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regions of philosophy and science, which it is in our power to confer. which a Bacon and a Newton took, These qualities are not the offspring is a question scarcely worth the of civilization ; they are charactrouble of debating. A thousand teristic of the sex, and proudly instances have already been pro- distinguish it in every quarter of duced, by various writers, to dis. the globe. This is that excelling prove the mental inferiority of fe- beauty which nature gives to womales, and it is universally acknow. man, in ample recompence for infeledged, that their minds are capa- rior deprivation ; this is that beauble of infinitely higher cultivation ty which indeed turns the edge of than it has usually been their lot to the sword, and makes the spear fall receive.
pointless. Every traveller through But whatever we say of their inhospitable wilds and pathless de. rank in the scale of mere intellect, sarts confirms the grateful testimony surely there can be no doubt of their of Ledyard to the compassion, and pre-eminence above man in their sympathy, and tenderness of woman, moral feelings and affections, and in and authorizes us to estimate the the vigour, courage, and fortitude degree of civilization, in any counarising out of these, which is the try, by the degree of respect and true test, and genuine essence of and kindness which the female sex merit. The thousand instances of receives. their heroic conduct during the French revolution, have settled this fact for ever. No personal danger could for one instant deter them For the Literary Magazine. from seeking, in the foulest dungeons, the father or the child, the ON CLASSICAL LEARNING. husband or the lover. Months after months have they been known I AM sorry to find that sensible to secrete from revolutionary ven- and well meaning persons of both geance, some object of their affece sexes have been influenced by the tion, when the discovery of the arguments or the authority of Mr. concealment would have been inevi. Godwin. I say of Godwin, for I table and immediate death. Were have not seen the same sentiments a friend arrested, their ingenuity in any other writer. He advises never relaxed a moment in contri. parents to give their sons a classical vances for his escape ; were he na- education, because, says he, “ they ked, they clothed him; were he can never certainly foresee the fuhungry, they fed him; were he ture destination and propensities of sick, they visited him ; and, when their children." This argument is all efforts were unavailing for his very weak and inconclusive. deliverance, often did they infuse He might better recommend the into his sinking soul their own cour languages of Italy, France, and Gerage to meet death with fortitude, many, because their sons may posand even with cheerfulness.
sibly visit those countries. What In infancy they nourish us; in humane and prudent parents would old age they cherish and console require their sons to pore over us; and, on the bed of sickness, the Greek and Latin, during six or seexquisite delicacy of their atten- ven of the best years of their lives, tions, the watchings they will un- without any specific object in view ? dergo without a murmur, the fret. In the English grammar schools, ting querulousness they will bear boys generally study Latin and with complacency, the offensive, the Greek seven or ten years, before nauscous offices which they are at they can be admitted into college. all times ready to perform, demand If a boy be intended for trade or from us more than every return of business, a classical education will attachment, kindness, and gratitude, be injurious to him. It is a common observation in England, that men, in such vain pursuits. Formerly, it who have been educated at the uni- was considered an accomplishment versity, seldom make as active, ex- to be able to repeat a sentiment in pert, and successful merchants or Greek or Latin, even in the comtradesmen as those who have served pany of ladie: ; but now such pean early apprenticeship, and have dantic nonsense is banished from the been regularly bred to business. In conversation of polite society. stances of this nature have occurred The following anecdote of Dr. in our own country. Habits of in- Priestley is authentic, and can be dolence, or of studious industry, are confirmed by the testimony of living formed at college, which are inimi. witnesses: cal to the mechanical processes of In March, 1802, an acquaintance trade, and to the activity and bustle of Dr. Priestley offered to lend him of a man of business. If young men, some recent poetical translations of of a liberal education, have a pro- certain Greek and Roman poets. pensity for science or literature, The doctor declined the offer, and they often neglect their necessary replied, that a man of his age ought business to gratify their taste for to be better employed than in readlearning. The dull uniformity and · ing translations of Greek and Roconfinement of a shop or accounting man poets. Struck with the singu. room, are irksome to men of genius larity of this answer, by a man who and studious minds.
was conversant with the writings of Mr. Locke, who was well ac- the ancients and moderns, his friend quainted with the Greek and Roman then asked him, whether he thought languages, and able to appreciate the time and labour usually employ. their value and utility, opposes Mr. ed in learning Greek and Latin Godwin's opinions. " Children,” were compensated by any advansays he, 6 are made to spend their tages to be derived from the knowprecious time uneasily in Latin, who, ledge of those languages? The docafter they are once gone from tor answered, no, and the conversaschools, are never to have more to tion ended. do with it, as long as they live. Can The relation of this anecdote there be any thing more ridiculous brings to my recollection an intethan that a father should waste his resting anecdote of that prince of own money, and his son's time, in classical scholars, the celebrated M. setting him to learn the Roman Brunck, editor of Aristophanes, Solanguage, when, at the same time, phocles, Anacreon, Virgil, Plautus, he designs him for a trade, wherein Terence, and various other Greek he, having no use of Latin, fails not and Latin classics, who died at not to forget that little which he Strasburgh, June 12, 1803. See his brought from school, and which it is Life, by J. G. Schweighauser. ten to one he abhors for the ill usage “ Long before the termination of it procured him?"
his career, while in the full posses. We shall find, upon enquiry, that sion of his mental and and corporeal Mr. Locke's observations are strictly energies, Mr. Brunck could not entrue. How few can read a page of dure to hear a word spoken concer. Latin, after they have been absent ning Greek. He took no interest from college two or three years! in the discovery of a manuscript of
engaged in trade or business, find ny of his boldest conjectures. My the superficial knowledge of Latin father could never induce him to and Greek, which they acquired at read a very beautiful eulogy, comschool, entirely useless, and there- posed for him by a German profes. fore take no pains to retain it. sor, at a time when a false report of They regret the loss of the time and his death had been propagated in money which they have expended Germany. I read nothing but trávels, said he to me, to prepare my. nounce hard words better when they self for that journey which I shall meet them in English ; whereas this doubtless soon undertake.”
skill of spelling might be attained in These anecdotes prove the low a far shorter tiine, and at an easier estimation in which those two great rate, by other methods, and much of men held classical learning. And, life might be saved and improved to in fact, we find that men, who better purposes. It is a thing of far have mispent much time in study of greater value and importance that the profane and fabulous writings of youth should be perfectly well skill. the ancients, generally lament the ed in reading, writing, and speaking irreparable loss which they have their native tongue in a proper, a sustained.
polite, and graceful manner, than in Dr. Lowth, late bishop of London, toiling among foreign languages. It was better acquainted with the He- is of more worth and advantage to brew, Greek, Latin, and English gentlemen and ladies to have an ex. languages than most men of the age. act knowledge of what is decent, He wrote an English Grammar for just, and elegant in English, than to the use of his countrymen, and ad- be a critic in foreign tongues ; and, vises all persons concerned in the in order to obtain this accomplisheducation of youth, to make a gram- ment, they should frequently conmatical knowledge of their maternal verse with those persons and books language the basis of the study of which are esteemed polite and ele. foreign languages.
gant in their kind. Even tradesmen “A competent grammatical know- and the actors in common life should, ledge of our own language," says he, in my opinion, in their younger 6 is the true foundation upon which years, learn geography and astronoall literature, properly so called, my, instead of vainly wearing out should be raised. If this method seven years of drudgery in Greek were adopted in our schools, chilo and Latin." - Watts on the Mind. dren would have some notion of what If the authority of men who have they were going about, when they distinguished themselves by the useshould enter into the Latin Gram- fulness of their lives and writings mar, and would hardly be engaged can have any influence in counterso many years as they now are, in acting and exploding old prejudices, that most irksome and difficult part the inefficacy of a classical educaof literature, with so much labour of tion must be manifest. Most of the the memory, and with so little as- advantages which the advocates for sistance of the understanding." the languages and learning of the
Lowth produces numerous instan- ancients propose exist only in their ces, from the best English writers, own imaginations, or perhaps in old to prove that the knowledge of La- books written soon after the revival tin and Greek does not enable a of literature, and in the infancy of man to write his own language. modern learning and civilization.
“ It has been the custom of our pation, for persons of the middle and lower ranks of life, who design their children for trades and manufac For the Literary Ma gazinc. tures, to send them to the Latin and Greek schools. There they wear THE PRAISE OF PHILOSOPHY. out four or five years of time in learning a number of strange words, WHICH intellectual pursuit, athat will be of very little use to them mong the endless circle of intellecin all the following affairs of their tual pursuits, is most worthy of a station. When they leave the school, wise man's regard, is a question they usually forget what they have which can never be practically delearned, and the chief advantage cided: no reasoning on this topic can they gain by it is to spell and pro- have any influence on the conduct of mankind. Even when we under faith. If, by the efforts of unaided take this grave discussion ourselves, philosophy, from a people thus dewith a view to the regulation of our based, could be raised a Socrates, an own judgment, our discussion is ei. Epictetus, an Antoninus, what hother entirely warped and guided by nours are not due to it? our previous inclination, or, if our Nor have its services to mankind judgment should chance to pronounce in latter ages been much less cona verdict contrary to that of our in- spicuous; for not to insist on the clination, it will be but a barren, great advancements in arts and nugatory, inefficient sentence. science which have originated from
There is still, however, some ad natural philosophy, what man of vantage in hearing what can be said enlarged ideas will deny that the on such a subject, and a dispassion- science of the human mind, of law, ate mind may learn candour and of commerce, of government, of mocharity, at least, from observing that rals, and, I will add, of religion, the science he has been accustomed have greatly contributed to any su. to despise and neglect is not wholly periority this age may claim over without recommendation
former periods. If philosophy, thus That study which will find the employed, have occasioned some greatest number of advocates and evils, a more correct and diligent votaries may be distinguished by the use of the same will remove them. name of science. To resolve things If erroneous conclusions have been into their first principles is the no- drawn from a partial or premature blest employment of the mind, and induction of facts, they will be recthat which alone confers a title to tified by a future and more extensive real wisdom. Without it, the expe- induction. rience of a long life may only serve One of the most material circumto accumulate a confused mass of stances on which the relative value opinion, partly true, partly false, and of an object of study depends is, that leading to no certain conclusions. - it be something real, stable, of geneThe want of a scientific mind makes ral import, and not indebted for its many men of business mere plod. consequence to temporary and conders, and many men of reading, and ventional modes of thinking. In even of observation, mere retailers this respect nature has greatly the of vague, unconnected notions. Or. advantage over art. Whatever is der, precision, concatenation, analy- learned concerning her is an eternal sis are all the results of science, yet truth, which will preserve its relaeven this word has sometimes been tion to other things as long as the the subject of obloquy. It has been world endures. The motions of the Branded with the epithet of impious heavenly bodies, the influence of the by the bigot; of arrogant by the elements, the properties of minerals, cautious; and of visionary by the vegetables, and animals, speak a dull. It has drawn down the anar common language to all mankind in themas of the serious, and the ridi- all ages, and afford a perpetual fund cule of the light.
of use and entertainment. The A very common topic of railing more wide and comprehensive is against science or philosophy, is the the survey taken of these objects, extravagant and contradictory opin- the more they enlarge the mind, and ions held by the ancient philoso. establish a basis for truths of uniphers. But with whom ought they versal application. Hence the ad. to be compared ? Not with those vantage of studying them in a conwho have been enlightened by die nected and systematic mode, and rect revelation, but with the vulgar framing general propositions con. and bigoted of their own times, who cerning them. But the foundation implicitly received all the absur. for these must be a very accurate dities which fraud and superstition investigation of particular facts, had foisted into their systems of since the instant their guidanc: is
VOL. III. NO. XIX.
quitted, and reliance is placed upon The latest intelligence from thence analogical deductions, error com- (within the last six weeks) affords mences. Observation and experi. us the following particulars of the ment must therefore go hand in state of some great designs, at the hand with reasoning ; nor was there close of the last year. ever a true philosopher who did not The outward-bound West India unite these processes. No employ- dock is excavating, and will, it is ment of the human faculties is no- expected, in the course of this year, bler than thus taking the scale of be ready for ships to load in it. creation, detecting all its mutual The London dock in Wapping, connexions and dependencies, inves- for the accommodation of shipping tigating the laws by which it is go- from all parts, the East and West verned as a whole, and the economy Indies excepted, was opened in Jaof its constituent parts,and alternate- nuary. The completion of the ly making use of the sagacity of the wharf, warehouses, and entrance, senses in minute inspection, and the did not keep pace with that of the powers of intellect in comparing and dock. abstracting. The studies which are The East India dock at Blackwall comprehended under the term phy- is excavating with all possible dissics, take the lead of all mental patch ; the steam engine house and pursuits, with respect to extent, va apparatus is erected, and every imriety, and dignity. I include among pediment in the way of the contracthem the study of one of the noblest tor is now removed. The utmost objects nature presents, and certain- exertion will be used to have it ly the most interesting to a human ready to receive shipping by Christcreature, that of man himself. To mas next. The Brunswick dock, ascertain what he essentially is, late Messrs. Perry and Wells's, is what are the faculties of body and purchased by the company, for the mind which characterize him as the East India shipping outward bound. head of the animal creation and what It is to be deepened and extended. are the variations induced in him The following are the dimensions by education, habit, climate, and of those different stupendous works: mode of life, is strictly a branch of West India dock, for unloading, physics, and has by the best wri. 2,600 feet long, 510 teet wide, or 30 ters been treated as such.
acres. Ditto, for loading, 2,600 feet Though nature thus studied is the long, 400 feet wide, or 24 acres.noblest of all subjects that can oc- Western entrance bason, six acres. cupy the mind, I am far from affix. Eastern entrance bason, two acres. ing the same proportionate value to London dock, for unloading, 1,262 investigations of the detached parts feet long, 690 feet wide, or 20 of the works of nature. In these acres. Ditto, for loading, not set. all the grandeur of large and con- tled. Two basons, not settled. nected views is frequently lost, and East India dock, for unloading, the whole attention is employed on 1,410 feet long, 560 feet wide, or 18 petty details, which lead to nothing acres. Ditto, for loading, not set. further.
tled. One entrance bason, 2 acres.
The commercial road, an appen
dage to the docks, is three miles For the Literary Magazine. long exactly, from the Royal Ex
change to the entrance gate of the ENGLISH PUBLIC WORKS. West India dock wall. It is to be
paved, and will be most completely THE great public works carrying and substantially finished next sumon in Great Britain are striking mer. The traffic on it, in the mean proofs of the national prosperity, while, is not in the least impeded. notwithstanding the evils of military The tolls taken weekly are from 80 preparation, and excessive taxation. to 1001., and will be increased when