Page images
PDF
EPUB

614

548

Tomlin's Index to the Reports, Narratam Silentio præterierit,

256

TOPAM on Diseases of Cattle, Voltaire, Observations sur les

écrits de,

280
TOULMIN's Sermon at Howe's VOYAGE round the World. See
Ordination,

93

Dixon.
Sermon on Sunday Voyage en Suede,

615

Schools,

568 VOYAGES Interesans, &c. 260

Tour to the Isle of Love, 87 URI-LXX. Hebdomadum, &c.
Tour, M. de la, Appel au Bon

370

Sens,

267

TOUSTAIN, Vifc. de, Morale di

W

Moisè,

TRACTATUS 363 'AKEFIELD's Remarks on

TRADE, new and old Principles

563

of,

417 Wales, Pr. of, Advice to, 81

TRANSACTIONS of the Society

his Letter to Mr. Pitt,
of Arts, &c. Vol. VI. 18
TRAVELs, modern, Flowers of, 83

Stri&tures on ditto, 177

through Silesia, by

Address to,

176

Hammard,

596 Walker on the Irish Dress, 216

TREATISE on Fevers, 547 Wallis's (Mrs.) Female's Me.

Trial between Dodwell and ditations,

272

Dudley,

70 Walter's Visitation Sermon,

of Atkinson, for Adultery,

566

359

WANOSTROCHT- Petite Encyclo-

Turks, M. Toderini on their pedie,

551

Literature,

665 Warburton's Letter to the

Turner's Essays,

557

Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Twin Sisters,

88

186

WARVILLE. See CLAVIERE.

WATERING Meadows, Account

U and v

of,

335

Watson's (Bishop) Charge, 280

AN MARUM’s Letter to Lan- WEATHER, Diary of, -462

driani,

602

Observations on, 463

Van TROOSTWYK et KRAYEN. WERTER. See LUDGER.

HOFF—de l’Application de l'E- WEston's Attempt to translate
le&ricité.

658 the Song of Deborah,
Velno's Syrup. See SWAINSON. Weston's (Joseph) Translation
Views in India. See Hodges, of Morfiii's Woodmen of Ar-
VILLEBRUNE, M. de, his Trans- den,

329
lacion of Ulloa's Memoirs con- WHEATLY's Remarks on Shake
cerning America,

260
speare,

552
VIMONDA, a Tragedy, 74

Whig and no Whig,

80

VIRGIL's Plough.

See Des WHIRLIGIG's Poet. Flights, 71

CARRIERES.

WHITELEY's Prize Elay,

Vision, a Poem,

554

WILBERFORCE, Burke, &c.

ULLOA, Mémoires Philofophiques, Speeches of, on the Slave

261

Trade,

559

VOLBORTH-Caufæ, cur Jose. Williams's (Miss) Poem on the
pbus cædem Puerorum Beiblem. Slave Trade,

237
WILLIAMS'S

186

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Art. I. Ledures on History and General Policy; to which is pre- .

fixe), An Essay on a Course of Liberal Education for Civil and
Active Life. By Joseph Priestley, LL.D. F. R. S. &c. &c. 4to.
il. is. Boards. Johnson. 1788.
T is a maxim of ancient wisdom, not the less valuable, whether

we derive its authority from Aristippus or from common sense, that young persons ought to be instructed in such things as will be useful to them when they become men. Had this obvious rule been followed by our ancestors, they would have traosmitted to us more perfect plans of education; or were it attended to, at present, as it deserves, our modern institutions for this purpose would soon undergo material alterations. Futile speculations would be wholly dismiffed from the schools; real science would cease to be prosecuted beyond the line of utility; and several branches of knowlege, which modern ingenuity and industry have discovered or improved, would be admitted into our circle of instruction.

In a plan of useful education, it cannot be doubted that the Study of history will be allowed a principal place. It seems defirable that this study should be pursued in different methods, at different periods of instruction. At a very early age, when the memory alone can be advantageously employed, a brief epitome of history may be learned ; and by means of a general chart, and other artificial helps, a strong impression of the great outline of fa&ts may be fixed on the mind, which will be easily retained, and may be applied to many useful purposes. At a later period, the ftudent Mhould be taught something more than mere names, dates, and facts; he should be aflifted to exercise his judgment on the great transactions wbich are exhibited before him in the field of history. But, as it is impossible that so large a field can be successfully explored during the Ahort term of education, the preceptor can do little more than interest his pupil in this branch of study, by representing to him the important ples to which it is capable of being applied, and afford him a clue for his future researches, y pointing out to him the sources VOL. LXXX, B

of

[ocr errors]

of history, the most easy and advantageous method of studying it, and the several objects which principally demand bis aitention.

It is for this latter and more important period of hiftorical inItruction that these Lectures are designed : and the ingenious and indefatigable author has fully, and, as will appear in the se. quel, very judiciously provided the student with such preparatory information, as may serve to render the ftudy of history pleasant, interesting, and useful.

Dr. Priestley opens his course of historical inftruction with a brief illustration of the tendency of history to amuse the imagination and interest the passions, to improve the understanding, and to strengthen our sentiments of virtue. He then diftinctly examines the nature and value of the several sources of hiftory, boch direct and indirect. Out of a great variety of just and useful remarks which occur in this part of the work, we shall select įhe following concerning law:

• As every new law is made to remove some inconvenience the ftate was subject to before the making of it, and for which no other method of redress was effe&tual, the law itself is a standing, and the most authentic, evidence we can require of the state of things previous to it. Indeed, from the time that laws began to be written in some regular form, the preamble to each of them is often an historical account of the evil intended to be remedied by it, as is the case with many of our statutes. But a sagacious historian has little occa. fion for any preamble to laws. They speak fufficiently plain of themselves.

• When we read that a law was made by Clothaire King of France, that no person should be condemned without being heard, do we need being told that before the time of the enacting that law the administration of justice was very irregular in that country, and that a man could have little security for his liberty, property, or life? Is it not a proof that the spirit of hospitality began to decline among the Burgundians as they grew more civilized, when there was occasion for a law to punish any Burgundian' who should thew a stranger to the house of a Roman, instead of entertaining him himself?

• It is but an unfavourable idea that we form of the state of paternal and filial affection among the Romans, from the tenor of their laws, which few an extreme anxiety to restrain parents from doing injustice to their own children. Children (say their laws) are not to be difinherited without just cause, chiefly that of ingratitude; the cause must be set forth in the teftament; it must be tried by the judge, and verified by witnesses, if denied. Whereas among other nations natural affection, without the aid of law, is a sufficient motive with parents to do no injustice to their children. A knowledge of another part of the political constitution of the Romans will probably help us to a reason for the uncommon defect of natural affection among them. The Patria Poteftas was in reality the power of a master over a slave, the very knowledge, and idea, of which, though it were not often exercised, was enough to produce severity in parents, and fear and diffidence in children, which mut destroy mutual confidence and affection.

• Cuftoms, and general maxims of conduct, being of the nature of unwritten laws, give us the same insight into the face of things in a country. The high efteem in which hospitality is held by the Arabs, and the religious, and even fuperftitious practice of it by them, and by other savage nations, thews the great want there is of that tirtoe in those countries, and that travelling is particularly dangerous in chem.

• The laws and customs of a country few clearly what was the mander of living and the occupation of the original inhabitants of ic. Thus where we find that the eldest sons succeed to the whole, or the greatest part of the estate, we may be sure that we see craces of feudal nations, of a military life, and a monarchical government; in which a prince is better served by one powerful vassal than by several weak ones. Where the children fucceed equally, it is a mark of a ftate having been addicted to husbandry, and inclined to a popular equal government. And where the youngest succeeds, we may take it for granted that the people formerly lived a pastoral and roving life, in which it is natural for the oldest to be provided for, and disposed of, the firft, and the youngest to take what is left; a manner of life which requires, and admits of, little or no regular government.

• The change of manners, and way of living, may be traced in the changes of the laws. Thus the change from a military to a commercial state may be traced in England by the progress of our laws, particularly those relating to the alienation of landed property; a thing absolutely inconsistent with strict feudal notions, and for a long time impraticable in this country; but which took place by degrees, as the interests of commerce were perceived to require, that every thing valuable fhould circulate as freely as poflible in a state. It mutt, however, be considered, that the change of laws does not keep an equal pace with the change of manners, but follows sometimes far behind. In almost every case, the reason and necesity of the thing first introduces a change in the practice, before the authority of law confirms and authorises it. This too is easy to be traced in a great many of our English laws, and particularly those which relate to the easy transferring of property, for the purpose of trade and commerce.

· Without entering into particular laws, we may observe of the kate of laws in general, as was observed with regard to language, that copiousness and refinement in them, and even intricacy and lediousness in the adminiftration of them, is an indication of freedom, and of improvements in civilized life; and that few laws, and an expeditious administration, are marks either of the connexions of persons being very few, and little involved (which is a necessary consequence of improvements), that the rights of persons have not been attended to, and that the nation is but little advanced in the know. ledge or poffesion of those things on which their happiness and le.. curity chiefly depend; or that too arbitrary a power is lodged in some hands or other; it being well observed by Montesquieu, that the tediousness and expence of law-suits is the price of liberty.'

.

« PreviousContinue »