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that it is to me, and may be to others (when once rightly understood) a spurre to hasten towards such an engagement or conjunction: When it is considered that the invention is yet our own, entirely; and consequently the most just and ready way to wealth and all that outward honor and happiness (that accompanies riches well gotten) is open to us and to us principally; we having the opportunity (while we prepare for, and open the door to so great a Publique Good,) to christen our own childe first, (as they say) which also is most lawful and appointed, that the ox that treadeth out the fodder, shall not be muzled. Which of all those (almost infinite) wayes or means, by which man hath been made instrumental to the increase of his own well-being, was not in one age or other, as New as this Invention of mine doth seem to be in this ? Ceartainly it is not the Newnesse, but the Vanity or Invalidity of any Invention, that layes it open to the dislike of the more wise and noble persons: or if the newnesse of an invention can any way render it fit to be. Suspected, it is onely in such as being altogether new, seem also to disagree with natural reason, and treado quite beside the path of experience; of this kinde it would be, if a man should pretend to make bread of stones; but to say, that I can make more or better bread of the same wheate, will appear impossible to none but inconsiderate persons. And the thing which I hold forth is nothing else, but to screw the most profound mystery of good Husbandry a note or two Higher; but to do the same thing by a better way, and to more advantage.
To the third and last, before I answer I will so farre digresse, as to enquire, what is or can be here meant by security? If it be required in the most high and strict sence, 'tis vaine and impossible to be had in humane affaires, and is not to be bad or hoped for in this world, where the moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: this is only to be bad in Heaven; and can be no way procured on earth; but by laying up the treasures of good workes: therefore he that will put forth his money upon good security indeed, must vent it in the wayes of Charity and Piety, as relating to God's glory and his soules eternal happinesse; at least in a way of bounty and noblenesse for the Publique good of his neighbour and native countrye, as relating to his good fame after death. But if by security be meant something more moderate and ingenuous, onely a providential care to defend a man's selfe from being abused; 80 farre as such prosecutions are just, and agreeable to good reason, and the nature of the thing in question. I allow; and approve of it altogether; but not when it rather proceeds from forwardnesses base and groundlesse suspition, and a naturall aversness and enmity to all good. Thus when a man lends to another Politically as a meer man, be requires bills, bonds, morgages, or the like. But if he gives he doth not so, neither if he lend to the poor, or to persons so just, that he esteems their word sufficient. I suppose there are very many in London, that do frequently take up great sums without giving any formal security; nay that would take it for a great affront to have such a thing required of them; and yet surely it is no absolute miracle to see such a one break: why then are men so easie in that, and so difficult in this ? or is it for the Mutual advance of Trade? Why, that very argument serves here too; unlesse they be resolved to advance no trade but their own. And even that also comes in here; for what trade can more advance the Engagers Privale, then that which is faithfully driven on for the properity of him and his posterity? or what can more magnify a great and populous city, then to stand in the midst of a fertile soile, that affords ber plenty and abundance of all good things, which is already the happinesse of London? and this happinesse shall by this meanes, by God's blessing given unto and upon this means, be continually encreased.
Again, it is rationall when men lend money for little or no advantage to themselves, but onely to do their friend a courtesie, it is but reasonable, that they should by all good meaneg secure the repayment of their principall. But when men put forth their moneys in hope of great advantage, they must, and do usually forbear to stand upon such precise security; rightly considering, that God's providence is (as the best inheritance, so also) the best security that can be named, and will not faile to returne with a blessing any thing that shall be thereto intrusted faithfully. Thus, what other security (more then rational probabilities) hath the souldier; that ventures his life, limbs, liberty and all, and this without any other security than a good conscience (or a good confidence at least) in life or death; resting in that successe the Lord of Hoasts shall please to appoint.
Thus the merchant puts (if not always himselfe: yet) his estate into a weak wooden vessel: and commits it to the mercy of the winds and waves, having set up his rest in the goodnesse of that God that parted the Red-Sea by his power. Thus, the mineralist layes out much money in sincking his pits and quarries, onely in hope to finde that richer veine he conceives to be there. Thus the patient commits his life, health and case, (under God) into the physitians hands, as relying on his care and skill. I say, that all these, and many more, even all men in almost all humane actions, runne some kind of hazard; and more or lesse do and must depend upon God's mercy and Man's integrity, without any other outward formal security. Thus also do I propound (and that upon probabilities as certain and rational (if not more as any of these) that we may agree, engage, and sowe in hope; that that God that never suffers hope (rightly placed) to be frustrate; may make us return and bear our sheafes with us, may make our valleys stand so thick with corne, that they shall laugh and sing. Which that it may be thus, shall alwayes be the faithfull desire and earnest prayer of, Sir,
Your most obliged, faithfull, and humbly
thankfull friend and Servant.
SIR, -By what is above said, and by many other very evident reasons, it is or may be proved, that in such a case as this, it is not much rational to demand any other security than the Propounders own obligation for performance of covenants. Yet that all men may know, that my intentions are fair and just, and my aimes not simply at my own private profit; but that I, also much more desire the prosperity of my nation, and of all persons that shall joyne with me, I offer and am content, that if the subscribers and consequently engagers shall think fit to meet, and amongst themselves chuse three such as I shall also like of, I will endeavor to give them (in the behalf, and as the Trustees of and for all the rest,) some more plain and satisfactory security, which is impossible to be done, to every particular person, that shall perhaps underwrite and engage onely 25. pound, or some such sum.
PLAN OF A TRADE OR INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.
THE ADVICE OF W. P. TO MR. SAMUEL HARTLIB," FOR THE
LONDON, PRINTED, A. D. 1647.
In the “ Epistle dedicatory to his honored friend Master Samuel Hartlib,” W. P. (afterwards Sir William Petty,) the founder of the Lansdowne family, says
“I have had many flying thoughts, concerning the advancement of reall learning in generall, but particularly of the education of youth, Mathematicks, Mechanicks, Physicks, and concerning the History of Art and Nature, with some more serious oues concerning your owne most excellent advices for an Office of Public Addresse.* And indeed they were but flying thoughts, for seeing what vast summes were requisite to carry on those designes, and how unwilling or unable men generally were to contribute towards them, I thought it but labour lost to fix my mind much upon them.”
The “ Advice,” begins as follows :
"To give an exact definition or nice division of Learning, or of the advancement thereof, we shall not undertake it being already so accurately done by the great Lord Verulam.) Intending only to shew where our owne shoe pincheth us, or to point at some pieces of knowledge, the improvement whereof, (as we at least conceive) would make much to the generall good and comfort of all mankind, and withall to deliver our owne opinion by what meanes they may be raised some one degree neerer to perfection.
But before we can meddle with this great work, we must first think of getting labourers, by appointing some generall rendevouz where all men either able or willing to take up armes against the many difficulties thereof, may finde entertainment.
That is to say, we must recommend the Institution of an Office of coinmon Addresse, according to the projection of Master Hartlib, (that painfull and great instrument of this designe) whereby the wants and desires of all may bee made knowne unto all, where men may know what is already done in the businesse of Learning, what is at present in doing and what is intended to be done: to the end, that by such a generall communication of designes and mutuall assistance; the wits and endeavours of the world may no longer be as so many scattered coales or fire-brands, which for want of union, are soone quenched, whereas being but layed together they would have yielded a comfortable light and heat. For methinkes the present condition of men is like a field, where a battle hath beene lately fought, where we may see many leggs, and armes, and eyes lying here and there, which for want of a union and a soule to quicken
*la 1643, Hartlib presented a Memorial to the two Houses of Parliament for the establishment of an Office of Public or Common Address-A sort of Universal Exchange of Demand and Supply, which Memorial was afterwards embodied in a pamphlet of 34 quarto pages.
and enliven them, are good for nothing but to feed Ravens; and infect the aire. So we see many wittes and ingenuities lying scattered up and downe the world, whereof some are now labouring to do what is already done, and pusling themselves to reinvent what is already invented. Others we see quite stuck fast in difficulties, for want of a few directions, which some othre man (might he bo met withall) both could and would most easily give him; againe one man wants a small summe of mony, to carry on some designe, that requires it, and there is perhaps another, who hath twice as much ready to bestow on the same designe, but these two having no meanes ever to heare the one of the other, the good work intended and desired, by both parties doth utterly perish and come to nothing: but this we passe over sleightly, though very fundamentale to our businesse, because the master-builder thereof himself hath done it so solidly. Having by this meanes procured workmen aud what else is necessary to the worke, that which we would have them to labour in, is, how to finde out such arts as are yet undiscovered, how to learne what is already known, by more compendious and facile wayes, and to apply it to more, and those more noble uses, how to work in men an higher esteeme of learning so as to give occasion, encouragement, and opportunity to more men to apply themselves to its advancement. The next thing then to be done, will be:
1. To see what is well and sufficiently done already, exploding whatsoever is nice, contentious, and meerly phantasticall. All which must in some measure be suppressed and brought into disgrace and contempt with all men.
2. This survey may be made by perusing all books, and taking notice of all mechanicall inventions.
3. In this perusall, all the Real or Experimentall Learning may be sifted and collected out of the said books.
4. There must be appointed able readers of all such books, with certaine and well limited directions what to collect out of them.
5. Every book must be so read by two soverall persons apart, to prevent mistakes and failings from the said directions.
6. The directions for reading must be such, as the readers observing them, may exactly agree in their collections.
7. Out of all these bookės, one booke or great work may be made, though consisting of many volumes.
8. The most artificiall indices, tables or other helps, for the ready finding remembering, and well understanding all things contained in these bookes must be contrived and put in practice.
Having thus taken the height or pitch whereunto al arts and sciences whatsoever, are already come; and observed where they now stick, the ablest men in every respective faculty must be set apart, to drive them on further with suffi. cient maintenance and encouragement for the same.
Whereunto it is requisite that two or three, one under another, be employed about each faculty, to the end that some of them dying, or any otherwise failing, there may never want men acquainted with the whole designe, and able to carry it on, with the help of others to be admitted under them; and that at least yearly accompts be taken of those mens endeavors, and rewards be proportioned to them accordingly. And now we shall think of whetting our tooles, and preparing sharp instruments for this hard work, by delivering our thoughts concerning education, which are,
1. That there be instituted Ergastula Literaria, literary-work-house, where children may be taught as well to doe something towards their living, as to read and write.
2. That the business of education be not (as now) committed to the worst and unworthiest of men, but that it be seriously studied and practised by the best and abler persons. That all children of above seven yeares old may be presented to this kind of education, none being to be excluded by reason of the poverty and unability of their parents, for hereby it hath come to passe, that many are now holding the plough, which might have beene made fit to steere the state. Wherefore let such poor children be imployed on works whereby they may earne their living, equall to their strength and understanding, and such as they may performe as well as elder and abler persons, viz., attending engines, &c. And if they can not get their whole living, and their parents can contribute nothing at all to make it up, let them stay somewhat the longer in the work-house.
That since few children have need of reading before they know, or can be acquainted with the things they read of, or of writing, before their thoughts are worth the recording, or they are able to put them into any forme (which we call inditing) much lesse of learning Languages, when there bee books enough for their present use in their owne mother tongue; our opinion is, that those things being withall somewhat above their capacity, (as being to be attained by judgement, which is weakest in children) be deferred awhile, and others more needful for them, such as are in the order of nature before those afore mentioned, and are attainable by the help of memory, wich is either most strong or unpreoccupied in children, be studied before them. We wish therefore that the educands be taught to observe and remember all sensible objects and actions, whether they be naturall or artificiall, which the educators must upon all occasions expound unto them. That they use such exercises, whether in work, or for recreation, as tend to the health, agility and strength of their bodies.
That they be taught to read by much more compendious meanes then are in common use, which is a thing certainly very easie and feasible. That they be not onely taught to write according to our common way, but also to write swiftly and in reall characters, as likewise the dextrous use of the instruments for writing many copies of the same thing at once.
That the artificiall memory he thought upon, and if the precepts thereof bo not too farre above childrens capacities. We conceive it not improper for them to learn that also. That in no case the art of drawing and designing be omitted, to what course of life soever those children are to be applied. Since the use thereof for expressing the conceptions of the mind, seemes (at least to us) to be little inferiour to that of writing, and in many cases performeth what by words is impossible.
That the Elements of Arithmetick and Geometry be by all studied, being not onely of great and frequent use in all humane affaires, but also sure guides and helps to reason, and especiall remedies for a volatile and unstedy mind. That effectuall courses be taken to try the abilities of the bodies and minds of children, the strength of their memory, inclinations of their affections either to vice or vertue, and to which of them in particular, and withall to alter what is bad in them, and increase and improve what is good, applying all, whether good or bad, to the least inconveniencie and nfost advantage.
That such as shall have need to learne forraine languages, (the use whereof would be much lessened were the reall and common characters brought into