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dominion, and renown? Was it the spirit of restless innovation, and avidity for political novelties? Was it not rather a system of laws adapted to the genius of the people, well established by authority, and long persisted in, without deviation from the original plan of each respective constitution ? Was it not the peculiar genius of their wise establishment, inspiring the minds of their youths with noble sentiments from age to age, and directing their conduct through successive generations to all that was fair and good? This spirit reigned among the Persians, the brave and virtuous companions of the elder Cyrus, and imparted its choicest influence to the Greeks and Romans of the purest times. And is it not, we may confidently ask, a SIMILAR, or rather a SUPERIOR SPIRIT, which has raised Great Britain to the glorious pre-eminence, which she has obtained among modern nations ? Has it not fostered the valour of her heroes, the wisdom of her philosophers, the sagacity of her statesmen, and the skill of her artists?

The great and extensive advantages which must. necessarily accrue to society at large, from the proper education of persons in the higher ranks of life, will appear from considering the influence of their exampiles upon all around them. If ignorance should be suffered to cloud their understandings, and immorality, resulting from a want of proper discipline, should disgrace their conduct; the injury done to society, will extend to all its members. But if persons in the higher ranks be well instructed in their duty, and their conduct, prove the rectitude of their principles, the. beneficial effects of their actions, like the overflowing waters of a fertilizing stream, will spread far and wide

in every direction, and the final result to the state will be highly important and eminently beneficial, as it will consist in general stability of principles, general regularity of conduct, and general happiness.

The rising generation, brought up in the true principles of religion, enlightened by general knowledge, and encouraged not less by the examples, than improved by the advice of their parents and their teachers, will be freed from the imputation of degeneracy ; they will follow their ancestors in the paths of integrity, honour, and true nobleness of conduct; they will be fortified against the attacks and the artifices of infidelity, and will persevere, as they advance in life, in every virtuous and honourable pursuit.

And may this indispensable and invaluable truth be for ever inculcated by parents and teachers, with a degree of solicitude and zeal proportioned to the importance of the subject, and for ever remembered by the young, that the honour of the BRITISH CHARACTER, and the stability of the BRITISH CONSTITUTION, must depend upon Religion, Virtue, and Knowledge, as their firmest and best supports. In the higher ranks of society, and more particularly among PROFESSIONAL men, it is more immediately requisite that these constituents of personal merit should be carried to the greatest perfection. Every sincere lover of his country therefore, will be eager to promote, by all expedients in his power, that RATIONAL, ENLIGHTENED, and comPREHENSIVE system of education, which improves and perfects all of them; and he will determine that every channel to useful information ought to be opened, every suitable reward proposed, and every honourable incitement held out,which may stimulate our ingenuous youth to IMPROVE TO THE UTMOST OF THEIR POWER

THE FACULTIES WITH WHICE PROVIDENCE HAS BLESSED THEM, IN ORDER THAT THE SEEDS OF INSTRUC

TION MAY PRODUCE THE MOST COPIOUS HARVEST OF

VIRTUE, AND THEIR CONSCIENTIOUS AND ABLE DIS

CHARGE OF ALL THE DUTIES OF LIFE MAY CONTRI

BUTE EQUALLY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS, AND TO THE GENERAL PROSPERITY AND TRUE GLORY OF THEIR COUNTRY.

SUPPLEMENT

TO CLASS II. CHAPTER II. VOL. I.

ON THE PROPRIETY OF LEARNİNG OUR OWN LAN GUAGE AS AN INTRODUCTION TO FOREIGN

LANGUAGES.

THE want of a grammatical knowledge of our own language will not be effectually supplied by any other advantages whatsoever. Much practice in the polite world, and a general acquaintance with the best authors, are good helps, but alone will hardly be sufficient. We have writers who have enjoyed these advantages in their full extent, and yet cannot be recommended as models of an accurate style. Much less then will what is commonly called learning serve the purpose ; that is, a critical knowledge of ancient languages, and much reading of ancient authors. The greatest critic and most able grammarian of the last age, when he came to apply his learning and his criticism to an English author, was frequently at a loss in matters of ordinary use and common construction in his own vernacular idiom. A good foundation in the general principles of grammar is in the first place pecest sary to all those who are initiated in a learned educa tion; and to all others likewise who shall have occasion to learn modern languages. Universal grammar cannot be taught abstractedly : it must be taught with reference to some language already known, in which the terms are to be explained, and the rules exemplified. The learner is supposed to be unacquainted with all but his native tongue; and in what other can you, consistently with reason and common sense, explain it to him? When he has a competent knowledge of the main principles of grammar in general, exemplified in his own language, he then will apply himself with great advantage to the study of any other. To enter at once upon the science of grammar and the study of a foreign language, is to encounter two difficulties together, each of which would be much lessened by being taken separately and in its proper order. For these plain reasons a competent grammatical knowledge of our own language is the true foundation upon which all literature, properly so called, ought to be raised. If this method were adopted in our schools ; if children were first taught the common principles of grammar, by some short and clear system of English grammar, which happily by its simplicity and facility is perhaps fitter than that of any other language for such a purpose; they would have some notion of what they were going about, when they should enter into the latin grammar; and would hardly be engaged so many years as they now are, in that most irksome and difficult part of literature, with so much labour of the memory, and with so little assistance of the understanding.

Whatever the advantages or defects of the English languagebe, as it is our own language, it deserves a high degree of our study and attention, both with regard to the choice of words which we employ, and with regard to the syntax, or the arrangement of those words in a sentence. We know how much the Greeks and the Romans, in their most polished and flourishing times, cultivated their own tongues. We know how much study both the French and Italians have bestowed upon theirs. Whatever knowledge may be acquired by the -study of other languages, it can never be communicated with advantage except by such as can write and speak their own language well. Let the matter of an author be ever so good and useful, his compositions will always suffer in the public esteem, if his expression be deficient in purity and propriety. At the same time the attainment of a correct and elegant style is an object which demands application and labour. If any imagine that they can catch it merely by the ear, or acquire it by a slight perusal of some of our good authors, they will find themselves much disappointed. The many errors, even in point of grammar, the many offences against purity of language, which are committed by writers who are far from being contemptible, demonstrate that a careful study of the language is previously requisite, in all who aim at writing it properly.

These observations appear to determine conclusively the subject which we have been discussing. They will suffice therefore to prove that the application of a child to a dead language, before he is acquainted with his own, is a lamentable waste of time, and highly detrimental to the improvement of his mind. It was the

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