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nius of the schools takes the lead, and harangues the goddess in the following speech, which conveys the keenest satire on the prepofterous plan of scholastic education.
“ Since Man from beast by Words is
“ Words are Man's province, Words we teach
66 alone. “ When Reason doubtful, like the Samian
" letter, “ Points him two ways, the narrower is the
« better. « Plac'd at the door of Learning, youth to
guide, “ We never suffer it to stand too wide. “ To ask, to guess, to know, as they com
mence, " As Fancy opens the quick springs of Sense, “We ply the Memory, we load the Brain, “ Bind rebel Wit, and double Chain on Chain, “ Confine the thought, to exercise the breath; " And keep them in the pale of Words till death. « Whate'er the talents, or howe'er design'd, “ We hang one jingling padlock on the
This is a fine ridicule on the preposterous method of forcing all boys to make verfes, whether they have a poetical turn or not.
The pedagogue then complains, that when men come into the world, they sometimes forget this verbal learning, and apply themselves
to useful knowledge, which occasions the goddess suddenly to break forth in an eager with for arbitrary power, which is best supported by turning men's attention from the study of things, to that of words and founds.
“ Oh (cry'd the Goddess) for some pedantReign! “ Some gentle JAMES, to bless the land
again; “ To stick the Doctor's Chair into the Throne, “ Give law to Words, or war with Words
“ Senates and Courts with Greek and Latin
" And turn the Council to a Grammar School ! “ For sure, if Dulness fees a grateful Day, “ 'Tis in the shade of Arbitrary Sway. " ()! if my sons may learn one earthly thing, “ Teach but that one, fufficient for a King; “ That which my Priests, and mine alone,
“ maintain, “ Which as it dies, or lives, we fall, or reign : “ May you, my Cam, and Ifis, preach it long ! “ The Right Divine of Kings to govern
These few lines are penned with the spirit of true genius, which is ever abhorrent of tyranny under every form. The found sense, strong satire, and manly freedom of sentiment with which our poet on all occasions vindicates the political and religious rights of mankind, plainly prove him to have been a bigot to no fect or party.
The goddess having called upon her sons to preach the slavilh doctrine of divine right, the poet with great pleasantry and propriety makes the deputies of the universities, especially the friends of Aristotle, attend prompt at her call. Aristotle had established it as a principle, that some men were by nature made to serve, and others to command, therefore none fo fit as his followers to enforce the servile doctrine of divine right.
The speech of Aristarchus, who explains to the goddess the mode of academic education, as chiefly confined to verbal criticism, is replete with keen ridicule: and the exclamation which follows is happily expressed.
“ Ah, think not, Mistress! more true Dulness
“ In Folly's Cap, than Wisdom's grave disguise. “ Like buoys, that never sink into the flood, “ On Learning's surface we but lie and nod. “ Thine is the genuine head of many a
“ house, “ And much Divinity without a Nēs."
Having displayed the art of teaching words without things, in the same dull track with the grammar-school, in the next place, he exhibits the skill of teaching things, without any profit to the pupil, by perversely misapplying his talents to pursuits from which he is wholly averse; or confining his genius with the curb of authority, which brings all minds to one dead level.
This part of the speech of Aristarchus is so poignant, and just a satire on modern education, that the transcript will not appear long.
What tho'we let some better fort of fool “ Thrid ev'ry science, run through ev'ry
< school? Never by tumbler through the hoops was
66 shown “ Such skill in passing all, and touching none, “ He may indeed (if sober all this time) “Plague with Difpute, or persecute with
“Rhyme. “ We only furnish what he cannot use, " Or wed to what he must divorce, a Muse; “ Full on the midst of Euclid dip at once, “ And petrify a Genius to a Dunce: “Or set on Metaphysic ground to prance, “ Show all his paces, not a step advance. " With the same CEMENT, ever sure to bind, “ We bring to one dead level ev'ry mind : “ Then take him to devellop, if
you can, “ And hew the Block off, and get out the Man.”
The poet proceeds by regular gradations still farther to expose the defects of fashionable education, in the character of a youth just returned from his travels, attended by his governor and a courtezan, whose appearance drives Aristarchus away.
For the beauty of poetical description, and for exquisite raillery, nothing perhaps can exceed the following lines, which expose the absurd progress and mischievous fruits of modern travelling, in a speech from the tutor to the goddess.
absurd 6. To
« Thine from the birth, and sacred from the
« A dauntless Infant! never scar'd with God.
“ Thro' School and College, thy kind cloud
“ o'ercast, “ Safe and unseen the young Eneas past: “ Thence bursting glorious, all at once let
down, “Stunn’d with his giddy Larum half the
Intrepid then, o'er feas and lands he flew:
Europe he faw, and Europe saw him too. “ There all thy gifts and graces we display, “ Thou, only thou, directing all our way! “ To where the Seine, obsequious as the
runs, " Pours at great Bourbon's feet her silken
“ Or Tyber, now no longer Roman, rolls, “ Vain of Italian Arts, Italian Souls: " To happy Convents, bosom’d deepin vines, “ Where slumber Abbots, purple as their