Imatges de pÓgina

wards of a higher nature, namely, the happiness of the life to come, he is pleased most wisely to make use of these inferior encouragements and invitations, like so many little pulleys and cords, to draw men to the ways of virtue, piety and goodness, wherein, when they are once led and confirmed, they are established in higher and nobler expectations, namely, the love of God and the beauty of goodness and virtue. And on the right-hand way, there are not only propounded certain general virtues of sobriety, temperance and industry, but there are also certain particular walks of industry and virtue, and the exercise thereof in certain especial callings and employments, some more liberal and eminent, as divines, physicians, lawyers, &c. Some more laborious, yet generous enough, as husbandry, the primitive and most innocent employment, is such as becomes noblemen and gentlemen. Some of other kinds, as merchants and handicrafts. And to all these employments, justly and industriously followed, Almighty God hath annexed a blessing; for they conduce to the good of mankind, and the maintenance of human societies, and the convenient support of persons and families.

And when you come to about this age, unless you are corrupted by idleness, evil company or debauchery, your minds will begin to settle, and your inclinations will begin to bend themselves towards some of these employments, and to a steady course of life. And although it may please God to order things so that you may not be pừt upon the necessity to take any of these professions upon you for your subsistence, because I may leave you a competent provision otherways, yet assure yourselves a calling is so far from being a burthen or dishonor to any of you, that it will be a great advantage to you every way to be of some profession; and therefore I commend some of them to your choice, especially for such of you whose fortunes may not be so plentiful.

But if you should not fix to any of these more regular professions, as divinity, law, or physic, yet I would have you so far acquainted with them, as that you may be able to understand, and maintain, and hold fast, the religion in which you have by me been educated; and so much of the laws of the kingdom, as may instruct you how to defend the estate that shall be left you, and to order your lives conformable to those laws under which you live, and to give at least common advice to your neighbors in matters of ordinary or common concernment; and so much of physic, especially of anatomy, as may make you know your own frame, and maintain and preserve your health by good diet, and those ordinary helps, a good herbal or garden may afford.

And although you should not addict yourselves professedly to any of these three callings, yet I would have you all acquainted with husbandry, planting and ordering of a country farm, which is the most innocent, and yet most necessary employment, and such as becomes the best gentleman in England; for it is a miserable thing to see a man master of an estate in lands, and yet not know how to manage it, but must either be at the mercy of tenants or servants, or otherwise he knows not how to live, being utterly a stranger to husbandry; and therefore must be beholden to a tenant or a servant for his subsistence, who many times knowing their own advantage, by the ignorance, carelessness or idledess of a master or landlord, set the dice upon him, and use him as they please. I have always observed, a country gentleman that hath a competent estate of lands in his hands, and lives upon it, stocks it himself, and understands it, and manages it in his own hands, lives more plentifully, breeds up his children more handsomely, and in a way of industry, is better loved in his country, and doth more good in it, than he that hath twice the revenue and lives upon his rents, or it may be in the city, whereby both himself, and family, and children, learn a life of idleness and expense, and many times of debauchery. And therefore if you can not settle your minds to any other profession, yet I would bave you be acquainted with the course of husbandry, and manage at least some considable part of your estate in your own hands. And this you may do without any disparagement, for the life of a husbandman is not unseemly for any of the cbildren of Adam or Noah, who began it; and although that employment requires attendance and industry, as well as knowledge and experience, yet it will afford a man competent time for such other studies and employments as may become a scholar or a gentleman, a good patriot or justice in his country.

Though all callings and employments carry with them a gratefulness and contenting variety much more than idleness and intemperance, or debauchery, yet in whatsoever calling you are settled, though that calling must be your principal business, and such as you must principally apply yourselves unto, yet I thought it always necessary to have some innocent diversions for leisure times; because it takes off the tediousness of business, and prevents a worse misspending of the time. I therefore commend to those gentlemen, of what profession soever, that they spend their spare and leisure hours in reading of his. tory or mathematics, in experimental philosophy, in searching out the kinds and natures of trees and plants, herbs, flowers, and other vegetables; nay, in observing of insects, in mathematical observations, in measuring land; nay, in the more cleanly exercise of smithery, watch-making, carpentry, joinery works of all sorts. These and the like innocent diversions give these advantages :1. They improve a man's knowledge and understanding; 2. They render him fit for many employments of use; 3. They take off the tediousness of one employment; 4. They prevent diversions of worse kinds, as going to taverns, or games, and the like; 5. They rob no time from your constant calling, but only spend with usefulness and delight that time that can be well spared.






818,—These Thoughts concerning Education, which now come abroad into the world, do of right belong to you, being written several years since for your sake, and are no other than what you have already by you in my letters. I have so little varied any thing, but only the order of what was sent you at different times, and on several occasions, that the reader will easily find, in the familiarity and fashion of the style, that they were rather the private conversation of two friends than a discourse designed for public view.

The importunity of friends is the common apology for publications men are afraid to own themselves forward to. But you know I can truly say, that if some who having heard of these papers of mine, had not pressed to see them, and afterward to have them printed, they had lain dormant still in that privacy they were designed for. But those whose judgment I defer much to, telling me, that they were persuaded, that this rough draught of mine might be of some use, if made more public, touched upon what will always be very prevalent with me. For I think it every man's indispensable duty, to do all the service he can to his country; and I see not what difference he puts between himself and his cattle, who lives without that thought. This subject is of so great concernment, and a right way of education is of so general advantage, that did I find my abilities answer my wishes, I should not have needed exhortations or importunities from others. However, the meanness of these papers, and my just distrust of them, shall not keep me, by the shame of doing so little, from contributing my mite, where there is no more required of me than my throwing it into the public receptacle. And if there be any more of their size and notions, who liked them so well that they thought them worth printing, I may flatter myself they will not be lost labor to every body.

I myself have been consulted of late by so many, who profess themselves at a loss how to breed their children, and the early corruption of youth is now become so general a complaint, that he can not be thought wholly impertinent who brings the consideration of this matter on the stage, and offers something, if it be but to excite others, or afford matter of correction. For errors in education should be less indulged than any; these, like faults in the first concoction, that are never mended in the second or third, carry their afterward-incorrigible taint with them through all the parts and stations of life.

I am so far from being conceited of any thing I have here offered, that I should not be sorry, even for your sake, if some one abler and fitter for such a task would, in a jnst treatise of education, suited to our English gentry, rectify the mistakes I have made in this; it being much more desi

that young gentlemen should be put into (that which every one ought to be solicitous about,) the best way of being formed and instructed, than that my opinion should be received concerning it. You will, however, in the meantime bear me witness, that the method here proposed has had no ordinary effects upon a gentleman's son it was not designed for. I will not say the good temper of the child did not very much contribute to it, but this I think you and the parents are satisfied of, that a contrary usage, according to the ordinary disciplining of children, would not bave mended that temper, nor have brought him to be in love with his book

to me,

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