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cies by an honest and ufeful employment.
It is told, that in the art of education he performed wonders; and a for. midable lift is given of the authors, Greek and Latin, that were read in Aldersgate-ftreet, by youth between ten and fifteen or fixteen years of age. Those who tell or receive these stories, should consider that nobody can be taught fafter than he can learn. The speed of the best horseman must be limited by the power of his horse. Every man, that has ever undertaken to instruct others, can tell what flow advances he: has been able to make, and how much patience it requires to recall vagrant. inattention, to stimulate Quggish indif
ference, and to rectify absurd misapprehension.
The purpose of Milton, as it seems, was to teach something more solid than the common literature of schools, by reading those authors that treat of phy-• fical subjects; such as the Georgick, and astronomical treatises of the ancients. This was a scheme of improvement which seems to have bufied many literary projectors of that age. Cowley, who had more means than Milton of knowing what was wanting to the embellishments of life, formed the same plan of education in his imaginary College.
But the truth is, that the knowledge of external nature, and of the sciences
which that knowledge requires or includes, is not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, .the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and justice are virtues, and excellencies, of all times, and of all places; we are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our fpeculations upon inatter are voluntary, and at leisure. Physical knowledge is of such rare emergence, that one man may know another half his life without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostaticks or astronomy; but his moral and prudential character immediately appears. · Those authors, therefore, are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence, most principles of moral truth, and most materials for conversation; and these purposes are best served "by poets, orators, and historians. - Let me not be censured for this digression as pedantick or paradoxical; for if I have Milton against me, I have Socrates on my fide. It was his labour to turn philosophy from the study of nature to speculations upon life, but the
innovators whom I oppose are turning off attention from life to nature. They seem to think, that we are placed here to watch the growth of plants, or the motions of the stars. Socrates was rather of opinion, that what we had to learn was, how to do good, and avoid evil. *O172 7ci iy puzycégoiol yaxóf diqc5657€ téruxifres.
Of inftitutions we may judge by their effects. From this wonder-working academy, I do not know that there ever proceeded any man very eminent for knowledge: its only genuine product, I believe, is a small History of Poetry, written in Latin by his nephew, of which perhaps none of my readers has ever heard.