Abbildungen der Seite








[ocr errors]

I. Introductory Particulars. 1. KNOWLEDGE is either necessary and useful, or ornamental and luxurious.

It distinguishes civilized from savage life. Its cultivation in youth promotes virtue, by creating habits of mental discipline; and by inculcating a sense of moral obligation.

Knowledge is, therefore, the best foundation of happiness.

2. Necessary KNOWLEDGE is that which simply provides man with food; and with the means of sustaining life.

3. Useful KNOWLEDGE is that which teaches the arts of agriculture, clothing, building, restoring health, preserving social order, main, taining national independence, and rendering the produce of all climates subservient to the wants of our own.

4. Ornamental KNOWLEDGE relates to subjects of taste; as drawing, painting, poetry, grammar, geometry, eloquence, history, music, dancing, dramatic representation, and the living languages.

[ocr errors]

5. Luxurious KNOWLEDGE includes abstract enquiries; as physics, metaphysics, many branches of experimental philosophy, heraldry, antiquities, and the dead languages.* 6. Man is an animal endowed with

powers communication, memory, association, imitation, reflection, and reasoning ;-talents given him by his Maker; for the good use of which, he is accountable in a future state.

7. In his unimproved and uncivilized condition, man is naked, without habitation, without means of defence or offence, and possessed of no means of subsistence, besides the wild fruits and spontaneous produce of the earth.

8. To this day, many nations live naked in caverns under ground, perform no labour, and depend for their subsistence on the spontaneous products of the earth, and on the flesh of animals, which they destroy by simple stratagems.

Observation.-Such, are many of the nations of Africa ; the inhabitants of New Holland; of many of the South Sea Islands; the Greenlanders; the natives of Hudson's Bay; and some of the Siberian nations; of whom, very curious particulars will be found in books of voyages and travels, and in Goldsmith's popular system of Geography.t

9. Till the Romans invaded England, the Britons lived naked, chiefly under ground, painting their bodies of various colours, bestowing no cultivation on the soil, and depending for sub

* This division of knowledge is unavoidably imperct; and is little respected in the details of this work.

† The observations are not to be committed to memory; but to be read by the pupil to the tutor, or by the pupil alone.

sistence on acorns, berries, and roots, and upon their skill and success in hunting and fishing.

068.The people of England are indebted to the wild ambition of Julius Cæsar, for the introduction into these islands, of those arts of civilization, which had travelled from the Ganges into Persia, thence into Egypt, from Egypt to Greece, and from Greece into Italy: whence, by the last of conquest, they were spread over Europe. In like manner, at this day, the English are the instruments, from the same causes, of reflecting back the arts of civilization, amended by a true religion, to the banks of the Ganges; and of dissiminating the same blessings, to the Africans; the Americans; and the insulated people of the South Sea Islands.

10. The Romans introduced among the Britons, all the arts and knowledge which they had themselves received from the Greeks; and laid the foundation of that social state, in which we find ourselves in England, after the lapse of nearly two thousand years.

Obs.-To take a view of knowledge, as it has extended itself from the most barbarous and uncultivated ages, down to this age of literature, science, and philosophy; and to render the whole, plain and familiar to young minds, and to the meanest capacities, are the ob. jects of the present work.

II. Of the Simple Arts of Savage Life. 11. The arts of savage life were those which were possessed by the ancient Britons; and which are witnessed at this day, among all barbarous people. They include the arts of swimming, hunting, taking aim with missile weapons, and procuring fire.

12. The art of swimming, depends first, in

keeping the arms and hands under the water; in protruding only the face and part of the head out of the water; and then using such action, as will direct the body in any particular course.

Obs.-All animals swim without instruction; because they are unable to lift their fore-legs over their heads. The secret of this art depends, then, on keeping down the hands and arms, and acting under the water with them. The parts of any body which rise out of the water, sink the parts that are immersed within it.

13. Hunting is performed by most savage nations on foot, and with many of them the principal weapon is the club. Therefore the swiftest and strongest usually become chiefs.

Obs. Hence, Hercules, the hero of antiquity, is drawn with no other weapon than a club; with which, alone, he is said to have performed all his wonderful ex. ploits. Some nations, nothing removed above savages, are, however, found to have acquired the use of bows and arrows.

14. In taking aim, with missle weapons, the precision which savage nations have attained, is wonderful. In throwing a stone, they seldom miss the smallest mark; they transfix fish in the water; knock down birds on the wing; and strike every enemy with unerring exactness.

0b8-Every one is acquainted with the success of the shepherd David, in killing Goliah. Even such is the precision of the South Sea islanders at the present day.

15. The greatest attainment of savage life, is the procuring of artificial fire; but this was an art not known to all barbarous people. The inhabitants of the Ladrones considered fire as an invisible monster, when the Spaniards first introduced it


them. 16. The Persians, and other eastern nations,

« ZurückWeiter »