Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, July 15, 1789, Image 1

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    [No. XXVII.]
« The loft which the commonwealth fufers by the
r'aJvient of its youth, is like the toss which the
SuJid/fpr by the Jeftruiiion of the firing."
THE world has been amused with so ma
ny treatises upon education, that any
exempt to throw further light upon the fubjedt
may be deemed useless, if not prefunung. It can
,;: d lv be expected that any person will wish tor
new information ; but that as loon as per
ceived what topic is introduced, the reader will
turn from it, with impatience and disgust. I can
Inly allure him that this eflay is intended rather
iive scope to his reflections than to enforce
mv own. Kis attention is solicited to dilate the
hints that are fuggelted, and it is hoped he
will be able to afford instruCtion from contem
plating more at large, what is here so partially
iri'nated. If he finds my remarks idle and un
important, he ihould neglect or forget them ;
but if he finds them founded in reason and capa
ble of being improved into utility, I entreat he
would cherish them with care, and recommend
them with fervour.
Men destined to the rcclufe paths of abitract
science acquire an invincible attachment to what
has colt them so much time and perplexity. They
rc fl e( ft on the tedious hours they have consumed
in the acquisition, and suppose they pay an ill
compliment to themselves in not fixing the lngheft
value on their attainments. The human mind
is apt to be seduced into an ovcrated opinion of
its own improvements. So fafcinating are fcien
tific accompliihments, that men abltracft all ideas
of utility, and feel themselves attached to the
inerepofleifiou ofknowledge, independent of the
advantages that attend it. Under fucli imprefli
onsthey listen, without a desire of being con-
when any observations are made with a
view of changing the course of those academical
pursuits which they have followed with so much
aifiduity, and in which they have made eminent
proficiency. Such men will condemn me with
out an hearing; and will rather affect to ridicule
my lketches as pointing to an absurd innovation,
than deliberate upon them as deserving a serious
The advocates for an undifci iniinating mode
of education hedge themselves under the follow
ingtrainof reasoning. They alledge that the
clallical studies are of such a nature, as will be
equally important to all men, who wish to make
a oiftinguillicd figure in society : No person can
be eminently qualified for aconfpicuous station,
who has not some acquaintance with science in
general: The connection between the different
branches oflitcrature is so naturally eftabliflied,
that perfection can be attained in none, without
a knowledge of all: It is only intended that the
academical acquirements Ihould lay the foundati
on, on which to build a superstructure conform
ably to the profeflion, one proposes to pursue :
Classical studies maybe considered in the light of
firft principles or elements whichare requisite to
give the lead in every celebrated fpliere of life,
and which are not specially adapted to one pro
feflion more than another : Indeed when a youth
enters a university, it cannot be known what
will be his future employment or destiny, and
therefore he Ihould be amply prepared to figure
in scenes the molt refpe<ftable and interesting:
His qualifications will be partial and incomplete,
and he can have no claim to an elevated rank in
society unless he gains some general notion of all
the sciences. To thcle weighty reasons it is ad
ded that the order and discipline of academies
require the ftridteft system and uniformity, and
that 110 regulations can be eftabliflied for giving
Special scope to different geniuses, but that all
mult be confined to an exa«ft similarity of clalli
cal erudition: By instituting any other method,
afeminary of learning would become a scene of
confufion and discord, rather than the fountain
from which Vll owl edge and virtue would regular
ly flow. ° b
This representation, I must confefs, gives a
Specious colouring to the facts, and a plausible
s ppearance to the arguments. Long habit has
lorivetted the prejudices of l'cicntific men to the
cultomary modes of education, that those loose
leafonings carry the force of infallible concluli
°ns. h will be found upon a little invcfligation
I at those principles at e true to a certain extent,
jut like many other truths have their fixed boun
daries. 1 Ihould suppose that in all fcliools for the
. nation of children previous to their commen-
c 'ng an education at public universities, some
nuitoniiity should be observed in the aflignation
""''•dies. l'he only general exception to tliis
that is proper to eitablifh is. that those lads
o are not intended as pupils for an university
- cj! i rcceivt a different management from those,
Li '
WEDNESDAY, July 15, 11*9-
who are to be qualified for that purpose. It is to
be prefuined that at that period of life, when a
youth can be admitted into an university, he will
afford some indications of a peculiar propensity
of genius. If no such bias is discovered it is a
proof; either,that he has so comprelienfive a mind,
that all sciences readily aflimilate with his facul
ties, or that he has so barren an undeiftandine;
that no particular science so far corresponds with
his perceptions as to produce a fertile cultivation.
In either of these cases, perhaps lei's injury will
result from an undiftinguilhing mode of tuition
than has been apprehended. The former of those
characters will become master of all clafiical stu
dies and yet have fuflicient leisure to acquire
other accomplishments, that participate more of
taste and elegance. He can never seize upon a
wrong objeift of literature becaufeliis inclination
and talents will sooner or later carry him into
an extensive range of general science. The lat
ter of these characters as they can never rife to
eminence in any species of mental improvement,
and as they manifeft no aptitude or preference
for one fort of science above another, may pro
perly enough pursue the rotine of claflical flu
dy, because there is 110 clue to direcfta deviation
from it. Youth of this defci iption gain no other
advantage from their literary pursuits than what
is derivedfrom the nominal reputation of having
been liberally educated. They may perhaps
make virtuous, ufeful members of society ; but
they become so only from the knowledge and
experience they obtain after tliey retire from the
walls of the academy, and relinquish every hope
as literary eminence. Their minds are not for
med for abftraifi science ; 'and can raise no defi
nite images from combining their perceptions.
Their mental operations terminate in nothing ;
and they have no clear ideas but what are con
veyed through the organs of the fenl'es. With
refpeccto such people, every obje>slion that would
lie against one method of tuition, might be
squally applied to all Thelofsof time and the
sxpence are the only inconvenience they sustain
from their studies, and this they must sustain let
them study whatthey will.
But there are other descriptions of students,
who can only derive benefit from a public edu
cation by a discrimination and attention in the
manner of instruction. To illustrate this point shall
be the fubje<fl of another number.
AN indelicate woman is a nuisance to society ; I would not
here be underllood to mean a common proftitutc; but one who
pretends to the chara&er of a modest, orchaftc woman ; but who,
ti om the vanity of being thought witty, and mistaking obicenity
for wit, is perpetually uttering bawdry in plain terms to raise a
l..ugh ; 01 in double entendre!, conveying impure ideas.
A notorious ftrumpct is despised and avoided by all who value
theii reputations; in luch a folitary,and completely wretched situa
tion, ihe ceases to be a dangerous example, but rather serves as a
beacon, to warn the sex, by exhibiting the p>£iure of vice in its ut
tnoit deformity : There are also many instances of female defec
tion, where no cafe, or (ituationin life is more truly pitiable
youth, simplicity, inexperience, and often a prepoffeflion in favor
of the object, open a thousand doors to the numberless insinuating
irts of feduftion : Remorseless man! the crime is all his own
Unhappy injured woman! her's the disgrace and punishment; for
if perrhance (he escapes public infamy, yet oft her still chaste mind
secretly deplores the indelible stain, bewailing ia tearful folitud:,
her violated honour.
But the woman of loofc conversation, though she may not be a
whore, perhaps because untempting, or untempted, yet is her mind
often more grossly depraved and debauched; with her lewd con
ceits, flic pollutes the delicate car ; violates the chaste mind, and
poisons the morals of all her acquaintance : She difgufls the wife
with her incontinence ; and the libertine with her unmeaning, or
ill-timed provocations : She is a whore in principle, though not
in pra£lice, and pofllffes their word, most lliamelcfs, and most
difguftful properties : It may with propriety be said (he keeps a
bawdy-house, and gives lessons of concupiscence ; though she has
not been (educed, Ihe is a common seducer; debauching bothlexes,
and if a mother, her own children.
MANKIND in advcrfity are too apt to complain that their
friends have forfaken them : there wants but little reflection to be
convinced that this is an erroneous idea ; adyerfity only enables a
manto distinguish his real from pretended friends; nor do I know
of any other certain tell, or criterion : Those only deserve the
name of friends, who regarding with equal indifference the linilcs
and ffowns of fortune, are neither attratted by the one, or repul
sed by the other : Those whom the man in profpoi uy supposed to
be his friends, and of whom, in adverlity, he complains, never
deserved the name; nor can they be justly acculed of any change ;
they are only poor pitiful reptiles that are always teen 1 warming
and balking in the lunfhine of prosperity; but when the clouds
of adverlity fliade their wonted retreat, they grow cold and tor
pid, creep from the once pleasing, but now gloomy scene, and hav
ing gained a certain, wifhed-for diftancr, sneak off to brighter,
and more cheerful Hues : To these, an unfortunate man serves on
ly as a signal ofdanger ; and to avoid the rock on which he split,
they deem it most prudent to (liun the unhappy vittim 4t tempora
[1 fuerint nutild,folus ens." But as misfortunes are often unavoi
dable, and when otherwise, frequently flow from a too generous
confidence, or forbearance, or fomc other cxcefs that favours more
of virtue than of \ ice, it is greatly to be regretted, that they Ihou.d
be indiscriminately treated as crimes, and avarice, usury, and ex
tortion be often dignified with the honourablecpithcts o- prudcnce.
industry, and honesty.
f Published on Wednesday and Saturday .j
Having already observed that a man who has riot experienced a
revrrfr of fortune, willnever be able to discriminate his real from
pretended friends ; so there ii probably no man who would choole
to make the expciiment upon such hard terms, but would wifely
prefer taking mankind as he finds them, with, or without a malk ;
for as society is preferable to solitude, so of courfc pretended
friends have their use ; they can sing as good a song, tell as good a
llory, drink a glass as ctfeerfully, give as good a toafl or feritiment,
be as entertaining, and make at Icafi as warm profeflions as the belt
friend in the world : They are always ready to oblige—those wiio
want no favours; to lend—to those who do not waiit to borrow ;
to give—where they expect a spur-sold returnand to render any
fcrvices, in Soy way—to those who they are fOfe will amply repay
them; thus they supply the place of real friends to those who Hand
in need of none ; and may be said to be equally ufeful where no
diJinUreJled services are required; and thus the rich feel their con
venience, arid seem to taste the sweets of friend Ship perhaps with
out one real friend—" donee eris Jelix mu/tos numcrabis amicos."
However paradoxical therefore it may appear, it is nevertheless
true, that thedilcovery of a real friend is a misfortune that every
wife man would wish to avoid ; and the enjoyment of triany pre
tended friends, a happiness which every man would wish to polTcfs.
£. C.
THE great pillars supporting national pros
perity and happiness are AGRICULTURE, MA
their due combination and arrangement we de
rive the greatest circulation, and that aggregate
income, which being the subjeCt of taxation, af
ford a a revenue to the public—v>hereby a naval
and military power is eftablilhed, tending to in
ternal security, while k renders us formidable to
outward enemies. We have too frequently heard
invidionsand altogether ideal distinCtions between
the agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial
interests of a community, which on a proper and
candid view of the subjeCt will be found to spring
from each other, to be intimately and efficiently
connected, and not easily feperaied in their prin
ciples or effeCts, and to flourifh bell while going
hand in hand. The Earth envelopes the molt
important articles in use among mankind : From
its bowels and furface do 1 we obtain chief of the
raw materials for manufactures and commerce—
which are extracted by the hand of the labourer,
rendered lit for use by the artizan, and bartered
or exchanged by the merchant, to the belt possible
profit ; and w6 may with propriety consider the
progressive numbers of the people, the extent of
their industry, and fucceflive amount of their
traffic, and their wealth, as objects of the firftcon
fequence to the political greatness of a people :
The observation that the number of its inhabi
tants is the belt estimate of the riches of a coun
try, is peculiarly applicable to America; and the
natural encouragement which is here presented,
must induce frequent emigrations from other parts
of the world—while the l'alubrious climate we en*-
joy will tend to produce a vigorous tncreafe ol
internal population —which piofpect is alio 1 en
hanced by the equivalent each one will here find
for his labour, the means of subsistence propor
tionate to numbers—a happy government, and a
free people, wliofe native genius and enterprise
claim the patriotic attention of those in power,
to dilburtlien the landed interelt as much as possi
ble from public exactions; to eflablifhfocietiesfor
the encouragement of industry and ufeful Ikill;
granting premiums for discoveries in agriculture
and the mechanic arts, and to lower the interest
of money; open roads, canals, and polls, as objeCta
of public utility : From such encouragement we
have every reason to expect the moll beneficial
consequences to our trade and manufactures : our
present proficiency in many branches of the lat
ter, juftify such a hope : Already our breweries,
and diltilleries, our iron, paper, leather, duck,
cotton, wollen, linen, oil, fnujfF, and other manu
factures bear a very pleasing appearance, and
patronized by the follering hand ot government,
mult ere long produce the greatest national ad
It is to a nice attention, and an able manage
ment of these subjeCts by government, that Great-
Britain owes her present national prosperity and
glory: One of her writers fays, that from such a
line of conduCt it has followed, " That although
" an empire has been rent aflunder;—a whole
<' continent,fo peopled as to class at present among
" the Potentates of the world, has been detach
" e d from her ; and that event which was pur
" chafed by the French, Spaniards, and Duteh,
" at theexpence of 140,000,0001. Sterl. as the fu
" reft means of pulling down that country, has
" been so far from having such an effect, that they
" are proved, on the most authentic records, to
" be more flouriffiing, and consequently more
" formidable, than at any former period fnicc
<£ the foundation of the monarchy."
But why need we seek for proofs to support
felf evident propofitions,or strive to inculcate by
example what is dictated by common sense, and
arises from the nature of things ?