Imatges de pàgina

Give law to words, or war with words alone,
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,
And turn the council to a grammar school!
For sure if Dullness sees a grateful day,
'Tis in the shade of arbitrary sway.
01 if my sons may learn one earthly thing,
Teach but that one, sufficient for a king;
That which my priests, and mine alone, maintain,
Which, as it dies, or lives, we fall or reign :
May you my Cam, and Isis, preach it long!
"" The right divine of kings to govern wrong."
Prompt at the call, around the goddess roll
Broad hats, and hoods, and caps, a sable shoal:
Thick and more-thick the black blockade extends,
A hundred head of Aristotle's friends.
Nor wert thou, Isis! wanting to the day:
[Though Christ Church long kept prudishly away]
Each stanch polemic, stubborn as a rock,
Each fierce logician, still expelling * Locke,
Came whip and spur, and dash'd through thin and thick,
On German Crousaz,+ and Dutch Burgersdyck.
As many quit the streams that murmuring fall
To lull the sons of Margaret and Clare Hall,
Where Bentley late tempestous wont to sport
In troubled waters, but now sleeps in port.
Before them march'd that awful Aristarch;
Plough'd was his front with many a deep remark:
His hat, which never veil'd to human pride,
Walker $ with reverence took, and laid aside.
Low bow'd the rest : he, kingly, did but nod;
So upright quakers please both man and God,

‘Mistress! dismiss that rabble from your throne:
Avaunt—is Aristarchus yet unknown ?
Thy mighty scholiast, whose unwearied pains
Made Horace dull, and humbled Milton's strains.
Turn what they will to verse, their toil is vain,
Critics like me shall make it prose again.
Roman and Greek grammarians! know your better;
Author of something yet more great than letter;
While towering o'er your alphabet, like Saul,
Stands our digamma, and o'ertops them all.
'Tis true on words is still our whole debate,
Dispute of me or te, of aut or at,
To sound or sink in cano, O or A,
Or give up Cicero to C or K.

• In the year 1703 there was a meeting of the bends of the University of Oxford, to censure Mr. Locke's Essny on the Human Understanding, and to forbid the reading of it.

+ Author of the commentary on Pope's Essay on Man. 1 Bentley's constant friend in college.

Let Freind effect to speak as Terrence spoke
And Alsop never but like Horace joke:
For me, what Virgil, Pliny, may deny,
Manilius or Solinus shall supply:
For attic phrase in Plato let them seek,
I poach in Suidas for unlicens'd Greek.
In ancient sense if any veeds will deal,
Be sure I give them fragments, not a meal;
What Gellius or Stobaeus hash'd before,
Or chew'd by blind old scholiasts o'er and o'er,
"The critic eye, that microscope of wit,
Sees hairs and pores, examines bit by bit.
How parts relate to parts, or they to whole,
The body's harmony, the beaming soul,
Are things which Kuster, Burman, Wasse shall see,
When man's whole frame is obvious to a flea.
• Ah, think not, mistress! more true dullness lies
In folly's cap, than wisdom's grave disguise.
Like buoys that never sink into the flood,
On learning's surface we but lie and nod;
Thine is the genuine head of many a house,
And much divinity without a Nous. (Nows)
Nor could a Barrow work on every block,
Nor has one Atterbury spoiled the flock.
Seel still thy own, the heavy cannon roll,
And metaphysic-smokes involve the pole.
For thee we dim the eyes, and stuff the head
With all such reading as was never read:
For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it,
And write about it, goddess, and about it:
So spins the silkworm small its slender store,
And labors till it clouds itself all o'er.

"What though we let some better sort of fool
Thrid every science, run through every school?
Never by tumbler through the hoops was shown
Such skill in passing all, and touching none.
He may indeed (if sober all this time)
Plague with dispute, or persecute with rhyme.
We only furnish what he can not use,
Or wed to what he must divorce, a muse:
Full in the midst of Euclid dip at once,
And petrify a genius to a dunce:
Or, set on metaphysic ground to prance,
Show all his paces, not a step advance.
With the same cement, ever sure to bind,
We bring to one dead level every mind :
Then take him to develop, if you can,
And hew the block off, and get out the man.

* Dr. Robert Freind, Master of Westminster School.

Walker! our hat-nor more he deign'd to say,
But, stern as Ajax' specter, strode away.
The sire saw, one by one, his virtues wake:
The mother begg'd the blessing of a rake.
Thou gav'st that ripeness, which so soon began,
And ceased so soon, he ne'er was boy, nor man.
Thro' school and college, thy kind cloud o'ercast,
Safe and unseen the young Æneas past :
Thence bursting glorious, all at once let down,
Stunn'd with his giddy larum half the town.
Led by my hand, he saunter'd Europe round,
And gather'd ev'ry vice on Christian ground;
Saw ev'ry court, heard ev'ry King declare
His royal sense, of op'ra's or the fair;
The stews and palace equally explor'd,
Intrigu'd with glory, and with spirit whor'd;
Try'd all hors-d'-æuvers, all liqueurs defin'd,
Judicious drank, and greatly-daring din'd;
Dropt the dull lumber of the Latin store,
Spoil'd bis own language. and acquir'd no more;
All classic learning lost on classic.ground;
And last turn'd Air, the echo of a sound !

Then thick as locusts black’ning all the ground,
A tribe, with weeds and shells fantastic crown'd
Each with some wondrous gist approach'd the pow'r,
A nest, a toad, a fungus, or a flow'r.
But far the foremost, two, with earvest zeal,
And aspect ardent to the throne appeal.

The first thus open'd: Hear thy suppliant's call, Great queen, and common mother of us all! Fair from its humble bed I rear'd this flow'r, Suckled, and cheer'd, with air, and sun, and show'r. Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread, Bright with the gilded button tipt its head. Then thron'd in glass, and nam'd it CAROLINE: Each maid cry's Charming! and each youth, Divine!

My sons! (she answer'd), both have done your parts : Live happy both, and long promote our arts. But hear a mother, when she recommends To your fraternal care our sleeping friends. The common soul, of Heaven's most frugal make, Serves but to keep fools pert, and knaves awake: A drowsy watchman, that just gives a knock, And breaks our rest, to tell us what's a-clock. Yet by some object ev'ry brain is stirr'd; The dull may waken to a humming-bird; The most recluse, discreetly open'd, find Congenial matter in the cockle kind; The mind, in metaphysics at a loss, May wander in a wilderness of moss; The head that turns at super-lunar things, Poiz'd with a tail, may steer on Wilkins' wings.

0! would the sons of men once think their eyes And reason giv'n them but to study flies ! See Nature in some partial narrow shape, And let the author of the whole escape : Learn but to trifle; or, who most observe, To wonder at their Maker, not to serve. We nobly take the high Priori road, And reason downward, till we doubt of God: Make nature still encroach upon his plan; And shove him off as far as e'er we can.

ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.--1627-1689. In 1678, Dr. South prepared a sermon to be preached at a convention of such as had been bred at Westminster School, and which, without being preached, was published in a volume of sermons with a special dedication to the head-master, Dr. Robert Friend, " as a mark of his sacred gratitude to the sound training of that Royal Foundation—that seminary of learning, loyalty, and religion.” The whole aim of the discourse is to illustrate and enforce the doctrine, that the virtuous education of youth is the surest if not the only way to a happy and honorable old age-meaning by education, “the training up of a child in the way he should go-the inculcation of sound knowledge, and the habit of walking in the right path.” The duty of this training devolves on 1, Parents ; 2, Schoolmasters; and 3, the Clergy.


Jewish fathers professedly take upon themselves the guilt of all their childrens' sins till they come to be thirteen years old, and the faith of the family is diligently taught when they sit in the house, and walk by the way, when they lie down, and when they rise up, and thus work into the thread of their daily existence the precepts of their ancestral faith.


I know not how it comes to pass that this honorable employment of training up of youth should find so little respect (as experience shows it does), from too many in the world. For there is no profession which has or can have a greater influence upon the public. Schoolmasters have a negative upon the peace and welfare of the kingdom. They are indeed the great depositories and keepers of the peace of it; as having the growing hopes and fears of the nation in their hands. The subjects generally are and will be such as they brand them. So that I look upon an able, well-principled schoolmaster as one of the most meritorious subjects in any power's dominions that can be; and every such school under such a master, as a seminary of loyalty, and a mining of allegiance. Nay, I take schoolmasters to have a more powerful influence upon the spirits of men than preachers themselves. It being seldom found, that the pulpit mends what the school has marred: and impressions on young and tender minds are the most certain for good or evil.

(1.) Let the educators of youth remember that excellent and never-to-be-forgotten advice, “that boys will be men;" and that the memory of all base usage will sink so deep into, and grow up so inseparably with them, that it will not be so much as in their own power ever to forget it. For though indeed schoolmasters are a sort of kings, yet they can not always pass such acts of oblivion as shall operate upon their scholars, or perhaps, in all things, indemnify themselves.

(2.) Where they find a youth of spirit, let them endeavor to govern that spirit without extinguishing it; to bend it, without breaking it; for when it comes once to be extinguished, and broken, and lost, it is not in the power or art of man to recover it; and then (believe it) no knowledge of nouns and pronouns, syntaxes and prosodia, can ever compensate or make amends for such a loss. The French, they say, are exceedingly happy at this, who will instruct a youth of spirit to a decent boldness, tempered with a due modesty; which two qualities in conjunction do, above all others, fit a man both for business and address. But for want of this art, some schools have ruined more good wits than they have improved; and even those which they have sent away with some tolerable improvement, like men escaped from a shipwreck, carry off only the remainder of those natural advantages which in much greater plenty they had brought with them.

(3.) Let not the chastisement of the body be managed so as to make a wound which shall rankle and fester in the very soul. That is, let not children, whom nature itself would bear up by an innate, generous principle of emulation, be exposed, cowed, and depressed with scoffs, contumelies (founded * perhaps upon the master's own guilt) to the scorn and contempt of their equals and emulators. For this is, instead of rods, to chastise them with scorpions; and is the most direct way to stupefy and besot, and make them utterly regardless of themselves and of all that is praiseworthy; besides that, it will be sure to leave in their minds such inward regrets as are never to be qualified or worn off. It is very indecent for a master to jest or play with his scholars; but not only indecent, but very dangerous too, in such a way to play upon them.

(4.) And lastly, let it appear in all acts of penal animadversion, that the person is loved while his fault is punished; nay, that one is punished only out of love to the other; and (believe it) there is hardly any one so much a child, but has sagacity enough to perceive this. Let no melancholy fumes and spites and secret animosities pass for discipline. Let the master be as angry for the boy's fault as reason will allow him; but let not the boy be in fault, only because the master has a mind to be angry. In a word, let not the master have the spleen, and the scholars be troubled with it. But above all, let not the sids, or faults, or wants of the parents be punished upon the children; for that is a prerogative which God has reserved to himself.

These things I thought fit to remark about the education and educators of youth in general, not that I have any thoughts or desires of invading their province; but possibly a stander-by may sometimes look as far into the game as he who plays it; and with no less judgment, because with much less concern.

DUTY OF THE CLERGY. The third and last sort of persons concerned in the great charge of instructing youth are the clergy. For as parents deliver their children to the schoolmaster, so the schoolmaster delivers them to the minister. And for my own part, I never thought a pulpit, a cushion, and an honr-glass such necessary means of salvation, but that much of the time and labor which is spent about them, might be much more profitably bestowed in catechising youth from the desk; preaching being a kind of spiritual diet, upon which people are always feeding, but never full; and many poor souls, God knows, are too like Pharaoh's lean kine, much the leaner for their full feed.

[The author of this discourse was a deadly foe to "the Rebellion," its actors and adettors, and the application of his sound principle, is to the utter extirpation of the deed, as well as the peril of that great political and religious movement. He thinks the rebellion could not have happened if parents, teachers, and clergy had done their duty to the youth of the realm.)

« AnteriorContinua »