Imagens das páginas

gument, or the fallacy of language, system of human knowledge, which but being capable, either of sensible rendersitimpossible to arrrive atexdemonstration, or immediately re- cellence in any one branch, whilst ferring to the first principles of hu. we remain totally ignorant of the man reason. It may also be addc, rest. The tendency of natural phi, that this science seems more corsa losophy to promote the interests of plete and perfect than any other, as morality, has already been hinted it generally attains the full end it at; and the science of mathematics aims at; whereas, in all other sci, is, in like manner intimately conences, we expect to improve, rather nected with other branches of natuthan to perfect, knowledge. ral philosophy

Under the comprehensive deno- I'must also remark, that though, mination of physics, are included under the general heads before many particular studies, each of mentioned, I mean to comprehend which affords ample materials for all human science; yet they by no investigation. The professed sub- means include every literary attainject of its inquiry is the whole sys. ment, in the pursuit of which man. tem of material nature ; in the pur- kind are busied ; many of which are suit of which branch of learning, it acquired only for the purpose of be- , seems propur, in the first place, to ing again employed in the attainacquire a general knowledge of the ment of farther knowledge. But, universe, as far as it is discoverable, as a skilful artificer, before he comeither by our natural endowments mences an important work, will or the artificial assistance with which bestow great attention in providing human invention has supplied us; theimplementsnecessary for his purand from thence to proceed, in our pose ; so it will behove us to be di. inquiries, through the animal, ve- ligent in attaining these preliminary getable, and mineral kingdoms; endowments, without which our lawhich employment, as it includes bours may either be partially frustraall we know of the earth we inha- ted, or may entirely fail of success. bit, bas acquired the name of natu- Of real knowledge there are ral history.

two sources, solitary observation It is by no means my intention to or inquiry; and information derived enter into a detail of the several from the previous knowledge of studies which properly arrange others; which last is by far the most themselves under these different copious of the two ; but as this can heads : it is sufficient to have indin only be communicated by the aid of cated the pre-eminence and subor- language, either oral or written, so dination which seem to subsist be- the certainty of the ideas we thus tween the different objects of acquire, will depend on the skill we science, and to have shown the ne- have attained in that language, by cessity of adopting similar distinc- means of which the information is tions.

conveyed. It must, however, be remarked, Thus, the acquisition of different that it is not perhaps in our power languages becomes necessary; but to pursue the sciences in the precise in this, as in other instances, care order here pointed out ; for there is must be taken that we mistake not a connexion, throughout the whole the means for the end ; and whilst

l Vol. XXXIII.


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we are employed in preparing fur- These studies, if they come not ther materials, suffer not so much properly under the denomination of of the building as we have already science, are essential to the dueproerected to fall to decay.-Toexert secution of it. Whilst they support ourselves in attaining a knowledge their dignity, we may rest satisfied of language, for the purpose of em- that true knowledge maintains its ploying that knowledge in higher ground; but when these begin to pursuits, is truly laudable ; but to be neglected, there is the greatest be conversant only with words, and reason to believe that ignorance and suffer the science to centre in itself, barbarism are again aiming to estais absurd and improvident.

blish their ancient empire, and to It is unnecessary to enter into an fear that their endeavours are not inquiry, how far translations may without success. supply the deficiency of classical It has been before observed, that learning; or to point out the many the pleasures we receive from the advantages of which such learning is fine arts depend on an original or productive; this having been already instinctive power of the mind, done, by an author* to whom the pub- which I have chosen to call the senlicare undermany important obliga- timental faculty; meaning to infer, 'tions. On the result of his “Enqui- that, as the improvements we make ry into the usefulness of Classical in virtue and knowledge, are foundLearning,” I shall take it for grant- ed on the moral and rational powed, that a knowledge of the ancient ers; so the acquisitions we make in languages is of great advantage in the arts, consist in the improvement many departments of science; from of certain feelings intimately conthe exercise of the mind in the ab- nected by some secret and inexstruser parts of grammatical study, plicable union with the effects of it acquires a facility and accuracy those arts. of distinction which no other occu- Whether the improvement of this pation can bestow : and by a proper faculty be, like that of our other selection of authors we may advance endowments, a duty incumbent on our real knowledge in any particular us; and if so, whether that duty science, whilst we are procuring the ought to have a preference to any, means of applying ourselves with and which, of those particular ocadvantage to further studies. cupations we have before noticed;

If language be considered as an and again, which of those arts, emimplement for the purpose of attain- ployed in the cultivation of our ing, or improving knowledge, logic feelings, is most powerful and effiis that art which

teaches us how to cacious in that respect, and ought make a right use of such implement; more particularly to claim our rewhilst philology, or the science of gard, are questions which might criticism, maintains the purity of admit of long inquiry, but which language, and guards it against I shall touch upon as briefly as posthose innovations which inattention, sible. fashion, and habit, are too apt to The arts now alluded to, are introduce.

those of poetry, music, and paint


* Beattie.


ing, or as they are called, in distinc. From the study of the sciences, the tion from manual ingenuity, the po- understanding is enlarged, and the lite arts.

faculties strengthened; from that of Although these arts seem on the the arts the affections are exercised first view to be contributory only to and the heart is improved. our gratification; yet it should seem It would be superfluous, before that Providence, in endowing us the present audience, to enter into with propensities and abilities to in- an explanation of this sentiment ; vestigate and improve them, meant for who has not experienced that that they should become, in some delightful glow, that inexpressible degree, the objects of our inquiry; sensation, favourable to virtue and and indeed we see throughout the humanity, which the labours of the whole creation, that the ends of genuine poet never fail to inspire ? beauty, amusement, and pleasure, Who has not felt himself roused to have never been neglected; other- action, or excited to pity, or affectwise we might ask, in the language ed with social sorrow, by the powof Shenstone,

erful effects of harmony, or the

vivid representations of the pencil? “ Why knows the nightingale to sing ?

After being conversant with these Why flows the pine's nectareous juice ? Why shines with paint the linnet's wing: arts, the mind feels itself soothed For sustenance alone : For use:

and softened, and is then capable of For preservation. Every sphere receiving more distinctly and deepShall bid fair pleasure's rightful claim ap- ly, and retaining to more effectual

pear. And sure there seem of human kind,

purpose, those finer impressions Some born to shun the solemn strife!

whence a very considerable share of Some for amusive tasks design'd

human happiness is derived, and To soothe the certain ills of life, which either give rise to, or highly Grace its lone paths with many a blushing improve all the charities of social

life. New founts of bliss disclose, Call forth refreshing shades, and decorate

Let us not then conclude, that, repose."

because the fine arts are apparently

calculated for the gratification of The cultivation of the polite arts our feelings, therefore they are to seems then to be conducive to the be postponed to all the more serious happiness of man, and consistent avocations which have before been with the true end of his nature: noticed. It is their province to act but there is a still higher purpose upon our affections and passions, the to which they should be applied impulses of which have often as the consideration of which will tend principal a share in the direction of to ascertain the rank they ought our conduct, as the suggestions of to hold, and to determine their rela- our judgement; and to regulate, tive claims upon our time and abi. correct, and harmonize them by lities.

those means which Providence has In admitting that tiie arts are in afforded us, becomes therefore a tended for our gratification, it must part of our duty no less ' essential not be understood that utility is ex- than the improvement of many of clusively the end of science, and the sciences, or the cultivation of amusement the end of the arts. our rational powers.

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To ascertain the particular rank branch of art which it has not sponto which the arts are entitled, taneously adopted. might perhaps be a matter of some I have thus made a faint attempt difficulty. That they ought by no to elucidate an idea which I conmeans to interfere with the attain- ceive to be of considerable importment of moral science is certain ; ance; and though I pretend not to and perhaps several branches of na- have balanced with an accurate tural philosophy, closely connected hand the comparative merit of the with the utility of mankind, may sciences, it is enough for my purhạve a stronger claim on our time pose, if I induce others to reflect, and abilities; but that they are in- that there is a considerable difference variably to be postponed to the stu- in the degree of attention that ought dy of nature in all its branches can- to be paid to them. And it will, I not be allowed. From the contem- hope, sufficiently appear, that the plation of heroic actions, whether cultivation of the moral sense ought communicated by the pen or the to be the grand object of our endeapencil, feelings are incited, strongly vours, and that even the improveconnected with the first and leading ment of our intellect is laudable, object of our pursuit, and of great principally, as it promotes this great importance to the advancement of end. virtue and the improvement of Let it however be permitted me human life.

to remark, that throughout this I must also remark, that as an un- essay, I have considered every invaried application to one pursuit is dividual of mankind as engaged to not only irksome to us, but fre- improve his abilities, and thereby quently defeats the end it aims at, promote his own happiness to the those occupations, by whose assist- utmost of his power ; but that I by ance mind can relax without de

rould be thought to debilitating, and amuse without de- tract from the characters of those grading itself, must ever stand high men who have employed their time in our estimation; and by being in and talents in the pursuit of partitermingled with our more serious cular sciences, even to the exclu. labours, will afford a degree of sion of others; and by arriving at cheerfulness, vigour, and activity, eminence in them, have extended which will tend more than any other the bounds of human knowledge, and means to insure success in higher smoothed the way for future trapursuits.

vellers. Infinite are the obligations Of an endeavour to fix the com- mankind are under to the illustrious parative excellence of the polite characters who have thus devoted arts with each other, the result themselves to the public good : but would be of little use, nor is the we may reasonably expect to stand subject susceptible of novelty. There excused, if, whilst we enjoy the is no great difficulty in influencing fruits of such generous ardour, we the judgement to the pursuit of any aim at the security of our private particular study; but the sentimental happiness, and prefer the secret confaculty chooses its own objects, and sciousness of a proper discharge of seldom makes a proficiency in any the duties of life, to the popular ap


no means

probation, which deservedly waits was a very unequal antagonist, he upon those who have successfully submitted to an evil which he could mexerted their abilities on subjects not remedy, and is content to be

which have little or no connexion ruined by the expences, and torwith the promotion of virtue and mented by the follies of a vulgar the advancement of moral recti- termagant, for the sake (as he says) tude.

of peace and quietness.

Very different was the opinion and the fate of

his brother Edward. -Determined 3 The happiness of a married life; from not to be made miserable by a lowthe Loiterer, a periodical work. born vixen, he early attached him

self to lady Caroline Almeria HoraF all the men I ever knew, tia Mackenzie, who inherited to.


scautious in the grand affair of and the pride of along line of North choosing a wife; and after mature British nobility. After a long and deliberation, discovered that fash- tedious courtship, in which she took ionable women were vain, and ac- care to make him completely sencomplished women affected. He sible of the honour done to him, her therefore married the daughter of ladyship obligingly condescended to one of his tenants, with no charm give him her hand; and still more excepting a little health and fresh- obligingly introduced to his acness, and no acquirements beyond quaintance and his house something those of a country boarding-school; more than a dozen of her great rebeing persuaded that because she lations, who have ever since taken was ignorant she must be humble, up their abode with him. and because low-born, unexpensive. After this, it is needless to say But of both these inferences he lived how much he is master in his own to experience the falsity; for his family: since every subject of concara sposa soon became intoxicated jugal discussion is immediately laid by the possession of pleasure of before this impartial jury; who inwhich she had till then entertained no 'stantly pronounce judgement on the idea, entered with eagerness into case, and exhort him to pay proper every species of fashionable dissipa- regard to a woman of lady Caroline's tion, and paid small regard to a hus- understanding, accomplishments, band, for whom she felt little grati. and rank. So that he possesses no tude and less affection.

other advantage over his brother It was in vain he argued, im- than the privilege of being made plored, and threatened ; too weak miserable in the


best company; for reason, too obstinate for intreaty, "The two Sedleys,” said my old and too passionate for remonstrance, friend, Frank Blunt, on entering she heard him with the vacant laugh my room the other morning, “ were of folly, or answered him in the a couple of silly fellows, and are pert virulence of vulgar invective; deservedly punished for their folly. the only part of her country educa- Hewho sets out in a wrong road must tion, which she never forgot.

not wonder if he does not reach his After battling it in vain for some journey's end. Had I followed months with an enemy to whom he their example I should have been


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