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I encounter many difficulties; but, at the mind is capable of manly improvemen. same time I feel within me an internal evi- Their solicitude still continues, and no dence, which, uniting its force with the trouble nor expense is spared in giving external, forbids me to disbelieve. When you all the instructions and accomplishinvoluntary doubts arise, I immediately ments which may enable you to act your silence their importunity by recollecting part in life as a man of polished sense and the weakness of my judgment, and the confirmed virtue. You have, then, already vain presumption of hastily deciding on contracted a great debt of gratitude to the most important of all subjects, against them. You can pay by no other mesuch powerful evidence, and against the thod but by using the advantages which major part of the best and wisest men, in their goodness has afforded you. regions of the earth the most illuminated. If your endeavours are deficient, it is
“ I will learn humility of the humble in vain that you have tutors, books, and Jesus, and gratefully accept the beneficial all the external apparatus of literary purdoctrines and glorious offers which his suits. You must love learning, if you benign religion reaches out to all who sin- intend to possess it. In order to love it, cerely seek him by prayer and penitence. you must feel its delights; in order to feel
" In vain shall the conceited philoso- its delights, you must apply to it, howphers, whom fashion and ignorance ad- ever irksome at first, closely, constantly, mire, attempt to weaken my belief, or un- and for a considerable time. If you have dermine the principles of my morality. resolution enough to do this, you cannot Without their aid, I can be sufficiently but love learning; for the mind always wicked, and sufficiently miserable. Hu- loves that to which it has been long, steaman life abounds with evil. I will seek dily, and voluntarily attentive.
Habits balsams for the wounds of the heart in are formed, which render what was at the sweets of innocence, and in the conso- first disagreeable, not only pleasant, but lations of religion. Virtue, I am convin- necessary. ced, is the noblest ornament of humanity, Pleasant, indeed, are all the paths which and the source of the sublimest and the lead to polite and elegant literature. Yours, sweetest pleasure; and piety leads to that then, is surely a lot particularly happy. peace, which the world, and all that it Your education is of such a sort, that its possesses, cannot bestow. Let others en- principal scope is to prepare you to rejoy the pride and pleasure of being called ceive a refined pleasure during your life. philosophers, deists, and sceptics; be mine Elegance, or delicacy of taste, is one of the real, unostentatious qualities of the the first objects of a classical discipline; honest, humble, and charitable Christian, and it is this fine quality which opens a When the gaudy glories of fashion and new world to the scholar's view. Eleof vain philosophy shall have withered like gance of taste has a connexion with many a short-lived flower, sincere piety and virtues, and all of them virtues of the most moral honesty shall flourish as the cedar amiable kind. It tends to render you at of Lebanon.
once good and agreeable. You must, “ But I repress my triumphs. After therefore, be an enemy to your own enall my improvements, and all my desires joyments, if you enter on the discipline of perfection, I shall still be greatly defec. which leads to the attainment of a classitive. Therefore, to whatever degree of cal and liberal education with reluctance. excellence I advance, let me never forget Value duly the opportunities you enjoy, to show to others that indulgence, which and which are denied to thousands of my infirmities, my errors, and my volun- your fellow-creatures. tary misconduct, will require both from Without exemplary diligence you will them and from mine and their Almighty make but a contemptible proficiency. You and most Merciful Father.”
may, indeed, pass through the forms of Knot's Essays.
schools and universities, but you will § 96. An Address to a young. Scholar, value. The proper sort and degree of
bring nothing away from them of real supposed to be in the Course of a liberal diligence you cannot possess, but by the Education at School.
efforts of your own resolution. Your in. Your parents have watched over your structor may, indeed, confine you within helpless infancy, and conducted you, with the walls of a school a certain number of many a pang, to an age at which your hours. He may place books before you,
and compel you to fix your eyes upon fortitude will soon overcome theirs, which them; but no authority can chain down is seldom any thing more than the audayour mind. Your thoughts will escape city of a bully. Indeed, you cannot go from every external restraint, and, amidst through a school with ease to yourself, the most serious lectures, may be ranging and with success, without a considerable in the wild pursuit of trifles or vice. share of courage. I do not mean that Rules, restraints, commands, and punish- sort of courage which leads to battles and ments, may, indeed, assist in strengthening contentions, but which enables you to your resolution; but, without your own have a will of your own, and to pursue voluntary choice, your diligence will not what is right amidst all the persecutions of often conduce to your pleasure or advan- surrounding enviers, dunces, and detraclage. Though this truth is obvious, yet it tors. Ridicule is the weapon made use seems to be a secret to those parents who of at school, as well as in the world, when expect to find their son's improvement in- the fortresses of virtue are to be assailed. crease in proportion to the number of tu. You will effectually repel the attack by a tors and external assistances which their dauntless spirit and unyielding perseveopulence has enabled them to provide. rance. Though numbers are against you, These assistances, indeed, are sometimes yet, with truth and rectitude on your side, afforded, chiefly that the young heir to a you may be ipse AGMEN; though alone, title or estate may indulge himself in idle yet equal to an army. ness and nominal pleasures. The lesson By laying in a store of useful knowis construed to him, and the exercise writ- ledge, adorning your mind with elegant ten for him, by the private tutor, while literature, improving and establishing your the hapless youth is engaged in some conduct by virtuous principles, you canruinous pleasure, which at the same time not fail of being a comfort to those friends prevents him from learning any thing de- who have supported you, of being happy sirable, and leads to the formation of de- within yourself
, and of being well received structive habits, which can seldom be re- by mankind. Honour and success in moved.
life would probably attend you. Under But the principal obstacle to improve- all circumstances you will have an interment at your school, especially if you are nal source of consolation and entertaintoo plentifully supplied with money, is a ment, of which no sublunary vicissitude perverse ambition of being distinguished can deprive you. Time shows how much as a boy of spirit in mischievous pranks, wiser is your choice than that of your in neglecting the tasks and lessons, and idle companions, who would gladly have for every vice and irregularity which the drawn you into their association, or rapuerile age can admit. You will have ther into their conspiracy, as it bas been sense enough, I hope, to discover, be- called, against good manners, and against neath the mask of gaiety and good-nature, all that is honourable and useful. While that malignant spirit of detraction, which you appear in society as a respectable endeavours to render the boy who applies and valuable member of it, they have sato books, and to all the duties and proper crificed at the shrine of vanity, pride, exbusiness of the school, ridiculous. You travagance, and false pleasure, their health will see, by the light of your reason, that and their sense, their fortunes and their the ridicule is misapplied. You will dis- characters. cover that the boys who have recourse to
$97. On Goodness of Heart. ridicule, are, for the most part, stupid, unfeeling, ignorant and vicious. Their noisy
Whoever has made accurate observafolly, their bold confidence, their con- tions on men and manners, will easily pertempt of learning, and their defiance of ceive that the praise of goodness of heart authority, are, for the most part, the ge- is usually accompanied with an oblique nuine effects of hardened insensibility. insinuation of intellectual imbecility." I Let not their insults and ill-treatment believe him to be a well-meaning man, dispirit you. If you yield to them with a says the malignant panegyrist, and if there tame and abject submission, they will not is any fault in him, it will be found rather fail to triumph over you with additional in his head than in his heart. Nothing insolence. Display à fortitude in your could be better contrived by a crafty and pursuits equal in degree to the obstinacy envious world to render the amiable in which they persist in theirs. Your quality, good nature, contemptible, than
to represent it as the effect or as the com- mankind are weak enough to judge and panion of folly.
esteem men according to moral and reliIt is, indeed, true, that innocence and gious prejudices, a plausible appearance integrity are usually accompanied with is essentially necessary to success in life. simplicity; not, however, with that sort of External decency is his highest aim. Sinsimplicity which is sometimes synonymous cerity or sound principles would but rewith folly; but with a generosity and open- tard his purposes. Compassion he never ness of heart, which had rather lose its felt, and is equally a stranger to love and objects than obtain them by deceit; which friendship, though he is always professing leads the tongue boldly to speak what the them to persons of fortune and distinction, heart honestly conceives. If we weigh whom he idolizes with religious adora-the satisfactions of an open and upright tion; and this is the only sentiment which conduct, of a clear conscience, and of that he feels bordering upon religion. liberty which we enjoy by thinking, speak- By a life spent in abject servility, in ing, and acting, without mean and servile courting a capricious world, in deceiving restraints, it will, I believe, be found, the credulous, in contriving schemes of that this simplicity is true wisdom, and advantage or pleasure, and in hardening that the cunning of the worldly wise is his conscience, he has, at last, in his fifreal and egregious imprudence.
tieth year, obtained some promotion, and Goodness of heart, whether it be a na- accumulated a handsome sum of money. tural or acquired goodness, is indeed, in But he cannot enjoy it, now he is pogevery respect, the highest excellence. It sessed of it. The same greedy selfishness is the only quality which can rescue hu- which taught him to debase his soul in man nature from the disgrace and misery pursuing interest and private gratification, of its wretched weaknesses, and its power- still operates on his conduct, and renders ful tendencies to evil. It raises the poor him a complete miser. Though he has worm that otherwise crawls on a dunghill
, long enjoyed a competency, he never had and stings and bites his wretched compa- spirit enough to marry. He was afraid nions, to an exalted place in the scale of of the expense. He hates his relations, being, and causes him to assimilate with because he thinks they expect his fortune the divine nature.
at his decease. He has made no real I shall exhibit to my youthful readers, friends, though he has deceived thousands whose hearts are yet susceptible of what- by professing friendship, for the easier acever bias they choose to give them, two complishment of his dirty designs. All characters; in one of which appeared the neighbours detest him; and he envies goodness of heart, and in the other world- every one of them who appears to be ly wisdom or cunning, or the art of plea- happier than himself, which, indeed, they sing for the sake of profit. If any one all do; for his heart is torn with malignity, should hesitate in choosing whether of the with fears, anxieties, and covetousness. two shall be his model, he need not hesi. He bears, however, the character of a tate at beginning a reformation of himself, shrewd and sensible man; one who knows for he may depend upon it, that his own the world, and learned at an early age to heart stands greatly in need of amend- make it his bubble. His advice is conment.
sidered as an oracle in all pecuniary buSerpens (for such let us suppose to be siness; and no attorney would be half so his name) has persuaded himself that he much consulted, if he did not render himsees sarther into things than the rest of his self almost inaccessible by the moroseness species. He considers religion as priest of his temper. As, in his youth, he was craft, morality as the invention of politi- all submission and gentleness, and percians, and taste and literature as the amuse. fectly skilled in the celebrated art of ment of fools. His philosophy, and all pleasing ; so now, when the mask is no his better pursuits and ideas, are circum- longer necessary, his natural disposition scribed within limits extremely narrow. breaks out in all its horrid deformity. But Pleasure and interest are his chief good, the misery which he occasions to all his only objects of serious pursuit; and around him falls upon himself, by the just in the attainment of these he is not scru- retribution of Providence. The heart pulously delicate. There is, indeed, no which has been the receptacle of every virtue or good quality, the appearance of vice and every meanness, is always the which he does not assume; because, wbile seat of uneasy sensation. The stupid in
sensibility with respect to the finer feel- the sweetest serenity, as the day has been ings, which usually characterizes that sort distinguished by unclouded sunshine. of shrewd men who are celebrated in the Whatever the short-sighted votaries of world as men who know things so well, avarice and ambition may assert, there is may, indeed, guard them from pungent af- no doubt but that real goodness of heart is fiction; but it is itself a curse most devout- the noblest ornament of human nature, and ly to be deprecated.
the least fallible source of permanent
satisSimplicius was the son of parents re- faction. I have often therefore lamented, markable for the piety and regularity of that, in the course of what is called a litheir lives. He received a liberal educa- beral education, very little attention has tion in its most comprehensive form, and been paid at our best schools to the culfound every moral instruction which he ture of the heart. While good seeds have derived from books, and from his precep
been sown in the understanding, the heart tor, confirmed by example at home. All has been suffered to be overrun with his delicate sensibilities were gradually weeds and briars. In truth, learning and nursed to a state of perfection by the in- abilities, without goodness of heart, connocence and temperance of his life; by stitute that kind of wisdom which is foolthe piety and virtue of his family, in ishness in the sight of reason and of God. which such respect was paid to him while Without goodness of heart, man, however a boy, that not a word that could convey accomplished, is so far from being but a a loose or improper idea was ever uttered little lower than the angels, that he is in bis presence. He married early, and scarcely above the accursed spirits, and by obeyed the dictates of his heart in select- no means equal to many of the brutes, ing a most amiable woman, of beauty, dogs in particular, who often exhibit most sense, and temper, but of little or no for- amiable instances of a good heart in the tune. The shrewd and wise men of the virtues of gratitude, sincere affection, and world laughed and pitied. Simplicius, fidelity.
Knox's Essays. however, had never any reason to repent. His children are his cbief delight; but he
§ 98. A Letler lo a young Nobleman, loves his friends with sincere and unalter
soon after his leaving School. able affection; and there is no species of distress which he does not pity and relieve to the best of his power. The amiableness of his manners, and the regularity
The obligations I have to your family, of his conduct, gave him the advantage of cannot but make me solicitous for the character, the want of which can seldom welfare of every member of it, and for be supplied by any worldly policy. With that of yourself in particular, on whom this powerful recommendation" he has
its honours are to descend. made his way to eminence, and enjoys
Such instructions and such examples, bis success with the truest relish. It is, as it has been your happiness to find, indeed, unembittered by any consciousness must, necessarily, raise great expectations of sivister (modes in securing it. He al
and will not allow you any praise ways proceeded in the straight road of for a common degree of merit. You will common sense and honesty. He knew of not be thought to have worth, if you have no obliquities; for, indeed, he found the not a distinguished worth, and what may art of life very plain and easy, and by no
suit the concurrence of so many extraormeans such as requires the precepts of a dinary advantages. Chesterfield. His heart and his under
In low life, our good or bad qualities standing are both excellent, and, co-ope
are known to few-to those only who are rating with each other, have conducted related to us, who converse with, or live him to happiness through the flowery paths near us. In your station, you are exposed of innocence. His own bosom has been to the notice of a kingdom. The excela perpetual spring of agreeable sensations lencies or defects of a youth of quality to himself, and to all who were so fortu- make a part of polite conversation--area Date as to be allied to him by kindred, by topic agreeable to all who have been libeaffinity, by acquaintance, or in the course
rally educated; to all who are not amongst of bis negociations. A good conscience the meanest of the people. will cause the evening of life to close in
Should I, in any company, begin
character of my friend with the hard ther concerned, than as you must, somename, whom I hope you left well at - times, converse with the persons to whom they would naturally ask me, What rela- they may be applied, and your detestation tion he bore to the Emperor's minister ? of whom one cannot do ioo much to inWhen I answered, That I had never heard crease. Bad examples may justly raise of his bearing any; that all I knew of him our fears even for him, who has been the was, his being the son of a German mer- most wisely educated, and is the most chant, sent into this kingdom for educa- happily disposed : no caution against them tion; I probably should be thought im- is superfluous : in the place, in which you pertinent, for introducing such a subject; are at present, you will meet with them in and I certainly should soon be obliged to all shapes. drop it, or be wholly disregarded, were I Under whatever disadvantages I offer unwise enough to continue it.
you my advice, I am thus far qualified But if, upon a proper occasion, I men- for giving it, that I have experienced some tioned, that I had known the Honourable of the dangers which will be your trial,
from his infancy, and that I had and had sufficient opportunity of observmade such observations on his capacity, ing others. The observations I have made, his application, his attainments, and his that are at all likely to be of service to general conduct, as induced me to con- you, either from their own weight, or clude, he would one day be an eminent the hints they may afford for your imornament and a very great blessing to his proving upon them, I cannot conceal from country, I should have an hundred ques- you. What comes from him who wishes tions asked me about him-my narrative you so well, and so much esteems you, would appear of consequence to all who will be sufficiently recommended by its heard it, and would not fail to engage their motives ; and may, therefore, possibly be attention,
read with a partiality in its favour, that I have, I mustown, often wondered, that shall make it of more use than it could be the consideration of the numbers, who are of from any intrinsic worth. continually remarking the behaviour of the But, without further preface or apology, persons of rank among us, has had so lit- let me proceed to the points that I think tleinfluence upon them--has not produced deserving your more particular consideraa quite different effect from what, alas! tion; and begin with what, certainly, we every where sadly experience. should, above all other things, be consider
Negligere quid de se quisque sentiat, ed— Religion. It is, indeed, what every non solum arrogantis est, sed etiam omnino man says he has more or less considered: dissoluti. I need not tell you where the and by this, every man acknowledges its remark is: it has, indeed, so much obvious importance: yet, when we inquire into truth, that it wants no support from au the consideration that has been given it, thority. Every generous principle must be we can hardly persuade ourselves, that a extinct in him, who knows that it is said of point of the least consequence could be him, or that it justly may be said of him, 80 treated. To our examination here we How different is this young man from his usually sit down resolved, how far our noble father : the latter took every course conviction shall extend. that could engage the public esteem: the In the pursuit of natural or mathematiformer is as industrious to forfeit it. The cal knowledge we engage, disposed to take sire was a patron of religion, virtue, and things as we find them to let our assent every commendablequality: his descendant be directed by the evidence we meet with : is an impious, ignorant, profligate wretch; but the doctrines of religion each inspects, raised above others, but to have his folly not in order to inform himself what he more public-high in his rank, only to ought to believe and practise; but to reextend his infamy.
concile them with his present faith and A thirst after fame may have its incon- way of life with the passions he favours veniences, but which are by no means with the habits he has contracted. equal to those that attend a contempt of it. And that this is, really, the case, is Our earnestness in its pursuit may possibly evident, from the little alteration there is slacken our pursuit of true desert; but in- in the manners of any, when they know different we cannot be to reputation, with- as much of religion as they ever intend to out being so to virtue.
know. You see them the same persons as In these remarks you, Sir, are no fare formerly; they are only furnished with