knowledge of: it would never represent to her the form of a pine-apple ; consequently it could never mark the body of the child in her womb, with the resemblance of that fruit.
Let us reason upon this principle, and consider two things in the disorder in question; the cause of the disorder, and it's external effect; which of these two objects struck the mother? She saw a person in convulsions : but without knowing either the defect of the nervous fibres, or that of the veslels, which causes the disorder: this would escape the light of the most penetrating anatomists. The sole object that struck the imagination of the mother, and the only thing she is acquainted with, is the figure of a man in convulsions : consequently that external figure only, was what she could mark the child's body with ; which nevertheless did not happen. The child is born with that dispofition in the brain which causes convulsions. The imagination of the mother which has not impresled upon the body of the child, the figure of the object that she was acquainted with, and which alone struck her, has conveyed into the brain of the infant an impression she has no knowledge of, of which he can have no idea, and which never ftruck her; you perceive madam, that it is impoffible.' " To give our own opinion, as to the merits of the question discussed in these letters, we agree perfectly with the Author as to the main point; but we conceive that, if he had attempted to proye less, he would have proved much more, and would have bad a better chance of having his book read and understood,
which we apprehend will seldom be the case, especially among the fair sex, for whose instrucion and emolument it is pretended to be written.
Reflektions on Education, relative both to Theory and Practice : in which some of the Principles attempted to be established by Mr. Rousseau in his Emilius, are occasionally examined and refuted. Written in French by Father Gerdil, Barnabite: Preceptor to his Royal Highness the Prince of Piedmont. 2 Vols. small 8vo. 35. 6d. sew'd. Davis and Reymers.
A NY have been the attacks which the celebrated author IV of Emilius hath drawn upon himself, in consequence of his departing fo much from received opinions with regard to the education of children. It is undoubtedly an important subject, and all innovations should be introduced with great caution. In matters merely fpeculative, Mr. Rousseau might have indulged his passion for fingularity and paradox with more safety. Yet, in justice to that very ingenious and spirited writer, it may be said that his treatise is so far fpeculative, that he himself confesses the impossibility, in the present state of things, of bringing his rules into practice. It is the theory of education only, which he professes to teach* ; leaving his readers, in all cases, to apply it in pra&tice as their judgment may direct. It is a system confeffedly calculated, mumtis mutandis, for the use of all na-' tions and people; so that even supposing there should be a country where it may not be adviseable to adopt one of his rules, his treatise may nevertheless afford pleasing matter of speculation to the curious; who are fond of ingenious reveries. It is ex-' tremely disingenuous, therefore, in the Author of these Refe&tions, to endeavour to possess the minds of his readers with the evil design and dreadful consequences of Mr. Rousseau's principles, before he begins to shew their effect or fallacy. He ought to have done this first, and have left the public to judge for themselves of the design and tendency of such writings. He tells us, indeed, that, if Mr. Rousleau reads his book, he will see his sentiments attacked without animofity or bitterness." Our Barnabite, it is true, affects in some places a great deal of candour and moderation, but this is merely ceremonious and artificial; how candid and moderate he really is, may be gathered from the very first paragraph of his introduction. • The de
• The examples he gives in the imaginary pe: son of Emilius, being · intended only io illustrate his precepts; and not to serve as an actual
example to be frictly followed in practice.
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sign, fays he, of his [Rousseau's] social compact, or principles of politic law, is to overset all civil order, and, by his Emilius, he inter.ds to prepare men's minds for it, by a total alteration in theirmetsd of thinking.' Now where is the candour of this Writer, and by what means will be support fuch a charge against Mr. Rousseau ? This son of St. Barnabas may pretend there is no animosity or bitterness, in thus abusing his antagonist, and stigmatizing him in the very first page of his book, as an enemy to civil society; but we are persuaded the truly candid and impartial reader will chink otherwise. It is not our business here to justify either the tract on the social compact or that on education ; but we may observe the same of the one as the other. In the former, the Author hath laid down the theory of civil government on the most unexceptionable principles; and if in the present state of things those principles cannot be adopted, where lies the fault? Is it a crime to point out the right way, merely because we have strayed so far that we are not able to recover it? Is it criminal to point out the means for ensuring the health and prosperity of a state, where the constitutions have been so tampered with by state-quacks, that, under the present complication of disorders, the reinedy is worse than the disease ? It is really whimsical that a writer, who, like Mr. Rousseau, endeavours to investigate the most durable system of government, should be accused of striving to subyert the order of civil society: but it is well known that individuals in present office or power, are too much interested in the prevention of revolutions and changes, to countenance any kind of reformation. Every attempt to correat the disorders of government, is, in their opinion, an attempt to fubvert the order of society. And thus it will ever be, while the few are so liberally gratified for ensaving the many. How many millions do not some nations pay yearly for being governed; while the insolent governors riot on the spoils of honest industry, wrung from the hard hands of peasants or artificers, who absurdly accept the mere name of liherty, in exchange for that gold with which they reward the forgers of their chains ! There is not a nation in christendom where liberty (we had almost said a claim to justice) is not entailed upon wealth ;-the poor, in countries the most free, exerting that freedom almost always at their colt, and ever at their peril. But this is a digression. To seturn, therefore, to our Barnali:e.
Having endeavoured thus to prejudice the minds of his readers against Mr. Rousseau's writings in general, he proceeds to give the following sketch of that ingenious author's Emilius. In his first voluine, says he, the auihor seems to attend particularly to the unfolding of those principles, which serve as a basis to his fyficm of politics, and hiç theory of education. He there
reprefents focial institutions in the most odious colours; he esta.' blishes, as maximš, that a man living in a state of nature is happy within himself, ihát we were born to be men, but that. laws and society have again reduced us to an infantive state : that dependence, which is the consequence of them, is repuge nant to nature, and is the source of all our vices : that no man can be educated for himself and for others: that fathers have ño: righ: to command their children in matters which are not conducive to their [the children's] interest. From these maxims, which are as a basis to the system of his social compact, he deduces, in the same volume, the practical rules for the conduct: of the first stage of life, on which the whole course of education fo much depends *.' We may venture safely to appeal to every one who hath perused Mr. Rousseau's work with attention, whether or not this bé a fair and candid representation of its contents. For our part, we think, notwithftanding this Writer's assurance, that it bears very suspicious' marks of animosity •and bitterness. Not that we mean to defend Mr Rousseau's prin-: ciples and writings in general ; we have, on the contrary, frequently endeavoured to expose his want of proper information with regard to facts, as well as the inconsistencies of his reafon. ing. . We have thewn that his supposed state of nature was merely imaginary t, and that a state of society is really the natural fate of man. We have endeavoured allo, on more occafions than one, to expose the errour he is so apt to fall into, of reasoning from the abuse of things, against the use of them. But it is very unjust to say that he represents civil institutions in the moft odious colours, and imputes our imbecillity, to laws and to Society in general, because he ridicules or inveighs against parti. cular inftitutions, laws, and customs. What, if a man should endeavour to thew the impropriety of some of our acts of parliament; to point out the inconveniencies attending our form of government; to laugh at the many absurdities of our manners; are we therefore to accuse him of being an enemy to all laws, institutions and societies? Yet in this manner doth our candid Barnabite deal with Mr. Rousseau. The latter, however, had
* In another part of the work, he sums up, what he calls, the fruits of Mr. Rousseau's new plan of education, thus: 'A contempt for all re, vealed religion, and for Christianity in particular, I will venture even to add a neglect of the divinity, a hatred to all ellablished governmenis, an objection to all legitimate authority, a mind fraught with independence and licentiousness ; obedience ftruck out from the dictionary of child dren; a false indulgence in not restraining the fallies of their natural li? berty; a falfe constraint in not real»ning with them, and in not cultivating their minds by studies suited to their age ; such I say are the fruits of the rew plan of edncation.'
+ See Review, Vol. XXVII. p. 331–342.
laid himself sufficiently open, to afford his antagonist room fordisplaying his preceptorial abilities in defending the common forms of education. It must be allowed, indeed, that both taste and good sense are contained in many of his reflections; which, being for the most part perfectly agreeable to received notions, will probably have more than their due weight against the new and very singular opinions of his antagonist.
• Education (says Father Gerdil) may, if you please, be termed an art; but it is one of those arts which are simply directory, forming nothing. The gardener, to whom a young plant is committed in charge, carefully transplants it into the most convenient spot, waters it, defends it from every thing which may injure it, from the heat of the dog days, and the winter's froft. If it bends in its growth, he straighiens it, though he is obliged to make use of violence, and scruples not to use the knife for cutting off such useless branches as would only serve to divert the course of that precious sap, intended for its nourishment, and to make it bear fruit.
The gardener forms nothing: all he does is, to keep at a distance every thing that would interrupt nature in its operations : it is nature causes the young plant to grow, and its action is, at the same time, extended to all the parts which compose it.
« This comparison, though trivial, is just, and may easily be applied to the care which every instructor should take, when the faculties of the human mind begin to unfold themselves in infancy.
No man can be educated for himself, unless his reason is cultivated; for it is through reason that man is man.
Reason is a social faculty of nature ; make a man reasonable, and you make him sociable*. Therefore reason cannot be cultivated but by lessons which have relation to social life. Therefore no man can be educated for himself, without being educated for others also. A man detached from all society, who fhould enrich his underftanding by deep study, might, indeed, become a prodigy of learning ; but I doubt much whether he would be a very rational man. We have seen men who have appeared very sensible by their writings, but who proved themselves very weak in their lives.'
Our Author expresses himself here very inaccurately, he falls into a considerable errour for want of diftinguithing between the theoretical and practical use of reason. A man may be a prodigy of learning, and have rat'ier impoverithed than enriched his understanding by his erudition. But he might also
* Not always. We know many reasonable men very unfociable companions.