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is a more stubborn as well as a more dangerous fault than sheepishness, he is altogether for a private education; and the more so, because he does not see why a youth, with right management, might not attain the same assurance in his father's house as at a public school. To this end, he advises parents to accustom their sons to whatever strange faces come to the house ; to take them with them when they visit their neighbours, and to engage them in conversation with men of parts and breeding.
' It may be objected to this method, that conversation is not the only thing necessary; but that, unless it be a conversation with such as are in some measure their equals in parts and years, there can be no room for emulation, contention, and several of the most lively passions of the mind; which, without being sometimes moved by these means, may possibly contract a dulness and insensibility.
• One of the greatest writers our nation ever produced observes, That a boy who forms parties, and makes himself popular in a school or a college, would act the same part with equal ease in a senate or a privy-council; and Mr. Osborne, speaking like a man versed in the ways of the world, affirms that the well laying and carrying on of a design to rob an orchard trains up a youth insensibly to caution, secresy, and circumspection, and fits him for matters of greater importance.
• In short, a private education seems the most natural method for the forming of a virtuous man; a public education for making a inan of business. The first would furnish out a good subject for Plato's republic, the latter a member for a community overrun with artifice and corruption,
It must however be confessed, that a person at the head of a public school has sometimes so many boys under his direction, that it is impossible he should extend a due proportion of his care to each of them. This is, however, in reality, the fault of the age, in which we often see twenty parents, who, though each expects his son should be made a scholar, are not contented all together to make it worth while for any man of liberal education to take upon him the care of their instruction.
• In our great schools, indeed, this fault has been of kate years rectified, so that we have at present not only ingenious men for the chief masters, but such as have proper ushers and assistants under them. I must nevertheless own, that, for want of the same encouragement in the country, we have many a promising genius spoiled and abused in those little seminaries.
“I am the more inclined to this opinion, having myself experienced the usage of two rural masters, each of them very unfit for the trust they took upon thein to discharge. The first imposed much more pon me than my parts, though none of the weakest, could endure; and used me barbarously for not performing impossibilities. The latter was of quite another temper; and a boy who would run upon his errands, wash his coffee-pot, or ring the bell, might have as little conversation with any of the classics as he thought fit. I have known a lad at this place excused his exercise for assisting the cook-mail; and remember a neighbouring gentleman's son was among us fave years, most of which time he employed in airing and watering our master's gray pad. I
Scorned to compound for my faults by doing any of these elegant offices, and was accordingly the best scholar and the worst used of any boy in the school.
"I shall conclude this discourse with an advantage mentioned by Quintilian, as accompanying a public way of education, which I have not yet taken notice of; namely, that we very often contract such friendships at school, as are a service to us all the following parts of our lives.
' I shall give you, under this head, a story very well known to several persons, and which you may depend upon as real truth.
Every one who is acquainted with Westminster school knows that there is a curtain which used to be drawn across the room, to separate the upper school from the lower. A youth happened, by some mischance, to tear the abovementioned curtain. The severity of the master was too well known for the criminal to expect any pardon for such a fault ; so that the boy, who was of a meek temper, was terrified to death at the thoughts of his appearance; when his friend who sat nexť to him bade him be of good cheer, for that he would take the fault on himself. He kept his word accordingly. As soon as they were grown up to be men, the civil war broke out, in which our two friends took the opposite sides; one of them followed the parliament, the other the royal party.
As their tempers were different, the youth who had torn the curtain endeavoured to raise himself on the civil list, and the other, who had borne the blame of it, on the military. The first succeeded so well, that he was in a short time made a judge under the protector. The other was engaged in the unhappy
enterprise of Penruddock and Grove, in the west. I suppose, sir, I need not acquaint you with the event of that undertaking. Every one knows that the royal party was routed, and all the heads of them, among whom was the curtain champion, imprisoned at Exeter. It happened to be his friend's lot, at that time, to go the western circuit. The trial of the rebels, as they were then called, was very short, and nothing now remained but to pass sentence on them; when the judge hearing the name of his old friend, and observing his face more attentively, which he had not seen for many years, asked him, if he was not formerly à Westminster-scholar. By the answer he was soon convinced that it was his former generous friend; and, without saying any thing more at that time, made the best of his way to London, where employing all his power and interest with the protector, he saved his friend from the fate of his unhappy associates.
The gentleman, whose life was thus preserved by the gratitude of his school-fellow, was afterwards the father of a son, whom he lived to see promoted in the church, and who still deservedly fills one of the highest stations in it *'
The cit's JOURNAL. No. 317.
AUGUSTUS, a few moments before his death, asked his friends, who stood about him, if they
* The gentleman here alluded to was colonel Wake, father to doctor Wake, bishop of Lincoln, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury,
thought thought he had acted his part well ; and upon receive ing such an answer as was due to his extraordinary merit, ' Let me then,' says he, ‘go off the stage with your applause;' using the expression with which the Roman actors made their exit at the conclusion of a dramatic piece. I could wish that men, while they are in health, would consider - well the nature of the part they are engaged in, and what figure it will make in the minds of those they leave behind them : whether it was worth coming into the world for; whether it be suitable to a reasonable being ; in short, whether it appears graceful in this life, or will turn to an ad vantage in the next. Let the sycophant, or buffoon, the satirist, or the good companion, consider with himself, when his body shall be laid in the grave, and his soul pass into another state of existence, how much it would redound to his praise to have it said of him, that no man in England ate better, that he had an admirable talent at turning his friends into ridicule, that nobody outdid him at an ill-natured jest, or that he never went to bed before he had dispatched his third bottle. These are, however, very common fus neral orations, and eulogiums on deceased persons who have acted among mankind with some figure and reputation.
But if we look into the bulk of our species, they are such as are not likely to be remembered a moment after their disappearance. They leave behind them no traces of their existence, but are forgotten as though they had never been. They are neither wanted by the poor, regretted by the rich, nor celebrated by the learned. They are neither missed in the commonwealth, nor lamented by private persons. Their actions are of no significancy to mankind, and might have been per