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SOLOMON tells us, Ecclef. iii. 1, 17. and viii. 5, 6. There is both Time and Judga ment for every Work and for every Purpose under the Heaven: And that a wife Man's Heart discerneth both Time and fudgment, i. e. he judgeth well concerning what is to be done, and the Time when to do it: And therefore the Misery of Man is great upon him, because he knows not this Time and Judgment, he doth neither discern what is proper to be done, nor the proper Season of doing it. Prudence consists in judging well what is to be said and what is to be done on every new Occasion ; when to lie still and. when to be active; when to keep Silence and when to speak; what to avoid and what to pursue; how to act in every Difficulty ; what Means to make use of to compass such an End; how to behave in every Circumstance of Life and in all Companies ; how to gain the Favour of Mankind in order to promote our own Happiness, and to do the most Service to God and the most Good to Men, according to that Station we possess, and those Opportunities which we enjoy.
For this Purpose there is no Book better than the Proverbs of Solomon. Several of the first Chapters seem to be written for young Men under the Name of Solomon's Son: And all the rest of them should be made familiar to Youth by their frequent Converse with
chem, them, and treasuring them up in their Head and Heart.
AMONG human Writings of this Kind, perhaps the Book called Ecclefiaflicus, though it be among the Apocryphal Writings, is equal to the best of the Antients. And among the Moderns I know not a better Col. lection than the little Book of Directions, Counsels and Advices lately publithed by Dr. Fuller for the Use of his Son; though I could with he had rendered it more universally acceptable to all Readers, by avoiding some Severities on the other Sex, and that he had spared his little Railleries on the Name of Saints, though those offensive Sentences are but few.
The Ornaments ard Accomplishments of Life.
T HE last Part of Infručtion which I
include in the Idea of a good Education, is an Instruction of Youth in fome of the useful Ornaments aud Accomplishments of Life.
It has been the Custom of our Nation for Persons of the middle and the lower Ranks of Life, who design their Children for Trades and Manufactures, to send them to the La
tin and Greek Schools. There they wear our four or five Years of Time in learning a Number of strange Words, that will be of very little Use to them in all the following Affairs of their Station: And this very Learning also is generally taught in a very tirefome and most irrational Method, when they are forced to learn Latin by Grammars and Rules written in that unknown Tongue. When they leave the School they usually forget what they have learned, and the chief Advantage they gain by it is to spell and pronounce hard Words better when they meet them in English : Whereas this Skill of Spelling might be attained in a far Thorter Time and at an easier Rate by other Methods *, and much of Life might be saved and improved to better Purposes.
As for the Sons of those who enjoy more plentiful Circumstances in the World, they may be instructed in the Latin and Greek: Languages for several valuable Ends in their Station : And especially those who design the learned Profesiions, ought thoroughly to understand them: And such as pursue the Study of Divinity must be acquainted also with Hebrew and Chaldee, that they may read the Old Testament in its original Language as well as the New..
The French is now-a-days esteemed also an Accomplishment to both Sexes. If they
have See my Art of Reading and Writing, Chap. 21.
have. Time enough, which they know not how to employ better, and a good Memory, I would not forbid it. There are several good Books written in that Language which are not unworthy of our Perusal: And there are many Words now introduced in the English Language borrowed and derived from thence, as well as from the Latin and Greek; so that it may not be improper for an Englis Gentleman to learn these Tongues that he may understand his own the better. I add also, that if Persons have much ACquaintance with the French Nation, or have Occasion to converse with Foreigners at Court or in the City, or if they design to travel abroad, the French is a neceffary Tongue, because it is so much spoken in Europe, and especially in Courts. But otherwise, there are so many of the valuable Writings of French Authors perpetually tranflated into English, that it is a needless Thing to go through much Difficulty or take much Pains in attaining it. I am inclined to believe that, (except in the Cases abovementioned) few have found the Profit answer the Labour. As for those Persons who are bred up to traffick with other Nations, they must necessarily learn the Lan-guage of those Nations'; and this I reckon not among their Accomplishments, but consider it rather as a Part of their proper Business in Life,
In short, it is a Thing of far greater Value and Importance that Youth should be perfectly well skilled in reading, writing and fpeaking their native Tongue in a proper, a polite and graceful Manner, than in toiling among foreign Languages. It is of more Worth and Advantage to Gentlemen and Ladies to have an exact Knowledge of what is decent, just and elegant in English, than to be a Critick in foreign Tongues. The very Knowledge of foreign Words should be improved to this purpose: And in order to obtain this Accomplishment, they fhould frequently converse with those Persons and Books which are esteemed polite and ele. gant in their Kind. :. Thus far concerning the knowledge of Words. But the Knowledge of Things is of much more Importance. · 1. The young Gentry of both Sexes should be a little acquainted with Logick, that they may learn to obtain clear Ideas; to judge by Reason and the Nature of Things; to banish the Prejudices of Infancy, Custom and Humour ; to argue closely and justly on any Subject; and to cast their
Thoughts and Affairs into a proper and easy Method.
2. SEVERAL Parts of Mathematical Learning are also neceffary Ornaments of the Mind and not without real Advantage: And man ny of these are so agreeable to the Fancy that