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lodging, and at the expiration with a complete new start of clothes, but also that he shall be taught to read, write and cast accounts; and that he shall be well instructed in the art or professsion of his master, or some other, by which he may afterwards gain a livelihood, and be able in his turn to raise a family. A copy of this indenture is given to the apprentice or to his friends, and the magistrate keeps a record of it, to which recourse may be had, in case of failure by the master in any point of performance. This desire among the masters to have more hands employed in working for them, induces them to pay the passages of young persons, of both sexes, who, on their arrival, agree to serve them one, two, three four
years : : those who have already learned a trade, agreeing for a shorter term, in proportion to their skill, and the consequent immediate value of their service; and those who have none, agreeing for a longer term, in consideration of being taught an art their poverty would not permit them to acquire in their own.country.
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow some bu. siness for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness, are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rart in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truiy added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; infidelse ty rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an intidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the niutual forbearanne and kindness with which the differta! sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole country.
Final Speech of Dr. Franklin in the
Federal Convention.* MR. PRESIDENT,
I confess that I do not entirely apo prove of this constitution at present : but, sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it; for having lived long, I. have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better infor nation, or further consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is, there. fore, that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judge ment of others. Most men, indeed, as well as most sects of religion, think themselves in possessidn of all truth, and that whenever others differ from them, it is so far error. Steel, a protestant, in a dedication, tells the pope, that "the only difference between our two churches, in iheir opinion of the certainty of their doctrines, is, the Romish church is infallible, and thiechurch of England never in the wrong.” But, tho' many private persons thivk almost as highly of their own infal. libility as of that of their sect, few expressit so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a little dispute with her sister, said, I don't know how it happens, sister, but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right. Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison. In these sentiments, sir, 1 agree to this constitution, with all its faults, if they were such ; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of go. vernment, but what may be a blessing, if well adminis. tered ; and I believe farther, that this is likely to be well administesed for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it,
* Our reason for ascribing this speech to Dr. Franklin, are, its internal evidence, and its huving appeared with his rame, during his life-time, uncontradicted, in an Amers. can fieriodical pubhcation.
when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government being incapable of any other. I doubt too, whether any other convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better constitution. For when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you assemble with those men, alt their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly, can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will establish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence, to hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of Babylon; and that our states are on the point of separation, only to meet here.. after for the purpose of cutting each other's throats.
Thus I consent, sir, to this constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that this is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born ; and here they shall die. If every one of us, in returning to our constituents, were to report the objections he has bad to it, and endeavor to gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects and great advantages resulting naturally in our fa. vor among foreign nations, as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity.
Much of the Strength or efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends on opinion ; on the general opinion of the goodness of that government as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors.
I hope, therefore, that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, we shall. act heartily and unanimously in recommending this constitution, wherever our influence may extend, and.
turn our future thoughts and endeavors to the means of having it well administered.
On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish, that every member of the convention, who may still have objections, would with me on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and making manifest our unanimity, put his naine to this instrument.
[The motion was then made for adding the last formula, viz.
Done in Convention, by the unanimous con ent, &c, which was agreed to, and added accordingly.]
Sketch of an English School. For the consideration of the Trustees of the
Philadelphia Academy. It is expected that every scholar to be admitted into this school, be at least able to pronounce and divide the syllables in reading, and to write a legible hand. None to be received that are under
years of age.
FIRST, OR LOWER CLASS. Let the first class learn the glish Grammar rules, and at the same time, let particular care be taken to im. prove them in orthography. Perhaps the latter is best done by pairing the scholars; two of those nearest equal in their spelling to be put together. Let these sirive for victory; each propounding ten words every day to the other to be spelled. He that spells truly most of the other's words, is victor for that dav ; he that is victor most days in a month, to obtain a prize, a pretty neat book of some kind, useful in their future studies. This method fixes the attention of Children exiremely to the orthography of words, and makes them good spellers very early. It is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art, in his own las. guage, as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound and different significations; the consciousness. of which defect make some men, otherwise of good learning and understanding, averse to writing even a. common letter.
Let the pieces read by the scholars in this class be short; sueh as Croxal's fables and, little stories. In giving the lesson, let it be read to them; let the meaning, of the difficult words in it be be explained to them; and let them con over by themselves before they are called. to read to the master or usher; who is to take particular care that they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the stops and pauses. A vocabulary of the most usual difficult words might be formed for their use, with explanations ; and they might daily get a few of those words and explanations by heart, which would. a little exercise their memories; or at least they might write a number of them in a small book for the purpose, which would help to fix the meaning of those words in. their minds, and at the same time furnish every one with a little dictionary for his future use.
THE SECOND CLASS..
To be taught reading with attention, and with proper modulations of the voice : according to the senti. ment and subject.
Some short pieces, not exceeding the length of a Spectator, to be given this class for lessons (and some of the easier Spectators would be very suitable for the purpose.) These lessons might be given on every night as tasks; the scholars to study them against the morning. Let it then be required of them to give an account, first of the parts of speech, and construction of one or two sentences. This will oblige them to recur frequently to their grammar, and fix its principal rules in their memory. Next, of the intention of the writer, or the scope of the piece, the meaning of each sentence, and of every uncoinmon word. . This would early, aca