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wits and ingenuities lying scattered up and down the world; whereof some are now labouring to do what is already done, and puzzling themselves to re-invent what is already invented; others we see quite stuck fast in difficulties, for want of a few directions, which some other man, might he be met withal, both could and would most easily give them. Again, one man wants a small sum of money, to carry on some design that requires it; and there is, perhaps, another, who hath twice as much ready to bestow on the same design; but these two having no means ever to hear one of the other, the good work, intended and desired by both parties, doth utterly perish and come tr. nothing. But this we pass over slightly, though very fundamental to our business, because the master-builder thereof himself hath done it so solidly. Having by this means procured workmen, and what else is necessary to the work, that, which we would have them to labour in, is, How to find out such arts as are yet undiscovered; How to learn what is already known by more compendious and facile ways, and to apply it to more, and those more noble uses: How to work in men an higher esteem of learning, so as to give occasion, encouragement, and opportunity to more men to apply themselves to its advancement.
The next thing then to be done will be, first, to see what is well and sufficiently done already, exploding whatsoever is nice, contentious, and merely fantastical; all which must in some measure be suppressed, and brought into disgrace and contempt with all men.
2. This survey may be made by perusing all books, and taking notice of all mechanical inventions.
3. In this perusal, all the real or experimental learning may be sifted and collected out of the said books.
4. There must be appointed able readers of all such books, with certain and well-limited directions what to collect out of them.
5. Every book must be so read by two several persons a-part, to prevent mistakes and failings from the said directions.
6. The directions for reading must be such, that the readers, observing them, may exactly agree in their collections.
7. Out of all these books, one book, or great work, may be made, though consisting of many volumes.
8. The most artificial indices, tables, or other helps for the ready finding, remembering, and well understanding all things contained in these books, must be contrived and put in practice.
Having thus taken the height, or pitch, whereunto all arts and sciences whatsoever are already come, and observed where they now stick, the ablest men in every respective faculty must be set a-part to drive them on further, with sufficient maintenance and encouragement for the same. Whereunto it i» requisite that two or three, one under another, be employed about each faculty, to the end that, some of them dying, or any otherwise failing, there may never want men acquainted with the whole design, and able to carry it on, with the help of others to be admitted under them; and that, at least, yearly accounts be taken of those men's endeavours,.and rewards be proportioned to them accordingly.
And now we shall think of whetting our tools, and preparing sharp instruments for this hard work, by delivering our thoughts concerning education; which are:
1. That there be instituted ergastula literaria, literary work-houses, where children may be taught as well to do something towards their living, as to read and write.
That the business of education be not, as now committed to the worst and unworthiest of men, but that it be seriously studied and practised by the best and ablest persons.
That all children of above seven years old may be presented to this kind of education, none being to be excluded by reason of the poverty and inability of their parents; for hereby it hath come to pass, that many are now holding the plough, which might have been made fit to steer the state. Wherefore let such poor children be employed on works whereby they may earn their living, equal to their strength and understanding, and such as they may perform, as well as elder and abler persons, viz. attending engines, &c. and, if they cannot get their whole living, and their parents can contribute nothing at all to make it up, let them stay somewhat the longer in the work-house.
That, since few children have need of reading, before they know, or can be acquainted with the things they read of; or of writing, before their thoughts are worth the recording, or they are able to put them into any form (which we call inditing) much less of learning languages, when there are books enough for their present use in their own mothertongue, our opinion is, that those things, being withal somewhat above their capacity (as being to be attained by judgment, which is weakest in children) be deferred a while, and others more needful for them (such as are in the order of nature before those afore-mentioned, and are attainable by the help of memory, which is either most strong, or unpreoccupied in children) be studied before them. We wish, therefore, that the educands be taught to observe and remember all sensible objects and actions, whether they be natural, or artificial, which the educators must, upon all occasions, expound unto them.
That they use such exercises, whether in work, or for recreation, as tend to the health, agility, and strength of their bodies.
That they be taught to read by much more compendious means than are in common use; which is a thing certainly very easy and feasible.
That they be not only taught to write according to our common way, but also to write swiftly and in real characters; as likewise the dexterous use of the instruments for writing many copies of the same thing at once.
That the artificial memory be thought upon; and, if the precepts thereof be not too far above children's capacities, we conceive it not improper for them to learn that also.
That in no case the art of drawing and designing be omitted, to what course of life soever those children are to be applied,since the use thereof, for expressing the conceptions of the mind, seems, at least to us, to be little inferior to that of writing, and, in many cases, performeth what by words is impossible.
That the elements of arithmetick and geometry be by all studied,being cot only of great and frequent use in all human affair, but also sure guides and helps to reason, and especial remedies for a volatile and unsteady mind.
That effectual courses be taken to try the abilities of the bodirs and minds of children, the strength of their memory, inclination of their affections either to vice or virtue, and to which of them in panicular; and, withal, to alter what is bad in them, and increase and improve what is good, applying all, whether good or bad, to the least inconveniency, and most advantage.
That such as shall have need to learn foreign languages (the use whereof would be much lessened, were the real and common characters brought into practice) may be taught by incomparably more easy ways, than are now usual.
That no ignoble, unnecessary, or condemned part of learning be taught in those houses of education; so that, if any man shall vainly fall upon them, he himself only may be blamed.
That such as have any natural ability and fitness to musick, be encouraged and instructed therein.
That all children, though of the highest rank, be taught some genteel manufacture in their minority; such asare,
Turning of curious figures.
Making mathematical instruments, dials, and how to use them in astronomical observations.
Making watches and other trochilick motions.
Limning and painting on glass, or in oil-colours.
Engraving, etching, carving, embossing, and moulding in sundry matters.
The lapidary's art of knowing, cutting, and setting jewels. Grinding of glasses dioptrical and catoptrical.
Botanicks and gardening. Making musical instruments.
Navarchy, and making models for buildings, and rigging for ships.
Architecture, and making models for houses.
The confectioner's, perfumer's, or dyer's arts.
Chymistry, refining metals, and counterfeiting jewels.
Anatomy, making skeletons, and excarnating bowels.
Making mariners'compasses, globes, and other magnetick devices.
And all for these reasons:
1. They shall be less subject to be cozened by artificers.
2. They will become more industrious in general.
3. They will certainly bring to pass most excellent works, being, as gentlemen, ambitious to excel ordinary workmen.
4. They, being able to make experiments themselves, may do it with less charge, and more care, than others will do it for them.
5. The respublica artium will be much advanced, when such, as are rich and able, are also willing to make luciferous experiments.
6. It may engage them to be Mecaenates and patrons of arts.
7. It will keep them from worse occasions of spending their time and estates. >
8. As it will be agreat ornament in prosperity, so it will be a great refuge and stay in adversity and common calamity.
VOL VI. K
As for what remains of education, we cannot but hope, that those whom we have desired should make it their trade, will supply it, and render the idea thereof much more perfect.
We have already recommended the study of the elements of arithmetick and geometry to all men in general; but they being the best grounded parts of speculative knowledge, and of so vast use in all practical arts, we cannot but commend deeper enquiries into them. And although the way of advancing them, in particular, may be drawn from what we have already delivered, concerning the advancement of learning in general; yet, for the more explicit understanding of our meaning herein, we refer to Mr. Pell's most excellent idea thereof, written to Master Hartlib.
In the next place, for the advancement of all mechanical arts and manufactures, we wish that there were erected a gymnasium mechanicum, or a college of tradesmen (or, for more expedition, until such aplace could be built, that the most convenient houses, for such a purpose, may be either bought or hired) wherein we would that one, at least, of every trade (but the prime most ingenious workman, the most desirous to improve his art) might be allowed therein a handsome dwelling rent-free, which, with the credit of being admitted into this society, and the quick sale, which certainly they would have of their commodities, when all men would repair thither, as to a market of rare and exquisite pieces of workmanship, would be a sufficient motive to attract the very ablest of mechanicks, and such as we have described, to desire a fellowship in this college.
From this institution we may clearly hope, when the excellent in all arts are not only neighbours, but intimate friends and brethren, united in a common desire and zeal to promote them, that all trades will miraculously prosper, and new inventions would be more frequent, than new fashions of cloaths and houshold-stuff. Here would be the best and most effectual opportunities and means, for writing a history of trades, in perfection and exactness; and what experiments and stuff would all those shops and operations afford to active and philosophical heads, out of which, to extract that interpretation of nature, whereof there is so little, and that so bad, as yet extant in the world?
Within the walls of this gymnasium, or college, should be a nosocomium academicum, according to the most exact and perfect idea thereof; acomplete theatrum botanicum, stalls and cages for allstrange beasts and birds, with ponds and conservatories for all exotick fishes; here all animals, capable thereof, should be made fit for some kind of labour and employment, that they may as well be of use living as dead. Here should be a repository of all kinds of rarities, natural and artificial pieces of antiquity, models of all great and noble engines, with designsand platforms of gardens and buildings. The most artificial fountains and waterworks, a library of select books, an astronomical observatory for celestial bodies and meteors, large pieces of ground for several experiments of agriculture, galleries of the rarest paintings and statues, with the fairest gobes, and geographical maps of thebest descriptions, and,so far as is possible, we would have this place to be the epitome or abstract of the whole world: So that a man, conversant within those walls, would certairrry_prove a greater scholars than the walking libraries so called, although he could neither write nor read. But if a child, before he learned to write or read, were made acquainted with all things, and actions, as he might be in this college, how easily would he understand all good books afterwards, and smell out the fopperies of bad ones? As for the situation, model, policy, and oeconomy, with the number of officers, and retainers to this college, and the privileges thereof, it is as yet time enough to delineate. Only we wish, that a society of men might be instituted as careful to advance arts, as the Jesuits are to propagate their religion, for the government and managing of it.
But what relish will there be in all those dainties whereof we have spoken, if we want a palate to taste them, which certainly is health, the most desirable of all earthly blessings; and how can we, in any reason, expect health, when there are so many great difficulties in the curing of diseases, and no proportionable course taken to remove them? We shall therefore pursue the means of acquiring the publick good, and comfort of mankind a little further, and vent our conceits concerning a nosocomium academicum, or an hospital to cure the infirmities both of physician and patient.
We intended to have given the most perfect idea of this nosocomium academicum, and consequently to have treated of the situation and fabrick of the house, garden, library, chymical laboratory, anatomical theatre, apotheca, with all the instruments and furniture belonging to each of them, as also of the whole policy and oeconomy thereof. But since such a work could not be brought to pass without much charge (the very naming whereof doth deter men even from the most noble and necessary attempts) we are contented to portrait only such a nosocomium, as may be made out of one of our old hospitals, without any new donations or creeping to benefactors, only with a little pains taken by the reforming hand of authority. For we do not doubt, but that we have so contrived the business, that there is no hospital, in its corrupt state, can be more thriftily managed than ours. For the number of our ministers are no greater than usual, and absolutely necessary; their pensions no larger than are allowed to those, who do not make the service of the hospital the sixth part of their employment and means of subsistence; and yet we give encouragement enough to able men to undertake it, without meddling with any other business, which we strictly forbid. For, as the salaries are but small, so the charge of the ministers are not great, they being all to be unmarried persons, their accommodation handsome, their employment, being a work of publick and honest charity, honourable, and to philosophical men, who only are to have a hand in this business, most pleasant and delightful. Besides, when their respective times are expired, their profit and esteem in the world cannot but be very great: for their way of breeding will both procure them practice amongst such as are able to reward them, and give them a dexterity and ability, to manage and go through a great deal thereof. Moreover, the smallness of the salary, the long servitude amongst poor wretches, and restraint from marriages, the great pains and natural parts required to perform duties, will, I hope, prevent all intrusions of those, whose genius doth not incline them to take pleasure in this way of life.