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professional eminence, the acquisition of them will ampiy repay any loss we may luftain. It ought not to be the leading object of any one, to become an emi. nent metaphysician, mathematician, or poet ; but to render himself happy as an individual, and an agreeable, a respectable, and an useful member of society. A man who loses his fight, improves the fenfibility of his touch; but who would consent, for such a recompence, to part with the pleasures which he receives from the eye?

It is almost unnecessary for me to remark, how much individuals would be aflifted in the proper and liberal culture of the mind, if they were previously led to take a comprehensive survey of human naiure in all its parts; of its various faculties, and powers and fources of enjoyment; and of the effects which are produced on these principles by particular situations. It is such a knowledge alone of the capacities of the mind, that can enable a person to judge of his own acqui. sitions; and to employ the most effectual means for supplying his defects, and removing his inconvenient habits. Without some degree of it, every man is in danger of contracting bad habits, before he is aware; and of suffering fome of his powers to go to decay, for want of

proper exercise. If the business of early education were more thoroughly, and more generally, understood, it would be less necessary for individuals, when they arrive at maturity, to form plans of improvement for them. selves. But education never can be fyftematically directed to its proper objects, till we have obtained, not only an accurate analysis of the general principles of our nature, and an account of the most important laws which regulate their operation ; but an explanation of the various modifications and combinations of these principles, which produce that diversity of talents, genius, and character, we observe among men.

To instruct youth in the languages, and in the sciences, is comparatively of little importance, if we are inattentive to the habits they acquire; and are not careful in giving, to all their different faculties, and all their different principles of action, a proper degree of employment. Abstracting entirely from the culture of their moral powers, how extensive and difficult is the business of conducting their intellectual improvement! To watch over the associations which they form in their tender years; to give them early habits of mental activ. ity ; to rouse their curiosity, and to direct it to proper objects ; to exercise their ingenuity and inven. tion; to cultivate in their minds a turn for specula. tion, and at the same time preserve their attention alive to the objects around them; to awaken their sensibilities to the beauties of nature, and to inspire them with a relish for intellectual enjoyment; these form but a part of the business of education; and yet the execution even of this part requires an acquaintance with the general principles of our nature, which feldom falls to the share of those to whom the instruction of youth is commonly intrusted.Nor will such a theoretical knowledge of the human mind, as I have now described, be always sufficient in practice. An uncommon degree of fagacity is frequently requisite, in order to accommodate general rules to particular tempers, and characters.-In whatever way we chuse to account for it, whether by original organization, or by the operation of mor. al causes, in very early infancy; no fact can be more undeniable, than that there are important differences discernible in the minds of children, previous to that period at which, in general, their intellectual educa. tion commences. There is, too, a certain heredita

character (whether resulting from physical conftitution, or caught from imitation and the influence of gtuation) which appears remarkably in particular families. One race, for a succession of generations, is diftinguished by a genius for the abstract sciences, while it is deficient in vivacity, in imagination, and in tafe: another is no less distinguished for wit, and gaiety, and fancy; while it appears incapable of patient attention, or of profound research. The system of education which is proper to be adopted in particular cases, ought, undoubtedly, to have some reference to these circumstances; and to be calculated, as much as possible, to develope and to cherith those intellectual and active principles, in which a natural deficiency is most to be apprehended. Montesquieu, and other speculative politicians, have inLifted much on the reference which education and laws should have to climate. I shall not take upon me to say, how far their conclusions on this subject are juft; but I am fully persuaded, that there is a foundation in philosophy, and good sense, for ac. commodating, at a very early period of life, the ed. ucation of individuals to those particular turns of mind, to which, from hereditary propensities, or from moral situation, they may be presumed to have a natural tendercy.

There are few subjects more hackneyed than that of education; and yet there is none, upon which the opinions of the world are ftill more divided. Nor is this surprising; for most of those who have speculated concerning it, have confined their attention chiefly to incidental questions about the comparative advantages of public or private instruction, or the utility of particular languages or sciences; with. out attempting a previous examination of those faculties and principles of the mind, which it is the great object of education to improve. Many excellent detached observations, indeed, both on the intellectual and moral powers, are to be collected from the writings of ancient and modern authors; but I do not know, that in any language an attempt has been made to analyse and illultrate the principles of

human nature, in order to lay a philosophical foun. dation for their proper culture.

I have even heard some very ingenious and intelligent men dispute the propriety of fo systematical a plan of instruction. The most successful and splendid exertions, both in the sciences and arts, (it has been frequently remarked,) have been made by individuals, in whose minds the feeds cf genius were allowed to shoot up, wild and free ; while, from the most careful and skilful tuition, feldom any thing results above mediocrity. I shall not, at present, enter into any discussions with respect to the certainty of the fact on which this opinion is founded. Supposing the fact to be completely established, it muft ftill be remembered, that originality of genius does not always imply vigor and comprehensiveness, and liberality of mind, and that it is desirable only, in so far as it is compatible with thele more valuable qualities. I already hinted, that there are some pursuits, in which, as they require the exertion only of a small number of our faculties, an individu. al, who has a natural turn for them, will be more likely to distinguish himself, by being suffered to follow his original bias, than if his attention were diftracted by a more liberal course of study. But wherever such men are to be found, they must be considered, on the most favorable suppofition, as having facrificed, to a certain degree, the perfect. ion and the happiness of their nature, to the amusement or instruction of others. It is too, in times of general darkness and barbarism, that what is commonly called originality of genius most frequently appears : and surely the great aim of an enlightened and benevolent philosophy, is not to rear a small number of individuals, who may be regarded as prodigies in an ignorant and admiring age, but to diffuse, as widely as possible, that degree of cultivation which may enable the bulk of a people to posfefs all the intellectual and moral improvement of which their nature is susceptible. “ Original genius” (says Voltaire) “ occurs but seldom in a nation “ where the literary taste is formed. The number 6 of cultivated minds which there abound, like the o trees in a thick and flourishing forest, prevent any “ single individual from rearing his head far above the “ rest. Where trade is in few hands, we meet with " a small number of over-grown fortunes in the « midst of a general poverty : in proportion as it “ extends, opulence becomes general, and great for: 66 tunes rare. It is, precisely, because there is at “ present much light, and much cultivation, in “ France, that we are led to complain of the want “ of superior genius."

To what purpose, indeed, it may be said, all this labor? Is not the importance of every thing to man, to be ultimately estimated by its tendency to promote his happiness? And is not our daily experi. ence sufficient to convince us, that this is, in geieral, by no means proportioned to the culture which his nature has received ?-Nay, is there not some ground for suspecting, that the lower orders of men enjoy, on the whole, a more enviable condition, than their more enlightened and refined superiors ?

The truth, I apprehend, is, that happiness, in so far as it arises from the mind itself, will be always proportioned to the degree of perfection which its powers have attained; but that, in cultivating these powers, with a view to this most important of all objects, it is efsentially necessary that such a degree of attention be bestowed on all of them, as may preserve them in that state of relative strength, which appears to be agreeable to the intentions of nature. In consequence of an exclusive attention to the culture of the imagination, the taste, the reasoning faculty, or any of the active principles, it is possible that the pleasures of human life may be diminished, or

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