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that the propofed plan would form a better fyftem of education for young men of fortune, than hitherto has been known in Britain? Before pronouncing fentence against me, let the following confiderations be duly weigh'd. Our youth go abroad to fee the world in the literal fenfe; for to pierce deeper than eye-fight, cannot be expected of boys. They refort to gay courts, where they find nothing for imitation but pomp, luxury, dissembled virtues, and real vices: fuch fcenes make a deep impreffion on young men of a warm imagination. Our plan would be an antidote to fuch poisonous education. Suppofing eighteen to be the earliest time for the army, here is an object held up to our youth of fortune, for roufing their ambition: they will endeavour to make a figure, and emulation will animate them to excel: fuppofing a young man to have no ambition, fhame alone will pufh him on. To acquire the military art, to discipline their men, to direct the execution of public works, and to conduct other military operations, would occupy their whole time, and banish idleness. A young gentleman, thus guarded against the enticing vices and fauntering follies of youth, muft be fadly deficient in genius, if, during his seven years fervice, reading and reflection have been totally neglected by him. Hoping better things from our youth of fortune, I take for granted, that during their service they have made fome progrefs, not only in military knowledge, but in morals, and in the fine arts, fo as at the age of twenty-five to be qualified for profiting, instead of being undone, by feeing the world *.
Whether hereditary nobility may not be neceffary, in a monarchical government, to fupport the King against the multitude, I take not on me to pronounce: but this I pronounce with affurance, that fuch a conftitution is unhappy with respect to education; and appears to admit no remedy, if it be not that above mentioned, or fome fuch. In fact, few of those who received their education while they were the eldest fons of Peers, have been duly qualified to manage public affairs.
Further, young men of birth and fortune, acquire indeed the fmoothness and fuppleness of a court, with refpect to their fuperiors; but the constraint of fuch manners, makes their temper break out against inferiors, where there is no constraint. Infolence of rank is not fo visible in Britain, as in countries of less freedom; but it is fufficiently visible to require correction. To that end, no method promises more fuccefs than military service; as command and obedience alternately, are the best discipline for acquiring temper and moderation. Can pride and infolence be more effectually stemmed, than to be commanded by an infeFior?
Still upon the important article of education. Where pleasure is the ruling paffion in youth, intereft will be the ruling paffion in age: the selfish principle is the foundation of both, the object only is varied. This observation is fadly verified in Britain: our young men of rank, loathing an irksome and fatiguing courfe of education, abandon themselves to pleasure. Trace these very men through the more fedate part of life, and they will be found grasping at power and profit, by means of court-favour, with no regard to their country, and with very little regard to their friends. The education propofed, holding up a temping prize to virtuous ambition, is an excellent fence against a life of indolent pleasure. A youth of fortune, engaged with many rivals in a train of public fervice, acquires a habit of business; and as he is conftantly employ'd for the public, patriotifin becomes his ruling paffion *.
* The following portrait is fetched by a good hand, (Madame Pompadour); and if it have any refemblance, it fets our plan in a confpicuous light. The French nobleffe, fays that lady, fpending their lives in diffipation and idlenefs, know as little of politics as of economy. A gentleman hunts all his life in the country, or
The advantages of a military education, fuch as that propofed, are not yet exhaufted: one of confiderable importance remains to be unfolded. Under regular government promoting the arts of peace, focial intercourfe refines, and fondnefs for
company increases in proportion. And hence it is, that the capital is crouded with every person who can afford to live there. A man of fortune, who has no taste but for a city life, happens to be forc'd into the country by business; finding business and the country equally infipid, he becomes impatient, and returns to town, with a difguft at every rural amufement. In France, the country has been long deferted: fuch fondness for fociety prevails there, that feldom has the King occafion to inflict a greater punishment on a man of fafhion, than to banish him to his country-feat. In Britain the fame fondness for a town-life is gaining ground daily. A ftranger confidering the immenfe fums expended in England upon country-feats, would conclude, vin appearance with great certainty, that the English spend most of their time in the country. But how would it surprise him to be told, not only that people of fashion in England pass little of their time in the country, but that the immenfe fums laid out upon gardening and pleasuregrounds, are the effect of vanity, more than of tafte! In fact, fuch embellishments are beginning to wear our of fashion; appetite for fociety leaving neither time nor inclination for rural pleasures.
perhaps comes to Paris to ruin himself with an opera-girl. Those who are ambitious to be of the ministry, have seldom any merit, if it be not in caballing and intrigue. The French nobleffe have courage, but without any genius for war, the fatigue of a foldier's life being to them unfupportable. The King has been reduced to the neceflity of employing two strangers for the fafety of his crown: had it not been for the Counts Saxe and Louendahl, the enemies of France might have laid fiege to Paris,
If the progrefs of that disease can be ftay'd, the only means is military education. In youth lafting impreffions are made; and men of fortune who take to the army, being confined moftly to the country in prime of life, contract a liking for country occupations and amusements; which withdraw them from the capital, and contribute to the health of the mind, no less than of the body.
A military education would contribute equally to moderation in focial enjoyments. The pomp, ceremony, and expence, neceffary to those who adhere to a court, and live always in public, are not a little fatiguing and oppreffive. Man is naturally moderate in his defire of enjoyment; and it requires much practice to make him bear excefs without fatiety and disgust. The pain of excess, prompts men of opulence to pafs fome part of their time in a fnug retirement, where they live at ease, free from pomp and ceremony. Here is a retirement, which can be reached without any painful circuit; a port of fafety and of peace, to which we are piloted by military education, avoiding every dangerous rock, and every fatiguing agitation.
Reflecting on the advantages of military education above difplay'd, is it foolish to think, that our plan might produce a total alteration of manners in our youth of birth and fortune? The idlers, the gamefters, the profligate, compared with our military men, would make a despicable figure: fhame, not to talk of pride, would compel them to reform.
How conducive to good government might the propofed plan be, in the hands of a virtuous king, fupported by a public-fpirited miniftry! In the prefent courfe of advancement, a youth of quality, who afpires to ferve his country in a civil employment, has nothing to rely on but parliamentary interest. The military education propofed, would afford him opportunity to improve his VOL. II. talenti,
talents, and to convince the world of his merit, Honour and applaufe thus acquired, would intitle him to demand preferment; and he ought to be employ'd, not only as deferving, but as an encouragement to others. Frequent inftances of neglecting men who are patronized by the public, might perhaps prove dangerous to a British minister,
If I have not all this while been dreaming, here are display'd illuftrious advantages of the military education propofed. Fondness for the subject excites me to prolong the entertainment; and I add the following reflection, on the education of fuch men as are difpofed to ferve in a public ftation. The fciences are mutually connected; and a man cannot be perfect in any one, without being in fome degree acquainted with every one. The fcience of politics, in particular, being not a little intricate, cannot be acquired in perfection by any one whofe ftudies have been confined to a fingle branch, whether relative to peace or to war. The Duke of Marlborough made an eminent figure in the cabinet, as well as in the field; and fuch was equally the illuftrious Sully, who may ferve as a model to all ministers. The great aim in modern politics is, to split government into the greatest number poffible of departments, trusting nothing to genius. China is a complete model of fuch a government. National affairs are there so simplified by divifion, as to require fcarce any capacity in the mandarines. Thefe officers, having little occafion for activity, either of mind or of body, fink down into floth and fenfuality: motives of ambition or of fame make no impreffion: they have not even so much delicacy as to blush when they err: and as they regard no punishment but what touches the person or the purse, it is not unufual to see a mandarine beaten with many stripes, fometimes for a very flight tranfgreffion. Let arts be fubdivided into many parts; the more fubdivifions the better: but I venture to pronounce, that no man ever did, nor ever will, make a capital fi