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he resumés his more peculiar walk, he manifests in a great measure his former powers. In one point, we have been both surprised and disappointed. We cannot conceive how, in the course of his German tour, he could have overlooked the multitude of popular legends and fantastic stories connected with every part of Germany, and which are evidently so susceptible of comic effect, and so congenial to his talent. We hope, that, like the gentleman with the haunted head, he has only given us the result of one-half of his tour, and that he has still a large magazine of wonders in reserve.
ESTIMATE OF CLASSICAL LEARNING,” WITH A VIEW TOWARDS A NEW
ARRANGEMENT OF THE GRAMMAR-SCHOOLS, AND OF EDUCATION THEREIN. IN LETTERS FROM A PLAIN MAN TO THE EDITOR.
Letter I. Sir,
Your readers will discover in me gers, just as the electrical fluid does an old acquaintance, and one, too, into the body of a patient submitting who comes forward occasionally, as to the working of the machine ; and he trusts, for their good: I am to I can tell you, too, they did so with my countrymen what the old-fa as smart sensation.
« In the course shioned brownie was to those High- of the rolls," as a writer wouid say, land families to which he took a I came under the charge of Rector liking, for, on important emergen- Adam. His merits, both as a clascies, he made his appearance always sic and disciplinarian, are too well to their advantage. Besides, as he known to need comment; but to the frequently changed his shape, and last of these I can bear ample testishowed himself in different places, mony, for I have frequently been 80 do I ; for, in your Magazine, I made by him to ride the strong, treated to them of the improvement backed cuddy, and undergo the ameof our Scotch Judicatories, and the liorating operation of cocking. noted Entail case of Agnew of Seuchan: before that, in the New Edin- Oh, ye who teach the ingenuous youth of burgh Review, I illustrated to them nations, the Scotch Poor Laws, and the state
Holland, France, England, Germany, or
Spain, and future prospects of the Landed Interest ; and at still a remoter pe
I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,
It mends their morals-never mind the riod, in the year 1816, under the sig
pain. nature which I have written below, I addressed them in a series of letters So sang Lord Byron, in an after on the then important subjects of day. But in due time I escaped Corn und Money, which, being copied from such nurture, and came to from one Newspaper into another, play ball in the College, instead of the found their way into almost all the High-School-Yards; yet I neglected Journals of Scotland.
not my studies, for, under our exIn those letters, Sir, I mentioned cellent Latin Professor Hill, I read what I am ; but as most people are portions of Livy, Horace, and Virapt to forget their friends, especially gil, and the famous 10th Satire of if they have been obliged to them, Í the 4th Book of Juvenal--Omnibus must recall my history a little to their in terris, &c. I could give you the remembrance. Like the greatest part whole of it, Sir, would it not fatigue of boys about Edinburgh, in the your readers, but I shall spare them. middling ranks of life, I was an alum- We were, besides, well instructed in nus of the High School of your city. the niceties of synonimes, and heard My first four years were passed there also from the chair many delightful under the tuition of the stern, but puns and jokes, most of which we accurate Cruickshanks, from whose recollected better than the graver tawse Latin "nouns, pronouns, verbs, disquisitions we got on Roman Antiparticiples, adverbs, prepositions, in- quities; so necessary is it, or at least terjections, and conjunctions,” passed proper, to join the utile with the dulce. into my aching and unfortunate fin With our able Greek Professor, Dal.
zell, I began with alpha, beta, gamma, the old gentleman's) cram him well &c.-went through the grammar, and with Latin and Greek, and pack him a few chapters of John,- listened to off to the West Indies, and there the song of Anacreon, whose lyre will be no fear of him.” would sound nothing but love-a Before coming to Edinburgh, I most important lay to a youth of had been taught penna, regnum, and fourteen or fifteen,-got acquainted even umo, in that place. My father with Chryseis and Briseis, in the First was a friend of this schoolmaster; Book of the Iliad,—and became quite and it was on his maxim, though satisfied that Achilles was the great- reared, as I afterwards was, in the est hero, Agamemnon the greatest great city, that I was educated in the general, and Homer the greatest poet manner I have described, and sent that ever existed ; and all of them off to Jamaica to reap the fruits of far superior to what degenerated hu- my pursuits. On my arrival there, I man nature can possibly produce in was appointed a book-keeper ; and I these puny modern times.
began to fear that my friends had These, Sir, were the bounds of mistaken the matter a little, for it my classical instruction. But I threw did seem to me that less Latin, and not my learning at my heels, as many more of debtor and creditor, might do, when no longer subject to the have been better for me. ferula, or under the regulations of peared, however, no help for it then; the hen-class : for what was so well but I still hoped, like Gil Blas, when driven into my tail, has never escaped he rode his uncle's mule to Madrid, from my head; and I have kept up that I would bring my Latin and my acquaintance with the ancients Greek to good account. You have and their languages more than al- probably heard, Sir, of a scramble in most any man does who has bustled so the West Indies,--something like much in the world as you will see in what boys occasionally make when the sequel that I have done. I have they come huzzaing out of durance been anxious to tell you these things, vile, after the hour of dismissal has for, had they been otherwise, there struck ; but the West-India one was would have been not a little presump a far more serious thing. Importation in my now addressing you on tion of negroes into our colonies is this topic. So far as to my book now over, but it was not so then; ish education-my knowledge of ac and when
cargo of living human counts I got from my worthy writ- flesh was brought in by our traders, ing-master Allan Masterton, whose we white men scrambled, as we callname will never die, as it stands in ed it, to lay hold of and buy it. We the imperishable verses of my old rushed all at the same time on the friend Burns; he having been one of poor creatures, who were generally the social three who joined in drinke in the utmost terror, for they had ing the brewing of Willy Nicol's no doubt but we were to devour peck o' maut. That information, them alive; such having been the fate however, was but very limited; it which their insidious native priests being then generally the idea, that the in their own country had told them knowledge of the quantity of a few awaited them. Now, I being a stout Latin words, or the translation of a young fellow, my master permitted few ancient verses, which would me to try my hand at one of those likely be never recited more, was marts, and part of my purchase I far more important to a lad setting found to be a male and a female neout in the modern world, than Prac- gro from the northern part of Africa. tice, Tare and Tret, and the science is 'Tis all well,” thought I. of Double Entry. This notable fan Hellenes and the Pelasgi, the original cy was founded on the dictum of an Grecian tribes, came from thereabouts, eminent pedagogue who wielded the and in all probability these people split-leather-thong in the town of can speak Greek.” I therefore adDunse for forty years, and who was dressed the girl, (and a smart young wont to say, with not a little self huzzy she was,) out of the Anacreon, gratulation on his own success, with thelo, thelo phelesai; but gallant “ As for a young fellow, rot him, though my speech was, she stared at (which was a favourite phrase of me in perfect ignorance. To the
negro fellow I spoke from my ac a few good-natured, social neigh-
a little club which we have. It con-
which seem the most interesting. It is needless here to recite all my Among these, we have found “A plantation life. Suffice it to say, that Letter to the Patrons of the High I thrived like a green-bay tree plant- School, and the Inhabitants of Edin. ed by a river-made much sugar burgh, on the Abuse of Classical Edu. realized my property-and came cation ; and on the Formation of a home, undevoured by musquitoes, National School, adapted to the spirit and in tolerably good health, not with of the age, the wants of Scotchmen, standing all my broiling. My fore and the fair claims of other branches tune, however, was moderate, but I of education ; by Peter Reid, M.D." was contentus parvo, (you see, Sir, I That Letter, with all that we see gohave not forgot all my Latin even ing forward on the subject, has made yet.) I bought a neat house and gar these matters very much our topic of den in my native village, and married late, and sundry most important a wife, an honest man's daughter in questions on it have been started the neighbourhood, by whom I have amongst us; as, 1st, What is the pretwo sons, Jock and Tom, whom, as cise value and worth of classical learn, Roderick Random said of his family, ing as we have it? 2d, While threeI devoutly believe to be my own. score-and-ten, or, at most, four-score My days are spent in walking about, years, do “ sum up” the life of man, and reading a little, and my evenings (though by far the greatest part of frequently in playing a hit at back the human race tumble through the gammon, or a rubber at whist, with trap-door long ere they reach such ad.
vanced age,)-is it not preposterous daily mail, from one by the lumberto spend no less than seven or eighting coach and six, which of old was of these few fleeting years of the only occasionlly dragged to the melives of our fine boys, in hammering, tropolis in several weeks' travel, by or rather thrashing into them a the same set of horses, from some knowledge and that a very imperfect hostelry or change-house in the one) of a dead language or two? Grassmarket, at which it was always 3dly, Suppose that such knowledge is advertised, that Mr John, or Mr • worth the having, is it not possible Thomas Such-a-thing the coachman to communicate it to our youngsters might be talked with. Now, while all in a far shorter time? Sir, every these things are so, we inquire, why thing else has increased in rapidity'; is the classical curriculum the only and we ask, why should not this do machine which now-a-days travels so too? You can now reach Glas- slowly? Sir, all these questions gow, from Edinburgh, in five hours, we have discussed ; and on setting instead of a whole livelong day. out, it was my intention to have told You steam it now from Leith to you our reasonings on them both pro London in two days, instead of sails and con, and to have tried my hand ing it in twenty, which was the cus on a review of Dr Reid's pamphlet; tom forty or fifty years ago. As to but my room is out, and I must dethe land journey there, the terms of lay them till a future letter. I am, the old song of Igo and Ago are now in the meantime, verified, for “ to go to London's but
Sir, a walk,” it being a very different
Your obedient servant, kind of expedition indeed, by the
A Plain Man.
Like that philosopher-I've lost his
name, But he liv'd somewhere on the Conti.
nent, And died there too, and yet is known to
fameWho, when his mind, by being over
bent, Became confus'd like a poor weaver's
woof, Counted the red tiles on some neighbour.
Is there a cure for sorrow? Some folks
toil, And sweat it out, like sickness, from
the veins ; Another seeks the wine-cup to beguile His heart to happiness and fires his
brains; While others and by far the wisest
theyBow'd down before the source of comfort,
pray. But, reader, I nor toil'd, nor drank, nor
pray'd, Though I have done, and yet can do
them all ; But, in a novel manner, I essay'd To flee from Sorrow, with her midnight.
And so do all the labourers of thy kind- Especially in Scotland, where the dew Even Ramsay, Percy, Cromek, Diar- Is often chill, and heavy too the mid, Galt;
show'rs; And nameless thousands, who seem much To go quite naked would be most unplea. inclin'd
sant, To rise to fame-- that is to say, exalt And sober souls might think it, toomine Themselves on borrow'd pinions, like the
decent. jay In peacock plumes, that soon were torn
Here is the Glover,--speak, ye glovers,
Your pleasure when a bride comes in I read the Signs-ay, and with higher
to buy pleasure
Her wedding-kids—what flush is on her Than one, a blockhead border laird,
What mellow'd light within her liquid A dictionary, which he thought a treasure ;
Sure it can ne'er be such sweet nymph's And when he boldly to the finis fought,
desire Folks asked him if 'twas good ? he made To cheat her groom, though Jacob did his reply,
sire. “ The beuk is weel enough, but something dry.”
There is the Hosier, oh, I wish that Cupid
Had been a stocking-maker to his I read the Signs-each large and lovely
For human labourers often are so stupid, Which, like most tombstones, generally They spoil the finest works e'er Nature tells lies ;
made : For every shop's the cheapest-most ab- An eye, a lock, a lip, may point Lore's surd,
dart, When, “ the superlative (the teacher But handsome ankles kick it to the heart.
cries) Admits of no comparison;" but grammars Here is the Jeweller, where many a jewel The merchants study less than auction. (I mean the pretty ladies) calls full hammers.
To look at glittering toys that not a few Here's the Hat-manufacturer, a trade
will Most profitable, as I understand ;
Rejoice in purchasing ; such things may And pleasant too, for it requires no aid
soften From intellect, if people have a hand,
A fellow's finty heart, for more than Or rather two, from sheep to pluck the
This wicked world adore a golden calf. And place it on the cranium of a fool.
Here is the Bookseller, the man of sheets, There's the Silk-mercer, with his crape
Not winding ones, for shrouding lifeless and gauze,
limbs; And all those baubles ladies go from
Not bridal ones, where Love with Plea. home in ;
sure meets ; Effeminate profession for the paws
But paper ones of tales, and plays, and Of man ! 0, give the business up to
hymns : woman !
Deuce take their venders ! they are someNo, never mind, worms will be butterflies,
times greedy, And human crawlers too like brilliant
And authors, Heaven protect them ! often dyes.
needy. Here is the Grocer, very useful creature,
Here is the Teacher -all success to them If justice sway his conscience and his scales;
Who “ teach the young idea how to For, like a jackal, he provides our nature
shoot," With tea and mustard, treacle and ales ;
Not hares or grouse, or any sort of game, And all that people choose to set their For this is meaning that would never table on
suit For few eat grass now, like the King of The tender-hearted Thomson; he but sings Babylon.
In metaphors, because they're glaring
things. There is the Clothier, very useful too, Since folks were banish'd from fair There's the Apothecary-mercy on us ! Eden's bow'rs ;
Who saps our constitution and repairs;