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you can do yourself honor in taking the charge of a common English School.
Schoo!m. Gentlemen, I will give you a short history of my life. From seven to fifteen years
I went to school perhaps as much as one year. In which time, I went through Dilworth's Spelling-Book, the Psalter, the New Testament; and could read the newspaper without spelling more than half the words. By this time feeling a little above the common level, I enlisted a soldier in the army, where I continued six years; and made such a proficiency in the military art, that I was frequently talked of for a corporal. I had likewise larn’d to write considerably, and to cypher as fur as Division. The multiplication table I had at my tongue's end, and have not forgot it to this day. At length having received a severe fogging for nothing at all, I am not ashamed to own that I deserted, and went into one of the back settlements, and offered myself as a teacher. I was immediately employed in that service; and, though I am obliged to say it myself, I do assure you I soon became very famous. Since that time, which is eleven years, I have followed the business constantly; at least, every winter; for in the summer, it is not customary in the towns in general, to continue a man's school. One thing I would not forget to mention; and that is, I have tra. velled about the country so much, and been in the army so long (which is allowed to be the best school in the world) that I consider myself as being thoroughly acquainted with mankind. You will not be insensible, gentlemen, of what great importance this last acquisition is, to one who has the care of youth.
3d Com. I admire his conversation. I imagine, by this time, you have cyphered clear through; have you
Schoolm. Why, as to that I have gone so fur, that I thought I could see through. I can tell how many minutes old my great grandfather was when his first son was born; how many barley corns it would take
to measure round the world; and how old the world . will be at the end of six thousand years from the creation.
1st Com. It is very strange! You must have studied hard, to learn all these things, and that without a master too.
Schoolm. Indeed I have, Sir; and, if I had time, I could tell you things stranger still.
Par. Can you tell in what part of the world you were born; whether in the torrid, frigid, or temperate zone?
Schoolm. I was not born in the zoon, Sir; nor in any other of the West-India Islands; but I was born in New-England, in the state of New Jersey, and Commonwealth of the United States of America.
Par. Do you know how many parts of speech there are in the English language?
Schoolm. How many speeches! Why as many as there stars in the sky, leaves on the trees, or sands on the sea shore."
1st Com. Please to let me ask him a question, Parson. How many commandments are there?
Schoolm. Ten, Sir; and I knew them all before I went into the army.
2d Com. Can you tell when the moon changes by the almanac?
Schoolm. No! but I'll warrant you, I could soon tell by cyphering.
3d Com. How many varses are there in the 119th Psalm?
Schoolm. Ah! excuse me there, if you please, Sir;, I never meddle with psalınody or metaphysics.
Par. Will you tell me, my friend, what is the difference between the circumference and the diameter of the globe?
Schoolm. There you are too hard for me again. I never larn’d the rule of circumstance nor geometry. I'll tell you what, gentlemen, I make no pretensions to minister larnin, lawyer larnin, or docter larnin; but
put me upon your clear schoolmaster larnin, and there I am even with
1st Com. I am satisfied with the gentleman. He has missed but one question, and that was such a metatisical one, that it would have puzzled a Jesuit himself to have answered it, Gentlemen, shall the master withdraw a few minutes, for our further consultation?
[Exit Master 2d Com. I am much pleased with the stranger. He appears to be a man of wonderful parts; and I shall cheerfully agree to employ him.
3d Com. For my part, I don't think we shall find a cheaper master; and I move for engaging him at
Par. Gentlemen, how long will you be blind to your own interest? I can say with you, that I am perfectly satisfied—that the man is, in his profession, emphatically what he calls himself by name, an ignoramus; and totally incapable of instructing our children. You know not who he is, or what he is; whether he be a thief, a liar, or a drunkard. The very terms, on which he offers himself, ought to operate as a sufficient objection against him. I am sensible that my vote will now be of no avail, since you are all agreed. I have been for years striving to procure a man of abilities and morals, suitable for the employment; and such a one I had obtained; but, alas! we were unworthy of him. We aspersed his character; invented a multitude of falsehoods; magnified every trifling error in his conduct; and even converted his virtues into vices. We refused to give him that pecuniary reward which his services demanded; and he, knowing his own worth, and our unworthiness, has left us forever.
1st Com. Come, come, Parson, it is easy for salary men to talk of liberality, and to vote away money which they never earned; but it won't do. The new master, I dare engage, will do as well, or better than the old one. Landlord, call him in for his answer.
Par. I protest against your proceeding; and withdraw myself forever from the committee. But I must tell you, your children will reap the bitter consequences of such injudicious measures. It has always been surprising to me that people in general are more willing to pay their money for any thing else, than for “the one thing needful,” that is, for the education of their children. Their taylor must be a workman, their carpenter, a workmạn, their hairdresser, a workman, their hostler, a workman; but the instructer of their children must-work cheap! [Exit Parson.
Re-enter SchOOLMASTER. 1st Gom. We have agreed to employ you, Sir; and have only to recommend to you, not to follow the steps of your predecessor. This is an age of reason;" and we do not imagine our children so stupid, as to need the rod to quicken their ideas, or so vitious, as to require a moral lesson from the ferule. Be gentle and accommodating, and you have nothing to fear. Land. I'll answer for him. He's as generous
and merry a lad as I've had in my house this many a day.
EXTRACT FROM MR. PITT's SPEECH, IN ANSWER
TO LORD MANSFIELD, ON THE AFFAIR OF MR. WILKES, 1770.
My Lords, THE
"HERE is one plain maxim to which I have inva
riably adhered through life; that in every ques. tion in which my liberty or my property was concerned, I should consult and be determined by the dictates of common sense. I confess, my lords, that I am apt to distrust the refinements of learning, because I have seen the ablest and most learned men equally liable to deceive themselves, and to mislead others.
The condition of human nature would be lamentable indeed, if nothing less than the greatest learning and talents which fall to the share of so small a number of men, were sufficient to direct our judgment and
our'conduct. But Providence has taken better care of our happiness, and given us, in the simplicity of common sense, a rule for our direction, by which we shall never be misled.
I confess, my lords, I had no other guide in draw. ing up the amendment, which I submitted to your consideration. And before I heard the opinion of the noble lord who spoke last, I did not conceive, that it was even within the limits of possibility for the greatest human genius, the most subtle understanding, or the acutest wit, so strangely to misrepresent my meaning; and to give it an interpretation so entirely foreign from what I intended to express, and from that sense, which the very terms of the amendment plainly and distinctly carry with them.
If there be the smallest foundation for the censure thrown upon me by that noble lord; if, either expressly or by the most distant implication, I have said or insimuated any part of what the noble lord has charged me with, discard my opinions forever; discard the motion with contempt.
My lords, I must beg the indulgence of the House. Neither will my health permit me, nor do I' intend to be qualified, to follow that learned lord minutely through the whole of his argument. No man is better acquainted with his abilities and learning, nor has a greater respect for them, than I have. I have had the pleasure of sitting with him in the other House, and always listened to him with attention. I have not now kost a word of what he said, nor did I ever. Upon the present question, I meet him without fear.
The evidence, which truth carries with it, is supe.. rior to all arguments; it neither wants the support, nor dreads the opposition of the greatest abilities. If there be a single word in the amendment to justify the interpretation, which the noble lord has been pleased to give it, I am ready to renounce the whole. Let it be read, my lords; let it speak for itself. In what instance does it interfere with the privileges of the