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they often read, as parrots speak, knowing little or nothing of the meaning. And it is impossible a reader should give the due modulation to his voice, and pronounce properly, unless his understanding goes before his tongue, and makes him master of the sentiment. Accustoming boys to read aloud what they do not first understand, is the cause of those even set tones, so common among readers, which, when they have once got a habit of using, they find so difficult to correct; by which means, among fifty readers we scarcely find a good one. For want of good reading, pieces published with a view to influence the minds of men, for their own or the public benefit. lose half their force. Were there but one good reader in a neighbourhood, a public orator might be heard throughout a nation with the same advantages, and have the same effect upon his audience, as if they stood within the reach of his voice.
The Third Class. To be taught speaking properly and gracefully; which is near a-kin to good reading, and naturally follows it in the studies of youth. Let the scholars of this class begin with learning the elements of rhetoric from some short system, so as to be able to give an account of the most useful tropes and figures. Let all their bad habits of speaking, all offences against good grammar, or foreign accents, and all improper phrases, be pointed out to them. Short speeches from the Roman, or other history, or from the parliamentary debates, might be got by heart, and delivered with the proper action, etc. Speeches and scenes in our best tragedies and comedies (avoiding every thing that could injure the morals of youth) might likewise be got by rote, and the boys exercised in delivering or acting them: great care being taken to form their manner after the truest models.
For their farther improvement, and little to vary their studies, let them now begin to read history, after having got by heart a short table of the principal epochas in chronology. They may begin with Rollin's ancient and Roman histories, and proceed at proper bours, as they go through the subsequent classes, with the best histories of our own nation and colonies. Let emulation be excited among the boys, by giving weekly, little prizes or other small encouragements, to those who are able to give the best ac count of what they have read, as to time, places, names
of This will make them read with attention, persons, etc. and imprint the history well in their memories. marking on the history, the master will have fine oppor. tunities of instilling instruction of various kinds, and im. proving the morals, as well as the understandings, of youth.
The natural and mechanic history, contained in the Spectacle de la Nature, might also be begun in this class, and continued through the subsequent classes, by other
books of the same kind; for, next to the knowledge of duty, this kind of knowledge is certainly the most useful, as well as the most entertaining.
The merchant may thereby be enabled better to understand many commodities in trade; the handicraftsman, to improve his business by new instruments, mixtures, and materials; and frequently hints are given for new manufacturers, or new methods of improving land, that may be set on foot greatly to the advantage of a country.
The Fourth Class. To be taught composition. Writing one's own language well, is the next necessary accoinplishment after good speaking. It is the writing.master's business, to take care that the boys make fair characters, and place them straight and even in the lines: but to form their style, and even to take care that the stops and capitals are properly disposed, is the part of the English master. The boys should be put on writing letters to each other on any common occurrences, and on various subjects, imaginary business, etc. containing little stories, accounts of their late reading, what parts of authors please them, and why; letters of congratulation, of compliment, of requests, of thanks, of recommendation, of admonition, of consolation, of expostulation, excuse, etc. In these, they should be taught to express themselves clearly, concisely, and naturally, without affected words or high-flown phrases. All their letters to pass through the master's hand, who is to point out the faults, advise the corrections, and commend what he finds right. Some of the best letters published in our own language, as Sir William Temple's, those of Pope and his friends, and some others, might be set before the youth as models, their beauties pointed out and explained by the master, the letters themselves transcribed by the scholar.
Dr. Johnson's Ethices Elementa, or First Principles of Morality, may now be read by the scholars, and explained by the master, to lay a solid foundation of virtue and piety in their minds. And as this class continues the reading of history, let them now, at proper hours, receive some farther instruction in chronology, and in that part of geography (from the mathematical master) which is necessary to understand the maps an globes. They should also be acquainted with the modern names of the places they find mentioned in ancient writers. The exercises of good reading, and proper speaking, still continued at suitable times.
Fifth Class. To improve the youth in composition, they may now, besides continuing to write letters, begin to write little essays in prose, and sometimes in verse; not to make them poets, but for this reason, that nothing acquaints a lad so speedily with variety of expression, as the neces
sity of finding such words and phrases as will snit the measure, sound, and rhyme of verse, and at the same tine well express the sentinient.
These essays should all pass under the master's eye, who will point out their faults, and put the writer on correcting them. Where the judgment is not ripe enough for forming new essays, let the sentiments of a Spectator be given, and required to be clothed in the scholar's own words; or the circumstances of some good story, the scholar to find expression. Let them be put sometimes on abridging a paragraph of a diffuse author: sometimes on dilating or amplifying, what is wrote more closely. And now let Dr. Johnson's Noetica, or First Principles of Human Knowledge, containing a logic, or art of reasoning, etc. be read by the youth and the difficulties, that may occur to them, be explained by the master. The reading of history, and the exercises of good reading and just speaking, stili continued.
Sixth Class. In this class, besides continuing the studies of the preçeding in history, rhetoric, logic, moral and natural phi. losophy, the best English authors may be read and ex, plained; as Tillotson, Milton, Locke, Addison, Pope, Swift, the higher papers in the Spectator and Guardian, the best translations of Homer, Virgil, and Horace, of Telemachus, travels of Cyrus, etc.
Once a year, let there be public exercises in the hall; the trustees and citizens present. Then let fine gilt books be given at prices to such boys, as distinguish themselves, and excel the others in any branch of learning, making three degrees of comparison : giving the best prize to binig that performs best; a less valuable one to him, that comes up next to the best, and another to the third. Com. mendations, encouragement, and advice to the rest; keeping up their hopes, that, by industry, they may excel another time. The names of those, that obtain the prize, to be yearly printed in a list.
The hours of each day are to be divided and disposed in such a manner, as that some classes may be with the writing .master, improving their hands; others with the mathematical master, learning arithmetic, accounts, geography, use of the globes, drawing, mechanics, etc. while the rest are in the English school, under the English master's care.
Thus instructed, youth will come out of this school fitted for learning any business, calling, or profession except such wherein languages are required : and, though unacquainted with any ancient or foreign tongue, they will be masters of their own, which is of more immediate and general use, and withal will have attained many other valuable accomplishments: the time usually spent in acquiring those languages, often without success, being here employed in laying such a foundation of knowledge and
ability, as, properly improved, may qualify, them to pass through and execute the several offices of civil life, with advantage and reputation to themselves and country.
TO MISS STEVENSON, AT WANSTEAD.
Advice to Youth in Reading.
Graven-Street, May 17, 1760. I send my good girl the books I mentioned to her last night. I beg her to accept of them as a small mark of my esteem and friendship: They are written in the fa. miliar easy manner for which the French are so remarkable, and afford a good deal of philosophic and practical knowledge, unembarrassed with the dry mathematics, used by more exact reasoners; but which is apt to discourage young beginners. I would advice you' to read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a little book short hints of what you find, that is curious, or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars in your memory, where they will be ready, either for practice on some future occasion, if they are matters of utility, or at least to adorn and improve your conversation, if they are rather points of curiosity. And as many of the terms of science are such, as you cannot have met with in your common reading, and may therefore be unacquainted with, I think it would be well for you to have a good dictionary at hand, to consult imme. diately when you meet with a word you do not compre. hend the precise meaning of. This may at first seem troublesome and interrupting; but it is a trouble that will daily diminish, as you will daily find less and less occa. sion for your dictionary as you become more acquainted with the terms; and in the mean time you will read with more satisfaction, because with more understanding. When any point occurs, in which you would be glad to have farther information than your book affords you, I beg you would not in the least apprehend, that I should think it a trouble to receive and answer your questions. It will be a pleasure, and no trouble. For though I may not be able, out of my own little stock of knowledge, to afford you what you require, I can easily direct you to the books, where it may most readily be found. Adieu, and believe me ever, my dear friend, Yours affectionately,
AN ALLEGORICAL DREAM.
In a dream, I thought myself in a solitary temple. I saw a kind of phantom coming towards me, but as he drew near his form expanded and became more than hnman; his robe hung majestically down to his feet; six wings, whiter than snow, whose extremities were edged with gold, covered a part of his body: then I saw him quit his material substance, which he had put on to avoid terrifying me; his body was of all the colours in the rainbow. He took me by the hair, and I was sensible I was travelling in the ætherial plains without any dread, with the rapidity of an arrow sent from a bow, drawn by a supple and nervous arm. A thousand glowing orbs rolled beneath me: but I could only cast a rapid glance on all those globes distinguished by the striking colours with which they were diversified. I now suddenly per. ceived so beautiful, so flourishing, so fertile, a country, that I conceived a strong desire to alight upon it. My wishes were instantly, gratified; I felt myself gently land. ed on its surface, where I was surrounded by a balmy atmosphere. I found myself reposed at the dawn, npon the soft verdant grass. I stretched out my arms, in token of gratitude, to my celestial guide, who pointed to a resplendent sun, towards which swiftly rising, he disappeared in the luniinons body. 1 arose, and imagined myself to be transported to the garden of Eden. Every thing inspired niy soul with soft tranquillity. The most profound peace covered this new globe; nature was here ra. vishing and incorruptible, and a delicious freshness expanded my sense to ecstasy; a sweet odour accompanied the air I breathed; my heart, which beat with an inusual power, was immerged in a sea of rapture; while pleasure, like a pure and immortal light, penetrated the inmost recesses of my soul. The inhabitants of this happy country came to meet me; and, after saluting me, they took me by the hand. Their noble coun'enances inspired confidence and respect; innocence and happiness were depicted in their looks; they often lifted their eyes towards heaven, and as often uttered a name which I afterwards knew to be that of the Eternal, while their cheeks were moistened with tears of gratitude. I experienced great emotion while I conversed with these sublime beings. They poured out their hearts with the most sincere tenderness; and the voice of reason, most majestic, and no less melting, was at the same time conveyed to my enraptured ear. I soon perceived that this abode was totally different from that which I had left. A divine impulse made nie fly into their arms; -1 bowed my knees to them; but being raised up in the most endearing manner, I was pressed to the bosoms