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pacities of the young. But Sterne, and the authors of Scriblerus, appear to ridicule the folly of some individual; for no public course of education has ever been proposed, similar to that which they exhibit.
Perhaps it was Sterne's purpose, to deride the methods of shortening the business of education, which several ingenious men have amused themselves by contriving. The Lullian art, which was once much celebrated, was burlesqued by Swift, in his Project of a Literary Turning Machine, in the Voyage to Laputa. Des Cartes has defined Lully's plan to be, the art of prating copiously, and without judgment, concerning things of which we are ignorant :* an art so generally practised in our times, that its author is no more thought of than the inventor of the compass. Lully's seems to have been similar to the fortune-telling schemes which we see on the ladies' fans, that enable any person to give
* Ars Lullii, ad copiosè, et sine judicio de iis quæ nescimus garriendum. Brucker. Histor. Critic, Philos, t, ii. p. 205.
an answer to any question, without understanding either one or the other. Erasmus touched briefly on this subject, in his Ars Notoria, where he has exposed, in a few words, the folly of desiring to gain knowledge, without an adequate exertion of the faculties. Providence, as he says finely, has decreed, that those common acquisitions, money, gems, plate, noble mansions, and dominion, should be sometimes bestowed on the indolent and unworthy; but those things which constitute our true riches, and which are properly our own, must be procured by our own labour.* Those who seldom knew the want of power on other occasions, have felt it on this: DIONYSIUS and FREDERICK both experienced, that there is no royal road to the genuine honours of literature.
If Sterne had been sufficiently acquainted
Atque sic visum est superis. Opes istas vulgares, aurúm, gemmas, argentum, palatia, regnum, nonnunquam largiuntur ignavis et immerentibus; sed quæ veræ sunt opes, ac propriè nostræ sunt, voluerunt parari laboribus.
with the philosophical systems of his time, he might have converted the Lullian art, into an excellent burlesque of the Leibnitzian doctrine of pre-established harmony, then warmly discussed, and now completely forgotten. He seems to have avoided with care every controversial subject, which could involve him in difficulties. I observe in the sneer at Water-landish knowledge, among the criticisms of Yorick's sermons, a slight glance at a celebrated theological dispute : but, like his own monk, he had looked down at the prebendary's vest, and the hectic passed away in a moment. *
It would be tedious to point out every parallel passage, between Sterne, and an author whose book is in every one's hands. One of the conversations in Tritram Shan- S dy, is borrowed completely from the French- A man,
* Dr. Brown's Estimate is referred to in another passage, so obscurely, that modern readers can þardly recognize it,
6 Now Ambrose Paræus convinced my father, that the true and efficient cause of what had engaged so much the attention of the world, and upon which Prignitz and Scroderus had wasted so much learning and fine parts-was neither this nor that--but that the length and goodness of the nose, was owing simply to the softness and flaccidity of the nurse's breast—as the flatness and shortness of puisne noses was, to the firmness and elastic repulsion of the same organ of nutrition in the heal and livelywhich, though happy for the woman, was the undoing of the child, inasmuch as his nose was so snubbed, so rebuffed, so rebated, and so refrigerated thereby, as never to arrive ad mensuram suam legitimam;-but that in case of the flaccidity and softness of the nurse or mother's breast—by sinking into it, qouth Paræus, as into so much butter, the nose was comforted, nourished, &c."
6 -----the causes of short and long noses.
* Tristram Shandy, vol. iii, chap. xxxviii,
There is no cause but one, replied my uncle Toby,—why one man's nose is longer than another's, but because that God pleases to have it so. That is Grangousier's solution, said my Father.—'T is he, continued my uncle Toby, looking up, and not regarding my Father's interruption, who makes us all, and frames and puts us together, in such forms and proportions, and for such ends, as is agreeable to his infinite wisdom."*
Pourquoy, dit Gargantua, est ce que frere Jean á si beau nez?
Par ce (repondit Grangousier) qu'ainsi Dieu l'á voulu, lequel nous fait en telle forme, & telle fin, selon son divin arbitre, que fait un potier ses vaisseaux. Par ce (dit: Ponocrates) qu'il fut des premiers á la foire des nez. Il print de plus beaux & des plus grands. Trut avant (dit le moine) selon la vraye Philosophie Monastique, c'est, par ce que ma Nourrice avoit les tețins molets, en l'allaic
* Tristram Shandy, vol. iii. chap, xli.