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a boisterous subject, an undutiful son, a rough husband, an unnatural parent, a cruel master, a treacherous friend, or an unruly and turbulent man. These studies enlarge the mind, refine and exalt the undertanding, improve the temper, soften the manners, serene the passions, cherish reflection, and lead on that charming pensiveness of soul and philosophic melancholy, which, most of all, dispose us to love, friendship, and every tender emotion. But I will conclude this article, with which, as it treated on my favourite studies, I have perhaps tired you.
THE FIFTH, OR HIGHEST CLASS.
The principal of the college, whose name is Aratus, instructs this class in the study of agriculture and history. The knowledge of physics, acquired in the third class, contributes greatly to make the study of agriculture easy at this time. In some previous lectures Aratus resumes this subject; and, particularly, gives the youth a good knowledge of the animal structure and anatomy, which is not only of great use to teach them the proper care of their own health and bodies, but highly necessary by way of analogy to explain the economy and mechanism of plants, the structure of their vessels, their generation, manner of life and accretion, perspiration, circulation of sap, &c. &c. After this he examines, with the youth, the mineral strata of the earth; inquires into the nature of those saline and aqueous juices that constitute the nutritious matter or food of vegetables; and of those other fossils, which, being either heteroge
neous to the vegetable substance, or too gross to enter the roots of plants, serve, however, to soften and separate the concreted parts of the earth, and prepare it for vegetation. The whole is illustrated by a course of chymical and statistical experiments.
The theory of vegetation once explained, and tolerably understood, what remains in the study of husbandry is not very difficult, For, after obtaining a good insight into the vegetable economy, the quality of soils, &c. by the analysis of plants and fos sils, as above, the youth may be enabled to judge what effect every manure will have on every soil; what is the proper manner of preparing the ground for the seed; and what seed or plant should be assigned each natural earth; in which chiefly consists the husbandman's art. After this foundation is laid, they proceed to read Varro, Columella, Tull, Bradley, &c. assigning, as they go along, the rationale, for the natural phenomena and rules of tillage, recorded in these authors, upon the principles and philosophy of modern naturalists.
One part of the day is given, through the year, to the study of agriculture, as laid down above. The remainder is assigned to the study of history; by which, it is plain, I do not mean the reading of history to satisfy the curiosity for a moment, with the knowledge of single and irrelative facts; which, it must be owned, is all that youth generally profit by history, at the age, and according to the method, it is commonly handled. In the course of the abovementioned studies, and from their private reading for amusement, the Miranian youth, I need not tell
you, must, by this time, have obtained a pretty full knowledge of the principal events that happened in the world before they were born. The business of this class is of a far more noble and extensive nature than this. It is to review those events in the calm light of philosophy, when related in their full extent, attended with a deduction of their immediate and remote causes and consequences, in order to make them a lesson of ethics and politics, and an useful rule of conduct and manners through life.
It is dangerous to send raw and unpractised vir. tue abroad into a world, where right and wrong are too often confounded; and nothing can obviate this danger, but the giving youth a previous acquaintance with the world, and making them behold virtue and vice, with all their consequences, painted in genuine colours by the historian. Numerous are the evils that arise in society when youth are sent into it, especially in any high station, without this knowledge. In such case, neither logics, mathematics, physics, rhetoric, nor all the branches of speculative knowledge they are capable of attaining, can direct their conduct, nor prevent their falling a prey to designing men. These sciences, however, if we do not stop at them, are highly useful, and render the studies of this class pleasant and profitable. As the study of agriculture was made easy, by a previous knowledge in natural philosophy; so is the previous knowledge of the fundamental principles of ethics, a fine introduction to the philosophical study of history. This subject Aratus resumes before entering upon history. He considers man, in the solitary state of nature, sur
rounded with wants and dangers, and nothing secure to any of the species, but what can either be acquired or maintained by force. From thence he takes occasion to shew the necessity mankind lay under of entering into society, and voluntarily resigning some share of their natural freedom and property, to secure the rest. Then he explains the different forms of government, with the advantages and inconveniencies in the administration of each.
This being premised, the youth enter upon the study of the Grecian history in the following manner. Aratus prescribes a portion of it, which, against next day, they must read in their chambers, and abridge the substance of it into writing, about twice or thrice as large as a copious argument of any chapter. This fixes the facts deeply into their minds, teaches them, moreover, to express themselves in a short and nervous manner, as occasion may require it; and when the whole is finished, serves as a recapitulation of the history, to which they may always have recourse through life, and bring the facts fresh into their memory. These summaries are revised in the class by the principal, who is careful to make them apprehend the blameable and praise-worthy, in the constitution of the several states; and, in the familiar way of dialogue, to make them give their opinion upon the facts mentioned, the manners and customs of the people, &c. drawing proper moral inferences from the whole. In this manner a portion is abridged, and descanted upon, every day, till they have gone over the history of the flourishing ages of Greece; which they perform in about the space of a month. The history of
Rome (Mr. Hooke's judicious collection of it) is studied, in the next place, down to the days of Augustus. This requires about two months more.
All between this period and the beginning of the sixteenth century is passed over, the remainder of the year being spent in the study of modern history; from some good introduction to which, they first take a general view of the principal states and kingdoms in Europe, that now divide that power among them, upon which depends the whole system of police operating at present. After that, they descend to study the history of England, from the beginning of the said century, in the same manner that they had before studied the history of Greece and Rome; the Principal taking care, as they go along, to note the rise, interests, dependencies, and constitutions of the several nations and states, whose histories are interwoven with that of England. They conclude the whole, with a view of our colonies in this hemisphere; their state, produce, interests, government, &c; taking some notice as they go along, of the French and Spanish settlements that we are chiefly concerned with in trade. Every Sunday night, about an hour is spent in the study of the bible history.
Though this is but a small part of the history of mankind, yet it is as much as can conveniently be brought, and much more than generally is brought, into a scheme of public education. The youth are thus sent into the world well acquainted with the history of those nations they are likely to be most concerned with in life; and also with the history of Greece and Rome, which may be justly called the