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(which naturally dreaded the water) put me in mind how it sparkled amidst the rubbish of the mine where it was first discovered.
3. On the other hand, the pretty Quaker appeared in all the elegance of cleanliness. Not a speck was to be found on her. A clear, clean, oval face, just edged about with little thin plaits of the purest cambrick, received great advantages from the shade of her black hood: as did the whiteness of her arms from that sober-coloured stuff in which she had clothed herself. The plainness of her dress was very well suited to the simplicity of her phrases, all which put together, though they would not give me a great opinion of her religion, they did of her innocence.
4. This adventure occasioned my throwing together a few hints upon cleanliness, which I shall consider as one of the half virtues, as Aristotle calls them, and shall recommend it under the three following heads; As it is a mark of politeness; as it produceth love; and as it bears analogy to purity of mind.
5. First, it is a mark of politeness. It is universally agreed, upon, that no one, unadorned with this virtue, can go into company without giving a manifest offence. The easier or higher any one's fortune is, this duty rises proportionably. The different nations of the world are as much distinguished by their cleanliness, as by their arts and sciences. The more any country is civilized, the more they consult this part of politeness. We need but compare our ideas of a female Hottentot with an English beauty, to be satisfied with the truth of what hath been advanced.
6. In the next place, cleanliness may be said to be the fostermother of love. Beauty, indeed, most commonly produces that passion in the mind, but cleanliness preserves it. An indifferent face and person, kept in perpetual neatness, hath won many a heart from a pretty slattern. Age itself is not unamiable, while it is preserved clean and unsullied: like a piece of metal constantly kept smooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than on a new vessel that is cankered with rust.
7. I might .observe further, that as cleanliness renders us agreeable to others, so it makes us easy to ourselves; that it is an excellent preservative of health: and that several vices, destructive both to mind and body, are inconsistent with the habit of it. But these reflections I shall leave to the leisure of my readers, and shall observe in the third place, that it bears a great analogy to purity of mind, and naturally inspires refined sentiments and. passions.
8. We find, from experience, that through the prevalence of custom, the most vicious actions lose their horror, by being made familiar to us. On the contrary, those who live in the neighbourhood of good examples, fly from the first appearances of what is shocking. It fares with us much after the same manner as our ideas. Our senses, which are the inlets to all the images conveyed to the mind, can only transmit the impression of such things as usually surround them; so that pure and unsullied thoughts are naturally suggested to the mind, by the objects that perpetually encompass us, when they are beautiful and elegant in their kind.
9. In the east, where the warmth of the climate makes cleanliness more immediately necessary than in colder countries, it is made one part of their religion; the Jewish law (and the Mahometan, which in some things, copies after it) is filled with bathings, purifications, and other rites of the liké nature. Though there is the abovenamed convenient reason to be assigned for those ceremonies, the chief intention, undoubtedly, was to typify inward purity and cleanliness of heart by those outward washings.
10. We read several injunctions of this kind in the book of Deuteronomy, which confirm this truth, and which are but ill accounted for by saying, as some do, that they were only instituted for convenience in the desert, which otherways could not have been habitable for so many years.
11. I shall conclude this essay with a story which I have somewhere read in an account of Mahometan superstition. A dervise of great sanctity one morning had the misfortune, as he took up a chrystal cup, which was consecrated to the prophet to let it fall upon
the ground and dash it in pieces. His son coming in some time after, he stretched out his hand to bless him, as his manner was every morning; but the youth going out, stumbled over the threshold and broke his arm. As the old man wondered at these events, a caravan passed by in its way from Mecca. The dervise approached it to beg. a blessing; but as he stroked one of the holy camels, he received a kick from the beast, that sorely bruised him. His sorrow and ainazement increased upon him, till he recollected, that through hurry and inadvertency, he had that morning come abroad without washing his hands.
The Advantages of a good Education. 1. CONSIDER a human soul without education like marble
in the quarry, which shews none of its inherent beauties, until the skill of the polisher fetches out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot and vein, that runs through the body of it. Education, after the same manner,
when it works upon a noble mind, draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection, which without such helps, are never able to make their appearance.
2. If my reader will give me leave to change the allusion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same instance to illostrate the force of education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his doctrine of substantial forms, when he tells us that a statue lies hid in a block of marble; and that the art of the statuary only clears away the superfluous matter, and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the stone, the sculpture only finds it. What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to an human soul.
3. The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might have disinterred, and have brought to light. I am therefore much delighted with reading the accounts of savage nations, and with contemplating those virtues which are wild and uncultivated; to see courage exerting itself in fierceness, resolution in obstinacy, wisdom in cunning, patience in sullenness and despair.
4. Men’s passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of actions, according as they are more or less rectified or swayed by reason. When one hears of negroes, who upon
the death of their masters, or upon changing their service, hang them selves upon the next tree, as it frequently happens in our American plantations, who can forbear admiring their fidelity, though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner?
5. What might not that savage greatness of soul which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated ? And what colour of excuse can there be for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species ? that we should not put them upon the common footing of humanity; that we should only set an insignificant fine upon the man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospect of happiness in another world, as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper means for attaining it.
6. It is therefore an unspeakable blessing to be born in those parts of the world where wisdom and knowledge flourish, though it must be confessed there are, even in these parts, seveuninstructed persons,
who are but little above the inhabitants of those nations of which I have been here speaking ; as those who have had the advantages of a more liberal education, rise above one another by several different degrees of perfection.
7. For, to return to our statue in the block of marble, we see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes rough hewn, and but just sketched into an human figure ; sometimes we see the man appearing distinctly in all his limbs and features, sometimes we find the figure wrought up to a great elegancy, but seldom meet with any to which the hand of a Phidias or Praxitelus could not give several nice touches and finishings.
The Disadvantages of a bad Education.
only son, born to the apparent prospect of a large forfune, and allotted to my parents at that time of life when satiety of common diversions allows the mind to indulge parental affection with great intenseness. My birth was celebrated by the tenants with feasts, and dances and bagpipes ; congratulations were sent froin every family within ten miles round; and my parents discovered in my first cries such tokens of future virtue and understanding, that they declared themselves determined to devote the remaining part of their life to my happiness and the increase of their estate.
2. The abilities of my father and mother were not perceptibly anequal, and education had given neither much advantages over the other. They had both kept good company, rattled in chariots, glittered in play-houses, and danced court, and were both expert in the games that were in their times called ir as auxiliaries against the intrusions of thought.
3. When there is such a parity between two persons associated for life, the dejection which the husband, if he be not completely stupid, must always suffer for want of superiority, sinks him to submissiveness. My mamma therefore governed the family without control; and except that my father still retained some authority in the stables and now and then, after a supernumerary bottle, broke a looking-glass, or china-dish, to prove his sovereignty, the whole course of the year was regulated by her direction, the servants received from her all their orders, and the tenants were continued or dismissed at her discretion.
4. She therefore thought herself entitled to the superintendance of her son's education; and when my father, at the instigation of the parson, faintly proposed that I should be sent to school, very positively told him that she would not suffer so fine a child to be ruined: that she never knew any boys at a grammar-school who could come into a room without blushing, or set at a table without some aukward uneasiness; that they were always putting themselves into danger by boisterous plays, or vitiating their behaviour with mean company; and that for her "part she would rather follow me to the grave than see me tear my clothes and hang down my head, and sneak about with dirty shoes and blotted fingers, my hair unpowdered, and my hat upcocked.
5. My father, who had no other end in his proposal than to appear wise and manly, soon acquiesced, since I was not to live by my learning; for indeed he had known very few students that had not some stiffness in their manner. They therefore agreed that a domestic tutor should be procured, and hired an honest gentleman of mean conversation and narrow sentiments, but who having passed the common forms of literary education, they im. plicitly concluded qualified to teach all that was to be learned from a scholar. He thought himself sufficiently exalted by being placed at the same talle with his pupil, and no other view that to perpetuate his felicity by, the utmost flexibility of submis. sion to all my mother's opinions and caprices. He frequently took away my book, lest I should mope with too much application, charged me never to write without turning up my rufflesi and generally brushed my coat before he dismissed me into the parlour.
6. He had no occasion to complain of too burdensome an employment; for my mother very judiciously considered that I was not likely to grow polite in his company, and suffered me not to pass any more time in his apartment than my lesson required. When I was suinmoned to my task, she enjoined me not to get any of my tutor's ways, who was seldom mentioned before me but for practices to be avoided. I was every moment admonished not to lean on my chair, cross my legs, or swing my hands like my tutor; and once my mother very seriously deliberated upon
his total dismission, because I began, said she, to learn his manner of sticking on my hat, and had his bend in ray shoulders, and his totter in my gait.
7. Sucha however, was her care that I escaped all these de pravities, and when I was only twelve years old, had rid myself of every appearance of childish diffidence. I was celebrated round the country for the petulence of my remarks, and the quickness of my replies; and many a scholar five years older than myself, have I dashed into confusion by the steadiness of my countenance, silenced by my readiness of repartee, and tortured with envy by the address with which I picked up a fan, presented a snuff-box, or receiving an empty tea-cup.
8. At fourteen I was completely skilled in all the niceties of dress, and I could not only enumerate all the variety of silks, and distinguish the products of a French loom but dart my eye through a numerous company, and observe every deviation from the reigning mode. I was universally skilled in all the changes of expensive finery; but as every one, they say, has something to which he is particularly born, was eminently known in Brussels lace.
9. The next year saw me advanced to the trust and power of adjusting the ceremonial of an assembly. All received their partners from my hand, and to me every stranger applied for introduction. My heart now disdains the instructions of a tutor, who was rewarded with a small annuity for life, and left me quai) fied in my own opinion, to govem myself.