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them with much pleasure, and with perfect safety to their
persons. “ Could I prevail so far as to be honoured with the protection of some few of them, for I am not hero enough to rescue many, my design is to retire with them to an agreeable solitude, though within the neighbourhood of a city, for the convenience of their being instructed in music, dancing, drawing, designing, or any other such accomplishments, which it is conceived may make as proper diversions for them, and almost as pleasant, as the little sordid games which dirty school-boys are so much delighted
with. It may easily be imagined, how such a pretty society, conversing with none beneath themselves, and sometimes admitted, as perhaps not unentertaining parties, amongst better company, commended and caressed for their little performances, and turned by such conversations to a certain gallantry of soul, might be brought early acquainted with some of the most polite Ènglish writers. Thus, having given them some tolerable tastes of books, they would make themselves masters of the Latin tongue by methods far easier than those in Lilly, with as little difficulty or reluctance as young
ladies learn to speak French, or to sing Italian
operas. When they had advanced thus far, it would be time to form their taste something more exactly. One that had any true relish of fine writing, might with great pleasure both to himself and them, run over together with them, the best Roman historians, poets, and orators, and point out their more remarkable beauties ; give them a short scheme of chronology,a little view of geography, medals, astronomy, or what else might best feed the busy, inquisitive, humour so natural to that age. Such of them as had the least spark of genius, when it was once awakened by the shining thoughts and great sentiments of those admired writers, could not
I believe, be easily withheld from attempting that more difficult sister language, whose exalted beauties they would have heard so often celebrated as the pride. and wonder of the whole learned world. In the mean while, it would be requisite to exercise their style in writing any light pieces that ask more of fancy than of judgement; and that frequently in their native language, which every one, methinks, should be most concerned to cultivate, especially letters, in which a gentleman must have so frequent occasions to distinguish himself. A set of genteel good-natured youths, fallen into such a manner of life, would form almost a little academy, and doubtless prove no such contemptible companions, as might not often tempt a wiser man to mingle himself in their diversions, and draw them into such serious sports as might prove nothing less instructing than the gravest lessons.
I doubt not but it might be made some of their favourite plays, to contend which of them should recite a beautiful part of a poem or oration most gracefully, or sometimes to join in acting a scene of Terence, Sophocles, or our own Shakspeare. The cause of Milo might again be pleaded before more favourable judges, Cæsar a second time be taught to tremble, and another race of Athenians be afresh enraged at the ambition of another Philip. Amidst these noble amusements, we could hope to see the early dawnings of their 'imagination daily brighten intó sense, their innocence improve into virtue, and their unexperienced good-nature directed to a generous love of their country.
“ I am,” &c. T
END OF VOL. VII.
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